“The week of walking and gastronomy had it all, great scenery, invigorating hikes, delicious food, cultural immersion and best of all great fun. After a week with Georgina we have probably been spoiled for any other walking programs. This was everything a vacation should be!” Don. N.Y. Attorney.

Walking, Basque Culture and Gastronomy Holidays

Clandistine Pathways of the Pyrenees
The paths of the Basque Pyrenees echo with the footsteps of pilgrims, smugglers, witches, allied pilots and political refugees. But NOT with the sound of tourists. Due to previous political tensions (and the reserved nature of the Basque people) walkers find the hills to themselves and a living mountain culture of ancient traditions and human integrity.

Walking with Ancient Basque Culture and Gastronomy in the Pyrenees

Our guided (and self-guided) walking weeks are run in English and offer a once-only experience of the beautiful, fairytale landscapes of the Basque Pyrenees which, due to their geography and inscrutable language, still escape the main tourist trail. We walk the hills and celebrate feasts and fiestas with farmers, millers, cooks, wine specialists, musicians and personal friends who offer us a backstage entrance to Basque traditions and the secrets of its world-famous cuisine. Putting my hand in the fire (and there are fires to put hands in!) I promise guests some of the most charming and uncharted walks in Western Europe.

Walks

Basque Walks

The guided walks on our Walking with Basque Culture and Gastronomy weeks cover between 12 – 16 kms a day (some 4 – 5 hrs) with ascents / descents ranging from between 300 – 500 metres. However, this is not dangerous walking terrain and the walks are taken at a very relaxed pace with never an opportunity missed to stop for a cool beer in a village bar. During the walks we explore the history, culture and folklore of these mysterious mountain villages and offer our guests an array of anecdotes taken from our personal adventures of life here in the Basque Pyrenees: an area hailed as the very cradle of Basque culture; one of the oldest cultures alive in Europe today.

Smugglers and shepherds have donated a labyrinth of paths to the Basque borderlands of the Spanish Pyrenees.   Each morning - to the sound of sheep's bells and the cries of vultures - we step out from the door over mountain streams and onto the grassy ridge tops that lead away from the house. These walks wind their way over hill and dale, past crumbling barns in chestnut groves, curling their way around fields and vegetable gardens, water mills and washing stones. and on towards the medieval villages along the valley floor.

Independent walkers may be interested in exploring the 200 km of circular walks documented from the farmhouse door on one of our Self-Guided Walking & Basque Culture Holidays. 

Delicious!

Basque Gastronomy

Among my friends I am honoured to count Basque shepherds and millers, musicians and artists, cooks and wine experts, Basque sportsmen and women, historians and teachers and - above all - my wonderful, honourable, hard-working Basque neighbours of Ituren. Each week I like to meet my guests first to get a feeling for their interests before tailor-making a personal programme of cultural, gastronomic and social events with the help of my friends.

We know some amazing little restaurants too.

I promise you all a totally unique and inspiring week unlike any other!

Magic!

Basque Culture and Pagan Festivals

The pagan origins of our festivals in our mountain hamlet of Ituren, on the outskirts of the Baztan Valley, are the subject of many anthropological studies and lie at the very core of our village identity. The solemn rituals of the Joaldunak, (Guardian photo report 2018), with their whips, bells and lace petticoats are said to be some of the oldest pre-christian rites in Europe. The Joaldunak can be witnessed on several occasions during the year and - where possible - we join the locals at these fiestas. Village banquets, midsummer bonfires, Autumn festivals, mushroom hunts and apple-blessing ceremonies may also enter the plot. Due to the vagaries of village life, fiesta dates do sometimes change, new festivals appear and the ever-changing social calendar is a constant source of surprise!

Walking with Basque Culture and Gastronomy House Parties

Dates 2018 / 2019

Walking & Ancient Midsummer's Festivals

Tuesday 18th- 25th June 2019

Walking & Ancient Basque Traditions

Wednesday 18th - 25th September 2019

Walking & Autumn Colours

LAST PLACE: Friday 5th - 12th October 2018 / Monday 30th September - 7th October 2019

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