Cobblestone Small Group Tours (logo)
Tagline: Culture. Cuisine. Discovery.
Two Basque men relax on a park bench


Cobblestone Small Group Tours
757 St. Charles Ave. Suite 203
New Orleans, LA 70130

info@cobblestonetours.com

 

 

Our tours:  
 

Regional Culture
Bon dia. Buenos diás. Egun on. Bom dia. Buon giorno.

We just said “good day” in Catalan, Spanish, Basque, Portuguese and Italian.

Our small group tours are as diverse and distinctive as these languages.

Our company only conducts tours to the places we know and love. We’re not too touristy. We take roads-less-traveled. And we focus on parts of Spain, France, Portugal and Italy that remain undiscovered by even the most experienced traveler. Places you probably would not ordinarily find or see. Our favorite destinations.

We keep our groups small to encourage personal discoveries. Depending on the tour, we accommodate as few as 10 and as many as 21 people. Our five tours explore the diversity of:

The Basque country
Catalan Spain
Northern & Central Portugal
Sicily

 

Tours include:
off-the-beaten-path places
deluxe hotels
gourmet dining
fine local wines
landmark sites
knowledgeable, regional, English-speaking guides
trip cancellation/medical insurance
 

The Basque Country

Button: Tour MapThe Basque culture and people possess a mysterious quality. Neither French nor Spanish, the Basque language and way of life are centuries old.

Descended from unknown origins, the Basque speak Euskera — an ancient language unlike any other. It is spoken by about 20 percent of the population.

A part of “Green Spain,” the Basque countryside spans northern Spain and southern France. There are seven provinces: four in Spain (Vizcaya, Guipúzcoa, Álava and Navarra) and three in France (Labourd, Haute-Navarre and Soule).

No written historical records exist for the Basques; however, recent discoveries indicate ancestral connections to Cro-Magnon man. Perhaps the chief reason the Basque culture remains intact is the character of the people and the natural boundaries.

We offer four tours, either devoted to or focusing on parts of the Basque Country:
Bilbao & Beyond
Barcelona to Bilbao
Wine & Gastronomy

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Catalan Spain

Button: Tour mapSteeped in a rich history that predates the Greek and Roman days, today’s Catalan Spain nurtures a well-preserved language and a distinct culture. More than eight million people speak Catalan.

Catalan Spain occupies a small northeastern part of Spain, touching the Pyrenees Mountains, France’s southern border and the Mediterranean coastline. One-sixth of Spain’s population call this area home. The Catalan heritage actually dates as far back as the Paleolithic Era. Later, Iberians and Celts arrived. Greek colonization introduced crops such as grapes and olives, along with the alphabet and metal coinage. The Romans occupied this area for six centuries, forming a strong foundation for the new country.

One-hundred-fifty years ago, Barcelona’s unprecedented wealth forced the city out of its medieval walls. Modernist architects such as Antoni Gaudí designed buildings that epitomize the virtuosity and the delirium of the times. Barcelona continues to transform itself today.

Our Barcelona to Bilbao tour showcases the best of this region and parts of the Basque country.

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Northern and Central Portugal

Button: Tour mapLocated on the western edge of the Iberian Peninsula, Portugal not only looks to the Atlantic Ocean but embraces a strong seafaring heritage. Although the country has been inhabited for more than 100,000 years, a written account of the Portuguese history only began in the 3rd century B.C., with the arrival of the Romans.

The country’s history offers contrasts as rich as its people. Aristocrats and seamen alike call Portugal home. However, because so many of the early Portuguese explorers sailed off in pursuit of new trade routes, the country’s culture is matriarchal and family-centered.

Salty ocean breezes to the fragrant aroma of the lush highlands also define this country. Barefoot Carmelite monks of the 17th century gathered samples of trees and flowers from across Europe to create the 250-acre Buçaco Forest located in the Beiras region.

We offer a tour that covers the Porto and Douro region, Beiras territory, Estremadura and Ribatejo, and the upper part of the Lisbon coast: Portugal Discoveries.

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Sicily

Button: Tour mapIn the middle of the Mediterranean Sea, on a triangle of land, a long series of civilizations has left indelible traces. Unique in the western world, it may rightly be considered the melting pot not only of Mediterranean cultures, but of European cultures as well. Phoenician, Greeks, Romans, Byzantines, Arabs, Norman, French, Aragonese, and Spanish all left their marks in the local art, architecture, and cuisine. It offers such a variety of natural landscapes and cultural itineraries that anthropologists consider it a miniature continent.

Sicily is an island of extremes...of exquisite sensibility and Mafia savagery, a melodramatic movie in the making which writes its own lush script.

Our Secrets of Sicily tour explores the historic cities, chic resorts, classical sites and exotic scenery: Secrets of Sicily.

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