south olé spain tours

sepharad tour

"The time I leave is in my hand, I know not when I return".

-Sephardic saying

day 1 - barcelona

Arrive at El Prat airport and meet your driver as you leave customs.  We'll take you to your hotel to drop off your luggage before beginning your tour. Explore the beautty of Barcelona on a complete visit of the exquisite Catalan city. See the city's most iconic sites, beginning with a panoramic driving tour of the Passeig de Gracia Boulevard, past Parc Güell, Pedrera Gaudí House, La Rambla and the Born district.  Stop at the Sagrada Familia to get a better look inside this fabulously designed building. Finish the tour with a stroll through the Jewish Quarters or El Call, as they were called during the middle ages. Along your walk stop in at the El Call Center of Interpretation on the site of an ancient synagogue.

Day 2 - madrid

Meet your driver for the ride to Sants station. Catch the high-speed AVE train across the country to Madrid, arriving in 2.5 hours. We'll have a driver waiting to take you to your hotel. Meet your guide here for a walking tour through streets and squares belonging to the times of the Hapsburg royalty and the 15th century.  Pass the Royal Palace, Royal Theater and Opera.  Your guide will tell you the legends and history of the commoners and nobility during the Spanish Renaissance. A few other stops along the way are the Tower of Lujan, San Miguel Market, and Plaza Mayor, where bullfights once were held. Along the way, your guide will give you an intensive course in Spanish Tapas.  Eat and drink your fill of the local cuisine and vintages at taverns and cafés on your route.

day 3 - segovia

Meet your driver in the hotel lobby for the short drive to Segovia, a medieval gem that boasts of a 2000 year-old Roman aqueduct, a Gothic Cathedral and a castle. Meet your guide under the aqueduct (known to still carry water!) and walk up Cervantes Street to the Gothis turrets of the cathedral. Follow your guide through the tangle of narrow streets around Plaza Mayor that make up the Jewish Quarters and listen to hair-raising stories of Torquemada and the Inquisition. Later, you'll descend outside the city limits to the castle below; a beautiful 11th century fortress that supposedly inspired the design of the Disney castle. Take some time on your own for lunch before returning to Madrid.

day 4 - ávila

Meet your driver in the hotel lobby for the short drive to Ávila. The protective walls and towers encircling the town date from the 12th century. Take in the view as you follow your guide alon the top of the walls. Head into the Jewish Quarters next, to visit Ávila's cathedral.  This city was the birthplace of St. Theresa of Jesus, a converted Jew, who later had mystic visions.  The cathedral has become a place of pilgrimage for her followers.Return to Madrid with your driver after lunch.

day 5 - toledo

As your last day trip from Madrid, visit the ancient capital Toledo.  Notice how the entire city crowns onto a high, rocky perch protected by the Tajo River.  Your guide will meet you at the city gates before leading you through the Old Town and Jewish Quarters.  Visit the Gothic Cathedral, San Juan de los Reyes Convent, Santa María la Blanca Synagogue and Tránsito Synagogue. Along the way, your guide will tell you the story of Toledo's 3 religions and people groups that lived in harmony during a time when the rest of the country was at war.

day 6 - sevilla

Meet your driver for the ride to Atocha train station.  Catch another AVE south to Andalucía, the land of flamenco.  Arrive in Sevilla, once the royal port for all ships arriving with riches from the Americas.  We'll have another driver waiting to take you to your hotel.  Meet your guide in the lobby later in the day for a walking tour.  Begin at the city walls, passing the Murillo gardens and entering the small labyrinth of Barrio Santa Cruz - the Jewish Quarters.  Also visit the Alcazar, Cathedral and Giralda.  End your tour at Casa de la Memoria in the Old Town for a non-touristy flamenco show.

day 7 - córdoba

Meet your driver in the hotel lobby for the ride from Sevilla to Córdoba.  Your guide will be waiting by the Alcazar de los Reyes Cristianos to begin your tour of what was once the most culturally advanced city in Europe.  Enter the mosque, converted into a cathedral after the Reconquest in 1236 and listen to the stories of sultans and commoners who built it together.  Wander the Jewish Quarters, known for their jewelers, strolling among the whitewashed houses and red gardenias.  Your guide will explain why the Jews lived in such cramped quarters.  You'll be able to visualize their customs at the Sephardic House.  End the tour of Córdoba with a visit to a tiny, medieval synagogue where the physician and philosopher Maimonides once worshipped. In the evening, watch a light and water show in the Alcazar Gardens beside the river.

day 8 - granada

Meet your driver in the hotel lobby for the ride to Granada, the last Moorish stronghold in Spain till 1492.  Check in at your hotel and meet your guide at the Alhambra.  We'll go back 900 years to visit the 11th wonder of the world.  The Gardens of Paradise, Alcazar Fortress and renowned Nasrid Palaces are just some parts of the Alhambra that you'll visit on tour.  As you enter the Patio of the Lions, listen to the legend that these marble statues are actually of Jewish origen.  As you leave the Alhambra, descend through the Realejo Jewish Quarters and finish your tour with a visit to the Palace of the Forgotten Sephardic Museum.

day 9 - málaga

Meet your driver for the ride south to the Mediterranean coast.  Check in at your hotel in Málaga Old Town.  Your guide will pick you up before lunch for a tapas tour.  Join the locals on their pre-lunch tapas route up Larios Street into the open air market.  See the local cheeses, produce, bread and wines on display.  Notice how differently Spaniards present their fish and meats! Your guide will explain a few basic ingredients for Spanish staples like paella and migas.  Continue into the oldest tavern in town to sample sweet wine and seafood.  Head into the Jewish Quarters for fusion tapas, classic "raciones" and more local wime.  As you taste your way through Málaga, you'll pass the Roman theater, Alcazaba, Picasso's Birthplace and the Cathedral.

Day 10 - departure

Meet your driver for the ride to Málaga International Airport.