- GEORGINA HOWARD
- HOLIDAY TYPES
- DATES 2022
- PRESS & REVIEWS
Our self-guided walking holidays in the Pyrenees take place in a region that few people know. We live in the traditional Basque farmlands of the western Pyrenees which offer a very 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 breathtaking views - Griffon vultures flying high in the sky above us (the focus of some of our walks on our guided walking holidays). These self-guided walking weeks in Spain zigzag in and out of wooded glades of chestnut, oak and beech trees which change with the seasons and offer a photographer's paradise!
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. But how could I invite guests into my home without giving them a personal introduction to my area? So, naturally, on the first days, I offer you a couple of guided orientation walks too, making sure that you 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. There are walks for most levels (see below).
These fully-supported, hand-held walking holidays are also perfect for walkers embarking on a self-guided walking holiday for their first time.
Yet there is another important dimension to our self-guided walking holidays in the Pyrenees. Each evening all our guests enjoy an informal dinner party around the farmhouse table 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 and Basque music recitals so that guests on these self-guided walking weeks in the Pyrenees experience the landscapes not only in distance but in depth.
Inevitably, conversations turn to tales of the Basque shepherds, smugglers and witches and also the World War II COMET escape lines that crossed these mysterious borderlands of the Basque Pyrenees - the theme of some of the walks on our guided walking holidays.
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:
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!
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.
DATES 2022: Friday 29th April - 6th May / Wednesday 8th - 15th June / Tuesday 21st - 28th June / Friday 29th July - 5th August / Tuesday 9th - 16th August / Monday 12th - 19th September / Monday 26th September - 3rd October / Thursday 6th - 13th October / Thursday 27th October - 3rd November 2022
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.