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
9 nights in handpicked accommodations
Expert Tour Director
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 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 via Córdoba
On your way to Granada, 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. Continue loving life in Andalucía, known for flamenco dancing, Islamic architecture, and tapas on tapas. Excited? Hungry? You should be. Get to it!
- Enjoy a scenic bus ride through the heart of Spain, making a pit stop in Córdoba before continuing on to Granada.
- 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.
- Arrive in Granada and check into your accommodation, then get to know the area with your Tour Director.
- Day 8: Free Morning in Granada + Travel to Valencia
After a relaxing morning in Granada, 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.
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.
- 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.
Traveling with us helps the EF community plant trees, at no extra cost to you.
Overall rating: 4.9 out of 5
Based on 13 authentic traveler reviews
Spanish road tripParis, traveled Aug.. 2022
Gigi made this trip soo amazing. Spain is absolutely gorgeous and there's so much to see so be prepared for LOTS of walking. The beautiful architecture is unrivaled and you will never be bored.
Amazing tripSpencer, traveled Aug.. 2022
This trip is amazing , you will get a chance to see so much of Spain , experience the culture and even though it’s a lot of time on the bus this trip is so worthwhile.
Spain awaits!!Amber, traveled Aug.. 2022
Beautiful country, amazing culture and wonderful food BUT the highlight of this tour will be the friends you make along the way. Luigi was a fantastic Tour Director. So much so that we were all in tears at our farewell dinner. This is why I will continue to recommend EF to everyone I meet and book more trips in the future.
Spain is beautiful!Anonymous, traveled Aug.. 2022
This was my first trip with EF and it was amazing. Our tour guide Luigi was the best just a genuinely nice and caring person. He was super friendly and always made you feel taken care of. He went out of his way to make sure we had a good time. Spain was beautiful, the local guide tours were my favorite. You really feel like you are experiencing the culture a... See more