Inside visits and special features are shown in UPPERCASE in the tour description.
ARRIVE IN MADRID, SPAIN. Check into your hotel. Tonight, meet your Tour Director and fellow travelers.
MADRID–SEGOVIA–RIBERA DEL DUERO–BURGOS. The first visit of the day is Segovia, listed by UNESCO as a World Heritage Site for its soaring, Roman-era aqueduct and breathtaking fairytale fortress. Traveling through Castille and Leon, we reach the Ribera del Duero area, which follows the course of the Douro River and is noted for producing some of Spain’s best wines. Get a taste at a WINE CELLAR then on to Burgos with its landmark cathedral.
BURGOS–BILBAO–SAN SEBASTIAN–PAMPLONA. The day is dedicated to discovering the Basque Countries as we visit the city of Bilbao with its contemporary architecture, and San Sebastian, with its beautful sandy beach. On to Pamplona, famous for the running of the bulls.
PAMPLONA–SARAGOSSA–BARCELONA. Vistas of the Rioja wine-growing region greet you this morning as you travel towards Saragossa on the banks of the Ebro River. Here, visit the baroque SANCTUARY OF OUR LADY OF THE PILLAR before arriving in Barcelona, Catalonia’s lively capital.
BARCELONA. This morning’s sightseeing with a Local Guide includes a drive around Montjuïc to see the Olympic Stadium and to marvel at the incredible panoramic views of the port and city. On to the city center to Plaza Catalunya and Paseo de Gracia to admire the greatness and eccentricity of Gaudi’s architectural masterpieces.
BARCELONA–VALENCIA. Travel along the Costa Dorada today and on to the Costa del Azahar (Orange Blossom Coast) to arrive in Valencia, birthplace of paella! Combining striking modern architecture with art nouveau style buildings and the Old town, Valencia is one of the most innovative Spanish cities boasting a very high quality of life.
VALENCIA–GRANADA. Spectacular scenery unfolds as you travel inland towards Granada, beautifully situated at the foot of the mighty Sierra Nevada and at the confluence of four rivers. Granada is a compelling city where Moorish influence, old style tapas bars, and historical sites coexist with a young population of university students, graffiti, and exotic tea houses in the Albazyn quarter.
GRANADA. Today, your Local Guide will bring to life the world-famous ALHAMBRA COMPLEX*, which Moorish poets described as a “pearl set in emeralds.” Built by Moorish kings in 889 AD, this magnificent hilltop palace-fortress features lavish gardens, and is the epitome of architectural beauty.
GRANADA–CORDOBA–SEVILLE. Visit Cordoba, known for the white-washed houses of the Jewish quarter, but also for its magnificent 8th-century GREAT MOSQUE, in which a Cathedral was built following the Reconquista. Admire its splendid giant arches, domed shrine of Byzantine mosaics and forest of 856 jasper, onyx, marble, and granite pillars. Continue your journey through picturesque Andalusia, on to vibrant, festive Seville! Tonight, a chance to join an exciting optional Flamenco show to immerse yourself in the local culture.
SEVILLE. An included city tour reveals the best of this colorful Andalusian capital today: the majestic cathedral; beautiful La Giralda minaret tower, a symbol of Seville; the Real Alcázar palace with its extravagant Moorish architecture and opulent gardens; and the landmark Plaza de España, built for the Ibero-American Expo in 1929. The rest of the day is at leisure.
SEVILLE–CÁCERES–SALAMANCA. Stop in medieval, walled Cáceres, declared a UNESCO World Heritage Site for its blend of Roman, Islamic, Northern Gothic, and Italian Renaissance styles. Later, cross the Tagus River and the Guadarrama mountains to arrive in Salamanca. Here you will experience the ambiance and incredible Spanish Baroque beauty of Plaza Mayor, heart of the city and one of the most extraordinary public squares in the country.
SALAMANCA–ÁVILA–MADRID. On to Ávila, another UNESCO World Heritage Site, with its imposing city walls, monumental gates, 88 watchtowers, and 2,500-plus turrets. This city is the essence of Castilla and the epitome of old Spain. Upon arrival in Madrid, enjoy a guided tour of the city, discovering its royal elegance and its vibrancy. You’ll enjoy the abundance of museums and cultural livelihood.
MADRID. Spend the day at leisure to explore the city at your own pace or to join one of our optional excursions or activities.
MADRID. Your vacation ends with breakfast this morning.