Beginning in Porto, this evocative journey from Portugal through northern Spain’s enchanting ancient towns and character-filled cities is one to be remembered. Join us as we follow our own pilgrimage of discovery along the Camino de Santiago and beyond – savouring tantilising flavours, uncovering centuries-old stories and venturing into breathtaking natural landscapes.
A tangled maze of medieval walls and contemporary architecture hugging the banks of the mighty Rio Douro – our journey across the Camino will begin in the evocative Portuguese city of Porto. Settle into our hotel and meet your fellow travel companions – we’ll get to know one another better over a sumptuous welcome dinner at a local restaurant. Here’s to the adventure ahead! Accommodation: Vila Gale Porto Ribeira (or similar)
After breakfast this morning, we’ll board the mini-coach and leisurely make our way to picturesque Viana Do Castelo. Spend some time soaking up the magnificent views over the attractive riverfront and incredible neo-Byzantine Templo do Sagrado Coracão de Jesus, before we continue to Ponte de Lima to see the ancient Ponte Medieval bridge (constructed by the Romans in 1AD). One of the oldest towns in Portugal, Ponte de Lima is a charmingly photogenic town located on the banks of the Lima River. We’ll enjoy some free time this afternoon exploring the historic centre dotted with quaint cafes, vibrant flower gardens and sunny plazas at our leisure. Later, we’ll continue to Santiago de Compostela – where we’ll have the evening to explore the charming city centre or relax at our hand-picked hotel. Accommodation: Gran Hotel Los Abetos (or similar)
The final stop on the famous Camino de Santiago pilgrimage trail and alleged burial site of Saint James – Santiago de Compostela is shrouded in fascinating history and Galician character. We'll have the opportunity to delve deeper into this city’s rich heritage and admire the magnificent stone architecture of Old Town on a locally guided walking tour – taking in the likes of Plaza del Obradoiro, Palacio de Raxoi and Cathedral de Santiago as we go. Then: the rest of the afternoon is ours to explore at our own pace. This evening, we’ll be free to indulge in some exquisite local seafood and savour the flavours of traditional Galician cuisine at a restaurant of our choosing. Accommodation: Gran Hotel Los Abetos (or similar)
Today, we’ll continue our journey to Ponferrada where we’ll pay a visit to the impressive Castillo de los Templarios (Templars Castle). We’ll travel back in time as we wander the walls of this giant fortress – built in 1178 AD to protect the pilgrims on their road to Santiago de Compostela. Following our visit, we’ll venture into the city centre to enjoy lunch at our leisure. Continuing our journey into northern Castilla, we’ll arrive at our final stop of the day: León. This evening, we’ll enjoy some free time to seek out a local eatery amongst the city’s picturesque old quarter or relax at our hotel. Accommodation: NH Collection Plaza Mayor (or similar)
We’ll start our day with a walking tour of León – taking in the grand monuments, Gothic Cathedral and 10th-century Basilica de San Isidoro with a local guide. Following our in-depth tour, we’ll venture into the vineyard studded Castille and León countryside to sample some local wine and indulge in a delicious included lunch. Returning to León later this afternoon, we’ll have the rest of the evening free to explore at our own pace. Accommodation: NH Collection Plaza Mayor (or similar)
This morning, we’ll leave the metropolis of León behind and journey into the mesmerising Picos de Europa National Park. Located in the Cantabrian Mountains, this vast expanse of towering snow-capped peaks and deep green valleys is an evocative sight to behold – and we’ll enjoy many opportunities to take in the breathtaking views as we make our way to Parador de Fuente Dé. Once here, we’ll savour an included lunch and enjoy more panoramic photo opportunities with a cable car ride to the Aliva viewpoint. After a spectacular day of exploring, we’ll end our day in Santillana del Mar – where a final tantalising group meal awaits. Accommodation: Hotel Altamira (or similar)
Before our tour comes to an end, we’ll make a stop at the city of Santander to visit the emblematic Palacio de Magdalena. Built between 1909 and 1911, the palace once housed the Spanish Royal family and is one of the most prominent examples of civil architecture in northern Spain. After taking lunch at a local restaurant of your choosing, we’ll continue on and wind up our day in Bilbao – where we’ll say our goodbyes.
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With more than 30 years’ experience in small group and tailor-made tours across the UK, Europe and Asia, Back-Roads Touring is truly the original Small Group Touring company.
With each tour capped at 18 passengers (14 for Asia tours), Back-Roads curates authentic, off-the-beaten-track travel experiences.
Catering for the mature traveller, Back-Roads has built up a brand rooted in expert local knowledge, sustainable tourism, culinary excellence and premium boutique accommodation.
Their award-winning tour leaders are committed to delivering the ‘Back-Roads difference’ whether that be dining with the group, offering the flexibility to change the itinerary, giving personal recommendations for lunch or bringing each destination to life with their insight and knowledge. Their Tour leaders are dedicated to delivering a truly authentic, personalised experience. The Back-Roads Difference inludes:
Back-Roads Touring was named Best Small Coach Holidays Company for 2015, 2016 and 2017 in the British Travel Awards and have been nominated for two awards in 2018.