In this tour we offer a number of visits to the most exquisite wineries of Rioja and Ribera deal Duero regions, to take part in a sommelier-guided wine-tastings, go down into the wine caves, dive into the wine barrel, enjoy wine-therapy Spa treatments in the most up-to-date Spa centers, visit one the biggest gothic cathedrals in Europe, see the knights’ castle, stroll along the streets of the most socialite city in Spain, walk around the royal residence, and visit the legendary Guggenheim Museum of the Modern Art in Bilbao. We offer accommodation strictly in 5***** hotels.

 

 

Day 1

Meeting at the airport of Bilbao (BIO) upon arrival, transfer to Bilbao, accommodation at the Carlton Hotel 5 *****, located on the central square of Bilabo—Plaza  de Federico Moyua.  The hotel was built in 1926 by the Basque-English architect Manuel María Smith, up to nowadays it remains one of the most noble and majestic buildings in the city of Bilbao. The building is proclaimed the part of cultural and historical heritage of the province of Bizkaia.

Free time.

 

 

Day 2

Breakfast at the hotel—lovely start of our exciting journey.
Today we get acquainted with the spirit of Bilbao. You will learn the myths and legends of the Basque Country and feel the authentic Basque lifestyle.  We will visit the historic part of the city: the Santiago Cathedral, baroque style St. Nicholas Church, stroll the Gran Via—main Street, see the biggest covered market in Europe—La Ribera.Then, we will take a turn to the embankment, which is actually transformed into one big modern art gallery.  We will reach Guggenheim Museum of the Modern Art—the real chef-d’ouevres of Franck O. Gehry, and enjoy the exposition.We will have lunch at the traditional Basque cuisine restaurant and enjoy the selection of wines.                 Free time.
 

 

Day 3

Breakfast at the hotel.

We will be heading to Ribera deal Duero, best-of-the-best wine production region of Spain.   On the way, we will make a stop in Burgos, the legendary city,  the cradle of the Castiliian Crown.  We will the Cathedral of Santa Maria–the most illustrative example of the Spanish gothic style. The cathedral is a part of the UNESCO cultural heritage.

We will have lunch at the upscale restaurant serving traditional dishes with a touch of chic.

Following the lunch we will drive to Penafiel castillo, located in the heart of the Ribera del Duero region. The renowned Castillo is located on the top of the hill, and it’s first encounters date the Xth century. The name Penafiel is literally translated as the Proud Hill, as it was pronounced by the count Sancho Garcia, when the hill was conquered by his knights from the moors.

At the foot of the Penafiel hill the renowned Protos Winery is located. The winery consists of the 2 buildings: the old one and the fully-equipped modern one, designed by the architect Richard Rogers. The two buildings are connected by the tunnel and both are open for the visitors. We will go down the carst caves, where the barrels with the wine used to age for months, then pass by the dormant bottles of  wine of the unique quality, learn to differ the type of oak used for the barrels and barriques, then follow into the reception hall for the wine tasting.

After the wine-tasting we will take a short drive to the Hotel & Winery Complex of Arzuaga Spa Vinotherapia 5*****, located right in the center of the “golden mile” of Ribera del Duero. On the way we will see the legendary Vega Sicilia estate and Pingus Winery.

Dinner at the Bodega Arzuaga restaurant (not included into the basic Price).

 

 

Day  4

 

Breakfast at the hotel.

Take your time to relax at the vinotherapy spa of the hotel, walk in the surrounding vineyards, then take a guided tour to Bodega Arzuaga, followed by the wine-tasting in the beautiful reception room.

* Often, if get up early and follow the local guide you could see the herd of deer in the nearest grove, or mouflones, or wild boars.

Lunch at the hotel restaurant.
After the lunch we head to another winery in Ribera del Duero region– Bodega Vina, one of the most equipped wineries of the region.

The next stop is Bodega Portia, the art work of the frick architect Norman Foster. From the bird view the winery resembles the cosmic shuttle, that has landed in the middle of the vineyard.

Both bodegas will offer us a tour and the tasting of the top-rated wines.
Transfer to Rioja–most popular winemaking region in Spain. Accommodation at the luxurious boutique hotel Marqués de Riscal Luxury Collection 5*****, designed by famous architect Franck O.Gehry.  A bottle of Marqués de Riscal wine will be awIting you at the hotel suite, as a compliment.

We will dine at the Gastronomic Restaurant of the Marques de Riscal winery! The selection of haute cuisine dishes and top wines will be offered us by the chef. The sommelier will offer us, also, Frank Gehry Selection Reserva 2001 wine with the graphic label designed and signed by Frank O. Gehry himself.

 

 

Day 5

 

Breakfast at the hotel
In the morning hours Caudalie Wine Therapy Spa will open its doors especially for you. The above mentioned spa is one of the “gold list” spas in Spain. Apart form basic relaxation course comprising thermal water pools, pearl- baths, sauna and hamam, you will be offered the wide range of treatments meeting your personal needs. Specialist vinotherapists trained in the Bordeaux wine region employ wet and dry treatments based on the essence of the grape to cleanse, soothe and invigorate the skin. A unique Barrel Bath allows guests to soak in a bubbly mix of grape pomace,  as they gaze out over peaceful rows of vines disappearing into the distance. Other treatments include the popular Merlot, honey and wine body wraps and crushed Cabernet scrubs, both of which are designed to gently exfoliate and nourish the skin.
There are special treatments designed for gentlemen, such as ” Ritual de Sommelier”, “Modelaje Vinador” and “Cutis Melocoton”, also, comprising barrel bath and special skin treatment.  Wide range of massage treatments is offered to meet different needs, as well.Lunch at the boutique hotel restaurant (included in the basic price).Following the lunch we will be taking tours and taste wines at the 2 most futuristic, besides from producing top- quality wines, bodegas: Marqués de Riscal and Ysios, designed by Spanish architect Santiago Calatrava.  Both wineries: Marques de Riscal and Ysios have opened their doors to welcome the public to the newly built wineries in 2001, thus making it a new fashion for futuristic and avant-guardist building in the region.
Both wineries offer wine-tasting after the tour.Return to the hotel.
Dinner
Free time, spa relaxation.
 

 

Day 6

 

Breakfast at the hotel.
Enjoying Spa relaxation and treatments.
Lunch at the hotel restaurant (included in the basic price)Transfer to Haro– small town and eastern-most point of the Rioja region. Visit to Bodega Lopez de Heredia Vina Tondona—also known as the Wine Cathedral. The old winery resembles Aquitanian style building with a nice tower dominating the main building.  We will go down the caves used originally for barrel aging of wines. You will taste the “sharp” wines produced in an old style way, gaining their fans again nowadays.The next stop will be Vina Real winery—real esthetic delight.  The building itself is a big barrel on the hill, was built by the French architect & enolog. Apart from what it seems to be, the facility is 100% practical and fully functional.After the tour we will taste the wines.

Evening transfer to Santander, Cantabria—most socialite city in Spain. Accommodation at the palace-style Hotel Real 5*****, built on a green hill outlooking the ocean and the city.
Dinner at the restaurant El Puntal, famous for its cuisine, with a scenic view of the Bay of Biscay, or at the restaurant of El Sardinero Casino—most elegant casino in Spain.

 

 

Day 7

 

Breakfast at the hotel restaurant.

We will visit Palacio La Magdalena—true pearl of Cantabrian coast—summer residence of the Spanish King Alphonso XIII. The palace stands on a peninsula and is washed by the ocean from the three sides. There are beautiful gardens with a collection of rare plants and flowers, and a small open zoo with whales and pinguines.

In the afternoon you could take a boat trip around the bay of Santander, get acquainted with the night life of the city, and take a relaxing walk along the beautiful embankment.

Day 8 Breakfast at the hotel.
Free day, take your time for souvenirs and shopping, visiting, walking around the city or relaxing at the thalasso-spa of the hotel. Also, you could visit some of the best vinotecas of the city to buy decent wines of all the spanish DO-s for your collection at fair price. Tasting is offered at place.Transfer to the airport.

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