This itinerary combines the lively capital, Madrid, including day trips to the nearby UNESCO World Heritage cities of Segovia and Toledo/Cuenca, with another key city of Spain, Valencia, located along the shores of the Mediterranean. From Valencia, enjoy suggested day trips to nearby beach resorts or the lovely, historic town of Peñiscola.
Arrive at Madrid Barajas airport. Spend the next 2 days exploring 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.
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 and 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. Overnight in Madrid.
Choose to take a full day excursion to Toledo and return to Madrid or travel to Cuenca and overnight there.
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. Return to Madrid.
Madrid-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 Casa Colgadas. Don’t forget to snap a memorable picture on the suspended bridge, Puente de San Pablo!
Overnight in Madrid/Cuenca.
Take the high speed AVE train from Madrid-Puerta de Atocha to Valencia Joaqin Sorolla station (1 hr 45 mins) or board the same train from Cuenca (53 mins). In the evening, head down to the trendy Ruzafa neighbourhood. Overnight in Valencia.
Valencia offers beautiful beaches and historical sights – visit the Bullring of Valencia and the nearby sights in its Old Town including Mercado Central, Serranos Towers, the UNESCO World Heritage site of La Lonja de la Seda or the Silk Exchange building or its Gothic Cathedral. Overnight in Valencia.
Spend the day visting the iconic City of Arts and Sciences housing a science museum, an opera house, a planetarium, the Oceanogràfic aquarium and many other activities that can take up the whole day. In the evening, head down to Malvarossa beach to end your day watching the sunset and enjoying some paella, which originates from the city itself.
You may also choose to rent a car and drive down to Peñiscola. With its castle perched on a rock overlooking the sea, it is considered as one of the most beautiful towns in Spain (1.5 hours). Or, drive to the many beach towns dotting the coast from Cullera to Denia. Overnight in Valencia.
Take your return flight back home from Valencia airport or take the high speed train to Barcelona Sants station (3 hours) to extend your stay in Spain.
Extension to Benidorm: You may also wish to extend your stay for 2 nights at the coastal resort of Benidorm, an hour and half from Valencia by car and 2 hours by direct train. Known for its excellent beaches, recreational activities and fantastic nightlife, Benidorm is one of the most popular beach destinations in Spain.
Extension to Alicante: You may also wish to extend your stay for 2 nights in Alicante, located 2 hours from Valencia by car and 2.5 hours by direct train. Relax on the white sandy beaches of the Costa Blanca, or explore its historic sights as you wander past whitewashed houses of its old town.