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Itinerary & Activities

Itinerary Map
(click for larger version)
Itinerary map of Northern Spain end Barcelona (Summer ) 2017

Day 1 Your Journey Begins

Board your overnight flight to Europe (please ask about our great deals).

Day 2 Welcome to Madrid

On arrival at Madrid Airport, your airport transfers leave for your hotel at 09:00, 11:00, 13:30 & 16:00. Relax and settle in. Later, join your Tour Director for a warm Welcome Reception with the opportunity to mingle and get to know each other over a pleasant evening of dinner and wine.(WD)

Day 3 Madrid of the Bourbons

In the morning, a Local Expert will guide you along the noble avenues past the Cibeles Fountain and down the Gran Vía to the statue of Don Quixote in the Plaza de España. Cross the Puerta del Sol and continue to the Prado Museum, housing works by Velázquez, Goya, Titian, Botticelli, Rubens and others. You will then have free time to relax at a cafe or shop in the boutiques.(BB)

Day 4 Over the Guadarrama Mountains to Santiago

Venture through the Guadarrama Mountains to the infinite horizons of Old Castile. Some of Spain's most fashionable white wines are produced in the Rueda region, so stop for a tasting. Continue past the impressive Castillo de la Mota, conquered by Queen Isabella and on to Santiago de Compostela, where the tomb of the Apostle St James was miraculously discovered in the Middle Ages.(BB / DW)

Day 5 Saintly Santiago de Compostela

(Relaxed Start) In the morning, become acquainted with some of Europe's finest historical buildings with a Local Expert. The monumental square, Spanish Plaza del Obradoiro, is pure grandeur in granite. Look up from the steady trickle of present-day pilgrims to the cathedral façade - an ensemble of soaring towers, arches and windows, festooned with architectural frills. Once through the ‘Gateway of Glory', you're privy to the same vision that has greeted pilgrims since the Middle Ages. The faithful can pass behind the ornate high altar to touch the giant 13th century gilded effigy of St. James. Follow the steps of the pilgrims on The Way of St. James, then indulge in some free time to explore the narrow streets and old squares.(BB)

Day 6 Along the Costa Verde to Oviedo

(Relaxed Start) Pass through the ancient forests of Galacia 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. Your route reveals glorious coastal vistas before turning inland to travel through old villages and deep valleys en route to the capital, Oviedo. A Local Expert will show you the 9th century churches built when the city was the capital of Christian Spain. Visit the church of San Julian, covered with 1,000-year-old wall paintings, and the cathedral in the stately square of Plaza Alfonso II. Round off the day with an introduction to Northern Spain's drink of choice: Asturian cider.(BB / DW)

Day 7 Picturesque Santillana del Mar and on to 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 journeying 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. After time to explore, drive to the sophisticated beach resort of Santander.(BB)

Day 8 Bilbao, Costa Vasca and San Sebastián

(Relaxed Start) In nearby Bilbao, admire the striking modern architecture of the Guggenheim Museum, one of the world's most spectacular buildings. Now a pleasant drive along part of the Costa Vasca, dotted with small coastal fishing villages. Pause in Zumaia, at the mouth of the Urola, where you can see El Ratón, the mouse-shaped rock. Continue to San Sebastián, pearl of the Cantabrian coast, set on its shell-shaped bay. The city harbour is filled with fishing boats and pleasure crafts, so you can enjoy a number of sporting activities on its large sandy beach. Spain's northern Basque country has evolved into the best place to eat in the Western world. Discover the city's rich gastronomic tradition in the old city's pintxos (tapas) bars and be sure to try the local Txakoli wine.(BB)

Day 9 San Sebastián Sightseeing

(Relaxed Start) 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. Maybe explore the nearby French village of Saint- Jean-de-Luz, also known as Little Paris or perhaps venture to Northern Spain's Basque country, which has evolved into the best place to eat in the Western world?(BB)

Day 10 Pamplona and on to Barcelona

Your first stop is in Pamplona, famous for the 'Running of the Bulls' festival. Perhaps take a stroll to the famous Estafeta Street or visit Café Iruña, immortalised by Ernest Hemingway in the “Sun Also Rises”. Continue to Barcelona, the vibrant capital of Catalonia, a land that retains its own distinctive language, culture and traditions.(BB)

Day 11 Barcelona, City of Gaudi

Wake up ready to embrace the city's artistic heritage. Join a Local Expert in the heart of the Gothic Quarter and walk through the Roman gate to tour the narrow lanes and old squares. Next, head along the Passeig de Gràcia, adorned with elegant wrought-iron street lamps and the most flamboyant Modernist buildings. Continue through the Eixample district for a visit inside Gaudi's extraordinary masterpiece, the Sagrada Familia Church. See its giant, tree-like pillars and spectacular vaulting. The afternoon is at leisure. In the evening, raise your glass at your finale Celebration Dinner with wine at a local restaurant.(BB / CD)

Day 12 Depart Barcelona

After breakfast departure transfers arrive at Barcelona Airport at 07:00, 09:00 & 11:00.(BB)


Things to Know

Preparing For Your Trip
  • Make Sure to Bring All of Your Important Documents: Passport, Foreign visa (if applicable), Itinerary, Trip confirmation, Airline ticket, Drivers license, Credit cards, Travel documents.

  • Vaccinations Are Required for Entry to Some Countries. The U.S. Centers for Disease Control (CDC) and the World Health Organization (WHO) can provide you their recommendations for vaccinations and other travel health precautions for your trip abroad.

  • Are You Taking Any Prescriptions or Other Medications? Pack enough to last your entire trip, including some extra in case you are unexpectedly delayed.

  • Insurance: Purchase travel insurance to cover yourself against unexpected situations. You never know when something might happen, so always be prepared.
While Traveling
  • Keep an eye on your belongings. Do not leave your belongings unattended in public spaces

  • Always have local cash. Not every place takes credit cards.
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