As it approaches the Atlantic Ocean, the Bidassoa River settles in the bay of Chingoudy (Txingudi) and mixes its fresh waters coming down the Navarrese mountains with the salted tides. Since the 1659 treaty, the riverbed has been a natural border between France and Spain. On the right bank are the French cities of Urrugne and Hendaye and on the left bank are the Iberian one, Irun and Hondarribia. This bike tour proposes to visit both banks of the Bidassoa estuary and to ride around the unique Chingoudi bay, a place where borders have been crossed since the dawn of time and which people dreams of. A cross-border itinerary facilitated by a maritime shuttle in the port of Hendaye, accepting bicycles on board: a few minutes floating transition for an original journey from one country to another.
- Start : URRUGNE
- Positive elevation : +30m
- Equipements et services : Power Point (supermarket, restaurants), Picnic area, Water point
- Mobilityby bike
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- From Béhobie to the port of Hendaye-plage
In Urrugne-Béhobie, between Pausu square and Joncaux school, take the path along the children’s playground to immediately reach the banks of the Bidassoa River. There is a bike path along the right bank of the river, passing in front of Pheasant Island. 1,6km further, ride along the duckboard path on a balcony over the Bidassoa River, then pass under the arches of the Hendaye-Irun international bridges. The path continues along the river (with a view of Hondarribia) and ends at the small Hendaye port of Caneta (3,6km). Continue along the coastal path on a wooden pontoon that goes under the Pierre Loti house, then follow the Chingoudy bay (4,2km) towards Hendaye-plage. At the beach of the nautical centre (5,6km) pass on the left of a roundabout to continue to follow the bike path. At the second roundabout, through an ally of palm trees, reach the port of Hendaye; take the road on the right to the pier of the maritime shuttle (6,3km) in front of the Sokoburu apartment block.
- From the docks of Hondarribia to the canal of Amute
The maritime shuttle allows you to cross the Bidassoa River and drops you off at the Spanish dock of Hondarribia (7,3km): follow the dock on the left, bypassing very quickly the cove of the port of Zarra (blue boat). Take the promenade on the Spanish bank of the Bidassoa River. At the end, the bike path goes up the Mola canal. At the small port, reach a double roundabout with a statue (optional access to the old town): go over the bridge on the left and then, at the traffic light, cross the avenue to continue on a paved path on the left side of a canal. At the next crossroads (9,2km), take the second street on the left and ride along a bike path on the left side of the road. After 1km, turn left onto Kosta Kalea Street and follow the N638 along the bike path (Amute Bridge).
- From the canal of Amute to Plaza del Ensanche in Irun
At the big roundabout of the Amute canal (10,6km), keep following the bike path on the right, along the N638, for 300m. Just before a small canal, cross the road carefully to continue on a stone path between canal and vegetable gardens. When you approach a concrete driveway, follow it on the left and pass by the properties. When you reach a boulevard, continue to the right and ride at a moderate pace on the sidewalk until you pass under a road bridge. At the Zubi-Muxu roundabout, go back up the Ondarribi boulevard (towards “centro”) on the bike path of the sidewalk on the right. At the top (12km), turn left and then right to cross the bridge over the railroad tracks and then ride along Irun’s main avenue, Colon Ibilbidea, which has a bike path as well.
- From Irun to Béhobie
Ride past the lively Plaza del Ensanche (12,5km) and continue for 300m along the main avenue until you reach a kiosk-bookshop and a playground. Near the kiosk, set foot on the ground and cross the avenue to reach the opposite sidewalk on the right. Quickly turn into a paved street that slopes down to the church of Juncal (13km). Pass to the right of the building to reach a park: stairs to be followed on the left, lead down to the street below the church. From there, follow Santiago Street lined with bars. At the end of the street, turn right over the bridge and immediately continue on the left onto a bike path (Chemin de la Baie). Follow the path along a wetland area (Osinbiribil) on the banks of the Bidassoa River. The walk returns in a straight line, along a canal, to the GI-636 (14,3km): ride along the avenue to the left, on the sidewalk. There is a bike path along the Bidassoa River to take you to the bridge at Béhobie. Take the international bridge to the left to return to the parking lot, on the French side.