What to do ?
Find out more about the activities to be practiced around the gîte:
Consult our brochure : gîte Vertes Montagnes et Cie,
Saint-Jean-Pied-de-Port, as an old city of the Basque kingdom of Navarre, possesses a prestigious history to be discovered. Walk in the steps of Romain at Urkulu and in Pamplona, of Roland and Charlemagne in Roncesvalles, pilgrims of St James of Compostella, Henri IV, Vauban in the Citadel, Napoleon towards Pamplona.
Basque Pyreneans have preserved their natural aspect since 2 millenniums. Green mountains reign in the Basque Country.
Saint-Jean-Pied-de-Port is an alive city, with its monuments to visit, with its shops and famous restaurants, its historic district with pilgrims from all over the world, its market, its pelota parties, its summer celebrations, its cinema, its swimming pool, …. all this on foot from the Vertes Montagnes gite.
In winter, the Iraty resort, located at 30 km, proposes hiking by snowshoes.
Contact mountain professionals!
Caroline, mid-mountain guide for the Camino or the local hikes, will make you discover with your family and friends the beautiful basque mountain. Caroline, as the former founder of a transport company on the Way, knows very well the Camino and the GR10.
Discover the Pyrenean traditions: beret, ham, vineyard, sheep’s cheese, honey….
Want to discover mountain products, come to Saint Jean Pied de Port!
As a country of mountains and pastoralism, the Basque Country has developed the mountain traditions of the Pyrenean valleys to meet the demand of Biarritz and Basque coast customers since the 19th century, a formidable commercial opportunity. Thus, in St Jean-Pied-de Port, Basque beret, Bayonne ham, Irouleguy wine, sheep’s cheese and honey are part of the preserved mountain traditions
The famous French beret comes from the Pyrenees! The beret is still made in Oloron (Béarn). Since the middle of the 19th century, it has become the Basque beret. Napoleon III would have named it after seeing the workers on his site in Biarritz wearing it. It will become in the twentieth century a symbol associated with the image of the French in Anglo-Saxon countries. Originally, it was made by the Pyrenean shepherds to protect themselves from the sun and bad weather, and today the Basques in St Jean Pied de Port wear it naturally.
Mountain ham produced on farms in the southwest and particularly in the Western Pyrenean valleys has become Bayonne ham because it was marketed from the port of Bayonne. The old Pyrenean pig breeds have been successfully reintroduced in the Aldudes in the region of St Jean Pied de Port. Since July 2019, this ham has had a protected designation of origin (PDO) under the name Kintoa ham.
The Irouleguy vineyard
The Irouleguy vineyard was already cultivated in Roman times and was developed by the monks of Roncesvalles through the cultivation of terraces. Nowadays, it has a Controlled Designation of Origin and produces red, rosé and white wines that are appreciated to accompany Basque cuisine.
The sheep’s cheese
Sheep’s cheese (Ossau-Iraty appellation) has spread from the Ossau valley of Béarn to the Iraty forest in the Basque Country. As shepherds, the Basques have developed the production of sheep’s cheese (ardi gasna in basque language) and in particular on the mountains of St Jean Pied de Port, an important summer grazing Pyrenees site.
Honey from the Basque Country is also produced in the Basque mountains. It is part of Basque culture, each farm had its own hives. The know-how continues.