Northern Spain and Basque Country private tours, specialised in:
In creating NSG we wanted to deliver on the three key characteristics of Northern Spain - Landscape, Food & Wine. Our philosophy is the appreciation of everything local and sustainable, which is at the heart of everything we do.
My name is Irene López Martínez and I am the founder and proprietor of Northern Spain Gastronomy (NSG).
My philosophy drives my approach in every aspect of what I do, and within the experiences we offer. As well as delivering my philosophy through NSG experiences, I also practice the art of self-sufficiency at NSG HQ, so I know my Padrón peppers from my piquillo peppers.
I live in Castro Urdiales, a beautiful fishing village located in Cantabria, right on the border of the Basque Country. It's ideal place for our NSG HQ, being located within easy access to Bilbao, San Sebastian, La Rioja and Santander. The area also provides me with the best quality of life, and for my clients, the best experiences in Northern Spain. The stunning landscapes of the Cantabrian Sea, green wooded mountains and wide sandy beaches (Game of Thrones filmed here!) provide the background to some of the highest quality wines and gastronomy in the land.
I studied Business and Management but my passion has taken my professional journey to the gastronomical world. Now I´m a trained chef and wine expert (WSET3 and certified sommelier), our day tours are mostly delivered by me, as are all the wine and food experiences at NSG HQ. I am supported by a small like-minded team who all share the same philosophies about landscape, food and wine, and have excellent knowledge of the area.
I´ve just started our Northern Spain Gastronomy podcast to take you a little bit closer to the gastronomical traditions we have over here. Please feel free to follow and give us some feedback!
I really hope we can meet soon!
We feel that the North of Spain is home to some of the most beautiful and dramatic landscapes in the country. Known as Green Spain, this region hugs the Cantabrian Sea, and is fringed by wild sweeping beaches and lush emerald mountains. In less than one hour from Bilbao, you can be sipping a glass of Tempranillo in the vineyards of La Rioja or marvelling at the snowcapped mountains of the Pyrenees.
We love introducing visitors to these wonderful landscapes, showing them the lesser-known towns and villages of the North. Each place we visit has its own food and wine traditions, which complements its surrounding landscape. As well as areas important to food and wine, we also try to show visitors little corners of pure natural beauty, many of which are being used as stunning film sets in international film and TV productions.
Spain has a wide range of diverse cuisines, and in the north, we eat very differently to the south or the east. We have many different specialties – it’s not all about paella. In the north, our diet changes per the seasons and the local produce available, so everything is always fresh.
Being close to the coast, fish and seafood of course play a big part in our cuisine, but we also have the fabulous txuleta steak, which is typically accompanied by local Basque and Cantabrian cider. While meat and fish are the stars of our dishes, we also produce quality vegetables, and can get just as excited by sliced peppers, onions and olive oil. There are plenty of dishes to discover here, and it is a pleasure for us to introduce our clients to some of the best.
When providing wine tastings and winery tours, our philosophy is to take visitors the smaller producers who are more in tune with the environment, focusing on sustainability and quality, rather than purely on financial aspects.
Spain has been producing wine thousands of years, all the way back to Roman times, but like any wine country, its pioneers have experimented over time, discovering what works and what doesn’t. Today, some of the best wines the region are coming from the small biodynamic and ecologically sensitive producers. These are the wineries we focus on during our tours and the wines we use for our tastings at NSG HQ.
Wine tells a story, and we want to be able to share that story with our guests. The wineries may not be big, glamorous and famous exporters, but to us, they are some of the most special wine producers. In keeping with our NSG philosophy, you will not be on a tour bus with 50 other people and will probably be the only guests at the wineries when we visit.
In just one hour from our HQ, heading south from the coast, we are in La Rioja – Spain’s most famous wine region. Filled with stunning, ancient towns it’s home to a plethora of small wine producers and other artisanal products.
We are small family business, fully insured and licensed-
We only offer the best quality, from transport and service, to food and wine.
We have over five years' experience conducting Basque Country private tours.
For your comfort and safety our Basque Country private tours are conducted in luxury new vans.
We accept all types of debit/credit cards.
We partner with small family businesses and support the local people.
We are passionate about wine and considerate it an art. The cellars we visit on our Basque Country private tour, have a great history behind them.
We have connections with traditional local restaurants.
We visit small towns & villages that you won't often find in the travel guides.
We are a small dedicated team, each with a strong knowledge about the wine and gastronomy world.
Our team are locals who have intimate knowledge of the North of Spain.
Whilst we have a carefully planned agenda, we aim to cater to our clients' needs, and will adjust our Basque Country private tours as required during the day.
With us, you will not feel like you are on a tour, but rather having an experience with local friends.