Time for the royal Spanish treatment: 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 (or book 'em yourself)
9 nights in handpicked accommodations
Expert Tour Director
3 insider tours with local guides
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 Madrid, which is good because Spanish tapas are must-try. And then try again. You know, for quality-testing purposes.
- Day 2: Arrive in Madrid + Welcome Dinner
Welcome 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. Get ready—your life is about to get loco.
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.
- Receive the latest schedule from your Tour Director.
- Meet your fellow travelers as they arrive.
- Day 3: Sightseeing Tour of Madrid
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. And remember, there’s always room for more tapas.
- Journey to the very heart of Madrid at the Puerta del Sol, aka the “Gate of the Sun.”
- Shop, walk, and enjoy the outdoors and a bronze statue of King Phillip III at Plaza Mayor (Main Square).
- Check out the Picassos and Dalís at the Reina Sofia, or see the works of the old Renaissance masters at the Prado.
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.
- Day 4: Travel to Seville via Toledo
Continue your tour into southern Spain with a visit 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 Toledo to explore the labyrinth of medieval alleyways at the heart of the city.
- Check in to your accommodation in Seville and explore the surrounding area on your own.
- Day 5: 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 6: 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 7: Travel to Granada + Optional Alternative Granada & Alhambra
Continue loving life in Andalucía, known for flamenco dancing, Islamic architecture, and tapas on tapas. Excited? Hungry? You should be.
- Enjoy a scenic bus ride through the heart of Spain as you head to Granada
- Arrive in Granada and check into your accommodation, then get to know the area with your Tour Director.
- Explore Granada’s narrow streets, vibrant nightlight, and perhaps check out a flamenco show in a…cave?
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 & Alhambra (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 the Alhambra.
This excursion is pre-book only; if your trip is less than fifteen days away, please call 800-766-2645 to purchase.
- Day 8: Travel to Valencia
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.
- Travel to Valencia via private coach
- Sniff out some paella—the iconic dish of rice, spice, and everything nice was invented in Valencia.
- Forget everything you learned in Spanish class—er, actually, maybe just expect to hear both Spanish and Valencian.
- Day 9: Travel to Barcelona + Sightseeing
All aboard! Today you’ll leave Valencia behind as you travel by bus to another amazing Spanish city. 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.
- Travel by bus to Barcelona.
- 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 10: Free Day in Barcelona + Optional Beach Day & Paddleboarding
New neighborhoods, restaurants, and sights beckon on this free day to explore in Barcelona. But if you can’t decide what you’d like to do, we recommend heading for the coast and enjoying some time on the beach before finding the largest plate of paella you can get your hands on.
Free time suggestions
Arc de Triomf: Built as the main entrance for the 1888 Barcelona World Fair, the intricate brickwork of this gate now leads to Ciutadella Park.
Castle Montjuïc: Gaze down on the Mediterranean from this old fortification that once guarded the harbor below and is named for the hill on which it sits.
Share some last laughs (and maybe shed a few tears) at an included farewell dinner with the group.
Barcelona Beach Day & Paddleboard Lesson (extra cost)
When in Barcelona, go the beach. Head to Barceloneta, one of the city’s most popular sandy spots to have some fun in the sun learning to paddleboard with a professional instructor and chilling on the beach. *Ability to swim is a pre-requisite for this optional*
While this optional runs year-round, prime beach season in Barcelona is May to September. If you’re traveling outside of this period, weather conditions may vary.
Why wait? Save money by booking this optional excursion before your trip departs.
- 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.
Overall rating: 4.8 out of 5
Based on 102 authentic traveler reviews
Can I hit rewind and do it again?Alice, traveled Sep. 2021
Spain was absolutely magical! Of course traveling during an ongoing global pandemic can leave one a little apprehensive but EF definitely hooks it up and makes this first return to travel as easy as it can be. Our tour guide, Matt, was amazing. Having him around was like holding a VIP/ skip-the-line pass for all of Spain. You’d be extremely lucky to have him... See more
A grand adventure!!Brianna, traveled Aug. 2021
Since I was young I've dreamed of going to Spain, and I was not disappointed! This trip was absolutely amazing. I loved getting to see different cities in Spain and the differences in culture. Overall this trip was thoroughly enriching, and I enjoyed everything from architecture, history, food, nature, and beaches. I went alone, but I made some new friends a... See more
Spanish Road TripJessie, traveled Sep. 2023
This was my first trip out of the country and on a plane, so I was excited but nervous. My friend and I had so much fun! The iternary made me feel more prepared, and our tour director Manu went above and beyond to make sure we were all comfortable in our rooms, had recommendations for free time activities, interpreted them for us, etc. The list can go on an... See more
Take this trip! It’s so beautiful, fun, and you’ll definitely make new friends :)Cresencia, traveled Sep. 2023
I had a great time and I’m recommending it to everyone.