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Start in small-town Toledo and end in fast-paced Madrid on this 10-day, well-priced adventure that mixes cities big and small.


DAY 1: Overnight Flight

Depart from the USA.

DAY 2: Toledo

Arrive in Madrid, meet your ACIS Tour Manager and drive the short distance to Toledo.

DAY 3: Toledo

Get to know the old Visigothic capital of Toledo. With an expert local guide giving commentary via personal headsets, explore the Medieval Synagogue, visit El Greco's great painting in the Church of Santo Tomé and have a complete tour of the treasures of the Gothic Cathedral. In the afternoon, there is an optional excursion to Aranjuez, a favorite residence of monarchs throughout the centuries. If you prefer, enjoy free time to shop for Toledo Damascene ware or take time out in the main plaza for a café con leche.

DAY 4: Granada

Live out the famous scenes of Cervantes' Don Quixote today as you view the windmills of Consuegra. Continue to beautiful Granada, situated at the foot of the Sierra Nevada and home to Europe's greatest Moorish legacy. Tonight you will tour the fascinating caves of the Sacromonte neighborhood, stopping to learn the steps to Spain's most famous dance during a flamenco lesson. Enjoy a special dinner, then watch your instructors show you how it's done in a show.

DAY 5: Ronda

Your local guide provides expert commentary via personal headsets during this morning's sightseeing tour of the Alhambra, one of the greatest accomplishments of Moorish art and architecture, and the fragrant Generalife Gardens. Depart in the afternoon for Mijas, one of Spain's picturesque pueblos blancos. The white houses decorated with iron grilles make this a jewel of Andalucía. You’ll also want to check out the intricate weaving, pottery and basket-making that the town is known for. Your final destination today is Ronda.

DAY 6: Seville

This morning's guided sightseeing of Ronda includes time to visit inside the 18th century bullring and then view the cathedral as well as the Puente Nuevo bridge spanning the dramatic gorge over the Guadalevín River. Then head north to Seville, capital of Andalucía. Your route may take you past several more beautiful pueblos blancos—white villages—situated on rocky crags with charming streets and whitewashed houses.

DAY 7: Seville

Located in the heart of Andalucía, Seville is the region's capital. A local expert will show you, with commentary via personal headsets, the city’s immense Gothic Cathedral, burial place of Christopher Columbus, and the grand Giralda Tower with its panoramic views. This afternoon, you may choose to learn about the historic Triana neighborhood’s famed ceramic tiles, or azulejos, and decorate your own piece during an optional ceramic tile workshop. Otherwise explore more of Seville at your own pace, perhaps by discovering the old buildings of the whitewashed Santa Cruz quarter as you imagine the days when the Spanish explorers were bringing gold from the New World. In the evening, stroll the old section of the city, past the Torre de Oro or into the Parque María Luisa.

DAY 8: Madrid

This morning drive to Córdoba, where sightseeing with a local expert using audio guides includes the unique striped arches of the Moorish Mezquita and the myriad narrow lanes lined with whitewashed buildings. Next journey to Madrid, Spain's modern capital for a traditional Spanish paella dinner—a spicy tango of rice, seafood and vegetables considered by many as Spain’s national dish.

DAY 9: Madrid

Madrid’s rich heritage comes alive on your guided sightseeing tour of classic Spanish boulevards, grand plazas, and the diverse architecture of modern-day Madrid. Highlights include the Plaza de España with its statue of Don Quixote, the majestic Alcalá Gate, and the famous bullring Las Ventas. Then visit the magnificent Prado (skipping the lines with a timed reservation), one of the world’s premier art museums. Here, an expert provides illuminating commentary via personal headsets on the artwork of Velázquez, Goya, Raphael, Rubens, and Bosch. Even the 18th-century Neo-Classical building that houses the collection is stunning. Spend your final evening in Spain wandering to see the artists and street perfomers in the Plaza Mayor.

DAY 10: Departure

Depart for the USA.



Optional Extensions and Extra Nights:

Further immerse yourself in the culture and wonders of cosmopolitan Spain with an extra night in Madrid, including the services of your ACIS Tour Manager.

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EXCEPTIONAL DIFFERENCES

Central Hotels
    Central Hotels
  • 8 hours saved without a daily commute from a suburban budget hotel
 
  • 8 evenings for more exploring in town
Local Restaurants
    Local Restaurants
  • 8 delicious, multi-course dinners at local favorites
 
  • Meal times tailored to maximize your experience in the city
Smart Trip Design
    Smart Trip Design
  • Save at least an hour with a timed entrance to the Prado
 
  • Overnight in Toledo and enjoy the city after the day trippers have left

highlights

CULTURAL CONNECTIONS

Highlights Waiting to Happen

City View of Toledo

City View of Toledo

The Alhambra

The Alhambra

Whitewash Houses

Whitewash Houses

WHAT YOU'LL LEARN

  • Students will explore a wide-range of architectural styles from the Gothic cathedrals of Toledo and Seville to the Moorish influence of the Alhambra.
  • Students will assess the multicultural milieu of Spain as they experience a wide range of artistic traditions including the Spanish gypsy heritage of flamenco dancing.
  • Students will discover how the Spanish Inquisition shaped Spain's history.
 

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PRICE THIS TOUR


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$3280

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