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SUBLIME SPAIN

Discover the Highlights of Spain

Luxury Food, Wine & Cultural Tour

Description

From trendy Barcelona to majestic Madrid and unspoiled Medieval villages; Seville and the romance of Moorish architecture and gypsy flamenco dancing. Ever had a dream that you could visit Spain and see all those wonderful places you see in glossy coffee table books or on travel programmes? With this private customized tour of Spain your dream can be readily fulfilled! We will transport you to magnificent Toledo and you will thrill at the Roman Ruins of Tarragona and delight at visits to unspoiled countryside and seaside villages in Northern Catalunya

DAY 1 BARCELONA

On arrival at Barcelona Airport our Chauffeur will be awaiting you with a luxury vehicle ready to transfer you to your 4* boutique hotel, ideally located in the Barcelona Gothic Quarter, nearby to all major sights, but at the same time on the port front. The rooftop terrace bar and pool provide an astonishing view of the city as well as the port, and your lovely room looks out onto the harbor. Formerly, your hotel was the residence of a wealthy Duke in the city and is deep-seated in history.

A representative of Gourmand Breaks will meet you at your hotel for a welcome drink and together you will discuss your personalized itinerary for the rest of your private cultural, food and wine tour. Apart from having available your Online Personal Travel Webpage, you will be handed your Personal Travel Journals containing all your itinerary details and plenty of suggestions for restaurants and free time activities.

On this first evening in Barcelona you might want to relax and unwind after your journey and settle into your lovely hotel. We have several dinner recommendations for fine restaurants, as well as informal tapas places nearby.

In a Nutshell: Luxury Private Airport Transfer from Barcelona Airport, Overnight in a 4* luxury palace hotel overlooking the port in Barcelona

DAY 2 BARCELONA

This morning, after a delicious breakfast, your Gourmand Breaks Officially Licensed Guide will await you at your hotel. Together you will beat the queues as you enjoy a private guided visit to the incredible La Sagrada Familia, a work on a grand scale which began in 1882. At the end of 1883 Gaudi, the most internationally renowned and emblematic architect of the city, was commissioned to carry on the works, a task which he did not abandon until his death in 1926. Since then different architects have continued the work after his original idea, but it remains unfinished.

You will then continue on your journey, now focused on the authentic gourmet foods in Spain, starting with a guided visit to La Boqueria market, Spains largest marketplace. La Boqueria is like a museum of the brightest and most delectable foods in Spain. Our expert culinary guide will lead you around the best booths and you will taste some of the most delicious local seasonal produce at one famous La Boqueria bar, frequented by celebrities. A glass of a fine brut nature cava will surely go down a treat with a tapa of Chantrelle mushrooms, or fresh cockles, squid or maybe even scrambled eggs with wild asparagus.

Continuing your private walking tour through the Gothic quarter of Barcelona you will see a few architectural feats: the famous Barcelona Cathedral, Sant Jaume Square and the amazing Santa Maria del Mar Church, which is a beautiful and important 14th-century church and considered the finest and most complete example of Catalan Gothic architecture anywhere. You will, of course, enjoy a wander through Las Ramblas, the colorful must-see pedestrian area. Our guide is a real specialist in local history and will amuse you with fascinating local stories and funny anecdotes. Following this, your tour will take the path of Picasso on the famous Avignon Street. You will pass the Picasso museum (your guide will be able purchase tickets if you wish to visit this afternoon). Now you will taste some of the best natural artisan Spanish cheeses at a charming local cheese shop. The knowledgeable owner will divulge the secrets of the best Spanish cheeses while you taste some of the delicious specialties paired with some excellent Priorat wine. For something sweet, your tour will stop at the oldest venue in Barcelona for dried nuts and fruits, homemade nougats and chocolates. This quaint and local store, specializing in roasting coffee beans and nuts for over 150 years, is still decorated with its original furniture and old wood-burning stove.

Your luxury private tour will be rounded off with a light lunch of exquisite delicatessen produce which will include Spains best Iberic bellota ham - Joselito, fine cold meats and sausages, some of the finest local preserves of wild tuna, anchovies,or clams from Galicia, a selection of the best Spanish olive oils, etc., all enjoyed at one of the best delicatessens in the city. In addition there are English speaking sommeliers on hand to guide you through more than 6000 wines. Your guide will leave you at the finale of your tour when you are settled safely into this amazing delicatessen enjoying your meal.

The rest of your afternoon will be free to enjoy as you wish. Prior to leaving you, your guide will be happy to provide a lot of suggestions for really good places to eat, cafes, shops, etc.

In a Nutshell: Private guided tour of La Sagrada Familia and the Gothic Quarter and Born Areas of Barcelona with gourmet food and wine tastings, Overnight Barcelona

DAY 3 BARCELONA

After breakfast at your hotel, today can be as much or as little as you wish.

We can OPTIONALLY arrange for you to have a gourmet cooking class today where you will not only learn to cook local dishes but will also hear an infinite amount about local products. You will meet with our chef to choose the best ingredients, from La Boqueria market, for your 4-course Spanish meal. Afterwards, you will embark on a cooking lesson at a prestigious cooking school where you will learn the secrets of the best seafood paella, suquet or crema catalana in town. Sit back and relax with a glass of wine or put on your apron and participate if you prefer. Either way you will surely enjoy the attention of our chef and a sumptuous lunch with wines to follow.

Alternatively, take the time do a little shopping on the Passeig de Gracia, over a kilometer of back to back fashion, with its incredible designer shops where few major world designers are not present. In addition, famous Spanish outlets such as Zara, Mango and Adolfo Dominguez, with great fashion items at a more affordable price, also have stores here. Or have a casual lunch, stroll along the seafront, visit Parc Guell, Montjuic Mountain or maybe there is another area you wish to see. We can recommend a few fine dining venues nearby for a sumptuous meal to say goodbye to Barcelona in style.

In a Nutshell: Free day Barcelona, OPTIONAL cooking Class, Overnight Barcelona

DAY 4 EMPORDA

Today, following your experience of touring bustling Barcelona, you will now sit back in your comfortable chauffeured luxury car whilst you are transferred to the beautiful and serene countryside of the Emporda region of Spain. Here, you will move to your new home for the next 3 nights - an authentic Spanish medieval castle, an architectural jewel that was built eight centuries ago, now converted into a 4* luxury hotel.

After checking into your fairy-tale residence, your chauffeur will take you to visit the nearby Medieval village of Pals. As you walk through the narrow village streets of Pals, next to the city walls, towers and churches, you will feel as though you have stepped back in time. The stone archways, cobblestone streets and wrought balconies adorned with flowers create a welcoming feel in this Romanesque village. To continue, you will visit another Medieval village, a totally unspoiled hideaway, home to ancient Iberian archaeological remains and a 9th century medieval church. Continuing your Medieval morning, you will head to another nearby village where as you stroll along its cobbled streets you will surely imagine what life was like in the Olde Worlde days - a very special village indeed.

Your "medieval journey" continues to another close (and of course medieval!) village, where you are booked for a delicious lunch of local Catalan country fare with Emporda wine, at an authentic stone farmhouse that has been converted into a delightful restaurant. Take your time over lunch, it is a casual affair in the medieval villages!

After such a delicious lunch your chauffeur will take you to the coast and to a lighthouse looking over the Mediterranean where you will surely enjoy a coffee while taking in the impressive views before you. Then heading down the hill you will arrive to the picturesque chic Costa Brava villages. Picture-postcard villages that offer breathtaking views of the azul blue Mediterranean; beachfront cafes and inviting walkways. There are kilometers of clifftop paths to appreciate why Costa Brava translates as Wild Coast. With free time here you can stroll along the scenic seaside, discovering hidden coves and breathe in the fresh air whilst you gaze far out to sea, the sun sparkling on the small crested waves. While in this area you may like to visit the romantic and beautiful clifftop Botanical Garden, a delight to wander around with its many species and magnificent setting.

After a truly interesting exploration day your chauffeur will return you to your country retreat where you will still have plenty of time to get acquainted with the grounds of the castle and enjoy all the amenities of your fairy tale residence (including a gorgeous swimming pool) before, maybe, a peaceful dinner by candlelight.

In a Nutshell: Visits to Medieval Villages and Costa Brava, Overnight in a 4* Spanish Medieval Castle Hotel in the Emporda Countryside

DAY 5 BESALU & GIRONA

This morning after breakfast at your hotel, you will be visiting the bewitching town of Besalu and the romantic city of Girona.

You will meet with your Officially Licensed Guide in Besalu and commence a private guided tour of this very fascinating medieval village, renowned for its beauty and 11th century Roman bridge that once was necessary to adjoin this small village to land. The local public gardens await you where villagers grow herbs for their well-known and traditional homemade wine, ratafia. The different families of Besalu have variations of this sweet wine and use their own secret combination of aromatic herbs to flavor this digestive liquor. You will certainly discover your own favorite ratafia! There will also be time to visit the ruins of the Jewish quarter of Besalu, dating back to the 9th century and the well-preserved Jewish baths, traditionally used for purification, dating back to the 12th century.

Next, together with your chauffeur and private guide, you will head to the city of Girona to enjoy a private guided tour of this enchanting city. Your private guide will show off its stretches of cobblestone streets, the old Jewish Quarter and Jewish History Museum and its luscious gardens, the Arab baths and the magnificent Girona Cathedral affording a great view of the area. You will wind through the narrow streets and stoned walls of the old Gothic Quarter and encounter little shops, cafes and medieval homes that families have passed down through the generations. Girona is a Little City with a Big Heart and you will soon feel at home in its inviting embrace.

Girona is a Little City with a Big Heart and you will soon feel at home in its inviting embrace. Your excellent local guide will escort ou to a fantastic restaurant in Girona where you are booked for a romantic and delicious lunch with wine. First class service, innovative takes on traditional recipes and an elegant atmosphere will provide the perfectly romantic end to your visit in Girona. You may, however, like to peruse the artisan shops before heading back to your retreat.

Your OPTIONAL lunch reservation today could be at an exquisite 3-star Michelin restaurant owned by three local Catalan brothers - El Celler de Can Roca. Local recipes are the inspiration for the exquisite dishes served here, from delectable parfaits to the most appreciated wild mushroom souffle. The enthusiasm and creativity of Chef Joan in his cooking is only matched by sommelier Josep and his expertise at pairing the perfect wines with your dinner. Both of them are also complemented by their third brother, Jordi, for delightful desserts. From the aperitif to the dessert, you will remember this dining experience for years to come!

Before heading back to your hotel you will have free time to ramble through the streets of Girona to visit the quaint shops and artisan retailers.
The rest of your day is free and a great opportunity if you so wish to take a hike in the area of your hotel. For dinner tonight we suggest dining at the hotel restaurant.

In a Nutshell: Private guided tour of Girona and Besalu, Overnight in the Emporda countryside

DAY 6 CADAQUES

Today, following breakfast, your Chauffeur will be waiting to take you to Cadaques. The town is known for its breathtaking beauty and its history of famous Bohemian artists, including the master of surrealism, Salvador Dali. You will notice the laid-back and creative atmosphere lingering in this town from the long influence of artists.

You will visit the summer seaside home of Dali, complete with his works and arrangement of rooms, where you can have a glimpse into his life. Next, you will follow in his footsteps, as you enjoy a delightful lunch in one of the small charming local seaside haunts of the artist. You will experience the atmosphere of this town in an authentic way as you try a few of the locals favorite seafood dishes.

After lunch, you will cross through the natural park of Cap de Creus to a lighthouse on the edge of a cliff overlooking the Mediterranean. This point is the first place in Spain where the sun's rays shine every morning. But rather than waking up at dawn to see this, we will visit Cap de Creus for the impressive and romantic views of the Mediterranean. Your chauffeur will now drive you to the mountains overlooking Port de la Selva where the view to the sea will take your breath away with its magnificence. You will see the imposing Sant Pere de Rodes Benedictine Monastry, constructed on the hillside below the ruins of the castle of Sant de Verdera that gave protection to the monastery. Dating from the 10th century AD, it is a prime example of the Catalan-Roman era.

After your busy day, you will surely enjoy a relaxing evening at your hotel and perhaps dinner in the hotel restaurant or at one of the local restaurants.

In a Nutshell: Day in Cadaques, Visit to Salvador Dali Seaside Home, Visit to Sant Pere de Rodes Benedictine Monastry, Overnight Emporda

DAY 7 SITGES & PENEDES

Today you will leave your castle hotel and your chauffeur will drive you south, to Sitges, by the sea shore. At every turn, you are afforded picturesque views of the Mediterranean and the town abounds with colonial style houses fashioned for the local aristocracy of the 18th and 19th centuries. After your stroll, relax with a glass of Chardonnay as you take in the Mediterranean from a terrace view, prior to enjoying a delicious lunch with wines at the best restaurant in town.

In the afternoon, your venture will take you on a VIP private visit to a very well known cava cellar and one of the most important vineyards in the Penedes Region. The top-quality sparkling Spanish wines are made there using the traditional method of making Champagne but with a blend of the classic Penedes region grape varieties of Macabeo, Xarel.lo, Parellada. Fine bubbles slowly develop in the bottles placed in deep cellars, where they are shielded from light and enjoy low temperatures at a constant humidity. Only the best of conditions combined with a long and patient ageing process make possible the miracle of transforming grapes into this complex and unique cava. Your in-house bi-lingual wine specialist will show you the beautiful masia and grounds, as well as the underground stone cellars - then, a complete private tasting awaits you!

Your final stop today will be to check into your excellent 5* winery hotel in Penedes Wine Country in the midst of the Penedes vineyards. The hotel provides a perfect combination of very comfortable accommodation, first class attention and splendid natural beauty.

In a Nutshell: Visit to Sitges, Private VIP Tour of a Prestigious Winery with Wine Tasting, Overnight in a 5* Winery Hotel in the Penedes Region of Spain

DAY 8 PENEDES

After breakfast, a local chauffeur will be waiting for you and will drive you to an exceptional ecological-organic vineyard, owned by one family since 1790 and situated in the heart of the Penedes wine region. Be prepared for an unforgettable visit as their fantastic in-house expert takes you on a private tour of the vineyards, which have been ecologically cultivated for more than 300 years. You will be amazed at how the "intervention" of bees, sheep, and lunar phases helps to create their outstanding wines. The grapes in this vineyard are all hand picked to ensure harvest at the ideal time for each vine. Back at the cellar, you will see the entire wine making process and finally enjoy a complete tasting of an array of ecological and organic varieties of wines and cavas. Additionally, the vineyard owners make their own olive oil (which, of course, you will taste as well!) and they will gladly explain to you the process and properties of this "liquid gold".

After trying the finest wines of the region, you will return to the hotel for a light lunchtime snack. Then, you will have time to relax. We suggest a walk around the picturesque vineyards surrounding the hotel property. In the evening enjoy a special treat as you dine at the hotel tonight. A delicious gastronomic dinner with wines/cavas from the hotel cellar.

In a Nutshell: Private guided tour of Penedes winery with Wine Tasting, Overnight Penedes Countryside

DAY 9 SEVILLE

After an early final breakfast at your Penedes Wine country hotel, you will be ready for another part of your tour, in Seville. Our Chauffeur will drive you to Barcelona, where you will take a fast and comfortable high speed train to Seville. Your cross-country journey, on a first class basis, will take only 5 h 30 min, (alternatively, you may wish to fly to Seville)

On arrival, you will take a taxi to your boutique 4* hotel in Seville. Situated in a delightful area, in the picturesque and authentic Barrio de Santa Cruz, the hotel is an attractive, converted manor house dating back to the 16th century. You may wish to have a relaxed lunch, perhaps something typically Andalusian (much of the cuisine in Seville is influenced by the Moors), after your long journey.

This afternoon, your officially licensed Seville guide will be waiting for you at the hotel and you will depart on a private sightseeing tour of the Barrio Santa Cruz, which is the old Jewish quarter. You will amble around its beautiful squares and narrow streets, which form a labyrinth, but beware, it is very easy to get lost! The jasmine and orange scented Barrio abounds in beautiful patios, old palaces, small stores and artisan shops, as well as good art galleries.

Your tour continues through historic Seville, including a visit to the Seville Cathedral, the oldest and most spectacular Gothic cathedral in the world and La Giralda tower which provides spectacular views of the city. Time permitting, you can also visit The Reales Alcazares, the oldest royal palace in Europe and residence of the Spanish Royal Family when they stay in Seville.

You will have worked up an appetite on this fascinating tour so your guide will lead you now to a tantalizingly delicious tapas dinner. Seville boasts more than 4,000 tapas bars - roughly 1 for every 200 locals so you know they know what they're talking about! Tapas hopping is part of Andalusian life and as you stop into some of the many foodie hot-spots you can try a variety of dishes that come freshly out of the kitchen. Plate after plate of hot and cold food appears on the bar to tempt your palate, so maybe try cold roasted pepper salad or anchovies in vinegar, a hot dish of meatballs in sauce or a slice of potato omelet ... the choice is yours. Of course, as is customary, you will accompany your mouth watering bites with a glass of dry Spanish Sherry, wine or draught beer.

In a Nutshell: High Speed Train on a 1st Class basis to Seville, Private Guided Tour of Seville to include Tapas Hopping, Overnight in a 4* Boutique Hotel in Seville

DAY 10 SEVILLE

Today, after breakfast, you are as free as you please in Seville. Your guide will have given you many ideas and top tips for further sightseeing options and foodie hot spots to experience the best of Seville.

You might wish to visit the Reales Alcazares, the oldest royal palace in Europe and residence of the Spanish Royal Family when they stay in Seville. Maybe you would like to visit the Plaza De Espana and take a stroll in the Maria Luisa Park which are to the south of the center and for lunch why not continue to enjoy the fabulous Andalusian gastronomy!

In the evening prepare yourself to be wowed with a wonderful Gypsy Flamenco Show, where the swirling skirts and tapping heels of the dancers will excite and amaze the senses. You may wish to have a relaxed dinner, perhaps something typically Andalusian before or after the Flamenco Show for which we have several suggestions for a delightful dinner in the Barrio Santa Cruz or elsewhere in Seville.

In a Nutshell: Free Day in Seville, Gypsy Flamenco Show, Overnight Seville

DAY 11 CORDOBA

This morning you will take a taxi to Seville Railway Station, where you have tickets to take a very comfortable high speed train to Cordoba. On arrival in Cordoba your excellent Officially Licensed guide will be waiting for you and you will start your private tour of this beautiful city.

Once the biggest city in all of Europe, Cordoba thrived and expanded with its unique blend of cultures. These are beautifully expressed with a visit to Mezquita, the most significant Muslim architectural achievement in the Western world. This 8th century structure was first a church, then a mosque, and today has a cathedral oddly placed in its center.Walk the street leading up to the Juderia, with its whitewashed houses and colorful courtyards and shops. Though not Jewish in its current expression, a few signs hint of the Golden Age of Jewish life. Note, for example, the statue of the great court doctor and Torah sage, Maimonides (Rabbi Moshe Ben Maimon) and the tiny, gem-like Synagogue, (the one in which Maimonedes prayed) which is one of only three remaining synagogues in Spain from before the Expulsion of 1492.

The Jewish Quarter is the best-known part of Cordoba's historic center, which was declared a World Heritage Site by UNESCO in 1984 and is one of the largest in Europe. As you wander down picturesque and evocative streets in the restored heart of Cordoba - one of the largest medieval quarters in Europe - it is not difficult to imagine the days when Cordoba was one of the most important cities in Europe. Cordoba's large Juderia has been recently restored and is now filled with charming shops and cafes.

Your private guide will then take you to some local taverns to savor some typical Cordobese tapas. A Tavern in Cordoba used to be a place where the local people could go to drink wine and every tavern had an interior courtyard with a well, that was not only for decoration but also to refresh the drinks. Nowadays Cordoban taverns are designed as lively, yet less frenetic, venues to taste tapas. Try the specialties such as Flamenquin (battered pork or ham), Salmorejo (cold tomato soup thickened with breadcrumbs), Rabo de Toro (Bulls tail) and for dessert the typical Pastel Cordobes - a pastry filled with sweet pumpkin.

On return to Seville we have many suggestions for a final Sevilliano style dinner tonight!

In a Nutshell: High Speed Return Train to Cordoba, Private Guided Tour of Historical Cordoba to include the Mezquita and typical tavern tastings, Overnight Seville

DAY 12 MADRID

This morning, after breakfast, you will be leaving Andalusia and heading to Madrid. You have tickets, on a first class basis, for the fast and comfortable high speed train and your cross-country journey will take just 2 h 40 min.

On arrival in Madrid you will check into your 4* boutique hotel, housed in an eighteenth century building which used to be the residence of the Duke of Noblejas and has maintained its frescoes, mirrors and stained glass whilst being equipped with modern comforts. The hotel's location is perfect, next to the famous Plaza Santa Ana, in the Barrio de las Letras and within the Golden Triangle of Art, so you will not have far to walk to get to the Prado, the Thyssen-Bornemisza and the Reina Sofia.

After time to settle into your hotel, perhaps a light lunch and a chance to make the most of the Spanish "siesta", you will join our excellent bi-lingual Officially Licensed guide for a tour of El Prado, Old Madrid and Tapas hopping. Your private guided tour will first take you to El Prado museum, which is the biggest art gallery in the world. It has more than 7,600 paintings, but can exhibit only one part of its collection due to lack of space. However, a recent addition to the museum increased the space by 50%, so more paintings will gradually be displayed. Prado means meadow, and the museum got the name of Prado because there was an open meadow where the museum now sits. Your private guide, additionally qualified in Spanish History and Art, will make sure you don't miss anything. You are in excellent hands. Your private tour of Madrid will then take you to the Plaza Oriente to see and learn about the Royal Palace and the Cathedral.

You will then walk through the Old town to the Plaza de la Villa, with the town hall, and on to San Miguel market, the hottest gastronomic spot in Madrid where its bars and restaurants make it the place to meet in old Madrid. You will also visit the Plaza Mayor and finalize your tour in Santa Ana Square (near your hotel). On your journey this afternoon/evening you will enjoy some fantastic bites to eat, and a beverage or two, as you sample the best variety of wine and tapas the city has on offer!

In a Nutshell: High Speed train to Madrid on a 1st Class basis, Private Guided Tour of El Prado and Old Madrid with Gourmet Tapas Hopping, Overnight in Luxury 4* Hotel in Madrid

DAY 13 TOLEDO

This morning, after breakfast, you are off to Toledo for the day. You have high speed train tickets from Madrid to Toledo, and return. Your local officially licensed guide will be waiting for you at the train station when you arrive and will lead you on a visit to the Cathedral, which is one of the most outstanding buildings in the city and is considered to be one of the high points of Gothic art. The construction of this monumental building, with a basilica floor plan and five naves, commenced in 1226, although it was not finished until the 15th century. On its main facade the outstanding feature is the doorway, made up of three doors: Infierno (Hell), Perdon (Forgiveness) and Juicio (Judgement). The exterior is topped by the two cathedral towers, one of them in flamboyant Gothic style and the other in Gothic-Renaissance.

Following on your guide will lead you to the Synagogue of Santa Maria La Blanca. Remains of the Jewish community are still preserved in the city in the synagogues of Santa Maria la Blanca and El Transito. The former, built possibly in the 12th century, is also a good example of Toledo's Mudejar art. It has five naves with decreasing heights as well as the characteristic geometrical and botanical decoration and horseshoe arches. Meanwhile, in the synagogue of El Transito, built in 1357, you can admire one of the best Mudejar coffered ceilings of all those preserved in Toledo, along with walls richly decorated with geometrical and botanical designs and Hebrew inscriptions. Nowadays, this Jewish place of worship houses the Sephardic Museum, in which an interesting collection of pieces of art and various objects used in Jewish ceremonies are exhibited.

Your fantastic visit to Toledo, will terminate with a visit to the church of Santo Tome, famous for housing the famous El Greco picture entitled El entierro del Conde Orgaz (The burial of Count Orgaz). You will then have free time to enjoy Toledo and have lunch, for which we have several suggestions, prior to returning to Madrid.

Back in Madrid, the rest of the evening is free to do as you wish - relax, have a light dinner, wander around Madrid, the choice is yours. We have many suggestions for great restaurants.

In a Nutshell: High speed return train tickets for a day in Toledo; Private Guided Tour of Toledo to include the Cathedral, Synagogue of Santa Maria La Blanca and Church of Santo Tome, Overnight Madrid

DAY 14 MADRID

After breakfast, and based on the insider top tips your guide left you with, you have a free day to wander around Madrid and see all the fantastic Museums, art galleries and famous parks of this fantastic city.

Perhaps you wish to visit the Reina Sofia Museum or the Thyssen-Bornemisza Collection in the company of your expert guide, this can be of course arranged. The Reina Sofia Museum - The Museo Nacional Centro de Arte Reina Sofia, also called the Museo Reina Sofia, (Queen Sofia Museum), is the national museum for 20th century art in Spain. The museum was officially inaugurated in Madrid in 1992 and is named after the former Queen of Spain. The museum collection consists of more than 20,000 works from the late 19th century to the present day, mainly dedicated to Spanish art with highlights including two of the greatest 20th century masters, Pablo Picasso and Salvador Dali. Probably the most famous masterpiece in the museum is Picassos 1937, oil on canvas painting, Guernica. The Thyssen-Bornemisza Museum - Madrid's acquisition of this treasure trove of art in the 1980s was one of the greatest coups in European art history. Amassed by a central European collector beginning around 1920, and formerly displayed in Lugano, Switzerland, its 700 canvases, with works by artists ranging from El Greco to Picasso, are arranged in chronological order. This fantastic collection rivals the legendary holdings of the Queen of England herself.

Maybe you wish to return to the Royal Palace, Palacio Real (often referred to as Palacio Oriente after the nearby square of the same name), to view its interesting interior. The palace is used by the King for ceremonial purposes only; he actually lives in the Palacio de la Zarzuela on the outskirts of the city. Or, take a leisurely walk through El Retiro Park, a great place to enjoy the open air as you stroll along the paths, of this once royal garden, passing fountains, statues, the delicate Palacio de Cristal, the boating lake and maybe the odd street entertainer or art exhibition.

You might like to do a little shopping and if your pleasure is designer clothes why not spend some time wandering around some of the finest boutiques in Spain on Calle Serrano. Whatever you decide, enjoy your day!

This evening we have many recommendations for fine dining in Madrid, be it old style Spanish food or Michelin starred extravaganza.

In a Nutshell: Free Day in Madrid, Overnight Madrid

DAY 15 DEPARTURE

This is the last day of your tour and after breakfast you will check out of your hotel and your chauffeur will be waiting to transfer you to Madrid Airport for your onward journey home.

We do hope you will join us for this very exciting tour to enjoy some of our very best food, wine and cultural experiences, which will surely provide for a truly memorable tour!

In a Nutshell: Chauffeured transfer to Madrid Airport

Your tour includes:

  • Accommodation for three (3) nights in a boutique 4* palace hotel in the Barcelona Gothic Quarter, at the seafront (port view room, double occupancy)

  • Accommodations for three (3) nights in a luxurious,authentic, 4* medieval stone castle hotel in Emporda countryside (castle room, double occupancy)

  • Accommodation for two (2) nights in an excellent 5* winery hotel in the heart of the Penedes Wine Region (premium room, double occupancy)

  • Accommodation for three (3) nights in a 4* boutique palace-house converted hotel in the historical heart of Seville (premium room, double occupancy)

  • Accommodation for three (3) nights in an elegant 4* boutique hotel, in the historical and cultural heart of Madrid (superior room, double occupancy)

  • Fourteen (14) full breakfasts

  • Assistance of an experienced excellent bilingual Officially Licensed Guide, as indicated in the tour itinerary

  • Chauffeured transfers in a luxury vehicle, as indicated in the itinerary

  • Six (6) lunches with wine and three (3) dinners with wine

  • Private guided visit to a prestigious Penedes winery with a tasting of their best wines to follow

  • All the private and guided tours, food tastings, tapas hopping and wine samplings, as stated in your itinerary

  • 1st class high speed train tickets Barcelona - Seville and Seville - Madrid and standard (the only available) high speed train tickets for short return trips to Toledo and Cordoba

  • Online Personal Travel Webpage including daily itinerary, general local information, details of places of interest, suggestions for restaurant reservations, and your free time, etc.

  • Handy elegant Personal Travel Journal, which includes the extended information from your Personal Travel Website, that you can take with you as you go and keep as a souvenir to look back on.

  • 24/7 Back Office Assistance

Your tour does not include:

  • Flights

  • Meals and drinks not stated in the itinerary

  • Personal expenses such as telephone, minibar, etc.

  • Tips and gratuities at restaurants etc. at your discretion, NOT obligatory

  • Travel Insurance may be included in your quotation on request. We strongly recommend you to take out separate cancellation insurance.

Prices:

Please note our tours are available for PRIVATE GROUPS ONLY and are not scheduled mixed group tours. Price is available upon request and varies depending on the number of guests and time of year. Feel free to contact us for your personal quote