Spain on the Brain
Oh Spain… how you dazzle us with architectural feats and artistic treats, enrich us with historic treasures and nourish us with sangria and tapas! From charismatic cities full of boisterous bars and hip galleries, to sleepy villages dotted with run-down farmhouses and olive groves, Spain never fails to open up travellers’ eyes, minds and hearts.
Day 1-2 - MadridHola! Welcome to Spain.Your adventure begins with a Welcome Meeting at 6 pm on Day 1. You can arrive at any time during the day as there are no activities planned until this important meeting. Please check with the hotel reception or the hotels noticeboard for confirmation of where and when this meeting will take place. If you can't arrange a flight that will have you arrive at the hotel by early evening, you may wish to arrive a day early, so you're able to attend. We'll be happy to book additional accommodation for you (subject to availability). If you're going to be late, please contact the hotel reception. We'll be collecting your insurance details and next of kin information at this meeting, so please ensure you have all these details to provide to your trip leader.With incredible restaurants, art galleries, shopping and nightlife on offer, Madrid is a truly world-class city that exudes confidence and style through every pore.While away hours on the Paseo del Arte, or Art Walk, for a panoramic perspective of Western art history. Start with the Museo del Prado, one of the world's finest collections of European art from the 12th-19th centuries and an unmissable stop on any art tour. Discover modern Spanish masters, including Picasso and Dali, in the Museo Reina Sofia's 20th century collection. Finish with the Museo Thyssen-Bornemisza, which spans eight centuries of European painting.As there's limited time for sightseeing in Madrid we recommend you make arrangements to arrive a few days early to see the highlights of the city and surrounds.
Day 3 - Cuenca
Travel by train for one hour to Cuenca.
On arrival, we take an orientation walk around historic Cuenca. A UNESCO World Heritage site, the old part is an outstanding medieval city built on steep mountain sides, with many hanging houses that are literally on the cliff edge. Like many towns in Spain, it was occupied for a period of time by the Muslim Moors who built the original fortress. Afterwards, you have free time to make your own discoveries amongst the nooks and crannies. Cuenca Cathedral, officially known as the Cathedral of Our Lady of Grace and Saint Julian, is an impressive Gothic structure dating from the 12th century. Its façade collapsed in 1902 and had to be rebuilt. You may also wish to visit the Museum of Spanish Abstract Art or the Cuenca Museum, which specialises in archaeology.
Day 4-5 - Valencia
We take another train journey, this time to Valencia (4 hrs).
Long the Spanish gateway to the Mediterranean, Valencia has the special charm of a sea port city. Busy markets, beautiful beaches, spectacular mountains and a fascinating mix of old and new await us.
Visit the cathedral, which houses what is claimed to be the Holy Grail - the chalice Jesus drank from at the Last Supper.
For something a little more quirky, visit the Museum of the Fallas, which contains a history of the Valencia Fire Festival in the form of giant papier mache figures that over the years have been spared from the burning.
There are many fine parks and gardens, or you may want to head to the beach of Playa de la Malvarrosa to soak up some sun. To try the paella that Valencia is famous for, do as the locals do and head to the restaurant area of Las Arenas for a hearty and reasonably priced lunch.
Day 6-8 - BarcelonaTravel by train to Barcelona (3.5 hrs)Barcelona's quirky character and fabulous Catalan cuisine mixes seamlessly with a ground-breaking art scene, Gothic architecture, superb dining and a non-stop nightlife, making it a city you won't soon forget.You have time to make your own discoveries. Visit the labyrinthine streets of the old Gothic Quarter, the Picasso Museum, wander the Rambla - the tree-lined pedestrian boulevard, or take the funicular to the top of Montjuic or Tibidabo for panoramic views of Barcelona and the harbour. Gaudi's bizarre La Sagrada Familia Cathedral is possibly the most iconic landmark in this city rich with famous sights.On the final day, you are able to depart at any time.
What to Know
Tour leader, accommodation, transport and sightseeing where specified.
- International flights, airport transfers, departure taxes, visas, insurance (compulsory on all trips), meals, any optional tours or activities during free time, camera fees, excess baggage charges, tips and items of a personal nature.
Trip Dates and Prices
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Past Travellers' Ratings & Comments