A new style of exploration, placing value on emotions
Expand your horizons and visit the Basque Country at least once. You’ll leave with a spirit of fun and celebration that lasts a lifetime.
Food serves as a cultural catalyst of sorts that ties Basque Country to its neighboring regions, providing a social nexus where the multiculturalism inherent to travelers is welcomed. The Basque people are a sharing people, providing guests with not only the comfort of hearty rustic food but the benevolent spirit of company.
Basques like to cook, and they know how to eat well. Pintxos is its own a unique and separate entity. Instead of an ir de tapas, you enjoy a night of txikiteo, a Basque version of a tapas crawl.
Introduce your appetite to the bounty of the daily fish catch, partake in the mounds of fresh sole, cod fish, merluza, and the river-borne angulas, immature eels commonly prepared with garlic, hot chili and rich locally pressed olive oil. Bilbao, despite its almost one million inhabitants and urbane environs. Dishes such as gâteau Basque, marmitako, txangurro and txuleta are ubiquitous throughout the region, as does the use of rarified ingredients, or offal, such as cerebro de ternera, riñones and hígado. Rustic fare defines the majority of Basque cuisine — until you reach the stars.
Because the Basque Country – including the French region – is home to 40 Michelin-starred restaurants, with San Sebastián bearing three of the most sought after eateries in the world: the three-Michelin-starred Arzak, Akelarre and Martin Berasategui.
Another personally crafted culinary adventure by Paladar y Tomar to explore first-hand the real northern Spain, living some of the most desirable lifetime experiences.
San Sebastián, this small but gorgeous seaside city boasts Belle Époque architecture, a profound cultural heritage and arguably the best cuisine in the Basque Region. It has the most Michelin-starred restaurants per capita in the world, but even the quality of the everyday food is sublime. A walking pintxos tour reveals the best of the local gastronomic essence. We will recommend the best pintxo at each place and the best wine to pair among our preferred bars.
Asadores are traditional grill houses in the Basque Country, with coal being the greatest taste-enhancer. Cooking over an open fire is now experiencing a new wave and it is the most ancestral cooking method too. You shouldn’t miss trying some good grill!
Enjoy a lovely promenade across this fascinating small city. Shaped by the river Urumea and later up by the hills, the city expanded when the walls were demolished 1863. The first expansion of the old town stretched out to the river’s mouth, on the old quarter called Zurriola, which now shows a dynamic commercial activity, recently boosted by the presence of the Kursaal Congress Centre by the beach. The arcades of the Buen Pastor Square were fashioned after the ones of the Rue de Rivoli, with the Maria Cristina Bridge being inspired by the Pont Alexandre III that spans the Seine.
You will stroll across some of the most centrally located highlights and we’ll explore some of the historical food and wine shops.
It might be a good occasion for a Michelin restaurant taste.
As stated by The New York Times in July 2010, “with its abundant variety of local produce, a daily influx of fresh seafood, and what has become a critical mass of new talent, the tiny town of Hondarribia has emerged as one of the best places to experience the region’s ambitious cuisine, and without the parading crowds of San Sebastian, just 13 miles away”. The castle is Hondarribia’s most notable monument. Built in the 10th century by the kings of Navarre, it provided strategic fortification against periodic incursions by the French.
After strolling around, our stomachs will feel hungry and it is time to get ready for an exceptional lunch.
Access to one of the most persuasive experiences a gourmet could ever dream of: enjoying a meal at a Sociedad Gastronómica. These members-only clubs play an important role and serve as meeting places where people of all social classes, known as cuadrillas, go to cook, eat and socialize.
Let’s cross the border to discover the flavors of the neighboring French Basque Country in a full day dedicated to the best cuisine. In the morning depart towards the French coast. From Hendaia take the winding coast road -the Corniche- to the small town of San Juan de Luz, where we’ll visit its bustling and colorful market.
Stop by one of the best cheese makers, who serves Michelin star restaurants in the area and have a a chance to taste a wide variety of his exceptional products with a glass of wine. You won’t miss the first producer of the famous “French Macarron”, the cookie that became famous all over the world before heading to Biarritz and its famous market before continuing the serpentine roads towards Espelette, a little town swinging around small chili peppers.
Let’s complete the day with a visit to Biarritz or going to Ainhoa, one of the most beautiful villages in France dotted with red and white houses.
Home town of the prestigious couturier Balenciaga, this is the land of Txakolina, the bracing, refreshing, often fizzy white wine that is enjoyed throughout Basque Country. In restaurants and pintxos bars, on terraces overlooking the Cantabrian Sea or in dark, rustic wood-and-stone cellars, you can’t help but notice Txakolina everywhere. Wine production was a way of life for centuries in Basque country through the end of the 19th century but phylloxera wiped out the vines around the turn of the 20th century, and the industry was slow to recover. Now, with the food revolution in Basque Country, txakoli is living a survival process and quality prevails. Let’s visit a winery and enjoy it in full while overlooking the sea.
Down, the legendary fishing town of Getaria is home of one of the best seafood cuisines. And undoubtedly the main attraction is the whole chargrilled fish – specially the turbot – which is grilled in special crafted metal fish baskets.
Transfer to Bilbao and check-in before a private visit to the iconic Guggenheim Museum Bilbao.
La Rioja turns out what most people have in mind when they think of Spanish wines. Enjoy a great day among vineyards around two of the best wineries in an exclusive private-guided tour. The region produces wine since ancient Roman times. Visit two wineries, taste terrific wines and discover small charming villages from Middle Ages. It’s no accident that when phylloxera hit Bordeaux in the late 19th century, French winemakers chose Rioja as a location to make wines for the French market.
Not only will you have a chance to access one of the most remarkable wineries in exclusivity, but also you will try astonishing new style wines that express a sense of place. Winemakers are making wines that reveal the terroir of the region, village, estate, and, increasingly, the vineyard. A pairing lunch is foreseen at one of the bodegas.
Bilbao’s cuisine has lived for too long and unfairly under the shadow of San Sebastian’s overwhelming international reputation. However, the capital of the Basque Country is home of a grand cuisine that has nothing to envy and it is basking in its moment as the new capital of gastronomy. In 2018 Bilbao will host the World’s 50 Best awards.
Visiting the Ribera Market is a must; it is a massive paradise of fresh fruit, vegetables, fish, mushrooms, cheese, sausages, cured meats, and fresh meats and game in season. The space is located next to the river, in the Casco Viejo neighborhood, which is Bilbao’s oldest, medieval part of town. Enjoy strolling around and stop for some “potes” before entering a private kitchen atelier to start preparing the freshest and yummiest home meal!
Delight in a leisurely breakfast this morning. Be transferred to Bilbao Airport or continue your journey if you decided to extend your trip.
What makes the Basque Country really fascinating is that a traditional culture persists in a society which today exudes a post-modern energy. Like in cooking, classical preparations coexist with the modern Basque cuisine in total harmony.
Make your taste buds dance with the popular merluza en salsa verde – a yummy hake fish in “green” sauce -, the most incredible kokotxas de bacalao al pil-pil (cod fish cheeks in pil-pil sauce), a magic emulsion from the fish’s own jelly with with olive oil and garlic, not to mention the txuleta – beef steak -, in fact Basque are well known for their grilling techniques. And make your soul fly tasting some of the most exceptional reds and whites from Rioja or the coastal and slightly fizzy white wine Txakoli. The French love affair with cheese is our of this world, the ancient profession of maître affineur is nationwide respected.
Paladar y Tomar provides the smoothest experience that only two been-there local experts can assure.
This is just a sketch, the best point of departure to start drawing your very unique and personal next gastronomic dream.
We strive for curating increasingly personalized travel experiences created with the sole aim of guiding you on your journey toward personal fulfillment. Accommodation plays a key role and definitely authenticity matters. A urban hotel might be perfect for a friend-group getaway or a couple, but a villa could be an ideal set for a family reunion. Or maybe, that little remote hotel overlooking the ocean in the-middle-of-nowhere is the place of your dreams. We’ll make the right choice.
From the Basque Country we suggest you keep exploring the northern coast, and travel west from Bilbao to reach Cantabria, Asturias and Galicia. Get to now the rural essences, the modest urban pleasures and some of the most beautiful beaches. You shouldn’t miss the national park Picos de Europa, a mountain range that explodes from the earth like an iceberg on a calm sea, with its alpine karsts, glacial lakes, and hilltop woods.
Once in Galicia, since the Middle Ages, Santiago’s cathedral has drawn millions of pious travelers on a journey of hundreds of miles to reach the spot where, according to legend, the remains of St. James the Apostle lie. Wild nature, probably the best shellfish in the world and terrific heroic vineyards do the rest.
The excellence of the landscape’s cuisine along with its breathtaking natural surroundings, exceptional wine varieties, and tranquility of the hand-picked singular accommodations create a getaway unparalleled in value and authenticity.