Hendaye, on the coast, is the starting or finishing point of the Grande Traversée hike along the length of the Pyrenees. There are plenty of thrills and spills in this first stage! The GR 10 route is an alternative way to visit the Basque country, its villages, flora and fauna.
Setting out from Hendaye for Olhette is a gentle warm-up, affording views of the Atlantic ocean. You then turn to head towards La Rhune mountain. The next few stages take you through Basque villages with their typical architecture and strong culture for authentic flavours: Sare, Aïnhoa, and Bidarray. Next you embark on your first mountain stage with the Artzamendi crests. The difference in altitude is considerable and you need to allow plenty of time. It will be more than worth it though, since the view is astounding! Pass through Saint-Etienne-de-Baigorry and go as far as Saint-Jean-Pied-de-Port, making sure you don’t miss the sloping Irouléguy vineyards where they produce a powerful wine with rustic notes.
You then press on to the Soule region and Esterençuby. The next challenge is the Bagargi pass. There’s a big climb, but the panorama over the Basque mountains is a great reward! Logibar is next and then Sainte-Engrâce with its extraordinary canyons: the Kakuetta Gorges and the Holzarte footbridge. Another five hours gets you to Pierre Saint-Martin, ascending over 1,000 metres to reach the Béarnais part of the Pyrénées-Atlantiques.
The Ways of Saint James are world-famous. There are many reasons for walking them — visiting heritage sites, both natural and manmade, a sporting challenge, a spiritual quest or wanting to meet others.
From Bidart to San Sebastian in Spain, this easy walk covers 54 km. It is to be completed in stages, and is a lovely way to explore the Basque coast, coastal villages, mountains and panoramic views of the immense Atlantic ocean.