11 days
Level 1 - Introductory to Moderate

Spain Short Tour | Small Group Tours Spain

Enjoy this short tour of Spain designed for mature travellers. This unique travel experience gives you the opportunity to discover Iberia in an escorted small group program. Experience a country with a rich history, diverse culture and delicious food. Once a formidable and mighty empire, Spain had access to great wealth and used this to create many of the monuments, structures and heritage sites we admire today.

The Iberian Peninsula in particular is renowned for its red wine, exotic cuisine and bustling street life. Starting in the vibrant beach-side city of Barcelona, we will travel through northern Spain into Rioja and Basque country before visiting the industrial city of Bilbao. After Bilbao we head back down to Spain's incredible capital Madrid, where we get a chance to see how Spain has contributed to the world of art.

Highlights of this short tour of Spain

The small group short tour to Spain is fully escorted and makes great use of local guides whose knowledge enhances the program. Some highlights you can expect from this vacation include a visit to La Rioja, an autonomous community in the north of Spain famed for its red wine and vast blue skies, the incredible Guggenheim Museum in Bilbao, and the Royal Palace in Madrid. This will offer you everything you could want in a small group holiday, from the chance to sip red wine against a rugged, mountainous backdrop, to eating tapas in the bars of Barcelona, to exploring some of Madrid's amazing churches and learning of its complex religious history.

This Spain Short Tour  is limited to 14 travellers. Odyssey offers two departures a year as well as a long version of the program that includes Portugal and southern Spain.

For more details, click the ‘Top 5’ or ‘Itinerary’ buttons above! If you’re keen to experience this tour, please call or send an email. Or, to book, simply fill in the form on the right hand side of this page.

This tour is featured in our brochure as "Discovering Iberia - Short Tour"

Articles about Spain published by Odyssey Traveller.

The following list of articles published by odyssey Traveller for mature aged and senior travellers to maximise their knowledge and enjoyment of Spain when visiting;

External articles to assist you on your visit to Spain

Other Odyssey Tours:

Small group Short tour of Spain  is only one of many Spain and Portugal tours offered by Odyssey Traveller. For more details, click the ‘Top 5’ or ‘Itinerary’ buttons above! If you’re keen to experience this tour, please call or send an email. Or, to book, simply fill in the form on the right hand side of this page.

Frequently Asked Questions About Spain

The best time to visit Spain is during the spring and fall, offering the traveller the best combination of good weather, fewer crowds, but a lively time in the cities with lots of activities to choose from. At Odyssey Traveller, we make it a point to travel during this “shoulder season”, the months between peak season and low season; this is why our small group tours to Spain depart in May (spring) and September (fall). This schedule avoids the massive crowds in April travelling to Catholic Spain for Easter, the unbearably hot days of August, and the sub-zero temperatures of a Spanish winter.

The history of Spanish architecture is shaped by Spain’s successive rulers. The Romans and the Visigoths left behind their distinctive styles and building techniques. Moorish invasion in the 8th century brought Islamic influences to the Iberian Peninsula, which eventually gave rise to the Mudejar style (12th to 17th centuries) which was a blending of European Christian and Islamic influences in architecture. For the most part, Spain was also influenced by the architectural movements of the Continent, but in the 17th century, it would develop its own vernacular strand of Baroque, called Spanish Baroque. Baroque, as we’ve written before, is characterised by elaborate designs, luxurious materials, and ornate extravagance, and had its roots in Renaissance Rome and spread from Italy to the rest of continental Europe. Spanish Baroque, commonly seen in religious buildings, was at times more elaborate and indulgent than the Baroque style that developed on the Continent.

Of course, discussion of Spanish architecture will not be complete without mentioning Antoni Gaudi, whose unique style was inspired by various architectural eras–Mudejar, Gothic, Baroque–but after 1902 “his designs elude conventional stylistic nomenclature“. The famous Catalan architect worked in Barcelona, and we will get the chance to visit his iconic constructs on this tour

Paella is one of the most well-known dishes in Spanish cuisine, and a dish you may have already tried at your local restaurant. But authentic paella originates from the Valencian region. “Paella” in the Valencian regional language, means “frying pan”. Ingredients for Paella Valenciana include chicken or rabbit, rice, beans, and saffron for seasoning and colour. A seafood paella swaps the meat for seafood.

Gazpacho is a tomato-based soup and is Andalucian in origin. Made from ripe tomatoes, olive oil, garlic, bread, peppers, and cucumber blended together, this soup is served chilled, sometimes in glasses. This may strike some as strange at first, but it is a refreshing savoury treat in the heat of summer.

A tapa is an appetizer in Spanish cuisine, and one staple tapa is patatas bravas (“brave potatoes”), in which potatoes are cubed, fried, and often served with a spicy tomato sauce.

Jamón, or cured ham, is also a staple, made by salting a leg of ham and hanging it to dry. Jamón Serrano (“of the mountain”) comes from white pigs and is what you’ll commonly see in Spain. Another type, Jamón Iberico, is more expensive and comes from black pigs. Thin slices of melt-in-your-mouth jamón are a good salty accompaniment to wine before having your main dish.

Tour Notes
  • Group size is limited to a maximum of 18 participants.

PDF of Tour PDF of Reading List

Overview: Upon arrival in Barcelona, we will come to the hotel individually. Our tour begins with an orientation and welcome dinner.


Accommodation: 3 nights at Amister Hotel or similar.

Overview: This morning we will meet our local guide at our hotel and embark on a full day guided tour of Barcelona. Today we visit the Miro Foundation Museum.

Once part of the Aragonese Empire, Catalonia is now an autonomous Spanish province, proud of its distinctive language and culture. Stretching from the Mediterranean to the Pyrenees, it was here that the Romans first landed on the Iberian peninsula and founded a new “colonnia” on the site of a previous Carthaginian settlement, the area now forming Barcelona’s “Barri Gotic.” Catalonian heritage is a mixture of old and new as ancient churches and monuments vie for attention with the Modernist school of Gaudi and Dali. The Catalonian capital reflects this contrast with architecture ranging from its Gothic cathedral to Gaudi’s modernist Sagrada Familia.


Accommodation: Amister Hotel or similar.

Overview: Today we will continue to explore Barcelona. We will view the main sights of the city, walk along the Paseo de Gracia, and walk through the Barrio Gothic. Entrance to the Museum of Contemporary Art is included. We will have lunch individually, and afternoon touring takes us to the Pauau de La Musica Catalana, with a guided tour and entrance to Sagrada Familia cathedral.


Accommodation: Amister Hotel or similar.

Overview: Today we will check out of our hotel early and travel to the region of Calahorra. We will visit the Picasso Museum with entrance to the Design Hub Museum. We will take the high speed train from Barcelona to Zaragoza. Zaragoza, founded by the Romans in 25 BC, features some of Spain’s best examples of Mudejar architecture.


Accommodation: 1 night at Parador de Calahorra or similar.

Overview: This morning we will travel to Pamplona, famed for the running of its bulls. We will meet our local guide for a tour of the city. After lunch at own arrangements, we carry on to Bilbao.


Accommodation: 1 night at Tryp Bilbao Arenal Hotel or similar.

Overview: We will view the main sights of the port city of Bilbao with our guide, who will show us the city’s highlights. Today’s highlight is the amazing Guggenheim Museum. We will drive to Haro and stop at La Rioja for a vineyard tour and tasting in the afternoon, before continuing to Burgos. We will return to our hotel for dinner.


Accommodation: 1 night at Meson del Cid or similar.

Overview: Today we will have a city tour of Burgos, with entrance to the Cathedral. We will drive to Segovia with a stop for lunch in Santo Domingo de la Calzada, and view the Roman Aqueduct before heading to Madrid where we stay for 4 nights.


Accommodation: 3 nights at Hotel Agumar or similar.

Overview: Madrid is the capital of Spain and Europe’s highest capital city, located close to the country’s geographical centre on the Castilian Plateau. With a population of over 3 million, it offers a rich treasure chest of Spain’s art and ancient monuments. We include entrances to the Royal Palace and the Prado Museum. We will head back to our hotel for Tapas Dinner this evening.


Accommodation: Hotel Agumar or similar.

Overview: Today we will join our local guide to explore Toledo. We will visit the Synagogue de Santa Maria la Blanca, Sante Tome Church, the cathedral, and the Alcazar. We have a free afternoon before meeting up with our local guide for an evening wining and dining in 4 of the local tapas bars.


Accommodation: Hotel Agumar or similar.

Overview: After breakfast, the tour will end.


Explore the beautiful city of Toledo.
Marvel at Madrid and the architectural splendours of the Catalan Barcelona.
Experience La Rioja, the mountain kingdom of Navarra, and neighbouring Basque Country with its astounding Guggenheim Museum.
Explore the history of Iberia and its measured way of life.
Sample the famous red wines of Spain and enjoy the rich texture of its street life.

What’s included in our Tour

  • 10 nights of hotel accommodation.
  • 9 breakfasts and 6 dinners.
  • Transport and field trips as indicated.
  • Applicable entry fees and services of local English speaking guides.
  • Touring by comfortable and modern coach.
  • Gratuities and necessary tips.
  • Services of an Odyssey Tour Leader.
  • Detailed tour information booklet.

What’s not included in our Tour

  • Comprehensive international travel insurance.
  • Return economy class international airfare and departure taxes.
  • Airport transfers.
  • Items of a personal nature such as telephone calls and laundry.

Map of Spain tour

Short Spain tours
Small Group Guided Tours to Spain and Portugal Barcelona Park Guell
Malaga, Andalusia, Spain.
Barcelona Cathedral. Spain.
Discovering Iberia Barcelona Casa Batllo Gaudi Spain
Guggenheim, Bilbao
Sagrada Familia
San Marcos, old hospital for pilgrims of the Way of St. James, Leon, Spain
Casa Batlo, Antonio Gaudi, Barcelona
La Sagrada Familia Gaudi, Barcelona
Avila, Spain

Tour Reviews

November 6, 2019

Cannot speak too highly of our tour director, Stephan De Roeck. Stephan’s local knowledge, command of the language, care for our welfare and unfailing good humour made everyone feel special.
Participant May 2018

November 6, 2019

This tour was really wonderful in its scope of meeting Spanish culture and history. Being able to link it in with my previous European travels was very meaningful to me. I was totally impressed by every aspect of the tour.
Participant May 2018

November 6, 2019

I like Odyssey – it provides small groups where you can get to know one another.
Angela L. Sep ’18

November 6, 2019

Great small mature travellers tour. Well organised, great hotels , lovely food, local knowledgeable guides showed us around their towns. With entry included to the majority of sites. A comfortable small coach so the fourteen of us had plenty of room but we weren’t in a massive coach. It wasn’t really like the other tours following someone with a flag. We were more like a group of friends out exploring.
Lesley and Ken S. May ’19

November 6, 2019

This was a wonderful tour, crammed with experiences of Spain, and all delivered apparently with the greatest ease. Well done!
John M. May ’19

November 6, 2019

This was by far the ‘best’ Tour I’ve experienced both with Odyssey and with other companies – small, pleasant group etc.
The tour guidelines, itinerary etc were the best I’ve had in comparison to other tours. I particularly liked the graph of the expected weather in Spain (makes packing easier).
I’m a vegetarian and know that in a tour such as ours providing food for me can be fraught. Almost without exception the restaurant/hotel meals were worthy of a 5 star restaurant. My meals always met the five food group criteria and were beautifully presented – we even photographed some! The restaurants even managed vegetarian tapas!
Carol T. May ’19

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