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 : 8 Days
  • Trip starts in : Barcelona, Spain
  • Trip ends in : San Sebastian, Spain
  • Maximum group size : 12
  • Ages : Min 15
  • Meals : 5 breakfasts, 2 lunches, 2 dinners
  • Accommodation : Hotel (7 nts)
  • Transport : Bus, Metro, Public bus, Train

daily-itinerary1

Day
1-2

Barcelona

Hola! Welcome to Spain.

Oh Spain… how you dazzle us with architectural feats and artistic treats, enrich us with historic treasures and nourish us with sangria and tapas! From charismatic cities full of boisterous bars and hip galleries, to sleepy villages dotted with run-down farmhouses and olive groves, Spain never fails to open up travellers’ eyes, minds and hearts.

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.

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.

Enjoy your first taste of Barcelona's dynamic dining scene at one of the city's authentic taverns. Catalans eat lunch after 2pm and start dinner from 9pm, so you may wish to take advantage of a late afternoon siesta to keep up with the locals!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).

Get ready for a truly authentic introduction to Catalan cuisine with a passionate Barcelona foodie and respected chef. 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 leasurely lunch accompanied by a glass or two of locally produced wine.

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 (2 nts)

Day
3-4

Logrono

Before departing Barcelona, devour a delectable Spanish breakfast of chocolate and churros.

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) is a must!

Take a local bus to the nearby village of Fuenmayor and be transported to a vineyard.

Enjoy a guided stroll around the vineyard and get a true ‘grape to glass’ insight from an expert.
Throughout the year there are interesting things to do in the vineyard. Depending on the season, harvest grapes, gather fallen bunches, prune the vines – even remove the unwanted suckers and leaves from the vines. It is important to wear appropriate shoes and clothes (jeans and trainers or riding boots are best). After work, stop for a snack (a picnic of homemade chorizo, bread and paté) and drink wine from a goatskin bag, just like the locals have been doing for many years.Finish at a small, traditional Rioja winery with a vault hewn out of rock, dating from the 16th century. Descend into the vault to learn about the aging process and to taste wine directly from the barrel. Bottle your own signature drop to take away.

For wine enthusiasts (or even those with a moderate interest), a visit to the Vivanco Wine Museum in the nearby town of Briones is highly recommended. This internationally acclaimed and family-run institution celebrates the history of man and wine over 8,000 years!

Before departing Logrono, also consider a trip 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.

Accommodation: Hotel (2 nts)

Day
5-8

San Sebastian

Take a bus from Logrono to San Sebastian (approx. 2 hours).

Travel to 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 a 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, perhaps also taking in lesser-frequented places on the other side of the river. 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.

Visit a sagardotegi, a traditional cider house, and enjoy a tasting of this sherbetty, apple-based liquid, followed by a lunch of delicious local Basque produce.

Day 7 is free for your own exploration. Perhaps take a bus to nearby Bilbao to see the impressive Guggenheim Museum, designed by renowned architect Frank Gehry or simply relax on the beach.

For a different perspective of the most central beach, La Concha, why not climb or catch a cable car to Monte Igueldo.

Alternatively, head into the surrounding countryside and visit a Basque cheese producer. Idiazabal is a traditional, hard cheese made from raw milk of Latxa or Carranza sheep found in the Basque and Navarra regions of northern Spain. Go on a journey from paddock to plate: feeding and milking the flock, through to cheese-making, storing and ageing. Enjoy a cheese tasting, and even get involved in the production of traditional Basque yoghurt.

Choose to finish your Real Food Adventure in true Basque style and accept an invitation to dine at a private Gastronomic Society. These members-only establishments, which evolved from nineteenth century guilds, are a mainstay of San Sebastian's culinary culture. A place to meet, relax - but primarily to eat - dishes are prepared by (largely male) society members. Luckily for us, members are free to invite family and friends to share a meal together. The price for this optional activity depends on the amount of people taking part. Your tour leader will be able to confirm the cost at the time of booking it.

Your Real Food Adventure concludes on Day 8.

There are no activities planned for the final day and you are able to depart the accommodation at any time.

Accommodation: Hotel (3 nts)

included1

  • Catalan Cooking Class and Lunch - Barcelona
  • Rioja Wine Experience - Logrono
  • Tapas Crawl - Logrono
  • Taverna Welcome Dinner - Barcelona

optional-extras

  • Guell Palace - EUR10
  • Museum of City History - EUR7
  • La Sagrada Familia - Barcelona - EUR15
  • Museum of Gaudi - EUR6
  • Picasso Museum - EUR9
  • National Art Museum of Catalonia - EUR8
  • Contemporary Art Museum - EUR8
  • Cathedral visit - EUR6
  • Casa Batllo - EUR18
  • Cable car to Montjuic (one way) - EUR6
  • Vivanco Wine Museum - Logrono - EUR8
  • Wine Museum - EUR12
  • Txikiteo Crawl - San Sebastian - EUR20
  • Monte Igueldo Cable Car - San Sebastian - EUR3
  • Basque Cheese Farm Experience - San Sebastian - EUR25
  • Guggenheim Museum - Bilbao - EUR13
  • Dinner at a Private Gastronomic Society (minimum 2 people) - San Sebastian - EUR90

not-included1

International flights, arrival and 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.

tripgrade1

Standard

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 an 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

Taste

Tantalise the taste buds on these culinary tours through some of the world’s most delicious cuisine. Learn the secrets of traditional dishes in cookery classes, indulge in the local liquors & sample numerous different produce whilst touring the classic sights of a country.

Our Taste tours have been carefully designed to allow you to discover the most colourful markets, meet talented local chefs, visit famous restaurants and distilleries or vineyards and perhaps expand the waistline a little! Quintessential sites and activities of a destination form an integral part of the itineraries too.

This tour is operated by our partners Intrepid.

visa1

A 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

health-and-fitness

All travellers need to be in good physical health in order to participate fully on this trip. When selecting your trip please make sure you have read through the itinerary carefully and assess your ability to cope with our style of travel. Please note that if, in the opinion of our group leader or local guide, any traveller is unable to complete the itinerary without undue risk to themselves and/or the rest of the group, Intrepid reserves the right to exclude them from all or part of a trip without refund.You should consult your doctor for up-to-date medical travel information or for any necessary vaccinations and anti-malarial requirements before departure. We recommend that you carry a first aid kit as well as any personal medical requirements (including a spare pair of glasses) as they may not easily be obtained at the locations on this trip. For legal reasons our leaders and guides are prohibited from administering any type of drugs including headache tablets and antibiotics. Please ensure that you are adequately prepared.

Money1

Every 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.

travel-insurance

You 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-travel1

Responsible 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.

other-important-information

SPANISH SIESTA:
Please note that shops, attractions, sights and businesses may be closed for up to 5 hours in the middle of the day for siesta time. This gives the locals time to escape the heat and spend time with their families, eat a large lunch or simply sleep through the most uncomfortable time of day. This means of course that people work later into the evening and dinner time can seem quite late: 9.30pm is not uncommon for family dinner time.One of the great things about our trips is that we encourage every member of the group to spend time interacting with local people. In order to best be able to do this in Spain, we recommend that you try to do as the locals do - avoid the heat of the day, and stay out later at night.

 

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