This 8-day itinerary focuses on Madrid and Seville, leading you through the historic centers of both cities, as well as day trips to Córdoba and Toledo. You'll explore the cities with food and biking tours, visits to tapas bars, and flamenco shows, plus a private tour of the El Prado museum in Madrid.  End the trip with a visit to the famous White Villages of Andalucia and the town of Ronda, plus tours of an olive oil farm and a vineyard.

Highlights

  • Explore Madrid's food scene and enjoy a tour of El Prado museum
  • Take a day trip to the citadel of Toledo
  • Enjoy a passionate evening of tapas and flamenco in Seville's Old Town
  • Discover the neighborhoods of Seville by bike
  • Visit the famous White Villages and tour a winery

Brief Itinerary

Day Highlights Overnight
Day 1 Arrive in Madrid - Enjoy an evening tapas tour Madrid
Day 2 Explore Madrid and the El Prado museum with a private tour Madrid
Day 3 Enjoy a private day trip to Toledo Madrid
Day 4 Take the train to Córdoba and explore the city - Drive to Seville Seville
Day 5 Explore the city of Seville by bike Seville
Day 6 Tour an olive oil farm - enjoy an evening tapas and flamenco Seville
Day 7 Day trip to the White Villages and Ronda - Enjoy a winery tour Seville
Day 8 Depart Seville  

Detailed Itinerary

Day 1: Arrive in Madrid - Enjoy an evening tapas tour

Madrid Palace at Night
Madrid Palace at Night

Welcome to Madrid! Upon arriving at the airport or train station, your private driver will transfer you to your hotel in the city center. Take some time to settle in before heading out to explore. 

Spain's capital is made for walking, with wide, elegant boulevards showcasing a range of architectural styles and expansive, manicured parks such as the Buen Retiro. It's also renowned for some of the best art museums on the continent, including the Prado Museum with works by Goya, Velázquez, and other Spanish masters.

In the evening, you'll meet your guide for a walking tapas tour to get a genuine feel for the city and sample some of the best local dishes. You'll see Madrid through a local's eyes as you get a feel for its many districts and neighborhoods. The tour begins with a two-hour city walking tour, followed by delicious tapas in local and authentic bars in the Las Letras neighborhood in the historic heart of the city.

Day 2: Explore Madrid and the El Prado museum with a private tour

Madrid's Prado Museum
Madrid's Prado Museum

Enjoy a hearty breakfast to prepare for a day of exploring Madrid. When you're ready, a private guide will pick you up from your hotel and take you on a 4-hour walking tour to discover the city highlights. Your guide will adapt to your speed and style, whether it's a leisurely, laid-back stroll or a brisk pace to squeeze in as many sites as possible. 

A good place to start is Puerta del Sol, the central meeting point of Madrid and the radial center of all Spanish roadways. You'll also find the famous statue, El Oso y el Madroño, the bear with a strawberry tree, which has been the city's coat of arms since the 13th century.

Nearby is Plaza Mayor—a great stop for some tapas—and the Royal Palace of Madrid. There are two gardens near the palace: Sabatini Gardens and Campo del Moro. You can't miss the impressive Catedral de la Almudena, a beautiful, baroque Catholic cathedral.

Other sites to see include the many fountains of Madrid, such as the Cibeles and Neptune fountains, plus the Puerta de Alcalá, the Temple of Debod, and Plaza de España

For lunch, head to the Mercado de San Miguel, which was originally built in 1916. Here you can try different traditional Spanish foods with an endless offering of tapas and meals. You can also try local wine and sherry.

At the end of the tour, you'll enter the magnificent El Prado museum with one of the finest collections of European art in the world, including works by Velazquez, El Greco, and Goya. Explore some of these gems with your guide before you continue exploring on your own. Alternatively, your guide will take you to a nearby restaurant or tapas bar, whichever option suits you best.

Day 3: Enjoy a private day trip to Toledo

Toledo and its Iconic Alcázar
Toledo and its Iconic Alcázar

Today's excursion takes you on an hour-long drive south to Toledo. This historic city was the capital of Spain in the 16th century and enjoys a dramatic location atop a gorge overlooking the Río Tajo.

In the Middle Ages, Toledo was known as the "City of the Three Cultures," a place where—legend has it—Christian, Muslim, and Jewish communities peacefully coexisted. You can see remnants of this in the old Arab, Muslim, and Christian monuments that still stand. These include the 15th-century Monastery of San Juan de los Reyes, the former Roman palace Alcázar de Toledo, and the Moorish Synagogue of Santa María la Blanca, which dates to the 12th century.

Accompanied by an expert guide you will visit these historic landmarks as well as others, including the grand 13th century Toledo Cathedral and the 12th century Church of Santo Tomé. Throughout it all, you'll tour the ancient streets of an incredible city that could aptly be described as an open-air museum. After all, Toledo does enjoy UNESCO World Heritage Status. 

In the afternoon, your driver will return you to Madrid, where you'll have the evening free.

Day 4: Take the train to Córdoba and explore the city - Drive to Seville

Views of the Mezquita-Catedral and Puente Romano
Views of the Mezquita-Catedral and Puente Romano

In the morning, your driver will take you to Atocha Train Station where you'll catch a high-speed train to Córdoba —a journey of just under two hours. With comfortable seating and the option to stretch your legs, this is truly the best way to travel long distances in Spain. 

Upon arrival, a driver will be waiting to take you to the city center where a local guide will help you discover the very best of Córdoba's old town. During the excursion, you'll get a private tour of the breathtaking Mezquita, a pagan temple that was converted into the great mosque of the Ummayad caliphate and later transformed into a Catholic church (yet it retains much of the original mosque). You'll also visit the winding side streets of the old Jewish Quarter and the Alcázar of the Catholic Kings, where Christopher Columbus negotiated and gained approval for his voyage west in search of the Indies.

You'll then enjoy a Cordoban lunch and more time to wander on your own, followed by a 1.5-hour drive to Seville. After settling into your accommodation, you can explore the city and find a restaurant for dinner.

Day 5: Explore the city of Seville by bike

Triana Bridge Seville
Triana Bridge Seville

After breakfast, you'll meet up with your private guide who will have bicycles prepared for an active tour of Seville's numerous sights, such as the Plaza de España, Guadalquivir Riverfront, Setas Marketplace, Plaza de San Francisco, and some of the city's most beautiful gardens and parks.

During the excursion, your informative guide will share anecdotes and explain some of the mysteries and stories behind the city of Seville. This is a fun, healthy, and educational way to get a feel for the city. Following the tour, you'll have the rest of the day to spend as you please, perhaps taking a long paseo (stroll) to enjoy the surroundings at your own pace.

Day 6: Tour an olive oil farm - enjoy an evening tapas and flamenco

Flamenco in the Center of Seville
Flamenco in the Center of Seville

Today, a driver will pick you up at your hotel and transfer you outside the city to a special locale in the countryside. One of Spain's most popular exports is its high-quality olive oil, and today you'll witness the production process firsthand on an exclusive tour of an Andalusian olive oil estate. This estate has quite the history, as it was right here back in the 17th-century that Christopher Columbus' son Hernando began exporting olive oil to the New World. 

You'll tour the old manufacturing center and view the 16th-century olive oil presses. You'll also visit the estate's working presses, which use modern methods to produce the olive oil they export today. The excursion ends with a tasting of the oils, allowing you to put your newfound knowledge of the ingredients to good use.

After returning to Seville, it will then be time to prepare for a lively evening. Either in a small group or private tour, you'll head to Seville's historic old town for a night of delicious tapas and authentic flamenco, a musical style with origins in Andalusia. Your expert guide will lead you through two family-run taverns where you'll taste a wide selection of dishes. Traditional tapas on offer include acorn-fed Iberian ham, gambas al ajillo (garlic shrimp in oil), and bacalao (salt cod). Of course, throughout the dinner, you'll pair the tapas with delicious local wines. 

You'll then switch to the flamenco, experiencing the most authentic version in the historic Santa Cruz neighborhood. Here you'll enter a 15th-century building that hosts the evening's dance performance. It's the perfect ambiance in which to experience the power, passion, and drama of real flamenco.

After the performance, you'll visit yet another family-run tapas bar to cap the whirlwind evening with more incredible wines and equally delectable desserts. All in all, it's a perfect end to a magical evening in Seville.

Day 7: Day trip to the White Villages and Ronda - Enjoy a winery tour

Famous Bridge of Ronda
Famous Bridge of Ronda

Awake early for a day trip to the beautiful hills in the province of Cádiz, enjoying some of the most spectacular views of Andalucia. Driving through olive groves, rolling meadows, cork forests, and mountainous terrain, you'll visit a number of Andalucia’s white villages, perched on hillsides with the iconic whitewashed houses visible for miles around.

Your first stop will be Zahara de la Sierra, perhaps the most beautiful of all the White Villages. Nearby, you'll visit an olive mill to learn about the production process and taste their oils, then drive up and over to Grazalema. Here, you'll sample the renowned payoyo cheese.

During the course of the day, and depending on your schedule, you'll stop for lunch in a typical local restaurant. Afterward, you'll continue to Ronda where you'll have time to explore the town at your own leisure. 

Before returning to Seville, you'll visit a winery just outside of Ronda. Here, you'll learn all about how this wine-producing area has grown in the last 20 years and, of course, taste some of the different wines with a host to guide you through it.

Upon returning to Seville, you'll have the evening to relax and enjoy the city on your own.

Day 8: Depart Seville

Plaza España in Seville
Plaza España in Seville

It's time to say goodbye to Spain. After making sure you have all the right souvenirs, your driver will meet you at the reception of your hotel and transfer you to Seville Airport for your onward journey.