Coloured by the flavours of nearby Spain and the traditional tastes of the Pyrenees, the food and wine of the Basque country boasts a long and illustrious history. Highlights of this 7-day-all-inclusive tour include:
Tasting the famed Espelette chilli pepper, pride of the Basque Country. Red, lustrous, gently spiced and full of fruity flavour, it forms the basis of many Basque recipes, including the famous piperade, an omelette of peppers and tomatoes.
Enjoying jambon de Bayonne, well known to be one of the best hams in the world! Your guide, Pierre, will show you how this beautiful meat is produced – from field to the plate.
The local culinary scene is a combination of French and Spanish dishes and you will get to enjoy it as part of our tour. Vibrant and brightly coloured, sea fish is a hero ingredient in the cuisine of the Basque coast, as well as the dish of marmitako, a stew of Atlantic tuna fish cooked with olive oil and vegetables, and a plate of chipirons, small local squid served in their ink or with a serving of onion and pepper marmalade.
As well as the pork used for making ham and charcuterie, other meats also occupy an important place in Basque cuisine. Poulet Basquaise is a dish of chicken pieces sautéed with onions and peppers, then cooked slowly with a glass of white wine.
A trip to this region would not be complete, without trying the famous dessert of gâteau basque - filled with custard or, more traditionally blackberry jam.
We will also visit Bayonne, Biarritz, Saint Jean de Luz and St Jean Pied de Port markets and fill our baskets with cheeses, fresh vegetables and seafood.
At the end of our days, we will sample a few pintxos (or snacks, like our Spanish cousins) pairing with a glass or two of Irouléguy, the only AOC-certified vineyard in the Basque Country.
You will visit two of our favourite restaurants in France. The first, Chez Mattin in a small Ciboure village. On the menu, duck confit, their legendary ttoro (pronounced “tioro”), an excellent, spicy multi-fish ragout (conger, hake, monkfish, with mussels and langoustines as well) served in the pot it was cooked in. The second in Navarre mountains, close to the Spanish border, where you will enjoy locally produced sheep’s milk cheeses from Iraty, seated on the terrace around a pink sandstone table, perfect croquettes (ham and salt cod) superb plancha-grilled cod with potatoes, sweet chilies, parsley and onion, and finally a homemade “bukatzeko etxeko gozoak” (dessert) - a rich chocolate tart.
Sweet or savoury, everything in the Basque country is an excuse for playing with flavours and having a party. Each evening Francois will cook dinner for you (and with you, for those who want) using local recipes and seasonal produce. The menu will vary from night to night based on what you and the other 7 guests would like – we love your special requests!
7 nights’ accommodation in a fantastic villa surrounded between sea and mountain with twin share room and private bathroom
5 lunches and 7 dinners, as well as continental breakfast every day
Regional and French wines with all your meals
Michelin star Chef Francois cooks each dinner for you and with you (for those who want) using local recipes and seasonal produce
Five full day tours, visiting stunning little villages and gourmet experience in the Basque Country
Entry fees to local attractions whenever they apply
Free transport to and from the local Biarritz airport on arrival and departure
Free Wi-Fi in accommodation
A pre-departure briefing to discuss travel arrangements for the tour
Travel to the tour/from the tour
Any meals and drinks not mentioned as being included in the tour
Slow Tours offers a number of other Food Tours in Europe
YOUR BACKROAD ADVENTURE IN BASQUE COUNTRY
Not a traditional itinerary, but these are the experiences you will enjoy!
With its own language, unique climate and a very distinct cultural identity, Basque is a very special part of France and our 7-day-tour will cover the very best of this region.
A beacon of beauty the Basque Region, or Euskadi as it is known in its local language, is unlike the rest of the French regions. The Basque people are very proud and they captivate all who visit.
From the dramatic cliffs to the sandy beaches, there is nothing not to love about the landscape here. In just one hour you can go from the rugged Pyrenees Mountains to the Atlantic Coastline.
Biarritz is an exceptional destination located in the heart of the Basque Country. Recently, the French Government has chosen the brand Biarritz-Basque Country, a jewel of international tourism, to underline the advantages of tourism in France, along with 19 other destinations.
Bayonne owes its significant architectural heritage to its rich history. Bayonne has strong policies on heritage and culture and obtained France's official “Town of Art & History” status in 2012, in recognition of 2,000 years of history and rich heritage. We will visit typical Basque villages and country landscapes.
San Sebastian is incredible, but if you really want to sink your teeth into Basque culture then a day trip to one of its quaint little villages is also a must. Espelette and Ainhoa are amongst the most well-known – mostly because of its famous peppers. The houses here are built in the traditional Basque manner and the streets are lined with boutiques and artisanal markets selling homemade chocolates among other delights.
Saint-Jean-de-Luz is another village worth visiting, if only for its beautiful beach. This glimmering, gold beach is right in the centre of the town and is perfect for lying out in the sun, listening to the waves lap the shore.
Around 40km – 30 miles to the east of Saint-Jean-de-Luz is Saint-Jean-Pied-de-Port. This town is imbued with historical significance because it is a strategic point on the Camino de Santiago de Compostella pilgrimage route.
Buying a traditional product in the Basque Region allows you to take a part of this fascinating region home with you, together with great memories from France. A popular gift to take home is a pair of authentic Basque espadrilles sandals, “handicraft” household linen or a traditional Basque Beret. As part of our tour, you will get to visit workshops where these beautiful items are made.
Tours marked with are special prices.
If you would like to drive yourself before or after your tour, ask us for a quote on any brand new Renault, Peugeot or Citroen vehicle for driving in Europe.
Pick up your vehicle from most capital cities in Europe and return it to your drop off destination. Top insurance cover. Email [email protected] for a competitive quote
Shows in English in Paris: Paris offers a wide variety of shows accessible to English-speakers. One-man shows, classic & modern theatre, musicals, cabarets and more are all performed in the city every night. You can get the full programme of shows in Paris to fit your city break dates by emailing [email protected]