The Best Of Spain: Madrid to Malaga

| Spain | Seville | Madrid | Granada | Cordoba | Malaga | Andalusia |
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Summary

On this 10-day trip you will visit Madrid and the jewels of Andalusia: Seville, Granada, Cordoba and Malaga.

*Photo by Finca Cortesin

Itinerary

Day 1 - 2
Excursion starts:

Flight to Madrid. Upon arrival you will be transferred by your private English-speaking guide to the 5-star hotel in Madrid of your choice

Today you will have free time for relaxation or exploring Madrid. It is recommended to take a walk in the surroundings, and in the evening simply take a taxi and enjoy a wonderful dinner at one
of the most acclaimed and fashionable restaurants in town. There's a chance to get a table where the local celebrities dine.

Day 2 - 3
Excursion starts:

After breakfast an English-speaking driver will pick you up from the hotel at 9:30. Today is the day for the discovery of the magic of Madrid on a half a day tour. You will be amazed by this  fascinating city with spectacular architecture, historic places and bustling modern areas. You will be driven through Madrid's famous avenues, the golden shopping mile, important squares, historic quarters and beautiful parks. You will be taken to a panoramic visit to The Royal Palace and Prado Museum. Since the itinerary is flexible special requests and preferences can be accommodated. You can spend as much time as you like in each site without being rushed.

The driver will leave you around 1.30 p.m. at the famous San Miguel Market, so you can enjoy an incredible lunch on your own. The San Miguel market has a stylish decoration and contains 33 stalls featuring a whole host of delicacies and carefully selected raw ingredients. It aims to reflect the multifaceted nature of Spanish gastronomy, and to assume the role of a Centre for Culinary Culture. Thanks to its long opening hours, it makes an ideal place for leisure both during the day and by night, as it also has wine bars and bars serving delicious tapas. Other venues include a gastronomic library, a florist's shop and a design shop. It is classified as a Property of Cultural Interest in the Monument category. Its construction, under the direction of Alfonso Dubé y Díez, was completed in 1916.

Enjoy the rest of the afternoon at your own leisure time. You can go shopping around Chueca or Salamanca district. All shops will be on sale, so you can buy great Spanish or international clothes and accessories at incredible prices. You can also have a walk around the historic centre and visit the Austrian quarter. Finish the afternoon relaxing at your hotel.

In the evening take a taxi to the proposed restaurant. It is recommended to enjoy dinner at one of the nicest and most popular plazas, Santa Ana. After dinning in this restaurant, if you still have energy, go up to the roof terrace of the famous hotel above to have a drink and enjoy an incredible view of Madrid skyline. The terraces in summer are the preferred places for the Madrileños. This one has amazing views of the city and really cool atmosphere.

Meals: breakfast

Day 3 - 4
Excursion starts:

After breakfast meet your private guide at the Prado Museum entrance at 10.00 a.m. Enjoy a private 2-hour long tour of the most famous museum of Spain. The Museo del Prado is the main Spanish national art museum, located in central Madrid. It features one of the world's finest collections of European art, dating from the 12th century to the early 19th century, based on the former Spanish Royal Collection, and unquestionably the best single collection of Spanish art. The collection currently comprises around 7,600 paintings, 1,000 sculptures, 4,800 prints and 8,200 drawings, in addition to a large number of other works of art and historic documents. The best-known work on display at the museum is Las Meninas by Velázquez. Velázquez not only provided the Prado with his own works, but his keen eye and sensibility were also responsible for bringing much of the museum's fine collection of Italian masters to Spain, now the largest outside of Italy.

After delighting your eyes with all this art, it is suggested to have a nice lunch at a traditional taurine tavern. This restaurant dates back to 1941, and famous guests have eaten here like Ava Gadner or Hemingway. Tommy Hilfiger shot his last ad campaign in this picturesque place.

At 4 p.m. a private car will pick you up at the hotel to take you to Atocha train station, from where at 5 p.m. your train will leave to Seville and arrive at 7.30 p.m. Upon arrival to Seville train station, a private driver will pick you up and bring you to the luxury hotel in Seville of your choice.

In the evening take a taxi to the famous Tablao and enjoy a Flamenco Show with dinner. The show and dinner will start at 9.30 p.m.

Meals: breakfast, dinner

Day 4 - 5
Excursion starts:

After breakfast you will start discovering the wonders of Seville on a half-day private tour with an English-speaking guide. Three buildings have the distinction of World Heritage by UNESCO. The Royal Alcazar, the Cathedral and the Archive of the Indies. During the tour you will visit two of them: the Alcazar and the Cathedral. In addition you complete your visit with a walk in the mythical Barrio de Santa Cruz. The wall of the Alcazar preserves 1.000 years of History. The Gothic castle, Mudejar Palace, House of Trade and the Upper Royal Room are the elements of this place which today is the oldest royal residence in Europe still in use. Following the wall and once out of the Alcázar is the Jewish section, today called the Santa Cruz. Like many medieval Spanish Jewish quarters still retains its layout. It was one of the largest Jewish communities of the fourteenth century with the one in Toledo and Cordoba. History however was not fair to the Jews who were dramatically expelled or forced to conversion throughout the fifteenth century. Rival in importance and complementary to the Alcázar is the Cathedral Santa Maria de la Sede, an ambitious work that astonished everyone who saw it. It was built on the site of an ancient mosque and today is the third largest cathedral in the Christian world.

Enjoy the rest of the afternoon on your own, and later get ready for some action, because at 8 p.m. you will be picked up at the hotel by Tapas expert to enjoy a gourmet experience at the best tapas places in Seville. There are more than 3000 tapas bars in Seville! Where do you start? You are invited to do a tapas tour and get to know the traditional tapas bars where the locals go! In a relaxed and easy manner you will be walked through the maze of Seville´s narrow alleys, streets and patios, and you will be guided to some of the best tapas bars in the city. You will taste 4 different tapas and 2 drinks. After the tour you will be given a sheet with English Translation of the most common tapas and a City Map with the best tapas bars highlighted, so you can continue on your own tasting these wonderful delicacies.

Meals: breakfast, dinner (on tapas tour)

Day 5 - 6
Excursion starts:

After breakfast you will picked up at 9.30 a.m. in a private luxury mini van to head to Córdoba. Firstly, you will visit the Cortijo de Arenales, where you will have a private tour on the famous Bullfighting Estate. The tour and tapas lunch will last approximately 2 hours. You will ride on 4x4 truck around the Estate to see the wild animals and the bulls living in freedom. The people on the Estate will show you everything and will explain how the bulls are breed. A tapas aperitivo will be served on the terrace.

You will continue the trip from the Estate to Cordoba on the same mini van. Once you arrive in Cordoba, you will be accommodated at a luxury hotel in Cordoba of your choice.

Meals: breakfast, tapas lunch

Day 6 - 7
Excursion starts:

After breakfast you will enjoy a private visit to the Cordoba Great Mosque, “La Mezquita”. The Cathedral within the Mosque of Cordoba is located in the historic center of the city and shows a mixture of different architectural styles, as it was built and modified over nine centuries. The most impressive is certainly its Moorish architecture, one of the most beautiful examples of this art in Spain. You will start your tour visiting the most important and emblematic place of the city of Cordoba, its Mosque, which is also the CATHEDRAL OF CORDOBA, since the building was transformed many centuries ago; then you will be taken for a walk into the little streets, arround the Cathedral, narrow, recondite, sinuous till the Calleja de las Flores.

It is recommended to have lunch in one of the typical tapas bar. After lunch you will visit the Jewish Quarter with an expert guide. A visit to the Jewish quarter in Cordoba will allow you to follow a route packed with charm and magic which, outside the conventional circuits, gradually reveals spots which still retain the medieval memory of the city of three cultures. Judíos street, the location of the synagogue, the Sefarad house, the souk and Tiberiades square, constitutes the main core of a visit which provides a perfect reconstruction of the history of the community where a character of universal projection like Maimonides was born, or where some of the most illustrious Jews of their time excelled like Hasday ibn Shaprut from Jaen or Yehuda ha-Leví and Abraham ibn Ezrá from Tudela. Later you will have dinner at the famous Caballo Rojo restaurant, located at the Juderia quarter.

Meals: breakfast, dinner

Day 7 - 8
Excursion starts:

After breakfast you will travel to Granada, where you will be accommodated at Granada Parador. At 5 p.m. you will have to be at the Alhambra entrance for a private tour with an expert guide in one of the most beautiful monuments on earth - 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.

Dinner at leisure in one of Granada’s famous restaurants.

Meals: breakfast

Day 8 - 9
Excursion starts:

After breakfast you will have to check out of the hotel and a driver will pick you up at 9.00 a.m. in a private luxury mini van to head to Ronda. Situated in the far north west of the province of Malaga, Ronda sits on an outcrop of rock in a basin surrounded by mountain ranges, the height and length of which make access to the town difficult. This fact, together with the climate, hydrology and geology of the area, has left an indelible stamp on its history. Nevertheless, the most striking aspect of the cultural heritage of Ronda and its surroundings is Arabic. Under Muslim rule the town rose to importance as the capital of one of the five Coras of al-Andalus. This influence has impregnated the style of building, the gastronomy, agricultural practices and many other traditions in the region. Ronda is said to be the home of modern day bullfighting. The Real Maestranza bullring is one of the oldest and most picturesque in Spain. It was built in 1785 by the architect Jose Martin Aldehuela - the same architect who built the Puente Nuevo.

Later you will visit the F. Schatz winery. The ‘Serrania de Ronda’ has been repopulated with small bodegas as well as innovative projects which equally protect the quality and good name of the region. The ‘Serrania de Ronda’ is currently a sub-zone within the Denomination of Origin “Sierras de Málaga” (which was established in 2001), and it currently consists of 23 bodegas and an area of approximately 250 ha of vineyards. During your stay in Ronda you can visit the winery (book a private tour separately) and you will have the opportunity to taste 6 different varieties of wines.

After that, a private mini van will pick you up in Ronda and will drive you to the the beautiful Finca Cortesin Hotel, which is located in the outskirts of Marbella.

Meals: breakfast, lunch

Day 9 - 10
Excursion starts:

Today, after breakfast, you will travel to Malaga. Once arrived, you will check into a luxury boutique hotel in the city center. For lunch you will go to do a Tapas tour with an awarded local company specialized in this gourmet routes; you will visit some markets, wineries and typical local food taverns.

Later you will visit the Picasso Musseum. Museo Picasso Málaga was created in response to Pablo Picasso’s own desire for his work to be present in the city where he was born on 25 October 1881. The museum was created thanks to Christine and Bernard Ruiz-Picasso, the artist’s daughter-in-law and grandson, whose donations constitute the core of the collection. The galleries that make up the display in the Palacio de Buenavista have been organized to focus on the important themes of Picasso’s aesthetic legacy. Amongst these are his relationship with Malaga and the unlimited versatility of his artistic talent.

Your last dinner in spain will be at one Michelin star awarded restaurant Shellfish.

Meals: breakfast, lunch(on tapas tour), dinner

Day 10 -
Excursion starts:

After breakfast you will be transferred to Malaga Airport for your flight back home.

- This is a guide itinerary and can be modified to suit. It is subject to availability and price at the time of booking. Other conditions may apply -

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