From West to East - between the GR10, HRP, and GR11 -

1st part: Basque Country - between Hendaye and Saint Jean-Pied-de-Port
     
     This walk is the first of a seven-part series.

    I propose this year to begin the great adventure of the crossing of the Pyrenees, from the West to the East. The route which I have chosen follows three main roads: The GR10 (French side), the HRP (on the peak border), and the GR11 (on the Spanish side). This allows, on the one hand, to cross the most beautiful Pyreneens sites, and on the other hand, to adapt the walk according to the weather forecasts envisaged. I think that it is more pleasant to walk in the sunshine, rather than having our heads in the clouds!

    In order to travel comfortably, we will walk light, carrying only a small rucksack with water, meals for the day and warm clothes. A car will follow us with our luggage each part of the way.

    Throughout the course, we will discover traditions specific to each area. We will study the local flora and fauna, the economy of the Pyrenees valley and we will appreciate the livelyhoods of the local shepherds.

    In this 1st part, which starts by the Atlantic Ocean, at Hendaye. We will cross the green  Basque pastures amid traditional red and white Basque houses, to join Saint Jean Pied de Port at the end of the stay.

    The cost of this origional excursion is 590 Euro per person, this includes the cost of all accomodation, food, the transport of luggage, organization and guide for the week. Transport to Hendaye (the destinated arrival town in France) and from our departure point at St. Jean Pied de Port and individual insurance, are at your expense. However, help can be arranged for you to find good flight and train connections.

Details :
  • Day 1: appointment at the train station of Hendaye beach towards 2 p.m.  After having met the group, we will move towards the beach for a symbolic bath in the Atlantic. From there, we will start our long tour, with a short walk,  which will lead us to Biriatou, where we will stay for the night.
  • Day 2: while following the GR10, we will go up to Joncs pass (419m). We will then join the lodging of Mantobaita.
  • Day 3: we will climb to the top of Rhune and will admire a last panorama of the Ocean. In the afternoon, we will descend to Sare, where our lodging will await us.
  • Day 4: we will walk all day on the border, alternating between France and Spain. We will join the Gorospil pass and the lodging of Esteben.
  • Day 5: a more relaxed day to appreciate the descent and the landscape untill we arrive at Bidarray.
  • Day 6: A long day of walking upon the peaks of Iparla. This is a splendid stage which will carry out us as far as St Etienne de Baïgorry. 
  • Day 7: A climb as far as the peak of Monhoa followed by the descent to Saint-Jean Pied de  Port. A last drink with some cheerful good-byes, untill the following year where we will continue the second stage of the Pyreneens adventure crossing.

Location : You can interact with the map by moving the cursor up and down or to zoom in and out. You can also change the view : map, satellite and relief. The line in blue  shows our excursion for the week.

               
Itinerary  (which is subject to change):

  • Climate: in general the weather is fine and sunny. The altitude may cause the evenings to be fresh therefore prepare to have warm clothes along with a raincoat, in case of rain storms.
  • Level: these treks are accessible to anyone in good physical condition. They will consist of six to seven hours of walking every day, with a difference in altitude between 400m and 900m. We will walk light, carrying only a small rucksack with water, our lunch and warm clothes.
  • Accomodation : we will stay in several hostels along the way. Each night we will experience an alternative splendid location hidden in the mountains.
  • Meals : We will have our breakfast and evening meals in our hostel. For lunch, we will picnic during our walk in scenic places with local products (dry fruit, salad, ham, cheese etc.)
  • Meeting point : the first day is at the train station of Hendaye at 2pm, and at the end of the week (day 7) in Saint Jean Pied de Port towards 5pm 
  • Transport : transport to the meeting point is at your own expense. A car will transport our luggage from lodging to lodging.
  • Material to remember : a sun-hat and a wolly hat; a light pair of trousers; comfortable boots for walking; a warm jacket; a rain-jacket; sandals; a torch; a sleeping bag; change for extra drinks and snacks; a small rucksack; sun glasses; sun cream; a pen-knife; a water bottle; and if possible some binoculars.
I have a first-aid kit but it is important that everyone takes responsibility to bring their own personal first-aid consisting of: normal plasters and those which protect blisters, painkillers eg; asparin, an antiseptic, an antidiarrhoretic, eye drops and any personal medication you normally take.


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