Discover the scenic delights and delicious cuisine of this forgotten part of Spain. Compare Oviedo's ancient churches and resting relics of St. James with Barcelona's captivating Sagrada Família.
10 nights from £2283pp
Call us on 01756 706505 (+44 1756 706505) to discuss this holiday
Save up to 12% on selected departures. T&Cs apply.
Northern Spain Itinerary
Day 1 Welcome to Madrid.
On arrival at Madrid airport, your airport transfer leaves for your hotel at 09:00, 11:30, 13:30 or 16:00. Relax and settle in before meeting your Travel Director at 17:30. Your Welcome Dinner is at a local restaurant and provides the opportunity to mingle with your fellow guests over a pleasant evening of good food and wine. Meals: Dinner with Wine
Day 2 Madrid of the Bourbons.
Enjoy sightseeing with your Local Expert as they take you along the main historical areas in the Capital of Spain known as Madrid of the Bourbons. Your drive continues through the Old Quarter discovering the origins of the city. A highlight of your escorted journey will be to visit the Prado Museum. Discover countless works by Velázquez, Goya, Titian, Rubens and others as you are guided by a local art historian. The afternoon is free for you to relax at a cafe or shop in the boutiques. Meals: Breakfast
Day 3 Through the Guadarrama Mountains to Santiago.
Journey through the Guadarrama Mountains to the infinite horizons of Old Castile and pass the impressive Castillo de la Mota. Some of Spain's most fashionable white wines are produced in Rueda and this morning we have the opportunity to learn how they are made and sample the delights of the Verdejo grape. Continue past historic Tordesillas, and on to Santiago de Compostela. Meals: Breakfast, Dinner with Wine
Day 4 Saintly Santiago de Compostela.
Explore Santiago de Compostela with Insight Choice. Choose between joining a city tour with a Local Expert and visit Praza do Obradoiro to admire the cathedral facade festooned with architectural frills. Alternatively, embark on a scenic walk on a part of the Way of St James, through parks and gardens that transform with the seasons. Relax during your free time or explore the narrow streets and old squares of this city. Meals: Breakfast
Day 5 Along the Costa Verde to Oviedo.
Pass through the ancient forests of Galicia 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. Meet Flor, a local who will invite you to join her for lunch. Hear about daily life in this seaside city as you enjoy a delicious meal that Flor has prepared from locally-sourced ingredients, accompanied by delicious local cider. Your route reveals glorious coastal vistas before turning inland to travel through old villages and deep valleys en route to Oviedo. Continue on to Oviedo where a Local Expert will show you the 9th century churches built when the city was the capital of Christian Spain. Visit the Cathedral of the Holy Saviour in the stately square of Plaza Alfonso II. Admire the incredible altarpiece, one of the finest in Europe. Meals: Breakfast, Lunch with Wine
Day 6 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 travelling 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. Continue on to the sophisticated beach resort of Santander where you have free time in the evening to enjoy this luxurious hotel. Why not take the time to explore the hotel terrace with stunning views of the bay below or relax with one of the many therapy treatments offered at the hotels spa? Meals: Breakfast
Day 7 Bilbao, Costa Vasca and San Sebastián.
In nearby Bilbao, admire the striking modern architecture of the Guggenheim Museum, one of the world's most spectacular buildings. Enjoy the views as you are driven along part of the Costa Vasca, dotted with small coastal fishing villages. Pause in Getaria, at the mouth of the Urola, to see El Ratón, the mouse-shaped rock. Continue to San Sebastián, pearl of the Cantabrian coast, set on its shell-shaped bay. Admire its beauty as you walk with your Local Expert through the Old Quarter. See the numbered balconies of the Plaza de la Constitución, a reminder of the days when bullfights were held in the square. Head to Monte Igueldo for breathtaking views of the town and La Concha Bay. Meals: Breakfast
Day 8 San Sebastián, Pearl of the Cantabrian Coast.
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. Perhaps you'll want to explore the nearby French villages of Saint-Jean-de-Luz, also known as Little Paris and Biarritz? Maybe stroll the promenade of the famous La Concha bay or enjoy the boutiques of the Old Town? Meals: Breakfast
Day 9 Pamplona and on to Barcelona.
Journey to the famed town of Pamplona, known for its Running of the Bulls festival. With time free for you to explore, perhaps take a stroll to the famous Estafeta Street or visit Café Iruña, immortalised by Ernest Hemingway in the 'The Sun Also Rises.' Your travels continue to Barcelona, the vibrant capital of Catalonia, a land that retains its own distinctive language, culture and traditions. Meals: Breakfast
Day 10 Barcelona, City of Gaudí.
Wake up ready to embrace the city’s artistic heritage. Join a Local Expert in the heart of the Barri Gotic, the Gothic Quarter, and walk through the Roman Gate to see its narrow lanes and old squares. You are driven along the Passeig de Gràcia, adorned with elegant wrought-iron street lamps and the most flamboyant Modernist buildings. Continue through the Eixample district to behold Gaudí’s extraordinary masterpiece, the Sagrada Família. As you venture inside, look above to see its giant, tree-like pillars and spectacular vaulting. Admire the wonderful rainbow of the incredible stained-glass windows. With the afternoon at leisure, you are free to relax or continue your exploration on your own. In the evening, join your Travel Director and newfound friends at a local restaurant. Raise your glass and toast your travels during your delightful Celebration Dinner. Meals: Breakfast, Dinner with Wine
Day 11 Depart Madrid.
After breakfast depart for Madrid. A stop is made at Madrid airport in the early evening, followed by the Madrid trip hotel. Meals: Breakfast
- Rueda: Some of Spain’s finest wines hail from the Rueda region. During your tasting, learn about the Verdejo grape and what to look for in a fresh white.
- Oviedo: A stay in Oviedo would not be complete without a stop in at a Sideria to relish in the taste of their locally made Asturian cider.
- Gijón: Meet Flor, a local of Gijón, to join her for a delicious meal of locally-sourced produce that she has prepared just for you.
- Barcelona: At a typical Catalan restaurant, savour a delicious Celebration Dinner that incorporates classic cooking with the freshest produce.
- Dining Summary: 10 Breakfasts (B), 1 Lunch with Wine (LW) and 3 Dinners with Wine (DW) all with tea or coffee.
- Madrid: Witness the world’s finest collection of Spanish paintings, plus an impressive foreign collection, as you tour the Prado Museum with an art historian.
Top Rated Highlights
- Madrid: With your Local Expert, see the Royal Palace, the monument to Cervantes in the Plaza de España, the grandiose Cibeles Fountain, Parliament and Puerta del Sol.
- Oviedo: Led by your Local Expert, see 1,000-year-old wall paintings in some of Europe’s oldest churches. Admire the incredible altarpiece, one of the finest in Europe, when you visit the Cathedral of the Holy Saviour.
- Picos de Europa National Park: Venture into this magnificent national park to admire the stunning picturesque scenery and rocky trails.
- Picos de Europa National Park: Visit the holy cave of Covadonga and see the tomb of Pelayo who is celebrated for winning the Battle of Covadonga against the Muslim Moors in 722 and later became the first King of Asturias.
- Santillana del Mar: Step back in time when you visit this perfectly preserved and ‘most beautiful village in Spain.’
- Bilbao: See the spectacular modern Guggenheim Museum designed by Frank Gehry and sites of this Basque region gem during your orientation with your Travel Director.
- Getaria: See the rock known as El Ratón, or the mouse.
- San Sebastián: Led by your Local Expert, enjoy a guided walking tour of the Old Quarter including Plaza de la Constitucion.
- San Sebastián: Ascend Monte Igueldo to marvel at the views of the town and La Concha Bay.
- Pamplona: Spend free time exploring this city, known for its annual Running with the Bulls festival.
- Barcelona: Explore the medieval maze of the Barri Gotic, the Gothic Quarter, with your Local Expert and travel along Passeig de Gràcia to see the elegant wrought-iron street lamps and flamboyant Modernist buildings.
- Barcelona: Venture inside Gaudi’s extraordinary masterpiece, the Sagrada Família and marvel at the contrasts of architecture. Above see its giant, tree-like pillars and spectacular vaulting. Admire the wonderful rainbow of the incredible stained-glass windows.
- Scenic Drives: Experience the gorgeously green beauty of Spain's northern coast as you drive through Asturias and witness colourful fishing towns on the coast. You'll enjoy some of Spain's best scenery as you travel through the Rueda wine region, through Picos de Europa, along Costa Vasca and Costa de Cantabria and through the La Rioja region.
Included Insight Services
- Our highly-skilled Travel Director will ensure your journey is seamless, serving as your expert guide, consummate organiser, and friend overseas.
- Enjoy the comfort of Insight's luxury, air-conditioned, 40-seat coach with double the standard legroom and onboard washroom.
- Personal radio headsets give you the freedom to wander during visits to famous highlights, without missing any of your Local Expert's fascinating commentary.
- We carry your bags for you and promptly deliver them to your hotel door.
- Hotel and restaurant tips are included - you'll never have to worry about how much to give, nor search for foreign currency. We also include all taxes and porterage charges at hotels.
- Stay connected with friends and family with our complimentary coach and hotel Wi-Fi (where available).
- From time to time, your Travel Director will enchant you with an Insight Flourish, which is a local specialty representing the destination.
- If your arrival and/or departure flights are as per the itinerary start and end dates, then transfers are available at scheduled times. If your flights are outside these times, or you have booked additional nights accommodation with Insight Vacations, you may purchase transfers or make your own way from/to the airport.