8 Days , 7 Cities
St Emilion vineyards in Bordeaux, France
Welcome to Bordeaux, France!
When you arrive in Bordeaux, you will receive a private transfer to your hotel in the city center.
Afternoon & evening is free to rest and get acquainted with this cosmopolitan city and the vibrant atmosphere that it will offer over your stay.
Bordeaux - Private walking tour of the city
Discover the UNESCO World Heritage Site of Bordeaux on a private walking tour of its major attractions.
Your private guide will pick you up from your hotel and take you on a walking tour of the city. It will highlight the most famous landmarks, the Grand Theatre located in the heart of downtown; the Place de la Bourse built by King Louis XV in the early 1700s as the Royal Plaza, the Triangle d’Or, one of the wealthiest and most beautiful neighborhoods in Bordeaux and some private mansions. Discover the unique cityscape where traditional buildings contrast with more recent modern constructions.
This tour offers an excellent synopsis of the history of Bordeaux and is a great starting point to explore this city further. On this walk, you will talk about French customs and culture. Your guide will share their local knowledge and french experience. You will also stop to taste some of the best culinary specialties from the South West of France: Hams, Cheese, Canelés, etc.
Bordeaux: An intoxicating cocktail of 18th-century savoir-faire, millennial hi-tech, and urban street life, France’s sixth-largest city is among Europe’s most exciting and daring players. The city is the world’s largest urban World Heritage Site, cradling half the city (18 sq km) in its Unesco-listed treasure chest. From the elegant symmetry of place de la Bourse, palaces strung with stone-sculpted macarons (faces), to tree-shaded boulevards laced with hôtels particuliers (mansions) built for 18thcentury wine merchants, Bordeaux architecture is world-class. Contemporary architects continue the trend for excellence with breathtakingly wild and beautiful creations resembling giant wine decanters and gleaming white pebbles. An exciting portfolio of art museums embracing all periods and genres is the icing on the cake to this magnificent architectural heritage. Previously named “the sleeping beauty,” the city is coming out of a 20-year renovation program that has brought it back to its former glory.
Free afternoon and evening.
Arcachon Bay, France
Bordeaux - Explore the picturesque village, Arcachon Bay
Escape the bustle of Bordeaux for some seaside therapy on this full-day trip to the Bay of Arcachon.
Your driver-guide will meet you in the lobby of your hotel and will take you to the quaint Cap Ferret in Arcachon Bay, famous for its brightly colored wooden huts and oyster farming. It is a genuine picture-postcard village.
Once at this spectacular protected spot on the western French coast, you’ll enjoy some time on the Atlantic Ocean by boarding a Pinasse (a traditional wooden bay boat).
Sit back and relax while you tour the famed Arcachon Bay, one of the most popular resort towns on the French Atlantic Coast and home to many waterfront restaurants and Oyster farms. With your local skipper, you get an insider tour. You will discover the authentic side of this area and learn all there is to know about the trade, traditions & hidden cultural treasures belonging to this beautiful part of France! On this superb boat tour, you’ll, of course, get to enjoy an exclusive close-up view of the region’s oyster parks.
You will stop at the Cap Ferret to taste its famous oysters accompanied by a glass of white wine & a breath-taking view of the Dune du Pyla – Europe’s highest dune.
Lunch at La Corniche is located in Philippe Starck’s trendy hotel of the same name, from where the view over the Cap Ferret peninsula is incomparable and absolutely breathtaking.
After lunch, transfer back to Bordeaux.
Free evening in Bordeaux to enjoy at your leisure.
Situated in Arcachon Bay in southwest France, Arcachon is one of the most popular resort towns on the French Atlantic Coast. It’s known for its white sandy beaches, fresh seafood restaurants, laidback coastal lifestyle, and its proximity to Dune du Pilat, Europe’s highest sand dune, and Gascogne Landes Regional Nature Park. This part of the inland lagoon is the weekend fashionable venue of Bordeaux – famous for its tiny wooden oystermen villages. “A small, interior sea” opens to the Atlantic and is backed by the pine forest. A wide, triangular slash, hemmed by picturesque villages and punctuated by the incessant come-and-go of the tides, the Bay of Arcachon is an incomparable site that you discover each time for the first time.
Pyla-sur-Mer is a seaside resort on the Atlantic coast extending from the top of the Arcachon basin until the dune of Pilat, famous for being the highest sand dune in Europe. The resort was created at the start of the First World War by an entrepreneur, Daniel Meller, after exchanging land with the state. It was named Pyla, which means “mount” in Gascon. A second promoter expanded the resort to the south between the two wars. However, all these buildings were carefully constructed to protect the surrounding forest. Pyla-sur-Mer and its dune are undoubtedly worth seeing, both for their natural beauty and the abundance of cultural and leisure activities that surround it. Dune de Pilat, the highest sand dune in Europe, rises to 374 ft (114m) above sea level and stretches south from Arcachon Bay for almost two miles. Climbing the dune, taking a walk in the surrounding pine forests, and relaxing on the sandy beaches have been de rigueur here ever since the aristocracy discovered this privileged part of the world during the belle époque. The romantic seaside town and French oyster-harvesting center of Arcachon is a three-mile (5 km) north and the cosmopolitan city of Bordeaux.
French wines and a champagne
Bordeaux - Visit St Emilion and Pomerol wine region
Spend a day sipping French reds and whites in the Saint-Emilion and Pomerol wine region. This morning your driver-guide will meet you at your hotel & will take you for a full-day tour of Saint Emilion.
You will first enjoy a walk around the enchanting medieval village of Saint-Emilion, classified by Unesco in 1999. This luminous, ochre-colored jewel built of limestone and Roman roof tiles, perched on a plateau and surrounded by a sea of vineyards, is a maze of steep and narrow cobblestone streets lined with remnants of monasteries and convents dating from the 11th to 18th centuries. Your walk will also include a visit to the awe-inspiring underground monuments. Then, it’s on to the world-famous vineyards of Saint Emilion, also listed by UNESCO as a World Heritage. The vineyards include 18 “Premiers Grands Crus Classés” (A & B) and 65 “Grands Crus Classes” and thousands of lesser-known family estates which also produce excellent wines, all mainly made from Merlot and Cabernet Franc grape varieties.
You will enjoy a private visit and tasting at Château Troplong Mondot, Premier Grand Cru Classé Saint Emilion Château. Troplong Mondot distinguishes itself by the elegance of its wine which starts in its vineyards that are masterfully
cultivated like gardens.
Lunch will be at the restaurant La Terrasse Rouge. This restaurant is a « chic » brasserie built upon the high-tech cellar designed by Jean Nouvel and offers a unique view over the vineyard of Saint Emilion.
After lunch, you will enjoy a private visit and tasting (including a barrel tasting) at Chateau de Ferrand, Grand Cru Classé Saint Emilion. After visiting the property, park, and cellars, your sommelier will guide you through a tasting straight from the barrel! Free evening in Bordeaux to enjoy at your leisure.
Saint Emilion could be the oldest active wine-producing appellation in the Bordeaux region, with a history dating back to the ancient Romans times. While St. Emilion claims credit for being the home of the famous Roman poet and wine lover, Decimus Magnus Ausonius (who served as the inspiration for the name of the now renowned Chateau Ausone), the area takes its name from a Benedictine Monk who was known as Emilian. Emilian lived in the area and is responsible for starting to create the uniquely designed limestone church in the center of the village of St. Emilion. Today, the town of St. Emilion is a protected Unesco world heritage site. St. Emilion also claims to have the oldest wine society in France.
The story of Troplong Mondot is rich with charismatic and cultured personalities who were at the head of their field by leading with excellence a singular vision. By trusting Aymeric de Gironde for the general management of Troplong Mondot, SCOR has been bringing a new spirit since 2017 while respecting the values and the nature of the place.
For 300 years, Chateau de Ferrand has known only two families, making it one of the oldest and most consistent properties of Saint-Emilion: Elie de Bétoulaud and his descendant, the Marquis de Mons. Then the family of Baron Bich, founder of the company Bic, built-in 1702. The château is a perfect illustration of classical rigor. The château is an ideal illustration of classical rigor. The property’s charm, the elegance of its architecture, and the caves dug “as an eternal monument to the glory of King Louis the Great” give this site a unique character.
San Sebastian - Experience the French Basque Coastline
Experience the delights of the French Basque coast between Bordeaux and San Sebastian. Today, you will experience a private and unique guided tour through the whole French
Basque Coast on the way to San Sebastian (Gipuzkoa), visiting its most beautiful coastal villages:
Bayonne, Biarritz and St Jean de Luz On a very scenic drive along the magnificent coastal road, you will first stop at the quaint city of Bayonne, before arriving at the famed seaside town of Biarritz, just a few miles away. The “Queen of resorts and the resort of Kings” was a magnet for celebrities and royalty figures like Napoleon III, Gary Cooper, or Frank Sinatra and still, nowadays it is a very important tourist reference point. You will enjoy a walk along the “Grande Plage”, the main beach in town, where surfers from all over the world come to ride the waves. Don’t miss the cozy fishing port nestled in the rocks which are considered by many as a tiny village within the city of Biarritz.
After the fishing port, it’s off to the Rock of the Virgin. This “island” is only accessible by an imposing bridge which was constructed by Gustave Eiffel, the same architect who, of course, designed the famous Eiffel Tower in Paris. You’ll make a stop for lunch at Chez Albert. Located near the harbor, chez Albert serves fish and seafood exclusively from the auction house of Saint-Jean de Luz.
Then, it’s off to St-Jean de Luz where you’ll enjoy a town tour which will include a visit to the church where Louis XIV (France’s Sun King) wed the Spanish Infante Marie-Therese in 1660, ending decades of war and defining once and for all the territorial borders of the two nations.
Saint Jean de Luz also has a rich history of maritime activities, including pirating practices which brought enormous wealth into the town as evidenced by some of the more opulent villas that dot the bay area and square where local artists paint during the warm weather months. Cross the Spanish border & arrive in San Sebastian. You will be dropped off at your hotel in San Sebastian.
As you enter Bayonne you may hear in Basque “Ongi etorri eskual herrian”; “welcome to the Basque Country”, or “Adiou”, which means “hello” in Gascon, for Bayonne lies on the junction of the two cultures. The Nive and Adour rivers meet in the heart of the town and divide Bayonne into three distinct areas. Bayonne also happens to be where chocolate was first introduced into Europe and is still one of the largest importers of brut chocolate.
Biarritz has been a favorite seaside getaway ever since Napoléon III and his Spanish-born wife Eugénie arrived during the mid-19th century. It’s been a glamorous spot ever since, lined with elegant villas and heritage-listed residences that glitter with belle époque and art deco details. Today, Biarritz remains one of the Southwest’s seaside gems, known for its famous beaches, therapeutic waters, and a thriving surf scene, Biarritz offers visitors a unique atmosphere. This is a place where posh restaurants and spas live harmoniously side-by-side with laid-back pizza joints and surf shops.
The former Basque Corsairs’ capital, Saint Jean de Luz is a small enchanting fishing village that became rich in the 16th century thanks to fishing, whaling, and interestingly, piracy. The ‘finest moment’ for the town was in 1660 when Louis XIV married Marie-Thérèse of Spain in the town church – the Basque church of St John the Baptist. St. Jean de Luz has an active fishing harbor filled with colorfully painted boats and a sprawling bay area. Its boutique-lined pe
The Concha is one of the most incredible beaches in San Sebastian, Spain
San Sebastian - Admire the beautiful city and La Concha bay
Today, on this private panoramic tour, your guide will take you to admire San Sebastian from its best viewpoint, starting with a drive up to Mount Igueldo with your driver. From here, you will have a complete view of the city and the chance to take the best postcard pictures of San Sebastian.
You will also make a short stop in the “Peine del Viento” to visit the most symbolic place of the city and Sagues for a different perspective of the city from its surfing beach area.
It will be followed by a walk through the city center and Old Town, visiting the Constitution Square, La Concha Bay, the Cathedrals, La Bretxa Market, and the city center area. You will be entertained by multiple stories and tales about San Sebastian’s history on this walk, which you will not find in the History Books! Once you get to the Old Town, you will be able to enjoy the region’s famous miniature food: Pintxos! You will be taken to the best five places in town and introduced to this fantastic local custom. You will enjoy a unique selection of pintxos (Basque tapas) paired with Spanish wines. A great way to have an informal meal to learn local customs and taste the best specialties in our favorite bars! Just the way the locals do.
The afternoon is leisure.
San Sebastian’s unique location by the sea and backed by the foothills of the Pyrenees, La Concha bay has been considered the best beach in Europe in the last two years. La Concha bay is replete with crescents of golden sand and turquoise waves. Pairing this natural beauty with the unrivaled local cuisine — from decadent Michelin-starred feasts to delectable bite-sized pintxos (Basque-style tapas) — will make you fall in love forever with our wonderful city.
The Concha is one of the most incredible beaches in San Sebastian, Spain
San Sebastian - Spending the day at your leisure
We highly recommend spending the day at your leisure, relaxing by the beach. San Sebastian has three beautiful beaches: La Concha Beach, Ondarreta, and Zurriola Beach (also known as Gros Beach).
But San Sebastian is much more than just a beach town; it has four main areas for you to explore:
– The Parte Vieja (old town): is known for having the highest concentration of bars in the world.
– Área Romántica (Romantic Centre): Filled with beautiful buildings from the late 19th century and has plenty of clothing stores, bars, and restaurants.
– The district of Gros: a pleasant enclave with a relaxed ambiance and the surfing beach of Playa de Gros.
– Playa de Ondarreta (essentially a continuation of Playa de la Concha) is a very upmarket district known as a millionaires’ belt because of its lavish holiday home.
San Sebastian is also known as one of the top foodie destinations in Europe, with more Michelin stars here per inhabitant than anywhere else in the world.
Bilbao - Drive along the scenic coastal road and reach the Bay of Biscay
This road trip through the Basque Coast will discover amazing beaches, incredible lookouts, cute villages, stunning cliffs, unbelievable islets, and a unique bridge.
You will visit the quaint coastal villages that pepper the Basque Coast: Getaria, Zumaia, Guernica, and the impressive island of San Juan de Gaztelugache. Absorb the tranquil ambiance of these picturesque marinas on this enriching day trip.
Your private driver/guide will pick you up from your hotel in San Sebastian to drive along the scenic coastal road N634, which takes you along the Bay of Biscay—the gulf of the northeast Atlantic Ocean located south of the Celtic Sea.
You will have fantastic photo opportunities of this beautiful location from 2 spectacular viewpoints (from the bridge itself). Still, you will not make the whole walk to the summit of the island and back, as it requires a timeframe of at least 2 hours.
This stunning drive will end in Bilbao, where you will spend the next few days. Your driver/guide will undoubtedly suggest a few places on the way to grab some pintxos or raciones. Still, we recommend something quick and casual as the journey is long, and you wouldn’t want to miss anything—overnight in Bilbao.
Getaria: The attractive medieval fishing settlement of Getaria is a great place to get a feel for the authentic coastal Basque culture. The old village tilts gently downhill to a small harbor and a short but charming beach. The town’s most famous son, the sailor Juan Sebastián Elcano, was the first man to sail worldwide after the captain of his ship, Magellan, died halfway through the endeavor.
Zumaia is where the green mountains suddenly meet the Atlantic Ocean! The village is the gateway to the great cliffs of the Basque Coast Geopark, a geological wonder spanning 60 million years.
Guernika: on April 26th, 1937, during the Spanish Civil War, the town was razed to the ground by German aircraft sent by Hitler to support Franco’s troops. When Picasso painted the
Guernika, in 1937, could not have imagined that the vision of the bombing would become a warlike ant symbol. Be introduced to the Basque History, in the heart of the Basque Nationalism. That harrowing April day left a deep mark on the city’s identity. Following the war, Gernika was quickly reconstructed, and although it lost its historic buildings, the narrow lanes of the center are today brimming with life. You’ll find some excellent museums that deal with the bombing and the indestructibility of Basque culture through the ages.
San Juan de Gaztelugache is an awe-inspiring island located just off the shore along the Bay of Biscay and connected to the mainland by an artificial stone bridge. The views to and around the island are simply beautiful. At the island’s highest point, there is a tiny church dedicated to John the Baptist. The island also has an intriguing history. Throughout the years, it has housed a convent, served as a prison for Basque witches during the Spanish Inquisition, been used as a defensive outpost for the lords of Biscay, and was even ransacked by Sir Francis Drake.
Guggenheim Museum, Bilbao, Spain
Bilbao - Walking tour of the city and exploring the surroundings of Bilbao
Your private driver/guide will pick you up from your hotel in Bilbao to take you on a 2.5hrs introductory walking tour of the historic old town during which you will understand the
founding of this city and its fascinating history. As you walk through the narrow streets of the Casco Viejo (Old Town), you will uncover its many secrets as well as its highlights such as Plaza Nueva, Catedral de Santiago, and La Ribera Market, and San Anton Church. After this orientation walk around the historic center, it’s off to explore the surroundings of Bilbao and the picturesque old fishing port of Algorta, driving through Getxo, an affluent area located about 12 kilometers north of Bilbao.
In Algorta, you could enjoy a traditional lunch at one of the restaurants near the port.
After lunch, you will be driven back to Bilbao where you will spend a couple of hours in the afternoon visiting the Guggenheim Museum at your own pace where the tickets with audioguides in English will be prebooked to avoid waiting in lines.
In the evening we highly recommend experiencing the vibrant night atmosphere and do your own “Pintxos Tour” following the useful recommendations that we will provide you so you can sample the most authentic and local bars of Bilbao old town.
Bilbao’s main urban core is surrounded by two small mountain ranges (with an average elevation of 400 m). After its foundation in the early 14th century by Diego López V de Haro, head of the powerful Haro family, Bilbao was a commercial hub of the Basque Country and enjoyed significant importance in the region, thanks to its significant port activity centered on the export of iron extracted from the Biscayan quarries. Throughout the nineteenth century and the beginning of the twentieth, Bilbao experienced heavy industrialization, making it the center of the second-most industrialized region of Spain, behind Barcelona. The building of Frank Gehry’s Guggenheim Museum in 1997 not only changed the way architects and people think about museums and their relationship with the art they house but also boosted Bilbao’s economy with its astounding success. In fact, the phenomenon of a city’s transformation following the construction of a significant piece of architecture is now referred to as the “Bilbao Effect.”
The Guggenheim Museum, designed by Canadian-American architect Frank Gehry, is one of the most admired works of contemporary architecture and a landmark of audacious design. The museum, set on the bank of the Nervión River, is a fusion of complex, swirling forms and captivating materials providing an alluring backdrop for the art exhibited in it. The museum notably exhibits large-scale installations by contemporary artists, such as Richard Serra’s 100-meter-long (340 ft) Snake, and displays the work of Basque artists, as well as housing a selection of pieces from the Foundation’s modern art collection. The only permanent exhibit is The Matter of Time a series of weathering steel sculptures designed by Serra, which is housed in the 130-meter Arcelor Gallery.
Pintxos are the Basque Country’s answer to Spain’s tapas. Traditionally they are small pieces of bread, topped with various traditional ingredients such as local cheese with figs, ham with fried green peppers, cod croquettes, or pieces of Spanish omelet. In fact, they could be topped with any manner of ingredients, in any number of combinations. Tapas were actually invented before pintxos and came about because people would place small pieces of bread on top of their drinks to stop flies and other insects getting in – essentially it became a lid or a ‘tapa’ in Spanish. The trend reached the Basque Country in the 1930s; not content with ordinary tapas, some bars in the city started to create miniature portions of their dishes, and displayed them along the bar so that customers could try them. To make it easier for their clients and to keep them together, they speared them with wooden cocktail sticks.
La Rioja wines
Bilbao - Experience La Rioja wine region
Your private driver/guide will pick you up from your hotel in Bilbao and drive you to La Rioja for a full-day trip.
This tour of La Rioja will be both gastronomic and educational, offering you an overall perspective of La Rioja’s winemaking styles, from Rioja Alta to Rioja Alavesa. Along with tasting the most renowned wines in the whole of Spain, you will also get to admire the most impressive and unique architecture this region has to offer.
Our first stop is in a classic Rioja Boutique Winery located in the famous Train Station quarter of Haro City. This winery produces an extensive range of high-quality wines, from terroir concept wines to classic Gran Reservas, made from the best of its estates, where the grapevines embody the essence of this unique land. Then, at the second stop, we will visit two other wineries; first, another Classic Rioja winery, which a small, family-owned winery will follow.
We will head to a winery for lunchtime. We will serve you a traditional Riojan style Hot & Cold tapas meal paired with Rioja red wine on the outdoor terrace overlooking their vineyards or in a unique private cellar carved out of the bedrock.
After lunch, we will take you to explore the Medieval hilltop town of Laguardia. Surrounded by a 13th-century wall, this picturesque spot is a natural balcony toward the wine region. The streets of Laguardia are full of splendid medieval, Renaissance, Baroque, and Neoclassical buildings. After a short walk through Laguardia and before heading back to your hotel, you will get the opportunity of sightseeing two of the most architecturally emblematic wineries of the
region: Bodega Ysios (flagship of the new Rioja and a symbol of quality and cutting edge technology and the only winery in the world designed by Santiago Calatrava) and Marques de Riscal (known worldwide for the colored curves of the hotel designed by Frank Gehry.
The Rioja wine region, Spain’s oldest D.O wine-producing region, is made up of three distinct subzones; Rioja Alta (whose “capital” is Haro), Rioja Baja (the majority of which lies in the very dry, much hotter south-eastern portion) and Rioja Alavesa (the section of the Rioja that belongs to the Basque Country, found in the province of
Rioja Alavesa, with 32,000 yards (13,000 hectares) of vineyards, Rioja Alta, boasts the most prestigious wineries. More than 600 hundred wineries make up the Rioja D.O.C., Spain’s largest, with some 300 in the Rioja Alavesa alone and 156,000 acres (63,000 hectares) of vineyards. The Rioja is a stunningly beautiful and ancient area dating from the Neolithic era. You’ll find atmospheric fortress towns on hills, some with medieval walls intact and filled with Noble homes displaying their heraldic shields. There are enormous Gothic churches, each with its own impressive, ornately gilded Baroque altarpiece, but seldom seen because these churches are kept tightly shut other than for mass. Ancient burial markers (dólmenes) are scattered about the fields, intermixed with the boutique and large wineries.
Beer Barrels Brewery in Malaga, Spain
Santiago de Compostela - Explore Rias Baixas Region, Galicia
Private transfer at Bilbao’s airport, where you will take the morning flight to Vigo. Upon arrival at Vigo airport, your private driver/guide will pick you up and take you to explore the Rías Baixas region.
Today, you will discover the Rías of Pontevedra and Arousa, which will offer some of the most spectacular landscapes on the coast of Galicia. You will stop at Cambados, the capital city of Albariño wine, boasting a well-preserved and exciting historic town. Here, you will visit the Palace of Fefiñanes winery, where you will enjoy a wine tasting.
After free time for lunch, you will explore the enchanting villages of O-Grove and the Island of Arousa, where you will learn about the mussel production in the area and how the river is used as a hatchery. You’ll continue exploring this unique part of the Galician coastline by going through picturesque little fishing towns in the Arousa estuary.
Before heading to your hotel in Santiago de Compostela, you will make a final stop in Sanxenxo, a trendy coastal town in the Pontevedra estuary.
The Rías Baixas (Galician for “Lower estuaries”) are a series of four estuarine inlets located on the southwestern coast of Galicia (Ría de Muros e Noia, the Ría de Arousa, the Ría de Pontevedra, and the Ría de Vigo). The Rías Baixas are synonymous with the best cuisine in Galicia. Fish and seafood are paired with this region’s wine which holds the D.O. (Denomination of Origin) of Rías Baixas.
The lands of the Pontevedra estuary are known for their seafaring tradition. Here, even the last names are reminiscent of the sea: Ons, Aldán, Bueu, Marín, etc. Pontevedra is the capital of the Rias Baixas and a stately city teeming with life, with the largest Old Town in Galicia, after Santiago. Pontevedra is full of attractions such as the “da Ferrería” square, the Basílica de Santa María and the Museo de Pontevedra, which houses a magnificent collection of Celtic jewelry.
The Arousa estuary has retained all the charms of its natural beauty, from its excellent beaches and islands, such as Sálvora, Cortegada, Arousa, or A Toxa with their spas, pine groves, and elegant hotels. Also, the Galician seafood farms where you can try famous freshly harvested clams.
The Cathedral of Santiago de Compostela is an iconic symbol of the city of Santiago, Spain
Santiago de Compostela - Walking tour to discover the UNESCO-listed city
Your art historian guide will meet you at the lobby of your hotel for an introductory walking tour to discover the main sites of this UNESCO-listed city founded in the 9th century with the discovery of Saint James’ tomb. You will find the famous 11th-century Cathedral, its Museum, and the four squares surrounding the Cathedral: Obradoiro, Inmaculada, Quintana, and Platerías. Then it’s on to the Hostal of the Catholic Kings, the old royal hospital in the city, and the Monastery of Saint Martin Pinario, founded in the 16th century by the Benedictine order.
Stroll around the streets of Vilar and Franco, from where you get to admire the beautiful views of the Palace of Fonseca. Your walk will continue through Cervantes Square and the Mercado de Abastos, the city’s local market.
Enjoy a free afternoon exploring this beautiful city.
Santiago de Compostela is the capital of the autonomous community of Galicia in north-western Spain. Millions of people from all over the world come to this city every year, many of them reaching the end of the Way of Saint James pilgrimage route. Its historic center has been designated a World Heritage Site by UNESCO. The Suebi initially founded Santiago de Compostela in the early 400s as part of the collapse of the Roman Empire. In 550 AD, the whole settlement, together with the rest of Galicia and northern Portugal, was incorporated by Leovigild into the Visigothic kingdom of Spain. Raided from 711 AD to 739 AD by the Arabs, Santiago de Compostela was finally conquered by the Visigothic king of Asturias in 754 AD, about 60 years before the identification of remains as those of Saint James the Great and their acceptance as such by the Pope and Charlemagne, during the reign of Alfonso II of Asturias. With a population of about 96,000 inhabitants, it’s one of the most important cities of Galicia and the most touristic. It receives thousands of visitors every year, many of them attracted to the ancient history and the religious tradition. The University of Santiago de Compostela (USC) is one of the oldest Spanish universities. It has more than 30,000 students, making Santiago one of the university centers in Spain, along with Salamanca and Granada.
Ribeira Sacra, Spain
Santiago de Compostela - Tour around the breathtaking landscapes Ribeira Sacra, Galicia
On this tour, not only will you admire the natural beauty of the spectacular and magic landscape of the Ourense province (inland Galicia), but you will also enjoy a truly unique experience: a private boat trip along the River miño on a Zodiac.
Your private guide will pick you up from your hotel for an unforgettable tour around the Romanesque architecture and the breath-taking landscapes of the inland Galicia bathed by the rivers Sil and Miño (the Ribeira Sacra or sacred riverside).
You will embark on the most amazing experience that the magical land of Galicia has to offer: a private boat trip along the Miño river with the captain Luisa Rubines.
Onboard her twelve-seater Zodiac you will explore the narrows of the river Miño, admire the spectacular waterfall of Marce, and the many Romanesque churches and monasteries.
You will even have the opportunity to swim in its warm water!
Lunch: this wonderful experience will be completed with the tasting of some of the local wines and products, beautifully served at Luisa’s cozy place just down by the river, the magical “Quinta Sacra”.
After lunch, your driver/guide will pick you up from the port where you embarked this morning to take you for an afternoon scenic drive to visit a local Romanesque church in the area and the enchanting Monforte de Lemos, a town of medieval origin where the Monastery of Saint Vicente do Pino is the main highlight.
Ribeira Sacra is the mountainous area in Galicia where the Sil and Miño rivers meet forming a millennial 500 meters deep canyon. At the top of the canyon, above the river, you will find several natural lookouts with impressive views over the area. The Miño riverside is where you’ll find vineyards set on terraced structures where winemakers use the traditional Ribeira method. The first people to settle in this area were Christian monks and hermits searching for an ascetic life back in the 12th century. Based on this heritage, the region is full of monasteries that radiate art, culture, and growth to the whole Galician region.
Private transfer to A Coruña airport to connect with your international flight back home.
Unfortunately, all good things must come to an end… We hope you enjoyed your stay with us.
Starting from $11,540 per person
Price per person in double occupancy
The rate is based on 4-star accommodation
Price excluding international and domestic flights
This trip is customizable for your private travel.
Please inquire to request a quote for your custom trip!
Request a quote for a trip fully customized to your preferences.
- 13-night centrally 4-star hotel accommodation on a bed and breakfast basis
- All private transfers from airport/railway station to hotels and vice versa.
- All private transfers from town to town as the program
- All trains and flights in the above itinerary.
- Transportation in comfortable luxury AC vehicles.
- All the excursions indicated in the program with English-speaking guides.
- All entrance fees as the program
- 24×7 support & assistance during your trip
Sightseeing Highlights Included
- Discover the main regions of Northern Spain & Aquitaine in France: Bordeaux, The French & Spanish Basque Country, and Galicia
- Explore important UNESCO World Heritage sites such as the city of Bordeaux, the medieval town of St Emilion, or the impressive Cathedral of Santiago de Compostela.
- Go off the beaten path to discover spectacular hidden gems and natural wonders such as Arcachon Bay or the Dune du Pyla (Europes’ highest dune) on the Atlantic Coast of France.
- Visit a family-run oyster farm and taste this fresh delicacy
- Sample and savor the delicious food and inspiring wines in St Emilion.
- Discover the French Basque Country coastline jewels of Biarritz, Sant Jean de Luz, and Bayonne.
- Indulge yourself in the most refined Spanish gastronomy, learn all about the Pintxos culture, and get immersed in the allure of the quintessential cities of San Sebastian and Bilbao
- Take a day trip to the famous wine region of La Rioja to visit some classic wineries but also some small boutique ones.
- Uncover Galicia’s best-kept secrets and unspoiled areas such as the Rias Baixas or the Ribera Sacra.
- Stay in historic character buildings converted into charming accommodations for a real feel of the Spanish and French
- Enjoy your free time with our local tips to further explore, revisit, or relax at your own leisure.
7 Days , 2 Cities
25 Days , 2 Countries , 10 Cities
5 Days , 2 Cities
9 Days , 5 Cities
9 Days , 4 Cities
11 Days , 5 Cities
18 Days , 7 Cities
12 Days , 5 Cities
9 Days , 6 Cities
7 Days , 3 Cities
18 Days , 2 Countries , 12 Cities
9 Days , 5 Cities
11 Days , 5 Cities
9 Days , 6 Cities
7 Days , 4 Cities
9 Days , 4 Cities
12 Days , 5 Cities
13 Days , 3 Countries , 8 Cities
10 Days , 6 Cities
11 Days , 6 Cities