Spain Grand Tour
Day 1 ARRIVE TO MADRID
Arrival to Madrid airport. Individual transfers to the hotel. Welcome dinner at the local restaurant or at hotel. Overnight.
Day 2 MADRID
Breakfast. Start a guided HD s/s tour of Madrid (4 hrs), a multi-faced city, with its Arab-fortress which origins to the court days during the reign of Philip II and that of Charles III, at which period some important building schemes were undertaken and, finally, present day Madrid, one of the most important European capitals. We'll drive past such well-known avenues as those of Gran Vía and Castellana, famous squares such as the Plaza de España, Oriente, Mayor, Puerta del Sol, Atocha, Neptuno, Cibeles, Puerta de Alcalá, Colón and Plaza de Castilla, quarters of major historical relevance such as that of the Austrias, the Borbouns and Salamanca, the Oeste and Retiro parks, commercial and financial areas Coliseums such as the Bullring, the Santiago Bernabeu soccer stadium, University Campous, etc. Time permiting we shall visit also the Basilica San Francisco. The afternoon is at leisure. Overnight.
Day 3 MADRID – TOLEDO - MADRID
After breakfast begin a HD excursion to Toledo. In Toledo, guided HD tour of the city (3 hrs) with included inside visits to the Cathedral (entrance included) and Santo Tome Church (entrance included). From Toledo return to Madrid. Afternoon at leisure. Overnight.
Day 4 MADRID – SALAMANCA – SANTIAGO DE COMPOSTELA
After breakfast departure toward Santiago de Compostela. On the way stop in Salamanca an ancient city famous for its university founded by Alfonso IX in the early 1200’s. All the buildings in the center of town, even the new ones, are made of the stone from Villamayor, which contains a high concentration of iron making possible very filigree works. Together with its characteristic golden color gives strong personality to all the town. During orientation tour (without local guide) see the highlights such as Casa de las Conchas, the Roman Bridge, Plaza Mayor, Old and New Cathedral and the University Quarter with its famous Salamanca University. Free for lunch on your own and then continue to Santiago de Compostela. Upon arrival check in your hotel and overnight.
Day 5 SANTIAGO DE COMPOSTELA
Breakfast. Start half day guided tour of Santiago de Compostela (3,5 hrs), a city with a simple structure: its centre is the so-called “casco histórico” (old town), which corresponds roughly to the area that used to be surrounded by 11th-century walls. Visit the Cathedral and the Cathedral museum, which borders the main Plaza of the old and well-preserved city. Continue by crossing the square and see the Pazo de Raxoi (Raxoi's Palace), the Town Hall and the seat of the Galician Xunta, and on the right from the Cathedral stairway is the hostal Dos Reyes Catolicos, founded in 1492 as a pilgrims' hospice by the Catholic Monarchs Isabella of Castille and Ferdinand of Aragon. In the afternoon free to discover the city on your own. The old town is home to an important number of monuments that can be visited, intensive shopping, numerous accommodation and gastronomic establishments, as well as institutions, museums, foundations and the oldest buildings belonging to the University of Santiago. The city is full of houses, markets, cafés and bars, which make it a lively, dynamic area. Overnight.
Day 6 SANTIAGO DE COMPOSTELA - OVIEDO
After breakfast departure to the North of Galicia driving along the picturesuqe national road passing by the Cabo Ortegal (subject to the weather conditions) and on along the Asturian coast direction our final destination of the day, Oviedo. Overnight.
Day 7 OVIEDO
Breakfast and then half day guided city tour of Oviedo (3 hrs) where one can visit the old city with the Cathedral, the Valdecarnaza Palace and the ruins of the San Tirso Church, the Porlier square surrounded by two famous palaces: the Toreno and the Camposagrado Palace and more. Afternoon at leisure. Overnight.
Day 8 OVIEDO - BILBAO
After breakfast start the journey toward Bilbao. On the way to Bilbao stop in Santillana del Mar, one of the most picturesque Spanish village in the North Coast. Its architecture dates back to the Middle Age. In the vicinity of Santillana del Mar we visit the famous Altamira Caves, a site that houses one of the best samples of the Ancient Art. Proceed to Santander for the orientation tour (without local guide) featuring the lighthouse Faro de Cabo Mayor, la Magdalena beach, Piquìo gardens, el Sardinero beaches, and the Magdalena peninsula with the Royal palace. From there continue to the heart of the city centre to see the town hall, the central post office, and Plaza Porticada. Continue to Bilbao for overnight.
Day 9 BILBAO
Breakfast and half day guided tour of Bilbao (3 hrs), starting from the mount Artxanda, where from we can obtain one of the best views over the city. On the way down cross the “ensanche” of the city to take direction to the old part, pedestrian area with more than 700 years of history, where we see the Santiago´s cathedral, the “Plaza Nueva” and the Ribera market. After lunch (on your own) visit the Guggenheim museum with headphones (entrance fee included; without the local guide, only with the headphones), an architectural masterpiece that hosts a large collection of modern and contemporary art, a continuation of the Guggenheim legacy. The reminder of the day free. Overnight.
Day 10 BILBAO – SAN SEBASTIAN – PAMPLONA
After breakfast depart direction San Sebastian. Upon arrival start a panoramic tour of the city (without local guide): visit the Igueldo Mountain (with cable car), which offers a great panoramic view on Santa Clara island, Ulia mount and “La Concha” bay. Crossing la Concha and Ondarreta beaches, where we can see the comb of the wind by the Basque artist Eduardo Chillida, to the heart of the city: the old part that corresponds to its initial walled town and located among the port, the river Urumea and the mount Urgull; the San Vicente’s church, view of the Museum of San Telmo), and the old Dominic convent with painting by José María Sert and the basilica of Santa Maria of the choir. Free for lunch (on your own). In the afternoon proceed to Pamplona for overnight.
Day 11 PAMPLONA – ZARAGOZA – BARCELONA
In the morning after breakfast begin a half day guided sightseeing tour of Pamplona (2,5 hrs) featuring the Ciudadela, the City Walls, the famous parks with gardens and hear the story about the famous event of the Bull Running at the San Fermin festivity. From Pamplona depart direction Zaragoza – upon arrival short orientation tour and continue to our final destination of the day. Late afternoon arrival to Barcelona. Overnight.
Day 12 BARCELONA
Breakfast. Departure for a guided half day s/s tour of Barcelona (4 hrs), which includes Barcelona’s most important artistic sights: Gaudi’s famous buildings Casa Batlló, Casa Milá, the Cathedral Sagrada Familia (entrance fee included) and Guell Park, declared an artistic monument and mankind’s heritage by the Unesco. We pass by the Barcelona’s Monumental Bull Ring and the city park La Ciutadella. In the afternoon free to stroll around on your own. Overnight.
Day 13 BARCELONA
After breakfast begin a guided half day s/s tour of Barcelona (4 hrs) featuring Plaza Cataluña, Vía Laietana, the Cathedral, the Gothic Quarter and Plaza Sant Jaume. Continue to the Vila Olímpica and the Port Olímpic, pass the Montjuic Mountain, and see the harbour. Afternoon at leisure - opportunity for optional excursions. Overnight.
Day 14 DEPART BARCELONA
Breakfast. Individual transfers to Barcelona airport for your home bound flight.