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Bilbao, San Sebastian & the Vineyards of Rioja

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To book this holiday please contact our Sales Team directly on

0330 160 7700
or

Explore Spain's Basque Country

Enjoy the delights of one of Europe’s finest corners and one of its most famous wine-producing regions, uncorked for your pleasure.

Based in the charming Blue Flag resort of Isla, on the Cantabrian Coast with its collection of pristine beaches, this holiday takes in some of northern Spain's greatest treasures. Visit San Sebastian's spectacular beachfront and beguiling old quarter, and enjoy a day in Bilbao that includes entry to the iconic Guggenheim Museum. Explore La Rioja, home to some of Spain’s most celebrated wines, and discover elegant Santander and French playground Biarritz on a pair of optional excursions.

What does this price include?

  • Seven nights' dinner, bed and breakfast accommodation in the three-star Hotel Isla Bella Spa (four-star upgrade available)
  • Guided tours of San Sebastian and Bilbao
  • Entrance to the Guggenheim Museum
  • A day trip to La Rioja
  • Return flights to Bilbao
  • Comfortable, air-conditioned coach travel and transfers throughout
  • Fully escorted by a friendly, experienced tour manager

Your Itinerary

View a full breakdown of your holiday to help you plan your trip

  • 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.

  • Claiming, with no little justification, to be one of Spain’s finest coastal resorts, picturesque San Sebastian, is immediately engaging and intoxicating. The town juts into a wide, sweeping bay and straddles the River Urumea, and its Parte Vieja (old quarter), at the foot of wooded Mount Urgull, is a maze of narrow streets filled with bars and cafés, as well as countless places where you can sample the region's famous pintxos tapas or fish landed daily at the busy harbour.

    Get to know the city on our included guided tour, which will introduce, La Concha, one of the world’s finest urban beaches, as well as the old town and the elegant Gros district, with its Belle-Epoque buildings, across the river.

  • Enjoy a day free for rest and relaxation at your hotel or for exploring the famous beaches that make up Isla Playa. Most popular are Playa El Sable and Playa de los Barcos, both boasting fine sands and clear waters surrounded by the lush green landscape that characterises this wonderful corner of Spain.

    Your tour manager will be on hand to point you in the right direction and to help you make the most of the day.

  • Today’s fascinating visit takes you to the great Basque city of Bilbao, astride the River Nervión. This bustling, vibrant metropolis combines the ancient with the thoroughly modern – the former reflected in the lanes and elegant arcades of Casco Viejo, its old town; the latter a wonderful riverside stroll away at the astonishingly futuristic Museo Guggenheim.

    This vast, titanium-clad edifice, with its vast atrium, is guarded by striking sculptures of a spider and some space-age tulips, and is home to one of Spain’s finest collections of modern art. Entry to the museum 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.

  • On today’s optional tour you'll cross the border into south-west France, heading through the foothills of the Pyrenees, past the exquisite resort of St Jean de Luz and its half-timbered houses, to Biarritz.

    The "Monte Carlo of the Atlantic" is a paradise for pleasure-seekers and surfers who flock to the resort’s famous beaches, including the vast Grande Plage backed by the Casino Barrière and some even grander hotels. Stroll the gilded shoreline, and perhaps take a seat in a café or salon de thé to watch the world go by and soak up the atmosphere of one of France’s most sophisticated and colourful playgrounds, before returning to Isla and your hotel for dinner.

  • Head 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 rosé 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 to see its improbably fine cathedral.

    After a wonderful day, we'll return to Isla for the evening.

  • Our final optional tour will take you to the regional capital, Santander. This elegant and sophisticated city-resort has been a long-time favourite haunt of Madrid’s discerning holidaymakers, rivalling San Sebastian or Biarritz, and boasts superb El Sardinero beach resort, a beautifully restored old town set some distance away, and the beautiful peninsula of La Magdalena - which itself offers 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, or perhaps just enjoy the wonderful beach. Don’t miss the fishing port or the pavement cafés and tapas bars that dot the tree-lined avenues.

    You’ll return to Isla for a final evening.

  • Bid farewell to your Basque hosts, and transfer to Bilbao Airport to catch your flight home.

Dates & Prices

To book this holiday please contact our Sales Team directly on

0330 160 7700
or
Price Per Person
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Hotels

Hotel Olimpo, Isla

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.

View Hotel
Hotel Isla Bella Spa, Santander

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.

View Hotel

Further Information

  • The transfer time from the airport to your hotel is approximately one hour and 15 minutes.
  • We 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.
  • If 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.
  • The 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.
  • Occasionally, 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.
  • Visit 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.
  • Rules may have changed since you last travelled to European Union countries and Iceland, Liechtenstein, Norway and Switzerland. The following are useful guidelines which will help you prepare for your next adventure. Note that these new rules do NOT apply when travelling within the United Kingdom or to the Channel Islands, the Isle of Man or the Republic of Ireland. You do require government issued ID when travelling by air though.

    Names

    It is very important that all passenger names are exactly as per your passport although we do not require middle names.

    Passport

    Your passport must meet two requirements to travel to an EU country and to Switzerland, Norway, Iceland and Liechtenstein. It must be:

    • Less than 10 years old on the day you return home – please check the "date of issue"
    • Valid for at least 3 months after the day you return home – please check the "expiry date"

    These rules do not apply to travel to Ireland where you can continue to use your passport as long as it’s valid for the length of your stay.

    Visa

    If you’re a tourist, you do not need a visa for short trips to most EU countries, Iceland, Liechtenstein, Norway and Switzerland. You’ll be able to stay for up to 90 days in any rolling 180-day period. Different rules will apply to Bulgaria, Croatia, Cyprus and Romania; if you visit these countries, visits to other EU countries will not count towards the 90-day total. Travel to Ireland will not change and stays there will not count towards the 90-day total.

    European Travel Information & Authorisation System (ETIAS)

    Towards the end of 2022, it is likely that non EU citizens will be required to apply online for an authorisation to visit most European countries. The current details suggest there will be a charge of €7 per person and the authorisation will be valid for all trips made to the EU in a three year period from issue. We will advise you of confirmed details prior to your tour’s departure.

    Border Control

    At border control, you may need to show proof of your return journey - your travel documentation issued by us will be sufficient for this. You will also need to use separate lanes from EU, EEA and Swiss citizens if manual checks are required.

    Healthcare Cover

    You should always get appropriate travel insurance with healthcare cover before you go abroad which covers pre-existing conditions. You should understand the terms and conditions of your travel insurance and be happy with its cover for healthcare and travel disruption. Newmarket sell a comprehensive travel insurance policy. Ask our travel consultants for more information.

    You should also apply for a UK Global Heath Insurance Card (GHIC) which lets you get urgent state healthcare in Europe at a reduced cost or sometimes for free. Note GHIC is only valid in EU countries and not in Iceland, Liechtenstein, Norway and Switzerland.

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