Fodor's To Europe!

Northern Spain: Tapas and Coastal Towns

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Fly into: Barcelona Fly out of: Madrid
Total Duration: 14 days

Starting in Barcelona and gently curving east, this itinerary showcases the highlights of northern Spain, along with Madrid. You'll explore fishing villages in San Sebastián and rocky beaches along the Basque Coast before hitting the museums of Bilbao. The trip winds down in Madrid, where you can tour the Prado and dance the night away.

    This Trip's Top Experiences:

  • Natural Beauty
  • Food and Wine
  • Museums
  • Architecture
  • Art and Culture
Days 1-3
Ruggero Franceschini/shutterstock

1 Barcelona

City of Marvels

  • Get a feel for Barcelona by strolling along the Rambla and around the Boquería
  • Have a Gaudí day and try to take in as many of his masterpieces as you can
  • Explore the Eixample, which contains most of the city's Art Nouveau architecture
  • Architecture
  • Nightlife
  • Art and Culture
Discover Barcelona »
Days 4-5
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Tourist Office of Spain, NY

2 San Sebastián

Tapas and Beautiful Views

  • Walk along the bay to admire the Belle Epoque buildings
  • Catch a performance or a film at Kursaal
  • Try one of the city's famed tapas restaurants
  • Food and Wine
  • Art and Culture
  • Natural Beauty
Discover San Sebastián »
Days 6-8
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Javier Gil/shutterstock

3 Basque Coast

Beaches and Cliffs

  • Climb 321 steps to see the little chapel crowning San Juan de Gaztelugatxe
  • Bermeo's Museo del Pescador is the only museum in the world dedicated to fishermen
  • Lekeitio offers two wide, sandy beaches right near the harbor
  • Beaches
  • Great Drive
  • Natural Beauty
Discover Basque Coast »
Days 9-11
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aherrero/flickr

4 Bilbao

Modern Masterpieces

  • When people think of Bilbao, they automatically think of Frank Gehry's Guggeheim museum
  • The Museo de Bellas Artes showcases works by the Spanish masters
  • Walk around the Old Quarter to soak in the architecture
  • Museums
  • Food and Wine
  • Architecture
Discover Bilbao »
Days 12-14
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Vinicius Tupinamba/Shutterstock

5 Madrid

Art and the Good Life

  • Explore the legendary Prado museum, home to many Spanish masterpieces
  • The sprawling 18th-century Palacio Real has more than 2,000 rooms
  • Get into the madrileño way of life; eat tapas and burn the midnight oil
  • Architecture
  • Art and Culture
  • Nightlife
Discover Madrid »

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