|Eskilondoa||Self Catering||Saturday||4||8||2||1 baby cot|
Relax and unwind in the stunning foothills of the Pyrenees with our superb holiday package. Eskilondoa, a traditional Basque house newly built with all mod cons, is situated in the picturesque village of Saint Martin d'Arrossa just 35 minutes from Biarritz airport, 40 minutes from the Basque Atlantic coast with its superb beaches and excellent surfing and 30 minutes from mountain peaks with awesome views and an abundant array of birds of prey including Griffon Vultures and Golden Eagles.
This holiday villa has 4 double bedrooms (one with 2 singles) 2 bathrooms (1 en suite), 3 wc's and sleeps 8. The magnificent open plan living space has 3 sets of french doors that open out onto a large terrace and beautiful country garden. Part of the terrace has a pergola covered with vines and kiwi which provides brilliant shade for those alfresco meals. The pool is salt water treated and heated by an air source heat pump, it is fully compliant with current French safety regulation. There is also a large covered parking area abutted to the house to keep the car cool.Talking of cool there are now free standing fans in all of the 4 bedrooms for when it gets really hot.
Easy driving to Saint Jean Pied de Port, a UNESCO World Heritage site and the final stopping point before crossing into Spain on the Saint Jaques de Compostela pilgrim route. Also within 40 minutes drive are Biarritz with its glitz, chic and renown surfing, Bayonne with the frenetic Fetes de Bayonne in early August, Cambo les Bains with its famous spa plus numerous villages all with their markets and specialities. Then in one and a bit hours you can be in San Sebastian or Pamplona filling up on Tapas, or Pinchos as the Basques call them, swilled down with a good Rioja or Navaran wine. For the foodies there are more Michelin starred chefs per head of population than anywhere else in France and that rubs off on the rest of them.
A wealth of activities await those looking for more. Hiking on the GR10, rafting on the river Nive, it runs through the village, surfing on the coast and just getting away from it all on the numerous tracks to be found up in the mountains.
This traditional style Basque house will cater for all your holiday needs.
Open plan kitchen, dining area with full kitchen equipment including American style fridge-freezer, double oven cooker, dishwasher, microwave and all the other components for easy cooking and living. Dining table pulls out and can accommodate 10 people. Three sets of french doors open out onto terrace.
Large open fireplace is the feature of this area, still part of the open plan design, 2 large sofas and deep armchair to snuggle down in and watch good variety of UK tv channels after a hectic day lounging by the pool.
One double with its own en suite and balcony overlooking the garden and great hilly views. The other 2 doubles are large and spacious with lots of cupboard space and drawers. The room with 2 singles is orientated towards children but quite suitable for adults with full size beds.
The en suite bathroom has bath with shower, single wash basin and toilet. The family bathroom is large with bath, separate shower and double wash basin unit. There is a separate toilet on the other side of the corridor and a toilet downstairs.
Oil fired boiler provides under floor heating downstairs and radiators upstairs. The log fire provides that snug feeling but is not really necessary.
Tv is via the internet for all UK terrestrial channels and French tv is accessed via aerial. There is a DVD player and a small collection of DVDs. Free wi-fi for those who need to stay in touch. Various games to hand, playing cards and good selection of toys for the very young.
Large garden area that leads down to the 9 x 4m pool. This is a salt water pool, so no nasty chlorine in your eyes. It is heated with an air source heat pump. The pool shed houses the pool loungers and cushions. The garden is mainly down to shrubs and there is a large grass area to the top of the plot with a walnut tree complete with child's swing. The entire area is fenced and dog proof, so should keep those wayward children in too.
There is covered parking for one car to keep cool under and plenty of space for 2/3 others all of which is shaded at various times during the day. There is no lock up garage.
The sleeping accommodation is all upstairs so that restricts suitability for certain disabilities. There are no other suitability problems. There are stairgates for the young and adventurous.
There is one highchair available plus a childs chair and a knock down cot. Washing machine, iron and ironing board to keep in practice with. Free wi-fi is available.
Murray and Pam Kent both respectively retired from farming and teaching live on the edge of Salisbury Plain. Eskilondoa was our 1st self build project and was so successful that we repeated the process in the UK. Building from scratch, in our opinion, is infinitely easier in France! On our 1st visit to the Pays Basque we immediately fell in love with it and after many years still manage to find those "wow" locations every visit. 15 years on and the magic is still there for us every visit.
|Year property purchased||2003|
|Why this location?||Probably one of the most under rated and unexplored areas of France. We visited on holiday as it was the last region on our visit list and fell in love with the wonderful choice of scenery, from mountain peaks to sandy beaches. From beautiful villages to chic Biarritz and buzzing Bayonne. From the gems of San Sebastian and Pamplona in Spain, an easy drive away. From a good choice of airports at Biarritz and Bilbao and ferries to Bilbao and Santander from a 40 minute to 2.5 hour drive from the house. From the local people with a great sense of humour and friendship. From great gastronomy that caters for all tastes. From the Atlantic breeze that somehow prevents the stifling heat found on the Med coast.Wonderful autumn weather with the beech and oak forest of Iraty showing colours that could rival New England.From the wonderful choirs and beautiful Churches.From the wide range of sports you can follow. It is so relaxing,you can't beat it! All we say is don't tell too many others!|
|Unique benefits of property||Eskilondoa, a modern property retaining a feeling of character and old charm that is sometimes lost with new builds. The modern insulation keeps the property cool in the summer months. The downstairs open plan is very sociable so no one feels shut away in the kitchen. There are some interesting features, a huge open stone fireplace in traditional style, a fascinating staircase with strange curves! A massive stone pillar in the centre of the living area. The salt water pool is very popular and complies with all the current French legislation regarding pool safety.The garden is laid out to shrubs that give a great level of privacy. A large lean too construction means that your car can be kept out of the sun if desired. The play area for children is in a paddock behind the house. 2 good restaurants within walking distance and new for 2017 is a Lerclerc supermarket/fuel just 5 minutes drive away in the next village of Osses. Well placed for exploring the Pays Basque in France and Spain.|
Hotel in village, just 5 minute walk. Great local food and very friendly, we stayed many times whilst building the house.
This wonderful restaurant is in Irissarry, just 20 mins drive from the house. Henri Amistoy was the chef and owner at La Ferme Gourmand, a firm favourite. He has created Art'Zain in Irissarry with a wonderful renovation next to a huge medieval "Hospital". Great food and great ambiance.
Great little bistro/bar just across the river in Osses. 10 minute walk from house. Serves the best lamb chops in Pays Basque and makes great pizza that you can eat in or take home.
A spectacular drive to the Col Bagargui takes just 1 hour. It takes you up just over 1300 metres and has hosted the Tour de France in recent years. The changes in scenery are amazing and there is a great restaurant and bar at the summit. Fantastic views to the east into the midi Pyrenees and the snow capped peaks. All within a one hour drive from the house.
An hour's drive away in the bijou beauty of Biarritz with its surfing beach, aquarium, casino, wonderful old fishing harbour and all those chic shops to keep the ladies happy. A freshly caught seafood lunch by the old harbour is to be recommended followed by a stroll up to the aquarium. Using your map or sat-nav take a different route home to soak up some new scenery and stop off for supper in any of the many villages that all have at least one gourmet delight.
Cross the frontier at Hendaye and follow the signs to Hondarrabia. This is a UNESCO World Heritage site with the most wonderful walled ancient citadel. The centre piece being a huge Parador that warrants inspection. Follow road signs to the GI 3440. This is an amazing drive along a mountainous ridge with the Atlantic on one side and the Pyrenees stretching out on the other. The scenery is stunning and you end up in San Sebastian as a bonus. That means Pinxos (Basque Tapas) and red wine! There are other itineraries and trip suggestions at the house.
Drive to Bayonne and take the D 810 to Ondres Plage. Here yo will find a sandy beach the stretches all the way to Arcachon, a mere 2 hours drive away! But fear not, there is plenty here to keep the family occupied from sand castles to excellent sea food bistros right on the beach. Plenty of parking for all but do take note of the life guards and the flag signals.
You are in the smallest wine appellation in France and it is called Irouleguy. The vineyards are well signed and you can find vieyard trip maps in the Tourist Office in St Jean Pied de Port or St Etienne de Baigorry. Plenty of places to eat so you can make a day of it.
A delightful bastide town at La Bastide-Clarence. Very arty with a good range of craft shops to visit. Holds frequent craft and art fairs. Large beautiful church and an interesting Jewish cemetery that goes back to the persecution of the Jewish community in Bayonne long ago.
Eskilondoa is a beautiful house with all the comforts of home set in an idyllic rural setting nestled amid the Pyrenees. It is ideally located for access to the local attractions and the owners were extremely helpful in providing a very comprehensive list of things to do and places to visit. If you follow their recommendations - you can't go wrong! We had a fabulous time and would highly recommend Eskilondoa to anyone that wants to explore the wonders of the Basque region. It's all there - whether you want to visit the picturesque rural villages, enjoy stunning views from the top of the Pyrenees mountains or paddle in the sea at the coast which is just a short drive away. You can even pop across into Spain! This place has something for everyone. We loved it.
Thank you Rachel, you prove what many do not believe which is that the Pyrenees are arguably at their best in the Autumn when all the children are back at school and rental costs are greatly reduced! Really glad you enjoyed your stay.
We spent a very happy few weeks at Eskilondoa. The house is well equipped to a high standard, very comfortable. The swimming pool is excellent and kept beautifully clean with a robot cleaner. The garden is lovely, private and well planted. Full of bird song and the occasional visit from a red squirrel.
Eskilondoa is a 5 minute drive from the village of Osses, where there is a supermarket, a boulangerie and a good value restaurant. Before our arrival Murray provided us with full information on the house and its facilities, a suggested itinerary of areas to visit and recommended restaurants in the area. All well worth taking up.
We had very good weather the whole time and enjoyed exploring the area. It is ideally placed for day visits either to the coast or up into the Pyrenees. Watching the surfers in Biarritz and St Jean de Luz was also great fun and both towns are good for shopping too. The towns and villages nearby to St Martin d'Arrossa are lovely. The houses and churches are very distinctive to the area and feel very different to other parts of France. We especially liked our trips over the mountain passes. The views are breathtaking and the circling eagles are a wonderful sight. Don't miss visiting Amaiur Maya when you go over the Col d'Ispeguy.
Our only slight hiccup was the TV with which we experienced a few problems but our communication with Murray was excellent and he quickly sorted it out with the internet provider.
Thanks for your kind words Suzanne, glad you enjoyed your stay. As you said there is so much to do and see. Let's hope we can welcome you back in the future!
This is my 4th visit and each one has been a holiday to remember; the house is located in a typically beartificial Basque village and the recent opening of a supermarket and boulangerie within a mile has hugely improved the ease of obtaining fresh supplies. The local hotel is a level half mile walk and provides a friendly atmosphere and excellent food.
The pool is beautifully kept and warm; my daughters confidence rocketed in the week we were there.
An evening sat on the terrace drinking the local Iroulgey rose whilst watching vultures & kites circling is a wonderful tonic to the stresses of life.
Don't go to sleep with too much rose. The vultures get hungry!!
Been back to this villa for past three years, which should indicate how great I think this property is. Has all of the facilities you could desire in a great location, close to Biarritz, mountains and Spain. Owner really friendly and helpful.
Mal, you are always welcome back! Thanks for comment.