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Berdun & the Spanish Pyrenees

Remember what charming villages and small towns were like 30 years ago, before everything became standardised? Ever wish you could show your children and grandchildren how life used to be, when service came with a smile and people liked passing the time of day?

Well, Berdun in the Spanish region of Aragon, could be just the place you’re looking for. This hilltop medieval village in the central Spanish Pyrenees, close to the little town of Jaca, is a little gem. Despite the area’s spectacular backdrop of mountains, the architectural originality of its stone villages, the rich collection of early romanesque churches and monasteries (11th and 12th century) and a lesser-known 6-day section of the Santiago Pilgrims’ Way, very few tourists have made it past the Basque Country and Catalonia and into this slightly less accessible area of Spain. Life in Berd??n is lived at a different pace and you’ll soon find your family relaxing and getting into the rhythm of rural Spanish life.

The countryside is breathtaking and totally unspoilt, with pristine river pools for swimming and hundreds of square kilometres of alpine wilderness to create an amazing active escape for your family.

Accommodation for the week is the family run and beautifully restored farmhouse. The very friendly English owners accompany you on your activities and point you in the right direction on free days. They have been living in this area for 25 years and love showing people all the wonderful places they have discovered over time.

There are two restaurants in the village, but delicious home-cooked dinners or barbecues can be arranged on request. A 5-minute walk down a country lane takes you to a beautiful outdoor swimming pool with bar where teenagers can try their hand at the Spanish game of ‘fronton’, a version of open-air squash played against a large L-shaped wall. Professional childcare facilities are available in the village for very young children.

Our family adventure here includes a variety of opportunities for walking, swimming, canoeing, zip-wiring and sun-bathing; but there’s still time to head off to a nearby village for a fiesta, the annual celebration held in each village in honour of the patron saint, catering for young and old with all sorts of entertainment and dancing to live bands.

Despite the feeling that it’s off the beaten track, Bilbao airport is a mere 2 hours away ensuring easy access. An optional trip extension to San Sebastian provides a chance to visit this iconic Basque seaside city, enjoy its ‘pintxos’ (Basque for tapas) and chill out on the beach.

This is a trip to challenge all preconceptions and rediscover the best of authentic Spain.