Basque Country for Foodies

4 Days

The Basque country in the far South West corner of France is a veritable melting pot of Spanish and French influences. The area is a cornucopia of foodie delights that will delight the tastebuds of any gastronome’s.

Our outline itinerary for this food-lovers trip will take you from the Atlantic coast to the foothills of the Pyrenees, discovering en route the exceptional variety of flavours and scents of this region’s food specialities.

In the historic streets of old Bayonne, the capital of the French Basque country, it’s the world-renowned ham that steals the thunder. It even has it’s own ‘fête’ which is unmissable if you happen to be in the Bayonne area over the weekend of 30 March 2018.

You’ll visit an Espelette chilli pepper plantation (May to October) to understand the strict criteria that surround the chilli pepper’s cultivation and taste various products in which it is incorporated, some of them very surprising indeed!

Explore the world of ewes milk cheese production on your visit to a local producer and treat yourself to a workshop making the signature Gateau Basque.

Take a guided tour of the old fishing port of Saint Jean de Luz and discover the traditional fishing port and shipowners’ houses dating back to the XVIIth century.

On this Atlantic coast, seafood including hake, sea bream, tuna and cod features heavily on local menus, often served with delicious herb or spicy “pil pil” sauces. Local specialities include Ttoro, a Basque fish stew featuring cod, tuna or angler fish. Seek out also “Chipirons” which are small stuffed squid served with tomatoes.

Then there are the numerous artisanal chocolate makers to explore, the ‘biscuiteries’ to discover and even the ‘pintxos’ (tapas) to sample just across the border! If you’re passionate about food, this SW corner of France is an unmissable destination.

This single centre, fully flexible itinerary is based in the Bayonne area of SW France and will form the basis from which Your Personal France will create your own personalised itinerary.

The options for getting here are numerous with flights from the UK and Paris into Bayonne or Pau or you may prefer to take the train from Paris to Bordeaux from where you can hire a car.

The price for this foodie’s trip to the Bearn and Basque country will depend on your accommodation choice, the number of people, the time of year and which elements of the itinerary you wish to include.

Your Personal France can incorporate elements of this itinerary with any of the other trips on the website to create a complete trip to France.

Day 1 :
Bayonne
<p>Bayonne is a lovely old fortified town and is the historic capital of the French Basque country. It's best known for its Bayonne ham which has a worldwide reputation. </p><p>Our outline itinerary includes a visit to a traditional producer of these delicious hams during which you'll learn about the curing and drying process with the opportunity naturally to taste the finished, aged product. </p><p>Follow the saltiness by some sweetness with a visit to an artisanal chocolate maker to see how chocolates are produced from bean to final product with a chocolate tasting to finish! Yum!</p>
Day 2 :
Coast
<p>Take a drive down the beautiful Basque coast to Saint Jean de Luz where you can enjoy a fascinating guided tour of this lovely old traditional fishing port.</p><p>After a delicious seafood lunch, head inland to discover that sweet Basque speciality, gateau basque. Take part in a workshop in which you'll make your very own cake to take away with you!</p>
Day 3 :
Inland
<p>Head to the village of Espelette and take a guided visit to the world famous Espelette chilli plantations to learn about how this relatively gentle chilli pepper is grown, harvested and transformed into an exciting variety of products.</p><p>Carry on east to visit a producer of the local ewes' milk cheese. You'll be captivated by the owner's passion for the gastronomic history of the area and local identity. See the full production process and taste the final product too.</p>
<p>Take a trip through the beautiful rolling Basque countryside today to the picturesque fortified village of Saint Jean Pied de Port where you'll enjoy an exceptional lunch at our recommended restaurant.</p><p>After lunch, pop down to within spitting distance of Spain and discover the region where the pigs destined for those renowned Bayonne hams are raised.</p>

Included

  • Your own personal hand-crafted itinerary
  • Your choice of accommodation including breakfast and other meals as agreed
  • Reservations for visits and restaurants as required
  • Local tourist information to ensure you get the most out of your holiday
  • Our personal attention and a dedicated phone number throughout your stay

Not Included

  • Flights and car hire
  • Personal insurance
  • Lunches unless specified
  • Evening meals and drinks unless specified


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    Trip Facts

    • Min 2 people
    • March-November
    • 4 days
    • Choose from top quality guest houses or 3 to 4* hotels