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Madrid to Bilbao Road Trip via wine country

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Itinerary
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Discover an authentic Spain in 8 days by travelling from Madrid to Bilbao (or Bilbao to Madrid) on a self-guided tour, through the fantastic areas of La Rioja and Ribera del Duero. Let us take care of organising you an unforgettable trip with Spanish castles, medieval fortresses and Avant-Garde architecture, accompanied by the best high quality wine and gastronomy, as you drive at your leisure

Highlights

- HOTEL CHOICE: A selection of TOP 4 Starred hotels (You can also propose the hotels)

- Discover the hidden gems of Madrid, away from the tourist routes

- Experience the fascinating Roman aqueduct in Segovia, a UNESCO World Heritage site and also the best place to try traditional roast pork

- Sleep in an authentic castle in Ribera del Duero, complimented by a visit to one of the area´s best wineries

- See the impressive Cathedral in Burgos, one of the most famous in Europe

- Visit century old wineries in Rioja and experience the region´s beautiful countryside

- Enjoy Bilbao´s architecture & tapas

Included

  • 7 nights staying at highly rated 4* hotels
  • Hotel in Madrid in central location close to rental car pickup point
  • 7 hotel buffet breakfasts
  • 1 high quality "welcome" evening meal in Madrid
  • 1 wine and food pairing session in Madrid
  • 1 traditional, high quality lunch in Segovia
  • 1 visit to a Premium winery in Ribera del Duero, with wine tasting
  • 1 high quality traditional meal in Ribera del Duero
  • 1 traditional, high quality Riojan dinner in Haro
  • 2 visits to wineries (small producers) in Rioja, with wine tasting
  • 1 high quality, Riojan lunch served in a Castle
  • 1 traditional, high quality Basque evening meal
  • Wines served at every meal included (except if mentioned otherwise in the description)
  • 1 complete itinerary with all of your trip details, addresses and travel tips
  • Personalised trip design time work to adapt the trip to your specific needs and taste (2 hours)

Excluded

  • Flights
  • Rental car and any transportation within Spain (we can help with rental car reservation if you would like, please contact us for more information)
  • Drinks or wines not in the ´Included section´ or hotel minibar access
  • Trip insurance
  • Anything not expressly listed in the ´Included´ section

Please Note

Frequently Asked Questions

Can I do wine tastings and still drive?
Our itineraries are planned so that driving is minimised while visiting wineries, for example by booking wineries that are within walking distance from each other. In any case, wine tasting etiquette does not require that you drink and it is perfectly acceptable not to do so. There will be spittoon buckets available for your use at each winery.

Price of the tour
95% of the time the price quoted for the tour will be as on the tour page. However, in Spain there are a number of special festivals and holidays which may raise the price of certain local services, such as Easter, the Festival of San Mateo or San Fermines, etc. If you would like to make your reservation over some of these dates, this may mean that the given price may change. It would be a good idea to check your dates with us first or make your reservation in advance.

How do I make my reservation?
To make your reservation, please contact us by clicking "Make an enquiry". We will require a 15% deposit to hold your reservation and begin working on your itinerary.The remaining amount can be paid when we send you your trip itinerary. Normally, your personalized itinerary is sent 2 months in advance although this depends on when the trip is booked.

I would like to do this trip, but I would like to make some changes
Absolutely, we would be happy to incorporate your preferences. Your reservation already includes 2 hours extra ´personalized tour design´ work by one of our travel consultants, which should be enough time to make reasonable changes to your itinerary (see Included/Not Included sections above).

I would like to extend the trip and add another tour of yours that I like
No problem! Please contact us with us regarding your preferences. You may want to include additional nights in a hotel or add an extra city to your trip. Additionally, if you add another multi-day tour or road trip to this tour, you will receive a 5% discount on the second tour.

Cancellation policy
If cancelled more than 30 days before the trip starts, 15% of the total trip price will be deducted to account for tour organisation and administration costs. If cancelled less than 30 days to the trip start date, a 30% fee will be deducted. Trips cancelled 7 days or less before the trip start date are non-refundable. We recommend Travel Insurance.

*This is the most probable itinerary for your Road Trip. The day of a meal or winery visit is subject to change depending on the day of the week and availability. Keep in mind that our itineraries are flexible and if you have any dietary restrictions, we can make the necessary adjustments. Simply let us know upon making the reservation.

DAY 1- Arrival in Madrid
After checking in at your hotel, you will have free time to explore Madrid (depending on your arrival time). With its wealth of art galleries, shopping streets, museums and the beautiful Retiro Park, there is plenty to do in the lively Spanish capital. Tonight, you will enjoy a welcome dinner and eat like a native of Madrid.

DAY 2- Madrid
Today, after enjoying your delicious buffet breakfast, you can really have time to explore Madrid. You can dedicate the day to cultural activities, shopping, sightseeing or simply exploring the streets and getting lost in the interesting and different neighborhoods Madrid has to offer. We can help you plan your day depending on your interests, and your itinerary will include recommendations of things to do in Madrid written by real Madrid residents. For the evening, we have hand-picked a wine and food pairing activity in Madrid. You will get to know Spanish wines from different regions, a preview of what you will discover firsthand in 2 of Spain's top wine-producing regions.

DAY 3- Segovia - UNESCO Heritage Site
After breakfast in Madrid, you will pick up your rental car and begin your Spanish road trip towards Segovia, a spectacular UNESCO World Heritage Site. After a short comfortable journey of just over an hour, you will arrive in the city for a traditional, high quality lunch in a beautiful restaurant set in a 15th-century monastery, also the location of your hotel. You will then have time to enjoy the Alcazar, the Roman aqueduct and other gems of the city by foot before returning to your hotel for a good night's rest.

DAY 4- Ribera del Duero wine region
After your breakfast, you will head off for your next destination, Peñafiel (1.5 hours drive). Often recognized as the heart of the Ribera del Duero wine region, Peñafiel is a city protected by one of the most beautiful castles in Spain. We have reserved for you a guided visit in English at one of the wineries in the area, at which you will get the chance to taste some of the best wines of the region. Enjoy a delicious Castilian meal in a restaurant set in a former underground winery. You will have some free time to visit the highlights of Peñafiel, the ancient castle and its unique main square Plaza del Coso. The little doors of Peñafiel´s traditional houses will no doubt prove a photo opportunity, along with the old architecture. Tonight, you will sleep in an 11th-century Castle, complete with all the modern commodities.

DAY 5- Burgos and La Rioja
After breakfast in your Castle hotel, you will drive North towards the fantastic city of Burgos, where one of the most beautiful Cathedrals in the world awaits. Your journey will then continue on to Haro, La Rioja, known as the captial of Rioja wine. Enjoy a traditional Riojan dinner complete with local wine in a family restaurant. The hotel we have chosen for you is a magnificently renovated old Convent, which is now a luxury hotel.

Day 6- La Rioja
After breakfast at your hotel, you can wander the charming winding streets of Haro on your way to the winery that we have booked for you, which is one of the most interesting in the area and produces high quality Riojan wine. Here you will learn about the interesting history of wine production in the region and taste some of the wines produced by this ´bodega´. After a delightful stroll around the town, you will pick up your car and head off to Laguardia, where you will get to enjoy one of the most beautiful medieval towns in Spain. Here we have organised for you a traditional lunch in a romantic castle, as well as a tour of a winery that is located in an ancient cave with more than 400 years of history. You will have time to walk the cobbled streets within the medieval city walls of Laguardia, or even stroll amongst the vineyards. You will spend the night in Haro.

DAY 7- Bilbao
On the last day of your trip, you will make your way to the fantastic city of Bilbao, where sea, mountain, gastronomy, art and culture combine. As a city that has experienced monumental change over the last 15 years, Bilbao's city center offers one of the best areas to find tapas in Spain and boasts both traditional, seasonal and cutting edge gastronomy, with fantastic wines to match. There is also a wealth of art museums and galleries to see, including the famous Guggenheim Museum. We can help plan a day in Bilbao, according to your interests and preferences. Your high quality evening meal will be served at lovely typical Basque 'asador'.

DAY 8 Bilbao
Enjoy breakfast at your hotel, and end of our services. (If you wish to add additional nights at your hotel in Bilbao or to extend your trip, simply let us know.)

At the end of your trip, you will have experienced a wealth of Spanish culture, tried fantastic wines and local food, and really explored the hidden gems of northern Spain. With Bilbao airport conveniently at your doorstep, you will have the freedom to fly back home, or continue exploring Bilbao or another region of Spain. We also offer a 5% discount for booking a consecutive tour or activity with us from the end of your trip, please contact us if so.

While we usually do all of our own planning and itineraries, this turned out to be such a welcoming, relaxing change. Correspondence with Jennifer from start to finish was always prompt and professional. We had started in Madrid, then hired a rental car and drove North to the Rioja region. Our hotels and winery visits were planned ahead of time, and daily breakfast and either lunch or dinner (with wine and water included) was part of the package. The itinerary included suggestions/recommendations during our free time or when a meal was not planned. We were able to add an extra day in Madrid and pick a different hotel other than what was offered without a problem. Each night before dinner (over a glass of wine, of course) we'd take out our itinerary and see what was planned for the next day, and check what else we wanted to see and do. We used their suggestions and also brought along a guidebook so we were covered for just about everything. The whole trip had a very nice, easy pace to it, and we really felt like we could unwind. It was an outstanding way to spend a week discovering a part of Spain. We would not hesitate to book another trip in the future.
- Brianna (South Carolina, USA)

Everything was great. We enjoyed all our stops. Each winery was very different with a unique process and lovely wines. The accommodations were also nice and very different. Gracias!
- Paul & Rochelle (Canada)

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