It is one of the great advantages of our times, that exceptional private houses, hidden away in the countryside, can be rented for short periods of time. « Martienea » (the house of Martin) is one of those treasure houses, set in the Basque country, 15 mns from Biarritz airport.
Restored in the 1930’s by an aristocrat, excellent pianist and newspaper owner, the house has a unique view of the Rhune, the funny shaped Pyrénées mountain with a border (between Spain and France) on top, that tells you the weather forecast. When you see it, it is a sign of bad weather coming up. When it is hidden in fog, there is hope for sun in the afternoon ! The day I stayed there a couple of weeks ago, the weather was gray until 2 pm and then a beautiful sun erupted. We are on the Atlantic coast, and the sun shines « many times a day » like in Brittany!
The Basque country is one of the most original in France. It is a paradise for golfers, with Chantaco, Chiberta and Biarritz as main attractions, a great spot for hikes in the Pyrénées, a departure point for the visit of Bilbao’s Guggenheim museum or St Jean de Luz’s and Bayonne’s historical center. It is mostly a very green area with warm weather all year round.
Staying in this incredibly refined and comfortable « farm » with an original “fronton” for playing chistera or pala, and a garden kept with love by its owner, is a privilege. Multiple terraces are used for dinner, breakfast and late Spanish style lunches, when back from the beach, 5 miles away. Along with “espadrilles” shoes, tortillas, sangria (red wine with macerated fruits) and the two pianos set in the huge living room, Martienea is as close to heaven as I have ever dreamt of being…and I just had to share this with you. (infos at firstname.lastname@example.org)
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