San Sebastian is classic grandeur fused with 21st Century creativity
The cuisine of the lush Spanish Basque Country (San Sebastian, Bilbao, etc) is considered to be one of the finest and most innovative in the world. Located in Northern Spain on the Atlantic ocean and snuggled into the French border, Basque Country is certainly one of Spain’s most fascinating and “delicious” regions. Foodies from across the planet make their way to San Sebastian (Spain’s epicurean capital) every year, just to dine at the multitude of Michelin starred restaurants here (Arzak, Akelarre, and Berasategui, to name a few) and to try the famous tapas (also called "Pintxos"), which are small portions of traditional and creative Basque dishes. They're extravagantly presented right on the counters at the convivial bars, clustered around the pretty old town, and served with free flowing glasses of Rioja and Txakoli wines. San Sebastian is the birthplace of the “Nueva Cocina” (nouveau cuisine) and is a veritable Gourmet Mecca. We have designed this culinary tour of San Sebastian for those of you who want to try the finest Michelin starred restaurants as well as trying your hand at learning a few Basque recipes yourselves.
You'll stay at the supremely atmospheric and elegant Belle Époque Maria Cristina hotel, just steps away from river and the lively old town. It's all about location here, and you are steps away from chic shopping, world class tapas bars, and a beautiful coast walk. The "Casco Viejo" of this delightful seaside town is small and easy to manoeuvre, with every corner presenting a hidden church or hole in the wall wine bar. On this sample program, you will have a private cooking class with a supremely charming Basque Chef and you will dine at a Three Michelin starred hotspot overlooking the Cantabrian Sea. A simply fabulous introduction to San Sebastian and the gastronomy of Northern Spain.
Below is a suggested Day By Day Itinerary for your private San Sebastian Culinary Tour
Day One - Gourmet Dining at 3 Michelin starred Martin Berasategui
Historic seaside San Sebastian
Arrive to Bilbao airport where your private driver will be waiting for you, and transfer east to San Sebastian (it’s about an hour and 15 minute drive). Your driver will drop you off at your delightful riverside hotel. Located right on the Bay of Biscay, San Sebastian is one of Spain's loveliest towns, with a real aristocratic air. A complimentary bottle of bubbly will be waiting for you, welcome to San Sebastian!
The afternoon and evening are yours to settle in, relax and take it all in. have a drink overlooking the sea, go for tapas in the old quarter (why not try some classic Basque dishes such as Hake served in a clam sauce, stuffed spider crab, and the expensive delicacy of baby eels?), take in some gourmet shopping or go for a brisk walk along the bay. San Sebastian has a couple of fun non- gastronomic attractions like its wonderful aquarium, where sharks swim overhead.
Tonight for dinner we have an exceptional treat: a chef’s tasting menu at the 3 Michelin starred Martin Berasategui! Your elegant driver will pick you up in the evening to drive you here, just a few miles outside of town. Some of the sample dishes from the Grand Tasting Menu you will enjoy include: cod lightly smoked on a dust of hazelnuts, coffee and vanilla; caramelized mille feuille of smoked eel, foie gras, shallots and green apple; apple and forgotten mushroom plate in different textures; red mullet with rockfish and saffron sauce and cold “essence” of basil with lime sorbet and dill. Dinner here is a wild culinary roller coaster and a once in a lifetime experience, enjoy!
Overnight: 5* Historic Hotel, River View
Meals Included in Price:3* Michelin Starred Dinner with paired wines, Welcome bottle of wine in room
Transfers: Bilbao airport- San Sebastian- Dinner Transfers
Day Two - Private Cooking Class in San Sebastian & dining in Akelarre
Private Cooking Class in San Sebastian
Today, you will enjoy a private cooking class right in San Sebastian, at a professional culinary academy run by a famous, published chef. Meet your driver guide in reception of the hotel and he will take you on a pleasant stroll through the old town. You will rendezvous with your extremely charming chef, put your aprons on and get chopping! You’ll be given a private lesson in Basque Cuisine and together with your chef will assemble a three course meal. Typical Basque dishes that may be included on the menu today include: Lubina a la pimienta verde (sea bass with green pepper) and Marmitako (typical soupy dish made of bonito tuna, potatoes, onions, peppers, and tomato). Wines are naturally included with lunch, and you will taste fine Rioja wines, made only an hour and a half south of San Sebastian.
After a convivial lunch with your chef and guide, the rest of the afternoon is yours to enjoy San Sebastian. Your driver is on hand for you if you’d like to head to the nearby villages of Getaria, Hondarribia or the Chillida sculpture park for some sightseeing. Tonight we have another culinary treat for you- a gourmet dinner at Three Michelin starred Akelarre, run by chef Pedro Subijana (quite possibly our favorite chef in Spain). Pedro will come out to greet you and you’ll have a keepsake signed tasting menu on the table outlining the unforgettable dishes you will have tonight. The wines included will be a tangy Albariño from Rias Baixas and a velvety red from Ribera del Duero or Priorat. A dessert wine from Sherry country will be a great way to finish! After dinner your driver will take you back to your hotel.
Overnight: 5* Historic Hotel, River View
Meals Included in Price: Full breakfast, cooking class lunch with wines, 3 Michelin Starred Dinner with paired wines
Transfers: Dinner Transfers
Day Three - Depart San Sebastian
Picture perfect Hondarribia
This morning your driver will take you back to the airport in Bilbao for your outbound flight, depending on your flight time. We hope you have enjoyed this short and delicious tour of San Sebastian! We look forward to seeing you again on another food and wine tour.
Meals Included in Price: Full breakfast
Transfers: San Sebastian- Bilbao airport
What's Not Included:
This is a SAMPLE TOUR ITINERARY. Please note that our private chauffeured luxury tours are totally customized to your needs and price varies according to the number of people in your group (please note tours require minimum 2 guests), specific suppliers included, number of services included,specific dates, transport type etc. Contact us today for more information and we would be delighted to get started on a tailor made detailed itinerary with pricing for you.
All of our tours are available year round upon request for your private group of minimum 2 people. If you would like us to customize a luxury tour of Spain for you, contact us with your requirements, and we can send you a free itinerary and quote with no obligations. We organize packages from 1 day, to weekends to longer food and wine discoveries throughout Spain.
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