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Cuisine, Culture & Wine of San Sebastián, Rioja & Madrid With a Chef

Tour Overview

Explore the diverse cultures of San Sebastián, La Rioja, and Madrid on an exciting 10-day trip with Premier Tours & Travel. Accompanied by local guides and a talented chef, you’ll discover the unique cuisine, wines, history, and traditions of the region, offering an exclusive chance to experience this beautiful part of the country like never before.

From the Pintxos, Sidra and Basque Txakoli, to tours of San Sebastián, Getaria, and Bilbao and a visit to the Guggenheim Museum, guests will begin the tour by seeing and tasting the flavours that make the Basque region distinct. Explore hilltop villages named among Los Pueblos Más Bonitos de España, including Laguardia in the Basque region and Briones in La Rioja, as well as Haro and Escaray. Visit UNESCO World Heritage sites integral to the history of La Rioja, such as the Suso and Yuso Monasteries, and cultural gems like the Vivanco Museum of Wine Culture.   

Throughout, immerse yourself in the pride of La Rioja — from the historic bodegas to the exceptional vineyards of the region. Sample some of the finest food across a range of restaurants and understand the history behind the iconic dishes and ingredients that make the gastronomy of this area so outstanding.

You’ll be accompanied for part of your tour by a master chef, whom you’ll get the opportunity to cook with and learn from one evening of the trip. The epic culinary journey concludes with a trip to the cosmopolitan city of Madrid, where world-class museums and Flamenco await.

Premier Experiences, Premier Advantages

  • English-speaking Premier representatives

  • Unparalleled Expert Host

  • Purposefully small groups

  • Private transportation and baggage portage*

  • Delicious daily breakfasts; Lunches and dinners as noted

  • Hand-selected, private experiences, including a Guggenheim Museum tour and Flamenco

  • Exclusive wine tastings at select vineyards

  • Private, guided walking or panoramic city tours in San Sebastián, Getaria, Briones, Laguardia, and Madrid

  • Curated accommodation

  • Internet (where available)

  • 24/7 Premier support

Itinerary

Hightlights of San Sebastian

Day 1

Arrive in San Sebastián, one of the most famous culinary destinations in the world. Our Premier Tours & Travel representative will meet you at the airport and transfer you to your accommodations for the next three nights.

After checking in, our top-rated guide will lead you around the old quarter of San Sebastián. Enjoy Pintxos, the famous edible pieces of art, to begin your culinary experience, paired with house wines or the famous Basque cider. The perfect start to your northern Spanish adventure!

Day 2

Join the group for a guided, panoramic and walking tour. Sightseeing highlights include the glistening beaches of San Sebastián and its Town Hall, which was originally designed as a casino in 1886 and is considered one of the most beautiful buildings in Spain.

Enjoy spotting luxury yachts at San Sebastián’s fishing port and world-famous marina before strolling the narrow streets of the Old Town. Admire the stunning Baroque Basílica de Santa María del Coro and visit La Calle 31 de Agosto to learn about this significant street and its annual traditions.

Lunch is at leisure. Reconnect with the group in the evening for a bespoke dinner showcasing the wonderful flavors of San Sebastián.

Day 3

After a morning at leisure, drive along the coast to the charming village of Getaria, set between the sea and the mountains. Your culinary journey continues with the exclusive opportunity to eat lunch at a restaurant mainly known to locals and sample the kind of cooking that the people in this area have been enjoying for generations.

Enjoy time after lunch to shop in the village. Your evening is at leisure.

Highlights of La Rioja

Day 4

Depart to Bilbao. Enjoy a fascinating tour of the world-famous Guggenheim Museum and admire the collection of modern and contemporary art designed by renowned architect Frank O. Gehry. After lunch at a local restaurant in Bilbao, continue to La Rioja.

The next four nights will be spent in the mediaeval village of Briones. Enjoy authentic Rioja gastronomy and wines with the rest of the group for dinner, treating your palette to even more of the flavours that this region is known and loved for.

Day 5

Visit the UNESCO World Heritage site of the San Millán Suso and Yuso Monasteries. This community has been a place of pilgrimage since the mid-6th century and is also known for being the birthplace of the first pieces of literature produced in Castilian.

Wander around the beautiful town of Ezcaray on the banks of the river Oja, surrounded by views of the Sierra de la Demanda mountains. Today’s culinary experience involves sitting down to a traditional lunch in an authentic Rioja restaurant and sampling recipes that have been passed down through the family.

Day 6

Visit vineyards in Rioja, owned by the same family for more than a century. Learn about their exceptional history on a guided tour and enjoy a wine tasting to start your day. 

The day’s theme continues with a trip to another vineyard and winery, home of award-winning varieties. Tour the vineyards, technical facilities and winery museum and finish by dining from a delicious menu accompanied by exceptional wine pairings chosen by the winery staff.

After lunch, travel to the beautiful small town of Laguardia. Enjoy a private tour around narrow streets and winding alleys, passing mysterious doorways, artisanal shops and historic churches, ending with a visit to a small, 5th-generation, family-owned winery.

Day 7

Travel to Haro; the epicenter of wine, wineries, and gastronomy of the La Rioja region. Visit one of the foremost wine estates in the Rioja region, which is particularly known for its classically styled, supple reds and is one of the world’s most admired wine brands.

After a tour of this century-old winery, you will enjoy an exceptional lunch cooked over an open fire after tasting a selection of wines from the estate. Spend the afternoon at another winery, which is particularly known for its traditional Reserva wines that are only produced in vintages of utmost quality.

Guests will have the option to prepare a Chef’s dinner this evening at the hotel and learn from a talented professional as they help to cook ingredients purchased from around the region.

Highlights of Madrid

Day 8

Depart for the vibrant capital of Madrid. Check-in at your hotel and spend the afternoon exploring at leisure.

Meet back up with the group in the evening for dinner and an unforgettable Flamenco Show. With more than 60 years of history and award-winning chefs, the quality of the food is only matched by the quality of the entertainment.

Day 9

Take part in a panoramic, guided walking tour of Madrid. See ‘Old Madrid’ as you explore the narrow, cobblestone streets in the Hapsburg quarter, admire the enchanting Renaissance and Baroque-style buildings and plazas, and discover the city’s Royal Palace.

Enjoy a farewell lunch with our friend and Expert Host Chef. Sample quintessentially Spanish dishes like tapas and paella at one of the city’s hottest restaurants and finish your culinary tour of the region with some of the country’s most iconic recipes.

Day 10

Sadly, all good trips must come to an end. Today you will be transferred to the airport and journey home.

¡Adiós por ahora, Spain!

Optional Pre-tour to Barcelona

An optional pre-tour to Barcelona is available upon request, including an authentic ‘Cavas’ experience.

Optional Post-Tour Extension to Segovia or Toledo

Optional post-tour excursions to Segovia and Toledo are available upon request, including a gourmet traditional lunch experience in Segovia, and an exclusive truffle experience in Toledo.

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    Our Expertly Done Culinary & Wine Travel Includes:

    • EXPERTLY CURATED ITINERARIES

      Over 35 years of experience goes into planning every custom itinerary and represents a balanced blend of cultural, culinary, and wine-related experiences.

    • HAND-SELECTED EXPERT HOSTS

      Carefully selected Expert Hosts to ensure each tour is enhanced with knowledgeable, approachable insights, and hands-on cooking and/or wine tasting and education.

    • INTENTIONALLY SMALL GROUPS

      Each tour is kept intentionally small to ensure more one-on-one experiences with our Expert Hosts.

    • CAREFULLY CHOSEN ACCOMMODATIONS

      Hotels, villas, and chateaus are expertly chosen with an eye toward modern-day comfort, amenities, and location that enhance your experience.

    • ASSURANCE

      Our team is at the ready to assist you any time, for any reason while traveling — 24/7.

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