From Gaudi’s glorious creations in Barcelona, Valencia’s mix of Gothic and modern, to the epic grandeur of Madrid’s Palacio Real - this is architecture that makes you stop and stare. On this exceptional-value tour, we explore three of Spain’s great cities and the buildings that have shaped them. In between our included excursions, there’s plenty of time to explore at your own pace - or simply sit and watch the city go by over wine and tapas.
9 nights in hotels (accommodation as specified or similar)
Titan’s VIP door-to-door travel service collects you from home for your flight to Barcelona. Upon arrival, we transfer to our hotel for a three-night stay. The remainder of the day is at leisure.
The many and varied attractions of Catalonia’s cosmopolitan capital, Barcelona, are a 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. For 2020, we have also included a visit to Antonio Gaudi’s architectural masterpiece, La Sagrada Familia, with an audio tour, followed by a delicious tapas lunch. You’re then free to discover your own Barcelona - perhaps shopping for bargains or simply unwinding in a chic café.
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.
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, the remainder of the day is at leisure.
There is so much to experience in Spain’s magnificent third city. We’ll explore on a walking tour that may include the Serranos Towers, Palacio de Benicarló (a family palace of the Borgias), and the Gothic cathedral. We’ll finish at the central market - one of the biggest in Europe.
Please note: 2019 includes the state-of-the-art Oceanogràfic, Europe’s largest aquarium and the Museum of Science.
Today is at leisure to explore at your own pace. This evening, we’ll head to a local restaurant to experience tasty traditional Spanish paella (2020 only).
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.
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’. This evening a night of Flamenco awaits, with dinner included (2020 only).
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 - UK
Transfer to the airport for your return flight to the UK. Upon arrival, your Titan vehicle will be waiting for the journey home.
• This holiday has enhanced meal inclusions for 2020; 2019 departures don’t include the tapas lunch on day 2, the four included dinners on days 4 & 6-8 or the Flamenco show. La Sagrada Familia is replaced with entrance to Valencia’s Oceanogràfic and the Museum of Science.
• Due to the layout of many towns, access is limited and clients are advised that a certain amount of walking is included, often on uneven ground.