If there was one experience created for me, this could well be it.
The best thing about being a travel consultant? I get to share things I love with clients that look to me for guidance and inspiration.
Spoiler alert: I’m bursting at the seams to share this with you.
Let me ask you a question...
What is the Spain you imagine when you close your eyes? Possibly arches, steeples and plateaus and a land of beaches and everlasting sun?
That exists for sure, in puzzle pieces scattered across the Iberian Peninsula. But that is not the Spain you are about to be introduced to.
When Eat Northern Spain guides close their eyes, they see a land of arresting beauty, of snaking rivers pink with running salmon, mountain lakes like water bowls for wild horses and towering peaks that tumble into the ocean.
The company was born in 2009 in Northern Spain, where food and wine are life.
Now I know what you’re thinking... Why aren’t we on our way already? But wait, there’s more.
They strive to bring an unforgettable experience to visitors who want to immerse themselves in exploring the local culture through its food and drink, its producers, its chefs and the love and care they put into their creations.
Your first taste of txakoli, the sight of a bar filled with pintxos, the smell of fresh olive oil being pressed, the feel of thinly sliced jamón ibérico between your fingers... your senses will be sharper at the source.
So, what makes Eat Northern Spain so special?
They believe travel should be unique and personal, but most of all, it should be authentic.
Some go on holiday simply for sunshine and a sandy beach and are quite happy to eat familiar fare, all of which are of course lovely, but perhaps like me, you may be more interested in sampling the local cuisine of the country you’re visiting.
The only problem is: how to do this with confidence when you don’t know the area or necessarily speak the language?
Well, you could book yourself on a group tour. It will probably be cheaper, but it will almost certainly involve crowded minibuses full of strangers, lengthy waiting times, visiting places you’re probably not interested in, average food and exhaustingly long days.
Eat Northern Spain changes all of that. They are specialists in creating private and bespoke luxury holidays tailored to your interests.
Crafted from the very finest ingredients - exceptional lodgings, incomparable insider access, stellar food and wine, unique restaurants, luxury transport - their trips combine foodie experiences with unparalleled cultural immersion in one of Spain's greatest destinations.
They offer a comprehensive portfolio of fantastic experiences that can be mixed and matched to build a dream adventure for your own private group of friends or loved ones travelling together and with flexibility on dates and start/ end locations.
A good starting point may be to take inspiration from a tried and tested itinerary which I can help to refine further to your own tastes and budget.
Here are a few itineraries that excite me...
For a short break, there’s the 4-day Camino de Santiago Culinary Tour - perfect for foodies with a desire to explore vibrant historic towns and experience the hidden gems which serve up sensational tapas and local cuisine.
If you have a little longer and consider yourselves serious wine connoisseurs, into stunning forests, countryside, and beaches, or simply like your breakfasts to include wine (because it’s never too early for a glass when in Spain), then check the 8-day Ultimate Tour of the finest vineyards and wine regions.
Or perhaps you have read about the "best steak in the world" found in a farmhouse hidden off the back roads of Northern Spain, are keen to learn the secrets of the world-famous wine region "Ribera del Duero" or would like to brush shoulders with the locals to savour "pintxos", the Basque version of Spanish tapas.
All of which feature in the sensational 10 day Ultimate Food & Wine Tour of Northern Spain, a sneak preview of which you can see here:
When travelling with these guys, everything will be taken care of, from the organisational prep, to the (best) hotels, restaurants and excursions, allowing you to be immersed in true local experiences, with a helpful and friendly guide who can be involved as much or as little as you like. If eating your way through Northern Spain tempts you like it did me, get in touch for a menu.