Spain

Spain

Madrid, Barcelona, Valencia, Granada, Seville, Cordoba 10 days

These are the jewels in Spain’s crown – the cities of Madrid, Barcelona, Valencia, Granada, Seville, and Cordoba. They have some of the most important landmarks and monuments of anywhere on earth, many of which are designated as Heritage Sites by the United Nations. Each city has its own charm and attractions with lots to see and enjoy including art museums and architecture and superb cuisine, with plenty of time for breaks in peaceful parks or on magical beaches.

You will experience the region of Andalucia, simply one of the most beautiful corners of Europe and, as yet, much of which is undiscovered. The food and drink is a delight – most notably for seafood and fortified wine from Jerez we know as sherry – the region offers a unique blend of superb countryside, beautiful monuments and wonderful art.

Spain’s glorious cities

Set aside a whole day to see Gaudi’s masterpieces all over the city of Barcelona.

Make a pilgrimage to the Prado in Madrid, one of the world’s legendary art museums.

Learn all about flamenco at the Museo del Baile Flamenco in Seville.

Day 1 & 2 - Madrid, sightseeing and attractions

Vibrant Madrid is a city that never sleeps. Visit world-class museums and palaces here such as the Museo del Prado, the Centro de Arte Reina Sofia, and Museo Thyssen-Bornemisza. See some of the city’s beautiful architecture that provides a glorious backdrop to city life, from medieval mansions and royal palaces to the delights of Spanish contemporary architecture, from the sober brickwork and slate spires of Madrid’s baroque, the extravaganza of the belle-epoque buildings. Madrid had more bars than any other city on earth, so make sure you spend time out and about in the evenings to experience the lively bars and clubs, as well as some of the culinary feasts available at world-class restaurants, including the oldest restaurant in the world, the Restaurante Sobrino de Botin – dishes include roast lamb, baby eels, and roast suckling pig.

Day 3 - Madrid – Toledo, sightseeing and attractions

Explore the treasure chest of churches, museums, synagogues and mosques of Toledo Old Town, set in a labyrinth of narrow streets, plazas and inner patios. Toledo is known for its art and history, and is has a landscape that combines Arabic, Mudejar, Gothic, medieval and renaissance architecture. Visit the El Escorial Monastery on the way – it’s a combination of a palace and a monastery and features a wonderful collection of art.

Day 04 & 05 - Barcelona, sightseeing and attractions

This is a fabulous journey from Lugano to Tirano by bus, and then on to St. Moritz by train through some of the most amazing scenery in the world. Pass over 196 bridges including the spectacular Landwasser Viaduct, through 55 tunnels, past snow-capped mountain peaks, past glaciers, an alpine garden and rushing mountain streams, and up and over the Bernina Pass at 6,669ft before arriving in St. Moritz.

Day 06 & 07 - Valencia, sightseeing and attractions

Tour the Old Town of Valencia, it contains dozens of glorious buildings such as the Plaza de la Virgen, Valencia Cathedral – a spectacular mix of Gothic, baroque, Romanesque and neoclassical styles, and the Nuestra Senora de los Desamparados church. Visit the 15thcentury former silk exchange, and now a Unesco world heritage site, and find time to visit the Plaza del Carmen to admire its amazing baroque façade. Escape to La Albufera, a giant freshwater lagoon surrounded by rice fields and pine forests and birthplace of the delicious paella. Or head off to the beach to soak up some sun, or for a refreshing swim.

Day 08 - Granada, sightseeing and attractions

Pass through rolling olive groves en-route to Granada that is located in one of the world’s most naturally dramatic locations – nestling below the snow-capped mountains of the Sierra Nevada. The city is a Moorish delight. Soak in the history and drama of the Alhambra Palace, and weave your way through its alluring mix of tangled streets, Moorish architecture and sprawling medieval Moorish quarter. And the Capilla Real is a masterpiece of ornate Gothic style.

Day 09 & 10 - Seville, sightseeing and attractions

Head off into real Andalucia to Seville, and experience that special Andalucian way of life. Seville is known for its stunning palace and sultry atmosphere, as well as flamenco. There are narrower, winding, and medieval lanes and squares to explore, more hidden plazas soaked in the scent of orange blossom, and so much Spanish tradition to enjoy including flamenco and bullfighting, and some incredible ancient architecture to see. If there’s one sight you must see its Seville’s immense cathedral, officially the biggest in the world, that stands on the site of the great 12thcentury Almohad mosque with the mosque’s minaret still towering beside it. And don’t miss the ruins at Italica, just outside the city.

Day 11 - Cordoba, sightseeing and attractions

Explore beautiful ancient Cordoba on foot and dive into old bodegas (corner shops and wine stores), and relish the city’s architectural wonders. Cordoba was the Roman and Moorish capital of Spain, and was a leading centre for science and philosophy in the 9thand 10thcentury. Wander the streets of Juderia (Jewish quarter) that stretch out from the great mosquelike little streets and then emerge on some beautiful and peaceful plazas. And visit the Islamic ruin of Medinat al-Zahra that will stir your imagination with its glory and grandeur.

Day 12 - Depart

Breakfast at the hotel Check-out from the hotel.

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