Eileen

Magical Sisters Trip to Northern Spain - Jun 18 - Jun 30, 2021

Traveler: Eileen S. - Local specialist: Sam Lister

Words can't express our gratitude and sheer joy we experienced using KimKim, but most important part was having Sam Lister aka our guardian angel tailormade our 14 Days of Northern Spain into reality!

Sam put together a trip of lifetime discovering Northern Spain from Santiago de Compostela, Cangas de Onis, Bilbao, LaGuardia and San Sebastian. Every aspect of our trip was planned to perfection to experience each region to the max.

My sister and I had private transport throughout our trip, and had dedicated tour guides in each city to ensure we immerse ourselves with the local cuisine, learn the history behind customs, and enjoy the most beautiful vistas while hiking Pico de Europa or San Sebastian.

Our trip started in Santiago de Compestela where we stayed at Parador de Santiago a five star renovated 15th Century Building right next to Cathedral of Santiago. During our stay we saw a few pilgrims finish there trip. We had a lovely tour guide named Eva who gave us a private walking tour of Santiago. We were also fortunate to be able to see the renovations that had been completed in the entry to Cathedral. Another day we went on a day trip to Ribeira Sacra with a boat ride and winery visit.

On our private transport to Cangas de Onis we stopped at a lovely seaside village Cudillero, and had lunch at Casa Julio where they bring the fish for you to pick what's been caught that day. Food was amazing and the wine divine.

We stayed at Hotel Parador de Cangas de Onis another renovated building that used to be San Pedro de Villanueva Monastery. Our guide Jose Miguel took us to Picos de Europa a majestic view all around, and to enjoy a stroll along the shores. We also visited a cider brewery and enjoyed the lovely village of Cabrales.

Our next stop was Bilbao where our private driver took us to lunch at a lovely coastal village of Castro Urdiales at a restaurant named Asador del Puerto (we recommend ordering the fish of the day). We stayed at Hotel Vincci Consulado de Bilbao, which overlooks the Guggenheim Museum and the river. Our tour guide Susana took us on a private tour of Bilbao, and the most scrumptious Pintxos. Her insight into the city culture, history and hot spots were very insightful, plus we really enjoyed her company and asked her to join our sisters trip! We also visited the Guggenheim, and enjoyed the local stores and antique jewelry shops around the city.

Our next stop was Laguardia which is home to more bodegas then people! We stayed at the renovated historic palace Hospederia De Los Parajes. We were so lucky to be in time for the celebration of San Sebastian. We got to see the local wear their traditional gowns, and be part of the celebration. Also, at midnight they had fireworks show outside the castle fortress. Our local guide Marina was the most amazing person, and expert on local wines. We had a private tours of various vineyards in La Rioja region. We also enjoyed a delicious local meal of lamb chops with great wine to wash it down.

Our final stop was San Sebastian. We stayed at Hotel de Londres which is ideally located right on the beach front of San Sebastian. We had our local guide Iaeaki take us to city center, and old part as well to enjoy best pintxos in town, paired with the best Spanish wines and drinks. We also did a private hiking tour along the Basque coastline looking down Bay of Biscay. Trust me after all the amazing food, wines and drinks we had on our trip we needed the exercise!

Our last night was spent in Madrid at the Gran Hotel Ingles. Great hotel within walking distance to Prado Museum, Buen Retiro Park, and shops. I highly recommend eating at Dis Tinto food is out of the world!

Throughout our entire trip Sam made sure that we had a wonderful experience, and all our travels went without a hitch. Sam even made sure when AA changed their policy for coming back to the USA, he scheduled our COVID-19 test for us. Everything Sam planned was perfection.

Sam Lister profile photo
Sam Lister, local specialist, responded to this review:

Hi Eileen!
Thank you for such a detailed review! It reflects a lot of what you did which is lovely to read! And i also love the photos!! Thank you so much for sharing and for choosing to travel with us. It was a pleasure to host you both xx