The Porto Run – Santander to Porto PO7

Santander to Porto & back in two weeks

Based on 14 nights self-drive independent tour in Portugal and Spain

An epic adventure! Bring your own car or motorbike to Santander and cut a swathe right through the heart of Spain to Porto on the Atlantic coast before looping back through Galicia to the northern coast and the Picos de Europa mountains, this route is full of delightful contrasts.

On the way you’ll find plenty to explore as you cross and follow the Caminos de Santiago and trace part of Wellington’s route from his Peninsular Campaign. You’ll find magnificent cities of Burgos, Salamanca, Porto and Santiago and rural delights of the Douro Valley, the Asturian coast and the Picos de Europa mountains.

The full route takes at least fourteen days but you can do as little, or as much, as you like.

Tour Highlights:

  • Monumental cities, Burgos, Salamanca, Porto and Santiago
  • Glorious wines of the Duero & Douro
  • Camino de Santiago & Wellington’s footsteps
  • Spain’s verdant north-west coast
  • Breath-taking scenery; the meseta; the Douro Valley & the magnificent Picos de Europa
  • Superb regional gastronomy throughout

£1150- £1450* per person

* Indicative prices (including ferry travel – please consult for fly-drive prices).

El Cid, Burgos

Day 1 & 2 – Burgos

  • Essential stop on the Camino de Santiago
  • Truly awesome cathedral, recently restored
  • The city of El Cid, Campeador
  • Bustling old town; lively bars & restaurants
  • Spain’s best lamb & delicious black pudding
  • Atapuerca & the Museum of Human Evolution
Salamanca by night

Days 3 & 4 – Salamanca

  • Salamanca – truly monumental university city
  • Toro, Rueda & Sierra de Salamanca wines
  • Delicious jamon from Guijuelo
  • Historic Tordesillas, Toro & Zamora
  • Cruise on the river in the Arribes del Duero
  • Sierra de Francia & villages of Las Batuecas

Day 5 & 6 – Douro Valley

  • Fabulous Douro scenery – take an unforgettable boat trip
  • World Heritage Douro vineyards, the World’s oldest!
  • Romantic Amarante on the River Tamega
  • Lamego – famous stairs of Nossa Senhora dos Remedios
  • Superb gastronomy in the atmospheric “adegas” taverns
Porto ribeira

Day 7 & 8 – Porto 

  • Ribeira, Porto’s fascinating historic centre, a World Heritage site
  • Cross the impressive Dom Luis I iron bridge to the Port Wine Lodges
  • Art for all from finest museums to simple galleries
  • Walk the lanes, sail the river, live and breathe Porto
  • Ferry to Afurada and the golden beach of Estrela
Santiago Cathedral

Day 9 & 10 – Santiago de Compostela, Galicia

  • Journey’s end, for centuries Europe’s most important pilgrim destination
  • World heritage city centred around the magnificent Cathedral, said to house the bones of St James
  • Guided walking tour, there’s so much to discover
  • Lively bar scene, great tapas and young Ribeiro wine, or if you prefer, a drop of Albariño.
Boats Luarca

Day 11 & 12 – Western Asturias

  • Pretty fishing villages such as Cudillero & Luarca
  • Beautiful beaches & dramatic cliff-top coastal walks
  • Dinosaur coast & Jurassic museum
  • Oviedo, historic Asturian capital & Gijon by the sea
  • National Park of Somiedo – maybe you’ll see bears!
  • Visit a traditional Asturian cider house (sidrería)
Oyambre Beach

Days 13 & 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
  • Regional maps and guide books
  • 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

Travel info

Getting there

Take a ferry to Santander or Bilbao or fly directly to almost anywhere in Spain or Portugal.

The options to fly and drive are too many to list!

Fly directly to all these possible destinations and hire a car:

  • Northern Spain: Santander or Bilbao
  • North-West Spain: Santiago or Coruña
  • Centre Spain: Madrid.
  • Northern Portugal: Porto or Lisbon

(Ask us about your options)

NB: Flights are not included

Ferry: if you wish to bring your own car, classic car or motorbike

Getting around

If you choose to fly and drive, we will include a hire car as part of your package. Normally we include a 4 door economy class car but please let us know if you would like something different.

Hire cars normally need to be dropped back to the country of origen.

What our clients say

Varied locations, lots to see and explore, hotels generally very good. Hire car and taxi services arranged in advance by tour operator, all worked well. We had a great time.

Client 2018

Playa Catedrales

…  providing a huge amount of detail about the journey and destinations, providing maps and tour guides, and also being available during the holiday when we had a query.

client 2018

Santiago Cathedral

An enjoyable relaxing introduction to Spain and Portugal, not having visited either country before.

Client 2018

Well planned out offering an excellent experience. Good food and lovely locations.

client 2018

We spent 10 days touring Northern Spain and Portugal – from Bilbao in Spain to Rotondo outside Evora in Portugal – on a motorbike and had a fantastic holiday! We loved it!

Client 2018

The accommodation was superb – from boutique modern city hotels to a baroque castle hotel and 11th Century monastery. Each time we thought it couldn’t get better – and it did! Each hotel was a fantastic surprise. Amazing places – in beautiful locations – that we would never have discovered ourselves. Thank you!

-client 2018

Photo of Porto, La Ribeira

A driving tour of Northern Spain and Portugal over 16 days via Portsmouth-Santander Car Ferry. The hotels and holiday information were excellent and we enjoyed all the places we visited.

Client 2018


Very helpful on the phone in booking the tour which included a couple of days out to see friends in Porto. Endless patience when we wanted to make changes after booking. Well planned and well organised!

-client 2018


Well planned out offering an excellent experience. Good food and lovely locations.

Client 2018

Excellent rating

Was better than expected. Well organised and very helpful support.

-client 2017

Santander to Porto Round Tour in images