From 850 euros p.p. sharing
Arrival in Madrid and make your way to your centrally located hotel and base for the next 3 nights. Madrid Hotel Ref: MAD 48 - click for details
Full day exploring Madrid.
The capital of Spain, it not only offers the culture and good times of a sophisticated, modern city but it also retains the charm and elegance of its early years. Among the splendid attractions of Madrid are the Prado Museum; home to masterworks of Goya, Velazquez and El Greco: the 19th century Villahermosa Palace now the Thyssen-Bornemizsa Museum; the Reina Sofia Art Centre showcasing more than 300 modern works by Dali, Miro & Picasso among others; the 18th century Royal Palace, situated on the lovely Plaza de Oriente; the bustling Puerta del Sol with its many shops, restaurants and tapas bars; Rastro Market on Sundays one of the oldest outdoor markets in Europe; and Retiro Park for strolling while admiring local artists and buskers.
Daytrip to the Monasterio de San Lorenzo de El Escorial.
This spectacular monastery-palace stands in the sierra de Guadarrama to the northwest of Madrid. It was built between 1563 and 1584, in honour of St. Lawrence (San Lorenzo). Its artistic wealth includes important works of the royal Habsburg collections and over 40,000 books in the library, which ceilings are decorated with frescoes by Tibaldi. Of special interest are the Royal Pantheon and the Museum of Art.
Later return to Madrid.
Today make your way to Cuenca.
Situated upon a hilltop, Cuenca has a very picturesque old town, and is one of the most unusual and dramatic fortress-cities in Spain. The Hanging Houses are its landmark, dating from the 14th century. Around the old Moorish section of the city grew the Gothic and Renaissance city. Once used as a summer residence for the Royal Family, one of the houses today holds the Abstract Art Museum, containing works by artists including Antoni Tapies and Eduardo Chillida.
Later continue to Toledo, your base for the next two nights.
Full day in Toledo.
This marvellous city is picturesquely sited upon a hill and behind the medieval walls surrounding the city lies much evidence of the city’s rich history. In the Middle Ages Christian, Muslim and Jewish cultures lived side by side here, and it was during the same period that the Cathedral, the city’s most outstanding monument was built.
The Mudejar Art style is well represented in Toledo and two of the best examples are the synagogues of Santa Maria La Blanca and El Transito. The latter, of the late 12th century, is of an exotic influence and mixture of arts. The former, of the 14th century, has one of the best coffered ceilings in Toledo. Other interesting places to visit are the Taller del Moro (Toor’s Workshop) and The Cristo de la Luz (Christ’s Light).
Toledo also houses many of the works of El Greco who came to live here in the 16th century.
Leave Toledo and continue to Avila.
Avila is the highest of the provincial capitals and is UNESCO Heritage of Mankind. It´s best views are from from Los Cuatro Postes from where one can see the remarkable medieval walls, the Alcazar gate, the Cathedral and the Basilica de San Vicente. Spectacularly illuminated at night, the city walls, built by Christian nobles in the 11th century, are punctuated by 90 crenelated towers and nice arched gateways. A square-towered cathedral, with brilliantly carved choir, lovely chapels and a museum full of fine paintings dominates the low skyline. The town´s most celebrated resident was Saint Teresa, and the first of the convents she founded is now a museum here, giving the city an aura of austere spirituality.
Today continue to Segovia.
A day in the remarkable city of Segovia. Here there are countless traces of the past to be seen in buildings and remains of the old city. Most remarkable of all its landmarks is the incredible Roman aqueduct that towers over the town. Although it dates from the 1st century AD, it was still in use until two centuries ago. The awe-inspiring Alcazar (which inspired Walt Disney) has presided over the city since the middle ages and the imposing 16th century gothic Cathedral is also quite spectacular. `Cochinio Asado´ (roast suckling pig) is just one of the many delicious local dishes one must try here..