Tour “St. James Way by Northern Route” cultural heritage experience
(10 days/9 nights)
This tour offers a unique opportunity to visit the most beautiful corners of the legendary Northern Route of St. James’ Way (Camino de Santiago). Every year, Camino de Santiago becomes more and more popular. The Way of St. James along the northern coast of Spain is primarily the incredibly attractive mountain scenery and the unforgettable view of the boundless Atlantic.
The 10-day package for the group tour (group of 25 pax) starts from 1340 euro for 1/2 DBL BB in 2* hotels. please, request your personalised quote for your group or family, providing your travel details.
During our journey, you will discover the rich historical and cultural heritage of the northern Spain, the personality of its residents. We will visit Madrid, Castilla y Leon, Basque Country, Cantabria, Asturias and Galicia. You can also taste the best dishes and wines of every region.
As is known, not only faithful Christians choose Camino de Santiago. Everyone has their own motive. For some, it’s a sport, and for the others – historical interest or search for himself. However, for all who managed this way, it became one of the most unusual, emotional and spectacular events of their lives!
We will visit the following cities and tourist attractions: Madrid (1 night) – Ribera del Duero – Burgos (1 night) – San Sebastian – Bilbao (2 nights) – Castro Urdiales – Santander (1 night) –Oviedo (2 night) – Santiago de Compostela (2 nights) – Puebla de Sanabria – Madrid.
Arrival at the Christopher Columbus airport of Madrid, transfer to the hotel and accommodation.
Walking tour in the center of Madrid. We will start our excursion from the center of the whole Spain– Puerta del Sol and Plaza Mayor, which were the places of public executions and coronations, bullfights and city festivals. From there, we will go to Palacio Real, Jardines de Sabatini and Templo de Debod. During the excursion with the Russian guide, you will see the place, where the Spanish writer Lope de Vega married and was buried, and the printing house, where the first edition of “Don Quijote” was published.
After the excursion (in your free time), you can visit the so-called “golden triangle of Madrid museums” (Prado – Reina Sofia – Thyssen-Bornemisza).
After the breakfast- departure from Madrid.
Transfer to one of the best wine regions of Spain– Ribera del Duero, where you will visit the wine museum in the medieval castle of the Х century called Peñafiel. There is a modern vineyard of the XXI century “Protos” at the foot of the castle. “Protos” has regularly received the international rewards for its wines since 1927. You will visit the wine cellar and watch the production of wines “Ribera del Duero”. After that, we will go down to the karst caves, where the best wines of the region are maintained in the barrels for years and taste two wines.
Lunch at the restaurants of traditional Castile cuisine (additional charge). Transfer to Burgos, accommodation at the hotel in the center of the city. After that, we will have a transit excursion around the city, where the Catholic Kings accepted Christopher Columbus after the discovery of America. Optionally, you can visit the most beautiful gothic cathedral of Spain – Santa Maria, included in the Cultural Heritage of Humanity.
Accommodation at the hotel.
After the breakfast, we will go to San Sebastian and see the most expensive and luxurious city of theBasque Country and Spain. During the excursion, you’ll see the enchanting Old City, the unique bar street- the world-famous “31st of August”, where every bar is competing in the art of making mini-gastronomic masterpieces called ”pinchos”. You will admire the gothic St. Vincent’s Parish and the Cathedral of the Good Shepherd. Then we will climb to the viewing platform of Igueldo mountain that offers the panoramic view of the favorite resort of Spanish nobles and the royals of the end of XIХ century.
Free time for lunch and rest.
After the lunch, we will visit the favorite reserve of the Basque – Urdaibai, where you can admire the skite San Juan de Gastelugache and learn its legend. At the end of the day – transfer to the hotel of Bilbao, accommodation and free time.
After the breakfast, we will go on a walking tour of Bilbao.
Bilbao is the largest city of the Basque Country, the city of rich history and modern architecture. During the city tour, you will know the amazing history of the city that managed to be reborn after the crises, fire and flood like a phoenix. You will plunge into the culture and customs of the most ancient and mysterious nation of Europe – Basque. During the excursion, we will touch the ruins of the old castle wall of the XIV century, visit the greatest roofed market of Europe (except Sunday when the market “Ribera” is closed to the public), take a walk on the main street of the city— Gran Via with its splendid castles and along the boardwalk of Nervion and its main attraction- the famous Guggenheim Museum.
In the afternoon, you will have a free time for exploring Bilbao and visiting its museums (we recommend you to visit the Guggenheim Museum and Bilbao Fine Arts Museum).
After the breakfast we leave Bilbao. At parting, we will visit the small city of Gechuo with the modern port of Bilbao. Gechuo became famous all over the world due to its unique “Flying Bridge”, included in the World Heritage list of UNESCO.
Our next stop will be the fishing city Castro Urdiales, founded in the time of Roman Empire. It is located in one of the most beautiful seaside zones of Cantabria. Here we will see (and, whenever possible, visit) the best gothic cathedral of Spain of the XII century and St. Anne’s Church, located over the oceanic fringe. Free time for lunch at one of the local restaurant serving the fresh seafood.
Transfer to Santander – the capital of Cantabria and the favorite place for summer vacation of the King Alfonso XIII and Spanish and European nobles of the end of the XX century. This city proudly keeps the aristocratic spirit of “la Belle Époque”, which you will feel during the excursion to the peninsula La Magdalena. We will have a look at the Royal Palace of La Magdalena. Then we will stop at the beach of Santander with its famous casino and walk down the boardwalk of the most beautiful Spanish bay in the center of Santander. Transfer to the hotel, accommodation at the hotel of Santander.
After the breakfast, we will visit the enchanting Santillana del Mar, which was recognized the most beautiful village more than once. We will admire the palaces and towers of the medieval Santillana, whose image remained unchanged for 3-4 centuries. Here we will visit the unique collegial church of St. Juliana Parish of the XII century.
After the visit to Santillana, we will start conquering Picos de Europa. You will visit Potes, the city of legends and endless shops with the typical products of Cantabria. Potes is the only city in the world. Then we will visit the colorful Potes, the only city in the world where you can take a picture with the monument to a still, and in the local bars you can taste dozens of kinds of this drink.
Free time for lunch at the restaurant of traditional mountain kitchen (additional charge).
Then we will visit the Monastery of Santo Toribio de Liébana, where the greatest chip of the Holy Christ — one of the main shrines of the Universal (Undivided) Church. The faithful will be able to touch one of the main shrines of the Christian world. Transfer to Oviedo, accommodation at the hotel. Free time.
After that, we will visit the main shrines of Asturias.
History of Spain left a remarkable trace in the history of Asturias. In the VIII century, its mountains became the place of the valiant Reconquista that promoted the formation of the great and powerful Spanish Empire.
Our first stop will be the holy place of Covadonga, where we will learn the legend about the fight that Spain and started Reconquista (the exemption of Spanish lands from the Moors).
Then we will make a small stop in Cangas de Onis, the first capital of Prinipality of Asturias, where you’ll have time to explore the city and have lunch in the traditional “sidreria”. Here you can try the famous Asturian cider and excellent grilled meat (the lunch isn’t included in the price of the tour).
After the lunch, we will visit the capital of Oviedo.
Oviedo starts the first pilgrimage of Camino de Santiago made by the King Alfonso II. We will walk through the greatly preserved historical part of the city that turned into the great pedestrian zone. We will start from the square Padre Feijoo, where the ancient Monastery of St. Vincent is located. Then we will visit the Monastery of St. Saviour with the tombs of Asturian kings. Its Saint Chambers carefully save different Christian relics.
Return to the hotel of Oviedo.
After the breakfast we will leave Oviedo. Our first stop will be in Ribadeo, where we will admire “Los Catedrales”– one of the most beautiful beaches of Spain and the whole world. The number of visitors was restricted in summer 2015. However, you should get there as quickly as possible to be among the fortunate.
Arrival in La Coruña. City tour.
The boardwalk of La Coruña stretched over 10 km along the Atlantic Ocean. Looking at the glass-fronted balconies of house facades, it is understandable that La Coruña is often called “crystal city”. These glass-fronted facades save the houses of the local residents from the ocean winds; at sunset, the sunrays “play” with the glass cutting, creating the beautiful sight.
We’ll admire the world’s most ancient lighthouse called “Hercules Tower” (external examination), which was built in the I century A.D. Then we’ll see the sundial of the ancient Celts and the old fortress of San Anton. La Coruña warded off the attacks of vikings and pirates led by the legendary corsair Francis Drake and the incursion of Napoleon’s army.
In the old part of the city, we’ll visit the main square ”Plaza de Maria Pita”, besides which there is one of the oldest buildings of La Coruña — St. Jacob’s Church (founded in the XII century).
During the excursion, you’ll have free time for lunch.
Transfer to Santiago, accommodation at the hotel of Santiago de Compostela.
Breakfast at the hotel.
Today you will visit Santiago de Compostela– the city that preserves the third most important shine of Christianity and the final point of the Way of St. James.
If you want to feel the real pilgrim, we suggest you to walk the last 5 km of the Way of St. James. For this purpose, the bus will stop on the mountain “Monte del Gozo”, from where the pilgrims have finished their long and difficult way for centuries. The most spiritually inspired travelers go directly to the Cathedral of Santiago and Plaza Obradoiro. To feel the solemnity of the moment, you will get the pilgrim’s stick and (at the end of the route) the commemorative certificate of a pilgrim.
In Santiago, we will visit the old city, included in the World Heritage List of UNESCO. You will feel the real atmosphere of historical city center, where many priests and pilgrims dilute the colorful gaggles of students attending one of the oldest universities of Europe, founded in 1495! You will see the main attraction of the city — Cathedral Santiago de Compostela, which was founded in the IX century by the King Alfonso II on the site where the grave of St. James was discovered.
Free time for lunch and further acquaintance with the city.
Accommodation at the hotel.
After the breakfast we will leave Santiago and make a stop in Puebla de Sanabria.
We will walk along the unique glacier lake of the Iberian Peninsula on the first solar-powered eco-catamaran.
During the excursion, the local guide will tell you about this wonderful sanctuary, its flora and fauna.
Lunch at the traditional restaurant of Zamora (Castilla y Leon) cuisine (additional charge).
After the lunch: departure from Sanabria, transfer to the airport of Madrid (which takes about 4.5 hours). Flight home.
The price of tour includes:
· Accommodation at the hotel of the chosen category, 10 days / 9 nights.
· Breakfast at the hotel.
· Transport for all the transfers and excursions.
· Service of Russian-speaking guide during the whole tour.
· All excursions included in the program.
· Visit to the museums and cathedrals (included in the program).
· Pilgrim’s stick and certificate.
Not included in the price:
· Air flight “Moscow-Madrid- Moscow”.
· Visit to the bars and restaurants.
· Lunch and dinner.
· Personal expenses.
· Entrance tickets.
· Visa Service.
*** Tour operator “País Mágico” reserves the right to change the order of excursions and visits, indicated in the program.
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