Highlights of Northern Spain
Departure dates & prices
Day 1 - Bilbao
Architectural allure, natural beauty and rich culture – we’ll meet the group in Bilbao and get to know each other over a sumptuous welcome dinner. Here’s to the incredible adventure ahead! Accommodation: Hotel Miro (or similar)
Day 2 - Bilbao – San Sebastián
After breakfast, we’ll kick things off with a locally guided city tour. A hub of contemporary architecture – we’ll wander Bilbao’s lively Old Town and receive an authentic insight into this industrious city. Then, it’s time to visit the captivating exhibitions of the Guggenheim Museum for an education in art. After some free time for lunch, it’s all aboard the mini-coach as we continue on to San Sebastián. As one of the gastronomic capitals of the world, we’ll have the rest of the afternoon to discover the array of bars and restaurants this charming coastal town is famous for. Accommodation: Silken Amara Plaza (or similar)
Day 3 - San Sebastián – Laguardia
Before setting off for Laguardia, we’ll make a scenic stop at the Monte Igueldo Mirador lookout. Offering breathtaking views of San Sebastián, we’ll choose to make the ascent on foot or ride the funicular up to the viewpoint. Timing dependent, we may have the opportunity to sample some local pintxos before arriving at our hotel in the heart of the Basque country. Finding ourselves surrounded by acres of vineyards and breathtaking landscapes, our host will lead us on a tour of hotel’s bodega – where we’ll have the opportunity to taste some local wine before settling in for an included dinner. Accommodation: Hotel Eguren Ugarte (or similar)
Day 4 - Laguardia – La Rioja – Laguardia
This morning, we’ll make the short drive to the medieval city of Laguardia. Here, we’ll wander the ancient walled quarter with our expert Tour Leader and uncover the fascinating history behind the town’s underground tunnels. We’ll continue our journey to La Rioja – where we’ll be lucky enough to visit two distinguished wineries and enjoy a tasting session at each. Back at our accommodation, we’ll have the evening to spend at our leisure enjoying the scenic vistas from the hotel’s terrace or exploring the surrounding area on one of the nearby hiking trails. Accommodation: Hotel Eguren Ugarte (or similar)
Day 5 - Laguardia – Pamplona – Olite
Onwards to Pamplona – the capital of Navarre. Here, we’ll spend some time spotting historic landmarks such as Pamplona Cathedral and the Plaza del Castillo on a stroll with our Tour Leader. After, we’ll enjoy free time for lunch at a quaint terrace cafe or indulge in a spot of souvenir shopping in the Old Town. This afternoon, we’ll hit the road to Olite – where an included dinner awaits. Accommodation: Joyosa Guarda (or similar)
Day 6 - Olite
Today will begin with an exploration of the magnificent Olite Royal Palace: the medieval castle that was once the seat of the Court of Navarre. After an insightful morning, the rest of the day will be yours to spend strolling the town’s underground galleries or seeking out exceptional Spanish fare in the local restaurants. Accommodation: Joyosa Guarda (or similar)
Day 7 - Olite – Jaca – Boltaña
Our first stop of the day will be the Monastery of Leyre – one of the most historic religious complexes in Spain. Here, we’ll delve into the fascinating history of the region as we explore the St Virila Abbey, Porta Speciosa doorway and the coffer holding the remains of the first kings of Navarre. We’ll then continue our journey to Jaca – where we’ll have the chance to stroll around the charming old town and lay eyes on the 11th century Romanesque Cathedral. The picturesque hilltop village of Boltaña is our home for the night – and location for this evening’s delicious included dinner. Accommodation: Monasterio Boltana (or similar)
Day 8 - Boltaña – Lleida – Cardona
Today, we’ll turn back the hands of time with a visit to La Seu Vella – a magnificent hilltop fortress-cathedral that looms over the city of Lleida. Here, we’ll explore the medieval chapel, 14th Gothic cloister and bell tower with a local guide – before returning to the charming Old Town for some free time. Later, we’ll continue to Cardona – where a guided tour of the imposing Castle awaits. This evening is ours to spend at our leisure. Accommodation: Hotel Bremon (or similar)
Day 9 - Cardona – Besalú – Siurana – Girona
Before departing Cardona, we’ll have the opportunity to visit the Salt Mines – where we’ll explore the old mine shafts and underground museum with a local guide. Afterwards, we’ll set our sights on the medieval village of Besalú – a hidden treasure filled with Romanesque architecture. And this afternoon? A unique insight into the rural culture of Catalonia awaits at a traditional farm in Siurana. We’ll be shown around before having the opportunity to sample some of the farm’s delicious cheeses. Our last stop for the day is Girona, where we’ll have the evening to explore at our own pace. Accommodation: Hotel Museu Llegendes de Girona (or similar)
Day 10 - Girona
This morning we’ll roll up our sleeves for a Spanish cooking class – with our very own creations on today’s lunch menu. Later, we’ll see the likes of the Cathedral, the Esglesia de Sant Feliu and the medieval Sant Pere de Galligants on a locally guided walking tour – before having the remainder of the day to spend at our leisure. Tonight, we’ll regroup and reflect on our unforgettable journey with a farewell dinner. Accommodation: Hotel Museu Llegendes de Girona (or similar)
Day 11 - Girona – Cadaqués – Barcelona
Before we say our final goodbyes, we’ll pay a visit to the Salvador Dalí Museum-House in Cadaqués – where we’ll see the surrealist artist’s workshop, library and gardens. This afternoon, we’ll make our way along the sun-kissed Costa Brava to Barcelona – where our tour will come to an end.
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