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A Day Out in Pays Basque

calvjonescalvjones Posts: 3,850
edited October 2009 in Tour & expedition
Hi All
I'm arriving in Hendaye TGV station at 7am next Monday for a meeting at 16.00. I'll have my (6 speed) Brompton with me...

...where should I go? I know the Jaizkibel is the obvious one but would I be better off heading inland?

Many thanks

Cal
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  • You don't say how long you want to cycle for (8hrs max?), but there are several options.

    The area around Irun is busy with a lot of lorries crossing the border after checks so beware on your bike. There are cycleways on some main roads so I would use these as some lorry drivers are a bit unattentive and quick to get away.

    I personally would visit Hondarribia a fine waterfront town with a wealth of colourful buildings. This virtual tour gives you an overview of the town and its highlights - click on Castellano then skip the intro (saltar intro) and then click on Hondarribia and when the map loads up hit a number on the map to see the view. There are very good cycleways along the waterfront and through the town. If the weather is good cycle up to Jaizkibel for the view and back down for a bargain, menu del dia lunch in one of the restaurants located in the centre or waterfront. Check out this hang gliding video to view the countryside and waterfront between Jaizkibel and Hondarribia.

    If you want to explore further afield you could try one of the Via Verde routes close by. You could after climbing Jaizkibel go down to Pasai Donibane and Lezo to join the Via Verde Arditurri. This leads up the valley through Oiartzun and Ergolen to the San Anton reservoir. Return to Irun on the GI-2134 from Oiartzun.
    The more you spend - the faster you go - the less you see.
  • calvjonescalvjones Posts: 3,850
    Some great ideas there - thanks meg
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  • dilemnadilemna Posts: 2,187
    The coast road through Cibourg to Saint Jean de Luz is nice. You could easily spend a few hours in SJdL in any of the bars and cafe's. Nice beach as well. Or alternatively ride around La Rhune up to Ascain then up the Col de St. Ignace, Sare, Bera de Bidasoa then the Col d'Ibardin which should take you a couple of hours and is well within the capabilities of a 6 speed Brompton. My std geared L6 managed fine carrying me up and down the Pyrenees as well.

    This little route around La Rhune should be easy to do by lunchtime with a few stops. Not sure if the rack railway to the summit will still be running at this time of year, but if it is, it's well worth the journey to the top for the view is stunning north toward Bayonne and south into Spain plus the immediate coastline and Pyrenees behind. I hope you get good weather. Jammy git.

    A French conducteur on the platform in Paris supervising boarding on the TGV said to me "Non a velo sur le train!" I then folded it down and got on. He was not 'appy and snatched my ticket which he composted. Little Napoleon.

    Enjoy your ride where ever you go. Don't try to ride too far as it is a beautiful area and coastline IMHO. So how come you've a meeting in Hendaye?

    The hills can quickly become many and very steep travelling inland from the coast.
    Life is like a roll of toilet paper; long and useful, but always ends at the wrong moment. Anon.
    Think how stupid the average person is.......
    half of them are even more stupid than you first thought.
  • calvjonescalvjones Posts: 3,850
    In the end I got off at St Jean for breks then cycled to Hendaye and over the Jaizkibel to San Sebastian (I had a tourism conference there for 3 days)

    great few hours out in good weather. Brommie well up to the job, but wouldn't have wanted to do much more climbing with 4 nights clothes and a MacBook in the s-bag!

    The food in S-Seb was absolutely amazing...
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