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Fairy-tale sightsWhile Spain imported many architectural styles - you’ll see variations of North Africa’s Moorish arcades in extravagant palaces, French Gothic and Romanesque arches dressing cathedrals, and columns and ornate detailing synonymous with Italian Renaissance and Baroque design in basilicas and plazas throughout the country. Spanish artists and architects made indelible marks with visions of their own. Antoni Gaudí i Cornet began the Modernism movement in Barcelona, surprising the world with wildly whimsical buildings. The works of Golden Age artist Velázquez and 18th-century painter Goya draw legions of visitors to Madrid’s Prado Museum. And whitewashed Andalucían villages and flower-draped balconies in Seville never fail to inspire romance.
Day 1: Arrive Barcelona
Tour begins: 6:15 PM, Le Méridien Barcelona. A transfer is included from Barcelona Airport to Le Méridien Barcelona. Join us tonight for a welcome cocktail reception and dinner at your hotel, ideally situated on one of Europe’s most celebrated streets - Las Ramblas, Barcelona’s iconic, tree-lined pedestrian thoroughfare that serves as the Catalonian capital’s leisure and entertainment hub and bustles with daily life.
Day 2: Las Ramblas, la Sagrada Família & more in Barcelona
Discover Barcelona, past and present, today. Walk along Las Ramblas, alive with merchants and mimes, to the Boquería, flavored with local specialties. Continue on to medieval Barri Gotic, the city’s old original Gothic quarter, where narrow streets and squares date back to the Middle Ages. Visit the 13th-century cathedral, the crowning achievement of the Old City, before driving to seaside Montjuic, site of the 1992 Olympics, and Gaudí’s still-unfinished la Sagrada Família -- whimsical and fanciful, it has been referred to as “Art Nouveau run wild.” The rest of the day is free for you to explore on your own.
Day 3: Fly to Granada and tour The Alhambra
An included morning flight brings you to Granada, set within the foothills of the snow-capped Sierra Nevada. Join us for an insider tour of the 14th-century Alhambra, extravagantly built by Moorish sultans. See the Royal Palace and the gardens gracing the Generalife, before settling in at your palatial hotel.
Meals: B, L, D
Day 4: The sunny south of Spain - cliff-top Ronda and Andalucía
Drive through picturesque scenery to cliff-top Ronda. Our local guide shares insights on its centuries-old bullring and Moorish architecture amidst spectacular views of Tajo Gorge. Following lunch, travel Tauck’s Yellow Roads through the quintessential whitewashed villages of Andalucía to Seville for two nights. Enjoy a private flamenco show before dinner tonight.
Meals: B, L, D
Day 5: Unforgettable sights of Seville
Sightseeing today with a local guide includes a horse-drawn carriage ride to Seville Cathedral, the largest Gothic building in the world. The best way to truly discover the city is on foot - walk through Barrio Santa Cruz and the former Jewish Quarter, before exploring its diverse cultural riches on your own.
Day 6: La Mezquita & Córdoba's cultural mix, then on to Madrid by rail
Head out to Córdoba for a guided walking tour through centuries of history; visit the historic former Jewish Quarter and the ornate 8th-century mosque turned cathedral, La Mezquita. It’s all aboard the high-speed AVE train - in Preferente class - to Madrid for a two-night stay in the heart of the city.
Meals: B, L
Day 7: The Prado, grand palaces & parks in old Madrid
A guided visit views the art treasures of the Museo del Prado this morning, followed by an orientation tour of city sights. See Palacio de Oriente, the opulent Royal Palace; grand avenues; and El Parque del Buen Retiro. Join us tonight for a cocktail reception and farewell dinner featuring Castilian entertainment.
Meals: B, D
Day 8: Journey home
Tour ends: Madrid. Fly home anytime. A transfer is included from The Westin Palace, Madrid to Madrid's Barajas Airport or the Madrid Atocha railway station; allow 3 hours for flight check-in.
Guided tours of Museo del Prado, 14th century Alhambra Palace & Gaudi's Sagrada Familia, horse-drawn carriage ride, private flamenco performance
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