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Northern Spain
NORTHERN SPAIN

Northern Spain

Spain’s north-western corner, pounded by the Atlantic Ocean and separated from France by the ramparts of the Pyrenees, is off the beaten track. During medieval times the town of Santiago de Compostela and its cathedral attracted throngs of pilgrims, drawn to the tomb of St James the Apostle, which even today is regarded as the third most important Christian site after Rome and Jerusalem.

This region, including the capital of San Sebastián, 2016 City of Culture, is the gateway to the Basque country. Many Basques still speak their Euskara language, and La Rioja is a landscape of vineyards and its very famous Rioja wines. Bilbao is home to the Guggenheim Museum, a fascinating building, housing a 20th century art collection including works by Picasso and Warhol.

 



OUR FAVOURITE PLACES TO EXPLORE IN NORTHERN SPAIN



San Sebastian
San Sebastián

Stroll along the elegant Playa de la Concha and admire the beautiful architecture in the “Belle Epogue” style. This resort town has golden beaches sheltered by lush hillsides, picturesque promenades and a cobblestoned old town. Pintxo bars serve the local wines with bite-size regional specialities.

Bilbao
Bilbao

Enjoy the art galleries, shows and art exhibitions. Surrounded by the green mountains of the Basque Country, Bilbao receives the most attention for the Guggenheim Museum which opened in 1997 in a curvy, titanium-clad building, and the excess of 40 Michelin-starred restaurants in the area.

Camino
Camino

The historic journey on foot across the North West of Spain follows the pathways of European priests, monarchs and peasants whose pilgrimages to the tomb of St James at Santiago de Compostela, spawned a Christian Renaissance. There is also a Northern Route along the coastline.

 



SOME THINGS TO SEE AND DO IN NORTHERN SPAIN




San Sebastian Food SAN SEBASTIÁN FOOD TOUR

Accompanied by an expert gastronomical guide, discover the history behind the miniature morsels known as pintxos and local delicacies like spider crab while sipping fine Basque wines and locally brewed beers.

Way of St James WAY OF ST JAMES HIKING TOUR FROM SAN SEBASTIÁN
 

Walk along the medieval Christian pilgrimage trails around Ulia Mountain and admire breath-taking coastal scenery. Gain insight into the area from your guide, enjoy a boat ride around Pasaia San Pedro and taste delicious Spanish specialties in Santiago Square.

San Sebastian Cycling SAN SEBASTIÁN CYCLING TOUR
 

Ride through the diverse sections of beautiful San Sebastián on a 2.5 hour bike tour to learn about the city’s rich and layered history from your local guide. Pass beaches, villas, the river, modern shops and the Royal Palace for a great overview and orientation of the city.

Guggenheim Museum GUGGENHEIM MUSEUM, BILBAO
 

Take a guided tour led by an art expert through one of the world’s most respected museums to see the architecture and artworks inside as you discover and share along the way.

Real Food Adventure Northern Spain FINISTERRE DAY TRIP FROM SANTIAGO DE COMPOSTELA
 

Travel along the Costa da Morte, the Coast of Death, on this day tour that combines breath-taking landscapes, visits to authentic fishing villages and the castle of Vimianzo, and local gastronomy. Along the way learn about the history and culture of the Galician regions.

Salamanca SALAMANCA WALKING TOUR

Hear about the city’s impressive history as you visit the oldest University in Europe, and sightseeing places such as Cathedral Museum, Medieval Towers, House of Shells, Old Market, Saina Palace and Mill Museum.

La Rioja LA RIOJA WINE CELLAR VISIT AND TASTING
 

Visit the bodegas (wine cellars) and have a relaxing walk through the vineyards learning about the wine-making process.

Self guided walks in Northern Spain SELF-GUIDED WALKS
 

There are five stages to the Camino de Santiago and you can choose to do one, two or all of them. The full journey is 800km passing cathedrals, vineyards, stone villages, and orchards.




NORTHERN SPAIN ACCOMMODATION



Here's a taste of some of our favourite hotels and lodges in the the Basque region.
Come in-store or send us an enquiry to help us find the best accommodation for you.

Hotel Compostela
HOTEL COMPOSTELA, SANTIAGO DE COMPOSTELA
★★★★
Situated in a historic building on the famous Place de Galicia a UNESCO Heritage site, in the heart of Santiago de Compostela. Thanks to this fantastic location you can reach all the city’s attractions by foot.
Hotel Miro Bilbao
HOTEL MIRO, BILBAO
★★★★

Located opposite the Guggenheim Museum and only a short walk to Moyua metro station, this hotel offers easy access to the city’s many attractions. Guests can experience the nearby Bilbao Fine Arts Museum, take in a performance at one of several theatres and concert halls, or discover some great shopping.
NH Salamanca Palacio de Castellanes
HOTEL NH SALAMANCA PALACIO DE CASTELLANES, SALAMANCA
★★★★
This beautiful hotel stands on the grounds of a 16th century palace with views over to the Convento de los Dominicos, and today, still retains some of the original features. The hotel brings the sights of Salamanca to your doorstep – just minutes away you’ll find the cathedral and main square filled with cafés and restaurants.
Silken amara Plaza
SILKEN AMARA PLAZA, SAN SEBASTIAN
★★★★
A modern hotel, created by the renowned architect Peña Ganchegui, with lots of stunning art throughout, and splashes of bold, vibrant colour giving it heaps of personality. It is a pleasant 20 minute walk along the riverbank to Concha Beach and the old town, and regular buses depart just around the corner from the hotel.





INSPIRE ME
Northern Spain holiday planning articles



Are you planning your next trip to Northern Spain? Want to learn more about this destination? Or looking for ideas and inspiration for your next holiday? Here is where you can find our featured articles on Northern Spain.

 


We need to talk about The Camino
Green Spain The Northwestern Corner


WE'RE HERE TO GUIDE YOU ALONG THE WAY




This is just a taste of the information and advice we have available through our House of Travel consultants.
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