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Wine, Walks and Tapas in Spain
11 days
Spain - Trip code CWW

Wine, Walks and Tapas in Spain

Some of Spain's best food and wine can be found in the provinces of the Basque Country, La Rioja and Catalunya. On this journey from Bilbao to Barcelona we blend easy walks through wonderful scenery with wine tasting for a great introduction to the quality wine regions of La Rioja, Montsant, Priorat and Cava. There is also a special focus on local cuisine along the way, from fresh Basque seafood to mouthwatering Riga tapas and modern Catalan dishes. The walks are varied and rewarding, from coastal scenes, along the Camino de Santiago, through vineyards and on top of Montserrat ridge.

Trip highlights

  • Logrono, Rioja - Walking and wine tasting in one of Spain's most distinguished culinary hotspots
  • Montblanc - Traditional Catalan dinner with a local family
  • Freixenet Cava Winery - Wine tasting at one of the Penedes region's most famous estates
  • Bilbao - Admire the spectacular architecture of the Guggenheim Museum
  • Barcelona - Home to the astounding work of Antoni Gaudi and the colourful 'La Boqueria' food market
Accommodation grade:
Standard
Our standard, mid-range accommodation offers a good level of service, often with other amenities such as a restaurant, bar, garden or swimming pool. Generally rooms will be comfortable with en suite facilities.
Walking grade:
Easy
Suitable for most people in good health, these easy walks are predominantly on good paths, at low altitude and on undemanding terrain. Previous walking or trekking experience is not necessary.
Group Size:
10 - 16
Maximum group size ranges from between 6 to 20 people, depending on the type of trip, the transport and accommodation used and activities included. We rarely have groups that are smaller than five or six people and the average is 12 people plus an Explore leader.

Itinerary

Itineraries on some departure dates may differ, please select the itinerary that you wish to explore.

Day 1 - Join trip in the Basque city of Bilbao

Arrive in Bilbao and check-in at the hotel. Situated on the banks of the Nervión River, on the northern edge of the Iberian Peninsula, Bilbao is home to the iconic magnificence of the Guggenheim, one of the world's most famous museums and one of its most spectacular architectural creations. Lying amongst the verdant landscapes of Vizcaya Province, the city is the largest and most culturally dynamic in the Basque region, providing us with the perfect start to this cultural and gastronomic journey.

Accommodation: Hotel Barcelo Nervion(or similar)

Premium Hotel
Single room available
Meals Provided: None
Day 2 - Coastal walk with views across the Bay of Biscay

Boarding a local bus to Bakio this morning we head north, to take in the views across the Bay of Biscay and walk up onto the steep cliffs of Gaztelugatxe. Returning via another route, we then have a free afternoon back in Bilbao, where we have an opportunity to visit the world renowned Guggenheim Museum. This evening we have the option to join our Explore Leader for a gourmet tour of the city, taking in the local tapas bars and sampling for ourselves the famous Basque 'pintxos'.

Walking: approximately 3 hours/9 kilometres, +/- 350 metres.

Accommodation: Hotel Barcelo Nervion(or similar)

Premium Hotel
Single room available
Meals Provided: Breakfast
Day 3 - Visit to Rioja vineyard; walk on the Camino de Santiago

Turning south this morning we begin with a visit to the Vivanco Bodega, one of the most renowned vineyards in the Rioja region. We will have an opportunity to do some wine tasting in Laguardia village before we continue driving into the heart of La Rioja for two photo stops outside the most emblematic bodegas in the whole region - Ysios (built by Calatrava) and Marques de Riscal (built by Frank O'Gehry). Later we reach Azofra and the famous pilgrimage route of the Camino Santiago. Walking part of the route towards Nájera, we have a chance to pay an optional visit to the monastery of Santa Maria de Real, the final resting place of many of Navarre's medieval kings, before completing the journey on to the town of Logroño.

Walking: approximately 2.5hours/9 kilometres, +/- 100 metres.

Accommodation: Hotel Murietta(or similar)

Standard Hotel
Meals Provided: Breakfast
Day 4 - Explore Logrono, capital of La Rioja region

Logrono lies at the centre of the Rioja wine trade and this morning after an orientation walk we visit the fascinating Ontanon Wine Museum and bodega. Here we visit the museum and enjoy a wine tasting. The afternoon is left free to explore Logrono. As well as its historic antecedents, Logroño enjoys a reputation as one of Spain's most distinguished culinary hotspots. One of its more interesting dishes is 'Pochas a la Riojana', a local style dish consisting of beans and vegetables.

Accommodation: Hotel Murietta(or similar)

Standard Hotel
Meals Provided: Breakfast
Day 5 - Drive to medieval town of Alquezar via Zaragoza

Travelling by bus today we head next for Zaragoza, a city that was heavily influenced by the Moors, a factor wonderfully illustrated by its numerous examples of Mudéjar architecture. We have a short walking tour of the town, including the impressive El Pilar cathedral. In the afternoon we continue driving into the Sierra de Guara to medieval Alquezar, where we have some free time to explore this unique town built around an Arabic fortress.

Accommodation: Hotel Santa Maria(or similar)

Standard Hotel
Single room available
Meals Provided: Breakfast
Day 6 - Gorge walk in the morning and then drive to Montblanc via Vinas del Vero winery

This morning we take a short walk along a gorge and the River Vero. We then drive a short distance to Vinas del Vero bodega for a guided tour through their new winery and the main building, ending in a tasting of three wines. We continue on to the charming medieval town of Montblanc, lying close to some of the finest wine regions in Catalunya, the afternoon is free to explore the town.

Walking time: Approximately 1.5 hours/ 3 kilometres. +150/-150 metres.

Accommodation: Hotel Viaurelia(or similar)

Standard Hotel
Single room available
Meals Provided: Breakfast
Day 7 - Walk through vineyards to Poblet Monastery; enjoy a local Catalan meal

Walking from the hotel this morning we head out through the local vineyards to the monastery of Santa Maria de Poblet, a UNESCO World Heritage site and one of the largest Cistercian monasteries in Spain. There is an opportunity to visit the monastery, then we drive back to Montblanc where there is free time to explore this well preserved, medieval town before visiting Mas Foraster, a famous local wine producer, where we have a wine tasting. This evening we meet at a local 'Fonda' to enjoy a traditional Catalan dinner with a local family. Catalan cuisine is a wonderfully rich mix of dishes and sauces that are generally followed by deserts of fresh cheese and honey

Walking time: Approximately 3 hours/ 10 kilometres. +250/-150 metres.

Accommodation: Hotel Viaurelia(or similar)

Standard Hotel
Single room available
Meals Provided: Breakfast & Dinner
Day 8 - Discover Bodega Scaladei; walk to Cartuia Monastery

This morning we begin the day with a drive to Siurana, a fascinating medieval village built on a rock in the heart of the Sierra de Prades. This was one of the last Muslim strongholds of the region before their final expulsion in the 17th century. We make a short walk around the village before continuing to Montsant wine region, one of the most famous of Spain's emerging wine growing regions. After a picnic lunch of local products we walk to the 17th century monastery at Cartuia (approximately one and a half hours) before we visit the Bodega Scaladei to enjoy some of their famed produce and learn a little about the sophisticated art of wine and olive oil production. We return by bus to Montblanc.

Walking time: Approximately 2.5 hours/7 kilometres. +/-150 metres.

Accommodation: Hotel Viaurelia(or similar)

Standard Hotel
Single room available
Meals Provided: Breakfast & Lunch
Day 9 - Visit Freixenet winery; walk at Montserrat Monastery

Driving into the Penedes region this morning we enter the heart of Catalan Cava production. This region is home to some of the finest Champagne style wines in the world and a visit to the Freixenet vineyard introduces us to one of its most famous estates. A guided tour and some cava tasting give us a good insight into the winery and its products. Next stop is the monastery of Santa Maria de Montserrat, the most famous religious retreat in Catalonia, where we take a walk along the mountain ridge to enjoy the stunning views before completing our journey to Barcelona.

Walking time: Approximately 3 hours/7 kilometres. +250/-500 metres.

Accommodation: Hotel Silken(or similar)

Standard Hotel
Single room available
Meals Provided: Breakfast
Day 10 - Explore Barcelona, including La Boqueria food market

The second largest city in Spain, Barcelona is the capital of Catalonia and this morning we take an orientation tour around the old city. Home to no fewer than nine World Heritage sites, the city can boast a rich cultural heritage, the spectacular architectural creations of Antoni Gaudi and one of the best food markets anywhere in Spain - 'La Boqueria'. Today this cultural landmark is a visual and culinary delight, with over 200 stalls selling everything from fish and meat to tapas and beetles (yes, really). Later this evening we have the opportunity to enjoy a final meal at one of the city's popular restaurants.

Accommodation: Hotel Silken(or similar)

Standard Hotel
Single room available
Meals Provided: Breakfast
Day 11 - Trip ends in Catalonian capital, Barcelona

Meals Provided: Breakfast

Walking and Trekking information

Walking grade
Easy
Trek details
Walks on 6 days for between 1.5 and 3 hours. The terrain is generally gently undulating although on one walk we descend 500 metres. We have graded this tour as easy. It is possible to opt out of any of the walks.

What's included?

Included meals
  • Breakfast: 9
  • Lunch: 1
  • Dinner: 1
Transport
  • Bus
  • Public Bus
  • Taxi
Trip staff
  • Explore Tour Leader
  • Driver(s)
  • Local Guide(s)
Accommodation
  • 2 nights premium hotel
  • 8 nights standard hotel
Award Winning Explore Leaders
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Price Guarantee Promise
Read more
Airport Transfers
Read more
FairFX currency card
Read more

Trip information

Country information

Spain

Climate

Overall, spring, early summer and autumn are ideal times for a Spanish trip - though the weather varies enormously from region to region. The high central plains suffer from fierce extremes, stiflingly hot in summer, bitterly cold and swept by freezing winds in winter. The Atlantic coast, in contrast, has a tendency to damp and mist, and a relatively brief, humid summer. The Mediterranean south is warm virtually all year round. Spain's Islands the Canaries and Balaerics experience very mild winters and warm summers making them ideal year round destinations.

Time difference to GMT

+1

Plugs

2 Pin Round

Religion

Roman Catholic

Language

Castilian Spanish, Catalan, Galician, Basque

Budgeting and packing

Optional activities

The following excursions and/or activities are usually available and may be arranged locally. Estimated costs are provided below for guidance only, are on a per person basis unless shown otherwise, and may depend on the number of participants. Prices quoted are correct as of the date these tour notes were originally issued but may change at any time due to currency fluctuations. Please note: These activities are booked and paid for direct with the supplier and do not form part of your Explore holiday contract.


Poblet Monastery - approx. €8 pp

Clothing

Lightweight cotton clothing is best from June to September, light rainwear may be needed at any time of year, but especially after the start of September, and a warm fleece/light jacket is recommended for cooler evenings and nights at the beginning and end of the season. Don't forget a swimming costume.

Footwear

We recommend you bring walking/hiking boots, make sure that your boots are worn-in and comfortable before the start of the trip. Also trainers or sandals for relaxing and general wear. We suggest that on international flights you either carry your walking boots in your hand luggage or wear them - should your luggage be lost or delayed, your own boots are the one thing that will be irreplaceable.

Luggage

20kg

Luggage: On tour

One main piece of baggage and daypack. Remember you are expected to carry your own luggage so don't overload yourself.

Equipment

We also recommend taking a water bottle, insect repellent, and sun cream. You may find a walking pole useful.

Tipping

Explore leader
At your discretion you might also consider tipping your Tour Leader in appreciation of the efficiency and service you receive.
Local crew
Although entirely voluntary, tipping is a recognized part of life in this region of the world. Some local staff will look to members of the group for personal recognition of particular services provided. In order to make things easier for you, the Tour Leaders may organise a group's tips kitty and if this is the case, they will account for it throughout the tour.
Country Information

Spain

Food and drink

The costs for meals may vary depending upon location, type of restaurant and number of courses eaten and so the prices given are an average guide. Local restaurants located off the beaten track may be less expensive, whereas an upmarket restaurant located in the centre of a major city may charge more.


Lunch price
£8.00 - 12.00
Dinner price
£16.00 - 20.00
Beer price
£1.50 - 2.50 (depending on the region/area in Spain)
Water price
£1.4
Foreign Exchange
Local currency
Euros
Recommended Currency For Exchange
We recommend you take the majority of your spending money in Euros cash.
Where To Exchange
We recommend that you change any currency into Euros prior to arrival. Bureau de Change are generally only found in major cities and large airports.
ATM Availability
In cities and most major towns.
Credit Card Acceptance
Visa and Mastercard are generally accepted in larger restaurants and some shops.
Travellers Cheques
Not recommended.

Transport, Accommodation & Meals

Transport Information

Bus, Public Bus, Taxi

Essential Information

FCO Advice

We strongly recommend that you check your government's travel advisory for up-to-date information and advice about your destination: safety and security, entry requirements, health, local laws and customs. For UK Foreign and Commonwealth Office advice click here.

For more information from Explore about travel advice, click here
 

Under 18 immigration guidance

Please note that some countries require proof of parental consent when travelling overseas with under 18s. Please check requirements with the relevant embassy or consular office well in advance of travel if this applies to your party.

Price Guarantee

Once your booking has been confirmed we guarantee the price will not increase, whatever the circumstances. Before booking please ensure you have read our important tour pricing information.Booking Conditions

Visa and Passport Information

Spain: Visas are not required by UK, Australian, New Zealand, US and Canadian citizens. Other nationalities should consult their local embassy or consular office.


If you do require assistance in obtaining a visa then you may consider applying through Explore's recommended visa service in the UK, Travcour. See www.travcour.com to download the relevant visa application for your trip, if applicable (UK citizens only), along with details of how to apply for your visa through Travcour. The Team at Travcour will be happy to answer specific questions relating to visa applications, please call them directly on 0208 5431846.

It is your responsibility to ensure that you are in possession of a full passport, with the correct validity for your chosen destination.
 

Booking conditions

Before booking your Explore trip, please ensure that you read both our Essential Information and Booking Conditions.

Transfers

Find out more about Trip Transfer Terms and Conditions before you book.

Booking a land only package with Explore

Customers who have chosen to book on the ‘Land Only’ arrangements of our tour, please ensure that you have checked your tour specific ‘Joining Instructions’ prior to booking your own travel arrangements. Your joining instructions can be found below in the dates and prices information. 

You may also be eligible for the Free Explore Transfer.


Joining Tour Abroad

Customers booked on the ‘Land Only’ arrangements will now receive a Free Transfer, provided you arrive and depart on the tour only itinerary start and end dates. The transfers will be from the Explore designated airport or train station to the joining point of your tour, and then back from the ending point to the designated airport or train station. The exception to this rule is customers who are booked on a tour where the joining and ending point is at the designated airport or train station.  

Free transfers are not available for Self-Guided, Polar, Tailormade or Tours for Churches customers.

If you are not eligible for the Free Transfer then you will need to make your own way through to the joining and ending point. On a majority of our tours Explore will be able to provide a private transfer at an additional cost. Please ask for a quote at the time of booking.  


For more information regarding the Explore Free Transfer click here

Insurance

It is a condition of booking with Explore that you have adequate valid travel insurance. It is your responsibility to arrange appropriate travel insurance and ensure you have read and understood the full terms and conditions of your travel insurance policy to ensure that you are covered for all activities you intend to undertake whilst on the tour, including all optional activities. Your Insurance Policy must fully cover you for medical expenses and emergency repatriation to your home country. Please ensure your policy includes medical emergency helicopter evacuation in the event of illness or injury and covers the entire duration of your holiday. If you are trekking at altitude please ensure that there is no upper altitude limit which may limit or exclude cover for your trip. The cost of many of our Polar Voyages will exceed the capped amount covered by standard insurance premiums and you will be required to pay an additional premium to cover the full value of your trip. Please ensure that you are covered for the full amount of your holiday cost, as insufficient cover could invalidate a claim under the policy. Medical and repatriation insurance cover is not mandatory for UK residents who are travelling on trips within the United Kingdom.
Read more information about what travel insurance is required.

Flight information

Explore offers a wide range of flexible flying options to make joining and leaving our trips easy. Read more about them here.


Flight Information

You are able to book this tour on a 'land only' basis or as a ‘flight inclusive’ package. Your flight inclusive package will be fully protected by the Civil Aviation Authority (CAA) ATOL protection scheme.

  

Booking a flight inclusive package with Explore

We have a good selection of flights not only from London but from many regional airports around the UK allowing us to compare fares between scheduled carriers as well as low cost and charter airlines. Our dedicated flights team will match the best flight options to your arrival and departure airport.

On our website we display a UK flight inclusive package guide price which is generally based on a London departure. To avoid paying supplements or to secure your preferred flight option, we recommend booking as early as possible, especially for peak travel dates.

Spain

Vaccinations

Nothing compulsory but Tetanus is usually recommended as a precaution. Please check the latest requirements with your travel clinic or doctor prior to departure. The above is not an exhaustive list. Further information regarding vaccinations and travel health advice can be found by following the NHS and NaTHNaC links at Explore Travel Health and from your local healthcare provider. Visa and vaccination requirements are subject to change and should be confirmed by you before travelling.

Dates, prices and booking

Date
Price from
Single room option
Thursday 6 September 2018 - Sunday 16 September 2018
This departure is guaranteed
CWW_2018
From £1680
Single room option +£383
Show full details for this departure, including trip notes
All customers that travel on an Explore Group or Private Journey trip will be provided with a complimentary transfer, provided they arrive and depart into the designated airport or train station on the trip start and end dates. Please see free transfers for terms and conditions.

These trip joining details are provided on a provisional basis and may change prior to this tour departing. Any changes to these details will be updated on this page.
For those not eligible for a free transfer the joining / ending time and location for your trip are detailed below:
Joining Point
Town
Bilbao
Time and place
19:00 at Hotel Reception
Ending Point
Town
Barcelona
Time
10:00
If you have booked a pre or post trip accommodation directly with the hotel, or through any other intermediaries, please ensure you regularly check this page in case of any changes.
Download Trip Notes
Thursday 27 September 2018 - Sunday 7 October 2018
This departure is guaranteed
CWW_2018
From £1620
Single room option +£380

4 spaces available

Show full details for this departure, including trip notes
All customers that travel on an Explore Group or Private Journey trip will be provided with a complimentary transfer, provided they arrive and depart into the designated airport or train station on the trip start and end dates. Please see free transfers for terms and conditions.

These trip joining details are provided on a provisional basis and may change prior to this tour departing. Any changes to these details will be updated on this page.
For those not eligible for a free transfer the joining / ending time and location for your trip are detailed below:
Joining Point
Town
Bilbao
Time and place
19:00 at Hotel Reception
Ending Point
Town
Barcelona
Time
10:00
If you have booked a pre or post trip accommodation directly with the hotel, or through any other intermediaries, please ensure you regularly check this page in case of any changes.
Download Trip Notes
Date
Price from
Single room option
Thursday 6 September 2018 - Sunday 16 September 2018
This departure is guaranteed
CWW_2018
From £1399
Single room option +£383
Show full details for this departure, including trip notes
All customers that travel on an Explore Group or Private Journey trip will be provided with a complimentary transfer, provided they arrive and depart into the designated airport or train station on the trip start and end dates. Please see free transfers for terms and conditions.

These trip joining details are provided on a provisional basis and may change prior to this tour departing. Any changes to these details will be updated on this page.
For those not eligible for a free transfer the joining / ending time and location for your trip are detailed below:
Joining Point
Town
Bilbao
Time and place
19:00 at Hotel Reception
Ending Point
Town
Barcelona
Time
10:00
If you have booked a pre or post trip accommodation directly with the hotel, or through any other intermediaries, please ensure you regularly check this page in case of any changes.
Download Trip Notes
Thursday 27 September 2018 - Sunday 7 October 2018
This departure is guaranteed
CWW_2018
From £1399
Single room option +£380

4 spaces available

Show full details for this departure, including trip notes
All customers that travel on an Explore Group or Private Journey trip will be provided with a complimentary transfer, provided they arrive and depart into the designated airport or train station on the trip start and end dates. Please see free transfers for terms and conditions.

These trip joining details are provided on a provisional basis and may change prior to this tour departing. Any changes to these details will be updated on this page.
For those not eligible for a free transfer the joining / ending time and location for your trip are detailed below:
Joining Point
Town
Bilbao
Time and place
19:00 at Hotel Reception
Ending Point
Town
Barcelona
Time
10:00
If you have booked a pre or post trip accommodation directly with the hotel, or through any other intermediaries, please ensure you regularly check this page in case of any changes.
Download Trip Notes

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