Barcelona Food & Wine Tour
Experience the city's exquisite wines and delectable food on a Barcelona Wine Tour. Book your extraordinary trip today!
Explore breathtaking landscapes, and savor the exquisite flavors of Spain and France. This epicurean tour takes in the best cheese regions of northern Spain and the French Pays Basque. As you will discover, the common success factor of all the differentiating cheese appellations included is the milk quality, whether from cow, goat, or sheep. The animals are reared in the best conditions, grazing on the lushest of pastures, followed by traditional cheese-making and maturation processes. The climate dramatically influences all stages, but especially maturation. You will see that the terroir of the cheese regions is as crucial and expressive as in wine. What better way to sample, savor or gobble these heavenly, creamy delicacies than with stellar wines and artisan ciders while admiring some of the most spectacular scenery: rugged coastline, dramatic mountains, and rolling green hills.
We, Cellar Tours, have designed this gourmand trip starting in Bilbao, from where you will be whisked away to breathtakingly beautiful Asturias, home to a number of sensational cheese AOPS, including Gamoneu and Cabrales. Asturias is utterly delightful, and your cheese farm experiences will be interspersed with coastal walks, a cable car ride to the heights of the “Picos de Europa,” cider tastings, and visits to the cutest towns and villages of the region.
Next, you move on from Asturias to the equally impressive Cantabria, taking in the famous Queso Picón before hitting San Sebastian, which wins hands down the gourmet capital of Spain status, an infinite number of top eateries, Michelin-starred haunts, and more variety of Pintxos (the local name for tapa) than you can imagine. From here, you will visit Iziazábal producers, the fascinating Ossau Iraty region in Pays Basque and Queso Camerano, and the fine wine region of Rioja.
If you are a couple or a group of friends devoted to everything cheese, this epicurean adventure is for you. Contact us today and start planning your next unforgettable epicurean adventure.
Bilbao - Llanes
On arrival at Bilbao airport, your chauffeur will be waiting for you. Then, hit the road and head west to beautiful Asturias, home to some of Spain’s best shepherd’s cheeses. The first stop is at a quaint, stone “sidreria” Cider House, Casa Poli, for a delicious tapas-style lunch. Generous portions of octopus, local anchovies, chorizo cooked in cider, cured ham, meats, and cheeses accompanied by a continuous flow of scrumptious cider – welcome to Asturias! The cheeses will include Vidiago cheese from terrific, tiny artisan producers like Queso Collera. Vidiago is traditionally made from cow’s milk and cured in olive oil, providing a smooth texture and mild creamy flavor.
On to Llanes, a picturesque port town with a medieval quarter and dazzling beaches. Enjoy a short walking tour to orient you through the port, historic quarter, the Playa de Sablon, and pretty Paseo San Pedro, overlooking dramatic cliffs. Free evening to relax and settle in. Your hotel is in a colonial Indian-style house; you will notice this elegant architecture dotted around. There is a cozy library and a spa to enjoy some downtime. Llanes is brimming with seafood havens, tapas bars, and inviting eateries if you fancy a bite.
San Antolin - Naves - Celorio - Llanes
Your chauffeur will meet you in the lobby this morning for a 20-minute drive along the coast to visit Queseria Bedon near San Antolin, a famous surfer beach, for a private tour and tasting. Bedón Cheese comes from the Bedón River that flows next to the cheese farm and ends near the monastery of San Antolín. You will learn how they produce their fine, smooth, textured, and intensely aromatic cheeses from their livestock of both cow and goat. In addition, you will most likely be invited to meet some of the “furry” members of the team who happily graze in the surrounding pastures.
The tasting is unsurprisingly heavenly and makes an interesting comparison as the cheeses are elaborated at sea level. After a convivial visit with this charming family, enjoy a scenic walk along a bucolic river set in the mountains, down to the sea, and into the sweet hamlet of Naves.
Lunch is at a historic cider house where they roast organic beef on a massive, wood-fired grill. The restaurant El Cabañon is in an old house refurbished around a 100,000-liter cider cellar, with an ancient press and rustic decoration with objects from the world of cider. Jacinto has been running this cider house for years and is the ultimate host. Start with “Cabracho,” an exquisite paté from red scorpionfish and an excellent cheese platter of local cheeses, most made within an hour’s drive. Then it is a grilled extravaganza of creole sausages, top cuts of local beef, pork steak in a chimichurri sauce, and roast peppers. Plenty of cider, of course, and Riojan and Galician wines. You will soon discover not to be swayed by the initial rustic appearance in many restaurants in Asturias because the quality of the locally sourced ingredients is out of this world.
After your spectacular lunch, you will be grateful for a digestive walk along the beach in Celorio. Pristine, crystal clear waters lap the shore, making a stunning contrast against the rugged grey cliffs. Breathe in the fresh air and then relax and enjoy a coffee or glass of wine overlooking the ocean.
The evening is yours to relax at your hotel or stroll through the medieval part of town and visit a sideria or two.
Corao - Sotres - Picos de Europa - Llanes
Head to the hamlet of Corao for a Gamoneu Cheese tasting. Gamoneu, Gamonedo, or Queso de Gamonéu (D.O.P.) is produced from a blend of cow, sheep, and goat’s milk. Cangas de Onis is a fascinating certified craft producer of Gamoneu de Valle cheese in the heart of the Corao. Alberto makes “Valle” using the traditional method and from his livestock’s milk. The cheese is smoked in ash and then matured in a cave in the “Peaks of Europe” natural park. The cheese wheels are not pierced to accelerate the penetration of blue veins. Instead, the delicate patches of interior blue mold are allowed to develop naturally, giving the cheese a gentle flavor and still allowing the flavors of the smoking to come through.
Next, you will head to the mountains and enjoy a whole Cabrales experience (from the pastures to the plate), including a cave (Cueva) visit at Queseria Main in Sotres. Your hosts are a delightful young married couple who left the city where they lived to return to their mountain village in the Cabrales P.D.O. area and continue the cheese-making family tradition. They have several caves, each bringing the cheeses a different taste and smell. Unfortunately, accessing some caves by car is impossible, so horse transports the cheeses. Finish with the tasting, starting with the young, white, fresh cheese with no aging, followed by an older blue, and finishing with a fabulously honking aged blue, all washed down with traditional cider.
After a morning of cheese tasting, you will have some free time to stroll around Sotres and grab a bite; there are a few different casual bars and eateries to choose from here, naturally with our suggestions. You will then meet up with your chauffeur again and enjoy an afternoon of sightseeing and panoramic drives in the breathtaking Picos de Europa. The “Mirador del Fitu” is an excellent lookout point with an unobstructed view of the coastline for miles in either direction.
Then head back to the hotel for some free time to freshen up, relax, do a spa circuit, and make the most of your last evening in Llanes. Check out your keepsake guide for restaurant and bar suggestions.
Cangas de Onis - Santillana del Mar
Visit the small yet bustling country weekly market in Cangas de Onis this morning- brimming with supreme artisan products from fresh fruits and vegetables, cheeses, cured meats, and cider. It is a historical occurrence, held every Sunday morning for over 200 years.
Afterward, you will have some free time to wander around the cute village, shop (all the shops open on market day as well, Sunday is a working day in Cangas!), and stroll up to the emblematic Roman Bridge, known as the Roman Bridge of Cangas de Onís, the “Puente Vieyu” or “Puentón,” it is one of the best-known symbols of the Principality of Asturias. However, despite its symbolic connection to Roman times, the present bridge dates to medieval times; it consists of 3 arches. The middle and largest arch holds a replica of the Victory Cross (the original made of precious metal dating back to the beginning of the 10th century and housed in Oviedo Cathedral).
Lunch is an exceptional treat today at Michelin-starred Casa Marcial. Tucked away in the Mountains with fantastic views over the green hills, in what was his family’s home and restaurant – Nacho Manzano conjures up modern interpretations of traditional Asturian cuisine, simply delicious! Then, in the late afternoon, carry on to medieval Santillana del Mar. Contrary to what its name suggests, this gem of a medieval town is neither by the sea nor flat but perched prominently on the Cantabrian hills.
Many of its most striking buildings were built around the Santa Maria church, an essential stop on the Santiago Pilgrimage. It is remarkably well-preserved thanks to strict development regulations, and only residents can drive within the old town. Make the most of some gourmet shopping, and there are fantastic cheese shops here also selling other local delicacies like honey and anchovies.
Then settle into your next abode, the glorious Hotel Casa del Marques. This exquisitely decorated 15th-century house, home to the first Marquis of Santillana, is now a superb 5-star hotel. You may wish to nibble on delectable snacks this evening or dine out with our recommendations.
Valle de Liébana - Fuente Dé - Potes - Santillana del Mar
Discover more incredible Cantabria today! This morning you will visit an artisan “queseria” making the famous Queso Picón in the Valle de Liébana—an enticing blue cheese from a cow, sheep, and goat’s milk mixture. Traditionally sold wrapped in moist leaves of Acer pseudoplatanus, but today regulations require the cheese be sold in a dark-green-colored aluminum foil. It’s truly remarkable to see the effort involved in maturing the cheeses in these caves; it’s no mean feat.
Then, get ready for some outstanding views. Take the Teleferico de Fuente Dé (cable car) up into the “Picos,” climbing over 750m in less than 4 minutes, taking you into the heart of the peaks at an 1823m. Once on top, you can enjoy a coffee or glass of wine overlooking the incredible mountains or take a short walk.
Then drive to the historic town of Potes for an authentic mountain lunch, feasting on more tasty local cheese. Potes is overflowing with monumental buildings and fortresses. Highlights include the Torre del Infantado, Torre de Oregón de la Lama, and the Gothic church of Saint Vicente. Transfer back to your hotel and then enjoy a free late afternoon and evening in the enchanting hamlet of Santillana.
After breakfast, your chauffeur will wait for you to whisk you off to the striking Basque Country. Please sit back and make yourself comfy, as it’s a 2-hour 15-minute drive. Your base for the remainder of this trip is alluring San Sebastian; it is a special place; it’s stunningly beautiful and heaven on earth for the gourmand, with infinite bars, taverns, and restaurants serving top-notch food and more Michelin-starred haunts than you can dream of fitting in.
You will arrive in time for a Pintxos tour of characterful tapas bars in the old quarter, there will be a focus on cheese, but the other local specialties will blow you away equally. Your food guru will guide you through the best pintxos bars in San Sebastian, highlight each establishment’s tapas specialty, and recommend pairing beverages.
Free afternoon and evening to enjoy this gorgeous seaside town on your own. Take a stroll and a spot of shopping in the commercial district of Gros. In contrast to the historic old town, but with its charm, neat streets are lined with elegant 19th-century townhouses. Artistically, San Sebastian is great fun to explore from the numerous sculptures dotted around the town or at an exhibition in the cultural center or museums. Weather depending, you can soak up some rays on the beach, treat yourself to a spa session at the famous “La Perla,” or choose one of the numerous terraces to sip a coffee or glass of vino and watch the world go by.
Ordizia - Idiazábal - San Sebastian
Today you will enjoy an Idiazábal cheese experience. But first, hit the atmospheric market in Ordizia for a peek; it’s only a half-hour drive inland south of San Sebastian. This weekly market is the center for top local produce and agriculture, brimming with stalls with the finest cheeses, cured meats, pickles, vegetables, and livestock.
Lunch is next in the Oiangu Park at Caserio Oiangu, a historic, cozy farmhouse converted into a great tavern come restaurant come bar; the creative brains behind this project are four young and dynamic chefs; Ferran, Iñaki, Ander, and Tomé. They prepare inspiring variations of traditional Basque dishes, a favorite being the “Slow cooked pork with passion fruit jelly.” A vegetable and herb garden is on-site, and they produce their charcuterie – delicious!
Visit the stellar Aranburu cheese farm, Gold Medal, winner of the World Cheese Awards. Their sumptuous, lightly smoked cheeses are made with milk from their herd of Latxa sheep. The sheep are fed only on the best pastures, and only whole milk is used, free of any preservatives and colostrum free, as this can affect the ripening and maturation process. Your terrific hosts will take great pleasure in sharing the secrets to their artisan cheeses, including the smoking using beech or alder wood. The resulting flavor is intense, full-flavored, and balanced. Very aromatic and almost sweet, with notes of bacon and caramel. Your tasting will be accompanied by dry cider, the perfect match with Idiazábal.
A short 20-minute drive to Queseria Ondarre, your host here is a humble cheese farmer from a multi-generational family with a lovely manner and the most fantastic cheese. They control the entire production chain, starting from the flock management (feeding, calving, milking, etc.), cheese making, and certification compliance, ensuring quality and origin; that certifies it as authentic shepherd cheese with P.D.O. Idiazábal. The owner Eneko has been featured on several TV programs and is quite the local celebrity. Eneko will guide you on a short tour of this farm and introduce you to his flock (keep your camera ready). Next, he will host a tasting of his delicious artisan Idiazábal cheeses paired with Riojan wine.
Then, head back to San Sebastian for a free evening with our suggestions, and you won’t be very hungry this evening.
Saint-Etienne-de-Baïgorry - Ainhoa - Espelette - San Sebastian
This morning you will be traveling a little further afield (approx. a 90 min drive) and across the border to Saint-Etienne-de-Baïgorry in the French Pays Basque. This is home to the AOP Ossau Iraty cheese. You will enjoy a private visit and tasting at Fromagerie Tambourin.
This family-run dairy and farm lie at the foot of Mount Jarra, in the heart of the Irouléguy wine country. The cheese-making history in this family dates back to the eighteenth century. Noël, Jean-François, Michel, and Guillaume Tambourin are at the helm now and raise the sheep and make Ossau-Iraty cheese. This mouthwatering, almost fruity cheese is made from 100% ewe’s milk from the famed Brebis sheep graze in the valleys. The countryside here is unspoiled. To respect the natural cycle of animals, milk and cheese production is seasonal. After a delightful tour, you will taste three different aged cheeses (four, six, and eight months) accompanied by local wines.
Lunch is at Michelin-starred Ithuria in charming Ainhoa. Set in a picturesque farmhouse run by brothers Stéphane and Xavier, whose parents had led the way since 1962. On your menu, you will find dishes like smoked anchovies served with fresh garden vegetables and Pyrenees caviar; Pan-seared foie gras flavored with poultry juice, confit pig’s trotter, Périgord sauce, and grilled corn; Pork belly on a bed of sliced of porcini mushrooms; Roast pigeon; followed by a plate of Basque cheeses, washed down with magnificent wines from their handsome cellar.
After lunch, free time to enjoy wandering around Ainhoa and the adorable neighboring village of Espelette. Famous for its dried red peppers, the Piment d’Espelette first arrived in the region thanks to one of Christopher Columbus’s sailors who brought them back; initially for medicinal purposes, they were later used to conserve meat before becoming an integral part of Basque gastronomy. Today, the Espelette peppers have an AOC classification and are a common sight hanging from the balconies on the streets.
Reflect on the culinary and cultural experiences as you leisurely return to San Sebastian.
Roda - Entrena - San Sebastian
Hit the wine country today, the scenic Rioja region, also home to the Queso Camerano, where you will savor your final cheese tasting of this trip. They were established in 1962 and use a traditional method dating back centuries. First, you will have a private tour and tasting, including their range of cheeses from cow, sheep, and goat’s milk complemented with the superior liquid of these lands – an ideal match.
Then, a fine wine tour at the outstanding Roda, producing some of the most succulent wine in Rioja. We are sure you will agree, having tasted their powerful, spicy, and concentrated superior-quality reds. After a private tour of the spectacular premises, you will conclude with a tasting of their wines and their genuinely remarkable, finger-licking Arbequina Olive oil – the perfect aperitif!
Lunch follows at Finca de Los Arandinos. The modern and old kitchen inspires the dining room décor here and makes for a light, airy ambiance to enjoy some authentic Riojan cuisine with a modern twist. They operate an impressive zero-kilometer rule for sourcing their raw materials, this naturally being applied to the wine serving their range, including Viero and El Conjuro, the organic red.
Finally, your chauffeur will transfer you back to San Sebastian, where you have a free evening to pack, rest or enjoy your last night in this vibrant, gourmand town.
San Sebastian - Bilbao
At your desired time your chauffeur will transfer you to Bilbao airport and that concludes your tasty cheese lovers tour of Northern Spain. Buen Viaje.
If you would like us to customize an exclusive luxury tour, contact us and let us know your travel plans. We offer luxury food and wine tours for private groups of a mininium two guests. In addition, all of our private, chauffeured tours are available year-round upon request.
Welcome to Cellar Tours, the premier Luxury Travel Specialist since 2003. Our goal is to provide you with the ultimate food and wine vacation experience, with exclusive Mercedes chauffeured tours that showcase the best of local cuisine and wines.
Our team specializes in crafting bespoke, custom-designed vacations, events, and incentives tailored to your unique tastes and preferences. Travel is not just about seeing new places - it's about creating unforgettable memories and indulging in the finer things in life.
As members of Slow Food, OTAVA (Travel Agency Association in Spain), and the IACP (International Association of Culinary Professionals), we promote sustainable tourism and support local communities. We work closely with top-rated hotels, restaurants, and wineries to provide you with the highest level of service and attention to detail.
Whether you're planning a romantic getaway, a family vacation, or a corporate retreat, let Cellar Tours be your guide. With our passion for food and wine, extensive knowledge of local culture, and dedication to exceptional customer service, we're confident we can exceed your expectations.
Contact us today to start planning your dream vacation – we can't wait to hear from you!