ShoreTrips logo Shore Excursions - City Tours - Day Activities


Private for up to 2 (Not a per person rate) $1254 USD
Private for up to 4 (Not a per person rate) $1558 USD
Private for up to 6 (Not a per person rate) $1848 USD
Private for up to 8 (Not a per person rate) $2205 USD
*Selections and optional choices will be made during checkout


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The origins of the eating clubs? “Unlike the rest of the country, the Basque society is matriarchal. Women ruled the house and there really was no role for the men, domestically, apart from stopping by to hand over their pay.” Ah, but life has changed!

Just a short drive from Saint-Jean-de-Luz will bring you front and center in the lovely and famous town of San Sebastián, a crescent moon shaped beach spot beautifully framed by two hills and the Isle of Santa Clara. Two vast sand beaches, gardens, promenades, statuaries, and a viable old town called Parte Vieja compromises most of this town full of history. Among this highlights are the Plaza de la Constitucion, the old bullring which is now the main square surrounded by apartments and balconies and the lovely old streets that open into the more modern new city that speaks to the senses of the nose, home to many Michelin restaurants.

Your main goal during your walk is your visit to the Mercado de la Bretxa, the best way to see and understand the farming land around this town and the demands of the locals in support of their cuisine. The stalls of this covered marketplace which dates back to 1870 tell the story of much of this Basque culture with the produce in front of you. Your guide will naturally have his or her favorite stalls and farmers, and as a local who cooks and eats here, your guide will have reasons behind those choices. You will be greeted with friendly welcoming faces and you have a chance to learn about foods you may have never seen before as well as ways to use them.

From here it is a short walk to your next experience, one that few visitors get a chance to enjoy. With over 125 food clubs in this little town, only 2 of them have chefs and only one is the 'official' Gastronomic club. These closed gastronomic societies of San Sebastian are a unique Basque phenomenon. They were established at the end of the 19th century as a place of refuge for men to socialize and cook away from their 'domineering' wives. But now they have encapsulated and preserved the culture that they were born out of - and wives are welcome!

The idea is lighthearted conversation, no politics, plenty of recipe sharing, with a hint of football and horse racing, the chatter mixes with the prep of the food and the menu. The traditional menu is based in some appetizers we will buy in the market and will prepare and eat while cooking, Lobster Rice, Hake fish with clams and cheeks in a PIL-PIL sauce and a Pantxineta, an almond and custard dessert. All the wines and drinks are included too.

First you will learn to make some simple pintxos that will be tempting to snack on during the class. Next you will find yourself involved in creating one of the local dishes. you can participate as much or as little as you wish in the process of cooking. Our lunch was Merluza en Salsa Verde con Almejas (Hake in Parsley Sauce with Clams), with charred shishito peppers, braised green beans, fresh bread, and dessert. That was after our appetizers and all accompanied by a local wine.

There are many local dishes and you will be asked about dietary restrictions; the menu will be designed around you.The best part is you will leave with recipes that you will be able to recreate at home! No previous cooking experience needed. These are easy and tasty and the whole experience a great and unusual memory.

  • This Tour Includes:
  • Roundtrip transfers from your pier or hotel
  • English speaking guide
  • Walking tour of the Mercado de la Bretxa
  • Informal hands-on cooking experience with professional chef
  • Enjoyment of your creative menu with wine
  • Recipes to take home
  • Additional Languages Available
  • Spanish
  • *Possible upcharge at checkout for languages denoted with ($) symbol.

Days of Operation

Mon - yes
Tue - yes
Wed - yes
Thu - yes
Fri - yes
Sat - yes
Sun - yes

Departures (local time)

  • 9:00 AM (7 hrs)

Transfer / Meeting Instructions

No Taxi Required Specific pick up or taxi instructions will appear on your voucher after you purchase your trip.

Special Instructions

• All food and beverages, including wine, are included in the class.


• Please alert ShoreTrips in advance of any dietary restrictions or food allergies. We will do our best to accommodate.