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This vacation is perfect for those who wish to experience all the excitement and energy of Spain. You’ll visit Spain’s most popular cities, including Madrid, Barcelona, Valencia, Granada, Vitoria, Pamplona, and Seville. You’ll have time to relax on the Costa del Sol, where you can sample traditional Spanish cuisine, walk on the sandy beaches, and browse the trendy boutiques. You’ll also visit the Rock of Gibraltar, in British hands since 1704.
On this Spain tour, history fans will enjoy visiting the Alcazar in Seville, founded in the 11th century as a Moorish fortress; the 8th-century Mosque of Caliphs in Cordoba, a very well-preserved mosque that was converted into a cathedral in the 13th century; and the Alhambra Complex in Granada. The Alhambra was a palace, citadel, and fortress for the Nasrid sultans and their servants, elite soldiers, and high officials from the 13th to 14th centuries. Fans of art and architecture will delight in seeing the Prado Museum in Madrid, one of the world’s finest art museums; the Guggenheim Museum in Bilbao, an amazing feat of construction without any flat surfaces; and the Sagrada Familia Basilica, Gaudi’s masterpiece in Barcelona.
Lark Tours has also arranged special experiences for you on this Spain tour. For example, enjoy wine tasting accompanied by tapas in Ribera del Duero. A special treat is a walk along the street where the famous "running of the bulls" takes place, followed by a Rioja wine tasting and dinner at a local restaurant in Pamplona.
History, art, architecture, beaches, Spanish food, and more—what more could you ask for in a vacation to Spain?
DAY 1 Arriva in Madrid, Spain
Welcome to Madrid! At 6 pm, meet your Tour Director and traveling companions for a welcome dinner with wine at your hotel.
DAY 2 Madrid
The capital since 1561, Madrid today is a strikingly modern city, the showcase of a country resolutely turned towards the future. Morning sightseeing with a Local Guide takes you to the Puerta del Sol, Plaza de España with its monument to Cervantes, the Parliament, Cibeles Fountain, elegant Calle Alcala, and Paseo de Castellana. Then, the highlight: a visit to the palatial PRADO MUSEUM with its priceless art treasures. In the afternoon, an optional excursion to Toledo can be arranged.
DAY 3 Madrid–Segovia–Ribera Del Duero–Burgos–Vitoria
Head into beautiful Castile, the “Province of the Castles.” Cross the rugged Sierra de Guadarrama mountain range on the way to Segovia, famous for the 2,000-year-old Roman aqueduct. Next, head to Ribera del Duero for a [Lark Tours Local Favorite] [Globus Local Favorite] wine tasting accompanied by tapas at Bodega Portia, designed by the world-famous architect Norman Foster. In Burgos, see the magnificent limestone Cathedral of Santa Maria, where legendary El Cid is buried. Afternoon arrival in Vitoria with time for a stroll through this ancient Basque city’s delightful historic center.Breakfast
DAY 4 Vitoria–Bilbao–San Sebastian–Pamplona
In Bilbao, the great port city of the Basque region, enjoy a special highlight: a guided visit to the GUGGENHEIM MUSEUM, an amazing feat of construction created by architect Frank O. Gehry. Next is lovely San Sebastian, the “Pearl of the Cantabrian Coast,” before arriving in Pamplona at the foot of the Pyrenees. Here, a special treat awaits you: [Globus Local Favorite] [Globus Local Favorite] enjoy a walk along the Calle Estafeta, where the famous “running of the bulls” takes place, followed by a Rioja WINE TASTING and dinner at Basaburua restaurant.Breakfast
DAY 5 Pamplona–Saragossa–Barcelona
In Saragossa, visit PLAZA DEL PILAR, one of Spain’s grandest squares. Free time to visit the Basilica of Our Lady of the Pillar, where, according to legends, the Virgin Mary appeared to St. James. Arrive in Barcelona, Spain’s second-largest city and the host of the Olympic Games in 1992.
DAY 6 Barcelona
Sightseeing with a Local Guide features the Columbus Monument, Plaza de Cataluna, and Paseo de Gràcia. Highlight is a visit to spectacular SAGRADA FAMILIA BASILICA, Gaudi’s masterpiece. Also enjoy a panoramic view of the city and harbor from Montjuïc Hill. To enhance your stay, choose from our optional excursions to Montserrat and to a Catalonian restaurant to try out local dishes.
DAY 7 Barcelona–Valencia
Along the coast to Valencia, once a royal capital. Valencia’s Roman, Moorish, and Spanish history comes alive during your guided orientation drive including the Town Hall, La Lonja (the 15-century Silk Exchange), the bull ring, the massive gateway towers of Serranos and Quart, and the new Arts & Science Complex, designed by the famous Valencian architect Calatrava. End your tour in the center at La Seo Cathedral and then, [Globus Local Favorite] [Globus Local Favorite] enter one of Valencia’s oldest Horchaterias, where you will be served a traditional Horchata drink.Breakfast
DAY 8 Valencia–Granada
A scenic drive towards the mountains past troglodyte cave dwellings, hollowed out of the soft tufa stone, near Guadix and Purullena. Cross Mora Pass and arrive in Granada, where a special dinner with wine awaits you at one of Granada’s fine restaurants, the perfect introduction to this magnificent city.Breakfast
DAY 9 Granada–Costa Del Sol
Sightseeing with a Local Guide features Granada’s main attraction, the ALHAMBRA COMPLEX, a fantasy of “lace in stone” surrounded by arabesque gardens and fountains. Also amble through the exotic WATER GARDENS OF THE GENERALIFE. Then, a short drive down to your hotel at the Costa del Sol. Later, you may wish to join an optional excursion to the charming Pueblo Blanco village of Mijas.
DAY 10 Costa Del Sol. Excursion to Malaga
Morning excursion to beautiful Malaga. Join your Local Guide on a walking tour through the OLD CITY. Enjoy free time for shopping and maybe a visit to the Picasso Museum.
DAY 11 Costa Del Sol–Gibraltar–Seville
Drive to the ROCK OF GIBRALTAR, in British hands since 1704. Hear about its turbulent history from your Local Guide, see the Moorish Castle, and visit ST. MICHAEL’S CAVES and the colony of Barbary apes. Then, on through the sunny sherry wine region on the Costa de la Luz to vibrant, festive Seville, where [Globus Local Favorite] [Globus Local Favorite] an exclusive visit has been included to the famous Real Meastranza de Caballería de Sevilla, the royal BULL RING.Breakfast
DAY 12 Seville
During your sightseeing tour with a Local Guide, hear about the city’s role in Roman times, its conquest by the Moors in 712 AD, and its contribution to the discovery of the New World. Admire Maria Luisa Park, the Golden Tower on the Guadalquivir River, and the university that used to be the tobacco factory of Carmen fame. Also visit the ALCAZAR, founded in the 11th century as a Moorish fortress, with its Palacio de Don Pedro. Then, stroll through the narrow lanes of the charming SANTA CRUZ QUARTER. For those interested, an optional extended guided visit to the cathedral is available. Tonight, for a truly Andalusian night out, reserve a seat at our optional Flamenco show.
DAY 13 Seville–Cordoba–Madrid
Through the arid landscapes of Don Quixote’s La Mancha to Cordoba.During your guided walking tour of Cordoba, see the Alcazar, the Roman Bridge, and the medieval Jewish quarter. Tour the magnificent 8th-century MOSQUE OF THE CALIPHS, famous for its 850 pillars of porphyry, marble, and jasper. Return to Madrid. Tonight, enjoy a farewell dinner with wine at your hotel.Breakfast
DAY 14 Madrid
Your vacation ends with breakfast this morning.Breakfast