Madrid to Gibraltar

Bridge at Cordoba - © Tatiana Popova/Shutterstock.com
Gibraltar seen from the bay - © Robert Paul Van Beets/Shutterstock.com
Bridge at Cordoba - © Tatiana Popova/Shutterstock.com
Gibraltar seen from the bay - © Robert Paul Van Beets/Shutterstock.com

Holiday Highlights

  • 2 nights at the Hotel Ritz Madrid
  • Sightseeing in Seville, Jerez de la Frontera, Ronda and Gibraltar
  • the Great Mosque of Cordoba
  • Tour of Royal Stables in Cordoba
  • 10 Days (by plane) from £1,160
  • 11 Days (by train) from £1,600
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Series 2, Episode 1 Great Continental Railway Journeys. The second series of BBC's Great Continental Rail Journeys programmes began with Michael Portillo embracing the beauty of Spain by travelling by from Madrid to Gibraltar train with stops in Cordoba, Seville, Jerez de la Fronter and Ronda en route. You have the option of travelling to Madrid by plane or train!

ITINERARY

Day 1 - To Madrid (see rail option below)

Morning flight from London Heathrow to Madrid. Check into the Hotel Ritz Madrid for a 2-night stay.

Day 2 - Explore Madrid

Time to explore majestic Madrid and soak up the architecture, royal art collection, take the metro Sol to Sorolla's house and of course sample the tapas and cafes.

Day 3 - AVE to Cordoba

Morning train from Madrid to Cordoba in Andalusia - a journey time of around 1 hour 45 minutes. A 2-night stay in Cordoba gives you plenty of time to explore the second largest 'Old' town in Europe and the largest urban area in the world declared World Heritage by UNESCO.

Day 4 - Cordoba and the Royal Stables

A day of sightseeing in Cordoba, visiting the most important building and symbol of the city, the Great Mosque of Cordoba as well as the Roman bridge, Catholic Cathedral and Royal Stables.

Day 5 - Seville

Take a 45 minute morning train journey to Seville. Free afternoon to wander around this beautiful city famous for flamenco and tapas. Its medieval architecture is spectacular. Overnight stay in Seville.

Day 6 - Jerez de la Frontera

Spend the morning enjoying the relaxed atmosphere of Seville before a 1-hour rail journey to Jerez de la Frontera. Don't forget to admire the architecture of Jerez station when you arrive. Spend the afternoon visiting the tobacco factory like Michael Portillo, which is free of charge. Overnight stay in Jerez de la Frontera.

Day 7 - Ronda

The journey from Jerez to Ronda is not as easy as Michael Portillo made it appear. Your journey will require changes of trains in Dos Hermanas and Bobadilla, with time for lunch in Bobadilla. Overnight stay in Ronda.

Day 8 - Gibraltar Railway Company

Be sure to have churros with chocolate for breakfast before admiring the bridge over the deep El Tajo canyon. Take an afternoon train to Algeciras on the line built by the Gibraltar Railway Company to enable British military officers to escape the summer heat of Gibraltar. Admire the scenic dramatic terrain and gorges, switchbacks, bridges and tunnels along the way. A 2-night stay at the Reina Cristina.

Day 9 - Gibraltar

Take the bus from Algeciras to La Linea and walk across the border into Gibraltar. A day here provides plenty of time to ride the cable car and visit the museum.

Day 10 - Journey Home

Morning train from Algeciras to Madrid and afternoon flight back to Heathrow, arriving mid-evening.

For those preferring to travel by rail:

Day 1

Morning Eurostar from London St Pancras to Paris Nord. Cross Paris by metro to Gare de Lyon and then travel to Barcelona Sants by double-deck high-speed TGV Duplex.

Day 2

Morning train from Barcelona Sants to Madrid arriving at lunchtime. Continue as Days 3 -9 above.

Day 10

Morning train from Algeciras to Madrid, and continue to Barcelona Sants. Overnight in Barcelona.

Day 11

Return to Paris on a TGV, and back to London on Eurostar arriving early evening.

Price Includes

  • Rail travel in standard/tourist class as indicated
  • Tour of Royal Stables in Cordoba
  • Standard class flights with BA (unless rail option selected)
  • Bed and breakfast based on double/twin rooms at all hotels, good quality hotels of at least 3* are used throughout

Price excludes

  • Entrance to any attractions other than as specified in the “includes” list
  • Bus to Gibraltar

Price per person

From £1,160 per person sharing (by plane) or £1,600 per person sharing (by rail)

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