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With this fantastic tour, you will experience the best Spanish wines and food. The tasting adventure features full reds of Ribera del Duero, fine wines from Rioja, and the refreshing white Txacoli in the Basque Country. A carefully selected diversity of the best estates are offered for you to truly discover the essence and variety of Spanish wine country. Come and enjoy Spain's rich cultural history, flavorful food, and hospitality!
A very comfortable four-star hotel in Laguardia, with 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 is a charming 5-star luxury hotel in the Golden Mile of Ribera.
Join a pick up in Madrid at 09:30 and drive to Ribera del Duero. The journey takes about two hours. Then, 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. You will visit and have lunch at the winery. Enjoy the typical meal from Ribera del Duero, with roasted lamb in a wood fired oven and Portia wines.
Then, follow the Duero river towards Peñafiel, where you will explore the town and its magnificent castle from the 11th century. Visit the modern boutique winery of Legaris, with a total different philosophy. 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 your chateaux wine hotel and have dinner on your own.
Meal plan: 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. Next, drive to Burgos, where you will visit a famous cathedral, World Heritage monument by UNESCO. The Lady of Burgos Cathedral sums up Gothic architecture in all its beauty. Next, enjoy tapas lunch, paired with wine, around Burgos' famous Plaza Mayor.
Later on, 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. Another visit for today is 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. Then, check in at your hotel and take some free time to enjoy the spa. You will have dinner on your own.
Meal plan: Breakfast, tapas lunch.
Visit the iconic Muga winery, where you can experience the tradition in Rioja wine-making. Then, walk in the bodega quarter in Haro and taste some wine and olive oil in prestigious Roda state. If the 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. You will have lunch in Baigorri, where you will be served with 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. For your lunch, you be served with the fresh catch fish of the day cooked over a coal barbecue in one of the port restaurants overlooking the Atlantic Ocean. After lunch, continue to San Sebastian.
Meal plan: Breakfast, lunch.
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.
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 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.
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. And of course, you will enjoy olive oil and iberico ham, which are the jewels of Spanish gastronomy.
You will have plenty of opportunities to explore the area. Take tapas tour in Madrid for 70 EUR. You can also extend the tour to include San Sebastian (https://www.bookculinaryvacations.com/rutas-de-vino-vintage-spain/6-days-spain-wine-vacations).
Please book your flight to arrive at Adolfo Suárez Madrid-Barajas Airport (MAD). Transfer from Adolfo Suárez Madrid-Barajas Airport (MAD) and to San Sebastián Airport (EAS) is available upon request. The cost is 50 EUR for each transfer.
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