This itinerary combines the two iconic cities of Spain – Madrid & Barcelona, including day trips to the UNESCO World Heritage cities of Segovia and Toledo/Cuenca from the capital and guided tours to Montserrat mountain and the lovely Costa Brava from Barcelona with the regiona of Andalusia. Journey south from Madrid by high speed train to explore Andalusia´s gems – from the historic and cultural cities of Granada, Seville, Cordoba and Málaga to the famous stretch of Costa del Sol known for its luxurious lifestyle including its golden beaches and white-washed villages.
Arrive at Barcelona El Prat airport. Spend the next 2 days exploring this cosmopolitan city – the Gaudi architecture at the famous Sagrada Familia or Park Guell, strolling along the Las Ramblas, shopping on Paseo de Gracia or visiting Camp Nou stadium. Not to forget the exciting nightlife in Port Olympic area. Overnight in Barcelona.
Montserrat - Head out to the craggy heights of Montserrat mountain known for its unique pink formations, awe-inspiring views and a 1000-year old Bendectine monastery. You can either take a guided tour to Montserrat or take a train from Plaza Espanya. There are two ways to get to the top of Montserrat from Plaza Espanya - the most scenic and quickest way is to get off at the Aeri di Montserrat station from where you can take the cable car to to the top. The other option is to get off further ahead at Monistrol de Montserrat station and take the rack railway to the top.
Girona & Costa Brava - Travel through the scenic countryside to visit the colorful Roman city of Girona and discover its atmospheric Old Town. Continue to the coastal region of Costa Brava surrounded by unspoiled beauty. Enroute, visit the charming town of Pals as the well as the typical Spanish coastal village of Calella de Palafrugell. Enjoy the beaches, explore the quaint streets or just take in some Mediterranean sun!
PortAventura Park & Ferrari Land - Take the train that goes directly from Barcelona to PortAventura World (1 hour 10 minutes). Located on the shores of the Mediterranean sea, this is the largest family holiday attraction in Europe, operating 5 star and 4 star themed hotels. PortAventura World includes 3 parks: PortAventura Park, PortAventura Caribe Aquatic Park & Ferrari Land Park offering thrilling rides, shows and fun for the entire family!
Note: You may also choose to add an additional day by extending your stay at one of the themed hotels in PortAventura World.
Overnight in Barcelona.
Take the high speed AVE train from Barcelona Sants to Madrid-Puerta de Atocha station (2.5 hours). Overnight in Madrid.
Step out and explore the key sights of Madrid, the capital of Spain – the Royal Palace, Prado Museum, Gran Via, Santiago Bernabeu Stadium and shopping on the Golden Mile. Overnight in Madrid.
Segovia - Take the high speed AVE/AVANT train from Madrid-Chamartin station to the UNESCO World Heritage city of Segovia (27 mins). Explore this medieval city including a visit to the Roman Aqueduct, the Alcazar, stroll along its medieval streets and shop for local souvenirs. Post lunch, if you wish, take a taxi or public bus to visit the famous Palace and Gardens and blow-glass factory in neighbouring La Granja.
Toledo – Take the high speed AVANT train from Madrid-Puerta de Atocha station to another UNESCO World Heritage city, Toledo (33 mins). Called the city of 3 cultures, explore this charming city on foot renowned for it’s Islamic, Christian and Jewish past. Toledo is also a great place to indulge in shopping for local handicrafts.
Cuenca - Take the high speed AVE/AVANT train from Madrid-Puerta de Atocha station to another UNESCO World Heritage city, Cuenca (54 mins), perched on the cliffs of the Huécar river gorge, and famous for its ‘Hanging Houses’ or Casas Colgadas. Don’t forget to snap a memorable picture on the suspended bridge, Puente de San Pablo!
Overnight in Madrid.
Take the high speed AVE train from Madrid-Puerta de Atocha to Seville´s Santa Justa station (2.5 hours). The capital of Andalucia is a must see city on any trip to southern Spain. In the evening, don’t forget to take in an exhilirating Flamenco performance. Overnight in Seville.
Home to a multitude of cultures over centuries, one can visit its Cathedral and admire its lovely bell tower, the Giralda, or the stunning palace complex of the Reales Alcázares or get lost in the charming Santa Cruz district, a maze of little streets and whitewashed houses. Overnight in Seville.
Take the high speed AVE train from Seville’s Santa Justa station to Cordoba Central (43 mins). This World Heritage city, once the capital of the Umayyad caliphate is home to the stunning Great Mosque of Cordoba. Step back in history, as you walk around the old Jewish quarter, stop for a picture on the Roman bridge, discover the colourful patios/courtyards full of flowering plants or enjoy an equestrian show at the Royal Stables. Overnight in Seville.
Take the high speed train from Seville’s Santa Justa station with a change at Cordoba Central to the city of Granada (2.5 hrs), located at the foot of the Sierra Nevada mountains and an hour from the sea. In the evening, do visit the gypsy quarter, the Sacramonte district, known for its cave houses and flamenco dancing. Overnight in Granada
Known for the UNESCO World Heritage site of the beautiful Alhambra Palace & Generalife gardens and the Albaicín district, Granada is a rich cultural city with a wonderful and lively atmosphere, full of tapas bars and Arab inspired tea rooms. Overnight in Granada.
Take the high speed AVE train to Antequera and then change to the AVE train to Málaga (1 hr 35 mins). The capital of the Costa del Sol, the most famous stretch of coastline in Spain, Málaga is a lovely port city that is brimming with history and culture from the Alcazaba to the Roman theatre and the Picasso museum. Don’t forget to hit the shops offering everything from Andalusian handicrafts to high end fashion and enjoy the lively nightlife the city offers! Overnight in Málaga.
Rent a car and head to the seaside town of of Marbella, known for the luxurious lifestyle it offers but also for its charming old town centre. Its probably most famous for its marina, Puerto Banús, full of luxury yachts, haute cuisine restaurants and exclusive designer boutiques. Head further to explore the famous beach resorts of Benalmadena, Torremolinos or Estepona.
You can also either take a high speed AVE train (2.5 hours) or take a guided trip to the typical Andalucian town of Ronda and take a walk along its cobbled streets and the stunning New Bridge spanning the El Tajo gorge.
Overnight in Málaga.
Fly out of Málaga Airport or take the high speed AVE train back to Madrid Puerta de Atocha station (2 hrs 40 mins).