Wine Touring in the Kingdom of Navarra

Like the Ribera del Duero and the Rioja, Navarra is home to a wealth of premium wineries including 4 of Spain’s 17 official Vinos de Pagos, or DO de Pago; Señorío de Otazu, Prado de Irache, Señorío de Arínzano, and La Finca Bolandín, which was added in 2014.  What is a DO de Pago, a…

Madrid’s Best Casual Dining

Our favorite “Foodie” Gastro Bars in the Retiro For a more authentic, non-touristy tapas crawl, or gourmet sit-down meal, we highly recommend visitors to the city find their way to the upmarket residential area just east of Retiro Park.  This neighborhood has by far the best taverns per square meter in the entire city, it’s…

Visiting a Txakoli Vineyard

Gipuzkoa The Route of the Txakolí of Getaria runs along the coast from Hondarribia to Deba and inland to Olaberria, Oñati and Arrasate, and currently includes 31 wineries belonging to the Getariako Txakolina D.O..  The majority of the wineries, 11 sourrounding Getaria, and 6 around Zarautz that can be easily visited from San Sebastián. Among…

Pago de Cirsus de Iñaki Nuñez

It’s been ten years since we were first introduced to the estate of Bodegas Pago de Cirsus, La Finca Bolandín in Ablitas, and yes, things have changed, all for the better.  The single vineyard, winery, Hotel-Chateau and Restaurant are located in the southernmost part of Navarra, the “bread and vegetable basket” region of La Ribera, adjacent to the Bardenas Reales Nature…

The Cerdanya and the Catalan Pyrenees

Prior to our stay on the Costa Brava, we spent three days exploring the picturesque and sunny Cerdanya valley between la Seu d’Urgell (Lleida) and Puigcerdá (Girona), surrounded by the majestic Catalan Pyrenees mountains.  From our base at the inviting and restful Parador de Seu, in the confluence of the Valira and Segre rivers, we made forays into the…

Where To Dine in the Alto Douro

Here are our recommendations on where to dine during your next adventure in the Alto Douro: Restaurante Rabelo (Michelin Plate) Rua António Manuel Saraiva, Pinhão Tel: +351 220 133 137 Bar-Restaurante Veladouro Rua da Praia Nr3, Pinhão Tel: +351 254 738 166 Castas e Pratos (Michelin Plate) Rua José Vasques Osório, Régua Tel: +351 254…

Exploring the Alto Douro

Touring Portugal’s Premiere Wine Regions The Alto Douro Although long famous for its fortified wines from such port houses as Taylor-Fladgate,  Offley, Graham, Noval and Sandeman, the Alto Douro Vinhateiro, one of the most beautiful wine growing regions in Europe, has, in the last twenty years or so, come into it own as a producer…

Paradors and the Camino

A Journey Through Northwestern Spain Following the Pilgrims Route – León to Monforte de Lemos During the fall we enjoyed a leisurely excursion through northwestern Spain, traveling from Castilla y León to Galicia, staying in Paradors, government owned hotels, primarily historic monuments; castles, monasteries, palaces, fortresses and convents, converted into sumptuous lodgings for travelers. We…

Chasing Fall Colors

  Northwestern Spain and Northern Portugal Autumn in northwestern Spain and neighboring Portugal is a vibrant splash of color as you travel through Castile and León’s stunning El Bierzo wine region to Ponferrada and Villafranca del Bierzo from the provincial capital of León.  Crossing into Galicia’s Ourense province on the N-120, you’ll find the vineyards…

Exploring Portugal’s Alentejo

Arraiolos to Vila Vicosa Our latest Iberian sojourn took us to Portugal’s largest province, its “wild east”, the Alentejo, “the land beyond the River Tagus”, just 90 minutes east of Lisbon and just west of Spain’s Extremadura, the land of the Conquistadors.  The Alentejo is a vast, primarily rural, utterly tranquil and unspoiled area of…