The following 10-day excursion allows the traveler to experience
two regions of Spain's Northern Coast, Cantabria and Pais Vasco. Along with
Asturias and Galicia, this area, referred to as "Green Spain" is
a privileged expanse of incredible beauty with nature being one of its main
features. Craggy mountains loom over the Atlantic Ocean and Cantabrian Sea,
which have chiseled spectacular cliffs, producing small sheltered ports, beaches
of fine sand and secluded coves. Not only rich in natural features, this area
offers many other choices; museums such as the Guggenhiem, historical medieval
villages, small towns to explore, monumental cities with a treasure of Gothic
and Romanesque art, and a gastronomic fare that is world-renowned.
Departure from New York on Iberia's transatlantic flight to Santander.
After you arrival, check-in to Hotel Rhin, whose sea view captures the magnificent
natural beauty of the surrounding Sardinero area.
After breakfast, visit Santillana del Mar, the most important historic
site in Cantabria. Experience its remarkable architecture dating back
to the 12th century while strollling down its many cobblestone streets,
visiting the Cloister and museums. Nearby is the Museum of Altamira, whose
replica of the original caves demonstrate why they are considered the
Sixtine Chapel of Palaeolithic art. Upon returning to Santander,
dine at the Cupula Restaurant.
Today we suggest you consider the Liebana/Picos de Europa excursion deatiled
below.Upon returning to Santander, enjoy the local cuisine at one of the citys
many fine restaurants.
This morning after breakfast, depart for Vitoria-Gasteiz. Along the way,
stop to take in the panoramic view that demonstrates how this city has
harmoniously combined its rich historical monuments with its present-day
status as administrative capital of Pais Vasco. Continue towrds the region
of Rioja Alavesa, stopping at the banks of the River Ebro to discover
its vineyards as well as experience its art and gastronomy. In Laguardia
visit a wine cellar, to taste its quality wine and to observe first-hand
how a Rioja Reserva is produced. Return to the Hotel Rhin where you might
relax before dinner at the restaurant.
Visit the nearby town of Castro Urdiales, a unique fishing village,where you
can experience some of the various seafood specialties of this region. Weather
permitting take a sightseeing cruise along the coast. After returning to Santander,
you might decide to end your day with a relaxing walk along the promenade
of the Sardinero.
After breakfast, drive to the town of Puente Viesgo where you will check-in.
Relax at the spa, enjoying the calm atmosphere of this establishment nestled
near a natural spring. In the afternoon walk to the nearby caves of Mt
Castillo, a remarkable Paleolithic site, whose prehistoric paintings are
similar to those of nearby Altamira. Enjoy dinner at the spa.
Today we suggest you visit Bilbao. Explore the citys Old Quarter as
well as its Ensanche. Visit the Guggenheim and/or the Fine
Arts Museum, which is considered to be one of the countrys best. Return
to the spa where you might consider one of the many treatments to relax before
Today would be ideal for another of the recommended excursions of Pais Vasco.
Return to Puente Viesgo and enjoy dinner at the spa.
After breakfast depart to Santanders Parayas Airport for your return
to New York.
Visit the breathtaking natural reserve of Urdaibai, whose protected ecosystem
offers you an abundance of flora and faura. Afterward, visit the historic
town of Guernica, whose park La Paz is decorated with the
works of the famous sculptor Henry Moore. Along the way stop at Elantxobe
, a typical fishing port of the area, as well as the beautiful seaside
resort of Lekeitio.
From Santander travel along the Cantabrian coast to San Sebastian. Visit
the Old Quarter, where you can enjoy the museums, religious buildings
and squares. After, visit the citys Palace and Gardens of Ayete.
You will witness beautiful panoramic views from Mount Igeldo and be abel
to walk along the promenade of La Concha. After, visit the
fishing village of Fuenterrabia for lunch followed by a walk through this
beautiful citys Old Quarter.
Liebana/Picos de Europa:
Witness some of the best examples of Roman architecture in villages unchanged
by the passage of time. Visit Santo Toribio, whose 6th century monastery
houses the Lignum Crucis (the largest preserved piece of Christs
cross), and Lebena, whose church is the best example of Mozarabic architecture
in Northern Spain. Continue on to Potes, a village of bridges, towers
and narrow streets. It is essential to try local specialties such as orujo
(a liquor made from grapes), cheeses, chorizos and the best honey in the
region. All this this with the truly unforgettable views of the Picos