Highlights of Spain
Barcelona to Madrid
9 days from €1,960 pp
True to its name, this escorted journey showcases the best that Spain has to offer: the Alhambra, the modernist architecture of Barcelona, Madrid’s Prado Museum, the Andalucian capital of Seville and Cordoba’s Mezquita, to name but a few. Take a look at your day-by-day itinerary to find out more.
- Meals as specified (8 buffet breakfasts and 5 dinners with wine).
- The expertise of a knowledgeable Travel Director.
- 8-nights accommodation in centrally located hotels.
Day 1: Welcome to Barcelona
Airport transfers depart from Barcelona airport for your hotel at 09:30, 12:30 and 15:00. Join your Travel Director and fellow travellers at 18:00 for your Welcome Dinner in a local restaurant.
Day 2: Barcelona, the City of Gaudi
With your Local Expert, explore the narrow lanes and old squares behind the cathedral in the Barri Gòtic, Gothic Quarter. See the lively Las Ramblas as you head along the Passeig de Gràcia, adorned with elegant wrought-iron street lamps and some of the most flamboyant Modernist buildings. Continue through the Eixample district for a visit inside Gaudí’s extraordinary masterpiece, the Sagrada Família, to see the central nave with its giant, tree-like pillars, spectacular vaulting and the beautiful rainbows flooding in through the intricate stained-glass windows. Enjoy a free afternoon to explore.
Day 3: Along the Orange Blossom Coast to Valencia
Follow the sunny Costa Dorada, past the rice fields of the Ebro Delta to stop by Peñíscola and see the sea-lapped castle, used in the film ‘El Cid’. Pass through the famous orange groves to Valencia, home of the City of Arts and Sciences. Pass the Old City and see the city’s ancient gates, Torres de Serranos and Torres de Quart to reach your hotel. Valencia is home to one of the world’s greatest dishes, paella. Meet the chef of a local family-run restaurant in the heart of the Old City and learn the traditional recipe during a Cooking Demonstration, before savouring the delicious flavours of this classic dish, washed down with a glass of sangria, during your Highlight Dinner.
Day 4: Follow the Sierra Nevada to Granada
Travel south toward Andalucía, passing the the castle at Lorca and troglodyte dwellings hollowed out of the soft rock near Guadix. Enjoy views of the Sierra Nevada from the distance as you reach glorious Granada. This historical city was a Moorish Kingdom for almost 781 years and was the last stronghold to fall to the Catholic Monarchs of Spain in 1492. The afternoon is at your leisure to explore as you wish. Perhaps join an Optional Experience to the Albaicín Quarter with a Local Expert and fall in love with Granada as you learn about its pivotal role in European history.
Day 5: Explore the Alhambra and a scenic drive to Seville
Overlooking Granada stands one of the most remarkable fortresses ever built, the Alhambra. Led by your Local Expert, explore this exquisite palace built as a citadel by the Moors in the 13th century – a fantasy of arabesque gardens, fountains and stone cut like lace. Stroll through the elegant exotic water gardens of the Generalife, the Royal summer residence. Continue your travels to Seville past gleaming white villages and olive groves that stretch as far as the eye can see. This stunning capital of Andalucía is one of Spain’s most charming highlights and with the afternoon at your leisure, you are free to explore this delightful city as you wish.
Day 6: Seville, the City of Carmen
Seville has a distinctive character and presence that is best revealed by a Local Expert. During your stay, visit the Plaza de España in Maria Luisa Park. Then stroll through the fashionable Santa Cruz Quarter with its attractive wrought-iron balconies laden with flowers. Emerge by the well-preserved Alcazar, a Moorish fantasy in stone, set in richly scented gardens. Visit the massive Seville Cathedral, burial place of Christopher Columbus and enriched with the spoils of the New World. The energetic may wish to climb the Giralda Tower, the former minaret of the Great Mosque, to enjoy panoramic views over the city. In the evening, enjoy dinner with wine and be entertained as you share the passion of Spain’s most fiery region during a flamenco show.
Day 7: Moorish Cordoba and on to Madrid
Set off early along the Guadalquivir Valley, passing villages and towns studded with Moorish towers and fortresses. Stop in the perfectly preserved Moorish city of Cordoba and see the famous 2,000-year-old Roman Bridge. Meet a local historian and visit to the magnificent Mezquita, a beautiful 8th century mosque with a Christian cathedral built inside it. Make the most of your time at leisure and stroll the narrow streets of the Old Jewish Quarter. Follow in the footsteps of Don Quixote as you travel through the Mancha and on to the capital – Madrid.
Day 8: Madrid of the Bourbons
Join your Local Expert for sightseeing along the noble avenues. See the monument to Cervantes in the Plaza de España. Continue past the Cibeles Fountain and the Parliament to cross the Puerta del Sol. Visit the Prado Museum, a magnificent palace housing works by Botticelli, Velázquez, Goya, Titian, Rubens and others. The afternoon is at your leisure to relax at a cafe, shop in the trendy boutiques or perhaps enjoy an Optional Experience to beautiful Toledo? In the evening, join your Travel Director and newfound friends at a local restaurant in the heart of the city. Toast to your adventures as you enjoy a delicious Celebration Dinner of regional favourites, served with wine.
Day 9: Farewell Madrid
Board your onward flight, taking home memories of this exciting journey across Spain. Departure transfers arrive at Madrid Airport at 07:00, 09:00 and 11:00.
TOP RATED HIGHLIGHTS
- Barcelona: A Local Expert will show you the narrow lanes and old squares of the Barri Gotic, the Gothic Quarter. View the lively Las Ramblas, see the wrought-iron street lamps and Modernist buildings as you travel along Passeig de Gràcia.
- Barcelona: Venture inside Gaudi’s extraordinary masterpiece, the Sagrada Família and marvel at the contrasts of architecture.
- Peñíscola: See the castle featured in the film ‘El Cid’.
- Valencia: See the ultra-modern Centre of Arts and Sciences and the huge gates of the old town, Torres de Serranos and Torres de Quart.
- Seville: Explore with your Local Expert visiting the Plaza de España in Maria Luisa Park, strolling through the Santa Cruz Quarter and see the gates to the Alcazar.
- Seville: Step inside the impressive cathedral, passing the altarpiece dripping with gold and marvel at the Tomb of Columbus, held aloft by four kings. Afterwards, perhaps walk the ramps of the Giralda Tower for views over the city.
- Cordoba: See the 2,000-year-old Roman bridge and spend some time exploring the town.
- Cordoba: Explore the incredible Mezquita with your Local Expert. Admire the forest of horseshoe arches and learn how this building symbolises many of Cordoba’s religious changes over the centuries.
- Madrid: With your Local Expert, see the sights of the capital including the monument to Cervantes in the Plaza de España, the Cibeles Fountain, Parliament and the Puerta del Sol.
- Scenic Drives: Relax and enjoy the views as your travel along Costa Dorada, Ebro Delta, Costa Blanca, through Sierra Nevada, Andalucía, the Guadalquivir Valley and across the Plains of La Mancha.
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