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Real Food Adventure - Northern Spain

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Europe, Spain | 8 days
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What's included: 

Transport  - Bus, Minibus

Accommodation - Hotels (7nts)

Meals - 7 breakfasts, 3 lunches, 2 dinners

Trip Highlights: 
Tastes of Catalan in Barcelona
Exploring the vineyards of Rioja
Basque delights in San Sebastian
Local cooking class
see full itinerary >>

Holidays in Spain
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Itinerary for Real Food Adventure - Northern Spain

(Departures in 2014-15)
  • Day 1-3 - Barcelona
  • Day 4-5 - Logrono
  • Day 6-7 - San Sebastian
  • Day 8 - Tour ends
Extensions and Extras: Extend your holiday and see more of the world. View additional tours for this trip »


Fly to Barcelona. On arrival you will be met and transferred to your hotel

Hola! Welcome to Spain.

Oh Spain… how you dazzle us with architectural feats and artistic treats, enrich us with historic treasures and nourish us with sangria and tapas! From charismatic cities full of boisterous bars and hip galleries, to sleepy villages dotted with run-down farmhouses and olive groves, Spain never fails to open up travellers’ eyes, minds and hearts.

Barcelona's quirky character and fabulous Catalan cuisine mixes seamlessly with a groundbreaking art scene, Gothic architecture, superb dining and a non-stop nightlife, making it a city you won't soon forget.

Your adventure begins with a welcome meeting at 6:00pm on Day 1.

You can arrive at any time as there are no activities planned until this important meeting. Please look for a note in the hotel lobby or ask the hotel reception where it will take place. If you can't arrange a flight that will arrive in time, you may wish to arrive a day early so you're able to attend. We'll be happy to book additional accommodation for you (subject to availability). If you're going to be late, please inform the hotel reception. We'll be collecting your insurance details and next of kin information at this meeting, so please ensure you have all these details to provide to your leader.

You may want to take advantage of a late afternoon siesta before heading out to learn about Catalan gastronomy in Barcelona’s best taverns, bars and bodegas. You’ll be dining with locals, so gear up for a late start and a much later finish!

Meet a local Barcelona foodie and get ready for a truly authentic introduction to the ingredients and flavours of Catalan cuisine. Stroll through the stalls of Santa Catarina Market. Along the way, you will pick up some produce to take back with you for a hands-on cooking class, where you’ll learn how to prepare some seasonal Catalan dishes from a local expert.

Spend the afternoon exploring some of Barcelona’s hidden gourmet treasures – from fresh cheese and jamon to mouth-watering churros and Catalan pastries. Your tour leader will be able to suggest some local favourites so you’ll feel (and shop!) like a local.

Alternatively, you may want to visit one of Barcelona’s most revered architectural attractions – La Sagrada Familia.

This evening is free for your own Barcelona food adventure. There are many acclaimed restaurants in this food-obsessed city and you are welcome to make your own plans or restaurant reservations. Alternatively, your tour guide will suggest a local favourite for dinner. This old-fashioned haunt, full of little alcoves and decked out in black and white photos and bull-fighting memorabilia, serves up some fabulous Catalan fare.

This morning follow your tour guide to La Boqueria. With origins dating back to the 1200s, this incredible food market is considered one of the country’s most vibrant. Why not pull up a stool at one of the surrounding bars, grab some breakfast and watch it come alive.

Enjoy a walking tour along Las Ramblas and the Passeig de Gracia, taking in some of Barcelona’s most celebrated architectural gems by Catalan architect, Antoni Gaudi, including the Casa Batllo.

The rest of the day is free for you to enjoy the city at your leisure. Alternatively, you have the option to visit the nearby Penedes area. Penedes is best known for its production of cava – Spain’s answer to champagne. For those interested in getting to know the local drop from its source, visit a local winery and taste different styles of cava. At the end you will even be able to produce a bottle of your own to take with you!

Included Activities

  • Barcelona bars and bodegas crawl
  • Catalunyan cooking class
  • La Boqueria & Gotic Area - Morning Walk (leader led)

Optional Activities

  • Andean-Amazonian Ethnographic Museum - Free
  • Cable car to Montjuic (one way) - EUR6
  • Casa Batllo - EUR18
  • Contemporary Art Museum - EUR8
  • Museum of Gaudi - EUR6
  • Picasso Museum - EUR9
  • Cava Workshop, Penedes - EUR38


Hotel (3 nts)



For those in search of a hearty breakfast, you have the option to kickstart the day with an esmorzas de forquilla (workers’ breakfast) from a traditional fondes de sisos, one of the old-fashioned food houses that have sustained Barcelona for hundreds of years.

The rest of the morning is free for last-minute sightseeing, shopping – and, of course, eating!

Catch the train to Logrono (approx 3.5 hours).

Logrono, situated in La Rioja on the banks of the Ebro River, is the capital of Spain’s most renowned wine region and is also touted as having one of the most distinguished culinary traditions in Spain.

Go on an evening walking tour of the Old Quarter, which boasts more than 50 taperias (tapas bars), each with one individual specialty dish. This will be our first opportunity to sample some of the specialties of the region. When in season, seta (mushroom) is a must!

Take a local bus to the nearby village of Fuenmayor and be transported to a nearby vineyard.

Enjoy a guided stroll around the vineyard and get a true ‘grape to glass’ insight from an expert.

Throughout the whole year there are interesting things for you to do in the vineyard. Depending on the season, you’ll be able to harvest grapes, gather the fallen bunches, prune the vines – even remove the unwanted suckers and leaves from the vines.

We recommend you wear appropriate shoes and clothes (jeans and trainers or riding boots are best).

After work, you stop for a snack (a picnic of homemade chorizo, bread and paté) to get your energy back and drink wine from a goatskin bag, just like the locals have been doing for many years.

You finish our experience at a small, traditional Rioja winery with a vault hewn out of rock, dating from the 16th century. Descend into the vault to learn about the aging process and to taste the wine directly from the barrel. Bottle your own signature drop to take away as a lasting memory of the experience.

Next head to the walled village of La Guardia, perched atop a rock foundation. La Guardia is one of the most perfectly preserved medieval villages in Spain and is surrounded by an ancient wall. A walk around the wall is a must as it has great views out over La Rioja to the mountains. The entire centre of La Guardia is traffic free as underneath the town lies a maze of tunnels and caves that have been used for centuries to make and store wine.

Return to Logrono via some of the region’s most architecturally notable wineries.

Included Activities

  • Logrono tapas crawl
  • Rioja wine experience

Optional Activities

  • Vivanco Museum visit - EUR8


Hotel (2 nts)



San Sebastian

Take a bus from Logrono to San Sebastian (approx. 2 hours).

Travel to the hallowed Basque region, home to some of the world’s best restaurants, most experimental chefs and a distinct food culture all its own.

Enjoy a walking tour of San Sebastian's Parte Vieja (old town) to get your bearings.

San Sebastian has gained a reputation as one of the world’s great dining cities,producing such globally-renowned chefs as FerranAdria, AndoniAduriz and Juan and Elena Arzak, to name but a few. This evening you are free to make reservations at some of the town’s top dining establishments.

Alternatively, why not jump onboard an evening txikiteo (Basque-style tapas crawl) in San Sebastian’s Parte Vieja, as well as some lesser-frequented places on the other side of the river. Enjoy an array of pinxtos (the Basque answer to tapas) and don’t forget to wash them down with txakoli, a slightly fizzy white wine that’s the region’s signature drop.

Visit a sagardotegi, a traditional cider house, and enjoy a tasting of this sherbetty, apple-based drop. Finish up with a lunch of delicious local Basque produce.

For your final night, your group leader will suggest that the group sits down for a taste of new Basque cuisine in the glowing modernist cubes of the Kursal, located beside Zurriola Beach. It's part of a group of restaurants owned by Spanish culinary visionaries Andoni Luis Aduriz and Bixente Arriente, and is a fine way to end this Northern Spain Real Food Adventure.

Optional Activities

  • Txikiteo night - EUR20
  • San Telmo Museum - Free
  • Aquarium - EUR10
  • Catedral del Buen Pastor - Free
  • Monte Igueldo cable car - EUR3


Hotel (2 nts)



Tour ends

Your adventure ends today and you will be transferred to the airport for your flight home to London.