satisfaction guaranteed badge
  • Private Group: 2 people
  • Type of Tour:  Self-drive
  • Flexible tour: need a shorter/longer holiday? Want to add / change something about the tour? No problem, we will tailor it to your needs 
  • Full-size Rental Car with unlimited mileage, GPS & full insurance
  •  Authentic local experiences, unique restaurants and historic hotels
  • Holidays designed by locals to make you feel like one of us
map tour of northern spain


AT A GLANCE

steaks el capricho northern spain

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

ribera del duero vineyards

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

Cathedral-Leon-Spain

Be amazed by the beauty of one of the best Cathedrals in the world in León

iberian ham slice

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

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 Cantabrian Coast

tapa croquette and ham burgos northern spain

Savour delicious pintxos & tapas at the best bars


Day 1 --  June 11th

Exclusive Eat Northern Spain experiences:

  • A guided visit to San Sebastian central farmers market where you will feel the freshness of the local produce at every corner
fish market santiago de compostela
  • A guided walking tour of San Sebastian historic city centre 
San Sebastian Maria Cristina Hotel
  • A truly traditional Basque Experience in a Traditional Cider House in a rural village of the Basque Country
asturian cider


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

You have already picked up your rental car the evening before from Bilbao's airport to get ready today in the morning for your adventure.

You will start your Ultimate Tour of Northern Spain from Bilbao. After  a short drive (1h 15min) across the Basque Country you will arrive to San Sebastian.

San Sebastian is the pearl of the Cantabrian sea, an elegant coastal town with influences of the French Riviera. You will enjoy a walking tour of the most interesting spots starting with the central farmers market where you can feel the freshness of the produce they sell in a lively market where locals gather every day to buy local food. This is slow food at its best.

For lunch, you will be guided to the most interesting spots to sample “pintxos” during a pintxos bar crawl. You will taste innovative pintxos made with local ingredients as well as the most traditional bites.

After lunch you will enjoy a stroll along San Sebastian beach where you can stop in a bar for a coffee or a drink.

Basque Country is a big producer of apple cider. Their cider is different from the one you tried in Asturias but you will love it. We have designed a plan for lovers of cider and Basque gastronomy including a guided tour of traditional cider house (15 min drive) followed by a magnificent traditional menu including chorizo sausage cooked in cider, salt cod omelette, salt cod with peppers, bone-in ribeye steak, Basque cheese, quince jelly, walnuts, almond tiles and cigarettes from Tolosa. All washed down with our cider, served directly from the kupela or barrel in true txotx ritual fashion.

Today's driving time:  1h 30min


Day 2 --  June 12th

Exclusive Eat Northern Spain experiences:

  • A walking tour of picturesque Santillana del Mar
santillana del mar spain
  • Comillas sightseeing tour & Gaudí's "El Capricho" visit
capricho gaudi comillas cantabria northern spain

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

This morning, after a delicious breakfast with local specialities, you will enjoy a scenic drive along Northern Spain's beautiful coastline.  Your next destination will be Spain's oldest National Park: Picos de Europa.

On your way to the park, you will stop in Santillana del Mar (2h 30min). This picturesque village is known for its medieval towers, Renaissance palaces and the Romanesque Santa Juliana Collegiate Church. 

After a walking tour of the village, you will enjoy a traditional lunch in one of the historic buildings of this picturesque medieval town.

Later on, continue to Comillas (25 min), one of Northern Spain's most symbolic coastal villages and one of its most interesting from an architectural point of view. It has some of the most important Art Nouveau buildings, which include Sobrellano Palace Chapel and the Pantheon, the Pontifical University and, of course, the brilliant El Capricho by the Catalan architect Antoni Gaudi. Its beautiful beach is also a major attraction, bringing thousands of tourists to the town every summer.

After a short drive (1h) , you will arrive to the gates of your next destination: Picos de Europa National Park.

On the banks of the Sella River, surrounded by the spectacular Picos de Europa mountains, a unique historic hotel awaits you in an incomparably beautiful spot. The hotel is located in the former San Pedro de Villanueva Monastery, a beautiful building with spectacular rooms of stone and wood.

You will relax for the rest of the evening. For dinner you will indulge yourself in the hotel's à-la-carte restaurant.

Today's driving time:  4h 


Day 3 --  June 13th

Exclusive Eat Northern Spain experiences:

  • A scenic drive up to "Covadonga Lakes" following the route of the bicycle race "La Vuelta"
picos de europa national park northern spain

  • An unforgettable meal in a hidden gem only locals eat
free range chicken rice

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

After a reinvigorating sleep, a delicious breakfast will be waiting for you to recharge your batteries.

You will start the day with an early morning drive through a scenic road up to "Covadonga Lakes", one of the most beautiful spots in "Picos de Europa". The road ascending to the lakes is a popular climb in professional road bicycle racing, and the most important climb in the Spanish multi-stage bicycle race "La Vuelta".

A must to visit in this region is the Sancturary of Covadonga.  The basilica, alongside the cave where pilgrims venerate the statue of La Santina, is a place of worship and pilgrimage for the people of Asturias. The basilica is in neo-Romanesque style, with two high towers flanking the main entrance. Inside there are works of great value, such as a canvass by Madrazo. The statue of king Pelayo is in the square by the basilica. The statue of La Santina, the tomb of king Pelayo and that of king Alfonso I, are in a cave, with access via a large staircase. A spring flows out of the cave and below this there is a fountain with seven spouts. On the altar, a gold panel represents the battle of Covadonga.

You will enjoy jaw-dropping views along the way. The "Covadonga Lakes" is a postcard-perfect valley with two glacial lakes. Goats, sheep, and cows roam freely around the lakes. Artisan cheesemakers make in this remote place one of the best cheeses in the world, "Gamoneu".

For lunch, back into the valley, you will enjoy one of the most memorable meals of your life. Picos de Europa National Park is home to a hidden gem the locals don’t want you to know about.

On this culinary adventure, you will be in search of ‘Pitu de Caleya’, free-range chicken. But this isn’t just any free-range chicken; it is the most delicious in Northern Spain, which is why the locals want to keep it for themselves.

After lunch, you will be driven back to your hotel to relax for the rest of the afternoon.

For dinner,  you will indulge yourself in the hotel's à-la-carte restaurant.

Today's driving time:  1h 


Day 4 --  June 14th

Exclusive Eat Northern Spain experiences:

  • A visit to the only village without road access at the top of the mountains of Picos de Europa, a place with breath-taking scenery
picos de europa viewpoint

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

Your morning will start with a mouth-watering breakfast. Today, you will immerse yourself into one of the most spectacular areas of the National Park: Cabrales. Cabrales is famous for its blue cheese as well as its breath-taking scenery. You will enjoy outstanding viewpoints of Picos de Europa most iconic peak, "Pico Urriellu" along the way. 

In Arenas de Cabrales you will take an underground cable car to the village of Bulnes . Not long ago, the only way to reach Bulnes was through a snake-like path surrounded by rocks belonging to the third stage of prehistory. This path was walked by men on mules carrying provisions and belongings and also by postal workers. This route was not very much used during winter because it was hidden by the snow.  But you will ascend to Bulnes using a cable car under the mountains.

This small mountain village nestles in a deep valley. Bulnes has a small selection of cafes and bars; short walks from Bulnes lead to the village of Upper Bulnes, and a viewpoint of Picu Uriellu.

You will enjoy a traditional lunch in one of the family-run restaurants in the village (not included). After lunch, you will descend by cable car to Arenas de Cabrales.

Back in the valley you will visit an artisan cheese-maker who produces the best blue cheese in Spain, “Cabrales”. You will learn how cheese is produced in this region of Spain and you will enjoy a cheese guided tasting.

Drive back to your hotel to relax for the rest of the evening. For dinner, you will choose from the hotel's restaurant à-la-carte menu.

Today's driving time:  1h  30min


Day 5 --  June 15th

Exclusive Eat Northern Spain experiences:

  • A visit to the local fishing port to see the fishermen arrive with the catch of the day
ship arriving port
  • 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 delicious breakfast, you will say goodbye to the Parador of Cangas de Onís and Picos de Europa National Park.

You will drive to the spectacular coastline to one of the most picturesque coastal villages in Spain, Lastres.

Perched by the cliffs you will discover Lastres’ postcard-perfect lighthouse. Waiting quayside at Lastres’ fishing port, you will meet the fishermen as they arrive with their catch of the day.

You will learn how fishermen live in this region bringing the best fish and seafood to the local restaurants. You will have the opportunity to sample this sparkling-fresh produce in a local restaurant in this picturesque village.

After lunch, you will enjoy some time to relax at the beach before starting a scenic drive to your next destination: 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.

Today's driving time:  2h  40min


Day 6 --  June 16th

Exclusive Eat Northern Spain experiences :

  • A guided León sightseeing tour 
musac leon northern spain
  • A delicious tapas bar crawl in León's old town
tapas tasting in a bar Leon northern spain

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

You won't need the car today, you will enjoy a relaxing stroll around Leon’s city centre to visit 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. You will visit a small and lively bar 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. For dinner, you will be escorted to a traditional family-run restaurant in the "Barrio Húmedo", León's lively old town.


Day 7 --  June 17th

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, you will have some free time for you to enjoy a stroll around Leon's downtown plenty of cafes and stylish traditional shops. You will say goodbye to the heart of the Camino de Santiago and you will continue your journey with a short drive out of León (1h).

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 will enjoy a scenic drive to the Spanish countryside across Spain’s world-famous wine region 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.

You can 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.

For dinner, you can indulge yourself at the hotel’s gastronomic space which has an exclusive à-la-carte restaurant composed of both traditional and modern cuisine, prepared with the highest quality local products.

Today's driving time:  2h  50min


Day 8 --  June 18th

Exclusive Eat Northern Spain experiences:

  • A 4x4 drive through "Ribera del Duero"vineyards & a picnic with local products surrounded by ancient vines
ribera del duero picnic in the vineyards
  • A visit to a traditional "asador" to savour roasted lamb slow cooked over an open fire 
wood fire oven 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. 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 a stroll across the vineyards, or book a relaxing massage by the pool.

For dinner, you will indulge yourself at the hotel à-la-carte restaurant.

Today's driving time:  50min


Day 9 --  June 19th

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 tasting menu in one of the temples of product in traditional restaurant in the middle of the Spanish countryside
steak tartar spanish cuisine
  • 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, you will enjoy a scenic drive across the Spanish countryside and after a short drive you will be welcomed to one of the up-and-coming wine regions in Spain: "Rueda" (1h).

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 (45min) , you will enjoy an unforgettable tasting menu in one of the best restaurants in Spain, Lera. A temple of product in the middle of nowhere but with a tradition of two generations serving Spanish traditional food with the best ingredients.

You will continue your journey up north to Medina de Rioseco (25 min) 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, you will return back to your hotel (1h 15min) to relax for the rest of the evening. For dinner, you will choose from the hotel's restaurant à-la-carte menu.

Today's driving time:  3h  30min​​​​


Day 10 --  June 20th

Depending on your flight departure time, you may have some time to relax at the hotel and enjoy its world-class Spa.  

You will drive to Madrid's airport to drop the rental car off and to take your return flight home.

Today's driving time:  2h  30min


  • ABOUT THE TOUR

Dates / Type of Tour

June 11th - 20th  / Self-drive

Group size

2

Starting Point

Bilbao'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? 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. 

  • All hotel accommodation 
    •    1 night    -- SAN SEBASTIAN -- Hotel Silken Amara 4*
    •    3 nights -- PICOS DE EUROPA NATIONAL PARK -- Parador Cangas de Onís 4*
    •    2 nights -- LEON -- NH Collection Plaza Mayor 4*
    •    3 nights -- RIBERA DEL DUERO  -- Monasterio Valbuena 5*
  • Daily breakfast at all the hotels.
  • All meals at  signature and traditional restaurants and all other meals as indicated  (8 lunches  & 9 dinners) with wines and drinks included.
  • Rental Car Full Size with GPS, unlimited mileage & full insurance: 
    • Pick up   -- Bilbao's airport -- June 10th  from     5 pm
    • Drop off -- Madrid airport    --June 20th before 5 pm
  • All the experiences, visits and activities included in the itinerary.
  • 24h Assistance service by direct phone line during the tour.
  • All currently applicable taxes.

What’s not included?

  • International Flights
  • Medical Travel Insurance
  • Meals/Drinks not included in the itinerary
  • Personal expenses
  • Fuel & Tolls

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