See the jewels of Madrid and Andalusia with this 10-day itinerary. Start off in the capital city with a walking tour including the collection of El Prado Museum, then make your way south with a stop in Cordoba, followed by the cultural scene of Seville and historic palaces of Granada. Take advantage of the combination of private guided tours and free time to make sure you don't miss a beat.

Highlights

  • See the highlights of El Prado's art collection
  • Tour Cordoba's Mezquita and Seville's Alcazar
  • Learn the secrets of Granada's Alhambra
  • Sample the tapas and flamenco of Seville

Brief Itinerary

Day Highlights Overnight
Day 1 Arrive in Madrid Madrid
Day 2 Tour of Madrid and El Prado Madrid
Day 3 Free Day in Madrid Madrid
Day 4 Madrid to Seville via Cordoba Seville
Day 5 Seville Bike Tour Seville
Day 6 Walking Tour & Evening Flamenco Seville
Day 7 Seville to Granada via The White Villages Granada
Day 8 The Alhambra Granada
Day 9 Albaicín District Tour Granada
Day 10 Depart Granada  

Detailed Itinerary

Day 1: Arrive in Madrid

The fountain of Cibeles
The fountain of Cibeles

Welcome to Madrid! Upon arrival at either the airport or train station, you'll be greeted by a private driver who will transfer you to your hotel in the city center. Take some time to settle in and get your bearings 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. 

Break up the sightseeing with a café con leche in a stately square like Plaza Mayor followed by a drink at a rooftop bar for a birds-eye view over the city. After the sun goes down, partake in the city's dining scene, awash with fantastic tapas bars (choose a handful and make it a tapas crawl).

Day 2: Tour of Madrid and El Prado

Architecture of Madrid
Architecture of Madrid

Start your day with a private walking tour to discover the highlights of the city, accompanied by your guide's anecdotes. This 4-hour tour can be customized to your speed and style, whether you want a leisurely stroll or quick march to fit in as much of the city as possible. You'll also include a visit to the famous El Prado museum, one of the world's finest collections of European art. Visit the highlight of the collection, such as Velazquez’s "Las Meninas," El Greco’s "Fable," and Goya’s "The Countess of Chinchón." Leave your guide after the tour to keep exploring on your own, or let them lead you to a tapas bar to spend the evening.

Day 3: Free Day in Madrid

Scope out the avenues
Scope out the avenues

Keep exploring the city's other districts today. Go shopping on Calle Serrano or Gran Via, or visit El Rastro Market if you happen to be in the city on a Sunday. If you'd rather go the art route, the Reina Sofia, Sorolla, and Thyssen Bornemisza museums await; stay outdoors with a rowboat or stroll through El Retiro park or watch the city go by from a cafe in La Latina or Chamberi district.

If you prefer a guided tour, you can also find tours that will introduce you to Madrid's artisans, gourmet scene, or the city via Segway.

Day 4: Madrid to Seville via Cordoba

Spain's high speed rail network is among the most advanced in Europe.
Spain's high-speed rail network is among the most advanced in Europe.

Head to the Atocha train station to take the AVE high-speed train down to Cordoba, complete with comfortable seating and onboard cafeteria. Your first stop is the city of Cordoba, where you'll meet up with your guide for a private tour of the Old Town. Stroll through the highlights of the city, including the Mezquita, a pagan temple that was turned into the great mosque of the Ummayad caliphate and later a Catholic church, with much of the mosque's design still in place. You'll also visit the Alcázar of the Catholic Kings, where Christopher Columbus negotiated his voyage west and the winding side streets of the old Jewish Quarter.

Stop for lunch in Cordoba followed by a bit more walking, then meet your driver to continue on to Seville.

Day 5: Seville Bike Tour

Modern art in Seville
Modern art in Seville

Set off on a spin around the city with a guided bike tour. You'll visit many of Seville's most impressive sights, including the Plaza de España, the Guadalquivir riverfront, the Setas or Wild Mushroom marketplace, and Plaza de San Francisco, along with some of the city's many gardens and parks. Your guide will share some of the stories of the attractions and the city itself during the tour.

You'll have the rest of the day free, so consult your guide for recommendations for some of their favorite spots or just take a paseo and stroll around.

Day 6: Walking Tour & Evening Flamenco

Tower of Gold
Tower of Gold

Lose the wheels for a private, guided walking tour of Seville's historic landmarks. Stop in at the largest Gothic cathedral in the world, the tomb of Christopher Columbus, and the magnificent Alcázar with its Mudéjar (Neo-Moorish) palaces and lush gardens. Take a post-tour break in a tapas bar and then explore at your own pace until the evening.

As the sun sets, you'll head to a flamenco show, with more background knowledge provided by your guide. Take in the classic Andalucian music and dance performance, then join your guide for more tapas and drinks and a discussion of life in Andalucia.

Day 7: Seville to Granada via The White Villages

Whitewashed walls looking out over the surrounding countryside
Zahara de la Sierra

Head to Granada today via a full day's excursion through the hills of Cadiz. Drive through olive groves, rolling meadows, cork forests, and mountainous terrain to Andalucia's hillside White Villages, so named for their distinctive whitewashed architecture.

Your first stop will be Zahara de la Sierra, sometimes considered one of the most beautiful of all the White Villages. Visit a nearby olive mill for a production tour and tasting, then continue to the village of Grazalema, where you'll sample payoyo cheese and stroll through the streets in search of lunch.

Your final village of the day is Ronda, where you'll have free time to explore the town and its monuments. From there you'll continue to Granada. Settle into your lodgings and spend the evening however you choose.

Day 8: The Alhambra

The Alhambra
The Alhambra

Take a private guided tour this morning of the famed Alhambra. With as many myths and legends as there are arches and fountains, this historic site offers hours worth of wandering, accompanied by a private guide to relate its many tales.

Once you've finished within the Alhambra's walls, make your way down to the city center to continue with your walk through its labyrinthine streets. Seek out the Cathedral, Royal Church, old silk market at the Alcaicería, and medieval Madraza Koranic school.

Day 9: Albaicín District Tour

Albaicín from above
Albaicín from above

Today's guided tour takes you on a relaxed exploration of the Albaicín district, the one-time Moorish quarter of Granada and now a UNESCO World Heritage site. The medieval Islamic city within a city has maintained its historic identity into the modern age, and you'll learn about its social history and character as you take in the views of the Alhambra's palaces and the snow-capped Sierra Nevada backdrop. Pass churches built on top of former mosques, the walls of the scented gardens of Carmenes, and sedate squares filled with the routines of daily life where you can stop for refreshments.

After your tour finishes, find a special spot for your final dinner of your trip.

Day 10: Depart Granada

Wave to the city
Wave to the city

Wave goodbye to Granada as you catch a transfer to the airport or train station to make your way home or onward to the next stop on your journey.

Map

Map of Highlights of Spain's Capital & Andalusia: Madrid, Seville, & Granada - 10 Days
Map of Highlights of Spain's Capital & Andalusia: Madrid, Seville, & Granada - 10 Days