Spain's architecture blends the centuries, fabulous sweeps of stone and marble connecting exquisite treasures from the past. Mudejar mosques, Romanesque relics, Gothic opulence, Iberian Judaism, medieval fairytales, Renaissance revival, and then you're in Barcelona, seduced by the art nouveau fantasies of Gaudi and Montaner. Surrealism merges with realism over these 15 days, enabling you to laugh and cry over the romantic history of this fabulous country on this art & architecture tour of...
Seville – Easy Welcomes in a Vibrant City
Colorful tones ripple across the roof tiles as you start the journey in Seville, a vibrant city in the heart of Andalusia. The remnants of Roman rule still peek out on the streets, as do the exquisite relics from the Islamic Almohad Empire. Now comes Gothic and Renaissance sculpture on the narrow streets of the old city. The real exploring starts tomorrow, so for now, sit back on your hotel rooftop and admire the eclectic architecture that dominates the cityscape. You'll be met at the airport and transferred to your hotel and the rest of the day is at your leisure.
Seville – Walking Through the Centuries of Mudejar and Renaissance Brilliance
Seville – Baroque and Aristocratic Tastes in the Heart of Old Seville
Granada – Exquisite Religious Harmony on the Andalusian Landscape
Granada – Flamboyant Gothic Styles and Exotic Palaces
Toledo – Quixote's Windmills and La Mancha's Historic Villages
Toledo – Gateways to the Architectural History of Spain
Avila – Romanesque Charm in a Striking Medieval Town
Avila – Renaissance Merges into Art Deco in the University Town of Salamanca
Madrid – From Medieval Fairytales to Lavish Regal Retreats
Madrid – Extraordinary Art in the Heart of Madrid
Barcelona – Inspired by the Work of Another Modernista
Barcelona – The World of Antoni Gaudi
Barcelona – Departure
- Explore Spain's most idolized architectural destinations with an expert guide, each beautifully pertaining to a different era and style
- Start with three days in Seville, where Mudejar flamboyance mixes with Renaissance brilliance and the baroque tastes of royalty
- Tour the Andalusian towns of Cordoba and Granada, home to exquisite old mosques, Gothic cathedrals, and exotic Eastern palaces
- Spanish history can be easily read in Toledo, a glorious medieval town that retains buildings that cross the centuries
- As you're guided in a luxury vehicle you stop at some of Spain's most iconic postcard images, like Quixote's La Mancha windmills and the fairytale castle of Segovia
- Indulge in the opulence of Salamanca and El Escorial, built when Spain was the intellectual and economic capital of the world
- Discover pristinely preserved walled towns and lounge away hours on the medieval and Romanesque streets of places like Avila
- Spend two days in Spanish capital Madrid, exploring fabulous art collections and an old city center of endless treasures
- Complete the architecture journey with Barcelona's modernista movement and the renowned work of Gaudi and Montaner
Spain has always welcomed the architectural pioneer: the wealth of eclectic old cities plundered on indulgent and opulent displays of power. As the cities grew rich they invested in a unique style; Mudegar Eastern exoticism in Andalusia, Gothic and Renaissance in the towns of Spain's Golden Age, art nouveau in modernist Barcelona, baroque and Romanesque designs favored by the church. When the various kingdoms' prosperity dissipated the buildings remained, each a glorious ode to wealth and artistic beauty. Viewed in isolation, each of these architectural monuments is a remarkable attraction. But as a collection they reveal so much more, taking you on a journey through the romantic history of Spain, allowing you to relive the conquests and the kings, the religious ideology and the intellectual glory.
The tour starts in Andalusia, where Islamic and Eastern influences exquisitely mark the cities of Seville, Cordoba, and Granada. The pre-12th century design has been repurposed and elaborated, the mosques converted into grand cathedrals as more recent Renaissance styles mingle on the streets. Spend three days in Seville, an eclectic start to the vacation, before two nights in Granada. All transfers are by luxury vehicles and a specialist architectural guide accompanies you; the guide narrates the hidden tales found in the corners of buildings and deserted towers.
From days six to ten you cross the Spanish kingdoms, reliving the tales of conquistadores and religious crusades from Toldeo to Avila. Spend the evenings in sublime medieval towns, lost in the secrets that hide behind 11th century city walls. And spend the days exploring the architecture that was erected during the Spanish Golden Age. Spend two nights in both Toledo and Avila, ancient towns seemingly straight from a fairytale and fulfilling all notions of old-world romance. As you continue north, you stop at the Segovia castle and the decadent El Escorial before arriving in Madrid in the late afternoon of day ten.
The final few days are dedicated to Spain's biggest cities. Explore the unrivaled art of Madrid and lose a few hours on the majestic Plaza Mayor. A high-speed first-class train takes you to Barcelona. But before seeing the works of Gaudi, the day is inspired by the city's other modernista, Montaner. Watch an evening performance in his Catalan music hall then complete the architectural journey with a whole day focusing on Gaudi's surreal work. This is a vacation that continually impresses both history and grandeur. For many centuries, Spain led the world in art and architecture; this itinerary connects the individual dots for a complete portrait of old-world glory.
$4,363 per person (excluding international flights)
- 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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