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The coast of the Basque Country.

the
 BASQUE COUNTRY
Foodie TRIP

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2024 dates

May 26 - June 2, 2024

Memorial Day Trip

June 30 - July 7, 2024

4th of July Trip

July 14 - 21, 2024

July 28 - Aug 4, 2024

Sept 15 - 22, 2024

Sept 29 - Oct 6, 2024

Oct 6 - 13, 2024

8 days/7 nights

starting at $3,999 USD

Payment can be broken down into a $500 deposit + 3 additional installments.

Pintxos and white wine
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WHAT TO EXPECT

Food, fun, and the sun are the three pillars of our Basque Country trip. If any of that sounds appealing, pack your bags and get ready for one mouth-wateringly delicious adventure.

 

You'll meet up for drinks with your new travel crew in Bilbao before heading out for your first taste of the culture—unforgettable pintxos. After a bite or two, you'll understand why this region is home to the world's highest concentration of Michelin-starred restaurants per capita.

 

Our expedition will crisscross parts of northern Spain and southwestern France, defined by an exotic language, ancient folklore, and year-round festivals. From colorful Bilbao to historic Haro and seaside San Sebastian, by the end of the week, you'll be well-versed in the region's culture, history, and world-famous cuisine.

FOR THE LOVE OF

PINTXOS

SEASIDE SUNSETS

MICHELIN DINING

LA RIOJA

SUN & SURF

THE OLD TOWN

EUSKERA

FRESH FISH

COLORFUL ARCHITECTURE

BASQUE COUNTRY

Included

  • 3 nights in Bilbao, 1 night in Haro, 3 nights in San Sebastian

  • All accommodations in a shared room with one other person with the option to upgrade to a private room (limited availability)

  • Day trip to Biarritz, France 

  • 7 breakfasts, 2 lunch, 4 dinners (including welcome dinner, farewell dinner, and a food tour & cooking class

  • 1 Michelin Star restaurant experience

  • Bilbao walking & pintxo tour through the Old Quarter

  • La Rioja wine region tour and tasting

  • Food & drink tour of San Sebastian with local guide

  • Pintxo cooking class with local chef

  • Basque pelota class and experience

  • Hike to Gaztelugatxe

  • All in-country transfers

 

*All activities are weather dependent; in the unlikely event that we are unable to run an activity, we will have a suitable alternative in place.

not included

  • Flights into Bilbao, Spain (BIO) and out of San Sebastian Airport (Donostia Airport)

  • Mandatory trip insurance

  • Meals not mentioned (budget around $200)

  • Incidental Expenses

Sunset over a vineyard in the Basque Country.

day by day

*Itinerary is indicative and is subject to change

Day by day
 

Day 1 - Bilbao, Spain
First taste

 

Arrive in Bilbao and hit the town with your new friends over drinks and pintxos. These bite-sized treats could be anything from local fish to stuffed peppers secured atop a piece of bread with a toothpick—think of them as the Basque Country's take on tapas.

The delectable hors d'oeuvres pair well with a glass of white wine and are often enjoyed on a txikiteo or Basque Country pub crawl. If those words sound challenging to pronounce, well, they are. Many Basques speak Euskera, the oldest European language and one with no known origins.

After devouring pintxos, we'll head to dinner at one of the coolest spots in town. Yeah, the food's a big part of this trip, if you couldn't already tell.

A traveler playing pelota.

play

 

Day 2 - Bilbao
Pintxos & Pelota

Kick off day two with a bite at the hotel before hitting the courts for a pelota lesson. The fast-paced sport is the precursor to the more well-known jai alai and a favorite throughout the region.

 

After working up a sweat, you’ll have some free time to explore before we channel our inner chefs and step into the kitchen.

 

We tried pintxos on day one, but today we’re learning how to make them for ourselves in a private cooking class. After all, it’s essential to understand the intricacies of the region’s favorite food (especially when it’s so damn good). 

Cuisine in northern Spain.

Savor

 
Day 3 - Bilbao 
MMM MICHELIN STARS

 

After breakfast at the hotel, you can explore on your own or head up the coast for a hike back through time. We'll branch off from the rocky shore of Biscay along a serpentine stone wall to a 10th-century hermitage on the tiny islet of Gaztelugatxe—it's one of the most impressive sights in all of the Basque Country.

​In the early afternoon, we’re heading back to Bilbao to dine like never before. After all, it's only fitting that in a land of food this good, we find try to find the absolute best of the best. That’s right; it’s time to hit up some midday Michelin star magic.

After a lunch to remember, take it easy in the afternoon, then head out for dinner and check out some Bilbao nightlife.

The landscape of a hike near Bilbao.

discover

 

Day 4 - Haro
wine in paradise

 

We’re getting up early to wind our way south to wine country, so get ready to say ooh la la to La Rioja. 

 

Backed by the Iberian System mountain range, this is one of the country’s most beautiful and historic wine regions. Not only are you going to sip on some old-world wines made from grapes cultivated here for a thousand years, but you’re going to check out two of the region’s best vineyards because one world-class winery just won’t cut it.

After tastings, tours, and lunch in the vineyards, we’re heading off to the old town of Haro for a night in one of Spain’s most important (and picturesque) wine villages.

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drink

 

Day 5 - Haro / San Sebastian
back to the sea

 

Eat up before we hit the road. Sun-kissed San Sebastian is in our sights, and there’s no time to waste.

 

Drop your bags, hit the beach, and head out to the tear-drop-shaped island of Santa Clara if you’d like. Or, kick back, relax and take it easy; the day is free for you until we meet back up in the evening.

 

We’re getting back to what we love most at night, chowing down on more local Basque Country cuisine. We’ll eat our way through San Sebastian’s pintxo bars with a local guide giving us the backstory on every dish. We’ll be bouncing from one spot to the next, so don’t fill up too early; there’s always more to eat in Basque County.

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taste

 

Day 6 - San Sebastian / Biarritz
Surf's up

 

We’ll take a day trip and cruise over to France’s Basque region to check out Biarritz and soak up the sun, sand, and waves. After all, what better way to round out a week of decadent food than a quick surf sesh? And don’t worry, this is an intro lesson, so it’s all in good fun. Even if you don’t get up, feel free to tell your friends back home tales of your time in the barrel. Your secret’s safe with us. ;)

 

After you hit the waves, take to the sand for some much-needed R&R and grab some lunch with friends. As the sun starts to set on Biarritz, we’ll head back to San Sebastian where the night is free for you to do as you please.

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play

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taste

 

Day 6 - San Sebastian / Biarritz
Beachbound

Today, we're making the short trip to France’s Basque region to explore Biarritz and soak up the sun, sand, and sights.

You’ve got the entire day free, so make the most out of your time in this seaside spectacle. Don’t forget your bathing suit; we recommend finding your perfect spot on this long stretch of golden sand and kicking back for some R&R. Take a dip and lounge on the edge of the Bay of Biscay before you grab some fresh ceviche along the boardwalk.

We’ll head back to San Sebastian to unwind before you hit the town for dinner and drinks with friends.

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enjoy

 
Day 7 - San Sebastian
STREETS, EATS, AND SUN

 

The day is yours to do as you please, so walk the promenade or check out some more of the narrow, cobbled streets of the Old Town. If you’re feeling up to it, give your Euskera a go at the shops in town.

Spend today wandering, eating, and soaking up that last little bit of one of the continent’s most uniquely fascinating regions. For the history and culture lovers out there, we can’t recommend the Museo de San Telmo enough. Dedicated to Basque history, it’s home to more than 26,000 pieces of the past!

And then, let’s eat. After a week of gastronomical adventures, it's only fitting that we spend our final night dining together on our never-ending quest to eat our way through the Basque Country. So pull up a chair; food may never taste this good again.

 
Day 8 - San Sebastian
farewell

Grab a final breakfast with friends before checking out.

 

If you’ve got some time before your flight, do a little more exploring of one of Spain’s most unique towns. Toss down another pintxo or two; it’ll be tough to come by food this good wherever you return to.

Or, if Europe’s still calling your name, pop over to Slovenia for some of the most jaw-droppingly beautiful, off the beaten track sights around or down to that lovely Med to party it up in Crete.

"Everyone who has visited the Basque Country longs to return; it is a blessed land."
- Victor Hugo

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FAST FACTS

Fast Facts

Just for Fun

Folklore is incredibly important in Basque culture. According to one myth, giants know as Jentilaks used to roam the region.

We’re not joking about the food; there are nearly 40 Michelin-starred restaurants in the Basque Country.

Most Basque inhabitants are bilingual, speaking either Spanish and Euskera or French and Euskera.

Trip notes

  • While we can’t guarantee private rooms, you should book your trip earlier if you prefer one, as they usually fill up.

  • This trip goes to both Spain & France.

  • The Basque Country is not actually a country, it’s a region home to the Basque people.

  • The Guggenheim Museum in Bilbao is a main attraction. When it opened in 1997, it led to a resurgence in tourism in the region.

  • On European trips, we stay as close to historic city centers as possible. This means your accommodations will often be on the small side, quirky, and unique (we love this!).

  • All activities are weather dependent; in the unlikely event that we are unable to run an activity, we will have a suitable alternative in place.

  • More information regarding visa requirements and Covid restrictions can be found here.

 

About basque country

The greater Basque Country comprises the autonomous Spanish regions of the Basque Country and Navarre and the French region known as Northern Basque Country. The culture is highly unique and different from other surrounding regions, and the Basques are often regarded as the least assimilated of the Western European cultures. However, not everyone who lives in the region is actually a Basque.

GOOD TO KNOW

  • Basque Country in Spain was granted the status of Nationality in the 1978 constitution.

  • Both Spain and France and thus the Basque region are on the Euro; however, a local currency known as the Eusko was launched in 2013 in the Basque’s French territory.

  • In Spain, the Basque Autonomous Community ranks first in economic productivity nationwide.

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Flights

Flights

Fly into Bilbao (BIO)

You'll need to be in Bilbao An by 2pm on Day 1, however with the recent amount of flight delays we recommend planning to arrive a day early just to be safe.

Fly out of San Sebastian (EAS) or Bilbao (BIO)

We recommend flying out of San Sebastian or Bilbao on day 8 or extending your trip and enjoying a few more days in the Basque Country.

Want to check out flights for your trip?

Feel free to also set up flight alerts to Bilbao and San Sebastian so you can grab the best deal!

*FTLO is not responsible for any fees or costs related to flights. We strongly suggest that all travelers wait until they receive the official FTLO Greenlight Email to book flights. This will be sent 3-4 months prior to the start date of your trip.

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Alumni Reviews

REVIEWS

We know how much you'll love the Basque Country trip... but don't take our word for it! Check out some of our alumni reviews. 

learn more
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LEARN MORE

Interested in learning more about our Basque Country trip?

We're here to answer any and all questions you might have! Leave us your information below and we'll be in touch with you as soon as possible.

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