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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.
 

Book now for summer 2021

We are now taking bookings for 2021. We are keeping our prices the same, so you can book for summer 2021 at 2020 prices.

What we’re doing so you can book and travel with confidence >

This holiday is not available in 2020.
 
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, or opt for the longer version of this holiday which includes a two-night stay in 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.
 

Summer 2021

We are keeping our prices the same, so you can book for summer 2021 at 2020 prices.
 
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. For general information on pricing, see the 'your holiday price explained' page.
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  • 7 nights: 01 May 2020 - 30 June 2020, 01 July 2020 - 31 July 2020 & 01 September 2020 - 02 October 2020

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

    Starting Price Single room
    1 - 22 May 2020 £1075 £245
    23 May - 25 Jun 2020 £1120 £260
    26 Jun - 8 Jul 2020 £1145 £265
    9 - 24 Jul 2020 £1185 £270
    1 - 14 Sep 2020 £1185 £270
    15 - 25 Sep 2020 £1145 £265
    3rd & 4th person discount -£90
    Single traveller supplement £90

    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.

    *Start dates:
    May-June & September-October: any day except Sunday or Monday
    July: any day except Monday

    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 2020 - 30 June 2020, 01 July 2020 - 31 July 2020 & 01 September 2020 - 02 October 2020

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

    Starting Price Single room
    1 - 22 May 2020 £1395 £245
    23 May - 25 Jun 2020 £1445 £260
    26 Jun - 8 Jul 2020 £1480 £265
    9 - 24 Jul 2020 £1515 £270
    1 - 14 Sep 2020 £1515 £270
    15 - 25 Sep 2020 £1480 £265
    3rd & 4th person discount -£165
    Single traveller supplement £165

    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.

    *Start dates:
    May-June & September-October: any day except Sunday or Monday
    July: any day except Monday

    Included travel from the UK: UK–Paris (Eurostar), Paris–Bayonne (TGV), approx. duration 7h45 plus 0h50 taxi transfer. Home, Hendaye–Paris (TGV), Paris–UK (Eurostar), approx. duration 9h20 plus 0h10 taxi transfer.
    > More about 'by rail' prices
    > The 'rail experience': what to expect

    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 2020 - 30 June 2020, 01 July 2020 - 31 July 2020 & 01 September 2020 - 02 October 2020

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

    Starting Price Single room
    1 - 22 May 2020 £1230 £245
    23 May - 25 Jun 2020 £1275 £260
    26 Jun - 8 Jul 2020 £1310 £265
    9 - 24 Jul 2020 £1345 £270
    1 - 14 Sep 2020 £1345 £270
    15 - 25 Sep 2020 £1310 £265
    3rd & 4th person discount -£200
    Single traveller supplement £200

    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.

    *Start dates:
    May-June & September-October: any day except Sunday or Monday
    July: any day except Monday

    We also include a transfer back to the first hotel at the end of your holiday to collect your car.
    > More information about travelling self-drive

    A supplement of £35 per car per single journey applies for outward travel on 3-5 & 10-12 April 2020, and for homeward travel on 12-13 April 2020. A supplement of £47 per car per single journey applies outward on Fridays & Saturdays 22-23 May & 10 July-15 August 2020 and homeward on Saturdays & Sundays 30-31 May & 18 July-30 August 2020.

  • Room upgrades (£ per person per night)

    Hotel Arraya, Sare
    'Privilège' with mountain view: 01 May - 10 Jul 2020 £32
    'Privilège' with mountain view: 11 Jul - 31 Jul 2020 £26
    'Privilège' with mountain view: 01 Sep - 02 Oct 2020 £26
    Les Jardins de Bakea, Biriatou
    'Jardin/Prestige Vallée': 01 May - 31 Jul 2020 £14
    'Jardin/Prestige Vallée': 01 Sep - 02 Oct 2020 £14
    Hotel Obispo, Hondarribia
    Superior: 01 May - 10 Jul 2020 £25
    Superior: 11 Jul - 31 Jul 2020 £20
    Superior: 01 Sep - 02 Oct 2020 £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 - 30 Jun 2020 £84 £100
    01 Jul - 31 Jul 2020 £90 £106
    01 Sep - 15 Sep 2020 £90 £106
    16 Sep - 02 Oct 2020 £84 £100
    Hotel Argi Eder, Ainhoa (with dinner) Double room Single room
    01 May - 30 Jun 2020 £105 £150
    01 Jul - 31 Jul 2020 £120 £165
    01 Sep - 02 Oct 2020 £120 £165
    Les Jardins de Bakea, Biriatou (with dinner) Double room Single room
    01 May - 12 Jul 2020 £112 £132
    13 Jul - 31 Jul 2020 £120 £142
    01 Sep - 15 Sep 2020 £120 £142
    16 Sep - 02 Oct 2020 £112 £132
    Hotel Obispo, Hondarribia (B&B) Double room Single room
    01 May - 30 Jun 2020 £95 £140
    01 Jul - 31 Jul 2020 £110 £160
    01 Sep - 02 Oct 2020 £110 £160
  • 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) £60 flexible
    Homeward route Price per person Earliest flight
    departure time
    direct taxi hotel to Biarritz airport (0h45) £30 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) £84 1400
    Homeward route Price per person Earliest flight
    departure time
    taxi hotel to Hendaye (0h30), rail Hendaye to Bordeaux (2h20) £36 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) £70 1200
    Homeward route Price per person Earliest flight
    departure time
    taxi hotel to Irun (0h20), coach Irun bus station to Bilbao bus station (1h45) £20 1300
What is included
  • 7 nights
  • 6 dinners,
    6 picnics,
    7 breakfasts
  • luggage transported
  • route notes and maps
  • transfer on day 6
Last fetch time is : 8/4/2020 6:10:52 AM