Hiking Basque Country Pyrenees: Bidarray and Itsusi

Hiking Pyrenees Basque mountains in Bidarray

Hiking Basque Country Pyrenees is one of my favorite activities with my dog here.
Although they are small, westies are very strong dogs, able to walk the whole day in the mountains.

Bidarray is a small municipality located in the province of Basse-Navarre in the French Basque Country, about forty kilometres from Bayonne.

Its privileged location on the banks of the Nive and its tributaries, and in the middle of several famous Basque mountains such as Baïgura, Laina, Esteinumendi, make it an ideal place for sporting activities such as rafting and mountain hiking.

Here is a video made during a very beautiful hike from Bidarray. You can find its trace on the Visorando application under the name “Penas d’Itsuchi et Aritzacun depuis la ferme Achuria”.

In this article, you will find:

  • The practical information to prepare your hike and/or your Basque Country tour, including the technical facts for the hike and the gears you need.
  • The description of what you will see.
  • A tip for non-hikers who want to see the panorama.
  • The video of the hike.

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Article summary – Hiking Basque Country in Bidarray.

Hiking Pyrenees mountains in Basque Country
Montagne et grotte du Saint qui Sue au départ de la randonnée

Are you looking for a specialist in the Basque Country to help you organise your stay? Consult my service offer by clicking >> HERE.

Practical information.

Is this hike in the Basque Country for everyone?

No, this route is quite physical, with scree crossings. If like me you do the variant via the GR10, take it instead on the first way. It is less dangerous when climbing and you will be less tired than at the end of the hike. There are other routes, much easier and accessible with children.

How to organize this hike to the penas d’Itsusi in complete peace of mind?

If you do not want to go alone with Visorando, my partner travel agency and I can arrange the hike for you with a mountain guide. If you have several days in the Basque Country, we can also organize a rafting trip, canyoning and a discovery of the most beautiful natural sites in the Basque Country.
You can consult some ideas for excursions on this page

Are there any other special precautions to take?

Yes: plan a lot of water, 3/4 of the route being exposed. Do this only in dry and clear weather.

Which station and airport are closest to Bidarray?

There is a railway station in Bidarray, called Bidarray-Pont-Noblia, on the TER line between Bayonne and Saint Jean Pied de Port.
The nearest airport is Biarritz.
Use the links below to find the best flights and/or rent a car.

Depending on where you come from, I recommend you to use my favourite airline company, Qatar Airways, or the Skyscanner’s search to find the best deals.

Note: I get commissions for purchases made through links in this post at no extra charge for you.

Do you need a visa?

>> Check here

Technical data of hiking Basque Country from Bidarray.

– Level : difficult up to Artzatey Pass (GR10).

– Possible with children : no.

– Profile: Experienced hiker because there are many passages where you have to “put your hands” / walk on unstable scree. CAUTION: There are regularly fatalities in the particularly dangerous area of Pyrenees GR10.

– GPS track: Visorando application. Name of the hike: Penas d’Itsuchi et Aritzacun depuis la ferme Achuria.

– Technical characteristics: 15,5kms, +668m., 6h.

– Start: Bidarray, Achouria farm.

– Hard passages: landslides well after the cave of the “Saint qui sue” until the 1st pass. From the Mehatze Pass to the Itsusi penas path (the road is very, very long).

Hiking Basque Country equipment.

The imperative and minimum equipment:

Most interesting passages.

  • Starting point to the cave of the Saint qui sue,
  • arrival at the Col d’Artzatey and up to the Col de Mehatzé,
  • restarting the trail at the penas of Itsusi.

The fauna of Bidarray.

You will surely encounter goats (some wild) and sheep, half wild Basque horses (pottoks), European griffon vultures and Egyptian vultures.

The flora of Artzamendi.

There is wet moorland to heather and heather Saint Daboec.

For non hikers who want to see the panorama.

Follow the direction of Itxassou / Pas de Roland and go up towards Artzamendi.

Park at the Mehatse Pass car park and walk away from the ocean (towards the mountains).

You can very easily go to the Col d’Artzatey.


I did not go to the abandoned village of Aritzacun / Borda. I was too tired!

Video of penas Itsusi hike.

If you are a seasoned hiker, I really recommend this wonderful hike from Bidarray.

You will have a great day and will not regret it!

Conclusion – Hiking Basque Country in Bidarray.

If you are a seasoned hiker, I really recommend this wonderful penas d’Itsusi hike, starting from Bidarray.

You will have a great day and will not regret it!

There are other easier routes for penas d’Itsusi, but I have not yet covered them.

For more articles on the Basque Country, check this category

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Hiking the Basque Country Pyrenees in Bidarray

Last Updated on 8 June 2020 by Stephanie Langlet

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