Hemingway set his first novel, The Sun Also Rises, in the Basque Country so taken was he by the joie de vie of the locals and their traditions. A mild climate allows socializing to take place outdoors practically year round.
Food is an obsession in the Basque Country. Most of the region is on the coast with freshly caught fish arriving on the grill moments after it reaches port. Rolling green hills offer lush landscapes dotted with ancient farmhouses. Inland lie varied wine regions on both the Spanish and French sides of the border, the smoky peppers of Espelette and the pilgrimage route to Santiago de Compostela. The markets are exuberant – you can eat fresh briny oysters in Biarritz or taste cheeses straight from the shepherds. Grass fed aged beef contrasts with delicate milk fed lamb. In cooler months game figures prominently.
Arrive, City Tour, Welcome Dinner.
Get the lay of the land before a festive welcome dinner with one of our favorite young chefs. Firmly rooted in tradition, he and his team treat vegetables, mushrooms, fish, and seafood with the utmost of care and attention. The chef is a master of the charcoal grill his dining room is warm and inviting, and the carefully-curated wine list boasts a number of special and unique wines.
Spa Day, Pintxos evening.
Start your day with a stroll down the beach and head to the Spa from the Belle Epoque of San where queen Maria Cristina used to have her royal summer house in this city. Enjoy a morning of massages and therapeutic pools. Pampered and relaxed sit down for an al fresco lunch overlooking the sea.
This evening take to the old town on a guided pintxo walkabout. Immerse yourselves in the history of Basque gastronomy and learn how pintxos (Basque tapas) came to be. Join with your “kuadrilla” (a Basque term for a tight-knit group of friends) for rounds of pintxos in our favorite bars, paired with local wines, cider, or beer. Absolutely essential for a visit to San Sebastian!
Niche fragrances, shopping and your own private chef.
Find your ideal perfume at an exclusive tasting workshop of limited edition scents with local perfume experts.
Visit the city's top boutiques to find that ¨perfect something¨ to take home. Stop for coffee or cava along the way or plan a wine tasting evening and learn about the best and brightest of the new Spanish winemakers before dinner.
Oh la la France! and a walled village.
Cross the border into the French Basque Country stopping first at the workshops of a traditional chocolate master and bakers for insight into the way chocolate was first worked in this part of the world.
Further up the coast St. Jean de Luz is the quintessential French fishing village. Taste freshly shucked oysters at the tidy market in the center. It is filled with French linen shops, antique dealers, art galleries and carefully curated boutiques.
Back on the Spanish side of the border stop in Hondarribia, a beautiful village with cobblestoned streets surrounded by impressive medieval city walls. Enjoy a Michelin starred lunch or discover the wonders of local and modern cuisine in the Old quarter of town.
Enjoy a free evening and get to know the city and have a gin and tonic or two overlooking the bay a la San Sebastian, a must on your to do list!
Coastal Wine Country, Haute couture and portside lunch.
Getaria is a gem of a village just half an hour from San Sebastian.
Head out along the coast between picturesque farmhouses rural and coastal scenery. Tour the vineyards and taste the crisp Basque white wine txakoli at the region’s oldest winery; try artisanal cured anchovies at a family-owned producer; and visit the Balenciaga Haute Couture Museum dedicated to the town’s native son who took the fashion world by storm.
Special farewell Dinner at a Michelin starred restaurant or one of our favorite local picks!
Pack your suitcases and head off to your next destination!*We can combine it with a few days in Barcelona, Madrid and Bordeaux.
Tell us what you like and we can also include a cooking class, yoga or relaxing pilates class, surf and any dinner reservations. Choose to stay together in an apartment or a sea view hotel. Let us help you plan your dream trip.