Castles in Spain : Cultural Tour
6th – 12th September 2018
Image : El Cid - Burgos
The title of this tour implies the search for a perfect goal – somewhere that fulfils our aspirations and ambitions. That fine-sounding if slightly pretentious opening, in fact, boils down to, ‘Come with us to the perfect location for a 7-day cultural holiday’.
There are over 500 medieval castles in central and northern Spain. They represent a unique cultural heritage; Visigoths built some on Roman foundations, many were built by the Moors and others by the Castilians whose very name derives from the Land of Castles. This excellent tour takes us from castle to magic castle. We stay in two of them, now converted into extraordinary Paradors; the Moorish citadel of Sigüenza and the 16th-century Ducal Palace in Lerma, the seat of one of the most influential nobles in 16th-century Europe.
This wonderful tour is a synthesis of all that makes Spain a unique destination; extraordinary historical towns and cities, spectacular landscapes, corners of Europe unvisited by most travellers – and outstanding and authentic food and wine.
DAYS 1, 2, 3 and 4 : Flying into Madrid our route takes us east to Siguenza, one of the best-preserved villages in Castile. It is dominated by two magnificent buildings, the cathedral and the 13th-century castle in which we spend three nights.
The region is full of history and medieval architecture. Following in the footsteps of the Visigoths, the Moors and the heroes of the Castilian Reconquest – including no less a personage than El Cid – we explore the fortified villages of Atienza. Jadraque and, of course, Siguenza – whose cathedral contains (among other things) possibly the most exquisite piece of funereal art in the Iberian Peninsula.
On Day 4 we move on to our home for the final three nights, the outstanding Parador at Lerma, located in the Palace of the Dukes of Lerma, who were intimates of Kings Charles V and Philip II and one of the most influential families in Europe. The buildings of the Parador are majestic and form the central feature of one of the great citadels of Spain.
En route from Siguenza to Lerma, we visit three beautiful medieval Castilian villages, each set around a lovely central square: Ayllón, Riaza and Sepúlveda. This is Old Spain at its most charming and authentic – a breath of fresh air in this era of mass tourism.
DAYS 5, 6 & 7 : Lerma is a stone’s throw from one of Spain’s great medieval cities, Burgos, and it would be unforgivable not to spend some time in this magnificent place. Its gothic cathedral alone ‘vaut le voyage’. We also travel down to the castles at Cuéllar and Peñafiel – both fascinating and visually outstanding – while Peñafiel has the added attraction of housing the headquarters of wine-production in the Ribera del Duero.
DAY 7 : We drive to Madrid for our return flight to the UK
Tour dates : 6th – 12th September 2018
Number of days : 7
Price : £2275 (Prices are per person based on 2 sharing a twin or double room).
Single supplement : £225
Fully inclusive : Flights, transfers, accommodation and meals are all included.
Number in party : 12 – 16