Izki is one of the most outstanding golf course in Northern Spain, in the heart of the Basque country. Situated in the Natural Park of Izki, in the mountain area of Alava, it was designed by the golf master himself, Seve Balleteros, the Izki golf course is a complete innovation in golf architecture. The lines of its spectacular holes and wide-open fairways surrounded by oak and beach trees, makes playing golf a unique experience. Discover nature in its purest form on fairways that have been designed to blend into the environment with the least possible disruption. Golfing here when the colors of autumn are ablaze can be a magical experience. Take up the gauntlet and raise your game on this demanding course, 18 holes with a peculiar hole 13, deep in the forest divided by 2 creeks and a strong finish from holes 16 to 18.
Situated half an hour south of Burgos, the Lerma Golf Course was built in 1992 on an old hunting estate of 220 hectares called La Andaya. Here you will discover the simplicity of the Castilian countryside. Created by the Spanish architect José Gancedo, the fairways are wide, and the bunkers cleverly positioned. Many of the holes are sheltered from the strong winds that blow frequently across the land, by forests to the north and south. It is not uncommon to spot hares dashing across the fairway or flocks of geese and ducks resting in one of the 8 ponds and two streams scattered across the course.
Seize this perfect opportunity to visit the wine region of Rioja, just a few kilometers south of Izki Golf. This is the oldest and largest appellation of Spain with 60 000 hectares (just under 150 000 acres) of vines. Today, the 1200 Bodegas of the region offer the perfect combination of ancestral winemaking methods and new technology. Tempranillo is the main grape for red wines, combining the structure of Cabernet Sauvignon with the fruitiness of Grenache. These are big wines with hefty tannins and an easy-to-grasp classification system, notably with regard to oak-aging, that makes choosing your style of wine simple. Check out the amazing 6-floor gravity-fed underground cellars at Bodegas Baigorri, or the stunning view from the tasting room at Bodegas Luis Canes. Then relax at the 5-star Hotel and Spa resort Castilla Termal Monasterio de Valbuena.
Just south of Lerma Golf runs the Duero river that meanders through the heart of the Ribera del Duero wine region. Though this strip of land spreading from east to west, north of Madrid, boasts some of Spain’s finest wines, the region itself is still largely undiscovered and yet well-worth a stop. Not only does it offer a range of rich, deep, complex wines, there are also medieval castles, ancient walled cities and beautiful countryside to explore. The local cuisine is tantalizingly delicious too with cured hams, mouth-watering roast lamb and sheep’s milk cheese. Explore the unique terroir at Abadia Retuerta, or learn all the secrets to winemaking tasting the wine straight from the barrel at Bodegas Dominio de Cair.
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