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Northern Spain Culinary Delights
Best time to go: January to December
4 Nights | from £1,895pp
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Holiday type: Tailor-made
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- Enjoy a gastronomic tour to sample San Sebastián’s best pintxos bars with an expert guide
- Take in the Balenciaga Museum in San Sebastián and the Guggenheim Museum in Bilbao
- Meander through the Pays Basque Français region stopping to explore its charming rural villages
Day 1 Arrive in San Sebastián
You’ll be met by a member of the A&K team as you arrive in San Sebastián, and driven to the grand Hotel Maria Cristina. San Sebastián is the gastronomic capital of Spain with a galaxy of Michelin honoured restaurants, several with no fewer than three stars; but the real soul of Basque cuisine is to be found in the infinite number of small bars and restaurants serving pintxos (the Basque equivalent to tapas) that throng the narrow streets of the 'Parte Vieja', the oldest district of the town beside the fishing port. Everyone who lives in San Sebastián has their favourite, and for this reason we recommend you place yourself in the hands of a local expert who can guide you through the bewildering choice of establishments. You'll be guided along streets such as 31 Agosto, Calle Mayor or San Jerónimo, and can make your own list of starred pintxos bars.
Hotel Maria Cristina
Day 2 San Sebastián
Today is all about getting under the skin of San Sebastián, as your expert guide shows you around the fascinating Old Town, full of intricate alleys wedged between the bay and the Rio Urumea. As you drive around the great horseshoe bay of La Concha, you'll see the extraordinary 'Comb of the Winds' sculpture installation at the foot of the cliffs - and at the top of Monte Igueldo you will find the best views over the city, sea and mountains. You'll stop along the coast for lunch before visiting one of the newest and most remarkable museums in Spain, dedicated to the master couturier Cristóbal Balenciaga, who went from humble origins in Getaria to become one of the greatest designers in the world.
Hotel Maria Cristina | Meals: Breakfast
Day 3 French Basque Countryside
Spend the day exploring the Pays Basque Français, an enchanting area of small villages, lush green landscapes and the rolling foothills of the Pyrenees. First port of call is the charming fishing port of Saint-Jean-de-Luz with its unspoilt centre of narrow streets, quayside and old churches, a short distance over the frontier. You’ll head inland from here, to visit the villages of Ascain and Ainhoa - both filled with quaint stone and half-timbered houses and with delightful parish churches, then on to Espelette, famed for its red peppers for which there is even a dedicated museum. Here you’ll be able to see the spectacular house of the playwright Edmond Rostand, author of 'Cyrano de Bergerac', before catching the funicular railway up to the top of La Rhune for spectacular views from the Pyrenees to the Atlantic.
Hotel Maria Cristina | Meals: Breakfast
Day 4 San Sebastián to Bilbao
This morning you may wish to take a leisurely stroll through the town, before meeting your driver and heading to Bilbao. After checking in to the Silken Gran and catching a quick lunch, you'll have the chance to explore Bilbao with your local guide. The most important landmark in Bilbao is the spectacular Guggenheim Museum - the masterpiece of Frank Gehry - with its gleaming titanium structure; we also recommend spending some time the historic Siete Calles district, beautifully restored after catastrophic floods some years ago and filled with boutiques, small bars and restaurants.
Silken Gran Hotel Domine Bilbao | Meals: Breakfast
Day 5 Bilbao to UK
Today you will be driven to the airport for your flight back to the UK.
At A&K all of our journeys are individually tailored to suit your needs and timescale. As a guide, this 5 day tour costs from £1,895 per person, based on two sharing, including international flights.
If you have birthday or anniversary coming up, or just fancy throwing one heck of a party, why not celebrate in style. Whatever the occasion, we are brimming with ideas. Find out more...
Our European offices are managed by a local team of experienced and passionate travel professionals with an intimate knowledge of the continent, enabling them to provide clients with great insight into this fascinating destination, and ensuring a seamless experience every step of the A&K journey. With their long standing personal connections and networks they're also there to help you uncover local secrets and experiences, and to open doors to people and places normally beyond the reach of the ordinary traveller.
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Meet the Europe & Middle East Team
Our Europe & Middle East team – Sarah, Eleanor, Lynne, Rob, Aline and Sandrine are experts in designing the perfect holiday to suit your personal needs, interests and budget.3
Best time to be there
Spain is best visited in the springtime, when the temperatures are generally warm and comfortable. Autumn is equally comfortable, though less green and the landscapes are drier. July and August are very hot.
Barcelona, Malaga and Madrid (British Airways); Palma (British Airways or bmi)
2 hours - Spain
2.5 hours - Mallorca
4 hours - Tenerife
GMT +1 hour