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The Northern Winery Route
Madrid to San Sebastian
in 12 days

You probably know and have tasted Spanish wine… One of the most famous regions for this is La Rioja which we will explore in this itinerary, enjoying the different types and of course accompanying this with amazing food along the way. Come with us as we know where to take you. You will have the time by your side enjoying each winery at your own pace, learning about all the different varieties and stories of each winery. To complete these discoveries… Every night a cosy and charming property will welcome you for a deserved rest. 12 days of pure degustation. Have a nice journey!  

 

 

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DIVE INTO THE WORLD OF WINE

 Day by Day Itinerary and suggested Accommodation

Day 1: Arrival to Madrid. Private transfer to the city center, and afternoon at leisure to enjoy the city's life. (if you wish for us to organize a private tour let us know and we will organize it for you).

Accommodation for three nights at: Hotel Santo Unico *****

Day 2: Day at leisure. We recommend you take a walk through the city center and the art route with the magnificent Museums of Prado, Reina Sofia and the Thyssen. Enjoy some tapas from place to place, they are really tasty!

Day 3: Early in the morning take a train to the city of Toledo. Toledo is an all walk, no car, type of city and this is why we recommend you visit it by train, a fast way to get to the city without any "where do I park my car?" hassle! Take a walk and enjoy the local gastronomy.

Day 4: Early in the morning car rental pick up and drive to the outskirts of the city of Valladolid. A gem that will surprise you in every way, enjoying its vast activities related to wine and gastronomy.

Accommodation for two nights at: Hotel Abadia Retuerta Le Domaine Relais & Chateaux *****

 

Day 5: Full Day to enjoy the hotel and its surroundings, visiting wineries surrounding the area.

Day 6: Hotel check-out and commence your road trip through the countryside till the attractive and intimate town of Ezcaray. On the crossroads between the pilgrimage route to Santiago de Compostela and "La Rioja" wine route, is a home to a culinary jewel whose fame goes back for five generations. Upon arrival you have a day full of activities to choose from, involving gastronomic experiences. If you prefer you can also visit the city's charming historic center.

Accommodation for one night at: Hotel Echaurren Relais & Chateaux *****

Day 7: Hotel check-out and commence your road trip and winery visits of La Rioja with an ending in one of the most emblematic wineries in the world, designed by the renowned architect Frank O Gehry. You will enjoy every step of the way through the magnificent country side.

Accommodation for two nights at: Hotel Luxury Collection Marques de Riscal ***** / Hotel Viura ****

Day 8: Full day exploring the area and the city of wine with your private transportation. Free afternoon to relax and enjoy the beautiful sunsets in La Rioja Area. 

 

Day 9: Check out and trip to San Sebastian. On the way stop at the city of Bilbao worth visiting with the beautiful Guggenheim Museum.

Accommodation for two nights at: Hotel Luxury Collection Maria Cristina ***** / Hotel Villa Soro ****

Day 10: Full day to relax in the city of San Sebastian, enjoy the great Pintxos bars. You will not regret it!

Day 11: Take a road trip to the small charming fishing village of Getaria.  Enjoy the famous Txakoli drink, famous in this area. Don’t forget that the Basque Counry is well known for its Gastronomic scene especially its Michelin Star Restaurants. (Do not forget to ask us for some advice.)

Day 12: Check-out and drop off of rental car at the San Sebastian Airport. Depart from San Sebastian Airport or optional enhancing of a tour visiting Galicia and the well-known Santiago de Compostela Cathedral.

 

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CITIES AND TOWNS ON THE ITINERARY

If you wish to know a bit more about the places to go

Madrid: Strategically located in the heart of the Iberian Peninsula, it is the Capital City of Spain and therefore, one of the most touristic and important cities of the country. Because of its central location and high altitude, the climate of Madrid is characterized by warm dry summers and cool winters. Madrid is a city of great monuments. Among its highlights are the medieval centre dating back to the Habsburg Empire and the Prado Museum. As capital, Madrid is home of the Royal family, the Spanish Government and many other national institutions. The town has a long and fascinating history and all over Madrid there are monuments and museums of great artistically value. Apart from Madrid the province is also full of interesting sites to visit such as El Escorial, Aranjuez and Alcala de Henares all names UNESCO world Heritage Cities. It is a city full of life where travellers will feel welcome. Enjoy the street life and the numerous tapas bars and cafes where you will enjoy the “madrileños” love of life lifestyle.

Museo Nacional del Prado: Located in a building built by Juan de Villanueva in 1785, it started as a private collection from the Spanish Royal Family, which was placed there in 1819, comprising 311 art pieces. Nowadays it showcases more than 6.000 pieces, which came from private collections, donations, ancient Spanish buildings, amongst others. There are several artists curated in the museum such as Goya, Tiziano and El Greco, divided between paintings and sculptures.

Museo Reina Sofia: With around 49.000 sqm, this Contemporary Art museum is located in the building of the former Saint Charles General Hospital, project made by the Italian architect Francesco Sabatini. Here you will find a mix of Spanish and International art pieces, highlighting the works of Salvador Dalí, Joan Miró and Pablo Picasso, being the most famous the well-known “Guernica”, portraying Picasso’s vision about the death and destruction experienced by Guernica during its bombing in 1937.

Royal Palace: The Royal Palace is one of the top tourist attractions in Madrid. It is the official residence for the Royal family, but these days they only use it for state ceremonies. The rest of the time it's open to the public. Otherwise known in Spanish as the Palacio Real, the Royal Palace was built during the 18th and 19th centuries, and is a monumental building.

Flamenco: The Spanish perfect combination of tree strong elements: singing, music and dance! Declared by UNESCO as one of the “Masterpieces of the Oral and Intangible Heritage of Humanity”, it is strongly influenced by the Gipsy and Moorish music sounds and it’s famous for its emotional intensity.

Valladolid Region: Located on the banks of the Pisuerga River, has a very culturally rich historic centre, which maintains an important monumental and architectural heritage. Worthy of note is the unfinished Cathedral, originally ordered by King Phillip II in the 16th century, but only completed in the first half of the 18th century. The University of Valladolid, the most important university in Spain back in the 15th century, also accounts for the city’s cultural relevance. Not to miss is the House of Cervantes, where the author of “Don Quixote de La Mancha” lived with his family in the early 17th century.

La Rioja Region: La Rioja well known for its wineries with over 500 and internationally famous for the great quality of its wines. The smallest region of mainland Spain, bordered by Navarre, Castile & Leon and Aragon. One of the most important wine growing areas of Europe, it has a reputation bigger than its land area. Extending along the Ebro River, the region is practically split into two, Rioja Alta which has a great deal of rainfall and has a mild climate, and Rioja Baja which is a hotter and more arid area, similar to Aragon. The province' capital, Logroño links the two areas. The most popular places to visit are Logroño and Haro, known for their wineries. Apart from the wine, this region has a lot of cultural attractions and amazing natural attractions with Mediterranean forests, high-mountains areas and beautiful landscapes.

Basque Country: Located in northern Spain, is well known for its really diverse landscapes. Between wild and isolated beaches, kissed by the Atlantic Ocean, and high and Rocky Mountains, you will be captivated by its natural wonders. Rich in History and Culture, Basque Country has its own language, the Euskara, considered one of the oldest languages of Europe. Due to the ocean breeze, you can expect moderate temperatures, even when the rain falls – something that is not so rare among the region.

Bilbao: It’s a unique city, surrounded by dense forests, high mountains and beautiful beaches. It is a privileged destination, where past meets future. Historic monuments, like the Cathedral-Church of Bilbao and the Basilica of Begoña, both from the 16th century, coexist with modern architectural projects, like the Guggenheim Museum and the Isozaki Towers, buildings that are catching the World’s attention. These recent investments have been crucial for the regeneration of the city as a dynamic metropolis.

Guggenheim Museum: Opened its doors in 1997, bringing a wave of energy to Bilbao, completely transforming the city. Nearly a million people travel from anywhere in the world, not only to see the incredible collection of modern and contemporary art, but also to admire the stunning architecture of the building, already named “a masterpiece of the 20th century” and “the greatest building of our time” by the critics.

San Sebastian: It’s a charming and romantic city. Concha Bay is its most iconic site, with a big promenade along the sea, where locals and tourists go to enjoy the beautiful view. Keep in mind that San Sebastian is the place where you will like to eat. The city, besides being popular among surfers, is also well known for its remarkable culinary scene: from the seven restaurants in Spain awarded with 3 Michelin stars.

 

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