Villa Stays in the Basque Country
You have a home base to live just like the locals. Within a 20 minute drive, you explore 2 countries and indulge 3 cultures: the French, the Spanish and the Basque. You can head out for day trips or stay “home” and soak up the moment…Check out this slide show for a representative sample of properties.
Is this for us?
Yes, if your party (as large as 30 guests!) wants to vacation in a fine private home, enjoy a culturally rich & beautiful region with true local insight, have easy access to on-site services when needed, and all of that at no risk. You will find below some cost estimates to assess the financial fit of my offerings. My fee is included in the budgets below and my services will give you the keys to a region in total peace of mind.
During your home selection, we’ll talk in depth about particular pros & cons of towns, villages, properties, and we’ll address all of your criteria. The goal is to give you the vacation experience that best suits your travel party and showcases the strength of the region. You gain peace of mind from making an informed decision thanks to a trusted adviser who has lived in the region and spends 3 months there every year, who has qualified the homes & its owners through onsite inspections, knows their + & – in relation to others. Your adviser is intimately familiar with the lifestyle associated with each property. A diligent internet search or on-line exchanges with owners will never give you such objectivity and peace of mind. Avoid the common mistake of choosing a house that looks good on photos & fact sheets and price, a very common mistake among North Americans when choosing a European vacation property. Instead decide on a home based on its cultural context and the type of lifestyle it will give you.
Night and day between what a villa rental company or any internet booking can offer
1- I have personally selected a number of properties with my knowledge as a local and my understanding of the high standards North Americans expect in Europe. Comfort, charm, location, support services, reliability of the owners to deliver the homes as per my standards are the variables I pay attention to. Once you contact me and we determine that my services offer a good fit, you will gain access to a selection of properties to choose from. I can help you weigh the relative strengths and weaknesses of each home in view of your lifestyle wishes and budget criteria. Once a property has been selected, I will take care of coordinating all of the communication, contractual and payment arrangements with the owner .
2- Your local host upon arrival is there to guide you and help in case of a problem. Your personalized Expérience Authentique ‘carnet de voyage’ (travel log) is packed with suggested day trips, restaurants, current cultural events. You are equipped with maps to easily find your way around. Two guided walking tours of your home town and a nearby historical towns have been scheduled for you to feel at home right away.
3- Additional à-la-carte services can be pre-arranged to enhance the quality of your stay as per your interests and needs in day to day logistics. My network of local contacts combined with thorough planning work make you experience the region & its people at a more authentic level with no worry, no research, no vacation time wasted.
How much shall I budget?
The budget below includes my fees. Aside from the rental of the property for the desired time period, it also includes a welcome by your local host who remains your emergency contact during your stay, two private guided walking tours, your personalized Expérience Authentique travel log with maps, cleaning services at check out and in most cases some cleaning service during your stay, beds made upon arrival and house linen. Most North American guests opt to order, at an additional cost, a stocked fridge and pantry to easily transition into their vacation home for the 1st 24 hours.
The table below breaks down the budgets per type of properties and per season. There are substantial variations in costs as many French and European families call the Basque coast their favourite vacation destination in the height of the Summer. If you have the flexibility to time your vacation and wish to optimize the value, aim to travel outside the end-of-July-to-mid-August period.
|BUDGET ESTIMATE per TYPE of PROPERTY -Budget rental cost includes various Expérience Authentique hosting services combined with the rental||Mid-season budget||Early July, or late August budget||HIGH season budget|
|June or September 1-week stay||June or September 2-week stay||1st three weeks of July, 3rd wk of August1-week stay||1st three weeks of July, 3rd wk of August2-week stay||Last week July, 1st 3 weeks of August-
|Last week July, 1st 3 weeks of August-
|Comfortable, no pool, ideal for 1 family or for 2 with some compromises, 6 to 8 guests||3,000 to 3,300 euros||4,900 to 7,500 euros||3,500 to 4,000 euros||6,000 to 8,700 euros||4,300 to 4,800euros||7,400 to 8,700euros|
|Comfortable with pool, up to 8 to 12 guests||4,000 to 4,500 euros||6,500 to 8,000 euros||4,500 to 5,000 euros||7,500 to 9,000 euros||5,700 to 6,900 euros||10,000 to 12,500 euros|
|Upscale, in attractive location for mid-size family/friend reunions ( 8 to 12guests)||5,600 to 6,000 euros||10,500 to 12,000 euros||7,900euros||12,000 to 15,000 euros||9,800 euros||17,000 to 19,000 euros|
|Luxurious, in strategic location, ideal for large family/friend reunions||6,000 to 14,000 euros||12,000 to 25,000 euros||10,000 to 17,000 euros||19,500 to 30,000 euros||11,000 to 17,000 euros||20,000 to 30,000 euros|
Why do families love to vacation on the Basque coast in Southwest France?
French families love to vacation year after year in the region for its wide range of activities and amazing geography all within a short driving distance. The cultural agenda is at its richest in the Summer. Large vacation homes welcoming up to 2 or 3 families provide great opportunities for fun memories. Young ones make the most of the natural surroundings ( ocean, mountains, rivers, lush country side) and the cultural festivities. Teenagers cherish their independence and take full advantage of the sport and cultural activities available within walking distance in a safe environment. Parents & grand-parents love the simplicity of the logistics, can relax and soak in the local culture. Check out What to do for children and the youth in the Southwest.
Small groups on vacation
You assemble a group of friends, family members, club members or clients. You share with me your vision for the trip and I will take on the logistical challenge of organizing such a vacation for you. If the need is felt for a group leader, then you provide your own or I can possibly become your around-the-clock host. Check out this video of testimonials from Ladies Golf Club of Toronto as an example of a custom trip for 24 guests that included stays in rented high end villas and hotels and me escorting the group for 2 weeks.
- Scouting for the right rental accommodation option
- Designing & coordinating a full custom program of activities and travel itineraries.
- Offering specialized programs for guests who wish to indulge a specific hobby: golf, serious cycling, food & wine, French language learning, surfing, well-being activities, hiking.
- Scouting for bilingual local hosts with a specific expertise or passion to share with you.
- Catering and coordinating other local service providers such as home chefs , housekeepers, caregivers, chauffeurs, mountain guides, golf pros, musicians, etc…
- Setting up local transportation for your party.
- Planning a side-road trip, rich in content & low in kilometers, in the French Southwest , Northern Spain or Paris
- Responding to any other specific requests you may have.
My intimate knowledge of my region of birth, in addition to my constant research, means that I have an extensive network of qualified local contacts to make it happen. My objective is for you to truly feel and enjoy the place, have the chance to interact with local experts around a shared interest, and do so with effortless logistics.
Check Special Interest programs for a range of hobbies to be indulged in Southwest France.