CALL TO JOIN THE WAITLIST! September 2017 is the ideal time for a women's hiking vacation in Europe to a very special multi-cultural (and cuisine) region in northeast Spain and southwest France - the Basque country!
The Basque Country is the name given to the home of the Basque people in the western Pyrenees that spans the border between France and Spain on the Atlantic coast. Straddling two nations, this ancient, free-spirited land of the Basques is a region that is full of delights: lush vistas, trout filled streams and picturesque villages unchanged over the centuries. Its natural barrier between the two countries is the snow-capped mountain range at the foothills of the Pyrenees. These peaks provide an impressive backdrop to one of Europe's most traditional and beautiful regions, where peaceful villages nestle in verdant valleys.
Although neither French or Spanish in terms of its architecture, traditions, food or language, the Basque region has been invaded many times over and their rich cultural heritage reflects this turbulent history. Their cuisine is a mixture of both Spanish and French influences, while the Basque language is an even more complex mixture of cultures. It is actually thought to be closer to Armenian than either French or Spanish! We'll try "poulet a la basquaise" (chicken in a spicy sauce of tomatoes and peppers) and creamy Brebis Mountain cheese made from sheep's milk, served in the traditional manner with a black cherry conserve.
Explore such distinctive towns as sophisticated and stunning San Sebastián; Hondarribia, a colorful fishing village that is both rich in architecture as well as in gastronomy; Zugarrammurdi, a town that was the focus of one of the largest witch trials in history during the Spanish Inquisition; Sare, known for its festivals, love of tradition, its great food, and considered one of the most beautiful villages in France; and St. Jean Pied de Port, a beautiful bustling French market town in the foothills of the Pyrenees, and the traditional starting point for the Camino Frances, the famous route on the Camino de Santiago.
This beautiful Basque region is ideal for exploring on foot along the many small paths that criss-cross the area. Follow some of Europe's most scenic and historic long distance footpaths as you walk beside mountain streams, through terraced vineyards, past old world cathedrals, breathtaking landscapes, and lush pastures. Make your way through traditional whitewashed villages, their houses adorned with red roofs and red shutters - all along pathways that were walked on by pilgrims over 1,000 years ago.
Join AdventureWomen in France and Spain for a relaxing journey full of new tastes, sites, learning, and cultures in this fascinating European region in September 2017!
- Explore the spectacular Basque Country's coastline, foothills, traditional whitewashed villages and breathtaking landscapes of the Pyrenees, in southwest France and northwest Spain.
- Visit the small town of Zugarramurdi, which contains a large series of caves said to be the home of witchcraft and sorcery during the Spanish Inquisition.
- Discover the Basque village of Sare, cradled in the Pyrenees foothills, and recognized as one of the most beautiful villages in France.
- Hike sections of the GR10 and GR11, 2 of the great long distance footpaths that connect the Atlantic and Mediterranean Coast.
- Trace the pilgrim's path to St. Jean Pied de Port, the traditional starting point for the Camino Frances, the most popular of all the Camino de Santiago routes walked on by pilgrims for over 1,000 years.
- Stay in historic and charming accommodations in both Spain and France, and enjoy the rich cultural heritage reflected in the mixture of Spanish and French influences in Basque cuisine.
What You'll See and Do
- Cultural Exploration
- Historical Sites
- Natural History
- Wine Tasting