• Alcázar of Segovia
  • Tapas in Madrid
  • Toledo
  • La Mancha
  • Arcos de la Frontera
  • Bullring in Ronda
  • Sevilla
  • Sagrada Família
  • Puerta del Sol
  • Alhambra Palace

Tour Questions? Call 425-608-4217

Best of Spain in 14 Days Tour

From Gaudí and El Greco to tapas and flamenco, this tour captures the energetic diversity of Spain. Beginning in beautiful Barcelona and ending in sensual Sevilla, your Rick Steves guide will treat you to a sumptuous, two-week cultural buffet — with rich helpings of Catalunya's Gaudí, Toledo's El Greco, masterpieces of Madrid's Prado, and the Moorish and royal treasures of Granada and Sevilla. You'll also experience the delights of white-washed Andalusian hill towns, prancing horses, tasty tapas, and fine sherry. Join us for the Best of Spain in 14 Days!

What's Included

  • A small, friendly group of 24-28 people — half the size of most tour groups
  • Full-time services of a professional Rick Steves guide and local experts who will make the fascinating history, art and culture of Spain come alive for you
  • All tours and admissions — at no extra cost — covering at least 24 group sightseeing events • Barcelona walking tour • Sagrada Família tour • Segovia day trip • Segovia walking tour • Madrid bus tour • Royal Palace tour • Madrid walking tour • Prado Museum tour • Toledo walking tour • Santo Tomé Chapel (El Greco's The Burial of the Count of Orgaz) • Toledo Cathedral tour • Sinagoga del Tránsito tour • Consuegra windmill visit • Granada Royal Chapel • Alhambra Palace tour • Olive oil tasting • Ronda bullring • Sherry tasting • Andalusian horse farm visit • Sevilla walking tour • Sevilla Cathedral tour • Sevilla Alcázar tour • Sevilla carriage ride (weather permitting) • Cultural performance...and more
  • All group transportation from Barcelona to Sevilla
  • 13 nights accommodations in memorable, centrally-located hotels
  • All breakfasts and half your dinners
  • All tips for guides and driver
  • Free stuff including Rick Steves' Spain guidebook, Spanish phrase book, moneybelt and earplugs
  • Guaranteed tour price, locked in the moment you make your deposit
  • Optional single supplements — this tour has a limited number of private rooms for solo travelers for an additional fee
  • Tour alum discount of $50 for each tour you've taken prior to 2014
  • 50% discount on a consulting appointment with our in-house experts to assist with your pre- or post-tour travel plans
  • Flexibility should you need to transfer, or cancel/interrupt your tour
  • Fine print: You are responsible for the cost of your drinks and free-time sightseeing. See our Tour Conditions Agreement for important details regarding everything listed above

Itinerary

Daily Activity Key
  • Light = 2-4 miles of mostly level walking throughout the day.
  • Moderate = 2-6 miles walking throughout the day with some hills and stairs.
  • Strenuous = 2-8 miles walking throughout the day with lots of hills, stairs and uneven terrain.

Day 1: Welcome to Spain

We'll gather at our Barcelona hotel around 5 p.m. for a "Welcome to Spain" get-together. Then we'll head out for an orientation paseo (stroll), including a look at the swirling, Modernista architecture of Antoni Gaudí along the "Block of Discord." We'll finish by getting acquainted over a tapas-style dinner together. Sleep in Barcelona (2 nights). No bus. Walking: light.

Day 2: Lively, Artistic Barcelona

This morning, we'll explore Barcelona's maze-like Gothic Quarter, from its Roman foundations to the spires of its candle-, relic- (and geese-!) strewn cathedral. Then we'll hop the subway to Gaudí's towering, dizzying Sagrada Família church. Afterwards you'll be free to experience more of this magnificent city on your own, from the Picasso Museum to Gaudí's playful Parc Güell. No bus. Walking: moderate.

Day 3: Madrid and the Royal Palace

All aboard! After breakfast we'll take one of Europe's speediest trains (the AVE) to Madrid. Upon arrival, we'll enjoy a panoramic bus tour of this energetic city's major monuments and classy boulevards then meet our local guide for a tour through the sumptuously-decorated Royal Palace. With 2,000 rooms, acres of luxurious tapestries, and a king's ransom of chandeliers, this is truly one of the great palaces of Europe. Later we'll stroll the lively streets of our neighborhood and enjoy dinner together. Sleep in Madrid (3 nights). Train: 3 hrs. Bus: 2 hrs. Walking: moderate.

Day 4: Masterpieces of Madrid

This morning we'll take a walking tour from Madrid's bustling Puerta del Sol to its elegant Plaza Mayor. We'll also tour one of Europe's premier art museums — the masterpiece-packed Prado — where you'll see paintings by Velásquez, Goya, El Greco and others. Your afternoon and evening are free to visit the Reina Sofía, stroll through the majestic Retiro Gardens (Madrid's most popular park), and maybe even catch a performance of zarzuela, Spain's delightfully light opera. No bus. Walking: strenuous.

Day 5: Day Trip to Segovia

We'll venture out of the city by bus, up to the history-rich town of Segovia and its beautifully-preserved Roman aqueduct. After a walking tour of the aqueduct and town, you'll have free time to wander and visit Segovia's medieval Alcázar fortress. We'll regroup this afternoon for lunch to savor a Segovian specialty together — roast suckling pig. We'll return to Madrid in time for you to enjoy dinner on your own. Bus: 3 hrs. Walking: moderate.

Day 6: Historic Toledo

It's a short bus ride to Spain's old capital city of Toledo (and back in time about 500 years). We'll take a morning walking tour that includes Toledo's magnificent cathedral, the medieval Sinagoga del Tránsito and El Greco's The Burial of the Count of Orgaz at the Santo Tomé Chapel. This afternoon and evening you'll have plenty of free time to enjoy the winding streets and varied sights (and some of Spain's best shopping). Sleep in Toledo (1 night). Bus: 1 hr. Walking: strenuous.

Day 7: La Mancha and Granada

Today we'll drive through windswept "Don Quixote country," stopping to sniff the saffron and admire a whitewashed windmill or two. Our destination is Granada, where we'll begin with a visit to the ornate tombs of world-changing Ferdinand and Isabella, who reigned over a new age of religious zeal at home and exploration of the "new" Americas. Then we'll head up the Albayzín hill for dinner together and enjoy a sunset view of tomorrow's treat — the Alhambra. Sleep in Granada (2 nights). Bus: 5 hrs. Walking: moderate.

Day 8: Moorish Treasures of Granada

We'll spend our morning learning about Spain's Islamic legacy as we tour the sprawling palace and garden complex of the Alhambra with a local expert. This last and greatest of Europe's Moorish palaces will awe you with its grace and artistry. This afternoon and evening you'll be free to linger longer at the Alhambra, and make your own discoveries along the colorful streets and alleyways of Granada's Old Town. No bus. Walking: moderate.

Day 9: Ronda

Today's destination is the hill town of Ronda, home to Spain's oldest bullring and its most breathtaking gorge. The afternoon and evening are yours to explore Ronda's Moorish and Mercadillo Quarters, linked together by the famous gravity-defying stone bridge (towering over the rubble of an earlier one that wasn't). Sleep in or near Ronda (1 night, groups may be split between two hotels). Bus: 3 hrs. Walking: light to strenuous (your choice).

Day 10: Spain's Pueblos Blancos

Today we'll wind our way between the olive groves and whitewashed villages of Spain's Pueblos Blancos. We'll head into the countryside to visit an olive oil mill, where we'll sample the products and learn about Spain's traditional methods of producing its extra-virgin export. Then we'll press on to the quintessential hill town — Arcos de la Frontera — where we'll share dinner together and sleep (2 nights). Bus: 2 hrs. Walking: moderate.

Day 11: Sherry and Horses

It's a short hop to Jerez de la Frontera where we'll learn the history of the town's specialty at a traditional sherry bodega (sampling the local product). Nearby we'll marvel at the prancing horses at an Andalusian horse farm, where we'll learn about these magnificent horses and their connection to the local culture. We'll return with time to enjoy a free afternoon and evening in lovely Arcos. Bus: 2 hrs. Walking: moderate.

Day 12: Sevilla's Barrio Santa Cruz

This morning we'll drive directly to Sevilla, Spain's most flamboyant and atmospheric city. We'll begin our visit with a guided tour that takes us to the famous Macarena (Weeping Virgin), through the narrow whitewashed lanes of the Barrio Santa Cruz, and ends with the world's largest Gothic cathedral. You'll have time to do more exploring on your own before we regroup tonight for a performance of sultry, swirling flamenco. Sleep in Sevilla (2 nights). Bus: 2 hrs. Walking: moderate.

Day 13: Sevilla's Royal Alcazar

We'll start today with a tour of the beautifully Moorish-style Alcázar palace, the Sevilla home of the Spanish Royal Family for the past 500 years. Afterward, you're free to walk in the footsteps of Carmen and Don Juan, linger in Sevilla's charming squares or stroll along the romantic Guadalquivir River. This evening we'll share travel memories and toast new friends at our final dinner together, capped off with a carriage ride through the streets of Sevilla. Salud! No bus. Walking: moderate.

Day 14: Tour Over After Breakfast

Sevilla's airport is a bus or taxi ride away with easy connections throughout Europe. Alternately there is an AVE train to Madrid to continue your Iberian adventures on your own. Hasta luego!

Itinerary specifics subject to change.

Activity Level

Our tours are physically active! It’s an essential part of the Rick Steves tour experience. On our Best of Spain in 14 Days tour — among other things — you'll need to happily...

  1. Carry/roll your luggage over uneven pavement (several blocks possible) and up stairways to reach your hotel; then up several flights of stairs to reach your room.
  2. Be on your feet, walking and standing for up to four hours, indoors and outdoors, in all weather conditions.
  3. Sleep with street noise and no (or weak) air conditioning.
  4. After orientation and transportation lessons, be able to navigate towns and cities on your own.
  5. In Arcos, walk 15 minutes up a steep street to the hotel (while bags are sent by minivan).
  6. Travel on a bus without a toilet (rest stops every two hours).

Reviews

James

Chino Hills, CA

Tour: 10/21/13

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

This was my 5th RS Tour and one of the best. Our guide, Helen , did an outstanding job of making our trip so wonderful. She was well prepared, very knowledgable, she had a number of suggestions for what was available to our free time. All the local guides were excellent with their presentations further affirming the advantage of taking a RS Tour. Our fellow tour members also helped make the whole experience very memorable, no grumps, everyone got along, which is always nice.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"Our stop in Granada and the Alhambra, the dinner over looking the Alhambra the night before and our tour of it the next day."

JoAnn

Laguna Beach, CA

Tour: 10/21/13

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

To evaluate Spain/14 Days as an OUTSTANDING experience, which it was, I need to reassess my former 3 trips as somewhere between good & adequate. I don't wish to downgrade them. Yes, Spain has more zing than England, Scotland & Ireland but it was the tour guide that made this trip sizzle. Helen exudes an overall feeling of loving her job as well as the country we were touring. She is extremely at ease, giving the impression (to me) that Spain was the country of her birth.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"There were so many "wow" moments, almost too many to single out a favorite. In general, traveling by bus allowed me to drink in the countryside that would not be so appreciated if traveling by car. While not maybe my favorite, but the first sight of a "Don Quixote" windmill followed by exploring the interior, was a definite "wow." Segovia's remarkable (WOW) ancient aqueduct more than captured my immagination. I couldn't help but compare its beauty and substance to our modern structures."

Lesley

Seattle, WA

Tour: 10/21/13

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

This was our first trip with a Rick Steve's tour. We enjoyed the small group, which allowed us to get to know each participant. We adored our trip leader, Helen. She was knowledgable, helpful, organized, and she enlightened us with great stories and history as we travelled the country. She has a heart of gold. We enjoyed the mix of city and small town stays. We got the vibrant city experience and we also got to watch the sunrise and sunset over beautiful agricultural fields.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"Wow moments happened with the incredible local guides each time we had one. They opened our eyes to aspects of history and culture that we would not have gotten on our own. That enriched the experience greatly. I got a year's worth of art history with the FABULOUS local guide we had at the Prado. Conception gave us a vivid picture of the brotherhoods, the Holy Week processions, and history of the Church and culture of Seville. The Andalusian horse farm tour was a highlight for me also."

Terry

Kirkland, WA

Tour: 10/21/13

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

An excellent introduction to Spain with an excellent tour guide and very compatible tour members. Thanks to Rick's "self-selection" process, nearly all tour members were up for the high level of activity of the tour, and I appreciated that there were no whiners, no slow-pokes. We had an excellent mix of culture, architecture, history, landscapes, food, and all of it was fun.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"Maybe it sounds hokey, especially knowing they were built (or rebuilt) not long ago to please the tourists, but I was quite wowed by the windmills of La Mancha!"

Constance

Ashland, OR

Tour: 10/21/13

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

It was an absolute joy to travel in this group. Our guide Helen Inman orchestrated a fine (and often hilarious) blend of fascinating sights, great local food, free time to pursue personal interests, and informal fun. Perfectly located hotels--the history and charm of Spain was on my doorstep each morning and something intriguing was always just around the corner.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"I woke up early one morning at our country inn and strolled under orange trees through terraced gardens on up the hill. From there I watched a pink and gold sunrise over the mountains, olive orchards and vineyards. I could have stayed there forever."

Richard

Toronto, ON

Tour: 10/07/13

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

A perfectly planned trip. It hit all the right notes in terms of education, experience and holiday. Our guide and all around manager, Jorge, was upbeat, positive and, I think, really concerned with our learning something about his country. The local guides were, once again, top notch. It is one of the things I value most about Rick Steve's tours; the quality of the local guides. The detail, history and anecdotes make every stop an entertaining and educational experience.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"One of our favourite moments was being brought to understand and respect the cultural traditions of Holy Week in Seville. Again, through the professionalism and talent of our local guide, Concepcion. There were also the wow moments of a couple of hotels at which we stayed. One in particular in Arcos de la Frontera. Beautiful views and amazing sangria. Can't go wrong!"

Candis

Toronto, ON

Tour: 10/07/13

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

I think the tour was planned very well with the stops in southern Spain like Ronda and the great hotel there (a great break from our tour) and Arcos de la Frontera. I have been on 2 other tours but the people on this one were definitely the best!!! Everyone was so great and we hung together so well and had fun. (Luck of the draw, I know.)

Favorite "WOW" moment

"The town of Arcos de la Frontera and the hotel (convent) in Arcos. It was definitely a "wow" moment with the view from our balcony."

Dawn

Evergreen, CO

Tour: 10/07/13

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

This tour was so packed with activities and sites to go to. There was hardly a dull moment. Overall just a jam-packed fun-filled tour. Wonderful tour companions and guides.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"There were plenty of 'wow" moments. The first one was the Sagrada Familia. So unique. Of course the Alhambra and the dinner the night before. The special roast suckling pig meal in Segovia was oh so good. The carriage ride was great, not exactly wow but so appreciated. Simple things like going to the market in Madrid for dinner of tapas and wine were so memorable."

Craig

North Vancouver, BC

Tour: 10/07/13

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

Spain (2013) was our third Rick Steves tour (Adriatic 2010, 21 Day Europe 2011) and delivered good value and experiences via Jorge Roman, our excellent guide, tour route, accommodations, food and places visited.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"There were many "wow" moments, but the Alhambra stole the prize."

Carole

Los Angeles, CA

Tour: 10/07/13

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

Spain was beautiful, much more than I expected. I just wanted to see the Sagrada Familia and the Alhambra. I was wowed.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"Seeing the Alhambra in the moonlight, lit up in the darkness."

Donald

Granite Bay, CA

Tour: 10/07/13

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

Fun. Busy. New experiences and a great group of co travelers made for a wonderful trip.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"So many, but I would pick the fabulous dinner at the restaurant with the view of the Alhambra."

Daniel

Walnut Creek, CA

Tour: 10/07/13

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

Making reservations was excellent and easy. Our Tour Guide; Jorge , was the best guide we have had in a long time. He is intelligent, knowledgeable, informative, being born and raised in Spain, lives in Madrid was a real plus. He made the entire group feel special, comfortable, and interested. He watched out out closely for everyone in the group. While traveling via bus or just walking to designated places, he gave a constant commentary of the area, history, sights of interest, food

Favorite "WOW" moment

"All was new to us therefore WOW"

David

Alexandria, VA

Tour: 10/07/13

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

Overall, I really enjoyed the tour. It hit most of the highlights of Spain that I wanted to see, and I was able to stop in Cordoba on my way back to Madrid after the tour for the big highlight that wasn't on the tour. I liked the mix of included tours and free time, and enjoyed my traveling companions.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"The Alhambra in Granada was amazing. The detail work throughout was impressive, with new surprises around every corner. A close second was the Sagrada Familia, especially the inside, with the amazing pillars and colors."

Patricia

Green Bay, WI

Tour: 10/07/13

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

The Country, docents and Jorge exceeded our expectations. We have traveled abroad a fair amount and this will be be among our best experiences. We will definitely consider another Rick Steves tour

Favorite "WOW" moment

"Most everything was a well balanced wow. The compatibility of a group of 25 was a bit of a wow!"

Charles

Buffalo Grove, IL

Tour: 10/07/13

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

I had a wonderful time throughout the two weeks. Toledo had a certain charm and character to it that were delightful and unexpected.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"The Flamenco dance was so awesome and so unique to Spain that it was the top tour moment for me. My expectations were extremely high, and it lived up to my hopes."

James

Venice, CA

Tour: 10/07/13

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

Excellent group, very good tour leader and some hotels and places we might never find on our own.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"Night time view of the Alhambra."

Valerie

Anacortes, WA

Tour: 09/30/13

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

We had the most wonderful travel experience. Our tour guide was perfect, the accommodations were spotless, fun and well located, the group well matched. The activities were a good mix of city and country, indoor and outdoor. I'm glad we walked as much as we did because we ate so much good food!

Favorite "WOW" moment

"I've been looking forward to seeing the Alhambra for years so that was an expected "wow" moment, but the surprise "wow" was the Alcazar in Sevilla. I had no idea how lovely that would be. My goodness.But the Roman aquaduct in Segovia was it{?}, the bull farm owned by the matador, the whole town of Ronda, the villa near Ronda---hard to pick the best WOW!"

Brian

Aptos, CA

Tour: 09/30/13

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

Our overall experience was very good. We had a great group and they all subscribed to the Rick Steves method of travel. I think our average age overall was around 60 but everyone was young at heart and fairly fit in order to do all the walking etc. Of course I suscribe to the thought that 60 is the new 40. The tour was just the right mix of tour and free time. I would have liked it to be a little longer and include Morocco, as it did when our daughter took the same tour a few years before.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"Our 2 favorites were: When we arrived very late in Barcelona, we checked in to our hotel at about midnight and the city was still very much alive. At about 1 am out in the street below our window a huge group of roller bladers came by. There were hundreds of all ages. It was a great family thing and made us aware that Europeans offer so much more for young kids and teens to do at night that are safe activities. Our other moment was the horse carriage ride with champagne to the beautiful square."

Jonathan

Beavercreek, OH

Tour: 09/30/13

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

The tour provided an excellet taste (literally and figuratively) of the country. The pace was good, and there was a good balance betwen visiting sights and being exposed to the culture and the people of Spain.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"So many moments linger in my mind. A few of my favorites: the Sagrada Familia, the impromtu group paella dinner, Javier's dining service on the train ride to Madrid, the aqueduct in Segovia, every moment in Toledo, the picnic at the windmills, staying atop the cliff in Arcos, the Hotel Amedeus, the carriage ride in Sevilla."

Dean

Albany, OR

Tour: 09/30/13

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

The pace of the tour was perfect with plenty of free time and never feeling rushed. Hotels were great and the locations were ideal. Centrally located within easy walking distance to all the desirable attractions. Our tour guide Javier and each of the local city guides added immeasurably to the experience. You can only get so much out of a guidebook. The food and wine were amazing and at times it felt like we were on a gourmet tour of Spain.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"Has to be the Sagrada Familia in Barcelona followed closely by the group dinner featuring roast suckling pig and the Alhambra."

Paula

Layton, UT

Tour: 09/30/13

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

The overall experience was great. Our guide was fun and yet firm, helpful but not intrusive. My fellow travelers were friendly and adventurous. I was a solo traveler but felt included in all activities. Several couples invited me to join them when we had free time. One of the other solo women invited me to join her exploring several of the cities and we had a great time. The hotels were all unique, beautiful and in central areas so I could find them (even after getting lost).

Favorite "WOW" moment

"My favorite moment was gazing at the Alhambra from our restaurant deck as the sun went down. The palace was bathed in golden light and looked like a magic kingdom in the distance. I just kept gazing all through our fabulous dinner. After dinner I stood alone and the beauty brought me to tears."

Greg

Seattle, WA

Tour: 09/30/13

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

The tour exceeded my expectations. Maybe that was because it was my first Rick Steves tour. Maybe it was our tour guide - he really kept surprising us as our adventure developed. Crescendo seems to be the appropriate term. Maybe it was the perspectives we heard across the great landscape of Spain covering economics, politics, people, and of course history. It was an intense 2-week crash course in Spanish history kneaded together with olives, manchego, jambon; expertly muddled with drink.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"Too many to sort, but for those of you who have never taken a carriage ride in Sevilla let me assure you, this should be on your bucket list."

Cheryl

Albany, OR

Tour: 09/30/13

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

Due to American Airlines travel problems, we arrived in Barcelona as our group was continuing its morning tour of day #2. Our guide, Javier, quickly transitioned us to events of the day. From then, until completion in Seville, we were well guided, being filled with local wine, food, taste treats, history, customs, and many "wow" moments. Comfortable lodging each night completed each day's experience.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"Naming one? Hmmm...difficult. We had a fabulous group dinner on an outside terrace, overlooking the Alhambra. By riding crowded city buses, we arrived at our dining site after meandering through the evening life of the people in the area. White clothed tables were the site of our many wine accompanied delicious dinner courses. Buying treats created at the convents by the nuns was a quaint, delicious custom. The boxed goodies were never disappointing."

Jorge

Mountain View, CA

Tour: 09/30/13

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

Another amazing experience. Federico, Amanda and NOW javier! Rick, you sure know how to pick your tour guides. The 14 day Spain tour was just amazing! Unexpected towns, foods, wines, stops galore. The way Javier handle it all behind the scenes was outstanding. He is truly an asset to the Spain team.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"Arcos de La Frontera and the Bull farm. The view from my room over looking Arco was splendid. I just wish I had bought that Cuabn cigar to enjoy it with some Harveys cream. The bull farm was an eye opener for me. How they train thier horses was just amazing."

Ron

Camano Island, WA

Tour: 09/30/13

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

Excellent cities selected. Hotels were comfortable and great locations. Our tour guide made our trip fantastic and his support guides were wonderful.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"The friendships we developed with other tour members, food, wine and scenery. Siting at dinner in Granada at the restaurant that was chosen and having the Alhambra in the background was breath taking... I think that I had a WOW monment each and every day."

James

Columbia, MD

Tour: 09/30/13

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

The trip was a smashing success thanks to the exceptional stewardship of Javier and the incredible professionalism of the various local guides. Javier is truly an asset to your organization. He went to extraordinary lengths to ensure that all of his travelers were well taken care of. He demonstrated enthusiasm, knowledge, and patience for the entire tour. My only suggestion is that the radios we used for most of the trip be included for the tour in Seville.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"That is a difficult question. There were so many "wow" moments. From the magnificent cathedrals, suckling pig dinner, the bull farm, the windmills, etc., etc., etc. However, I would have to rate the cathedral in Seville as the wowest. After all, it did take 250 years to build!"

Barbara

Columbia, MD

Tour: 09/30/13

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

We had a wonderful time and met many lovely people on the tour. Spain is full of surprises. I loved all of the guides but also like the free time to explore on our own. I particularly liked the location of all the hotels- such a nice variety. We were frequently lost on our own, but always found our way back with the landmarks given to us.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"It is hard to pick a favorite wow moment. Certainly the Macarana church in Seville and the cathedral in Toledo were beyond expectations. Also loved the flamenco dancing- much to my surprise. The countryside with all of th olive trees and the southwest landscape also beautiful."

Chuck

Fort Myers, FL

Tour: 09/23/13

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

This tour was like a necklace where each day another jewel was added; one day 1000 facets of a brilliant diamond; another layers of rich color as with a fire opal; then the glow, the luster of a prime pearl. The local guides were the filigree and the tour guide, Helen, the bezel and clasp that held all together. The trip was even better than expected including such compatible traveling companions.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"I shall have to make moments plural. Standing in the Segrada Familia gave one chills to see the vision and spirituality of one genius and the many workers who bring it to fruition. The Gaudi rooftop of the Casa Mila, the skin tones captured by the young Picasso are fresh in my mind. Simply sitting in a Madrid plaza, sipping wine, watching people, young and old at play after seeing the treasures of this incredible city. The lighted Alhambra by night from the superb restaurant with new friends"

Stephanie

Dumas, TX

Tour: 09/23/13

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

Spaniards were pleasant whether crowding together for a parade, strolling the paseo or sitting all around you for street-side dining. The weather was perfect in late September. We saw all the sites and more without difficulty. The tour group was larger than we expected at 28 and made up of older folks. They turned out to be very experienced travelers arriving punctually, hiking/walking with vigor and very congenial and pleasant travelers. Helen was tops!

Favorite "WOW" moment

"The Alhambra was magnificent. I was wowed by the grandness of it and the moorish architecture. I was also wowed by the Sagrada Familia. I can't say that I was prepared for the celebration in Madrid with the firing of live guns by the military or for the large crowds turning out in several cities for parades / processionals."

Tina

Chico, CA

Tour: 09/23/13

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

This tour is jammed pack with culture, food and wine. We enjoyed it thoroughly and would recommend it to anyone wanting to travel to Spain.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"Not really on the tour, but arriving to Barcelona three days early to find the city in the midst of its La Merse Festival was an incredible experience. As far as the tour is concerned I think the visit to the the Prado Museum and the visit to the gardens at the Alhambra were breathtaking. But the carriage ride on our last night in Sevilla will always stay in my memory as a fantastic way to end a wonderful trip with an incredible group of friends and "buddies"."

Deborah

Des Moines, IA

Tour: 09/23/13

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

This was an excellent tour, with a nice mix of larger cities and smaller towns. Our guide, Helen, did a great job and the tour group was very congenial. Everything ran smoothly.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"There were several great moments, but one of my favorites was dinner at the lovely restaurant across from the Alhambra. The view was breathtaking, and the food and service were excellent."

Rhonda

Salinas, CA

Tour: 09/23/13

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

We had a great time. I would highly recomend this tour.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"So many to limit it to just one. Dinner in Granada overlooking the illuminated Alhambra. The evening horse-drawn carriage city tour of Seville. The Sagrada Familia was a wow. Aqua duct in Segovia, and the windmills of La Mancha."

Sally

Gig Harbor, WA

Tour: 09/23/13

Overall rating: rating 3 of 5

Our guide, Helen, was outstanding and was able to made last minute changes to our schedule to work around traffic parades and processions that blocked our path. Having been on several Rick Steves tours we did notice an increase number of people on our tour. There was also a little too much free time. Our bus driver was remarkable navigating through large cities and tiny villages. On the whole we enjoyed our trip and the people we were with and loved the areas in Spain that we covered.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"The fantastic view of the Alhambra from our restaurant where we had dinner. As it was evening it was beautifully lit we enjoyed the view accompanied by the fantastic food."

Julius

Bellevue, WA

Tour: 09/23/13

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

My overall tour experience was outstanding. The itinerary was excellent and provided a nice representation of places from Barcelona to Sevilla and a variety of locations from large city to rural (villa outside of Ronda). We had and outstanding tour group - definitely no grumps - which always adds to the enjoyment of a tour. We got a good sampling of different cultures, as well as food, and gained an understanding of Spain's history.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"Certainly La Sagrada Familia, Alhambra, dinner overlooking Alhambra, the villa outside of Ronda and a morning walk there, Alcazar in Sevilla, witnessng a Mary-float procession, including drum/trumpet accompaniment, outside the cathedral in Sevilla, and Sevilla itself. And a carriage ride at night after our farewell dinner in Sevilla."

Kenneth

Chico, CA

Tour: 09/23/13

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

Overall the trip was great

Favorite "WOW" moment

"The mesquita in Cordova"

Robert

Mission Viejo, CA

Tour: 09/23/13

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

You hit all the good points, very comprehensive. Good food, good experiences, excellent guide.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"We arrived in Granada in the rain and there was a procession blocking our way. Helen, wonderful guide found a way around and to the hotel. We all laughed and enjoyed the fun of something different. But of course the suckling pig dinner was a wow."

Judy

Fremont, CA

Tour: 09/16/13

Overall rating: rating 3 of 5

Very good with Jorge's guidance, expertise and assistance. I appreciated Jorge's accessibility and his openness about Spain and its' challenges as a country. All tour guides were excellent and I felt that I came away with a far better understanding of the country and culture. I would have allocated time differently if on my own: more personal time (finishing earlier in the afternoon so we could do more on our own) especially in Madrid where we could have spent more time at the Prado and

Favorite "WOW" moment

"Granada is a blur to me as I had the stomach flu and missed the wonderful dinner and Alhambra. Noting that these were likely the highlights of our trip, LOVED the flamenco evening. I fondly recall the bridges in Ronda, the country inn and swimming pool (such a treat after so much touring and an indication that we needed more down time), the aqueduct in Segovia, and the views in Arco de la Frontera. The final night was perfect: champagne, carriage ride, and terrific dinner."

Janet

Yorba Linda, CA

Tour: 09/16/13

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

This is our second Rick Steves' tour and I now see how much Rick has done to show American's the highlights of Europe. Our trip was one beautiful city experience after another.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"Too many to mention all the wonderful experiences, but I think the sunset dinner with a beautiful view of the Alhambra was a special treat. Also the carriage rides around the city streets of Sevilla with Cava in hand. Beautiful memories! Most of all it was the great attitude of our wonderful guides and the great friends we made that makes the trip memorable."

Mark

Fort Wayne, IN

Tour: 09/16/13

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

Wonderful itinerary and pace. I thoroughly enjoyed the entire tour.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"The group dinner across from the Alhambra in the evening was special."

Sally

Irvine, CA

Tour: 09/16/13

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

Loved it all ... learned a lot, saw a lot, laughed a lot.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"I was very impressed with Madrid! It's very beautiful. And I loved the Generalife at the Alhambra."

Ann

Lake Forest Park, WA

Tour: 09/16/13

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

I loved everything about it--Jorge and Augus, the other people on the tour, the places we visited, and most of the guides. Great experiences, great tours, great people, great food and wine, great experiences. I will definitely recommend this tour to others (already have!).

Favorite "WOW" moment

"Just one? The architecture blew me away... I especially enjoyed touring the old olive oil factory, the Andalusian horse breeding facility and the sherry tasting. And the afternoon in the outskirts of Ronda, sitting by the pool and relaxing. What a treat! The most unusual meal was at Restaurante Jose Maria in Segovia. I never imagined feasting on a 15-day-old suckling pig sliced with a dinner plate. Delicious and unforgettable!! Oh, and Chocolateria San Gines in Madrid. I am still salivating!"

Tom

Fremont, CA

Tour: 09/16/13

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

I have two suggestions that would improve our tour. 1. Allow more time to explore the Prado and Centro de Arte Reina Sofia Museums. 2. Give the option to receive either a hardcopy of a digital copy of your Spain tour book.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"Clearly it was the restaurant in Granada that looked out onto the Alhambra. Great view and excellent food. Touring the Alhambra was another great moment."

David

Buderim,

Tour: 09/16/13

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

Our tour of Spain under the direction of Jorge and Tour Assistant, Agustin met all my expectations. Both Guides were extremely professional, courteous and good humoured. Accommodation ranged from excellent to adequate but was always well located. Food and refreshments provided was more than I had expected from the pre tour notes. My wife had problems with her "vegetarian" food options which in the majority of instances seemed to be substandard compared to the standard meals provided.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"The final evening horse drawn carriage ride around Seville culminating in an excellent dinner."

Judy

Bellingham, WA

Tour: 09/16/13

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

After planning for 7 years for this trip I'm so glad to say that it was far beyond my expectations. I'm an active senior in my early 70's & I'd assure others that it is not 'too late' to take a long-awaited dream trip. For me it was worth every day of a long wait!

Favorite "WOW" moment

"Dinner on the terrace in Granada on a beautiful night with a magnificent view of the Alhambra behind us and a perfect meal on the table before us. Unforgettable! 2nd favorite was the flamenco performance in Sevilla -¡Ole!"

Jennifer

Buderim,

Tour: 09/16/13

Overall rating: rating 3 of 5

Our overall experience was better than expected. Our guide,Jorge, is a very good "people person" and has a very keen sense of humour and fun. Jorge has obviously alot of touring experience and made our trip one we will treasure.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"My "wow" moment was the Gaudi experience. I have been wanting to see the " Sagrada Familia" for forty years! I'll have to wait, I hope not another forty years, to see it finished!"

James

Edmonds, WA

Tour: 09/16/13

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

This was our first Rick Steves tour, and it exceeded all our expectations. The guides were great, the local guides in each city added to our insights and understanding of the history and culture. Every day was a wonderful adventure, a balanced amount of group tour and individual time to explore at our own pace. Accommodations and meals met or exceeded all our expectations, with lots of surprises along the way.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"Standing at the base of the Roman aqueduct in Segovia, realizing that this amazing structure has been here for centuries, chiseled stone, no mortar, architecturally beautiful, and fully functional for all those years. History, engineering and progressive civilization all in one amazing site. Developing my own understanding of the history and culture of Spain through the centuries was the greatest outcome of my experience."

Joyce

Edmonds, WA

Tour: 09/16/13

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

The tour exceeded my expectations. This was my first Rick Steves Tour and I definitely will consider taking another. I liked the mix of tour time and free time. And I liked the level of physical activity/walking involved.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"Our last night in Spain was amazing. Our tour guides lined up horsedrawn carriages for our group, and gave each carriage a bottle of cava, and sent us off on a tour of Seville. Ahh......."

Mark

Ormond Beach, FL

Tour: 09/16/13

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

Loved the whole trip. Great combination of tour time with down time. Enjoyed using local transportation some with the convenience of our own oversized bus when appropriate. Guides were great! Group was great! Spain greatly exceeded my expectations even though I had been to isolated parts of the country in the past, getting the entire overview really helped me understand this diverse country with a rich history.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"Dinner overlooking the Alhambra in Granada... or the carriage ride in Seville... or the 'Sweets tour' from the guidebook in Barcelona... or the night view over Toledo from our hotel balcony... or attending The local St. Michael's festival in Arcos de la Frontera... etc... etc..."

Claudia

Keizer, OR

Tour: 09/16/13

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

Loved the location of the hotels and the knowledge and enthusiasm of all our guides.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"The dinner overlooking the Alhambra and the Alhambra the following day."

Bonnie

West Palm Beach, FL

Tour: 09/16/13

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

It was the most fun vacation I have ever had!

Favorite "WOW" moment

"Probably the view of the Alhambra at night. Maybe the view of Toledo. There were so many "wow" moments."

David

Ormond Beach, FL

Tour: 09/16/13

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

As I have come to expect from Rick Steves, this tour afforded me the chance to immerse myself in the local culture. I came away with a more in depth understanding of Spanish culture that the larger tours cannot provide. The guides Jorge and Agustin could not have been more friendly and helpful.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"A highlight for me was the delicious dinner served al fresco with the Alhambra illuminated as a backdrop."

Tia

Bozeman, MT

Tour: 09/14/13

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

The tour to Spain far exceeded my expectations! There seemed to be so many amazing sites to see at every destination. Starting in Barcelona was magical and moving on to Madrid, Segovia, etc. was hands down one of the most impactful and beautiful trips I have ever experienced. The mix of personalities in the group could not have been better and our guide ensured that we all had a good time. This was my first tour with Rick Steves and if they are all this wonderful, I may have to try another.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"We experienced so many different "wow" moments that it is difficult to pick just one. Visiting Segovia for the day was one of the moments that top the list. It is a beautiful, unusual, and charming place that everyone who goes to Spain should experience. The amazing aqueduct built by the Romans, the castle, the cobblestone streets, and of course the meal of suckling pig will not soon be forgotten!"

Todd

Seattle, WA

Tour: 09/14/13

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

It was a great time. I would highly recommend it. Too much alcohol.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"There were several. The interior of Sagrada Familia, Parque del Buen Retiro in Madrid, dinner in Granada, The cathedral in Toledo, the landscape of southern Spain, the Alhambra, Maria Luisa Park in Seville."

Victoria

San Diego, CA

Tour: 09/14/13

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

Javier deserves a raise! He's informed, educated, urbane, great humor and made the trip full of surprises and knowledge. Too MANY churches - cut 1/2. Hire a guide that is knowledgeable about Jews and the synagogue. That's my only complaint, as a Jew, I was very offended that the guide didn't know anything more than to say, well you can read the signs.... Definitely, add the bull farm = really cool and a deserved diversion from all the churches. More time (hotel overnight) in Ronda, less Arcos.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"Javier, si claro!"

Maureen

Wesley Chapel, FL

Tour: 09/14/13

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

Loved the guided tour. The local guides gave great information and local color to the trip. The days flew by. Felt very comfortable and safe. Loved the food and the wine. Have already recommended Rick Steves tours to others.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"There were so many, probably Sagrada Familia."

Romona

Pasco, WA

Tour: 09/14/13

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

Wonderful experience of Spanish culture, art, architecture, and food. The Flamenco dance is passionate. Goya's delicate brush strokes a masterpiece, as well as the Prado Museum. Gaudi's Palace, Sagrada Familia Church, Royal Palace, Roman Aqueduct, Alcazar Palace, Toledo Cathedral, LaMancha Windmills and especially the Alhambra provided a lengthy study of magnificent, ancient architecture. Seafood Paella, Rioja Wine, and multiple varieties of Jamon, cheese and olives were treats for the palate.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"Visiting Gaudi's Sagrada Familia Church in Barcelona absolutely takes your breathe away. Would love to go back in 2026 when the church is to be completed. It is such unusual architecture in which to feel the presence of GOD. Watching sunset on the Alhambra Palace while eating a superb dinner, visiting a bullfighting farm, and watching a horse perform at the National Andalusian Horse farm receive honorable mention."

Mary

Albuquerque, NM

Tour: 09/14/13

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

Senor Javier was a wonderful tour guide. He answered my questions and accommodated our requests. I did truly enjoy the tour. I feel I have really, really seen a great deal of Spain. I like the balance of free time and tour time. I would highly recommend this tour. I would have much more preferred NOT to have stayed 2 nights in Arcos de la Frontera and instead would recommend those 2 nights be split between 1 more night in Barcelona and the 1 more night in Rhonda.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"Having dinner at the restaurant across from and looking at the Alhambra."

Jason

San Francisco, CA

Tour: 09/14/13

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

This is THE way to see Spain! I previously had only the usual associations one has of flamenco, bull fights, tapas, but it was so much more! Spain is complex, no two cities alike; I am so glad I waited until my mid forties to encounter this part of the world. I truly appreciated all the nuances of food, people, culture, history, architecture, and the sunsets!!!

Favorite "WOW" moment

".... Granada.... .bus and walk up to the lookout point with locals and tourists alike, amidst art vendors, musicians.... then stroll to :)... dinner overlooking the Alhambra at sunset!!!!!.... .... then catching the 100 year anniversary of the Patron and Patrona of Granada, St. Cecilio and La Virgen de Angustisias... with my friend on the tour....procession with two floats each being carried by 48 men in tuxedos, young adults playing musical instruments, women of all ages walking alongside..."

Robert

Bozeman, MT

Tour: 09/14/13

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

The trip design was excellent and we truly had a back door experience and a wide variety of sights and visits. Spain is a very beautiful and interesting country with much to see and do. The people we met, the sights we saw, the food and wine, and the big cities and small villages were terrific and we savored the experiences each and every day. 3. Our guide was as good as they get. He was in charge, but flexible, met the trip description, but surprised us, and kept good track of us.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"The little village of Rondo was my favorite. It was a great place to stay as the hotel had a delightful character. The topography was interesting as the town was built on two sides of a gorge with an interconnecting bridge. The city plan and the architecture took you to another time in Spain's history and was marvelous for walking and photographing."

Julie

Mercer Island, WA

Tour: 09/14/13

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

Initially hesitant about an organized tour, the trip exceeded my expectations by far. The guide, Javier, was superb. He pieced together a beautiful puzzle of Spain, including history, politics, economy, culture (art, dance, sports), food. His choice of local guides was excellent. The surprise visit to the bull-raising farm was exceptional. Wonderful group of participants.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"My favorite was Sagrada Familia. I was wow'ed seeing the outside of the cathedral, and the inside just blew me away."

Timothy

High Point, NC

Tour: 09/14/13

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

Our first trip with Rick Steves' tours. A+ is the overall grade. We really enjoyed having things planned out including the lodging, most meals, travel within Spain and most sightseeing. But we also enjoyed having some freedom during our trip to be on our own. The activities were varied and quite enjoyable.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"Sagrada Familia interior Alhambra"

Kathryn

Iowa City, IA

Tour: 09/09/13

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

The tour was wonderful! I was delighted with our tour director, Amanda. I was surprised at the quality of our hotels (all air conditioned, all quite decent, some very very special). I thought our group dinners were amazingly wonderful and way better than we selected when we were dining on our own! I thought we had a wonderful variety of activities, a great balance of free time over planned activity, and it was quite superb overall.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"Impossible to have a favorite. The museums, cathedrals, countryside, high speed train, horse drawn carriage ride, vistas from some of the hotels, the full moon which we had the second week shining over gorgeous nighttime views..................especially the Alhambra!"

Bryan

Iowa City, IA

Tour: 09/09/13

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

This tour exceeded my expectations. Spain is a beautiful country and our tour allowed us to experence its beauty and charm. Everyday was filled with exciting places to see and events to enjoy. We were given excellent ordination to each city we visited which allowed us to explore and experenced more of each town on our own.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"The art collection in the sherry distillery was unexpected and a special treat. We appreciated Amanda including this in the tour. The wine tasting educational event, arranged with Amanda's friend Nigel, was entertaining and fun. These are the things that make "Rick Steves Tours" special."

Thomas

Oregon City, OR

Tour: 09/09/13

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

Our guide was wonderful--- ( Amanda)

Favorite "WOW" moment

"Gaudi's church in Barcelona"

Ginny

Iowa City, IA

Tour: 09/09/13

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

The tour was wonderful. Well planned, but I think we could have had less down time in Arcos. Not much to do there. Also we needed to have radio transmitters in Sevilla. The surrounding crowd noise was too much in congested spaces, and I missed some information. That was disappointing. It seems that you could have paid more attention to attractions in Barcelona. That city is so wonderful, and the tour should have been there a bit longer. Segovia was a highlight for me.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"Going out for dinner in Granada with the Alhambra in view. Very impressive. Also enjoyed the sherry bodega visit because the private art collection was outstanding. A real surprise to get to see it."

Dale

Gig Harbor, WA

Tour: 09/09/13

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

Enjoyed it very much especially the side trips to see the horses, olives and sherry places. These helped me to better understand the Spanish culture.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"I was able to stay two extra days in Madrid and was amazed on how easily I could make my own way around because on the previous tour days spent in investigation the city."

Thomas

Vancouver, WA

Tour: 09/09/13

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

Terrific trip, as usual a great tour guide, itinerary, hotels and food.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"A late-nioht walk on a moonlight night through the vineyards near our beautiful hotel outside Ronda with our guide and some of our tour mates. It was magical!"

Peter

Iowa City, IA

Tour: 09/09/13

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

Great tour - had a lot of time to explore cities on our own - Amanda and Rick's book on Spain helped immensely

Favorite "WOW" moment

"Spanish guitarist at Museo Musac in Barcelona"

William

Litchfield Park, AZ

Tour: 09/09/13

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

Excellent! Amanda could not have made us feel more welcome. She was always ahead of things AND let everyone have their own experience. I love the passion the local tour guides showed about their specialty area. I loved hearing their personal opinion. It gave me a better feel of the culture.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"Touring the Sagrada Família. It was a complete picture, with the grandure of the building and the museum about the engineering involved. Also the Basilica of Nuestra Señora de la Esperanza Macarena. I could feel the love when I stepped through the door."

Dick

Toronto, ON

Tour: 09/09/13

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

The tour exceeded my expectations in several ways: I've used Rick Steve's hotel recommendations in the past and never been disappointed. On the whole the accommodations on this trip were very very good The selection of activities and visitations was somehow just what I wanted to do and see The meals and dining were fun, intimate and entertaining. They were also a couple more included than advertised, including wine on several occasions.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"Several of them: The Sagrada Familia in Barcelona The Roman aqueduct in Segovia The wine tasting evening in Madrid Our dinner overlooking the Alhambra Our dinner at a Moorish restaurant in Granada Our hotel room in Arcos de la Frontera. Also one item that was not on the tour but we did on our own The exhibition in the Administrative Building in Seville about the Spanish exploration of the Pacific Ocean in the 1500s."

Kathryn A

Toronto, ON

Tour: 09/09/13

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

It was an amazing tour from start to finish. Our guide, Amanda, was wonderful, our 25 travelling companions formed a very friendly group and we saw so much in just 14 days. I liked the mix of organized activities and free time during which you could explore on our own.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"I think that would have to be when I entered the Sagrada Familia. The interior was so beautiful with the sun streaming in through the stained glass windows. A close second would have to be the view of the Alhambra in the moonlight from the terrace of Carmen Las Tomases."

Linda

Mesilla Park, NM

Tour: 09/09/13

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

This was a return trip to Spain, having lived in Madrid in the 70s. It was fascinating to see changes and learn about Spain today, and the country seemed both familiar and new at the same time. I loved every minute of it and wanted to stay longer.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"Only one? It's so hard to choose between the stunning view of the Alhambra during our evening group dinner, the magnificent aqueduct in Segovia, the first view from the terrace of our hotel room in Arcos, Velasquez paintings in the Prado, the whole city of Toledo, and a beautiful, untouristy flamenco show in Sevilla. I thought the tour was full of wows."

Bruce

Mesilla Park, NM

Tour: 09/09/13

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

My wife and I both speak Spanish, and she had lived three years in Spain in the 1970's. So this tour was ideal for us, Having just completed our Basque tour, we arrived one day early in Barcelona and were glad we did. What a magnificent waterfront! And the Picasso Museum was also a must. Toledo was an ideal city for walking. We loved the El Greco Museum. The bus ride down to Granada took us through some spectacular mountains -- rugged and vertical! Everything was superb!

Favorite "WOW" moment

"One of them was riding the bullet trains. Clean, on time, fast (180 miles per hour!), and whisper quiet. El Prado is one of the world's great museums; I spent the entire afternoon there after our regular tour. The Roman aqueduct in Segovia is amazing, despite the sign at its base ("The Home of the Whopper"), in English! We also greatly enjoyed the wine tasting in Madrid, and the sherry tasting (with its private art gallery) and the Andalusian horse farm in Jerez de la Frontera."

Lori

Port Ewen, NY

Tour: 06/24/13

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

This was my 6th RS Tour and it definitely gets top billing. Our guide's love of Spain overflowed to all of the tour members; the spirit of Spain's people, the food and wine, the history, all came alive because of his enthusiasm. The itinerary was pretty close to perfect, giving us a good mixture of group time and time to explore on our own. The group was an interesting and fun mixture of people of all ages and different backgrounds from all parts of US, as well as Canada.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"There are so many, but the first one that comes to mind was our first evening in Granada. We had an unforgettable 5 course dinner at a beautiful and private restaurant overlooking the Alhambra. The timing of the dinner was planned so we were able to enjoy the dinner from before sunset right through the evening. The photos I have are amazing, since I was able to capture the Alhambra in early evening light right through night when it was all lit up. A very elegant dinner and magical evening!"

William

Riverside, CA

Tour: 04/15/13

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

Sorry for the late response to the tour evaluation. This is our 4th Rick Steves Tour and it again was wonderful. Thanks to Helen for a great job as our guide.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"Two favorite wow moments. The La Sagrada Familia in Barcelona is fantastic. History in the making. The Alhambra palace in Granada is quite spectatular including dinner across from the Alhambra the evening before our tour of the palace."

Weather

Spain / Barcelona

Barcelona Weather


Spain / Madrid

Madrid Weather


Spain / Sevilla

Sevilla Weather

Pre-Tour

We've put together some specific information on what you should know about this tour before you go. You'll also find more general information about "Getting Ready for Your Tour" on our Tour FAQ.

Sightseeing On Your Own

If you arrive in Barcelona before your tour begins, use Rick Steves' Spain guidebook to get oriented. Ride the public transportation, try out a few words of Spanish and get over your jet lag with lots of fresh air and exercise.

Many of Barcelona's sights are closed on Mondays. See your guidebook for more details. Confirm all sightseeing plans with any tourist information office.

Here are suggestions for sightseeing in Barcelona that we do not do as a group: La Boquería Market (closed Sundays), Picasso Museum (free admission Sunday afternoons; closed Mondays), Casa Milà, Catalan Art Museum (closed Mondays), Fundació Joan Miró (closed Mondays), Parc Güell (closed Mondays).

If you are interested in attending zarzuela, the Spanish light opera in Madrid, you may want to check the schedule and buy tickets before leaving home. More information can be found in Rick Steves' Spain guidebook; schedules and booking information are at http://teatrodelazarzuela.mcu.es.

Transportation

Most tour members arrive a day or two before the tour begins — and those who don't, wish they had. This allows you ample time to get over jet lag and make the most of the first few days of the tour.

There is more than one way to get to and from your tour. We recommend talking to your travel agent about "open jaws" airline tickets (flying into and out of different cities). Barcelona and Sevilla both offer good transportation options, making additional travel before or after your tour quite easy.

The most direct option is to fly into Barcelona and home from Sevilla (which may require an overnight in Madrid or elsewhere within Europe). If you have extra time and flexibility, you might want to consider a round trip flight into and out of Madrid or Barcelona. This option will require either a train journey or low-cost flight from Sevilla and an additional overnight in the original city.

For information about flying within Europe, ask your travel agent or check Rick's list of European budget airlines

Read Rick's train travel and rail pass tips and decide if your travel plans merit a rail pass.

Prior to your tour departure, you will receive detailed directions on how to get from the airport to your first tour hotel, as well as contact information for your first and last hotels in case you wish to book pre- or post-tour hotel accommodations.

If you are continuing on after your tour (especially to Portugal), we strongly suggest you research and consider booking your transportation before leaving home as last minute bus and air fares can vary greatly in price. If you do not book your post tour hotels or transportation in advance, be sure to make time at the start of the tour to make all your post tour travel needs.

For specific details about traveling elsewhere in Spain, please see Rick Steves' Spain guidebook. If you need more information about additional European travel or for specific questions about your tour, contact the Tour Department at 425/608-4217 or email tour@ricksteves.com.

Trip Resources

Learn more about Spain Check out a collection of Rick's TV shows, radio interviews and articles, plus find a list of recommended books and movies.

Packing

For ideas on what to pack, check Rick's Packing List and our Women's Packing List.