Malerreka or why we've kept Navarra's Secret Valley, secret.
Wherever you go today, you're bound to have to deal with queues, traffic jams, stress...
The advent of global mass tourism has left few destinations untouched.
It’s hard to find a place that maintains that truly natural, authentic and traditional character.
I dare say that Malerreka is one of them.
And all guests who stay at Villa Argentina seem to share my opinion.
It’s the leafy green of the valleys ...
The pureness of the air ...
The humility and hospitality of its people ...
If it weren’t for the electronic devices that remind us that we live in the 21st century, we might even believe we’re lost in time!
And, although we want to share this wonderful region to the Northwest of Navarra with our guests, we also want to do everything possible to keep it as pristine as it is now, forever.
Without any queues...
Nor jams ...
Nor stress ...
If you were a local you’d probably be as protective of the environment in Malerreka as we are.
Let me explain why.
Where is Malerreka located?
Malerreka is a region to the northwest of the Spanish autonomous community of Navarra.
Here, nestled amongst majestic valleys and surrounded by small medieval towns, lies Villa Argentina, in the small town of Beinza-Labayen.
Visiting the Secret Valley of Navarra is like entering a time capsule and having the opportunity to live rural life as it was lived before.
Without any hurry.
And without any kind of stress.
But hang on…
I don’t want to confuse you ...
Surely by now you are picturing an extremely isolated environment in your mind…
Probably far too isolated for you…
The word "boring" may have also crossed your mind.
But in fact, nothing could not be farther from the truth!
Despite its natural and rustic charm, Malerreka is one of the most popular outdoor destinations in Spain.
Whether you are a dare devil or whether you just want to lose yourself quietly among oak and beech forests, Malerreka is your ideal destination.
Nature and Adventure Sports
Bathed by the rivers Ezkurra and Ezpelura, in Malerreka you’ll be able to fish some of the best salmon and trout in all of Spain (at least we like to think so ourselves!).
At the heart of this region, the powerful Bidasoa river gathers the waters of a multitude of other minor rivers along the way, offering the possibility of practicing canoeing, descent, rafting and any other type of river sport you can think of!
In fact, the problem you’ll have is to narrow down the many outdoor activities Malerreka has on offer!
Plus, there’s just so many incredible spots worth visiting!
Best of all, you can easily walk all of them or comfortably ride along from one to the other on our bike paths.
To start with, you have the 2,400 hectares of the Señorío de Bertiz - a natural enclave on the banks of the Bidasoa. Here, you’ll find seven different routes varying from 2 to 7 hours duration. Most of them are simple enough to be walked with children.
You also have the trails in the Baztán Valley, known as the Switzerland of Navarra, with its extensive forests, ravines, torrents, green hillsides, palaces, medieval hamlets and bridges, and, above all, the scintillating legends that are told in these lands since time immemorial.
You’ll even come across prehistoric tombs and dolmens on the Megalithic Trail of Iruso in Leitza!
Keen to find out what other bike routes are there in Malerreka?
Read this article: 6 stunning bike routes to explore Navarra while you are staying with us at Villa Argentina.
Mountain ranges, natural parks, hidden valleys, lakes and reservoirs…
Malerreka is the perfect playground for adventure sports lovers - even in winter!
Enjoy activities such as winter hiking, skiing or snowshoeing and top it all off by returning to Villa Argentina and sitting in front of the bonfire in our cosy living rooms.
Can you imagine?
Traditions and Celebrations
Hidden between the undulating slopes of Navarra’s Secret Valley ...
Between its sculptural oaks and beeches ...
And their playful streams ...
There’s a lot of history.
A history written for thousands of years in the villages of Malerreka.
A history that comes with a lot of surprising traditions.
That’s why, the day you walk along the natural trails of the Baztan Valley in Malerreka, you must open your eyes and listen carefully to the many fascinating stories that are told here.
Stories about witches, pilgrims and smugglers.
Enjoy the Ituren and Zubieta carnivals.
And live the exceptional cultural heritage hidden in Navarra’s Secret Valley.
Have you booked your stay in Villa Argentina?
Are you thinking about it?
If any case, get ready to enjoy a healthy, diverse and as of lately, very innovative gastronomic tradition!
Whether you decide to cook in the grand kitchen at your disposal in Villa Argentina, or whether you prefer to explore what’s on offer locally, you’re bound to fall in love with the ingredients that are the basis of Navarra’s gastronomy.
Ingredients that let you savour the true taste of the product.
Not to mention that we love to enjoy the good vibes that come with sharing all these natural ingredients with others.
That’s why Pintxos are one of our most ingrained traditions.
But in addition to this delicious "miniature cuisine", in Malerreka and surrounding areas you can also taste some of the most emblematic traditional dishes of Navarre gastronomy, and some of the most prestigious and awarded local wines.
In this article, you’ll find a list of the most recommended restaurants near Villa Argentina.
And here, our favourite wineries in the area.
Have you decided to extend your vacations and want to continue exploring the regions around Navarra’s Secret Valley?
Then, you can’t miss Baztan!
Don’t miss the green prairies of this valley, its charming palaces, monasteries, hamlets, medieval bridges ....
A true fairy tale!
In Baztan you’ll also find the Bertiz Aventura Park (with flying foxes for all ages, and a paintball circuit) as well as the Natural Park of Señorío de Bertiz that I mentioned before. Located in Navarra’s western Pyrenees region and on the banks of the Bidasoa river, this Atlantic forest of lush natural parks boasts a botanical garden over 100 years old and endless trails to explore.
Also, highly recommended – Zugarramurdi.
A small town of no more than 200 inhabitants, where back in 1610 the Spanish Inquisition accused forty of its neighbours of witchcraft and sentenced twelve of them to burn alive in 1610.
What adjectives could I use to convince you that Malerreka is the right place for your vacation?
Why don’t you come and help me find the right adjective yourself?
If you are passionate about nature, unspoilt places, well-preserved green spaces, history, and good food ...
This is where you should be.
We are waiting for you at Villa Argentina.
Book your Malerreka vacation now
16 de agosto de 2017