Madrid, Toledo, Cordoba, Seville, Granada and Costa del Sol by car

Voyage sur mesure Autotour en Espagne

Madrid, Toledo, Cordoba, Seville, Granada and Costa del Sol by car

To visit Spain is to decide to visit a country with Arab, Latin and European influences; a compendium of culture, architecture, food and landscape that is sure to have a positive impact on you. From Madrid to the Costa del Sol, via Toledo and Andalusia, we invite you to take a few days and visit this magnificent southern European country at your own pace. Your rental vehicle allows you to take the routes you want, to stop along the way wherever you wish and to discover the places you like. This is the ideal way to personalize your stay and make it as enjoyable as possible.

This itinerary can be adjusted to your personnel needs and preferences.

Highlights

  • Independent tour at your own pace

  • Centrally located hotels

  • The rich and energetic city of Madrid

  • Toledo’s cultural heritage 

  • Cordoba’s stunning Mezquita-Cathedral

  • Seville and Granada impressive palaces

  • Sun, beach & discovery in Costa del Sol

  • Spain’s rich food culture and famous wines

Included

Grèce

Flights

Grèce

Arrival transfer

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Accommodation

Croatie

Car rental

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All breakfasts

Grèce

Hop on / Hop off Madrid bus ticket

Travel Information

Coded: ESE3

Journey intensity

Grèce

Price

15 days

Departure from Montreal to Madrid

Arrival in Madrid, welcome and transfer to your hotel. Rest of the day free.

Madrid, the Spanish capital, is a city rich in history where traditions, cultural diversity, food and conviviality mix successfully. It is impossible to ignore Madrid’s many “Plazas”, gates, museums and buildings that, over the years, have helped forge the history and identity of the Spanish capital city.

Start your first day in Madrid by visiting some of the city’s main tourist attractions such as the Plaza de Mayor and its statue of King Philip II. Further on is the Royal Palace, the official residence of the King of Spain, although he does not actually live here. Using your “Hop on / Hop off” bus ticket is a great way to take a first full tour of the city.

Overnight in Madrid 

Free day to discover the city.

After a good night’s sleep, start your day at Almudena Cathedral. Then head to the Plaza Espana and the Gran Via, Madrid’s shopping street. Conclude your morning by visiting the Templo de Debod and the Prado Museum for its collections of works by Spanish artists Francisco Goya and Diego Velazquez, including Velazquez’s masterpiece, Las Meninas.

In the afternoon, enjoy the sun while discovering Retiro Park with its paths along unusually beautiful green spaces and the possibility of a boat ride on the water. You can also visit the Palacio Cristal, or glass palace. This former conservatory, built in the late 19th century, now serves as an exhibition space. There are two more monuments in the park that are worth seeing; the Paseo de la Argentina and the Puerta de Alcala.

Main attractions in Madrid: Almudena, Plaza Espana, Prado Museum, Retiro Park

Meal: Breakfast
Overnight in Madrid 

Free day to discover the city.

Why not begin this day with a visit to some of the most beautiful museums in the city, such as the Museo Nacional Centro de Arte Reina Sofia or the Museo Nacional Thyssen-Bornemisza? Both are important places that highlight pieces of art by great masters, including Pablo Picasso and his unforgettable “Guernica”. Spend the afternoon enjoying some more of Madrid’s effervescence by exploring the El Rastro flea market (weekends only).

Then head to Puerta del Sol, a square that is home to one of the most famous statues in the city, El Oso y el Madrono, which stands 4 meters high and weighs 20 tons. If you have the opportunity, consider visiting the mythical Santiago Bernabeu stadium. You might even have the chance to watch a soccer match!

Madrid is a splendid city with a culinary culture different from any you may be used to. Paella, patatas bravas, gazpacho, tortilla and churros are just a few of the treats you can feast on. For good tapas, we recommend Casa Toni as well as Casa Abuelo. Although these are two prize winning establishments, you should discover the many tapas bars of the city for a varied and rich experience. La Paella de la Reina is where to go for one of the best paellas in the city, and La Bola is a very popular establishment for its cocido madrileno. In short, there are plenty of places to treat your taste buds!

Main attractions in Madrid: Museo Nacional Centro de Arte Reina Sofia, Museo Nacional Thyssen-Bornemisza, Puerta del Sol, Santiago Bernabeu stadium

Meal: Breakfast
Overnight in Madrid 

Pick up your rental car and head to Toledo. For the next 11 days you will follow a program while taking the detours that tempt you the most. First stop: the historic city of Toledo. Known as the “City of the Three Cultures”, Toledo was in turn in the hands of the Visigoths, the Muslims of Spain and then the monarchs. It is a UNESCO World heritage site.

The journey from Madrid to Toledo only takes about an hour. When you arrive, the first thing you will notice is the cathedral, the most famous monument in this beautiful city and a must to visit. Continue your tour of the city center by following the ramparts of the Puerta Bisagra, whose construction dates back to the time of the Moors. This route will take you up to the Alcazar, one of the highest points of Toledo, with panoramic views of the area. At the time a Roman palace stood here before the Moors retook the area and built their own fortress, which today serves as a museum.

As you go back down, pass by the Bridge of St. Martin and the Monastery of San Juan de los Reyes before ascending again to the Mirador del Valle. The walk to the viewpoint is an experience in itself, and once at the top you will not fail to marvel at the beauty of the Iglesia of San Ildefonso. You will also pass by the Santa Cruz Museum which is definitely worth a visit.

From a culinary point of view, Toledo has plenty to satisfy you. Restaurante Adolfo, located in an old 12th century house near the cathedral, is one of the best-known in Toledo. Lechazo and cordero are some of the typical dishes served here. As well, don’t hesitate to try Casa Valero for dishes based on fresh products from the sea, and Fabrica de Harinas for regional delicacies such as suckling pig.

Main attractions in Toledo: the cathedral, the Puerta de Bisagra, the Alcazar

Meal: Breakfast
Overnight in Toledo 

Depart for Cordoba, a city founded by the Romans, which quickly acquired cultural and economic importance. It was finally taken over by the Moors who built nearly 300 mosques here, a cultural heritage that can still be felt today. Cordoba is extremely well located, close to Seville and also to the Parque Natural de la Sierra Andujar, which you can visit on the way.

Start your visit of Cordoba with a visit to the UNESCO World Heritage Cathedral-Mosque before passing by the Old Roman bridge, which dates back to the 1st century BC. This is a place from which you can have a lovely view of the entrance to the city. Also visit the Castle of the Christian Kings, one of the principal architectural monuments of the city.

An interesting particularity: Cordoba is one of the hottest cities in Europe. As a result, the houses are built in such a way as to stay as cool as possible. There are countless flowers, plants and fountains, with many of the local gardens open to the public. In fact, since 1918, the Town Hall of Cordoba has offered a prize for the most beautiful patio, which the Palacio de Viana has won every year. This is an incredible building used by the Spanish royal family, and also worth a visit.
Pick up your rental car and head to Medina Azahara, located about 5 miles (8 kilometers) from Cordoba, and just as intriguing. In the middle of the tenth century, the “Shining City” was the administrative capital of Al-Andalus, as Spain was called during Moorish rule.

To restore your strength and quench your palate, we recommend the Paseo Iberico for its famous jamon plates as well as its divine mushrooms. This is an ideal way to start the evening before having a glass of very good Spanish wine at Bodega Guzman. For dinner, Garum 2.1 offers particularly inventive versions of some of the Cordoban classics such as the sherry salmorejo and the bulltail stew, both of which are excellent. Gastrotaberna Macsura is another highly recommended establishment, especially for its fresh seafood. The sea anemone and shellfish should not be missed.

Main attractions in Cordoba: Mezquita (Mosque-Cathedral of Córdoba), Palacio de Viana, Medina Azahara

Meal: Breakfast 
Overnight in Cordoba

Depart for Seville, a city you will love and only an hour and a half from Cordoba. On the way, stop at Ecija and discover its magnificent central square.
Seville, the Andalusian capital, enjoys a rich history. With Greek, Phoenician, Carthaginian and Roman influence, it is characterized by its pleasant lifestyle, its famous “siesta” and its culinary and cultural heritage, specific to the region.

Begin your stay in Seville by discovering the Royal Alcazar, a former royal palace combining Moorish, Gothic and Renaissance structural elements, which is a UNESCO World Heritage site. Continue on to the famous Cathedral of Seville where you will discover sumptuous works of art as well as the tomb of Christopher Columbus.

Among other must-sees on this first day in Seville is a visit of La Giralda, an incredible minaret with 24 bell towers. On the way back down towards the city center, head to the Santa Cruz district, a labyrinth of narrow streets in which yellow, white, red and blue mingle colorfully. If you have some time left, visit the impressive, Baroque Palace of San Telmo, built in 1682. It was formerly a university for navigators and is now the seat of the presidency of the Andalusian Autonomous Government.

Main attractions in Sevilla: Royal Alcazar, La Giralda

Meal: Breakfast
Overnight in Seville

Start your second day in Seville by walking through the Maria Luisa Park which will take you straight to Plaza Espana. This is a huge, oval space surrounded by a moat and topped with a long pavilion that features an elaborate design full of imaginative tilework. The Plaza Espana has served as a backdrop for several Hollywood productions including Lawrence of Arabia and Star Wars: Attack of the Clones.

In the afternoon, head to the Metropol Parasol, an interesting and amusing building with an unusual shape which claims to be the largest wooden structure in the world. You can buy a ticket for 3 Euros and walk along the summit to admire the view from its panoramic terraces. Conclude your day with a visit to the Real Maestranza, the Royal Bullring, the site of one of the best-known bullfighting festivals in the world. Bullfighting is subject of much debate, but this is a good place to learn about Andalusian history and tradition.

Regarding local places to eat, Casa Morales is an institution where tapas are a must. Melting carillada (braised pork cheek), albondigas (meatballs) and croquetas (fried croquettes stuffed with ham and cheese) are recommended. El Rinconcillo, where you can taste typical Sevillian tapas such as espinacas con garbanzos (spinach with chickpeas) is a tavern that is worth trying. Bodeguita Romero and Bodega Santa Cruz are also highly recommended, especially for the quality of their dishes but also their wines, which often come from Jerez, a nearby town.

Main attractions in Seville: Maria Luisa Park, Plaza Espana, Metropol Parasol.

Meal: Breakfast
Overnight in Seville

Depart for Granada, a city founded by the Moors and praised for its quality of life. Nestled in the Sierra Nevada mountains in the south of Spain and only one hour from the sea, Grenada is known for its particular architecture of Arab-Spanish influence. The Alhambra Palace, another UNESCO World Heritage site, is the city’s most famous monument, where outdoor adventure blends with heritage and tradition.

Continue with the discovery of the old city, in particular the Albaicin, or ancient Arab quarter. You will appreciate its white houses, many restaurants and, above all, the flamenco shows that you can attend there.

Carry on by visiting some of the Miradores (viewpoints), where you can view Granada from above. The best-known one is Mirador San Miguel; from here the city below and the Sierra Nevada mountains is one of the most captivating views in Spain.

In the afternoon, enjoy the small Bib Rambla square in the city center as well as the beautiful Jardin del Trifuno, a landscaped public park. If you have time, go up to the Carmen de los Martires garden with its large pond which has a statue of Neptune. End your day with a visit to the Parque de las Ciencias, an exhibition space dedicated to science.

Main attractions in Granada: Alhambra Palace, Miradores and Plaza Bib Rambla

Meal: Breakfast
Overnight in Granada

Start the day at Hammam al Andalus, an Arab bath house made up of three spaces created by water pools at different temperatures, one of the must-sees of Grenada. Then go to the caves of Sacramonte and witness the importance of Gypsy culture in Andalusia. Finally, take advantage of the afternoon to hike in the Sierra Nevada, which rises to a height of 3,478 meters above sea level. An ideal way to escape from the city and enjoy a little nature!

Regarding evening activities, El Nido del Buho is the perfect place if you want to have a drink and feast on huge tapas. Near Los Jardines de Zoraya you will not find this “pub” atmosphere, but the dishes offered are very good. Among other establishments, we recommend Ruta del Azafran and Bar Avila, two excellent choices for a great meal.

Main attractions in Granada: Hammam al Andalus, Sacromonte Caves, and Sierra Nevada.

Meal: Breakfast
Overnight in Granada

Driving to the Costa del Sol will be an opportunity to take a real “road trip” among some of the prettiest cities in southern Spain. Marbella and Malaga with its Moorish fortifications are waiting for you. Some of the classic activities in this area are hiking, diving and afternoons at the beach. We also recommend that you visit the town of Nerja and its wineries, where you will appreciate the presence of old paintings dating back to the Bronze Age.

For an unusual outing, take a half day to discover the Strait of Gibraltar, a busy migratory route for large marine mammals, some of which live in the area while some are just passing through. With a little luck you can witness the presence of sperm whales, orcas and dolphins.

You can also allocate some time to visit the local vineyards, such as Remsamem, Nilva or Bentomiz, where you will learn about local wine production and taste the finished products!

The Costa del Sol is also a veritable paradise for golf enthusiasts with 70 courses, some designed by world renowned architects such as Robert Trent Jones.

In terms of food, you will surely find “shoes that fit” perfectly! Do not miss trying Espeto, sardines on wooden skewers, grilled over high heat on or near the beach. Served with drizzled lemon juice and a glass of white wine, it is a delicious and healthy local snack. The fish is served whole, but it is enough to chew the “meat” off the main backbone, leaving the head and the tip of the tail behind.

Meals: Breakfasts
Overnight in Costa del Sol 

Drop off your rental vehicle at Malaga airport. Return flight to Montreal.

Meal: Breakfast 

Spain
Spain
Geo Escapade Spain

DATES

Daily departures

INCLUSIONS

This trip includes:

  • Return flights from Montreal/Madrid & Malaga/Montreal

  • Transfer from Madrid airport to the hotel

  • 13 nights in double occupancy in a standard room, hotels according to the chosen category

  • 13 breakfasts

  • 11 days car rental category ‘C’ including unlimited mileage, CDW & TP insurances, local taxes

  • Hop on – Hop Off 2 days bus pass in Madrid 

  • Airport taxes

This trip does not include:

  • Any activities, tours or entrance fees to monuments
  • Car rental’s compulsory insurance and other additional services such as deductible insurance, rental of a GPS, second driver, a full tank is required when the vehicle is returned etc.
  • Parking, tolls, fuel & fines
  • Items of personal nature such as mini-bar, safety-box, wi-fi etc.
  • Tips and baggage handling at airports/hotels
  • Spain Tourist tax
  • All types of travel or personal insurance
  • PCR tests
  • Anything not stated explicitly in the inclusions
  • Contribution to the Compensation Fund for Customers of Travel Agents: 3.50$ per 1000$

Featured Hotels

Package in standard hotels (or similar)

Madrid Ganivet 3*
Toledo Carlos V 3*
Cordoba Cordoba Center 4*
Seville Sevilla Center 4*
Granada Navas 3*
Costa del Sol Sol Don Pedro 4*

Package in superior hotels (or similar)

Madrid Mayorazgo 4*
Toledo Alfonso IV 4*
Cordoba Alfaros 4*
Seville Petit Palace Marques Santa Ana 4*
Granada Melia Granada 4*
Costa del Sol Sol Don Marco 4*

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