A Food & Wine Lovers Trip to The Basque Country - Stein Travel
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A Food & Wine Lovers Trip to The Basque CountryItaly

From € 999 / per person for 7 nights
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Summary

A week of sun-soaked sights and gastronomic delights in Northern Spain

Day 1:

Depart Dublin and arrive in San Sebastian. The best way to experience this holiday is with a rental car. You pick this up at San Sebastian, on your arrival, and drop it back at Santiago de Compostela Airport on your departure.

This coastal city was once the summer capital of Spain. The Spanish monarchy had their summer residence here and the city still has so much to offer discerning holidaymakers.

After you have settled in your accommodation, take a stroll along the two-kilometre promenade that overlooks Playa La Concha, one of the city’s three urban beaches. Walk barefoot on the sand, clear away the cobwebs with a dip in the ocean or relax with a drink in one of the beachside bars.

The Basques have invented their own unique version of tapas – culinary creations known as pintxos – which they pair with local beverages such as red Riojas and fizzy txakoli wine. Make for Parte Vieja (the old part of town) on your first evening and hop from bar to bar, sampling bite-sized morsels as you go.

We have selected 2 hotels in San Sebastian for you to choose –5* Hotel Maria Cristina or 4* Lasala Plaza Hotel

Day 2:

Do as the locals do and, perhaps, start your day in the water with a surfing lesson on Playa de la Zurriola. It does not matter if you have never set foot on a surfboard, lessons will be tailored to your level.

You will be ravenous after an adrenaline-filled morning in the water. Just as well as you have booked lunch at Arzak. This family-run establishment is regularly voted one of the world’s 50 best restaurants.

Work off those calories with some sightseeing and shopping. The former bullring of Plaza de la Constitucíon is at the heart of Parte Vieja, a maze of cobblestone streets that is now a charming mix of historic buildings and shops selling local fashions, homewares, and perfume. Do not miss the Iglesia de San Vincente with its gold altarpiece and stained-glass rose windows.

Aim to finish your ambling on the beach to the north of the city centre. Follow the promenade to Monte Urgull. Climb to the top for a sunset view and descend for another evening of pintxo hopping.

Day 3:

Your day begins at the foot of steep Monte Igueldo. Do not worry, you do not have to climb it. Take the funicular to the top instead, where you will savour panoramic views of the curving coastline and surrounding mountains. Take a ride on the traditional wooden rollercoaster at the old-fashioned Parc de Atracciones while you are here.

Stop at La Concha Beach on your way back into town. From here, you can take a boat out to the 32-metre-wide island in the middle of the bay. Santa Clara may be tiny, but it is renowned for the natural swimming pools hidden in its sheltered nooks. While away a few hours swimming, strolling, and enjoying a drink at its sunny seaside bars.

Back on dry land, your next stop is the International Centre for Contemporary Culture, also known as the Tabakelera. This former cigarette factory has something for everyone with its exhibitions, hands-on workshops, libraries, and shops.

Day 4:

Drive along Spain’s northern coastline to Oviedo, the elegant capital of the Asturias region.

This city is the starting point of the Camino Primitivo (the oldest Camino de Santiago) and has attracted religious pilgrims for centuries. In recent years, it has gained recognition for its fine arts museum, exciting gastronomic scene, and traditional cider bars, known as siderías.

Once you have settled in your accommodation, the 5* Castillo del Bosque la Zareda, make for the old town and the extraordinary Catedral de San Salvador. Its major attraction is the UNESCO-listed ninth century chapel containing two jewel-studded medieval crosses and a cloth that is said to have covered Christ’s face.

Soak in the atmosphere of Plaza Alfonso II outside, then meander your way through old Oviedo, with its town hall, university, and opera house.

Make Calle Gascona your ultimate destination. This so-called Cider Boulevard is packed with siderías, where you can sample local cider, sip on artisan cocktails, and tuck into traditional Asturian fare such as fabada, a rich local delicacy made from pork and beans.

Day 5:

Start with a visit to the food market at Plaza del Fontán. This is the perfect spot to discover Asturian produce such as pungent Picos de Europa cheese. You will also find one of the most popular markets in Spain here on Thursday, Saturday and Sunday mornings.

Feed your artistic senses by visiting the Museo de Bellas Artes de Asturias. Housed in two opulent palaces, it features works by Goya, El Greco, and other Spanish masters. Its award-winning extension – the Ampliación – houses works from the 19th, 20th and 21st centuries.

Our last three recommendations are architectural wonders. The parish church of San Julián de los Prados is a UNESCO World Heritage Site half a mile northeast of town and two miles to the northwest on Monte Naranco, you will find the Palacio de Santa María del Naranco and the Iglesia de San Miguel de Lillo. Both are key examples of the architectural style that developed in Asturias in the eighth and ninth centuries.

Day 6:

Hit the road again and head for Santiago de Compostela, capital of Galicia and the end point of the Camino de Santiago pilgrimage route.

If it is low tide, make a pitstop at As Catedrais Beach, otherwise known as Cathedrals Beach. The dramatic natural arches and caves that make up the coastline here can only be viewed when the tide is out.

Once you arrive in Santiago, your first priority ought to be lunch. Galician food is hearty fare. Think cockles to start, roasted lamb for mains and a chocolate fondant with red wine sorbet for dessert.

Visit the Santiago de Compostela Cathedral Museum to learn about its significance for pilgrims. Admire its collection of relics and sacred art or take a guided tour to the rooftop.

If you decide to attend the historic mass, watch out for the famous Botafumeiro which swings dramatically across the church, dispensing incense as it goes.

Sample the nightlife, Santiago style. There are lots of tapas options and plenty of traditional bars. As Santiago de Compestela is so immersed in Christian history, our 2 choosen hotels pay homage to this heritage, the 5* Parador de Santiago or the 4* San Francisco Monumento.

Day 7:

Start your day in the most delicious way at the city’s famous Mercado de Abastos food market. Be sure to try some Galician honey.

You have two options for your final afternoon in Spain. You could visit the Convent of Santo Domingo de Bonaval in the Old Town. Built in 1220, it now houses the Museum of the Galician People. Next door is the Centre for Galician Contemporary Art, displaying more than 1,200 works of modern art.

Or you could leave Santiago and visit a winery. The city is at the heart of Rias Baixas, home of the albariño grape, and there are excellent wineries within an hour’s drive. Some – such as the Bodegas del Palacio de Fefiñanes – have been involved in wine making for centuries. Others – such as Paco and Lola – are less than 20 years old, though all showcase the famous Galician grape.

Day 8:

After breakfast, you have time for some last minute sightseeing and shopping. Your flight from Santiago de Compestela departs at 17.00 and arrives into Dublin at 1820. Return home with indelible memories of the beauty, culture and fabulous food and drink of Northern Spain.

The price is from €1,950 per person, which includes:

Return flights

10kg carry-on bag per person

20kg checked-in bag per person

7 nights car hire in a Audi A3

7 nights 5* accommodation

Breakfast each morning

This price is based on departing in May 2021. The price can change depending on flight and hotel availability.


Map
Itinerary

Flight to Milan Bergamo Airport

AT A GLANCE

7 nights hotel accommodation

Return flights & transfers

Programme of daily tours & visits

Half board

Expert tour manager Checked Luggage


Brione Hotel 3*

The three-star rated Hotel Brione is centrally located and very well managed by its family owners, provides all the comforts of a modern, purpose built property with tastefully decorated rooms with private bathroom, TV and air-conditioning, very good quality restaurant and pleasant bar, lounge and terrace. Cross the road outside to the lakeside where you can enjoy a walk through tranquil, shaded gardens and take in the view. In the quiet landscaped grounds to the rear of the hotel is the swimming pool, the ideal spot in which to relax after a hard day’s sightseeing

Please note: Where hotels feature a swimming pool, pools are open in the summer months weather permitting.

Please note the use of air-conditioning in hotels in Italy is at the hotel’s discretion and is normally restricted to the summer months (mid-May to mid-September), depending on the temperature.

Rating: Three Stars


Option to upgrade to 4* hotel.  Please contact us for details


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