Begin your 10-day trip to Spain in the cosmopolitan capital of Spain’s Catalonia region: Barcelona! Explore the city’s broad spectrum of architecture, from its medieval roots in the Gothic quarter to the modernist, almost fantastical church that is Antoni Gaudi’s Sagrada Familia. From there we move to the university town of Granada. Located in the foothills of the Sierra Nevada mountains, this youthful city not only has an incredible nightlife, but boasts amazing examples of medieval architecture that dates back to the Moorish occupation of Spain. The beaches of Tarifa/Cadiz will offer prime time for tanning or surfing before we spend one final night in another beautiful Moorish city: Sevilla! From sangria, to tapas, to winding cobblestoned streets, sprawling castles and warm Mediterranean beaches, Spain has so much to offer to the traveler. And compared to the rest of Europe, it’s incredibly affordable, making it an ideal backpacker destination. Ten days will go by in a flash, as you float from amazing cultural experiences like La Boqueria market, to tucked-away tapas bars and soaring cathedrals. So brush up on your Spanish, and welcome to Spain!
May 20th to 30th 2017
July 5th to 15th 2017
Group arrival in Barcelona. Get ready to fall in love with this city. On the last day we’ll board our flight to Granada.
Arrive in Granada. We will have two nights to feast on all the delicious things! Not to mention visit the historic castle of Alhambra.
Depart Granada in private A/C bus and head for the beach! Here we will take 3 days to slow life down and enjoy what the south of Spain is famous for – that sweet Mediterranean sun and sea.
Arrive in the Moorish town of Seville for one more night of goodbye drinks, some last minute souvenir shopping and maybe even a Flamenco show. Those group members who are heading home depart the next morning. Those connecting to the 10-day Portugal trip will be joined by their new group members for one more night in this beautiful town before departing for Lagos, Portugal.
The Sagrada Familia is perhaps Barcelona’s most recognisable monument. A large Roman Catholic Church designed by famed Spanish architect Antoni Gaudí, it has been under construction since 1882. Although currently still incomplete, it is nonetheless a UNESCO World Heritage Sight. The incredible detail found in the church along with its avant-garde design combining Gothic and curvilinear Art Nouveau forms makes it a must-see while in Spain. Sagrada Familia’s construction has been very slow, relying on private donations and interrupted by the Spanish Civil War. It’s been 134 years in the making, but we will need to wait a little bit longer for it to be complete. The church’s anticipated completion date is 2026, marking the 100th anniversary of Gaudí’s death. Free & Easy is stoked to include a guided tour of this architectural masterpiece in our trip to Spain!
You can’t visit Spain without diving into the culinary delight that are Tapas. Because dinner in Spain is usually served between 9 and 11 p.m., and sometimes even later, tapas arose as a cultural necessity…people were getting downright hangry between the end of work and the serving of dinner. Small bite-sized appetizers or snacks, tapas can range from cold dishes likes mixed olives or cheese or different types of pickled foods, to hot bites like battered squid or meatballs with different sauces. No matter what you try, this is going to be a set of snacks that you will never forget. There is a reason Spain is famous for its cuisine. They can turn the most basic of food items into one of the most delicious culinary experiences of your life. The serving of tapas is meant to encourage conversation, since people aren’t focused on eating a huge meal; some tapas bars are even designed with little to no seating, so that patrons stand mingle while consuming their tapas (with a drink in hand of course). So grab your TFFs and head to that tapas bar you noticed tucked away in a little alley.
Spain’s food markets are an essential part of life in the country. Fresh produce and seafood is abundant; it’s part of what makes Spain’s culinary scene so outstanding. Each neighbourhood generally boats its own market where the commercial life of each area gathers. La Boquería in Las Ramblas is one of the most famed markets in Barcelona. Here you will find the freshest catch of the day, colourful fruits and vegetables, the most delicious cured meats (You must try the Jamon Iberico…it’s famous!), more olive oil (that you can ask to taste!) then you’ve seen in your life, and SO MUCH MORE! If you’re a foodie then La Boquiería is heaven. Even if you’re not, you’re going to want to go experience, and taste, it. Venturing into the market means discovering the essence of Barcelona.
Nothing compares to the feeling you get the first time you paddle into a wave, stand up as it breaks and ride the face of it – this is the incomparable feeling of surfing. When you get it right, you’ll know, because you’ll be more excited than the first time you had sex and probably more addicted to it, too! Surfing is arguably the most challenging sport in the world and requires you to learn much more than physical coordination. In order to surf a wave, you’ll need patience, discipline, a lack of fear and an insatiable urge to have fun. There aren’t many places in Europe that can post wicked surf scenes, but Spain and Portugal sure can! These countries have become known among surf aficionados for small towns with killer breaks. Ready, set, paddle!
ACTIVITIES: SPAIN (10 DAYS)
OPTIONAL ACTIVITIES: SPAIN (10 DAYS)