OverviewThis is the western end of the Pyrenees, the place where the mountains meet the sea, a densely humanized area covered by small villages amongst green mountains. Though we only talk about the Bidasoa river and the valley of Baztán in the heading of this page, there are also the valleys of Alduides (in France) and the beautiful forest areas of Quinto Real and Sorogain on the spanish side of the border.
Bidasoa - Baztán: the green valley
The valley of the river Bidasoa is the first one you can find in the spanish Pyrenees when approaching the range by its western end. The mouth of the river is placed on the basque coast, separating the villages of Fuenterrabia/Hondarribia, Hendaye and Irún. From that point on, the valley goes south at first, entering Navarra (at Endarlaza/Endarlatsa) and reaching Bera under the slopes of Larún(La Rhune in the french maps). Beautiful villages such as Santesteban (Doneztebe when written in basque language), Arizcun or Elizondo, the natural park of Bertiz or the botanic garden in Bertiz (at the entrance of the natural park) are also good reasons to visit these beatiful whereabouts.
Main summits of the area: Larún/La Rhune, Alkurruntz, Peña Plata, Iparla, Peñas de Aia, Auza, Mendaur, Abartán.
Quinto Real and Alduides
The col of Urkiaga marks the separation between the french valley of Alduides (placed north of the Col) and the area of Quinto Real in Spain. Alduides is full of small villages and houses dispersed amongst green hills, being a good representation of the densely humanized french valleys in this area of the Pyrenees. Quinto Real, on the south side, is the opposite concept: a dense wet forest where the river Arga makes its first steps towards the close dam of Eugui, Pamplona and the valley of the Ebro.
Main summits of the area: Adi, Artzabal, Azegui, Burdindogi, Baratxueta.
Sorogain and the valley of Erro
The small valley of Sorogain marks the eastern limit of the massif of Adi, and provides access to some other peaks. It is crossed by the GR11 trail. Once a year, the marking of french horses bound to spend the summer in spanish pastures is held in the area.
Main summits of the area: Adi, Iturrumburu