Chapelle Sainte-Madeleine, Bidart
The Basque coastal path starts from Erretegia beach in Bidart and ends at Hendaye, 25 kilometres away. It can be explored in several ways, but it’s best to always walk towards Hendaye in order to have the view of the mountains. The first magnificent view is of the Sainte-Madeleine chapel. Built in 1820 on top of a cliff, it dominates the Basque coastline. Then we reach the central beach, still in Bidart.
Chapelle Saint-Joseph, Bidart
Not far from the first viewpoint, this second chapel overlooks the famous surf spot known as Parlementia. On days of heavy swell, it’s a real spectacle here. Interpretive panels explain how the waves of the Atlantic are generated.
The port of Guéthary
The coastal path then leads to the picturesque port of Guéthary. Make a stop on the beach to observe the surfers. In season, linger on one of the café or restaurant terraces with breathtaking views of the ocean.
Pointe Sainte-Barbe, Saint-Jean-de-Luz
After passing the beautiful beaches of Lafitenia – a renowned surf spot – and Erromardie, you arrive at Pointe Sainte-Barbe and its eponymous chapel. From here, the view of the bay and the village of Saint-Jean-de-Luz is incredible. At the other end of the bay you can see Fort Socoa.
The Basque Corniche
Majestic cliffs unfold between Saint-Jean-de-Luz and Hendaye. This portion named the Basque Corniche is one of the most beautiful along the coastal path. Between the road and the cliffs, it offers walkers – and motorists! – magnificent views of the mountains, the Atlantic and the small coves below. Tip: once a year in late September, the Basque ledge becomes totally pedestrianised for the Fête de la Corniche.
Domaine and Chateau d’Abbadia, Hendaye
Approaching Hendaye, you cross the majestic estate of Abbadia. Here the trail winds through the green meadows and several viewpoints take in the coast, ocean and small coves. You can also see the neo-Gothic Chateau d’Abbadia, built in the late-19th-century for Antoine d’Abbadie. Soon the bay of Hendaye revealed, as well as the ‘Jumeaux’ (‘Twins’), two large rocks that broke away from the ledge due to erosion. It is said that soon there will be three. Accessible at low tide, their creek is a real paradise.
The Abbadia estate
The coastal path ends in the sand on Hendaye beach. In front of us are the ocean and the rocks of the Two Twins, seen from below.