A perfect combination of nature and city culture, this 2-week tour starts in the bustling capital of Madrid where you can explore its dazzling palaces, parks, and restaurants while sampling tapas and local cuisine. Fly to the Canary Islands, stopping in Tenerife to explore its stunning natural beauty, historical vineyards, and culinary significance before taking a ferry to nearby La Gomera. Enjoy a little adventure by hiking in Anaga Park, summiting Spain's highest peak, star gazing, finding whales and dolphins while cruising on a yacht, and exploring the rich forests of the islands.

Highlights

  • Experience the tastes of Spain on guided food tours
  • Visit the famous museums, plazas, and palaces of Madrid while stopping to sample tapas
  • Take a yacht tour up the coast of the Canary Islands and spot whales, dolphins, and sea turtles
  • Conquer the highest peak in Spain via cable car and go stargazing at the summit
  • Explore the dense forests of Garajonay National Park

Brief Itinerary

Day Highlights Overnight
Day 1 Arrive in Madrid - Explore Madrid
Day 2 Discover the Sights of Madrid on a Tapas Tour Madrid
Day 3 Flight from Madrid to Tenerife La Laguna
Day 4 Day Hike to Anaga Park La Laguna
Day 5 Taste Wine and Local Dishes with a Farmer La Laguna
Day 6 Drive to Santiago del Teide via Buenavista del Norte and Masca Santiago de Teide
Day 7 Discover the Los Gigantes Cliffs by Boat - Horseback Riding Tour Santiago de Teide
Day 8 Conquer The Highest Peak in Spain Santiago de Teide
Day 9 Enjoy a Night of Stargazing Atop Mt. Teide Santiago de Teide
Day 10 Sail to the Island of La Gomera Playa de Santiago
Day 11 See Whales and Dolphins Along La Gomera's Coast Playa de Santiago
Day 12 Explore Garajonay National Park Playa de Santiago
Day 13 Flight to Madrid - Explore Madrid
Day 14 Depart Madrid  

Detailed Itinerary

Day 1: Arrive in Madrid - Explore

Sunset in Madrid, Spain
Sunset in Madrid, Spain

Welcome to Spain! 

After arriving in Madrid, a private transfer will take you to your hotel in the city center. Settle into your hotel before heading out to explore. You'll definitely want to see some of the city's highlights, like the Puerta del Sol, one of the most historic and expansive plazas in Madrid and a short walk from Plaza Mayor. There's also the famous Fountain of Cibeles, which features a sculpture completed in 1782 depicting Cybele (the Greek goddess of fertility) riding in a chariot pulled by lions. Grab dinner in one of the foodie neighborhoods, such as Chueca, Malasaña, or Salamanca.

Day 2: Discover the Sights of Madrid on a Tapas Tour

Traditional Tapas in Madrid
Traditional Tapas in Madrid

Today is a day to explore the multicultural atmosphere of Madrid's popular neighborhoods, such as Malasaña, Chueca, and Lavapies. Or, dive into the cultural diversity of the colorful narrow alleys, bars, and cafes of La Latina. 

If you have more time to explore, enjoy an afternoon at Retiro Park, the biggest park in the city that was established in 1868. Stop at the Matadero (a contemporary creation center) and visit the Crystal Palace. Wander around the motors market situated inside the railway museum. And as the sun begins to set, rent a boat and row around the lake. Retiro is a perfect place to eat, drink, listen to music, and watch people as they saunter through the park.

In the evening, you'll really dig into Madrid's culture on a food tour featuring the country's most famed snack: tapas. A local expert will lead you on a two-hour walking excursion that stops at some of the city's best tapas bars. On this tour, you'll visit Barrio Las Letras, which is known as the literary quarter. This historic neighborhood in the city center was once home to Spanish legends like Cervantes and Quevedo. Besides visiting some historic sights, you'll also stop on Calle Huertas for a bite at one of the many tapas bars that line the street.

Day 3: Flight from Madrid to Tenerife

Colorful Cities of Tenerife
Colorful Cities of Tenerife

It's time to say hasta luego to the Spanish capital and head south to the beautiful Canary Islands. After breakfast, a car will transfer you to the airport where you'll catch a 3-hour flight to Tenerife. Make no mistake, Tenerife abounds with as much energy and excitement as it does tradition and amazing landscapes.

Upon arrival, you'll pick up your rental car and drive to your hotel. Settle in before heading out to explore the ancient capital of Tenerife (Santa Cruz de Tenerife) or nearby San Cristobal de La Laguna, a UNESCO World Heritage Site.

Start by visiting the many palaces and stately homes in the heart of the historic center. Check out the Palace of Salazar with its sumptuous baroque style door, or the Casa de Lercaro, Casa del Corregidor (town hall), and the Palacio de la Nava.

Day 4: Day Hike to Anaga Park

Small Hamlets in Anaga Park, Canary Islands
Small Hamlets in Anaga Park, Canary Islands

Today you will hike the magnificent massif of Anaga. At each turn, you'll find beautiful landscapes and enchanting hamlets lost in the mountains. Enjoy panoramic views of wild, black-sand beaches and staggering cliffs.

The hike begins at the site Mirador de Cabezo de Tejo, a viewpoint set 2,600 feet (800 m) above sea level. Here you can discover magnificent views of the Cordillera de Anaga from Los Roques to Punta del Hidalgo. You'll continue into a beautiful laurel forest before reaching the small settlement of Chamorga.

Continue your hike towards the Roque Bermejo Anaga lighthouse via Las Palmas and El Draguillo. The road is relatively flat during this portion of the walk. As you near the lighthouse, enjoy the lovely view of the rocks and nearby beaches.

Enjoy lunch on the hike and return to La Laguna for a relaxing evening.

Day 5: Taste Wine and Local Dishes with a Farmer

Wineries of the Canary Islands
Wineries of the Canary Islands

If you're a foodie, you'll enjoy the famous Guachinches in Tenerife. These are establishments where small farmers share wine and traditional dishes with their guests. The products are of high quality and you can taste typical dishes such as Puchero (an elaborate stew of different vegetables and meats), Mojo (sauce with red or green pepper), Gofio with Palma (honey and goat cheese), and Papas Arrugadas (potatoes boiled in sea water). Your taste buds are sure to enjoy this culinary adventure!

The unique history of the Canary wines began in the 15th century when the first vines were planted. If you have time after your meal, visit the Valle de La Orotava where you can enjoy the taste and smell of both red and white wines. You can also visit Valle del Güimar, a high-altitude winery famous for its white Listan variation.

Return to La Laguna for the evening.

Day 6: Drive to Santiago del Teide via Buenavista del Norte and Masca

Southern Tenerife, Canary Islands
Southern Tenerife, Canary Islands

It's time to trade the northern part of Tenerife for its scenic south!

You'll drive from La Laguna to Santiago del Teide via the charming village of Buenavista del Norte. This town is known for its quaint streets, colorful buildings, and dramatic coastline dotted with perfect swimming coves. It's set in a special area where 80% of the municipal territory is protected, including Teno Rural Park, a natural monument of spectacular coastline, mountains, and ravines.

If you have time, visit Masca, a picturesque and traditional village perched high on a hill in Teno Park. The road to the town is an adventure, punctuated by views of steep gorges and cliffs.

You'll end your day in Santiago del Teide, a scenic town near the sea. Enjoy dinner and a sunset stroll enjoying the panoramic views of the ocean.

Day 7: Discover the Los Gigantes Cliffs by Boat - Horseback Riding Tour

Dramatic Cliffs of Santiago de Teide
Dramatic Cliffs of Santiago de Teide

As you enjoy Santiago del Teide, you'll surely notice the amazing cliffs that run along its coastline. Today you'll discover these impressive "Los Gigantes" cliffs via a boat tour. You'll observe the different colors and textures of the rocks as they plunge from nearly 2,000 feet (600 m) into the warm waters of the Atlantic Ocean. It's easy to see why they are called the Giants!

Return to the marina by lunchtime, where you can choose from a wide selection of restaurants and bars offering a lovely view of the turquoise waters. After your meal, taste the typical Canarian coffee, nicknamed barquito. Its mixture of orange peel, coffee liqueur, and condensed milk is the perfect refresher.

Next, you'll discover the natural environment of Santiago del Teide via horseback. This 2-hour tour meanders through different landscapes with varied fauna & flora. The vegetation is mainly composed by Canary Pine and almond trees, which form a wonderful white rosy landscape in the spring.

Return to Santiago de Teide for dinner and a leisurely evening.

Day 8: Conquer The Highest Peak in Spain

Views From the Summit of Mount Teide
Views From the Summit of Mount Teide

After breakfast, your English-speaking mountain guide will meet you and prepare for a day hike to the summit of Teide. As the highest peak in Spain, Teide stands at over 12,000 feet (3,700 m). This is, without doubt, the icon of Tenerife.

The hike takes you into Teide National Park, a declared UNESCO World Heritage Site in 2007. It also earned a European Diploma awarded by the European Council and is part of the Natura 2000 Network Sites. It's certainly deserving of these acknowledgements as it boasts the broadest sample of supra-Mediterranean vegetation on Earth. Secondly, it covers one of the world's most stunning volcanic landscapes.

But don't worry, you don't have to be an experienced mountaineer to conquer this peak. You'll get there with a little help from the park's cable car, a high-alpine ride that you'll never forget. Once at the top, you'll be treated to stunning views from the lookout point.

Enjoy lunch on your hike and return to Santiago de Teide in time for dinner.

Day 9: Enjoy a Night of Stargazing Atop Mt. Teide

Stargazing in the Night Sky
Stargazing in Tenerife

No trip to Tenerife is complete without stargazing! These remote islands offer some of the darkest and widest skies in the world, making them a perfect place to see the stars. Enjoy the view with your own two eyes, or take advantage of some of the telescopes that your guide will provide, allowing you to see planets, galaxies, and star clusters.

Once again, you'll take the cable car up to the viewing point on Teide. Enjoy a beautiful sunset over the Canary Islands from Spain's highest peak while sipping cocktails and noshing on traditional Canarian food. Your guide will keep you entertained with tales of the secrets of Tenerife's night sky. Then, sit back as the sky darkens and enjoy your night of stargazing.

Day 10: Sail to the Island of La Gomera

Rocky Coastlines of the Canary Islands
Rocky Coastlines of the Canary Islands

Today you’ll say goodbye to Tenerife and set sail for the magical island of La Gomera. This hidden gem is the second smallest island in the Canaries and known as a paradise for nature lovers. Its wild, mountainous landscape is full of contrasts. Within a few miles, you’ll go from palm-covered valleys to vast canyons, arid coastal areas, and dense, ancient forests. 

Catch a ferry from the southwest Tenerife port of Los Cristianos and arrive in the island's capital city, San Sebastian de la Gomera. Then, head south down the coast to reach the quiet seaside town of Playa de Santiago. Settle into your accommodation and enjoy a leisurely dinner and evening.

Day 11: See Whales and Dolphins Along La Gomera's Coast

Searching for Sea Life
Searching for Sea Life

Enjoy breakfast before gearing up for a boat ride along the coast, where you'll see La Gomera from a different vantage point with a guided yacht trip. Your yacht will depart at Playa de Santiago and spend the day searching for the area’s diverse sea life. In good weather, you're likely to spot whales, dolphins, sea turtles, and an array of seabirds.  Enjoy a locally-prepared lunch of Canarian specialties onboard, and then choose an inviting cove or bay for a swim.

After lunch, you'll continue north up the coast to Vallehermoso to catch sight of the natural monument of Los Órganos. These breathtaking basalt cliffs were formed by cooling lava from ancient volcanoes, giving the impression of giant organ pipes falling vertically into the sea.

Return to Play de Santiago in the evening.

Day 12: Explore Garajonay National Park

Dense Laurel Forests of Garajonay National Park
Dense Laurel Forests of Garajonay National Park

After yesterday's exhilarating tour on the water, spend today within the fairytale forests of Garajonay National Park. The warm mist and fertile volcanic soil of this subtropical rainforest create a remarkable ecosystem, home to rare birds, lush laurel woodlands, and iconic rock formations.

Arrange for a guided hike to learn more about the park’s biodiversity and gain a deeper understanding of the local culture and history, including a primer on the ancient Silbo language. The vast vocabulary of whistles originated within La Gomera’s aboriginal Guanches people and is still used today to communicate across the island’s deep ravines and narrow valleys.

Return to Playa de Santiago for the night.

Day 13: Flight to Madrid - Explore

Tenerife's Picture-Perfect Beaches
Tenerife's Picture-Perfect Beaches

This morning you'll leave your island paradise behind with a ferry from  San Sebastian de La Gomera to Los Cristianos. After catching a departing flight from Tenerife, land in Madrid for your final evening in Spain.

Settle into your accommodation before heading out to explore this diverse marvel of a city. Take in some of the popular sites (if you didn't catch them at the start of your trip), including the Prado Museum, the Royal Palace, and Campo del Moro. After a quiet week in nature, enjoy the busy energy of the capital with an evening "Paseo" through bustling streets, and a late dinner at one of its many world-class restaurants. Sample food at Mercado de San Miguel and grab some famous churros at Chocolatería San Ginés.

Day 14: Depart Madrid

Bustling, Vibrant Madrid at Night
Bustling, Vibrant Madrid at Night

In the morning, a driver will meet you for a private transfer to the airport. This concludes your journey through Madrid and the Canary Islands. Adios!