This tour covers the major highlights of Andalucia (southern Spain): the ornate palace of Alhambra in Granada, Córdoba (an architectural mainstay of Islamic culture), and the Andalucian capital of Seville, home of flamenco dancing. Pair it all up with time in Madrid and Barcelona, and you’ll never run out of fun things to do, eat, or see.
GEEO will be partnering with the University of Texas at Austin’s Center for Middle Eastern Studies. Accompanying the trip will be Katie Aslan, Director of Outreach and Public Programs at the CMES. She will be sharing books, music and multimedia resources with the group prior to departure and she’s looking forward to the discussions and ideas for the classroom that will come out of this experience.
Arrive in Madrid at any time. On Day 1, there are no planned activities until your Group Meeting that evening around 6:00 pm or 7:00 pm, so check into the hotel – check-in time is approximately 3:00 pm – and enjoy the city. Check the notice boards or ask at reception for the exact time and location of the group meeting. After the meeting, you might like to take the option of heading out for a meal in a nearby local restaurant to further get to know your tour leader and traveling companions.
Please make every effort to arrive on time for this important welcome meeting. If you are delayed and will arrive late, please inform us. Your tour leader will then leave you a message at the front desk informing you of where and when to meet up.
Enjoy a full day of free time to explore this bustling capital. Lively, passionate Madrid is a treasure trove of art and architecture, with its royal palaces and works by masters including Goya, Picasso, and Dalí. Be sure to take in some tapas. Madrid is one of the richest culinary capitals of Europe, and showcases food from all over Spain.
See our optional activities list further down on this page for our suggestions on what to see in Madrid, although you will have to come in at least a day before our trips starts to see them all.
Depending on the time of our bus, you will most likely have a bit more free time this morning to explore Madrid. We then travel by local bus south to Granada. Upon arrival enjoy an orientation walk to get a feel for the city. We will wander through the historic quarter of the Albaicin and try to take in a sunset. With its narrow lanes and fantastic views back to the Alhambra, visitors are rewarded with a spectacular colour-washed skyline when the sun goes down.
Approximate travel time: 4-4.5 hrs by local bus
Enjoy a guided visit of the Alhambra, one of the greatest accomplishments of Islamic art and architecture. Learn about Granada’s reign as one of the region’s most regal cities during the Muslim rule of Spain, which is captured in time within the Alhambra. (Visits to the Alhambra may vary and take place on Day 3 or 4, depending on ticket availability, special events or holidays in Spain.)
After visiting the Alhambra, opt to take a wander through the historic town.
In the evening, opt for a night on the town. The city is filled with trendy tapas bars and has a lively music scene.
Today we travel to Seville via picturesque Cordoba.
Upon arrival in Cordoba we visit the city’s most famous monument, the extraordinary Mezquita. Built as a mosque in 785 by the Moors, the Mezquita was converted in the 16th century by the remarkable addition of a Christian cathedral inserted into the center of the building. We highly recommend booking a guided tour to get a fuller understanding.
Afterwards, we will ander among narrow winding lanes, traditional houses, and charming cafés in Cordoba’s historic medieval Jewish quarter. Discover one of Spain’s three remaining synagogues.
We will then travel to Seville by train and after checking in t our hotel we will enjoy a flamenco performance in the city known for the energetic dance. Be swept away by the flamenco’s passion, fire, and grit!
Approximate travel time: 4 hrs by private vehicle
Spend a free day enjoying Seville and its Moorish influence. Opt to explore the interiors and gardens of the Alcázar, a magnificent palace dating from Moorish times, or the true heart of Seville, the Santa Cruz quarter— a charming area with winding alleys, picturesque lime-washed houses, flowery patios, and small squares.
Seville is home to the world’s largest gothic cathedral — climb the adjoining tower for great views of the city. Other attractions include the Museo Arqueológico, the Casa de Pilates and the Parque de María Luisa, which has a maze of paths, garden beds, pretty little patios, fountains, and shaded lawns.
Please note that if you wish to visit popular sites and want to avoid waiting in line, it is advisable to reserve tickets in advance. We recommend pre-arranging your visit to the Alcázar of Seville.
Hop on the train and get comfortable on the journey north to Barcelona. Take an orientation walk, including visits to the Gothic Quarter, the Boqueria market and Las Ramblas.
In the evening participate in a G Adventures supported tapas cooking class served and prepared by migrant students followed by a group dinner to round out the day. Mescladis, Catalan for “Mixed Space” is a migrant training kitchen and cafe in the heart of Barcelona that features a unique feel that fuses old Catalan favourites and migrants’ home recipes. Enjoy a tapas cooking class from one of the trainees accompanied by a discussion that promotes social reflection – with the kitchen and food at the center of it all. Then enjoy the fruits of your labour!
Approximate travel time: 6 hrs by train
Today, you may depart Barcelona at any time. If you have time, try to stay an extra day to explore this amazing city!
Want more adventure? Book two or more GEEO trips in the same year and receive a discount! GEEO will give you 10% off of the lesser value program(s) (up to 3 programs).
If you don’t see a program that interests you that pairs with this trip, but still would like to extend your time abroad, let us know. We will work with you to find a non-teacher trip from our tour operator’s much larger catalog. Even better, if you are an educator, we can still offer you a discounted price on the trip you choose!
Visit our recommended reading page to see the list of books GEEO recommends reading before your program (this is not required reading). We also have lesson plans and Pinterest boards that may be useful for you as you learn about your destination and prepare to bring lessons back to your classroom.
It is very important for you to visit our Terms and Conditions page before signing up for this program.
All cancellations must be submitted to GEEO in written form by emailing your request for cancellation to firstname.lastname@example.org. If you do not receive a confirmation that we have received your written cancellation request, please call us at 1-877-600-0105. Verbal cancellation requests will not be honored.
All GEEO/G Adventures group trips are accompanied by one of G Adventure’s group leaders, which they refer to as Chief Experience Officers (CEO). The aim of the group leader is to take the hassle out of your travels and to help you have the best trip possible. They will provide information on the places you are traveling through, offer suggestions for things to do and see, recommend great local eating venues, and introduce you to our local friends. Our itineraries often have plenty of free time to explore on your own.
While not being guides in the traditional sense, you can expect them to have a broad general knowledge of the countries visited on the trip, including historical, cultural, religious and social aspects. We also use local guides where we think more specific knowledge will add to the enjoyment of the places we are visiting – we think it’s the best of both worlds.
This trip includes light walking and hiking that is suitable for most fitness levels. In the cities, you can split apart from the group to go your own pace.
Half of the people that travel with GEEO are traveling by themselves, so please don’t worry if you have no one who can join you on your trip. Our pricing is based on double occupancy or, in other words, two people to a room. You never have to pay for a single room unless you want one. GEEO can find you a roommate of the same gender. Most of our trips have a “My Own Room” option, also known as a “Single Supplement,” which is an extra fee that will allow you to have a room to yourself. If you want to room alone, please email email@example.com. To see the price for the “My Own Room” option, please click here where you can look up your trip in the extra services spreadsheet.
Day 1 is an arrival day, and no activities have been planned. Upon arrival to the city on Day 1, or earlier if you have booked pre-accommodation with us, please make your way to the joining hotel. Please note: Check-in time will be in the afternoon. Once you arrive at the hotel, look for a note at reception from your tour leader. This note will give the details of your Welcome Meeting on Day 1, usually between 6:00 p.m. and 7:00 p.m., during which you will get a chance to meet your tour leader and other travelers, as well as learn more about how the tour will run. If you don’t see a note, please ask reception for details!
If you miss the Welcome Meeting, your tour leader will leave a note at reception for you with any information you may need and with instructions for the next morning.
To get from airport to Hotel Europa (please check your vouchers to ensure this is your start hotel):
From airport terminals T1, T2, T3 or T4- take pink metro line “8” to Nuevos Ministerios. This should take about 22 minutes. From T1, T2 & T3 this is 5 stops. From T4 this is 7 Stops.
At Nuevos Ministerios change trains to line “C3” to station ‘Sol’ this is 5 minutes, traditionally direct (no stops).
The hotel is a 1 minute walk away.
At the Station ‘Sol’ Take exit Carmen.
Walk west towards Calle del Carmen.
Across the road you will see the Hotel Europa, it is number 4
Alternatively, you can take a taxi. Direct with no traffic would be about 20 minutes & cost 35 Euros. Traffic in Madrid can be bad – this would then increase the taxi to about 45 minutes & cost 50 Euros plus.
Should you need to contact G Adventures during a situation of dire need, it is best to first call their local G Adventures office. If for any reason you do not receive an immediate answer, please leave a detailed message and contact information, so they may return your call and assist you as soon as possible.
EMERGENCY CONTACT NUMBERS
G Adventures UK office (manned UK 8:00 a.m.-8:00 p.m.)
+44 (0) 2072439878
If you are unable for any reason to contact the local office, please call the numbers listed below, which will connect you directly with the 24-hour Sales team, who will happily assist you.
Toll-free, from calls within North America only: 1 888 800 4100
Calls from within UK: 0844 272 0000
Outside North America and the UK: +1 416 260 0999
For absolute emergencies after office hours please contact +44 7817 262559
If for any reason you do not receive an immediate answer, please leave a detailed message and contact information, and your call will be returned as soon as possible.
Please read this article on GEEO’s blog for our staff’s suggestions on the best gear to pack for your upcoming travels. You must be prepared to carry your own bags and be comfortable carrying them up and down stairs, on and off transportation, and to hotels. As a rule, we try not to have to walk more than 15-20 minutes with your bags, which is why we recommend keeping the weight of your bags between 22-30 lb. Most travelers carry a backpack or rolling bag of small to medium size. No XXL bags please! A daypack is also essential for carrying everyday items. Space is limited on transportation, so there is a limit of one main piece of luggage per person plus a daypack per person.
Laundry facilities are sometimes offered by the hotels. You can also use a local laundromat if need be.
All GEEO trips require that the participant have a valid passport. Please see our general FAQ for information on obtaining a passport. As with all of our trips, we try to provide the most accurate information we can, but governments sometimes change visa rules. It is your responsibility to double check the information we provide below by searching here.
Americans do not need a visa for travel in Spain. Non-American participants should check with their government to find out if they need a visa.
Spain is in the Eurozone and the unit of the currency is the Euro (EUR). As currency exchange rates fluctuate, we ask that you refer to the following website for daily exchange rates: www.xe.com. ATMs are also widely available that distribute the local currency, and this is what we recommend as your primary source of cash while traveling. Please make sure you bring at least $200 USD in cash as emergency money just in case you have trouble with the ATMs or lose your bank card. Major credit cards are accepted in most shops but they may charge a 2-4% transaction fee. Visa and MasterCard are useful for cash advances in an emergency situation. Please note that, if you are carrying U.S. Dollars, they should be in good condition (i.e., not torn, wrinkled, or marked on in any way) and printed recently.
It is customary in Europe to leave a small tip for service providers, such as waiters, if you are pleased with the service (€1-2 EUR for snacks or 10% of a meal bill). Tipping is an expected – though not compulsory – component of your tour program and an expression of satisfaction with the persons who have assisted you on your tour. Although it may not be customary to you, it is of considerable significance to the people who will take care of you during your travels.
Also, at the end of each trip, if you felt your G Adventures Tour Leader did an outstanding job, tipping is appreciated. The amount is entirely a personal preference. As a budgeting guideline, $35-$45 USD per person per week can be used.
You do not need any vaccinations to travel on this program.
We often find the best prices for purchasing flights is 60 days before departure, but of course this varies greatly from route to route and year to year. You must wait until this trip is confirmed with the minimum number of required participants before you book your flights. Typically, we reach the minimum number needed at least 90 days before departure. GEEO and G Adventures bear no responsibility for any flights purchased before the trip is confirmed. You can find out whether this trip has been confirmed here.
Your trip begins in Madrid and ends in Barcelona. Please double check our itinerary for the date by which you must arrive in Madrid. You can arrive at any time of the day you choose, but you may want to arrive in Madrid a day early if you have never been before, as there is a lot to see. You can depart from Barcelona any time on the final day of the trip., or stay later to see more of the city.
There are two components to provide external power to your device: adapters and transformers. The adapter is the plug, adapting the prongs on a standard U.S. two to three-pronged power cord to match the prongs required by the local outlets. The transformer changes the local voltage to that required by your device.
Spain uses a European-style two circular prong plug. Their voltage is 220-240 Volts. U.S. outlets are 120V. Most new devices (phones and laptops) can handle the different voltage rates, but some devices only work on the U.S. standard of 120V. Check your device to see what voltage range it handles. Most transformer blocks will have an “Input” line that defines its voltage capacity. For example, “Input: 100-240V” means that it will work on voltages from 100V to 240V. If your transformer can’t handle the different voltage, you’ll need to purchase a voltage converter. You can find world regional voltage converters power packs at various vendors.
Before you decide on traveling with GEEO, it is important that you read all of the information about the program you are considering. Remember, our programs are quite adventurous.
Hopefully this is the kind of adventure you are interested in!
While it is our intention to adhere to the routes described on our website, there is a certain amount of flexibility built into the itinerary and on occasion it may be necessary, or desirable, to make alterations. The itinerary is brief, as we never know exactly where our journey will take us. Due to our style of travel and the regions we visit, travel can be unpredictable. The information on our website is a general guide to the tour and region, and any mention of specific destinations or wildlife is by no means a guarantee that they will be visited or encountered. Additionally, any travel times listed are approximations only and subject to vary due to local circumstances.
In December the places you will visit on this program will typically have daytime temperatures in the high 40s to low 60s. Spain truly comes alive at night, when locals head out for tapas, drinks, and dancing until the early hours of the next morning. If you plan on joining them, keep in mind the nighttime hours tend to be quite chilly in December in Spain. Think low 30s in Madrid and mid 40s in areas in the south.
As far as rainfall goes, December in this part of Spain tends to be pretty mild, with about 8 days of rain throughout the entire month.
Please keep in mind that this trip offers some free time to pursue activities that interest you. Make sure you look over all of the optional activities and note these additional costs when deciding whether you can afford this program. The prices below are in U.S. Dollars and are rough estimates for budgeting your trip.
See our price in the top right corner
Roughly $1,000-$1,700 USD
If you require assistance in booking your international airfare, we would be happy to help you.
Please note: It is mandatory for all of our travelers to have Emergency Medical insurance that covers both emergency evacuation and repatriation to the sum of $200,000 USD. We also strongly recommend purchasing cancellation insurance as well.
We recommend $45 USD for your G Adventures tour leader. Budget another $15 for tipping local guides and drivers.
Make sure you budget for these types of expenses
Varies depending on whether you takes public transport or taxis. Anywhere from $30 to $100
Variable. At your personal discretion.
$100 USD (Suggested donation)
This is only for non-educator guests traveling with an educator on a GEEO trip. Educators and retired educators should not make this donation.
Most optional activities are booked and paid for locally in the local currency. You do not have to decide in advance for which activities you would like to sign up. The prices listed are based on the latest information we have received from our participants and G Adventures. They are not guaranteed to be accurate. Please feel free to use them as a guide for budgeting your trip.
– El Escorial Visit (10EUR per person)
– Museo Nacional Del Prado Visit (14EUR per person)
– Taurino Museum (2EUR per person)
– Thyssen-Bornemisza Museum (12EUR per person)
– Royal Palace (Palacio Real) Visit (11EUR per person)
– Reina Sofia National Art Museum (8-12EUR per person)
– Plaza Mayor Visit (Free)
– Tapas Bar Crawl
– Albaicín (El Albayzín) Visit (Free)
– Granada Cathedral (Cathedral of the Incarnation) Visit (4EUR per person)
– Santa Cruz Quarter Visit (Free)
– Alcázar Palace Visit (13EUR per person)
– La Giralda Visit (9EUR per person)
– Casa de Pilatos (6-8EUR per person)
– The Golden Tower (Torre del Oro) (3EUR per person)
– Santa Paula Convent (2EUR per person)
– Ronda Day trip (100-150EUR per person)
– Montjuïc Visit (5EUR per person)
– La Sagrada Família Visit (15-24EUR per person)
– La Barceloneta Visit (Free)
– Parc Güell Visit (8EUR per person)
– Las Ramblas Visit
– Casa Batlló (25-30EUR per person)