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Andalucian Explorer

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4.7 stars(10 reviews)
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Enjoy a feast of cultural Spanish delights by train

You are viewing the 2022 itinerary. Select your departure year
20212022
11 days From £3,195 per person

2022 Tour code: ASG22

About the tour

Showcasing the rich cultural heritage of Andalucía, from traditional flamenco to authentic tapas, this holiday takes us from Spain's bustling capital city, through the iconic Moorish citadel of Granada's Alhambra to eclectic Barcelona, via the white-washed patios of Cordoba's Old Town.

Highlights

What’s included

Itinerary

Day 1 - London and Biarritz

We meet at London St Pancras and take the Eurostar to Paris, continuing to Biarritz for the night.

Includes
  • Dinner
  • Eurostar Meal
Day 2 – Madrid

Beginning the final leg of our outward journey, we travel by rail to Madrid - home for the next two nights.

Includes
  • Breakfast
Day 3 – Exploring Madrid

Today includes a sightseeing tour by coach and on foot, during which we admire the many architectural styles and attractive green spaces of Madrid. Along the way we see the magnificent Palacio Real, or Royal Palace, built in 1764 to replace Alcázar castle which had been destroyed by a fire thirty years earlier. This opulent palace is still used for official state functions and is filled with impressive paintings, sculptures and antiques. After a morning of sightseeing, we sit down to an authentic tapas lunch in Plaza Mayor, the city's 17th-century public square, enjoying dish after little dish of local delicacies such as patatas bravas, fresh seafood and jamón ibérico. The rest of your afternoon is free. Among the top attractions in Madrid are its three leading museums, the Prado Museum, the Thyssen-bornemisza Museum and the Reina Sofia Museum.

Includes
  • Breakfast, Lunch
Day 4 - Seville

We travel by train into Andalucía, arriving in the fascinating city of Seville for a two-night stay. This afternoon we enjoy a tour, seeing the historic Santa Cruz area and the Gothic cathedral. The largest of its kind in Europe, it was built on the site of a mosque and is the final resting place of Christopher Columbus. Lavishly decorated in gold, the cathedral's bell tower, La Giralda, was the minaret of the original mosque and dominates Seville's skyline. We'll also visit the Plaza de España to admire the beautiful buildings, ornate fountains and tiled alcoves created for the 1929 'Fair of the Americas'.

Includes
  • Breakfast, Dinner
Day 5 – Discovering Seville

Make the most of a free day to continuing sightseeing. The Reales Alcázares de Sevilla, the Royal Palace in the centre of town, was originally constructed as a Moorish fort and built in a marked Islamic style. Today it is a superb complex of patios and halls that combines several different architectural styles, from Mudéjar to Gothic. At its very centre is the Palace of King Pedro I, who constructed his royal residence on the site of a Moorish palace. The palace gardens are a lovely sanctuary from the hustle and bustle of Seville's city centre, and are well laid out with fountains and pools interspersed with formal lawns and flowerbeds. Known as the birthplace of tapas, Seville is the perfect place to sample some more Spanish cuisine.

Includes
  • Breakfast
Day 6 - Granada and a flamenco show

We take the train to Granada, where we stay for two nights. An enchanting city scattered over seven small hills, Granada is dominated by the Alhambra, one of the most recognisable palaces in the world. We begin our explorations with a sightseeing tour, visiting the Albayzin area, which retains the narrow winding streets of its medieval past, before a truly Spanish experience. This evening, we dine at a nearby restaurant, enjoying views of the illuminated Alhambra before making our way into the surrounding mountainous landscapes to the Caves of Sacromonte for an atmospheric Zambra flamenco show.

Includes
  • Breakfast, Dinner
Day 7 - The Alhambra

We visit the UNESCO-listed Alhambra itself today. Once the residence of the Muslim Kings of Granada, this medieval palace complex sits on a plateau overlooking the city and dates back to the 9th century. With the high Sierra Nevada as its backdrop, the Alhambra now boasts UNESCO World Heritage status and is one of Spain's most iconic monuments. Originally a small fortress, the Sultan of Granada converted the building in the early 14th century. After a guided tour of the residential quarters and gardens, tiled in typical Granadian style with pebble mosaics and featuring pools framed by flowerbeds, fountains, colonnades and pavilions, we visit a traditional restaurant for an authentic Andalucían dinner.

Includes
  • Breakfast, Dinner
Day 8 - Cordoba

Travelling by coach to Cordoba, a beautiful, relaxed city with UNESCO World Heritage status, we check into our hotel for the night. Afterwards, a guided tour introduces us to the city's labyrinth of winding alleys and pretty squares. Entering the Old Town area, we cross the Roman Bridge, passing the 14th-century Calahorra Tower, before continuing to the famous Mezquita, considered to be one of the greatest remaining works of Islamic architecture in the world. Next we explore the narrow streets of the historic Jewish Quarter with our local guide.

Includes
  • Breakfast, Dinner
Day 9 - Barcelona

Taking the train to Barcelona, we check into our hotel for two nights. You're then free to get acquainted with the city. Perhaps make your way to Casa Milà and Casa Batlló or wander through the beautiful garden complex, Park Güell. Many of Barcelona's other top attractions are conveniently clustered together in the Ciutat Vella or Old City. Unwind after a busy day at one of the local cafés, many of which serve food unique to Catalonia, followed by a stroll along the beach accompanied by the sight of a Mediterranean sunset.

Includes
  • Breakfast
Day 10 - Barcelona city tour

We set out on a guided tour of Barcelona, stopping in the heart of the beautiful Old Town to see Barri Gòtic and the tree-lined boulevard of Las Ramblas, home to countless street performers, cafés and shops. The rest of your day is free to enjoy the city. It's impossible to visit Barcelona and not fall under the spell of renowned architect Antoni Gaudí. His unique style is intrinsically linked with Barcelona and many of his masterpieces can be found in the heart of the city. Perhaps start with the spectacular Sagrada Familia. Unfinished at the time of Gaudí's death, this incredible building is still under construction and when complete, will have a staggering 18 towers. We enjoy a final farewell dinner at a local restaurant this evening.

Includes
  • Breakfast, Dinner
Day 11 - Barcelona and London

Boarding the train to Paris, we join the Eurostar service to London St Pancras and our Spanish adventure comes to an end.

Includes
  • Breakfast
  • Eurostar Meal

Additional information

Special Event - Easter Celebrations

Semana Santa, or 'Holy Week' in Spain is a collection of festivals that centre around pilgrims taking part in penance processions through all the major cities of Spain. Celebrated in the last week of Lent, immediately preceding Easter itself, this festival of Catholic piety is particularly popular in Seville, featuring 'pasos' - life-like sculptures of Biblical scenes from the Crucifixion, or of the Virgin Mary.

Easter Celebrations
Please note

Please note that while every departure of this tour will feature the same excursions, the order may differ from that shown above.

Departure times

Provisional departure and return times, where available, can be found together with our dates and prices by clicking on the 'Prices & Availability' button. We write to all booked customers approximately 10 weeks prior to the start of their tour to advise the exact departure and return time for their particular group.

Mobility information

Due to the nature of our tours they are generally unsuitable for those with restricted mobility. If you’d like to discuss any particular holiday with us in this respect, then please don’t hesitate to call us.

Hotels

Hotel Catalonia La Pedrera

Hotel Catalonia La Pedrera, Barcelona

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Hotel Hesperia Cordoba

Hotel Hesperia Cordoba, Cordoba

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Hotel Catalonia Gran Via, Madrid

Hotel Catalonia Gran Via, Madrid

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Casa Romana Hotel Boutique

Casa Romana Hotel Boutique, Seville

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Palacio de Santa Ines, Granada

Palacio de Santa Ines, Granada

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Trains

AVE
Eurostar
TGV

Enhance your holiday

Upgrades

Inclusive Luggage Upgrade
London Hotels
UK rail connections

Reviews

4.7 stars4.7 / 5 · 10 reviews

  1. 5 stars
    (7)
  2. 4 stars
    (3)
  3. 3 stars
    (0)
  4. 2 stars
    (0)
  5. 1 star
    (0)

Mr J Knox

5 stars

Submitted 18 Oct 2019

This was another outstandingly great holiday. It was full of wonderful experiences and unexpected sights.

Collected by Great Rail Journeys

Ms D Higby

5 stars

Submitted 11 Oct 2019

Tour director was wonderful

Collected by Great Rail Journeys

Mrs G Lunt

5 stars

Submitted 11 Oct 2019

Great itinerary and hotels. Restaurant meals excellent.

Collected by Great Rail Journeys

Mr J Daly

4 stars

Submitted 24 Oct 2018

First experience with this type of holiday and with this company and we had a wonderful time.Well organised, excellent leader, good hotels and transport arrangements, variety of experiences.

Collected by Great Rail Journeys

Mr S May

5 stars

Submitted 23 May 2018

Excellent tour, hotels, tour manager and beautiful places,

Collected by Great Rail Journeys

Mr M Quinton

5 stars

Submitted 20 May 2018

Especially knowledgeable, competent and friendly tour manager.

Collected by Great Rail Journeys

Show all 10 reviews
Europe by Rail 2022

Europe by Rail 2022

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Andalucian Explorer

Enjoy a feast of cultural Spanish delights by train

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Helen Laverack
Helen
Lynne Broadley
Lynne
Luke Simpson
Luke