Tour description

Nestled at the crossroads of history, culture, and natural beauty, you’ll find Northern Spain. This region is often overshadowed by its more southern region, making it a hidden gem just waiting to be explored. You’ll find Northern Spain reveals a captivating tapestry of diverse landscapes, rich traditions, and vibrant communities. Different cultures throughout history have helped shape the region, from the lively Basque traditions to avant-garde art, where old Celtic whispers mix with the sounds of Roman armies. Northern Spain is a culinary haven celebrated for its diverse and delectable dishes. From the famed pintxos (tapas) of the Basque Country to the seafood delights of Galicia’s coast, the region’s cuisine reflects its rich history and proximity to both the sea and fertile farmlands. Each province boasts its own specialties, creating a gastronomic journey that mirrors the diversity of the landscape. You’ll discover mouthwatering dishes await you at every stop.

To complete the picture, nature takes hold of Northern Spain, offering picturesque rocky outcrops that plunge into the deep green Atlantic, dunes bordering secluded bays, and lush green provinces famed for agriculture and wine production. Each province in Northern Spain is an adventure on its own. The perfect way to explore these magnificent regions is with a small group tour covering the highlights and hidden gems of Northern Spain. Embark on a whirlwind journey through the heart of this beautiful country. From the vibrant cities that pulse with life to the serene landscapes, each day is designed to unravel the secrets and wonders of this captivating region.

This is a land of surprises, and we are excited to discover the soul of Northern Spain together!

Read what our friends have to say about this fantastic tour over on Tripadvisor

HIGHLIGHTS & INCLUSIONS: 10 DAYS/9 NIGHTS

Highlights

  • City walking tours with local guides in Santiago, Oviedo, Bilbao & San Sebastián
  • Savour local food at some of the best restaurants in the region
  • Be inspired by the beauty of Santiago de Compostela’s Gothic Cathedral, a stunning architectural masterpiece
  • Visit the local San Sebastian market and go on a guided pintxos bar crawl, a highlight during all our culinary tours
  • Bilbao’s Guggenheim Museum
  • Be amazed by the beauty of one of the best Cathedrals in the world in León
  • Traditional Spanish cooking class

Included

  • Small group tour of 12-14 participants
  • Knowledgeable English-speaking tour director
  • Entrance fees for all sites
  • Tour transportation in a private air-conditioned motor coach
  • Local guides in the outlined cities and towns
  • Hotel city and service taxes at all accommodations and restaurants are included
  • Transfers to Santiago de Compostela & San Sebastian Airport at scheduled times
  • Baggage transfers and porters are included
  • All breakfasts, three lunches, and four dinners are covered. Main meals include wine, mineral water, espresso, or tea
  • Activity level: Light/Moderate.
  • Terms & Conditions/single supplement and FAQ

Not Included

  • Travel insurance and visa fees/Trip Interruption & Cancellation Insurance
  • Any charges for extras not listed in the itinerary
  • Room services, telephone charges, laundry fees
  • Gratuities for the tour director and local driver
  • Single room supplement
  • Aifares
OUR ACCOMMODATIONS
DAY-BY-DAY ITINERARY

Day 1: Welcome to Northern Spain

Welcome to the start of our magnificent small group tour. Today, you’ll arrive at Santiago de Compostela International Airport and travel to the city for a two-night stay in a charming boutique hotel that boasts an excellent location close to the city’s architectural treasures. In the evening, meet your local tour director for a welcome drink followed by dinner at a popular restaurant offering typical regional cuisine and wine. 

Meals: Breakfast and lunch on your own, dinner included

Accommodation: Overnight in Santiago de Compostela

Day 2: Explore Santiago de Compostela & Traditional Tapas

Santiago de Compostela, located in the northwest region of Spain, is renowned as one of the most significant pilgrimage destinations in the world. The city is the capital of the Galicia Region and holds immense cultural, historical, and religious significance. Its history revolves around the pilgrimage to the Cathedral of Santiago, where the remains of St. James, one of the twelve apostles, are believed to be interred.  Today, we’ll discover this essential cultural and educational capital on a city tour, featuring the stunning Cathedral, the heart of Santiago and a masterpiece of Romanesque, Gothic, and Baroque styles. We’ll also venture to the University Fonseca and the tomb of St James the Apostle. The historic center of Santiago, a UNESCO World Heritage site, features medieval architecture, cobbled streets, and iconic landmarks like the Praza do Obradoiro. A delicious lunch of traditional tapas is included today. Galician cuisine, influenced by the region’s maritime character, is a culinary delight in Santiago. Local specialties include polpo a la gallega (Galician-style octopus), empanadas, and the renowned Albarino wine. You’ll have this afternoon at leisure to explore the city. We recommend visiting the Mercado de Abastos, a bustling market where you can explore and savor more gastronomic delights. 

Meals: Breakfast and lunch included, dinner on your own

Accommodation: Overnight in Santiago de Compostela

Day 3: Exploring Famous Stops Along The Camino Trek

Today, we’ll set out for a new region of Northern Spain. En route, we’ll explore Ponferrada, a major stop on the French Way Catholic pilgrimage route to Santiago de Compostela. Situated along the famous Camino trekking route, Ponferrada boasts a rich medieval heritage, highlighted by a remarkably preserved 16,000 square-metre Los Templarios Castle. We will continue to the vibrant town of Leon, combining stunning historical architecture with an irresistible energy. Its standout attraction is the 12th-century cathedral, one of the most beautiful in Spain. The city has a loyal Catholic heritage and a role as an important post along the Camino de Santiago. You’ll have some free time to lose yourself in the narrow streets and plazas of the picturesque old quarter, the Barrio Húmedo. This afternoon, we will continue to Oviedo for the next two nights, staying in a central hotel. 

Meals: Breakfast included, lunch and dinner on your own

Accommodation: Overnight in Oviedo

Day 4: Oviedo Walking Tour & Spanish Cider Tasting

Today begins with a walking tour of Oviedo, bringing us through the historic district to admire the influence of art nouveau architecture and over 130 statues placed throughout the city – a quirky artistic touch with characters from Spain’s literary past and present figures. The 14th-century Gothic cathedral, dedicated to San Salvador, is Oviedo’s most visited monument and is well known for its Shroud of Oviedo. After our morning walk, we’ll taste delicious cider, including local products such as Asturian cheeses. Known as the land of the cheeses, Asturias produces more than 100 varieties and is known throughout the world for this culinary wonder. Dinner is included this evening in a local restaurant.

Meals: Breakfast and dinner included, lunch on your own

Accommodation: Overnight in Oviedo

Day 5: A Fairytale in Santillana Del Mar & Cantabrian Cuisine

Today, we will venture out to visit Santillana Del Mar, a small town nestled in the Cantabria region. This ancient town seems like it’s straight from a fairy tale, unfolding to reveal cobblestone streets, ancient structures, and Gothic-style churches that really transport you back in time. Santillana del Mar will captivate with beautifully preserved medieval buildings and outstanding Romanesque architecture like the 12th century Collegiate Church of Santa Juliana, a pivotal religious landmark. The town boasts the wonderful Altamira Museum, showcasing prehistoric cave paintings over 15,000 years old providing a captivating glimpse into early human life. After discovering the town, we will move on to the elegant port city and Cantabrian capital of Santander for a tour. A visit to this region isn’t complete without savoring Cantabrian cuisine, renowned for its delectable seafood, local cheeses, and exquisite wines. We’ll travel on to Bilbao for a two-night stay in a modernist hotel.

Meals: Breakfast and lunch included, dinner on your own

Accommodation: Overnight in Bilbao

Day 6: Walking Tour of Bilbao & Guggenheim Museum

This morning, you’ll meet your tour guide for a walking tour of Bilbao’s old quarter, Casco Viejo, with its old streets and bustling Plaza Nueva for those seeking a taste of authentic Bilbao. Boutique-design hotels are nestled in converted historical buildings that line the streets. This vibrant city mixes local traditions with modern architecture in a harmonious collaborative atmosphere. A 20-minute walk leads to the iconic Guggenheim Museum, a popular landmark designed by Frank Gehry, a world-famous architect. A treat today is an included small taste of traditional Basque specialties, including croquettes, kokotxas, steak, and specially prepared Basque cod. You’ll have the rest of the day on your own to continue exploring this magnificent city! Dinner is included this evening in a local restaurant.

Meals: Breakfast and dinner included, lunch on your own

Accommodation: Overnight in Bilbao

Day 7: Wine Pairings & History in The Region of La Rioja 

Today, we embark on an adventure to La Rioja, Spain’s most acclaimed wine region. Situated along the Ebro River and protected from the elements by the Cantabrian mountains, the clay and limestone soil has produced vineyards that have thrived here since Ancient Roman times. The most common grape varietal is the tempranillo and the garnacha. Rioja wines can be red, white, or rose and are classified as Riojas, Crianza, Reserva, and Gran Reserva, depending on their age. An introduction to La Rioja begins this morning with a stop at the world-famous Vivanco Wine Museum. This gigantic museum is solely dedicated to the 8,000-year relationship between man and wine. Travel through time following the history of wine production with this interactive museum and finish off the visit with a glass of Tempranillo in Laguardia. We’ll stop in a 17th-century palace for a tour of their wine cellar and wine-pairing with appetizers. Then, a short walk follows the walls of the 8th-century village for a photo stop of the Ebro River and surrounding vineyards. Spend the night in a unique wine-country hotel with an included dinner.

Meals: Breakfast and dinner included, lunch on your own

Accommodation: Overnight in La Rioja

Day 8: Ancient History & The Footsteps of The Bulls in Pamplona

Leaving La Rioja this morning, we drive to Pamplona, a city steeped in history due to its dynamic location at the crossroads of Navarra, Basque territory, and the rest of Spain. Ancient churches, along with Baroque gems like the town hall, dominate the cityscape. The medieval fortress, the Citadel of Pamplona, stands as a testament to its contested past, while the remnants narrate Pamplona’s role as a crucial western Pyrenees stronghold. The town is also best known for the annual ‘running of the bulls’ held around July 7 to 14. Enjoy a guided tour of the town, holding significance for its military past and its notable religious Gothic buildings. Also, walk the route of the running of the bull’s event from Arga to the Plaza de Toros bullring before reaching San Sebastián for the last two nights of your amazing Northern Spain adventure.

Meals: Breakfast included, lunch and dinner on your own

Accommodation: Overnight in San Sebastián

Day 9: History of San Sebastián & Views of Mount Igeldo

Today, we’ll enjoy a guided walking tour of San Sebastián to see the city’s natural beauty and historical charm up close. We’ll see the old town and visit Plaza de la Constitution, San Vicente church, the Basilica of Santa Maria, and the iconic La Concha Beach. Take some time to enjoy a glass of Txakoli wine and Pintxo, the Basque version of Tapas. Afterward, we’ll take the funicular to visit Mount Igeldo to enjoy an iconic view of the bay. In the afternoon, enjoy leisure time to wander the new town, including the Plaza de Gipuzkoa, Plaza de Bilbao, the Maria Cristina Bridge, and the Victoria Eugenia Theater. In the evening, we will gather for a celebratory Cooking Class followed by dinner at a regional restaurant.

Meals: Breakfast and dinner included, lunch on your own

Accommodation: Overnight in San Sebastián

Day 10: Adios Northern Spain 

This morning, we will part ways and say adios to this magical region of Northern Spain. You can continue your exploration of Europe with a tour of the Amalfi coast, Sicily, or Sardinia. Transfers are provided to San Sebastian airport.

Meals: Breakfast included

TOUR PRICING & AVAILABILITY

2025 TOUR PRICE: € 4,700           SINGLE SUPPLEMENT: € 900  Currency Converter   

Prices are per person based on double room occupancy for 10 days/9 nights

REVIEWS
5.0
5.0 out of 5 stars (based on 1 review)
Excellent100%
Very good0%
Average0%
Poor0%
Terrible0%

Absolutely amazing!

28/06/2024

This tour gave us the taste of Spain we were hoping for. What a magical country!

The food, hotels, guides, activities were first rate. We felt very pampered. This is a moderate walking tour…but time for rest as well.

As close to a perfect trip as possible.

Barbara Valdez




NORTHERN SPAIN

NORTHERN SPAINSpain, on Europe’s Iberian Peninsula, is really 17 autonomous regions, each with its own geography and culture. The capital, Madrid, is home to the Royal Palace and singular Prado museum, housing works by European masters, and Segovia to the north has a fairy-tale medieval castle and Roman aqueduct. Catalonia’s capital, Barcelona, is defined by Antoni Read more