Best of Northern Spain From Madrid - 13 days

Best of Northern Spain From Madrid - 13 days

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13 Days From

$5315

$4135

Best of Northern Spain From Madrid - 13 days

13 Days Starting and ending in Madrid

Visiting: Madrid, Belmonte, Valencia, Barcelona, Huesca, Zaragoza, San Sebastian, Haro

Tour operator:

On The Go Tours

Group size:

2 - 16

Age range:

Minimum age 16, escorted by an adult

Trip Styles:

Small Group

From: $5315 $4135 Operator discount: -$1063 Mid-Year Mayhem Discount: -$117 -22%

NB: Prices correct on 18-Jun-2024 but subject to change.

This tour is no longer available, please see similar tours below or send an enquiry

Tour Overview

SMALL GROUP TOUR: From magical Madrid, uncover the cities, coasts and mountains of northern Spain on this 13-day escorted group tour. Discover Cuenca and the rock formations of La Serrania National Park, visit the Roman ruins of Segobriga, explore Valencia and Xativa and hed up the coast to Barcelona. See the famous Montserrat Monastery, hike in Monte Perdido National Park and visit Zaragoza. Journey through Basque Country to San Sebastian, enjoy wine tasting at a family-run winery in La Rioja and end your tour back in the Spanish capital.

Highlights

  • Cuenca - Enjoy a guided walking tour, visit the Cathedral and gaze at the hanging houses of this medieval city

  • La Serrania National Park - Admire strange mushroom-shaped rock formations and look out for vultures and eagles in the sky

  • Segobriga - Admire the well-preserved amphitheatre and public baths in this important Roman city

  • Requena - Savour the regional wine that has been produced here since the 7th century BC with an included tasting

  • Valencia - Spend three nights in this charming coastal city, enjoy a short guided tour and visit Albufera Natural Park, birthplace of Paella

  • Barcelona - Uncover the highlights of this Catalonian gem independently, with an entire free day to explore

  • Montserrat Monastery - Discover this famous mountain and opt to ride the cable car or visit the Benedictine monastery

  • Monte Perdido National Park - Hike amongst lush pine forests and rugged cliffs, and soak up views over the Pyrenees

  • Zaragoza - Marvel at the mixture of Islamic and Gothic architecture at Aljaferia Palace and enjoy some free time to further explore

  • San Sebastian - Roam the streets and iconic promenade of this picturesque beach city and food haven

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Itinerary

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Day 1: Madrid

Location: Madrid

Madrid – Cuenca – La Serrania National Park – Cuenca. Leaving Madrid, we journey through the heart of Old Spain, Castilla-La Mancha. This region boasts serene landscapes, diverse nature, and renowned Manchego cheese.





Our first destination is Villarejo de Salvanes, a small town with an intriguing castle and pre-Roman archaeological sites. Continuing to Cuenca, we enjoy a guided walking tour, including a visit to the 12th-Century Gothic cathedral.





From Cuenca, we venture into La Serrania National Park, a vast 73,000-hectare wildlife sanctuary. We take in the incredible and bizarre mushroom-shaped rock formations of the 'Enchanted City', and keep our eyes peeled for resident wildlife, including wild boar, golden eagles and majestic griffon vultures. Enjoy the panoramic vistas from the Mirador de Una viewpoint before we return to Cuenca, our base for two nights. The evening is at leisure.





Please note: Pick up for this tour is at 8:15 on day 1 (tour departs at 8:30) - Madrid Pick Up Point, Hotel Porcel Ganivet, Madrid.

Day 2: Belmonte

Location: Belmonte

Meals Included: Breakfast

Cuenca – Segobriga – Belmonte – Cuenca. We start today with an included visit to the Roman settlement of Segobriga, which offers a fascinating glimpse into the history of the Spanish Meseta. After exploring the remarkably preserved amphitheatre, public baths, and temples, we head south to Belmonte. There's free time for a tapas lunch before our included visit to the remarkable 15th-Century Castillo de Belmonte, known for its unique triangular courtyard and six-pointed star shape.





Back in Cuenca, there's free time to explore at leisure. You may wish to visit the Castilla-La Mancha Paleontological Museum, home to incredible dinosaur fossils and models.

Day 3: Valencia

Location: Valencia

Meals Included: Breakfast

Cuenca – Alcala del Jucar – Valencia. From Cuenca, we journey to Alcala del Jucar, a captivating town nestled within natural caves and perched between the castle and the Jucar River. There's free time to explore the town and find somewhere for lunch.





Next, we visit a winery in Requena for included wine tasting. This region has produced some of Spain's finest wine as far back as the 7th Century BC. After sampling some of the regional produce, we head to Valencia. This coastal gem is known as the birthplace of paella, boasts a vibrant nightlife, and is home to stunning architecture.

Day 4: Valencia

Location: Valencia

Meals Included: Breakfast

Valencia - Albufera Natural Park - Valencia. This morning, we explore the Monastery of Santa Maria in El Puig on an included visit. This structure has a diverse history with cloisters and defensive elements - it has served as a temple, a school, and even a prison





Next, we visit Albufera Natural Park, home to the rice paddies where paella was born. You can enjoy an optional boat ride or spend our time here observing the unique flora and fauna. There's also time for lunch independently. Returning to Valencia, we enjoy a short orientation tour of the city and the evening is at leisure.



Day 5: Valencia

Location: Valencia

Meals Included: Breakfast

Valencia – Xativa – Cullera – Valencia. Today we journey to Xativa, known as the 'Town of a Thousand Fountains'. Situated on the slopes of Monte Vernissa, it is best known as the historic home of the notorious noble family of Borgia. We enjoy an included visit to Xativa Castle and a short tour of the town, as well as free time to further explore independently.





Next, we head to the charming coastal town of Cullera. Our time here is free to relax on the beach, or enjoy panoramic views from the 13th-Century castle. In the afternoon, we return to Valencia. The rest of the day is free, or you can join an optional walking tour of the city, coupled with a delectable tapas experience.

Day 6: Barcelona

Location: Barcelona

Meals Included: Breakfast

Valencia – Peniscola – Sitges – Barcelona. In the morning we depart Valencia for the coastal town of Peniscola, known as the 'City in the Sea'. There's an optional visit to the Papa Lunas Castle, built by the Knights Templar in the late 1200s. Perched at the peninsula's highest point, the castle offers panoramic coastal views. Alternatively, don your swimsuit for a refreshing swim in the tranquil sea.





Continuing along the Mediterranean coast, our next stop is Sitges, a lively cultural hub boasting modernist architecture and intriguing museums. After a short visit, we complete our journey to Barcelona.

Day 7: Barcelona

Location: Barcelona

Meals Included: Breakfast

Today is completely free for you to delve into the sights of Barcelona as you wish. Uncover the work of Gaudi at Parc Guell and the mighty Sagrada Familia (book your tickets in advance). Unwind on one of the city's famous beaches, wander along La Rambla, or book a stadium tour at Camp Nou, the newly renovated home of FC Barcelona and the stadium where Lionel Messi, Xavi, Andres Iniesta, Sergio Busquets and other legends of football have plied their trade. In the evening, head out for dinner and drinks to experience Barcelona's vibrant nightlife.





Please note: In Barcelona, some members of your group may be ending their tour, and others may join. You may also meet a new guide for the next part of your trip, and change vehicle.

Day 8: Barcelona

Location: Barcelona

Meals Included: Breakfast

Barcelona – Montserrat – Lleida – Huesca. Leaving Barcelona this morning, we journey to the dramatic Montserrat mountain. This unique landscape is home to a Benedictine Monastery and Spain's revered Madonna and Child statue. We enjoy leisure time for lunch, and you can join an optional visit to the monastery or ride the cable car to the top of the mountain for panoramic views over Catalonia.





We continue our journey, making a stop in the quiet town of Lleida, renowned for its Roman heritage. There's free time for you to discover its ancient castle and cathedral independently. As day turns to evening we reach Huesca. The evening is free to wander the hilly town's medieval streets, discovering numerous churches and picturesque facades.

Day 9: Huesca

Location: Huesca

Meals Included: Breakfast

Huesca – Monte Perdido National Park – Jaca – Huesca. Today we'll be outdoors and there will be some walking involved, so wear a good pair of shoes! Our first stop is Torla-Ordesa, the gateway to Monte Perdido National Park. Here we take in stunning cliffs, lush oak and pine forests, and stunning 1,700-meter-high views over the Pyrenees.





Journeying through the mountains to Jaca, we discover the only surviving Spanish star-shaped fortress. There is also time for you to savour some of Aragon's regional cuisine before we return to Huesca for the evening.

Day 10: Zaragoza

Location: Zaragoza

Meals Included: Breakfast

Huesca – Zaragoza – Haro. Arriving in enchanting Zaragoza in the morning, we take an included visit to the 11th-century Aljaferia Palace. After admiring its beautiful porticos, we have some free time to explore. Art lovers can search for Goya paintings, history enthusiasts can discover Roman remains, and foodies can savour chireta, a delicious local dish.





Our next stop is Tarazona, known for its stunning medieval Mudejar style architecture, blending Muslim and Christian elements. Moving on to the village of Haro, the evening is free to enjoy a glass or two of local La Rioja red wine.

Day 11: San Sebastian

Location: San Sebastian

Meals Included: Breakfast

Haro – San Sebastian – Pamplona – Haro. Today we explore the Basque Country, a region of unique traditions, stunning shores, and delectable cuisine. We begin in San Sebastian, a food lover's paradise that boasts the highest Michelin star density per capita. Enjoy lunch and stroll along the picturesque La Concha beach.





We then journey inland to Pamplona, known controversially for ‘the Running of the Bulls'. There is free time for you to stroll along the impressive walls of the town fortress before we return to Haro for the evening.

Day 12: Haro

Location: Haro

Meals Included: Breakfast

Haro – La Rioja – Haro. Today we embark on a scenic morning drive through La Rioja's gentle hills to Santo Domingo de la Calzada where there is free time to wander its medieval streets or explore the cathedral. Then we travel to a family run winery to savour the local flavours of its wine and snacks with an included wine tasting.





In the afternoon we visit San Vicente de la Sonsierra. We cross the medieval Ebro River bridge for stunning valley views from the castle on the other side. We return to Haro in the afternoon, with plenty of time to relax in the hotel, or head out for a final dinner in northern Spain.



Day 13: Madrid

Location: Madrid

Meals Included: Breakfast

Haro – Burgos – Real Sitio de San Ildefonso – Madrid. Say goodbye to La Rioja and journey to the region of Castile and Leon today. Our first stop is in Burgos, where we have a few hours to explore. You'll want to check out the cathedral, one of Spain's most spectacular.





After lunch in Aranda de Duero, a haven for wine and food enthusiasts, we head south to the Royal Palace of La Granja de San Ildefonso, often called Spain's 'mini-Versailles.' We explore its opulent rooms and stunning grounds with an included ticket. We then make our way back to Madrid, where our tour comes to an end.





Please note: This tour finishes at 18:15 - Madrid Drop Off, Hotel Porcel Ganivet, Madrid.

What's Included

  • Accommodation
    3-4 star hotels

  • 12 breakfasts

  • 12 nights in 3-4 star hotels

  • Escorted by an English-speaking guide

  • Transportation in an air-conditioned luxury mini-coach with a local driver

  • Monte Perdido National Park shuttle bus

  • Entrance to Aljafería Palace

  • Winery visit with wine tasting and snacks

  • Royal Palace of La Granja de San Ildefonso

  • Walking tour of Cuenca including entrance to the Cathedral

  • Visit to Ciudad Encanada

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What's Not Included

  • International flights and visas

  • Tipping - an entirely personal gesture

  • Optional activities & additional attractions unless specified above

Age Policy

Minimum age 16, escorted by an adult

Check out our Q&As

  • What Ethical Travel credentials does the tour company have?

    Ensuring our footprint is light and that the benefits of travelling reach the local communities you visit is paramount to us. We’re proud to say that when travelling with us, the large majority of your holiday funds remain within the countries you visit, supporting local economies at a grass roots level.

  • How long has the tour company been trading?

    Since 1998

  • Who will be my travelling companions on the tour?

    With English-speaking tours, it's not a huge surprise that most on our travellers are from English-speaking countries or have English as their second language. Our group tours cater for everyone from 18 years old to 70+

  • Will the accommodation included meet local health and safety regulations?

    Yes

Reviews of this operator

Nicola Hodgkinson (Google Reviewer)  

Recently returned from Greece, a...

07-May-2024

Recently returned from Greece, a 5 day tour with OTG. Unfortunately, I had a negative experience on day 2 where I needed local support to get me out of a tricky situation. Thank you to Alexandra Z from Hetco Tours in Athens for helping me continue on with the trip, to the Hotel Zafolia staffing team and to Danielle and team here in the UK for supporting me with the aftermath. Your kindness will not be forgotten and I will pay it forward. I've now booked 3 trips with yourselves and will continue to go back. Thank you all. Honestly, I am SO grateful. Blessings to you all. Nicola

Calvin  

Wonderful experience

05-Jan-2023

Jamal is our tour guide. Right from the start, he created a group chat in whatsapp and if any issues to make sure we contact him. He was on the ball with every issue thrown at him. Luggage being left behind, stragglers wondered off in a different path, hotel room etc. He explains the various site along our route to give us a better understanding of the local cultures. We had a great time, thanks to Jamal.

Trustpilot
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Trawls (Google Reviewer)  

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On The Go Tours Sri Lanka was an incredible experience that was made even better by our tour guide Akthar. He was incredibly knowledgeable about his country and he loved sharing it with us. The tour covers a wide range of activities so you can truly experience what Sri Lanka is all about. The beautiful 4-5 star hotels at the end of every day was an absolute bonus. Thanks for a great trip OTGT I’m sure this won’t be my last

Xtreme Floor Care (Google Reviewer)  

Traveled through Egypt with On...

30-Nov-2023

Traveled through Egypt with On the Go Tours, professional service, very informative and helpful tour guides. The choice of hotels was excellent... Definitely recommend this company

Gavin Harrigan  

King Tutankhamun 10 day tour of Egypt

16-Sep-2021

I have just returned from my tour with On The Go and it was an amazing trip! From arriving at the airport and meeting the OTG representative, everything was well organised and hassle free.  Our tour guide was Amir. He is awesome!! From the beginning he was so friendly and enthusiastic about showing us around Egypt, giving us loads of information at each place and time to explore ourselves. Learnt so much from him about this fascinating place, and he was always happy to answer more questions.   The trip itself was amazing. There's lots of travelling on this trip, but it's really not too bad, and the sights you see when you get to where you are going are worth it. I'm not a big fan of boats, but the Felluca ride across the Nile was pretty fun too.  On the first day I also did the optional tour of Cairo with Ahmed Helal - another excellent guide from OTG. It's worth doing this add on as you don't spend much time in Cairo, and you go to three very different places.  I'm so glad that I decided to do this trip. It was just ace.  If you're thinking about it too, you should probably just book it. And hopefully you get Amir as your guide.

Paul Kelly (Google Reviewer)  

TOTALLY MOROCCO We booked a 9...

26-Feb-2023

TOTALLY MOROCCO We booked a 9 day tour of Morocco visiting many main cities and places of interest. The coach was very comfortable and we felt safe with the driver Suliman. The guide was Hicham Touraouine and he was fantastic. He spoke perfect English as well as French, Arabic and Berber. He was so kind and considerate and made a good tour great. We particularly enjoyed ‘glamming in the Sahara Desert. So much to see and do and great food and company. We would definitely use On The Go Tours again, especially if Hicham was the guide. Paul & Penny

Joyce Heitler (Google Reviewer)  

I would give this tour...

09-May-2024

I would give this tour group no stars if possible. The tour was not guaranteed but they did not inform me when I booked and they did not have enough people. Way after I booked they said I needed a doctors letter because I was over 70. Also way after booking I was informed I needed travel insurance. They knew my age when I booked. They would not refund my tour even though it was 4 months away.

Sarah Paterson (Google Reviewer)  

Terrible tour of India. For...

27-Dec-2023

Terrible tour of India. For some reason On the Go hadn't realised that my room mate had booked her own room for the first night of tour. So the hotel in Delhi had tried to put me in her room after midnight, by wheeling in an extra bed. She went Crazy!! I then had to sit in hotel reception for hours. While the tour guide said he couldn't find me a room. Throughout the tour the guide consistently ask me and my room mate for money for my room, causing more friction between us. Don't book with this company had the worst experience ever. Go with Intrepid or G Adventure

brandy hoffman (Google Reviewer)  

I had used them once...

09-Aug-2023

I had used them once before and loved them. I decided to try them again for a Baltic tour not knowing that they put me on another Tour group- Baltic vision. Loved that tour but was not impressed they marked up the cost for me over 100%. I understand taking some for yourself because of paperwork, but over double the cost everyone else paid on the tour. Just double check before you book with them that you’re not over paying.

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Book with Confidence

  • Transfer as credit to Future Tours

    On The Go Tours allows you to transfer existing payments to a future tour to avoid cancellation fees if you can't travel and inform on the go tours, 60 days before departure.

  • Low Deposit

    On The Go Tours requires a minimum deposit of 300 GBP per person or the full booking value, whichever is less, with the final balance not due until 60 days before departure.

  • Cancellation Policy

    We don't charge a cancellation fee, here is a summary of on the go tours charges.

    Up to 60 days before tour starts: Forfeit 100% of deposit.

    At 59 days before tour starts: Forfeit 50% of booking price.

    At 30 days before tour starts: Forfeit 100% of booking price.

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