Day 1 - Barcelona
Viva España! Our trip begins in Barcelona, the funky Catalan capital. This vibrant, eclectic Spanish city has a strong Mediterranean culture and an architectural style all of its own. We will see such highlights as the Christopher Columbus Monument, Las Ramblas, Montjuic (site of the 1992 Olympics) and the jewel in the crown: the spectacular Sagrada Familia. This inimitable Cathedral is the life’s work of Antoni Gaudi, the famous local architect who gave Barcelona its architectural soul (construction began over 120 years ago and it’s still not finished!)
Day 2 - Barcelona
Today we get to discover Barcelona at our own pace and really see what makes this great city tick. You might want to stroll down the lively Las Ramblas and check out the market stalls on the way to the glam beaches of Barceloneta; you could lounge in the fairy-tale Parc Guell, an idyllic testament to Gaudi’s eccentricity; or perhaps you could take a tour of the Camp Nou, the other great landmark where locals go to worship – their soccer heroes of FC Barcelona that is! This evening, we have the opportunity to sample some local cuisine – why not find one of the numerous tapas restaurants and delight in being able to order five different dishes and not feel guilty about it? There is also an included visit to a local flamenco show, where we will see the country’s famous and flamboyant dancers and talented musicians at their passionate best.
Day 3 - Madrid
Our destination today is Madrid, the capital of Spain. We stop on our way to visit Zaragoza a town jam-packed with striking churches and bridges reflecting a variety of architectural styles. On arrival in Madrid we have a tour en route to our hotel. We see the Royal Palace, home to one of Europe's oldest monarchies, and the Plaza de Espana. Tonight, we enjoy an included group dinner.
Day 4 - Madrid
There is plenty of free time today for us to take in the sights, sounds and culture of this great city. We could visit the Prado and take in the exquisite art of this famous gallery, or the Reina Sofia Museum, home to legendary Spanish artist Pablo Picasso’s most famous work, Guernica. If you are of a more sporting persuasion, then the huge Santiago Bernabeu Stadium is home to Real Madrid, arguably the world’s biggest football club, and the 25,000-capacity Las Ventas bullring is the largest venue in Spain to host the controversial exhibition of bullfighting.
Day 5 - Valencia
This morning we first visit the World Heritage City Toledo, once the capital city of Spain. We then make our way to the coastal city of Valencia, the third largest city in Spain with a monumental heritage. Valencia is the birthplace of the famous Spanish dish Paella and tonight, after working up an appetite on our walking tour of the fascinating Old Quarter, you can sample some of the best during your dinner.
Day 6 - Ibiza
After a free morning to explore more of Valencia, we catch a ferry across to the Balearic island of Ibiza where we have two nights to explore this Mediterranean party paradise.
Day 7 - Ibiza
Ibiza is the place to really let your hair down. Spend your days soaking up the sun by the beach or check out some of the island’s untouched World Heritage Sites including “God’s Finger” in the Benirràs Bay. Then when the sun goes down, check out the island’s world famous nightlife, where top international DJs and numerous clubs rock the island until dawn.
Day 8 - Barcelona
Today we head back to the mainland to Barcelona for our final night and a farewell dinner. This city is one of the most popular in Europe, and you have one last night here to find out why.
Day 9 - Barcelona
Our great Spanish fiesta finishes this morning after breakfast, when it will be time to say a fond farewell. Flight back home.