Grand Tour of Spain with Barbara

14 days
Spain's charismatic locals and cosmopolitan cities shine on this tour, which take you from the museums of Madrid to the sands of the Costa del Sol. Barcelona and Madrid compete for the title of cultural capital, both boasting incredible art and architecture. Andalusia is a showcase of mosques, churches, and Moorish castles. Sample it all on this guided tour of Spain, traversing the country from north to south and back again.

Let us handle the details

Expert Tour Director

      Local       cuisine

Handpicked hotels

Sightseeing with local guides

Private transportation

Personalized flight options

Let us handle the details

Expert Tour Director

      Local       cuisine

Handpicked hotels

Sightseeing with local guides

Private transportation

Personalized flight options

Overnight Flight 1 night

Day 1: Overnight flight

Board your overnight flight to Madrid today.

Madrid 3 nights

Day 2: Arrival in Madrid

  Included meals: Dinner

Welcome to Spain! Gather with your Tour Director and fellow travelers at a welcome dinner.

Day 3: Sightseeing tour of Madrid

  Included meals: Breakfast

Get an insider’s view of Madrid with a local guide. 

• See the Royal Palace, Spain’s largest royal residence 

• Pass by the Temple of Debod, a reassembled temple from ancient Egypt 

• View the city’s many squares, including Plaza de España, Plaza Mayor, and the bustling Puerta del Sol 

• Explore the Prado, a world-class art museum that began as the private collection of the Spanish monarchy and is home to the works of Goya, Velásquez, and more 

Enjoy a free evening in Madrid or add an excursion.

Optional Excursion - Traditional Spanish Evening $95pp* Details

On your way to dinner, walk through the illuminated streets of Madrid, taking in the local neighborhood ambiance in the evening light. Then, enjoy conversation, camaraderie and live music at one of the oldest restaurants in the city. Between traditional Castilian courses, you’ll be entertained by tuna music, an artistic tradition with its roots in Spain’s universities.

Save $10 when you book this excursion up to 3 days before your tour departs. (On-tour price: $105)

Day 4: Free day in Madrid

  Included meals: Breakfast

Spend a free day in Madrid or add an excursion.

Optional Excursion - Toledo $79pp* Details

Discover Toledo, the cliff-top city often referred to as La Ciudad Imperial (“The Imperial City”). Upon arrival, you’ll have some free time to explore. Later in the afternoon, your guided tour begins at Toledo Cathedral, a massive, Gothic structure that houses 750 medieval stained glass windows and a treasure trove of golden artifacts. Gaze upon the cathedral’s sacristy, containing masterpieces by the likes of van Dyck, El Greco, Rubens, and Titian. After exploring the labyrinth of medieval alleyways at the heart of the city, you’ll visit the Church of Santo Tomé and one of Europe’s oldest synagogues, Santa María la Blanca. Please note: This tour involves some walking over uneven terrain. Also, depending on the day of the week, the sites visited are subject to change. If the Synagogue of Santa María la Blanca is closed, you’ll visit the Synagogue of El Tránsito instead.

Save $10 when you book this excursion up to 3 days before your tour departs. (On-tour price: $89)

Seville 2 nights

Day 5: Seville via Córdoba

  Included meals: Breakfast, Dinner

Ride the high-speed train to the town of Córdoba and explore the Mezquita, a UNESCO World Heritage-protected cathedral, on a guided tour. Then, continue to Seville, stopping en route at an olive oil farm for a tasting.

Day 6: Sightseeing tour of Seville

  Included meals: Breakfast

A local guide introduces you to the highlights of Seville. 

• View the intricately tiled pavilion in Plaza de España 

• Discover the Gothic Seville Cathedral where Columbus is buried 

• Pass the whitewashed homes of Barrio de Santa Cruz 

Enjoy a free evening in Seville or add an excursion

Optional Excursion - Traditional Seville Flamenco Show $69pp* Details

Tonight, get a taste of old Seville during a live flamenco show. Flamenco is a unique and colorful Andalusian art form that combines guitar playing, singing, clapping, and dancing, and this excursion is sure to be one of the highlights of your Spanish journey. Sip an included drink as you watch the authentic performance, which allows expressive lyrics, moving instrumentals, and passionate dancing. After discovering why UNESCO has declared flamenco to be one of the Masterpieces of the Oral and Intangible Heritage of Humanity, enjoy free time to explore the vibrant Santa Cruz neighborhood.

Save $10 when you book this excursion up to 3 days before your tour departs. (On-tour price: $79)

Costa del Sol 2 nights

Day 7: Costa del Sol via Ronda

  Included meals: Breakfast, Dinner

On your way to the beaches of the Costa del Sol, stop for a guided tour of Ronda, a famous cliffside town in Andalusia. 

• View the staggering Puente Nuevo, an 18th-century bridge that spans a deep gorge 

• Admire the town’s picturesque white buildings and enter the Plaza de Toros, which was constructed in the late 1700’s 

• Walk by the Mondragón Palace and visit the terraced Cuenca Gardens Then, continue on to the Costa del Sol.

Then, continue on to the Costa del Sol.

Day 8: Free time on the Costa del Sol

  Included meals: Breakfast

Spend a day on the beaches of the Costa del Sol or add an excursion.

Optional Excursion - A Day in Gibraltar $129pp* Details

Rock of Gibraltar

Make your way along the Costa del Sol to Gibraltar, a pocket of British culture in the Mediterranean. This overseas territory of Great Britain is most famously home to the iconic Rock of Gibraltar. Today, you’ll get a close-up look during a visit to the Gibraltar Nature Reserve, established in 1993 to protect native wildlife. Here, get to know the resident population of semi-wild Barbary macaques while keeping an eye out for the many species of migratory birds that use the rock as a resting place. Then, take in sweeping views of the ocean (and Africa on a clear day) as you journey to sites such as St. Michael’s Cave, Spur Battery, and Europa Point Lighthouse. End with an included lunch and pint at a local pub and some free time in town before transferring back to Costa del Sol. Please note: As Gibraltar is a territory of the United Kingdom, you must show your passport to enter. Make sure you have yours with you before this excursion departs.

Save $10 when you book this excursion up to 3 days before your tour departs. (On-tour price: $139)

Granada 1 night

Day 9: Transfer to Granada & sightseeing tour

  Included meals: Breakfast, Dinner

Travel farther into Andalusia for a guided tour of Granada. 

• Explore the Alhambra, the Moorish sultans’ last stronghold in Spain 

• Admire the blend of Western art and Islamic design 

• Stroll through ornamented courtyards

Valencia 2 nights

Day 10: Valencia via Guadix

  Included meals: Breakfast, Dinner

On the way to Valencia, explore the cave district of Guadix, where nearly half of the residents live underground.

Day 11: Sightseeing tour of Valencia

  Included meals: Breakfast

Discover Valencia on a guided sightseeing tour. 

• Pass the City of Arts and Sciences, a symbol of Spain’s modernist architecture 

• View Valencia Cathedral during a walk through the Old Town and stop for a tasting of the decadent beverage known as horchata

Barcelona 2 nights

Day 12: Barcelona via Peñíscola

  Included meals: Breakfast

Stop in Peñíscola, a seaside fortress, on your way to Barcelona.

Day 13: Sightseeing tour of Barcelona

  Included meals: Breakfast, Dinner

Follow a local on a guided tour of the Catalonian capital. 

• Step inside La Sagrada Família, Gaudí’s famous masterwork-in-progress 

• Drive along Passeig de Gràcia, past Gaudí’s “house of bones” 

• Stop at Montjuïc, where the 1992 Olympic Games took place, and stroll through Mirador de l’Alcalde Park 

• Pass Plaça d’Espanya and view the soaring monument to Christopher Columbus 

Enjoy a free afternoon in Barcelona or add an excursion.

Celebrate your trip with your fellow travelers at tonight’s farewell dinner.

Optional Excursion - Park Güell & La Pedrera $85pp* Details

On today’s excursion, discover the magnificent works of Antoni Gaudí, the famed Spanish architect known for his bold, distinct designs. Casa Milà is the first stop. Take a guided tour of this building, popularly known as La Pedrera, which was built by Gaudí between 1905 and 1910. Everything about the building is visually unique, from the wave-like stone structure and grandly designed roof to the apartment that reflects the style of the 20th century bourgeois. Next, you’ll head to Park Güell, also designed by Gaudí. Your guide will lead you through the park, which contains stunning buildings, intricate stonework, and colorful mosaics. At the top of the park, marvel at the brilliant views of Barcelona.

Must be booked 20 days before departure

Day 14: Departure

  Included meals: Breakfast (excluding early morning departures)

Transfer to the airport for your flight home.

Add Lisbon Starting from $449 pp

Whitewashed buildings, red-clay roofs, and winding yellow trams are all part of the colorful cityscape of Portugal’s capital. Take two nights in Lisbon to explore this historic city’s monuments, cafes, and winding streets. Walk through the Alfama District, seek out the best bachalau and caldo verde, or pack a picnic lunch and watch the world go by on the banks of the Tagus. In Lisbon, there's discovery around every corner.

Overnight Flight 1 night

Day 1: Travel Day

Board your overnight flight to Lisbon today.

Lisbon 3 nights

Day 2: Arrival in Lisbon

  Included meals: Dinner

Welcome to Portugal! Gather with your Tour Director and fellow travelers at a welcome dinner.

Day 3: Sightseeing tour of Lisbon

  Included meals: Breakfast

Get to know the Portuguese capital on a tour with a local guide. 

• Admire views of the city from Eduardo VII Park, then pass the Plaza del Marqués de Pombal and the Mouraria District 

• Discover the city’s maritime heritage at the Monument to the Discoveries and Tower of Belém 

• Pass by the Jerónimos Monastery, built to honor voyagers, and enter Ajuda National Palace, the former residence of Portuguese royals 

• Walk from Bairro Alto through Chiado square to the Baixa district in the heart of the city 

Spend a free evening in Lisbon or add an excursion.

Optional Excursion - Fado Dinner & Show $85pp* Details

Fado Dinner & Show

Spend your evening at a Lisbon tavern listening to fado. Derived from the Latin word fatum—meaning “prophecy” or “fate”—fado is Portugal’s national musical treasure. Fado’s traditional theme is saudade, a word that doesn’t quite translate to English but conveys a sense of both nostalgia and longing. Dinner is included during this memorable musical evening.

Save $10 when you book this excursion up to 3 days before your tour departs. (On-tour price: $95)

Day 4: Free day in Lisbon

  Included meals: Breakfast

Enjoy a free day in Lisbon or add an excursion.

Optional Excursion - Sintra & the Portuguese Riviera $65pp* Details

Journey to the UNESCO World Heritage-listed town of Sintra and learn why the poet Lord Byron once called it a “glorious Eden.” Get a glimpse into royal life during a guided tour of the 19th-century, romanticist Pena Palace. This mountaintop site boasts picturesque gardens and sweeping views of the Portuguese countryside. After your tour, you’ll have free time to stroll through Sintra, viewing its colorful villas, small shops, and impeccably manicured gardens. On your way back to Lisbon, take in the coastal scenery of the Portuguese Riviera. You'll also stop in the old fishing village of Cascais to eat lunch and discover the town’s winding, narrow streets, pastel-colored buildings, and bustling fish market.

Must be booked 20 days before departure

Madrid for a day

Day 5: Flight to Madrid

  Included meals: Breakfast, Dinner

Board your flight to Madrid, Spain, to meet up with the rest of your group (day 2 of the regular itinerary).

How's the weather?

  • Madrid, Spain
  • Seville, Spain
  • Costa del Sol, Spain
  • Granada, Spain
  • Valencia, Spain
  • Barcelona, Spain
Temperature Precipitation
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Passport & visa requirements

• In order to enter Spain (and Portugal on the pre-tour extension), U.S. and Canadian citizens need a valid passport with an expiration date extending at least six months beyond the date of reentry. 

• We recommend having at least one blank passport page for entry stamps. 

• There is no visa required for U.S. or Canadian citizens. 

• If you are not a U.S. or Canadian citizen, you must contact each country’s consulate for your specific entry requirements.  

Tour pace

• You will walk for about 2.5 hours daily across moderately uneven terrain, including paved roads and cobblestone streets, with some hills. 

• Travelers should be healthy enough to participate in all included walks without assistance. Adding optional excursions may increase the total amount of walking on your tour. 

• You should feel comfortable managing your own baggage at times, as well as getting in and out of trains. 

• If you have any mobility concerns or physical restrictions, please contact our Customer Experience Team.

Transportation & arrival information

• Round-trip flights booked through Go Ahead Tours arrive in Madrid (or Lisbon on the pre-tour extension) and depart from Barcelona. A representative from Go Ahead Tours will meet you at the airport and take you to your hotel. Please remain in the arrival lounge, as the representative might be escorting one of your fellow travelers to the bus at the time of your arrival. 

• Transfers to and from the airport at your destination are included for travelers who have purchased their flights through Go Ahead Tours. Travelers who purchase their own flights may request airport transfers with Go Ahead Tours for an additional cost. 

• A train ride from Madrid to Córdoba is included in the price of your tour. 

• The pre-tour extension also includes a flight from Lisbon to Madrid. 

• All other included transportation on this tour is by private motor coach. 

Baggage allowance

• Airlines have varying weight restrictions on baggage. Some airlines may impose additional charges if you choose to check any baggage; be advised that you are responsible for any such costs. 

• Contact your airline for baggage size and weight restrictions for your flight, but please note that our travelers are restricted to one checked bag per person due to storage limitations on motor coaches and other transfers, which may include train connections or flights. 

• One carry-on bag of 45 total inches (length + width + height) is also permitted. 

• Make sure you label your baggage and keep valuables, medication, and documents in your carry-on bag.

Clothing & packing tips

• We recommend packing lightweight, loose-fitting clothing that can be easily layered to accommodate varying temperatures, as well as a light jacket or rainwear. 

• A sturdy pair of walking shoes or sneakers is recommended for sightseeing. 

• You may want to pack dressier attire if you plan to visit a high-end restaurant or attend a special performance. 

• It is preferable not to visit churches or other religious sites with bare legs and shoulders (and entrance may be denied on this basis).


• There are no major health risks associated with traveling to any of the countries on this tour. 

• At least 60 days prior to departure, check with your doctor or healthcare provider for the latest updates and entry requirements, or visit the Center for Disease Control and Prevention website at 

• If you have medication that you take daily, be sure you have enough for each day of the tour as well as any possible delays encountered. 

• If you have dietary restrictions and/or food allergies please notify Go Ahead Tours at least 30 days prior to departure by logging in to your account and updating your traveler info. To update this information closer to your departure date, please call our Customer Experience Team.


• In Spain, breakfast like a local with just a pastry and coffee. Then, tuck into a three-course lunch featuring a Spanish staple like savory seafood paella or grilled meat and fried potatoes. Dinner is less hearty than lunch and is served late, between 9pm and midnight. Snack on small plates called tapas any time of day.

• Cuisine in Spain’s southern Andalusia region is heavily influenced by surrounding countries, and has many Arabic elements. Kebabs are popular, and desserts are often prepared with almonds, honey, and cinnamon. Be sure to try Serrano ham, which is considered a regional delicacy, as well as the famous chilled soup known as gazpacho. 

• Catalan cuisine, which can be found in Barcelona, is markedly different from food in other parts of Spain. Nearly every restaurant will offer pa amb tomàquet— toasted bread with tomato and olive oil. Fresh seafood, hearty meat dishes, cheeses, and locally grown vegetables, such as wild mushrooms, are culinary mainstays. 

• On the pre-tour extension, Portuguese food is fresh, hearty, and delicious. Try seafood stew cooked in a cataplana, a shell-shaped copper pan, or the national dish, bacalhau (salted cod). A couvert, or simple plate of bread, butter, and olives, is often served when you sit down to a meal—while it is free in many restaurants, some will add a charge to your bill for it.

Electricity & air conditioning

• Spain (and Portugal on the pre-tour extension) operates on the European standard 220-240 volts and use Types C, E, or F plugs with two small, round pins. 

• We recommend packing a universal adapter, as well as a voltage converter if you plan on using your own hairdryer or other device without a built-in converter. 

• The strength of the air conditioning in European hotels is often not as strong or as cool as what you might be used to in the U.S. or Canada. When air conditioning is available, it is usually regulated seasonally and controlled centrally by the hotel. 

• Your hotels may provide hairdryers, irons, and other small appliances. However, these amenities cannot be guaranteed.


• Wi-Fi is available in most hotels, though some charges may apply. 

• There is no Wi-Fi on any of the motor coaches. 

• Please contact your mobile service provider for information on roaming charges. 

Time zones

• Spain is one hour ahead of Greenwich Mean Time (GMT) and six hours ahead of Eastern Time (ET). 

• Portugal, on the pre-tour extension, is on GMT and five hours ahead of ET. 

• When it’s noon in New York, it’s 6pm in Spain and 5pm in Portugal on the pre-tour extension.


• You will use the euro on tour. 

• Better rates of exchange are usually available overseas, although it’s worth ordering some currency from your local bank to use when you first arrive. 

• We strongly advise that you take debit/bank cards and credit cards, which can be used to withdraw cash at local banks as needed. 

• You can use most debit/credit cards at ATMs on the international networks Cirrus and Plus, but make sure to check with your home bank about withdrawal fees. 

• Inform your bank and credit card company of your travel plans so that they won’t confuse your international purchases for fraudulent charges. 

• International banks and businesses primarily accept debit and credit cards that work with the EMV chip system. If you do not already have at least one debit or credit card with a chip in it, we strongly recommend requesting one from your bank prior to your tour.


• At the conclusion of your tour, it’s customary to offer your Tour Director and driver a gratuity in local currency. Please keep current exchange rates in mind. 

• We recommend tipping the equivalent of $7USD to $10USD per person per day for your Tour Director and the equivalent of $3USD per person per day for your driver. 

• If applicable, we also recommend the equivalent of $2USD per local guide. 

• Tips can only be paid in cash. 

Purchasing excursions on tour

• Most optional excursions will be available for purchase while you are on tour. 

• Your Tour Director will only accept cash (in USD only), Visa, or MasterCard as payment for excursions. 

• Please be advised that if you pay for an excursion by credit card while on tour, it may take up to three months for your card to be charged. 

• Some optional excursions may only be purchased in advance. See page four of your tour itinerary for more information.

International travel is, by its very nature, unpredictable. We must therefore reserve the right to change this itinerary, without advance notice, to meet with local conditions at the time of travel. We appreciate your understanding. Please refer to our website for Terms & Conditions, dates, and prices.

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