DAY 1: GETTING INTO THE COUNTRY SIDE OF FRANCE
The starting point of the European Cooking Trip is Paris, France. If you wish to see more of Paris yourself, please arrive a few days earlier.
From Paris we will drive down south in about four to five hours and have an introduction lunch along the way so you can informally meet up with your guide and your fellow travelers and get briefed on what to expect in the coming weeks. At the end of the afternoon we will arrive in the département called the Dordogne, where you will be staying at in a French lodge, or when available in an apartment of an unique French castle.
DAY 2: FRANCE
Today you’ll have breakfast and meet up with Chef Paul for today’s cooking course. Chef Paul take you on a shopping spree through various nearby villages to get the local ingredients, necessary for this day cooking course.
DAY 3: FRANCE
After breakfast you can embark on discovering the surrounding country side or go along on optional tours to wineries, cheese factories or medieval villages with a local guide, which will be offered and explained the previous day.
DAY 4: FROM FRANCE TO SPAIN
After breakfast at the accommodation in France it will be time to take off again. We will drive you along the massive Pyrenees mountains into Spain where we will be arriving at secret but beautiful location in the hills northeast of Girona, a typical Catalan stone country house, close to the beaches at Pals and Begur, north of Barcelona.
DAY 5: SPAIN
After breakfast at the house we will embark on a market tour in the nearby town, guided by your local English speaking chef. From 10am to about 4pm he will take you along in the secret world of Spanish and typical Catalan cocina, which will end in a delicious late lunch or dinner for all.
DAY 6: SPAIN
This is your free day to go sightseeing or join in on optional tours. You can hold the hands of the great Spanish Pueblo who likes to take you on a tour to taste Spanish cheeses and sausages (chorizo, fuet, llonganiza) and walk you through the medieval villages and let you taste wines at the storage cellars in Palafrugell.
But you can also choose to go on an optional day trip and visit the magnificent metropolis of Barcelona. It’s about one hour drive to Barcelona and you can be dropped off in the city and picked up again at the end of the day and brought back to the accommodation.
DAY 7 (SUNDAY): FROM SPAIN TO ITALY
After breakfast it will be time to say goodbye to Spain as we will be going over de border again and drive all along the fascinating French coast, the French Rivičra, into Italy where we will stay in the hills near the town of Lucca in beautiful Tuscany. We will be staying in an original Tuscan farmhouse near Pisa and Florence!
DAY 8: ITALY
Today you’ll have breakfast at the farmhouse and you will meet the great cook for today’s exclusive Italian cooking course. Together with this cook you will prepare a complete Tuscan meal - after a visit to the local market or local stores to select the freshest ingredients for an extra-ordinary meal. The cooking course will take place at the lady chef's inhouse cooking school.
DAY 9: ITALY
This is the day you can decide what you wish to do. Sightsee the local country side or join in on one of the various optional tours. Examples are:
- Day trip to Viareggio and Pisa: the morning will be dedicated to the visit of the fresh fish market in Viareggio, its Liberty style buildings and dockyards. Lunch will be in a trattoria serving fresh fish cooked in the traditional way. In the afternoon, driving along the coast we will reach in about 30 minutes the historical town Pisa. Walking around the city we will not only admire and visit the unique Leaning Tower and the Miracle Field but also many medieval hidden roads and buildings.
- Day trip to the city of Lucca and the Villas in the countryside: a very short guided visit of Lucca in the morning and lunch in trattoria or possibly in a lovely historical villa with the owners. The afternoon is then dedicated to see at least one of the marvelous Villas located in the countryside of Lucca. We normally choose the most panoramic roads even if some more meters in length. We want you to enjoy our landscape possibly at its best!
- Day trip to farmhouses with special extra virgin oil and wine-tasting; Still today as in the past centuries Lucca produces some good red and white wines and an excellent extra virgin olive oil, renowned as one of the best in the world. We offer you the possibility to visit at least two of these relatively small farmhouses with their vineyards and olive groves. The owners, or their representatives, will show you the whole production process from the plant to the wine cellars (and/or the oil press) with a final exclusive wine tasting organized for you. Panoramic drives and lunch on the way in trattoria or possibly in a lovely historical villa with the owners.
DAY 10: FROM ITALY THROUGH SLOVENIA INTO CROATIA
After enjoying a breakfast at our farmhouse in Italy we will drive through the northern Italian provinces along towns like Bologna and the – how can we ever forget – Venice, where you'll be dropped off to take the ferry 'into the center' and have lunch. Totally depending on the weather conditions, its local water level and the time frame of the day, a possible two hour visit of ancient Venice should be possible.
We then cross the border into Slovenia and onto Croatia for a drive along the Dalmatian coastline. At the end of this day you will arrive at a comfortable hotel in the by UNESCO protected coastal town Trogir. You will be staying in a hotel that used to be the original family house of a local family whose tradition in this city spreads over eight centuries.
DAY 11: CROATIA
You will enjoy breakfast in the hotel restaurant this morning, before the national famous chef Rudi, who runs one of the best regional restaurants will take you to the local market to select the days catch of fish or anything else that would inspire for a great Dalmatian cooking course at his restaurant, located in a palace in nearby Šibenik.
Chef Rudi is the authority on local cuisine and does wonders in re-inventing old recipes. You’d be taking some really good memories with you after joining in on his secrets with a great lunch. In the afternoon you can leisure and have a small dinner (if that fits) in Trogir before heading back to the hotel.
DAY 12: CROATIA
You are free to explore Trogir or go on a city trip to the nearby city of Split. Next to that you can choose for an optional tour to the ancient village of Draga where you can learn all about the local traditions of olive oil, wine, cheese, smoked ham… and enjoy something they call peka! Believe me, you will love it.
DAY 13: FROM CROATIA TO HUNGARY
After breakfast at the hotel we will leave Trogir and continue our European Cooking Trip more inland from now on, with lunch in the capital city Zagreb, crossing the border into Hungary where we will drive along the shores of the great Balaton Lake to the inevitable historic cities of Buda and Pest divided by Europe’s longest river the Danube (Donau). Of course you’ll remember the city as Budapest. We will be staying at a nice guesthouse just outside of the urban city centre.
DAY 14 (SUNDAY): HUNGARY
This day is yours to decide what to do: either explore Budapest on feet or join in on an optional tour, which covers the highlights of Budapest in the morning and a visit to the charming village of Szentendre where almost every building is on the monument protection list, just north of Budapest. The cooking course will take place on the next day, as this will be a Sunday.
DAY 15: HUNGARY
After breakfast at the hotel you will be under the professional guidance of today’s chefs of the local Hungarian Cooking School, who are delighted to take you into the world of Hungarian food at the local market and then into the real cooking experience. At the end of the day you can safely stroll through the small streets of the city centre and enjoy the Hungarian night life.
DAY 16: FROM HUNGARY TO THE CZECH REPUBLIC
After breakfast at the hotel in Budapest it’s time to go crossing invisible borders again. First with Slovakia, where we'll have some lunch on the road, then the Czech border follows soon. We will be arriving at our fancy hotel in Prague in the early afternoon.
DAY 17: THE CZECH REPUBLIC
The morning in will start with breakfast and a visit to the local city market. Today’s cooking experience will be given at a local cooking school where you can master the basics of Czech cooking in a fun and interactive atmosphere. In the afternoon you are free to wonder around and discover the city.
DAY 18: The CZECH REPUBLIC
Today you are free to explore the historical city of Prague after breakfast at the hotel. You can be dropped off at one of the many various districts of this capital city and walk around for yourself. Prague is renowned as a very "walkable" city. For those who enjoy seeing the old and new city by foot, one can easily walk from Wenceslas Square to the Old Town Square or from the Old Town to Charles Bridge and the Palace (Hrad) District. However almost all the streets are cobbled, making it very difficult for disabled or very elderly travelers to get around effectively.
DAY 19: FROM THE CZECH REPUBLIC TO GERMANY
After breakfast at the hotel in Prague it will be time to take off again and cross the last border in this European Cooking Trip.
From Prague we will drive all the way to our accommodation in the outskirts of Berlin, the capital city of Germany.
DAY 20: GERMANY
Today you’ll have breakfast at the hotel and you will meet the cook for today’s exclusive German cooking course. Together with this cook you will prepare various German meals - after a visit to one of the local markets in Berlin to learn how to select the freshest ingredients. The cooking course will take place at a cooking school in the city center.
DAY 21: GERMANY
Today is the final day of the European Cooking Trip. After breakfast at the hotel it is time to say our goodbye’s as you’ll travelling to another destination in Europe or back home again. Everybody can be dropped off at any desirable location in the city on any desirable time, preferably after noon.