Northern Spain’s Basque Country & La Rioja

with Optional Pre-Trip Extension to Barcelona


Optional Pre-Trip Extension: May 27 – 30, 2022

Base Trip: May 30 – June 7, 2022

(this experience, like that of our others, will only operate

when it is safe to do so and we have been cleared to travel)

It’s worth noting that for 3 years in a row Spain has been designated the

“World’s best country to visit in 2019, according to the World Economic Forum”

as reported by CNN Travel.


Join Alla Campagna Experiences Founder and veteran tour organizer Ralph Velasco for the culinary adventure of a lifetime in Northern Spain.

This experience will focus on the Basque cities of Hondarribia, San Sebastián & Bilbao as well as Laguardia & Logroño in the Rioja region,plus we’re offering an optional pre-trip extension to Barcelona.

Scroll down for more details about this unique experience limited to just 6 to 14 participants.

Click the image to play the video.


If you choose to participate in the optional extension you’ll spend three nights in a wonderful boutique hotel that is well-located for all you’ll do during your stay.

Next, start the base trip by staying 4 nights in a truly impressive converted castle with just 33 rooms in the seaside village of Hondarribia, located just across the Bidasoa River from France.  After spending quality time here and in San Sebastián, Getaria and Zumaia, next you’ll be transferred approximately 2.5 hours south to the Rioja region where you’ll enjoy an additional 4 nights in a converted mansion strategically located within the city walls and on the postcard town of Laguardia’s Plaza Mayor.  Laguardia is a beautifully-preserved hill town with 360-degree views over Rioja Alavesa, in the Basque Autonomous Community.

It goes without saying that spending time in these beautifully-converted and historic properties, now world class hotels, will be truly unforgettable, even for the most seasoned traveler.


Optional Pre-Trip Extension to Barcelona: May 27 – 30, 2022

Base trip to Basque Country & La Rioja: May 30 – June 7, 2022


The following is 2021 pricing, but 2022 pricing is subject to change

$5,400 per person in double occupancy.

Please add $800 per person for single supplement if you’d like your own room throughout the base trip.



$1,700 per person in double occupancy.

Please add $450 per person for single supplement if you’d like your own room throughout the extension.

Register for This Experience in 4 Simple Steps:

  1. Request and submit a Reservation Form.
  2. Read and agree to our Terms & Conditions.
  3. Provide a scan or smartphone photo of your passport’s signature page.
  4. Send in your $1,000 deposit or full payment.


To request the Reservation Form and Terms & Conditions for this experience please contact us at THIS LINK.

To make payment, you can use a credit card via PayPal (Click this Link to request invoice) or deposit a check directly into our bank account at any Bank of America branch. Depositing a check affords a $50 per person discount.

We’ll send you all the payment details if you’ll CONTACT US HERE.

Ralph Velasco is a professional travel photographer, author and international guide and he’s the Founder/CEO (Chief Experience Officer) of PhotoEnrichment Adventures and Alla Campagna Experiences.

For more than 12 years, he’s organized and led over 100 international tours in a variety of locations around the world, just some of which include Romania, Portugal, Iceland, Egypt, Mexico’s Copper Canyon, Bhutan, Nepal, Central Europe, Morocco, Turkey, the Adriatic, Cambodia, Tuscany, Spain, Vietnam, India, and others.

Although originally from Chicago, for more than 7 years now Ralph has been what’s come to be called “location-independent,” which simply means he has no permanent home and lives on the road, and at 30,000 feet scouting, administering and leading his highly-rated and very popular tours which boast a more than 42 percent rate of repeat clients.

Be sure to check out Ralph’s YouTube channel The ContinentalDRIFTER where he offers a variety of travel advice and photography tips, as well as the Continental DRIFTER blog.


Speaking & Teaching

For more than 10 years Ralph has been a regular speaker about travel and photography at the prestigious Travel & Adventure Shows throughout the United States, as well as the New York Times Travel Show. He’s also been a featured speaker at the Travel Bloggers Exchange in Sweden, Ireland, Spain and Israel; the IOETI Conference in Cairo, Egypt; and has taught travel photography at U.C. Irvine Extension Program, Saddleback College, Santa Ana College, the Irvine Fine Arts Center, REI Outdoor School and others.


Education & Other

He’s got a B.S. in Small Business & Entrepreneurship from the Indiana University School of Business and an M.I.B.A. (Masters in International Business Administration) from United States International University in Mexico City, Mexico and San Diego, California.

Finally, Ralph’s been a member of several championship big boat sailing teams in Chicago, San Diego and Newport Beach, California; has his private pilot’s license (SEL); and speaks Spanish.

Daily Trip Itinerary

Most meals are included and B = Breakfast, L = Lunch and D = Dinner

Items mentioned below in ALL CAPITAL LETTERS are included in your fee for this experience.

Arrival at Barcelona’s El Prat Josep Tarradellas Airport (BCN) followed by PRIVATE TRANSFER to your 4-star accommodations in Barcelona.

We recommend that you plan your flight to arrive by 3:00 pm local time so that you can check in with time to relax.

Enjoy DINNER with other extension participants at a traditional restaurant handpicked by our local experts and located near your hotel.


OVERNIGHT at the 4-star H10 Urquinaona Plaza Boutique Hotel

This morning your LOCAL EXPERT GUIDE will pick you up at your hotel and take you through the Modernist District where you can stand in awe of the famous buildings of world-renowned architect Antoni Gaudí, including a VISIT to the incomparable LA SAGRADA FAMILIA and panoramic views of La Pedrera and Casa Batlló.

After this unique experience you’ll have a GUIDED WALKING TOUR of the winding streets of Barcelona’s Barri Gòtic, or Gothic Quarter, enjoying the Cathedral, several churches and squares, all while learning the history of Barcelona with its Roman and medieval past.

Today’s tour will finish with a TAPAS LUNCH in the Barri Gòtic after which you can have the rest of the day and dinner on your own.

OVERNIGHT at the 4-star H10 Urquinaona Plaza Boutique Hotel

Usually located within walking distance (or your hotel can arrange a taxi) today you’ll experience a HANDS-ON COOKING EXPERIENCE, including the opportunity to enjoy the fruits of your efforts for LUNCH.

With the help of your expert culinary guide witness the incredible contrast of colors and textures and discover why Mediterranean cuisine is internationally praised due to its locally-sourced ingredients.

This approximately two-and-a-half-hour experience will surely be one you’ll be talking about for a long time and consists of preparing a 4-course meal of traditional cuisine. Every dish will be made in succession, one after the other, so everybody gets to participate and you’ll see the whole process for making each recipe.

This experience is followed by the MEAL and accompanied by WINE and WATER.


Although it can vary, an example of the set 4-course menu that you may prepare is as follows:

1. Tomato soup shot flavored with Idiazabal cheese

2. Potato omelet, locally known as tortilla, with tomato bread

3. Delicious seafood paella

4. Crema Catalana for dessert

Finally, the staff will be glad to arrange a taxi back to your hotel, if necessary, or feel free to work off your meal by walking back at your leisure.


OVERNIGHT at the 4-star H10 Urquinaona Plaza Boutique Hotel

NOTE: If participating in the Optional Pre-Trip Extension to Barcelona, once instructed you can arrange your flight from BCN to EAS via Vueling, the Spanish airline that best services this part of Spain.  As of this writing several direct flights are available each day and have a duration of approximately one hour and fifteen minutes.


Please don’t make any non-refundable travel arrangements until given the go ahead by

Alla Campagna Experiences administrators to do so.


Arrival at Hondarribia/San Sebastián Airport (EAS) followed by PRIVATE TRANSFER to your ACCOMMODATIONS at Parador del Tourismo El Emperador, a former castle located in Hondarribia’s charming old town.

Check in with time to relax.

GUIDED WALKING TOUR of the old section of Hondarribia then walk to WELCOME DINNER at a local restaurant

OVERNIGHT at Parador del Tourismo El Emperador

TRANSFER to Zumaia Cliffs where you’ll have a chance to hike to a point offering truly incredible views of the rocky cliffs, landscapes and beach below.

Next enjoy TXAKOLI WINE TASTING at Elkano Winery with GUIDED VISIT followed by a chance to walk a short section of the St. James Coastal Way (a.k.a. Camino del Norte) with stunning views over the sea.

GUIDED TOUR of Getária, a fishing village followed by a tasty LUNCH of local grilled fish.

TRANSFER back to Hondarribia with free evening to explore at your leisure.

OVERNIGHT at Parador del Tourismo El Emperador

TRANSFER for a full day of exploring San Sebastián, including HALF-DAY GUIDED TOUR and visit to Mount Igeldo offering the highest viewpoint in the area of La Concha Beach’s horseshoe bay and the beautiful city of San Sebastián below.

Next TRANSFER for leisurely walk the La Concha promenade to people watch and make great photos.

Then you’ll partake in an unforgettable GUIDED PINTXO TOUR for LUNCH, after which you’ll have free time this afternoon to shop in San Sebastián’s many stores, relax with a glass of wine or coffee, ride the Ferris Wheel or explore more of this beautiful city at your leisure.

At a predetermined time you’ll meet to TRANSFER back to Hondarribia for free evening and dinner on your own, or you can choose to stay in San Sebastián and make your own way back (about 30 minutes).

OVERNIGHT at Parador del Tourismo El Emperador

Today will be a mostly free day, but one incredible suggestion we can make is to take a boat ride from Hondarribia across the river to Hendaya, which is actually located just across the border in France.

Then you can also visit St. Jean de Luz, considered by some to be one of the prettiest towns in France and where you can simply walk around and enjoy the town, followed by lunch, if you wish.

Once you’re back in Hondarribia you can spend your last free evening in this area with dinner on your own.

OVERNIGHT at Parador del Tourismo El Emperador

PRIVATE TRANSFER from Hondarribia to La Rioja (approximately 2.5 hours).

Check in at your HOTEL in Laguardia, Hospederia Los Parajes, a former mansion located directly on the town’s Plaza Mayor.

Next enjoy WELCOME TAPAS WITH WINE (Light Lunch) in the hotel’s incredibly beautiful cava, or underground cave cellar, after which you’ll partake in a GUIDED WALKING TOUR of Laguardia, one of the best-preserved hill towns in all of Spain.

This will be followed by a GUIDED VISIT with WINE TASTING at a unique winery called Casa Primicia (or similar) located within the medieval walls of Laguardia (you’ll learn of its many secrets on this tour).

Next have time to relax, explore this area on your own, or do whatever it is you like with dinner on your own.

OVERNIGHT at Hospederia Los Parajes in Laguardia

This morning we’ll have a later start, so if you’re interested, and weather permits, you can choose to participate in an optional hot air balloon ride over La Rioja.  More details will be provided as the trip approaches.


Next there’ll be a GUIDED TOUR around the valley of vineyards stopping to make pictures of some of the local architectural wonders including the one and only Marques de Riscal (designed by Frank Gehry), Ysios (by Santiago Calatrava) and Viña Real (by Philippe Mazières).  These incredibly modern buildings were actually created to blend surprisingly well with the local landscape.


Next, LUNCH will be in a traditional winery called Eguren Ugarte and based on local dishes paired with three of the bodega’s wines, including delicious lamb chops expertly grilled over dry grape vine branches.  You’ll also get to tour some unique places in the winery that only a select few get to experience, and if he’s available this will be along with the 85-year-old owner and local legend, Vitorino Eguren.  There’ll also be a visit to his personal tower offering truly stunning 360-degree views of the valley and mountains in all directions.  You’ll also get to spend time in his personal cave (this is the ultimate “man cave,” but interestingly enough it was created by Vitorino for his wife of 60-plus years, Mercedes).


TRANSFER back to Laguardia for the remainder of the evening and dinner on your own (after the ample lunch from today you can choose to have a light dinner at your hotel or any of several other restaurants within the city walls, or simply skip a meal).

PRIVATE TRANSFER to nearby Moreda de Álava for an olive oil experience including GUIDED WALK through a family-owned olive grove which will culminate in an unforgettable OLIVE OIL TASTING among centuries old olive and fig trees.

Then there’ll be a PRIVATE TRANSFER back to Logroño with WALKING TOUR and free time to visit the local food market.

Next you won’t want to miss a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity to participate in a COOKING DEMONSTRATION including FULL LUNCH and WINE at a private, members-only Gastronomic Society with TOUR which will be personally conducted by one of its members.

Finally, PRIVATE TRANSFER back to Laguardia with free evening on your own (you probably won’t even need dinner after this lunch!)

Overnight at Hospederia Los Parajes in Laguardia

PRIVATE TRANSFER along the mountains to several hill top medieval villages offering incredible views of the valley passing through St. Vicente de la Sonsierra.


GUIDED VISIT WITH TASTING at Miguel Merino’s family-owned boutique winery, considered to be one of the best in Rioja.  Miguel is quite the character and a very funny man who, if he’s in town, will be glad to talk with us and answer any questions in his very good English.


Next have a short, GUIDED WALKING TOUR of Briones, a hilltop medieval town.


VISIT the world’s largest wine museum, Vivanco, followed by free time in the old quarter of nearby Haro where you can enjoy lunch on your own at any of the many local restaurants.


PRIVATE TRANSFER back your hotel in Laguardia.


Finally, this evening you’ll TRANSFER to Logroño’s Calle Laurel, often touted as the best food street in all of Spain, for an unforgettable FAREWELL GUIDED TAPAS TOUR with a local expert.


OVERNIGHT at Hospederia Los Parajes in Laguardia

PRIVATE TRANSFER from your hotel in Laguardia to Bilbao (approximately 2 hours) with free time for optional visit to the Guggenheim Museum Bilbao and to have lunch on your own.

PRIVATE GROUP TRANSFER at a predetermined time from Guggenheim Museum to Bilbao Airport (BIO) or you may choose to stay overnight in Bilbao and we can help to arrange any extra nights.


PLEASE NOTE: Airport transfer is only included with the group on Day 9.

Regarding Your Flight Home 

In order to give yourself time to arrive at Bilbao airport (BIO) and check in, please arrange your onward flight no earlier than 7:00 pm local time (subject to change, and please don’t make any non-refundable travel arrangements until given the go ahead by ACE administrators). 

You can certainly choose to stay over in Bilbao to enjoy its many other sites and things to do, but you’ll need to arrange your own transfer to the airport when you leave.


We wish you safe travels and happy memories of what will surely be another unforgettable Alla Campagna Experience!


SUBJECT TO CHANGE: Again, we’re estimating that you’ll want to schedule your flight to leave the evening of Thursday, September 16, after 7:00 pm local time, to allow plenty of time to comfortably make your onward flight.


For more information and to register for this trip,

please contact us at admin@AllaCampagna.com







  • 8-nights’ accommodations, including 4 nights in Hondarribia/San Sebastián in a parador (a converted castle) and 4 nights in Laguardia at a converted mansion in the old town center.
  • Private airport transfer from Hondarribia/San Sebastián airport (EAS) to your hotel upon arrival and group transfer to Bilbao (BIO) at end of trip.
  • Services of an English-speaking guide for orientation tours and various included experiences.
  • Meals: Breakfast (B) daily, 5 Lunches (L) and 2 Dinners (D).
  • Bottled water will be provided each day, plus wine tasting as outlined.
  • Transportation with professional driver between all locations and for included group activities, when necessary, in a private, air-conditioned vehicle.
  • Entry fees for all included sites and experiences.
  • Group tips for local guide(s), driver and included meals.



  • Your flights or other transportation to and from Spain.
  • Items of a personal nature.
  • Alcoholic beverages and other items not specifically mentioned as included in the itinerary.
  • Additional tips for driver, guides and/or hotel and other services


Items mentioned above in ALL CAPITAL LETTERS are included in your fee.

All aspects of this itinerary are subject to change.  We ask that you remain flexible as there are often circumstances beyond our control and changes may be necessary.

The trip leader, tour operator and/or tour coordinator reserve the right to make adjustments to the published itinerary whenever, in their sole discretion, conditions warrant, or if they deem it necessary for the comfort and/or safety of the group.

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