This is the ultimate two-week tour of Spain for culture and history buffs. The adventure kicks off in Madrid where you'll have two days to explore the capital's elegant streets and Prado Museum before heading south to the Andalusia region. From here, make several stops between Seville and Málaga while discovering gorgeous architecture and gardens, centuries of Moorish and Roman history, and top-notch cuisine—often with the help of private guides.

Highlights

  • Sip café con leches and people-watch in Madrid's stately squares
  • Get up close to the Mezquita and its stunning gardens in Córdoba
  • Experience Seville's best tapas and flamenco bars during an evening tour
  • Relax in Ronda, one of Andalusia's iconic villages, set atop a steep gorge
  • Stroll through the winding streets of Granada's former Moorish quarter

Brief Itinerary

Day Highlights Overnight
Day 1 Arrive in Madrid Madrid
Day 2 Private Tour of Madrid with El Prado Museum Madrid
Day 3 Explore Madrid Madrid
Day 4 Train from Madrid to Córdoba - Guided Tour - Drive to Seville Seville
Day 5 Private Bike Tour in Seville Seville
Day 6 Free Day in Seville - Evening Flamenco & Tapas Tour Seville
Day 7 Transfer from Seville to Ronda, via the White Villages Ronda
Day 8 Explore Ronda Ronda
Day 9 Day-Trip to a Bull Estate - Transfer to Granada Granada
Day 10 Private Tour of the Alhambra Granada
Day 11 Private Tour of the Albaicín Granada
Day 12 Transfer from Granada to Málaga - Evening Tapas Tour Malaga
Day 13 Private Tour of Málaga Malaga
Day 14 Depart Málaga  

Detailed Itinerary

Day 1: Arrive in Madrid

Madrid's fountain of Cibeles
Madrid's 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: Private Tour of Madrid with El Prado Museum

Get ready to explore Madrid!
Get ready to explore Madrid!

Make sure to have a hearty breakfast this morning in order to prepare for a day of exploring Madrid. At the designated time, a private guide will pick you up from your hotel and take you on a four-hour walking tour to discover the city highlights, while sharing interesting anecdotes to bring it all to life. 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. He or she will also, of course, do their best to answer all of your questions.

At the end of the tour, you will 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 he/she leaves you to 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: Explore Madrid

Gran Via at sunset
Gran Via at sunset

Today is a free day to explore areas of the city you haven't seen yet whilst admiring the unique lifestyle enjoyed by Madrileños.

Perhaps you want to shop 'til you drop on popular streets like Calle de Serrano and Gran Via, or—if it's Sunday—El Rastro Market. You can also visit important, yet lesser-known museums like Reina Sofia, Sorolla, and Thyssen Bornemisza, row a boat and take a stroll in El Retiro Park, or simply people watch from a café in the Le Latina or Chamberi districts.

If you fancy having a guide, the following tours are available:

  • Artisan's Tour of Madrid: Visit local producers who are experts in their field.
  • Gourmet Tour of Madrid: Tickle your taste buds with a great insight into Madrid's dining and food scene.
  • Segway Tour of Madrid: This is a fun and easy tour for most ages covering a much greater distance than walking while learning about the city along the way.

Day 4: Train from Madrid to Córdoba - Guided Tour - Drive to Seville

Atocha Train Station
Atocha Train Station

This morning you'll meet your driver at your hotel to take you to Atocha Train Station in Madrid for a high-speed train to Córdoba —a journey of just under two hours. With comfortable seating and the option to get up and purchase refreshments from the cafeteria on board, 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 to meet up with a local guide where you'll discover the very best of Córdoba's old town. Your driver will also look after your luggage while you are on the tour so you won't have to worry about carrying it around with you!

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). In addition, The Alcázar of the Catholic Kings, where Christopher Columbus negotiated and gained approval for his voyage west in search of the Indies—as well as the winding side streets of the old Jewish Quarter—will also be a memorable part of your tour.

Your guide will then drop you at a recommended restaurant for a Cordoban lunch and more time to wander before your driver picks you up for the road transfer to Seville—a journey of about 1.5 hours.

Day 5: Private Bike Tour in Seville

See Seville on two wheels!
See Seville on two wheels!

After breakfast, you'll meet up with your private guide who will have bicycles prepared and ready to go for an active tour of Seville's numerous awe-inspiring 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 aforementioned sights making this 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: Free Day in Seville - Evening Flamenco & Tapas Tour

Explore Seville at your own pace
Explore Seville at your own pace

After breakfast, the day is yours to explore Seville however you see fit! There is plenty to see including the largest Gothic cathedral in the world, Christopher Columbus' tomb, and the magnificent Alcázar with its Mudéjar (Neo -Moorish) palaces and oasis-like gardens, as well as other gems in and around the beautiful historic center.

In the evening, your guide will pick you up and take you to a live flamenco show, while teaching you some history about the masterful dance and music you are about to see and hear. After the show, you'll be able to carry on chatting about the performance with your guide—and about life in Andalusia—over some great local tapas served at some of Seville's lesser-known spots (tapas and drinks included).

Day 7: Transfer from Seville to Ronda, via the White Villages

Breakfast in Seville before hitting the road
Breakfast in Seville before hitting the road

After breakfast in Seville, prepare for breathtaking scenery as you explore some of Andalusia's most enchanting places with a private guide. Take in the views as you drive through olive groves, rolling meadows, cork forests, and mountainous terrain while visiting several of the region's famous 'white villages', perched on hillsides with their iconic whitewashed houses visible for miles around. 

Your first stop will be Zahara de la Sierra where you'll visit a nearby olive mill to learn about production and join a tasting before driving up and over to Grazalema. Here, you will sample the renowned payoyo cheese and explore the streets of Spain's most charming white village. 

After lunch, continue your road-trip journey as you head inland, up and over the mountains, to your hotel in Ronda, the largest of the white villages. Upon arrival, drop off your luggage and settle into your room before venturing out to explore this small city overlooking spectacular views atop El Tajo gorge.

Day 8: Explore Ronda

Ronda's stunning Tajo Gorge
Ronda's stunning Tajo Gorge

Today you'll have the entire day to explore Ronda and the surrounding area however you'd like! This is a great chance to get into nature with a hike through the stunning countryside around Ronda, either on your own (with a map and hiking notes) or with a guide so you can discuss all things related to the area and the finer details of the route. Either way, this is a great opportunity to experience and photograph scenery, flora, and fauna. For more adventurous travelers, there are a number of other activities available in the area such as rock climbing, canyoning, and kayaking.

After a morning of exercise in the fresh air, head to one of the smaller villages for a relaxed lunch in a local restaurant or tapas bar. You may want to stop by nearby Setenil de las Bodegas—much recommended as an afternoon visit to see the houses built into the overhanging rock face. Alternatively, dip your feet into the refreshing waters of Cueva del Gato and explore other local villages such as Montejaque before returning to Ronda for your final afternoon and evening at leisure.

Day 9: Day-Trip to a Bull Estate - Transfer to Granada

Learn about the Spanish tradition of bull fighting
Learn about the Spanish tradition of bull fighting

This morning, you'll depart Ronda by way of private transfer and make your way to Granada stopping at a famous Spanish bull farm along the way. This is a privileged way to learn about the bullfighting industry, its history and traditions, the importance of family names, and the trials and tribulations of this controversial custom.

Upon arrival, you'll be met by a guide who will show you around the farm and private bullring. You will travel by 4x4 with a chance to get close to fighting bulls in order to see their size and strength. Listen as your guide describes the life of a fighting bull from birth to a glorious death in the ring. This tour is the best way to understand the art of bullfighting without actually watching a bullfight. 

Following the excursion, which includes tapas and refreshments for lunch, you'll continue the drive to Granada where you'll check in and have the night to explore the city on your own.

Day 10: Private Tour of the Alhambra

The Alhambra Palace
The Alhambra Palace

This morning, you'll be picked up by a driver and delivered to the entrance of Alhambra, where you'll meet your private guide for a tour of this truly magnificent place. With as many myths and legends as there are arches and fountains, the Alhambra's fortress and palace complex—a UNESCO World Heritage Site—is enthralling, so expect your visit to fly by. 

After the visit, you'll have the rest of the day to relax and explore Granada's city center where you can wander through the labyrinth-like streets and lively city center stopping, perhaps stopping at the Granada Cathedral, Royal Church, Alcaicería (old silk market), and Madraza (medieval Koranic school).

Day 11: Private Tour of the Albaicín

Albaicín district
Albaicín district

Today, you'll have the morning free to explore Granada on your own. In the afternoon, your private guide will collect you from your hotel to take you on a relaxed and informal exploration of the Albaicín district, Granada's former Moorish quarter, which is now a UNESCO World Heritage site. Your guide will show you how this medieval Islamic city within a city has kept its identity into the modern age, explaining its social history and character in anecdotal style.

As you walk through Albaicín's twisting alleyways, you will come across stunning views of the city, the majestic Alhambra palaces, and the Sierra Nevada mountains (often snowcapped) that provide a stunning backdrop. You will pass by churches built on the sites of mosques, stroll underneath the walls of the scented gardens of 'Carmenes' and stop in squares to take in the slow rhythms of daily life in this most traditional and yet singular neighborhood. A stop for refreshments in a bar or café is included with the tour.

At the end of the excursion, your guide will say farewell and drop you at a special restaurant to enjoy a delicious Andalusian meal with more spectacular views.

Day 12: Transfer from Granada to Málaga - Evening Tapas Tour

Goodbye, Granada!
Goodbye, Granada!

Today, after a leisurely breakfast at your hotel in Granada, you'll check out and meet your driver in the lobby. From here, make your way to Málaga—a port city that has recently gone through a rejuvenation over the last few years. Though it is still trying to shake off its former reputation, Málaga is quickly becoming a hotbed of culture, style, modernity, and art!

Once you arrive, take time to settle into your accommodation before meeting your private guide for an evening tapas tour. During this fun excursion, you'll walk around the city visiting several tapas bars while learning all about Málaga's thriving dining scene.

Day 13: Private Tour of Málaga

Spend the day touring Malaga with a local guide
Spend the day touring Malaga with a local guide

This morning, you'll meet your expert guide and embark on a walking tour through the center of Málaga. The city is fast growing in popularity and offers a buzzing atmosphere and a wealth of things to see and do. Your guide will tell you all about Málaga's history, stopping by spots such as the Roman Theatre, the Cathedral of Málaga, and the Picasso Museum where you'll learn about his life and works. Your guide will bring the city to life and give you plenty of ideas on what to see and do in your free time as well.

For dinner, sample the local cuisine of fish and seasonal vegetables, along with olives, almonds, grapes, raisins, and delicious baked goods. Check out the waterfront or the Old Town along Calle Marques de Larios, which offers some excellent restaurant options.

Day 14: Depart Málaga

Goodbye, Malaga!
Goodbye, Malaga!

It's time to say farewell! Depending on the time of your flight or train reservation, squeeze in one more walk through the streets of Malaga, perhaps picking up some last-minute souvenirs. At the designated time you will be picked up at your hotel and transferred to the airport or rail station for your departure onwards. Safe travels!

Map

Map of Madrid & the Andalusia Region - 14 Days
Map of Madrid & the Andalusia Region - 14 Days