Tour to Northern Spain: Cantabria, Asturias and Galicia

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The Cathedral of Santiago de Compostela.

We’re leading another tour to one of our favorite places in all our travels – and our erstwhile second home: Spain.

This tour will focus on the northern region of Spain, starting in the Cantabrian capital of Santander, famous for its cuisine. We’ll make our way across northern Spain, all the way to Galicia and Santiago de Compostela, the terminus of the famous pilgrimage – the Camino de Santiago.

Our tour will commence in May, and the weather in Spain should be very congenial. You can look forward to warm days and pleasant evenings. The May dates will also allow us to avoid the largest tourist crowds typical of Spain in the summer.

We know Spain very well. We lived in Barcelona and Madrid and have been back to Spain dozens of times, including our two previous tours to Spain in Fall 2022 and Spring 2023. In all, we’ve spent more than four years of our lives in Spain, and we both speak fluent Spanish.

Now we want to share our enthusiasm for the country, its food and people. With the help of local guides and our personal contacts, we want this to be your best Spain experience, whether its your first trip or your fifth.

Here’s what makes our Travel Past 50 Tours unique:

  • Small group tours (maximum 12 guests)
  • Accompanied by Kris and Tom, with benefit of their life-long travel experience
  • Custom-created itineraries combining cultural experiences with local cuisine and active tour options
  • Sufficient unscheduled time
  • Additional local expert guides as appropriate
  • Local secrets not usually on tourist itineraries
  • Comfortable travel, luxury touches, and affordable rates
  • Kris and Tom’s helpful travel tips, shared with the group via personal communications in advance of the trip: getting ready to travel, what to pack, recommended reading, and how to enjoy to the max

We’ve built this itinerary based on our personal experience, and it reflects our own travel style. We’ve included just the right amount of free time to give everyone a chance to explore on their own – or ply us for more individual suggestions.

Table of Contents

Spain: Cantabria, Asturias and Galicia Tour Itinerary

Dates: May 10-22, 2024

  • 13 days, 12 nights

Day 1, Santander (Arrival Day)

  • Upon arrival at the Santander Airport or train station, you’ll be picked up by our private driver and taken to our hotel in the center of bustling Barcelona. Once everyone has arrived, we’ll have an evening orientation and welcome dinner featuring a variety of traditional Cantabrian dishes
  • Included meals: Dinner

Day 2, Santander

  • Full-day guided tour of the coastal city of Santander, known as the Pearl of the Cantabrian Sea
  • Visit the picturesque bay of Santander, the royal palace of La Magdalena, the lighthouse at Cabo Mayor and the vibrant city center
  • Included meals: Breakfast

Day 3, Santander

  • Guided visit to Mercado la Esperanza, with a tasting of local cheeses and charcuterie
  • Group dinner with panoramic views of the Cantabrian Sea
  • Included meals: Breakfast, Dinner

Day 4, Santander / Altamira Caves Museum / San Vicente de la Barquera / Llanes

  • Morning 30-minute drive to Altamira Caves Museum
  • Guided tour of the world-renowned museum, dedicated to preserving and showcasing the prehistoric cave paintings found in the Altamira Caves
  • Continue to San Vicente de la Barquera
  • Lunch at El Bodegón, a famous restaurant that serves local delicacies
  • Walking tour of San Vicente de la Barquera, a charming fishing village with beautiful views of the Picos de Europa mountain range
  • 30-minute drive to Llanes
  • Included meals: Breakfast, Lunch

Day 5, Llanes

  • Mid-morning guided tour of Llanes, where you’ll explore the town’s winding streets, the Gothic Church of Santa Maria, the picturesque port area and the medieval Torre del Castillo
  • Dinner at Sidreria el Puerto, a popular cider house known for its fresh fish and traditional Asturian cuisine
  • Included meals: Breakfast, Dinner

Day 6, Llanes / Covadonga / Oviedo

  • 1-hour drive to Covadonga, a place celebrated for its stunning nature and rich culture
  • Guided light hike around the Covadonga Lakes, set among green hills
  • Free time for lunch and exploring town
  • 1.5-hour drive to Oviedo, the capital of Asturias
  • Evening at leisure with options such as visiting the Museum of Fine Arts, a stroll through the beautiful botanical gardens or enjoy a show at the Campoamor Theatre
  • Included meals: Breakfast

Day 7, Oviedo

  • Join your guide on a guided tour of Oviedo
  • Explore the pre-Romanesque sites, diving into the city’s fascinating history
  • Visit the historic old town, including the Gothic Cathedral of San Salvador, the 16th-century Palace of Valdecaranza and the elegant Town Hall
  • Evening cider tasting tour through Calle Gascona, also known as the “Boulevard of
    Cider”, where you’ll learn about the production process of this beloved Asturian drink
  • Included meals: Breakfast

Day 8, Oviedo / Gijón / Oviedo

  • 30-minute drive to Gijón, known for its vibrant art scene
  • Guided tour of the town’s culture highlights, including the impressive Laboral Ciudad de la Cultura and the Museum of the Asturian People
  • Optional lunch at a local seafood restaurant
  • Return to Oviedo in the evening
  • Included meals: Breakfast

Day 9, Oviedo / Ribadeo / Santiago de Compostela

  • 1.5-hour drive to Ribadeo, a charming town located on the border between Galicia and Asturias
  • Walking tour of Ribadeo, including the 19th-century Gothic church of Santa María del Campo, the elegant Palace of Ibáñez, and the Plaza de España
  • Lunch at Restaurante San Miguel
  • 2-hour drive to Santiago de Compostela
  • Included meals: Breakfast, Lunch

Day 10, Santiago de Compostela

  • Full-day guided tour of Santiago de Compostela, including the Plaza del Obradoiro, the Cathedral of Santiago de Compostela, and the historic San Martín Pinario monastery
  • Optional group dinner in the Galician A Horta d’Obradoiro restaurant
  • Included meals: Breakfast

Day 11, Santiago de Compostela / Rias Baixas / Santiago de Compostela

  • Guided wine tour of the Rias Baixas, known for its delicious white wines made from the Albariño grape
  • Visit to one of the main wineries to learn about the wine-making process and sample different wines, accompanied by local cheeses and snacks
  • Group lunch in the countryside
  • Return to Santiago de Compostela in the evening
  • Included meals: Breakfast, Lunch

Day 12, Santiago de Compostela

  • Morning tour of the Mercado de Abastos, a bustling market filled with fresh produce, meats, cheeses and seafood
  • Free time to keep enjoying this enchanting city, with options to relax at its cozy cafes, indulge in its endless culinary scene or visit its many museums
  • Farewell dinner
  • Included meals: Breakfast, Dinner

Day 13, Santiago de Compostela (Departure Day)

  • Transfers to the airport or train station
  • Included meals: Breakfast

NOTE: The details of this itinerary are subject to change. Once our group is booked, you’ll receive a more detailed, day-by-day itinerary. Then the fun begins!

Included in the tour

  • Private tour experience throughout
  • Maximum group size of twelve
  • All accommodations (12 nights at 4-star hotels)
  • Transportation in Spain (trains and private vans where needed)
  • All included activities and entrance fees mentioned
  • English speaking local guides
  • Breakfast every day and other meals as listed above (beverages not included)
  • All airport transfers

Not included in the tour

  • Flights to and from Spain
  • Passport or visa fees
  • Meals and activities not mentioned
  • Travel insurance (mandatory)
  • Gratuities for guides, drivers, hotel staff, etc.

Accommodation style

We will stay in comfortable and convenient 4-star hotels. All rooms have a private bathroom. There are a maximum of eight single rooms available.

Physical demands: moderate

The tour itself is not very strenuous, but please note that it can involve the following: somewhat long days, walking tours in the cities on uneven pavement, being outside in potentially cold temperatures, a couple of long journeys, early morning wake-ups, and other similar scenarios.

Tour cost

  • $6595 per person (double room)
  • $7645 per person (single room)
  • Tour size: 12 participants maximum

Payment terms

  • A $1500 deposit per person due now. (Refundable for 30 days, or until 90 days before the start of the tour – whichever comes first) should your plans change for any reason.) After that, the deposit becomes non-refundable.
  • The balance payment is due 65 days before the tour start date (March 6, 2024.)
  • Cancellations between 60 and 89 days prior to the tour start date will receive a 50 percent refund of the balance amount; cancellations within 59 days of the tour start date will be non-refundable.

Reserve your spot

To reserve your spot, please click this button to pay your deposit. Be sure to select 2 deposits if you’re booking a couple.

Spain Tour Northern Spain, May 2024 Deposit

Spain Tour Northern Spain, May 2024 Deposit


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Important travel notes

  • The specifics of the tour itinerary are subject to change. It’s unlikely, though, that there will be any substantive changes. More like daily schedules might be earlier or later.
  • Activity level for this tour is light to moderate. We’ll be doing a good amount of walking in the cities we’ll be visiting, and in some cases there will be two to three hours of slow walking and standing in the attractions. To be comfortable on this tour, you should be able to walk for a mile or more – or at least half an hour – without problem. Also, be aware that often the walking will be up and down hills. Cobblestone streets and stairs are not uncommon. Don’t worry though. We’ll make frequent stops for refreshments.
  • Most North American flights to Spain depart late afternoon or evening. So plan to depart May 9 for a May 10 arrival in Santander. Of course, you can arrive earlier and we’ll be happy to help you make accommodation arrangements.
  • Important: do not make any travel reservations that cannot be cancelled or changed until we confirm that we have met the minimum number of travelers and that the trip is a “go.”
  • If you’d like to extend your time in Santiago or continue to other cities, let us know and we’d be happy to recommend hotels and transportation options.
  • We use Allianz Travel’s annual policy, but you can find their single trip travel insurance plans here. Note, you must have travel insurance that covers medical expenses for this tour. It doesn’t have to be Allianz.*

What our guests say about Travel Past 50 Tours

Here’s what our clients have said about us, and why we think we’re among the best small group travel companies for seniors:

“The combination of a small group and professional guides in each city made it an outstanding experience!”
-Karen M

“Very enjoyable tour of Northern Spain with Tom and Kris. The group was a perfect size. I can recommend traveling with them and would consider a second tour in the future.”
-Christiane M

“Travel Past 50 provides a balance of people, food, wine and sights with enough time to explore a bit on one’s own time.”
-Bill T

“Kris and Tom’s extensive first hand knowledge of Spain and the language made for a wonderfully interesting trip. I’d recommend any tour of Spain they put together.”
-Janice D

“Tom and Kris were great at showing their love of Spain.”

-Linda M

“We truly enjoyed the itinerary and thought the choice of activities was great. You blended the guide-enhanced experiences with self-directed exploration and discovery. Kudos.”

-Roger and Deb B

Ask Us

Once the tour is confirmed, we’ll be sending out more itinerary details soon along with some helpful hints for packing and enjoying the tour to the max. In the meantime, ask us any questions and let us know about any individual concerns. We’re here to keep it fun and easy.

Just email with the subject line SPAIN TOUR QUESTION and your query will be handled by Tom and Kris personally.

Travel Past 50 Tours Terms and Conditions

Here’s all the fine print. Please note these terms and conditions may vary depending on the specific tour destinations and timing.

For more general information about Travel Past 50 Tours, including up-to-date COVID policies, visit our introductory Tour Page.

A suggested reading list for Barcelona and Catalonia

Note: Continuing coverage of this Travel Past 50 Spain Tour is supported in part by Allianz Travel Insurance. Our content is independent of their sponsorship. We are delighted, however, that they recognize the importance of getting back to travel safely, and the particular health and travel nuances important to our readers.

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