The Iberian Peninsula Tour

6th - 15th September 2019

Sailing from Portsmouth to Santander on a luxury overnight cruise ferry you will follow the amazing roads along the Asturian coast of Northern Spain before heading down into Portugal. 

With stunning scenery all the way, you will drive corkscrew roads up into the mountains and sweep along wide open roads through vineyards and olive groves. 

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The Iberian Peninsula Tour

6th - 15th September 2019

Sailing from Portsmouth to Santander on a luxury overnight cruise ferry you will follow the amazing roads along the Asturian coast of Northern Spain before heading down into Portugal. 

With stunning scenery all the way, you will drive corkscrew roads up into the mountains and sweep along wide open roads through vineyards and olive groves. 

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What is Included
  • Return overnight crossings with Brittany Ferries cruise ship from Portsmouth to Santander
  • 7 night's B&B hotel accommodation
  • Dinner on six evenings, with wine
  • Cocktail reception on two evenings
  • Vineyard tour with dinner 
  • Detailed road book with routes and maps
  • Services of an experienced Classic GT Tour Manager
Tour Prices

£1,795 per person

based on two sharing a car and a twin/double room

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Itinerary

This 14-night escorted driving tour includes ferry crossings, accommodation and a vineyard tour via some of the most beautiful roads in Spain and Portugal.

Sailing from Portsmouth to Santander on a luxury overnight cruise ferry, you will begin this fabulous driving tour through Spain to Portugal following the beautiful roads along the Asturian coast of Northern Spain.

With stunning scenery all the way, you will drive corkscrew roads up into the mountains and sweep along wide-open roads through vineyards and olive groves.

In Spain you will be staying at Parador hotels, magnificent historic buildings that used to be monasteries or castles which are now very interesting luxury hotels, and, in Portugal, in a beautiful hotel amongst the vineyards and overlooking the River Douro.

The drive out of Portugal along the Douro valley and back into Spain offers some of the most beautiful vistas we have ever seen.

THE ITINERARY
Friday 6th September | Portsmouth to Santander | Overnight Crossing

Our tour begins with an overnight cruise from Portsmouth to Santander on the Cap Finistère operated by Brittany Ferries where you can relax in a large outside cabin and enjoy the many facilities aboard this ship.  You may catch sight of whales or dolphins as we sail across the Bay of Biscay.
We will host a welcome drinks reception on board.

Saturday 7th September | Santander to Soto del Barco | 115 Miles
The ships docks at 17:30hrs today and the driving tour begins along the Asturian coastline to our first overnight stop in Spain, a former palace at the highest point of the Soto del Barco. It has a backdrop of the entire estuary of the river Nalón providing the perfect photo opportunity.
This evening, you will enjoy a typically Spanish dinner with accompanying wines.

Sunday 8th September | Soto del Barco to Leon | 100 Miles
After breakfast, the tour follows a scenic route south to the capital of the Province of León. The city of León is home to many churches and cathedrals noted for their architecture and art. Among them is the Gothic 13th-century Catedral de Léon, with its towers and flying buttresses and the Romanesque 10th-century Basílica de San Isidoro known for its frescoes and royal tombs. 

Tonight you will be staying at the unique Hotel Real Colegiata San Isidoro, located in the middle of the city. Arriving just after lunch will give you plenty of opportunities to explore the beautiful city of León, from historic buildings and parks to shopping.

Dinner this evening will be your own choice, but we will provide local restaurant recommendations a short walk from the hotel.

Monday 9th September | Leon to Douro Valley | 225 Miles
Today brings you a wonderful drive with contrasting scenery and roads as you cross from Spain into Portugal - you will corkscrew up into the mountains with spectacular views and then sweep through vineyards and olive groves. The last leg of the journey takes you through the pine forests of the National Parco de Pinhão.
Our hotel, nestled in the centre of the Douro valley, has beautiful views across the river and vineyards which you can enjoy whilst you have a drink and watch the sunset before dinner in the hotel.

Tuesday 10th September | Free/Rest Day
Today is a free day to relax in the sun or to explore the pretty local towns along the river. Porto is just an hour’s drive away or we can arrange for you to join a river cruise.
This evening you will have a private tour of a local vineyard, the Quinta da Pacheca, and sample their table wines and ports. This is one of the rare vineyards where the grapes are still pressed by foot. Supper is a wonderful al fresco experience of local specialities under the shade of the trees in their lovely garden.

Wednesday 11th September | Douro Valley to Zamora | 150 Miles
This morning you can enjoy breakfast overlooking the river before you head off for an exciting drive back into Spain.  The drive up and out of the Douro valley is one of the most amazing we have ever driven – the views are unrivalled and the roads so good, we are sure you will feel the same exhilaration.
You should arrive in Zamora with time to explore the old quarter of the city and relax on the hotel‘s sun terrace, with views across the roof tops, or have a dip in the pool before dinner in the hotel. This Parador was built on the site of an old citadel and the building retains many original features. The interior is enhanced with tapestries and suits of armour.

Thursday 12th September | Zamora to Camaleno | 180 Miles
A most scenic drive takes you north into the Picos de Europa Mountains for two nights. The route is through national parks before entering the mountain region with roads twisting and turning as you climb higher and higher towards the Parador de Fuente Dé.  This typical mountain region hotel is at the foot of the cable car leading to the Áliva viewpoint for some breathtaking panoramic views. Dinner this evening will be in the hotel restaurant.

Friday 13th September | Free/Rest Day
Today is a free day offering a choice of many different activities from trail walking to exploring the bustling town of Potes and the local churches and museums. There is a local vineyard where you can enjoy a tour and tastings, or you can take the cable car to marvel at the astounding views.
This evening we will dine in the hotel restaurant.

Saturday 14th September | Camaleno to Santander | 112 Miles
Enjoy a leisurely breakfast this morning, as the ferry does not depart until 20.30hrs, giving you plenty of time to make your way on a gentle drive to Santander. There are several route options all starting with the dramatic canyons and gorges with rock faces that rise vertically above you as you leave the Picos mountains.  There are some lovely coastal roads that take you through seaside villages and towns providing opportunities to stop off, or you could head straight into Santander, not just a ferry port (!), but the elegant capital city of the Cantabria region.

You will be sailing home overnight on the Cap Finistère, the same cruise ship that you arrived on. On board is a cinema, spa, swimming pool and several bars and cafés.
We will host a finale dinner on board including wine in the on board à la carte restaurant.

Sunday 15th September | Santander to Portsmouth | Overnight Crossing
After a relaxing cruise making the most of the ship’s leisure facilities, you will arrive back in Portsmouth at 19:45hrs.

 

As with all of our tours and events, this tour is protected by our ABTA and ABTOT bonding, and, we provide financial security for flight-inclusive tours by way of our membership of the Travel Trust Association’s ATOL Angel system. For more information please click here.

   

Hotels

Palacio de la Magdalena

This elegant hotel in a 18th-century palace with a chapel is a 3-minute walk from El Parador train station and 4.2 km from Playa de Los Quebrantos beach. 

The bright rooms offer free Wi-Fi,...

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Hotel Real Colegiata

Attached to the Basilica of San Isidoro and museum, this historic, Romanesque-style hotel is a 5-minute walk from the Modernist Casa de los Botines and the Palacio de los Guzmanes. 

Breakfast is...

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Quinta de Pacheca Vineyard

Set in a 18th-century manor house on a wine estate overlooking the Douro River, this elegant boutique hotel is 4 km from the Museu do Douro. 

There's a refined, contemporary restaurant, with wood...

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Parador Zamora

In a 15th-century Renaissance palace, this high-end Parador has medieval touches, including tapestries and interior stone walls. The 12th-century Zamora Cathedral is 9 minutes' walk away.

Featuring...

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Parador de Fuente Dé

Set against the backdrop of Picos de Europa National Park, this modern alpine Parador is 21 km from Santo Toribio de Liebana monastery, and 23 km from the city of Potes. 

The comfortable, relaxed...

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