The lively capital of Spain is our launch pad to a memorable encounter with one of Europe's most soulful destinations. Relax in the lush surrounds of Buen Retiro Park, shop up a storm on Gran Vía or people-watch over coffee and churros con chocolate in the Puerta del Sol. This evening, join your fellow travellers and Travel Director for an orientation drive to see some of the city's most iconic sights, followed by a Welcome Reception.
We head to Toledo, the former capital of Spain, where we join a Local Specialist for a walking tour of this city that dates back to Roman times. We'll visit a traditional factory and Dive Into Culture, witnessing the age-old inlaid-steel craft, before seeing one of El Greco's most famous paintings in the Church of Santo Tomé - 'The Burial of the Count of Orgaz'. We'll also visit the synagogue, before returning to Madrid where we'll admire the Royal Palace and Cibeles Fountain with our Local Specialist. Spend the evening on your own, delving into the delicious flavours of Spain's tapas capital.
Journeying south through La Mancha, we arrive in Córdoba, once a significant Moorish settlement. Join a Local Specialist to visit the Mosque of the Caliphs and learn about centuries of Moorish rule and its influence on the culture and architecture of the region. We travel to flamboyant Seville, our home for the next two nights. Consider an Optional Experience to see the colourful twirling skirts of a fiery flamenco show or rub shoulders with the Sevillanos in search of delicious tapeo and wine.
This morning, we meet our Local Specialist for a sightseeing tour of Seville. View the symbolic Giralda Bell Tower, see the Moorish-inspired Maria Luisa Park, with its tiled fountains, pavilions and ponds, and walk through the imposing Plaza de España. Marvel at Christopher Columbus's ornate tomb in the cathedral, then take a walk through the former Jewish Quarter. This evening, we Connect With Locals, joining the Morillo family for a Be My Guest experience at their olive oil mill, where you'll learn how oil is produced from their 6,000 trees and get to sample some of their produce.
Multicultural Granada takes centre stage today, as we visit the magnificent Alhambra in the company of a Local Specialist. A fine example of Moorish architecture, the Alhambra complex was built towards the end of Islamic rule in Spain. Wander through the exotic water gardens of the Generalife, the royal Summer Palace, once linked to the other palaces by a covered walkway across the ravine.
This morning, we journey via the Mora Pass to Guadix in the northern foothills of the Sierra Nevada mountains. We'll see the whitewashed troglodyte dwellings lodged into the ochre-coloured cliffs of the surrounding area, then travel to Valencia, where we'll see the Bullring and admire the city's medieval architecture. Embrace the city's spirit of innovation and stop to view the City of Arts and Sciences, a large-scale urban recreation centre for culture and science. This evening, dine at your hotel, and perhaps take to the vibrant streets of the Old Quarter.
Head north, along the coast through the Levant region, and stop at Peñíscola, the 'City in the Sea'. View the ancient castle of the 'Spanish Pope', built by the Knights Templar and used in the film, 'El Cid'. Then, journey along the Costa Dorada to Barcelona with its whimsical Gaudí architecture. Admire this famous architect's talents as we view his unfinished La Sagrada Família, which has been under construction since 1882. See the Plaça de Catalunya and pay tribute to the great Christopher Columbus, with your Local Specialist. From the hill of Montjuïc, we'll enjoy panoramic views of this enchanting city. Enjoy a free evening to spend as you wish. Ramble through El Born for delicious tapas or consider visiting a Catalan-style restaurant for a delicious dinner of local specialities.
Explore centuries of history, contemporary culture and exquisite art and architecture on your day at leisure. Visit Gaudí's fantasy Park Güell, stroll through the enchanting Gothic Quarter or join an Optional Experience to the monastery perched atop the mountain pf Montserrat to see the mystical Black Madonna, the patron saint of Catalonia. This evening, we celebrate a memorable journey through Spain with our newfound friends and Travel Director at a Farewell Dinner with wine.
For now it's a fond adiós to Spain at the end of a memorable holiday. Find out more about your free airport transfer at trafalgar.com/freetransfers.