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Head on Spanish culinary and culture tour from Madrid to Barcelona and enjoy the best Spanish wines and food. Your culinary adventure will feature wines from Ribera del Duero, Rioja, the refreshing white Txacoli in the Basque country, and the Priorat wines. Awaken your senses with the natural beauty, culture, and gastronomy. This will be a truly amazing culinary experience for foodie and wine enthusiasts!
You will be staying in central 4-star hotels during your visit in Madrid on day 1, San Sebastian on day 6, and Barcelona on days 7, 8, and 9.
This very comfortable 4-star hotel in Laguardia is one of the best wine and oil spas in the area. Situated among vineyards, this hotel was specially designed to offer you a relaxing stay in an unbeatable natural setting. The hotel, located 15 kilometers away from Logroño, lies in the middle of different gastronomic and wine tourism routes. The Villa de Laguardia Sercotel Hotel has 84 rooms and a delightful spa with wine and olive oil treatments. The hotel features two restaurants, Medoc Alaves and El Villa Bistro, and it offers the best services so that you feel like at home. The hotel also has free Wi-Fi internet.
This tour is an extension of another tour, adding a tapas tour and a night in Madrid, two nights in San Sebastian, three nights in Barcelona, and a day wine tour to Priorat. Spending some time in Madrid will allow you to discover the vibrant capital of Spain and San Sebastian will give you the opportunity to savor this foodie city, home of the pintxos or tapas and Michelin-starred restaurants. The addition of Barcelona will make it the ultimate Spanish trip: architecture, food, and wine from Priorat!
Arrive in Madrid. There will be airport pick-up and transfer to the hotel. After hotel check-in, you will join a group tapas tour for dinner. Your guide will take you for a visit to the historical part of Madrid, followed by a tapas dinner with all food and drinks included. This will be an introduction to the city and also to Spanish food and wine.
Meal plan: Dinner.
Today, you will be picked up at 09:30 from Madrid and driven to Ribera del Duero, which takes about two hours. Visit Valsotillo winery, a family-owned winery with cellars from the 16th century. Taste the different wines produced by the winery and enjoy the company of one of the owners. After this traditional state, prepare to be surprised by Portia, the masterpiece of British architect, Normal Foster. Visit and have lunch at the winery. Enjoy the typical meal from Ribera del Duero, roasted lamb in a wood fired oven with portia wines. Follow the Duero River towards Peñafiel, where you will explore the town and its magnificent castle from the 11th century. Next, visit the modern boutique winery of Legaris, with a total different philosophy. You will also stop in Bodega Don Carlos in Aranda de Duero, a favorite wine shop, for a special tasting of small wine producers in a medieval cellar. Later, check in at your chateaux wine hotel and the dinner is on your own.
Meal plan: Breakfast, lunch.
After breakfast, visit Torremilanos winery at your hotel, where the Peñalba family will share their passion for wine making. Visit the vineyards and taste their wines that represent the essence of Ribera del Duero. Drive to Burgos where you will visit the famous cathedral, World Heritage monument by UNESCO. Our Lady of Burgos sums up Gothic architecture in all its beauty. Next, you will have wine-paired tapas lunch around Burgos' famous Plaza Mayor. Drive to Rioja to visit Valenciso, an exclusive boutique winery that makes some of the most elegant wines in the area. The winemaker will personally host you. Then, visit the medieval walled town of Laguardia (13th century). Under their stone paved streets it is full of old subterranean bodegas, and over them there are many historic monuments and sites. Later, check in your hotel with time to enjoy the spa. Dinner on your own.
Meal plan: Breakfast, tapas lunch.
Today, visit the iconic Muga winery, where you can experience the tradition in Rioja wine making. You will also walk in the bodega quarter in Haro and taste some wine and olive oil in prestigious Roda state. If time permits, you can also stop in Lopez Heredia to try 10-year-old white wines, living history of Rioja. Next stop is Baigorri, a high tech winery with a beautiful dining room overlooking the vineyards. The lunch in Baigorri will be a 5-course gourmet meal paired with Baigorri wines. After lunch, visit the Wine Culture Museum Dinastía Vivanco in Briones, beautifully located in Rioja Alta. Even a short visit is worth it for any wine lover, since it is considered one of the best wine museums in the world. You will have dinner on your own.
Meal plan: Breakfast, lunch.
After breakfast, drive to Bilbao for approximately 1 hour and 30 minutes to visit the famous Guggenheim Museum designed by architect Frank Gehry. This unique museum is probably one of the best modern buildings in Spain and it represents architecture at its best. Then, continue to Getaria to discover Txacoli wine in Elkano winery with Jose Luis, the owner. Txacoli is a very interesting tart white wine produced only in the Basque Country. You will have lunch based on the fresh-catch fish of the day, cooked over a coal barbecue in one of the port restaurants overlooking the Atlantic Ocean. Continue to San Sebastian and check in at your hotel check-in.
Meal plan: Breakfast, lunch.
Today is your free day in San Sebastian and you will have a tapas / pintxos tour for lunch. There is an optional dinner in a Michelin-starred restaurant.
Meal plan: breakfast, lunch.
Today, you will fly or take the train to Barcelona.
Meal plan: Breakfast.
In Barcelona, you are on your own. There is optional guided tour in Barcelona with entrance to the Gaudi masterpiece of Sagrada Familia.
Meal plan: Breakfast.
Early morning, depart from Barcelona to the prestigious red wine region of Priorat. The journey takes about two hours. You will visit two wineries and you will have lunch paired with wines from the area. Later on, return to Barcelona.
Meal plan: Breakfast, lunch.
Today is the end of your holiday. Check out after breakfast.
Meal plan: Breakfast.
Jorge has studied wine making at the local school, has worked in wineries in Spain and Portugal, and he is an official cultural and history guide.
During the tour, you will visit several wine makers and wineries around Spain.
Basque Country is part of the green Spain, extremely pretty, with green rolling hills, beautiful beaches, fisherman towns, and extraordinary food. San Sebastian and Bilbao with the Guggenheim Museum are probably the best known cities in Basque Country. San Sebastian is famous for its gastronomy, from tapas bars to Michelin-starred restaurants. This is one of the towns in the world which has most of the Michelin stars, also being home of the new creative Spanish cuisine, without forgetting the traditional food based mainly in seasonal product. Pintxos are the combination of both in miniature cooking. Bilbao has one of the most impressive modern buildings in Spain, the Guggenheim Museum built by Frank Ghery, right by the river that has made Bilbao an architecture lover destination.
Fisherman towns are a pleasure to visit and walk around, like Getaria, the birth place of Juan Sebastian Elcano, and the fashion designer Balenciaga, that now hosts his museum, or Hondarribia with an impressive fortress that has beautiful views of both Spanish and French coast. It is also close to the French coast, Biarritz and San Juan de Luz, that can give you a peek of good French living. While there is only Txacoli wine in this region, a white wine with fresh high acidity, it is very close to Rioja, the most well known wine region in Spain, and you can always do a wine tour from there.
Madrid is the capital of Spain, the largest and one of the most interesting cities. You are invited to make the most of your stay in Madrid or just escape it for a day. Walk around Madrid and enjoy all the possibilities this European city offers you. Come and you will discover the modern, the ancient, and the monumental Madrid, with its museums, its monuments, and of course its history. You will also enjoy its shops paradise, parks, places to enjoy music, theater or flamenco, bullfighting, and other leisure possibilities, without forgetting the wine and gastronomy culture.
Madrid has a wide offer of restaurants, where local, regional, and international cuisine is served. Who doesn't know its popular cocido? Madrid is also very popular for its typical bars and little stores. The local guides will take you to the significant tapas bars the capital has, where you could enjoy delicious wine and food. The most popular tapas are of mussel, squid, and especially the bravas, fried potatoes served with a red, thick, and spicy sauce.
You can also escape Madrid and have a one-day wine trip or short wine excursion to Ribera del Duero and Toledo or la Mancha. In these trips, you will experience all the aspects of wine, from the types of grapes and how to grow them, to the secrets of wine tasting. You will visit wineries and discover the art and gastronomy of the area.
The young region of Ribera del Duero is a reference for exceptional red wines. The wines produced in this region are among the finest in Spain. Already in the 12th century, the monks of Cluny were growing grapes along the river bank of Duero to produce wine. Ribera del Duero, in the heart of Castilla-León, is the old land of castillos or castles. The vineyards are mostly concentrated in the north part of the Duero. Although the nowadays famous Ribera wine is red, from the native variety tinta fina or tinto del país, there are three other well-known wine varieties in the region, which are the white in Rueda, red in Toro, and claret and red in Cigales.
Wine is enjoyed in beautiful old towns like Burgos, Segovia, Peñaranda, Peñafiel, or Pedraza that will bring you back in time. Burgos, the old head of Castilla, has one of the most impressive Gothic cathedrals of Spain, and it is also a lively town, where shopping for local products and handcrafted items is as exciting as looking for the most fashionable stuff. Segovia, with the cathedral, the Aqueduct and the Alcazar will show you the history of this country. In the monastery of Santo Domingo de Silos, you can listen to the Gregorian chant of the monks. In a perfect combination of the old and the new, the famous castle (castillo) of Peñafiel is now the home of a newly opened wine museum.
There are so many bodegas in this area that deserve a visit and you will have a good selection. You can visit the famous underground bodegas in Aranda and the well-known modern wineries of Ribera. Aranda, like lots of towns in the region, is practically hollow underneath, since the bodegas were tunneled deep into the earth to help the temperature control and stability needed for wine storage. Although many fell into disuse, some have been recovered for visiting or for wine production. Visiting an old wine cellar that have remained working since centuries ago and drinking a glass of wine with one of the owners is an unforgettable experience. The visit to Ribera del Duero won't be complete without the tasting of the famous roasted lamb. You can also go out an evening for the traditional Spanish tapas and wine.
La Rioja is one of the most prestigious and well-known of all the Spanish wine regions. The most traditional and modern wineries can be found here. La Rioja is divided in three sub-zones: Rioja Alta, Rioja Alavesa, and Rioja Baja. The most famous wineries or bodegas are located in the first two. There is a good selection from the wineries of Rioja Alavesa and Rioja Alta. If time permits, you could also visit at least one winery from the nearby Navarra region.
You will find very different bodegas in Rioja. Discover a bodega built in a farm that was part of a medieval monastery and still makes its wine in the most traditional way, then another one that employs state of the art wine technology, and also visit one of the oldest in Rioja among others. Enjoy a typical Spanish lunch in a bodega, where sarmientos (dry grape vine branches) are used to roast the meat, giving it a unique and delicious flavor. Open your senses and prepare to learn in the new interactive thematic center dedicated to wine in Laguardia, Villa Lucia, or the New Museum of Wine Culture Dinastia Vivanco.
Art and history are well represented in the Human Heritage monastery complex of Suso and Yuso in San Millán de la Cogolla (10th century village), where the Spanish language (castellano) was born, and in Santo Domingo de la Calzada, a small medieval town very important for the pilgrims in their way to Santiago. A stroll through arcade streets will allow you to admire the noble stone mansions with their coats of arms. The cathedral is famous because of its beauty and its legend of the cock and hen. Enjoy a walk in the walled village of Laguardia (13th century walls), capital of Rioja Alavesa.
Underneath the stone paved streets and homes of Laguardia, there is a maze of underground cellars and over them, there are many historic monuments and sites, like the Gothic facade of Santa Maria de los Reyes church from the 14th century. Logroño, the capital of Rioja is a modern and historic town with a great architectural and artistic heritage, where one can also find multiple shopping opportunities. Since Bilbao is very close to Rioja, it is easy to visit the famous Guggenheim Museum in Bilbao designed by architect Frank Gehry. One day can be dedicated to the Spanish tradition of wine and tapas. Tapas are small dishes that you have in bars or casual restaurants instead of a formal meal. The old part of Haro or Logroño are great for this!
Dishes you will dine on are based on Spanish tradition and local products. You will have roasted lamb in Ribera, a 5-course meal with Rioja specialties paired with wine, tapas lunch in Burgos, and fresh catch fish of the day in the fisherman town of Getaria. A tapas tour in Madrid will help you discover the city and a pintxos tour in San Sebastian, and of course, you will taste the delicious olive oil and iberico ham, which are the jewels of Spanish gastronomy.
You will have plenty of opportunities to explore the area.
Please book your flight to arrive at Adolfo Suárez Madrid-Barajas Airport (MAD). Transfer from and to the airport is included. The organizer will pick you up from the airport.
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