Tourist on mount Txindoki in the Sierra Aralar in Gipuzkoa, the Basque Country

Goierri region: EDEN Award 2015

Basque Country

This area is located in the heart of the Basque Country, in the southeast of the province of Gipuzkoa, with good accessibility from any of its three capitals: Vitoria, Donostia-San Sebastian and Bilbao. This region features 18 charming villages, most of them with fewer than 1,000 inhabitants, where you can enjoy peace and quiet. Villages that combine culture and heritage with fresh air, farmhouses where you can stay in the middle of the mountains with fascinating landscapes located between the Aralar Natural Park and the Aizkorri-Aratz Natural Park. Spending a few days here is always synonymous with disconnection.Another attraction is the local gastronomy. In fact, the Goierri region, with its project "Goierri Gastronomika: Territorio Idiazabal", won the 2015 EDEN Awards (European Destination of Excellence) for its commitment to sustainability in gastronomy.

Gastronomic proposals

When you travel to this area of the Basque Country, you can carry out activities linked to local products, like visiting the Ordizia market, which has been held every Wednesday of the year since the Middle Ages. There you will find products such as tomatoes, russet apples, mushrooms and chard, and you will be able to meet the farmers themselves. Another idea: visit D'Elikatuz, a museum and interpretation centre for food and gastronomy in Ordizia.You can also schedule a tour of a cheese factory, where you can taste the famous Idiazabal cheese, one of the best in the world. Go to the village of Idiazabal, which lends its name to the denomination, and you can visit its Interpretation and Tasting Centre.More culinary experiences? Learn to make talos (corn flour cakes) in one of the most suggestive sites of the historical heritage of Goierri: the medieval mill of the monumental ensemble of Igarza, in Beasain. The visit includes the palace, the hermitage, the forge, the bridge, and the remains of a wooden dam from the 16th century, unique in Europe. This is an unforgettable experience, especially on family trips   

Idiazabal cheese

Other typical products

In addition to trying Idiazabal cheese, eating at Goierri is an immersion in the recipe book of the rural Basque Country: you can taste the cod omelette, the txuleton (grilled rib), grilled fish accompanied by a glass of cider, the Beasain black pudding with beans… Enjoy their local Basabe beer, which you will only find in Goierri, because the 30,000 bottles they produce a year are consumed in the region; or the most famous wine in the entire area: the txakoli; and you can visit a small family winery in Olaberria that produces an organic variety of this wine. 

Cod omelette

Best time to visit the region

Any time of the year is good to travel to this area. But if you are interested in cooking, autumn is the quintessential time for gastronomic fairs. Some examples?On 9 October, Idiazabal hosts the Euskal Herria Shepherd's Idiazabal Cheese Championship, bringing together the best producers of this renowned cheese. The San Martín livestock fair is held in Zegama on 12 November in the heart of the Aizkorri-Aratz Natural Park, where cows, horses, hundreds of sheep and goats flood the village. The russet apple has its big day on 20 November in Gabiria. It is the base of its exquisite cider, which you can try in any of the Goierri cider houses.These are just some examples of the many gastronomic events that take place during these months.  If you want to discover more about the medieval villages in this area or about the many sports you can practice, see: 

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