This four-day tour provides a grand introduction to some of the best wines and regional gastronomy of Ribera del Duero and Rioja.
- Private motor coach
- 3 nights accommodation
- 3 breakfasts
- 4 lunches (including wine)
- 1 gourmet dinner (including wine)
- Entrance to 5 -7 wineries (depending on the itinerary) with wine tastings
- Entrance to monuments / museums stated in the itinerary
- Tour guide
Day 1: Madrid – Ribera del Duero
Departure for Ribera del Duero from Madrid at 9:30 a.m.
Your first destination will be one of Ribera del Duero’s top wineries. The winery tour will take you through each phase of the wine making process and includes a discussion of the region’s native grape, Tinta del País or Tempranillo. A private wine tasting will follow the tour.
Next you’ll enjoy a leisurely lunch in a regional restaurant. Your delicious, traditional Castilian meal will be accompanied by fantastic wines.
There are two different options for a splendid afternoon. The first option is to visit the region’s capital town of Peñafiel. Here you’ll tour the impressive Peñafiel Castle, a XIV century castle which looks like an enormous stone ship anchored on the Castilian plateau, and then you’ll peruse the modern wine museum located within the castle’s southern keep. You´ll wander through Peñafiel and stop by the town´s unusual El Coso plaza.
Alternatively, you can continue your exploration of Ribera del Duero wines with another winery visit. Then you’ll tour the tranquil monastery of Santa María de Valbuena. Situated near the banks of the Duero river, this monastery was founded in the XII century and is one of the finest examples of Spanish Cistercian architecture.
In the early evening, you’ll check in to your luxurious hotel. You’ll have a chance to relax and enjoy a glass of wine on your balcony overlooking the Duero or go for a quiet walk along the river.
Dinner will be on your own in the hotel’s excellent restaurant, or you can take a taxi to Peñafiel.
Day 2 Ribera del Duero – Rioja
Check-out and departure from the hotel at 9:30 a.m.
In the morning, you’ll visit one or two wineries that will further convey the history of Ribera del Duero and the transformation of its superb wines. Each tour will be followed by a private wine tasting. Winery choices will depend on the wineries visited the previous day, and will be varied so that before you leave, you’ll have visited a spectrum of wine making facilities and sampled a range of Ribera del Duero’s world-renowned wines.
Next you’ll set off for the Rioja. On the way, you´ll stop for lunch in the charming hill-top town of Lerma. Here you’ll enjoy a wonderful lunch at Lerma’s magnificent Parador. Noted for its courtyards, the Parador is set in the Ducal Palace which was built in the early XVII century. The Parador’s restaurant offers regional specialties such as suckling lamb, quail, or partridge … dishes that are all perfectly complimented by Ribera’s full-bodied, red wines.
After lunch, you’ll continue on to the Rioja, and arrive in the beautiful, walled village of Laguardia. You’ll check in to a lovely hotel, and then have the rest of the afternoon free to stroll through this delightful village which perfectly preserves its medieval urban plan and noble houses. From the walkway around the village you´ll enjoy breathtaking views of the surrounding vineyards.
Dinner will be on your own in Laguardia or in the hotel´s restaurant.
Day 3: Rioja
Departure from the hotel at 9:30 a.m.
Today begins your magnificent journey through the Rioja, Spain’s most famous red wine making region. Rich in wine-making history, contemporary Rioja is a fascinating mix of tradition and modernity. You’ll visit two of the region’s top wineries and get acquainted with both “old-style” and “new-style” Rioja wines. Winery visits will be varied to include a traditional winery and a modern winery or one of the region’s gorgeous single estates. Each winery tour will include a private wine tasting.
After the second winery tour, you’ll enjoy a light, picoteo style lunch in the winery which will, of course, be accompanied by the bodegas excellent wines.
The afternoon presents several delightful alternatives. You can enjoy a relaxing afternoon in Laguardia, with more time to wander through this charming village and stop in at a small, traditional winery which boasts an extraordinary subterranean wine cellar.
Or you can go for a leisurely drive through the Rioja’s beautiful countryside, and explore a few of the many scenic villages scattered throughout the area such as Samaniego, San Vicente de la Sonsierra, Briones or Elciego. It is also possible to include an optional visit to the Dinastía Vivanco wine museum located outside of Briones.
Regardless of how you choose to spend the afternoon, dinner in Laguardia will be a sumptuous affair. You’ll dine in an elegantly renovated XVII century manor house whose restaurant is considered to be one of the best in Northern Spain. You´ll enjoy an exquisite meal accompanied by the region’s best wines.
Day 4: Rioja – Madrid
Check-out and departure from the hotel at 10:00 a.m.
Today you’ll visit one of Rioja’s smallest, yet most outstanding wineries. This enthusiastic winemaker is dedicated to producing small volumes of best-quality wine and achieves this goal by selecting the highest-quality grapes from the oldest vines. You’ll tour the winery and enjoy a private tasting after the tour.
After the winery tour, you’ll start back to Madrid via the beautiful city of Burgos. You’ll have lunch in a restaurant located in the historic quarter, and then tour the magnificent Burgos Cathedral, one of the grandest Gothic cathedrals in all of Europe. The cathedral is famous for its majestic spires and wonderfully ornate portals. The interior of the cathedral boasts many fine works of arts, and contains the tomb of the legendary Spanish hero “El Cid.”
Arrival back in Madrid between 7:30 and 8:00 p.m.
“Frank and the Forocio team were wonderful in working to make our Study Abroad program a success with the large group of students we traveled with. Every detail was well organized and allowed us to enjoy the trips without worry. The tour guides they chose for us were professional and knowledgable. Frank checked in on us after every trip to ensure things had gone smoothly. We can’t imagine having traveled without them! We highly recommend Frank and Forocio!”
Ryan M. Bessett, PhD
Assistant Professor of Hispanic Linguistics Department of Writing & Language Studies University of Texas Rio Grande Valley
“We would like to thank you for organizing an excellent trip for our program. I would like to comment particularly on the excellent guides we had this time (Elena along the Way, Maria in Santiago, and Theresa in Madrid). I can’t complement them all enough, all very knowledgeable and flexible to meet our groups’ needs. Our bus driver, Manuel, was also great.
Our whole group was very pleased with the accommodations all along the way as well. I think the only hiccup we had was figuring out the taxi support and payment during the Camino. It all worked out in the end and our group had a very positive experience. ”
Donna Gillespie, Ph.D.
Associate Professor of Spanish
College of DuPage
“College of DuPage has been working with Forocio for the past eight years. Their team has helped organize several of the cultural excursions for our summer study abroad program in Spain. Forocio has provided reliable services, professional and expert guides, and nice accommodations for our students in a variety of locations throughout the country. One of the highlights of the program is a guided tour of the Alhambra in Granada. The guides have always been so knowledgeable and passionate about sharing their expertise with our group. We would highly recommend Forocio during your stay in Spain.”
Donna Gillespie, Ph.D.
Assistant Professor of Spanish
College of DuPage – U.S.A.
“Son los mejores ofreciendo tours a medida, personalizados y se ajustan a tu presupuesto sin problema. Su profesionalidad contribuye a nuestra más absoluta tranquilidad en cada viaje que hacemos con nuestros grupos. Son más de doce años de confianza en los cuales hemos contado con ellos no sólo como proveedores de nuestros viajes sino con todo lo que tiene que ver con traslados privados locales, excursiones o reservas en restaurantes. ¡Prestan un servicio excepcional!”
Sr. Admin Coordinator
University of CaliforniaEducationAbroadProgram– España
“I personally have been working with Frank for nearly 4 years. During that time he has organized logtistics for 6 university travel courses. Thanks to FOROCIO, our programs have been able to incorporate multiple city visits seamlessly. From city guides and buses in Morocco to trains and planes throughout Europe, I know when working with Frank we have access to the best options in terms of times, prices, and logistics. He continues to keep our budget and needs in mind in order to provide our groups with just what they need.”
If you would like more I am more than happy to write additional specifics. I truly am grateful for all you have done to make my job easier and would like to support FOROCIO in any way.
Advisor, Office of International Studies Abroad
University of San Diego – U.S.A.
“Forocio coordinated two weekend excursions for my study-abroad group. Both trips were impressively well-planned and reasonably priced. We had access to knowledgeable guides, a fantastic (also knowledgeable) bus driver, and a schedule that was perfectly balanced between sight-seeing and free time. I was also particularly impressed by the professionalism and reliability of Frank, the director. When a student’s minor emergency resulted in a two-hour delay to one of the trips, Frank personally assisted in shifting our full schedule of activities to accomodate the delay (no easy feat!). I whole-heartedly recommend Forocio to other educational travel coordinators, and I look forward to using their services again.”
Faith S. Harden
Department of Spanish and Portuguese
University of Arizona – Tucson, AZ – U.S.A.
“Our group – a small classical choir – very much enjoyed our four-day-trip to Madrid, which was especially due to the refined and personal organisation of Forocio. The hotel, the restaurants (thinking of that Cafe with live opera singing!) and the local tour guides were thoroughly selected and strained to meet our needs and desires. A special thank you we would like to give to Forocio for arranging for our choir to perform during a church service at the famous Almudena Cathedral – what a delight it was to sing within this dignified and magnificent edifice! Another climax of the tour was a day tour to Toledo, the “secret capital of Spain”. Wow, history’s unwinding there in every brick and every corner you turn. Again, thank you very much to Forocio, it’s been an unforgettable trip.”
MBtouristik.ExklusiveGruppenreisenGbR – Germany
“Everyone is still talking about the trip and the outstanding experience it turned out to be. My deepest thanks to you for supplying us with wonderful guides, excellent hotels, exceptionally dependable coach drivers, great destinations and, most important, beautiful weather. You and your representatives did a great job for the group and I am most appreciative… Once again, my thanks for providing The Masterworks Chorus with such a wonderful and well-planned tour. ”
Dr. Robert Sharon
“Como directora de un programa de study-abroad, me encanta trabajar con Forocio. Frank y su staff dan un servicio personalizado excelente. Siempre puedo contar con ellos para ayudarme a organizar cualquier viaje para mis alumnos y, trabajando con ellos, sé que los viajes van a ser de buena calidad a precios muy razonables. ¡Yo recomiendo Forocio a todo el mundo! ”
Resident Director Alcalá ProgramInstituteforStudyAbroad
Butler University UAH
“Intrax Education Abroad, one of the leading North American providers in faculty led study abroad programs has been working successfully with Forocio International Friends for a number of years. Over the past year we have seen an increase in our group offerings to Spain due to the excellent work of the Forocio team. Without exception, every student group that we have sent to Spain with Forocio has been extremely satisfied with their attention to detail and high level of customer attention and service. Our organization works with tour operators all over the world and Forocio stands out head and shoulders above all!” ”
Operations Manager Intrax Education Abroad
“From transportation and hotels to guided visits, Forocio offers quality excursions at competitive prices. Frank and his team are exceptional, and Forocio’s customer service and willingness to adapt to our program requirements has resulted in first-rate travels throughout Spain and wonderful memories for our students. Indeed, even with a program as large as ours (80-100 students), Forocio has provided excellent accommodations, comfortable and spacious motor coaches, exceptional guides in both Spanish and English, and does it all while maintaining quality and an economical price. And, to top it off, Forocio makes sure that everything is taken care of for you by making all arrangements and staying in contact at all times. This is an honest and trustworthy company that is genuinely interested in their client. Higly recommended. ”
Chad M. Gasta
Director, Western European Studies Program
Iowa State Universit
“Back from Sevilla, I just wanted to send you a quick note to thank you and Forocio for organizing the trip for us. Everything went well… We all had a great time: the hotel accommodations were good, and the hotel food was good too. I want to especially commend our guide Pablo Carbajosa, who is an excellent guide, and a very lovely person. We truly enjoyed his sense of humor, his knowledge, his kindness, as well as his impressive linguistic abilities. I hope we can have another trip with Forocio, if not this year, then next year. I am going to give your address and information to the next Field Directors, who may contact you even before they get here next year. Best wishes, and once again, thank you very much!”
St. Marys University
“Another successful ISU trip in Spain! Thank you for all that you do for us.”
Howard Van Auken, PhD Bob&Kay Smith
Entrepreneurship Fellow Professor of Management Iowa State University
“Trabajamos con Forocio desde hace más de 20 años con total satisfacción tanto por parte de nuestros clientes como nuestra. Es una empresa seria y fiable. Los precios son muy competitivos y se esmeran por complacer las necesidades de los clientes. Mientras la relación siga siendo tan buena como hasta ahora, seguiremos trabajando y recomendando Forocio para reservas hoteleras y viajes.”
Estdio Internacional Sampere
“For the last 6 years Forocio has been essential to our study-abroad program in Madrid. Their rare combination of expertise, dependability, and affordability makes our program run smoothly and makes my life much easier. Our extended field trip to Barcelona is the highlight of our summer and the meals Forocio arranged for us were exquisite. My students bragged to their friends from other programs about the hip restaurants we went to in Spain.”
George A. Carlsen
Director of the Madrid Summer Study Abroad Program
“We have worked with Stefan Schmuckle and Forocio since 2012, taking groups of American university students to Europe during the month of January. Our groups have ranged in size from 23-32, and we have visited five cities per trip, ranging from Barcelona to St. Petersburg, Russia. We have always sought the elusive combination of acceptable price point and comfortable accommodations – and Stefan has always delivered. Not once have we had a guide or transport fail to show up on time or arrived at a hotel that was not only expecting us but ready for early check-in. Stefan even handled all the flights between the European cities. We could not be more pleased with Forocio and look forward to working with them in the future.”
Janie Spencer, Ph.D.
Professor of Spanish