Gourmet Getaway to Central Spain

  • Sample Itinerary
  • Experiences
  • Pricing
  • Featured Hotels
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Delve into the gastronomy of Central Spain as you sip your way through boutique Tempranillo vineyards, savor rustic Manchego, and sample artisan olive oils on this gourmet getaway through Madrid and Castilla La Mancha. Your culinary journey will take you from Michelin-starred kitchens to experience Spain's contemporary food revolution, to the organic olive groves of producers preserving sustainable farming techniques. Crown your food and wine adventure by discovering La Mancha's boutique winemakers blending old world varietals into velvety vintages of note.

Sample Itinerary

Day 1

Upon arrival to Madrid Barajas Airport be welcomed by your private chauffeur and travel to the sprawling La Mancha landscapes of Toledo's countryside. Arrive at your resplendent 19th century manor house turned five-star country retreat and fall in love with its serene setting before celebrating the start to your gourmet getaway with a Michelin-starred welcome dinner of contemporary Spanish flavors prepared with estate grown produce, at your hotel's acclaimed gastronomic restaurant.

Day 2

Experience the splendors of your countryside escape with a tranquil horse-drawn carriage ride among the estate's sprawling grounds, before delighting in an al fresco picnic among ancient olive groves. After a leisurely afternoon you'll return to the hotel and roll-up your sleeves for a hand's-on cooking class instructed by the hotel's acclaimed Michelin-starred chef.

Day 3

Today you'll visit an organic olive oil estate for an owner-led walk through the property's historic groves. Learn about their sustainable production process and cultivation of the region's artisan olive oil movement, before sampling local gourmet products paired with the estate's extra virgin olive oil beneath the shade of the surrounding trees. Next, travel to the UNESCO world heritage city of Toledo, rich in Christian, Jewish and Moorish history and culture. Your local expert will guide you along the city's storied streets, before stopping to highlight El Greco's Burial of the Count of Orgaz in the church of Santo Tomé. Along the way, sample Toledo's typical marzipan, a confection descended from the city's Moorish roots. In the afternoon, visit one of Castilla La Mancha’s most esteemed wine estates for a private tour of their impressive barrel room before tasting the winery's acclaimed Tempranillo, Cabernet, and Syrah blends.

Day 4

Depart your lovely pastoral retreat for an artisan cheese farm where you'll learn how the region's prized Manchego is crafted before delighting in a tasting of fine curado and semi-curado cheeses. Set off for the fabled town of Consuegra, immortalized by Cervantes in his literary masterpiece, Don Quixote, and enjoy free time to walk amongst the town's legendary windmills accented by breathtaking views of the surrounding La Mancha plains. From chasing windmills in Consuegra you will next travel to the awe inspiring city of Cuenca, steeped in history and natural beauty. Check in at your four-star Parador hotel housed within a former 16th century monastery and offering incredible views of Cuenca’s UNESCO designated medieval walled center from its perch above the Huecar Gorge. Tonight, dinner will celebrate La Mancha’s hearty cuisine at a gourmet restaurant with a stunning setting.

Day 5

Led by a local expert, embark on a privately guided exploration of Cuenca's UNESCO designated old town, beloved for the architectural intrigue of its cliffside Casas Colgadas (Hanging Houses), incredibly suspended above the Huecar river gorge. Meander along Cuenca's narrow streets to admire the old town's signature medieval buildings while visiting its lovely jewel-toned Plaza Mayor and Gothic cathedral, the first in all of Castilla. Depart for the countryside surrounding Cuenca where you'll arrive at a family-owned wine estate set amongst picturesque vineyards and dramatic hillsides. Enjoy a visit of the winery followed by an exclusive tasting of the producer’s small batch wines, before savoring a rustic country inspired lunch.

Day 6

Leave Cuenca by chauffeur for the cosmopolitan center of magnificent Madrid. Check-in to your sophisticated five-star hotel located just steps from the Thyssen-Bornemisza and Prado museums. Begin your introduction to the flavors of Madrid with a visit to a gourmet market frequented by the local Madrilenos. A local food expert will lead you through the market's many epicurean treasures to procure ingredients you’ll be using in today's cooking class. When shopping is complete, be transported to a delightfully eclectic culinary space to partake in an immersive cooking class where you’ll learn how to prepare authentic Spanish tapas, from the traditional to the modern. Your evening of culinary delight will culminate with a dinner of your creations.

Day 7

Enjoy a free day to independently explore Madrid and its illustrious museums, eateries, and shopping districts, at your own pace. In the evening you will do as the local Madrilenos do as you embark on a unique tapas tasting tour led by a local food expert. Travel to Madrid's lively Chamberi district to savor signature eats at the city's most revered tapas bars lining the famed gastronomic street, Calle Ponzano. You'll celebrate your epicurean stay in Madrid with a sensational sampling of tapas, both traditional and contemporary, but forever rooted in the robust Castilian culinary heritage.

Day 8

From your chic Madrid retreat depart by chauffeur for Madrid Barajas Airport, for your return flight or the next leg of your adventure.

Experiences We Recommend

  • Scenic horse drawn carriage ride through Spanish countryside
  • Hands-on cooking class of modern Spanish cuisine with Michelin-starred chef
  • Owner-led olive grove tour to learn about sustainable olive oil production
  • Al fresco olive oil tasting paired with artisan gourmet products
  • Private vineyard & wine cellar tour with tasting of premium Tempranillo blends
  • Artisanal cheese farm visit with tasting of Manchego curado & semicurado cheeses
  • Visit to the windmills of Consuegra
  • Guided walking tour of Cuenca & its “Casas Colgadas”
  • Local farmer’s market visit with local food expert in Madrid
  • Cooking class of traditional & modern Spanish tapas
  • Tapas tasting tour through Madrid’s vibrant Chamberi district

Pricing

The recommended tour length for this sample itinerary is 8 days/7 nights with pricing options beginning at $6,390/person* based on double occupancy. Please note that the “Share Bred With Friends” preferred pricing program will be applied to travel parties of four or more.

*The final price of your custom tour will be determined by your travel party size, departure dates, trip length, amount of meals included, percentage of guided time requested, cities chosen in your itinerary and signature CountryBred excursions selected. This sample itinerary can also be crafted for solo travelers.


Encounters Include

  • Stays at five & four-star boutique luxury hotels
  • Chauffeured transport for touring & transfers
  • Private touring with professional local guides
  • Engaging activities led by cultural experts
  • Signature experiences with insider access
  • Regionally authentic dining
  • Traveler Welcome Package
  • Taxes & base gratuities

Read Client Reviews

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  • Mark & Shawn W.

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    "We just returned from our second "customized" CountryBred Encounter touring northern Italy regions (Piemonte, Lombardia, Veneto) in May 2016. In our 2 week trip, the 4 couples experienced incredible Wine & Food traditions."

Crafting the Experience

Experiential travel takes time, passion and local ingredients to make something truly special.

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* The minimum trip length for a CountryBred Encounter is 5 days.
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