Madrid, Seville, Cordoba, Costa del Sol, Gibraltar, Malaga, Valencia, Granada, Barcelona, Pamplona, Saragossa, Bilbao, Segovia
Dates are flexible and customizable for private departures.
Celebrate Spain for its culture that spans millennia and art that inspires the world. Your vacation is tailored to create your perfect Spanish exploration, offering you a world of Spanish Masters and indulgent tapas. Listen to the Mediterranean Sea splash against golden sands and enjoy the panoramic view from the top of the Rock of Gibraltar. The streets are paved with cobblestones and the whitewashed villages glimmer in the sunlight. Your time in Spain will have you celebrating the past, the...
Madrid - Brimming Spanish Energy
Madrid is the city with an endless vibe and a contagious atmosphere. The Royal Palace is historically lavish and the Puerta del Sol pulses with modern cosmopolitanism. Your transfer meets you at the airport and takes you to your remarkable hotel. Retiro Park is filled with shady pathways and vivacious mosaics. The golden triangle of art museums displays Spanish and European Masters. Cafes are packed with locals sipping coffee and passing the afternoon with calm, unhurried joy. In the Plaza Mayor, you find 18th-century regal buildings encircling the busy square. The arched colonnade supports the buildings and emanates the rich aromas of coffee and red wine. 237 balconies adorn the buildings’ facades. In Madrid, you find a major contemporary city filled with historical importance and artistic integrity, and your vacation has just begun.
Madrid - A Celebration of Art
Madrid is at its quietest in the morning when the sun peeks over the horizon and casts a light on the historic buildings. Your local guide meets you at your hotel. The city comes alive slowly and the crowds begin to discover the day once more. Follow your guide across the Plaza de España and locate the monument to Miguel de Cervantes, the author of Don Quixote. The large square is central to the city and bordered by two prominent skyscrapers.
Cervantes is intricately memorialized in stone and overlooks two bronze statues, one of Don Quixote and the other of Sancho Panza. Continue to the famous Prado Museum, with a collection of over 7,000 paintings. The museum is housed in a historic structure that dates back to the 18th century. The interior resembles a palace, filled with grand halls and elegant galleries. Find paintings by Spanish Masters such as El Greco, who made the graceful and vibrant hills around Toledo famous. When art captures life and life imitates art, the only thing left to do is celebrate.
Segovia - A Land of Castles
After breakfast, you wave goodbye to the cosmopolitan streets of Madrid and cross the Sierra de Guadarrama Mountains to arrive in the Province of Castles. The region was consolidated after the conquest of the Moors in the 15th century. Segovia is a small town famous for its 2,000-year-old Roman Aqueduct and storybook castle. The aqueduct passes through the center of the city and was constructed in the 1st to 2nd centuries. It contains over 170 arches and stands 95 feet high. It creates a distinct border to the charming old city. When you walk through the streets you feel as though you have stepped back in time.
The scent of rich chocolate and leather-bound books floats around the antique neighborhoods. The Royal Palace stands atop an old citadel. The view of the Cathedral and the encompassing mountains is picture-perfect. The castle was constructed in the 12th century and rebuilt in the 19th century after a devastating fire. The tall and slender Rapunzel-like turrets are captivating. The rejuvenating scent of fern trees and limestone linger around the castle’s base. The city is magnificent, filled with millennia of history and stunning landscapes. Whether standing atop the parapets of the castle or standing in its shadow, you understand the allure of the city, the region, and the history.
Pamplona - Peeking at the Pyrenees
The Basque Region is home to tremendous wines, decadent flavors, and the famous image of people in white shirts scrambling away from a horde of bulls running through the streets. The sun rises over Vitoria, the capital city of the region. The bell rings from the Cathedral of Santa Maria, a 14th century Gothic church with a tower built in the 17th century. After breakfast you arrive in Bilbao. The city rests at the mouth of the Nervion, Ibaizabal and Cadagua Rivers. The Old Quarter maintains its connection to history.
The pace slows to a tranquil roar and the cafes are filled with locals enjoying the simmering morning around Plaza Nueva. The Guggenheim was constructed in the 20th century encompassing over 258,333 square feet of space. The unique exterior was designed to allow as much natural light into the galleries as possible. The trickling pools surround the façade and add a touch of brightness to the day. The mountains act as a dramatic backdrop against the clear blue sky. Wander through the interior and explore the architecture as much as the art.
The dome over the foyer casts beams of sunlight down into the lobby. Modernist art, from paintings to sculptures, offer insight to a different world, explained with brushes, shapes, and textures. Each piece tries to maintain a lucid argument. In the afternoon you will arrive in Pamplona, home to the most famous Festival de San Fermin. Outside of July the cobbled streets and colorful buildings are home to a sleepy city. Calle Estafeta is 820 feet long and is the location of the long and rowdy bull charge that has made the city world-renowned.
Barcelona - The Grand Plazas of Spain
Pamplona remains quiet throughout the day. The trees rustle in the morning breeze and you wave goodbye to the image of bulls parading through the streets. Zaragosa is a different king of city located on the banks of the River Ebro. The elegant and interesting atmosphere revolves around delicious tapas, enthusiastic social scenes, and a history that encompasses great civilizations. The river’s soft current passes the city by. The modern world edges against the Aljaferia, a 12th century palace that stand as a proud reminder of the city’s Moorish past.
The powerful exterior gives way to a delicate interior. Past the introductory courtyard you will come to the Islamic Palace. The interwoven arches typical of Islamic architecture create geometric masterworks. The elegant frames support the palace and decorate the gallery. Floral motifs are chiseled into the horseshoe-arched doorways. The second floor is decorated with Mudéjar coffered ceilings. The artistic majesty of the palace and the past are captivating. In the afternoon, you will arrive in Barcelona and settle into the a city that can only be described as “one of a kind.”
Barcelona - A Building Culture
Barcelona is a city of modern luxury and medieval artistry decorating the streets. The gothic quarter centers around old neighborhoods and rising church towers. Buttresses connect historic buildings and you find glimpses of imagined city of the best selling novel Shadow of the Wind. The Picasso Museum holds the celebrated painters traditional and untraditional works. La Ramblas stretches encapsulates the city’s character on its almost one mile stretch of tree line street. Flower stalls provide a touch of color and fragrance to the walkway. Cafes and restaurants are filled with jovial life.
The street splits the older neighborhood of the city between the Gothic Quarter and El Raval. The aromas of the largest outdoor market in Europe emanate from Boqueria. The Sagrada Familia takes up an entire city block and was designed by the famous architect Antoni Gaudi. The church began construction in the 19th century but was consecrated in 2010. The façade is decorated with three divergent images, one depicting the Nativity, one the Passion, and another the Glory, the latter of which is still under construction. The detail of each image crates an intricate beautiful design, lifelike in their personhood and paradisiacal in the embellishments.
Valencia - Coastal Guardian
Valencia is the third largest city in Spain but remains in the background, simmering with culture and happy to go unnoticed. The old Turia riverbed is now a lush park that meanders through the center of the city. The lush trees provide a remarkable aroma and lively color to the modern streets. Fountains trickle and the remaining river slowly passes by. Modernist architecture decorates the skyline and the old quarter reflects the city’s history in its twisting alleyways and richly spiced cafes. The new City of Arts and Sciences encompasses a complex of buildings. The glass-worked L’Hemesféric resembles an eye and sits on 355,209 square feet of space. The planetarium consists of half a sphere 180 feet wide. Somehow the contrast of modern glossy architecture and the medieval old quarter pair nicely beneath the umbrella of contemporary Valencia.
Granada - The Depths of History
The Mediterranean Sea borders the city and watches over the evolution of the old and new neighborhoods. After breakfast you make your way out of the cityscape and into the countryside en route to Granada. Near the mountains outside of Valencia you will arrive at a series of caves known as the Cuevas de la Araña, located in the valley of the river. The river is glassy and pristine. The mountains shimmer with white limestone and soft tufa.
The greenery brings the scent of pine. When you enter the caves you don’t know what expect. The cool air flows through the cavern. Lights shins on the walls. You notice the rudimentary drawings along the cave. You can’t help but marvel at the history. Images of bows and arrows, goats, and male figures hunting decorate the space. A person gathers honey from wild bees and you realize you are standing near drawings approximated to be around 8,000 years old.
Granada - A Commemoration of Delicate of Stone
The Alhambra palace complex rises with alabaster color. The mountains in the background create a picturesque view from the cobbled streets. The towers and strong parapets were constructed in the 9th century but the palaces were erected in the 13th century. The complex has been referred to as a pearl due to its coloration and its remarkable artistry that makes it more of a treasure than a historic residence. The aroma of elm and orange citrus spread over the citadel. You can hear nightingales tweet in the opulent blue sky. Enter the complex and find a network of palaces that resemble delicate lace as opposed to hardened stone.
Arched windows are decorated with arabesques. The Patio de los Arrayanes has a reflective pool that mirrors the surrounding courtyard. Vibrant hedges line the pool and latticed arches decorate the colonnade. The deeper you explore the more the architecture turns into artwork. The Royal complex was constructed in the 14th century. The Hall of Abencerrajes is a perfect square. The domed roof is decorated in blue, red, and gold. When the sunlight catches the ceiling the entire dome comes to effervescent life.
Malaga - Homage to the Sea
Costa del Sol is a region along the Mediterranean that reaches outward to the Atlantic. The water glows sapphire and the cool breeze is endless. After breakfast, you will venture to Malaga for an overnight stay in the seaside’s old city. The people are contemporary but the streets remain medieval, narrow, and meandering against the subtle sounds of inviting waves. You are swept up in the city’s charm. Traditional buildings adorned with balconies encircle the Gothic Cathedral. The pedestrian streets are lined with tiny tapas bars. The skyline imitates Malaga’s character, church spired, russet-red tiled, and overshadowed by the looming walls of the 11th-century castle.
Take the time to enjoy the city at the leisured pace of the locals. Mercado Atarazanas is a 19th-century ironclad building. The district encompasses the original Moorish gate of the city that once connected the neighborhood to the nearby port. The stained glass window depicts the city’s history with vivid color that washes over the entire market in the daylight. The shops and stalls are animated. The indulgent aroma of fresh cheeses and varieties of delicious olives roam through the lofty ceilings. The fruits and vegetables are as colorful as the stained glass.
Seville - Upon this Large Rock
The breeze wraps around Costa del Sol and brings the scent of the sweet sea on its back. On a clear day you can see the Rock of Gibraltar rising over the edge of the European continent. After breakfast, make your way to the base of the famous rock and see just how tall 1,397 feet really is. The city of Gibraltar is more English than Spanish, having been under British rule since the 18th century. Take the cable car to the upper reaches of the rock and find the Gibraltar Reserve home to the only wild monkey in all of Europe.
The trees climb over the rocky mountaintop. The higher you climb, the better view you have of the cliffs, the jeweled water, and the tip of the African continent. The rock of Gibraltar and the visible Jebel Musa in Morocco mark the end of the ancient world. Barbary macaques rush around the walkways and relax in the trees. The view is impeccable and the culture of the city below is unique. In the afternoon you will arrive in Seville, a passionate city that moves to the rhythms of its own music.
Seville - History at Your Fingertips
Seville is a city that has it all, a wealth of history, a connection to its vibrant culture, and an undeniable flamboyant charisma. Flamenco dances take place in tiny tapas bars. The decadent aromas of traditional cuisine, from Serrano ham to savory olives, drift out of hidden restaurants. The streets are paved with cobblestone and wind around a past that reaches back to Roman times. Your guide meets you at your hotel and escorts you through the lavish sights of the cityscape. The 14th century Alcazar crowns the citadel like a jewel. The largest Gothic cathedral in the world creates an opulent skyline with a marvelous tower.
The neighborhood of Santa Cruz was once the bustling Jewish quarter. In the shadow of the cathedral you can find the newer Centro de Interpretacion Juderia de Sevilla, a museum dedicated to the 14th century Sephardic culture. A former Sephardic Jewish home encases the stories and artifacts told by the museum. The courtyard is paved with geometric tiles and a small fountain decorates its center. The whitewashed walls of Calle Juderia burst with colorful flowers. The aroma of budding pedals is sweet in the city’s warm air. The layers of the district shine bright, showing the Jewish, Moorish, and Catholic cultures that have given the area spirit.
Seville - A Day of Dons
The landscape around Seville is filled with gentle hills. The golden grasses blend into green foothills. Snowcapped mountains rise and fall against the skyline. The Mediterranean brushes against the coast. This is the landscape made famous by Don Quixote. Whitewashed windmills speckle the plateaus. The wooden frames circle in the breeze. Cross over the countryside and arrive in Cordoba. The medieval city rests on the banks of the Rio Guadalquivir; the city was once divided into districts based on religion. Narrow streets encircle the old Great Mosque that now stands as the Cathedral of St. Mary of the Assumption.
The mosque was originally built in the 8th century and grew larger, ultimately transforming into a church with the reclamation of the city in the 14th century. 856 arches continue to support the interior out of an original 1,293. Jasper, onyx, marble, and granite give the pillars and archways a polished, glistening effect. The prayer niches are gilded and the mihrab is a collection of mosaics shaped into a dome. The refreshing aroma of orange blossoms comes from the Courtyard of the Orange Trees just outside of the main gallery. The majesty of the mosque can take your breath away. Return to Madrid in the evening.
Seville - Endless Celebration
It hasn’t been too long since you last set foot in Madrid. The energetic city continues to reverberate with cosmopolitan grandeur. The historic and luxurious buildings shine in the rising sunlight. But the streets seem less familiar than they had when you left the city. You have absorbed the variety of cultures for which Spain is known. The regions speak the same language but no region is the same. The wonders of culture and history took you through medieval towns and remarkable museums, atop wondrous rock faces and unparalleled towers. Your private transfer escorts you from your hotel to the airport. You have experienced Spain and will never stop celebrating its heritage.
- Indulge in the various regional cultures of Spain, from cityscapes to countryside
- Visit renowned art museums including the Prado and Guggenheim
- Witness historic architectural treasures from the Alcazar to the Alhambra
- Discover the unique variety of contemporary architecture in Barcelona, home to Gaudi
- Witness 8,000 year old cave paintings in the caverns outside of Valencia
- Enjoy the picturesque landscape of Andalusia, made famous by the writings of Cervantes
- Tour inside the largest Gothic cathedral in the world
- Experience the remains of Spain’s lost cultures, including the Jewish neighborhoods of medieval towns
The excitement and energy of Spain is infectious. It sweeps you away and takes you well into the night. You find yourself traveling back in time and strolling through medieval towns. It takes you into halls decorated with paintings by European Masters. Streets echo with the images of stampeding bulls and tiny restaurants overflow with succulent aromas. When you come to Spain you learn to celebrate life, through history, art, and food. The combination of flavors creates the unique and vibrant culture of Spain.
Arrive in Madrid and enjoy the regal ambiance of the capital city. The historic buildings, including the Royal Palace, enrapture the contemporary culture. Stroll through the Prado Museum and witness the artistic treasures of Spain and Europe. Venture into the Province of the Castles and arrive in Segovia. The town’s roots date back to the Roman Empire. Continue on to Vitoria and settle into the Basque capital. Bilbao is grand city once known for its port. The architectural wonder of the Guggenheim creates a unique shape and has brought the beauty of the city to light. Travel through the pearled city of San Sebastian en route to Pamplona. In Pamplona you can stroll through the quiet streets and find a sleepy city outside of the San Fermin festival.
The village of Saragossa is famous for its Plaza del Pilar and stunning Moorish palace. Arrive in Barcelona and experience Spain’s second largest city. The energy is unique to the urban landscape. The Mediterranean brushes against the coastal border. Spend time wandering through the outdoor museum of the city’s architectural artistry, from the “Block of Discord” to Sagrada Family Church. Valencia is a former royal capital with historic roots that lead to Roman times. The city streets are tremendous, filled with a wealth of historic and modern architecture pressing against one another. On the way to Granada you will visit troglodyte caves, home to exceptional paintings that date back millennia.
Tour the epic Moorish palace complex known as the Alhambra and enjoy the winding streets of the treasured city. Costa del Sol offers you a magnificent respite from the Andalusian sun. The coastal breeze rejuvenates you and the your day trip to Malaga combines the sounds of the ocean with the medieval cityscape that captures your imagination. Traverse the far reaches of the Rock of Gibraltar on the way to Seville. In Seville you will experience the rich traditions that connect the locals to the city’s heritage, both in the Jewish quarter and the bejeweled Alcazar. Spend the day in Cordoba and witness one of the great mosques of history before continuing to Madrid. Your private transfer will escort you to the airport for your flight home.
$3,355 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
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- 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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