Day 1: San Sebastian.
Arrive in San Sebastian and transfer to the Hotel de Londres y de Inglaterra. San Sebastian is one of the most beautiful cities of Spain. This city that lives overlooking the Cantabrico Sea was the most elegant and fashionable Spanish seaside resort for more than a century. This city lies along two white sandy bays. Fishermen's houses, a smart suburb and modern districts make it one of the most attractive cities on the Cantabrian coast. Check in and take some time to relax and get settled. This evening enjoy a welcome tapas dinner in the dining room of the hotel. One of the main attractions of Spanish cuisine is the “tapas”. Tapas are small portions of different dishes that are served as a light meal or snack, often shared among a group of people and sampled with Spanish wine or “cañas” (a glass of beer). Hotel: Hotel de Londres y de Inglaterra.
Day 2: San Sebastian - cooking class.
This morning after breakfast, enjoy a visit to a market, followed by a cooking lesson and lunch with Chef Natalia La Brecha market is a traditional market that now is a shopping and entertainment centre, but fresh local products are still available. Chef Natalia Arizmendi, a "Grand Diplome" of the Cordon Bleu, has taught both cooking and pastry for more than 10 years. A gifted and humorous teacher, she shares the refinements of her skills in English, French and Spanish. Natalia was honored with the “Grand Diplome” at Cordon Bleu where she graduated as the top student in the class. You will learn about Basque gastronomy and enjoy a cooking lesson at Natalia’s private home outside San Sebastian with a meal to follow. The rest of the day is yours at leisure. Hotel: Hotel de Londres y de Inglaterra.
Day 3: Pamplona.
This morning after check out, your rental car will be dropped off for you at the hotel. From here with some suggested directions, make your way on a scenic route to Pamplona. On the fertile plain of the river Arga sits Pamplona, a city full of history and deep-rooted traditions. The streets and squares of its historic quarter still preserve a significant collection of monumental buildings dominated by its churches and medieval walls. The city of Pamplona is the capital of the “Old Kingdom” of Navarra.
The streets and squares of its historic quarter still preserve a significant collection of monumental buildings dominated by its churches and medieval walls. Enjoy visiting the vineyards, winery and cellars of the Palacio de Muruzabal winery. Adolfo Merino, son of the owner, and the aenologist of the winery will be your guide. A y B Marino is one of the most promising of the up-and-coming crop of Navarrese producers. Muruzabal has 17 hectares of cabernet and four hectares of merlot. It also makes a very good Chardonnay from a six-hectare plot. The owner of the winery is the Marino - Perez de Rada Family. The family have been taking care of their lands for the last 400 years. At the family palace, they have been storing the fruits of their land: precious grapes and have been making wine.
Now the “Marino Perez de Rada” brothers have added new grapes: Cabernet-Sauvignon, Merlot and Chardonnay and have mixed them with their old “Valdizarbe” grapes. The new wine is just incredible and is made exclusively with the grapes they produce. The recollection is by hand. They commercialize a very small amount of bottles. Enjoy tasting the Palacio de Muruzabal wines and an aperitif at the patio of the winery with the aenologist. After a lunch at your leisure, return to San Sebastian and spend the rest of the afternoon exploring at your own whim. Hotel: Hotel de Londres y de Inglaterra.
Day 4: La Rioja.
Check out of the hotel after breakfast and drive to la Rioja wine region. La Rioja is synonymous with great Spanish wines. For decades, wines from La Rioja have been protected by their own Designation of Origin standard. Arrive in Santo Domingo de la Calzada, one of the Rioja towns most deeply marked by the Pilgrim's Route to Santiago de Compostela. The network of medieval streets within its well-preserved walls, were declared a National Historic Interest Site for the invaluable historic and architectural heritage, particularly the Cathedral and the old Pilgrims' Hospital. Arrive and check in at the Parador de Santo Domingo de la Calzada. The Parador occupies a 12th c. former hospital, next to the cathedral, built by Saint Dominic to give shelter to the pilgrims on the Road to Santiago. Spend the afternoon exploring the area on own and this evening, enjoy dinner at the Parador. Hotel: Parador de Santo Domingo de la Calzada.
Day 5: La Rioja - Marques de Riscal.
After a late breakfast and a leisurely morning, drive to the Marques de Riscal winery for a tour of the cellars and lunch at the restaurant The cellars of Elciego (Alava) are the best museum in which to see the living history of the wines of Herederos del Marqués de Riscal. The building of the first cellar began in 1858, the year the company was founded. Within these installations, now used for the maturing of wines in barrels, is the Cathedral, a cellar in which the greatest treasure of the Marqués de Riscal is kept; a unique collection of all the vintages produced by the winery since its beginnings over 149 years ago. The increase in wine production meant that the cellars had to be enlarged in 1883, an event not to be repeated until 1968 and 2000. The main restaurant is set to become one of Spain's leading centers for fine gastronomy, combining traditional Rioja cuisine with modern influences. After your meal, the rest of the days is yours to explore the region on your own. Hotel: Parador de Santo Domingo de la Calzada.
Day 6: Bilbao - Guggenheim.
After breakfast, check out of the hotel and drive to Bilbao. Bilbao is the driving force of social and economic development and it is the main factor in the modernization of the Gulf of Biscay. Ambitious architectural and general infrastructure projects have fuelled the urban and financial regeneration of the city. The Guggenheim Museum; the Euskalduna Concert Hall and Convention Centre; the underground by Norman Foster; the airport by Calatrava; the new tram and the projects by architects such as Arata Isozaki and Cesar Pelli are all examples of the overwhelming vitality that permeates Bilbao.
Upon arrival in the city, return your rental car and check in at the Hotel Miró. This 50-room hotel down the street from the Guggenheim is the concept of well-known Spanish fashion designer Antonio Miró. This afternoon, enjoy a guided tour to the Guggenheim Museum designed by the architect Frank O. Gehry. Afterwards the remainder of your evening is yours at leisure. Discover any of the city’s favourite fine restaurants with our recommendations to indulge in a sumptuous final night feast. Hotel: Hotel Miró.
Day 7: Depart.
Check out of the hotel and transfer to the airport for your flight home.
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