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11 Day Luxury Madrid and Northern Spain

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11 Day Luxury Madrid and Northern Spain

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 Familia.

Our adventure map

Map of tour route

Day by day

First Day Welcome to Madrid 

Enjoy your complimentary private VIP door-to-door transfer to your UK departure airport. On arrival at Madrid Airport, your airport transfers leave for your hotel at 09:00, 11:00, 13:30 and 16:00. Relax and settle in. Later, join your Tour Director for a warm Welcome Reception with the opportunity to mingle and get to know each other over a pleasant evening of dinner and wine. (WR),(D)

Hotel:    Hesperia Madrid/Barcelo Torre, Madrid

Second Day its Sightseeing in Madrid

In the morning, a Local Expert will guide you along the noble avenues past the Cibeles Fountain and down the Gran Vía to the statue of Don Quixote in the Plaza de España. Cross the Puerta del Sol and continue to the Prado Museum, housing works by Velázquez, Goya, Titian, Botticelli, Rubens and others. You will then have free time to relax at a cafe or shop in the boutiques. (BB)

Hotel:    Hesperia Madrid/Barcelo Torre, Madrid

Third Day go through the Guadarrama Mountains onto Santiago

Venture through the Guadarrama Mountains to the infinite horizons of Old Castile. Some of Spain's most fashionable white wines are produced in the Rueda region, so stop for a tasting. Continue past the impressive Castillo de la Mota, conquered by Queen Isabella and on to Santiago de Compostela, where the tomb of the Apostle St James was miraculously discovered in the Middle Ages. (BB),(DW)

Hotel:     NH Collection, Santiago de Compostela

Fourth Day Historical Santigo De Compostela

In the morning, become acquainted with some of Europe's finest historical buildings with a Local Expert. The monumental square, Spanish Plaza del Obradoiro, is pure grandeur in granite. Look up from the steady trickle of present-day pilgrims to the Cathedral façade - an ensemble of soaring towers, arches and windows, festooned with architectural frills. Once through the ‘Gateway of Glory', you're privy to the same vision that has greeted pilgrims since the Middle Ages. The faithful can pass behind the ornate high altar to touch the giant 13th century gilded effigy of St. James. Follow the steps of the pilgrims on The Way of St. James, then indulge in some free time to explore the narrow streets and old squares. (BB)

Hotel:     NH Collection, Santiago de Compostela

Fifth Day go along the Costa Verde to Oviedo

Pass through the ancient forests of Galacia 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. Your route reveals glorious coastal vistas before turning inland to travel through old villages and deep valleys en route to the capital, Oviedo. A Local Expert will show you the 9th century churches built when the city was the capital of Christian Spain. Visit the church of San Julian, covered with 1,000-year-old wall paintings, and the Cathedral in the stately square of Plaza Alfonso II. Round off the day with an introduction to Northern Spain's drink of choice: Asturian cider. (BB),(DW)

Hotel:    Barcelo Cervantes/NH Oviedo Principado, Oviedo

Sixth Day visit pretty Sanatillana Del Mar and onto 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 journeying 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. After time to explore, drive to the sophisticated beach resort of Santander. (BB)

Hotel:     Eurostars Real/Eurostars Santander

Seventh Day its Bilbao then we drive along Costa Vasca to San Sebastián

In nearby Bilbao, admire the striking modern architecture of the Guggenheim Museum, one of the world's most spectacular buildings. Now a pleasant drive along part of the Costa Vasca, dotted with small coastal fishing villages. Pause in Zumaia, at the mouth of the Urola, where you can see El Ratón, the mouse-shaped rock. Continue to San Sebastián, pearl of the Cantabrian coast, set on its shell-shaped bay. The city harbour is filled with fishing boats and pleasure crafts, so you can enjoy a number of sporting activities on its large sandy beach. Spain's northern Basque country has evolved into the best place to eat in the Western world. Discover the city's rich gastronomic tradition in the old city's pintxos (tapas) bars and be sure to try the local Txakoli wine. (BB)

Hotel:    Barcelo Costa Vasca/Mecure Igueldo, San Sebastián

Eighth Day enjoy San Sebastián at your leisure     

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. Maybe explore the nearby French village of Saint- Jean-de-Luz, also known as Little Paris or perhaps venture to Northern Spain's Basque country, which has evolved into the best place to eat in the Western world? (BB)

Hotel:     Barcelo Costa Vasca/Mecure Igueldo, San Sebastián

Ninth Day we see Pamplona then head to Barcelona

Your first stop is in Pamplona, famous for the 'Running of the Bulls' festival. Perhaps take a stroll to the famous Estafeta Street or visit Café Iruña, immortalised by Ernest Hemingway in the “Sun Also Rises”. Continue to Barcelona, the vibrant capital of Catalonia, a land that retains its own distinctive language, culture and traditions. (BB)

Hotel:    Hilton Barcelona

Tenth Day its Barcelona , City of Gaud

Wake up ready to embrace the city's artistic heritage. Join a Local Expert in the heart of the Gothic Quarter and walk through the Roman gate to tour the narrow lanes and old squares. Next, head along the Passeig de Gràcia, adorned with elegant wrought-iron street lamps and the most flamboyant Modernist buildings. Continue through the Eixample district for a visit inside Gaudi's extraordinary masterpiece, the Sagrada Familia Church. See its giant, tree-like pillars and spectacular vaulting. The afternoon is at leisure. In the evening, raise your glass at your finale Celebration Dinner with wine at a local restaurant. (BB),(CD)

Hotel:    Hilton Barcelona

Eleventh Day we Depart Barcelona

After breakfast, transfer to Madrid and arrive early evening at Madrid Airport, followed by the Madrid tour hotel. On arrival at your UK airport, your driver will greet and escort you to your waiting car for your return private VIP transfer home. (BB)

Dining

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.

Barcelona: Your Celebration Dinner with wine, at a typical Catalan restaurant, incorporates classic cooking with the freshest produce.

10 Buffet Breakfasts (BB); plus 1 Welcome Dinner (WD), 2 three-course table d’hôte Dinners (DW) and 1 Celebration Dinner (CD) all with wine, plus tea or coffee

Travel Highlights

  • 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. Your guided tour shows you the statue of Don Quixote in the Plaza de España, Royal Palace, Gran Via, Cibeles Fountain, Parliament and Puerta del Sol.
  • Santiago de Compostela: The Romanesque interior of the Cathedral is magnificent. Let a Local Expert take you through the Gateway of Glory to witness the final stage of one of the world's most ancient pilgrimages. Join a guided tour of the old town.
  • Oviedo: See 1,000-year-old wall paintings in some of Europe's oldest churches and relax in a cider house with a glass of Asturia's famous ‘Sidra'. Watch the waiters demonstrate the art of Cider pouring.
  • Santillana del Mar: Step back in time at this perfectly preserved and ‘most beautiful village in Spain.'
  • Barcelona: Visit inside Gaudi's extraordinary masterpiece, the Sagrada Familia Basilica. Enjoy a walking tour through the old lanes and squares of the Gothic Quarter. Drive down the elegant Passeig de Gràcia to witness some of the finest Modernist architecture. 
  • Costa Verde: Experience the coastal vistas of Asturias.
  • Covadonga: Visit the shrine to Pelayo.
  • Bilbao: See the spectacular modern Guggenheim Museum.
  • Zumaia: See the rock known as El Ratón (the mouse).
  • San Sebastian: Enjoy a guided walking tour of the Old Quarter including Plaza de la Constitucion. Ascend Monte Igueldo for views of the town and La Concha Bay.
  • Pamplona: Visit the city of the running of the bulls.
  • Scenic Drives: Costa Verda, Picos de Europa, Costa Vasca, Costa de Cantabria, Rioja wine–region.

The Difference

An expert Tour Director, at the pinnacle of their career, will guide you on your journey. Serving as your 'travelling concierge', this skilled guide will act as consummate organiser and be your 'friend in a foreign land'.

Enjoy the unique comfort our luxury air-conditioned 40 seat coach with extended leg room and on-board restroom. It's business class comfort.

A personal radio headset gives you the freedom to wander during visits to famous highlights, without missing any of your Local Expert's fascinating insights and commentaries.

Baggage handling everywhere, with seamless and prompt delivery to your door at every hotel.

Hotel and restaurant tips included - you'll never have to worry about how much to give, nor search for foreign currency. Plus we include all taxes and porter-age charges at hotels.

Stay connected with friends and family with our complimentary coach and hotel Wi-Fi.

From time to time, your Tour Director will enchant you with local titbits, each representing authentic food or beverages unique to the destination.

Included airport transfers at scheduled times on arrival and departure days.

Guarantees, Bonds and Awards

  • This tour is run by our outstanding travel partners who are award winners British Travel Awards Best Small Group.
  • All Tours are Guaranteed Departures.
  • Tours are fully bonded, protected and guaranteed and you pay the operator directly when booking.
  • ABTA protected

Best prices, more information and booking

Great Discounts are available – please speak with our expert who can arrange extra unique discounts.

Only £100 per person deposit required (except for last minute bookings).

By booking through us you will receive additional customer service and extra discounts.

Please ask our expert about last minute special offers available throughout the year.

If this is not quite what you are looking for, please mail us we have many great alternatives.

You can call our expert on 0207 620 8963 – UK time 9am to 5pm Monday to Friday (this number is specifically for this or similar multi-day tours of Britain, Europe or World-Wide) or out of those hours please leave a voice-mail for a call back.

Alternatively email us at info@21stcenturytravel.co.uk and request a call back or if you prefer mail, we can send you more details from there.