Basque Country Food & Wine Tours in Spain
The Basque Country is synonymous with good food and a proud cultural heritage, and this is evident in the region’s largest city, Bilbao, home for some of our favorite cooking vacations in Spain.
Spain’s Basque Country lies in the northernmost part of Spain, and its history is as colorful as its cuisine. A land of fierce cultural pride, the Basque country is home to some of the world’s most renowned food and wine, with a cuisine that is both varied and beautiful, each delicious dish a delectable work of art. Nestled between the mountains and the coast, it encompasses everything from the freshest seafood and most sun-ripened produce, to fine fresh and cured meats and cheeses.
From the medieval Old Quarter with its winding streets and gothic Cathedral to the Abandoibarra Quarter, the famed former industrial corridor that has been transformed through urban restructuring into a vibrant avant-guard neighborhood boasting some of the world’s premier architecture, Bilbao will be yours to enjoy and explore.
See such sights as Gehry’s Guggenheim Museum, the Iberdrola Tower, and the Calatrava Bridge, as well as the immense indoor Ribera market. Bilbao is just a short distance from some other amazing attractions, such as the town of Guernica (Gernika), especially dear to the Basques, the rocky island of Gaztelugatxe, and the Urdaibai Biosphere Reserve.
Spanish cuisine is world-famous, and the Basque Country offers some of the best food you can find on our cooking vacations in Spain, from the country “cider houses,” with their take on Spanish comfort food, to the urban “txikiteo” bars (Basque tapas or pintxos/“pinchos”), to the many Michelin-star restaurants.
Basque Country Cookery Holidays Details
Our fabulous cooking vacations in Spain and its Basque Country include a perfect mix of food and wine tours, cooking, and cultural visits. Your three-night itinerary includes:
- a cooking class and a pintxos workshop
- tours of Bilbao’s Old Quarter, the Abandoibarra quarter and the Guggenheim Museum
- excursions to Guernica, the Urdaibai estuary, and Gaztelugatxe
- a Txakoli winery visit and tasting
- visit of the Ribera Market
- accommodations in a lovely, centrally located 4* hotel
- meals as indicated
- and more!
Spend three nights in one of Spain’s most fascinating cities, Bilbao, in the heart of the Basque Country. Bilbao is an intriguing mix of quaint medieval streets and avant-guard urban architecture, coupled with some of Spain’s best food, which you will explore during hands-on cooking classes and a wonderful variety of meals.
Please note that depending on the dates booked the order of events and specific activities may change. For example, the Guggenheim Museum is closed on Mondays, and most restaurants are closed on Sundays.
- Arrival at Bilbao International Airport and transfer to your centrally-located hotel.
- This evening, your cooking vacation in Spain starts with an exploration of the Old Quarter with its “seven streets” and interesting architecture. The old medieval heart of the city, the Old Quarter features narrow pedestrians streets and lanes lined with Renaissance, Baroque, and Modernist buildings. Your guide will point out some of the most famous sites, such as the fourteenth-century gothic Cathedral of Santiago, the bridge and church of San Anton, and the arcaded Plaza Nueva.
- This evening’s dinner will be an introduction to Basque cuisine at a new gastronomic restaurant.
- Enjoy a short walk back to the hotel with your guide and overnight.
- Breakfast at the hotel.
- After breakfast, depart for Guernica (Gernika), a town that is especially dear to the Basques. The town and its central oak tree were for centuries home to the political assembly in the region, but its most famous historical legacy is the 1937 bombing by German aircraft during the Spanish Civil, when Hitler’s planes sent to support Franco’s troops razed the city. The bombing inspired one of the greatest works of modern art, Picasso’s painting Guernica (which is housed in Madrid’s Museo Reina Sofia). During your visit to Guernica you will see the petrified remains of the symbolic oak tree that miraculously survived the bombing, as well as the Casa de Juntas, where the Basque parliament has met since 1979.
- After Guernica, your food and wine tour of Spain continues with a visit of a winery located in the center of the Urdaibai Biosphere Reserve, for a lesson on “Txakoli,” the famed Basque white wine that is slightly sparkling and very dry, produced only in a few Northern provinces of Spain. The guided tour will conclude with a light lunch and Txakoli tasting.
- Continue your culinary vacation in Spain with a guided tour along the coast. Urdaibai is one of the Biscay province’s most interesting destinations. Its sandy earth is a haven for many species of flora and fauna, and it is an important wintering spot for many marine birds during their migration from Europe to Africa. The development of forest reserves in the region for the purpose of environmental conservation have made Urdaibai one of the most diverse landscapes in northern Spain.
- Your next stop will be at Gaztelugatxe, a small rocky island that is connected to the mainland by a causeway and that houses one of Spain’s most striking sites, an 11th-century chapel built to honor St. John. (Note that there are around 250 steps to reach San Juan de Gaztelugatxe.)
- Stop in Getxo to see the Biscay Bridge, which was built to connect the two banks of the Nervión. It’s the oldest transporter bridge in the world and was built in 1893 by Alberto Palacio, a disciple of Eiffel. Declared a Unesco World Heritage Site in 2006, it is one of the most revered constructions of the European Industrial Revolution and considered one of the greatest engineering achievements of the Nineteenth Century.
- Transfer back to Bilbao for a special cooking class at a private “txoko,” “or a typical Basque gastronomic venue where locals come together to cook. Prepare traditional dishes of the region, then taste your creations with wine.
- Enjoy a short walk back to the hotel with your guide and overnight.
- Meet with your guide and you are off to see the city of Bilbao, which is the financial and industrial capital of the Basque Country. The city has been spectacularly transformed in the last decades, from factory and ports being renovated into renowned urban projects like the famed Guggenheim Museum, the Calatrava bridge, the Ibderdrola Tower, and the Isozaki Towers.
- High above the city is the Archanda panoramic viewpoint. From here you can see the sheer size of Bilbao!
- Next, your Basque culinary vacation continues with a visit of the famous Ribera Market, one of the largest markets in Europe with over 400 stands and almost 38,000 square feet. From its stained-glass entryway to its small catwalks over the river, the market is sure to enthrall. The farmer’s market is located on the top floor, full of bountiful produce, and the bottom floor houses some of the freshest fish in Spain, brought in on the morning’s boats.
- After the market visit, it is off to cook! Enjoy a special Pintxos workshop during your cooking vacation in Spain, and learn how to replicate the sophisticated “tapas” snacks that line the bar tops in the Basque Country. From the simple “Gilda,” one of the city’s most traditional pintxos, to more elaborate avant-garde creations, the world of pintxos will be made fun and easy. And of course, you will enjoy your creations (with wine!).
- After your class, enjoy a guided tour of the Abandoibarra quarter, a prime example of urban restructuring and vanguard architecture. You will see how an industrial city was transformed into a city famed for its culture and tourism, witnessing the urban evolution of Bilbao through a visit of the most relevant projects undertaken during the transformation, which are now some of the Spain’s leading urban landmarks.
- Any tour of Bilbao’s modern architecture must include the city’s Guggenheim Museum, designed by Frank Gehry and considered an architectural masterpiece. The massive titanium, glass, and stone-sculpted building houses nineteen galleries, which you will visit with an official guide.
- Back to the hotel and time to freshen up for dinner.
- This evening, your very special farewell dinner will be at a Michelin-star restaurant, where all of your senses will be engaged, and where each dish will invoke the season, the city, and the Basque Country. Return to your hotel by taxi (cost paid locally).
- Breakfast and checkout.
- Transfer to Bilbao International Airport.
Additional days/tours and hotel nights can be arranged for an extra cost. Options include: Rioja region: Visit the medieval city of Laguardia as well as three wineries; and/or San Sebastian excursion: Visit Mount Igeldo and San Sebastian (known as the Pearl of the Sea).
Spain Culinary Vacations Trip Details
Included in Our 3-Night Cooking Vacations in Basque Country
3 nights accommodation in 4* hotel
Food & Beverages
- Daily breakfast
- Two lunches, drinks included
- Three dinners, including one at a Michelin-star restaurant (drinks included)
Classes & Instructors
You will participate in a pintxos workshop as well as a cooking lesson featuring traditional Basque cuisine. Your one-of-a-kind cooking courses will introduce you to the bold yet subtle flavors, colors, and compositions of Basque cuisine.
- Tour of Bilbao’s Old Quarter
- Excursion to Guernica
- Txakoli winery visit and tasting
- Visit of Urdaibai estuary and Gaztelugatxe
- Visit of the Ribera Market
- Tour of the Abandoibarra quarter and the Guggenheim Musuem
- Stop at the Biscay Bridge
- Arrival and departure transfers from/to Bilbao International Airport
- Entrance tickets to Guggenheim museum and Bizkaian Bridge
- Taxi transfer back to hotel after Michelin-Star dinner on Day 3.
Basque Food & Wine Tasting Vacations in Spain Pricing & Tour Dates
Find pricing and dates for our cooking vacations in Spain and its Basque Country below, and contact us for availability or to book your trip.
3-Night Basque Country Foodie Tour Pricing:
3-Night Basque Culinary Vacation Pricing
US$2650 per person based on double occupancy
- Add US$495 for single occupancy (use of a double room by 1 person)
30% deposit due to confirm booking.
Balance payment due 60 days prior to tour start date. Questions? Please contact us!
Please inquire for special pricing for groups of 4 or more.
Note that during convention and holiday periods the rates and availability are subject to change. Please inquire for details.
Bilbao Culinary Holidays Tour Dates
Our 3-night cooking vacations in Spain and its Basque Country are available year round for a minimum of 2 people. We can also add additional nights and tours on request!
Sample dates follow, other start days also possible, please inquire.
October 30-November 2
Please inquire for dates.
We Can Help Plan The Ultimate Cooking Vacations in Spain and Basque Country!
Are you looking for a custom-made tour in Basque Country Spain?
We might not be able to pack for you, but there are many things we can help with to make your Basque Country cooking vacation that much better.Contact us for more information, or you can indicate your interest during check out and we will follow up with you directly! Contact Us
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When should I go to Basque Country?
The best time to visit Basque County is in June or in September when there are fewer crowds and you could enjoy all the sights and highlights of this sunny land. But it is a wonderful destination year-round as well!
What is new Basque cuisine?
New Basque cuisine, also known as Nueva Cocina Vasca, was created by chefs Juan Mari Arzak and Pedro Subihana in the late 1970s. They were inspired by new French cuisine and combined it with local ingredients and traditions to create a new culinary movement.