Mountains
56,81 Km
3 h 42 min
I cycle a lot
Urt / Saint-Palais
Urt
Saint-Palais
Continuing beside the Adour and Bidouze Rivers, the Scandibérique cycle route brings to mind the river trading of centuries past, as you ride past the little ports of Guiche, Bidache and Came. Almost half-way along, you’re suddenly made to climb above Came and the Pyrenees Mountains appear on the horizon as ascents and descents follow. The perched villages dotted around display their fine architectural heritage, while typically Basque architecture stands out as you approach Saint-Palais, a picturesque little town that makes a lovely stopover beside the Bidouze. You might push further, into the valley of the Gave d'Oloron torrent, giving you a taste of the different, Béarn culture. Looks change so fast in these parts.
309 m 349 m

The route

Leaving Urt, follow the Adour riverbank, then cross typical Aquitaine polders known as barthes. From Guiche, a tributary, the Bidouze, becomes your guide riding towards the Pyrenean foothills. There is a difficult stretch between Bidache and La Bourgade. The surface along the Bidouze towpath is grassy. Across this stage, the shift in altitude totals 225m, but the maximum altitude you reach is just 110m. The slopes are short but steep. Take care crossing the D11 road at the entrance to St-Palais. Signposted EV3.

Surfacing smooth:  asphalt.
Surfacing rough: along the Bidouze towpath (Bidache > La Bourgade), with a grassy surface.

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There is a stretch in common with the Véloroute du Piémont Pyrénéen (the V81, linking Bayonne - Perpignan) up to the village of Labastide-Villefranche.

Don’t miss

  • Urt: a little river fishing port with fish ladder on the Adour; the traditional façade for playing the famed Basque ball game, pelote basque
  • Bidache: the Pays de Bidache themed gardens; châteaux de Gramont in Bidache and in Guiche
  • Saint-Palais: the Maison des Têtes (a house bearing sculptures of noble heads); the typical streets, notably the rues de la Bidouze and du Palais de Justice; Place du Foirail, an embellished square; the church of St Mary Magdalene and its rare Cavaillé-Coll organ; the oldest, most beautiful pelota court (or trinquet) in the French Basque country and the Pierre Guéraçague pelota wall; lovely façades and gardens beside the Bidouze.

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