Spain's Green North
Photo courtesy of Explorations by Collette
Spain's Green North"The rain in Spain falls mainly on the plain" is a line made famous by the movie My Fair Lady. It is, however, not true. Instead it's the verdant north of the country that receives more rain than the dry plain that covers most of the Iberian peninsula. And it's that part of Spain that is also the focus of Exploration's Novelties of Northern Spain itinerary.
You'll begin in Barcelona, the fascinating capital of Catalunya, known for its modernista landmarks, world-class museums, and its legendary cuisine. You'll get a unique perspective on Catalan cooking in a hands-on class with a locally acclaimed chef. If Barcelona has a rival for the title of Spain's culinary capital, however, it's the second stop on the itinerary, the lovely Basque city of San Sebastian, wrapped around the bay of La Concha. The city has been a resort destination since the 19th century and its waterfront streets are lined both with gorgeous wedding cake architecture from the period as well as bars and restaurants serving pintxos, the Basque take on tapas.
Explorations prides itself on venturing to cities not typically on tourist itineraries, and on the Northern Spain tour that includes the city of Santander, another seaside resort though one that is somewhat of a secret that most Spaniards would rather keep to themselves. Explorations can arrange a chance to explore it via paddleboard or kayak, or you can head out on your own to see some of its famous sites, like the early 20th-century Palacio de la Magdalena and the historic district of El Sardinero, on foot.