Madrid, Gibraltar and Malaga by First Class rail
Prices from £1,395 per person
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Experience the magic of the Spanish mainland, including the British enclave of Gibraltar, on this wonderful 10 night / 11 day holiday. From London you travel via Barcelona to Madrid, the vibrant Spanish capital with one of the finest art collections, a growing reputation for culinary excellence and an infectious energy and love of life. You then continue to Gibraltar, the marvellous British territory with its resident Barbary macaques and relaxed pace of life. From here you visit the glorious coastal city of Malaga, before returning to the UK by air.
10 night / 11 day holiday from £1,395 per person (based on two people travelling together) for a departure in early March – please note prices may vary at other times of the year. A ‘no fly’ option for your return journey is also available.
Day 1 – London to Barcelona
Your holiday begins as you enter the stunningly restored St. Pancras International station. Take your time to appreciate the splendour of the magnificent glass roof, then sit back, relax and watch the countryside swish past as you travel by Eurostar to Paris at speeds of up to 186mph. Enjoy the light meal and drinks served on board in Standard Premier Class (Eurostar’s 1st class for leisure travellers). On arrival at the Gare du Nord, your taxi transfer takes you across Paris to the Gare de Lyon where you join the high speed TGV service for your onward journey south through France and Spain to Barcelona. On arrival at Barcelona Sants station make your own way the short distance to your hotel for tonight, the highly-rated Nobu Hotel (4 star).
Day 2 – Barcelona to Madrid
After a relaxed start to the morning, make your way back to Barcelona Sants station. Here you join the AVE service for the journey to vibrant Madrid. On arrival into Madrid Puerta de Atocha station make your own way to your hotel for the next three nights, the impressive Hotel Villa Real (5 star) ideally situated in the heart of the Spanish capital.
Days 3 and 4 – Sightseeing in Madrid
Discover the wealth of experiences on offer in the Spanish capital during your two full days here. You might like to visit Madrid’s golden triangle of art; The Prado Museum (best for El Greco) celebrating its 200th anniversary in 2019, the more intimate Reina Sofía Museum and Thyssen-Bornemisza Museum (for 18th – 20th century art), all located within striking distance of each other on the Paseo del Arte. Perhaps head down the Carrera de San Jerónimo, past the Parliament and onto Sol, in the heart of the city. From here why not take Calle Mayor to the Plaza Mayor and the surrounding wonders of the old Madrid of the Asturias, capped by the opulent Royal Palace?
Day 5 – Madrid to Algeciras and on to Gibraltar
This morning you bid farewell to Madrid as you make your way back to the station and take the train to Algeciras. Sit back and watch the world go by or simply revel in the romanticism of rail travel across Europe as you head southwards through the changing Spanish scenery towards the coast. You then arrive in the bustling port city of Algeciras, where you are transferred (payable locally) to the British enclave of Gibraltar and your hotel for the next three nights, the popular Caleta Hotel (4 star), where you stay in a sea view room.
Days 6 and 7 – At leisure in Gibraltar
Take two whole days to discover more of Gibraltar. Poised strategically at the jaws of Europe and Africa, Gibraltar has enjoyed a strange reputation as a British territory in a Spanish culture, without ever fully belonging to either. The area is characterised by its Palladian architecture, naval history and Barbary macaques, along with of course its red post boxes. Highlights of Gibraltar include The Rock, one of Europe’s most dramatic landforms. Here you can visit the intricate network of caves and tunnels in addition to the Moorish castle. The nature reserve is also an ideal vantage point for watching migrating birds.
Day 8 – Gibraltar to Malaga
Today you are returned to Algeciras, where you join the regional service eastwards via Bobadilla to Malaga. You then arrive in the lively city of Malaga at the Maria Zambrano station. From here you are making your own arrangements on foot to your hotel for three nights, the welcoming Barcelo Hotel (4 star).
Days 9 and 10 – Malaga
Make the most of two full days to explore Malaga and the adjoining Costa del Sol. Take your time to plan your stay in this historic city. You might like to take a stroll through the old town and seek out the area’s best tapas, before taking a trip to the impressive Alcazaba and Castillo de Gibralfaro, standing high above the city. For an alternative look at the city, head up to the ancient Moorish gardens and corresponding architecture or experience the city’s artistic heritage at the Museum of Glass and Crystal and Picasso Museum. Malaga’s ideal location on the shores of the Mediterranean is just a short journey to many attractions. Why not head into the hills and visit the famous Alpujarras – a region of white villages perched on the southern flanks of the Sierra Nevada. Ronda is a short jaunt west and a notable city unto itself, spanning a gorge of monumental renown. Alternatively Nerja has a nice seaside feel to it – probably due to the beauty of its beach, or just over an hour to the north-east lies Granada with the famous Alhambra at its gate.
Day 11 – Homeward bound
Today you check out of the hotel and take the local train to Malaga airport (payable locally), where you fly to the regional UK airport of your choice (subject to availability) for the final leg of your homeward journey.