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The story of Castille is associated to Don Quijote with fairy tale castles surrounded by deep moats, maidens in distress, crusading Knights and duals at dawn.
Madrid, a people’s city and the exuberant way of life of the charming Madrileños. The unrivalled art collection of Prado Museum and Thyssen-Bornemisza collection.
Architectural magnificence throughout including the cathedrals of Burgos and León. Much fine sculpture as well.
Walled villages, grand monasteries, windmills, hilltop castles and a backdrop of vast, undulating landscape.
The vast and magnificent 16th-century Palace of El Escorial.
Madrid’s three world-class art museums and two royal palaces alone would set the pulses racing, but there is more to this exciting and diverse capital than its tourist sights. The fashion boutiques of the Salamanca district showcase Europe’s top designers and are just the tip of a shopping iceberg, perfectly complementing the informality of the fascinating El Rastro market, while Madrid’s world-famous tapas bars vie for attention with gourmet restaurants and humble tabernas in a city which never sleeps. To simply watch the world go by, head for the supremely elegant Plaza Mayor.
Probably the most important main square in Spain: Plaza Mayor, the City Hall, the House of Shells, the famous University and the new and old cathedrals and Renaissance palaces, such as the 16th-century palaces of Salina, Orellana and Anaya.
The city of Segovia is universally famous for the Aqueduct, an imposing engineering marvel dating from Roman times. Here there is also a visit to the Alcazar, an enchanting fairytale fortress castle, the cathedral and the Jewish quarter.
One of the oldest and most interesting historical cities of Europe, reflects the many cultures that have formed it, and perhaps better than any other city reflects the many moods of Spain’s art and history. Some of Toledo’s top attractions are the magnificent Gothic Cathedral, the ancient Jewish Synagogue and the jewish quarter.
Have a look at any of our luxury tours in spain that feature those destinations, Northern Spain, The Light of Sefarad and Iberian Wine Country.
Barcelona is the capital of Catalonia, a region with its own language, character and history. The city itself could keep you occupied for weeks but just outside it are sandy beaches, Sitges and the Montserrat mountain range.
Costa Brava is without a doubt one of the great treasures of Spain and a place that has it all: here you find everything from green mountains, beautiful beaches, charming white-washed villages and fashion shops to Roman ruins, wineries and Michelin starred restaurants.
Barcelona has much to offer those who enjoy art and architecture. The city is inextricably linked with the works of Gaudi, especially the unfinished church, Sagrada Familia. The Gothic Quarter with the magnificent Cathedral dominating the maze of narrow streets, the National Museum of Catalan Art with its collection of altar pieces and treasures from throughout Catalonia and fine Art Nouveau architecture all add up to make an invigorating cultural experience.
Girona, a city with a long history, believed to be founded around 76 bc. The river Onyar neatly divides the city in two, separating the old town from the new. The city has a rich architectural heritage, and you’ll see evidence of this in the 11th-century cathedral and the Roman walls, which you can stroll along. Or wander the narrow streets of the old town, soaking up the historical atmosphere.
The light and vivid colours of Cadaqués also attracted Picasso and Miró but the town was the bedrock of Dalí’s Catalan soul. It was in almost all his pictures. Only here he dared remove his trademark clown’s mask. He was born in Figueres but his father owned a Cadaqués villa. The infant surrealist said he knew every rock on Cadaqués beach. This is the archetypal landscape of Dalí’s surreal world.
Portugal is a country that effortlessly combines culture, heritage and liberal attitudes to create one of Europe’s finest holiday destinations. Once a powerful navigating kingdom that dominated the merchant routes to Africa, South America and the Orient, Portugal today is a friendly, low-key place with a laidback vibe and a fantastic coastline, much of it fringed by golden sands and endless dunes.
Set across a series of hills overlooking the broad estuary of the Rio Tejo (River Tagus), Lisbon’s stunning location and effortless beauty immediately strike most first-time visitors. It’s an instantly likeable place, a big city, with a population of around two million, but one that remains human enough in pace and scale to be easily taken in over a long weekend.
Visit the lively Rossio Square where street cafes overlook the Baroque fountains or the Alfama district with its medieval alleyways and outstanding views, explore the UNESCO World Heritage site of the Hieronymite Monastery or watch an amazing sunset next to the Belém Tower.
Portugal’s sunny southern coast. Lagos, in the western Algarve, one of the region’s main towns, founded on centuries of seafaring and as popular as central Albufeira, a lively port town with family-friendly beaches east and west. Faro, the area’s lovely capital. Sagres offers a more traditional slice of Portugal on the Algarve’s westernmost tip. Super-groomed golf courses provide the greenery nearer the coast, but inland the Algarve is also home to cork forests, nature reserves and pretty hilltop villages such as Monchique, Alte and medieval Silves.
Internationally famous for the quality of its produce, the wines that bear its name, La Rioja showcases more than 500 wineries nestled in vast vineyards. While you’re here, you can discover tiny family owned and operated bodegas alongside massive industrial producers.
The Basque Country is a territory that will satisfy those who wish to feed the spirit as well as the body, with the revamped Bilbao, or San Sebastian, an elegant seaside resort near the border of France that is the gastronomic capital of the region.
The city is most famous for the spectacular Guggenheim Museum, and the cultural and architectual renaissance the city is experiencing.
However, there is much more to see and learn about the city. Settled along the Nervion River in the early 14th century, this city has some serious history! The famous 7 Calles or 7 Streets of the old quarter of Bilbao contain some of the oldest architecture found in the city. Many of the structures that make up the old quarter date back to the 1300s.
Specifically, the Church of San Anton along the Nervion is one of the oldest religious building in Bilbao. Construction began on the church in the late 15th century and was finished in 1510.
San Sebastian is one of Spain’s loveliest cities and also quite the Gourmet Mecca, with its numerous Michelin starred restaurants and groundbreaking chefs. It’s also in easy distance to the wine country, with the vineyards of Txakoli less than half an hour away and the mythical wine region of Rioja less than a two hour drive. San Sebastian has one of the most glorious settings you could imagine- a small, pretty Belle Époque city nestled between the Bay of Biscay and the lush green hills of the Basque Country. The half moon bay of “La Concha” (meaning “the shell, as this beach looks like a scallop shell) is one of Spain’s nicest urban beaches and leads into the Casco Viejo (Old Town). The old quarter is jammed pack with quaint tapas and “pintxos” bars, Basque cider houses and traditional restaurants.
La Rioja is without a doubt Spain’s most beautiful wine regions, and an absolute treat for the food and wine lover! The landcsapes are of gentle rolling vineyard covered hills, pretty medieval hamlets and the backdrop of the majestic Cantabrian mountains. Rioja is pristine and unspoiled, even with all of the major investment that has come into this wine region in recent years including the spectacular Frank Gehry designed hotel at the Marques de Riscal winery.
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