We did enjoy having Luis as our driver. He was expert in every way, always being attentive to our needs/desires, as well as offering commentary on the areas we drove through, and answering our questions as best he could. Because we are foodies and love wine, getting around to a number of wine regions was a fabulous experience.
In Madrid we really loved walking through the massive Parque de Retiro---Madrid's version of NYC Central Park. On leaving Madrid, we liked visiting Bodega Ismael Arroyo winery, and then Abadia Returerta winery. We loved the town of Segovia with its ancient Roman acqueducts. Laticia was an excellent tour guide there, and Luis was our expert driver for more than one week. Because wine touring was our main goal, visiting Ribera del Duero and Riojo were highlights. For the last three days of our Spain tour, food/wine expert guide Sean O'Rourke brought wine country to life for us. The countryside of Ribiera Sacra was breathtaking, and Sean arranged a number of great winery visits, as well as cultural highlights, like seeing where the lamprey eels are caught, and then trying out that delicacy in a local restaurant. Albarino wine country was so interesting with its vines being elevated so as to avoid the moisture/humidity. Galicia wine country was amazing. Our two days in Barcelona were excellent, and dining at Tragaluz, as recommended by Sean, was a highlight as well. On our own, we took a wine/cava tour in Barcelona, visiting Torres, Jean Leon, and Freixenet producers. La Sartre, 3 Michelin star restaurant in Barcelona, was pricey, but quite an excellent dining experience.
Though trying to economize a bit, the 3 days in Madrid might have been improved a little had we been given more suggestions as to places to go, restaurant suggestions, etc. We were able to come up with such on our own, but perhaps a list of suggestions would have been nice.