On a trip designed and hand-crafted for lovers of gastronomy and cultural enthusiasts, Black Tomato will take you on an unforgettable seven night tour of the wonderful Basque region, offering you unique experiences to dine at the most exclusive Michelin starred restaurants, indulge in the most incredible cuisine and meet the renowned chefs who create it. Our Travel Experts have recently returned from a recce of the Basque Region having tasted and sipped it’s finest offerings to help show you the wonders of northern Spain. A trip to the Basque region would not be complete without a tour of the area’s most loved wine region, La Rioja or a visit to the famous Guggenheim museum in Bilbao. Allow us to transport you to a world of gastronomical surprises and natural beauty on a trip that encompasses distinct culture and verdant Spanish landscapes.
Pick up your hire car at Bilbao airport and drive an hour to the charming city of San Sebastian. Settle in at Hotel Maria Cristina, a grand and elegant palace situated in the heart of San Sebastian, allowing you to explore all of the city’s gems. Begin your tour of the Basque region with a private guided visit of the wonderful Pintxos route. Here, you can sample some of Basque’s emblematic culinary treasures at a number of bars along the streets of the Old Town. Essentially, ‘Pintxos’ are miniature slices of bread and food held together with a toothpick and are similar to tapas, but smaller and often more elaborate using rich and delicious flavors.Read more
For an authentic fine dining experience, dine at Arzak which is just outside the center of San Sebastian and holds 3 Michelin stars for its signature cuisine. Particular highlights are exquisite ice cream chocolates presented in a bird cage, as well as a beautifully hand printed menu at the end of your meal, making for a distinctive and unique souvenir. After you have enjoyed a sumptuous meal, the hotels surrounding gardens and promenades are perfect for a beautiful sunset stroll. Head back to the terrace to enjoy a glass of wine and watch passers-by into the evening.
On your last day, visit the San Telmo Museum, set in a restored 16th century convent for a morning of artistic education before catching a boat from the harbor to Isla Santa Clara for a relaxing and peaceful afternoon on the beach. The next day you will travel to the wonderful wine region of La Rioja, just a 2 hour drive away.
Once you have arrived at Viura Hotel, dine at the restaurant for a la carte style Basque and Riojan cuisine. Much of the Rioja region can be explored by foot or by car which is ideal for a short trip. In the morning, go canoeing in the Ebro River, learn to prepare typical Basque pintxos (finger food similar to tapas, served at traditional Spanish bars) or play traditional sports such as Pelota to get a taste of what life in the Basque region is like. You can also chose to take a cycling route near the hotel to explore the rural surroundings.
The next day you will explore the Rioja Alavesa wine country’s best products and wine making processes. Your experience will begin in the vineyard, where you will see the importance of the work in the vineyards as well as the different stages the grapes go through. Afterwards you will visit the hotel’s antique wine cellar where you will witness first-hand how the wine is produced, fermented and bottled. An introductory course to wine tasting will follow, and this will help you learn how to distinguish different types of wine. You can even take bottles of your favorite wines home. After a good night’s rest, travel to your next destination, Bilbao which is 1hr 45min away from the wine regions.
Your last stop on your tour of the Basque Region will be 2 nights at the Silken Domine Bilbao, a sleek and contemporary city hotel that’s designed with modern flair and places you within close proximity of the city’s best attractions. Next door is The Guggenheim museum where you can find iconic works of art by the likes of Richard Serra and Justin K. Thannhauser. We include entry tickets so you can tour this famous landmark at your leisure. End your day with an exquisite meal at DOMA, designed by renowned chef Martín Berasategui, who has a wonderful 7 Michelin stars. On the last day, you will drive back to Bilbao airport for your flight home.