Tour description

Luxury Best of Spain & France Cultural Tour

Experience Spanish & French luxury travel on this cultural and gourmet private tour. On this fully chauffeured bespoke vacation, prepare to be pampered with the finest Michelin 3* dining options, cultural excursions and exquisite 5* accommodations. Not only will you travel from cosmopolitan cities to medieval villages, you will also see the incredible scenery of the regions which meet to form the border between Spain and France. Along with our excellent tour guides, you will have unique foodie experiences and understand the history of the regions of Spain & France you pass through. Whether you are exploring Antoni Gaudi’s architecture, taking a gourmet walking tour of San Sebastian, sipping fine wine in a prestigious winery in La Rioja or visiting a castle in Carcassonne, you will appreciate the customized attention, exceptional quality and luxurious touch that is the essence of this magnificent Best of Spain & France Cultural Tour!



Our chauffeur will meet you on arrival at Barcelona airport and whisk you away to your 5-star luxury hotel in the fashionable Eixample district of Barcelona. The hotel, a restored 19th century landmark designed by Spanish architect Luis Domenech i Montaner, provides a world-class combination of modern accommodations and superb panoramic views of downtown Barcelona. The elegant staircases and high ceilings are reminiscent of times past and exude elegance and refinement. A representative of Gourmand Breaks will meet you for a welcome drink, and together you will discuss your personalized itinerary for your Luxury Best of Spain & France Cultural Tour. Apart from having available your Online Personal Travel Webpage, you will be handed your Personal Travel Journals containing all your itinerary details and plenty of suggestions for restaurants and free time activities. Our excellent guides and chauffeurs will attend you throughout your tour with us and you will also have our 24/7 back office assistance, for anything you might need.

Barcelona has a long and ancient history, but the city was replanned, with its medieval walls demolished in 1854; as the modern and eclectic place visited today. Over the next sixty years, much of modern Barcelona was built, its architecture funded by the bourgeoisie and designed by Antoni Gaudi and his Modernista contemporaries, Lluis Domenech and Josep Puig. On this first evening in Barcelona you might want to simply relax and unwind after your journey, otherwise we have many dinner recommendations for Barcelona’s best restaurants or informal tapas places nearby.

Tour in a nutshell: Chauffeured transfer from Barcelona airport. Welcome meeting with your Gourmand Breaks tour representative. Overnight in a 5* luxury hotel in Barcelona.



Today your Officially Licensed Guide will take you for a private gourmet and cultural tour of Barcelona. You will be visiting La Boqueria, Spain’s most important, and world-famous marketplace. It offers the absolute freshest and most diverse selection of produce. At the market, you will visit the famous bar where in-the-know celebrities of Barcelona frequent. Here you will try the best aperitifs, perhaps a reserve cava (Spanish champagne) and sample some of the finest products of the marketplace! Next, you will traverse the city on a private gourmet walking tour through the Gothic Quarter of Barcelona, home to an abundance of tucked away gourmet cafes and shops. You will see a few architectural feats as well, including the amazing Gothic Santa Maria Church. You will take the path of Picasso on famous Avignon Street, and taste some excellent Spanish cheeses paired with quality wines at a charming ‘fromagerie’. For something sweet, we will stop into the oldest venue in Barcelona for dried nuts, fruits, coffee and toasted almonds where you will sample some of their nuts and fruits.

Your light lunch of exquisite delicatessen produce will include Spain’s best Iberic bellota ham, Joselito, fine cold meats and sausages, the finest wild tuna, anchovies, clams from Galicia, a selection of the best Spanish olive oils, cheeses, salads, etc., all enjoyed at one of the best delicatessens in Barcelona. Your private guide will leave you at the finale of your tour when you are settled safely into this amazing delicatessen enjoying your meal.

Tour in a nutshell: Private gourmet and cultural walking tour of Barcelona’s Gothic quarter including gourmet food & wine tastings. Fine delicatessen lunch with wine. Overnight Barcelona.



You have the day to explore Barcelona on your own, with the assistance of your Luxury Best of Spain & France Cultural Tour Personal Travel Journal. Alternatively, we could arrange a private guided Gaudi Route tour for you, where your experienced Officially Licensed guide will await you after breakfast and you will leave to visit the incredible La Sagrada Familia, a work on a grand scale which began in 1882. At the end of 1883 Gaudi 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. Throughout Gaudi’s work, you will see much of his architectural inspiration came from his experiences in nature. Continuing your morning on the Gaudi route, you will head to the Passeig de Gracia area, where you will enjoy a walking tour of other famous works of Gaudi, including his famous Casa Batllo and La Pedrera. For a mid-morning pick-me-up, your guide will lead you to a sophisticated and fashionable gourmet chocolate boutique to sample the city’s finest chocolates with a glass of cava. Many of these chocolate recipes were created by Albert Adria, the dessert chef of the famous restaurant El Bulli. You will then visit Gaudi’s famous La Pedrera 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 in the history of architecture; this building is just as much a sculpture as a building.

This afternoon you will be free to discover the lively city of Barcelona on your own. We have many suggestions for restaurants which will suit your mood of the moment.

Tour in a nutshell: Free day in Barcelona or optional private guided Barcelona Gaudi Tour. Overnight Barcelona.



This morning our chauffeur will drive you to Girona, a Catalan town with a big heart. Here your private Officially Licensed tour guide will be waiting to escort you through this romantic place. You will wind through the narrow streets and stone walls of the Gothic Quarter and encounter little shops, cafes and medieval homes that families have passed down through the generations. Following, you will leave with our chauffeur & guide for a tour of the medieval town of Besalu, a magnificent historic-artistic site, renowned for its beauty and the 11th century Roman bridge that once was necessary to adjoin this small village to land. Here you will also taste the local tipple, ratafia, a traditional liquor made from a variety of herbs. The different families of Besalu have variations of this sweet wine, and use their own secret combination of aromatic herbs to flavor this digestive liquor.

Optional: Afterwards your chauffeur will drive you to the outskirts of Girona for lunch at the famous Michelin 3* Celler de Can Roca, voted one of the best restaurants in the world. Owned by three Catalan brothers, local recipes are the inspiration for the exquisite dishes served here, from delectable parfaits to their wild mushroom souffle. The enthusiasm and creativity of chef Joan is only matched by sommelier Josep’s expertise at pairing the perfect wines with your meal. Both are complemented by the youngest brother, Jordi’s delightful desserts. Celler de Can Roca is booked months in advance, but we will be delighted to get you on the waiting list of this Michelin 3* restaurant. Next our chauffeur will transfer you to your luxury 5-star hotel and spa, located in a Catalan villa picturesquely surrounded by country landscape, indoor and outdoor pools, fine dining and complete spa amenities.

Tour in a nutshell: Private guided tours of Girona and Besalu. Overnight in a 5* spa hotel in the Emporda wine region.



Today our chauffeur will be waiting to take you to beautiful Cadaques, for the next part of your Luxury Best of Spain & France Cultural Tour. This town is known for its breathtaking beauty and its history of Bohemian artists, including the master of surrealism, Salvador Dali. You will visit his and Gala’s summer seaside home, complete with his works and rooms left as they were, where you can have a glimpse into their life. Next, you will enjoy a delightful lunch in one of the small seaside haunts of the artist. You will experience the atmosphere of this town in an authentic way as you try a few favorite local seafood dishes.

After lunch, you will cross through the natural park of Cap de Creus to a lighthouse on the edge of a cliff overlooking the Mediterranean. This point is the first place in Spain where the sun’s rays shine every morning, but rather than waking up at dawn to see this, you will visit Cap de Creus for the impressive and romantic views of the Mediterranean. Our chauffeur will then drive you to the mountains overlooking Port de la Selva where the view to the sea will take your breath away with its magnificence. You will see the imposing Sant Pere de Rodes Benedictine Monastery, constructed on the hillside below the ruins of the castle of Sant de Verdera that gave protection to the monastery. Dating from the 10th century AD, it is a prime example of the Catalan-Roman era. After your busy day, you will surely enjoy a relaxing evening at your hotel and perhaps dinner in the hotel restaurant or at one of the local ones suggested in your Personal Travel Journal.

Tour in a nutshell: Chauffeured day tour of Cadaques. Visit to Dali House museum. Local seafood lunch with wine. Visit to Sant Pere de Rodes Benedictine Monastery. Overnight Emporda.


Luxury Best of Spain & France Cultural Tour

Your Best of Spain & France Tour takes you into France today, when our chauffeur takes you to Carcassonne. On the way you might wish to stop at the spectacular French castle of Peyrepertuse, the largest of the famous medieval Cathar castles, and relatively well-preserved. The views across Languedoc are spectacular, with sister castle Queribus, the Pyrenees and even the Mediterranean, clearly visible. Carcassonne has an entire city that is a castle, in La Cite, the fortified upper city; and is an excellent example of a medieval fortified town whose massive defenses were constructed on walls dating from Late Antiquity. Stroll along the cobblestone streets and browse the numerous small shops. Optional: For lunch you could visit the 3 star Michelin Restaurant l’Auberge du Vieux Puits, hidden in the sleepy village of Fontjoncouse. In its rustic dining room with stone floor and exposed wooden beams overhead, this restaurant has the feel of a simple country locale rather than a formal temple of gastronomy – but here you can enjoy a delicious tasting lunch with wines.

Your day continues and (time permitting), you will stop in Toulouse to have a short visit to this famous Ville Rose (“Pink City”) of France. The cosmopolitan and enthusiastic Ville Rose joyously mixes heritage and lifestyle, great cultural events, chic boutiques and very typically French cafes on many of its beautiful squares. This evening you will arrive in Biarritz, where you will check into your superb 19th century palace hotel, with wonderful views of the ocean. May we suggest that after such a very long day you relax this evening, and perhaps enjoy a light dinner in your hotel’s restaurant.

Tour in a nutshell: Chauffeured tours to Peyrepertuse Castle, Carcassonne & Castle and Toulouse (time permitting). Overnight in a 5* palace hotel in Biarritz.



The quintessentially French seaside town of Biarritz awaits you today. European royalty such as Queen Victoria, Edward VII, and also Alfonso XIII of Spain were frequent visitors to Biarritz. One of many Royal visitors would set off starting with the battle cry: ‘Chill the champagne, pack the pearls and tune up the Bugatti.’ Biarritz offers one of the most attractive seaside saunters in France. The famous old promenade along the Grande Plage leads past the Casino Barriere, with a fine art deco ceiling and floor, the peaceful old square Place Ste-Eugenie and the Museum of the Sea, with its handsome facade. Having toured the town and perhaps relaxed with a drink overlooking the sea, your journey continues back over the border into Spain with a short drive to San Sebastian with our chauffeur.

You will check into your 5* hotel and have a chance for a bite and siesta prior to your evening’s activities, when our Officially Licensed Guide will take you on a tour of San Sebastian and its wonderful “beach in the city” vibe; famed as Spain’s best city to dine out in! Your San Sebastian tour guide will show you the most interesting parts of the city, prior to leading you to the tapas bar district, 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. Although tapas were invented in Andalusia they became perfected in San Sebastian! Each bar is bursting with many different tapas and Spanish tradition suggests having a few tapas and a wine in one bar and moving on to try out the next!

Tour in a nutshell: Visit to Biarritz. Private guided tour of San Sebastian with Basque tapas-hopping. Overnight in 5* luxury hotel in San Sebastian.



Your Best of Spain & France Tour has our chauffeur driving you to Bilbao today, to visit the incredible Guggenheim Museum. Should you require a private art guide for your museum visit, we will happily arrange this for you. The Guggenheim is a museum of modern and contemporary art designed by Canadian-American architect Frank Gehry. The museum features permanent and visiting exhibits of works by Spanish and international artists. The curves on the building were designed to appear random, with Gehry quoted as saying that “the randomness of the curves are designed to catch the light”. When it was opened to the public in 1997, it was immediately hailed as one of the world’s most spectacular buildings in the style of Deconstructivism, although Gehry does not associate himself with that architectural movement.

You will follow your museum visit with an optional exquisite tasting menu luncheon with wines at the acclaimed 1 star Michelin Guggenheim Restaurant, Nerua, run by the talented young chef Josean Alija – a unique and memorable experience! Afterwards our chauffeur will be waiting to take you to the medieval fishing village of Getaria, which nestles in a stunning bay on the wild and dramatic coastline of northern Spain. Here, you will visit a prestigious Txakoli Winery, followed by a tasting of this very unique wine. Getaria is famous not only for Txakoli, but also for fish and seafood of the best quality, which is generally cooked simply on a parrilla, or barbecue. This evening if you wish, you will have an opportunity to taste some of this fare as we can arrange for you to have dinner at the best restaurant in Getaria and enjoy the fish and seafood of your choice, paired with local wines.

Tour in a nutshell: Visit to the Bilbao Guggenheim Museum. Txakoli Winery Visit. Overnight San Sebastian.



Today you are free to discover San Sebastian at your leisure. Your private guide will have given you many suggestions of interesting things to see and do, and there is a lot of info in your Best of Spain & France Cultural Tour Personal Travel Journal too. Optionally, you might wish to make a visit to Hondarribia, just a few kilometers from the French border, high in the mountains. The town of Hondarribia is surrounded by a 15th century wall and is entered through the Puerta de Santa Maria gateway which looks like a tiny castle. In the old town, above the harbor, you can wander through the narrow cobbled streets flanked by old houses with intricately carved wooden balconies. A stroll along Paseo Ramón Iribarren, one of the town’s most vivid streets, will take you to the new marina and the beach, where quaint docked fishing boats is a calming sight. Hondarribia’s 10th century castle, the Palacio de Carlos Quinto, is now a fabulous looking parador, which dominates the top of the old town. Find a spot to sit and enjoy a drink in one of the lovely squares – this is a day for relaxing! However, should you wish to visit other villages in this very pretty area, our chauffeur will be at your service.

On returning to San Sebastian you may wish to take a siesta prior to preparing for your optional dinner at Michelin 3 starred Akelarre; run by renowned chef Pedro Subijana. His famous tasting menus have been developed with culinary awareness, balance and are constantly being updated with his latest innovations, utilizing the finest seasonal produce.

Tour in a nutshell: Free day San Sebastian. Optional visit to Hondarribia. Overnight San Sebastian.



Our chauffeur takes you from San Sebastian to one of the world’s most famous wine regions; the Rioja Wine Region of Spain. Here you will visit one of the most perfectly preserved medieval villages in Spain, a hamlet surrounded by an ancient wall whose centre contains cobble-stoned streets lined with ‘tabernas’ (wine bars) shops, palaces and cafes. Your day continues when you arrive at your exceptional 5* hotel, another outlandish building designed by Frank Gehry. Much like the Guggenheim Museum, this building is covered with curved titanium, in this instance, Gehry wanted to infuse his work with the signature colors of the wine producing owners: pink like the wine, gold like the mesh on the bottles and silver like the bottle top!

After check in you may wish to have lunch in the very dramatic hotel restaurant and take time to rest a little prior to visiting the famous Marques de Riscal Winery, which was founded in 1860 and was one of the first in the region to employ French wine-making techniques. As one of the oldest wineries in La Rioja, Marques de Riscal produces some of Spain’s most flavorful wines, continually working on wine quality and technique. You will sample some of the winery’s best wines after a tour of the vineyard and the cellar with their in-house oenologist. Why not relax this evening by making use of the spa facilities prior to a light dinner? As always your Best of Spain & France Cultural Tour Personal Travel Journal will contain many local restaurant recommendations.

Tour in a nutshell: Laguardia visit. Marques de Riscal Winery tour with wine tastings. Overnight in 5* Marques de Riscal Hotel in La Rioja.



Along with our chauffeur, you will depart for the cradle of La Rioja wine today, starting with a guided tour of a unique, family-run winery. Proud of being old-fashioned, they still construct their own barrels on site and create all their wines traditionally. You will have an excellent tour of the facilities finalized with a tasting of their signature wines, in the most modern part of the premises; their wine shop. Continuing your day, you will make a private visit to another Rioja winery, founded less than 20 years ago by a Catalan couple. Here, you will enjoy a tasting of their wines, along with a selection of excellent Spanish olive oils. The owners of the winery also produce extra virgin olive oils in the Emporda region and on the island of Mallorca. Your lunch today is at a local and beloved hostelry where you can enjoy the delicious food of the Rioja area, paired with Rioja wines.

Next on the agenda is a visit to the largest wine museum in Spain, containing multimedia information on everything from corks, and how they are made, to the blowing of bottles. Time permitting you will also be able to visit a little medieval village with some marvelous churches and ruins dating from the 16th Century. Your day comes to a close with a drive through the countryside to the Ribera Del Duero Wine region, where you will check into your luxury 5* hotel. This hotel is one of the world’s most exclusive wine hotels – the perfect luxury retreat. We suggest you dine tonight at your hotel, where the gourmet chef reinvents classic Spanish cuisine. Recipes based on regional traditions are enhanced with contemporary culinary ingenuity.

Tour in a nutshell: Guided visits to 2 prestigious Rioja wineries with tastings. Briones Wine Museum visit. Overnight in a 5* hotel in the Ribera del Duero wine region.



This morning your Best of Spain & France Cultural Tour gives you a private tour of your hotel’s prestigious winery. Located in the heart of Ribera del Duero’s Golden Mile, this cellar owns over 200 hectares of vineyard and is one of Spain’s most significantly modern wineries. After your unforgettable visit, you will have the pleasure of enjoying a tasting of their best wines, created by the unique terroir of the Duero River and the valley’s extreme climatic conditions. Next, you will leave with our chauffeur for Pesquera de Duero, where you will enjoy a private guided visit to another famous Spanish winery, lovingly family-owned with an impressive range of wines. Currently, they have 200 hectares of their own vineyards, planted and grafted from the excellent clone recovered from their oldest hundred-year-old vines.

Your indulgent lunch is at a 16th Century mill restaurant, famous for “asados” (roasts) and typical regional food. After lunch your journey continues to the town of Penafiel, where perched on a cliff above the city, and the Duero River, stands the impressive Penafiel Castle. The building of the castle began in the 11th century and further additions were made; the walls and towers were constructed in the 13th century, and the keep in the 15th. Unsurprisingly, wine-making is considered a serious art-form here, so what better place to situate a wine museum? Penafiel’s wine museum has been inserted into one of the long narrow courtyards of the castle, set-up over three floors, making it really worth a visit.

Tour in a nutshell: Private tours of two prestigious wineries with tastings. Regional lunch with wine. Penafiel Castle & Museum visit. Overnight in Ribera del Duero.



Your Luxury Best of Spain & France Cultural Tour takes you to Barcelona today. Barcelona can be explored in many different ways this afternoon. Maybe you wish to see some more of Gaudi’s fantastic architecture: Parc Guell is one of the most beautiful icons of the city, offering wonderful views and the opportunity to enjoy a peaceful stroll surrounded by nature and uplifting modernist works. If you are in search of more art, there is always the chance to visit the Picasso Museum. The museum building itself is made up of five medieval palaces in the Gothic Quarter linked together. A visit here is indispensable for understanding Picasso’s formative years, and the genius of the young artist is revealed through the 3,500 works that make up the permanent collection. Another fascinating museum is The Catalan National Art Museum (MNAC) – housed in the magnificent palace overlooking the fountains of Montjuic containing mostly Catalan works of art from the 11th to the 18th centuries. Also atop Montjuic is the Joan Miro Foundation, a must-see gallery dedicated to one of the greatest artists to emerge from Barcelona. The collection includes hundreds of paintings, sculptures, drawings and textile works. Throughout his life Miro took a particular interest in the diversity of materials, forms and colors.

Alternatively you might like an afternoon of people-watching or to take advantage of the great shopping around Passeig de Gracia, take a stroll along the Ramblas, enjoy a farewell seafood meal at Barcelona’s harbour, the choice is yours. As always we have many suggestions in your Personal Travel Journal for you to enjoy a farewell meal this evening in Barcelona.

Tour in a nutshell: Chauffeured transfer to Barcelona. Free afternoon in Barcelona. Overnight in a 5* luxury hotel in Barcelona.



Your tour concludes with a lovely breakfast at your hotel, followed by a chauffeured transfer to Barcelona airport for your onward journey home. We very much hope you will join us for this unforgettable Spanish & French wine, food and cultural adventure!

Tour in a nutshell: Chauffeured transfer to Barcelona airport..

Tour quotation

Luxury Best of Spain & France Cultural Tour Quote Request

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Luxury best of Spain & France Tour

Tour in a Nutshell

Barcelona, Carcassonne, Biarritz, San Sebastian & more

History, architecture , scenery & city tours: Cultural highlights

La Rioja and Ribera del Duero: Prestigious wine tours

Chauffeured transportation & private city guides

14 days/13 nights, luxury 5* hand selected hotels

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