SPAIN & PORTUGAL FOR FOOD LOVERS
Spain and Portugal are both known for their outstanding cuisine and absolute foodie destinations! All of the wonderful corners of both countries serve up everything from cutting edge fine dining to warm, down to earth taverns dishing out the best traditional foods. This 9 day itinerary for Spain and Portugal is a foodies dream and will take you around to the best bites around both destinations!
FOOD & HISTORY IN LISBON
Begin your journey in Lisbon. After getting settled at your hotel, Meet your local host to start your day with a food tour where you will experience real, traditional Portuguese cuisine with a Lisbon native-guide. The tour starts with a Portuguese style pequeno almoço of coffee and pastel de nata (custard tart) and a walk through Lisbon’s most characteristic neighborhoods: Old Town, aka Baixa de Lisboa, and Alfama. This is the best way to kick off your foodie adventure.
DAY WITH A PORTUGUESE CHEF
Over the course of the day a wonderful local chef will lead you on an exclusive private tour of his kitchen on wheels over the seaside. Together you will visit the Setubal farmers' market, where you will source the best and freshest local ingredients. Explore the beautiful sights of the Atlantic Ocean from the Arrábida hills and stop at a cliff overlooking the water where your chef will head up a cooking lesson to help spin that bounty into a delicious lunch using the mobile kitchen and outdoor grilling. Partake on an informal lunch together, nap in the sun or take a plunge in the water, before heading back to Lisbon.
EAT AT HOME IN PORTO
Wake up and take the fast train from Lisbon to Porto. Join a local influential family from Porto society at their house for a cooking class and dinner. The lady of the house is the most wonderful cook and she is happy to share with you the tricks and specialties of traditional regional cuisine. During the cooking class you will learn how to make three traditional dishes and afterward enjoy your dinner composed of several additional delicacies, accompanied by some of the best wines and Ports from Douro.
BILBAO & PINTXOS
Take an early morning flight to Bilbao. You’ll have some time to visit the famous Guggenheim Museum before you are met by you local basque food guide who will take you on what she calls a Pintxo safari, all the while learning the secrets of Basque culture and cuisine. End the day with a private transfer to your romantic hotel in the Basque hills.
FARMHOUSE FLAVOURS & CIDERS
Your guide will meet you at your hotel and today we will invite you to the world of "Sagardoa" (Basque Cider). Enjoy a walk around the apple orchards, learn about the production process, and after the short tour, you will taste the cider with some chorizo! We will then head to a private farmhouse, which is the home of an artisan ham producer. Learn all about how the pigs are raised and understand the traditional role of these self-sufficient traditional Basque farms. After exploring the picturesque grounds, we’ll then enjoy a very special homemade meal in the family’s dining room.
Your local host will meet you at your hotel to start this experience. Today will be all about getting to know a traditional member’s only Gastronomic Club of San Sebastian. You will be granted exclusive access to partake in this wonderful culinary experience. We will start the day with a walk to one of the central markets of San Sebastian where we‘ll meet local farmers and producers to buy a variety of seasonal products directly from the locals. Afterwards, we will head to our private Gastronomic Club to prepare lunch. We’ll start with a glass of wine and begin to prepare the delicacies we purchased in the market. The menu will be based on seasonal products, fresh veggies, some local charcuterie & fresh fish and seafood. You are welcome to join in the cooking, or just watch. Over the course of the experience you will become more acquainted with Basque cuisine and what makes it so special. In the evening, we will set you up with a reservation at a fantastic Michelin Star restaurant.
HEAD TO BARCELONA
In the morning, catch a flight to Barcelona. Once there, check into your central boutique hotel. In the early evening, a fun foodie guide will meet you and take you for a fun evening on the town. This experience will be all about decoding Barcelona and Catalan culture using its great bars and restaurants. You will learn about Barcelona’s gastronomy, history, and strong cultural identity while you eat and drink your way around its charming streets.
CATALAN VERMUT CULTURE
We’ll begin our day with a short drive up the coast to tiny wine region, D.O. Alella, and a tour of one of the best wine producers in the area. You will learn about the natural park where the winery makes its home, and how the nuances of such a unique landscape, the influences of the sea, and the natural, sustainable practices used help to create such delicious wines, followed by a complete tasting afterwards. After our visit to the cellar, we will continue our day with a visit to the charming town center and have a vermouth and tapas in one of the town’s most famous bodegas. Your guide will teach you the ins and outs of Spain’s famous “la hora del Vermut” and the regional tapas that are part of the experience. Afterwards, we will have lunch in an excellent farm to table restaurant, focused on the use of local fresh ingredients, where you will be treated to a three-course meal of traditional Catalan cuisine accompanied by excellent local wines. After lunch, we will then begin the drive back down to Barcelona.
OLIVE OIL & OYSTERS
The last day of our tour is filled with gastronomic delights. In the morning, we will visit an olive oil producer where you will learn all about growing olive and pressing oils. Following the tasting, we will drive about 1 hour to the coast and head out on the water to a floating restaurant on top of an oyster and mussel farm. The lunch we will have out on sea is full of terrific local fare and is often described as the highlight of people's stay in the area!