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Northern Spain (Premium)

Operated by: Insight Vacations

11 Days from $2,993 per person
APR - OCT 2022
Street view of Pamplona, Spain

Countries Visited

Spain ...more Spain

Locations Visited

Madrid, Rueda, Santiago de Compostela, Oviedo, Covadonga, Santillana del Mar, Santander, Bilbao, Donostia-San Sebastian, Pamplona, Barcelona ...more Madrid, Rueda, Santiago de Compostela, Oviedo, Covadonga, Santillana del Mar, Santander, Bilbao, Donostia-San Sebastian, Pamplona, Barcelona
  1. Day 1 Welcome to Madrid

    Your transfer will depart Madrid airport at 09:00, 11:30, 13:30 or 16:00.Join your Travel Director at 18:00 for a Welcome Dinner in a local restaurant and get to know your fellow travellers over an evening of delicious food and wine.

    meals Dinner with Wine
    hotel Meliá Madrid Serrano., NH Collection Madrid Suecia.
  2. Day 2 Madrid of the Bourbons

    Explore Madrid with Insight Choice. Choose to join a MAKE TRAVEL MATTER® Experience on a neighbourhood walking tour, led by female pillars of the community and focused on the history of the women's movement in Spain. Alternatively, sightsee with your Local Expert as they guide you through the Spanish capital’s most historic neighbourhoods.Enjoy a special visit to the renowned Prado Museum with an art historian who will guide you through the collective works of Velázquez, Goya, Titian, Rubens and more. Enjoy an afternoon at leisure.

    meals Breakfast
    hotel Meliá Madrid Serrano., NH Collection Madrid Suecia.
  3. 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. 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
    hotel NH Collection Santiago de Compostela.
  4. Day 4 Saintly Santiago de Compostela Relaxed Start

    Explore Santiago de Compostela with Insight Choice. Choose to join a city tour with a Local Expert and visit the cathedral, festooned with architectural frills. Alternatively, embark on a scenic walk along the Way of St. James, through scenic parks and gardens.Relax during your free time, or explore the narrow streets and old city squares.

    meals Breakfast
    hotel NH Collection Santiago de Compostela.
  5. Day 5 Along the Costa Verde to Oviedo Relaxed Start

    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 a true local, Flor, who will invite you to join her for lunch. Hear about daily life as you enjoy a delicious meal, typical of the region, that Flor has freshly 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
    hotel Barceló Oviedo Cervantes.
  6. Day 6 Picturesque Santillana del Mar and on to Santander

    Visit the Holy Cave of Covadonga, a shrine to Pelayo, who achieved the first Christian victory over the Moors in 722. See the unique Roman bridge in Cangas de Onís as you head into the foothills of the Picos de Europa, a national park boasting spectacular mountain and gorge scenery. 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
    hotel Eurostars Hotel Real, Santander.
  7. Day 7 Bilbao, Costa Vasca and San Sebastián Relaxed Start

    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 and pause in the seaside city of Getaria to see 'El Ratón', the mouse-shaped rock. Continue to San Sebastián and admire its beauty, as you walk with your Local Expert through the Old Quarter to see the Plaza de la Constitución. Atop Monte Igueldo there are breathtaking views of the town and La Concha Bay.

    meals Breakfast
    hotel Barceló Costa Vasca, San Sebastián.
  8. Day 8 San Sebastián, Pearl of the Cantabrian Coast Relaxed Start

    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 several 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
    hotel Barceló Costa Vasca, San Sebastián.
  9. 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
    hotel Kimpton Vividora Hotel, Barcelona.
  10. Day 10 Barcelona, the City of Gaudí

    Wake up ready to embrace the city’s artistic heritage. Join a Local Expert to see 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
    hotel Kimpton Vividora Hotel, Barcelona.
  11. Day 11 Depart Barcelona

    After breakfast departure transfers arrive at Barcelona airport at 07:00, 09:00 and 11:00.

    meals Breakfast
Northern Spain Guided Tour Map
Price Includes

Additional Included Highlights

  • Our highly-skilled Travel Director will ensure your journey is seamless, serving as your expert guide, consummate organiser, and friend overseas.
  • 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.
  • Personal radio headsets give you the freedom to wander during visits to famous highlights, without missing any of your Local Expert's fascinating commentary.
  • Stay connected with friends and family with our complimentary coach and hotel Wi-Fi (where available).
  • From time to time, your Travel Director will delight you with an Insight Flourish, which is a local specialty representing the destination.
  • We carry your bags for you and promptly deliver them to your hotel door.
  • 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.

Choice Highlights

  • Choose between two carefully selected activities
  • Madrid: Join the female pillars of the local community on a neighborhood walking tour and learn the history of the women's movement in Spain, firsthand. This experience advances UN Sustainable Development Goal 10: Reduced Inequalities. Alternatively, explore the main historical areas of Madrid with your Local Expert.
  • Madrid: See the highlights of the city with your Local Expert. Visit the Old Town, travelling along the elegant Paseo de la Castellana, past the fountain in the Plaza de Cibeles, the Cervantes Monument and Royal Palace, before crossing the Puerta del Sol.
  • Choose between two carefully selected activities
  • Santiago de Compostela: Join a city tour with a Local Expert and visit Praza do Obradoiro to admire the cathedral facade festooned with architectural frills.
  • Santiago de Compostela: Embark on a scenic walk on part of the Way of St. James with a Local Expert, through parks and gardens that transform with the seasons.

Well-being

  • : Our Well-Being Directors take a proactive approach to your welfare ensuring all well-being regulations are met (available on tours with 21 or more guests).
  • : Enjoy the comfort of Insight's luxurious, air-conditioned, 40-seat coach with double the standard legroom and onboard washroom. Our customized luxury coaches are sanitized before the start of your tour and are maintained to very high standards. Physical distancing measures have been implemented on our customized luxury coaches.
  • : Experience enhanced hygiene protocols to align with the latest guidance following COVID-19.All Travel Directors, Well-Being Directors and Drivers have completed training in enhanced well-being and hygiene protocols.
  • : We only work with establishments we are confident will consistently adhere to our high well-being standards, which include hotels, restaurants and sight-seeing venues.
  • : Hand sanitizer is freely available on board for you to use throughout the day.

Travel Director

  • : "One food I really love introducing my guests to is the gilda because it is the original pintxo and has evolved into Europe's most exciting foodie experience."
  • : "There is nothing quite like sampling the many varieties of tapas. Every region has its own delicacies so you can be assured that you will taste different ones everywhere you go."
  • : "Guests are surprised to find that Spanish is not the only language spoken in the country – there’s also Basque, Galician and Catalan, not to mention the little dialects in each province."

Authentic Dining

  • Madrid: Join your Travel Director at 18:00 for a Welcome Dinner in a local restaurant and get to know your fellow travellers over a beautiful evening of delicious food and wine.
  • 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.
  • Gijon: Meet Flor, a local of Gijón, 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 Breakfast (B), 3 Dinner with Wine (DW), and 1 Lunch with Wine (LW)

Insight Experiences

  • Madrid: Witness the world's finest collection of Spanish paintings, plus an impressive international collection, as you tour the Prado Museum with an art historian.

Make Travel Matter

  • Madrid: Join the female pillars of the local community on a neighborhood walking tour and learn the history of the women's movement in Spain, firsthand. This experience advances UN Sustainable Development Goal 10: Reduced Inequalities. Alternatively, explore the main historical areas of Madrid with your Local Expert.

Top Rated Highlights

  • Madrid: See the highlights of the city with your Local Expert. Visit the Old Town, travelling along the elegant Paseo de la Castellana, past the fountain in the Plaza de Cibeles, the Cervantes Monument and Royal Palace, before crossing the Puerta del Sol.
  • Santiago de Compostela: Join a city tour with a Local Expert and visit Praza do Obradoiro to admire the cathedral facade festooned with architectural frills.
  • Santiago de Compostela: Embark on a scenic walk on part of the Way of St. James with a Local Expert, through parks and gardens that transform with the seasons.
  • 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: 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.
  • Picos de Europa: Venture into this magnificent national park to admire the stunning picturesque scenery and rocky trails.
  • 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: 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.
  • Barcelona: Your Local Expert shows you the Gothic Quarter. See the cathedral and the Roman. You will also enjoy a drive down Las Ramblas and the elegant Passeig de Gràcia to witness some of the finest Modernist architecture. Journey through the Eixample district to see Gaudi's extraordinary masterpiece, the mesmerising Sagrada Família.

Dates & Prices

Prices shown are per person based on two people sharing a twin room. To request a personalized travel quote, click "Request Quote" and a Travel Specialist will send your custom quote including airfare if requested.

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Reviews
Service
Vacation
Independent Reviews
Trusted Customer
Thursday, September 30, 2021
Service
I have traveled with Insight over the past 10 years. This trip was great as have been those in the past.. in addition to beautiful sights, we had a fantastic Travel Director. Brad gave us “insight “ into Spain’s history, its people, culture. Every travel director I’ve traveled with has been wonderful. Brad is the best of the best.
Response from Grand European Travel:
We love having you as part of our travel family. Thank you for allowing us to make these trips possible for you and your repeat business.
Wednesday, October 6, 2021
Vacation
Beautiful sights, lovely hotels.
Brian Buroker
Monday, November 12, 2018
Service
First class attention to keeping us informed and knowing what to expect in the next few hours and next day.
Response from Grand European Travel:
That is so great to hear! Our Travel Directors do an amazing job and we appreciate you acknowledging that. Thank you!
Tuesday, November 13, 2018
Vacation
Good value for what we paid for.
Bernadotte Loomis, 2nd
Sunday, September 23, 2018
Service
Virtually everything about this trip to Northern Spain was great. The service was wonderful and the hotels were very very nice. GET supplied four included dinners with this tour and the only one that was good was the last one, the farewell dinner. Our tour guide and the local guides were wonderful as was our driver. I would never be able to get that big bus through all those narrow streets. He drove very safely and was always on time.
Vacation
Very nice tour. Just needs better included dinners.
Ingrid Moore
Thursday, May 31, 2018
Service
The tour director was superb. The electives were great, except they started too soon in the trip. Also it would be nice to have a little down-time in the middle of the trip. I appreciate the geographic and the historical information provided by the tour director as well as the local guides, the best of them was in Barcelona.
Response from Grand European Travel:
We're so glad to hear you loved your Spain vacation! The Tour Directors and local specialists really do add so much to your experience. We'll be sure to share your comments with our team and the Quality and Planning teams for future trips. Thank you for sharing your experience. Happy travels!
Thursday, May 31, 2018
Vacation
The informaation entered above was intended for the NORTHERN TOUR ONLY.
Trusted Customer
Wednesday, May 30, 2018
Service
Quick and professional service.
Response from Grand European Travel:
We're so glad you enjoyed your Northern Spain trip! Thank you for sharing and happy travels. 
Wednesday, May 30, 2018
Vacation
Great itinerary. Excellent tour guide.
Trusted Customer
Monday, October 30, 2017
Service
This was my 4th trip booked through you and Generally speaking, the trip to Northern Spain booked through Grand European and led by Insight Vacations, was Good. I was surprised to receive the Travel Documents and find that only one of our 5 flights had proper flight seat assignments. We had to pay extra to the airline ahead of time to achieve the desired seats. The other issue was with our hotel in San Sebastian. The hotel was not one listed on the itinerary, rather what would seem an ideal location, the hilltop Hotel Monte Igueldo. However, upon entering our room it was clearly a smoking room, complete with ashtrays. We immediately returned to Reception only to be dismissed rudely by the only person working the desk that we had no alternative, the hotel was fully booked. To our tour director's credit, he produced the contract for our group's stay showing ALL rooms to be Smoke Free, and persisted for nearly 45 minutes with the woman who kept disappearing behind the closed door only to return saying there was nothing else available. Finally Dominic asked if there could be another room available tomorrow (as it was a 2 night stay) and she said, "No! It's even busier tomorrow!" to which I replied, "Then there IS a room available tonight". She ultimately broke down and gave us a smoke free room (for Both nights) but she was clearly unhappy about it and persevered for much longer than we should have had to deal with have had to deal with. Kudos to our Tour Director for sticking with it and supporting us !
Response from Grand European Travel:
Thank you for your detailed review and we do apologize for what you experienced in San Sebastian.  We are happy to see that it was eventually sorted out, but it should have never happened in the first place and for that we are truly sorry.
It appears you flew on American and British Airways. American is one of the many airlines who are now charging a fee for advance seat assignments. This is unfortunately out of our control as it applies to any passenger who flys with them, regardless of whether they purchase the ticket through the airline directly or through a tour operator/travel agent. 
Monday, October 30, 2017
Vacation
Tis was answered in box #1
Trusted Customer
Wednesday, July 5, 2017
Service
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!!
Trusted Customer
Sunday, July 2, 2017
Service
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.

Thursday, July 6, 2017
Vacation
Good value--great hotels. Not so much on the optional excursions.
Bonny Schwartz
Sunday, June 4, 2017
Service
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
Trusted Customer
Thursday, May 18, 2017
Service
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.
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