Explore every side of Andalusia, including its Moorish twist, and visit the principal Spanish cities of Madrid, Seville and Barcelona – with local experts on every encounter. It's Insider moments like… moving among locals at the maze-like La Boqueria market, its halls echoing with the booming and gossiping voices of its community of stallholders. Picking at samples of regional Manchego cheese, Jamón Serrano and fat olives, this insight into the shopping style of the Spanish has the potential to leave your stomach full and wallet empty. Entering from Barcelona's Las Ramblas, our Insider guide points you to their favourite traders and the most authentic tapas bars, at a market dating back to the 1200s.

Spanish Wonder

Land Only Group Tour

Duration : 9 DAYSCountry : SPAIN
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Barcelona © LaCity Travel
Córdoba Mezquita Catedral © Turismo CordobaAlcazar de Sevilla © Turismo SevillePlaza Mayor MadridCatedral de Valencia © Turismo ValenciaBasílica de la Sagrada Família © Espai d'ImatgeAlhambra Palace - Granada © Turismo de Granada

Explore every side of Andalusia, including its Moorish twist, and visit the principal Spanish cities of Madrid, Seville and Barcelona – with local experts on every encounter. It's Insider moments like… moving among locals at the maze-like La Boqueria market, its halls echoing with the booming and gossiping voices of its community of stallholders. Picking at samples of regional Manchego cheese, Jamón Serrano and fat olives, this insight into the shopping style of the Spanish has the potential to leave your stomach full and wallet empty. Entering from Barcelona's Las Ramblas, our Insider guide points you to their favourite traders and the most authentic tapas bars, at a market dating back to the 1200s.

Included in the price

  • 8 nights accommodation (5 hotels)
  • 8 hot buffet breakfasts
  • 4 dinners (including Welcome reception, be my guest, three course dinner with wine and farewell dinner)
  • All transport shown
  • All transfers shown
  • All activities/ Sightseeing mentionned 

Day 1: Madrid

Welcome to Madrid! Relax or explore this lively city. Later, meet for a Welcome Reception with your fellow travellers and Travel Director and enjoy an evening drive to take in some of the city's main sights. Meal : Welcome Reception. Accommodation : Rafael Atocha Help

Day 2: Madrid - Toledo - Madrid

Your Local Expert takes you on a walking tour of Toledo. Visit the Church of Santo Tomé, home to one of El Greco's most famous paintings – The Burial of Count Orgaz. Visit the Synagogue during your guided walk through the narrow streets. Return to Madrid to admire the monument to Cervantes at the Plaza de España, and see Puerta del Sol, the city's hub with your Local Expert. Later, why not join your newfound friends for a typical Spanish dinner? Meal: Buffet Breakfast. Accommodation : Rafael Atocha Help

Day 3: Madrid - Cordoba - Seville

Travel southwards from Madrid, through La Mancha, to Cordoba. Visit the Mosque of the Caliphs and learn about the influence of the Moors from your Local Expert. Tonight, you might like to take an optional experience to watch a fiery flamenco show. Meal: Buffet Breakfast. Accommodation: Melia Lebreros

Day 4: Seville

Meet your Local Expert for a sightseeing tour of Seville. View the Bell Tower of the Giralda, see the tiled fountains, pavilions and lush palms in the Maria Luisa Park, renowned for its landscape design and walk through the imposing Plaza de España. Marvel at Christopher Columbus' ornate tomb in the cathedral. Finally, take a walk through the fascinating Jewish Quarter. This evening, experience a unique Be My Guest dinner at an authentic ranch with views over the Andalusian countryside. Meals: Buffet Breakfast / Be My Guest Dining. Accommodation: Melia Lebreros

Day 5: Seville - Granada

Visit the magnificent Alhambra Palace in Granada with a Local Expert. A fine example of Moorish architecture, it was built during the 14th century towards the end of Islamic rule in Spain. Walk through the exotic water gardens of the Generalife, the royal summer palace, once linked to the Alhambra by a covered walkway across the ravine. Meal: Buffet Breakfast. Accommodation: Carmen Help

Day 6: Granada - Guadix - Valencia

Travel from Granada, via the Mora Pass, and arrive in Guadix in the northern foothills of the Sierra Nevada mountains where you can take pictures of the troglodyte dwellings. In Valencia, view the Bull Ring and admire the architecture of the medieval cathedral and the Serrano and Cuarte Towers and see the impressive modern architecture of the Opera House. Dine tonight at your hotel. Meals: Buffet Breakfast / Dinner with wine. Accommodation: Primus Valenci

Day 7: Valencia - Peñiscola - Barcelona

Head north along the coast through the Levant region and stop at Peñiscola to view the ancient castle of the 'Spanish Pope', used in the film El Cid. Continue along the Costa Dorada to Barcelona, Spain's most cosmopolitan city. Tonight, consider visiting a Catalan-style restaurant for a delicious dinner of local specialities. Meal: Buffet Breakfast. Accommodation: U232

Day 8: Barcelona

This morning, see Gaudi's architecture at the inspiring Sagrada Familia. Walk the Ramblas and visit Plaça Catalunya. View the monument to Christopher Columbus and enjoy panoramic views from Montjuic during your guided sightseeing tour of the city with a Local Expert. Enjoy your Unique Insight into the delicacies of Spanish cuisine with a guided walk through the food stalls of La Boqueria Market. Enjoy free time in the city to shop or explore, or join an optional experience to the monastery at Montserrat to see the mystical Black Madonna. This evening join your companions and Travel Director for a special Farewell Dinner with wine. Meals: Buffet Breakfast / Farewell Dinner. Accommodation: U232

Day 9: Depart Barcelona

Say 'adios' to Spain, your fellow travellers, and Travel Director at the end of a memorable holiday. Airport transfers are available. Conditions apply. Meal: Buffet Breakfast

Barcelona: La Sagrada Familia

Barcelona: La Sagrada Familia

In Barcelona, if you have time for only one sightseeing outing, this should be it. La Sagrada Família inspires awe by its sheer verticality, and in the manner of the medieval cathedrals it emulates, it’s still under construction after more than 100 years. When completed, the highest tower will be more than half as high again as those that stand today. Unfinished it may be, but it attracts around 2.8 million visitors a year and is the most visited monument in Spain. The most important recent tourist was Pope Benedict XVI, who consecrated the church in a huge ceremony in November 2010.
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.
Valencia: The City of Arts and Sciences

Valencia: The City of Arts and Sciences

The City of Arts and Sciences is a cultural entertainment centre with stunning architecture and great capacity to entertain, teach and excite by promoting public participation.Situated along almost two kilometres of what was formerly the bed of the River Turia, with a surface area of 350,000 square metres, the City of Arts and Sciences is a huge open space.Offering cultural and intellectual leisure, it has given Valencia the best centre of this type in Europe.The outstanding role of its architecture was made possible thanks to the work of two Spanish architects of international renown, who have contributed the very best of their work to this area: the Valencian Santiago Calatrava, who designed the Palau de les Arts Reina Sofía, the Hemisfèric, the Príncipe Felipe Science Museum, the Umbracle, and the Ágora (under construction), and Félix Candela, designer of the unique roofing of the main Oceanográfico buildings.An architectural collection of exceptional beauty, harmonising the outer structure with the content.
Peñíscola

Peñíscola

The city, surrounded by water on all sides except one, has a beach that is popular all year round. Peñíscola is one of the biggest tourist centres in the province of Castellon. The castle, built on a mound that looks as if it was anchored to the sea bed, is a reminder of the age of knights and battlemented fortresses that occupied the lands of Maestrazgo. The Pope Benedict 13th century, nicknamed "Moon Pope", chose this castle to shut himself away and fight for the unity of the Catholic Church. The fortress dominates the highest point in the peninsula. The parade ground is a delightful balcony where the visitor can gaze at the Mediterranean Sea; and the keep, the perfect platform to get a beautiful panoramic view of the coast. In spring and summer, the walled enclosure hosts a Spanish comedy film festival, and a Baroque and antique music festival.
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