Small group tour of Spain

Odyssey presents a seamless, accessible, and laid-back experience through guided small group tours spanning Western Europe and other regions. Delving into Spain’s breath-taking natural landscapes, its rich Roman and imperial legacy, UNESCO World Heritage Sites, and iconic cities provides a journey enriched by stunning vistas. Embark on Odyssey’s small group escapades in Spain, tailored for senior explorers and accompanied by knowledgeable and passionate companions. The allure of the Iberian peninsula, encompassing Spain and Portugal, can be encapsulated in two words: rich and vibrant. From the enchanting Northern Spain and the Basque Country to the sun-soaked Southern Spain and Andalusia, our small group excursions allow travellers to delve into Spanish history, often through UNESCO World Heritage sites, while immersing in the country’s cultural tapestry and diverse landscapes – essential aspects of a fulfilling Spain expedition. Designed for groups of up to 12 individuals, Odyssey’s small group tours in Spain cater to mature and senior travellers, whether embarking as a duo or solo adventurer. Odyssey offers easy, convenient, and relaxed escorted small group tours across Western Europe and beyond. We explore Spain’s incredible natural beauty, its ancient Roman and imperial heritage, World Heritage Sites, and world famous cities, all with some truly spectacular scenery along the way. This and more is all waiting to be explored on one of Odyssey’s small group tours of Spain, designed for the senior traveller, and led by experienced, and enthusiastic like minded people.

Spain Tours

Tours for Mature Aged and Senior World Travellers.

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Barcelona-Spain

21 days

Sep, May

Discover Spain

Visiting Spain

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.

From A$14,250 AUD

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Habsburg Spain Tudor England

21 days

May, Aug, Sep

Habsburg Spain vs Tudor England: small group tour exploring 16th century history of England & Spain

Visiting England

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.

From A$14,295 AUD

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Short Spain tours

11 days

Sep, Apr, Aug

Short Spain Tour for senior and mature travellers

Visiting Spain

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.

From A$7,610 AUD

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Pre-guaranteed
Barcelona city

21 days

Apr, Sep, Aug

Barcelona Small Group Tour | The city explored in-depth

Visiting Spain

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.

From A$12,925 AUD

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via del plata

20 days

May, Sep

Via de la Plata: Small Group Walking Tour in the Footsteps of Pilgrims

Visiting Spain

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.

From A$14,245 AUD

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Saint James Way Small Group Walking Tour

19 days

Sep, Jun, Aug

Saint James Way Small Group Walking Tour (The Camino)- Spain

Visiting Portugal, Spain

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.

From A$14,135 AUD

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Vineyard with Davaillo castle as background, La Rioja (Spain)

24 days

Apr, Oct, Mar

Small Group Guided Tours of Spain and Portugal

Visiting Portugal, Spain

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.

From A$16,225 AUD

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Odyssey’s curated small group tours in Spain promise an enriching travel experience, blending must-see landmarks with hidden gems. Your Spanish odyssey encompasses iconic Barcelona, a tapestry of Antoni Gaudi’s masterpieces like the awe-inspiring Sagrada Familia, whimsical Park Guell, and the vibrant labyrinth of Las Ramblas. Venture further into the historical tapestry of Spain with a journey to Toledo, where El Greco’s artistic legacy unfolds before your eyes. Delve deeper into Spain’s cultural tapestry with a guided exploration of the UNESCO World Heritage site, Alhambra Palace, in Granada.

As the Spanish landscape unfolds, travellers can immerse themselves in the nation’s rich history on a captivating pilgrimage along the Camino from San Sebastian to Santiago de Compostela in Northern Spain, tracing the footsteps of ancient pilgrims. For those eager to delve into Spain’s historical depths before embarking on our small group tours, a selection of recommended books awaits, offering a deeper understanding of Spain’s vibrant past.

Embark on Odyssey’s small group tour of Spain, meticulously designed for the discerning mature traveller seeking a harmonious blend of insight and leisure. Embrace the journey ahead as Spain’s captivating history and cultural tapestry unfold to create lasting memories for the avid explorer.

Spain tours to be enjoyed.

Your tour manager will greet you in Spain’s vibrant capital, Madrid, for an immersive city tour that includes visits to the magnificent Royal Palace and the renowned Prado Museum. After spending 2-3 nights exploring the bustling city, your journey will continue either up to Northern Spain or down to the charming city of Cordoba in Southern Spain. In Cordoba, a guided city tour will take you through the historic walled city, where local guides will explain the intricate features of Moorish Architecture before you move on to spend another 2-3 nights in the enchanting city of Seville.

Seville, famous for its lively flamenco music and stunning Moorish architecture, is also home to the grand Cathedral, where Christopher Columbus finds his final resting place. From the breath-taking Pyrenees mountains to the idyllic beaches, and from ancient Roman ruins to modern architectural marvels including the works of Antoni Gaudi, Spain offers a plethora of diverse experiences waiting to be discovered. Beyond its extraordinary landscapes and art, Spain exudes a unique warmth and charm, making visitors feel at home wherever they go, whether it’s strolling down Barcelona’s bustling Las Ramblas, exploring Madrid’s Puerta del Sol, or indulging in tapas and wine in a local Basque country hotel.

During your trip, make sure to savour the local cuisine at authentic restaurants, hop between tapas bars, indulge in a glass of La Rioja wine, relish the soul-stirring flamenco music, and fully immerse yourself in the Spanish culture and lifestyle. Odyssey’s Spain tours are often combined with a visit to Portugal, including the captivating city of Lisbon.

Ideal for mature or senior travellers, solo explorers, or couples seeking intimate experiences, small group tours in Spain led by expert tour managers and local guides offer a genuine insight into the country’s rich heritage for like-minded individuals. Odyssey Traveller meticulously crafts itineraries that not only cover the popular cities but also venture off the beaten path, providing a holistic experience of Spain. Whether it’s exploring the regal attractions in Madrid, the architectural wonders in Barcelona, or delving into the history of Islamic Spain at Alhambra Palace, each tour is designed to offer a blend of cultural enrichment and discovery.

Your journey through Spain with Odyssey Traveller may lead you to the Basque Country, where you can delve into its unique history, or on a historical exploration of Islamic Spain and Portugal at the UNESCO-listed Alhambra Palace. You’ll also witness Gaudi’s architectural legacy in Barcelona, taking in iconic sites like Park Guell and the Sagrada Familia cathedral. From a royal tour in Madrid to a pilgrimage along the Camino de Santiago, following the paths of medieval pilgrims, each itinerary promises a deep dive into Spain’s past and present.

If you’re considering embarking on an Odyssey small group tour to Spain, take some time to plan your itinerary, deciding on the places you wish to visit, the best time to travel, and the mode of transport. Whether you opt for a comprehensive countrywide tour or prefer to focus on a single city, Odyssey Traveller ensures you have ample opportunities to explore and appreciate the rich tapestry of Spanish culture, history, and people, whether traveling solo or with a companion. Further enrich your travel experience with recommended books about Spain provided by Odyssey.

Articles about Spain

La Sagrada Familia Gaudi, Barcelona

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…

25 Jul 18 · 8 mins read
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Barcelona-Spain

Barcelona Travel Notes

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.

18 Dec 19 · 13 mins read
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Guggenheim Museum, Bilbao

Bilbao, Spain

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 ring of rolling green hills and lies on the mouth of the Nervion River. Once an industrial city, it has been transformed into a design city, where sleek new buildings sit alongside Gothic cathedrals and art nouveau train stations. At the end of 2017, Bilbao was chosen the Best European City 2018 at The Urbanism Awards 2018 and it is not hard to see why, with a new rapid transit system, a tram line and the Azkuna Zentroa, a wine storage warehouse turned cultural centre. This Spanish city has it all: vibrant history and culture, modern architecture, beautiful scenery and spectacular regional cuisine.

27 Jan 20 · 3 mins read
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Burgos Cathedral, Spain

Burgos, Spain

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…

11 Mar 20 · 2 mins read
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Pilgrimage; Camino-de-Santiago

Camino de Santiago

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 in Galicia.

18 Dec 19 · 4 mins read
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pont de Bir-Hakeim pont de passy

Eight Amazing Rail Journeys: The Definitive Guide

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…

5 Feb 19 · 3 mins read
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Greek islands

Empires Crossing the Mediterranean: 1130-1300

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.

22 Oct 19 · 8 mins read
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Dali museum

Figueres, Spain

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 is a lively and vibrant town with great restaurants, local boutiques, interesting architecture and dreamy beaches only a short drive away.

28 Jan 20 · 4 mins read
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The streets of Girona

Girona, Spain

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 and medieval architecture to explore.

30 Jan 20 · 4 mins read
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Moorish architecture in Alhambra, Spain

Granada, Spain

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 today. The Alhambra, the palace fortress of the Nasrid sultans, is the heart and soul of Granada and one of Spain’s most popular tourist attractions. With its magnificent palaces and gardens, the Alhambra is an unmissable sight but the city itself also has a lot on offer including buzzing cafes and restaurants, vibrant tapas bars, a bustling Jewish quarter and funky street art.

27 Jan 20 · 4 mins read
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Tour of Italy, Renaissance Sculpture Medici Lion by Vacca in Florence

Five Women of the Renaissance period to see on tour

Five Incredible Women of the Renaissance | Small Group Tours The Renaissance stands as one of humanity’s most profound intellectual and artistic revolutions, often overshadowed by narratives of renowned men and their contributions. While historical…

8 Oct 19 · 13 mins read
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Cibeles Fountain In Downtown Madrid

Highlights of Madrid

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.

18 Dec 19 · 5 mins read
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Plaza de España in Seville

Highlights of Seville

Seville is a lively and disarming city, and a popular tourist destination in Spain.

11 Oct 21 · 5 mins read
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The Benedictine Abbey

Montserrat, 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 world. Everyone from pilgrims and culture lovers to hikers and speleologists love the spot thanks to the gorgeous hiking terrain and beautiful abbey village built into the mountain and to top it all off, it is an easy day trip from Barcelona. Today, Montserrat is often used to refer to both Montserrat mountain and Montserrat Abbey.

31 Jan 20 · 4 mins read
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Pamplona, Spain

Pamplona, Spain

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…

11 Mar 20 · 2 mins read
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Pilgrimage

Pilgrimages of the World- Advice for Seniors & Mature travellers

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 who sought religious or spiritual…

14 Aug 17 · 9 mins read
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Barcelona

Questions About Spain for senior travellers

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.

13 Nov 19 · 2 mins read
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Sitges, Barcelona

Sitges, Spain

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 of Spain, the town’s pretty beaches and seafront promenade are framed by lush green mountains and despite its proximity to the big city (it takes around 40 minutes to get from Barcelona to Sitges), its serene shores can make you feel very far away from the hustle and bustle.

27 Jan 20 · 3 mins read
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Books to read on a trip to Spain

Taking a trip to Spain: 10 of the Best Books to Read

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…

10 Nov 19 · 3 mins read
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The seaside town of Tarragona

Tarragona, Spain

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 Roman city, you can feel Tarragona’s history all throughout the city as you wander through the charming old town. Perched on the Mediterranean, you can also expect fantastic places to eat and delicious food. Romesco, a sauce usually made with dry peppers, garlic, oil and nuts, originated in Tarragona and you can find it at restaurants paired with fresh seafood and fish. The province is also known for its fine wine.

28 Jan 20 · 4 mins read
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The Sagrada Familia, still under construction

The Sagrada Familia, Spain

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…

28 Jan 20 · 3 mins read
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Louvre, Paris

The Ten Best Art Galleries in Western Europe

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,…

10 Oct 19 · 7 mins read
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The view of Toledo

Toledo, Spain

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, Holy Roman Emperor in Spain, Toledo is a medieval town that has been heavily influenced by its mix of Christian, Jewish and Muslim inhabitants throughout the centuries. You will find monuments scattered throughout the city that reflect Toledo's 'three cultures' and many of the city's most visited attractions are religious. The historic city of Toledo was designated a UNESCO World Heritage Site in 1986 for being 'a repository of more than 2,000 years of history' and for its architectural masterpieces that hold such importance for Christians, Muslims and Jews.

28 Jan 20 · 5 mins read
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Affordable small group tours with Odyssey Alumni

Walking tours for active travellers – tips for seniors

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.

14 Jan 21 · 6 mins read
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Zaragoza town centre

Zaragoza, Spain

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, two magnificent cathedrals and a rich collection of street art, Zaragoza is often underrated as a tourist destination despite having a lot to offer. As well as this, the city has an incredible food scene and visiting the city’s famous tapas bars is an amazing culinary experience and will give you a taste of Aragonese cuisine. Zaragoza is also the hometown of the artist Francisco Goya, considered to be the most important Spanish artist of the late 18th and early 19th centuries, and you can see his work throughout the city.

28 Jan 20 · 5 mins read
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FAQs

What are the best ways to get around in Spain?

Spain, known as España, stands out as one of the world’s most geographically diverse countries. From the captivating Costa del Sol in the south to the stunning Picos de Europa mountains in the north, Spain’s landscape showcases a remarkable blend of contrasts that enthrall travelers.

This diversity is seamlessly united by an advanced public transportation network, which includes a high-speed train system and well-kept highways that ensure seamless travel across the country. Choosing to embark on an Odyssey Traveller tour in Spain guarantees a smooth journey between these picturesque destinations. With luxurious coaches facilitating travel, explorers can deeply immerse themselves in the unique charm of each location. Whether strolling through the ancient streets of Cordoba or enjoying the coastal splendor of San Sebastian, these tours unveil hidden cultural gems off the beaten tourist paths.

Selecting a guided tour with Odyssey ensures a stress-free adventure, thanks to knowledgeable tour directors and leaders adept at managing intercity travel logistics. This meticulous organization enables you to fully absorb the rich tapestry of Spanish heritage and landscapes, free from navigation concerns.

Spain, famously known as España, shines as one of the world’s most geographically diverse countries. From the alluring Costa del Sol in the south to the breathtaking Picos de Europa mountains in the north, Spain’s landscape offers a remarkable blend of contrasts that captivate travelers.

This diversity is seamlessly connected by a sophisticated public transportation network, featuring a high-speed train system and well-maintained highways that make traveling across the country effortless. Embarking on an Odyssey Traveller tour in Spain guarantees a smooth journey between these picturesque destinations. With comfortable coaches facilitating travel, explorers can deeply immerse themselves in the distinct allure of each location. Whether wandering through the ancient streets of Cordoba or basking in the coastal beauty of San Sebastian, these tours unveil hidden cultural treasures away from the usual tourist paths.

Opting for a guided tour with Odyssey ensures a stress-free adventure, thanks to knowledgeable tour directors and leaders who expertly manage intercity travel logistics. This meticulous organization allows you to fully absorb the rich tapestry of Spanish heritage and landscapes, unburdened by navigation concerns.

What times of the year are the best to travel to Spain?

For a more enjoyable experience exploring Spain without the large crowds, the ideal time for an escorted tour would be during the spring (March to May) or autumn (September to November). To capitalize on this, Odyssey’s group tours are strategically scheduled to commence in early May and September. These periods offer pleasant weather without the sweltering heat and a more favourable tourist-to-landmark ratio, enhancing the overall exploration of popular sites and museums.

What time zone is Spain?

Spain operates on Central European Time, having a single time zone across its mainland and excluding its overseas territories. The country follows daylight saving time from the final Sunday in March until the final Sunday in October.

Is tipping customary?

When traveling in Spain, tipping is a customary practice that aligns with much of Europe. In restaurants, tipping up to 5% of the bill is typical, while at more casual eateries, leaving small change suffices. Interestingly, tapas bars do not usually require tipping, even if you receive change from the bartender. Nevertheless, showing appreciation for exceptional service is always welcome.

What is internet access like?

Internet access in Spain is readily available, with most hotels and many cafes providing access. However, connectivity may be inconsistent in more remote regions of the country.

Can I use my mobile phone in Spain?

Verify with your cell phone provider to confirm if you can make calls and use data while in Spain. Numerous providers offer daily fees enabling calls and internet use at regular rates. Remember to notify your provider about your overseas travel to prevent service interruption due to unusual activity, akin to how banks may suspend services.

Affordable Ways to Tour Spain

Odyssey’s small group tours of Spain offer inclusive package holidays led by experienced tour directors for groups ranging from 6 to 16 travellers, whether as couples or solo adventurers. These meticulously planned tours encompass accommodations, entry fees to UNESCO World Heritage sites, gratuities, most meals, expert local guides, and a dedicated tour manager. A key advantage of this all-inclusive approach is its transparency; there are no hidden costs or optional add-ons, allowing travellers to budget effectively and enjoy an affordable holiday. Typically spanning two to three weeks, the tours involve staying 2 to 3 nights in well-selected 3 or 4-star hotels at each destination. Additionally, Odyssey provides the flexibility to tailor parts of the itinerary to suit individual travel dates and preferences within the overall tour framework, with cost adjustments made accordingly.

Each tour also incorporates free time, enabling participants to explore destinations independently and visit sites beyond the scheduled itinerary. To make your Spanish tour more cost-effective, here are some practical tips:

1. Optimize flight bookings: While flights are not part of Odyssey’s tours, securing flights at the right time can significantly impact your budget. Booking in advance and as soon as travel dates are confirmed is advisable. For long-haul or transatlantic flights, it is generally recommended to book between three months and seven weeks prior to departure.

2. Dine economically: Embrace the Spanish dining culture by enjoying a light breakfast and a hearty lunch, which is typically more affordable than dining out in the evening. Many establishments in Spain offer a ‘menu of the day’ at lunchtime, providing a cost-effective and authentic culinary experience. Moreover, in numerous tapas bars or cafes, ordering an alcoholic beverage often comes with complimentary tapas or a small serving of traditional Spanish dishes, offering a budget-friendly way to savour local cuisine.

3. Exploit free attractions: Take advantage of free admission days or times at various museums, galleries, and UNESCO sites across Spain. While popular sites like the Prado Museum or Royal Palace may be crowded during these periods, exploring them during free hours can save money while enriching your solo exploration experiences.

What to Look for in a Spain Travel Package

When considering booking an Odyssey small group tour to Spain, several crucial aspects need attention before making your reservation:

**Inclusive Gratuities:** One key factor to contemplate is whether gratuities are encompassed in the tour cost. Calculating individual gratuities daily for various services can swiftly become a financial burden and a source of stress. Opting for a tour where tipping is already included not only saves you time and money but also ensures you avoid any cultural missteps.

**Group Size:** It’s vital to assess the number of fellow travellers on the Spain small group tour. Being part of a large crowd can diminish the experience, especially in a sought-after European destination like Spain. Odyssey tours maintain an average of eight participants per tour, with a maximum group size of 16, offering a more intimate and personalized exploration.

**Knowledgeable Guidance:** With Spain’s rich history and diverse cultural tapestry, having well-informed guides is paramount. From Moorish Architecture to iconic landmarks like La Sagrada Familia and the Prado Museum, a tour leader and local guide play a crucial role in providing insights into Spain’s past, present, and future. Odyssey Traveller ensures each Spain tour includes a dedicated tour director and engages local guides with regional expertise, enhancing the authenticity of the travel experience.

**Unique Itineraries:** Spain caters to a wide range of interests, making it essential to consider the types of locations you wish to explore when selecting a travel package. Whether traversing the country or immersing yourself in a specific city, Odyssey Traveller offers diverse tours, such as the Via de la Plata Walking Tour, which takes you through breathtaking landscapes along ancient pilgrimage routes, offering a truly remarkable journey.

**Cultural Immersion:** Delving into Spanish traditions, art, and history enriches the travel experience. Odyssey’s educational and cultural tours provide a deeper understanding of Spain’s heritage, taking you beyond conventional tourist attractions. From exploring Roman ruins to witnessing flamenco performances and visiting historic sites like the Casas Colgantes, you’ll gain a comprehensive perspective of Spain’s unique culture and history.

**Optimal Timing:** While Spain captivates visitors year-round, peak season (June to August) sees a surge in tourism, especially in popular cities like Barcelona and Madrid. To avoid overcrowding and scorching temperatures, opting for tours during the shoulder seasons (spring and autumn) offers a more pleasant and relaxed exploration of Spain’s diverse attractions.

Touring Spain

The need to know

Getting around

Odyssey Travel operates a versatile transportation approach, utilizing a mix of coach services and local modes like trains and ferries, with clear details provided in each tour itinerary. Spain boasts an expansive high-speed train network, interlinking its regions and extending connections to Portugal and France. The system encompasses both mid and long-distance trains, in addition to the renowned AVE, offering swift travel. Barcelona, on the other hand, presents excellent bus and metro services, facilitating seamless exploration of the city’s key attractions.

Accommodation

In urban hubs, Odyssey prioritizes centrally situated 3-4 star hotels, ensuring convenient access to public transportation. Conversely, in more remote locales, we opt for quaint family-operated hotels or guesthouses. For extended sojourns where guests reside in one place throughout the tour, serviced apartments are the preferred accommodation choice.

Tour Guides

Odyssey consistently prioritizes the engagement of local guides with deep regional knowledge to deliver an unparalleled and authentic experience. This approach allows travellers to immerse themselves in the rich history and vibrant culture of the destinations they visit, ensuring a comprehensive learning experience.

Geography, Weather, & environment

Spain, situated on the Iberian Peninsula alongside Portugal, is bordered to the north by the Pyrenees, dividing it from France. The Balearic Islands, including Mallorca, Menorca, Ibiza, and Formentera, are positioned approximately 190 kilometres southeast of Barcelona, while the Canary Islands are located off the western coastline of Africa. Additionally, Spain claims the small territories of Ceuta and Melilla on the North African mainland.

The Pyrenees extend over about 400 kilometres from the Basque Country in the west to the Mediterranean Sea, featuring peaks exceeding 1,500 meters, with the highest peak reaching 3,404 meters. Spain’s landscape is predominantly shaped by the expansive central plateau, known as the Meseta, which is intersected by numerous mountain ranges. The northern region includes Castile and León, while the southern portion comprises Castile-La Mancha and Extremadura. Towards the south, the plateau descends sharply at the Sierra Morena, leading to the Guadalquivir valley. Sierra Nevada, located southeast of Granada, is part of the Baetic Cordillera that runs parallel to the Mediterranean coast.

The Mediterranean shoreline spans from the north-eastern border with France all the way to the Strait of Gibraltar, a narrow passage connecting the Mediterranean and the Atlantic Ocean, serving as the divider between Spain and North Africa.

Spain boasts a diverse climate, ranging from temperate in the north to dry and hot in the south. The optimal months for travel are from April to October, although the mid-summer period of July and August can be exceedingly hot nationwide, except in the coastal areas. Madrid is most enjoyable in late spring or autumn, with potential benefits to exploring during the shoulder and off seasons, as the central plateau experiences harsh winter conditions.

World Heritage sites

Spain stands out internationally as the proud custodian of the third-largest number of UNESCO World Heritage sites, totaling a commendable 46 entries. These sites, showcased on the official UNESCO website, offer a rich tapestry of cultural and historical significance. Among these treasures, a few shine particularly bright. The Alhambra, Generalife, and Albayzín in Granada stand as remarkable exemplars. The Alhambra, an impeccably preserved palatial city dating back to the Islamic era, unfolds as a sprawling compound of fortifications and gardens ensconced in a scenic neighborhood amalgamating Moorish and Andalusian architecture.

Another gem is the Santiago de Compostela, known for the legendary Camino de Santiago pilgrimage route. This Christian heritage site encompasses the revered paths of Camino Francés and the enchanting landscapes of Northern Spain, offering pilgrims profound spiritual journeys. The Santiago de Compostela cathedral, a beacon of architectural magnificence, is an integral part of this esteemed heritage.

In Barcelona, the indelible mark of Antoni Gaudí graces the urban landscape in the form of seven distinctive buildings. These architectural marvels bear witness to Gaudí’s unparalleled creative genius, which revolutionized architectural norms in the late 19th and early 20th centuries. The legacy of these sites not only enriches Spain’s cultural tapestry but also stands as a testament to human ingenuity and artistic innovation.

Festivals & events

Throughout the year, Spain hosts a rich tapestry of cultural, culinary, and religious events that captivate visitors. From the vibrant chaos of La Tomatina in Bunol to the deeply rooted traditions of Semana Santa and Carnaval, there is a diverse array of experiences to indulge in. One can partake in the festive atmosphere of events like the Fiesta de San Isidro Labrador in Madrid, symbolizing the onset of bullfighting season while honouring the city’s patron saint. In Barcelona, the Festa Major de Gràcia showcases the creative spirit of the locals as they compete to adorn streets with elaborate decorations. Additionally, the renowned San Sebastián International Film Festival, which has graced the cultural scene since the 1950s, offers a two-week cinematic extravaganza that is not to be missed.

Reading list

  1. Spain by Jan Morris
  2. The Ornament of the World: How Muslims, Jews, and Christians Created a Culture of Tolerance in Medieval Spain by Maria Rosa Menocal
  3. Moorish Spain by Richard Fletcher
  4. The Revolution and Civil War in Spain by Pierre Broue and Emile Temine
  5. Ghosts of Spain: Travels Through a Country’s Hidden Past by Giles Tremlett

Eating & drinking

Spanish cuisine is a cornerstone of the country’s allure and a significant driver of its tourism industry. Despite being often perceived as a singular entity, Spanish gastronomy is incredibly diverse, varying greatly across different regions. Iconic dishes such as Paella Valenciana hailing from Valencia in the East, or the delectable Iberian Ham and Jerez Vinegar typical of Andalusia, showcase the rich culinary tapestry of Spain. The concept of tapas, a medley of small plates, serves as a reflection of the country’s regional culinary diversity.

In addition to its renowned gastronomy, Spain boasts a thriving wine culture. With a plethora of grape varieties cultivated across the nation, the Rioja wine region stands out as a crowd favorite. From the bold Tempranillo to the elegant Syrah and crisp Verdejo, Spanish wines offer a delightful range of options, with La Rioja wines particularly esteemed for their quality and flavor profile.

The cultivation of olives flourishes in various Spanish regions, notably in the southern provinces of Andalusia and Catalonia. Spain holds the title of the world’s top producer of virgin olive oil, a staple ingredient in Spanish cuisine. Spaniards, known for their love of olive oil, consume an impressive average of about 9 liters per person each year, underscoring the integral role this ingredient plays in Spanish culinary traditions.

Health & safety

When traveling in Spain, it is advised to exercise normal safety precautions, as recommended by smarttraveller.gov. While the country is generally safe for tourists, it is crucial to remain vigilant for any unusual occurrences. Demonstrations and transportation strikes can occur suddenly, disrupting travel plans. It is recommended to stay informed through local media and be ready to adapt your itinerary accordingly. Additionally, due to the prevalence of pickpocketing in tourist hotspots and public transportation, it is essential to closely guard your personal belongings throughout your trip.

Electrical supply

When traveling abroad, it is essential to be well-prepared with the necessary tools. In Spain, the typical plug type is the two round pins (type F), so ensure you have the correct adaptor before embarking on your journey.

Tour Reviews

Every day was different with so much to see and do. Volcanoes, craters (including the pseudo ones), bubbling mud pools, and the active Strokkur Geyser, the bird life, black sand beaches, and those beautiful Icelandic horses. The time flew by...

Participant 2016

Iceland cultural and wilderness small group tour

I was impressed by the number of places we visited. It was a very full itinerary which I like. We saw things of interest every day. I see no fault with the tour.

Participant 2017

Anglo French Tour | Normandy, Brittany, Channel Islands tour

The country was apparently calm and safe. People were friendly and helpful. Such a pity there has been such a down turn in tourism. Ros & Tony S. Sep '17

Participant 2017

Small group tour of Ancient Turkey

The geographical wonders offered by Iceland and Greenland left me in awe. The grandeur and spectacle of the countryside is breathtaking. Our leader (Rob) was excellent: well-researched, friendly, organized and good-humoured.

Participant 2017

Iceland cultural and wilderness small group tour

We felt safe in Turkey and found the people friendly and helpful. Prices were excellent and the food almost universally magnificent. There is so much to see in the natural and built environment and the wonderful archaeological sites. It is sad to see the ordinary people and businesses suffering from the lack of tourists. Mary B. Sep '17

Participant 2017

Small group tour of Ancient Turkey

Our guide was a great ambassador for his country, wide knowledge of literature, history, customs, industry, fishing - also a perceptive and sensitive person who inter-acted so willingly with all of us!

Participant 2016

Iceland cultural and wilderness small group tour

Our guide Filiz was wonderful, very well informed, historical insights very helpful, her care for our well being exceptional. Could not have wished for a better tour leader.

Participant 2017

Small group tour of Ancient Turkey

It is hard to believe that such a small country can contain so much dramatic scenery. Icecaps and glaciers, huge waterfalls, volcanos and hot bubbling mud, and those wonderful fjords and high mountain passes

Participant 2016

Iceland cultural and wilderness small group tour

Park Guell in Barcelona, Spain
Park Guell in Barcelona, Spain
Moorish architecture of Seville, Spain
Alcazar of Seville, Spain
Aqueduct Los Milagros, Merida, Spain
Aqueduct Los Milagros, Merida

Responsible Travel Tips For Spain

  1. To enhance the quality of the provided content while maintaining the original intent, consider the following revised version.
  2. To immerse yourself more deeply in the local culture, learning a few local greetings can go a long way in breaking the ice. While English is widely spoken, embracing the native language can enrich your experience in the country.
  3. Carrying a card from your hotel in your wallet or purse can be a lifesaver if you find yourself lost and need assistance on your way back.
  4. It is essential to have travel insurance coverage for your trip. For guidance on this matter, feel free to reach out to Odyssey, and they will offer the necessary assistance.
  5. When traveling independently, remember to double-check the opening hours of shops and museums to optimize your sightseeing experience. Additionally, be mindful of any public holidays occurring during your trip to plan your itinerary effectively.
  6. Before setting off on your journey, notify your bank about your overseas travel plans to prevent any disruptions due to flagged transactions. Also, ensure you are aware of ATM locations and banks that are compatible with your cards to avoid excessive withdrawal fees.
  7. Prior to departure, ensure you have a variety of euro denominations on hand. While carrying large sums of cash is not recommended, having enough cash for places that do not accept credit cards can be convenient. This approach can help you steer clear of additional card fees and simplify the process of tipping during your travels.
  8. This revision maintains the original content’s core advice while enhancing clarity, flow, and overall quality of the writing.

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