Madrid, Toledo & Andalusia - Spain has perhaps the richest cultural heritage of any European country, particularly in the southern province of Andalusia, which boasts a fantastic blend of Roman, Catholic, and Arabic influences. This journey of discovery travels on the back roads and mountain passes of Andalusia visiting well-known sights and lesser-known gems along the way.

Spanish Inspiration

Land Only Small Group Tour

Duration : 10 DAYSCountry : SPAIN
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Alhambra Palace, Granada © Turismo de Granada
Córdoba Mezquita Catedral  © Turismo CordobaFlamenco show © Turismo de SevillaAlcazar de Sevilla © Turismo de SevillaHotel Casa de la Juderia in Seville  © Turismo de SevillaBodega, Spain © Turismo El Castilla La ManchaPuento Nuevo, Ronda © Turismo de Ronda

Madrid, Toledo & Andalusia - Spain has perhaps the richest cultural heritage of any European country, particularly in the southern province of Andalusia, which boasts a fantastic blend of Roman, Catholic, and Arabic influences. This journey of discovery travels on the back roads and mountain passes of Andalusia visiting well-known sights and lesser-known gems along the way.

Included in the price

  • 9 nights’ accommodation
  • Back-Roads tour leader
  • Driver & mini-coach transportation
  • Local guides in Toledo, Cordoba, Seville & Granada
  • European breakfast daily
  • 3 x evening meals
  • 1 x tapas lunch
  • Flamenco show in Seville
  • Wine & sherry tasting
  • Learn to make sangria & tapas in Seville
  • Olive oil tasting
  • Included Entrances: Santa Maria la Blanca & San Juan de los Reyes in Toledo, Mezquita in Cordoba, Cathedral & Alcazar in Seville & the Alhambra in Granada.

Day 1: Madrid – Toledo

From Madrid we head south to Toledo, the former capital of Spain, brimming with hundreds of years of history and known locally as the “Imperial City”. Here we see the magnificent Cathedral as well as the Synagogue of Santa Maria la Blanca and the Monastery of San Juan de los Reyes. This evening enjoy dinner in a traditional Spanish restaurant. (D) Accommodation: Hotel Carlos V (or similar)

Day 2: Toledo – Valdepenas – Cordoba

We travel south across the vast plains of La Mancha, famous for its delicious wines, manchego cheese and, of course, Don Quixote. When we reach Valdepenas we visit a local bodega to sample wines and tapas before continuing to the enchanting city of Cordoba, where we spend the next two nights. (B, L) Accommodation: Hotel Casas de la Juderia (or similar)

Day 3: Cordoba

Enjoy a taste of the rich North African architectural heritage left in Andalusia with a walking tour of Cordoba and visit the Mezquita, a UNESCO World Heritage Site. This afternoon explore the Old Town’s narrow streets and private patios at your leisure, or perhaps pamper yourself this evening with a visit to an Arabic bathhouse. (B) Accommodation: Hotel Casas de la Juderia (or similar)

Day 4: Cordoba – Seville

In Seville, we enjoy a tapas cooking class and learn how to make the perfect sangria. This afternoon explore Seville at your own pace before preparing for an unforgettable Andalusian flamenco show followed by a tapas dinner with a contemporary twist. (B, D) Accommodation: Hotel Casas de la Juderia (or similar)

Day 5: Seville

Explore the fascinating and vibrant city of Seville this morning. Highlights include a stroll through the Jewish Quarter to the impressive Cathedral and the Alcazar de Sevilla, the oldest Royal Palace in Europe that is still in use today. The remainder of the day is yours to spend at your leisure. (B) Accommodation: Hotel Casas de la Juderia (or similar)

Day 6: Seville – Jerez de la Frontera – Arcos – Ronda

Leaving Seville behind, we head to the Costa del Luz where we stop for lunch. Located on the Atlantic Coast it is a popular seaside destination for Spaniards and famous for its amazing seafood. In Jerez de la Frontera, famously the hub of sherry wine production, we discover the secrets of sherry wine with a guided tour in a traditional bodega followed by an exclusive tasting. Continuing to Arcos de la Frontera, a picturesque town in the province of Cadiz, we discover small reminders of its Arabian heritage. Our final destination today is Ronda, a beautiful town perched on the edge of a deep canyon cut out by the River Guadalevín. (B) Accommodation: Hotel Reina Victoria (or similar)

Day 7: Ronda – Granada

After a free morning to explore Ronda’s ancient streets, we continue east to the unforgettable city of Granada, which was the last stronghold of the Moorish Empire in southern Spain until it finally fell to the Catholic Kings in 1492. Enjoy an evening at leisure in Granada. (B) Accommodation: Hotel la Casa de la Trinidad (or similar)

Day 8: Granada

Our time this morning is dedicated to the magnificent Alhambra, a breath-taking Moorish Palace and Fortress perched on top of a steep hill adjacent to the city centre. A true tribute to the beauty of North African architecture in Andalusia, the Alhambra is a huge network of beautiful rooms, patios and gardens. The rest of today is for you to explore Granada at your own pace. (B) Accommodation: Hotel la Casa de la Trinidad (or similar)

Day 9: Granada – Ubeda – Baeza

Today we explore Ubeda and Baeza. Situated just six miles apart, both towns have an outstanding ensemble of 16th and 17th century Renaissance buildings, and have been declared World Heritage Sites by UNESCO. Nicknamed "queen" (Ubeda) and "lady" (Baeza) by the brilliant poet Antonio Machado, their streets are filled with churches, palaces and stately homes. After an olive oil tasting we continue to our traditional 17th century mansion hotel where we enjoy a farewell dinner together. (B, D) Accommodation: Hotel Puerta de la Luna (or similar)

Day 10: Baeza – Madrid

This morning we leave Baeza and transfer back to Madrid. (B) [Pick-Up: The tour commences from Hotel Quatro Puerta del Sol, Calle Sevilla, 4, 28014 Madrid, Spain, at 8:30am. Please ensure you are at the meeting point at least 15 minutes prior to departure.] [Drop-off 1:00pm at Hotel Quatro Puerta del Sol, Calle Sevilla, 4, 28014 Madrid, Spain. Please bear in mind that drop-off time is an estimate only – traffic can be unpredictable!]

The Mosque-Cathedral of Cordoba

The Mosque-Cathedral of Cordoba

The Mosque-Cathedral of Cordoba (World Heritage Site since 1984) is arguably the most significant monument in the whole of the western Moslem World and one of the most amazing buildings in the world in its own right. The complete evolution of the Omeyan style in Spain can be seen in its different sections, as well as the Gothic, Renaissance and Baroque styles of the Christian part. 
The Alhambra Palace in Granada

The Alhambra Palace in Granada

The Alhambra. Listed under the World Heritage Sites list of the UNESCO is indisputably the most well-known monument of the city and one of the most visited in Spain. It has a defensive area, the Alcazaba, the Nasrid Palaces, named after the Dinasty of the Kingdom of Granada, and the Gardens of the Generalife.
Toledo

Toledo

Toledo is one of the Spanish cities with the greatest wealth of monuments. Known as the “city of the three cultures”, because Christians, Arabs and Jews lived together there for centuries, behind its walls Toledo preserves an artistic and cultural legacy in the form of churches, palaces, fortresses, mosques and synagogues. This great diversity of artistic styles makes the old quarter of the capital of Castile - La Mancha a real open-air museum, which has led to it being declared a World Heritage Site.
Royal Alcázar of Seville

Royal Alcázar of Seville

The Alcázar of Seville is one of the most representative monumental compounds in the city, the country and the Mediterranean culture as a whole. The historical evolution of the city in the last millennium is held within its walls and gardens, amalgamating influences starting from the Arabic period, late Middle Ages Mudéjar right through to the Renaissance, Baroque and the XIX century. The declaration of World Heritage Site by UNESCO in 1987 acknowledged the survival of cultures and civilizations as a harmonic whole where all of the elements are balanced. The visitor will get to know these unique surroundings either through the legendary al-Mutamid, the XI century monarch and poet from Seville, or through some of the characters that illuminated modern-day Spain around 1812.
Madrid: Plaza Mayor

Madrid: Plaza Mayor

Situated in the heart of Madrid, in the beautiful historic center, Plaza Mayor is the city’s main square and the point of departure for any visitor willing to discover the wonderful Madrid Old Town. Frequented by locals and tourists alike, this perfectly rectangular square, one of the largest in Europe, represents a major attraction in Madrid whether you’re looking for history, culture and impressive architecture, or just want to walk around and catch a glimpse of Madrilenos’ lifestyle.
LaCity Travel - Traveller Tips for Spain    

VISAS: Spain, as a member of the Schengen States, does not require Australians citizens travelling to Spain as tourists to obtain a visa prior to arrival. On arrival from a non-Schengen state Australian citizens will be issued with a short period visa, or the common ‘Schengen Visa’, which permits a maximum stay of 90 days over a six month period within the Schengen State area (that is, 90 days over six months in the entire Schengen State area, and not in each individual Schengen state).  

MONEY: 1 AUD = 0.664 € (23/05/2017). Payment using recognised international credit cards is also commonly available in Spanish shops. They usually have signs indicating this option at the entrance to the establishment. When you make a payment you should show your passport or ID card. Traveller's cheques, accompanied by a passport, are also accepted in many hotels, restaurants and shops.   

ELECTRICITY:Electricity supply in Spain is AC 220 volts, 50 Hertz. Sockets meet European regulations and use the round pin system. However, most hotels have adaptors for different plugs. Make sure that the electrical appliances you are going to use (computers, mobile phone chargers, shavers…) work at this voltage.   

CLIMATE / WEATHER: Spain has a predominantly warm Mediterranean climate, with dry summers and winters with balanced temperatures. Here you can enjoy more than 3,000 hours of sunshine per year. It is no surprise, then, that this is one of the warmest parts of Europe. When talking of weather, special mention should be made of the Canary Islands. Their special location, facing the coast of Africa, gives them a benign climate with mild temperatures (22ºC year-round average on the coasts), with only small temperature differences between day and night, whatever the season. Nevertheless, variety is the main characteristic of the climate here, due to Spain’s immense geographical diversity. So that if you travel to the north, to the Cantabrian coast, you will find a mild climate with high rainfall. Winters are mild and in summer temperatures rarely exceed 25ºC. However, in the higher parts of the country, the climate is harsher and it is common to see snow from the beginning of winter to the end of spring. This is the case of the Pyrenees, the mountains of Sierra Nevada, the Central and Iberian ranges, and the Cantabrian Mountains, amongst others.   

TIME DIFFERENCE: The time zone on the Spanish mainland and the Balearic Islands is Greenwich Mean Time (GMT) + 1 hour in winter and + 2 hours in summer. On the Canary Islands, it is GMT, or GMT + 1 hour in summer, i.e. always 1 hour less than the time on the mainland and in the Balearics. Spain changes its time between summer and winter for daylight saving. This means that the last weekend in October the clocks go back 1 hour (at 3am it is 2am) and the last weekend in March they go forward 1 hour (at 2am it is 3am).   

BEST TIME TO VISIT SPAIN:The months of May, June, September and October are ideal for visiting Spain. July and August, can get extremely hot (particularly in the south) and is the peak period for Spaniards to travel. During these months there is a mass exodus from the cities to the coast. The ‘Costas' become a hive of activity and the cities are fairly deserted. Generally, pleasant weather can be found in different areas of the country, depending on the season. Why not retreat to the north of Spain and enjoy the beaches and mountains in the height of summer? In winter, the north can become quite cold so perhaps this is the time to enjoy the mild winter of the south?   

LANGUAGE: Spanish is spoken all over the Spanish territory. However other languages are also spoken in certain areas of Spain. These are: Catalan, in Catalonia; Galician, in Galicia; Euskera/Basque, in the Basque Country; Valencian, in the Region of Valencia; and a particular variety of Catalan, spoken in the Balearic Islands.   

WHAT TYPE OF CLOTHING SHOULD I PACK:In Spain, people dress differently according to the season, the place they are going to, and the circumstances. In the coast, because of the mild climate, it is usually not necessary to pack warm clothes; while in the interior, you should dress according to the season. In the interior of Spain, temperatures vary greatly from one season to the next, with very cold winters, and really hot summers. Spanish people don't dress up too much to go out, although of course, it depends on where you are going   

FOOD / DRINK:LaCity Travel believes that one of the best ways to experience a country is by eating! Whether you're sampling street food, savouring a cheap eat or indulging in a banquet, there are endless options to choose from wherever you are in the world. Food doesn’t get much better or fresher than in Spain. An abundance of fresh seafood, vegetables, fruits, wines and pastries ensures there’s plenty to try in the bars, restaurants, cafes, street fiestas and markets of Spain.   

HISTORY: Spain has a rich and complex history. As conquerors (and the conquered), Spain has seen many different outside influences come and go via war, invasion, immigration and trade. From the Moors to the Romans, the British to the Portuguese, Spain has been influenced both by its neighbours and by far-flung lands. This is evident in the different styles of architecture, art, cuisine and culture that are present in modern-day Spain. Emerging from social upheaval, civil war, international conflict, devastating pandemics and terrorism, Spain’s spirit is both irrepressible and irresistible.   

SHOPPING: The most usual business hours are from Monday-Saturday, from 9:30 am to 1:30 pm, and 4:30 to 8 pm. Major shopping centres and department stores are open all day from 10 am to 9 or 10 pm. The main department stores and shopping centres also open their doors to the public on some Sundays in the year. Establishments usually stay open until after 10 pm in the high season in coastal areas. What's more, in a number of cities opening hours are unregulated, and shoppers thus have a wider range of opening hours. Home of cult-fashion brand ZARA, Camper shoes, Lladro porcelain, Mango clothing and some of the best wine and olive oil in the world, shopping in Spain may not be cheap but quality is pretty much guaranteed if you stick to authentic brands and handmade goods, rather than fake imports. It's a good idea to check with your local customs officials to ensure that you are able to bring certain items back into your home country. Australia and New Zealand generally have strict quarantine laws.   

PUBLIC HOLIDAYS: Certain dates are public holidays in Spain, and they can be national, regional or local.The following are the national public holidays for 2014: 
1 January, New Year's Day. 
6 January, Epiphany. 
17 April, Maundy Thursday (throughout Spain, except in Catalonia and the Region of Valencia). 
18 April, Good Friday.  
1 May, Labour Day.
 
15 August, the Assumption. 
1 November, All Saints' Day. 
6 December, Spanish Constitution Day. 
8 December, Festivity of the Inmaculada Concepción. 
25 December, Christmas Day.   

HEALTH: No jabs are necessary for Spain. However, the World Health Organization (WHO) recommends that all travellers should be covered for diphtheria, tetanus, measles, mumps, rubella and polio, regardless of their destination. Since most vaccines don’t produce immunity until at least two weeks after they’re given, visit a physician at least six weeks before departure.   

SAFETY / SECURITY: In general terms, Spain is one of the safest countries in Europe for visiting tourists. As in any country, there are basic security measures to bear in mind… Try not to walk around empty streets or poorly-lit areas, and avoid street gambling stalls. Try to carry only the money you need for any one excursion. Take care of your possessions in crowded places such as public transport or department stores. When relaxing in public places, keep valuable objects like mobile phones and cameras out of view.   

EMERGENCY: Dial 112 free of charge (valid throughout Spain). Service is provided in Spanish, and also in English, French and German in some tourist areas.   

TIPPING: In every single establishment in Spain, service is included with the price of the meal or drink. However, tipping is a common practice at bars and restaurants, hotels, and taxis, depending on the total price for the service, and on the generosity of the client. It is usually around five to ten percent of the total price.   

TRAVEL INSURANCE: All passengers must have comprehensive travel insurance. You can complete this with LaCity Travel if you wish. Check your Travel Insurance Policy for an Emergency number and details of services to be provided, Carry these details with you.   

Australian Embassy 
Level 24, Torre Espacio 
Paseo de la Castellana 259 D, 
28046 - Madrid  
www.spain.embassy.gov.au 
Tel.:+34 913536600 Fax.:34913536692
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