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Toledo

Treasures of Spain: A Family Adventure

Jun 28 - Jul 8, 2014 (Call to Inquire)
Take your family on a summer adventure—from Madrid and Toledo to Granada and Seville
Call 855-330-1542 or Ask Us a Question
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NEWLY ADDED Family Adventure!


Overview
Take your children or grandchildren on an exciting and meaningful vacation to Spain and introduce them to fascinating culture and world-renowned sites through engaging and fun activities. Give your children the opportunity to go beyond their Spanish language classes by experiencing the authentic real Spain during this tour featuring Madrid, Toledo, Granada, Cordoba, and Seville. Travel with other families and together enjoy the spirit that your tour leaders bring in opening young minds to a fascinating culture and history. In addition to tours of world-renowned museums and historic sites, you’ll enjoy activities that feature flamenco dancing, cooking lessons, and meeting with guitar makers. This family tour is recommended for families with children ages 8 and older.

Check out our slide show for a photo journey of this tour!
View photos by clicking "Next Photo" at the top of the page!

Itinerary
June 28 - 29 — U.S., Madrid, Spain

Depart the U.S. for Madrid. Upon arrival you’ll be picked up and whisked off to your hotel. Following an afternoon of relaxation, gather with other families in the group and your tour staff for a welcome dinner. (D)

June 30 — Madrid
Enjoy a morning language class so adults and children are familiar with basic language skills during your journey. Then set off for a special introductory tour of Madrid, led by a historian, who offers background on the Spanish capital. Begin in modern Madrid with the financial district and Salamanca Quarter (known for its elegant shops and restaurants), then continue to the 18th-century Bourbon District, known for some of the city’s most beautiful squares, with the Neptune fountain, La Cibeles, Retiro Park, and the museum area. Travel towards the heart of the Old City, with a short stop to admire the Royal Palace, and conclude at Plaza Mayor. Here you’ll experience the first of many “tapas” lunches (typical small Spanish dishes), which kids and adults are sure to enjoy.

Spend the afternoon exploring the treasures of the world-renowned Prado Museum on an engaging, family-focused tour led by your personal guide. The Prado is one of the oldest museums in Europe with one of the richest art collections. Your guide will use the Spanish collection, with masterpieces by Velázquez, El Greco, and Goya, to illustrate Spain’s history and culture. Plus, you’ll also enjoy free time with the kids to explore other outstanding European painting collections. At the end of the day, return to the hotel for relaxation and a group dinner. (B,L,D)

July 1 — Madrid, Royal Tapestry Factory
The famous Real Fábrica de Tapices, established in the 18th century by Spanish King Philip V, boasts a major collection of tapestries, carpets, and cartoon drawings dating from the 16th to 20th centuries. This morning, your kids will come to understand both the practical and aesthetic importance of using tapestries, plus have the opportunity to see how craftsmen and women continue to create them using traditional methods. Enjoy an afternoon at leisure for individual family pursuits, with tour staff available to guide your choice of museums, historic sites, neighborhood walks, or local parks. (B)

July 2 — Toledo
Nearby Toledo was the capital of Spain during the Middle Ages (until 1560), and its medieval architecture, fortified walls, and history of sword manufacturing is sure to be of interest to every family member. In addition, the city features historic neighborhoods that reflect how three cultures—Moorish, Jewish and Christian—lived together within the city walls in harmony.

A guided walking tour features the same narrow, cobbled streets used by El Greco, Carlos V, Felipe II, and Fernando and Isabel, patrons of Columbus. You’ll visit the impressive Cathedral (the second largest in size after Seville), the poignant synagogue and Jewish museum, and the mosque—providing younger family members with an interesting look at the three Western religions. In the afternoon, choose from such optional activities as visiting some of the ancient jewelry makers or traditional sword factories, seeing Spain’s largest army museum, or simply walking through the quiet medieval streets. Gather to discuss your experiences during dinner, then spend the night in Toledo. (B,D)

July 3 — From Toledo to Granada, Activities along the Plains of La Mancha
Departing Toledo, cross the plains of La Mancha, following the route of Don Quixote towards Andalusia. Along the way, stop to visit some of the still active windmills of La Mancha, a cheese factory known for the famous Manchego cheese, and a spice farm where you’ll meet with people who harvest saffron. Continue south to the Andalusia region, traveling through a landscape of rolling hills and olive groves. Arrive in Granada late in the afternoon and enjoy dinner together. (B,D)

July 4 — Granada, Alhambra Palace
Granada is one of the pearls of Spain and was a major stronghold of the Moorish kingdom. Spend the morning exploring the Alhambra, the extraordinary palace fortress complex of the Moors’ final rulers. This World Heritage site, set in the foothills of the snowcapped Sierra Nevada, sprawls across a hilltop above the Darro River, commanding breathtaking views of the city below. Originally constructed as a fortress in 889, it was later converted into a royal palace, where later monarchs of the Nasrid Dynasty ruled for 250 years over the last Muslim kingdom in Spain. During your guided tour of many of the palaces, look in awe at the priceless architectural legacy, featuring intricately carved ceilings, windows, and other elements. You’ll also enjoy the beautifully landscaped gardens of the Generalife, filled with the delightful sounds of elaborate fountains and cascades, and the sent of roses and other flowers. The Alhambra has captivated the imagination of all who have visited it, including Washington Irving, who wrote about his experiences in the book Tales of the Alhambra.

Introduce your kids to a new type of guitar music as you spend the afternoon meeting with some of the city’s best guitar makers, who demonstrate the drama and power of Flamenco guitar. You’ll also explore the Albayzin, the old Gypsy quarter, where lively performances of zambra music can be heard in the evenings. Enjoy dinner together tonight. (B,D)

July 5 — Antequera, Seville
Depart Grenada for Seville, stopping off to learn about the harvest and production of extra virgin olive oil and visit one of the traditional “almazaras” or olive oil factory. You’ll also explore the cultural riches of Antequera, whose historic town center comprises monuments and buildings that date as far back as the Bronze Age, as well as churches, monasteries and convents, palaces, and a citadel. Following a walking tour, enjoy free time for lunch.

Throughout history, visitors to Spain have loved Seville. Consequently, it long ago became a major cultural center of Andalusia. The region’s fertile land and pleasant climate enticed Phoenicians and Carthaginians to settle here, and the Romans followed (two of their emperors, Trajan and Hadrian, in fact were born here). During an afternoon walking tour, visit the Royal Alcazares, a World Heritage site and one of the most beautiful examples of Mudejar architecture; the Cathedral, the largest gothic cathedral of the world; and Santa Cruz, the famous Jewish quarter with its labyrinth of narrow streets leading to the gorgeous Plaza de los Venerables. (B,D)

July 6 — Seville, Cooking and Flamenco Dance Classes
Enjoy a day to delve into Spanish culture with a hands-on approach. In the morning, gather for a cooking class and experience the results of your efforts at lunch. Then enjoy some time at leisure for individual family pursuits. Gather again for a dance lesson, focusing on the traditional Flamenco style so renowned in Seville, and watch a show featuring professional Flamenco dancers, followed by dinner. (B,L,D)

July 7 — Cordoba, Madrid
Nearby Cordoba, once the most populous city in the world during the 10th century, was a major intellectual center in Europe during the Middle Ages and fostered a spirit of harmony among Muslims, Jews, and Christians. Spend the morning exploring this lovely town and enjoy a special tour of the Great Mosque, which features a mixture of architectural styles superimposed over the course of many centuries of construction and renovation. The beautiful interior comprises a labyrinth of columns with double arcades and horseshoe arches. A cathedral was later built inside the mosque, after the Christian reconquest of Andalusia, featuring such highlights as the main altarpiece, the Baroque altarpiece, and the mahogany choir stalls. The mihrab (Muslim prayer niches) is considered one of the most important in the Muslim world, and is still the finest piece in the mosque.

Following your tour of the mosque, enjoy free time for a tapas lunch then travel to Madrid. Upon arrival, check in at your hotel and enjoy a festive family farewell dinner. (B,D)

July 8 — Madrid, U.S.
Depart for the airport for return flights to the U.S.