Overview

Bilbao - 2 nights
Burgos - 2 nights
León - 1 night
Ponferrada - 1 night
Santiago de Compostela - 2 nights

Spendology - Widgets

SPANISH WAYS

This multi-faceted tour of northwest Spain takes in four autonomous regions, beginning in the Basque Country, visiting the renowned La Rioja wine region, and walking the pilgrim paths of Castilla y León and Galicia, on a route from Bilbao to Santiago de Compostela

During the Middle Ages, the Camino de Santiago, or ‘Way of St. James’, was among the most revered religious routes in Europe. Today, it is the only UNESCO protected route in the world. This tour takes the Camino (ways) through four formerly independent kingdoms, each with its own culture, customs and cuisine.

Covering varied and vividly scenic landscapes, visiting famous vineyards, medieval towns and splendid cities, and following the pilgrims’ progress on foot as we walk selected sections of the route; the tour takes us from the bridges, beaux-arts façades, and iconic Guggenheim Museum of Basque Bilbao to the La Rioja region, where hundreds of wineries fill the sheltered miles below the Cantabrian Mountains, and culture comes in the old-world streets of Santo Domingo de la Calzada.

Crossing Castile-León, we begin in Burgos, the kingdom’s capital for 500 years, its old town area flanked by monasteries. León is fabulously photogenic, its basilica built into ancient city walls; and Ponferrada punctuates the pilgrim route with its Templar Castle. In Galicia, Santiago de Compostela marks the end of the Way of St. James with ravishing buildings of mellowed stone surrounding the cathedral, which holds the apostle’s tomb.

Key Features

Cultural & Countryside Tour
Jules Verne Sightseeing
3 UNESCO Heritage Sites
Local Expert Guide
Group Size: 10  22

Day 1 Fly from London Gatwick to Bilbao and transfer to the 3-star Hotel Conde Duque (or similar) for a two-night stay.

Day 2 Vigorous, revitalised, disorienting Bilbao teams its seventeen bridges over the Nervión River with the ‘Seven Streets’ of its medieval Casco Viejo core, and the audaciously modern Guggenheim Museum, Gehry’s masterpiece in gleaming fish-scale titanium, which we visit this morning. A walking tour of the city passes the stately façade of Spain’s oldest private university, the Jesuit-owned Deusto, and the striking pedestrian crossing of the estuary, the Zubizuri (Basque ‘White’) Bridge. (B, D)

Day 3 Travel to the Ebro Valley vineyards of La Rioja, where small bodegas and large producers create the famous Rioja varieties, for a wine tour and tasting. Continue to Santo Domingo de la Calzada, on the banks of the Oja River and on the Way of St James, an artistic and religious hub in the late Middle Ages. After time at leisure to explore its web of medieval streets and view its 13th-century cathedral, tower, and cloister, take your first steps on the Camino de Santiago, walking (6km approx.) on a section of the Pilgrim Road. Continue to Burgos for two nights at the 4-star Corona de Castilla Hotel. (B)

Day 4 A morning walking tour of Burgos includes viewing the filigree spires of the gorgeous Gothic cathedral. In an afternoon at leisure, perhaps take a riverbank walk (3km approx.) to a Carthusian monastery; or stroll the historic quarter, with the gilded Miraflores monastery at the eastern end, the Reales monastery cloisters to the west, and countless churches, palaces, and restaurants in between. (B)

Day 5 Begin the day with a scenic walk (approx. 3km) along the Pilgrim route, before travelling to León, where a walking tour takes you through its historic heart. With time at leisure perhaps visit the 13th-century Gothic cathedral which is reminiscent of Rheims, the frescoed San Isidoro Basilica blends into the fortifying city walls, and there are plenty of plaza cafés in the picturesque Barrio Húmedo. Overnight at the 4-star Hotel León Camino (or similar). (B)

Day 6 Visit Astorga, a medieval walled town at the meeting point of the Roman Silver Road and the Camino de Santiago route, with the Gaudi designed Episcopal Palace forming a fine counterpoint to the Gothic cathedral. Drive to Monte Irago, where the Celtic culture of placing stone stacks continues to this day, culminating in the Iron Cross cairn, placed by a hermit in the 12th century. Continue to Ponferrada, set on the Sil River, its moated, multi-turreted, and imposing Templar Castle crowning a hill above the modern town. Overnight at the 4-star Temple Ponferrada Hotel. (B, D)

Day 7 Travel to Galicia and visit the village of O Cebreiro, brimming with character from its thatched ‘pallozas’ (round stone houses) to its church, the oldest still fully intact on the Pilgrim Route, where a Holy Grail is said by some to be sacred and/or miraculous, and where the bells rang in winters to guide pilgrims through the mists. Walk (approx. 4km) along the final stretch of the Pilgrim route; continue to Santiago de Compostela for two nights at the 3-star Hotel Gelmirez (or similar). (B, D)

Day 8 The whole of Santiago de Compostela’s Old Town area has UNESCO World Heritage status. A city tour takes you to its focal point, and to the end of the pilgrims’ journey, the innately atmospheric Plaza del Obradoiro, where Gothic, Baroque, Romanesque and Renaissance façades display seven centuries of the city’s past, gathered together around the cathedral, in which, in a crypt beneath the main altar, is the tomb of St. James the Apostle. Separated from the younger city by one of several parks, the granite-paved streets of the old town are eminently stroll-able, and your afternoon is free for independent exploration. (B)

Day 9 Transfer to Santiago de Compostela airport for the return flight to London Gatwick. (B)

  • Key
  • B - Breakfast
  • L - Lunch
  • D - Dinner

Notes

Walks on Days 3, 4, 5 & 7 are not compulsory but do involve some uneven surfaces and walking of up to 90 minutes.

2022

Tuesdays
per person in a twin/double room
Vueling from Gatwick
easyJet from Santiago de Compostela

2023

Tuesdays
per person in a twin/double room
Vueling from Gatwick
easyJet from Santiago de Compostela

Date Price
April 25 £1445
June 6 £1545
September 12 £1495
October 3 £1375

Supplements per person

Single Supplement

Single supplement £325
(Oct 2022 £275; Apr/Oct 2023 £295)

Independent Arrival

Save £175 
Arrival transfer add £30
Departure transfer add £15

Price Includes
Air travel and taxes, transfers, 8 nights’ accommodation, breakfast daily, 3 dinners, itinerary as described, services of guides and local representatives. If our specially negotiated airfares are unavailable at the time of booking, a supplement may apply.

Not Included
Travel insurance, visa procurement, optional excursions, tipping, any government or compulsory charges introduced after publication.

Booking Form

Please complete this form and a member of our sales department will contact you as soon as possible to confirm your booking and take payment. Our opening hours are Monday to Friday 9am to 5.30pm and Saturdays 10am to 2pm

Spanish Ways

Please enter all passenger details (names as per passport)

Please supply a first name Please supply a surname Please supply an email address Please supply an address Please supply a postcode
Please supply a first name Please supply a surname
Please supply a first name Please supply a surname
Please supply a first name Please supply a surname
Please supply a first name Please supply a surname
Please supply a first name Please supply a surname
Please supply a first name Please supply a surname
Please supply a first name Please supply a surname
Please supply a first name Please supply a surname
Please select a travel date
Please complete all mandatory fields.

Please consider Fitness to Travel, Disabilities and Mobility advice which we give for this tour and confirm that all members of your party are fit and able to take this tour. Please complete the ABTA checklist if you need to declare any disabilities or mobility issues.

  • Please accept the Terms and Conditions

To confirm your booking you will be asked to make a non-refundable deposit payment, or full payment if within 61 days of departure.

From time to time, we may send you details of Jules Verne products (including new brochures), services, and news that we believe will be of interest to you.