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Discovering Basque, Big Ears and All



Fall colors in the vineyards of Rioja

View from Mount Ernio

Frank Gehry’s hotel at Marques de Riscal winery in Rioja

The beachfront in Biarritz

I grew up with a framed poster of Biarritz in the living room, yet never had a clue where it was.  So when a trip to Northern Africa no longer made sense in the wake of political unrest, Basque country became our Plan B.

And I declare this Plan B an A.

Mostly because of the handsome and fabulous Jon Galdos, owner of Basque Tours.  I’ve always always always resisted tours because for me, the magic of traveling is in the opportunity for discovery.  And the idea of a packed tour bus, a guide carrying a red umbrella, and group meals at restaurants where the menu is listed in 4+ languages never really did it for me.  Go figure.

But then my dear friend introduced me to the private tour.

Enter Jon.

Jon is a former electronics engineer, who at age 30, took one look at his life and realized that he absolutely had to try to align his work with his passions.  So… he opened up his own travel company for the summers and photo studio for the winters.

Photographer, history buff, world traveler, and native Basque expert…  Jon, took us around the region for three days, to the top of Mount Ernio and to the valleys of Rioja. We stood on top of a cliff along the bay, listening to the waves crash and the rocks roll, and then the next day stood in the basement of a man’s house in Rioja where his family has been making wine for 300 years.

Best of all, Jon the photographer can tell you where all the best picture spots are.   And when you ask him to take yours, you can be sure you won’t have a double chin.

Plus, you won’t be able to help but feel the pride he feels for the Basque culture, and he’ll even teach you how to tell the difference between a Basque and a Spaniard (I’ll give you a hint… it’s all in the size of their…. ears!).

Don’t get too excited, ladies: while dear Jon may be charming and fabulous and easy on the eyes, he’s also happily married with his first baby on the way.

But if this is what a guided tour gets me, then sign me up.

Basque Tours

+34 652 730 475