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Spain Private Tours: Eat Northern Spain’s Top 10 Experiences
Everywhere you go in Northern Spain, you will find quaint villages, dramatic coastal edges and charming landscapes. It is a testament to the Old Spain. Roman ruins, powerful cathedrals and Islamic architecture bring alive the history of a country whose civilizations have left an undeniable mark.
The real, authentic Spain is even better than your imagination - as long as you know where to look. That is why we recommend exploring with a local guide. Somebody who can speak the language, share the customs and show you where the best wine can be found.
A local tour guide usually comes with a large bus and a cluster of strangers whose names you can never remember. But thanks to Spain Private Tours, you can explore the real, authentic Spain with a local guide, minus the group.
Private tours are better
Spain Private Tours offer all the perks of travelling independently but without the stress, worry and work that comes with it. If you dream of waking up to breakfast knocking on your door, before being met at reception by a local guide ready to take you out for a day of authentic Spanish experiences - all tailored to your own personal interests - then a private tour may be the perfect option.
When we say ‘tailored’ we really mean it. Private tours are a completely personalised itinerary which takes your needs, likes and dislikes into consideration. All the accommodations, experiences and even culinary choices are hand selected so that you can get the most out of your holiday.
Not to mention, private tours can be as flexible as you like because they are made to work for you. So if you want to exchange an outdoor activity for a moment of relaxation with a bottle of wine, it can always be arranged.
All of the control and none of the stress. Words we would like our clients to live by at Eat Northern Spain. We will offer suggestions for incredible experiences we truly believe you will enjoy, but ultimately you have full control over how you would like to spend your time in the region and where you would like to go - minus the worry. You don’t need to think about keeping your hotel reservations to hand, booking tables at restaurants or finding a taxi to take you home. Every single detail is taken care of.
The biggest benefit of Spain Private Tours I hear you ask? You will know every single person in your group because you have hand-selected all of them. Whether you want to leave the kids at home with your parents and have a romantic getaway, or bring them along and turn it into a family trip. The choice is yours.
Private tours are also perfect for anyone who is in need of extra assistance. Whether you are coming with an older relative who has mobility issues and requires a slower pace, or you are looking to take a tour of beautiful Northern Spain but are unsure about wheelchair access in hotels and restaurants, we have got you covered.
Eat Northern Spain’s Top 10 Experiences
So now you are sold on booking a private tour, which one should you go for? With so many incredible experiences available in picturesque Northern Spain, the biggest challenge is selecting your favourites. Luckily, we are one step ahead. The team at Eat Northern Spain have hand-selected their top 10 favourite experiences in the region and we cannot wait to share them with you.
4x4 through the Ribera del Duero
The Ribera del Duero, home to idyllic landscapes and the perfect climate for growing grapes. The views in the region are undeniably picturesque and it also happens to be where they produce some of the finest wines in the world.
Imagine your day beginning with a panoramic drive through the vineyards of the Golden Mile before embarking on an infamous wine tour around Ribera del Duero with a special visit to the best family-run winery, Pago de los Capellanes.
Take a lesson on how to perfect those sensual flavours before sampling some of the most outstanding, world-recognised, red wines.
Wine lovers will be in their element in Ribera del Duero as the region boasts a number of secluded wine estates dotted along the river.
Most Spain Private Tours do not end with such a bang, but this Eat Northern Spain experience does. Finish your day with a drive to the top of the hill, where you will find Peñafiel’s castle overlooking the breathtaking landscape for an unforgettable sunset.
While here, you can also check into one of the most luxurious hotels in Spain, a place where tranquility washes over you as you step through the entrance doors. The perfect way to end your tour in complete and utter luxury.
Sleep at a 12th century medieval abbey
A far cry from the daily grind of modern life, Abadia Retuerta Hotel Le Domaine is a hidden gem for the wine lovers among us.
This peaceful haven of complete relaxation is among the cluster of exclusive wine estates dotted along the Duero River.
The 12th century medieval abbey was beautifully restored into a five-star hotel fit for royalty. You will quickly feel like a King or Queen as you arrive to a glass of wine, which can be enjoyed while watching the sun go down from the comfort of your own room.
The Hotel’s Michelin-starred restaurant eagerly awaits to serve you a culinary experience full of flavour and as always, paired with the very best wines. The perfect location for a romantic evening with loved ones.
Sleeping like royalty is wonderful, but the experience would not be complete without a private tour of the estate and vineyards, followed by a guided wine tasting of the vineyard’s most famous wines. You don’t need to be a wine aficionado for this to be a truly unforgettable experience.
Spanish Cooking Class
Nothing says ‘culinary tour’ like an authentic cooking class and this experience may be one of the best Spain Private Tours on offer. Enter to a warm welcome with a glass of local wine, before learning all the best kept secrets of Spanish cuisine.
Today’s menu will consist of the perfect paella and Spanish omelette as well as some more adventurous dishes like Galician octopus, gazpacho and the most iconic duo… pinchos and tapas.
You will be guided by a professional chef at all times, but we believe the best way to learn how these dishes are prepared is to get stuck in and have a go yourself. Everything can be modified for every skill level as well as any dietary restrictions.
These private lessons provide the perfect atmosphere for a fun and relaxed afternoon of cooking with your loved ones. Not forgetting that once the preparations are complete, the tastings begin. And they will also be accompanied by exquisite red and Galician white wines.
Tour the Marqués de Riscal winery
Wineries do not come better than Marqués de Riscal. Currently found in over 110 countries and exporting more than 60% of their production, this prestigious winery was founded in 1858 and has been intertwining their old age traditions with new innovative methods ever since.
Home to a historic bottle cellar which boasts the finest collection of vintage wines in the world, including the very first vintage of the bodega in 1862, the treasures that can be found here are endless.
Take a tour of the grounds with a local guide, learn about what is needed to make the world’s best wines and enjoy the Frank Gehry-designed winery that will leave you believing the future is already upon us.
Marqués de Riscal aims to produce wines that are fresh, elegant and easy to drink. You will have the opportunity to see how accurate that description is with a sampling of some the best vintages around.
Visit an artisan cheese-maker
Spain Private Tours are so exciting, they will turn you blue in the face. Well, maybe not you but the cheese will definitely be blue on this adventure. Allow us to introduce you to ‘Cabrales’. This delicious blue cheese that is aged in ‘Picos de Europa’, naturally formed caves in Spain’s biggest National Park.
Hike through the stunning caves and join an artisan cheese-maker in transporting a few wheels of this scrumptious delicacy from the farm to the cave before discovering all the tips and tricks to aging cheese naturally surrounded by stalagmites and tufas.
This educational tour will be followed by a guided tasting, paired with stunning wine and breathtaking views over the mountains, we can promise you that cheese has never tasted so good. An unforgettable morning for the cheese lovers among us.
Finish the day off down in the valley at an authentic farmers market, one of the oldest in Spain. Meet farmers and shepherds as they gather to sell their organic products including chorizo and homemade cider, and maybe pick up a few samples to take away with you.
Cider tasting and bear watching
Spain Private Tours are nothing if they do not assimilate you into real Spanish life. In Asturias, Northern Spain, an essential part of life is cider.
As the traditional drink of the region, this experience will see you learn how to pour a pint just like the locals do, while on a bar crawl of course. All ciders will be paired with delicious local tapas that are bursting at the seams with flavour.
Asturias is famous for more than just its cider, the region is also home to the largest population of wild brown bears who reside in the mountains.
Join an expedition and go searching for these magical animals with the hope of admiring them from a safe distance. Your local guide will tell you everything you need to know about the resident bears and ensure they are kept undisturbed by your presence.
Asturias Cider Tasting Tour and Wild Bear Watching is a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity and one that should not be missed. For the best chance of viewing the brown bears in their natural habitat, travel should be made in April, May, August or September.
Including an experience in Portugal may be cheating but we are making an exception for the next two as both are included in Eat Northern Spain itineraries and neither should be missed.
Nestled on a ridge, along the banks of Gaia, is W & J Graham. This 1890 Lodge is home to the oldest Porto cellars and overlooks the picturesque historic city centre of Porto.
2000 pipes and 40 tonels and balseiros of ageing Port wine is what you will find in these caves. Plus a number of cellars full of Vintage Port, ageing in a bottle.
Take a private tour of the property and sample a handpicked selection of wines before moving to the incredible restaurant located onsite. This unique dining experience consists of a window separating the working lodge from the dining room, providing an atmosphere like no other. Taste delicious food and wines sourced from the very best local ingredients and fresh fish from the harbour before taking in the views over the city from the open-air terrace.
Cross the Valeria Dam
Sail down the Douro River on a luxurious private vessel and watch the rolling hills full of picturesque quintas pass you by. At 850km long, the Douro River flows straight into the city of Porto and is separated by five dams.
Thanks to their design, boats are able to cross the dams and travel between Barca D’Alva on the Spanish border and Porto.
This experience will see you cross the Valeria dam on your private boat. The dam was built between 1971 and 1976. At 85m long and 23m wide, it will be a unique experience crossing a 32m difference in water level.
Truffle Hunting with Spanish hounds
Spain Private Tours that you will never forget include Truffle Hunting with Spanish four-legged friends. Nestled under the roots of oak trees in the middle of the Spanish Peninsula, you will find the exquisite black truffle, with the help of man’s best friend.
These four-legged hounds happen to be specialists at truffle hunting and will be sure to show you the ropes on how to seek out the best produce.
As the world’s biggest producer of black truffle, this region is the perfect place to discover the enigmatic taste and smell of this gastronomic gem.
The winter season has proved to be the perfect time for this unique full-day experience, as the black truffle appears at its best. Your mission, should you choose to accept it, will be to seek out the most noteworthy black truffle, the “Tuber Melanosporum”.
As the hunting comes to an end and your bag is full of black truffles, you will find yourself rewarded with a delicious tasting menu at one of the most highly rated restaurants in the region, masters of the infusing black truffle with the most exquisite local delicacies. It is a meal you will never forget.
Best steak in the world
When you set out to serve the best beef in the world, it helps to have a love of Oxen.
The tour of all Spain Private Tours, this experience has been honoured with the title of ‘best steak in the world’ by the film Steak Revolution. Bodega El Capricho understands the work that goes into producing the most intense meat experience of your life.
Nestled on the back roads of Northern Spain, the family-run farm house and restaurant is run by José Gordón.
José raises his own oxen on the farm and guests will be invited to meet these beautiful animals up close. Standing in front of a seven-foot tall ox that weighs close to 1.400 kg may seem a little daunting, but we promise that these wonderful creatures are blissfully happy and friendly.
José believes animals that live peacefully taste better once they are meat and it is clear that welfare is fundamental here, with each animal costing around $3000 a year to raise.
The meat is dry-aged for up to 180 days to enhance the flavours and nothing is added. This slower approach to food production is popular in this region of Spain. Older meat produces a mature flavour which is completely unique and different to steaks you would find elsewhere.
Once you have experienced life on the farm, you will be invited to the restaurant for a tasting you will never forget. Located in a cave that was once an old wine cellar, the ambience will be perfect for a full menu, including the best cuts of meat paired with delicious Spanish reds.
The feedback by our clients has confirmed that this really is the best steak in the world. Even the New York Times, the Guardian and Time Magazine agree. Don’t believe us? Come and try it for yourself.
Spain Private Tours really are the most luxurious and stress-free way to explore the authentic Northern Spain - and Eat Northern Spain takes the authenticity one step further. All these experiences and so many more are available in our tours. Click below, pick your favourite tour and we will tailor to you.