Madrid, environs and Andalusia

DAY 1 PLACE OF ORIGIN – MADRID Departure from our point of origin on a regular flight bound for Madrid. Arrival in Barcelona and meeting with the attendant. Transfer to the hotel. Orientation meeting and free time. Dinner and lodging.

DAY 2 MADRID Breakfast. Guided panoramic tour through the city of Madrid, capital of Spain since Philip II selected it in the 16th century. During the visit we will see the Plaza Mayor, the Plaza de Oriente, location of the Royal Palace, The Cathedral, the Church of San Franciso the Grande, the Gran Vía, Puerta del Sol, Street and Puerta de Alcalá, Paseo de the Castellana, Paseo of the Prado, Retiro Park, Plaza de España, Columbus Square, Bullring, Plaza de Cibeles, Neptune, etc. Free time. Dinner and lodging.

DAY 3. MADRID Breakfast. We will visit the Prado Museum, the art gallery of Madrid that holds the most comprehensive collection of Spanish painting from the 11th to the 18th centuries, and many of the masterworks of the greatest painters of universal importance, like El Greco, Velázquez, Goya, Bosch, Tiziano, Van Dyck or Rembrandt. Then, we will visit Santiago Bernabéu Stadium, which belongs to the Real Madrid Football Club. Free time. Dinner and lodging.

DAY 4 MADRID – EXCURSION TO TOLEDO Breakfast and departure for Toledo, known as the city of three cultures, for having been inhabited for centuries by Christians, Jews and Muslims, as well as “The Imperial city,” for having been the principal seat of the court of Charles I of Spain. Panoramic tour of the city where we will contemplate the Cathedral, which we will visit, the Alcázar, the Synagogue of the Tránsito, and the Church of Santo Tomé, which we will also visit. Return to Madrid. Free time. Dinner and lodging.

DAY 5 MADRID – EXCURSION TO ÁVILA, SEGOVIA AND LA GRANJA Breakfast. Full day excursion. Departure for the city of Segovia, known throughout the world for the 16 km long aqueduct The Roman Empire left behind. Selected as residence for several kings of Castile, it conserves one of the most notable grouping of medieval structures in Spain. Its Cathedral, considered because of its elegance as “The Lady of the Spanish Cathedrals,” and the Alcázar, the most spectacular castle in the country, are prominent. Continuation to La Granja. Tour of the Royal Palace. Philip V retired to this place in 1724 and in the ensuing twenty years he enlarged the gardens and the palace, which was used as a summer residence by his successors until Alfonso XIII. Recently, they have undertaken restoration work and reordered the collections in the Offical Salons which allow us to return to the period of Philip V. Of great interest are the frescoed vaults, the paintings and the furniture from the 18th and 19th centuries. Also noteworthy are the Chamber of Lacquers, the paintings made by Panini, and the tapistry museum, where the Apocolypse series, work from 15th century Brussels, is exhibited. The gardens are one of the best examples still preserved today from the gardens from the 18th century, done by the French architect René Carlier; it is formed by flowerbeds and groves marked off with walls of vegetation formed by hornbeam, and rows of trees, specially linden trees and Indian chestnuts. In the 19th century new species were introduced, chiefly conifers like the monumental sequoias, planted in front of the Royal Collegiate Church, in the Middle Point gardens. Return to Madrid. Dinner and lodging.

DAY 6 MADRID – CORDOBA – SEVILLE Breakfast. Departure to visit Cordoba. From prehistoric settlements, passing through the Romans and the Muslims, Cordoba has enjoyed a confluence of cultures and races that has made it a jewel in and of itself, possessing a monumental characater and an erudite legacy that are difficult to surpass. That is why UNESCO declared part of the historic center of Cordoba a World Heritage Site in 1994. Tour of the Mosque, converted in the 13th century into the present-day Cathedral. We will also visit the Jewish Quarter with its synagogue. Continuation to Seville. Remainder of the afternoon free. Transfer to the hotel. Dinner and lodging.

DAY 7 SEVILLE Breakfast. Departure to take a panoramic tour of this monumental and colorful city. We will walk through the Plaza de América, with its famous white pigeons, and see the Mudéjar Pavilion. W will also see the Cathedral, Maria Luisa Park, the neighborhood of Santa Cruz, and the Royal Alcázares, the oldest royal residence of the Spanish crown, where we will be able to enjoy its patios and salons in a succession of periods and styles: Almohad, Gothic, Mudéjar and lastly Renaissance. Afternoon free. Return to the hotel. Dinner and lodging.

DAY 8 SEVILLE – RONDA – GRANADA Breakfast. Departure for Ronda and tour of this monumental city located in a basin surrounded by mountains of considerable continuity and medium altitude, giving it a magical quality. In the afternoon, Continuation to Granada. Transfer to the hotel. Dinner and lodging.

DAY 9 GRANADA Breakfast. Departure to take a city tour, including the Alhambra, the most beautiful example of Arabic architecture in Spain. The Alhambra palace, citadel and fortress, residence of the Nasrid sultans (from the 13th to the 14th centuries). Today it is a monument with four distinct areas: the palaces, the military area (Alcazaba), the city (Medina) and the agriCultural estate of the Generalife, all of them surrounded by wooded areas, gardens and orchards. From the Alhambra, we will have a lovely view of the Albaycín. Continuation of the tour with a stroll through the famous Albaycín and Sacramonte neighborhoods, where we will be able to enjoy the typical architecture of the city. Upon finishing, transfer to the hotel. Dinner and lodging.

DAY 10 GRANADA – MADRID Breakfast. Departure for Madrid. Afternoon free for shopping. Dinner and lodging.

DAY 11 MADRID – PLACE OF ORIGIN Breakfast. Transfer to the airport for your scheduled flight to our point of origin. End of services.