Northern Spain Experience

Weeklong food, wine and cultural experience
8 days, 7 nights —— (Group size 6, 10, 16)

Paces visited:
Madrid, Haro, Briones, Logroño, San Sebastian, Bilbao

Northern-Spain-Experience
Highlights:

  • Visit medieval villages, local markets and vineyards as well as the Guggenheim museum and Basque Culinary Center
  • Meet local olive oil producers, chefs and winemakers
  • Learn about wine and olive oil making and how to include regional ingredients in dishes during a cooking class
  • Enjoy savoring tapas or “pintxos” in Logroño, San Sebastian, Bilbao and Madrid
  • Experience living in a small village in La Rioja and discovering new places
If you’ve ever wanted to experience Spain, this is the trip for you. Imaging a group of friends going on a week’s vacation together savoring all the delicacies Northern Spain has to offer, while learning about wine, olive oil and preparing the local dishes. You’ll spend a week in a guest-house in a village in La Rioja, Torrecillas en Cameros and one farewell night in Madrid. Here’s a nicely balanced itinerary of food, wine, fun and culture.

 

Itinerary

B =Breakfast L =Lunch D =Dinner

Arrival to Madrid, Transfer to La Rioja

Your guide for the duration of the tour meets you at Madrid’s Barajas airport and you set off for Rioja with a stop in the medieval town of Medianacelli (Soria) for walk around the town to stretch you legs and have an “early” lunch comprised of typical Spanish dishes such as “tortilla de patata”, ham, cheese, sausage, etc.   After lunch, you arrive at your final destination for the tour, the quaint village of Torrecilla en Cameros located just 45 minutes from Logroño nestled in the valley of the Cameros mountains of La Rioja.  After introductions are made explore the village for a while before enjoying an early dinner.

B, L, D

Briones (Rioja)

After breakfast, you leave for Briones, a medieval town officially designated to be of historically cultural interest.  You’ll visit this charming town and the cultural museum “Casa Encantada” and continue the cultural tour at the “Museo de la Cultura del Vino” at the winery Dínastia Vivanco where you will not only learn about the history of wine but also enjoy a wine tasting session.  Afterwards, you will have lunch at a local restaurant located in a 12th century building with underground caves where traditionally the owners would age their wines.

The next visit for the day is in Logroño, the capital of La Rioja.  You’ll stroll through the town until it’s time for a tapas tour along the streets Laurel and San Juan.  You’ll be introduced to the traditional and creative tapas (5) accompanied with wine or beer (5).  Return to Torrecillas for a good night’s sleep.

 

B, L, D 

Day Trip to San Sebastian

After breakfast, departure for a day in the Basque Country, specifically San Sebastian, the city with more Michelin-starred restaurants in the world.

You start your experience in the culinary world of the Basque Country with a visit to the Basque Culinary Center to see where many of the chefs started.  Afterwards, have lunch at one of the city’s Michelin-starred restaurant with accompanying fine wines.

Explore San Sebastian on your own after lunch to discover what makes this city so special.  We’ll offer you plenty of suggestions to keep you busy until dinner in the historical old part of town for a tapas tour of 5 tapas and 5 “cortos” or glasses of wine.

Return to the guest-house for a good night’s sleep.

 

B, L, D

Wine Tasting and Olive Oil Tasting in Rioja

Now that you’ve been introduced to the local riches of Rioja, now it’s time to learn about their wines and olive oils.

After breakfast, you leave for the wine capital of Rioja Haro where one of the neighborhoods is named “Barrio de la Estación” or the neighborhood of the station where historically Rioja wine shipments were picked up and shipped to other places in the world.   Here is where you’ll not only visit the world-renown winery Bodegas Muga but also will have lunch at the winery followed by a wine tasting class.

After learning more about the wines of the region, we head to the town of Albelda de Iregua to visit an olive oil producer, participate in an olive oil tasting class followed by dinner in the olive oil mill

Return to Torrecilla.

 

B, L, D

Bilbao’s Gastronomy and Art

After breakfast you leave for a day’s excursion to Bilbao with a visit to one the best food markets you’ll ever find as well as a visit to one of the most spectacular museums and architectural beauties, the Guggenheim Museum.

Your first stop is the “Mercado Municipal” to purchase ingredients for tomorrow’s cooking class.  Now that you’ve had plenty of opportunities to learn about the area’s food and wine, you’ll put your knowledge to work and savor the results.

After your shopping is done, you head to the Guggenheim to discover the other creative side to Bilbao, followed by lunch at a Michelin-starred restaurant to savor the culinary creativeness of the city.

Following lunch, stroll along the Ría del Nervión river to the old town to walk off lunch and take in the sights.  One can’t be in Bilbao without enjoying their “pintxos” or tapas so we finish off the day’s visit in Bilbao with a sample of 5 tapas and 5 “cortos” or glasses of wine for dinner.

Back to Torrecilla.

 

B, L, D

Ezcaray and Cooking Class

Today we head to the village of Ezcaray located in the valley of Oja known for its exquisite food and wool production from local sheep.  Did you know the name Rioja is derived from the name of this river, “Rio Oja”?

After strolling through the village you visit the local artisanal wool cashmere blanket producer followed by lunch at Rioja’s first Michelin-starred restaurant, which is still family-owned.

You return to Torrecilla to visit a local farm where restaurants purchase ingredients for their dishes and you can too.

Now is the time when local cooking instructor and guest prepare dinner using the newly acquired knowledge and experience in the area to create their version of the local dishes for a delightful farewell-dinner.

 

B, L D

Madrid

After breakfast, you leave for the capital of Spain, Madrid to discover its history and food and wine scene.  After checking into the 3* hotel, you have lunch at one of the city’s most well known restaurants for its classic dishes.  Needing to walk a bit after a long lunch, you stroll through the old quarter “Madrid de los Austrias” passing by the Royal Palace, Plaza Mayor, Puerta de Sol in Renaissance and Baroque style.  The “Austrian” influence was by way of King Carlos I and King Felipe II of the Hapsburg (Austria) royal family.  Because of such splendorous buildings, Felipe II designated the city as the country’s capital transferring power from Toledo to Madrid.   We end our stroll in the “Barrio de las Letras” near the Plaza Santa Ana for a tapas tour.  Back to the hotel for the last night in Spain.

 

B, L, D

 

End of tour

After breakfast, transfer to Madrid’s Barajas airport to return home.

 

 

The program includes:

  • Local English-speaking guide
  • Private chauffeured transportation throughout the itinerary
  • 7 nights lodging (6 at the guest house in Torrecilla, Rioja and 1 night hotel in Madrid) double occupancy (single supplement upon request).
  • Daily breakfast, 7 Lunches, 7 Dinners one of which you prepare at the guest-house in the cooking class; accompanying wines at lunch and dinner as per itinerary.
  • Entrance fees as per itinerary
  • Privately guided tour at the Guggenheim Museum
  • All local taxes

Tour Dates:

Dates upon request.  We highly recommend planning a visit during harvest in late September to October.

Details & Prices

 To Price Table

Booking your Cultural Journey with us is easy.

  • Step 1 – Confirm Availability – check with us regarding your preferred dates for your party’s chosen tour, excursion or activity. Once we have confirmed your request, go to Step 2 to sign up.
  • Step 2 – Registration Form – submit the registration form for your requested tour, excursion or activity along with your confirmed dates and number of people in the group.  You will be asked to confirm that you have read and understand our Terms and Conditions .Upon submitting this form, go to Step 3 to make deposits or full payment.
  •  Step 3 – Payment – remit payment as per “Terms & Conditions”. We accept American Express, Visa, MasterCard and Discover — OR you may process your Deposit and subsequent Balance Due via PayPal
  • Step 4 – Start packing!

 

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