Active Gourmet Holidays
Active Gourmet Holidays

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(Option: Customized Itineraries)
Basque Country, Spain - 3 nights
Available year round

 

San Sebastián is one of the most fascinating cities in the world. Famous for its beaches and pintxos (Basque name for tapas), San Sebastián is a "must see" when visiting northern Spain. In this tour we offer the opportunity to prepare authentic pintxos with a talented chef in a hands-on cooking class. San Sebastián's old city center has the highest concentration of bars and you will be taken on a private guided pintxos tour, visiting the best bars that only a local would know. 

 

Choose between two fabulous full day tours that will introduce you to the areas surrounding this captivating city that cannot be missed while visiting this region. One of the two tours takes you to beautiful cities in France like St. Jean de Luz and Biarritz. 

 

We can also include an optional city tour upon your arrival and this tour can be extended to include more days if time allows. Accommodations are in either a 3 or 4 star hotel.

 

 

 

ITINERARY

 

Day One

 

OPTIONAL CITY TOUR AND A PINTXO GUIDED TOUR   

 

Arrival on your own to your hotel in San Sebastián. (optional private transfer from San Sebastián airport or Bilbao airport to your hotel in San Sebastián)

 

 

OPTIONAL GUIDED CITY TOUR

 

 

At 5:30pm you can have a two hour combined car and walking city tour of San Sebastián. Walking through its old town, temples, museums and cathedral in the city center, and later on driving up to Igeldo to get the best views in town!

 

You will have the chance to admire San Sebastián from its best viewpoint, Mount Igueldo, that will give you the full perspective of the city.

 

A short stop in the "Peine de los Vientos" to visit the most symbolic place of the city, and then a complete walk through the city, with multiple stories and tales that happened in San Sebastián during the history. 


Then you will be picked up at your hotel at 7:30pm for a PRIVATE pintxo guided tour. We will take you to the best 5 places in town and will introduce you to this fantastic local custom. We do not want you to eat like a tourist, we want you to dine as a local!

 

This tour will allow you to enjoy the region’s famous miniature food in the old town of San Sebastián. A special selection of 5 pintxos (Basque tapas) paired with 5 Spanish wines (or water or soft drinks) in up to 5 bars. It is a very nice way to have an informal dinner, learning about the local customs and tasting the best specialties in our favorite bars!  

 

Day Two

 

CREATING PINTXOS COOKING CLASS

 

Our chef is one of San Sebastián's very few private chefs. He spent many years in Europe and USA honing his skills in the professional kitchens of Lauceston plance in London and Il Buco in New York.

 

This is an invitation to the Basque culture of food. Our motivation is to show, share, enjoy, buy, prepare and cook with you, have a very nice time together and have fun. We will enjoy a wide variety of wholesome food raised ethically to serve it with love. It’s a walk through of everyday life in the Basque Country and Spain. A chance to experience that introduces you to the way in sourcing the freshest ingredients and try and enjoy them fresh locally grown fruits, fish and meat. Our cooking depends on the seasonal market. All this and much more...

 

First of all, what is a pintxo? Pintxos are small finger foods served at bars and taverns throughout the Basque Country. They are quintessential Basque and form the backbone of the local food culture. 

 

Learn how to prepare some of the region's quintessential pintxo dishes. You'll have the opportunity to savor the fruits of your effort. This four-hour cooking class gives you the perfect taste of local cuisine, from traditional cuisine to avant–garde cuisine, low temperature and sous vide cooking and some molecular gastronomy techniques. The class starts at 11am and ends around 3 or 4pm.

 

 

MENU

 

GILDA

Chilli, anchovies and olives.,

the first genuine pintxo of San Sebastián.

 

TXISTORRA FRITA

Deep fried fast cured sausage from the Basque Country

 

PISTO Y HUEVO

courgette, red pepper, onion, tomato, gently stewed with a sous vide style free range egg

 

BROCHETA DE GAMBAS

Skewers of lightly grilled prawns with my secret dressing

 

TOSTA DE BACALAO Y MORRON

Low temperature cooked Codfish with roasted capsicum peppers on crusty bread

 

PANTXINETA

Traditional dessert of San Sebastián, puff pastry stuffed of custard cream and topped with almonds and icing sugar 

 

This is a private class in a private place, only your group with the chef and a guide. 

 

Day Three

 

FULL DAY GUIDED TOUR BIARRITZ AND FRENCH BASUE COAST TOUR OR FULL DAY GUIDED TOUR BASQUE WEST COAST AND COUNTRYSIDE TOUR

 

Private driving excursion into French Basque area including stops at Saint-Jean-de- Luz, Hendaia, Biarritz and Hondarribia 

Pick up from San Sebastian and drop off in San Sebastian 

 

Biarritz and French Basque Coast Tour     

Crossing to The French Basque area 

The French Basque region has got its own identity, posh Biarritz was the European royalty's favourite summer holiday spot and St. Jean de Luz is an enchanting fishing village.

 

HENDAIA

 

The longest beach of the Basque Country! After a short stroll along the beach promenade, we will depart to Saint Jean de Luz through the beautiful coastal “La Corniche Road”

 

SAINT JEAN DE LUZ

 

Former Basque Corsairs’ capital, this small fishing village became rich in the 16th century from fishing and whaling. Piracy,  brought wealth to the town. The ‘finest moment’ for the town was in 1660, when Louis XIV married Marie-Thérèse of Spain in the town church – the Basque church of St John the Baptist 

 

BIARRITZ

 

One of the most posh beach resorts of the Basque Coast. It is a luxurious seaside town and is popular with tourists and surfers. Biarritz also boasts some of the best beaches in Europe. Biarritz’s became more renowned in 1854 when Empress Eugenie (the wife of Napoleon III) built a palace on the beach (now the Hôtel du Palais). The British royal family and European royalty regularly took vacations in Biarritz. On the way back you will have a guided tour of Hondarribia

 

HONDARRIBIA

 

One of the most beautiful towns of the Basque Country, its medieval old part, is one of the few fortified towns in the Basque Country. Its walls, most of which are still standing and are constantly being restored, give it a special appearance by evoking an epic past and by impregnating every corner, alley and square with aromas, flavors and sounds that take us back to past times. We could also find the typical Basque fishermen houses, with colorful balconies filled up with heaps of flowers.

Return to San Sebastian around 5.00 PM.

 

~OR~

 

Basque West Coast and Countryside Tour      

 

Pick up from San Sebastián and drop off in San Sebastián

 

The best "Off The Beaten Path" Basque tour

 

Explore the rural Basque countryside and charming coastal villages, all in one day!

 

MOUNT ERNIO

 

Driving near to the summit of this rocky mountain, we will make a short walk out in the fields to admire both, the inland green valleys, and the Atlantic ocean.

 

SANCTUARY OF LOIOLA

 

An impressive religious monument, built between the seventeenth and eighteenth centuries around the Casa Torre is the birthplace of the founder of the Jesuites, St. Ignatius of Loyola.

 

MOUNT IZARRAITZ

 

Drive through narrow mountain roads, villages, sheep and cows … we will discover the essence of the Basque Country! Stop at the foothills of Mount Izarraitz to have beautiful views of the mountainous interior as well as the coastline.

 

COASTAL CLIFFS IN ZUMAIA

 

The place where the green mountains, suddenly meet the Atlantic Ocean! Take a walk of 30 minutes for a nice spot to discover an amazing place! At this point of the coast, the mountains drop steeply to sea level, with wonderful views and let us look at the raw rock formations formed over millions of years.

 

BASQUE FISHING VILLAGE, GETARIA

 

The charming little fishing village of Getaria. Home of Juan Sebastian Elcano (Getaria 1487-1526) the man who was first to sail around the world. It is probably one of the most treasured medieval centers which best reflects the passing of time. 

 

Return to San Sebastián around 5.00 PM. 

 

Day Four

   

Departure after breakfast.

  

Optional private transfer from hotel to San Sebastián airport or Bilbao airport  

 

Note: We can book extra nights in San Sebastián to enable you to do both of the tours described above, or transfer you to Bilbao or Rioja where you can do another tour with us.

 

 

 

 

GROUP SIZE

 

A minimum of 2 participants is required to run this tour and the tour is limited to a maximum of 7 participants. Please inquire about larger groups.

 

(The number of participants refers to how many persons are required to run the tour, not to how many persons you must have in your  party. Please inquire.)

 

 

 

HOW TO ARRIVE

 

Convenient airports: San Sebastián or Bilbao 

 

*These details are provided as additional information. Please check below to see if transfers are included in this tour.

 

 

 BOOKING INFORMATION

 

2018 Fees Per Person

 

Double Room/US$1725

 

*Please inquire about lower pricing based on 4 persons

 

*Pricing may vary depending on market fluctuation

 

 

Deposit

After availability is confirmed, a 30% non-refundable deposit per person and the completed and submitted registration form will secure your reservation. Final payment is due no later than 75 days before your arrival date. 

 

2018 Dates

Available upon request 

 

Included

THREE NIGHT ITINERARY

 

*Three (3) nights’ accommodation in a 3 or 4 star hotel with breakfast
*Guided pintxo tour for dinner in the old quarter
*Private Pintxo hands on cooking class with an expert chef (includes market tour, welcome drink, instruction, aperitif, multi-course lunch comprised of the dishes made in class, a selection of Spanish wines & digestive) 
*One of these two tours: Full day guided tour Biarritz and French Basque Coast tour OR Full day guided tour Basque west coast and countryside tour 

 

OPTIONAL SERVICES:

*Arrival private transfer to your hotel from San Sebastián airport or Bilbao airport or Bilbao city
*Guided city tour of San Sebastián on arrival day at 5:30pm
*Departure private transfer to San Sebastián airport or Bilbao airport
*Additional nights if you wanted to do both of the tour described on Day 3   

 

NOT INCLUDED:

 

*Flights and transfers to and from San Sebastián or Bilbao
*Travel insurance
*Personal expenses 
*Any items not specifically mentioned in the program

 

 

For further inquiries or to register, click here.

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CANCELLATION POLICY

 

Please contact us for cancellation policy information. Travel insurance is highly recommended.

 

 

CLIENT REMARKS

 

Furnished upon request.

 

 

 

MAP*

This exciting region is depicted below. You can also access Google MapsTM by clicking HERE. 

 

*In some cases mapping may give clients a general sense of location due to changes in venue. Please inquire about specific location.

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COOKING IN THE DORDOGNE

"It was an absolutely marvelous week. The accommodations were superb. I loved the course, the host, and the Chambre d'Hote which is a lovely country house equipped with everything one could possibly need. I was incredibly pleased to when dealing with AGH. All in all, a fantastic experience that I hope to be able to repeat, perhaps in Italy next time." Anita D., Encinitas, California

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