Spain Culture and Food Discovery
Starting at PER PERSON for all of the below, based on 2 participants:
Using Hotel Alfonso XIII: $6,100.00
Using Hospes Las Casas del Rey de Baeza: $5,875.00
Day 1: Barcelona for 3 nights
Meet & greet private transfer from airport to hotel
1 double deluxe room, breakfast & taxes included at Hotel Mercer*****
This property is 16 minutes walk from the beach. Featuring a rooftop swimming pool, Mercer Hotel Barcelona is set in Barcelona’s Gothic Quarter, within 10 minutes’ walk of Las Ramblas. This boutique hotel is set in one of the city’s ancient buildings, next to the Roman walls.
The stylish rooms at Mercer Hotel Barcelona have chic décor with original beamed ceilings and exposed brick walls. There is free Wi-Fi, air conditioning and flat-screen satellite TV. The bathroom has a rain-effect shower.
The hotel features an interior courtyard with orange trees. There is also a poolside bar and a terrace with loungers.
Several cafés, bars and restaurants can be found in the charming, winding streets and pretty squares surrounding the hotel.
Jaume I Metro Station is just 5 minutes’ walk from the Mercer. The trendy Born district is approximately 985 feet away, while Barcelona Cathedral can be reached in 5 minutes by foot.
Palau de la Musica Catalana Guided Tour at 3 :30 pm
Duration of tour: 55 mins
Built between 1905 and 1908 and designed by the architect Lluis Domenech i Montaner, the Palau de la Musica is one of the most genuine symbols of Catalonia’s architectural and musical heritage and an icon of art nouveau architecture. It is the only art nouveau concert hall to be declared a World Heritage Site by UNESCO. A striking Modernista redbrick facade marks the entrance to the Palau de la Musica Catalana, characterized by its intricate mosaics, colorful pillars and ornamental balcony. The interiors are even more impressive, with the lavishly decorated auditorium centered around an eye-catching stained glass skylight. Declared a UNESCO World Heritage Site in 1997, the concert hall features decor by some of the era’s most prominent Catalan architects , a sumptuous museum including ceramic mosaics and relief busts by Eusebi Arnau, a stone arch by Pau Gargallo, vibrant mosaics by Lluis Bru and stained glasswork by Antoni Rigalt.
Includes: Guided tour: Art nouveau rehearsal room for the Orfeo Catala choir, the foyer, the concert hall and the Lluis Millet hall.
3 hours Barcelona Old quarter walking tour morning tour (8 people max)
Barcelona Old Quarter walking tours are an entertaining, intimate and fun way to discover the city in the company of a small group of fellow travelers. One of our personable, charismatic and highly-knowledgeable guides leads you on a journey back in time, visiting the main highlights of Barcelona’s Ciutat Vella (Old city) via the hidden corners, winding streets and charming squares of the Barri Gótic, El Raval, El Born and the Port Vell (Old Port) districts.
Lose yourself in the history, legends, local tradition and culture of Barcelona as you explore and experience, first-hand, the Roman, Medieval and Modernist eras that made Barcelona into one of the most powerful maritime empires in the Mediterranean, and what is undeniably one of the most innovative, culturally-dynamic cities in the world today. This tour is designed and recommended for ‘history buffs’ and cultural enthusiasts, alike, and due to the small group size (no more than 8 people), you can expect plenty of engaging, one-on-one interaction with your guide.
Highlights and hidden gems of the Barcelona Old-Quarter walking tours include:
Plaça Catalunya • Las Ramblas • La Boquería market • Santa Creu Hospital • Rambla del Raval • Sant Pau del Camp (9th century Romanesque Monastery) • Plaça Reial • Plaça del Pi (Santa Maria del Pi church) • Jewish quarter (El Call) • Casa l’Ardiaca (Archdeacon’s house) • Barcelona Cathedral (Catedral de la Santa Creu i Santa Eulàlia) • Plaça Sant Jaume • Plaça del Rei
• Roman / Medieval Wall • Santa Maria del Mar church • Passeig del Born / Mercat del Born • Port Vell (Roman / Medieval port)
Sagrada Familia with Towers: Skip the Line at 5 pm
Duration of tour: 1 hr 30 mins
Barcelona is known as the capital of Modernism and the place where the famous architect Antoni Gaudi worked and lived. Gaudi, one of the greatest innovators of his time, has left behind numerous treasures for the discerning tourist to discover in Barcelona. The Sagrada Familia is one of the most visited buildings in the world. Discover this magnificent modernist building in the guided tour inside the basilica. We will visit the astonishing interior of this church, where vaults reach seventy meters. Antoni Gaudi designed a Latin cross plan with five aisles, extremely rich in ornamentation and symbolism. We will also visit the Sagrada Familia museum, where you will see drawings, plaster models and pictures about the history and development of this basilica from its early beginnings to the present day. The museum will also give valuable information about Antoni Gaudi s life and career. At the end of the museum visit, the guide will leave you at the entrance of the elevator to the tower, you have admission included. Take the elevator up the tower to admire the astonishing views of the city from there.
Includes: Multilingual official guide. Entrance and guided visit to the Sagrada Familia Basilica & Museum. Elevator to the towers
Cliffs and Coves: Hiking the Costa Brava
Small group tour 8 people max
Just north of Barcelona in the heart of Catalonia, the rugged Costa Brava on the Mediterranean provides numerous hiking trails with panoramic views and great snorkeling spots for a perfect day trip out of Barcelona. The winding cliff-top trails and hidden coves offer unforgettable views of the Costa Brava as well as perfect swimming and snorkeling opportunities to cool off in the crystal clear Mediterranean. These private tours and small group day trips from Barcelona also take you to charming coastal villages to enjoy a full restaurant lunch (included) after your hike, making these all-inclusive tours out of Barcelona a guaranteed success for all guests. Cliffs and Coves tours are also great kid-friendly, family tours for all ages. A good level of fitness is recommended, but these day trips are tailored to accommodate all ages and interests.
These day escapes begin on a coastal trail head on the Costa Brava about 100km (60mi) north of Barcelona. There are a variety of coastal routes we use depending on group interest and ability. Along the trails you’ll find innumerable links to Catalonia’s rich history such as Iberian ruins (6th century BC), winding paths used by Catalan fishermen from the past and present, olive orchards, cork oak forests and intricately terraced and rocky cliffs draped in wild flowers and cactus. We stop in secluded coves along the way for snacks, swimming and snorkeling (depending on water temperature). Spanish Trails guides, as always, spend the day sharing the rich history, culture and traditions of Catalunya and Spain from the Roman era to today. The trails ultimately lead us to one of the small fishing villages where a plentiful beach-front lunch and drinks are waiting for you. There is time to explore the quaint village after lunch and to enjoy a bit of beach time before setting off.
Day 4: Granada for 2 nights
Private transfer from hotel to airport
Vueling flight from Barcelona to Granada
Departure at 5:05 pm, arrival at 6:35 pm
Meet & greet private transfer from airport to hotel
1 double room, breakfast & taxes included at Hotel Parador de Granada****
Set within the grounds of the Alhambra Palace, Parador de Granada has a beautiful location. Housed in a 15th-century convent, this luxurious hotel features a popular restaurant.
The Parador combines original features including stone archways, beamed ceilings and antique furnishings with chic, contemporary décor. Each room has free wired internet access, a flat-screen TV, air conditioning and a fully equipped bathroom.
The restaurant serves a range of traditional Andalusian cuisine and features a terrace overlooking the Alhambra’s gardens. There is also a traditional enclosed patio, where guests can relax with a drink.
Granada’s old town and the cathedral are both just 10 minutes’ walk from the Parador. Bib Rambla Square, with its bars and cafés, is less than 0.6 miles from the hotel.
Granada City Centre is a great choice for travellers interested in architecture, Old Town exploring and monuments.
Full day private guided walking tour of Granada with tickets included
We will start our tour discovering the magnificient Alhambra complex, including its palaces and famous Generalife gardens.
After this we will go downtown where I can recommend you a great variety of culinary experiences depending on your interests.
After lunch we will go by taxi to the Albayzin and walk through its most picturesque streets and squares. This will take us to San Nicolás viewing point, the best view over Granada will be the perfect excuse so as to learn a bit more about the transformation of an islamic city into a Christian city.
We will finish our tour walking downtown into the Royal Chapel, probably the most important Christian building in Granada, pantheon of the Catholic Monarchs, Isabella and Ferdinand.
Day 6: Seville for 4 nights
Pick up car in Granada, VW Touran 5+2 Pax or similar Midsize Class – Manual Transmission, unlimited mileage CDW & theft included
Drive from Granada to Seville with a stop in Ronda
explore the ancient city of Ronda. See the famous Plaza de Toros, a traditional bullfighting ring, as well as several important monuments, churches and bridges and admire views of El Tajo River gorge.
For lunch we suggest restaurant Pedro Romero: Located near the famous bull-ring. Bullfight fans mob the place on fight days, as it’s Ronda’s chief fight-themed restaurant, right down to the color photos of matadors and the stuffed bull’s head on the wall.
1 double deluxe room, breakfast & taxes included at Hotel Alfonso XIII*****
One of Spain’s most prestigious hotels, Hotel Alfonso XIII is located next to Seville’s Real Alcazares. It offers an outdoor swimming pool, gym and a typical garden courtyard with fountain.
The Alfonso XIII’s elegant design includes Arabic-style arches and ceramic tiles. Rooms are individually decorated and feature air conditioning, a minibar, bathrobe and slippers. Each room has a mini fridge with drinks and snacks.
The Alfonso XIII Hotel serves modern Lebanese cuisine, as well as beers and wines, in its Taifas Restaurant, next to the swimming pool. The San Fernando restaurant is in the Andalusian-style courtyard and serves traditional local dishes for breakfast, lunch and dinner.
There is also a terrace set next to the courtyard, as well as the elegant Bar Americano cocktail bar.
Set on the edge of the historic Santa Cruz district, hotel is within 320 yards of Seville Cathedral and the Giralda. The Torre de Oro and the banks of the River Guadalquivir are just 325 ft away.
1 double deluxe room, breakfast & taxes included at Hotel Hospes Las Casas del Rey de Baeza****
This beautiful, traditional Andalusian house is located in Seville’s old town, just 10 minutes’ walk from the cathedral. Set around a charming interior courtyard, it offers a rooftop swimming pool and stylish rooms with free Wi-Fi.
The rooms at the Hospes Las Casas del Rey de Baeza feature elegant décor with soft, cream and brown tones. Each room comes with a TV and a private bathroom.
The hotel’s Restaurant Azahar offers a range of Andalusian dishes and you can enjoy tapas in the courtyard.
Located 5 minutes’ walk from the Casas del Rey de Baeza, Seville’s Sierpes Street is famous for its shopping. You can walk to the Alcázar Palace in around 12 minutes, and the famous Metrosol Parasol structure in Plaza Encarnación is a 5-minute walk away.
Old town is a great choice for travellers interested in architecture, tapas and ambiance.
Private guided walking tour of Seville ( 4hour on foot)
The Cathedral of Santa Maria is the biggest in Spain and is where Christopher Columbus is buried and his tomb is always of great interest to visitors.
The Giralda tower is an ancient Arabic minaret and symbol of the city, dominating the city skyline. This magnificent structure has been used a inspiration for similar architecture in Rabat and Marrakech.
An Arabic palace from the 14th century, the Royal Alcazar was originally a Moorish fortress. Nowadays the Alcazar is residence of the Spanish kings.
You will end the tour with a pleasant stroll through Santa Cruz, Seville’s historical Jewish quarter. With narrow cobbled streets winding among white washed buildings, this is the most picturesque area of the city.
Flamenco Dance Museum and Flamenco Show included at 6 pm
The Flamenco Dance Museum is a site of entry into the magical world of flamenco. We Have tried to develop a unique experience Where all of the various facets of esta art form are brought together: dancing, singing and guitar. Both in our interactive museum and in our shows we contribute to visitors’ understanding of flamenco. The Flamenco Dance Museum was constructed in an eighteenth – century building on the foundations of an ancient Roman temple, which cut stones used by the Tartars. Located at the highest point of Seville, at the intersection of the streets where the city itself was founded, it avails itself of a vaulted basement and a courtyard in the Ecijan unique style, unique in Seville. The walls of the Museum were constructed over an urn container containing the Bible, the Koran, the Talmud, and Hindu scriptures as a symbol of peace and understanding. The unique architecture and the spirit of building envelop the visitor immediately upon entering the museum. Enjoy the daily Show: Every day the cast of artists is changed, so one day you will see a » Cheers » with tail coat, shawl or sticks, another solemn » Seguiriya » , a flamenco » Solea por Bulerias » , a tragic » Taranto » , a sensual » Tangos » or any other dance style. You can see the difference between male and female flamenco dancing, dancer and dancer accompanied by exceptional musicians.
Includes: Entrance ticket to Museo del Baile Flamenco (Flamenco Dance Museum) visit and Show performance.
Drive to Cordoba for the day
Day at leisure
With whitewashed courtyards, colorful cobblestone alleys, historic monuments and a fascinating melting pot of Muslim, Christian and Jewish culture, Cordoba is bound to enchant. See on your own the highlights of this beautiful Andalusian city, crowned by the UNESCO World Heritage–listed city center (the second-largest old town in Europe). Stand in awe of the Mezquita and the Alcázar, visit one Spain’s few existing synagogues, explore the medieval streets of the Jewish quarter and take a snapshot of iconic Calleja de las Flores.
Drop off car at the end of the day
Jerez and white villages from Seville (private full day excursion)
From the city of Seville, we will go in luxury vehicle to visit the city of Jerez and its most representative monuments and treasures. We will pass by the Cathedral of Jerez and afterwards we will have time to visit one of the wineries with most history of the city. Later on, we will head to the « Royal Andalusian Academy of Equestrian Art ».
Before lunch we go to the village of Arcos de la frontera where we visit the historic area and its viewpoints. We’ll eat in one of its lovely restaurants where we’ll taste the best of the Andalusian cuisine. Then, we return to Seville in the afternoon (time: according to your needs. )
-Meeting Point in Seville
-Trip Seville/Jerez de la Frontera (toll)
-Visits in Jerez:
-Sherry Wine cellars, including expert Guide and tasting.
-Equestrian Show at the Royal Equestrian Art Academy
-Trip Jerez/Arcos de la Frontera
-Visits in Arcos de la Frontera:
-Sightseeing tour around and Walking tour of the historic centre.
-Trip Arcos de la Frontera /Seville toll).
Day 10: Madrid for 3 nights
1st class train from Seville to Madrid with seat reservations
Departure at 9:50 am, arrival at 12:33 pm
Take a taxi from the train station to the hotel
1 superior deluxe room, city view, breakfast & taxes included at Hotel Las Letras Gran Via****
Set in a restored historic building, this design hotel offers a rooftop terrace with a stylish bar and spectacular views over Madrid. Rooms have a flat-screen TV. Free high speed WiFi is available throughout.
Iberostar Las Letras Gran Via has a literary theme, and includes a well-stocked library. Rooms have high ceilings, large windows and a seating area. They are individually decorated with quotes by famous writers and poets.
The hotel’s restaurant, Al Trapo, serves informal haute cuisine. There is also an en elegant and peaceful lounge bar, which offers breakfast, snacks and tapas throughout the day. By night it transforms into a lively bar, with innovative cocktails and mixed drinks.
Located on Gran Vía Avenue, the Iberostar Las Letras Gran Via is a 10-minute walk from the Thyssen-Bornemisza and Prado Museums. Puerta del Sol is 1,641 feet away, and the hotel is only 493 feet from Gran Via Metro Station.
Madrid City Centre is a great choice for travellers interested in nightlife, tapas and food.
Prado Museum: Skip The Line
Duration of tour: 1 hr 30 mins
The building that today houses the Museo Nacional del Prado was designed by architect Juan de Villanueva in 1785. The exceptionally important royal collection, which represents the foundation of the Museum’s collection as we know it today, started to increase significantly in the 16th century during the time of Charles V and continued to thrive under the succeeding Habsburg and Bourbon Monarchs. It is down to them than nowadays we can contemplate in the Museum as greatest masterpieces as The Garden of Earthly Delights by Bosh, The Nobleman with his hand on his Chest by El Greco, Las Meninas by Velazquez and The Family of Carlos IV by Goya. The visit will take place in chronological order, starting with the exhibit hall where the masterpieces of J. Bosch (El Bosco) (1450-1516): The table of the 7 deadly sins, The Hay Wain, the temptations of San Antonio, the stone of madness and the Garden of Delights, to continue with the rooms devoted to the Greco (1540-1614): the gentleman’s hand on his chest, the Trinity, Christ embraced the cross and the Annunciation. Velazquez (1599-1660): the worship, drunkards, equestrian portraits, the Forge of Vulcan, the Christ, the spinners, spears and las meninas, ending with Goya (1746-1828): the family of Carlos IV, pictures the shootings of May 2, pestles and black paintings.
Includes: Entrance fee to Prado Museum, guided tour and guaranteed to skip the long lines.
3hr Historic Madrid Walking Tours
Whether this is your first visit to Madrid, or one in many, there is so much to discover in Spain’s´ capital city. A tour with us at the beginning of your stay is a great way to understand the layout of this metropole and to get an overview of its long and rich history. During this 3 hour walking tour through Madrid’s historic districts one of our charming and very knowledgeable guides will walk you to the main sites and attraction of the downtown area. In an understandable and entertaining way he or she will introduce you to Madrid’s interesting history, present the best facts about its monarchy and take you to the most emblematic squares, monuments and buildings. We will cover the main attractions and sites of the old town, and have a really good time.
Tapas Evening tour at 7:20 pm
When in 1561, Felipe II made Madrid, then a mid-size village of 15.000 people, the center of his empire, little did he know that his precious town would end up engulfed and forgotten in a city of millions. Miraculously, the old town is still there, with its aristocratic mansions, its barroque and renaissance churches, the XII century wall and its unique atmosphere. The perfect neighborhood for a tapas tour. We will visit my three favorite eating stops and will pair their best dishes with award winning wines from my cellar.
The evening begins in one of the very few 19th century taverns left in Madrid. While we sip on the aperitif drink of the city, vermouth on tap, the tavern will use its ancient charcoal kitchen to cook for us the best “tortilla española” I know.
Next, I’ll whisk you off to my favorite ham bar, the one run by Jose Cantanero. In 2011, after 25 years selling Ibérico ham to restaurants Jose opened his own business. His specialty is Spain’s finest delicacy: Jamón Ibérico de bellota. We will pair the ham with Victoria 2, chosen the best Spanish white wine of 2014 by the Gourmets Wine Guide.
It is now time to go deeper into Old Madrid through its narrow cobblestone streets and broad squares and make our way to a restaurant housed within an 18th-century mansion!
We will sit down to taste one of the top Spanish seafood dishes, “almejas a la marinera”. I like to pair the dish with my favorite Spanish champagne, Cava Martinez Rose, winner of the Vinari bronce medal.
Now is perfect time to start with the reds. Depending on group size I will open as many premium red wines from my collection as necessary. I like to start with Rioja Mirto 2009, flagship of the prestigious Ramon Bilbao winery and winner of the Decanter World Wine Awards gold medal. To go with the red wines is the not-to-be-missed Presa Iberica, Spain’s favorite Ibérico cut of pork, which accounts for a mere five pounds of the pig’s weight, hence the price of forty dollars a pound.
For dessert, we will have the 25-year-old Pedro Ximénez La Cañada, chosen multiple times by the Gourmet Wine Guide as the best sweet wine of Spain. If I could have only one wine in Spain, this would be it. I want the two foods I will serve to go with the wine to remain a secret but any wine expert already know what they are since these two pairings are the most important in the country.
Full day Toledo and windmills small group tour (8 people max)
Have you ever dreamed of going back in time to a remote era? Nicknamed “The City of Three Cultures” Toledo was simultaneously home to Christians, Jews and Moors during the Middle Ages. Churches and Cathedrals stood next to Mosques and Synagogues, and many of them are still standing today. Monarchs decided about fateful strategic moves, while artists such as the great painter El Greco caught the atmosphere of their times in their masterpieces. But long before that, Toledo was settled already by Celtic tribes, Romans and Visigoths. And every people left their footprints. And there is more to discover: A world of kings and queens, of fairy tale castles and imposing fortifications, creative painters and beautiful crafts. It is no surprise that Toledo, the former capital of Spain, is known for all that and much more, which is why it was declared a UNESCO World Heritage Site. It is located in Castilla la Mancha. Castilla la Mancha (from Al-Ansha: “dry land” or “land without water”) has historically been a place of wheat monoculture. Centuries ago windmills stood all over the central Spanish countryside to grind the cereals. Already in the early 16-Hundreds Miguel de Cervantes wrote about how his protagonist Don Quixote mistook those windmills for giants he was fearlessly going to fight. These same windmills are on our route during the second part of this day trip back in time.
First we arrive at a scenic viewpoint to enjoy a full panoramic skyline of Toledo and the river Tagus before entering the city. Next we’ll explore the winding cobblestone streets of the old town on a non-private small group 2-hour walking tour with an official guide. We’ll wander through narrow alleys, walk along the defensive wall and gates, see synagogues and mosques and learn about the legacy of the Moors, Jews and Christians. Following this panoramic exteriors only walking tour we’ll take some time to visit the interiors of the amazing Cathedral and its treasures. Our exploration will leave us hungry, and we’ll have a delicious all-inclusive traditional Castilian lunch, that will make us in turn feel like kings and queens. The day is completed with a visit of the twelve original windmills that Cervantes wrote about in his book Don Quixote and a 1000 year old castle. We will take our time to explore the site, visit one of the windmills with the original machinery from 500 years ago and understand the grinding mechanisms. We’ll also discover the interior of the remarkably well restored old castle of Consuegra. There will be plenty of fabulous picture opportunities throughout the day. It doesn’t get more Spanish than this!
Private transfer from hotel to airport
Operations & Reservations
3477 Rushbrooke street, Suite 302
Verdun, QC, H4G IS8 CANADA