Another major tour to mark our 30th anniversary! It is many years since we last included Roman Spain. Spain has some of the most impressive and important Roman remains in the world. The Romans were highly organized and relentless in the way they colonized Spain‚ so major Roman sites are scattered throughout the vastness of the Iberian Peninsula. Fortunately, the Spanish rail network is now so efficient that we are able to offer a tour which includes a significant number of these sites.
The tour starts in Madrid at the superb National Museum of Archaeology. We then proceed on the Talgo express down to Mérida‚ Augusta Emerita of the Romans. Here we have an astonishing number and quality of sites – the theatre‚ amphitheatre‚ circus‚ several major villas‚ a remarkable bridge (the longest Roman bridge in existence) and the beautiful National Museum of Roman Art.
On Day 4‚ we continue south to Seville‚ Roman Hispalis. 6 kilometres away are the ruins of Italica and 25 kilometres east‚ the town of Carmona with an amphitheatre and a remarkable necropolis.
On Day 6 we take the AVE high-speed express which links Seville with the rest of Spain. Tarragona is 800 kilometres away but the AVE transports us effortlessly in just over 4 hours! This takes us from the heart of Roman Betica to the capital of Tarraconiensis by lunchtime.
Tarragona was one of the great cities of the Mediterranean world. Much of it remains to remind us of the empire it represented – theatre‚ hippodrome‚ aqueduct‚ palaces‚ a stone quarry among many other things make Tarragona an unforgettable witness of the ancient world.
The structure of the tour allows us two whole days in Mérida‚ a day and a half in Seville‚ including visits to Italica and Carmona and a day and a half in Tarragona. We fly back from Barcelona.