Arrive in Barcelona and spend a few days days absorbing the sights, sounds and tastes of this lively Catalan capital. Wander the old Gothic Quarter, visit the still-unfinished Sagrada Familia, explore the waterfront and present your first concert. From Barcelona you'll head west through the heart of Spain to Cordoba and Granada, the Moorish capital where you’ll explore the magnificent Alhambra, and Madrid where you'll visit the world-famous Prado Museum and the ancient capital of Toledo! Amidst performing in historic sites, you’ll experience the best of Spain’s culture.
Depart from the USA.
Upon arrival in Barcelona, you will be met by your Encore Tour Manager. Founded by the Romans in the 3rd century BC, it’s known for its artistic treasures and fine architecture from Gothic to modernist. Begin to explore the city, including the neighborhoods around Ciutadella Park and the Olympic Port, on a guided Barcelona by bike tour.
Begin your day with a panoramic sightseeing tour. Our local expert will point out all the major highlights of Barcelona, including the unique Gaudí-designed houses. Antoni Gaudí, one of Catalonia's most famous sons, was a Modernist architect whose distinctive style is revered to this day. After, you'll be able to study the intricate design inside and out of his still-unfinished Sagrada Familia and stroll whimsical Parc Güell. We have the afternoon to wander the narrow cobbled streets, peaceful squares and towering old buildings that characterize Barri Gòtic (the city's Gothic Quarter) which was at times home to both Picasso and Joan Miró. Rehearse this afternoon for tonight’s debut concert performance!
Journey on the high-speed AVE train to Córdoba today where a sightseeing tour with a local expert includes discovering the unique striped arches of the Moorish Mezquita with an audio guide and wandering the narrow lanes lined with whitewashed buildings. Tonight enjoy a Moorish cuisine dinner that highlights the Arab influence on local flavors as you learn the features of this type of cuisine and why it's so prevalent in southern Spain.
Drive through the countryside today to Granada. Check into your hotel, then explore the unique caves of the Sacromonte area, where you'll learn one of Spain's most enduring traditions—flamenco dancing. An expert teaches you the moves during your flamenco lesson before you enjoy a special dinner, and then compare your new talent with your instructors' at a flamenco show.
This morning, your local guide will provide commentary during a sightseeing tour which includes a visit to the Alhambra, one of the greatest accomplishments of Islamic art and architecture, and the fragrant Generalife Gardens. This afternoon, rehearse and perform your second concert performance of the tour!
Journey to Madrid via the spectacular mountain pass of Despeñaperros, the gateway between the region of Andalucía and the golden plains of La Mancha. Begin to explore the wide avenues and open plazas of Spain's capital city this evening with your Encore Tour Manager.
Madrid's rich heritage comes alive on your guided sightseeing tour of classic Spanish boulevards, grand plazas, and the diverse architecture of modern-day Madrid. Highlights include the Plaza de España with its statue of Don Quixote, the majestic Alcalá Gate, and the famous bullring Las Ventas. Then visit the magnificent Prado (skipping the lines with a timed reservation), one of the world's premier art museums. Here, an expert provides illuminating commentary on the artwork of Velázquez, Goya, Raphael, Rubens, and Bosch. Even the 18th-century Neo-Classical building that houses the collection is stunning. This afternoon, rehearse for your final concert performance of the tour!
Discover Andalucía's prettiest city on a morning sightseeing tour, including the immense Gothic Cathedral, Giralda Tower and the Alcazar. Enjoy a typical Spanish lunch, included today instead of dinner, before preparing for your final performance. This evening is your concert finale.
Venture back in time to medieval Spain today on a journey to Toledo, once the Spanish capital. With an expert local guide, view the dazzling treasures of the Gothic Cathedral, the Mudéjar-style Medieval Synagogue, and the Church of Santo Tomé. Then visit a local restaurant for a Spanish cooking lesson led by professional chefs. Work in teams to create traditional dishes before dining on the tasty results with spectacular views of the Toledo skyline. Return to Madrid for your final evening and perhaps stroll down to see the artists and street performers in Plaza Mayor.
Depart for the USA.
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