Tour Overview: Central Spain takes us on a semi-circle journey through the regions of Castilla La Mancha, Extremadura and Castilla Leon. In Toledo we wander winding lanes and visit the great Gothic Cathedral and Santo Tomé Church with their wonderful paintings by El Greco. We’ll chase the windmills of Don Quixote in nearby Consuegra. A cooking lesson highlights our two night stay in medieval Cáceres. We’ll explore Roman ruins and art in Mérida. Dazzling Salamanca (really!) is next where you’ll find the most beautiful squares and best tapas. We’ll walk cobblestone Zamora and taste Tempranillo wines at a Hacienda estate. The incredible Roman aqueduct and Disneyesque Alcázar at Segovia will lead us on to magnetic Madrid, the Villa Real Hotel and the Prado Museum.
Many civilizations have passed through Spain‘s long and rich history. During its centuries of navigation, exploration and global empire it disseminated Spanish culture and language worldwide. It has brought us Flamenco, classical guitars, bullfighting, tapas, gazpacho, paella and great wines. Its artistic merit can be witnessed in the works of Cervantes, El Greco, Goya, Velasquez, Gaudi, Dali and Picasso. Spain today is a young democracy, filled with vibrant and welcoming people.
Early afternoon transfers from Madrid airport and city center to Toledo in the region of Castilla La Mancha where we will stay 3 nights in the former Renaissance palace, Palacio Eugenia Montijo.
Orientation walk and welcome dinner.
Toledo is strategically situated on a cliff surrounded on three sides by the river Tagus. A Roman town since 192 BC, it became the capital of the Visigoths in the 6th century when it was recognized as the country’s religious center, initiating the close relationship between Church and State that has defined much of Spanish history.
Under the Moors Toledo enjoyed a period of tolerance between Arabs, Jews, and Christians, which produced an enriching cultural exchange. Reconquered by Christians in 1085 , it became their most important city – the “soul of Spain.”
Muslims and Jews who remained were tolerated, but the Christians quickly established their authority converting mosques into churches, and then adding monasteries and convents.
Their biggest undertaking was the great Gothic Cathedral, built on the site of the former Great Mosque, a political statement that Christianity was back to stay.
Our morning local guide tour will take us through the narrow maze-like historical center, the old Jewish quarter, we’ll visit a synagogue, a mosque, the Cathedral and see the fabulous El Greco painting in Santo Tomé.
El Greco was a painter, sculptor and architect of the Spanish Renaissance period. His unmistakable style of elongated, tortured figures, often religious in nature, were unconventional and dramatic for their time. Born on the island of Crete he was given the nickname, “El Greco” meaning “the Greek” to reference his heritage. After studying and working in Venice and Rome, he received a commission to work in Toledo where he lived for the rest of his life. Mid afternoon we’ll admire 30 of his paintings at the Santa Cruz Museum.
Morning in Almagro where we’ll visit the Corral de Comedias, the oldest living theater in Spain, constructed in the 16th century.
Follow in the footsteps of Don Quixote, the venerable knight of La Mancha, immortal representative of all men of exalted imagination who carry the noblest enthusiasm to a pitch of folly, with a special visit to the windmills of Consuegra. We’ll have a walk through the 12th century hilltop castle and into one of the massive wind powered molinos, used for centuries to grind grain.
Returning we’ll enjoy a panoramic coach tour of Toledo’s outskirts that takes in the river and its bridges, the walls and gates and offers wonderful views of the city.
Morning guided tour of colonial Trujillo, our first stop in Extremadura. The town’s significance began when Spanish conquistadors such as Francisco Pizarro returned to Spain from the Americas and used their wealth to enrich their cities and build magnificent homes to celebrate their accomplishments.
Arrival to Cáceres at El Parador, a former 16th century palace where we will spend our next two nights.
Cáceres was a thriving city during the Roman occupation, languished under the Visigoths, rebuilt by the Moors, retaken by Christians in the 13th century, flourishing after the discovery of the Americas. As a result you’ll find Roman walls, 30 Moorish towers, Gothic and Renaissance architecture. The medieval town center is in pristine condition and was declared a UNESCO World Heritage City in 1986.
A lesson in Extremadura cooking with dinner and Crianza wine will follow our guided city tour.
Morning free in Cáceres followed by a mid-day departure for a paella lunch.
Mérida settled by discharged Roman soldiers under the rule of Augustus. Its unique history has left us with not only the largest concentration of Roman ruins in Spain but also the best preserved. Our local guide leads us on an exploration of the ruins, from the amphitheater where concerts are still performed, to the Aqueduct of Miracles, the Temple of Diana and the longest Roman bridge in Spain.
The impressive National Museum of Roman Art showcases wonderful mosaics and sculptures and depicts everyday life in a Roman colony.
Evening on your own in Cáceres.
Today we ride through bull country up the Sierra mountain range to remote La Alberca, a well-preserved village of 14th century architecture, thatched roofs, flowered balconies and cobblestones. The town boasts Spain’s finest ham, the Jamón Serrano, produced by local pigs feeding only on black acorns. After a guided tour of the Casa Sátur, a traditional village home, you’ll have time to wander the narrow streets, sampling the many local delights like sweet honey almond turrón.
Early afternoon arrival to magnificent Salamanca. Our lodging is the former convent Palacio San Esteban. (3 nights)
This evening’s restaurant features a creative twist on Spanish cuisine and is a favorite spot for Spanish film directors.
Salamanca, located on the southwest corner of Castilla León, is a lively city with Roman ancestry and Moorish influence. It is home to the oldest university in Spain (1134) and is today an international destination for students interested in learning the Spanish language. Our morning local guide tour takes us over the Puente Romano (Roman Bridge), past the old and new cathedrals with visits to Casa de las Conchas and the university. We’ll wind down in the sun drenched Plaza Mayor, undeniably one of most beautiful plazas in all of Spain.
Optional included afternoon visit to Casa Lis, an Art Deco and Art Nouveau museum housed in a 19th century mansion, considered to have one of the best collections of blown glass and porcelain dolls.
Called Spain’s loveliest town by many, Zamora has the feel of an old fashioned Castilian provincial capital. It is an architectural jewel with the 14th century bridge over the beautiful Duero River, the keep, gate and moat of the ancient Moorish castle, its many Romanesque churches and the narrow, cobblestone pedestrian streets of the Old Town.
Our visit will include the 12th century cathedral and museum which has an impressive display of 15th and 16th century Flemish tapestries that tell the story of the Trojan War.
The afternoon will find us at a hacienda farm where we’ll have a taste of their organic products and their blockbuster red wines made from the region’s tempranillo grape. Included rustic lunch.
Segovia is a beautiful town of Old Castile, full of light and space. A World Heritage Site, its most prominent historical monuments are the towering Roman Aqueduct and the elegant Alcázar.
Our guided tour begins with the impressive first century aqueduct that once transported water from the Fuente Fría River, 11 miles away.
After free time and lunch our tour continues at the fairy tale like Alcázar. One of the inspirations for Walt Disney’s Cinderella castle, the Alcázar was originally built as a military fortress and later became a residency for the monarchy.
Afternoon visit to the Valley of the Fallen, a monumental memorial to those who fell during the Spanish Civil War and the burial place of General Francisco Franco.
The day concludes with a scenic drive along Madrid’s regal avenues and plazas until we reach the fabulous Madrid Villa Real Hotel (3 nights).
Orientation walk and included dinner.
Spain’s largest city, as well as the nation’s capital, Madrid is the political, economic and social center of the country. It is home to the monarchy, the Royal Palace, the parliament and internationally renowned museums. Rich in history, dating back to the 9th century, Madrid balances past and present with its old world architecture set against bright lights and modern skyscrapers, lively evenings and a vivacious culture.
We begin our day at La Catedral Almudena and then make our way toward Plaza Oriente to visit Madrid’s Royal Palace. Former home to Spanish royalty, it now houses famous works of art, the particularly ornate king’s dressing room, and the world’s most complete set of Antonio Stradivarius string instruments.
The morning concludes at the Mercado de San Miguel, one of Madrid’s oldest and largest markets, now converted into a gastronomical and culinary center!
Optional included afternoon local’s walk with your tour manager through the lesser touristed parts of the old city.
Evening free for your own culinary explorations.
Morning walk through the Botanical gardens of Retiro Park followed by an exploration of Spanish history and culture at one of Europe’s most acclaimed art museums, El Prado, featuring famous works by Velázquez, El Greco and Goya.
Included farewell dinner at Sobrino de Botín, the world’s oldest restaurant (est. 1725), famous for its roasted meats cooked in a cast iron wood burning oven.
Principal towns & villages
|1-3||Toledo, Almagro, Consuegra|
|4-5||Trujillo, Càceres, Mérida|
|6-8||La Alberca, Salamanca, Zamora|
- Transfers from Madrid Barajas airport
- 11 nights' 4 and 5 star hotel accommodations
- Tourist accommodation tax
- All breakfasts, 5 dinners and 2 lunches, beverages included
- All ground transportation and porterage Days 2-11
- All activities and admissions listed in Highlights
- Full time professional tour manager
- Day 12 Madrid airport departure transfer
- All activities and admissions listed under Highlights
- City walking tours with local guides in:
- Santo Tomé and Cathedral in Toledo
- Santa Cruz Museum Toledo
- Corral de Comedias in Almagro
- Windmills and castle of Conseugra
- Casa Pizarro Trujillo
- Torre de Bujaco Cáceres
- Cooking show with Crianza wine in Cáceres
- Roman theater and amphitheater at Mérida
- National Museum of Roman Art at Mérida
- Casa Sátur home tour La Alberca
- Casa Lis Museum and University in Salamanca
- Cathedral and Museum at Zamora
- Alcázar in Segovia
- Royal Palace, Madrid
- Prado museum Madrid
Tour begins: Madrid
Transfers from Madrid airport (13:00) and Madrid city center (14:00) to Toledo
Tour ends: Madrid
Morning transfers to Madrid airport
How to get there: Book a round trip ticket into and out from Madrid
Pre tour: If you choose to arrive to Madrid early you will be met by our driver at the airport and transferred to any Madrid city center hotel. For arrivals to Madrid on Day 1 of the tour your flight should arrive to the airport no later than 11:00.
Suggestion: Central Spain October 7-18 and Andalucia October 18-30 fit back to back.
Day 1 — Toledo, Spain
Day 2 — Toledo, Spain
Day 3 — Almagro, Spain
Day 3 — Consuegra, Spain
Day 4 — Trujillo, Spain
Day 4 — Cáceres, Spain
Day 5 — Mérida, Spain
Day 6 — La Alberca, Spain
Day 7 — Salamanca, Spain
Day 8 — Zamora, Spain
Day 9 — Segovia, Spain
Day 10 — Madrid, Spain
Day 11 — Madrid, Spain
Most of the walking on this tour is not difficult but you will find some of it to be uphill, particularly in Toledo and Trujillo. Be prepared to spend a few hours a day on your feet. Age is not important as long as you are reasonably fit and a good walker. Our tours are not suited for anyone who has mobility issues or problems with knees, back, heart or obesity. If you have mobility issues this is not the right tour for you. Please call us if you have questions.
1. PRICES, DEPOSITS, PAYMENTS, REFUNDS
- Prices shown are per person, double occupancy, in euro.
- The deposit is 400 euro per person.
- Balance payments are due 70 days prior to tour start.
- Deposits and balance payments are accepted by Visa and Master Card or by bank wire. After your deposit has been accredited we will send you an invoice with the due date and amount for the balance of payment. Should you fail to make final payment by the date specified on your invoice, we reserve the right to cancel your booking without refund.
- Cancellations and refunds: in the unlikely event that we would cancel your tour, you would be entitled to a 100% refund within 2 weeks after the tour’s cancellation.
If you cancel your tour reservation:
- are 50% refundable up until 180 days prior to tour start date.
- are 100 % non-refundable less than 180 days prior to tour start date.
- are 98% refundable 70 days or more prior to tour start date.
- are 48% refundable 70 to 31 days prior to tour start date.
- 30 days or less prior to tour start date: no refund.
Physician documented emergency medical reasons or police documented cases of accident, flood, fire or crime are required for refunds.
We do not provide refunds for: non-medical personal problems; air carrier delays or cancellations; inability to obtain passports; business problems or emergencies; etc.
2. TRAVEL PROTECTION
We strongly recommend you purchase a travel protection plan to help protect you and your trip investment!
provides Trip Cancellation/Trip Interruption, Emergency Medical and Emergency Evacuation/Repatriation, Trip Delay, Baggage Delay and much more.
It is not possible for Amber Road Tours, Inc. to provide protection coverage of any sort and you agree to buy insurance or travel at your own risk.
Day 1 transfers from a designated Madrid city center point and Madrid Barajas Airport to Toledo.
All ground transportation Days 2-11
Day 12 transfers to Madrid airport.
11 nights’ 4 and 5 star hotel accommodation with breakfast; 5 dinners and 2 lunches including beverages (wine or beer or soft drinks and water).
Admissions to all sites visited as a group, as listed in bold on the tour itinerary.
4. NOT INCLUDED
Air transportation, all meals not listed above, room service, phone calls, etc.
If you are visiting Europe only for the 12 days of our tour you will want to purchase a round trip flight to Madrid. The Toledo transfer from the city center will be at 13:30 and the airport pickup is at 14:15.
Included morning transfers to Madrid airport will be by taxi. There are no included transfers to the Toledo train station. From the hotel it is a 10 minute taxi ride to the station from where you can catch trains to all destinations.
You are allowed one suitcase and one carry-on bag. If you exceed this limit there may not be space in the coach to transport your excess luggage and it will be at your own expense to have it transported throughout the tour. We suggest that you bring a daypack for carrying water, guide books, jacket, rain gear, etc.
8. WALKING ON TOUR
Most of the walking on this tour is not difficult but you will find some of it to be uphill, especially in Toledo and Trujillo. Be prepared to spend a few hours a day on your feet. Age is not important as long as you are reasonably fit and a good walker. Our tours are not suited for anyone who has problems with knees, back, heart or obesity.
Day 1 by sedan or maxi van taxi
Days 2 – 11 by air conditioned coach
Day 12 by sedan or maxi van taxi
Are located in quiet locations within historic districts or a short distance outside the city walls. European hotel rooms are generally smaller than those in the U.S., and have one queen bed or two single beds, with private bath.
11. SINGLE TRAVELERS
We have space available for two or three singles on each of our tours. They are provided with single-use double rooms. Please contact us for availability prior to booking.
For our recommended tours and dates, as listed in our web site, are guaranteed. We do not sell optional excursions or take you on shopping expeditions. Your additional expenses will be for non-included meals, moderate tipping where appropriate, and personal sightseeing or shopping.
13. NO SMOKING / NO CELL PHONES
We have a no smoking policy on all tour buses, at group meals and at all sites visited. The same policy applies to the use of cellular phones.
14. LIMIT OF LIABILITY
No responsibility is accepted for any loss, expense, accident, injury, or damage to any person or property due to the actions or omissions of any person, or any cause, including but not limited to acts of God, acts of terrorism, war, strikes, defects in machinery, breakdown of equipment, weather, quarantine, negligence, loss of baggage, or other causes beyond our control, such losses being the responsibility of the guest.
15. MEMBERSHIP ON TOUR
Amber Road Tours reserves the right to accept, reject, or not retain any person as a tour participant whose condition or general deportment impedes the operation of the tour or, in the opinion of the tour manager, affects the rights and enjoyment of other guests. A guest not retained on tour shall have no cause for complaint or refund, and shall bear any and all extra expenses that ensue.
16. TOUR CHANGES
All information on this website is, to the best of our knowledge, correct. However, we reserve the right to make changes in accommodations, visits, and itineraries at any time should it become necessary or desirable. Delays or itinerary changes caused by strikes, bad weather, traffic, or other unforeseen circumstances are beyond our control and we are not obliged to pay guests compensation.