KAKUETTA GORGES, HOLZARTE FOOTBRIDGE
THE KAKUETTA GORGES ARE CURRENTLY CLOSED
Soule is home to many a marvel and especially two walks with specific appeal. Nature lovers will be delighted!
Start your day in Sainte-Engrâce exploring a fabulous canyon. The Kakuetta Gorges are open from 15 March to 15 November. You have to pay to enter, (free for under-7s). You start by going through the “Grand Étroit”, a narrow yet grandiose passage opening up to the canyon that’s 3 to 10 metres wide and sometimes over 200 metres deep. Walk to the sound of the torrent winding through two kilometres of luxuriant greenery. The walk is great fun and will appeal to youngsters with its footbridges and rope bridges. You finally arrive at a 20-metre waterfall and a cavern full of giant stalactites and stalagmites. The entire excursion takes two hours.
In the afternoon, you can move on to Larrau to test your resistance to vertigo! In 40 minutes, you reach the famous Holzarté footbridge. It was first built in 1925 by Italian workers in order to exploit the forest. The 70-metre construction crosses the Olhadubi canyon, hanging 140 metres above ground. Watch out, it swings gently as you cross! You can then continue on a 4-hr 10-min round trip with gorgeous viewpoints over the canyon, or return to the starting point in 30 minutes.
Towering over the landscape, this iconic peak is an easily identifiable landmark wherever you may be. The hike alternates between forests, pastureland and scree slopes. Even with small children you can enjoy the fabulous scenery at the summit, by taking the charming little rack-railway.
For winter and summer visitors alike, the magical site of Iraty will astound you. Trails have been blazed in this gigantic cedar forest for snowshoeing and cross country skiing. Enjoy the flora and fauna as you walk. You can retire to a wooden chalet for a break in the peace of the mountain.
Labourd province features a mountain with a distinctive peak, with cliffs forming a rocky wall that’s easy to identify. You can admire a fantastic 360° view of sea and mountains, and traditional discoidal steles at the start of the hike from Aubépine chapel.