An eight-day group educational travel package to Madrid & Andalusia. You'll see and discover the capital first, then continue to probably the most authentic and popular part of Spain - Andalusia, with it's gourgeous cities of Cordoba, Granada and Seville.
8 days, 7 nights
Included in tour:
- 7 nights in hotels of Madrid, Cordoba, Seville and Granada
- 7 buffet breakfasts
- tour leader always with a group
- airport transfers
- transportation between the cities
- full day tour around Madrid
- tickets to Royal Palace (Madrid)
- tour in Toledo
- tour in Cordoba, tickets to Mosque
- tour in Seville, tickets to Cathedral
- tour in Granada, tickets to Alhambra
- 24h assistance
This travel package is perfect for tourist and student groups that would like to learn more about the culture of Spain, the history of Andalusia and the heritage of the Arabic presence in Spain during the middle centuries. You'll be introduced to, probably, the most authentic area of Spain - Andalusia, the South. You will visit numerous important sites, such as the Royal Palace in Madrid, Alcazar of Segovia, Cathedrals in Toledo and Seville, the Mosque of Cordoba, the palaces of Alhambra, and much more.
Starting and ending points of the trip - Madrid.
Duration: 8 days, 7 nights.
Day 1. Arrival to Madrid
Arrival. Meet'n'Greet in the airport by our guide.
Transfer to the hotel, check-in.
Free time in the evening.
Day 2. Madrid
Breakfast in the hotel, followed by a full day around the capital of Spain. Main highlights of the day:
- Royal Palace: Spain’s Royal Palace is one of the largest in Europe, and visitors are sure to be in awe of the regal columns, gold decor and extensive number of statues outside. The interior is equally impressive, with a collection of court paintings, frescoes and even a Stradivarius collection. Tickets and inside tour are included.
- Plaza Mayor: one of the most breathtaking sites in Spain, this plaza has 237 balconies facing the center of the square, where a statue of King Felipe III on his horse sits pretty. Dating back to the 1600s, the Plaza Mayor is now a site of outdoor cafes and restaurants where wandering tourists can relax, enjoy a drink and soak up the fantastic atmosphere.
- Puerta Del Sol: one of the best known and busiest locations in Spain, this public square is the perfect meeting place to start exploring Madrid. With the famous Tio Pepe sign, the emblematic bear statue and a beautiful clock tower, this plaza (originally one of the gates in the city wall during the 15th century) is not to be missed.
- Mercado San Miguel: famous for its cast-iron columns and many market stalls featuring Spanish culinary delights, the Mercado de San Miguel is a dream for visiting foodies. Try famous Spanish jamon (Iberian ham), Manchego cheese or simply wander past the stalls and admire the huge range of delicious foods on display.
- Gran Via: known for its bright lights and shopping, Calle Gran Vía is one of Madrid’s most famous streets. The ''Fifth Avenue'' of the city, you’ll be able to find anything you need, including restaurants, stores and many of the city’s renowned theatres.
- Plaza Espana: famous for its statue of Miguel Cervantes, the Plaza España is located just off the famous Gran Vía street and near the Royal Palace. Built in the early 1900s, the city of Madrid has recently voted on reforming the Plaza, which will soon incorporate greater number of trees and flowers for city-dwellers and tourists to enjoy.
- Templo de Debod: although this temple dates back to the 2nd century BC, it was gifted to Spain and moved to its current location in Madrid in 1968. While it may seem odd to see an Egyptian statue in the middle of a European city, the Templo de Debod is one of Madrid’s most beloved attractions.
- Santiago Bernabeu located in the Spanish capital, Madrid, and is the home of the world-famous Real Madrid football team. It is by and large considered one of the world’s most prestigious football stadiums and regularly hosts some of the most important international competitions in the sport.
Optional add-ons for the day:
- Visit to Santiago Bernabeu football Stadium (the famous home of FC Real Madrid)
- Visit to Museum Prado, a national Art Museum with one of three most famous art collections in the world (alongside the Louvre in Paris and the Hermitage in Saint Petersburg)
Day 3. Madrid - Toledo - Cordoba
Breakfast in the hotel, then transfer from Madrid towards Andalusia. First stop - ancient town of Toledo, which is an incredibly cultural-diversified city; it has seen numerous different cultures and dynasties pass through its walls, as well as many wars, royalty, and artists. The legacy that it guards is an essential part of Spanish culture, so visiting Toledo is bound to be an extremely unique experience. Some of the highlights we'll see during the tour:
- Toledo’s Cathedral is one of the most important places to visit when in this stunning city. It is a grand monument built in Gothic style with an obvious French influence, and there are people who say that it is the best and most impressive building in that style in the entire country. It was finished towards the end of the 15th century, over 200 years after construction began.
- The Juderia (Jewish Quarter) district where Jewish lived back in the past, and nowadays it is one of the most beautiful parts of the city, with some excellently preserved buildings. A tour through this part will enable you to learn what life was like under Muslim and Christian domination for Jews, as well as to explore their culture and architecture.
- The Monasterio de San Juan de los Reyes is a Franciscan church that was built under the reign of Elizabeth of Castile, one of Spain’s most powerful queens. The church was built with the intention of being used as the royal mausoleum. The building is a breathtaking example of the Elizabethan-Gothic style that was predominant in Spain under the monarch’s reign. It was also meant to serve as a memorial for a recent military victory, the Batalla del Toro. It is a long, narrow structure, with many chapels decorating the sides. The ceiling is particularly remarkable as it was designed in the mudéjar style, with clear Arab influence.
- La Puerta de Bisagra is a magnificent structure that provides access to the city. The Puerta de Bisagra was originally built by the Arabs when they inhabited the city during the last few centuries before the first millennium. It was reconstructed in the 16th century but some of the original structure can still be seen today. The name comes from the Arabic, ''Bab-Shagra'', meaning something along the lines of ‘the door, that leads to the field’. The exterior is composed of an arch of triumph, accompanied by two beautiful semi-circular towers, and crowned by the city’s imperial coat of arms.
- Cross the Puente de San Martín - this medieval bridge was built over the Tajo river and is one of Toledo’s symbols. From the bridge, we have an excellent panorama of the old town.
Later, we'll pass thru the region of Castilla La Mancha, known for being the setting of Miguel de Cervantes’ 17th century novel Don Quixote de la Mancha – probably, one of the most famous books ever to have come out of Spain.
Short stop in Puerto Lapice to admire the typical courtyard's from the time of Don Quixote.
Arrival to Crodoba, check-in, free evening.
Day 4. Cordoba - Seville
Breakfast in the hotel, then a half day walking tour to see all the best of Cordoba. Cordoba - beautiful ancient town in Andalusia as well as one of Spain’s most famous historical monuments. You will a proper tour through its historic center - conspicuously charming place, with its patios and courtyards, decorated with pots of aromatic jasmine and geraniums and walk narrow, winding streets, lined with what must be some of the prettiest and most colorful houses in southern Spain. And of course you will enter the Mosque-Cathedral - the greatest dual-identity monument in Spain.
- Mosque-Cathedral. Originally there was a Roman temple on this site, but it was replaced by a Christian church during the Visigoth era. After the Moors captured Córdoba in 711, the church was split in two and used by both Christians and Muslims as a place of worship. But the reign of religious pluralism in Córdoba didn’t last long: in 784, on the orders of the Emir Abd al-Rahman, the church was destroyed and work on a great mosque began. Construction lasted for over two centuries and, when the building was completed in 987, Córdoba’s mosque was the largest in the Islamic kingdom, save only for that of Kaaba in Arabia. When the city was reclaimed by Christians in 1236, the mosque was converted into a church and in the 16th century Charles V added a great Renaissance nave right on top of the original Moorish structure. The mosque’s most-photographed aspect is its vast main hall, which is supported by over 850 double-arched columns. Sunlight and shadows create unusual effects as you wander among them, contemplating the multifaceted history of this great building.
- Extending in a tangle of cobbled streets and squares to the north of the Mosque-Cathedral is Juderia - the city's former Jewish quarter. This is a great area to stop for lunch, packed as it is with smart restaurants as well as superb no-frills tapas bars. Free time to have lunch and buy some souvenirs.
Continuation to Seville. Another 2h drive and we are in the capital and the heart of Andalusia.
Check in and overnight.
Day 5. Seville
Breakfast in the hotel, followed by a proper city tour throughout Seville with a local guide, to admire this beautiful and also the largest city of Southern Spain. With a numerous sights and attractions, this city will never leave visitors stuck for choice. Main highlights of the tour:
- Plaza de España was built as a centerpiece for the 1929 Ibero-American Exhibition. Described as one of Seville’s most impressive sights, this plaza (square) measures at 50,000 sq. meters. Only a twenty-minute walk from Seville Cathedral, this is one of Seville’s more popular locations and with a canal measuring 500 meters, the plaza is known as ''the Venice of Seville’’. It is a magnificent sight and a must see, with its colored ceramics and 48 tiled alcoves, each representing a different province of Spain. This place is not only popular with tourists and visitors as it has been used for the location of a number of films including Lawrence of Arabia and Star Wars.
- Maria Luisa Park acted as the site of the Ibero-American Exhibition in 1929. Filled with orange trees, palm trees and flower beds, it is the perfect place to unwind. With a number of colorfully tiled benches and fountains erected in a Moorish style, this park brings a touch of the exotic to the city. It is surrounded by a number of historic sites and wonderful architectural buildings which allows visitors to indirectly appreciate the beauty of Seville.
- Seville’s Cathedral is one of the largest in the world. It stands at an enormous 126 meters long and 83 meters wide with a ceiling height of 37 meters. The classical exterior draws visitors into an equally impressive interior. For example, the main alter piece, consists of 36 gilded panels, gently glimmering through the space. Globe-trotters can also pay their own homage to one of the world’s greatest travelers – this monumental building holds the sarcophagus of Christopher Columbus. During the tour we will see the Cathedral from outside.
- Barrio Santa Cruz - Seville’s most famous area and a former Jewish Quarter. Its unfeasibly narrow streets, white houses, secret squares and small churches creates an unforgettable atmosphere, just enjoy it.
After the city tour you will have the afternoon off to rest or explore more on your own.
Another night in Seville.
Day 6. Seville - Granada
Breakfast, then transfer to Granada. Granada is an amazing city, located right at the foot of the spectacular Sierra Nevada mountains. The popular favorite of the region of Andalusia, Granada has a rich history, fantastic range of sites to see, and a bustling nightlife. With Arab influences and Spanish charm, there is plenty of culture and history to explore here. Upon arrival you’ll have a guided tour to see famous complex of La Alhambra, with its Arabian palaces Nazaries, and green and picturesque Generalife Gardens.
- Alhambra is definitely number one on the list of unmissable things to see in Granada, and the most visited sight in the whole Spain. The world-renowned Alhambra gets its name from the Arabic for ''Red Castle'', and has been poetically described as the place where the air is clear and the fresh water from the mountains reaches. Partly palace, partly fort, - the Alhambra is now a dedicated UNESCO World Heritage site and boasts spectacular medieval architecture which captivates its thousands of visitors. It tends to get quite crowded, given its magical nature, with around 6,000 visitors a day, but its beauty can be appreciated even in the busiest of moments.
- Albaicín - another UNESCO World Heritage site in the heart of the city of Granada, Albaicín is a district of the city boasting narrow winding streets that have stood here since its medieval Moorish era. Often described as a different world inside Granada, the strong Muslim influence makes Albaicín somewhat of an open-air museum. After touring the narrow and characterful streets to experience the charm of the past, you can relax in one of its many bars and terraces and enjoy a spectacular sunset over the Alhambra.
On your free time in the evening try free tapas ''culture''. Tapas is certainly one of the first things that comes to mind whenever Spain is mentioned, and Granada is probably the city most renowned for its popular tradition of free tapas. With the fantastic ''buy a drink, get free tapas'' phenomenon, this timely Spanish tradition is even more popular here. With countless numbers of bars and tapas restaurants, you’ll certainly be left with plenty of choice of where to get these tempting little snacks. Offering everything from gourmet and international tapas like sushi and caviar, to traditional Spanish jamón, you can't leave Granada without experiencing this culinary delight.
Night in Granada.
Day 7. Granada - Madrid
Breakfast, then transfer to Madrid.
Arrival in the late afternoon, check in to the hotel and a last evening in Madrid to enjoy it to remember.
Day 8. Madrid - fly out
Breakfast in the hotel, then free time (if any left till your flight) and a transfer to the hotel.