Northern Spain, The Rioja Valley and Madrid Tauck Tours

Northern Spain, The Rioja Valley and Madrid

Culinary & Wine Cruises

Indulge your love of wine, cuisine, art, architecture and history on a Northern Spain, The Rioja Valley and Madrid escorted tour. Travel from Barcelona to Madrid experiencing the best of this delightful region. Enjoy wine tastings and tapas in Rioja Valley, walk the end of Camino de Santiago and follow the path of bulls in Pamplona among other unique gems.

Admire the gargoyles protecting Barcelona’s Cathedral which was built between 1298 and 1460. Inside marvel at intricately sculpted choir stalls, fine workmanship depicted on the pulpit and the alabaster sarcophagus of the crypt of Santa Eulàlia. Admire Gaudí’s iconic and unfinished cathedral, la Sagrada Família. Visit the Benedictine Monastery in Montserrat to see the Black Madonna. In the Pyrenees, stroll the lovely cobblestone lanes of La Seu d’Urgell to a 12th-century Romanesque Cathedral known to be the most beautiful in the region. Indulge in a tour and tasting at the Marqués de Riscal winery, founded in 1858. Art aficionados will relish a visit to Bilbao's famous Guggenheim Museum. A leisurely lunch in the pristine medieval town of Santillana del Mar is a joy for the senses. Walk the final stretch of the Camino de Santiago. Step into literature's Golden Age on a tapas tour in historic Barrio de las Letras. Witness art history from the 13th through 20th centuries at Thyssen-Bornemisza National Museum.


14 Daysfr. $7,490

  • STAY in a Frank Gehry masterpiece
  • CHOOSE a spa treatment, Catalan cuisine cooking demonstration, or a round of golf
  • ENTERTAINMENT and seven-course feast in a medieval castle
  • SELF-GUIDED visit of beautiful Benedictine enclave atop Montserrat
  • WINE TASTINGS and tours in the famed Rioja Valley wine region
  • MARVEL at at San Sebastián
  • WITNESS majesty of the spectacular Pyrenees and Picos de Europa
  • EXPLORE art and architecture in Barcelona and Bilbao
  • SEEK MIRACLES along the Camino de Santiago
  • STAY in a former palace and a historic parador
  • SAVOR the taste of tapas in neighborhood bars and cafés
  • GUIDED TOUR tree-lined pedestrian promenade of Las Ramblas
  • EXPLORE Barcelona's 14th-century Gothic quarter, Barri Gòtic and Plaça de la Catedral
  • SEE the shrine of la Moreneta, the Black Madonna
  • WALK the route followed during Pamplona's annual running of the bulls
  • VISIT iconic Guggenheim Museum in Bilbao
  • TOUR world-famous 11th-century Romanesque Cathedral of St. James
  • GUIDED lunch tapas tour through historic Barrio de las Letras
  • GUIDED VISIT to the Thyssen-Bornemisza National Museum
  • GUIDED TOUR Plaza Mayor and the Mercado San Miguel
  • Gratuities to Tauck Director, local guides and drivers included
  • Airport transfers upon arrival and departure as noted
  • All items of a personal nature (room service, beverages, telephone charges, laundry, special food requests, etc.) and meals not specified on the tour itinerary are not included and must be paid by the client.
  • Airline excess luggage charges, vaccinations, visa fees and services, airport arrival and departure taxes, individual train and airport transfers (when applicable), and other optional or incidental extras are not included.
  • All rates exclude airfare unless expressly noted.
13 Breakfasts, 7 Lunches, 9 Dinners
  • Le Méridien Barcelona in Barcelona (2 nights)
  • El Castell de Ciutat in La Seu d'Urgell (2 nights)
  • Hotel Marqués de Riscal in Eltziego (2 nights)
  • Hotel Maria Cristina in San Sebastián (2 nights)
  • Hotel de la Reconquista in Oviedo (1 night)
  • Parador de Santiago de Compostela in Santiago de Compostela (2 nights)
  • Gran Meliá Palacio de los Duques in Madrid (2 nights)

WELCOME TO BARCELONA AND SPAIN Location Information Description

Barcelona, Spain

A transfer is included from Barcelona Airport or the Barcelona Franca train station to Le Méridien Barcelona, ideally located on Las Ramblas.

Join your hosts for a private welcome reception and dinner tonight at the hotel as you get your first taste of life in Northern Spain.

Dinner

Le Méridien Barcelona

GOTHIC SIGHTS & WHIMSY IN BARCELONA Location Information Description

Barcelona, Spain

Walk along the tree-lined pedestrian promenade of Las Ramblas this morning with a local guide who leads you through the cobblestone lanes of Barcelona's 14th-century Gothic quarter, Barri Gòtic, a medieval warren of Roman relics, hidden courtyards, shops and alfresco cafés, to the Plaça de la Catedral. Set apart from other churches, Barcelona’s Cathedral was built between 1298 and 1460 – although its richly decorated façade, guarded by gargoyles, was added in 1870. Go inside to see its medieval origins, from its exquisitely sculpted choir stalls and elegant pillars to the fine workmanship depicted on the pulpit and the alabaster sarcophagus of the crypt of Santa Eulàlia.

Your city tour continues with a drive through hilltop Montjuic, rewarding with panoramic views, and a visit to Gaudí’s unfinished cathedral, la Sagrada Família, artistically and architecturally unique, and awe-inspiring in every detail. Spend the rest of the day exploring Barcelona as you wish.

Breakfast

Le Méridien Barcelona

MONTSERRAT, CARDONA & ON TO THE PYRENEES Location Information Description

Montserrat, Spain

Venture into the mountains today, stopping at the saw-toothed mountain of Montserrat, just northwest of Barcelona, to visit the Benedictine monastery and see the shrine of la Moreneta, the Black Madonna. According to the legend, the statue was discovered in the year 880 by shepherds who saw a strange light in the sky and heard music coming from a cave in the mountain. Since then, it has become one of the most famous pilgrimage sights in Spain.

Location Information Description

Cardona, Spain

Continue on to Cardona for a visit to the Romanesque Church of Saint Vicenç, consecrated in 1047. Enjoy lunch in the medieval dining room at 9th-century Parador de Cardona, holding court over the countryside from its hilltop perch.

Location Information Description

La Seu d’Urgell, Spain

Drive through the snow-capped Catalonian Pyrenees to your hotel in La Seu d’Urgell for a memorable two-night stay. Dinner tonight is at the hotel, with wine included.

Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner

El Castell de Ciutat

PYRENEES PLEASURES IN LA SEU D'URGELL Location Information Description

La Seu d'Urgell, Spain

A morning walking tour on the cobblestone lanes of La Seu d’Urgell brings you to the 12th-century Romanesque Cathedral, renowned as the finest in the Pyrenees.

Following an included lunch, you have a choice of activities this afternoon – a hike with a local guide; a Catalan cooking demonstration in the kitchen of your castle hotel; a round of golf on a nine-hole course, with all equipment provided; or a 30-minute massage in the hotel’s on-site spa.

Feast on a seven-course wine-tasting dinner in a medieval 9th-century castle tonight.

Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner

El Castell de Ciutat

ON TO ELCIEGO IN THE RIOJA VALLEY Location Information Description

Elciego, Spain

Depart La Seu d'Urgell this morning and head to the town of Elciego in the province of Álava in the Basque Country of northern Spain, part of the renowned Rioja wine-producing region.

After stopping en route for lunch at a parador in Zaragoza, you'll arrive late afternoon in Elciego (Eltziego in Basque), home to the Marqués de Riscal winery and the remarkable five-star hotel that will be your home for the next two nights.

The visionary Hotel Marqués de Riscal was designed as a 21st-century chateau by world-famous Canadian-born American architect Frank Gehry, and opened in 2006. After settling in, enjoy dinner at the hotel this evening.

Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner

Hotel Marqués de Riscal

A WINE TASTING & LAGUARDIA IN THE RIOJA VALLEY Location Information Description

El Ciego, Spain

Begin today's explorations in the Rioja Valley wine region (La Rioja) with a tour and tasting at the Marqués de Riscal winery, founded in 1858, whose "City of Wine" includes your ultra-modern hotel and the surrounding winery and vineyards.

Location Information Description

Laguardia, Spain

Next, head to Laguardia in Basque Country for a guided visit, where a walking tour reveals this old town's wealth of historic features, including its medieval ramparts, many Romanesque churches, and the Church of Santa Maria de los Reyes with its well-preserved Gothic tower. Dinner tonight is at a local restaurant.

Breakfast, Dinner

Hotel Marqués de Riscal

PAMPLONA & SAN SEBASTIAN Location Information Description

Pamplona, Spain

Leave Elciego this morning and drive to famous Pamplona, immortalized in Hemingway’s famous book, The Sun Also Rises; where you'll have the opportunity to walk the route followed during the town's celebrated annual running of the bulls.

Location Information Description

San Sebastian, Spain

Then it’s on to coastal San Sebastián in Basque Country, where your first view of this popular oceanfront town is from the top of Mt. Igueldo.

Regarded by many as Spain’s culinary capital, this ancient town also boasts great surfing beaches, stunning architecture and myriad pintxos bars tucked into the maze of medieval lanes in its Old Town (Parte Vieja). Have dinner at your elegant Belle-Époque hotel tonight.

Breakfast, Dinner

Hotel Maria Cristina

A DAY IN SEASIDE SAN SEBASTIAN Location Information Description

San Sebastian, Spain

Join a local guide for a walking tour along the cobblestone streets of the historic Old Town before spending the rest of the day and evening exploring more of seaside San Sebastián on your own as you please... perhaps sampling typical Basque food and enjoying the town's many waterfront activities, including world-class surfing.

Breakfast

Hotel Maria Cristina

BILBAO, THE GUGGENHEIM & OVIEDO Location Information Description

Bilbao, Spain

Visit the iconic Guggenheim Museum in Bilbao this morning, discovering its collection of modern art as you wish. Designed by Canadian-American architect Frank Gehry (who also designed the Hotel Marqués de Riscal, where you stayed in Elciego), the museum is a showcase for large-scale, site-specific contemporary works of art by international and Basque artists, as well as exhibiting a selection of modern art from the Guggenheim Foundation’s collection.

Location Information Description

Santillana del Mar, Spain

Continue on to the Cantabria region, stopping for lunch and time at leisure in the perfectly preserved medieval town of Santillana del Mar.

Location Information Description

Oviedo, Spain

Wind your way through hills and valleys to Oviedo this afternoon for an overnight stay at a restored 18th-century hospice that was featured in the movie Vicky Cristina Barcelona. Enjoy dinner in a local restaurant this evening.

Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner

Hotel de la Reconquista

A PILGRIMAGE CENTURIES OLD TO SANTIAGO Location Information Description

Oviedo, Spain

Explore Oviedo on a walking tour this morning, seeing a mix of historic and artistic monuments from various periods across the centuries.

Location Information Description

Santiago de Compostela, Spain

Stop for lunch along the coast en route to the world-famous pilgrimage town of Santiago de Compostela – where, upon arrival late this afternoon, you'll have an opportunity to join your Tauck Director to walk the final stretch of the Camino de Santiago (The Way of St. James) before checking in to your hotel, the historic Parador de Santiago de Compostela (also known as Parador de los Reyes Catolicos). Considered to be one of the oldest hotels in the world, it has welcomed travelers since the 15th century. Dine tonight at your choice of restaurants in the parador.

Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner

Parador de Santiago de Compostela

SIGHTS OF SANTIAGO DE COMPOSTELA Location Information Description

Santiago de Compostela, Spain

When what was believed to be the grave of St. James the Greater was discovered in this region of what is now northern Spain in the ninth century, hundreds of thousands began making the arduous pilgrimage along El Camino de Santiago – the Way of St. James – on foot to visit it. Legend has it that a bright star led a shepherd boy to the forgotten tomb of the apostle; today your local guide leads the way on a guided walking tour of the town's historic quarter and a visit to the world-famous 11th-century Romanesque Cathedral of St. James, home to the relics of the saint.

Following lunch at your historic parador, the rest of the day is free to spend as you like, walking in the footsteps of pilgrims who have made their way here from around the world for centuries.

Breakfast, Lunch

Parador de Santiago de Compostela

FLY TO MADRID FOR A TWO-NIGHT STAY Location Information Description

Madrid, Spain

Depart Santiago de Compostela this morning and fly to Madrid for a two-night stay in Spain's historic capital city. Upon arrival, follow an orientation tour of the city with a guided lunch tapas tour through the historic Barrio de las Letras, a neighborhood that was home to Cervantes and other great Spanish literary lights during the Golden Age.

Later, check into your genteel hotel, set within a former 19th-century palace within walking distance of Madrid's Royal Palace and the Teatro Real Opera House. Spend the remainder of the day and evening exploring Madrid on your own and enjoying dinner as you please.

Breakfast, Lunch

Gran Meliá Palacio de los Duques

EXPLORING MADRID & THE ROYAL PALACE Location Information Description

Madrid, Spain

Join a local guide for a morning tour of Madrid's landmark sights that includes a walking tour of the vast Plaza Mayor and the Mercado San Miguel. Then enjoy a guided visit to the Thyssen-Bornemisza National Museum, whose exhibits span the history of art from the 13th through 20th centuries.

The remainder of the afternoon and evening are yours to spend as you wish in Spain's storied capital city. You're invited to join your hosts this evening for a farewell reception and dinner at your stylish Madrid hotel, converted from a 19th-century palace and boasting spectacular, historic gardens in the very heart of the Spanish capital.

Breakfast, Dinner

Gran Meliá Palacio de los Duques

HOMEWARD BOUND Location Information Description

Madrid, Spain

Fly home anytime. A transfer from the Gran Meliá Palacio de los Duques to Madrid–Barajas Airport or Madrid Atocha train station is included. You should allow a minimum of three hours for flight check-in at the airport.

Breakfast

Departure Date
Price
Wed, Apr 10, 2024 – Wait-list
$9,790.00
Fri, Apr 12, 2024
$9,790.00
Wed, Apr 17, 2024 – Wait-list
$9,790.00
Wed, Apr 24, 2024 – Wait-list
$9,790.00
Fri, Apr 26, 2024
$8,490.00
Wed, May 01, 2024 – Wait-list
$9,790.00
Fri, May 03, 2024
$8,490.00
Wed, May 08, 2024
$9,790.00
Fri, May 10, 2024
$8,490.00
Mon, May 13, 2024
$9,790.00
Wed, May 15, 2024 – Wait-list
$9,790.00
Fri, May 17, 2024
$8,490.00
Wed, May 22, 2024 – Wait-list
$9,790.00
Fri, May 24, 2024
$11,690.00
Mon, May 27, 2024
$9,790.00
Wed, May 29, 2024
$9,790.00
Wed, Jun 12, 2024
$9,790.00
Wed, Jun 19, 2024
$8,490.00
Wed, Jun 26, 2024
$9,790.00
Wed, Jul 10, 2024
$7,490.00
Wed, Jul 24, 2024
$7,490.00
Wed, Aug 21, 2024
$8,590.00
Wed, Aug 28, 2024
$9,790.00
Fri, Aug 30, 2024
$8,490.00
Wed, Sep 04, 2024
$9,790.00
Mon, Sep 09, 2024
$9,790.00
Wed, Sep 11, 2024
$9,790.00
Fri, Sep 13, 2024
$8,490.00
Mon, Sep 16, 2024
$9,790.00
Wed, Sep 18, 2024
$9,790.00
Fri, Sep 20, 2024
$8,490.00
Mon, Sep 23, 2024
$9,790.00
Wed, Sep 25, 2024 – Wait-list
$9,790.00
Fri, Sep 27, 2024
$8,490.00
Mon, Sep 30, 2024
$9,790.00
Wed, Oct 02, 2024
$9,790.00
Fri, Oct 04, 2024
$11,690.00
Mon, Oct 07, 2024 – Wait-list
$9,790.00
Wed, Oct 09, 2024
$9,790.00
Fri, Oct 11, 2024
$8,490.00
Mon, Oct 14, 2024
$9,790.00
Wed, Oct 16, 2024
$9,790.00

Important information:

  • All rates listed are per person based on double occupancy and are subject to change without notice. Your land package pricing will be confirmed and guaranteed once your deposit is received and applied to the booking, except where price increases may result from increases in government taxes or fees. Room configurations are subject to availability. Guests added to your party after the booking are priced at the prevailing rate at the time they are added.

  • 60 days or more before departure: $600.00 per person
  • 59-8 days before departure: $1250.00 per person
  • 7-1 days before departure: $2000.00 per person
  • On departure day and later: 100% of total price
  • Any changes or cancellations to airline reservations made through Tauck either before or after departure are subject to the cancellation / change policies of the individual airlines. In n some instances these cancellation / change fees may be up to 100% of the ticket price.
  • Cancellation fees may also apply to any additional services, including extra night accommodations, independently supplied services, and optional excursions reserved prior to, during, and after the tour. If flight changes, including, but not limited to, flight cancellations or name changes, are requested after full land and air deposits are received, revision fees, change fees, or airline cancellation fees will apply.
  • All cancellations must be received in writing prior to tour departure. The cancellation policy will apply according to the date that the cancellation notification is received. The MINIMUM cancellation penalty is the deposit amount.
  • The purchase to trip cancellation insurance is strongly recommended.
  • Land only “from price” is per person based on two people sharing a room together and does not include airfare unless expressly stated.
  • All prices are in US Dollars
  • A $600 non-refundable, non-transferable, per-person, per-vacation deposit is required to reserve space for you. Payment of the deposit indicates you have read and accepted all Terms & Conditions. Your booking is not confirmed until the deposit payment is processed and you receive a confirmation invoice.
  • Final payment is due 75 days prior to departure. Within the final payment date, payment in full is required at time of booking to reserve space. Reservations (land, cruise, and air) are canceled if final payment is not received by the due date.
  • Additional deposits or payments are required for international air added to the start and/or end of your vacation.
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