Feel Hendaye with our top 5 sensory experiences…
See breathtaking coastal views from the elevated old town and the eccentric clifftop Château d’Abbadia
Hear a concert at the Lanetik Egina music club
Smell hot churros in roadside bars, fried choux pastry snacks of particular quality in Hendaye
Taste txakoli, a dry, slightly sparkling white wine drunk as an aperitif in the Basque country
Feel the touch of an indulgent treatment at the Serge Blanco Thalasso centre.
Hendaye is the last resort on the French Basque coast, offering countless watersports facilities – especially for windsurfing, sailing and scuba diving – which make it an ideal destination for an active family holiday. Its main beach stretches for 3.5km and is safe and gently sloping with stunningly warm water temperatures, but there are good waves too, making Hendaye an equally popular choice for both novice and seasoned surfers in search of an adrenaline rush.
Breathtaking views can be enjoyed from the old medieval town situated on a hill. The Château d’Abbadia overlooking the cliffs was founded by the Dublin-born explorer Antoine d’Abbadie and designed by Viollet-le-Duc – the result is a bizarre Scottish-Gothic folly, with Arabian boudoirs, Ethiopian frescoes and inscriptions over the doors and lintels inside in Irish, Basque, Arabic and Ethiopian. It's also filled with objects collected by d'Abbadie on his travels. And if you plan on walking along the Sentier du Littoral coastal path, take time first to stroll around the port with its lovely atmosphere.
For those in search of relaxation, the Serge Blanco Thalasso centre is also based in Hendaye. Facing the Atlantic at the foot of the Basque mountains, this spa centre is dedicated to the complete wellbeing of its guests. A thalassotherapy centre, marine spa, 3-star hotel and tourist residence rolled into one, it also offers a choice of five restaurants.