Spain: Mosques, Cathedrals, and World-Famous Artwork
The Great Mosque of Cordoba has gone through something of an identity crisis over the past few centuries. Started in 785 and completed nearly 200 years later, the imposing mosque-cathedral has been used as a place of worship for both Muslims and Christians—and it has the distinctive blend of Moorish and European architectural features to prove it. It's easy to see why this UNESCO World Heritage Site has been held sacred for so long by so many. Inside, hundreds of stone columns support a canopy of red-and-white-striped arches, creating an atmosphere so captivating that the New York Times called the building "one of the true architectural wonders of the world." The Great Mosque is just one stop on this nine-day tour of Spain from Key Tours, which highlights the country’s diverse religious landscape and its classical artwork and architecture.
Click here to see a full daily itinerary.
Days 1–3: After an overnight flight, you'll arrive in Madrid and check in at the Hotel Husa Princesa. The next morning, a guide leads you on a tour of the capital city, which includes a stop at the more than 400-year-old Plaza Mayor, once a gathering place for local traders and bullfighters. Stone arches, religious murals, and statues of ancient kings abound, providing a historical backdrop for the throngs of travelers, street performers, and local artists filling the area.
Your next destination is the world-famous Museo Nacional de Prado, which houses classic Greco-Roman sculptures and iconic paintings by Goya, El Greco, Velazquez, and many more old masters. In the evening, take a stroll among the city’s massive fountains and historical buildings.
Days 4–5: Your journey takes you past the meadows and windmills of La Mancha—Don Quixote’s old stomping grounds—and into Cordoba. Here you'll visit the Great Mosque and explore the Jewish Quarter, which features several examples of historical Andalusian architecture. At night, settle in at Hotel Sevilla Center in Seville.
In the morning, you'll tour the city’s Gothic cathedral. A former mosque, the church is adorned with gilded stone carvings depicting various Bible stories. Giralda tower, a preserved minaret, overlooks Seville.
Day 6: This leg of the tour explores Ronda, a city steeped in history dating back to the sixth century BC. The oldest part of town, called La Ciudad, is known for its rugged cobblestone streets and beautiful churches. Walk across the ornate Puente Nuevo Bridge, which spans a 100-meter-deep gorge where the Guadalevin River separates old Ronda from the newer part of the city. Here you’ll pay a brief visit to a modern-day bullring before staying overnight at Meliá Granada in Granada.
Day 7: Surrounded by waterfalls and sprawling gardens, Granada’s La Alhambra Palace—home to royalty during the 13th century—is an icon of Moorish architecture. In sunlight, the palace takes on a ruddy hue, whereas moonlight gives the façade a silvery glow.
Days 8–9: The trek continues to Toledo for a visit to St. Tome Church, known for its Gothic arches and striking frescoes painted by El Greco. The next morning, you’ll wake up to a complimentary breakfast before heading back to the airport for the flight home. An optional three-day tour extension in Barcelona is available for an additional $440.
Read the Fine Print for important info on travel dates and other restrictions.