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From San Sebastian to Madrid, embark on an epic exploration of Spain's culinary traditions

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  • Luxury accommodation throughout
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  • Privately guided city tours and cooking classes
Use this itinerary to inspire your bespoke journey

At a glance

Sip on some of the finest wines the country has to offer, learn to make Basque dishes, visit food markets and indulge in the sweetest of treats – this delicious journey through Spain will leave you inspired.

Your trip begins in San Sebastian where you’ll discover the city on foot before embarking on a pintxos tour where you’ll get to taste small dishes at a variety of bars. Once you’ve got a taste for Spanish flavours, take part in a Basque cooking class and learn to prepare a selection of dishes using fresh produce from nearby villages. In addition to tasting great food and wines, you’ll also get to discover some of the beautiful sights Spain has to offer. You will visit the small village of Oma and take a hike through Bosque Animado (the Animated Forest) which features the land art of Agustín Ibarrola. There will also be a secret dinner prepared especially for you by the team from one of the top restaurants in San Sebastian.

Next, you’ll head for La Rioja where you’ll take in some of the highlights and learn about the region’s wine industry. Then, venture into the kitchen of Michelin-starred restaurant, Venta de Moncalvillo, where you will be treated to a unique gastronomic experience. And no food or wine tour through Spain would be complete without a tour of the Ribera del Duero wine region. Visit Peñafiel, with its castle and wine museum, and learn about winemaking.

The final leg of your journey takes you to Madrid where you’ll visit some food markets while discovering the history of the city and learning about life in the present. Enjoy a wine and tapas tasting at a collection of taverns, and don’t miss the chance to indulge in churros dipped in a cup of decadent hot chocolate.

Example Trip Itinerary

Days 1-4

San Sebastian

Flights & Transfers

Transfer

Private transfer to your hotel in San Sebastian

Accommodation in San Sebastian

Three nights in San Sebastian Three nights in San Sebastian

The sophisticated and shimmering city of San Sebastian in the north of the country sits at the mouth of the River Urumea, looking out on to the Bay of Biscay, with the natural beauty of Mount Urgull, Mount Ulia, Mount Adarra and Mount Igeldo at its back. Its covetable position has given rise to a lively beachfront that includes Playa de la Concha, renowned as one of the best beaches in Europe, and Playa de la Zurriola, a champion surfing destination. But it's the city's fabled elegant architecture, spacious plazas and plentiful green parks that has led to its moniker as the 'Pearl of Northern Spain'. San Sebastian is famous for its pintxos and an evening dipping in and out of its bars is not to be missed.

Highlights of San Sebastian walking tour Highlights of San Sebastian walking tour

San Sebastian, or Donastia to locals, was once the favoured summer resort of Queen Isabella II and is one of Spain's most elegant cities. You'll discover its beautiful Gothic churches and neoclassical town hall, and gain an understanding into Basque history and culture at the San Telmo Museum. You'll also visit La Concha beach, a shell-shaped strip of sand that looks out over turquoise waters to Monte Urgull, topped with a 12m statue of Jesus Christ.

pintxos-san-sebastian
Pintxos tour Pintxos tour

San Sebastian has every right to be incredibly proud of its culinary heritage, and going out for pintxos is a fun and delicious experience. Pintxos are small morsels of food and people will typically visit three or four bars, sampling a different dish in each place. Originally pintxos were held together by a toothpick but nowadays there are all sorts of variations and they are best enjoyed with a wine, beer or a glass of txacolí - the lightly sparkling wine typical of the Basque country.

Basque cooking class Basque cooking class

San Sebastian is famous all over the world for its rich culinary history. Gain an insight into their food culture with a cooking class where you’ll learn to prepare Basque dishes using the freshest produce from the coastal fishing villages and the mountainous provinces of Gipuzkoa and Bizkaia. Enjoy the fruits of your labour as you sit around their rustic wooden table for lunch with wine.

oma-forest-san-sebastian-spain
Oma Forest Hike Oma Forest Hike

The small neighbourhood of Oma, in Kortezubi, contains a singular spot known as Bosque Animado (the Animated Forest), painted by the Bilbao sculptor and artist Agustín Ibarrola in 1984. This is an enchanted forest located in a magical area that stresses a new connection between nature and art. There, the artist left traces on trees and stones aiming to link the works of the ancestral Paleolithic artists with the modern tendency known as land art, an artistic current that works directly over the natural landscape. Thus, Ibarrola confined himself to paint the surface of pine trees, being aware that the holder he was using was not as inert as the canvas. Most of the figures are scattered around different trees, which are situated in different depths. Build a personalized work by means of decisions that you take in the forest, walking along one or another path, looking at different spots, meaning that every visitor experiences the piece in a unique way.

private-dinner-kokotxa-san-sebastian
Private dinner in a secret kitchen Private dinner in a secret kitchen

Experience the luxury of a very private affair being cooked by the team of one of the leading restaurants in San Sebastian. Enjoy at their secret kitchen of a paired dinner with local artists of the famous Basque cuisine. A special menu will be elaborated especially for you and paired with wines in front of your eyes.

Flights & Transfers

Transfer

Private transfer to your hotel in La Rioja

Days 4-7

La Rioja

Accommodation in La Rioja

rioja-spai
Three nights in La Rioja Three nights in La Rioja

Internationally famous for the quality of its produce, the wines that bear its name, La Rioja showcases more than 500 wineries nestled in vast vineyards. While you’re here, you can discover tiny family owned and operated bodegas alongside huge industrial producers. It’s not all vineyards though. La Rioja also presents a beautifully varied landscape of forests, Iberian mountain ranges, lunar-like landscapes and no less than seven rivers which along with their tributaries have carved almost countless valleys and grandiose canyons.

Rioja in a nutshell - winery tours and tasting Rioja in a nutshell - winery tours and tasting

This tour explores some of Rioja's highlights in just a few hours. Enjoy a panoramic drive through La Sonsierra, where modern winemaking originated, through quaint villages such as Labastida and Briones en route to Haro. As well as containing many of the region's legendary bodegas, Haro houses the Museo del Vino de Rioja which chronicles the history, evolution and creation of Spanish wines. It also has a pretty old town with several palaces and every years hosts the Batalla de Vino, where participants douse each other in red wine during a mock battle. The tour finishes in Laguardia where you’ll visit the Casa Primicia winery.

Gastronomic experience and lunch at Michelin-starred Venta de Moncalvillo Gastronomic experience and lunch at Michelin-starred Venta de Moncalvillo

This unique opportunity takes you inside the kitchen of Michelin-starred restaurant, Venta de Moncalvillo. The Echapresto family have lived in the village of Daroca de Rioja since the 16th century and the restaurant is now in the hands of brothers Ignacio and Carlos, chef and sommelier respectively. Ignacio's love of cooking came from watching his mother and learning her many of kitchen secrets. Local, seasonal produce is sourced from Rioja's bountiful natural larder and letting the wonderful natural flavours shine is at the heart of their philosophy

Depending on the season, you’ll be accompanied on a walk through the forest to pick mushrooms, enjoy a cheese tasting or learn the techniques used to bake sweet potatoes, picked from their orchard. Ignacio will showcase the harvest from his own back garden with a selection of grilled vegetables drizzled with olive oil. You will then enjoy lunch in the restaurant with a menu that expresses the season, and wines to match.

Flights & Transfers

Transfer

Private transfer to your hotel in Ribera del Duero

Days 7-9

Duero Valley

Accommodation in Duero Valley

spain-wine-pouring
Two nights in the Duero Valley Wine Region Two nights in the Duero Valley Wine Region

The mighty Duero River winds its way through the rocky outcrops of the elevated plateaus of the Iberian Peninsular, giving life to the multitude of vines that criss-cross the land. Winemaking has been a way of life here for over 2,000 years; a huge Roman mosaic depicting Bacchus, the Roman God of Wine, was discovered here during one of the grape harvists and can be seen in the small town of Baños de Valdearados. There’s no denying the mighty grape is the beating heart of Riberia del Duero, but be sure to go exploring beyond the vineyards. Spanning four provinces, the area is rich in culture, with several magnificent castles to discover, such as the Peñaranda de Duero in Burgos and the Peñafiel in Valladolid.

Tour of the Ribera del Duero wine region Tour of the Ribera del Duero wine region

Your tour starts with a visit to Peñafiel, one of the most beautiful villages in this part of Spain. An impressive castle, which also houses a wine museum, overlooks the village whose main square is transformed into a bullring during the summertime fiestas. You'll also visit Roa de Duero and learn all about the winemaking process at the Lopez Cristobal winery, where you'll taste the wine and enjoy a tapas lunch.

Flights & Transfers

Transfer

Private transfer to your hotel in Madrid

Days 9-11

Madrid

Accommodation in Madrid

Two nights in Madrid Two nights in Madrid

The Spanish capital is bursting with life and passion and through its well planned streets course Madrilenos, the city's inhabitants who really know how to live

Madrid is a powerhouse of culture, and no trip here could miss a tour of the the Golden Triangle of Art, encompassing the Prado Museum, the Reina Sofía Museum and the Thyssen-Bornemisza Museum. Music is also an important feature and the city marches to the beat of flamenco, jazz and live music of all kinds. And don't forget that Madrid serves some of the most delicious tapas that there is.

Historic and lifestyle tour of Madrid Historic and lifestyle tour of Madrid

Learn about the history of the city through its architecture and urban development on this insightful walking tour. You'll visit some of the city's most well-known areas including Cibeles Square, Puerta del Sol and Gran Via and relive the heyday of the 16th and 17th century at the Plaza Mayor and Royal Palace. This tour is also about life in modern Madrid and provides an understanding of what it means to live in Spain today. You'll visit a food market, artisan shops and a fashion designer's workshop.

Madrid wine and tapas tasting Madrid wine and tapas tasting

Your host will take will take you to enjoy the flavours of Madrid, visiting different taverns across La Latina District, such as Casa Lucas, one of the best places in Madrid to taste good selection of wines and tapas.

churros-hot-chocolate-madrid
Hot Chocolate and Churros Hot Chocolate and Churros

You cannot visit Madrid without trying Hot Chocolate con Churros, the traditional hot dark chocolate almost as thick as pudding and delicious too. Churros are distant relatives of the doughnut and the best way to have them is sitting at a table on a Gran Via sidewalk café, so you can relax and enjoy the view of the passing by madrileños.

Flights & Transfers

Transfer

Transfer to Madrid airport

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