Top Spain attraction, Alhambra fortress Granada

Spain - Best Tours & Trips 2019

Once a dominant world power that conquered much of the Americas, Spain is now of one of the leaders in world tourism. Blessed with abundant sunshine, world-class art and architecture, and wonderful food, beaches, and scenery, this seductive nation offers something for everyone -- from hiking in the Pyrenees and swimming in the Mediterranean to dining on paella and relaxing in a seaside sidewalk cafe (or all four). It may well have the most diverse set of attractions in all of Europe -- and Stride can help you sort through it all.
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DEPARTURE DATES

Trip Type Trip Type Classic Tour Groups are between 25-60 people, typically ~30-40. Usually there will be many opportunities to split off and enjoy meals and excursions in smaller groups. This is the most economical way to travel, saving up to 40% versus booking the same itinerary yourself.
Small Group Guided Experiences Small groups are usually defined as between 10 and 24 travelers, often less. If you're the kind of person who enjoys more intimate experiences and personal service this is a good choice. All else being equal you will pay a premium for this style vs a larger group tour.
River Cruise These vessels are smaller than most ocean cruisers, limiting which amenties are available. Passenger counts can vary. One of the biggest advantages of a river cruise is the ability to dock at smaller ports and local villages.
Small Ocean Cruise Small ship cruises usually have a max passenger count of 500. The primary purpose of these trips is to spend time off the vessel in local ports (e.g. Mediterranean) or experiencing nature (e.g Galapagos or Antarctica). Cabins can vary from budget to luxury.
Private Tour Private tours give you the undivided attention of a guide, and often involve special access to sites and unique experiences not available to larger groups. This is a great option for families, couples, and small friend groups. Expect to pay a bit more for the extra service.
Independent Package A travel company plans your itinerary and arranges all the logistics including lodging, local activities, and transportantion. You have the flexibility of a solo trip while still getting the convience and time savings of expert planning. Get 90% of the benefits of a tour, without a guide.
Vacation / Holiday Package Similar to a self guided tour, this usually involves a home base, such as a hotel or resort, with packaged activities and day tours as a part of the stay.
Large Ocean Cruise This is the "floating city" experience, with multiple ways to enjoy your vacation aboard the ship as much as on land. Ships are multiple floors, provide several activities, culinary, and shopping options. They often make fewer stops and have less time available for shore excursions.

Tour Styles

Lodging Level Lodging Level Camping Typically involves most nights sleeping in tents (sometimes permanent tented sites) or in rustic cabins and lodges.
Basic - 2 star You'll stay in no-frills, but clean and comfortable, hotels or guesthouses. A 'Basic' trip might also involve a few nights of camping.
Value - 3 star Mid-range budget with accommodations ranging from comfortable lodges, guesthouses, and homestays to three star hotels.
Premium - 4 star 3 to 4 star western hotel equivalents. While not all lodging will be 'luxury' they will be quite comfortable by western standards.
Luxury - 5 star The highest level of comfort and service. All accomodations are in four or five star hotels, boutique lodges or high-end homestays.

Price From*

$ 145 $ 10,000+

Price Per Day

Trip Length

Countries

Physical Level Physical Level Very Easy Minimal walking - motor vehicles available for all major parts of trip.
Easy Normal generally flat walking in urban or suburban environments.
Moderate Walking or physical activity half to most of day - no carrying equipment.
Strenuous All or most of day hiking or biking, hills included.
Extreme Very challenging all day hiking and backpacking carrying significant equipment.

Travel Theme

Travelers Age

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Rivers & Seas

Cities & Attractions

Activities

Solo Friendly Solo Friendly Good for Singles Trips that specifically cater to travelers looking to meet other singles.
No Single Supplement Trips where single supplement is usually not required for solo travelers.

Company

Flights & Transport

Continents & Regions

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Top Spain Experiences and Attractions

Top Spain Experiences

Viewing Antonio Gaudi’s fanciful and enormously ambitious church of La Sagrada Familia in Barcelona, still a work in progress almost 90 years after the architect’s death.

Swimming in the warm waters of the Mediterranean sea off one of Spain’s alluring islands of Mallorca, Ibiza or Formentera.

Staring, amazed, at the detailed tile work in Granada’s 14th-century Moorish palace, the Alhambra.

Staying in a parador, one of the government inns converted from former castles, monasteries, and other atmospheric buildings.

Making the rounds of the tapas bars in Madrid, downing a complimentary olive there, a slice of roasted potato there, and perhaps splurging on a grilled prawn or two.

Throwing tomatoes at strangers in Valencia’s famous La Tomatina, a 40,000-person tomato fight held each August.

Admiring the Old Masters in Madrid’s Prado Museum and Picasso’s masterwork Guernica in the Centro de Arte Reina Sofia.

Taking in a flamenco show at a club in Seville where you know the dancing is authentic.

Joining the pre-dinner crowds along Las Ramblas in Barcelona as they enjoy their evening paseo, while passing chic sidewalk cafes and lively street entertainers.

Marveling at the formal gardens and fountains in Seville’s Royal Alcazar Palace.

Spending an art-filled day in Toledo, home of the painter El Greco and a medieval masterpiece of a city.

Walking at least part of the Camino de Santiago in northern Spain, an ages-old, now newly popular pilgrimage route.

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Spain Trip Reviews

1,674 Spain Tour Reviews - Summary 92% Recommend

4.5 out of 5
Excellent 1,059
Great 465
Average 109
Disappointing 30
Terrible 11
Value
4.5
Guide
4.5
Activities
4.5
Lodging
4.5
Transportation
4.5
Meals
4.5

Tour Reviews Write a Review

Very nice

5.0
Special needs at Sea Company Reviews
  • Value 5.0
  • Guide 5.0
  • Activities 5.0
  • Lodging 5.0
  • Transportation 5.0
  • Meals 5.0

Very nice equipment & was delivered in room & picked up as told when it was ordered.

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Operator Special needs at Sea

Well done!

5.0
Special needs at Sea Company Reviews
  • Value 5.0
  • Guide 5.0
  • Activities 5.0
  • Lodging 5.0
  • Transportation 5.0
  • Meals 5.0

The service was incredibly easy to use. You even delivered directly to my stateroom. Well done! You took the worry about getting around right out of my mind.

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Operator Special needs at Sea

Very easy from start to finish!!

5.0
Special needs at Sea Company Reviews
  • Value 5.0
  • Guide 5.0
  • Activities 5.0
  • Lodging 5.0
  • Transportation 5.0
  • Meals 5.0

I recommended special needs group for a client of mine. We went on a cruise on Royal Caribbean cruise lines. The wheelchair was there when they checked into their cabin. No problems or issues at all. Very easy from start to finish!! The price was great also!! Highly recommend them to anyone needing assistance!!

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Operator Special needs at Sea

Always a positive experience

5.0
Special needs at Sea Company Reviews
  • Value 5.0
  • Guide 5.0
  • Activities 5.0
  • Lodging 5.0
  • Transportation 5.0
  • Meals 5.0

We have rented from them for years, and it is always a positive experience. Good people with quality equipment.

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Operator Special needs at Sea

I definitely recommend it to any one with mobility difficulties

5.0
Special needs at Sea Company Reviews
  • Value 5.0
  • Guide 5.0
  • Activities 5.0
  • Lodging 5.0
  • Transportation 5.0
  • Meals 5.0

I had a great experience in my recent cruise. As they told me, my scooter was near my stateroom, it was a bariatric scooter. I enjoy all 7 days in cruise. When time to go I just left it in the departure deck. It was a great experience and a great cruise. I definitely recommend it to any one with mobility difficulties. I will rent again with them in my next cruise.

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Operator Special needs at Sea

Spain Tours and Travel Guide

Spain Attractions & Landmarks Guide

Spain -- the tempestuous land of Don Juan and Don Quixote, Carmen and Figaro, bullfighting and flamenco -- once ruled an empire that stretched across the Americas and points beyond. By the 20th century it had fallen into decline, merely another poor nation in southern Europe. Now, in the midst of a cultural renaissance, Spain is much like a theme park devoted to the good life -- a sensuous feast of fun, food, and fine art and architecture.

Start with the beaches, as many visitors do. (Northern Europeans, who search out sand and sunshine like heat-seeking missiles, have made Spain their holiday central.) The most crowded stretch, the Costa del Sol along the southern Mediterranean, sports highly developed resorts like upscale Marbella and carnival-like Torremolinos, once quiet fishing villages now packed with sunbathers and bar-hoppers. The Mediterranean island of Ibiza is another incredible party scene, though with better beaches; the smaller island of Formentera is quieter.

Art and Architecture

In Spain, you can spend hours or days with Spanish masters like Velasquez, El Greco, Goya, Dali, and Picasso in Madrid’s Prado and other top museums. Architecture? Frank Gehry’s sensational Guggenheim Museum in Bilbao is one of the most talked-about buildings in Europe. You can even view ancient Roman ruins such as the two-millennia-old aqueduct in Segovia.

The Spanish have turned eating into an art form, not so much with the classical artistry of the French as with the playful palette of Picasso, a native Spaniard. Dining often begins by making the rounds of tapas bars -- grazing on small platefuls of delicacies washed down with glasses of local wine or sherry. It continues with multi-course meals that may run on till midnight. Seafood is often the centerpiece, sometimes topping giant platters of paella, the saffron-tinged rice dish that’s almost synonymous with Spanish cuisine.

The Backdrop

All of these cultural, culinary and recreational riches are set against a scenic backdrop as varied as any in Europe. To the east and parts of the west, the Mediterranean and Atlantic coastlines frame hundreds of miles of blue sea. To the north, the green and forested Pyrenees rise to form a mountainous border with France. In central Spain, arid brown valleys and high plateaus add dramatic contours to the landscape. And in the far south, the Andalusian countryside is reminiscent of Spain’s onetime New World outpost, southern California. Each region is wildly beautiful in its own way.

The Spanish people enhance it all with their exuberant approach to life, much of it played out on the public stage. In cities and villages across the country, they emerge to see and be seen on their evening paseos, strolling often arm-in-arm with family or friends, typically dressed to be admired.

Revelry and Recovery

The narrow streets of Barcelona’s old Gothic Quarter, the now-chic antiquity of Madrid’s Puerta del Sol area, and the winding medieval alleyways of Seville’s Barrio Santa Cruz and Granada’s Sacromonte (gypsy) district are often packed far into the night with diners and revelers who see daybreak not as the start of a new day but the end of the old. The country’s many fiestas rachet up the festive mood even higher. July’s annual Running of the Bulls in Pamplona, March’s Las Fallas de San Jose in Valencia, and Easter’s Feria in Seville, among many others, all provide spectacular pageantry.

But when do they sleep? A partial answer rhymes with fiesta: siesta, an afternoon tradition that is struggling to survive the economic pressures of modernization. Tour leaders know to plan sightseeing and shopping trips in the mornings or late afternoons since many museums, stores and other attractions often close for two or three hours at midday. Take a cue from the Spanish: enjoy a leisurely lunch and rest up during the hottest part of the day.

Key Sights in Spain

All roads lead to and from stylish Madrid, the centrally located Spanish capital, which combines world-class art museums like the Prado with alluring public parks and nightlife. Just south of Madrid lies the photogenic and beautifully preserved medieval city of Toledo, immortalized by the artist El Greco.

Much farther south, Andalusia is a sunny, Moorish-influenced land that spawned flamenco and forms many people’s mental image of Spain. Seville is a maze of courtyards, plazas, bars and restaurants, while Granada is home to the Alhambra, an ornately tiled 14th-century Moorish palace. Cordoba’s 1,100-year-old Great Mosque, with its hundreds of colorfully striped columns and archways, is so vast that an entire Roman Catholic cathedral (added later) seems almost lost within it.

Barcelona, in the northeast, is the epicenter of the Spanish revival. The old Gothic Quarter, with its jumble of twisting streets, opens onto Las Ramblas, one of the world’s great promenades, and Gaudi’s surreal architectural legacy is everywhere. To its south, vibrant Valencia, birthplace of paella and the world’s biggest tomato fight, is often overlooked -- but shouldn’t be.

Still a good value

While not the dirt cheap destination of old, Spain is still a good value for Europe -- especially if you consider all that it has to offer. If you haven’t visited Spain since the sleepy 1970s, you’re in for a huge surprise.

Stride can help you find the tour that best represents what you most want from your Spanish vacation -- whether it’s a tour of the classic sights, a multi-week trek along northern Spain’s Camino de Santiago, a riverboat cruise along the Guadalquivir River in Andalusia, or perhaps a culinary tour where you can discover the secrets of making a great paella.

Top Spain Travel Companies

Things to Know Before You Go

When is the best time to visit Spain?

As in many travel destinations, shoulder season is some of the best time to visit if you’re after milder weather and less intense tourist crowds. In Spain, there are exciting local festivals and events going on year round, and the food in the more rural villages and regions - while seasonality based - is always flavorful and delicious.

Spain is a popular wine tasting destination, which is a popular activity throughout the year. The most picturesque time to visit vineyards is generally Summer through Autumn. The vines are full and colorful and wineries are buzzing with activity - in the fall it’s harvest time which is always exciting.

The vines are not exactly pretty to look at in the winter, but this is a less crowded time in the tasting rooms. So if you’re interested in talking shop with the tasting room associates, this is one of the best times to visit - when they won’t be distracted by large groups.

Unfortunately Spain is fairly expensive year round, even during shoulder seasons. Traveling with a tour can often help you save on food and activities such as attending local festivals.

All Spain tours, river cruises, expedition cruises, and adventure trips. Find the best guided trips and expert planned vacation and holiday packages. Average rating of 4.5 for all Spain trips.

724 trips from 114 tour companies with 1,674 reviews

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