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Spain’s Basque Country Food Adventure

With Luke Mersfelder and Britt Simons


Departing: October 13, 2024

This savory adventure will bring to life the culturally-rich Basque region. Indulge each of your senses as your eyes feast on the works of Warhol at the Guggenheim Museum in Bilbao, listen to the crashing of the waves and breathe in the salt air from “Castle Island,” taste the tannins of a plummy, aromatic red in one of Spain’s famed wine regions, and inspect local products at the San Martin Market. From Bilbao to Biarritz, from tapas to cider tastings, you’ll work your way through the flavors that make this region a standout in both Spain and France.

8 days, from

$5,699

Price is in USD per person.

GROUP SIZE

14 people max

ACTIVITY LEVEL

 
2
12 spots left or call 1-844-565-0453
Trip code: 16472
In partnership with Luke Mersfelder + the eddy

This is an exclusive departure and bound to sell out – book your adventure now!

About Your Host

Luke Mersfelder is the former Chef de Cuisine of Bywater Restaurant in Warren, Rhode Island. Luke has been cooking for over 12 years all starting when he pursued his education here in Rhode Island at Johnson and Wales University. After Spending a few years cooking in Michelin starred kitchens such as Blackbird, and Smyth in Chicago, Luke has returned to Rhode Island to be closer to the ocean and celebrate all this state has to offer.

Britt Simons is the current bar manager of the eddy in downtown Providence, Rhode Island. Britt has been in the restaurant industry for over fifteen years, and has since had the opportunity to stand behind many bars around the country. Britt met her husband, Chef Luke Mersfelder at the beloved Persimmon restaurant on the East Side of Providence in 2016, and decided to take their love on the road to Chicago. During this three year stint in Chicago, she worked at the former Bad Hunter, which focused primarily on sessionable drinks highlighting vermouths, sherries, and aperitivo. Post pandemic, Britt returned with Luke, to be closer to family and the coveted food systems that Rhode Island harbors.

Trip Details

Transportation: Private vehicle

Accommodation: Hotel Sercotel Ayala, Bilbao; Hotel NH Herencia Rioja, Logrono; Hotel Ilunion San Sebastian, San Sebastian

Meals:

  • Breakfasts: 7
  • Lunches: 3
  • Dinners: 3

This culinary adventure produced in partnership with Luke Mersfelder + the eddy

Itinerary

Show Full Itinerary

Day 1: Bilbao

Welcome to Basque country, one of Europe’s most ancient cultures. After checking into your hotel, perhaps head out to explore the city and admire the titanium-winged Guggenheim Museum. Tonight, gather to meet your Local Leader and fellow travelers. After, head out together for your first meal together at a local restaurant to try your first pintxos and some local wines. (d)

Day 2: Bilbao

An exclusive tour of Guggenheim awaits you this morning. Admire works by Warhol, Serra and Rothko inside this incredible piece of architecture. After, head out to the cliffs of San Juan de Gaztelugatxe, or “castle island”. This medieval castle is host to one of the world’s grandest staircases. After taking in the views and sea air, stop at a local winery to sample the local txakoli wines – or “cottage wine”. After lunch at a local restaurant, you’ll head back to town, but first stopping in the town of Gernika. This village was bombed in the height of the Spanish Civil War and the inspiration behind Pablo Picasso’s masterpiece Guernica. Tonight dinner is on your own – perhaps dinner at one of the many Michelin-starred restaurants is in order. (b, l)

Day 3: Bilbao > Rioja

Bid farewell to Bilbao this morning as you head to Rioja Alta, one of Spain’s most famous wine regions. En route, stop at Conde de los Andes winery. Home to one of the country’s oldest wine cellars, you’ll enjoy tastings of their citrus-forward whites and plummy, aromatic reds. Tonight, an epic pintxo crawl awaits. Led by a local guide, search for the best of the region’s world-famous, toothpick-skewered tapas. Wander the streets alongside locals and try house specialties like stacked grilled mushrooms, white asparagus with truffle mayonnaise and patatas bravas. (b, d)

Day 4: Rioja > Getaria > San Sebastian

Depart Rioja today and make your way to Getaria, a coastal village and a culinary must visit. The lined streets of adores, the family-run restaurants with parrillas (outdoor grills) deliver a memorable culinary experience: simple plates of grilled seafood and txakoli, the local white wine. Parrilleros take years to master their craft and are an inspiration to how Chef Luke Mersfelder approaches cooking his famous seafood dishes. Enjoy a seafood lunch before a Basque must: a txotx, or cider tasting, at Isategi Cider House and a favorite of Britt’s! Here you’ll uphold the tradition of tasting straight from the barrels in the company of friends. Arrive to San Sebastian later in the day and settle into your hotel. (b, l)

Day 5: San Sebastian

After breakfast take a short trip to the top of Mount Igueldo for a panoramic view of San Sebastián. Next explore San Martin Market, established in 1870 and where many of the city’s top chefs shop daily. Inspect and try local delicacies like snails and smoky Idiazabal cheeses. Enjoy time to explore the winding cobblestoned streets of Parte Vieja before an afternoon at leisure to explore the city as you wish. (b)

Day 6: San Sebastian > Biarritz, France > San Sebastian

The French Basque country awaits today! Hop across the border to France where you’ll taste wine from Irouléguy, a small wine appellation. After, continue to Biarritz and the markets of Les Halles, where a spectacular array of oysters, escargots and prawns await. It’s a locals’ paradise to slurp back oysters or enjoy a slice of cherry jam- and cream-filled gâteau basque. After, return to San Sebastian this evening. (b)

Day 7: San Sebastian

Learn about the traditional cheese-making practices today with a visit to a local sheep milk farm. Enjoy several samples (accompanied by the local cider, of course) before lunch at Elkano, a top restaurant with an innovative take on Mediterranean seafood. Return to San Sebastian. Gather one last time tonight for dinner at a local restaurant and to toast to a wonderful adventure. (b, l, d)

Day 8: San Sebastian

Your Basque country adventure ends today. (b)

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