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Kakouetta Gorge

Les Gorges de Kakouetta

 
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Kakouetta Gorge Kakouetta Gorge Soule Valley & Iraty Forest

One of the wildest and most renowned spots in Europe, the Gorges de Kakuetta is a dramatic place to explore. Set in the Basque mountains the gorge stretches for 2km with vertical walls rising up to 350m high and yet seldom more than a few metres apart. It is understandable that except for mid summer little light penetrates in such a deep narrow gorge and so the climate is chilly and similar to temperate rainforest.

Following the route of the gorge the path sometimes tracks the very bottom of the gorge and at other times runs along a metal catwalk enabling you to explore the very heart of the gorge with its invigorating misty air, overhanging rocks and abundant flora before reaching a spectacular waterfall. For those who don’t mind getting wet it is possible to walk right behind the twenty metre high cascade or for a more relaxing break there is a picnic area here in which to rest and just admire the scenery.

To vary your day out, just 200m further along the track La Grotte du Lac (the cave of the lake) is also worth visiting for its stunning collection of giant stalactites and stalagmites forming in the cave.

Stout walking shoes and sensible clothing are advised to make the 2 hour round trip of the gorge and after that there is even the Bar des Gorges for a well earned drink.

The village of Sainte-Engrâce also benefits from a rather special chapel. Essentially this is a small shepherds’ hamlet set in the mountains and yet the chapel, with its 630m high tower, is an imposing landmark amongst the surrounding wild scenery. In the middle ages it was a stopping place for pilgrims on the Santiago di Compostella route and even attracted the kings of Spain and Navarra. The chapel itself was built to celebrate the martyrdom of Santa Gracia, a Spanish noble woman of the 3rd century.

Fact Box

Points of interest : A dramatic Gorge
Cave with stalagmites and stalagtites
Sainte-Engrâce Chapel on 'the way of St James'

Opening dates : 15th March to 15th November
Open every day
From 8am until nightfall

Guides available :

Languages : English, French, Spanish

Prices : Adults – 4€
Children – 3.50€

Group tariff
Adults – 3.30€
Children – 2.80€

Discounted rates apply in June

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Address :64560 Sainte-Engrâce
Telephone :+33 (0)559 287344
Fax :+33 (0)559 287056