San Sebastián & La Rioja

San Sebastián & Rioja Trip

Immerse yourself in northern Spanish Basque food and wine! A culinary paradise, the Basque region boasts stellar traditional cuisine, pintxos bars, private cooking societies, Michelin star restaurants and artisanal products–Idiazabal cheese, anchovies, hard cider and Txakoli. And Rioja shines as Spain’s preeminent wine region.

Trip starts in San Sebastián and ends in Bilbao

8 days / 7 nights

Highlights

  • Cooking class with Basque chef
  • Pintxos tours– Market visit
  • Dinners in Michelin-star restaurants
  • Basque & Riojan cuisines
  • Private Rioja & Txakoli winery visits
  • Basque cider house dinner
  • Guggenheim Museum
  • Food & wine expert guides
  • 5-star hotels
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Interesting

Both Spanish and Basque are spoken in the Basque Country.

Part of the Rioja wine region is a Basque province: Rioja Alavesa

San Sebastián & La Rioja Itinerary

Day 1 – San Sebastián walking tour and pintxos (Basque tapas) tour in the Old Town, tasting some of the best pintxos in Spain. A fine way to start your journey in Spain. Your hotel in San Sebastián is the five-star Belle Epoque Hotel Maria Cristina, completely remodeled in 2012. 

Day 2  Depending on the time of year, visit a traditional Basque cider house to taste cider straight from the barrels and have dinner alongside locals and visitors alike as this will be cider drinking season. Outside of fall and winter visit the Basque Country in France for the day, 

Day 3 – Visit Getaria, a charming fishing village on the Atlantic coast, an artisan Basque cheese maker who specializes in the local sheep’s milk Idiazabal cheese, and a family-owned Txakoli winery in the hills above Getaria, with vistas to the Cantabrian coastline. Taste the young slightly effervescent wine along with local anchovies or sardinasLunch will be in Getaria, Spanish style, which means a long lunch with wine. Visit the Balenciaga Museum (Cristóbal Balenciaga is a native son). Dinner tonight at one of San Sebastian's Michelin-starred restaurants.

Day 4 – Private cooking class at a traditional gastronomic society. Explore the specialty food shops with their displays of produce, pastries, chocolates, spices, and Basque and Riojan wine. Dinner at  a one Michelin-starred restaurant specializing in creative Basque cuisine. 

Day 5 – Drive to the famed Rioja wine region. Stop at an artisan charcuterie producer for a tasting. Explore the hill-top village of Laguardia before visiting one of the region's prestigious wineries for a tasting. Wine-tasting dinner at a local favorite restaurant. Your hotel in the Rioja is the five-star Marqués de Riscal Hotel, designed by Frank Gehry.

Day 6 – Visit one of the traditional powerhouse wineries in Haro. Afterwards visit the tasting rooms of the Barrio de la Estación wineries. Before lunch another winery visit–this time to a boutique winery producing some of Rioja's best wines. Lunch in the pretty village of Casalarreina at favorite La Vieja Bodega. After lunch a walking tour of medieval walled Laguardia, famous for the subterranean wine cellars. 

Dinner pintxos tour along the extraordinary Calle Laurel in Logroño, notable for the large, almost overwhelming number of pintxos bars along it. The pintxos here are considered by many Spaniards to outrank those in any other Basque or Riojan town. We will let you judge for yourself.

Day 7 – Modern winery visit before driving to Bilbao. The city and the Guggenheim Museum are a modern phenomenon, an urban experiment if you will. Visit the Gehry-designed Guggenheim Museum and have dinner at Nerua – the Michelin-starred restaurant inside the Guggenheim.

Day 8 – Private transfer to the Bilbao airport for your outward journey.


Wine is one of the most civilized things in the world.
— Ernest Hemingway, Death in the Afternoon

See more Basque Country & Rioja Trips

Customize The San Sebastián & La Rioja Trip

Customize this trip to match your interests and dates. We can add days and activities, or swap out those tours that interest you less. Call us to talk about your interests

Extend Your Journey

A longer stay in La Rioja will allow you to immerse yourself in the wines.

Fly to Barcelona or Madrid for great food, art and culture.