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What makes Villa Azkaine a great holiday rental
This is a truly beautiful and genuinely unique holiday villa celebrating the sympathetic use of natural materials and traditional craftmanship with touches of modern luxury.
Anything to watch out for?
Why St Jean de Luz?
Located between the rocky coves and surf beaches of the Basque coast, St Jean de Luz - a lovely Basque sea-side town with fishing port (a sea-foodie's paradise) and beach - and the rolling hills and colourful villages of the French Basque country.
Authentic charm meets contemporary luxury in this newly renovated 570m2 Basque mansion
Where to start?
Before listing the facts of what this villa offers, it's worth just making a few comments. It's true that I'm pre-disposed to Basque architecture but the way this renovation combines that authenticity with contemporary living is quite exceptional. Oak panelling, beams and exposed stonework combine seamlessly with marble-topped work surfaces, luxury modern bathrooms and a Bose sound system. It all works brilliantly. Villa Azkaine is an immediate entry into my Top 10 favourite rentals of all-time - Justin.
The property is owned by the family behind Goicochea pottery and you will see plenty of examples of their gorgeous products around the house. These items plus any artwork is available for guests to purchase - this too makes Villa Azkaine unique.
Vast and beautiful living room in two parts: at one end is a large flat screen TV and sofas; at the other is the feature fireplace, various comfortable arm chairs and a piano for evening entertainment!
Beautiful new kitchen dominated by a feature range cooker and large island unit with black marble work surface. There is a twin marble sink and plenty of work surface for preparing gourmet lunches and suppers. Next to the terrace door is an additional breakfast table for up to 6 people.
Sophisticated yet informal dining room with a beautiful oak table for memorable family suppers.
Combined utility room / wash room with shower & WC that can be accessed independently - a practical feature for coming in directly from an active day on the beach.
Three bedrooms (2x with Queen size double bed + 1x twin room) each with an en-suite bathroom (the doubles have bath / shower / sink /WC whilst the twin has shower / sink / WC).
Home Entertainment room with cosy sofas and arm chairs, a full-size projector screen with satellite TV, DVDs and Bose sound system - a perfect place for the kids to chill after a day at the beach.
Three further bedrooms (1x double with Queen size bed + 2x with twins) with en-suite bathrooms (bath / shower / sink / WC).
Snug area with comfortable sofas and chairs, an ideal retreat for quiet reading time out of the sun.
'Azkaine' lies within a plot of 5000m2. The environment is private and peaceful. The stunning heated swimming pool (10m x 4m with electric cover) and terrace are to the rear of the property and the views of La Rhune are wonderful. Parking for several cars.
3x doubles + 3x twins
Heated private pool 10 x 4 m with electric cover
No smoking. No pets.
Situated in the pretty and charming Pays Basque village of Ascain, a short walk to the village's shops and selection of restaurants. Despite its edge-of-village location, the generous 5000m2 plot gives privacy & seclusion. Ascain is an authentic village of the Basque Country yet only a short drive from the bustle of busy St Jean de Luz, itself a beautiful resort and fishing port with a fine curve of sandy beach, excellent shopping and mouth-watering restaurants. Ascain is the gateway to the western Pyrenees - a favourite with walkers, mountain/road bikers and horse-trekkers. The auto-route is convenient for trips north (Biarritz & Bayonne) and south (San Sebastian and Bilbao).
Nearest village / town: Ascain
Nearest beach: St-Jean-de-Luz (5 kms)
Boulangerie: Ascain (village centre is short walk)
Restaurant: Ascain village
Market: Ascain village
Because of its mild climate, popular towns and abundance of all-year-round activities to pursue, the Pays Basque attracts visitors throughout the year. In fact, Spring and Autumn can be wonderful times to visit - warm and quiet.
The Basque Country is a little world all of its own. The regional cuisine and architecture provide character enough but more than that, this ‘country’ also has its own language. For a ‘formal’ introduction to Basque culture, try the Musée Basque at Bayonne. However, the best way to soak up the culture is to visit one of the many fêtes or ‘festivals of strength’ that take place in the high season, or, even better, watch a game of pelota. The fastest ball game in the world, this is perhaps the most vivid image of Basque country.
Biarritz and St Jean de Luz are on your doorstep and whether its beaches, shops, restaurants or festivals you are looking for, both of these towns are hard to beat. Stylish but without the pretence of the Riviera, both are colourful and vibrant seaside towns with plenty of family evening entertainment. They are the sorts of places where you will see whole families sitting down to start dinner at 10.30pm! St Jean de Luz is recognised as the capital of Basque cuisine and is noted for its seafood (it is one of Rick Stein’s favourite places) and use of the spicy Basque staple pimento, .
A few kms inland is the local mountain pass into Spain, the Col d’Ibardin. This was formerly a smuggling route and today is still a place to buy cheap wine and spirits. These mountain pass towns exist all along the Pyrénées.
A great trip for the kids is a ride on Le Petit Train de la Rhune. Standing over 900m high, La Rhune is the distinct and symbolic peak of the western Pyrénées. It can be reached by foot – a lovely day’s walking – or by funicular train. The 360 degree views from the summit are spectacular.
There are great beaches all along the coast from the Spanish border at Hendaye, north into the Landes and Gironde départements. Because the Côte d’Argent is so vast, the beaches are less crowded than on the Mediterranean.
The area is totally under-visited for its golf despite the game’s rich history in this region and the presence of some wonderful courses: Chantaco, Nivelle, Biarritz Le Phare, Arcangues, Makila, Chiberta, Hossegor, Seignosse and Moliets are all within an hour’s drive. José-Maria Olazabal’s course, Fuenterrabia, is just across the border into Spain. Horse-riding, mountain-biking and fishing are also popular. Surfers will already be familiar with the Côte Basque, and there are plenty of surf schools for beginners.
Thalassotherapy and thermal spa are big attractions in this area – people come from all over France for sea and freshwater therapies; there are venues across the region including Hendaye, St Jean de Luz, Biarritz and Dax.
The countryside is a delight; the rolling green hills are popular with the few British visitors that the region receives. The foothills rise to the mountains of the Pyrénées which are home to dozens of hiking trails including the famous coast-to-coast GR10 track. Eagles and wild horses roam the mountains and, if you're unlucky, you might bump into a brown bear (only 6 individual bears are known to exist and they live much further east in the high Pyrénées) - this is one of Europe’s most exotic wildlife locations. Bird-watchers will be kept busy twitching. The Pyrénées also provide thrill-seekers with a range of extreme sports from white-water rafting to paragliding. The mountain landscapes are at their finest in the Haut-Béarn region.View More St Jean de Luz Rentals
Service: Efficient and very helpful.
Product: The house itself was really nice but we left the house a few days before the end of the week and found somewhere else to stay. A few things had happened that took the shine off the house so we decided to leave. It was a shame.
Product Comment: It is a beautiful villa - one of my personal favourites in our collection - so I am sorry that you had to leave early due to unforeseen circumstances. I do hope that you have the opportunity to return.
Service: Alternative Aquitaine helped us rent a villa in the Basque Country. It was a great experience and they were very helpful and responsive when I had questions.
Product: This house was one of many we have rented over the years. It was beyond our expectations. Beautiful, spacious and clean.
secluded country house, heated pool & tennis court
luxury villa, an architectural landmark