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Spain: Basque, Navarre & Rioja Wine Regions

Favorite

Cycle along river valleys, mountain hamlets, and ancient pilgrimage passages—all while sampling wine from centuries-old winemakers during this scenic Spanish wine tour.

Guided Biking

  • Duration: 10 Days|
  • Daily Mileage: 15 - 25|
  • Biking: 2 - 4 hr|
  • Group Size: 20
5.0 out of 5 stars.
Activity Easy
Easy
E-Bikes Available
E-Bikes Available
Airplane
Air Package Available
People
Guided Group Tour

Starting From

Bike Vacation + Air Package

$4,395

Bike Vacation Only

$3,295

(per person, double occupancy)

Spain: Basque, Navarre & Rioja Wine Regions

Follow pilgrimage routes through valleys and mountains as you cycle the dramatic landscapes of northern Spain. Rugged peaks blanketed in lush nature swallow sweeping valleys. Devout pilgrims walk sacred pathways. And alpine panoramas unfurl to beautiful meadows and pasturelands. During this magical Spanish wine tour, learn about Basque history and culture as you coast into small mountain hamlets and spin through scenic river valleys. Take a stroll through Pamplona, following in the footsteps of daredevils who have run with the bulls. Explore La Chabola de la Hechicera (The Witch’s Hut), one of Spain’s largest prehistoric burial sites. Along the journey, dine on creative fare from Michelin chefs, sample rich wines from generations-old winemakers, and stay in some of the most highly-rated accommodations in the region.

What to Expect

This tour offers a combination of easy terrain mixed with many downhill rides and some uphill rides as well and is ideal for beginning and experienced cyclists. The rides are on a combination of bike paths, less traveled country roads and very few trafficked roads near or in cities. Our VBT van support shuttle is always available for those who need assistance.

  • Duration: 10 Days|
  • Daily Mileage: 15 - 25|
  • Biking: 2 - 4 hr|
  • Group Size: 20
Activity Easy Easy
Cycling
Bar Graph Beginner - Experienced
Cyclists
Vehicle Support Vehicle
Support

Tour Highlights

  • Cycle along the scenic rivers of Ulzama and La Oja on easy bike paths
  • Explore beautiful Pamplona and enjoy the weekly juevintxo event, a Thursday-night feast of tapas
  • Visit one of the largest and best-preserved prehistoric dolmen, or burial sites, set in the middle of a vineyard
  • Roam the medieval lanes of Laguardia and sample wines in one of the village’s few remaining underground wine cellars
  • Indulge in a dinner created by a Michelin-star chef in your Relais & Chateaux gastronomic hotel
  • Pedal along the Way of St. James, or Camino de Santiago, pilgrimage route
  • Sample Rioja wines in a bodega wine house near the 10th-century town of Haro
  • Savor a memorable lunch in the middle of a scenic vineyard
  • Enjoy a guided tour of the world-renowned Bilbao Guggenheim Museum

Climate Information

Temperatures

Average High /
Low Temperature (°F):

May68º/50º

Jun73º/55º

Jul77º/59º

Aug78º/59º

Sep76º/56º

Oct69º/51º

Average
Precipitation:

May3.0 in

Jun2.0 in

Jul1.0 in

Aug2.0 in

Sep2.0 in

Oct3.0 in

What's Included

Bike Vacation + Air Package

Bike Vacation Only

Roundtrip international airfare Check
Transfers to and from international airport Check
One night in San Sebastián and one night in Bilbao in conveniently located hotels with breakfasts included Check
6 nights in 4- and 5-star hotels Check Check
11 meals: 6 breakfasts, 2 lunches, 3 dinners Check Check

Tour Bikes

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Step-Through (Mixte Hybrid) Comfort Bicycle

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Step-Over (Diamond) Comfort Bicycle

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Electric-Assisted Bicycle (E-bike)

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Biking Packages Include:

Custom VBT Bike and Helmet

Two Local, Bilingual Trip Leaders

Vehicle Support

Luggage Transfers

Ride with GPS and Daily Route Notes

Welcome Reception

Facilitated Cultural Experiences

Your Choice of VBT Branded Gear for Your Adventure

Itinerary

Mon, Apr 20 to Wed, Apr 29 - 2020

Show Itinerary:

Depart from home for Spain. The particulars of your arrival overseas are detailed with your flight itinerary.

Upon arrival at Bilbao’s airport, claim your luggage and clear customs. If your luggage is lost, fill in a PIR form before leaving the customs area: VBT representatives are not allowed into the customs area. Please make certain that your VBT luggage tags are affixed to your bag so your VBT representative can identify you. After exiting customs, enter the arrival hall and look for your VBT representative who will be holding a VBT sign and will make arrangements for your transfer via car or van to your San Sebastián hotel (transfer time is approximately 90 minutes, depending on traffic).

The rest of the day is free to settle in and explore the city. VBT provides you with City Information that includes recommendations on what to see and do in San Sebastián during your stay. Dinner tonight is on your own in this gastronomic haven; based on Michelin stars per capita, San Sebastián ranks second among the world’s best dining cities.

Please note: If you arrive early, your hotel room may not be available until 3:00 p.m. You may store your luggage at the reception desk while you explore.

Hotel: Hotel de Londres y de Inglaterra

Meet your VBT local guide in the lobby of your San Sebastián hotel at 8:45 a.m. Please be dressed in your biking garments as you will have a warm-up ride after meeting your trip leaders later this morning.

Your Spanish wine tour begins with a scenic ride into the verdant inland hills of the Basque region. Your local guide will introduce you to Basque history and culture during your one-hour transfer to a small mountain hamlet in the Navarre region of Spain. Here you will meet your trip leaders, who host an overview of your upcoming week and a safety and bike-fitting session. During a warm-up ride, you will mostly coast downhill on quiet country roads that traverse lovely pasture lands. Take a break at the small 13th-century Romanesque Church of Santiago de Itxasperri, a stopping point on the world-renowned Way of St. James pilgrimage. Continue your spin through the scenic Larraun & Araquil River valleys until you reach the convergence of these two rivers in the quaint town of Irurtzun, situated at the foot of rugged hills.

Enjoy lunch on your own in this scenic setting before shuttling to our hotel in the nearby city of Pamplona–capital of the Navarre Region and infamous for its annual Festival of San Fermín and the Running of the Bulls event. Ambitious riders may opt to cycle to Pamplona. Spend the remainder of the afternoon relaxing in an inviting café; your hotel is conveniently located on Pamplona’s main town square of Plaza Castillo.

Tonight, gather with your trip leaders and travel mates for a welcome reception at our historic hotel, one of Spain’s oldest. Many celebrities such as Orson Welles, Charlie Chaplin, and Ernest Hemingway have resided at this 5-star property. After, you venture out for an evening stroll, following in the footsteps of the brave daredevils who have run with the bulls. Enjoy a delicious and festive dinner at a nearby restaurant.

Hotel: Gran Hotel La Perla
Meals: Breakfast, Dinner

Today’s Ride Choice:
Cumulative Distance Range: 25.4 km (15.8 miles)
Morning
Warm-Up Basque country: 25.4 km (15.8 miles)

What to Expect: The ride follows quaint country roads through scenic valleys and gives you a chance to get acquainted with your route notes and Ride with GPS and get comfortable with your bicycle, checking your brakes and playing with your full range of gears.

This morning, enjoy a short walk through Pamplona, passing its ancient walls to the starting point of today’s loop rides. Extensive bike paths thread their way through the city and into the surrounding countryside. Pedal along an easy path tracing the Ulzama River before cycling into rolling hills. As you gain elevation, lovely views of Pamplona stretch before you. Soon, you will follow small country roads through fertile farmlands. Today’s journey delivers you to typical small Navarre towns such as Orrio and Cildoz before looping back to Pamplona. Our longer option leads further into the countryside and over rolling hills before circling back to the city. For lunch on your own today, you may stop in one of the small country towns or find a spot in Pamplona. The remainder of your afternoon and evening are free.

Pamplona’s cuisine is among the most tantalizing in Europe. Since you are here on a Thursday night, you may partake in the city’s weekly juevintxo. Weekly, many of the small cafés and bars offer a glass of wine or beer with a pintxo, a small appetizer, for only 2 euros. Some of Pamplona’s best pintxo bars are on Calle Estafeta behind your hotel and Calle San Nicolás near the Plaza del Castillo, where your hotel is located. This is a unique and mouthwatering opportunity to make the most of this Spanish wine tour as you dine as a local, sampling a pintxo with a glass of house wine or a caña, a small house beer on tap.

Hotel: Gran Hotel La Perla
Meals: Breakfast

Today’s Ride Choices:
Cumulative Distance Range: 26.6 – 38.1 km (16.5 – 23.5 miles)

Morning
Pamplona Loop: 26.6 km (16.5 miles)
Pamplona Loop Plus: 11.5 km (7 miles)

What to Expect: This morning’s ride will begin outside Pamplona walls just steps from your hotel. You will follow a well-maintained paved bike path before departing Pamplona and continuing on quieter country roads. As you return to Pamplona you may encounter some traffic at the end of your ride.

You will begin on the same ride as your fellow riders in the morning but once in the countryside you will have the option to venture further into the surrounding hills for a longer ride before looping back to Pamplona.

After breakfast, shuttle approximately two hours to the Rioja wine region. In a small hilltop village, begin the day’s ride with an invigorating downhill coast to the valley below. Along the way you may stop to explore one of Spain’s largest and best-preserved dolmens, or prehistoric burial sites: La Chabola de la Hechicera (The Witch’s Hut). Located within a thriving vineyard, it comprises three large stones holding up a larger stone like a tabletop. Ponder its meaning as you take in magnificent views of the valley and the distant Sierra Cantabria mountain range. Continue cycling through vineyards and up some challenging hills before you arrive in the hilltop fortified town of Laguardia.

The pedestrian-only medieval town is remarkably preserved and surrounded by rugged mountain ranges. There’ll be time to explore by foot and to enjoy lunch on your own. Later, meet your Trip Leaders at one of Laguardia’s few remaining working wine cellars. The San Pedro family has been producing wines here for over 500 years. Their traditional winery, housed in one of the town’s numerous underground tunnels, is 300 years old. Learn about the family’s age-old wine-making traditions and savor the opportunity to taste from some of their finest bottles.

Later this afternoon, shuttle to the charming town of Ezcaray, our home for the next two nights. This red-roofed village, a gem of La Rioja, is nestled in the vivid green Oja Valley. The San Lorenzo peak soars into the sky nearby, host to ski resorts. Our Relais & Chateaux hotel is centrally located for easy exploration. Dinner is at your leisure at one of the nearby restaurants. Please note: The hotel’s small two-starred Michelin El Portal Restaurant is booked months in advance so its recommended that you email the hotel well in advance to make a reservation.

Hotel: Echaurren Gastronomic Hotel
Meals: Breakfast

Today’s Ride Choices:
Cumulative Distance Range: 22 – 36.7 km (13 – 22 miles)
Morning
Lapoblacia to Laguardia: 22 km (13 miles)
Laguardia Extra Loop: 14.7 km (9 miles)

What to Expect: This morning’s ride will begin in the mountains where you will ride mostly downhill on a 2-lane country road. You will have time to stop along the way to see the prehistoric dolmens before continuing your ride to the medieval town of Laguardia. There is a short climb at the end of the ride to our meeting point outside the city’s wall.

Upon nearing Laguardia you will have the option for a longer ride into the countryside before looping back to Laguardia where you will meet up with your fellow travelers.

After a leisurely breakfast, set off on a loop ride from your hotel into the lush Oja Valley. Enjoy the pace of an easy uphill climb as spectacular vistas unfold around you: Alpine panoramas unfurl to beautiful meadows and pasturelands. You may return to the hotel after a short loop or opt for a more challenging ride to the nearby ski resort of Valdezcaray. This ascent of about 8.5 miles showcases the beauty and vastness of the Oja. Once at the top, take time to linger, then thrill to a rewarding downhill spin. Enjoy lunch on your own in Ezcaray this afternoon. Shoppers may visit the boutiques specializing in haute-couture mohair scarfs, clothing and cashmere blankets.

This evening, join your trip leaders for a delicious dinner prepared by the hotel’s Michelin-star culinary team.

Hotel: Echaurren Gastronomic Hotel
Meals: Breakfast, Dinner

Today’s Ride Choices:
Cumulative Distance Range: 32.7 – 60.5 km (20.3 – 37.6 miles)

Ezcaray, Posadas and Urdanta: 32.7 km (20.3 miles)
Valdezcaray: 27.8 km (17.3 miles)

What to Expect: You will start today’s ride directly from the hotel where you will ride through town before heading up the Oja Valley on a scenic two-lane road. You will follow the same road downhill back to the hotel.

After completing the morning loop ride continue cycling uphill (approximately 8 miles) to the ski station of Valdezcaray. There’s potential for heavier traffic on this longer option. After your vigorous ride uphill enjoy the beauty of the downhill ride back to the hotel.

After another hearty breakfast, cycle out of the Oja Valley along an easy bike path tracing the banks of the river that gives its name to this region of Spain—La Rio Oja. Your scenic route leads you to the Camino de Santiago pilgrimage town of Santo Domingo de la Calzada, situated on the river’s banks. In town, you will follow a segment of the French Way, part of the Way of St. James. This route is popular among those who walk the path from France, passing pilgrims with their scallop shells, the symbol of St. James. After, ride tree-lined country roads through the village of Banares with its beautiful 12th-century church, historic Casalarreina, and tiny Cihuri with its ancient Roman bridge. Your morning ride concludes in the 10th-century town of Haro, home to Rioja’s best bodegas, or wine houses. Visit one of the most renowned for a tasting, then savor a special private lunch in the middle of a nearby vineyard.

After lunch, you may continue cycling to the neighboring village of Briñas, a small jewel dating to Roman times, and our next hotel on the banks of the Ebro River. If you prefer, you may shuttle here. Enjoy time to relax before, dining on your own at the hotel or at one of the village’s cafés. Or venture into nearby Haro to sample one of its numerous restaurants.

Hotel: Hotel Palacio Tondón
Meals: Breakfast, Lunch

Today’s Ride Choice:
Cumulative Distance Range: 42 km (25 miles)
Morning
Ezcaray to Haro: 42 km (25 miles)

What to Expect: You will depart your hotel on bikes this morning and ride to the nearby bike path following the scenic La Rio Oja river to the historic town of Santo Domingo de la Calzada. Here you may follow the Way of St. James pilgrimage path through town on cobblestone pedestrian alleyways. After departing town you will continue your journey on tree-lined country roads to your destination of Haro and today’s winery visit.

After breakfast, enjoy a scenic shuttle into the nearby hills. This morning’s downhill reels will refresh and revitalize while our uphill climbs will reward you with majestic views of the Ebro River Valley. Later, you will coast into these flat farmlands that are fed by the second longest river on the Iberian Peninsula.

Our destination is in the foothills above Miranda de Ebro. This city is best known for the festivities of San Juan del Monte which date back to the Middle Ages. Organized by the Brotherhood of San Juan del Monte and various cuadrillas—or groups of Basque friends—the events have long drawn pilgrims from all over Spain and beyond. Some of the participating cuadrillas have built casetas, or huts, in the forests below the summit of San Juan del Monte, and they are the venue for our delectable picnic lunch today, prepared by your Trip Leaders. Later, those wishing for more riding challenges may pedal a portion of the route to the San Juan del Monte summit, following the path of the annual Vuelta a Burgos cycling competition. Alternately, coast downhill back to your hotel.

During the final evening of your Spanish wine tour, join your trip leaders and fellow travelers for a festive farewell dinner and sample some more of the wines and wonderful culinary delights of La Rioja.

Hotel: Hotel Palacio Tondón
Meals: Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner

Today’s Ride Choices:
Cumulative Distance Range: 33.4 – 56.5 km (20.8 – 35.2 miles)

Morning
Berganzo to San Juan del Monte: 33.4 km (20.8 miles)

Afternoon
San Juan del Monte to Brinas: 23.1 km (14.4 miles)

What to Expect: After your shuttle you will ride on country roads through the Ebro River Valley before reaching the forested foothills of the San Juan del Monte summit.

After your morning ride and lunch continue uphill towards the San Juan del Monte summit before looping back and riding downhill to your hotel. The scenic afternoon ride follows quieter country roads for the most part but there will be some heavier traffic as you near your hotel.

This morning, you shuttle to Bilbao, an intoxicating blend of modern and historic. Upon arrival, enjoy a 90-minute guided tour of its centerpiece—the world-renowned Guggenheim Museum, designed by acclaimed architect Frank Gehry. Your tour will include information about the building’s architecture and the current exhibits. After your visit, walk across the street to the Miró Hotel Bilbao and check in for your overnight stay in Bilbao.

The remainder of the day is free for you to explore this vibrant city at leisure. VBT provides you with City Information, which includes recommendations about what to see and do in Bilbao.

Hotel: Miró Hotel Bilbao
Meals: Breakfast

After breakfast* this morning, you will transfer to the airport for your departing flight **. Please ensure that you are ready in the hotel reception area at the designated time.

*Please note: For guests with early-morning departures, breakfast at the hotel may not be available. Please check with the front desk to verify the times that breakfast is served.

**VBT recommends that you check your transfer time in your Transfer Reminder. VBT transfer times and departure points are finalized in advance and cannot be modified for individual guests. Transfer times are about 30 minutes to the Bilbao airport. If you extend your stay beyond the scheduled program dates, return transportation to the airport will be at your own expense.

Meals: Breakfast

Wed, Apr 22 to Tue, Apr 28 - 2020

Show Itinerary:

Meet your VBT local guide and the rest of the group in the lobby of our San Sebastián hotel (Hotel de Londres y de Inglaterra, Zubieta 2, phone +34 943 440 770) at 8:45 a.m. Please be dressed in your biking garments as you will have a warm-up ride after meeting your trip leaders later this morning. If your arrival at the hotel is scheduled later than 8:45 a.m. or if you are delayed, please contact the Hotel de Londres y de Inglaterra and the staff will pass your message on to your VBT local guide.

Your Spanish wine tour begins with a scenic ride into the verdant inland hills of the Basque region. Your local guide will introduce you to Basque history and culture during your one-hour transfer to a small mountain hamlet in the Navarre region of Spain. Here you will meet your trip leaders, who host an overview of your upcoming week and a safety and bike-fitting session. During a warm-up ride, you will mostly coast downhill on quiet country roads that traverse lovely pasture lands. Take a break at the small 13th-century Romanesque Church of Santiago de Itxasperri, a stopping point on the world-renowned Way of St. James pilgrimage. Continue your spin through the scenic Larraun & Araquil River valleys until you reach the convergence of these two rivers in the quaint town of Irurtzun, situated at the foot of rugged hills.

Enjoy lunch on your own in this scenic setting before shuttling to our hotel in the nearby city of Pamplona–capital of the Navarre Region and infamous for its annual Festival of San Fermín and the Running of the Bulls event. Ambitious riders may opt to cycle to Pamplona. Spend the remainder of the afternoon relaxing in an inviting café; your hotel is conveniently located on Pamplona’s main town square of Plaza Castillo.

Tonight, gather with your trip leaders and travel mates for a welcome reception at our historic hotel, one of Spain’s oldest. Many celebrities such as Orson Welles, Charlie Chaplin, and Ernest Hemingway have resided at this 5-star property. After, you venture out for an evening stroll, following in the footsteps of the brave daredevils who have run with the bulls. Enjoy a delicious and festive dinner at a nearby restaurant.

Hotel: Gran Hotel La Perla
Meals: Dinner

Today’s Ride Choice:
Cumulative Distance Range: 25.4 km (15.8 miles)
Morning
Warm-Up Basque country: 25.4 km (15.8 miles)

What to Expect: The ride follows quaint country roads through scenic valleys and gives you a chance to get acquainted with your route notes and Ride with GPS and get comfortable with your bicycle, checking your brakes and playing with your full range of gears.

This morning, enjoy a short walk through Pamplona, passing its ancient walls to the starting point of today’s loop rides. Extensive bike paths thread their way through the city and into the surrounding countryside. Pedal along an easy path tracing the Ulzama River before cycling into rolling hills. As you gain elevation, lovely views of Pamplona stretch before you. Soon, you will follow small country roads through fertile farmlands. Today’s journey delivers you to typical small Navarre towns such as Orrio and Cildoz before looping back to Pamplona. Our longer option leads further into the countryside and over rolling hills before circling back to the city. For lunch on your own today, you may stop in one of the small country towns or find a spot in Pamplona. The remainder of your afternoon and evening are free.

Pamplona’s cuisine is among the most tantalizing in Europe. Since you are here on a Thursday night, you may partake in the city’s weekly juevintxo. Weekly, many of the small cafés and bars offer a glass of wine or beer with a pintxo, a small appetizer, for only 2 euros. Some of Pamplona’s best pintxo bars are on Calle Estafeta behind your hotel and Calle San Nicolás near the Plaza del Castillo, where your hotel is located. This is a unique and mouthwatering opportunity to make the most of this Spanish wine tour as you dine as a local, sampling a pintxo with a glass of house wine or a caña, a small house beer on tap.

Hotel: Gran Hotel La Perla
Meals: Breakfast

Today’s Ride Choices:
Cumulative Distance Range: 26.6 – 38.1 km (16.5 – 23.5 miles)

Morning
Pamplona Loop: 26.6 km (16.5 miles)
Pamplona Loop Plus: 11.5 km (7 miles)

What to Expect: This morning’s ride will begin outside Pamplona walls just steps from your hotel. You will follow a well-maintained paved bike path before departing Pamplona and continuing on quieter country roads. As you return to Pamplona you may encounter some traffic at the end of your ride.

You will begin on the same ride as your fellow riders in the morning but once in the countryside you will have the option to venture further into the surrounding hills for a longer ride before looping back to Pamplona.

After breakfast, shuttle approximately two hours to the Rioja wine region. In a small hilltop village, begin the day’s ride with an invigorating downhill coast to the valley below. Along the way you may stop to explore one of Spain’s largest and best-preserved dolmens, or prehistoric burial sites: La Chabola de la Hechicera (The Witch’s Hut). Located within a thriving vineyard, it comprises three large stones holding up a larger stone like a tabletop. Ponder its meaning as you take in magnificent views of the valley and the distant Sierra Cantabria mountain range. Continue cycling through vineyards and up some challenging hills before you arrive in the hilltop fortified town of Laguardia.

The pedestrian-only medieval town is remarkably preserved and surrounded by rugged mountain ranges. There’ll be time to explore by foot and to enjoy lunch on your own. Later, meet your Trip Leaders at one of Laguardia’s few remaining working wine cellars. The San Pedro family has been producing wines here for over 500 years. Their traditional winery, housed in one of the town’s numerous underground tunnels, is 300 years old. Learn about the family’s age-old wine-making traditions and savor the opportunity to taste from some of their finest bottles.

Later this afternoon, shuttle to the charming town of Ezcaray, our home for the next two nights. This red-roofed village, a gem of La Rioja, is nestled in the vivid green Oja Valley. The San Lorenzo peak soars into the sky nearby, host to ski resorts. Our Relais & Chateaux hotel is centrally located for easy exploration. Dinner is at your leisure at one of the nearby restaurants. Please note: The hotel’s small two-starred Michelin El Portal Restaurant is booked months in advance so its recommended that you email the hotel well in advance to make a reservation.

Hotel: Echaurren Gastronomic Hotel
Meals: Breakfast

Today’s Ride Choices:
Cumulative Distance Range: 22 – 36.7 km (13 – 22 miles)
Morning
Lapoblacia to Laguardia: 22 km (13 miles)
Laguardia Extra Loop: 14.7 km (9 miles)

What to Expect: This morning’s ride will begin in the mountains where you will ride mostly downhill on a 2-lane country road. You will have time to stop along the way to see the prehistoric dolmens before continuing your ride to the medieval town of Laguardia. There is a short climb at the end of the ride to our meeting point outside the city’s wall.

Upon nearing Laguardia you will have the option for a longer ride into the countryside before looping back to Laguardia where you will meet up with your fellow travelers.

After a leisurely breakfast, set off on a loop ride from your hotel into the lush Oja Valley. Enjoy the pace of an easy uphill climb as spectacular vistas unfold around you: Alpine panoramas unfurl to beautiful meadows and pasturelands. You may return to the hotel after a short loop or opt for a more challenging ride to the nearby ski resort of Valdezcaray. This ascent of about 8.5 miles showcases the beauty and vastness of the Oja. Once at the top, take time to linger, then thrill to a rewarding downhill spin. Enjoy lunch on your own in Ezcaray this afternoon. Shoppers may visit the boutiques specializing in haute-couture mohair scarfs, clothing and cashmere blankets.

This evening, join your trip leaders for a delicious dinner prepared by the hotel’s Michelin-star culinary team.

Hotel: Echaurren Gastronomic Hotel
Meals: Breakfast, Dinner

Today’s Ride Choices:
Cumulative Distance Range: 32.7 – 60.5 km (20.3 – 37.6 miles)

Ezcaray, Posadas and Urdanta: 32.7 km (20.3 miles)
Valdezcaray: 27.8 km (17.3 miles)

What to Expect: You will start today’s ride directly from the hotel where you will ride through town before heading up the Oja Valley on a scenic two-lane road. You will follow the same road downhill back to the hotel.

After completing the morning loop ride continue cycling uphill (approximately 8 miles) to the ski station of Valdezcaray. There’s potential for heavier traffic on this longer option. After your vigorous ride uphill enjoy the beauty of the downhill ride back to the hotel.

After another hearty breakfast, cycle out of the Oja Valley along an easy bike path tracing the banks of the river that gives its name to this region of Spain—La Rio Oja. Your scenic route leads you to the Camino de Santiago pilgrimage town of Santo Domingo de la Calzada, situated on the river’s banks. In town, you will follow a segment of the French Way, part of the Way of St. James. This route is popular among those who walk the path from France, passing pilgrims with their scallop shells, the symbol of St. James. After, ride tree-lined country roads through the village of Banares with its beautiful 12th-century church, historic Casalarreina, and tiny Cihuri with its ancient Roman bridge. Your morning ride concludes in the 10th-century town of Haro, home to Rioja’s best bodegas, or wine houses. Visit one of the most renowned for a tasting, then savor a special private lunch in the middle of a nearby vineyard.

After lunch, you may continue cycling to the neighboring village of Briñas, a small jewel dating to Roman times, and our next hotel on the banks of the Ebro River. If you prefer, you may shuttle here. Enjoy time to relax before, dining on your own at the hotel or at one of the village’s cafés. Or venture into nearby Haro to sample one of its numerous restaurants.

Hotel: Hotel Palacio Tondón
Meals: Breakfast, Lunch

Today’s Ride Choice:
Cumulative Distance Range: 42 km (25 miles)
Morning
Ezcaray to Haro: 42 km (25 miles)

What to Expect: You will depart your hotel on bikes this morning and ride to the nearby bike path following the scenic La Rio Oja river to the historic town of Santo Domingo de la Calzada. Here you may follow the Way of St. James pilgrimage path through town on cobblestone pedestrian alleyways. After departing town you will continue your journey on tree-lined country roads to your destination of Haro and today’s winery visit.

After breakfast, enjoy a scenic shuttle into the nearby hills. This morning’s downhill reels will refresh and revitalize while our uphill climbs will reward you with majestic views of the Ebro River Valley. Later, you will coast into these flat farmlands that are fed by the second longest river on the Iberian Peninsula.

Our destination is in the foothills above Miranda de Ebro. This city is best known for the festivities of San Juan del Monte which date back to the Middle Ages. Organized by the Brotherhood of San Juan del Monte and various cuadrillas—or groups of Basque friends—the events have long drawn pilgrims from all over Spain and beyond. Some of the participating cuadrillas have built casetas, or huts, in the forests below the summit of San Juan del Monte, and they are the venue for our delectable picnic lunch today, prepared by your Trip Leaders. Later, those wishing for more riding challenges may pedal a portion of the route to the San Juan del Monte summit, following the path of the annual Vuelta a Burgos cycling competition. Alternately, coast downhill back to your hotel.

During the final evening of your Spanish wine tour, join your trip leaders and fellow travelers for a festive farewell dinner and sample some more of the wines and wonderful culinary delights of La Rioja.

Hotel: Hotel Palacio Tondón
Meals: Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner

Today’s Ride Choices:
Cumulative Distance Range: 33.4 – 56.5 km (20.8 – 35.2 miles)

Morning
Berganzo to San Juan del Monte: 33.4 km (20.8 miles)

Afternoon
San Juan del Monte to Brinas: 23.1 km (14.4 miles)

What to Expect: After your shuttle you will ride on country roads through the Ebro River Valley before reaching the forested foothills of the San Juan del Monte summit.

After your morning ride and lunch continue uphill towards the San Juan del Monte summit before looping back and riding downhill to your hotel. The scenic afternoon ride follows quieter country roads for the most part but there will be some heavier traffic as you near your hotel.

This morning, you shuttle to Bilbao, an intoxicating blend of modern and historic. Upon arrival, enjoy a 90-minute guided tour of its centerpiece—the world-renowned Guggenheim Museum, designed by acclaimed architect Frank Gehry. Your tour will include information about the building’s architecture and the current exhibits. Please note: So that you may fully enjoy the Guggenheim Museum tour, which ends at 1:00 p.m., we recommend that you plan to depart Bilbao no earlier than 3:00 p.m.

The remainder of the day is free for you to explore this vibrant city at leisure. VBT provides you with City Information, which includes recommendations about what to see and do in Bilbao.

Meals: Breakfast

Enjoy Your Vacation Longer With Low-Cost Trip Extensions

Airplane

Air Package Only

2020

2020 Pre-Trip Extension - San Sebastian

2 Nights From $495 per person, double occupancy
Single Supplement: From $445

  • Two nights in sea-view rooms at the Hotel de Londres y de Inglaterra
  • Daily buffet breakfast
  • City Information
  • Airport transfers

Depart from home for Spain. The particulars of your arrival overseas are detailed with your flight itinerary.

Upon arrival at Bilbao’s airport, claim your luggage and clear customs. If your luggage is lost, fill in a PIR form before leaving the customs area: VBT representatives are not allowed into the customs area. Please make certain that your VBT luggage tags are affixed to your bag so your VBT representative can identify you. After exiting customs, enter the arrival hall and look for your VBT representative who will be holding a VBT sign and will make arrangements for your transfer via car or van to your San Sebastián hotel (transfer time is approximately 90 minutes, depending on traffic).

You have the rest of the day to relax or begin exploring the city on your own. Perhaps enjoy an afternoon walk to the summit of Monte Urgull, where you will find Castillo de la Mota. This medieval castle was built to defend the city from attackers and allowed San Sebastián to prosper during its early days. Or stroll the sands of the city’s beach or the adjacent promenade. VBT provides you with City Information that includes recommendations about what to see and do in San Sebastián. Dinner tonight is on your own in this gastronomic haven; based on Michelin stars per capita, San Sebastián ranks second among the world’s best dining cities.

Please note: If you arrive early, your hotel room may not be available until 3:00 p.m. You may store your luggage at the reception desk while you explore.

Hotel: Hotel de Londres y de Inglaterra

Our hotel’s central location puts much of San Sebastián within easy reach by foot. You may want to venture inland to one of the city’s most romantic quarters. Cross the Santa Catalina Bridge over the River Urumea, walk along the Paseo de Francia with its stately French-style mansions, and stroll among the botanic gardens of the elegant Cristina-Enea Park. You may also wander the atmospheric warrens of the Old Quarter, perhaps pausing at a bar to sample the region’s pintxos, north-central Spain’s version of tapas. No matter which neighborhood you explore, San Sebastián’s elegant architecture reveals itself at every turn. Lunch and dinner are on your own tonight.

Hotel: Hotel de Londres y de Inglaterra
Meals: Breakfast

Continue your exploration of San Sebastián, perhaps visiting some of its cultural institutions. Uncover local arts and history at the San Telmo Museum, located in the Old Town in a 16th-century convent. This building has been transformed into a repository of Basque culture, featuring archaeological, ethnographic, and artistic collections from the region’s top talents. You may also visit the Palacio del Mar, the Aquarium, one of the most modern in Europe.

This evening savor your dinner at one of San Sebastián’s superb restaurants.

VBT Air Package guests arrive throughout the day.

Hotel: Hotel de Londres y de Inglaterra
Meals: Breakfast

Airplane

Air Package Only

2020

2020 Post-Trip Extension - Madrid

3 Nights From $645 per person, double occupancy
Single Supplement: From $295

  • Three nights at the NH Paseo del Prado Hotel
  • Daily buffet breakfast
  • City Information
  • Airport transfers

After breakfast this morning, transfer to the airport for your flight to Madrid. Please ensure you are ready in the hotel reception area at the designated time.

Upon arrival at Madrid’s airport, meet your VBT representative in the arrivals hall. He or she will be holding a VBT sign and will make arrangements for your transfer via taxi or van to your Madrid hotel (transfer time is approximately 30–45 minutes, depending on traffic).

You have the rest of the day to relax or begin exploring the city on your own.

Hotel: NH Paseo del Prado

Meals: Breakfast

Enjoy a full day of independent exploration in Spain’s capital. Your hotel is conveniently located on the Paseo del Prado, within the “Golden Triangle of Art” comprising three art museums: the Prado Museum, the Museo Nacional Centro de Arte Reina Sofía (a modern art museum) and the Thyssen-Bornemisza Museum, which is housed in the renovated Villahermosa Palace.

Enjoy the day lingering in the galleries and relaxing over a leisurely lunch.

Hotel: NH Paseo del Prado
Meals: Breakfast

Today you may wish to walk to the Palacio Real, or Royal Palace, the official residence of the Spanish royal family, or to the nearby Teatro Real, featuring a restored Opera House—two of Madrid’s most cherished cultural treasures.
Tonight, try one of the many renowned restaurants in this culinary capital.

Hotel: NH Paseo del Prado
Meals: Breakfast

After breakfast* this morning, you will transfer to the Madrid airport (about 30 – 45 minutes, depending on traffic) for your departing flight **. Please ensure that you are ready in the hotel reception area at the designated time.
*Please note: For guests with early-morning departures, breakfast at the hotel may not be available. Please check with the front desk to verify the times that breakfast is served.

**VBT recommends that you check your transfer time in your Transfer Reminder. VBT transfer times and departure points are finalized in advance and cannot be modified for individual guests. If you extend your stay beyond the scheduled program dates, return transportation to the airport will be at your own expense.

Meals: Breakfast

Reviews

Guest Reviews 4 out of 4 (100%) of reviewers recommend this tour

5.0 out of 5 stars.

Dates & Prices

Bike Vacation + Air Package

10 days, includes round-trip international airfare, airport shuttle, and additional hotel nights with included breakfast.

Single Supplement: From $895

Departing From New York, NY (JFK)

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7 Days. Includes bike vacation only.

Single Supplement: From $595

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