Our Advice on Bike Rides for Guéthary and The Basque Coast
We recommend 2 beautiful electric bike rides from Guéthary along the coast.
Cycling from Guéthary to Saint Jean de Luz.
Departing from the Bidart plateau, opposite the famous Licorne bakery, head south towards Bidart town center. Straight up you have the sensational view over Plage d’Erretegia, once you hit the roundabout turn right. Meander along the road Corniche de la Falaise until you arrive at Chappelle Sainte Madeleine, possibly one of the best views in Bidart. With a backdrop of the Pyrenees, you can see clearly the jagged coast line of Spain and all the towns in between. Next you’re heading straight into the town centre of Bidart. So many local shops like, Etxe Peio, with all it’s local food specialties, and L’Atalier with locally handmade bags, jewellery and more. The Fronton de Bidart is often filled with people, whether there is a game of pelote basque being played, local dancing in the square, the weekly market or just people basking in the sunshine. Stop, walk around and even pop your head into the restaurant Elissaldia, a restaurant with a trinquet court inside where there is often a fast indoor game of pelote basque being played.
Cruise down Rue l’Uhabia on your way towards Plage de L’uhabia, over the little bridge, past the beach carpark and keep going until you reach the first street on your right, Chemin Palementia. You will have a slight climb along the marked bike path however the rewarding view from the picturesque church of Saint Joseph des Falaises is well worth it. Here you can look out to the famous wave of Parlementia which can get as big as 6 meters on a big swell day.
Continue down the hill and over the bridge, where Chemin Zubialdeko greets you on the right, you’re now entering the little town of Guéthary. Often referred to as little Paris the streets are often filled with the very trendy and fabulously dressed, not really a barefoot or bare chest in sight as that seems to only be appropriate for the actual beach.
Back over the train line guiding yourself past the charming train station, pass Plage de Cenitz and you will soon find yourself on the dedicated bike path. Cruise along the cliff top overlooking Plage de Lafitenia, you’ll pass camping car after camping car as this is the valley of the camp grounds, where families set up their home away from home to enjoy the beaches and seaside restaurants. Get yourself back to ocean level and hit the bike path next to the sand at Plage d’Erromardie. Not a surfer in sight here, barely a ripple on the water, lots of sun baking and listening to the music playing from the nearby bars and restaurants. From here the path is clearly marked as you make your way towards your first glimpse of the bay of Saint Jean de Luz. The glistening white facade of the Pointe de Sainte Barbe will welcome you at the north opening of the bay. This little church/bunker has lived through the wars, been occupied by the Spanish, the Germans and now the French, it has been built and demolished and rebuilt again over the years. With the bay on your left, cruise along the edges until you make your way to the town’s centre. Saint Jean de Luz is so much more than a humble fishing town with it’s buzzing indoor market, cobble stone streets, the House of Louis XIV and Sainte Jean Baptiste Church. It’s time to explore and congratulate yourself on your ride…then all you have to do is get back.
Cycling from Guéthary to Bayonne.
Heading towards Biarritz, feel the breeze through your hair as you head downhill past the Ilbiaritz Golf Course towards the Cité de l’Océan. With Cité de l’Océan on your left, it is here you swing your way around the round about along Avenue de la Plage with the water in your sight. Turning right at the end, cruise along the edge of Plage de la Milidy, looking out to the sandy beach often filled with umbreallas, surfers, and smiling faces. Prepare yourself for your first incline up Rue de Madrid where the reward is truly worth it when you arrive at the Coté de Basque.
Be sure to watch the path in front of you and not get too swept away by the breathtaking view of the Pyrenees and the Spanish coastline to the left, and the beautiful Villa Belza standing tall to the right. Now you know you’ve hit the quaint but bustling town of Biarritz. Following the coast line veering left, the ocean will go in and out of sight as you pass the grand buildings built on the cliffs. Heading down to the ever so picturesque Port Vieux which literally translates to ‘Old Port’, watch out for the white bears, the swimmers that make it their purpose to swim here every day of the year. Twisting around this beach make your way around the Biarritz Aquarium which is directly opposite the Virgin on the Rock and the famous bridge that was originally built under the orders of Napoleon III. Continue your way past the Fisherman’s Port of Biarritz and the Saint Eugénie Chapel before setting your sights on the Grande Plage. With the Biarritz Casino fixed at one end and the royal Hotel du Palais dominating the far end, just imagine the royals, the rich and the diehard surfers that graced the sand on this very beach.
With a steady climb just ahead you’ll pass the Biarritz Lighthouse and the Biarritz Lighthouse Golf Course. You may be saying goodbye to Biarritz but it’s a big warm hello to Anglet and their designated bike paths. Surrounded by stone houses that we can barely even begin to imagine how they were built all those years ago, it is only moments before the overwhelming ocean view of Plage de la Petite Chambre d’Amour arrives. Whether you take the bike path directly next to the beach or the bike path next to the Boulevard des Plages you’ll be wizzing past the many beaches of Anglet where you’ll see happy families, salty surfers, beachside restaurants and countless ice-cream stands. Making your way to where the river Adour of Bayonne meets the Atlantic Ocean often filled with large cargo ships unloading their treasures. Glide along the banks of the river, watching as the cargo ships turn into sailing boats and the trees turn into buildings adorned with different coloured shutters. The oceans horizon disappears behind you, you’re arriving in Bayonne with it’s gothic style Bayonne Cathedral, Basque Museum and narrow medieval streets. It’s time to explore and congratulate yourself on your ride…then all you have to do is get back.