Travel Past 50 Tour to Spain: Cuisine and Culture

Note: This tour was in November 2022.

We're leading a tour to one of our favorite places in all our travels – and our erstwhile second home: Spain.

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This tour will focus on the famous cuisine of Spain, as well as on Spain's cultural touchstones. While focusing on food, we are happy to include five distinct regions: Catalunya, Aragón, La Rioja, the Basque country, and Madrid.

Our tour will commence the first week of November, but don't worry, the weather in Spain will still be very congenial. You can look forward to daytime temperatures in the 60s Fahrenheit, and evenings in the 50s to high 40s. The November dates will also allow us to avoid the larger tourist crowds typical of Spain in the summer and anticipated to be especially high this year.

We know Spain very well. We lived in Barcelona and Madrid and have been back to Spain dozens of times, including last fall when we traced the north coast along the Camino del Norte and ate extremely well. In all, we've spent nearly four years in Spain, and we both speak Spanish.

Now we want to share our enthusiasm for the country, its food and people. With the help of local guides and our personal contacts, we want this to be your best Spain experience, whether its your first trip or your fifth.

Spain Cuisine and Culture Tour Itinerary

Dates: November 5-15, 2022

  • 10 nights, 11 days

Day 1: Barcelona (Arrival day)

  • Upon arrival at the Barcelona International Airport, you'll be picked up by our private driver and taken to our hotel in the city center. Once everyone has arrived we'll have an evening orientation followed by dinner and drinks.
  • Included meals: Dinner

Day 2: Barcelona

  • The day will start with a tour of the Old City (Barri Gotic) and along the famous Las Ramblas. We will make our way to Barceloneta in the port area where we'll have the traditional Barcelona Sunday midday meal of paella.
  • After lunch we will tour the spectacular Basilica of the Sagrada Familia.
  • Included meals: Breakfast, Lunch
spain zaragoza el pilar view-1
A view of Zaragoza and the Ebro River from a tower of El Pilar.

Day 3: Barcelona to Zaragoza

  • In the morning we will take the train from Barcelona to Zaragoza (about 1 hour)
  • Zaragoza is home to Spain's first tapas competition and is famous as a pilgrimage destination, for its chocolates, and for examples of Mudéjar architecture forming part of an Aragón UNESCO World Heritage Site.
  • After settling into our hotel, we will take a walking tour of the city and end up at a restaurant for dinner.
  • Included meals: Breakfast, Dinner

Day 4: Zaragoza

  • We will start our day with a tour of the twin Zaragoza cathedrals La Seo and El Pilar.
  • In the afternoon, we'll have a guided tour of the Moorish palace the Aljaferia, which was expanded on and remodeled by the Catholic monarchs Isabel and Fernando
  • For dinner, we'll enjoy our private cooking class, where we'll finish by eating the fruits of our new knowledge. Hint: Zaragoza, in the Aragón region, is known for its lamb, in particular, and its variety of fruits and vegetables.
  • Included meals: Breakfast, Dinner

Day 5: Zaragoza to Logroño

  • From Zaragoza, we'll take the morning train to Logroño, the capital of the Rioja wine region.
  • Tapas and countryside tour.
  • Included meals: Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner

Day 6: Logroño to San Sebastián-Donostia

  • After breakfast, we'll take a late morning train to San Sebastián in the Basque Country
  • San Sebastián is considered one of the gastronomic capitals of the world.
  • We will take a late afternoon walking tour of the city, and sample some of the Basque city's famous pintxo cuisine.
  • Later, we'll have a group dinner
  • Included meals: Breakfast, Dinner

Day 7: San Sebastián

  • We'll start the day in San Sebastián with a food and markets focused walking tour and make a lunch out of the pintxos we'll encounter.
  • The evening will be free time to explore the wonderful walking city.
  • Included meals: Breakfast, Lunch
madrid plaza mayor
The iconic tableau of Madrid's Plaza Mayor.

Day 8: San Sebastián to Madrid

  • Morning train to Madrid (arrival mid afternoon)
  • Our activities will depend on arrival time. More than likely, Tom and Kris will improvise a walking tour of some of our favorite Madrid neighborhoods (and tapas bars) depending on available time and preferences of the group.
  • Included meals: Breakfast

Day 9: Madrid

  • In the morning, we'll take a tour of our favorite European museum, the Prado. After the Prado, we'll move on to the Reina Sofia Museum where we'll see Picasso's masterwork Guernica, as well as other modern art.
  • Free time. Kris and Tom will again be happy to lead a group, as well as offer suggestions for those who would like to go off on their own.
  • Included meals: Breakfast

Day 10: Madrid

  • Late morning and lunch tapas tour led by the Spanish local food authority, Devour Tours. Kris and Tom have done several Devour tours, and they're always interesting and very tasty.
  • Free time
  • Final group dinner
  • Included meals: Breakfast, Dinner

Day 11: Madrid

  • Airport transfers depending on flight times
  • Included meals: Breakfast

Included in the tour

  • Private tour experience throughout
  • All accommodation (10 nights – 4-star hotels)
  • Transportation in Spain (trains and private vans where needed)
  • All included activities and entrance fees mentioned
  • English speaking local guides
  • Meals as listed above (beverages not included)
  • All airport transfers

Not included

  • Flights to/from Spain
  • Meals and activities not mentioned
  • Travel insurance (mandatory)
  • Gratuities

Tour cost

  • $4120 per person (double room)
  • $4620 per person (single room)
  • Tour size: 12 participants maximum

Payment terms

  • A $1000 deposit per person due now.
  • The balance payment is due 60 days before the tour start date (September 5)
  • Cancellations within 30 – 60 days prior to the tour start date will receive a 50 percent refund of the balance amount; cancellations within 29 days of the tour start date will be non-refundable.

Important travel notes

  • Activity level for this tour is light to moderate. We'll be doing a fair amount of walking in the cities we'll be visiting. But nothing too strenuous. And we'll make frequent stops for refreshments.
  • Most North American flights to Spain depart late afternoon or evening. So plan to depart November 4, 2022, for a November 5 arrival in Barcelona. Of course, you can arrive earlier and we'll be happy to help you make accommodation arrangements and give you a list of lots of fun things to do until the tour starts.
  • Look for multi-city flight options to book from your city to Barcelona, returning from Madrid.
  • If you'd like to extend your time in Barcelona or Madrid, let us know and we'd be happy to recommend hotels and attractions or day trips from Madrid.
  • We use Allianz Travel's annual policy, but you can find their single trip travel insurance plans here. Note, you must have travel insurance for this tour. It doesn't have to be Allianz.*
  • All travelers with us are required to be vaccinated against Covid 19. Please click here for more details.
  • As of this writing, Spain requires visitors to complete a Health Control Form indicating your COVID vaccination, recovery, or diagnostic test. At the moment, no additional tests are required to enter Spain. We will help facilitate any required tests for return to the United States, but these will be at the traveler's expense.

*Note: Continuing coverage of this Travel Past 50 Northern Spain Tour is supported in part by Allianz Travel Insurance. Our content is independent of their sponsorship. We are delighted, however, that they recognize the importance of getting back to travel safely, and the particular health and travel nuances important to our readers.

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Ask Us

The tour is confirmed, and we'll be sending out more itinerary details soon along with some helpful hints for packing and enjoying the tour to the max. In the meantime, ask us any questions and let us know about any individual concerns. We're here to keep it fun and easy.

Just email with the subject line SPAIN TOUR QUESTION and your query will be handled by Tom and Kris personally.

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