Your Travel Package Includes
Inside visits and special features:
Shown in UPPERCASE in the tour description including admission charges where applicable.
Visits to Royal Palace in Aranjuez, Cuenca, Valencia, Peniscola Castle, Saragossa, Pamplona, San Sebastian, Bilbao, Segovia, Avila, Salamanca, Caceres, Seville, Ronda, Montilla wine tasting, Cordoba
Local Guides for city sightseeing in Barcelona, Granada- Alhambra complex, Madrid; professional Tour Director while touring
Touring by private, first-class, air-conditioned motorcoach
Listed below or equivalent. Rooms with private bath or shower, hotel taxes, porterage, tips and service charges MADRID Praga (5T), VALENCIA NH Las Artes (F), BARCElONA Porta Fira (F), PAMPLONA
Maisonnave (5T), BURGOS Corona de Castilla (5T), SALAMANCA Catalonia Plaza Mayor (F), SEVILLE Don Paco (5T), GRANADA Don Juan (5T), CORDOBA 5elu (5T)
Buffet breakfasts (B) daily; 7 dinners (D), including a dinner a: a local restaurant in Valencia
Day 1, Sat. ARRIVES IN MADRID, SPAIN.
Check into your hotel. The rest of the day is free to start exploring lively Madrid. Tonight, meet your Tour Director and fellow travelers. (D)
Day 2, Sun. MADRID-ARANJUEZ-CUENCAVALENCIA.
Start the day by driving to nearby Aranjuez in the Castilian Plain, where you stop to visit the ROYAL PALACE, originally built in the 14th century. Although burned down both in 1727 and 1728, it was splendidly rebuilt and became a favorite residence of Spanish royalty. Continue traveling southeast to the magnificently located old town of Cuenca, which stands high 102 above the precipices of the Jucar and Huecar Rivers. It is famous for its “hanging houses” that are suspended over the Huecar ravine. Journey on to Valencia and tonight, enjoy a typical dinner at a local restaurant. (B,D)
Day 3, Mon. VALENCIA.
Valencia is known mainly for its wonderful climate and the quality of its light. Enjoy a drive along wide avenues lined with fig and palm trees and along the old quarter’s narrow streets with its fine gothic houses and typical patios. Time to do some shopping or more personal Sightseeing and, of course, the option of joining an excursion. (B)
Day 4, Tue. VALENCIA-PENISCOLABARCELONA.
An interesting day starts with a drive north to the nearby Castellon for a visit of its PENISCOLA CASTLE, built by the Knights Templar in the 14th century. The promontory on which the castle and town are located is a fine reminder of medieval times. Continue your journey through orange groves and seaside resorts past Tarragona to Catalonia’s lively and beautiful capital, Barcelona. (B)
Day 5, Wed. BARCElONA.
This morning’s sightseeing with a Local Guide will include a drive around Montjufc to see the Olympic5 adium and a great panoramic view of the port and city. The drive continues to the city center o Plaza Catalunya and Paseo de Gracia to admire the greatness and eccentricity of Gaudi’s architectural masterpieces. (B,D)
Day 6, Thu. BARCELONA-SARAGOSSAPAMPLONA.
See more of Catalonia as you arive northwest to Saragossa on the banks of – e Ebro River. During your stop you’ll have ; me to see the SANCTUARY OF OUR LADY OF THE PILLAR. Continue north through fertile alleys and the Rioja wine-growing region to asque Country and on to the capital of the ancient Kingdom of Navarra, Pamplona, for an overnight stay. (B)
Day 7, Fri. PAMPLONA-SAN SEBASTIANBILBAO-BURGOS.
Start the morning by driving farther into Basque Country for a visit -0 San Sebastian (called Donostia in Basque), the seaside resort on the southern coast of the 3ay of Biscay. Journey northwest to the port town of Bilbao. Free time for leisure activities-naybe an independent visit to the Guggenheim ‘v1useum. The building, by Frank Gehry, is considered one of the 20th century’s great architectural masterpieces. In the afternoon, travel south to Burgos. (B,D)
Day 8, Sat. BURGOS-SEGOVIA-AVILASALAMANCA.
Today, head southwest into Castile. Enjoy some grand scenery as you travel o the edge of the Sierra de Guadarrama, agreen oasis in the Castilian desert. Stop in Segovia, magnificently perched on a rock formation at an altitude of 3,280 feet. The cathedral, the Alcazar, and the Roman aqueduct are some of its more famous sights. Next, drive west to Avila for a short visit before continuing o Salamanca in time to enjoy the extraordinary beauty of its Plaza Mayor. (B)
Day 9, Sun. SALAMANCA-CACERES-SEVILLE.
Leave early this morning and cross the mighty Tagus River and the Guadarrama. Stop in Caceres, declared a World Heritage Site by UNESCO for its blend of Roman, Islamic, northern gothic, and Italian Renaissance styles. Enjoy moreSpanish landscapes before reaching Seville, one of Spain’s most colorful cities. (B)
Day 10, Mon. SEVILLE.
A full day at leisure. Perhaps you’d like to spend this morning enjoying an optional sightseeing tour including the main highlights of the vibrant city. (B,D)
Day 11, Tue. SEVILLE-RONDA-GRANADA.
A day to see the best of Andalusia. Head south by way of the typical white-painted villages to the town of Ronda, famous for the ravine that literally cuts it in two and, of course, its bullfighting connections. Overnight in Granada in the shadow of the mighty Sierra Nevada. (B,D)
Day 12, Wed. GRANADA-MONTILLACORDOBA.
Granada was the Arabs’ most treasured city; they still mourn its loss in their prayers. Visit the ALHAMBRA COMPLEX, built by Moorish kings. More grand scenery this afternoon as you travel first to Montilla for a visit to a local WINE CELLARfor a tasting. Then, continue to Cordoba on the banks of the Guadalquivir River. (B,D)
Day 13, Thu. CORDOBA-MADRID.
Cordoba is perhaps Spain’s most Moorish city with its great mosque, the MEZQUITA, one of Islam’s most important pieces of architecture outside the Arab world. You’ll also enjoy the small, white-washed houses, the winding streets, and the colorful squares. Later, journey into the very heart of La Mancha, famed for its castles and windmills. Reach Madrid in time to enjoy a relaxed evening. (B)
Day 14, Fri. MADRID.
This morning, the optional trip to Toledo is most rewarding. The splendid setting of this old walled city above the Tagus was made famous in EI Greco’s painting, and even now it’s like a great open-air museum of Spanish history and art. Later, join the included Madrid city sightseeing. Not only because it’s the capital of Spain but also because it is situated 2,180 feet above sea level, the Spaniards say it’s the nearest thing to Heaven. (B)
Day 15, Sat. MADRID.
Your holiday ends with breakfast this morning. (B)