On this Spanish holiday, immerse yourself in a world of fabled wineries and medieval castles set against breathtaking, natural landscapes. Enjoy wine-soaked gourmet lunches and indulgent wine tasting mornings. Live in luxurious hotels steeped in history, built inside ancient palaces, 10th century turrets and Arab fortresses. Say hola to the good, good life.
8 Nights / 9 Days
Madrid, Siguenza, La Rioja, Olite, Hondaribbia, San Sebastian, Bilbao
Arrive in Madrid and head to the car rental to pick up your vehicle for the trip. Today, you drive to Sigüenza, a historical town steeped in legends and stories of a time gone by. Stay at the Parador of Sigüenza, an imposing medieval castle situated inside an Arab fortress. Built atop a Roman settlement, this iconic property offers traditional Castilian furnishings, grand canopy beds, stately dining rooms and cobbled courtyards, giving you your first taste of Spanish luxury.
Enjoy a buffet breakfast at your hotel before heading out to taste the fabled Ribera Del Duero wines. The wineries of Ribera Del Duero have been making wine for centuries and boast of an array of flavourful, bold and full-bodied red wines. Enjoy the picturesque landscape peppered with monasteries, churches and castles. Visit Historica Don Carlos, a beautiful winery located inside Aranda de Duero an authentic, medieval Spanish village. Taste three different kinds of wines with traditional appetizers before heading out to visit 16th century underground caves at Lagar de Isilla. One final stop before you continue to La Rioja is at a winery in the famed ‘Golden Mile’. Sign up for a wine tasting and find out what makes these Golden Mile wines so special. Continue to La Rioja and explore the area at your leisure. (Accommodation at your hotel.)
This morning post breakfast, immerse yourself in the heady world of fine wines and fabled wineries. Begin your day with a wine tasting at Cvne, a traditional winery, founded almost 125 years ago and still run by the direct descendants of the founding family. Follow this up with a visit to the unique Vivanco Museum of Wine Culture, a large, modern space which houses centuries-old wine vessels, farming tools and works of art, along with audiovisuals dedicated to the history and future of wine. Outside in the gardens, you can learn about 220 kinds of grapes from around the world. Once you’ve had your fill of wine culture, enjoy a gourmet, wine-soaked lunch at the Vivanco restaurant, surrounded by the incredible vineyards of the region. The rest of the afternoon is free to explore this fascinating region with its equally captivating architecture and history. Accommodation in your hotel.
Enjoy a buffet breakfast at your hotel before driving down to Olite, a historic treasure of a town, with strong roman and gothic presence. Its ancient turrets and spires tell royal stories of intrigue and bravery. As you walk around the old quarter, explore its medieval treasures. Accommodation will be at the town’s Parador, located within stonewalls in a section of the majestic Palace-Castle of Olite, which has been declared a national monument. Enjoy your royal accommodation.
After breakfast today, head to the formidable Castle of Javier located on a hill in Javier town and built in the 10th century. Afterwards, drive to Hondarribia, a town with a charming old quarter full of medieval treasures and incredible views of the French coast. Accommodation in the Parador, located at the highest point of the city, in the 10th century Castle of Charles-V, which still retains its original structure of a medieval fortress and its unique, defensive appearance.
Post breakfast, take a short drive to San Sebastian, also known as Donostia, on the coast of the Bay of Biscay. A delightful resort town, surrounded by a lush and easily accessible hillside, it is known for its picturesque bayfront promenade and its world-renowned restaurants. Upon arrival, take a Tapas tour. Accompanied by a local, you can drop by a traditional tasca, a pintxo bar and even entire neighbourhoods dedicated to tapas. Enjoy a dazzling variety of these bite-sized local speciality, while at the same picking up other interesting titbits of Spanish culture. Accommodation in your hotel.
Enjoy a buffet breakfast at your hotel before driving down to Bilbao, a busy port city, famous for its sleek, titanium-clad Guggenheim museum. Accommodation in your hotel.
Today after breakfast, drive south through quaint Castilla villages and striking landscapes, to visit the Peñafiel Castle, Located on a hill, with stunning views of the Duero river valley, it is currently home to the Provincial Museum-Foundation of the wines. Enjoy a delicious lunch with what could be your last bottle of Ribera Del Duero on this trip. On arriving at Madrid, explore the vibrant Spanish capital on your own. Accommodation in your hotel.
Post breakfast, drop your car at the rental agency near the Madrid airport. It can be tough to get back to reality after this kind of decadent living. Brace yourself and think of the haul of fine wines in your suitcase. They are sure to cheer you up. Head to the airport to board your flight back home.
MADRID – SIGÜENZA
SIGÜENZA - PEÑARANDA DE DUERO – LA RIOJA
LA RIOJA - OLITE
OLITE - CASTLE OF JAVIER – HONDARRIBIA
HONDARRIBIA - SAN SEBASTIAN
SAN SEBASTIAN – BILBAO
BILBAO – PEÑAFIEL – MADRID
A preview of the wonder that awaits you.
Head – Products, Contracting & Operations
Hello there, I am Sunita. I have over 23 years of experience in Travel and Tourism, spanning across Marketing, Tour Planning and Operations, having worked at major travel brands like SOTC, Kesari Tours, Cox & Kings and Thomas Cook. I also happen to be a multi-country expert personally having traveled to almost every continent on the map. With rich know-how on travel and tourism, I am the best-placed expert you could possibly find in this part of the country. I love traveling and talking about it, making me a good friend, guide and the go-to person if you want to design an outstanding experience. At Awakeful we operate on a philosophy that travel today is not just about covering every possible place on the map or keeping your Instagram popping with images, but about going to places that enthrall you, give you an experience that will touch every sense of yours, engaging with the locals, dining with them, seeing what they love and how they celebrate, to fill you up with an Awakeful experience. This, I promise will bring you back as an enlightened person and not just a tired, home-longing tourist. It’s an honest promise that we want to make and live by. One, that will want you to see places from the lens of an Awakeful Experience. I bring honesty, delight and country expertise to the Awakeful table and it will surely brighten your day. Cheers, Sunita.
What travellers have to say about Awakeful Experiences.
Dear Sunita and Dudley, we got back from our Alaska/LA trip last week. We had a memorable holiday and this note is to thank you for the same! The itinerary was well thought through and captured most of the 'must-do' bits of Alaska. I must mention that you took care in ensuring we include the stuff that we like - flying, dogs, nature treks, river rafting et al Your choice of hotels was thoughtful, convenient and provided the local experience. This was our first holiday plan with your travel company. My family insists that we do the next ones with you too! have appended a couple of our Alaska pics. Thank you once again!
CEO & MD Fullerton India Credit Co. Ltd
Ms. Laiju Lawrence of Fountainhead had been organising all my holidays for the past many years. She is meticulous, detail oriented and make sure the whole holiday experience is pleasant and without any hiccups. Even the planning of the trip is very detailed to suit the taste of me and my family on locations and activities to do. Overall, I had experienced one of the best service from Ms. Laiju and her firm.
Founder - Exfinity Ventures
I would like to thank you for making our Australian trip wonderful. We thoroughly enjoyed the trip and we were happy with all the bookings and arrangements. Looking forward for more such trips in the future.
Director : Team vertex
Thank you for organizing our trip to Norway, Copenhagen and Amsterdam. This trip was memorable for my wife Padmaja and Me in more than one way. You were able to understand our requirements and tailor our trip according to our needs. You were constantly in touch with us and that gave us so much of confidence and energy to move around. We wish to do many more trips with your support and extensive knowledge of the various locations worldwide.
Founder & Consultant - Mithras Retail Service
I was pampered by The World Bank, travel services in Washington D.C. as it’s executive. I must say that the arrangements by you on our recent trip to South Korea and Japan were as professional. All the arrangements were very comfortable, punctual and enjoyable. I want to thank you for your personal care and sincerity. Diya also joins me in thanking you.
Founder & Chairman-KENSRI SCHOOL