Serene Spain Tour for Seniors: Madrid & Barcelona

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Total Trip:

7 Days
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Countries Visited:

Spain
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Places Visited:

Madrid, Barcelona, Toledo, Zaragoza, Poblet, Montserrat
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Departure Dates:

Dates are flexible and customizable for private departures.
Discover the elegance of Madrid and the allure of Barcelona during your custom-tailored Spain tour for senior travelers. From strolling through the exuberant interior of La Sagrada Familia Basilica to pausing to enjoy the incredible technique of a work displayed in the Prado Museum, your senses will be engaged. You will enjoy the view over ethereal domes crowning the basilica in Zaragoza, and the colorful images of Toledo as captured by the artist El Greco as your tour of Spain immerses you in

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Day 1

Madrid – Arrive in Madrid with a Visit to the Capital’s Gran Via

The fascinating city of Madrid carries mesmerizing energy through the bustling streets filled with museums filled with masterpieces by Goya and Velázquez, as well as restaurants serving the local community for centuries fostering what many gastronomes believe to be the culinary centerpiece of Europe. The architecture captures the splendor of time with medieval mansions, royal palaces, and extravagant Baroque designs dating back to the Belle Époque showcasing how Madrid has no singular classic monument and instead glistens with a backdrop of urban wonderment.

Your flight will land at Adolfo Suárez Madrid-Barajas Airport, where your private transfer greets you upon arrival. The city will swirl around you as you settle into the comforts of your luxurious accommodations. A warm introduction to Madrid takes place on the Gran Via, the center of the city often referred to as the “Spanish Broadway,” due to the number of theaters once situated on the nearly one-mile long avenue. 20th-century architecture decorates the skyline and sidewalks with Vienna Secession, Plateresque, Neo-Mudéjar, an Art Deco styles captured in the iconic Metropolis Building. Settle in and then wander the streets a bit before an early night as you get ready for what is ahead.

What's Included:

included

Transfer

included

Accommodation

included

Breakfast

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Day 2

Madrid – Discover the Highlights of Madrid on a Private Guided Tour

In the morning, the aroma of hot chocolate and freshly fried churros drifts out of the sleepy cafes where locals enjoy a sweet, quick breakfast before work. Unlike the surrounding cities of Spain, Madrid moves swiftly like traditional capital cities while retaining the charm of traditional Spanish culture accumulated both within the greater municipality of Madrid and with Spaniards from the various different regions of the country calling the capital city home. After breakfast, you will begin your fascinating tour of Madrid’s unique beauty beginning with the Museo del Prado.

The impressive gallery contains more than 7,000 paintings and 1,000 sculptures across three floors that cover more than 312,000 square feet. The collection offers visitors the most complete assemblages of works by master artists such as El Greco, Titian, and Peter Paul Rubens. When walking through the grand halls, you will feel as though you have stepped into a palace as Charles III commissioned the structure in the 18th century during a project meant to add impressive and elaborate structures to the cityscape.

After exploring it all, the evening will be yours to enjoy as you would like, and your guide will offer you recommendations for restaurants you may enjoy.

What's Included:

included

Accommodation

included

Tour

included

Breakfast

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Day 3

Madrid – Traverse the Splendid Medieval Lanes and Gates of Toledo

The grand city of Toledo is located approximately 45 miles away from Madrid and rises out of the plains of the Castilla-La Mancha. Three cultures living in harmony created the quintessential ambiance of the preserved medieval city by blending the visual aesthetic of Muslims, Christians, and Jews within the walled historical center. The Tagus River winds along the edges of town beneath subtle signs that date the earliest settlements of the region back to the Roman Empire and the Visigoth kingdom. Quiet cobblestone streets wind between the walls and hint at a unique legacy of stunning churches, magnificent palaces, beautiful synagogues, and captivating mosques. The aroma of handmade marzipan emanates from the confectionaries. Master crafters tinker and toil with metalwork to craft antique-inspired weapons and armor.

Your guide will lead you through town to reach the soaring towers of the Cathedral, which was built in the 13th century beside the former Jewish quarter. The tightly-packed houses and structures obscure the grandeur of the façade before you enter the nave to find a remarkable collection of paintings by masters from the 13th-15th centuries. The interior contains five naves and stretches 394 feet long with 88 decorated columns glinting in the natural light pouring through the windows. The sacristy contains a gallery of works by artists like Zurbarán, Caravaggio, Titian, and El Greco. The latter’s painting, Disrobing of Christ, was completed in 1579 and depicts Jesus looking up to heaven with a serene expression removed from the surrounding chaos and violence.

What's Included:

included

Accommodation

included

Tour

included

Breakfast

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Day 4

Barcelona – Explore the Basilica del Pilar and the Monastery of Poblet

The morning light washes over the city glinting against the landmark marking Kilometer Zero located at the Puerta del Sol. The symbol indicates the starting point from which all roads in Spain are measured. Life returns to the usual bustle at breakfast as the cafes in the grand central square of Plaza Mayor open looking into the imposing and picturesque architecture of the city. Your transfer will greet you in the hotel lobby and escort you out of Madrid bound for the distinct ambiance of Barcelona. Before reaching the shores of the Mediterranean city, you will stop first at the Basilica del Pilar in Zaragoza.

You can see the edifice of the Basilica rise above the banks of the Ebro River with dramatic grandiosity. The structure was crafted between the 17th and 18th centuries with four soaring spires and 11 cupolas. True believers refer to the extravagant building as the place where the Virgin Mary appeared to St. James the Apostle in January of 40 AD. An elevator ferries visitors to the northwest tower offering a sensational view over the domes and the Basilica and the surrounding city of Zaragoza.

Continue to the Royal Abbey of Santa Maria de Poblet at the foot of the Prades Mountains. The fascinating edifice was founded by Cistercian monks after Spain the Reconquista marking one of three monasteries that helped consolidate Catalonian power in the 1100s. The preserved walls add to the luster of the tranquil setting amid the captivating Gothic design. The main cloister contains hints of herbs and spices that drift along the edges of the cultural treasures from the Royal Pantheon dating back to the 12th century. The raised alabaster sarcophagi contain the remains of famous Catalonians in history including Ferdinand I of Aragan and his wife Eleanor of Albuquerque. The fountain in the cloister carried over from the Moorish traditions in the region and was originally used for ablutions set beneath traditional archways and classic regional brickwork.

What's Included:

included

Accommodation

included

Transfer

included

Tour

included

Breakfast

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Day 5

Barcelona – Visit Las Ramblas and the Renowned Gothic Quarter

The captivating city of Barcelona contains the brilliance of human creativity and soothing allure of natural splendor set alongside the Mediterranean Sea. Bakeries fill with the scent of xuixo, a fried pastry coated with sugar and stuffed with custard and locals enjoy dipping lady fingers into cups of thick melted chocolate. The day begins late in the morning in Catalonia before the neighborhoods brim with excitement. You will begin your exploration of the classic Spanish city at Las Ramblas, the famous boulevard that stretches for a mile between Port Vell and Plaça de Catalunya.

The Miró Mosaic adds a cluster of color to the walkway in the middle of the street with a single tile signed by the artist and hidden within the work. The street originally stood outside the medieval walls until the 14th century and now often acts as the center of life within Barcelona for visitors and locals. The Boqueria Market glows with fresh produce, delicious sandwiches, and dangling jamón connoting the prestige of the marketplace as a landmark of culinary mastery in the city first mentioned as a vibrant, busy market in the 13th century.

The Gothic Quarter captures the Old-World ambiance of vintage Barcelona emanating from cobblestone streets and imposing Gothic architecture. The magnificent facades have withstood the tests of time lining alleyways that lead to peaceful fountains and tranquil hidden courtyards. The sounds of Spanish guitar echo in the little square and pleasant cafes serve locals strong cups of delicious coffee. You can settle into a chair and watch the world go by, the time yours to enjoy as you would like.

What's Included:

included

Accommodation

included

Tour

included

Breakfast

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Day 6

Barcelona – Bask in Fantastical Architecture with an Antoni Gaudi Tour

The works of Antoni Gaudi have become ubiquitous in Barcelona and act as the renowned landmarks for which the city is known. After breakfast, your guide will lead you on a tour dedicated to the incredible architecture of the surrealist visionary that adds of distinct style and dreamlike beauty to the city. The magnificence of La Sagrada Familia crowns any visit to Barcelona with 18 towers, the tallest of which is meant to reach 558 feet tall when complete. Gaudi designed the structure in 1883 with construction making slow progress on the basilica long dividing citizens of Barcelona. The unique and grand design runs 300 feet long and 200 feet wide with each portal referring to a different biblical narrative.

The Nativity Façade is dedicated to the birth of Jesus and decorated with symbols along the columns and porticos. Your guide points to the turtle and tortoise acting as the base of the columns, as well as the allusion to the theological virtue of Hope, Faith, and Charity by dividing the porticos into three parts. Entering the interior makes you feel as though you’ve stepped into a well-lit cave made of precious gems. The ceiling floats above you 148 feet tall. With vaults causing the columns to resemble stalactites. The sunlight filters through the stained-glass windows that pour ample light and sensational color over the floor and columns. The formidable design of the pillars changes along the surfaces forming new and exciting geometric forms at every angle.

What's Included:

included

Accommodation

included

Tour

included

Breakfast

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Day 7

Barcelona – Depart for Home

The splendor of Barcelona highlights the passage of time where you could trace the evolution of aesthetic and the height of power in Catalonia by wandering between the Gothic Quarter and whimsical designs of Antoni Gaudi. Works of Pablo Picasso fill small museums, and the famous Spanish sunlight casts a long, shimmering light across the deep blue colors of the Mediterranean Sea. After a last leisurely morning to enjoy it, your transfer will greet you in the hotel lobby ready to escort you to El Prat Airport for your flight home.

What's Included:

included

Transfer

included

Breakfast

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Trip Highlights

  • Discover the bright and captivating styles of Spanish masters and Western European artists alike on display inside the splendid Prado Museum
  • Explore the brilliant aesthetics and whimsical designs of architect Antonin Gaudi, exemplified in the renowned Sagrada Familia Basilica
  • Relish the welcoming and enthusiastic ambiance of Las Ramblas in Barcelona as it feeds into the aisles of La Boqueria Market
  • Traverse the medieval cobbled lanes and take in the culture of preserved Toledo where Muslims, Christians, and Jews lived harmoniously for centuries
  • Experience the grandeur of the Basilica di Nostra Signora del Pilar in Zaragoza with a view of gorgeous mini-cupolas decorated with lavish tile
  • Wander along the famous Gran Via in Madrid, where the elaborate architectural designs symbolize the city’s status as the contemporary capital
  • Step back into classic Barcelona when visiting the stunning 14th-century architecture and iconic artwork of the celebrated Gothic Quarter
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Detailed Description

Madrid and Barcelona are the highlights of the Iberian Peninsula during your 7-day senior’s tour of Spain that will encompass the grandeur of the capital, the natural splendor of the Mediterranean, and the combined adulation achieved through art, architecture, and cuisine that define the broader Spanish culture. Indulge in the fascinating culture of Spain that rises from Roman ruins and medieval walls, Renaissance artists and contemporary city designs. Antique monasteries tell remarkable histories, and lively cafés offer a glimpse into the past as you travel from Madrid to Barcelona unveiling the true treasures along the way.

Three nights spent in Madrid offer plenty of time to get acquainted with Spain’s capital city. The marvels range from the contemporary skyscrapers of along the Gran Via to the tranquil lake where couples abscond in Buen Retiro Park. The Royal Palace exudes exuberance, and the Prado Museum embodies the evolution of Western European art. The majesty of Madrid derives from visitors enjoying a stroll through the Puerta del Sol and Plaza Mayor as much as spending time inside the Contemporary Art Museum in search of works by Picasso and Salvador Dali. Outside of Madrid stands the city of Toledo, where for centuries Muslims, Jews, and Christians lived as neighbors shaping the architecture, cuisine, and culture of the city over a half-millennium later.

Before spending three nights in Barcelona, you can spend time exploring the city of Zaragoza to view the exceptional Pilar Basilica, as well as visiting the largest Cistercian abbey in Catalonia, the 12th-century Monastery of Poblet. Barcelona is a city of wonder that beckons to visitors from around the world with promises of lively nightlife, excellent culinary traditions, and incredible history exemplified within the architecture connoting the ages. Las Ramblas acts as a meeting point for locals, a display of gastronomic integrity, and an outdoor art gallery while the Gothic Quarter embodies Barcelona’s past. The various Antonin Gaudi structures define an era of change and a new aesthetic alongside the captivating Mediterranean Sea, contemporary artworks, the likes of Pablo Picasso, and the slopes of famous Montjuïc. Read some Zicasso travelers’ Spain travel reviews to gain further inspiration for your own trip.

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Starting Price

$1675 per person (excluding international flights)

This trip is customizable for your private travel.
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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.

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