About Gourmand Breaks
Gourmand Breaks specializes in customized food, wine and cultural tours around Spain, Portugal and the border of SW France. Our travel agency is based in Spain and organizes high-end private and customized tours particularly within the cultural, gourmet, wine and culinary fields. Our website offers sample tours from one day to three weeks and more, but most specifically, we specialize in the customization of tours with a very personal touch, to fit the wishes of individual clients and companies with care and attention for every part of a tour, including particular assistance, where requested, with budget.
12 Good Reasons to Use Gourmand Breaks
- 1. As we are a Fully Government Licensed, insured and fully bonded tour operator and travel agency, your payment and booking is secure.
- 2. We are Members of: the Gastronomic Club of Tourism in Catalonia; ACAV (Association of Catalan Travel Agents); ASTA (American Society of Travel Agents); IACP (International Association of Culinary Professionals) and Slow Food.
- 3. You deal directly with us and not through an intermediary saving you valuable time and money.
- 4. All our staff speak English, including our guides and chauffeurs.
- 5. All our tours are private and may be customized based on your particular interests and the time you have available.
- 6. During the whole of your vacation planning process, you will receive personal customer service, as too during the length of your tour.
- 7. We are available 24 hours a day during your tour to assist you in emergencies and otherwise (on commencing your tour you will be handed a local cellphone for your use to make contact with our representatives and office).
- 8. We are based in Girona, Spain and are thus in the midst of the area in which our tours progress.
- 9. All of our luxury hotels, wineries, restaurants have been personally visited and selected to be of the highest quality.
- 10. Our Official Licensed Guides and Chauffeurs are hand selected.
- 11. By utilizing our services for planning and organizing your vacation, you will be handing over the responsibility for hours of work, freeing up your valuable time.
- 12. Past client references are always available upon request.
Gourmand Breaks is a work of love. Our mission is to offer the best possible combination of culinary knowledge and travel organization in order to provide you with the best private customized food, wine, culinary & cultural tours to Spain, Portugal and South Western France. It is our passion for food, wine and culture that motivates us to share it with our clients, plus our knowledge and experience with the countries and regions that allows us to organize fabulous personalized tours where you will discover the best of cuisine, wine and culture. We know all the best kept culinary secrets in this rich part of the world and we want to share them with you!
Who will you speak with?
Ursula has worked for years in the in the tourism industry - she built her experience as sales manager/public relations at high-end hotels in the Costa Brava and event agencies in the Barcelona area. She and her husband are well-known in the area for their passion for local gastronomy – together they owned for many years a renowned restaurant in the Barcelona area where Ursula enjoyed organizing monthly meetings with Catalan sommeliers, local produce experts, chefs and food writers. One of their companies also introduced in Girona area the exclusive and avant garde Cacao Sampaka chocolates, with some of their revolutionary recipes made by Ferran Adría's brother. Together they also organize exclusive sailing trips through their yacht charter company on the Costa Brava. Ursula graduated in Spanish Philology and Tourism and obtained her Diploma in English studies in Cambridge, England, where she lived for 2 years. She is fluent in five languages because she loves cosmopolitan environments - she and Joan travelled a good deal before having their two sons, Albert & Alex. She feels really fulfilled with Gourmand Breaks – this business gives her the opportunity to follow her passion for food and wine, take advantage of her wide network of contacts in the exciting gourmet world in Europe, use her extensive experience in the catering trade and vast knowledge of Spain, Portugal and SW France and last, but for her, the most important - be the best possible host to guests from all over the world and make their stay in this part of Europe a lifetime experience. Both Ursula and Joan are good cooks.
Yvonne has lived and worked in all parts of the world and has a considerable knowledge of the travel industry having also worked for some years with the InterContental Hotel Group, based in London. During these years her organizational skills and experience were optimized to the full and whilst moving around in the world her knowledge of every facet of the travel business has certainly assisted her in managing the idiosyncrasies of clients from every part of the compass. For many years she travelled extensively in her various senior positions. As well, she has owned several bar/restaurants within Europe in which she was able to hone her cooking experiences and share with her customers and clients some of the knowledge she had gained all over the world with fascinating menus, diverse cocktails and wines from new locations. Yvonne's enthusiasm and deep passion for food and wines, which has gathered pace over the years, has led to the creation in her beautiful home in Catalunya of a monumental library of cookery books with recipes from each and every part of the world. Yvonne has now lived in Spain for many years and her true love of the country certainly shines at all times. Her favorite phrase is "Please don't worry, we can solve it" and this she certainly does with aplomb and sagacity, confirming to our clients time and time again that both when their tour is at preparation stage and also when running, they are in the best of organizational hands.
Although Ursula and Yvonne personally prepare and oversee all tours, they have a great team of trusted professionals, from fantastic guides and wine specialists to innovative chefs and superb chauffeurs who will be on hand to ensure you have an unforgettable experience during your customized tour in Spain, Portugal or SW France. We have many friends in the industry, including restaurateurs, winery owners, cheese and ham specialists, olive farmers, amongst many, who are working with us to provide the very special tours and visits in which we at Gourmand Breaks specialize.
Our Officially Licensed guides are friendly, experienced and passionate about the history and culture of their regions. In addition they are natives, fluent in English, Spanish, Portuguese, French and Catalan and will provide personalized attention as they accompany you during your visit to show you the sites, answer your questions or help you with whatever needs may arise. On your private customized tour with Gourmand Breaks your guide will share his/her favorite secret spots and let you delve into the culinary and cultural delights of these magnificent countries. Simple tasks can be tricky when away from home, like buying something in a pharmacy and your guide will assist you, whenever you wish!
You will be fascinated by what you learn from our local experts; both our tour guides and our gourmet gurus will have a wealth of knowledge. On your personalized tour with Gourmand Breaks our reputed chefs, masters of traditional cooking, will provide cooking classes based on typical Mediterranean fare, while young chefs will introduce you to the regions specialties in avant-garde cuisine. Our experts will share your table and will tell you all about local produce, the history, the processes and in short, the secrets of their cheese, cured meat, olive oil, and wild mushrooms, to name only a few. On our private customized tours you will discover places which only people with local knowledge can show you and you will delight in the regional food at authentic restaurants.
In addition to enjoying meals in traditional restaurants where you have to know what to order, you will dine in famous Michelin starred restaurants, with local products made poetry by the best Spanish chefs. These dining experiences will have an emphasis on matching food and drink whether using traditional pairings, like wild game and red wine, or using more innovative pairings, to include beer and chocolate. Prepare to indulge your senses.
Your accommodation will match the excellence of your dining experiences as you will visit the most fashionable places in the cosmopolitan cities of Spain, Portugal or SW France and explore medieval villages where time has stood still. On your luxury customized tour with us you will spend your nights in small designer hotels, medieval castles and cozy country houses. You will be able to relax in luxurious spas, enjoying massages surrounded by tranquility and nature. Or if you choose, you can explore the local countryside on foot for a more idyllic experience. We will take care of every small detail which will make your stay comfortable and enjoyable.
Our private customized food, wine and culture tours are high end, offering tailored, personalized service and exquisite itineraries to individuals and groups (companies welcomed). These trips are designed for passionate amateurs and professionals and combine an entertaining mix of wine and food tasting, local market excursions, hands-on cooking with visits to the kitchens of local chefs , and cultural sites and events.
What you can Expect
You will discover the local culture through the regions' gastronomy, fine wines, countryside and architecture, but you will not be left on your own to do it! Like we said, we have selected the very best in the business, and this foremost applies to our tour guides, who are looking forward to showing you around.
Our private customized tours are offered all year round, with a selection of specialized seasonal tours. We offer grape and mushroom picking in autumn, olive oil preparation in winter, snails and "calçots" cuisine in spring, the finest Port wine tastings, to name a few. For a group with a particular interest or date, we can organize from scratch completely tailor made trips covering the activity and dates required!
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