Jaca, Pamplona & the Spanish Pyrenees

8 Days from £839 | June 839

The highest peaks of the Pyrenees are on the Spanish side in Aragon. This holiday takes you off the beaten tourist track into these magnificent mountains, with a host of things to see along the way! You will see a bodega on the Barbastro wine road, medieval stone villages, Canfranc’s huge ‘ghost’ train station, Hemingway’s Pamplona, and an imposing 11th-century Romanesque castle. You spend four nights in Jaca, ‘Pearl of the Pyrenees’, and three nights on the coast, including two in historic Tarragona.

Jaca, Pamplona & the Spanish Pyrenees

Past Customer Satisfaction Score for this holiday* - 85%
* as measured from holiday questionnaires - see FAQ for details

  • 1 night hb Costa Dorada, 4 nights hb in Jaca, 2 nights bb Tarragona
  • Visits to a Somontano winery and to the walled town of Ainsa
  • Excursion to Canfranc and Candanchu mountain resort
  • Excursion to Pamplona
  • Visit to Loarre Castle

Day One: Flight to Reus or Barcelona. Transfer to your hotel on the Costa Dorada, under an hour away, for one night’s half-board accommodation.

Day Two: Today you leave the coast and head north through the hilly wine country of Catalonia and then into the Aragonese Pyrenees. You make a short stop at a Somontano winery for a tasting in one of Spain’s oldest wine regions, magnificently set against a spectacular Pyrenean backdrop. From here you climb into the Pyrenees proper towards the unspoiled and historic walled town of Ainsa. At the confluence of two rivers, and at an altitude of nearly 2000ft, Ainsa nestles between three different protected natural park areas. From the 11th-century castle, you can stroll the short distance to the arcaded medieval town square, lined with old stone houses, the church of Santa Maria – and welcoming bars and restaurants! There are impressive views down to the two rivers and up to the (often) snow-streaked 7500ft. crag of Peña Montañesa.

You continue on your dramatic route to Jaca, where you spend 4 nights on a half-board basis. 200 miles today, mainly on excellent new highways, and always through wonderful scenery: towering mountains, rocky outcrops and sparkling waters are all in evidence.

Jaca is an interesting town with a pleasant pedestrianised main street, medieval town wall, Romanesque 11th-century cathedral and 16th-century citadel, as well as other notable historic buildings. Jaca has bid three times to host the winter Olympics, and is on the Aragonese Way of St James – pilgrims on their way to Santiago de Compostela are regular visitors in the historic town centre.

Day Three: In the morning, you have a brief orientation walk in the old centre of Jaca. In the afternoon, there is a short, but fascinating included excursion to Canfranc-Estacion. Following the River Aragon up the mountain valley, you arrive at the enormous, mainly disused, former international railway station at the exit of the Somport Tunnel on the Spanish side. Its size (more than twice the width of Buckingham Palace and with no less than 156 doors!) is explained by the necessity to handle the transit of passengers, luggage and freight switching to and from the different gauges of French and Spanish tracks: though national pride must have had something to do with it as well! On a short tour of the station you will hear about its construction, stories of Nazi gold passing through, of the exodus during the Spanish Civil War, and about its final closure in 1970. Afterwards, you take the short scenic drive up to the nearby French border and through the ski resort of Candanchu. 18 miles each way.

Days Four and Five: In Jaca with one included and one optional excursion. The included excursion is to Pamplona, the capital of Navarre, famed worldwide for the ‘Running of the Bulls’, featured by Hemingway in ‘The Sun Also Rises.’ Your local guide will walk you along the bulls’ route to the bullring and show you the town’s focal point, the Plaza del Castillo, near to which lies the former Jewish Quarter and the Gothic Cathedral of Santa Maria. Part of the old city wall is still intact. The city centre is pleasantly compact and there are myriad places for tapas, lunch, strolling or hunting for souvenirs. 70 miles each way.

The optional excursion is to the French side of the mighty Pyrenees. The first stop is in the pretty village of Biescas. From there you drive through impressive mountain scenery to the French border at Portelet and on to Artouste, on Fabreges Lake. A cable car takes you up to the ‘Petit Train’- a 55-minute narrow-gauge run of spectacular views at an altitude of over 6000ft. The scenic road journey is 43 miles each way. (The timetable of the Artouste train changes every year. If the train is not operating for any reason during your stay, the excursion will be replaced with a panoramic tour of the area and a visit to the historic town of Oloron on the French side.)

Day Six: Today you bid farewell to the mountains, passing the impressive 1000ft high rock  formations of Los Mallos de Riglos, and stopping at the equally impressive castle of Loarre – the best preserved Romanesque castle in Europe, and set on a rocky outcrop offering great views. You continue on to Tarragona, for your last two nights on a bed and breakfast basis. 190 miles today.

Day Seven: Morning guided walking tour of Tarragona. Tarragona’s walled town centre is a UNESCO world heritage site. It boasts a fine medieval cathedral as well as Roman remains: these include a stunning 2nd-century amphitheatre, Circus Maximus, and two forums.

Day Eight: Free time until your departure transfer to the airport for your flight home. Transfer time: 15 minutes to Reus, just over one hour to Barcelona.

This itinerary has been slightly amended for 2020. The 2019 version can be found here, or is available on request.

Jaca, Pamplona & the Spanish Pyrenees

Past Customer Satisfaction Score for this holiday* - 85%
* as measured from holiday questionnaires - see FAQ for details

NUBAHOTEL ****, Coma-Ruga (one night)
The hotel stands close to the broad sandy beach in this small resort. The hotel has a restaurant, bar, lounge, and outdoor pool. Rooms, which all have balcony, also have 2 queen size beds, bathroom with hairdryer, phone, air-conditioning/heating, satellite LCD tv, and safety deposit box (charge applies). Free wifi in public areas. (www. nubahotelcomarruga.com)
Past Customer Satisfaction Score for this hotel* - 78%
*as measured from holiday questionnaires - see FAQ for details
The modern and comfortable Hotel Reina Felicia is situated in a quiet residential area, yet just a 20-minute stroll (less than a mile) from the old centre of Jaca. The spacious rooms have satellite TV, air-conditioning, terrace and bath or shower and WC. There is lounge, bar, coffee shop, restaurant and indoor and outdoor pools. Spa treatments may be available at extra cost (www.eurostarshotels.com).
Past Customer Satisfaction Score for this hotel* - 67%
*as measured from holiday questionnaires - see FAQ for details
HOTEL ASTARI***, Tarragona (two nights)
Just a 10-minute walk (half a mile) from the amphitheatre and cathedral, this comfortable modern hotel offers bedrooms with full facilities, lounge area with free wifi, garden and outdoor pool. (www.hotelastari.com)  
Past Customer Satisfaction Score for this hotel* - 75%
*as measured from holiday questionnaires - see FAQ for details
Escorted Holiday - Jaca, Pamplona & the Spanish Pyrenees
Holiday code: 7JAC
Supplements per person:
Single Room: £140
Travel Insurance: £59.95
Supplements on some holidays vary by departure date - the applicable price will be shown when booking.

Fly FromDateDaysAirlineDep.Rtn.AvailabilityPriceFly ToSingle

AberdeenSun 06/06/20218Thomson07101355Places Available839Reus14042ABZ17JAC91

Belfast IntlSun 06/06/20218Jet215252140Places Available839Reus14042BFS17JAC91

BirminghamSun 06/06/20218Vueling13451520Places Available859Barcelona14042BHX17JAC91

BristolSun 06/06/20218Easyjet10152330Places Available859Barcelona14042BRS17JAC91

EdinburghSun 06/06/20218Ryanair07001210Places Available859Barcelona14042EDI17JAC91

GlasgowSun 06/06/20218Jet207451420Places Available859Barcelona14042GLA17JAC91

Leeds-BradfordSun 06/06/20218Jet216302235Places Available859Barcelona14042LBA17JAC91

LiverpoolSun 06/06/20218Ryanair11451655Places Available839Reus14042LPL17JAC91

London GatwickSun 06/06/20218Easyjet16402155Places Available859Barcelona14042LGW17JAC91

ManchesterSun 06/06/20218Ryanair17502300Places Available839Reus14042MAN17JAC91

NewcastleSun 06/06/20218Easyjet17302325Places Available859Barcelona14042NCL17JAC91

StanstedSun 06/06/20218Jet206451200Places Available839Reus14042STN17JAC91

Prices shown include carriage of one piece of hold luggage per person (maximum size and weights vary). Prices include return transfers between airport and hotel and are based on the shared occupancy of twin/double standard rooms. Please refer to 'Accommodation' for details of any room supplements (including single rooms) and extended stay costs that apply to this holiday. All flight details are provisional and subject to confirmation when known. All holidays are subject to minimum numbers and are subject to availability. Further details in our FAQ.

Data as at 24/11/2020 at 0:47:07

Have just returned from this holiday and would just like to say thank you for a great holiday! The hotels were all good, the excursions excellent and the guide, Patrick, was extremely informative and helpful. All in all, a superb vacation!

Mr B, Harrogate

Our holiday representative was excellent, great knowledge of the whole area, very pleasant and approachable. We would certainly consider another holiday with Preferred.

Mrs W, Edinburgh

Jaca was our ninth holiday with Preferred Travel Services. Once again an excellent tour.

Mrs B, Cheshire

Very enjoyable holiday. 21 people on this hol and from the word 'go' we all got on so well. Ineke is a warm and well informed guide and did all she could to ensure we had a super holiday. This was my 2nd touring holiday with PTS and I have been more than happy with both holidays. They are such good value, too.

Mrs M, Dundee

1st holiday with PTS and we have been delighted with every aspect. The range of experiences remarkable and thoroughly enjoyed by both. We will not hesitate in booking with PTS again. Ineke was delightful & helpful TD. Jose excellent driver.

Mrs E, York

Excellent trip! Very impressed with hotels and food. The driver and guide were excellent. One of my best trips ever!

Mr P, Gloucestershire.

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All of our holidays have included visits and tours.

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Jaca, Pamplona & the Spanish Pyrenees