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Discover the unique traditions, culture and heritage of the Spanish Basque Country on this personalized, private tour. Begin with a walking exploration of Madrid with a private guide to show you around its historic quarters and modern landmarks. Just outside the city, take a private trip to the famous Valley of the Fallen, dedicated to martyrs of the Spanish Civil War. Next in the gorgeous La Rioja of Spain’s Basque Country, take time out to explore quaint villages such as La Guardia and sample delicious Rioja wine at award-winning wineries.

Take time out to enjoy the wonderful seaside climate in San Sebastian while you feast on pintxos and fresh seafood. Explore its cosmopolitan neighborhoods and fisherman’s colonies with a local and then sign up to learn the secrets of Basque haute cuisine at a Michelin-rated restaurant. Continue your foodie excursions in Bilbao, which is known for its excellent food, wine and cider. Explore stunning landmarks such as the Guggenheim and Saint James’ Gothic Cathedral at leisure, or take a boat ride along the harbor. At the end of your tour, return to Madrid for your flight home.

Do you wish to discover more of the Basque Country or add Andalucia to your trip as well? Personalize this Spain private tour with our destination experts with no obligation. Get in touch with us today!


Itinerary Summary

DayPlaceHighlightsHotel Options
1 - 4MadridRoyal Palace, Prado & Sofia Reina Museum, El Retiro Park, Gran ViaURSO Hotel & Spa, Hospes Puerta de Alcala
4 - 6La Rioja RegionWine, Vineyards, Nature and HikingHotel Echaurren Relais & Chateaux, Hotel Marques de Riscal
6 - 9San SebastianBeaches, San Telmo Museum, Pintxo BarsVilla Soro, Hotel Maria Cristina
9 - 11BilbaoGuggenheim Museum, Casco Viejo, La Ribera Market, GastronomyHotel Miro Bilbao, Gran Hotel Domine Bilbao
11 - 11MadridRoyal Palace, Prado & Sofia Reina Museum, El Retiro Park, Gran Via

Ideal For

  • Heritage
  • Wine & Food
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Itinerary Details

Day 1 - 4

International Arrival

Your English-speaking chauffeur will meet you at the Madrid airport and accompany you to your hotel in a private vehicle


3 Nights

The beautiful city of Madrid serves the global traveler an amalgamation of Spain’s glorious history and modern culture on a platter.

Included Activities

Personalized Tour: Historic Madrid on Foot
Discover old Madrid on this historic walk through the city’s 17th century Austrian Quarter, in the company of your local English speaking guide. Stroll down popular old streets like the Bailen and Mayor Streets, lingering around the many plazas surrounded by public buildings, monasteries and magnificent palaces. Walk past Plaza de la Villa, marked by the old Town Hall, and Plaza de Oriente by which the Royal Palace stands. Other town squares are Plaza del Conde de Miranda and Plaza Mayor. Walk into the 18th century Royal Palace, which once housed royal receptions, hosted foreign dignitaries and saw the signing of historic treaties. Before returning to your hotel, stop for a delicious round of chocolate and churros. (Duration: 3.5 hrs; Private Activity & Taxi Transfer; Drink & Snack tasting included; Fitness level: Easy; Please wear comfortable walking shoes).

Discover the Valley of the Fallen, Escorial & Ávila
Explore the UNESCO World Heritage sites of El Escorial and Ávila, as well as a Spanish Civil War monument on this excursion from Madrid. begin your tour with a drive to the Valley of the Fallen with your private English speaking guide. The famous monument of the Valley of the Fallen, overlooked by the Guadarrama Mountain range, is a striking memorial dedicated to the martyrs of the Spanish Civil War. Visit the World Heritage site of El Escorial, the medieval epicenter of King Philip II’s massive Spanish Empire. Stroll around ‘The Pantheon of the Kings’, walking around the basilica-church and monastery, beneath which lie the remains of monarchs and queen mothers. Enjoy a delicious lunch break at Ávila, which is dotted with innumerable eateries and an equal number of Romanesque and Gothic churches. Visit the massive Cathedral and the medieval town walls, before driving back to Madrid. (Duration: 8 hrs; Private Activity & Transfer; Fitness level: Easy; Valley of the Fallen closed on Mondays; Please wear comfortable walking shoes).

Hotel Options
URSO Hotel & Spa – Opt 1
RoomUrso Double Room
RoomDreamer Double Room
Day 4 - 6

Your English-speaking chauffeur will drive you from Madrid to La Rioja Region in a private vehicle (Duration: 3.5 hrs)

La Rioja Region

2 Nights

La Rioja Region is marked by idyllic vineyards watered by the Ebro River, the lovely Cantabrian Mountains with the river valley below, and vast open blue skies.

Included Activities

A Discovery of La Rioja Wine Region
Begin your day at the 13th century walled town of La Guardia perched on a hilltop overlooking picturesque vineyards framed by the Cantabrian mountains. Strolling on cobbled streets, learn about the many family cellars located under the townhouses, and the region’s winemaking history. First stop, visit the modern Bodegas Biagorri where a large glass box viewing area affords fantastic vistas of the surroundings. Enjoy a tour of this state-of-the-art facility that features gravity-flow architecture boasting vertical wine production spread across six underground floors. Sit down for a tasting of their distinct wines complemented by homemade tapas. Savor a wine-paired seasonal menu of local Riojan specialties for lunch while unwinding with views of the vineyards. Finally, head to the Marqués de Riscal winery and explore the lush estate highlighted by a contemporary Frank Gehry hotel. Sip on their fine vintages before returning to your accommodations. (Duration: 8 hrs; Shared Activity & Private Transfer; Lunch and wines included; Fitness level: Easy)

Hotel Options
RoomDouble Room
RoomDeluxe Gehry Guest Room
Day 6 - 9

Your English-speaking chauffeur will drive you from La Rioja Region to San Sebastian in a private vehicle (Duration: 2.5 hrs)

San Sebastian

3 Nights

San Sebastian, a stylish seaside town, enjoys a vibrant cultural scene throughout the year and is arguably the best destination for food connoisseurs!

Included Activities

Explore San Sebastian by Foot
Discover the breathtaking beauty of San Sebastian, or Donostia as it is also called, on this walking tour. Located between the Urgull and Igueldo hills on the Cantabrian coast, San Sebastian is a combination of picturesque fishermen’s houses and cosmopolitan neighborhoods. Walk through the warren of cobblestone streets in its famous Old Town, dotted with historic buildings, cafes, boutiques with the intoxicating smell of pintxos in the air! Visit the Virgen del Coro with its magnificent architecture that features an amalgamation of various styles. Head to its beautiful waterfront with its two crescent-shaped beaches. Take a ride on the cable car to Mount Igueldo and soak up panoramic views of the city from the top. (Private Activity & Transfer; Duration: 4 hours; Fitness Level: Easy; Taxi for Monte Igueldo and cable car rides included.)

Personalized Pintxos Tasting in San Sebastian
Experience the delightful cuisine of San Sebastian on this walking tour of its famous pintxos bars! Get an insider’s perspective into the cuisine as you visit both well-known as well as hidden treasures that dot its globally renowned culinary landscape. Pintxos are small snacks, popular in bars in northern Spain, with the main ingredients being sliced bread and toppings held together with a toothpick! From olives and anchovies to txuleta, a type of grilled beef steak, foie gras and a plethora of seafood, the list of pintxos is endless! Savor this flavorful local cuisine at traditional Pintxos (Tapas of the Basque region) bars and restaurants washed down with wine as your guide shares his unique insights into this culinary delight! (Private Activity & Transfer; Duration: 3 hours; Fitness Level: Easy; Lunch/Dinner included.)

Group Tour: Secrets of a Star Kitchen
Make the most of this opportunity to learn the secrets of Basque haute cuisine from a master chef while in San Sebastian. The city is easily the Michelin starred restaurant capital of the country, with world-class chefs constantly creating avant-garde cuisine from fresh, local produce. Arrive at the designated kitchen venue and spend valuable time with the master chef, learning cutting edge plating and cooking techniques melded with traditional Basque flavors and ingredients. Pick up kitchen tricks and cooking secrets, before sitting down to enjoy the fruits of your labor. Enjoy a delicious Basque lunch, paired with good wine, good company and some great conversation. Return to your hotel after class. (Duration: 5 hrs; Shared Activity; Lunch included; Fitness level: Easy; Classes only on Tuesdays; Please inform ahead of food allergies, if any).

Hotel Options
Villa Soro – Opt 1
RoomDouble Room
RoomDeluxe Double Room
Day 9 - 11

Your English-speaking chauffeur will drive you from San Sebastian to Bilbao in a private vehicle (Duration: 1.5 hrs)


2 Nights

Bilbao is a sunny port city celebrated for its urban architecture of soaring skyscrapers, cultural centers and museums such as Frank Gehry’s Guggenheim Museum Bilbao, offset by a coastal landscape and towering cathedrals.

Included Activities

Discover Bilbao on Your Own
Spend a day exploring Bilbao with its soaring urban architecture set against the Iberian hills and the Nervión River flowing through. After a hearty breakfast at your hotel, set out to discover this northern Basque city at your own leisure. Visit the city’s famous museums and cultural centers and afterward, enjoy a boat ride along the harbor, taking in Bilbao’s cityscape. Stroll along the waterside promenades and tree-lined avenues, and settle down for a picnic lunch at a public park. Make the most of Bilbao’s excellent food and wine at a traditional tavern, sampling pintxos and txakoli or refreshing local cider. (Half Day; Self Organized Activity; No Guide; No Transfers Included; Fitness Level: Easy.)

A Walking Tour of Bilbao
Go back in time to medieval Bilbao as you stroll through its cobbled streets, charming squares, and riverside walkways. Observe the mix of architectural styles at the Saint James’s Gothic Cathedral – a Gothic cloister, a Renaissance portico and a neo-Gothic facade and spire. Admire the 19th-century Neoclassical Plaza Nueva (central square) lined with snack bars tucked inside its arch-shaped colonnades. Head to the Nervion riverside for a visit to the Catholic Church of San Antón. Take in the bustling atmosphere of the Mercado de la Ribera seaside market and sample some of the traditional snacks. Lastly, make your way to admire the iconic, swirling sculpture-shaped Guggenheim museum designed by Canadian American architect Frank Gehry.(Duration: 4 hrs; Private Activity and Transfers; Fitness level: Easy; Includes a tour guide.)

Hotel Options
RoomUrban Double Room
RoomSuperior Double Room
Day 11 - 11

Your English-speaking chauffeur will drive you from Bilbao to Madrid in a private vehicle (Duration: 4 hrs)


0 Nights

The beautiful city of Madrid serves the global traveler an amalgamation of Spain’s glorious history and modern culture on a platter.

International Departure

 Price & Inclusions

  • Option 1 From $ 7,790 /person
  • Option 2 From $ 9,790 /person

Prices are in USD and exclude international flights. This trip price is based on low season rates for accommodation and other applicable services, and may change depending on availability, currency fluctuations and number of people traveling together. For high season prices, please contact us with your exact travel dates and preferences.

Price Includes

  • Accommodation in one double room for 11 days / 10 nights.
  • Meals as indicated
  • All activities as listed :
    • Madrid: Personalized Tour: Historic Madrid on Foot
    • Madrid: Discover the Valley of the Fallen, Escorial & Ávila
    • La Rioja Region: A Discovery of La Rioja Wine Region
    • San Sebastian: Explore San Sebastian by Foot
    • San Sebastian: Personalized Pintxos Tasting in San Sebastian
    • San Sebastian: Group Tour: Secrets of a Star Kitchen
    • Bilbao: Discover Bilbao on Your Own
    • Bilbao: A Walking Tour of Bilbao
  • A Mercedes car for all your transfers and drives within Spain
  • All activities specified in the itinerary including transfers and entrance fees unless otherwise specified
  • Your Trip Coordinator: a 24/7 point of contact, supporting you during your trip
  • On request: A printed set of your travel documents by post
  • All airport and hotel transfers as indicated above

Not Included

  • Tips, additional meals and personal expenses
  • Entrance fees, unless otherwise stated in the activity descriptions
  • Visa fees
  • Travel, health and cancellation insurance
  • International airfare (from your home country to your destination and return)
Inquire Now
Northern Spain’s Basque Traditions

11 days $ 7,790 / person

Contact Us

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