Northern Spanish Wonders: Basque Country, Cantabria, and Asturias

14 Days

Unveil the hidden treasures of Basque Country, Cantabria, and Asturias in a once-in-a-lifetime adventure. During your 14-day trip, you discover northern Spain’s rich history, exquisite cuisine, and breathtaking nature. Let us create your journey and discover the Spanish Northern wonders!

During our Northern Spanish Wonders trip, you visit:

  • Basque Country. Whether you’re an adventurer, a foodie, or a culture enthusiast, there’s a piece of the Basque Country waiting for you to discover.
  • Cantabria. Its rich history, dating from prehistoric times, natural wonders, coastal charm, and warm hospitality converge to create an unforgettable travel experience.
  • Asturias. Here, nature reigns, with dramatic landscapes, lush greenery, and a rugged coastline that will leave you in awe. Asturias also offers historical wonders, culinary delights, and a festive spirit.

Would you like to know more about this trip? Check the itinerary section for more details.

Trip Highlights:

  • Explore the history of Bilbao during a guided bicycle tour
  • Hike through the three different massifs of NP Picos de Europa
  • Emerge yourself in the history of medieval Santillana del Mar with a local guide
  • Enjoy a Txakoli wine tasting in nature reserve Urdaibai
  • Join a yummy pintxos tour in culinary San Sebastian

All our trips are fully customizable

This trip covers the highlights of northern Spain. We can imagine, however, that you would like to make some changes to the itinerary. Would you like to stay longer? Do you prefer to stay in an apartment where you can prepare your own food? Would you like to take your dog with you? Or did you hear or read about a particular place that is not included in our itinerary, but that you definitely want to visit?

We can customize this trip for you so that it fully meets your specific needs and wishes!

Just leave a note in the enquiry form and tell us that you want to customize the trip, and we will come back to you!

Ready to explore the Northern Spanish Wonders with us? Fill in the enquiry form below and we will get in touch with you!

Itinerary

You arrive in Basque Country by car, plane, or train. The first nights of your trip you stay in a 3* hotel or B&B in the historic center of Bilbao.

Today, you have the opportunity to visit Bilbao’s Old Town (Casco Viejo). A good start to explore the city and learn all about its historical development is to take a boat trip. Another option is to rent a bike and cycle along the river. You can also view the city from above! The Funicular de Artxanda, a cable car built in 1915, takes you to a viewpoint on Mount Artxanda. From here, you have great views over the city and can enjoy a picnic.

Breakfast

This morning, you get the chance to visit the famous Guggenheim Museum with its modern art.

In the afternoon, you head to Getxo and Portugalete, two charming towns located in the Greater Bilbao area, along the beautiful northern coastline. Here, you see the “hanging bridge” that connects Portugalete on the west bank and Getxo on the east bank of the Nervion River. In 2006, this bridge was declared a World Heritage Site. It is fun to walk across the bridge after taking a lift up, and then take the “gondola” back.

 

Breakfast

After a 3-hour drive, you enter the majestic Picos de Europa National Park. Here, you stay in a comfortable 3* hotel with great views over the surrounding mountains.

In the afternoon you visit the mountain village Potes. Potes has around 1,400 inhabitants and a history dating back to the Middle Ages. Two rivers flow through the village, along which you can take a lovely walk or take a rest. Don’t forget to climb the tower with fantastic views over the village and surrounding mountains!

A few kilometers from Potes you find the Santo Toribio de Liebana monastery. It is Spain’s oldest monastery, dating back to the 6th century.

 

Breakfast

Today, you go up to the heights! You really can’t visit this eastern part of the Picos de Europa without a ride in the Fuente De cable car. From the station, a large gondola will take you to an altitude of 1,800 meters within minutes. From here, all kinds of fantastic hiking routes for different levels start. Literally and figuratively a highlight of your holiday!

 

Breakfast

After driving for approx. 2 hours through the mountains, you arrive at your next destination, a lovely B&B with stunning views of the surrounding mountains.

Today, you visit another part of the Picos: the Central Massif. Arenas de Cabrales and Sotres are two villages renowned for their stunning natural surroundings, traditional Asturian architecture, and their role as starting points for exploring the Picos de Europa National Park. You will enjoy breathtaking mountain landscapes and savor delicious Asturian cuisine, including the iconic Cabrales cheese.

 

Breakfast

Today you visit the western massif of the Picos de Europa: Covadonga, where the Spanish Reconquista began and where you find the famous chapel with the Virgin of Covadonga. Then you continue into the mountains to the most famous point of the Picos: the lakes of Covadonga. Here you can take a nice short walk through an old iron mine, via the visitor centre towards the Lagos de Covadonga.

At the foot of Covadonga, you can visit the mountain village of Cangas de Onis. There you find one of the most photographed spots in Asturias: the Roman bridge from which hangs the Cross of Victory, the symbol of Asturias. You can also visit the various shops selling regional products, such as regional cheeses, and enjoy a meal in one of the many restaurants in the village.

Breakfast

Today you can do one of the most beautiful and spectacular hikes in Asturias: the Ruta del Cares. You walk 12 km out and 12 km back along a deep gorge while vultures circle overhead.

There is also an option to be picked up by jeep, and then drive back through the Picos on a several-hour drive. If you are interested in this, please let us know!

 

Breakfast

After a 1.5-hour drive, you arrive in the Medieval town of Santillana del Mar, where you stay in a lovely Posada.

You visit the historic town of Santillana del Mar together with a local, English-speaking guide. In this village, everything is a monument!

On the north side of the village is the 12th century Benedictine abbey Colegiata Santa Juliana where the relics of the martyr Santa Juliana are guarded. You also visit the Palacio de Los Velardes, a palace with special architecture. Santillana also has many shops where you can buy local products, especially food.

 

Breakfast

Today you visit the coastal town of Santander, also the capital of Cantabria. You can enjoy the beautiful bay and parade on the boulevard. Santander has no historic center because a major fire largely destroyed the old city center in 1941. But there is plenty to see, do, and eat along the coast!

Breakfast

In 1.5 hour you drive towards Nature Reserva Udaibai in Basque Country. You are staying in a small hotel in picturesque fishermen village Mundaka. From here, you can hike along the coast, visit the nearby village Bermeo, or drive to the famous San Juan de Gaztelugatxe, known from the Games of Thrones series. You end your day with a tasty seafood lunch in the harbor.

This morning, you visit a Bodega in Urdaibai where the famous regional Txakoli wine is produced. You are guided around the vineyard and explore the making process of the wine. Of course, a tasting is also included, as well as eating some typical Basque pintxos!

In the afternoon, you drive to San Sebastian.

 

Breakfast

San Sebastian is a beautiful city along a bay. You can explore San Sebastian from one of the hilltops in and around the city (accessible both on foot and by cable car); the views are truly stunning! You can also stroll past the city’s main Belle Epoque buildings.

San Sebastian is also called the culinary capital of Spain (this is the city with the most Michelin stars per capita in the world!); so you can enjoy delicious lunch and dinner here. That’s why you end your holiday with a yummy pintxos tour. In the evening, our English-speaking guide takes you on a tour to taste the Basque pintxos, of course, accompanied by some glasses of wine!

 

Breakfast

Today, it´s time to say goodbye to beautiful Northern Spain. Or, you´re welcome to extend your visit and let us customize your trip further!

Breakfast

What´s included in this trip (and what´s not)?

The trip includes:

  • 13 overnight stays in 3* and 4* hotels and Bed & Breakfasts
  • 13 times breakfast
  • Bicycle tour through Bilbao guided by a local, English-speaking guide
  • Private excursion in Santillana del Mar by a local, English-speaking guide
  • Excursion to a Txakoli vineyard including wine and food tasting
  • Pintxos tour in San Sebastian guided by a local, English-speaking guide
  • An extensive, online travel description with tips for restaurants, excursions, sights and sustainable travel (available in English and Dutch)
  • Access to an App that allows you to easily save and follow your itinerary on your phone (available in English and Dutch)
  • 24/7 support during your holiday (English, Dutch and Spanish support)

The trip excludes:

  • Flight
  • Rental car
  • Insurances
  • Prices for a single room
  • Lunch and Dinner
  • Optional excursions
How do I book this trip?

First, you send us an enquiry via the form below. We will then contact you with additional questions and subsequently send you a proposal, which can still be adapted (if needed). Once you agree, you fill in the booking form. Upon receiving the booking form, your reservation is formal and we will start reserving the accommodations and excursions.

When will I get a response after sending the inquiry form?

Usually, we aim to answer you within 48H (working days).

Can I also do this trip using public transportation?

Yes, you can! In the inquiry form, please indicate that you would like to use public transportation. We will adapt the trip accordingly. The main changes when using public transportation will be the selection of accommodations (to be reached on foot from the bus- or train station). Also, not all locations in the Picos de Europa can be reached by public transport. Sometimes, we recommend you to take a taxi to get to an excursion. However, this trip is designed in such a way, that you can enjoy the Northern Spanish Wonders to the fullest, also by public transport!

Can I adjust this trip based on my preferences?

Yes, can can! All our trips are customizable, meaning we can adjust the number of travelers and days and the selected accommodations. We can also exclude or add excursions based on your preferences. When sending us the inquiry form, please indicate that you want a customized proposal, and we get in touch with you within 48H!

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Northern Spanish Wonders: Basque Country, Cantabria, and Asturias
From € 1,415
/ Adult
  • From 1.415 EUR p.p. (based on 2 persons occupancy in a double room). Subject to availability.
  • This trip is available all year round.
  • The proposal, travel itinerary and support can be given in English or Dutch, depending on the preference of the client.
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