(11 Days - Departs Daily on a Private Basis) Madrid, San Sebastian, La Rioja, Bilbao, Barcelona
This tour is dedicated to the superlative food, wine, art and architecture of Spain, focusing on the areas most renowned for their art and gastronomy: Madrid, Barcelona, the Basque Country and La Rioja.
Begin in aristocratic Madrid, the Spanish capital and home to one of the most important art collections in the world. During flexible private art touring, visit a number of world-class museums and galleries, according to your preferences. Options include the masterpieces of the Prado Museum—including Velazquez’s Las Meninas and Goya’s El Tres de Mayo—and the Reina Sofia National Museum, home of Picasso’s magnum opus, Guérnica. Other options include the Thyssen-Bornemisza Museum, CaixaForum, and art-filled churches. Also explore the city's elegant squares, stately Habsburg architecture, leafy boulevards and narrow backstreets, and perhaps the majestic Royal Palace. There will also be time to stroll through the exclusive shopping and residential districts, and to visit the gourmet San Miguel Market. One evening, enjoy a private “tapas tasting” tour of some of the city’s most beloved tapas bars.
Next, fly to San Sebastian, an elegant seaside resort near the border of France that is the gastronomic capital of the Basque Country. Tour the picturesque old town, and browse local produce and fish markets. Basque cuisine is generally considered to be Spain’s finest and on this tour you will have ample opportunity to sample the local specialties. Take a class at a private cooking club, and enjoy a private tasting of the region’s delicious pintxos—the Basque version of tapas—and Txakoli, a local, slightly sparkling white wine.
Continue to Rioja, one of the world’s most renowned winemaking regions. Spend two nights in the heart of La Rioja at the Hotel Marques de Riscal, a luxury hotel with distinctive architecture designed by Frank Gehry and a wine therapy spa offering treatments using vine and grape seed extracts. On a private day excursion, visit Laguardia, a beautiful medieval walled village with wine caves under its cobblestone streets and impressive views of the nearby hills. Tour surrounding vineyards and enjoy wine tastings at bodegas (wineries) designed by celebrated modern architects such as Santiago Calatrava and Zaha Hadid. Also visit Bilbao, one of the most architecturally progressive towns in Spain. Visit the Guggenheim Museum, a stunning building of swooping titanium curves designed by Frank Gehry. After a private tour of the museum’s art collection, perhaps enjoy dining in its Michelin-starred restaurant or visit other interesting architectural and cultural sites in the city.
End your tour with three nights in Barcelona, one of Europe's most dynamic centers of modern design and cutting-edge cuisine. Discover Gaudi’s fantastical structures such as Sagrada Familia, Casa Mila, Casa Batllo or the hillside Parc Guell. Visit some of the city’s excellent museums, such as the Picasso Museum or Miro Museum. Stroll along Las Ramblas—Barcelona’s most famous boulevard—and explore the narrow streets of the Gothic Quarter and La Ribera. If desired, explore the city’s shopping districts, stopping at upscale boutiques along the broad Passeig de Gracia and design shops in the stylish Born and Raval neighborhoods. Also visit the city’s leading food markets, including the Santa Caterina Market and La Boqueria Market. One day, enjoy a cooking class where you will learn to prepare several regional dishes. Alternatively, enjoy a private excursion into the Catalan countryside, dotted with ancient stone farmhouses and charming medieval villages, or enjoy wine tastings in the renowned Penedes wine region.
Private arrival transfer to hotel for 3 nights
Half-day private city tour. Evening tapas tasting tour
Full-day private art tour
Madrid – San Sebastian
Private transfer to airport for flight to San Sebastian. Private arrival transfer to hotel for 2 nights. Introductory private tour of old town
Private market tour, followed by private cooking lesson at gastronomic society. Evening private pintxos and Txakoli tasting tour
San Sebastian – Rioja
Private overland transfer to La Rioja for 2 nights, with culinary and wine touring en route
Full-day private excursion to Laguardia and nearby wineries
Rioja – Bilbao – Barcelona
Private transfer to Bilbao for private tour of Guggenheim Museum. Private transfer to airport for flight to Barcelona. Private arrival transfer to hotel for 3 nights
Private market tour, followed by private cooking class
Full-day private art and architecture tour
Private airport transfer
Hotel Ritz Madrid or Villa Magna Madrid
Hotel Maria Cristina
Hotel Marques de Riscal
Mandarin Oriental Barcelona or Hotel Arts Barcelona
Per person (double occupancy)
The Artisans of Leisure Style of Travel:
Private touring with your own personal guides and drivers
Preferred rooms in the very best luxury hotels
Firsthand, sophisticated destination knowledge and recommendations from our travel specialists
Itineraries that are customized according to your interests and schedule
Artisans of Leisure upgrades and amenities
A seamless travel experience, including all logistics, skipping lines during touring whenever possible, restaurant and spa reservations, performance tickets, private airport transfers, internal transportation, VIP and fast-track airport assistance in many destinations
Around-the-clock support in each destination during your trip
Unique, insider travel experiences and access to the Artisans of Leisure network of experts around the world
All Artisans of Leisure tours are private and depart daily.
Please Contact Us for more information regarding the above tour, or to begin customizing your own itinerary.