Immersive Small Group Travel Experience! Space is limited to just 20 guests, plus hosts.
This is your opportunity to discover a picturesque landscape dotted with old towns, mountains, churches, and medieval walls as you set out on a gastronomic adventure across Basque Country and Spain’s finest wine regions with fellow Zinfandel enthusiasts.
The creation of this trip began when ZAP took a pre-cruise tour of the Basque Country a few years ago. The guests fell in love with the amazing food and wines of the region and wanted to return for a longer exploration. Traveling with chef Aitzol and guide Joan offers an exceptional opportunity to see this spectacular land. You will also be joined by a legend in the world of Zinfandel, Joel Peterson, as your ZAP host who will lead the group and share in this journey with you.
Experience coveted award-winning cellars, traditional cuisine, rustic cooking, and dramatic seascapes as you wander from verdant country sides to regal islands. Uncover the character of famous wines, sample the splendor of iconic dishes, and enjoy the welcoming ambiance of Basque culture as you taste your way through the coastal vistas of the Bilbao Peninsula to the vibrant city of Barcelona.
"Godfather of Zin"
Spain Tour Guide & Basque Expert
Below is an edited version of the day-to-day itinerary. To view a more complete detailed program, click here.
Arrive independently to Bilbao, the largest city in the Basque Country that’s home to the iconic, Frank Gehry-designed Guggenheim Museum. From world-renowned galleries and magical old medieval towns to eye-caching bridges and stunning natural landscapes that look like works of art. Beyond its artistic vein, Bilbao is famous for its lively dining scene with traditional pintxo bars standing alongside Michelin-star restaurants.
Check into Hotel Domine Bilbao and take a short drive to a unique culinary space, once a cooking school. Join acclaimed Chef Aitzol Zugasti for a wine tasting paired with a variety of local specialties. Learn from Aitzol and his team how and why Basque culinary tradition has reached the level of excellence it maintains today.
Overnight at Hotel Domine Bilbao
After breakfast at the hotel, depart to La Rioja D.O. and arrive for a tasting at Bodegas Valencisco Winery, the producer of award-winning wines and the only winery tat uses concrete tanks for fermentation in the region.
Next stop is Bodegas Casa Primicia, a more traditional winery built in the medieval village of Laguardia. This winery is housed in the oldest building in the village. Enjoy a tour of its 15th century cellar and caves, followed by a wine tasting and lunch in the vineyards.
Arrive at the oceanfront resort town of San Sebastian and check into the luxurious Hotel Lasala Plaza, overlooking the historical fishing port. Tonight enjoy a traditional Pintxos dinner in San Sebastian’s Old Town.
Overnight at Hotel Lasala Plaza
Today you will have the opportunity to experience San Sebastian all day at your own leisure. A shuttle will be provided into town and your guide can provide suggestions for activities and restaurants.
On the agenda for today, you will explore Txakoli wineries in the Guipuzcoa Providence. After breakfast at the hotel, shuttle to Bodegas Ametzoi Winery overlooking the Bay of Biscay for a tasting. Our second tasting is at a small family vineyard Gaintza Txakoli Winery, located on the Basque Coast. Next we will shuttle back to San Sebastian where Chef Aitzol is waiting and has prepared a special treat for lunch – an authentic “gastronomic society” experience. Txoko, as it is called in Basque, is a closed gastronomic society where traditionally chefs come together to eat, drink, experiment, and sometimes compete with each other. Today you will celebrate this tradition with Aitzol and his team, as everyone participates in the preparation of a delicious Basque lunch. After lunch return to the hotel and a free evening to enjoy the city of San Sebastian.
After breakfast, we check out of our San Sebastian hotel and make our way to Navarra for a guided tour of downtown Pamplona. Then its on to Campo de Borja D.O. for a stop at the Bodegas Moncayo Winery, located in the highest part of the city of Borja. After a lunch at a local restaurant, we continue to Zaragoza to check into the sophisticated Gran Hotel NH Centro. Enjoy a free afternoon exploring high-end boutiques or wander through the narrow streets of Old Town. Dinner is on your own.
Overnight Gran Hotel NH Centro
Costers del Segre is Catalonia’s most inland wine region and boasts one of the most versatile wine portfolios in the country. After breakfast, the tour will take you to visit some of the most famous wineries of the area.
Tomas Cuisine Winery is located in the village of El Vilosell and owned by Tomas Cusine Barber himself.
Penedes has long been considered one of the country’s best wine-producing regions after Rioja. Here we will have lunch at a local restaurant and visit Scala Dei, the oldest winery in Priorat. Then it is on to Clos Figueres Cellar, established by a group of inspired enthusiasts who fell in love with the area and saw the potential to produce great wines in the region.
Tonight’s wine-paired decadent dinner will take place at your hotel – Hotel Terra Dominicata – a 12th century monastery located at the foot of the Montsant Mountain range.
Overnight Hotel Terra Dominicata
Drive to Penedes to visit the Pares Balta Winery, a biodynamic and organic operation. From here, you will continue to Montserrate and visit the Montserrate Monastery. After lunch at a local restaurant, our driver takes us to the vibrant city of Barcelona. Enjoy a free afternoon and then prepare to engage you senses for an authentic tapas dinner tour with a refined vermouth pairing. End the evening at the historic Hotel Casa Fuster, dating back to 1908.
Overnight at Hotel Casa Fuster
Your last full day will be a visit to the Alella D.O. region. After breakfast at the hotel we will visit the Alta Alella Cellar on the Can Genis Estate, just steps away from the Mediterranean Sea. Here we will discover their famous natural wines made with minimal interventions and without using sulfur.
Time permitting, we will make another stop just down the road to Bouquet d’Alella Cellar, a 15th century farmhouse among vineyards. The Bouquet family have maintained the estate for 5 centuries, keeping it sustainable by making organic wines.
A traditional Catalan lunch will be served at the Les Terrasses de Sant Roma Restaurant, located in a cozy farmhouse with an extensive wine cellar. The views here are amazing! After lunch, experience a guided tour of the famous La Sagrada Familia and a stop at the iconic Basilica of La Sagrada Familia. Dinner this evening will feature a traditional paella meal at Restaurant Can Sole, one of the most highly acclaimed seafood and paella restraunts in Barcelona.
As you wind down your Basque adventure, enjoy a leisurely hotel breakfast and prepare for check out, bringing an end to this flavorful exploration of Spain!
Hotels are subject to change without notice.
1 Night at Hotel Domine Bilbo – May 27
3 Nights at Hotel Lasala Plaza – May 28, 29, 30
1 Night at Gran Hotel NH Centro de Zaragoza – May 31
1 Night at Hotel Terra Dominicata – June 1
2 Nights at Hotel Casa Fuster – June 2 & 3
Fare shown is per person based on double occupancy or single occupancy as noted. Fare does not include airfare to/from Spain, arrival transfer to first hotel, gratuities for the guide and driver, hotel upgrades, additional hotel nights, travel insurance, all items of a personal nature or expense of any kind regard PCR or Antigen tests (or covid related expenses). Please refer to the registration form for complete terms & conditions.
Please note that at least one individual traveling in a couple must have a valid ZAP membership as of the dates of travel. The price of an annual ZAP membership starts at $50.00 For more information or to join ZAP visit: www.zinfandel.org