From 990 euros per person sharing
Flights are not included and must be booked by separately by each client. FLIGHT INFORMATION FROM THE UK & IRELAND.
Discover green valleys, wooded mountains, picturesque vineyards, historical towns and dramatic coastline on this 10 night Self Drive Tour of Green Spain staying in charming, small hotels in the regions of CANTABRIA, BURGOS, RIOJA WINE region & THE BASQUE COUNTRY.
The tour offers wonderful variety to those who love nature, art, history, culture and of course, excellent food and wine. The pace is just right with no more than 2 hours drive between each location and yet each location is unique and different.
NOTE: The content of this itinerary can be modified if it doesnīt suit exactly your requirements. Just let us know this when enquiring about the tour and we would be happy to make any changes you require.
ITINERARY (click on the links below to see each accommodation)
Day 1 & 2: 2 nights in Santillana del Mar, Cantabria
Arrive in Bilbao or Santander and collect your included rental car. Enjoy a short scenic drive to Santillana del Mar.
This World Heritage medieval town, with its cobbled streets and fine stone manorhouses and palaces has been declared a National Monument in its entirety. Here one can travel back to pre-historic times and visit the caves at Altamira (reproduction-only) as well as Castillo, Covalanas, El Pendo, Hornos de Lena and more.
Nearby the coast is dotted with many interesting towns such as Comillas where the "El Capricho" building designed by Antoni Gaudi shouldnīt be missed. The capital of Cantabria, Santander, is also within easy reach and is a beautiful city to lose yourself in. For nature lovers, the Picos de Europa mountains can easily be visited too on a daytrip to Potes where in nearby Fuente De you can take a dramatic cable car ride into the mountains.
Day 3 & 4: 2 nights in San Pelayo, Burgos
From Santillana del Mar travel east along the coast to the beach town of Laredo which beach extends for several kilometres. Then head inland making your way south via the lovely Mena Valley until you reach San Pelayo. Here both the accommodation and your hosts are delightful. Dining is a real treat. The rural village is the stuff of picture postcards. You can enjoy relaxing here, going for hikes, exploring the nearby "Merindades" region which is highly recommended. The town of Frias is hardly known to tourists yet itīs considered one of the most beautiful towns in Spain. So too is the remarkable drive along the River Ebro to Sobron. Itīs spectacular. Should you feel like a taste of city life, then continue down to Burgos. Itīs definitely worth seeing especially the cathedral which is superb. There is plenty to see and do here.
Day 5 & 6: 2 nights in Laguardia, Rioja Wine Region
Next travel to the Rioja wine region and the charming medieval town of Laguardia set upon a hilltop which affords a birds-eye view of the miles and miles of vineyards surrounding the town and the dramatic Sierra de Cantabria range that overlooks this area.
The Rioja region, apart from itīs wine producing fame, is rich in history and in fact the first written words of the Spanish language are kept preserved in the monastery at Santo Domingo de la Calzada which can be visited.
While staying in Laguardia we will arrange for a special guided visit of one of the oldest and still functioning wineries in the town and youīll have a chance to taste some of the wines.
Day 7 & 8: 2 nights in Hondarribia, Basque Country
From Rioja, youīll travel north to Hondarribia which is a beautiful town situated on Txigudi Bay by the French / Spanish border. The drive there from Rioja is wonderful and you have a choice of several routes which you can take. Pamplona could be visited on the way which is a very nice city and most famous for itīs Running of the Bulls festival which takes place in early July. Or you may like to stop into Vitoria which Santa Maria Cathedral, currently undergoing restoration, heavily inspired Ken Follettīs book, World Without End. Ken Folletīs statue can be found in the vicinity of the cathedral.
Hondarribia with itīs beautifully preserved medieval quarter and atmospheric fishermanīs district is a great base from whcih to see the Basque Coast. Nearby San Sebastian is well worth visiting just for the food alone. So too is the delightful fishing town of Getaria where fish loverīs can enjoy sumptous grilled fish down by the pier.
Day 9 & 10: 2 nights Ayala Valley near Bilbao
For the last two nights of this Green Spain tour youīll travel to the Ayala Valley situated about 20 miles south of Bilbao. Your accommodation here is in a marvellous old Basque Caserio which, in our opinion, is run just like a 4 star hotel. Itīs a great place to end this 10 night tour and dining here is especially good.
The Nervion river that runs through Bilbao city rises closeby and of course, Bilbao city being so close is well worth visiting. Passes to the incredible Guggenheim Museum are included so you donīt have to waste time queuing at the museum.
If you fancy going for a hike then the nearby Gorbea National Park is just the place.
Day 11: Tour ends.