North Spain essences from Madrid

14 Days 2-8 People Car - Self drive

The best taste of the country in your own rhythm

Fantastic trip through North and Central Spain combining different cultures, excellent gastronomy, wines and amazing landscapes.

Major cities like Madrid, Bilbao and Santiago de Compostela

Drive through wonderful fishing villages in the North, the fantastic coast of Basque country, Asturias and Galicia.

Best rental car service

Free drop off, unlimited mileage, airport charges, additional driver, full coverage insurance.

La Rioja, the land with the name of the wine

A journey to the world of wine combined with lovely historic towns and the local cuisine.

Charming boutique accommodations

The accommodation is a big part of the trip and must complete the experience.

Trip Itinerary

Fantastic trip through North and Central Spain combining different cultures, gastronomy, wines and nature that you will do at your own pace with a car rental, what will make you feel like a local.

Madrid – La Rioja Alavesa – San Sebastian – Bilbao – Ribadeselle – Santiado de Compostela – O Salnes

Day #1 – Arrival - Madrid
On arrival, private transfer to your hotel in downtown Madrid. Time off at your own leisure to rest or have a walk.
Day #2 – Madrid
After breakfast, meet with your tour guide for a nice private walking tour of Madrid. On this tour you will see the most emblematic and lovely places of the Spanish capital, and you will get a general idea of Madrid, discover its traditions, main monuments, but also the hidden corners and the mysteries of its old town. In the evening, get ready for a “flamenco show” dinner experience at Corral de la Morería, the most known “tablao” flamenco in the world.
Day #3 – Madrid
After breakfast, visit to the city of Toledo. Located 70 km away from Madrid Toledo is a beautiful city-museum declared a World Heritage Site by UNESCO. It is one of the oldest towns in Europe, and has a great artistic beauty and buildings from almost all periods in history (Arabian, Gothic, Mudéjar, Renaissance and Baroque style). Toledo is called the “City of the Three Cultures”, since Christians, Muslims and Jews lived together. In the XVI century, it was also home to the great painter El Greco.
Day #4 – La Rioja Alavesa
After breakfast, at your convenient time, pick up the rental car and drive to La Rioja. (4 hours drive). You can stop in Burgos to see the magnificent cathedral.
Day #5 – La Rioja Alavesa
Full day wine experience. You will have 3 visits to different wineries, as the famous winery of Marques de Riscal, an impressive building designed by Frank Gehry, Luis Cañas and El Fabulista. We recommend you to visit the beautiful town of Laguardia for lunch.
Day #6 – San Sebastian
After breakfast, drive to San Sebastian (about 2 hours). On arrival, your local guide will meet you to have a beautiful walking tour of San Sebastian’s Old Town. You will learn about the history and traditions of the city, its royal heritage and gastronomic culture. The guide will take you to the very finest pintxo bars that visitors are unlikely to discover on their own. You will get to try and enjoy 5 pintxos (tapas) and 5 drinks (wine, beer, cider…).
Day #7 – San Sebastian
Day at leisure to enjoy the city. We recommend investing the day to explore the surroundings like Hondarribia, Getaria or Zarauz, beautiful local villages with a very strong local gastronomy culture.
Day #8 – Bilbao
After breakfast, drive to Bilbao (about 1 hour). On arrival and after checking into your hotel, time to visit the Guggenheim Museum, described as the best building of the second half of the twentieth century that has completely transformed Bilbao, putting the city on the world map and changing its image. Opened in 1997, it was designed by American architect Frank Gehry. After lunch, you will enjoy a guided cycle tour around Bilbao suburbs following the footprints of the industrial past of the city, key to the transformation of the actual city. You will also stop for a “pintxo” on the way. In the evening, a cooking class in a local restaurant in the center of Bilbao. Your host and chef will welcome you in the kitchen of his restaurant to start this amazing private cooking experience, by getting inside of a real restaurant kitchen and cooking different dishes paired by local wines, while you are making your best recipes. You will then have dinner of what you have cooked.
Day #9 – Ribadesella, Asturias
After breakfast, drive to Asturias-Ribadesella (two and a half hours). It is highly recommended to stop in the towns of San Vicente de la Barquera and Llanes on the way. On arrival to Ribadeselle, check into your beautiful hotel for the night. Ribadesella is a beautiful town with the Picos de Europa Mountains behind and the ocean in front. The town is estuarial and sees the meeting of the ocean and the river Sella, from which Ribadesella derives its name. Because of its location and beautiful old quarter, this town is very popular.
Day #10 – Santiago de Compostela
After breakfast, time to walk around this beautiful village and do some trekking routes to contemplate the amazing scenery of Picos de Europa. In the afternoon, drive to Santiago de Compostela (four hours aprox.) We recommend you to stop in la Playa de las Catedrales in Ribadeo if the tide is low. Arrival to Santiago and check into beautiful boutique hotel.
Day #11 – Santiago de Compostela
After breakfast, guided visit to the famous city of Santiago de Compostela, the capital of Galicia. A place where every year millions of people and pilgrims come from all over the world, many of them after doing the «Camino de Santiago». Its historical center has been declared a World Heritage Site by UNESCO. You will visit the Old Town, the Cathedral and the famous Market of Abastos.
Day #12 – O Salnes
After breakfast and at your convenient time, drive to south Galicia-O Salnés area. Beautiful place for landscapes and Albariño white wine.
Day #13 – O Salnes
After breakfast, you will get on board to have a great tour of «Art of fishing» by the hand of a local fisherman. You will learn about mussel farms, different extraction methods of bivalves (clams, cockles, etc.), different arts they use, how to differentiate the various species that are traded, everything related to the production, harvesting and selling of fish and seafood. Once in land, you put on cooking gloves and aprons for our traditional Galician cooking class. From the hand of a local cook, you will learn how to cook «empanada», Galician octopus and other traditional dishes of our cuisine and of course, you will eat lunch of the dishes you have made. After lunch, visit to an Albariño winery in a former Pazo, a Galician Manor House. Walk among the vineyards and have a tasting to end the visit.
Day #14 – Vigo - Departure
Early in the morning, drive to Vigo airport, rental car return and flight to Madrid. End of the route.
“Thanks to Spain Yourway for a wonderful time. We couldn´t be happier and we will always remember. You were great to work with, your enthusiasm and knowledge about the countries and your rapid response to my questions.”
Bruce Santos
Chicago, US
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