Northern Spain

Your pilgrimage through Northern Spain begins in the colourful Costa Brava city of Barcelona. Then we weave our way through bull-fighting territory. Visit the culinary capital of San Sebastian and Bilbao, home of the Guggenheim Museum. Marvel at the lush northern peaks of Picos de Europa and visit the pilgrim city of Santiago de Compostela and bask in the golden glow of ancient Salamanca.

Planning your holiday is easy, and speak to your friendly Consultant.

Day 1: Arrive Barcelona

Trace the treasures of the north on this grand expedition from Barcelona to Madrid, easing yourself into la buena vida as only the Spaniards can. Delve into centuries of history and the cosmopolitan culture of Barcelona, rambling up Las Ramblas, people watching in Plaça de Catalunya and admiring the whimsical architecture of Gaudí. Later, you’ll meet with your fellow travellers and Travel Director for a Welcome Reception and evening drive to see the city’s iconic sights.

Hotel: Senator Spa, 2 nights

Day 2: Barcelona Sightseeing and Free Time

The unfinished La Sagrada Família is our first stop this morning. We join a ‘Local Specialist’ to see the Plaça de Catalunya and pay tribute to Christopher Columbus at the monument that bears his name. Later, spend the rest of the day on your own to explore the city’s enchanting barrios, or consider joining an Optional Experience to the mountain-top monastery of Montserrat to see the shrine of the Black Madonna – affectionately known in Catalonia as La Moreneta.

Day 3: Barcelona – Pamplona

The feisty former capital of Navarre takes centre stage today. We follow in the footsteps of thousands of exhilarated runners and hot-blooded bulls, see Pamplona’s ancient city walls and Plaza del Castillo, the heart of the city where markets, tournaments and even bullfighting has taken place.

Hotel: Tres Reyes

Day 4: Pamplona – San Sebastián – Bilbao – Santander

Today, we journey to the sophisticated culinary capital of San Sebastián. See the beautiful Bahía de la Concha beach or stroll along la calle 31 de Agosto in the Old Town. Our next stop is Bilbao to view the modern Guggenheim Museum, designed by talented architect Frank Gehry. We arrive in Santander later this evening for a two-night stay.

Hotel: Santemar, 2 nights

Day 5: Santander Free Day

Spend the day at leisure in elegant Santander. Relax on the sun-kissed shores of one of the nearby playas, amble through the charming Old Town or perhaps join an Optional Experience to the coastal town of Comillas, with its cobbled streets. Here you will explore Gaudí’s El Capricho, built in the late 19th century as a summer villa, then carry on to Santillana del Mar to visit the museum dedicated to the impressive UNESCO-listed Altamira Caves.

Day 6: Santander – Picos de Europa – Covadonga – Oviedo

Spectacular scenery awaits today as you travel through the dramatic Picos de Europa which sits between two main pilgrim routes along which you will encounter several quaint historic market towns. Visit the grotto of ‘Our Lady of Covadonga’, a famous Marian pilgrimage site, and the pink-hued basilica made from the marble of the surrounding hills. Later we’ll ‘Connect With Locals’ and enjoy a traditional ‘Be My Guest’ lunch and cider tasting with the Castañón family at their Cider Mill. This evening is free for you to explore Oviedo at leisure.

Hotel: Exe Centro

Day 7: Oviedo – Luarca – Santiago de Compostela

The Asturian fishing village of Luarca is our first stop today. Soak up its seafaring atmosphere en route to the pilgrim city of Santiago de Compostela, renowned as the end of the ‘camino’ pilgrimage route that has its origins dating as far back as the 9th century.

Hotel: Tryp Santiago, 2 nights

Day 8: Santiago de Compostela Sightseeing and Free Time

Join a ‘Local Specialist’ who will share insights into the ‘Way of Saint James’ and explain why thousands of people attempt the life-changing pilgrimage annually. Visit the vast Cathedral, reputed to be the final resting place of Saint James the Great, and the Praza do Obradoiro, a square dominated by four architectural styles. Consider an Optional Experience to the Rías Baixas for soul-stirring views of the Galician coast. The region has long waterways stretching inland that are said to be the mark left by God’s hand when he cleansed himself after creating the world.

Day 9: Santiago de Compostela – Zamora – Salamanca

Journey through the lush Galician landscape and Castile-Leon to Zamora, a veritable open-air museum of Romanesque art. We continue to Salamanca – its golden-hued façades providing an air of mystery and majesty. We join a ‘Local Specialist’ for a sightseeing tour including views of Spain’s oldest university and the Cathedral, as well as a walk through the imposing Plaza Mayor, built in the Spanish Baroque style.

Hotel: Gran Corona Sol

Day 10: Salamanca – Madrid Sightseeing

Travelling east, we arrive in the fiery Spanish capital, Madrid, for an afternoon of sightseeing with a ‘Local Specialist’. ‘Dive Into Culture’ and visit the Prado Museum, which houses the largest collection of European art in the world. Then, see the Royal Palace, Gran Vía and the neoclassical Cibeles Fountain that has become an iconic symbol for the city of Madrid. Tonight, join your Travel Director and fellow companions for a memorable Farewell Dinner with wine, toasting to a magnificent journey through northern Spain.

Hotel: AC Cuzco

Day 11: Depart Madrid

For now it’s a fond hasta luego to your newfound friends as our Spanish adventure comes to an end.

2020 Dates & PricesTwin ShareSolo Traveller
March: 28$3,395.00$4,235.00
April: 04, 11, 18, 25$3,425.00$4,335.00
April: 25$3,525.00$4,365.00
May: 02, 09, 16, 23$3,525.00$4,365.00
May: 30$3,425.00$4,265.00
June: 06, 13, 20$3,425.00$4,265.00
June: 27$3,550.00$4,390.00
July: 04, 11, 18, 25$3,550.00$4,390.00
August: 01, 08, 15, 22$3,595.00$4,435.00
August: 29$3,550.00$4,390.00
September: 05, 12$3,550.00$4,390.00
September: 19, 26$3,375.00$4,215.00
October: 03$3,375.00$4,215.00

Inclusions 
Meals: 10 breakfasts, 1 lunch, 4 dinners
Transport: Luxury air-conditioned coach
Accommodation: 10 nights accommodation
Guide: An expert Travel Director and separate Driver
Entrance Fees & Touring:Entrance fees & activities as per itinerary

* Tour departure dates are subject to availability at time of booking.
* Prices and itinerary are correct at time of publication and are subject to change without notice.

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Grand Spain & Portugal

Enjoy an in-depth portrait of the local people, their cultural heritage and their multifaceted countries; this trip includes adventuring in Santander, San Sebastián and Barcelona.

Planning your holiday is easy, and speak to your friendly Consultant.

Day 1: Welcome to Madrid

Your airport transfer departs Madrid airport for your hotel at 09:00, 11:30, 13:30 or 16:00. The rest of the day is at leisure to begin to get to know this stylish city. At 18:00, join your Travel Director for your Welcome Dinner at a local restaurant and enjoy the opportunity to get to know your fellow travellers over a delightful evening of good food and wine. During your time in Madrid you will travel along the main historical areas in the Capital of Spain known as Madrid of the Bourbons. Your drive will take you through the Old Quarter discovering the origins of the city.

Day 2: The old Capital of Toledo and on to Granada

Venture south to meet a master craftsperson in a Damascene workshop for a personal insight into this ancient craft handed down by the Moors centuries ago. Continue to the fascinating city of Toledo, situated high above the River Tagus. This was Spain’s capital during the golden era, where Arab, Jewish and Christian cultures flourished side-by-side through the Middle Ages. Walk within the city walls, through the narrow cobbled streets, led by your Local Expert. Visit the Church of Santo Tomé, housing El Greco’s famous painting, ‘The Burial of the Count of Orgaz.’ Your journey continues to Granada.

Day 3: The Alhambra Palace and Seville, City of Carmen

‘There is no pain in life so cruel as to be blind in Granada’, cries the inscription on the walls of the Alhambra. Bathed in morning light, the Alhambra Palace awaits – a fantasy of arabesque gardens, fountains and stone cut like lace. Explore with your Local Expert and also visit the exotic water gardens of the Generalife, the royal summer residence. Take a moment to relax in the sunshine as you enjoy the fine views over the town and its three verdant hills. Embark on a scenic drive to Seville where a Local Expert will guide you through the maze of narrow lanes and shady squares of the Santa Cruz Quarter. Emerge by the huge walls of the fabulous Alcazar to see La Giralda, the former minaret of the Great Mosque, but now the cathedral bell tower. Enter the immense 15th century cathedral, the final resting place of Christopher Columbus and see his tomb enriched with the spoils of the New World.

Day 4: Free Time in Seville

This is a free day, so take your time to bask in the city’s romantic aura and explore as you wish. Our suggestion is to join an Optional Experience to the ancient city of Córdoba, where you will visit the magnificent Mezquita, see the old Jewish Quarter, and enjoy some free time to shop or explore as you wish. Visit Cristina Heeren Foundation, a beneficiary of a TreadRight Foundation grant. This private dance school is dedicated to promoting the conservation of flamenco and supports young enthusiasts from all over the world with a special focus on new talent from the Andalusian region. Feel the passion behind the choreography as you put your rhythm to the test during a dance lesson before witnessing emotions come to life in a flamenco performance. With some free time for dinner, head next door to Triana market and stroll through the many colourful stalls where vendors are selling tapas made from fresh, local produce. Why not grab yourself a refreshing sangria for a cheers to your new found dancing feet?

Day 5: To Lisbon

Pass through the oak forests where black Iberian pigs are bred for the famous Spanish hams. Stop in Huelva for a demonstration of ham cutting and a tasting of fresh jamón ibérico.

Day 6: Lisbon

During your stay, a guided orientation of the city with your Local Expert takes you along the avenues of the Lower Town and beneath the hilltop Bairro Alto to the Terreiro do Paco, the finest square in the city. Visit the Belém Quarter and enjoy a taste of Pastéis de Belém from the patisserie that has been using the same, secret recipe for almost 200 years. View the Monument to the Discoveries and the more ancient Belém Tower. This fortress was originally set in the middle of the river, but is now left high and dry on the riverbank. Visit the 500-year-old Jerónimos Monastery with its beautiful Manueline architecture, a UNESCO World Heritage Site. With the afternoon at your leisure, perhaps join an Optional Experience to the beautiful Portuguese Riviera?

Day 7: Holy Fátima and Salamanca

Travel into the green hills north of Lisbon to visit Fátima, the most celebrated place of pilgrimage in Portugal. Visit the Basilica commemorating the appearance of the Virgin Mary to three children in 1917. Cross the border, returning to Spain and continue to Salamanca, famous for its golden stone buildings and the handsome arcades of the Plaza Mayor. Across the River Tormes, see the Puente Romano with 15 of its 26 arches dating from the time of the ancient Romans.

Day 8: Ávila and on to Madrid

Cross the rock-strewn hills of the Castile, to arrive at Ávila. Walk within the ancient city that is still entirely enclosed within 11th century walls, a unique occurrence in Europe. Return to Madrid to explore more of the capital with your Local Expert. At a local restaurant, join your Travel Director and newfound friends for a lively Highlight Dinner.

Day 9: Madrid of the Bourbons

Enjoy sightseeing with your Local Expert as they take you along the main historical areas in the Capital of Spain known as Madrid of the Bourbons. Your drive continues through the Old Quarter discovering the origins of the city. A highlight of your escorted journey will be a visit to the Prado Museum. Discover countless works by Velázquez, Goya, Titian, Rubens and others as you are guided by a local art historian. The afternoon is free for you to relax at a cafe or shop in the boutiques.

Day 10: Through Rueda to Santiago

Journey through the Guadarrama Mountains to the infinite horizons of Old Castile and continues past the impressive Castillo de la Mota, conquered by Queen Isabella. Some of Spain’s most fashionable white wines are produced in Rueda and this morning we have the opportunity to learn how they are made and sample the delights of the Verdejo grape. Travel on to Santiago de Compostela, where the tomb of the Apostle St. James was miraculously discovered in the Middle Ages.

Day 11: Saintly Santiago de Compostela

Explore Santiago de Compotela with Insight Choice. Choose between joining a city tour with a Local Expert and visit Praza do Obradoiro to admire the cathedral facade festooned with architectural frills. Alternatively, embark on a scenic walk on part of the Way of St James, through parks and gardens that transform with the seasons. Relax during your free time or explore the narrow streets and old squares of this city.

Day 12: The Costa Verde to Oviedo

Pass through the ancient forests of Galicia and cross to the Green Coast of Asturias – one of Spain’s most beautiful, named after the colour of the sea and the pine and eucalyptus trees that line the shore. Meet a true local, Flor, who will invite you to join her for lunch. Hear about daily life as you enjoy a delicious meal, typical of the region, that Flor has freshly prepared from locally sourced ingredients, accompanied by delicious local cider. Your route reveals glorious coastal vistas before turning inland to travel through old villages and deep valleys en route to Oviedo. Continue on to Oviedo where a Local Expert will show you the 9th century churches built when the city was the capital of Christian Spain. Visit the Cathedral of the Holy Saviour in the stately square of Plaza Alfonso II. Admire the incredible altarpiece, one of the finest in Europe.

Day 13: Santander

See the unique Roman bridge in Cangas de Onís as you head into the foothills of the Picos de Europa, a national park encompassing spectacular mountain and gorge scenery. Visit the Holy Cave of Covadonga, a shrine to Pelayo, who achieved the first Christian victory over the Moors in 722. Enjoy views of the Costa de Cantabria while travelling to Santillana del Mar, arguably the most beautiful village in Spain. Stroll through the rustic cobblestone streets, admiring stone houses decorated with carved, heraldic symbols and reach the delightful church square. Continue on to the sophisticated beach resort of Santander where you have free time in the evening to enjoy this luxurious hotel. Why not take the time to explore the hotel terrace with stunning views of the bay below or relax with one of the many therapy treatments offered at the hotels spa?

Day 14: Bilbao and San Sebastián

In nearby Bilbao, admire the striking modern architecture of the Guggenheim Museum, one of the world’s most spectacular buildings. Enjoy the views as you are driven along part of the Costa Vasca, dotted with small coastal fishing villages. Pause in Getaria, at the mouth of the Urola, to see El Ratón, the mouse-shaped rock. Continue to San Sebastián, pearl of the Cantabrian coast, set on its shell-shaped bay. Admire its beauty as you walk with your Local Expert through the Old Quarter. See the numbered balconies of the Plaza de la Constitución, a reminder of the days when bullfights were held in the square. Atop Monte Igueldo there are breathtaking views of the town and La Concha Bay.

Day 15: The Cantabrian Coast

Enjoy a day at leisure to stroll along San Sebastián’s boardwalk and with the city harbour filled with fishing boats and pleasure crafts, you can enjoy a number of sporting activities on its large sandy beach. Perhaps you’ll want to explore the nearby French village of Saint-Jean-de-Luz, also known as Little Paris? Maybe stroll the promenade of the famous La Concha bay or enjoy the boutiques of the Old Town?

Day 16: Pamplona and on to Barcelona

Journey to the famed town of Pamplona, known for its Running of the Bulls festival. With time free for you to explore, perhaps take a stroll to the famous Estafeta Street or visit Café Iruña, immortalised by Ernest Hemingway in the ‘The Sun Also Rises.’ Your travels continue to Barcelona, the vibrant capital of Catalonia, a land that retains its own distinctive language, culture and traditions.

Day 17: Barcelona, City of Gaudí

Wake up ready to embrace the city’s artistic heritage. Join a Local Expert in the heart of the Barri Gotic, the Gothic Quarter, and walk through the Roman Gate to see its narrow lanes and old squares. You are driven along the Passeig de Gràcia, adorned with elegant wrought-iron street lamps and the most flamboyant Modernist buildings. Continue through the Eixample district to behold Gaudí’s extraordinary masterpiece, the Sagrada Família. As you venture inside, look above to see its giant, tree-like pillars and spectacular vaulting. Admire the wonderful rainbow of the incredible stained-glass windows. With the afternoon at leisure, you are free to relax or continue your exploration on your own. In the evening, join your Travel Director and newfound friends at a local restaurant. Raise your glass and toast your travels during your delightful Celebration Dinner.

Day 18: Depart Barcelona or Madrid

After breakfast depart for Madrid. A stop is made at Madrid airport in the early evening, followed by the Madrid trip hotel.

2020 Dates & PricesTwin ShareSolo Traveller
April: 18, 25$6,850.00Price on Application
May: 02, 16$6,850.00Price on Application
May: 30$6,875.00Price on Application
June: 13$6,925.00Price on Application
June: 27$7,095.00Price on Application
July: 11, 25$7,095.00Price on Application
August: 08, 22$7,095.00Price on Application
September: 05$7,095.00Price on Application
September: 19$6,895.00Price on Application
October: 03$6,895.00Price on Application
October: 17$6,750.00Price on Application

Inclusions 
Meals: 17 breakfast 1 lunch, 5 dinners
Transport: Airport Transfers & Luxury air-conditioned coach
Accommodation: 17 nights accommodation
Guide: An expert Travel Director and separate Driver
Entrance Fees & Touring:Entrance fees & activities as per itinerary

* Tour departure dates are subject to availability at time of booking.
* Prices and itinerary are correct at time of publication and are subject to change without notice.

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