The Train de la Rhune takes you to the legendary summit of the Basque Country!
Take advantage of your stay at our campsite in the Pyrénées-Atlantiques to discover the Massif de la Rhune, the highest peak on the Basque Coast. Just 25 minutes from the campsite, an almost century-old cogwheel train takes you to the top of the mountain, at an altitude of over 900 metres, with panoramic views over the vast Basque country, the Pyrenees and the Atlantic Ocean.
Starting point: the Col de Saint-Ignace in Sare!
To reach the summit of La Rhune, you have two choices: climb on foot or take the little Rhune train. The second option is less tiring and just as exhilarating. The adventure begins on the station platform at the Col de Saint-Ignace in Sare, one of the “most beautiful villages in France”, just 20 km from our 4-star Le Biper Gorri campsite. Journey time: approx. 35 minutes at a speed of 9 km/hour. Which gives you plenty of time to see a bit of the country!
During the journey, you won’t know where to look as the landscapes and scenery are so compelling. On the mountainside, you can see the pottoks, those sturdy Basque ponies with their long manes, the flocks of black-headed ewes with their corkscrew horns, or the vultures circling in the air waiting for their feast. Picturesque as can be!
Once at the summit, 905 meters above sea level, you’ll enjoy a breathtaking 360° view of the French and Spanish Basque country, the Landes, the foothills of the Pyrenees and the Atlantic Ocean. A breathtaking panorama that leaves you with a long, dazzling memory long afterwards.
A few restaurants and ventas (the Spanish equivalent of our French grocery stores) offer food and souvenirs to mark the occasion.
A vintage cogwheel train like few others left in France…
Inaugurated in June 1924, the Chemin de Fer de la Rhune is one of the last cog railroads still in operation in France. This mode of rail transport was designed to climb the steep slopes frequently encountered in the mountains. As for the Rhune train, it has been entirely restored to its former glory of the last century: wooden carriages, Pyrenean fir roof, Landes pine floor, platform made of iroko, an exotic wood straight from Africa.
La Rhune, the mythical mountain of the Basque Country
Straddling the French-Spanish border, the Massif de la Rhune (Larrun in Basque) is the highest point on the Basque Coast and the most visited site in the Pyrénées-Atlantiques. It rises to 905 meters, overlooking the French and Spanish coasts and the Pyrenees chain as far as the eye can see.
More surprisingly, the Rhune massif is considered a sacred mountain in the Basque Country, steeped in the wildest legends about a terrible seven-tailed serpent, secret witches’ meetings and the presence of the Basajaun, a yeti-like creature straight out of Basque mythology. We’ll tell you more in a future article!
MORE ABOUT LE TRAIN DE LA RHUNE
- Open from March to November
- One-way journey time: 35 minutes
- Full excursion: minimum 2h
- Prices: €19 / adult, €12 / child (aged 4 to 12)
- Website www.rhune.com