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Madrid: grand open squares, late dinners
Toledo, crafts, marzipan, captivating monuments
Sandstone architecture, prolific university, and the Plaza Mayor in Salamanca
Pamplona, legendary "Running of the Bulls" festival, gothic style churches
Barcelona, fantastical Sagrada Familia, modernist landmarks by Gaudi
You will be met and transferred to your hotel. The day is at leisure to begin exploring. Later, join your fellow travelers and your tour director for a welcome reception.
We begin with a guided half-day city tour of Madrid. Our drive takes us through the Gran Vía and the Passeo de Castellana, past the Plaza de España, Plaza de Oriente, Plaza Mayor, Puerta del Sol, Atocha Station, the fountain of Neptune, Cibeles fountain, the Bullring, the Santiago Bernabeu soccer stadium, and many more. The afternoon is at leisure. Breakfast included.
We visit Toledo, a city with a wealth of monuments. It is known as the “city of the three cultures” because Christians, Arabs and Jews lived there together for centuries. During our guided tour we visit the Santo Tome Church and the Synagogue of Santa María. From Toledo, we return to Madrid where the afternoon is at leisure. Breakfast included.
We Depart for Bilbao. On the way, we stop in Burgos. Upon arrival S/S of Burgos with local guide including visit to the Cathedral. There is time for lunch on your own. From there, we continue to Bilbao where we have a tasting of local tapas called pintxos. Breakfast and dinner included.
On our visit to Bilbao, we see the vibrant old town with many shops, squares, and typical Basque tavernas. We enter the Guggenheim Museum, an architectural masterpiece designed by Frank Gehry. The collection includes large-scale and site-specific art by such contemporary artists as Jeff Koons and Willem de Kooning. The remainder of the day is free. Breakfast included.
After breakfast, we depart for San Sebastian. En route, we visit Getaria, a charming Basque coastal village. Upon arrival in San Sebastian, we see the Maria Cristina Hotel. It is here, at the Kursaal, that the film festival takes place. We also see La Concha beach, a crescent-shaped urban seaboard. In the afternoon we arrive in Pamplona. Dinner is served later that night. Breakfast and dinner included.
After breakfast, we have a half-day guided sightseeing tour of Pamplona featuring the Ciudadela, the City Walls, parks, and gardens. We will hear about the ‘Running of the Bulls’ race, part of the San Fermin festival. From Pamplona, we continue to Zaragoza for lunch on your own. Later that afternoon, we arrive in Barcelona and the rest of the day is at leisure. Breakfast included.
Our guided half-day sightseeing tour includes Barcelona’s most important artistic sights: Gaudi’s Batlló, Casa Milá, the Cathedral Sagrada Familia, and Guell Park, declared an artistic monument and mankind’s heritage by UNESCO. In the afternoon you are free to explore more on your own. Join your fellow travelers and your tour director for the farewell dinner. Breakfast and dinner included.
Transfer to Barcelona airport after breakfast. Breakfast included.
- Arrival transfer from Madrid airport to the hotel
- First class hotels
- Luggage handling at the hotels
- Breakfast daily
- Welcome reception in Madrid (heavy hors d’oeuvres, a glass of wine, beer, or soft drink)
- Tasting of local tapas called “pintxos” in Bilbao
- Dinner in Pamplona Compostela (coffee or tea included)
- Farewell dinner in Barcelona (coffee or tea included)
- Hotel taxes and service charges
- Touring by modern air-conditioned motor-coach
- Professional English-speaking tour director
- Sightseeing tours with licensed local guides
- Admission included where indicated in bold letters
- Whisper technology enhanced touring
- Departure transfer from hotel to Barcelona airport
Other meals, drinks, tips and other personal expenses or services not specified on the program
Voluntary tips for guides or drivers
Travel and medical insurance
Any items not mentioned as included
Madrid: Catalonia Goya (F) or similar
Bilbao: Catalonia Gran Via Bilbao (F) or similar
Pamplona: Maisonnave (F) or similar
Barcelona: Catalonia Gracia (F) or similar