Start in Madrid to discover the historic and contemporary treasures of this vibrant city before you hop from castle to castle and wend your way through Spain’s most prestigious wine regions, names to conjure with Rioja, Ribera del Duero, Toro and Rueda. Visit the great wine centres of Laguardia, Haro, Logroño, Peñafiel and  Valladolid and ‘drink in’ the traditions and beautiful landscapes.

It’s not all about the wine – authentic castles, each different and charmingly restored, will be your home at each stop and you’ll find plenty to visit from historic villages to the monumental university city of Salamanca and plenty more besides.

The example route takes one week but you can do as little, or as much, as you like.

  • Tour Highlights:
  • Madrid – history, art, gastronomy and entertainment in Spain´s capital
  • Rioja, Ribera de Duero, Toro & Rueda wine regions
  • Romantic castle hotels from start to finish
  • Walk or cycle amongst the vines
  • Laguardia, Peñafiel, Torredesillas & many more
  • Monumental Salamanca, Spain’s greatest university city
  • Prehistoric dolmens to ultra-modern bodegas
More about Madrid & Inland Spain

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£975 p/p

* Indicative mid-season price for 8 nights (including car hire – flights not included) in our suggested hotels.

Full details (PDF)

Day 1 & 2 – Madrid

  • Capital of Spain – one of Europe´s largest
  • Golden Triangle of Art – Prado, Reina Sofia & Thyssen Bornemisza Museum
  • Puerta de Alcalá, Royal Palace, Almudena Cathedral… – invaluable heritage
  • World-class galleries, theatres, cultural centres & events
  • Distinctive atmosphere in each barrio; lively bars & restaurants
  • Royal Monastery of San Lorenzo de El Escorial
Accommodation options

Day 3 & 4 – La Rioja Wine Region

  • Prestigious vineyards of La Rioja
  • Riojan & Basque cuisine – excellent local ingredients
  • Stunning modern architecture among the vines
  • Medieval Laguardia and Labastida
  • Dinastia Vivanco museum of wine culture
  • Enjoy your own Rioja wine tours on the enobus
Accommodation options

Day 5 & 6 – Ribera del Duero

  • The ‘Golden Mile’ – legendary wine route including Vega Sicilia
  • Castle, wine museum and historic town of Peñafiel
  • Cycle or wander along the banks of the Duero river
  • Historic Lerma and the old part of Valladolid
  • Roman ruins of Clunia
  • Traditional gastronomy with delicious roast lamb
Accommodation options

Day 7 & 8 – Salamanca

  • Salamanca – truly monumental university city
  • Toro, Rueda & Sierra de Salamanca wines
  • Delicious jamon from Guijuelo
  • Historic Tordesillas, Toro & Zamora
  • Cruise on the river in the Arribes del Duero Nature Park
  • Visit the Sierra de Francia & villages of Las Batuecas
Accommodation options

The itinerary includes the following:

  • Accommodation in our listed hotels – 2 sharing 1 std. double ensuite, B&B
  • Economy 4dr car hire
  • or ferry crossings with Brittany Ferries (car + 2 berth interior cabin)
  • Guide book to Spain
  • Personal Travel App including highlights, weather forecast and restaurant suggestions for all areas en-route
  • Instructions to find all accommodation & regional road map

Not included:

  • Flights – but we are able to advise
  • One-way car hire charges, where applicable (see your quote email)
  • The following car hire extras – these can be added at pick-up point
    • extra driver
    • child seats
    • GPS
  • Garage parking where applicable (mostly city stops) – please ask us about parking charges

Getting there

A circular itinerary, this route is best enjoyed flying into Madrid. Bilbao can also suit or why not combine the two airports to make a point-to-point itinerary:

To / from Madrid

  • Gatwick  & Edinburgh with Easyjet
  • Heathrow with Iberia-BA
  • Stansted, Manchester & Birmingham with Ryanair
  • Dublin with Aer Lingus

NB There are many connections with Madrid.  Please call us for help and advice if you don’t see you nearest airport here:

To airports in the North

  • Stansted: Santander with Ryanair / Bilbao with Easyjet
  • Gatwick: Bilbao with Vueling-BA
  • Bristol: Bilbao with Easyjet
  • Dublin: Santander with Ryanair / Bilbao with Aer Lingus
  • Manchester: Bilbao with Easyjet
  • Edinburgh; Santander with Ryanair / Bilbao with Easyjet

NB: Flights are not included

Getting around

For passengers travelling by air we will include a hire car as part of the package. Normally we include a 4 door economy class car but please let us know if you would like something different.

Should you prefer to come by ferry we can adapt the itinerary to suit. We can include ferry travel at  advantageous rates.

AITO reviews

Excellent – touring northern spain

client 2018

Very helpful, well organised, good hotels and excellent at providing a bespoke itinerary.

client 2018

Castles and wine tour in the Rioja and Ribera de Duero regions. We stayed at three castles, 3 days in each and toured several bodegas. It was marvellous fun and we fitted in other visits to museums and a bullfight.

client 2018

We have toured with Casas Cantábricas last year in Galicia and loved it. That was in small hotels and B&Bs this time we stayed in castles which was grander and also very good.

client 2018

More about Madrid & Inland Spain