“We sailed to the Balearic Islands, anchored in a bay near Formentera, browsed boutiques in Palma and club-hopped in Ibiza. Do I have a brochure? Sorry, no…”
Edmund Burke called Spain “a whale stranded upon the coast of Europe.” Quite witty, but it makes you wonder if he ever visited a country that, to our minds, offers such a flawless blend of history, hospitality and hedonism (all with a silent H) and is the ideal destination for a bespoke luxury holiday.
For a group of former college friends, we crafted a three-week itinerary that saw them biking and walking, wining and dining, sightseeing and siesta-ing right across the peninsula. Meeting in Barcelona, they discovered the city with a professor from the School of Fine Arts, then headed off biking along quiet roads through the Catalan countryside, stopping at a pair of renowned Relais & Châteaux hotels, Torre del Remei and Mas de Torrent. A perfect day on an America’s Cup yacht followed an otherworldly evening at chef Ferran Adrià‘s legendary elBulli – the Michelin three-starred restaurant that many ranked the world’s finest (and that we hope will return in a new form following the mysterious hiatus announced in 2011).
A chartered jet from Girona brought the friends to San Sebastian, where they explored the Rioja vineyards on foot. After lunch at Pedro Subijana’s Akelare and a visit to Frank Gehry’s spectacular Guggenheim in Bilbao, home for the night was the hotel Gehry designed for the Marques de Riscal winery. (Rumour has it he was only persuaded to take the assignment when, over lunch, the owner opened a bottle from the year of the architect’s birth.)
It was time to shift the cultural gears in a more Moorish direction. After a short flight south to Andalucía, the group enjoyed superb biking all the way from Córdoba to Seville, and from Hotel Hacienda Benazuza to the outstanding Finca La Bobadilla. Stops along the way in Carmona, Palma del Rio and Ecija provided further encounters with the hospitable people of this region. Indeed, the group felt incredibly welcome everywhere they journeyed in Spain, learning from the experts how to awake from each siesta ready for another night of celebrating life.
Brown + Hudson’s Iberian experts can help you create your own version of the perfect adventure in Spain. Maybe you’d like to take a gastronomic helicopter tour, with private lessons from eminent local chefs at each stop along the way. Or an art-themed journey, touring the Prado and other key museums in Madrid and Barcelona with acclaimed curators. It’s a simple matter of tossing away the guidebooks – and the collected works of Edmund Burke – so you can let your imagination run free.
Create your own story
We'll help craft a bespoke travel experience tailored to your unique needs and tastes.
To discuss what interests you about this or any other destination, call us: +44 203 358 0110