Great Cities of Spain by RailTuesday 25 August 2015
All aboard for Saga’s new high-speed train tour to Barcelona, Madrid and Seville PLUS added treat of a mountain train ride on one of Spain’s oldest railways
Great Cities of Spain by Rail
Explore three contrasting Spanish cities on Saga’s new tour which crosses the country on AVE high-speed trains.
This nine-night holiday also offers guests plenty of leisure time to sample the contrasting cultures of Barcelona, Madrid and Seville.
The tour starts with a three-night stay at Hotel Ayre Caspe (4Q), in Barcelona, a perfect base to explore the Gothic quarter.
There will be an included guided tour of Las Ramblas and La Boqueria market before visiting Gaudi's unfinished, but breathtaking masterpiece, La Sagrada Familia. Parc Güell, the UNESCO-listed art nouveau marvel also designed by Gaudi, will also be on the itinerary.
As well as time to explore Barcelona independently there will be an optional excursion to the 11th-century Montserrat Monastery, home to the Black Madonna.
Guests will travel in style from Barcelona Sants station on the high-speed train through Zaragoza to Madrid. There will be an orientation tour of the city including the Royal Palace, the Cibeles Fountain, Puerto de Alcala and Paseo del Prado.
During the three-night stay at Hotel Rafael Atocha (4Q) guests will be able to head to the Prado museum, home to a collection of Goya's works and masterpieces by El Greco and Velázquez. There will also be a guided stroll through Madrid's literary quarter, Barrio de Las Letras, and a chance to stop for a drink in Hemingway's favourite bar, La Ceverceria Alemana.
Join the Madrileños on Sunday morning at the famous El Rastro flea market, which is ringed by some of the cities best tapas bars, and perhaps join an optional visit to the UNESCO-listed city of Toledo, where artist El Greco lived for 30 years.
Next stop, Seville. Passengers will hop back on board the AVE high-speed train to journey south to Andalusia's lovely capital where the boulevards and mazy old town are lined with fragrant orange trees.
Guests will stay in the NH Collection (4Q) or Hotel Vértice Aljarafe (4Q) and join the tour manager for an orientation stroll.
On the first full day in Seville guests can look forward to a tour of the city which includes Spain’s oldest bridge, Puente de Triana; the imposing Gothic cathedral which houses the tomb of Christopher Columbus, plus the spectacular palace and gardens of Alcazar, modelled on the Alhambra.
There will be an optional river cruise along the Guadalquivir or guests can visit the Museo de Baile Flamenco, explore the picturesque Jewish Quarter or take an excursion to a sherry bodega in Jerez.
To round off this bespoke holiday there will be a mountain train ride on one of Spain's oldest railways, which once served the British copper mines of Rio Tinto, the greatest known ancient mining complex in the world.
Richard Newsome, Holiday Buyer at Saga who created the tour said “Spain is such an amalgamation of different and ancient worlds. The cities that are visited in this tour offer a distilled version of each region's particular characteristics and taking the AVE train is a fast and fun way to get between them. Plus this tour is excellent value for money!”
Nine nights from £999 departing London Gatwick to Barcelona (return from Seville) from March to June and September and October 2016. Price includes return flights, train travel, airport taxes, accommodation, nine breakfasts and six dinners, tour manager, optional travel insurance and additional cancellation rights or a discount of £24 if passenger has own insurance.
For details call free on 0800 096 0074 or visit travel.saga.co.uk/holidays
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