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.
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.
Breakfast Included: 8 Lunches Included: 1 Dinner Included: 2
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.
Madrid – Segovia
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.
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).
Picos de Europa
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.
Picos de Europa
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.
Santiago de Compostela
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.
Santiago de Compostela
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).
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.
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.