You don’t yet know what to do during your stay in the Basque Country? How about climbing the Rhune? Located near the Ibarron campsite, it’s a mountain peak reaching 905 meters in altitude. From its summit, enjoy restaurants and entertainment while appreciating the view of the ocean, the Landes, and the Pyrénées-Atlantiques. It’s an unmissable place to visit during your vacation in the Basque Country according to tourism professionals and vacationers who have already had the opportunity to hike up the Rhune or take the little train.

Climbing the Rhune with the little train

One way to climb La Rhune, an emblematic place in the French Basque Country, is to take the little train that winds through its trails. The Petit Train de la Rhune guarantees you an unforgettable experience combining history, nature, and adventure.
The history of this Basque railway jewel dates back more than a century, testifying to the deep connection between nature and the region’s inhabitants. The train of the Rhune departs from the station at the Col de Saint-Ignace in the town of Sare. The route, punctuated by tunnels and viaducts, passes through lush forests, bucolic meadows, and mountain landscapes.

Arriving at the summit, you are rewarded with a view of the ocean on one side and the green valleys on the other. Beyond the panorama, climbing the Rhune offers a range of activities such as hiking or visiting the chapel and ancient ruins.

The little train of the Rhune offers various departures and returns throughout the day. However, book your trip, especially during peak periods. Note that the duration to reach the summit, from the town of Sare, is about 35 minutes.

Climbing the Rhune on foot

If you’re feeling more adventurous, try hiking up the Rhune by taking the established hiking trails. Discover 3 hiking routes that promise you a unique experience in the heart of the Basque Country.

Hiking from the Col de Saint Ignace

This Rhune hike offers a relatively easy difficulty level. It starts at the Col de Saint-Ignace and offers a round trip distance of 7.5 km. The trail winds through the typical green landscapes of the region, with exceptional views of the Atlantic coast. You will traverse woods and rolling meadows where you will have a beautiful view of a sandy beach, typically Basque villages, and the port of Saint-Jean-de-Luz.

Hiking from Sare

Starting from the village of Sare, this trail to climb towards the summit takes you through steep paths, streams, and dense forests. You can discover the cultural richness of the Basque Country by passing near traditional sheepfolds and authentic Basque houses during your hike up the Rhune.

Bidarray Route

The Bidarray route is a more difficult route for hiking up the Rhune. You will traverse rocky passages and steep trails, testing your endurance. Along the way, you will discover crystal-clear rivers and lush pastures.

Other hiking routes to reach the Rhune

If you’re looking for other routes to reach the Rhune, here are some additional options:

  • Route from the town of Ascain;
  • Hiking via the Col de Lizuniaga through Venta Negra;
  • Larrun Hegoxuria Path;
  • Loop through the col des trois Fontaines;
  • Ascent starting from Olhette (elevation gain 900m).

These hikes to the Rhune summit on foot offer you unique perspectives on the beauty of the Basque Country. Enhance your stay in the region with a visit to the towns of Biarritz, Bayonne, Hendaye, or Saint-Jean-de-Luz. In addition to visiting museums, historical sites, or discovering local gastronomy such as Espelette peppers, these towns boast beaches ideal for surfing and caves for spelunking enthusiasts. Know that the Basque Country is the ideal place for hiking. Find our hiking itinerary tips, especially around our Ibarron campsite.

You’ve understood it, climbing the Rhune is an essential activity in the Basque Country. To do so, you can either embark on the Little Train or hike. And as for your accommodation on-site, book a stay at Camping Ibarron in the Pyrénées-Atlantiques. In addition to rentals, benefit from a wide range of services and activities on-site.

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