Northern Spain, including the provinces of Asturias and Cantabria, is often referred to as ‘Green Spain’ for its lush landscapes - a stark contrast to the drier terrain for which the south is recognised. We invite you to join us in exploring this beautiful area, taking in pretty medieval villages, the stunning mountains of Picos de Europa National Park and a picturesque coastline of rocky cliffs and sandy beaches, easily accessible from your hotel. The list of highlights also includes visits to an incredible house created by Antoni Gaudi and the exceptional Azpeitia Railway Museum with a journey on an historical steam train.
6 nights in hotel (accommodation as specified or similar)
Make your own way to London Heathrow Airport; flight to Bilbao. Transfer to the Gran Hotel Suances (4T) in Suances, located in Spain’s lovely Catabria region.
Day 2 Picos de Europa
Picos de Europa National Park cannot claim to be Spain’s highest mountain range but it is certainly the country’s most beautiful and unspoilt national park, and is recognised as a UNESCO Biosphere Reserve. We have included a journey on the Fuente Dé cable car, ascending 753m alongside a sheer cliff. The views are truly spectacular from the natural balcony at the summit. On our return to the hotel we stop at the small medieval village of Potes, a beautiful setting with various stately homes and ancestral mansions, plus the fortified Torre del Infantado.
Day 3 Santillana de Mar - Comillas
Santillana de Mar is a preserved medieval village, with most of its houses built between the 14th and 18th centuries and take a guided tour of this pretty, living museum. We can also find the Museum of the Altamira Caves that displays an exact replica of the prehistoric Altamira Caves - featuring bison, horses, deer and mysterious signs that were painted or engraved into the cave walls over 9,000 years ago. We continue to Comillas to view El Capricho de Gaudí, a wonderfully quirky, striped summer house, adorned with sunflowers - one of Antoni Gaudi’s earliest works, and one of only a few existing outside Catalonia.
Day 4 Liérganes
Today we travel to Santander to board a train to Liérganes, a town of National Historic-Artistic Interest. We take a guided walk along its cobbled streets to learn of the sites which earned the town its status, including the Cuesta-Mercadillo, known as Rañada Palace, and the church of San Sebastian. We return to Santander on the train, passing lovely green landscapes, and then by coach to Suances to enjoy the rest of the day at leisure.
Day 5 Azpeitia
This morning we head to Azpeitia to visit its Railway Museum. More than sixty completely restored trains, from steam locomotives to urban tramways and merchandise carriages, fill this museum, as well as collections of memorabilia that include uniforms and railway clocks, to complete the tale of the railway’s evolution over the last 150 years. The experience is completed with a ride to Lasao on an historical steam train.
Day 6 Suances
Spend today at leisure.
Day 7 Suances - Bilbao - London
We transfer to the airport; flight to London Heathrow. On arrival you are free to make your own way home.