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DATES: 9-DAY TOUR    2023  September 3rd-12th ( 9 days/9 nights )


COSTS: €tbc per person, based on two people per car sharing a ferry cabin and hotel bedroom


COSTS: € TBC per person, based on two people per car but with separate ferry cabins and separate hotel bedroom


COSTS: €tbc per person, based on a single person in a car with a ferry cabin and a single hotel bedroom

The prices are in euros due to the uncertainty of predicting sterling to euros conversion rates



Increase for an upgrade to 4 berth Deluxe cabin from Club Cabin, £121 per cabin on the return ferry

Increase for an upgrade to Commodore cabin from Club Cabin, £176 per cabin


The tour costs include the following:

Accommodation in 4-star and 5-star stylish hotels ( 7 nights )

    • Breakfast daily
    • 3-course dinners, ( 7 nights )
    • Overnight Brittany ferry from Plymouth to Santander with cabin
    • Return Ferry Santander to Plymouth with club cabin
    • Rally plate
    • Comprehensive road book with daily itineraries and detailed route notes
    • Highlighted  Michelin map of Northern Spain
    • Copy of the DK Eyewitness guide to Northern Spain


  • Lunches, snacks, coffees, etc.
  • Drinks with dinner including bottled water and coffee
  • Entry to places of interest
  • Autoroute tolls


A 9-day tour to the stunning Picos Mountains and the Rioja wine region in Northern Spain. Our tour starts on Sunday afternoon when we catch the 16.45 overnight ferry from Plymouth arriving in Santander at 15.00 pm on Monday afternoon. We then drive southeast to the Rioja wine region where we spend three nights in a Relais et Chateaux hotel.

Over the next two days, we explore the local Rioja wine region visiting wine caves and museums.

On the fourth day, we drive west on a scenic mountain route via Burgos, to Cevera di Pisuguera in the heart of the Picos mountains region where we spend a night in a Parador hotel overlooking a lake.

The following day we drive into the Picos Europa mountains to Fuente De where there is an option to take the cable car up the mountain. We then drive north into the Picos mountains to Panes then turn west along the northern Picos via Cangas de Onis to Luces on the coast where our 5* Relais et Chateaux hotel is our base for the next three nights.

The next day we return to Cangas di Onis where we visit a mountain retreat and pilgrim location.  The next day we drive south on a scenic road down to Riano before exploring the heart of the Picos mountains.

The next day we leave the Picos mountains and drive to Ribadesella on the coast and our lunch stop.

On our final day, we take the motorway east to Santillana del Mar, our lunch stop, before arriving in Santander to catch the 18.00 ferry to Plymouth which arrives the following day, Tuesday, at 15.30

Day 1 Sunday 3rd September

The overnight ferry leaves at 16.45 from Plymouth to Santander, northern Spain

Our afternoon ferry leaves Plymouth at 16.45 and arrives Monday at 15.00  in Santander

Day 2 Monday 4th September

Santander to Ezcaray, ( 135 miles ) 

Our ferry arrives in Santander at 15.00

After disembarking in Santander we head southwest on the motorway to Santo Domingo de la Calzada. From here it's just a few miles south to Ezcaray, a sleepy village in the Rioja wine region.

Here our Relais et Chateau hotel for the next three nights is located.

The hotel is opposite a church an ancient church

Although the hotel has a 2* Michelin restaurant this is only open at weekends so tonight we eat in the hotel's traditional restaurant


Day 3 Tuesday 5th September

Ezcaray, local excursion Rioja wine region ( 60 miles )

After a leisurely breakfast, we enjoy a local excursion in the Rioja wine region. We initially drive north for 10 miles to our morning coffee stop, Santo Domingo de la Calzada, a pretty medieval town and part of the Compostella pilgrims' route.




We then drive 20 miles to Laguardia, our lunch stop in the Rioja wine region.


In the afternoon we visit the nearby Bodegas Ysios housed in an amazing building designed by Santiago Calatrava

We then drive 15 miles east to Briones where we visit the Museum Vivanco dedicated to wine production.






Our afternoon coffee stop is 6 miles away in Estacion famous for its local bodegas where we can visit local wine producers.



Late afternoon we return 20 miles to Ezcaray.

Dinner tonight is in the hotel's Traditional restaurant


Day 4 Wednesday 6th September

Another day exploring the Rioja wine region


Day 5 Thursday 7th September

Ezcaray to Cervera de Pisguera  ( 115 miles )

We leave Ezcaray and drive east into the Sierra de Demanda mountains for 40 miles to Burgos where we then take the motorway north for 5 miles before joining a country road to our morning coffee stop, Montorio, a sleepy village nestling in the hills.

After coffee we continue north, deviating to drive through the pretty village of Urbel del Castillo.



Our route then takes us to Cervera de Pisguera where our newly furbished Parador hotel is based overlooking a lake.

Dinner, tonight, is in the hotel's restaurant.


Day 6 Friday 8th September

Cevera di Pisguera to Luces ( 127  miles ) 

In the morning we drive north into the Picos mountains to Potes where we take a cul-de-sac to Fuente De in the heart of the Picos Mountains and our coffee stop. Here there is a cable car at the foot of the mountain next to the Parador hotel.


Here, there is an option to take a cable car up to the mountain summit from where there are stunning views of the Picos Mountains.

We then return to Potes then turn north along the eastern slopes of the Picos to Panes via a spectacular gorge and an ancient church in a spectacular setting.

Our route from Panes takes us west along the northern Picos to Cangas de Onis, our afternoon coffee stop.

After coffee, we continue north-west to Luces where our 5-star Relais et Chateaux hotel, for the next three nights, awaits us.

Dinner tonight is in the hotel's restaurant

Day 7 Saturday 9th September

Luces, a local excursion to Covadonga and Ribadesella ( 90 miles )

After breakfast, we return to Cangas de Onis and then drive up to Covadonga, a hilltop village, which for centuries has been a focal point for pilgrims en route to Santiago de Compostella




If the road is open, there is an option to drive 8 miles into the mountains on a scenic mountain road to a lake in the heart of the Picos mountain range.



After our visit, we return to Covadonga and then to Cangas de Onis.

Our afternoon coffee stop is Ribadesella on the coast





We then return to our hotel in Luces.

Day 8 Sunday 10th September

A drive in the Picos Europa mountain range, ( 150 miles )

We head south into the Picos Mountains to Riano, our morning coffee stop.

The town overlooks a lake surrounded by mountains


We then head east for a few miles then northeast on a scenic mountain loop into the heart of the Picos Mountains driving anti-clockwise to our lunch stop before returning to Puerto del Ponton.

From here we retrace our route back, via Sames, to our hotel

in Luces.


Dinner, tonight is in the Hotel's restaurant

Day 9 Monday 11th September

Luces to Santander ferry ( 95 miles )

After a leisurely breakfast, we leave Luces and head east to Santillana del Mar, our lunch stop, where we visit the pretty village.

After lunch, we continue east to Santander where we catch the overnight ferry at 18.00 to Plymouth

Tuesday 12th September

15.30 Ferry arrives in Plymouth from Santander

The tour ends here