- ABOUT US
- HOLIDAY TYPES
- THE FARMHOUSE
- BAZTAN VALLEY
- DATES & PRICES 2018
- PHOTOS & VIDEOS
We believe a language is to be spoken and cannot be severed from a people, a culture or a setting and so our aim is to offer relaxed and dynamic total immersion Spanish holidays with genuine conversation with local Spanish people.
Our total immersion Spanish courses in Spain unfold at our family farmhouse in Ituren, perched high among the picture-postcard villages of the Spanish Pyrenees. Hosted by professional Spanish teachers and embroiling family, farmers, villagers and friends our Spanish ‘house parties’ are ideal for motivated, adult learners of the Spanish language from all over the world. However our house has a limited number of bedrooms and we can only accommodate a handful of guests at one time.
Each week knits together a programme of formal Spanish tuition with an eclectic mix of gentle country walks, lunches and cultural and social events. Every path we walk, every ‘tortilla’ we share, every village bar and fiesta offer our guests genuine opportunities to converse with native Spanish speakers and integrate into the local farming community.
The intermediate and upper-intermediate Spanish courses offer around 8 hrs a day of total immersion in the Spanish language, however the level of the grammar treated in the classes is different. The elementary courses also offer an intense Spanish-speaking experience too however we do use some translation in order to help our guests get the most from some of our cultural activities
Our Spanish teachers are highly qualified and, as we work with very small groups, we do our best to give individual attention to each of our guests during their stay. We offer 2 hrs a day of formal Spanish classes (totalling 10 hrs a week), where the teacher focuses on the structures and grammatical ‘nuts and bolts’ of the Spanish language. However, the programme of daily activities also offers round-the-clock informal Spanish tuition, conversation and vocabulary-building exercises too.
Total beginner Spanish students can also combine a module of Spanish lessons with one of our Self-Guided Walking & Basque Culture Holidays. This makes an ideal holiday for guests who want to study Spanish but are travelling with partners or friends who do not share the same zeal for language learning!
After a continental breakfast on the terrace we head out into the hills – usually straight from the farmhouse door. As we tie up our walking boots we adopt our ‘Spanish-speaking' personas for the rest of the day and all the activities from then on (until dinner) are run in Spanish. The hill walks are taken at a gentle pace and are perfect for normally healthy people of all ages used to regular exercise. They usually take 2 – 3 hrs and offer a bucolic back-stage introduction to the local Basque culture. We stop off at farms and villages, explore the local architecture, watermills and fiestas, and are infamous for kidnapping the unsuspecting friends and farmers we meet en route. Talks are organised with local experts, guides, millers, cooks and historians and rarely a bar is passed without stopping for a cool beer.
Lunch may be tapas at the village inn, lunch at a family restaurant or a picnic in the hills. After an afternoon siesta, (and you are expected to dream in Spanish!), we offer a formal 2 hr Spanish language lesson with a professional Spanish teacher who develops a structured platform of grammar, vocabulary, idioms and expressions.
The immersion methods only slide to a halt at dinner time which is a time to relax in whatever language one chooses (free from the shackles of ‘para’ and ‘por’). These evenings on the terrace offer a relaxed and inspiring meeting of minds and a fun exchange of languages, cultural anecdotes, ideas and experiences.
Midweek there is a free day when guests can explore further afield. Many choose to take a local bus to sample the pintxos (Basque tapas) in the coastal towns of San Sebastian or Hondarribia, or head south to explore the mediaeval city of Pamplona. (Others decide to stay in the hills and go off on one of many self-guided walks leading straight from the farmhouse door).