“Stunning place and lovely people, the best holiday I have had when travelling alone.” Llinos Rowlands. See all comments.
What do we do?
For fifteen years our Basque farmhouse in the Spanish Pyrenees has run international house parties for guests from all walks of life and from countries all over the world.
Each house party offers our guests a relaxed portfolio of guided or self-guided walking holidays in the Pyrenees while on a few select dates a year we also run our celebrated total immersion Spanish language holidays made famous by reports in the Guardian, Observer, Times and Daily Mail.
These unique and very personal house party holidays not only draw on the experience of our Basque/Spanish/English family but also on the experiences of neighbours and family friends.
Farmers, millers, shepherds, smugglers, chefs and musicians share their backstage knowledge with our guests, allowing them a privileged insight into these wildly beautiful, mediaeval landscapes. Every path taken comes with its own personal story, offering a unique window on the little-known mountain culture of the Basques.
Our exclusive Spanish language house parties offer a total immersion Spanish and walking holiday for enthusiastic adult learners of the Spanish language. They are hosted by native Spanish teachers and guides and are available to a limited number of guests.
Our walking weeks are hosted in English and combine either guided or self-guided walks with a personally chosen potpourri of Basque fiestas and gourmet restaurants. Vulture, watermills, Patxarran and pagan Basque rituals all playing their part!
However, all weeks are run in our unique open-house house-party style, offering our guests a relaxed home-from-home, dinners on the terrace and a lively and intercultural meeting of minds.
We welcome people of all ages and walks of life, embracing solo travellers with NO single supplements!
See reviews in THE TIMES, THE OBSERVER, THE GUARDIAN and THE DAILY MAIL or see our guests’ COMMENTS on their experiences during their stay.
Who are we?
We are a small family company totally integrated into the traditional farming community of Ameztia, Ituren. I am English, my partner, Iñaki, is Basque Spanish as is my young shepherdess-of-a-daughter, Marion! We support the local community and work closely with our neighbours who genuinely welcome people onto their farms.
(Sagrario is amazed that her home-made sheep´s cheese has travelled as far as Australia!).
I love my work, which has allowed us all to meet wonderful people. Fifteen years on, the cultural exchanges in Ameztia still excite and enrich us all.
Where are we?
We live in the tiny mountain village of Ituren in Navarre, acknowledged internationally for the depths of its Basque culture. The pagan carnivals held in January have been protected by UNESCO as part of Spain’s intangible cultural heritage.
Ituren lies about half an hour south of the French border in the extreme western Pyrenees. (Hence many a smuggler’s tale!).
Less than an hour to the south lies the mediaeval city of Pamplona. To the north lie the glorious beaches of Biarritz and the lively tapas bars of San Sebastian.
How do we do it?
Our ethos is relaxed and informal, the international house-party spirit is dynamic and fun and every meal and glass of wine is on the house (which seems the only civilised way to run a holiday). But do not be deceived by the lazy lunches on the terrace and the views of vultures circling below, for we are also a team of highly-focused professionals passionately dedicated to all that we do. We see absolutely no reason why the two should not go hand in hand!
Georgina Howard (Author: Freedom to Choose (1996). Breaking the Language Barrier (2001))
P.S. To get a closer idea of what we do, please check out the personal comments of over 60 guests.
E-mail us or phone us on + 44 (0) 121 711 3428 or + 34 650 713 759 for further information.