Saint-Jean de Luz
La Rhune
Pays Basque & Atlantic Coast
From 650
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4 nights, 3 or 4 days walking
Level :
Itinerary : Hotel to Hotel
Holiday code : FP2PUCB
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From The Basque Mountains To The Atlantic Ocean

This short break walking on ancient footpaths through the foothills of the Atlantic Pyrenees to arrive at the Atlantic Ocean is a most pleasurable and rewarding way to discover the green and gentle landscapes of the Basque Country in just a few days. Discover the spectacular viewpoint of La Rhune, traditional red-and-white villages, and the Basque talent for great food and hospitality. All in a short break!

A summary of your journey

On this short break, you discover the authentic Pays Basque - its highest peak, its green valleys, red and white villages, and at the end the satisfaction of walking to the Atlantic while staying in one of the region's liveliest and most attractive ports.

The Plus Points

  • Transfers from and to Biarritz (other transfers also possible)
  • Luggage transfers every day so you only carry a daysack
  • High quality, original hotels with dinner included
  • 24/7 customer service

Day 1

Arrival at Espelette
We meet you at Biarritz airport or rail station (TGV express train from Paris), or, for a supplement, we can meet you at Bordeaux or Pau airports. Or you can drive yourself to your first night's hotel in Espelette. Depending on your time of arrival, you can enjoy a pleasurable 1.5 to 2 hour stroll around Mount Urzumu, which offers panoramic views of the village of Espelette. There is also the option of a much longer, 5 hour walk, were you to arrive early enough.
You stay in the archetypal Basque village of Espelette that has been conserved superbly, has an interesting chateau and church, and an exceptional artisan chocolate producer (Antton), but is really famous for its festival of red peppers (pimentos). Hotel Chilhar is a real treat in the heart of Espelette. Outside it is traditional Basque. Inside it offers boutique style accommodation, and wonderfully contemporary takes on traditional Basque cuisine. We are sure you will really enjoy staying here. Dinner, bed and breakfast.
Walking time: 1h30 or 5h. Distance: 6km or 16km. Ascent/descent: + 100m or + 600m / - 150 or - 650m. Transfer time : 30 minutes.

Day 2

Espelette - Sare
This is a day of wonderful foothills walking through unspoilt villages and hamlets, and along country lanes and farm tracks - the remarkable Ainhoa being the highlight. It is easy walking through beautiful countryside, but interspersed with interesting places to see and things to do, not least from tempting artisan producers of foods, drinks, arts and crafts. But often you will see, not that far away, the dramatic mountain that is La Rhune,and which you will be on top of tomorrow. A longer, and somewhat more challenging, route can be chosen instead.
You stay in Sare, which has 253 houses dating back to the 15th century, and rests almost in the shadow La Rhune. The Hotel Arraya is a superb 4 star hotel in a privileged location in the village that combines an historic building with boutique luxury and exceptional "cuisine terroir".
Walking time : 4h or 5h30. Distance : upto 19km. Ascent/descent: + 620m / - 760m.

Day 3

Sare - La Rhune - Ascain - Saint-Jean-de-Luz
Your panoramic highlight is at the summit of La Rhune with its 360 degree views east towards the endless Pyrenees, south into Spain, and west to the Atlantic coast. You can walk up - a steady walk that's perfectly "do-able" - or take the magnificent rack railway, its wooden carriages slowly clattering their way to the top. Look out for pottoks - wild mountain ponies - and red headed sheep. Certainly you can enjoy the walk down until you arrive at the pretty village of Ascain.We will then take you the short distance to St Jean de Luz by road, or you can kayak down the gentle Nivelle river to arrive in St Jean in independent style. As ever with Purely Pyrenees, the choice is yours.
St Jean de Luz is one of our favourite - and liveliest - towns in the Pyrenees bursting with energy from its harbourside through its twisting streets to the bars and restaurants, many offering tapas as well as excellent fish dishes. You stay in the middle of the town at the impressive and comfortable Hotel les Almadies on a bed and breakfast basis, so you can choose your own restaurant (or series of tapas bars), although we offer several recommendations.
Walking time : 3h30 or 6h. Distance : 10.5km or 15km. Ascent/descent:: + 500m or + 880m / - 500m or - 840m. Transfer time : 20 minutes.

Day 4

Saint-Jean-de-Luz - Corniche Basque - Socoa - Ciboure - Saint-Jean-de-Luz
Your last walk is a coastal one to complete your mountains to the sea experience. You walk out of St Jean de Luz, and walk the rich green hills around Urrugne that run close to the often dramatically magnificent Atlantic. Your return route is right by the sea through the interesting villages of Socoa and Ciboure. Altogether, a thoroughly satisfying walk with plenty of memorable views, places to stop for a coffee or something more substantial, and throughout that distinctive Basque ambience that is like nowhere else in France (or the rest of the world).
You again stay at the excellent Hotel les Almadies on a bed and breakfast basis. It is right in th centre of the town, so you can easily choose your own restaurant for your final night,
Walking time: 4h30. Distance: 16km. Ascent/descent: + 250m / - 250m.

Day 5

End of stay
After breakfast, we will take you to Biarritz airport, or, for a supplement, to Pau or Bordeaux airports.
Transfer time : 30 minutes.
  • Practical details
  • Equipment
  • Formalities, Health

PROGRAM OF DEPARTURES

1 June to 30 October

MEETING POINT

We will meet you at Biarritz airport, or St Jean de Luz TGV rail station, and transfer you by car or mini-bus. This is included in the price. For a supplement, we can meet you at the airports of Pau or Bordeaux. Or you can drive to Espelette.

END OF STAY

At the end of the holiday, we will take you to Biarritz airport, or, for a supplement, take you to Pau or Bordeaux airports. Or, if you have driven, we will take you back to Espelette.

LEVEL

This itinerary features comfortable rather than challenging walking, and is suitable for most people who enjoy a good walk. You are mainly in the foothills of the Pyrenees rather than in the high mountains, and on most days there are itinerary choices, so you can choose easier or more challenging routes.Typically, there is 4 to 6 hours steady walking with ascents and descents of typically 200 to 800 metres. If the weather is really bad, or you are really tired, then we can usually transfer you to the next hotel by car.

GUARANTEED DEPARTURE FROM (PERS)

2

LUGGAGE TRANSPORTATION

We will transfer your luggage between each hotel, so all you need to carry when walking is a daysack with whatever you regard as essentials.

SUPERVISION

This is an independent, self-guided holiday.

ACCOMMODATION

You stay in double or twin rooms for 1 night in four star hotels, 2 nights in a three star hotel, and one night in a particularly good two star hotel.

MEALS

You will eat very well. The two included dinners are based on set menus featuring regional specialities, fish etc usually with 3 or 4 choices for each of three courses, but you can pay locally for upgraded choices. The dinners on the last two nights are not included. Breakfast is included every morning, but lunches and picnics are not because there are plenty of places to make your own choices, although the night before you can ask the hotel for a picnic, which you can pay for locally.

TRANSFERS

Usually transfers are in people carriers, mini-buses, cars or taxis. Often they will be exclusively for you.

CONTENTS OF YOUR TRAVEL FOLDER

When we have received your balance of payment for your holiday, and in the month before departure, we send you all the documentation you need: detailed itinerary showing dates, times, contact details etc; a detailed guide to your walking route (with options) and lots of cultural, historical and nature background information; formal documents (invoices, contracts etc); luggage labels etc. If you book at the last minute, we can send this information to your first night hotel.

To make the right choice

Have a look at our detailed explanations on the types of hiking, the standards of accommodation, and understand baggage transport ... How to choose your trip ?

LUGGAGE 

  • A soft travel bag, avoid suitcases, which are more cumbersome and limit the weight of your belongings to 10 kg.
  • A small backpack of 30 litres minimum for your daytime requirements.

CLOTHES 

  • A waterproof and breathable jacket (Gore-Tex type)
  • A fleece or a sweater
  • A raincoat (poncho)
  • Walking trousers
  • 1 pair of gloves
  • 1 hat
  • Shorts
  • A bathing suit + towel
  • Several pairs of socks (not too large)
  • Underwear
  • 1 pair of trainers
  • Loose clothing for the evening

EQUIPMENT TO BRING 

  • 1 pair of walking shoes that have been used before
  • Sunglasses, sunscreen and lip protection
  • 1 bottle (allow 2 to 3 litres per person per day in summer)
  • A Tupperware type plastic bowl for the picnic + cutlery
  • 1 compass
  • Waterproof map cover (advised)
  • 1 head torch in your rucksack (for safety)
  • 1 survival cover (from a chemist)
  • 1 mobile phone (advised)
  • Camera and why not a novel, your watercolours or other desires...
  • Your identification documents

FORMALITIES

You need to keep your passport with you at all times, and ideally insurance information. You need to make your own arrangements to claim local healthcare. There are requirements in France and Spain for all vehicles to carry safety equipment.
Click on the price that corresponds to your choice.
FromToPer person sharing room
Fri 01/09/2017Sun 15/10/2017650 €
 
List of additional options (to select later)
TitleTime periodPrice
Single room sup. / pers. subject to availabilityfrom 01/06/2017 to 31/10/2017265 €

THE PRICE INCLUDES

2 nights dinner, bed and breakfast, plus 2 nights bed and breakfast; people transfers; luggage transfers; detailed walking instructions; 1:25,000 IGN map; 24/7 customer phone service.

THE PRICE DOES NOT INCLUDE

The journey to the start point, and from the finish point, except as specified; lunches; drinks with meals; non-standard menu items; the La Rhune train tickets; personal and travel insurance.
Provided by TransferMate

You can change the itinerary, and receive revised information

Want to change the itinerary? Complete the form below, and we will send you a revised itinerary as soon as possible.

 

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