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Hidden Gems of the North

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5035

Hidden Gems of the North

Authentic immersive culinary encounters
From: $4000
Next Tour: April 2020

DAYS

6 nights / 7 days

LEVEL

Casual

TYPE

Private / Groups

COLLECTION

The Basque Lands / Kingdoms of Navarra / The Wine Regions / Camino de Santiago

Hidden Gems of the North

This one week culinary adventure into the heart and soul of the region consists of day trips out of Pamplona, the capital of Navarra. We venture off-the-beaten track to discover rare treats such as the renowned Iberian Basque ham and the fine wines of the Navarra wine region. We sample some of Rioja’s famous and most beloved wines at exclusive and beautiful wineries. Following in the footsteps of American writer Ernest Hemingway, we dine on freshwater trout ‘a la Navarra’ in the Pyrenees by the Irati River. Stopping in a fishing village along the way to San Sebastian, we enjoy the exquisite seafood of the Basque coast.

Best Time to Visit

May, June, July, August, September, October, November

Highlights

● Sample some of the Rioja’s famous and beloved wines at exclusive wineries.
● Dine in Michelin-starred restaurants, and authentic, out-of-way taverns.
● Savor a 14-course sampling menu of Basque Iberian ham at the Euskal-txerri farm.
● Revel in San Sebastian’s lively food and wine-filled nightlife.

Itinerary
Pamplona - Olite - Haro - Burguete - Elgorriaga - San Sebastian

Day 1Culinary Pamplona

Our journey begins with a walk through the charming cobbled streets in the heart of the historic quarter to discover 2000 years of history and culture. Learn about the running of the bulls, then go bar-hopping to try the region’s famous and delicious pintxos. Take time to explore the hotel or the town of Pamplona before re-grouping for an afternoon gastronomic experience of cooking in a private gastronomy club which dates back to the 1920s. Learn how to make, and then enjoy, traditional Navarran dishes.

Food: Breakfast, lunch and dinner
Travel: Pamplona
Sleep: Hotel Guendulain ****

Day 2Medieval Navarra

Our journey brings us to medieval Navarra with gastro-cultural stops along the way. Breakfast in Puente de la Reina calls for a café con leche and a local pastry before we taking photos on the beautiful 11th Century Romanesque bridge that crosses the Arga River. We make a cultural stop in Artajona, the backdrop of the 1976 film Robin and Mary starring Sean Connery and Audrey Hepburn. Enjoy traditional cuisine in the southern village of Ujue, voted Navarra’s most beautiful village in 2018. To complete the day, we make a private visit to an exclusive Navarran winery. Dinner is served in a medieval castle, which we later explore in a private visit. There will be time enough to meander on your own through the castle’s spectacular courtyards and royal chambers.

Food: Breakfast, lunch and dinner
Travel: Olite / Ujué
Sleep: Hotel Guendulain ****

Day 3Hemingway in La Rioja

Here we find ourselves traveling along a portion of the Saint James Way and through the famed Irati forest, following in the footsteps of American writer Ernest Hemingway. Our Hemingway day is a delightful visit to the Navarran Pyrenees. We visit his favorite trout fishing spot on the Irati River near Aribe, a place where you can imagine daydreaming away the afternoon! We travel to Burguete to the hotel where Hemingway stayed at when he came here to relax. We visit his room, which has been kept just as it was when he stayed here, and have lunch in the dining room he describes in The Sun Also Rises. After a delicious home-cooked lunch, Pamplona awaits us. Dine on your own, venture out to sample the world-renowned pintxos paired with spectacular wines and revel in the lively and exciting atmosphere.

Food: Breakfast, lunch and dinner
Travel: Logroño / Haro
Sleep: Hotel Guendulain ****

Day 4Hemingway in the Pyrenees

Here we find ourselves traveling along a portion of the Saint James Way and the famed Irati forest, following in the footsteps of American writer Ernest Hemingway. Our Hemingway day is a delightful visit to the Navarran Pyrenees. We visit his favorite trout fishing spot on the Irati River near Aribe, a place you can imagine spending the afternoon daydreaming away. We travel to Burguete to the very hotel Hemingway stayed at when he came up here to relax. We visit his room, kept the same as when he stayed there, and have lunch in the dining room he describes in The Sun Also Rises. After a delicious home-cooked lunch, Pamplona awaits us. Dine on your own, venture out to sample the world-renowned pintxos paired with spectacular wines and revel in the lively and exciting atmosphere.

Food: Breakfast and lunch
Travel: Burguete / Roncesvalles / Irati Forest
Sleep: Hotel Guendulain ****

Day 5Hidden Culinary Gems

We discover the hidden culinary gems of central Navarra with a seasonally inspired expedition, to savor regional flavors from the rustic to the rare. We venture off the beaten track to discover the renowned Basque Iberian pork, sought after by Michelin star restaurants around the world. We go deep into a country landscape that will stimulate your appetite, as well as your sense of adventure. Today’s journey takes us to a hermitage perched at the top of the legendary mountain San Miguel de Aralar. Then we travel to learn about the Euskal-txerris, the free-range, acorn-fed Basque Iberian pigs which are one of Spain’s best kept secrets. This is followed by a fourteen course sampling menu of this amazing pork product, then, later, a digestif at a quaint neighbouring cider farmhouse. We save the afternoon for relaxation in yet another hidden treasure of this region: the natural salty hot springs spa at the hotel Elgorriaga, where we offer you a half hour massage.

Food: Breakfast, lunch and dinner
Travel: Lekunberri / Leiza / Elgorriaga
Sleep: Hotel Guendulain ****

Day 6Land to Sea Through Navarra

For a late-morning treat on our way to the Atlantic coast, we try what is considered to be the best tortilla de patata of Navarra in the quaint Navarran village, also known as the Venice of the Mountains. Our day trip on the Atlantic coast continues with a visit to a magnificent Basque whaling boat museum and then a light lunch at the best restaurant in the fishing town of Pasajes. Our afternoon is completed as we visit the top gastro bars in San Sebastian to enjoy what they do best – the delicious bite-size wonders called pintxos, and perfectly paired wines.

Food: Breakfast, lunch and dinner
Travel: Lesaka / Elgorriaga / San Sebastián
Sleep: Hotel de Londres ****

Day 7Agur and Farewell

After a fine breakfast, we’ll assist in arranging your transportation to your onward travels.

Food: Breakfast

* NST itineraries may be subject to slight route changes, hotel substitutions, and other modifications.

Inclusions

Hotels

  • Select hotels that reflect the uniqueness of each destination

Food

  • Daily breakfasts, all lunches, nutritious snacks, and cocktail hour
  • Gourmet dinners at our hand-picked restaurants and culinary events
  • Unlimited local wine, or beer with every meal

Support

  • NST local guides
  • Support vehicle that follows the day’s route
  • Pick-up and drop-off before and after your tour from predetermined meeting points

Activities

  • Wine tastings and activities as indicated in the itinerary
  • Entrance fees to historic sites, museums, parks, and all other exclusive events

Not Included

  • Airfare
  • Travel Insurance
  • Dinners on free evenings
  • Gratuities for guides
  • Extra services not outlined in the itinerary
  • Hotel de Londres ****

    Back to the Belle Epoque

    The Hotel de Londres is a pretty boutique hotel in San Sebastián with a La Belle Epoque feel. It has views to the Concha Bay and the city center. Luxury, modern facilities and a high level service make this historic building one of the best hotels in San Sebastián.

Tour Designers

Stephanie Mutsaerts - Northern Spain Travel

Stephanie Mutsaerts

Founder of Northern Spain Travel & Heart of Pamplona

Stephanie, the dynamo of our organization, is a Canadian who has fallen in love with Navarra. She is enterprising, innovative and has an endless amount of energy to design unique outstanding travel plans, making her passion her profession. She has the firm conviction that until the product standards are exceptional, they should not be offered.

“Our goals are two; one is to bedazzle our visitors and another is to share with them what we find so extremely enchanting about this region of Spain”

Oliver Blázquez - Northern Spain Travel

Oliver Blazquez

Product Manager & Public Relations

Oliver is our public relations ambassador of Pamplona. Oliver has it all; charm, conversation and more knowledge than anyone about Pamplona. You will feel like you’ve made a new friend during one of his energetic tours. Oliver is always on the beat searching for the perfect pintxo and exciting out of the box experiences. He is dedicated to designing the most exclusive events for our guest always with our added value, like Hemingway escape to the Basque coast, or a walking tour of the Running of the Bulls course with an international runner, as well as destinations and activities off the beaten cultural track and many more.

“ This is our essential hallmark that sets us apart from any other events agency”.

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