Located inland, near Urrugne, Sare, Ascain, and St-Jean-de- Luz, La Rhune is the Basque Country’s sacred mountain (in the Basque language, ‘larrun’ means ‘moor’). It is home to 24 dolmens and 11 cromlechs. La Rhune sits on the border between Spain and France, but it also divides the traditional Basque territories of Labourd and Navarre.
In the Basque Country, as the tradition goes, you ascend La Rhune on foot. It generally takes 1 or 2 hours, depending on your pace. Marked trails make the hike easier. But you can also reach the top in 35 minutes if you take the famous Petit Train de La Rhune. This little rack-train, which dates from 1924, runs from February to November. It carries around 350,000 visitors every year, leaving from the little station at Col de Saint-Ignace. The slow ride, at 8 km/h, leaves you plenty of time to take in the scenery on your way up to the peak, which sits 905 metres above sea level.
On the way, pottoks, sheep, and cows will cross your path, and you’ll appreciate the scent of the numerous trees. The views are breathtaking. You can admire the whole coast, from the Landes all the way to San Sebastián and the Pyrenees. At the top, 2 ventas will be there to greet you, in the Spanish tradition, with tapas, drinks, and souvenirs.