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The Spanish capital is a vibrant, atmospheric city; rich in cultural sights. Pride of place belongs to the city’s three superb art museums. The Prado, The Museo Nacional Centro de Arte Reina Sofia and The Museo Thyssen-Bornemisza. The Royal Palace in <strong>Madrid</strong> dates from the mid-18th century. There are more than 20 rooms open to the public, exhibiting priceless tapestries, paintings, carpets, clocks, furniture, silverware and porcelain. The armory has one of the most valuable collections in Europe, mainly from the 16th century. Madrid’s most historic square, the Plaza Mayor, is enclosed by arcades sheltering a variety of craft shops, restaurants and tapas bars. It was completed in 1617 during the reign of Philip III. The popular center of Madrid is the famous square, the Puerta del Sol, the main shopping district and hub of the city’s nightlife. Madrid’s most accessible green space is the Retiro Park. A former royal retreat, its attractions include a boating lake and summer concerts. The Casa de Campo, west of the city center, is a huge open space with a swimming pool, tennis courts, a jogging track and a zoo with aquarium.
<strong>Andalucia</strong> is a mountainous region in the far south of Spain, rich in minerals and an important center for the production of olives, grapes, oranges and lemons. Andalucia (Al-Andalus) was the last stronghold of the Moors who first arrived here from North Africa early in the eighth century and were finally expelled in 1492. The Arab architectural legacy is an important reason for visiting the region, especially the three great cities of Córdoba, Granada and Seville.
The regional capital is <strong>Seville</strong>, one of the largest cities in Spain, bearing numerous traces of the 500 years of Moorish occupation. Seville is the romantic heart of the country, the city of Carmen and Don Juan; its cathedral is the largest Gothic building in the world and has a superb collection of art and period stonework. Christopher Columbus is buried here. The cathedral bell tower, known as the Giralda from its crowning weather vane, was originally a minaret and observatory. Of great importance is the Alcázar, the palace-fortress of the Arab kings and one of the finest examples of Mudéjar (Moorish) architecture, mostly dating from after the Christian re-conquest. Seville’s other sights include the Alcázar gardens, the evocative neighborhood of Santa Cruz with its white-washed houses and tiled patios, and the Torre de Oro, part of the Arab fortifications and later said to have been covered with gold leaf imported from the Americas.
<strong>Granada</strong>’s outstanding monument is the Alhambra, the palace-fortress built by the Nasrid rulers in the 13th to 14th centuries. The highlights include: the Palacios Nazariés, its halls, courtyards and loggias decorated with painted enamel tiles, delicately fretted arches, stalactite vaulting, marble sculptures and stucco ornament; the Alcazába, an 11th-century hilltop fortress and the Generalife, the gardens of the summer palace. Across the river from the Alhambra is the atmospheric Arab quarter of the Albaicín. The main sights here are the Arab baths, the Renaissance Casa de Castril and the Church of San Nicolás from where the views of the Alhambra and the surrounding countryside are outstanding.
<strong>Nerja</strong> is on the seashore some 50 kilometres from Málaga on the N340 coastal highway, and marks the eastern tip of Málaga’s Costa del Sol. Once a sleepy fishing village, the town now has a population of over 12,000. Nerja boasts 16 kilometres of beaches with powdery sand and sparkling clear water. All major water sports are available here, including water skiing, scuba diving and sailing. Flanked by a dramatic mountain range, Sierra Almijara, to the east, the old quarter of the town is still virtually unchanged with narrow, winding streets, whitewashed houses with wrought iron terraces overflowing with geraniums, on which a canary can sometimes be heard singing…
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Depart for Madrid, Spain
Arrive Madrid, Spain, check into Torrejon de Ardoz Hotel near Spain Branch, explore Madrid
Tour Spain Bethel Branch, Downtown Madrid
Enjoy Segovia and Avila
Depart for Toledo and Granada
Visit Alhambra Palace in Granada
On to Nerja de Malaga on the Mediterranean Ocean
North to Ronda and Sevilla
Explore city of Sevilla
Back to Madrid via the AVE (high speed) train
Depart Madrid for home
* Typically a Wednesday through a Sunday. You pick the date! It may be possible for BCT to provide a Tour Guide if your group consists of 8 or more travelers.
All prices herein are per person and are subject to change without notice. "Full Package" prices are especially subject to change due to the fluctuation in airfare. For Instance: Travelers can expect to pay additional airfare for summer tour dates if their tour includes New York. We will notify you three months, or less, before your departure of any additional fees.
Regarding Land Package Pricing:
Land Package prices signify that...
- ...BCT will NOT provide your transportation EXCEPT during the tour.
- ...you will be required to arrange your own transportation (be that airfare or train or car) at the beginning and after the tour.
- ...BCT is not responsible for any cost associated with the cost of your transportation (be that airfare or train or car) at the beginning and after the tour. Including penalties, fees and/or rebooking cost when a trip is cancelled or moved.
- ...while your transportation is provided during the tour you will be required to arrange your own transportation (be that airfare or train or car) at the beginning and after the tour.
Click here to read about the advantages of booking a 'full package' trip versus a 'land package' trip.
<li>Airfare from major airport nearest you (not applicable to 'land package' prices).</li>
<li>Transportation each day for touring and sightseeing.</li>
<li>Rooming (hotel accommodations) as requested.</li>
<li>Complimentary shuttle to and from airport to your hotel (not applicable to 'land package' prices).</li>
<li>Bilingual tour guide.</li>