Our Journeys

The Magic of Northern Spain & Portugal with Cathy Whims - Spring 2023
April 30 - May 16, 2023


The Magic of Northern Spain & Portugal with Cathy Whims – Spring 2023

You will have the unique opportunity of traveling through Northern Spain and Porgual with Chef Cathy Whims, owner of Nostrana. Cathy is excited to explore these regions where she will share her secret dining spots with you and introduce you to local producers. On this tour you will also immerse yourself in Northern Spain and Portugal’s landscape, culture, art, and history, not to mention its unique cuisine and delicious wines. This tour can be taken as a 16-nights/17-days tour or separated into a Northern Spain tour (April 30-May 9, 2023) or a Galicia (Spain) & Portugal tour (May 9-16, 2023).



*Please click on each day to view daily itinerary.

DAY 0 - Saturday, April 29: Fly from US to Bilbao, Spain

Fly from US to Bilbao, Spain.

DAY 1 - Sunday, April 30: Arrival in Spain

Upon arrival, you will be transferred to your hotel in Bilbao. You will have time to check-in, rest and relax before a welcome talk and dinner this evening. Overnight in Bilbao.

DAY 2 - Monday, May 1: 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 harbour and an oceanic climate. Due to its privileged position, there is an awesome culinary tradition, which is considered the most inventive in Spain. Fish is the star ingredient in the cuisine here. In addition to enjoying the cuisine, we will visit the famous Guggenheim Museum, designed by Frank Gehry. Overnight in Bilbao.

DAY 3 - Tuesday, May 2: Getaria & San Sebastian

On your way to the city of Donostia-San Sebastian today, we will explore the charming coastal village of Getaria. In San Sebastian, we will enjoy a walking tour followed by the “not to be missed” tapas-like appetizers called pintxos. Overnight in Bilbao.

DAY 4 - Wednesday, May 3: Salt Pans & Rioja Wine Region

Today you will venture world-famous La Rioja wine region. On our way, you will visit the interesting salt pans of the area where the adventurous can wade into the water. We will then sample wine and enjoy lunch at the 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. Overnight in Rioja region.

DAY 5 - Thursday, May 4: Wine Museum, Tasting & Laguardia

Today we will visit the Vivanco wine museum and enjoy another tasting of the Tempranillo wine variety. You will also visit the charming village of Laguardia today. Overnight in Rioja region

DAY 6 - Friday, May 5: Burgos

Today you will enjoy a stop in the charming city of Burgos, an important stop on the pilgrimage route of St. James in the Castilla y Leon region of Spain. You will be enchanted by this off-the-beaten location. After lunch, you will continue the journey to Leon. Overnight in Leon.

DAY 7 - Saturday, May 6: Leon

Today you will visit Leon, the ancient capital of an important, historic kingdom. You will be blown away by its plazas (Plaza Mayor and Plaza St. Martin), its imposing cathedral and its lively historical center. Overnight in Leon.

DAY 8 - Sunday, May 7: Brimedia & Astorga

Today will be an off the beaten path adventure to visit the cider brewery of Brimedia where the lively locals where share in their traditions. We will also visit the charming village of Astorga before continuing our journey west to Santiago de Compostela. Overnight in Santiago de Compostela

DAY 9 - Monday, May 8: Santiago de Compostela

Today you will explore Santiago de Compostela, one of the true jewels of Spain! Hundreds of years of history, pilgrimages, hopes, prayers and energy have moulded its beautiful stone buildings, vivacious squares and colourful corners into a vibrant place that has no equal. Though we will not reach the city on foot or by bike like many visitors do, we will still experience the city’s traditions, music, and history while taking in some of its most important sights. Overnight in Santiago de Compostela.

DAY 10 – Tuesday, May 9: Galicia

Today we will enjoy the beautiful and rugged coastline of the Galicia region. On our way to our castle hotel in Baiona, we will stop to visit the charming village of O Grove and the enchanting Isla de la Toja. Overnight in Baiona

DAY 11 – Wednesday, May 10: Rias Biaxes & Combarro

Today we will visit one of the most beautiful areas in Spain and Galicia – the Rias Baixas. 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). Today, we will explore the small fishing village of Combarro and will taste some of its amazing shell fish specialties. Overnight in Baiona

DAY 12 - Thursday, May 11: A Guarda & Celtic Prehistoric Villages

Today we will venture south towards Portugal to visit the lovely town of A Guarda. We will also visit a prehistoric celtic village and learn the connection between these two cultures. Afterwards, we will end the day in Portugal at a lovely resort outside of Porto. Overnight outside of Porto

DAY 13 – Friday, May 12: Porto

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 lunch overlooking the river and the city. You will then head back to Porto, where we will tour the city with a great local guide and take a river cruise. In the late afternoon you will have time to soak in the lively atmosphere of Porto’s city centre and pay a visit to Lello, one of the oldest bookshops in Portugal and the inspiration for Harry Potter’s library at Hogwarts. Overnight outside of Porto

DAY 14 – Saturday, May 13: Battalha & Obidos

Today we will make our way to Lisbon with stops on the way to visit the Monastery of the Dominicans of Batalha, a breathtaking Gothic style church which is a UNESCO World Heritage site. In the afternoon, we will reach the charming city of Obidos. With its tiny alleys, quaint white houses and bright flowers, Obidos is a truly enchanting place. Overnight in Lisbon

DAY 15 - Sunday, May 14: Sintra & Cascais

This morning we will visit the impressive UNESCO World Heritage site of Palacio de Pena in Sintra. This romantic castle is an architectural masterpiece that was built to host the friends of King Ferdinand II. The gardens that surround the castle are arguably the most beautiful of Portugal and inspired Richard Strauss to create a few of his masterpieces. In the afternoon we will journey onto Cascais, a former fishing village that grew up to be an elegant beach town. Overnight in Lisbon

DAY 16 - Monday, May 15: Lisbon

Lisbon is well known for its dynamic character, culinary delights and mesmerizing Fado music. We'll start our day with the city's most important sights including Jeronimos Monastery, the Castelo de Sao Jorge, and we'll take time to walk the enchanting streets of Alfama, Lisbon's oldest district. Tonight, you will experience Fado -- a form of ballad characterized by soulful tunes and lyrics, usually about the sea, love or desperation. The rhythm and tones of the music are deeply connected with the character of the people and capture the atmosphere and beauty of a city -- something that can't be fully explained if not experienced first-hand. You will have time on your own in Lisbon to enjoy a bit more of this awesome city prior to our departure tomorrow. Overnight in Lisbon

DAY 17 - Tuesday, May 16: Departure

Transfer to airport for your return flight to the US.


Trip Details:
3 nights in Bilbao
2 nights in Rioja region
2 nights in Leon
2 nights in Santiago de Compostela
2 nights in Baiona
2 nights outside of Porto
3 nights in Lisbon
Total: 16 nights, 17 days


Northern Spain & Portugal Combined
(April 30-May 16, 2023):
$8,250 USD per person (double occupancy)
Single Supplement: $785 USD per person

Northern Spain ending in Santiago de
Compostela (April 30-May 9, 2023):
$4,450 USD per person (double occupancy)
Single Supplement: $785 USD

Galicia (Spain) & Portugal (May 8-16, 2023):
$4,450 USD per person (double occupancy)
Single Supplement: $1,395 USD per person

What is included in the trip

  • Private transfers upon arrival and departure
  • Accommodation in centrally located hotels and charming country inns
  • Group transportation in a deluxe coach
  • All breakfasts and 1 main meal per day including wine
  • All tastings, wine tastings etc
  • Entrances per the itinerary

What is not included

  • International airfare
  • Personal expenses
  • Travel Insurance: https://customizedjourneys.com/travel-insurance/
  • Tips for drivers and local guides