Day 1 BARCELONA, SPAIN.
Bienvenido—welcome! Time to relax or to begin exploring Spain’s second-largest city, and the capital of Catalonia. Your Local Host is on hand to help you maximize your time.
Day 2 BARCELONA
. Morning guided sightseeing, starting from Plaza Catalunya, includes a drive along elegant Passeig de Gràcia to see the captivating façade of La Pedrera, and to visit Gaudi’s CASA BATLLÓ. Passing through the central Eixample district, reach the extraordinary but still unfinished SAGRADA FAMILIA BASILICA. Your included entrance fees contribute to its completion.
Day 3 BARCELONA
. A full day to enjoy this splendid city at your own pace. Spend time at the Olympic Port with its modern sculptures, restaurants, and bars; or visit the Camp Nou football (soccer) stadium. Your Local Host can help you organize your day.
Day 4 BARCELONA–MADRID.
Transfer to Atocha Station with its beautiful interior garden, and catch the HIGH-SPEED AVE TRAIN (first class) to Madrid.
Day 5 MADRID.
Morning guided sightseeing features a visit to the palatial PRADO MUSEUM to admire one of the world’s finest collections of European art. Also see Plaza de España, Parliament, Cibeles Fountain, Orient Square with the ornate Royal Palace, Parque del Buen Retiro (Park of the Pleasant Retreat), and Puerta de Alcalá. Your Local Host will have suggestions for your afternoon at leisure.
Day 6 MADRID. EXCURSION TO TOLEDO.
Enjoy a special HIGHLIGHT EXCURSION TO TOLEDO, spectacularly situated on a granite hill surrounded by a loop of the Tagus River. See the Moorish bridge, an early SYNAGOGUE, the 13th-century gothic CATHEDRAL, and the CHURCH OF SANTO TOMÉ, home to El Greco’s painting, The Burial of the Count of Orgaz.
Day 7 MADRID–SEVILLE.
Travel by HIGH-SPEED AVE TRAIN (first class) to Seville. During your guided sightseeing, hear about the city’s role in Roman times, its conquest by the Moors in 712 AD, and its contribution to the discovery of the New World. Admire Maria Luisa Park, the Golden Tower on the Guadalquivir River, and the university that used to be the tobacco factory of Carmen fame. Then, stroll through the narrow lanes of the charming SANTA CRUZ QUARTER. The highlight is a visit to Seville’s ALCAZAR, founded in the 11th century as a Moorish fortress, with its Palacio de Don Pedro.
Day 8 SEVILLE.
Your Local Host will have suggestions for things to see and do, such as a visit to Casa de Pilatos, an Andalusian palace adorned with precious azulejos tiles; and where to shop for locally produced food items.
Day 9 SEVILLE–CORDOBA.
Journey by HIGH-SPEED AVE TRAIN (first class) to Cordoba. During your guided sightseeing, admire this city’s Alcazar (royal castle), the Roman Bridge, and the medieval Jewish Quarter. Visit the magnificent 8th-century MOSQUE OF THE CALIPHS, famous for its 850 pillars of porphyry, marble, and jasper.
Day 10 CORDOBA–TORREMOLINOS.
Travel by HIGH-SPEED AVE TRAIN (first class) to Málaga, then transfer to your hotel in the resort town of Torremolinos to relax, soak up the atmosphere, and sample the seafood restaurants for which this resort is famous.
Day 11 TORREMOLINOS.
Your Local Host will have many ideas for your day at leisure, such as a trip to the botanic garden with its massive stone water wheels, or a visit to the local amusement park, Tivoli World.
Day 12 TORREMOLINOS.
Your vacation ends with breakfast this morning (nearest airport is Malaga).