Hiking Campsite

4 intense days at the bottom of the Rhune!
Exert yourself, marvel, and above all, enjoy to the fullest.
Day 1
Finally, the reunion!

It’s 8:00 AM, Mathilde and Romain, your lifelong friends, have just joined you at your place to hit the road towards Ascain, where you’ve booked a 5-day stay at Camping Zelaia. After a two-hour journey, you decide to make a quick detour through Arcachon, a seaside resort you love, to take a break and enjoy a coffee by the sea! It’s been so long since you all got together for a vacation…

Camping Zelaia - View of Arcachon
And a new wetsuit, the first vacation souvenir…

Next stop: Biarritz! Jules called the campsite; your accommodation will be ready by 3:00 PM, giving you time to have a meal break in this city known for its great surfing spots. While strolling through the city center to find a restaurant, Mathilde spots a gorgeous surf wetsuit in a shop window. It’s perfect timing as she needed to replace her old one that was getting worn out…

Camping Zelaia - Sky view of Biarritz
Camping Zelaia - Surf on Biarritz beach
As soon as we arrived, a basketball game!

There you go, after half an hour on the road, you’ve finally reached your cozy little haven. The mobile home is fantastic, it’s exactly what you needed for a vacation as a group of four! Barely unpacked, the guys have already spotted the basketball court – a sport you all enjoy competing in whenever the opportunity arises. Without hesitation, everyone changes into comfortable clothes, and it’s time for a little match!

Camping Zelaia - Basketball in campsite
Day 2
The day you’ve been waiting for the most!

You came for this! Today is undoubtedly the day you’ve been looking forward to the most – you’re going to ascend the Rhune, the mythical summit of the Basque Country! This morning, everyone is busy preparing the meal for the picnic you’ll have the chance to enjoy at the very top around noon. What’s more, the journey is quick from the campsite as you only have a short ten-minute drive to reach the Col de Saint-Ignace, where the hike starts!

Camping Zelaia - View of La Rhune in the Basque Country
Camping Zelaia - La Rhune train in Basque Country
The ascent of the Rhune starts with a train ride.

With your sneakers on, the whole team is ready to reach the station from where the train, dating all the way back to 1924, will depart. Once inside, you can’t help but take photos of everything! A 35-minute ascent is all it takes to reach the summit, and you don’t want to miss a single thing. It’s now 12:00 PM, you’ve arrived, and the panorama offers a breathtaking 360° view that almost leaves everyone speechless.

Camping Zelaia - Sky view of La Rhune
Incredible panorama and a descent on foot to enjoy it!

After a picnic with your friends and a long time spent gazing at the surrounding landscape, you decide to begin the descent, but this time on foot! Two hours of walking will be enough to get back to the car, parked at the starting point of the Col de Saint-Ignace. “The weather is perfect, it’s so pleasant!” Romain is right, the temperature is around 25°C (77°F), neither too hot nor too cold – it’s the ideal weather!

Camping Zelaia - Landscape Near the Campground
Day 3
Horseback riding initiation under the warm sun.

It’s Monday morning, and at the welcome gathering, you and your friend Mathilde heard about the Sainte-Hélène equestiran center located near the campsite! She, being quite the adventurer, has already tried horseback riding, but you never have. With a bit of apprehension, you decide to take up the challenge and join her for a 2-hour introductory ride suitable for beginners. As it turns out, your horse is adorable and walks at a leisurely pace. You have time to enjoy the view of the mountains… It’s just fantastic!

Camping Zelaia - Horseride nearby campsite
Surfin’ in the Basque Country!

The other part of the group, who took the morning to rest and swim in the pool, suggests heading to Hendaye in the afternoon for some surfing. Deal! Everyone packs their bags; the experienced surfers gather their gear, while the others plan to rent everything on-site since the surf school provides all the necessary equipment!

Camping Zelaia - Aquatic sports
« Osasuna » (Cheers!)

You had such a blast during the surfing afternoon! The photos taken by Romain, who stayed on the beach, are epic – falls, misses, but also some great moments of gliding on the board. Once back at the mobile home, everyone is exhausted from the day. Tonight, it’s a laid-back evening at the campsite with a program that includes a petanque contest, an aperitif, Basque cold cuts, and cheese.

Camping Zelaia - Pétanque play at campsite
Camping Zelaia - Drinks at campsite\'s restaurant
Day 4
Electric Mountain Biking!

You’re unstoppable! Yesterday afternoon, as you returned from the great beach of Hendaye, you spotted flyers from Liluak VTT at the campsite reception. Adventure is your thing, and your friends are always ready to join you in such endeavors! So this morning, you head towards the town of Olhette to get a breath of fresh air on electric mountain bikes. Since it’s a bit warmer today, it’s the perfect activity to be outdoors…

Camping Zelaia - mountains bike ride
Those who lose have to do the dishes!

“Honestly, it was so so awesome!” Even though you had no doubts, this route between the sea and the mountains delighted your entire team! But pushing yourself around like that builds up an appetite. Back at the campsite, the snack bar allows you to take a well-deserved break. “Hey, there are ping-pong tables here, how about a game?”. What a question! Of course, you’re up for it, but with the condition that the losing team does the dishes tonight!

Camping Zelaia - Table tennis tables available at the campsite
Camping Zelaia - View of the table of ping-pong of campsite
One of the most memorable sunsets…

Once again, tonight, you don’t have a ton of energy left. However, the weather is just too beautiful today to stop enjoying it. So, you come up with a fantastic plan: grab some takeaway pizzas from the campsite snack bar and head to the beach at Saint-Jean-de-Luz to eat them while watching the sunset… That’s truly what vacation is all about!

Camping Zelaia - View of Saint Jean de Luz
Day 5
Perfect morning for sea kayaking!

It’s the last day at Camping Zelaia! To avoid thinking about leaving right away, Mathilde has a little surprise for everyone – she’s booked a kayaking excursion! Since Atlantic Pirogue, the rental company, is located less than 10 kilometers from the campsite, you quickly make your way there. Once the pairs are formed, you head leisurely towards the bay for a nice three-hour kayak ride.

Camping Zelaia - Kayak of sea
Camping Zelaia - Activity kayak of sea nearby the campsite
Time to take stock of the holidays.

A last day means a last chance to enjoy some local food! For lunch today, you head over to Bidart to taste a local specialty, chipirons, which are small squid fried or cooked on the griddle! While waiting to be served, it’s time to recap the vacation. “It went by so fast… We could have used more time!” “Great choice with the campsite; it was seriously in a fantastic location and very pleasant.”

Camping Zelaia - Chipirons
What if it became our ritual?

Back at Zelaia, it’s time for the dreaded packing moment! Once that’s done, you and your friends head to the pool for one last dip. “Why don’t we do this every year?” Romain suggests. He’s right; Zelaia has a very high chance of becoming an annual tradition to gather with friends!

Camping Zelaia - Accomodations in whole nature ideal for your sportive trip in basque country