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Highlights of Northern Spain
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At a glance
Catalonia Navarre The Basque Country | 2017| 10 Days: Follow parts of the World Heritage pilgrim trail to Santiago de Compostela in the remote Spanish Pyrenees Enjoy some free time in Cadaques, a picturesque fishing town, which inspired Salvador Dali’s surreal world Experience lunch at a Michelin starred restaurant in the Basque Country, renowned for its culinary achievements
Trip Highlights
Start Destination
End Destination
San Sebastián
What's included
  • Return flights from the UK
  • Private overseas transfers to and from the airport
  • 9 nights’ in boutique hotels
  • Experienced Back-Roads tour leader
  • Luxury mini-coach transportation
  • European breakfast daily (B)
  • Three evening meals (D)
  • Two lunches (L)
  • Three wine tastings
  • Entrance fee included to: Salvador Dali House, Salt Mountain Cultural Park, Parador de Cardona, Monastery of Leyre, Olite Castle, Maisor anchovy factory
What's not included
  • Unless otherwise specified in the listed inclusions, airfares are not included in the tour price.
  • Driver/tour leader gratuity is at your discretion.
  • Lunches (unless otherwise stated), social drinks, meals on free nights,&rsquo items of a personal nature and entrance fees when not listed in the schedule of inclusions.
  • Occasional optional evening theatre/festival visits and entrances not detailed in the tour inclusions.
  • Incidental expenses, such as room service incurred at hotels. All expenses are to be settled prior to leaving the accommodation.
  • Laundry costs and any shipping charges for the return of purchases made on tour, or for the return of property lost on tour.
  • Pre and post tour accommodation.
  • Unless otherwise listed in the inclusions, transfers are not included in the tour price.
Day 1

Arrive in Barcelona and enjoy a private transfer to your pre-tour accommodation where the rest of your day is at leisure.

Day 2
Barcelona – Gerona – El Port De La Selva

Our Spanish odyssey begins with a tour of Barcelona’s highlights, including the jaw-dropping Sagrada Família cathedral. Gothic Gerona comes next, where you may wish to sip coffee on the 18th century Placade la Independencia before discovering the Old Quarter. Leaving the city buzz behind, we arrive at El Port de la Selva on the Costa Brava. A welcome dinner in this secluded town is the perfect way to make ourselves at home for our two night stay. (D)

Overnight: Hotel Porto Cristo (or similar)

Day 3
El Port De La Selva – Cadaques – El Port De La Selva

Morning takes a turn for thesurreal as we visit the Salvador Dalí house-museum in Port Lligat. A labyrinthine home built using fishermen’s cabins,it’s fascinating to peer into the artist’s workshop and library, and wander through the gardens. Next up is free time in Cadaques. This elegant, arty town is ideal for a leisurely stroll, with plenty of boutiques and galleries to drop into before we return to El Port de la Selva. (B)

Overnight: Hotel Porto Cristo (or similar)

Day 4
El Port De La Selva – Besalu – Ripoll – Cardona
We plot a course inland – climbing from the shores of the Costa Brava to the northern mountains. Besalu, a medieval village with Romanesque architecture, makes an intriguing gateway to this rural region. We continue upwards, stopping at Ripoll with is Benedictine monastery before arriving in Cardona. Lastly, take in the views of Cardona Castle, a medieval fortress set on a hilltop above the town. (B)

Overnight: Parador De Cardona (or similar)

Day 5

We give Cardona our full attention today – and discover this historic town has hidden depths. First up is the remarkable Salt Mountain, where we take an underground tour of one of the world’s most important salt mines. Then it’s back to the surface for free time in the town centre, whose origins trace back to the 11th century. A guided tour of the castle follows. As we wander ramparts and climb towers, we learn about the dukes of Cardona – known as the ‘kings without crowns’ because of their wealth and power. (B)

Overnight: Parador De Cardona (or similar)

Day 6
Cardona – Jaca – Leyre

It’s back on the road as we take a meandering drive through the mountain passes of the Spanish Pyrenees. Soul stirring views wait around every turn, as our path winds between deep valleys and towering peaks. We pause in Jaca, known as the ‘Pearl of the Pyrenees’ and an important waypoint on the pilgrimage route to Santiago de Compostela. We take time to explore the centuries old citadel, clock tower and cathedral. Then we travel on towards a shared dinner and our peaceful sanctuary for the night – a converted 9th century monastery in Leyre. (B, D)

Overnight: Hospederia de Leyre (or similar)

Day 7
Leyre – Olite – Laguardia

We swap rocky peaks for the rolling hills and plains of Navarre, a gentle landscape of rippling wheat fields and vineyards. And what better place to begin our exploration of this historic region than Olite, the medieval town that was once the seat of the Navarre court? Seek out hidden walkways and courtyard gardens at the 15th century castle, and take in sweeping views across the countryside from the towers. Afterwards, we continue to Estella where you can choose where to have lunch from one of the many welcoming local restaurants. Then we follow the Camino de Santiago into the world-famous La Rioja wine region, arriving in Laguardia in time to share an authentic Spanish dinner together. (B, D)

Overnight: Hotel Eguren Ugarte (or similar)

Day 8
Laguardia – La Rioja – Laguardia

While in La Rioja, we pay homage to the region’s winemaking heritage in the best way possible: sampling local wines. The roots of La Rioja’s vineyards stretch back to the French pilgrims of the 11th century. We’re lucky enough to visit two distinguished wineries to taste their wines, accompanied by authentic pintxo snacks, giving us the chance to explore the subtleties of the different grape varieties. Then it’s back to Laguardia where the evening is your own.  (B, L)

Overnight: Hotel Eguren Ugarte (or similar)

Day 9
Laguardia - Getaria - San Sebastian

Today we travel to the Basque Country for a taster of its culinary scene. Our first stop is the village of Getaria where we learn more about a favourite fixture of tapas menus, anchovies in oil, at an artisan producer. And, for a perfect complement, we follow this up with a wine tasting at a typical Txakoli winery. But this is just an appetiser. The highlight of our day is lunch at a Michelin-starred restaurant in Elkano, renowned for its creative recipes. Later we continue to San Sebastián, a cosmopolitan city on Spain’s northern coast, where we take a leisurely wander along the seafront and through the streets, and see some of the city’s highlights. (B, L)

Overnight: Hotel Codina (or similar)

Day 10
San Sebastian

There’s just time for one last breakfast this morning before bidding each other farewell. (B)


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