This 9-day itinerary combines world-class museums in Madrid, gorgeous beaches in Costa de la Luz, and elegant winding streets in Sevilla. With a variety of travel modes (including rental car) you'll get the chance to explore Andalusia's untouched coastline along Europe's southernmost tip at your own pace. You can also take advantage of private guided tours for the best local advice, including tapas bars and wine producers.

Highlights

  • See the El Prado, one of the world's premier art galleries
  • Relax and unwind with the locals on Conil's wide, sandy beaches
  • Sample fresh fish where the Atlantic meets the Mediterranean
  • Choose optional excursions like Sherry-tasting in nearby Jerez
  • Take a guided walking tour of Sevilla's historic center

Brief Itinerary

Day Highlights Overnight
Days 1-2 Arrive in Madrid - Explore the City Madrid
Day 3 Train to Sevilla - Drive to Conil de la Frontera Conil de la Frontera
Days 4-6 Explore Conil & Costa de la Luz Conil de la Frontera
Day 7 Drive to Sevilla - Return Rental Car Sevilla
Day 8 Guided Tour of Sevilla Sevilla
Day 9 Train to Madrid - Depart Spain  

Detailed Itinerary

Days 1-2: Arrive in Madrid - Explore the City

Welcome to Madrid!

Welcome to Spain! Once you arrive at the Madrid airport or train station, you'll catch a transfer to your hotel to settle in. The rest of the day (and tomorrow) is free time to explore at leisure.

You can start by experiencing the famous El Prado museum, one of the world's finest collections of European art. Visit the highlights of the collection, such as Velazquez’s "Las Meninas," El Greco’s "Fable," and Goya’s "The Countess of Chinchón." 

There are plenty of barrios (districts) to check out, as well. You can 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 want to see more art, the Reina Sofia, Sorolla, and Thyssen Bornemisza museums await. Another more outdoorsy option is to paddle a rowboat or stroll through El Retiro park—or simply watch the city go by from a café in the Chamberi district. If you prefer a guided tour, you can find several options by foot, bicycle, or even electric scooter. 

At night, make sure to check out the late-night tapas scene since Madrid is known for as being one of the culinary capitals of Europe. The picturesque barrio of La Latina in the center of Madrid is home to a tremendous variety of tapas bars, most of them dotted along its liveliest streets: Cava Baja and Cava Alta. Madrid is also known for its nightlife with more bars than any other city on earth, including upscale cocktail lounges and nightclubs that spin tunes until dawn.

Day 3: Train to Seville - Drive to Conil de la Frontera

Beach at Conil de la Frontera

This morning, after breakfast, it's time to transfer to Sevilla by either flight or high-speed train. Upon arrival, you'll collect your rental car and grab some lunch in town before heading south towards the Costa de la Luz (coast of light) and the seaside town of Conil de la Frontera. This is where you will spend the next few days relaxing and exploring the beaches and villages in the area.

The drive takes just under two hours as you wind past ancient cities like Cadiz and Jerez de la Frontera (you'll have more time to visit them in coming days). Once you arrive at your hotel in Conil, take the rest of the afternoon to hit the beach and go for a swim, or explore the town's historic squares, charming shops and laid-back way of life.

Days 4-6: Explore Conil & Costa de la Luz

Atlanterra Beach near Conil

The Costa de la Luz runs from the ancient city of Cadiz all the way down to the closest point in Europe to the African continent. This is also the meeting point of the Atlantic Ocean and the Mediterranean Sea.

Over the next few days, you'll have plenty of time to explore the seaside towns, villages, and beautiful beaches that stretch up and down this coastline. Don't miss the family-friendly towns of Tarifa and Zahara de los Atunes, or the stunning beaches of Bolonia, Caños de Meca, or El Palmar, among many others.

While out and about, you can stop for a seafood lunch in a beachside bar or local restaurant and take in the views over the Atlantic Ocean and the Strait of Gibraltar. You can even see across to Africa on a clear day. 

You can also take a guided tour of the nearby city of Cadiz, surrounded by water on the Iberian peninsula. Cadiz is said to be the oldest city in Western Europe, and it has been invaded and inhabited by an enormous number of western civilizations. There are more than 100 watchtowers, including the iconic Torre Tavira, which was traditionally used for spotting ships, as well as the domed, 18th-century Cadiz Cathedral, featuring baroque and neoclassical elements. 

Another option is to take a tour of Jerez, the home of Sherry wine and the Royal School of Equestrian Art. Sherry is a fortified wine made from white grapes, which are grown outside of Jerez de la Frontera. After fermentation is complete, the wines are fortified with an additional spirit (also made of grapes) in order to increase their final alcohol content.

In addition, there are also a number of guided activities and water sports that can be arranged. 

Day 7: Drive to Sevilla - Return Rental Car

Hit the streets in Sevilla

This morning, set off from Conil de la Frontera and make the return two-hour trip to Sevilla where you can drop off your rental car. From here, you can take a taxi to your accommodation in the center of Sevilla.

Once you've settled in your hotel, step out into Sevilla's meandering streets. This beautiful city is known for its architecture and the historic center is easy for exploring. The Centro (central zone) is where you'll find the cathedral, the Alcázar, Calle Sierpes, and Plaza Nueva. You can also stroll down the elegant pedestrian shopping streets for ultimate people-watching opportunities.

Day 8: Guided Tour of Sevilla

Yellow architecture in the city's historic center

Today starts with a tour of Sevilla's most emblematic landmarks. Your private guide will collect you from your hotel to take you on a stroll to show you the numerous historical gems that make Sevilla special, such as the magnificent Alcázar with its Mudéjar (neo-Moorish) palaces and oasis-like gardens, the Catedral de Sevilla, also known as the largest gothic building in the world, and the neighbourhood of Santa Cruz, the old Jewish Quarter.
 
Your guide will be on hand to answer all your questions. At the end of the tour, you'll even drop into one of their favorite tapas bar where you can get more local recommendations. Following the tour, you'll have the rest of the afternoon to continue exploring Sevilla at your leisure.

Day 9: Train to Madrid - Depart Spain

Madrid's Atocha Station

It's time to say goodbye to Spain! This morning, you'll be transferred to Sevilla's Santa Justa train station to take the high-speed train to Madrid's Atocha train station in about 2.5 hours. With comfortable seating and refreshments on board, this is a great mode of transportation for longer distances in Spain. 

On arrival in Madrid, you'll be transferred to Madrid Barajas Airport to connect with your departure flight. Safe travels!