Saturday, October 4, 2014

Wine And Gastronomy Tours For 2015

New Spain Wine and Gastronomy Tours

Rioja Castle

IberianTraveler and Maribel's Guides are offering a special series of exclusive food and wine tours in Spain's renowned wine producing regions of Navarra, the Rioja and Ribera del Duero.  Tours are available from early March through late November.
The wine and gastronomy packages include 2, 3 & 5-day guided tours of Navarra, the Rioja (Alta & Alavesa) and the Ribera del Duero plus a special 7-day guided tour combining the Rioja and Navarra, finishing the week long event in the Basque country’s dynamic city of Bilbao.
These exclusive guided tours are offered as chauffeured or self-drive. Chauffeured tours can originate in Bilbao, San Sebastian-Donostia, Pamplona, Madrid or Barcelona.

Bodegas Pago de Larrainzar, Camino de la Corona, s/n, Ayegui (Navarra)    

Navarra Wine and Gastronomy Tours are based on staying at the Marriott 4-star hotel AC Ciudad de Pamplona, deluxe 4-star hotel Alma Pamplona, luxury 4-star boutique Palacio Guendulain or the luxury 5-star hotel GH La Perla in the center of Pamplona’s historic old quarter.
Options in Navarra include the cuisine of Michelin stared chef Koldo Rodero, the classic haute cuisine of head chef Javier Díaz Zalduendo of restaurant Alhambra and the creative cuisine of El Embrujo in Pamplona, the classic Navarran cuisine of chef Nicolás Jimenez of Restaurante Tubal in Tafalla and the cuisine of star chef Enrique Martínez at his Restaurant Maher in Cintruénigo.

Bodegas Viña Tondonia, Haro (Rioja Alta)    

Rioja Wine and Gastronomy Tours are based on staying at the 3-star Villa de Abalos, 4-star Villa de Laguardia, the 4-star luxury boutique Hotel Viura in the village of Villabuena de Álava, or the Frank Gehry designed 5-star Hotel Marqués de Riscal, a luxury spa hotel in Elciego, in the heart of the Rioja.
Dining options in the Rioja include the creative Riojan cuisine of chef Hector Oribe in Páganos, the modern Riojan cuisine of Juan Nales Rückaue at Las Duelas in Haro, the classic Riojan restaurant Ariño in Labastida and the cuisine of famed chef Francis Paniego, the first chef in the Rioja to be awarded a Michelin star. 
Bodegas Valduero, Carretera de Aranda s/n, Gumiel de Mercado (Burgos)    

Ribera del Duero Wine and Gastronomy Tours are based on staying at the 3-star Hotel/Restaurant Raiz in Roa, the 4-star Pesquera AF Hotel/Restaurant in Peñafiel and the luxury 5-star L’ Domaine, a Relais & Chateaux on the wine estate of Abadia Retuerta near Sardón de Duero.
In the Ribera del Duero, your dining options include the gourmet restaurant of L’ Domaine, roast lamb at El Lagar de Isilla or Mesón El Pastor in Aranda de Duero, Restaurante Molino de Palacios in Peñafiel.  Dine on roast lamb at Restaurante Raiz, Asadors Nazareno or Chuleta in Roa. Or try the accentuated regional cuisine at the Restaurant Luna Llena in the Pesquera AF Peñafiel.
Tours include regional cuisine and wines and are available for individuals and small groups of up to 12.
Contact Iberian Traveler – Maribel’s Guides for additional information on our exclusive wine and gastronomy tours in the Rioja, Navarra, the Basque country and the Ribera Del Duero.

Tuesday, September 2, 2014

Contact Iberian Traveler to arrange a unique custom itinerary in Spain, Portugal or the south of France.

Experience the best of what Spain, Portugal and the south of France have to offer with an exclusive food and wine tour with VIP wine tastings, or with one of our unique cultural experiences...

Stay in elegant, luxury boutique hotels.  Enjoy VIP wine tasting at top wineries and experience the culinary creations of Spain, Portugal and France's most celebrated and innovative chefs.

Guided small group tours are available from March through November.  Guaranteed departure with a minimum of 4 (16 maximum)

Self-guided custom itineraries are available year around.

Iberian Traveler - Maribel's Guides
USA Tel: (206 364-6723  Mobile: (206) 861-9008  Email:

Friday, June 6, 2014

The Cartel For Sanfermines 2014 Has Been Announced!

Saturday, 5 July at 20:00 (8:00 pm)
Novillos de "El Parralejo"
Novilleros: Borja Jeménez, Francisco José Espada, Posada de Maravillas

Sunday, 6 July
Toros de Carmen Lorenzo
Rejoneadors: Pablo Hermoso de Mendoza, Sergio Galán & Roberto Armendáriz

Monday, 7 July
Toros de Torrestrella
Matadors: Antonio Ferrera, Miguel Abellán & David Mora

Tuesday, 8 July
Toros de Dolores Aguirre
Matadors: Uceda Leal, Francisco Marco & Paulita

Wednesday, 9 July
Toros de Victoriano del Río
Matadors: Juan Josés Padilla, Iván Fandiño & Juan del Álamo

Thursday, 10 July
Toros de Garcigrande
Matadors: Juan Serrano "Finito de Córdoba", Julián López "El Juli" & Alejandro Talavante

Friday, 11 July
Toros de Jandilla
Matadors: Sebastián Castella, Miguel Ángel Pererae & Iván Fandiño

Saturday, 12 July
Toros de Fuente Ymbro
Matadors: Juan Josés PadillaDavid Mora & Jiménez Fortes

Sunday, 13 July
Toros de Adolfo Martín
Matadors: Diego Urdiales, Manuel Escribano & Alerto Aguilar

Monday, 14 July
Toros de Miura
Matadors: Javier Castaño, Luis Bolivar & Esaú Jacqueline Fermandez

Saturday, May 31, 2014

The Procession of San Fermín

The Route of the Procession - 7 July

Church of San Lorenzo, Rincón de la Aduana, San Antón, Zapatería, Calceteros, Plaza Consistorial, San Saturnino and Calle Mayor.

The statue of San Fermín on Calle Mayor

9:50 am: Town Hall Square - The Corporation (mayor and city councillors) sets off for the Cathedra.

10:00 am: Cathedral - The Corporation collects the Chapter and they walk together.

10:30 am: Church of San Lorenzo - The statue of San Fermín heads for Rincón de las Aduana, surrounded by the procession.

10:45 am: Calle San Antón, 47 - First jota in honor of San Fermín.

10:55 am: Plaza del Consejo - First momentico; Coral Santiago from the Chantrea sings the iota "Al Glorioso San Fermín".
11:15 am: El Pocico de San Cermin (Church of San Saturnino) - Two children place roses on the Saint's pedestal.  "Agur Jaunak" is played by txistularis, Basque flute players.

11:40 am: Called Mayor, 20 - Jota from Napardi.  The statue of the saint enters the chapel of San Fermín for Mass.

2:15 pm: Cathedral - The Giants dance while the María bell chimes.  The Corporation bids the Chapter farewell in the atrium and returns to the Town Hall.  "The wonder of Damascus" is played.

2:45 pm: Town Hall Square - The Council dancers perform in the town hall square.

La Pamplonesa

The Procession passes in the following order:
  • Giants and Bigheads
  • Cross of San Lorenzo, Archbishop's Cross
  • Carpenters and laborers
  • Hermandad de la Pasión, the Brotherhood of the Passion, Marian Congregation
  • Heralds and kettledrummers, the city flag, Municipal dancers and txisturlaris, the Basque flute players.
  • Bearers and the statue of San Fermín
  • Cathedral Chapter, Archbishop of Pamplona
  • Macebearers
  • Corporation, Mayor of Pamplona, escorts
  • Muncipal Police and the ceremonial escort
  • The Pamplonesa, the Municipal Band and star of the fiesta

The Giants on Calle Mayor with at few thousand followers

Monday, April 21, 2014

What to wear during Fiesta!

The Traditional Costume

The official dress, for everything that happens during the Fiesta de San Fermín, is the traditional costume of white and red, blanco y rojo, a white shirt and pants, red pañuelico (bandana) and red faja (sash).  The "official costume, which is also worn by Pelota players in Navarra and the Basque country, and by celebrants during the festival in Bayonne, "Fêtes de Bayonne". can be purchased at any of the clothing stores you'll find around Pamplona, including Spain's leading department store, El Corte Inglés.  Or you can bring your own pants and shirts from home, but pack an extra pair, as hotel laundry service is limited on the 6th, the opening day of the festival, and the 7th, an official bank holiday in Navarra.

The red pañuelico, donned at noon on the 6th of July following the firing of the rocket, the 'chupinazo', in the town hall square, is not put away until midnight of the 14th, following the candlelight ceremony, the 'pobre de mi' (poor is me).  But it is recommended that if you are planning on running not to wear the pañuelico around your neck, as it might get tangled up on a bulls horn as he passes.  The same is true of the faja.  It should not be worn loose, but wrapped tightly around your waist, or removed altogether during the encierro.

Peña Seattle de Sanfermines provides our clients with its own official pañuelico.  The faja can be purchased from one of the many street vendors you'll find in and around the old quarter.  Dressing in San Fermín attire will allow you to integrate smoothly with the crowd and quickly get into the spirit of the fiesta.

Besides going well with white, it is said that the red pañuelico has a religious origin and was selected to honor Pamplona's patron saint, San Fermín, red being the color priests wear to honor a martyr who died for his beliefs.

It is also important that you bring a comfortable pair of walking shoes.  You will be doing a lot of walking day and night and a good pair of shoes are important, and as good a job as the city does in cleaning the streets each day, you will inevitably encounter some broken glass along the way, especially following the opening ceremony and during the early hours of the 7th.  And please, no sandals!