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Spain Wine and Culture Holiday

Experience the San Mateo Wine Festival, the festivities declared of national tourist interest are held in Logrono, coinciding with the feast of St. Matthew; a traditional fiesta dated from the 12th century as a kind of tribute to Rioja's wine. Falling by the 21st of September, the festival announces the start of the harvest. With the great atmosphere, thousands of people enjoy outside in the colorful parades, filling up the tapas bars, and enjoying the day and night.

Highlights

  • Visit the world's largest wine museum
  • 5 wine estate visits and 5 wine tastings
  • 2 towns and medieval villages guided walking tours
  • Personalized English/Spanish-speaking expert guide throughout the tour
  • Daily full breakfasts and 3 gourmet lunches with wine
  • Roundtrip airport transfers are included
  • 4 nights accommodation

Styles


3 days with instruction in English
The organizer also speaks: Spanish
Group size: Minimum of 2 participants
Airport transfer included: Bilbao Airport
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Accommodation

The accommodation will be in these hotels or in others of a similar category. Hotels will be confirmed when making the booking. Upgrades are available on request.

Hotel Los Agustinos (Haro) - Historic building, 4-star

  • Location

This four-star property is located right in the historic center of Haro, the center of the wine production in Rioja, surrounded by a valley of vineyards and the Cantabrian Mountains. At walking distance, you can experience numerous excellent tapas.

  • General facilities

Founded as a convent in 1373, Los Agustinos Hotel is a beautiful and protected building, now its walls full of history play host to exceptionally comfortable facilities where it is a privilege to stay. It has an impressive courtyard where you can relax reading your favorite book or having a glass of Rioja.

Particular mention should be made of the Las Duelas Restaurant, the Bistrot de las Duelas, bar-Cafeteria, 24-hour room service, and free Wi-Fi throughout the hotel. They offer conventional, modern, and regional cuisine based on fresh products from the area and also have an outstanding wine list and everything in historic surroundings.

  • The rooms

There are 62 guestrooms, most of which are outward-facing, whilst the hotel's most salient feature is the impressive, glass-domed cloisters, which are air-conditioned and enclosed. All rooms are decorated in a rustic style and enjoy all the modern comforts: satellite TV, Wi-Fi, and a private bathroom with a hairdryer. Guests also have access to the hotel's fitness center.

Hotel Sercotel (Logrono)

The Sercotel Portales Hotel is a charming hotel located in the heart of Logrono, on "Calle Portales". A few meters from the hotel, you will find the "Plaza del Mercado", which is the setting for a variety of fairs and shows. This square is also home to the cathedral "Santa Marí­a la Redonda".

One of the best selling points of this property is the prime location, you will be within walking distance to the old part, the famous Calle Laurel where all the tapas bars are, the shopping area in Gran Via, and Murrieta Square. It is in a pedestrian street avoiding noisy traffic.

The Sercotel Portales Hotel is well decorated and offers 48 spacious and elegant rooms. There is a free Wi-Fi internet connection available. The Sercotel Portales Hotel offers its guests 48 cozy and warm rooms on six floors. All the rooms at the hotel have a writing desk, minibar, TV, safe, and free Wi-Fi internet. You will also find all the necessary amenities to make this stay a perfect experience.

Program

In the evenings, mix with the "penas", groups of people who jointly take part in all the activities and are the heart and soul of the fiesta. Enjoy music concerts, dancing, float parades, and fireworks, as well as excellent wines and delicious tapas while you enjoy an unforgettable time in San Mateo, declared a "national tourist interest".

There will be an impressive diversity of wineries, mixing the traditional and the new way of elaborating and presenting the wines. See the differences between the modern and the old-style wine estates. Have a wine tasting of some of Spain's most significant and innovative wines. An olive oil tasting is also a different experience.

Enjoy the spectacular scenery, a hill-top fortress set against the Sierra de Cantabria, the medieval village of Laguardia. Visit the largest wine museum in the world, Dinastia Vivanco. There's a guided tour through the history and culture of wine. This enjoyable tour falls around the 21st of September every year, while the Rioja Wine Festival, San Mateo is taking place.

You will not only experience the beauty of a free-mass tourism wine region, tasting excellent wines, sampling delicious traditional food but also, you will be mingling with the locals participating in the Rioja Wine Festival which announces the start of the harvest. Thousands of people enjoy outside in colorful parades, filling up the tapas bars. and enjoying the day and night.

It focuses on the heart of the wine-growing and gastronomic center of Rioja: Haro and Logrono. Both on the River Ebro, just 20 minutes apart by road yet the difference in the food, the wine, the culture, the landscapes are fascinating; less traveling time, more variety.

The charm of picturesque Haro contrasts with the boulevards of Logrono, and then there's the romance of Laguardia, a hilltop fortress set against the Sierra de Cantabria. This gastronomic wine tour will appeal to those with an insatiable appetite to learn more about the regional food and wine of Northern Spain. Whilst the region is known worldwide for its wines, it hides a wealth of epicurean delights that can only be experienced in person in the restaurants and bodegas of Rioja.

Visit an amazing range of wineries, all different with their own special features, from Chateaux-style and traditional wineries to boutique or avant-garde wineries all regarded as the current leaders in both the New Rioja and the Traditional Rioja. Winemakers and winery owners will guide you through their prestigious estates explaining their unique wine-making methods and sampling their renowned wines with you.

Gastronomy plays an important role in your thrilling wine journey. You will experience delicious gourmet meals overlooking the vineyards in distinguished traditional restaurants. Renowned cooks will entertain you with their typical regional meals and new innovative culinary creations.

For your accommodation you will be staying in a beautiful building founded as a convent, now its walls house a lovely hotel in which it is a true privilege to be a guest and carefully selected central hotels, beautifully decorated with truly impeccable service and well-positioned for the festival and the old part of the city.

The visit to The Dinastia Vivanco Museum is a must on the tour. A privileged guided tour through the history and culture of wine not only in Spain but also in Europe. After visiting this astonishing temple of wine, you will be delighted with a truly outstanding gourmet lunch. Also included is a guided walking tour of two amazing cities and a unique medieval village full of wine history, landmarks, historic mansions, glorious views of the Cantabrian Mountains and surrounded by a valley of vineyards.

If you want to visit remarkable wineries, sample splendid wines, enjoy unforgettable meals in gorgeous surroundings, improve your knowledge about the history and culture of wine combined with striking medieval village tours and a food-wine festival in one of the most tourist-free areas in Spain, La Rioja, this a journey that you must not miss!

Day 1: Bilbao - Haro

You are welcomed and escorted by your guide to your carefully selected hotel in La Rioja in a vehicle. The evening is free. Optional Guggenheim Museum visit in Bilbao subject to arrival time.

Day 2: Haro - Rioja Alavesa - Haro

Extraordinary guided tour of the world's largest wine museum, Dinastia Vivanco, experiencing the wine culture of centuries. A unique experience learning the history of wine not only in Spain but in Europe. Right after visiting the museum, visit one of the most reputable, traditional, and oldest wineries in Rioja with very high-quality wines.

Lunch at a traditional restaurant in Haro. A charming little restaurant with a great variety of dishes and products from Rioja Alta. After lunch, visit the charming village of Briones and walk above the meander of the River Ebro surrounding the village with spectacular views. Free evening. Time to relax in your hotel or to enjoy the numerous bars and restaurants around the city.

Day 3: Haro - Logrono

Guided visit to one of the oldest and prettiest wine estates in Europe. Tour conducted by one of the members of the family. Wine tasting. Next, visit one of the most prestigious wineries in Spain for its winemaking methods, their constant research in perfecting the wines as well as experimenting with the grapes. They have mastered one of the best wines in Spain. Wine tasting and extra virgin olive oil included.

Continue to Logrono, the capital where the festival is taking place. Lunch at a traditional restaurant in Logroño. Free evening in Logrono, bars, restaurants, and places recommended experiencing the atmosphere of the festival.

You will enjoy these days during your week of festivities coinciding with the feast day of Saint Matthew, called in Spanish "San Mateo". Become a part of the city just by whiling away the time at wine bars or simply through strolling along the streets.

Day 4: Logrono - Elciego - Laguardia - Logrono

Guided tour of one of the pioneer wineries in the Rioja wine region. Its wines have earned some of the most distinguished international awards including the amazing Hotel Marques de Riscal, designed by world-renowned architect, Frank Gehry. Wine tasting. Private guided tour conducted by the local expert of one of the most astonishing medieval towns in Europe. Privileged visit to one of the best underground cellars in the medieval town of Laguardia.

Lunch at a renowned restaurant in Laguardia. Free time. Around 8 p.m., you can enjoy an authentic parade through the streets, you will see dancing giants and big heads, the carriages in the parade are decorated with various symbols of winemaking and a number of other ceremonies typical of many of the Spanish fiestas. Time and information will be given on the tour.

Optional guided tapas tour of the best tapas of the area, some of them never seen before. You will sample authentic fresh food from the North of Spain, while you mix with the locals; highly enjoyable.

Day 5: Logrono - Bilbao

Private transfer back to the Airport. Optional private guided tour to the Guggenheim Museum in Bilbao (subject to flight times).

Location

Modern Bilbao is the home of the Guggenheim Museum with its lustrous exterior and collection of modern art. Haro is a graceful town on the banks of the River Ebro. It has a lively old quarter where elegant wine mansions meet lively pavement cafes. Logrono, the region's capital, has wide boulevards reminiscent of Bordeaux from where the migrant winemakers came. Laguardia is a medieval hilltop city with encircling ramparts, towers, and fortified gateways. Its narrow cobbled streets are flanked by bodegas and tapas bars.

Food

During this holiday, four full breakfasts, five wine estate visits, five wine tasting, and three gourmet lunches including wine are included. Just as the wines of Rioja have a unique character, so does the regional gastronomy. Some say the food here is more sophisticated and varied than anywhere else in Spain. So, as you dine in fine restaurants, tapas bars, and the famous gastronomic societies of Rioja, it will dawn on you how Rioja's food and wine really is a marriage made in heaven.

The following meals are included:

  • Breakfast
  • Lunch
  • Drinks

The following drinks are included:

  • 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

Things to do (optional)

  • Guggenheim Museum visit in Bilbao subject to arrival and departure flight times.
  • Guided tapas tour of the best tapas of the area, some of them never seen before. You will sample authentic fresh food from the North of Spain, while you mix with the locals; highly enjoyable.

What's included

  • 5 wine estate visits
  • 5 wine tastings
  • 3 gourmet lunches including wine
  • 4 full breakfasts
  • Visit to the world's largest wine museum
  • 2 towns and medieval villages guided walking tours
  • Personalized English/Spanish-speaking expert guide throughout the tour
  • 4 nights accommodation
  • Bilbao Airport roundtrip transfers
  • Transport for 3 full days during tours
  • All taxes

What's not included

  • Airfare
  • Travel insurance
  • Tips
  • Meals and drinks not specified
  • Personal expenses
  • Optional visits

How to get there

Recommended Airports

Airport: Bilbao Airport Airport transfer included: Bilbao Airport No additional charges. You can request this in the next step.

Cancellation Policy

  • A reservation requires a deposit of 100% of the total price.
  • The deposit is non-refundable, if the booking is cancelled.
5 days / 4 nights
from --
Minimum group size

This trip requires a minimum of 2 participants

Availability

Arrival: Wednesday September 21, 2022
Departure: Sunday September 25, 2022

Holiday information

Please note, if any of the published accommodation, range of wineries, or restaurants in the tour becomes unavailable, others of a similar category will be allocated. Upgrade of wineries and/or restaurants will have a supplement. For more information, please send an inquiry.

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