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.
Your Basque Country tour of Spain will also include a visit to San Sebastián, or Donostia as it is called in the Basque Language. San Sebastián is one of the culinary capitals of Europe, and also a beautiful sea-side resort town.
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
- tours of Bilbao’s Old Quarter, the Abandoibarra quarter and the Guggenheim Museum
- excursions to Guernica, the Urdaibai estuary, and Gaztelugatxe OR to la Rioja
- winery visits/tastings as per the itinerary
- a guided visit of San Sebastian and lunch at one of the city’s famous Michelin-Star restaurants
- accommodations in a lovely, centrally located 4* hotel
- meals as indicated
- and more!
Spend four 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 many restaurants are closed on Sundays.
- Arrival at Bilbao International Airport and transfer to your centrally-located hotel.
- Time to settle in and start exploring on your own.
- Dinner this evening will be at a local restaurant within walking distance of your hotel.
- Breakfast at the hotel.
- This morning meet your guide for a full day tour of Bilbao. Visit 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.
- You might also visit visit 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.
- Enjoy a tapas lunch during the day’s activities.
- You will also tour 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.
- A bit of time to rest back at the hotel before you make your own way to 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 and overnight.
- Meet with your guide and you are off on a full day excursion either to the Biscay Coast OR to la Rioja wine producing area.
- Biscay Coast: first visit 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.
- Continue your culinary vacation in Spain with a guided tour along the coast, including a panoramic visit of San Juan de 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 is normally not time to hike the route around the islet. If you are avid hikers and want to include this, we can customize the day.)
- Lunch out during the day’s activities.
- Head to 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.
- La Rioja: If you prefer, we can substitute a full day excursion to la Rioja, including guided visits of 2 or 3 wineries (at designer, boutique, and/or modern wineries), with lunch out during the day’s activities.
- Return to Bilbao and time to rest before dinner.
- This evening, your very special dinner will be at a the Michelin-star restaurant in your hotel. (If unavailable, the dinner will be at another Michelin-Star restaurant within walking distance or a short taxi ride from your hotel.)
- Breakfast at the hotel.
- Today enjoy an excursion to nearby San Sebastián (Donostia in the local language), one of Spain’s most famous cities and one of Europe’s gastronomic capitals. Meet your driver and transfer to San Sebastian for the day. Upon arrival, your guide will meet you and lead you on a walking tour of this famous seaside city.
- Lunch out at one of San Sebastian’s famous Michelin-Star restaurants (including wine pairing).
- Return to Bilbao and rest of day and dinner on your own.
- Breakfast and checkout.
- Transfer to Bilbao International Airport.
Additional days/tours and hotel nights can be arranged for an extra cost.
Spain Culinary Vacations Trip Details
Included in Our 4-Night Cooking Vacations in Basque Country
4 nights accommodation in 4* hotel
Food & Beverages
- Daily breakfast
- Three lunches, drinks included, including one at a Michelin-star restaurant
- Three dinners, drinks included, including one at a Michelin-star restaurant
Classes & Instructors
You will participate in 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.
- Full day tour of Bilbao, including the Old Quarter, the Abandoibarra quarter and the Guggenheim Musuem
- Full day excursion to the Biscay Coast with Txakoli winery visit, Gaztelugatxe, and Gernika OR to la Rioja wine region
- Excursion to and guided tour of San Sebastian
- Arrival and departure transfers from/to Bilbao International Airport
- Entrance tickets
- Transfers to and from the dinners in Bilbao (within walking distance or an easy taxi ride)
- Local tourist tax (2-4 Euros per person, per night)
Tayko Hotel (or similar): This elegant hotel overlooking the estuary has warm, chic decor, a bar, a Michelin-star restaurant, and gym. Many of the rooms feature balconies and river views, as well as all the expected amenities of a 4* hotel.
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.
4-Night Basque Country Foodie Tour Sample* Pricing:
4-Night Basque Culinary Vacation Pricing
US$3980 per person based on double occupancy
- Add US$495 for single occupancy (use of a double room by 1 person)
*Pricing varies by dates, season, and number of participants. Please inquire for a quote!
30% deposit due to confirm booking.
Balance payment due 60 days prior to tour start date. Questions? Please contact us!
Bilbao Culinary Holidays Tour Dates
Our 4-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!
Available as a private tour any dates you choose. Please inquire for availability!
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.