Insider’s RoadTrips

Tita and me! Taken in 1994 Cortona Tuscany Italy. Celebrating over 25 years of traveling the European backroads!

Tita and me! Taken in 1994 Cortona Tuscany Italy. Celebrating over 25 years of traveling the European backroads!

Like planning a perfect meal, my Roadtrips are organized from charming introductions to in-depth explorations to sweet endings. It’s my pleasure to open the doors to my favorite people, places, and food for VSGs- Very Small Groups of just 6-8 friends—old and new.

More interested in eating than cooking? How about we throw in some shopping, museums, history, and a glass of local wine? These are weeks of discovery, enrichment, and relaxation for everyone. Join me on an Insider’s RoadTrip in France & Spain through the ABC’s of Andalucía, Basquelandia & Catalunya. Each week is a self-contained adventure that weaves delicious food, art, history, and stories of the living treasures of local food producers. These are the special places I travel to on my own holidays and I am delighted to share these treasures with you.

Want a private guide instead? Or some trip planning help? Just ask me and my Team Camont. We can organize a self guided trip or make arrangements for you for a day or much longer.

So What’s an Insider’s RoadTrip? 

In the spirit of a true road trip, the travel is as important as the spectacular destination; short journeys with a relaxed pace traveling through some of Europe’s most beautiful landscapes. We stay in different locations for a few nights each, moving from French farm country to green mountains, and on to seaside cities discovering the special charms of small family hotels and grand chef restaurants. 

Travel with me and discover the secrets of these three neighboring parts of Spain—

  • Andalucía is our most southern trip meeting in Seville and heading south to Cadiz and through Jerez to Ham Hills of Huelva.

  • Basquelandia, part mythical, part cultural, all delicious as we cross from Southern France into Spain, from Sea to Mountain to Sea.

  • Catalunya begins in Barcelona and weaves in and out of the Costa Brava in Catalunya hitting some of my favorite places.

We meet up for dinner on Day 1 and finish after breakfast on Day 8; our seven nights together are strung along miles of good food, friendship, art, architecture, and history.  We stay in private auberges or in small charming hotels; eat at village cafes, French farmhouses, Michelin-starred restaurants, and picnic spots with memorable views. Sign up for 2020 dates now. Only 6-8 spots in each tour!

2020 Dates: Note: two trips may be combined for a 2 week Culinary Adventure.

  • April 16-22 Insider’s RoadTrip: Catalunya

  • April 24-30 Insider’s RoadTrip: Andalucía

  • Sept 5-11 Insider’s Roadtrip: Basquelandia

  • Sept 9-13 Insider’s RoadTrip: Catalunya

 

Insider’s Basquelandia

Sept 5-11 2020

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A Basque Country RoadTrip

Basquelandia is neither France nor Spain and both, of course. I dubbed this culinary and cultural wonderland “Basquelandia!” as I first made these forays along the country back roads between sea and mountain about two decades ago, getting to know the people as well as the places, the eating joints- modest cafes to 3-star extraordinary. I fell in love with a view, a taste, the scent of salty air on my tongue in the shape of an anchovy. I like the smaller hotels and their everyday cooking in the French Pyrenees as well as the grand kitchens of Spain's Bizkaia coast. I like discovering new things for myself, and then sharing them with new friends. Come with me and siscover why I come here on my own holidays!

Have you been wanting to eat your way through the seafood and pintxo bars of San Sebastian? Discover the secrets of great ham curing in the Pyrenees? Need to see the Basque pigs eating their share of acorns and chestnuts in open air parks? Or maybe just learn to say ‘thank you’ in Basque (Milesker!) so you can return again and again on your own? 

Basquelandia RoadTrips are suited for 6-8 people only. Come with a friend or a group of friends or come alone and make new friends. Spring is a great time to explore the la Mar y Muntanya; green hills, grazing sheep, little red fishing boats, and a glass of cider. Want to know more? Ask for a copy of our itinerary for 2020.

Insider’s Catalunya April 16-22 & Sept 9-13 2020

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A Catalan Roadtrip

After years of dipping my toes in and out of the clear Blue Mediterranean Sea, I thought it time to share my love of this very Northeastern part of the Iberian peninsula aka Catalunya, Spain. Come with me to the Costa Brava on an easy going week of lovely small hotels perched on the sea, a sea that warm enough to swim in on these late Summer days. The crowds are gone, but the holiday feeling remains in L’Escala, that anchors the southern crook of the Bay of Rosas. Named after the Island of Rhodes, it’s easy to see why the Phoenicians, Greeks and then the Romans settled into this fertile delta now known as the Empordá or the Emporium. What they left behind at Empúries, a vast archaeological site sets the stage for discovery.

Today, the long history of these ancient port towns are still apparent. If you look slowly and let the time seep into your bones. Catalan cooking remains a highlight of my favorite foods- direct, unvarnished, strictly traditional and, of course, delicious! Sweet red prawns from Rosas called Carabineros and tender calamari are two of my favorites. Cooked with locally grown rice over an open flame, and served with Garnatxa wine, we begin to understand how life revolves around eating with family. I have cultivated friends and family here over these decades of wandering the little backroads, looking for the perfect anchovy, tasting small sips of fresh and fruity Arbequina olive oil, and eating pa amb tomaquet (bread with tomato) at every meal.

Join me at some of my favorite places as I shared with Saveur Magazine’s Kat Craddock and Matt Taylor-Gross. You can see one of our videos here!

Interested in knowing more? Just click the button below for the itinerary and booking information.

Insider’s Andalucía

April 24-30 2020

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Andalucía Beyond Seville

The southern plains of Andalucía touch both the Sea and the Sierras and where these dusty roads cross is where I find my own magic- olive groves, orange trees, haciendas, and hanging hams give way to fish markets, bustling bars, and a magical far-away retreat perched over all, where jasmine scents your windows and sherry is a way of life. Wherever we go, it’s about the food, but there is always history, architecture, paintings, and local art to explore as well.

Leaving the crowds of Seville quickly behind, we dip down to the Bay of Cadiz and immerse ourselves into the seafood kitchens of Cadiz, El Puerta de Santa Maria, and Conil de la Frontera where the storied Almadraba Tuna harvest begins. Jerez is the center of the Sherry Triangle and its market is an invitation to shop and cook together. After sun and sea drenched days we head up to the Sierras to breathe the cool mountain air and enter the magic kingdom defined by Finca Buenvino and her charming hosts, the Chesterton family. A day walking in the dehesa with the Iberican black pigs of Cinco Jotas is followed by a tasting of these top hams. Olive oil tastings and cooking with Jeannie and Charlie in the bustling kitchen allows us to explore the elements that make Southern fare, the great tastes of Andalucia, a memorable culinary adventure. Click below for further information and Itinerary.