Madrid, Toledo, Cuenca, Seville, Zahara de las Atunes, Baeza, Ubeda
Dates are flexible and customizable for private departures.
Authentic Spain is like the perfect partner, wowing at first glance and then continually revealing its hidden heart and charms. It's a red country of escapism, bursting with passion and intimately dancing to an al fresco flamenco rhythm. So grab your own partner and journey into the heart of undiscovered Spain, traveling through its historic villages, fiery cities, and untrammeled beaches. With boutique luxury hotels and secret treats, this is the Spain of romantic travel reverie.
Madrid – Gastronomic Welcomes and a Historic Boutique Hotel
Madrid doesn't feel like a capital city. Sure, there's the ambient laughter coming from the Plaza Mayor, the sprinklings of evening fiesta sailing past royal palaces, and the scents of opulence coming from exclusive restaurants. But there isn't traffic, smog or continual chaos. There isn't an enormous city map to decipher. Madrid's downtown area has an almost village-like feel, weaving alleyways connecting bookshops and innumerable al fresco terraces. It's the perfect welcome to the atmosphere of Spain, further elevated by your hotel in the heart of the city.
Moving back in time you enter the atmospheric dining hall of a 17th-century restaurant, the décor, and ceilings straight from the golden era of castles of conquistadors. As a gourmet banquet populates your table, an evening of gala entertainment begins; everything is themed to radiate a historic time. It's a surreal start to your Spanish vacation, one that sets the tone for the journey. Over the next 11 days you'll be escaping, not into a place of wilderness, but into a mood and atmosphere of traditional romance.
Madrid – Chocolate, Churros, and a Spanish Atmosphere
Chocolate fumes emerge as pedestrianized streets slowly come out of the shadows. Eighteenth century stone is covered in blossoming greenery, further color to complement the delicate hues of Renaissance. The chocolate comes out in a beaker, bubbling with indulgence and waiting for you to dip the churros. After this timeless Spanish breakfast your guide shows you around the Royal Palace, Madrid's glorious ode to regal history. Explore the old pharmacy with its jars of unusual herbs, and take an iconic photo beside Romanesque columns, the whole of Madrid spilling out on the hills below.
The rest of the day is left at your leisure, the central streets of Madrid a wonderful labyrinth to explore hand in hand. Dip into designer stores, watch the world go by with a glass of red, and soak up the intimacy of Spain's indelible capital. Of course, there's also more than enough time to honor the tradition of siesta. Tonight's dinner table is a divine treat, Viridiana serving you nine courses that blend organic local flavors with the modern experimentation you would expect in one the capital's most elite restaurants.
Toledo – A Royal Palace and an Afternoon of VIP Wine Tasting
Central Spain sits on a plateau of history. In each direction, there's a taste of the past, born from Roman times or medieval Catholicism. This vacation takes you south, leisurely connecting the surreal and the sublime. Your first stop is the Palace of Aranjuez, the monarchy's great ode to tranquility and opulence. Explore without the guide, relaxing in the vast gardens and admiring jewels that twinkle beneath 16th-century portraits. The next stops feel equally aristocratic; two boutique farmhouses offer an afternoon of VIP wine tasting. These wineries aren't open to the general public, their mysterious cellars reserved for private tours, and hours of vintage sampling.
No country in the world has more acres of vineyards than Spain and these illustrious Vino de Pago estates showcase the high-end of the country's production. At the first farm, you tour the estate with the winemaker before sampling a series of whites and soft reds. You're in the Castile-La Mancha region, so a rich plate of Manchego cheese adds further aromas to the tongue. Deeper flavors are sampled at the second, a series of aromatic reds accompanied with a lunch of roast lamb. As always, the two of you select the pace and choose when to move on; your driver is waiting to whisk you away to your next destination. Toledo completes the journey into the mountains and your hotel is in a converted 13th-century monastery.
Toledo – Escaping to an Ancient Town in the Mountains
The memoirs of Western civilization are ever-present as you explore Toledo. Church bells chime as the breakfast terrace looks onto Roman foundations. A mosque's minarets rise above slopes of red tile. Compact and curious, the mazy Jewish quarter brings further charm as you explore without a plan. Toledo is a UNESCO World Heritage City, a place of preserved architecture and gentle pleasures. You don't need a guide. The ancient streets reward a couple enjoying an escape. With dozens of quaint terraces and historic restaurants to choose from, this is a day of doing what the Spanish do best: taking it easy, sipping on coffee and wine, and watching the world go by.
Day 5 - 6
Cuenca – Stepping Back in Time and Letting Stress Melt Away
Roasted coffee beans mingle with bakery scents as you enter through the walls of Cuenca. Legs of cured jamon hang in atmospheric taverns while the ballads of Spanish guitar come live from buskers on the main square. It's footsteps on cobblestone as you slowly explore, every few meters offering something intriguing to examine. Now you're out on the edge of the Cuenca, admiring the white stone houses that hang over the cliff and peer out into a rarely visited area of Spain. One of the country's cutest towns, Cuenca resembles a postcard from the past, nothing modern to contrast the panorama. A Gothic cathedral stands as the sentinel, its spire ascending towards the azure sky. It was this cathedral that inspired a revolution of Gothic churches in Spain.
But while the influence of Cuenca spread countrywide, the town stood still, wallowing in its tradition and ambiance, preferring not to modernize. It's a serene and simple place; old men meet for wine on the terraces, couples lounge on benches, and there is no unwanted noise to break the spell. Over these two days you melt into the city, becoming part of its rhythm and winding the watch back six or seven centuries. There are few more timelessly romantic escapes to be found anywhere in Europe. As always, your hotel blends into its environment, a converted townhouse allowing for tranquil evenings gazing into the sunset.
Seville – Learning to Dance the Flamenco
If Spain is a country of passion than Seville is its throbbing heart, its city of fire that's permanently in a mood for fiesta. It takes less than three hours by first-class train to reach this capital of Andalusia. And then what better way to explore the flames than flamenco, the hot-blooded music, and dance of Andalusia. With a Spanish guitar elegantly playing in the background, you take a flamenco dance class in the historic suburb of Triana. This isn't about learning steps or memorizing moves; it's about losing yourself to the 12 beat rhythm and allowing your body to flow without inhibition. When evening comes around the swirls of arousing flamenco continues. Enjoy a table at one of the city's most famous venues, the breaks in performance filled with a lavish four-course dinner. Keep your ears peeled as the stirring tenor is known for improvised serenades to the foreign couple at the front. Note that the dance class can be combined with a Spanish guitar lesson on request.
Seville – Immersed in a City of Romance
By now you'll have fully settled into the tone of this vacation. These are destinations off the tourist trail, places for losing yourself in each other, and feeling the irrefutable pull of Mediterranean bliss. Seville's cathedral is one of swirling beauty, the stained glass bringing in javelins of light that lead to Christopher Columbus’ crypt. Inside the 13th-century Alcazar you sit and relax, watching the plates of tapas accompany every drink in the sun; some local jamon, roasted beef sprinkled with Andalusian olive oil, Manchego cheese and olives, the day rolling by in a blur of fine wine and great food.
Zahara de las Atunes – Journeys through the Villages of Andalusia
Olive plantations extend from narrow mountain roads, memorably marking the journey as you cross through Andalusia. Stop at a farm and taste straight from the vine, a little tapas brunch enjoyed on a decorous terrace facing the sea. The journey to Costa de la Luz could take less than a couple of hours. It could also take all day as you indulge in the rural farms. Next it's sherry, Spain's finest grown on these arid slopes sprayed with green. On every peak you see a glimmer of whitewashed stone, an aging farmhouse confirming the beauty of tradition. Pass through Baeza and Ubeda, the walled towns bringing further expressions of cafe culture and sumptuous tapas. As always, the driver guide adjusts the itinerary according to your interests, dipping into another wine farm or skipping out a town as you head towards the coast.
Arrive in Zahara de las Atunes and it's quiet. It's going to stay this way as this little fishing village completes the itinerary of heritage destinations. Nestled on the eastern tip of the Costa de la Luz, the village descends to a broad stretch of sand. Footsteps sink into the sand as you feel warm waves against your ankles. Walk further east from here and there's over ten miles of sand to discover, all of it awarded the prestigious blue flag for cleanliness. It's here that your driver guide leaves you, after ensuring you're settled into the beach villa, of course.
Day 10 - 11
Zahara de las Atunes – Beach Bliss in Southern Spain
Zahara de las Atunes offers an enviable location. The village is tranquil and traditional, helping to continue the ambiance of fresh local tapas and languid siestas. A few little restaurants stand along the beach, mainly attracting other escaping couples. Walk left and the beach is virtually empty, a series of coves ensuring complete privacy in coastal Andalusia. Walk right and the rest of Costa de la Luz offers barbecued seafood, cocktail bars, and a lively evening, should you wish. But you don't have to walk anywhere. Your villa overlooks the waves and its terrace is a space only shared by the two of you. Cool off in the small plunge pool, lounge beneath the villa's awning of overhanging trees, and uncork the bottles of Spanish wine you've picked up en route. The villa is fully serviced, with breakfast included and other meals delivered on request.
Andalusian Beach – Departure
A short transfer brings you to Granada Airport. It's back to the real world, unfortunately, although the atmosphere of traditional Spain lives on in the heart of all couples who explore.
- Indulge in the gastronomic brilliance of the country, enjoying VIP wine tasting, exclusive Michelin Star dining, chocolate and churros, and atmospheric evenings sampling tapa after tapa
- Lose yourself in two of Europe's finest traditional villages, the 13th century cobbled alleys of Cuenca wonderfully preserved but well off the standard tourist trail
- The romance begins in Madrid, where an indelible atmosphere quickly sweeps you off your feet and into the charms of Spain
- Luxury hotels combine everything Spain is famous for; historic charm, regal treatment, and languid hours on a private terrace with a view
- As a Spanish guitar elegantly plucks away you learn to dance the flamenco in the alluring city of Seville
- Toledo epitomizes the style of this vacation, its quaint streets perfect for intimate exploration and lazy hours on cafe terraces
- Complete the escape with three days on a quiet Andalusian beach, walking hand in hand into the sunset as whitewashed village houses cling to the cliffs above
Every corner of Spain looks like a scene for romance: the tiny cafe terrace overlooking a square of Renaissance architecture, a vintage wine estate lost amongst endless rows of vines, the beach of untouched sand that stands beneath coastal villages smelling of barbecued fish and intrigue. It's a country for getting away, not into the wilderness, but into an authentic culture that buzzes with enchantment and promises languid days indulging in both the country and your partner. This vacation has been handcrafted to head off the beaten path, taking you to destinations that have preserved the authentic feel of traditional Spain. It combines mountains, cities, tiny villages, and coastal bliss, blending the paradigms of escapism with hidden touches that elevate the romance: VIP wine tasting, exclusive restaurants, boutique hotels in 13th century buildings, each day something special to share.
Begin your tour of Spain in Madrid, an understated capital that's delectably quiet and easy to explore. Broad city squares make for benign introductions to Spain, the al fresco tables piling up with sumptuous wine, tapas, and chocolate. Step back in time as you travel to Toledo for days three and four, stopping at exclusive vineyards and royal palaces en route. Like Toledo, Cuenca stands proud on a mountain top and offers an intimate immersion in the Spain from idealized travel reverie. Pedestrianized streets run past boutiques and innumerable cafes, local life implores you to share your passion, and the evening light brings a further coating of enchantment to an ancient walled town. Throughout this vacation, most transfers are in a luxury sedan and your driver guide will be happy to give you a tour of the sights should you request. You may prefer to explore at your own pace. The exception is the high speed first-class train that takes you from Cuenca to Andalusia.
Day seven brings you to Seville, a city of eternal grace and gusto. Learn to dance flamenco style, the mythical strumming of Spanish guitar resonating across your steps. Explore World Heritage Sites and keep doing what this vacation is all about: relaxing, indulging, and flowing to the rhythm of classical Spain. Journey through the villages of Andalusia and you reach the coast on day nine, where the final three days are spent wallowing in peaceful harmony. Some Spanish beaches can be frustratingly crowded, but Zahara de Las Atunes maintains an intimate spell. Sheltered by a rolling expanse of cliffs and dunes, this coastal village cascades onto a blissful 10 mile long stretch of quiet sand. At the deserted end of the Costa de la Luz you will find an idyllic culmination to your romantic getaway.
$2,875 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
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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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