Grand Tour of Spain

Our grand tour of Spain is tried and tested to ensure your groups get a real taste of central Spain. After a leisurely overnight cruise to Santander, we will have two full days to explore the magnificent city of Madrid in all its glory before driving to Granada. We will then spend a day enjoying the magnificent Moorish architecture of Alhambra, after which we will turn our sights to Seville. After two days in the city, we will visit our final destination, beautiful Salamanca.

Clare says...
“The Parador Salamanca is a truly fantastic hotel for your last night on the Grand Tour – the hotel has beautiful large public areas with great stunning views overlooking Salamanca, along with modern spacious rooms.”
Day 1 Plymouth/Portsmouth to Santander
Today, we will make our way to Plymouth/Portsmouth for our overnight cruise crossing to Santander.

Day 2 Santander - Madrid 454km/282 miles
We will arrive in Santander at lunchtime today and drive to Madrid. We should have time to settle into our hotel prior to dinner this evening.

Day 3 Madrid
This morning, we will enjoy a half day guided step-on tour of Madrid before spending the remainder of the day exploring this fabulous city at our leisure. We can relax with a cup of ‘café con leche’ in the Plaza Mayor whilst admiring the equestrian statue of Felipe III and watching the world go by. Attractions include the Puerta de Alcalá, the ancient neoclassical-style gateway to Madrid, and next to the Catedral de la Almudena is the Royal Palace, the official residence of the Spanish royal family. There are also beautiful statues including the Plaza de Cibeles (the Roman goddess of nature) and her fountain as well as the Plaza de Neptuno depicting the sea god Neptune.

Day 4 Madrid’s Art Triangle or Toledo 146km/91 mile round trip
Today, we have a choice! If we are feeling energetic, we can take a trip to Toledo, known as the “Imperial City” for having been where Charles I held court, and as the “City of the Three Cultures”, owing to the historical coexistence of Christians, Muslims and Jews. It is the perfect place to explore, being quite small and surrounded by the River Tajo on three sides and two medieval walls on the fourth side. If you always remember to head uphill, you are virtually guaranteed to end up at the main plaza, Plaza de Zocodover. A land train operates from here and can provide a good way to look around if walking is difficult or unappealing. Alternatively, we can remain in Madrid and explore the area known as Madrid’s Art Triangle, where the Museo del Prado, the Reina Sofía and the Thyssen-Bornemisza museums can be found.

Day 5 Jaén & Granada 423km/263 miles
After breakfast this morning, we will leave Madrid behind and begin our journey southwards to Granada, stopping en route at Jaén, a city that anyone who loves Andalucian culture should experience. The city’s history is fascinating but the castle that towers over the city is particularly magnificent. We can take time to stand at a prime spot near the Santa Catalina Castle and look down on the provincial capital’s landscape. Jaén is well known for its olive oil, known as liquid gold to the locals, and, from afar, the rows upon rows of olive groves are a sight to behold! We will then continue our journey to Granada.

Day 6 Granada’s Alhambra Driver’s Day Off
Today, a local coach company will take us to the spectacular Moorish Alhambra Palace with its wonderful views across the town and surrounding hills where we enjoy a guided walking tour. Admire the extraordinary architecture of this fortress that once was the residence of Nasrid sultans between the 13th and 15th centuries and marvel at the exotic water gardens of the Generalife, the royal summer residence. Our driver will take us on a panoramic tour of Granada on the way back to the hotel. If we have the energy in the afternoon, we can visit the Cathedral of Granada and the Royal Chapel.

Day 7 Córdoba & Seville 306km/190 miles
After an early breakfast this morning, we will make our way to Seville via Córdoba, once the most important city of the Western world. In the afternoon, we will make our way to Seville, famous for its historical beauty, oranges and Christopher Columbus!

Day 8 Seville
After breakfast, we will embark on a step on guided tour of Seville. We will see the magnificent Seville Cathedral (where Christopher Columbus is buried) and the ancient bell tower, La Giralda. We can also see the Alcázar Palace before enjoying lunch at leisure and spending the afternoon relaxing in the beautiful María Luisa Park. We may even choose to enjoy a guided tour of the imposing Plaza de España before returning to our hotel.

Day 9 Cultural Seville & The Spanish Inquisition
Today, we can explore Seville at leisure. We may choose to visit La Casa de Pilatos, an Andalusian palace which still serves as the permanent residence of the Dukes of Medinaceli. The building is an eclectic mixture of Renaissance Italian and Mudéjar Spanish styles with beautiful tiles and a fascinating portrait collection. We may then delve more deeply into the Spanish cultural traditions, perhaps visiting the 18th century bull fighting ring at the Plaza de Toros de la Real Maestranza de Caballería de Sevilla before learning about the Spanish Inquisition at Museo Del Castillo De San Jorge on the other side of the river.

Note: While most museums are closed on Mondays, those listed for Day 9 were checked at time of writing and are open. The Museo Plaza de Toros closes at 15.00 on Mondays.

Day 10 Salamanca 462km/287 miles
After an early breakfast, we will begin our journey to Salamanca. On arrival, we can explore Salamanca’s famous Plaza Mayor, a stunning 18th century square, before perhaps visiting the gothic masterpiece of Salamanca Cathedral and the Convent of Saint Stephen.

Day 11-12 Spain – UK 394km/245 miles
After breakfast, our bags will be taken to our coach and we will be free to explore Salamanca at our leisure in the morning prior to our drive to Santander where we will board our overnight ferry to the UK.

Note: Ferry crossing timings are based on Brittany Ferries’ 2017 timetable since 2018 timings were not available prior to publication. They are therefore subject to change.

Gran Hotel Luna de Granada

The 4 star Gran Hotel Luna de Granada is located very close to motorway connections, west of the old town and cathedral and just a 20 minute stroll into the historic centre of Granada. The hotel is spacious and has 368 contemporary and elegantly decorated bedrooms, each equipped with a TV, hairdryer, tea/coffee facilities, fridge and a safe for valuables. This modern hotel is perfectly suited to groups with a drop-off area at the front entrance, 3 lifts and 5 fully disabled bedrooms. The busy lobby area boasts a café bar and there is also a sunroom where guests can relax in the sun before enjoying a buffet dinner in the restaurant. Leisure facilities include a heated swimming pool, sauna, jacuzzi, steam room and gym. Coach parking is off-site and chargeable and includes a driver transfer service.

Hotel Sevilla Macarena

This traditional hotel is located in the northern part of the city of Seville, just a short taxi or bus journey to the old town and cathedral. The 331 bedrooms are each equipped with a TV, hairdryer, fridge and a safe. The hotel has 3 lifts and there are steps to some areas including the entrance and rooftop terrace. The lobby is beautifully decorated in a Moorish style boasting a central sun area with a fountain where guests can relax. There is a rooftop terrace with a swimming pool and bar which offers stunning views of this magnificent city. The elegant restaurant serves a buffet dinner. • Lift • Bar • Restaurant • Leisure facilities • Coach parking is off-site & chargeable

NH Ribera del Manzanares

This stylish 4 star city hotel is located to the south west of the centre of Madrid only a short taxi ride or bus journey to the centre of the city. The hotel has 224 bedrooms all decorated with contemporary furnishings to the same high standard with each room being equipped with TV, hairdryer, fridge and a safe for valuables. The hotel has 3 lifts which service all floors and 3 fully disabled bedrooms. There is a modern café bar adjoining the restaurant area and guests can enjoy a drink on the outside terrace before enjoying an evening meal in the fashionable restaurant. Coach parking is off-site and is free of charge.

Parador de Salamanca

The splendid 4 star Parador de Salamanca is located to the south of the old town across the Roman Bridge and boasts fabulous views of the city. The hotel has 110 comfortable bedrooms each authentically decorated to a high standard with TV, hairdryer and a safe for valuables. The hotel has lifts and 2 fully disabled bedrooms. Guests can enjoy a drink in the large and comfortable bar or relax outside in the garden terrace before enjoying dinner in the elegant restaurant. Leisure facilities include a sauna, jacuzzi, gym and an outdoor swimming pool for use in the summer months (mid June - Sept). Coach parking is on-site and is free of charge.

NH Ribera del Manzanares

Madrid (Nights 2, 3 & 4)

Gran Hotel Luna de Granada

Granada (Nights 5 & 6)

Hotel Sevilla Macarena

Seville (Nights 7, 8 & 9)

Parador de Salamanca

Salamanca (Night 10)
9 Nights Half Board
2 Nights Room Only
(overnight ferry)
April – October 2018
(Selected Dates)
Twin from £999pp to £1055pp
Double for Sole Use Supplement from £380

2 Overnight Crossings with Brittany Ferries
(Based on inside cabins with lower beds, no meals)
3 Nights Half Board at Ribera del Manzanares Hotel
2 Nights Half Board at Gran Hotel Luna de Granada
3 Nights Half Board at Sevilla Macarena
1 Night Half Board at Parador Hotel Salamanca
• Porterage
• Welcome drink on arrival
• Choice of menu, buffet style (set menu in Salamanca)
• ¼ litre of wine with dinner (Madrid & Granada)
• Tea/coffee after dinner
• 3 hour guided step-on tour of Madrid
• Return coach transfers to Alahambra, incl. panoramic tour of Granada
• Guided walking tour of Alhambra
• Entrance to Alhambra Palace
• 3 hour guided step-on tour of Seville
Call to tailor this tour 01732 879191
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Prices starting from...

£999 for 12 days

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Features of this tour

  • 3 hour guided step-on tour of Madrid

  • Return coach transfers to Alahambra, incl. panoramic tour of Granada

  • Guided walking tour of Alhambra

  • Entrance to Alhambra Palace

  • 3 hour guided step-on tour of Seville