From the central highlands to the sun-swept shores of Catalonia your 10-day historic Spain tour will reveal the wonders of Spanish castles. Much like the contents of its museums and galleries, Spain is a work of art; it is painted upon a canvas of rolling hills, rugged coastlines, high plateaus, and snow-capped mountains in addition to being sculpted by centuries of ruling kingdoms, complex cultures, and conflict.
Madrid – Exploring Madrid’s El Retiro Park
Meeting you at the expansive Madrid-Barajas International Airport, your private driver will whisk you effortlessly through traffic to the rich and storied interior of the city. Upon your arrival to your luxurious accommodation in the heart of the city, you will have the chance to refresh yourself before stretching your legs on the numerous boulevards, alleys, and corridors of this pedestrian-friendly district. Your destination lies to the East, where El Retiro park offers visitors an expanse of greenery, winding trails, bubbling fountains, and secret grottos. Whether romantically-inclined or hoping to enjoy the outdoors, there is something for everyone to be found here.
Madrid – A Royal Introduction to Spain
Madrid – Day Trip to Toledo’s Hilltop Castle
Seville – A Taste of Andalusian Splendor
Seville – Visit the Grand Alcazar
Seville – Tapas and Tile Making
Barcelona – Immersion into Catalonia’s Past
Barcelona – Visit Horta’s Castle and Adjacent Labyrinth
Barcelona – Tour of Northern Catalonia Castles
Barcelona – Leaving the Land of the Spanish Fortresses
- Recline in the shade and splendor of Madrid’s Retiro Park and stretch your legs along the paths and terraced gardens
- Stroll through the centuries of Spanish royal history at the Palacio Real, where the monuments, gardens, and halls provide a torrent of splendor that are reminiscent of a gilded past
- Marvel at Toledo’s formidable alcazar and survey the landscape from the security of this stronghold
- Discern the subtle changes in scenery from the comfort of your first-class train accommodation as you journey from central Madrid to the rolling hills and winding roads of Andalusia
- Wander the luscious gardens and vaulted corridors of Seville’s centrally-located alcazar, which is a 14th-century fortress that exhibits the characteristics of both Christian and Muslim architecture
- Explore the history of the Spanish Civil War through a visit to Barcelona’s Gothic neighborhood
- Immerse yourself in the past of an 18th-century palace that is complete with extensive botanical gardens and a maze of cypress trees
- Survey the redoubts of Begur and Tossa de Mar on a day trip to Northern Catalonia’s castles and the picturesque communities they protected
Spain enjoys special status in the club of continent-spanning empires. The country’s reach helped usher in a new era of commerce, communication, and history. Whether through the conjunction of the Old World with the New, the competition between potent religious orthodoxies, or the extension of a global empire, Spain has been through it all. You will encounter a side of Spain that has remained unseen by many and will return impressed with the history waiting behind each corner, which will be delivered through a tour of the country’s intact and crumbling castles.
The first leg of your tour will begin in the capital of Madrid, which is the modern seat of parliamentary power and the city from which kings and queens of old reigned over the land. Through a visit to the Palacio Real and Toledo’s alcazar, you will develop a context for Spain illustrious past. Seville’s own alcazar will then provide you with an example of the influence of Islam in Spain’s development as can be seen in the arches, terraces, and engravings that adorn much of the palace. Lastly, the exotic shores of Catalonia will offer a dramatic backdrop to this rugged region. Catalonia, like the Basque land to the Northwest, has a deep, nationalist pride that fuels a distinct identity by many who live there. As you wander the alleys of Barcelona and the fortified heights of Begur and Tossa de Mar, the country’s identity will disclose itself to you along with the special union of past and present that can be found here.
The best time to enjoy this tour is during the Spring or late fall, which is when the seasons provide an enjoyable absence of crowds through which Spain’s complex past can be discovered. Along with the numerous castles, you will encounter mouthwatering cuisine, soulful musical performances, and pristine beaches. Ten days will only be the tip of the proverbial iceberg for the robust history fan, but these ten days will provide you an impression that you truly have encountered Spain.
$3,115 per person (excluding international flights)
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