Espíritu Travel’s 12-day Culinary Journey Through Spain fully customizable tour allows you to eat your way through Spain, tapa by tapa! Spain, especially the northern region, is a destination for both foodies and wine connoisseurs. With 48 Michelin Stars in the Basque Country alone, plan to eat like a king, but let’s not forget about drinks — the Rioja wine region produces some of best wines in the world!
Your visit in Basque Country for some creative dining experiences such as visiting an underwater winery, the Basque Center and a number of restaurants curated to specifically to your preferences and tastes. Then, you’ll visit La Rioja to tour wineries and sample some crianzas and reservas. The final stop is Barcelona, where you’ll experience the city through food, wine and architecture, including a cooking course and cava tasting. Don’t forget to pack your appetite for this tour!

Trip Overview
  • Category
    Cultural, Gastronomy
  • Days
    11
  • Nights
    12
  • Accommodation
    Boutique hotel
  • Transportation
    Train & private car
  • FROM $3.595

Day 1 (Arrival Day)

Barcelona

Your tour will start off in Barcelona. You are met at the airport for transfer to your hotel.

Later in the day, you will get your first taste of Catalan cuisine on a Barcelona tapas crawl, led by a passionate foodie. You’ll visit the most authentic gems in the off-the-beaten-track Sant Antoni neighborhood, and pop in and out of the busy bars just like the locals do.
By the end of the night, you’ll know exactly what it means to do tapas like a local, and why tapas culture can’t exist outside of Spain (so you’ll have to come back!).

Day 2

Barcelona

Today, you will start with a drive to the famous hill of Montjüic, which offers excellent views over the city and was the site of the 1992 Olympic games.

After a brief stop at the Catalunya National Art Museum (MNAC) we will make our way down to Plaça Espanya and on past the Modernist buildings of the Eixample area.

You drive to the iconic Sagrada Familia will take us up Passeig de Gracia, home to the famous designer stores, and the setting for two of Barcelona’s most talked about Gaudï buildings: La Pedrera and Casa Batlló.

Before arriving at the Sagrada Família, you will stop at the Hospital de Sant Pau I de Santes Creus, built between 1901 and 1930. Well away from the tourist route, this hospital has been declared a ‘UNESCO World Heritage Site’ and is one of the greatest symbols of the Modernist Architecture in Barcelona.

Finally, you will arrive at Sagrada Família, stopping there for a visit inside the building. Entrance tickets will have been pre-purchased and there will be no waiting in line.

You will then head to the oldest part of Barcelona, the Barrio Gótico, which, as late, the mid 19th century was still surrounded by the Mediaeval walls.

At this point, we will enjoy a stroll through the narrow winding streets of medieval Barcelona.

At the start of our short walk through the historic streets of Barcelona, you will stop for a brief tour of one of Barcelona’s most traditional indoor food markets: Mercat de Santa Caterina.

From there, you will travel back in time, going from the Roman era through to the early Middle Ages, when the Catalan counts were controlling the Mediterranean sea and Barcelona was the capital of an empire.

During this part of the tour, you will also visit the Jewish Quarter, the Royal Palace, the original 2000-year-old Roman Temple and part of the Cathedral.

The final part of the morning takes in part of the Born district, where the guide will point out a variety of restaurants and tapas bars suitable for dinner before ending at the magnificent Santa Maria del Mar church – one of the most beautiful in Barcelona.

After getting to know Barcelona, you have the rest of the day to explore on your own.

When the sun goes down you will discover a new Barcelona dressed with magnificent colors. Enjoy the last view sun of the day on the deck with snacks and a glass of Catalán cava. Escape from the bustling hot city center to let yourself be guided by our professional skipper on a sailing yacht.

Day 3

Barcelona

Today you explore Barcelona on your own, visiting one of the many museums or opt for one of the several day trips (not included in the price).

For a taste of Catalan life beyond the metropolis – you can choose between mountains, beaches and pretty little towns, all just a short ride away. Some ideas below (this is not an exhaustive list).

Girona’s old town is a tight huddle of ancient arcaded houses, grand churches and sloped cobbled streets, with the grand cathedral looming over it. Until the virtual expulsion of the Jews in 1492, Girona was home to a huge Jewish community and the Museu d’Història dels Jueus de Girona tells their story. For a different slice of history, the 12th-century Banys Àrabs (‘Arab Baths’) are also worth a visit, as is the pretty, Romanesque Monestir de Sant Pere de Galligants. Stroll along the River Onyar to look at the colourfully painted houses that flank it, or to reach the newer part of town, where you’ll find some excellent tapas bars.

Figueres has some handsome Modernista architecture, a sprawling 18th-century castle (Castell de Sant Ferran) and a delightful little toy museum, the Museu del Joguet, but it is best known for the Teatre-Museu Dalí. A former theatre, it was converted by Dalí himself into a palace of surrealism, protected by tall red walls that bristle with giant eggs, Oscar-like statues and plaster croissant. Inside you’ll find paintings, a collection of jewellery designed by Dalí and some entertaining trompe l’oeil installations.

The mountain of Montserrat is Catalunya’s holiest site, the monastery of the same name. The views are spectacular – take walking shoes – and season permitting, you might be able to catch a choir performance inside the basilica. Afterwards, ride the funiculars, or else take a walk down to the Santa Cova, the spot where La Moreneta – a holy effigy of the virgin – was found, or up to the Sant Jeroni peak for a splendid view of the valley below.

The pretty, whitewashed town of Sitges is perfect for seafront promenading and sun-worshipping, so in warmer weather, you’ll find the most central beaches quite crowded. Luckily, there are quite a few to choose from, so pick your spot for a morning of sunbathing (or skinny dipping off the nudist beach) before choosing a seafood restaurant nearby. But it’s not all about the sea here; if you have an interest in contemporary art and in the Modernisme movement, the classy old centre’s array of elegant buildings, many housing museums, is well worth some of your time.

Day 4

Barcelona – San Sebastián

Train to San Sebastian. Travel time: 5 hours. San Sebastián has a justly deserved reputation as one of the world’s great dining destinations. This is a city that celebrates the art of eating well in all its many forms – whether snacking on fresh oysters and txakoli (a lightly sparkling white wine) at a seaside cafe or lingering over a decadent, multi-course feast in a Michelin-starred dining room. Spain’s culinary capital is also blessed with an alluring coastline. The long Playa de la Concha is the city’s great backyard, a picturesque sweep of sandy beach.

In the evening, cider experience. Cider holds a prized spot in any Basque’s glass, and an annual visit to the cider house is a sacred ritual. Experience this incredibly unique yearly local rite of passage with one of our guides in this tour, perfect for groups and friends.
You visit an authentic ciderhouse, whose walls are lined with barrels of freshly fermented cider, waiting to be tapped whenever thirst strikes. You will feast family style on chorizo a la sidra, a spanish omelette with salt cod, cod with sweet peppers and onions, and txuleta (grilled bone-in prime rib cooked over an open fire). Dessert is local sheep’s cheese with walnuts and membrillo. The meal is always punctuated with laughs and unlimited visits to the cider barrels.
You will line up with the locals to catch cider arching in a stream across the room. Perfecting the art of the pour is not easy, but the practice is fun. A lunch or dinner at the cider house is synonymous with having a great time and eating even better.

Day 5

San Sebastián

A day to explore the city on your own. The Old Town is an ideal place to go for a walk. Once you are in the Old Town, don’t forget to take a look at the Santa María del Coro Church and the Constitution Square, a neo-classical square built around the former City Hall and commonly known by the locals as “la consti.” Don’t miss San Telmo Museum at the foot of the Mount Urgull. It is primarily dedicated to Basque culture and history, providing visitors with a deeper insight into present day Basque society.

In the evening, reservations can be made at one of the many excellent restaurants

Day 6

San Sebastián – Bilbao

Transfer by car to Bilbao. Travel time: 1 hour. You will be met by our local guide to get to know Bilbao. Staggering architecture, a venerable dining scene and stunning landscapes just outside the city center.

Basque culture takes on many forms in this thriving waterfront city. Evocative museums like the Euskal Museoa and the Arkeologi Museo provide a glimpse into centuries past, with their collections of ancient Basque carvings, Middle Age treasures and everyday implements of the mariners, artisans and landowners of this age-old people.

After your city tour, you can visit on your own the icon of Bilbao, shimmering titanium Museo Guggenheim Bilbao. Is one of modern architecture’s most iconic buildings. It played a major role in helping to lift Bilbao out of its postindustrial depression and into the 21st century – and with sensation. It sparked the city’s inspired regeneration, stimulated further development and placed Bilbao firmly in the international art and tourism spotlight.

In the evening, immerse yourself in the heart of the pintxo tradition. Visit traditional haunts where classic pintxos reign and sample cutting-edge, bohemian establishments where innovative chefs impress daily. Popular culture in Bilbao and the surrounding villages and towns in the province of Bizkaia is indelibly inked with culinary tradition. The ‘pintxo poteo’ – a pintxo and a small drink, is more than a ritual, it’s almost religious. This weekly homage to the local bars with friends and family is a way of maintaining that link with the rich gastronomic history. Either in small, bite-size, eat-at-the-bar-on-foot delicacies or larger ‘raciónes’ for sharing.
It’s not all about the pintxo though, as it would be sacrilege not to help your pintxo with some local drop; Txakoli, Cider or our Rioja reds and whites.

Day 7

San Sebastián – La Rioja

Head to Spain’s most coveted wine region, La Rioja, one of the most emblematic wine producing regions in Europe. Here you will in a mediaeval village surrounded by rolling countryside and vineyards. Some time to rest in a fantastic hotel before visiting the hotel’s superb Rioja restaurant for a welcome lunch with Rioja wines.

Day 8

La Rioja

Today you explore the Rioja Alavesa wine producing region. Accompanied by our own private, local guide you will visit the impressive village of San Vicente de la Sonsierra, with its imposing castle before you learn and hear about the history of Nuestra Señora de la Piscina. This area, and the micro-climate created as a consequence of the mountains to the south and north, produces excellent Rioja, and our visit to Remelluri will place the whole centuries-old, wine-making process into context at this most classic of ‘Rioja Alavesa’ producers. Set amongst beautiful rolling hills, this vineyard, one of the highest in La Rioja at c 2,400 feet produces some of the most widely acclaimed Rioja due in part to the altitude that allows a slower and later ripening of the grape. This family-run winery can trace its history back to the 14th century when monks founded a monastery-farm on the southern slopes of the Cantabrian Mountain range, and amongst the vines one can observe a 10th century necropolis, and a wine reservoir, hand-cut out of the rock. For lunch we will visit a typical Riojan family-run restaurant situated in a former bodega in the wide open Rioja Valley. Lunch and wines not included. After lunch our private transport will take us the short distance to the capital of La Rioja Alta, the town of Haro, where we will undertake a tour and tasting at one of the oldest wineries in La Rioja, the family run ‘Lopez de Heredia’ where construction of the winery started in 1877. This is one of the cornerstone wineries of La Rioja, a real classic, and one of the most traditional, indeed they have only bottled 14 Gran Reservas since inception. The evening you will visit the famous walled town of Laguardia where you will have a free evening to wander around the atmospheric streets.

Day 9

La Rioja – Madrid

Take the train to Madrid. Travel time: 3 hours. Later in the day, you will meet with a local guide, a true Madrileños, born and raised in the capitial, and they are happy to share our insider knowledge and family traditions as you walk through the historic center and take in the sights and flavors around you.

This 3 hour walk is an in-depth experience to understand how the city works as we explore its cultural highlights. We will trace the history of Madrid and its development from its medieval roots to the modern times, when it became the thriving capital of Spain, and we will fill you in with the latest news, shows and exhibitions.

This is effectively a briefing on what’s on in Madrid, what to do and see (and what to avoid) while you are here as you get a sense of social and cultural events. This orientation walk will also provide you with the essential historical background you need to understand what is happening in 21st century Madrid.

Day 10

Madrid

Explore Madrid on your own. Be sure and visit one of the world famous museums such as the Prado.

In the evening you an opt for a flamenco or show or dine at one of the many rooftop restaurants.

Day 11

Day trip to Segovia

Today, you take the short train ride to Segovia (45 minutes), a Unesco World Heritage Site. Nowhere else in Spain is there such a stunning monument to Roman grandeur (the soaring aqueduct) surviving in the heart of a vibrant modern city. Or maybe it’s because art really has imitated life Segovia-style – Walt Disney is said to have modelled Sleeping Beauty’s castle in California’s Disneyland on Segovia’s Alcázar. Whatever it is, the effect is stunning: a magical city of warm terracotta and sandstone hues set amid the rolling hills of Castilla, against the backdrop of the Sierra de Guadarrama.

No visit to Segovia would be complete without having lunch at Casa Duque, this place has been serving Segovian specialties since 1890.

Self-guided day.

After exploring Segovia, return to Madrid.

Day 12 (Departure Day)

Barcelona

Departure day, it’s the end of this food dream.

CULINARY JOURNE IN SPAIN MAP

Culinary journey in Spain Map
A Culinary Journey through Spain
A culinary Journey
A Culinary Journey through Spain
A Culinary Journey through Spain
A Culinary Journey through Spain
A Culinary Journey through Spain
A Culinary Journey through Spain
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