Spectacular Spain, home of flamenco, bullfights, tapas, and paella. Marvel at astounding architecture from the ornate Alhambra Palace, and soaring Gothic Cathedrals to the modern architecture of Barcelona. Explore bustling markets and lemon scented village squares set amid a beautiful backdrop making this a superb value holiday.
Day 1 - Home - Barcelona, Spain
Transfer to the airport for the overnight flight to Barcelona, Spain.
Day 2 - Barcelona
On arrival in Barcelona, we transfer to our hotel and check-in. The remainder of the day is at leisure to explore Spain’s second largest city. Barcelona is one of the most dynamic and exciting cities on the western Mediterranean seaboard. Walk its narrow streets and wonderful plazas and discover its magic stalls full of books, birds and flowers. Explore its new modern squares, designed by leading artists such as Miró and Barceló and every visitor will understand how Barcelona has been transformed into one of the most modern and active cities in Europe.
Day 3 - Barcelona
After breakfast, we embark on a tour of Barcelona. From Plaza de Espana, we start discovering Plaza de Cataluña, via Layatena, Sagrada Familia Cathedral, the Gothic Quarter, Plaza St. Jaume, the Port and the Olympic Village. Later, visit Montjuich for a panoramic view of the city as we enjoy a cable-car ride up to Montjuich Castle, Olympic Stadium and Sant Jordi Palace. We round out touring with a visit to the Spanish Village of Barcelona. Here, 117 typical buildings from all over Spain are on display with restaurants, shops and handcraft workshops. A Catalan inspired lunch is included with a glass of the famous Catalan Cava.
Day 4 - Barcelona - Valencia
This morning, we say goodbye to Barcelona and journey to Valencia. On the way, we’ll visit an ancient Roman City which was founded at about 200 years B.C. At Peniscola, see the sea-lapped castle that was used to film “El-Cid”. At our hotel this evening, we will have dinner where the menu is inspired from the local Valencia gastronomy.
Day 5 - Valencia - Lladro - Valencia
We begin our day viewing the impressive ‘City of Arts & Sciences’. A walking tour of historic Valencia features the ornate 14th-century Serranos Tower and imposing 15th-century Quart Tower. We’ll also see the bustling central market, one of the largest in Europe, and view the Gothic cathedral where construction began in 1262 on the site of an ancient mosque. Next, visit Lladro-City of Porcelain and learn about the history and creative process of the world-famous, handmade Lladro figurines. After, we travel to the area where paella cuisine originated.
Our “paella experience” features: a boat ride on the canals surrounding rice field plantations, a visit to a traditional fisherman’s home known as a “barraca”, a paella-making demonstration, and an authentic paella lunch. The evening is free to explore Valencia at your own leisure.
Day 6 - Valencia - Granada
After a leisurely breakfast, we travel through Spain’s amazing landscape of rolling hills dotted with picturesque olive groves while en route to Granada which is the last great capital of the Moors in Spain before it fell to the Catholic monarchs in 1492. Upon arrival in Granada, the evening is at leisure.
Day 7 - Granada - Cordoba - Seville
This morning, our sightseeing tour begins with the famous Alhambra Palace. Here, we bear witness to this incredible palace and see: the fortress of Alcazaba, Charle’s V’s Palace, the subterranean bath-house, and the beautiful Generalife water gardens.
After, we move on to Baena and arrive at a Spanish Olive tree orchard and Olive Oil Mill for a tour and tasting.
Later, it’s onto Cordoba where an afternoon of sightseeing awaits. We will tour the Old Jewish Quarter and the Mosque of the Caliphs with its 850 pillars. Then, we journey through the fertile valley of the Guadalquivir River to Seville - the vibrant capital of Andalusia. In Seville, we embark on a panoramic city tour by bus. The evening is free to explore Seville. Ask you Tour Director and Local Guide for some great ideas.
Day 8 - Seville, Spain
A visit to Spain would not be complete without learning about one of their national pastimes – bullfighting. We will visit a ranch producing brave bulls for the bullring. The bulls here are a special breed and have carefully been bred over several centuries for their speed and courage. We explore the ranch via tract to learn about bullfighting and the bull world and then, enjoy a lunch of the local delicacy – brave bull meat.
Day 9 - Seville - Madrid
This morning, we have breakfast and then tour Seville where we’ll see its: massive cathedral, Christopher Columbus’ burial place, the Moorish Giralda Tower, the Santa Cruz quarter, and Alcazar.
After lunch (on your own), we board the train for Madrid. On arrival in Madrid, we have some free time to explore the city before our “tapas” dinner with a fiery Flamenco show this evening.
Day 10 - Madrid, Spain
Today, we venture on a city tour of Madrid visiting the: Plaza de España, Puerta del Sol, Plaza Mayor and Plaza de la Villa, Royal Palace, Cibeles and Neptuno Fountains, Puerta de Alcalá, and The Prado Museum.
Also, we discover contemporary Madrid with avenues such as: Gran Vía, Castellana, the district of Salamanca, Plaza de Castilla, Parque del Oeste, University Campus, the emblematic Las Ventas Bullring, and the Santiago Bernabéu Football Stadium.
This afternoon, travel to Toledo which is a UNESCO site and the capital of medieval Spain until 1560. A comprehensive tour highlights the magnificent Gothic cathedral and the 13th-century synagogue which is a testament to Toledo’s Jewish heritage. Also, stop in the Church of Santo Tome to view El Greco’s masterpiece painting, The Burial of Count Orgaz. Gather this evening for a farewell dinner to celebrate the end of an unforgettable trip to Spain!
Day 11 - Madrid - Home
After breakfast, we head to Madrid International Airport for the flight home. Upon arrival in the USA, transfer home filled with wonderful stories about Spain.