4 - 12
There is something about Northern Spain. You sit down at a table in the crisp sunshine, the waiter comes and pours country cider from a green bottle at arm’s length above his head, down into a pint glass held at his hip to oxygenate the liquid, giving it the fresh ‘zang’ you will experience nowhere else.
A local woman on the next table will ask you where you are from. Prawns will arrive dripping in garlic, then squid sizzling in virgin olive oil. The bread breaks in your hand like tectonic plates, the blue cheese smells like muertos, the Rioja wine adds a twinkle to your eye. Somehow just having lunch becomes a religious experience.
To your left the hazy peaks of the Picos rise up shimmering in the distance, to your right the Cantabrian Sea crashes against rocky coast in sprays of salt that reach up to the fertile campo laden with cows and horses. Squat, Japanese-looking terracotta-roofed Horreos abound, the wooden structures suspended above the ground on stone stilts, the traditional manner of storing maize throughout the snowy winter.
This adventure celebrates the very best of Northern Spain by exploring the culture and charm of the three neighbouring but contrasting regions of Asturias, Cantabria and the Basque Country. These historic kingdoms offer the traveller a wealth of experiences; from the wild beauty of the Picos de Europa mountains, to the striking Guggenheim museum in Bilbao, the mouth watering pintxos in San Sebastian, to the famous Basilica at Covadonga steeped in the history of the Reconquista of King Pelayo against the Moors from the South.
Striking a perfect balance of gentle walking in foothills and along the coast, enjoying informative guided city tours and exploring key sites in the notable towns of Oviedo, Santander, Bilbao and San Sebastian, this fully guided holiday with an English speaking local guide and private transfers will tell you the story of Northern Spain, narrated through its fascinating culture and traditions.
Single rooms are available on a first come, first served basis. We will charge on a pro-rata basis if a single room is only available for part of the trip.
We fully believe in, and practice, Responsible Tourism, using hotels run by locals. The accommodation on this adventure is a mixture of comfortable and welcoming hotel accommodation offering rooms with ensuite facilities, plus immersion into the mountain landscapes with 3 nights in stunningly situated mountain refuges. All refuges offer modern facilities, expansive views and a warm ambiance, but expect shared bathrooms and dormitory accommodation.
We put time and effort into building our relationship with accommodation suppliers to ensure you have a great trip;
We choose accommodation based on cleanliness, comfort, safety, proximity to our route (to avoid unnecessary extra travel) and a warm client welcome, as well as reliability in their service to us. Wherever we can we will choose smaller, more characterful, individual hotels, but in areas where tourism is still developing, or in remote areas (like the mountains), we may not have a wide range of options. An aspect of our adventures is to escape the ‘trappings’ of modern Western lifestyles and to experience new things with are exciting and memorable and reflects the countries we are visiting.
The list below gives information on our first choice of accommodation for this adventure. Where hotels and refuges are fully booked or unavailable, we will use an alternative of a similar standard, and equally well situated. We will provide you with an accurate list of accommodation, with contact information to leave with relatives, prior to departure on your adventure.
Gran Hotel Paraiso, Llanes, Asturias: (Day 1 - 2): Calle Pidal, 33500 Llanes, Asturias (+34 985402325). Ensuite rooms, air con & Wifi
Casa Cayo, Potes, Asturias (Day 4 & 5): Characterful mountain Hotel Restaurant in Potes (+34 942730150). Ensuite rooms.
Santander, Cantabria (Day 6): to be confirmed.
Bilbao, Basque Country (Day 7): Basque Boutique, Bilbao. Ensuite rooms with wifi and air conditioning. Relaxed & characterful ambiance- each room is individually decorated with handmade furniture. Central location.
Zumaia, Basque Country (Day 8 & 9): Casa Jesuskoa, Zumaia, Basque Country. Boutique rustic hotel with charming grounds and restaurant serving home grown foods.
San Sebastian (Day 10): to be confirmed.
Unless you have booked a single room (where they are available) and paid the single room supplement for those nights, you will be sharing a twin room with another client (of the same gender).
Supporting you on your holiday, and accompanying the group each day (including during meals), will be a local, English speaking Spanish travel guide who knows Asturias, Cantabria & the Basque Country like the back of their hand! This ensures you are in excellent hands and that you have access to local knowledge.
We work jointly with our Spanish Tour Operator partners both before and during your adventure to ensure that they understand your needs and the standard that YellowWood Adventures expects. We believe that it is a very important positive aspect of Responsible Tourism, to employ the expertise of local suppliers, as well as offering you a much more informative and authentic experience.
Your group will be any number from our minimum group size of 4, up to a maximum of 12 clients. This number works really well with the ratio of guides, and ensures the optimum level of service to you during your adventure.
We get clients booking alone, as couples and in small groups of friends. If you have a group of friends or family who are interested in having their own customised trip, then please let us know and we can cost it for you.
Although you will be visiting the stunning Picos de Europa mountains (part of the Cantabria range) during your holiday, the focus of this holiday is a cultural exploration. To get the most of out of this adventure, you need to be in good physical condition and able to walk for around 3 - 4 hours (the city tours are a mix of walking tours with short transfers as required). You also need to be comfortable on coastal paths which may be narrow or uneven and naturally will include some gradient changes, in order to enjoy the rural and wildlife aspects of the adventure. Any walking is at the natural pace of the group, with regular stops and there is an alternative option if you are not wanting to join the 8km walk on Day 9.
Your YellowWood adventure starts in Bilbao or Santander. We can talk to you more about your travel options on an individual basis. We understand that arriving into an unfamiliar airport can be daunting, so we aim to give you as much information here as possible to help you prepare.
Flights are not included in the cost of your holiday, and whilst we are happy to help advise you, responsibility for booking the correct flights rests with you. We recommend that you use a comparison tool when searching for flights, such as skyscanner or www.momondo.co.uk.
The 2 closest airports are Asturias near Oviedo, receiving flights from London Stansted and Geneva, Madrid and Barcelona, or Santander in Cantabria, receiving flights from London Stansted.
We will send you a Flight Information Sheet with further pointers on which flights to book for your adventure.
Although the most timely way to get to this area of Northern Spain is to use a low cost airline, there is much joy to be found in incorporating your travel into your adventure and choosing the lower carbon footprint option of the ferry. You can travel to Santander from Plymouth (18hrs 30mins) and Portsmouth (23hrs 30mins) and to Bilbao from Portsmouth (23hrs 45mins), all with Brittany Ferries. An added bonus to this form of travel is the opportunity to spot whales and dolphins in the Bay of Biscay!
For the latest travel advice from the Foreign Commonwealth & Development Office including security and local laws, plus passport and visa information, check www.gov.uk/foreign-travel-advice. As the situation in our destination countries can change, please do ensure you check regularly before your adventure.
We also receive notifications direct from the Foreign Commonwealth & Development Office (FCDO) so we are always aware of the ‘status’ in our destination countries.
We have put together a journal post with a short summary of Brexit Advice for Travellers to Europe.
For those of you who choose to fly into Northern Spain, Asturias Airport (OVD) is a fully functioning, international airport welcoming domestic flights and those from Europe. Airport services include Duty Free, ATMs and Currency Exchange. On arrival at the airport you will go through passport control to baggage reclaim and onwards to Arrivals where you will be met by a driver / guide with a YellowWood Adventures sign.
For those choosing to arrive by ferry, you will also be met by a driver/ guide with a YellowWood Adventures sign, in the ferry Arrivals Terminal.
All group specific, final details on where to meet your guide will be sent to you prior to the start of your adventure.
Not sure which adventure is best for you? Dates or itinerary not quite fit?
+44 207 846 0197
Select dates & add any extras or 'Add on' adventures. Complete our Booking Form
'Make Booking': You will be redirected to secure WorldPay to make your deposit (£200/$250/person) payment (receipted), if booking >56 days before your adventure or full payment if <56 days before your adventure. Your monies are held securely by the Travel Trust Association.
Your booking will show as 'pending' in your YellowWood online account.
Enter booking information for all guests in your party.
We will be in touch as soon as we are able, to confirm your booking or discuss any availability limitations. Do not book transport/flights until we have emailed you to confirm your booking (receipt of your booking form is not confirmation). We will change the status of your final invoice from 'Pending Approval' to 'Outstanding', when it becomes payable online.
This payment is due 56 days before departure date (we send reminders).
Contact us with any questions about your adventure or booking.
+44 207 846 0197
To help you choose the right adventure for you, we have given each itinerary a grading that relates to the level of Walking / Trekking you will experience during the trip. This grading can be found on the Yellow map on the adventure page of the website.
All of our trips involve a level of general activity so are designed for people who are in good health, enjoy the outdoors, and have a taste for adventure and some level of fitness. As will be clear from our destinations, the climate (and altitude) may be different to that which you are used to, so please take this into consideration when choosing the most suitable holiday.
Please read our Adventure Itinerary & Essential Information for more information and don't hesitate to contact us if you would like to chat through whether you have found a suitable adventure for you.
Get in touch via our Enquiry form to check our availability, discuss the adventure and check we can meet your needs.
Complete our Enquiry Form; contact details, additional requirements (eg diet or health requirements) & questions you may have. Include as much information as you are able to, so we can help you with the detail you are looking for
Click on 'Send Enquiry' (receipted).
We will be in touch as soon as we are able, to answer your questions and help you plan your adventure.
+44 207 846 0197