RMC Travel & Friends of Montauk present
Madrid – Seville – Granada – The Costa Del Sol – Barcelona
October 22 to November 2, 2012
Step inside the grand Moorish palace of the Alhambra; Gaze at treasures – inside and out – at the world renowned Picasso Museum in Barcelona; Marvel at the sites on our guided tours of Madrid and historic Toledo; Relax on the beaches of Marbella on the famous Costa Del Sol … even take a day excursion to Tangier in Morocco.
Spain is a colorful pageant of art, history and culture set against a backdrop that spans sunny Mediterranean shores and grand mountain ranges, dotted with groves of oranges and olives. It’s a country resplendent with Moorish regal flair, the passion of the Flamenco, historical, cultural and religious passion that are all carefully woven into this special tour
So even if you have been to Spain, this journey with our special places to see and unbelievable hotels, promises to be exceptional… Raymond
Your Tour Includes:
- Roundtrip transportation from Montauk to JFK
- Roundtrip airfare from New York City
- Roundtrip airport/hotel transfers
- Baggage handling at airports & hotels
- Great hotels in Madrid, Seville and Barcelona
- Hotel taxes and service charges
- Daily breakfast
- Lunch and dinners as per itinerary
- All guided sightseeing including entrance fees
- Train ride from Madrid to Seville
- Flight from Seville to Barcelona
- Welcome to Spain dinner
- Welcome to Seville drink
- Panoramic Horse-drawn carriage tour of Seville
- Optional Flamenco dinner and show in Seville
- Optional one day tour to Tangier in Morocco
- Free time in Madrid, Marbella & Barcelona for shopping & exploring
- Special Farewell Dinner in Barcelona
Day 1 – Monday, October 22: Depart USA
Overnight flight to Madrid
Day 2, Tuesday, October 23: Madrid (D)
After our arrival in Madrid we will be transferred to our hotel. This evening enjoy our Welcome to Spain Dinner.
Day 3, Wednesday, October 24: In Madrid & Toledo (B)
Morning sightseeing in the beautiful Spanish capital takes us to view the Royal Palace, Puerta del Sol and Plaza Espana with its monument to Cervantes. We also include the historic Plaza Mayor, Plaza España, the famous Cibeles fountain, Neptune’s fountain, the impressive Castellana Avenue, Christopher Columbus square, as well as the main shopping areas, parks and gardens such as the beautiful Retiro Park. In the afternoon, we head south to the ancient Castilian capital of Toledo. Once the model of Religious tolerance in Europe, it became the home of horrors through the Spanish Inquisition.
The entire town is a national monument; tiny streets surrounded by Gothic and Renaissance buildings allow one to ‘feel’ the history. Its churches and palaces house some of Spain’s best artistic treasures. Additionally, the city boasts a wealth of local crafts such as the famous “Damasquinado”, gold woven into iron. The tour will include visits to the Cathedral, and a visit to the Chapel of St. Tome which houses “The burial of Count Orgaz”, a masterpiece painted by El Greco Our sightseeing here view the tiny streets surrounded by historic buildings, the 13th-centuryGothic Cathedral and with time for shopping for the famous damascened Toledo steel. Dinner on your own.
Day 4, Thursday, October 25: To Seville (B)
Early departure by high-speed train for Andalusia and Seville. More than other city in the country, Seville is an important unmatched historical spot of Spain full of mythology and legend. It was a magnificent Roman city – Trajan and Hadrian Roman emperors were born here – and later on the capital of an important Moorish kingdom: Andalusia was occupied by Moors for about 800 years and today Moorish influence is architectecturally most evident After checking into our hotel, a welcome drink and lunch on our own, we have a 45 minute panoramic sightseeing tour by horse-drawn carriage that is a step back in time as we observe 700 years of influence by the Moors. Admire Maria Luisa Park, the Palace of Alcazar, Murillo’s house and visit the impressive tomb of Christopher Columbus housed in Spain’s largest Gothic Cathedral. This is followed by two very special sights. The Cathedral of Seville, the biggest Gothic Cathedral in the world. It was built in the 15th century, after the destruction of the old Mosque. All that remains from this Muslim Mosque is the 200 feet high Minaret, called La Giralda and it has become the symbol of the city. This is the most impressive building in Seville. Then, opposite to the Cathedral, we will see “Alcazar”, the Arab Kings Palace, preserved by the Christians because of its beauty and artistic meaning. This is the place where Isabel and Fernando welcomed Columbus from America. Back to the hotel for dinner on your own, or you have the opportunity to experience authentic Andalusian at an optional dinner/ flamenco show.
Day 5, Friday, October 26: In Seville – Full day Excursion to Granada (B/L)
Early departure for Granada as we drive through through multi-colored and fascinating countryside, from mountains and plains to vast properties of olive groves. Upon arrival in Granada, we will do a panoramic drive of the city on our way to the restaurant Carmen de San Miguel where we will enjoy a tapas lunch with a great view over the city.
After the lunch, we go by foot to the most emblematic monument of the city, a wonder of architecture: the Alhambra Palace. It is without a doubt the complex of buildings being the most important and beautiful example of the Moorish art in Europe. The Alhambra was a palace, a citadel, fortress, and the home of the Nasrid sultans, high government officials, servants of the court and elite soldiers (from the 13th to the 14th century). Today, the Palace is surrounded by woods, gardens and orchards.
The ruins of the Moorish palace of Granada have captivated the imagination of writers, artists and adventurers. In spite of the lingering fear of the European Christians for the Mohammedan invaders who dominated this part of Spain until 1492, British, American and French intellectuals began, in the early 19th century, to realize that the Moors had brought with them a cosmopolitan and sophisticated culture, creating courts of wisdom which attracted scholars from every corner of the known world.
After the visit of the Palace and lunch, we have some time to enjoy a walking the gardens of Generalife before getting returning to the capital of Andalusia, Seville.
Day 6, Saturday, October 27: To Marbella (B/D)
After breakfast, we head south towards to Spanish Mediterranean coast and the Costa Del Sol and Marbella. Marbella´s slogan is “a way of life” and the city certainly lives up to just that. Not only does Marbella have an amazing coastline which stretches for miles, numerous golf courses, stunning boulevards and parks, an incredible selection of first class hotels, restaurants (some with Michelin stars) and designer boutiques, it also has a wonderful climate which makes it an an ideal year-round destination. After we check into our hotel, we have some time to relax before our group dinner.
Day 7, Sunday October 28: In Marbella – Optional Full day Excursion to Tangier, Morocco (B)
A full day to relax and explore Marbella with its historic center with narrow, cobbled streets with whitewashed buildings and colourful displays of flower filled plazas and you have the best of old and new.
Or take an Optional full-day tour to Tangier, Morocco, and a taste of Africa. Tangiers, Morocco, lies on the North African coast and is a world apart from its European neighbors. Diverse in both flavor and culture – this day trip offers a short but interesting glimpse into this fascinating city. Our day trip to Tangier begins with a scenic drive along the Costa del Sol to Gibraltar, From here you will travel by high-speed ferry across the Strait of Gibraltar to Morocco (45 to 60 minutes), where our journey will continue by road to the exciting Moroccan city of Tangier. Our tour starts with a panoramic view of the city, followed by a walking tour of the little souk, where you’ll enjoy the spice markets. Continue into the Medina (old quarter) and the Kasbah (old fortress), where we will discover Morocco’s rich architecture. Stop to see the snake charmer and visit one of the local bakeries to try some tasty bread. Then enjoy shopping at a typical bazaar, where you’ll see many types of carpets and handicrafts. We have lunch in a traditional Moroccan restaurant and watch a performance by a Berber Dancer. After a short stop at Cape Spartel, where we can see the Atlantic Ocean and the Mediterranean Sea mixing together, we will taste a traditional mint tea and learn about the mint tea rituals. A visit to the Cave of Hercules and stop at an Atlantic dune, where you have the option to ride a camel before heading back to our hotel in Marbella.
Day 8, Monday, October 29: In Marbella (B)
A day to catch our breath and relax. There are also numerous significant historical and artistic sights including, but not least, the church of La Encarnación, the walls of the Moslem castle, the mosque or the museum of contemporary Spanish engraving. There´s also modern additions, including the Dali sculptures in the center of town. The famous and fashionable Puerto Banus marina is still the place to see and be seen and the ultimate rich people´s playground! The lavish opening of the marina in 1970 was attended by the Aga Khan, Roman Pollanski and Prince Rainier and Princess Grace to name but a few. Its marina has over 1,000 berths – most taken by some of the world´s wealthiest individuals with boats valued over ₤1 million. Behind the marina are streets lined with fantastic bars, exquisite restaurants and famous nightclubs and just a short stroll from the marina is Marbella´s Casino.
Day 9, Tuesday, October 30: To Barcelona (B)
A leisurely breakfast, t to the airport for the short flight to Barcelona…Europe’s new “IN” city. Upon arrival, transfer to the hotel for the afternoon and evening on your own. Barcelona is progressive, industrious and European, while still preserving the traditional values and way of life typical of the pleasantness of the Mediterranean. This dichotomy between tradition and progress is characteristic not only of the city itself but also of its inhabitants. In the realms of architecture and art, Gaudi and Miró are doubtless Barcelona’s most notable Spanish talents, but even non-native artists could not resist its magical attraction: Picasso, Isozaki, Meier, Foster and Oldenburg have all left impressive examples of their work as a legacy.
Day 10, Wednesday, October 31: In Barcelona (B)
This morning, we will have a tour of Spain’s 2nd largest city. This tour is devoted to the Medieval part of the city including the Columbus Monument, the Basilica of Santa Maria Del Mar, the City Hall, the Gothic Quarter and the famous Cathedral. Balance of the day at leisure on your own to see the “Modern Barcelona” that cradles Modernist Architecture including the elegant tree-line Ramblas, the Passeig de Gracia and the historic Plaza de Cataluna. Maybe take in the Picasso Museum with its unique collection of works done by the painter in his youth. It was while Picasso was in Barcelona that the “New Barcelona” was in the process of fashioning its appearance. Dinner on your own.
Day 11, Thursday, November 1: In Barcelona (B/D)
A full day for independent exploration. In the ancient heart of the city there are stunning examples of Gothic art and architecture. As one wanders through the narrow streets it is like returning to a bygone age. The imposing cathedral and the church of Santa Maria del Mar recall the traditional Catholic heritage which persists through to the modern age.
Passing from the Gothic area to the “Eixample” or extension area of the “new” city centre one finds oneself in a completely different world – one of fairy tales where flowers, animals and other natural motifs seem to come to life – the world of Modernism. This 19th Century movement has become the signature style of the city and, of course, there is no better example of it than the work of Gaudí. Here again, one cannot escape the integration of tradition with fantasy – just one example is the legend of St. Jordi (St. George/Jordi is the patron saint of Catalunya). As one walks by the Casa Batlló – one of Gaudi’s masterpieces – one notes the multicoloured roof which represents the shiny scales of a dragon, and the balconies made out of stony bones reminding us of the various knights who did not succeed in saving the princess. This evening we end our holiday in Spain with our Farewell dinner
Day 12, Friday, November 2 To New York (B)
We bid Spain adios as we board our connecting flight home.
HOTELS or similar
Madrid: The Melia Madrid Princesa
This five-star modern style hotel is located in one of the most classical and elegant districts of the city, just a short distance from the Plaza de España, the Royal Palace and the Plaza Mayor. It offers spectacular views of the Royal Palace and Casa de Campo. Perfectly situated within walking distance of Gran Via, Plaza Mayor, Puerta del Sol and Madrid’s main museums (Prado, Thyssen, Reina Sofía). The hotel offers 274 spacious contemporary luminous rooms, all with superb views.
Seville: The Alfonso XIII
The Alfonso XIII was conceived to be the most luxury hotel in Europe when it was commissioned in 1928. Being one of the best-known symbols of Seville, the Alfonso XIII has served royal families, heads of state and innumerable personalities from political, artistic and social circles from all over the world. It is placed in the heart of Seville’s historic centre, next to the romantic river banks of the Guadalquivir and Santa Cruz Quarter. It is walking distance from the two most relevant monuments of Seville: the Cathedral and Royal Alcazar. Great restaurants and now brand new Tapas Bar and a Mediterranean Restaurant located at the side of the swimming pool
Marbella (Costa Del Sol) The Punte Romano
The five-star deluxe Hotel Puente Romano is in the heart of Marbella´s Golden Mile – between Marbella and the famous and fashionable Puerto Banus Marina. The hotel’s setting, in over 12 acres of subtropical award-winning gardens with streams, ponds, waterfalls and lush vegetation, is absolutely stunning. And features 284 rooms throughout twenty-seven separate three story Andalusian style buildings comprise the hotel, which were originally private houses, and converted into the amazing hotel complex it is today in 1979. Therefore, all rooms and suites, which were recently totally refurbished, have a private terrace overlooking the lush gardens. There’s an amazing ambience of being in an Andalusian village as opposed to a hotel and, indeed, each building is named after an Andalusian village.
Barcelona: The Claris Hotel
This intriguing hotel is set in one of the most beautiful parts of Barcelona, next to Passeig de Gràcia. The area is called the “Eixample” (the enlargement), full of extravagant and imaginative buildings, works of the “modernist” architects like Gaudi and Domenech i Muntaner. It is also in the best area for high quality shopping with excellent communications to all parts of the city. The Claris is within the former Bedruna Palace and the neo-classical original façade is still preserved while the interior was totally restyled over a period of five years. The finished product reflects an eclectic mixture of avant-garde and art nouveau design complimented by antique pieces of art and sculpture side by side with the latest modern technology.
There are 120 rooms, suites and duplexes all slightly different in shape and size but all with fully equipped bathrooms, sound proofing, individual air-conditioning, direct dial phone, color satellite T.V., individual room safety boxes and mini- bars.
PRICE PER PERSON
Double Occupancy $3,999
Single Room supplement $1,329
Add to above costs:
U.S. airline facility, security, taxes and Fuel Surcharge $396
(This is the current charge but is subject to change by airline at time of ticketing)
Prepaid Gratuities $140
(for guides, escort, drivers, wait-staff, hotel staff, baggage porterage)