Figueres, Pyrenees, La Rioja & San Sebastian - this twelve day journey showcases the best of Northern Spain, an undiscovered gem in this culturally diverse, vibrant country. See the natural beauty of the Costa Brava, travel through traditional villages on rolling green hills flanked by mist-covered mountains, taste wines in La Rioja, one of the most famous and prestigious wine producing areas in Spain and explore San Sebastian, the jewel of Northern Spain's Basque Country.
The small group tours departs twice a month from May 11 to September 28, 2015 with a maximum of 18 people per trip.
Consider adding additional days to your trip with the services of a private guide and/or driver to see more of the country - your time on either side of your small group tour can be customized to suit your needs (and private guided tours can be added throughout your small group experience as desired).
Meet your driver for a private airport transfer in Barcelona.
A welcome package with a city map, train tickets (if relevant), a SIM card with 1Gb of data, and any other touristic information that we deem you may find useful will be waiting for you upon your arrival at your first hotel on your trip.
Visit the art galleries and/or museums of your choice in Barcelona with this Articket which entitles you to free admission to seven of the most important and remarkable museums and art centres in Barcelona: Picasso Museum, Fundacion Joan Miro, Casa Mila, Fundacion Antonio Tapies, Museo Nacional de Arte de Catalunya (MNAC), Museo de Arte Contemporaneo de Barcelona (MACBA), and Centro de Cultura Contemporanea de Barcelona (CCCB). The Articket can be used once at each museum and at any time during a period of six months, so you can use it whenever you like throughout your stay in the city. Exchange your voucher for the Articket at any of the included museums during their opening hours.
Take a half day walking tour following the footsteps of the legendary Architect Gaudi, with your private English-speaking guide. Walk the Barcelona of the 1900's, in the neighbourhood of “El Ensanche", discovering the temple of "La Sagrada Familia", Gracia Avenue with the houses of Gaudí, and the Batlló House. Other sights to be visited are the Paseo de Gracia, and the facades of Casa Batlló and La Pedrera. (Tickets to Casa Batlló, Sagrada Familia and La Pedrera are included).
Meet up with your Guide and fellow travellers of your small group tour this morning. The rendezvous is at 08.30am at the Hotel Barcelona Center, 103-105 Balmes, Barcelona, Cataluna, Spain. Please ensure you are at the meeting point at least 15 minutes prior to departure.
Your journey begins today with a short panoramic tour of Barcelona to see the main highlights of the city before heading north towards Gerona, the ideal place to sit and enjoy a coffee at the 18th century Placa de la Independencia. Later, head out to the small fishing village of El Port de la Selva, your base for the next three nights.
After a wonderful start to your journey, tonight you will get acquainted with your fellow travellers over dinner in a traditional Spanish restaurant.
Travel by local taxi to the Salvador Dali house-museum in Port Lligat. This fascinating labyrinthine structure was formed by Salvador Dali and his wife using a series of fisherman’s cabins. After visiting the artist’s workshop, the library and the gardens, you will have some free time in Cadaques. In this town with an exclusive, arty feel, there are plenty of boutiques and galleries to discover. Later explore El Port de la Selva at your own pace.
After spending two nights on the Costa Brava, spend the next three nights heading west across the mountainous north. This morning, you will make a stop in the medieval village of Besalu, a great example of romanesque architecture and a historical Jewish Quarter seemingly forgotten in time.
Later, visit the town of Ripoll and see the Benedictine monastery of Santa Maria de Ripoll, considered to be one of the most important monastic centres in medieval Catalonia.
You will then depart for Vic, your destination for the evening, where you will overnight at your hotel.
This beautiful and more remote corner of Catalonia is dotted with hilltop fortifications surrounded by stunning parks and rock formations. Today you will continue west along the foot of the Pyrenees, stopping to explore more remote medieval villages en route to Barbastro where you will spend the night.
Explore more remote medieval villages of the Spanish Pyrenees today including Jaca, known as the ‘Pearl of the Pyrenees’, and an important stop along the Pilgrim’s Road to Santiago de Compostela. Here you will see the citadel, a great example of 16th century military architecture, the 11th century Romanesque Cathedral and the 15th century Clock Tower.
The final destination today is Leyre, where you will spend the night in a converted 9th century monastery.
Today you will head into the rolling hills and plains of Navarre, through fields of wheat and vineyards, to the medieval town of Olite which was the seat of the court of Navarre. Visit the fairy tale 15th century castle, where you’ll have time to explore its hidden corners and towers with magnificent views over the surrounding countryside. In Estella, you have free time to enjoy lunch (not included) at one of the many excellent local restaurants, before your journey continues along the Camino de Santiago to the world famous wine region of La Rioja.
Today is dedicated to visiting remarkable wineries and improving your knowledge of La Rioja’s wine history and culture. During the day you will visit Marques de Riscal, a pioneer producer, whose wines have earned some of the most distinguished international awards. You'll also visit the century-old Cvne winery in Haro, which is still run by the direct descendants of the founding family. Later, return to Laguardia for an evening at leisure.
Arrive early in San Sebastian, the jewel of northern Spain's Basque Country. Here, you will have free time to explore the town and sample its world famous pintxos for lunch (not included).
Hire a bicycle or stroll along the bay this afternoon, before returning to San Sebastian for a farewell meal together this evening.
Tonight, meet with your fellow travellers over dinner for the final time and delight in picking out your personal highlights of your Northern Spain adventure!
Your small group tour concludes this morning at 10.00am at the Hotel Astoria 7, Calle de la Sagarda Familia 1, 20010, Spain.
Avail of a private airport transfer.
Opened in 2006 and set on a wide avenue just one kilometre from Las Ramblas’ streetlife and the Sagrada Familia Cathedral. Contemporary, air-conditioned guestrooms all include minibars, satellite television, and complimentary high-speed Internet. Guests of the Barcelona Center Hotel can relax on the hotel’s sun terrace, head for a sauna or workout at the onsite fitness centre.
Hotel Porto Cristo is located in El Port de la Selva, within meters away from Port de la Selva Beach and just outside the Cap de Creus National Park. The hotel offers different types of rooms to satisfy all desires and needs; rooms with Jacuzzi, with round bath, with sea view, with terrace, walls and beams of the 19th century. All rooms have air conditioning, heating, mirror of increase and dryer, satellite television, safe box, mini bar, telephone, king size bed and all the hotel team is at your disposal. Porto Cristo also features three on-site restaurants and plenty of activities and excursions to choose from, in and around the hotel.
Please note that your hotel may be the above or a hotel of similar standard and will be confirmed prior to departure.
This converted seminary is just 5 minutes’ walk from Vic’s charming Old Town. Seminari Allotjaments has a library and a chapel within its charming grounds. Seminari Allotjaments’ buffet restaurant serves traditional Catalan food. There is a large dining room, a snack bar and vending machines for snacks and drinks.
Hotel San Ramon del Somontano is a spa-boutique hotel offering a quality stay and personalized service. This hotel occupies a well-known Art Nouveau building in the centre of Barbastro, Huesca. It has a spa centre with contrast showers, a Turkish bath, a sauna and swimming pools.
Hotel Hospederia de Leyre is located within Leyre Monastery – one of the most important historical monasteries in Spain. Dating from at least 842, the working monastery sits atop a hill, affording spectacular views across the surrounding countryside. Guests can take a tour of the monastery, including the Romanesque 11th century crypt, or just relax in the tranquillity of the stunning surrounds as the Benedictine Monks’ Gregorian Chants chime in the background.
Cosme Palacio is set in a 19th-century winery in Medieval Laguardia, the capital of the Rioja Alavesa. Guests enjoy free entry and wine tasting in the hotel's old wine cellars. Local and Mediterranean meals can be enjoyed at the restaurant. This elegant space has stone walls and wood columns. There is an excellent wine list.
The symbolic Astoria Cinema (4*) in San Sebastián has been rebuilt to house the city's first contemporary styled hotel. The Astoria 7 offers a unique decor. Each of the 102 rooms is individually dedicated to personalities, actors, actresses or directors, who have attended the San Sebastián International Film Festival ever since it first edition in 1953. The hotel offers 5 multifunction meeting rooms, and several unique cinema spaces to organize any type of event, meeting, cocktail or celebration. The restaurant team is also personally involved to suit your needs. The owners of the Astoria7 are renowned film experts that have chosen to pay tribute to this cultural event which has had such an important impact on the city of San Sebastián. Located on the corner of Avenida Sancho el Sabio, the Astoria7 is only a 15 minute walk from the main commercial and tourist sites of the city.
Vanessa Oquendo ,
April 21, 2014
"Melissa Field was extremely helpful! She was courteous, professional, knowledgeable, and friendly! She kept me updated on the status of everything and provided timely correspondence. She took ownership for any problems I had and remedied them. I had the most amazing time of my life in Iceland and Paris! I would not have experienced everything without the help of Kensington Tours."
Marilynn Weaver ,
April 21, 2014
"All of our guides were beyond fabulous! Our time in Dublin was much too short, would have loved to stay there at least one more full day. Would recommend extending this package to 15 days for any future visits. The train to Edinburgh was super! Beautiful scenery and great steak pies!"
Ann Saxon ,
November 06, 2013
"Our trip was fantastic!!! I cannot say enough good things. Lianne worked with our exact dates and time frame beautifully.Our drivers were prompt and friendly. The private guides were so knowledgeable. We left with an appreciation of the history, the culture, and the beauty of Andulasia. We were very pleased and will certainly recommend your company to friends and family."
Coby Scherr ,
November 05, 2013
"Everyone involved in our Portugal trip made it terrific. Exactly as advertised. Every event on time and most pleasant. Guides were well-informed, courteous and friendly. Really made for a great journey every time. Each hotel was clean, upgraded and staffed with knowledgeable and friendly folks. Breakfasts were complete -- almost too much to eat. It will always be a wonderful memory thanks to Kensington Tours."
Couples Dellinger & Hubbell ,
November 06, 2013
"We've been raving to everyone about the food, the friendliness of the people and the amazing history and sites in Turkey. Yes, we want to go back."
John Edstrom ,
October 22, 2013
"Overall, our tour in Spain was very enjoyable, and well planned and executed. Our private tour of the Alhambra was excellent. Virginia, tour guide for royal palace ruins outside of Cordoba, was also excellent. In Seville, we went to the Flamenco Show/dinner, and the Flamenco was outstanding!"
Kevin Wilshere ,
October 19, 2013
"Great trip to Spain! Thanks again for all your help, Lianne. The destinations, hotels, guides and everything were all top notch."
Chery Westlund ,
November 07, 2013
"My husband and I took a 3 week vacation to southern Europe and North Africa and had a great time. All the guides were very knowledgeable and bent over backwards to accommodate us. The arrangements made by Kensington went off without a hitch. This is our second trip with Kensington (we went to Peru in 2009) and we will certainly book with them again."
Randy Gramlich ,
October 07, 2013
"Thank you for your follow up, we both loved our time in Croatia. It’s really a beautiful place, especially the coast. Your choice of hotels was great. It was an incredible view from the Bellevue hotel in Dubrovnik and the Vestibule in Split was in the best possible location. We were able to relax in our room listening to the wonderful singers in the courtyard and its central location made it so easy to walk anywhere we wanted to see with ease. "
Jay Steffan ,
September 24, 2013
"We just returned from a 10 day trip to Paris and Normandy. We spent three nights in Paris and then enjoyed a seven night cruise on the Seine to Normandy with AMA Waterways. The time in Paris was well spent and has piqued our interest to return for a more thorough visit. Guide Wafaa Lankey was superb in our visit to Versailles. The Seine cruise was relaxing and beautiful. So many wonderful little towns and we wished we had more time in each one to explore and enjoy.
We traveled to Croatia and Slovenia using Kensington earlier this year which was a fantastic trip."
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