From 590 euros euros pp sharing
Flights are not included and must be booked by separately by each client. FLIGHT INFORMATION FROM THE UK & IRELAND.
This short but complete itinerary introduces you to the cosmopolitan city of Bilbao and the internationally known Rioja Wine Region
Day 1 & 2 : 2 nights at the 4* TBC99 in the city of Bilbao.
Arrive in Bilbao, collect your rental car and continue into the city. Check in at your hotel and relax.
The following day you can enjoy the city sights including the Guggenheim Museum. Afterwards walk across the glass Zubi-Zuri bridge, one of the most recent works by the architect Santiago Calatrava, which crosses the Bilbao River near the Guggenheim.
From here you might take the funicular and ascend Monte Archanda, where you can appreciate a magnificent panoramic view of Bilbao. Afterwards continue along the Bilbao River to the Plaza del Arenal, passing on the way several historic buildings including the splendid Town Hall.
Enter the Casco Viejo (Old Town) where many of the city’s most emblematic building can be found including the Arriaga Theatre, Plaza Nueva, Santiago Cathedral, La Ribera Market¡ (the biggest in Europe), San Antón bridge and the Bidebarrieta library.
Between the Gran Via and the Ria is the Dona Casilda Iturrizar Park, the largest green area in Bilbao. The Fine Arts Museum - opened in 1914 in the old Achuri Hospital - is located near the end of the park and is one of the best art galleries in Spain due to its important collections of Dutch, Flemish and Italian paintings. It also features Spanish masters, such as El Greco, Velazquez, Zurbaran, Ribera, Goya and Picasso and its modern arts section has important collections of Basque paintings: Losada, Los Arrue, Arteta, Regoyos and Zuloaga. In addition, there are sculptures by Quintin de la Torre, Nemesio Mogrovejo and Eduardo Chillida.
Day 3, 4 & 5: 3 nights at the 4* RIO03 in Laguardia
Enjoy a short 50 minute drive, through spectacular mountainous countryside, to Vitoria-Gasteiz, capital of the Basque Country. Here you can visit its amazing medieval quarter, interesting museums and enjoy some shopping along fashionable Calle Dato.
Afterwards, drive South via the Balcon de la Rioja (Rioja’s Balcony), a viewing area which offers magnificent panoramic views of the wine region.
Check in at your hotel.
Laguardia, capital of Rioja Alavesa, is a splendid walled village that has carefully preserved its medieval characteristics. Walk through its narrow streets and stop at the church of San Juan and after be sure to see the extraordinary portico of the Santa María de los Reyes church. Visit the Villa Lucía Wine Centre, and have the opportunity to learn interactively about wine culture and production methods in Rioja Alavesa. From here you can choose to tour some of the other medieval villages or visit the ancient ruins which were discovered nearby named La Hoya.
The following day you can drive to San Millan de la Cogolla where the Yuso and Suso Monasteries are located. These World Heritage sites hold the first manuscripts written in the Castilian and Basque (Euskera) languages.