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.
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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 & Prices||Twin Share||Solo Traveller|
|April: 04, 11, 18, 25||$3,425.00||$4,335.00|
|May: 02, 09, 16, 23||$3,525.00||$4,365.00|
|June: 06, 13, 20||$3,425.00||$4,265.00|
|July: 04, 11, 18, 25||$3,550.00||$4,390.00|
|August: 01, 08, 15, 22||$3,595.00||$4,435.00|
|September: 05, 12||$3,550.00||$4,390.00|
|September: 19, 26||$3,375.00||$4,215.00|
|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.