Castilla–La Mancha, Valencia, and Scenic Spain
6 Day Tour

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Towns dangling off cliffs, curiously carved stones, and world-famous cuisine adorn this adventure from Madrid to Barcelona.

Highlights

Art
Beaches
Wine
Palaces
Roman Ruins
Prehistoric Sites
Walks
Mountains

Places you explore


Cuenca – Marvel at the hanging houses of this medieval city stacked on a promontory between two gorges

Aranjuez – Once an old medieval hunting lodge; now a royal palace of over 300 rooms. Discover the history of the royals at this legendary estate

The 'Enchanted City' – A landscape of stones shaped like faces, crocodiles and mushrooms. A coincidence of nature or magic?

Utiel Requena - Wine has been produced here since 7th century BC. Sample the produce and savour the history

Valencia - The birthplace of Paella and one of Spain's most liveable coastal cities

Peñíscola - Surrounded by lavender and the ocean, the 'city in the sea' is a true Mediterranean marvel


Your journey


From its royal riches to its timeless landscapes, this tour takes you on a journey through the heart of Spain.

The palace of Aranjuez unveils the lives of kings and queens, the Parque Natural de la Serranía de Cuenca enchants you with unearthly geological structures, and Valencia keeps you up a little too late with a mix of delicious restaurants and bohemian bars.

Join this trip from Madrid to Barcelona and discover the essential scenes of Spain.


Tour Details

Starts
Check-in closes at 08:45 (tour departs at 09:00) - Madrid Pick Up Point, Hotel Porcel Ganivet, Madrid,
Finishes (approx.)
18:15 - Barcelona Drop Off, Hotel Evenia Rocafort, Barcelona,
Luggage
You’re restricted to 20kg (44lbs) of luggage per person. This may consist of a small bag for onboard personal items and a larger suitcase or rucksack.
Discounts
Important information
  • Pack comfortable shoes for walks up to beautiful views
  • Your holiday’s more fun when you protect yourself from the sun
Tour inclusions
  • Transport in a luxury mini-coach with a local driver
  • Air conditioning as standard
  • The stories and services of an English-speaking guide
  • 5 nights in 3-4 star hotels with continental breakfast
  • Entrance to Aranjuez Royal Palace and Gardens
  • Entrance to Lapis Specularis Mine
  • Entrance to Villar del Humo cave paintings
  • Requena wine tasting
Tour exclusions
  • Meals, unless listed above
  • Attractions, unless specified above

Itinerary

Day 1

  • Discover 500 years of the Spanish royal family at Aranjuez
  • Arrive in a town that’s carved into the cliffs, Cuenca

You’ve heard the Concierto de Aranjuez. This morning, it’s time to travel from Madrid and discover its inspiration.

Aranjuez was the spring home for the Spanish royal family for 500 years and is a fairground for culture vultures, art-lovers, and history buffs. You can snap panorama photos of the huge palace, wander through the fountain-strewn gardens, and ponder over the ancient bull ring.

You continue your journey through Castilla-La Mancha, the heart of Old Spain. This stunning region boasts gentle landscapes, lush nature, and unrivalled Manchego cheese. It’s also where Cervantes set the fictional journeys of Don Quijote in his novel that laid the foundation for modern European literature.

Your next stop is Villarejo de Salvanés. This small town boasts an unusual castle and archaeological sites that pre-date the Romans.

You travel the short distance to Torrejoncillo del Rey. Back in the 1950s, a resident from here sought treasure. They dug deep into a Roman well and uncovered a 2,000-year-old Lapis Specularis mine, the material the Romans used for windows. Tickets to go into the mine and discover its history are included in your tour.

Clinging to the cliffs of a limestone hill, you find Cuenca. A medieval town of cobbled paths and superior crafts. You overnight here for two evenings.


Included Activities

  • Entrance to Aranjuez Royal Palace and Gardens
  • Entrance to Lapis Specularis Mine


Accommodation

Hotel Exe Cuenca or similar, Cuenca

Day 2

  • Traverse the natural stone sculptures and scenic heights of Parque Natural de la Serranía de Cuenca

Today, you explore one of Castilla-La Mancha’s finest nature reserves - Parque Natural de la Serranía de Cuenca, a 73,000-hectare wildlife paradise.

Your first stop in the natural park is in the ‘Enchanted City’. This location boasts some of the strangest rock formations you’ll ever see. Wander around this magical landscape and spot mushroom-shaped stones and faces glaring at you from limestone.

You continue your journey through this landscape and stop at the stunning Mirador de Uña viewpoint.

After lunch, there are a variety of optional activities for you to choose from. Go kayaking, hiking, or visit more vibrant villages. Your guide will help you pick which one suits you best.

Back in Cuenca, you can scroll through your images from the day over tapas and red wine before enjoying a well-earned rest.


Optional Activities

  • Various outdoor leisure activities in Parque Natural de la Serranía de Cuenca


Accommodation

Hotel Exe Cuenca or similar, Cuenca

Day 3

  • Study the symbols of ancient cave paintings in Villar del Humo
  • Savour the flavours of the wines and cuisines of the region

You leave Cuenca behind and travel to Fuentes. At this stop, you get to stretch your legs and admire a few… dinosaurs. Yes, you read that right. This region is famous for palaeontology, and there are a few realistic life-sized models to help transport you to the land before time.

From the Jurassic period, you travel a few thousand years to the Neolithic period in Villar del Humo. Here, you can study the details and symbols of ancient cave paintings on a visit included in the tour price.

You stop at the tiny village of Utiel for a rustic lunch. This region is famous for seafood, pumpkin dishes, and the best oranges in the country – great nourishment for all that time travelling!

Later on, you travel to a winery in Requena for an included wine tasting which will invigorate your taste buds. The delicious beverage has been produced in this area since at least the 7th century BC, so you know it’s going to be delicious.

You then travel to Valencia; the home of paella, laid-back nightlife, awesome architecture, and your accommodation for the next three nights.


Included Activities

  • Entrance to Villar del Humo cave paintings
  • Requena wine tasting


Accommodation

Hotel Eurostars Rey Don Jaime or similar, Valencia

Day 4

  • Learn about Monastic life at the Monastery of Santa Maria
  • Roam through the unique wetlands of Albufera Natural Park

Today, your journey takes you on a half day trip that combines monastic knowledge with fantastic nature spots.

In the morning, you can choose an optional visit to the Monastery of Santa Maria in El Puig. This large building combines cloisters with defensive structures and has been used as a temple, a school, and even a prison.

It’s now time to explore the rice paddies that gave birth to the paella in the Albufera Natural Park. Your visit here also gives you a chance to spot the unique flora and fauna around a large freshwater lagoon.

You arrive back in Valencia in the afternoon. Here you can join an optional guided tour of the city combined with a tasty tapas experience.

Use the evening to either enjoy the city’s famous nightlife or prepare for the next day of your adventure.


Optional Activities

  • Guided city walk and tapas experience in Valencia
  • Monastery of Santa Maria in El Puig


Accommodation

Hotel Eurostars Rey Don Jaime or similar, Valencia

Day 5

  • Lose yourself in the history and narrow streets of Xàtiva

Xàtiva, the town of ‘a thousand fountains’ lies upon the slopes of Monte Vernissa. A castle crowns the hills, and the location is famous for ancient paper production, educational institutions, and the notorious House of Borgia. This morning, you travel here and have free time to delve deep into all this history and more.

In the afternoon, you embark on a journey to Los Charcos de Quesa. We hope you have packed your swimwear, because this scenic nature spot boasts natural pools and waterfalls for you to dip your toes in.

You return to Valencia in the early evening.


Accommodation

Hotel Eurostars Rey Don Jaime or similar, Valencia

Day 6

  • Imagine an ancient Roman play at the theatre of Sagunto
  • Admire a fusion of artistic and architectural styles in Sitges

Sagunto is your first destination this morning. You have time here to roam around a well-preserved Roman theatre, climb to the top of a 2,000-year-old castle complex, and explore the famous Jewish quarter.

You leave this historic town and make your way to the seaside town of Peñiscola. This place is known as the ‘City in the Sea’ and boasts a castle built by the Knights Templar. It’s also the delightful location where you have your lunch today.

A little further along the Mediterranean coast, your journey takes you to Sitges. A happening cultural hotspot, a menagerie of modernist architecture, and a few fascinating museums make this a great preparation for the big city.

You arrive in Barcelona in the evening.

Accommodation

Where does this tour stay overnight?

You stay two nights in Cuenca and three nights in Valencia. For examples of the accommodation, please see the tour itinerary.


How does the accommodation work?

A good night’s sleep is often needed for a good day of travel.


So, we’ve hand-picked three to four-star hotels in remote coastal villages, bustling towns, and mountain valleys.

Your accommodation is included in the tour price; and when you book your trip, you can choose whether you want double rooms, twin rooms, or single rooms.


Are there any extra accommodation costs?

The price you see is for all your tour's accommodation and for the tour itself. It also includes a tourist tax. This figure is based on shared accommodation. When you're booking your tour and select a single room, an additional single room supplement will be added to the price.


FAQs

Do I need a visa to take this tour?

You may need a Schengen Visa to travel throughout Europe. Check the official tourism website of the country you’re visiting for up-to-date and reliable information. Travel between countries is easy because there are no passport checks at the borders.


Are the tours suitable for people with mobility issues?

Most people can comfortably enjoy our tours, but it's worth bearing in mind that we often include optional short walks in scenic locations. Please also be aware that many of the old European towns are built on steep hills with cobbled lanes, and you may have to carry your own luggage at times.

So that we can ensure you're comfortable travelling with us, please let us know about any special requirements or needs at the time of booking. If you have any more questions, simply email tours@rabbies.com .


Do you offer hotel pickups in the departure cities?

Europe's historic city centres are full of narrow streets and winding roads. So, to speed up your departure and avoid contributing to congestion issues, we start our trip from hotels located conveniently on the edge of cities. We choose hotels with good public transport connections to the city centre, so you can enjoy your evening explorations.

To make your tour more convenient, you can add an optional pre and post-departure accommodation in the hotel we use as a pick up or a drop off point.


When should I get to the departure point?

Arrive at the hotel lobby 15 minutes before your departure time. Unfortunately, we’re unable to wait for you if you’re late due to vehicle restrictions. But depending on your situation, we may be able to help you catch up with your tour.


What are your cancellation policies?

We have a cancellation period of 42 days for our Europe tours. If you cancel your trip before this period, we give you a full refund minus a 10% admin charge. If you cancel inside this time frame, you’re liable for the cost of the tour package.

We understand how disappointing it is when you have to cancel a trip with us, so please contact our friendly team who will try their best to resell your ticket and refund you.

Click here to view full terms and conditions.


What is a guaranteed departure?

It's simple: you book, you go. This means we'll never cancel your tour because of a minimum numbers policy.


Can routes change?

Your friendly driver and guide are passionate about the places they visit and know all the local gossip. This means your tour itinerary can change a little due to festivities, attraction opening hour changes, and spontaneous photo opportunities.


Can I pre-book a specific seat?

Due to logistical reasons, we're unable to let you pre-book a seat on the bus. But our comfortable mini-coaches offer a good view.


Are there toilets on the bus?

We like to keep our coaches small, nimble, and odour free. This means we have no on-board toilet facilities, but you frequently stop in local towns and villages for comfort breaks.


Do you take children on your tours?

Unfortunately, we’re unable to have children under the age of five on our Europe tours.

You can ask us about the tours we recommend for younger children. And if your child is less than 1.35m tall, you should let us know, so we can provide them with a suitable booster seat.


How much time do I get off the bus?

We want you to enjoy your trip to Europe. And we believe the best way to do this is to get you off the mini-coach and out exploring. So, we give you plenty of stops to take photos, go walking, and explore ancient ruins.


What are 'included activities' and 'optional activities'?

We've arranged experiences for you on your tour. The 'included activities' are already booked and paid for as part of your trip, whereas you can purchase 'optional activities' while on your tour. You also have free time in many destinations to pick and choose which attractions you visit.


Do we need to bring our own lunch?

You don't need to pack or bring along food on the mini-coach. We stop in small European towns, villages, and rural eateries where you can choose whatever meal pleases both your taste buds and your budget.


What should I do if I have too much luggage?

It’s more enjoyable to travel with light luggage. You can take less by cleaning clothes along the way. Most hotels provide affordable laundry service.

But if you're travelling with more than 20kg, don't worry! There are left luggage facilities close to the majority of our departure points, and courier companies who could ship your excess luggage on to your chosen destination. Our team are happy to help if you need any suggestions or recommendations.


Should I tip the driver and the guide?

Let's be honest, our drivers and guides would never refuse a cheeky bonus. But it's up to you, and the amount is entirely at your discretion.


What about travel insurance?

We highly recommend you take out travel insurance, so you can enjoy a stress-free journey.


What is ABTOT?

You're protected by ABTOT when you book a tour with us. This means you can claim back anything you've paid us if we run into any issues. Read our terms and conditions for more information.

Our packages are covered by the Package Travel Regulations. For full details of your key rights please click here.


I have more questions, who can help me?

If you have any more questions, call us on +44(0)131 226 3133, email tours@rabbies.com, or check out our full FAQs.

4 reasons to choose Rabbie's

Travel the local way on small group tours of 16 people or fewer

You'll have a guaranteed experience, or your money back

Guaranteed departures: you book, you go

Our eco-friendly tours support local communities

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