Explore the wonders of Madrid and Andalusia, Spain's mythical south on a mix of private guided, or independent days mixed in with a multi-day small group tour. Spend time in Madrid availing of private guided tours or explore by yourself at leisure. Then join a small group multi-day tour taking you from the splendours of Madrid through wonderful Andalusia - a land of history, culture, stunning vistas and coastlines, flamenco and fiestas! Not only has it inspired such celebrated painters as Picasso and Velasquez, but it has also held an enduring fascination for writers – as well as being the true setting for Bizet’s “Carmen”, perhaps the most famous opera of all time. It is a unique area where East meets West in an exotic melting pot of Jewish, gypsy, Moorish and Christian cultures. You will delight in the wines and cuisine, be beguiled by the stunning sights and sounds, from the vibrancy of Seville, the beaches of the Costa de la Luz and the Costa del Sol to the magnificence of the great Alhambra.
In general, the small group tours depart from April 29 , 2015 until October 18, 2015, with no departure in July with a maximum of 18 people per trip.
Consider adding additional days to your trip with the services of a private guide and/or driver to see more of the country - your time on either side of your small group tour can be customized to suit your needs (and private guided tours can be added throughout your small group experience as desired).
Meet your driver for a private airport transfer in Madrid. Please note drivers may or may not speak English, as their sole responsibility is to transfer clients from one location to another.
For your added comfort, we will have an English speaking assistant waiting for you at the hotel lobby. Your representative will help you to check in and walk you through the welcome package documents.
A welcome package with a city map, train tickets (if relevant), a SIM card with 1Gb of data, and any other touristic information that we deem you may find useful will be waiting for you upon your arrival at your first hotel on your trip.
Your guide will meet you at your hotel and take you through the narrow and steep streets of the oldest part of Madrid, discovering the history and emblematic locations such as Plaza Mayor, Puerta de Sol and Plaza de la Villa. (No entrance fees included).
See and do exactly what you feel like today with your 24 hour Madrid Card. The Card is an electronic smart card offering free admission to more than 50 museums and monuments in Madrid, including the major ones. The card also entitles you to visit the Planetarium, a guided walking tour from the "Discover Madrid Program", use of a Cable Car, visit Faunia Biologic Park and Imax Cinema. You can also benefit from discounts in more than 100 establishments including shops, restaurants, shows, rent a car and leisure centres for adults and children. You will also obtain a guidebook with information on the museums and establishments that are included on the scheme and a map of the city. Exchange your voucher for a Madrid Card at: Madrid Tourist Board, Plaza Mayor 27 between 9.30am and 8.30pm or at Metro Travellers Information Centre.
Transfer to the small group meeting point using a local taxi. Please note that this is not included in trip price and is payable locally.
Meet up with your Guide and fellow travellers of your small group tour this morning. The rendezvous is at 08.30am at the Hotel Quatro Puerta del Sol, Calle Sevilla, 4, 28014 Madrid, Spain.
Please ensure you are at the meeting point at least 15 minutes prior to departure.
Head south to Toledo, the former capital of Spain, brimming with hundreds of years of history and known locally as the “Imperial City”.
Explore this magical city, including the magnificent cathedral, one of the greatest gothic structures in Europe, the synagogue of Santa Maria la Blanca, the oldest synagogue in Europe, now owned and preserved by the Catholic Church, and the Monastery of San Juan de los Reyes, founded by King Ferdinand and Queen Isabella to commemorate their triumph over the Portuguese in 1476.
After a wonderful start to your journey, tonight you'll get aquainted with your fellow travellers over dinner in a traditional Spanish restaurant.
Leave Toledo behind this morning, and enter the vast plains of central Spain and the famed La Mancha, famous for its delicious wines, manchego cheese and, of course, Don Quixote’s famous windmills, brought to life so superbly by Cervantes in his great novel. Upon reaching Valdepeñas, the centre of a world-renowned grape growing district, you'll have the chance to visit a local bodega to sample the local wine and tapas before continuing to the enchanting city of Cordoba.
Enjoy a taste of the rich North African architectural heritage left in Andalusia with a walking tour of Cordoba and visit the Mezquita, a UNESCO World Heritage Site.
This afternoon explore the Old Town’s narrow streets and private patios at your leisure, or perhaps pamper yourself this evening with a visit to an Arabic bathhouse.
In Seville, you will enjoy a tapas cooking class and learn how to make the perfect sangria.
This afternoon explore Seville at your own pace before preparing for an unforgettable Andalusian flamenco show followed by a tapas dinner with a contemporary twist.
Enjoy an evening of entertainment tonight and experience the thrills of flamenco in one of the typical “tablaos” – clubs dedicated to the passion and energy of flamenco dance and song. The guitar and rhythmic tapping will mesmerise you – and don’t be surprised if there is some audience participation!
Get ready for a morning of discovery as you explore Seville, the capital of Andalusia. The city's heritage in terms of art and architecture – an enticing blend of Roman, Islamic, Gothic, Renaissance and Baroque – is most certainly without rival in southern Spain. See its great cathedral, the biggest Gothic building in Europe, which boasts in addition the largest altarpiece in the world. Then explore the Real Alcazar (Royal Palace) which, though it has a distinctly Moorish appearance, was actually built in the 1360s on the orders of King Pedro the Cruel of Castile. It is also the oldest royal residence in Spain, still used by the Spanish royal family when they visit Seville. But the most picturesque and delightful part of the city is the Santa Cruz district where, in the narrow alleyways, the ancient houses almost lean over and touch each other and where you can wander around the delightful small squares in the shade of the orange trees.
The remainder of the day is yours to spend as you please to enjoy Seville at your leisure. Perhaps you will want to visit more of the sights, or maybe you prefer to wander around the shops and buy souvenirs, or just relax in the sunshine and watch the world go by and enjoy the local food and wines.
After enjoying some time at leisure, meet up again with your fellow travellers for a tapas dinner with a contemporary twist.
Leave the cosmopolitan pleasures of Seville behind this morning and journey further south to the beautiful Andalusian coastline. Head to the Costa del Luz where you stop for lunch (not included). Located on the Atlantic Coast it is a popular seaside destination for Spaniards and famous for its amazing seafood. In Jerez de la Frontera, famously the hub of sherry wine production, you discover the secrets of sherry wine with a guided tour in a traditional bodega followed by an exclusive tasting. Continuing to Arcos de la Frontera, a picturesque town in the province of Cadiz, you discover small reminders of its Arabian heritage. Your final destination today is Ronda, a beautiful town perched on the edge of a deep canyon cut out by the River Guadalevín.
Enjoy a free morning to explore Ronda’s ancient streets.
Continue east to the unforgettable city of Granada, which was the last stronghold of the Moorish Empire in southern Spain until it finally fell to the Catholic Kings in 1492. Enjoy an evening at leisure in Granada.
This morning is dedicated to the magnificent Alhambra, a breath-taking Moorish Palace and Fortress perched on top of a steep hill adjacent to the city centre. A true tribute to the beauty of North African architecture in Andalusia, the Alhambra is a huge network of beautiful rooms, patios and gardens. The rest of today is for you to explore Granada at your own pace.
Today you will explore Ubeda and Baeza. Situated just six miles apart, both towns have an outstanding ensemble of 16th and 17th century Renaissance buildings, and have been declared World Heritage Sites by UNESCO. Nicknamed "queen" (Ubeda) and "lady" (Baeza) by the brilliant poet Antonio Machado, their streets are filled with churches, palaces and stately homes. After an olive oil tasting continue to your traditional 17th century mansion hotel where you enjoy a farewell dinner together.
Tonight, meet with your fellow travellers over dinner for the final time and delight in picking out your personal highlights of your Andalusian adventure!
This morning you leave Baeza and transfer back to Madrid.
Your small group tour concludes this afternoon in Madrid at the Hotel Qautro Puerta del Sol, Calle Sevilla, 4, 28014 Madrid, Spain at approximately 3:00pm.
Transfer to your hotel using a local taxi. Please note that this is not included in trip price and is payable locally.
The Hotel Regente (3*) is located in the heart of the Gran Vía in Madrid, close to the Puerta del Sol, the famous Km. 0 of the city and emblematic monuments of the city such as the Royal Palace or Almudena Cathedral. The hotel is surrounded by theaters, cinemas, restaurants and boutiques and public transport, either by metro or city bus is close and convenient. All rooms have been recently renovated and cozy decorated with a traditional Hispanic charm.
Hotel Carlos V (3*) is located in the heart of the historic city of Toledo, in the shadows of the majestic fortress and near the Zocodover square which dates back to the Middle ages. All rooms are ensuite, and have air conditioning, heating, complimentary Wi-Fi, music, tv with international channels and telephone. Enjoy traditional Castilian cuisine at their Mudejar Restaurant.
Please note that your hotel may be the above or a hotel of similar standard and will be confirmed prior to departure.
Las Casas de la Juderia (4*) is a luxurious hotel nestled in the heart of Cordoba, offering a direct access to all major attractions, historical landmarks, museums, restaurants and entertainment venues. Rooms at Las Casas de la Judería boast original features with state-of-the-art comforts. Admire the architecture of el Siglo del Oro, relax by the outdoor swimming pool, unwind with a drink at the in-house bar or on the traditional patio. All 64 rooms of Hotel Las Casas de la Juderia in Cordoba are filled with original and period furnishings and decorative art, specially the works of cordoban, ancient moorish leather craftsmanship.
Hotel Las Casas de la Juderia (4*) is located in the former Jewish district of the capital, close to the Royal Alcazar. Rooms for all needs and tastes as they are all decorated and adapted in very different styles depicting travel, baroque or rustic essence from a classical concept. Another universe to discover in this inner paradise offering all the necessary comforts and services: full bath with hairdryer (many of them with a shower and whirlpool bath), air conditioning system, mini-bar, private safe box, satellite T.V., direct telephone… Besides Emporion Restaurant, Hotel Las Casas de la Jewish literature has the 'Hall of Mirrors' in which they serve great breakfast buffet with a wide selection of products, as well as a 'diet corner' and a menu of dishes made at the time. In the evenings guests can enjoy a nice dinner, based on Mediterranean cuisine and international cuisine with touches of Seville during the summer period is served outdoors in the 'Corral de las Flores'. Inspired and designed as the ancient Roman baths, the new Spa offers everything Híspalis the lover of beauty and health treatments may wish: different types of thermal circuits, therapeutic massages, cellulite, facial ...
The Reina Victoria Hotel (4*), totally renovated in 2012, is settled in a unique environment, between a lovely pine forest in the middle of the town, very close to Ronda's landmarks and the famous Tajo de Ronda. Around the hotel, which has 95 fully equipped rooms, there's an amazing 3,000sqm garden in which guests can enjoy their swimming pool and their terrace.
Hotel Las Casas de la Trinidad (4*) is located in one of the most significant buildings of historic and unique city and once rehabilitated, have preserved all the architectural elements of his day, that make this hotel a magnificent exponent of the Granada architecture beginning of the fourteenth century. In the historic center and commercial city in the popular Plaza de la Trinidad, and a minute's walk from the Cathedral and Royal Chapel of Granada and 200 meters from Albayzin, from their terrace you can enjoy stunning views, in which bind three of the wonders of our city: The Alhambra, Sierra Nevada and Granada Cathedral.
The Hotel Puerta de la Luna (4*) is housed in a magnificent XVI century building which was the Davila`s family residence. In the heart of the old town of Baeza, the hotel Puerta de la Luna is located only 40 meters from the cathedral and it is surrounded by narrow alleys where you can enter into the medieval Spain. Hotel amenities include 44 rooms, swimming pool, terrace, private parking and La Pintada restaurant which is one of the best restaurant in Andalucia.
Vanessa Oquendo ,
April 21, 2014
"Melissa Field was extremely helpful! She was courteous, professional, knowledgeable, and friendly! She kept me updated on the status of everything and provided timely correspondence. She took ownership for any problems I had and remedied them. I had the most amazing time of my life in Iceland and Paris! I would not have experienced everything without the help of Kensington Tours."
Marilynn Weaver ,
April 21, 2014
"All of our guides were beyond fabulous! Our time in Dublin was much too short, would have loved to stay there at least one more full day. Would recommend extending this package to 15 days for any future visits. The train to Edinburgh was super! Beautiful scenery and great steak pies!"
Ann Saxon ,
November 06, 2013
"Our trip was fantastic!!! I cannot say enough good things. Lianne worked with our exact dates and time frame beautifully.Our drivers were prompt and friendly. The private guides were so knowledgeable. We left with an appreciation of the history, the culture, and the beauty of Andulasia. We were very pleased and will certainly recommend your company to friends and family."
Coby Scherr ,
November 05, 2013
"Everyone involved in our Portugal trip made it terrific. Exactly as advertised. Every event on time and most pleasant. Guides were well-informed, courteous and friendly. Really made for a great journey every time. Each hotel was clean, upgraded and staffed with knowledgeable and friendly folks. Breakfasts were complete -- almost too much to eat. It will always be a wonderful memory thanks to Kensington Tours."
Couples Dellinger & Hubbell ,
November 06, 2013
"We've been raving to everyone about the food, the friendliness of the people and the amazing history and sites in Turkey. Yes, we want to go back."
John Edstrom ,
October 22, 2013
"Overall, our tour in Spain was very enjoyable, and well planned and executed. Our private tour of the Alhambra was excellent. Virginia, tour guide for royal palace ruins outside of Cordoba, was also excellent. In Seville, we went to the Flamenco Show/dinner, and the Flamenco was outstanding!"
Kevin Wilshere ,
October 19, 2013
"Great trip to Spain! Thanks again for all your help, Lianne. The destinations, hotels, guides and everything were all top notch."
Chery Westlund ,
November 07, 2013
"My husband and I took a 3 week vacation to southern Europe and North Africa and had a great time. All the guides were very knowledgeable and bent over backwards to accommodate us. The arrangements made by Kensington went off without a hitch. This is our second trip with Kensington (we went to Peru in 2009) and we will certainly book with them again."
Randy Gramlich ,
October 07, 2013
"Thank you for your follow up, we both loved our time in Croatia. It’s really a beautiful place, especially the coast. Your choice of hotels was great. It was an incredible view from the Bellevue hotel in Dubrovnik and the Vestibule in Split was in the best possible location. We were able to relax in our room listening to the wonderful singers in the courtyard and its central location made it so easy to walk anywhere we wanted to see with ease. "
Jay Steffan ,
September 24, 2013
"We just returned from a 10 day trip to Paris and Normandy. We spent three nights in Paris and then enjoyed a seven night cruise on the Seine to Normandy with AMA Waterways. The time in Paris was well spent and has piqued our interest to return for a more thorough visit. Guide Wafaa Lankey was superb in our visit to Versailles. The Seine cruise was relaxing and beautiful. So many wonderful little towns and we wished we had more time in each one to explore and enjoy.
We traveled to Croatia and Slovenia using Kensington earlier this year which was a fantastic trip."
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