Start in Idiazabal: find the museum dedicated to their cheese, the shepherd’s monument, some latxa sheep next to Gernika tree, cheese factories…From Idiazabal, you can go to Segura and Ordizia by walking 45 minutes. First, get to Segura and visit the guys in Ondarre Cheese Farm. Then, 4 km away from Segura, go to Zerain and visit their 3 dairies, 2 cider bars and more museums.
A second plan is going to Ordizia, the key place if you’re into Idiazabal cheese. If you’re lucky enough to visit on a Wednesday, go to their market! The rest of the week you can walk the medieval town and d’Elikatuz, Goierri’s Nutrition and Gastronomy Interpretation Centre.
The land of Idiazabal also has other cheese houses and shepperd hut´s inside both Natural Parks that you can visit (only during summer season). If you are traveling in a group, you should not miss the chance of organizing a wine + cheese tasting!
Don’t forget to check Goierri’s schedule to keep an eye on their local festivities and gastronomic fairs during the fall.
These are the cheese houses you can visit:
– Ondarre cheese house. 13,050€ were paid at auction for just half of their cheese at the Idiazabal Cheese Competition held annually in Ordizia! If you visit this dairy, you will meet Goiburu family and they will show you their facilities and the sheep! You can also spend the night at their 500-year-old caserío, because it is also an farmhouse accommodation!
– Ondramuño cheese house. Brothers Aranburu -Javier, Juanjo y Jesús- will guide you through the cheese-making process, having the chance to taste different varieties of Idiazabal: white, smoked, young and aged. Their cheese was awarded the international ‘Super Gold’ at 2015 World Cheese Awards!
– Gaztañaditxulo cheese house. They have around 350 latxa sheeps. If you come visit them, you will see the shepherd dog working, you will have the chance to feed the lambs, see the milking… also see the process of making cheese and -of course- taste it with some natural cider!
– Garoa cheese house. Martina and Jon are passionate about heir job. You can visit them in their farm at the entrance to Zerain from approximately September to May because this family makes the transhumance and spends their summers in the Aralar Natural Park.
– Basazabal cheese house. Javier Muñoa is the shepherd of this traditional cheese factory located in a beautiful enclave and where, in addition to knowing the production process, you can see his flock.
– Baztarrika cheese house. Amelia and her family offer us the possibility of making Idiazabal cheese as well as seeing a photo exhibition about the life of the shepherd. You can buy local products in their little store.
– Otatza cheese house. Joseba Insausti is shepherd from Ordizia and he spent the year living between his hut in Aralar Natural Park and the family farmhouse located in Ordizia, one of the few remaining in the town. This is one of the shepherds who knows what is to get a prize in the famous Ordizia contest.