Travel along the sun-kissed Costa Dorada past orange groves to Valencia, then pass through the stunning Sierra Nevada to the Moorish hilltop city of Granada.
You'll enjoy Insider moments like... finding out why a metal feather-plumed opera house, eye-shaped planetarium and 'water lily' aquarium emerged from a riverbed as you walk around Valencia, City of Arts and Science.
Overnight flight to Barcelona (not included).
Airport transfers depart from Barcelona Airport for your hotel at 9.30am, 12.30pm and 3pm. Later, join your Travel Director for a Welcome Reception and the chance to mingle over a delightful evening of dinner and wine.
Join a local expert to explore the narrow lanes and old squares behind the cathedral. See the lively Rambla as we head along the Passeig de Gràcia, adorned with elegant wrought-iron street lamps and some of the most flamboyant Modernist buildings. Continue through the Eixample district for a visit inside Gaudi's extraordinary masterpiece, the Sagrada Familia to see the central nave with its giant, tree-like pillars and spectacular vaulting. Enjoy a free afternoon to explore.
Follow the sunny Costa Dorada, past the rice fields of the Ebro Delta to stop by Peñíscola and see the sea-lapped castle, used in the film El Cid. Pass through the famous orange groves to Valencia where you'll see the ultra-modern Center of Arts and Sciences. Circumnavigate the old town, past the City Gates of Serranos and Quart to reach your hotel. Valencia is home to one of the world's greatest dishes, paella. Learn the authentic recipe in a fun cookery demonstration and savor the flavors of this classic dish for dinner, washed down with a glass of sangria.
Drive along the Costa Blanca, past the castle at Lorca and troglodyte dwellings hollowed out of the soft rock at Purullena. Enjoy views of the Sierra Nevada from the distance as you reach glorious Granada. Overlooking the town, stands one of the most remarkable fortresses ever built – the Alhambra. Explore this exquisite palace; a fantasy of stone cut lace, arabesque gardens and fountains, built as a citadel by the Moors in the 13th century. Also stroll through the exotic water gardens of the Generalife, the Royal summer residence.
In the morning, there is time, if you wish, to explore the labyrinthine Albaicin Quarter - from the Church of St. Nicholas, there is one of the most exquisite views of the Alhambra. Then drive to Seville past gleaming white villages and olive groves that stretch as far as the eye can see. This exquisite capital of Andalucía is simply one of Spain's most charming jewels. At night, enjoy the flavors of Andalucía and share in the passion of Spain's most fiery region at a Flamenco show and dinner.
Seville has a distinctive character and presence that is best revealed by a local expert. During your stay, visit the Plaza de España in Maria Luisa Park. Then stroll through the fashionable Santa Cruz Quarter with its flower bedecked, wrought-iron balconies. Emerge by the Alcazar - a Moorish fantasy in stone, set in richly scented gardens. Visit the massive cathedral, burial place of Christopher Columbus and enriched with the spoils of the New World. The energetic can climb the Giralda Tower, former minaret of the Great Mosque, and enjoy views over the city. The afternoon is at leisure.
Set off early along the Guadalquivir Valley, past villages and towns studded with Moorish towers and fortresses. Stop in the perfectly preserved Moorish city of Cordoba. See the famous 2000-year-old bridge and meet a local historian for a visit to the magnificent Mezquita, an 8th century mosque with a Christian church built inside it. Afterwards, there is free time to stroll through the narrow streets of the Old Jewish Quarter. Follow in the footsteps of Don Quixote as you travel through the Mancha vineyards to the famous wine-center of Valdepeñas, its roads lined with bodegas (wine cellars). Learn about the wines that make this region so famous and taste their robust flavors. Then move on to the capital of Madrid.
*November - March Departures: Wine tasting in Valdepenas is not available. Instead you will travel straight through to Madrid.
Join a local expert for sightseeing along the noble avenues. See the statue of Cervantes' fictional hero, Don Quixote, in the Plaza de España. Continue past the Cibeles Fountain and the Parliament and cross the Puerta del Sol. Visit the Prado Museum, a magnificent palace housing works by Botticelli, Velázquez, Goya, Titian, Rubens and others. Take time out to relax at a café or shop in the trendy boutiques or perhaps enjoy an optional experience to beautiful Toledo. In the evening, join a farewell Celebration Dinner in the heart of town, complete with wine.
Board your onward flight, taking home memories and friendships that will last a lifetime. Departure transfers arrive at Madrid Airport at 7am, 9am and 11am.
|Depart Date||Return Date||Price||Discount||AvailabilityPrice|
|4 Nov 16||13 Nov 16||$2,075pp|
|19 Dec 16||28 Dec 16||$2,195$2,085pp||Early PaymentPay by Oct 27||
$2,195 $2,085 pp
|26 Dec 16||4 Jan 17||$2,175pp||
|6 Jan 17||15 Jan 17||$2,075$1,971pp||Early PaymentPay by Oct 27||
$2,075 $1,971 pp
|17 Feb 17||26 Feb 17||$2,075$1,971pp||Early PaymentPay by Oct 27||
$2,075 $1,971 pp
|3 Mar 17||12 Mar 17||$2,075$1,971pp||Early PaymentPay by Oct 27||
$2,075 $1,971 pp
|10 Mar 17||19 Mar 17||$2,075$1,971pp||Early PaymentPay by Oct 27||
$2,075 $1,971 pp
|17 Mar 17||26 Mar 17||$2,075$1,971pp||Early PaymentPay by Oct 27||
$2,075 $1,971 pp
|24 Mar 17||2 Apr 17||$2,075$1,971pp||Early PaymentPay by Oct 27||
$2,075 $1,971 pp
December 19th: Christmas Highlight Dinner and gift in Seville. December 26th: New Year's Eve Dinner in Seville. These additional dinners will replace dinners shown in the itinerary.
Price is per person and is based on two people sharing a twin bedded room. Single rooms are available at a supplement.
Single Room Supplement: from $340.
*Note: There is a 35% reduction to the Single Supplement charge for departures November 4th, January 6th, February 17th and March 10th, subject to availability.
Gratuities: Option to pre-pay gratuities for Travel Director and Driver $85 per person.
Early Payment Discount: Pay in full to save the amount listed above. For details, click here.
AARP Members are entitled to an exclusive Member Benefit Discount on all Grand European Travel vacations. Plus receive a free travel gift! Call Toll Free: 1-866-847-3858 for details.
Frequent Travelers: Save an additional 5% off the price of the vacation.
The currency in Spain is the Euro (€). While it’s a good idea to bring some money for when you first arrive, you’ll usually find a better exchange rate in your destination. The most convenient way to obtain cash is to use your ATM card at local banks. We recommend you also bring a valid credit card for purchases while you are traveling. It is important that you inform your financial institutions of your travel plans before you leave home so they don’t flag your purchases as potentially fraudulent charges.
Spain offers a delicious selection of cured hams, chorizo sausage, seafood, cheeses, and more. Try traditional dishes such as tortilla española (Spanish omelet), paella, and desserts such as flan, churros, and Catalan cream. For a quick lunch at a reasonable price, stop by a café or food cart for a bocadillo, a traditional Spanish sandwich made with baguette-style bread, ham and cheese. In the evening, try a selection of tapas – small bites served in bars and restaurants that can be enjoyed as an appetizer or a meal.
We suggest bringing a variety of lightweight clothing items that can be layered to save space in your suitcase. This will also give you many options for how to dress in Spain and Portugal’s varying climates. It’s a good idea to bring a lightweight scarf to wear at religious sites and in the evening when temperatures cool off. For more helpful information please refer to our Packing Tips & Packing List.
Tipping in Spain is much less common than in the U.S. When dining out, it’s appreciated, although not required, to leave a few extra euros for your server, and up to 10 percent for particularly good service. Leave your tip on the table rather than adding it to your credit card slip to ensure that your waiter receives it.
At the end of your guided vacation, it’s customary to offer your motor coach driver and Travel Director a gratuity. We recommend €3.00 per person/per day for your driver and €5.00 per person/per day for your Travel Director. Recommended gratuity for a Local Host and Local Specialist is 1-2 euros per person, paid at the conclusion of each guided visit. A convenient option is to prepay your tips before your departure.
Baggage on our trips is restricted to one large suitcase per person with dimensions not exceeding 30x19x10 inches and a maximum weight of 50 pounds. You are also permitted one piece of hand luggage, which should be small enough to fit under your coach seat or on the small overhead shelf compartment. Please note that luggage with an adjustable handle and wheels will not fit in the overhead compartment of the coach. Hotel porterage is included in your vacation.
You will need to be comfortable on your feet, walking and standing for up to three hours in various weather conditions. All of our vacations involve walking, often on cobblestone and uneven surfaces in historic city centers. In order to get the most out of your vacation you need to be able to comfortably walk 1-3 miles unassisted in one day, be in good condition and be able to keep pace with the group.
If you need any medications, it is important that you bring enough to last you the whole trip and keep them in your carry-on bag while you travel.
We highly recommend our optional Travel Protection Plan, which allows you to cancel for any reason up to 48 hours before departure. The plan also includes trip interruption, baggage loss or delay, and medical and emergency assistance. Click here for a summary of coverage details, terms and conditions.
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