Our Journeys

The Magic of Northern Spain with Sr. Otero & Don Jose
** Exact dates to be announced


The Magic of Northern Spain with Sr. Otero & Don Jose – June 2022


With Sr. Otero and Don Jose, you will have the unique opportunity to immerse in Northern Spain’s landscape, culture, art, history, and cuisine with two teachers who are dedicated to passing on their love and knowledge of Spain to students and their families. The trip has been designed to introduce families to the most important sites in Northern Spain, while also offering a personal “insider’s” view of some of Sr. Otero’s and Don Jose’s favorite small villages.

The trip is uniquely organized to consider the needs of families, offering an enjoyable pace and set of activities that engage children and adults alike, and a good balance between planned events and free exploration.

Embark on a truly exciting, enjoyable, and educational immersion for the whole family!

*Please click on each day to view daily itinerary.

DAY 0:

Fly from the USA to Bilbao, Spain.

DAY 1: Bilbao

After your arrival in Bilbao, you'll be picked up and transfer to your hotel. There, you’ll have a few hours to relax before joining your fellow travelers for a welcome drink. Sleep in Bilbao.

DAY 2: Bilbao

Today you will enjoy Bilbao, the most important city in Basque Country. Just a few miles from the Bay of Biscay, Bilbao has a large harbor and an oceanic climate. Due to its privileged position, there is an awesome culinary tradition, which is considered the most inventive in Spain. Fish, mostly cod and hake, is the star ingredient in the cuisine here. This morning, we will visit the famous Guggenheim Museum, designed by Frank Gehry. With more than ten million visitors to its credit, the Guggenheim Museum in Bilbao has changed the way people think about museums! After lunch in the museum café, we will visit the coastal village of San Juan de Gaztelugatxe to enjoy some amazing views. Sleep in Bilbao.

DAY 3: San Sebastian

This morning we will head to the city of Donostia-San Sebastian, were we will enjoy a walking tour followed by the “not to be missed” tapas-like appetizers called pintxos. In the afternoon, you have the opportunity to enjoy the most beautiful beach of the area, La Concha. Time permitting, we will make a stop to visit Monte Igueldo before returning to Bilbao. Sleep in Bilbao.

DAY 4: Hondarribia & Saint-Jean-de-Luz, France

Today we will experience how the Basque region influences extends into France. We will start the day on the Spanish side of the border with a visit to the coastal town of Hondarribia, before taking a boat ride along the coast and crossing the border to arrive in the charming fishing village of Saint-Jean-de-Luz at the mouth of the Nivelle river. Sleep in Bilbao.

DAY 5: Laguardia, Haro and La Rioja

Today you will explore the countryside of the world-famous La Rioja wine region. You will pay a visit to Laguardia, the region's most enchanting village and sample wine at Marques de Riscal’s innovative City of Wine. Designed by Frank Gehry, the titanium-covered building displays the colors of Marques de Riscal: pink like the wine, gold like the mesh on the Riscal bottles, and silver like the bottle top. You will enjoy a delightful meal overlooking the vineyards and countryside at Vivanco, and will then also visit its amazing city of wine museum. Sleep in Haro.

DAY 6: Pilgrimage route of Santiago – Santo Domingo de la Calzada

Today you will hike on the world-famous Camino de Santiago in the area of Santo Domingo de la Calzada and enjoy its beautiful landscapes. After we have worked up an appetite from our hike, we will enjoy a special lunch and wine tasting at winery Bodegas Muga where you will be regaled with stories of Don Jose’s youth in Spain by his family members who own the winery. Sleep in Haro.

DAY 7: Leon

This morning we will start our trek into the Castilla y Leon region to arrive in Leon, the ancient capital of an important, historic kingdom. You will be blown away by Leon's great plazas (Plaza Mayor and Plaza St. Martin), its imposing cathedral and its lively historical center. Sleep in Leon.

DAY 8: Ponferrada & Santiago de Compostela

This morning we will make our way to the Galicia region of Spain with a stop en route to visit the Castillo del los Temparillos (Templar’s castle) in Ponferrada, built to protect the pilgrims on the Camino de Santiago. In the afternoon, we will arrive in Santiago de Compostela, one of the true jewels of Spain! It is hard to explain how special this little city is. Hundreds of years of history, pilgrimages, hopes, prayers and energy have molded its beautiful stone buildings, vivacious squares and colorful corners into a vibrant place that has no equal. Visitors today mostly reach Santiago by foot, on a journey of approximately 500 miles, or by bike. We will not do that, but will nonetheless experience the city’s traditions, music, and history while taking in some of its most important sights. Sleep in Santiago de Compostela.

DAY 9: Rias Baixas and Combarro

Today we will visit one of the most beautiful areas in Spain – the Rias Baixas in the Galicia region. A beautiful green area, Rίas Baixas is characterized by rίas – deep, wide inlets encroaching many miles inland from the Atlantic Ocean. The southern group of these rίas is known as Rίas Baixas (the lower estuaries). You will explore the small fishing village of Combarro, and will taste some of its amazing shell fish specialties. Sleep in Santiago de Compostela.

Day 10: Departure or Extension

Your journey ends this morning after breakfast. Fly out to the US or continue your Spanish adventure into Portugal with a 3-night extension ending in Porto.

Extension Day 1:Beach & Pontevedra, Spain

If you are extending your trip, today we will travel to the coast for a relaxing beach day near Pontevedra, Spain, ending our day in the charming little town with its classy buildings and great atmosphere. Sleep in Pontevedra.

Extension Day 2:Braga & Porto, Portugal

Today, will be our first day in Portugal as we make our to the magnificent sanctuary in Braga perched high on a hilltop and reached by its historic funicular train. In the afternoon, we will arrive in the Jewel of the North. Oporto is the second most important city in Portugal and it is also a UNESCO Heritage site. Sleep in Oporto

Extension Day 3:Porto, Portugal

Today you will travel across to Vila Nova de Gaia, a lovely town across the Douro River famous for lodges-- the traditional storage caves for Port wine. You will visit one of the best producers of Port wine in the world and then have an awesome lunch overlooking the river and the city. In the afternoon, you will then head back to Porto, where you can take a river cruise along the Duoro river. Sleep in Oporto

Extension Day 4: Departure

Your journey ends this morning after breakfast. Fly out to the US.


Main Trip Details:
3 nights in Bilbao
2 nights in Haro
1 night in Leon
2 nights in Santiago de Compostela
Total: 8 nights / 9 days

Main Trip Price:
$ 2,795 per person in double room (minimum 40 travelers)
$ 870 single supplement

Extension Trip Details
1 night in Pontevedra, Spain
2 nights in Oporto, Portugal
Total: 3 nights/ 4 days

Extension Trip Price:
$ 1,150 per person in a double room (minimum 10 travelers)
$ 450 single supplement

What is included in the trip

  • The presence and assistance of your tour directors, D. Jose and Sr. Otero, who with their
    local knowledge and expertise, will engage both children and adults, ensuring a most
    memorable trip
  • All accommodation in centrally located, charming hotels
  • All transportation while on tour (as per the itinerary)
  • All entrances as per the itinerary
  • Local guides and experts

What is not included

  • International airfare from and back to the US
  • Personal expenses
  • Tips for drivers and guides


Please check here for the latest Covid-19 travel updates

Dear Friends & Travelers,

The safety and well-being of our clients is our top priority.

We have been closely monitoring the global response to the COVID-19 pandemic and relying on recommendations from the US State Department, CDC, World Health Organization, and other relevant authorities at home and abroad. Based on the latest developments, we have made the difficult decision, in coordination with our trip hosts and partners, to reschedule all departures starting on or before December 31, 2020.

We want to assure you that we are making every effort to do the right thing for our clients, partners, and local vendors in this time of uncertainty, and we look forward to sharing our passion for experiencing the world with you by offering the following options:

1. Join your group’s alternate date
We are offering each of our affected groups a future alternate date and will gladly transfer your reservation to this date.
2. Reschedule your trip on a different Customized Journeys departure
If the alternate date for your program does not work for you, we are happy to work with you to find a different date, private trip, or future program that will suit your needs and interests.
3. Receive a Future Travel Credit (FTC)
If your preference is to wait to make a decision, we will put your reservation on hold and apply your funds toward a future Customized Journeys travel program of your choosing. This FTC is valid for 2 years from your original departure date.

We share your disappointment and appreciate your understanding during this challenging time. As the situation continues to evolve, we have learned that what makes sense today may be different tomorrow. Our planning could be further adjusted, and we will update you as we continue to work through developments. In the meantime, we’d like you to know that we are reviewing every aspect of how we run our trips with the intent of safeguarding the health and well-being of our clients.

Please let us know if you have any questions or need additional information to help with your decision process.

Thank you for your commitment and understanding.

The Customized Journeys team