explore La Rioja wine, cook & walk

explore La Rioja- San Vicente de la Sonsierra – Ezcaray – Bilbao – Walking – Cooking – Wine harvest – Meet local Winemakers
Explore the World of wine in Rioja, the tiny but huge wine region by the shores of the Ebro River, surrounded by majestic mountains. La Rioja is a place where history blend with new modern architecture and Signature wines. Walk the vineyards, the mountains and the Rioja forests. Visit wineries, wine harvest and try true wine making. Cook traditional & modern fine-dining on this Signature wine-tour. (8 days/7 nights).

The 1st day walking through the balchony of La Rioja was just overwhelming after the birch forest! I have been trying to think of how to improve this tour but I can´t think of anything…Mrs. Jantze-Lundberg 2014

04 welcome to La Rioja bis
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06 with ancient traditions
13 pressing grapes
02 welcome to La Rioja
08 wine territory Bodegas Ysios
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Casa Massip
Visit at Bodega 2
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Mapa explore La Rioja pizarra vf

Itinerary highlights
This trip is a true trip for wine-lovers! But there is not only wine tasting on the schedule during this week-long program. There will be opportunities to see how wine was made yesterday in comparison with modern techniques of authors or garage styled modern wines. Experience the colourful landscapes of the autumn with all its aromas and flavours. We stay at a modern family hotel in the beautiful village of San Vicente de la Sonsierra, right on the golden mile of Rioja Alta. With a special micro-climate and a terroir just perfect for the Riojan grape varieties, San Vicente is well known for wineries like El Contador of Benjamín Romeo, the Eguren Brothers or Bodegas Abel Mendoza.

 

Day 1 Sunday

Arrival to our hotel downtown Bilbao. A welcome drink during the presentation of the week followed by a pintxos tour closes day 1.

Day 2 Monday

Bus transfer to the start of the walking. Walk through a magical beech forest and get a spectacular view over the Rioja valley from the majestic Sierra del Toloño. We visit a small modern bodega, taste their garage wines with lunch and try some real bodega work. After that a short walk to our hotel in San Vicente de la Sonsierra, where we check in, rest and have a tapas cooking evening.

Day 3 Tuesday

A light leisure walk to the village of Briones, where we will visit the world wide known wine museum Museo del Vino Bodegas Dinastía Vivanco. After the walk and the museum, it is time for a modern style Rioja lunch. Siesta, and then visit to another charming Rioja Alavesa bodega. Tasting & dinner.

Day 4 Wednesday

The day begins with  an interesting art walk around Labastida and a visit and tasting at highly ranked Bodegas Remelluri. After this we will have some ancient wine labour making such as wine pressing by foot in prehistoric wine pools caved in the rock. If the weather permits so, lunch will be an open air picnic with a tasting of local young wines. When the night falls we will be participating in some active creative modern Spanish cooking. We will prepare a gourmet dinner with season products, such as wild mushrooms. On the way to the restaurant we propose a photo safari to get a glimpse of the modern architecture of the Baigorri, Ysios and Marqués de Riscal wineries.

Day 5 Thursday

We ascend the mountains of Sierra de Toloño, where we might find some mushrooms on the search for the ancient natural freezers used by monks in the mountain chapels. After a short visit to modern Bodegas Miguel Merino we continue to Ezcaray for lunch at our comfortable family hotel. In the afternoon you can enjoy optional walking routes around Ezcaray. At night we prepare a tasting menu with our hotel chef. A brilliant farewell dinner!

Day 6 Friday

We visit and leisure walk towards Santo Domingo, visit the Cathedral and move on to some tapas hopping on our own in Haro. Transfer to Bilbao, check in and farewell to our guides!

Day 7 Saturday

Free day in Bilbao to stroll around, shop or visit the Guggenheim museum. If you already have been to Bilbao we propose a day tour to San Sebastian (1h by bus). Lunch and dinner on your own.

Day 8 Sunday

Breakfast at the hotel. Transfer to airport or ferries.

Getting here & transfers

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Bilbao is the best airport for regular incoming international flights. However, Ryanair operates to Santander  airport from several European cities. From UK there are weekly ferries to Bilbao and Santander. Ask us for the best option!

 

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All minibus transfers in Spain included. Mostly short transfers 30min-1h. Longest transfer Ezcaray-Bilbao 1,5h.
Hotels & meals
img_hotel_presentacionSan Vicente de la Sonsierra Day 2-5. A traidtional family hotel turned into a modern Design Hotel some 5 years ago now. A better base camp is hard to find and the host couple Pedro & Irene will make you feel just like home…

 

 

 

17 bon apetit!

On this tour you will enjoy solid buffet breakfasts with bread, cereals, juice, coffe & tea, ham, eggs, cheese as well as local sweets to get ready for a day of walking. On the roads and always in hand-picked sceneries you will taste & enjoy local products on charming country picnic lunches, where we often buy fresh products on the visits we make. Late October is mushroom season and this is very present in the restaurants, among the people and even in local festivities.The dinners will be the delicious results of our cooking sessions as well as winery dinners! Tradition and fine-dining in a nice blend.
“La Rioja is a fun place to eat. Any place where wine is so fundamental to a location’s identity will result in a culture of food that accompany their wine. And although, I believe that a food culture is prevalent worldwide, ranging from spicy to bland and rich to light; but if I had to sum up Spain‘s food culture, or specifically that of La Rioja, in one word, that would be: ingredients.” (catavinos.net)  Read more…
Activities on this tour

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Walking Level: Easy         Shortest/longest walk 5 km/14 km
Maximum climb 400m     Maximum descent 700m

 

We will enjoy our walks that always are optional on this tour – if you a have a soar knee we will pick you up to meet the group at the next scheduled point. As we have prepared written detailed itineraries and maps, you will be able to complete each route at your own pace. And if you still need an extra challenge we can provide you with some alternative extra kilometers to complete the physical activity of each day.

 

Recommended walking accesories : Walking poles, gore tex walking shoes/ low ancle boots, light ruck-sack for daily necessities.
cooking greenOur cooking sessions are meant to be learning and inspiring. Three cooking hands on cooking session will make you understand that food and wine go together in the region…
wine greenVisits to 4 wineries with tastings. There will be opportunities to see how wine was made yesterday in comparison with modern techniques of authors or garage styled modern wines. We also do our own wine harvest one day – supervised by local wine experts where we get a feel for this hard work!
More tour maps

See the areas we explore on this tour!

What´s included?

7 nights double room at selected Hotel 3*** and 4**** or similar

Transfers and luggage transport according to program

7 Breakfast, 4 Lunches , 5 Dinners (2 gourmet) (Wine with all meals)

3 Cooking classes, apron and recipes

Visits, tastings and activities according to program

Walking routes itineraries and maps

Travel documentation and useful information

Pricing & general Conditions

From 1.390,00€

(210,00€ single room additional fee)

Flight and means of transportation to Spain excluded

Cancellations, Amendments and Refunds Bonito Norte Viajes

 

Cancellation due to severe sickness, illness, death of close family or catastrophic events at home such as fire, flooding or else: Total refund of the whole Price.

Cancellation due to other reasons

Cancellations up to 7 days tour starting date, 75% refund

Cancellation from 6 days to 48 hours prior to tour start date, 50% refund

Cancellation of tour start date prior to 48h, non-refundable

Be inspired by:

Tour documentary 2012 Tour documentary 2012  Tour documentary 2011 Tour documentary 2011   La Rioja promo video La Rioja promo video   Taste it – Riojan recepies & wine info Taste it – Riojan recepies & wine info

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