Treasures of the Spanish Basque Country - Unique Small Group
- Uncover the top sights of northern Spain on this small group holiday.
- Experience a walking tour of Bilbao & enjoy delicious Pintxos.
- See incredible artwork at the Guggenheim Museum Bilbao.
- Discover the famous region of La Rioja on a wine tasting tour.
- Take a day trip to San Sebastian & visit to a local farm for cheese tasting.
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Your Guided Small Group Tour of the Basque Country
Travel with us to explore the Basque Country, a region in northern Spain renowned for its distinctive culture, diverse landscapes and world renowned cuisine. Throughout this small group tour in Spain we'll be staying in Bilbao, where our local guide will show us all the highlights and we'll get to sample tasty Pintxos, which are types of snacks that originated in this part of Spain. One of the most iconic sights we will certainly see in this dynamic city will be Guggenheim Museum Bilbao, where we'll admire its distinctive architecture on the outside and view its interior art displays. On other guided excursions learn more about wine making traditions in La Rioja and take in the incredible scenery of vineyards. Discover San Sebastian or 'Donostia', a beautiful coastal city known for its beaches and gastronomic scene; from here we'll visit a dairy farm in the Basque countryside and savour delicious cheese. This holiday in Spain is a wonderful choice for cultural enthusiasts and food aficionados!
Activity Level: Moderate
Travel to Spain
Arrive in Bilbao
Let’s travel to Bilbao to start our holiday in the Spanish Basque country, also known as “Biscay”. At the airport let’s meet our friendly local representative, before travelling onwards to our hotel in the city centre of Bilbao.
This evening let’s get together with our fellow travellers for a welcome dinner in a local restaurant.
Walking tour of Bilbao city centre
Let’s start the day by diving back into the past as our guide takes us on a journey through the Ensanche quarter, where the city expanded at the end of the 19th century, as well as the cobbled streets, charming squares and corners the old part of Bilbao: the city walls, the Gothic cathedral of Santiago, the Plaza Nueva square, the San Anton church, the ancient ruins on which the city is based, and of course the bustling Ribera Market. (3,5 – 4km)
Today, for lunch, we will experience a pintxos menu: “Pintxos” are authentic culinary miniature works of art made by combining traditional products of Basque cuisine with a modern touch - a definite must to really experience Basque gastronomy. We will enjoy a seated lunch with a set-up menu of a variety of pintxos (several snacks).
You can spend the afternoon at your own, enjoying the comfort of your hotel to relax, or you can explore more the city with the Bizkaia Bridge, for example, a UNESCO world heritage site. One of the most thrilling aspects of visiting the Bizkaia Bridge is taking a ride on its hanging gondola. This suspended carriage, which functions like a vertical ferry, offers breathtaking panoramic views of the river and the surrounding landscape.
Guided tour of the Guggenheim Museum
Today, we will discover more with a guided tour of the Guggenheim. Our guide will pick us up at the hotel and walk us (1 km) to this world-famous building that has come to be one of THE landmarks of Bilbao. We will not only be visiting a world-renowned art museum that houses some of the most vanguard art exhibitions, but also an important part of the recent city history.
You have free time this afternoon, to keep discovering Bilbao’s treasures, between, culture, architecture and gastronomy, and of course, go for some shopping.
Visit and tasting in a winery
Let’s experience more with a stop at the Eguren Ugarte winery, where we will learn about the Rioja wine-making process from the experts of one of the top wineries in the area, ending with a wine tasting, and enjoy a traditional Rioja lunch. La Rioja is renowned for its lush vineyards and centuries-old winemaking traditions, and the visit is a sensory journey into the rich culture, and picturesque landscapes with the rolling hills and verdant vineyards, before entering the historic cellars, some of which date back centuries. These underground caverns, with their earthy aroma and rustic charm, house countless barrels and bottles aging to perfection. There we will witness the meticulous sorting of grapes, the gentle pressing, and the careful fermentation, all contributing to the distinctive flavours that characterize La Rioja wines.
Guided visit of Laguardia
Let’s explore more with a visit of the charming village of Laguardia for a glimpse into the region’s wine making past. This walled town located on a hill overlooking the vineyards with the Cantabrian Mountains in the background is considered to be the most attractive towns of the region.
Walking tour of San Sebastian
Let’s unveil more, starting the day with a visit of San Sebastian from an incredible viewpoint, then going down into the city for a walking tour. Nestled along the picturesque Bay of Biscay, San Sebastian (Donostia in Basque) stands as an elegant coastal gem, with two distinct beaches, Playa de la Concha and Playa de Zurriola. With our guide, we will wander through the narrow cobblestone streets of the Old Town, where centuries-old buildings house a labyrinth of pintxos bars, traditional shops, and vibrant plaza.
Visit of a cheese farm with tasting
As we leave the urban bustle behind, the picturesque drive to the cheese farm introduces us to Biscay's rural charm. Winding roads flanked by green meadows and rustic farmsteads set the stage for an authentic encounter with Basque countryside life. We will engage in a guided tour of the farm's cheese-making facilities, learning about the meticulous process that transforms fresh milk into artisanal cheese, from curdling to molding, with a skilled cheese artisan, sharing insights into the unique characteristics that define Basque cheeses, ending with a proper tasting to enjoy the cheese flavours.
Free time in the Spanish Basque Country
Today is yours, your can enjoy Bilbao on your own: its museums, shopping streets, pintxo bars, parks, or maybe even go up the Artxanda cable car for some of the best views of the city. Our guide will be more than happy to recommend you some local attractions.
Regular dinner included
Optional Farewell dinner in a Michelin star restaurant
As the sun sets over the charming city of Bilbao, you can opt for special farewell dinner unfolds at one of the city's prestigious Michelin-starred restaurants, an emblem of culinary mastery and innovation, such as the Nerua restaurant for example (the choice of the restaurant will be subject to minimum numbers).
Time has come to say good-bye to the green Spanish Basque Country and set off for our green home as we travel with guide assistance to the airport.
Know before you go
Will I be met at the airport?
You will be met on arrival at your destination airport and transferred to your accommodation. You will be accompanied on all included excursions by your Travel Department guide. Your expert local guide is also available to give you tips and advice on any aspect of your holiday.
Do I need a Visa?
Please visit our visa page for information on requirements for each country's entry requirements
What if there is an emergency?
We have local representatives in all of our destinations who are available 24/7 as well as an emergency contact number for our offices in Ireland should you ever need it.