Bilbao, San Sebastian & The Vineyards Of Rioja
7 nights. April 2019 - September 2019. From £749.00.
Spain's green north
Based in the charming Blue Flag resort of Isla, on the Cantabrian Coast, this very special holiday includes visits to the city of San Sebastian, with its spectacular beachfront and beguiling old quarter, and thriving Bilbao, with entrance to the famous Guggenheim Museum. Explore La Rioja, home to some of Spain's most celebrated wines, and, on optional excursions, discover elegant Santander and French playground Biarritz.
Tour Highlights And InclusionsSpend seven nights in Isla on the stunning Cantabrian Coast
Guided tour of San Sebastian taking in the city's parks, beaches and sights
Sample San Sebastian's legendary pintxos tapas
Guided tour of great Basque city Bilbao
Entrance to the glittering Guggenheim Museum
Explore La Rioja, Spain's famed wine-producing region
Visit Haro, with its historic bodegas, and enjoy a wine-tasting
Santo Domingo de la Calzada is on the famed Camino pilgrims' trail
Discover elegant Santander and fashionable Biarritz, on optional excursions
Seven nights' dinner, bed and breakfast accommodation at the three-star Hotel Isla Bella Spa, Isla (upgrade hotel available for a supplement)
Return flights to Bilbao
Coach travel and transfers throughout
Fully escorted by a friendly, experienced Tour Manager Single rooms are available for a supplement
PLEASE NOTE: Price is per person and based on two people sharing a twin/double room. Single room supplements and upgrades are not included.
Day OneFly to Bilbao, meet your Tour Manager and transfer by coach to the elegant resort of Isla and your hotel. Settle in and get to know your surroundings.
Day TwoOn today's included full day tour you'll visit San Sebastian. Claiming, with no little justification, to be one of Spain's finest coastal resorts, picturesque San Sebastian, which juts into a wide, sweeping bay and straddles the River Urumea, is immediately engaging and intoxicating. The Old Town, or Parte Vieja, at the foot of wooded Mount Urgull, is a maze of narrow streets filled with bars and cafes, as well as countless places in which to sample the famous pintxos tapas or fish landed daily at the busy harbour. Get to know the city on our included guided tour, which will introduce, in addition to La Concha, one of the world's finest urban beaches, the old town and, across the river, the elegant Gros district, with its belle-epoque buildings.
Day ThreeEnjoy the rest and relaxation of a free day in the hotel or exploring the famous beaches that make up Isla Playa. Most familiar are Playa El Sable and Playa de los Barcos, both located close to the hotel and boasting fine sands, clear water and surrounded by the lush green landscape that characterise this wonderful corner of Spain.
Day FourToday's fascinating included excursion is to the great Basque city of Bilbao, set astride the River Nervion. This bustling, vibrant metropolis combines the ancient with the thoroughly modern, the former reflected in the lanes of the Casco Viejo, the latter a wonderful riverside stroll away at the astonishingly futuristic Museo Guggenheim - the vast titanium-clad edifice home to one of Spain's finest collections of modern art. Entrance to the museum, with its vast atrium, is included in a wonderful day that might also find you taking a ride on the city's funicular for the panoramic views, or enjoying lunch in the old town.
Day FiveToday's optional excursion sees you cross the border into southwest France, passing through the foothills of the Pyrenees and the exquisite resort of St Jean de Luz, to fabled Biarritz. The 'Monte Carlo of the Atlantic' is a Mecca for pleasure-seekers and surfers who flock to the resort's famous beaches, including vast Grande Plage, backed by the casino and even grander hotels. Stroll the gilded shoreline, and perhaps take a seat in a cafe or salon de the to watch the world go by, soaking up the atmosphere of one of France's most sophisticated and colourful playgrounds.
Day SixHead south from the coast on today's included excursion into the La Rioja region, famed the world over for its rich red, fine white and sophisticated rose wines. You'll pay a visit to bustling Haro, centre of the Rioja Alta and home to several historic bodegas, at one of which you'll enjoy a tasting and the opportunity to buy some wine. South of Haro, the fabled Camino de Santiago pilgrims' trail snakes its way through the vine-covered landscape, past towns, like Santa Domingo de la Calzada, which you'll visit this afternoon, crowned with improbably fine cathedrals that dot the length of the Way of St James.
Day SevenToday's final optional tour is to regional capital Santander, an elegant and sophisticated cityresort that has been a long-time favourite haunt of Madrid's discerning holidaymakers, rivalling San Sebastian or Biarritz. The city boasts a beautifully restored old town set some distance away, and the beautiful peninsula of La Magdalena, with its glorious views of the bay, the golden beaches and the coast beyond. During the visit, you'll enjoy a short introductory tour, after which you will be free to explore under your own steam. Don't miss the fishing port and pavement cafes and tapas bars that dot the tree-lined avenues... or perhaps just enjoy the wonderful beach. You'll then return to Isla for a final evening.
Day EightBid farewell to your Basque hosts, and transfer to Bilbao Airport for the return flight, at the end of a marvellous stay in a special corner of the world. Back to top
The Olimpo is a family run hotel, and offers guests magnificent views of the sea or surrounding mountains from almost every area of the hotel. The centre of Isla is a short and pleasant walk away.
The Olimpo boasts an outdoor swimming pool (mid June to mid September), a fitness centre, a tennis court, beautiful gardens, a restaurant, and a cosy bar and lounge area.
The bedrooms have minibars, safes and TV, and are fully air conditioned.Hotel Isla Bella Spa
The family run Isla Bella Spa enjoys an enviable location in the centre of Isla with direct access to the beach, and affords wonderful views of the dramatic Cantabrian coast.
Facilities include complimentary Wi-Fi, a spa and wellness centre, a restaurant and bar, and a lounge area.
The bedrooms have minibars, safes, and TV, and are fully air conditioned.Back to top
Hotel transfer timesThe transfer time from the airport to your hotel is approximately one hour and 15 minutes.
Combining hotel transfersWe sometimes need to combine transfers to and from your hotel. We always try to keep any wait to a minimum, but you may be asked to wait at the airport for up to an hour, while other incoming flights arrive, before the transfer to your hotel. Similarly, we may need to transfer you back to the airport up to three hours before your flight home departs.
Special requirementsIf you have notified us of any special requirements, please check that they have been noted and acknowledged. This is especially important with any dietary needs you may have.
Disabled accessThe majority of our tours involve a certain amount of walking, including a short walk from the coach stop to the town, attraction or venue you're visiting. If you are bringing a wheelchair, please let us know at the time of booking so that appropriate arrangements can be made.
Itinerary changesOccasionally, for operational reasons, we may have to change the order of the excursions on your holiday. The final day-by-day itinerary will be confirmed on your Final Travel Documents, which you will receive approximately three weeks prior to your departure.
Foreign Office Travel AdviceVisit www.gov.uk/foreign-travel-advice to find out the latest Foreign And Commonwealth Office travel advice for your holiday destination, as well as information about passports and visas. Back to top