Northern Spain, The Rioja Valley and Madrid

Step back in time on a journey that spans centuries and borders, from Barcelona into the dramatic Pyrenees and along Spain's northern coast, to where the bulls run in Pamplona with stays at historic paradors in San Sebastian and Santiago de Compostela



Step back in time on a journey that spans centuries and borders... and creates an authentic sense of place. Northern Spain captivates with a diversity of landscapes and cultural riches... Nature lovers revel in the majesty of the spectacular Pyrenees and Picos de Europa. History buffs marvel at San Sebastian, and art and architecture aficionados find paradise in Barcelona and Bilbao. Pilgrims seek miracles along the Camino de Santiago; visitors, Hemingway included, have been invariably moved by the traditions of Pamplona; and lovers of food - and fun - savor the taste of tapas in neighborhood bars and cafes tucked in narrow medieval lanes from little rural towns to the modern metropolis that is Madrid. Linking people and places with history and charm, Spain's unique historic paradors and elegant resort hotels offer a legacy of genuine hospitality and service along the way.

Step back in time on a journey that spans centuries and borders... and creates an authentic sense of place. Northern Spain captivates with a diversity of landscapes and cultural riches... Nature lovers revel in the majesty of the spectacular Pyrenees and Picos de Europa. History buffs marvel at San Sebastian, and art and architecture aficionados find paradise in Barcelona and Bilbao. Pilgrims seek miracles along the Camino de Santiago; visitors, Hemingway included, have been invariably moved by the traditions of Pamplona; and lovers of food - and fun - savor the taste of tapas in neighborhood bars and cafes tucked in narrow medieval lanes from little rural towns to the modern metropolis that is Madrid. Linking people and places with history and charm, Spain's unique historic paradors and elegant resort hotels offer a legacy of genuine hospitality and service along the way.

Traveling Well Includes:
  • TAUCK'S YELLOW ROADS - Cultural charms and spectacular scenery entice during stays in a Frank Gehry masterpiece, an authentically restored castle, a former palace and a historic parador
  • Explorations, winery tours and tastings in the famed Rioja Valley wine region
  • At El Castell de Ciutat, a choice of a guided hike in a nature park, a walking tour of La Seu D'Urgell or a round of golf

  • Call 1 (888) 828-8747 for more information or to book today! Mention code 16589636

    Tour Operator
    Tauck Tours
    Offer
    Offer valid through 9/30/2022
    Duration
    14 Days
    DayDestinationDescription
    Day 1BarcelonaArrive Barcelona

    Tour begins: 5:30 PM, Le Meridien Barcelona. A transfer is included from Barcelona Airport or the Barcelona Franca train station to Le Meridien Barcelona, ideally located on Las Ramblas. Join us for a private welcome reception and dinner tonight at the hotel as you get your first taste of life in Northern Spain.



    Lodging: Le Meridien Barcelona Hotel

    Meals: D
    Day 2BarcelonaArt and Architecture in Barcelona

    Walk along the tree-lined pedestrian promenade of Las Ramblas this morning with a local guide who leads you through the cobblestone lanes of Barcelona's 14th-century Gothic quarter, Barri Gotic, a medieval warren of Roman relics, hidden courtyards, shops and alfresco cafes, to the Placa de la Catedral. Set apart from other churches, Barcelona's Cathedral was built between 1298 and 1460 - although its richly decorated facade, guarded by gargoyles, was added in 1870. Go inside to see its medieval origins, from its exquisitely sculpted choir stalls and elegant pillars to the fine workmanship depicted on the pulpit and the alabaster sarcophagus of the crypt of Santa Eulalia. Your city tour continues with a drive through hilltop Montjuic, rewarding with panoramic views, and a visit to Gaudi's unfinished cathedral, la Sagrada Familia, artistically and architecturally unique, and awe-inspiring in every detail. Spend the rest of the day exploring Barcelona as you wish.



    Lodging: Le Meridien Barcelona Hotel

    Meals: B
    Day 3La Seu d'UrgellCountry Roads of Catalonia

    Venture into the mountains today, stopping at the saw-toothed mountain of Montserrat, just northwest of Barcelona, to visit the Benedictine monastery and see the shrine of la Moreneta, the Black Madonna. According to the legend, the statue was discovered in the year 880 by shepherds who saw a strange light in the sky and heard music coming from a cave in the mountain. Since then, it has become one of the most famous pilgrimage sights in Spain. Continue on to Cardona for a visit to the Romanesque Church of Saint Vicenc, consecrated in 1047. Enjoy lunch in the medieval dining room at 9th-century Parador de Cardona, holding court over the countryside from its hilltop perch. Drive through the snow-capped Catalonian Pyrenees to your hotel in La Seu d'Urgell for a memorable two-night stay. Dinner tonight is at the hotel, with wine included.



    Lodging: Parador de La Seu d Urgell

    Meals: B, L, D
    Day 4La Seu d'UrgellPyrenees Pleasures in La Seu d'Urgell

    This morning, enjoy a walking tour of Andorra followed by lunch at a local restaurant. You'll have a choice of activities this afternoon - a hike with a local guide; a walking tour on the cobblestone lanes of La Seu d'Urgell or a round of golf on a nine-hole course, with all equipment provided. Feast on a seven-course wine-tasting dinner in a medieval 9th-century castle tonight.



    Lodging: Parador de La Seu d Urgell

    Meals: B, L, D
    Day 5ElciegoOn to Elciego in the Rioja Valley

    Depart La Seu d'Urgell this morning and head to the town of Elciego in the province of Alava in the Basque Country of northern Spain, part of the renowned Rioja wine-producing region. After stopping en route for lunch at a parador in Zaragoza, you'll arrive late afternoon in Elciego (Eltziego in Basque), home to the Marques de Riscal winery and the remarkable five-star hotel that will be your home for the next two nights - the visionary Hotel Marques de Riscal, designed as a 21st-century chateau by world-famous Canadian-born American architect Frank Gehry, which opened in 2006. After settling in, enjoy dinner at the hotel this evening.

    Lodging: Hotel Marques de Riscal

    Meals: B, L, D
    Day 6HaroWine Tasting & Haro in the Rioja Valley

    Begin today's explorations in the Rioja Valley wine region (La Rioja) with a tour and tasting at the Marques de Riscal winery, founded in 1858, whose City of Wine includes your ultra-modern hotel and the surrounding winery and vineyards. Next, head to Laguardia in Basque Country for a guided visit, where a walking tour reveals this old town's wealth of historic features, including its medieval ramparts, many Romanesque churches, and the Church of Santa Maria de los Reyes with its well-preserved Gothic tower. Dinner tonight is at a local restaurant.

    Lodging: Hotel Marques de Riscal

    Meals: B, D
    Day 7LaguardiaLaguardia, Pamplona & San Sebastian

    Leave Elciego this morning and drive to famous Pamplona, immortalized in Hemingway's famous book, The Sun Also Rises; where you'll have the opportunity to walk the route followed during the town's celebrated annual running of the bulls. Then it's on to coastal San Sebastian in Basque Country, where your first view of this popular oceanfront town is from the top of Mt. Igueldo. Regarded by many as Spain's culinary capital, this ancient town also boasts great surfing beaches, stunning architecture and myriad pintxos bars tucked into the maze of medieval lanes in its Old Town (Parte Vieja). Have dinner at your elegant Belle-Epoque hotel tonight.



    Lodging: Hotel Maria Cristina

    Meals: B, D
    Day 8San SebastianA day in seaside San Sebastian

    Join a local guide for a walking tour along the cobblestone streets of the historic Old Town before spending the rest of the day and evening exploring more of seaside San Sebastian on your own as you please... perhaps sampling typical Basque food and enjoying the town's many waterfront activities, including world-class surfing.



    Lodging: Hotel Maria Cristina

    Meals: B
    Day 9LeonBilbao, the Guggenheim & the Cantabria region

    Visit the iconic Guggenheim Museum in Bilbao this morning, discovering its collection of modern art as you wish. Designed by Canadian-American architect Frank Gehry (who also designed the Hotel Marques de Riscal, where you stayed in Elciego), the museum is a showcase for large-scale, site-specific contemporary works of art by international and Basque artists, as well as exhibiting a selection of modern art from the Guggenheim Foundation's collection. Continue on to the Cantabria region, stopping for lunch and time at leisure in the perfectly preserved medieval town of Santillana del Mar, then on for an overnight stay one of Spain's architectural gems, historic Parador de Leon - one of the most important monuments of the Spanish Renaissance.

    Lodging: Parador de Leon

    Meals: B, L, D

    Day 10Santiago de CompostelaA Pilgrimage to Santiago

    Explore medieval Leon on a walking tour this morning, seeing a mix of historic and artistic monuments from various periods across the centuries. Stop for lunch along the coast en route to the world-famous pilgrimage town of Santiago de Compostela - where, upon arrival late this afternoon, you'll have an opportunity to join your Tauck Director to walk the final stretch of the Camino de Santiago (The Way of St. James) before checking in to your hotel, the historic Parador de Santiago de Compostela (also known as Parador de los Reyes Catolicos). Considered to be one of the oldest hotels in the world, it has welcomed travelers since the 15th century. Dine tonight at your choice of restaurants in the parador.



    Lodging: Parador de Santiago de Compostela

    Meals: B, L, D
    Day 11Santiago de CompostelaSights of Santiago de Compostela

    When what was believed to be the grave of St. James the Greater was discovered in this region of what is now northern Spain in the ninth century, hundreds of thousands began making the arduous pilgrimage along El Camino de Santiago - the Way of St. James - on foot to visit it. Legend has it that a bright star led a shepherd boy to the forgotten tomb of the apostle; today your local guide leads the way on a guided walking tour of the town's historic quarter and a visit to the world-famous 11th-century Romanesque Cathedral of St. James, home to the relics of the saint. Following lunch at your historic parador, the rest of the day is free to spend as you like, walking in the footsteps of pilgrims who have made their way here from around the world for centuries.



    Lodging: Parador de Santiago de Compostela

    Meals: B, L
    Day 12MadridFly to Madrid for a Two-Night Stay

    Depart Santiago de Compostela this morning and fly to Madrid for a two-night stay in Spain's historic capital city. Upon arrival, follow an orientation tour of the city with a guided lunch tapas tour through the historic Barrio de las Letras, a neighborhood that was home to Cervantes and other great Spanish literary lights during the Golden Age. Later, check into your genteel hotel, set within a former 19th-century palace within walking distance of Madrid's Royal Palace and the Teatro Real Opera House. Spend the remainder of the day and evening exploring Madrid on your own and enjoying dinner as you please.

    Lodging: Gran Melia Palacio de los Duques

    Meals: B, L
    Day 13MadridExploring Madrid & the Royal Palace

    Join a local guide for a morning tour of Madrid's landmark sights that includes a guided visit to the Royal Palace. One of largest royal palaces in Europe, the opulent Baroque palace was home to Spanish kings from 1764 to 1931 and today is used for state ceremonies. The remainder of the afternoon and evening are yours to spend as you wish in Spain's storied capital city. We invite you to join us this evening for a farewell reception and dinner at your stylish Madrid hotel, converted from a 19th-century palace and boasting spectacular, historic gardens in the very heart of the Spanish capital.


    Lodging: Gran Melia Palacio de los Duques

    Meals: B, D
    Day 14MadridJourney home

    Tour ends: Madrid. Fly home anytime. A transfer from the Gran Melia Palacio de los Duques to Madrid-Barajas Airport or Madrid Atocha train station is included. You should allow a minimum of three hours for flight check-in at the airport.



    Lodging:

    Meals: B
    Dates/Pricing

    Click Quote or call 1 (888) 828-8747 to get additional information on your chosen travel date. Special offers or competitive pricing may be available!

    DatePrice / DescriptionQuote
    04/12/2023$7,990.00* (USD) / AVAILABLEQuote
    04/14/2023$8,990.00* (USD) / AVAILABLEQuote
    05/01/2023$8,990.00* (USD) / AVAILABLEQuote
    05/03/2023$8,990.00* (USD) / LIMITEDQuote
    05/12/2023$7,990.00* (USD) / AVAILABLEQuote
    05/15/2023$8,990.00* (USD) / LIMITEDQuote
    05/26/2023$7,990.00* (USD) / AVAILABLEQuote
    05/29/2023$8,990.00* (USD) / AVAILABLEQuote
    05/31/2023$8,990.00* (USD) / LIMITEDQuote
    06/21/2023$7,990.00* (USD) / AVAILABLEQuote
    06/28/2023$8,990.00* (USD) / AVAILABLEQuote
    07/26/2023$6,990.00* (USD) / AVAILABLEQuote
    08/23/2023$7,990.00* (USD) / AVAILABLEQuote
    08/28/2023$8,990.00* (USD) / AVAILABLEQuote
    09/01/2023$7,990.00* (USD) / AVAILABLEQuote
    09/04/2023$8,990.00* (USD) / AVAILABLEQuote
    09/06/2023$8,990.00* (USD) / AVAILABLEQuote
    09/13/2023$7,990.00* (USD) / LIMITEDQuote
    09/15/2023$7,990.00* (USD) / AVAILABLEQuote
    09/18/2023$8,990.00* (USD) / AVAILABLEQuote
    09/27/2023$8,990.00* (USD) / LIMITEDQuote
    10/02/2023$8,990.00* (USD) / LIMITEDQuote
    10/04/2023$8,990.00* (USD) / LIMITEDQuote
    10/06/2023$7,990.00* (USD) / AVAILABLEQuote
    10/11/2023$8,990.00* (USD) / LIMITEDQuote
    10/13/2023$7,990.00* (USD) / AVAILABLEQuote
    10/18/2023$8,990.00* (USD) / LIMITEDQuote
    Disclaimer
    * All prices are per person in U.S. dollars, based on double occupancy.

    Itinerary Changes - Although not expected, Tauck reserves the right to alter the sequence of ports or omit or substitute scheduled ports or attractions at any time without prior notice.

    Tours


    • Northern Spain, The Rioja Valley and Madrid

      From $7,990.00 (USD)

      Step back in time on a journey that spans centuries and borders, from Barcelona into the dramatic Pyrenees and along Spain's northern coast, to where the bulls run in Pamplona with stays at historic paradors in San Sebastian and Santiago de Compostel...

     
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