Espelette; a village full of colour and flavour, with superb facades, crumbling with strings of red chilli peppers. A stone's throw from the ocean and close to Navarre, Ezpeleta (in Basque: a place planted with boxwood), once a fortress and seigniory attached to the Kingdom of Navarre, now a village of more than 2,100 inhabitants, is a pretty village whose tourism has changed the economy in recent decades, originally agricultural (sheep farming, corn). Indeed, it has acquired a worldwide reputation for its famous red peppers drying on the facades of the houses. And Espelette also knows how to seduce by a charming environment: a typical habitat made up of neat, flowery white houses with green or red woodwork scattered around its beautiful church and unspoilt nature around it since the village is set on a hilltop with, in the distance, Mount Urzumu (216 m), the Ereby (583 m), the Artzimendi (936 m), the Ezcondray (550 m), and the Mondarain (749 m) and to the south, on a clear day, the Rhune and its 900 m of altitude. The small river is the Latxa, which joins the Nive at Larressore.

Souraïde is about 2 minutes from Espelette. Nestling in the wilderness, this village of some 1,200 inhabitants offers a magnificent view of the surrounding mountains, Ursuya, Baigura, Mondarrain, la Rhune, etc. And as early as 1249, it is mentioned on one of the beautiful roads to Santiago de Compostela. At that time, two priories depended on Souraïde, that of Gostorro and that of the Madeleine d'Otxantz. The first of these can be found today under the name of Gostorro Eliçaldea, in front of the church. The second, known as Hospitale Paradiso, was at that time the centre of an important farm. However, since the 1969 land consolidation, the ruins of the chapel have been located on the territory of Saint-Pée-sur-Nivelle. As for the church, restored in the 17th and 18th centuries, it has very beautiful galleries, an altarpiece with statues of Saint James in pilgrim's clothing, Saint Peter and Saint Paul and many bas-reliefs representing Saint Luke and Saint John. It is also illustrated by a beautiful tapestry of the monks of Bellocq still representing the pilgrim of Santiago. Until the Revolution, all the land belonged to the barony of Espelette, its neighbour with an indescribable reputation. Today this pretty village can boast of having, in its heart, in addition to beautiful landscapes, a quality hotel-restaurant, the Hotel Bergara, a recommended stopover for pilgrims of course, but also for tourists in search of peace and quiet.

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