CULTURAL TOUR FROM MADRID TO SANTIAGO DE COMPOSTELA
POST TOUR BY BUS
16 - 24 OCTOBER 2017
Enjoy this wonderful part of northern Spain, following parts of the Pilgrim’s Way, but without the hard work. Learn about the unique history, culture and language of the region. Admire the superb landscape of wooded hills, valleys and gorges, rolling fertile vineyards dotted with historic towns, picturesque villages and elegant seaside resorts. And, a chance to visit the renowned Guggenheim Museum in Bilbao – don’t miss this opportunity.
PLEASE NOTE: The cultural tour by bus will not be using the same hotels as the walking and bike riding post tour group.
Monday 16 October 2017 - Madrid- Segovia - La Rioja
Leave Madrid and travel to Segovia, a dreamy city of terracotta and sandstone hues set among the rolling hills of Castilla, against the backdrop of the Sierra de Guadarrma.
Wander around the colourful plaza under the soaring 1st Century Roman aqueduct. Explore the magical Alcazar with towering peak roofed turrets, which you may wish to climb to enjoy expansive views over countryside, mountains and the city. Visit the spectacular Gothic Cathedral. Late this afternoon travel to our Parador in La Rioja.
Tuesday 17 October 2017 - La Rioja
Today we travel to San Millán de la Cogolla, a Rioja town on the Pilgrim's Route to Santiago de Compostela. The Monasteries of Suso and Yuso, both declared World Heritage Sites, are magnificent terracotta tiled extravaganzas set in rolling green pastures, studded with poplars.
This town is the cradle of the Spanish language, the first written documents in Spanish are preserved here. Enjoy lunch in a local bodega before travelling back to La Rioja.
Wednesday 18 October 2017 - Bilbao
Today we head off for a full day in Bilbao. Most of the day will be taken up with a visit to the iconic Gehry masterpiece, the Guggenheim. The industrial history of Bilbao was Gehry’s inspiration. You will be awed by the flowing canopies, cliffs, promontories, ship shapes, towers and flying fins that make up the building. Gleaming titanium tiles sheathe most of the building like giant herring scales. Stay in Bilbao overnight.
Thursday 19 October 2017 - Bilbao
This morning we head to San Sebastian, Spain’s most elegant and fashionable seaside resort. Visit the striking Iglesia San Vincente, its towering Gothic façade hides an equally impressive interior. By contrast, see the Kursal, San Sebastián's cultural and conference centre, built of two cubes of translucent glass, designed to represent two beached rocks. But the best of San Sebastian is the gorgeous beach, the promenade lively with people and THE BEST tapas in all of Spain. This afternoon return to Bilbao.
Friday 20 October 2017 - Bilbao – Burgos – Leon
Today we head to the city of Burgos. Its agricultural wealth in the 15th and 16th centuries made it a centre of great art and architecture. A guided tour will take you to the charming old quarter and then to Cartuja de Milaflores monastery, decorated in gold brought back to Spain from the New World. After lunch visit the Benedictine Abbey, Santo Domingo de Silos, the cloister of which is a treasure chest of remarkable Romanesque art. The monks of this abbey still sing services in Gregorian Chant and hit the pop charts with their recordings a few years ago! Tonight we stay in Leon.
Saturday 21 October 2017 - Leon- Santiago de Compostela
Today we arrive at the beautiful medieval city of Santiago de Compostela. According to legend, the body of Christ’s apostle James was brought here. In 813 AD the relics were discovered in the city and it has become the focus of pilgrims ever since. Today explore Santiago, a vibrant university city, and its ensemble of historic buildings that has few equals in Europe.
Tonight enjoy dinner with the Camino walkers and cyclists of our group – and share tales of your wonderful journeys.
Sunday 22 October 2017 - Santiago de Compostela – Australia
The morning is free for you to explore the city on your own but we recommend attending the midday Pilgrim’s Mass in the magnificent Santiago Cathedral.
Our flight leaves this afternoon, connecting through Madrid and Dubai to arrive in Australia on the morning of Tuesday 24 October.
End of arrangements
Please note that this itinerary and costs may be subject to change.