About your trip
Andalucia is like a breeding ground for cities teeming with ancient history and vibrant modern cultures. Thanks to the impressive high-speed rail network in Spain it’s super easy to visit all of them, as well as the capital itself, in little over a week. This trip starts with culture and cuisine in Madrid, before embarking on a spectacular train ride south, across the plains of Castilla la Mancha and past the Toledo Mountains to Cordoba. Visit the city’s unique mosque-cathedral and continue on to Seville, the Andalucian capital, home to epic works of architecture, flamenco bars and tapas delights aplenty. Next up is Granada and the famous Alhambra Palace, before we reach our final destination, the gorgeous coastal city of Malaga, for a spot of city strolling and fresh sea air.
- Take four scenic train rides through the sumptuous Spanish countryside
- Embark on a cultural and culinary exploration of Madrid
- Discover the ancient wonder of Cordoba’s mosque-cathedral
- Visit the striking Alhambra Palace complex, a Unesco World Heritage site
- Feast on tapas delights in Seville’s most authentic old neighbourhood
- Visit the Alcazar of Seville and the world’s largest gothic cathedral
- Bask in the coastal beauty and artistic flair of Malaga
The starting point of our Spanish epic is the capital itself, Madrid. Upon arrival in the city you can make your way to the first hotel of our trip. Check-in, drop off your bags and freshen up, before spending the afternoon exploring the surrounding area at your leisure. You’ll be introduced to the rest of the group, as well as our Local Insider – your guide for the trip – this evening as we head out for a three-course welcome dinner at a local restaurant.
After breakfast at the hotel we’ll start this morning with an introduction to the most iconic sights of the Spanish capital. Your guided tour of Madrid will take place mostly on foot, with a few bus rides in between, as we take in the Royal Palace, Cibeles Fountain and Las Ventas Bullring, as well as the Santiago Bernabeu, home of Real Madrid football club. All that sightseeing is hungry work, so we’ll follow it up with a lunchtime tapas tour of the city’s finest foodie establishments. We’ll stop off at three bars with a drink and a couple of classic Spanish dishes at each. The rest of the day is to be spent at your leisure, so you can tailor the remainder of your time in Madrid to your travel taste.
Today features our first foray onto the tracks of Spain’s high-speed train lines, as we hop on board a ride to Cordoba, one of Andalucia’s oldest and most historically significant cities. Its centre is Unesco-listed thanks to the diverse array of ancient architecture on display, from the Roman Bridge to the Moorish influence of the Alcázar gardens. This historical footprint is best displayed by the remarkable Mezquita-Cathedral. It was originally built as a mosque during Muslim rule, before later being adapted into a cathedral centuries later. The beauty of the Mezquita is that both architectural styles are very much on show. You’ll have a guided visit to this stunning building, plus a few hours to explore the rest of the city, before heading back to the station to hop on a train to Seville, where we’ll spend the night.
The capital of Andalucia is one of the most beautiful, vibrant cities in all of Europe. Architecturally it’s a blend of charming old and striking new, while culturally the city is as rich historically as it is thriving contemporarily. You’ll get to see all of this first hand on our morning tour of the city, featuring the Alcazar royal palace, the largest gothic cathedral in the world and the picturesque Santa Cruz neighborhood. Next up we’ll head across the Guadalquivir river to the Triana neighbourhood, the beating heart of authentic Seville, where magical little streets and colourful houses have produced countless bullfighters and flamenco dancers. It’s also the best place to sample Seville’s incredible tapas scene, so you’ll embark on a guided food tour, stopping off at multiple authentic Andalucian restaurants en route. The rest of the day is all yours – food-coma nap, anyone? – but you will have the chance to join an optional Flamenco show in the evening – there’s no place better to experience this fiery, passionate artistic dance in the flesh.
Another day, another marvellous Spanish city. This time we catch the train to Granada, a striking old Andalucian city at the foot of the Sierra Nevada Mountains. You’ll have most of the day to explore Seville further before catching an evening train to Granada, which will look beautiful on arrival at night, with the city lit up by a constellation of city lights.
Today is centred all around one of the most beloved sights in all of Spain, the Alhambra Palace, which towers over the city of Granada. It’s one of Europe’s most striking monuments of ancient Islamic architecture and a Unesco World Heritage site. After breakfast you’ll have a guided visit of this palace-fortress complex, its splendid courtyards, impressive towers and babbling fountains, as well as the perfectly groomed Generalife Gardens. You’ll have some more time to explore the city below before we catch the final train of our Spanish adventure. Destination: Malaga.
Malaga blends the quaint old charm of Andalucia’s inland cities with what so many travellers love about southern Spain – the abundance of sun-drenched beaches and a cool ocean breeze. It’s also a heavily pedestranised city, ideal for a gentle city stroll, which is how we’ll start the day on a guided tour of the city that gave us Picasso. You’ll see the Cathedral, the Roman Theatre and Plaza de la Merced as you wander down charming side streets and discover beautiful open squares. The afternoon will be free for you to explore at your pace. Head to the Picasso Museum or discover contemporary gems at the Centro Cultural Fundación Unicaja de Málaga. Ascend to the Alcazaba (Malaga’s answer to the Alhambra) or simply hit the beach and soak up the sunshine. We’ll reconvene this evening for a farewell dinner at a local restaurant.
Our rail odyssey through the cultural heartlands of central and southern Spain has reached its endpoint. The trip comes to a close after breakfast this morning but, if you’re not ready to head back to the airport just yet, you could always extend your stay and enjoy an extra few beach days on the Med. If your flight home is from Madrid, then the train back to the capital is only around three hours long.
- 7 nights accommodation
- Train tickets
- 7 breakfasts, 2 lunches, 2 dinners
- Local Insider
- Welcome meeting
- Guided Madrid city tour
- Guided tapas tour of Madrid
- Guided tour of Cordoba’s Great Mosque
- Guided city tour of Seville
- Guided tapas tour in Triana
- Visit to the Alhambra Palace and Generalife Gardens
- Malaga walking tour
What's Not Included
- Travel insurance
- Hotel transfers (unless otherwise stated in the Included Activities section above)
Radisson Red Madrid (or similar)
This slick city hotel is right in the heart of Madrid’s Golden Triangle of Art, placing you perfectly to explore the city’s rich cultural scene. The hotel itself is inspired by its artistic surroundings, making it a cool spot to kick back after a day of city breaking. Sip cocktails at the trendy Oso Rojo bar, fine dine in the impressive Eneko Basque restaurant or enjoy amazing views from the gorgeous rooftop terrace.
San Gil Hotel (or similar)
Staying central in Seville doesn’t mean having to give up on an outdoor pool, since the rooftop at San Gil offers a little spot for you to cool off from the Andalucian heat. This elegant hotel has plenty to offer, from its classic Sevillean coffee shop to the authentic Andalucian restaurant, which extends into the utterly magical courtyard garden.
Occidental Granada (or similar)
Modernity and elegance exudes throughout both the communal spaces and rooms of this Granada hotel. The light and airy gastrobar offers local tapas delicacies in laid-back surrounds, while you can even get a trim at The Hair Club, an onsite barber with a mission to keep Granada’s visitors looking fresh.
Soho Boutique Bahia (or similar)
All that sun, beach and city strolling can be tiring work, so this urban hotel is all about keeping you refreshed and reinvigorated during your stay in Malaga. The rooms are light and pleasantly minimalistic, while the stunning rooftop Topic terrace bar is an incredible spot for a laid-back cocktail with a view, without having to stray away from the comfy confines of your home away from home.
Your safety and wellbeing are our top priority, so we’ve put the following measures in place on all our TRIPS:
- Please check the entry requirements for the destination you are travelling to. Our travel experts can assist you in finding this information.
- We recommend you confirm all guidance on official government sites and check that you are able to travel with your travel insurance issuer. Your travel insurance may be invalidated if you travel against government advice. Our travel experts can assist you in finding this information.
- You must be aged 25 years or over to join this trip.
- Please be sure to check whether or not you need a visa to enter the country you're travelling to. Please refer to our Booking Terms & Conditions for further information.
- If you have any pre-existing medical conditions or accessibility requirements, please notify our Customer Support team as soon as possible.
- We won't charge you extra if you travel alone – you'll be allocated a twin room with another traveller of the same gender.
- To upgrade to a private room, share a room with a friend, or book pre- and post-trip accommodation and/or airport transfers, please contact our Customer Support team.
- Please be aware that travel insurance is compulsory for all travellers.
- Please be aware that the itinerary, activities and hotels are subject to change. While unlikely, these changes can happen due to circumstances beyond our control. We will always do our best to ensure minimal impact on your experience.
- Please be aware images on this page are for illustrative purposes and may not reflect your itinerary exactly.
If you cancel 56 days or more before your scheduled departure date, you will receive a 100% refund. Otherwise, the total cost of your trip is: 100% payable if you cancel 29 days or less before your departure date. 50% payable if you cancel between 30 - 55 days before your departure date. Please note you can only book this trip in advance up to 14 days before the departure date. After this time the trip may be booked on request.
Terms & Conditions
Please refer to our Booking Terms & Conditions.