Experience a 15-day adventure to some of Spain‘s most alluring destinations. These include Madrid (with a day trip to Toledo), Seville, Granada, and Barcelona. Your Luxurious Spain itinerary will also include a glorious ‘vacation within a vacation’ on the gorgeous island of Mallorca.
Spain is in color. Think the red of a flamenco dancer whirling through the square of Seville. It’s the bluest of blue seas on the Costa Del Sol. The warm yellow glow of buildings at sunset in a plaza in Madrid. There is also the vivid, lush greens of the Pyrenees mountains in Catalonia. It’s the deep red of a glass of “vino Tinto” at a bodega for an array of tapas as the day melts into night. Additionally, the night melts into dinner time, effortlessly, as only the Spanish can do. It’s the colors of the many faces of Spain through history. Last but certainly not least, the modern-day, magical absorption of all of these influences into one culture that reflects as many facets as you find colors in the early morning Spanish sky.
Our 15-day Luxurious Spain itinerary allows you to enjoy three different “tastes” of this amazing country.
MADRID – 3 NIGHTS
Welcome to Spain! The first stop on your Luxurious Spain itinerary will be the elegant capital of Madrid. After you arrive at Madrid Airport, we will arrange for a private transfer to your accommodations of choice in the city center. Bella Vita Travels has a wonderful selection of 5-star hotels for you to choose from. These are all based on location, comfort, and travel style. From the hotel, you’re a short walk from many of the amazing sights and landmarks the city is so famous for. During your stay in Madrid, we will arrange the following special experiences:
- Our favorite way to start any trip to Spain is with our Insider’s Evening of Tapas & Spanish Wine. Your host for this evening is a genuine wine enthusiast and expert. Wine has always been an integral part of his life. From visiting the vines of his grandfather in the Ribera del Duero as a little boy to taking his passion for wine into his university studies on the latest techniques of wine elaboration, his life has centered around Spain’s favorite drink. He has traveled all over Europe visiting the continent’s most iconic wine regions. Yet, his big passions are Spanish wines and cuisine. Additionally, his eagerness to share his expertise and inspire travelers makes for an unforgettable evening in a local neighborhood that tourists rarely venture into. During this exclusive tour, you will taste wines “off the beaten path” in authentic gourmet bars and taverns where the locals appreciate the quality served. You learn about the variety of Spanish wines and styles, whilst enjoying some fantastic tapas. It is very much an insider tour. In fact, it is a completely different world to the increasingly touristy tapas bars in some parts of the center. For those who enjoy getting under the skin of the local foodie culture, as well as good company and conversation, this is a fabulous evening and highly recommended.
- A private “Madrid Essentials” Half-day tour with our private guide. Our expert guide will meet you at your hotel. Then, together you will enjoy the architecture, history, and anecdotes of Spain’s capital. Enjoy a walking tour that includes some of the capital’s most impressive sights. These include the Plaza de Oriente and the historic quarter including the 17th-century Plaza Mayor. Next, stroll through the peaceful Plaza de la Villa where the City Hall stands. Then, it’s on to the narrow streets of Madrid called the “Austrias”. This area was named after the Austro- Hapsburg dynasty which came to rule over in 1561. Much of the Austrias neighborhood today is a gastronomic center. There are plenty of favorite spots located here, including the famous Botin, the oldest restaurant in the world. The nuns of the Convento nearby occasionally offer their homemade cakes too! The tour will also include an in-depth visit to your choice of the Royal Palace or the Prado Museum.
- A wonderful excursion just a short distance from Madrid is our Private Half-day Excursion to Toledo, via highspeed train. On arrival at the Toledo train station, meet your local guide. From there, you will take a taxi above the city to allow you to marvel at the overwhelming panoramic view of the former capital of Spain. Toledo is a thousand-year-old masterpiece created by various cultures including the Romans, Moors, Jews, and Christians. Its heyday was in the 16th century when it became the capital of the mighty Spanish empire. The beautifully preserved buildings of this ancient town provide striking testimony of Toledo’s rich and colorful past. The city of Toledo was declared a World Heritage Site by UNESCO in 1986. Its location on a rocky promontory, bordered by the river Tajo in the very heart of Spain, is breath-taking. Its stone churches, brick houses, and winding streets embody Spain’s past. Some of the sites you will visit on your tour include the imposing Alcazar, its two Spanish synagogues, then, explore the soaring Gothic Cathedral, Santo Tomé, and marvel at El Greco’s famed Burial of the Count of Orgaz. Ultimately, say farewell to your guide and head to one of the many local restaurants for lunch. Recommendations will be given! After lunch, you might opt for some strolling or shopping this afternoon before returning to Madrid.
SEVILLE – 3 NIGHTS
Next on your Luxurious Spain itinerary is beautiful Seville. Your private driver will escort you to the train station. Here, you will take the high-speed train in first class. Once you have arrived in Seville, you will have a private transfer to your hotel. You will have several lovely 5-star options to choose from based on your travel style and taste. All of our lodging choices are located within walking distance of Seville’s incredible landmarks and fabulous restaurants. During your stay in Seville, you will enjoy the following special experiences.
- No visit to Seville would be complete without a Half-day Private Tour of arguably Spain’s most enchanting city. With your private guide, be seduced by its delightful neighborhoods. There are twisting narrow streets, stunning patios, and squares lined with orange trees. Visit the enormous cathedral, the largest Gothic building in the world, featuring the tomb of Christopher Columbus and its 12th-century bell-tower, La Giralda, originally built by the Moors as a minaret. Afterward, explore the ornately decorated Alcazar Palace and its Andalusian gardens. Eventually, wander through the Barrio de Santa Cruz: originally the Jewish Quarter and now the prettiest quarter of Sevilla.
- A Culinary Pilgrimage to the home of Jamón Iberico. Iberian ham has become much better known over the last few years. Therefore, it is no surprise as it’s the best ham in the world, especially if it’s the acorn-fed variety. On this excursion, you’ll visit the Sierra of Aracena, north-west of Seville, and the most important area for the production of Iberian ham in Spain. These hams are cured in the mountain air for up to 3 years. They are considered by many people to be the jewel in the crown of Spanish gastronomy. You’ll first visit a farm in a beautiful setting to see how the pigs are reared. Then, go on to see the facilities of one of the best ham producers in the town of Jabugo, a mythical name in Spain for fine ham. An expert will show you around, explaining the processes involved in the production of ham and of other products that come from the Iberian pig. You’ll see thousands upon thousands of hams that are hanging up and slowly curing. Afterward, you will be able to taste the wonderful ham along with a glass of the best fino or manzanilla sherry, a perfect pairing of food and wine! Then, head to the town of Aracena and enjoy a gourmet lunch at the finest restaurant in the area. Dishes might include asparagus, artichokes, wild mushrooms, cheese, and acorn-fed Iberian pork. Everything is local. The food will be accompanied by fine Spanish wine and end with some great dessert. After all the food, your guide will recommend a walk up to the local castle before heading back to Seville.
- Enjoy an evening of Flamenco and Tapas. Your guide will transform into a translator as you ́re joined by a local of the Sevillano flamenco community, the most famous in the world. Learn about the true world of flamenco from the performers themselves. With roots tracing from Andalusian, Islamic and Gypsy origins, flamenco is a combination of intricate guitar playing, powerful singing ranging from the exuberant to the sorrowful, and passionate yet graceful dancing. A visit to Spain without a flamenco experience is not complete. Your host for the evening will provide a deeper understanding of its origins, its meaning, and its place in modern-day Spain. Enjoy an excellent performance before combining the evening with another of Sevilla’s defining art forms, tapas! Sevilla is the home of the tapas and has the largest number of bars per inhabitant anywhere! Of course, for this, it offers an amazing range of food. The variety is extensive, encompassing seafood, salads, cured hams, cheeses, red pepper dishes, the obligatory Spanish potato omelet, and so on. Who could be better than a local resident to show you the ropes into the world of Spanish food? Introducing you to the intricacies and delightful simplicity of Spanish cuisine amidst an informal, authentic setting is a special experience. ¡Buen provecho!
GRANADA (via Cordoba) – 2 NIGHTS
After checking out of your hotel, your private driver will be waiting to take you to the next stop on your Luxurious Spain tour. But first, the historic city of Cordoba.
Upon arrival in Cordoba, meet your local expert guide for a wonderful half-day tour of the city. First, you will visit the Judera (The Former Jewish Quarter) and peek into the Synagogue. Next, head on to the emblematic local neighborhoods and typical streets. You will also visit a wonderful boutique hotel made out of 2 ancient houses in the Old Town. You’ll explore the Alcazar de Los Reyes Cristianos as well as the Sinagoga to the Mosque-Cathedral. The highlight of the trip will be your stroll into the Mesquita. This is the former Mosque of the mighty Al-Andalus Muslim kingdom. On this tour, you’ll be able to appreciate how three different cultures; Christian, Muslim, and Jewish, came together to create this unique and fascinating city.
Afterward, you will have time for a nice lunch in one of our preferred restaurants. Next, your driver will accompany you through the Andalusian countryside and on to your next destination on your Luxurious Spain tour, the spectacular town of Granada. Here, you will have several choices for lodging, ranging from a boutique 16th century palacio with Moorish roots to a luxurious 14th-century parador. During your stay in Granada, we will arrange for the following special experiences:
- A Private Walking Tour of Granada. one of Spain’s richest and most populous cities during Moorish rule. With your expert private guide, you’ll tour the Alhambra, a breathtaking Moorish castle, palace, and garden complex on a hillside overlooking the city. Also visit the Generalife, the summer palace, and gardens of Moorish royalty. See additional city highlights such as the opulent Royal Chapel, where monarchs Ferdinand and Isabella are buried, and the labyrinthine Albaicin (the former Arab Quarter), a world of winding streets, Moorish fountains, and teterias (Arabic tearooms) in the hills. For lunch, we can make reservations at a restaurant with spectacular views of the Alhambra.
MALLORCA – 3 NIGHTS
A private transfer will take you to the Granada airport for a short flight to the beautiful island of Mallorca. This is one of our favorite stops on the Luxurious Spain tour.
The largest and best known of the Balearic Islands, Mallorca offers beautiful coves, mountains, tiny villages where ancient customs are still preserved, a cosmopolitan capital city, sumptuous seafood, great local wines, and many more treasures. Half of the island’s population lives in Palma, where palm trees and yachts abound, all presided over by the imposing Cathedral and Castle of Bellver. It is here in the capital that many of the island’s attractions can be enjoyed, whether by day or at night. Moving towards the north of the island are the wonderfully picturesque villages of Deiá and Valldemossa. You also do not want to miss the rugged coastline with uninhabited coves and crystal clear sea. There is just about everything on the island!
On Mallorca, you will have several wonderful choices in luxurious 5-star accommodations, in fact, a few of our favorites! During your stay on the island, you will enjoy the following special activities:
- A Private Walking Tour of Palma de Mallorca. With your private guide, visit the waterfront Cathedral, which took 300 years to construct (from the 14th to the 17th century) and was renovated a hundred years ago, with Antoni Gaudí playing a key part. Then, you will find the Palau de l’Almudaina. A castle has stood on this spot since Roman times. The current building dates largely to the era of the Catalan kings who overthrew the Moors’ rule of Mallorca. The Spanish royal family still uses the Palau de l’Almudaina as their official residence in the Balearic Islands. You will tour the palace’s halls and courtyards with your expert guide and enjoy the fabulous views of the sea from the terraces. Below the palace walls lies a pedestrian area that resembles the Ramblas in Barcelona. Closer to the harbor, Sa Llotja once housed a commercial exchange sponsored by the local merchants’ guild. The Gothic building was constructed in the 15th century and today plays host to temporary exhibitions. The area around Sa Llotja contains a thriving bar and restaurant scene. When your tour concludes, you may wish to stop here for some tapas or lunch. Before leaving Palma, you may wish to stop at the Gran Hotel. Designed by Lluis Domènech I Montaner, this building introduced modernista architecture to Mallorca at the turn of the 20th century. Today it houses a gallery and café.
- Enjoy a Full-day Sailing Excursion along the north-west coastline of Mallorca, the most scenic that the island offers. Start your morning by embarking on a beautiful yacht and heading out of the port in search of the Soller Dolphins on your way to Sa Calobra, a picture-postcard Cala featured in many films including the opening scene to “Cloud Atlas” with Tom Hanks. You will sail down the cragged coastline, cruising into sheltered bays with crystal clear waters. It’s the ideal opportunity to view the island from the sea and even better, plunge into its turquoise waters. Your captain and crew are all expert sailors and extremely knowledgeable about the island and will be happy to customize the day to best meet your preferences as well as show you all the secret hidden spots only experts and locals know about. For lunch, we recommend that you stop at a traditional and authentic restaurant on the coastline, but if you prefer to stay out on the water, lunch on board is possible. We strongly recommend a sailing experience whilst in Mallorca to enjoy the essence of the island and to plunge into the beautiful turquoise waters of some of the best coves and inlets that Mallorca has to offer. Normally, you would return to Port in the early evening, but if you would like, you can always extend your sailing experience and end the day watching the sunset from the sea.
On your day of departure, you will have a private transfer to the airport.
BARCELONA – 3 NIGHTS
Your last, but certainly not least, destination on your Luxurious Spain tour, will be Barcelona. You will have a short flight from Mallorca to Barcelona.
There is a mix of everything on this lovely stretch of the Mediterranean. Nestled between the sea and the mountains, the aesthetics of Barcelona impress from afar and close up. From the famous gems of legendary Modernist architect Antoni Gaudì to a full range of contemporary avant-garde architecture dotted in between its 19th-century promenades and thriving local neighborhoods, the city is an architectural dream. In recent years, Barcelona has become the most talked-about city in Europe for its ever-evolving restaurant scene. There are more than 40 local markets, the best known being La Boqueria, and the range of specialized food and wine stores is staggering.
Upon arrival at Barcelona Airport, your private driver will be waiting to take you to your lovely accommodations. Our preferred 5-star accommodation choices are plentiful and range from boutique to elegant luxury. During your 3 days in Barcelona, you will enjoy the following experiences:
- A Private Half-day Highlights Tour of Barcelona including La Sagrada Familia. Barcelona, with typical Catalan pride and creativity, remains determined to project itself as Spain’s most innovative city. It offers a staggering array of attractions. Your privately guided tour will cover how the city was reborn with the Olympics in 1992 and stress the importance of Catalan history and culture in its development. A highlight will be the Sagrada Familia, Gaudí’s most famous work and a worldwide symbol for Barcelona. The temple is a synthesis of his overall conception of architecture. Your guide helps you fully appreciate the fascinating and extraordinary mind and genius of Gaudì. Then, your tour will take in the Passeig de Gracia, the most stylish street of Barcelona, lined with boutique shops and art galleries. You will also see Las Ramblas, with its outdoor cafes, flower stands, exotic birds, and equally colorful street performers. Subsequently, you will head to Barcelona’s Gothic Quarter which rests on the ancient Roman city of Barcino. Today it is full of buildings from the 13th to the 15th century. The Quarter is full of interesting shops, peaceful plazas, and winding alleyways and its medieval Cathedral. It is also home to the Picasso Museum and also the Roman Ruins. Afterward, say farewell to your guide and spend the rest of the afternoon at leisure.
- A Private Half-day Gaudi and Modernist Tour. Firstly, you will focus on the period that was Barcelona’s most vibrant and exciting. The age of visionary architect Antonio Gaudì and his contemporaries, a period of a Catalan Renaissance in the arts and literature. Then, visit the iconic Casa Milà. It is a fantasy in stone that appears to have been carved out of the living rock. Hence, its nickname La Pedrera (“quarry”). The building is an apartment house on one of Barcelona’s main avenues. Hidden behind an exceptional façade is a world of surprises and refined architectural details. With the help of your guide, discover and be awed at the imaginativeness and creativity of its designer. Next, you will also visit Parc Güell which Gaudí designed for his greatest patron. Lastly, visit the spectacular Casa Batlló. Originally, a home built for a wealthy businessman and an outstanding example of Gaudi’s private work.
- One of our favorite excursions from Barcelona is our Electric Bike and Wine Excursion to the Penedès Wine Region. The sun-kissed wine country of Penedès is located less than an hour from Barcelona. It is one of the most exciting wine regions in Spain. You will go deep into the heart of the Denomination of Origin Penedès wine and Cava region. This is the birthplace of cava and renowned for its green landscape where almost half of the area is covered by vineyards. Additionally, you will effortlessly cycle by electric bike, through vineyards of several beautiful wineries and cava cellars. Hence, ride over several sorts of terrain to reach a hilltop with great views of Montserrat Mountain. Then, enjoy a day tasting a variety of wines in the Penedes region. You’ll cycle through vineyards and head to the Cathedral of Cava where you will try 3 different sparkling wines. Afterward, you’ll visit a contemporary wine cellar where you will taste 3 different wines, stroll to the barrel area, and then enjoy an assortment of wine and light tapas overlooking the vineyards. Return to Barcelona with your private driver in the afternoon.
- In addition to the excursion above, we will make reservations for dinner at the world-famous Tickets Restaurant. Ranked number 20 on the World’s 50 Best Restaurants list for 2019, every dish is a work of art and gastronomic delight.
On the last day of your Luxurious Spain tour, we will arrange for a private transfer to the Barcelona Airport for your flight home or your next destination.
If you are not yet ready to go home, we can add several options to your Luxurious Spain tour. A few days on the Costa Brava? Or a visit eno-gastronomic haven of San Sebastian and the Rioja Valley? Or head to Valenica for its famous paella and up and coming wines? The choice is yours and we would be happy to design your trip as you wish.