The Mountains & Mediterranean Marvels of Spain (Starts Madrid) 2022

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1-888-597-3519

905-639-9954

dhtour@dhtour.ca

13 Days / 12 Nights
Availability : May to October
Start: Madrid, Spain
End: Madrid, Spain

The Mountains & Mediterranean Marvels of Spain (Starts Madrid): 2 nts Cuenca, 3 nts Valencia, 2 nts Barcelona, 2 nts Huesca, 3 nts Haro

Like the best trips, this journey never goes in a straight line.

You go up, down, left, right, over, under and all around.

You clamber over the Pyrenean mountains, into medieval castles, and through Roman remains. You weave along coastlines favoured by foodies and artists. And you glide by national parks and the rolling olive fields of La Rioja as you search for the best glass of wine you’ve ever tasted.

Take the scenic route through Spain and discover the mountains and marvels on this thirteen-day journey.

13 DAYS / 12 NIGHTS / MAX 16 GUESTS

Contact DHTour at 1-888-597-3519 or 905-639-9954 or dhtour@dhtour.ca to book this small group tour The Mountains & Mediterranean Marvels of Spain (Starts Madrid).

Tour Details
Places you explore

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

Peñíscola – Surrounded by lavender and the ocean, the ‘City in the Sea’ is a true Mediterranean marvel

Valencia – The birthplace of Paella and one of Spain’s most liveable coastal cities

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

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

Monte Perdido National Park – Soaring peaks, glacial lakes, and cascading waterfalls adorn this biosphere reserve in the Pyrenees

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

Pick Up Location & TIme

Madrid  (Google Map)
9:00am – Hotel Porcel Ganivet, C. de Toledo, 111, 113, 28005 Madrid, Spain

Drop off Location & Time

Barcelona  (Google Map)
6:15pm – Hotel Evenia Rocafort, C. de Rocafort, 23, 25, 08015 Barcelona, Spain

Price Includes

  • 12 nights 3/4 star hotel accommodation
  • Transport in a 16 seat Mercedes mini-coach
  • Air conditioning as standard
  • Daily breakfasts
  • The stories and services of an English-speaking driver-guide
  • Entrance to Aranjuez Royal Palace and Gardens
  • Entrance to Lapis Specularis Mine
  • Entrance to Villar del Humo cave paintings
  • Requena wine tasting
  • 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

Meals

  • 12 breakfasts
  • 0 lunches
  • 0 dinners
  • 0 teas

Price Excludes

  • Entry fees to visitor attractions/Optional Activities
  • Airfare
  • Transfers
  • Pre / Post hotel nights
  • Driver / Tour Leader gratuity is at your discretion
  • Travel Insurance
What to Expect

Explore in 16 seat mini-coaches, always taking the scenic route, you have great views through large windows, and you’re free to sample the local tipple without worrying about driving. Our driver-guides are famous for their knowledge, facts, quirky stories, history, and fairy-tales. They truly take you beyond the guidebooks and into your adventure. You make your trip your own. We provide the timetable; and you can choose where you want to eat and which attractions you pay to see. So, if you want to skip a castle and read your book by a mountain view, you can.

A good night’s sleep is often needed for a good day of travel. So we’ve hand-picked three-star to four-star hotels in remote coastal villages, bustling towns, and mountain valleys. Your accommodation is included in the tour price.

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.

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.

Pack comfortable shoes for walks up to beautiful views. Carry swimwear and a towel for swimming spots. Your holiday’s more fun when you protect yourself from the sun.

Itinerary
The Mountains & Mediterranean Marvels of Spain (Starts Madrid)

Day 1Madrid - Aranjuez - Villarejo de Salvanés - Torrejoncillo del Rey - Cuenca

  • 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. (B)

Included Activities: Entrance to Aranjuez Royal Palace and Gardens, and Entrance to Lapis Specularis Mine

Accommodation: Hotel Exe Cuenca or similar, Cuenca

Day 2Cuenca - Parque Natural de la Serranía de Cuenca - Cuenca

  • 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. (B)

Optional Activities: Various outdoor leisure activities in Parque Natural de la Serranía de Cuenca

Accommodation: Hotel Exe Cuenca or similar, Cuenca

Day 3Cuenca - Fuentes - Villar del Humo - Utiel - Winery in Requen - Valencia

  • 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. (B)

Included Activities: Entrance to Villar del Humo cave paintings, and Requena wine tasting

Accommodation: Hotel Eurostars Rey Don Jaime or similar, Valencia

Day 4Valencia - Albufera Natural Park - Valencia

  • 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. (B)

Optional Activities: Guided city walk and tapas experience in Valencia, and Monastery of Santa Maria in El Puig

Accommodation: Hotel Eurostars Rey Don Jaime or similar, Valencia

Day 5Valencia - Xàtiva - Los Charcos de Quesa - Valencia

  • 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. (B)

Accommodation: Hotel Eurostars Rey Don Jaime or similar, Valencia

Day 6Valencia - Sagunto - Peñiscola - Sitges - Barcelona

  • 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. (B)

Day 7Barcelona

  • Stare in awe at the works of Antoni Gaudí, the greatest exponent of Catalan Modernism
  • Let your hair down and enjoy the beach life

Today, you have a free day to explore Barcelona, the capital of Catalonia. This cosmopolitan city has it all: fabled architecture, sun-drenched beaches, and a world-class dining and drinking scene.

If you’re an art lover, marvel at the eccentric style of Gaudí’s finest masterpiece, La Sagrada Familia*.

Sun worshippers can laze around in the enchanting Park Güell before taking the plunge in the Mediterranean Sea on one of the city’s beaches.

Foodies may feast on hearty paella and tasty tapas and head to Mercat de la Boqueria food market for an unforgettable gourmet experience.

The evenings and nights hold limitless possibilities in Barcelona. But don’t get too carried away in bars and clubs because you continue your tour tomorrow. (B)

*This UNESCO-heritage site is very popular, so please book your ticket in advance.

Optional Activities: Ticket for a hop-on hop-off sightseeing bus

Accommodation: Hotel Evenia Rocafort or similar, Barcelona

Day 8Barcelona - Montserrat - Lleida - Huesca

  • 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 9Huesca - Torla-Ordesa - Jaca - Huesca

  • 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. (B)

Accommodation: Hotel Pedro I de Aragón or similar, Huesca

Day 10Huesca - Zaragoza - Tarazona - Haro

  • 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. (B)

Included Activities: Entrance to Aljafería Palace

Accommodation: Hotel Eurostars Los Agustinos or similar, Haro

Day 11Haro - San Sebastián - Pamplona - Logroño - Haro

  • 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. (B)

Optional Activities: Entrance to La Rioja Museum

Accommodation: Hotel Eurostars Los Agustinos or similar, Haro

Day 12Haro - Waterfalls of Tobera - Vivanco Museum of Wine Culture - Haro

  • 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. (B)

Included Activities: Rioja wine tasting and tour at Vivanco Museum of Wine Culture

Accommodation: Hotel Eurostars Los Agustinos or similar, Haro

Day 13Haro - Burgos - Royal Palace of La Granja de San Ildefonso - Madrid

  • 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. (B)

Included Activities: Royal Palace of La Granja de San Ildefonso

Accommodation: Hotel Porcel Ganivet or similar, Madrid

Dates and Prices - Hotel accommodation
Departure Dates and Days Double/Twin (pp) Single Rate
2022: May 23 $4,650 $5,530
2022: June 6, 20 $4,980 $6,120
2022: July 4, 18 $4,730 $5,710
2022: August 1 $4,730 $5,710
2022: August 15 $4,830 $5,810
2022: August 29 $4,890 $5,940
2022: September 12, 26 $4,650 $5,530
2022: October 10 $4,650 $5,530

All guaranteed departures.

Pricing

Pricing is per person (pp) based on twin/ double occupancy.
Rates are in $ CAD.

 


Contact DHTour at 1-888-597-3519 or 905-639-9954 or dhtour@dhtour.ca  to book.

Ask us for the best available pricing for your dates & choice of airline.

 

Notes
Mobility: All of our tours involve walking and require our guests to board and disembark our vehicles several times a day making this tour unsuitable for those with reduced mobility.

Luggage: You’re restricted to 20kg (44lbs) of luggage per person. This should be one piece of luggage similar to an airline carry-on bag (approximately 55cm x 45cm x 25cm / 22in x 17in x 10in) and a small bag for onboard personal items.

Want to extend your stay in Madrid?  Ask us for a hotel package. 

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