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A Grand Tour of Spain

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4.3 stars(14 reviews)
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Small Group

Enjoy a feast of cultural Spanish delights by train

You are viewing the 2023 itinerary. Select your departure year
20222023
11 days From £2,995 per person

2023 Tour code: ASG23

About the tour

Showcasing the rich cultural heritage of Spain, we travel from the exhilarating capital of Madrid, into Moorish Andalucía - exploring Granada's magnificent Alhambra, the stunning Mezquita Cathedral of Córdoba and the palace gardens of Seville - to eclectic Barcelona.

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, where we're introduced to the main sights, historical buildings and attractive green spaces of Madrid. We see the magnificent Palacio Real, or Royal Palace, still used for official state functions and filled with impressive paintings, sculptures and antiques. After a morning of sightseeing, you are free to explore independently, maybe starting with a tapas lunch of patatas bravas, fresh seafood and Jamón Ibérico in the Plaza Mayor, or the San Miguel market. This afternoon you could walk along the Paseo del Prado to discover the famous Prado gallery, or visit one of the city's other leading art galleries. A perfect retreat from the lively streets is the central park, El Retiro - a vast green oasis with a boating lake and a glass palace.

Includes
  • Breakfast
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 of the historic Santa Cruz area and Seville's 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 rises above Seville's skyline. We 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 Real Alcázar de Sevilla, the Royal Palace in the centre of town, was originally constructed as a Moorish fort and built in Islamic style. Today its superb complex of patios and halls combines several different architectural styles, from Mudéjar to Gothic. At its 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, designed with fountains and pools between formal lawns and trailing floral borders. Known as the birthplace of tapas, Seville is the perfect place to sample some more Spanish cuisine

Includes
  • Breakfast
Day 6 - Granada

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 - the old Arab Quarter, which retains the narrow winding streets of its medieval past and comes alive at night with colourful market stalls, lively cafés and al fresco bars.

Includes
  • Breakfast
Day 7 - The Alhambra

We visit the UNESCO-listed Alhambra itself today. Once the residence of the Moorish leaders of Granada, this medieval palace complex sits on a plateau overlooking the city and dates back to the 9th century. With the fairytale Sierra Nevada mountains as its backdrop, the Alhambra has UNESCO World Heritage status and is one of the world's most recognisable monuments. Originally a small fortress, the Sultan of Granada converted the building in the early 14th century. We enjoy a guided tour of the beautiful palaces and gardens, featuring pebble mosaics, pools and fountains, colonnades and pavilions. This evening, we visit a traditional restaurant for an authentic Andalucían dinner, enjoying views of the illuminated Alhambra.

Includes
  • Breakfast, Dinner
Day 8 - Córdoba

Travelling by coach to Córdoba, 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. We set out on a guided tour of Barcelona, taking in the Gothic Quarter, known Barri Gòtic, and the tree-lined boulevard of Las Ramblas - with its market stalls, street performers 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 unfinished cathedral, the Sagrada Familia. Unwind at one of the local cafés, or take a stroll along the seafront and enjoy the catch of the day in a beachside restaurant as the Mediterranean sun sets.

Includes
  • Breakfast
Day 10 - Barcelona city tour

Today you're free to continue exploring this enchanting city. You could visit the Picasso museum in the Gothic Quarter. You'll find other Gaudí buildings - like Casa Milà and Casa Batlló - and exclusive shops in Eixample, the Modernist district. The city's botanical gardens provide a peaceful retreat from its lively streets. You could also visit Park Güell, another Gaudí creation, with colourful mosaic sculptures - set high above the city, the park has open spaces and fabulous views. Many of Barcelona's other top attractions are conveniently clustered together in the Ciutat Vella or Old City. This evening 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

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

4.3 stars4.3 / 5 · 14 reviews

  1. 5 stars
    (9)
  2. 4 stars
    (3)
  3. 3 stars
    (0)
  4. 2 stars
    (1)
  5. 1 star
    (1)

LA

2 stars

Submitted 3/Oct

I worry about the future of (Great) Rail. Saddened and disappointed, this time, my 5th or 6th holiday with you. Spain is always beautiful. The Hotels were gorgeous and we were spoiled with the breakfasts. The Tour Manager, Chris McGrar, was excellent and if it were not for him the holiday would have spiraled out of control. First Luggage is a shower - the ripples the non-arrival of fellow passengers' suitcases sent through the group was tangible. And then for their sub-contractor to put our cases virtually 'up for sale' on the Granada Plaza went beyond belief. We held onto them from then on. Before advertising it again, someone needs to take their Grandma, though. Most of the group were around 70 years old. To expect them to walk the distances, the steps, the heights, the length of time in the mid afternoon heat of over 30' even in September, was out of order. Your Grandma will soon tell you when you have overstepped the mark. No breaks, no tea, no food stops. The British need their tea. We had a lot of laughs, though. Mostly at the insanity of the situation in which we found ourselves on the 'expedition' and sadly many over the complete muck-up over 'dietry requirements'. The 5 of us with allergies could all have died. Yes- allergies are that serious. Look them up. We sorted ourselves out and looked after one another, because other than the final restaurant where the 2 staff worked incredibly hard to produce lovely food appropriate to each of us, the others just did not understand what on earth we were fussing over. It needs explaining and clarifying from your end. I doubt I will travel with you again and I hope compensation is forthcoming - at least enough for me to replace my (now) 3 wheel suitcase!! Thank you

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Paul

1 stars

Submitted 9/Jun

Disorganised! didn’t use your luggage handler really glad I didn’t. Being asked to hand over unlocked case to third party is a no-no, Hasn’t anyone heard of TSA locks. Then, to find that a other passengers had not received the luggage until halfway through the trip? The rest of the trip was somewhat difficult a lot of walking in hottest part of day my wife and I were ok but one or two were finding it real difficult. I have done a lot of travelling to many places and found that it’s not that difficult to get around I think I will stick to my own travel arrangements in the future.

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Lesley Shuttlewood

5 stars

Submitted 10/May

A good and informative insight into Spanish history and culture.

Collected by Trustpilot

Worthing Traveller

5 stars

Submitted 5/May

Superb tour but very hectic.

Collected by Trustpilot

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

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A Grand Tour of Spain

Enjoy a feast of cultural Spanish delights by train

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