Spain draws crowds and for good reason – it’s a foodie hotspot, firmly on the map for tapas to Michellin-starred meals. But how to avoid the tourists to find authentic gastronomic experiences? We’ve come up with the answer: a luxury tour by private jet between San Sebastian, Seville and Mallorca, where private guides are on standby to take you to the heart of Spain’s innovative culinary scene.
One of the joys of a trip to Spain is the food. If you close your eyes you can almost smell the aromas of jamon, gambas or a refreshing ajo blanco. Of course, there’s the setting too: a warm evening, tables outside, laughter and the sound of glasses being refilled. It’s these ingredients that more than make a meal. They make memories.
A very special way to enjoy all that culinary Spain has to offer is a private jet tour over six days pulling in the country’s gastronomic highlights in San Sebastian, Mallorca and Seville, while staying in superb accommodation en route. Just imagine…no queues, hassle-free and no tortuous journeys. It’s luxury travel at its most indulgent, accompanied by passionate guides who really know the local delicacies and can elevate a great experience to something extraordinary.
After flying out on British Airways to Bilbao, you’ll meet your guide and enjoy a private transfer to San Sebastian, one of the world’s great culinary cities, in the heart of Basque Country. You’ll spend two nights at the Hotel Maria Cristina, the city’s grandest grand dame and ideally located for forays into the old town and its superb restaurants. (During the trip, all culinary experiences, food, drink and tasting menus at Michelin-star restaurants are included so you can relax rather than trying to remember the Spanish for “Can I have the bill please?”)
The city is known for its pintxos (Basque tapas) bars, which you can explore as you tour the old town with your expert guide who’ll steer you past the tourist traps to spots only locals know. Bar hop to taste different dishes, and pair them with regional wines including txakoli, a local lightly-sparkling favourite. You can find out more about the Basque region’s cuisine with a private cooking class, after you’ve visited a local market to stock up for the ingredients. Then prepare a delicious meal under the guidance of an expert chef from the region, and that evening dine in one of the city’s three-Michelin starred restaurants.
You’ll also visit Getaria, a seaside village about 30 minutes’ drive away where you can learn about the Basque fishing industry and enjoy fresh seafood cooked over coals.
You’ll fly on to Seville to taste the delicacies of Andalucia, based at the Hotel Alfonso XIII, situated next to the city’s cathedral. Your guide will make sure you get off the tourist trail with an evening tapas tour of the Triana district and then lead you to their favourite haunts to introduce you to regional specialities and local wines. You’ll sample two of Andalucia’s most famous exports on a sherry and jamon iberico tasting session at a local bodega where you’ll learn how iberico ham is made and try your hand at carving it.
The final port of call before your British Airways flight home is the island of Mallorca where, over 2 days, you will stay at the lovely St Regis Mardavall Hotel, west of the capital Palma. Experiences here include visiting the heart of the island to learn about virgin olive oil production at a 400-year-old estate and enjoying an al-fresco lunch with wine in one of the olive groves. There’ll also be time to swim off some of the excesses of the last few days in the warm Mediterranean as well as sample local farm-to-fork restaurants with your guide. If only all indulgence tasted this good.