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 Alto de Jaizkibe

One can get the impression, that all coastal roads in Europe are traffic nightmares. Not so this one - even though getting to the eastern starting point may involve a lot of traffic. For being so close to the shore this is a remarkably high summit, with some great views.

external slide show

1.(00.0km,0010m)START-END EAST:beach in Hondarribe
2.(05.5km,0190m)Quadalupeca Hermita
3.(10.7km,0451m)TOP: Alto de Jaizkibe
4.(18.7km,0026m)jct in Pasaia, right goes to port
5,(21.9km,0010m)START-END WEST:low point in Erenteria


Approaches

From East.
It wasn't exactly easy for me to find the starting point of the profile on this side. But most people probably go about it in some better way. It was still an interesting search, even if it involved a lot of traffic. I approached this area from the Basque Corniche, that is the road along the French coast, and a big touristic attraction - and that spells traffic.

The key to getting to the town Hondarribla from the French side is, that you have to cross the border on busy N10 (as far as I know), then not take the first exit, but the second, which first heads south, and only later north. Spanish exits are funny that way. Then once on the edge of Hondarribia and its chateau, that looks so scenic and characteristically french, from the French side with all its expansive lawns and expensive manicured landscaping, the road to Jaizkibe stays west of the town. The ride through and above the town is interesting and scenic too, but it leads back to the same traffic circle west of the beach town.

As far as this actual route is concerned, where did all the traffic go ? I guess it is all just parked at the beach somewhere. This wide regular road contours up the forested slope in peace and quiet. The first really magnificent views of the cracy traffic jams below open up as the road reaches a quiet chapel with adjacent park, overlooking the Atlantic end of the Pyrenees, or do you call them the Cantabrian Mountains here already ? There are concrete road spurs to other points above the coast from here. I started down one, but became worried about the spokes -very bumpy - mountain bike territory. So I elected to stay on the road. There, a short downhill made me question if that was already the summit. But no - there still is a real workout to come, and all the good views to the Atlantic side are still ahead.

Approaching the summit a minutely small defensive tower now forms the main attraction for a parking lot full of cars. A short distance later - at the real summit - a 2 minute hiking spur leads to a knoll overlooking the coast in both directions. That's where I would have built my defensive tower. On the other side a longer path leads up to a transmission facility


From West. (described downwards). This side has many more great Atlantic views, and the road is actually closer to the water than on the other side. The road ends at a T junction at the port of Pasaia. Going right here means a grand tour of the port - and an eventual return to this junction. It is a dead end. If not interested it is better to go left the first time.


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Dayride with this point as highest summit:

COMPLETELY PAVED

( < Collado de Ibaneta | Col d'Ibardin > )

Alto de Jaizkibe: St Jean de Luz > Basque Cornice west > Hendaye .> Hondarribla with several detours > Hondarribia > Monte Jaizkibe  > Pasaia with detour  > N10 north > back to St Jean de Luz with grocery shopping:63.0miles with 4494ft of climbing in 5:55hrs
Notes: on the verge of hot. The ride had one more over 300ft climb on N10 between Pasaia and St Jean de Luz. But it is not at least 500ft or 389m above its lowest approach point (in this case sealevel), so I don't count it.