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Northern Spain (Premium)

Operated By:
Tour Pace: Comfortable
Pamplona, Spain
Tour Style: Premium
12 Days from $2,745 per person

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.

Need help? call toll free 1-877-622-9109or
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  1. Board your overnight flight to Europe (not included).
  2. On arrival at Madrid Airport, your airport transfers leave for your hotel at 09:00, 11:00, 13:30 & 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.

    meal(s):DW
    hotel:Hesperia Madrid/Barcelo Torre, Madrid (2 nights).
  3. 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, 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.

    meal(s):BB
    hotel:Hesperia Madrid/Barcelo Torre, Madrid
  4. Journey through the Guadarrama Mountains to the infinite horizons of Old Castile. 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. Your travel 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.

    meal(s):BB, DW
    hotel:NH Collection, Santiago de Compostela (2 nights).
  5. Become acquainted with some of Europe's finest historical buildings during an orientation with your Local Expert. The monumental square, Praza do Obradoiro, is pure grandeur in granite. Look up from the steady trickle of present-day pilgrims to the cathedral facade to see an ensemble of soaring towers, arches and windows, festooned with architectural frills. Venture inside and once through the Gateway of Glory, you're privy to the same vision that has greeted pilgrims since the Middle Ages. The faithful may choose to pass behind the ornate high altar to touch the giant 13th century gilded effigy of St. James and follow in the steps of the pilgrims along The Way of St. James. This evening, relax during your free time or explore the narrow streets and old squares of this city.

    meal(s):BB
    hotel:NH Collection, Santiago de Compostela.
  6. Pass through the ancient forests of Galicia and cross to the Green Coast of Asturias - one of Spain's most beautiful, named after the color 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 Oviedo. A Local Expert will show you the 9th century churches built when the city was the capital of Christian Spain. Visit the Cathedral Basilica of the Holy Savior in the stately square of Plaza Alfonso II. Venture inside to see the 9th century Crypt de Saint Leocadia in the lower chamber. A short drive brings you to the Asturian coast and the Bay of Biscay. Stop at the delightful city of Gijón that has a history dating back 5,000 years. Meet a true local, Flor, who will invite you to join her for dinner. Hear about daily life in this up-and-coming seaside city as you enjoy a delicious meal, typical of the region, that Flor has freshly prepared from locally-sourced ingredients, accompanied by delicious local apple cider.

    meal(s):BB, DW
    hotel:Barcelo Cervantes, Oviedo.
  7. 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

    meal(s):BB
    hotel:Eurostars Real, Santander.
  8. 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 wiht 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. Atop Monte Igueldo there are breathtaking views of the town and La Concha Bay.

    meal(s):BB
    hotel:Barcelo Costa Vasca, San Sebastián (2 nights).
  9. Enjoy a day at leisure to stroll along San Sebastián's boardwalk and with the city harbor 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 village of Saint-Jean-de-Luz, also known as Little Paris? Maybe venture further into Northern Spain's Basque Country, which is said to be the best place to eat in the Western world?

    meal(s):BB
    hotel:Barcelo Costa Vasca, San Sebastián.
  10. 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, immortalized by Ernest Hemingway in the 'The Sun Also Rises,' before moving on past the famous Rioja wine producing region? Continue to Barcelona, the vibrant capital of Catalonia, a land that retains its own distinctive language, culture and traditions.

    meal(s):BB
    hotel:NH Hesperia, Barcelona (2 nights).
  11. 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 Gaudi'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.

    meal(s):BB, DW
    hotel:NH Hesperia, Barcelona.
  12. After breakfast departure transfers arrive at Barcelona Airport at 07:00, 09:00 & 11:00. The 09:00 transfer continues on to Madrid airport, where it arrives in the early evening, followed by the Madrid trip hotel.

    meal(s):BB
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We promise you’ll enjoy a stress-free travel experience from the minute you start your vacation planning or we’ll refund your deposit. Make your reservation with a $350 deposit. If you change your mind for any reason within 30 days of booking, we’ll offer you a full refund.
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30 Mar 18 10 Apr 18 $3,050$2,745pp Early PaymentPay by Jan 11 Request Quote Book Now
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  • Solo Traveler Discount: This departure includes a 25-100% discount on standard single supplement subject to availability.

Price is per person and is based on two people sharing a twin bedded room. Single rooms are available at a supplement.

Single Room Supplement: from $670 p.p.

Triple Room Supplement: from $100 p.p.

Gratuities: Option to pre-pay gratuities for Travel Director and Driver $127 per person.

AARP Members are entitled to an exclusive Member Benefit Discount on all Grand European Travel vacations. Plus receive a free travel gift!  Call Toll Free: 1-866-847-3858 for details.

Past Travelers: Save an additional 5% off the Land Only price of the vacation.

  • Professional Travel Director Professional Travel Director
  • Sightseeing with Local Experts Sightseeing with Local Experts
  • VIP Access VIP Access
  • WIFI on Coach and in Hotels WIFI on Coach and in Hotels
  • Cultural Enrichment Cultural Enrichment
  • Expertly Selected Hotels Expertly Selected Hotels
  • Hotel Tips Hotel Tips
  • Most Meals Most Meals
  • Personal Flight Options Personal Flight Options

INCLUDED QUALITY DINING

10 Buffet Breakfasts (BB) and 4 Dinner with Wine (DW) all with tea or coffee.

Signature Experiences

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.
  • 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.

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.

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:

  • 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.

Reviews

Wednesday, July 5, 2017
Service:
Vacation:
Service rating : I have had two wonderful experiences with Grand European Travel with my family in Spain. We did the Amazing Spain & Portugal trip and I thought the itinerary was great and the optional excursions all exceptional. On our most recent trip, Northern Spain, I thoroughly enjoyed our time in Santiago de Compostela and San Sebastian - I almost wish we had an extra night in each at the expense of Oviedo, Santander, or Madrid. My only complaints about the Northern Spain trip are the included dinners - two were at the hotel and the other two were at mediocre restaurants without air conditioning which was difficult. I wish we had spent more time on the coast and maybe spent a night in a small village right on the coast. The trip was wonderful overall, just a bit rushed and included dinners disappointing. I would absolutely recommend the tour to anyone wishing to see the northern coast of Spain in comfort and with a large group. Thank you!!
Vacation : I have had two wonderful experiences with Grand European Travel with my family in Spain. We did the Amazing Spain & Portugal trip and I thought the itinerary was great and the optional excursions all exceptional. On our most recent trip, Northern Spain, I thoroughly enjoyed our time in Santiago de Compostela and San Sebastian - I almost wish we had an extra night in each at the expense of Oviedo, Santander, or Madrid. My only complaints about the Northern Spain trip are the included dinners - two were at the hotel and the other two were at mediocre restaurants without air conditioning which was difficult. I wish we had spent more time on the coast and maybe spent a night in a small village right on the coast. The trip was wonderful overall, just a bit rushed and included dinners disappointing. I would absolutely recommend the tour to anyone wishing to see the northern coast of Spain in comfort and with a large group. Thank you!!
Sunday, July 2, 2017
Service:
Vacation:
Service rating : The Northern Spain trip was awesome...however, they're were an entire family that was sick that came on the trip & made quite a few of us sick as well. This is the THIRD time I have gone on a tour of some sort and gotten sick due to fellow travelers. Please tell your clients not to come if they are sick! it's not worth it. I would suggest leaving out the Pamplona stop and taking a speed train from San Sebastian to Barcelona to spend more time in that city. The optional excursions were pretty expensive; therefore, only did one of those. I would recommend this trip to anyone altho there is considerable time spent on the coach--the two long days of 8 hrs. made very long days. The best hotels were in Santander & San Sebastian even tho they were not located conveniently. Was happy there was time for Bilbao Guggenheim; that's all we did there. Would like more time in Barcelona for museums; there was a holiday there so all the shops were closed.
Response from Grand European Travel:
Thank you so much for your suggestions and feedback.  We're sorry to hear that you and other guests became sick during your trip. We hope it didn't spoil the time you spent in beautiful Spain.\n
Thursday, July 6, 2017
Vacation : Good value--great hotels. Not so much on the optional excursions.
Sunday, June 4, 2017
Service:
Vacation:
Service rating : Itinerary excellent. Tour Director very good and nice at all times. Food at all hotels very poor,dinners were terrible, breakfasts were poor, cold food that should have been hot or at least warm. Need more free time at sites, not the free time per se. Hotels were excellent as far as rooms and location. More dinners should be provided on the town areas for the price of the trip. Options good but a little high price for their content and dinners. Local experts very good.
Response from Grand European Travel:
We're glad to hear you enjoyed the services of our Travel Director and Local Experts.  We will pass your comments on meals to our Product Planning team.  Thank you for the feedback.
Friday, June 9, 2017
Vacation : Already answered this see statement
Thursday, May 18, 2017
Service:
Vacation:
Service rating : The trip was well planned. The hotels were excellent. The tour guide was very knowledgeable about Spain and its history. The tour bus was very comfortable and helped to make the travel more pleasant. The only negative is that we arrived in Barcelona late in the day. And then went on a bus tour of the city when the city was mostly in the dark. Which of course made it difficult to see many of the visual attractions.
Vacation : The price for the trip was fair and the accommodations excellent.
  • U.S. citizens traveling to Spain must have a current passport valid for six months beyond the conclusion of their trip. You can find information on how to apply for a passport here, and how to renew a passport here. No visa is required for U.S. citizens visiting Spain.

  • The currency in Spain is the Euro (€). While it’s a good idea to bring some money for when you first arrive, you’ll usually find a better exchange rate in your destination.  The most convenient way to obtain cash is to use your ATM card at local banks in Spain. We recommend you also bring a valid credit card for purchases while you are traveling.  It is important that you inform your financial institutions of your travel plans before you leave home so they don’t flag your purchases as potentially fraudulent charges.

  • One of the most enjoyable parts of traveling is sampling the local cuisine.  Spain offers a delicious selection of cured hams, chorizo sausage, seafood, cheeses, and more.  Try traditional dishes such as tortilla española (Spanish omelet), paella, and desserts such as flan, churros, and Catalan cream.

    Lunch is the largest meal of the day in Spain, with many restaurants offering multi course menus at a fixed price.  For a quick lunch at a reasonable price, stop by a café, outdoor market, or food cart for a bocadillo, a traditional Spanish sandwich made with baguette-style bread, ham and cheese. 

    Tapas are small bites served in bars and restaurants that can be enjoyed as an appetizer or a meal. Try a variety of marinated olives, potatoes, croquettes, grilled octopus, and toasted bread with various toppings.

  • We suggest bringing a variety of lightweight clothing items that can be layered to save space in your suitcase.  This will also give you many options for how to dress in Spain’s different climates. Keep in mind that your shoulders and knees should be covered while visiting religious sites. For more helpful information please refer to our Packing Tips & Packing List.

  • Tipping in Spain is much less common than in the U.S. When dining out, it’s appreciated, although not required, to leave a few extra euros for your server, and up to 10 percent for particularly good service.  Leave your tip on the table rather than adding it to your credit card slip to ensure that your waiter receives it.

  • Baggage on our trips is restricted to one large suitcase per person with dimensions not exceeding 30x19x10 inches and a maximum weight of 50 pounds. You are also permitted one piece of hand luggage, which should be small enough to fit under your coach seat or on the small overhead shelf compartment. Please note that luggage with an adjustable handle and wheels will not fit in the overhead compartment of the coach. Hotel porterage is included in your vacation.

  • You will need to be comfortable on your feet, walking and standing for up to three hours in various weather conditions.  All of our vacations involve walking, often on cobblestone and uneven surfaces in historic city centers.  In order to get the most out of your vacation you need to be able to comfortably walk 1-3 miles unassisted in one day, be in good condition and be able to keep pace with the group. 

    If you need any medications, it is important that you bring enough to last you the whole trip and keep them in your carry-on bag while you travel.

  • We highly recommend our optional Travel Protection Plan, which allows you to cancel for any reason up to 48 hours before departure. The plan also includes trip interruption, baggage loss or delay, and medical and emergency assistance. Click here for a summary of coverage details, terms and conditions. 

Optional Experiences are subject to change. Your Travel Director will supply you with a final list of Optional Experiences available on your trip. Optional Experiences cannot be booked online; they can be purchased during your trip through your Travel Director.

Madrid

Excursion To Segovia

Adult Price: € 45.00

Drive to the fortified city of Segovia where a local expert leads you through the medieval streets from the ancient aqueduct to the magnificent Alcazar, one of the inspirations for Walt Disney's Cinderella castle. Inside this 14th century palace, experience the paintings, tapestries, weaponry and armoury of the Spanish medieval era. Then take a panoramic drive outside the walls to admire stunning views over the Eresma valley, the Roman aqueduct and picturesque buildings of this medieval jewel.

Dinner With The Tenors

Adult Price: € 61.00

Spain is known for its incredible music and tonight this music is brought to life whilst we dine to a wonderful three-course menu with included wine. An amazingly talented group of singers, trained at a local academy, take you on a musical journey around Spain without leaving the comfort of your seat. A truly memorable experience.

Madrileno Dinner & Fountains

Adult Price: € 61.00

Tonight, we drive to a Traditional "meson" to be tempted by dishes for which the capital is famous. Our dinner includes regional wines, beer or soft drinks or you may like to try Spain's signature "Sangria". During your meal a local "Tuna de Madrid" will be playing your favourite Spanish songs while dressed in 18th-century costumes. Afterwards, we drive the grand avenues and boulevards to see the spectacular fountains that remind us of the glory of Madrid.

Santiago De Compostela

Dinner in Galicia

Adult Price: € 59.00

Tonight we have the chance to sample a wonderful variety of typical Galician dishes, all complemented with fantastic locally produced wine. Later in the evening, we'll listen to local musicians and experience the Celtic influences in their traditional music - played using authentic Galician Instruments. A truly wonderful evening.

Rias Baixas

Adult Price: € 34.00

Southward to the RIA DE AROUSA one of the deep fjord-like estuaries of GALICIA. Beautiful coastal scenery with beaches, vineyards, palm trees, grand villas and old stone houses. Visit a typical Galician granite 'Pazo' grand manor house of the old aristocracy, the island of A Toxa and the port of O Grove.

Santander

Cantabrian Dinner & Bay of Santander Cruise

Adult Price: € 61.00

This evening, we cruise the beautiful Bay of Santander to admire the magnificent stately manor homes and palaces with the wonderful backdrop of the Cantabrian mountains We then head to an authentic Cantabrian restaurant where we'll try many of the local dishes for which this region of ‘mountains and oceans’ is known. Local wines are included.

San Sebastian

Donostia by Night with Dinner

Adult Price: € 58.00

View the beach and fishing port as we head to the lively heart of the old town of Spain's gourmet capital for a sumptuous supper in one of the city's boutique restaurants. Wine and soft drinks included.

St Jean De Luz, Jewel Of The Basque Country

Adult Price: € 37.00

With your local expert, explore St. Jean the Luz, jewel of the Basque Country and visit the church where Louis XIV "The Sun King" married the Spanish princess Maria Teresa. An extra surprise awaits us next as we drive to the famous Biarritz summer residence of Napoleon III with its sophisticated spa resort.

Barcelona

Gaudi's Park Guell and Port Olympic

Adult Price: € 38.00

Enter a strange fantasy world at Parc Guell, Spain's most impressive public park! Here Gaudi designed mushroom-like houses, "bird nest" pillars and a stunning mosaic dragon. The huge central terrace is enveloped by a ceramic-encrusted serpentine bench (reputedly the world's longest seat) and offers panoramic views of Barcelona and the bay. We then head to the coast and Port Olympic, built for the athletes of the 1992 Olympics, where we'll have free time to try one the numerous waterfront restaurants.

Montserrat & The Black Madonna

Adult Price: € 40.00

Ascend the sacred mountain of Montserrat, Catalonia's most important pilgrimage site for a thousand years. Enjoy the spectacular panoramic views before entering the dark, ornate “Basilica Real” and climbing the stairs to the mystical Black Madonna, surrounded by an altar of gold.

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