French and Spanish Basque Country Food & Wine

Description

Main Grape Varieties

French  

  • Cabernet Franc
  • Cabernet Sauvignon, Tannat
  • Courbu
  • Petit Courbu
  • Gros Manseng
  • Petit Manseng

Spanish

  • Tempranillo
  • Garnacha
  • Graciano
  • Mazuelo y Maturana Tinta
  • Viura
  • Malvasia
  • Garnacha Blanca
  • Tempranillo Blanco
  • Maturana Blanca
  • Turruntes
  • Chardonnay
  • Sauvignon Blanc Y Verdjo

France and Spain’s Basque countries offer incredible food and wine experiences to tempt foodies and wine lovers alike. The Basque country meets at the border of Northern Spain and southwest France between the rugged mountains of the Pyrénées and the Bay of Biscay.

This journey will take you to the quaint villages, historic ports and areas that not only reflect the Basque history and culture but include the typical food and wine from this area. Visit local farmers’ and fish markets, taste chocolate, cheese and olive oil at local specialty shops or producers.,

Explore the vineyards of Irouléguy, the only AOP in the Basque area of France. Try the earthy and delicate red wines and expressive fruity dry whites, but also discover unique wines that are vinified in the ocean. Then discover Spain and the vineyards of the beautiful Rioja with both modern architectural and old traditional bodegas. The Rioja wine region is famous for its red wines which are among the most prestigious wines of Spanish. La Rioja is a DOC is divided into three sub-zones: Rioja Alta, Rioja Alavesa and Rioja Baja. There are also the nearby regions of DO Navarra and DO Txakoli wines that are well worth exploring. While people come here for the food and wine, the landscape is breathtaking, rolling hills covered with vineyards and dotted with medieval villages near the Ebro river flowing along the way.

Highlights

  • Discover first-hand the Basque food, wine and culture 
  • Exceptional wine visits in Irouléguy, Rioja and Txakoli
  • Basque gastronomy to sample traditional desserts and confections
  • San Sebastian pintxos tour
  • Traditional Basque cooking class
  • Michelin Star Restaurants
  • Artisan cheese and olive oil tastings
  • Explore the Basque coast and picturesque fishing villages and ports
  • Visit the Guggenheim museum in Bilboa
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 Suggested Itinerary 9 – 12 days

Itineraries are hand crafted with extra care to create the right mix of food, wine, and culture for a memorable and unique experience. Here are some ideas and a sample itinerary. Contact us to get started.

Day 1 – Biarritz

  • Arriving in Biarritz, stay in a historic seaside hotel in Biarritz in Basque France
  • Remainder of the day to relax and enjoy the hotel pool/spa
  • Walk along the boardwalk
  • Visit the lighthouse for sweeping views of the Atlantic
  • Dinner at the hotel
  • Overnight in Biarritz

Day 2 –Biarritz / Bayonne

  • Morning tour in Biarritz to focus on haute couture and the history of famous designers or a bike tour to explore the city
  • This afternoon to discover Bayonne and the local ham and chocolate that made the town so famous
  • Overnight in Biarritz 

Day 3 – Saint Jean de Luz

  • Visit with a winemaker that is known for his underwater vinification
  • Walk the vineyards on the coastal road in Urrugne near Saint Jean de Luz
  • Visit the fishing village of Saint Jean de Luz with its gastronomic specialties, Basque heritage, and charming architecture and shops to taste some local products
  • Chocolate workshop with a local chocolatier
  • Overnight in Saint Jean de Luz

Day 4 –Espelette / Saint Jean Pied de Port/Irouleguy Wine

  • Visit of the Basque village of Espelette, known for the peppers of the same name that hang to dry from the local houses
  • Learn about the Espelette pepper and its production at a workshop.
  • Gastronomic lunch in Saint Jean Pied de Port
  • Explore Saint Jean Pied de Port where many pilgrims depart on their journey on the Camino de Santiago
  • This afternoon a stop at a local Irouléguy vineyard to taste and discover the different local wines.
  • Overnight in Saint Jean de Luz

Day 5- Rioja

  • Explore the hill-top village of Laguardia in the Rioja, famous for their subterranean wine cellars
  • Tasting and tour this morning at a winery that includes the subterranean cellars
  • Tasting this afternoon at a local family owned bodega and then a final tasting at a boutique winery producing some of the best reds in the region
  • Wine-tasting dinner this evening
  • Overnight in Rioja village

Day 6 – San Sebastian

  • Start the day in San Sebastian for a gourmet and sightseeing walking tour in the old town with a local expert 
  • This evening enjoy a pintxos walking tour
  • Overnight in San Sebastian

Day 7 – Navarra /Pamplona

  • Navarra region’s wine tasting and visit to wineries
  • Head to Pamplona and see the historic sites of the city and market
  • Walk the “race trail” of the running of bulls in Pamplona
  • Overnight in San Sebastian

Day 8 – San Sebastian / Bilbao

  • Drive along the coastline with a stop in towns like Guernic, Bermeo and San Juan de Gaztelugatxe
  • Visit of the Frank Gehry designed Guggenheim museum
  • Overnight in Bilbao

Day 9 – Depart

  • Private transfer to Bilbao or Biarritz to depart

Options

  • Visit the vineyards of Jurancon
  • Discover the vineyards and wine routes of Bordeaux and Saint Emilion
  • Explore the fishing village of Getaria and the Txkola wine region
  • Make your own cheese with a Basque cheesemaker
  • Stroll in the market with a private chef and learn how to cook traditional courses or pintxos
  • Extend your stay in the Rioja and take a walking tour in a local village with tastings at up to 11 wineries

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