Christmas in San Sebastian by Rail

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  • Overview
  • Itinerary
  • What's Included
  • Dates
  • Travel Editions

You'll love this tour if you like: 

  • Rich unique culture and history 
  • Delicious regional cuisine 
  • Spectacular scenery - rugged coastline and mountainous interior 
  • Historic cities - with both a French and Spanish flavour
  • Mordern art at the Guggenheim 

Experience the festive celebrations of the Basque Country where, as well as enjoying a unique Christmas experience, you can submerge yourself in the rich history and vibrant culture of this beautiful region. Based in the foodie capital of San Sebastián, the itinerary includes guided tours in Bilbao, plus entrance to the Guggenheim, Pamplona, Vitoria- Gasteiz and Biarritz with plenty of free time to soak up the local atmosphere.


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More Info

PASSPORTS
Valid passport required by all, except:
(a) EU nationals holding valid national identification cards;
(b) Holders of national identification cards issued to nationals of Andorra, Liechtenstein, Monaco, San Marino and Switzerland.

TRAIN
As with most trains, passengers are responsible for carrying baggage onto and off the train. Baggage can be stored on overhead shelves or at the entrance to the carriages. Trollies are available at St Pancras and Lille, but bags do need to be carried on to the platform.  Porters are sometimes but not always available at St Pancras. The Eurostar and French trains are very long (18 carriages in the case of Eurostar and nearly 400 metres long) so there can be quite lengthy walks from the station entrance to your seat. On all legs of the journey you have reserved seat and carriage numbers which are shown clearly on your ticket. 

Travel Editions recommends a luggage delivery service called thebaggageman, where your suitcase can be picked up from your home before departure and delivered straight to your hotel; therefore removing the worry about carrying your cases onto and off the trains. Please click here for more information and we have arranged a 10% discount exclusive to Travel Editions clients off the thebaggageman service. Tel: 01844 264890
 
HEALTH & INSURANCE – EHIC CARD
Please note that EHIC (European Health Insurance Card) only allows access to the same state-provided healthcare as a resident of the EU country they are temporarily visiting. It is NOT an alternative to travel insurance and will not provide the same level of cover as a travel insurance policy. The EHIC will not cover any private medical healthcare or the cost of things such as repatriation to the UK or lost or stolen property. It is also important to note that each country’s healthcare system is slightly different, so the EHIC might not cover everything that would be generally free on the NHS. On the EHIC application website, there is a section called Access to Healthcare Abroad which clarifies all the conditions and inclusions. We strongly recommend that you take out an appropriate travel insurance policy when you travel abroad.

Accommodation

Hotel Astoria 7, San Sebástian
Housed in the historic Astoria Cinema by the River Urumea the Astoria 7 is a design hotel that plays on its cinematic roots with a décor that pays tribute to movie stars. Just a 15 minute walk from San Sebástian’s main sights, rooms are individually decorated and offer private bathrooms, air-conditioning, TV, minibar, hairdryer and wi-fi. The hotel's facilities include a fitness room, snack bar and restaurant. 

Hotel Astoria 7 Website

OUR VIEW ON THE HOTEL
Don't be put off by the themed nature of the hotel, it is very comfortable and offers excellent service.  

Pre-tour accommodation is available at the Premier Travel Inn, London King's Cross St Pancras, about a 5 minutes walk from St Pancras International, at an approximate rate of £120 per room. Bookings can be made direct with the hotel on 0871 527 8672 or visit their website.  

Places of Interest

San Sebastián
San Sebastián is a picturesque city with a beautiful setting, sitting on the calm La Concha bay and backed by low, rolling hills. Best known for its wonderful beaches, the town itself is packed with fascinating sights, particularly in the Parte Vieja (Old Quarter) where the cramped old streets remain lively throughout the day and into the night, when people congregate at the delightful small bar and restaurants. The baroque 18th century Basilica de Santa-Maria and 16th century gothic Iglesia de San Vincente are the main must-sees and a stroll following the coastal footpath around the wooded slopes of Monte Urgull is a lovely way to pass the day.

Biarritz, Bayonne and St Jean de Luz
The grand and chic Atlantic resort of Biarritz became a popular playground for the rich and famous in the 19th century when affluent Europeans, including royalty, holidayed here after, in 1854, the Empress Eugenie, wife of Napolean III built a palace on the beach. That palace is now one of Europe’s grandest hotels, the magnificent Hotel du Palais. Other sights include the Russian church, Art-deco Musee dela Mer and Chapelle Imperiale. Capital of France’s Pays Basque, Bayonne is a small city, split into two ‘quarters’ by the River Nive, whose charms are best seen with a pleasurable stroll through the narrow streets of the old town, which are lined with half-timbered houses and still surrounded by the original 17th century fortifications. Thanks to its natural harbour Saint Jean de Luz has a strong seafaring history. The wealth this created is well displayed in the magnificent Old Quarter, which houses a number of old, half-timbered mansions, including the turreted Maison Louis XIV, where King Louis himself stayed in the build-up to his wedding to Maria-Teresa of Spain in 1660.

Pamplona
Best known for the annual ‘Running of the Bulls’, Pamplona has many lovely sights to visit, which are all conveniently located in the Casco Antiguo. Explore the twisting lanes each leading to beautiful parks, churches and eventually, the huge citadel - a fascinating muddle of architecture from different eras - or find the Plaza del Castillo, sit in a cafe and watch the world go by.

Destinations
  • Biarritz
  • The Pyrenees
  • Pamplona
  • Bilbao
  • Paris
  • Pyrenees
  • Europe
  • San Sebastian
  • Spain
Tour Types
  • Seniors
  • Rail
  • Festive and New Year
  • 50 plus
  • Rail Tours
  • Christmas Tours
Departure Points
  • St Pancras

Day 1: Travel by Eurostar from St Pancras to Paris and onwards to Hendaye by TGV. On arrival, transfer by coach to San Sebastián (approx. 40 minutes). Welcome dinner at the hotel this evening.

Day 2: Morning guided walking tour of San Sebastián with the rest of the day at leisure. A picturesque resort city, San Sebastián sits on the calm La Concha bay backed by low, rolling hills. The city is best known for its beaches but it is so much more, with a lively, buzzing atmosphere that fills the streets all day and well into the night. The charming Parte Vieja (old town) nestles at the foot of the green Monte Urgull, whilst Centro, the shopping and commerical district has some lovely 19th century architecture. The city is also known for its food, it claimed to be Spain's gastronomic capital, with a brace of Michelin-star restaurants and plenty of fantastic local pintxos (tapas) to try. 

Day 3: Full day tour to Pamplona with a guided walking tour, with festive Christmas Eve dinner in the hotel restaurant. Best known for its legendary festival of Sanfermines, Pamplona is a wealthy and self-possessed city. Built as a fortress to protect routes into Spain from the Pyrenees before becoming the capital of the fiercely independent state of Navarra the compact Casco Antiguo (old town) is stuffed with quaint stone lanes leading to lovely churches and a magnificent citadel.

Day 4: Day free to relax or explore at your leisure with Christmas dinner in the evening at the hotel restaurant.

Day 5: Full day tour to Bilbao with a guided walking tour plus entrance to the Museo Guggenheim. A modern and prosperous city, Bilbao nestles in a narrow valley, the surrounding mountain slopes peeking through the high rise buildings of the city centre. The arrival of the Museo Guggenheim (entrance included) in 1997 transformed the city into a tourist hotspot and although not as pretty as its near neighbours there is plenty to do here – the attractive Casco Viejo is a charming place to explore.

Day 6: Full day tour to the French Basque country – Biarritz, Bayonne and Saint-Jean-de- Luz. Biarritz is a stylish coastal town, a playground of the French glitterati. Today the resort is a haven for surfers, its seafront lined with grand old buildings, including the gorgeous 1930s Casino Municipal. Being the capital of France’s Pays Basque, Bayonne has a palpable Basque flavour. This attractive small city is best explored with a stroll through the narrow streets of the old town where you’ll find half-timbered houses painted in traditional Basque colours. Visit the excellent Musée Basque to delve deeper into the culture. Saint- Jean-de-Luz, with its sheltered and sandy beaches and magnificent old town complete with halftimbered mansions, is one of the most popular and attractive resorts on France’s Atlantic coast.

INCLUDED

  • Return Eurostar and TGV from St Pancras to Hendaye via Paris
  • Seven nights' accommodation on a bed and breakfast basis at the four-star Hotel Astoria, San Sebastián based on shared occupancy of a twin room 
  • Welcome dinner on first evening in the hotel restaurant
  • Christmas Eve and Christmas Day dinners in the hotel restaurant 
  • Transfers and full coach touring itinerary conducted by tour manager 
  • Tour manager throughout 

NOT INCLUDED

  • Single room supplement 
  • Holiday insurance
  • Standard Premier/1st Class upgrade on Eurostar/TGV. On the Eurostar this constitutes upgraded seating and light meal with complimentary drink with upgraded seating only on the French railway leg. 
  • Meals other than those stated 
  • Items of a personal nature such as drinks, laundry, telephone calls 
  • Porterage and gratuities

PLEASE NOTE: As with most trains, passengers are responsible for carrying baggage onto and off the train. Baggage can be stored on overhead shelves or at the entrance to the carriages. Trollies are available at St Pancras, but bags do need to be carried onto the platform.  

Travel Editions recommends a luggage delivery service called thebaggageman, where your suitcase can be picked up from your home before departure and delivered straight to your hotel; therefore removing the worry about carrying your cases onto and off the trains. Please click here for more information and we have arranged a 10% discount exclusive to Travel Editions clients off the thebaggageman service. Tel: 01844 264890

You will have the option to book your own flights independently with the operator.

Dates Price Single Availability
23-Dec-2021
7 Nights
Standard Room View live deal View live deal

Touring with Travel Editions

Offering a wide range of extended tours and cultural short breaks for the discerning traveller, Travel Editions was established in 1994 and is now one of the leading specialist independent escorted tour operators in the UK. The company started with the idea of creating itineraries that were not readily available on the high street, and the team still remains focused on offering escorted tours that appeal to travellers rather than tourists.

Over the years, Travel Editions has developed and diversified its range of escorted tours to include rail tours, air tours, history tours, Christmas tours and even specialist interest tours that have specific appeal for walkers, foodies, art lovers, music addicts and flower enthusiasts. From enjoying wonderful walks and tasty local cuisine in Crete to visiting the art nouveau buildings of Milan and exploring the architectural gems of the Netherlands, Travel Editions creates amazing tours to suit every budget and interest.

As rail transport is one of the most environmentally friendly ways to travel, the company has carefully developed nearly 30 exciting escorted rail tours that include trips to France, Spain, Brussels, Arnhem, Luxembourg and the Italian Riviera. Travel Editions believes that the journey becomes part of the holiday, and is why this specialist tour operator also offers a range of tours by air, such as Delphi and Mount Pelion in Greece, the beautiful Italian city of Florence, and Paphos, Nicosia and the Troodos Mountains in Cyprus. Whatever the escorted tour or the destination, Travel Editions provides holidays that are packed full of cultural and historic treasures, as well as plenty of free time to relax and soak up the local atmosphere and the regional food and wine.

One of the best things about Travel Editions is that the team can tailor-make all tours to your group’s budget and specification, be it shopping till you drop in New York or tasting the most delicious gastronomic delights of Sicily. Not only can the activities be tailored to meet your requirements but so can the travel options, hotel selection (three, four or five-star hotel) and the whole itinerary. Alternatively, you can simply pick one of the many carefully curated escorted tours listed on the Travel Editions website.

In almost all cases, daily excursions are included in the price of a trip, and all excursions are taken by private coach. The size of the group varies depending on the escorted tour, and Travel Editions limits some holidays to lower numbers to suit the nature of the specific holiday. Walking, culinary and special interest tours are limited to approximately 20-30 passengers, and the Europe by Rail and Europe by Air holidays are limited to a maximum of 35 passengers. Then there’s the UK British Heritage Tours with a maximum capacity of 49, however, some are much less than this. No matter which tours you choose, you will never feel as though you are in a big group.

Travel Editions is passionate about delivering a personal service every step of the way, and its team of experts will arrange your holiday with minimum fuss and maximum effort. Customer service and attention to detail are at the heart of everything they do, plus you will always be treated as an individual and get the benefit of affordable prices by travelling as a group. Another bonus is that Travel Editions is ABTA and ATOL protected, which means your money and your holiday will be protected from the moment you book.

In addition to offering extended tours and cultural short breaks, Travel Editions offers a large range of special events in the UK that bring the culture and history of the United Kingdom to life. These events can be found in the Art & History Abroad programme and include expert speakers, entertaining concerts and impressive dinners in historic locations.

 

 

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tour details

This tour is operated by Travel Editions

7 nights from pp exc.flights; per Night
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Start:St Pancras
Finish:St Pancras
Group size:0 - 36
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