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  • Along the Silver Way of St James' Way

    Hospes las Casas del Rey de Baeza

    Hospes las Casas del Rey de Baeza

    Hospes las Casa del Rey de Baeza

    Hospes Palacio de Arenales

    Hospes Palacio de Arenales

    Hospes Palacio de Arenales

    Hospes Palacio de Sant Esteban

    Hospes Palacio de San Esteban

    Parador de Leon

    Parador de Leon

    Parador de Leon

    Parador de Santiago de Compostela

    Parador de Santiago de Compostela

    Parador de Santiago de Compostela

    Along the Silver Way of St James' Way

    Fly-drive 9 nights / 10 days
    This fascinating tour traces the ancient pilgrimage route of the Ruta de la Plata (the Silver Way), following the changes in both culture and scenery, from the white-washed houses of Andalucia to the rolling hills of Green Spain and the rugged Atlantic Coast. Explore the Moorish architectural influences, and sample some of the regional cuisine, before beginning your journey north. Travel through mediaeval Caceres, grand and youthful Salamanca, the walled-city of Leon, and on to Santiago de Compostela, the resting place of Saint James the Apostle.

    Begin in Seville, with two nights at the Hospes las Casas del Rey de Baeza. Spend the first few days of this luxury tour enjoying the warm sunshine of Andalucia and exploring the Arabic influences on the grand architecture of this famous city. Explore such grand buildings as the Real Alcazar Palace, and indulge in traditionally Andalucian tapas, and perhaps even try some flamenco. From here, collect a hire car and begin your journey north along this famous pilgrimage route. Your next stop is the Hospes Palacio de Arenales just outside Caceres, an ancient walled city that pre-dates the Roman Empire. Explore the winding streets of the well-preserved parts of this city, appreciating the austere grandeur of the religious buildings, and the quaint charm of the cafes and houses. Then continue further north to Salamanca, a youthful University City set amidst the prestigious Castilla y Leon vineyards. Stay for two nights in the Hospes Palacio de San Esteban, a palatial hotel at the heart of the city. Spend your time exploring the diverse history and architecture of the old and new cathedrals, and enjoying the beauty of this riverside city. Next, travel through rolling dynamic countryside struck by red cliffs and dotted with castles to spend one night in the ancient walled city of Leon. Spend the afternoon at the House of Light, marvelling at the golden glow of the cathedral, and at Casa de los Botines, designed by Antoní Gaudi. The final stop on this touring holiday is in Santiago de Compostela, the capital of Galicia. Spend two nights at the Parador de Santiago de Compostela, which overlooks the city’s beautiful cathedral, reportedly the final resting place of Saint James the Apostle. This cathedral is the end destination of many pilgrimage routes across Spain for this very reason, though the surrounding city and the breath-taking coastal landscape are reason enough to visit this beautiful part of Spain. On your final day on this touring holiday return your hire car and fly back to the UK.
    Click here to download a pdf with details about this touring holiday.

    Prices from £1,870 per person based on two people sharing.

    What's Included:
    • Scheduled flights with Easyjet from London to Seville, and Santiago de Compostela to London (return flights only available on Wednesdays and Saturdays)
    • Group B car hire for eight days
    • 2 nights bed and breakfast in a Dreamer room at the Hospes las Casas del Rey de Baeza in Seville
    • 2 nights bed and breakfast in a Dreamer room at the Hospes Palacio de Arenales in Caceres
    • 2 nights bed and breakfast in a Dreamer room at the Hospes Palacio de San Esteban in Salamanca
    • 1 night bed and breakfast in a Superior double room at the NH Collection Plaza Mayor in Leon
    • 2 nights bed and breakfast in a standard double room at the Parador de Santiago de Compostela in Santiago de Compostela
    • Extras
    Guided group tour of Seville's Old Town, 2 hours 30 minutes
    Tablao flamenco show in Seville
    Guided group tour of Cacered, 3 hours
    Special 'Silver Way' lunch or dinner
    Guided group tour of Salamanca's historic centre, 2 hours and 30 minutes
    Tapas tasting in El Monje restaurant in Salamanca.

    Notes: Flights from Santiago de Compostela to London do not operate every day. 
                 There will be a one-way fee payable locally for the hire car. 

    Click the tabs above to view our suggested day-by-day touring itinerary and to find out more about the hotels featured.
    Click here to find out more about how our touring holidays work.

    Along the Silver Way

    Day-by-Day Itinerary

    DAY ONE: Arrive in Seville and spend two nights at the Hospes las Casas del Rey de Baeza

    Fly from London to Seville, and check into the Hospes las Casas del Rey de Baeza, an 18th century building with a picturesque central courtyard, just a few minutes’ walk from the Cathedral.

    DAY TWO: Seville
    Spend your day in Seville getting to grips with the Moorish influences on the town, from the Real Alcázar to the La Giralda tower. The Real Alcázar is a Moorish Palace, decorated with cusped and keyhole arches that are typical of the style, has pools in the centre of its inner courtyards, and tranquil landscaped gardens around it. La Giralda tower is the cathedral’s bell tower, and its design is reminiscent of the minarets of Morocco. The cathedral itself is defined by large stone domes and free-standing archways. Expressions Holidays includes a 2.5 hour guided tour around the Barrio de Santa Cruz with this holiday, the most culturally intriguing quarter of the city, characterised by its white-washed houses and pretty lanes. Guests can also choose between viewing an authentic Andalucian Flamenco Show, and a Corte del Jamón workshop, which demonstrates the art of cutting the Iberian Ham at the centre of so many popular Spanish dishes, particularly Tapas. We recommend a relaxed stroll around the water and across the bridges of the Plaza de España, as well as a visit to the market stalls around the Plaza del Salvador. The local businessmen sell primarily arts and crafts, including the famous Azulejo, a form of painted Spanish ceramic work. Other attractions in Seville include the horse-drawn carriages in the Maria Luisa Park, the iconic Metropol Parasol wooden sculpture, the 18th century Plaza de Toros bullring, the Museum of Fine Arts, and, of course, the annual Feria in April. A rooftop pool terrace at your hotel offers delightful views across the city roofs throughout the day, but it is at its most atmospheric in the evenings.

    DAY THREE: Drive to Caceres and spend two nights
    Collect a hire-car and drive on to the Hospes Palacio de Arenales, located just outside Cáceres. This 17th Century property is an idyllic rural retreat which combines charming history with chic, contemporary design.

    DAY FOUR: Caceres
    The walled city of Caceres itself has been heavily influenced by its dramatic history of battles between the Moors and the Christians. As a result, the architecture bears marks of Roman, Islamic, Gothic, and Italian Renaissance styles, though the settlement is said to pre-date Roman times. A long wander along Caceres’ streets will reveal to you the many fortified houses, palaces, and towers that sculpted the city’s horizon, over 30 of which are in the Islamic style. The Torre del Bujaco, which dates back to the 12th century and overlooks the central Plaza Mayor, is the most famous. On a quiet day, or in the evenings, the mediaeval appearance of Caceres will become most apparent, and its atmosphere will be at its richest. The austere and mediaeval Concatedral de Santa María is situated on a Plaza of the same name, and was built in the 15th century. Inside, a magnificent, towering cedar altarpiece was added in the 16th century, while there are also several noble tombs and chapels, and an ecclesiastical Museum. The bell tower offers unrivalled views across the Old Town. The Arco del Cristo on the Puerta del Río, though unassuming amidst the winding passages and steep streets of the Old Town, is a gateway that dates back to Roman times. Some other intriguing sights within Caceres include the Iglesia de San Francisco Javier, an 18th century Jesuit Church, on the Plaza de San Jorge, and the Renaissance-style Palacio de la Diputación. This historic city offers much in the way of cultural attractions, as well as capturing the essence of Spanish rural life. Your short stay here will have a noticeably different tone to your stay in Seville, as well as Salamanca, where you progress on to next.

    DAY FIVE: Continue north to Salamanca for the next two nights
    Leave Cáceres for Salamanca, the capital of Castilla y León, where you will spend two nights at the Hospes Palacio de San Esteban. This hotel is rich in palatial ambience, with exposed stone archways throughout, but simplistic modern comforts in the bedrooms.

    DAY SIX: Salamanca
    The city of Salamanca gains its lively, youthful atmosphere from the Universidad de Salamanca, and is dominated by the grand sandstone architecture for which it is known. Spend time in the dynamic old and new cathedrals, the Art Nouveau and Art Deco museum at Casa Lys, and in one of the cafes on the spectacular Plaza Mayor watching the world go by. The old and new cathedrals together form the Cathedral of Salamanca, with the new effectively leaning against the old, but both have distinctive appearances and histories. The old cathedral was founded in the 12th century, but wasn’t completed until the 14th with Romanesque and Gothic additions. On top of the large cycle of 53 tableaux in the apse, the main attraction of this cathedral may be the Mediaeval Arabic dome which crowns the building. Inside, the central cavernous hall reaches up into the dome’s lavishly decorated peak, and from the outside, the dome sometimes takes on a blueish tinge, and rises high above the rest of the city. The new cathedral was finished the 18th century, and combines both the Baroque and Gothic style. The Baroque dome and the bell tower distinguish this cathedral from its neighbour. New exterior sculptures, including modern additions such as astronauts, were added in the 20th century to repair the damage of time. You may also wish to visit the Casa de las Conchas, a Gothic palace whose walls have been adorned with shells. This stop on your touring holiday includes a guided 2.5 hour tour of Salamanca’s history, and a choice between a tasting session of authentic regional tapas and an exclusive visit to the Convent of San Esteban, with access to parts of the building restricted to tourists. After a busy morning exploring the city’s culture, perhaps take a stroll across the many bridges and along the waterways. It is perhaps in this that visitors can uncover Salamanca’s true beauty. For a day-trip outside of the city, perhaps visit a small town such as Toro. The vineyards of this town pre-date Roman times, making it the perfect place to sample some of the Castilla y Leon wines, particularly the robust reds. The town of Rueda produces many of its own aromatic variations on Verdejo, Sauvignon, and Espumoso wines. The Rueda Dorada is a fortified white wine named after its golden colour.

    DAY SEVEN: Drive on to Leon, and stay for one night

    Leave Salamanca in the early morning and travel north to the mediaeval walled-city of Leon for one night at the NH Collection hotel on the Plaza Mayor. Perhaps take a short detour to Astorga en route to see the fairy-tale Episcopal Palace, with its narrow turrets, blue-black pointed roofs, arched windows, and the unusual hue of its stone. Or stop off in picturesque La Bañeza to see the colourful townhouses and charming irregular squares. The Parador de Leon is housed in the converted Convent de San Marcos, which was once a hospital for those on the pilgrim’s route, and still retains its Plateresque façade and the Jacobean medallions within. Begin your afternoon with a visit to the 13th Century cathedral, often referred to as the House of Light due to its stunning stained-glass windows, which make up 1,200 square foot across the building’s walls and cast a golden glow on the vast central chamber. The Casa de los Botines in Leon was designed by Antoni Gaudi. Though it is more reserved than his work in Barcelona, the building still has the fluidity typical of his style, with a soft, rounded appearance, thin turrets, and curved roofs. The Old Town of Leon is characterised by the narrow one-way streets, arcaded squares, and lively tapas bars typical of old cities such as this. The Basilica of San Isidoro is built into the old surrounding walls, on the site of the ancient temple of Mercury. Built in the 11th century, it provided the blueprint for the other Romanesque churches across Northern Spain. Its curved colourful ceiling and shorter Corinthian pillars give the building unmistakable charm. For something a little more modern, peruse the contemporary, experimental exhibitions at the MUSAC, which prides itself on its revolutionary outlook.

    DAY EIGHT: Continue on to Santiago de Compostela, your final stop
    After exploring Leon, drive north-west to Santiago de Compostela, the Galician capital. Punctuated by green open spaces, this city captures the essence of Northern Green Spain. Stay for two nights in the Parador de Santiago de Compostela, a historic hotel that captures the elegance and luxury of this devout city.

    DAY NINE: Santiago de Compostela
    The focus of your one full day in Santiago de Compostela is the cathedral just across the square outside your hotel, believed to be the final resting place of Saint James the Apostle, and consequently the revered endpoint of both the Saint James Pilgrimage Route and the Silver Way. The breath-taking decorative, elaborate, and iconographic front façade was not added until the 18th Century, but has become something of an icon for the city. Enter through the triple-columned Door of Glory, one of the cathedral’s finest additions; tours are available to elaborate on the intricate carvings. Inside, however, allow time to walk around the Plateresque cloister, accessible through the museum and reportedly one of the most important and beautiful in Spain. Annexed onto the cloister are the library, Chapter Room, and the Chapel of Relics, all of which offer a valuable insight into why this cathedral in particular proves so inspirational to religious Spaniards. Through the museum you will also be granted access to parts of the Archbishops’ Palace, a large tapestry, and the stunning third-floor views across neighbouring Praza de Obradoiro. On the outskirts of Santiago de Compostela is the City of Culture, a dynamic complex of museums, libraries, art exhibitions, and stunning architecture designed by an American architect. The artwork of local and national artists is celebrated at the Galician Museum of Modern Art, situated beside the peaceful and idyllic Bonaval Park. For the best views in the city, head to the Paseo da Ferradura in the Alameda Park. See the cathedral rise majestically above the buildings of the city in the day, and appreciate the atmospheric lighting that illuminates the building’s ornate towers in the evening. If time permits, it is worth driving west to the Atlantic Coast, to enjoy the phenomenal scenery of the Rias Baixas inlets, and taste some of the shell-fish and white wine that this region is famous for on your final night in Spain.

    DAY TEN: Return to the UK

    On your final day, return your hire car and fly out of Santiago de Compostela back to London.

    Driving times for this touring holiday:
    Seville to Caceres: 2 hours 35 minutes
    Caceres to Salamanca: 1 hour 50 minutes
    Salamanca to Leon: 2 hours 5 minutes
    Leon to Santiago de Compostela: 3 hours 20 minutes

    Click the 'Hotel Information' tab to find out more about the hotels featured in this touring itinerary.

    Along the Silver Way

    Hotel Information

    These are the luxury hotels featured in this Spanish touring holiday. Alternative hotels are available in some destinations – please contact us for full details.

    Hospes las Casas del Rey de Baeza

    Exuding all the charm of a traditional Andalucian home, the four-star Hospes Las Casas del Rey de Baeza is a gem amid the romantic streets of Seville’s Old Town. Sitting modestly back from a cobblestone courtyard lined with delicate trees, the hotel’s quaint white and yellow façade is complete with plant-strewn Juliet balconies. The spirit of the region is pervasive and continues throughout the property to immerse guests in the experience of true Andalucian living. An inner patio is the pinnacle of this, with wrought-iron garden furniture and rustic potted plants atop age-old cobblestones. Tapas dishes from Restaurant Azahar can be enjoyed here, while the dining room features vast windows that frame the courtyard like a painting. Dark wood furniture and low-hanging lighting creates a heady mood that is ripe for indulging in the sun-ripened flavours of Seville. Guestrooms are accessed via the gallery-style balconies that overlook the inner patio; choose between the so-called ‘Dreamer’s’ rooms, deluxe rooms or junior suites. Each of the 41 rooms is decorated with soft, neutral tones and pastel accents, while shuttered windows open up to reveal patio doors that invite in fresh air and sunlight. For fascinating views over the jumbled rooftops, head to the suntrap that is the rooftop terrace and solarium for sunlight and swimming pool dips accompanied by snacks from the pool bar.
    Find out more here.

    Hospes Palacio de Arenales
    The five star Hospes Palacio de Arenales sits on a quaint paved square, at the top of a long drive, just four miles west of Caceres. Perfect for luxury holidays to the Extremadura region in Central Spain, this hotel combines historic ambience with Spa relaxation, in an intriguing and cultural part of the country. Immediate impressions of this rural retreat reflect all the character of its 17th Century beginnings, evident in the stone-framed windows and white-washed walls. At night, this square is atmospherically lit by a single wrought iron lamp. Inside, chic contemporary design complements historical features; a soothing neutral palette blends with exposed stone walls, beamed ceilings, and low archways. Lounge areas with tiled floors and innovative lighting offer guests unique and elegant places to relax; a feel that is continued into the simplistic but indulgent bedrooms. Dark wood four-poster beds, Egyptian cotton bed linen, and the addition of such luxuries as American Curl bath towels complete the five star quality of this hotel. During the day, relax on the terrace beside the outdoor pool, or in the bubbling pool and Jacuzzi of the BODYNA Spa. A wide range of tailored luxury massages and treatments are available for guests’ enjoyment. The classical furnishings, palette of earthy colours, and modern art of the dining room at Restaurante Las Corchuelas allow the flavours and presentation of the food to take centre-stage. Dishes fuse traditional Extremaduran cuisine with creative, innovative twists, all served with excellent local wines. The Café on the summer terrace is open for tapas, ice cream, and cooling drinks. The facilities and historic location of this luxury hotel make it ideal for both week-long holidays and relaxing short stays as part of a longer cultural tour. The Hospes Palacio de Arenales is quintessential when it comes to settings for luxury holidays in Spain.
    Find out more here.

    Hospes Palacio de San Esteban
    Hospes Palacio de San Esteban is a luxury five star hotel in the old town of Salamanca, which offers a historical setting within easy reach of cultural sites. Located on the Concilio de Trento square, the hotel is a converted 16th Century monastery built on the site of a mediaeval convent which is believed to have housed Christopher Columbus before his journey to the West Indies. Salamanca’s cathedral can be reached in ten minutes’ walk from the luxury hotel and there is a surrounding feeling of history throughout the whole hotel in its careful decoration. Modern luxury and comforts are seamlessly combined with the sweeping arches and golden coloured stone of the original architecture. The 51 rooms and suites offer a neutral colour palette and large windows flood rooms with light, illuminating the building’s exposed golden stone walls. The styling of the hotel exudes a simple elegance and allows its impressive architecture to stand out without losing the feeling of comfort and refinement expected of a five star hotel. The restaurant, El Monje, perhaps best exemplifies the easy blend of history and luxury with arched ceilings and stylish monochrome table settings which a delightful contemporary edge, also found in the gastronomic menu serving combinations such as duck and strawberry salad and red mullet with almond praline. A welcome indulgence is the hotel’s addition of a Turkish bath, gym, massages and beauty treatments give a heighted sense of wellness. Hospes Palacio de San Esteban’s location is ideal for exploring the historical and cultural quarter of Salamanca with the Plaza Major less 5 minutes’ walk with its beautiful architecture whilst the shell-covered Casa de las Conchas is about 10 minutes’ walk. We recommend using the Hospes Palacio de San Esteban as a base to explore the neighbouring historical towns and countryside by hire car for an authentic and varied taste of central Spain. Notably, the historic town of Avila is about 60 minutes’ drive from the hotel with its mediaeval walls and from there it is possible to visit the picturesque 15th Century Castillo de Coca in Segovia. Hospes Palacio de San Esteban is an historic and luxury hotel which offers peaceful relaxation within easy reach of Salamanca’s cultural and historical buildings.
    Find out more here.

    NH Collection Plaza Mayor
    The four- star NH Collection Plaza Mayor is situated in one of Leon’s most historic squares and just 100m from Leon’s famous Cathedral. The grand, historic façade dates back to the 18th century and the stone walls, wrought iron balconies and arcaded ground floor appears equally impressive and characterful. Inside the hotel is perhaps surprisingly contemporary in its style with chic marble floors and a simple neutral and monochrome colour-scheme. This modern style is continued in the restaurant at the hotel and the guest rooms that tastefully combine the history of the building and the more contemporary elements whilst many of them also offer striking views over the city as well. High ceilings and wooden floors are combined with the neutral colours and rich fabrics making it a comfortable yet stylish place to stay in Leon. In the evenings guests may choose to dine in one of the many restaurants nearby or at the hotel, where the restaurant offers a tasty range of Spanish and Mediterranean cuisine. The NH Collection Plaza Mayor offers stylish accommodation which blends the history of its surroundings with more modern flourishes, however, the highlight is undoubtedly its excellent location just moments away from some of Leon’s most iconic cultural sites.
    Find out more here 

    Parador de Santiago de Compostela
    Santiago de Compostela
    Opposite the pilgrimage site of the city’s famous Cathedral, the five-star GL Parador de Santiago de Compostela is a historic monument in its own right. Also known as Hostal Reis Catolicos, the structure was erected as a Royal Hospital in 1499 and became one of the earliest hotels in the world by providing lodgings for pilgrims. From its home on the perimeter of the cobblestone Obradoiro Square, the hotel’s austere façade betrays a sense of its impressive size; stretching back from here, the building is a maze of exquisite architecture constructed around four beautiful cloisters. You enter through an ornately-carved stone archway and into a world of exuberant luxury, where the interior design speaks of the property’s regal heritage. Plush fabrics, rich carpets and tapestries and antique decorations; wherever you go, the mediaeval interior design is maintained well to immerse guests in the building’s history. Original features include vaulted and coffered ceilings and stone archways, while the ornamental nature of the four cloisters lulls guests into peaceful contemplation. There are two restaurants to choose from at the hotel, each located on the basement levels of the building, where the low light creates an ambient setting for romantic meals. Enxebre do Hostal serves Atlantic cuisine and Restaurante dos Reis occupies the former stables of the Royal Hospital, where you can indulge in local cuisine under vaulted ceilings and lantern light. Traditional Galician meals exploit fish and meats prepared in a contemporary style, and dishes are accompanied by famous labels from local wineries. Other lounging areas include a bar and several lounge areas, while the 137 guestrooms accommodate guests in the utmost style and comfort.
    Find out more here.

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