Day 1 – Bilbao
Day 2 – San Sebastián
Day 3 – Fuenterrabia and the Basque Country coast (France)
Day 4 - Navarra – Pamplona – Laguardia, La Rioja
Day 5 – Laguardia, Rioja
Day 6 – Rioja - Bilbao
Your tour around the North of Spain starts in Bilbao. An industrial city originally led by its port, it has developed into a globally renowned centre for art and gastronomy. Depending on what time you arrive in the city, you will be able to enjoy the famous Guggenheim Museum, or the Museum of Fine Arts, which has an impressive collection of Basque art and works by El Greco, Goya, Gaugin and Francis Bacon. You will also be able to walk through the historic quarter of the city, which is very compact, full of character and replete with bars, taverns and small independent shops. Your itinerary will include more things to do and see.
The day culminates with your evening meal. A tasting menu of 7 plates at a Michelin star restaurant.
Having enjoyed a delicious breakfast, you will take the motorway for a pleasant journey to San Sebastian (Donosti). Bilbao and San Sebastian are the 2 key cities to visit on any trip to the North of Spain.
San Sebastián is possibly one of the most elegant cities in Spain. Its buildings will make you think of a smaller Paris, next to the sea. The La Concha beach is one of the most beautiful urban beaches in the world. Having checked in to your charming hotel, you will spend some time exploring the streets of San Sebastian, the beach, the port or visit the Monte Igueldo by cable car, a beautiful vantage point to look out at the city and the Cantabrian Sea. Your itinerary will have more ideas to explore San Sebastian.
For dinner tonight, we have selected a high quality restaurant in San Sebastian located next to the water, where you will enjoy a tasting menu paired with wine.
After breakfast in the pleasant and bright lounge area of the hotel, you will set off for the coast of France. The journey of around 20km will bring you to the charming walled town of Fuenterrabía (or Hondarribia in the Basque language). Hondarribia has 3 distinct personalities: an ancient medieval fortress (there are still canon holes in some of the buildings) that protected the local people against the French; a fishing port with colourful buildings and boats; and a holiday retreat by the sea. From its lookout points you will be able to enjoy spectacular views of the bay that unites Spain and France.
For this day we have chosen for you a charming boutique hotel located in a Basque mansion house. We will recommend a number of itineraries for you to follow from Hondarribia, such as visiting Saint Jean de Luz in France, where you will be able to enjoy traditional French food, the streets full of little shops or the market with its local gastronomic products.
The day will end with a dinner at a Michelin starred restaurant in Fuenterrabia.. We have chosen for you a menu that will present different wines specially selected for each of the dishes served.
After enjoying a delicious breakfast, today you will be able to discover Navarra and its capital, Pamplona. Pamplona is famous across the world for the San Fermines festivals, and the running of the bulls. Pamplona is so much more than San Fermin, although the festival does highlight some fantastic places in the city. For lunch today we have chosen for you possibly one of the best restaurants in the city, so that you can enjoy traditional and vanguard Navarran cooking. You will be delighted with this menu.
We will give you some suggestions of the best places to go off the tourist routes, so that you can discover the real Navarra in a just few hours. Soon you will be continuing your journey across the North of Spain to Rioja, the wine capital of Spain.
The road that links Pamplona and La Rioja is comfortable and convenient to drive. The drive, at less than an hour, will take you to Laguardia, where we have chosen for you one of the most beautiful hotels in Rioja. For the rest of the day we will give you suggestions on how to discover Rioja on your own watch, including the option of having an evening meal of tapas in the wine town of Logroño (a short 15km away), on its famous tapas street, Calle Laurel.
The fifth day of your gastronomic tour across the North of Spain is dedicated to wine, and wine culture. We have organised for you a visit to a winery, which is a producer of high quality wine. You will not need to drive from your hotel for this visit. At the winery you will learn about how red wine is produced in Rioja Alavesa, on a guided tour led by an expert, followed by a wine tasting of the wines produced at the winery.
For lunch today we have selected for you probably the best restaurant in Rioja Alavesa. Just 20 minutes’ walk from your hotel in case you feel like walking among vineyards, or a quick 5 minute drive by car, this restaurant will serve you a local tasting menu in which you will discover the traditional gastronomy of Rioja.
In the afternoon we have some exciting suggestions for you that involve taking a scenic walk to enjoy the architecture of the wineries in Rioja, their beautiful vineyards and the medieval villages. The afternoon will finish with a visit to the Museum of Wine of La Rioja. Unlike any other museum you have ever visited before, this is probably the best wine museum in the world. With art pieces, inconceivable collections and a path through the history of the culture of wine, the original spaces of the museum are surrounded by a wonderful vineyard area that brings together practically every variety of grape in the world.
After breakfast, and depending on your travel plans, you will set off for the airport, another location in Spain (such as Barcelona or Madrid) or continue to explore the secrets of Rioja (the way of St. James, hundred-year-old monasteries with the first texts written in Spanish...). We will help you organise the end of your itinerary to best fit your next travel plans.
Basque Country, Pamplona and Rioja Luxury Road trip
This self-guided gastronomy road trip in Spain takes you through the North of Spain (Bilbao, San Sebastian, Pamplona and Rioja) and the French Basque country. It is a fantastic opportunity to get to know the real and authentic culture, gastronomy and wine of these regions. You will enjoy Michelin star restaurants, stay at superb hotels and enjoy wine culture in Rioja. There is so much to discover in this unforgettable gastronomic trip through the North of Spain
- A selection of top quality 4 star and boutique hotels, some of the best hotels in each area (You can also propose the hotels)
- Fantastic restaurants and gastronomic menus elaborated with the best local cuisine
- Enjoy Bilbao, its historical centre and the fabulous Guggenheim museum
- Experience the beautiful beach of La Concha in San Sebastian and the local ´pintxo´ tapas culture
- Enjoy the sunset between France and Spain
- Shop for traditional artisan products at a French market
- Walk the famous Estafeta de Pamplona street
- Premium wines and superb vineyard landscapes
- 5 nights accommodation at one of the most charming hotels in each of the areas (NH Collection Aranzazu in San Sebastian, Hospederia de Los Parajes in Rioja...)
- 5 buffet breakfasts
- 1 evening meal of 7 tasting plates at a Michelin star restaurant in Bilbao (wine is not included)
- 1 tasting menu with wine pairing at a top restaurant in San Sebastian
- 1 tasting menu at a Michelin star restaurant in Fuenterrabia
- 1 lunch of Navarran gastronomy at one of the best restaurants in Pamplona
- 1 guided visit to a Riojan winery with a local expert. A small producer with very high quality wine.
- 1 visit to the spectacular Museum of Wine in Rioja.
- 1 tasting menu elaborated by one of the best, and prize winning, chefs in Rioja. Wines included.
- Detailed itinerary covering the whole trip, with recommendations of things to see in your free time, at every part of the journey.
- 2 hours of trip personalisation time, to adapt the trip to your needs and preferences.
- Car rental (we can provide assistance to book a car for the duration of the trip)
- Airport transfers to and from the airport (we can offer this additional service on request, please contact us)
- Drinks or wines not in the ´Included section´, or hotel minibar access
- Trip insurance
- Anything not expressly listed in the ´Included´ section
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 contact us. We will require a 15% deposit to hold your reservation.The remaining amount can be paid when we send you your trip itinerary, or at least 30 days before the start of your trip.
A change in the itinerary may be necessary due to availability or restaurant opening days (for example, many restaurants, including Michelin starred restaurants in Spain close on Sundays and Mondays). If this is the case, we reserve the right to alter the itinerary and will book the best alternative option for you.
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 ´personalised tour design´ work by one of our advisors, which should be enough time to make reasonable changes to the itinerary (see Included/Not Included section above)
I would like to extend the trip and add another tour of yours that I like
Yes, of course, please get in contact us with us with your preferences. Additionally, if you add another tour to this tour, you will receive a 5% discount on the second tour.
Cancellation and changes 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 purchasing Travel Insurance.
Any change request made by the customer after already having booked and confirmed the dates of the trip may imply an additional administration fee of 5% and may also impact the overall trip price due to provider price changes. Cancellation of the trip may be necessary if date changes impact availability (in which case, the cancellation policy will apply).
"Thanks for the follow-up. Our favorite restaurant was on Day 3. We enjoyed so much the food and the wines there!. The hotels were all very good, but our favorite was with no doubt in Rioja. We´ll recommend your company." Nigel, UK
" I enjoyed all of our dinners and accommodations. In San Sebastian the same time as the film festival, our lunch reservations were at the same time as red carpet! - P.B, USA