Example Trip Itinerary
Meet and greet at Madrid airport
Private transfer to your hotel in Madrid
Accommodation in Madrid
- 150 rooms and suites
- Two restaurants
Built on the site of a former palace, Villa Magna has plenty of history but that doesn’t mean it’s living in the past. Sleek design coupled with all the modern amenities you could want, make this a luxurious base from which to explore the city. The 150 rooms and suites are a mix of classic and contemporary and provide a peaceful retreat from the hustle and bustle of the city. A Nespresso coffee machine ensure you’re ready to take on Madrid. The hotel is located on Paseo Castellana, one of the longest and widest avenues, and you can access the Corte Ingles shopping mall from the ground floor. There are two restaurants, one serving traditional Spanish dishes with a twist, and the other specialising in Cantonese cuisine. No trip to Spain would be complete without sampling some tapas, and you can relax on the terrace and savour a selection of delicious morsels. Blankets and heaters ensure you can enjoy the atmosphere all year round.
- 32 rooms and suits
History and old-world charm emanate from the luxurious Hotel Orfila, housed in an elegant 19th-century palace. Located in the centre of Madrid, you’re just minutes from the famous Museo del Prado art museum. With 20 rooms and 12 suites, the hotel provides an intimate and relaxing base from which to explore the city and all its artistic and historical treasures. Enter through the doors and you’ll feel like you’ve stepped back in time, with rooms and public spaces decorated with antique furniture, oil paintings, marble carvings and gilt-edged mirrors. Orfila’s garden, a serene green courtyard filled with fountains and seating, provides a welcome respite from the busy city, as does the tea room, an English-style bar serving classic afternoon teas. In the evenings, after a day of sightseeing, choose to dine on gourmet dishes in the garden under the stars or by candlelight in the elegant restaurant.
- 78 rooms and suites
One of Madrid’s newest boutique hotels, set among noble residences and grand embassies, the Hotel Urso has quickly become one of the hottest and trendiest places to lay your head. Housed in an early 20th-century palace, its neoclassical style gives off an air of sophistication, while its well-appointed interiors are comfortable and stylish. Its six categories of guest rooms and suites, range in size, bed type and views, yet all feature contemporary Scandi-chic-style décor and calming tones. Wake up to breakfast each morning in the light-filled conservatory, decorated in Oriental-inspired 18th century wallpaper and bamboo plants. When you’re ready to head out and explore, you’ll find sites such as the Madrid History Museum, the National Museum of Romanticism and the vast Retiro Park, located close by. Wind down after your day in the plush wood-panelled spa, offering a variety of massages and specialised skincare treatments. And when you’re fully relaxed, head to the sleek Urso Bar for cocktails and gourmet Spanish tapas, made from ingredients sourced at the local Mercado de Barceló. The hotel restaurant, ½ Ración, which means ‘half portion’ offers cuisine based on the traditional Madridian food.
The Spanish capital is bursting with life and passion and through its well planned streets course Madrilenos, the city's inhabitants who really know how to live.
Madrid is a powerhouse of culture, and no trip here could miss a tour of the the Golden Triangle of Art, encompassing the Prado Museum, the Reina Sofía Museum and the Thyssen-Bornemisza Museum. Music is also an important feature and the city marches to the beat of flamenco, jazz and live music of all kinds. And don't forget that Madrid serves some of the most delicious tapas that there is.
This tour includes exclusive access to the Prado Museum with a collection of around 9,000 paintings by artists such as Bosch, Titian and Rubens. You'll visit the museum before it opens to the public so you can appreciate the displays without battling the crowds. You'll then discover Madrid's fascinating history as you explore the Puerta del Sol, Plaza Mayor, the vibrant market of San Miguel, the Royal Palace and the Royal Opera House. You'll also visit the places that capture the essence of the city including the Neptune Fountain and the Spanish Parliament Building.
Enjoy exploring the historic city of Toledo. Sitting above the Tagus River, the old town’s winding streets and alleyways are punctuated by a stunning cathedral, the San Juan Monastery, ornate churches and two of Spain’s three pre-16th century synagogues that survived the Expulsion.
Private transfer to Madrid Atocha railway station
Cordoba is perhaps Spain’s most handsome city, an historic centre of culture and lasting testament to a golden age of religious tolerance during its time as a caliphate. King Ferdinand III then claimed the city for Castile during the Spanish Reconquista, bequeathing it its gothic and renaissance finery. Visit today, and you'll find Cordoba's grand past beautifully reflected in the city's magnificent architecture. During your tour, explore the Moorish, Jewish and Christian quarters including the ornate synagogue and the Alcazar with its beautiful gardens. You'll also discover Roman remains and the famous Mezquita Mosque-Cathedral.
Private transfer from Cordoba to your hotel in Seville
Accommodation in Seville
- 151 guestrooms including 19 suites
- Two restaurants including a tapas bar by Michelin-starred chef
- Lobby bar with piano
- Fitness room
Steeped in history, the Hotel Alfonso XIII was constructed by order of the King as luxury lodging for the international VIPs attending the 1929 Ibero-American Exposition. This grand structure quickly became an emblem of the city centre and has been continuously used as a hotel until the present day, although Franco’s regime necessitated a name change to the Andalusian Palace while under his rule. To this day, you’ll find that it is the city centre’s only true, luxury property. Typically Andalusian in style, the hotel expresses the region’s mixed Moorish and Castilian founding influences with authentic and detailed features. Each of its 151 bedrooms including its 19 suites are unique in design, falling into three style categories: Andalusian, Moorish, and Castilian. Alongside its exalted, majestic architecture, Hotel Alfonso XIII is also notable for its large pool, which sits amidst lush gardens. This makes it a rare urban sanctuary and one of the only locations where being in Seville during the heat of high summer will be thoroughly enjoyable. By the pool you’ll find an al fresco restaurant that turns itself into a twinkling vision after dark and serves Spanish and international delicacies. You can also eat in the sumptuously-tiled gallery surrounding an arched interior courtyard where you can take your breakfast and coffee. If you fancy something truly epicurean, the atmospheric Ena tapas bar is manned by Michelin-starred chef Carles Abellán of Barcelona. Afterwards, discuss the highlights of your meal to the accompaniment of live piano music at Bar Americano. In terms of location, you’ll find that you really couldn’t be better placed to discover Seville. Hotel Alfonso XIII sits right on the edge of the old – pedestrianised – quarter, meaning that you can benefit from arriving to the hotel by car and walking five minutes to outstanding historic sites such as the Cathedral de Seville, the Alcazar, Puente de S. Telmo, and Plaza de Espana.
- 50 rooms and suites
- Rooftop terrace
Entering the Palacio de Villapanés is quite the theatrical experience. As you step through the huge wooden doors and into the courtyard with its parquet flooring, marble columns and elegant arches it’s like stepping back in time. The hotel is a former palace built in the 18th century for the first marquis of Terreblanca del Aljarafe. The interior is a blend of classic and contemporary, with plenty of original features as well as furniture from international designers. Each of the 50 rooms and suites have retained much of their charm while having all the features of a modern boutique hotel. The Spanish have really mastered the art of al fresco living, and you can relax in the patio garden, the scent of orange blossom carrying on the breeze. For a spectacular bird’s-eye-view of the city, head to the rooftop terrace and watch the sun sink behind the skyline. Every region in Spain is passionate about their cuisine and you can experience the delights of Andalusian cuisine at the hotel restaurant, located in the old palace winery. For a more relaxed dining affair, enjoy some tapas and wine in the bar or on the terrace. When you just need to lay back and relax, head to the spa where Located near the Santa Cruz district, you’re ideally situated to explore Seville. The Giralda Tower, Plaza Jesús de la Redencion, the cathedral and the Real Alcázar are all close by.
The jewel in the Moorish Caliphate of Cordoba and the capital of the most powerful Castilian Kingdom, Seville has been left with eye-popping architecture and majestic grace. While Seville reached its peak in the 17th century and then suffered terribly in the Spanish Civil War, today it has resurrected itself as the capital and largest city of Andalusia. You'll need to spend a few days here at least to experience the true essence of Spanish grandeur.
Enjoy a walking tour through Barrio de Santa Cruz, Seville's oldest quarter, learning about its history from the Roman times right up until the present day. You'll visit the cathedral which sits on the site of the Great Mosque of the 12th century; the only part of this that remains is the minaret, now known as the Giralda Tower. The Royal Alcazar was the site of the marriage between Carlos V and Isabel of Portugal and is centred around two courtyards. The Ambassador's Hall is beautifully decorated with plasterwork and tiles, while the top floor is accessed by a 16th century staircase featuring paintings by Roelas and Madrazo. The pretty gardens reflect the passing of historical periods and are a lush hideaway filled with pomegranate, orange and palm trees.
Flamenco is the traditional song and dance of the gypsies of Andalusia and was developed over hundreds of years before becoming popular in the 19th century as a form of café entertainment. There are three parts to every flamenco show: 'grande' or 'hondo' with intense, profound songs; 'intermedio'; and finally 'pequeño', lighthearted songs about love and nature.
Private transfer from Seville to Granada
Accommodation in Granada
- 75 rooms and suites
- Sauna and Turkish bath
Granada is a city with more than its fair share of beautiful buildings and stunning architecture. The luxurious AC Palacio de Santa Paula occupies the former Santa Paula Convent which has been lovingly restored to offer guests a relaxing retreat bursting with character. The hotel is centred around a beautiful courtyard with elegant stone arches and palm trees, the delicate tinkling of the fountain in the background. It also houses the tombs of the nuns from the convent. Admire it from the wraparound balcony on the first floor, complete with 16th century frescos, or sink into one of the chairs and enjoy it illuminated at night. Fusing old and new, the hotel has managed to retain its charm and authenticity while allowing guests to enjoy all the comforts of a modern hotel. There are 75 rooms and suites, some with exposed brick walls and views over the courtyard. The restaurant occupies the former convent library and the menu makes for good reading, fusing traditional Andalusian flavours with more modern culinary concepts. The courtyard is the perfect setting for a glass of wine and nibbles. You’re ideally situated on the Gran Via de Colon, one of the main avenues in Granada’s old quarter. The cathedral and archeological museum are on your doorstep and the majestic Alhambra is within walking distance.
- 45 rooms and suites
The Alhambra is one of the most iconic landmarks not just in Granada, but across Europe. The Parador de Granada is located within its grounds and is the perfect place to appreciate it in all its glory. A former Franciscan convent, the Parador was built on the site of a Nasrin palace. The remains of the Turkish bathes are still visible today and other relics are housed in the hotel museum. Part of the building was the former chapel where the kings of Spain were buried before moving to the Royal Chapel. Enjoy a stroll in the garden, from which you can look out at the city’s medieval walls and towards the Sacramonte and Albaicín neighbourhoods. The hotel blends classic and contemporary design with wooden floors, latticed shutters and pieces of antique furniture alongside more modern features in the 45 rooms and suites. The restaurant serves traditional Spanish cuisine and the terrace is the perfect place to while away balmy summer evenings. The Alhambra is understandably one of Spain’s most popular attractions, but your prime location means you can enjoy its majestic palaces and beautiful gardens once the crowds have disappeared.
- 42 rooms
Granada is a city steeped in history, but this hasn’t stopped it embracing modern Spanish culture with aplomb. The blend of old and new is what makes a stay at the Hospes Palacio de los Patos so special. The hotel is split across two buildings, one a renovated 19th century palace and the other a striking modern construction. The interior is bright and airy, and rooms in the older part of the hotel contain beautiful features such as plasterwork ceilings, Doric columns and friezes. After a day of exploring, you’ll relish the opportunity to relax and unwind in the spa which features Turkish baths, a sauna and thermal pool. Sightseeing can build up quite the appetite so enjoy some traditional Spanish tapas or dishes inspired by the city’s Moorish past in the hotel’s restaurant. No trip to Granada would be complete without visiting the majestic Alhambra, a series of palaces and gardens built under the Nazari Dynasty in the 14th century. Be sure to also stop by the Granada Cathedral and the Alcazaba, a wonderfully preserved Moorish fortress.
Seville's brooding Andalusian sister sits at the foot of the Sierra Nevada mountains, the Iberian Peninsula's highest massif. Renowned as the last stronghold of the Moors who were driven out of Western Europe in the 15th century, it's here that you'll best discover Andalusia's splendid Arabic architectural heritage including the beautiful Alhambra Palace.
Head to the Hammam al Andalus, the first Arab baths to reopen in Europe after being closed down in the 16th century. The baths are located at the foot of the Alhambra over the ruins of an original public bath. They feature hot, warm and cool baths which you can dip in and out of, as well as a steam room. You'll also enjoy a traditional massage using red grape soap and essential oils.
The lavish Alhambra is Granada's most visited site. Once a palace and fortress for the city's Muslim rulers, the Alhambra means ‘red fort' and is named after the red clay used in its construction in the mid-13th century. The Generalife was the country residence of the Nasrid king and the recreational courtyard and its beautiful gardens sit on the slopes of the Cerro del Sol, offering spectacular views.
Private transfer to Granada airport
Private transfer from Mallorca airport to your hotel
Accommodation in Mallorca
- 16 rooms and suites
- Restaurant and terrace bar
- Rooftop swimming pool
- Private concierge service
Discreetly luxurious inside the upper floors of a handsome 19th century palatial residence, itself an historic landmark on the ever fashionable Passeig del Born, the Can Alomar is a wonderful retreat in Mallorca’s capital. 16 large rooms and suites are cool and restrained, with high quality finishes throughout and sumptuous beds, thick carpets and marble bathrooms. There is a buzzing terrace bar and fine restaurant, De Tokio a Lima, where the menu is a unique fusion of Majorcan, Japanese and Peruvian influences. Up on the roof terrace there is a small pool and lounge area, a wonderful setting for spa treatments and yoga sessions, and an observation turret for watching the sun set with a glass of something fizzy to hand. Well located in an area lined with galleries and boutiques there is plenty to see on foot. Private shopping trips can also be arranged, yachts hired and vineyard tours organised.
- 29 rooms and suites
- Infinity pool
- Two restaurants
- Tennis court
The approach to Cap Rocat may well stop you in your tracks, which is fitting given the hotel is a former military fortress. Luckily nowadays getting inside is less problematic and the only time you’ll be looking over your shoulder is to take in the panoramic views. The unique architecture makes this a wonderfully unique place to stay, its exterior made from warm and inviting honey coloured marés sandstone. The fortress was dug into the cliffs in the 19th century, then converted into a luxury hotel in 2010. Some of the suites are located in former shooting buttresses, and thick stone walls and vaulted ceilings add plenty of character. Fresh Mediterranean flavours can be expected at the restaurant; in the warmer months there is the option to dine al fresco in the courtyard, the sound of tinkling fountains in the background. There is also a Sea Club where food is cooked in a traditional Mallorcan firewood oven and grill. Cap Rocat is located in a secluded area of Palma Bay and the terrace offers spectacular views out across the water. Cool off in the saltwater infinity pool, or take advantage of the hotel’s direct access to the sea.
- 67 rooms and suites
- Private villa
- El Olivo Restaurant
- Cafe Miro and Pool Restaurant
- Two outdoor swimming pools
- Tennis courts
In the beautiful village of Deia, a longstanding muse for poets, artists and musicians, and cradled by the Tramuntana Mountains, La Residencia is one of Spain’s finest hotels. Wonderfully secluded among olive and citrus groves, close to the sea, it is the ultimate Mallorcan hideaway. 67 rooms and suites span two lovingly restored manor house from the 16th and 17th centuries, each with understated antiques, rich fabrics and paintings by local artists. All the rooms offer views out to the mountains and surroundings gardens. For the utmost privacy, there is villa with four bedrooms and its own swimming pool. Guests are truly spoilt for choice when it comes to dining, with the acclaimed El Olivo serving carefully created local dishes in a most elegant of settings. There’s also the relaxed Cafe Miro bistro and bar, great for tapas and cocktails in the evening, and a restaurant by one of La Residencia’s fabulous swimming pools. There is an abundance of opportunities to explore this wonderful corner of the island, with boat cruises touring the coast, Vespas for hire, cultural tours into the village and beyond, art classes and hikes. Guests can also relax at the beach or unwind back at the resort in the award-winning spa, perhaps with yoga and tai chi lessons.
Stacked full of appetising restaurants, a sparkling port and an animated nightlife, Palma de Mallorca is seductively glamorous. Located on the southern shores of Mallorca, the island's capital city looks out over the sparkling blue seas of the Mediterranean. Amongst all this charm, La Palma's Le Seu Cathedral is a wonder in itself. This unusual Gothic church was begun in 1230 and holds its head above most views of downtown Palma. For an authentic slice of Catalan life, take a day trip or spend a few days exploring Mallorca's stone hilltop villages, mountain monasteries, and enchanting little coastal towns.
Discover the beautiful city of Palma and learn all about its history with a walk through the charming old quarter. Stop at the cathedral, known as Le Seo by locals, to admire its beautiful facade as well as its interior, designed by Gaudi. You'll also visit the village of Valldemossa and its Cartuja, a former 14th century Carthusian monastery and once the home of Chopin and Georges Sand. Deia was also a hub for artists, musicians and writers including the English poet and novelist Robert Graves, who was one of the first foreigners to settle in the village.
The Serra de Tramuntana is the highest mountain range in Mallorca, running for 90km from the cape of Formentor in Pollença to the cape of Sa Mola in Andratx. The coastline is very rugged with deep torrents and impressive karst formations which you can admire during your walk, along with the local flora and fauna.
Private transfer to Mallorca airport
Private transfer to your hotel in Barcelona
Accommodation in Barcelona
- 125 guest rooms
- Michelin-starred Caelis Restaurant
- 19Ninteen and Garden restaurant
- Cocktail bar
- Rooftop swimming pool
Regal and classic are two words that sum up this historic five-star hotel, located on one of Barcelona’s main central thoroughfares. Stay here and you’ll find yourself just a few blocks from the designer boutiques on the elegant Passeig de Gracia, and the heart of the city at Plaza Catalunya. Each of the 125 guest rooms feature imperial touches, from grand fireplaces and glittering chandeliers, to heavy gold curtains and bedspreads. Bold-patterned wallpapers and antique-style furniture add to the look. Salvador Dalí and his wife Gala, once lived in the Royal Suite which has since been renamed in his honour. With stately décor comes royal service, and each morning guests are treated to breakfast in the hotel’s peaceful garden, surrounded by plants and fountains. You’ll also be spoilt for choice when it comes to evening dining options, with Michelin-starred cuisine from chef Romain Fornell at the Michelin-starred Caelis Restaurant or tapas and light bites at the sophisticated 19Ninteen. And to finish off the night, head to the English-inspired Bluesman Cocktail Bar, a cosy space just perfect for a nightcap.
- 120 rooms and suites
- Two Michelin-starred restaurant
- Seafood restaurant
- Rooftop pool
- Fitness centre
- Lap pool
Barcelona is a city famous for its striking architecture and eye-catching design, so pay homage to the beautiful Catalan capital at the luxurious Mandarin Oriental Barcelona. Located on the famous Passeig de Gràcia, you’re just minutes from Gaudi’s Casa Batlló and within walking distance of Las Ramblas, the iconic la Sagrada Familia and the Gothic Quarter. The interiors are stylish and contemporary, whilst subtly reflecting the hotel’s oriental heritage. 120 rooms and suites look out over the boulevard or the peaceful mimosa gardens. Spain is a country fiercely proud of its rich culinary history and the hotel’s restaurant, Moments, has been awarded two Michelin stars for its innovative Catalan cuisine. There is also a restaurant specialising in seafood; the chef Ángel León, has been nickname the Chef of the Sea due to his passion and knowledge for everything from shellfish to seaweed and salt. For light bites, enjoy tapas at the bar or on the terrace. A tipple in the Banker’s Bar is a must; in a nod to its former life as a bank, the ceiling is fashioned from original security boxes. Barcelona’s beautiful skyline is best appreciated from the rooftop where you can relax in the pool or admire the view with a cocktail in hand.
- 105 rooms
- Rooftop terrace
- Rooftop pool
Barcelona is a city known for its beautiful architecture, and Hotel Casa Fuster is no exception. Behind the elegant façade is a hotel that effortlessly blends modern design and comfort, befitting of the stylish Catalan capital. Located on the Passeig de Gràcia, you’re ideally situated to explore the city; the Casa Milá, Casa Batlló and the iconic Sagrada Familia are all within walking distance. When you’re not out exploring, relax in one of the 105 rooms, decorated with warm neutral tones and designer furniture. Some also come with a hydromassage tub and a balcony. Spain is well known for its culinary heritage and the hotel restaurant serves modern Mediterranean cuisine using fresh, seasonal produce. With its colourful décor and eye-catching columns, the lounge is the perfect place for a thirst quenching cup of tea or cocktail, and on Thursday evenings you can tap your toe to live jazz music. Barcelona deserves to be seen from every angle and it takes on a whole new character when viewed from the rooftop terrace. Look down on the bustling streets below and out across to skyline to Tibadabo Mountain. There is an outdoor pool and plenty of seating from which to sit and watch the world go by.
- 473 rooms and suites
- Three restaurants
- Rooftop bar
- Outdoor pool
- Spa and gym
In a city known for its eccentric and varied architecture, W Barcelona played along and added to the skyline with this glittering glass-fronted hotel shaped like a sail. Located along Barcelona’s famous boardwalk with the waves lapping at its feet, it is a beach lover’s dream. Its location also means that guests can enjoy views of the sea or the city through the floor-to-ceiling windows in the rooms, and there are telescopes for a close-up inspection of your surroundings. Everything about this hotel is young and fresh and rooms are divided into quirky categories including Wonderful, Mega and Fabulous. The rooftop bar on the 26th floor is one of the hotel’s highlight and is the place to go for outstanding views, sushi and cocktails. Equally glamorous is the W Lounge with its underwater theme and resident DJs. The Catalan capital is a mecca for foodies and the Bravo24 restaurant specialises in delicious local and seasonal cuisine. If you just can’t bear to be away from the beach for too long, then Salt Restaurant serves burger and cocktails on the waterfront. You won’t need to worry about how to spend your down time; there is a spa spread over two floors, a state-of-the-art gym and an outdoor pool complete with private cabanas.
In Spain’s northwestern corner sits the proudly independent comunidad autónoma of Catalonia, with the charismatic city of Barcelona as its capital.
One of Europe’s greatest cities, Barcelona has a rich history with iconic architectural treasures dating from Roman temples to winding gothic streets, with Gaudi’s uniquely playful modernism cut with stark millennial flashes of glass and steel. There is a tangibly buzzing culture in the streets and squares, an inspiration for some of the 20th century’s greatest artists and writers, that makes exploring tucked away bars, cafes, restaurants, museums and galleries endlessly captivating.
Barcelona is known for its beautiful and often eccentric architecture, and on this tour you will learn all about Catalan Modernism that flourished between 1888 and 1906. Start at the Paseo de Gracia, one of the city's major avenues, before exploring Güell Park, home to some of Gaudi's most famous work. La Sagrada Familia, although not finished, is considered his masterpiece and is a real feat of engineering incorporating stone, brick, tiles and glass.
Enjoy wandering along the cobbled streets of the Gothic quarter, taking in the Santa Maria del Ma, one of the best examples of Gothic architecture. You'll also visit the Picasso Museum, home to works from his youth, and El Born which feels like a small village nestled within the city.
Explore Dali’s Catalonia on this private tour. Visit Figueres, the beautiful town where the Dalí Theatre and Museum is located. The museum itself is the largest surrealistic object in the world, built by Dali over the ruins of a 19th century theatre destroyed at the end of the Spanish Civil War. You'll also head to Girona, a small but charming city north of Barcelona to wander through its historic streets.
The old centre of Girona has preserved the remains of its long history. Take a private guided walking tour to see its imposing Gothic cathedral, which contain a textile jewel, the medieval Creation Tapestry. You'll also stroll through El Call, the old Jewish quarter, and see the Arab baths.
Private transfer to Barcelona airport
Private transfer to your hotel in San Sebastian
Accommodation in San Sebastian
- 167 rooms
- La Brasserie Mari Galant restaurant
Set right on La Concha beachfront, the historic Hotel Londres is housed in a grand belle epoque-style building, and has been welcoming guests for over 100 years. Occupying such prime city location, this opulent four-star hotel has become somewhat of a city landmark, offering luxurious and modern facilities, with a touch of old-world charm. The guestrooms and suites are spacious and light, featuring classic design and neutral tones, with small splashes of colour in the artwork and soft furnishings. Choose to wake up to the spectacular views of the sea and the famous promenade or the charming Xabier Zubiri Square and the city’s old town. San Sebastian is of course all about food and gastronomy, and the Hotel Londres is no exception. Dine on delicious Basque cuisine in the modern La Brasserie Mari Galant restaurant, paired with spectacular views over La Concha Bay, followed by a cocktail in the classic Bar Swing. Relax and rejuvenate after exploring the city by heading along the beach to La Perla Thalassotherapy centre, an opulent spa with modern-day technology and luxurious treatments.
- 136 rooms and suites
- Two restaurants and a bar
- Culinary school
- Fitness centre
The grande dame of San Sebastian hotels, the Maria Cristina sits overlooking the Urumea River and is set an elegant belle epoque-style building. It first opened its doors back in 1912 and since has hosted everyone from royalty and aristocrats to Hollywood celebrities. Its lavish gold and marble interiors exude grace and refinement, while its 136 rooms and suites add stylish touches of modernity in their colourful contemporary artwork and high-tech features. Choose from river, garden or city views, or even your own private terrace. Each morning begins here with an extravagant breakfast in the grand breakfast room, surrounded by Corinthian columns, heavy damask drapes and ornate plasterwork, while in the evenings pintxos (Basque-style tapas) and cocktails can be enjoyed in the Dry Bar, inspired by the glamour of the golden days of Hollywood. Dinner is also offered at the Asian-themed Saigon Café. With sites such as the San Telmo Museum of Basque Ethnography and History, the impressive Buen Pastor Cathedral and the pretty La Concha Beach right on your doorstep, it’s ideally situated.
The sophisticated and shimmering city of San Sebastian in the north of the country sits at the mouth of the River Urumea, looking out on to the Bay of Biscay, with the natural beauty of Mount Urgull, Mount Ulia, Mount Adarra and Mount Igeldo at its back. Its covetable position has given rise to a lively beachfront that includes Playa de la Concha, renowned as one of the best beaches in Europe, and Playa de la Zurriola, a champion surfing destination. But it's the city's fabled elegant architecture, spacious plazas and plentiful green parks that has led to its moniker as the 'Pearl of Northern Spain'. San Sebastian is famous for its pintxos and an evening dipping in and out of its bars is not to be missed.
San Sebastian has every right to be incredibly proud of its culinary heritage, and going out for pintxos is a fun and delicious experience. Pintxos are small morsels of food and people will typically visit three or four bars, sampling a different dish in each place. Originally pintxos were held together by a toothpick but nowadays there are all sorts of variations and they are best enjoyed with a wine, beer or a glass of txacolí - the lightly sparkling wine typical of the Basque country.
Drive through the beautiful Basque landscape to Bilbao, the driving force of social and economic development in the Gulf of Biscay. It is also home to some bold examples of modern architecture including the Euskalduna Concert Hall and the Metro, designed by Norman Foster. Gehry's Guggenheim is Bilbao's star attraction with its eye-catching glass and titanium design.
Head out of Spain to explore the nearby French Basque countryside. Your excursion includes a visit to Bayonne, a charming city filled with timber houses set on the confluence of the Adour and Nive rivers. You'll continue to Biarritz, made famous when Napoleon III built his wife a summer residence on the seafront, and the colourful village of Saint Jean de Luz.
La Rioja is one of Spain's most famous winemaking regions, known the world over. You'll visit some of the local wineries, including the iconic Marques de Riscal, to learn all about the processes involved in transforming the humble grape into something magical. You'll also explore the medieval town of Laguardia, full of history and charm and there will be the opportunity to taste and buy the local wine.
Private transfer to your hotel in Ribera del Duero
Accommodation in Duero Valley
- 30 rooms and suites
- Michelin-starred restaurant
- Indoor and outdoor pool
Located on the banks of the mighty River Duero amongst the vineyards and wineries that characterise the region, sits Abadia Retuerta. Great respect was paid during the restoration of this ancient 12th century monastery, the result of which is an architecturally beautiful yet thoroughly modern luxury hotel. You’re located in the heart of the Abadia Retuerta wine estate, so it’s no surprise that the sight of rows upon rows of vines greets you wherever you look. There are 27 beautifully furnished rooms and three suites, some of which come with a private terrace and original Miró paintings. Northern Spain is immensely proud of their rich culinary heritage, and the hotel’s Michelin-starred restaurant is a celebration of all that is great about this part of the country. Locally sourced ingredients, including herbs and vegetables grown in their own kitchen garden, are used to created innovative and contemporary dishes. There is also the chance to enjoy traditional Spanish tapas and dine al fresco in the warmer months. No trip to this region would be complete without tasting the exceptional wine, and the 700-hectare estate is the perfect place to start. The climate here is perfect for growing Tempranillo grapes so expect rich, full-bodied reds. Located in the Castilla y León province, east of Valladolid, there are plenty of castles, churches and pretty medieval towns to discover. The hotel can also help you organise helicopter flights, cycling and hiking tours, falconry and cookery classes.
The mighty Duero River winds its way through the rocky outcrops of the elevated plateaus of the Iberian Peninsular, giving life to the multitude of vines that criss-cross the land. Winemaking has been a way of life here for over 2,000 years; a huge Roman mosaic depicting Bacchus, the Roman God of Wine, was discovered here during one of the grape harvists and can be seen in the small town of Baños de Valdearados. There’s no denying the mighty grape is the beating heart of Riberia del Duero, but be sure to go exploring beyond the vineyards. Spanning four provinces, the area is rich in culture, with several magnificent castles to discover, such as the Peñaranda de Duero in Burgos and the Peñafiel in Valladolid.
Private transfer to Madrid airport