The Best of Spain A general view of the Must See in 18 days
This program is for those who would like to discover and experience all that Spain has to offer in the mainland. A mixture of so many different cultures in one country, you will be amazed by its contrasts. Become a Spanish expert certified by Tours For You Spain! In fact, this program will allow you to discover almost the whole national territory in only 18 travelling days (we can still add our famous islands if you really wish to visit the whole territory). We created this itinerary to offer you a program that covers all the Mainland of Spain, from North to South. Based on this goal, we had to include some stays of only 1 night that balanced with other stays of 2 or 3 nights to make a total of 17 nights. If you choose this program, you will certainly have a good idea of what Spain is about. Meeting different lifestyles, with different languages and ways of living. Tasting the great gastronomy and wine, everything at your own pace. The freedom you were looking for with an expert itinerary ready for you to enjoy.
Get prepared to become a fan (and expert) of Spain!
FEEL SPAIN LIKE A SPANIARD
Day by Day Itinerary and suggested Accommodation
Day 1: Arrival & City Tour. Arrival in Madrid and private transportation to the hotel. Take the afternoon to explore the city.
Accommodation for two nights at: Hotel Urso *****
Day 2: Free day at Leisure in Madrid. We encourage you to visit Madrid and its treasures.
Day 3: Early in the morning rental car delivery and start of your adventure to the South of Spain Andalucia. On the way, stop in the well-known city of Toledo and then continue your trip down south, stopping at the world famous Mezquita-Catedral in Cordoba, our final destination.
Accommodation for one night at: Hotel Hospes Palacio del Bailio *****
Day 4: After check-out road trip to Seville. Remember you are the owner of your time, take all the time you need to explore the city of Cordoba, then start your trip to the outskirts of Seville.
Accommodation for two nights at: Hotel Hacienda San Rafael Boutique
Day 5: Free day at leisure. Take a trip to Seville to visit the city's highlights.
Day 6: Hotel check-out and start of the road trip to the ourskirts of Granada.
Accommodation for two nights at: Hotel Barcelo La Bobadilla *****
Day 7: Full Day at Leisure. Explore the city of Granada and the Alhambra.
Day 8: After check-out we will commence our road trip to Valencia. Recommended stop along the way in the baroque city of Lorca, continuing to Valencia.
Accommodation for two nights at: Hotel Hospes Palau de la Mar *****
Day 9: Day at leisure in Valencia.
Day 10: Check-out and road trip to the cosmopolitan city of Barcelona, with a few stops along the way. Recommended stop at "Peñiscola" known as the city in the Sea and then continue our trip to the enchanting historical roman city capital of Tarragona, before arriving to our final destination, Barcelona.
Accommodation for three nights at: Hotel Arts Ritz Carlton *****
Day 11: Day at Leisure Barcelona.
Day 12: Day at leisure. Recommended visit to the Monastery of Montserrat.
Day 13: After check-out you will commence your road trip to the Basque Country. Recommended stops along the way in Zaragoza. We will then continue to our next stop. This will be the city of Pamplona, known especially during the month of July, where the famous Running of the Bull’s Fiesta takes place. We will then continue to our famous last destination facing the Atlantic, Sea San Sebastian.
Accommodation for two nights at: Hotel Villa Soro ****
Day 14: Day at leisure in San Sebastian. Ask us about our magnificent Pintxos Tour.
Day 15: After hotel check-out, start your drive to Bilbao. Don’t forget to visit the Guggenheim Museum.
Accommodation for one night at: Hotel Miro ****
Day 16: Early in the morning you will commence your road trip through the next region of Asturias, stopping by some beautiful historic towns along the way.
Accommodation for one night at: Hotel Reconquista *****
Day 17: Hotel-check out and road trip to the region of Galicia, famous for its pilgrimage route to Santiago de Compostela.
Accommodation for one night at: Hotel Quinta Da Auga Relais & Chateaux *****
Day 18: Hotel Check-out and drive to Santiago De Compostela Airport, drop off of rental car. Depart from Santiago Airport or optional enhancing of tour visiting one of our magnificent Balearic Islands for a well-deserved break.
CITIES AND TOWNS ON THE ITINERARY
If you wish to know a bit more about the places to go
Madrid: Strategically located in the heart of the Iberian Peninsula, it is the Capital City of Spain and therefore, one of the most touristic and important cities of the country. Because of its central location and high altitude, the climate of Madrid is characterized by warm dry summers and cool winters. Madrid is a city of great monuments. Among its highlights are the medieval centre dating back to the Habsburg Empire and the Prado Museum. As capital, Madrid is home of the Royal family, the Spanish Government and many other national institutions. The town has a long and fascinating history and all over Madrid there are monuments and museums of great artistically value. Apart from Madrid the province is also full of interesting sites to visit such as El Escorial, Aranjuez and Alcala de Henares all names UNESCO world Heritage Cities. It is a city full of life where travellers will feel welcome. Enjoy the street life and the numerous tapas bars and cafes where you will enjoy the “madrileños” love of life lifestyle.
Toledo: Located on the banks of the river Tagus, was known as Toletum during the Roman presence before the 2nd century BC. A very important area for a long period in history, Toledo became known as the “city of the three cultures”, for Christians, Arabs and Jews dwelled together here for centuries. This accounts for the incredible cultural legacy to be found here, which led to the declaration of World Heritage by UNESCO. In Toledo, you can admire several monuments with influences from these different cultures, such as the Gothic Cathedral, the Mosque of Cristo de la Luz, the church of Santo Tomé, where you can find a famous painting by El Greco, and the Alcazár Fortress.
Andalucia: One of the widest regions of Spain, larger than countries like Belgium, Holland, Denmark or Austria. Its privileged location in the axis between Europe and Africa brought many different cultures throughout history and prehistory. You will feel the magic of the Arabian Nights’ tale visiting fortresses (alcazabas), palaces (alcázares), mosques and gardens all over the region. You will be amazed by the fact that all these Moorish constructions takes place nearby catholic churches and synagogues, resulting in a marvellous architectural and cultural mix. Land of culture and native region of Velázquez, Murillo and Picasso, you will fall in love with its cities and be amazed with its main monuments declared World Heritage Site. You will discover the impressive Moorish, Renaissance and, above all, Baroque architecture on the region. You will also find a diversity of landscapes and experiences and will have the opportunity to taste delicious products from local gastronomy. Andalucía is definitively a great destination which offers a good combination between history, nature, holidays and also very good gastronomy.
Cordoba: A thousand-year-old city founded by the Romans, became the capital of Hispania Ulterior (further Spain) and later the capital of the Umayyad Caliphate. Awarded with the World Heritage designation, the historic quarter still has the mark of the splendour of the Caliphate of Cordoba. City of knowledge, it became one of the most cultivated and refined one in medieval Europe. One example of this is the Great Mosque, dominating the view, with its rich details and the brilliant way it was built. After the Reconquest, a Gothic cathedral was built inside the Mosque, turned to a single architectural space. During your visit, you can also discover the Jewish Quarter with its white-washed façades adorned with tiles and grilles. Here, you can find the Plazuela de las Flores, the house of the Dukes of Medina Sidonia, and the Synagogue.
Granada: Probably one of the most attractive city of Andalucía. Located at the foot of the Sierra Nevada Mountain, it is also famous for its impressive Al-Andalus heritage and its unique Moorish essence, since it is the last Moorish kingdom in the Peninsula which has been reconquered by the Catholic Monarchs. That’s why you will easily find both Moorish and Christian elements in the streets of the city. Discover the eclectic cultural mix neighbourhood of the Albaicín quarter. You’ll be fascinated with the splendour of the Alhambra and Gardens of Generalife, the country residence of the sultan. All these sites have been awarded the World Heritage designation. You will remember Granada for sure!
La Alhambra: A beautiful complex of monuments and gardens. Splendour of the Nasrid era, it was the largest political and aristocratic centre of the Moslem West. Discover its astonish Palace and its beautiful rectangular patios and numerous fountains. You’ll be amazed by the courtyard of the Lions with its fountains, one of the most beautiful site of the compound. Visit also the Alcazaba citadel, the oldest building and the La Vela tower which offers one of the loveliest views of the Alhambra.
Sevilla: The Andalusian Capital will enchant you with its impressive monuments and history. It has already been Arab, Jewish and Roman, which provides her a very rich culture. A walk by the district of Santa Cruz will lead you through the streets of the historic and artistic quarter where you will see 12th century buildings like the Royal Citadels, the Hospital of the Venerable and the City Hall. Don’t miss the architectural and artistic heritage which includes the Cathedral, the Alcazar Arab fortress and the India’s Archive. These patrimonial sites have been declared World Heritage Site, by the UNESCO.
Valencia: The city of Arts and Science is how Valencia is known all across the Globe. Valencia is the third biggest city in Spain, after Madrid and Barcelona. Founded as a Roman colony back in 138 BC, Valencia is an ancient city with an impressive Historical and Cultural Heritage that will definitely amaze you its historic centre, one of the largest in Spain. Among several relevant monuments you can explore, the main attractions are Valencia Cathedral, Valencia Cathedral, Torres de Serranos (Serranos Towers), the Torres de Quart (Quart Towers), the Llotja de la Seda (The Silk Exchange), and the Ciutat de les Arts i les Ciències (City of Arts and Sciences), a modernist building in Town Hall Square.But Valencia has much more to offer besides sunny beaches and History! Valencia is also tradition, great food – the traditional paella valenciana, music, dance and party which can be proved with the famous annual festival Las Fallas between the 1st and the 19th of March!
Catalonia: One of the most charismatic regions of Spain. Known by strong traditions and for being particular different from the rest of Spain. An own language (Catalan) and a remarkable cultural art legacy, embodied by the stunning works of Antoni Gaudí and Salvador Dalí, places Catalonia as a world reference. A marked geographical diversity: spectacular beaches and an impressive mountain landscape allows a wide range of vacation activities. Prepare yourself for a world-class gastronomy, a Mediterranean flavour experience with outstanding traditional recipes.
Barcelona: The capital of Catalonia, is located at the Mediterranean Sea in the very north of the Spanish coast. With an old history heritage, here you will find monuments of Romanesque, Gothic and Renaissance periods. From the legendary modernist architecture legacy by Antoni Gaudí to the spectacular coastline that opens the city to the Mediterranean, Barcelona and leader in leisure and cuisine seduces the visitor in numerous ways. Strolling around the streets will bring surprises at every turn. Pedestrian streets in the old quarter, green spaces, and a splendid seafront with a range of modern facilities are a reflection of its multi-faceted character. Barcelona has cleverly succeeded in embracing its past without forgetting its commitment to the future. A city that is always pulsating creativity and life.
Montserrat: The Montserrat Natural Park, which emerges as if from a dream, protects the spiritual essence of Catalonia. For almost 1,000 years, a Benedictine community has lived in these mountains located 60 km away from Barcelona. Their Basilica houses the serene image of the Virgin of Montserrat, the patron saint of Catalonia.
Tarragona: On the shores of the Mediterranean, Tarragona is a fascinating mix of Mediterranean beach life, Roman history and medieval alleyways. Spain´s second-most important Roman site, Tarragona’s as a wealth of ruins, including a seaside amphitheatre. The towns medieval heart is one of the most beautiful designed in Spain, its maze of narrow cobbled streets encircled by steep walls and crowned with a splendid cathedral. Here you can make countless trips, like the one that brings visitors to get to know one of the best preserved Cistercian monasteries, which is also a World Heritage Site: the monastery of Poblet. This is a cultural option added to those offered by a coastline on the shores of the Mediterranean Sea: seaside towns, tasty fish and seafood and any number of water sports.
Zaragoza: A vibrant, elegant and welcoming city. Located on the banks of the mighty Río Ebro. Founded by the Iberians, would later be Roman, then the royal Arab capital and even the Christian capital of the medieval Kingdom of Aragon. The historical sights span all the great civilizations that have left their indelible mark on this towns soul. Amongst several unique monuments, you shall not miss the UNESCO classified Cathedral-basilica of Nuestra Señora del Pilar, where is said that, the Virgin Mary appeared in AD40; and the natural Park of the Monasterio de Piedra, that offer great views of luxuriant green landscapes and water cascades, and where is located the 12th century Cistercian Monastery, embellished with different architectural styles. Here you’ll also find a Wine museum and the exhibition about the history of chocolate production that will leave you mouth-watering.
Navarra: An autonomous region of Spain where you can discover a land of diversity, tradition, history and a festive atmosphere. From the magnificent green silhouette of the mountains, you can smell the aroma of the traditions and the local colourful festivities of this region: religious processions, bull –running festivals and Carnival are events with a land of tradition. Gastronomy is something that you can enjoy in this region too. Besides that, the tradition of this region is make by the roads: a lot of them have centuries of history which are Roman roads and the castle-migration. The Way of Saint James is the principal mark of these routes that shows the customs and traditions of these lands.
Pamplona: The capital of the tradition and modernity live harmony with a significant collection of monumental buildings covered by its churches and historic streets and squares. If you like history, you shall not miss the Castle Square surrounded by amazing 18th century buildings that is the highlights of the visit to Pamplona. You will also be delighted with varied and traditional Navarre cuisine and their traditional festivals too. If you like to know better the people of Pamplona, visit the city during the Sanfermines festivities: in honour of the city’s patron saint these festivities include a running in front of the bulls in the streets of Pamplona
Basque Country: Located in northern Spain, is well known for its really diverse landscapes. Between wild and isolated beaches, kissed by the Atlantic Ocean, and high and Rocky Mountains, you will be captivated by its natural wonders. Rich in History and Culture, Basque Country has its own language, the Euskara, considered one of the oldest languages of Europe. Due to the ocean breeze, you can expect moderate temperatures, even when the rain falls – something that is not so rare among the region.
San Sebastian: A charming and romantic city. Concha Bay is its most iconic site, with a big promenade along the sea, where locals and tourists go to enjoy the beautiful view. Keep in mind that San Sebastian is the place where you will like to eat. The city, besides being popular among surfers, is also well known for its remarkable culinary scene: from the seven restaurants in Spain awarded with 3 Michelin stars, three are in San Sebastian.
Bilbao: A unique city, surrounded by dense forests, high mountains and beautiful beaches. It is a privileged destination, where past meets future. Historic monuments, like the Cathedral-Church of Bilbao and the Basilica of Begoña, both from the 16th century, coexist with modern architectural projects, like the Guggenheim Museum and the Isozaki Towers, buildings that are catching the World’s attention. These recent investments have been crucial for the regeneration of the city as a dynamic metropolis.
Cantabria: A beautiful region in the North of Spain, full of wonderful mountainous landscapes and with an impressive number of beaches along its coast. With a remarkable cultural heritage, you can expect to find a unique set of important monuments and, of course, a very rich and typical gastronomy. And don’t forget: beneath its highest mountains, Cantabria hides an amazing network of caves, considered as World Heritage Sites by UNESCO.
"Santillana del Mar": An impressive medieval city, perfectly preserved and with a strong cultural heritage. Get ready for a travel to the past: its bright cobbled streets will make you feel like you are back to the 16th century.
Asturias: Said to be the true Spain, because it was the only territory that not succumbed to the Moorish invasion. Here you’ll have a perfect combination of culture, nature and gastronomy. The first thing to catch your attention when you travel to the region in what is known as Green Spain is its outstanding scenery framed by the Cantabrian Mountains. The landscape highlights are certainly the Picos de Europa National Park, and at one of its most legendary sites: The Covadonga Lakes. The Asturians are ambassadors of the cult of good food. Here you can be delighted with fresh seafood, the Cabrales cheese, the typical Asturian bean stew known as fabada and cider made from local apples. Its cultural attractions include a range of important monuments, some declared World Heritage Sites by the UNESCO, and a wide range of spectacular prehistoric art sites. Let yourself be amazed by the sound of the Asturian bagpipe, the most characteristic instrument in traditional music of this autonomous community.
Oviedo: The city has been closely linked to the Asturian monarchy since its foundation in the 8th century, becoming the capital of the Kingdom. This fact has left an unquestionable medieval flavour in the “Old Oviedo” the historic quarter, where you can admire grand, lovingly restored administrative and religious buildings that render the city among the most attractive in the north. Oviedo also boasts three small 9th century churches that rank among the most remarkable in Spain, built in a style unique to Asturias. The Asturian capital, throughout the city are excellent bars and friendly sidrerías (bars specialized in cider).
Galicia: Although being a part of Spain’s mainland, is an autonomous community with its own cultural heritage and peculiar climate and geography. Located in the north western corner of the country, Galicia has the particularity of being bathed by the Atlantic Ocean and the Cantabrian Sea, resulting in a temperate climate. This region is divided in four different provinces, and each one of these has a lot to offer to its visitors. Well known for its history, tradition, culture and architecture, this “green” side of Spain will amaze you!
Santiago de Compostela: The capital of Galicia and therefore its showcase. This city knew how to expand in harmony, combining tradition with contemporary, bursting in life, commerce, services and culture. Declared World Heritage Site by UNESCO since 1985, amongst others, we recommend a visit to the majestic Cathedral of Santiago de Compostela itself and to the rest of the complex which comprises a museum, excavations, the Portico de la Gloria and the Corticela Chapel. A stroll on the old town can’t be missed, where you will have the opportunity to experience the local gastronomy and get a true feeling of the city, with its convents, churches, palaces and museums.
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