Bordeaux, San Sebastian, Bilbao, Santiago de Compostela
Dates are customizable for private departures.
Enjoy one of Europe's most undiscovered regions on this 14-day tour of Bordeaux, San Sebastian, Bilbao, and Santiago de Compostela. This transnational tour is customized for those who enjoy leisurely time as well as an active exploration of each destination they visit. By the time your trip concludes, you will be well-versed in the national charm of France, Spain, and the Basque Country.
Bordeaux – A Scenic Arrival
Despite being known as France’s Little Paris, the sublime city of Bordeaux encompasses the world's largest UNESCO-listed World Heritage site. This heritage site includes centuries-worth of historical treasures, a lively arts scene, and some of the best architecture to see in Southern France. After your arrival, a private transfer will convey you from the outskirts of the city into the heart of this magical and memorable setting. The remainder of the day will be yours to explore at your leisure or to follow the recommendations of your friendly hotel staff.
Bordeaux – The City's Illustrious Past
Although the region is best-known for wine, Boredaux enjoys a history that dates back to the 4th Century BC. In the centuries that followed, Bordeaux was occupied by Romans, Visigoths, Carolingians, and eventually the English. This diverse history will be on display when you enjoy a walking tour of the city that will be complete with visits to its biggest attractions. Accompanied by a private guide, your tour will include encounters with the Royal Plaza, the Grand Theatre, and a host of neighborhoods that exhibit some of the city's finest homes and villas. By the time your day concludes, you will be well-versed in French culture and customs.
Bordeaux – Take to the Sea
Bordeaux has long enjoyed a geographic position that lends itself easily to trade by land and sea. Today, you will get a feel for what life was like for the traders whose wooden vessels plied the waters of the Atlantic. You will be met in the lobby of your hotel by a guide, who will accompany you to the nearby Arcachon Bay. Here, you will board a traditional wooden boat called a Pinasse. The rest of the day will be a blend of spectacular views, oyster tastings, and charming company as you explore a side of France that is missed by those who remain securely on shore.
Bordeaux – Sip Your Way Through France
The anticipation of encountering Bordeaux's wine-producing reputation will have been growing since you first set foot in this sublime setting. Today, you will finally be able to scratch that itch during a full-day tour of the medieval village of St. Emilion. Here, the brown and grey of the limestone buildings contrast sharply with the green vineyards that spread in all directions. After strolling through this magical setting, you will make your way to a local chateau for a private tasting of some of the region's best vintages
San Sebastian – Transnational Road Trip
Even though today is an international travel day, that does not mean that you cannot enjoy yourself along the way. Today, you will dive deep into the heart of the Basque region to enjoy a guided road trip to San Sebastian with plenty of sightseeing along the way. First, you will pass through Bayonne, whose steepled cityscape and charming center will inspire your imagination. Your next visit will be to Biarritz, whose resort feeling will make you want to stay; however, the promise of a tour at the town of St-Jean de Luz will arouse your enthusiasm before you arrive at your comfortable accommodation in San Sebastian.
San Sebastian – Basque Walking Tour
Perched on the southern edge of the Bay of Biscay, San Sebastian has attracted lovers of the seaside for centuries. Today exquisite restaurants and charming locals ensures a steady stream of visitors to San Sebastian each year. Into this famous resort destination you will plunge on your first full day as you embark on a panoramic tour including visits to Mt. Igueldo, the legendary beach known as La Concha, and a tour of the numerous eateries found throughout the Old Town. By the time the sun sets on your tour, you will feel much more at home in this remarkable city.
San Sebastian – Bask in the Basque Region
A balance between leisure and active time is essential on any itinerary. Today, you will be able to enjoy plenty of the former as you chart your own course through the scenic beauty of San Sebastian. Perhaps, a trip to the beach will give you the opportunity to feel the sand beneath your feet and enjoy the bracing air that sweeps off the Bay of Biscay. You can also take a turn inland and set off in search of the numerous award-winning restaurants and eateries throughout the Old Town.
Bilbao – Panoramic Road Trip
A final stroll along the waterfront in San Sebastian would be an excellent way to enjoy your final morning in the city. Today, you will make your way along the Basque coastline to the riverside city of Bilbao. This panoramic road trip will include plenty of stops at the noteworthy overlooks, villages, and beaches that keep tourists returning to this region year after year. Your journey will also include a stop at the town of Guernica, where, in 1937, a German bombing raid leveled the city and was captured in Picasso's masterful painting of the same name.
Bilbao – Europe's Contemporary Art Museum
Tucked into the lush hills of the Basque Country, Bilbao's industrial reputation at the start of the 20th century has been replaced by a thriving and colorful city center. This cosmopolitan community presents modern visitors with a vast array of options to sample the local pintxos as well as one of the most famous contemporary art museums in Europe. Your orientation of Bilbao will come in the form of a guided tour that will teach you about this city's recent architectural renaissance and culinary heritage.
Bilbao – Falling in Love with a Spanish Rioja
A unique perspective on European winemaking will be yours when you pay a visit to Spain's proud Rioja wine region, which can provide contrasting flavors and smells to your earlier tastings in Bordeaux. This immersion in Spanish winemaking will begin with a trip to one of the many charming wineries that operate in this region before you enjoy customizable tastings at two other wineries. Your tour will end with a visit to the medieval town of Laguardia, where visitors cannot help but fall in love with the spectacular views, cobblestone streets, and handsome plazas on display.
Santiago de Compostela – Following the Pilgrims
Your travels today will lead you into the heart of the remote region of Galicia. Tucked in the northwestern corner of the Iberian Peninsula, this unprecedented cultural, historical, and culinary heritage will be yours to explore upon your arrival. After a brief morning flight, your private guide will meet you at the airport and lead you on a scenic drive to your final destination of Santiago de Compostela. On the way, you will be able to visit the stunning Arousa and Cambados in addition to savoring a private wine tasting.
Santiago de Compostela – Strolling Through the Ages
As the capital of the autonomous region of Galicia and one of the preeminent pilgrimage sites in Spain, Santiago de Compostela is a major destination for the faithful and walking enthusiasts alike. It is also the final destination of the Way of Saint James pilgrimage route, which many travel on foot before reaching the famous Cathedral. After you enjoy a leisurely morning, you will be able to receive an orientation by way of a guided walking tour of the city center and many of the UNESCO World Heritage Sites. At the conclusion of your tour, you will have the remainder of the day to wander the beautiful boulevards of this attractive corner of Spain at your leisure.
Santiago de Compostela – The Treasures of Galicia
Your final full day on the shore will be spent in style as you enjoy a day trip out of Santiago de Compostela into the lush natural beauty of the Miño River Valley. After a private transfer conveys you comfortably to the river's edge, you will board the riverboat and make your way upstream. This trip will include visits to the Marce Waterfall as well as the opportunity to admire the rustic structures you pass. By the time you return to Santiago de Compostela, you will have a much better appreciation for both the rural beauty and urban charm of Galicia.
Santiago de Compostela – Departure
There is no strength powerful enough to prevent the arrival of your final day on this tour, and as the horizontal light penetrates the drawn curtains of your comfortable accommodations, it will not be without a sense of reluctance that you emerge from the blankets. When you are ready, a private transfer will convey you to the Coruña airport for your departing flight.
- Explore the UNESCO-protected beauty of Bordeaux on a walking tour through the cultural and culinary brilliance of this charming region of France
- Take to the sea on a traditional Pinasse tour of the Arcachon Bay and set off in search of your favorite oyster while visiting the famous seafood farms of the coast
- Sample the region's most well-known export when you explore the fertile countryside around Bordeaux and visit some panoramic wineries
- Embark on a transnational road trip into the heart of Basque Country and enjoying stops along the way at scenic overlooks and medieval villages
- Snack your way through San Sebastian on a tour of the colorful bars and counters full of savory pintxos that display the region's culinary skill
- Stroll along the famous waterfront of La Concha Beach, where European royalty once savored the bracing sea
- Scale the looming peak of Mt. Igueldo, where your efforts will be rewarded with some stunning views of the city and coastline
- Wander through the mesmeric interior of the Guggenheim Gallery, a preeminent contemporary art museum in Europe and one of Spains most popular attractions
- Compare Spanish wines with French ones on a trip into the adjacent Rioja wine region, where wineries compete to serve you the best of their vineyards
- Walk in the footsteps of centuries of pilgrims at Santiago de Compostela, where you cannot help but fall in love with the rustic city center
$8,395 per person (excluding international flights)
- In-country transportation
- Some or all activities and tours
- Expert trip planning
- 24x7 support during your trip
Your final trip cost will vary based on your selected accommodations, activities, meals, and other trip elements that you opt to include.
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