Historic Spain

DAY 1: Fly overnight to Madrid.

Day 2 (Toledo):  Arrive in Spain via Madrid and meet your travel director, then journey to your hotel in Toledo. In the afternoon, your travel director will lead an introductory orientation walk through the maze of beautiful narrow streets within the walls of the city, which was the capital of Spain until 1561. Enjoy a welcome dinner at a local restaurant.

Day 3 (Toledo):   A local guide will introduce you to the highlights of Toledo, which was founded by the Romans and was an important cultural center during the Moorish occupation of Spain. Visit the stunning gothic cathedral, the Santa Maria la Blanca synagogue and the Santo Tomé chapel to admire the famous painting, Burial of the Count of Orgaz, by El Greco. Enjoy a free afternoon.

Day 4 (Granada):  Today, drive through the storied landscape of La Mancha towards Granada. Along the way, stop at the famous windmills in Consuegra and Puerto Lápice where Don Quijote was 'knighted' in Miguel de Cervantes' famous novel. Arrive in Granada in the late afternoon.

Day 5 (Granada):  A local guide will lead you on a tour of the Alhambra Palace, the inspiration for music and stories such as Tales of the Alhambra by Washington Irving, including visits to the magnificent Generalife Gardens and the Summer Palace. On your free afternoon, you may wish to visit the cathedral where the Catholic Kings Ferdinand and Isabela are buried. After an included dinner, spend the evening with a local flamenco family. Enjoy some beautiful flamenco music and dancing.

Day 6 (Gibraltar):  Drive along the Costa del Sol—the 'Sun Coast'—to the British territory of Gibraltar. Upon arrival enjoy a tour of the Rock of Gibraltar with its stunning views of the Mediterranean Sea. Enjoy dinner and an overnight in Gibraltar.

Day 7 (Seville):  Travel in the morning to breathtaking old town of Ronda, which is separated by a 300 foot deep gorge. A walking tour will show you the spectacular setting of this beautiful town, including a walk along the Puente Nuevo bridge across the gorge to admire the stunning views. Continue to Seville for dinner and an overnight.

Day 8 (Seville):  Wake up in the beautiful city of Seville, the capital of Andalusia. A guided tour shows you the highlights of the city, including the Plaza de España, built for the World Fair in 1929; the Cathedral, which boasts the burial site of Christopher Columbus; and the Alcázar, a royal palace still used by the Spanish royal family. During a free afternoon, you may choose to stroll along the Guadalquivir River or visit the Maestranza bull ring. Enjoy dinner in the evening.

Day 9 (Madrid): Begin today with a visit to Córdoba, once the capital of Spain's Islamic Emirate. A local guide will you lead on a tour of the Mezquita, a world-renowned example of Islamic architecture. In the afternoon, experience the amazing technology of the country's fast speed AVE trains as you board one to travel to Madrid.

Day 10 (Madrid): Explore Madrid on foot with a guide, including the city's old section, and Cibeles Square, a symbolic set of monumental structures where Madrid’s city government is seated. A visit to the Prado will provide the opportunity to view masterworks of the Spanish school, featuring paintings by El Greco, Velázquez and Goya. During your free afternoon, you may wish to visit the museums of Sorolla, Reina Sofia and Thyssen Bornemisza.

Day 11 (Madrid):  In the morning, travel to El Escorial, the austere monastery palace built by King Philip II in the 16th century. This massive complex includes a palace, monastery, church, school and royal tombs. Journey next to the Valley of the Fallen, a touchstone of 20th-century Spanish architecture. Return to Madrid for a farewell dinner and the final overnight.

Day 12:  Travel to the airport for your return flight to the United States.