Grand Tour of Northern Spain NC6

North coast, Picos de Europa & the interior

Based on 14 nights self-drive independent tour in Spain

A circular route following the pilgrim paths towards and away from Santiago. You’ll find surf washed beaches and high arid plains, Cathedral cities and tiny villages lost in time, lofty snow capped mountains and soft rolling hills – the stark contrasts which make touring in northern Spain so exciting!

Constant throughout are a sense of tradition, superb food & wine and a friendly welcome wherever you go.

The full tour takes two weeks but you can do as little, or as much, as you like

Tour Highlights:

  • The ways of St James, steeped in history
  • Monumental Leon; Cathedral & San Marcos
  • Spain’s best surf-washed beaches
  • Lofty peaks, high plains, verdant hills
  • World class food & great wines, a tapestry of regional tastes
  • Fly or Ferry – the choice is yours

From £1000* per person

* Indicative prices (including car hire – flights not included). Ferry-drive based on 2 people from £1100 p.p. for 14 nights.

Mirador del Fito, Asturias

Days 1 to 3 – Asturias: Picos & Dinosaur Coast

  • Picos de Europa soaring directly above the coast
  • The Spanish Cornwall? Cider country
  • Beautiful beaches with Jurassic footprints
  • Canoe down the Sella or get out on a fishing boat
  • Oviedo’s fine Pre-Romanesque architecture

Day 4 & 5 – Western Asturias

  • Cudillero & Luarca; pretty fishing villages to explore
  • Beautiful beaches & breathtaking cliff-top coastal walks
  • Celtic tradition; bagpipes and ancient settlements
  • National Park of Somiedo – you might see bears!
  • Futuristic Niemeyer Centre in Avilés
Brañas, León

Day 6 & 7 – El Bierzo

  • Historic crossroads; Camino de Santiago & Via de Plata.
  • Up and coming reds made from the local Mencia grape
  • Knights Templar Castle at Ponferrada
  • Las Medulas, undulating red rock formations
  • El Bierzo, lost in time, steeped in history
Leon Cathedral

Day 8 – León

  • Santa Maria Cathedral. Gothic style with stunning stained glass
  • Founded in 29 BC. Europe’s first parliament city
  • Tapas & fine dining in ‘the wet zone’ in Leon old-town
  • Monastery of San Marcos plateresque renaissance architecture
Picos de Europa from Mogroveja, by Dave Craig

Days 9 to 11 – Picos de Europa 

  • Activities for all; spectacular mountain scenery,
  • Wildlife; butterflies to birds of prey, bears too!
  • Make a pilgrimage to Santo Toribio
  • Fuente De cable car whisks you up to 1800m
  • Potes, Cangas and Arriondas, historic yet full of life
  • Local mountain gastronomy, cider & Orujo
Oyambre Beach

Days 12 to 14 – Western Cantabria

  • Historic seaside towns of San Vicente, Comillas or Santillana del Mar
  • Sandy beaches and craggy protected coves
  • Carmona, Barcena Mayor in the beautiful valleys
  • Prehistoric cave paintings at Altamira and many more
  • Wonderful walks along the coast or in the rolling hills

What’s included…

The itinerary includes the following:

  • Accommodation in our listed hotels – 2 sharing 1 std. double ensuite, B&B
  • Economy 4dr car hire
  • or ferry crossings with Brittany Ferries (car + 2 berth interior cabin)
  • Guide book to Northern Spain
  • Restaurant guide covering regions en-route
  • Instructions to find all accommodation & regional road map

Not included:

  • Flights – but we are able to advise
  • One-way car hire charges, where applicable (see your quote email)
  • The following car hire extras – these can be added at pick-up point
    • extra driver
    • child seats
    • GPS
  • Garage parking where applicable (mostly city stops) – please ask us about parking charges

Getting there

A circular route, this itinerary has excellent access by air and sea:

  • Connections from-to:
    • Stansted: Santander with Ryanair / Bilbao with Easyjet
    • Gatwick: Bilbao with BA / Asturias with Vueling
    • Manchester; Bilbao with Easyjet
    • Dublin: Santander with Ryanair / Bilbao with Aer Lingus
    • Edinburgh; Santander with Ryanair / Bilbao with Easyjet
    • Bristol: Bilbao with Easyjet
  • Ferries Portsmouth or Plymouth: Santander or Bilbao – 7 sailings weekly. We can include the ferry crossings as part of the package

Getting around

For passengers travelling by air we will include a hire car as part of the package. Normally we include a 4 door economy class car but please let us know if you would like something different.

For those coming on the ferry you will use your own vehicle but in either case we will provide full instructions to arrive at each hotel, complete with GPS, as well as a map of the area

What our clients say

Everything was perfect. The hotels, although all different, were lovely and the food in most was brilliant. Driving was not too tiring and the distances between hotels just about right. The mountain views, countryside and beaches were spectacular.

– client 2018

All hotels were really good and the food where offered, was excellent. The route was beautiful ….  I can’t thank Casas Catabricas enough for everything and making our holiday so enjoyable.

– client 2018

Vines la Rioja

It was a perfect mix of coast and mountains and the scenery was amazing. The Picos de Europa has scenery to rival the Rockies! We particularly liked the fact that we seemed to be the only English people there.

– client 2018

Las Medulas

Our holiday was tailored to fit all our requests/requirements and the information provided to assist us before and during our trip was detailed, interesting and extremely useful.

– client 2018

Guggenheim Bilbao

It was highly enjoyable – culture and gastronomy across the regions memorable.  Itinerary well planned, with lovely accommodation.

– client 2018

Useful and helpful mobile app of our itinerary,  specific places and recommendations from Casas Cantabricas.

– client 2018

We had a fantastic 3 week trip … Stunning views of the Picos de Europe, attractive seaside villages and beautiful Cathedrals, monasteries and castles.

– client 2017

Casas Cantabricas were wonderful. The advice, planning, organisation and information provided could not be faulted. Great people to do business with.

– client 2017

Photo of Santillana del Mar

A wonderful variety of experiences – from dramatic coastlines and beautiful beaches, through the mountains and gorges in the Picos and on to historic cities and grand cathedrals. On many occasions following the various Camino routes and at all times enjoying the excellent food and wine of northern Spain.

Leon Cathedral

The perfect 14 day tour

There is nothing, repeat nothing but excellence re this holiday. From our initial idea and phone conversation with CASAS Cantabricas to viewing the itinerary….to experiencing the tour, was a totally fantastic trip controlled by ourselves, which was important.

Client 2017

… all I can say is “what a holiday”!!!!

– client 2017

Stayed in small family run 3 star hotels which were all excellent and had a really great holiday.

client 2017

Boats Luarca
Fuente De Clouds stage

Nothing was too much trouble. Our conversations were all positive and they interpenetrated exactly our  aspirations and requirements.

A genuine company that cares for its clients.

– client 2017

The driving distances were just right……the Hotels are little gems…..the restaurants are exceptional (sea food to die for)…..the wine (well what can one say)…..the hospitality is generous….the scenery beautiful……I’m now struggling to add anything else!!

Client 2017

Grand tour of Northern Spain in images