Spain's Classics Escorted Tour
Tour Operator: Collette Vacations Tours
Group Size: Large Group
Tour Type: General
Physical Demands: Low
Departure date: 07/13/2019
Return date: 07/23/2019
Experience Spain’s colorful pageant of art, history and culture. Set against a backdrop that spans sunny Mediterranean shores and grand mountain ranges, this stunning destination is dotted with white pueblos and groves of oranges and olives. Explore the priceless treasures of the Royal Palace, one of Europe’s largest palaces. Visit the exotic and expansive Alhambra palace, resplendent with Moorish regal flair. See the Cathedral of Seville, the third largest in the world. Enjoy reserved seating at a flamenco show and feel the passion of this famous dance. Explore Madrid, Valencia, Barcelona, Granada, Cordoba and Toledo. Become part of an authentic “paella experience,” and learn how this rice dish is made and where it originated. Choose to marvel at Valencia’s “City of Arts & Sciences” and see how precious Lladro figurines are made by hand. Or choose to explore the old town of Valencia inclusive of its historic market and Gothic cathedral. View Antonio Gaudí’s architectural masterpieces, including La Sagrada Familia, and visit Parc Güell. Spain beckons.
Day 1-3 : Madrid-Royal Palace-Toledo-Madrid
Welcome to Madrid, Spain’s lively capital and largest city. Tonight, enjoy a welcome dinner.
During a locally guided tour of Madrid’s historic center, see the Puerta del Sol and Plaza Mayor, where events have been held since the 17th century. An expert-led tour of the monumental 18th-century Royal Palace* reveals lavish halls, banquet rooms, the throne room, royal armory and the impressive courtyard. This afternoon we travel to Toledo, a UNESCO World Heritage site and the capital of medieval Spain until 1560. A comprehensive tour highlights the magnificent Gothic cathedral and the 13th-century synagogue, a testament to Toledo’s Jewish heritage. You’ll also stop at the Church of Santo Tome to view El Greco’s masterpiece painting, The Burial of Count Orgaz.
Day 4-5 : Madrid-Cordoba-Seville
Travel to the extraordinary Moorish city of Cordoba. Embark on a walking tour of the Mezquita. This UNESCO site, an architectural marvel built by the Moors in the 8th century as a magnificent mosque, was converted into the city’s cathedral in the 16th century. Continue your exploration of Cordoba in the city's well-preserved and historical old Jewish Quarter. Later, transfer to Seville, considered Spain’s “cultural capital.”
Today you will see Columbus’ tomb, the ornate cathedral (UNESCO), and the Giralda Bell Tower. Enjoy a walking tour of the quaint old Santa Cruz Quarter with its bright flowers, white-washed buildings and winding streets; then continue to Plaza de España and the beautiful Maria Luisa Park, one of the loveliest in all of Europe. This evening, enjoy an authentic flamenco show (UNESCO) featuring Seville's top performers.
Day 6 : Seville-Granada
Travel along the peaceful Sierra Nevada to Granada, the last great capital of the Moors in Spain before it fell to the Catholic monarchs in 1492. Join a local expert for a tour of the world-famous Alhambra, an immense hilltop palace (UNESCO). Also tour the Generalife, meaning “garden of the architect,” where the grounds are beautifully designed with waterfalls, courtyards and smaller secret gardens.
Day 7-8 : Granada-Valencia
Today you travel through Spain's amazing landscape viewing rolling hills dotted with picturesque olive groves while en route to the Mediterranean coast. Arrive in the city of Valencia, a treasure trove of Roman and Arabic architecture, surrounded by citrus groves.
It’s your choice! Take a walking tour of historic Valencia to see the ornate 14th-century Serranos Tower and imposing 15th-century Quart Tower; then arrive at the bustling central market, one of the largest in Europe, where you’ll shop side-by-side with the locals before concluding your tour at the impressive 13th-century Gothic cathedral. Or, explore the impressive City of Arts & Science, an ultramodern, multi-faceted educational institution, followed by a tour of the Lladro City of Porcelain to learn about the history and creative process of the world-famous, handmade Lladro figurines.** Later, gather together and travel to the area where paella cuisine originated. A “paella experience” features a boat ride on the canals surrounding rice field plantations; a visit to a traditional fisherman’s home known as a “barraca”; a paella-making demonstration and an authentic paella lunch. The remainder of the day is at leisure.
Day 9-11 : Valenica-Barcelona
Travel to Barcelona, one of Europe’s most beautiful and exciting cities. The afternoon is at leisure to explore Barcelona’s fascinating boulevards including the famous Las Ramblas, dotted with colorful bird and flower stalls.
Today, get an in-depth look at vibrant and lively Barcelona. Your panoramic tour showcases the Columbus Monument, Parc de Montjuic, Antoni Gaudi’s UNESCO World Heritage sites including La Sagrada Familia, Batllo House and the unconventional Casa Mila building with a guided visit to Parc Güell. Gather this evening for a farewell dinner celebrating the end of an unforgettable trip to Spain!