Encounter the art, architecture, history, and gastronomy of three captivating regions of Spain, from Madrid to Catalonia and Basque Country.

Request a Tailor-Made Itinerary Request Itinerary or Ask Us A Question or Call 855-215-8690
 Gaudi's masterpiece, La Sagrada Familia
 Gaudí's Parc Guell
 Madrid's Plaza Mayor
 Traditional Basque dance. Credit: Basque Tourism Bureau
 The Roman aqueduct, Segovia
 Dusk in beautiful San Sebastián
 The port of Barcelona
 Seafood paella, a Spanish specialty
 Spanish tapas
 Gaudi's Casa Battlo, facade detail
 The city of Bilbao, with the Guggenheim Museum, set amid the Basque countryside
 The Guggenheim Museum of Contemporary Art, Bilbao
 <i>Las Meninas</i> by Diego Velázquez, the Prado Museum, Madrid
 Panorama of the medieval, walled town of Ávila, a World Heritage site

Madrid to Basque Country: A Tailor-Made Journey to Spain

An Exploration of Art, Cuisine, and History

10 days from $9,350

Encounter the art, architecture, history, and gastronomy of three captivating regions of Spain, from Madrid to Catalonia and Basque Country.

Request a Tailor-Made Itinerary

or call 855-215-8690

Overview

When you travel on a tailor-made journey, you will receive a Friends of the Smithsonian Archivist Circle membership. Benefits include:

  • Recognition in the Friends of the Smithsonian Honor Roll displayed electronically on the National Mall in the Membership Reception Center
  • Invitation to a special welcome tour for new members at a Smithsonian venue
  • A Smithsonian Institution annual engagement calendar with full color images of exceptional art and artifacts
  • A complimentary Smithsonian museum guidebook
  • Subscription to the award-winning magazine Smithsonian
  • 20% discount at Smithsonian Museum Stores, 10% discount at selected dining facilities, at SmithsonianStore.com, and Folkways Recordings
  • Special member rate for tickets to the Smithsonian's IMAX® theaters and Einstein Planetarium
  • Admission to Cooper-Hewitt, National Design Museum in New York City
  • Weekday access to the Friends of the Smithsonian Reception Center

Sample Itinerary

Day 1 – Arrive in Madrid, Spain

Arrive in Spain's vibrant capital today and settle into your hotel. Head out on a walking tour of the city that includes a visit to the world-famous Prado, home to the works of Spanish masters such as Velázquez, Goya, and El Greco. (B)

Day 2 – Ávila and Segovia

Take a day trip northwest of Madrid to the historic towns of Ávila and Segovia to explore these World Heritage sites with a private guide. In Ávila, a Catholic pilgrimage site, stoll along winding medieval streets and visit one of Spain’s most impressive Romanesque basilicas. The old town is best known for its well preserved defensive wall, built in the 12th century to stave off the Moors as part of the Spanish Reconquest. Continue to Segovia to see the remarkably intact, two-tiered Roman aqueduct that dates to about 50 BC. Return to Madrid in the late afternoon. (B)

Day 3 – El Escorial and Madrid

Set out on a morning excursion to  El Escorial, a massive royal monastery complex built by King Phillip II during the height of the Age of Discovery. On a tour of the Renaissance palace, see paintings by Titian and other masters. Then visit the Pantheon, where nearly all of Spain's monarchs are buried. Learn about more recent history with a stop at the Valle de los Caídos, or “Valley of the Fallen,”  a Civil War memorial commissioned by Francisco Franco. Spend your afternoon at leisure in Madrid. (B)

Day 4 – Barcelona

Climb aboard a high-speed train to Barcelona this morning. Leave your bags at your hotel before entering the whimsical world of Antoni Gaudí on a half-day tour. Visit some of his many contributions to the Barcelona skyline, including his undulating houses and the incomparable—and still unfinished—Sagrada Familia. (B)

Day 5 – Barcelona

Discover more of this dynamic city on a half-day walking tour that includes the famous promenade known as Las Ramblas and the stunning Gothic Santa Maria del Mar Basilica. Take advantage of a free afternoon to visit the Barcelona’s wonderful Picasso Museum or soar over the city’s rooftops in a cable car. (B)

Day 6 – Penedès region

Just west of Barcelona lies the wine region of Penedès, known for its white wines. Stop in at a winery to meet the producer and enjoy a tasting of Spain’s signature sparkling wine, cava. This afternoon, visit the mountaintop Montserrat monastery, home to a medieval statue of the Catalonia’s patron saint that draws thousands of pilgrims every year. Return to Barcelona in the late afternoon. (B)

Day 7 – Bilbao and San Sebastián

A quick morning flight brings you to Bilbao in Spain's Basque Country. Join a private guide for a tour of the city and its world-renowned Guggenheim Museum, designed by noted architect Frank Gehry. Then travel along the coast to the Basque capital of San Sebastián and check in to your hotel. Tonight, try one of the many acclaimed restaurants that make the city an epicurean destination. (B)

Day 8 – San Sebastián

After a leisurely morning, set out on a lunchtime walking tour, sampling a wide variety of pintxos, or Basque tapas, as you go. During a free afternoon, consider hiking up Mount Urgull for a panoramic view of the city and its long, crescent-shaped beach.  (B,D)

Day 9 – San Sebastián

Continue with the culinary theme of San Sebastián during a cooking class this morning. Prepare a traditional Basque meal with a local chef and then sit down to enjoy it for lunch. Spend your final afternoon and evening in Spain at leisure. (B,L)

Day 10 – Depart for the U.S.

Today make your way to the Bilbao airport for your flight home.

Included meals are denoted as follows: Breakfast (B), Lunch (L), Reception (R), Dinner (D)

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