The Basques have maintained their unique identity for centuries, with their own culinary traditions, distinctive geography, and a language that remains a mystery with no relationship to any other in the world! To the east lies Galicia Province - known as the “land of 1000 rivers” since the landscape is dominated by lush river valleys, Roman ruins, ancient stone towns and quaint villages. The Atlantic coastline is jagged with steep cliffs and deep, fjord-like estuaries, offering dramatic vistas.
We begin with 6 nights in the exciting city of Bilbao, internationally recognized for its dramatic transformation to a modern urban marvel. The spectacular Guggenheim Museum is the symbol of the city (for good reason), but it is just one of many museums and art galleries. There are lovely walking paths along the river that runs through the city, a charming Old Quarter that has maintained its historic atmosphere, and pedestrian streets with shops and cafes. From our base here we will visit surrounding treasures like the chic town of San Sebastian, historic Pamplona, the Nervion River with its famous iron “hanging bridge” and the spectacular wine region of La Rioja.
We then travel to the Bay of Santander to see Magdalena Palace on its rocky peninsula, and 8th century Oviedo - now a sophisticated city. In Leon we will visit the Gothic Cathedral, famous for its stained-glass windows before continuing to Santiago de Compostela in the province of Galicia for a 4-night stay. This city is home to the most important shrine in the country - St. James Cathedral (Spain’s most famous pilgrimage centre). The “walk” began in the 10th century and hundreds of people still participate annually. There will be excursions to La Coruna to see this unique port city, Cape Finisterre with its spectacular views (considered by the Romans to be the end of the world), the old Roman capital of Luga and a typical Galician farm to indulge in the best local products.
* Those joining any of our tours to Europe must be able to walk fairly long distances and climb stairs easily.