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Staying in Irache vs Ayegui vs Estella

Bainbridge

New Member
Time of past OR future Camino
September 2022
We are considering walking the alternate route from Villatuerta through Zaraputz. It appears to bypass Estella and rejoing the main Camino about 1.5km beyond the Irache Monastery and Winery--so we would have to backtrack if we wanted to see that.

Any comments on potentially staying in Irache or Ayegui if we did that and bypassing Estella?
Thanks
 
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We stayed in Ayegui in 2016. It is in the sports hall basement and there was a nice little bar where you can watch people playing on the courts. We also worked at San Miguel in Estella in 2019. It is a donativo and the city is a nice little place. We never went to the wine fountain and took an alternate route out of Estella that was slightly shorter. Too early in the day for us to be drinking any wine...there was a camping place we walked past at Irache that had little cabins and there was also the Hotel Irache which seemed a little run down to me. Did not see an albergue.
 
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The one from Galicia (the round) and the one from Castilla & Leon. Individually numbered and made by the same people that make the ones you see on your walk.
We are considering walking the alternate route from Villatuerta through Zaraputz. It appears to bypass Estella and rejoing the main Camino about 1.5km beyond the Irache Monastery and Winery--so we would have to backtrack if we wanted to see that.

Any comments on potentially staying in Irache or Ayegui if we did that and bypassing Estella?
Thanks
As FLOG said, after visiting the wine fountain, continue your peaceful journey a few kms to Azqueta and La Perla Negra rather than going back into the suburbs of Estella. I have stayed at Helena's albergue 4 times, and it is always a wonderful experience.
 
You might consider going 3km beyond Irache to a very special place in Azqueta where Helena will cook dinner and make you breakfast. Her place is called 'La Perla Negra'..View attachment 138405

We stayed in that room at the end of September, I don't know how many times
I bumped my head on the ceiling beam!

I figured it was just the Camino trying to whack some sense into me! :)

Jim
 
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The one from Galicia (the round) and the one from Castilla & Leon. Individually numbered and made by the same people that make the ones you see on your walk.
We are considering walking the alternate route from Villatuerta through Zaraputz. It appears to bypass Estella and rejoing the main Camino about 1.5km beyond the Irache Monastery and Winery--so we would have to backtrack if we wanted to see that.

Any comments on potentially staying in Irache or Ayegui if we did that and bypassing Estella?
Thanks
In September of this year, we walked to "old camino" from Villatuerta to Azqueta, including the
detour down the the Irache wine fountain (and the Blacksmith shop a little further downhill.)
It was not a long diversion, and we even went back up hill to conntinue on the old camino.
It was nice wallking through the woods a few more kilometers, before taking another cut-over
to Azqueta.

You can see the track we walked on our FindPenquins trip:


Jim
 
You might consider going 3km beyond Irache to a very special place in Azqueta where Helena will cook dinner and make you breakfast. Her place is called 'La Perla Negra'..
Your picture shows the exact bed I slept in at Helena's La Perla Negra! And as a vegetarian, I was oh-so-grateful for the awesome dinner she cooked for us, that included more delicious food than we could possibly eat.
Helena's was one of my favorite albergues during my walk. It was one of my worst days walking and I happened upon La Perla Negra. Her kindness, hospitality and delicious food was just what I needed.
Like @PrayerPose25, I arrived at Helena's in pretty rough shape physically and emotionally after a very long, difficult day. I will never forget her kindness and compassion. I think there were only about 3 places on the Camino that I would absolutely stay in again. Helena's was one of them.
As for the Irache fountain, it was empty when I got there late in the day, and I heard from others that the wine from there was terrible so I didn't really miss anything except the "experience".
 
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We stayed in that room at the end of September, I don't know haw many times
I bumped my head on the ceiling beam!

I figured it was just the Camino trying to whack some sense into me! :)

Jim
I'd forgotten about the low beamed ceiling. I recall making a mental note to make sure I tucked my head when coming out of the bathroom and back to my bed in the night. That said, I still loved Helena's place.
 
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The Wine Fountain is definitely worth going out of your way for.
I actually went there twice. I stayed at the San Cipriano Albergue about a
half mile from the wine fountain. During that evening I went out to the wine
fountain so all my friends back home could see me on the wine cam. Worked
great. It was around 8 or 9 in the morning in the U.S. so that was a good time
for many of my facebook friends to see me live at the wine fountain. Then the
next morning I walked to the wine fountain again in the normal course of hiking
the Camino. There was actually some wine at that time.
 
The Irache wine fountain is iconic and a delightful stop. The wine isn't "reserva" but a few sips of this wonderful Basque hospitality is a great way to start your morning. Well worth diverting or a little backtracking. Buen Camino
Iconic, a very kind gesture by the vineyard and a photo opportunity perhaps yes, but over-rated and really not worth going out of your way for. It was dry last month when I passed. I didn't shed a tear..
 
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Get a spanish phone number with Airalo. eSim, so no physical SIM card. Easy to use app to add more funds if needed.
I stayed at La Perla Nera last night, and it's great, though here are some contraries :

The Municipal in Ayegui is open all year, plus it is very cheap. Never stayed there, and won't tonight either, and I am in Ayegui right now, so that I would advise those with less finance to stay in Ayegui, and those with more, in Ázqueta. Although she is extremely helpful to those who get stuck in the place against their will or their plans, and she is a delight personally, and so on and so forth.

But in Summer, Vilamayor de Monjardín may be the better choice, either the Dutch place or the Municipal.

As to the wine at Irache, well, on the Christmas Eve I can tell you, it is FAR better than I have usually come across.

Festive exception I suppose, nevertheless I am in Ayegui right now, and since this morning, it has become one of the best local wines I have ever tasted.
 

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