Basque holiday, food adventure

“An exquisite small group holiday to Spain’s Basque region, one of Europe’s most desirable foodie destinations, full of memorable experiences to satisfy any appetite.”

Highlights

Basque foodie holiday | Bilbao | Mercado de La Rivera | Basque cookery lesson from a local chef | Logrono | Hands-on winery and vineyard tour | Xabi meal at a San Sebastian private eating club | Learn how to make traditional Basque cider |

Description of Basque holiday, food adventure

If you’re reading this with an empty stomach then you’ll be needing the button to make an immediate booking - it’s just to your right.

What follows is a feast of sensory experiences in Spain’s wonderful Basque region, home to almost 30 Michelin-starred restaurants, a place where people tend to spend most of their disposable income on food and, frankly, who could blame them?

Sandwiched between mountains and sea, the Basque region has a distinctive culture and geography that make its cuisine completely unique. Expect to discover the very best of it with this mouthwatering eight-day small group tour, beginning in Bilbao. Home to the renowned Guggenheim Museum, designed by Frank Gehry, Bilbao is also well-known for its traditional cod shops and food markets. You’ll enjoy a fascinating hands-on cookery demo from a local chef before moving on by private minibus to Logrono in the prestigious La Rioja wine region, a favoured stop for pilgrims on the Santiago de Compostela route. Here you’ll tour the vineyards and take part in experiments that explain the wine fermentation process. Naturally plenty of tasting is included too.

Onwards to San Sebastian, home of pintxo culture, where you’re invited to spend the evening at a historic private eating club where local men come together to cook for themselves and their wives.

Finally, before returning to Bilbao, one final treat: a tour of a traditional Basque cider house, with a superb menu to accompany it including chorizo sausage cooked in cider, salt cod omelette, bone-in ribeye steak, Basque cheese, quince jelly, walnuts and almond tiles.

If you’ve managed to get to the end of this description without booking, then you must have very strong willpower. But now it’s time to give in to destiny – if you love your food, this tour will prove irresistible.

Travel Team

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Date
Price
Basis
14 Oct 2020
£1899
including UK flights
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Responsible tourism

As the pioneers of responsible tourism, we screen every trip so you can travel knowing your holiday will help support conservation and local people.

Environment
Accommodation and Meals:
We will spend the week in various locally employed 3-star hotels. All hotels have to sign a cooperation agreement with our local operator in which encourages them to run their business in a sustainable and socially conscious manner. Where food is provided, Our local operators are always making sure that they work with locally owned restaurants where ingredients are locally sourced wherever possible. This will ensure that the money stays within the community. On one of the lunches, we have the opportunity to attend a cooking class in a Michelin recommended restaurant, where clients can attempt to create a local dish. There is also a chance to have a dinner at a gastronomical society in San Sebastian which is an exclusive dining where members come together to socialise and get together. Having a meal at these local societies allow clients to experience the true cultural life in San Sebestian.

Local craft and Culture:
On this trip, we will visit some of the best markets and shops in Bilbao, one of them is ‘Mercado de La Ribera’ which is a traditional market that provides a good introduction to Basque Country’s gastronomical goods. Many locals go there to buy fresh produce and have a drink and snack as well. It was also registered in the book of Guinness World Records for being the largest covered market in Europe. This is the perfect opportunity to interact with local people, purchase local produce and to support small street vendors by trying authentic food. We will also visit the most classic cod shops (bacaladerías) where bacalao (dried cod) and Iberian ham are sold.

We will also visit La Rioja, the capital of Spain’s most renowned wine region, filled with rich history and traditions and also home to some of the best tapas bars in Spain. Over there, we have activities in vineyards and wineries, to educate our clients on the wine fermentation process and also have a chance to taste some of the best wines in Spain, where our visit will eventually help support local production.

Group Size:
This is a small group tour, meaning that we have a low impact on the environments and communities we visit and are able to ensure that we do not disrupt or lead to the displacement of local people. The small number also allows us to stay in unique, family-run hotels that cannot benefit from coach tours and other mass tourism due to their limited sizes.

UK Office:
It all starts at home where we work towards reducing our carbon footprint in our offices through energy conservation measures, recycling policies and the promotion of cycling and walking as a means for our staff to commute. Our head office has become a plastic-free zone with the use of plastic bottles being banned in our head office and we distributed reusable water bottles and tote bags to every staff member. We also support a large number of community and environmental projects in different parts of the world and try to give something back to the places we visit.
Community

The Impacts of this Trip

We will spend the week in a variety of small, rural hotels throughout the trip. By spreading our commerce to several different local businesses, we are providing more financial benefit to the local community. Food is a massive part of Spanish culture and so where meals are provided (all breakfasts), our local staff are enthusiastic about showcasing fresh produce from the area. Your guides can make sure you’re acquainted with local restaurants and cafes, which is a great chance to both support the community and to get an authentic experience. The Rioja region is known for superb wines, but we also enjoy mouthwatering tapas, pinchos, menestras (vegetable stews) and succulent meats like goat and lamb.

Charity:
We support a local charity called RAIS Fundacion, which works with homeless people in the area to provide housing and training opportunities. Annually, we arrange activities every year with RAIS so that groups working with the charity can experience cycling and walking day trips with us.

Group Size:
This small group tour has a maximum of 16 participants, meaning that we have a low impact on the environments and communities we visit and are able to ensure that we do not disrupt or lead to the displacement of local people. The small number also allows us to stay in unique, family-run hotels that cannot benefit from coach tours and other mass tourism due to their limited sizes.

Climate

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