Barcelona, Granada, Marbella, Gibraltar, Seville, Cordoba, Madrid
Dates are flexible and customizable for private departure.
Spain is filled with revolutionary cuisine that stems from evolutionary flavors. The beauty of every dish comes from simple pleasures and decadent combinations. Whether trendy modernist plating or traditional tapas bars, you will taste the divine on this 10-day ultimate Spain tasting tour through Barcelona, Granada, Marbella, Seville, and Madrid. Find the rich saltiness of bellota ham and celebrate the creamy seafood in paella big enough to share. Traverse the historic quarters of famous cities...
The First Flavors
Spain is a country known for its simple and remarkable, or simply remarkable, cuisine. Arrive in Barcelona at the start of your romantic getaway to Spain and your private transfer meets you at the airport. The city is majestic, set alongside the sea and filled with brimming culture, boundless architecture, and a specific energy unlike anywhere else in the world. The traditions of the food scene have brought gastronomic adventurers from around the country and the world, to create an experience for the palate. La Rambla is a large boulevard lined with vivacious trees. The pedestrian walkway is always filled with people enjoying a nice stroll, in search of local goods, or viewing the local artists at work.
The boulevard extends to almost a full mile and is bordered by the Gothic Quarter. A large mosaic decorates the ground near the Art Deco façade of the Liceu Theatre. The atmosphere is mesmerizing and embracing. In the evening, you will have your first taste of the city and the country, able to indoctrinate yourself into the flavors of Spain. You can indulge in the style of Saüc, a restaurant known for its quality and decadent cuisine. The Michelin Starred restaurant provides an array of traditional and unique flavors, including a tasting menu of roasted fish and clams, with herbaceous fennel and vanilla.
Meeting the Locals
The city’s energy never ends. You can hear the lingering sounds of the sea drift through the air. The streets are always lively and engaging. The sunlight spreads across the landscape and brings another vibrant day to life. After breakfast, you can venture up to Manjuïc, a broad hill with a large plateau. The hilltop reaches a height of 603 feet and offers a spectacular view of the harbor below. The breeze sweeps through the sky and brings that familiar aroma of the sea. Castle Montuïc was originally a fortress constructed in the 17th century.
Funiculars journey up and down the hillside offering easy access to the castle and hilltop. The remains of the strong stone fortress now provide ambiance to Montjuïc and the cultural activities that take place on the grounds. A small garden decorates the sunken floor where the moat once stood. The arch bridge leads visitors into the grounds. In the afternoon, your guide and chef meet you to experience a private cooking class. The lesson will provide all the necessities to create traditional Catalan dishes at home. Begin your tour with a visit to the largest central market in Europe, Boqueria Market.
The scent of fresh herbs and delightful produce surrounds you. The jovial sounds of locals shopping for spices and tasting jamon are alluring. Enjoy a sample of the coveted bellota ham before you make your way to the kitchen. Your guide provides a demonstration, slicing and cooking the vegetables. You follow their lead and receive professional tips along the way. After your demonstration, you taste your creation and dine on the Catalan-style cod, a version of ratatouille that includes a touch of the crunch of pine nuts and sweetness from raisins.
A Sample of the Hillside
Enjoy the sights and sounds of Barcelona in the morning at your leisure. The Gothic Quarter maintains remnants of its fabulous Roman past. Charming iron cast street lamps line the walkways, and serene plazas offer a place to enjoy a café as you watch the morning pass. Fly to Granada and find the splendor of Moorish history decorating and adding to the culture of the city and its labyrinthine streets. The aroma of earthen streets mixes with the fragrant elm and fern trees. The fervent connection to the tapas culture offers delicate flavors and scents that drift through hidden restaurants. An olive oil tour takes you into the countryside for a taste of Andalusia. The olive oil grove provides a savory scent.
The greenery reaches to the foothills of the Sierra Nevada Mountains. The mountain peaks are covered with bright snow. Follow your guide around the working orchard to learn about the harvest and irrigation systems that bring the decadent oil to life. The traditional white homes and shops create a picture perfect image of the village and the hillside. After your tour, you can taste a variety of oils, each grown and produced differently, which allows you to compare the flavors of the region and the methods of production. The creamy texture and savory tastes go well with Serrano ham and the crumbly cheese of the golden hillsides.
The Alhambra towers over Granada like a watchman, guarding the cityscape for centuries. The palace complex dates back to the 9th century and became a stronghold of elegance and regality around the 1300s. Elm and cypress trees cover the base of the citadel. The palace rises out of the greenery. A poet once called it “a pearl set it emeralds.” Moorish details decorate the palaces. The ceiling in the main palace is domed, formed by layers of a textured stone that creates a honeycomb look. The Court of Myrtles is known for its large pools that helped cool the palace in the summer heat. The court is 140 feet long by 74 feet wide.
The pond is paved with marble and filled with gold fish. Myrtles blossom along the pond’s edges. The vibrant hues add a rainbow of life to the pearled courtyard. The towering walls of the Torre de Comares reflect in the pond’s calm water. The palace complex maintains its elegance even after 500 years of grandeur. Continue onward to Marbella, home to the Picasso Museum and a remarkably restored historic center. The old town is a continuing imprint of Spain’s past, preserving the narrow streets and open plazas. The Plaza of the Orange trees provides a comfortable and shady respite. The fountain trickles and the trees provide a zesty aroma of citrus. The white buildings reflect the sunlight.
View from the Rock
The life around Marbella is vibrant, filled with smiling faces, pristine beaches, and enticing waters. The far reaches of the Mediterranean brush up against the Atlantic Ocean at the Strait of Gibraltar. After breakfast, you will journey to the historic Rock of Gibraltar. The outcrop stands 1,396 feet high and is home to the only wild monkeys in all of Europe. The limestone looks out over the sea and offers a view of Morocco just across the straight. The Nature Reserve holds the remains of the 8th century Moorish castle and the 100-ton supergun. Barbary macaques hang around the cable car that carries visitors up and down the mountain.
The wind cools the morning light, and the aroma of the ocean is almost sweet. The view to Africa is stunning, not just because of the distance, but also the sapphire hue of the waters. The remarkable day offers you a taste of the landscape and the evening offers you a taste of luxury. Garnacha is a tiny restaurant with an enticing ambiance of a different era. Warm shades and quaint aromas create a cozy environment. Delight on dishes in full, half, or tapa-sized, including decadent fois gras with apple crumble and grated almonds.
The Sensations of the Hills
The hillsides are flush with golden grass rolling along the horizon. The arid landscape emanates an earthy aroma. You arrive at Campo Abierto, a working ranch in the Andalusian countryside. The ranch embodies the vibrant passion of Spain and the distinct culture of Andalusia. Bulls and horses are bred on the expansive landscape. The secrets of the culture are revealed when the stallions run through the plain. Cowboys herd the foals and bulls graze on the lush grass.
Continue to Seville and find a city filled with spirit and beauty. Giralda tower shapes the skyline. The 12th-century tower was beloved by the Moors and the conquering King Alfonso X, who saved the tower and converted it into a Catholic bell tower. The shadows shaped by brick trellises and arched niches create a simple elegance. From the top of the tower you come face to face with the cathedral’s impressive stone gargoyles. The sounds of flamenco drift out of hidden cafes found on streets paved with cobblestones.
The sounds and aromas of the city are alluring. With over 3,000 tapas bars in the city, you could spend years trying to taste the variety of flavor combinations and traditional dishes of the region. The tapas bars brim with people, overflowing with jovial conversation and classic pairings. Local cheeses are spread across the bar tops. Cured ham and beef are seasoned with spices. The ambiance is friendly and local, providing you a window into the traditions of the embracing city.
A Different Flavor
Seville is unique in its passionate energy and endless mesmerizing rhythms. The morning rises over the city, and the light spreads across the city’s golden buildings. The Royal Palace known as the Alcazar was completed in the 14th century. The palace complex continues as the residence of the Royal Family. It is the oldest royal palace used on the European continent. The exceptional décor of the complex connotes the exuberant history of royalty. The hall of Carlos V is decorated with vibrant tapestries and glazed ceramic tile work.
The Ambassador’s Hall contains a lavish dome constructed in the 14th century. The gilded décor is interlaced with wood and edged by portraits of Spanish kings. Your footsteps echo in the vaulted halls. A cool breeze sweeps through the open courtyards. In the evening, you can find comforting flavors at Taberna El Panduro. Locals fill the restaurant and watch the walls to find the ever-changing menu written high enough for everyone to find it. The aroma of green risotto and traditional sirloin steak provide a fabulous aroma to the room, along with decadent flavors to savor. In the illuminating evening, you can relax to the vibrant sounds of clapping hands and clacking heels. Take in a flamenco show to experience the lively release of spirit that fills the city and its locals.
The Scent of Flowers
Cordoba is a sensual heart of Andalusia, filled with splendid eateries and antique bodegas. The architecture shines against the borders of mountains and ocean. The Jewish Quarter stretches to the far reaches of the city away from the shadows cast by the great mosque. Balconies decorated with flowers line the narrow alleyways. Fountains splash upwards from the ground in the Plaza de las Tendillas. The water spouts and adds cool moisture to the air. Children run through the oscillating reaches of water. People sip on coffee and listen to the water splash.
The Mezquita was constructed in the 8th century and expanded upon for nearly 250 years, accounting for the variety of architectural styles. The surviving minaret peaks at over 157 feet tall. The main gallery holds 856 columns but originally had 1,293 to create an image of terracotta and white striped date palm forest. The atmosphere is serene for such a large space. The prayer hall was divided into 11 naves. The stellar construction and simple décor create a structure unlike anywhere else in the world. A leafy walled courtyard surrounds ablutions where the devout would wash themselves before prayer. In the late afternoon, you travel to Madrid by high-speed rail.
The Capital’s Sweet Allure
Madrid’s fast pace and historic old quarter creates a different and boundless energy. The day is yours to explore the riches of the vibrant capital, from art to royalty. Plaza Mayor was constructed between the 16ht and 17th centuries. The square measures 423 feet by 308 feet and is bordered by classical architecture. The arched colonnade now houses cafes and shops. The aroma of decadent melted sipping chocolate accompanies the cinnamon-sugar of freshly made churros. A statue of King Phillip III adorns the center of the square.
The Thyssen-Bornemisza Museum is a private collection of over 1,600 paintings. The museum has been housed in an elegant antique building next to the Prado since 1992. Remarkable European Masters such as Van Gogh and Cézanne have work displayed in the pristine halls. In the evening, you can venture to Sobrino de Botin, founded in 1725 and given the official title of the oldest restaurant in the world. The dark wooden furniture and exposed brick create a historic setting. They are known for their savory artichoke hearts with Iberian ham and their succulent roasted lamb.
The flavors of Spain have been both sweet and savory, allowing you to taste the differences of regional cuisine, each steeped in fantastic layers of history. The locals flock to the Mercado de Maravillas, located in the district of Cuatro Caminos. The market of Marvels has more than 20 stalls that display fresh fruits, fish, cheeses, olives, and meats. The walkways create a maze of color in the market that has a history over 70 years old. Spanish delicacies are on sale, from crabs to snails, and the locals savor every morsel. Your private transfer meets you at the hotel and escorts you to the airport for your flight home. You have savored the flavors of Spain and will always remember the variety of cuisine that enriched your experience.
- Experience a Flavorful Tapas Tour through the hidden tapas bars of Seville
- Delight in a private cooking class to learn traditional Catalan dishes in Barcelona
- Explore the gorgeous Alhambra palace complex
- Dine in a restaurant with over 250 years of history
- Witness the artistic and architectural integrity of Barcelona
- Visit vibrant local markets filled with the cultural delicacies
- Travel to the top of the Rock of Gibraltar
- Discover the spirit of the countryside with a visit to an Andalusian ranch
- Marvel at the artistry of the Great Mosque in Cordoba
- Delight in the enchanting rhythms of a flamenco performance
Indulge in the historic ambiance of the oldest restaurant in the world. Listen to the captivating sounds of onions sizzling, prepared by your own private chef and instructor. This ultimate Spain tasting tour through Barcelona, Granada, Marbella, Seville, and Madrid is tailored to your savory tastes and culinary desires. Find the true flavors of Andalusia and witness the rainbow colors of the Market of Marvels in Madrid. You will find new stunning perceptions every moment and relish every bite. Your time on this Spain vacation tour will fill you with unparalleled cuisine and unforgettable culture.
Barcelona is the capital of Catalonia, which brings the particular flavors of a unique culture to the forefront. The Mediterranean Sea brushes against the borders of the city. The energetic streets create relaxed but vibrant ambiance. Embark on a captivating tour of the city that takes you to the top of Montjuïc hill and through the marketplace on a private culinary tour. Visit Gaudi’s Sagrada Familia Basilica and savor the tremendous flavors unveiled to you by your instructor. The Gothic Quarter provides insight into the exemplary past, and the Boqueria is the largest market in all of Europe.
Fly to Granada and explore the wide range of olive oils, filled with inherent flavor and creamy texture. The Alhambra towers over the city’s ancient streets in a display of regal dominance and historic wonderment. Tour through the palace complex before venturing to Malaga. Explore the Picasso Museum and the medieval city’s historic center. Relax at your resort in Marbella. Spend the day visiting the Rock of Gibraltar. Take a ride in the cable car to the top and witness the exceptional panorama. Delight in a dinner at Garnacha to celebrate the evening. En route to Seville, you will arrive at Campo Abierto. The ranch offers a great chance to witness the cultivation and training of stallions and bulls against the backdrop of stunning countryside.
Continue to Seville and traverse the expansive collection of tapas bars hidden along the winding narrow streets. Discover the Gothic cathedral and the old Jewish district of Santa Cruz. Take in a fabulous flamenco show to witness the traditional dance ingrained in the city’s culture. Spend the day in Cordoba. The Mezquita is an elegant display of Andalusian history, submerged in Moorish artistry and embraced by the locals. Arrive in Madrid and wander through the city’s treasured flavors, from its museums to its markets. Your private transfer, arranged by one of Zicasso's Spain tour companies, will escort you to the airport, but Spain has made an everlasting, flavorful impression.
$2,395 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
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- 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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