Tour departs from San Sebastian
Arrival to San Sebastian.
HISTORICAL SAN SEBASTIAN. HALF DAY CITY TOUR
Visit the San Sebastián (also known as Donostia) old quarter, the Urgull and Igueldo Mounts, the Cathedral el Buen Pastor built in Neogothic style, the Boulevard, la Concha Bay, the Miramar Palace, la Mota Castle, the church of Santa María and San Vicente, the Victoria Eugenia Theatre, the City Hall and the San Telmo museum with works of Goya, Ribera and el Greco.
FULL DAY EXCURSION TO HONDARRIBIA & BIARRITZ (FRANCE)
Hondarribia is a walled old town, full of aristocratic buildings, has been declared a Historic Artistic Site. In the highest part of the town is the Plaza de Armas. On one of its side stands the Castle of the Emperor Carlos V, a stone fortification which today houses the Parador de Turismo. Very nearby is the parish church of Santa María de la Asunción in Gothic style with a Baroque tower. The Calle Mayor, the Casadevante Palace, the Zuloaga Palace and the Casa de los Guevara.
Biarritz is a Basque-French town. In the Middle Ages it was a fishing village and through the years it was later transformed into the favourite holiday destination for royal families. The Imperial Chapel is mixing the Roman-Byzantine and Hispano-Moresque styles and it is a historical monument. The Lighthouse was built in 1834, 73 metres above sea level and overlooking Cap Hainsart. The historical museum of Biarritz is situated in a former Anglican church, the museum tells the story of Biarritz: from the fishing port of its origins to the high-society resort that was to become the "Beach of Kings".
Drive to Bilbao with stops in Lekeitio, Bermeo and Guernica.
Lekeitio is located on the shores of the Cantabrian Sea, it is a town of popular houses with a strong seafaring flavour, testimony to its origins as a fishing village. Standing next to these examples of traditional Basque architecture are Gothic gems such as the church of Santa María de la Asunción. The panels represent the life of Mary and the Passion of Christ. Placed around the church are the elegant mansions of the old Basque aristocracy.
Bermeo is a fishing town whose harbour preserves all its traditional local seafaring charm. The village have been declared to be of Historic-Artistic Interest. The cloister of the church of San Francisco, the gothic tower of Ercilla, the church of Santa María, the City Hall, the Casa Kinkubera. The arch of San Juan, the historic quarter, where fishermen's houses, medieval charming streets, squares and the old port.
Guernica town sits in the valley of the river Oka and very close to the Urdaibai Nature Reserve, which UNESCO has declared to be a Biosphere Reserve. The cave of Santimañe (Kortezubi) shows that the valley has been inhabited since prehistoric times. The Casa de Juntas del Señoría de Vizcaya with its symbolic tree. The church of Santa María, the Museum of Euskalerria and the Parque de la Paz (Park of Peace), with colossal sculptures by Eduardo Chillida and Henry Moore. In 1937, during the Civil War, the town was totally destroyed by German aircrafts. It was the inspiration of Picasso's legendary painting. Gernika has earned the title of peace symbol city.
BILBAO. HALF DAY CITY TOUR
Visit the old city center located on the right bank of the river Nervión, the Cathedral of Santiago with beautiful gothic cloister, the Plaza Nueva and the incredible Guggenheim museum, designed by the north American architect Frank O. Gehry and built on a 32.500 m2 site in the city center. The building itself is an extraordinary combination of interconnecting shapes. Orthogonal blocks in limestone contrast with curved and bent forms covered in titanium.
Santillana de Mar
Drive to Santillana de Mar with stops in Castro Urdiales and Laredo.
Castro Urdiales has all the charm of a small seafaring and fishing village with a rich tradition and tourist atmosphere, aided by the beaches of Urdiales, El Fraile and Brazomar. The town centre, with its characteristic houses with wooden rows of balconies, is medieval in origin and earned recognition as a Historic Site. The old village, formed by narrow streets which are perfect for strolling through. The church of Santa María, the most significant example of Cantabria's Gothic architecture, and the castle-lighthouse.
Laredo has one of the biggest and most beautiful beaches in the region: La Salvé, an immense stretch of sand of measuring some five kilometres. The old village was declared to be a Historic-Artistic Site. it still preserves remains of its old walls and a network of small streets, on which large stately houses like the Mar family, the High Constable, the Hoz and Gutiérrez Rada.
Santillana del Mar is situated on the northern route of the Pilgrim's Road to Santiago de Compostela. This place which has been declared a National Monument is a beautiful medieval town with the collegiate church of Santa María. The Merino or Don Borja towers, the Renaissance Velarde palace, the baroque Valdivieso mansion. The main square with the Casa del Águila and la Parra, the Town Hall and the palace of the Barreda-Bracho, now a Parador. Only 2 kilometres from the town are the Altamira Caves, known as the “Sistine Chapel of the Paleolithic Age” and declared World Heritage. Together with the caves you can visit the Altamira Museum, a modern complex where you can admire the new cave, a true replica of the pictures which appear in the original cave.
Santillana de Mar
HISTORICAL SANTANDER. HALF DAY CITY TOUR
Its historic quarter includes a group of majestic buildings which are situated against an incredible natural backdrop of sea and mountains. The Cathedral is one of the oldest buildings and under the main chapel is the crypt of El Cristo, a sombre vaulted chamber in which various traces of the Roman era were discovered. The Town Hall, next to the popular market of la Esperanza, in the modernist style. The Fine Arts Museum and the Menéndez Pelayo Stately Home, a building which has been declared an Historic-Artistic Site. The Magdalena Park and the royal palace inaugurated in 1913 as the summer residence of King Alfonso XIII.
Drive to Gijón with stops in Comillas, Llanes and Ribadesella.
Comillas is a designated historic-artistic site. It has cobbled streets and squares with ancestral houses, towers and Modernist style buildings. Special mention should be made of "El Capricho" by Antoni Gaudí; Sobrellano Palace, a Neo-Gothic construction; the Pontifical University, which dominates the whole village. Comillas has fine sand beaches and the Oyambre Nature Reserve, a large coastal area with dunes, cliffs, marshland and an estuary.
Llanes has an historic quarter been declared a Historic-Artistic Site and it preserves major examples of civil, religious and military architecture. The San Pedro walk, the pre-Romanesque wall from the 13th century; the Castle Tower, the basilica of Santa María del Conceyu, the palaces of Gaztañaga and of the Dukes of Estrada and the old house of Posada Herrera.
Ribadesella is divided into two unequal parts by the River Sella, which runs through the district from south to north and forms a magnificent estuary as it meets the sea. The town was already inhabited during Palaeolithic times, as is attested to by the famous Tito Bustillo Cave, which is deemed to be one of the main European Palaeolithic sanctuaries. And the palaces that were built by those who went to make it big in "Las Américas", such as the Palacete de Doña Asunción del Valle.
FULL DAY TOUR TO OVIEDO AND GIJÓN
Oviedo is the capital of the Principality of Asturias. During the Middle Ages, Oviedo became the political centre of the Principality. Consequently many palaces or mansions were built during the 17th and 18th centuries such as Camposagrado palace, Miranda-Heredia palace and Toreno palace. Its Old Quarter, with the Cathedral and its Holy Chamber and the Campoamor Theatre. Of the outstanding monumental heritage, we can mention Santa María del Naranco, San Miguel de Lillo and San Julián de los Prados declared monuments of World Heritage.
Gijón is washed by the Cantabrian Sea and located to the east of Torres Cape and to the west of Cervigón Point. Medieval Gijón was founded on the Santa Catalina outcrop. The development of Gijón, after its resettlement which began in 1400, commenced with the Reyes Católicos (the Catholic Monarchs) who, in 1480 authorised the construction of a port, a project that took several centuries.
Drive to Ribadeo with stops in Cudillero and Luarca.
Cudillero is a small, picturesque fishing port which sits on the side of a mountain. Outstanding are its hanging houses with eaves and brightly-coloured windows perched on a horseshoe of steep cliffs around the port. Its two most important buildings are the Gothic parish church and the chapel of Humilladero. The fishermen's taverns, which are located in a narrow cobbled square next to the sea, are the main tourist attraction.
Luarca is a town of white houses which preserves all the charm and attraction of its seafaring tradition. Its most characteristic buildings are the lighthouse, the chapel of Atalaya and the cemetery overlooking the sea, cut from the rock by pickaxe.Luarca's traditional character is reflected in its chigres -old Asturian taverns-, where visitors can learn the art of drinking cider (spanish sidra).
Ribadeo is located where the estuary forms a natural link between Galician territory and the neighbouring lands of Asturias on the opposite bank. The most outstanding building is the modernist Galician country house of the Moreno brothers. The lighthouse of Pancha island, situated on the mouth of the estuary, and the ruins of the castle of San Damián. Excellent seafood taken straight from the estuary, such as cockles, clams and oysters, salmon, trout and eels from the Eo river and the delicious sweets made by the nuns at the convent of Santa Clara.
Drive to Vilalba with stop in Mondoñedo.
Mondoñedo occupies a sheltered valley among the northern outliers of the Cantabrian Mountains. The town was declared a national cultural-historical site, with the Cathedral in Romanesque, Gothic and Baroque styles. The polychrome statue in the high altar, called Nuestra Señora la Inglesa (the English Madonna) was rescued from the St. Paul Cathedral in London during the Protestant Reformation of Henry VIII of England.
Vilalba medieval history was closely linked to the Counts of Andrade, who in the 15th century strengthened their imposing castle, of which only the keep remains, converted into a Parador Nacional hotel. Next door is the square and church of Santa María. The church of San Roque and the Museum of Prehistory and Archaeology, housed in what was once the municipal prison.
Santiago de Compostela
Drive to Santiago de Compostela with stop in Betanzos. Betanzos was declared a Historic-Artistic Site. Three Gothic churches lend it its character: Santiago, Santa María do Azogue and San Francisco. Also remarkable are the "pazos" (Galician country house) of Bendaña, Taboada, and Lanxós tower. In Betanzos we can try the local wine, light and fruity, served in rustic establishments.
Santiago de Compostela
HISTORICAL SANTIAGO DE COMPOSTELA. HALF DAY CITY TOUR
It is one of Spain’s great historical cities declared a World Heritage Site & one of the three holy cities of Christendom. The famous cathedral of Saint James the Apostle, the Patron Saint of Spain, the old quarter, the Royal Hospital, the Rajoy and Gelmirez Palaces, the University, the College of San Jerónimo and strolling through Rúa Nova.
Santiago de Compostela
VIGO, BAYONA AND LOW ESTUARIES (RIAS BAIXAS). FULL DAY EXCURSION
Drive to the city of Vigo to go to the Castro Mount for a panoramic view of the Bay at the site of the old Citadel Fortress. Continue to Bayona La Real, a medieval town with an old quarter and historic monuments such as the Convent of the Dominicas, Casa Lorenzo Correa (now Town Hall) and the Misericordia Chapel. This place is now a popular summer resort, whose 16th century fortress has been converted into a Parador of Bayona where you can enjoy a refreshment. Drive to Low Estuaries with the typical villages of Sanxenxo, O'Grove, Cambados and its Parador for a tasting menu with Albariño wine and Padrón.
Santiago de Compostela
Departure from Santiago de Compostela.