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5 Day Explore La Rioja Tour Culinary Vacation in Spain

Hotel Villa Sonsierra, Calle Zumalacárregui, 29, 26338 San Vicente de la Sonsierra, La Rioja, Spain

La Rioja Culinary Tour in Spain

This short version of the Explore la Rioja tour is a five-day fun time in La Rioja, the tiny but huge wine region by the shores of the Ebro River, surrounded by majestic mountains. La Rioja is a place where history blend with new modern architecture and Signature wines. Walk the vineyards, the mountains, and the Rioja forests. Visit wineries, work the vineyard the old school way, and learn about true wine making. Cook traditional and modern fine-dining on this Signature wine-tour. What are you waiting for?

Meet the instructors

Hans & Eva


  • Meet the wine makers and learn about true wine making
  • Hands-on traditional and modern fine-dining cooking classes
  • Walk through the vineyards, the mountains, and the Rioja forests
  • 4 breakfasts, 4 lunches, and 4 dinners (2 gourmet), all served with wine
  • Visit wineries and try working at the vineyard the old school way
  • Best guiding in the area, 20 years of experience
  • 4 nights accommodation
  • Airport transfers


5 days with instruction in English
The organizer also speaks: French, Spanish, Swedish
Group size: 4-8 participants
Airport transfer available:
Bilbao Airport (US$41 per person)
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Check-in Time:
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  • Air-conditioned rooms
  • Concierge desk
  • Luggage room / storage
  • Free Wi-Fi

Hotel Villa Sonsierra is a stylish hotel offering free Wi-Fi throughout, air-conditioned rooms, and a breakfast buffet.

Each heated room at Hotel Villa Sonsierra comes with a flat-screen TV. The private bathroom includes a shower and hairdryer. Towels and bed linen are provided.

Free Wi-Fi is available in public areas, while guests have wired connection in the rooms. The hotel offers luggage storage and a tour desk. Guests can find many bars and restaurants within 5 minutes’ walk.


Explore La Rioja is a true trip for wine-lovers! But there is not only wine tasting on the schedule during this week-long program. There will also be opportunities to see how wine was made yesterday in comparison with modern techniques of authors or garage-styled modern wines.

Experience the colorful landscapes of the autumn with all its aromas and flavors. With a special micro-climate and a terroir just perfect for the Riojan grape varieties, San Vicente is well known for wineries like El Contador of Benjamín Romeo, the Eguren Brothers or Bodegas Abel Mendoza.


  • Walking level: easy
  • Shortest / longest walk: 5 kilometers / 14 kilometers
  • Maximum climb: 400 meters
  • Maximum descent: 700 meters
  • Recommended walking accessories : walking poles, gore tex walking shoes / low ankle boots, light ruck-sack for daily necessities

You will enjoy your walks that always are optional on this tour - if you a have a sore knee, you will be picked up to meet the group at the next scheduled point. As Bonito Norte Viajes have prepared written detailed itineraries and maps, you will be able to complete each route at your own pace. And if you still need an extra challenge, some alternative extra kilometers can be provided for you to complete the physical activity of each day.


Your cooking sessions are meant to be learning and inspiring. Three hands-on cooking session will make you understand that food and wine go together in the region.


Visits to four wineries with tastings. There will be opportunities to see how wine was made yesterday in comparison with modern techniques of authors or garage styled modern wines. You will also do your own wine harvest one day – supervised by local wine experts where you get a feel for this hard work!

Sample daily itinerary

Day 1

Pick up at your hotel in Bilbao and transfer to the start of the walking. Walk through a magical beech forest and get a spectacular view over the Rioja valley from the majestic Sierra del Toloño.

You will visit a small modern bodega, taste their garage wines with lunch, and try some real bodega work. After that, take a short walk to your hotel in San Vicente de la Sonsierra, where you will check in, rest, and have a tapas cooking evening.

Day 2

A light leisure walk to the village of Briones, where you will visit the worldwide known wine museum Museo del Vino Bodegas Dinastía Vivanco. After the walk and the museum, it is time for a modern-style Rioja lunch. Siesta, and then visit to another charming Rioja Alavesa bodega. Tasting and dinner.

Day 3

The day begins with an interesting art walk around Labastida and a visit and tasting at highly ranked Bodegas Mitarte. After this, you will have some ancient wine labor making such as wine pressing by foot in prehistoric wine pools caved in the rock (depending on the time of the year this activitity might change). If the weather permits so, lunch will be an open air picnic with a tasting of local young wines.

When the night falls, you will be participating in some active creative modern Spanish cooking. You will prepare a gourmet dinner with season products! On the way to the restaurant, Bonito Norte Viajes propose a photo safari to get a glimpse of the modern architecture of the Baigorri, Ysios, and Marqués de Riscal wineries.

Day 4

You ascend the mountains of Sierra de Toloño, on the search for the ancient natural freezers used by monks in the mountain chapels. After a short visit to modern Bodegas Miguel Merino, you continue to Ezcaray for lunch at your comfortable family hotel.

In the afternoon, you can enjoy optional walking routes around Ezcaray. At night, you will prepare a tasting menu with the hotel chef. A brilliant farewell dinner!

Day 5

You will visit and leisure walk towards Santo Domingo, visit the Cathedral, and move on to some tapas hopping on your own in Haro. Transfer to Bilbao and farewell to your guides!

Included excursions

  • Small winery visits
  • Pilgrim Cathedral visits
  • Photo safari of architecture masterpieces in the area
  • Walking with maps and itineraries
  • Guiding


Set in the Rioja Alta Wine Route, Hotel Villa Sonsierra is located in San Vicente de la Sonsierra, 10 kilometers from Haro.

San Vicente de la Sonsierra

San Vicente was created in the 10th century as a fortress for the people of Navarre and together with the Davalillo castle it formed a line of defense. The town inherited the chains depicted on the shield from the kingdom of Navarre, which was the ruling power.


On this tour, you will enjoy solid buffet breakfasts with bread, cereals, juice, coffee and tea, ham, eggs, cheese, as well as local sweets to get ready for a day of walking.

On the roads and always in hand-picked sceneries, you will taste and enjoy local products on charming country picnic lunches, where you often buy fresh products on the visits you make. Late October is mushroom season and this is very present in the restaurants, among the people and even in local festivities.

The dinners will be the delicious results of your cooking sessions as well as winery dinners! Tradition and fine-dining in a nice blend.

The following meals are included:

  • Breakfast
  • Lunch
  • Dinner
  • Drinks

The following drinks are included:

  • Coffee
  • Tea
  • Alcoholic beverages

The following dietary requirement(s) are served and/or catered for:

  • Regular (typically includes meat and fish)
If you have special dietary requirements it's a good idea to communicate it to the organiser when making a reservation

What's included

  • 4 nights accommodation
  • Transfers and luggage transport according to program
  • 4 breakfasts, 4 lunches, and 4 dinners (2 gourmet)
  • Wine with all meals
  • 3 cooking classes
  • Apron and recipes
  • Visits, tastings, and activities according to program
  • Walking routes itineraries and maps
  • Travel documentation and useful information

What's not included

  • Anything not clearly included

How to get there

Recommended Airports

Arrival by airplane

Please book your flight to arrive at Bilbao Airport (BIO). Bilbao is the best airport for regular incoming international flights. Transfer from this airport is available at an additional 35 EUR.

However, Ryanair operates to Santander airport from several European cities. From UK, there are weekly ferries to Bilbao and Santander. Please send your inquiry for the best option!

Airport: Bilbao Airport Airport transfer available: Bilbao Airport (US$41 per person) Additional charges may apply. You can request this in the next step.

Cancellation Policy

  • A reservation requires a deposit of 30% of the total price.
  • The deposit is non-refundable, if the booking is cancelled.
  • The rest of the payment should be paid 30 days before arrival.
5 days / 4 nights
from --
Minimum group size

This trip requires a minimum of 4 participants


Arrival: Monday October 25, 2021
Departure: Friday October 29, 2021

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