Madrid & Andalucia: A Cultural Family Journey through Spain

Spain is a country of rich tradition and colorful culture, all rolled into a relatively small package. Surrealist art, mouth-watering plates of tapas, fervent flamenco – the list goes on. But what stands out the most is the real zest for life here – and who better to share this with than family. On this ten-night journey through some of our favorite Spanish cities, you’ll experience it all together – from the bustling capital of Madrid and Granada’s awe-inspiring Alhambra to Seville’s historic center and the picturesque ‘pueblos blancos’ of Casares. It’s jam-packed full of history, culture, flavor and some time for relaxation, too – so there’s something for every traveler, in every family.

Local Life and History in Madrid

First things first, you’ll check in at Rosewood Villa Magna – a beautiful oasis in the heart of the city, and your home for the next three nights. From there, you’ll be immediately immersed in the buzz of Madrid, meeting with a local expert to stroll the streets, visit local food market Mercado de la Paz, and enjoy the atmosphere as you get a feeling for what it’s like to live as a Madrid local. From patatas bravas to albondigas and tortilla, it wouldn’t be a trip to Spain without tapas and we’ll then take you to one of the city’s best spots to sample and learn the secrets of each dish.

Tomorrow, you’ll explore the city’s history and heritage on a fun and interactive tour of the city, led by a private guide. From modern architectural wonders to 17th Century Baroque buildings and the old city’s famous Plaza Mayor – you’ll learn about its history and evolution, and enjoy panoramic views along the way. Together, you’ll also walk the hallowed halls of the Royal Palace, with its works by Velázquez, Goya, and Caravaggio.

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The next day, we’ll take you just north of Madrid to beautiful El Escorial. A UNESCO World Heritage Site, you’ll be taken on a private tour of one of Spain’s most magnificent monasteries – and the largest Renaissance building in the world – before embarking on a family bike tour of the area. Cycle through the scenic La Herreria forest up to ‘the seat of Felipe II’ from where the former King is said to have made the most of the expansive views to watch over the construction of the headquarters of his vast empire in the 16th Century. Back in Madrid, you’ll have the evening to enjoy as your please.

Granada: a visit to La Alhambra

Heading south, you’ll continue to Granada where your hotel, Parador de Granada, is set within the grounds of the extraordinary Alhambra complex and offers a unique opportunity to spend a night in the surroundings of one of Spain’s most iconic sites. Protected by UNESCO, La Alhambra is one of the most important examples of Muslim civil architecture still in existence with its highly decorative, incredibly preserved courtyards and Nasrid buildings. On a private half-day tour, your guide will bring its fascinating history to life as they recount the tale it’s woven since its construction began in 1238. End the day with breath-taking sunset views of the city from the Generalife gardens.

The sights of Seville

After a night in Granada, you’ll travel west to Seville – a city that truly makes its mark with a blend of meandering medieval streets, Spanish guitar music drifting softly through the air, and an abundance of lively traditional festivals. In the very heart of the city, you’ll check into Hotel Alfonso XIII, where authentic Moorish décor meets contemporary chic.

Get your bearings on a guided family walking tour of Seville’s highlights. From the beautiful Barrio de Santa Cruz and the city’s famous Gothic cathedral to the Royal Alcazar of Seville, your private guide will share anecdotes of the Seville lifestyle only a local could tell you. From there, we’ll arrange a horse and carriage ride around the city and a peaceful boat cruise along the Guadalquivir River, before dinner at one of our favorite tapas restaurants.

A cultural day out in Córdoba

The following day, you’ll head out on a day trip to the nearby city of Córdoba. The city displays a blend of rich culture and history, which you’ll discover alongside your private guide on a walking tour of sights such as La Mezquita, the historic quarter and the Alcazar. The Patio de los Naranjos, which you’ll find outside La Mezquita, is one of our favorite spots – surrounded by its sweet orange blossom scent, it’s the perfect place for a gentle stroll or a shaded rest from the blazing heat of the afternoon sun before a delicious lunch together as a family.

An introduction to an Andalucían tradition

From Seville, it’s onto Jerez de la Frontera. Renowned for its sherry and flamenco, it’s also home to the Royal School of Equestrian Art. There, you’ll witness a fantastic performance – from front row VIP seats – combining choreography, classical flamenco and the famous Andalucían equestrian tradition. There’s also the chance for a private tour of the stables that cares for the performing horses, too. After enjoying the show, you’ll then continue onto the next and final stop on your journey: Málaga’s town of Casares.

Rest and relaxation in Casares

Arriving at the elegant resort of Finca Cortesin in the foothills of the Costa del Sol, you’ll know at once you’re in the perfect place to relax. While away the sun-soaked days from the comfort of fresh, spacious rooms – or from the side of the hotel’s Olympic-sized pool, secluded gardens, impressive golf course or state-of-the-art spa. We’ll also arrange a private yacht day which will see you cruise languorously along the coast towards Marbella, with the chance to pause for some swimming or snorkeling – all the while keeping your eyes peeled for a glimpse of dolphins in the wild.

After one final evening in Casares, you’ll head to the airport and begin your journey home. But we know you’ll be back soon enough.