SPAIN BY TRAIN

Barcelona - Seville - Cordoba - Toledo - Madrid

August 19th – 28th

10 Days – 9 Nights

Traveling around Spain by train is a fabulous way to see the country… Spain offers an intriguing blend of cultures and traditions dating back centuries… from Barcelona’s historic quarter to the museums in Madrid, discover Flamenco in Seville and stroll the cobblestone streets of Cordoba and Toledo. Our Spain by Train singles vacation reveals the strong impact of Moorish, Jewish and Christian influences on the history of Spain. Experience the culture, taste the food and enjoy the differences between Spain’s regions and cities.

ITINERARY

Day 1: Barcelona

Land at the Barcelona airport and take the provided shuttle to the H10 Art Gallery Hotel, located right in the very heart of Las Ramblas. Throughout history, theaters, music cafes and flamenco bars have opened up in this area. It brings together the bustling and cosmopolitan culture, leisure, traditional gastronomy, popular places and all types of shops.

Tonight meet and greet with your tour leader and your fellow single travelers then walk to a local restaurant for an optional dinner.

Day 2: Barcelona

Discover the ancient, medieval and modern sights of Barcelona on our full day guided tour of this marvelous city. Stroll along the district’s streets, squares, old buildings, and learn about the quarter’s history and people. Our morning will start with a tour of Barcelona’s Gothic Quarter, the center of the old town. Alongside the medieval buildings are remains of an ancient Roman city, and the Temple d’August, the best preserved Roman relic in Barcelona. One of the main attractions, right in the heart of the district is the huge Cathedral, Santa Maria del Mar. This Gothic church took 55 years to build in the 14th Century. Then we board our bus for a panoramic tour of the city. Enjoy spectacular views over Barcelona including the Waterfront, with the Old Port and Montjuic Hill where we will see the Olympic Ring.

Then it is time to hit the local market with our private Spanish chef. It is all about Paella and Sangria. Enjoy hands-on cooking of the famous Spanish dish, paella and learn how to make the fruity Sangria. Then we get to eat and drink what we made.

Day 3: Barcelona

After breakfast we will get on the hop-on hop-off bus and travel to the Sagrada Família, Antoni Gaudí’s unfinished masterpiece and Barcelona’s most popular attraction. Visit the crypt where Gaudí is buried with its giant, tree-like pillars and spectacular vaulting. We can also visit the towers. An elevator and a long walk leads us to the top of a tower where a magnificent view over Barcelona awaits.

After our tour of the Sagrada Família your afternoon is at leisure. Use the hop-on bus to finish your day in Barcelona.

Day 4: Barcelona – Seville

This morning we will transfer to the Barcelona train station for our train to Seville, where Flamenco dancing originated and its rich tradition continues today in the city’s ‘tablaos’. It is 620 miles to Seville, so sit back and enjoy the leisurely high-speed train ride and beautiful countryside as we speed towards our next destination.

Time to relax after we transfer to the NH Sevilla Plaza de Armas Hotel, before tonight’s entertainment and dinner at the Tablao Flamenco El Palacio Andaluz Restaurant. The sound of the guitarists frantically plucking their guitars, the rhythmic clapping and the sound of pounding heels on stage will fully grab your attention as do the colorful swirling flamenco dresses and the beautiful dancers who wear them. Palacio Andaluz has a large cast of flamenco dancers, musicians, singers and clappers and many of them are award-winning artists in the flamenco world. During the show, the dancers will perform many different styles of flamenco, from the bulerias to the soleares, fandangos, sevillanas and more.

Day 5: Seville

Put on your walking shoes for our morning guided tour of Seville. Enter the Maestranza Bullring, built in 1761, a landmark in Spanish bullfighting, Visit the Alcázar of Seville, a royal palace built by Moorish Muslim kings and renowned as one of the most beautiful in Spain. The upper levels of the Alcázar are still used by the royal family as the official Seville residence. We will climb the ramp to the top of Giralda Tower for spectacular views of Seville Cathedral and visit Seville Cathedral, the world’s largest Gothic Cathedral.

Time to relax as we cruise along the Guadalquivir River. The former capital of Spain hugs the east bank of the river and a cruise offers wonderful views of Seville’s wonderful landmarks. From our vantage point on the Guadalquivir view the magnificent Tower of Gold, Maestranza Bullring and the Saint Telmo Palace. After our cruise the rest of the day is at leisure.

Day 6: Seville – Cordoba

A short morning train ride takes us to a thousand-year-old city, Cordoba, a living legacy of different cultures that settled there throughout its history. From the Carthaginians to the Romans and 10th century Arabs, Cordoba achieved world renown as a center of learning, governance and culture. The historic quarter of Cordoba, once home to the Jewish community, consists of a beautiful network of small streets and squares all arranged around the city’s impressive Mesquita, one of the largest mosques in the world. Our local guide will show us the incredible Great Mosque and the ruins of Medina Azahara. Other sites we will see include El Puente Romano, the Alcazar de los Reyes Cristianos, with its remarkable Arabian baths and Roman mosaics, and an ancient Jewish synagogue, one of the few synagogues left in Spain today.

Get settled into the Hesperia Córdoba Hotel, then tonight we enjoy a Cordoba special show. The unique Passion and “Duende” Equestrian show is the historic 15th century Royal Stables, which reveals the beauty, intelligence and nobleness of the native Andalusian Horse, as well as the skill of the riders.

Day 7: Cordoba – Madrid

Our final train ride takes us to Madrid, once an Arabian Fortress, now a thriving cultural center bursting with monuments, galleries and museums. Upon arrival at the Madrid Atocha Train Station, we take a short walk to the Tryp Hotel for check-in. Our vacation continues with a guided panoramic tour of Madrid through its many historic neighborhoods, down medieval streets, across majestic squares and through 1200 years of history. We’ll take the Cable Car to see Madrid from a different view, overflying parks, streets and monuments. Appearing on one side is historical Madrid and on the other side Modern Madrid, with skyscrapers and the Four Towers.

We will stop at Plaza Mayor, the center of festivities, bull fights, royal coronations and executions. Then we will stop at the Mercado de San Miguel, the last iron market hall in Madrid. as there are a number of cafés and mini-restaurants that offer specialty food, from tapas to foreign food, it will be a perfect place to eat.

Day 8: Madrid – Toledo

On our guided morning tour, see Madrid the way it should be seen by walking from the heart of the city through both twisted medieval streets and down grand boulevards. Visit the Royal Palace of Madrid, including the magnificent Plaza de Armas, the main staircase, the Throne Room, the Gasparini Hall and the Royal Chapel. The rooms are filled with beautiful examples of decorative art and furniture.

This afternoon we will travel 43-miles to Toledo, known as the city of three cultures, where Christians, Jews and Arabs lived together in harmony. The whole town has been declared a National Monument, including the houses, the streets, the churches and the palaces with its treasures and artisan crafts. We will explore the imperial city of Toledo, one of the oldest cities in Europe and home to works of El Greco’s art, on our afternoon guided tour. View the medieval castle, with its storybook fortified towers, and the stunning Moorish architecture of Santa Maria La Blanca Synagogue, Europe’s oldest synagogue.

Day 9: Madrid

To give everyone a chance to explore all the sites of Madrid, including the many art museums at your own pace or shop till you drop, today is a day at leisure. Then enjoy our Farewell Dinner at a local Spanish restaurant.

Day 10: Depart Madrid

After a final breakfast we have to say “hasta la proxima” (till we meet again) to all our new friends as we are transferred to the airport and our flights home.

Spain By Train

Double Occupancy: $2990.00
Single Supplement: $850.00
Deposit: $500.00
Balance Due: June 19th

INCLUDED

9 Nights Accommodations
Breakfast Daily – 3 Dinners
Dedicated English Speaking Tour Leader
Guided Tours per Itinerary
Tour Transportation – Trains and Buses
Airport/Hotel Transfers on Tour Dates
All Taxes and Surcharges

NOT INCLUDED

International Airfare
Gratuities