Saint-Jean-Pied-de-Port, as its name indicates, is situated at the foot of the mountains. This location offers many opportunites for mountain trekking without having to drive far car to arrive at trails. There are three possibilities of mountain trails from here that we would recommend.
The Woods of Irati, an important forest preserve which extends over both slopes of the Basque Pyrenees, is celebrated for the largest Beech tree forest in Europe.
In winter, the Woods of Irati are an ideal place for cross-country skiing, sledding and snowshoeing. In warmer weather the trails invite you to hike through the forests or over the summits. You will penetrate into a profound universe of tranquility, letting this beautiful forest nurture you with the force of nature.
A splendid excursion which we can recommend to you is to Okabe. One leaves from the parking lot at Chalet Pedro and continue on to a place of great historic importance: in the summit meadows you will encounter 26 cromlechs, stone circles from the Iron Age (800-500 B.C.) that give testimony to the death rituals of our ancestors. Okabe is a place of unique beauty.
Distance 9.2 Km Climb: 519m Estimated time: 4 hours
Urkulu is a Summit situated on the French/Spanish border. It is very frequented in Basque Country for its panoramic vista, as well as its historic importance. You will find ruins of a tower, a structure commemorating the Roman conquest of Aquitaine.
The route by car will take you to the Summit of Arnostegi which follows the Napoleon Route (30 min), crossing the the Camino de Santiago. It will not leave you unimpressed.
After the drive, leaving from the Summit of Arnostegi, a signed pathway will take you to a maximum altituted of 1419 meters. It is an easy walk and guarantees some splendid panoramas.
Length: 4KM Climb: 180m Estimate time: 2h
Located between the Valleys of Laurhibar and Esterenguibel, Buluntz offers a highly recommendable excusion with beautiful views. A pleasant path permits one to admire the Valley of Larhibar and the western slopes of Arbailles. After a short ascent one arrives at the summit of Bulunta with its dolmen. The circuit includes an impressive rock formation and followings an easy return path.
This circuit is part of the Summit of Bilgoza. It is an easy excursion and ideal for families.
Length: 5KM Climb: 150m Estimated time: 2h