- Experience the tastes of Spain on guided food tours and a visit to an aloe vera plantation
- Visit the famous museums, plazas, and palaces of Madrid while stopping to sample tapas and watch flamenco
- 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
|Day 1||Arrive in Madrid - Explore||Madrid|
|Day 2||Free Day in Madrid - Evening Flamenco Experience||Madrid|
|Day 3||Discover the Sights of Madrid on a Tapas Tour||Madrid|
|Day 4||Flight from Madrid to Tenerife||La Laguna|
|Day 5||Day Hike to Anaga Park||La Laguna|
|Day 6||Taste Wine and Traditional Dishes with a Local Farmer||La Laguna|
|Day 7||Drive to Santiago del Teide via Buenavista del Norte and Masca||Santiago de Teide|
|Day 8||Discover the Los Gigantes Cliffs by Boat - Horseback Riding Tour||Santiago de Teide|
|Day 9||Conquer The Highest Peak in Spain||Santiago de Teide|
|Day 10||Enjoy a Night of Stargazing Atop Mt. Teide||Santiago de Teide|
|Day 11||Sail to the Island of La Gomera||Playa de Santiago|
|Day 12||See Whales and Dolphins Along La Gomera's Coast||Playa de Santiago|
|Day 13||Explore Garajonay National Park||Playa de Santiago|
|Day 14||Visit an Aloe Vera Farm||La Gomera|
|Day 15||Flight to Madrid - Explore||Madrid|
|Day 16||Depart Madrid|
Day 1: Arrive in Madrid - Explore
Welcome to Spain!
Upon arrival at the nation's capital, you'll enjoy a private transfer to your hotel in the city center. Take some time to settle in before heading out to explore. You'll definitely want to see some of the highlights like the Puerta del Sol, one of the most historic and expansive plazas in the city. There's also Madrid's famous Fountain of Cibeles. Located in the city center it features a sculpture completed in 1782 and depicting Cybele, the Greek goddess of fertility, riding in a chariot pulled by lions.
Perhaps you could take in a show. Gran Vía is Madrid's answer to Broadway, and on it, you'll find plenty of theaters showcasing plays and musical productions. Needless to say, the options for culture in this city are vast, and you could also visit museums, art galleries, and live music venues if the mood strikes.
When night falls, be sure to indulge in Madrid's world-class culinary scene. If you want to dine amid history, head to Botín. No less than Ernest Hemingway described it in his seminal novel The Sun Also Rises as the best restaurant on earth.
Day 2: Free Day in Madrid - Evening Flamenco Experience
After a leisurely morning enjoying breakfast and the hotel's amenities, continue your free exploration of Spain's capital city. If you're a sports fan you can opt for a tour of the Estadio Santiago Bernabéu, the 81,000-seat stadium home to the Real Madrid football club. You might also consider taking a stroll along Fuencarral Street, a popular downtown shopping area full of upscale brands and designer boutiques.
In the evening, you'll have the chance to experience and appreciate one of Spain's premier cultural offerings: flamenco. This musical style enjoys a rich heritage that dates back to the 9th century, when the music and dances of immigrants in the Andalusia region mixed with the cultures of local Moors and Jews. Over the centuries, the intermingling of these various influences synthesized to produce the style of flamenco that has come to define Spanish folkloric music.
Enjoying a flamenco show is a must for any visitor to Spain. First, you'll have a private tour of a guitar workshop where local artisans craft the dance's traditional instruments. Your next stop is a dance academy where the future stars of flamenco learn and practice their art. Finally, you'll visit a shoemaker who produces the unique footwear for these dancers.
Then you'll enjoy a sultry flamenco show! Throughout the performance, your guide will point out the intricacies and significance of the dance as professional dancers move about the tablao (dance floor).
Just as the performance ends, Madrid should be coming alive. The residents of Madrid are known as los gatos (cats) because this is a city that thrives at night. We recommend heading to Calle Ponzano, a bohemian enclave perfect for late-night dinners, tapas, and bar hopping.
Day 3: Discover the Sights of Madrid on a Tapas Tour
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 4: Flight from Madrid to 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 5: Day Hike to Anaga Park
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 6: Taste Wine and Traditional Dishes with a Local Farmer
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 7: Drive to Santiago del Teide via Buenavista del Norte and Masca
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 8: Discover the Los Gigantes Cliffs by Boat - Horseback Riding Tour
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 9: Conquer The Highest Peak in Spain
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 10: Enjoy a Night of Stargazing Atop Mt. Teide
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 11: Sail to the Island of La Gomera
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 12: See Whales and Dolphins Along La Gomera's Coast
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 13: Explore 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 14: Visit an Aloe Vera Farm
La Gomera is known as Isla Mágica (Magic Island). Despite being the second smallest of the Canary Islands, it's an ecological treasure with a scenic coastline dotted with small beaches set between cliffs. It's also a natural paradise of aloe vera!
Today you'll visit an ecological aloe vera plantation set in a traditional finca (a large, agricultural plot). Your guide will lead you through 5,000 years of history of the aloe vera plant during a 30-minute tour. Afterward, you'll be able to cut an aloe vera leaf, taste its pulp and flowers, and, of course, test all the aloe vera products made from its pure gel.
After the tour, settle into your accommodation at the finca, where you'll sleep amongst the peace of La Gomera's aloe vera plantation.
Day 15: Flight to Madrid - Explore
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 16: Depart Madrid
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!