Basque Food Adventure

7 days
from
CHF2’144
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Culture
Suitable for:
Age 18+
Activity level:
Leisurely
Activity Level: Leisurely
Trip code: 
ABS
Way to Travel:
Guided Group
Activity:
Culture
Group size:
5–16
Min age:
18

Uncover the gastronomic & cultural delights of the Basque country. 

Home to nearly thirty Michelin-starred restaurants and where people spend most of their disposable income on food, it comes as no surprise that Spain, and in particular the Basque region, represents one of the best destinations for a foodie trip. Due to its distinctive geographic and cultural landscape, the mix of sea and mountain cultures offers an incredible food range. Our comprehensive food journey starts in Bilbao when we will visit the famous markets and have a cookery class with a chef from a Michelin-recommended restaurant. We will then head to pilgrimage city of Logroño and sample the excellent pintxos (Basque-style tapas) on offer, before exploring a vineyard in Rioja to learn more about the wine-making tradition of this region. In the Basque capital of San Sebastián, we will enjoy some of the city's best pintxos then end the trip with a unique culinary experience, dining at an exclusive gastronomy society.

Highlights

  • Explore the trendiest cities of the Basque region and the pilgrim town of Logroño
  • Wander through the most famous Bilbao’s markets followed by a cookery class in a Michelin-recommended restaurant
  • Be a winegrower for the morning in Rioja and taste some of the popular wines of the area
  • Indulge in some of the region's best pintxos in Logroño and San Sebastián
  • Experience a unique cultural evening at a Basque private dining club

Key information

  • 6 nights in 3-star hotels
  • Sample a variety of local specialities during the included produce and wine tastings
  • Group normally 5 to 16, plus local leader. Min age 18 yrs
  • Travel by private minibus and taxis
  • Countries visited: Spain

What's included

  • All breakfasts, 2 lunches and 3 dinners
  • All accommodation
  • Transfers for group flights

What's not included

  • Travel insurance
  • Visas & vaccinations
  • Single supplement
Call for general departures:
056 631 86 64
Call for tailor made trips:
+44 (0)20 8772 3874
Trip Notes

Click on the button below for detailed Trip Notes containing all the particulars about this trip, including kit lists and practical information.

Note: these can vary by departure; you can check out the specific Trip Notes for your chosen adventure on the dates & prices page.

Responsible Travel

At Exodus we believe in the power of Responsible Travel.

Every time we travel, we are part of a global movement that creates jobs, builds more sustainable societies, encourages cultural understanding and safeguards common natural and cultural heritage. To learn more about what Responsible Travel means to Exodus click here… 

Itinerary

  • Day 1

    Start Bilbao; dinner at a traditional restaurant.

    The trip starts in the northern Spanish city of Bilbao. After check-in, we will have some free time to relax until the welcome meeting. Have your insurance and next of kin details on hand as the leader will be collecting them at this meeting.

    In the evening we will have a welcome dinner at a traditional restaurant in Bilbao, one of the most renowned foodie cities in Spain due to the vast choice of products, both from the sea and the surrounding countryside.

    Hotel Sercotel Arenal or similar

    Meals included: Dinner
  • Day 2

    Visit Bilbao's famous market; cookery class with a chef from a Michelin-recommended restaurant; free time

    To start our unforgettable food adventure, we will visit Bilbao's famous Mercado de La Ribera (located by the river), as well as the classic cod shops (bacaladerías) where bacalao (dried cod) and Iberico ham are sold. We will be accompanied by a culinary guide who will provide explanations and insights about local products and customs before taking us to the cooking venue. At the restaurant, we’ll be welcomed by the chef who will share with us the secrets of becoming a master in the kitchen. Put on your apron and learn how to create your own delicious meal! We'll enjoy our lunch with expertly paired wines.

    The remainder of the day will be free to explore Bilbao at your own pace. We recommend a visit to the Guggenheim Museum; designed by the architect Frank Gehry, it is an architectural masterpiece not to be missed. Please check opening times here: https://www.guggenheim-bilbao.eus/en/hours-and-admission/

    Please note: cookery classes are usually given by Paul Ibarra, who trained under Fernando Canales, chef at Michelin star restaurant Etxanobe. Paul Ibarra is currently chef at Los Fueros, which is recommended by the Michelin Guide. The cookery class takes place upstairs and there is no lift access.

    Hotel Sercotel Arenal or similar

    Meals included: Breakfast Lunch
  • Day 3

    Transfer to the pilgrimage city of Logroño, sightseeing and pintxos evening

    This morning we travel by private minibus to the town of Logroño (approx. 1 hour 30 minutes), situated in the famous wine region of Rioja. The town sits on the banks of the Ebro River and is the capital of Spain’s most renowned wine region. The city is rich in history and traditions, preserved since the Middle Ages. It also boasts one of the most distinguished culinary traditions in the country, home to some of the best tapas bars in the whole of Spain, all crammed into its small medieval centre.

    After checking in at our accommodation, we will get the chance to stroll through the streets of this favourite stop for pilgrims en route to Santiago de Compostela. Logroño is a handsome city of medieval fortifications, where much work is being done to restore it to its former glory. In the evening we will head out to sample some of the best pintxos (Basque-style tapas) that Logroño has to offer. The sheer concentration of pintxos bars in the old town has led to intense competition and incredibly high standards.

    Hotel F&G Logroño or similar

    Meals included: Breakfast Dinner
  • Day 4

    Rioja vineyards and wine tasting; free afternoon

    This morning we will experience what it is like to be a winegrower as we participate in an ancient tradition. With the guidance of a professional we’ll have the chance to carry out different activities in the vineyards and winery, as well as acquire an in-depth knowledge of all the stages associated with producing a good Rioja wine and conduct experiments to understand the wine fermentation processes. After working in the vineyard, we will enjoy an appetiser of pâté, chorizo, cheese and bread, all locally sourced. In the winery we’ll have the chance to taste some of the wines straight out of the barrels to observe their evolution during the ageing process and determine the one we like best. The remainder of the day is free to explore the town.

    Hotel F&G Logroño or similar

    Meals included: Breakfast
  • Day 5

    Transfer to San Sebastián and pintxos lunch; free afternoon

    Travel by private vehicle to the city of San Sebastián, jewel of the Basque country and a city obsessed with food. With its family-friendly beaches and vibrant old city, San Sebastián is a fantastic place to stroll along the promenade, shop, or just to soak up the sun. With your guide, visit some of the city's excellent pintxos bars and indulge in some of San Sebastián's most delicious tapas-style dishes.

    The rest of the afternoon is free to explore at leisure. For one of the best photos of San Sebastián, take the funicular up Monte Igueldo. This evening, we recommend you to have a special dining experience at one of the renowned Michelin star restaurants in the city.

    Sercotel Hotel Europa or similar

    Meals included: Breakfast Lunch
  • Day 6

    Day at leisure, farewell dinner with Basque specialities at a private dining club

    Enjoy a day at leisure until the late afternoon when we will meet for a farewell dinner. The place chosen is a very traditional place known as a Sociedad Gastronómica. Not fancy, nor particularly refined, it is a members-only private dining club (traditionally owned by men) where locals used to meet their friends and family to cook together, eat, drink and talk. Basque society is very female-oriented; a husband brought home his pay and handed it directly to his wife, who controls the household. Basque men felt they needed a place to congregate and play ‘king of the castle’ so they founded these clubs where members could reserve a table and cook with friends. The clubs used to be exclusively male, but that has changed now. Women can come along, but they are not allowed in the kitchen. 

    With your Tour Leader, visit a Sociedad Gastronómica for an evening immersed in Basque food and culture. Our host will be a member of the society, who will be in charge of cooking for us, so we can focus on sitting back and enjoying the culinary delights that will be served.

    Sercotel Hotel Europa or similar

    Meals included: Breakfast Dinner
  • Day 7

    End San Sebastián

    Our trip ends in San Sebastián following breakfast.

    Meals included: Breakfast
Trip Notes

Click on the button below for detailed Trip Notes containing all the particulars about this trip, including kit lists and practical information.

Note: these can vary by departure; you can check out the specific Trip Notes for your chosen adventure on the dates & prices page.

Essential Info

Visas

Vaccinations

Spain

There are no specific health risks.

Eating and Drinking

All breakfasts, 1 appetiser, 2 lunches and 3 dinners are included. Lunch on day 2 will be a cookery class with a chef from a Michelin-recommended restaurant. Other gastronomic experiences that are included in the itinerary:

  • Dinner at a well-known restaurant in Bilbao
  • Pintxos lunch in Logroño and pintxos dinner in San Sebastián
  • Wine tasting and appetisers in the Rioja region
  • Dinner at a private dining club in San Sebastián

Please note that during the pintxos bar visits, the tour leader will order pintxos for the group, averaging 4 small dishes per person. 1 drink will be included in the first bar.

The Basque Country has now become the most important tourist destination in Spain in relation to food. Being a coastal and border region allows for its local dishes to be a mixture of sea and mountain cultures with modern top-quality cooking. This trend emerged over the last decades with the appearance of the so-called Basque Nouvelle Cuisine. The good food is the centre of any social occasion and is a reflection of the character of the Basque people, a people devoted to tradition and cooking.

Please note meal times in Spain are later than in many other countries; dinner is usually taken between 20:00hrs and 21.30hrs.

GLOSSARY

The Basque country had its own language called Euskara which is one of the most unusual and difficult languages in the world.

A few useful words for your food adventure:

Zurito - a tiny beer 

Txotx - toothpick (pronounced chotch) 

While this word literally means toothpick, it is also said when you tip the cider out of the barrel to announce to everyone that the barrel is open and they should fill their glasses. 

Pintxos – Basque-style tapas (pronounced peen-chos)

While this word literally means toothpick food, it is the Basque word for tapas. the main difference between pintxos and tapas is that pintxos uses toothpicks to avoid the food top from falling off the bread-slice bottom.

Txakoli - Basque sparkling wine (pronounced chakoli) 

Poteo or txikiteo (pronounced chikiteo)

The Basque tradition of moving from one pintxos bar to another, enjoying different dishes at each bar.

Weather

In the Basque country the climate tends to be mild on the coast and a little more continental and dry in the south.

In May and October expect temperatures in the 12-19ºC with higher chance of rain showers though it could also be simply partly cloudy and more temperate. Temperatures in June and September tend to be about 3ºC warmer than May and October. Expect a combination of sun, showers and clouds.

Is this trip for you?

This trip is Activity Level 1 for Leisurely.

This is a food and cultural trip exploring the Basque country and the wine region of Rioja. There is some gentle walking involved on most days during the sightseeing and in relation to the activities, but the focus is on gastronomy. The overall Activity Level for this trip is 1 (Leisurely) meaning that it is suitable for all people who are in good health.

Following a review of all our trips we have categorised this trip as not suitable for full wheelchair users, but it may be suitable for other persons of reduced mobility. Please contact customer services to discuss the trip and your personal condition.

Call for general departures:
056 631 86 64
Call for tailor made trips:
+44 (0)20 8772 3874
Trip Notes

Click on the button below for detailed Trip Notes containing all the particulars about this trip, including kit lists and practical information.

Note: these can vary by departure; you can check out the specific Trip Notes for your chosen adventure on the dates & prices page.

Accommodation

Comfortable hotels

Please be advised that the below accommodation listed in each location are the usual hotels. However, there may be some departures where groups stay at other hotels of similar standard and quality. We use a mix of well located 3-star hotels during our trip, chosen for their comfort and convenience. Please note that interior rooms might be allocated subject to availability.

All rooms are double/twin with and all hotels offer free Wi-Fi.

Hotel list:

Bilbao: Hotel Sercotel Arenal or similar

Logroño: F&G Logroño or similar

San Sebastián: Hotel Sercotel Europa or similar

Call for general departures:
056 631 86 64
Call for tailor made trips:
+44 (0)20 8772 3874
Trip Notes

Click on the button below for detailed Trip Notes containing all the particulars about this trip, including kit lists and practical information.

Note: these can vary by departure; you can check out the specific Trip Notes for your chosen adventure on the dates & prices page.

Expert Blog Entries

Be the first to post your review! If you have recently returned from an Exodus adventure and want to help other travellers with your feedback then simply use the link below to post your holiday review.

Dates & Prices

An overview of flight options

Exodus is committed to making joining our tours as easy as possible, wherever you live. We generally only block book seats from London, but this certainly does not mean that you need to fly from there. Depending on the route and airlines available, there will usually be various options available for those who want to fly from their local airport.

This page aims to provide a useful overview of the options available to our clients. However, the best flight arrangements should be tailored to your personal requirements, so please contact our Sales team for expert advice.

 

What kind of options do I have ?

1. We can book for you: Flights from anywhere in the world - not via London  

Depending on the route, this may be direct or via an overseas hub like Amsterdam, the Middle East or elsewhere. On short haul routes there may be direct flights with low cost airlines, charter flights or scheduled airlines. Exodus can book most, but not all, of these for you. The most appropriate airline may be different to that which we use for the group flight from London, but many people now travel on different airlines and meet up with their fellow passengers at the destination.

Pros Cons
  • May be the most direct route
  • Often the extra fare compared to the London flight is minimal.
  • As you will be in the hands a single airline for your entire journey, the airline will be responsible for your bags and your connections.
  • You may not be able to join the group transfers. However, we can usually arrange private transfers, or book your flights to try and coincide with the group transfers. See notes on transfer arrangements below.

 

2. We can book for you: Connecting flights from your local airport to London

Exodus can book connecting flights to London so you can join the group flight there. Connecting times will be followed according to airline advice, or as requested by clients. There are two types of fares we can use for this option: a 'through-fare' or a 'published fare'.
 
a) A 'through-fare' is where you will be in the main airline's care throughout. You change planes, but your bags are checked all the way through to your final destination. 

b) A 'published fare' ticket is completely seperate from your onward ticket from London. It is usually cheaper than a through-fare but will need to be paid for and issued as soon as it is booked. This can be a problem if your tour has not yet reached minimum numbers. On 'published fares' neither airline is aware that you have connecting flights, so Exodus is responsible for timing your connection, not the airlines involved. The tickets are also usually non changeable and non refundable.

Pros Cons
  • Depending on the fare type, Exodus or the airline is responsible for flight connections.
  • Through fare tickets can be expensive.
  • On a published fare, tickets must be issued immediately; tickets on published fares can be very difficult to change if onward flight times change; bags are not checked though to your final destination.
  • Published fares are non-refundable.

 

3. Booking some or all of the flights yourself

You can also book connecting air travel yourself, either to London, or all the way to the start point. There may be certain airlines or routes we don't have access to, so this is always an option. However, if you make your own travel arrangements you become liable for any delays, cancellations or missed connections, and Exodus is not required to offer refunds if you have trouble reaching the start of your trip.

Pros Cons
  • You might find cheaper fares, or routes not available to Exodus.
  • You are responsible for any delays or missed connections, and the cost of the tour is not protected should you miss your flight be cancelled.

 

 Notes on transfer arrangements

Sometimes it is possible to travel on a different airline to the group flight from London. Where this is the case, we need to think about ensuring you meet up with the group with minimum extra cost and hassle.

  • On certain trips, it is easy to arrive on a different flight and still meet the group at the hotel with time in hand. We can usually arrange private transfers (at extra cost) or offer advice on taking a taxi to the start hotel.
  • On other trips (especially in Europe), the transfer meets the group flight and then travels some distance to the first night's accommodation. Where this is the case, our Sales team will try to arrange flights that arrive before (and depart after) the group. However, we do have to make it clear in your final documentation that if your flights are delayed, the transfer cannot wait for you. While Exodus or our local operators will do what we can to help you reach the start point of the tour, any additional costs must be paid by the client. 

 

Next steps? 

Call our Sales team on: 0203 733 0698

Email your query: [email protected]

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