Hendaye (Basque: Hendaia) is a commune in the Pyrénées-Atlantiques department and Nouvelle-Aquitaine region of southwestern France.

The town, France's most southwesterly and a popular seaside tourist resort, stands on the right bank of the River Bidassoa – which marks the Franco-Spanish border – at the point where it empties into the Atlantic Ocean in the French Basque Country.

Hendaye has three distinguishable parts: la ville (the town), which stretches from Saint Vincent's church to the area around the SNCF railway station and the industrial zone; la plage (the beach), the seaside quarter; and les hauteurs (the heights), the villas and camping sites on the hills between and behind the other two areas.

Hendaye harbour
Hendaye harbour
Coat of arms of Hendaye

Coat of arms
Location of Hendaye
Hendaye is located in France
Hendaye is located in Nouvelle-Aquitaine
Coordinates: 43°22′N 1°46′W / 43.36°N 1.77°WCoordinates: 43°22′N 1°46′W / 43.36°N 1.77°W
CantonHendaye-Côte Basque-Sud
IntercommunalityCA Pays Basque
 • Mayor (2014–2020) Kotte Écénarro
8 km2 (3 sq mi)
 • Density2,100/km2 (5,500/sq mi)
Time zoneUTC+01:00 (CET)
 • Summer (DST)UTC+02:00 (CEST)
INSEE/Postal code
64260 /64700
Elevation0–108 m (0–354 ft)
(avg. 25 m or 82 ft)
1 French Land Register data, which excludes lakes, ponds, glaciers > 1 km2 (0.386 sq mi or 247 acres) and river estuaries.


Hondarribia grabatua.jpeg
18th century depiction of the Bay of Txingudi, below Hendaye, and above Hondarribia (in Spain)

Hendaye acquired its independence from the Urrugne parish in 1598, when Saint Vincent's church was built. In the Franco-Spanish War, the town was briefly occupied by the Spanish, in September 1636.

On the fortified Île des Faisans (Pheasant Island) in the river, the Treaty of the Pyrenees was signed in 1659, ending decades of intermittent war between France and Spain. Authority over the island alternates between France and Spain every six months.

All the same, the village kept being subject to destruction due to cross-border military activity. In the War of the Pyrenees (1793-1795), or less possibly in the run-up to the rise of Napoleon to prominence, the village was levelled to the ground, as described in 1799 by Wilhelm von Humboldt: "The settlement spreads over a rather wide area, and seems to have looked clean and pleasant time ago. Currently all the houses, but for a handful of them, lie destroyed. The empty walls can barely stand, while the ground before inhabited is covered with overgrown bush and hawthorn. Ivy creeps up the walls, out of crumbling windows the desolate ocean can be seen through the room. Shells can still be come across the street here and there, but hardly ever can one bump into a person. Most of the inhabitants either perished in the danger and helplessness of the runaway, or they scattered away to other places."

The abolition of the French provinces, the War of the Pyrenees and the end of Basque home rule in the Spanish Basque districts—customs on the Ebro river moved to the Pyrenees (1841)—broke definitely the fluent cross-border trade and natural coexistence of the Basque speaking communities around the lower Bidassoa and the Bay of Txingudi, divided as of then by a restricted Spanish-French border.

On 22 October 1863, the railway arrived in Hendaye, as the track on the Spanish side also approached the Bidassoa borderline. On 15 August 1864, the first Madrid-Paris train arrived in Hendaye, forever re-shaping the human and urban landscape of the village and prompting rapid development.[2] Hendaye started to stand out as an international hub and a seaside resort for the elites after the model of Biarritz (1854), halfway between Donostia (San Sebastián) and Biarritz. In 1913, the Spanish Basque railway serving the coastline all the way to Donostia (later known as "topo", the 'mole') arrived at Hendaye Gare.

On 23 October 1940, Ramón Serrano Súñer, Francisco Franco, Adolf Hitler and Joachim von Ribbentrop met in the Hendaye railway station (then in German-occupied France) to discuss Spain's participation in World War II as part of the Axis.


Hendaye Jumeaux
Les Jumeaux

The town square, where there is a weekly open-air market on Wednesdays, is the location of the famous seventeenth century "Great Cross of Hendaye", a stone cross carved with alchemical symbols that occultists find to contain encrypted information on a future global catastrophe. The church of Saint-Vincent was built in 1598, and largely reconstructed over the centuries following fires and bombardments. Its most recent transformation was finished in 1968. The 13th-century crucifix is the principal treasure.

The ruins of the early seventeenth century fortifications, which were reinforced by Vauban in 1685, and the old cannons facing Hondarribia, are one of the features of the promenade along the Bay of Txingudi waterfront.

The seafront Château of Antoine d'Abbadie, built by the architect and theorist Eugène Viollet-le-Duc is a monument of the Gothic Revival.

The Casino building, of Neo-Moorish style, was built in 1885. It used to be occupied by a casino (hence the name), until it was moved to the quartier de Sokoburu. During the First World War, it served as a military hospital for French soldiers and then as the Portuguese Military Hospital of Hendaia, from 15th June 1918 to 23rd February 1919.[3]

The picturesque old fishing port of Caneta has views over the Bay of Txingudi to Hondarribia and the Jaizkibel, and is also the site of Pierre Loti's house and the old customs building.

The Jumeaux rocks (Dunbarriak in Basque, literally 'the bell stones') have become somewhat emblematic to Hendaye. These two high rock stacks, which have been carved out of the cliffs by wave action, are visible from the beach or from the domaine d'Abbadia, a nature park on the edge of the commune related to the Conservatoire du littoral project.

Abbadia Château&brebis 2012
The Abbadia domain : the castle seen from the surroundings meadows



Hendaye doesn't have any specific music venues, but there are many places where bands can play. The covered pelota fronton at Belcenia has a high capacity and the basque folk band Oskorri have played here on more than one occasion. In summer, bigger bands can play in open air at the Hendaye Plage Rugby pitch. Toure Kunda, among others, have played here. Concerts can be organised in the Cinéma les Variétés, which also has a high capacity.

The closed market is a good place for starting-out local bands to stage small concerts. Rather than a pub scene, local bands often play in Hendaye's many campsites in the summer.

The Lanetik Egina music club is the hub of Hendaye's music scene. It has a very good reputation and organises regular concerts. It is also a place where musicians of all ages can meet up and form bands.

Perhaps the most successful band to come from Hendaye is the basque ska-punk band Skunk, who have made many albums.

Theatre and performance

The Cinéma les Variétés is a large classic theatre and cinema, which is a regular venue for theatre, dancing, and performance arts. There is also a cinema at Sokoburu, near the quartier de la Plage, called the Salle Antoine d'Abbadie, but it is only used on special occasions.

The Théâtre des Chimères, from Biarritz, regularly perform at Hendaye.

Art and literature

The Médiathèque municipale François Mitterrand is a public library offering books, magazines, films, and CDs. There is also an art gallery, which is the main one for Hendaye.


These a few of the regular festivals in Hendaye:

  • Bixintxo (St Vincent)
  • Mai du théâtre (theatre festival throughout the month)
  • Fête du cidre (cider festival)
  • Fête de la musique (music festival)
  • Fête de la Mer (festival of the Sea)
  • Fête Basque (basque festival)


Most of the town's restaurants are found in the quartier de la Plage and along the Bay of Txingudi waterfront.

Hendaye is locally well known for the quality of its txurros.


The town is an important railway junction, as Spain's mainline trains use a broader gauge than continental Europe, with the French railway network finishing here on the banks of the Bidasoa. There is also a station serving the beach quarter (Hendaye Plage) prior to the terminus, called the Gare des Deux Jumeaux. Basque rapid transit system Metro Donostialdea linking the town to Donostia-San Sebastián gets right to Hendaye, by the SNCF station.

There has been recent controversy concerning the new LGV Sud Europe Atlantique (TGV line), which is planned to pass inland of Hendaye without stopping in or anywhere near the town itself. Most of the local population, along with that of the rest of the Côte Basque, are in favour of the TGV, but against the new line, which would destroy the surrounding countryside, bypassing the town completely. It has therefore been suggested to upgrade the present line to make it suitable for the TGV, with a stop at Hendaye station. It is argued that this would also be much less expensive, and would stimulate the local economy.


The commune of Biriatou to the south is the only other official member of the urban area. However, Béhobie, a quartier of Urrugne, situated between the communes of Hendaye and Biriatou, is generally regarded as a much more significant part of the agglomeration.

Twin towns

Hendaye currently has two twin towns:

Notable people

  • Pierre Loti lived and died here (1894-1923). His house in Hendaye, Bakhar-Etchea ('La maison du solitaire'), still exists.
Maison loti
House of Pierre Loti, rue des Pêcheurs.


  • It is the western end of the GR 10 long distance footpath.
  • It marks the beginning (or end) of the Raid Pyreneen long distance cycle challenge.
  • The Endaika rowing club was founded in 1889 and won three silver medals in the French championships in 2006 and 2007, and a coastal world championship gold medal in 2014.
  • Hendaye has a Rugby and handball club, the Stade Hendayais, which was founded in 1908.
  • It has a football club, the Eglantins.
  • It has a surf club, the Bidasoa Surf Club.
  • Hendaye is a popular surfing destination renowned for its soft beach break waves suitable for beginners.
  • Since 2004, the world conception center for the watersports brand Tribord is located in Hendaye.
  • Hendaye is renowned for its marina, which has 850 places, making it the third largest in Aquitaine.
  • Tennis players gather for the Summer tennis tournament.

See also


  1. ^ "Populations légales 2016". INSEE. Retrieved 25 April 2019.
  2. ^ Arrival of the railway to Hendaye, in Histoires de Hendaye
  3. ^ da Silva, Helena (January 2018). "Um hospital português em França na Grande Guerra" (in Portuguese). 8 (2). História - Revista da FLUP: 127–150. doi:10.21747/0871164X/hist8_2a7. Retrieved 27 April 2019.

External links

1929–30 French Rugby Union Championship

The 1929−30 French Rugby Union Championship of first division was won by Agen that defeated the Quillan in the final.

The Championship was contested by 40 clubs divided in 8 pools of five.

Some team were qualified for their results in regional championship: CASG (2nd in Paris), Libourne (4th en Côte d'Argent), FC Lyon (4th en Lyonnais) and CS Oyonnax (5th du Lyonnais).

Five new clubs was promoted in the "Excellence" : Hendaye, Lyon OU, Oyonnax, Roanne (champion Honneur 1929) and Soustons.

They raplace Stade Bagnères, Dax. Mazamet, Montauban and Racing.

Bera, Navarre

Bera is a town and municipality located in the province and autonomous community of Navarre, northern Spain. The river Bidasoa crosses the town before entering Gipuzkoa at Endarlatsa, and joining the Cantabrian Sea (Bay of Biscay) between the towns of Hendaye and Hondarribia.

GR 10 (France)

The GR 10 is a French GR footpath, or hiking trail, that runs the length of the Pyrenees Mountains. It roughly parallels the French–Spanish border on the French side. Those attempting the entire trail often choose to walk it from west to east, from Hendaye on the Bay of Biscay to Banyuls-sur-Mer on the Mediterranean Sea, but it can just as easily be traversed east to west.

Gare d'Hendaye

The gare d'Hendaye is a railway station in Hendaye, France, on the Bordeaux-Irun and Madrid-Hendaye lines. The station is served by TGV high speed trains, Lunéa night trains, Intercités long distance and TER local services operated by the SNCF, Trenhotel and Arco services operated by RENFE, and EuskoTren services.

The Euskotren narrow gauge services operate from a station on the forecourt of the SNCF station, for which separate ticketing is required.

The station is a border railway station where all trains have to stop, as those coming from/going into Spain have to change gauge from 1,435 mm (4 ft 8 1⁄2 in) standard gauge to 1,668 mm (5 ft 5 21⁄32 in) Iberian gauge. The electric pickup supply also changes here from 1500 V DC (overhead France) to 3000 V DC (overhead Spain). Between the stations of Hendaye and Irun, both track gauges run together.

Great Cross of Hendaye

The Great Cross of Hendaye (French: Croix d'Hendaye) is a stone cross located on the town square of Hendaye, in the Pyrénées-Atlantiques, in southwestern France.

Devotees of Nostradamus, the Bible Code, and especially the 2012 phenomenon, believed that a great comet would pass by, or crash into the earth in the year 2012, and interpreted the Cross of Hendaye as another reminder that 2012 would be the end.

Henry Chilton

Sir Henry Getty Chilton (15 October 1877 – 20 November 1954) was a British diplomat who was minister to the Vatican and ambassador to Chile, to Argentina, and to Spain during the Spanish Civil War.


Hondarribia (Basque: Hondarribia; Spanish: Fuenterrabía; French: Fontarrabie) is a town situated on the west shore of Bidasoa river's mouth, in Gipuzkoa, in Basque Country, Spain.

The border town is situated on a little promontory facing Hendaye (France) over the Txingudi bay. A service boat makes the trip between the two cities. The town holds an ancient old quarter with walls and a castle. In addition, Hondarribia features a beach across the Bidasoa from the touristy housing estate Sokoburu in Hendaye, alongside a mountain called Jaizkibel providing a hilly backdrop to the town. A road leads north-east from the beach area to the Cape Higuer, located in this municipality.

The town harbours the San Sebastian Airport, which serves domestic flights. The population as of 2005 is 15,700 inhabitants.

Intercités de Nuit

Intercités de Nuit is a brand name used by France’s national railway company, SNCF, to denote overnight passenger rail services in France. It was known as Corail Lunéa before 2009 and as Lunéa from 2010-2012.

Between 2013 and 2017, most services were cancelled due to budget cuts. Only four routes, from Paris to Briançon, Albi, Latour de Carol and Nice, were kept.


Irun (Spanish: Irún, Basque: Irun) is a town of the Bidasoaldea region in the province of Gipuzkoa in the Basque Autonomous Community, Spain. It lies on the foundations of the ancient Oiasso, cited as a Roman-Vasconic town during the period.One of the biggest towns in Gipuzkoa, its border town situation (it is located on the border between Spain and France, across the Bidasoa river from Hendaye), has made Irun into a commercial and logistic centre. Irun railway station is a major break-of-gauge where the SNCF 1,435 mm (4 ft 8 1⁄2 in) standard gauge rails meet the 1,668 mm (5 ft 5 21⁄32 in) broad gauge Renfe ones. Currently Irun features a fair ground provided with modern exhibition and telecommunication facilities just at some 100 metres away from the actual borderline at the Santiago Bridge (river Bidasoa).

Irun is part of the conurbation of Txingudi bay with Hondarribia and Hendaye, the town being also involved in the Eurocité Basque Bayonne-San Sebastián (fr).

One of its main festivals is the Alarde de San Marcial, a parade recreating an episode of the Peninsular War, held on every 30 June yearly. Its main sports club is the Real Unión where its football team plays in Spain's Segunda División B.

Irun railway station

Irun is a railway station in Irun, Basque Country, Spain. The station is located on the Bordeaux - Irun, Bilbao - Hendaye and Hendaye - Madrid railway lines. The station is served by TGV (high speed trains) and Lunéa (night trains) operated by the SNCF and Alvia (High Speed Trains), Talgo, Arco, Estrella and EuskoTren services operated by RENFE.

The station is a border railway station where all trains have to stop, as those coming from/going into France have to change gauge from 1,668 mm (5 ft 5 21⁄32 in) Iberian gauge to 1,435 mm (4 ft 8 1⁄2 in) standard gauge. The electric pickup supply also changes here from 3000 V DC (overhead Spain) to 1500 V DC (overhead France). Between the stations of Hendaye and Irun, both track gauges run together.

List of Cercanías Madrid stations

This is a complete list of the railway stations served by Cercanías Madrid services.

Maurice Jouvet

Maurice Jouvet (Hendaye, 3 February 1923 – Buenos Aires, 5 March 1999) was a French-born Argentine actor.

He was a relative of French actor and theatre director Louis Jouvet (1887–1951). He was married to actress Nelly Beltrán, their daughter was actress Mónica Jouvet.

Meeting at Hendaye

The Meeting of Hendaye, or interview of Hendaye took place between Francisco Franco and Adolf Hitler (at the time, Caudillo of Spain and Führer of Germany respectively). It occurred on October 23, 1940 at the Hendaye railway station in Hendaye, France, near the Spanish-French border, attended by the Foreign Affairs ministers, Ramón Serrano Súñer of Spain and Joachim von Ribbentrop of Nazi Germany.

The object of the meeting was to attempt to resolve disagreements over the conditions for Spain to join the Axis Powers in their war against the British Empire. However, after seven hours of talks, the Spanish demands still appeared extortionate to Hitler: the handing over of Gibraltar once the UK was defeated; the cession of French Morocco and part of French Algeria; the attachment of French Cameroon to the Spanish colony of Guinea; and German supplies of food, petrol and arms to relieve the critical economic and military situation faced by Spain after the civil war. At this time, Hitler did not wish to disturb his relations with the Vichy French regime. The only concrete result was the signing of a secret agreement under which Franco was committed to entering the war at a date of his own choosing, while Hitler gave only vague guarantees that Spain would receive "territories in Africa". It is possible that Franco specifically asked for high demands in order for Hitler to not force Spain to join in the war effort.

Metro Donostialdea

Metro Donostialdea is a rapid transit (metro) system serving the city of San Sebastián and the Donostialdea area, within Gipuzkoa and reaching the city of Hendaye. The line was renamed Metro Donostialdea and converted into an urban rapid transit system in August 2012, and it was previously known as the Topo line ("topo" being Spanish for "mole") and part of the Euskotren Trena commuter rail network. In August 2012 its livery was changed to reflect the new brand, metro donostialdea, and new stations were opened, creating the called "Line 1" and seven new stations are expected to be constructed and opened within the city of San Sebastián to complete the aforementioned first line It is operated by the Basque Railways and it uses meter gauge.

Once fully finished, it will become the second metro system in the Basque Country, after Metro Bilbao which was opened in 1995. The metro network expects to give rapid transit services to 65% of the population of Gipuzkoa and will serve important towns and cities as Lasarte-Oria, San Sebastián, Pasaia, Errenteria, Irun and Hendaye. The network of Metro Donostialdea is connected with the rest of the Euskotren Trena network and with SNCF.

Pauline Ado

Pauline Ado is a French professional surfer. She won a bronze medal for France at the World Surfing Championship.

Pyrénées-Atlantiques's 6th constituency

The 6th constituency of the Pyrénées-Atlantiques (French: Sixième circonscription des Pyrénées-Atlantiques) is a French legislative constituency in the Pyrénées-Atlantiques département. Like the other 576 French constituencies, it elects one MP using the two-round system, with a run-off if no candidate receives over 50% of the vote in the first round.

TER Aquitaine

TER Aquitaine was the regional rail network serving the Aquitaine région, France. In 2017 it was merged into the new TER Nouvelle-Aquitaine.

Municipalities in Labourd (Lapurdi)
Communes of the Pyrénées-Atlantiques department

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