15 of the Best Places to Visit in Spain
15 of the Best Places to Visit in Spain Spain is one of Europe’s most popular holiday destinations, attracting 82.8 million international visitors in 2018. We have collected the 15 best places to visit in…
Join this small group travel, 21-day tour of Spain. For couples or solo traveler with minimal single supplement has daily itineraries with local guides that provide authentic experiences for those who seek small group journeys. Escorted tour begins in Madrid, finishes in Barcelona.
This holiday with a leading tour operator allows the escorted tour for seniors to explore the life and times of the royal families responsible for making England and Spain so significant in the 16th century with local guides providing the travel experience for the detailed itineraries. We spend 10 days travelling from London to Madrid.
Join our small group guided tour of Spain, exploring this fascinating country over 10 nights with like minded people. We start in Barcelona and make our way slowly towards Madrid. Enjoy the food and culture while learning about the history of each location from our expert local guides and Odyssey Program Leader.
Small group journeys from one of the best small group tour companies Europe that delve into Barcelona‘s history, culture, and cuisine. Daily itineraries for couples and solo travellers with like minded people. An escorted tour of Barcelona based in an apartment with local guides sharing authentic experiences and knowledge.
Visits to UNESCO World Heritage Sites introduced by local guides feature on this walking tour for mature couple and single travellers in central Spain. The days itineraries to selected destinations provide authentic experiences in central Spain. A single supplement is charged for solo travelers on these small group journeys.
Experience pleasant sections of the Way of Saint James, crossing some of Spain’s most beautiful landscapes. We follow the pilgrims on easy distances of The Way to the mythical destination, Santiago de Compostella. Not since the middle ages has this adventure for body and mind been more popular. We also get to discover the artistic highlights and rich history of Northern Spain and Portugal, as well as enjoying local wines and exquisite food.
Our program explores the lands of Spain and Portugal, two countries bound by many centuries of history reflected in their modern cultures. Divided by history and language, contiguous neighbours Spain and Portugal were once host to gigantic empires that still bear their languages and lifestyles. A small group tour for couple and solo travellers.
Your selected small group tours Spain should include some or all of the following places and experiences on any Spain vacation: a visit to Barcelona, that includes Antoni Gaudi’s cathedral the Sagrada Familia, park guell in the gothic quarter and las ramblas; the work of El Greco in Toledo; and time in Alhambra to take in a guided tour of the UNESCO World heritage listed Alhambra palace for example. Spain’s history is close to the traveller on a small group tour of Spain whether on a regular Spain tour or walking tour of the Pilgrims walk, the Camino, from San Sebastian to Santiago de compostela in Northern Spain (to aid you appreciation of its history before your small group tours books about Spain are also detailed here). Overall, Odyssey’s small group tour of Spain has an itinerary that is considered and paced for the mature traveller to enjoy the journey.
Your tour manger will meet you in for example Spain’s capital city, Madrid for a city tour, including a guided tour of the royal palace and the Prado museum, staying for 2-3 nights before travelling onto Northern Spain or deep into Southern Spain to Cordoba. A city tour of Cordoba will have an itinerary that will include the walled city, where in narrow streets your local guides explain the features of Moorish Architecture before the trip travels on, for 2-3 nights in Seville. Famous for the flamenco music, Seville also features Moorish architecture and the Cathedral is the final resting place for Christopher Columbus.
From the majestic scenery of the Pyrenees to paradisaical beaches and from Roman ruins to otherworldly contemporary architecture, beyond Antoni Gaudi’s work, there is so much to discover in this amazingly diverse country on a tour of Spain. More than just the extraordinary landscapes and art, Spain boasts a uniquely warm atmosphere. The easy going culture makes anyone feel at home from Madrid to Barcelona, whether you’re taking a stroll on Barcelona’s bustling Las Ramblas, Madrid’s Puerta del Sol, or wine tasting with tapas in a local run hotel deep in Basque country. On your trip, make sure to head to a local restaurant for your meals, tour the tapas bars , enjoy a glass of la rioja wine perhaps, listen to flamenco music and soak it all in.
Odyssey’s tour of Spain are often linked to a Portugal tour that includes Lisbon.
15 of the Best Places to Visit in Spain Spain is one of Europe’s most popular holiday destinations, attracting 82.8 million international visitors in 2018. We have collected the 15 best places to visit in…
Barcelona is one of the cultural highlights of Europe. Situated on the Mediterranean coast of the Iberian Peninsula, the Catalan capital is famous for its distinctive architecture and its world-renowned food and wine.
n the heart of Basque Country, 11km from the Bay of Biscay, you will find Bilbao, one of northern Spain’s greatest treasures. Renowned for its famous Guggenheim Museum, Bilbao’s architectural wonders are surrounded by a…
Burgos, Spain Burgos in northern Spain is the country’s original heartland, initially known as Castilla la Vieja – the old part of the kingdom of Castile. The city of Burgos, founded in 884, was the…
The Camino de Santiago, also known as the Way of St James, is an ancient Catholic pilgrimage route that runs across northern Spain to the shrine of the Apostle St James in Santiago de Compostela…
Eight Amazing Rail Journeys This article details eight amazing rail journeys that you may wish to consider when planning your journeys. Humans have been travelling by sea since ancient times, but on land, humans were…
As a sea connecting continents and stretching from the Atlantic Ocean in the west to Asia in the east, the Mediterranean has for centuries been a centre of trade and exploration.
On Catalonia’s Costa Brava, 45 minutes from Girona, lies the small town of Figueres, the birthplace of surrealist artist Salvador Dali and home to the Teatre-Museu Gala Salvador Dali. Apart from the Dali museum, Figueres…
Girona is Northern Catalonia's biggest city, an hour and a half's drive from Barcelona. A compact medieval fortress city with the best-preserved Jewish quarter in Europe, Girona offers a medley of galleries, churches, restaurants, museums…
Located at the foot of the Sierra Nevada mountains in Spain’s southernmost region of Andalucia, Granada was the last stronghold of the Spanish Moors and the brilliance of Moorish spirit and culture endures in the city…
Five Incredible Women of the Renaissance | Small Group Tours The Renaissance is considered humanity’s greatest intellectual and artistic revolution and stories about the period is dominated by tales of famous men and their inventions,…
Learn about Madrid and its history on a small group package tour for mature and senior travellers for couples and single travellers. Odyssey offers a range of tours that take the traveller to Madrid in its collection of Spain tours.
Seville is a lively and disarming city, and a popular tourist destination in Spain.
An hour outside of Barcelona is the impressive multi-peaked mountain range known as Montserrat. Within its dramatic, rocky mountain tops hides the Benedictine Monestir de Montserrat, a monastery popular with visitors from all over the…
Pamplona, Spain Pamplona, the capital of Navarre in northern Spain, is famous worldwide for the running of the bulls during the San Fermin fiesta, and for being one of Ernest Hemingway’s favourite cities. Hemingway visited…
Pilgrimage routes and walking tours Several pilgrimage tracks remain intact and active centuries after they were first established. Many Odyssey tours trace their routes, walking in the footsteps of people […]
Escorted small group tours for mature and senior travellers to Spain. Designed for couples and solo travellers who like to explore and enjoy learning as they travel to Madrid, Barcelona, Seville, Bilboa, Burgos, Figueres, Zaragoza and so much more.
A charming seaside town just 35 km from Barcelona, Sitges, with its pristine beaches, array of art galleries and vibrant bars and clubs, Sitges has something for everyone. Sometimes referred to as the St. Tropez…
Books to read if you are taking a trip to Spain Odyssey Traveller has prepared and made this reading list of books to read if you are taking a trip to Spain. Odyssey Traveller offers…
Just over an hour by train from Barcelona is the magnificent port city of Tarragona. Located on the Costa Daurada, Tarragona is home to sparkling beaches and a wealth of Roman ruins. Once a major…
La Sagrada Familia The Sagrada Familia, still under construction A small group guided tour of La Sagrada Familia, perhaps one of the world’s most iconic buildings, including the Basilicai Temple Expiatori de la Sagrada Familia…
Are these the Best Art Galleries in Western Europe? It’s no secret that Western Europe is home to some of most spectacular art galleries in the world. These grand neoclassical buildings are hard to miss,…
An hour south of Madrid, sitting atop a gorge overlooking the Tagus River, is the magnificent city of Toledo. Often called 'Imperial City' because it was the main venue of the court of Charles V,…
For the active mature and senior traveller be they a couple or solo traveller this article outlines preparation for walking tours even for the over 80's. It may on the Wainwright, the lake district or a pilgrims walk across Europe or St James Way, the Camino. This artices give advice on getting fit, shoes and socks including for particular advice for women on this topic.
The city of Zaragoza, the fifth-biggest city in Spain, lies in the region of Aragon in northern Spain and is easy to reach from both Madrid and Barcelona. Home to beautiful Moorish architecture, Roman ruins,…
Espana, Spain is also one of the world’s most geographically diverse countries, spanning from the famous Costa del Sol in the south to the Picos de Europa mountains of northern Spain.
However, despite its varied landscape, the country has a well-designed public transportation network including a high speed train network and well-maintained highway system which makes travelling throughout the country easy. On our Odyssey Traveller tours through Spain , travel between locations is by coach joining the local tour guide at each stop. This allows us to stop at important destinations between major cities such as Cordoba, San Sebastian and visit lesser-known cultural hotspots. Choosing one of our guided tours of Spain with your own Odyssey tour director/tour leader means that you do not have to worry about getting around between cities and can leave the stress of intercity travel to us.
If you are looking for an escorted tour of Espana in pleasant, sunny weather but fewer crowds, the best time to take a tour of Spain is in the spring (March to May) or autumn (September to November). For this reason, Odyssey’s group tours of Spain leave at the beginning of May and September. During these months, you will find that the weather is warm, without being unbearably hot, and there are less tourists to compete with when visiting popular landmarks and museums.
Spain has a single time zone (excluding its overseas territories), on Central European Time. The nation observes daylight saving time from the last Sunday in March to the last Sunday in October.
If you’re on an Odyssey tour of Spain, we take care of tipping so you don’t need to give it a second thought. However, in your free time, or if travelling independently, it’s essential that you tip an appropriate amount for services, as is the case throughout much of Europe. It is customary to tip up to 5% of the bill at restaurants. You may just leave small change at more casual establishments. It is not customary to tip in a tapas bar, even if you receive some small change back from the bartender after enjoying some of Spain’s delicious tapas. However, tips for good service are always appreciated.
Internet access is easily accessible, and most hotels and many cafes will offer it. It maybe patchy in the more remote areas of Spain.
Check with your cell phone provider to see whether you’re able to make calls and use data while in Spain. Many providers will offer a daily fee that allows you to make calls and check the internet, while only being charged your regular rates. However, be certain to inform your provider that you’re heading overseas, because just like a bank, they can turn off your service as a result of unusual activity.
Odyssey’s small group tour of Spain are designed as package holidays with a tour director/tour leader in which you will be part of a small group of 6 to 16 people travelling as a couple or solo travellers . This means the cost of the holiday on a escorted tour includes accommodation , all entrances including any UNESCO world heritage site visited, tipping and a majority of meals, the guided tour with great local guides and tour manager. One of the benefits of this is that there are no hidden extras or an optional excursion with respect to cost which means that you can budget accordingly and ensure the holiday is an affordable one for you. Tours typically span between two to three weeks in duration and seek to stay typically 2 to 3 nights in each location in good 3 or 4 star hotels. As well as this, Odyssey can adjust an itinerary for your Spain trip that will suit your dates and locations, as long as it is a section of the full tour, the price will be adjusted accordingly.
All of our tours offer free time, giving you the chance to explore different destinations on your own and visit those sites not included in the tour. Some ways that you can make sure you’re touring Spain affordably include:
When booking an Odyssey small group tour, some things to consider before you book include:
Odyssey travels by coach and occasionally uses local transport, including the train and ferries. Specifics are always outlined in your tour itinerary. Spain has an extensive high speed train network connecting most of the country as well as links with Portugal and France. The network is comprised of a mid and long distance train system and AVE (high speed trains). Barcelona offers great bus and metro transport to get around the city and visit all the main sights.
In major cities, Odyssey stays in centrally located 3-4 star hotels, with easy access to public transport. In smaller towns or rural areas, we usually stay in family-run hotels or guesthouses. On our long stay tours, during which you spend the length of the tour in a single location, we use serviced apartments.
Odyssey always engages local guides with regional knowledge to ensure an authentic experience during which you can learn as much as possible about the history and culture of places you visit.
Spain shares the Iberian Peninsula with Portugal and is bounded to the north by the Pyrenees, which separate Spain from France. The Balearic Islands, Mallorca, Menorca, Ibiza and Formentera, lie about 190 kilometres south-east of Barcelona, while the Canary Islands lie off the west coast of Africa. The tiny enclaves of Ceuta and Melilla on the North African mainland also belong to Spain.
The Pyrenees stretch roughly 400 kilometres from the Basque Country in the west to the Mediterranean Sea. The peaks exceed 1,500 metres in some points, the highest standing at 3,404 metres. Spain is dominated by its vast central plateau, the Meseta, divided by several chains of sierras. The higher northern area includes Castile and León, while the southern section comprises Castile-La Mancha and Extremadura. In the south the plateau drops abruptly at the Sierra Morena, beyond which lies the valley of the Guadalquivir. Sierra Nevada lies to the south-east of Granada. It is part of the Baetic Cordillera, which runs parallel to the Mediterranean.
The Mediterranean coast stretches from the French frontier in the north-east down to the Strait of Gibraltar, the narrow strip of water linking the Mediterranean with the Atlantic and separating Spain from North Africa.
Spain’s climate varies from temperate in the north to dry and hot in the south. The best months are from April to October, although mid-summer, July and August, can be excessively hot throughout the country except in the coastal regions. Madrid is best in late spring or autumn (though there are advantages to travelling in shoulder and off seasons). The central plateau can be bitterly cold in winter.
Spain boasts the third largest number of UNESCO World Heritage sites. It has 46 sites listed, which you can view on the official site here: (https://whc.unesco.org/en/statesparties/es). While every single site has something of value, there are a few highlights:
Alhambra, Generalife and Albayzín, Granada. The Alhambra is currently the only preserved palatine city of the Islamic period. It is a vast complex of fortress and gardens, set in a picturesque district that blends Moorish and Andalusian architecture.
The Santiago de Compostela (Camino de santiago) is a heritage listed Christian pilgrimage route, with the routes of Camino Francés and Northern Spain as optional extensions. The awe-inspring cathedral of Santiago de Compostela is also a notable heritage site.
Antoni Gaudí’s seven buildings in and around Barcelona testify to his exceptional creative contribution to the development of architecture and building technology in the late 19th and early 20th centuries.
Spain hosts a number of cultural, culinary, and religious events throughout the year. From La Tomatina in Bunol, to the many celebrations of Semana Santa (Holy Week) and Carnaval, you will certainly be able to find something that suits your schedule and taste. Other events include Fiesta de San Isidro Labrador in Madrid, honouring the city’s patron saint and marking the start of bullfighting season; Festa Major de Grácia in Barcelona where locals compete for the most elaborately decorated street; and San Sebástian International Film Festival, a two-week festival that begun in the 1950s.
Spanish food is one of the country’s main attractions and a key driver of tourism. While foreigners often think of Spanish food as one category, it actually varies widely based on the region. Some popular regional dishes include Paella Valenciana from the Eastern region town of Valencia, and Iberian Ham and Jerez Vinegar from the Andalusía region. Spanish tapas, typically reflects the regional dishes.
Spanish wine is also very popular and with different varieties of grapes grown throughout the country, the most popular is the rioja wine region. There’s a great variety of wines on offer, from Tempranillo to Syrah to Verdejo, again la rioja wine is very popular.
Olives are grown in different regions in Spain, mainly in Southern Spain, Andalucía and Catalonia. The country is the world’s biggest virgin olive oil producer, one of the main ingredients in Spanish cooking. It’s estimated Spaniards consume approximately 9 litres of olive oil per person each year!
As of writing, smarttraveller.gov recommends exercising normal safety precautions when travelling in Spain. While much of Spain is usually safe to travel around, it’s important to stay alert to anything unusual. Demonstrations and strikes affecting transport services and traffic can occur at minimal or no notice; we advise you to monitor local media and be prepared to adjust your travel plans. Pickpocketing is popular in tourist areas and on public transport, so keep a close eye on your belongings at all times.
Whenever you travel overseas, it’s always wise to take an appropriate travel adaptor. Plugs in Spain have two round pins (type F), so make sure to pick up the right adaptor before your trip.
Empires crossing the Mediterranean: 1130-1300.
15 of the best places to visit in Spain.
Pilgrimages of the World: Advice for mature and senior travellers.
Books to read on a trip to Spain.
For all the articles Odyssey Traveller has published for mature aged and senior travellers, click through on this link.
The spirit of southern Spain: Reasons to visit Andalucia.
Beyond Seville: Three ancient towns to visit in Andalucia.
Ten must see sights in Madrid.
Refreshed December 2020.
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