Holiday in Spain - 13 days
Madrid – Cordoba – Seville – Granada – Valencia – Barcelona
Day 1 : Madrid
Welcome to the vibrant Capital city! You will be met by our representative upon arrival and escorted to your hotel. Rest of the day is free to explore the many shopping areas on your own: The streets of Almirante and Conde de Xiquena or the large department stores in the vicinity of Puerta del Sol and Salamanca district.
This evening, head for some exciting nightlife at one of the many streets of Paseo de la Castellana or Paseo del Prado which have some of the best restaurants, cafes and popular night spots. Overnight.
Day 2 : Madrid – Half Day Tour & Prado Museum – Tapas Tour
After buffet breakfast enjoy a tour of Madrid, a city of great cultural and political importance. The tour includes views from the coach of Plaza de Espana, Royal Palace, Plaza de Oriente, Plaza de la Cibeles, Puerta de Alcala and Gran Via. The highlight is a visit to Prado Museum, the best collection in the world of Spanish paintings. You will see the masterpieces by El Greco, Velazquez and Goya as well as the gold century great artists including Ribera, Zurbaran and Murillo and the Italian painting by Tiziano.
In the evening sample Spanish nightlife and Madrid's tasty tapas on an evening walking tour that will tantalize your taste buds! Led by an entertaining foodie guide, this walking tour is the best introduction to the laid back Madrileno lifestyle. You'll visit Madrid's tucked-away corners and feast on tasty treats you would never discover on your own, leaving you with a lasting feeling for Madrid and its people, and an appetite for its fabulous food and drink! Overnight.
Day 3 : Madrid – Optional Full Day Toledo – Madrid
After breakfast go on a full day tour of Toledo, the capital of medieval Spain until 1560. The tour highlights the magnificent Gothic Cathedral and the 13th century synagogue, a testament to Toledo's Jewish heritage. Also stop at the Church of Santo Tome to view El Greco's masterpiece painting "The Burial of Count Orgaz". Return to Madrid. Overnight.
Day 4: Madrid – Cordoba
After breakfast, check out and transfer to the station to depart for Cordoba. In 1994 UNESCO declared the city's old part to be a world heritage site and this is why Cordoba is one of Spain's most visited tourist destinations. On arrival, you will be met and transferred to your hotel. You are free to spend the rest of the evening exploring the alleys, lanes & gardens. Overnight.
Day 5 : Cordoba - Half Day City Tour - Seville
After breakfast, check out of your hotel, leave your luggage at the hotel. (It will be sent to the train station in the afternoon) and proceed with a local guide on a walking tour of Cordoba, one of the most interesting cities in Andalusia. It is best seen on foot.
Take a stroll through the historic quarter of Cordoba. Your first stop will be the Mosque. The medina at one point in history had a thousand mosques. Dominating the landscape was the Great Mosque. Its fame spread due to its ingenious construction and its wealth. The "forest of columns" (there are nearly a thousand of them), set on top of the Visigoth basilica, is one of its main attractions.
Visit the Jewish quarter, made up of a network of narrow streets with whitewashed façades, adorned with tiles and grilles. The Plazuela de las Flores, the house of the Dukes of Medina Sidonia, and the Synagogue, the only one that still stands in the city are here.
Transfer to the train station for a 2 hour train journey through Andalusia to Seville – the capital of the region. Upon arrival, you will be met and escorted to your hotel. Overnight.
Day 6: Seville - Full Day City Tour
After breakfast, explore this city built on the banks of the Guadalquivir River. Start with your local guide at around 0900 hrs. Walk along the best-known streets, past numerous churches, Renaissance palaces and Baroque buildings. Stop at the Seville Cathedral, one of the world's most beautiful Gothic structures and the third largest church in the world. The remains of Christopher Columbus lie in the Cathedral.
Next, visit the Giralda, the former minaret of the 16th century Arab mosque,, and the Santa Cruz area, the former Jewish Quarter, a network of little streets and bars where you can stop for tapas. Pass by the Reales Alcázares (Royal Fortresses), Archive of the Indies, a World Heritage Site and the Casa de Pilatos, a palace that fuses Gothic and Mudejar elements with Italian Renaissance style.
See the baroque façade of the Royal Tobacco Factory, now the University, San Telmo Palace and arrive at the Guadalquivir river, to see the 13th century Torre del Oro, of Arab origin, which was part of the ancient walls. Next, Plaza de España, dominated by 2 towers between which runs a network of galleries.
In the evening, enjoy "tapas" the typical Spanish dishes with a glass of Sherry wine in one of the thousands of bars in the city. Overnight.
Day 7 : Seville - Granada - Alhambra Tour
After breakfast, check out of your hotel and take a last walk close to the Guadalquivir River as farewell. At mid morning you'll be transferred to the train station to leave for Granada the last great capital of the Moors. Arrive and transfer to your hotel.
In the afternoon, visit the unique Arab medieval citadel of Alhambra which is the most visited tourist attraction in Spain and a UNESCO World Heritage Site. Visit the gardens and courtyards, like the Partal or the Generalife, the fortress, the palaces of the Sultans, the famous Palace of the Lions and the Palace of the Throne. Feel the atmosphere of Moorish culture with the perfumes of the flowers and the murmuring of the falling water. Overnight.
Day 8 : Granada - Valencia
After breakfast check out and transfer to the airport for your flight to Valencia. Arrive and transfer to your hotel. Rest of the day at leisure. In the evening you can shop for some exquisite world famous "Lladro" porcelain figurines, handmade glassware, ceramics, handicrafts and jewellery along with the latest fashions. Overnight.
Day 9 : Valencia – City Tour
After breakfast, visit the city with a specialist guide. Valencia is a treasure trove of Roman and Arabic architecture surrounded by citrus groves. View the highlights of this historical city, such as the ornate 14th century Serranos Tower and imposing 15th century Quart Tower. Also visit the bustling central market. Next, visit the Gothic Cathedral (1262) on the site of an ancient mosque. See the Valencia Institute of Modern Art housing permanent collections and temporary exhibitions. Stop at the Lonja, the old Silk Exchange, recognized by UNESCO as one of the most beautiful buildings of European civil Gothic architecture.
Evening free to visit one of the many beautiful beaches like Levante / Malvarrosa, beach in the north with excellent water sports facilities. Or learn how to make the traditional Valencia Paella (Spanish dish) at the Valencia Central Market or at any of the restaurants, by requesting the chef to give you a demonstration. And then you can follow it up with a delicious Paella dinner! Valencia is known for its vibrant nightlife which begins only after midnight and the music plays until dawn. A lot of clubs are situated in "Calle Juan Llorens" area. Overnight.
Day 10 : Valencia – Barcelona
After breakfast check out and transfer to the station for your train to modern Barcelona. (approx 3 hrs 15 minutes)Arrive and transfer to your hotel. Rest of the day free. Overnight.
Day 11 : Barcelona – Half Day City Tour
After breakfast, proceed on a tour of Catalonia's capital and one of the most vibrant and lively cities in Spain. The tour starts with "Las Ramblas" which is a tree lined pedestrian boulevard with many shops. See the bird market, 19th century Opera House and the Columbus Monument. Then visit the Barri Gotic, a concentration of medieval Gothic buildings with a maze of interconnecting streets linking with squares with plenty of cafes.
Visit the Museu Picasso, Barcelona's most visited museum, housing works that trace the artist's early years. Then visit the "La Sagrada Familia" cathedral, Gaudi's unfinished masterpiece, still under construction. Also visit the La Pedrera another Gaudi masterpiece, a quarry with an uneven grey stone façade that ripples around a street corner with wrought – iron balconies. There is also a museum dedicated to Gaudi's work.
Evening is free for some shopping as this city of style. Shop at some of the best designer labels outlets at Las Ramblas and Placa de Catalunya. Enjoy some of the best nightlife the city offers like outdoor cafes, restaurants and discotheques. Overnight.
Day 12 : Barcelona – Montserrat – Barcelona
After breakfast, drive past picturesque little villages to Montserrat Mountain (1,235 metres/ 4,320 feet). Visit the Royal Basilica, where the famous 12th century Romanesque sculpture of Virgin Moreneta stands. Hear the Children's Choir "La Escolania de Montserrat" one of the oldest in Europe. (Daily,except Saturdays and special days). An image of the Virgin de Montserrat is believed to have appeared in a cave in the mountain. Situated 20 kms northwest of Barcelona, the monastery was founded by Abbott Oliba in 1025. In the 13th century the first European School for child singers was created.
Enjoy a short stop at Barcelona's harbor will be made if you would like to visit the Aquarium or the shops, restaurants and bars here on your own. You will be dropped at the harbor and you can make your own way back to the hotel. Overnight
Day 13 : Barcelona
After breakfast transfer to the airport.