Self-guided holidays
4 nights - 3 walking days
Level :
Itinerary : Hotel to Hotel
Holiday code : FP2PUSE
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A Gourmet Short Break On The Basque Coast

A majestic coastline, authentic Basque towns and villages, superb coastal walking, high quality boutique hotels - and some of the best experiences of the Basque Food Revolution.

A summary of your journey

The Basque Country is unique, and rewards being explored. Its language, culture, history, geology, mentality, architecture, and cuisine are like nowhere else, yet it is all very accessible in just a few days. That's why we can't recommend this holiday highly enough. We know that it delivers so much in such a short time - and we have designed it to ensure what you experience the best and most authentic of it.

The Plus Points

  • Marvellous boutique hotels and superb new generation Basque cuisine
  • Characterful and historic coastal towns and villages
  • Wonderful walking featuring panoramic views, clifftops, sandy bays and passenger ferries
  • A short break packed with so many highlights

Le programme

Day 1

Standard option : You make your own way to Saint-Jean-de-Luz.
With extra airport pick-up : We will pick you up at Biarritz airport and drive you to the hotel. (If you choose an other airport, please consult us for prices).

Saint-Jean de Luz: the holiday begins at your charming boutique hotel right in the heart of this vibrant and historic town. Before dinner, do take a stroll around the network of narrow, often cobbled streets, and down to the fishing harbour that was once (not so long ago) the haunt of Bay of Biscay pirates. You'll find the whole town is packed with character, colour and cracking cuisines, none more so than Xaya where you dine. This "Cave Gourmande" will present you with a memorable 7 course taster menu that includes items such as a smooth egg with Iberian charcuterie, a black pudding and pig's foot croquette, and a polenta featuring a mushroom mousse - and that's just one course. We said gourmet, and we meant it.
Denise and Bruno have transformed a traditional merchant's house into the delightfully contemporary 7 bedroom three star boutique Hotel les Almadies with excellent bedroooms (most with a balcony), yet not lost the original character of the building. Of the many hotels in St Jean de Luz, it is definitely our favourite.

Day 2

From Saint-Jean de Luz to Hondarribia: after a rather good breakfast, you walk directly from the hotel through the town to the coast, and follow a path through woods and valleys, up hills, mostly close to, or on, the cliffs of this magnificent section of coastline - the most southerly in Atlantic France. The beachside casino in Hendaye (the start point for the wonderful 500 mile GR10 Atlantic-Mediterranean crossing of the Pyrenees) tells you that you are soon to leave France, which you do by taking a passenger ferry shuttling between France and Spain, Hendaye and Fontarrabie - or, in Spanish, Hondarribia. This pretty, historic, fortified town - missed by most tourists dashing elsewhere - is where you stay for the next two nights at the excellent Hotel Palacete.
The hotel is an impressive stone building that been tastefully evolved to offer stylishly contemporary bedrooms and public rooms. Just right, we think, and hope you'll agree.There has been a revolution in Basque cuisine in recent years, and it's centred on two places - San Sebastian and Hondarrabia.You are staying and dining in both. You'll find that Hondarrabia is truly Basque (so more like St Jean de Luz than, say, Madrid) with colourful houses, painted wooden balconies, cobbled streets, few touristy shops, yet dozens of atmospheric bars, stylish restaurants and those distinctively Basque pintxos bars. Don't say pintxos are like tapas because they are the centrepiece of a whole Basque culture called txikiteo - going txikiteo'ing means friends, family, drinks and snacks laid out on the bar or freshly prepared - all before a late dinner. We don't think you'll have too many problems getting into it, but please be hungry enough for the superb Mahasti Gastronomic Wine Bar.
Walking time: 5 hours. Elevation: +150m/-150m. Boat crossing: 10 minutes.

Day 3

Hondarribia : Today, you walk out of Hondarribia, and climb gently up to the ridge above the town to the hermitage of Guadalupe, the patron saint of the town, of sailors and fishermen - hence the multitude of marine "relics". It's also a highlight for those of a more religious persuasion taking the Camino del Norte to Santiago de Compostela. For most, however, the panoramic views over coast and ocean, town and country, Spain and France, and up to the peaks of Mount Jaizkibel are the most memorable. From there the scenic path leads you down to the rocky - and often extravagantly coloured - coastline of Cape Higuer (Figuier in French) with its lighthouse, and Roman history - the now disappeared port of Oiasso with sunken treasure ships. It's a great walk back into Hondarribia giving you plenty of justification to drop into a pintxos bar or two.
You stay again at the Palacete, but eat at the Alameda. For 75 years, the Txapartegi family have built a legendary reputation, and now offer a smart, friendly yet high quality dining experience Michelin rates as worthy of one star. We think you'll agree with their judgement.
Walking time: 6 hours. Elevation: +400m/-400m.

Day 4

From Hondarribia to San Sebastian: to make sure you get the best out of today, we take you so you have just a short climb to the summit of Mount Jaizkibel, and then a superb descent with great ocean views to the charming and typically Basque (think wooden buildings brightly coloured) fisherman's village of Pasajes clinging to the rocks. A short ferry trip across to the other side of the estuary gets you to the start point for the coastal walk into San Sebastian that features a well trodden clifftop path, magnificent sandy beaches in lovely bays, and eminently photographable views, but the best is saved til last with the huge crescent shaped La Concha beach of San Sebastian itself.
You stay tonight in the lap of luxury. Hotel Arrizul Congress is a superb 4 star boutique hotel built in 2017 to the highest standards, and stylish right down to its choice of glasses. The rooms are as light and spacious as the beds are large and comfortable. It's also perfectly located to explore this favourite town, and you dine tonight at the truly memorable Restaurant Ikaitz. It's food is original, beautiful and tasty. Words don't do it justice, but we're sure your taste buds will!
Walking time: 6.5 hours. Elevation: +300m/-650m.

Day 5

Sad to say, the holiday is over.

Standard option
: Your holiday ends after breakfast, we will take you back to St-Jean-de-Luz

With extra airport pick-up: After breakfast, we will pick you up and take you to Biarritz airport (If you choose another airport, please consult us for prices).

  • Détails Pratiques
  • Equipement
  • Formalités et Santé
  • Informations COVID-19


April to November.


Standard option :
You make your own way to Saint-Jean-de-Luz.

With extra airport pick-up :
We will pick you up at Biarritz airport and drive you to the hotel. (If you choose an other airport, please consult us for prices).


Standard option :
Your holiday ends after breakfast, we will take you back to St-Jean-de-Luz

With extra airport pick-up:

After breakfast, we will pick you up and take you to Biarritz airport (If you choose an other airport, please consult us for prices).


This itinerary features walking that can be a little challenging, and is suitable for people who are reasonably fit and enjoy a good day's walking. As described, you are walking on cliff tops, and in the foothills rather than high mountains, but there are several smaller and larger ascents and descents each day.




We will transfer your luggage to the next hotel, so all you need carry is a daysack with your choice of essentials. There are plenty of places to get drinks and food as you walk, so you need carry very little of either.


This is an independent, self-guided holiday.


You stay in double-twin rooms in authentic hotels with en suite facilities that are 3 and 4 star equivalents.


Usually transfers are in people carriers, mini-buses, cars or taxis.


When we have received the balance of payment for your holiday, and in the month before your departure, we send you all the documentation you need: a detailed itinerary showing dates, times, contact addresses etc; a detailed guide to your walking routes, often also including a lot of cultural, historical and nature background information; formal documents (invoices, contractual terms and conditions etc); luggage labels etc. If you book at the last minute, we can send information to the first night's accommodation.

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 ?


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


    • Waterproof and breathable anorak (Gore-Tex type)
    • Fleece or a sweater (depending on the location and season)
    • Waterproof over-trousers
    • Pair of gloves (depending on the location and season)
    • Sun hat (with all round brim)
    • Shorts
    • Swimming costume + packaway towel
    • Several pairs of proper walking socks
    • Underwear
    • Pair of trainers or light evening shoes
    • Comfortable clothing for the evening


      • Walking boots (with ankle protection)
      • Sunglasses, sunscreen and lip protection
      • Water bottle or backpack container (allow 2 litres per person per day)
      • Tupperware type container for the picnic + cutlery
      • Compass
      • Waterproof cover for walking instructions and map
      • Head torch
      • Survival blanket
      • Mobile phone (signal strength is often surprisingly good, but cannot be relied on)
      • Your identity documents (including driving licence - you never know when...)


        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.


        Because of the added health precautions relating to COVID, you must be equipped from the start of your trip with:
        * a sufficient quantity of masks (at a rate of 2 per day minimum). Wearing a mask will be compulsory during any transport, in certain accommodation, crowded places etc.
        * zipped pockets for masks and other items such as used tissues
        * hydro-alcoholic gel
        * a thermometre to take your temperature in case of symptoms appearing during your stay
        * a pen (sometimes necessary to sign an agreement in certain accommodation).

        The hosts who will welcome you (hoteliers, refuge guards, restaurateurs, transporters, local teams ...) are the people who will help to guarantee the smooth running of your stay and will ask you to conform with certain health related protocols. Out of respect for them and other people who frequent the same places, we ask you to commit to respecting the instructions given to you. Be reassured and optimistic, because as you know, hiking is an activity that will allow you long and enjoyable periods of time during which the wearing of a mask is not mandatory!

        So breathe fresh air and smile!

        Thank you for your interest in the trips presented on this website.

        Purely Pyrenees is based in the French Pyrenees and we are specialists in creating and organising walking and cycling holidays in this region, both in France and in Spain.
        Our parent company, La Balaguère*, has provided holidays for French walkers for nearly forty years.
        Due to the problems we have experienced following the global pandemic, notably the difficulty experienced by English speaking customers being able to travel to the Pyrenees, we have taken the decision to stop selling our trips directly from this site.

        Our holidays will soon be available again through trusted partner agencies and more information on this will soon be available on this page.
        If you would like any further information at this time, please do not hesitate to contact us at

        *La Balaguère is part of the non profit organisation UCPA.

        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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