- Experience the culture & cuisine of Madrid
- Hike and horseback ride through the spectacular Canarian countryside
- Climb Mount Teide and stargaze from its peak
- Spot whales, dolphins & sea turtles
- Explore primeval rainforests in Garajonay National Park
|Day 1||Arrive in Madrid||Madrid|
|Day 2||Culture & Cuisine in Madrid||Madrid|
|Day 3||Flight from Madrid to Tenerife||La Laguna|
|Day 4||Anaga National Park||La Laguna|
|Day 5||Buenavista del Norte, Masca & Santiago del Teide||Santiago del Teide|
|Day 6||Santiago del Teide & Los Gigantes||Santiago del Teide|
|Day 7||Mount Teide||Santiago del Teide|
|Day 8||Stargaze on Mount Teide||Santiago del Teide|
|Day 9||La Gomera||Playa de Santiago|
|Day 10||Sail La Gomera's Coast||Playa de Santiago|
|Day 11||Garajonay National Park||Playa de Santiago|
|Day 12||Depart for Madrid||Madrid|
|Day 13||Depart Spain from Madrid|
Day 1: Arrive in Madrid
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: Culture & Cuisine in Madrid
Venture beyond the major landmarks and explore a different side to Madrid. Start by soaking up the multicultural atmosphere of its colorful small neighborhoods, with a wander around the narrow alleys, tapas bars, and taverns of Malasaña, Chueca, and La Latina.
After lunch, visit the grand and peaceful Buen Retiro Park for a scenic stroll, then head to the Matadero to experience one of Europe’s most exciting art venues. Housed in a former slaughterhouse on the banks of the Manzanares River, the vast space is now home to a contemporary art center with a reputation for creativity and innovation.
In the evening, dig into Madrid's culinary culture on a food tour. A local expert will lead you on a two-hour walking excursion to some of the city’s best tapas bars. Start with a visit to the historic sights of Barrio Las Letras, once home to Spanish legends like Cervantes and Quevedo, before ducking into Calle Huertas to sample the many traditional tapas hotspots that line the street.
Day 3: 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 4: Anaga National Park
Today is devoted to exploring the magnificent landscapes of Anaga National Park, a designated UNESCO Biosphere Reserve. Embark on a rugged full-day hike to experience a wild paradise of prehistoric forests, hidden mountain villages, dramatic clifftops, and black sand beaches.
Set off from the panoramic lookout of Mirador de Cabezo del Tejo, which offers magnificent views of the Cordillera de Anaga from Los Roques to Punta del Hidalgo. You’ll then cross through a rare, primeval laurel forest to discover the beautifully situated hamlet of Chamorga. Continue towards El Draguillo before finally reaching Roque Bermejo, where a lighthouse stands at the island’s remote northeastern tip.
Day 5: Buenavista del Norte, Masca & Santiago del Teide
Today you’ll head west with a drive along the island’s northern coast. Pass stunning coastline dotted with picturesque coves, stopping at the charming village of Buenavista del Norte and winding through steep gorges and cliffs to reach the pretty hamlet of Masca. Your day ends in the seaside town of Santiago del Teide, a gateway to the 18,000-acre Teno Rural Park.
Day 6: Santiago del Teide & Los Gigantes
Stroll down to the marina this morning and step aboard a local tour boat to see the breathtaking cliffs of Los Gigantes from their best angle. Plunging over 2,000 feet (600 m) into the turquoise waters of the Atlantic, "the Giants" are at their most breathtaking when approached by sea. Return to port for lunch at one of the local cafes, ending your meal with a traditional Canarian coffee, nicknamed “barquito” in Santiago del Teide. The mixture of orange peel, coffee liqueur, and condensed milk is a delectable local specialty.
After a leisurely meal, saddle up for a tour of Santiago del Teide by horseback. Discover the area’s natural landscape and native flora and fauna on a two-hour ride into the surrounding countryside of Canarian pine forests and almond groves.
Day 7: Mount Teide
A full-day of adventure lies ahead, starting with a thrilling ascent to the top of Spain’s highest peak. Follow a knowledgeable English-speaking guide on a custom climb up the rugged Mount Teide, culminating in magnificent views from the 12,198 foot (3,718 m) summit. For a gentler hike, walk to the base station for lunch, then jump on the cable car for a spectacular ride to the top.
Looking out across the sweeping expanses of Teide National Park, you’ll understand why the 47,000-acre preserve was declared a UNESCO World Heritage Site. As the sun sets over the otherworldly volcanic landscape, you’ll head back to Santiago del Teide for the evening for a well-earned rest.
Day 8: Stargaze on Mount Teide
This evening you'll venture back up Mount Teide to experience one of the clearest night skies on the planet. With its high peaks, isolated Atlantic location, and minimal light pollution, Tenerife offers visitors the chance to see brilliant constellations, swirling galaxies, and dazzling meteor showers. Spain's highest mountain is also home to the world's largest solar observatory, which amateur astronomers can visit and tour.
Take a romantic twilight cable car ride up to the 11,663 foot (3,555 m) viewing point on Tiede, where you'll watch the sunset over the mountains as you enjoy a dinner of traditional Canarian cuisine and cocktails. As the sky darkens, your stargazing guide will help you discover constellations and distant planets with the help of high-powered telescopes and equipment.
Day 9: La Gomera
Today you’ll bid Tenerife "hasta luego" 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 to dense, ancient forests.
Catch a ferry from the southwest Tenerife port of Los Cristianos to arrive in the island's capital of 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 get some rest—tomorrow, you'll set out to explore “La Isla Magica” in depth.
Day 10: Sail La Gomera's Coast
See La Gomera from a different vantage point with a guided yacht trip to the north coast. Step on board at Playa de Santiago and spend the day searching for the area’s diverse sea life—in good weather, you’ll spot whales, dolphins, sea turtles, and plentiful seabirds. Enjoy a locally prepared lunch of Canarian specialties onboard, and choose an inviting cove or bay for a swim stop along the way.
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.
Day 11: Garajonay National Park
Venture inland today, into the fairytale forests of Garajonay National Park. The warm mists and fertile volcanic soils 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. This vast vocabulary of whistles originated with La Gomera’s aboriginal Guanches people and is still used today to communicate across the island’s deep ravines and narrow valleys.
Day 12: Depart for Madrid
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. Take some time to settle into your accommodation before heading out to explore this diverse marvel of a city. 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.
Day 13: Depart Spain from Madrid
Today you'll bid Spain "adios" and transfer to the airport for your flight home.