Highlights of Andalucia & Madrid Tour with Barcelona Option

A 10 day trip to Spain 
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Allow the magic of another place to touch your soul, as you immerse yourself in the splendors of Andalusia—Spain’s most vibrant culture. This is the region where Christians, Jews and Muslims lived in harmony for centuries. Soak up the history as you stroll through the ancient streets and visit breathtaking historic monuments. You’ll have the chance to see several UNESCO World Heritage Sites. Feel the enchantment of Spain as you savor the cuisine, admire the art and marvel at amazing architecture. Every day will be new and extraordinary!

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General Information

a bullfighter with a cape readys himself to face the bull
Detailed Itinerary

Places Visited 

Seville, Granada, Córdoba, Madrid, Optional extension: Barcelona

Departure Dates 

Dates are flexible and customizable for private departures.

Detailed Itinerary 

Day 1 - Arrive in Seville, Spain and Enjoy a Tapas Tour!

Your tour begins in Seville, the most quintessential city of Andalusia. After you check in to your hotel, a local guide will greet you and begin your “Tapas Tour” through the city. This famous Seville ritual is a festive experience. Enjoy the beautiful scenery as you stroll through town to sample tapas (the Spanish version of a “pub crawl”). These small plates of light appetizers are designed to accompany Spanish wines. The enticing flavors of garlic, olive oil, cheese and saffron will tempt you to try another glass of wine. Mingle with the locals as you sip wine. This traditional custom is a lively and unpretentious social gathering. One of the stops on the tour is the tapas bar that was rumored to be a favorite of King Juan Carlos. Enjoy a glass of fine wine and gourmet tapas in the regal surroundings.

Day 2 - Walking Tour of Seville, the Gem of Andalusia

Today you’ll get more acquainted with Seville during a half-day guided walking tour. Accompanied by your expert guide, you’ll see the most important sites of the city. You’ll visit the magnificent cathedral that has a monument to Christopher Columbus and a beautiful treasure decorated with pure gold. This grand place of worship was an important mosque until the 13th century and is now the largest Gothic cathedral in the world. The only Islamic architectural feature that remains from the original mosque is the beautiful 12th century bell tower. Next you’ll visit the Alcazar, the historic Moorish palace that exemplifies the beauty of Islamic design. You’ll see the lavishly decorated interior as well as the splendid Andalusian gardens that are full of beautiful courtyards, fountains and flowers. Finally you’ll wander over to the Barrio de Santa Cruz that was once the Jewish Quarter of Seville. Now this charming area is Seville's most fashionable neighborhood. If you’re interested in learning Flamenco, you can arrange to take a private dance lesson at one of Seville’s academies of Flamenco. This is sure to be an entertaining and memorable experience!

Day 3 - Travel to Granada and Visit the Alhambra

This morning after breakfast, you’ll take the train to Granada, another magnificent Andalusian city. After checking in to your hotel, you will set out for a tour of the Alhambra Palace. One of the most enduring monuments of Moorish Andalusia, the Alhambra is the most emblematic symbol of the Islamic rule in Spain. At the time, Granada was a great cultural center of the Islamic world. Located high on a hill above the city with a spectacular view onto the Sierra Nevada Mountains, the Alhambra is an expansive estate of fortified palaces and courtyards with glorious fountains and vibrant gardens. You will visit the palaces and then continue through to the lush gardens of the Generalife. The perfectly symmetrical garden landscaping inspires visitors to stop and appreciate the splendor. Depending on the time of year, you may be lucky to see beautiful roses and other flowers in full bloom.

Day 4 - Travel to Córdoba and Half-Day Walking Tour of Old Town

This morning, you’ll take the train to your next destination, Córdoba. After checking in to your hotel, take some time to refresh and relax. Later in the afternoon, you will meet your expert guide for a walking tour of the city’s most important historic sites. The tour includes a visit to the “Mezquita” (the medieval Islamic mosque) that was built in 785 and has been designated as a UNESCO World Heritage Site. The Mezquita is the greatest monument of Córdoba and still marvels visitors today with its impressive architecture. Admire the seemingly endless rows of graceful columns and delicate arches that lead you to the breathtaking grand sanctuary. A 1,000 years ago, Córdoba was the center of Western Islam. You will also visit the old Jewish Quarter, which is one of the largest medieval quarters in Europe. This historic quarter has recently undergone a renovation. Wander through the narrow winding streets and spacious courtyards that are now restored to their former glory.

Day 5 - Travel to Madrid and Half-Day Walking Tour of the Historic Center

This morning after breakfast, you’ll take the high-speed train to Spain’s capital city of Madrid. Ever since Spain joined the European Union, the city has undergone many renovations, which will allow you to truly appreciate the beauty of the elegant buildings and grand boulevards. Today after you check in to your hotel and take some time to freshen up, you will begin your private half-day walking tour. Your local guide will take you to the most important sites of the historic center. You’ll begin at the Puerta del Sol, the vibrant plaza that is the heart of Madrid. Then you’ll stroll over to the 17th century Plaza Mayor, the grand public square built during the Habsburg period. You’ll also visit the Plaza de la Villa, a small picturesque square and the location of Madrid’s city hall since 1630. Finally you’ll see the Lujanes Tower House, a 15th century palace built in the Mudejar style, located at the Plaza de la Villa—the site of the old Arab souk. You’ll have some free time later in the afternoon to take a tour of The Royal Palace, the official residence of the King of Spain.

Day 6 - Leisure Day in Madrid - Optional Cooking Class or Sightseeing

You will have today at leisure to discover Madrid. Foodies can arrange a private cooking lesson to learn the basics of Spanish cuisine. The private class is taught by a member of the Spanish Academy of Gastronomy. You will meet in a professional kitchen, where your instructor will guide you through the steps of preparing an authentic Spanish lunch. You will also learn some general facts about the Spanish diet and the history of Spanish cuisine. After your class, you will enjoy the meal accompanied by wine from Spain's renowned La Rioja region.

If you prefer to spend the day sightseeing, there are many places to choose from. You may want to visit the Centro de Arte Reina Sofia Museum, which displays the masterpieces of Miro, along with other treasures of modern art. Another wonderful collection of art is found at the Thyssen-Bornemisza Museum, one of the world's finest private art collections. You could also take a leisurely stroll to the Royal Botanical Gardens, a beautiful 20-acre garden near the Prado Museum. Or you could visit the Parque del Retiro, one of the largest parks in Madrid that was designed for Spanish Kings. The park once was the location of elegant balls, festive celebrations, theater and bull fights

Day 7 - Tour Concludes with Departure From Madrid

Your tour concludes today after breakfast. You’ll be provided a private transfer to Madrid's Barajas Airport for your return flight home.


Day 7 - Begin Tour Extension in Barcelona  (Optional Barcelona Extension)

This morning after breakfast, you will take the high-speed train to Barcelona. You will have the day at leisure to begin exploring this vibrant city. Barcelona is located on the Mediterranean Coast in the Catalonia region of Spain, famous for its culture and cuisine. It’s a place that inspires visitors. You’ll appreciate the joyous way of life. Any time of year people are out and about at the cafes, courtyards, beaches and boulevards. Admire the architecture as you wander about the city. Today you may want to visit the Museu Picasso that displays the artist's early works or the Museu Nacional d'Art de Catalunya that displays 1,000 years of art, mostly from the region of Catalonia. Or you can take a scenic tram ride up to Tibidabo Mountain, traveling through Barcelona’s most affluent neighborhood in this tranquil leafy environment.  Keep your eyes peeled for the spectacular houses hidden in the distance. The tram ride takes less than ten minutes and lets you out at Plaça Dr Andreu. From this point on a clear day, you will enjoy stunningly picturesque views of Barcelona and the Mediterranean sea.

Day 8 - Half-Day Walking Tour of Barcelona’s Highlights

Today you will discover the fascinating city of Barcelona on a private half-day walking tour. You’ll see the sites and learn about the history from you knowledgable local guide. This tour focuses on the city’s highlights: the Plaça de Catalunya, Barcelona’s large central square; the Ramblas, the elegant historic promenade; the Ciutat Vella, the Old City; and the medieval Gothic Quarter, the most atmospheric quarter of the Ciutat Vella district. Finally you’ll visit the Cathedral of the Sagrada Familia to appreciate the splendor of this avant-garde neo-Gothic masterpiece. The cathedral features two spectacular works by Antoni Gaudí, the Crypt and the Nativity facade, which have been declared UNESCO World Heritage sites.

Day 9 - Leisure Time to Explore Barcelona; Optional Architecture Tour

You can continue exploring the city at your leisure. For those interested in architecture, you have the option to sign up for a special architectural tour of Barcelona. The tour is led by a knowledgable guide who hails from a family of architects himself. As an aficionado of modernist architecture, your guide will bring to life the period that was Barcelona's most vibrant. You’ll learn about this exciting moment in history and the visionary architect Antoni Gaudí and his contemporaries.

Day 10 - Tour Concludes with Departure from Barcelona

After breakfast at your hotel, your tour concludes. You’ll be provided a private transfer to Barcelona's airport for your return flight home.


Starting Price 

This trip is customizable for your private travel.

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.