Day 1 - Arrive in Malaga, Spain. Check into your hotel. The rest of day is free to start exploring Malaga on the glorious Costa del Sol (Coast of the Sun). Tonight, meet your Tour Director and fellow travelers.
Day 2 - Malaga - Loja - Granada. Your morning begins with an orientation drive around Malaga, the southernmost large city in Europe and birthplace of Pablo Picasso. Founded by the Phoenicians around 770 BC, it's one of the oldest cities in the world. Later, head inland through grandiose scenery for a stop in Loja. Captured and held by the Moors, it was formerly known as Medina Lawsa until it was recaptured by the Christians in 1486 during the Reconquista. Explore this "flower among thorns" before traveling on to history-steeped Granada for two overnights. (B,D)
Day 3 - Granada. Granada is ideally situated at the foot of the great Sierra Nevada mountain range and at the confluence of four rivers. Accompanied by a Local Guide, enjoy an included visit of the ALHAMBRA, a lavish complex built by Moorish kings. With construction dating back to 889 AD, you'll marvel at its architectural beauty and magnificent gardens. This afternoon, there's time to explore on your own. (B,D)
Day 4 - Granada - Cordoba. Depart Granada today and drive through the verdant vineyards of Andalusia. In Montilla, stop at a WINE CELLAR and taste the local wine. Later, reach the banks of the Guadalquivir River to arrive in Spain's most Moorish city, Cordoba. Join the optional excursion to visit the fascinating Cathedral of Cordoba, one of the most important examples of Moorish architecture outside the Arab world. Originally a Catholic church built by the Visigoths, it was converted to a grand mosque when the Muslims conquered Spain in the 8th century. After the Reconquista, it was converted once again to a Roman Catholic church in 1236. The afternoon is at leisure, with time to wander along winding streets past quintessential white-washed houses and through colorful squares. (B,D)
Day 5 - Cordoba - Écija - Seville. Journey into the heart of the Andalusian countryside, with a stop in picturesque Écija. Then, continue to the elegant city of Seville. An optional city sightseeing excursion is available to see many of the city's highlights. This evening, experience the colorful spectacle of Seville's famous dance culture at an optional Flamenco excursion. (B,D)
Day 6 - Seville. The whole day is yours to explore this wonderful Andalusian city, epitome of Spain with its fiery Flamenco, Moorish splendor, fragrant gardens, and elegant plazas. Admire the many highlights as you sightsee around this beautiful, 2,200-year-old capital. Maybe spend time exploring the 15th-century Cathedral of St. Mary, built on the former site of the city's mosque and featuring the longest nave in Spain; the Alcazar, developed from a previous Moorish palace; and the magnificent Plaza de España in Maria Luisa Park, created for the Ibero-American Expo of 1929 and used as a filming location in Lawrence of Arabia, Star Wars: The Phantom Menace, and Star Wars: Attack of the Clones. (B)
Day 7 - Seville - Ronda - Malaga. This morning, journey along the "Route of the Bulls," passing the Carthusian Monastery of Jerez, for a stop in Ronda. The symbol of all Andalusian white-washed villages, Ronda is full of historic charm and is home to three stunning bridges that span the canyon that divides the city. See the spectacular 18th-century Puente Nuevo bridge, offering breathtaking views of Tajo Gorge. Later, a scenic drive for your return to Malaga for a final overnight. (B)
Day 8 - Malaga. Your vacation ends with breakfast this morning. (B)