Created by : Thomas Cook
Welcome to Madrid! Upon arrival at the airport, we shall be waiting to transfer you to your hotel. 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. Next day starts about 08.30 hrs with a comprehensive tour through the center of Madrid including Paseo del Prado, Cibeles, Neptuno, the Gate of Alcala, Plaza de Colon and Plaza Mayor. Visit Retiro Park, an oasis in the city center, where we will see the lake and the Glass Palace. Admission to Las Ventas Bullring included. 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 sunset, we provide a transfer to Plaza de Oriente, opposite the Royal Palace, an elegant and bustling area with many restaurants serving different exquisite cuisines (Indian, Middle Eastern, Muslim, Spanish, International) in which to enjoy a pleasant dinner. Return to hotel.
Leaving Madrid by bus in the early morning (if the group of English-speaking travelers is small, sometimes they will 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 Despenaperros. Granada, arrival. 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. Later, enjoy an evening transfer to the Albaicín of Granada, a World Heritage site along with the Alhambra, where you can enjoy dinner in a restaurant 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 neighborhood of Sacramonte.
We leave Granada and travel towards the Costa del Sol. Malaga, arrival and time for a stroll in 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. Puerto Banus, in Marbella, a pretty high level recreational port. In the afternoon we will continue through the hills and their stories of bandoliers until we come to Ronda, a very beautiful white town with its large gorge that divides it in two. Continuation to Seville. Arrival at the end of the afternoon.
After breakfast, a local expert guides you through a scenic visit of Seville featuring the Cathedral and its famous Giralda, the banks of the Guadalquivir river, popular neighborhoods of Santa Cruz and Triana and the beautiful Plaza de Espana (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 ½ h on a high-speed train to Madrid. The train is quite comfortable and it is an enjoyable trip through Andalusian and Castilian landscapes. Possibility for the train to reach speeds of around 300 km/h (186 m/h). Arrival in Madrid and transfer to the hotel.
We depart early in the morning from Madrid. Heading towards Aragon, we pause our journey in Zaragoza. Our guide will join the group to Basilica del Pilar. Afterwards, the group will have free time to visit this impressive sanctuary and enjoy the city center. Later, we make our way to Cataluna to the Monastery of Poblet, surrounded by walls in a beautiful setting, this is one of the best preserved medieval monasteries in the world (entrance and guided tour included). We then go on to the Monastery of Montserrat where we include a ride on the rack train for the fantastic views this gives.
Today we will get to know Barcelona, an impressive city right on the Mediterranean Sea. Our visit includes 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 neighborhood dating back to the Middle Ages. We will visit the area where the Olympic Games took place. It will be possible to see and photograph La Sagrada Familia basilica; the masterpiece designed by the architect Gaudi. Subsequently, we include the entry ticket to “Poble Espanyol” (meaning “Spanish Village”).Last day After breakfast, the end of our services
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