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.
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
SUN & SURF
THE OLD TOWN
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.
Flights into Bilbao, Spain (BIO) and out of San Sebastian Airport (Donostia Airport)
Mandatory trip insurance
Meals not mentioned (budget around $200)
day by day
*Itinerary is indicative and is subject to change
Day 1 - Bilbao, Spain
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.
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).
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.
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.
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.
Day 6 - San Sebastian / Biarritz
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.
Day 6 - San Sebastian / Biarritz
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.
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
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.
"Everyone who has visited the Basque Country longs to return; it is a blessed land."
- Victor Hugo
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.
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.
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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