Located where the River Bidassoa flows into the Bay of Biscay, Hendaye juts up against the border with Spain in the far south-west of France. It is divided into three parts - the main town, the beachside district and “les hauteurs”, an area of hills that is nestled in between.
Things to do in Hendaye
Spend an afternoon strolling through the main town of Hendaye, which centres around a lively square where a weekly open-air market takes place. Don’t miss the 17th-century Great Cross of Hendaye, a stone-carved symbol believed by many to be encrypted with information that the world would end in the year 2012. In the heart of Hendaye is the Church of Saint-Vincent, a striking whitewashed building that dates from 1598.
Overlooking the seafront is the magnificent Château d’Abbadia, a Gothic Revival masterpiece built by the French architect Eugène Viollet-le-Duc between 1864 and 1879. Join a guided tour to learn about its extravagant architecture and explore the richly decorated interior, with a highlight being the observatory where Antoine d’Abbadie conducted his astronomical research.
You can spend a day relaxing on the sands of Plage d’Hendaye, which features several children’s play areas and gentle waves where you can learn to surf. It’s renowned for its views towards the Jumeaux Rocks, two high rock stacks that are perched in the Bay of Biscay. If you follow the River Bidassoa south from Plage d’Hendaye, you’ll reach the picturesque fishing port of Caneta.
Getting around Hendaye
San Sebastian Airport is 15 minutes’ drive from Hendaye and has regular flights to Madrid, Barcelona and London. Trains connect to the Gare d’Hendaye from destinations across France while Gare des Deux-Jumeaux is the closest station to Hendaye Beach. Buses travel throughout Hendaye.