Enjoy nature and the traditional markets of Gipuzkoa
In the heart of Gipuzkoa, a great labyrinth of grass and green mountains is home to the purest essence of Basque culture, its customs and its language, the Basque language. Among its narrow and captivating valleys we find countless unique corners with a rural and authentic aroma where you can caress sheep, exchange impressions with the baserritarras and get your hands dirty making bread or cheese.
Welcome to this little green paradise. On the way from Tolosa to the Natural Park we can enjoy the essence of inland Gipuzkoa in its purest form. Starting in Tolosa, capital of Gipuzkoa in the 19th century, where its palaces and ancestral homes accompany us to its famous Plaza del Tinglado. Here, every Saturday there is a lively market of local produce, where baserritarras offer their seasonal gems, one of the secrets of Gipuzkoa's gastronomy. Because, apart from its cultural agenda (with the Carnival as the main event), Tolosa stands out for its magnificent gastronomy: beans (its star product), txuletas (here the "asadores" were "invented"), guindillas (the "prawns of Ibarra") and confectionery (its "Tejas y Cigarrillos" are famous) capture the palate of the visitor and, of course, of the locals.
And, if we continue to be guided by our gastronomic passion, in the Goierri area and if it falls on a Wednesday, we can find the Ordizia Market, whose origins date back to the 11th-12th century and which brings together sellers of agricultural and livestock products from all over the region. And take the opportunity to visit D'elikatuz, the Gastronomy Interpretation Centre, to fully convert us to this very Gipuzkoan religion, gastronomy.
Moreover, if you have ever heard of Idiazabal cheese or if you are passionate about this product, you could not find a better place. In 2015 the European Union awarded the Goierri region the EDEN (European Destinations of Excellence) award for the 'Territorio Idiazabal' project, a tourist offer based on local gastronomy. You can find this gastronomic jewel in its markets and local shops, but if you want to delve even deeper, the Idiazabal Cheese Interpretation Centre is waiting for you. Here you will learn the secrets of this emblematic product in an introductory course on cheese tasting. Both here and at the various cheese dairies in the area, you can even experience making cheese with your own hands. You may never want to leave again.
And if, amidst all this gastronomic enjoyment, you were still missing a greater contact with nature, the Aralar Natural Park and its summit, the Txindoki, are just a stone's throw away. Strolling through the park, we come across horses and sheep, mountaineers and hikers who wave to each other and the clouds pass by. Meanwhile, we allow ourselves to be amazed by the light that further exalts the 1,331-metre-high peak of Txindoki, which represents the most recognisable image of the mountains of Gipuzkoa. Behind it, enormous meadows spread out, supported by rock buttresses in all directions. Dozens of paths ascend from the valleys and cross this megalithic and pastoral plateau. From its summit, taking a deep breath and with the Basque highlands on the horizon, you'll feel like time stands still.
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