There are many reasons why Spain it is an attractive destination for many tourists. It has different landscapes, different cultures within the territory, beach or mountains, cities or rural areas; however, without any doubt, one of its main attractions is its tasty cuisine! It does not matter if you choose north, south, east or west; each tiny spot in Spain has rich plates full of taste waiting for you. Let me tell you more about the North of Spain Cuisine.
I am a passionate of my country and as a guide I always try to show the best of it to my clients as if they were my closest friends or family. Without any doubt, one of my favorite’s ways to show Spain is combining culture, landscapes and gastronomy. I cannot imagine my tours without enjoying the fantastic food we find along the way.
The trip that I am about to share with you will surely leave your mouth watering. Recently, I made a Gastronomic Tour through the North of Spain. Such an unforgettable experience for the most demanding palates!
The North of Spain Cuisine Tour
Santa Catarina Market
Our trip started in Barcelona. We enjoyed this fantastic Mediterranean city in such a funny way! We started the day visiting the Santa Caterina Market. This market offers an infinite catalogue of fresh products and it is so alive. People buying groceries, eating or just walking around enjoying the market vibes. We started the day with a very typical Catalan breakfast: a toast with extra virgin olive oil, tomatoes and a “Bomba” (in this bar, they have the best ones of the city!). Definitely a must in the Spainish Cuisine. We get impressed with the colorful stands! The products’ display was perfect and looked incredible fresh.
We stopped in a small shop, which is specialized in olive oil. Spain is a big producer of this “liquid gold” and it is necessary in every Spanish recipe. We made a tasting and tried Catalan, Andalusian and even Galician olive oils. A pleasure for our senses!
One of today’s activity is a show cooking, so we hired a specialist chef in Spanish cuisine and we went shopping through the market. We felt like a local buying the groceries for our meal. We left the market behind once we had all the necessary items.
The chef was amazing! He made Catalan recipes and we’ve tried an extensive variety of products. Everything was delicious and it was so much fun to see how he cooked the groceries that we bought in the Market.
As you can see, everything was delicious. The table, the company and the food made this lunch memorable! Bravo Chef!
After lunch, to help the digestion, we walked around Barcelona and enjoyed what the city had to offer us.
Leaving Barcelona behind, we travel to Logroño, capital of the main wine region in Spain: La Rioja, a heaven for wine lovers. A “tapas” tour was our plan for today in the famous street of Logroño: Calle Laurel. This street has more than 50 bars and restaurants and every single of them has a house special. Everybody was ready to try them all!! We could not miss the most typical ones: Mushrooms from the Soriano Bar, the bocatas (Spanish sandwich) from the Tio Agus with its secret sauce. …
On the next day, with our stomaches still full, we visited the medieval town Laguardia. Situated right in the Rioja Alavesa, we visited a special winery. This particular winery is located in the old town of Laguardia and differs from other wineries because they age their wines in underground tunnels that belong to the winery. Laguardia is known due to its impressive galleries of tunnels under its streets which were built during the war times.
Nowadays, these tunnels are used in a much different purpose than in war times: for wine elaboration and for tourism.
After knowing how they age the wine and the whole process, we tasted the wine in the underground cave.
After learning a lot of the history of this winery, we decided to walk through the vineyards that surround Laguardia and looked for a quiet place for a picnic. We enjoyed the quietness of the area with typical products and the amazing wine that we bought in the cave winery.
After our delicious picnic we went to San Sebastián. We could not miss this city in our gastronomic tour. The plan for tonight was to go around the narrow streets of the old town to find the best “pintxos” (tapas in Euskera) and drank their famous wine : Txacolí.
On the next day in the morning, we visited the A Bretxa market. Once again, our eyes were indulged with colors, smells and flavors. Here we can stand out the cheeses like Idiazábal, the fresh vegetables from close farms and the fresh fish. Without any doubt the fresh cod is the king of the fishes here; you can find it fresh, salted or in any other version.
After visiting the market, we went to a Basque cuisine class with an expert of this area’s gastronomy. We all got involved in the plates elaboration.
We had a five star menu: Txakoli shot with melon juice, a plate of cheeses and cold cuts, tomato salad with tuna and asparagus, cod with garlic and spices, pil pil hake ( spicy) and then dessert: Idiazábal cheese icecream!
After such a huge lunch, we had the whole afternoon to rest and get to know the city. We could not miss a walk through La Concha Beach and the Urgull Mountain so get could enjoy the city from the top.
Dinner this time will be in the Lanziego restaurant. A traditional restaurant which philosophy is based on fresh products that preserve traditions with a modern presentation. A must try : the house foie gras and the lobster warm salad.
Another day arrives and our next stop is Bilbao: we cannot miss the Guggenheim Museum!
The Guggenheim visit was so interesting and then we took a walk until the Arenal and then to the old city until we reach the Plaza Nueva, one of main squares of the city. There is a world “pintxos” in front of us. We decided to make our first stop in the famous Victor Montes and then we stopped in every bar in the square.
National Park Picos de Europa
After our pintxos tour we had to say goodbye to Bilbao and we drove to the oldest national park in Spain: Picos de Europa. Crossing the chapel Gorge we realized how magnificent this place is. We went on following the course of river Deva to the Dé Fountain. From here, we enjoyed the amazing views of the Picos.
Once we reached the hotel, we met again to enjoy dinner. We savored a typical dish of this area: A Cocido Lebaniego ( a kind of stew). We started with a noodles soup and then the chickpeas, vegetables and the meat known as “Compango”.
To help digestion the chef recommend us to have the Stone tea, a typical tea from the area with a few drops of grape liquor.
On the next morning, we go on a small trekking walk to enjoy the magic of Natural Park.
Las Arenas de Cabrales
After our walk, we travelled to “Las Arenas de Cabrales”. We visited the cave and learnt the elaboration of famous Cabrales Cheese. We had the pleasure to enjoy this strong cheese with a glass of the Asturias Cider.
Our next stop was Oviedo. Oviedo is city with a lot of history and many people know it as an outdoor museum. We walked through the San Francisco Park and along the way we ran into a few sculptures like the one of Mafalda, Woody Allen…
To recover from such a nice walk, we had dinner in a typical Asturias Restaurant: a huge fish and meat barbeque was the best option!
On the day after, we decided to take it easy and had a relaxed day. We visited the Fontán Martket and walked around the streets of the Asturias capital.
A new day arrised and we moved to our next stop. We kept going West and arrived in Galicia. Definitely, our last destination is a heaven for food lovers.
We visited A Coruña and we of course, visited the Hercules Tower, the oldest roman lighthouse from the I century that still works. After a small walk through the old town we stopped for dinner. Galicia is well known for the quality of its seafood and of course we had seafood for lunch.
Santiago de Compostela
After lunch, we went to another city, the most famous one of Galicia: Santiago de Compostela; which is worldwide known for being the final destination of millions of Pilgrims who want to visit tis Cathedral and the Saint James Apostle tomb.
Our first stop was the Santiago de Compostela Cathedral and the old town. In the evening, we followed the tradition of the city : having some tapas in the old town.
Our trip ended in the market eating Pulpo á feira, the Galician style to prepare octopus and we mixed with Galician wine.
A final toast all together brought joy and happiness to say goodbye to such an amazing and unforgettable trip. Without any doubt, this is the perfect tour for food lovers!