The Basque Country, Gascony, and Hautes-Pyrénées Feature


Hiking the Pyrénées

Supping on the hearty regional cuisine makes perfect sense after a day of hiking the Pyrénées, which are best explored on foot. Day trips to La Rhune overlooking Biarritz and the Basque Coast or the walk up to Biriatou from the beach at Hendaye are great ways to get to know the countryside. Hiking the Pyrénées end-to-end is a 43-day trip. The GR (Grande Randonnée) 10, a trail signed by discreet red-and-white paint markings, runs from the Atlantic at Hendaye to Banyuls-sur-Mer on the Mediterranean, through villages and mountains, with refuges along the way.

The HRP (Haute Randonnée Pyrénéenne, or High Pyrenean Hike) follows terrain in France and Spain irrespective of borders. Local trails are well indicated, with blue or yellow markings. Some classic walks in the Pyrénées include the Iparla Ridge walk between Bidarrai and St-Étienne-de-Baïgorry, the Santiago de Compostela Trail's dramatic St-Jean-Pied-de-Port to Roncesvalles walk over the Pyrénées, and the Holçarté Gorge walk between Larrau and Ste-Engrâce. Get trail maps at local tourist offices.

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