Spain: Madrid, Carmona and Granada
Fly in/out: Madrid, Spain (MAD)
Recommended ages: 10 and up
Ball Park Price: $2,000/person for 4 travellers
Time: CST plus 7
Best Season: April-November. July and August may be touristy.
DAY ONE: Fly American Airlines (Operated by Iberia) and arrive at Madrid Airport (MAD). Check in to Hotel AC Palacio del Retiro. Meet guide arranged through Made for Spain and take a guided tour through Prado Museum and the City’s Art Walk.
DAY TWO: Take a historical and royal Madrid guided walking tour. Visit the Royal Palace and the Old Quarter of Madrid. Spend late afternoon in Plaza Mayor.
DAY THREE: Take a taxi to Madrid Atocha Train Station and take high speed train to Toledo. Take a guided tour through Toledo. Visit the Cathedral, Jewish Quarter, Santa Maria la Blanca Synagogue and Santo Tome Church.
DAY FOUR: Begin car rental and drive approximately 5 hours to Carmona. Stop at Almagro and Consuegra to see windmills. Check in at the Parador de Carmona.
DAY FIVE: Enjoy a day excursion to Seville. Drive to Seville and visit Giralda, Alcazar and Santa Cruz Quarter.
DAY SIX: Drive one hour to Cordoba. Explore Cordoba and attend an equestrian show in the Royal Stables in Cordoba.
DAY SEVEN: Drive approximately two hours to Granada. Stop at Antequera and explore. Drop off rental car at Granada Train Station and taxi to hotel. Check in at Hotel AC Palacio de Santa Paula. Explore Granada.
DAY EIGHT: Take a guided walking tour to the Alhambra. Visit the Alhambra Palaces and Generalife Gardens and Albaicin Quarter.
DAY NINE: Take the High Speed Train in the morning back to Madrid. Arrive in Madrid and transfer to hotel.
DAY TEN: Check out and fly on American home.
- Madrid was beautiful and we especially liked the Prado Museum, the Royal Palace, and the City’s Art Walk. (Paseo del Arte). We enjoyed the La Latina area, Plaza Mayor and Puerta del Sol for strolling, eating and going to the local markets.
- We enjoyed our one day train trips to explore the other beautiful cities including Toledo and Cordoba.
- We especially liked the town of Granada. There were musicians in the street, we were close to the beach and we were surrounded by the Sierra Nevada Mountains.
- We loved the Prado Museum and the Royal Palace of Madrid. Both remarkable and beautiful days. Having a guided tour was especially worthwhile as they gave us the right amount of art history and explored the areas that would be of greatest interest to the kids.
- We’re an equestrian family, we loved the Royal Stables and the Equestrian Show in Cordoba.
- The Alhambra and Generalife Gardens was a beautiful ½ day excursion learning about the history of Spain.
Places to stay
- The Marriott in Madrid, Hotel AC Palacio del Retiro, was modern and had an American feel to the hotel. This was essential for getting adjusted. We enjoyed our easy continental breakfasts in the morning. We had two adjoining rooms.
- The Parador De Carmona in Carmona, had a pool and a castle-like feel within a beautiful setting, so the whole family was content.
- Hotel AC Palacio de Santa Paula, another Marriott Hotel, but a Spanish feel. Very conveniently located for all the Granada day trips.
- Madrid offers larger lunches called “set menus”. These are the larger meals of the day. Dinners are lighter serving tapas. Our best treat was the chocolatiers throughout the city. We especially loved Chocolateria San Gines in Puerta Del Sol Plaza. Open 24 hours!
- We also loved the markets for selecting our food eating on the spot.
- Café Oliver offers a reasonably priced set menu with a family friendly menu.
- Jurucha-one of our favorites. They have a long bar showing many different tapas to choose from.
- In Granada, we liked Cunini for seafood.
- We used Made for Spain to help book the entire trip. This helped with transportation, transfers, custom itinerary, tour guides and advance purchases of museums avoiding all lines.
- Try to arrange early check in if possible. Having a place to go and put your feet up was essential before heading to Prado Museum.
- When visiting cathedrals, men should wear trousers and not shorts and ladies should have their shoulders covered.
- Remember to get advance tickets on your own or through a guide to some of the more popular sites. Lines were very long.
- For the set menus, which are preset meals offered during lunchtime, plan to make reservations in advance.
- Also, tour guides are available to guide you through Madrid which allows you to skip long lines and receive an education on the city. Another good tour group is Madrid Tour and Travel.
- We chose not to see a bullfight although an iconic tourist event as they still do kill the bull at the end. For more information, see Rick Steve’s page to explain.
- We wish we had a flight out of Granada and a more direct way back without the added stay overnight. Once kids are done, they’re done!