- GEORGINA HOWARD
- HOLIDAY TYPES
- DATES 2022
- PRESS & REVIEWS
Two decades ago our amazing renovated farmhouse in the Pyrenees was just a tiny shepherd's croft but with some of the most beautiful views I had ever seen. Then there was just one tiny bedroom in the hayloft and an outside bathroom.
Many things have changed since and now our amazing farmhouse in the Pyrenees offers guests 5 en-suite bedrooms set within landscapes gardens and flowery, south-facing terraces.
However, there is one thing that has not changed: these stunning - other-worldly - views and the constant ringing of the sheep bells in the hills.
Guests are lodged in a separate wing of the farmhouse and each will be allocated one of our 5 en-suite double rooms with its sweeping views of the valley below. We have an open-plan kitchen, dining room, library, WIFI, central heating and a log fire. I also have a washing machine which you are welcome to use (and guests on European tours tend to make a beeline for it when they arrive!). The entire house is open to our guests so please make yourself at home; there is coffee, tea, wine and biscuits in the kitchen, books in the library - and a stock of extra jackets, walking poles, umbrellas etc. if you need them.
And then there are the grounds. This fairy-tale farmhouse in the Pyrenees comes with enormous south-facing terraces and landscaped gardens with such incredible views over the valley that my morning cup of tea often goes cold by the time I draw myself away!
Guests on our self-guided walking holidays find the villages full of great family-run restaurants and an experience that offers a fascinating window on local village life.
Insiders Tip: One of our favourite Basque restaurants in Donamaria turned down a Michelin star! Many of our walks lead there and its shady gardens on the river bank offer a great place for an aperitif on a sunny afternoon.
As I am inviting guests into my home it is very important that we all feel comfortable, and that you understand the ethos of these holidays. Firstly, I would like you to feel at home so do help yourselves to tea, coffee, wine whenever you want.
By the same token I welcome a helping hand from time to time serving the wine or laying the table, and I am convinced that the more you feel part of the family, the more we all gain from the experience.
Most often our guests do not know each other and our relaxed 'communal' dinners and 'open house' philosophy are designed specifically to put guests at their ease and group dynamics to flow.
However, as we are all sharing the same communal areas we naturally hope that guests treat the house as they would their own: i.e. blowing out the candles or swilling through a wine glass after dinner and please close the gates (as the sheep are desperate to get into my newly planted garden!).
Oh and please remind me to water the flowers, feed the cats or restock on beers and wines when stocks run low!
Our objective is not to emulate the 5 star hotel business, but to provide socially and enviromentally-sustainable experiences with a personal touch. We offer you immaculate, freshly-laundered bedrooms but do not operate room service during your stay (there are always fresh towels available if you ask). Our water system comes from a spring and we minimise the use of cars and fuels when we can. In doing this I hope to attract discerning and environmentally-sensitive travellers who seek something a little more genuine. In turn, I extend a warm welcome into the heart of my home and I will do all I can (personally and professionally) to provide an authentic introduction to the little-known world of the mountain shepherds of the Basque Pyrenees.
Ituren is a small village in the western Pyrenees in northern Navarra. We are situated just 30 minutes south of the French border, an hour south-west of Biarritz, an hour south-east of the glorious seaside town of San Sebastian and an hour north of the medieval town of Pamplona.
You can arrive to our farmhouse by car (but please ask for directions). By an easy local bus from San Sebastian or Pamplona to our local village of Santesteban/Doneztebe (where we can meet you). We can also arrange taxi pick-ups from San Sebastian. We will do everything we can to help you arrive.
Articles on the culture, languages, traditions and values of the Basque Pyrenees as well as stories taken from over two decades of our own, personal Pyrenean Experience.