Our seven days/six nights journey starts in San Sebastian, one of the most elegant cities in Spain and the gastronomic capital of the Basque Country. You will enjoy cooking and eating at a "Sociedad Gastronomica" (Gastronomic Society), visit a txacoli winery and the fishing town of Guetaria. Three cooking lessons at San Sebastian will provide you with a quite a good introduction to famous Basque Cuisine. We journey further west to Santillana del Mar on the Cantabrian coast, one of the most beautiful medieval villages in Spain, where you will visit the Altamira museum and the coastal town of Comillas. Our last stop will be Bilbao, where you will visit the magnificent Frank Ghery Guggenheim Museum and the biggest food market in Europe, before our departure for home.
Day 1: San Sebastian
Arrival in San Sebastian. Called Donostia in Basque language, is the capital of Gipuzkoa province, and it extends like a string of pearls around the Bay of Biscay. Transfer from the airport to the elegant 19th Century four star hotel in front of La Concha beach. After the check-in, free time to rest or to walk along La Concha beach and the Old Quarter (Casco Viejo). Dinner will be at a selected restaurant specializing in traditional Basque cuisine, that revolves around exquisite fish and seafood -especially hake, salt cod, spider crab and baby eels. Overnight in San Sebastian. Includes: (D).
Day 2: San Sebastian
Breakfast. Visit of San Sebastian, a sophisticated city of great beauty and elegance with a cultural, social and gastronomic importance far in excess of its size. The undeniable glamor the city has is charmed by the local color of its small fishing port. Lunch and afternoon free. Evening Cooking Session at a "Sociedad Gastronomica" (Gastronomic Society), some of them are still men-only cooking clubs (although not this one, fortunately!) where Basques share their good humor, songs and kitchen wisdom, as they have done for centuries. Dinner will follow. Overnight in San Sebastian. Includes: (B), (D).
Day 3: San Sebastian - Guetaria - San Sebastian
Breakfast. Morning excursion along the panoramic coast route to Guetaria. Visit to the town and its very lively port, full of local colour. Guetaria is mainly known for its Txakoli (Basque white wine), one of the world´s best seafood wines. You will visit a Txacoli winery. Lunch free at the fish bars in the port of Guetaria. Back to San Sebastian, free time to rest. Evening second Cooking Session at the "Sociedad Gastronomica". Learn how to prepare a whole menu based on the most representative recipes of traditional Basque cooking. Dinner will follow. Overnight in San Sebastian. Includes: (B), (D).
Day 4: San Sebastian - Santillana Del Mar
Breakfast. Morning third Cooking Session at the "Sociedad Gastronomica", followed by lunch based on the dishes prepared by the group, based on the freshest ingredients of the season, accompanied by wine. After lunch, we travel along the coastal road to the town of Santillana del Mar, in the luxuriantly green province of Cantabria, known for its fine milk products, primarily its butter and fresh cheeses. Cuisine along the coast centers on seafood -especially exceptional sardines and anchovies- and in the interior on meat, most notably the region's hearty meat and chickpea stew, "cocido montañés", and milk and cheese-based desserts. Lodging in a smart rural hotel of the village. Evening and dinner free. Overnight in Santillana del Mar. Includes: (B), (L).
Day 5: Santillana Del Mar - Altamira - Comillas - Santillana Del Mar
Breakfast. Guided visit of the medieval town of Santillana, whose origins go back to the 8th century. Perfectly maintained with stoned streets, emblazoned houses and palaces from the 15th to 18th centuries. Altamira, not far from Santillana, contains in the caves of the same name, the most important cave paintings of quaternary art, made by men from Paleolithic times. Visit to the recently inaugurated Altamira Museum which holds exact reproductions of the cave's paintings.
Back in Santillana, lunch will be based on roasted meat at a traditional restaurant situated in a 16th century palace. We proceed along the Cantabrian coast to Comillas, a centuries-old noble town of palaces and lordly homes from the 17th and the 18th century and an elegant summer resort as well. Visit to this aristocratic town, closely tied to the Kings of Spain enjoying their summers in the lands of the Marquis of Comillas, since the end of the past century. Dinner free (Note: if the group wish so, dinner can be held at El Capricho, a Comillas restaurant situated in one of the few Gaudi buildings outside Catalonia, before going back to Santillana. Not included). Overnight in Santillana del Mar. Includes: (B), (L).
Day 6: Santillana Del Mar – Bilbao
Breakfast. Early transfer to Bilbao, economic center of the Basque country and home of the spectacular Guggenheim Bilbao Museum, "the building of the century." The narrow streets of Bilbao Old Town or Casco Viejo give off an age-old atmosphere. Optional visit to the food market, the biggest in Europe, where you will enjoy the aromas and colors of the amazingly varied regional food offer. Visit to the Guggenheim Museum. You will have lunch free and time for shopping, doing some exploration on your own, visiting other museums or, just having a rest. Farewell dinner at a selected restaurant of the city. One of the main specialties here is Cod fish, prepared in Bilbao like nowhere else in Spain. Lodging at a five star hotel, centrally located, a classic hotel situated in a beautiful 19th Century building, not far from the Museum. Overnight in Bilbao. Includes: (B), (D).
Day 7: Bilbao. Breakfast. Transfer to Bilbao airport. Includes: (B).
Notes: Prices above are per person based on 6 people traveling. This tour is available for as little as 2 people. Please inquire for exact prices. When you book your vacation, an agreement is made between you, our company and others who provide services. Upon request we can provide you with our general terms and conditions governing the provision of these holidays. A non-refundable upfront initial deposit of € 200 Euros is due within 7 days of the initial booking request. Final payment is due 45 days before the tour departure. Within 45 day full payment is due upon booking request. All prices, itinerary etc. listed are subject to change without notice.
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