• Rick Steves' Best of Spain Tour, Day by Day

    From Gaudí and El Greco to tapas and flamenco, Rick Steves' Best of Spain tour captures the energetic diversity of this country, with rich helpings of Catalunya's Gaudí, Toledo's El Greco, masterpieces of Madrid's Prado, whitewashed Andalusian hill towns, and the Moorish and royal treasures of Granada and Sevilla. Here's a little day-by-day slideshow preview of our Best of Spain in 14 Days tour. Let's go!

  • 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) through our neighborhood. We'll finish by getting acquainted over a tapas-style dinner together.

  • 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. Afterward you'll be free to experience more of this magnificent city on your own, from the Picasso Museum to Gaudí's playful Park Güell.

  • Day 3: Masterpieces of Madrid

    All aboard! After breakfast we'll take one of Europe's speediest trains (the AVE) to Madrid. Upon arrival, we'll tour one of Europe's premier art museums — the masterpiece-packed Prado — where you'll see paintings by Velásquez, Goya, El Greco, and others. Later we'll stroll the lively streets of our neighborhood and enjoy dinner together.

  • Day 4: Madrid and the Royal Palace

    This morning we'll 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. Our walking tour will continue through Madrid's bustling Puerta del Sol to its elegant Plaza Mayor. 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.

  • 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. Then we'll return to Madrid in time for you to enjoy dinner on your own.

  • 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 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.

  • 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 Isabel, 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.

  • Street market, Granada, Spain

    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.

  • Day 9: Ronda

    Today's destination is the hill town of Ronda, home to Spain's oldest bullring and its most breathtaking gorge. This afternoon we'll visit the 5,000-seat bullring — you'll have free time 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).

  • 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 a bull farm and learn about Spain's most controversial pastime. Then we'll tour 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.

  • Day 11: Sherry and Horses

    It's a short hop to Jerez de la Frontera, where we'll tour an Andalusian horse farm. After learning all about these magnificent creatures and their connection to the local culture, we'll have some free time in a nearby town to explore and find lunch. This afternoon, we'll return to lovely Arcos to relax and sample the region's other specialty, sherry. Dinner is on your own this evening.

  • Flamenco dancer, Sevilla, Spain

    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), to 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.

  • Walking tour, Sevilla, Spain

    Day 13: Sevilla's Royal Alcázar

    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!

  • Sevilla, Spain

    Day 14: Tour Over After Breakfast

    Breakfast is provided, but there are no group activities today. 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 are, of course, subject to change. Learn more about our Best of Spain in 14 Days tour!