- ABOUT US
- HOLIDAY TYPES
- THE FARMHOUSE
- PRESS REPORTS & REVIEWS
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 Spanish language immersion holidays with genuine conversation and local Spanish people.
“Don´t confuse this Spanish language immersion holiday with a normal language course. There is so much freedom to learn from real people in real situations, in some of the most stunning scenery I’ve ever seen. Quite simply, this was one of the best holidays I have ever experienced.” Scott. Warlingham. IT Manager. (TripAdvisor Reviews)
Our total immersion Spanish language courses in Spain unfold at our family farmhouse perched high among the picturesque villages of the Spanish Pyrenees. We have run these courses for over 20 years and are experienced teachers, hosts, writers and guides but - what is more - we still passionately enjoy meeting our guests and the dimensions they bring to our lives.
These Spanish immersion 'house-parties' are ideal for adult learners of the Spanish language who want to avoid the anonymous city-based language schools and welcome discerning adults who enjoy the countryside, learning languages and who have a genuine interest in other people.
We are not a large course centre but a family farmhouse and our house has a limited number of bedrooms which means that 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 where we embroil family, farmers, villagers and friends. Spanish cooks, musicians and historians also enter the plot. Every path we walk, every ‘tortilla’ we share, every village bar and fiesta offers our guests genuine opportunities to converse with native Spanish speakers and integrate into the local farming community.
Each evening our Spanish language immersion holidays wind down with a series of relaxed dinner parties around the farmhouse table, facilitated by our great friend and cook, Begoñia ... who always has an interesting story to tell!
Friends, historians, neighbours, musicians, shepherds and farmers and all sorts of other characters enter the plot!
Our Total Immersion Spanish Courses in Spain are run at Three Different Levels
INTERMEDIATE & UPPER INTERMEDIATE COURSES: MORE DETAILS: Our Spanish Immersion Courses are not your average classroom experience. We offer 2 hrs a day of formal Spanish classes (totaling 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 immersion, conversation and vocabulary-building exercises too. While students have 2 hrs a day of formal classes, the rest of the day is spent practicing your Spanish skills with locals, whether that is on a gentle guided walk to see the magnificant landscapes of the Basque Pyrenees, visiting friends and local experts in the villages or stopping by our neighbours' farms to listen to their stories of life in the Pyrenees. A cold beer in a village bar or a stop to sample the local Basque cuisine is always on the agenda. Your exposure to the Spanish language is not limited to a classroom context at all and our 'razon de ser' is to offer you inumerable opportunities to speak Spanish and immerse yourself in the local village life.
ELEMENTARY COURSES: MORE DETAILS: Elementary Spanish courses offer the same activities as above as well as an intense Spanish-speaking experience, however we do use some translation in order to help our guests get the most from some of our cultural activities and appreciate the fascinating history of the Basque Pyrenees.
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.
TOTAL BEGINNER CLASSES. MORE DETAILS: Spanish students can also combine a module of Spanish lessons with one of our Total Pyrenean Experience Self-guided Walking Weeks. 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! Here days can be enjoyed together with a programme of guided or self-guided walks before relaxing in the evening with our bi-lingual dinner parties, gastronomy and music events.
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 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.
In the middle of our Spanish language immersion weeks, our guests enjoy a free day when they 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).
We only have space for a handful of guests on each of our Spanish language immersion weeks and our guests are lodged in a separate wing of our home in one of 5 en-suite double rooms. Each room has an amazing view over the valley and breakfast, lunch and evening meals can be enjoyed on our sunny south-facing terraces framed by 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.
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.
20th - 27th May (ES1) 3rd - 10th August (ES2) More Dates: Beginner Spanish students may also take a Spanish course during one of our Self-Guided Walking Weeks.
2nd - 9th May (IS1) 15th - 22nd July (IS2) 12th - 19th August (IS3) 19th - 26th October (IS4)
11th - 18th May (AS1) 24th - 31st July (AS2) 5th - 12th September (AS3)
Full-board accommodation with own / en-suite bathrooms at our family farmhouse
All food, all wine, all restaurant meals
A unique 5-and-a-half-day walking/cultural/gastronomy programme with on-going professional Spanish immersion teaching and conversation throughout all activities
Ten hours of formal Spanish lessons and grammatical tuition by a highly qualified teacher
Free shuttle service from Biarritz airport at specific times. There is also an easy local bus service from San Sebastian and Pamplona to our nearby village of (Santesteban/Doneztebe) from where we are also happy to pick up our guests.