Days
9
Price from
46340
Map of Highlights of Northern Spain including Portugal and Spain

Find the best of rugged and rustic Northern Spain

This 9-day tour is the perfect introduction to the diverse cultures, landscapes and culinary delights of Northern Spain. Travel from the buzz of Madrid through Burgos and the Picos de Europa, finishing in Porto after a brief pilgrimage in Santiago de Compostela. Crane your neck to witness exemplary Gothic architecture contained inside medieval walls, walk through lush fields and rub your hand over the worn pillar touched by millions at the Santiago de Compostela Cathedral. 


Start
Madrid, Spain
Finish
Porto, Portugal
Destinations
Portugal, Spain
Style
Peregrine
Code
PESP
Physical rating
Ages
Min 15
Group size
Min 1, Max 12

Why you'll love this trip

  • Spend a day exploring Segovia, where the towering Roman aqueduct is just one of the historic monuments that decorate the town.

  • Discover the Gothic magic of Burgos Cathedral, first constructed in the 13 the century from the city’s signature white limestone and still impressive today.

  • Sample regional delicacies like local ciders in Asturias, sweet carbayon pastries in Oviedo and, of course, Porto’s eponymous tipple.

  • Hike beautiful paths under snow-capped mountains in Picos de Europa National Park, where deep green valleys are framed by rugged grey mountains.

  • Walk the final stretch of the Camino alongside weary pilgrims and feel their joy as the spires of the Santiago de Compostella come into view.

Is this trip right for you?

  • Travel on this trip takes place in a comfortable private vehicle, but please note that two days on this trip feature significant time spent driving (5 and 6 hours respectively). Breaks to use the bathroom, eat and sightsee are scheduled.

  • There are two walks included in this itinerary – a hike in Picos de Europa and the final stretch of the Camino de Santiago pilgrimage. The difficulty will be adjusted depending on group ability, but you will need a basic level of fitness in order to enjoy them.

  • This tour is bookended by two incredible cities – Madrid and Porto. However, time in these cities is limited, so please allocate extra days if you would like to discover these destinations in depth.

  • Picos de Europa is known for the diversity of the weather. It can be relatively cold even in the height of summer, so please pack appropriately with layers.

Itinerary

Ola! Welcome to Madrid! Your welcome meeting, which marks the beginning of your tour, does not take place until 7 pm this evening. Until then you are free to explore Madrid at your own pace, provided you arrive with time to spare. Following the welcome meeting, attend a group dinner with your leader and fellow travellers.
Accommodation
  • Hotel Emperador or similar (1 night)
Optional Activities
  • Markets of Madrid - Urban Adventure - EUR47
  • Madrid Tapas Adventure - Urban Adventure - EUR82
  • Museo Thyssen-Bornemisza - EUR12
  • Real Jardín Botánico - EUR6
  • Royal Palace-Madrid - EUR11
Meals Included
  • Dinner
Special Information
It’s very important that you attend the welcome meeting as we will be collecting insurance details and next of kin information at this time. If you are going to be late please let your travel agent or hotel reception know. Ask reception or look for a note in the lobby for more information on where the meeting will take place.

As this trip spends very little time in Madrid, we recommend you spend a few extra days before your trip if you want to experience all the city has to offer.
Spend a day exploring Segovia on a daytrip. This World Heritage-listed city is full of sights such as the monumental aqueduct constructed by the Romans almost 2000 years ago. You’ll also see the rough-hewn stones that make up the narrow alleyway of the Old Jewish Quarter, stately churches and the fairy-tale-esque towers of the Alcazar de Segovia. Enjoy time to stroll along the city's green belt – lined in part with orchards – then return to Madrid, arriving in the late afternoon. Once back in Madrid, perhaps ask your leader where to find a bocadillo de calamares (fried calamari sandwich), a local favourite.
Accommodation
  • Hotel Emperador or similar (1 night)
Included Activities
  • Alcazar of Segovia tour inc audioguide
Meals Included
  • Breakfast
Travel to Burgos (approximately 2.5 hours) and take an orientation walk with your leader on arrival. This walk will introduce you to the historic Old Town, which is packed with medieval structures, limestone apartment blocks and features the majestic Burgos Cathedral. Spend the afternoon and evening as you wish. Named the Gastronomic Capital of Spain in 2013, Burgos is a great place to seek out traditional Castilian fare. Ask your leader for advice on where to find the best blood morcilla de Burgos (spiced blood sausage).
Accommodation
  • Hotel Sercotel Corona de Castilla or similar (1 night)
Included Activities
  • Burgos leader led tour
Meals Included
  • Breakfast
Today involves 5 hours spent on the road in a private vehicle. While the journey will be broken up with a handful of stops, it’s a good idea to have an audio book loaded up on your phone in case you need it. The destination today is Picos de Europa National Park, which holds the limestone mountain range from which so many historic Spanish buildings get their materials. This evening you can kick back and sample the so-called lifeblood of Asturias – cider. Enjoy a tasting of a few local ciders and learn about the significance of this tipple to the region.
Accommodation
  • Hotel Los Lagos Nature or similar (1 night)
Included Activities
  • Locally produced Cider tasting
Meals Included
  • Breakfast
Lace up your boots and take on a trail during a guided walk. The exact path will be determined on the day but no matter the direction you will have stunning vistas to contemplate along the way. Green meadows with low shrubs are dotted with grazing cattle, framed by impossibly tall mountains of grey and white. Stop along the way for a picturesque picnic, including some regional cheeses.
Accommodation
  • Hotel Los Lagos Nature or similar (1 night)
Included Activities
  • Picnic lunch including locally sourced cheese
  • Covadonga Lake walk
Meals Included
  • Breakfast
Special Information
The walk will take 2—3 hours, but the difficulty will be adjusted depending on the overall ability of the group.
Drive towards Santiago de Compostela (6 hours) stopping en route at Oviedo. Enjoy a short walk around this historic town, taking in sights of white stone buildings, then stop to eat a carbayon. This local sweet was created to represent Oviedo and is made from almond meal and sweet alcohol. Wash it down with a glass of cider, then hit the road once again. Arrive in Santiago, check in to your hotel and then spend the evening at your leisure.
Accommodation
  • Hotel Monumento San Francisco - feature stay (1 night)
Included Activities
  • Carbayon tasting in Oviedo
Meals Included
  • Breakfast
  • Lunch
Spend a half day on the final leg of the Camino de Santiago, joining pilgrims as they finish their journey. Enjoy the fresh air of the woodlands and Galician countryside and drink in the sight of the Santiago de Compostella’s spires as they come into view. Spend the evening relaxing in Santiago, perhaps munching on a Galician specialty like piments de padron (fried green peppers).
Accommodation
  • Hotel Monumento San Francisco - feature stay (1 night)
Included Activities
  • Santiago de Compostela pilgrimage guided walk
Meals Included
  • Breakfast
Travel to colourful, coastal Porto (2.5 hours). Get your bearings on an orientation walk with your leader, then enjoy a free afternoon to explore. Perhaps visit the Clerigos Church and Tower or stop by the very popular Lello Bookstore. In the evening, gather with your fellow travellers for a feast and port tasting. Make a toast to new friends and old history.
Accommodation
  • Hotel Moon Sun or similar (1 night)
Included Activities
  • Port Tasting - Porto
Meals Included
  • Breakfast
  • Dinner
Your tour comes to an end today in Porto. If you plan to stay on in Porto, why not go deeper with a Urban Adventure Bites and Sights tour, which takes you on a culinary journey, from an afternoon coffee and pastry to cocktail hour. Find out more at urbanadventures.com/destination/Porto-tours.
Optional Activities
  • Porto - City Tasting Tour - EUR160
  • Bolhao Market - Porto - Free
  • Lello Library - Porto - EUR6
  • Clerigos Tower - Porto - EUR5
  • Serralves Foundation - Porto - EUR5
  • Tower of Clérigos - EUR3
  • Porto Cathdral - Free
Meals Included
  • Breakfast

Meals

8 breakfasts, 1 lunch, 2 dinners

Transport

Train, Private vehicle, Taxi

Accommodation

Comfortable hotel (6 nights), Feature stay in Santiago de Copmostela (2 nights)

Included Activities

  • Alcazar of Segovia tour inc audioguide
  • Burgos leader led tour
  • Locally produced Cider tasting
  • Picnic lunch including locally sourced cheese
  • Covadonga Lake walk
  • Carbayon tasting in Oviedo
  • Santiago de Compostela pilgrimage guided walk
  • Port Tasting - Porto

Dates & availability

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Important notes

SINGLE SUPPLEMENT
A single supplement is bookable on this trip, subject to availability at the time of booking. Please note that due to the small properties we use in Europe there is only a limited amount of single supplements available per trip departure. If you would like to book a single supplement and enquire about availability please speak to your booking agent.

ARRIVAL TRANSFER
An arrival transfer from the airport to the start point hotel is included in the price of the trip. Please advise your travel agent of your flights times at least 2 weeks before your departure date. If you are planning to reach the destination by train or bus, please enquire the possibility of re-scheduling the transfer with your travel agent at the time of booking.

Essential trip information

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