Cookies on this website We use cookies on our website to make sure we can give you the best experience while browsing. If you are happy with this, please continue to use this site as normal or learn more

 

Pyrenees to the Atlantic

Pyrenees - green mountains, white villages
 
Traverse rugged green mountains and pass through pretty villages, experiencing a real sense of journey as you discover a distinctive culture and cuisine on this self-guided hotel-to-hotel walking holiday, with luggage transfers.
 
Pyrenees to the Atlantic . 7 nights
Pyrenees to the Atlantic . 7 nights
 

Holiday information

 

A walking holiday in the French Pyrenees

These green mountains, the last rugged peaks of the Pyrenean chain before it disappears into the waves of the Gulf of Gascony, are a joy to discover. They provide an impressive backdrop to one of Europe’s most traditional, and most beautiful, regions, where peaceful villages nestle in verdant, rich valleys. This splendid walk takes you from the heart of the Atlantic Pyrenees along fine footpaths close to the border to your final destination on the Spanish coast.
You will discover the unique landscape and rich culture of the region, passing through picturesque whitewashed villages where the Basque language, the oldest in Europe, is commonly spoken and traditions still hold firm, and where the national game, 'pelote', a blend of squash and tennis, is played. The local cuisine, too, is distinctive – try 'poulet à la basquaise', chicken in a spicy sauce of tomatoes and peppers. Other specialities include creamy Brebis mountain cheese, made from ewe's milk, served in the traditional manner with a black cherry conserve.

This is one of our more challenging French walks, with some fine ascents and descents each day which are rewarded with magnificent views and, if you are lucky, sightings of birds of prey. This part of the Pyrenees is an important migration route for millions of raptors and other birds as they fly north in spring for the northern summer and south in autumn for the winter. The autumn migrations start in mid-August, beginning with black kites and honey buzzards, followed by black storks, ospreys, hobbys and marsh harriers in September, then red kites, buzzards and sparrow hawks in October.
 
Gallery
 

Itinerary

The key to Inntravel holidays is flexibility. You can start on almost any day of the week, and are free to add extra nights.
  • The average maximum daytime temperatures and monthly rainfall relate to the nearest weather station and are intended as a guide only.

    This holiday takes you to altitudes of over 1,000 metres, where temperatures will be cooler than those stated above, which relate to the coast.
    Average temperatures and rainfall
      Jan Feb Mar Apr May Jun Jul Aug Sep Oct Nov Dec
    °C 12 13 14 16 19 22 24 24 23 20 15 12
    mm 135 115 113 126 114 85 62 97 115 128 162 142
  • Arrival in St Etienne-de-Baïgorry
    Night 1: at Hotel Manexenea (where you stay one night).
    As your first night’s accommodation is on the day of travel, Day 1 is your first day of walking.
  • Choice of walks from St Etienne to Bidarray: 12.5km or 13.5km

    St Etienne to Bidarray: 13.5km, 6hrs; ascent/descent 1000m
    The walk starts with a strenuous ascent first through woodland then through open grazing land to the Harietta Pass on the border with Spain, where you are rewarded with superb views of the Pyrenean chain, and possibly the sighting of a griffon vulture. You then follow the ridge, descending gradually through more pastureland to Bidarray and the Hotel Barberaenea.

    Low-level option: 12.5km, 5hrs; ascent/descent 640m
    If the weather is poor, a low-level alternative traverses the foothills to the east of the Iparla ridge, connecting hamlets, farms and shepherds’ huts on open moorland and ridges with good views over green valleys.
    Enjoying the views on route to Bidarray
    St Etienne to Bidarray: 13.5km
    Low-level option: 12.5km
  • Bidarray to Itxassou: 19.5km, 7.5hrs; ascent 1105m/descent 1160m; shorter option: 14km, 5.5hrs; ascent 685m/descent 740m
    You ascend towards the Spanish border once more and on to the summit of Mount Artzamendi (926 metres), from where, on a clear day, you have views of the High Pyrenees behind you and the Atlantic ahead of you. You then descend through grazing land and expanses of bracken to the River Nive, which you follow to Itxassou, passing the Pas de Roland, a hole in the rock which, according to legend, was cut by Roland to let Charlemagne's army pass through. Your hotel is the Hotel du Fronton. The shorter option bypasses the climb to Artzamendi, and joins the main route as it crosses the Plateau Vert.
    The route from Bidarray to Itxassou
    Bidarray to Itxassou: 19.5km
    Bidarray to Itxassou: shorter option: 14km
  • Itxassou to Ainhoa: 14.5km, 5.5hrs; ascent 715m, descent 695m
    The route leads uphill through pasture land, passing under the Pic de Mondarrain (749 metres). As you descend, there are good views of the whitewashed villages on the plain below, with the Atlantic beyond. Your destination is the Hotel Argi Eder in Ainhoa, arguably the prettiest of Basque villages.
    Itxassou to Ainhoa: 14.5km
    The route from Itxassou to Ainhoa
  • Ainhoa to Sare: 13km, 4.5hrs; ascent 330m/descent 405m
    This is a gentler walk, with fewer ascents and descents than previous days. You follow tracks and country lanes alongside a series of streams, ascending gently to a low ridge which you follow along the Franco-Spanish border, passing a couple of tiny hamlets, before descending into Sare, where you find your next hotel, the Hotel Arraya.
    Ainhoa to Sare: 13km
  • Sare to Biriatou: 18km, 6hrs; ascent 460m/descent 1250m
    You walk to the station and from here take the cog railway (pay locally) to the summit of La Rhune (900 metres), which affords views of the Bay of Biscay, the forests of Les Landes, and the Pyrenean chain. From the summit, you walk into Spain, crossing the Ibardin Pass back into France for a series of ascents and descents as you walk from pass to pass and on to Biriatou, just a couple of miles from the coast. Here, your hotel is Les Jardins de Bakea.

     
    La Rhune summit to Biriatou: 15km (total walk distance: 18km)
    Sare to Biriatou route
  • Biriatou to Hondarribia: 17.5km, 6hrs; ascent 395m/descent 830m
    On your last day you are taken by taxi across the border to meet a panoramic path overlooking the Spanish port of Hondarribia; follow this coastal path all the way down to the port to reach your final night’s accommodation, the Hotel Obispo.

    Your arrival at the sea brings a real sense of achievement and to make this extra special, we recommend upgrading to a more spacious superior room, with views across the bay. Charming Hondarribia sits on the mouth of the River Bidasoa, its modern waterfront hiding the atmospheric Old Town. Wander along the streets of the Barrio de la Marina district to find traditional, wood-beamed Basque houses with flower-bedecked balconies alternating with bars that offer excellent seafood and tasty pintxos (Basque-style tapas). Add an extra night here and you also have time to visit the elegant Spanish resort of San Sebastián.
    Biriatou to Hondarribia: 17.5km
    Coastal path to Hondarribia
 

Accommodation

You stay in a different hotel each night – all are warm, welcoming and comfortable and provide good, distinctive regional cuisine.
Occasionally, due to availability, we may offer an alternative hotel, as shown below. You will be informed of any change to the usual hotel (along with any price implication) prior to us confirming your holiday to you.
 

Extend your stay

 

Prices for 2020

We are in the process of updating our prices for 2020. If you’d like to book now, please contact us – we’ll be happy to provide a quotation.
Get in touch >
 
Prices & travel options
All prices are in £ sterling (GBP). If you'd like to see what they equate to in your currency, use the converter.
Currency converter

We can only accept payment in GBP, but you can use this converter to find out how much the holiday equates to in your own currency.

Please enter an amount Please enter a valid amount British Pound Sterling (GBP)
Currency is required
NB: this should be used as a guide only. Fluctuations in exchange rates could result in significant variation by the time you come to pay.
  • 7 nights: 01 May 2019 - 30 June 2019, 01 July 2019 - 31 July 2019, 01 September 2019 - 12 September 2019 & 13 September 2019 - 02 October 2019

    Start varies according to season | End by latest date(s) shown above

    Starting Price Single room
    1 - 23 May 2019 £1085 £235
    24 May - 27 Jun 2019 £1125 £240
    28 Jun - 6 Jul 2019 £1170 £250
    7 - 24 Jul 2019 £1195 £250
    1 - 15 Sep 2019 £1195 £250
    16 - 25 Sep 2019 £1170 £250
    3rd & 4th person discount -£125
    Single traveller supplement £125

    Includes accommodation, meals and services integral to the holiday as described, plus walking notes and maps, but no travel from the UK, nor any connecting travel from the airport unless stated below.

    Deduct £38pp if staying in Ainhoa on Wed (restaurant closed)

    Book your flights through us and we'll find the best route and times to suit you. Please contact us to find out more about our flight booking service. We can also book connecting travel - see below.

    7 nights: 01 May 2019 - 30 June 2019, 01 July 2019 - 31 July 2019, 01 September 2019 - 12 September 2019 & 13 September 2019 - 02 October 2019

    Start varies according to season | End by latest date(s) shown above

    Starting Price Single room
    1 - 23 May 2019 £1295 £235
    24 May - 27 Jun 2019 £1335 £240
    28 Jun - 6 Jul 2019 £1380 £250
    7 - 24 Jul 2019 £1405 £250
    1 - 15 Sep 2019 £1405 £250
    16 - 25 Sep 2019 £1380 £250
    3rd & 4th person discount -£130
    Single traveller supplement £130

    Includes all elements in the 'walk price', plus standard-class travel by Eurostar from London St Pancras or Ebbsfleet International to Lille or Paris, with onward travel as described below.

    Deduct £38pp if staying in Ainhoa on Wed (restaurant closed)

    Included travel from the UK: UK–Paris (Eurostar), Paris–Bayonne (TGV), approx. duration 7h50 plus 1h taxi transfer. Home, Hendaye–Paris (TGV), Paris–UK (Eurostar), approx. duration 9h20 plus 0h10 taxi transfer.

    If you book your holiday less than 6 months in advance of your travel date, seats may no longer be available at the tariffs on which our prices are based, but we may be able to offer you seats on the same services at a supplement.

    7 nights: 01 May 2019 - 30 June 2019, 01 July 2019 - 31 July 2019, 01 September 2019 - 12 September 2019 & 13 September 2019 - 02 October 2019

    Start varies according to season | End by latest date(s) shown above

    Starting Price Single room
    1 - 23 May 2019 £1135 £235
    24 May - 27 Jun 2019 £1175 £240
    28 Jun - 6 Jul 2019 £1220 £250
    7 - 24 Jul 2019 £1245 £250
    1 - 15 Sep 2019 £1245 £250
    16 - 25 Sep 2019 £1220 £250
    3rd & 4th person discount -£175
    Single traveller supplement £175

    Includes all elements in the 'walk price', plus a return ferry crossing between Dover and Calais with P&O Ferries for your party and one car.

    Deduct £38pp if staying in Ainhoa on Wed (restaurant closed)

    We also include a transfer back to the first hotel at the end of your holiday to collect your car.

    A supplement of approximately £35 per car per single journey applies on certain dates over the Easter holidays. A supplement of approximately £45 per car per single journey applies outbound on Fridays & Saturdays and inbound on Saturdays & Sundays in late May/early June and during the school summer holidays. Please contact us for more details.

  • Room upgrades (£ per person per night)

    Hotel Arraya, Sare
    'Privilège' with mountain view: 01 May - 10 Jul 2019 £30
    'Privilège' with mountain view: 11 Jul - 31 Jul 2019 £25
    'Privilège' with mountain view: 01 Sep - 30 Sep 2019 £25
    'Privilège' with mountain view: 01 Oct - 02 Oct 2019 £30
    Les Jardins de Bakea, Biriatou
    'Jardin/Prestige Vallée': 01 May - 31 Jul 2019 £13
    'Jardin/Prestige Vallée': 01 Sep - 02 Oct 2019 £13
    Hotel Obispo, Hondarribia
    Superior: 01 May - 31 Jul 2019 £20
    Superior: 01 Sep - 02 Oct 2019 £20

    Extra nights (£ per person per night) in a double or single room

    Hotel du Fronton, Itxassou (with dinner) Double room Single room
    01 May - 31 Jul 2019 £84 £99
    01 Sep - 02 Oct 2019 £84 £99
    Hotel Argi Eder, Ainhoa (with dinner) Double room Single room
    01 May - 31 Jul 2019 £105 £145
    01 Sep - 02 Oct 2019 £105 £145
    Hotel Arraya, Sare (with dinner) Double room Single room
    01 May - 10 Jul 2019 £82 £122
    11 Jul - 31 Jul 2019 £100 £140
    01 Sep - 30 Sep 2019 £100 £140
    01 Oct - 02 Oct 2019 £82 £122
    Les Jardins de Bakea, Biriatou (with dinner) Double room Single room
    01 May - 31 Jul 2019 £105 £125
    01 Sep - 02 Oct 2019 £105 £125
    Hotel Obispo, Hondarribia (B&B) Double room Single room
    01 May - 30 Jun 2019 £88 £128
    01 Jul - 31 Jul 2019 £100 £148
    01 Sep - 30 Sep 2019 £100 £148
    01 Oct - 02 Oct 2019 £88 £128
  • RECOMMENDED AIRPORT(S):
    Biarritz, Bordeaux, Bilbao

    Travelling from the UK

    Travelling from outside the UK

    If you are flying from outside Europe,  you may need to fly to an airport not listed. To discuss onward connecting travel to the start of your holiday, please contact us.

    Outward route Airline
    Aberdeen - Bordeaux (via Amsterdam Schiphol) KLM 
    Aberdeen - Bordeaux (via Paris) Air France 
    Outward route Airline
    Belfast Intl. - Bordeaux easyJet 
    Outward route Airline
    Birmingham - Biarritz Flybe 
    Birmingham - Bordeaux Flybe 
    Birmingham - Bordeaux (via Paris) Air France 
    Outward route Airline
    Bristol - Bilbao easyJet 
    Bristol - Bordeaux easyJet,  Flybe 
    Outward route Airline
    Edinburgh - Bilbao easyJet 
    Edinburgh - Bordeaux Flybe,  Ryanair 
    Edinburgh - Bordeaux (via Paris) Air France 
    Outward route Airline
    Glasgow - Bordeaux easyJet 
    Outward route Airline
    Liverpool - Bordeaux easyJet 
    Outward route Airline
    Gatwick - Biarritz easyJet 
    Gatwick - Bilbao British Airways,  Vueling 
    Gatwick - Bordeaux British Airways,  easyJet 
    Outward route Airline
    Heathrow - Bilbao British Airways,  Iberia,  Vueling 
    Heathrow - Bilbao (via Madrid) Iberia 
    Heathrow - Bordeaux (via Paris) Air France 
    Outward route Airline
    Luton - Bordeaux easyJet 
    Outward route Airline
    Stansted - Biarritz Ryanair 
    Stansted - Bilbao easyJet 
    Stansted - Bordeaux Ryanair 
    Outward route Airline
    Manchester - Bilbao easyJet 
    Manchester - Bilbao (via Barcelona) Iberia 
    Manchester - Bilbao (via Heathrow) Iberia 
    Manchester - Bordeaux easyJet,  Ryanair 
    Manchester - Bordeaux (via Paris) Air France 
    Outward route Airline
    Newcastle - Biarritz (via Paris CDG) Air France 
    Newcastle - Bordeaux (via Amsterdam Schiphol) KLM 
    Newcastle - Bordeaux (via Paris) Air France 
    Outward route Airline
    Norwich - Bordeaux Flybe 
    Outward route Airline
    Southampton - Biarritz Flybe 
    Southampton - Bordeaux Flybe 
    Southampton - Bordeaux (via Paris) Air France 
    Travelling from outside the UK

    If you are flying from outside Europe,  you may need to fly to an airport not listed. To discuss onward connecting travel to the start of your holiday, please contact us.

    This list of flight options should be used as a guide only, and you should check each airline’s website for current routes, frequency and schedules. Not all flights operate daily, and may not run for the entire season. You should also heed the latest flight arrival time and earliest flight departure time stated in the connecting travel section, as it may not be possible to arrange connecting travel outside these times. Please do not book your flights until we have confirmed your accommodation to you. Alternatively, our expert reservations team will be happy to offer advice and to make flight bookings for you. We charge £30 per person for our flight booking service (£50 for India and Nepal). Your flights are then covered by our package-booking conditions, which give you greater protection in the event of delay or cancellation, as well as providing ATOL cover.

  • Prices below are based on 2 people travelling together. If you are travelling solo or as a party of 3 or more and our arrangements include a taxi, please contact us for prices; additional passengers often pay less.

    Unless otherwise stated, connecting travel by rail or bus tends to be from the city centre station, rather than from its airport, and connections between the two should be paid for locally.

    Connecting travel options - flying via Biarritz

    Outward route Price per person Latest flight
    arrival time
    direct taxi Biarritz airport to hotel (1h) £10 flexible
    Homeward route Price per person Earliest flight
    departure time
    direct taxi hotel to Biarritz airport (0h45) £10 flexible

    Connecting travel options - flying via Bordeaux

    Outward route Price per person Latest flight
    arrival time
    rail Bordeaux to Bayonne (1h50), taxi Bayonne to hotel (0h50) £44 1400
    Homeward route Price per person Earliest flight
    departure time
    taxi hotel to Hendaye (0h30), rail Hendaye to Bordeaux (2h20) £24 1500

    Connecting travel options - flying via Bilbao

    Outward route Price per person Latest flight
    arrival time
    coach Bilbao bus station to Irun bus station (2h25), taxi Irun to hotel (1h30) £36 1200
    Homeward route Price per person Earliest flight
    departure time
    taxi hotel to Irun (0h20), coach Irun bus station to Bilbao bus station (1h45) £10 1300
What is included
  • 7 nights
  • 6 dinners,
    6 picnics,
    7 breakfasts
  • luggage transported
  • route notes and maps
  • transfer on day 6
 
Reviews

If you've experienced this holiday first hand, why not write a review?

We are keen for as many customers as possible to review their holiday. To make it easier to do so, we include a specific review section on our post-holiday questionnaire, and this is what we publish here, unedited. Read our full review policy >

 

FAQs

If you have any questions relating to this or any other Inntravel holiday, our friendly travel experts will be happy to help. You might also find our General FAQs section helpful.
  • We’ll send you route notes and maps 2-3 weeks before your holiday. The route notes not only contain directions to get from hotel to hotel, but also include practical information about places of interest and eateries along each route, plus cultural information about the area. If/when you are moving between hotels, you leave your luggage in reception as you leave, and it will be transferred ahead to your next accommodation, meaning that all you need to take with you are a camera, sun cream, drinks, food and waterproofs.

    For more detailed information, see our walking holidays in Europe page.
  • We can book a wide range of airlines and routes from the UK. As well as being more convenient for you to book all elements of your holiday together, it also means that we’ll accept liability for your travel arrangements, so if things go wrong, such as the airline going bust, we’ll make suitable alternative arrangements for you. For Europe and Morocco, there’s a £30 booking fee per person (£15 for children aged 2-11). For India and Nepal, the booking fee is £50 per person. More information on flights >
  • We can’t book flights that originate outside the UK, but if you wanted book your own flights to London (or elsewhere in the UK), we can make all onward travel arrangements (including flights) from there. Alternatively, if you are booking your own flights to an airport in continental Europe that’s appropriate for your holiday, we can book onward rail travel and/or taxis. More information about how we can tailor holidays for customers outside the UK >
  • Since our holidays are self-guided, we recommend calling us for a chat about your plans before making a booking, especially if it’s the first time you’ve booked with us.
    The price panel shows the supplement for a single room and also the single traveller charge (this covers (luggage) transfers and other costs which are usually shared between two people).
  • Once you’ve decided on your exact itinerary (our travel experts will be happy to offer advice), you need to provide us with your party’s details, either by phone or via our booking form. At this point we also ask you to pay a deposit so that we can secure a room for you immediately on confirming availability with the hotel(s). If it turns out that we can’t secure the accommodation for the holiday you’ve requested, or offer an acceptable alternative, we’ll refund your deposit promptly and in full. After booking your accommodation and other key elements, we'll then book your travel (or you can do so if you’re making your own arrangements) and send you a Booking Confirmation and Invoice.
  • Yes, it’s something we insist on, even for holidays in the UK. The vast majority of holidays go smoothly, but when things go wrong, it can be expensive to put them right. Buying a new pair of walking boots after your suitcase is stolen mightn’t seem so bad, but the bill for being airlifted down from a mountain with a broken leg or flown home while still recovering from an illness or accident can cost tens of thousands of pounds.

    You don’t have to buy our policy (if you live outside Europe you’ll definitely need to make your own arrangements, as the policy is only for UK and EU residents), but you do need to make sure that you’re covered for medical emergencies and repatriation. We also recommend that you are covered for other eventualities, such as cancellation and loss of luggage and passports.
  • It is your responsibility to ensure you are in possession of the correct travel documents, with the correct validity. If you’re a UK citizen, you need a full British passport to travel to France, but not a visa (if you are travelling after 31 October 2019, see the Brexit question below for more information). If you are a citizen of another country, you’ll need to check requirements with the national embassy or your own consulate.

    Current information regarding vaccinations and travel health advice can be found through the following NHS link: www.fitfortravel.nhs.uk/advice/ You must make sure you have adequate insurance cover for illness, accidents and repatriation (see the insurance question). UK citizens should also obtain a European Health Insurance Card (EHIC) by applying at a Post Office or at www.ehic.org.uk. The EHIC allows reciprocal health care but should not be seen as a substitute for travel insurance. EHICs may cease to be valid in the event of a no-deal Brexit.
  • The official language is French. The currency is the Euro. French time is GMT/UTC + 1. It uses Daylight Saving Time, so in summer is on BST + 1.
  • Even in the event of a no-deal Brexit, it’s been confirmed that flights will continue as normal and that you won’t need a visa to go on holiday (the limit on stays is 90 days). What you will need if there’s no deal is a passport that is valid for at least 6 months beyond the date of your arrival (extra months added because you renewed your passport early do not count) and adequate travel insurance to cover you for accidents and illness in case reciprocal health deals are suspended. If you are driving while on holiday, you will probably need an International Driving Permit (plus a Green Card if you are taking your own car to Europe). More information >
  • The UK Foreign and Commonwealth Office (FCO) provides up-to-date, country-by-country travel advice, as well as information on security, local laws, passports and visas for UK citizens.
    If you live outside the UK, see our essential travel information page for a list of relevant websites.
  • You are the best judge of your child’s/children’s capabilities. We are happy to take bookings for families of older children/teenagers if they walk regularly, love the outdoors and are comfortable with the distances and ascent/descent involved. Please note that the bedrooms at most of the accommodation we use will normally only sleep a maximum of 3 people, and sometimes only 2.
Last fetch time is : 11/13/2019 3:50:12 PM