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Tours of Basque – A Luxury Private Tour of Bilbao and Basque Country

Tours of Basque – A Luxury Private Tour of Bilbao and Basque Country

DESTINATIONS, EUROPE, SPAIN, TOURS

First of all, where exactly is the Basque Country? The Basque Country is small region in the northeast of Spain, and southwest of France. This beautiful region has a spectacular coastline, world-renowned wineries, Michelin-star rated restaurants, mountains, and a culture unique to the whole of Europe. The Basque Country is quickly becoming increasingly popular for the discerning traveler searching for unique and exceptional experiences.

 

Zarautz, Gipuzkoa Coast (Image: Tours of Basque)
Zarautz, Gipuzkoa Coast (Image: Tours of Basque)

 

Tours of Basque is a luxury-oriented private tour operation located in Bilbao, Spain. This company offers private guided day tours in the Basque Country and La Rioja wine-making region. They specialize in gourmet food, wine, sightseeing, city, coastal, and golf tours. The principal goal of this outfit is give a highly customized and authentic experience that gives you the feeling of being a temporary Basque citizen. Tours of Basque offers a plethora of tours to fit every taste and interest.

The city of Bilbao is experiencing a renaissance as a result of the famous Guggenheim Museum, and the increasing public awareness of the exceptional culinary attractions. The construction of the Guggenheim in the late 90s facilitated the re-gentrification of the city, attracting world-renowned architects such as Norman Foster to participate in the revival.

 

Guggenheim Museum, Bilbao (Image: Tours of Basque)
Guggenheim Museum, Bilbao (Image: Tours of Basque)

 

The Bilbao Architecture and Cultural Experience offers an in-depth view of Bilbao and is a top-seller according to Irene, the owner of ToursofBasque.com. Most of the company’s clients are staying in Bilbao and want to experience the city from a local perspective. A favorite hotel amongst the luxury-minded traveler is the Hotel Carlton in Bilbao. This hotel has a storied history, and is also one of the few 5-star hotels located in the city center.

 

Hotel Carlton, Bilbao (Image: Tours of Basque)
Hotel Carlton, Bilbao (Image: Tours of Basque)

 

The tours begin and end at the clients’ hotel, where they are transported around town in a luxury Mercedes van if staying outside the city center.

Irene, who was born and raised in Bilbao, and owns the business with her American husband take great pride in showing their guests around the city, coast, and countryside. The Bilbao tour begins at the Guggenheim Museum along the Nervion River. The famous Frank Gehry designed structure is unique to the world, and has affirmed Bilbao as an architecturally significant global city. The tour blends the modern Bilbao with the old, giving the client a complete and thoroughly explained history of the city.

 

Puppy, Bilbao (Image: Tours of Basque)
Puppy, Bilbao (Image: Tours of Basque)

 

The old quarter of the city, dating back to the 14th century is compromised of the siete calles (or seven streets). This is where you will encounter the world-renowned Basque cuisine. Food in the Basque Country is like religion, and this is apparent in the elaborate pintxos (Basque version of the Spanish tapa) displayed in nearly every cafe and bar. The cuisine is absolutely amazing in the Basque Country. The food is all local, fresh, with nearly all restaurants using a local farm to table supply chain. This care is exemplified in the number of Michelin-star rated restaurants located in the Basque Country. There are nearly 40 Michelin-rated restaurants in the area. Additionally, 4 Basque restaurants were recently ranked in the top 20, in the Worlds 50 Best Restaurant Guide sponsored by The Diners Club. The tour of Bilbao concludes with a delicious 3 course meal in the old quarter of Bilbao with accompanying wine pairings.

 

Fresh Tuna at Basque Restaurant, Bizkaia Coast (Image: Tours of Basque)
Fresh Tuna at Basque Restaurant, Bizkaia Coast (Image: Tours of Basque)

 

Tours of Basque focuses on the outstanding food, wine and geography of the area. There are numerous other private tours to choose from. Beyond the multitude of set choices, the client has the option of designing a completely customized tour based on their particular interests.

Other tours most favored by Tours of Basque clientele include La Rioja winery visits, San Sebastian city tours, coastal tours and tailor made golf/gourmet packages.

 

Ganguren Golf Club, Bilbao ( Image: Tours of Basque)
Ganguren Golf Club, Bilbao ( Image: Tours of Basque)

 

The La Rioja region offers an abundance of wineries; from a 15th century family owned to French château style wineries offering 90+ Parker Points rated Grand Reserves. La Rioja also has some visually stunning architecture that should not be missed, such as the Frank Gehry designed Marques de Riscal winery.

 

La Rioja Wine Country ( Image: Tours of Basque)
La Rioja Wine Country ( Image: Tours of Basque)
Underground winery in the walled city of LaGuardia (Image: Tours of Basque)
Underground winery in the walled city of LaGuardia (Image: Tours of Basque)

 

The Basque coast is ruggedly beautiful with the dark green mountains falling into the deep blue Bay of Biscay. The coast is dotted with quaint coastal towns, spectacular beaches, and amazing restaurants. The cities of Getaria and San Sebastian are some notable places to tour when visiting the Basque Country. In Getaria you can experience some of the freshest fish and seafood that the area has to offer. A tour of the San Sebastian’s old quarter, and stops at the pintxo bars is often the highlight of any Basque holiday.

Tours of Basque offers a luxury minded traveler a superb option when looking to the Basque Country for an upcoming holiday.

 

San Juan Gaztelugatxe. Bizkaia coast (Image: Tours of Bisque)
San Juan Gaztelugatxe. Bizkaia coast (Image: Tours of Bisque)
Fishing Port of Bermeo, Bizkaia Coast (Image: Tours of Bisque)
Fishing Port of Bermeo, Bizkaia Coast (Image: Tours of Bisque)
Urdaibai Biospshere Reserve, Bizkaia (Image: Tours of Basque)
Urdaibai Biospshere Reserve, Bizkaia (Image: Tours of Basque)
San Sebastian, Gipuzkoa Coast (Image: Tours of Basque)
San Sebastian, Gipuzkoa Coast (Image: Tours of Basque)
Castle of Butron, Bizkaia (Image: Tours of Basque)
Castle of Butron, Bizkaia (Image: Tours of Basque)

 

On their tours they showcase the gastronomy, world class wine-making region, beautiful golf courses, and a culture unique to the whole of Europe. They offer guided, private, and completely customizable tours in the Basque Country and La Rioja.

I invite you to take a look at their website:  Toursofbasque.com

 

About the author

Carmen Edelson is the Founder and Senior Editor of Carmen's Luxury Travel. Carmen has been traveling the world for over a decade. Our travels allows her the opportunity to pursuit her itch to travel to the best luxury destinations, and experience those first class tastes from around the world.

10 Comments

  1. noel
    November 17, 2015 at 6:42 pm
    Reply

    I almost took a detour to Northern Spain but went to Nice and the Riviera instead…this looks fabulous. Will still be on my bucket list.

    • Carmen
      November 19, 2015 at 10:37 am

      That was a hard choice to make. I’ve been to Southern France and it’s also beautiful. The Basque country area has a lot of beautiful sites to see that many people are unaware of.

  2. Suze - Luxury Columnist
    November 17, 2015 at 7:03 pm
    Reply

    I would absolutely love to visit Bilbao, the Guggenheim museum and of course, to sample some Rioja!

    Suze | LuxuryColumnist

    • Carmen
      November 19, 2015 at 10:40 am

      My family from my mother side was for the Basque country. It such beautiful landscapes, and of course great vineyards. I love Spanish wines, they are so cheap in Spain compared to the US.

  3. Jess @UsedYorkCity
    November 18, 2015 at 9:59 am
    Reply

    So gorgeous! Looks like the perfect luxurious holiday!:-)

    • Carmen
      November 19, 2015 at 10:41 am

      It’s the perfect place to go for the holidays, take in the sights, and drink some great wine. 🙂

  4. Lara Dunning
    November 19, 2015 at 2:54 pm
    Reply

    This looks like a wonderful trip. On my list!

    • Carmen
      December 12, 2015 at 9:02 am

      This part of Spain is well known for its scenic landscapes and wineries. I hope you get the chance to go.

  5. Delia @ Luxury Travel in Asia
    November 23, 2015 at 9:00 pm
    Reply

    This looks fab, I was planning to go to Bilbao in the summer… maybe cycle around all the wineries and this post has inspired me even more! I’ll have to check out the tour company, I have to say having a private tour can sometimes complete an experience… other times it’s nice to wander on your own I think x

    • Carmen
      December 12, 2015 at 9:04 am

      I’m excited for you, that sounds like an amazing trip. We are looking into doing a cycling trip this summer too with our kids.

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