French Basque Country Culinary Escape
French Cheese
Espelette peppers, France
French Basque Country Culinary Escape
Saint-Jean-de-Luz, France
Bayonne, France
French Basque Country Culinary Escape

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Trip Overview

Set out to southwestern France to discover the unique heritage of the Basque Country. This extraordinary destination is like no other in France, gifting the outstanding chance to see off-the-beaten-path towns and taste delicious local cuisine. Plus, apart from guided tours, enjoy 8 full days at a countryside villa learning how to prepare French delicacies from a Michelin chef!
 

Tour type:
Small group tour
Tour rating:
4.89 / 5, Based on
  • BEST HOTELS
  • Charming boutique villa
    7 nights
  • BEST CONNECTIONS
  • Private airport/railway station transfers
    Guide-drivers for day trips
  • BEST SIGHTSEEING
  • 1 guided sightseeing tour
    4 day trips
  • MEALS
  • 7 breakfasts
    5 lunches
    7 dinners by a Michelin chef

Day-by-Day

Day 1
Arrival to Biarritz

Welcome to France! Upon arrival, your driver meets you at the arrivals hall of the Biarritz Pays Basque Airport (or the Biarritz train station) holding a sign with your name on it and takes you to your villa accommodation.

After check-in, the rest of the day is free so you can start exploring the surroundings of the French countryside or take a good rest in your comfortable room. In the evening you are invited to dinner.

Dinner is included.

Day 2
Biarritz Food Tour

Following breakfast, you start a tour to the Basque Region (or Euskadi as it is called by locals). This region is unlike any others in France, the Basques are very proud of their one-of-a-kind past and heritage, alluring travelers with the region's many landmarks and picturesque vistas. From the dramatic cliffs to the sandy beaches, there is nothing not to love about the landscape here. In just one hour you can go from the rugged Pyrenees Mountains to the Atlantic Coastline.

Biarritz is an exceptional destination located in the heart of the Basque Country. Recently, the French Government has chosen the brand Biarritz-Basque Country, a jewel of international tourism, to underline the advantages of tourism in France, along with 19 other destinations. Today you get to explore Biarritz from a culinary side as you taste the famed Espelette chili pepper, the pride of the Basque Country. Red, lustrous, gently spiced and full of fruity flavor, it forms the basis of many Basque recipes, including the famous piperade, an omelet of peppers and tomatoes.

After the tour, you return to the accommodation at about 5 pm and have the rest of the day at leisure. In the evening (and from this day on), your Michelin Star Chef cooks dinner using local recipes and seasonal products picked daily for you and with you (those who want to learn more about French cooking are welcome to participate).

Breakfast, lunch and dinner are included.

Day 3
Highlights of Bayonne

After breakfast, you travel to Bayonne, boasting significant architectural heritage and rich history. Bayonne has strong policies on heritage and culture and obtained France's official "Town of Art & History" status in 2012, in recognition of its 2,000 years of history and rich heritage.

Today you enjoy Jambon de Bayonne which is the best ham in the world! Together with the guide, you learn how this beautiful meat is produced from the field to the plate. The local culinary scene is a combination of French and Spanish dishes and you get to enjoy it as part of our tour. Vibrant and brightly colored, sea fish is a hero ingredient in the cuisine of the Basque coast, as well as the dish of marmitako, a stew of Atlantic tuna fish cooked with olive oil and vegetables, and a plate of chipirons, small local squid served in their ink or with a serving of onion and pepper marmalade. Plus pork is often used for making ham and charcuterie, other meats also occupy an important place in Basque cuisine.

After the tour, you return to the accommodation at about 5 pm and have the rest of the afternoon free. This evening, your Michelin Star Chef cooks the dinner for you and with you.

Breakfast, lunch and dinner are included.

Day 4
Tour to Espelette & Ainhoa

Following breakfast, you start a tour of the marvelous Basque villages and country landscapes. Spain's San Sebastian is incredible, but if you really want to sink your teeth into Basque culture, then a day trip to one of its quaint little villages is also a must.

Espelette and Ainhoa are amongst the most well-known ones, mostly because of peppers, the houses there are built in the traditional Basque manner and the streets are lined with boutiques and artisanal markets selling homemade chocolates among other delights.

Poulet Basquaise is a dish of chicken pieces sautéed with onions and peppers, then cooked slowly with a glass of white wine. A trip to this region would not be complete, without trying the famous dessert of gâteau basque, filled with custard or, more traditionally, blackberry jam.

After the tour, you return to the accommodation at about 5 pm and have the rest of the afternoon free. In the evening your Michelin Star Chef cooks the dinner for you and with you.

Breakfast, lunch, and dinner are included.

Day 5
Day at Leisure

After breakfast, you have the day at leisure. You may travel to the city to explore its museums, shops, and galleries or stay in the countryside to enjoy the beauty of this French region.

Traditionally, in the evening, your Michelin Star Chef cooks the dinner for you and with you.

Breakfast and dinner are included.

Day 6
Tour to Saint-Jean-de-Luz

Following breakfast, embark on a trip to Saint-Jean-de-Luz, one more breathtaking village worth visiting. Its famous glimmering gold beach is right in the center of town, offering a perfect location for relaxing in the sun, listening to the waves lap the shore.

Around 40km (30 miles) to the east of Saint-Jean-de-Luz is Saint-Jean-Pied-de-Port. This town is imbued with historical significance as it is a strategic point on the Camino de Santiago de Compostella pilgrimage route.

Together you visit St Jean Pied de Port market and fill baskets with cheese, fresh vegetables, and seafood. At the end of the tour day, you sample a few pintxos (snacks) pairing with a glass or two of Irouléguy, the only AOC-certified vineyard in the Basque Country.

After the tour, you return to the accommodation at about 5 pm and have the rest of the afternoon free. This evening your Michelin Star Chef cooks the dinner for you and with you.

Breakfast, lunch and dinner are included.

Day 7
Gourmet Adventure in Ciboure & Navarre

After breakfast, you start a tour, providing a wonderful opportunity to buy traditional products in the Basque Region and thus taking a part of this fascinating region home with you, together with great memories from France.

A popular gift to take home is a pair of authentic Basque espadrilles sandals, "handicraft" household linen or a traditional Basque Beret. As part of your tour, you get to visit workshops where these beautiful items are made.

You also visit two amazing restaurants in France. The first, Chez Mattin in a small Ciboure village. On the menu are duck confit, their legendary ttoro (pronounced "tioro"), an excellent, spicy multi-fish ragout (conger, hake, monkfish, with mussels and langoustines as well) served in the pot it was cooked in.

The second is in the Navarre Mountains, close to the Spanish border, where you enjoy locally produced sheep milk cheeses from Iraty, seated on the terrace around a pink sandstone table, perfect croquettes (ham and salt cod) superb plancha-grilled cod with potatoes, sweet chilies, parsley and onion, and finally a homemade "bukatzeko etxeko gozoak" (dessert), a rich chocolate tart. Sweet or savory, everything in the Basque country is an excuse for playing with flavors.

After the tour, you return to the accommodation at about 5 pm and have the rest of the afternoon free. Today you enjoy a farewell dinner cooked by you and your Michelin Star Chef.

Breakfast, lunch and dinner are included.

Day 8
Departure

This is the last day of your tour of the French Basque Country destinations and gastronomy. Your driver meets you at your accommodation and takes you to the Biarritz Pays Basque Airport or Biarritz train station depending on where you travel next.

We wish you a safe flight and hope to work on your future vacations!

Breakfast is included.


Included

7 nights at a charming countryside villa

  • Hand picked hotels
  • Best value rooms
  • Restaurant
7 nights at a charming countryside villa

Always included:

  • Best location
  • Breakfasts
  • All taxes and fees

What's Included
  • Accommodation at remarkable countryside villa in the French Basque region;
  • Breakfasts, lunches, and dinners according to the itinerary;
  • Airport transfers and all transportation according to the itinerary;
  • Breathtaking culinary tours according to the itinerary with an English-speaking tour leader;
  • Emergency line support during the trip.

Not included: international flights, multiple arrival/departure transfers, other meals not mentioned in the program, optional tours and services, all personal expenses.

NOTE: hotels availability is subject to change, in case current hotels are booked out we will provide alternative hotels of an equal value for you. The sequence of the program days is subject to modification depending on weather conditions.

Tour Highlights
  • Stays at a fine villa in the gorgeous French countryside
  • Enjoying and learning to cook dishes of fine French cuisine from a Michelin chef
  • Exploring the heart of the Basque region and its culinary heritage in Biarritz
  • Touring Bayonne, Espelette & Ainhoa
  • Trips to the glorious Saint-Jean-de-Luz, Ciboure & Navarre
What to Know
  • It's always best to bring some cash in local currency for your trip. You will need Euros for your time in France
  • Most communication equipment takes 220/110 volts, you will need an adapter plug (type E) to make your plug fit into the socket
  • You will be walking quite a bit during your sightseeing tours, so make sure to bring comfortable shoes

Dates & Rates

Dates
May 16
May - 23, 2020
Friends trip: 4+ travelers (price per person)
$2,738
deposit
$548
Two travelers: double occupancy (price per person)
$3,288
deposit
$658
Single traveler
$3,740
deposit
$748
Dates
May 16
May - 23, 2020
Friends trip: 4+ travelers (price per person)
$2,738
deposit
$548
Two travelers: double occupancy (price per person)
$3,288
deposit
$658
Single traveler
$3,740
deposit
$748

Map


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