The Pays Basque is unquestionably one of the more magical places in the world... A trail ride in the mountains, tonic with many, impressive and sometimes all-turning view points, on deep and wild valleys, with eagles and vultures overhead.
From Saint-Jean-Pied-de-Port, the ancient capital of Basse Navarre, listed by the Unesco, to Sare, listed as one of the most beautiful villages of France, we will follow the path to Saint-Jacques-de-Compostelle and from pass to pass, on the tracks of the smugglers of the Quint Country, to discover the Bay of Biscay. Here, nature is as green as in Ireland : virgin forests, warm villages, wild ponies, secret valleys brighten up these wonderful landscapes.
All riders agree to say that this is an unforgettable trail ride in a magic place...
You can also enjoy the Pays Basque region for shorter rides. We propose three different itineraries. Consult our Weekend rides in the Pays Basque.
Day 1 - Sunday
Arrival at Saint-Jean-Pied-de-Port or Bayonne railway station or at Biarritz airport and transfer to the hotel in Saint-Jean-Pied-de-Port, Capital city of Basse-Navarre. This town is one of the most important town, at the crossroad of the route to Saint Jacques de Compostelle, at the foot of the mountain pass, the Col de Ronceveaux.
Dinner is not included tonight.
Overnight in a two star hotel.
Day 2 - Monday
With our horses we ascent to Monhoa summit. We cross over the Urdanzia Pass and enjoy spectacular views of Aduldes valley.
Dinner and overnight in a two-star hotel in Banca.
Day 3 - Tuesday
Today, our itinerary leads us between France and Spain, from Banca to Urepel via Lindus Pass, then on a mountain crest astride the border. This road was formerly used by Romans, Wisigoths, Francs, Saint-Jacques pilgrims, merchants or Napoleon armies... Then we go down to Aldudes valley, crossing the country of Charles Quint.
Night and dinner in a cottage.
Day 4 - Wednesday
From Urepel, our path leads us to Cayolar "Gaintza Aldudes". Cayolars are ancient hunting cottages. We spend the night tonight in one of these cayolars, which will be the most rural stop of this trek, but this small concession to comfort permits us to follow an itinerary off the beaten track.
We ride near Harguibel peak, before diving into a virgin and protected forest on the Spanish side of the Pays Basque.
Dinner and overnight in a cottage.
Day 5 - Thursday
Today, we leave Urdos for Elhorrieta Pass. We will meet many sheep herds, but also pottoks, the Basque pony... Just before Ispeguy Pass, the view point is astonishing, before going down to Saint-Etienne-de-Baïgorry. We arrive in the vinyards of Irrouleguy.
Dinner and night in a cottage or hotel in Saint-Etienne-de-Baïgorry.
Day 6 - Friday
Today, our horses lead us from Urdos, located at the gate of Aldudes Valley, to Souraïde, small village located in a valley of Ereby Mount. Here, sheep, cattle and pottoks share the meadows. We ride into Bidarray, famous for its caves and rivers abound with trouts and follow the path to the mountain again, to the Col des Veaux, then on the mountain crest to the Col des Trois Croix.
Dinner and night in a cottage.
Day 7 - Saturday
The itinerary today is one of the most spectacular of the week. Leaving Souraïde region, we ride to Olhette via Sare to begin the climbing of the Rhune. Our trek ends with a wonderful view point of the Bay of Biscay. We are only 4 km away from Saint-Jean-de-Luz.
For those who need it, a transfer is organized to Biarritz, Bayonne or Mimizan, on the way to Bordeaux.
Dinner and night in a two-star hotel in Biarritz, Bayonne or Mimizan.
Day 8 - Sunday
After breakfast, transfer to Bordeaux for those who spent the night in Mimizan.
HORSES, TACK AND RIDING EXPERIENCE
Our horses are mostly Anglo-Arabs. Many of them were born at the farm. They are used to living in herd and to trail riding. They are lively, safe and good-balanced.
We use English tack. You cannot come with your own saddle. Saddlebags are provided so you can take your small personal belongings on horseback during the day.
For this trail ride, you must be able to manage your horse at all gaits outdoor and be trained enough to cope with five or six hours a day on horseback, with many canters and trots all along the day.
Children are accepted from 15 years old, or 13 years old if they are with an adult.
Please note that we can walk near our horses in difficult paths, so you have to take good shoes !
Mawimum weight : 90kg.
Our trail rides are supervised by guides who have a diploma for guiding trail rides.
They perfectly know the area, and love it, so it will be a pleasure for them to help you discover the region!
A logistic vehicle will meet us in the middle of the week. We have to take our clothes on horseback for three days.
Accommodation in cottages or one or two-star hotels.
This trail ride does not end where it began. If you come by car, we organize a transfer so you can get your car back in Saint-Jean-Pied-de-Port.
Meals are made of local food and prepared by the cottages and hotels where we stay overnight. Lunches are packed lunches taken outdoor.
DATES AND RATES
|Pays Basque - 2012
|May 12 to 19
|June 10 to 17
|September 16 to 23
Small group supplement : 200 € if only three people booked (refunded as soon as a fourth rider books on the trek)..
Single room supplement : 140 €
If you book alone on this trek, the single room supplement will be charged at booking. If you agree to share your room and if we find another rider to share it with you, this supplement will be refunded after the trek.
- Trail ride as described on full board basis (except dinner on day 1),
- Total and unlimited financial guarantee (APS) of all payments made to us (see "why ride with us ?"),
- Protection of the French Law for travel consumers who book through French travel agencies (see "why ride with us ?").
- transport to and from the meeting point,
- transfers from and to Bordeaux airport.
- dinner on day 1,
- any other service or optional visit entries, personal expenses,
- a tour to discover other regions of France before or after the
trail (castle life, golf training, thalassotherapy spas...), see
our "after ride proposals".
- optional insurances.
BOOKING - MORE INFORMATION
Contact Dorothé, the specialist for this horse riding tour ...
8 days / 7 nights / 6 days on horseback
English / French speaking guide.
3 to 10 riders
The meeting point is in Saint-Jean-Pied-de-Port.
The simpler solution is to get there by car. Bayonne and Biarritz are located 52km away from Saint-Jean-Pied-de-Port.
For some departures, our guide can pick you up at Bayonne train station or Biarritz airport or train station (50€ per person for a return transfer) or Bordeaux (90€ per person for a return transfer). On Day 1, transfer is organized at 4.30pm and 8.00pm on Day 7 in Bayonne or Biarritz.
The Pays Basque enjoys the moderate climate of the south-western part of France.
In the mountains where the major part of this trail ride takes place, the climate is fresher, particularly in the morning and during the night.
There are no specific health formalities and emergency medical treatment is as widely available in the country.
A valid passport is required of all foreigners entering France, except people living from a Schengen agreement country for who a valid ID card is enough.
All foreign citizens who wish to come to France must be able to present regulatory proof of the purpose of their stay, means of support and accommodation. In some cases, they need a visa to enter France. Visas must be applied for before leaving for France at a French consular office.
France is a member of European Union. No visa is required for citizens of other EU states.
No visa is required for US visitors staying less than 3 months.
Please check these informations at your local French embassy.