This itinerary can be enjoyed starting from either Madrid or Barcelona.
Please bear in mind that our itineraries are flexible. More nights can be added, as well as activities, excursions or the inclusion of other towns or cities.
Day 1 – Madrid
Madrid is not only famous for its soccer club, Real Madrid, but also thanks to its art galleries, night life and gastronomy. Madrid has retained the elegance and charm of its early days. This first day you will have time to discover the Retiro park, the famous Gran via or the Prado Museum.
Your itinerary for today includes a high quality dinner at a very centrally located restaurant. Your hotel, an elegant and highly-rated 4-star hotel, will be located near the Atocha train station, a perfect place from which to pick up your car rental on day 2.
An extra night in Madrid can be added to you itinerary upon request.
Day 2 – Burgos and Rioja (330 kms)
Your itinerary will include suggestions with the best ideas for places to stop on your way to Rioja. One of them is Burgos, the old capital of Castile. Burgos has a long history that is best witnessed in the Gothic facades of its Cathedral, one of Spain's gems.
Your drive will continue towards La Rioja where we have selected a beautiful hotel for your stay. Nestled inside Laguardia and its old city walls, the hotel is located at an old castle from where you will enjoy the best views in Rioja.
Wine is not just drink here in Rioja, but part of its culture. Everybody talks about the grapes, wines and weather that are connected to what is going on in the vineyard. We have selected a fantastic restaurant for tonight to discover Rioja traditional gastronomy.
Day 3 – Rioja (70kms)
You will start the day with your breakfast and then head towards Haro, the wine capital of Rioja. You will enjoy the best route to get to Haro, dotted with hills, villages, wine estates and a never-ending landscape of vineyards.
Once in Haro, you will visit one of Rioja's best wineries and enjoy a wine tasting session. Your itinerary will include ideas to taste more wines and olive oil before it is time for lunch. For today, we have selected a beautiful restaurant located at what used to be an old convent.
Day 4 – Bilbao (120kms)
Bilbao is today a vibrant city. Art galleries and museums have removed warehouses and shipbuilding sites. Bilbao offers boulevards and a delightful riverside stroll that will take you from the amazing titanium clad architecture of the Guggenheim Museum to the Old Quarter where you will meet Renaissance, Baroque, Neoclassic and Modernist buildings.
Your itinerary will include lunch at one of Bilbao's best Basque grill houses as well as recommendations for a pintxos (tapas) dinner in Bilbao's Old Quarter.
Day 5 – San Sebastian (100 km)
Your itinerary will include suggestions to enjoy fantastic detours on your way to San Sebastian, which includes a visit to a txacoli winery, fisherman's villages and San Juan de Gaztelugatxe, a small 9th-century hermitage built upon a small isthmus, only known by locals until very recently when Game of Thrones put it on the map.
San Sebastian, or Donostia in the local Basque language, is probably Spain's most elegant city. Situated around a shell-shaped bay (La Concha beach), San Sebastian became known when it was selected as a holiday destination by the Spanish aristocracy in the late 19th century. Today, it is home to many Michelin starred restaurants that live alongside traditional bars that pride themselves of offering the best `pintxos´ (very elaborate Basque version of tapas) in the world.
We have selected one of San Sebastian's best 4 star hotels and dinner is booked at a fancy restaurant to enjoy a wine pairing tasting menu.
Day 6 – San Sebastian
Your itinerary will contain many ideas to enjoy San Sebastian and its surroundings, which includes a visit to France and the French Basque Country.
Day 7 – Pamplona and Zaragoza (260 kms)
Today, you will drive to Zaragoza on your way to Barcelona. Before getting to Zaragoza, your itinerary includes a stop in Pamplona, capital of the old kingdom of Navarra. Pamplona is world wide famous thanks to the running of the bulls, and partially thanks to the way in which Hemmingway wrote about it. Things have not changed much in Pamplona and the city has managed to keep a slow pace. Bars and cafes are to be found in the labyrinth of streets located near the old town square.
For today, we have selected lunch at one of Pamplona's best restaurants so that you can enjoy a taste of local Navarran food.
The itinerary will lead you to Zaragoza. This city is famous for the amazing Cathedral of Our Lady of the Pillar which is at the heart of everyone in Zaragoza.
Day 8 – Barcelona, 300kms
Gaudi's Art Nouveau style is a symbol of Barcelona. The Sagrada Familia Cathedral, his world-renowned buildings, and Park Guell shape the identity of the city.
Your itinerary will include many ideas to enjoy Barcelona, including a walk on Las Ramblas and the Gothic neighbourhood. Dinner today is near the Mediterranean Sea at a restaurant where you will be able to enjoy excellent Catalan dishes and also one of the best paellas in Barcelona.
The itinerary can be extended to include more days in Barcelona upon request.
Day 9 – Barcelona
Breakfast at your hotel and end of your road trip itinerary.
Madrid and Barcelona Road Trip via North of Spain
Indulge in the vibrant life of Madrid and Barcelona and discover the flavors and food of Spain's Basque Country and Rioja on this exclusive road trip. A fantastic itinerary with an excellent selection of romantic hotels and restaurants, amazing architecture, and culture to get immersed in the Spanish lifestyle. The itinerary can be enjoyed starting from either Madrid or Barcelona
- Enjoy Barcelona’s Gaudí architecture, the Ramblas and Gothic quarter
- Discover Madrid's world-class art and nightlife
- Submerge in the old-world tradition of La Rioja's hills and villages and discover its wine tradition in one of its prestigious cellars
- Get surprised by the extravagant shapes of Bilbao's Guggenheim titanium architecture
- Get the best taste of Spain in San Sebastian
- Imagine yourself in the running of the bulls while you stroll the streets of Pamplona
- 8 nights accommodation at highly rated 4* hotels
- 8 hotel breakfasts
- 7 high-quality meals (3 course meals with wine included) as described in the itinerary
- 1 winery visit and wine tasting in Rioja (more wineries can be added upon request)
- Entrance tickets to visit the Guggenheim Museum in Bilbao
- Personalised trip design work to adapt the trip to your specific needs and taste (2 hours)
- 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
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.
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 itinerary can be enjoyed starting from either Madrid or Barcelona.