Spain's Costa del Sol

Including visits to Cordoba, Malaga, Marbella, Gibraltar, Ronda, Granada, and Madrid

12 days, from Wednesday, November 23, to Sunday, December 4, 2022

Even in darkest November, blue skies and balmy temperatures can normally be enjoyed on the famous “Coast of the Sun,” in Spain’s historically and culturally fascinating southern region of Andalusia. At that time, the very mild local “subtropical-Mediterranean” climate features average daytime high temperature in the low twenties centigrade. Our tour also includes visits to the great cities of Madrid, Cordoba, Malaga, Gibraltar, and picturesque towns and villages such as Marbella, Ronda, and Mijas. Accommodation in a first-class/four-star hotel overlooking the beach, with daily buffet breakfast and dinner including wine, and talks on the history of the region and Spain in general by your tour escort, historian Jacques Pauwels, PhD, author of books such as ‘Beneath the Dust of Time: A History of the Names of Peoples and Places’ (London, 2009).

PLEASE NOTE THAT THE FOLLOWING IS A “LAND ONLY” ITINERARY, NOT INCLUDING AIR TRANSPORTATION TO/FROM SPAIN. TOUR PARTICIPANTS WILL HAVE TO BE BOOKED ON A FLIGHT ARRIVING IN MADRID NO LATER THAN THE EARLY MORNING OF WEDNESDAY, NOVEMBER 23! FOR THOSE WISHING TO FLY FROM (OR VIA) TORONTO, WE OFFER TO BOOK AIR CANADA’S NON-STOP FLIGHT TORONTO-MADRID ON NOVEMBER 22, WITH RETURN ON DECEMBER 4, FOR WHICH A RETURN AIRFARE (INCLUDING ONE SUITCASE) SHOULD BE AVAILABLE AT APPROXIMATELY $1,000.  

(PLEASE NOTE: DO NOT BOOK YOUR FLIGHTS UNTIL THIS TOUR IS GUARANTEED TO BE OPERATED. THE BOOKING DEADLINE FOR THIS TOUR IS MONDAY, AUGUST 15. 

BOOKING INFORMATION

November 23 - December 04, 2022

LAND ONLY $3,295 based on double occupancy

Single supplement: $595

DOWNLOAD PDF OF ITINERARY

*If the tour is SOLD OUT, please contact us to be added to the waitlist.


ITINERARY

Day 1 - Wednesday, November 23: Meet in Madrid and on to Cordoba

The tour members meet this morning at Madrid’s Barajas Airport upon arrival of the Air Canada flight from Toronto around 8. A comfortable private coach will take us along the southbound expressway into Spain’s sunny southern region of Andalusia. Our destination is the great city of Cordoba, whose golden age was around the year 1,000 when, as capital of a Muslim caliphate, it was one of the biggest and most beautiful cities in Europe. Dinner and overnight in a first-class hotel.

Day 2 - Thursday, November 24: Cordoba

 After breakfast, sightseeing in Cordoba, a UNESCO World Heritage Site, with as absolute highlight our visit to the 1,000-year old Mosque, a marvel of Islamic architecture. In the afternoon we motor to Torremolinos, hub of Spain’s famous Mediterranean playground, the Costa del Sol. Check into one of the resort’s top hotels, the first-class/four-star Melia Costa del Sol, centrally located and overlooking the beach. During our entire stay in this great property, a buffet-style breakfast and dinner will be offered daily; with dinner, beverages will be included as follows, per person: mineral water plus ¼ liter of wine or 1 soft drink or 1 beer.

Day 3 - Friday, November 25: Torremolinos

Morning leisurely walking tour of Torremolinos, with sights such as La Carihuela fishermen’s quarter and beach, the church of San Miguel, the Calle San Miguel main street lined with shops, the extravagant mansion known as Casa de las Navajas, La Bateria city park, and of course the medieval Torre Pimentel, a.k.a. Torre de los Molinos, “tower of the mills,” which gave its name to the town. The afternoon is free for individual exploring or shopping, Or how about a stroll along the Paseo Maritimo, the scenic waterfront trail that stretches all the way from Torremolinos to the neigbouring resort of Benalmadena? (For more information on local sightseeing, shopping and other things to do, see https://turismotorremolinos.es/en/discover/places-of-interest)

Day 4 - Saturday, November 26: Mijas

After breakfast, visit to Mijas, a quaint, typically Andalusian white-washed village in the hills overlooking the Costa del Sol. On to Marbella, favourite resort of the international jet set; its past and present residents have included celebrities such as Sean Connery, George Clooney, Novak Djokovic, and Antonio Banderas; Marbella has an impressive yacht harbour, a picturesque old town, chic shopping, and many attractive restaurants to enjoy lunch. Afternoon return to Torremolinos via some more coastal resorts, such as Fuengirola and Benalmadena.

Day 5 - Sunday, November 27: Gibraltar

Full-day excursion along the coast to the southern tip of Spain for a thorough visit to Gibraltar (120 km), the legendary rock at the entrance to the homonymous strait between Europe and Africa. Your tour guide will tell you the fascinating history of the Strait of Gibraltar, known in Antiquity as the “Pillars of Hercules,” and its connection with the dollar! In Gibraltar, our sightseeing will include Europa Point, from which the coast of Africa can be seen; the “Upper Rock” with its military installation and nature reserve where the famous monkeys live; St Michael's Cave, an impressive natural grotto inhabited during the neolithic; and of course the busy main street lined with shops, pubs and restaurants. Return to Torremolinos in late afternoon.

Day 6 - Monday, November 28: Ronda

Full-day excursion along the coast to the southern tip of Spain for a thorough visit to Gibraltar (120 km), the legendary rock at the entrance to the homonymous strait between Europe and Africa. Your tour guide will tell you the fascinating history of the Strait of Gibraltar, known in Antiquity as the “Pillars of Hercules,” and its connection with the dollar! In Gibraltar, our sightseeing will include Europa Point, from which the coast of Africa can be seen; the “Upper Rock” with its military installation and nature reserve where the famous monkeys live; St Michael's Cave, an impressive natural grotto inhabited during the neolithic; and of course the busy main street lined with shops, pubs and restaurants. Return to Torremolinos in late afternoon.

Day 7 - Tuesday, November 29: Malaga

Full-day excursion to Malaga, an important Mediterranean seaport since the time of the Phoenicians and one of the major urban centres of Andalusia. The city also boasts beaches, superb architecture, fine museums, and excellent shopping, cuisine, and wine! Our tour includes the foremost historical sites, such as the Roman Theatre; the Cathedral; the two hilltop fortresses dating back to the time when the Moors (i.e. Arabs) ruled this land, the Alcazaba and the Gibralfaro, where one can enjoy a fabulous panoramic view of the city, the harbour, and the blue Mediterranean Sea. Another highlight will be our visit to the museum dedicated to the world-famous Spanish artist Pablo Picasso, who was born here. Free time for lunch and some shopping, 

Day 8 - Wednesday, November 30: Antequera

Full-day excursion to the town of Antequera for a visit to another UNESCO World Heritage Site, featuring dolmens and other megalithic monuments, described as “one of the most remarkable architectural works of European prehistory and one of the most important examples of European Megalithism.” On to way back to our hotel, we visit the beautiful botanical and historical garden of La Conception.

Day 9 - Thursday, December 01: Day at leisure

 Free day to relax and/or explore Torremolinos on your own. Don’t miss the Thursday morning open-air market, a favourite of locals and tourists alike! You can also easily return to Malaga for some additional sightseeing or shopping, the transfer by train or bus takes only a half hour! If there is sufficient interest, an optional excursion may be offered to the famous Moroccan seaport of Tangier, involving a ferry crossing of the Strait of Gibraltar or to the Caminito del Rey, a breathtaking walkway stretched along the steep walls of a narrow river gorge!

Day 10 - Friday, December 02: Granada

Departure from Torremolinos after breakfast. We head for Granada, another UNESCO World Heritage Site, where we visit the world-famous Alhambra Palace and Gardens as well as the Cathedral with its famous Royal Chapel. In the afternoon we continue along the expressway to Madrid. Dinner and overnight in a first-class/four-star hotel.

Day 11 - Saturday, December 03: Madrid

 Morning coach tour of the Spanish capital, with all the highlights, including sights such as the bullring, Retiro Park, the monumental Alcala Gate, Cybele Fountain and Square, Bernabeu Stadium (home of the world-famous soccer team, Real Madrid), Columbus Square with the monument to the discovery of the New World, Plaza de Espana with the monument to Cervantes,  the Royal Palace, and the historical city centre around Plaza Mayor. Afternoon free to explore on your own, shop, or visit the Prado or another one of the city’s fine museums. This evening, final group dinner in a typical restaurant.

Day 12 - Sunday, December 04: Transfer to airport and return flight

The tour ends after an early breakfast and a short transfer to Madrid Airport in time for the departure around 10AM of Air Canada’s flight to Toronto.

ITINERARY PDF

EXPLORE THE AREA

INCLUDED

- Accommodation in four-star/first-class hotels, including the Melia Costa del Sol in Torremolinos, based on double occupancy. The supplement for single use of a double room is $595.00 - Transfers, sightseeing and excursions as shown in the itinerary by private coach; - Meals: buffet breakfast and dinner daily, and wine and water are included with dinner as per itinerary; - Sightseeing and visits as shown in the itinerary, including admissions; - Gratuities for local guide(s); - Hotel taxes and gratuities.

NOT INCLUDED

- All expenses of a personal nature; - Meals other than those shown above; - Gratuity for the coach driver(s), total of 25 Euros per person; - Optional Travel Insurance, available on an individual basis; please call our office for rates.

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