Hendaye is here, in the Basque Country, at the gateway to Spain, between the Atlantic and the Pyrenees, a paradise for lovers of water sports (kayaking, surfing, sailing, paddling…), hiking, golf, cycling and rugby.
Hendaye is famous for its beautiful 3km long sandy beach with its mythical rocks, the 2 twins, not to be missed during your Hendaye vacation.
Most of the facades of the houses on the seafront and in many neighborhoods are listed (Maison Rouge, rue des Citronniers). They were designed at the turn of the century by renowned Henday architect Edmond Durandeau. The neo-Basque-style Sokoburu esplanade is home to Serge Blanco’s Thalassotherapy center, the Casino, restaurants, tapas bars, market and flea market. The Marie-Louise river shuttle takes you from the marina to the picturesque Spanish village of Fontarrabie.
Hendaye is a must for your vacation in the Basque Country.
3 must-see tours
The last town on the Basque coast before crossing the Spanish border, Hendaye boasts a number of natural and cultural sites to discover on your own, with family, friends or as a couple. Here’s a closer look at three must-see places to visit during your Hendaye vacation:
- Château d’Abbadia: Seen from the air, it seems to have been magically placed in a green setting on the edge of the Atlantic Ocean. Listed as a historic monument and Maison des illustres, the Abbadia château-observatory is an architectural masterpiece in the neo-Gothic style. It was built at the end of the 19th century, at the instigation of Antoine d’Abbadie. From the observatory to the chapel, from the library to the bedrooms and lounges, you can visit every room in the French scientist’s former home, and stroll through the superb park, which will delight adults and children alike, especially those with a passion for history, travel and astronomy.
- Caneta and Ile des Faisans: If you’re looking for a peaceful stroll while watching the boats moored, head for the Caneta district. Situated on the banks of the Bidassoa River, it boasts a picturesque port, Vauban fortifications and a number of listed buildings. If you’re observant, you’ll see the cannons pointing towards the Spanish Basque Country. In the middle of the coastal river that separates France from Spain lies a small island planted with trees: Ile des Faisans (Conference Island). Unfortunately, you won’t be able to get there, but when you do, you’ll be able to remember that in 1659 the Treaty of the Pyrenees was signed here, putting an end to the Thirty Years’ War between France and Spain.
- Maison de la Corniche – Asporotsttipi: If you’ve cycled or driven along the Corniche Basque coastline, you might like to know its history. All the answers to your questions can be found at the Maison de la Corniche, a free cultural space housed in a Basque farmhouse, where visitors can learn all about the Basque Corniche through exhibition rooms and a multimedia room.
After your visit, enjoy some delicious tapas and continue on to the many activities Hendaye has to offer!
Tourist activities in Hendaye
A stroll along the bay of Txingudi is one of Hendaye’s many walks.Along the Bidassoa River to the small fishing port of Caneta, you’ll see the remains of Vauban’s ramparts, and two houses with stunning views over Fontarrabie, listed as Historic Monuments since 2011: Bakar Etchea, Pierre Loti’s house, and the Villa Mauresque.
During your stay at the Hendaye Ametza campsite, you can also discover the Domaine and Château d’Abbadia, a protected natural site overlooking the ocean, and the coastal path offering a breathtaking panorama (Rhune mountains, 3 crowns, cliffs and coves…).
And let’s not forget La Vélodyssée, or the freewheeling Atlantic from Roscoff to Hendaye, which ends in the Basque country, after a fine finish along the Corniche Basque, and a splendid view of the Bay of Biscay. This beautiful, sunny greenway continues along the bay of Txingudi to the port of Caneta, to continue your Hendaye (Béhobie) vacation on a footbridge built on stilts, offering a seductive view of the islands and marshes of the Bidassoa river, populated by numerous birds.