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Northern Spain By Rail RSP
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Please review your overall experience and what your highlights were
So many highlights; the trip to Bulnes in the Picos, the Paradors (especially in Leon), Santiago, the food, the scenery.Read more
Tour Leader Name
Jon Alkain Zendoia
Do You Have Any Feedback On Your Tour Leaders Performance
We found Jon to be extremely helpful, engaging and he made our trip more enjoyable.
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.
How was your Explore Tour Leader?
Georgina was an example of the very best of Explore tour leaders, with an eye for detail - a hand-written note of welcome for those of us who were Land-only, or wonderful suggestions for great dinners in the evening, as well as good local knowledge and a very friendly and engaging manner. Explore would do well to hire more of these 'professional' tour leaders, who have made it their career. Georgina really made the tour come to life, finding out everyone's particular interests and suggesting how they could be incorporated into our free time. This was a tour driven by the constraints of train timetables, and Georgina managed to make it seem effortless (it wasn't!), whilst making sure that we had all of the information that we needed to use our time well, and be on time in the morning!
What tips would you give to someone else booking this tour?
Expect long train journeys, and don't pack too much. Bring along plenty to do for the 'train' days, or just be prepared to watch the world go by. If you can, do brush up on your Spanish, especially menu items. A little knowledge goes a long way. If you're interested, maybe read up on the Guggenheim and the pilgrimage routes to Santiago de Compostela prior to the journey.
Do you have anything else to add?
It was a wonderful tour, relaxing and reasonably slow-paced, with more than enough to fill the days. The hotels were mostly excellent - free wifi in many helped with planning for town and city walks - with good breakfasts and very helpful staff.