angle-left Hands-on culinary experiences

Spend a few hours with a shepherd and become part of his daily activities: sheep milking, cheese making… An amazing experience in rural life!

In Bizkaia, the kitchen can be a great place to share with family and friends. In a friendly atmosphere, you will discover our passion for good food, learning to prepare the most authentic Basque dishes from top chefs.

In a cooking class, you can talk with the chefs and even come along to the market and help pick the ingredients. Also, you will learn the basics of wine tasting and food- wine pairing. If you are interested in something in particular, you can have a one-to-one class. When you return home, you will be able to prepare a beautiful meal based on our recipes to entertain your friends.

You can learn to cook age-old recipes like putxera (bean stew), originally made by railway workers at Encartaciones, back in the nineteenth century. They cooked their meals with the heat coming from the steam locomotive. Now putxera is usually served in most eateries in the area of Balmaseda.

There are workshops where they teach how to make talo (corn tortilla wraps served with chorizo and chistorra sausage) – a typical food you can eat at markets and fairs. A tour of a local winery making txakoli (wine made from grapes that grow in the coastal area) is also a good plan. Wineries in Orduña, Larrabetzu, Markina or Mungia offer guided tours and tastings. After drinking a glass of chilled txakoli, which tastes like heaven, you will not want to leave without buying a bottle first.

Shepherd for a day

Be part of a shepherd’s life for a few hours. He will show you how the Designation of Origin (DO) Idiazabal cheese is made and what rural life is like in Bizkaia.

Against the stunning backdrop of Urkiola Nature Park, you will help the shepherd and cheese maker with his tasks, including sheep milking and shearing, if you happen to visit the farm in the shearing season. After milking the animals out, you will learn to make soft cheese and curd. Then you can try your hand at soap making, using the whey that remains after milk has been curdled and strained.

The trip ends with a walk in the countryside and a tasting of the most delicious cheese with DO Idiazabal. Apart from Urkiola Nature Park, similar trips are offered to Gorbeia Nature Park.

How to get there

  • From pintxo making and tasting to cooking classes with a Michelin-starred chef in Bilbao to Bizkaiko Txakolina wine tasting and food-wine pairing at a winery in Uribe to preparing putxera bean stew in Balmaseda, culinary activities abound in Bizkaia.

    Winery tour, including txakoli wine tasting (Gernika-Lumo, Bakio)
    Shepherd for a day, including cheese making (Abadiño, Urkiola)
    Pintxo making and food-wine pairing (Bilbao)
    Making putxera bean stew (Balmaseda)
    Cooking classes with a Michelin-starred chef (Bilbao)
    Mushroom hunting and tasting (Karrantza)
    Underwater wine lab (Plentzia)
    Monday: market day in Gernika (Gernika-Lumo)

    Visit the websites of our towns to check out the activities and tours on offer.

  • Make the most of your trip learning the secrets of Basque gastronomy. You can learn to prepare traditional recipes, or spend a day with a shepherd, farmer or cattle breeder and get closer to the authentic Basque rural lifestyle.