northern Spain map

AT A GLANCE

cooking class northern spain

Be part of a Private Cooking Class with a Chef and learn how to cook Spain's iconic dishes

abadia retuerta red grapes

Picture yourself discovering the secrets of Spain's  world-famous wine regions "Rioja" & "Ribera del Duero"

tapas tasting in a bar Leon northern spain

Brush shoulders with the locals to taste delicious tapas & pintxos during guided bar crawls

marques de riscal rioja hotel

Be amazed by the beauty of the best buildings in Spain designed by world-famous architect Frank Gehry

monasterio valbuena ribera del duero hotel room

Sleep in style at a 12th century medieval abbey turned world-class hotel surrounded by vineyards

cider asturias northern spain

Pour cider like a local during a cider house tour paired with delicious traditional Basque food

bogavante blue lobster cantabrian sea

Savour delicious fresh food at traditional local restaurants

San Sebastian maria Cristina hotel

Be amazed by the beauty of the most elegant town in the Atlantic Coast

viña tondonia rioja

Enjoy exclusive access to some of the oldest wineries in Spain


Day 1 - Sept. 14th

  • Panoramic drive through the vineyards of the Golden Mile of Ribera del Duero, where one of the best wines in the world are produced
abadia retuerta red grapes


Arrive at the Madrid airport in style with a private guide greeting you warmly for your Spain itinerary 8 days. You will be escorted to a luxury vehicle so that you can relax from the flight on a comfortable drive through the elegant Spanish countryside. The first segment of your 8 days in Spain will pass through the world-famous Ribera del Duero wine region.

An incredible Spain itinerary 8 days adventure will begin in the Golden Mile area, which is at the very heart of the Ribera del Duero. Get settled into your first destination by spending the night at a Cistercian monastery from the 12th century. This well-preserved Spanish monastery features elegant architecture with stone walling, fine oak floors with Berber rugs accentuating the effect. The stunning scale of this impressive property becomes cozy and inviting with the addition of the tasteful décor.

This environment sets the stage for the first evening on your trip to a piece of Spanish paradise. Enjoy the time at your leisure, and spend some time becoming accustomed to the new sensations that will await you during every subsequent stage of your journey. The first dinner you experience will be served in the hotel’s exquisite à la carte restaurant. Prepare yourself to experience the sublime flavors of the local dishes that are served with the most careful culinary handling. This will top off the first day of the adventure of a lifetime.


Day 2 - Sept. 15th

  • Take a drive in a 4x4 through the incredible Ribera del Duero vineyards, and savor a delicious afternoon picnic ​
ribera del duero picnic in the vineyards
  • Visit a traditional asador, and revel in the intense flavors of open-fire slow-cooked roasted lamb.
roasted lamb burgos
  • Get ready for a scenic drive up to the superb Peñafiel castle. Enjoy the astonishing vistas above the Ribera del Duero vineyards from a stately perspective.
peñafiel castle

On the second day of your adventure through the Spanish countryside, you will be treated to a delicious breakfast that will start the day’s adventures.

The views through this area of Ribera del Duero are breathtaking. These vineyards produce some of the finest wines in the world, and you will get to see the world-renowned wineries found on the route that is locally known as the golden mile. You will enjoy a visit to Abadia Retuerta, which is a hidden gem in this area. Wine lovers in this region know about the string of secluded wine estate that are found in the areas along the Duero river, which intersects the major lands in the north of Spain.

Visiting the amazing Abadía Retuerta consists of much more than a tour through a winery. During this visit, you will instantly recognize that you’ve entered a very special place imbued with history. The grounds have been painstakingly maintained with great care and precision. Take in the unique terroir brimming with luscious vines and wine-production facilities. They represent a fascinating story that has unfolded over hundreds of years. The tour guide will take you through this narrative as you review the estate, vineyards and winery before finally tasting the most famous wines produced at Abadia Retuerta.

This visit ends with a drive to the top of a hill where Peñafiel’s castle awaits. The commanding views overlook the vineyards, and this is a special moment for anyone who is visiting the region. The full experience of gastronomy is much more than the sublime tastes and flavors of local cuisine and regional wines; it is a complete submersion into the ambiance and culture of production.

This journey really takes off when you first sample the signature dish of the region. The slow-cooked lamb dish called Lechazo uses an open flame roasting technique that is over a century old. This main course will accentuate the evening, which begins with some local specialty dishes as complementing appetizers. Such a fine culinary experience would hardly be complete without a superb red wine selected from the best regional vintages.

At the end of this amazing and luxurious luncheon experience, you can stretch your legs before going back to your hotel to use the rest of your day as you wish. Relax at the hotel's spa and indoor pool, or enjoy other activities that are available in the area.

Dinner will be served at the hotel’s à la carte restaurant as a memorable part of your food and wine tour of Spain.


Day 3 - Sept. 16th

  • A private visit to an artisan cheesemaker followed by a guided tasting of some of Spain's moste delicious cheeses
cabrales cheese
  • A ​private Cooking Class with a professional Chef
cooking class paella tortilla de patatas


After a sumptuous breakfast it’s time to say goodbye to Ribera del Duero, your guide will help you with the hotel’s checking out and your luggage will be loaded to your private vehicle.

Enjoy a scenic drive through the Spanish countryside. We will stop for a visit to traditional cheese-maker where you will learn how cheeses are made the Spanish traditional way. These artisan cheese-makers have been making world-acclaimed cheeses for decades. You will enjoy a cheese tasting guided by the artisan cheesemaker.

After that, you will be driven to a hidden gem, a traditional restaurant in a small village on the back roads of Spain, awarded with a Michelin star where you will enjoy traditional food as its best. With a 3-course a-la-carte menu you will be delighted by authentic slow food with an innovative touch.

Relax in your hotel for the rest of the afternoon and then you will be escorted to discover one of our most popular experiences at “Eat Northern Spain”. A trip through unique & authentic Spanish cooking classes.

After a welcome drink, you will learn the tips & tricks to the perfect paella and Spanish omelette (as seen on this video) but the Chef will also guide you through lesser-known yet equally iconic dishes, like Galician octopus, gazpacho and the most iconic pinchos and tapas you will find at the best bars in Northern Spain.

These private classes provide a fun, social, hands-on experience, where you will be participating in the preparation of the various dishes under the thoughtful guidance of a professional Chef.  Everything is designed for accomplished and novice cooks, and there are activities in the food preparation process for every skill level. Ribera del Duero red and Galician white wines are served while you enjoy the meal you just prepared. All our menus can be adapted to accommodate any food restriction you may have.

A perfect evening of gathering with friends and family to eat, drink and be merry – a fundamental part of the fabric of social life in Spain.


Day 4 - Sept. 17th

  • Embark on a guided tour of the oldest wineries in Spain
viña tondonia rioja
  • Savor the delicious local cuisine served in the ambiance of a medieval monastery
hotel-los-agustinos-rioja

Your guide and your driver will pick you up after your breakfast, and you will be transported along another scenic drive for a little over two hours. Once you arrive in the beautiful wine region of La Rioja, you will begin to discover why this is such a treat for the seasoned food and wine gastronome. Feast your eyes on the rolling hills saturated in vines, the charming medieval hamlets and the majestic sprawl of the Cantabrian Mountains in the background.

The Lopez de Heredia-Viña Tondonia bodega is one of the oldest wineries in the entire region of La Rioja. Enjoy a guided visit through this fabulous winery, which is situated strategically for the maximum aesthetic experience. The winery was crafted with the same precision and care used to plant the enduring variety of sprawling vegetation.

This bodega is distinguished by its status of having an on-site cooperage with three master coopers who construct and repair every single wine barrel used on the premises. There are only a few wineries in the world that share this trait. This also gives the regional wines a distinctive characteristic that is highly prized on the international circuit. After learning these details through the tour, you will sample the fine wines in the company of aficionados within a beautifully serene atmosphere.

The following destination is the old town of Haro. An intimate environment awaits you for the lunchtime experience within the imposing walls of an Augustinian monastery. Select your dishes from the menu of the Claustro de Los Agustinos. Choose a casual lunch of tapas, freshly prepared morsels or an elaborate cuisine.

An afternoon drive to the next hotel will offer you the perfect opportunity to indulge in another local tradition: The siesta! A 20-minute nap can be the perfect prelude to arriving at the Hotel Viura. The stone village called the Villabuena de Alava is an unassuming hamlet situated at the very heart of La Rioja. It has a small population of around 300 people, but it also has over 40 wineries.

Stop in the hotel’s wine shop to sample some of these incredible locally produced wines. Take a walk around the hotel premises to enjoy the floor-to-ceiling windows, modern rooms and elegant ambiance while dinner is prepared. Indulge in the most delicious combination of samples of locally produced fine wines and your favorite selections from the restaurant’s à la carte menu.


Day 5 - Sept. 18th

  • Tour the Marqués de Riscal with a local guide who details the process of how the world’s best wines are made at this stunningly elegant winery
marques de riscal rioja hotel
  • Enjoy lunch at a popular Laguardia restaurant enclosed by ancient walls built during the 13th century.
laguardia rioja

After breakfast, your driver will take you to the most spectacular winery in Elciego, which was constructed during the middle of the 18th century. The winery design by Frank Gehry keeps this traditional pride while maintaining an eye towards the future. This was a groundbreaking approach that visitors can appreciate during the wine tasting of vintages that are famous around the world.

Next to the winery, you will find probably the most beautiful town of the Rioja region, LaGuardia. Built at the beginning of the 13th century, the whole urban centre of Laguardia is enclosed by walls. You will taste the region’s finest cuisines on your Spain food tour. Delicacies grown in the area’s fertile soils are served with fine regional wines. Stroll around the peaceful town after your meal, and wander the historic, artistic town centre before dropping by some of the local wine cellars for additional tastings. By late afternoon, you will be transferred back to your hotel room for a relaxing leisure period before dinner is prepared at the hotel’s à la carte restaurant.


Day 6 - Sept. 19th

  • Visit the most famous museum in Northern Spain, the Guggenheim.
bilbao basque country
  • Sample the comfort food and traditional Basque entrees as you explore the selective restaurants in the area.
free range chicken rice

Begin your day with a delicious breakfast before checking out of the hotel. Your guide and your driver will take you to the Guggenheim Museum in Bilbao, which is a world-famous landmark designed by Frank Gehry, world-famous architect. The drive will take a little more than an hour before you arrive at the heart of Basque country. This vibrant city mixes the local traditions with modern architecture in a harmonious collaborative atmosphere. The Guggenheim exhibitions are world-renowned, so enjoy every moment of this notable experience.

Lunch takes place in a traditional Basque restaurant serving à la carte specialties including croquettes, kokotxas, steak and specially prepared Basque cod. The next stop is San Sebastian, which is known as the pearl of the area’s sea of Cantabrian. This elegant coastal town features influences from the French Riviera. During the late part of the 19th century, this seaside town became a popular destination for aristocrats and royalty who came to the Bay of Biscay’s most southern point to soak up the sun and experience the nascent therapeutic trend of sea bathing.

The local boardwalks and cafés with open-air terraces overflowed with important people from high society. This gave them opportunities to be seen by other ranking members of their cliques while also looking for openings to spot others who ranked higher. This type of social bustling was incredibly popular during the period, and the remnants of that activity are still visible today.

Over time, San Sebastian has been transformed from a sleepy fishing village into a thriving cosmopolitan district. Today, the town features luxury accommodations, modern facilities and recreational options demanded by the most discerning of visitors and guests. The best hotels in Spain comprise a destination that is replete with charm, style and modern amenities. The urban blossoming of this area occurred during the height off the era known as the Belle Époque.

The buildings that flank the famous La Concha beach include city hall, Victoria Eugenia Theatre and the Hotel Maria Cristina. For two nights, you will lodge at the Maria Cristina, which was also constructed in the style of this exquisitely ornamented period. This is one of the finest hotels Spain has to offer, and it is sure to leave an impression in your mind whenever you think back to the momentous time you spent in San Sebastian. Take your time savoring the dinner meal of selected local specialties at a traditional Basque restaurant.


Day 7 - Sept. 20th

  • Visit the local San Sebastian market, and go on a guided pintxos bar crawl.
pintxo san sebastian
  • Enjoy delicious local foods and cider right from the barrel after experiencing a tour of an authentic cider house.
asturian cider

A tasty breakfast will prepare you for a walk around the pristine town of San Sebastian. The guide will pick you up from your hotel, and you will be taken on an in-depth tour of this amazing city. Magnificent mountains and sparkling beaches form the backdrop of this experience.

Learn about the history of the old town’s seemingly endless narrow streets, landmarks, churches and local architecture. Experience the amazing food culture, plazas and bars of San Sebastian. The walking tour includes the central farmers’ market where locals go daily for the freshest ingredients. The slow food culture is what makes the local dishes so tasty, which you will experience during a lunchtime featuring the popular pintxos bar crawl. Traditional bites will mix with the amazing taste of fresh pintxos made from locally sourced ingredients.

Stroll along the pristine beach of San Sebastian, and stop by a local bar for a cup of coffee or a drink. The rest of the afternoon is free for any recreation that suits your interests. During the final evening, you will get a real glimpse into the gastronomy of the Basque region. This part of the country is famous as a production site of apple cider. Embark on a guided tour of a traditional cider house just before your final dinner.

The final meal of your Spain food tour sojourn will be incredible and memorable. Take your time making your selections from the traditional menu featuring local specialties like chorizo sausage cooked in cider, bone-in ribeye steak, Basque cheese, salt cod omelette, salt cod with peppers, quince jelly, walnuts, almond tiles and even Tolosa cigarettes. Wash down your favorite dishes with fine local cider served right from the kupela, or barrel, which is a genuine txotx ritual from this region.


Day 8 - Sept. 21th


At the end of your amazing 8 days in Spain, you will have acquired a real sense of the regional gastronomy. It’s finally time to say goodbye to Spain. Your driver will take you to Madrid's airport with plenty of time to catch your flight home. The last day in the Basque country is yours to enjoy at a leisurely pace. Shop for some souvenirs that will always remind you of the most amazing food and wine tours Spain.


  • ABOUT THE TOUR

Dates

September 14th - 21st 2020

Group size

4

Starting Point

Madrid's airport

Ending Point

Madrid's airport

What’s included? Everything you need. Plus everything you'd
want. Plus a few things you never knew you wanted until you got them.

In a word: everything. In eighty words? A private chauffeur tour guided by an English-speaking local guide, an interesting, fun and like-minded travel companion; authentic and innovative local cuisine; world-class local wines; wine tastings; all victuals and libations; all the endorphins you can handle; new insight; a feeling of total freedom. In short: an extraordinary, hassle-free journey of discovery. Travel at your own pace: Our tailor-made holidays are very flexible, allowing you to start road journeys or sightseeing when you choose – within reason.

  • All hotel accommodation
    • 3 nights -- RIBERA DEL DUERO - Monasterio Valbuena 5* 
    • 2 nights -- RIOJA -- Hotel Viura 4*
    • 2 nights -- SAN SEBASTIAN -- Hotel Maria Cristina 5* GL
  • Daily breakfast at all the hotels.
  • All meals at Michelin-starred, signature and traditional restaurants and all other meals as indicated à-la-carte (6 lunches  & 7 dinners) with wines and drinks included à-la-carte (no fixed menus, you may choose from each restaurant's public menu what you want to taste).
  • All transportation from airport pickup to drop-off in a chauffeured air-conditioned brand-new vehicle: Mercedes Class E, V or luxury minibus. Your safety and comfort are paramount. You will enjoy touring Northern Spain in safety, comfort and style.
  • English speaking guide during the whole trip. Translator services and assistance at restaurants, hotels & experiences. We will break the language barrier for you so you can get the most out of your experiences during your trip.
  • All the experiences, visits and activities included in the itinerary.
  • 24h concierge service during the whole trip.
  • All baggage transportation. 
  • All gratuities for baggage, porters and hotel service.
  • All currently applicable taxes.

What’s not included?

  • International Flights
  • Medical Travel Insurance
  • Personal expenses

What to expect

  • A laid-back pace with free time to relax
  • Plenty of scrumptious local food and wine as well as time to really appreciate the dining experience