SPAIN & THE COSTA DEL SOL
9 DAYS/7 NIGHTS

DESCRIPTION

Immerse yourself in the sunshine of legendary Costa del Sol, and then embark on a discovery of its exciting history of explorers and invaders. Hilltop citadels, elaborate cathedrals and palaces, brilliantly whitewashed houses, and quaint Andalusian courtyards speak of the many cultures that graced Southern Spain. This once-great stronghold of Muslim Spain is rich in beauty, history, and tradition, and contains some of the country's most celebrated architectural wonders: the Alhambra in Granada, the great Gothic cathedral in Seville, the Alcazar, and the incredible sight of Ronda, perched dramatically on a bluff overlooking a plunging gorge.

HIGHLIGHTS

  • Extended stay in one location
  • Soak up the sun on the sandy beaches of the Mediterranean
  • Marvel at the architecture of the Cathedral of Seville, third largest in the world
  • Enjoy the Giralda, built originally in the 12th century
  • See the Alcazar Royal Palace, a UNESCO World Heritage site
  • The Santa Cruz Jewish quarter
  • Visit Ronda, one of the loveliest and most historic towns in Andalucia
  • Learn about Bullfighting history while exploring Plaza de Toros, the oldest bullring in Spain
  • Scenic ferry trip to Tangier in Morocco
  • Visit the continent of Africa
  • The views of the Mediterranean, Spain and Morocco from the Rock of Gibraltar
  • Visit famous citadel and Alhambra Palace in Granada, a UNESCO World Heritage site
  • The Generalife gardens, a green paradise constructed for Nazarite kings and queens
  • Discover Mijas, a beautifully preserved Andalusian village
  • Experience majestic Madrid
  • Magnificent monuments such as the Neptune and Cibeles fountains
  • The Alcale Gate
  • The Plaza de Espana
  • The Royal Palace

Photo and Video



DAY BY DAY ITINERARY


Day 1 - Depart USA
Depart New York for Spain. Meals and refreshments served on board.

Day 2 Arrive Malaga, Spain/Torremolinos
Welcome to the famous Costa del Sol, Spain’s Mediterranean coastline! Upon arrival in Malaga, proceed to baggage claim. After clearing customs, you will be met by your tour director. You'll be transferred to your first class hotel located in the renowned resort town of Torremolinos, situated along one of the most cosmopolitan stretches of coastline in Spain. Enjoy the remainder of the day at leisure. (D)

Day 3 Torremolinos - Seville Tour
After breakfast at the hotel, take a full-day tour to Seville. Seville is Spain's fourth largest city and the capital of the Andalucia region. Built on the banks of the Guadalquivir River, the city has a rich history with vast Moorish influences and was once a prosperous trading port with the Americas. It was in Seville that Columbus docked upon returning from America. Enjoy a panoramic tour of this vibrant city; see the meticulous gardens at Maria Luisa Park, stroll through the district of Santa Cruz and revel in the city’s 15th century Cathedral. Enjoy the striking minaret, the slenderest tower in Muslim architecture, and The Giralda, to which an exquisite bell tower was added in the 16th century. Not far away is another amazing monumental complex, the Alcazar palace, completed by Peter the First and recognized for its Mudejar style. Next, Cultural Discovery Series - visit the interactive Flamenco Dance Museum and learn about the art and evolution of Flamenco. (B,D)

Day 4 Torremolinos - Gibraltar Tour
After breakfast, take a full-day tour to Gibraltar and discover the Rock of Gibraltar, located at the entrance of the Mediterranean. Its strategic location and history have made it an international symbol of solidity and strength and is frequently featured in the world press and media. Gibraltar is connected to Spain by a sandy strip. The subject of repeated conquest and siege, Gibraltar has been a British territory since 1704 when it was ceded forever under the Treaty of Utrecht. Since 1973, it has been a part of the EU under the British accession. When you first see the Rock of Gibraltar, whether it is from the air, from the sea, or from either the Costa del Sol or the western end of the Bay, its impressive stature, towering isolated above the surrounding countryside causes the greatest impact. It has had this effect on people for many thousands of years. (B,D)

Day 5 Torremolinos
After breakfast enjoy a day at leisure and relax at the hotel or take an optional tour to Tangier. This excursion offers an unforgettable opportunity to visit this fascinating destination. The fun begins with a ferry ride across the straits of Gibraltar to exotic Morocco and the ancient city of Tangier. Upon arrival, you will tour the modern half of the city along with Cape Spartel, the northwesternmost point of the African continent. Next, you'll explore the old town or Casbah on a walking tour. Here, shopping treasures abound in the myriad of colorful markets and meandering streets. (B,D)

Day 6 Torremolinos - Ronda Tour
After breakfast enjoy a full-day tour to Ronda. Explore the mountainous region of Ronda on this relaxing day trip from the Costa del Sol. You'll see all the highlights of the lovely town of Ronda, including the Plaza de Toros Maestranza, the Church of the Holy Spirit, the town square, and a bull-fighting museum. The picturesque town of Ronda spans the plunging river gorge known as El Tajo, crossed by the impressive 18th century Puente Nuevo Bridge. You'll visit the town square, known as Plaza de Espana, the Church of the Holy Spirit built in 1485, and the Cathedral Church of Our Lady of the Incarnation, known today as the Church of Saint Mary the Elder. See Plaza de Toros, the oldest bullring in Spain that has staged some of the most important events in bullfighting history. The museum's collection of memorabilia includes photos of famous bullfighting fans, including Ernest Hemingway and Orson Wells. Next, Cultural Discovery Series - learn about the process of producing organic wines at the Wine Museum and enjoy wine tasting afterward. You’ll have free time to explore Ronda and perhaps enjoy lunch at a local restaurant before returning to your hotel along the Costa del Sol. (B,D)

Day 7 Torremolinos
After breakfast enjoy your day at leisure… play a round of golf, relax at the hotel spa, do your last minute shopping, or take an optional tour to Granada, featuring a guided tour of the Alhambra, a fortified palatine city of the 13th to 15th century. Muslim architecture in Spain reached its apogee at this palace once occupied by Nasrid princes, their families, and their political and personal functionaries. Our local guide will show us the Alcazaba with its magnificent Torres de la Velas fortress, the Carlos V Palace, and the Generalife Palace, a summer residence set in beautiful gardens. The Palace of Charles V, designed in 1526 by Pedro Machuca in the heart of the Alhambra as a symbol of new power, is the most outstanding Renaissance work in Granada. Make sure you have your camera for some amazing photo ops! Return to the hotel for dinner. (B,D)

Day 8 Torremolinos
After breakfast enjoy today at leisure or take an optional tour to Mijas. Here you'll find postcard-perfect white-washed houses and spectacular views of the coast and countryside. Mijas is one of the most picturesque villages in Andalucia, situated 1300 feet above sea level. Perhaps you'll even want to experience a true local treat... a ride in a donkey-drawn taxi! You can also bask in the glittering sun or simply relax at the hotel. (B,D)

Day 9 Torremolinos to USA or extend your stay with an optional Madrid extension
After breakfast transfer to the Malaga airport for your return flight home. (B)

OPTIONAL MADRID EXTENSION
Day 9 Malaga/Madrid
After breakfast you will be transferred to the airport for your flight to Madrid. Upon arrival, you will be met by our tour director and transferred to your hotel. The rest of the day is at leisure to explore on your own. (B)

Day 10 Madrid - City Tour
After breakfast the highlights of your morning city tour include the magnificent fountains of Neptune and Cibeles, the Alcala Gate, the Plaza de Espana, and a visit to the Royal Palace. The rest of the day is at leisure for some shopping, a visit to the Prado Museum or for a stroll through the gardens of Retiro Park. Tonight you will have the opportunity to join an optional tour including dinner at a local restaurant followed by a flamenco show. (B)

Day 11 Madrid to USA
After breakfast transfer to the airport for your return flight home. (B)


Hotel and itinerary are subject to change.

INCLUDES

  • ROUND TRIP AIR TRANSPORTATION - Air transportation from New York
  • FIRST-CLASS ACCOMMODATIONS - Hotel accommodations for 7 nights
  • SUPERB CUISINE - 14 included meals consisting of 7 buffet breakfasts and 7 dinners
  • SIGHTSEEING TOUR PROGRAM - Sightseeing, including local guide and all entrance fees as follows: Full day tour to Seville, a tour to Ronda, and a tour to the Rock of Gibraltar. Optional tours available
  • CULTURAL DISCOVERY SERIES - Our program encompasses cultural connections, in-depth learning on the local economy and social systems, and interaction with locals such as learning about the art and evolution of Flamenco at the interactive Flamenco Dance Museum in Seville, and learning about organic wine production at the Wine Museum in Ronda
  • PROFESSIONAL TOUR DIRECTOR - Assistance of a professional Tour Director for the entire length of the tour upon arrival in Malaga
  • DELUXE MOTORCOACHES - Touring by private deluxe air-conditioned motorcoach
  • BAGGAGE HANDLING AND TRANSFERS - Baggage handling for one piece of checked luggage outside of the airport

OPTIONAL MADRID EXTENSION TOUR FEATURES
  • FIRST-CLASS ACCOMMODATION - Hotel accommodations for 2 nights
  • SUPERB CUISINE - 2 included meals consisting of 2 buffet breakfasts
  • SIGHTSEEING TOUR PROGRAM - Sightseeing, including local guide and all entrance fees as follows: Half day tour of Madrid, including the Royal Palace
  • PROFESSIONAL TOUR DIRECTOR - Assistance of a professional Tour Director for the entire length of the tour upon arrival in Madrid
  • DELUXE MOTORCOACHES - Touring by private deluxe air-conditioned motorcoach
  • BAGGAGE HANDLING AND TRANSFERS - Baggage handling for one piece of checked luggage outside of the airport

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