10. From Madrid: Valencia to Barcelona 4-Day Tour
Explore the coastal cities of Spain’s eastern Mediterranean coast on a 4-day trip to Valencia and Barcelona from Madrid. See the historic archiecture of Valencia’s Old Town, and contrasting futuristic buildings of the Ciudad de las Artes y de las Ciencias. Continue to Barcelona to marvel at the fairytale constructions of Antoni Gaudi, and the maze of narrow streets of the Gothic Quarter.
Day 1 (Thursday) Madrid – Valencia (train)
Call on Madrid Puerta de Atocha train station to depart by AVE, high speed train to Valencia, capital of the province and natural home of the internationally acclaimed paella. Enjoy the journey. Arrival, transfer from station to your hotel. Accommodation at the hotel.
Day 2 (Friday): Valencia - Barcelona
Enjoy a morning tour of Valencia after breakfast at your hotel. Among the highlights of the tour is the monumental Modernist Estación del Norte, noted for its rich ornamentations. Continue to the Plaza de Toros, Valencia’s historic bullring where more than 12,000 spectators watch the dramatic confrontations between matador and beast.
See the grand buildings of the Plaza del Ayuntamiento, dominated by the Neoclassical Town Hall. Go to the Mercado Central, one of the oldest European food markets still running. Other sights include the Lonja de la Seda (Silk Exchange), circular Plaza Redonda, noble Palacio del Marques de Dos Aguas, and Gothic Cathedral.
Next, drive past the old river bed of the Turia to the most avant-garde part of Valencia, and marvel at the futuristic buildings of the Ciudad de las Artes y de las Ciencias. See the emblematic exteriors of Santiago Calatrava’s radical architecture.
In the early afternoon, depart Valencia for a drive up the Mediterranean coast to Barcelona, where you will check in to your accommodation for the night.
Day 3 (Saturday): Barcelona
Enjoy a morning tour of Barcelona after breakfast at your hotel. Driving along the main avenues of L’Eixample, the city’s 19th-century expansion, you will see impressive Gaudi architecture that is the symbol of Catalonian Modernism, including the unfinished Sagrada Familia basilica, and the organic forms of the Casa Milà, better known as La Pedrera.
Drive up to the hill of Montjuïc for panoramic views of the city and harbor. See the arenas built for the 1992 Olympic games. Descend to the monument to Christopher Columbus at the bottom of Las Ramblas, and continue into the labyrinthine streets of the Barri Gòtic (Gothic Quarter), home to the Catedral de la Santa Creu, Barcelona’s commanding Gothic cathedral.
The afternoon is yours at leisure to explore the city’s charming neighborhoods, such as Barceloneta, or relax on the beaches built for the Olympics, such as Nova Icària, Mar Bella, and Llevant.
Day 4 (Sunday): Barcelona - Zaragoza - Madrid
Following breakfast at your hotel, drive through the historic cities of Lleida and Zaragoza, with free time to explore both. Once a key defense point for Barcelona, Lleida boasts an artistic heritage that dates back centuries. Admire the architecture of Zaragoza on the banks of the Ebro River, such as the Basílica del Pilar, and La Seo Cathedral. Continue to Madrid for the end of the tour services.
Class T Hotel:
Valencia: Nh Las Artes
Barcelona: Catalonia Barcelona 505
Class A Hotel:
Valencia: Nh Las Artes
Barcelona: Catalonia Barcelona Plaza/Melia Barcelona Sarria