Madrid & the Costa del Sol

Madrid & the Costa del Sol
Make a wish and throw a coin into one of Madrid’s many spectacular fountains, travel across Spanish countryside to explore Seville’s cobbled streets, bask on a beach on the Costa del Sol and climb the Rock of Gibraltar to see Europe’s only wild monkeys.
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Day 1 Start tour
Day 2 Hola Madrid
Meet your tour director and check into hotel
Madrid city walk
Puerta del SolPlaza MayorPlaza de España
Details: Madrid city walk
Life in Madrid is centered around talking, toasting and tapas-eating. In a walk through this crowded and social city, your Tour Director will help you get to know the lay of the land. Then stroll over to the Puerta del Sol, the bustling city center. Next, you'll relax at the Plaza Mayor, a grand square where every sort of human drama has taken place—trials of faith, public burnings of heretics, royal marriages, the canonization of saints, and countless balls and bullfights. End at the Plaza de España for a stop at an outdoor café.
Details: Prado visit
Visit the Museo del Prado, home of works by Spain's great masters, including Francisco Goya, Diego Velázquez, and El Greco. Please note that on some occassions the Prado could be substituted for the Reina Sofia Museum, featuring works from Pablo Picasso and Salvador Dalí among others.
Day 3 Madrid landmarks
Madrid guided sightseeing tour
Calle MayorGran VíaCibeles FountainPuerta de AlcaláColumbus SquareRoyal Palace visit
Optional  Toledo guided excursion  $70
Toledo Cathedral visitChurch of Santo ToméSt. Mary’s Synagogue
Details: Madrid guided sightseeing tour
Get a taste of Spain's cultural, political and economic center with a tour led by a licensed local guide. See Madrid's mix of traditional and modern as you visit the Royal Palace, an 18th-century masterpiece. The enormous Baroque palace currently has more rooms (2,800) than any other European palace, but it was originally supposed to be four times as large. The palace is dripping with porcelain, jeweled clocks, amazing ceiling frescoes—the most magnificent, in the Throne Room, was done by the Venetian artist Tiepolo when he was in his seventies. Next take a look at the Neoclassical architecture of the Prado Museum and the Puerta de Alcalá triumphal arch, built to honor Carlos III’s entry into Spain.
Details: Tapas dinner
Tapas purportedly originated when bartenders set a small plate ("tapa") over patrons' glasses of sherry and wine to keep the flies out. The bartenders started piling the plate with cold cuts, olives, or salad, and the bite-size snack was born. (We're unsure how they kept the flies out of the cold-cuts... maybe that's how the sandwich was invented?) Over time, these working-class snacks have become more elaborate, with each region adding its own specialties and cooking techniques to create unique tastes and combinations.
Day 4 Madrid--Seville
Details: Travel to Seville by AVE train
Race across the country in Spain’s fastest train, the high-tech AVE, which can reach speeds of over 180 miles per hour.
Day 5 Seville Landmarks
Seville guided sightseeing tour
Giralda TowerAlcázar visitColumbus’ gravesiteSeville Cathedral visit
Seville city walk
Barrio de Santa Cruz
Details: Seville guided sightseeing tour
See the twisted alleyways and cobbled streets of Seville with the help of a licensed, local guide. Your first visit will be to the Barrio de Santa Cruz, formerly the old Jewish quarter of the 17th-century. Now, lovingly restored, these properties are among the city’s more exquisite and expensive. Next you will enter the high, fortified wall of the Alcázar, a palace built by a Christian king named ‘Pedro the Cruel’. Now it is the official residence of the king and queen of Spain. End the day with a visit to Columbus’ gravesite.
Details: Seville city walk
Charming white-washed houses and ochre-colored palaces with ornate façades. Jasmine-covered balconies and luxuriant parks. Jean Cocteau listed Seville (along with Peking and Venice) as one of the three most magical cities in the world. Santa Teresa proclaimed its beauty was the work of the devil. Decide for yourself as you stroll the streets with your Tour Director. Climb to the top of the Giralda Tower, the greatest symbol of the city. It was once the minaret of Seville’s greatest mosque, built between 1184 and 1196. Later, Christians destroyed the mosque but couldn’t bear to tear down the tower, so they incorporated it into their new cathedral.
Details: Flamenco evening
Originating from gypsy music and dance in Southern Spain, flamenco dancing has become a Spanish institution. Dancers use intricate footwork and elaborate arm gestures to convey the mood of the music, which can range from lamentation to celebration. Learn about the history of Flamenco, watch dancers perform and give it a whirl yourself!
Day 6 Seville--Costa del Sol
Travel to Costa del Sol via Granada
Details: Alhambra guided visit
Granada sits on three gentle hills, which are dwarfed on a clear day by the majestic snowcapped peaks of the Sierra Nevada. Atop one of these hills sits the imposing but delicate Alhambra palace. Golden pink hues give this sprawling renaissance gateway an otherworldly aura. One of the best rewards of climbing up to see it is the view of the city mixed in with orchards, tobacco fields and poplar groves.
Day 7 Gibraltar
Gibraltar excursion
Rock of GibraltarMoorish CastleThe Tower of Homage
Details: Gibraltar excursion
Venture into tiny Gibraltar, officially a British colony, whose three square miles host over 44 nationalities. Its most famous site, the 1400-foot Rock of Gibraltar, hosts a different species altogether: the Barbary monkeys, the only primates in Europe. Legend says that once they disappear from Gibraltar, so will the British — the British Army actually once took charge of keeping the monkeys well fed. From the top of the Rock you can see into Africa, the only place you can do so in all of Europe. (Non-U.S. citizens should check with their embassy or consulate for entry requirements.)
Day 8 Costa del Sol beach time
Details: Costa del Sol beach time
Sit back, relax, and remind yourself: You’re on the Costa del Sol! With over 150 kilometers of prime beachfront in one of Spain’s most popular destinations, life in this part of the world revolves around beach time...and rightly so! With consistently beautiful weather, and even more beautiful scenery, the Costa del Sol gives an entirely new meaning to a day at the beach. So grab your suit, your sunscreen, and your sunglasses and prepare to soak up the “Sol."
Day 9 End tour
Limited air service from Malaga may cause flight itinerary changes

  • Or
  • Day 9 Start extension to Portugal
    Details: Travel to Lisbon via Italica
    Hit the ruins. The birthplace of emperors Trajan and Hadrian, Italica still flaunts the third-largest Roman amphitheater in the world and amazing ancient mosaics, many still being uncovered by archaeologists, ranging from simple geometric patterns to elaborate scenes of Neptune and the seasons.
    Details: Italica visit
    The birthplace of emperors Trajan and Hadrian, Italica still flaunts the third-largest Roman amphitheater in the world and amazing ancient mosaics, many still being uncovered by archaeologists. Wander through the millennia-old streets and villas to see mosaics ranging from simple geometric patterns to elaborate scenes of Neptune and the seasons.
    Day 10 Lisbon landmarks
    Lisbon guided sightseeing tour
    Castelo de São Jorge visitMonument to the DiscoveriesMosteiro dos Jerónimos visit
    Details: Lisbon guided sightseeing tour
    Tour Europe's smallest capital, a port city once the entrance point for exotic wares from the far-flung corners of Asia, Africa, and the Americas. Now the city has a new vibrancy, with the opening of a new railway hub and the contrast of brash new modern buildings and restored medieval façades. Get lost in the Alfama, a maze of streets where houses are so close together, you can spread your arms and touch buildings on both sides of the street. Stroll the cobblestone pedestrian malls and Lisbon's main street, the Avenida da Liberdade. Get your portrait done by one of the sidewalk artists. See the new bridge, Ponte Vasco da Gama (built for Expo '98), which spans the Tagus river. Shop for handcrafts. Lisbon remains one of the best places to buy hand-made goods from around the world-embroidery, ceramics, silver, and tiles.
    Details: Fado evening
    Portugal's version of the Blues, Fado means "fate" or "destiny," and its songs generally tell the tale of lost love or glory. Head to a Fado house in the Bairro Alto and see the singers swathed in black, accompanied by 12-stringed guitars, crooning their hearts out.
    Day 11 End tour
    Map of Madrid & the Costa del Sol Educational Tour
    Tour Includes:
    • Round-trip airfare
    • 7 overnight stays (9 with extension) in hotels with private bathrooms
    • Full European breakfast daily
    • Dinner daily
    • Full-time services of a professional Tour Director
    • Guided sightseeing tours and city walks as per itinerary
    • Visits to select attractions as per itinerary
    • Tapas Dinner
    • High-speed AVE train to Seville
    • Flamenco Evening
    • Fado evening on extension
    • Tour Diary™
    • Note: On arrival day only dinner is provided; on departure day, only breakfast is provided
    • Note: Tour cost does not include airline-imposed baggage fees, or fees for any required passport or visa. Please visit our Fees FAQ page for a full list of items that may not be included in the cost of your tour.
    We are better able to assist you with a quote for your selected departure date and city over the phone. Please call 1.888.310.7120 to price this tour with your requested options.
    Please select a postal code
    2799.00 total fee
    Basic Options

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