Tailormade tour Andalusia and Madrid holiday by air and train Spain

7 nights/8 days

Madrid • Granada • Cordoba • Seville

This tailor-made Spanish rail holiday is the ideal way to travel to and around Andalusia. Begin your rail holiday by flying into Madrid, where you spend your first night. From here, travel by train to the southern region of Andalusia and journey by rail between three of its great cities – Seville, Cordoba and Granada.
Holiday price guide

Available year-round subject to the opening period of the hotels, from about £1,690 per person.

Luxury holiday to Andalusia and Madrid by air and train visiting the cities of Granada, Cordoba and Seville

This 7-night holiday by air and rail to Madrid and the Andalusian cities of Granada, Cordoba and Seville is an authentic introduction to both the capital of Spain and the southern region of Andalusia. These cities are home to stunning medieval Islamic architecture, delicious tapas, heart-stopping bullfighting and sensual flamenco. Train travel between the cities is fast and comfortable allowing you to make the most of your time and appreciate the scenery as you travel. A bonus are the several included excursions offered that present each city in an authentic and insightful way such as a caliphal dinner in Cordoba, an Iberian ham presentation in Seville and a shared sightseeing four of the Alhambra in Granada.

Highlights

Madrid • Ticket to visit the Museo del Prado, the Museo Thyssen and the Museo Nacional Centro de Arte Reina Sofia • Tablao Flamenco show in Granada • Granada • Granada a shared tour of the Alhambra • Cordoba • Caliphal dinner in Cordoba • Cordoba entrance tickets to the mosque • Seville • Iberian Ham Cutting presentation in Seville • Seville a shared walking tour 2.5 hours

Day by day

Fly from London to Madrid where you have most of the day to explore the city with its many attractive plaza and museums. You spend one night at the Hospes Puerta de Alcala in the city centre. We include a combined ticket which allows you one entry to the permanent exhibitions of the Museo del Prado, Museo Thyssen and the Museo Nacional Centro de Arte Reina Sofia.

Leaving Madrid at 9am, travel by train arriving to Granada nestled at the edge of the mountains of the Sierra Nevada around 1.30pm. Spend two nights in the Hospes Palacio de los Patos in Granada. Granada is one of Spain’s most fascinating cities. The Sierra Nevada and its wooded slopes form a beautiful backdrop, but the Alhambra palace is the key attraction. Originally constructed as a 9th century fortress, it has been changed and added to over successive centuries expanding the complex to include palaces, churches and mosques. It is now a UNESCO world heritage site. Please note. There is currently building work affecting rail services to Granada. Part of this holiday currently includes a bus leg between the stations of Antequera Santa Ana and Granada and first-class rail travel is not available to/from Granada. Please contact one of our Spanish specialists for further information.

A shared tour of the Alhambra is included with your holiday, this includes visits to the Royal Palaces, Gardens and Carlos V’s Palace. You have the rest of the day at leisure to explore Granada, perhaps strolling around its old quarter and trying the selection of tapas that are served free with drinks in Granada. An authentic Andalusian flamenco show is included this evening.

Leaving Granada at 9am and take the train to Cordoba arriving just over two hours later. Cordoba is set on the Guadalquivir river at the heart of rural Andalucia, and you spend two nights here at the Hospes Palacio del Bailio. The city has beautiful winding lanes, many historical attractions, restaurants and nightlife. From mid-April to mid-June the city is full of flowers when local residents open their gardens to the public for the Fiesta de los Patios.

Entrance tickets are included to Cordoba’s mosque – the largest Islamic structure in Western Europe and a UNESCO protected site. The remainder of the day is at leisure to explore Cordoba, and in the evening a romantic “Caliphal” dinner is included - served in the intimate ambiance of the Senzone restaurant. Starters: an exclusive selection of Tapas. Main Course: a tasting menu of typical Andalusian dishes. Dessert, coffee and mineral water included. Wine and other alcoholic beverages are not included.

Travel by high speed train from Cordoba – leaving mid-morning and arriving into Seville 45 minutes later. You spend two nights here at the Hospes Las Casas del Rey de Baeza. Seville is the capital of Andalucia and Spain’s fourth largest city. The centre is formed of a maze of narrow lanes and hidden plazas. Key attractions of Sevilla are its art and architecture which includes Roman, Islamic, Gothic, Renaissance and Baroque influences. Flamenco music and dance are at the heart of this city and it is not uncommon to hear people clapping the rhythm as you walk down the street, but even more popular are the sevillanas – the city’s own musical heritage.

A two and a half hour shared guided tour of Seville is included, which visits the main sights of the Barrio de Santa Cruz. The remainder of the day is at leisure to explore Seville, during which you can look around the largest Gothic cathedral in the world, climb up the Giralda tower to see a panoramic view of the entire city, and visit Triana – the city’s historic gypsy quarter on the other side of the river. An introductory presentation on Iberian ham and ham cutting is also included.

Fly from Seville back to London (other airports are also possible). Alternatively, it is possible to return to the UK by train – please ask for details.

Holiday price guide Prices from £1,690 low season (Jan, Feb, Jul, Aug, Nov, Dec) and from £1,995 high season (Mar, Apr, May, Jun, Sept, Oct) per person based on two people sharing a double or twin room.

Holiday Code SNFR05

Luxury holiday to Andalusia and Madrid by air and train visiting the cities of Granada, Cordoba and Seville

Fly from London to Madrid where you have most of the day to explore the city with its many attractive plaza and museums. You spend one night at the Hospes Puerta de Alcala in the city centre. We include a combined ticket which allows you one entry to the permanent exhibitions of the Museo del Prado, Museo Thyssen and the Museo Nacional Centro de Arte Reina Sofia.

Leaving Madrid at 9am, travel by train arriving to Granada nestled at the edge of the mountains of the Sierra Nevada around 1.30pm. Spend two nights in the Hospes Palacio de los Patos in Granada. Granada is one of Spain’s most fascinating cities. The Sierra Nevada and its wooded slopes form a beautiful backdrop, but the Alhambra palace is the key attraction. Originally constructed as a 9th century fortress, it has been changed and added to over successive centuries expanding the complex to include palaces, churches and mosques. It is now a UNESCO world heritage site. Please note. There is currently building work affecting rail services to Granada. Part of this holiday currently includes a bus leg between the stations of Antequera Santa Ana and Granada and first-class rail travel is not available to/from Granada. Please contact one of our Spanish specialists for further information.

A shared tour of the Alhambra is included with your holiday, this includes visits to the Royal Palaces, Gardens and Carlos V’s Palace. You have the rest of the day at leisure to explore Granada, perhaps strolling around its old quarter and trying the selection of tapas that are served free with drinks in Granada. An authentic Andalusian flamenco show is included this evening.

Leaving Granada at 9am and take the train to Cordoba arriving just over two hours later. Cordoba is set on the Guadalquivir river at the heart of rural Andalucia, and you spend two nights here at the Hospes Palacio del Bailio. The city has beautiful winding lanes, many historical attractions, restaurants and nightlife. From mid-April to mid-June the city is full of flowers when local residents open their gardens to the public for the Fiesta de los Patios.

Entrance tickets are included to Cordoba’s mosque – the largest Islamic structure in Western Europe and a UNESCO protected site. The remainder of the day is at leisure to explore Cordoba, and in the evening a romantic “Caliphal” dinner is included - served in the intimate ambiance of the Senzone restaurant. Starters: an exclusive selection of Tapas. Main Course: a tasting menu of typical Andalusian dishes. Dessert, coffee and mineral water included. Wine and other alcoholic beverages are not included.

Travel by high speed train from Cordoba – leaving mid-morning and arriving into Seville 45 minutes later. You spend two nights here at the Hospes Las Casas del Rey de Baeza. Seville is the capital of Andalucia and Spain’s fourth largest city. The centre is formed of a maze of narrow lanes and hidden plazas. Key attractions of Sevilla are its art and architecture which includes Roman, Islamic, Gothic, Renaissance and Baroque influences. Flamenco music and dance are at the heart of this city and it is not uncommon to hear people clapping the rhythm as you walk down the street, but even more popular are the sevillanas – the city’s own musical heritage.

A two and a half hour shared guided tour of Seville is included, which visits the main sights of the Barrio de Santa Cruz. The remainder of the day is at leisure to explore Seville, during which you can look around the largest Gothic cathedral in the world, climb up the Giralda tower to see a panoramic view of the entire city, and visit Triana – the city’s historic gypsy quarter on the other side of the river. An introductory presentation on Iberian ham and ham cutting is also included.

Fly from Seville back to London (other airports are also possible). Alternatively, it is possible to return to the UK by train – please ask for details.

Holiday price guide Prices from £1,690 low season (Jan, Feb, Jul, Aug, Nov, Dec) and from £1,995 high season (Mar, Apr, May, Jun, Sept, Oct) per person based on two people sharing a double or twin room.

Holiday Code SNFR05

Our prices include ● Scheduled flights with British Airways flights from London to Madrid, Seville to London, economy
● Rail travel from Madrid to Granada, Granada to Cordoba, Cordoba to Seville, first-class where possible
● 1 night’s bed and breakfast in a Dreamer room at the Hospes Puerta de Alcala in Madrid
● 2 nights’ bed and breakfast in a Dreamer room at the Hospes Palacio de los Patos in Granada
● 2 nights’ bed and breakfast in a Dreamer room at the Hospes Palacio del Bailio in Cordoba
● 2 nights’ bed and breakfast in a Dreamer room Las Casas del Rey de Baeza in Seville
● A combined ticket allowing one visit to the permanent exhibitions of the Museo del Prado, the Museo Thyssen and the Museo Nacional Centro de Arte Reina Sofia
● One Caliphal dinner in Cordoba (or on request this can be in Granada or Seville). This dinner ffor two is served in the intimate ambiance of the Senzone restaurant. Starters: an exclusive selection of Tapas; Main Course: a tasting menu of typical Andalusian dishes. Dessert, coffee and mineral water included. Wine and other alcoholic beverages are not included.
● One Tablao Flamenco show in Granada: Authentic Andalusian Flamenco show (or on request this can be in Seville or Cordoba)
● One Iberian Ham Cutting presentation in Seville. An introductory presentation to Iberian Ham and ham cutting.
● Sightseeing in Granada – a shared tour of the Alhambra, Cordoba – entrance tickets to the mosque, Seville – a shared walking tour, 2.5 hours
● Concierge service and Expressions Holidays regional helpful hints

Our prices do not include ● Early check-in or late check-out at any hotels (although we can arrange this on request at additional cost)
● Any other services not mentioned above, such as transfers and meals except breakfast at hotels
● Personal holiday insurance. This is essential and cover should be in place from when you book the holiday.
● Local tourist tax, usually between Euros 1 and 3 per person per night, and payable locally to the hotel

Holiday price guide

Prices from £1,690 low season (Jan, Feb, Jul, Aug, Nov, Dec) and from £1,995 high season (Mar, Apr, May, Jun, Sept, Oct) per person based on two people sharing a double or twin room.

Holiday Code SNFR05

Luxury holiday to Andalusia and Madrid by air and train visiting the cities of Granada, Cordoba and Seville

About Andalusia

An Expressions tailor-made holiday to Andalusia offers the chance to explore a holiday destination famed for its indulgent climate and coastal appeal. The region cannot deny its fair share of sun, sea and sand, but what is often neglected to mention is the region's immense variety. Comprising of eight unique provinces, Andalusia spans west to east from the wetlands and the Atlantic Ocean to the deserts and the popular Costa del Sol on the Mediterranean Sea. Poised at the southern-most tip of the Iberian Peninsula, Andalusia acts as a gateway between the European and African continents, harbouring a myriad of influences that speak of the layers of civilisation that have roamed and inhabited the land. From the vibrant cities to the tiny white-washed villages, from vast sierras to the extensive coastline, Andalusia is a region of contrasts which promises an authentic luxury holiday.

Highlights of Andalusia

With 800km of coastline, there are plenty of beaches to choose from - facing the Atlantic are the long, sandy beaches of the Costa de la Luz, extending south from the Portuguese border to Tarifa; covering the area between Malaga and Gibraltar is the famous Costa del Sol, known for its numerous beach resorts which range from the cheap and cheerful to exclusive luxury; to the south of Granada is the Costa Tropical, a stretch of coast with sandy coves and a pleasant microclimate; and to the east is the more rugged Costa de Almeria. A number of luxury resorts and hotels are located along each of these coastlines. Surrounding Granada is the Sierra Nevada, a mountain range where the Spanish mainland's highest peak can be found and home to white-washed mountain villages. In the far east of Andalusia is the Sierras de Cazorla, Segura y Las Villas Natural Park, the largest protected area in Spain where you can find hiking trails, mountain villages and many wild animals. Further south is The Cabo de Gata Natural Park, a land and sea reserve near Almeria which is home to unspoilt scenery and an abundance of wildlife. In the west of the region is the Doñana National Park, an extensive area in the delta of the Guadalquivir River which includes marshland and sand dunes and is a breeding ground of the endangered Iberian Lynx. Thanks to the region's great variety in landscapes, culture and cuisine, a luxury holiday to Andalusia is sure to be a delightful experience.

Cultural highlights of Andalusia

Many of the Andalusia's cultural highlights can be found in the three Moorish cities of Cordoba, Granada and Seville, all of which are home to a number of excellent luxury hotels. Cordoba, a UNESCO World Heritage Site and former centre of Muslim control during Andalusia's colonisation by the Islamic Empire. At the city's heart is the astounding Mezquita de Cordoba, a mediaeval mosque turned Catholic cathedral with endless Moorish arches, columns and glinting tiles of vibrant hues. Other highlights include the fascinating Jewish quarter and Roman ruins galore. Nearer the coast is Granada, where Islamic rule endured the longest and the magical Alhambra remains as a monument to this legacy. A 9th century palace fortress, it guards over the city from an elevated crag amongst vast, aromatic gardens. To the west, on the peaceful plains of River Guadalquivir, Seville quietly awaits discovery along with its three World Heritage Sites: the Alcazar palace, the gothic Cathedral and the General Archive of the Indies. Other towns and cities of interest in Andalusia include Jerez de la Frontera, where you can visit the sherry bodegas which make the city famous and watch the dressage displays which are held at The Royal Andalusian School of Equestrian Art; Cadiz, the oldest city in Europe which is surrounded almost entirely by water; Ronda, a spectacular city which is split in half by a narrow gorge; Malaga, birthplace of Picasso and home to a Museum which displays a collection of his work; the small town of Baeza, where you can find stunning examples of Renaissance architecture; and Almeria, a coastal city which is dominated by the Alcazaba, the largest Moorish fortress in Spain. During your stay in Andalusia make sure to witness the seductive art of flamenco. Alluring, passionate and cathartic, it's easy to understand how this gypsy tradition has become one of the most familiar emblems of Spanish culture.

Festivals in Andalusia

There are a huge number of local festivals held in villages, towns and cities throughout Andalusia, many of which have a religious significance. 5 January: Three Kings parades, February: Shrove Tuesday Carnivals, February: Seville Tapas Fair, February to March: Jerez Flamenco Festival, March/April: Holy week celebrations, April to October: Seville Bullfighting season, April/May: Seville Spring Fair, April/May: Úbeda Classical Music Festival, Mid May: Jerez Horse Fair, June to July: Granada Music & Dance Festival, June - July: Cordoba Guitar Festival, August: Malaga Summer Fair, September: Ronda bullfighting festival, November: Granada Jazz Festival.

Gastronomy in Andalusia

Cuisine in Andalusia is diverse, varying throughout the region and combining Arabic flavours with more common Mediterranean ingredients such as seafood, olive oil and an abundance of fresh fruit and vegetables. As the birthplace of tapas, Andalusia is an excellent place to try the snacks which are often served free with drinks in Granada. Other Andalusian specialities include Serrano ham from the Sierra Nevada and sherry from Jerez de la Frontera, as well as dishes such as ‘Ajo blanco’ (a white gazpacho), ‘Espetos de sardina’ (roasted sardines), ‘Huevos a la flamenca’ (baked eggs with vegetables) and ‘Fritura de pescado’ (mixed fried fish).

Luxury holiday to Andalusia and Madrid by air and train visiting the cities of Granada, Cordoba and Seville

About Madrid

An Expressions tailor-made holiday to Madrid is a chance to explore this lively and passionate capital city with a laid-back lifestyle. Atmospheric cobbled streets link bustling squares which are filled with pavement cafes, whilst tree-lined boulevards are overlooked by neo-classical buildings. Our luxury holidays to Madrid feature some of the best four- and five-star hotels in the city, including elegant hotels and more boutique properties. Visitors to Madrid will find plenty to fill their days. Art and culture play an important role, primarily thanks to the three world-class art museums which make up Madrid’s Golden Triangle of Art, home to works by Pablo Picasso, Salvador Dalí and Francisco de Goya. Illustrating the city’s rich history are the sights of Old Madrid, including the lavish Royal Palace, the grand Plaza Mayor, and the city’s spiritual centre – Puerta del Sol. There are plenty of designer shops to browse throughout the city, as well as small boutiques and flea markets which visitors might stumble across. It is after dark that Madrid really comes alive as the streets, parks and open-air cafes fill with people of all ages and the bars and clubs remain open until dawn. What better way to recover from a late night than to while away a morning in the Parque del Retiro, strolling through the beautiful gardens and perhaps hiring a rowing boat on the park’s tranquil lake. For those who wish to escape the energetic city, a number of towns are located nearby which make for an interesting day trip.

Highlights of Madrid

Numerous squares including the historic Plaza Mayor, the setting of bullfights and executions during the Spanish Inquisition. The Royal Palace, a lavish building which was constructed in the 1700s and is still used today for state occasions. The Prado Museum, one of the largest art galleries in the world which contains an impressive selection of Spanish paintings including works by Goya and El Greco. Reina Sofia Museum, displaying modern works including Picasso’s ‘Guernica’. Thyssen-Bornemisza Museum, based on a private art collection which illustrates the history of western art and includes pieces by Goya, Degas and Renoir. Retiro Park formerly used by the royal family and now a popular spot for relaxation. The Teatro Real, an important opera house with performances of opera and dance. Almudena Cathedral. Gran Vía, a famous street which is lined by theatres and shops. Debod Temple, an ancient Egyptian temple which was rebuilt in Madrid in the 1960s. The Santiago Bernabéu Football stadium, home to Real Madrid. El Rastro Market, an open-air flea market which is held on Sundays. Ventas Bullring where bullfights take place every week during the bullfighting season.

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