From banker to luxury concierge in Spain and Portugal

by Wednesday, August 8, 2018

In this revisited episode of Journeys to Come, Catriona Rowntree uncovers the best places to visit in Spain and Portugal. Her guest is Virginia Irurita, the owner of Made for Spain & Portugal.

Catriona asks Virginia about her journey from a banker to a luxury concierge. She says: “when we travel we want to take something back with us”.

Tune in to discover the best places to eat, shop and explore in Portugal and Spain.

Journeys to Come is a podcast about travel hosted by Australia’s Queen of Travel Catriona Rowntree. Each week we share memories from recent trips and talk about upcoming adventures.

Listen to the podcast here

The shepherd and the spy – Made for Spain & Portugal

From short escapes to month long vacations, multigenerational events to history focused itineraries, from family fun to gourmet food and wine trails, Made for Spain & Portugal creates bespoke journeys to take all dreams and turn them into a trip of a lifetime.

Possibilities with Made for Spain & Portugal include exploring the world’s largest vineyard region, the Iberian Peninsula, home to over 90 wine regions, on a trip stretching from central Spain all the way to northern Portugal. Sample fantastic varietals along the way with visits to spectacular private wine estates with the owners, and pairings with Michelin Star meals. The culture obsessed can immerse themselves in Spanish and Portuguese history and art, with visits to top museums while they are closed to the public. Experience them through an expert’s eyes with a renowned local artist as a host. For adventure seekers, combine gastronomy, culture and sport with cycling trips through lush hills and charming medieval villages with stops for delectable regional cuisine to refuel. In these two richly diverse countries, the possibilities are truly endless.


About Virginia Irurita

Virginia was born in northern Spain in 1962. Coming from a family of travelers, she is always on the road exploring Spain, Portugal and the rest of the world.

After more than a decade working in Citibank both in Madrid and in London, she realised she could not go on living such a boring life, so she decided to follow her passions. She loves art, history, archeology, taking pictures, reading biographies and traveling to discover other cultures, and to learn about different ways of living. Her favorite things about the Spanish lifestyle are the aperitif time in busy tapas bars, eating out, spending time with friends, visiting them in their homes, and exploring the countryside, and she feels right at home in Portugal, where the people share her same joy for life. She is such a fan of Spanish and Portuguese wines that she even bought a vineyard in the Ribera del Duero a few years ago, and she spends as much time as she can in the province of Cádiz, as she is enamored by the magic of Andalucía. Her love for the Portuguese culture and history called to her constantly, and she realized that her clients were missing out on an important part of Iberia.

In January 2016 she expanded her services to include Portugal, and feels overjoyed to see how the two countries complement each other perfectly, and to watch clients discover the same. Made for Spain and Portugal has finally become what it was always meant to be: Made for Spain & Portugal, serving inspired travellers throughout the Iberian Peninsula and our islands.