LA MAISON DU POTTOK Guided Tour in Bidarray

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Location : In the countryside

Province : Labourd

Services

  • Bank cards accepted
  • Cash
  • Groups
  • Open all year round
  • English
    • THE POTTOK HOUSE – POTTOKA RESERVE

      Small Wild Horse of the Basque Country
      Guided tours

      In the past, the Pottok (pronounced pottiok), a small primitive horse from the Basque Country, was wild.

      Brown or black in color, like its ancestors drawn on the walls of the caves of Lascaux, Altamira and Isturitz, it was found in total freedom on the moors and mountains covered with ferns, gorse and forests up to the Atlantic Ocean. .

      Today, the Primitive Original Black Pottok is seriously threatened with extinction due to numerous crosses practiced by men with breeds of domestic horses and ponies, as well as the scarcity of its natural, cleared and fragmented habitat.

      Genetic studies are carried out in the Southern Basque Country (Spain) from 1988.

      Since 1992 Michel LAFORET, former wildlife filmmaker and photo safari guide in the Kruger National Park in South Africa (#mopayasafari.com) has been preserving some of the last Black Original Primitive Pottoks on the Reserve surrounding LA MAISON DU POTTOK de Bidarray in Lower Navarre (France) with a Conservatory Herd and a stallion nursery.

      Exhibition-Retro of old photos since 1897 at LA MAISON DU POTTOK and guided walking tours on the Reserve, the only site in the whole region where you can discover this small emblematic horse of the Basque Country in freedom in its natural environment, with a magnificent view of the mountains and the Atlantic Ocean, observation of griffon vultures, Highland cows and Pyrenean goats.

      In 1995 in the Southern Basque Country (Spain) the PRIMITIVE ORIGINAL BLACK POTTOK was officially called PONI VASCO POTTOKA and was the subject of an exemplary conservation program, relayed since 2020 by Michel LAFORET on the Pottoka Reserve in Bidarray, to obtain at least at least 3 complete homogeneous and stable generations in order to consider the ancestral strain saved from extinction.

      Due to the summer heat and in order to increase the chances of seeing the horses roaming free on the Reserve, meet at 3 p.m. sharp with Michel LAFORET at the start of the communal track at the level of the green mailbox to then climb up to at the Pottoka Reserve.

      Itinerary from Bidarray: 1km100 after passing the Noblia Bridge in Bidarray towards Ossès and Saint-Jean-Pied de Port coming from CAMBO-LES-BAINS, left exit of the D918 road, ARNATE – ADARRE sign, UHAINA RAFTING. This first GPS point will be sent to you on your mobile phone.

      Once out of the main road D 918, display the second point on your mobile phone corresponding to the green mailbox where a volunteer manager of the association will be waiting for you. As a member of the association, you can take the mountain road limited to local residents (Pastoral Zone).

      Contribution 2023: 15€, Child 7 to 12 years old 10€. Thank you for planning a payment in cash with the extra, the bank terminal of the association does not always work well on this isolated site in the mountains preserved from modern overpopulation!...

      3:30 p.m. Exhibition of old photos dating from 1897 at LA MAISON DU POTTOK and walk on the POTTOKA RESERVE in the mountains with Michel LAFORET in search of the CONSERVATORY HERD for about 2 hours.

      Please note, due to the mountainous nature of the Reserve, the mountain tracks and paths are unfortunately not accessible to people with reduced mobility.

      Bring walking shoes or trainers, hat, cap, waterproof windbreaker in case of rain, binoculars and camera.

      Our friends the dogs are welcome in freedom if obedient... or kept on a leash.

      Observation of griffon vultures and diurnal birds of prey, Highland cows and Pyrenean goats, with a magnificent view of the mountains and the Atlantic Ocean (depending on weather conditions).

      5.30/6 p.m. Shop, drinks and Basque cake at LA MAISON DU POTTOK reserved for members of the association (private site not accessible to the general public).

      The members of the association are also invited to the various activities planned throughout the year.

      Next appointments: Beginning of September and end of November “ARRAPA POTTOKA” which means “Catching the Pottok” gently with treatment and identification of the foals.

      Looking forward to the pleasure of counting you among the defenders of the POTTOKA, the last little wild horse of South-West Europe.

      Reservation required: www.maisondupottok.com, Guided Tours page.

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LA MAISON DU POTTOK

Address

La maison du Pottok
64789 Bidarray

GPS coordinates

43° 15'56.06"N, 1° 21'1.95"W

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