Basque Country, a land the world over known for its gastronomy
CÚRATE Trips welcomes you in a meaningful expedition that embraces the essence of the Basque whose lives enshrine every aspect of its culinary repertoire and a feeling of connection to a singular collectiveness.
It is impossible to exaggerate to what extent gastronomy permeates almost every social activity and every social class. Time is valued over money. At the core of this adventure are the tenets of authenticity, exclusivity and personal enrichment brought all together by a team of passionate experts.
Make your taste buds dance with the best food and your soul fly tasting some of the most exceptional reds and whites from Rioja, or the coastal and slightly fizzy white wine Txakoli.
Explore Northeast Spain in a dream trip across the Basque Country. 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), not to mention the txuletón – beef steak – and Rioja wines.
Reveal all the secret gems in this spectacular 8-day unique and therapeutic escape limited to 18 participants.
San Sebastian, arrival
San Sebastian - Saint-Jean de Luz - Hondarribia - San Sebastian
San Sebastian - Biarritz - Espelette - Ainhoa - San Sebastian
San Sebastian - Getaria - Bilbao
Bilbao - Rioja - Bilbao
Bilbao, end of journey
CÚRATE has joined forces with the specialist food and wine tour operator Paladar y Tomar to provide the most seamless journey that only two in-the-know insiders can assure.
It’s time to discover this signature 8-day program across the Basque Country through enjoyable and comprehensive show-cooking sessions and intimate visits, and only-well-connected experiences under the expert purview of an expert local team led by Valeska and Fernando personally and the most illustrious local cooks and professionals.
Take part in a dream program that contains unimaginable visits all along with the valuable insight only locals can give, leaving you well versed in many foundations and techniques of the Basque gastronomic culture and the Spanish soul.
PINTXOS IN SAN SEBASTIAN, WHERE SMALL IS BIG
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. Be ready for the most genuine experience . We will tell you stories and explain the singularities of this way of eating. 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! This will be the icing on the cake of a first memorable day.Lunch, dinner
Hotel de Londres y de Inglaterra 4*
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.
He is the only chef with two restaurants awarded with three Michelin stars: Restaurante Martin Berasategui in Lasarte-Oria, and Restaurante Lasarte in Barcelona. In total he holds now 8 Michelin stars. Martin Berasategui is a legend and he played a crucial role in the Basque cuisine’s revolution in the 1980’s and contributed to develop a Basque nouvelle cuisine capable to establish the Basque Country as one of the world’s leading gastronomic regions.Breakfast, lunch
Hotel de Londres y de Inglaterra 4*
SAINT JEAN DE LUZ & HONDARRIBIA
Let’s cross the border for the first tim to discover the flavors of the neighboring French Basque Country. In the morning depart towards the French coast. From Hendaia take the winding coast road -the Corniche- to the small town of Saint Jean de Luz, where we’ll visit its bustling and colorful market, stop by one of the best cheese masters, who serves Michelin star restaurants in the area. You won’t miss the first producer of the famous “French Macarron”, the cookie that became famous all over the world before heading to Hondarribia.
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.
Backt to San Sebastian, enjoy on your own pace.Breakfast, lunch
Hotel de Londres y de Inglaterra 4*
BIARRITZ & ESPELETTE
The French city of Biarritz, 20 kilometers from the Spanish border, is ideal for a cultural and gastronomic break. From its medieval past as a small fishing village, Biarritz preserves in its coat of arms an image of its original inhabitants, the reckless whale hunters. It was not until the middle of the 19th century that this town reached its greatest splendor by becoming a summer resort of Napoleon III and his wife, Empress Eugenia. Far from the luxury of that time, Biarritz is today a much more popular summer resort.
Stroll across the bustling Les Halles market, before continuing the serpentine roads towards Espelette, a little town swinging around small chili peppers.
Xavier Isabal leads Ithurria’s cuisine, keeping the Michelin star for over 40 years. Located in Ainhoa, one of the most beautiful villages in France dotted with red and white houses, Ithurria is settled in a sublime house steeped in history.Breakfast, lunch
Hotel de Londres y de Inglaterra 4*
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. This technique was conceived by Pedro Arregi from Elkano – who passed away in 2014 being the business now run by his son Aitor Arregi -. He pioneered the respect for the local produce and for his environment.
Arrival to Bilbao and check-in before a private visit to the iconic Guggenheim Museum Bilbao. Afterwards, free evening to explore the city on your own.Breakfast, lunch
Hotel Carlton 5*
La Rioja turns out what most people have in mind when they think of Spanish wines. Enjoy a great day among vineyards around one of the best wineries in an exclusive private-guided tour. The region produces wine since ancient Roman times. 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 the winery.
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 San Sebastian. We propose a light dinner that emphasizes of some of the most precious local produces.Breakfast, lunch, dinner
Hotel Carlton 5*
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 before entering a private kitchen atelier to start preparing the freshest and yummiest home meal!
STARRED FAREWELL DINNER
Be ready to enjoy a seductive and cozy last dinner in Boroa* a 15th century farmhouse with scrupulous respect for its original architecture, where Jabier Gartzia – great defender of Bilbao’s cooking, awarded with a Michelin star since 1999 – follows the ancient lineage of a noble and bourgeois society from the 19th century that laid the foundation of the cocina vizcaína (Bilbao cuisine).Breakfast, lunch, dinner
Hotel Carlton 5*
END OF JOURNEY
Following breakfast, private transfer to Bilbao airport or train station at your appointed time, or continue your journey if you decided to extend your trip.Breakfast
Price & Booking Terms
- 06 – 13 SEPTEMBER, 2022 (9 nights / 10 days)
- 7 Nights accommodation on bed and breakfast basis
- 7 lunches and 3 dinners (food and wines paired)
- Private deluxe transportation throughout
- Airport private transfers in and out from Bilbao / San Sebastian Airport
- Two tour leaders throughout
- Personal purchases and expenses
- Travel insurance
- Medical insurance with international coverage
- Pre-and post-trip accommodations and associated expenses
Total journey: €6,850
*Rates are in Euros per person, on double occupancy basis
At the time of reservation: 25% of journey cost per person
- 90 days before departure: Balance due
TERMS AND CONDITIONS:
- Payment method: Bank transfer or major credit cards are accepted (Visa, American Express, Mastercard).
Chef Katie Button was born in the South, raised in the North, and educated in Europe. Four-time James Beard Award nominee and cookbook author, Katie Button is the co-Founder and CEO of Katie Button Restaurants in Asheville, North Carolina, including the beloved Cúrate Bar de Tapas, Cúrate Spanish Wine Club, and La Bodega by Cúrate. A Southern chef with a scientific mind, Button honed her craft in the kitchens of some of the world’s best chefs, most notably Ferran Adrià and José Andrés, before venturing out to open her own restaurant with husband Felix Meana and her family. Katie Button was featured as one of Food & Wine’s 2015 Best New Chefs. Cúrate was named as one of the “40 Most Important Restaurants of the Past 40 Years” by Food & Wine and one of the “Most Important Restaurants of the Decade” by Esquire.
Originally from Roses, a small town on the Costa Brava in Catalunya, Spain, Felix Meana jumped in to the deep end of the hospitality industry at 19 and finally worked as front of the house service manager for five years at Ferran Adrià’s world famous restaurant, elBulli. Then he moved to Washington DC with José Andrés at ThinkFoodGroup (it was here where he met Katie Button), and he worked as Director of Service and helped with developing and opening new restaurants, including The Bazaar by José Andrés in SLS Hotels across Beverly Hills, CA, Las Vegas, South Beach, Miami, and Puerto Rico. Co-partner at CÚRATE, Felix’s close relationships with Spain, coupled with a sense of adventure and desire to share that with others, has helped him build a unique travel experience through Cúrate Trips.
Valeska inherited a taste for gastronomic culture from her French father and a talent for cooking from her Basque grandmother, a good reputed chef in that times. After studying Economics and Journalism in her native Barcelona, she went to Switzerland to pursue hotel management studies and she worked at some of the most prestigious hotels. Valeska speaks five languages. She is a Certified Sherry Wine Cellar Advance Expert, WSET 2 certified and WSET 3 candidate. Valeska is co-founder at Paladar y Tomar, she is marketing director and manages client relationships and operations at CÚRATE Trips.
Fernando Paredes is the CEO, financial director, and wine responsible of Paladar y Tomar. The Barcelona native was well into a career in economics when he discovered his true callings—travel, food, and wine. He entered the tourism industry as General Manager of a bespoke travel group, earned a degree in Food Event Design from the European Design Institute, became a Certified Sherry Wine Cellar Advance Expert and passed WSET 2 (Wine & Spirits Education Trust) with distinction. He is now a WSET level 3 candidate. Fernando’s journeys, and passion for food, have taken him to all corners of the world and now besides his many responsibilities he personally leads every tour at CÚRATE Trips.
8 Reasons to join us
At CÚRATE Trips 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.
CÚRATE Trips benefit from the expertise of Paladar y Tomar curating every hotel in search of the most unique nature of each location. This allows us to cater for every different type of personality and taste and have selected for this occasion singular hotels with immense value that enhance every moment. Our stories start from the moment you arrive.
You were truly instrumental in making our trip fantastic. Truthfully, I wish I were still there.
Many thanks and looking forward to something we can plan together again in the future. Abrazos,
Your restaurant choices were all very good as well.
As for the sherry and bodega visits, those were even more impressive. We had such a terrific time and the experiences were very personalized.
Thank you so much for arranging special tastings for us. It was absolutely incredible.
Everyone we met were so kind and welcoming. We are Sherry wine fans for life!!
We signed up and took a chance, and were rewarded greatly. The happy group is a testament to not only your planning and professionalism, but your kindness as well.
Hands down, best tour trip ever 🙂
So grateful for the opportunity to get to know all of you!
The trip was amazing in all aspects. We were really impressed with everything. The hotel choices were wonderful, the locations were perfect, the guides were terrific and very knowledgeable. Your restaurant choices were all very good as well.
As for the sherry and bodega visits, those were even more impressive. We had such a terrific time and the experiences were very personalized. Thank you so much for arranging special tastings for us. It was absolutely incredible. Everyone we met were so kind and welcoming. We are Sherry wine fans for life!!
I was so impressed with everything you arranged and your promptness and professionalism. Dillon had a wonderful time and was very complimentary.
Thank you for everything.
With gratitude, Star
Thank you so much for this helpful list! Gary and I are still talking about what a great time we had on the trip to Spain and how much we enjoyed meeting you, Fernando and Felix. You did an amazing job and we so appreciated seeing Spain's beautiful cities, historical treasures and of course the wonderful food, wine and people!
Gary and I wanted to thank you again for your continued care and concern as we spent three additional days in Madrid with the Millars. You and Fernando were so nice to make sure all went well and to see us off when we finally had to depart.
We are wishing you all the best and a wonderful holiday season ahead,
We had a winderful time particularly thanks to your superb arrangements. We will return! Arrivederci Marco
All the private excursions that she arranged were excellent. At some point during every tour our guide received a message from our agent checking in on how everything was going. We felt very well taken care of during our honeymoon and very thankful for all the assistance Valeska provided in making this dream vacation come true.