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Spain's Cultural Capitals 2014

From Only:
Itinerary : Madrid Barcelona

Trip Extensions

Post-trip: Malaga, Spain

On Spain’s Mediterranean Costa del Sol, Malaga provides a warm welcome for all who seek the balmy pleasures of Europe’s southernmost major city. In a leisurely four-night stay, you’ll be introduced to its rich history, which stretches back to the Phoenicians, and experience the seaside charms that drew Roman guards and Moorish caliphs, inspired native son Pablo Picasso, and still beckons sophisticated travelers today.

It's Included:
Air transportation from Barcelona to Malaga via Madrid
Accommodations for 4 nights in Malaga at the Maestranza Malaga Hotel or similar
4 meals: 4 breakfasts
Included tour: Malaga
Exclusive services of a Grand Circle Hospitality Desk representative
All transfers
  • This morning, conclude your Spain's Cultural Capitals itinerary as you fly from Barcelona to Malaga, with a connection in Madrid. Malaga is the main city of coastal Andalucia, and retains a distinctly Spanish flavor, with twisting, narrow streets and a lovely waterfront promenade. With its tall palm and plane trees, bougainvillea, aloes, and geraniums, it became a popular winter holiday site for the 19th-century wealthy. Today those same natural flourishes make for a luxurious tropical paradise alongside the bustling, modern port.

    After time to settle in, you're welcome to join a short orientation walk to get acquainted with your surroundings this afternoon.

    Malaga enjoys the good fortune of its location on the Costa del Sol, which provides a bounty of fresh seafood, as well as abundant local meat and produce. As a result, the laid-back restaurants and cafes offer an array of specialties to reward diners of all kinds. The most iconic dishes are pescaíto frito (little fish fried in olive oil then sprinkled with salt and lemon juice), and its grilled cousin, espeto (sardines threaded onto skewers). Perhaps you’ll have your first samples this evening, over dinner on your own. Your Grand Circle Hospitality Desk representative is happy to give you some suggestions.

  • To walk through Malaga is to take a trip through time, with evidence of 2,800 years of history, from the ancient walls raised by the Phoenicians who settled here, to the legacy of Picasso, who was born here. On a leisurely stroll today, you’ll follow the narrow lanes of the historic town center, with views of the ruins of an ancient Roman theater built more than 2,000 years ago, the majestic Moorish citadel Alcazaba, and the Cathedral of Malaga, which took more than 250 years to build and is crowned by a 276-foot tower.

    Your walk will culminate this morning at the Picasso Museum, home to 155 works by the renowned painter and sculptor. Interestingly, this tribute to a modern master is literally founded on the past: the basement level includes some of the original Phoenician walls, as well as Roman and Moorish structures.

    You’ll have lunch on your own in Malaga. You can choose among many restaurants that serve tapas, a varied and tasty selection of appetizer-sized dishes that add up to a full meal. The balance of the day is at leisure.

  • Continue discovering Malaga at your own pace today. Or join us for a half-day optional tour to discover a village that defines Andalucia. The town of Mijas is a picturesque pueblo blanco ("white village") set high in the Sierras overlooking the sea. You'll enjoy a walking tour, and then have some time to explore on your own. You might take a ride on one of the town's famous unmetered "donkey taxis," stroll through the many shops, or enjoy authentic Spanish plazas connected by a web of romantic cobblestone streets.

    Return to Malaga this evening for dinner on your own.

  • Today is yours to relax and soak up the atmosphere of this charming area that has enticed vacationers and artists seeking inspiration for decades. Perhaps you’ll visit the Malaga Bullring, where matadors still excel at this quintessential Spanish pastime. Picasso visited the bullring often as a child, and bullfighting became a frequent motif in his early works.

    • Meals included:

    After breakfast, transfer to the airport for your flight home, with a connection in Madrid.