Welcome to Madrid! Upon arrival at the airport, we shall be waiting to transfer you to your hotel. Our guide will be ready to welcome you and will provide the necessary infor - mation. Towards the end of the day, we provide transfers to the Egyptian Debod temple, Plaza de España and Gran Via; a vibrant district where you can dine at your preferred restaurant: Indian, Chinese, Spanish and Middle Eastern are some of the options.
This morning, experience the city on a guided tour, which showcases the city’s vibrant centre, the beautiful Plaza Mayor (Main Square), its broad and magnificent avenues and its many fountains. Our tour includes a visit to see inside the Plaza de Toros de lasVentas, a fine-looking build - ing. Here we learn about the tradition of “corridas” in the Bullfighting Museum. Also the day includes a walking tour of the beautiful Retiro Park, enhanced by the lake and Crystal Palace. Enjoy the rest of the afternoon. If you wish, there is an optional visit to the ROYAL PALACE. At sunset we pro- vide transfer to the Plaza de Oriente in the historic centre of Madrid, opposite the Royal Palace. In this area there are many restaurants serving different exquisite cuisines (Indian, Middle Eastern, Muslim, Spanish, International). Return to hotel.
Leaving Madrid by bus in the early morning (if the group of English-speaking travellers is fewer than 10, they will share the trip to Granada with Spanish-speaking passengers). We travel to the south across La Mancha, stopping in PUERTO LÁPICE, a ‘manchego’ village evoking the figure of Don Quix - ote. We will enter Andalusia via Despeñaperros. GRANADA, arrival. In the afternoon we will visit the immense Alhambra Palace, with entrance and local guide included, and its beautiful Generalife gardens, built in Arab times. Later, enjoy an evening transfer to the Plaza de Gracia in Granada’s city centre, where restaurants mix with local cul - tural flavour to create an unforgettable night. Choose be- tween Spanish, international, Chinese, Latin cuisines, etc. To- night you have the option to attend a flamenco dance show and the traditional neighbourhood of Sacramonte.
We leave Granada and travel towards the Costa del Sol. MAL - AGA, arrival and time for a stroll in the historic centre with its cathedral and the Picasso Museum. After this we will con - tinue along the coastal motorway with beautiful views of the Mediterranean. PUERTO BANUS, in Marbella, a pretty high level recreational port. Time for lunch. In the afternoon we will continue through the hills and their stories of bandoliers until we come to RONDA, a very beautiful white town with its large gorge that divides it in two. Continuation to SEVILLE. Arrival at the end of the afternoon.
After breakfast, a local expert guides you through a scenic visit of Seville featuring the Cathedral and its famous Gi - ralda, the banks of the Guadalquivir river, popular neighbor - hoods of Santa Cruz and Triana and the beautiful Plaza de España (note : if the group has fewer than fifteen travelers, it can be arranged in both Spanish and English). In the after - noon, you will be transferred to the train station. We travel for 2 1⁄2 h on a high-speed train to Madrid. The train is quite comfortable and it is an enjoyable trip through Andalusian and Castilian landscapes. Possibility for the train to reach speeds of around 300 km/h (186 m/h). Arrival to Madrid and transfer to the hotel.
We depart early in the morning from Madrid. Heading to - wards Aragón, we pause our journey in ZARAGOZA. Our guide will join the group to BasílicadelPilar. We visit this impressive sanctuary. Directly afterwards, the group will have free time in the city centre. Later, we make our way to Cataluña to the Monastery of Poblet, surrounded by walls in a beautiful setting, this is one of the best preserved me - dieval monasteries in the world (entrance and guided tour included). We then go on to the Monastery of Montser- rat where we include a ride on the rack train for the fan- tastic views this gives. Continuation to BARCELONA, arrival in the late afternoon. Important note : in the winter months, from November to March (included), due to the shorter days, the Monastery of Poblet will not be visited (so that we can reach Montserrat in the daylight).
Today we will get to know Barcelona, an impressive city right on the Mediterranean Sea. Our visit includes an informa- tive city tour with a local expert (note : If the group has fewer than fifteen people, explanations can be given by our guide.) We also visit the city’s historic central area with its Gothic neighbourhood dating back to the Middle Ages. We will visit the area where the Olympic Games took place. It will be possible to see and photograph La SagradaFamilia basilica; the masterpiece designed by the architect Gaudí. Subsequently, we include the entry ticket to “PobleEspa- nyol” (meaning “Spanish Village”). This open air architectural museum is situated in one of the most emblematic areas of Barcelona. Be delighted by the best Spanish craftsmanship and discover the architectural styles, traditions and folklore of the different communities in Spain. Free time to explore the city on your own. In the evening we provide transfer to Las Ramblas and Plaza Catalunya area, where you can select from a great variety of restaurants (including Indian, Chinese, Halal, International and regional Spanish cuisine). Return to hotel.
After breakfast, end of our services.