Experience the colors & flavors of Spain through the cities that reflect its rich history, passionate people, and culture: Madrid, Cordoba, Granada, Seville & Barcelona
|Style||Small Group TourTravel with a small, intimate group of no more than 16 likeminded travelers (and often much fewer), escorted by an English speaking guide and/or tour manager for some or all of your journey. More of these packages
Dedicated tour escorts & guides throughout
|Departures||Group Size||16 travelers max|
|Themes||History & Culture, Bucket List|
|What to Expect||This moderately-paced, escorted tour includes a reasonable amount of walking or hiking and requires an average level of physical fitness. This tour also includes long scenic drives between destinations and may have limited rest stops. Travel safely and confidently with our new health & safety protocols.|
|Already booked?||Find everything you need to know before you go, including information about passport & visa requirements, flights, luggage, and more.|
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From its quaint, colorful villages and towering historical monuments to the friendly people and their passion for every flavor life has to offer, get ready to experience the thrill of Spain. Begin your journey in Madrid, the country's frenetic capital city where you will discover layers of history from the Habsburgs and the Bourbons to today. Dive deep into the Spanish Empire's medieval past in Toledo (with a marzipan stop for those with a sweet tooth!). Shout down a windmill in La Mancha, the land of Don Quixote, before you arrive in Cordoba where you'll witness some of the world's most significant examples of Moorish architecture. Learn about flamenco and visit the famous Alhambra complex in Granada and round out your trip with two full days in Barcelona. From the glittering works of Gaudi to sipping sweet local wines at sidewalk cafes, this comprehensive itinerary will take you on an unforgettable journey through this enchanting country.
- Round trip flights from New York including taxes & fees
- Flights, ground transportation and transfers within Spain
- 9 nights' accommodation in deluxe hotels
- 15 meals: 9 breakfasts, 1 lunch, and 5 dinners including welcome and farewell dinners with wine
- Professional English-speaking tour director and local guides
- Comprehensive touring program and entrance fees
- Advanced audio headset guided tour system
Why you'll love it
- Explore Madrid's highlights including the Royal Palace, the Plaza Mayor, the Puerta del Sol, the Royal Post Office and Retiro Park.
- Live like a local and bar hop down the streets of Granada, savoring the flavors of tapas and soaking in the traditional atmosphere.
- Learn about the production and methods of creating steel swords, helmets and other handicrafts at a sword-making craft shop in Toledo.
- Enjoy Manchego cheese and wine at one of the four original windmills in La Mancha.
- Tour a 17th-century olive oil mill in Baena that still operates today.
- Paint your own ceramic tile during a workshop in Seville's Triana neighborhood.
- Stroll through the Alhambra, an ornate, fortified palace complex with many enchanting gardens and fountains.
- Dance the flamenco during a private beginner’s lesson.
- Admire Seville's eye-catching Alcázar, a royal palace blending Mudejar architecture with Islamic, Gothic, Renaissance and Baroque elements.
- Wander through the parks, art galleries and museums of Montjuïc Hill and enjoy a sweeping view of Barcelona from this vantage point.
- Discover the fascinating architectural style of Antoni Gaudí with a visit to one of his greatest masterpieces: the Sagrada Familia.
Itinerary at a Glance
Day 1 Depart USA
- Check in for your overnight flight to Madrid
Day 2 Madrid
- Arrive in Madrid, transfer to your hotel
- This evening, meet your fellow travelers for a welcome drink and orientation, followed by a welcome dinner at a local restaurant
Barcelo Torre de Madrid or similar Dinner
Day 3 Madrid
- Enjoy a guided city tour of Madrid
- Visit the famous Prado Museum
Barcelo Torre de Madrid or similar BreakfastFull Day Itinerary
This morning, set out to discover the most important landmarks of Madrid, and learn about the different historical periods, from the times of the Habsburgs and the Bourbons. Take a stroll through the historic center of Madrid, and see the Royal Palace, the former residence of the King and Queen of Spain. Admire the Plaza Mayor, the main square of Madrid that dates back to the rule of the Habsburgs in the 16th Century. Drive by the Puerta del Sol and the adjacent Royal Post Office, now the Madrid government's headquarters. Drive along the Gran Vía and admire the many original buildings along this emblematic avenue. See the fountain of the Plaza de Cibeles and stop at the Puerta de Alcalá, the great neoclassical gate inaugurated in 1778. This gate stands by the entrance to Retiro Park, originally a recreational area for the royal family and now a popular park for the people of Madrid.
Your tour ends at the world-famous Prado Museum. At your leisure, visit the museum, which boasts one of the finest collections of European art, including the works of Goya and other masterpieces of the Spanish, Italian and Flemish schools of art. Return to the hotel on your own, or spend the afternoon exploring the Spanish capital.
Day 4 Madrid, Toledo & Castilla-La Mancha
- Explore Toledo, the first capital of the Spanish Empire
- Stroll through the narrow streets of the Jewish Quarter
- Learn about sword-making at a traditional steel workshop
- Experience a hands-on marzipan workshop
- See the windmills made famous by Cervantes' Don Quixote
- Savor Manchego cheese and wine at one of the original windmills
Hotel La Caminera Club de Campo or similar Breakfast & dinnerFull Day Itinerary
Today, head to Toledo, the first capital of the Spanish Empire. Admire the rich history of this city through remnants of the Roman Empire, the Visigoths, the Moors, and medieval Spain. Visit the Church of St. Tome, where El Greco's masterpiece, The Burial of the Count of Orgaz, is displayed. Take a stroll through the narrow streets of the old Jewish Quarter, reflecting the peaceful coexistence of 3 religions in medieval Toledo. During the Middle Ages, the city of Toledo had a reputation in Europe for crafting high-quality swords. Today, you can witness the traditional methods of local artisans by visiting one of their workshops to see how they transform steel into impressive swords, helmets, and other artifacts. End your visit to Toledo with a sweet touch as you join a hands-on workshop with a local bakery chef and create your piece of the most famous Toledo delicacy, Marzipan!
Continue to La Mancha, the homeland of Don Quixote. Visualize the scene of one of the most famous episodes of Don Quixote's adventures as you see the 12 ancient windmills that still stand by the 10th-century castle in Consuegra. Four of these windmills are still in working condition. Learn about how wind power was used to grind wheat into flour.
Enjoy dinner at a local restaurant, where you will taste a local specialty: Manchego cheese and wine.
Day 5 Castilla-La Mancha, Cordoba, Baena & Granada
- Visit the Mosque-Catherdral of Cordoba, a UNESCO World Heritage Site
- Taste the wines of the Montilla-Moriles Region at a family-run winery
- Explore a 17th-century olive oil mill
- Continue to Granada
Barcelo Granada Congress or similar Breakfast & lunchFull Day ItineraryAfter breakfast, depart for Cordoba, strategically located on the Guadalquivir River, the capital of the Emirate and later Caliphate of Cordoba, which dominated most of the Iberian Peninsula during the 10th Century. Visit the Great Mosque, one of the most significant examples of Moorish architecture and a UNESCO World Heritage site. Built on the site of an ancient Visigoth church, it was transformed into a monumental mosque worthy of the capital of the Caliphate. After the Kingdom of Castille conquered Cordoba in 1236, the Mosque was converted into the Cathedral. Today, it continues to be the Cathedral of the Catholic Diocese of Cordoba.Continue to the wine region of Montilla-Moriles to visit a family-run winery. After touring the winery, you will have the opportunity to taste two types of wine. One of them is the Amontillado, depicted in Edgar Allan Poe's story The Cask of Amontillado.After enjoying lunch at a local restaurant, stop in Baena to visit an original 17th-century olive oil mill, still operating today, to learn about the traditional tools and techniques and the modern methods of obtaining the best quality olive oil.Then, proceed to Granada and check in to your hotel.
Day 6 Granada
- Explore the famous Alhambra palace and gardens, a UNESCO World Heritage Site
- Admire the Generalife Gardens
- Learn about Flamenco gypsy culture in Sacromonte and their cave houses
- Go bar hopping and taste delicious tapas at traditional bars
Barcelo Granada Congress or similar Breakfast & dinnerFull Day Itinerary
In the morning, set out on a walking tour of the Alhambra palace and gardens. This impressive fortification is located on a rocky hill on the banks of the Darro River and stands out above the city. Built on the remains of ancient Roman fortifications, the Alhambra became the royal palace of the Sultanate of Granada in 1333. In 1492, it became the royal court of King Ferdinand and Queen Isabella. This impressive complex was named a World Heritage site by UNESCO.
Spend the afternoon at leisure.
Before dinner, explore life in the unique Sacromonte district of Granada. Become familiar with the history and legends of the 17th-century pilgrimage site, Sacromonte Abbey. Learn about gypsies, who have been carving their homes out of the hillside for centuries, building the famous cave houses of Sacromonte. This area is also known for the Zambra, a unique flamenco dance style. Visit the folklore museum in a hillside cave house with splendid views of the Alhambra and learn how life was, and still is, in this unique district.
This evening, go bar hopping down the streets of Granada to savor the delicious tapas served at traditional bars and soak in the unique atmosphere at these venues where locals gather and socialize.
Day 7 Granada, Ronda & Seville
- Admire the impressive gorge that separates Ronda's medieval and modern quarters
- Try your hand at traditional Triana ceramic art at a workshop in Seville
Hotel Barcelo Sevilla Renacimiento or similar BreakfastFull Day Itinerary
In the morning, depart for the impressive city of Ronda, located southeast of Seville. The medieval city was partly protected by a deep gorge that made it virtually impenetrable. An 18th-century bridge connects the medieval city and the new city, which developed on the other side of the gorge. Admire the unforgettable view from the bottom of the gorge. Then, cross into the medieval city, one of the White Towns of Andalusia, known for its whitewashed walls and red or brown tiled roofs.
Continue toward Seville, and enjoy a unique experience. The Triana Quarter in Seville is known for skilled ceramic art; tile painting and terracotta works are considered a part of Seville's heritage. Visit a ceramic workshop to learn about the traditional techniques of Triana ceramic art. Paint your tiles, or try your hand at the lathe to create your handcrafted ceramic piece to take home with you.
Day 8 Seville
- Visit the Royal Alcázar and the Gothic Cathedral
- Learn the basics of flamenco at a private workshop
- Enjoy a professional flamenco show over dinner
Hotel Barcelo Sevilla Renacimiento or similar Breakfast & dinnerFull Day Itinerary
After breakfast, discover the landmarks of Seville, including the Plaza de España, San Telmo Palace, and the Golden Tower. Visit the Royal Alcázar, an impressive palace and garden complex that is a UNESCO World Heritage site. Next, continue to the Seville Cathedral, the world's largest Gothic Cathedral. Built on the location of the Great Mosque that dates back to the 12th century under the Almohad Caliphate, its minaret, known as the Giralda, still stands and was converted into a bell tower. The tomb of Christopher Columbus is displayed prominently inside the cathedral.
Later this afternoon, learn the basics of flamenco in a private beginners' dance workshop. Discover the history of this dance and why it has been so popular for generations of Spaniards. To complement this experience, enjoy a professional flamenco show over dinner.
Day 9 Seville & Barcelona
- Flight from Seville to Barcelona
- Enjoy amazing views of Barcelona from Montjuïc Hill
- Stroll through the Jewish Quarter and the Gothic Quarter
Ohla Eixample or similar BreakfastFull Day Itinerary
In the morning, transfer to Seville Airport for your flight to Barcelona. Upon arrival in Barcelona, meet your guide and begin your city tour. Visit Montjuïc Hill, full of parks, art galleries, museums, and the 1992 Olympic sports complex. From this vantage point, you have a fantastic view of the city. Continue to the historic city center, and visit the Plaça de Sant Jaume, the local and regional government seat. Stroll through the Jewish Quarter and the Gothic Quarter to discover historic landmarks like the Plaça del Rei, the Roman Walls, and the Cathedral of Santa Eulalia, one of the best examples of Gothic architecture in Barcelona.
Day 10 Barcelona
- Discover the works of Gaudí
- Visit the famous Basílica de la Sagrada Familia
- Bid farewell to Spain over a final dinner with your fellow travelers
Ohla Eixample or similar Breakfast & dinnerFull Day Itinerary
After breakfast, discover the fascinating world of Catalan modernist architect Antoni Gaudí. Learn about the iconic architectural style of Gaudí, whose works have transformed the landscape of Barcelona. Seven of his works have been inscribed as World Heritage by UNESCO, including Casa Batlló and Casa Milà. Finish your exploration with a visit to Gaudí's greatest masterpiece, the Basílica de la Sagrada Familia.
Enjoy the afternoon at leisure to explore Barcelona at your own pace before gathering with your fellow travelers for a farewell dinner.
Day 11 Depart Barcelona/Arrive USA
- Transfer to Barcelona Airport for your return flight
- Arrive in the USA later today
Located in the heart of Madrid, adjacent to the famous Plaza de España and just a short walk from the Royal Palace, the Royal Theater and Opera, and other cultural attractions, as well as many restaurants, cafés and bars.The wellness area on the 8th floor of the hotel features an indoor swimming pool, sauna, sun deck, massage rooms, and a fully-equipped fitness center.
Located on the outskirts of the peaceful Torrenueva in La Mancha, surrounded by vast open spaces, Hotel La Caminera Club de Campo is a perfect place to get away from the hustle and bustle of city life.The large outdoor pool invites you to relax while enjoying the landscapes and sunsets of La Mancha. Elaiwa Spa by L’Occitane offers a variety of spa treatments that incorporate olive oil and L’Occitane products. The cozy reading room offers a quiet corner to escape in the company of a good book. The hotel also offers its guests a well-equipped fitness center and two outdoor tennis courts with extraordinary views.
With sweeping views of the Sierra Nevada and Alhambra, The Barcelo Granada Congress Hotel has a unique architectural design and is conveniently located just minutes from the main city monuments, the historic city center, and a bustling shopping center. Guests have complete access to the U-Wellness Center that offers panoramic views of the city and the Sierra Nevada. Among its facilities are a dynamic pool with water jets, indoor and outdoor hot tub, sauna, Turkish and Roman bath, and contrast showers. Additionally, you can enjoy aesthetic, beauty and massage treatments at the spa.
Located on Cartuja Island on the Guadalquivir River, the Hotel Barceló Sevilla Renacimiento is surrounded by parks and cultural sites and boasts a modern architectural style reminiscent of the Guggenheim Museum in New York.The Hotel Barceló Sevilla Renacimiento is also equipped with outdoor and indoor swimming pools, and sophisticated fitness center.
Located in the Eixample district of Barcelona, which is rich in dining options and close to some of the most emblematic works of Gaudí, such as Casa Milà and Casa Batlló, the Hotel Ohla Eixample blends elements of the past with modern furnishings and fine finishing touches.The rooftop features an urban garden with olive trees and local plants, hammocks, and a large heated infinity pool that blends with the terraces of the surrounding buildings.
In the unlikely event that a particular hotel is not available, a similar or better hotel may be substituted.
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