Starting in the Oporto region, along the beautiful Douro River, making our way to the North passing Salamanca and the winding roads of Ourense, past the beautiful coast leading to Santiago de Compostela and further along the cliffs of Galicia, to reach the Bilbao and ending in San Sebastian.
Trans-Iberica is the perfect opportunity to encapsulate the Iberian culture shared by both Portugal and Spain. The adventure takes off at the Douro river in Portugal where you will combine great scenic and wildlife value with beautiful wine towns dotted with baroque buildings. The adventure continues to Salamanca, land of the famous “jamón”, Spanish ham, for an overnight at an ancient Dominican monastery and organic farm.
From here on, the ride returns to the rural northeast of Portugal to cross again into Spanish land at Ribeira Sacra, comprised of high plateaus and mountains with gentle slopes into the Rías. You will reach the wild Atlantic coast and stop in Santiago de Compostela, goal and dream for any pilgrim of Saint James. Crossing forests and villages of inland Galicia you will get a better understanding of the rural life and reality. From Ribadesella, a coastal village, you will attack Picos de Europa Mountain range forming part of the Cantabria Mountains in northern Spain and culminate the journey in the Basque Country, world-famous for its gastronomy and museums.
|TOTAL DAYS||9 Days|
|RALLY DATES||May 19 – May 27, 2021|
|RALLY DISTANCE||2.551 km|
|PLACES||Portugal – Spain|
|START||Castelo de Piava, Portugal|
|ENDS||San Sebastian, Spain|
|ROADS CONDITION||Good roads – Amazing scenery guaranteed!|
|CAR SHIPPING DATES:||May 2021|
|NUMBER OF CARS||Limited to 25 cars
Cars built before 1980
Day 1: Castelo de Piava
Wednesday, 19 May 2021
Meeting point at km 40 of the Douro river in Portugal, and welcome to Douro41 Hotel, a charming and contemporary design hotel with the beautiful natural surroundings. The hotel is literally at the river’s feet, anchored in the terraces at its banks, offering unique views of its bends and the boats which meander down them. Enjoy the facilities of the hotel such as an experience of the Douro’s water on a boat trip or relax at the panoramic swimming pool.
Get together and Welcome reception for a briefing followed by a gastronomic dinner.
Overnight in Douro41
Day 2: Castelo de Paiva - Marialva
Thursday, 20 May 2021
Check-out and heading east to Lamego village, an ancient episcopal centre lying within the Upper Douro’s demarcated port wine area. We continue on the N-222 linking Regua and Pinhau, scientifically the world’s best drive! It beat the likes of California Highway 1
and Australia’s Great Ocean Road in tests. You will be stunned winding through the wine terraces.
We keep the wine and gastronomic highlight for Casas do Côro, a group of houses with typical Beira architecture. Get ready for an unforgettable experience.
Dinner and overnight at the Casas do Côro
Day 3: Marialva - Valverdón (SP)
Friday, 21 May 2021
The drive will take you to the Natural Park Arribes del Duero, a natural area and Special Protection Area for Birds that separates Portugal from Spain.
Lunch at Castillo del Bueno Amor, a beautiful 15th- century castle that lives up to its name in every detail. You will be able to relax, surrounded by nature, in a Tuscan Style Wine Hotel & Spa at Hacienda Zorita near Salamanca.
Dinner and overnight at Hacienda Zorita
Day 4: Valverdón - Santo Estevo
Saturday, 22 May 2021
Today we say “Buenos dies” good morning to clifftop Miranda do Douro village.
The road continues in Montesinho national park Northeast of Portugal along with magnificent views with almost no traffic, quite slow and straight but very pleasant to ride hearing Fado music while leaving the country.
Lunch within the impressive Monterrei fortress which dates to the 12th century with a defensive tower, a manor house and church whilst boasting magnificent views over the surrounding countryside.
Dinner and overnight at Parador de Santo Estevo, a Monastery converted into a beautiful hotel near Ourense.
You will spend a peaceful evening with local cuisine in a subdued atmosphere.
Overnight in Parador Santo Estevo
Day 5: Santo Estevo - Santiago de Compostela
Sunday, 23 May 2021
Starting from the Parador, you will follow unique and beautiful routes in an area that is never overcrowded by tourism. The drive includes the Sil River Canyon measuring 500 metres in depth and offering a spectacular explosion of colour in spring. These steep slopes require a heroic effort, something unique that can only be found in this Ribeira Sacra, the birthplace of the legendary “Amandi”, a wine that was so treasured by the Romans that they considered it the “gold of the River Sil”. A wine that centuries later the Benedictine
monks produced exclusively for the wineries of the most refined popes.
The road continues west to Ribadavía and Mondariz, one of the most famous spa town of Spain.
We reach the Galician Rías for lunch, those long inlets, so-called finger marks that God left when, after creating the world, he placed his hand there to rest.
On the Pilgrimage road of the Sea of Arousa and River Ulla, you will reach Santiago de Compostela.
Check-in at the outstanding family owned Relais & Châteaux Hotel.
You should not miss the chance to visit nearby Santiago a UNESCO World Heritage Site, with its cathedral which is a destination for pilgrims from all over the world.
Dinner & overnight at the Quinta da Auga Relais & Châteaux
Day 6: Santiago de Compostela - Luces
Monday, 24 May 2021
Driving along undiscovered farmland, you will experience the deep rural Galicia and stop at a traditional farm for coffee before entering the neighbouring region of Asturias, passing by Cangas de Narcea, a charming village.
Stop for lunch in the Parador de Corias, a spectacular monastery that has been declared a National Historical- Artistic Monument.
Before reaching your hotel, you will have the chance to stop at an important stopover on the Camino de Santiago visiting Oviedo, the capital of the Principality of Asturias, one of the most historically significant regions of the country.
Dinner and Overnight at Palacio de Luces, a Relais & Chateaux
Day 7: Luces - Santillana del Mar
Tuesday, 25 May 2021
Before heading inland, you will have the chance to stroll around Ribadesella, one of the prettiest coastal towns in Spain with a dreamy beach! Driving south to Cangas de Onís and onwards to Picos de Europa National Park you will be amazed by its mountains. Expect snow on the peaks here until May, but temperatures are bearable on the main routes. The road leads to Riaño, a town in a spectacular setting – surrounded on two sides by a vast reservoir.
Lunch will take place in the atmospheric medieval-era architecture of Potes.
Afternoon drive to the dramatic Desfiladero de la Hermida gorge. Before reaching your hotel, you will enjoy strolling around the old fishermen’s refuge San Vicente de la Barquera, a picturesque coastal town with its laidback fishing-port and pretty seafront promenade.
Cantabria dinner and overnight at the cosy Parador de Santillana Gil Blas, a townhouse located in the historic town of Santillana del Mar
Day 8: Santillana del Mar - San Sebastian
Tuesday, 25 May 2021
One of today’s highlight is the visit of Torre Loizaga, a must-see for every motoring enthusiast. Today it is the most complete Rolls-Royce collection in Europe displaying a wide variety of styles as the firm delivered the chassis, engine, radiator and hood, leaving the finish in the hands of master bodybuilders chosen by the buyer. And it is one of the few places in the world where all Phantom series models manufactured until 1972, can be seen together.
Along the coast, in the direction of Bermeo, you will make a detour to visit one of the most spectacular landscapes in Bizkaia, San Juan de Gaztelugatxe. Built on a rock in the Cantabria Sea, it is accessed by 237 steps. As traditional would have it, once you reach the chapel, you should ring the bell three times and make a wish. The effort required to climb the steps is well worth it when you see the spectacular views. It was Game of Thrones.
Crossing the Urdaibai Biosphere Reserve, you will reach Gernika which as symbolised Basque liberty and continue to Hernani village, a small town on the outskirts of San Sebastian. At the top of the hill is the caserío, a 16th-century Basque farmhouse built from stone and timber where to admire artwork by the late Basque sculptor Eduardo Chillida, an artist revered in this part of Spain much like Gaudí is in Barcelona.
Overnight and farewell dinner in Hotel Maria Cristina
Day 9: San Sebastian
Thursday, 27 May 2021
Buffet breakfast and check-out. Time has come to say Goodbye!