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May 3, 2024

Spain with Erica Wides

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Embark on an unforgettable journey through the heart of the Basque Country with us. As you explore these two iconic cities, you'll be immersed in a culinary paradise like no other. Indulge in the exquisite flavors of Basque cuisine, from mouthwatering pintxos to sumptuous Michelin-starred feasts. But this journey is more than just a gastronomic delight. We'll also venture into the pristine natural beauty that surrounds these cities. From the rugged coastlines of San Sebastian to the lush landscapes near Bilbao, you'll have the chance to savor the beauty of the Basque Country's nature.


4.6 out of 5
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Accomodation Type
Number of Spots
8 - 20
Meals Included
7 Breakfasts, 4 Lunches, 3 Dinners
Number of Activities
Creator Host, JMT ProTripLeader
What's Special?
Michelin Star Experience - Arzak
Visit the Guggenheim museum Bilbao
See the famous San Juan de Gaztelugatxe

We plant a tree
with every booking.

With the help of, we plant a tree with every booking we receive towards our commitment to promote sustainable travel.
What's Included?

✔ 4-Star Accommodations (Shared Rooms)
✔ 7 Breakfasts, 4 Lunches, 3 Dinners
✔ Local Transport
✔ 24/7 TripLeader

✔ Guggenheim museum (with entrance ticket)
✔ Cider house visit with food & drinks
✔ 2x Gourmet market tour
✔ Degustation menu Arzak 3-star Michelin
✔ Winery tour in La Rioja
✔ Mount Ulia Hike
✔ San Juan de Gaztelugatxe Hike

What's not included?

Flights and visa
Personal expenses
Food and drinks other than mentioned in the itinerary
Upgrade to Private Room is no longer available for this trip

Basque Coast Geopark boat tour
Salto del Nervion visit
Basque cooking class with market visit
Architecture tour of Bilbao

The Host

Erica Wides

I'm a professional chef, cooking teacher, food writer, historian, and food media host. I'm also the host and creator of The Chefsmartypants Academy, on Substack, and Thechefsmartypants on Instagram and TikTok. I've been cooking and teaching professionally for over thirty years!! I've traveled my whole life, and love to explore the world through its food stories and food anthropology. The story of food is the story of humanity, so let's explore both together! I also love to hike and stay active, so my trips will always balance all the food with fun activities. Let's GO!

Activities provided by the host




Nearest Arrival Airport
Bilbao Airport, Bilbao
Arrival in Bilbao (Day 1)

🏃 Arrival day in Bilbao, a dynamic city in Spain's Basque Country, known for its stunning modern architecture, rich culture, and delectable cuisine. Bilbao offers a vibrant blend of tradition and innovation, making it a captivating destination for travelers

We will stroll through the charming Old Town, and savor pintxos together at local bars in the evening.

Optional add-on: architecture tour of the city  

🛏 Double Occupancy at 4-Star hotel (Sercotel Bilbao Hotel)

🍽  Welcome Dinner (Pintxos) is included

Guggenheim Museum Bilbao (Day 2)

🏃 In the morning we will go the food market "Mercado de la Ribera" where we will have lunch.

We will spend the afternoon at the Guggenheim Museum in Bilbao, a masterpiece of contemporary architecture and a cultural icon. Designed by Frank Gehry, its distinctive curves and titanium façade make it a must. Inside, you'll discover a world-class collection of modern and contemporary art, making it a cultural gem in the heart of the Basque Country.

After the visit we can explore local bakeries and patisseries to sample traditional Basque pastries like "txantxigorri," "tarta de Santiago," and "pastel vasco."

🛏 Double Occupancy at 4-Star hotel (Sercotel Bilbao Hotel)

🍽 Breakfast and Lunch are included

Gaztelugatxeko Doniene & Berneo (Day 3)

🏃 If you want to enjoy eating what you want, it's a good idea to burn some calories too. We start our day with a train journey from Bilbao followed by a 40 minutes hiking trail to visit to San Juan de Gaztelugatxe, a captivating islet renowned for its dramatic and picturesque setting. The location gained worldwide fame after being featured in the TV series "Game of Thrones.

We will then move to the town of Bermeo, which is the start of the UNESCO-recognized Urdaibai biosphere. This is a paradise for birdwatchers, as it hosts a wide array of migratory and nesting bird species. We will spend the afternoon in this area until sunset. The walking part is targeted for the birdwatchers and nature lovers amongst the group. The ones with less energy can reduce the walking by taking the bus.

🛏 Double Occupancy at 4-Star hotel (Sercotel Bilbao Hotel)

🍽 Breakfast and Lunch are included

Winery tour in La Rioja (Day 4)

🏃 Discover the verdant vineyards and intriguing history of the Rioja wine region. We will visit charming villages like Harn and Laguardia to see medieval monuments and admire spectacular views of the countryside.

Then we will go to Vitoria in order to wander the sprawling vineyards and descend into atmospheric wine cellars to learn about the manufacturing processes.
Pleasure your palate with the refined taste of signature wines during a tasting session. Enjoy a traditional lunch in a local restaurant (at own expense).

🛏 Double Occupancy at 4-Star hotel (Sercotel Bilbao Hotel)

🍽 Breakfast and Dinner are included

Orduña-Urduña Hike & Optional visit of Salto del Nervion (Day 5)

🏃 Orduña is a charming town located in the Basque Country, known for its picturesque setting and historical significance. We will discover its quaint streets, historic architecture, and beautiful landscapes. There are nice viewpoints to see the surrounding mountains and it's possible to do some short beautiful hikes in nature.
Lunch is a take-away picnic to eat in nature during the hike.

Salto del Nervion is a hidden treasure in the Basque Country, which offers a serene escape from the hustle and bustle of city life of Bilbao. Explore the picturesque countryside and soak in the tranquility of the Basque wilderness. This is an optional extra stop for the ones who want to see more of the region. The others can decide to go back earlier by train to the hotel.

🛏 Double Occupancy at 4-Star hotel (Sercotel Bilbao Hotel)

🍽 Breakfast and Lunch are included

Donostia-San Sebastian (Day 6)

🏃 We leave Bilbao in the morning to go to San Sebastian, the coastal jewel in the Basque Country combining beauty and flavor. After arriving in San Sebastian and leaving the luggage at the hotel, we will visit its golden beaches, picturesque Old Town, enter the Mercado de San Martín and taste some more of the famous Pintxos.
A selection of Pintxos is included.

Optional: cooking class with market visit included

🛏 Double Occupancy at 4-Star hotel (Axel San Sebastian)

🍽 Breakfast is included

Mount Ulia Hike, Petritegi Sagardotegia & Arzak (Day 7)

🏃 In the morning, we head to Mount Ulia, or Monte Ulía in Spanish! It is a natural gem in the Basque Country, offering breathtaking vistas of the Bay of Biscay. Hiking on its scenic trails is an outdoor enthusiast's delight. Explore lush forests, rugged coastlines, and hidden coves. With its rich biodiversity and stunning views, Mount Ulia is a nature lover's paradise and a must-visit for those seeking outdoor adventure and natural beauty in San Sebastian, Spain.

In the afternoon, we taste the real flavour of the Basque Country. What does the Basque Country taste of? Find out by taking the guided tour at the Petritegi Family cellar with its 500 years of history. Walk through the apple orchards, discover the secrets of cider making and enjoy a traditional cider house menu including: chorizo cooked in cider, salt cod ommelette, salt cod with peppers, bone-in ribeye steak, cheese with quince jelly, walnuts, almond tiles and cigarettes from Tolosa. All washed down with cider served directly from the kupela or barrel to the cry of 'Txotx!'. Join in the fun and get a free gift as a reminder of your visit.

In the night we head to Arzak for dinner. Arzak has earned three Michelin stars and is a trailblazer in the world of gastronomy. Arzak is a renowned for its avant-garde approach to Basque cuisine. Established in 1897, it has evolved under the guidance of chefs like Juan Mari Arzak and his daughter Elena. The degustation menu is included in the trip, drinks are paid separately.

🛏 Double Occupancy at 4-Star hotel (Axel San Sebastian)

🍽 Breakfast, Lunch and Dinner are included

Departure (Day 8)

🏃 Departure day from San Sebastian. There are direct buses to the airport of Bilbao or you can decide to return from the airport of San Sebastian.
Optional activity for the ones who have late return flights: Basque Coast Geopark boat tour to see impressive rock formations along the coast

🛏 Check out Day

🍽 Breakfast is included

Nearest Departure Airport
Bilbao Airport, Bilbao

Free cancellation within 7 days of the initial payment.

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Early bird offer for first 4 spots
Early bird offer for first 8 spots
Start Date
May 3, 2024
End Date
May 10, 2024
Number of Stops
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