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Andalucian Explorer

(21 reviews)
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Enjoy a feast of cultural Spanish delights by train

11 daysFrom $3,310 per person

2020 Tour code: ASG20

About the tour

Showcasing the rich cultural heritage of Andalucía, this tour takes us from Spain's bustling, fashionable capital city, through the iconic Moorish citadel of Granada's Alhambra, to the opulent city of Barcelona, via the white-washed passages of Cordoba's Old Town.

Highlights

What’s included

Itinerary

Day 1 - Madrid

Meet the rest of your group and Tour Manager at you hotel in Madrid, spending two nights at the NH Principe Vergera Hotel in the lively Spanish capital.

Madrid's Plaza Mayor
Day 2 - Sightseeing in Madrid

Today we enjoy a sightseeing tour of the city, admiring the many architectural styles, and attractive green spaces. Following the tour, which takes place on foot and by coach, we have lunch in a typical restaurant on Madrid's Plaza Mayor. The rest of your day is free.

Includes
  • Breakfast, Lunch
Madrid Plaza
Days 3-4 - To Seville and a guided sightseeing tour

This morning we depart by high-speed AVE train for the journey south into Andalucía, to the fascinating city of Seville, an old port city set on the Guadalquivir River.

The city played a key role in establishing and continuing trade with South America and remains one of Spain's most active river ports. Credited with inventing tapas, Seville boasts as many as 1,000 tapas bars serving almost every conceivable type of tapas. Sevillians are known to move from bar to bar, enjoying a different small dish in each establishment they visit. On arrival in Seville we transfer to the Hotel Becquer, located in the heart of the city. This afternoon we enjoy a tour, including the beautiful and historic Santa Cruz area and the Gothic cathedral dominated by the Giralda tower. Day 4 is spent at leisure discovering this quintessentially Spanish city.

Includes
  • Day 3 - Breakfast, Dinner
  • Day 4 - Breakfast
Seville
Day 5 - Granada and the Albayzin

Today we travel by rail to Granada (Standard Class), an enchanting city scattered over 7 small hills at the confluence of 2 rivers. Charming and romantic, Granada is dominated by the exquisite Alhambra, one of the most recognisable palaces in the world, and bathed throughout the afternoon in a glorious warm pink-gold glow. We begin our explorations with a sightseeing tour, visiting the Albayzin area which boasts fantastic views of the Alhambra and retains the narrow winding streets of its medieval past, Carrera Del Darro. Here we will see the Church of San Salvador, Arab baths and Plaza Larga. This evening we dine at a restaurant in the Albayzin Quarter, enjoying views of the beautifully illuminated Alhambra.

Includes
  • Breakfast, Dinner
Granada
Day 6 - The Alhambra

We continue our sightseeing today with a visit to Spain's most spectacular and iconic monument, the Alhambra, which was once the residence of the Muslim Kings of Granada. The Alhambra sits proudly on a plateau overlooking Granada, with the high Sierra Nevada as its backdrop. Dating back to the 9th century, the palace complex 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, we visit a traditional restaurant this evening.

Includes
  • Breakfast, Dinner
The Alhambra, Granada
Day 7 - Cordoba

Our journey today takes us by coach to Cordoba, a beautiful city with a relaxed atmosphere. On the way, we pay an informative visit to an olive oil mill in Montilla, where we see how this traditional foodstuff is made by impressively engineered machinery. This afternoon you are free to explore at leisure. We dine together at a local Taberna this evening.

Includes
  • Breakfast, Dinner
Cordoba
Day 8 - Guided sightseeing tour of Cordoba

This morning we embark on a sightseeing tour of Cordoba, which in the 10th century was the largest city in Western Europe and is now a UNESCO World Heritage site. The labyrinth of narrow, winding alleys and pretty squares make Cordoba a delightful city to explore on foot. After crossing the Roman Bridge and passing the 14th-century Calahorra Tower, we continue to the famous Mezquita (mosque). We then tour the Jewish Quarter, with its narrow whitewashed streets.

Includes
  • Breakfast
Corboda
Day 9 - Barcelona

This morning we join the high-speed AVE service direct to Barcelona. We travel in Standard Plus class for this journey. Upon arrival you are free to explore this exciting city at your own pace. Barcelona has long been Spain's economic heart, and this wealth is reflected in the grand, opulent buildings which encircle the various public squares dotted throughout the city. We stay at the 4-Star Hotel Catalonia La Pedrera, our base for two nights.

Take your time after settling into your hotel to explore a little of this superb continental city. You may wish to sample food in a local restaurant or cafés, which serve varieties of Spanish tapas along with food unique to Catalonia and this part of Spain. As the day winds down, perhaps take a stroll along the beach and the waterfront, and enjoy the sight of the blue waters of the Balearic Sea as the sun melts in the waves.

Includes
  • Breakfast
Barcelona
Day 10 - A sightseeing tour of Barcelona

This morning we take a sightseeing tour of Barcelona, including a visit to the beautiful Old Town, the Barri Gotic, and the tree-lined boulevard of Las Ramblas. The rest of your day is free to enjoy the city. The inimitable Gaudí architecture and medieval churches offer contrasts on every corner, with countless street performers, cafés and shops in between. We enjoy a final farewell dinner tonight at a local restaurant.

Includes
  • Breakfast, Dinner
Barcelona
Day 11 - Return home

After breakfast this morning, you are free to make your way to the airport to catch your flight back home.

Includes
  • Breakfast
Flight home

Additional information

Recommended airports

For this tour, we recommend arriving to Madrid-Barajas Airport (MAD), which is approximately 8 miles from your start point. For this tour, we recommend departing from Josep Tarradellas Barcelona-El Prat Airport (BCN), which is approximately 10 miles from your end point.

Airport waiting room
Visa Requirements

It is your responsibility to check and fulfil the passport, visa, health and immigration requirements applicable to your itinerary. We do not accept any responsibility if you cannot travel, or incur any other loss because you have not complied with any passport, visa, immigration requirements or health formalities. You agree to reimburse us in relation to any fines or other losses which we incur as a result of your failure to comply with any passport, visa, immigration requirements or health formalities.

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.

Hotels

Hotel Catalonia La Pedrera

Hotel Catalonia La Pedrera, Barcelona

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Hesperia Cordoba

Hesperia Cordoba, Cordoba

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Melia Granada Hotel, Granada

Melia Granada Hotel, Granada

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NH Principe Vergara

NH Principe Vergara, Madrid

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Hotel Becquer, Seville

Hotel Becquer, Seville

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Trains

AVE
Eurostar
TGV

Reviews

100% of travelers would recommend this tour

Based on 21 verified reviews

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Mr J Knox

Submitted Oct 18, 2019

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

Ms D Higby

Submitted Oct 11, 2019

Tour director was wonderful

Anonymous

Submitted Oct 11, 2019

It was too rushed. A lovely hotel in Biarritz but no time to enjoy it before rushing on again. Not enough time to explore the Alhambra in Granada or the Mezquita in Cordoba, we could have spent much longer if the guides hadn't kept us moving the whole time. Some of the guides on the vacation were absolutely hopeless ( very good male guides both days in Granada though ) At several hotels we found the traffic noise so bad it was difficult to sleep. As we were asked to rate hotels / restaurants on our way home it would be a good idea to warn us in advance so that we could keep notes. It was impossible to remember one place from another so we often had to guess about the places, as did many others on the tour because we were asking one another to try to remember. This last point wouldn't go in the box below - too many letters!!

Mrs G Lunt

Submitted Oct 11, 2019

Great itinerary and hotels. Restaurant meals excellent.

Mr J Daly

Submitted Oct 24, 2018

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

Anonymous

Submitted Oct 12, 2018

Everything was good. No more to be said

Europe, UK & Cruising by Rail 2019

Europe, UK & Cruising by Rail 2019

The definitive guide to our 2019 rail tours to a wide range of destinations in Europe.

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Andalucian Explorer

Enjoy a feast of cultural Spanish delights by train

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Vaugnel Fletcher
Vaugnel
Dimitri Zgonis
Dimitri