Real Food Adventure - Northern Spain Trip Notes

At Imaginative Traveller we always aim to provide accurate information for our travellers. Unfortunately information such as the price of optional activities is occasionally subject to change, and this means that we are constantly revising our trip notes. In order to ensure that you have the most up to date information for your trip we suggest that you check the trip notes for your tour around one month before departure.

  • Trip code : IZMZZ
  • Trip length : 10 Days
  • Trip starts in : Barcelona, Spain
  • Trip ends in : Santiago de Compostela, Spain
  • Maximum group size : 12
  • Ages : Min 15
  • Meals : 3 breakfasts, 3 lunches, 2 dinners
  • Accommodation : Hotel (9 nights)
  • Transport : Public bus, Taxi, Train, Van




Hola! Welcome to Spain.

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.

For those who arrive early, perhaps visit the labyrinthine streets of the old Gothic Quarter, check out the Picasso Museum, wander the Rambla - the tree-lined pedestrian boulevard, or take the funicular to the top of Montjuic or Tibidabo for panoramic views of Barcelona and the harbour.

A stop at Gaudi's bizarre La Sagrada Familia Cathedral, possibly the most iconic landmark in this city rich with famous sights, is also highly recommended. Pre-book your tickets online to avoid the long queues.

Your adventure begins with a Welcome Meeting at 6pm on Day 1.

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.

Celebrate the start of your Real Food Adventure with a glass of locally produced cava and a tapas plate at one of the city's fabulous bars.

Accommodation: Hotel (1 nt)



Get ready for a truly authentic introduction to Catalan cuisine with a passionate Barcelona foodie and respected chef.

Catalan cuisine is strongly based in the Mediterranean tradition, featuring fresh ingredients such as tomato, eggplant, garlic, capsicum as well as breads and olive oil, much of which is produced from the surrounding countryside. Intensely flavoured fish including sardines, anchovy and salted cod and a myriad of pork products are also celebrated within Catalan food culture. Be sure to seek out Catalan favourites, such as pa amb tomaquet (bread rubbed with cut tomato and drizzled with olive oil), botifarra (pork sausage) and faves a la catalana (broad beans with Iberian ham).

Taste your way through the stalls of Santa Catarina Market and pick up some ingredients for a cooking demonstration. Learn to prepare some seasonal Catalan dishes then sit down to a leisurely lunch accompanied by a glass or two of wine from the nearby Penedes region.

The rest of the afternoon is free to explore some of Barcelona’s hidden gourmet treasures, visit a museum or simply admire the incredible streetscapes of Las Ramblas and its surrounds. Alternatively you may wish to visit one of Bacelona's most revered attractions - Gaudi's La Sagrada Familia.

Accommodation: Hotel (1 nt)



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) tapas are a must!

Accommodation: Hotel (1 nt)


San Sebastian

Stop past the Logrono market and select some provisions for a picnic lunch. Take a local bus to the 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.

Enjoy a guided tour of Laguardia's wine caves and enjoy a guided tasting through some of the region's distinct varietals. Weather permitting, we will then take a stroll through the vines to find the perfect picnic spot.

Late in the afternoon, catch a bus to San Sebastian and 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 an orientation walking tour of San Sebastian's Parte Vieja (old town) to get your bearings. In the evening, why not jump onboard an evening txikiteo (Basque-style tapas crawl) in San Sebastian’s Parte Vieja. 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.

Accommodation: Hotel (1 nt)


San Sebastian

Take a turn around the markets to collect your ingredients, then enjoy a hands on cooking class, learning how to prepare some signature Basque dishes. Your cooking class will include a tasting of Basque products including Idiazabel cheese and txacoli wine.

The afternoon is free for your own exploration. Perhaps catch a cable car to Monte Igueldo for some truly spectacular views of this incredible city, take a trip to the nearby fishing village of Getaria, or simply relax by the sea.

Accommodation: Hotel (1 nt)


Picos de Europa

Take a bus to Bilbao. Here you will have the opportunity to visit the world-renowned Guggenheim Museum, designed by noted architect Frank Gehry.

After lunch, we continue on by bus to the picturesque Picos de Europa National Park. Covering some 647 square kilometres, Picos de Europa is Spain's second largest national park and spans across the three provinces of Asturias, Cantabria and Leon. The park is made up of the three large massifs - Andara, Urrielles and Cornión. Enjoy a walk in this stunning landscape to work up your appetite (2 hours).

For dinner, a classic Asturian dish is on the menu. Fabada asturiana is a hearty stew made from large white beans (fabada), pork shoulder and chorizo. Enjoy a cooking demonstration followed by your own fabada tasting. Be sure to enjoy your fabada with some crusty bread and a glass of Asturian cider.

Accommodation: Hotel (1 nt)



Take a short trip to the beautiful mountain town of Potes.

Brimming with centuries of history, the quaint old town is a tapestry of bridges, narrow winding streets and splendid old houses. We will arrive in time to experience the wonderful weekly food market.

With some documents dating the market's existence back to 1291, this is considered to be one of the oldest markets in Spain. Enjoy a market brunch of Cantabrian products purchased from the stallholders. Depending on the season, you may savour locally grown apples, pears, cherries, walnuts, chestnuts and Cantabrian cheeses such as 'Picón Bejes-Tresviso' and 'Quesucos'.

Continue past the charming hillside village of Arenas de Cabrales, where there is the opportunity to taste the famous Cabrales cheese. A natural blue cheese produced by rural farmers using a traditional artisan method, the cheese is matured for up to six months in the natural caves of the area's limestone mountains.

Next, stop past an Asturian cider house. Cider (sidra) is the traditional drink of Asturias. It is made from locally-grown apples and has been made here since the Roman era. Today it has a Denomination of Origin and is popular all over Spain. Take a glass and catch yourself a sip as cider streams from the barrel. Arrive in Oviedo by late afternoon.

Accommodation: Hotel (1 nt)



Take a guided walk around old Oviedo with its many fine monuments including San Salvador Cathedral - an impressive Gothic structure built between the 14th and 16th centuries. You will also enjoy an introduction to wonderful Asturian products at the market El Fontan.

The afternoon is free for your own exploration. Perhaps take a trip up to the port city of Gijon, or the attractive fishing village of Luanco.

For dinner, consider heading for Calle de la Gascona, which is lined with lively sidrerias (cider houses) serving a wide range of raciones (tasting plates).

Accommodation: Hotel (1 nt)


Santiago de Compostela

Take a bus to A Coruna in the region of Galicia (3.5 hours), taking in some of the spectacular Galician coastline.

A Coruna is an important port city. Here we will visit the impressive fish market in the Praza de Lugo, learning about the Galician mussel industry from a local seafood expert. Lunch on fresh mussels at a nearby café (there will be alternate meals available for non-seafood eaters).

Continue by bus to the capital of Galicia, Santiago de Compostela (30 mins), the final destination on this real food adventure. The beautiful old city of Santiago de Compostela holds many delights within its walls, all overseen by its mighty cathedral. Take a walk around the Old District at night, through arcaded stone streets, the spacious Praza del Obradoiro and past the Archbishop’s imposing palace.

Accommodation: Hotel (1 nt)


Santiago de Compostela

Finish this real food adventure with a morning tasting tour around some of the city's best foodie gems, including the celebrated Mercado de Abastos. Toast the end of the trip with a glass of wine.

The Real Food Adventure Northern Spain will conclude at midday. You may leave your luggage at the hotel until the conclusion of the trip. If you wish to extend your stay in Santiago de Compostela, additional accommodation is available. Please contact your booking agent for further information.


not-included1International flights, departure transfers, departure and airport taxes, visas, all other meals, all optional tours or activities during free time, transfers outside of the tour program, travel insurance, tips and items of a personal nature.




For those of you who dream of experiencing a location in depth and comfort but are mindful of budget. Ideal for those that enjoy the quirkier side of a destination without roughing it. Join inquisitive travellers of all ages for a fun, informative experience.

Style Facts

  • Comfortable tourist class hotels
  • Family homestays
  • Private and local transport
  • More inclusions than Basic Tours
  • Fully trained and experienced leaders.

This tour is operated by our partners Intrepid.


visa1A necessary bugbear of adventure travel, visas can appear complicated, costly and confusing to apply for. Imaginative Traveller recommend applying for visas with a professional visa service who can guide you though the process and take care of lodging and collecting your passport with multiple embassies, so we have teamed up with The Visa Machine.The Visa Machine ‘live and breathe’ visas and have the expertise to provide current and accurate information and arrange the correct visas for your trip, quickly and at a good price.Please click here for more information.


medical-preparation1We strongly recommend you visit your doctor to discuss health requirements for your trip. They will advise you regarding the appropriate inoculations. In some places anti-malaria medication may also be required. Some vaccines need to be administered a few weeks before departure so allow yourself plenty of time. Obtain a certificate of vaccination and carry this with you on this trip. A dental check up is also highly recommended.


Money1Every traveller is different and therefore spending money requirements will vary. Some travellers may drink more than others while other travellers like to purchase more souvenirs than most. Please consider your own spending habits when it comes to allowing for drinks, shopping, participating in optional activities, and tipping. Please also remember the following specific recommendations when planning your trip.

You will need to take cash to cover all additional expenses not included in your tour cost. These include food, drinks, optional sightseeing, tips, laundry, souvenirs and possible delays. If in doubt, bring more than you think you will need. It is always useful to carry an additional amount for emergencies. If there is a medical emergency you are sometimes required to pay at the time; providing your claim falls within the scope of your policy, your insurance company will make reimbursement later


travel-insuranceYou must have extensive travel insurance as a condition of booking with us, and without evidence of a valid policy you won’t be allowed to start your trip. Please click here for more information.


responsible-travel1Responsible tourism is at the heart of Imaginative Traveller. For 20 years we have taken customers to places around the world in social and environmentally responsible manner, ensuring everyone involved respects and maintains the natural and often delicate balance of the destination.As travellers ourselves we are well aware of the impact that tourism can have and whilst economic gain from tourism is often fundamental to a country, it should never be at the expense of its culture or the environment. It is our aim to provide journeys that have minimal negative and maximum positive impact on the places we visit. We do not believe that, as visitors, we should impose our own cultures on others; rather that we should experience foreign cultures and appreciate them for what they are.We believe giving something back is essential. We therefore work with our customers and the people we visit to ensure the benefits go directly to contribute to local cultures and environmental conservation. This is not only good the communities we visit but it also gives our travellers more enriched adventures.For further information about responsible travel please click here.


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