Wine & Gastronomy
MADRID – RIBERA DEL DUERO – RIOJA – SAN SEBASTIAN – BILBAO
Day-1: Ribera del Duero
Madrid – Ribera del Duero – Rioja
We will pick you up at your hotel in Madrid, with your luggage, to start our first day together in Ribera del Duero.
We will start our adventure in a Small Boutique Family Winery, with the winemaker, who will explain you all you need to know about the special land of the region, and what makes very unique the Ribera del Duero wines. After this, you will do a guided wine tasting of different wines with the person who created the wines, from the fields to the bottle.
After knowing the secrets of the fields (altitude, weather, land, grapes…) we will go to Aranda del Duero, a Castilian city with over 1,000 years of history, and we will take you to an Underground Winery in the old town, composed by 7 km of tunnels excavated more than 9 m deep, and you will experience how wine was made in the past, and of course you will taste the best wines of the winery!
Finally, you will eat the famous Castilian Lamb roasted in a wood-fired oven served with a salad and Ribera del Duero Wine, a typical dish that has made the city famous in the last decades.
After lunch, we will go directly to Rioja where we will spend our first night, and we will give you some recommendations to enjoy the city!
Please, contact us if you want to know our favorite hotels in Rioja Wine Region.
Includes: Transportation (Madrid – Ribera del Duero – Rioja), Expert English Speaking Guide, 2 winery visits + wine tastings in each one, and Castilian Lamb roasted in a wood-fired oven.
Day-2: Rioja Alta
We will pick you up at your hotel in Rioja to start our first day in the region.
We will visit a very special Estate Winery where the winemaker will explain to you the characteristics to make his Estate wines so special (there are just a few Estate Wineries in Rioja) and also the requirements of the Rioja Control Board. After this you will taste very different wine styles: Classic Rioja versus Modern Rioja style.
Then, we will visit one of the most famous Centennial Wineries in Rioja, from the 19th century, more than a hundred years old. It was a very important time in our region, because at the end of 19th century, Rioja wine producers started to produce their wines with Oak Barrels and now we know these wines as Crianza, Reserva and Gran Reserva. You will taste some of these wines to learn about their differences of the barrel aging time.
We will have a very special Picnic Lunch, on the heart of the Rioja Wine Country to enjoy the best local food, together with the best wines of Rioja, while we enjoy the incredible view.
We will visit a very Small Modern Family Winery, where we will be with the 3rd generation winemaker of the family, that produces wine with modern techniques but keeping the most traditional ways of making wine. In this winery you will learn about the different kinds of oak they use to age the wine, and at the end of the day you will be able to differentiate wines aged with American, French and Hungarian oak barrels.
After the this whole experience, we will drop you off at your hotel to enjoy the rest of the day!
Includes: Transportation in Rioja, Expert English Speaking Guide, 3 winery visits + wine tastings in each one, and Picnic on the vineyards with the best fresh and local products and very unique wine!
Day-3: Rioja Alavesa
We will pick you up at your hotel to enjoy our second day in the Rioja Wine Country.
We will start our day at a Chateau Winery surrounded by vineyards, with one of the best views of Rioja. There are just a few wineries with this chateau style in Rioja, so it is a very unique experience where we will enjoy being outside, learn about the history of the winery, and have a great time tasting their best wines.
We will visit one of the famous Avant-Garde wineries in Rioja, the new trend of the 21st century in the region, designed by the most famous architects in the world, and after learning about his incredible master piece, we will enjoy the best Rioja wines of the winery.
We will go to our favorite village in the region, Laguardia, named one of the most beautiful towns in Spain, a walled medieval village from the 10th century with a long of history where we will enjoy the Traditional Riojan Menu with a very special local wine that is not exported.
Next we will visit an Ancient 15th Century Underground Winery, one of the most impressive wineries to see in the region. The last winery in Rioja in which its sixth generation winemaker continues making wine with the traditional grape stepping, a very unique experience!
Includes: Transportation in Rioja, Expert English Speaking Guide, 3 winery visits + wine tastings in each one, and Traditional Riojan Menu in the walled medieval town of Laguardia, named one of the most beautiful of Spain!
Day-4: San Sebastian
Rioja – San Sebastian
We will pick you up at your hotel in Rioja with your luggage, to go directly to San Sebastian, your next destination.
We will do a Walking Tour in San Sebastian (or Donosti, in Basque language), that is located on the coast of the Bay of Biscay, just 20 km from the border with France. It has been one of the most famous destinations in Spain where its landscape dominated by the bay of La Concha and its gentrified French architecture have made it a European tourist power.
We will show you the main places in the city, including an amazing panoramic view and of course the best hidden parts of the city. You will learn about our history, when the Spanish Queen, Isabel II, made San Sebastian an important destination among the rich and powerful people in 1845.
But also, you will learn about our culture and tradition, since San Sebastian is the second city with the most Michelin stars restaurants, so we will do our Private Famous Pintxo Tour (Pintxos are the Basque tapas) through the alleys of the city, to have the best food and wine tasting experience!
Please, contact us if you want to know our favorite hotels in San Sebastian, and also if you want to have dinner at a Michelin Star Restaurant, either in San Sebastian or Bilbao.
Includes: Transportation (Rioja – San Sebastian), Expert English Speaking Guide, Walking Tour in San Sebastian, all entry fees, and our Private Pintxo Tour with the best food and wine!
Day-5: French-Basque Coastline
We will pick you up at your hotel in San Sebastian to show you our 3 favorite villages of the French-Basque Coastline.
We will start our day visiting the famous French town of Biarritz, the whaling village that became a luxury city, and we will cross the city for you to see the great beach (or “la grande plage” in French), next to a very impressive building, the famous Art Déco Casino. You will discover the glamorous life of the city, the stunning architecture, the sightseeing and market; and without realizing it, you will be transported to the Biarritz of the 1920-30s where the aristocracy and wealthy people of Europe came here to spend the summers.
Then we will go to the fishing town of San Juan de Luz, formerly called “the city of corsairs”, that through the centuries became a famous coastal city that maintained its authenticity, preserving a beautiful heritage. In French “Saint-Jean-de-Luz”, was born from the sea and we will explain to you one of the most important dates in the history of this city, when the French King Louis XIV was married with the Spanish-Portuguese Infanta Maria Teresa of Austria. We will walk through the historical town with houses built in the 17th century, the food market, cozy streets and talk to the local people to discover the true treasures of the city.
On the actual border with France, Hondarribia claims to be one of the most beautiful towns in the Basque country and even in Spain, the best preserved medieval town in the area where many battles occurred. Here its beautiful walled old town stands out and we will go into the village through the gate of Santa Maria guarded by the statue of the “Hatxero”, following the main street we will show you the hidden gems of the town through its narrow streets, gather with locals and you will taste the best flavors of the coast. Tip for the foodies; some of the best seafood and pintxos restaurants will be waiting for you at the fishermen’s quarter.
Finally, we will go through the Jaizkibel Mountain on our way back to San Sebastian, and we will stop at the highest point to enjoy the best panoramic views of the whole French-Basque coastline. Because this is one of the best routes through the coastline, you will not only enjoy the views, but you will be able to stop anywhere to take pictures, smell the sea while enjoying coffee viewing the ocean!
Includes: Transportation through the French-Basque Coastline and Expert English Speaking Guide.
San Sebastian – Biscay Coastline – Bilbao – Your next Destination
We will pick you up at your hotel in San Sebastian with your luggage, to enjoy a unique experience along the Bay of Biscay, to finally arrive to Bilbao.
We will explore the coast on our way to Bilbao and visit the most important places in our route, such as Bermeo, one of the most beautiful and oldest fishing villages in Spain and also in the Cantabrian coast. You will learn that the fishermen were very famous for being very good whale hunters, and we will walk through the charm of its fishing port, enjoying the life of its streets full of shops, restaurants and buildings with colorful facades.
Next we will make one of the most anticipated stops on the Biscay Coastline, San Juan de Gaztelugatxe, a small church from the 10th century built on a breathtaking landscape on top of a 80 meters high rock, that juts out into the sea and is connected to the mainland by a spectacular 241 step stone bridge that goes up to the top. This scenery also appeared in Game of Thrones and should not be missed on the route through the Basque Country.
After this we will see Bakio, surrounded by mountains and with one of the longest beaches on the Biscay Coastline, ideal for surfers of any level because there are waves all year round. You will also be able to enjoy the famous “txakoli” wine vineyards along the coast, a very unique scenery along the Bay of Biscay.
Finally, we will arrive at Bilbao, the most populous city in the Basque Country. Bilbao (Bilbo in the Basque language) is located halfway between the sea and the mountains and it has been, since time immemorial, one of the most prominent commercial and industrial places of the Cantabrian coast. Its streets and buildings combine history, modernity, gastronomy and culture. We will walk through the city, showing you the most important places and also the secrets of this amazing town.
After this, we will visit the new jewel of Bilbao that attracts the most people, the Guggenheim Museum, one of the most famous museums in the world helping to transform an industrial city towards modernity. Locals call the Guggenheim “the doghouse” because of the Puppy, the very popular 12 meter tall sculpture of a dog covered by about 50,000 natural flowers that guards the museum doors. We will enter the museum and you will feel the sensation of walking inside a huge sculpture, while finding temporary and permanent exhibitions by world-class artists such as Andy Warhol.
At this point, we have reached the end of our multi-day tour and we can drop you off at your desired place in Bilbao.
Some travelers fly from the International Bilbao Airport back home, or many of them decide to go back to Madrid from the bus or train station in Bilbao. Please, tell us your desired itinerary and we will be very happy to help you to plan the rest of your itinerary in Spain, and also help you with your public or private transportation.
Includes: Transportation (San Sebastian – Biscay Coastline – Bilbao), Expert English Speaking Guide, and Tickets for the Guggenheim museum.
6-Day Tour of Northern Spain: from 1,500 Euros / Person
We are very flexible and we can add or change those things you want, including a dinner in a Michelin Restaurant in any of the places you are going to stay (Preferable in Rioja, San Sebastian and/or Bilbao)
We can do the tour for minimum 2 people, please ask if you are a group since we can rent a bigger vehicle to offer the best experience!
We do not have included the hotels in each city, but please contact us if you want to receive our suggestions.
We usually start our 6-day tour in Madrid, but we can start from any place of the cities we will visit (Madrid, Ribera del Duero, Rioja, San Sebastian or Bilbao).