San Sebastian And Its Basque Tapas
In Basque country, tapas is called pintxos, pronounced peen-chos, and means toothpick food!
Why don't we do this at home? Pintxos for lunch, for breakfast, for dinner?
Your arrival into Saint-Jean-de-Luz may be confusing. Is it France? Is it Spain? Well, those who live here think of this region as Basque, the mixture of both and this includes all parts of their history, culture, and language. It is a charming town worth a little of your time, part of south-western France on the Basque coast, near the Spanish border and 15 minutes from Biarritz. If time allows you will have a little exploration of this town upon your return to the pier. But first we will take you on a short ride across the border between France and Spain to the famous center of so much of all that is Basque, and it is called San Sebastián.
San Sebastián is famous for its elegance and fashion. It is THE center of food in Basque country and those who come usually have a list of restaurant options for their dining experience. But not all food here must be Michelin starred and we will prove that today.
First you will see the glorious shell-shaped beach nestled between two hills. The beach is very accessible, just feet away from the most elegant of streets and just on the edge of the Old Town. San Sebastian's fascinating old town, called the Parte Vieja, is wedged between the bay and the Rio Urumea which separates the city's development. The large local fish market piled high with delicacies speaks to this culinary center. The heart of the old town is the Plaza de la Constitucion, originally a bull ring but now a square surrounded by apartments and balconies. Nearby is the Iglesias de San Vincente, a 16th century church.
The old town has a flavor that a seems different than other European villages, as if it is not sure where it belongs. And the area of development, the newer parts of the city, blend well with the old to deliver a special Basque experience. During your tour you will go to the top of Monte Urgull which rises behind the old town and will acclimate you as well as allow you to appreciate the panoramic setting. The summit has a statue of Christ and the ruined fort Castillo de Santa Cruz de la Mota.
During your tour, your guide will bring you to some of the pintxos bars. The tapas in these bars are beautiful and there is a huge array. Unlike tapas in other areas of Spain, these are usually covering one end of a bar or table so you can see and select what looks good to you. Beware as they really are beautiful and each place creates their own. Even the smallest bar will have someone who creates their pintxos daily and of course the choices are based on the seasonal ingredients easily available to the locals. There is something for every taste and every diet. This alone was difficult to leave - why can't we eat this way back home? It makes so much sense.
If you love to eat, if you have been to Barcelona or other locations and tried tapas, then this is a must - and so much fun!
- Tour price includes 3 pinxtos + 3 drinks in up to 3 different bars in the Old Town of San Sebastian.
- Walking tour is approximately 2 hours.
- All entry fees are included in tour cost.
- Additional food and drink are not included in tour cost.
- You must be 18 years old to consume alcohol.
Days offered: 7 days a week