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Trip Report

Eating and drinking my way through northern Spain with my mom

This was a birthday trip for my mother who is of Spanish decent. She wanted to see more of Spain and I wanted to get to know the culinary scene of northern Spain.

by StephinSeaAbout Me:Middle aged woman who loves and lives to travel. I speak fluent Spanish, love food and wine and enjoy making meaningful connections around the world. read more

EuropeSpain8 days / September - October 2018

Highs & Lows

There were two; a private “Winery Hopping Tour” that ended with lunch in a wine cave.

My mom was recovering from knee surgery and the cobblestones and hills in Girona were hard for her to manage.

Itinerary Overview

This was a birthday trip for my mother who is of Spanish decent. She wanted to see more of Spain and I wanted to get to know the culinary scene of northern Spain, particularly the food of San Sebastian and the wines of La Rioja.

  • 2 Nights: Girona
    City tour, drinking coffee in the main square and eating and drinking at some of the incredible local restaurants.
  • 2 Nights: Barcelona
    Walked around the city and visited some tourists hotspots as well as restaurants recommended by locals
  • 2 Nights: Donostia-San Sebastian
    Eating and drinking.
  • 2 Nights: San Vicente de la Sonsierra
    Eating and drinking

Q & A

  • What would you have changed?

    Given that my mom was recovering from knee surgery I might have slowed the pacing down a bit and may have even skipped Girona given its cobblestones and hills. But if you are healthy and dont mind being on the go, the trip was perfect.

  • Transportation Tips?

    When we flew from the US to Spain we landed in Barcelona and hired a private driver to take us to Girona. Coming back from Girona to Barcelona we opted for the train which was really easy. We then flew from Barcelona to Bilboa and rented a car to get around. I wished I would have had a printed map because relying on my GPS, which was spotty, meant that we got lost a time or two.

  • Anything go wrong during the trip?

    The movement for Catalan independence had come to a head while we were there which meant that some touristic activities were cancelled in Barcelona and Girona. It was a fascinating backdrop to our trip and only problematic when the airport shut down due to a strike on the day we were supposed to leave.

  • How was the food?

    The food was great! Northern Spain has tons of Michelin starred restaurants, but even the more basic restaurants are terrific.


  • Allotjaments Singulars - The proprietor was not super responsive via email prior to our arrival however the lodging was stunning and once there he was far more accessible via cell phone. It is a really beautiful small old building and its more of an apartment versus a hotel. If you are a fairly independent travler I would highly recommend it.

  • Cotton House Hotel - Small rooms but lovely hotel, great location and wonderful restaurant

  • Pension del Mar-Adequate…good location but nothing special about the hotel or hotel restaurant.

  • Casona del Boticario-This was a great old small hotel in the heart of the tiny but charming city of San Vicente. I would highly recommend it.