9. Andalusia & Toledo

9. Andalusia & Toledo

Departure point: Madrid
Tour kicks off every Monday
Duration: 4 days

Price from: €494
Duration: 4 days

Tour starts on every single MONDAY all year long.


Tour code: C-140

Included in tour:

- accommodation in **** hotels

- 3 breakfasts, 1 lunch, 3 dinners

- modern and air-conditioned bus

- multi-lingual tour escort

- sightseeing tour with local guide in Cordoba, Sevilla, Granada and Toledo

- tickets to Alhambra in Granada

- tickets to St. Tome and St. Maria Blanca churches in Toledo

- tickets to Cordoba's Mosque

- travel insurance

- free Wi- Fi on board 

- tips 

The tour is perfect for those who are visiting Madrid and would like to escape for a few days to probably, most famous part of Spain - Andalusia, to the cities that form the ''golden triangle'' of Southern Spain and are truly the essence of Spanish spirit - Cordoba, Seville and Granada. Guitars, flamenco, wine, tapas, and passionate people - all what Andalusia is known and famous for in the world - you will find on this part of Spain. Centuries-old cathedrals, medieval palaces, beautiful gardens - and thousands years of history - in front of your eyes. 

The historical architecture of southern Spain reveals the rich web of political, religious and cultural influences which have swept over the region. The hybrid styles created by these overlapping influences are unique, as we discover major cities of Andalusia as well as formaer capital of Spain - Toledo. 

Tour starts and ends in Madrid. 

Please click here to see the route on a map.

Day 1. Madrid - Cordoba - Seville (530km ~ 329 miles)

Departure from the bus terminal at 08.00 in the morning towards Cordoba, passing 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.

Arriving to 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. 

Later bus departs to Seville. Two-hour drive, arrival, dinner and accommodation.

 

Day 2. 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.

  • You can check out the inside of the Cathedral, or visit the famous Giralda Bell Tower , attached to it. This is most iconic representation of the Islam and Christian traditions that define Seville’s history. You can walk to the very top, and, except for the final section, which features stairs, the route almost all the way up (for stunning views!) is via ramps.
  • Go to Metropol Parasol, also known as the ''Mushrooms of the Incarnation'', built just a few years ago - and now is one of Seville’s newest architectural ventures. It is the largest wooden structure in the world, and from the top of it you can have a truly spectacular view. The structure also hosts a museum, which houses Roman remains found during the beginning of construction.
  • Another suggestion for your free time - to explore disrict of Triana - Seville’s former Gypsy quarter and one of the city’s most distinctive attractions. Its colourful, quaint streets are lined with old-style tapas bars, the walls of which are often plastered with faded bullfighting posters, photos of flamenco artists and weeping Virgin Marys. It is also known for its locally made ceramics, which adorn the walls of its old, whitewashed houses, and one of Seville’s best and most lively markets - the Mercado de Triana.

Dinner and a night in Seville.

 

Day 3. Seville - Granada (254km ~ 158 miles)

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.

The tour to Alhambra, is already quite extensive and include a good part of walking, so it’s your choice for the rest of the day - to relax in the hotel or continue to explore the city of Granada on your own. Suggested places to visit in the afternoon:

  • Alcaicería - best known as ''mini Morocco'', the Alcaicería is the home of the Great Bazaar of Granada. Consisting of a series of streets that are very much reminiscent of a Moroccan souk, this is not only another example of the rich Arab history of the city, but also very similar to Morocco itself. Selling everything from spices to henna, there are many little treasures to be found in these streets. Look out for traditional Arabic handicrafts such as fajalauza – traditional, beautifully painted ceramics – or the gorgeous granadino farolas – rounded lamps made from intricate stained glass.
  • 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.
  • Granada’s Cathedral, located near the Plaza Nueva, was built on the site of a former mosque by Queen Isabella as a symbol of the Christian victory over the Moors. With parts of it decorated with beautiful intricate sculptures, there is much beauty and architecture to be admired. Complete with numerous chapels, each with their own character and artistic style, this iconic and historical building is definitely worth a visit.
  • 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.

Dinner and night in Granada. 

 

Day 4. Granada - Toledo - Madrid (446km ~ 277 miles)

Breakfast, then transfer to Toledo.

Toledo 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:

  • Cathedral 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 (''the city of the Jews'') district is what once used to be the city’s Jewish quarter, 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.
  • You will see and enter the important buildings of synagogues of Santa María la Blanca (12th century) and also the church of Santo Tomé. The last one has a fine tower and a chapel containing the painting Burial of the Conde de Orgaz by El Greco.

Lunch in the restaurant. Later, we'll visit the craftsman's workshop to discover the ancestral techniques and the phases of the true Toledano sword-making elaboration process.

Towards the evening transfer and arrival to Madrid. End of the tour. 

---------------

Please click here to see the route on a map.

Prices:

Per person in double/twin room: 494€

Single Supplement: 120€

Supplement July to Oct.: 35€

Supplement for departure on April 6, 27 (2020) and March 29 (2021): 100€

 

Discounts:

- Children less than 4 years old: free, without granted seat in the bus

- Children between 4 and 7 years old: 25% discount off adult price, in a room with adults

- Teenagers between 8 and 18 years old: 5% discount off adult price 

- Seniors (65+ years old): 5% discount off adult price 

- Third person in triple room: 5%

Discounts cannot be combined. 

 

What is the booking process?

- It is very simple. Once you have chosen the tour, there are 6 steps: 

   a) you confirm the tour by e-mail, indicating starting date, tour code, number of persons travelling and their names, also types of rooms preferred (Single/Double/Triple).   

   b) we send you an invoice,

   c) you pay 10% to book the tour,

   d) we issue the confirmation,

   e) 2 weeks before the starting date, you pay the rest of the monies due, and 

   f) you show up for the tour on the appointed date and time.

 

How much should I pay and when?

- We require a 10% deposit during reservation, and the remaining 90% in no less than 2 weeks before the tour commences.

 

How would I pay?

- You can pay in one of four ways:

1) Bank wire to our company's bank account. Our banking details are included on the invoice that you receive.

2) We can charge your credit card. Please keep in mind that in this case we charge an additional 2% on top of the amount (our bank charges), and we need you to sign an Authorization form (which we will provide) and you need to send us your passport copy and copy of the credit card (the front) to verify ownership.

3) Western Union (normally for short-notice reservations, and when amount needs to be received urgently).

4) Transferwise.com - an online system, allowing the transfer of different currencies, with a small fees (much smaller than bank charges). Ask us to send you an invitation to join a system if you are not a member - there normally is a bonus for new members.

 

What is the cancellation and refund policy?

- 10% paid at the time of reservation is non-refundable. The other 90% is fully refundable if cancelled in no less than 2 weeks (e.g., if you paid 100% upfront right away). There are no refunds for cancellations made in less than 2 weeks to go before the trip.

Seville

NH Viapol**** A modern hotel located in the heart of Seville’s business area, a pleasant 15-20 minute walk to Santa Cruz Quarter and Maria Luisa Park – some of the main attractions of the City. Tram (public transport) station is just few meters outside of the hotel too. This modern hotel offers plenty of peace and quiet, yet there are many of shops, tapas bars and restaurants nearby. The hotel has 96 rooms spread over 6 floors. Rooms are nicely decorated, and have elegant hardwood floors. Hotel’s restaurant, bar and outdoor terrace is at your disposal.

 

Granada

Abades Nevada Palace**** - located in the new residential area, this hotel is just a few minutes from downtown of Granada. Thanks to the elliptical shape of the hotel, all 258 rooms have spectacular views of Sierra Nevada and the Alhambra complex of Palaces, - a place that you will definitely enter during your excursion. Hotel is modern and perfectly equipped with Spa, Fitness center and outdoor swimming pool. 


In some cases hotels can be substituted with the ones of the same category and level.

Here you will find commonly asked questions regarding our tours. 


1. Are the tours for individuals, families, small groups of friends?

- Yes. Our tours are for single travelers, couples, families, and groups of friends whom we put together with other travelers to form a larger group.

 

2. How many people are normally included on a tour?

- We cannot guarantee an exact number per tour. Normally it ranges from 10 to 25 people per group, but these numbers can vary greatly depending on the time of the year. In summer, groups tend to be larger as this is a popular time of year, while the winter season usually attracts less people, thus smaller groups are formed. There are certain tours that combine travelers if the destinations follow the same routes, e.g. you may be on a 10-day tour package with companions travelling on a 5-day package. The tour will cover the same areas and the 5-day package guests will break off thereafter. Also, more people may be joining in for the other part of the package. 

 

3. Is there is a guide/tour leader in the bus?

- Yes. An accompanying guide (tour leader) usually travels with the group during the entire tour. An exception may occur when there are minimal numbers signed up for a particular tour. These small groups will travel with an experienced, English-speaking driver/guide. In all major cities, we use local professionals and licensed guides.

 

4. What languages do the guides use?

- English and Spanish. All our tour guides speak both languages fluently. If a tour group consists of an English-speaking group only, the tour will run in English. But most of the tours will have both English and Spanish (from Latin and Central America) passengers, so the guides will explain in English and then in Spanish. 

 

5. Do your tours run during certain times of the year?

- Most of our tours run all year long. Some tours, e.g., those running to the northern regions of Spain, only run from March till October. Each tour’s description provides all the relevant information needed. For example: ''Sundays all year'' means that a tour will start on every Sunday of the year, regardless of the numbers. Just look up at the Calendar the specific dates Sundays are falling on and make sure you arrive a day before. 

 

6. What cities do the tours start from?

- Tours start from Madrid or Barcelona. 

 

7. Where are the meeting points for the tours?

In Madrid, it is Calle Ferraz 3 (Ferraz str., 3). This meeting point is in the city center, right off Plaza España.

- In Barcelona, it is in the reception of the Hotel ''Catalunya Barcelona 505'' (Carrer de Muntaner, 505, 08022, Barcelona).

 

8. Do you pick up from the hotels on the first day of the tour?

- By default, no. We do not pick up from hotels because that would delay the tour launch time. However – if your hotel is enroute, using the same bus route on launch day, we will pick you up. A week before travel, we require the name of your hotel in Madrid, and will inform you if you can be picked up directly from your hotel or need to head over to the meeting point at 7.45am.

In Barcelona, the meeting point is always in the reception of the ''Catalunya Barcelona 505'' hotel.

 

9. What type of vehicles do you use?

- Buses for larger groups and minibuses for smaller ones. Vehicles are comfortable, modern and with air-conditioning.


10. If there is a Wi-Fi on your buses?

- There is a Wi-Fi on all our buses in Spain. But please keep in mind that sometimes during the transfers between the cities, Wi-Fi signal can be weak or intermitting, due to poor coverage from the main operators. Please do not expect to downoad or to steam movies during the transfers. In Morocco's buses there is no Wi-Fi. 

 

11. Are meals included?

- Buffet breakfasts with all the drinks are included every morning in all hotels our guests occupy during their tour. 

Lunches and dinners are included anywhere that's mentioned in the itinerary (sections ''Itinerary'' and ''Included in tour''). Normally dinners held in the hotel's restaurants, many times it will be buffet (''eat as much as you want''), and only drinks will be at an extra cost. Also, sometimes lunches and dinners will be held in the restaurants. 

 

12. I am a vegetarian or allergic to certain products, any problem?

- No problems at all. Inform the tour leader and he will assist you. On a side note, many dinners are of the buffet-type, so you can simply choose what you prefer. For those with allergies, if in doubt, please remind tour leader during mealtimes. Alternatively, ask the restaurant staff about the content of the dishes. 

 

13. What time do you arrive to Madrid on the last day of travel? Can I book a flight on the same day, flying out of Spain?

- Normally we return to Madrid between 17.00 and 19.00 on the last day of the excursion (depending on the specific tour). However, it is not recommended to book the flight out on the same evening/night, as traffic jams in Madrid or other possible events may delay your flight. Fell free to talk to us (before starting the tour!), and we'll organize your overnight stay in Madrid after the tour. 

 

14. I need a night in the hotel or transfer from/to the airport to be booked before or after the tour.

- Sure. Just let us know at the time you organize the whole trip. 

  

15. Can I just show up for the trip without reservation and pay directly in the office, on the spot?

- Unfortunately, not. The tour must be booked in advance, as we need to make all the arrangements beforehand.

 

16. How long in advance should I book a trip?

- If you book at least 2 weeks in advance, the trip is guaranteed, though we recommend booking even earlier, if possible, as in these cases we have wider range of hotels to accommodate the early reservations - better options. 

Requests received with less than 2 weeks to go prior to launch date, usually work out 80% of the time, just contact us. 

 

17. Can I customize one of the tours for myself?

- No, as there are more people travelling with you. However, if you are coming already as a group of 20+ persons, the route can be customized upon your request, as the tour could be run privately for your group. Please contact us for more information.

 

18. What is the booking process?

- It is very simple. Once you have chosen the tour, there are 6 steps:

   a) you confirm the tour by e-mail, indicating starting date, tour code, number of persons travelling and their names, also types of rooms preferred (Single/Double/Triple). 

    b) we send you an invoice,

    c) you pay 10% to book the tour,

    d) we issue the confirmation,

    e) 2 weeks before the starting date, you pay the rest of the monies due, and

    f) you show up for the tour on the appointed date and time.

 

19. How much should I pay and when?

- We require a 10% deposit during reservation, and the remaining 90% in no less than 2 weeks before the tour commences.

 

20. How would I pay?

- You can pay in one of four ways:

1) Bank wire to our company’s bank account. Our banking details are included on the invoice that you receive

2) We can charge your credit card. Please keep in mind that in this case we charge an additional 2% on top of the amount (bank charges), we need you to sign an Authorization form and you need to send us your passport copy and copy of the credit card (the front) to verify ownership

3) Western Union (normally for short-notice reservations, and when amount needs to be received urgently)

4) Transferwise.com – an online system allowing the transfer of funds. There is a small commission attached.

 

21. What is the cancellation and refund policy?

- 10% paid at the time of reservation is non-refundable. The other 90% is fully refundable if cancelled in no less than 2 weeks (e.g., if you paid 100% upfront right away). There are no refunds for cancellations made with less than 2 weeks to go before the trip.

 

22. Are there any discounts or surcharges?

- Yes. Discounts are listed under the section ''Prices'', under each package. 

 

23. Are taxes included in the tour prices?

- Yes, VAT and Tourist Taxes for different cities are included.

 

24. How do I know if I need a visa for Spain or Morocco?

- Please check the visa information for Spain here. The visa requirements for Morocco can be found here. Please note that all trips to Morocco will require your Schengen visa to be of an ''multiple entry'', as you will enter Spain for the second time.

 

25. I am ready to go ahead and book one of your tours, but I need a Visa to enter Spain.

- Yes, we do help our customers to get their Visas, after a trip is confirmed and the deposit of 10% has been paid. As we are a fully licensed tour operator in Spain, after the deposit paid, we can issue the confirmation, which you later bring to Spanish Embassy/Consulate. In this letter we confirm that you booked and partly (or fully) paid for a tour with us. Please note, we do not guarantee the issue of visa and cannot influence the process. The decision is up to the Embassy, as they have their own rules and regulations for each country. At the same time, we do our best to ensure we provide assistance where possible.