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13 nights tour of Northern Spain & Madrid

Prices from 2825 EUROS PER PERSON

13 nights tour of Northern Spain & Madrid

Prices from 2825 EUROS PER PERSON

MAP OF THIS ITINERARY

Trip Overview:

Few journeys are more pleasurable than discovering the cities, coastline and countryside of Northern Spain. Coastal cities such as Bilbao, San Sebastian, Santander, Santillana del Mar and Gijon are amazing as well as the charming little towns such as Potes, one of the jewels of Green Spain.  Northern Spain is so perfect for bracing a...

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Trip Summary:

This very complete 13 night tour of Northern Spain features all of the services you need for a smooth, hassle free, private tour.  All essential transport, private guiding, pre-booked entrance tickets, quality accommodation and more are taken care of.  All you need to do is just show-up and Totally Spain will look after the rest.  ...

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Access:

Daily departures.

Flying into Bilbao International Airport.  

Departure from Madrid International Airport.  

Totally Spain does not arrange flights so you have the flexibility to book the flights you prefer. We can recommend a travel agent with whom you can book your international flights if required. Otherwise a website such as Skyscanner is very useful for checking up-to-date flight schedules and prices.

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Itinerary

San Sebastian, Spain

Arrive in Bilbao Airport where your driver will be waiting to transfer you to your centrally located 4 star hotel in San Sebastian, a splendid coastal city with one of the most beautiful bays in Europe known as La Concha

SAN SEBASTIAN or Donostia in the Basque language, is gloriously situated around the shell-shaped La Concha Bay, protected from the Atlantic by a wooded islet, the Isla de Santa Clara. San Sebastian has for a long time been considered one of the most elegant and fashionable Spanish seaside resorts, since it became a popular summer retreat with the Spanish aristocracy in the late 19th century. Of late the city has been hailed by many as one of the gourmet temples of Europe.

San Sebastian´s lovely old town, the Parte Vieja, is quite fascinating although none of the buildings predate 1813, when it was reconstructed after a devastating fire.  Of note are the 19th century Ayuntamiento (Town Hall), the Museo San Telmo and the Plaza Mayor.  This vibrant  area is also famous for being the home of pintxos (pin-chose) the generic name given to  the deliciously elaborated Basque gourmet tapas which overflow every bar counter.  Just deciding which one to try is probably the most difficult decision you´ll have to make while in San Sebastian.  But do try them, you won´t regret it.

La Concha Beach and the promenade are the perfect places for relaxing, strolling and people watching. At the western tip of the beach stands one of the greatest monuments of modern Spanish sculpture, Eduardo Chillida’s "Peine de los Vientos" (Wind Comb). Here you can also take the charming old funicular to the top of Mount Igueldo for stunning views over the city and bay.  Later, if you feel like being pampered, head to the La Perla Thalassotherapy Spa right on the La Concha beach.

San Sebastian offers without doubt some of the finest and most innovative gastronomy to be found anywhere in Europa.  The city has numerous Michelin Starred restaurants and dining here is simply a pleasure not to be missed.  Legendary chefs like Juan Mari Arzak (ARZAK), Martin Berasategui, Pedro Subijana (AKELARRE) and more all have restaurants in San Sebastian.

This elegant city hosts a number of internationally recognised events annually including the International Jazz Festival every July and the International Film Festival every September.

 

Activities & Services Included today

  • Private transfer from Bilbao Airport to your San Sebastian hotel
  • 4 star hotel accommodation in a standard room. Upgrade options available on request. 

San Sebastian, Spain

Today you'll meet your local expert guide for a small group walking pintxos tour in San Sebastian's Old Quarter.

Pintxos are the elaborated Basque tapas that adorn nearly every bar in San Sebastian, but knowing where to find the best ones is an art. While it’s hard to have a bad meal in this town, knowing exactly where to go for the best, freshest, and most exciting pintxos takes local, insider knowledge. Experience time out in San Sebastian just like a local, led by one of our friendly and knowledgeable San Sebastian guides.

Dive straight into the culinary heart of the city with eating and drinking that is unique and unlike any you’ve ever experienced. From fresh prawns to line-caught baby squid to perfectly charred steak, the pintxo hunt changes daily but always features a range of traditional spots and chic, avant-garde bars. Come thirsty, too, as you’ll be pairing each pintxo with the perfect pour, from Basque cider to local whites and reds.

 

Activities & Services Included today

  • Guided Gastronomic walking tour with a small group. Includes delicious tapas (pintxos in the Basque language) and drinks (10 participants maximum)
  • 4 star hotel accommodation in a standard room. Upgrade available on request.

Meals Included today

  • Full Buffet Breakfast
  • Tapas style dinner

San Sebastian, Spain

Today you'll enjoy a full day, private guided excursion from San Sebastian. Your private driver-guide will meet you at your hotel after breakfast and you'll enjoy a private tailor made experience.  Here are just some of the places you could visit today. We'll customise the tour to suit your preferences.

 

Getaria
Nestled in between two beautiful beaches, Getaria is a charming Basque fishing village. It is not only a great place for fresh seafood but also native and quite niche txacoli wineries; an interesting museum dedicated to the fashion designer Cristobal Balenciaga who grew up here as well as Michelin star dining at Elkano. To work up an appetite, make for the lighthouse on Mount San Anton where the views of the sea are mesmerising.

Hondarribia
Located right on the border with France, this is a picturesque fishing town with a walled old quarter and magnificent ancestral homes.  It’s stunningly preserved architecture including pedestrianised cobbled streets and the old fortified city walls, the number of great eateries – especially in the streets around San Pedro and Santiago, and the beach – make it one of our favourites. .

Zarautz
Zarautz, a lovely historic seaside town is situated on a plain in the province of Gipuzkoa; just 16 miles west of San Sebastian. Its long beach of fine sand and promenade is one of its main attractions; inviting the visitor to take a relaxing stroll. Noteworthy monuments in Zarautz include the Narros Palace, the Casa Torre de los Zarautz (manor house), the Parish Church of Santa María La Real and the Luzea Tower.

French Basque Country
The French Basque Country is only 20 miles from San Sebastian.  Here you can visit the the charming coastal towns of Saint Jean de Luz and Biarritz.   In Saint Jean de Luz see historic places such as Gambetta street, the house of Joanaenina, the building of Luis XIV, and the church of San Juan Bautista.  In Biarritz discover this fashionable seaside town where royals had their summer residence in the mid 19th century. Explore its elegant streets, wonderful cafes with tasty French desserts and stylish boutiques. Visit the Maritime museum or the Casino and perhaps take a swim on one of its lovely beaches.

 

Activities & Services Included today

  • Private full day guided tour with an expert, English speaking driver-guide
  • Transport in a comfortable touring vehicle
  • 4 star hotel accommodation in a standard room. Upgrade available on request.
     

Meals Included today

  • Full Buffet Breakfast

Santillana del Mar, Spain

Today, after checking out from your hotel, it’s time to collect your rental car and head west to Cantabria and Santillana del Mar

Stop in to Bilbao on the way. Enjoy touring the city at your leisure - it's an easy city to discover on-foot -  and for ease of access, we have included entrance tickets to the Guggenheim museum. Stroll along the wonderful riverside and taste the delicious tapas in the city’s Old Quarter or Parte Vieja.

In the afternoon enjoy a short scenic coastal 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. Travel back to pre-historic times and take time to visit the neo-cave at Altamira just outside the town centre.

Nearby the coast is dotted with many interesting towns such as Comillas where the El Capricho building designed by Antoni Gaudi is a highlight worth seeing. 

 

Activities & Services Included today

  • 6/7 days car rental. Standard size (Opel insignia or similar) Manual transmission
  • Basic CDW/LDW, unlimited mileage and theft waiver
  • Pre-Booked entrance tickets for the Guggenheim Museum
  • 4 star hotel accommodation in a standard room. Upgrade available on request.


Meals Included today

  • Full Buffet Breakfast

Santillana del Mar, Spain

Today after breakfast enjoy a scenic drive inland to the spa town of Puente Viesgo.  

Today you'll tour privately one of the Monte Castillo Caves which overlooks Puente ViesgoThe El Castillo cave and it's ancient cave art is outstanding and dates back over 150,000 years. It is majestically situated by the River Pas up a cone-shaped limestone hill, which inside hides an intricate labyrinth containing one of the most unique and important environments in Prehistoric Europe.

Aftwerwards we suggest visiting the capital of Cantabria, Santander, which is a splendid city and which too was a favourite of Spanish Royalty. See the Magdalena Palace and gardens on a peninsula with views of the bay and Sardinero beach.  Don't miss the Botin Centre either, a unique building and museum designed by Renzo Piano.   

 


Activities & Services Included today

  • Car Rental as described previously. 
  • Pre-Booked entrance tickets for El Castillo cave in Puente Viesgo
  • Private guided visit at the cave (1 hour duration) with expert, English speaking guide
  • 4 star hotel accommodation in a standard room. Upgrade available on request.

Meals Included today

  • Full Buffet Breakfast

Potes, Spain

Today you'll head inland to Potes which is in one of the most scenic parts of Cantabria - the Liebana region -  located right by the Picos de Europa National Park. The drive there via the La Hermida Pass is stunning.

Potes is a charming ancient little town full of old balconied stone houses. The 15th century Torre del Infantado is a notable defensive tower.  Just outside Potes is the monastery of Santo Toribio de Liebana, which was founded in the 7th century and is one of the most revered spots in the Picos de Europa.  Outdoor lovers and those with an adventurous spirit flock here to enjoy the many activities on offer.   This area is famous for it's mountain stews and producing the popular Cantabrian licquer known as Orujo.  In recent years too the recovery of wine making in the area using autochthonous grapes has been quite important.

 

Activities & Services Included today

  • Car Rental as described previously. 
  • 4 star hotel accommodation in a standard room. Upgrade available on request.

Meals Included today

  • Full Buffet Breakfast

Potes, Spain

After a hearthy breakfast make your way to Fuente De, a short but very picturesque drive from Potes.

Here, you'll enjoy a spectacular pre-booked ride by cable car up 800 metres into the Picos mountains where you can appreciate terrific 360 degree mountain views.  Go for a nice walk and for those who like to hike, it is possible to hike back down over several hours. Your Totally Spain representative can provide more details.  It is also possible to be accompanied by one of our local mountain guides should you wish.

Rest of the day at leisure.

 

 

 

Activities & Services Included today

  • Car Rental as described previously. 
  • Pre-Booked roundtrip tickets for the cable car (Teleferico) in Fuente De
  • 4 star hotel accommodation in a standard room. Upgrade available on request.

Meals Included today

  • Full Buffet Breakfast

Gijon, Spain

Today you'll leave Potes and head north back to the coast and from there continue west to Gijon, in Asturias.  

The geography of Asturias appears to be a geological explosion towards the sky. Above all, it is a vertical land of imposing mountains such as the Picos de Europa, where rivers flowing towards the sea have chiselled deep ravines and beautiful river valleys. And then there is more than 190 miles of irregular coastline offering a succession of about 100 beaches, protected fishing harbours and navigable estuaries.

We suggest stopping in the quaint town of Llanes on the way.  Dotted all around the colourful fishing port are numerous inviting restaurants ideal for a lazy lunch.  Be sure to checkout the Cubos de la Memoria, the large colourful cement cubes in the port painted by prominent Spanish artist Agustin Ibarrola.

Arrive in Gijon later today and check in at your centrally located 4 star hotel.

 

Activities & Services Included today

  • Car Rental as described previously. 
  • 4 star hotel accommodation in a standard room. Upgrade available on request.

Meals Included today

  • Full Buffet Breakfast

Gijon, Spain

Today, after breakfast, you'll meet your expert local guide for a half day private walking tour visiting the main sites of interest in Gijon.

Gijon offers an attractive combination of maritime tradition, monumental heritage and modern urban planning right on the seashore. The Roman Hot springs and the Old Quarter (Cimadevilla) are two of the most remarkable sites of this coastal city, hometown of Spanish author Jovellanos. From the Aquarium to the Marina, passing through the picturesque neighborhood of Cimadevilla, the busy beach of San Lorenzo with its wall, and the seafront promenade up to the El Rinconín beach.

 

 

Activities & Services Included today

  • Car Rental as described previously. 
  • Private Half-Day Walking tour in Gijon with expert, English speaking guide
  • 4 star hotel accommodation in a standard room. Upgrade available on request.

Meals Included today

  • Full Buffet Breakfast

Santiago de Compostela, Spain

Today set off for Galicia to Santiago de Compostela.  There are a couple of ways which you can go.

Travel via the impressive city of Lugo, which was an important centre under the Roman occupation. The city walls have been declared a World Heritage site by UNESCO and they are superb to walk upon, while circling around the old quarter. Other sights to savour include the Romanesque Cathedral, the entire old quarter itself and the Town Hall Square. 

Alternatively drive along the coast instead, stopping at the lovely port city of La Coruna which features an interesting Romanesque collection of streets, squares and medieval churches. The peninsula on which the Old City stands is the site of the impressive Tower of Hercules, one of the symbols of the city of La Coruna. The Aquarium Finisterrae, the Domus and the Science Museum are attractions that display the more modern, recreational side of the provincial capital, which offers one of its most beautiful facets in it´s wide beaches of Riazor and Orzan. 

In the late afternoon, arrive to Santiago de Compostela and check inb to your 4 star city centre hotel.  Return your rental car today.

 

Activities & Services Included today

  • Car Rental as described previously.  Car returned today in Santiago.
  • 4 star hotel accommodation in a standard room. Upgrade available on request.

Meals Included today

  • Full Buffet Breakfast

Santiago de Compostela, Spain

Santiago de Compostela has been declared a World Heritage City by UNESCO. The city is made visible from afar by the spires of its cathedral, the welcome end of the road for pilgrims who have completed the Camino de Santiago.  The cathedral´s facade is among the most beautiful in the world and its interior is a magnificent display of Romanesque and Gothic opulence.  The high altar is a dazzling creation in silver and gold. 

The cobbled Old Quarter of Santiago is beautiful with it´s manorhouses and palaces as well as lively bars, restaurants and cafes. The international community of students that study in Santiago add a special, vibrant flavour to this charming city.

This morning, enjoy a private walking tour with your expert local guide. Walk around the famous Plaza del Obradoiro seeing the 11th century Cathedral, the superb 15th-century former Royal hospital, now the Parador de Santiago de Compostela, one of Spain´s most emblematic hotels.  It is a vast museum of cloistered courtyards, tapestries and statues. Also see the Baroque Convent of San Martino Pinario.  Discover bustling small shops, cafes and mouth-watering seafood restaurants.  Your guide will highlight which are the best to try. Be sure to sample the local Albarino and Ribeira wines. 

Remainder of the day at leisure to explore independently the charms of Santiago.

 

Activities & Services Included today

  • Private Half-Day Walking tour in Santiago de Compostela with expert, English speaking guide
  • Pre-Booked entrance tickets for Santiago Cathedral
  • 4 star hotel accommodation in a standard room. Upgrade available on request.

Meals Included today

  • Full Buffet Breakfast

Madrid, Spain

Today you'll be transferred to Santiago airport for your flight* to Madrid.

Arrive in Madrid. You’ll be met at the airport by your private driver who will transfer you directly to the centrally-located hotel for 2 nights.

This afternoon visit the Prado Museum at your leisure as we have included pre-booked tickets for you that avoid lining-up.  The museum is a wonderful space dating back to 1785 that now houses art from the 12th to the 19th century including large permanent collections by Goya, Velazquez, El Greco, Bosch, Titian, Van Dyck and Rembrandt.

This evening you’ll take part in a guided small group tapas tour with all food & drinks included. It’s a great way to experience Madrid’s most interesting and authentic bars and restaurants without the research or guesswork. Your guide will recommend the wines and other drinks to try and will order speciality tapas at each bar or tavern. Your guide will talk about the history of tapas, the types of tapas served in Madrid and elsewhere in Spain and will also give you a history of the neighbourhood you are visiting as well.

 

Activities & Services Included today

  • Private transfer from Santiago de Compostela Hotel to Santiago de Compostela airport
  • Private transfer from Madrid airport to your Madrid Hotel
  • Pre-Booked Entrance tickets for the Prado Museum (open date & entry time plus skip-the-line)
  • Guided Gastronomic walking tour with a small group. Includes delicious tapas and drinks (10 participants maximum)
  • 4 star hotel accommodation in a standard room. Upgrade available on request.

Meals Included today

  • Full Buffet Breakfast
  • Dinner

*Price of flight from Santiago to Madrid is not included though Totally Spain will assist you with booking it.

Madrid, Spain

After breakfast you’ll be met at your hotel by your expert local Madrid guide who will take you on an private tour of the historic city centre. You’ll enjoy visiting such places as the principal streets and squares including the Plaza del Sol, Plaza Santa, Plaza Mayor as well as the Mercado San Miguel, one of Madrid’s famous food markets.  This tour can be tweaked if you have other special interests and sigbhts you wish to see in Madrid. You only need to let your Totally Spain representative know this.

You will continue with your guide to the Plaza de la Villa and the Plaza del Oriente. Visit inside the Royal Palace that stands on the site of an old Moorish fortress. The current palace was completed in 1764 and has 3,418 rooms, something to represent every style (and every monarch) since its construction.

Enjoy the afternoon at leisure and your guide will provide you with suggestions for what to see and do this afternoon.

Activities & Services Included today

  • Private Half-Day Walking tour in Madrid with expert, English speaking guide
  • Pre-Booked entrance tickets for the Royal Palace
  • 4 star hotel accommodation in a standard room. Upgrade available on request.

Meals Included today

  • Full Buffet Breakfast
     

Departure,

After breakfast you’ll be collected at your hotel by your private driver who will transfer you to Madrid International Airport for your departure.

 

Activities & Services Included today

  • Private transfer from your Madrid hotel to Madrid airport

Meals Included today

  • Full Buffet Breakfast

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About this trip

This Trip Includes

Accommodation (based on 2 people sharing)

  • 13 nights accommodation in quality 4-star hotels in a standard room. Upgrade options available on request.

Meals

  • Full Buffet breakfast daily
  • Tapas style dinner in San Sebastian. All food and drink included.
  • Tapas style dinner in Madrid. All food and drink included.

Transport

  • All private transfers from airport / stations as indicated above
  • Car hire as described in itinerary on Day 4
  • Full-day private driver-guide for the Basque Coast tour
  • Pre-Booked roundtrip tickets for the cable car in Fuente De (Picos de Europa)

Private Guided Tours

  • ​Private Excursion from San Sebastian to the Basque Coast with expert English speaking driver-guide (includes transport)
  • Private Walking tour in Gijon with expert English speaking guide
  • Private Walking tour in Santiago de Compostela with expert English speaking guide 
  • Private Walking tour in Madrid with expert English speaking guide

Pre-Booked Entrance Tickets

  • Bilbao – Guggenheim Museum
  • Puente Viego – El Castillo cave (Cantabria)
  • Santiago de Compostela - Cathedral
  • Madrid – Royal Palace & Prado Museum

Group Guided Tours

  • Gastronomic guided tour with a small group in San Sebastian . All food and drink included.
  • Gastronomic guided tour with a small group in Madrid. All food and drink included.

Special Highlights

  • Private tour at El Castillo cave (1 hr duration)

Other

  • Comprehensive personalized trip documentation including local maps, guides and tourist information
  • Totally Spain's specialist trip planning service and support
  • Spanish Government tax


NOT INCLUDED
Flights, Personal Travel Insurance, Porterage (not commonly available in Spain), Tips, Meals, drinks or hotel extras other than those described above. Anything else not specified above.

 

 

 

Prices from

2825 EUROS PER PERSON

Customer Reviews

Review from Yelp We completed a month long trip to Spain in October, and with the help of Olaia at Totally Spain, had a wonderful experience. The guides we had were expert, flexible, and introduced us to their respective cities.  It was fanta...

Sandy Corman, Vacaville, CA, USA
2018-12-23

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