Inquisitours map 14 day itinerary
  • ABOUT THE TOUR

Dates

September 13th - 26th 2020

Group size

12 people

Starting Point

Madrid's airport

Ending Point

Bilbao'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  5*
    • 3 nights -- LEÓN 4*
    • 4 nights -- RIOJA 4*
    • 3 nights -- BILBAO 4* 
  • Daily breakfast at all the hotels.
  • All meals at Michelin-starred, signature and traditional restaurants and all other meals as indicated à-la-carte (10 lunches  & 8 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: 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

AT A GLANCE

olive oil tasting

Picture yourself savouring one of the best olive oils in the country

abadia retuerta red grapes

Discover 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

steaks el capricho northern spain

Enjoy "best steak in the world" in a farm house hidden in the back roads of Northern Spain

iberian ham slice

Discover the authentic "Jamón Ibérico" hand carved by knife by a professional.

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

Exclusive Eat Northern Spain experiences:

  • 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


Click on this image to enjoy a sneak peek video of this day:

Upon arrival to Madrid airport you will be welcomed by your guide and escorted to a private vehicle. Then you will enjoy a scenic drive to the Spanish countryside across Spain’s world-famous wine region Ribera del Duero. (Individual Private Transfer from Madrid's airport to the starting point of the tour, Ribera del Duero)

At the heart of Ribera del Duero in the Golden Mile of this wine region where some of the best wines in the world are produced, you will sleep in one the best-preserved Cistercian monasteries of the 12th century in Europe. The whole property is a Spanish dream with clean stone walls, French oak floors and Berber rugs throughout, the effect is warm and inviting despite the scale of the property.

Enjoy the rest of the evening at your own leisure.

Dinner is included tonight at any of the gastronomical venues of your hotel. You may choose from the hotel's à-la-carte formal restaurant or the informal tapas bar placed in the hotel's wine cellar. Room service is available if you prefer to enjoy the comforts of your room.


Day 2

Exclusive Eat Northern Spain experiences:

  • A 4x4 drive through "Ribera del Duero"vineyards & a wine tasting of its famous wines
viña tondonia rioja
  • A visit to a traditional "asador" to savour roasted lamb slow cooked over an open fire 
roasted lamb burgos
  • A panoramic drive up to Peñafiel's castle with commanding views over the vineyards of Ribera del Duero
peñafiel castle

Click on this image to enjoy a sneak peek video of this day:

After a full delicious breakfast your guide and driver will pick you up from the hotel for day of exploring Ribera del Duero.

Enjoy breath-taking views as we drive through the vineyards of Ribera del Duero, discover its world-famous wineries along the "Golden Mile" of this wine region where some of the best wines in the world are produced.

You will visit Abadia Retuerta, a hidden gem for a wine lover among the string of exclusive wine estates found along the Duero river that crosses Northern Spain.

A visit to Abadía Retuerta is more than just a winery tour: you’ll immediately realise that you are in a very special place: an estate steeped in history, a unique terroir, which has been carefully cherished over the years... you will go for a 4×4 private tour of the estate and the vineyards. After a lovely ride through the vines you will learn how wines are produced inside the winery followed by a guided wine tasting of Abadia Retuerta's famous wines.

After the visit, you will be driven to Peñafiel, the heart of this wine region where you will visit Peñafiel’s castle, at the top of a hill and with commanding views over the vineyards, is a must when visiting this region. Your gastronomic journey begins with an opportunity to sample the signature dish of the Ribera del Duero region, roast lamb slow-cooked using a centuries old technique, the local name is “Lechazo”. A selection of a-la-carte starters of local specialities will complement this fantastic meal. Of course, your meal would not be complete with an accompanying red wine from the region.

After lunch you will be driven back to the hotel to relax for the rest of the day. Enjoy the outdoor & indoor pools, go for a walk by the river or learn how the cook grow his own vegetables in the hotel's vegetable garden.

Optional:  If you are interested in enjoying the scenery of this wine region from a different perspective, take a bike at the hotel this afternoon and enjoy a pleasant ride easy for all users along the tracks of the River Duero, where you can discover the natural setting of the Golden Mile of the Ribera del Duero in all its splendour. 

Dinner is included tonight at any of the gastronomical venues of your hotel. You may choose from the hotel's à-la-carte formal restaurant or the informal tapas bar placed in the hotel's wine cellar. Room service is available if you prefer to enjoy the comforts of your room.

Day 3

Exclusive Eat Northern Spain experiences:

  • A private visit to a family-run winery in one of the best Spanish regions for white wines: "Rueda"
grave harpest wineyards view
  • A delicious lunch in a traditional restaurant in the middle of the Spanish countryside
free range chicken rice


  • A visit to a family-run oil producer, its olive grove & the mill followed by a guided oil tasting of one of the best extra virgin oils in the country
olive oil tasting

Click on this image to enjoy a sneak peek video of this day:

After a full breakfast, your guide and driver will help you check out from your hotel. You will enjoy a scenic drive across the Spanish countryside. You will say goodbye to the Ribera del Duero wine region and you will be welcomed to one of the up-and-coming wine regions in Spain: "Rueda".

It’s continental climate and high altitude vineyards makes it ideal for refreshing white wines, with zingy high acidity. Verdejo is the prominent grape variety, but can also be blended with Sauvignon Blanc and Viura.

You will visit a family-run winery which lies in the heart of the so called “Golden Triangle” in Rueda appellation; 4 estates with rocky ground watered by the River Duero, where we grow the Verdejo variety to produce fresh, harmonious wines with the personality typical of the variety.
The soil at Valdecuevas is one of the key factors in the excellent quality of its wines, as the aeration permitted by the gravel, in conjunction with the area’s special microclimate with dry, very cold winters and hot summers with cool nights, results in the highest quality grapes.

For lunch, and after a short drive, you will enjoy a family-run restaurants in the countryside only locals know about.

You will continue your journey up north to Medina de Rioseco one of the towns with the greatest cultural legacy Northern Spain.  You will learn how Pago de Valdecuevas Extra Virgin Olive Oils are produced, in a unique setting surrounded by olive groves and history.

You will enjoy a stroll through an olive grove in a estate situated in the same place where General Blake fought against Napoleonic troops during the Peninsular War.

You’ll learn to tell the difference between the different types of olive oils, their health benefits, and you will immerse yourself into the passionate world of Extra Virgin Olive Oil tasting.
 
After the visit, an after a short drive back to your hotel, you will have time at your own leisure to relax for the rest of the evening at the five-star thermal spa which still draws mineral medicinal water from 1,200-foot-deep aquifer that the monks once used to irrigate the vineyards.
Dinner is included tonight at any of the gastronomical venues of your hotel. You may choose from the hotel's à-la-carte formal restaurant or the informal tapas bar placed in the hotel's wine cellar. Room service is available if you prefer to enjoy the comforts of your room.

Day 4

Exclusive Eat Northern Spain experiences:

  • A private guided tour of León's amazing Gothic Cathedral and city centre
cathedral-leon-spain
  • A private tasting of the best "Jamón Ibérico de Bellota" hand carved by knife by a professional
jamon iberico sliced by knife


Click on this image to enjoy a sneak peek video of this day:

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 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.

After the meal, an after a short drive, you will arrive to your next stop, León, Spain’s Gastronomy Capital 2018, a lively historic town and an important milestone along the Camino de Santiago pilgrimage route.

You will check for two nights in a stylish boutique hotel at León’s Main Square just metres away from Gaudí’s “Casa Botines” and León’s spectacular Gothic Cathedral, one of the greatest Cathedrals in Europe.

For dinner, you will be part of a unique and highly personal experience: a Jamón Ibérico private tasting hand carved by knife in front of you by a Master Ham Carver.

You will learn how to distinguish all the different types of Hams in Spain and you will taste Jamon Ibérico directly from the knife of a qualified professional. Every paper-thin slice of this delicacy has a unique flavour you will have the chance to enjoy as they melt in your mouth.


Day 5

Exclusive Eat Northern Spain experiences :

  • A guided guided León sightseeing tour 
musac leon northern spain


  • A delicious tapas bar crawl at León old town
tapas tasting in a bar Leon northern spain


Click on this image to enjoy a sneak peek video of this day:

Today, you will enjoy a relaxing stroll around Leon’s city centre and a guided tour of Leon’s Gothic Cathedral, a masterpiece dated from the 13th century that will take your breath away. You’ll be transported back in time inside a magical place where you will be touched by the beauty of the sunlight crashing through one of the finest stained-glass windows in the world.

Enjoy this spectacular display of light and colours with the company of hundreds of pilgrims that arrive to this place every day after walking along the Camino de Santiago pilgrimage route.

The world-famous architect Antoni Gaudí designed one of the few works he made outside Barcelona in this town, the impressive palace called “Casa Botines”, an architectural masterpiece at the centre of this charming town in Northern Spain.

León is probably the best Spanish town to enjoy a tapas bar crawl.

For lunch, you will dive into this amazing town in Northern Spain to discover the biggest concentration of bars in the country where you will enjoy creative and delicious tapas paired with Spanish wines from Rioja and Ribera del Duero world leading wine regions.

Brush shoulders with the locals to find the best bites in town for a culinary adventure you will treasure forever. We will visit small and lively bars that serve everything from crispy-on-the-outside-fluffy-on-the-inside patatas bravas, to perfect ham and cheese croquettes, to the most flavoursome chorizo you’ve ever tasted.

You will enjoy the rest of the evening at your leisure.  Recommendations for dinner in local restaurants will be provided by request.


Day 6

Exclusive Eat Northern Spain experiences:

  • A private visit to El Capricho Farm-house to learn how oxen are raised to produce the best meat in the world
el capricho farm northern spain


Click on this image to enjoy a sneak peek video of this day:

After a sumptuous breakfast, your guide and driver will pick you up to drive you to your next destination. Your journey will start with a trip along a beautiful stretch of land in North-western Spain in a small village called Jimenez de Jamuz.

Your next stop will be Bodega El Capricho, a family-run farm house and grill restaurant acclaimed by the international press like Time, the Guardian, Stern or New York Times be the best place in the world to eat the perfect steak.

The film Steak Revolution proclaimed the “Galician Blond” steak from Bodega El Capricho as the best in the world. This will be the most intense meat experience of your life in a remote village on the back roads of Northern Spain

El Capricho’s owner José Gordón raises his own oxen from different Iberian native breeds in a piece of land where you can touch these enormous animals with up to seven feet tall, 1.400 kgs and up to 15 years old. Then the meat is dry-aged in temperature-controlled refrigerators to enhance its flavours up to 180 days.

After a visit to the farm to admire the oxen you will immerse yourself into an unforgettable experience of intense flavours at the restaurant, placed in a cave used hundreds of years ago as a wine cellar.

After the feast, you can take a Spanish “siesta” while you are driven back to your hotel in León.  Enjoy the rest of your evening at your own leisure. Recommendations for dinner in local restaurants will be provided by request.


Day 7

  • Enjoy lunch at a popular Laguardia restaurant enclosed by ancient walls built during the 13th century.
laguardia rioja
  • 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

Click on this image to enjoy a sneak peek video of this day:

After breakfast, your driver will pick you up for your hotel to drive you to Spain's world famous wine region: La Rioja, which is without a doubt Spain’s most beautiful wine region and an absolute treat for the food and wine lover! The landscapes are of gentle rolling vineyard-covered hills, pretty medieval hamlets and the backdrop of the majestic Cantabrian Mountains. You will begin to discover why this is such a treat for the seasoned food and wine gastronome.

You will arrive to 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 before enjoying lunch and wander the historic, artistic town centre.

After lunch you will be driven to the most spectacular winery in Rioja, Marqués de Riscal, which was constructed during the middle of the 18th century. The winery design has been updated by Frank Gehry keeping 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.

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 little town of Briñas, a hidden gem, intersected by the tortuous meanderings of the Ebro river. The historic buildings date back to the Roman period. This part of La Rioja has charming narrow streets speckled with stately manors, including the 16th century palace with views overlooking the Tondón vineyards.

The next four nights will be spent in a unique complex with a fascinating architectural structure. This will be your home where tradition and history combine together in a modern context of sustainability and innovation. Time seems to stand still in this peaceful environment. Your quaint abode is surrounded by mountains, vineyards and Old World charm. Visit the nearby wineries, which are only a few minutes from the hotel, in Haro, and are nearly seven centuries old. This is the perfect jumping-off point to delve deeply into the passionate world of wine.

​​Dinner is included tonight at any of the gastronomical venues of your hotel. You may choose from the hotel's à-la-carte formal restaurant or the informal tapas bar placed in the hotel's wine cellar. Room service is available if you prefer to enjoy the comforts of your room.


Day 8

  • Full day at Valdemar Winery
rioja vineyards spain

Full Day at Valdemar Winery


Day 9

  • A Full day enjoying Logroño's famous wine festival:                          "San Mateo" 
logroño wine festival spain san mateo

Today's destination is Logrono, arguably Spain's most famous tapas town. You will be driven to the capital of the Rioja region in the morning to enjoy San Mateo, Logroño's most famous wine festival when they celebrate the starting point of the grape harvest season.

The town sits on the banks of the Ebro River and is the capital of Spain’s most renowned wine region. The city is rich in history and traditions, preserved since the Middle Ages. It also boasts one of the most distinguished culinary traditions in the county, home to some of the best tapas bars in the whole of Spain, all crammed into its small medieval centre. Stroll the streets of this favourite stop for pilgrims en route to Santiago de Compostela, a handsome city of medieval fortifications, where much work is being done to restore it to its full glory.

For lunch, included pintxos crawl around town, as tapas bars right around the medieval Old Town compete to get your business. This means incredibly high standards, so be ready to eat well. The town's central street is patrolled by bars, small local places that radiate enthusiastic chatter. The original tapa is a small snack placed on the lid of your drink: tapa literally translating as lid. This tradition continues in Logrono with every bar specializing in one particular tapa. Try a lid of morcilla (black sausage), quaff some seta (mushroom), savor the chorizo, and spend the morning indulging in unique flavors. With passion and panache every bar competes for custom, perfecting their single specialty over decades of experimentation. 

Return in the evening to relax at your hotel. Dinner is included tonight at any of the gastronomical venues of your hotel. You may choose from the hotel's à-la-carte formal restaurant or the informal tapas bar placed in the hotel's wine cellar. Room service is available if you prefer to enjoy the comforts of your room.


Day 10

  • Guided walk joining the pilgrims along some of the most beautiful stages of the "Camino de Santiago"
el camino pilgrims

After a reinvigorating sleep and a full breakfast, you may enjoy today an optional activity: a beautiful hike along the Camino de Santiago pilgrimage route surrounded by the vineyards of La Rioja.

Optional: Today you will walk across rolling hills full of vineyards, a jaw-dropping landscape that will make you feel connected to the earth while you join the pilgrims along this beautiful part of the "Camino". After walking around 5 miles / 8 km  and with time to freshen up and enjoy some drinks, your driver will pick you up to drive you to ​a local restaurant to enjoy traditional food at its best.

Enjoy the rest of the afternoon at your own leisure. Dinner is included tonight at any of the gastronomical venues of your hotel. You may choose from the hotel's à-la-carte formal restaurant or the informal tapas bar placed in the hotel's wine cellar. Room service is available if you prefer to enjoy the comforts of your room.


Day 11

  • 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

Click on this image to enjoy a sneak peek video of this day:

Begin your day with a delicious breakfast before checking out of the hotel. You will say goodbye to la Rioja and your guide and your driver will take you to your next destination: Bilbao , home tothe Guggenheim Museum, which is a world-famous landmark designed by famous architect Frank Gehry 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 the Guggnheim museum, a spectacular venue for a delicious Basque meal.  Enjoy a visit to the museum after lunch at your own pace and check in your hotel for the next three nights.

Dinner on your own tonight. Recommendations will be provided.


Day 12

  • Visit the local San Sebastian market, and go on a guided pintxos bar crawl.
pintxo san sebastian
  • A guided visit to San Sebastian central farmers market where you will feel the freshness of the local produce at every corner
daily market northern spain

Click on this image to enjoy a sneak peek video of this day:

After a sumptuous breakfast with views over the Guggenheim museum, your driver and your guide will pick you up from the hotel and you will enjoy a full day in San Sebastian, the pearl of the Cantabrian sea, an elegant coastal town with influences of the French Riviera.San Sebastian. 

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 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. 

You will be driven back to Bilbao in the evening. Recommendations will be provided if you wish to dine out tonight on your own.


Day 13

Basque Country Towns

Full day at your own leisure in Bilbao. 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  of Spain.

Recommendations to do, see and visit will be provided based on your interests.

Optional transfer to San Sebastian for those who would like to enjoy this day in San Sebastian will be available. Return transfer to Bilbao in the afternoon in time for the farewell dinner in a stylish restaurant serving the best food in town.

All the group will gather for dinner tonight where you will celebrate your last night in Spain like locals.


Day 14


At the end of your amazing 14 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 Bilbao's airport with plenty of time to catch your flight home.  (Individual Private Transfer from your hotel to Bilbao's airport)