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Customer Reviews

Average Rating: Red-stars

Total number of reviews: 1,843

Northern Spain By Rail RSP

Visiting: Spain
Tour Duration 12 Days
  • Seeing the countryside by rail / Martin Muller
  • Autumn in Basque Country
  • Leon to Bilbao
  • Azpeitia
  • Cathedral Leon
  • Tour Style: Classic
  • Tour Type: Small Groups
  • Tour Pace: Moderate
  • Tour Comfort: Standard
 

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3 reviews for this tour

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Tour notes

Each departure date has it's own dedicated tour note, detailing all you need to know about that tour. Whether you've already booked, or weighing up your options, please choose carefully the relevant itinerary for you.

We have the following different versions of the Northern Spain By Rail tour available at present.

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10 Stuart Crouch, 03/08/12

What was the highlight or most memorable moment of your tour?

This was a diverse tour around the cities and countryside of northern Spain, taking in the Basque land, Cantabria, Castille and Leon, and Asturia. The main highlight was taking the mechanical train through the mountainside up to Bulnes in the Picos de Europa. At the end of the journey, another world awaited us, tiny Bulnes nestling in the mountainside, with a spectacular walk back to Poncebos. I really enjoyed the vibe of Bilbao - the Guggenheim was a real highlight - whilst the cathedral tour in Leon - with local guide Blanca - was an unexpected delight not to be missed.

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0 E A Smeeton, 15/08/11
Thought the itinerary and trains were very good.  An opportunity to buy a coffee on the train would have been nice though.  Not Explore's fault but one of our journeys was 7 hours;  a long time to travel without a hot drink.  Even the 3 and 4 hour trips would have been improved with a drink.  We have to blame FEVE and RENFE for that, of course.  The hotels were all very good except the one in Leon.  The breakfast was abysmal and the service absolutely atrocious.  Can't believe anybody liked it.  The location was the only good thing about it.  Llanes was a revelation.  Thought it was a really great destination.  It had everything. Loved Bilbao (great hotel, location and food) ,Leon & Santiago too.  We really feel that there are too many 'group' meals offered.  Some people want to eat every night with a group but we found that doing our own thing at local bars for tapas or a fixed menu was excellent.  Lovely to sit outside and mix with the locals.  We felt that a group meal at the Picos destinatiion. Bulnes, was ridiculous.  This was organised the night before, (when people were asked to choose their food for the following day) and nobody had any idea what was up there.  Considering it was a special week in that part of Spain, the area was pretty empty.  There were 5 or 6 lovely bar/cafes there.  We were the only 2 to make the decision to be independent and do our own thing and we sat outside one and soaked up the sun and atmosphere and had a really good lunch with wine.  The other 16 plus the guide ate in an indoor location in one bar, thus, the business all went to one establishment.  Why not let people do their own thing and spread the business? I thought the Explore ethos was to help the locals, not just one place.  We feel quite strongly about too many fixed meals.  It's obviously very advantageous for the tour leader but that's not what it's all about.  Their loss, I think.  The last group meal in Leon was at an excellent place and we also enjoyed the meal in Ponferrada.  Staying at Ponferrada was our only real gripe.  It's an hour out from Leon and the only thing there is a castle, which isn't open on a Sunday (our day) and not open on the Monday either, so no Explore group is ever going to be able to visit it.  Why not carry on a little further to  Astorga where there is an amazing cathedral and lots of interest in the town.  Think about it. Overall, we really loved the trip and would recommend it to others.   Bjorn was an excellent tour leader. He was very efficient and gave us all the necessary information each day in his own quiet way.  We would be very happy to have hiim lead us again. ( RSP - 23rd July 2011)
 
0 Rob & Anne Gregory, 17/08/11
A lovely seldom visited part of Spain. Old villages, towns and cities to be explored with fantastic reasonably priced evening and lunchtime meals with the 'locals'. Super scenery throughout and ALL the hotels were of a very high standard. Our guide was Antonio Toti and he could not have done more to ensure that we all had a fantastic holiday - seeing this part of Spain by rail was a delight and all the trains were on time, comfortable with plenty of room for ourselves and luggage. A HIGHLY recommended holiday. (RSP- 26th June 2010)
 
 
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