Northern SPAIN’s Basque Country & La Rioja

      Donostia-San Sebastian, Gipuzkoa, Spain

      TC
      The Continental DRIFTER®
      • Email address verified
      2 reviews
      Sep 7 - 15, 2024
      Group size: 6 - 10
      Northern SPAIN’s Basque Country & La Rioja
      Donostia-San Sebastian, Gipuzkoa, Spain

      The Continental DRIFTER®
      • Email address verified
      2 reviews

      Sep 7 - 15, 2024
      Group size: 6 - 10

      About this trip

      ACTIVITY LEVEL: Low


      Join The Continental DRIFTER® Founder and veteran tour organizer Ralph Velasco for the culinary adventure of a lifetime in Northern Spain. 


      This experience will focus on the Basque cities of San Sebastián and Getaria, as well as Laguardia & Logroño in the Rioja region, plus we’re offering an optional pre-trip extension to Barcelona.


      During this once-in-a-lifetime trip, you'll enjoy several locally-guided tapas tours, a visit to a private gastronomic society with lunch, a number of wine tastings, as well as learn about olive oil production concluding with a private tasting held in the middle of a centuries-old olive grove.

      Overview of this Experience

      • Stay in a centrally located hotel that was a former convent in San Sebastián
      • Stay in the hill town of Laguardia in a former family mansion in Rioja
      • Locally-guided tapas tours in San Sebastián and Logroño
      • Visit to a private gastronomic society with lunch
      • Several wine tastings at various wineries
      • Learn about olive oil production and enjoy a private tasting in a centuries-old olive grove
      • Optional hot air balloon ride in La Rioja


      Click here to watch a video overview of this experience.

      Info About Our Accommodations

      If you choose to participate in the optional pre-trip extension to Barcelona you’ll spend three nights in a wonderful boutique hotel that is well-located for all you’ll do during your stay.


      Next, start the base trip by staying 4 nights in San Sebastián at an amazing former convent that's been expertly converted into a great boutique hotel located meters from La Concha Beach and within walking distance of just about everything this beautiful seaside town has to offer.


      Finally, your last 4 nights will be at a converted family villa perfectly situated right on the Plaza Mayor of the hill town of Laguardia, which is lovely to explore and just a short distance from all our planned activities in this region.


      It goes without saying that spending time in these beautiful places will be truly unforgettable, even for the most seasoned traveler.  There may even be an opportunity for an optional hot air balloon ride (see this video for an example of this experience).


      Testimonials

      "Northern Spain, come for the experience of travel, stay because it’s with Ralph…..and there’s wine. And this is why I travel!!!  Traveling with Ralph is like getting an insider's look into the life and culture of all of these different places on Earth." - Laurie K.



      "Continental DRIFTER’s Northern Spain trip was the trip of a lifetime, but I will definitely travel with Ralph again, so there’s going to be competition for that “trip of a lifetime” title! 


      With a small group of delightful companions, we saw spectacular views and architecture, ate amazing local food, drank delicious local wine, visited interesting locations with fun and knowledgeable local guides, and had so many laughs. 


      Highlights included the sheer cliff faces overlooking Zumaia Beach, the lush terraced vineyards over the impossibly blue Bay of Biscay, the charming beachfront of San Sebastian, the ridiculously delicious tapas crawl on Calle Laurel in Logroño, and spending part of the trip in a little 13th-century walled town in Rioja. 


      Ralph takes care of every detail, so all that’s left to do is marvel, learn, and enjoy. And eat. And eat. I loved spending enough time in each location to really get a feel for it instead of rushing from place to place checking items off a list, and Ralph curates the coolest experiences, like olive oil farm tours and cooking classes. 47 thumbs up from me! - Karen G.



      “It's great to see the famous locations like museums and cathedrals, but getting further out and seeing and meeting people that are the heart and soul of a country really makes the difference for me. Meeting Francisco, the chef at the Gastronomic Society was truly a memorable experience. It's a treasure to have someone cook for you while talking and answering questions as to what it's like living in Spain. I like having both you and the local tour guide, Ramon, being with us because both of you are friendly and knowledgeable, and you work well together. I like the small group because we could easily go through crowds, and alleys and stay together. I like how you take us to restaurants that you have really checked out. It takes the guesswork and saves a lot of wandering when there is so much to see.” - Amy & Robert M.



      "I have recently returned from this trip to Northern Spain and I highly recommend it! We toured

      wineries, had an olive oil tasting in an olive grove, attended a cooking class, took tours of churches and architecture, and so much else! 


      At each stop, Ralph had hired guides with extensive knowledge of their area, who were interesting, helpful, and punctual. (In Ramon's case, hilarious as well!). After daily excursions, we had the late afternoon and evening free to wander on our own and explore the three different cities we stayed in.


      The food was fantastic and fresh. We never had a bad meal. The hotels were beautiful.


      My favorite memory will always be sitting on the outdoor patio of a beautiful winery in the sun, eating pintxos (Basque tapas), drinking incredible wine, and chatting with the really nice group of people on the trip; all with a beautiful view of the Bay of Biscay.


      It was definitely one of the highlights for me!


      I would recommend Ralph and Continental Drifter to anyone looking for an amazing travel experience!" - Diana S.



      "My husband and I traveled with Ralph to the Basque region of Spain recently. It was our first experience with All Campagna and it will definitely not be our last. First of all, Ralph researches all his trips so thoroughly that you get to enjoy all the wonderful activities, events and accommodations that he chooses for his trips. I can not rave enough about our trip to Spain. Oh my gosh, the food was unbelievable, and let's not forget the wine! His trips are such a nice small size that everyone becomes like family by the end of the trip! I can not wait to try our next adventure with Ralph." - Ann W.



      "I just returned from the September trip to Spain. The trip was a true experience. I had waited for for 18 months to for this vacation and it was well worth the wait. Ralph's planning and preparations are excellent and I waded through the international travel bureaucracy with ease. 


      Accommodations were amazing. We stayed in terrific rooms in 14th century properties after a three day add-on trip to Barcelona.

      The food is amazing! Each included multiple courses of traditional Spanish food and included a full meal prepared by a local gastronomic society. If you have never done a pub crawl enjoying wine and tapas, you haven't lived. Spanish wine is terrific and we visited several wineries and learned about the cultivation and creation of the local vintages...even a winery in caves below the city. 


      Each segment of the trip includes a very experienced local guide who knows both the sites and history of the area. The small group size quickly becomes a trip with friends just having a great time. Will I do it again? You better believe it!" - Brad C.

      About Spain's Basque Region

      According to Google, “Basque Country (Euskadi) is an autonomous community in northern Spain with strong cultural traditions, a celebrated cuisine and a distinct language that pre-dates the Romance languages. 


      The vibrant riverside city of Bilbao is a hub of architecture and design, where gritty factories and shipyards give way to cutting-edge landmarks such as the titanium-clad Guggenheim Museum [by Frank Gehry] along a revitalized waterfront. ”


      About this Itinerary

      ALL ACTIVITIES, LOCATIONS, DAYS, AND TIMING ARE SUBJECT TO CHANGE


      Most meals are included and B = Breakfast, L = Lunch, and D = Dinner

      What’s included

      • Accommodations
        8-nights’ accommodations, including 4 nights in San Sebastián in a boutique hotel and 4 nights in Laguardia at a converted mansion in the old town center on this gorgeous hill town's Plaza Mayor.
      • Transfer
        Private airport transfer from Hondarribia/San Sebastián airport (EAS) to your hotel upon arrival and group transfer to Bilbao (BIO) at end of trip.
      • English-Speaking Guide
        Services of an English-speaking guide for orientation tours and various included experiences.
      • Meals
        Breakfast (B) daily, 5 Lunches (L) and 2 Dinners (D).
      • Transportation
        Transportation between locations and for included group activities, when necessary, in a private, air-conditioned vehicle.
      • Entry Fees
        Entry fees for all included sites and experiences.
      • Gratuities
        Group tips for local guide(s), drivers and included meals.

      What’s not included

      • International Airfare
        Your flights or other transportation to and from our starting and ending points in Spain. Fly into San Sebastián (EAS) and out of Bilbao (BIO).
      • Internal Flight
        If participating in the pre-trip extension to Barcelona, your flight from BCN > EAS is not included.
      • Personal Items
        Items of a personal nature.
      • Drinks/Alcohol
        Alcoholic beverages and other items not specifically mentioned as included.
      • Extra Gratuities
        Additional tips for driver, guides and/or hotel and other services.

      Available Packages

      Double Occupancy (per person)
      Available until July 7, 2024

      You can save the Single Supplement by sharing a room in Double Occupancy.


      2024 pricing has arrived and is as follows, per person in Double Occupancy:


      6 - 7 pax = $6,399

      8 - 9 pax = $5,999

      10 - 11 pax = $5,699


      You can help get the price down for yourself and everyone else by inviting others to join this trip!


      $6,399
      Deposit: $750
      Single Occupancy
      Available until July 7, 2024

      Single Supplement is $949 if you'd like your own room throughout the base trip.

      $7,348
      Deposit: $750

      Available options

      Optional Pre-Trip Extension to Barcelona
      $1,999
      5 left

      Explore Barcelona for 3 nights, but note that Tour Organizer Ralph Velasco will not be on this part of the trip.


      Detailed Itinerary

      Pre-Trip Extension to Barcelona - Single
      $2,598
      5 left

      If you'd like your own room throughout the extension please add $600 for Single Supplement.



      Itinerary

      Day 1
      Arrival Transfer and Overnight in San Sebastián with Welcome Dinner

      Meals: D


      Arrival at Hondarribia/San Sebastián Airport (EAS) followed by PRIVATE TRANSFER to your ACCOMMODATIONS in San Sebastián.


      Check-in with time to relax, you'll have a Meet & Greet with your Trip Leader and fellow tour participants and then walk to WELCOME DINNER at a local restaurant.


      OVERNIGHT in San Sebastián

      Your Organizer


      TC
      The Continental DRIFTER®
      2 reviews
      Since 2008, Continental DRIFTER® founder Ralph Velasco has been organizing and leading once-in-a-lifetime small group cultural tours around the world (all of which have been 5-star rated on Google, WeTravel, and Facebook). Our guides, drivers, accommodations, experiences, and activities are all thoroughly vetted in advance so that your trip goes without a hitch. Come learn about the people, food, drink, and many other cultural aspects of the incredible destinations we visit. Remember, DRIFTER...Life's too short not to travel!

      Reviews

      Continental DRIFTER’s Northern Spain trip was the trip of a lifetime, but I will definitely travel with Ralph again, so there’s going to be competition for that “trip of a lifetime” title! With a small group of delightful companions, we saw spectacular views and architecture, ate amazing local food, drank delicious local wine, visited interesting locations with fun and knowledgeable local guides, and had so many laughs. Highlights included the sheer cliff faces overlooking Zumaia Beach, the lush terraced vineyards over the impossibly blue Bay of Biscay, the charming beachfront of San Sebastian, the ridiculously delicious tapas crawl on Calle Laurel in Logroño, and spending part of the trip in a little 13th century walled town in Rioja. Ralph takes care of every detail, so all that’s left to do is to marvel, learn, and enjoy. And eat. And eat. I loved spending enough time in each location to really get a feel for it instead of rushing from place to place checking items off a list, and Ralph curates the coolest experiences, like olive oil farm tours and cooking classes. 47 thumbs up from me!
      By Karen Gareis G for Northern SPAIN’s Basque Country & La Rioja on Sep 20, 2023
      Karen, thank you SO much for the wonderful review. I'm so happy you enjoyed our trip to Spain, it was a pleasure having you along and I can't wait until the next one!
      By The Continental DRIFTER® on Nov 02, 2023
      TC
      I have recently returned from this trip to Northern Spain and I highly recommend it! We toured wineries, had an olive oil tasting in an olive grove, attended a cooking class, took tours of churches and architecture, and so much else! At each stop Ralph had hired guides with extensive knowledge of their area, who were interesting, helpful, and punctual. (In Ramon's case, hilarious as well!) After daily excursions, we had the late afternoon and evening free to wander on our own and explore the three different cities we stayed in. The food was fantastic and fresh. We never had a bad meal. The hotels were beautiful. My favorite memory will always be sitting on the outdoor patio of a beautiful winery in the sun, eating pintxos (Basque tapas), drinking incredible wine, chatting with the really nice group of people on the trip; all with a beautiful view of the Bay of Biscay. It was definitely one of the highlights for me! I would recommend Ralph and Continental Drifter to anyone looking for an amazing travel experience!
      By Diana S for Northern SPAIN’s Basque Country & La Rioja on Sep 18, 2023
      Thank you, Robin, for the amazing 5-star review. I can't tell you how happy I am to know that this trip exceeded all your expectations and I look forward to seeing you on the road again real soon!
      By The Continental DRIFTER® on Nov 02, 2023
      TC