The Best Family Hikes Through The Basque Country

The Basque Country is a paradise for lovers of the great outdoors and offers a variety of breathtaking hikes for all skill levels. Thanks to its proximity to the ocean and the mountains, each path is picturesque and very difficult to forget. In this article, we will detail the best family hikes in the Basque Country.

 

The Ascension of the Rhune

La Rhune is probably best known for its historic train, but it sits on a mountain range which makes it a great place for hiking.

Take the train to the top and walk down. It would be best to arrive early as there can be a long line. If your family is up for it, you can also hop on and off by train.

 

For very athletic families

There are six circuits for each skill level.

Starting points:

  • Pass of Saint-Ignace
  • Salt
  • Ascain
  • Olhette
  • Lizuniaga

The views of the ocean and mountains on these trails are magnificent. There are winding paths through forests and meadows, and you will likely come across flocks of sheep here and there.

 

Itxassou and the Pas de Roland

About fifteen kilometers from Bayonne, the picturesque Basque village of Itxassou is the starting point for many hikes in the Basque Country thanks to its proximity to the Atharri and Artzamendi mountains.

Itxassou is home to a legendary Basque hike, the Pas de Roland. There are a variety of storytelling legends that explain this natural phenomenon (Roland's sword, his horse's hoof, etc.)

Marked in yellow, this hike starts from the Itxassou church and follows the Nive to Pas de Roland. The hike is 10 km of route in a well-preserved setting which is the basis of several medieval legends.

 

The Ibardin pass and Lake Xoldokogaina

This hike will take you to Xoldokogaina Lake, and lasts 2h30 in total. It's not particularly difficult and would be a great choice for families with children. There are stunning views over Saint-Jean-de-Luz and the Pyrenees and you may even come across small Pottok horses walking around. When you arrive at the lake you will be rewarded with a wonderful view and a great place to enjoy a picnic before returning via the Ibardin pass.

 

Sainte-Engr Grâce and the Kakuetta Gorges

Open to the public from March to November, this is a great choice for families. Due to its unexpected lush vegetation, it offers an exotic environment and has even been called “the Amazon of the Basque Country”. The full hike from the starting point to the waterfalls takes around 2 hours and is fully equipped with well-maintained trails and bridges.

 

The Coastal Path on the Corniche

Leading from Hendaye to Saint-Jean-de-Luz, this coastal path runs along the Basque corniche and offers incredible views of the rugged coastline, the Pyrenees (Rhune, Manddale and Ziburumendi), the observatory of the Château d'Abbadie, the Villa Haiçabia and the Socoa Semaphore.

The tour is clearly marked on a well-maintained path, making it a great day trip for families. It begins at the end of Hendaye beach, facing the twin rocks of the bay. Panels articulate the path of Saint-Jean-de-Luz. The hike lasts 15 km and takes between 3 and 4 hours.

 

Climb the Jaizkibel

This hike is done on the Spanish side of the Basque Country. From Hondarribia you will walk on the road to Santiago de Compostela. The climb does a steep leg job, but it's worth it. From the top, you will have a breathtaking view of Irun, Hondarribia, Hendaye, San Sebastián, Pasaia and Renteria.

 

Ainhoa

Aïnhoa is a beautiful traditional Basque village. Its Basque architecture and its superb mountainous landscapes make it an ideal starting point for an easy hike which lasts around 2h30.

This hike takes you through both meadows and forest, and the Chapel of the Hawthorn sits at the top.

 

Chambre d'Amour - Biarritz Lighthouse

This easily accessible hike offers a view of the ocean, the Pyrenees, and a panoramic view of Biarritz from the lighthouse. It is perfect for families at any time of the year. Park at the Chambre d'Amour and drive to the end of the beach just before the cliff and follow the road that winds along the coast to the lighthouse. For a detailed explanation, click HERE.

 

En conclusion

If you want to make the Basque Country your home and have easy access to outdoor activities at any time of the year, do not hesitate to contact O'Plus Immobilier so that we can help you achieve your goals! Click HERE to contact our team and discuss your project!