Bountiful Barcelona overflows with its architectural glory and seaside grace. Begin with old-world Madrid, full of subtleties and sublime moments, and then move to Seville with its Andalusian energy and tradition. Throw in day trips to Cordoba and Toledo, and you have a perfect seven days in Spain with a journey through the eras made easy by 21st-century luxury travel. Look forward to the food, the culture, the superlative sights, and the parts of Spain that always capture the heart of its visitors.
Barcelona – From Gothic to Modernista
Barcelona will capture your heart and easily soothe any travel fatigue. Draped along the seaside, the old Catalan city responds to any mood you might be feeling. The city is laid-back around the beaches or up at the fort, lively on Las Ramblas and in Barri Gotic and soulful in the places that hide around cobbled squares. Touch down, transfer, check in early and head out with your guide. You will not need to be too active just yet, but you can get a feel for what makes this city tick. Barcelona is all about the streets, and you will only need to sip on a coffee to start drinking it all in.
Your boutique hotel is in Barri Gotic, a small, pedestrianized area of Roman leftovers and Gothic cobblestone. This will prove a good place to start exploring, discussing 2,000 years of history as you go. Hit Palau de la Musica Catalana in the early afternoon, an exquisite concert hall and probably the greatest Modernist work that has been completed. After taking it in, retire to the seaside and lounge away the rest of today, your guide providing tips and transport dependent on your interests. It may be an early night for you, but should you wish to wine and dine Barcelona offers almost endless choice.
Barcelona – Classic Gaudi and Sunset Over the City
Madrid – Best of the Vernacular
Madrid – Exquisite Art and an Energetic Old Capital
Madrid – A Full Day in Medieval Toledo
Seville – Wonders of the Mezquita and Real Tapas
Seville – Highlights of Seville and the Flamenco of Triana
Seville – Early Morning Departure
- Bask in the architectural highlights of Barcelona, including Gaudi’s formative works
- Wonder at the Moorish Kingdom with half a day in Cordoba, the city’s Mezquita being a remarkable highlight
- Embrace the sounds and sights of traditional flamenco in Triana, a neighborhood of Seville
- Explore the iconic European art on display in Madrid
- Dine on Andalusian tapas on a guided tavern hop in Seville
- Spend a full day discovering Toledo, perhaps the most untouched medieval city in Europe
- Wander the eras in Barcelona, from the Gothic Quarter to sunset from a fort
- Whizz between destinations on high-speed AVE trains, minimizing travel time while getting a glimpse of rural Spain
Spain is a country that captures the heart, even if your time is short. Cities rise like medieval timepieces, untouched by time or modernity. Monuments stand as memoirs to empire and era, the Moorish Mezquita just one beautiful example. There is energy on the streets and a welcome extended to all, this being a country that quickly whips you into its rhythm. There is far more to enjoy than just the sights. With every dainty tapas, each cobbled street, and any corner you turn, you will feel Spain as much as you see it, which is precisely why it can capture your heart.
This itinerary will bring an exquisite seven days in Spain, and the perfect one-week journey through the timeless highlights. You will explore five distinctive destinations with overnight stays in Barcelona, Madrid, and Seville. Cultural experiences are integral to the experience, rounded off by a night of flamenco in the small district where flamenco has its roots. And then there is the food for another enduring highlight that goes straight for your heart. The eating experiences will be much about the atmosphere found in traditional haunts across the country as you experience the regional diversity. And what about the vernacular? While the landmarks are obvious compass points, you will find a simple beauty that also changes as you swap Catalonia for Castilla then Andalusia.
Your perfect one week in Spain is made possible by the country’s high-speed AVE trains. City to city travel is comfortable and efficient on one of the world’s fastest railway networks. There will be no wasted hours at airports or on transfers into a city, plus you get to admire rural Spain through your window. The cities will seem to appear as if from nowhere, rising from sun-parched plains with all the mystery of a forgotten era. It can feel as though you are stepping into a movie set, especially in cities like Toledo and Cordoba, two day-trip destinations that show you another side to Spain.
Fly first to Barcelona, a seaside city that can be as laid-back or energetic as you want it to be. Feast your eyes on the architecture as Catalan culture swishes through your soul. Go beyond Gaudi to early Modernist architecture, and then step back to Roman and Gothic splendor. Watch the city change color at sunset, discover all the food, and find how vernacular buildings are showstoppers from every angle. Three days spent in Barcelona means that you will not need to rush, so you can discover the best of the city without getting worn out from walking or from too many early starts.
Zoom next to Madrid and spend a full day in the heart of Spain’s capital. The art is exquisite as you see old European classics in the Prado and the fabulous works of Joaquin Sorolla. The royal palace is incomparable and markedly lacking in crowds, and the old city center has an atmosphere that you would not expect from a capital. Madrid remains a very traditional city, perfect for an evening with the locals. The next day will be spent in Toledo, a jigsaw puzzle of medieval eras and religious juxtapositions, and a city that has preserved the look and feel of a distant time.
Cordoba is an easy stop on the railway route to Seville, the Mezquita an unmissable ode to the Moorish kingdom. Cordoba will be one of those cities that can leave you short on words as you look around and admire the artisanal attention to detail. Ending in Seville, you will then be wrapped in the Andalusian atmosphere with tapas bars, side-street chatter, Moorish leftovers and flamenco. You will experience flamenco in Triana, discover Europe’s largest old quarter, and hop between tapas bars with a guide. And when the seven days draw to a close, there will be a part of your heart that is forever etched with memories of Spain.
$2,491 per person (excluding international flights)
Your Zicasso trip is fully customizable, and this sample itinerary is a starting place for your travel plans. Actual costs are dynamic, and your selection of accommodations and activities, your season of travel, and other such variables will bring this budget guideline up or down. Throughout your planning experience with your Zicasso specialist, your itinerary is designed around your budget. You can book your trip when you are satisfied with every detail. Planning your trip with a Zicasso travel specialist is a free service.
- In-country transportation
- Some or all activities and tours
- Expert trip planning
- 24x7 support during your trip
Your final trip cost will vary based on your selected accommodations, activities, meals, and other trip elements that you opt to include.
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