Along the way we will see and experience the incredible architecture of futuristic and old world Valencia, Roman and chocolate rich Astorga, breathtaking views of the lighthouses, cliffs and beaches of the Ortegal region of Galicia, sites along the Camino de Santiago including Muxia (along the Costa de la Morte) and the Cathedral and city of Santiago, finishing in the lovely World Heritage - Listed city of Segovia.
Once we collect your group at the airport in Madrid, we will travel to Cuenca to start the tour.
This is a Medieval Spanish city that reveals its history with a Gothic Cathedral, old cobbled stone streets and its famous hanging houses. Built into the side of the gorges of the Huecar and Jucar riverbeds, these ‘hanging’ houses appear to defy gravity. Today, one of these houses is home to the Museum of Abstract Art.
While in Cuenca we will stay at a Parador (a luxury Spanish hotel) that was formerly a monastery dating back to the 16th century. Offering panoramic views of the hanging houses and modern conveniences, this Parador also retains old world charm with repurposed elements from its monastery days. (2 nights Cuenca)
The Enchanted City it’s definitely as cool as it sounds. We will take a leisurely stroll through amazing rock formations and natural sculptures that can’t be missed! Formed over time by ice, wind and flowing water, these natural sculptures have taken on different forms that spark your imagination. It is Mother Nature showing off her talent and power.
Valencia is one of Spain’s most beautiful cities and we will show you why! It will take two days to show you all the amazing sites and share the rich history of the old city as well as the futuristic modern Valencia.
A leisurely boat ride will reveal the stunning beauty of the canals and waterways that are part of the Albufera Lagoon. A haven for unique migratory birds and waterfowl, you will be treated to an array of bird watching opportunities. You will also see the barracas, traditional thatched farmers' cottages that date back hundreds of years, and sample paella (Valencia’s signature dish) in one of the waterside restaurants.
If you have seen any pictures of Valencia, you’ve probably seen the futuristic part of the city called the Ciudad de las Artes y las Ciencias (City of the Arts & Sciences). While the architecture and city scene are worth seeing and something to experience, Oceanografic is also located in the Ciudad de las Artes y las Ciencias. It is the biggest aquarium in Europe and third largest in the world, showcasing over 500 marine species. (2 nights Valencia)
Astorga, is a city rich in Roman history and chocolate! From a Gothic Cathedral to the Gaudi palace and historic museums there’s a lot to see and learn all within a short walking distance. Impressive Roman walls surround parts of the city. The Puerta del Sol and Puerta del Postigo used by the Pilgrims to gain access to Astorga, lead to the old part of the city.
As the birthplace of chocolate production in Europe, Astorga prospered manufacturing it during the 18th & 19th centuries. We will tour the Museo del Chocolate, a museum that is dedicated to chocolate and how the confection was produced back in the day! (2 nights Astorga)
We will visit the Rias Altas area in northern Galicia, where we are lucky to live and work. The amazing landscape offers towering cliffs, beautiful beaches and historical lighthouses.
Upon arrival, our guests will be treated to unique accommodations at a Casa Rural (Rural House). These historic homes are privately owned and devoted entirely to guests and set up exclusively to serve and pamper you. They are typically old stone farmhouses or watermills, lovingly restored with lots of exposed wood, stone... and if you are wondering... there are private baths! (2 nights Casa Rural)
We will spend two days exploring all that the Ortegal area has to offer. With the mountains, rivers, and the sea combining to form the largest estuary in all of Galicia, there is much to see and explore.
There are amazing lighthouses, hikes near the highest cliffs in southern Europe and walks along the beach for picturesque views that are simply amazing! We will see the jagged rocks of the Cape of Ortegal where the Atlantic Ocean meets the Cantabrian Sea as well as the seaside village, church and sanctuary of the pilgrimage site San Andres de Teixido.
Of course, there is also interesting food and delicious wine to give you an authentic culinary experience of this region. We will share our favorite scenic view restaurants where we will be treated with regional specialty menus.
We travel south to Muxía, stopping along the way in La Coruña to visit the Tower of Hercules. As legend has it, Hercules built the lighthouse himself after burying a giant there. Whether you believe in folklore or not, this Roman built lighthouse is rich in historical significance as it dates back to the 2nd century and is the world’s oldest working lighthouse.
When we arrive in Muxia we will visit the seaside sanctuary of Senora da Barca (Our Lady of the Boat). We will observe the wild, open Atlantic Ocean along this portion of the Costa da Morte (The Coast of Death) - given it's name due to countless shipwrecks along this rugged stretch of ocean.
Santiago is the ultimate destination for those walking the Camino de Santiago. It is widely believed that the Cathedral of Santiago is the final resting place of St. James. We will make our own pilgrimage to the Cathedral of Santiago, and explore some of the other historical sights within the walls of this fascinating city. (2 nights Santiago)
On our final days together we will travel to Segovia and spend our last 2 nights at the beautiful Parador of Segovia. Comfortably appointed with panoramic views of the ancient city, this is the perfect location to experience the warmth, culture and cuisine of Spain.
During our stay in Segovia, we will have the opportunity to visit the 2000 year old Roman Aqueduct, the Cathedral of Segovia, and the famous Alcazar Castle whose rounded spires and turrets contributed to Walt Disney's inspiration for his own legendary castles.