Best of Spain Tour: Barcelona, Andalusia & Madrid

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Total Trip:

11 Days
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Countries Visited:

Spain
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Places Visited:

Barcelona, Granada, Seville, Cordoba, Madrid
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Departure Dates:

Dates are flexible and customizable for private departures.
Travel to the beat of a different culture as you explore the highlights of Spain. Listen for the melodies of classical guitar as you stroll through ancient courtyards. Feel the conviviality of conversation as you enjoy leisurely meals at outdoor cafes. Soak up the energy of people socializing in public squares. Tap along to the castanets as you’re entranced by the magic of Gypsy Flamenco dance. On this Spain

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Customizable Itinerary

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Day 1

Arrive in Barcelona, Spain

When you arrive at the Barcelona airport, you’ll be greeted by your driver who will transfer you to your accommodations. You’ll be staying at the Renaissance Barcelona Hotel. This stylish and modern four-star hotel is located near Barcelona’s fashionable Passeig de Gràcia Boulevard. After you check-in, you’ll have the rest of the afternoon at leisure to relax or begin your discovery of the city. ou can start by strolling down the Passeig de Gràcia Boulevard to browse the designer shops, including Armani, Cartier, Chanel and Gucci. On this boulevard, you will also find two creations of the famous architect Antoni Gaudí—Casa Mila and Casa Batlló. Both of these beautiful and intriguing buildings are open to the public and are worth a visit!

What's Included:

included

Accommodation

included

Transfer

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Day 2

Guided Tour of the Gothic Quarter and Las Ramblas

After your buffet breakfast, your local guide will greet you and you’ll set out on a guided group tour. The tour allows you to see the city from the perspective of someone who lives there. Along the way, you’ll visit many special places and learn the culture of the city. You’ll visit Barcelona's atmospheric Gothic Quarter, filled with centuries of fascinating history, and the elegant boulevard of Las Ramblas, one of the great boulevards of Europe. You’ll have the late afternoon and evening free to explore Barcelona. Be sure to visit Gaudí’s masterpiece, La Sagrada Familia Cathedral. Two of the cathedral’s most distinguishing features are the Passion facade that tells the story of Jesus Christ, and the Nativity facade, which tells the story of the holy family in complex detail.

Optional Activities:

There is also an option for a private tour including lunch at one of Barcelona's innovative Bistronomic restaurants. Enjoy a special gourmet tasting menu in a delightful setting.

What's Included:

included

Accommodation

included

Tour

included

Breakfast

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Day 3

Visit Barcelona’s Market and Take a Catalan Cooking Class

Today after breakfast, you will begin your discovery of Catalan cuisine. Your authentic food experience includes a small group tour that begins with a visit to the colorful La Boqueria market. Your guide is well versed in local cuisine and will help you select seasonal produce that you’ll use in your cooking class. Then you'll make your way to a private kitchen in the Gothic Quarter. A professional chef will teach you how to prepare a typical meal from the region of Catalonia. The menu will depend on what is in season during the time you are visiting, but you can be sure to enjoy a healthy Mediterranean meal. After learning to cook in a friendly and casual environment, you'll get to sample the results of your labor. Enjoy a leisurely lunch in characteristic Spanish style.

In the afternoon, you’ll have free time for sightseeing or to take a leisurely stroll down to the beautiful beaches that are just 10 minutes from the city center. Tonight you should experience the tapas scene. You could try one of Barcelona’s most famous tapas establishments, Cal Pep in Barcelona’s elegant “El Born” district. The Picasso Museum is nearby so be sure to plan a visit beforehand or afterwards.

What's Included:

included

Accommodation

included

Activity

included

Breakfast

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Day 4

Travel from Barcelona to Granada

This morning after breakfast, your driver will transfer you to Barcelona airport for a short flight to Granada. When you arrive in Granada, you'll be met by another driver and transferred to your hotel. You will be staying at the centrally located and recently renovated Vincci Albaicin Hotel right in the old town. This four-star hotel is beautifully designed incorporating both historical and modern elements for a genuine Andalusian experience. This famed city of Granada is at the heart of Andalusia, the region of Spain where Moors, Jews and Christians lived in harmony for centuries. During the period of the Islamic rule in the 13th century, Granada’s Alhambra became the palace of royalty. From its vantage point high on a hill above the city, the views of the surrounding mountains are spectacular.

Optional Activities:

You have the option of adding on a special tour with a local resident of the Albaicín district, the old Arab quarter. On this tour, you’ll have a chance to stroll through this amazing place. You’ll discover the narrow streets, small squares and modest houses. Along the way, you’ll stop for tapas and then at a typical Moroccan Teahouse to enjoy hot mint tea served in decorative glasses.

What's Included:

included

Accommodation

included

Transfer

included

Breakfast

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Day 5

Guided Tour of the Alhambra Palace and Leisure Time in Granada

After breakfast, you’ll enjoy a guided tour of the Alhambra Palace, a superb UNESCO World Heritage monument. Admire the gorgeous ornate Moorish architecture of this sumptuous historic palace. Then spend some time wandering the lush gardens featuring an elaborate system of running streams and fountains. Enjoy the rest of the day exploring Granada's Old Town at your leisure. Get lost in the ancient streets and soak up the ambience of this special place. You’ll feel like you’re somewhere far, far away.

Optional Activities:

You can choose to take a private guided tour of the Alhambra along with a special lunch at a traditional Moroccan restaurant for an authentic taste of Andalusian cuisine or arrange for a special tasting dinner at an atmospheric restaurant within the Albaicin.

What's Included:

included

Accommodation

included

Breakfast

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Day 6

Seville - Afternoon Tour of Barrio Santa Cruz

After breakfast, your driver will take you to the train station for your train ride to Seville (about 3 hours away). When you arrive, you’ll be greeted by a private driver who will take you to your hotel. You’ll be staying at the Hotel Bécquer in the center of Seville. This splendid modern hotel occupies the site of an old aristocratic palace-house of the Marqueses de las Torres. A romantic location, this four-star hotel also offers all the modern comforts. In the afternoon, you’ll join a local guide for a group tour of Seville's old Jewish neighborhood, the Barrio Santa Cruz. With its winding cobblestone streets and whitewashed houses, this picturesque neighborhood is one of the most delightful districts of Seville.

Optional Activities:

Enjoy a special meal with a tasting menu of paired wines at one of Seville's best known restaurants, just a short walk away from your hotel.  Or perhaps enjoy a morning with our local chef visiting the market and later participating in a cooking class.

What's Included:

included

Accommodation

included

Transfer

included

Breakfast

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Day 7

Leisure Time to Explore Seville and Optional Visit to the Arab Baths

Today is at your leisure, so you may begin the day at your own pace. Enjoy the hotel’s lovely atmosphere and indulge in the delicious buffet breakfast that is included. You can spend more time discovering Seville on your own. Stroll the city’s elegant streets and soak up the vibrant atmosphere. You’ll see why so many visitors are drawn to this historic city. Visit the Cathedral to admire its sheer grandeur and to appreciate the historical context. The old mosque was converted to a cathedral after the Christian Reconquest of Spain.

Optional Activities:

Indulge in a pampering spa session at the "hammam," the Arab Baths. These traditional baths are enjoying a revival in Andalusia. Enjoy this authentic Andalusian experience and literally soak up the historic Islamic setting. In the evening, you have the option to see a Flamenco performance at a typical venue.

What's Included:

included

Accommodation

included

Activity

included

Breakfast

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Day 8

Travel from Seville to Córdoba - Guided Tour of Old Jewish Quarter

After breakfast, you’ll take a short train ride to Córdoba. When you arrive, a driver will be waiting to transfer you to your hotel. Enjoy the night at the Hesperia Córdoba Hotel, in a splendid location near the river with wonderful views of the town. After you check in, your local guide will arrive to take you on a tour of Córdoba’s UNESCO-listed historic center. You’ll visit the Jewish Quarter, the old synagogue and the former Great Mosque, that was turned into a cathedral.

Optional Activities:

You can opt for a special meal at a Sefardí (Spanish-Jewish) restaurant that offers local Jewish cuisine based on traditional recipes from Córdoba.

What's Included:

included

Accommodation

included

Breakfast

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Day 9

Travel from Córdoba to Madrid and Tour of Habsburg Quarter

After breakfast, you’ll transfer by high-speed train to Madrid and you’ll arrive in less than two hours. A driver will meet you at the train station and transfer you to your hotel. You’ll be staying at the four-star Lope de Vega Hotel in central Madrid. This wonderful location near Calle Huertas and Plaza Santa Ana is the ideal area to take advantage of Madrid’s bustling nightlife. After lunch, you’ll take a guided walking tour of Madrid's elegant Habsburg Quarter. Your tour of the historic neighborhood reveals the glory of former royal palaces and convents hidden behind austere walls.

What's Included:

included

Accommodation

included

Breakfast

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Day 10

Tour of the Museo del Prado and Leisure Time in Madrid

After breakfast, you’ll take a tour of the Museo del Prado. Your museum visit is reserved (so that you skip the lines) and includes an audio guided tour. At Madrid’s Museo del Prado, you’ll find some of the most important  art collections in the world. The rest of the day is at your leisure to continue exploring Madrid. You could stroll through Buen Retiro Park, Madrid’s expansive public green space that is filled with lovely gardens, monumental fountains and elegant conservatories of fine ironwork. Another option is to visit the Museo Nacional Centro de Arte Reina Sofía, where you can see the works of Joan Miró and other famous contemporary artists or the splendid Thyssen Bornemizsa Museum. As an option with this tour, you can also choose a dinner reservation at one of Madrid's popular contemporary restaurants, or a privately guided tapas tour.

What's Included:

included

Accommodation

included

Activity

included

Breakfast

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Day 11

Depart from Madrid Airport

Today after breakfast, your tour concludes. You’ll be provided a private transfer to the Madrid airport for your return flight home.

What's Included:

included

Transfer

included

Breakfast

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Trip Highlights

  • Experience the sunny and vibrant Mediterranean lifestyle in Barcelona
  • See Barcelona’s fantastic Gaudí buildings and intriguing Gothic quarter
  • Take a cooking class in Barcelona to learn about Catalan cuisine
  • Soak up the magical Andalusian ambience in Seville and Granada
  • Visit the magnificent UNESCO-listed Alhambra Palace in Granada
  • Tour the historic highlights of Seville including the Gothic cathedral
  • Optional spa treatment at the “hammam,” old Arab Baths in Seville
  • See Europe’s most important Islamic monument in Córdoba
  • Enjoy world-class art, fine cuisine and hopping nightlife in Madrid
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Detailed Description

Immerse yourself in the vibrant energy and compelling ambience of Spain. The land of tapas, siestas and Flamenco, Spain has a rich cultural heritage and fascinating history. Spain is also a place where diversity flourished. People of three major religions—Judaism, Christianity and Islam—lived together in harmony for centuries.

This tour of Spain allows you to explore the country’s highlights. You’ll visit the cities with the most important monuments and the most interesting traditions. You’ll learn to cook authentic cuisine and how to appreciate Flamenco dance. The tour begins in beautiful Barcelona, the Mediterranean capital of Catalonia. Barcelona is famous for its Gothic Quarter, Modernist Gaudí architecture, fashionable boulevards and innovative cuisine.

The tour continues in Andalusia. You’ll visit Granada, the last bastion of the Moors in Spain. Here you’ll see the magnificent Alhambra Palace and enchanting Albaicín, the old Islamic district. From there, you’ll travel to another wonderful Andalusian city, Seville. Elegant plazas and magnificent gardens invite you to enjoy the good life. Next visit Córdoba with its monumental Grand Mosque that was turned into a cathedral.

Finally, you’ll visit the capital city of Madrid, where the world-class Prado and Reina Sofia Museums await you. Madrid is the country’s center of economics, finance and culture. In this bustling place, you can enjoy the famous Spanish lifestyle and nightlife at its finest.

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Starting Price

$2635 per person (excluding international flights)

This trip is customizable for your private travel.
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What's Included

  • Accommodations
  • In-country transportation
  • Some or all guided tours and activities (dependent on season)
  • Expert trip planning
  • 24x7 support during your trip
The starting price is based on travel during the low season for a minimum of two travelers staying in shared 3-star accommodations. Please inquire for a custom trip quote based on your travel preferences and travel dates.

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