Departure from the US with an overnight flight to Toulouse.
Assistance at the airport and group transfer to the hotel in the center of town.
Check-in at hotel Ibis Style Centre for 3 nights. In the afternoon, 2 hours guided walking tour to visit the city center. See the landmarks of the “Pink City”: Place du Capitole, Saint Sernin Basilica, The Jacobins Cloister, and the Garonne River Side.
Welcome dinner at Restaurant Le Bibent, a few minutes walk from your hotel.
Transfer by coach to the outskirts of Toulouse. Meet Chef Sebastien Sellier who will teach you all the secrets of Cassoulet. Learn how to prepare this specialty from Occitanie. Enjoy your own cassoulet for lunch.
Return to the city center in the afternoon.
Remainder of the day at leisure.
Very early departure to go and visit the MIN (Marche d’Interet National) with English Speaking guide for 1 hour ½. Motor-coach transfers. This is the 2nd largest French market for the amount of fruits and vegetables. It is the entry point of most of the agri-food production for the Occitanie region. 150 businesses, 400 producers and more than 6000 buyers are working together to allow local products to circulate in various shops, markets and restaurants,etc.
Following the MIN, you will have a 2 HOUR pastry workshop with a pastry Chef at SANDYAN. Of course you will taste you own pastry with a hot drink.
Free time for lunch and transfer to the site of AIRBUS
Afternoon visit for 1h ½: Presentation of the A 380 program…..
Dinner at a local restaurant.
Bordeaux (B, L) Foie Gras and Prunes
Pick up at hotel in Toulouse and departure to Bordeaux. Stop at the Souleilles Farm and discover the secrets of Foie Gras on the farm near Agen.
Peasants made the choice to stay and work on this Occitan land inherited from their ancestors.
Souleilles “the sunny house” in Occitan, is the name of a farm where you will be welcome and will share “viure bias”, a lifestyle with respect for men and animals.
• Visit the farm of Souleilles
• Visit of the Museum of the Foie Gras – Video of presentation of the work on the farm,
• Learn about the products and get ideas for new recipes.
• Taste some of the products of the farm specialties
• Cooking demonstration with Souleilles fresh fried foie gras served with seasonal fruits and flambé with brandy. You will taste it!
• Picnic plate to enjoy under the plum trees.
Proceed to “La Maison du Pruneau”: 50 years of family know-how and passion have allowed to access exceptional quality of the products. They make Agen prune, tasty, mellow and melting in the mouth. They are made entirely by hand, without chemical preservatives, carried out a thermal pasteurization which allows guaranteeing conservation of 2 years.
Continuation to Bordeaux and arrival at the end of the day.
Check in at your hotel, located in the heart of the city, for 3 nights.
Evening at leisure
Guided walking tour ending at 10:30 AM in a covered market of a new style. There, you will meet Chef Frederic Coiffe in “Les Halles de Bacalan”, you will taste local products and enjoy a friendly Lunch. The “Cite du Vin” is close by across the street. Oenophiles and amateurs tasters will enjoy this new institution and its unique architecture.
You will move around by tramway just like a true Bordelais! The ride follows the river and only takes a few minutes to go back with the tram to the centre of town.
Evening at leisure.
Departure by coach to go to Saint Emilion. Just outside the city you will visit Chateau Ambe Tour Pourret where they practice a biologic type of agriculture. Meet one of the Chef, Jerome Oillic or Quentin Novelle for a cooking class. Enjoy your own cooking for lunch with the wine of the Chateau. Coffee and Saint Emilion typical macarons are included.
After lunch, proceed to the village to visit the underground town.
Early return Bordeaux for some free time and a little shopping
Evening at leisure.
Morning short drive before caviar tasting in a sturgeon farm
Stop in Arcachon and short visit of the little town before enjoying a unique lunch.
Free time in Arcachon before the 2 hour drive drive to reach Bayonne.
Check-in at Hotel Des Basses Pyrenees for 4 nights
Evening at leisure
Morning excursion to Biarritz. Among all the treasures of Biarritz your guide will show you the “Halles” which have been recently renovated. The 40 traders of this market have the same philosophy of authenticity and “know-how”. From the central market to the fish market, it is a foodie’s paradise. Free time for lunch.
Returning to Bayonne, you will have a 2 ½ hour guided walking tour. Discover the Art and history of the city, see the ramparts and fortifications, Sainte Marie Cathedral, its cloister, the old streets and ancient facades. You will stop at a Bayonnais Chocolatier and learn the story of the arrival of chocolate in France, in the Saint Esprit district, during the time of the Inquisition.
You will experience 5 different Basque specialties: chocolates, Kanougas, tourons, Mouchous and Basque cakes. You will also visit a ham producer at the renown charcuterie Pierre Oteiza who in 1990 relaunched the Basque pig breeding in the Aldudes Valley.
Dinner at a local restaurant in Bayonne
Departure for an excursion to Bilbao, 2-hour drive away. Visit the famous Frank Gehry Guggenheim Museum. After the visit of the Museum you will have time to Indulge in the finest pintxos Bilbao has to offer as you have free time and lunch on your own.
Guided walking tour to discover the vibrant quarters of the city. Returning to Bayonne, you will stop and visit San Sebastian, a resort town sheltered in the Bay of Biscay in Spain’s mountainous Basque Country. It’s known for its beaches framed by a picturesque bayfront promenade After a short orientation tour, we‘ll enjoy dinner at one of the local restaurants which made San Sebastian a world-renowned gastronomic city helmed by innovative chefs.
Return to Bayonne (36 miles, 1-hour drive).
Morning excursion: As we drive no more than about 65 miles we will visit the typical villages of the French Basque country, doing a circle tour with our guide through La Bastide de Clairence, Espelette, Ainhoa, Sare, Ascain. Espelette is famous for its “red pepper”: Visit a farm and experience a workshop where this pimiento is made. Taste it with different types of food: cheese, jam, sausage, etc… We will also visit a cheese farm and taste some of the local Basque Cheese. We will view quaint villages, make photo stops. Return to Bayonne in the afternoon for some free time before going to dinner for our Farewell Gala dinner which will be at a renowned one Michelin star restaurant.
Transfer to Biarritz airport for your flight back home.