La Rioja 2017, Spain 8 days
Ever popular, ever successful. Our wine tour programme would not be complete without a visit to La Rioja where quality and value go hand in hand. Over the years we have tried to ring the changes so that it appeals to those who love the region and once again there are small differences in the programme. Needless to say, the cuisine is almost as important as the wine and we have yet to meet anyone who is not impressed with the local standard. On this visit we have made some small adjustments to the programme to cover some alternative aspects of the region, other than wine.
We pick up as shown below and sail from Portsmouth at 1715 on the "Pont Aven".
On Wednesday we'll have lunch together. We reach Santander at 1815 and after disembarkation we head east towards Bilbao then south to La Rioja. We now carry on to Logroño and check in to the central Hotel Marques de Vallejo in the Old Quarter where we stay for five nights. As it is a late arrival no dinner is laid on but there are many cafes and restaurants nearby where you’ll be able to have refreshment, a good opportunity to make a start on the ‘tapas’.
On Thursday we head out of town to the charming hilltop town of La Guardia, for a visit and tasting at the ultra modern Bodegas Ysios. We now go into the town itself for a stroll then lunch at Restaurante Hospederia Los Parajes. In the late afternoon we will drive to San Vicente Sonsierra where we visit Bodegas Ramirez de la Piscina, owned by a genial character whose ancestors included El Cid and whose family has been linked with the Kings of Navarra since the 13th C. After our visit we return to Logroño for a free evening.
On Friday we set off westwards to the town of Santo Domingo de Calzada on the River Oja ( Rioja!). The cathedral is dedicated to Dominic de la Calzada who built a bridge, hospital and hotel for Pilgrim’s on their way to Santiago de Compostela. We now drive to Navarrete for a visit and lunch at Bodegas Corral. We now return to Logroño where we will have a guided tour of the old town and its monuments. Free evening in town.
On Saturday we travel towards Haro with an early visit to Bodegas Lan at Fuenmayor.
We continue to Haro, the wine capital of Rioja for sightseeing. In the afternoon we visit and taste at Bodegas Bilbainas.
We return to the hotel in the late afternoon and have dinner at El Portalon.
On Sunday we’re having a day off and will make a non-wine excursion along the Camino de Santiago to the pleasant city of Burgos where we spend the day. Its cathedral houses the tomb of the mercenary warrior, El Cid. We return to Logroño and have dinner at El Cachetero.
On Monday we depart the hotel in the morning and make our way back to the coast. We’ll have time for sightseeing in Santander before we board the ferry for the 1515 sailing to Portsmouth. We have dinner together this evening in Le Flora restaurant on board.
Next day continue taking advantage of the sea airs. The ship arrives in Portsmouth at 1430 and after disembarkation the coach returns to the original pick up points.
(Cost includes: ferry crossing with cabin, two breakfasts and dinners on board , five nights' 3* hotel accommodation with buffet breakfast in Spain; all visits and tastings as described; two lunches and two dinners, Tour Escort.)
Single supplement £200 (Room & cabin)
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Pick ups Aberaman–Cardiff-Bristol-Bath-Salisbury-Portsmouth