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The Enchanting Black Forest
A Wonderful 8 Day, 7 Night Tour including 5 Nights at the Hotel Schloss Hornberg
Picos & Pyrenees - Portsmouth / Bilbao Tour Itinerary
DAY 1 (CO) - Drive to Portsmouth to board an evening (22h30) Brittany Ferries sailing from Portsmouth to Bilbao
DAY 2 (CO) - At sea to enjoy the on-board facilities
MEAL BASIS - CO = Cabin Only / BB = Bed & Breakfast / D = Dinner Only / HB = Dinner, Bed & Breakfast
DAY 11 (HB) - Sos del Rey Católico to Arties - Mileage: approx. 170 miles
Departing the hotel after breakfast, today you'll experience the drive on the N-260 or Eje Pirenaico as it's known locally. The
N-260 is one of the best drives in the Pyrenees and for a good reason, in contrast to several tight and very high Tour de France mountain passes, the N-260 offers the driver plenty of long straights followed by smooth corners that you can drive really fast. One minute you might be driving inside a forest and the next minute you are entering a hairpin bend ready to start your climb up a small pass. Your routing today takes you via Sangüesa, Jaca, Fiscal, Campo, Bonansa and Aneto before arriving at the beautiful Parador hotel in Arties late afternoon. After check-in and some time to freshen up dinner is included at the hotel.
DAY 12 (HB) - Arties to El Tarter, Andorra - Mileage approx. 95 miles
Departing the hotel after breakfast, today you'll head acroos the border into Andorra. Your routing today takes you via Andorra la Vella before making the final acent up to El Tarter and the excellent Nordic Hotel at 2134m, where you should arrive late mid afternoon. After check-in and some time to freshen up dinner is included at the hotel - Mileage: approx. 95 miles
DAY 9 (HB) – The Day at leisure - Breakfast followed by the day at leisure to explore the Rioja Wine Region and the Dinosaur Route. Rioja is a region in the North of Spain where wine plays a very special role, if you are planning a visit to Rioja, you should visit at least one winery and learn about local Rioja wines during your stay. Enjoy wine tasting in Rioja where old traditional wineries co-exist with new modern wineries. All of these Rioja wineries offer a unique and different experience and are well worth visiting. The Route of the Dinosaurs - The road from Arnedillo to Enciso is paved, barely 10 kilometres along a fantastic road (LR-115) that twists and turns to lead you to what is considered the heart of the Route of the Dinosaurs. It's best to start your visit in the town, where as many as 1,400 footprints have been found at the Palaeontology Centre.
DAY 7 (HB) – Cangas de Onis to Cervera de Pisuerga - Departing Cangas de Onis and the Parador hotel after breakfast, today your journey into the Picos de Europa begins. Heading south from Cangas de Onis you’ll pick up the N-625 passing through Casielles and Soto de Sajambre en route to Lake Riaño with an area of nearly 22 square kilometers and the Riaño Dam. The floodgates of the dam were closed on December 31, 1987 after a forced evacuation of the inhabitants of the old Riaño. The views are truly spectacular and rated as one of the most beautiful in Spain.
DAY 6 (HB) - At Leisure in Cangas di Onis
OR – Take a morning drive west via Infiesto and Pola de Siero to Oviedo - a treasure trove of Spanish religious architecture, dotted with monasteries, cathedrals and shrines that date back to the 9th century. After some free time in Oviedo your route takes you back via Langreo and San Martin del Rey Aurelio where you’ll join the AS-251, a great mountain road via San Emeterio and Priandi where you’ll rejoin the N-634 back to Cangas di Onis - Mileage: approx. 100 miles round trip
DAY 16 (BB) – The morning is at leisure before making your way to the Port for a mid afternoon Brittany Ferries sailing back to the UK.
DAY 17 (CO) – Morning at sea to enjoy the on-board facilities before a mid afternoon arrival in Portsmouth
DAY 3 (D) - Morning (07h45) arrival in Bilbao where you can spend some free time. Attractions include the Guggenheim Museum, designed by American architect Frank Gehry, the museum building represents a magnificent example of the most groundbreaking 20th-century architecture. With 24,000 m2, of which 11,000 are dedicated to exhibition space, the Museum represents an architectural landmark of audacious configuration and innovating design, providing a seductive backdrop for the art exhibited in it. From Bilbao you have the choice of taking the direct route via the motorway or a more scenic routing via Laredo and Santander with arrival in Santillana del Mar and the beautiful Parador Gil Blas mid afternoon. Again after some free time to freshen up dinner is included at the hotel - Mileage: Direct route approx. 75 miles / Scenic Route approx. 70 miles
DAY 4 (HB) - Santillana del Mar to Cangas di Onis. Today your routing follows the coast on the N-634/CA-236 via Comillas, San Vicente de la Barquera and Llanes to Ribadsella and the Playa de la Atalaya a great place to stop for lunch and some sightseeing. There are a couple of good driving roads from Ribadsella to Cangas di Onis, firstly you can follow the AS-341 to Collia or alternatively after following the N-632 to Caravia and Duyos you can take the impressive AS-260 via Mirador del Fitu. Arrival in Cangas di Onis and the Parador Hotel should be mid/late afternoon. Again after some free time to freshen up dinner is included at the hotel - Mileage: Direct route approx. 75 miles / Scenic Route via Collia approx. 75 miles or via Mirador del Fitu approx 85 miles
DAY 5 (BB) - The day at leisure to explore Cangas de Onis with the evening at leisure to explore the bars and restaurants in Cangas di Onis.
OR - Enjoy a scenic drive on the mountain road to Cavodonga to view the impressive basilica perched high up on the mountain side and then onto the two glacial lakes of Lago de Enol & Lago de la Ercina at a height of 1134 meters above sea level - Mileage: approx. 32 miles round trip
DAY 10 (HB) – Santo Domingo de la Calzada to Sos del Rey Católico. Following a leisurely breakfast you'll depart Santo Domingo and the Parador hotel and continue east on the A-12/AP-68 via Najera, Villamediana de Iregua before joining the
N-232 to Calahorra, the main town in the Lower Rioja. It stands on a promontory overlooking the fertile plain of Cidacos and its chief activity is distributing the area's excellent garden produce. In the historic centre of Calahorra there are still a good many vestiges of its past, such as the Cathedral, in an elevated flamboyant Gothic style and with a main front bearing alabaster figures. From Calahorra you'll follow the AP-15 to Sos del Rey Católico, via Olite, a small town in the centre of Navarre and the seat of the Royal Court of the kingdom in the Middle Ages. Arrival at the Parador Hotel should be late afternoon and after check-in and some time to freshen up dinner is included at the hotel - Mileage: approx. 130 miles
DAY 8 (HB) – Cerveda de Pisuerga to Santo Domingo de la Calzada - Departing Cerveda de Pisuerga and the Parador hotel after breakfast, today your journey takes you east via Aguilar de Campoo, Úrbel del Castillo and Busto de Bureba to Santo Domino de la Calzada. Arrival in Santo Domingo de la Calzada and the wonderful Parador Hotel should be late afternoon, where after check-in and some free time to relax, you'll have some free time to explore this historic town with its network of medieval streets, Cathedral and old Pilgrims' Hospital - Dinner is included at the hotel - Mileage: approx.110 miles
From Riaño you'll continue your drive through the Picos de Europa to Potes via the N-621 where you'll experience the spectacular San Glorio Pass which at 1,609m is one of the best drives in the Picos, if not in Spain. Potes, is one of the most attractive villages in the Picos and an ideal place to get some lunch and spend some free time before taking the short drive (14 miles) up the valley to Fuente Dé where you can take a cable car ride to the top of the Picos Massif where you can admire one of the most outstanding views of the Picos de Europa range. In wonderful natural surroundings, the cable car rises from 1094m to 1847m, an ascent of 750m along an impressive cliff. Returning down the valley to Potes you’ll head south on the CA-184 via Cabezón de Liébana, Piedrasluengas, and Vanes to Cervera de Pisuerga and the Parador Hotel where you should arrive late afternoon/early evening. After check-in and some time to freshen up dinner is included at the hotel - Mileage: approx. 140 miles
DAY 13 (BB) - The Day at leisure in Andorra - Andorra is a tiny, independent principality situated between France and Spain in the Pyrenees mountains. It’s known for its ski resorts and a tax-haven status that encourages duty-free shopping. Capital Andorra la Vella has boutiques and jewellers on Meritxell Avenue and several shopping centers. The old quarter, Barri Antic, houses Romanesque Santa Coloma Church, with a circular bell tower.
DAY 14 (HB) - Andorra to Pau - Departing Andorra and the hotel after breakfast, today you make your way across the border into France en route to Pau. Your routing today takes you through the French Pyrenees via Ax-les-Thermes, Montgaillard, La Bastide-de-Sérou and Tarbes with arrival at the Novotel hotel late afternoon. After check-in and some time to freshen up dinner is included at the hotel - Mileage: approx. 180 miles
DAY 15 (HB) - Pau to Bilbao - Today you'll depart Pau and make your way back into Northern Spain and Bilbao. Your routing today follows the Atlantic coast via the picturesque resorts of Saint-Jean-de-Luz and San Sebastián with arrival at the hotel late afternoon. After check-in and some time to freshen up dinner is included at the hotel - Mileage: approx. 180 miles