Delights of Basque Country
About the trip
Indulge your taste buds on this flavourful adventure through Basque Country, Spain from Madrid to Bilbao. Embrace the local mindset “Eat, txotx (pronounced ‘choach’), drink, repeat!” Start in Madrid with a Royal Palace visit and flamenco dinner and show. Head to wine-rich La Rioja region for a pintxos (a small snack) crawl, followed by a vineyard tour and tasting. More tapas-hopping awaits between medieval fortifications. In San Sebastian, take in nature and art at Museum Chillida Leku, followed by a gastronomic tour complete with cathedrals. Discover ancient culture at Petritegi Cider House. Take in iconic country views and visit an island hermitage. In Bilbao, experience the magnificent Guggenheim and the Vizcaya bridge’s historic heights. Toast your adventures at a delicious farewell dinner.
We reward all our CAA Members on our Extraordinary Explorations® tours/cruises.
- $25 CAD Beverage card†
- 50 CAA Dollars®^
- 25% savings on CAA Travel Insurance◊
CAA has curated an exceptional experience unique to your tour. Details of this experience are listed below:
Eat, txotx (pronounced “Choach!”), drink, repeat! Discover the ancient culture of Basque apple cider. Partake in a unique, cultural and gastronomic delight. At the Petritegi cider house, start in the orchard, collecting apples with the kizkia and bring them back in sacks to the press area, where you will make our own apple juice by manually crushing and pressing the apples before tasting the results of your efforts. As a gift, you will take away a bottle of freshly pressed apple juice.
- Airfare from Toronto or Winnipeg to Madrid and return from Bilbao to Toronto or Winnipeg
- 3-night stay in first-class accommodation in Madrid
- 2-night stay in first-class accommodation in Logroño
- 2-night stay in first-class accommodation in San Sebastian
- 2-night stay in first-class accommodation in Bilbao
- Breakfast daily, 3 dinners and 4 tastings
- Land transportation via first-class motorcoach
- All bridge and road tolls
- Sightseeing and entrance fees as per itinerary
- Professional English-speaking tour director throughout
- Hotel porterage of 1 suitcase per person
- Destination transfers
Delights of Basque Country: Culture and Cuisine
Activity Level: Moderate. Experience Basque Country from soaring cathedrals to stylish flamenco dancing to wine and tapas tastings.
Begin your journey with an overnight flight to Madrid.
Madrid – Upon arrival in Madrid, meet your tour director and transfer to the hotel. Enjoy a welcome dinner this evening. D
Madrid – See the medieval origins of Madrid on a panoramic city tour including a visit to the Royal Palace. B
Madrid – Enjoy a day at leisure to explore Madrid on your own. This evening, experience a flamenco dinner and show. B/D
Logroño – Drive to La Rioja region. Along the way, enjoy pintxos (a small snack) at local tapas bars. Afterward, tour a vineyard with wine-tasting and enjoy even more tapas! B/T
Logroño– Visit medieval fortifications, Santiago el Real and other historical landmarks. Enjoy the rest of the day tapas-hopping. B/T
San Sebastian – Start your day at the Museum Chillida Leku followed by a visit to the old quarter, San Sebastian Cathedral and La Concha Beach. Then, enjoy a foodie tour. B/T
San Sebastian – Today is your Extraordinary Experience: visit the traditional Petritegi Cider House and orchard and learn how to make cider. The remainder of the day is yours to enjoy at leisure. B/T
Bilbao – Depart to San Juan de Gaztelugatxe, a hermitage church located on an island in the Bizkaia Region. Continue to Bilbao and enjoy a city tour with a visit to the sublime Guggenheim Museum. B
Bilbao – Visit the Vizcaya bridge, an engineering marvel built in the late 19th century. Spend your afternoon at leisure, followed by a farewell dinner. B/D
Say goodbye to Spain and transfer to the airport for your return flight to Toronto or Winnipeg. B
B - Breakfast | D - Dinner | T - Tasting
Terms & Conditions
*All CAA Member prices are per person, based on double occupancy, in Canadian dollars unless otherwise indicated and are subject to change without prior notice until final payment is paid. All prices are correct at press time and apply to new bookings only, based on availability at time of booking. To receive CAA Member-exclusive benefits, there must be one valid CAA Member travelling per booking. Non-members booking Extraordinary Explorations will not receive Member-exclusive benefits.
†Beverage card is one per person, in Canadian funds and has no cash value.
^CAA Dollars awarded per adult Member. To earn and redeem CAA Dollars, you must be a current CAA Member in good standing (CAA Membership dues paid in full by membership expiry date). CAA Dollars will be credited at time of departure. For more information on CAA Dollars, please visit www.caasco.com/caadollars.
◊CAA Travel Insurance is underwritten by Orion Travel Insurance Company, a CAA Company. Twenty-five percent (25%) Member savings is made up of a ten percent (10%) Member savings as well as a promotional fifteen percent (15%) savings when you purchase an Extraordinary Explorations tour through CAA Travel, applies to CAA South Central Ontario and CAA Manitoba Members in good standing (CAA Membership dues paid in full by membership expiry date). This promotional offer is valid until December 31, 2023. Ten percent (10%) Member savings applies to Members in good standing of all other CAA clubs. Savings apply to the total premium excluding applicable taxes. Minimum premium applies. Visitors to Canada Insurance is limited to the promotional savings. Certain exclusions, limitations and restrictions apply. Subject to change without notice. A Medical Questionnaire may be required to purchase travel insurance. Extraordinary Explorations vacations are organized and booked by CAA Travel (South Central Ontario) Inc. and CAA Manitoba (“CAA Travel”) on behalf of CAA Club Group (o/a CAA South Central Ontario and CAA Manitoba). In the event of an increase in any of the cost factors, CAA Travel reserves the right to increase the price whereby the provisions of the Travel Industry Act shall prevail. CAA Extraordinary Explorations packages are 100% non-refundable at final payment. CAA Travel service fee for cancellation prior to final payment varies by program. For full payment terms and conditions, please ask your CAA Travel Consultant. CAA Travel reserves the right to cancel or reschedule any tour departure in accordance with operating requirements (minimum number of participants) or circumstances beyond its control. Additional fees for checked luggage or other incidentals may be incurred and vary according to itinerary and airline. Air schedules with some tours are not available at press time and may include several connections or forced overnight at passenger’s expense. CAA Travel strongly recommends the purchase of trip cancellation and emergency travel and emergency medical insurance at the time of booking. Please note: Participants must be able to embark and disembark cruise ships and coaches without assistance as well as have a good level of mobility for walking tours in destinations where stairs and traditional cobblestone streets can be challenging. International transportation vehicles and facilities may not meet accessibility standards.
Toronto or Winnipeg
Fly overnight from Toronto or Winnipeg to Madrid.
Arrive in Madrid and transfer to the hotel. Welcome dinner in the evening. (D)
Today, enjoy a panoramic city tour of Madrid. You’ll find the medieval origins of the city, like the Arabic fortress at the Barrio de la Morería, characterized by the antiquity of its buildings and the taste of its typical restaurants.
This tour will also take you down the famous street Habsburg Madrid of Felipe II. Marvel at the Renaissance and Baroque buildings. Capture the moment with photos along Calle Mayor, Plaza Mayor and Plaza de la Villa. Continue to see Madrid from the Bourbon dynasty, an urban layout made by Carloss III. See the Royal Palace, Cibeles Fountain, Neptune Fountain and the Puerta de Alcala. You’ll be able to take some time to visit the Royal Palace. (B)
Enjoy a day at leisure and an evening Flamenco dinner and show. (B/D)
Transfer from Madrid to La Rioja. Enjoy a pintxos crawl, a fun way to jump into Basque culture, sample some food and mingle with locals. After lunch, tour around the Marqués de Riscal facilities and vineyard in Elciego. At the end, enjoy tasting the wines Marqués de Riscal Rueda Verdejo, Arienzo de Marqués de Riscal crianza and Marqués de Riscal Reserva, along with tapas of salchichón and chorizo from Rioja.
Evening at leisure. (B/T)
Pass the walls of Revellín, the remains of the medieval fortifications that arose in Logroño, of which only the western gate is preserved. See the Parliament, currently located in what was the Convent of Misericordia.
Next, witness the exterior of the church of Santiago el Real, as well as the facades of Santa María de Palacio and San Bartolomé. In addition, a stop in front of the most important temple in the city: the co-cathedral of Santa María de la Redonda.
Tapas hopping. (B/T)
Visit to the Museum Chillida Leku.
San Sebastian is the gastronomic hub of the Basque Country. A food tour of San Sebastian is an absolute necessity when visiting the Basque Country. The Basque tapas of San Sebastian can be very simple or extremely ornate in decoration. Along the way, you’ll see buildings and areas of historical significance dating back centuries. Sites of interest include the old quarter, fishing port, San Sebastian Cathedral and La Concha beach. (B/T)
Prepare for your Extraordinary Experience today as you learn to make your own cider. At the Petritegi cider house, you will start in the orchard collecting apples with the kizkia and bringing them back in sacks to the press area, where you will make our own apple juice by manually crushing and pressing the apples before tasting the results of your efforts. As a gift, you will take away a bottle of freshly pressed apple juice.
Remainder of day at leisure. (B)
Departure to San Juan de Gaztelugatxe, a hermitage church located on an island in the Basque Country, in the Bizkaia Region.
Continue to Bilbao. City tour with visit to the Guggenheim Museum. (B)
Visit of the Getxo bridge, built in the late 19th century as a representation of the iron industry, joins the 2 banks of the river. Free afternoon.
Farewell dinner this evening. (B/D)
Toronto or Winnipeg
Transfer to the airport for your return flight to Toronto or Winnipeg. (B)
B - Breakfast | D - Dinner | T - Tasting