FRIDAY, May 4th What better way to discover an area than by its food? Discover the Basque Country at the Market Hall. Our morning destination where we will shop for a lunch along the seaside. Gateau Basque sheep's cheese, jambone de Bayonne, farm cider and Txacoli white wines. We'll explore the historic monuments built for the marriage of Louis the Fourteenth to the Infanta of Spain, Maria Theresa including the beautiful Baroque Church in the heart of St. Jean de Luz. Our afternoon will be free for shopping, a beach visit or wine at a small sidewalk café. We will enjoy a fabulous dinner filled with the freshest seafood of the region. San Sebastian/Donostia
SATURDAY, May 5th This morning we will have a private bus from our accommodation in St Jean de Luz to the 5 Star Hotel Maria Cristina in San Sebastian. Welcome to San Sebastian and the Southern Basque Countries! Voted European Cultural Capital of the year, Donostia (San Sebastian's Basque name) is a beautiful small city wrapped around the shell shaped bay called La Concha. From our centrally located luxury hotel, you can explore on foot, by bike or taxi to all of the city's great shopping. If food is the way to the heart, then the kitchen is the way to the soul. We will do it like the Basque.
Our local guides from San Sebastian Food lead us on a morning tour of shopping the markets, which overflow with ripe, fresh vegetables, fruit, meat, and freshly caught fish. We will stop in on our favorite gourmet shops to taste and select the best San Sebastian has to offer. Then, with baskets full, enter the holy grail, a private Basque Dining Society. Here we will share an aperitif with one of our Basque chefs, speak about the Basque food movement, before heading to a local restaurant to enjoy lunch.
Tonight we will enjoy a Pintxo tasting tour. Pintxos (Basque tapas) line every bar in San Sebastian's famed Old Town, but knowing where to find the best ones is an art. While it's hard to have a bad meal in town, knowing exactly where to go for the best, freshest, and most exciting pintxos takes local, insider knowledge. We dive straight into the culinary heart of the city for a night of eating and drinking unlike any you've ever experienced.
SUNDAY, May 6th Enjoy the quiet of a Sunday morning and a stroll along la Concha.
We'll leave for a special lunch in Getaria, south along the picturesque coast and in the afternoon visit the Balenciaga Museum and one of the seaside vineyards that make Txacoli wine. Our lunch will be at one of my favorite restaurants, Kaia Kaipe. The coastal drive is breathtaking as we return to San Sabestian. Our evening will be a stroll across the river to Gros and enjoy drinks and pintxos at Kursaal.
MONDAY, May 7th Our morning will feature an exciting and educational cooking class at the famous San Sebastian Food Kitchens with a Basque Cooking Class. The sea and the mountains surrounding the Basque capitals are rife with ancient traditions and the freshest of ingredients. In this culinary class journey, you will learn to prepare the famous Basque dishes from both the coastal fishing villages and the mountains. We will bring the history and traditions of Basque Country to life in this hands-on cooking class. Class ends with a full and delicious lunch. Late afternoon is free for shopping or exploring the town. In the evening we will enjoy Cocktails and Tapas at the Maria Christina Bette Davis Bar.
TUESDAY, May 8th
Departure at your leisure before checkout. Those wishing to visit the Rioja region and Bilbao will want to stay and make arrangements with Janice for an extended tour.