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Hendaye, seaside resort on the Spanish border

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Barnes presents Bidart from all angles to prepare your holidays in the Basque Country!

Where is Hendaye located in France?

At the southwest tip of the country, in New Aquitaine, Hendaye is the last French city before the Spanish border. Bordered to the north by the Atlantic Silver Coast, it opens to the west on the Bidassoa estuary which separates it from Spain. The nearest town is Irun on the Spanish side (with Hondarribia by boat at 1.5km) and on the French side, Urrugne, Ciboure and Saint-Jean-de-Luz within 10km.

What are the inhabitants of Hendaye called?

Its inhabitants are called the Hendayais or Hendaiar in the Basque language.

It has about 17,000 inhabitants and has a 3.5 km long beach.

Hendaye is intimately linked to Hondarribia, this Spanish city which can be reached by shuttle boat from the port of Sokoburu, every 30 minutes in the off-season and every quarter of an hour in the summer.

What to visit in Hendaye?

Start with the Abbadia Castle Observatory, built in the 19th century by an ethnologist scientist with a passion for the East and a defender of Basque culture. The place, full of references to distant travels, has a chapel, an apartment created to accommodate the Emperor Napoleon III and an incredible library whose content recalls the old observatory. An exciting visit accompanied by a treasure hunt in the park for children up to 12 years old.

Another surprising place in Hendaye is the austere Moorish House to see in the Caneta district. In the garden of this oriental-style villa sits a cannon aimed at Spain…

The city’s oldest public building is undoubtedly the Saint Vincent church, erected in the 16th century. You will discover the mystery of the Cross of Fulcanelli and that you can admire a gold portico and carved wooden stands.

A family interactive visit awaits you at the Maison de la Corniche, property of the Conservatoire du Littoral. You will learn everything about the Basque coast (fauna, flora, geology and history) thanks to a multimedia exhibition that will delight the curious. Finally, you will like the Sokoburu district where Spanish and Basque architecture mix and its Saturday market.

What to do in Hendaye?

The ocean is within your reach for all kinds of activities.

Atlantic Pirogue school offers short trips in the bay by sea kayak or dugout canoe, stand-up paddleboarding, kayaking, or full-day sea excursions.

You can also explore the coast aboard a long sailboat, accompanied by a skipper. He will introduce you to the basics of sailing or, if you want more, will offer you offshore training courses. Your sailing trip can also be combined with a hiking or diving activity.

The marina also allows the rental of motor or sailing boats for outings with family or friends. You can enjoy lazy days facing the coast or water skiing, wake boarding sessions.

In Hendaye, you can also explore cetaceans off the bay by catamaran.

The beach allows surfing all year round and at all levels on the Casino and Caz spots.

For pleasant family moments at the beach, choose the place called Les 2 twins.

In the bay of Txingudi where the Bidassoa flows into the ocean, many migratory birds can be observed at leisure.

What events take place in Hendaye?

The major event of the summer is the Basque Festival which takes place the second weekend in August.

Typical outfits are essential: blouse, checkered scarf and sandals for men; small shawl, blouse, petticoat and sneakers for women.

The city is crossed by the Cavalcade of floats which present typical scenes of the Basque everyday life and generally, it is the one who represents the cider house which closes the procession. Bandas, Basque brass bands, play traditional tunes while dance groups accompany them. The ride ends in front of the stadium while waiting for the evening ball and its fireworks.

Where to walk in Hendaye?

For lovely views of the Rhune and its shores, try the Ascaine d'Ascain in Hendaye. If you do not yet know the Basque Country, it will allow you to discover the lovely villages of Urrugne and Ascain.

The coastal path – Cap du Figuier – Guadalupe circuit runs along the Atlantic to the Figuier lighthouse before taking you into the forest to reach Notre-Dame-de-Guadalupe chapel. The panoramas are exceptional. Between the sea and the mountains, you will love the scent of the pine forest and enjoy some swimming possibilities.

Where to eat in Hendaye? 

One of the best restaurants of the city is Le Chantier. The offer is rather traditional but the dishes very well done. Quality service and a fine wine list by the glass. 

Facing the ocean, the SolSol restaurant is popular with Hendayans, particularly for its regularity. The welcome is pleasant, the staff attentive and the cuisine is based on local products, well worked and presented. 

Everything is very fresh and homemade at Itsas Zaldi / La Poissonnerie. As its name suggests, seafood is in the spotlight with a unique credo: it is of the day. The menu therefore changes daily depending on the market. 

Where to sleep in Hendaye? 

Large, well-appointed rooms and warm welcome at the 4 * Hotel Serge Blanco & Thalassotherapy Center. Very well placed facing the beach, it is also close to the center and places of interest. 

The atmosphere is hushed and the decor charming at the newly renovated 3 * Valencia hotel. A peaceful place to put your bags to visit Hendaye and the surroundings. 

In a beautiful traditional villa near the beach, the Orhoïtza 3 * hotel-residence has a strong Basque identity, opting for a decoration dominated by red. A colorful stay from all points of view. 

For any search for a vacation rental or real estate in Hendaye, do not hesitate to contact Barnes Côte Basque, your luxury real estate agency in the Basque Country.