Pyrenean Experience

“I never go anywhere twice but … I have been on Georgina’s walking holidays in the Pyrenees four times now. The area is beautiful and Georgina creates a house party atmosphere which is so much better than other well-know holiday companies!” Chris, lawyer from Norfolk. See comments.

A video on who we are and what we do

What do we do?

For almost two decades our Basque farmhouse in the Spanish Pyrenees has run international house parties for guests from all walks of life and from all over the world.

Each house party offers our guests a relaxed portfolio of guided or self-guided walking holidays in the Pyrenees, and 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 and The Times.

Each holiday is unique, and no two weeks are ever the same, as they draw on the personal experiences of our Spanish/Basque/English family, neighbours and friends.

Cava welcome on our terrace

Cava welcome on our terrace

Basque farmers, millers, shepherds, smugglers, chefs and musicians offer us their backstage knowledge and a privileged insight into the culture and gastronomy of these wildly beautiful, medieval landscapes. Every path comes with its own personal story and a unique window on the still little-known (and often misunderstood) lives of the mountain Basque people.

Our exclusive Spanish language house parties offer the additional element of language and a unique total immersion Spanish language and walking holiday for enthusiastic adult learners. Hosted by native Spanish teachers and guides, they are open to a limited number of guests.

Corn Talos and Cider in Zubieta in the Pyrenees

Corn Talos and Cider in Zubieta in the Pyrenees

Our guided and self-guided walking holidays in the Pyrenees are woven around a personally chosen potpourri of Basque fiestas and gourmet restaurants. Vultures, watermills and pagan Basque rituals (whips and lace petticoats!) all play 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 travelers 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.

Picnic in Etxalar on our Basque gastronomy & walking holidays in the Pyrenees

Picnic in Etxalar on our Basque gastronomy & walking holidays in the Pyrenees

 

Who are we?
Family photo with our neighbours
Family photo with our neighbours

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.  Over fifteen years on, the cultural exchanges in Ameztia still excite and enrich us all.

Where are we?
Our village of Ituren in the Spanish Pyrenees
Our village of Ituren in the Spanish Pyrenees

We live in the tiny mountain village of Ituren in Navarre. Although most of its buildings date back to the 16th -17th centuries, people have lived here since time immemorial and the village is acknowledged internationally for its Basque cultural roots.

The pagan carnivals held in January are now protected by UNESCO as part of Spain’s intangible cultural heritage and are hailed as possibly the oldest carnival rites in Europe.

Ituren lies about half an hour south of the French border in the extreme western Pyrenees. Less than an hour to the south lies the medieval city of Pamplona and to the north lie the glorious beaches of Biarritz and the lively tapas bars of San Sebastian.

Views of Ituren from our hamlet of Ameztia

Views of Ituren from our hamlet of Ameztia

How do we do it?
Edorta drops by to sing for us over dinner

Edorta drops by to sing for us over dinner

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 70 guests or play the short videos at the top of each page; we have thousands of photos and its seems the quickest way to give you a general overview of who we are and what we do. THANKS!

E-mail us or phone us on + 44 (0) 121 711 3428 or + 34 650 713 759 for further information.

Another lunchtime on the terrace

Another lunchtime on the terrace

Morning mists from our terrace this October
Morning mists from our terrace this October
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