Enjoy a feast of cultural Spanish delights by train
Showcasing the rich cultural heritage of Andalucía, this tour takes us from Spain's bustling, fashionable capital city, through the iconic Moorish citadel of Granada's Alhambra, to the elegant city of Seville, via the whitewashed passages of Cordoba's Old Town.
Highlights and Inclusions
- First and Standard Class Rail
- Eurostar Standard Premier
- 11 nights' at 4-Star Hotel Accommodations
- 18 meals including 12 breakfasts, 1 lunch and 6 dinners, including a farewell dinner in Barcelona
- Guided tours of Barcelona, Madrid, Seville, Cordoba, Granada
- Andalucian Horse Show
- Visit to a Sherry winery
- The Alhambra
- The services of a professional Tour Manager from start to finish
Day 1 - Depart US on Overnight Flight
Embark on a transatlantic flight from your U.S. gateway to London. (International flight is not included)
Day 2 - London to Biarritz
We meet at our dedicated departure Office at St Pancras and take the Eurostar and travel to Paris in Standard Premier Class, with a light meal and drinks served on board. After crossing Paris by coach, we join the onward high-speed service to beautiful Biarritz, for an overnight stay. (L, D)
Day 3 - Continue to Madrid
Today we leave Biarritz and transfer by coach to San Sebastian, where we join the rail service direct to Madrid, spending two nights in the lively Spanish capital. (B)
Day 4 - Sightseeing in Madrid
Today we enjoy a sightseeing tour of the city, admiring the many architectural styles, and attractive green spaces. Following the tour, which takes place on foot and by coach, we have lunch in a typical restaurant on Madrid's Plaza Mayor. The rest of your day is free. (B, L)
Days 5 & 6 - To Seville & a guided sightseeing tour
This morning we depart by high-speed AVE train for the journey south into Andalucía, to the fascinating city of Seville, an old port city set on the Guadalquivir River. The city played a key role in establishing and continuing trade with South America and remains one of Spain's most active river ports. Credited with inventing tapas, Seville boasts as many as 1,000 tapas bars serving almost every conceivable type of tapas. Sevillians are known to move from bar to bar, enjoying a different small dish in each establishment they visit. On arrival in Seville we transfer to the Hotel Becquer, located in the heart of the city. This afternoon we enjoy a tour, including the beautiful and historic Santa Cruz area and the Gothic cathedral dominated by the Giralda tower. Day 6 is spent at leisure discovering this quintessentially Spanish city. (Day 5 - B, D, Day 6 - B)
Day 7 - Seville to Granada
Today we travel by coach to Granada, an enchanting city scattered over seven small hills at the confluence of two rivers. Charming, romantic Granada is dominated by the exquisite Alhambra, one of the most recognisable palaces in the world, bathed throughout the afternoon in a glorious warm pink-gold glow. The city is packed with Renaissance and Baroque architecture and the streets are a joy to explore. This evening we dine at a restaurant in the Albayzin Quarter with views of the beautifully illuminated Alhambra. (B, D)
Day 8 - The Alhambra
We continue our sightseeing today with a visit to Spain's most spectacular and iconic monument, the Alhambra, which was once the residence of the Muslim Kings of Granada. The Alhambra sits proudly on a plateau overlooking Granada, with the high Sierra Nevada as its backdrop. Dating back to the 9th century, the palace complex now boasts UNESCO World Heritage Site status and is one of Spain's most iconic monuments. Originally a small fortress, the Sultan of Granada converted the building in the early 14th century, into the stunning architectural wonder we know today. (B, D)
Day 9 - Onwards to Cordoba
Our journey today takes us by coach to Cordoba, a beautiful city with a relaxed atmosphere. We spend two nights at the Hotel Hesperia Cordoba. This afternoon you are free to begin exploring Cordoba at leisure. This evening we dine together in the Taberna La Viuda. (B, D)
Day 10 - Guided sightseeing tour of Cordoba
This morning we embark on a sightseeing tour of Cordoba, which in the 10th century was the largest city in Western Europe and is now a UNESCO World Heritage site. The labyrinth of narrow, winding alleys and pretty squares make Cordoba a delightful city to explore on foot. Crossing the Roman Bridge and passing the 14th century Calahorra Tower, we continue to the famous Mezquita (mosque). This afternoon you are at leisure to explore. (B)
Day 11 - Barcelona
This morning we join the high-speed AVE service direct to Barcelona. We travel in Standard Plus class for this journey. Upon arrival you are free to explore this exciting city at your own pace. Barcelona has long been Spain's economic heart, and this wealth is reflect in the grand, opulent buildings which encircle the various public squares dotted throughout the city. We stay at the 4-Star Hotel Catalonia La Pedrera, our base for two nights. Take your time after settling into your hotel to explore a little of this superb continental city. You may wish to sample food in a local restaurant or cafés, which serve varieties of Spanish tapas along with food unique to Catalonia and this part of Spain. As the day winds down, perhaps take a stroll along the beach and the waterfront, and enjoy the sight of the blue waters of the Balearic Sea as the sun melts in the waves. (B)
Day 12 - A sightseeing tour of Barcelona
This morning we take a sightseeing tour of Barcelona, including a visit to the beautiful Old Town, the Barri Gotic, and the tree-lined boulevard of Las Ramblas. The rest of your day is free to enjoy the city. The inimitable Gaudí architecture and medieval churches offer contrasts on every corner, with countless street performers, cafés and shops in between. We enjoy a final farewell dinner tonight at a local restaurant. (B, D)
Day 13 - To Paris & London
We depart Barcelona after breakfast this morning, traveling by high-speed TGV to Paris. Enjoy the views of the Pyrenees and of Northern Spain as you bid a fond farewell to the Iberian Peninsula. After crossing the French capital by coach, we join the Eurostar, continuing on to London St Pancras International, where our tour comes to an end. (B, L)
Train and Hotel Accommodations
The high speed Altaria service in Spain provides excellent connections between Madrid and several other major Spanish cities and can reach speeds of up to 124mph (200km/h). First Class tickets usually include a complimentary meal and drinks. The trains generally feature an on-board café where passengers may purchase snacks, light meals and drinks.
AVE is Spain's flagship high-speed service, connecting Madrid, Cordoba and Seville across dedicated high-speed tracks. AVE trains are based on the French TGV and Thalys, and the speed and comfort offered are similar. However, the level of service for passengers in First Class ("Preferente") is much higher, with a complimentary drink and light snack included. A café-bar serving drinks and snacks is also available on board. AVE is so reliable that the Spanish railroad company, RENFE, promise a full refund if the train is more than five minutes late - so far they have only had to honour that promise in 0.16% of cases!
The high speed Eurostar trains link St Pancras International in London with Paris and Lille in France as well as Brussels in Belgium.
Eurostar's Standard Class coaches feature two seats on either side of the central aisle, most of which is arranged in an 'airline' seating configuration with drop down tray tables. There are two tables for four per carriage. Passengers traveling in Eurostar Standard Class coaches can take advantage of the Bar-Buffet which sells a range of snacks, meals, hot and cold drinks - including Champagne!
The highest class of Eurostar travel available for leisure customers is Standard Premier Class. In your dedicated Standard Premier carriage you'll find a less dense seat configuration, meaning the seats are larger and you have ample space to relax and stretch out. As part of the service you'll enjoy complimentary drinks and refreshments, served at your seat by friendly, helpful waiting staff.
Introduced in 1981, France's TGV (Train à Grande Vitesse) was the original European high-speed train. Linking Paris with Lyon, the new service revolutionised train travel and meant that traveling by air over medium and short distances was no longer seen as the best option, even for business travel.
The network has expanded rapidly and today these sleek, stylish trains offer links to over 60 destinations throughout France. Operated by SNCF, the French national rail operator, TGV trains travel over specially-constructed high speed lines. The trains can achieve speeds of up to 186mph (300km/h) on most long distance routes and 200mph (320km/h) on the new TGV Est line, which links Paris with Strasbourg, Luxembourg and Basel. With the exception of shorter journeys, TGVs almost always have an on-board buffet car, serving a selection of drinks and light refreshments.
Hotel Catalonia La Pedrera, Barcelona
This superb 4-Star hotel is in the very heart of Barcelona, just a few minutes from La Sagrada Familia, Gaudi's renowned unfinished work. You can easily access the local shops and trendy district of Paseo de Gracia, Barcelona's main shopping boulevard. e hotel also has a rooftop pool, where you can enjoy views of this gorgeous European city.
Hotel Hesperia Cordoba, Cordoba
The 4-Star Hotel Hesperia Cordoba, is a modern hotel offering views across the Guadalquivir Rivers to the city's famous Mesquita and Old Town. The hotel has a pool, sheltered by a modern Andalucian courtyard. The hotel has its own restaurant and panoramic bar. Rooms are equipped with television, air conditioning, minibar and safe.
Melia Granada Hotel, Granada
The 4-Star Melia Granada Hotel is located in the heart of Old Town Granada in close proximity to the city's old Medina, the world-famous Alhambra and a wide array of excellent restaurants and shops. The hotel has a restaurant, bar and breakfast buffet. Room facilities include air conditioning, a telephone, television, minibar, safe and a hairdryer. In 2012 the hotel won a Bronze Award for overall quality in the Spain and Southern Europe regional category.
NH Principe Vergara, Madrid
The 4-Star Hotel NH Principe de Vergara is our base whilst in the gorgeous city of Madrid. Set within the Lista area of the city, the hotel is a close walk to numerous public transport links that can take you into the center of this historic city. The hotel rooms are air-conditioned throughout, and also come with an en-suite bathroom, a television, a minibar, and complimentary Wi-Fi. The hotel itself boasts some great amenities, including a gym, a bar, and a restaurant that specialises in Mediterranean food.
Hotel Becquer, Seville
In Seville we stay at the 4-Star Hotel Becquer, located in the city center, only a few minutes away from Seville's main attractions, such as the Cathedral, the Giralda or the Santa Cruz district, all a short walk from the hotel. The hotel has two restaurants including El Pabellon offering traditional Mediterranean cuisine. The hotel also offers guest a café, two bars, a lounge, spa, Turkish bath, steam bath, swimming pool and sun terrace. Room facilities include minibar, television, air conditioning, hairdryer and safe.
Dates & Prices
Select from the packages below to view prices for this tour.
|9th September 2020||$4,995||Book Now|
Please enter the child's age.
Please enter the children's ages.
Please enter the children's ages.
Please enter the children's ages.
: Departs 9th September 2020 ($4,995)
Register for Free Notification of 2021 Dates & Prices
Enter your details below if you would like to be notified when 2021 dates and prices are available for Andalucían Explorer.