Join Monica & Mark on their Gourmet Food & Wine Tour
Basque, Spain and Southern France, October 12-21, 2017
We take wining, dining and traveling to extraordinary levels!
Monica & Mark partner with Doumina Whyman, The Enthusiastic Traveler, to take 12 people on a fabulous 9 night/10 day luxury-gourmet food & wine tour.
You will encounter the local people, culture, food, wine and traditions of these amazing regions as no other visitor can. Doumina created a food and wine tour that includes exclusive gourmet meals, hands-on cooking classes with a renowned chefs, famous art in world-famous museums, ancient cities, historic churches, family-owned wineries and farms, and so much more. We cover the city, the countryside, the sea and small villages.
If you love food and wine, and you want to experience these regions in Spain and France in real luxury rather than to simply visit there, this is the trip for you. Contact Monica or Doumina for more information and to get your name on the list for this amazing trip.
This is a hand-made, intimate tour for food and wine lovers and there is so much more to it than that! We will experience beautiful cities and towns with fun, fantastic guides who live in and love this region. We will experience the cuisine, history, culture, art and religion, as the natives of these regions do.
Day 1 – October 12th Thursday
Arrival today is at Hotel Londres, for 5 nights in Basque Country in Spain in the beautiful San Sebastian. Transfer arranged from Biaritz, or San Sebastian to the Hotel. Meet and greet with cocktails served in the bar library in the afternoon, along with a fun lesson in words to know, and the pronunciations. https://www.hlondres.com/es/
San Sebastián, heart of coastal Basque country, has remained a city of pleasure with more Michelin Star restaurants than anywhere in the world! The incredible views of the Bay de Biscay and the Playa de la Concha welcome you to the city. Our tour director will be with the group sharing interesting things about Spain and what we have to look forward to. Dinner is a fun and informative good time. (D)
Day 2 – October 13th Friday
Take a day trip to Getaria, Starting in Zumaia, hike through Txakoli vineyards with the ocean as your backdrop, stopping in to see the Txakoli production, then on to Getaria for a glass of this famous white wine. Pick your fish preference from a fishing boat and watch them grill it for your at lunch at Restaurant el Astillero. Afterward we visit the Cristóbal Balenciaga Museum one of the great designers in Europe, with a display that includes Queen Fabiola of Belgium’s wedding dress, and the dresses designed for the Princess of Monaco, Grace Kelly.
Tonight dinner is on your own. (B, L,)
Day 3 – October 14th Saturday
Near the little town of Bermeo, the church of San Juan de Gaztelugatxe deserves a visit before we head to the main reason for our outing: the Guggenheim. The outside is stunning, clad in Titanium. Bilboa, the biggest city in Basque Country, has a modern face. Before visiting the Guggenheim in the afternoon we’ll get lost in the old quarter, an area with 7 original streets of the medieval town and is still lively and picturesque, lined with delicious bars serving Pinxtos and Basque cuisine.
Tonight, back in San Sebastian, you are free to eat on your own. We can make you a reservation at one of the famous Michelin starred restaurants. (B)
Day 4 – October 15th Sunday
Learn how the regions famous cider is made. Walk about the apple orchards and learn the habits of pollination, fermentation and pressing. After the orchards we will visit a pig farm recognized by Slow Food University. “Euskal Txerria” pigs are known for their enormous, floppy ears that fall over their eyes, even reaching their snouts. We’ll enjoy a full lunch of hand made foods by the family. Tonight, back in San Sebastian, we do the Pintxo crawl. Served as appetizers and accompanied by a small glass of white wine or beer, enjoy tapas, encourage conversation and conviviality, and hop from one bar to the next, sampling the skewered concoctions (and the accompanying libations) as we go. (B, L, D)
Day 5 – October 16th Monday
Rated one of the best restaurants in the world, and far from the noise, Etxebari restaurant preserves ancient grill cooking selected firewood from different trees to work in harmony with locally cultivated, natural produce. We make our way there for your farewell lunch.
Before heading back to the Hotel, we drive through Hondarribia, a colorful fishing village in the Basque region, boasts a well-preserved old town with a fortified wall, the only one to be found in the province. It’s loaded with beautiful Basque houses, wooden balconies, and cobblestone streets with colors galore. San Sebastian is replete with history where you can still find an ancient bullring with tiered balconies with numbered doors. A great place to stop and take some photos. This evening you are free to prepare our journey to Provence. (B, L,) Tomorrow we depart for Biaritz and we fly to Marseille.
“They always asked wistfully what the weather was like, and were not pleased with the answer. They consoled themselves by warning me about skin cancer and the addling effect of sun on the brain. I didn’t argue with them; they were probably right. But addled, wrinkled and potentially cancerous as I might have been, I had never felt better.”
― Peter Mayle, A Year in Provence
Day 6 – October 17th Tuesday
After our flight we stop at Palace of the Popes in Avignon, then check in to Bastide De Capelongue for 4 nights. Our accommodations are a 2 star Michelin restaurant and Relais Chateau Hotel, in Provence. With our guide we fall in love with this French hill town, then enjoy aperitifs and a welcome dinner at our Relais. Transfers are included; lunch is on your own today. (B, D) http://www.capelongue.com
Day 7 – October 18th Wednesday
This morning in Les Baux, visit Carrières de Lumières for a jaw dropping tour of this quarry turned art installation. Embark on a culinary journey with a friendly and vivacious local chef in his colorful and eclectic kitchen. Yvan Cardou, is famous around France and a television star in his own right. Following the cooking class, enjoy a convivial al fresco lunch. We say good-bye to Yvan and are off to St. Remy to see the Roman Ruins and explore this city. (B, L)
Day 8 – October 19th Thursday
This morning we visit the Pont du Gard. A masterpiece of ancient architecture, this aqueduct is one of the most beautiful Roman constructions in the region. Discover this startling monument as you follow the course of its history. We enjoy dinner at our Hotel in the Grill room. Laden with animal skins, a blazing fire, and a wonderfully cozy atmosphere, we can relax with French wine and grilled meats in a gorgeous hunting room. (B, D)
Day 9 – October 20th Friday
Spend the morning at the Lourmarin Friday market, serving up plenty of Provençal charm. It’s a sea of color and the best market in France. Take lunch on your own before walking the private gardens with a Michelin starred chef for an herb lesson, famous in French cooking. The afternoon is on your own at the property. Farewell dinner is at the restaurant. (B, D)
Day 10 October 21st Saturday
Depart to Marseilles for flights to Paris or America or Avignon for train service to Paris. One transfer is included (B)
Journey Experiences: Details & Policies
Pricing for 5 nights in Basque Country and 4 nights in the South of France.
9 night/10 days is $4695.00 per person.
In the unlikely event some outings may change, replacement outings will be of equal quality.
San Sebastian or Biaritz is most convenient to fly into.
*Everything listed in the itinerary while we are with Doumina
*Lodging in lovely accommodations, each w/private bath.
*Breakfast daily, and one main meal every day except the last day, and the foods involved in the various tastings.
*Olive Oil tasting
*Transfer between Biaritz and Marseille on Tuesday, October 17th
*Quality travel with a small group
Relax, enjoy, and let us guide you on this special journey. Enjoy education through experience when it comes to the importance of Fabulous food, excellent wine, local customs and cultures, and be changed, for the better, forever! If you have questions, curiosity, or would like to talk with travelers from our past groups, email Doumina or Monica.
Does not include:
*Airfare (other than the transfer on October 17th)
*Single Supplement Fee: 1675.00 (Means a person is unwilling to share a room if traveling alone)
*Occasional supplemental meals
*Travel for personal errands/meals/shopping while on the tour.
Doumina can help arrange:
*All other transportation and ideas for other destinations
USD 1,200.00 deposit is required upon booking. This is a non-refundable deposit and is required per person.
Final payment is due 180 days prior to departure.
All items mentioned in this itinerary are included.
All breakfasts and one main meal every day are included.
There is a full refund for cancellation 175 days prior to departure.
50% refund for cancellation 90 days prior to departure.
25% refund up to and not beyond 60 days prior to departure.
Travel insurance recommended, with each booking.
CONTACT Doumina at firstname.lastname@example.org
Monica and Mark’s passion is traveling food and wine, and their trips are relaxing and educational. They are teaming up for the fourth time with The Enthusiastic Traveler for this trip.