A dive in the cultural fabric of Central Spain: Segovia, Toledo and Madrid.
On this tour we will visit what is metaphorically the heart of the Mediterranean nation: we will visit three important cities in the centre of Spain and enjoy the history, art, excursions and delicious tastings.
Day One, Two and Three.
Your first day in Segovia will be dedicated to the “wonders of the world” found here. After checking in at the hotel il Parador de La Granja, we’ll visit the old town, and its aqueduct, taking a trip back to the time of the ancient Romans. We’ll also talk about the palaces and monuments that surround it, and thus about medieval intrigues and renaissance impulses. Segovia was indeed travelled by jesters and princesses, knights and artists. Its castle, one of the most beautiful in all of Spain, speaks loud and clear, Segovia is the perfect combination of art, history and architecture. In the afternoon, after lunch in a local restaurant, we’ll explore the city’s Renaissance axis: we’ll see the sumptuous palaces scattered throughout the city, and we’ll stop at dusk at a scenic overlook lapped by two charming river valleys.
Your second day, you’ll take motorbikes to see the best landscape viewpoints in and around Segovia. You will then spend the day exploring, and discovering the most beautiful and significant panoramic views with our guides. In the evening, you’ll have some free time to wander around beautiful Segovia at your leisure.
Your third day you’ll visit the city museum, also known as Casa del Sol, to discover the cultural and traditional roots of this city of a thousand guises. In the morning, you will also explore the Jewish quarter, and the Iglesia del Corpus Christi, an area rich in history and culture. After a lunch of authentic dishes, such as Judiones de la Granja, white beans served as a soup with other specialities, you will have free time to explore the city and finish your shopping.
Then, for those who wish, there is the opportunity to join a hot-air balloon ride. You will be able to take to the skies and see the city from above, but above all, you will have an unforgettable experience.
Day Four, Five and Six.
Next stop in Toledo, where you will stay in a private residence. You are in a city that has retained its ancient features, and geographically speaking it is in a privileged position, on the top of a hill that is a happy dune of the vast plain below.
Your fourth day we will visit the city on foot to discover its architectural and artistic beauties, have lunch, before continuing to visit the city’s monuments, then enjoy dinner.
Among the city, you will see: the Plaza de Zocodover, the central square of Toledo, where a market was held during the Arab domination, which has since been used for various other activities; the Cathedral of Santa Maria de Toledo, an opulent religious building which houses works by great artists such as Raphael, Titian and Goya; and of course, the Alcazar, the city fortress and symbol of Toledo. On the last day we will take an excursion to Mirador del Valle, a favourite spot for those who enjoy spectacular views from the air, and spend the rest of the time visiting the archaeological remains of the Arab Baths of Tenerías.
There will also be unique excursions: we will visit the mills, located in green and rural areas, which are of particular interest, and stand as a symbol of the environmental sustainability dear to the citizens. You can also take part in an excursion to the local vineyards with wine tasting: we’ll sip the best local wines and you’ll also be able to try the local cheese and olive oil, in a true feast of flavours for the palate and all five senses.
As far as food is concerned, Toledo offers some very special and unusual dishes, such as estofada de perdiz, pochas perdiz, and judias perdiz, all different versions of partridge, or the so-called cuchifrito, a game dish with egg, tomato and saffron, tinged with wine. The resonance with Arab customs is strong in the cuisine, and in fact even the most characteristic dessert of Toledo, a marzipan with almonds and sugar, has Arab origins.
Day Seven, Eight, Nine and Ten.
We make our way to Madrid, and we will start with a visit to the Rastro, a very famous antiques market that is held under the open sky and is always very busy. Here you can get in touch with the Madrid atmosphere and start to breathe in the dynamic that characterises it. To keep with this theme, tomorrow morning we’ll visit the Mercado de San Miguel, and on the penultimate day, the Mercado de San Antón.
Day one in Madrid, after seeing the Rastro, we’ll explore the centre. We’ll see the Royal Palace, the Prado Museum, the Thyssen-Bornemisza Museum, and the Reina Sofia Museum. In short, we will feed on art. In the evening, we’ll throw ourselves into the Spanish movida!
On our second day in Madrid, after a morning at the market, we’ll take a trip back in time to the 17th-century Buen Retiro Park, a place where relaxation and leisure have always been at the centre.
In the afternoon we will wander through one of Madrid’s strangest and most fascinating neighbourhoods, Madrid de los Asturias. In this area there are a number of very special buildings, and old craft shops to discover: by visiting them and talking to the owners you will be able to see the historical roots of Madrid’s economy! You will then have free time at your disposal.
On the third day, after the usual stop at the local market, we will travel about sixty kilometres outside Madrid to visit a rather special workshop in the middle of the countryside. The visit will be the culmination of an enchanting and regenerating landscape excursion, whose path winds its way through the cool woodland of the tall trees that line it. For dinner, we will stop here.
On the fourth and final day, we start the day with a relaxed and carefree morning in Madrid Río. This place is so multifaceted that it’s impossible to get bored: you can walk through the latest works of art, you can satisfy your curious side with a walk along the botanical trail, and you can also enjoy the green areas at the same time.
In the afternoon, and for dinner we will take a tour of the city, tasting the different types of tapas, a dish particular to Spain, and much loved by all for its flavours, and the conviviality it brings. It’s not uncommon to learn Spanish between one bite and the next because of all the chatting!