Pyrenees Tour

Description

Where: Spain and France

How Long: 15 Days

Discover the delights of northern Spain and the Pyrenees with this fabulous two week tour. Explore the lesser-known areas of Catalonia and Aragon, where there is little traffic, and therefore excellent driving on exciting, winding roads, accompanied by far reaching views of hills, mountains and lakes.

Tour Operator: Classic Travelling
Available: 21st September - 5th October 2017

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Starting and finishing in Bilbao, you can explore Rioja and its vineyards and plains, see pilgrims on the Compostela di Santiago, visit Pamplona, travel across the Sierra de Guara, explore the beautiful Pyrenees mountain range, and visit the enchanting seaside resort of San Sebastian.

Itinerary

Itinerary may be subject to change without notice

Day 1:

For those travelling from the UK leave Portsmouth on the Brittany Ferries sailing to Bilbao. The ferry departs at 11.45, and we shall have a welcome dinner at 8pm. A sea view, en-suite cabin is booked for your comfort. You will have one night on board the ship.

Day 2:

Arrive in Bilbao at 12.45pm. Drive south, over the Balcon de Rioja to Laguardia. There will be a vineyard visit before heading to our delightful hotel, near Olite, where we shall spend two nights. Dinner is included on both evenings.
Mileage: 125

Day 3:

Either enjoy a rest day or head to the lovely city of Pamplona. Alternatively drive south to the valley of the dinosaurs, Ruta da Cidacos. There is even a life size brontosaurus on one of the plains to keep you amused! Pass the many tiny troglodyte dwellings near Arnedillo.
Mileage: own

Day 4:

First stop of the day is at the very scenic to the small town of Olite, which boasts a magnificent castle, once the most sumptuous royal residence in Europe. Explore the medieval rambling streets and sample some local cuisine. Then head on to pretty Ujue, a small hilltop village that is well worth a stroll around. Drive east surrounded by beautiful views to visit the impressive Castillo de Loarre, which is set well into the rock and is virtually impossible to see until very nearby. It is then a short drive to the Sierra de Guara, an area of sculpted gorges, painted prehistoric caves and appealing villages. Stay overnight at a lovely small hotel and enjoy dinner in the restaurant.
Mileage: 144

Day 5:

Drive some superb roads today, winding around mountains, through canyons, across high cols, and along river valleys, to the lovely town of Solsona. Stay overnight in a wonderful hotel that has been in the same family for over 80 years, and has been subject to a recent, outstanding refurbishment to create a very special place with fantastic flair. There is also a spa with hot tub, sauna and stream room. Dinner is included but there is a choice of restaurants in the hotel: a formal dining room, or a more relaxed tapas restaurant.
Mileage: 137

Day 6:

Leave Solsona and head across to Berga, and then Ripoll. Drive along some excellent mountain roads, passing Spain’s oldest ski resort, La Molina, and then descend into Puigcerda, adjacent to the French border. Stay for two nights in an exquisite five star hotel on the edge of town, with underground parking, with views across the lake and mountains. The hotel also offers a superb spa for those wishing to relax. Dinner is in the renowned restaurant.
Mileage: 93

Day 7:

A day off to relax or explore the area. We have organised an early morning balloon flight (weather dependant) across the mountains, which is highly recommended as a sensational way to see the Pyrenees. Puigcerda is very pleasant for a stroll, with a number of cafes to soak up the sun and atmosphere, or there are a couple of golf courses in the vicinity. For water lovers there are many rivers nearby for fishing, rafting or canoeing or the coast is only an hour away.
Mileage: own

Day 8:

A wonderful drive across mountain passes and along pretty valleys, surrounded by breath-taking scenery. Stay in a lovely Parador in the Vall d’Aran, surrounded by mountains. Dinner is included.
Mileage: 104

Day 9:

Another day of stunning driving on wonderful, meandering roads through canyons and across mountains. The scenery is captivating and dotted with untouched villages built from local stone. Stay for the next two nights just south of the French border, in the Valley de Tena, at a gorgeous, character hotel, with its own spa. Dinner is included both nights.
Mileage: 135

Day 10:

Enjoy another day of relaxation. This is a wonderful spot to walk in the mountains, visit the nearby villages, even head into France to visit Pau or the pilgrimage town of Lourdes.
Mileage: own

Day 11:

Cross the border into France, heading towards Oloron, before climbing back over the Pyrenees, into Spain again. Wind across the mountains to the fashionable sea-side resort of San Sebastian. Stay for the next two nights in a superb hotel, within a few minutes walk of the centre of town. This charming small hotel is in a renovated 19th century villa – a Historical Heritage Building of San Sebastian. The hotel does not have a restaurant, but is very centrally located with a number of places nearby to eat.
Mileage: 189

Day 12:

Spend the day exploring San Sebastian. The hotel is just a five minute walk of the Zurriola beach, and the old part of town. San Sebastian is the summer capital of Spain: it is here where the Belle Epoque lives on, with its blend of cosmopolitan style and old-world ambience.
Mileage: 0

Day 13:

The morning is at leisure to further explore San Sebastian. For those heading back to the UK, drive to Bilbao for the final night to stay in a lovely hotel in the city. Spend the afternoon enjoying the delights of Bilbao or visit the Guggenheim Museum.
Mileage: 74

Day 14:

The ferry departs at 10.30am so most of the day will be spent onboard, relaxing at the end of the tour. There will be a farewell dinner tonight in the ship’s restaurant.

Day 15:

Arrive in Portsmouth at 9.00 and depart for home.