Born and grew up in an inland town of the Basque Country, since I was a child, I was fascinated by foreign travelers that I could see every time I was in San Sebastian
As an adult, I traveled extensively throughout the 5 continents, to acquire a first hand knowledge about the needs and preferences of travelers and coming back from one of those trips I took the decision to try to make a living from his two great passions, travel and photography. I started delivering the first tours on weekends and on vacation, while still working as an engineer at a software company.
Basque Tours was born in 2007, offering private tours in the Basque Country making my dreams come true.
For the last 15 years I showed people this wonderful and unique area, home of Europe’s oldest culture and where every day brings a new experience. Over that time I had built up a first class knowledge of a lot of different places of interest both on and off the beaten track and it will be my plesure to guide you to the sights and experiences that you most want from your holiday, as our star qualities are the connections and keys we have in the region, making it possible to organise events and special occasions, in ways others can’t...
Cycling the Basque Countryside backroads, improving my golf swing and enjoying great food & wine with my wife and kids is what I love to do in my free time
I have been fortunate to be able live in and visit many countries that have shaped me as a person, broaden my horizons and taught me so much about the people in this, our beautiful world.
So like all basques, I decided to come back home and start my real adventure here, and that’s how Basque Tours came to life 15 yers ago. Since then I have been immersed in creating experiences, moments for travellers to enjoy here, in our beautiful corner of Europe.
I can proudly say that I was born in San Sebastin, the most beautiful city of the Basque Country (and the entire world).
Nevertheless, when I was a kid I moved with my family to Madrid until I turned 18. At that age, after trying Industrial engineering I determined that was not my path to follow. So I ended up studying a bachelor in Gastronomy and Culinary arts. Food history, ingredients, wines and culinary techniques became my day-to-day topics of conversation and I just loved It.
But life goes on, so I kept studying. As I wanted to get a deeper knowledge of the wine industry, I started a European Masters Program in Wine Tourism Innovation. During it I realied one thing, I am passionate about sharing food and wine. And it is not because I like to be always eating This is because I do really feel we are losing something very important.
Our diverse and rich gastronomic culture. And we do need to reconnect with it. Thats my lifes goal and I am going to fight for it. In my challenge, I have found a great team that supports me, a team I can learn from, a team that. Like me, wants to share the best.
Now, I want you to become part of it. Because we really love what we do, we want you to join us while you are visiting the Basque Country.
I'm originally from San Sebastian, and have always been eager to see the world.
I've lived in Germany, Australia, Mallorca, and lastly in Barcelona, where I studied a Master's degree in Gastronomic Tourism. After all this traveling, I've decided to return to my home city, and I just love to share it with others!
Since I was a child, gastronomy and nature has been present in my life. My great- grandmother, my grandmother, and my mum have been chefs, and on the other side, my father comes from a small town in the mountains of Navarre, so I'm very excited to share all the secrets about the local gastronomy with you.
Kaixo, G'day, Hello
Yes I am Australian, and before you ask, yes we are all over the world. But how did I join Basque tours?? Well I suppose I could say I was born into the travel industry. My parents worked for major airlines before starting their own travel agency. You could say I learnt to fly before I could walk.
Ok, let's fast forward 19 years and like all good Aussies, I left for a year of travel. Except mine turned into many more. After visiting and working in many countries around the world, it all came down to working in a bar in Scotland. My first introduction to the "Beautiful Basque". She talked me into coming over to see her country, this was 2001. Let's just say with a combination of her beauty and the magic of this country, I am still here. She is now my wife and we have two amazing kids ( half Basque half Aussie).
So I hear you ask, 20 years in the Basque country, are you a local? Of course not, I still have 30 years to go (haha). Do I know the Basque Country like a local? Definitely. I have spent many a day in the mountains, sat and enjoyed countless pintxos and who can forget the unique experience of sitting for the first time in a traditional cider house, eating, drinking, and playing mus (ask me about this). The Basque like to think they are hard mountain people, but to be honest, they love nothing more than showing their special part of the world. And who can blame them, it's one of, if not the oldest "peoples/ cultures of Europe" Here they work hard and know how to relax. Relax I hear you say!
Nowhere in the world do the people know how to eat and drink to the same quality as the Basque ( come with an appetite). The landscape is rough rugged, amazing and mesmerizing, just like it's inhabitants. Come and join me to explore the spectacular country.
You may end up like me and fall in love with one, if not, I guarantee you will fall in love with this special little part of the world . ( warning you will come back).
A lover of life, food, laughter, culture, stories, odd facts and of course good wine is what I am . I love sharing my world and life through my story.
Being the daughter of a professional Jai Alai player ( a basque traditional sport..Did you see it on Miami Vice?) we followed our dad through the States. Growing up like an American in a basque community. No wonder none of my friends wanted to sleep over, we had anchovies and lentils for dinner! Well that has shaped me and given me so many good memories and the weirdest stories. Oh, let’s not forget my Jennifer Lopez accent.
My adventure goes on and after moving back to Mutriku ( the most charming little fishing village on the basque coast... you can tell I am basque ..We are so proud) life takes me to Munich , Germany. After many beers and sausages my German actually gets pretty good (10 years does that!) but like a true basque I return, like elephants, who at a certain age direct themselves to a known place.
So here I was, stopping every tourist I saw in Mutriku. Making sure they didn’t leave before they tasted the amazing tomatoe salad from that little tavern, or had their sunset beer at that special little beach, or made sure they walked up that mountain to get the best views..sounds bucolic? Well, I was dragging my kids while they tiredly asked if I had to stop with every single foreigner I saw. Then I knew. I either had to stop or get paid for it.
I have spent the last years searching for those grandmas that will open their kitchen to us ( and make you eat everything on your plate!), that coastal town with so many interesting characters , that farm that lets you peak at their day to day life. My tours are about people and their stories.
Ongi Etorri to Donostia
My name is Iñaki Arana and I was born in Zaldibia, a little village half an hour away from Donostia. I moved to the city when I was 14; taking into account that my dad and grandparents are donostiarras, it was just a matter of time that we would eventually move here. In any case, I still consider myself to be a small-town soul, eager to discover and explore the world around me.
I studied Business Management and I have worked in export departments of different companies of the region most part of my professional live. I would always be the one showing customers around once the business hours were over; I would always be thrilled for that part of the job, actively looking forward to it. That experience also allowed me to travel all around the world and nurture my curious nature and early desire to get to know people and cultures which I was sure would help me define my personality and grow as a person. It did indeed.
More recently, India has been my home for 7 years; something that the little boy from that little village could have not even thought of in his wildest dreams. Corporate work took me there but after 2 years in the country, I challenged myself and decided to embark on a completely new professional venture as a Spanish and French language teacher in an international school. All my students, colleagues and friends there know about Donostia and the Basque Country. In fact, a couple of my students have already been here to visit me. They told me that they simply had to visit the land which I had so proudly introduce them to, so that they could confirm the stories I had narrated to them. As a proud teacher, nothing could have made me happier than hosting my former students in my own town and I am looking forward to hosting many more in the years to come.
Once I came back to Donostia, as a good Basque that always returns, I started to fall in love again with everything that I had been missing during all those years; my family and friends of course, the language (Euskara), home-made food, the landscape, a good swim in La Kontxa or a simple but energizing walk in the rain…something I barely experienced in New Delhi and was so desperate to feel again.
There is a popular saying in India about guests being forms of Gods (Atithi devo Bhava). I personally experienced the living proof of this saying during my stay in India and in all my travels across the country- I always felt warmly welcomed, respected and included as a guest. It is a saying and a behavior that we Basques share with the Indian culture, and definitely follow at Basque Tours.
I cannot wait to meet and welcome you. Together let´s explore and cherish all the wonders that this land of ours has to offer.
See you soon. Laister arte!