Amid the mountains, the sea glittering in the distance, this is what you get as you climb up towards the passes in the Basque Country. Ride through forests and traditional villages, enjoying clear 360° views, the just rewards for some hard pedalling! You do have to put in some effort, but the beauty of the landscapes is simply breath-taking! Here’s our selection of the top mountain passes in the Basque Country for cycling lovers.

No doubt the most formidable of Basque Country passes, with a 1,230m difference in altitude from the starting point, a gradient of 8.4% over 15 km and 12% over 4 km, and a total distance of 29km to cover! But the scenery is worth it, with a view of the Pic d’Orhy and stretches through cool forest.

From the Col d’Ibardin to Saint Ignace, passing through the Col de Lizuniaga, this is a cross-border round trip taking in three passes over 33 km with a difference in altitude of 680m. At a moderate pace, you can take the time to discover villages and iconic scenery, such as the La Rhune mountain.

Along the Way of Saint James, this pass affords clear views and a stunning panorama as the reward for the effort involved in climbing 1,171m. It stretches over 36 km with a top gradient of 12.5%. We’re not pretending otherwise, Arnostéguy is a pass you have to work hard towards!