Food & Wine: A Taste of Spain

12 days Food & Wine
From the cava of Catalonia to the pintxos of Basque Country, Spain’s cuisine is calling you. Sample regional dishes and take in the culture of Barcelona and Madrid, savor San Sebastian’s world-famous fare and taste tempranillo wines of La Rioja and Ribera del Duero.

Let us handle the details

Expert Tour Director

      Local       cuisine

Handpicked hotels

Sightseeing with local guides

Private transportation

Personalized flight options

Tour group size: 15 - 28 travelers

Tour pace: You will walk for about 2 hours daily across moderately uneven terrain, including paved roads and cobblestone streets, with some hills.

Let us handle the details

Expert Tour Director

      Local       cuisine

Handpicked hotels

Sightseeing with local guides

Private transportation

Personalized flight options

Your tour includes

  • 10 nights in handpicked hotels

  • Breakfast daily, 3 lunches, 4 three-course dinners with beer or wine, 3 wine tastings, 1 cooking lesson

  • Multilingual Tour Director

  • Private deluxe motor coach

  • Guided sightseeing and select entrance fees

Map of tour of Spain

Overnight Flight 1 night

Day 1: Travel day

Board your overnight flight to Barcelona today.

Barcelona 3 nights Hotel info

Day 2: Arrival in Barcelona

  Included meals: Dinner

Settle in to Barcelona and meet your Tour Director and fellow travelers at a welcome dinner featuring traditional paella and regional wines.

Day 3: Sightseeing tour of Barcelona

  Included meals: Breakfast, Lunch

Try your hand at preparing an authentic Spanish meal during a cooking lesson.

• Tour the Santa Caterina Market in search of fresh ingredients

• Pass through the Gothic Quarter, stop at an olive oil shop and taste chocolate con churros as you make your way to a culinary school

• Prepare your own lunch of traditional Catalan dishes with the help of a professional chef and relax while enjoying it with a glass of wine

This afternoon, get to know the Catalan capital on a guided sightseeing tour.

• Step inside La Sagrada Família, Gaudí’s famous masterwork-in-progress 

• Drive along Passeig de Gràcia, past Gaudí’s “House of Bones” 

• Stop at Montjuïc, where the 1992 Olympic Games took place, and stroll Mirador de l’Alcalde Park

• Pass Plaça d’Espanya and the soaring monument to Christopher Columbus

Day 4: Cava Wine Tasting & lunch

  Included meals: Breakfast, Lunch

Included entrances: Wine tasting

Travel to the Cava wine region, stopping at a winery to sip sparkling cava over a traditional tapas lunch. Then, enjoy a free evening in Barcelona or add an excursion.

Optional Excursion - Barcelona Chocolate Tasting & Architecture Tour $49pp* Details

Enjoy a drive down Passeig de Gràcia, one of Barcelona’s most important shopping and business avenues, as you make your way to architect Antoni Gaudi’s renowned “House of Bones.” The balconies and pillars of this intricate, colorful building are indicative of Gaudi’s unique work, and you’ll admire this bone-like structure during a photo stop. Then, continue next door for a tour of Casa Amatller. This neo-Gothic building was designed for the chocolate baron and philanthropist Antoni Amatller. You’ll learn about his famous sweets and the history of the building, and taste a variety of chocolates in the original kitchen.

Save $10 when you book this excursion up to 3 days before your tour departs. (On-tour price: $59)

San Sebastian 2 nights Hotel info

Day 5: San Sebastian via Pamplona

  Included meals: Breakfast

Board a high-speed train and travel through Basque Country to Pamplona, the famous setting for the Running of the Bulls, on your way to San Sebastian. Get to know the old city on a walking tour.  

• Pass Plaza de Toros and walk along the Running of the Bulls route

• Admire Pamplona Cathedral and Pamplona City Hall

Day 6: Sightseeing tour of San Sebastian

  Included meals: Breakfast

A local guide leads this morning’s tour of San Sebastian, a town bordered by green mountains and roaring ocean. 

• Pass by Playa de la Concha and make your way through the Old Quarter 

• At Plaza de la Constitución, gaze at the balconies that once held the ringside seats for bullfights 

• Get a taste of Basque culture as you eye the fresh catches at the fish market • Pop into a bar for Basque-style tapas with txakoli, a locally-produced white wine

La Rioja Region 2 nights Hotel info

Day 7: La Rioja Region via Bilbao

  Included meals: Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner

Travel west along the scenic Costa Verde to Bilbao for a guided sightseeing tour.  

• Admire the architecture in Bilbao’s Old Quarter, known as Casco Viejo

• View the unique architecture of the Gehry-designed Guggenheim Museum, a showplace of modern and contemporary art 

• Enjoy regional fare and wine during an included lunch inside the museum

Later, arrive in La Rioja, a region known for its red wines, for an included dinner with local specialties.

Day 8: La Rioja Villages & Wine Tasting

  Included meals: Breakfast

Included entrances: Wine tasting

Spend the morning exploring the villages of the La Rioja region, then head to a winery for a tasting.

• Enter the Vivanco Museum of Wine Culture in Briones to learn about wine history on a self-guided tour with an audio guide

• Drive through the Ebro River Valley and take in views of the beautiful vineyards and landscape

In the afternoon, enjoy free time in the quaint village of Laguardia, which is known for its medieval architecture and city walls. Then, enjoy a tour and tasting in Rioja’s wine region. 

• At the City of Wine complex at the Marqués de Riscal wine cellars, tour the gorgeous vineyards and the hotel designed by the innovative architect Frank Gehry

• Sip several Rioja tempranillo wines while nibbling on traditional Spanish tapas

Ribera Del Duero Region 1 night Hotel info

Day 9: Aranda de Duero

  Included meals: Breakfast, Dinner

Included entrances: Wine tasting

Transfer to Aranda de Duero, the capital of the Ribera del Duero region, to discover the town’s interconnected wine cellars during a tasting of the region’s classic tempranillos. Tonight, enjoy a vineyard dinner and wine tasting.

Madrid 2 nights Hotel info

Day 10: Travel to Madrid

  Included meals: Breakfast

Travel south to Madrid. After arriving, enjoy a free afternoon to sample the city’s local flavors or add an excursion.

Optional Excursion - Madrid Flamenco Show & Dinner $115pp* Details

Flamenco is a passionate, seductive art form exclusive to Spain, and you’ll experience the clapping, singing and stamping of this celebrated tradition during a live show in Madrid. This Andalucian style of dance combines guitar playing (toque), song (cante) and rhythmic handclaps (palmas). A three-course dinner will be served alongside local wine at a nearby restaurant before the expressive, dramatic, colorful performance.

Save $10 when you book this excursion up to 3 days before your tour departs. (On-tour price: $125)

Day 11: Sightseeing tour of Madrid

  Included meals: Breakfast, Dinner

Begin your day following a local guide on a citywide tour.

• Discover the artwork of the Prado Museum, which began as the private collection of the Spanish monarchy

• Pass some of the city’s main squares including Plaza Cibeles, Plaza Neptune and Plaza de España, where you’ll view the Don Quixote statue

• Pass by the Temple of Debod, a reassembled temple from ancient Egypt

• Enjoy a walking tour through the city’s historic district from the Royal Palace to Plaza Mayor

• Finish your tour with wine and tapas at San Miguel market

Bid farewell to your fellow travelers over a traditional Castilian dinner at Restaurante Botin, considered the oldest restaurant in the world.

Day 12: Departure

  Included meals: Breakfast (excluding early morning departures)

Transfer to the airport for your flight home or continue your tour in Seville.

Add Seville Starting from $659 pp

Please note: Extension is not available on all departure dates.

Get to know the traditions of Andalusia’s charming capital city. With its winding, medieval streets and unique blend of Moorish and Christian architecture, Seville offers something new at every turn. Here, you’ll enjoy life at the Spanish pace, slowly savoring each moment.

Seville 3 nights Hotel info

Day 12: Sightseeing tour of Seville

  Included meals: Breakfast

Board the high-speed train and head south to the capital of Andalusia for a guided tour.

• Enter the Alcázar, once home to King Ferdinand and Queen Isabella

• Get a glimpse into Seville’s rich history, including the tiled pavilion of the Plaza de España and the Gothic Seville Cathedral where Columbus is buried

• Pass the whitewashed homes of Barrio de Santa Cruz

Day 13: Carmona and Jerez

  Included meals: Breakfast

Included entrances: Wine tasting

Journey to the countryside, where you’ll experience Andalusian culinary specialties. 

• Sample artisanal olive oils and learn about their production at an olive oil farm

• Enjoy free time in the charming town of Carmona

• Travel to Jerez where Sherry, the famous fortified wine, is produced

• Tour a bodega to see how Sherry is produced, and then have a taste

Day 14: Free day in Seville

  Included meals: Breakfast

Spend the day exploring on your own or add excursions.

Optional Excursion - Landscapes & Flavors of Sierra de Aracena $119pp* Details

Set out to discover the beautiful countryside of Andalusia. You’ll leave Seville and make your way through the hills and valleys to Sierra de Aracena National Park. Along the way, stop in the old market town of Aracena and the village of Jabugo, where you’ll taste delicious jamón ibérico (Iberian ham) and learn from an artisan producer how it’s cured. Then admire the architecture throughout the village of Castaño del Robledo before enjoying a farmhouse lunch of local specialties.

Save $10 when you book this excursion up to 3 days before your tour departs. (On-tour price: $129)

Day 15: Departure

  Included meals: Breakfast (excluding early morning departures)

Transfer to the airport for your flight home. (Please note: depending on your home airport, you may have to spend the night in the US and arrive home on day 15.)

How's the weather?

  • Barcelona, Spain
  • San Sebastian, Spain
  • Madrid, Spain
Temperature Precipitation
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Passport & visa requirements

  • In order to enter Spain, U.S. and Canadian citizens need a valid passport with an expiration date extending at least six months beyond the date of reentry. 
  • We recommend having at least one blank passport page for entry stamps.
  • There is no visa required for U.S. or Canadian citizens.
  • If you are not a U.S. or Canadian citizen, you must contact your destination country’s consulate for your specific entry requirements.   

Tour pace

  • You will walk for about 2 hours daily across moderately uneven terrain, including paved roads and cobblestone streets, with some hills.
  • Travelers should be healthy enough to participate in all included walks without assistance. Adding optional excursions may increase the total amount of walking on your tour.
  • You should feel comfortable managing your own luggage at times, as well as getting in and out of trains. * If you have any mobility concerns or physical restrictions, please contact our Customer Experience Team.

Transportation & arrival information

  • Round-trip flights booked through Go Ahead arrive in Barcelona and depart from Madrid (or Seville on the tour extension). A Go Ahead representative will meet you at the airport and take you to your hotel. Please remain in the arrival lounge, as the representative might be escorting one of your fellow travelers to the bus at the time of your arrival. 
  • Transfers to and from the airport at your destination are included for travelers who have purchased their flights through Go Ahead. Travelers who purchase their own flights may request airport transfers with Go Ahead for an additional cost.
  • The tour extension includes a train ride from Madrid to Seville.  
  • All other included transportation on this tour is by private motor coach.

Baggage allowance

  • Airlines have varying weight restrictions on baggage. Some airlines may impose additional charges if you choose to check any baggage; be advised that you are responsible for any such costs. 
  • Contact your airline for baggage size and weight restrictions for your flight, but please note that Go Ahead travelers are restricted to one checked bag per person due to storage limitations on motor coaches and other transfers, which may include train connections or flights. 
  • One carry-on bag of 45 total inches (length + width + height) is also permitted.
  • Make sure you label your baggage and keep valuables, medication and documents in your carry-on bag.

Clothing & packing tips

  • We recommend packing lightweight, loose-fitting clothing that can be easily layered to accommodate varying temperatures, as well as a light jacket or rainwear.
  • A sturdy pair of walking shoes or sneakers is recommended for sightseeing.
  • You may want to pack dressier attire if you plan to visit a high-end restaurant or attend a special performance. 
  • It is preferable not to visit churches or other religious sites with bare legs and shoulders (and entrance may be denied on this basis).

Health

  • There are no major health risks associated with traveling to Spain. 
  • At least 60 days prior to departure, check with your doctor or healthcare provider for the latest updates and entry requirements, or visit the Center for Disease Control and Prevention website at cdc.gov
  • If you have medication that you take daily, be sure you have enough for each day of the tour as well as any possible delays encountered. * If you have dietary restrictions and/or food allergies please notify Go Ahead at least 30 days prior to departure by logging in to My Account and updating your traveler info. To update this information closer to your departure date, please call our Customer Experience Team.

Cuisine

  • In Spain, breakfast like a local with just a pastry and coffee. Then, tuck into a three-course lunch featuring a Spanish staple like savory seafood paella or grilled meat and fried potatoes. Dinner is less hearty than lunch and is served late, between 9pm and midnight. Snack on small plates called tapas any time of day.
  • Spain produces a wide variety of both red and white wines throughout its many regions, such as sparkling wine in the Cava region, tempranillo wine in Rioja and Ribera del Duero and fortified wine in Jerez, Andalusia.
  • Catalan cuisine, which can be found in Barcelona, is markedly different from food in other parts of Spain. Nearly every restaurant will offer pa amb tomàquet—toasted bread with tomato and olive oil. Fresh seafood, hearty meat dishes, cheeses and locally grown vegetables, such as wild mushrooms, are culinary mainstays. 
  • Pintxos, small snacks that are usually spiked with a toothpick to a piece of bread, are an especially popular sort of tapas in the Basque Country.

Electricity & air conditioning

  • Spain operates on the European standard 220-240 volts and uses Types C, E or F plugs with two small, round pins. 
  • We recommend packing a universal adapter, as well as a voltage converter if you plan on using your own hairdryer or other device without a built-in converter.  
  • The strength of the air conditioning in European hotels is often not as strong or as cool as what you might be used to in the U.S. or Canada. When air conditioning is available, it is usually regulated seasonally and controlled centrally by the hotel. 
  • Your hotels may provide hairdryers, irons and other small appliances. However, these amenities cannot be guaranteed.

Connectivity

  • Wi-Fi is available in most hotels, though some charges may apply. 
  • There is no Wi-Fi on any of the motor coaches. 
  • Please contact your mobile service provider for information on roaming charges.

Time zones

  • Spain is one hour ahead of Greenwich Mean Time (GMT) and six hours ahead of Eastern Standard Time (EST). 
  • When it’s noon in New York, it’s 6pm on tour.

Currency

  • You will use the euro in Spain. 
  • Better rates of exchange are usually available overseas, although it’s worth ordering some currency from your local bank to use when you first arrive. 
  • We strongly advise that you take debit/bank cards and credit cards, which can be used to withdraw cash at local banks as needed. 
  • You can use most debit/credit cards at ATMs on the international networks Cirrus and Plus, but make sure to check with your home bank about withdrawal fees. 
  • Inform your bank and credit card company of your travel plans so that they won’t confuse your international purchases for fraudulent charges.
  • International banks and businesses primarily accept debit and credit cards that work with the EMV chip system. If you do not already have at least one debit or credit card with a chip in it, we strongly recommend requesting one from your bank prior to your tour.

Tipping

  • At the conclusion of your tour, it’s customary to offer your Tour Director and driver a gratuity in local currency. Please keep current exchange rates in mind.
  • We recommend tipping the equivalent of $6USD/CAD to $9USD/CAD per person per day for your Tour Director and the equivalent of $3USD/CAD per person per day for your driver.
  • If applicable, we also recommend the equivalent of $2USD/CAD per local guide. 
  • Tips can only be paid in cash.

See what our travelers say about this tour—all reviews are authentic and unedited.

Have you been on tour with us? Visit My Account to submit a review.

5 / 5

5 / 5

Tour Date: 10/21/2016

Number of Past Tours: 1

From: MA

Tour Director: 5 / 5

Tour Value: 5 / 5

Salud: to an adventure in Spain!

I booked the Food and Wine Tour to Spain with some trepidation. I have never traveled solo before and wondered how I would do. At the TSA check in, I lost some toiletries and then my luggage was not in Barcelona, only to arrive hours later. The first morning in Barcelona, I was pickpocketed ( after being hit very hard in the left shoulder) and my cell phone was taken . I was "off the grid" to family and friends the rest of the vacation. I felt supported by the Tour Director, Antonio, and fellow travelers, with offers to use cell phones if I needed to contact home. Despite the theft, I felt safe. Being off the grid, I was able to immerse in the culture,and socialize with others quite well. We did have one incident in Pamplona in which there were student protesters marching against the Spanish President elect with police in riot gear. Antonio swiftly redirected our group of 28 away from the activity. The focus of the trip was definitely on wine tastings and education. We had one cooking class on the first day of the trip in Barcelona which was a good chance to get to know each other. Additional cooking classes or lecture would have been a bonus, particularly learning to make tapas and pintxos. We had delicious seafood and jamon at many meals, but people with limited diets or vegans might find the diet challenging. We did have one long day with a bus ride from Barcelona to San Sebastian. Antonio did a great job reviewing Spanish history, politics and even revealing funny stories from previous tours to keep the group engaged. However, I think train travel going this distance would maximize time more efficiently. As for accommodations, the Hotel Oriente in Barcelona was the least impressive with uncomfortable beds/dark rooms but hotel stays seemed to improve once we left Barcelona. I enjoyed both anchor cities, Barcelona and Madrid, but would suggest additional time/ ? possible additional daytime tours to get the most out of both cities. The guide in Barcelona was quite informative about Sagrada Familia: Fred in Madrid made art come alive as the persona of represented artists: Velazquez, Goya and El Greco at the Prado. Earlier start times in the morning could be helpful as most towns have long siestas in the afternoon, so many little quaint shops were closed. Overall, this trip is a must for wine lovers!

 

Dear Diane, Thank you for taking the time to share your experience. We’re also glad you were able to speak with a member of our Quality Control team to provide additional feedback. We truly value your comments and suggestions! Regarding your cell phone being stolen, we are sorry to hear that that happened. Despite the circumstances, we’re glad you felt supported by your Tour Director as well as your fellow group members. We’re also happy to hear you felt safe traveling with your group. Safety certainly is our top priority for our travelers. Regarding your Tour Director, we’re glad that his efforts were helpful and that his expertise made a positive impact, especially in situations that needed quick thinking. It also sounds like his in-depth knowledge made it fun and engaging to learn about the history and culture of the country. We will be sure to let him know. We’re also happy to learn that you enjoyed the food and wine education provided on this tour and that you were able to whet your appetite with the bold Spanish flavors. We appreciate your constructive feedback and suggestions, such as to consider more train transfers and to extend the tour in order to have more time in Barcelona and Madrid. We regret to learn that your hotel in Barcelona did not meet your expectations, and we will be sure to share that with our Operations team for evaluation. Again, thank you for providing such a thoughtful review. We hope to welcome you on tour again, Diane!

Posted by Daniela, Director of Quality Control | November 16, 2016

4 / 5

4 / 5

Tour Date: 10/21/2016

Number of Past Tours: 2

From: GA

Tour Director: 5 / 5

Tour Value: 4 / 5

Great experience

I thought the amount of wine education and wine consumption was more than satisfactory. I would have liked to have bigger lunches and better scheduled meals overall and more food education. Antonio, the tour director was exceptional as well as our main bus driver. I would have liked to have more time in Madrid and more free time outside of Spain's siesta time. The hotels were overall good but I wish the breakfast meals provided by the hotels weren't included in the meals GoAhead claims to include in the package.

 

Dear Jennie, We’re glad you enjoyed the wine education and selection. We appreciate your feedback on the provided meals and culinary education. We also appreciate your suggestion to add an extra day or so in Madrid. We will be sure to communicate this feedback to our Operations team. It’s great to learn that your Tour Director did an exceptional job, as well as your bus driver. Thank you for the feedback on your hotels. We’re very glad that you enjoyed them. Regarding breakfast, this meal is generally always served at the hotels. We regret if this didn’t meet your expectations. Thank you for taking the time to review your tour. We look forward to your next one in 2017!

Posted by Daniela, Director of Quality Control | November 03, 2016

5 / 5

5 / 5

Tour Date: 10/8/2016

Number of Past Tours: 2

From: PA

Tour Director: 5 / 5

Tour Value: 5 / 5

This tour is a must

As usual, Go ahead plans everything perfectly, so you do not have any worries while traveling to multiple locations. This particular tour is outstanding, seeing two large cities, but also going off the beaten path to vineyards and towns along the way. We had free time in small towns, amazing food/wine experiences at beautiful vineyards, delicious meals out, and the hotel selected in San Sebastian, well, the views were breathtaking. We were very fortunate to have Emilio as our Tour Director. He is wonderful and fun! One highlight of the trip was staying overnight at a beautiful estate and vineyard in Aranda de Duero. Thank you again for a wonderfully planned trip!

 

Hi Meredith! We’re so glad everything went off without a hitch and that you enjoyed your taste of Spain. We’re pleased to learn that you liked the mix of cities and small towns and that you were able to take in all the breathtaking landscapes. We appreciate your feedback very much, and we hope to welcome you on tour again.

Posted by Daniela, Director of Quality Control | October 21, 2016

5 / 5

5 / 5

Tour Date: 10/8/2016

Number of Past Tours: 2

From: MA

Tour Director: 5 / 5

Tour Value: 5 / 5

Beautiful Spain

Days One & Two: at the airport in Barcelona, Go Ahead is waiting for you! The Hotel Catalonia was close to the heart of the city, which was very walkable. Our first night, we met our fabulous Tour Guide, Emelio, and the all our fellow travelers. I must say the group dinner was wonderful, definitely FIVE STARS. As in many hotels in the city, our room was not large, but it was clean and amenable. One of my favorite events in Barcelona, on our 2nd day, was the cooking class at bcn.KITCHEN. Everyone had a great time cooking, eating, and sharing wine. Days three & four: Leaving Barcelona, we headed out early to a small organic winery, Pares Balta. The tour was informative, but not too long, and the tapas luncheon was fantastic. My only negative was the long bus drive up to the beautiful city of San Sebastián. Before we reached there, we stopped at an apple cider brewery, which the guys definitely enjoyed. It was rustic with large platters of food being brought out to the table. I was truly exhausted; however, when we reached our hotel, Mercure Monte Igueldo, I was stunned with the view from our room overlooking the Bay of Biscay. This was my absolutely favorite hotel. The tour guide in San Sebastián was terrific; my husband & I went on the excursion to the Guggenheim in Bilbao; we loved the luncheon, quixotic museum, and tour of the city. Days five & six: On our way to Lagrono, we stopped in Pamplona & our visit started with Churros dipped in chocolate at a cute Chcolatier. Devine, and the service was excellent. We had free to explore time, and Then off to Legrono and our two-day stay at AC La Rioja. This was only a three star hotel in the city, but satisfactory. Group dinner was fantastic. We stopped at the Vivanco wine museum, which was lovely, & then on to a fancy, beautiful winery called Marques de Riscal. The winery was stunning, but the tour was way too long! Delicious wine tasting, but the tapas was miniscule. We were pretty tired after this day, and we at at the hotel. I must say, the dinner was quite ample & delicious. Day 7: we stopped in the small town of Aranda D Duero for lunch; I could not do the tour because of the steep stairs & underground wine caverns, but a small group of us walked around & had a wonderful lunch. Later that day, we arrived at the stunning wine estate of Torremilanos in Aranda de Duero. Visually & esthetically, it was a dream to be staying here. The tour was too long; once again this involved step stairs, some of went to the bar for a pre-dinner drink before the sumptuous dinner. Days 8 & 9: our bus stopped in the small town of LaGuardia, high upon a hill, & then onto the beautiful city of Madrid & our very nice, four star hotel, Novotel. We rode the Metro into the Plaza Mayor had a great time on our own in the city. Next day, we had a bus tour of Madrid & then the Fantastic Museo Nacional Del Prado. Our group dinner was very lovely as we toasted to each other and our funny, charming, educated & talented guide, Emelio, who we all loved. Overall, I will rate my feelings of the Wine & Food Tour of Spain 4 1/2 STARS. My misgivings for not giving five stars was that it was a bit too strenuous and some of the tours were too long, which tired me out. I do have asthma so that is skewing my review. I truly loved Spain and all Go Anead Tours is a FIVE STAR touring company.

 

Hi Linda! Thank you so much for your detailed day-by-day review! We’re thrilled to learn that you had a wonderful time tasting your way through Spain. It sounds like the unique itinerary inclusions combined with the natural beauty of the destination made for a successful tour. We’re glad that your Tour Director added value to your experience, and we appreciate your feedback on various components of the trip such as your accommodations. We will be sure to share your comments with our Operations team. We regret to hear that you found this tour strenuous at times and that you felt some of the tours were too long. We will also share that information with our team. Again, thank you for taking the time to share such a thoughtful review. We value your feedback very much, and we are so glad to know you had a great time! We hope to welcome you on tour again.

Posted by Daniela, Director of Quality Control | November 10, 2016

5 / 5

5 / 5

Tour Date: 10/8/2016

Number of Past Tours: 2

From: MA

Tour Director: 5 / 5

Tour Value: 5 / 5

Espana: Food & Wine Tour Oct 2016

This was a marvelous experience. I loved the cities and I loved the countryside. Got a little tired of 'jamon' by the end but that's a minor quibble. The wines were spectacular, as were the variety of wineries. This was an eye opening experience because all parts of Spain that we visited had very modern infrastructure but still managed to beautifully showcase their medieval or renaissance historical districts. The tour director and the tour guides were excellent. Highly recommended.

 

Hi John! We’re delighted to learn that you enjoyed exploring and tasting your way through Spain. You make a great observation about the contrast between modernity and historic preservation throughout Spain. We appreciate your positive feedback and high recommendation, and we hope to welcome you on tour again!

Posted by Daniela, Director of Quality Control | October 20, 2016

5 / 5

5 / 5

Tour Date: 10/1/2016

Number of Past Tours: 1

From: MA

Tour Director: 5 / 5

Tour Value: 5 / 5

Fabulous trip to Spain!

My husband and I had an absolutely wonderful time on the Food & Wine: A Taste of Spain tour. The itinerary was jam packed with beautiful locations and incredible learning experiences. This trip includes so many things you really can't do on your own without a lot more time and trouble. We tasted cava, wine, sherry and olive oil at incredible locations, spent a night in a wonderful hotel surrounded by vineyards that included a tour from the owner, tasting and great dinner, went to a wine museum, visited the Guggenheim in Bilbao, the Prado in Madrid, and I could go on and on. All the city guides were spectacular-fun, knowledgeable and so proud of the places they represented. Our TD, Isabel, was amazing--we couldn't have had a better person! She is a gem. All in all we had a terrific time and fell in love with Spain. I can't recommend this tour enough.

 

Hi Deborah! We’re thrilled that you and your husband recommend this tour. It sounds like the variety of unique experiences combined with the professionalism of your Tour Director made for a wonderful taste of Spain. We thank you for sharing your experience, and we hope to welcome you both on tour again!

Posted by Daniela, Director of Quality Control | November 07, 2016

5 / 5

5 / 5

Tour Date: 9/17/2016

Number of Past Tours: 6

From: ON

Tour Director: 5 / 5

Tour Value: 5 / 5

A Taste of Spain

The Taste of Spain tour was a great experience and I would highly recommend the tour to others. The Tour Director, Gracia, was exceptional, she is extremely knowledgeable and really made the tour experience truly enjoyable and fun. She ensured that all of the transportation, accommodation and tour logistics were well managed and coordinated, she attended to all of the details in a very capable and experienced manner. The food, the sites, and the winery experiences were great. The long bus ride to San Sebastien and the farewell dinner at the Botin restaurant are the only improvements I would recommend.

 

Hello! We're thrilled to learn that you would highly recommend this tour to others. It sounds like the efforts of your Tour Director made for a seamless and educational experience, and we will be sure to pass along your praises to her. Thank you for your review, and we hope to welcome you on tour again!

Posted by Daniela, Director of Quality Control | October 24, 2016

5 / 5

5 / 5

Tour Date: 9/17/2016

Number of Past Tours: 8

From: CA

Tour Director: 5 / 5

Tour Value: 5 / 5

Definitely a five star experience

This tour is one of my favorites from GoAhead. Everywhere we went, we were met with warm hospitality. It started with our tour director Gracia and continued with all the local city and wine guides, cooking school chefs, and staff at the restaurants and the hotels. We learned a lot from Gracia and other guides about Spain and its food and culture. Our numerous questions were always welcome. The food was delicious and highlighted local specialities in every region. The wines were also great and generously poured everywhere. All hotels were really good and comfortable, but the ones in San Sebastian and the Ribera del Duero region came with spectacular views of the Cantabric Sea in the first case and the beautiful vineyards in the second. The itinerary was also very good and provided an overview for our future visits. Even though we wished we had more time in some cases (Vivanco Wine Museum and San Sebastian) and less in others (Pamplona), we understand that the time to spend at a particular location is based on the feedback from the previous tours and that you can never please everyone. We'll just have to return to the places we left too soon for our liking and we are grateful that this tour provided an opportunity for us to discover them. If you are a foody, the optional excursion to Bilbao is a must. The lunch we had at the Guggenheim Museum Bistro was of a Michelin star quality. It was a crown jewel of this already fantastic adventure. Other highlights of the tour were cooking lesson in Barcelona and visit to La Sagrada Familia, hot chocolate and churros in Madrid, visiting the Prado with our local guide who delivered a stage worthy performance telling us about Spanish masters, and listening to Gracia's fascinating and often funny stories about culture and history. We'll be back. There is no question about it.

 

Hi Yana! We’re thrilled that you enjoyed this tour. Between your Tour Director, all the food and wine educational opportunities, and the overall itinerary, it sounds like you had a wonderful time soaking up the Spanish cuisine and culture. We appreciate your feedback on wanting more time at certain sites, and we will be sure to share that information with our Product Development team. We strive to please a wide range of interests within a limited time frame, and we do this by listening to customer feedback. So, thank you very much for making it possible for us to do that! We’re glad you’ll be back for another tour, and we look forward to it.

Posted by Daniela, Director of Quality Control | November 10, 2016

4 / 5

4 / 5

Tour Date: 9/17/2016

Number of Past Tours: 5

From: OH

Tour Director: 3 / 5

Tour Value: 4 / 5

Spaniards are Generous!

We took the Bordeaux Wine and Food Tour in 2015. We LOVE France and enjoyed the tour very much. This year, we decided to take the Spain Wine and Food Tour. The Spanish Tastings were generous with platters of tapas to accompany the wine pours. If you are a Foodie, you will truly enjoy this trip. We did wish there was an additional day in Barcelona as the city has so much to offer and the arrival night plus one more night was simply not enough. We had excellent local guide in Barcelona and very knowledgeable wine hosts at each winery. We were blessed with 11 days of sunshine as well. The hotels were good and most of the included dinners were exceptional. We had "on time" group members which always makes a trip more pleasurable. Time management is a needed skill of the Tour Director. We had too much time in Pamplona and Laguardia and not enough in Burgos and Duero. Some of the departures could have been earlier (9:30/9:45 too late) to maximize the time in the next location. The breakfasts at each hotel were very good. The hotels varried in location and comfort. The lamb dinner, the tapas dinner and the tapas at the first tasting were memorable. The guided visit of La Familia Sagradad was most enlightening. The market visit with the chef and the paella cooking lesson was fun and tasty too. Overall, it was a very good trip and I would certainly recommend it.

 

Hello! We’re happy to learn that you enjoyed your tour and that you would recommend it to others. Between the delicious cuisine and the remarkably beautiful weather, it sounds like you were able to fully immerse yourself in the cultural and natural beauty of Spain. We are also glad to hear that you enjoyed the hotels and most meals. We appreciate your feedback on your Tour Director and certain aspects of the tour, and we will be sure to share it with our team internally. Thank you for telling us about your experience, and we hope to welcome you on tour again!

Posted by Daniela, Director of Quality Control | October 18, 2016

3 / 5

3 / 5

Tour Date: 6/11/2016

Number of Past Tours: 3

From: RI

Tour Director: 5 / 5

Tour Value: 3 / 5

Nice Tour but need food options

The trip to Spain was an interesting one. I want to first say that I really hadn’t done my research on Spain as much as I have for other trips so some of my experiences were shaped because of that. Here’s what my experience was. Day 1: Travel day Day 2 I arrived in Spain and was greeted by Allesandra our tour director. She was awesome throughout the entire trip. Her kindness and patience was very much appreciated by our group. Once we arrived at the hotel she had our rooms ready so we could go up immediately. Day 3: We got up around 8 AM to have breakfast. Brace yourself because this is a very long day. We stayed at HOTEL CATALONIA LA PEDRERA which was fine. The breakfast was the best of all the hotels we stayed at during the trip. It’s a typical European room with smaller beds. My room was on the first floor and was very dark. My window faced a wall. To be honest it was quiet so I was fine to get the sleep I needed. The breakfast was also very good. After breakfast we headed to the cooking class. We had some free time so we went to see the Magic Fountain and park. Once we arrived at the cooking school we were taken on a walk to the market to see all the fresh ingredients we would be using. That took about 1.5 hours. We came back, started pouring wine and cooking. We made gazpacho, the Spanish version of bruschetta, an omelet, paella and crème Brule. It was a fun experience and our instructors were great. After lunch we hopped on the bus and headed for a tour of the city including La Sagrada Familia. It was very interesting to see but to be honest our group was really warn out from travel. We were dropped off around 6 PM for a dinner on our own. Day 4: This was a big travel day for us. We got on the bus around 9 AM and headed for San Sebastian. We drove about 1 hour to stop at our first vineyard which was great but really early. We started the tour around 11 AM and had a really nice wine tasting and tapas. To me this was the best tasting of our trip because there was plenty of food and great wines. After our early lunch we got on the bus and drove 6 hours to San Sebastian. We stopped a few times and most of us slept after having such a busy day 3. We arrived in San Sebastian around 6:30 PM. Our hotel was HOTEL SILKEN AMARA PLAZA. It was a nice location (only 20 min walk to the town center) and the hotel restaurant was great for dinner. Most of us ate there after a long day of travel. The breakfast was my least favorite. Cold eggs and limited menu options made it a challenge. They were the only hotel that didn’t offer cappuccino too. Day 5: We toured San Sebastian with a wonder tour guide. She was the best of our trip (aside from Allessandro!). We were with her for about 3 hours and she walked us through the small beautiful sea side town. We stopped for a light lunch in a café too. Once done we had the afternoon to ourselves. I attended the optional excursion of going to Bilbao and the Guggenheim. To be honest I did not feel this was worth the price. It makes for a very long day and the tour of Bilbao was on a bus (granted it was drizzling so we avoided walking). Once off the bus we went into the museum which was OK. Dinner to me was a BIG disappointment. We went to a local restaurant and sat through a prescribed menu. No menu options were given. We first had a cold salmon salad, then had a mushroom and runny egg appetizer, then hake in green sauce, then liver with ox tail, and ended with a dessert that resembled French toast. I was thoroughly disappointed in the meal. Plenty of wine and bread but not having a choice made it the worst meal of the trip for me especially knowing the price of the excursion. Day 6: This was a fun day. We got on the bus and headed to Pamplona where we first had churros and chocolate (keep in mind their version of hot chocolate is a cup of hot fudge so brace yourself!). We took a walk to see where the bulls run then had an afternoon to explore. The town is small and unfortunately most of the shops closed for siesta. We sat in a café for lunch and sangria and made the most of it. It was a nice relaxing day especially since there was less driving time. We checked into a new hotel in Logrono AC LA RIOJA which is a Marriott property. Very nice room and quaint location. Dinner was also great…you had options and the steak was delicious! Day 7: we toured La Guardia in the morning. Our group loved this small little town then we went for a wine tasting. Really great tour and delicious wine. My only challenge with this day was our visit to Vivanco. In theory a wine museum fits to the theme but unless you’re really interested in the intricacies of wine making, this could be removed we you have more time in the next hotel which was a vineyard. We checked into a new hotel TORREMILANOS and the hotel was cute. The rooms were a little outdated but you’re in the vineyard which made the experience good. Unfortunately dinner did not offer choices. I don’t’ eat lamb so our guide arranged an alternative which leads me to a key piece of advice. Make sure you list your food preferences when you sign up. There are a lot of different foods and you need to be vocal on what you like and don’t like. Day 8: We went into the wine cellars of Arranda de Duero. The tour guide was great and very informative. The town was adorable but similar to other days, we ended at the time all the shops closed. Never got to shop or really explore. We grabbed lunch instead. Day 9-10: Madrid. You arrive in Madrid around noon. Our rooms were not ready at the NOVOTEL MADRID CENTER so we went for a snack. My room at this hotel was VERY noisy. I think I slept maybe 6 hours in 2 days because of the noise. My room overlooked the courtyard. The other issue is we all had different size rooms. Some had very small claustrophobic rooms while others had sofas and chairs. As is typical we compared notes and I felt back that not all rooms were equal. Madrid is a beautiful city. I attended the optional excursion of the Flamenco show with dinner. Yet again I was disappointed with the cost to the benefit. Dinner is not what we got. We had the following brought to us: plate of ham, breadsticks, chips, plate of runny mozzarella cheese and cheesecake. Everyone left hungry. They did serve wine/sangria. The show was OK but it’s a very small venue and it lasted about 2 hours all in. We all ended up getting food after so to me this is not worth the price. The tour of Madrid and the Prado museum was next. It was a nice morning touring the city and seeing some key sights. The afternoon was our which we decided to get lunch and relax. The farewell dinner was in Restaurant Botin. We were sent to the 3rd floor and had other groups. It was extremely noisy and to my disappointment we did not have any options for dinner. They served roasted pork, gazpacho and cheesecake. I think if the restaurant wasn’t so busy we could have enjoyed it more but it was hard to talk and the food was OK. Overall we met some really nice people but the dinners left me feeling like a food and wine tour may not be for me. I think having a few options would be helpful because not everyone likes things like ox tail and lamb.

 

Dear Lori, Thank you for your thorough, day-by-day review. We’re glad that there were aspects of your tour that you enjoyed, such as your Tour Director, many activities and excursions, and some of the accommodations. We regret to hear, however, that you feel the tour needs improvement, particularly with the meals. We are sorry that some of them did not meet your expectations. Serving a meal to a larger group poses unique challenges and many times restaurants or caterers will serve a set menu because it is what they’re capable of without compromising quality or presentation (for example: making sure all plates arrive hot and making sure they have enough inventory). It can be challenging appealing to all different palates, particularly with a set menu, and we are sorry that some of the meals were not to your liking, such as the lamb. Many of our travelers have dietary preferences and restrictions, and we encourage all of them to inform us prior to departure so that we can let our staff on the ground know ahead of time. Regarding your accommodations in Madrid, rooms do vary depending on what kind of room you have. For example, a single room, meaning a room for one person, will look and be set up differently than a double room, a room for two people. We regret that this was an issue for you; however, it is fairly standard that room sizes, furniture, and arrangement will vary. Again, we are glad to hear that overall you enjoyed your tour, but we are sorry that there are a few aspects of it which did not meet your expectations. We will definitely communicate all of your feedback to our teams internally so that we may use it to evaluate this tour going forward. Thank you for your review, and we hope to welcome you on tour again.

Posted by Daniela, Director of Quality Control | June 24, 2016

5 / 5

5 / 5

Tour Date: 5/13/2016

Number of Past Tours: 1

From: KY

Tour Director: 5 / 5

Tour Value: 5 / 5

Best Tour Director!

Our guide was fantastic: experienced, personable, helpful, humorous. In a word, perfect! In fact, this was the best tour I have taken. The timing, activities, free time were all well-thought-out. The hotels were excellent. And if you are a "foodie," it was particularly educational. I would recommend it to anyone. I am seriously thinking of taking the GoAhead Italy food-and-wine tour even though I took a similar one a couple of years ago with another company.

 

Hi Karen! We’re thrilled to hear this was the best tour you’ve taken. We’re so glad you would recommend it. Thank you for your review, and we hope to welcome you on tour to Italy soon!

Posted by Daniela, Director of Quality Control | July 05, 2016

5 / 5

5 / 5

Tour Date: 4/8/2016

Number of Past Tours: 1

From: NJ

Tour Director: 5 / 5

Tour Value: 5 / 5

A Fabulous Taste of Spain

This tour exceeded my expectations. From wonderful food, great restaurants and oh yes, the wine. Our tour guide Marcelo was fabulous. So knowledgeable of every aspect of Spain, it's history and traditions. The your had a perfect pace, with time to see the many sites to just sitting and enjoying a glass of wine. A perfect holiday!

1 / 8
 

Hi Marie! It’s wonderful to hear that the tour exceeded your expectations. We’re glad you enjoyed the delicious cuisine – and the wine, too! It sounds like the enthusiasm and expertise of your Tour Director really enhanced your experience, and we’re happy to hear it. Thank you for your review, and we look forward to welcoming you on tour again!

Posted by Daniela, Director of Quality Control | May 04, 2016

4 / 5

4 / 5

Tour Date: 10/10/2015

Number of Past Tours: 1

From: VA

Tour Director: 5 / 5

Tour Value: 4 / 5

Birthday Trip

This trip was fabulous, the tour director was awesome, she really knew her stuff. She was friendly, accommodating, all ways up beat and smiling, went out of her way to please everyone. Communicated our needs to tour guides and hotel staff. The wine tours were great. The food was A+, the only thing that I would change in this tour is to have more food interaction.

1 / 1

5 / 5

5 / 5

Tour Date: 10/10/2015

Number of Past Tours: 1

From: TX

Tour Director: 5 / 5

Tour Value: 5 / 5

Enjoyed Spain

I really enjoyed my wine and food tour of Spain. It is one of the best culinary and cultural experiences I ever had. While on my trip I have learned about the linguistic as well as the culinary traditions of Spain. During our cooking lesson in Barcelona I learned about the steps on preparing paella and crema catalana quemada, ending with delicious results. While in Donostia/San Sebastian I sampled Basque cuisine both traditional and modern for the very first time; I loved every morsel of it. I especially loved the local wine at the pintxos bars. While in the region of La Rioja as well as in Catilla-Leon I sampled some really good orujo de hierbas which is a distilled spirit. In Spain I ate and drank very well. Given the chance I would gladly repeat the whole tour again just to enjoy Spanish hospitality, food and wine.

5 / 5

5 / 5

Tour Date: 9/12/2015

Number of Past Tours: 7

From: IA

Tour Director: 5 / 5

Tour Value: 5 / 5

A Delightful Taste of Spain!

We just returned from a wonderful tour! This tour was well organized, extremely interesting, and fun.filled! The places we visited were great. The wines, food, and hotels were all top notch. We had a perfect tour guide, Gracia, who made the tour one of the best we've taken. The whole group was friendly and fun loving. We enjoyed the tour and the format so much that we've already signed up for another Food & Wine tour for next year. You should take this tour! You'll have a wonderful time!

5 / 5

5 / 5

Tour Date: 6/6/2015

Number of Past Tours: 3

From: MD

Tour Director: 5 / 5

Tour Value: 4 / 5

Well rounded Wine and Food tour

This tour is 11 days and packed with an amazing itinerary! My husband and I felt that it was very well rounded, with a great food and wine experience. The vineyard tours were excellent, the subterranean wine cellar tour and tasting, walking the streets where they have the Running of the Bulls in Pamplona, having dinner at the oldest restaurant in the world, Botin, in Madrid. So many adventures in the 11 days. The local guides were very knowledgeable and our Tour Director, Alexandre R. was exceptional. He made this trip even better. I highly recommend this tour!

5 / 5

5 / 5

Tour Date: 5/9/2015

Number of Past Tours: 1

Tour Director: 5 / 5

Tour Value: 5 / 5

Paz is the best!

I had never been to Spain. I really wanted to go, no one wanted to go with me. Problem solved, I went alone. Yes, Im a middle aged, single woman and went alone. I had a bit of anxiety and had no idea what to expect. All I can say is that this Food and Wine tour of Spain was absolutely fabulous. I loved our tour director "Paz" I don't believe that there was a question that she could not answer. She was just a joy. The food was superb, out hotel rooms were very nice by European standards, the cooking class and pre-market experience was a lot of fun. We did not miss a beat. There was plenty of alone time to explore the quaint little villages and large cities, the quality of the tour, bus, wine cellars, education, museum, and activities was superb. I am already looking at a tour with Go Ahead for 2016.. Just can't make up my mind. So many fabulous choices!

1 / 4

Staff Review


5 / 5

5 / 5

Tour Date: 4/17/2015

Number of Past Tours: 4

From: MA

Tour Director: 5 / 5

Tour Value: 5 / 5

Staff Review

Amazing Experience

This was my first time to Spain and my first Food & Wine tour but my fourth tour with Go Ahead. Food & Wine tours are the way to go. It was such a special experience and a unique way to experience the true culture of an area. I learned a lot and ate A LOT. The hotels started off great and just got better as the tour went on. The included meals were so delicious and authentic. Our group was great, our bus drivers were great, everything was great. As always, the best part of the trip was the Tour Director. She was a treasure and we couldn't have asked for more. Take this tour.