Type Land Only
Bordeaux & Basque Country
Departure Date Friday, March 18th, 2022
Return Date Sunday, March 27th, 2022
Final Payment Date
Friday, January 14th, 2022
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Departure from the US for an overnight flight to Bordeaux via Paris. Airfare is not included but Celestial Voyagers can help you get the best airfare and schedule.
After your arrival in Bordeaux and transfer to your hotel, meet for a short, guided walking tour as an introductionBordeaux, “the Sleeping Beauty,” and one of the most fascinating of French towns.
This city of art and history and home to one of Europe’s largest collections of 18th Century architecture was named a UNESCO World Heritage Site in 2007. Discover an impressive group of architectural masterpieces that include the neoclassical Grand Theater, the Golden Triangle district, and the Rohan Palace. In the evening, enjoy a Welcome Dinner of typical Bordelaise food.
After breakfast at your hotel, see the Place de la Bourse with its sculptured décor and water mirror that celebrates the close connection between the city and the Garonne River. Construction of the square took more than 25 years and is directly modeled on Versailles. See the Louis XVI-style Rohan Palace with one of the most beautiful staircases in France and the Bordeaux Town Hall since 1835. On to the Golden Triangle, where three large streets form a triangle, each ending in a square, the area where the wealthiest lived and the most luxurious shops were located. See the neoclassical Grand Theater with its 12 Corinthian columns above which stand statues of nine muses and three goddesses of classical mythology. Ride the tram as the locals do to Les Halles de Bacalan, sampling local products for Lunch with Chef Frederic Coiffe.
After lunch, explore La Cité du Vin for a unique experience learning about the varied facets of wine through time and space. At the Belvedere, gaze upon a 360° view of Bordeaux while sipping a glass of wine. Explore the amazing La Cité du Vin at your own pace and return by tram on your own to your hotel in the heart of the city. Have dinner or a bite and a glass or two or wine on your own.
Travel to nearby Saint Emilion to discover the magic of this unique town founded by Emilian, a Benedictine monk who was born in Brittany in the 8th century to a modest family. In later life, he dug out a cave and dedicated his life to God. The place where he lived and performed his miracles and good works became known as Saint Emilion. We’ll have a private tour of the most famous monument of Saint Emilion, the underground monolithic church carved out of solid rock. Afterwards, stroll about through the wonderful small streets of Saint Emilion.
On to Château Ambe Tour Pourret for a winery visit and a cooking course with lunch featuring seasonal regional products
accompanied by the wines of the Lannoye family made from Merlot and Cabernet Franc grapes at this organic winery. End the meal with typical macarons of Saint-Emilion.
Back to your hotel in Bordeaux for dinner or a glass of wine and a snack on your own.
This morning, start with a visit to a sturgeon farm for a caviar tasting. In the 19th century, sturgeon abounded in the Garonne and Dordogne Rivers. At the beginning of the 20th century, Russian emigrants arrived and explained to the local fishermen that it was more profitable to fish sturgeon for its eggs and
taught them the secrets of caviar production.
We arrive at the Bay of Arcachon and stop at a local oyster shed. Here, enjoy oysters like the “little follies” “grains of madness” or “pure follies” accompanied by white wine or organic rosé. Other local delicacies includeshrimp, bulots, periwinkles and pâté Accoceberry from the Basque Country.
Check in at your hotel in Bayonne and join the group for dinner at a local restaurant in Bayonne , in the heart of
French Basque country.
This morning, participate in a guided walking tour of Biarritz and the les Halles fish market. Originally a small fishing village, Biarritz gained its world-renown in 1854 when Empress Eugenie built a palace that is today the Hôtel du Palais, attracting royalty like Queen Victoria and Alfonso XIII of Spain. It became even more famous when Charlie Chaplin and Coco Chanel began to live in Biarritz.
In the afternoon, visit nearby Bayonne for an insight into the culture, folklore and gastronomy of the Basque country. Enclosed within three lines of ramparts, the old town is characterized by narrow buildings, oxblood-red half-timbered façades, and narrow streets, many of them for pedestrians only. By the 19th century, Bayonne had become the French capital of chocolate. Its chocolate history owes its origins to the Spanish and Portuguese Jews who fled the Inquisition in the late 16th century and found refuge across the border in Bayonne. Visit the Atelier de Chocolate for a chocolate workshop followed by a tasting and a chance to savor chocolates from Haiti and Madagascar and elsewhere in the tropics. Proceed to the store of Pierre Oteiza, a breeder of heritage Basque pigs and producer of artisan charcuterie and taste his products along with Basque cheeses, jams, and pepper.
Dinner will be a memorable experience at Sequences Restaurant by Sebastien Grave on the banks of the River Nive where the cuisine celebrates the native land of the chef, its landscapes, farmers, fishermen, and shepherds.
In the morning, depart for the villages of the Basque Country. Visit traditional Basque villages like Ainhoa, Sare and Espelette that have kept their authenticity through time. Discover the famous Piment d’Espelette, the signature spice of the Basque Country, brought there from South America in the 16th century. Local women growers pampered, evaluated and selected the fruits of this plant through the centuries to develop its strength, plump shape, and brilliant color. Visit an Espelette farm for a talk, tasting, and a workshop where you will prepare your own pintxos. Dinner at Les Rosiers in Biarritz (1* Michelin) located in a quiet city house. The head chef, Andrée Rosiers, is the first woman to receive the title « Meilleurs Ouvriers de France” in 2007. She and her husband and fellow chef, Stéphane, create a welcoming atmosphere to share their love of gastronomy based on Basque roots prepared in a refined style.
Transfer to San Sebastian across the border in Spain, in Spanish Basque Country, which is renowned worldwide for the excellence of its cuisine. Start your day with a market visit followed by a completely hands-on cooking class featuring the dishes from the cuisine of San Sebastian’s storied Michelin-starred restaurants. The class takes place at the historic Hotel Maria Christina. Your teachers will be the expert chefs of Mimo Bite the Experience. During the class, you will learn the secrets of the most modern culinary techniques and how to recreate them at home. After the class, indulge in the gourmet lunch that you have prepared – just like a pro – accompanied by wine.
In the afternoon, transfer from San Sebastian to Bilbao.
The shimmering titanium Museo Guggenheim Bilbao is one of modern architecture’s most iconic buildings. It sparked the
city’s regeneration and placed Bilbao in the international art and tourism spotlight. Gehry designed the museum on a former industrial wasteland, part of Bilbao’s wretched and decaying warehouse district on the banks of the Ría del Nervión. The city’s historical industries of shipbuilding and fishing reflected Gehry’s own interests. The titanium fish scale-like tiles that sheathe most of the building are said to have been inspired by the architect’s childhood fascination with fish.
After your visit of the Guggenheim participate in a guided walking tour to discover the history of Bilbao and learn about the city’s gastronomy, culture, architecture, and traditions while you explore the streets. During you walking tour, stop at different places to taste local pinxtos, the Basque version of Spanish Tapas.
Say goodbye to new friends at a Farewell Dinner in a carefully selected local restaurant.
After breakfast, drive to the Bilbao Airport for flights home (or extend your stay in Spain or France–we can help).
● Bordeaux: Les Halles de Bacalan, sampling local products for Lunch with Chef Frederic Coiffe
● Saint Emilion, private tour of underground church carved out of solid rock
● Winery tour at organic Château Ambe Tour Pourret and cooking class
● Bay of Arcachon, secrets of caviar and oyster tasting
● Bayonne, Atelier de Chocolate workshop
● Bayonne, dinner at Sequences Restaurant by Sebastien Grave (1* Michelin)
● Visit traditional Basque villages and discover the famous Piment d’Espelette
● Biarritz, dinner at Les Rosiers (1* Michelin); Chef Andrée Rosiers, first woman “Meilleurs Ouvriers de France”
● San Sebastian, market visit and expert chef hands-on cooking class at Hotel
Maria Christina’s cooking school: Mimo Bite the Experience
● Bilbao, expert guided tour of the shimmering Museo Guggenheim Bilbao
Your safety and comfort are our top priorities and final confirmation of hotels will depend on a careful selection related to the appropriate health regulations.
● Eight night’s accommodation, double occupancy
● Daily breakfast at the hotels
● Welcome dinner (drinks not included)
● Six lunches (drinks not included) at restaurants and as part of cooking classes
● Six dinners including one petiscos meal (drinks not included for most meals)
● Bottled water on coach and with meals
● Coffee and tea with meals
● Expert commentary, culinary advice, and background by Chef Aliza Green
● All culinary activities and excursions in the program.
● Two cooking classes, two food workshops, and two wine tastings
● English-speaking assistance for airport arrival and departure
● Professional English-speaking local guide for the visits in the program
● All entrance fees to museums and historic sites
● Luxury, private coach for transfers and excursions
● Daily city tax at the hotels
● VAT and Local taxes
● Single room supplement
● International flights between US and Bordeaux and between Bilbao and the US for the return
● Beverages (other than bottled water, coffee and tea) with lunches and dinners
● Meals not mentioned in the program
● Gratuities to guides and drivers (we will help with suggested amounts)
● Trip cancellation and travel insurance (travel insurance is required)
● Passport and visa fees as needed (Note: if you are not a US citizen a visa may be necessary; a green card is compulsory.)
Price $5995 per person, sharing a double room
Single supplement + $830
|This trip does not include the trans-atlantic air ticket. Please contact Celestial Voyagers before booking your flights. We can advise you on the best schedule and fare you may want.
Should you get your ticket on your own please send us a copy of your flight schedule. Should you buy your ticket with Celestial Voyagers we will waive the ticketing fee.
CelestialVoyagers Terms and Conditions relate to specific contracts with various suppliers.
The policies and regulations below must be strictly enforced.
Aliza Cultural & Culinary Tours and Celestial Voyagers Terms and Conditions relate to specific contracts with the service providers. The policies and regulations below must be strictly enforced. No extension to the early bird deadline can be considered as it depends entirely on the suppliers.
1. $500 deposit to hold your place. This deposit is fully refundable if the trip is canceled due to the evolution of the pandemic.
2. Full payment due by January 14, 2022
Should the trip cancel due to the evolution of the pandemic all payments will be refunded up to January 14, 2022
After January 14, 2022, suppliers in France and Spain will be paid in full and refund to participants will be subject to whatever refund will be allowed from the suppliers.
A cancellation can always be replaced with a new participant and name change fees will be waived.
We highly recommend that you protect yourself with a trip cancellation insurance including medical coverage.
All changes and cancellations must be provided in writing via email or postal service.
We advise all travelers to purchase travel insurance in case of any unforeseen circumstances and if you are no longer able to travel. We offer the following insurance policies through Allianz Travel Insurance: Basic, Classic, Deluxe, and Classic with cancel anytime. Prices vary with age and amount insured.
Click on the link below for more details:
Most countries require that a passport be valid for six months beyond the completion of a trip. If your passport expires before September 27, 2022, you must apply to renew your passport. If you are not a US citizen please check with the consulate of Spain or a visa agency for the latest requirements. You will also need a re-entry permit to return to the USA.