Iberia’s Atlantic Coast

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Iberia’s Atlantic Coast

from £1,577 excluding flights

  • 14 nights
  • Year round
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Iberia’s Atlantic Coast

from £1,577 excluding flights

  • 14 nights
  • Year round

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Highlights

In pictures
spain oviedo cathedral istk

Discover World Heritage listed treasures in the old town of Oviedo

spanish tapas basque country san sebastian istk

Enjoy the delicious cuisine of the Basque Country and Asturia

spain bilbao waterfront and guggenheim museum istk

Visit the Guggenheim Museum and Bilbao’s other modern icons

spain tower of hercules a coruna istk

Climb to the top of the Roman lighthouse in A Coruña

portugal custard tart istk

Enjoy a delicious pastry at Porto’s famous Majestic Café

portugal terracotta rooftops lisbon istk

Explore Lisbon’s fascinating maritime heritage

Why this trip...

Rail track alongside Turnagain Arm how you travel white

How you travel

This holiday features transport that is an integral part of the overall experience

denmark copenhagen nyhavn canal sunset istk culture white

Euro culture

Experience a wealth of history and heritage exploring the fascinating heart of Europe

canada forest trail istk well researched route white

Carefully planned

This itinerary has been thoughtfully designed to provide the experiences and places you'll enjoy at a comfortable pace

Overview

The Atlantic coast of Spain and Portugal is a world away from the Algarve or Mediterranean Costas. Less crowded and less brash, it links a succession of sandy bays, fishing villages and quiet holiday resorts. Forests cloak the flanks of the Cantabrian Mountains, while cities like San Sebastian, Bilbao and Oviedo provide rich pickings for foodies, art lovers and history enthusiasts. This carefully planned itinerary follows the Iberian coast through Basque Country, all the way to the Galician city of La Coruña, before turning south towards Porto and Lisbon. Travel by train from London to Bordeaux and then onwards to the Spanish border and the start of your Iberian rail and coach odyssey.

Basque Country

Surrounded by hills and overlooking the beautiful horseshoe bay of La Concha, San Sebastian is not only blessed with an idyllic coastal setting, it is also one of Europe’s top dining destinations. Boasting no less than nine Michelin-starred restaurants, this culinary hotspot also has a mouth-watering array of seaside cafés, food markets and pintxos (tapas bars), offering dishes rich in ingredients from the surrounding Basque coast and countryside. San Sebastian also serves up a feast of culture – from folk festivals to elegant art nouveau buildings – but it’s Bilbao (capital of the Basque Country) that really shines as a centre for art and architecture. Frank Gehry’s magnificent titanium-clad Guggenheim Museum stands among other contemporary icons like the Zubizuri bridge and Azkuna Zentroa cultural centre. You’ll have time to enjoy all of these modern masterpieces, along with some of Bilbao’s historical highlights, from cathedrals and museums to the cobblestone streets of the old town, lined with pintxos, cafés and restaurants.

Cantabria and Asturias

From Bilbao, you travel west by coach, following the stunning coast road sandwiched between the Bay of Biscay and the mountains of the Cordillera Cantábrica. Crossing from Cantabria into the northwestern Spanish region of Asturia, you arrive in the compact, elegant city of Oviedo. With two nights here, you will want to explore the old town with its UNESCO-listed 9th-century chapel. Don’t miss Plaza de la Constitución, framed by the porticoed 17th-century town hall or the Museo de Ballas Artes de Asturias displaying works of art by Dali, Goya and Picasso. Oviedo also has a vibrant food scene where you can sample regional cheeses, meats and cider – either in the wide range of restaurants or the alluring marketplace of Mercado El Fontan.

Galicia

Continuing by coach along the coast road to Galicia, you arrive in the port city of A Coruña. Built around a peninsula, the original part of the city contains a mixture of Romanesque and Baroque architecture, with many fine churches and squares. A Coruña’s iconic sight is the 2nd-century Tower of Hercules, the only working Roman lighthouse in the world. Spain’s largest aquarium (Finisterrae) is nearby, while opposite the port, on Avenida de la Marina, you can find the ‘Glass City’s’ famous glazed white balconies. Less than an hour south from A Coruña, Santiago de Compostela is easily reached on a guided tour. The final stop on the 780km Camino de Santiago pilgrimage trail, the city’s historic quarter is dominated by a magnificent cathedral.

Portugal

The final part of your journey along Iberia’s Atlantic coast, takes you by train south into Portugal. Yet another UNESCO World Heritage Site awaits in the historical centre of Porto – famous for its stately bridges, narrow cobbled streets and medieval merchant houses and vibrant cafes. With three nights here, you will not only be able to thoroughly explore the city, but also take a trip out to the vineyards of the Douro Valley. Arriving at Lisbon, your final destination, you have over two full days to enjoy the Portuguese capital – ample time to visit the city’s hilltop citadel, explore the narrow streets of Alfama and admire the 52m-tall Pradrão dos Descobrimentos monument depicting Magellan, Vasco da Gama, Henry the Navigator and other famous mariners.

Itinerary

Day 1 London - Bordeaux

Depart London in the morning and travel by Eurostar to Paris Gare du Nord. Transfer on the Paris Metro to Gare du Montparnasse for your train south to Bordeaux, arriving in time for afternoon drinks and a chance to explore one of France’s most famous food and wine destinations. Take a stroll along the River Garonne where old warehouses have been converted to shops, bars and cafés. Overnight Bordeaux.

Depart London in the morning and travel by Eurostar to Paris Gare du Nord. Transfer on the Paris Metro to Gare du Montparnasse for your train south to Bordeaux, arriving in time for afternoon drinks and a chance to explore one of France’s most famous food and wine destinations. Take a stroll along the River Garonne where old warehouses have been converted to shops, bars and cafés. Overnight Bordeaux.

Day 2 Bordeaux - San Sebastian

Continue by train south to Hendaye on the Spanish border and onwards to San Sebastian. Well known for its fabulous culinary culture, San Sebastian is a paradise for food lovers in search of a taste of the Basque Country at Michelin-starred restaurants, pintxos tapas bars and food markets. Typical dishes include fish grilled over coals, marmitako tuna, lamb and Tolosa bean stews and Idiazabal sheep’s cheese, washed down with Txakoli, a lightly sparkling, dry white wine. Overnight San Sebastian.

Continue by train south to Hendaye on the Spanish border and onwards to San Sebastian. Well known for its fabulous culinary culture, San Sebastian is a paradise for food lovers in search of a taste of the Basque Country at Michelin-starred restaurants, pintxos tapas bars and food markets. Typical dishes include fish grilled over coals, marmitako tuna, lamb and Tolosa bean stews and Idiazabal sheep’s cheese, washed down with Txakoli, a lightly sparkling, dry white wine. Overnight San Sebastian.

Day 3 San Sebastian

A full day to enjoy this city of food and culture. The best views are from the hilltops of Monte Urgull and Monte Igueldo. Take a stroll along the promenade of Playa de la Concha or Playa de Ondarreta, explore the cobblestone lanes in the old town of Parte Vieja and admire the colourful buildings framing Plaza de la Constitución. Overnight San Sebastian

A full day to enjoy this city of food and culture. The best views are from the hilltops of Monte Urgull and Monte Igueldo. Take a stroll along the promenade of Playa de la Concha or Playa de Ondarreta, explore the cobblestone lanes in the old town of Parte Vieja and admire the colourful buildings framing Plaza de la Constitución. Overnight San Sebastian

Day 4 San Sebastian - Bilbao

Travel around 90 minutes by coach to Bilbao, capital of the Basque Country. You will have plenty of time to take in the city’s famous contemporary landmarks, such as the Guggenheim Museum, as well as delving into its old quarter where you can explore the atmospheric seven lanes of Las Siete Calles, dating back to the 1400s and lined with pintxos tapas bars, cafés and boutiques. You should also visit the 14th-century Cathedral de Santiago and wander through the arcaded neoclassical Plaza Nueva. Overnight Bilbao.

Travel around 90 minutes by coach to Bilbao, capital of the Basque Country. You will have plenty of time to take in the city’s famous contemporary landmarks, such as the Guggenheim Museum, as well as delving into its old quarter where you can explore the atmospheric seven lanes of Las Siete Calles, dating back to the 1400s and lined with pintxos tapas bars, cafés and boutiques. You should also visit the 14th-century Cathedral de Santiago and wander through the arcaded neoclassical Plaza Nueva. Overnight Bilbao.

Day 5 Bilbao - Oviedo

After a morning transfer to the coach station, travel west to Oviedo following the picturesque coastal road between mountains and sea. With two nights in the enchanting capital of Asturias, you will be able to enjoy its rich culinary heritage, as well as its extraordinary range of historical treasures – many of them UNESCO World Heritage Sites. Overnight Oviedo.

After a morning transfer to the coach station, travel west to Oviedo following the picturesque coastal road between mountains and sea. With two nights in the enchanting capital of Asturias, you will be able to enjoy its rich culinary heritage, as well as its extraordinary range of historical treasures – many of them UNESCO World Heritage Sites. Overnight Oviedo.

Day 6 Oviedo

Explore on your own or join a guided tour either privately or in a small group. Must-sees include Oviedo’s 9th-century churches scattered through the old town and surrounding foothills. La Foncalada, a World Heritage listed fountain is also worth tracking down. While exploring the medieval centre of Oviedo, be sure to visit the Roman Catholic basilica with its 80m-tall Gothic spires. Wander through the stone-tiled plaza to the Museo de Bellas Artes de Asturias where works of art by Dali and Picasso are on display. The marketplace of Mercado El Fontan is where locals shop for fruit, smoked meats, pastries and cheeses (try the smoky, buttery Gamoneu goat’s cheese and creamy Penamellera). For a hearty meal in a local restaurant, fabada stew is Oviedo’s signature dish of white beans, chorizo, morcilla sausage and bacon, flavoured with smoked paprika, garlic and saffron. Overnight Oviedo.

Explore on your own or join a guided tour either privately or in a small group. Must-sees include Oviedo’s 9th-century churches scattered through the old town and surrounding foothills. La Foncalada, a World Heritage listed fountain is also worth tracking down. While exploring the medieval centre of Oviedo, be sure to visit the Roman Catholic basilica with its 80m-tall Gothic spires. Wander through the stone-tiled plaza to the Museo de Bellas Artes de Asturias where works of art by Dali and Picasso are on display. The marketplace of Mercado El Fontan is where locals shop for fruit, smoked meats, pastries and cheeses (try the smoky, buttery Gamoneu goat’s cheese and creamy Penamellera). For a hearty meal in a local restaurant, fabada stew is Oviedo’s signature dish of white beans, chorizo, morcilla sausage and bacon, flavoured with smoked paprika, garlic and saffron. Overnight Oviedo.

Day 7 Oviedo - A Coruña

This morning, transfer to the coach station to resume your journey west towards the region of Galicia. Arriving in A Coruña, start getting to know this fascinating coastal city by strolling around Plaza de Maria Pita – the city’s main square named after the local heroine who repelled English invaders led by Sir Francis Drake in 1589. Lined with cafés, it’s the perfect spot to relax and take in the impressive architecture. Overnight A Coruña.

This morning, transfer to the coach station to resume your journey west towards the region of Galicia. Arriving in A Coruña, start getting to know this fascinating coastal city by strolling around Plaza de Maria Pita – the city’s main square named after the local heroine who repelled English invaders led by Sir Francis Drake in 1589. Lined with cafés, it’s the perfect spot to relax and take in the impressive architecture. Overnight A Coruña.

Day 8 A Coruña

A full day in A Coruña to explore on your own, or with a guided tour (private or group). Be sure to visit the Tower of Hercules. You need to pre-book in order to climb to the top of the 2nd-century lighthouse for sweeping views along the coastline. The nearby sculpture garden and compass rose are also well worth a visit. Alternatively, we can arrange for you to join a guided tour to the famous pilgrimage site of Santiago de Compostela. Overnight A Coruña.

A full day in A Coruña to explore on your own, or with a guided tour (private or group). Be sure to visit the Tower of Hercules. You need to pre-book in order to climb to the top of the 2nd-century lighthouse for sweeping views along the coastline. The nearby sculpture garden and compass rose are also well worth a visit. Alternatively, we can arrange for you to join a guided tour to the famous pilgrimage site of Santiago de Compostela. Overnight A Coruña.

Day 9 A Coruña - Porto

Travel south by coach, around three hours, to Porto. There’s so much to see and do here, we’ve arranged a three-night stay in this historic coastal city. To start with, perhaps visit the Sao Francisco Church with its stunning baroque interior, then pop in to the world-renowned Majestic Café to enjoy a speciality pastry (like French toast wrapped in a creamy egg custard with dried fruit) while marvelling at the wonderful belle époque interior. Overnight Porto.

Travel south by coach, around three hours, to Porto. There’s so much to see and do here, we’ve arranged a three-night stay in this historic coastal city. To start with, perhaps visit the Sao Francisco Church with its stunning baroque interior, then pop in to the world-renowned Majestic Café to enjoy a speciality pastry (like French toast wrapped in a creamy egg custard with dried fruit) while marvelling at the wonderful belle époque interior. Overnight Porto.

Days 10-11 Porto

On your first full day in Porto, take a privately-guided tour of the city, or continue exploring at leisure. For unparalleled views of Porto, climb the hill to Torre dos Clerigos and visit the nearby Portuguese Centre for Photography. Next, wander around the medieval harbour and along the banks of the Douro River where you will find many of Porto’s cafés and restaurants serving traditional treats and snacks. Visit the vibrant Bolhao Market, the Church of St Ildefonso and the station of Sao Bento to admire the ornate blue azulejo tiles for which Porto is so famous. Spend the next day exploring the Douro Valley either with a private guide or independently. Take the slow train from Porto to Pinhao or travel as far as Pocinho, following the River Douro and its terraced vineyards. Unsurprisingly, this spectacular wine growing region is classed as a UNESCO World Heritage Site. Both nights in Porto.

On your first full day in Porto, take a privately-guided tour of the city, or continue exploring at leisure. For unparalleled views of Porto, climb the hill to Torre dos Clerigos and visit the nearby Portuguese Centre for Photography. Next, wander around the medieval harbour and along the banks of the Douro River where you will find many of Porto’s cafés and restaurants serving traditional treats and snacks. Visit the vibrant Bolhao Market, the Church of St Ildefonso and the station of Sao Bento to admire the ornate blue azulejo tiles for which Porto is so famous. Spend the next day exploring the Douro Valley either with a private guide or independently. Take the slow train from Porto to Pinhao or travel as far as Pocinho, following the River Douro and its terraced vineyards. Unsurprisingly, this spectacular wine growing region is classed as a UNESCO World Heritage Site. Both nights in Porto.

Day 12 Porto - Lisbon

Transfer to the railway station for the three-hour journey south to Lisbon and transfer to your accommodation in the city centre. Overnight Lisbon.

Transfer to the railway station for the three-hour journey south to Lisbon and transfer to your accommodation in the city centre. Overnight Lisbon.

Days 13-14 Lisbon

Enjoy two days discovering the highlights and hidden gems of the Portuguese capital. Lisbon is easily explored on foot, but we recommend you taking one of the traditional trams to visit the hilltop citadel of São Jorge – a huge walled compound containing the tiny, fascinating neighbourhood of Santa Cruz do Castelo. Lisbon’s westernmost suburb, Belem is also easily reached by tram and it’s where you’ll find the imposing mariners’ monument of Pradrão dos Descobrimentos – Henry the Navigator standing at the ‘prow’ of the 52m-tall statue, a caravel in his hands. The nearby Mosteiro dos Jerónimos contains the tombs of both Henry the Navigator and Vasco da Gama, as well as museums dedicated to maritime history. A 16th-century defensive tower, the Torre de Belém is also worth visiting, as is Oceanário (at Parque das Nações), one of the world’s largest aquariums. Both nights in Lisbon.

Enjoy two days discovering the highlights and hidden gems of the Portuguese capital. Lisbon is easily explored on foot, but we recommend you taking one of the traditional trams to visit the hilltop citadel of São Jorge – a huge walled compound containing the tiny, fascinating neighbourhood of Santa Cruz do Castelo. Lisbon’s westernmost suburb, Belem is also easily reached by tram and it’s where you’ll find the imposing mariners’ monument of Pradrão dos Descobrimentos – Henry the Navigator standing at the ‘prow’ of the 52m-tall statue, a caravel in his hands. The nearby Mosteiro dos Jerónimos contains the tombs of both Henry the Navigator and Vasco da Gama, as well as museums dedicated to maritime history. A 16th-century defensive tower, the Torre de Belém is also worth visiting, as is Oceanário (at Parque das Nações), one of the world’s largest aquariums. Both nights in Lisbon.

Day 15 Lisbon - London

Transfer to the airport for your flight back to UK.

Transfer to the airport for your flight back to UK.

Accommodation Options

We will recommend accommodation for this holiday, but with a vast choice available, we can adapt to suit your personal preference mixing different grades and styles in different cities.

Discuss your options with our Travel Specialists.

Prices and Departures

Price from £1,577 excluding flights

This itinerary is based on rail travel from the UK, flying home from Lisbon. Airfares are quoted separately to the holiday price. When enquiring, our Travel Specialists will provide the best fare possible from your preferred airline.

What's Included

  • Accommodation in rooms with private bathroom
  • Breakfast throughout
  • Rail and coach travel
  • 24 hour emergency assistance from our team during your holiday
  • No surcharge guarantee
  • Full financial protection

From price per person

Based on two sharing a twin room with private facilities and breakfast. Prices may vary depending on departure date. Please contact us for a detailed quote based on your preferred travel dates.

Departure Duration Twin Price
Year Round 14 nights £1,577

Please note that flights are not included in the price, but will be quoted at the time of booking.

This itinerary is flexible and the number of nights at each of the overnight stays can be extended or reduced.

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One of our specialists
Meet Doug

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