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    Bordering France and Spain, the Pyrenees mountains pass through the Basque Country, located in France's Nouvelle-Aquitaine region. There are countless hiking paths to choose from, and picking just 10 was no mean feat. So slip on your walking shoes and discover some of the most spectacular landscapes the south-west of France has to offer.

    Among the highlights of the region is the journey between Larrun and le Sentier du Littoral (the Coastal Path). It'll take you past caves, gorges, beaches and even a château as you climb to new heights to admire the breathtaking panoramic views that unite sea and mountains. Discover these captivating walking trails and explore the Basque Country in a different way.

    1

    Larrun

    One of the Basque Country's must-see attractions

    Larrun, whose summit passes through the French-Spanish border, peaks at 905 metres. The beautiful landscape around it will charm hiking enthusiasts everywhere. There are several ways to reach the top, depending on your ability and preferences. You can leave from Ascain, Olhette or Sare for a circuit that should take around 3 and a half hours.

    For a 360º panoramic view of the coast, take a ride on an authentic rack railway, dating from 1924, from Larrun (departure from the Col de Saint-Ignace station).

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    2

    Harpea's Cave

    A must-see cave formation

    Located near Saint-Jean-Pied-de-Port, Harpea's Cave continues to captivate hikers. It's hard to miss this roof-shaped cave, formed from marl and limestone. To reach the cave, take the hiking trail called "Les monts d’Orion et la source de la Nive", which will take you through the Col d’Orgambidé, located along the Camino de Santiago (Way of St. James).

    Along the way, you may meet shepherds and their flocks who use the cave as an occasional shelter or sheep pen. Hikers of all ages will fall for the charm of Harpea's Cave.

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    照片来源:Uranzu (CC BY-SA 4.0) 已修改

    3

    Pic d'Iparla

    The best views across the Basque Country

    The Pic d’Iparla is the highest point of the ridge that bears the same name. At approximately 1,000 metres above sea level, it's well known by hikers from across the region. Many surprises await you here: breathtaking views across the mountains, the Pic du Midi de Bigorre and the Atlantic Ocean, but also encounters with Pottock ponies and birds of prey.

    Although the hike to the top of the Pic d'Iparla is one of the most beautiful routes through the Basque Country, it is a challenging one, best left to more experienced hikers due to its occasionally steep terrain. Starting at Bordazar Berroa farm, you can either do a circuit around the Col de Galarzé and Harrietta or cross from Bidarray to Saint-Étienne-de-Baïgorry.

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    4

    The Coastal Path

    A great way to discover the Basque coastline with your family

    The Coastal Path (Sentier du Littoral) between Bidart and Hendaye offers a spectacular 25 km walk that's open to all. This route can be done in stages, over one or several days, and has some interesting stops along the way where you can discover the heritage of the towns and villages you pass through.

    There's no shortage of highlights along the way. Don't miss the Chapelle Sainte-Madeleine and Chapelle Saint-Joseph, the picturesque Port de Guéthary, Saint-Jean-de-Luz Botanical Gardens, Pointe de Sainte-Barbe, the Corniche Basque cliffs, the Château d’Abbadia and, finally, the Rochers Deux Jumeaux (Twin Rocks) on Plage d’Hendaye beach.

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    5

    Gorges Kakuetta

    Discover a landscape worthy of the Amazon

    The Gorges Kakuetta are considered one of the wildest areas of Europe. They are often likened to a "small Basque Amazon rainforest" thanks to their lush scenery, abundant flora, breathtaking beauty and legendary river.

    Join a 4 km circular walk along paths and trails in the Gorges Kakuetta. There are several surprises hidden within this canyon that will delight visitors: dizzyingly steep sides reaching up 350 metres, a 20-metre waterfall and a cave full of stalactites and stalagmites. To get back to nature, head to Saint-Engrâce.

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    6

    Holzarte Footbridge

    A path suspended between earth and sky

    The Holzarte Footbridge (Passerelle d’Holzarte) overlooks the magnificent Gorges d’Olhadibu in Larrau. It was formerly used by lumberjacks to access logging sites at high altitude, but it's now a tourist attraction. At 180 metres high and 70 metres long, this footbridge offers a breathtaking panorama of the Basque Country.

    Getting there will take approximately an hour and will take you through undergrowth and between streams and waterfalls. Those with a head for heights will be rewarded with striking views across the Pyrenean forest canopy.

    地址: Holzarte, 64560 Larrau, France

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    7

    Mount Mondarrain

    Explore one of the treasures of the Basque Country

    Located between Espelette and Itxassou, Mount Mondarrain is one of the region's unmissable hiking destinations. Reaching a height of 749 metres, this mountain offers an 11 km circular route that's accessible for all abilities. Once at the top, the 360° view across the coast and the famous peaks of Larrun and Artzamendi is an added bonus.

    A note to all photo enthusiasts: the sunrise and sunsets are phenomenal! There are several possible options, but we suggest you depart from Itxassou, located only 35 minutes by car from Bayonne.

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    8

    Jaizkibel

    A detour on the edge of the Pyrenees

    Jaizkibel is the westernmost mountain in the Pyrenees. Its highest point reaches a relatively tame 543 metres, making it an accessible route for everyone. Nonetheless, completing the 22 km circular route from the Cap du Figuier will take you around 7 hours.

    Along the way, you can admire the Hermitage of Guadalupe and the remains of the military towers that once protected San Sebastian. If you're lucky, you may spot horses, sheep or kites.

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    9

    Château d'Abbadia

    A walk that combines nature and history

    The Château d'Abbadia is an estate that belonging to the Conservatoire du Littoral in Hendaye and is a protected area of around 65 hectares. Here, you can explore a natural environment that's rich in every way, with its cliffs, coves, small islands, meadows, heather moors, thickets and protected orchards.

    There are over 30 species of nesting birds, as well as rare flowers to be seen here. Choose from 3 circular hiking routes, which take around 30 minutes, 1 hour or 2 hours to complete. These routes are quite easy, so are perfect for family hikes. If the mood takes you, why not carry on a bit further and visit the neo-gothic Château?

    地址: Route de la Corniche, 64700 Hendaye, France

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    10

    Mount Baigura

    An easy route up to excellent views

    Mount Baigura is located between Cambo-les-Bains and Saint-Jean-Pied-de-Port. The ascent is easy all year round. Taking the path from Hélette will give you exceptional views across the western Pyrenees, as well as both the inland and coastal areas of the Basque Country.

    You can also start from the Leisure du Baigura recreation centre in Mendionde and follow the sentier décoverte (discovery trail). For the thrill-seekers among you, why not try a descent by mountain bike or scooter?

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    照片来源:Iñaki LL (CC BY-SA 4.0) 已修改

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