Day 1: Madrid
TODAY’S HIGHLIGHTS: Transfer to the hotel. Evening transport to the Gran Vía district. Welcome to Madrid! Upon arriving at the airport, we will be waiting to transfer you to your hotel. Check the information boards in the hotel reception area for details of the welcome meeting with your guide and fellow travellers. Towards the end of the day, we provide transfers to the Egyptian Debod Temple, Plaza de España and Gran Via; a vibrant district where you can dine at your preferred restaurant: Indian, Chinese, Spanish and Middle Eastern are some of the options available.
Day 2: Madrid
TODAY’S HIGHLIGHTS: Madrid city tour. Stroll through the Retiro Park. Visit to the Plaza de Toros de las Ventas bullring. Night transfer.The morning starts with a comprehensive tour through the centre of Madrid including Paseo del Prado, Cibeles, Neptuno, the Gate of Alcalá, Plaza de Colón and Plaza Mayor. We then visit to Retiro Park, an oasis in the city centre, where we will see the lake and the Glass Palace. A visit to Las Ventas Bullring (admission included) is next, this is one of the most famous bullrings in the world where we will learn about the tradition of “corridas” in the Bullfighting Museum. Enjoy the rest of the afternoon at leisure. At sunset we provide a transfer to Plaza de Oriente, opposite the Royal Palace, an elegant and bustling area with many restaurants serving different cuisines such as local Spanish food, international, and Chinese. Enjoy a pleasant dinner of your choice, then return to hotel together.
Day 3: Madrid, Granada
TODAY’S HIGLIGHTS: Lunch included. Entrance and local guide in the Alhambra. Evening transfer. We leave Madrid in the early morning (if the group of English-speaking travellers is small, they may share the trip to Granada with Spanish-speaking passengers). We travel to the south across La Mancha, stopping in PUERTO LAPICE, a ‘manchego’ village evoking the figure of Don Quixote. We will enter Andalusia via Despeñaperros, arriving in GRANADA. Lunch included. In the afternoon we will visit the immense Alhambra Palace, with entrance and local guide included, and its beautiful Generalife gardens, built in Arab times. In the evening we visit the Albaicín district of Granada, a World Heritage site along with the Alhambra, where you can enjoy dinner in the narrow winding streets of this captivating Medieval Moorish quarter. Tonight, you have the option to attend a flamenco dance show and the traditional neighbourhood of Sacromonte.Note: In the Alhambra complex, the Nazari palaces allow a limited number of people in at a time. In the highly improbable case of not being able to visit this area of the Alhambra, a visit to the Alcázares will be included in Seville (which have similar architecture and features).
Day 4: Granada, Malaga, Marbella, Ronda, Seville
In and around Seville, MarbellaTODAY’S HIGHLIGHTS: Costa del Sol and the Andalusian village of Ronda. Departing from Granada and travelling towards the Costa del Sol, we will arrive in MALAGA and explore the historic centre, with its cathedral and the Picasso Museum. After this we will continue along the coastal motorway with beautiful views of the Mediterranean. Stopping in PUERTO BANUS, Marbella, a pretty resort known as a playground for Europe’s rich and famous. In the afternoon we will continue through the hills until we reach RONDA, a very beautiful white town with its large gorge that divides it in two. Continuing to SEVILLE, arriving in the late afternoon.
Day 5: Seville, Madrid
TODAY’S HIGHLIGHTS: Guided visit with local expert in Seville. Boat along the river Guadalquivir. High Speed train from Seville to Madrid. After breakfast, a local expert guides you through a scenic visit of Seville featuring the Cathedral and its famous Giralda (bell tower), the banks of the Guadalquivir river, popular neighborhoods of Santa Cruz and Triana and the beautiful Plaza de España (note: if the group has fewer than fifteen travelers, it can be arranged in both Spanish and English). After the tour, we will include a boat trip along the river Guadalquivir, enjoying the panoramic views from the boat. In the afternoon, you will be transferred to the train station. We travel for 2- 3 h on a high-speed train to Madrid. The train is quite comfortable and it is enjoyable as we travel through wonderful landscapes. Possibility for the train to reach speeds of around 300 km/h (186 m/h). Arrival to Madrid.
Day 6: Madrid, Zaragoza (saragossa), Poblet, Montserrat, Barcelona
TODAY’S HIGHLIGHTS: Monastery of Poblet, rack train to Montserrat. In the morning we leave for Aragón over the lands of Castile. In ZARAGOZA we stop briefly to see the Pilar Basilica. We continue to the Monastery of Poblet, surrounded by its walls in a beautiful site that is one of the best-preserved medieval monasteries in the world (entrance and guided tour included) . We then proceed to the Monastery of Montserrat where you will go up the mountain on a rack train to see its fantastic scenery. Following this we will continue to BARCELONA, arriving in the late- afternoon. Note: In the winter months, from November to March, due to the shorter days, we will not visit the Monastery of Poblet in order to reach Montserrat in the daylight.
Day 7: Barcelona
TODAY’S HIGHLIGHTS: Barcelona city tour. “Spanish Village” visit and evening transfers to Las Ramblas district. Today we will explore Barcelona, an impressive city right on the Mediterranean Sea. Starting with an informative city tour with a local expert (note: If the group has fewer than fifteen people, explanations can be given by our guide.) We also visit the city’s historic central area with its Gothic neighbourhood dating back to the Middle Ages. We will visit the area where the Olympic Games took place. We will get the chance to see La Sagrada Familia Basilica; the masterpiece designed by the architect Gaudí. Following this, we include the entry ticket to visit ‘Poble Espanyol’ (meaning ‘Spanish Village’). This open-air architectural museum is situated in one of the most emblematic areas of Barcelona. Enjoy Spanish craftsmanship and discover the architectural styles, traditions and folklore of the different communities in Spain. Take some free time to explore the city on your own. In the evening we provide transfers to Las Ramblas and Plaza Catalunya area for dinner, where you can select from a great variety of restaurants. Return to hotel.
Day 8: Barcelona
After breakfast, end of our services.