Self-Guided Walking Holidays in Spain
Holiday Highlights

Self guided walks icon Pyrenean Experience

Documented Trails

Detailed maps of 15 circular walks from the front door. 200 km of beautiful walking trails

Self guided walks - Pyrenean Experience

Diversity

Villages, farms, rivers and mountains. Easy day trips to Pamplona & San Sebastian.

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All-inclusive

Inclusive 'open-house' holidays. Cultural activities unavailable to the general public

Exclusive Events

Informal dinner parties, private chef, wine tastings and Basque music concerts

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Tradition

Family business with 20 years of experience. Reviews in the Observer, Guardian and Times

The Basque Mountain Experience

Self-guided walking holidays for singles and groups

Circular self-guided walks from the house

A Different Landscape at Every Turn

Our self-guided walking holidays in the Pyrenees take place in a part of the Pyrenees that almost no-body knows! We are located in the traditional Basque farmlands of the western Pyrenees which offer a totally different walking experience from the glaciated valleys of the high Pyrenees or the Alps.

These landscapes are softer, dissected by hundreds of mountain streams and river valleys and dotted with tiny medieval villages and isolated homesteads. Each turn of the path reveals another landscape and breath-taking views.

These self-guided walking weeks in Spain lead you through varied landscapes zigzagging in and out of wooded glades of chestnut, oak and beech trees which change with the seasons and offer a photographer's paradise! (As you see from our pictures!)

There is ABSOLUTELY no need to change accommodation every night when there are so many varied walking trails from just one door!

Pyrenean Experience - Morning misty at Baque Country Mountains
Walking holidays in Spain

The Basque Pyrenees Revealed

Guests joining our self-guided walking weeks in the Pyrenees are provided with 14 detailed maps and extensive walking notes which are up-dated weekly.

Each walking kit also comes with a booklet on the history and culture of the Basque mountain farmers of the Pyrenees,  giving an important dimension to each of the walks.

Moreover, on the first days we offer our guests a couple of guided orientation walks too, making sure that they are happy using the maps and have a feel for the lie of the land.

These self-guided walks also offer an introduction to the history of Basque mountain and village life.

Decide over breakfast on our terrace which landscape or village to visit each day. No rush. No timetables. Walks for most levels (see below).

These fully-supported, hand-held walking holidays are perfect for walkers embarking on a self-guided walking holiday for their first time.

Self-guided walking maps from Basque Country Pyrenees
Self-guided walking week gstronomy

Local Gastronomy & Basque Secrets

HOWEVER there is another important dimension to our self-guided walking holidays in the Pyrenees, and each evening our guests join us for a series of informal dinner parties around the farmhouse table which lies within our glass conservatory and offers our guests amazing views of the Pyrenees.

These evening dinner parties are facilitated by our private chef who cooks freshly-prepared 3-course meals each evening, accompanied by unlimited local wines and beers.

Throughout the week we also organise a programme of cultural events: wine tastings, cooking demonstrations , history talks and Basque music recitals so that guests on both our guided and self-guided walking weeks in the Pyrenees experience the landscapes not only in distance but in depth.

Inevitably, our after-dinner conversations turn to the history of the area and we tell you the tales of the  Basque shepherds, smugglers and witches, and the World War II COMET escape lines that crossed through these mysterious borderlands of the Basque Pyrenees.

Self-guided walking wine tasting
Pyrenean Experience live music concert
Self-guided walking week wine tasting

The Total Basque Mountain Experience

Self-guided walking weeks in the Pyrenees for all levels

easy walk icon

Gentle

These walks follow gentle country paths around our hamlet and along grassy ridge tops without descending to the valley floor. Our 4.2 km farm walk weaves between farmsteads and meadows giving walkers the chance to observe the shepherds at work on their farms. There are other gentle walks around the 17th century villages on the valley floor.

Moderate

The majority of the walks are of moderate difficulty and link one or several of the 10 villages surrounding our farmhouse. These 8 km – 15 km village-to-village river walks (with 300 – 500m ascents) pass through quintessential Basque villages such as Ituren, Zubieta, Elgorriaga, Donestebe, Donamaria and Saldias. Here you can stop for a drink or a Basque lunch in the bar and observe village life.

Challenging

For more advanced walkers we have multiple 18km plus crest top and summit walks (with ascents of 900 -1000 m).The higher peaks of Mendaur to the north and Muñazorrotz to the south (both over 1000 m) can be reached by a 5 – 7hr mountain walk with a 800 – 1000 m altitude gain with views of the Atlantic and the Central Pyrenees.

Further information on our self-guided walking weeks in the Pyrenees

pyrenean experience - tapas and welcome for guests on our guided walking weeks in the Basque Country

Our family farmhouse and walking centre in the Basque Pyrenees

To see examples of a couple of our self-guided walks in the Pyrenees such as the gentle Ameztia Farm and Meadow Walk 4.2 km (Ituren) or the high-level mountain walk Ituren -Mt. Mendaur - Elgorriaga Walk 17.8km click here.

Another lunchtime on the terrace

Meals

Guests are invited to help themselves to coffee, tea, beer, wine and biscuits etc.  The house is always full of bread, cheeses, fruits, salad and wine and so no one ever need go hungry! We provide:

  • Full continental breakfasts
  • A sandwich service is provided for our guests on the self-guided walking holidays
  • Full three-course evening meals with wine and a private chef as well as a full cultural and gastronomy 'house-party' programme
Spanish holiday food

There are many great, family-run restaurants in the villages, and walkers joining one of our self-guided walking weeks in the Pyrenees often opt to have lunch in one of the villages that lie on their walks. These moments in village inns also offer a fascinating window on local village life.

One of our favourite Basque restaurants in Donamaria even turned down a Michelin star! With wonderful gardens leading down to the river, this is one of our most beloved places on a sunny afternoon!

Pyrenean Experience farmhouse at night

Accommodation

Farmhouse

Guests on both our guided and self-guided walking weeks are lodged in a separate wing of our home in one of our 5 en-suite double rooms, each with a view over the Pyrenees and morning mists in the valleys below. These rooms are also suitable for single and solo travellers and there is no single supplement. 

Here you can breakfast on our sunny south-facing terraces or enjoy evening aperitifs in our landscaped gardens. Our guests have full use of our open-plan kitchen, library, living and dining spaces and a free self-service bar of tea, coffee, wine and beers. There is WIFI, central heating and a log fire.

Read more about our Farmhouse Accommodation.

Pyrenean Experience farmhouse in Basque Country
Pyrenean Experience suite
Pyrenean Experience Raimbow at Pyrenees Mountains

Location / Travel to our Farmhouse

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, by public transportation from San Sebastian or Pamplona to our local village of Santesteban/Doneztebe (where we can meet you) and we also offer a free shuttle service from Biarritz airport at specific times. PLEASE ASK FOR TRAVEL DETAILS.

Total Basque Mountain Experience
Dates & Prices

Self-Guided Walking Holidays in the Spanish Pyrenees

DATES 2019. ALL HOLIDAYS ARE NOW FULL. DATES 2020

Friday 29 May - 5 June (SG1)

Monday 8 - 15 June (SG2)

Thursday 18 - 25 June (SG3)

Thursday 9 - 16 July (SG4)

Monday 14 - 21 September (SG 5)

Mon 28 - 5 October (SG6)

Thursday 8 -15 October (SG7)

Price 2020

1100 € Euros

1100 € . Prices are per person based on 2 people sharing.

Price Includes:

  • Welcome reception and introduction to the Basque culture of the Baztan Valley and the Basque Pyrenees
  • Several guided orientation walks to set reference points for the week’s walking and an introduction to Basque mountain and village life.
  • Local maps, detailed walking and cultural notes and access to our private Wikiloc page and on-line maps.
  • Accommodation: A double en-suite room with views overlooking the valley
  • All meals, drinks and snacks: Full continental breakfasts, a lunchtime sandwich service and a full three-course evening meal with wine at our house dinner party.
  • Exclusive Basque gastronomy and culture events. Wine tasting. Music recitals. History talks. Cooking demonstrations.
  • A free shuttle service from Biarritz airportat specific times or pick up from the local village Santesteban/Doneztebe. PLEASE ASK FOR DETAILS.

Spanish Lessons: Guests on our self-guided walking weeks in the Pyrenees can choose a 10 hour package of formal Spanish lessons and informal conversation at beginners/elementary level with a professional Spanish teacher. These 10 hrs of Spanish lessons cost an additional 200 Euros per booking. PLEASE ASK.

Further information

Blog

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.

Press Releases

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