Passions of Spain
13 day tour

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A journey that takes you from the top of the Pyrenees, through the Moorish legends of Spain, and onto the Portuguese coastline.

Highlights

Wine
Roman Ruins
National Parks
Walks
National Parks
UNESCO Heritage Sites
Palaces
Beaches

Places you explore


Montserrat Monastery - Feel the serenity of the old Benedictine priory perched on the slope of a magnificent mountain

La Rioja – The famously delicious wines here perfectly compliment the views of the Cantabrian Mountains

Burgos - Walk in the shadow of the soaring Gothic cathedral and admire this majestic city, once the capital of the old kingdom of Castille

San Sebastián – The top beach town in the Basque region is known as both a surfer's paradise and a foodie heaven

Córdoba - This ancient Andalucían city will take your breath away with the marvels of La Mezquita and the Palace of the Christian Kings

Granada with Alhambra and Sierra Nevada Mountains - Get mesmerised by the lavish palace built by the Moors and explore the rugged mountains of the Sierra Nevada National Park

Pueblos Blancos - Fall in love with beautiful white villages built on hilltops overlooking Spain’s wild landscapes

Seville - Get dazzled by the history, spectacular architecture and magic of Flamenco in the city influenced by a number of civilisations


Your journey


From the gaudy streets of Barcelona to the Arabesque mystique of Spain’s southern palaces, this trip takes you through the passions of Spain.

You learn about the strength of the Roman Empire on forts atop the Pyrenean foothills. You discover the 3,000-year-old wine-making traditions of La Rioja. And you admire the ornate Moorish architecture of the Alhambra.

Take this trip from the Mediterranean to the Atlantic Ocean and learn about the cities, loves, and flavours of Spain.


Tour Details

Starts
Check-in closes at 08:15 (tour departs at 08:30) - Barcelona Pick Up Point, Hotel Evenia Rocafort, Barcelona,
Finishes (approx.)
19:00 - Lisbon Drop Off, Hotel Roma, Lisbon,
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
  • This journey combines two of our tours and a free day in Madrid. This means you may swap your bus and guide during the journey
  • Pack comfortable shoes for walks up to beautiful views
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
  • 12 nights in a 3-4 star hotels with continental breakfast
  • Entrance to Aljafería Palace
  • Entrance to Vivanco Museum of Wine Culture and Winery for a tasting and tour
  • Royal Palace of La Granja de San Ildefonso
  • Entrance to La Mezquita
  • Entrance to an olive oil production site
  • Entrance to the Alhambra with audio guide included
Tour exclusions
  • Meals, unless listed above
  • Attractions, unless specified above

Itinerary

Day 1

  • Marvel at sculptures and mountainous scenery at the monastery of Montserrat
  • Delve into Lleida, one of the most ancient towns in Catalonia

It’s time to contrast the bravado of Barcelona with the serrated peaks of Montserrat. This majestic mountain with strangely shaped crags is home to a Benedictine Monastery and one of Spain’s most venerated statues of the Madonna and Child. At your stop here, you can enjoy lunch, contemplate the life of monks and hermits, and explore the magnificent basilica.

You continue deep into the mountains of Catalonia and visit Lleida. This is one of the oldest towns in the region and is steeped in Roman history. It’s a little off the beaten track and you have time to discover its castle and cathedral.

As the evening settles in, you arrive in Huesca. You overnight here for two evenings and have plenty of time to amble around the medieval streets discovering the many churches and façades of this hilly town.

 

Optional Activities

  • Entrance to Montserrat Monastery

 

Accommodation

Hotel Pedro I de Aragón or similar, Huesca

Day 2

  • Let the perfect panoramas of the Pyrenees take your breath away
  • Step back in time and discover the ancient walls of Jaca

Put on your adventure hats and get ready for nature. This morning, you travel to Torla-Ordesa, the gateway to the Monte Perdido National Park.

From here, you explore crumbling cliffs, forests of oaks and pines, and vertical views up to 1,700 metres tall. There may be a little walking involved, so make sure you’re wearing good footwear. It’s worth it to see a few of the most scenic views in all the Pyrenees.

You leave Torla behind and head through the mountains to Jaca. Here, you can explore the perfectly preserved ‘star-shaped’ fortress, find out about the regional cuisine of Aragón, and tick off more quintessential Spanish cathedrals.

You travel back to Huesca and arrive in the early evening.

 

Accommodation

Hotel Pedro I de Aragón or similar, Huesca

Day 3

  • Survey a fusion of Islamic and Gothic style architecture at the Aljafería Palace
  • Gaze at gorgeous Goya paintings in Zaragoza

Zaragoza in Aragón looks as enchanting as it sounds. You travel here in the morning and have tickets to the 11th-century Aljafería Palace included in your tour.

After you’ve admired the patterned porticos of the beautiful palace, you have free time to explore the city. Art lovers can search for Goya paintings; history geeks can seek out Roman remains; and foodies can sample chireta, a local and delicious haggis type dish.

You then travel to Tarazona. This town boasts medieval Mudéjar style architecture: a glorious fusion of the ancient Muslim and Christian aesthetic ideals. Your neck will ache from all the staring up in wonder.

You arrive in Haro in time for your first glass of local La Rioja red wine. This wine-soaked village is your overnight location for three evenings.

 

Included Activities

  • Entrance to Aljafería Palace

 

Accommodation

Hotel Eurostars Los Agustinos or similar, Haro

Day 4

  • Tantalise your tastebuds with the regional flavours of the Basque Country

Today, you explore the Basque country, a land of curious customs, incredible coasts, and fabulous flavours.

Your first stop is San Sebastián, a foodie heaven with the highest number of Michelin stars per capita. You have time here to grab lunch and check out the beautiful blonde beach.

You travel back inland to Pamplona. This town is famous for San Fermin, ‘the Running of the Bulls’. Fortunately, you aren’t going to have to run anywhere, instead you can stroll around the town’s splendid fortress walls and relax.

Next, you venture to Logroño, the capital of the La Rioja region. You have free time here to enjoy the charming plazas and delicious aromas of this laid-back town. And if you want to learn more about the local area and history, your guide will offer the option to visit La Rioja Museum.

In the early evening, you travel back to Haro.

 

Optional Activities

  • Entrance to La Rioja Museum

 

Accommodation

Hotel Eurostars Los Agustinos or similar, Haro

Day 5

  • Take in the rustic villages and rolling green hills of La Rioja region
  • Sample famous La Rioja wine from the place it’s produced

Waterfalls, wine and relaxation: an unbeatable travel combination awaits you today. In the morning, you embark on a scenic ride amongst the gentle hills and vineyards of La Rioja region. We show you a few of our favourite views of the area and let you stop and gush over the beautiful waterfalls of Tobera.

You then arrive at one of our favourite wineries in the region, which also has a wine museum. Here you get to enjoy an included tour and tasting of the local produce.

In the afternoon, you arrive back in Haro with time to rest and do whatever you please.

 

Included Activities

  • Rioja wine tasting and tour at Vivanco Museum of Wine Culture

 

Accommodation

Hotel Eurostars Los Agustinos or similar, Haro

Day 6

  • Cherish the stunning Cathedral of Burgos
  • Stroll the exquisite grounds of the Royal Palace of La Granja de San Ildefonso

You wave goodbye to La Rioja and travel to the region of Castile and León.

Your first stop is in Burgos, where you have a few hours to admire one of the most spectacular cathedrals in all of Spain and check if the local flavours can compete with your favourite dishes from La Rioja and the Basque regions.

You head further south to the Royal Palace of La Granja de San Ildefonso. Your included ticket to this stunning structure lets you wander through the rooms of Spain’s ‘mini-Versailles’ and wonder how much the gardening bill must be for its gorgeous grounds.

As the sun sets, you arrive in the country’s capital, Madrid.

 

Included Activities

  • Royal Palace of La Granja de San Ildefonso

 

Accommodation

Hotel Porcel Ganivet or similar, Madrid

Day 7

  • Marvel at the opulence of the Royal Palace in Madrid
  • Try tapas in one of the La Latina district’s local bars

You have a free day in the golden metropolis of Madrid and can decide how you want to spend it. Packed with tapas bars, world-renowned art, and amazing architecture; this city really knows how to live.

To get around town, you can use Madrid’s fantastic public transport or jump on a hop-on hop-off sightseeing bus. Begin your exploration with the oldest part of Madrid, home to the lavish Royal Palace. It boasts a staggering 3,418 rooms decorated with paintings by world-renowned artists. Then, stroll around the city’s grand plazas; the portico-lined square of Plaza Mayor and Puerta del Sol.

Next, fuel your batteries in one of many restaurants before an exciting afternoon. For art lovers; there’s Prado Museum lined with Spanish, Italian and Flemish masterpieces. For nature lovers; there’s El Retiro Park, a green oasis in the heart of the city where you can row a boat.

And in the evening head to La Latina; the city’s top district for tapas, mojitos, and terraces. But don’t get carried away too much by the city’s energy, because tomorrow you join the next leg of your tour.

 

Optional Activities

  • Ticket for a hop-on hop-off sightseeing bus

 

Accommodation

Hotel Porcel Ganivet or similar, Madrid

Day 8

  • Uncover the fusion of cultures that shaped Toledo, the former capital of Spain
  • Travel through Castilla-La Mancha, the backdrop for Don Quixote’s adventures

You leave the heart of Spain and head south to the former capital of the country, Toledo.

Sitting atop a hill and overlooking the Tajo River, this city used to be known as the ‘City of Three Cultures’. To get the real feel of the place, wander through the cobbled streets and try to spot the Muslim mosques, Jewish synagogues and Christian cathedrals.

You travel through Castilla-La Mancha, the setting for the adventures of the literary hero Don Quixote. Next, you stop on the way through the Despeñaperros Natural Park, the gateway to Andalucía.

Córdoba, your home for the night, welcomes you with its bustling squares and delightful architecture.

 

Accommodation

Hotel Eurostars Maimonides or similar, Córdoba

Day 9

  • Explore La Mezquita, an immense mosque-cathedral and a UNESCO World Heritage site
  • Learn about olive-making and take in views of endless olive groves

In the morning, you visit La Mezquita, one of the most spectacular mosques constructed by the Moors in Spain. This world-famous construction boasts countless rows of decorated arches and a serene interior and is large enough to have a cathedral built inside it!

Next, we travel through rolling hills blanketed with the silvery-grey-green leaves of olive trees. It’s a sign you’ve entered the oil-producing province of Jaén. Savour the chance to learn how Spain’s ‘liquid gold’ is made at an olive oil production site.

We continue our journey south to the ruined hilltop fortress of Fortaleza de la Mota and arrive in Granada early evening, our base for two nights.

 

Included Activities

  • Entrance to La Mezquita
  • Entrance to an olive oil production site

 

Optional Activities

  • Entrance to Fortaleza de la Mota

 

Accommodation

Hotel Porcel Alixares or similar, Granada

Day 10

  • Set your sights on the Sierra Nevada Mountains, the inspiration for a great Spanish poet
  • Become entranced by the ornamentation of the Alhambra Palace

You wake up in a city adorned with the most sensual palace of Europe, the Alhambra.

Follow in the footsteps of Federico Garcia Lorca, a poet and a theatre director who drew his inspiration from Spanish folklore, during our half day excursion.

To awaken your own literary creativity, we first head to the 20th-century villa in Huerta de San Vincente where he wrote many of his best works.

Then, you delve into the rugged landscapes of the Cumbres Verdes mountains on the forefront of the Sierra Nevada.

After a morning filled with poetry and vistas, you return to Granada at lunchtime.

Alternatively, you can spend the morning discovering the fusion of Arabic and Christian cultures in Granada.

Your afternoon is blessed with a visit to the Alhambra*. When you look at it, you’re transported to the tales of 1,001 Nights. Originally a fortress and then a palace, this UNESCO World Heritage site will seize your imagination.

You spend tonight in Granada. Use this time to discover tapas restaurants and more of the culinary delights.

 

*Sometimes this day will be reversed, and you will visit the Alhambra in the morning.

 

Included Activities

  • Entrance to the Alhambra with audio guide included

 

Optional Activities

  • Lorca’s House Museum at Huerta de San Vicente

 

Accommodation

Hotel Porcel Alixares or similar, Granada

Day 11

  • Discover the charm of Ronda, the most stunning of the pueblos blancos
  • Delve into a maze of cobbled streets in Arcos de la Frontera

Today is all about exploring the other faces of Andalucía; the beautiful wilderness and iconic pueblos blancos.

Your adventure takes you west through the landscapes of Malaga’s ‘Lake District’ before you reach Ronda. Precariously clinging to a steep cliff of the El Tajo Gorge, this commune captures your imagination with its literary connections and history full of outlaws. Stroll along the city walls, explore picturesque plazas, and enjoy your lunch.

You leave the rural part of the region and travel past Sierra de Grazalema Natural Park to Arcos de la Frontera. This stunning white town has it all: dramatic clifftop location, spectacular vistas, and an abundance of beautiful buildings and cobbled streets.

Cast a last glance over the Andalusian countryside and start your journey to Seville, your home for two nights.

 

Accommodation

Hotel Exe Sevilla Macarena or similar, Sevilla

Day 12

  • Marvel at the allure of La Giralda and the Seville Cathedral
  • Soak up the grandeur as you stroll through the Plaza de España
  • Try the finest sherry in Jerez de la Frontera

Seville signifies the essence of Spain. This city will seduce you with its rich Moorish heritage, the orange trees, tapas and passionate flamenco.

Today it’s up to you to decide how to spend the day.

You can dedicate your time to discover the best gems of the city’s 80 chapels at the Seville Cathedral and marvel at La Giralda. Or go for a stroll along the bank of the Guadalquivir to admire the iconic Torre del Oro, a military tower dating back to the 13th century.

Alternatively, you can join our half day tour and travel to Jerez de la Frontera. This elegant town is the heartland of sherry and Spanish brandy. It’s also home to the Royal Andalusian School of Equestrian Art, famous for its specially-trained horses that star in incredible performances.

Whichever option you choose, spend the late afternoon and evening strolling through the shaded arches of the grand Plaza de España. Warning: with the hypnotic Flamenco performances, delicious tapas and buzzing bars, this city can keep you entertained till the small hours.

 

Optional Activities

  • Royal Andalusian School of Equestrian Art
  • Seville combination ticket (Cathedral and La Giralda)

 

Accommodation

Hotel Exe Sevilla Macarena or similar, Sevilla

Day 13

  • Soak up the sun in Huelva on the Costa de la Luz
  • Wander through Tavira, one of the most charming towns of the Algarve

Say farewell to Seville and enjoy the last glimpses of the Andalusian countryside as you travel west towards the Costa de la Luz, a land of bright sunlight and golden sandy beaches.

You stop in the seaside city of Huelva, where Christopher Columbus planned his trip to find a western sea route to China and India.

Next, you cross the Portuguese border and stop at Tavira in the Algarve. Set on the River Gilão, this town exudes an irresistible charm and makes you want to discover its hidden corners. Wander through the cobblestone streets, cross an old Roman bridge and try Portuguese cuisine for the first time.

Take in the last views of the Algarve and journey north where laid-back Lisbon awaits you in the evening.

Accommodation

 

Where does this tour stay overnight?

You stay two nights in Huesca, three nights in Haro, two nights in Madrid, one night in Córdoba, two nights in Granada, and two nights in Seville.

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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