Madrid
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Magnificent Madrid

Performances in the Spanish capital

Spain is a vibrant country that combines the spirit of its various rulers over the centuries, from the Phoenicians and Romans, to the Moors and Christians. Its rich history is complimented by an expansive landscape of mountains, deserts, and glorious beaches. From the pounding rhythms of the flamenco and the unique experience of the bullfight, to the food that brings all people together, Spanish culture is defined by a deep passion for life that is contagious to all visitors.

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Highlights

Your Adventure, Day by Day

Day 1 Depart from North America
  • Flight to Madrid Sit back, relax, and enjoy your flight to Madrid.
Day 2 Meet in Madrid
  • Arrive in Madrid Our 24-hour Tour Director will meet us at the airport and remain with us until our final airport departure. We will have use of a private coach and driver while touring for the next seven day(s). Spain’s capital city of Madrid lies at the heart of the country. Despite its modern and cosmopolitan culture, the city has preserved its traditional architecture and charm. This is a city of great monuments and great art, all against the backdrop of a rich culture and an exciting nightlife.
  • Spend time in Madrid’s most famous square. Throughout its long history the square has hosted markets, bullfights, soccer games, public executions, and the Spanish Inquisition. It is now ringed by shops and cafés, and often filled with artists and musicians.
  • Puerta del Sol Puerta del Sol is one of Madrid’s busiest and most historic squares. While here we will view the Kilometre Zero marker, from which all distances in Spain are measured, and Madrid’s symbol, the Madrono. Our centrally-located Madrid hotel will be our home for the next six night(s). We will have breakfast at the hotel daily. This evening, dinner will be provided in a local restaurant.
  • Hotel check in Our centrally-located Madrid hotel will be our home for the next six night(s). We will have breakfast at the hotel daily.
  • Dinner
Day 3 Madrid: Treasures of the Bourbon Monarchs
  • Plaza de España In the center of the square we will see the monument to Cervantes, which depicts characters from his most famous work, Don Quixote. We will also see a monument to Columbus.
  • Palacio Real Visit the Palacio Real, a huge palace begun in 1738 on the site of the Madrid Alcázar, which burned to the ground in 1734. Our tour will take us through some of the palace’s 2,000 rooms that the “enlightened despot” Charles III called home. Although the palace is no longer home to the royal family, it is still full of art treasures and antiques, including Tiepolo ceilings and paintings by Goya. Highlights of our visit include the Reception Room and State Apartments; the Throne Room; the Banquet Room, where receptions for heads of state are still held; and the Royal Chapel.
  • Walk by the Puerta de Alcalá, the ceremonial gateway to Madrid commissioned by Carlos III. The Neo-classical structure is located in the Plaza de Independencia and is named for the old path leading from Madrid to nearby Alcalá de Henares.
  • Plaza de Cibeles Pass by the Plaza de Cibeles, featuring a magnificent 18th century fountain with a statue of the Roman goddess Cybele riding in a chariot pulled by two lions.
  • Dinner This evening, dinner will be provided in a local restaurant.
  • First Concert Performance Our concert performance in Madrid will be today. Prestigious venue options include the Basilica San Lorenzo de El Escorial or the Santa Cruz de Atocha. Additionally, the Iglesia Parroquia de Cristo Rey de Argüelles or the Parroquia de Nuestra Señora de la Concepción de Pueblo Nuevo are venue options for sacred music where your group will have access to the organ.
Day 4 Day Trip to El Escorial & Valle de los Caidos
  • Journey to El Escorial A massive monastery-palace commissioned by Philip II, El Escorial highlights include; the Royal Apartments, many decorated with fine tapestries; the Pantheon of the Kings, which contains the mortal remains of all the Spanish monarchs from the time of Emperor Charles V; the Art Gallery, featuring works by Bosch, Titian, and El Greco; the Basilica; and the spectacular Library, with over 40,000 original books from the time of Philip II and a ceiling by Tibaldi.
  • Valle de los Caidos Cross Visit Valle de los Caidos Cross, a Catholic basilica and a monumental memorial in the municipality of San Lorenzo de El Escorial. It was conceived by Spanish general Francisco Franco to honour and bury those who fell during the Spanish Civil War.
  • Parque del Retiro Enjoy the relaxing atmosphere in the Parque del Retiro, once the grounds of Felipe IV’s royal palace complex. Our visit gives us the opportunity to interact with the locals, and perhaps visit the vendors or listen to the musicians that always seem to be present. Hire Row Boats, if we choose, and paddle around the park’s shallow lake. (Please note that only participants aged 14 and above are permitted to use the rowboats).
  • Dinner This evening, dinner will be provided in a local restaurant.
Day 5 Day Trip to Segovia
  • Journey to Segovia Segovia is a beautiful and romantic city that has inspired the work of artists and architects over the centuries. Roman, medieval, and Renaissance influences can be seen throughout the city, and its relaxed way of life makes it difficult to leave.
  • Walking Tour Enjoy a Walking Tour through Segovia’s beautiful city center. The highlight of our walk is the impressive Roman Aqueduct, an architectural marvel built by the Romans nearly 2,000 years ago.
  • Alcázar de Segovia Discover the fairytale Alcázar de Segovia, a castle dating from the 12th century. Royal romance is associated with the Alcázar; it was here that Isabella first met Ferdinand, and Philip II married his fourth wife, Anne of Austria. Our visit is highlighted by the replicas of Isabella’s and Ferdinand’s thrones, the battlements of the once-impregnable castle, and the tower, originally built by Isabella's father as a prison. Those who choose may ascend the tower for breathtaking views over the city and surrounding countryside.
  • Segovia Cathedral See Segovia Cathedral, the last Gothic church built in Spain. It stands on the Plaza Mayor at the spot where Isabella I was proclaimed queen of Castile, and is often referred to as la dama de las catedrales.
  • Dinner [activity title="Second Concert Performance"] Your concert performance is today. Venue options include the Cathedral of Segovia, which dates from the 13th century and is an ideal venue to sing Mass.
Day 6 Day Trip to Toledo
  • Walking Tour of Toledo The historic city of Toledo, capital of La Mancha, is a cultural fusion of Christian, Arab, and Jewish traditions from the Middle Ages. With numerous churches, museums, mosques, synagogues, and artistic treasures, the city has definitely earned its World Heritage Site designation. Enjoy a Walking Tour of central Toledo, with streets barely wide enough for a man and his donkey. During our walk, there will be the opportunity to visit spectacular shops that produce and sell Damascene gold jewelry, as well as medieval swords. There will also be some time to relax in the Plaza de Zocodover, a bustling triangular square in the heart of Toledo.
  • Iglesia de Santo Tomé Make a brief visit to the Iglesia de Santo Tomé, where we will view El Greco’s masterpiece, The Burial of the Count of Orgaz.
  • Visit the Sinagoga del Transito Toledo is the capital of Sephardic Judaism, and its importance is expressed in the elaborate Mudéjar architecture of the synagogue. Our visit includes the adjoining Museo Sefardi, with fascinating exhibits featuring tombstones, costumes, and sacred objects.
  • Toledo Cathedral Walk to Toledo Cathedral, considered one of the greatest Gothic structures in Spain. The cathedral actually reflects several architectural styles, and features many art treasures, including: the Transparente, a Last Supper in alabaster, El Greco’s Twelve Apostles and Spoliation of Christ, Goya’s Arrest of Christ on the Mount of Olives, and works by Juan de Borgona. The Treasure Room features a 500-pound, 15th-century gilded monstrance, allegedly made with gold brought back from the New World by Columbus, which is still carried through the streets of Toledo during the feast of Corpus Christi.
  • Dinner This evening, dinner will be provided in a local restaurant.
Day 7 Modern Madrid
  • Templo de Debod See the Templo de Debod, an Egyptian temple that once stood in the Valley of the Nile near Aswan. When the new dam threatened the temple, the Egyptian government dismantled it and presented it to Spain.
  • Centro de Arte Reina Sofia Explore the Centro de Arte Reina Sofia, which houses the greatest repository of 20th century art in Spain. The museum places special emphasis on the great artists of 20th century Spain: Juan Gris, Salvador Dalí, Joan Miró, and Pablo Picasso. A highlight of our visit will be Picasso’s masterpiece, Guernica, which immortalizes the tragic blanket bombing of the Basque town by the German Luftwaffe fighting for Franco during the Spanish Civil War.
  • Dinner This evening, dinner will be provided in a local restaurant.
  • Third Concert Performance Our concert performance in Madrid will be today. Prestigious venue options include the Basilica San Lorenzo de El Escorial or the Santa Cruz de Atocha. Additionally, the Iglesia Parroquia de Cristo Rey de Argüelles or the Parroquia de Nuestra Señora de la Concepción de Pueblo Nuevo are venue options for sacred music where your group will have access to the organ.
Day 8 Final Farewell...
  • Depart from Madrid Our rewarding and enjoyable tour comes to an end as our Tour Director accompanies us to the airport on our final day.