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The Route of the Thalassoterapia for the Basque-French coast


We are in the Marina Hendaya Txingudi, one of the three existing in this city, located in the Bay of same name, close to Spain. Equiped with abundant solar protectors as only baggage, we take a slight breakfast before undertaking the march. The sea and the stone define Hendaya, as a city of contrasts.

In front of the beach and to the port of Plaisance, one forced pause, for the beauty, in an important hotel and thalassotherapy complex with an excellent visit card: 11.000 square meters dedicated to the rest and Wellness. Slimming cures perfectly combined with the relaxing and the sport activities, another form to recover the well-being demanded by the vortex of the city. 

In the interior another cultural patrimony, Abbadia and its castle, built by Viollet-de-Ducy, was summer residence of Antoine d´Abbadie, exceptional learned person, roused by the astronomy and the oriental culture. And some kilometers away,the picturesque towns, Biriatou and Urrugne seem two prints of a tale, with their church, the fronton and a dozen of stone or whitewashed houses whose coloured shutters stand out. 

The day dawned with a dense fog that prevents the pass of some shy sunbeam. In the beach, the cold sand humidifies our feet and this produces us chill. We walk slowly, the marine air is a good tonic for our organism in this fresh spring morning. In the distance we listen juvenile voices. As we get closer we discover a group of youths carrying surf boards. They are the first surfers that will delight us along our journey, with their twirls in the rough sea at this early hour of the day.

The coasts and the Basque ports have some unbeatable conditions for the nautical sports as they are the light sail (small sailing ships and cartamaranes) and the windsurf. The long oceanic beaches constitute a field of ideal evolution for those fond of the sailing navigation. They are three coastal stations that possess the label "Station voile", granted by the Fédération Française of Voile: Teste de Buch, Arcachon and Hendaya.


In fact, Aquitania is famous for the quality of its breaking waves and the numerous sports along its 250 kms. of coast. The French surf was born in the waves of the Basque Costa by the middle of the fifties. Here the passion of the surf is usually practiced during the whole year and numerous schools exist in all the coastal towns, for beginners and already advanced keens. 

At the beginning of the journey, amid the River Bidasoa, we see the Island of the Pheasants. Formerly it belonged to Hondarribia, today it is shared by Irún and Hendaya, and they take charge of taking care of it every 6 months. It has about 2.000 square meters and all their ecosystem is protected. In French it is known as " Île de L´hôspital". Here wars were disputed and agreements were summed up between the Kingdoms of France and Spain. 

The most important was the one that took place from the 4 to 7 June 1660; the French and Spanish delegations met to sign the Treaty of Peace of the Pyrenees that was ratified by María Teresa's wedding, daughter of Felipe IV, with Luis XIV. In the center of the island there is a monolith with the commemorative inscription. The pavilion of the Spaniards was decorated by Velázquez . According to the historians, due to the stay in such a humid place he got a cold that it would take him some weeks later to the tomb.


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