The Spanish Pyrenees, Ituren and the Hamlet of Ameztia
“Really, I don’t want hordes of people trying to descend on this little farmhouse in the Basque country, but I would be lying if I weren’t to say it was a magnificent week.” Alan Weingrad. (See comments)
All our holidays take place in the hamlet of Ameztia in Ituren; a mountain paradise of friendly farming families. Our guests stay either in rooms at our home, Marionenea, or at Goitzargi, a newly-built chalet on a working mountain farm on the adjacent property.
Both beautifully-renovated farmhouses have newly-furbished rooms with either own/en-suite bathrooms where every window boasts such breath-taking views of the Pyrenees that my cup of tea is usually cold by the time I draw myself away!
All our holidays are run in ‘open-house’, ‘house-party’ style; our ethos and philosophy are described below and are an vital part of the Pyrenean Experience
Here, in Ameztia, you can while away the hours chatting to the neighbours and watching the comings and goings of Basque rural life.
UNESCO has recognised Ituren for its ancient, pagan, carnival processions which normally take place in the month of January. However, this recognition only serves to highlight the depth of tradition in the area. Many of our holidays tie in with local fiestas where we join the locals for a feast ‘comida popular’, in the village square.
Here the medieval landscape is dramatic. Bracken stacks are still made by hand, and neighbouring farms still make bread, cheese, preserves and Patxaran – much of which ends up on our farmhouse table.
We also rent our cottage separately at Marionenea. For rental details please look at Iaulin Borda
House-parties in the Pyrenees
I am convinced that the greater the diversity of people the better, and we warmly welcome people of all ages and walks of life. (A philosophy we have upheld for the past 15 years).
As many people choose to come on their own it is a personal challenge to create a warm and open atmosphere where everyone can feel at home. Part of this is our open-house philosophy, so please help yourselves freely to food, wine and washing machine whenever you want. (By the same token, do remind me to water the flowers or replenish the wine if stocks are running low!).
All meals are freshly prepared, using as much produce as we can from our neighbours’ farms but if you feel like giving us a hand (only if you want to, of course) please don’t hesitate to join in.
Help serving the wine, laying the table or making the salads is always happily received and we do find that the more our guests get involved, the more everyone gains from the experience.
As far as the Spanish language holidays are concerned giving a hand cutting the garlic or making a tortilla can be a great vocabulary exercise and a natural part of life in Spain.
We would like to pay tribute to some of our past guests’ great culinary contributions: Jean’s wonderful blackberry and apple crumbles, Angela’s devils pasta sauce, Juana’s ajoarriero and Peter’s fantastic curries. Phil and Paul’s tortilla competition will go down in history! We use local produce whenever we can and pick up fresh eggs, cheese, tomatoes, lettuces, courgettes etc. from my neighbours’ farms. Cherries, apples, chestnuts, blackberries, walnuts and figs can often be picked straight from the trees. Please enquire.