3
Transformative Destinations partners with Tauck World Discovery to offer you the most captivating luxury tour to the Historic Paradors of Northern Spain. Explore the mosaic of diverse regions and cities of the north on this unique tour that includes a taste of Portugal. Discover Catalonia’s distinct culture and proud traditions; the fiercely autonomous Basque region, with its own unique culture and language; and Castile, central to Spain’s medieval history. Enjoy overnight stays in historic paradors –  restored palaces, monasteries and castles and special Tauck experiences including a choice of spa treatment or cooking demonstration at El Castell de Ciutat; a 7course feast set  within a medieval castle; a visit to the monastery atop Montserrat; a wine tasting and lunch at a Porto winery, and a cruise aboard a Rabelo boat.
 map_sn2017

Rates vary according to season! Call now (305) 336-8539 for a free consultation and a personalized quote! 

Download full itinerary!!

Historic Paradors of Northern Spain

 

ITINERARY

Barcelona-Cardona-La Seu d´Urgell-Pamplona-San Sebastián-Bilbao-Santillana del Mar- Fuente Dé-León-Santiago de Compostela-Porto-Coimbra-Lisbon

Le meridien Barcelona. northern Spain trip, solo travel, transformative destinations, Paradores

Tauck’s most unforgettable of Northern Spain tours begins at 6:00 PM at Le Méridien Barcelona. A transfer is included from Barcelona Airport to Le Méridien Barcelona. At a welcome cocktail reception and dinner tonight, we invite you to meet those who will join you to discover the cultural diversity of Spain’s northern regions and Portugal.

Located in the very center of Barcelona on world-famous Las Ramblas, Le Méridien Barcelona is convenient to many of the city’s most intriguing sights. Long a favorite of celebrities, its guests have included the likes of Pavarotti, Rostropovich, Bruce Springsteen, Madonna and the Rolling Stones. A newly redone and fully equipped fitness center and an Internet center are available for guests’ use. Haute cuisine made accessible is the hallmark of the hotel’s new Cent Onze restaurant, representing an innovative gastronomic option that masterfully combines the very best of French tradition, the fresh flavors of the Boquería market, and Catalan creativity in an open, cosmopolitan space with
direct access to the Ramblas.
Meals: D
Lodging: Le Méridien Barcelona

ArT and architecture in Barcelona, sagrada Familia, Spain travel, nortehen Spain, Paradores, Gaudí, book Spain trip, transformative destinations

OldTown, Barrio Gotico, Barcelona, Spain travel, transformative destinations, northern Spain, Paradores

Barcelona, capital of the unique Catalonia region of Spain, beguiles at every turn of your walking tour with a local guide. Highlights include Las Ramblas and the Cathedral in medieval Barrio Gótico. A drive through Montjuïc takes you past the 1992 Olympic Stadium, high above the city, then on to a visit inside la Sagrada Familia, architect Antonio Gaudí’s famously unfinished, Gothic-yet-modern cathedral. Spend the rest of the day and evening as you wish in Barcelona.
Meals: B
Lodging: Le Méridien Barcelona

Art & architecture in Barcelona, ramblas, Northern Spain, travel Spain, Transformative destinations, photo Mathieu Thouvenin

monasterio-moserrat-wikipedia, monastery at Montserrat, northern Spain, Black Madonna, transformative destinations, Wikipedia image

monserrat, monasterio-moserrat-wikipedia, monastery at Montserrat, northern Spain, Black Madonna, transformative destinations, Photo credit: yonolatengo Flickr

Admire delightful rural vistas of Catalonia when you travel along the Yellow Roads to the amazing mountaintop monastery at Montserrat; see the shrine of Moreneta, the Black Madonna, presiding over the basilica. Next stop is Cardona, where you’ll savor a taste of Catalan cuisine when lunch is served in the medieval ambiance of the dining room of the Parador de Cardona, a 9th-century castle.

Journey on to the small towns of Castellciutat and La Seu d’Urgell in the Pyrenees, where you’ll spend the next two nights at an elegant resort. Enjoy dinner à la carte at your hotel tonight; most dinners at the paradors will be full à la carte on this ultimate of northern Spain tours.
Meals: B, L, D

Lodging: El Castell de Ciutat

El Castell de Ciutat, Catalonia, Northern Spain, travel, book, hotel, transformative destinations

A member of the prestigious Relais & Châteaux, this small, elegant hotel occupies a hilltop in the heart of the high Catalan Pyrenees, thus providing commanding scenic views from its Panoramic Terrace. Guest rooms are spacious and comfortable. El Castell de Ciutat offers an elegant fitness complex with facilities that include an outdoor swimming pool, a beautiful indoor swimming pool, an outdoor Jacuzzi and hot tub with stunning views of the region and a gym equipped with cardiovascular and weight machines.

La Seu d’Urgell, Cathedral of Santa Maria d'Urgell, Romanesque, Catalonia, Paradors of Northern Spain, book, travel trip, transformative destinations

La Seu d’Urgell, Cathedral of Santa Maria d'Urgell, Romanesque, Catalonia, Paradors of Northern Spain, book, travel trip, transformative destinations

Andorral, Romanesque, Catalonia, Paradors of Northern Spain, book, travel trip, transformative destinations, andorra-foto-miquel-fabre, Photo credit Miquel Fabre

On a walking tour along the historic main street in La Seu d’Urgell, you’ll be inspired by your visit to the 12th-century Cathedral of Santa Maria d’Urgell, the only Romanesque cathedral that has been preserved in the Catalonia region of the Pyrenees. After lunch, choices of activities for the afternoon include a cooking demonstration focusing on Catalan cuisine, a round of golf, a spa treatment, or a guided visit to Andorra, a tiny, sovereign principality bordering Spain and France in the Pyrenees. A highlight of Tauck’s most memorable of Northern Spain tours awaits this evening at a special 7-course dinner at the hilltop 9thcentury castle located on the grounds of your hotel.
Meals: B, L, D
Lodging: El Castell de Ciutat

Parador of Northern Spain, travel, book trip, transformative destinations, discover Spain, Photo credit San Sebastian turismo san-sebastian-turismo

Parador of Northern Spain, travel, book trip, transformative destinations, discover Spain, Photo credit San Sebastian turismo san-sebastian-turismo

Today takes you through the marvelous mountains of the Basque country to Pamplona, the city best known for the annual “running of the bulls,” where you’ll walk the route followed by this longstanding tradition. Continue on to the charming seaside town of San Sebastián; feast your eyes on this popular resort for the first time from the summit of Mount Igueldo, offering perfect vistas of the town.
Meals: B, D

Lodging: Silken Gran Hotel Domine Bilbao

Hotel Maria Cristina, San Sebastian, Paradors of northern Spain, travel, tranaformative destinations, book, solo travel retreat travel

Paradors of Northern Spain, San Sebastian Old Town, transformative destinations, solo travel, Photo San Sebastian Turismo

Join your local guide on a walking tour of the Old Town of San Sebastián; the rest of the day is yours to enjoy as you please in this lovely town set on a shell-shaped bay. Further explore Old Town’s medieval streets while sampling some tasty Basque specialties, or enjoy the city’s
many waterfront attractions – not the least of which is the famous beach popular with the international surfing set.
The remainder of the day and evening are yours to spend as you wish.
Meals: B
Lodging: Silken Gran Hotel Domine Bilbao

 

Museum Guggenheim Bilbao, Paradors of Northern Spain, travel Spain, book trip, Transformative destinations, dicover spain, guggenheim_bilbao, photo credit Sergio S.C Wikimedia

Paradors of Northern Spain, travel, discover Spain, solo travel, Santillana del Mar, transformative destinations

Modern art is flourishing at the spectacular Guggenheim Museum in Bilbao, as you’ll see during a visit to this extraordinary achievement by architect Frank Gehry and its eclectic collection. Continue on to medieval Santillana del Mar, then up into the magnificent Picos de Europa (“Peaks of Europe”); admire the scenic views of rural villages, gorges and valleys en route to Fuente Dé. Enjoy dinner à la carte this evening at your parador, set in the foothills of the Picos mountains.
Meals: B, L, D
Lodging: Parador de Fuente Dé

This fine mountain retreat is nestled in the foothills of the Picos de Europa and is the terminus for a mountain cable car which travels up to the Aliva viewpoint high above. Surrounded by forests and scenic hillsides, its décor of warm wood and leather furniture creates a welcoming ambiance. Its restaurant offers traditional Cantabrian cuisine. Guest rooms are well appointed and most comfortable.

Parador Fuente Dé, Paradors of Northern Spain, travel solo travel, transformative destinations, Photo Paradores de España

Leon Gothic Cathedral, Paradors of Northern Spain, travel, transformative Destinations

Leon Gothic Cathedral, Paradors of Northern Spain, travel, transformative Destinations

Enjoy a morning at leisure, then make your way through the Cantabrian Cordilleras en route to central Spain’s Meseta Plateau, leaving the mountains behind and journeying across the flat lands of Castile. Once the capital of the Kingdom of León, the city of León was an important pilgrimage site. A guided city tour, a visit to its magnificent Gothic Cathedral, and an overnight stay in at the Parador de León, one of the most luxurious in Spain, reveal the fascinating history of this venerable city.
Meals: B, L, D
Lodging: Parador de León

Gracefully housed in a monastery dating back to 1515 when its rooms sheltered pilgrims traveling to Santiago de Compostela, this luxurious five-star hotel shelters today’s sophisticated travelers in stately surroundings, filled with paintings, tapestries and carvings. Its impressive Gothic architecture, and its wealth of ancient carpets, clocks and furniture create a museum-like ambiance that is sure to please. Museum lovers will enjoy the easy access to both the Provincial Archaeological Museum and the Fine Arts Museum, which lie within its walls. All guest rooms have air conditioning, radio and satellite TV, telephones and a safe. A bar/café and a lovely terrace garden beckon during leisure time.

Parador Leon Paradors of Northern Spain, travel, transformative Destinations

Santiago de Compostela cathedral, Paradors of Northern Spain, travel, Transformative Destinations, travel, book trip, Photo credit Santiago de Compostela Turismo

When the grave of Saint James was discovered in this region in the ninth century, hundreds of thousands began making the arduous pilgrimage along El Camino de Santiago – the Way of St. James – on foot to visit it and the cathedral dedicated to the saint in Santiago de Compostela. Enjoy a guided walking tour of the town’s historic quarter and a visit to the world-famous cathedral – home to the relics of the saint – prior to an overnight stay at a remarkable parador that began accommodating travelers in the 15th century; set on the same square as the cathedral, it’s one of the oldest hotels in the world, and a highlight of your most intriguing of northern Spain tour. Enjoy dinner tonight at your choice of restaurants in the parador.
Meals: B, L, D
Lodging: Parador de Santiago de Compostela

Having first opened its doors to shelter pilgrims in 1499, the Parador de Santiago de Compostela is reputed to be the oldest hotel in the world. Enjoying a superb location next to the glorious cathedral of St. James, today this Santiago landmark retains much of its medieval magnificence while offering every comfort and amenity that 21st-century travelers demand. Lovely guest rooms, elegant living rooms, four extraordinary cloisters and a wonderful dining room surround today’s guests with beauty and luxury at every turn.

Parador of Santiago de Compostela, Camino de Santiago, Paradors of Northern Spain, travel, transformative Destinations, Photo credit paradores de España

Parador of Santiago de Compostela, Camino de Santiago, Paradors of Northern Spain, travel, transformative Destinations, Photo credit paradores de España

Porto, Paradors of Northern Spain, Portugal trip, travel, book trip, solo travel, transformative destinations, Photo credit Feliciano Guimarães

After a morning at leisure and lunch in Santiago de Compostela, cross the border from Spain into Portugal, bound for the ancient port city of Porto, nestled on Portugal’s Atlantic coast, with a long history that dates back to the Roman era. Today, Porto is Portugal’s second largest city and offers much to interest visitors; enjoy dinner at your hotel this evening.
Meals: B, L, D
Lodging: InterContinental Porto – Palacio das Cardosas

In Porto, port wine is at the heart of the matter; the city that gave this libation its name has long been known for the quality of its port, an economically important export for centuries. Your locally guided exploration of the city’s intriguing sights includes the Gothic Church of São
Francisco and a visit to Livraria Lello, one of the world’s most beautiful bookstores. Learn firsthand how barrels of port have been transported for centuries on a cruise along the Douro River aboard a traditional Rabelo boat, before traveling to Taylor’s winery to sample Porto’s pride with a
tour followed by a wine tasting and lunch at their Restaurante Barão de Fladgate. Spend the rest of the afternoon and evening as you wish in Porto.
Meals: B, L
Lodging: InterContinental Porto – Palacio das Cardosas

InterContinental Porto – Palacio das Cardosas offers a sense of heritage and authenticity in the heart of the city. Located in a newly renovated 18th century palace overlooking the imposing Avenida dos Aliados, the hotel is the ideal place for those looking to experience Porto’s true essence, close to such cultural highlights as the Bolhão Market, the Ribeira District and the Baroque Clérigos Church.

Spacious guest rooms have been designed to evoke the authentic spirit of Porto; from their classical decoration to stunning views over the historic city center, everything aims to create a unique sense of place. Guest rooms are equipped with Individually Controlled Air Conditioning, Cable / Satellite TV, Work Desk w/ Lamp, Phone with Voicemail, Private Bathroom with Bathrobe & Hairdryer, Iron / Ironing Board, Trouser Press, Coffee Maker, Tea Maker, Minibar, Mini-Refrigerator, Plates and Glassware. The hotel’s Astoria Restaurant welcomes you for breakfast, lunch and dinner in a stylish Portuguese atmosphere, with direct access from the street and a unique view over Liberdade Square.

Astoria serves typical Portuguese dishes with a contemporary twist, as well as a selection of Portuguese wines, mainly from the Douro region; a charming terrace where you can enjoy a fresh cocktail and tapas is available during the summer months. And the Bar das Cardosas offers an intimate and stylish ambiance where a wide range of Port Wines.

Palacio das Cardosas, hotel Porto, Paradors of Northern Spain, Portugal, trip, travel, transformative destinations

Coimbra, Paradors of Northern Spain, Portugal trip, travel, book trip, solo travel, transformative destinations, Photo credit Feliciano Guimarães

Delve into Portugal’s history today as you explore Coimbra, liberated from Moorish occupation in 1064 and the site of the oldest seat of higher learning in Portugal, founded by King Dinis in 1210; join your local guide on visits to the university and historic St. Michael’s Chapel. After lunch in Pombal, continue on to legendary Lisbon, arriving early this evening for a two-night stay.
Meals: B, L
Lodging: Four Seasons Hotel Ritz Lisbon

Regally set atop one of Lisbon’s seven hills, the Four Seasons Hotel Ritz Lisbon has long reigned as the city’s finest hotel. Welcoming guest rooms offer a private terrace, refrigerated private bar, in-room safe, plasma/LCD television with DVD/CD player, working desk, dual-line telephone, and a full marble bathroom with twin basins, a separate glassenclosed shower, and plush cotton towels warmed on heated racks. The rooftop Ritz Spa Fitness Center, with three floor-to-ceiling glass walls providing extraordinary views of the city, is comprised of an exercise room with state-of-the-art equipment, two studios, an outdoor running track and a solarium. Guests can enjoy a spa treatment or take a dip in the swimming pool while gazing out over the hotel garden and Eduardo VII Park. The Varanda Restaurant is a popular venue for enjoying Mediterranean cuisine and lovely views among sophisticated local residents and discerning hotel guests.

Four Seasons Hotel Ritz Lisbon, Paradors of Northern Spain, Portugal trip, travel, book trip, solo travel, transformative destinations,

Lisbon, Paradors of Northern Spain, Portugal, trip, vacation, travel, trip. solo travel transformative destinations

Belem Tower, Lisbon, Paradors of Northern Spain, Portugal, trip, vacation, travel, trip. solo travel transformative destinations

Everywhere you look in Lisbon, Portugal’s beguiling capital city, you’ll see reminders of the “Great Period of Discoveries” – when Portuguese mariners set sail to explore the then-unknown world and found what is now Brazil, among other notable places. During a sightseeing tour, visit Mosterio dos Jerónimos and the impressive Maritime Museum in its west wing; view the Tower of Belém, commemorating Vasco de Gama’s expedition; and the Discoveries Monument, set at the point of departure of many 15th-century voyages. Explore and enjoy more of Lisbon at your leisure before joining us tonight to share memories of your journey with your traveling companions at a farewell cocktail reception and dinner.
Meals: B, D
Lodging: Four Seasons Hotel Ritz Lisbon

Your most extraordinary of Portugal and Northern Spain tours comes to an end in Lisbon. Fly home anytime. A transfer is included from the Four Seasons Hotel Ritz Lisbon to Lisbon International Airport. Please allow 3 hours for airport check-in formalities. We wish you a safe and pleasant journey home.
Meals: B

 

 

Click Here for More Info