Jewels of Northern Spain
Featuring San Sebastian, Bilbao, and Barcelona
Enticing Spain is beautiful, no matter what part of the country you’re exploring. This tour, however, concentrates on the lovely northern portion of the country, including exciting Barcelona, the seaside town of San Sebastian, and stunning Bilbao, where Gothic architecture mixes with some of the most spectacular contemporary-style structures in the country.
Spend your first two nights in San Sebastian, the gem of Basque Country, known for its local cuisine. This town on the northern coast offers golden sand beaches with crystal-clear turquoise water, museums, shopping, nightlife, and plenty of top-notch restaurants featuring the best in Basque cuisine including pintxos, similar to tapas. As a matter of fact, there is a huge concentration of Michelin-starred restaurants here and some of the chefs offer half-day cooking classes at the local Basque Culinary Center. Don’t forget to taste the local wine, Txakoli, a dry sparkling white vintage that goes perfectly with many local specialties.
Continue your trip in Bilbao, where you’ll remain for 2 nights. Bilbao is considered one of the most architecturally forward-thinking cities in Spain, known for its spectacularly contemporary buildings designed by the likes of Frank Gehry and other modern architects. Spend a full day exploring the city, including a few hours at the Gehry-designed Guggenheim Museum, a spectacular creation filled with a portion of the Guggenheim Foundation’s modern art collection. Explore the Old Town as well, which includes the spectacular gothic-style St. James Cathedral and the Church of San Anton as well as many other examples of early architecture. Admire Bilbao’s 17 bridges or relax in one of the city’s 18 lovely public parks.
Conclude your trip with a 3 night visit to Barcelona, one of the most popular tourist destinations in all of Europe. The land of Antoni Gaudi and the capital of Catalonia, Barcelona is located on the coast and blessed with a pleasant Mediterranean climate. This fabulous city boasts everything from basilicas to beaches and you’ll see many of them on your full-day private tour of the city. Marvel at the works of Gaudi when you visit the magnificent La Sagrada Familia Church, Casa Vicens, La Pedrera, and Casa Batlló. Explore the Gothic Quarter, stop for a visit to the National Museum of Art of Catalonia or Picasso Museum, and save time to test the sand at Sant Sebastia or Sommorostro Beach. During your free time, head to the Passeig de Gràcia where you’ll find shops offering wares by some of the world’s top designers.
Day 1 Arrive in San Sebastian, afternoon at leisure
Day 2 Day at leisure in San Sebastian, optional cooking class
Day 3 Depart for Bilbao, afternoon at leisure
Day 4 Day at leisure in Bilbao
Day 5 Depart for Barcelona, afternoon at leisure
Day 6 Full-day tour of Barcelona
Day 7 Day at leisure in Barcelona
Day 8 Depart for home