One moment please...

Unfortunately, we couldn't find any results. Please modify your search parameter.









Round trips




A journey through Rioja and the Spanish Basque Country

Discovering gastronomy and architecture

7 Days - 6 Nights

The Basque Country has been on a remarkable roll for many years. It is a region where ultra-modern and traditional go hand in hand. Heaven on earth for foodies, wine lovers and architecture enthusiasts.

On the way to San Sebastián, get a breath of fresh air on one of the longest beaches on the Basque coast. The perfect warm-up for San Sebastián, without doubt the most fashionable resort in northern Spain. You'll find yourself in the capital of 'New Basque Cuisine', with plenty of Michelin-starred restaurants and cosy pintxos bars.

Another highlight is the 'Sierra de la Demanda', a mountainous region and protected natural park. You will discover spectacular abbeys, wine villages and impressive bodegas designed by renowned architects.

The last stop is Bilbao with its impressive historic centre. Enjoy tapas or get lost in the 'Mercado de la Ribera', Spain's largest indoor market.

Day 1: Departure to San Sebastián / Hondarribia

You will fly to Bilbao, and drive your rental car to charming San Sebastián (100 km), where you will stay 2 nights at hotel Arima. En route, you can fill up on oxygen in the coastal town of Zarautz with one of the longest beaches on the Basque coast. This pleasant seaside town gained fame back in the 19th century when Queen Isabella chose it as a holiday destination. The old quarter still contains two beautiful palaces.

Day 2: San Sebastián

San Sebastián, beautifully situated on a beautiful shell-shaped bay called the Bahía de la Concha, is northern Spain's most fashionable resort. There is a hill on either side of the bay, with the islet of Santa Clara in between. A walk up to the 'Peine del Viento', a masterpiece by famous sculptor Eduardo Chillida, will take you to one of its most beautiful corners. This elegant seaside town will also convince you as the capital of 'New Basque Cuisine'. For instance, you can taste the excellent dishes of the three-star restaurant 'Arzak' (early booking required!) or get to know the many pintxos bars where the most refined tapas are served. In the evening, the old centre with its narrow streets and squares turns into an ambient strolling spot.

Day 3: Hondarribia - Pamplona - La Rioja

Visit the charming seaside town and main fishing port, Hondarribia. In the historic town, at the mouth of the Río Bidasoa, the typical and colourful architecture of the buildings is particularly eye-catching. The charming fishing quarter, featuring houses with red, green or blue shutters, attracts plenty of visitors who like to gather here for a drink with delicious tapas. Walking around the old - still walled - fortified town is a delight: the smell of laundry and the chirping of birds fill the steep streets of this picturesque town. You briefly leave Spanish Basque Country for a stop in Pamplona, famous for its 'Fiestas de San Firmín' (bulls in the streets around 7 July!). The ancient fortified city became capital of the province of Navarre in the 9th century. The walled city centre houses the Gothic cathedral and the Jewish quarter. The Plaza del Castillo, also known as 'Pamplona's living room', is the heart of Pamplona, a vast square with mostly 18th-century houses decorated with balconies, turrets and picturesque windows. Here young and old gather for a snack or drink on one of the terraces or after shopping in the numerous shopping streets that open onto the square. Your tour then continues to La Rioja, where you will stay two nights.

Day 4: The Sierra de la Demanda or the 'Rioja wine route'

The scenery changes radically in the Sierra de la Demanda, a beautiful mountainous region and declared a protected natural park. The monastic route leads you to spectacular abbeys and monasteries including San Millán de la Copolla, with the small mountain monastery of Susó, partially carved out of a cliff with Mozarabic features and also the larger valley monastery of Yuso or of Santa María la Real. In fact, the monastery of Yuso is considered the cradle of the Spanish language. Wine aficionados may want to explore the Rioja Wine Route with cosy villages and towns that value wine: Elciego, Samaniego, Laguardia and Haro with spectacular bodegas designed by world-renowned architects such as Frank O. Gehry and Santiago Calatrava. All architectural masterpieces where top wines are also produced.

Day 5: La Rioja - Bilbao

You will leave the Rioja region and drive via Vitoria, an ancient, elegant city and one of Spain's most prosperous cities, to Bilbao, where you will stay two nights.

Day 6: Bilbao

The highlight is Frank O. Gehry's Guggenheim Museum (closed on Mondays except week before Easter and from mid-June to mid-September): this masterpiece of modern architecture offers an art collection from the 2nd half of the 20th century, and temporary exhibitions of contemporary art. Located near the river Nervión, which divides the city into two halves, it also makes an interesting starting point for exploring this port city. The 'casco viejo', the old town, is the most attractive neighbourhood and is also called 'Siete Calles', after the 7 parallel streets that lead to the core, home to a large number of tapas bars. At the edge of the historic centre, right next to the Nervión is the 'Mercado de la Ribera', which is Spain's largest covered market with lots of art deco elements.

Day 7: Going home

That's a wrap. You will fly from Bilbao back home. Would you like to stay a little longer? We'll be happy to adjust your trip according to your needs!

Why book with Caractère?

  • Best price guarantee
  • Caractère extras
  • Unique collection of boutique hotels in Europe
  • Just one phone call or email away from our enthusiastic travel experts
  • New finds every month
  • 30 years specialist in Europe
  • Pay safely
  • No extra or hidden fees
  • Flexible cancellation (ex. non-refundable)

Contact us for your tailor-made trip
Caractère NV Korte Keppestraat 19 B-9320 Erembodegem, Aalst 053/63 00 77 BE0474.874.188 Conditions Disclaimer Privacy Offer
Copyright © 2024 Caractère. All rights reserved. Website by Servico Aanmelden