I surprised my wife with a trip to Spain for our 30th anniversary. Our travel specialist did a great job helping me plan a fabulous 10 day journey. The key to success was the time he and I spent at the beginning discussing hobbies, family history, likes, and wild ideas; he made the effort to get to know me and my wife personally. The end result was a vacation that included excursions to her ancestral home, a cooking class, a day on a sail boat, and a visit to a Star Wars set. From the hotel managers, to the restaurant staff, to the drivers, to the tour guides, everyone was expert, personable, gracious, and fun. They all knew our agent; he clearly took good care of them. Every aspect of the package was first rate, and we stayed within the budget we set at the beginning. We are used to traveling in Europe, but his attention to detail and the clear to follow instructions, maps, etc. would allow the novice to explore without fear.
In chronological order:
1) Gaudi in Barcelona
2) Flamenco show in Madrid
3) Watching jewelers make Damascene jewelry in Toledo
4) Visiting Naboo
5) After travelling by train through Spain at the beginning, our travel specialist arranged for us to use a rental car to from Sevilla to Nerja. Along the way we made a leisurely detour to visit Gibraltar - it was amazing! We then wandered to Ronda - another fantastic site. The whole experience of driving, taking in the countryside, finding places to eat and get gas, and exploring spur of the moment stops made us feel like we had truly immersed ourselves in Spain.
6) Piloting a 32' sailboat along the coast on our last full day in Spain.
1) Try to pick a cooler time of year. Even for Texans, Spain was hot in July.
2) Add two more days with nothing planned so we could explore on our own and/or just sit in a plaza.
3) Spend more time inside the Prado.
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