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Queen Isabella of Spain, received the title of Reina Catolica by Pope Alexander VI. During the decade-long campaign to capture Granada and eventually to restore the entire Iberian peninsula to the Catholic faith, Isabella would often inspire her followers and soldiers by praying in the middle of, or close to, the battle field, that God's will may be done. It was her sponsorship of the expedition of Christopher Columbus which brought Spain and the New World together. On this spiritual journey, find out how Our Lady of Guadalupe in Mexico got Her name. This is where the story begins.
Madrid, Avila, Segovia, Toledo, Guadalupe,
Sevilla, Cordoba, Granada, Ronda and Malaga
10 Days - Southern Spain
Day 1: Depart the USA on an international flight to Madrid, Spain. Meals will be served on our overnight flight.
Day 2: Welcome to Spain! After arriving in Madrid, our Tour Director welcomes and escorts us to our hotel. Dinner and overnight in Madrid.
Day 3: Today we tour Madrid, the capital of Spain with its many churches, plazas, parks and museums. Dinner and overnight in Madrid.
Day 4: Today we enjoy a day trip to Avila and Segovia. Avila, preserved within its old medieval walls, is an impressive fortification built in Romanesque times and is associated with St. Teresa, the first Woman Doctor of the Church, and her confessor St. John of the Cross. Among Avila's sites of interest are the Carmelitas Descalzas Convent, birthplace of St. Teresa in 1515, where many of her relics are kept, and the Monasterio de la Encarnacion, site of the Trasverberacion, where she spent 30 years of her life. Our day trip continues as we move on to Segovia, dotted with its many notable churches. Segovia is capped by its massive Gothic cathedral dating from 1525. Also nearby is the Carmelite Church and convent founded in the 16th century by St. John of the Cross. Dinner and overnight in Madrid.
Day 5: Today, we travel to Toledo and Guadalupe. Toledo, started as a Roman fortress, is a city with a long and rich history. Home of the painter, "El Greco", many of his works can be seen in the churches and museums here. The spectacular and massive Cathedral is breathtaking and includes many important sculptures, altars and paintings. Our travels continue to Guadalupe and its main attraction, the Monasterio de Santa Maria de Guadalupe. Its origins can be traced back to 1325 when a simple farmer found the statue of the Virgin Mary, rumored to have been carved by none other than St Luke, half-buried in his field. Endorsed by Queen Isabella, as well as Columbus, the statue soon became famous in both the Old and New Worlds, and a shrine was built in its honor. Today, it is kept in the Camarin chapel. The chapel has much to see including the decorative railings surrounding the grounds and a collection of paintings by the 17th century artist Zurbaran; there is also a Mudejar cloister, which has a Gothic shrine from the early 15th century and 14th century fountain built by the Moors. Dinner and overnight in Guadalupe.
Day 6: Our journey takes us to Sevilla, home of flamenco, bullfighting and the fiesta. The massive Cathedral, one of the largest churches in the world. Climb the steps from inside the Cathedral to the top of the 90m (295 ft) high "Giralda", which is the minaret of this former mosque, for great views or stay at the bottom and buy the postcard. Dinner and overnight in Sevilla.
Day 7: Travel to Cordoba, which was the capital of Al-Andalus, the name used describe Moorish Spain, and dominated by La Mezquita (The Mosque). Started in approximately 600 A.D. as the Visigothic Christian Cathedral of St. Vincent, on the ruins of a Roman temple, it was rebuilt over two centuries as a mosque. After the Spanish Reconquista, it was transformed once again into a church and later consecrated as the Cathedral of the Assumption of the Virgin. The building is most notable for its giant arches, with over 1,000 columns of jasper, onyx, marble, and granite, and its many altars to the saints. We then continue our travels to our hotel in Granada. Dinner and overnight in Granada.
Day 8: A city tour of Granada awaits us today. A Moorish city for many centuries, Granada fell to the forces of Los Reyes Catolicos, Isabella and Ferdinand, on January 2, 1492; over time its many mosques were converted to Christian churches. Granada's many sights include the Alhambra and the Generalife, once the sultan's palace with its sumptuous gardens, fountains and architecture, and the Cathedral of the Annunciation with its Capilla Real (Royal Chapel), the final resting place of Isabella and Ferdinand. Dinner and overnight in Granada.
Day 9: We journey to the beautiful town of Ronda, in the mountain range known as the Serranía de Ronda, and then continue on to Malaga on the Costa del Sol. Dinner and overnight in Malaga.
Day 10: We bid farewell to Spain as we board our flight back to the USA, arriving later that day.
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FIAT Holidays, Inc. 916 N. Western Avenue, Suite 225, San Pedro, CA 90732
Telephone: 310-832-FIAT (3428) with 24/7 text capability, or 310-328-FIAT (3428) Fax: 310-781-9070
E-mail:   CST #2064804-40
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