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Guided holidays
7 days - 6 nights - 5 half days of walking
Level :
Itinerary : One Centre
Holiday code : FP1PUSZ
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Slowly Discovering The Best Of Basque Coast & Country

A Slow Holiday in a small group lead by a knowledgeable bi-lingual guide who will help you discover the many and varied delights of traditional Basque culture - not least delightful villages and a distinctive cuisine - as well as its stunning natural highlights of lakes and mountains, cliffs, beaches and coastline. You stay in a comfortable, peaceful hotel in its own grounds with a pool, close to the beach and the fascinating town of Saint Jean de Luz - indisputably the pearl of the Cote Basque.

A summary of your journey

This is where the Pyrenees meets the Atlantic ocean, and it's a unique micro-climate with rich, green valleys, dramatic coastlines and panoramic mountain tops combined with an equally unique and much treasured Basque culture with language, cuisine, sports, architecture, crafts and history found nowhere else - and as Spanish as it is French. You don't know the Pyrenees until you know the Basque country, and this holiday enables you to "get under its skin" in a gentle, slow and entirely pleasurable way. What's more you stay the whole week in one very good hotel with heated swimming pool, good food, all the comforts, and close to a lovely beach and vibrant St Jean de Luz.

The plus points

  • A slow yet fascinating discovery of Basque culture and the Atlantic Pyrenees landscape
  • A small group led by a knowledgeable bi-lingual guide
  • The absolute highlights of the region - French and Spanish - discovered largely by walking
  • An excellent comfortable hotel with varied cuisine
  • The visit to San Sebastian

Le programme

Day 1

We meet you at Biarritz airport or railway station (TGV from Paris), and transfer you to the St Jean-de -Luz hotel.
When it came to choosing a hotel for a whole week we easily decided on Hotel Erromardie. It's one of those places you enjoy and appreciate more the longer you stay there. For a start, it's welcoming and well managed. The grounds are well maintained and the rooms fully equipped and spotless. There's plenty to do - heated swimming pool, tennis, table tennis, pelote court - and plenty of opportunities to relax. Then there is the location just 200 metres from a beach good for relaxing and being active, and a mile or so outside the centre of St Jean de Luz (1 Euro shuttle bus, takes 5 minutes) - and that is the final "clincher" because it is a wonderfully vibrant town we're sure you'll enjoy taking time to discover.

Day 2

Erebi circuit from Ainhoa After meeting the other members of your group and your guide, you will be transfered to the little village of Ainhoa, one of the most beautiful villages in France, where you'll begin to understand Basque history, culture and architecture. You start a varied walk up through the rich landscape of fields, woods and moorland so typical of Basque country. Up to the col of the 3 crosses, then to the peak of Mount Erebi and along a ridge to the simple, but simply stunningly located, chapel of Arantze. All this way, there are panoramic views down on Ainhoa, to the Atlantic rolling in towards St Jean de Luz, the coastline sweeping round into Spain, and up to La Rhune and the foothills of the Pyrenees. Driving back, you visit the lovely village of Espelette famous for its ubiquitous red peppers - and very popular festival celebrating them before going to dine in a superb restaurant near the port in St Jean de Luz, where you will taste Basque specialities.
You stay again at the Hotel Erromardie.
Walking time : 3 to 4h. Elevation : + 400m / - 400m. Transfer time : 1h

Day 3

Bidart - Saint Jean de Luz Today is a coast discovery day with a magnificent walk along the cliff tops, bays and beaches as well as through "tunnels" of the rich green vegetation from Bidart and Guéthary to the Pointe Sainte-Barbe where you can see the Atlantic rollers crashing in on one side, and the more gentle swell of the protected St Jean de Luz bay on the other. Return to the hotel this evening for dinner.
You stay again at the Hotel Erromardie.
Walking time: 3 to 4 hours. Elevation: + 350m / - 350m. Transfer time: 1 hour.

Day 4

Circuit to the summit of la Rhune You will have seen in several times at a distance, but today is the day to climb to the top of it: the 3,000 feet La Rhune, the iconic mountain of the region. The magnificent 360 degree views are of ocean, mountains, the coast and plains below. Now, the choice is yours: you can walk up, and take the cog railway that was built in 1924, and is as characterful as it is useful, down, or ride up and walk down, or walk up and down ( supplement for the train). Whatever, we think you'll really enjoy the experience, which includes an informative centre at the top. We will then visit another of the officially most beautiful villages in France, Sare, where you can smugly look up at what you have climbed. It's famous for originating the ubiquitous Basque cake, but the houses, pelote court right in the centre, the 16th and17th century houses and the cheeses (!) tell you more about this lovely village and its history. Return to the hotel for dinner.
You stay again at the Hotel Erromardie.
Walking time: 2 or 4 hours. Elevation: + 0- 700m / - 0- 700m. Transfer time: 45 minutes.

Day 5

Donibane Pasaia to San Sebastian by the Monte Ullia You start in the delightfully historic fishing village of Donibane Pasaia, Spain, clinging to the edge of the bay, and packed with timber and brick houses from the 16th century onwards. Thank goodness for a guide who can tell you all about it, and the two mountains (Jaizkibel and Ullia) that flank the village descending right down to the sea. You take a short ferry ride across the the inlet, and join the Camino del Norte, the coastal camino that is one of the ways to get to Santiago de Compostela, up to the Plata lighthouse high on a headland, then follow the path into the atmospheric town of San Sebastian. Here again our guide will take you down tiny streets to show you ancient houses and so much that is almost unconsciously (but also very definitely) Basque. The walk ends on the justly renowned Concha beach. Return to the hotel for dinner.
You stay again at the Hotel Erromardie.
Walking time: 3 to 4 hours. Elevation: + 300m / - 300m. Transfer time: 1 hour 30 minutes.

Day 6

Circuit of Cap du Figuier - massif of Jaizkibel We drive into Spain to begin walking in the foothills of the huge Jaizkibel mountain that reach down to the ocean as we walk beside creeks and small bays, cliffs and beaches to the end of the Figuier cape from where the border is immediately below us - Hondarrabia on the Spanish side (more of which later) and Hendaye on the French. It's an excellent and varied walk, and culminates in a walking tour of the fortified city of Hondarrabia, historically known as Fontarrabie (3 battles, one seige, lots to discover).
Return to St Jean de Luz.
You stay again at the Hotel Erromardie.
Walking time: 3 or 4 hours. Elevation: + 300m / - 300m. Transfer time: 1 hour

Day 7

After breakfast, all that's left to do is bid everyone fond farewells before the short transfer to Biarritz airport or rail station. Will you have discovered the best of the Basque country and coast slowly? We are sure you will agree that you have.

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

MEETING POINT

We collect you from, and take you back to, Biarritz airport or rail station.

END OF YOUR TRIP

After breakfast on the last day we take you to Biarritz airport, or rail station.

LEVEL OF DIFFICULTY

This holiday features comfortable walking with some short, steep slopes, usually 3 hours or so a day, so is suitable for people who are reasonably fit, and used to walking (albeit "gently") for a few hours a day. Only the La Rhune walk is fairly hard, but there is the cog railway option up and/or down (not included). It can get fairly warm in July and August (but nothing like as hot as on the Mediterranean side). We would recommend from mid May through June, and from mid August through September and well into October as the best months.

Departure Guaranteed from ( No. Pers)

5

GR

15

LUGGAGE TRANSPORT

All you need to carry when walking is a daysack with whatever you regard as essentials, and, where relevant, your picnic.

GUIDE

This holiday is led by an experienced, bi-lingual guide with mountain walking qualifications and a wide knowledge of the region. You need only speak English if you so choose.

ACCOMMODATION

You stay in the three star hotel as specified in spacious double or twin rooms with en suite facilities, and ocean or mountain views.

MEALS

You will eat well. Dinners are based on set menus featuring regional specialities usually with a choice for each of the three courses. There is a dinner in characterful local restaurants.

TRANSFERS

Journeys by road are by comfortable minibus, or taxi.

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 ?

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.

DISPOSITIONS COVID-19

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!

On our guided trips we do not insist that you take a single room if you are travelling alone. If you book a shared " twin" room with 2 beds you agree to assume responsibility for the possible consequences related to sharing the room (and therefore the bathroom and toilet) with another person from the group. If you do not wish to do this you should take the single room option, subject to availability.
Click on the price that corresponds to your choice.
FromToDeparture assured fromprice
Sat 10/04/2021Fri 16/04/20215 pers.960 €  (₤ 857)
Sat 17/04/2021Fri 23/04/20215 pers.1 010 €  (₤ 902)
Sat 01/05/2021Fri 07/05/20215 pers.960 €  (₤ 857)
Sat 15/05/2021Fri 21/05/20215 pers.1 110 €  (₤ 992)
Sat 29/05/2021Fri 04/06/20215 pers.960 €  (₤ 857)
Sat 05/06/2021Fri 11/06/20215 pers.960 €  (₤ 857)
Sat 12/06/2021Fri 18/06/20215 pers.960 €  (₤ 857)
Sat 19/06/2021Fri 25/06/20215 pers.1 110 €  (₤ 992)
Sat 26/06/2021Fri 02/07/20215 pers.960 €  (₤ 857)
Sat 03/07/2021Fri 09/07/20215 pers.960 €  (₤ 857)
Sat 10/07/2021Fri 16/07/20215 pers.1 010 €  (₤ 902)
Sat 17/07/2021Fri 23/07/20215 pers.1 140 €  (₤ 1 018)
Sat 24/07/2021Fri 30/07/20215 pers.1 140 €  (₤ 1 018)
Sat 31/07/2021Fri 06/08/20215 pers.1 210 €  (₤ 1 081)
Sat 14/08/2021Fri 20/08/20215 pers.1 260 €  (₤ 1 126)
Sat 28/08/2021Fri 03/09/20215 pers.1 290 €  (₤ 1 152)
Sat 04/09/2021Fri 10/09/20215 pers.1 290 €  (₤ 1 152)
Sat 11/09/2021Fri 17/09/20215 pers.1 290 €  (₤ 1 152)
Sat 25/09/2021Fri 01/10/20215 pers.1 110 €  (₤ 992)
Sat 09/10/2021Fri 15/10/20215 pers.1 010 €  (₤ 902)
Sat 23/10/2021Fri 29/10/20215 pers.960 €  (₤ 857)
 
List of additional options (to select later)
TitleTime periodPrice
Single room sup. / pers. from 10/04/2021 to 16/04/2021385 € (₤ 344)
Single room sup. / pers. from 17/04/2021 to 23/04/2021325 € (₤ 290)
Single room sup. / pers. from 01/05/2021 to 21/05/2021405 € (₤ 362)
Single room sup. / pers. from 29/05/2021 to 18/06/2021325 € (₤ 290)
Single room sup. / pers. from 26/06/2021 to 09/07/2021325 € (₤ 290)
Single room sup. / pers. from 10/07/2021 to 16/07/2021385 € (₤ 344)
Single room sup. / pers. from 17/07/2021 to 30/07/2021430 € (₤ 384)
Single room sup. / pers. from 31/07/2021 to 06/08/2021485 € (₤ 433)
Single room sup. / pers. from 14/08/2021 to 20/08/2021605 € (₤ 541)
Single room sup. / pers. from 28/08/2021 to 17/09/2021655 € (₤ 585)
Single room sup. / pers. from 25/09/2021 to 01/10/2021405 € (₤ 362)
Single room sup. / pers. from 09/10/2021 to 15/10/2021385 € (₤ 344)
Single room sup. / pers. from 23/10/2021 to 29/10/2021325 € (₤ 290)

THE PRICE INCLUDES

6 nights dinner, bed and breakfast; picnics on days 2 to 6, people transfers as specified; the daily services of the bi-lingual guide; 24/7 customer phone service if additional support is required.

THE PRICE DOES NOT INCLUDE

Transfers at the start and end of the holiday except from and to Biarritz airport or station; drinks with meals; non-standard menu items; entry fees; booking fee of 20€/person, personal and travel insurance.
Provided by TransferMate

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