Oh, lovely Spain! renown'd, romantic land!
Who hasn’t dreamed of visiting Barcelona, walking the Camino to Santiago, exploring the white villages of Andalusia or discovering the Alhambra in Granada. Land of fiestas, siesta and Flamenco, of architecture and art, Spain is as diverse as it is beautiful. Come and explore Spain and you will find a passion for fine food, for wild landscapes and indeed for life itself.
When to go
The Spring (March - May) and fall (September - November) are ideal times to visit nearly all of Spain. The Mediterreanean can be visited year-round. The Atlantic coast, where the Camino de Santiago is sees heavy rains in October and November.
One of the most beautiful cities in Spain, people flock to Madrid for its art treasures and lively vibes. The city is renowned for both is culinary scene and its legendary nightlife.
Set high above the River Tajo, the multicultural past of Toledo is reflected in its collection of churches, mosques and synagogues, while museums adorn its narrow streets and plazas.
At eight hundred metres long the extraordinary Roman aqueduct of Segovia, a city of warm terracotta and sandstone hues set amid rolling hills, is one of Spain’s most breathtaking ancient monuments.
World-class food, fabulous art and architecture like the whimsical creations of Gaudí, seafood taverns, lively clubs and Bohemian tapas bars, the cobblestone lanes and quiet plazas of the Gothic quarter... All this, set on the Mediterranean - Barcelona is one city you do not want to miss.
A riverbed converted into a park, futuristic buildings, a thriving cultural scene, fabulous food, great museums and a beautiful old quarter - Valencia may not be will-known, but it is worth a visit.
Granada & the Alhambra
In this, the last of their strongholds in Western Europe, the Moors left us their stunning Alhambra palace, a monument to sensuality and contemplative decoration. Beyond it lie a cosmopolitan city core, the white-walled gardens of the Realejo quarter and the flamenco bars of Sacromonte. A lively tapas scene and a humming creativity colour this city, set against the backdrop of the Sierra Nevada, Europe's second highest mountain range.
Flamenco, bullfights and rhythmic guitars; white villages perched on top of cliffs; a Moorish heritage culminating in Granada's Alhambra; the forgotten hamlets of the Alpujarras; beautiful hills covered in forests, orange groves and olive trees; an entire region given over to romance and heightened emotions. This is Andalusia.
The colonial grandeur of Plaza de España; the Giralda tower, the Cathedral and the Alcázar; city of Carmen, Don Juan and Figaro; festivals such as Semana Santa and the Feria de Abril; the narrow alleys of the medieval Jewish quarter; discover the elegance and charm of Seville.
Nothing can prepare you for the breathtaking Mezquita, the Grand Mosque of Córdoba, one of the most beautiful buildings in the world. Once the capital of Islamic Spain, and Western Europe's largest and most cultured city, the narrow streets of the old centre are a delight to discover.
One of the great resort cities of Europe, set in a glorious location along a bay lined with golden beaches, San Sebastian is known for its Michelin-rated restaurants and first-class tapas bars crowding a lively old town.
Picos de Europa
Spectacular gorges and jagged peaks make the limestone massifs of the Picos de Europa one of Spain's finest walking destinations.
Camino de Santiago
The Camino de Santiago is an age-old pilgrim's route through Northern Spain, leading through countless tiny villages, up and down steep hills and valleys and through oak forests and farmer's fields. Whether you are on a spiritual quest, or simply immersing yourself in Spain's history and culture, memories of the trek will certainly stay with you for the rest of your life.
Barcelona is well known for its whimsical buildings by Antoni Gaudí. Most fanous of all is the church of La Sagrada Familia, a building not expected to be completed until 2030.
If there's one sound associated with Spain, it's the dramatic melodies and rhythms of flamenco. Seville, Granada and Malaga are arguably the best cities to exerience authentic flamenco.
Explore a white village
Crowning the dramatic landscapes of Andalucia lie stunning white villages where you can discover narrow streets, interesting churches, Moorish castles and spectacular views.
Hike the hills
With its varied landscapes, beautiful scenery and fascinating history, Spain offers wonderful hiking. Discover ancient Roman bridges in the Alpujarras, hike from white village to white village in the Sierra de Grazalema, discover the gorges and cliffs of the Picos de Europa, or embark on a pilgrimage on the Camino de Santiago.
Be a pilgrim
Whether you do it for spiritual reasons, or to mark a major life event, hiking the Camino de Santiago is a life-changing experience.
Bike the backroads
Cycle on quiet roads marvelling over the sunning scenery. Pick up a picnic lunch or enjoy one in a taverna. Cycling enhances your senses, slows the world down and brings it into focus.
Wine is always part of a meal and bodegas and vineyards have sprouted up all over the country. Spain is famous for Sherry and Rioja. In Catalonia, find the heavy Ampurdán, while from Andalucia hails the fruity Montilla. Sparkling wines are also popular.
Discover a Moorish past
Parts of Spain were under Moorish rule from the 8th to the 15th century and in many places you can see their heritage. In Granada you will find the Alhambra and the Moorish district of Albaicín, while in Seville La Giralda incorporates the original Islamic minaret as its bell tower. La Giralda is a cathedral which incorporates the original Islamic minaret as its bell tower. La Mezquita in Cordoba is a mesmerizing forest of pillars and arches, a building not to be missed.
A variety of small savoury dishes, often served as a snack with drinks, or as a meal. Going from bar to bar for drinks and tapas, is an essential part of the social culture of Spain.
Spain has an enormous number of festivals, parades and feast days, whether in the big cities or the tiniest hamlets. Semana Santa (Holy Week), Feria de Abril in Seville, the running of the bulls in Pamplona and Festes de la Mercè in Barcelona are some of the best.
Marvel at art
Spain is a museum-lover's paradise. Witness the collection of Spanish and European masterpieces in Madrid's Museo del Prado, the works by Picasso in Museu Picasso and the frescoes and devotional sculptures at Museu Nacional d'Art de Catalunya (both in Barcelona), Frank Gehry's Guggenheim museum in Bilbao and the works by El Greco in the Museo de Bellas Artes in Seville.
Live the night
Nightlife in Spain generally starts around 10pm with friends gathering in bars for chat and tapas, and carries on into the small hours from there. Join them for some great food, wine and live music.
Sleep in a Parador
Luxury hotels often located in historic monasteries, palaces or castles, paradors are the quintessential place to stay in Spain.
Hit the beach
Spain is a beach-lover's dream. Among the best city beaches are La Concha (San Sebastián), Barcelona's string of beaches and El Cabanyal (Valencia).
Highlights of Spain
Tour code: PHOS
Why we love this trip: our best-selling two week discovery of all the best Spain has to offer
Places visited: Barcelona, Valencia, Granada, Cordoba, Seville, Jerez, Cadiz, Toledo, Segovia, Avila, Madrid
Signature Experiences: discover Gaudi, experience flamenco, glorious wines, discover a Moorish past, taste tapas, get festive, marvel at art, live the night
Length: 13 days
Accommodation: comfortable hotels
Included meals: 12 breakfasts, 3 dinners
Transport: van, train
Departures: Set small-group dates between May and September, daily private departures
Customizable? Yes, price on request
Price: Small group departures priced from $4750
Camino de Santiago
Tour code: VDCS
Why we love this trip: join this age-old pilgrimage to Satiago de Compostella
Places visited: Northern Spain to Santiago de Compostella
Signature Experiences: the main reason people walk the Camino is to be a pilgrim. Some will also enjoy glorious wines, tasting tapas, getting festive, marvelling at art or living the night
Length: 8 - 36 days - we offer shorter hikes along various sections of the trail, as well as the entire trail from Saint-Jean-Pied-de-Port to Santiago de Compostella
Accommodation: choose from 2, 3, or 4-star hotels
Included meals: typically all breakfasts and dinners are included
Transport: on foot. We will transfer your luggage
Departures: Set small-group dates between and daily self-guided departures between May and October
Customizable? Yes, price on request
Price: departures priced from US$899 (8 days self-guided) to $1269 (8 days guided), all the way to $4049 (36 days self-guided)
Tour code: XDAN
Why we love this trip: a popular 2-week discovery of the best of Andalucia, an archetypical region of Spain
Places visited: Seville, Cordoba, Uneda, Cazorla, El Chorro Gorge, Granada & Alhambra, Ronda, Grazalema
Signature Experiences: experience flamenco, explore a white village, hike the hills, glorious wines, discover a Moorish past, taste tapas, get festive, marvel at art, live the night
Length: 14 days
Accommodation: 13 nights hotel
Included meals: 13 breakfasts
Transport: private bus, train, public bus, taxi
Departures: set small-group dates between March and October, daily private departures
Customizable? Yes - price on request
Price: Small group departures priced from $1610