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Apartments in 13th Century Manor in the heart of the Basque Country

Bedrooms 1
Space 645 sq. ft.
Property type cottage
Minimum Stay 2 - 3 nights
Popular Features
  • Barbecue
  • Washing Machine
  • Internet
  • Parking


About the property

Apartments in 13th Century Manor near Biarritz, Pays Basque, France

Santa Maria is a very beautiful house with many original features; The village of Helette in the heart of the Basque country is ideally placed for visiting the coast (30 min) and the historic inland towns. In he foothills of the pyrenées the Landscape is Superb and boasts many Excellant walks. 40 mins Biarritz beaches (best European surf).Mt Baigura Paragliding school, Mountain biking (with tractor train to top). 15 mins River Nive - rafting canoeing, swimming, up to 6 M diving spots.Caves of Oxocelhaya (10 min) with prehistoric cave paintings. Bayonne 30 min, St Jean Pied de Port 30 min, Pamplona 2hr, San Sebastian 1 hr. The village square is surrounded by bars and restaurants but being slightly off the main tourist route is very peaceful (except during the Fete). Local fetes in surrounding villages from June to September for those who like to party the night away! Terraced gardens at Santa Maria overlooking Mt Baigura with barbecues and picnic tables.

Anthony Tucker
Member since: 2008
Speaks English, French, Spanish
Calendar last updated:
1 July, 2017

About Anthony Tucker

I came to Santa Maria for every summer holiday when I was a child and adore the house and the Basque country (and people). The house itself is very beautiful dating from the 12th/13th century with its magnificent sculpted staircase and its 4 metre high dining room with its huge open fireplace. In the 60s the amenities were very basic (one toilet and an outdoor lavanderie to wash in often for 30 of us) but after many years of renovation it is now very comfortable. It looks over the valley protecting the pilgrims on the route from Bayonne to St Jean pied de Port and protected the border of Navarre from the English in Aquitaine! There is a long tradition of English holidaying in Helette and we are made very welcome.

Anthony Tucker.

Anthony Tucker purchased this cottage in 1960

Why Anthony Tucker chose Hélette

The Pays Basque has everything for an interesting holiday at any time of the year. Superb beaches and surf, white water rivers,mountains,very beautiful countryside with well marked walks and the vibrant basque culture with it's Fêtes throughout the summer. Helette is only a 1/2 hour drive from the coast and the attractive towns of Bayonne, Biarritz and St Jean de Luz yet it is very peaceful being off the main road.

What makes this cottage unique

Santa Maria is 100M from the village square with its boulangerie, shop, several bars (including a Café Culturel with a concert, theatre or other animation most Fridays) and a restaurant. We offer table d'hôtes by arrangement with quality local produce and our own organic vegetables. We can order for your arrival a box of organic vegetables on request. We know the area very well and are happy to give you any advice on walks, beaches restaurants.

Guestbook comments from the owner

We've had a great time- the flat (Teilatupean) is lovely; Wonderful location-hills, valleys, woods, birds. Used the table tennis to the full.

Thanks for the warmth of your welcome and your hospitality. Julie (Producer of the Archers)
Jan 2008
  • 1 of 1


Accommodation and facilities for this holiday cottage in Hélette in Pyrénées-Atlantiques

Property Type:
  • cottage
  • Self-catering
Floor Area:
  • 645 sq. ft.
Location Type:
  • mountain
  • village
  • Adventure
  • Historic
  • Romantic
  • Sports & Activities
  • Tourist Attractions
  • Fitness Room / Equipment ...
  • Hair Dryer
  • Heating ...
  • Internet
  • Iron & Board
  • Linens Provided
  • Living Room ...
  • Parking ...
  • Towels Provided
  • Tumble Dryer ...
  • Washing Machine ...
  • Coffee Maker
  • Dishes & Utensils ...
  • Kitchen ...
  • Microwave
  • Oven ...
  • Pantry Items
  • Refrigerator ...
  • Toaster
  • Child's Highchair
  • Dining ...
  • Dining Area
  • seating for 6 people
  • 1 Bathroom
  • Shower room 1 - Shower Enclosure
  • Tiled bathroom with spacious shower, toilet & sink.
  • 1 Bedroom, Sleeps 4
  • 16m2 with double bed and single &/or cot if required.
  • Books ...
  • Game Room
  • Games ...
  • Ping Pong Table
  • Toys ...
  • Bicycles
  • Terrace
  • Golf ...
  • Garden ...
  • Barbecue
  • Ski & Snowboard ...
  • 2 bicycles
  • Long-term Renters Welcome
  • wheelchair inaccessible
Notes on accommodation: Fully central heated by wood burning furnace, Underfloor heating in Sutegigaraya. Solid Stone walls up to 1sqm thick keep the main house luxuriously cool in the hottest weather. The house is a paradise for children of all ages, numerous games and activities available. Basketball net, Table Tennis, Pelota Wall at end of drive. Magnificent Evening Room with large open fire for communal use of all residents, under floor heating in winter. Outside: 1 acre terraced gardens with picnic tables, sun loungers, barbecues, swings, hammocks; badminton, volley ball, pelota court opposite, several large shady trees (walnut and cherry). Stunning views. Courtyard with table tennis, basketball hoop. Organic vegetable garden and fruit trees, seasonal produce available.


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Special interest holidays:

The 2nd floor also has 2 large rooms : a 35sqm Oak parqué floored room and an 80 SqM, 6M high refurbished Grenier are available as workshop /classroom space for special interest groups Anyone interested in organizing groups should contact us directly. Eg: painting,sculpture,printing,photography, yoga, cultural visits, alternative health, nature observation, September to June is ideal walking weather locally, all the winter months can have glorious sunny days with clear skies and magnificent views of the snow capped mountains and the Basque coast. Birds of Prey abound. Red Kites fly over Santa Maria during the winter months when they come down from the high Pyrenees. Gryphon Vultures circle over the hills all year. Migrating flocks of Crane, geese, palombe and occasionally Storks pass overhead.


30 mins- 1 hour drive to most beaches on Côte Basque (life guards June - September). Biarritz, Anglet - excellent Surf, beautiful sandy Beaches. St Jean De Luz, Hendaye - Calm Bays, Sandy beaches.


Biarritz Airport-30 min drive, Ryan Air -Stanstead, ,Shannon ;Easy Jet : Bristol, Birmingham, Gatwick. Bordeaux Airport - 2 hr drive, Be My Baby-Manchester, Bristol. Other airports - Toulouse 3 hr, Pau 1hr30, Lourdes 2hr30, Bilbao 2hr30. Ferry : Portsmouth - St Malo 8am arrival 7 hr drive. Portsmouth - Bilbao 8am arrival 2hr30 drive (Frequent sighting of whales blowing and dolphins leaping on this trip!)

Train : Bayonne 30 mins drive;

Car recommended.


St Jean Pied de Port 30 mins drive. Helette Centre 100m. Hasparren 15 mins drive. Bayonne30 mins drive. Cambo 20 mins drive. Pamplona 2 hrs. San Sebastian 1hr30. Bilbao 2hr30. Baigorra activity centre 3km. Caves at Isturitz 15 mins drive. Caves at Sare 30 mins drive. Dancheria Spanish Border town (Tax free Ventas) 30 min drive. Bidarray River Nive - 15 mins. Forest of Irati 40 mins.

Further Details:

Helette village - boulangerie, tabac, post office, restaurants, bars. Attractive peaceful village square surrounded by bar/cafes. Baigorra Activity Centre - paragliding centre (school and initiation flights). "Petit Train" (tractor) to summit. Also Mountain descent by scooter or mountain bike. Harness trampolines bar restaurant. Hasparren - supermarkets, medical centre, banks, outdoor swimming pool, cinema, horse riding. The Basque country is a fantastically beautiful region ideal for walking and cycling . Numerous marked walks in and around Helette Including GR10 coast to coast through Pyrenees. The River Nive is a centre for White water rafting, several companies offer rafts, canoes, hot dogs etc. The owners living in part of the house will be happy to advise.


Prices & Availability

Additional pricing information

Fees No additional mandatory fees

Booking Notes:
To secure your booking please send Deposit 25%.The balance is due 8 weeks prior to start date.

Changeover Day:
Changeover day is flexible

Notes on prices:
Prices are per property per week in Euros. Ohantzea winter lets include wood for fireplace. Rental of all 3 appts includes grande cuisine (with fireplace). Long winter lets at substantial discount on request. B&B from €50 per night per room. Rent can be paid in £ sterling.
10% reduction for bookings of 2 weeks or more.

To secure your booking please send Deposit 25%.The balance is due 8 weeks prior to start date

Owner's Cancellation Policy

  • 50% refund for cancellations more than 7 days before check-in date.
  • 100% refund for cancellations more than 14 days before check-in date.
  • Service Fee fully refunded on cancellations that qualify for 100% refund.
This calendar has not been updated in over 2 months and the availability shown may not be accurate.