- San Mateo Wine Festival: the festivities, declared of national tourist interest are held in Logroño, coinciding with the Feast of St. Matthew. A traditional Fiesta dated from the 12th Century as a kind of tribute to Rioja´s wine.
- Falling by the 20st September, the Festival which announces the start of the harvest.
- Great atmosphere, Thousands of people enjoy outside in colourful parades, filling up the tapas bars and enjoying the day and night.
- In the evenings, mix with the "peñas", groups of people who jointly take part in all the activities and are the heart and soul of the fiesta. Enjoy music concerts, dancing, floats parades, and fireworks.
- Excellent wines and delicious tapas, while you enjoy an unforgettable time in San Mateo, declared of "National Tourist Interest".
- Impressive diversity of wineries, mixing the traditional and the new way of elaborating and presenting the wines. See the differences between the modern and the old style wine estates.
- Wine tasting of some of Spain´s most significant and innovative wines.
- Olive Oil tasting, a different experience.
- Spectacular scenery, a hill top fortress set against the Sierra de Cantabria, the medieval village of Laguardia.
- Visit the largest wine museum in the world: Dinastia Vivanco. Guided tour through the history and culture of wine.
GASTRONOMY, WINE AND FESTIVAL AT ITS BEST
This enjoyable tour falls by the 18th to the 22nd of September, while the Rioja Wine Festival, San Mateo is taking place. You will not only experience the beauty of a free-mass tourism wine region, tasting excellent wines, sampling delicious traditional food but also you will be mingle with the locals participating in the Rioja wine festival which announces the start of the harvest. Thousands of people enjoy outside in colourful parades, filling up the tapas bars and enjoying the day and night.
It focuses on the heart of the wine-growing and gastronomic centre of Rioja: Haro and Logroño. Both on the River Ebro, just 20 minutes apart by road yet the difference – the food, the wine, the culture, the landscapes – is fascinating: Less traveling time, more variety.
The charm of picturesque Haro contrasts with the boulevards of Logroño. And then there's romance of Laguardia, a hilltop fortress set against the Sierra de Cantabria. This gastronomic-wine tour will appeal to those with an insatiable appetite to learn more about the regional food and wine of Northern Spain. Whilst the region is known worldwide for its wines, it hides a wealth of epicurean delights can only be experienced in person in the restaurants and bodegas of Rioja.
We visit an amazing range of wineries, all different with their own special features, from Chateaux-style and traditional wineries to boutique or avant-garde wineries all regarded as the current leaders in both the New Rioja and the Traditional Rioja. Winemakers and winery owners will guide you through their prestigious estates explaining their unique wine-making methods and sampling their renowned wines with you.
Gastronomy plays an important role in our thrilling wine journey. You will experience delicious gourmet meals overlooking the vineyards in distinguished traditional restaurants. Renowned cooks will entertain you with their typical regional meals and new innovative culinary creations.
For our accommodation you will be staying in a beautiful building founded as a convent, now its walls house a lovely hotel in which it is a true privilege to be a guest and carefully selected central hotels, beautifully decorated with a truly impeccable service and well positioned for the festival and the old part of the city.
The visit to The Dinastia Vivanco Museum is a must on our tours. A privileged guided tour through the history and culture of wine not only in Spain but also in Europe. After visiting this astonishing temple of wine you will be delighted with a truly outstanding gourmet lunch.
We have also included a guided walking tour of two amazing cities and a unique medieval village full of wine history, landmarks, historic mansions, glorious views of the Cantabrian Mountains and surrounded by a valley of vineyards.
If you want to visit remarkable wineries, sample splendid wines, enjoy unforgettable meals in gorgeous surroundings, improve your knowledge about the history and culture of wine combined with striking medieval village tours and a food-wine festival, in one of the most tourist-free areas in Spain: La Rioja, this a journey that you must not miss.
PLACES: Modern Bilbao home of the Guggenheim Museum with its lustrous exterior and collection of modern art. Haro is a graceful town on the banks of the River Ebro. It has a lively old quarter where elegant wine mansions meet lively pavement cafés. Logroño, the region's capital, has wide boulevards reminiscent of Bordeaux from where the émigré wine makers came. Laguardia is a medieval hilltop city with encircling ramparts, towers and fortified gateways. Its narrow cobbled streets are flanked by bodegas and tapas bars.
FOOD: Just as the wines of Rioja have a unique character, so does the regional gastronomy. Some say the food here is more sophisticated and varied than anywhere else in Spain. So, as you dine in fine restaurants, tapas bars and the famous gastronomic societies of Rioja, it will dawn on you how Rioja's food and wine really is a marriage made in heaven.
DAY ONE- Bilbao- Haro
You are welcomed and escorted by our guide to our carefully selected hotel in La Rioja in our vehicle. Evening free.
Optional: Guggenheim Museum visit in Bilbao Subject to arrival time
DAY TWO- Haro- Rioja Alavesa- Haro
Extraordinary guided tour of the world's largest wine museum, Dinastia Vivanco, experiencing the wine culture of centuries. A unique experience learning the history of wine not only in Spain, but in Europe. Right after visiting the museum, we will visit one of the most reputable, traditional and oldest wineries in Rioja with very high quality wines. Lunch at a traditional restaurant in Haro. Charming little restaurant with a great variety of dishes and products from Rioja Alta. After lunch we will visit the charming village of Briones and walking above the meander of the River Ebro surrounding the village with spectacular views. Free evening. Time to relax in your hotel or to enjoy the numerous bars and restaurants around the city
DAY THREE- Haro- Logroño
Guided visit to one of the oldest and prettiest Wine Estates in Europe. Tour conducted by one of the members of the Family. Wine tasting. Next we will visit to one of the most prestigious wineries in Spain for its winemaking methods, their constant research in perfecting the Wines as well as experimenting with the Grapes. They have mastered one of the best wines in Spain. Wine tasting and extra virgin olive oil included.
We continue to Logroño, the capital where the festival is taking place. Lunch at a traditional restaurant in Logroño. Free evening in Logrono, bars, restaurants and places recommended to experience the atmosphere of the festival. You will enjoy these days during our week of festivities coinciding with the feast day of Saint Matthew, called in Spanish "San Mateo". Become a part of the city just by whiling away the time at wine bars or simply through strolling along the streets.
DAY FOUR- Logroño- Elciego- Laguardia-Logroño
Guided tour of one of the pioneer wineries in the Rioja wine region. Its wines have earned some of the most distinguished international awards including the amazing Hotel Marques de Riscal, designed by world renowned architect Frank Ghery. Wine tasting. Private guided tour conducted by local expert of one of the most astonishing medieval towns in Europe. Privileged visit to one of the best underground cellars in the medieval town of Laguardia.
Lunch at a renowned restaurant in Laguardia. Free time. Around 8 pm you can enjoy an authentic parade through the streets, you will see dancing Giants and Big Heads, the carriages in the parade are decorated with various symbols of winemaking and a number of other ceremonies typical of many our Spanish fiestas. Time and information will be given in the tour.
Optional. Guided tapas tour of the best tapas of the area some of them never seen before. You will sample authentic fresh food from the North of Spain, while you mix with the locals. Highly enjoyable.
DAY FIVE- Logroño- Bilbao
Private transfer back to the Airport.
Optional: Private guided tour to The Guggenheim Museum in Bilbao (subject to flight times)
Price Per Person from - 899€ (*) Minimum 2 people
Duration - 5 days / 4 nights
(*) SPECIAL PRICES for groups with 4 people or more.
Tour starts 18th September and ends 22rd September 2013
BOOK NOW e-mail us at email@example.com with the departure date and number of people
199.00 Euros single supplement
Upgrade of Accommodation on request.
- Transport for 3 full days
- Transfers from and to Bilbao Airport
- Personalised English/Spanish speaking expert guide throughout the tour
- Four nights Accommodation based on double occupancy with private bath.
- Four full breakfasts
- Five wine estate visits.
- Five wine tasting
- Three gourmet lunches including wine
- Visit to the world largest wine museum.
- Two towns and medieval villages guided walking tours.
- All Taxes
Note: If any of the published accommodation, range of wineries or restaurants in the tour becomes unavailable, others of similar category will be allocated.
Note: Upgrade of wineries and/or restaurants will have a supplement. Please request
What Is Not Included
- Flights (Bilbao or Vitoria airports)
- Travel insurance
- Meals not specified
- Personal expenses
- Optional visits
By booking your trip with The Unique Traveller you agree to our Terms and Conditions
EXAMPLES OF ACCOMMODATION USED IN LA RIOJA(*)
HISTORIC-BUILDING , 4 star
This four star property is located right in the historic centre of Haro, centre of the wine production in Rioja, surrounded by a valley of vineyards and the Cantabrian Mountains. Walking distance you can experience numerous and excellent tapas.
Founded as a convent in 1373, Los Agustinos hotel is a beautiful and protected building, now its walls full of history play host to exceptionally comfortable facilities where it is a privilege to stay. It has an impressive courtyard where you can relax reading your favourite book or having a glass of Rioja.
Particular mention should be made of the Las Duelas Restaurant; the Bistrot de las Duelas; Bar-Cafeteria; 24-hour room service; and free WIFI throughout the Hotel. They offer conventional, modern and regional cuisine based on fresh products from the area and also having an outstanding wine-list and everything in historic surroundings.
There are 62 guestrooms, most of which are outward-facing, whilst the Hotel's most salient feature is the impressive, glass-domed cloisters, which are air-conditioned and enclosed. All rooms are decorated in a rustic style and enjoy all the modern comforts: satellite TV, wifi, private bathroom with hairdryer. Guests also have access to the hotel’s fitness center.
(Logroño- LA RIOJA)
The Sercotel Portales Hotel is a charming hotel located in the heart of Logroño, on 'Calle Portales'. A few metres from the hotel you will find the 'Plaza del Mercado', which is the setting for a variety of fairs and shows. This square is also home to the cathedral 'Santa María la Redonda'.
One of the best selling points of this property is the prime location, you will be walking distance to the old part, the famous Calle Laurel where all the tapas bars are, the shopping area in Gran Via, and Murrieta Square. It is in a pedestrian street avoiding the noisy traffic.
The Sercotel Portales Hotel, is well decorated and offers 48 spacious and elegant rooms. There is a free wifi internet connection available. The Sercotel Portales Hotel offers its guests 48 cosy and warm rooms on six floors. All the rooms here at our hotel in Logroño have a writing desk, minibar, TV, safe and free wifi internet. You will also find all the necessary amenities to make this stay a perfect experience.
(*)Accommodation will be in these hotels or in others of similar category. Will be confirmed when making the booking. Upgrade available on request.