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Discover the Basque Country in an in-depth exploration of the Basque warm culture, interesting history, and excellent gastronomy. Take the chance to embark on this exciting experience with a Basque Country expert who will lead you through the cultural keynotes of this very special corner of the world. Discover and live what makes the Basque Country so unique and culturally rich. Filled with insider knowledge and face-to-face encounters with leading Basque cultural figures, these tours have a very special access quality.
San Sebastian Food offers you two different accommodation options for your tour.
At the cinema-themed Astoria 7, every room is dedicated to a movie legend. In this four-star hotel, interiors are sleek and bright, with retro furniture and pistachio, cloud, or coffee colored walls. Sleep under the watchful eyes of Hollywood greats, from Marlon Brando to Alfred Hitchcock, in these themed rooms. Beyond the red-carpeted lobby, theres a 70s-style lounge where even the library is movie-themed. The rooms feature the following amenities: Wi-Fi, direct dial phone, desk, hair dryer, safe deposit box, duvet and cotton linens, natural amenities, wake-up calls, mini-bar, and mobile opening. Upon request, you can also have smoking room, baby cot, room accessibility, and connected rooms.
This large room has a double bed and includes a comfortable sofa, and a terrace as well.
Enjoy a double bed in a large single room on the ninth floor with a separate terrace.
When youre considering dedicating something to a genius of the caliber of Hitchcock, you know it has to be something big, with its own independent living room and a huge bathroom. Big enough to fit the man, the myth, and the legend. Thats why Astoria 7 Hotel has set aside a fantastic corner room for him, with 32-square meters of space, plus a terrace on the top floor of the hotel.
You can find rooms of this type with single or double beds. The superior room features a terrace as well.
This luxury collection hotel is located in San Sebastians historic city center, overlooking the Urumea River. It is surrounded by gardens and promenades, just a short walk from white sandy beaches. Marvel at the modern technology, exquisite details, sweeping river, and city views in the hotels 107 guest rooms and 29 suites, each devoted to the classic, opulent style of the belle epoque with a sophisticated palette of greys and whites.
Dedicated to the first lady of film, the Bette Davis Suite honors the iconic actress who spent some of her last days in San Sebastian. In 1989, Miss Davis was invited to receive the Donostia Award at the San Sebastian International Film Festival. Despite her delicate health at the age of 81, she undertook a journey from Los Angeles and stayed for five days in this suite. Here, she and her personal assistant planned every detail of her public appearances at the awards ceremony, press conference and multiple interviews where she enjoyed recalling her career.
Adorned with some of the actresss most iconic photographs, the suites corridor leads into a Belle poque inspired living room with modern dcor. A crystal drop chandelier reflects natural light onto a personal collection of pictures from Miss Davis's stay in San Sebastian. Many of Miss Daviss famous films may be viewed on a 42-inch flat TV screen along with dozens of international channels, movies, and music on demand.
The Bette Davis suite provides complimentary access to high speed internet. Behind the secluded double doors, awaits a tranquil bedroom retreat adorned with stunning river views. An ornate quilted headboard frames a king-size luxury collection bed, wrapped in crisp cotton linens, topped with a feather-filled duvet and a beautiful selection of luxurious pillows. In the living room, the crystal drop chandelier reflects the natural light onto the unique pictures from the actress.
Revel in the space offered by these 40-square meter rooms, which offer a relaxing garden view and feature large French doors which allow natural light to pour into the room throughout the day. Decorated in elegant hues of gray and eggshell with aubergine highlights, the large bedroom has space to relax or work depending on your requirements. Careful illumination provides the right mood for every moment. The crystal drop chandelier is a stunning feature while purple glass bedside lamps cast a romantic glow after the sun sets. Those who need to work will appreciate the stylish wooden desk complete with designer lamp and dual-line cordless telephone.
Technology is present but well concealed. High speed Wi-Fi is available throughout the room and super-silent climate control ensures the perfect environment in any season. Entertainment options abound, with over 35 television channels and on-screen internet as well as on-demand movies and music. At the center of the room the king-size luxury collection bed with concealed reading lights is a peaceful night-time sanctuary featuring 200-thread-count sheets, feather duvets and a selection of soft pillows. In the well-appointed bathroom youll find a selection of luxury amenities for personal pampering. Relax in the deep soaking tub or re-energize in the separate, rain-effect shower or with the handheld power spray.
Perfect for the modern traveler, these rooms in elegant tones of gray and eggshell with aubergine highlights, comprised of queen garden and classic garden view rooms, offer 25 square meters of space to relax. Curvaceous glass bedside lamps cast a soft glow while the overhead glass chandelier adds an opulent touch. At the rooms heart is the luxury collection bed, one single or one queen, with 200-thread-count linens, feather-filled duvets, a selection of plump pillows, and cleverly concealed reading lights. A wide variety of entertainment options is available via the flat-screen television, which offers 35 satellite channels in multiple languages.
Guests can also enjoy movies and music on demand, as well as internet via the television. The stylish wooden desk has a dual-line cordless phone and plenty of space to work. Wi-Fi will keep you connected throughout the room, while individual climate control assures total comfort. In the marble and tile bathroom a full range of amenities invites guests to linger. A deep soaking bathtub and combined shower, along with plush bathrobe and slipper accessories, completes the journey to relaxation. The amenities of these rooms include a marble bathroom, bathrobe and slippers, and Elemis 30 milliliters bath amenities.
Fit for a regal sojourn, each suite reflects the elevated expectations of distinguished guests who have long considered the palace their personal residence in San Sebastian. Natural light streaming in through French doors underscores this grandeur upon arrival while at the same time drawing guests towards the captivating garden views. In the living room, an equally enchanting scene unfolds, as an elegant grey and eggshell palette combines with original Belle poque elements and modern dcor, including opulent carpets. This rare combination debuts in the sitting area, where turquoise velvet armchairs and a plush sofa for three sit adjacent to the rooms original decorative marble fireplace.
A crystal drop chandelier illuminates the suites state-of-the-art, yet artfully concealed amenities, including a 42-inch flat screen television with over 35 international channels as well as movies and music on demand. You can also use wireless high speed internet access, which is available via the television for a fee, or complimentary at the work desk, where a dual-line cordless phone resides. Individual climate control ensures an ideal environment, no matter the season. Behind double doors, a tranquil bedroom serves as a personal retreat. In the middle of the room, an ornate quilted headboard frames luxury collection beds, either one king-size or two twin beds, which can be joined to form one super king-size bed.
Wrapped in crisp cotton linens, they are topped with feather-filled duvets and a selection of plump pillows. A 32-inch television provides in-bed entertainment, while an inviting chaise lounge offers an additional seating option. The marble and tile bathroom, with stainless steel accents, expands the bedrooms contemporary color scheme. Along with a deep soaking tub and separate glass-enclosed rainforest shower, it features a vanity and signature Elemis bath amenities. Plush bathrobes and slippers wrap guests in comfort.
The 60-square meter suites have an open, airy layout, which includes a lounge, separate bedroom, full dressing area, and generous bathroom. A spacious foyer, complete with sofa and credenza, leads into a soothing environment where soft, ambient lighting illuminates the suites harmonious color palette of gray, eggshell, and green. During the day, sunlight floods into the rooms through the French doors beyond which are spectacular views of the river and San Sebastians skyline. Contemporary decorative elements sit alongside Belle poque architectural features, with a turquoise velvet armchair and three-seater-sofa flanking the original marble fireplace.
The large flat-screen television offers in-room entertainment ranging from 35 satellite channels to on-demand movies, music, guest services, and internet access. Behind double doors an airy bedroom provides the perfect retreat. Get a great nights sleep in the luxury collection bed, which is dressed with 200-thread-count bed linen, feather duvets, and a selection of plump pillows. Cleverly concealed reading lights are provided for those who enjoy a book at bedtime, while a second television provides further entertainment for night owls. In the large marble and tile bathroom there is a deep soaking tub and a separate rain shower, while exclusive Elemis toiletries and plush toweling bathrobes complete the pampering experience.
These capacious accommodations comprise a beautifully appointed bedroom with stylish and alluring en-suite bathroom. Expressing an uncompromising commitment to cultured comfort, the 40-square meter layout provides plenty of space to relax. Enjoy river views from large French windows hung with purple velvet drapes. Relax on the chaise longue or catch up on personal or professional commitments at the stylish wooden desk which includes a dual-line cordless telephone and designer lamp. When sleep calls retreat to the king-size luxury collection bed with its classically inspired gray leather headboard set against a feature wall of purple, green, and blue splashes.
Swathed in 200-thread-count linens, cloud-soft, down duvets, and a selection of pillows, it is guaranteed to deliver sweet dreams. Take your pick from over 35 satellite television stations in multiple languages or relax with internet, on-demand films and music all presented on the large flat screen TV. The perfect room temperature is maintained with individually controlled and ultra-silent air conditioning. Revel in the spacious marble and tile bathroom which includes a deep soaking tub, separate shower with rain-effect, handheld shower heads, and Elemis 30 milliliters bath amenities. Luxury amenities, fluffy bathrobes, and slippers complete the pampering experience.
The river view suites immerse guests in the singular elegance of Hotel Maria Cristina. Along with dramatic river views these alluring residences offer a spacious living room with state-of-the-art technology and an expansive bedroom. These are 65-square meter suites, which have river views, separate living room, two televisions, connecting rooms available, corner suites available marble bathrooms with rainforest shower, and Elemis 50 milliliters bath amenities.
The epitome of regal refinement, with outstanding view from the rooms balconies the backdrop is equally exquisite, as an entryway lined with timeless crown molding and contemporary photographs opens to the magnificent oval-shaped living room. Framed by an elegant grey and eggshell palette and smooth parquet floor topped with lavish rugs, it combines original Belle poque elements and modern dcor, including a curved sofa, plush velvet armchairs, and an elliptical marble coffee table. A crystal drop chandelier and natural light streaming in through French doors illuminate the space and the suites state-of-the-art amenities, including a 42-inch Bang & Olufsen flat screen television.
Artfully concealed in a credenza, it features over 35 international channels as well as movies on demand. A customized soundtrack comes courtesy of a premier Bang & Olufsen sound system. Guests can also utilize wireless high speed internet access, which is available via the television for a fee or complimentary at the work desk, where a dual-line cordless phone resides. Individual climate control ensures an ideal environment, no matter the season. Behind double doors, the master bedroom offers unprecedented relaxation. In the middle of the room, a towering, quilted, white leather headboard frames a king-size luxury collection bed.
Wrapped in crisp cotton linens, it is topped with a feather-filled duvet and a selection of plump pillows. A 32-inch television provides in-bed entertainment, while unforgettable additions, such as pearl-encrusted furniture and a velvet armchair, underscore the suites grandeur. The oversized marble bathroom, with stainless steel accents, expands the bedrooms contemporary color scheme. Along with a soaking tub and separate glass-enclosed rainforest shower, it features a marble vanity with dual basins and signature Loewe bath amenities. Plush bathrobes and slippers wrap guests in matchless comfort.
Boasting a regal rooftop location, the suite lives up to its title at every turn. Two furnished terraces offer incomparable views of the river and San Sebastian while the imperial oval-shaped living room introduces a state-of-the-art Bang & Olufsen television and sound system. This 110-square meter suite has river and city views, top floor location, two private terraces, reception hall, large oval living room, two televisions, and Loewe bath amenities.
Views of San Sebastian and the Urumea River unfurl before you from these magnificent luxury suites. With 89 square meters of space spread across two rooms and a terrace, there is plenty of room to relax. Combining contemporary style with original Belle poque elements, such as the ornate marble fireplaces, these suites are the perfect juxtaposition of classic and contemporary. Artful black and white photographs add to their air of sophistication. The soothing palette of gray and eggshell walls complement the charcoal-hued sofa and embroidered scatter cushion in tones of ash and caramel.
Stretch out and relax in front of the exquisite credenza housing the large flat-screen television and choose from internet, 35 satellite stations in multiple languages, on-demand films or music. For a seamless connection to life at the office or at home Wi-Fi internet is available throughout. Step out into the sunshine through the French doors and onto the large terrace. With enviable 180 degrees views of the city and river this is the place to relax, either on the cane sun loungers or enjoying a Basque-inspired meal at the table. Double doors connect to the main bedroom which offers a seductive environment of soft ambient lighting and soothing decorative tones.
When sleep calls the enormous king-sized luxury collection bed with cleverly concealed reading lights awaits. Its 200-thread-count linens, down duvets and cloud-soft pillows are guaranteed to ensure a restful night. In the vast marble and tile bathroom you can pamper yourself with exclusive Elemis products. Relax in the deep soaking tub or enjoy a shower in the separate facility which features both an overhead rain effect rose and a hand-held spray. Cozy bathrobes and slippers complete the luxury experience.
Private transfer from the airport to your hotel in San Sebastian. Settle into the hotel. Ongi etorri (welcome) meet and greet drink. The emphasis on this first day will be on recovering energies from the flight, introductions, holiday orientation and information, and a gentle induction into the gastronomic delights to come at a local restaurant. Your dinner will be at a local restaurant from 20:30 to 22:30.
The second day will start slowly, with a late breakfast, and departure at 10:30 to Lesaka, one of the Cinco Villas of northern Navarre. An expert local historian, Rafael Eneterreaga, will give you a short talk in a caf and a tour. You will then enjoy a rustic lunch prepared by Rafaels cousins. You will return to San Sebastian on scenic route via Peas de Haya, depending on the weather. This will include a short walk and brief visit to the monument by the renowned sculptor Jorge Oteiza to the Basque composer known as Padre Donostia. Arrive back in San Sebastian at 17:00.
From 19:00 to 22:00, you will go for pintxo hunting. Pintxo hunting is one of the most popular adventures offered by San Sebastian Food. Pintxos (Basque tapas) abound in San Sebastians famed Parte Vieja, but knowing where to find the best ones, and what wine to pair them with, is an art born of local experience. While it is hard to have a bad meal in town, knowing exactly where to go for the best, freshest, and most exciting pintxos takes local and inside knowledge. Basque guides will show you what a night in San Sebastian is about.
At 08:15, you will be picked up from your hotel for Bayonne, cathedral visit, short walk, hot chocolate, and Muse Basque visit. At 12:30, you will visit Biarritz Market, followed by St. Jean de Luz, where Louis XIV sealed a key treaty with Spain by marrying the Infanta Maria Theresa. This port was also home to licensed pirates (corsairs) for centuries.
At 13:30, you will have lunch in a local restaurant, Zoko Moko, followed by a drive to vantage points along a stretch of the Corniche Basque with, weather permitting, marvelous views along the coast of the Bay of Biscay, north and south. Arrive back in San Sebastian at 17:30. From 20:30 until 22:30, you will have dinner at Saltxipi. This beautiful rustic restaurant with big wooden beams overhead and terra cotta tiles underfoot is run by the charming Ortega Aorga family. Talented chef Jon Ortega runs the kitchen, while his brother Gorka looks after the dining room.
From 11:00 to 15:00, you will take part in a cooking class. Basque cuisine is prized for its high quality ingredients and traditional recipes. One of the flagship classes, the Basque cooking masterclass, will teach you the ABCs of local cuisine, from pintxos to main dishes. Basque chefs will teach you the authentic preparations, from pil-pil to cooking with fresh squid ink.
The Basque cooking class ends with a wonderful lunch at a beautiful cooking school, enjoying what you and your fellow classmates have cooked using your newly acquired Basque cooking skills. You will have the afternoon and the evening free for optional museum visit. As this day includes an especially elaborate lunch, there will be no organized dinner on this night. You can either use room service or enjoy some pintxos close to the hotel.
On this day, you will have the opportunity to choose one of two activities:
Option 1. 08:00 - 16:00 - Great wines, avant-garde architecture in the Rioja Alavesa and La Rioja
Today, you will be guided by a team of wine experts into one of Spains most famous wine regions, visiting two fabulously contrasting vineyards. Travelling south through the Sierra de Cantabria mountains, you will also take in the contrast between the medieval villages of Laguardia and El Ciego, the post-modern bodegas by architects like Gehry and Calatrava, a bronze age village site, and stone-age dolmens.
Option 2. 09:00 - 17:00 - Nature in the Basque Country, birding and hiking
Morning birding at Txingudi, a ramsar wetland of international importance in the Plaiaundi ecology park, partially restored after centuries of drainage and development, and one of the great migration flyways between northern Europe and Africa (for waders, wildfowl and warblers). Afternoon drive, weather permitting, to a spectacular Pyrenean pass: Palomeras. There are very gentle waterside hiking opportunities at Txingudi, and easy hill-walking on trails at Palomeras. Those who only want the hill-walking option can be picked up from the hotel at 13:00. You will have a light pintxo lunch en route, and while the birders take their watching positions on the nearby pass, a ridge walk of about 90 minutes duration will be organized. From 19:30 until 21:30, you will take part in an Iberian ham carving master class and sherry tasting. A light dinner will involve a masterclass in jamn ibrico de bellota, the Iberian acorn-fed ham. This is the very best cured ham in the world and you will enjoy tasting it along with a selection of other Spanish gourmet products.
From 09:00 to 18:00, you will have plenty of time to discover more of the Spanish Basque coast. Drive to the small fishing ports strung along the newly declared UNESCO geopark, which celebrates the extraordinarily elaborate and contorted flysch formations of this part of the Basque coast. Short hike along part of the flysch route, weather permitting, and visit to the Geoparks Algorri interpretation center in Zumaia. At 13:00, enjoy lunch, consisting of grilled fresh catch at Kaipe restaurant, nearby Getaria, a beautiful village with some of the regions best fish restaurants. Sardines and seafood are grilled along the narrow cobbled streets leading to the port.
The afternoon will combine the twentieth century sophistication of a museum dedicated to the fashion designer Cristobal Balenciaga and the evocative atmosphere of the thirteenth century gothic church of San Salvador. The church has a dedication to Getarias most illustrious native, Juan Sebastian Elcano. From 20:30 to 23:30, enjoy a Sidreria evening. Step inside a Basque cider house with one local guide for a unique dining experience. Line up with the locals to catch cider streaming across the room from massive 20,000 liter barrels, glass after glass. Catching the drink without spilling it is an art, but youll get the hang of it even if you get a bit wet in the process. This will be a simple but substantial 5-course dinner.
From 08:00 to 16:00, take a tour through the beautiful Pyrenean villages, including Etxelar with its collection of solar gravestones, Elizondo in the spectacular Baztan Valley, where the palatial homes of ordinary farmers, each with its own coat of arms, reflect a remarkable tradition of universal nobility, a drive through the bucolic Baztan countryside to the spectacular Izpegui pass, followed by visits to the delightful French Basque villages of St. Etienne de Baigorri, Bidarrai, Itxassou, and finally Sara, one of the architectural and cultural jewels of the French Basque Country.
From 12:00 to 13:00, explore traditional, rural, and church architecture vies with scenery as a highlight of this trip. Visit and wine tasting at Domaine Ameztia, owned by shepherd / winemaker Jean-Louis Costera. From 20:30 to 22:30, dinner in a gastronomic society. Rarely opened to visitors, you will have a wonderful opportunity to be invited in by an experienced chef for dinner as his special guests at his private eating club. These clubs have rules: no talk of politics, business, or religion. A very special dining experience, not accessible to most visitors of the Basque Country.
You will get together at 09:00 in the hotel lobby. Coffee and croissants on departure, second breakfast picnic at Guadalupe sanctuary. You will explore the medieval town of Hondarribia, with its marvelous parador and its lively fishing quarter, on foot.You will have lunch with the internationally acclaimed Basque novelist, Bernardo Atxaga, in Tolare restaurant, Oiartzun.
You will discuss Basque literary culture, especially the issues that arise when one writes in Euskera, a language spoken only by a minority, even within the Basque Country. From 20:30 to 23:00, enjoy a suckling pig evening. Dinner in Zelai Txiki, a beautiful neighborhood restaurant on Monte Ulia, near your hotel. The restaurant has the largest wood oven in the Basque Country and you will enjoy their famous suckling pig on their terrace overlooking San Sebastian.
A morning visit to the acclaimed Frank Gehry building and its collection, with works by Beuys, Serra, Koons, Rauschenberg, and Kiefer, followed by lunch with Marijo Olaziregi, who promotes Basque language culture abroad for the Instituto Etxepare, in the Guggenheim restaurant. A short afternoon walkabout in the city, post-modern and medieval: highlights include the metro by Norman Foster, the Zubizuri bridge by Santiago Calatrava, cosmopolitan upmarket shopping streets and, if time permits, the charming old quarter with its bustling traditional market, and its cathedral, a stop on the coastal route of the Camino de Santiago. You will have the evening free to spend time at your leisure.
This will be a full day tour, starting at 09:00 and ending around 18:00. From the Camino de Santiago to the badlands of the Bardenas, via the vast castellated walls of Olite and an almost deserted medieval village clinging to a cliffside. This brown-red southern landscape differs radically from the more typically Basque rolling green hills of the north.
Starting at the exquisite and mysterious church of Santa Maria de Eunate, a little-known pilgrimage point on the Camino, literally finding the heart of a king in the strange village of Uju, and ending the day with a picnic and drive through the remarkable canyons of the Bardenas, reminiscent of Arizona and long a USA air force base, now a UNESCO biosphere reserve. Your picnic will be en-route. From 20:30 to 22:30, enjoy a farewell dinner at San Sebastian Food cooking school where local chefs will prepare a wonderful finale dinner for the participants.
You will be picked up from your hotel and transferred to Bilbao Airport (BIO), and this will be the end of itinerary.
This cooking tour and culture holiday retreat will take place in the Basque Country, San Sebastian, Lesaka, Bayonne, Laguardia, Elciego, Hondarribia, and Bilbao, Spain.
During this culinary tour, you will be delighted with exquisite breakfasts, savory lunches, and unforgettable dinners. Dinners will allow you to taste traditional Basque and Spanish dinners like pintxos, spider crab, homemade croquetas, breaded deep-fried beignets of bchamel, and crabmeat, Iberian acorn-fed ham, grilled fish, chorizo cooked in cider, salt cod omelets, salt cod with green peppers, highest quality steaks cooked on an open flame, local walnuts and Idiazabal sheeps milk cheese with quince jelly, and traditional tejas and cigarillos, almond biscuits, and suckling pig.
Please book your flight to arrive at Bilbao Airport (BIO), San Sebastian Airport (EAS), Biarritz Pays Basque Airport (BIQ), Adolfo Suarez MadridBarajas Airport (MAD), or at Barcelona - El Prat Airport (BCN). Please note that San Sebastian Food will only pick you up from the Bilbao Airport (BIO). The pick-up is included in the price.
Upon arrival at Adolfo Suarez MadridBarajas Airport (MAD) or Barcelona - El Prat Airport (BCN), you can take a bus to arrive at San Sebastian.
Upon arrival at Biarritz Pays Basque Airport (BIQ) or Bilbao Airport (BIO), you can get a shuttle service that will take you from the airport to San Sebastian.
Upon arrival at Adolfo Suarez MadridBarajas Airport (MAD) or Barcelona - El Prat Airport (BCN), you can take a train ride to arrive at San Sebastian.
Upon arrival at San Sebastian Airport (EAS), Biarritz Pays Basque Airport (BIQ), or Bilbao Airport (BIO), you can get a taxi service that will take you from the airport to the center of San Sebastian.