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Real Food Adventure - Northern Spain Itinerary
Days 1-3 Barcelona
Welcome to the irrepressible city of Barcelona. Ease into the rhythm of the city on a mouth-watering tapas crawl, which visits some of Barcelona’s best bars and bodegas. Meet the next morning at the quirky Santa Catarina Market and be introduced to the feisty flavours of Catalonia. Wander the stalls, tasting jamon (ham) off the bone, local olives and traditional cheeses, and pick up some ingredients for today’s cooking class. Spend the afternoon whipping up local specialties, like oven-baked chorizo and breaded fresh sardines, over a glass of local wine. The rest of the day is open to an array of wonderful possibilities. Take off on a gourmet tour of the city’s best produce stores, visit Gaudi’s curious Sagrada Familia or discover the city of Barcelona’s rich art history in museums and hole-in-the-wall galleries. Spend the next morning at the incredible La Boqueria, a market that has been in existence since the 1200s. Pull up a stool and munch on ensaimadas (pastry scrolls) as a flurry of trade fills its halls. Amply sated, take a walking tour around Barcelona’s Barri Gotic (Gothic Quarter), which is bustling with people and filled with architectural treasures. Then, perhaps spend the day learning – and participating in – the process of cava making, which is the local sparking wine. Run at an enchanting family-run vineyard in the Penedes wine region, choose a favourite blend and make a bottle to take home. Choose to lunch at the 1000-year-old farmhouse before heading back to Barcelona. Spend the final night in Barcelona dining at one of the city's atmospheric restaurants.
ACCOM: Hotel - 3
Days 4-5 Logrono
Perhaps start the day with an esmorzas de forquilla (worker’s breakfast) at a fondes de sisos, a traditional food house that serves hearty, local dishes. Take a last look around Barcelona city before taking a train to captivating Logrono, located in Spain’s premier wine region, La Rioja. Logrono is known for its incredible array of tapas bars, so jump straight in and take an optional walking and eating tour of the city’s Old Quarter. Each bar specialises in a particular dish, so this is a great opportunity to get a taste of Spain’s bar culture and sample the flavours of the region. Chorizo, morcilla (black sausage), and seta (mushroom) are firm local favourites. For wine aficionados – or just lovers of unique experiences – spend the next morning in Fuenmayor, a historical village in the heart of the La Rioja wine region. Stroll through enchanting vineyards, learning what goes on behind-the-scenes, and help with some daily chores – from harvesting to pruning. Then relax among the vines, munching on pate, fresh bread and chorizo while drinking wine from an old-school goat-skin bag – just like the workers of centuries ago. Move on to a winery, exploring its 16th-century vaults and seeing how the fermentation process works. Taste wine from the barrel and even bottle one to take with you. Then get ready to be wowed at the medieval village of La Guardia, a place where no cars are allowed, as beneath the city centre there is a maze of tunnels and caves used for making and storing wine. Wander the ancient walls, mosey along labyrinthine streets, explore the old-world shops or perhaps descend to the depths of the city, exploring the tunnels and tasting some of the wine that is kept here. Return to Logrono and spend the evening dining in one of the city’s celebrated restaurants - patatas a la riojana (stew of potato, red peppers and chorizo), caparrones (red bean stew) and fardelejo (almond-filled pies) are not-to-be-missed regional specialties.
ACCOM: Hotel - 2
Days 6-8 San Sebastian
Eat breakfast among the fresh fruits and cured meats of Logrono’s San Blas Markets before travelling to San Sebastian, the stunning seaside city in the north of Spain’s Basque Country. Freshen up then amble through the Parte Vieja (Old Town), admiring its wonderful architecture and traditional shops selling mouth-watering local fare. This evening, either explore San Sebastian’s culinary wonders on your own terms or join a txikiteo, a Basque-style tapas crawl that will fill the senses – and stomach – with the unique tastes of the region. Visit local haunts rather than touristy bars, munch on pinxtos (tapas) and perhaps sample txakoli, the local sparkling white wine. The sagardotegias (cider houses) of the Basque Country are a real treat, with the tradition of filling glasses straight from enormous chestnut barrels going back hundreds, if not thousands, of years. This morning, experience the history and beauty of a traditional cider house and savour Basque dishes complemented by a glass or two of nectareous cider. Spend the afternoon discovering San Sebastian’s beaches, shops or charismatic streets before getting ready for a final Spanish feast. Choose to join the group for a taste of traditional Basque cuisine with a modern twist and enjoy an evening of food, wine and conversation. The next morning, it’s unfortunately time to say ‘farewell’ to this impressive food journey through the delights of northern Spain.
ACCOM: Hotel - 2