The best wine tour from San Sebastian - ideas and options The best wine tour from San Sebastian - ideas and options

Doing a wine tour from San Sebastián

Doing a wine tour from San Sebastián

For those who aren’t yet familiar with this city, San Sebastián is known as one of the most beautiful cities in Spain. The city stretches out between the hills that face the Cantabrian Sea along the two bays of La Concha and Zurriola, both separated by the mouth of the Urumea river. Gastronomy is San Sebastian´s top tourist attraction and many foodies from around the world visit to enjoy the local amazing gastronomy. As part of the experience, you can also enjoy a wine tour from San Sebastian to one of the nearby wine regions. 

You will find below a list of the most interesting options available. You can also visit our San Sebastian wine tour section for more details. 

1.- Txakoli region and wine tours

This strange name (pronounced Cha-koh-‘leeh) is given to the type of wine (usually white, although it can also be rosé or red) that is traditionally produced in the northwest of Basque Country and its surroundings. It is a young wine (current year) that is very fresh due to its high acidity and low alcohol content. The wineries that produce this type of wine are typically very small and family-owned. There are three txakoli-producing areas within Basque Country that are interesting options for a wine tour from San Sebastian: Getaria, Bizkaia, and Araba.

Getaria is a beautiful fishing village at just a 30-minute drive from San Sebastián making a trip worthwhile not just for the wine. There are other towns close to Getaria that also produce Txakoli de Getaria. Leaving San Sebastián and following the coast to the west are Orio, Zumaia, and Deba; all of which are nestled in beautiful natural landscapes of sea and mountain. You can find in this other article the best things to do in Getaria in one day

If we continue 15 minutes in the same direction from Getaria towards Bilbao, we enter the province of Vizcaya and we would be able to visit a winery of the Txakoli de Bizkaia DO. A good wine tour from San Sebastián in this area would also include the opportunity to visit San Juan de Gaztelugatxe or a stop in Bilbao to visit the old historic quarter and the spectacular riverside next to the Guggenheim Museum.

The Txakoli de Araba region is the furthest away from San Sebastián at approximately 1.5 hours by car. Wine is produced more inland than the other txakoli regions on the opposite side of the Basque Country to the west. The towns of Aiara, Amurrio, Artziniega, Laudio, and Okondo are where it is mainly produced.

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This private wine tour from San Sebastian begins with a spectacular walk in the town of Zumaia where you will discover the Flysch Route on this beautiful coast of the Basque Country with your local guide. The tour continues to Getaria, a charming fishing village in the Basque Country that ties the land with the sea. You will visit one of its wineries that produce the local txakoli wine and, afterwards, enjoy a delicious meal at one of Getaria’s famous “parrilladas”. Enjoy a nice walk through the village’s beautiful historic center as well as its colourful fishing port

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from €230

Getaria vineyards

2.- Rioja

D.O. Rioja is the most well-known of Spain’s wine regions. It has the largest number of wineries and is one of the oldest wine-producing regions of Spain. Its close proximity to Basque Country makes a wine tour from San Sebastian to Rioja very possible. Not only is La Rioja a neighbor to the Basques, but part of DO Rioja is actually located inside the perimeters of the Basque Country. San Sebastián is just 1.5 hours by car from Haro, the capital of Rioja wine.

The Rioja wines fall under a Denominación de Origen that was created in 1926 and produces still wines of high quality (red, white, and rosé) and even some cava. The main grape varieties used are tempranillo (the queen of grapes in Spain), garnacha, mazuelo (cariñena), and graciano. For white wines, viura (macabeo), malvasía, and garnacha blanca are used.

Among the cultural highlights of Rioja is its capital, Logroño, a beautiful and tranquil city on the Camino de Santiago and excellent for enjoying tapas (check out Calle Laurel). Between Logroño and Haro, the landscapes are beautiful, as are many of the medieval towns: Laguardia, Elciego, Sajazarra, Labastida, Villabuena de Álava, San Vicente de la Sonsierra, and Briones. The latter has one of the best wine museums in the world.

The competition between wineries has surpassed the wine and extended into new areas like architecture, marketing, hospitality, etc. For this reason, there is currently a strong focus on wine tourism in Rioja.

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Staying in San Sebastian and would like to get to know the world-famous Rioja wine region? Perfect San Sebastian wine tour to discover this fantastic wine country in Rioja with a friendly and knowledgeable local guide. With pickup and drop-off from your hotel in San Sebastian, you will visit different excellent wineries in Rioja and enjoy a delicious traditional meal. Before returning to San Sebastian, you will have the opportunity to enjoy the charming medieval village of Laguardia, the perfect way to end your day in Rioja

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from €284

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This tour from Barcelona to San Sebastian or to Bilbao offers the perfect getaway in Rioja before reaching San Sebastian. You will reach Rioja by train and private transfer to your hotel in the charming town of Laguardia in Rioja Alavesa. Relax, explore, and discover this amazing wine region with your private wine tour with a local expert guide. The ideal option for discovering Rioja and ending with a dropoff in beautiful San Sebastian

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from €480

Winery in Rioja D.O.

3.- Navarra

At little more than an hour southeast of San Sebastian is Pamplona, capital of the former Kingdom of Navarre and home of the world-famous San Fermín festival. To the south of Pamplona is the wine-producing region D.O. Navarra, another good excuse to do a wine tour from San Sebastián. We are talking about a wine region of considerable size (some 28,500 acres) divided into 5 areas of production: Baja Montaña, Valdizarbe, Tierra Estella, Ribera Alta, and Ribera Baja. The main red grape varieties for Navarra wines are tempranillo, garnacha, cabernet sauvignon, and merlot. Viura and chardonnay are the white grapes that are used. If you are interested in the Middle Ages, Navarre has some of its most impressive castles in the wine-producing area like those of Olite and Javier and the Monasterio de Leyre.

4.- Vins du Sud-Ouest

The proximity of San Sebastián to France offers another option for a wine tour from San Sebastian: a wine tour in French! We have the opportunity to get close to the wine regions located on the northern side of the Pyrenees: Pays Basque (Irouléguy at 1.5 hrs), Béarn (also 1.5 hrs), and a bit more north is the wine region of Chalosse. In addition, the famous wines of Bordeaux are just 2.5 hours away.

5.- Bordeaux

Bordeaux is more than 2 hours drive from San Sebastian. The motorway is excellent and crosses the “Landas” national park. We believe connecting San Sebastian with Bordeaux is a perfect way to enjoy an amazing trip. Bordeaux has high-speed train connection with Paris, so any trip starting in Spain could easily end in Paris! after having enjoyed the amazing gastronomy of San Sebastian and the wines from Bordeaux. 

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This private wine tour from San Sebastian connects two of the most important gastronomic destinations in the world in one day. San Sebastian, a foodie heaven, and Bordeaux, the most important wine region in the world, get connected with this private day tour. Two hand-picked wineries and fabulous wines from Saint Emilion and Pessac Leognan

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from €434

6.- Sagardo

“Sagardo” means cider in the Basque language. The areas surrounding San Sebastián are one of the largest natural cider-producing areas in Spain. Although not technically wine (cider is produced from apples that are pressed and its juice then fermented), we chose to include this option because of the possibility to visit a cider house (there are over 50 in the area). The cider of Basque Country, just as that of Asturias, has many more similarities with white wine than with beer. Cider goes well with cheeses, seafood, fish, and even meat. The cider-producing region is located just minutes away from the city center in Astigarraga, Hernani, Urnieta, and Usúrbil.

The bay of La Concha is “u”-shaped and is circled by villas and palaces that look towards the island of Santa Clara, which is located in the opening of the “u” and, apart from its beautiful location, is famous for the sculptures of Chillida. On the easternmost end of the bay is Monte Urgull, which is closer to the center of the city; on the west is the proud Monte Igeldo. The Zurriola bay is more open but less in longitude. In front of its beach is the famous Kursaal, the convention center that holds the prestigious San Sebastian Film Festival (Donostia Zinemaldia).

The unique setting of this city and its culinary reputation are attracting more and more tourists for cultural and gastronomic reasons. San Sebastián is the city with the most Michelin stars per capita in the world. Its historic quarter revolves around its claim to gastronomy: the “pintxo” – a kind of gourmet tapa that is usually served on a toothpick and a slice of bread.

The majority of tourists who visit San Sebastián also have the desire to get to know its surroundings and if many of them happen to be food lovers, at least a good percentage of them must also be wine lovers, right? This brings us to the question, “What if we do a wine tour near San Sebastian?”

It is an excellent idea and there are numerous options, which we will divide into 5 groups:

We hope we have inspired you to do some wine tourism from San Sebastián, whether you decide to go with one of the options we mention or all five!

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