Day 4 Barcelona - Peñiscola - Valencia
We follow the sun-drenched Spanish coastline south to Valencia, making a stop at historic Peñiscola where you will enjoy free time to explore the fortified headland and Knights Templar castle - joined to the mainland by a narrow causeway, this photogenic outpost recalls the drama of Normandy’s Mont St Michel and Cornwall’s St Michael’s Mount. Upon arrival in Valencia, we check into the Hotel Senator Parque Central (4T), our base for three nights, where the remainder of the day is at leisure.
Day 5 Valencia
There is so much to experience in Spain’s magnificent third city, but we focus on the state-of-the-art Oceanogràfic, Europe’s largest aquarium, where sharks, dolphins and 500 other species are housed in ten great marine habitats, and the Science Museum Principe Felipe, another remarkable modern building and celebration of scientific endeavour home to enthralling displays on subjects as diverse as dinosaurs and DNA, ants and astrophysics.
Day 6 Valencia
Valencia is the home of the paella and an optional excursion today confers instant paella expertise on its participants! In the company of an expert, shop for the freshest ingredients at a local market, then head to a cookery school to learn how to cook this delicious dish yourself, and savour the fruits of your labour at lunchtime with an accompanying glass of Sangria.
Day 1 London - Barcelona
Titan’s VIP door-to-door travel service collects you from home, for your journey to London Heathrow or Gatwick Airport for a direct, scheduled British Airways flight to Barcelona. Upon arrival, we transfer to the Rafaelhoteles Badalona (4T) for the first of a three-night stay on a half board basis. The remainder of the day is at leisure.
Day 2 Barcelona
The many and varied attractions of Catalonia’s cosmopolitan capital, Barcelona, are short coach journey from the hotel. Our included guided tour introduces highlights such as the vibrant Plaza de Catalunya; atmospheric Gothic Quarter with its Roman ruins and grand medieval edifices; some of the most iconic Modernist buildings and bustling Las Ramblas, the city’s most famous street. The afternoon is then yours to discover your own Barcelona - perhaps visiting Antonio Gaudi’s architectural masterpiece La Sagrada Familia, shopping for bargains or simply unwinding in a chic café.
Day 3 Barcelona
An optional day trip invites you to appreciate the breathtaking mountain scenery of Montserrat and its fascinating Benedictine monastery, a bastion of Catalan language and culture during the Franco regime. Montserrat is also a noted pilgrimage site, in honour of the Black Virgin, Catalonia’s patron. Alternatively, make further independent explorations of Barcelona or stroll to the sandy beach.
Day 7 Valencia - Cuenca - Madrid
En route to the Spanish capital we make a stop at Cuenca, a uniquely well preserved old town, declared a UNESCO World Heritage Site in 1996. Among myriad other notable buildings to admire in Cuenca are Spain’s first Gothic cathedral and the so-called ‘hanging houses’ - tall, traditional dwellings suspended from sheer cliffs overlooking the Huécar river. We check into the Hotel Silken Puerta de Madrid (4T), or Rafaelhoteles Forum Alcalá (4T) a short journey from Madrid.
Day 8 Madrid
An included guided tour of Madrid showcases its extraordinary grandeur to memorable effect, not least as we visit the vast, dazzling Baroque Palacio Real, the official residence of the Spanish Royal Family. Later, why not spend your free time visiting one of the city’s great repositories of art - the Prado, which counts Hieronymous Bosch’s ‘Garden of Earthly Delights’ amongst its treasures; or Reina Sofia, home to Picasso’s ‘Guernica’, or simply taste tapas and soak up the Spanish atmosphere.
Day 9 Madrid
Though you may wish to spend the final full day of the tour indulging in a little well-deserved relaxation, there is much to recommend today’s optional excursion to Toledo, a hilltop walled city some 40 miles from Madrid now recognised as a UNESCO World Heritage Site. Echoes of Roman, Visigoth and Arab rule are still apparent and, following re-conquest, Toledo was the capital of the Spanish Empire until the mid-1500s. You can visit Santo Tomé Church here, world-renowned for El Greco’s painting The Burial of the Count of Orgaz.
Day 10 Madrid - London
We transfer to the airport for a direct, scheduled British Airways flight to London Heathrow. On arrival you will be met and guided to your Titan vehicle, for the journey home.