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Itinerary

Day 1

We meet at Heathrow Airport for our direct late morning scheduled flight to Madrid. On arrival in Madrid we are met by our tour manager who will accompany us throughout our tour. We then transfer in our private coach to the 4* Catalonia Gran Via Hotel in Madrid for a five night stay. A set three course welcome dinner without drinks is included in our hotel this evening and the remaining four nights are on bed and breakfast basis.

Day 2

Today we visit Palacio de Liria, completed by Ventura Rodríguez in 1780. Being the main residence of the Alba family, the palace houses the Albas’ outstanding collection of art and Flemish tapestries. We continue to the Grassy Clock and Watch Museum, home to a fine collection of French, German and English clocks, dating from the 16th to 19th centuries.

Day 3

This morning we enjoy a guided tour at the Royal Palace. The palace is one of the few official seats of a Head of State that it is open to the public. Home to 3,418 rooms, it is the largest palace in Western Europe. We continue to the Naval Museum, depicting Spain’s maritime history from the end of the Middle Ages to the present day. During our visit we admire the pocket watch of Rear Admiral Casto Méndez Núnez. Dating back to 1868, the watch was made by watchmaker and chronometer maker José Rodriguez Losada. The Sabinet watch with its owners initials CMN is intertwined and formed with diamonds. Later this afternoon we visit the National Museum of Science and Technology. Created in June 1980, the museum houses an important collection of instruments and equipment, originating from different educational and research centres, and is testament to the evolution of science and technology, especially in Spain.

Day 4

We visit Museo Cerralbo this morning. This 19th century mansion near the Plaza de Espana is a monument to Enrique de Aguilera y Gamboa, the 17th Marquis of Cerralbo. A compulsive collector of art and artifacts, he bequeathed his lifetime’s collection to the nation in 1922. We continue to the Museo Lázaro Galdiano. The museum is housed in the former mansion-home of the writer José Lázaro Galdiano, and consists of his private collection of fine and applied art, bequeathed to the nation in 1947. The outstanding collection of art features paintings by English artists Constable, Turner, Gainsborough and Reynolds, as well as 17th century works by Velázquez, Zurbarán, Ribera, Murillo and El Greco. The museum is also home to a collection of 17th to 19th century clocks and watches. Our day concludes at the Museo Nacional de Artes Decorativas, dedicated to the evolution of industrial arts. Inspired by the Victoria and Albert Museum in London, the museum features notable works of furniture, glass, ceramics and textiles from the 16th to 17th centuries.

Day 5

This morning we travel to Toledo, known as the ‘city of the three cultures’, because Christians, Arabs and Jews lived together here for centuries. Behind its walls Toledo preserves an artistic and cultural legacy in the form of churches, palaces, fortresses, mosques and synagogues. A guided tour on arrival introduces us to sights such as the exterior of the magnificent 13th century cathedral, one of the largest cathedrals in modern Christianity. After free time for lunch, the afternoon is spent in Aranjuez where we enjoy a guided tour at the Royal Palace and its 740 acre gardens, Spain's most important of the Hapsburg period. At the palace there are French clocks from the Spanish Royal collection.

Day 6

En route to Salamanca, we visit San Lorenzo de El Escorial for a guided tour. Set in the foothills of the Sierra de Guadarrama and declared a World Heritage Site in 1984, the town contains museums, chapterhouses, a church, library and sumptuous apartments. It also houses some of the most important works of art of the royal Hapsburg collections. Felipe II’s imposing grey Palace of San Lorenzo de El Escorial was built between 1563 and 1584 in honour of St Lawrence, and its unornamented severity set a new architectural style that became one of the most influential in Spain. The interior was conceived as a mausoleum and contemplative retreat, rather than a splendid residence. We then enjoy a tour and tasting at a carefully selected vineyard. On arrival in Salamanca we check in at the centrally located 4* Abba Fonseca Hotel for a two night stay. A set three course dinner without drinks is included in our hotel both evenings.

Day 7

We explore the World Heritage Site of Salamanca’s historic city centre. Our guided walking tour takes in such sights as the 12th century old cathedral and the 16th century ‘new’ cathedral, the university and the Plaza Mayor, regarded as one of the finest in Europe. We then visit the Colección Andrés Santiago Zarzuelo. The exhibition includes a total of 144 clocks.

Day 8

We visit Palacio de La Granja near Segovia this morning. Commissioned by the Bourbon king Felipe V in 1719, the palace and magnificent gardens have been described as the first great estate of the Spanish Bourbon dynasty. The palace has clocks on display from the Spanish royal collection. Flight times permitting we then spend some time at leisure in Segovia. With its narrow streets and beautiful mansions, Segovia is best known for its Roman churches, aqueduct, cathedral and plaza. On the north west extreme of its medieval walls is the famous Alcazar castle where Queen Isabel promised Columbus the financial backing he needed to discover America. On the south east extreme is the world renowned Roman Aqueduct, the largest and best preserved of its kind. We then continue to Madrid Airport for our direct early evening scheduled flight back to Heathrow.

NB: Please note we reserve the right to alter the above itinerary if required for operational reasons. Given the historic nature of the places visited, a certain degree of walking will be involved, and this holiday may not be suitable for those with mobility problems. Flight details may be subject to change. Price based on twin share. Minimum numbers required. Normal booking conditions apply. Any air holidays and flights in this brochure are ATOL protected by the Civil Aviation Authority. Tailored Travel’s ATOL number is 5605.

Featuring

4* hotels in Madrid & Salamanca

Three dinners included

All excursions, entrance fees & guided tours included

Direct scheduled flights from London Heathrow to Madrid

Tour manager throughout

Executive coach in Spain

Audio headsets included on Days 2 to 7

Palacio de Liria

Grassy Clock & Watch Museum

Royal Palace - guided tour

Naval Museum

National Museum of Science & Technology

Museo Cerralbo

Museo Nacional de Artes Decorativas

Toledo - guided tour

Aranjuez - guided tour of the Royal Palace

San Lorenzo de El Escorial - guided tour

Wine tour & tasting

Salamanca - guided walking tour

Colección Andrés Santiago Zarzuelo

Palacio de La Granja

Segovia

Hotel

We stay five nights at the 4* Catalonia Gran Via Hotel in Madrid (www.cataloniahotels.com) and two nights at the centrally located 4* Abba Fonseca Hotel in Salamanca (www.abbafonsecahotel.com). Facilities at both hotels include a restaurant and a bar, and all rooms are en suite. A set three course dinner without drinks is served on Days 1, 6 and 7 and the remaining four nights are on a bed and breakfast basis.

Extras

Insurance (including Covid cover) £79

Double room for single use supplement £399

Gratuities

Local accommodation tax to be paid directly to the hotels

Dinners on Days 1, 6 & 7

Lunches

Optional Excursions

All excursions, entrance fees & guided tours included