Northern Spain & Lusitania

Northern Spain & Lusitania

from madrid
sundays 25/03 to 21/10
12 days

Price from: €1310
Duration: 12 days

Tour starts on every single SUNDAY between March 25th and October 21st.


Tour code: C-70122

Included in tour:

- accommodation in **** hotels

- 11 breakfasts, 9 dinners

- modern and air-conditioned bus

- multi-lingual tour escort

- sightseeing tour with local guide in Santiago, Porto and Lisbon

- tickets to Santiago's Cathedral

- tickets to St. Geronimus Monastery

- visit to a wine cellar with tasting of Porto wine

- travel insurance

- free Wi- Fi on board 

- porter service (1 suitcase per person)

- tips 

This is a quite detailed and sophisticated twelve-day tour, dedicated to Northern Spain, with its regions of Aragon, Basque Country, Cantabria, Asturias and Galicia, as well as al the largest and most interesting cities of Portugal, from north to south. 

The north of Spain has not only a unique landscape and beautiful nature, but also amazing cities with lots of things to see: charming San Sebastian and its sandy beaches; Bilbao with its world-famous Guggenheim Museum; many small villages that are typical for this nortern area, like - Santillana de Mar, Covadonga, as well as the National Park ''Picos de Europa''; also La Coruna - the most western city of Spain, and one of the main pilgrimage centers in Europe -Santiago de Compostella. 

Cities in Portugal to see: old  fisherman's town, nowadays a main port and the second largest place in the country - Oporto; Coimbra with its ancient University, Fatima - one of the main pilgrimage centers in Europe, and of course, the Capital - one of the oldest cities in Europe - Lisbon.   

Although, this tour is not a religious or spiriual, but it also would be a perfect choice for spiritual travelers, as it passes through Santiago de Compostela and Fatima - two main pilgrimage centers in Europe. 

Day 1. Madrid - Zaragoza - San Sebastian (575km ~ 357 miles)

Departure from Barcelona at 08.00 in the morning towards Zaragoza. On your way you will pass through ancient cities of Lleida (Lerida) and Zaragoza. Lleida is one of the oldest towns in Catalonia, with recorded settlements dating back to the Bronze Age period. In Zaragoza you will have free time to visit the local sights such as the impressive Basilica of Our Lady of the Pillar or the bridge ‘Puente de Piedra’. Later continuation to San Sebastian. Dinner and accommodation.

 

Day 2. San Sebastian - Bilbao (100km ~ 62 miles)

Breakfast. Departure to Bilbao, where you will have a brief panoramic tour to admire the Guggenheim Museum building. The Guggenheim is a museum of modern and contemporary art, designed by Canadian-American architect Frank Gehry. Although it has a very impressive collection of art, some might say that it is more famous for its architecture than its content. You will have the afternoon free to visit the historic center and enjoy the local gastronomy. Dinner and accommodation.

 

Day 3. Bilbao - Santander - Santillana - Covadonga - Oviedo (320km ~ 199 miles)

Breakfast. Departure towards Santander, where you can admire its long sandy beautiful beaches, for example Playa de la Magdalena and ''El Sardinero'', as well as a historic city center. There are plenty of impressive gothic buildings, including the main Cathedral, that you surely would like to see. Later departure towards Santillana del Mar, - a small village, that is considered one of the most ancient in the whole Spain. After a short stop in Santillana del Mar you will continue to Covadonga. Once you reach this charming city, there wil be a free time given to explore the Santa Cueva de Covadonga (the ‘Holy Cave of Covadonga’), which is a Catholic sanctuary inside the cave. The meaning of ‘Covadonga’ is derived from the Latin ‘Cova Dominica’, which means ‘Cave of the Lady’, because the place is dedicated to the cult of the Virgin of Covadonga. Afterwards continuation to Oviedo. Dinner and accommodation upon arrival.

 

Day 4. Oviedo-La Coruna (295 kms)

Breakfast. Departure to the region of Galicia. Arrival to La Coruna - a port, a beachy hot spot and a cruise-ship destination, as well as a busy commercial center and a cultural enclave, a historic city and a modern metropolis with a buzzing nightlife. All in all, it is a very intriguing place to discover. After a short panoramic tour through the city you will have free time to explore it on your own. Here we offer an optional excursion to visit the villages of Pontedeume and Betanzos - well-preserved historical villages in the area. Dinner and accommodation in La Coruna. 

 

Day 5. La Coruna - Santiago de Compostela (75km ~ 47 miles)

Breakfast. Departure towards Santiago de Compostela. This city is a very important pilgrimage center and the capital of the autonomous community of Galicia. Locals say the arcaded, stone streets of Santiago de Compostela are at their most beautiful in the rain, when the old city glistens. Most would agree, however, that it's hard to catch Santiago in a bad pose. Whether you're wandering the medieval streets of the old city, nibbling on tapas in the taverns, or gazing down at the rooftops from the top of a cathedral, Santiago seduces. Upon arrival you will join a city tour to discover all its beautiful sights such as the Plaza de Obradoiro and the main Cathedral (with tickets and tour inside included). Free time in the second half of the day. Accommodation and dinner at night.

 

Day 6. Santiago de Compostela - Rias Bajas - Vigo (90km ~ 56 miles)

Breakfast. Departure towards the region of the Rias Bajas. The ´Rias Bajas´, which stands for ‘lower rivers’, are a series of four estuarine inlets, located on the southwestern coast of Galicia. Some spectacular views along the way - Isla de la Toja, the Ria de Arosa or Pontevedra. Later continuation to Vigo. Dinner and accommodation. Later you can take part in an optional excursion to Santa Tecla and Valenca do Miño, during which you will cross the border and visit Portugal. 

 

Day 7. Vigo - Viana do Castelo - Braga - Oporto (220km ~ 137 miles)

Breakfast. Departure towards Viana do Castelo, - the jewel of the ''Costa Verde'' (Green Coast), blessed with both an appealing medieval centre and lovely beaches just outside the city. Some free time to explore the beautiful old town with its cobbled streets. Afterwards departure to Braga - the third largest town in Portugal, known as the town of the archbishops due to its splendid array of baroque churches. Afterwards departure to Oporto - a city, which is the part of the World Heritage Sites of UNESCO, and the second largest city in Portugal after Lisbon. During the panoramic tour you will be gven the chance to discover the Cathedral and the Santa Clara Church, also to enjoy the colorful and pictoresque landscapes of Oporto.  At the end of the day, you will be escorted to a local winery to get a taste of the world famous porto wine, - "vino de Porto". Dinner and accomodation.


Day 8. Oporto

After breakfast you will have a proper tour around Oporto. The history of this enchanting city is strictly connected to Romans, that back in the day named it "Portus" ( ''Port'' in Latin), due to its strict relationship with the sea. Oporto is also part of the World Heritage Sites of UNESCO, and it's the second largest city in Portugal after Lisbon. During the panoramic excursion you will be lead to discover the Cathedral and the Santa Clara Church, also will enjoy the colorful and pictoresque landscape.  At the end of the tour, you will be escorted to a local winery to get a taste of the world famous Porto Wine, "vino de Porto". Rest of the day free. Dinner and second night in Porto.

 

Day 9. Oporto - Coimbra (120km ~ 75 miles)

Departure to Coimbra, - an ancient capital of Portugal and home of the country's oldest University (founded in 1290). Coimbra played an important role in Portuguese history, and now it is an important cultural center. Coimbra offers an outstanding example of an integrated university city with a specific urban typology as well as its own ceremonial and cultural traditions that have been kept alive through the ages. Its historical buildings were classified as a World Heritage site by UNESCO in 2013. Free time to explore the city. Accommodation and dinner.

 

Day 10. Coimbra - Fatima - Lisbon (222km ~ 138 miles)

Breakfast.  In the morning you will leave Coimbra behind and depart to Fatima - an important pilgrimage center known for its Marian apparitions that occurred in Cova da Iria in 1917 and which were later recognized by the Catholic Church. After some free time to visit the Basilica you will continue to the capital of Portugal - Lisbon. At night optional visit of a Fado show (typical portuguese guitar play). Accommodation.

 

Day 11. Lisbon

After breakfast you will join a sightseeing tour to discover the beauty of this city, located at the mouth of the River Tagus. You will see the oldest district of Lisbon - Alfama Quarter; the Tower of Belem, that was built to commemorate Vasco da Gama’s expedition; the Jeronimos Monastery, which was classified as UNESCO World Heritage Site; as well as many other highlights of the city. Free second half of the ay to enjoy the city on youe own. Optional excursions to beautiful suburbs of Lisbon - Sintra, Cascais and Estoril are possible. Second night in Lisbon.

 

Day 12. Lisbon - Caceres - Madrid (613km ~ 381 miles)

Breakfast. Departure towards the Spain. Crossing border to go back to the Spanish region of Extremadura, this time to Caceres - town, founded by the Romans in 25 BC. There you will have free time to explore the charming Old Town, (‘Parte Antigua’), with tiny streets, thick walls and a great medieval atmospere. Caceres was declared a World Heritage City by UNESCO in 1986 because of the city's unique blend of Roman, Moorish, Northern Gothic and Italian Renaissance architecture. After a break you will make your way back to Madrid. Arrival, end of services.

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Please click here to see the route on a map.

Please click here to see the optional day trips for this tour.

Want to explore the beauty of Galicia? This could catch your eye: Galicia, Portugal and Andalucia.

Prices:

Per person in double/twin room: 1310€

Single Supplement: 415€

Supplement July to Oct.: 80€

 

Discounts:

- Children less than 4 years old: free, without granted seat in the bus

- Children between 4 and 7 years old: 25% discount off adult price, in a room with adults

- Teenagers between 8 and 18 years old: 5% discount off adult price 

- Seniors (65+ years old): 5% discount off adult price 

- Third person in triple room: 5%

Discounts cannot be combined. 

San Sebastian

Silken Amara Plaza**** is the work of architect Peña Ganchegui. Its exterior and advanced technology contrast with an interior in harmony with the elegance of San Sebastián City. Located near the beginning of stunning walk to the Concha Bay and to the old part of the city, where you can try some of the best ’pintxos’ (local tapas) made with typical products from the region. Hotel’s restaurant offer a perfect mix between local Basque Cuisine and international dishes. 


Bilbao

The Occidental Bilbao**** With a strategic location, a few minutes from the historic centre, this hotel is a perfect base to visit Bilbao’s attractions: the Guggenheim Museum Bilbao, the Cathedral of Santiago and Arriaga Theatre, among others.  All rooms have exterior views and a modern design. It’s possible to enjoy some relaxing time at their Spa area and at the heated indoor pool.  The Kitchen, the hotel's restaurant, serves fresh local and Mediterranean cuisine. There is a café-bar and a lobby with a fireplace.

 


Oviedo

Gran Hotel Regente****: conveniently located at the very center of the city, this hotel will definitely please you. It is very close to several museums, and also Bulevar de la Cidra - street, where many popular ‘‘cidrerias’’ can be found (cidra of Asturias - sort of light alcoholic beverage, very popular in northern Spain).


La Coruna

Tryp Coruña**** hotel is located in the leisure part of the city, next to huge shopping centers El Corte Inglés and Cuatro Caminos.  Also, it is only 20 min walk to the Riazor - Orzan beaches. TRYP Coruña provides 181 spacious and modern rooms; different dining spaces, such as breakfast room with show cooking and cafeteria; free high speed Wi-Fi internet and 24h mini gym. All rooms are outward facing, all large, bright and fully furnished.


Santiago

Gran Hotel Santiago**** is a luxurious 4-star property in Santiago De Compostella, located just outside of the City center. It is perfectly designed and will please you thanks to the natural plants that bloom in the yard throughout the whole year. Also, elevators have panoramic views of the hotel and in the main lobby a cascading fountain greets visitors in an atmosphere of serenity. Hotel’s restaurant offers nice variety of fish, that Galician region is famous for - sea bass, lamprey, monkfish, and hake. All 115 rooms are exterior and perfectly equipped.


Vigo

The Hotel Tryp Galeones**** is a very bright and modern hotel, located in the city centre of vigo. Just a few minutes away from the Plaza España and the Museum of Contemporary Art with breathtaking exhibitions. Your stay will be special and unforgettable thanks to the typical Galician specialties served in the Gastrobar. All rooms are equipped perfectly. 


Oporto

The hotel Eurostars Oporto**** is a modern, newly-built hotel boasting an optimal location very near the main entrances to the city. The Hospital São João, the most important universities and the Das Antas zone, the home to Oporto's Do Dragão football stadium, are all just a few minutes away from the Oporto hotel. The modern, attractive building houses a highly functional hotel in Oporto with 64 apartments. Because of its location, features and comfort, it is a great option for pleasure travel. 


Coimbra 

The hotel Tryp Coimbra**** is located in short distance from the historic centre, the University of Coimbra, the Botanical Gardens, Celas Convent, Jardim da Sereia and the Machado Castro Museum. With its spacious, bright and modern rooms, the Tryp Coimbra is the best option for discovering this fantastic Portuguese city.

 

Lisbon

Olissippo Marques de Sa****. This hotel, opened in 1996 and completely refurbished in 2009, is located in one of the most elegant areas of the city, near the famous shopping center "El Corte Ingles", Gulbenkian museum and few underground stations. Your stay in one of the 169 luxury rooms will definitely be a pleasant one. 


In a very rare case hotel can be substituted for a one of a similar category. 

Here we put together answers to all the questions we constantly receive regarding our tours. Although much of this info you can find under ‘’Overview’’, ‘’Itinerary’’ and ‘’Prices’’ sections, we decided to simplify the task for you and put it all below:

 

 Are your tours really for individuals, families, small groups of friends?

- Yes. Our tours are for single travelers, couples, families, and groups of friends, whom we put together with other travelers to form a larger group for a tour.

 

How many people are normally on a tour?

- We can never tell exactly (neither guarantee) how many people will be on the specific route. Normally, it is about 10-20 persons in a group. In some cases, it could be more, in other days you travel with just a few more people or even by your party only. In summer (high season) groups tend to be larger, in winter – smaller. Also, it is possible that on different sections of the route number of travelers will change. For example, if you are on the trip of 10 days, there could be travelers that only do a 5-day trip and after your paths will split.

 

Is there is a guide in the bus?

- Yes. An accompanying guide (tour leader) is with a group during the whole trip, except for the routes when just a very few people are signed up. Those small groups will be travelling with an experienced and English speaking driver-guide. For the city tours, we use local professional and licensed guides.

 

In what languages guides explain?

- In English and Spanish, all our tour guides speak both languages fluently. If happens that there are only English speaking clients are on a bus, tour will be run in English only.

 

When during the year do you run your tours?

- Most of our tours are running all year long. Some (to northern parts of Spain, for example) – are only running from March till October. In any case, under each tour’s description it says exactly when it runs. Example: ‘’Sundays all year’’ - means that on every single Sunday of the year the tour will start, no matter how many people signed up, even if it’s you only.

 

What cities tours start from?

- Madrid and Barcelona (also says in the description of each specific tour – where it starts). First four tours on the list are from Barcelona, the rest from Madrid.

 

What are the meeting points for the tours?

In Madrid, it is Calle Ferraz 3 (Ferraz str., 3). The meeting point is in the City center, one of the streets right off Plaza Espana.

- In Barcelona, it is the reception of Hotel ‘’Catalunya Barcelona 505’’ (address: Carrer de Muntaner, 505, 08022 Barcelona)

 

Do you pick up from the hotels on the first day of the tour?

- By default, not. We do not pick up from the hotels, because that would delay the tour scientifically. Sometimes the groups get larger and to pick up everybody from their hotels would take us half of the day.

However – if your hotel is on the way of the bus route on leaving day, - we will pick you up. So, one week before travel we ask you to give us your hotel name in Madrid, and then we can tell if you can be picked up directly from your hotel or must go to meeting point at 7.45am.

In Barcelona, it is always a meeting point at the reception of ‘’Catalunya Barcelona 505’’ hotel.

 

What type of vehicles do you use?

- Buses for larger groups and minibuses for smaller ones. Vehicles are modern and with air- conditioning.

 

Are meals included?

- Lunches and dinners are included everywhere where it’s mentioned in the itinerary (section ‘’Itinerary”). Buffet Breakfasts are included every morning in all hotels you are staying in during your tour.

 

I am a vegetarian or allergic to certain products, any problem?

-No problems at all. Just tell this to our tour leader and he’ll advise and help. On top, many dinners are buffet, so you can simply choose what you like. For allergics, if in doubts, please remind your case to tour leader in the restaurants, or ask staff about content of the dishes. 

 

What time are you coming back to Madrid on the last day of travel? Can I book a flight on the same day, flying out of Spain?

- Normally we return to Madrid between 17.00 and 19.00 on the last day of excursion (depending on the specific tour). However, it is not recommended to book the flight out on this same evening/night, as traffic jams in Madrid or other possible delays may cause you being late for your flight.

 

I need a night in the hotel or transfer from/to airport to be booked before or after the tour.

- Sure. Just let us know about it.

  

Can I just show up for the trip without reservation and pay directly in the office, on the spot?

- Unfortunately, not. The tour needs to be booked in advance, as we need to make all the arrangements beforehand.

 

How long in advance should I book a trip?

- If you book at least 2 weeks in advance, the trip is guaranteed for you. It is recommendable to book even earlier, if possible. Requests that we receive in less than 2 weeks in 80% of the cases are fine as well, just contact us.

 

Can I customize one of the tours for myself?

- No, as in each tour there are more people. However, if you are a group of 20+ persons, the route can be customized upon your request as the tour could be run privately for your group. Please ask us regarding conditions.

 

What is the process of booking?

- It is very simple. Once you have chosen the tour, 6 steps need to be done:

   a) you confirm the tour to us by e-mail, indicating starting date, tour code, number of persons travelling and their names.

    b) we send you an invoice

    c) you pay 10% to book the tour

    d) we issue the confirmation

    e) 2 weeks before starting date you pay the rest

    f) you show up for the tour on appointed date and time

 

How much should I pay and when?

- We require 10% in the moment of reservation, and 90% in no less than 2 weeks before the trip

 

How would I pay?

- You can pay in one of four ways:

1) Bank wire to our company’s bank account. All our bank details are always on the invoice that you receive.

2) We can charge your credit card. Please keep in mind that in this case we must charge 2% on top of the amount (bank charges), we need you to sign an Authorization form and you need to send us your passport copy and copy of the credit card (just front) to verify the ownership.

3) Western Union (normally for the short-notice reservations, and when amount needs to be received urgently)

4) Transferwise.com – an online system allowing to transfer funds, paying very small commissions.

 

What is the cancellation and refund policy?

- 10% paid at the time of reservation is non-refundable.  The other 90% are fully refundable, if cancelled in no less than 2 weeks (in case if you paid 100% right away at the time of reservations). There are no refunds for cancellations made in less than 2 weeks before the trip.

 

Are there any discounts?

- Yes. Discounts are listed under the section ‘’Prices’’.

 

Are the taxes included in your prices?

- VAT and Tourist Taxes are always included, except for Tourist Tax of Cataluña (region where Barcelona is located) that needs to be paid at the hotel. The amount is currently 1 euro per person and per night.

 

Most of the multiday tours start and finish is in Madrid. But what are the options for a Day Tours and excursions in Madrid self, if we have few days in the Capital before or after multiday tour?

- We have numerous day tours around Madrid and to surroundings, if you have time before or after your multiday tour. Please check our separate website for the options. If you start from Barcelona and have some free time there, please check this link.

 

How do I know if I need a visa for Spain or Morocco?

- Please check the information on the official website of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs of Spain and the visa requirements for Morocco you can find here. On all trips to Morocco you also need to make sure that your Schengen visa will allow you a multiply entrance to European Union as you must enter Spain once again.

 

I am ready to go ahead and book one of your tours, but I need Visa to enter Spain.

- Yes, we help our customers to get Visa, after a trip is confirmed and the deposit is paid. As we are a fully licensed tour operator in Spain, we write to Spanish Embassy/Consulate sealed and signed letter where we confirm that you booked and partly (or fully) paid a tour with us. Please note, that we do not guarantee the issue of visa, neither can influence the process, - the decision is always up to the Embassy, as they have their own rules and regulations for each country, - but we do everything that depends on us to help you.