Summertime and the Livin’ is easy

Posted on Mon, Apr 02, 2007

The Echaurren Hotel and Restaurant in Ezcaray

blog_08Why I love Spain – reason #467

OK, so it isn’t officially summer yet, but the updated forecast for Pamplona has the temperature up to 23 degrees (C) within the next two weeks. Personally, I’m looking forward to taking advantage of the stellar weather with a quick getaway to St. Jean de Luz, Bilbao, and my new favorite secret hideaway, Ezcaray. After tasting the croquets at the Hotel Marque de Riscal in Elciego, I asked if I could talk to the chef. As it turns out, the chef who “inspired” the menu actually has his own restaurant several miles down the road. After a couple of cervezas my new friend from the winery gave up the real story. Francis Paniego was the first Riojan chef to receive a Michelin star. If you want to enjoy his cooking, you can stop at the Hotel Marque de Riscal for 500 Euros a night, or drive another hour into the mountains for find the quaint village of Ezcaray and the Echaurren hotel and restaurant. (

This unexpected gem runs only around 80 Euros per night and puts you within stumbling distance of the most famous kitchen for miles. If you’re joining us for San Fermin, we’re considering a day trip down for dinner.

On to the business of San Fermin….

We’re reaching out into the community to recruit more apartments and balconies, because you all keep filling them up. Something tells me San Fermin is going to be unbelievably crazy this year, so get in the middle of it, stock up on sangria and granola bars (survival gear) and hunker down for the duration.

As for accommodations, we’re now starting to see requests shift to the 2nd weekend as the 5th through the 9th is almost hopeless now. As we bring more apartments online, we’ll post them here, so please keep checking back.

Balconies are going very quickly. Now that people have their air and beds taken care of, they’re moving on to the finer things of life. If you’re still looking for a balcony that first weekend, hurry!

We’ve added an airport transport option for those of you taking advantage of our friends at RyanAir or EasyJet. Send me a line and let me know what you think of the idea. We’re always open to suggestions.

Viva San Fermin!