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SUBLIME SPAIN

Best of Barcelona & The Basque Country

Luxury Food, Wine & Cultural Tour

Description

This private guided gourmet & cultural tour includes all the must see culinary spots of Northern Spain, like cosmopolitan Barcelona with its Gaudi route and mouth watering Boqueria market, breathtaking San Sebastian with the Concha Bay views and gorgeous pinchos and finally Bilbao, with its state of art Guggenheim museum. Enjoy Catalan & Basque food tastings, market visit, the stunning Michelin1* star Nerua restaurant at the Guggenheim and much more.

 

DAY 1 BARCELONA

On arrival at Barcelona Airport our Chauffeur will be awaiting you with a luxury vehicle ready to transfer you to your elegant, 5-star boutique hotel ideally located in the Barcelona Gothic Quarter, nearby to all major sights, but at the same time on the Port front. Your hotel is deep-seated in history, the building dates back to 1846, and one of the 20th century's most renowned artists, Pablo Picasso, had his first studio here in 1896 when he was just 15. The hotel rooftop terrace bar and plunge pool provide an astonishing view of the city over the old Port and you can enjoy the views of the Gothic Quarter, the Mediterranean sea, the Olympic Port, Montjuic Mountain and the Columbus Monument whilst sipping a glass of cava and relaxing with a little sea breeze. Barcelona is an all-round destination offering architecture, culture, history, art, fashion, nature, fine food and good wine! This bustling cosmopolitan city has it all!

A representative of Gourmand Breaks will meet you at your hotel for a welcome drink and together you will discuss your personalized itinerary for the rest of your tour. Apart from having available, prior to travel, your Online Personal Travel Webpage, you will be handed your printed Personal Travel Journals containing all your itinerary details and plenty of suggestions for restaurants and free time activities.

On this first evening in Barcelona you might want to relax and unwind after your journey and settle into your lovely hotel before dining this evening in the hotels stylish restaurant. Catalan Mediterranean dishes are set to delight your senses here with fresh seasonal ingredients and even the tasty light meals and snacks here are all created by a young Michelin-Starred Chef.

We do, however, have several dinner recommendations for fine restaurants, as well as informal tapas places nearby in the Gothic and Born districts as well as in the relaxing old port area.

In a Nutshell: Private Chauffeured transfer from Barcelona Airport, Welcome meeting with your Gourmand Breaks representative, Overnight in an elegant 5-star boutique hotel on Barcelona Port Front

DAY 2 BARCELONA

This morning, after a delicious breakfast, your Gourmand Breaks Officially Licensed Guide will await you at your hotel. Together you will beat the queues as you enjoy a private guided visit to the incredible La Sagrada Familia, a work on a grand scale which began in 1882. At the end of 1883 Gaudi, the most internationally renowned and emblematic architect of the city, was commissioned to carry on the works, a task which he did not abandon until his death in 1926. Since then different architects have continued the work after his original idea, but it remains unfinished.

You will then continue on your journey, now focused on the authentic gourmet foods in Spain, starting with a guided visit to La Boqueria market, Spains largest marketplace. La Boqueria is like a museum of the brightest and most delectable foods in Spain. Our expert culinary guide will lead you around the best booths and you will taste some of the most delicious local seasonal produce at one famous La Boqueria bar, frequented by celebrities. A glass of a fine brut nature cava will surely go down a treat with a tapa of Chantrelle mushrooms, or fresh cockles, squid or maybe even scrambled eggs with wild asparagus.

Continuing your private walking tour through the Gothic quarter of Barcelona you will see a few architectural feats: the famous Barcelona Cathedral, Sant Jaume Square and the amazing Santa Maria del Mar Church, which is a beautiful and important 14th-century church and considered the finest and most complete example of Catalan Gothic architecture anywhere. You will, of course, enjoy a wander through Las Ramblas, the colorful must-see pedestrian area. Our guide is a real specialist in local history and will amuse you with fascinating local stories and funny anecdotes. Following this, your tour will take the path of Picasso on the famous Avignon Street. You will pass the Picasso museum (your guide will be able purchase tickets if you wish to visit this afternoon). Now you will taste some of the best natural artisan Spanish cheeses at a charming local cheese shop. The knowledgeable owner will divulge the secrets of the best Spanish cheeses while you taste some of the delicious specialties paired with some excellent Priorat wine. For something sweet, your tour will stop at the oldest venue in Barcelona for dried nuts and fruits, homemade nougats and chocolates. This quaint and local store, specializing in roasting coffee beans and nuts for over 150 years, is still decorated with its original furniture and old wood-burning stove.

Your luxury private tour will be rounded off with a light lunch of exquisite delicatessen produce which will include Spains best Iberic bellota ham - Joselito, fine cold meats and sausages, some of the finest local preserves of wild tuna, anchovies,or clams from Galicia, a selection of the best Spanish olive oils, etc., all enjoyed at one of the best delicatessens in the city. In addition there are English speaking sommeliers on hand to guide you through more than 6000 wines. Your guide will leave you at the finale of your tour when you are settled safely into this amazing delicatessen enjoying your meal.

The rest of your afternoon will be free to enjoy as you wish. Prior to leaving you, your guide will be happy to provide a lot of suggestions for really good places to eat, cafes, shops, etc.

In a Nutshell: Private guided tour of La Sagrada Familia and the Gothic Quarter and Born Areas of Barcelona with gourmet food and wine tastings, Overnight Barcelona

DAY 3 BARCELONA

This morning, after a delicious breakfast, the day can be as full as you please. You will have received many suggestions from your private tour guide yesterday for further sightseeing areas, as well as some great dining options.

Maybe you wish to see some more of Gaudis fantastic architecture: Parc Guell is located in uptown Barcelona and is one of the most beautiful icons of the city of Barcelona. Park Guell, a work by Antoni Gaudi carried our between 1900 and 1914, has wonderful views of the city where you can enjoy a peaceful stroll surrounded by nature and modernist works. On the Passeig de Gracia, in the city center, you can see other famous works of Gaudi, including his famous Casa Batllo and la Pedrera. Throughout the work of Gaudi, you will see much of his architectural inspiration came from his experiences in nature. Gaudi is the most internationally renowned and emblematic architect of the city. His famous Pedrera was built between 1906 and 1910 for the Mila family. This is one of the main Gaudi residential buildings and one of the most imaginative houses of the history of the architecture, this building is more a sculpture than a building.

You may like to join a small group Cooking Class today, where you will first meet with chef to learn about the local produce and subsequently head to the market to buy the ingredients required for your cooking class. It is then off to the cooking school where, on the instructions of chef, you will prepare lunch which you will then be able to enjoy with local wines. We will be delighted to include this fantastic cooking class in Barcelona in your quotation on request. Alternatively, we could arrange for you to join a a local wine expert for an exclusive tasting of some top Spanish Wines from the best Spanish Wine Regions.

Maybe you would like to do your own thing today and take advantage of the great shopping, stroll along the beachfront of Barceloneta or return to the old Gothic Quarter, the choices are yours! We have many suggestions for restaurants which will suit your mood of the moment, whether you are looking for an informal dinner or a Michelin Starred experience.

In a Nutshell: Free day in Barcelona, OPTIONAL Cooking Class / Exclusive Wine Tasting in Barcelona, Overnight Barcelona

DAY 4 SAN SEBASTIAN

Early this morning our chauffeur will await you in a luxury car to transfer you to the railway station for your comfortable train journey to San Sebastian. The train journey takes around 5.5hrs for which you will have first class tickets.

On arrival in San Sebastian, and after a short taxi ride, you will check into your luxury hotel before exploring the area, or even snatch a quick siesta after your journey in preparation for this evenings events! Your 4-star boutique hotel with a beach front location, offers you the most amazing location. It is without a doubt one of the best hotels in the center of San Sebastian.

Please note: Should you wish to have chauffeured transportation we can happily customize your itinerary accordingly. In this case we would recommend to include 1 or 2 nights in the famous La Rioja Wine Region of Spain, which is on the way.

In the late afternoon your officially licensed guide will await you and together you will experience a private Gourmet and Cultural tour of San Sebastian, its wonderful beach in the city is renowned as the best city to eat in Spain (if not the World!) The city of San Sebastian spreads around the famous La Concha beach, whilst inland are the beautiful green mountain landscapes of Guipuzcoa of which San Sebastian is the provincial capital. Your guide will show you around all the most interesting parts of the city where you will be privileged not only to go to the best bars, frequented by local foodies, but also to sample the specialties of each place, accompanied by the best Txacoli wine. Although tapas were invented in Andalucia they became perfected in San Sebastian and here are known as pinchos. Each bar is bursting with so many different and creative pinchos that Spanish tradition suggests to have one or two and a wine in one bar and move on to the next. For sure you will try a glass (or two...) of the best local Txakoli wine!

In a Nutshell: First Class Train from Barcelona to San Sebastian, Private guided tour of San Sebastian with tapas hopping and wine, Overnight in a 4* beachfront Boutique Hotel in San Sebastian

DAY 5 SAN SEBASTIAN

Today you are free to discover San Sebastian at your leisure. We are sure your tapas hopping San Sebastian guide gave you many suggestions of interesting things to see and do in your free time.

San Sebastian is known as a stylish city and an image-conscious one, so it is stuffed with high-end shops. Peruse La Parte Vieja (the old part of town) for cool boutiques filled with quirky designer gear. Stop, as the locals do, to get your strength back at one of the numerous bars and restaurants with a little glass of Txakoli wine and the odd ubiquitous pintxo!

If you are feeling adventurous why not climb Monte Urgell for some amazing views over the city and the surrounding area. At the top of this hill you will also see the remains of the walls and canons from the military past of the city and, guarding the city, stands the Sacred Heart statue (Cristo de la Mota). It is no Rio de Janeiro but this giant statue of Christ measures over 12 meters.

OPTIONAL: You may like to head out of the city and have a chauffeured tour of Hondarribia and the local seaside villages of interest, or, maybe have a fun cooking class to discover why the Basque Country is a foodie mecca!

This evening, why not re-visit some of the authentic tapas bars you visited with your guide, or you may wish to fine dine in style at one of the World Famous Michelin 3* Restaurants of the area - Akelarre, Arzak or Martin Berasategui - for which prior reservations are necessary and we will be delighted to assist with a booking.

In a Nutshell: Free Day in San Sebastian, Overnight San Sebastian

DAY 6 BILBAO

Today, after breakfast, your adventure continues with a chauffeured transfer to Bilbao where you will first have a panoramic tour of the city before checking in to your 5* modern and luxurious hotel, situated opposite the amazing Guggenheim Museum.

You have entrance to the famous Guggenheim Museum so take your time as you explore the works of art in this spectacular building designed by Canadian-American architect Frank Gehry. The museum features permanent and visiting exhibits of works by Spanish and International artists.

Why not stay for lunch at the Museum and enjoy a tasting menu paired with wines at Michelin 1* Nerua Restaurant, which has an excellent reputation and is located right at the Guggenheim. This modernist, chic, restaurant is under the direction of superchef Josean Martinez Alija. Needless to say, the nueva cocina vasca (Basque nouvelle cuisine) is breathtaking and the ever-changing menu includes such mouth waterers as Iberian pork meatballs with carrot juice and curry. Even the olives are vintage classics: all come from 1000-year-old olive trees! We will be delighted to make a booking for you.

Afterwards take a stroll through the atmospheric old town of Bilbao, with its worn facades, bars, restaurants and shops. At the heart of the Casco are the original seven streets, Las Siete Calles. In the middle is the 19th-century arcaded Plaza Nueva, a rewarding pintxo haunt. The Gothic Catedral de Santiago, has a splendid Renaissance portico, itself once the scene of medieval markets and civic meetings.

For dinner, do as the locals and experience some delicious typical food here in the center of the old town. We have a wonderful pinchos hopping route for you to experience the best and authentic bars for pinchos in Bilbao.

In a Nutshell: Bilbao Guggenheim Museum, Overnight in a 5* Luxury Hotel in Bilbao

DAY 7 DEPARTURE

This morning after a delicious breakfast at your hotel and a last glimpse of the Guggenheim Museum, your chauffeur will be waiting in a luxury vehicle to transfer you to Bilbao airport for your onward flight.

We very much hope you will join us for this wonderful Food, Wine and Cultural Private Tour

In a Nutshell: Chauffeured transfer to Bilbao Airport

Please note: If, however, your onward journey is from Barcelona or Madrid Airport you may like to extend your tour with transport to Barcelona/Madrid and a couple of extra nights in the city or even include La Rioja Wine Country en-route.

Your tour includes:

  • Accommodation for three (3) nights in an elegant 5* Boutique Hotel in the Gothic Area of Barcelona (superior room, double occupancy)

  • Accommodation for two (2) nights in an elegant 4* Boutique Hotel with views of the Concha Bay at San Sebastian (sea view room, double occupancy)

  • Accommodation for one (1) night in a 5* modern and Luxury Hotel opposite the Guggenheim Museum in Bilbao (Guggenheim views, double occupancy)

  • Six (6) full breakfasts

  • Chauffeured transfers in a luxury vehicle, as indicated in the itinerary

  • Rail tickets on a Preferente (1st class) basis from Barcelona to San Sebastian

  • Private Guided Tours with Officially Licensed Guide in Barcelona and San Sebastian as noted in your itinerary

  • All the samplings of foods and wines during your tours, including a light lunch of delicatessen produce in Barcelona and a tapas tour in San Sebastian, as stated in your itinerary

  • Online Personal Travel Webpage including daily itinerary, general local information, details of places of interest, suggestions for restaurant reservations, and your free time, etc.

  • Handy elegant Personal Travel Journal, which includes the extended information from your Personal Travel Website, that you can take with you as you go and keep as a souvenir to look back on.

  • 24/7 Back Office Assistance

Your tour does not include:

  • Flights

  • Meals and drinks not stated in the itinerary

  • Personal expenses such as telephone, minibar, etc.

  • Tips and gratuities at restaurants etc. at your discretion, NOT obligatory

  • Travel Insurance may be included in your quotation on request. We strongly recommend you to take out separate cancellation insurance.

Prices:

Please note our tours are available for PRIVATE GROUPS ONLY and are not scheduled mixed group tours. Price is available upon request and varies depending on the number of guests and time of year. Feel free to contact us for your personal quote