One of the most popular touristic destination in France is the Basque country, whose biggest part is in Spain and only a small one in France. And it’s been so long that we want to find out why Xavier’s sister goes in this area several times per year lol
The plan was to go by train with our bikes to the starting point – Hendaye, and little by little move up the coast until Bayonne and then take a train to come back. The idea was really great as the distance between the cities is very short and moving around in the city is much more comfortable. So, let’s go!
To ride a bike in the Basque Country is great, almost in every town there are perfect cycling roads. Even if there isn’t – the drivers are polite enough not to pass 10 cm from you with the sound speed.
However, outside the city the pleasure is doubtful. Despite the short distance between the cities (no more than 15-20 km) it’s difficult to ride. There are no cycling roads which is strange considering the amount of tourists, and it’s very hilly – you have to rise and to go down every 300 m.
Hendaye and Hondarribia, two almost glued to each towns – why no one made a normal cycling connection is not clear. Especially if separately they have great ones. After trying this way there can be only one conclusion: pay 1.80 per person and take a boat (1.80€). A Spanish one – he takes the bikes for free!
For example, Hendaye and Saint-Jean-de-Luz are connected by a picturesque road, but due to the heavy traffic it’s quite unpleasant for the bikes to pass through, so we had to take some country-side road which was not bad, but what about the view on the Ocean?
Just too hot
Apart from these annoying details, exploring the Basque Country by bike is awesome!
Camping, what else? And not just anywhere, but on the beach, and it’s not something lacking on the coast. Normally in touristic season, when there is not a single free spot on the beach, it’s impossible, plus the official campings are not happy, but if there is an occasion – just take it! :) In Hendaye we planted a tent on the edge of the beach near the cliffs, there are so few people who get there, so nobody bothered us. And the second day we slept near Saint-Jean-de-Luz on the beach Lafitenia which was empty as well, except for several surfers.
If you know some better place for camping – you are welcome to share!
From the same trip:
1. French Country by bike: organizing the trip
2. 3 Towns, 3 Spirits: Hendaye & Hondarribia
3. 3 Towns, 3 Spirits: Saint-Jean-de-Luz
4. 3 Towns, 3 Spirits: Biarritz
5. What and Where to eat in the Basque Country?