Day 1: Madrid
Enjoy a guided tour of the city today. Visit the Plaza de Espagna, the Royal Palace & Plaza de la Paja, previously a commercial centre in Madrid, during the middle ages. Spend the remainder of the day at leisure after the tour.
Day 2: Madrid
Explore the Museo del Prado this morning. After lunch, take a walking tour of Old Madrid, where you will see 17th-century palaces & mansions. If time allows, we will visit Plaza Mayor & the Museo de America. Built by Juan Gomez de Mora during the reign of Philip III (1619), the Plaza Mayor is the architectural centre of Madrid.
Day 3: Madrid & Toledo
Morning travel to Toledo, a city rich in history, buildings, & art. Every corner has a tale to be told, every aspect reflects the brilliant period of Spanish History when cultures of the East & West flourished & fused. Upon arrival, we'll visit the centre of Old Toledo, & walk along the maze of narrow lanes past churches, old houses, & palaces. Visit the Alcazar before returning to the hotel for dinner & an overnight stay.
Day 4: Toledo & Merida
Depart Toledo, & travel to Merida. Merida is known as the tranquil historic town at the heart of Extremadura & the former capital of the Roman province of Lusitania. Visit the Museo Nacional de Arte Romano & the Teatro Romano, built by Agrippa in the classical style of great theatres, in Rome in 24 BC. Enjoy dinner & an overnight stay in Merida.
Day 5: Merida
Today we will visit Roman Merida, founded in 25 BC by the Roman governor Augustus. Romans lavished upon its temples, a theatre & an amphitheatre. You might also choose to visit the Alcazaba, built by the Moors as a fortress in the 9th century to defend the 792 meter Puente Romano.
Day 6: Merida & Caceres
Travel to Caceres later this morning. Upon arrival, walk around Caceres Viejo (Old Caceres). Visit Almohad, a 12th-century Moorish dynasty with walls punctuated by several towers - towers that once provided protection for the unique Gothic & renaissance mansion houses that embellish this historic city.
Day 7: Caceres & Salamanca
Head to Salamanca, the University City. Iberian in origin, it was conquered by Hannibal in the 2nd century & flourished under the Romans who built the Puente Romano. Upon arrival, visit Patio de las Escuelas (School's Square). This area is surrounded by the best examples of Salamanca's Plateresque (Spanish Renaissance architecture). A bronze statue of Fray Luis de Leon stands in the middle of the square. The former university principal's residence is now Museo Unamuno. Enjoy dinner & an overnight stay in Salamanca.
Day 8: Salamanca
Visit the Monumental Centre to see Plaza Mayor, Casa de la Muertes, & Pallacio de Monterrey, a typical Renaissance palace built in 1539. Spend the remainder of the day at leisure.
Day 9: Salamanca & Avila
Discover Avilla, known as "The City of Saints & Stones." It is the best preserved walled city in the world. The Old City of Avila & its churches outside the walls were registered in 1985 as a Mankind Heritage Site. Visit the medieval town, the Gothic cathedral, & its fortifications.
Day 10: Avila & Madrid
Transfer to the airport in Madrid, & board return flight home.