Day 1: Australia –– Madrid
Say adios to Australia as you depart on a flight to Madrid and begin this incredible highlights tour.
Day 2: Madrid
Arrive in Madrid and make your way to the hotel. Become acquainted with the city by getting out to explore, or simply choose to relax in the hotel.
Your hotel: Dormirdcine (or similar)
DormirDcine is located in the Salamanca District, just steps from the Avenida de América, the Paseo de la Castellana, the best shops of Calle Serrano and the Golden Mile, the Financial District, the best restaurants and tourist attractions and perfectly connected with downtown, the airport and the train and subway stations. Rooms are uniquely decorated by international artists and offer all the facilities required by the modern guest.
Day 3: Madrid – – Granada (B)
There is a guided tour of Madrid following breakfast. This tour gives travellers a glimpse of the medieval, Bourbon and contemporary side of the city. One of the most striking sights along the way is the Arabic fortress at the Barrio de la Moreira. Other landmarks include Calle Mayor, Plaza Mayor, the Royal Palace, Fountain of Neptune and the Puerta de Alcala. Head to the station in the afternoon to board a train to Granada, relaxing on this scenic journey. Travellers make their own way to the Granada hotel and then have the rest of the day at their leisure.
Your hotel: Occidental (or similar)
This charming property is strategically located just a 10-minute walk from the historical centre and next to Granada’s new metro, which makes it perfect for visiting the city. Granada’s Conference and Exhibition Centre and Science Park, one of Andalusia’s prime cultural attractions, are just a few steps away.
Day 4: Granada – – Seville (B)
Explore Granada using a Hop-On Hop-Off day pass. This route includes a stop at the Alhambra, one of Granada’s most recognisable sights. The tour also encompasses Basilica de San Juan de Dios, the Generalife Gardens, and San Jeronimo Monastery. An afternoon train takes travellers to Seville.
Your hotel: Plaza Santa Lucia (or similar)
Set in Seville’s Old Town, this unpretentious hotel in a modern brick building is a 14-minute walk from the Metrapol Parasol structure, 1.5 km from Sevilla-Santa Justa train station and 3 km from Alcázar of Seville.
Day 5: Seville (B)
The day starts with a guided tour of Seville. Along the way, travellers will be taken past the city’s most emblematic monuments: the University, San Telmo Palace, the Gold Tower, Bridge of Isabel II, Plaza de España and the Jewish quarter. There is also a river cruise trip along the Guadalquivir and an opportunity to catch a glimpse of the famous Isla de La Cartuja and its monastery – the once home of Christopher Columbus. Strap on your dancing shoes for this evening’s activity: a Flamenco performance!
Day 6: Seville – – Cordoba (B)
This afternoon, travellers make their way to the station for a short train journey to Cordoba. Upon arrival in Cordoba, head to the hotel to check in and drop off luggage. A guided tour of the city on-board a Hop-On Hop-Off bus service then awaits. Admire the Puente Romano bridge, the Bath of the Caliphates and other Arabic-influenced sights as you drive around the city.
Your hotel: Soho Capuchinos (or similar)
The exquisite decor in the Soho Boutique Capuchinos Hotel & Spa rooms is combined with carefully selected services and facilities such as free Wi-Fi and a terrace bar with stunning views of Cordoba.
Day 7: Cordoba – – Valencia (B)
A morning train journey takes travellers to Valencia, a beautiful resort beach town. After checking in at your hotel, the rest of the day is at your leisure..
Your hotel: NH Valencia Center (or similar)
This hotel is located in the quiet Campanar-Tendetes area of Valencia, just a 15-minute walk from the historic centre, and even closer to a green park, movie theatre and the Valencia Institute of Modern Art. Metro services and shopping centre facilities are just around the corner, making for a perfect spot to explore this gem of a city.
Day 8: Valencia – – Barcelona (B)
Further explore Valencia after breakfast, this time using the Hop-On Hop-Off bus service. These routes include stops at La Lonja de la Seda, Quart Towers, the central market, Serrano Towers and El Miguelete. Relax on the afternoon train trip as you venture towards Barcelona and then spend the remainder of the day discovering the Catalonian capital how you like.
Your hotel: Viladomat (or similar)
The Plaza de Cataluña and the famous Ramblas of Barcelona are just 10 minutes away on foot. The friendly staff are on hand to provide information on the city and the main places of interest. Sants train station is 500 metres from the hotel and beautifully connects to your journey.
Day 9: Barcelona (B)
A guided sightseeing tour of Barcelona departs after breakfast. Pass Paseo de Gracia and other Gaudi houses, the Olympic Village, the beach, and the fishermen’s quarter, Barceloneta. The tour concludes with Plaza de Colon and its monument to Columbus. A cable car ride on Montjuïc offers an excellent outlook over the city, and sports-lovers will also see various sites used for the 1992 Summer Olympics. Once travellers arrive back into the heart of Barcelona, join a guided walking tour of the old city. Appreciate the labyrinth of streets and alleys that make up the Gothic Quarter. The tour ends with a visit to City Hall.
Day 10: Barcelona – MSC Mediterranean Cruise (B,L,D)
Head to Barcelona’s port to board the 7 night deluxe MSC cruise.
Your cruise ship: MSC Seaview
Inspired by a pioneering beach condo concept, MSC Seaview will bring guests and the sea closer, with special design elements that make the most of the warmer weather. Guests will be able to spend time outdoors eating, drinking and relaxing in the Mediterranean sunshine with some of the best sea views in the world. Guests will also enjoy an increased number of balcony cabins, sea views and public areas, with every element carefully planned to make the most of the sea and the sunshine.
Day 11: Ajaccio (B,L,D)
The first port of call on the cruise is Ajaccio on Corsica.
Day 12: Genoa (B,L,D)
Explore the old town of Genoa and wander its warren of medieval alleyways, admiring impressive palazzi-turned-galleries and museums as you go. Be sure to seek out Cattedrale di San Lorenzo, Palazzo Ducale, and the Renaissance palaces that line Via Garibaldi. Art-lovers will be in awe of the art collections housed inside the palaces.
Day 13: La Spezia (B,L,D)
Today is for discovering La Spezia. Although it is a major naval and shipbuilding hub, La Spezia also features a fine art gallery, the Museo Amedeo Lia. The gallery houses a wide collection of medieval and Renaissance art, as well as bronzes, illuminated manuscripts and paintings.
Day 14: Civitavecchia (B,L,D)
Welcome to the port of Civitavecchia, one of the largest in Italy. The centre of the town is easily explored on foot and monuments to include on a self-guided walk of the area include Forte Michelangelo, the Rock, and the ancient walls of the old port. A spot in Piazza Vittorio Emanuele II offers an excellent vantage point for admiring the square’s Baroque cathedral.
Day 15: Cannes (B,L,D)
Famous for its film festival, opulent oceanfront hotels and coterie of glamorous yachts, locals and designer boutiques; Cannes is a quintessential destination on the French Riviera. Look out over Cannes’ bay from a point in the old town, also known as Le Suquet. Budding musicians can visit a former priory, built in the 11th century, which now houses an outstanding collection of musical instruments, sourced from around the world.
Day 16: Palma de Mallorca (B,L,D)
Palma is located on a quiet bay on the island of Mallorca, itself situated off the coast of mainland Spain. One of the island’s neighbours is party paradise Ibiza. Mallorca, however, lends itself to a more relaxed atmosphere. It is easy for travellers to navigate the city, and Cathedral de Mallorca is one of the main drawcards for visitors. The Cathedral backs onto a labyrinth of alley and lane ways.
Day 17: Barcelona – – Australia (B)
Bid goodbye to Spain as you disembark the cruise and head to Barcelona Airport to board your return flight to Australia.
Day 18: Australia
Arrive home today.