Wine & Culinary Tour of Northern Spain
BILBAO & THE BASQUE COAST
- Private guided tour of the world-famous Guggenheim Bilbao.
- Plentzia Bay and the world's first Underwater Wine Cellar. Board a restored fishing boat, for a private sailing tour to sample their totally unique wines on board. Lunch with wine in a harbour-side Basque restaurant.
- Medieval Town Winery in Rioja Alavesa.
- A classic 'Rioja Alavesa' winery traced back to a C14th monastic farm on the southern slopes of the Cantabrian Mountains.
- Haro, capital of La Rioja Alta, for a tour and tasting at one of the oldest wineries in La Rioja dating back to 1877.
- Navarra's historic Monastery /Bodega founded by Cistercian monks from Burgundy in the year 1134.
- Borja region visit to a curious bodega with a myriad of tunnels and caves. Wine tasting and fantastic home-cooked traditional food.
- Priorat historic boutique hotel and vineyard tours.
- Explore Barcelona's Gothic Barrio with a walking guide.
- Private 4 hour gastronomic experience - visit a local food market with a chef then back to the kitchen for a hands-on, fun culinary experience. Create a paella and three other courses. Wine included with the meal.
DAY 1 – Bilbao
Your tour of Northern Spain’s bodegas and culture begins in the city of Bilbao. Check into a 4 star hotel in the city. Enjoy lunch with wine in a typical Bilbao restaurant. Bustling and diverse, the city is home to the world-famous Guggenheim Bilbao, whose collection you can visit in the late afternoon. A guide will introduce the history and some of the permanent and temporary exhibits.
A free evening to stroll around the city. Your accommodation is in a great modern 4* hotel in Bilbao. Central and within walking distance of everything in the city. One night with breakfast.
DAY 2 – Basque Coast and La Rioja
After breakfast, check out and head to the sleepy fishing and beach village of Plentzia on the coast. Discover the world's first underwater Wine Cellar and learn about this pioneering maturing process of wine under the sea.
Hop aboard a restored fishing boat, for a private tour to sail out into the bay to sample these unique wines on board, before having a meal with wine in a fantastic Basque restaurant on the harbour-side in a converted old mansion. Dishes, made from locally sourced produce could include; freshly prepared salads, red beans, paella, locally-caught grilled fish, lamb chops, squid, or steak.
Then head inland for approximately two hours to 'La Rioja', one of the most emblematic wine producing regions in Europe. Here we will check in at a 4* Hotel in a mediaeval village surrounded by rolling countryside and vineyards. Some time to relax before dinner hotel’s superb Rioja restaurant for dinner with Rioja wines. The Hotel, provides modern four star luxury in a unique setting. Two nights, with breakfast, in this remarkable modern hotel with use of the village swimming pool.
DAY 3 – La Rioja
Explore the Rioja Alavesa wine producing region. La Rioja has been inhabited since prehistoric times,and remains from Roman, Visigoth, Arab and Mediaeval civilisations are still present. Accompanied by our local guide you will visit the impressive village of San Vicente de la Sonsierra, with its imposing castle before we learn and hear about the history of Nuestra Señora de la Piscina.
This area, and the micro climate created as a consequence of the mountains to the south and north, produces excellent Rioja, and our visit to Remelluri will place the whole centuries-old, wine-making process into context at this most classic of ‘Rioja Alavesa’ producers. This family-run winery can trace its history back to the 14th century when monks founded a monastery-farm on the southern slopes of the Cantabrian Mountain range. Lunch can taken at a typical Riojan family-run restaurant. Lunch and wines not included.
Arrive at La Rioja Alta, the town of Haro, for a tour and tasting at one of the oldest wineries in La Rioja, from 1877. This is one of the cornerstone wineries of La Rioja, a real classic, and one of the most traditional. They have only bottled 14 Gran Reservas since inception. The evening will see us visit the famous walled town of Laguardia where you will have a free evening to wander around the atmospheric streets.
DAY 4 – Navarra, Aragon and Priorat
Check-out of the hotel and head further inland to Navarra and a historic Monastery /Bodega. The Abbey was founded by Cistercian monks who arrived from Burgundy in the year 1134 and who until this day are still producing wines, some of them award-winning at the Catavinum World Wine and Spirits Competition 2013. The Gothic bodega still remains but production now takes place in more modern surroundings. Still, only monastery is able to make wine from its own vines, as well as producing some excellent Olive Oils.
Further south to the Borja wine producing region and a curious bodega, built over time with a myriad of tunnels and caves used to store their wines. The eccentric owner will explain their philosophy and processes before sitting down with us for lunch, all, where we will get to taste several of the wines they produce alongside some fantastic home-cooked traditional food.
Transfer to the Priorat region of Catalunya in north-eastern Spain to an atmospheric boutique hotel, the converted former quarters of the Cistercian monks who founded the monastery in the 15th Century. The hotels is surrounded by vineyards and has fantastic views across the mountains and plains of Aragon.
Dinner is a BBQ with wine at the hotel around the pool. Two nights in the historic, secluded and private hotel. Our rooms are the former monks’ accommodation, a courtyard formation that now surrounds a swimming pool.
DAY 5 – Priorat
Today has visits to two excellent Priorat Bodegas. Both bodegas have proceeded to carry on the tradition of wine making in this region, a difficult and intensive process due in no small part to the amazing topography. However new methods and technologies introduced in the last 20 years have enabled pioneering bodegas to recuperate and re-establish Priorat as a leading wine across the world. Lunch will be offered in the second bodega.
Free time in the afternoon to relax around the swimming pool or take a stroll in the nearby hills. In the evening a visit to Falset, one of the principal villages in the Priorat D.O. region where you will be able to wander the streets, sample the atmosphere and local dishes.
DAY 6 – Priorat and Barcelona
Check out and drive to the city of Barcelona, via tiny village of Siurana, a spectacular village located on the edge of a cliff, with breath-taking views over the Siurana reservoir and the Prades mountains.
Arriving Barcelona for lunchtime. Then a private, locally-guided 2 hour walking tour of the Gothic Barrio. Free evening.
Two nights with breakfast in a centrally located 4* hotel, perfectly located for your visits to the market and the Barri Gotic.
DAY 7 – Barcelona
Private 4 hour gastronomic experience with a fully-qualified, experienced, professional, bi-lingual chef at the hotel. Accompanied visit Barcelona's world famous food market, La Boquería, hearing about the traditions, processes and culinary spectrum of this part of Spain. Assist chef to purchase the best of the local seasonal produce then back to the kitchen for a fully hands-on, fun and social culinary experience.
Preparing the most classic of Spanish dishes, Paella, we will also learn to create three other courses- all dependant on the market produce of course. Wine will be included in our meal and during the preparation.
Free afternoon to visit such highlights as magnificent Sagrada Familia Cathedral, Parc Guell, the Barcelona beach, the Picasso Museum, the Dali Museum, the Gothic Quarter.
DAY 8 - Barcelona
Breakfast in the hotel before checking out and a private transfer to Barcelona airport.
BASQUE COAST UNDERWATER WINERY
RIOJA ALAVESA WINERIES IN 3 LOCALES
NAVARRA MONASTERY / WINERY
BORJA WINERY VISIT
PRIORAT VINEYARD VISITS
DAY 1 - TRADITIONAL BASQUE LUNCH
DAY 2 - PLENTZIA BAY RESTAURANT FOR LUNCH, RIOJAN DINNER IN THE HOTEL
DAY 3 - MEALS NOT INCLUDED
DAY 4 - LUNCH AT BORJA WINERY, DINNER AT PRIORAT HOTEL
DAY 5 - BODEGA LUNCH
DAY 6 - MEALS NOT INCLUDED
DAY 7 - COOKING EXPERIENCE & LUNCH WITH WINES
1 night Bilbao - 4* central accommodation for ease of visit the main sights.
2 nights La Rioja - 4* rural hotel with swimming pool
2 nights Priorat - Boutique Hotel with swimming pool
1 night Barcelona - 4* Hotel
All accommodation booked on Bed and Breakfast basis. Upgraded rooms may be available on request.
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