VALLADOLID, GIJON, LEON, PLASENCIA, CACERES, MADRID
Gourmet & Wine, History & Culture, Off the Beaten, Nature & Wildlife
Beyond the main tourist hotspots of Barcelona or Madrid lie lesser known treasures that are no less impressive – a wealth of cultural, natural and culinary finds that you will discover on this journey through the regions of Castile-Leon, Asturis and Extremadura.
We start from one of Spain’s prestigious wine region, the Ribera del Duero, before crossing the mountains of the Picos de Europa to the Asturian coast known as Green Spain, where the intense green landscape blends into the deep blue ocean. Next, turn back inland to the Castile-Leon and further south into Extremadura, known for their spectacular monuments, a diversity of natural landscapes and gastronomy that is bound to delight. Listen to fascinating tales of medieval cities like Oviedo, Salamanca, Caceres and Toledo, and understand why they are World Heritage cities. End the trip in vibrant Madrid for a couple of days of hedonistic pleasure.
Upon arrival in Madrid, meet your English-speaking driver for your transfer to the wine region of Ribera del Duero (approx. 215km, 2.5hrs)
The rest of the day is at leisure to relax after your long flight – enjoy the wellness facilities at your hotel.
Ribera del Duero Wine Tour (Full Day)
Embark on a journey dedicated to discover the wines of Ribera del Duero.
Commence with a stop at a local winery where you will be introduced to the Ribera del Duero, the wine making process and a tasting of 4 wines with snacks prepared by the tea of a local 1-Michelin starred restaurant.
Next, enjoy a walk in pretty Penafiel, its streets lined with houses with beautiful wooden balconies showcasing a rich history dating from 1307, as well as churches, convents. The star of the town is its well-conserved castle, rising high above the town and offering a vista of the Duraton river and valley. It was declared a National Monument in 1917 and today houses the Provincial Wine Museum.
End the afternoon with a bodegas visit, with a modern cellar specially designed to minimise energy use and reducing environmental impact. Here, you will enjoy a tasting of 3 wines.
Green Spain Landscapes (Full Day)
Meet your driver and start the journey that will take you from the wine region and flat areas of Ribera del Duero through beautiful valleys of the National Park of Picos de Europa, and ending in coastal Asturias (approx. 380km, 5.5hrs in total).
En route, we will stop in Potes village right in the heart of Picos de Europa, where we can enjoy a stroll crossing its many bridges and discovering the historical buildings surrounded by gorgeous mountains and rivers. The gastronomy is well-known in the region, so enjoy lunch in a local restaurant before continuing the journey to Llanes, a charming port town with rich historical heritage buildings set along the coast of Green Spain. This will be a great day of contrasts to discover the diversity of Spain landscapes.
Gijon City Tour (2.5hrs)
Meet your English-speaking guide who will take you on a journey through Gijon, a Roman settlement with a historical port. See many of the cities’ landmarks on this panoramic drive, including Playa de San Lorenzo, Universidad Laboral, Parque Isabel la Catolica and the football stadium, before reaching the historical city centre on Santa Catarina hill, with some of the best views over the sea and the coast. Continue to Plaza Mayor with the city hall, Plaza del Marques, passing by the old cafés and cider bars, the roman wall, clock tower and more. You will discover the city is an attractive combination of monumental heritage, modern urban planning and maritime tradition.
The afternoon is at leisure to explore the city on your own, or we can arrange other excursions in the region, such as a cider tasting, a kayak along the coast, trekking in the nearby mountains, and more.
After breakfast, depart Gijon towards Oviedo (35km, approx. 30min).
Oviedo City Tour (2hrs)
Enjoy a panoramic tour taking in Oviedo’s key highlights, including Parque de San Francisco, Teatro Campoamor, Santa Clara Convent and the Maternity statue from Botero. Next, you will take a walk through the old city centre, starting from the university to the cathedral, town hall, the Palace of Marquis San Felix to Camposagrado.
Enjoy lunch at a local restaurant before continuing your journey to Leon (approx. 130km, 1.5hrs).
Leon Walking Tour (3hrs)
After breakfast, enjoy a walking tour with your English-speaking guide through the heart of Leon, a historic enclave on the Pilgrim’s way to Santiago de Compostela. The walking tour will start in Plaza Mayor, before continuing through its narrow streets with small palaces, before stopping at the church of San Salvador dating from the 10th century and Casa de los Botines, a house by Gaudi who introduced the modernist style in Leon. Explore Basilica of San Isidoro, known as the Sistine Chapel of the Spanish Romanesque Style, although, there has been gothic additions which inspired the Reims Cathedral.
After breakfast, depart for Plasencia, with stops at some of Castille and Leon’s most atmospheric cities and towns (approx. 350km, 3.5hrs).
Salamanca Walking Tour (2.5hrs)
Salamanca’s UNESCO world heritage city is not to be missed – take a stroll through the city which is also home to one of the oldest universities in Europe. Explore Plaza Mayor as well as the two cathedrals in the city.
Plasencia At Leisure
Plasencia is situated on the bank of Jerte River, a strategic location along the Silver Route from the Gulf of Cadiz to Asturias. Be sure to explore the historical city centre with medieval fortifications, palaces, ancestral houses and religious buildings.
Monfrague National Park Birdwatching (4hrs)
Meet your local ornithologist guide at the National Park of Monfrague, where you will be introduced into the world of bird-watching. Learn about its natural habitat of holm oak, cork trees and rocky mountains, and spot rare species, such as the black vulture, at strategic viewpoints. There will be plenty of walking, so comfortable shoes and clothes are recommended.
Continue to Caceres, where you will check-in at your hotel before heading out to the city.
Caceres Walking Tour (2hrs)
Meet your local guide to explore the UNESCO World Heritage city of Caceres. Starting from Plaza Mayor, roam the medieval streets with Renaissance buildings and churches, including the Bishop’s Palace and cathedral. Continue on to the atmospheric Jewish Quarter on the outskirts of the old town, with narrow streets and beautiful whitewashed squares and gardens.
Caceres – Regional Highlights (Full Day)
Head out to the countryside of Caceres to explore some of the region’s highlights.
Montanchez is a small village with an imposing castle with Roman origins towering over its cobblestone streets. It is famous for its Iberian Pata Negra ham as well as traditional cuisine and sweets – be sure not to miss taking home this Dehesa de Extremadura Designation of Origin Product!
Trujillo is home to a collection of churches, castles and manor houses centred around Plaza Mayor which are declared Property of Cultural Interest, and has an illustrious history of being on the Conquistadors Route, the birthplace of many personalities linked to the discovery of America. It’s highly recommended to have lunch here to sample the regional products derived from the Iberian pig.
After breakfast, depart to Madrid, with a stop at Toledo (approx. 340km, 3.5hrs)
Toledo City Tour (2.5hrs)
Known as the city of the three cultures, Toledo has a wealth of heritage monuments – an artistic and cultural legacy in the form of churches, palaces, fortresses, mosques and synagogues. On your city tour which involves a panoramic drive and a walking tour, you will see the key highlights including the Gothic Cathedral Santa Maria, Santo Tome Church, Santa Maria la Blanca Synagogue, the alcazar, El Greco Museum, San Juan de Reyes Monastery and Synagogue of “El Transito”. Included in the tour is the admission to Toledo Cathedral, and the other admissions can be paid on the spot if you are interested.
You have some leisure time for lunch in the city, before continuing on your drive to Madrid.
Madrid At leisure
Spain’s bustling capital is one of Europe’s most interesting cities – famous museums, busy streets dotted with all kinds of shops, a culinary melting pot and unbeatable nightlife. We can offer you an introduction tour to take in the main highlights for first-time visitors, or an appreciate of art at the Prado Museum or one of the smaller but no less charming cultural centres, or some retail therapy at local boutiques or the massive El Corte Ingles.
After breakfast, transfer to Madrid airport (approx. 16km, 25min) for your onward journey.
Mid Season: March to Jun, Sep to Oct
High Season: Jul to Aug
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