History of Spain Tour

Join SpainExchange for an exploration of the rich history of Spain and a journey through some of History’s greatest civilizations! Visit world-famous cities such as Granada , Salamanca , Toledo and Madrid while also discovering some of Spain ‘s best-kept secrets. The History of Spain Tour highlights the major political, economic, social, and cultural developments in Spain from its origins right up to the 21st century.

SUGGESTED ITINERARY

Day 1: Arrival and Toledo

Your SpainExchange guides will be awaiting your arrival at Madrid Barajas airport. After collecting your luggage a tour bus will take your group to your first travel destination, the spectacular medieval city of Toledo . Enjoy an evening stroll through its winding streets and an impressive panoramic view of the city that was immortalized in a painting by El Greco. Dinner will be provided for you in a local restaurant.

Day 2: Toledo

After breakfast in your hotel your SpainExchange and local guides will take you on a tour of the many treasures of this small fortress city: its Gothic Cathedral; El Greco’s famous painting; the Santa Maria la Blanca Synagogue. No other city can compare to Toledo in historic richness. After the Celts occupied the land it was the Romans who settled it, and centuries later it became the capital of Spain up until the 16th century, when the capital was moved to Madrid . In the evening your group will be taken to your next SpainExchange destination, the enchanting city of Granada .

Day 3: Granada

The Arab occupation lasted for 8 centuries, beginning in 711 BC. The Catholic Monarchs, Ferdinand and Isabel completed their “Reconquista” of Spain with the capture of Granada , the very same year Columbus “sailed the ocean blue”. SpainExchange will take you on a guided tour of one of the world’s most remarkable landmarks, the beautiful Arabic palace La Alhambra. Enjoy a typical Andalusian lunch in one of Granada ‘s delightful restaurants and if you choose, another typical pastime- a siesta! In the afternoon, your group will visit the Albaicín Quarters, and the Royal Chapel, the resting ground of the great Catholic Monarchs. Enjoy a relaxing dinner provided at your hotel and get a good night’s sleep in preparation for another exciting day!

Day 4: Seville and Merida

After breakfast in the hotel, jump on the SpainExchange bus and be transported to another Andalusian treasure, the city of Seville ! This city was the seat of Al-Andalus power and the very place where Columbus made preparations to sail off to the New World . Your SpainExchange guides will take you to visit the beautiful Cathedral, the Barrio de Triana, the Torre del Oro and the Indies Archives. After seeing this romantic city’s landmarks and enjoying some free time for lunch and a walk around, meet back with your group and travel to the ancient Roman city of Merida. Dinner will be provided for you in your hotel upon arrival.

Day 5: Merida

Merida is one of Spain ‘s best-kept secrets! The Romans made this the capital of one of the most important provinces in their empire, Lusitania . SpainExchange will take you to visit the remarkable Roman theater and amphitheater- still in use today! Enjoy lunch and some free time to pick up some reproduction Roman paraphernalia before meeting back up with SpainExchange to visit The National Museum of Roman Art. Exchange trivia about the great Roman Empire over dinner at your hotel, before turning in for the night.

Day 6: Salamanca

Pack your bags and head off to Salamanca , one of the most fascinating cities in Spain . You will visit the campus of the University of Salamanca , founded in 1218 and one of the first universities in the world. Have lunch and discover the city’s rich history by visiting the center of the city and its many monuments. During the devastating Spanish Civil War (1936-1939) Franco chose Salamanca as the seat for his government. Dinner will be provided for your group at your hotel.

Day 7: Salamanca and Burgos

Take one last walk through the cobblestone streets of Salamanca before meeting your SpainExchange guides to travel north to the city of Burgos . Your tour bus will drop you at the hotel for check-in and a rest and then meet up again for a walking tour of the city. Enjoy a panoramic view from the top of this beautiful hillside city before settling into your hotel for the night.

Day 8: Burgos

Founded in the 9th century, Burgos was an important hub for the Kingdom of Castile . Your SpainExchange guides will take you to see the magnificent Cathedral, a classic example of Gothic architecture. During their time in Burgos your students will learn about life and politics in the medieval village. Its medieval churches, historic plaza and monument to El Cid, should all be appreciated before bidding farewell to this charming city. Your SpainExchange guides and tour bus will meet you to head for the bustling Spanish capital of Madrid .

Day 9: Madrid

Population 3 million, Madrid is perhaps Spain ‘s most cosmopolitan and without a doubt its liveliest city. Although the Romans occupied the territory, it remained fairly unimportant until the Arabs established the fortress city of Mayrit in the 9th century. It wasn’t until 1561 that King Phillip II decided to make Madrid his seat of power and the capital of Spain . Your SpainExchange guides will take you on a guided tour of the Royal Palace and the historical center, including the Plaza Mayor. Spend the evening browsing some of the cities shops or soaking in the atmosphere in an outdoor cafe. Dinner will be provided for you at your hotel.

Day 10: Madrid

On your last day in Spain , your SpainExchange guides will meet you to take you on a “Madrid Vision” open-air bus tour of the city. This allows you to enjoy a view of the city on wheels and stop at designated places of interest where you would like to spend more time. Your guides will take you to visit El Prado Museum to see some of Spain ‘s most prized artists and their contributions to history through art. To celebrate your last evening in Spain , your SpainExchange guides will take you for a typical “tapas” dinner in the “mesones”. ¡Que aproveche!

Day 11: Departure

Your SpainExchange guides will escort you to the airport and assist to assure that you have everything you need for your trip back home.

ITINERARY TABLE

Day

Cities visited

Sites / Activities

Learning objectives

Night spent at

1

Arrival in Madrid , travel to Toledo

Walking tour of the city

Toledo ‘s medieval architecture, introduction to Spanish History

Toledo

2

Toledo

Cathedral, El Greco’s painting, Synagogue

History of Spain , Toledo

Granada

3

Granada

La Alhambra, Albaicín, Royal Chapel

The Moors’ invasion and the end of the Reconquista

Granada

4

Travel to Seville

Cathedral, Barrio de Triana, Torre del Oro, the Indies Archives

The Al-Andalus Administration and the discovery of the ” New World “

Merida

5

Merida

Roman theater, amphitheater, National Museum of Roman Art

The Romans in Spain , Merida- the capital of the Roman province Lusitania

Merida

6

Travel to Salamanca

The University of Salamanca , the Cathedral, the Plaza Mayor

The first universities, the Spanish Civil War

Salamanca

7

Salamanca , Burgos

Walking tour of Burgos

Founding of the University, the Spanish Civil War

Burgos

8

Burgos

Gothic Cathedral, historical sites tour

El Camino de Santiago, the Kingdom of Castile , the Medieval world

Madrid

9

Madrid

Historical Madrid and the Royal Palace

Spain in the 21st century

Madrid

10

Madrid

Madrid Vision city tour, El Prado Museum and Madrid Monuments

Madrid ‘s architecture, Spanish history reflected in its art and monuments

Madrid

11

Departure

Feel free to contact us with your questions or to request a free estimate.