Go beyond a Christmas of candy canes and sugar plum fairies, and experience the Three Wise Men parading down a Spanish street on camelback. The guardhouse at Park Guell resembles a gingerbread house topped with frosting. Crowds in a midnight square collectively eat grapes during the midnight bell chimes to bring in a sweet New Year. Christmas markets overtake open plazas framed by elegant palaces and children eagerly await holiday gifts. Your custom tailored 10-day Spain...
Madrid – A Festive Season
The Christmas lights along the Gran Via glow above the natural light of the Madrid. Vendors in the stalls of the Christmas Market at Plaza Mayor call out to passerby with cups of wine, spiced ham, and traditional polvoron, shortbread cookies with a buttery crumbly consistency and hinted with vanilla or cinnamon. Madrid brims with joyous activity in December, from the ice skating rink in Retiro Park to the Nativity Scene at the Royal Palace. The spirit of the winter season overtakes the streets, fills homes, and instills an exuberant nature in both locals and visitors. Your flight lands at Madrid-Barajas Airport.
Your private transfer meets you at the hotel and escorts you a luxurious hotel located in the heart of the city. The remainder of the day is at your leisure to wander along the streets of Madrid for an immersive winter experience at the center of Spain. El Retiro gardens contain an abundance of marble monuments and greenery. The garden was designed in the 17th century and opened to the public in the 19th century. In the summer, the Madrileos, locals of Madrid, glide across the lake on rowboats and linger on the steps of the Alfonso XII Monument. Marble lions frame the horsed figure at the top of the pillar. The aroma of hot chocolate drifts out of Chocolateria Valor. Shoppers relax at the marble tables, dipping crunchy churros into fresh cups of thick, rich melted chocolate.
Madrid – Antique Traditions with a Contemporary View
Madrid – A Crystal Clear Image of Madrid on New Year’s Eve
Madrid – A New Day, A New Year
Barcelona – A New Year’s Jewel on the Mediterranean
Barcelona - A Coastal Christmas Scene
Barcelona – A Spanish Winter Wonderland
Madrid – In the Company of the Wise
Madrid – The Day of the Three Kings
Madrid – A Final Farewell
- Witness the thrills and excitement erupting from the crowd during the Three Kings Parade in Madrid
- Wander along the storybook architecture designed by famed Spanish architect Antoni Gaudi in Barcelona
- Relish the exuberant cheers of New Years in Madrid’s Puerta del Sol Square and participate in the tradition of eating 12 grapes to each of the clock’s chimes
- Wander the expansive Christmas Market in Placa de Sant Jaume in Barcelona, which contains over 300 stalls dedicated to holiday cheer
- Delight in Christmas cuisine by tasting turron, special fruit cake, a traditional donut dusted with sugar and cherries
- Explore the rich and diverse history of Toledo on a guided tour along the medieval streets and mélange of Christian, Muslim, and Jewish cultures
- Embrace the outdoor ice skating rinks and bright Christmas lights, setting the ambiance of the holiday season in Spain
- Discover the Prado Museum during the tranquil morning of Three Kings’ Day to have the gallery virtually to yourself
The traditions of Christmas vary from city to state, country to country, and from family to family. Spain enjoys a rich heritage of Christmas celebration exemplified in exuberant lights decorating Madrid and Barcelona, along with the majestic parades, lavish dinners, and enthusiastic markets signifying the holiday season. Whether embracing Spanish culture with the family or enjoying a New Year’s getaway with a loved one, your 10-day holiday exploration of Spain provides insight into the cultural history of feasts and traditions of grape eating, along with unique discoveries of antique streets decorated with radiant Christmas lights. Relish in stunning seasonal markets, bask in the cheerful atmosphere, and indulge in remarkable dishes brought out to celebrate the most wonderful time of the year.
Your Spanish Christmas begins with your arrival at the Madrid-Barajas Airport. Your private transfer meets you at baggage claim and escorts you to the heart of Spain’s capital city. Stroll at your preferred pace for the remainder of the day as you explore the streets and parks of Madrid at your leisure. The following morning, your private guide meets you at the hotel and leads you to the city of Toledo, located above the Rio Tajo. Enjoy the medieval streets and the revered collections of Christian, Jewish, and Muslim heritage before turning to Madrid.
The next day is at your leisure to discover the pleasures of Madrid, from the vibrant markets to the lavish galleries of the Royal Palace. Relax with a multi-course dinner before venturing to the Puerta del Sol Square for a tradition similar to New York’s Time Square. When the clock strikes midnight, you eat a grape during each of the bell’s chimes. The city thrives at night, allowing you to enjoy the outdoor festivities or linger in the warmth of a historic confectionary. On New Year’s Day, you explore the lively streets of Madrid, passing through the iconic squares and visiting the Nativity scenes, narrow lanes, and old city walls before reaching the emblematic Christmas market. Then, your private transfer meets you at the hotel and escorts you to the train station for a first-class experience on the high-speed rail to Barcelona.
After settling in to your luxurious hotel near the city center, you have the remainder of the day to enjoy the remarkable difference in culture and ambiance between central Madrid and coastal Barcelona. Your guide leads you on a fantastic journey through the antique streets, squares, and hidden corners of Barcelona’s old town before traversing the remarkable Christmas ambiance of Placa de Sant Jaume. Enjoy a full day tour of Barcelona’s treasures, taking in the views of Mont Juic and the surreal architecture of Antoni Gaudi. You can also visit the vessel of the Three Kings to find a royal mailbox where children send their letters to the Three Wise Men, a Spanish variant of sending letters to Santa.
You return to Madrid the following day by high-speed rail once more. Relax in the exuberant food markets and gorgeous parks of the city before participating in the Three Wise Men Parade. Next, you can enjoy the city at its most peaceful, with families enjoying a quiet morning of Three Kings Day. Traverse the serene streets and visit the Prado Art Museum for the unique experience of having the galleries almost entirely to yourself. On the final day, your private transfer meets you at the hotel when you are ready and escorts you to Madrid’s international airport for your flight home.
$3,115 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
- Expert trip planning
- 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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