Time for the royal Spanish treatment, New Year's edition: explore world-famous museums in Madrid, travel through time in ancient Moorish neighborhoods in Granada and Seville, then top it off with the intoxicating Catalan culture of Barcelona. And yes, plenty of tapas, too.
Winding through the immense collection of art in Madrid
Feeling regal as you wander Spain’s many royal palaces
Moving your hips just like the Flamenco dancers…kind of
Falling in love with buildings in Barcelona (thanks, Gaudi)
Drooling over Catalan cuisine on the Mediterranean coast
What you'll get
Round-trip flights & airport transfers
9 nights in handpicked accommodations
Expert Tour Director
A New Year's Eve celebration in Barcelona
3 insider tours with local guides
Admission to Great Mosque in Córdoba
Entrance to Park Guell in Barcelona
- Day 1: Overnight Flight
Board your overnight flight, bound for Spain, where food and nightlife (and Felipe VI) are king. Cafes and restaurants line the streets of Barcelona, which is good because Spanish tapas are must-try. And then try again. You know, for quality-testing purposes.
- Day 2: Arrive in Barcelona + Welcome Dinner
Welcome to Barcelona! Older than Rome and the largest city on the Mediterranean—Barcelona’s influence on fashion, entertainment, and the arts extends around the world. Prepare for stunning architecture, friendly people, and an incredible variety of fresh seafood.
In the evening, enjoy a Welcome Dinner of local cuisine and drinks with fellow travelers at an authentic local spot. Afterwards, you’re free to take the party elsewhere!
- Meet an EF representative at the airport.
- Transfer to your accommodation and check in.
- Meet your fellow travelers as they arrive.
- Bask in the unique culture and style of the city during on introductory tour with your Tour Director.
- Head down Las Ramblas, the central boulevard of Barcelona once described by a Spanish poet as “the only street in the world I wish would never end.”
- Day 3: Explore Barcelona + NYE in Barcelona
Another day, another chance to see more of this wonderful city. Make sure your camera is handy because it won’t take long to see why Barcelona is the only city to receive a Royal Gold Medal for architecture—the buildings are basically art.
Tonight, count down to New Year’s with your group!
- Enter Park Güell, one of Antoni Gaudi’s greatest works of modernist art.
- Check out the progress on the Sagrada Familia cathedral, an unfinished project by Gaudí that began construction in 1882.
- Go for the gold at Olympic Park, the site of the 1992 Summer Olympics that offers spectacular views of the city.
- Day 4: Travel to Valencia + Free Time in Valencia
Your time in Barcelona has come to an end. But never fear, because you’re on your way to the coastal city of Valencia, the third largest city in Spain, home to thousands of years of history, and a zoo where they let you walk around in the freakin’ animal habitats.
- Enjoy a scenic bus ride down the coast of Spain before arriving in Valencia.
- Get to know your new stomping grounds.
Free time suggestions
Beaches: Head to some of Valencia’s most picturesque beaches, where the Turia River meets the Mediterranean Sea. La Malvarrosa is a local favorite that we would 10/10 recommend checking out.
The City of Arts and Sciences: The City of Arts and Sciences is an architectural wonderland that is as fun to look at as it is to explore. Visit Oceanogràfic, Europe’s biggest aquarium, or stroll through The Umbracle, a huge, open-access garden.
- Day 5: Travel to Granada + Optional Alternative Granada & Alhambra
Continue your tour into southern Spain with a visit to Granada, which belongs to the region known as Andalucía. This part of the country is famous for flamenco dancing, Islamic architecture, and tapas on tapas. Excited? Hungry? You should be. Get to it!
- Enjoy a bus ride through the heart of Spain to Granada.
- Arrive in Granada and check into your accommodation, then get to know the area with your Tour Director.
Free time suggestions
Albayzin: Perhaps the most interesting neighborhood in Granada, Albayzin sits on the hill opposite the Alhambra, and is a maze of cobblestone streets filled with monuments dating back to the Nasrid period and Renaissance era.
Darro river: Walk along the Darro river to Paseo de los Tristes, and grab a table at a nearby café. Look up and see the Alhambra looking right back down at you. Not in the creepy way, though.
Alternative Granada (extra cost)
Upon arrival in Granada, Spain’s medieval and Moorish city, embark on a guided walking tour to see all this city has to offer! Learn more about top-rated attractions like the Granada Cathedral, walk through the winding Moorish alleyways, and get your camera ready for select sites around the Alhambra, such as Palacio Carlos V.
Why wait? Save money by booking this optional excursion before your trip departs.
- Day 6: Travel to Seville via Córdoba
On your way to Seville, make a pit stop in Córdoba for a tour of the Mezquita-Catedral de Córdoba, and views of stunning architecture, and the second-largest historic center in Europe. And then it’s on to Seville, the capital of Spain’s Andalucía region, and its biggest city. Seville is full of students that have definitely adopted the "study hard, play hard" lifestyle. And lucky for you, you get to skip the "study" portion.
- Stop in Córdoba before continuing on to Seville.
- Follow a local guide through the expansive Great Mosque and Cathedral of Córdoba, regarded as one of the most impressive Moorish architectural structures and is essentially a massive mosque that functions as a cathedral. It’s okay, we’re confused, too.
- Check in to your accommodation in Seville and explore the surrounding area on your own.
- Day 7: Explore Seville
Today is all about you, Seville, and a local guide. Your guide will show you the best of the best when it comes to Seville.
- Wander through the lavish Plaza de España and admire the Neo-Moorish architecture.
- Visit the Moorish Alcázar, which was built in the 14th century for a king named Pedro the Cruel. Hmm...wonder if people liked him?
- Wind your way through Santa Cruz, the former Jewish quarter and most picturesque neighborhood in Seville.
- Day 8: Free Day in Seville
Seville is all yours today. Get out and enjoy some free time in your new favorite Spanish city. Let nothing get in your way (except for the pigeons, maybe).
Free time suggestions
Plaza de Toros: Visit Plaza de Toros, the oldest bullring in Spain. Only the best of the best are invited to fight here. Can you imagine going head to head with a 2,000-pound animal in front of 12,000 people? Whoa.
Las Setas: Check out the massive wooden canopies of The Metropol Parasol, known locally as “the Mushrooms”. Once you see them, you’ll understand why. Lounge on the steps, or head to the roof for stunning views of the city.
- Day 9: Travel to Madrid via Toledo
All aboard! Today you’ll leave Seville behind as you travel by bus to Madrid. Spain’s capital is famous for its world-class art museums, live music scene, and never-ending nightlife. It seems people never sleep here (except for two hours after lunch). Madrid is a city that definitely knows how to relax and have fun.
- Stop in Toledo to explore the labyrinth of medieval alleyways at the heart of the city.
- Arrive in Madrid and get to know the area with your fellow travelers.
- Day 10: Sightseeing Tour of Madrid + Farewell Dinner
A nearly endless amounts of tapas, sangria, and Spanish Golden Age architecture will greet you in this city located at the very center of Spain. Discover many of the most popular destinations before getting cultured at one of the world’s leading art museums.
Free time suggestions
El Retiro Park: Once belonging to the Spanish Monarchy, this now public park contains a variety of statues and museums, the famed Rosaleda rose garden, the Palacio de Cristal, and Retiro Pond—a great spot for watching people and street performers alike.
Malasaña Neighborhood: This happening area is known for a large student population and streets filled with coffee shops, bakeries, and vintage clothing stores. Then at night, edgy dance and rock clubs come to life so you can dance the night away.
Share some last laughs (and maybe shed a few tears) at an included farewell dinner with the group.
- Day 11: Fly Home
Translation: Goodbye friends. Your next destination awaits—home. Before you head to the airport, enjoy your last few moments together. Take one more group photo. Grab that final drink. (Fine, maybe a couple of drinks.) But this isn’t goodbye. It’s “See you later.” The only question is, where?
– OR –
EXTEND YOUR TRIP 2 WAYS
1. Double the fun
A lot of our trips line up back to back! Give us a call—we can help you add another and save big while you're at it.
2. Go ahead or stay behind
Extending your trip is easy! During checkout, you'll have the option to fly to (or from) the gateway of your choice for an additional fee. We'll adjust your flights accordingly, but you'll be responsible to take care of your transportation, hotels, and other logistics outside of tour.
Note: Depending on your desired gateways, additional fees may apply.
Traveling with us helps the EF community plant trees, at no extra cost to you.
Overall rating: 4.5 out of 5
Based on 6 authentic traveler reviews
Had the time of my life !Anonymous, traveled Dec. 2022
It was my first time flying solo, so I did not know what to expect. I connected with so many different people and it was just amazing. Spain has the most beautiful architecture. I would say the road trip was like having a taste of all these great cities in Spain. I definitely want to go back! My tour guide, Paola was super charismatic and very knowledgable ... See more
Spanish Road Trip: New Year’sAnonymous, traveled Dec. 2022
I had an amazing time on my New Year’s Spanish Road Trip!! We had a great experience touring all of the cities and using our free time as desired. I liked our new years activity, but we were also able to depart and go on our own if we wanted, which was a nice option! Paola is the PERFECT guide! Highly recommend any trip lead by her!! This trip has a lot of w... See more
Beautiful Culture with Beautiful PeopleShriji, traveled Dec. 2022
Great group. Great trip. Paola is a fantastic tour director. She is fun, communicative, and amenable to all. If you like to party and want to be immersed in the Spanish culture, I highly recommend. The sights were gorgeous and the people are very kind. Spanish has definitely gotten a bit better and I have confidence on how to navigate the country. Morocco ... See more
Exceeded expectationsEmma, traveled Dec. 2022
This trip was everything and more than I expected it to be. I’ve used a different travel group in the past, but EF is my new fave. It was nice not having to make huge decisions and worry about transportation and lodging- just show up and go. From the places that were picked to our tour director’s personal excursion choices, I was over the moon with what we d... See more