Day 1 Your Journey Begins
Board your overnight flight to Europe (please ask about our great deals).
Day 2 Welcome to Barcelona
Airport transfers depart from Barcelona Airport for your hotel at 09:30, 12:30 & 15:00. Later, join your Tour Director for a Welcome Reception with dinner and wine.(WD)
Day 3 Exploring Catalonia’s Creative Capital.
(Relaxed Start) The lively port of Barcelona boasts an impressive old town, although it's the daring architecture of the Catalan Art Nouveau that really sets it apart. Sightseeing with a Local Expert begins in the medieval maze of the Gothic Quarter - a tangle of streets and squares just behind the old cathedral. Then drive down the gracious Passeig de Gràcia, past the wrought-iron street lamps. Continue on to Gaudi's Sagrada Família, the leviathan of the Eixample, where giant mosaic spires pierce the sky like a jewelled crown. Inside, a stone-tree canopy holds up the roof while sun pours through stained glass on to sea creature caverns. Then you are free to explore this amazing city at your own pace.(BB)
Day 4 Barcelona at Leisure
(Relaxed Start) Enjoy a full day at leisure to explore Spain's most vibrant city. Consider a stroll along the famous Las Ramblas, explore Gaudi's Güell Park or enjoy the ancient Gothic Quarter (Barri Gòtic).(BB)
Day 5 Pamplona and San Sebastián.
(Relaxed Start) Head west today to Zaragoza where the four towers of ‘El Pilar' soar over the banks of the mighty Río Ebro. Then drive on to Pamplona in the Province of Navarre, famous for the ‘Running of the Bulls' festival. Perhaps take a stroll to the famous Estafeta Street before continuing to the aristocratic seaside resort of San Sebastián. Northern Spain's Basque country has evolved into the best place to eat in the Western world, so in the evening, discover the city's rich gastronomic tradition in the heart of Lo Viejo (Old Town). Qué aproveche!(BB / HD)
Day 6 San Sebastián, Pearl of the Cantabrian Coast.
(Relaxed Start) Enjoy a day at leisure to stroll along San Sebastián's boardwalk or maybe explore the nearby French village of Saint- Jean-de-Luz, also known as Little Paris. The city harbour is filled with fishing boats and pleasure crafts, so you can enjoy a number of sporting activities on its large sandy beach. Perhaps discover the city's rich gastronomic tradition by exploring more of the Old Quarter with its famed ‘Pixtos’ (tapas) bars? Be sure to try them with the local Txakoli wine.(BB)
Day 7 Bilbao and Guggenheim.
(Relaxed Start) Few places have been able to reinvent themselves quite like Bilbao. The former gritty city has changed its industrial ways and is now a pin-up for urban redevelopment. The day's fascinating experience includes a visit to Bilbao's sensuous, rippling, Guggenheim Museum, designed by the North American architect Frank O. Gehry.(BB)
Day 8 Burgos and Madrid.
(Relaxed Start) Drive south through the Pyrenees foothills. Stop in Burgos, the land of El Cid, where you can see his burial place in the cathedral (a UNESCO World Heritage site). Continue along the Guadarrama Mountains to the plateau of New Castile and Spain's elegant capital of Madrid. In the evening why not see the city lit up it all its glory, with a drive along the grand avenues and past the spectacular fountains?(BB)
Day 9 The Elegant Spanish Capital of Madrid.
(Relaxed Start) With a Local Expert, see the Royal Palace, the monument to Cervantes in the Plaza de España, the grandiose Cibeles Fountain, Parliament and Puerta del Sol. Then enjoy a highlight visit to the palatial Prado Museum, one of the world's greatest art galleries with works by El Greco, Velázquez, Goya, as well as Italian and Dutch masters. In the evening, why not enjoy dinner to the sound of traditional 'tuna' musicians?(BB)
Day 10 The Cobbled Streets of Toledo
(Relaxed Start) Set off southwards for a visit to the city of Toledo, situated high above the River Tagus. This was Spain's capital during the golden era, where Arab, Jewish and Christian cultures flourished side-by-side in the Middle Ages. Within the city walls, a Local Expert leads you through the narrow cobbled streets to visit the Church of Santo Tomé, housing El Greco's famous painting, ‘The Burial of the Count of Orgaz'. Join a master craftsman in a Damascene workshop for a personal insight into this ancient craft handed down by the Moors centuries ago. Back in Madrid, the afternoon is free for last-minute shopping. Make the most of your final night with at your generous Celebration Dinner with regional wine, beer and soft drinks included.(BB / CD)
Day 11 Depart Madrid.
After breakfast, transfers arrive at Madrid Airport at 07:00, 09:00 & 11:00.(BB)