Escorted Tours Through Spain
Spain is a stunning location with an intoxicating mix of cosmopolitan metropolises, cobblestone villages and small fishing towns, where the locals are devoted to a life of passion, sophistication, and absolutely no stress! The passion of the local people is evident at every turn – it’s in the art of Picasso and Dali, the rhythmic flamenco dances, the flourishes of the toreador, and the distinct taste of Spanish wines.
Whether you’re interested in feasting on fresh seafood and tapas, exploring rustic vineyards, trekking mountain trails, or wandering through historic terracotta townships, you’ll find your ideal holiday in one of our Spain tours.
Magnifico Spain & Portugal
Northern Spain & the Pyrenees
Spain Tour Destinations
- Cádiz – Surrounded almost entirely by water on the southern coast of Spain, Cádiz is a vibrant city that is generally considered the oldest continuously populated settlement in all of Europe. It’s an old-time party town in many ways, with long stretches of beach, boisterous taverns, bountiful seafood restaurants, and animated flamenco street performances. All of this combines with the Spanish lust for life, making Cádiz an unforgettable Spain tour destination.
One attraction of this delightful port city you simply cannot miss is the grand Cádiz Cathedral, which features stunning architecture and artworks. Climbing the bell tower rewards you with resplendent views of the city and the sea, while the square on the church’s doorstep is a wonderful place to relax with a drink while admiring the building’s impressive exterior.
- Córdoba – Known as Cordova to many English speakers, Córdoba is a spectacular city in southern Spain. It is home to the second-largest Old Town in all of Europe, much of which was architecturally influenced by the city’s early Islamic rulers. Córdoba was considered the intellectual epicentre of Europe during this time, with significant advances in mathematics, medicine and astronomy being discovered in the many majestic universities, libraries and medical schools.
This is a rich, multicultural town, where the edges of the Jewish, Muslim and Christian quarters bleed together to form unique cultural experiences. Highlights of a visit to Córdoba will most often include a guided tour of the Mesquita, a beautiful and tranquil mosque that has been designated as a World Heritage site since 1984.
- Granada – The appeal of Granada is difficult to summarise. There’s a distinguished elegance to the streets that constantly reminds you of the city’s tumultuous history. Yet a modern edge is also to be found here, from the street art to the contemporary cuisine. Grenada is indeed a complicated place, but it certainly holds wonders aplenty for those who know where to look (or those who have an expert Albatross guide to rely on!).
The magnificent palaces and gardens of Alhambra and Generalife are particularly breathtaking, giving visitors an insight into what life was like for royals in centuries long past. Striking sites such as these ensure Granada is consistently a highlight of our Spain tours.
- Ronda – Dramatically split by the El Tajo Gorge and encircled by the Serranía de Ronda mountain range, Ronda is the most scenic town in the province of Málaga. While the Guadalevín River runs underneath, turn your attention to the stunning sites within this plateau-top city. Crossing the Puente Nuevo, the bridge that connects the two sides of the chasm, will present you with endless photo moments. Just don’t drop your camera – it’s a long way to the bottom of the gorge!
If the beauty of this place leaves you at a loss for words, don’t worry; you’re simply joining the long, long list of people whose hearts have been captured by Ronda. You’ll be in good company too – this list already features famous people like Ernest Hemmingway, Orson Welles, and 20th-century Austrian poet Rainer Maria Rilke.
- Seville – Andalusia’s capital city is the perfect embodiment of what an ideal Spanish holiday should be: plenty of sunshine, riveting cityscapes, a cheerful vibrancy, and an ever-underlying feeling of the region’s immense history.
Visitors in Seville inevitably find themselves in the Santa Cruz quarter, where colourful balconies overflowing with flowers lead the way through narrow streets. Don’t dilly-dally too much on the enchanting paths though; glorious sites like the Alcázar of Seville and the Giralda Tower are just around the corner, waiting to be the next jaw-droppers of your tour in Spain.
Castile and León
- Segovia – Set against the bleak but beautiful Sierra de Guadarrama mountain range in northern Spain, Segovia is a mythic city said to have been founded by Hercules. There are relics of Roman occupation throughout the town, the most prominent of which is El Acueducto, a 28-metre-high, 900-metre-long granite aqueduct that used to bring water from the mountains into the town.
A guided walking tour is perhaps the most intimate way to explore this exciting destination. Complete with wonderful restaurants and cafés, Segovia will likely provide you with one of the dining highlights of your Spain tour.
- Salamanca – With a city centre focused on pedestrians and seemingly endless significant buildings and monuments to discover, Salamanca is the ideal Spanish destination in which to enjoy a guided tour. The fascinating golden-stone constructions of the city will evoke the inner architecture aficionado within any traveller.
Don’t miss your chance to see one of Europe’s oldest universities, and be sure to save time for both the new and old cathedral for two very different insights into the past of Salamanca. Once you’ve visited all the sites you find most intriguing, relax and reflect on the places you’ve seen at one of the city’s many cafés.
Community of Madrid
- El Escorial – This vast monument’s full title is the Royal Site of San Lorenzo de El Escorial. While its name is commonly shortened to just El Escorial, the building complex itself cannot be abbreviated; it is the sheer size of this historic residence that will first impress you and then remain in your mind long after leaving.
El Escorial is a feat of 1500s construction and design, with 21 years and two esteemed architects involved in its creation. The complex features a church, a monastery, a royal palace, a college, and a library, all of which blend harmoniously with the overall straight-lined, Spanish décor.
- Valle de los Caídos – Translated as the Valley of the Fallen, this special yet sombre destination provides an unfailingly moving experience for visitors. Many people (and most Christians) would consider this an essential stop for any tours of Spain.
While the surrounding woodlands are indeed gorgeous, the primary attraction of the valley is the Santa Cruz Basilica. Carved from the stony ridge, this massive underground church is home to six chapels and is guarded by sword-bearing art deco angels. Atop a nearby cliff stands the world’s tallest cross, a granite crucifix stretching 150 metres into the air.
- Madrid – The modern metropolis of Madrid, Spain’s capital city, has something to appeal to any traveller’s tastes. As a launching pad and conclusion for many Spanish tours, Madrid is the perfect place to warm up your sightseeing skills and then debrief in style after completing your adventure around this stirring and spirited country.
- Toledo – Toledo is yet another Spanish city that warrants a guided walking tour through its streets and around its many monuments. A unique mixture of Christian, Arab, and Jewish cultures make this a truly one-of-a-kind cultural experience and has also earned Toledo one of its nicknames: the City of the Three Cultures.
When turning a corner in Toledo, it’s impossible to know whether what awaits you is a mosque, a palace, a synagogue, a cathedral, or a street lined with fabulous shops. In particular, Toledo Cathedral cries out for a traveller’s time and is sure to be a highlight of your Spain tour.
Touring Spain via Coach
With so much to see and experience, Spain can be a challenging country to plan a holiday for! What cities are essential stops? Which places can be left for next time? How can you get the most out of your time in this beautiful place? Albatross Tours takes the guesswork out of your Spanish holiday– we know which sites to include to ensure our Spain tours are dreams come true for all our travellers.
A journey with Albatross saves you from all the hassle of planning and booking every night and trip of your getaway. We find this peace of mind is crucial in allowing our guests to truly enjoy themselves and complete their tour with the sense of relaxation that should come after a holiday.
You needn’t worry about keeping pace either. Our tours are focused on leisure, with longer stays than most tour operators and plenty of free time for discovering the attractions that appeal to you personally. Our smaller groups also ensure your trip around Spain is a more intimate one. From practising your Spanish with friendly locals to chatting with your likeminded co-travellers, your time in this joyous country can also be a satisfyingly social experience.
When to Visit Spain
For the best weather, the months from April to October are ideal for visiting Spain. If you thrive in hot temperatures, you might prefer to tour Spain in August, when the heat often hits its yearly peak. For milder yet still Mediterranean conditions, April, May, June, and October are all fantastic options. We generally advise steering away from July, as this is when both temperatures and tourist numbers are at their most uncomfortable.
The Foods You’ll Eat in Spain
It would almost be a crime to complete a tour in Spain without gaining a thorough appreciation for this culture’s cuisine. The aromas and tastes of this country are one of its enduring drawcards, ensuring your time abroad will be rewarding for all of your senses.
When faced with dining dilemmas in Spain, here are five of the options that will never fail to leave you satisfied:
- Tantalising Tapas – In order to understand how integral these mini-sized dishes are to Spanish culture, you need to know the word ‘tapear’ is literally a Spanish verb meaning ‘to eat tapas’. These delicious bites will come free with drinks in some venues, but they’re also well worth purchasing separately if necessary. The huge variety of types available also ensures the quest to find your tapas soulmate will be a long and enjoyable journey.
- Perfect Paella – Whether you seek out the seafood variety of this dish or stick to the classic paella Valenciana, you’re sure to love this Spanish meal. Made with a rice foundation and flavoured with various meats and spices depending on where you order it, paella deserves to feature in at least one dinner during your tour.
- Yummy Churros – Pastry lovers rejoice! This equally tasty and (some would say) more practical version of the doughnut tastes its best in its homeland of Spain*. These delicious snacks go best when coupled with a milky coffee or hot chocolate. *Some theories suggest the churro’s origins are actually Portuguese – or even Chinese. While we can’t give you a definitive answer for where these treats began, we can certainly recommend where they should finish: your stomach!
- Satisfying Sangria – The world owes a great deal to the people who originally thought of mixing chopped fruit with red wine. While today’s renditions will often also include a portion of soft drink, the quenching quality and lip-smacking flavour of this popular beverage have ensured its rising popularity all over the world.
- Tortilla Española – With its core ingredients of eggs and potatoes (and occasionally onions), this Spanish omelette is a somewhat simple dish. But, in life, the simple pleasures are often the best kind, and this certainly applies to the Tortilla Española. It’s available throughout the country and different regions have their own spins on this Spanish classic.
Things You Should Know About Spanish Culture
When you think about Spanish culture, one of the first words that likely comes to mind is ‘passion’. And this is quite accurate! There is a vibrancy and love for life that seems to float over each town and city you’ll visit during one of our Spain tours. To get the most out of your holiday here, there are a couple of other cultural quirks you should be aware of too:
- Bar Culture – Bars are a big deal for Spanish communities. In fact, with the exception of Cyprus, you won’t find a higher bar-to-person ratio anywhere else in the world. So if you enjoy spending time in bars, you won’t have to search far to find one during your leisure time here. Also, don’t be put off by a bar with a dirty floor – in Spain, this is accepted and often a sign of a bar’s popularity.
- Late Meals – It’s not uncommon for Spaniards to put off their lunches until 2pm and their dinners until 10pm. So don’t be surprised if restaurants and cafés are actually less crowded at what you would normally consider peak meal times.
- Religion – Religion is a large part of everyday life for many people in Spain, with the vast majority of the population identifying as Roman Catholic. It’s not uncommon to come across people wearing traditional religious garbs. Of course, the reverence for religion is also to thank for many of the country’s most iconic landmarks, buildings and attractions.
The Money You’ll Use in Spain
When on a tour of Spain, the currency you’ll be seeing is the euro, which features 1c, 2c, 5c, 10c, 20c, 50c, €1 and €2 coins, as well as €5, €10, €20, €50, €100, €200 and €500 banknotes. As with most countries in southern Europe, withdrawing or exchanging euros is easy thanks to the abundance of ATMs, banks, and exchange bureaus. Tipping isn’t considered mandatory in most places here, but it is generally appreciated if you’ve experienced exceptional service.