Spain Tour to Castile and León

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The Gothic Cathedral of Burgos

We’re leading another tour to one of our favorite places in all our travels – and our erstwhile second home: Spain.

This tour will focus on the classic central regions of Spain: Castile and León. We’ll start in Madrid and then work our way across the central plains (where the rain mainly stays) to the picturesque cities of Segovia, Ávila, Zamora, León, and Burgos. Dates are September 4-16, 2024.

Included is a special visit to the village of Pedraza, where Kris and I lived for a month in our youth. We’ll see iconic cathedrals and castles, experience the classic cuisine and wines, and dip into the history of kings and saints.

And, we’ll include one Spanish cooking class, and a tour and tasting at a winery in our favorite Spanish wine region: Ribera del Duero.

Our tour will commence in September, and the weather in Spain should be very congenial. You can look forward to warm days and pleasant evenings. The September dates will also allow us to avoid the largest tourist crowds typical of Spain in the summer.

We know Spain very well. We lived in Barcelona and Madrid and have been back to Spain dozens of times, including our two previous tours to Spain in Fall 2022 and Spring 2023. In all, we’ve spent more than four years of our lives in Spain, and we both speak fluent Spanish.

Now we want to share our enthusiasm for the country, its food and people. With the help of local guides and our personal contacts, we want this to be your best Spain experience, whether its your first trip or your fifth.

Here’s what makes our Travel Past 50 Tours unique:

  • Small group tours (maximum 12 guests)
  • Accompanied by Kris and Tom, with benefit of their life-long travel experience
  • Custom-created itineraries combining cultural experiences with local cuisine and active tour options
  • Sufficient unscheduled time
  • Additional local expert guides as appropriate
  • Local secrets not usually on tourist itineraries
  • Comfortable travel, luxury touches, and affordable rates
  • Kris and Tom’s helpful travel tips, shared with the group via personal communications in advance of the trip: getting ready to travel, what to pack, recommended reading, and how to enjoy to the max

We’ve built this itinerary based on our personal experience, and it reflects our own travel style. We’ve included just the right amount of free time to give everyone a chance to explore on their own – or ply us for more individual suggestions.

Table of Contents

Spain: Castile and León Tour Itinerary

Dates: September 4-16, 2024

  • 13 days, 12 nights

Day 1, Madrid (Arrival Day)

  • Upon arrival at the Madrid Airport or train station, you’ll be picked up by our private driver and taken to our hotel in the center of Madrid. Once everyone has arrived, we’ll have an evening orientation and welcome dinner featuring traditional Madrid dishes
  • Included meals: Dinner

Day 2, Madrid

  • Half-day guided tour of Madrid’s most important landmarks, strolling through the Retiro Park, admiring the historic Puerta de Alcalá, and experiencing the recently renovated Plaza de España
  • Guided tour of the Reina Sofia Museum, the finest repository of Spanish modern art, including Picasso’s incomparable Guernica
  • Evening tapas food tour through one of Madrid’s dynamic neighborhoods
  • Included meals: breakfast, dinner

Day 3, Madrid / El Escorial / Segovia

  • 1-hour drive to El Escorial
  • Join your local guide for a tour of the Royal Monastery of San Lorenzo de El Escorial, which has served as a royal palace, a monastery and a mausoleum throughout its centuries-long existence
  • Lunch at a restaurant in the mountains
  • 1-hour drive to Segovia
  • Included meals: Breakfast, Lunch

Day 4, Segovia

  • Guided walking tour of the historical city of Segovia, visiting the impressive fortress of the Alcázar de Segovia, the stunning Roman aqueduct, and the Gothic Cathedral
  • Group lunch at Mesón Horno de Asar, a renowned restaurant serving traditional Castillian cuisine
  • Included meals: Breakfast, Lunch

Day 5, Segovia / Pedraza / Segovia

  • Optional hot air balloon ride over the Castilian countryside at sunrise
  • 40-minute drive to Pedraza, a charming medieval village
  • Guided tour of the town’s medieval streets and alleys, including the Pedraza Castle, the 13th-century Church of San Juan, the Puerta de la Villa and the Plaza Mayor
  • Return to Segovia in the afternoon
  • Included meals: Breakfast

Day 6, Segovia / Ávila / Zamora

  • 1-hour drive to Avila
  • Guided tour of the medieval city, visiting its main landmarks such as Avila’s 12th-century cathedral, the Monastery of Santa Teresa, the Plaza del Mercado Chico and other notable sites
  • 2-hours drive to Zamora
  • Included meals: Breakfast

Day 7, Zamora

  • Join your local guide on a walking tour of the historic Romanesque city of Zamora, including the well-preserved Zamora Castle, the beautiful Plaza Mayor, the elegant town hall, the picturesque Puente de Piedra bridge, and more
  • Optional horseback riding experience through the scenic countryside
  • Included meals: Breakfast

Day 8, Zamora / León

  • Morning visit to a bustling local market, where you’ll learn about the unique regional ingredients and flavors
  • 2-hour drive to León
  • Guided tour of León, where you’ll explore the stunning architecture of the old town, visit Gaudí’s Casa Botines, stroll through the charming streets and plazas and learn about the rich history of León
  • Traditional Leonese lunch
  • Included meals: Breakfast, Lunch

Day 9, León

  • Guided visit to the renowned Museum of Contemporary Art of Castilla y León to admire its vast collection of art and exhibitions
  • Traditional hands-on cooking class to learn about the preparation of some of the best authentic Leonese dishes
  • Included meals: Breakfast, Dinner

Day 10, León / Burgos

  • 2-hour drive to Burgos through the Spanish countryside
  • Guided tour of town, visiting the UNESCO World Heritage Burgos Cathedral, the Las Huelgas monastery and the Museum of Burgos
  • Included meals: Breakfast

Day 11, Burgos / Ribera del Duero / Burgos

  • Full-day wine tour to Ribera del Duero, one of the most important wine regions in the world. We’ll visit a local vineyard to learn about the regional wine-making traditions and taste some of the most celebrated wines of the area
  • Group lunch out in the countryside
  • Return to Burgos in the evening
  • Included meals: Breakfast, Lunch

Day 12, Burgos / Madrid

  • 2-hour train back to Madrid
  • Free time to enjoy Madrid city, with options to relax at its cozy cafe/bars, indulge in its endless culinary scene or visit its many museums
  • Farewell dinner
  • Included meals: Breakfast, Dinner

Day 13, Madrid (Departure Day)

  • Transfers to the airport or train station
  • Included meals: Breakfast

NOTE: The details of this itinerary are subject to change. Once our group is booked, you’ll receive a more detailed, day-by-day itinerary. Then the fun begins!

Included in the tour

  • Private tour experience throughout
  • Maximum group size of twelve
  • All accommodations (12 nights at 4-star hotels)
  • Transportation in Spain (trains and private vans where needed)
  • All included activities and entrance fees mentioned
  • English speaking local guides
  • Breakfast every day and other meals as listed above (beverages not included)
  • All airport transfers

Not included in the tour

  • Flights to and from Spain
  • Passport or visa fees
  • Meals and activities not mentioned
  • Travel insurance (mandatory)
  • Gratuities for guides, drivers, hotel staff, etc.

Accommodation style

We will stay in comfortable and convenient 4-star hotels. All rooms have a private bathroom. There are a maximum of eight single rooms available.

Physical demands: moderate

The tour itself is not very strenuous, but please note that it can involve the following: somewhat long days, walking tours in the cities on uneven pavement, being outside in potentially cold temperatures, a couple of long journeys, early morning wake-ups, and other similar scenarios.

Tour cost

  • $6645 per person (double room)
  • $7695 per person (single room)
  • Tour size: 12 participants maximum

Payment terms

  • A $1500 deposit per person due now. (Refundable for 30 days, or until 90 days before the start of the tour – whichever comes first) should your plans change for any reason.) After that, the deposit becomes non-refundable.
  • The balance payment is due 65 days before the tour start date (July 1, 2024.)
  • Cancellations between 60 and 89 days prior to the tour start date will receive a 50 percent refund of the balance amount; cancellations within 59 days of the tour start date will be non-refundable.

Reserve your spot

To reserve your spot, please click this button to pay your deposit. Be sure to select 2 deposits if you’re booking a couple.

Spain Tour Castilla-Leon, Sept 2024 Deposit

Spain Tour Castilla-Leon, Sept 2024 Deposit


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Important travel notes

  • The specifics of the tour itinerary are subject to change. It’s unlikely, though, that there will be any substantive changes. More like daily schedules might be earlier or later.
  • Activity level for this tour is light to moderate. We’ll be doing a good amount of walking in the cities we’ll be visiting, and in some cases there will be two to three hours of slow walking and standing in the attractions. To be comfortable on this tour, you should be able to walk for a mile or more – or at least half an hour – without problem. Also, be aware that often the walking will be up and down hills. Cobblestone streets and stairs are not uncommon. Don’t worry though. We’ll make frequent stops for refreshments.
  • Most North American flights to Spain depart late afternoon or evening. So plan to depart September 3 for a September 4 arrival in Madrid. Of course, you can arrive earlier and we’ll be happy to help you make accommodation arrangements.
  • Important: do not make any travel reservations that cannot be cancelled or changed until we confirm that we have met the minimum number of travelers and that the trip is a “go.”
  • If you’d like to extend your time in Madrid, let us know and we’d be happy to recommend hotels and attractions or day trips from the city.
  • We use Allianz Travel’s annual policy, but you can find their single trip travel insurance plans here. Note, you must have travel insurance that covers medical expenses for this tour. It doesn’t have to be Allianz.

What our guests say about Travel Past 50 Tours

Here’s what our clients have said about us, and why we think we’re among the best small group travel companies for seniors:

“The combination of a small group and professional guides in each city made it an outstanding experience!”
-Karen M

“Very enjoyable tour of Northern Spain with Tom and Kris. The group was a perfect size. I can recommend traveling with them and would consider a second tour in the future.”
-Christiane M

“Travel Past 50 provides a balance of people, food, wine and sights with enough time to explore a bit on one’s own time.”
-Bill T

“Kris and Tom’s extensive first hand knowledge of Spain and the language made for a wonderfully interesting trip. I’d recommend any tour of Spain they put together.”
-Janice D

“Tom and Kris were great at showing their love of Spain.”

-Linda M

“We truly enjoyed the itinerary and thought the choice of activities was great. You blended the guide-enhanced experiences with self-directed exploration and discovery. Kudos.”

-Roger and Deb B

Ask Us

Once the tour is confirmed, we’ll be sending out more itinerary details soon along with some helpful hints for packing and enjoying the tour to the max. In the meantime, ask us any questions and let us know about any individual concerns. We’re here to keep it fun and easy.

Just email with the subject line SPAIN TOUR QUESTION and your query will be handled by Tom and Kris personally.

Travel Past 50 Tours Terms and Conditions

Here’s all the fine print. Please note these terms and conditions may vary depending on the specific tour destinations and timing.

For more general information about Travel Past 50 Tours, including up-to-date COVID policies, visit our introductory Tour Page.

A suggested reading list for Madrid, Castile and León

Note: Continuing coverage of this Travel Past 50 Spain Tour is supported in part by Allianz Travel Insurance. Our content is independent of their sponsorship. We are delighted, however, that they recognize the importance of getting back to travel safely, and the particular health and travel nuances important to our readers.

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