DAY 1: USA – SPAIN- Today we board our flights with meals and beverages served aloft.
DAY 2: BARCELONA- We immediately start our pilgrimage by celebrating Mass. Later we visit the Basilica of the Sagrada Familia. Here we will tour this enormous basilica. After Lunch, we visit the Gothic Quarter and the ‘Spanish Village’ with reproductions of the most typical buildings in Spain. We then check-in at our hotel.
DAY 3: BARCELONA / MONTSERRAT- We begin our day with a trip to the spectacular mountain Montserrat sanctuary, Our Lady of Montserrat. We arrive in Montserrat and join in celebration of Mass and the “Liturgy of the Hours” at the Monastery with the monks of Montserrat. We continue on to a wonderful tour of the Monastery and grounds where we see the Statute of Our Lady of Montserrat or Black Madonna, probably Spain’s most fervent devotion to the Blessed Mother. We also observe the Way of the Cross and enjoy some of the most incredible scenery in Spain. We return to Barcelona and visit the famous Ramblas Boulevard. Las Ramblas Boulevard is one of the most upbeat, striking boulevards in all of Europe, with many cafes and shops.
DAY 4: BARCELONA – VALENCIA- Breakfast and early departure to Valencia. Afternoon city tour including entrance to the Chapel of the Holy Grail and celebrate Mass.
DAY 5: VALENCIA – GRANADA- This morning we depart for our 5 hour drive to Granada stopping for some sightseeing on the way. Dinner and overnight in Granada.
DAY 6: GRANADA- Today we see the sights of Granada and visit its main attraction, the Alhambra. The mighty yet graceful citadel was planned by the 13th-century Moorish ruler Al Ahamar. A fantasy of “lace in stone” surrounded by arabesque gardens and fountains, it affords superb views of the Old Quarter and Sacromonte, a mountain occupied by Gypsy cave dwellers. Also amble through the magnificent water gardens of the Generalife, the royal summer residence.
DAY 7: GRANADA – TORREMOLINOS- After breakfast we turn towards the sea, away from the mountains, to lively Torremolinos on the Costa del Sol.
DAY 8: TORREMOLINOS- Today is a day at leisure at our beachfront hotel. Catch up on postcards, enjoy the sandy beaches, browse through the trendy boutiques, and sample the many fancy restaurants. We may want to join an optional excursion to the Rock of Gibraltar, in British hands since 1704.
DAY 9: TORREMOLINOS – RONDA – JEREZ – SEVILLE- Today, we visit picturesque, historic Ronda, perched on a platform of the Sierra de Ronda and cut in two by a deep ravine. We then continue to Jerez, famous for its sherry wines and magnificent horses of mixed Spanish, Arab, and English blood. The highlight of the day is a visit to a Sherry Bodega. Then on to Seville, the vibrant capital of Andalusia.
DAY 10: SEVILLE- Listen to our guide’s account of the city’s role in Roman times, its conquest by the Moors in 712 A.D., and its contribution to the discovery of the New World. Admire Maria Luisa Park. Drive to the Plaza de España, the Gold Tower on the Guadalquivir River, and the fine baroque building, now a university, but used to be the tobacco factory of Carmen fame. Visit the Cathedral with Columbus’ tomb – the world’s largest gothic edifice. Finally, stroll through the narrow lanes of the charming Santa Cruz Quarter. The rest of the day is at leisure for shopping or other pursuits on our own. For a truly Andalusian night out, we can reserve a seat at an optional flamenco show.
DAY 11: CORDOBA – Morning sight-seeing in Cordoba. See the Alcazar, the Roman Bridge, and the medieval old Jewish quarter. Tour the magnificent 8th-century Mosque of the Caliphs, famous for its 850 pillars of porphyry, marble, and jasper. We then continue north from the fertile valley of the Guadalquivir River through the arid landscapes of Don Quixote’s La Mancha to Toledo.
DAY 12: TOLEDO – MADRID- This morning, we focus on splendid Toledo. Spectacularly situated on a granite hill surrounded by a loop of the Tagus River, this ancient Castilian capital attracts more sightseers from all over the world than any other Spanish town. Our guide takes us to the Moorish bridge, an early synagogue, the 13th-century gothic cathedral, and the Church of Santo Tomé with one of El Greco’s most famous paintings. Also time to visit a Damascene Steel Workshop. This evening we continue to Madrid.
DAY 13: MADRID- The capital since 1561, Madrid today is a strikingly modern city, the showcase of a country resolutely turned towards the future. Your local guide takes you to the Puerta del Sol, Plaza de España with its monument to Cervantes, the Parliament, Cibeles Fountain, elegant Calle Alcala, and Paseo de Castellana. Then the highlight: a visit to the palatial Prado Museum with its priceless art treasures. Afternoon at leisure. An optional excursion to El Escorial and the Valley of the Fallen can be arranged.
DAY 14: MADRID – Today we enjoy a free day to enjoy Madrid on our own. Tonight we gather for a farewell dinner at a local restaurant for our final night in Spain.
DAY 15: MADRID – USA- Today we board our flights carrying with us memories and keepsakes that will last a lifetime.
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