Hondarribia, Pyrenees-Atlantiques: tourism & sightseeing

Photo of Hondarribia (Aquitaine region)

Visit Hondarribia (Aquitaine, France)

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Hondarribia is a town just across the border from Saint-Jean-de-Luz into Spain. It is reached by an attractive coastal road via Hendaye. We have included here because it is a popular trip with people visiting the south-west corner of France.

The city has been under siege many times (and always held out), the worst being in 1638. That siege was finished on 8 September, and to this day the date is celebrated in the town by a parade.

Exploring Hondarribia

The city that has grown up around the medieval city of Hondarribia is less exciting, but the 'walled city' in the centre is a fascinating place. Hondarribia has been inhabited since prehistoric times. The fortifications that can now be seen, and many of the buildings, were built during the Renaissance.

I have added quite a few pictures in the gallery below - it is hard to describe Hondarribia in words, but essentially it is a walled city that contains street after cobbled street of beautifully preserved and restored houses, all at the foot of an impressive church. Many of the buildings have elaborate wooden or iron balconies, and carved eaves.

After walking around admiring the city you can walk around the outside of the walls, now partly laid out as attractive gardens.

Other information

After you have completed your tour, continue to drive along the coast for a further 15km or so - the scenery is even better than the approach from St-Jean-de-Luz.

Note; the city was known for many years as Fuenterrabia, but reverted to its basque name, Honderribia, in the 1980's. It's French name is Fontarrabie.

You can find more local travel ideas in the Pyrenees-Atlantiques guide and the Aquitaine guide.

See also:

Map of Hondarribia and places nearby

Visit near Hondarribia with France This Way reviews

... or see ALL recommended places to visit in Pyrenees-Atlantiques

Address: Hondarribia, Aquitaine, France || GPS: latitude 43.3625, longitude -1.79133

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The French version of this page is at Hondarribia (Francais)