Hills of Gipuzkoa, Basque Country
Hidden away up the the green and verdant hills in the Basque Province of Gipuzkoa, one finds a thriving and rich society, a world away from the city of San Sebastián only a short drive away…
The hinterland of Gipuzkoa is hilly, there are a few mountains but generally its a green land, full of valleys separated by peaks. This area is called Goierri, and it has an ancient history. Basque culture is stronger here than anywhere else one could say. The locals all speak Basque, all the time, the traditions and the history are omnipresent. The charming small villages dotted around the land are only outnumbered by the baserris or large old stone and timber farmhouses perched higher up on these green and lush hillsides. Hidden away it feels like time has stood still here until you scratch the surface!
Our Basque Culture is true to its roots. Tradition, family, respect and language are all fundamental. However, throughout history, we Basques have adapted and embraced change, and in some cases influenced it!
A Basque Country Tour would be incomplete without a visit to this rich area. Take a six-day hike along the ‘Ruta de Queso’ visiting tiny villages, running streams, mountains, cheese-makers and cider producers. A great way to learn about the region from the locals and their customs. A shorter Basque Tour could involve a visit to an Idiazabal cheese-maker in the village of Segura. The Ondarre farmhouse has been making this cheese from raw ‘Latxa’ sheep milk for 7 generations, and their house is over 500 years old! Not only can you milk the sheep and learn the process, you can stay there too as they have 6 rooms and 2, 4-bed apartments!
Cider makers abound in this area and a day’s visit would be incomplete without learning (and tasting of course) the regions favourite tipple . From here lunch in a Sagardotegi or Cider House is obligatory!!!
For those more interested in a slightly more refined dining experience a visit to one of the areas superb local-produce markets would be indispensible! Wednesdays in Ordizia ia a market where locals have been bringing their produce, all seasonal of course as that’s how we have always done it here, in fact every Wednesday since the 16th century to be exact…. Saturday sees Tolosa show its wares in a two amazing markets in what was the former capital of Gipuzkoa. Even better, make your Basque Country Tour more complete by visiting the market with a local chef. With them, see how they select the best and then accompany them to cook it yourselves!! Not only learning to cook like a Basque, but eating like one too!! We can’t wait to take you around!!!!