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Best of Northern Spain

Spain has been described as less of a country than a collection of small nations all working together. Each region has its own distinct character, style, even language. This quick 8-day trip introduces you to Spain’s Basque and Catalan provinces the best way: through food, art, culture, and first-person contact. Vibrant Barcelona, unhurried San Sebastián, Bilbao’s fabulous architecture, Logroño's famous cuisine, cosmopolitan Madrid, and the mighty Pyrenees, all in just over a week? Yeah, we did that. Come find out how.

  • Duration: 8 Days
  • Guaranteed Departure: Yes
  • For lovers of:
  • Physical rating: Light
  • Accommodation standard:   Budget%
  • Traveller Tour Rating: 0%  
  • Your Guide: English speaking
  • Supplier Tour ID: ESNS/141557
  • Starts: Barcelona, Spain
  • Finishes: Madrid, Spain
You will Visit
  • Barcelona
  • Madrid

Itinerary

01

Day 1: Barcelona

Arrive at any time. We recommend arriving a day or two early to fully explore this vibrant city.
There are no activities planned until an evening welcome meeting.

02

Day 2: Barcelona/Pyrenees

Take the morning to explore beautiful Barcelona. Head to the Pyrenees region for 2 nights in a 'casa rural'. Enjoy home-cooked meals and hiking.
Explore a bit of Barcelona before an afternoon departure north. Travel to the Pyrenees by local bus and van to reach a 'casa rural', or converted farmhouse, near the town of Ainsa. Indulge in delicious local meals and time to explore the beautiful landscape.

03

Day 3: Pyrenees

Enjoy the day in the scenic Pyrenees. Opt for some hikes in the area or head to Ainsa to explore. Spend another night in the 'casa rural'.

04

Day 4: Pyrenees/Bilbao

Travel to Bilbao, the first stop in the unique Basque region of Spain. Arrive in the early afternoon. Opt to visit the stunning Guggenheim Museum, or climb the Mallona Stairs to Parque Etxebarria for beautiful views over the city.

05

Day 5: San Sebastian

Take a day trip to San Sebastian. Opt to take a pintxos (tapas) tour and learn about the fascinating culture of the area. Return to Bilbao for the night.
The real treat in this part of the country is the eating. Basque cuisine is famous in Spain and around the world, with many believing this is the best food in the country. While San Sebastián didn't invent tapas, they are well-acknowledged to have perfected them. Wander through the streets before lunchtime or in the evening and check out what each bar has on offer.

Stop in each place for some wine or beer and sample their tapas (pintxos in Basque) selection. Move on to the next bar and repeat!

Delicious seafood abounds here as well. Looking for more than just pintxos? Head to the harbour and hole up in a traditional simple tavern. Don't leave San Sebastián without trying the famous jamon iberico.

The specialty drink in this area is called the Kalimotxo — half wine (usually red table wine) and half Coca Cola.Take some time to wander through the plazas, marvel at the buildings, and spot the art sprinkled throughout the city. And, as always, try the pintxos.

06

Day 6: Bilbao/Logroño

Travel to Logroño and enjoy an included wine tasting in the Rioja region.
With tons of churches, roman bridges, parks, plazas, and ancient buildings, there's no shortage of sights to be seen when wandering around this city.

07

Day 7: Logroño/Madrid

Travel to Madrid and enjoy free time in this capital city.

08

Day 8: Madrid

Depart at any time.
We recommend staying an extra day or two to fully experience all this lively city has to offer.

Inclusions:
    Activities
    • Hands-On: Rioja Region Wine Tasting, Logroño
    • Barcelona orientation walk including Gothic Quarter and Las Ramblas
    • 'Casa rural' stay with traditional meals
    • San Sebastián day trip
    • Madrid orientation walk
    • All transport between destinations and to/from included activities
    Accommodation
    • Hotels (5 nts), casa rural (2 nts)
    • 6 breakfasts, 2 dinners
    Transport
    • Public bus, walking
    Group Leader
    • Chief Experience Officer (CEO) throughout, local guides
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Tour Highlights:
  • Capture photos of stunning countryside and age-old cathedrals
  • Indulge in the tapas lifestyle
  • Wander through Gaudí's wonderland in Barcelona
  • Live like a local in a 'casa rural' in the Pyrenees
  • Experience the Basque way of life.