NORTHERN SPAIN & HIGHLIGHTS OF PORTUGAL - 12 Days
|PRICES PER PERSON IN EUROS||FIRST CLASS “A”|
|DOUBLE ROOM||from 1.670 €
|SINGLE ROOM||from 2.300 €
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Guaranteed Departures: Wednesdays. For Sunday departures, click here.
Sightseeing city tour in San Sebastian, Bilbao, Santiago de Compostela, La Coruña, Porto and Lisbon / Tour Escort throughout the whole holiday / Air conditioned modern motor-coach / Accommodation at 4* hotels / Daily breakfast buffet / Visit to a wine cellar with wine tasting included in Porto / Boat trip along the Douro River in Porto / Travel insurance.
Day 1. (Wednesday) MADRID – ZARAGOZA – SAN SAN SEBASTIAN
Departure from Madrid towards Zaragoza, located on the banks of the Ebro River, one of Spain's major cities and capital of the Region of Aragon. Free time to visit the Basilica of Our Lady of Pilar, Patroness of Hispanity and stroll through the old streets of Zaragoza to discover its impressive monumental legacy as Romans, Muslims, Jews and Christians left their mark on this place. Taste the typical dishes of the region and, of course, take part in one of the great traditions of the city, "going for tapas": small gastronomic creations that delight anyone who tries them. In the afternoon we continue our trip to the Basque Country, a green paradise, land of great contrasts, to reach San Sebastian, one of the most attractive tourist destinations on the Cantabrian coast and known worldwide for its International Film Festival. Panoramic tour of this city of French and gentrified style whose landscape is dominated by the Bay of San Sebastian and La Concha Beach, framed by Mount Igueldo and the island of Santa Clara. Arrival at the hotel and accommodation.
Day 2. (Thursday) SAN SEBASTIAN – BILBAO – CASTRO URDIALES – SANTANDER
Breakfast at the hotel. We start our day with a climb to Igueldo Mountain, an unbeatable watchtower from where you can contemplate a magnificent view of San Sebastian. Continuation to Bilbao, capital of the Vizcaya province. Upon arrival we'll do a panoramic tour of Bilbao. Next, we will enjoy some free time to admire the avant-garde building of the Guggenheim Museum. Design and architecture permeate this entire city. Our route along the Cantabrian Coast continues to Castro Urdiales, a charming sailor and fishing village of medieval origin, with its characteristic wooden balconies houses and narrow streets that invite you to stroll around. Brief stop to admire this beautiful enclave and continue to Santander, the capital of Cantabria, one of the most elegant and beautiful cities on the North Coast of Spain, which stretches along a wide bay overlooking the Cantabrian Sea. Arrival and free time to visit Santander's old town, which includes a set of noble buildings, the Cathedral, one of the oldest buildings in the capital and which houses the tomb of Marcelino Menéndez Pelayo, the Porticada Square or stroll through the famous El Sardinero beach, one of the most beautiful promenades in Spain, with sumptuous buildings, such as the Gran Casino, which evokes the architecture of the Belle Époque. Arrival at the hotel and accommodation.
Day 3. (Friday) SANTANDER – SANTILLANA – COVADONGA – OVIEDO
Breakfast at hotel. Departure to Santillana del Mar, one of the most important historical artistic towns in Spain. It contains architectural treasures such as the Collegiate Church of Santa Juliana, a Jewel of the Romanesque Arquitecture in Cantabria. Later on, driving a twisty road that will slowly reveal a beautiful countryside made up of calm waters, unimaginable green carpets and mountain peaks which all seem to be almost within reach, we will arrive to Covadonga, where you will have free time to visit the Shrine, a place of worship and pilgrimage for the people of Asturias, where you will see the Patroness of Asturias our Lady of Covadonga. In the afternoon, departure to Oviedo, a city of an unquestionable medieval flavour. Free time to explore Oviedo, most of its streets are pedestrian, where you will be able to see World Heritage Sites like the Cathedral of Oviedo, a splendid example of gothic asturian arquitecture or the beautiful church of Santa Maria de Naranco, a jewel of the pre-romanic asturian arquitecture. Arrival at the hotel and accommodation.
Day 4. (Saturday) OVIEDO – LUGO – LA CORUÑA
Breakfast at the hotel. Departure to Galicia with its landscapes of lush valleys and stunning beaches, spectacular cliffs, charming fishing villages and incredible cities. Our first stop will be in Lugo, a city located on the banks of the Miño River, which preserves important traces of its Roman past, including its ancient wall, declared a World Heritage Site by UNESCO. Free time to stroll through its historic center with pedestrian streets, wide squares and garden spaces, where buildings such as the Cathedral, the Archbishop's Palace and the Town Hall stand out. We continue the route to the stately city of A Coruña, with its beautiful houses of glazed galleries, cobbled streets that embrace the old city, the castle of San Anton or the Tower of Hercules, the oldest lighthouse in the world in operation and World Heritage Site by the UNESCO. We'll enjoy a panoramic tour of the city and free time to explore at your own pace this beautiful historic city. In the afternoon your guide will offer an optional excursion alongside the Rias Altas Estuaries in northern Galicia overlooking the Atlantic with their spectacular cliffs, beaches and the fishing villages of Pontedeume, Betanzos, etc. Accommodation at the hotel.
Day 5. (Sunday) LA CORUÑA - SANTIAGO DE COMPOSTELA
Breakfast at the hotel. Departure to Santiago de Compostela, whose old town is a World Heritage Site, one of the most important monumental centers of Spain, one of the sacred cities of Christendom and end of the Way of Saint James pilgrimage route. Upon arrival we'll enjoy a guided tour of Santiago visiting amongst others, the Plaza del Obradoiro, the point at which all roads into the city converge. We will visit, with entrance included, the symbol of the city, the Cathedral dedicated to the Apostle James the Elder, one of the twelve disciples of Jesus Christ and brother of John, the Evangelist. Free time in the afternoon so you can continue visiting at your pace this historic city, discover its university atmosphere of joy and vitality, try the delicious cuisine that Galician tradition has preserved and its regional products, especially seafood, fish and beef. Accommodation at the hotel.
Day 6. (Monday) SANTIAGO DE COMPOSTELA – RIAS BAJAS – LA TOJA – VIGO
After breakfast we travel to the most picturesque area of the Galician Estuaries, the Rias Baixas Estuaries. Through splendid landscapes of the Ría de Arosa, we will arrive at La Toja Island, universally known for its spa. Our route continues to Vigo, located in the middle of the estuary to which it gives its name, the southernmost estuary of the Rías Baixas and undoubtedly the most beautiful one, with beaches of great attraction. As an optional activity you can take an excursion to Mount Santa Tecla, a must-see place for its interesting archaeological, religious and landscape values. The Santa Tecla archaeological site is considered one of the most important examples of the Roman culture of the Iberian Northwest region. Arrival at the hotel and accommodation.
Day 7. (Tuesday) VIGO – VIANA DO CASTELO – PORTO
Breakfast. Crossing the border with Portugal we will arrive at Viana do Castelo, one of the most beautiful cities in Northern Portugal. Free time to visit the old town with cobbled streets, emblazoned palaces, churches and convents. In the heart of the city you will find Praça da República with the chafariz, a monumental fountain of Renaissance-style mugs surrounded by imposing buildings: Igreja da Misericórdia (Church of Mercy) and the old town hall Paços do Concelho. We will continue to Porto, the capital of Northern Portugal. Arrival at the hotel and accommodation.
Day 8. (Wednesday) PORTO
Breakfast at the hotel. We have a whole day to enjoy this authentic city, declared a World Heritage Site. We begin with a panoramic visit of Porto to discover the Cathedral of Sé, the most important religious monument in Porto, a mixture of styles and influences, also the Palacio de la Bolsa, one of the most beautiful buildings in Porto, Santa Clara Church and ending in a local winery where we will taste the world-famous "Porto wine". After the visit we will include a boat trip on the Douro river to enjoy the panoramic views that exist from the boat. Afternoon free at your disposal to continue exploring the corners of Porto, stroll along the Avenida dos Aliados, the Ribeira de Porto on the banks of the Duero and admire the Don Luis I Bridge, the most famous bridge in Porto, climb to the Clérigos Tower, the best viewpoint of Porto, from where you will have panoramic views of the historic city center. Hotel accommodation.
Day 9. (Thursday) PORTO – COIMBRA – FATIMA
Breakfast at the hotel. We leave Porto heading south to reach Coimbra, a riverfront city rising scenically from the Rio Mondego and the country’s former capital during the Middle Ages. Arrival and free time at your disposal to explore its preserved medieval old town with its dark cobbled lanes, visit Coimbra's monuments: the monumental 12th century Romanesque cathedral Sé Velha, the historic University of Coimbra, Portugal's oldest and most prestigious university, the gothic Igreja de Santa Cruz, Coimbra’s most historically important church or enjoy a relaxed coffee and sweet pastry in the Café Santa Cruz. We continue our route southward to Fatima. We will discover this important sacred center of the Christian Faith, known worldwide for its sanctuary, a place of Christian pilgrimage since the beginning of the 20th century. Free time at your disposal to visit the Shrine of Our Lady of Fatima consisting of an impressive Basilica of Our Lady of the Rosary, the Chapel of the Apparitions, heart of the sanctuary and place where according to the Roman Catholic Church, three visionary children Lucia, Francisco and Jacinta Marto received several apparitions and heavenly messages by the Blessed Virgin Mary, Mother of God. You can visit the tombs of the three little shepherds, the precious statue of Our Lady of Fátima, the great oak tree, and also the monument dedicated to the three little shepherds (the seers) of Fátima.Arrival at the hotel and accommodation. At night, you'll have the the possibility of attending the candlelight procession.
Day 10. (Friday) FATIMA – BATALHA – NAZARE – ALCOBAÇA – LISBON
After breakfast, we will depart to the Monastery of Batalha (Monastery of the Battle in English), an artwork of the Gothic and Manueline styles, built in commemoration of the Battle of Aljubarrota, when the Portuguese troupes managed to rule out Castilian ambitions to the Portuguese throne. Our route continues to Nazare, the most picturesque and colorful fishing village in Portugal located on the Silver Coast (Costa da Prata). If we have enough time, we will drive till O Sitio (the old town) to enjoy a panoramic view of the town and its beaches. We will continue our trip to Alcobaça where we will visit its 12th century Monastery, one of the most magnificent gothic monuments in Portugal with the tombs of the King Peter I of Portugal and his mistress, Ines de Castro. At the end of the day we will continue to Lisbon, the capital and the largest city in Portugal. Arrival and accommodation in the hotel. In the evening, optionally you can enjoy a Fado music show (typical Portuguese folklore).
Day 11. (Saturday) LISBON
Breakfast at the hotel. We'll have a full day to explore each corner of Lisbon. We'll start the day with an in-depth sightseeing tour of Lisbon. We'll visit Lisbon's traditional neighbourhoods, which take us into the Belem district, on the northern bank of the Tagus River estuary, the birthplace of many great Portuguese navigators who sailed the oceans in the Fifteenth Century to explore and trade with India and the Orient. We will walk around the Monument of the Discoveries (Padrão dos Descobrimentos), a monument that celebrates the Portuguese Age of Discovery, we'll see the Belem Tower, a medieval defensive fortification and a prominent example of the Portuguese Manueline style. We will finally see the beautiful gothic style Jeronimos Monastery, Vasco da Gama's resting place, classified a UNESCO World Heritage Site along with the nearby Tower of Belen. Enjoy some free time at leisure to explore Lisbon at your own pace, to discover the nostalgic corners of the Barrio de Alfama, the old city grouped next to its Castle with its old buildings in narrow and twisted "ruas" full of color and housing the genuine "taverns" where Fado music sounds like a lost past. Optionally you can do a beautiful coach trip to visit Sintra, a UNESCO World Heritage site, along with Cabo da Roca and admire Cascais and Estoril. Accommodation at the hotel.
Day 12. (Sunday) LISBON – CACERES – MADRID
Our last breakfast in Portugal. Departure towards Spain travelling along beautiful green plains that extend as far as the eye can see dotted with cork oaks and olive trees that withstand time. Back in Spain, we enjoy the beautiful landscape of Region of Extremadura, the typical wooded pasture known as the "dehesa" where the iberian pigs forage freely for acorns. Arrival in Caceres, a magical medieval city, capital of the Extremadura region in western Spain. Free time to stroll through the old town with its city walls and watchtowers and its well-known medieval neighborhood, considered a World Heritage Site. We recommend you to follow the narrow walkways that will transport you to another century and engage you in its old charm. You'll discover the main square of Cáceres – the Plaza Mayor and the Bujaco Tower locally known as the Clock Tower, the Arch of the Star, which is one of the five access gates of Cáceres, the beautiful Palace of the Golfines... In the afternoon he head back to Madrid. Arrival and end of our services.
* Pepe Tours reserves the right to alter and modify the itinerary and the order of the excursions for organizational reasons. Depending on hotel availability or in case of last minute reservations, Pepe Tours may replace the hotels provided by others of the same category (see list of hotels in this link).