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Spain

6 tours from £875pp

For thousands of years Spain was one of Europe’s leading cultural centres, it now ranks third on the list of countries with the most Unesco World Heritage Sites. Occupying 85% of Europe’s strategically important Iberian Peninsula, Spain is a stunning showcase of the legacies from Carthaginians and Romans who fought over it, the Arabs who conquered it and Catholic Monarchs who recovered it and made Spain into the most powerful empire in the world. Though the 20th century saw Spanish civil war, the country escaped the destruction wrought by the wars that raged throughout Europe. Today Spain’s historic towns and cities are extraordinary living museums with castles and palaces from its Moorish past, striking Gothic cathedrals and great mosques standing alongside fantastic modernist monuments from the creative spirits of Salvador Dalí, Pablo Picasso and Antoni Gaudí.

It was Spain’s popular Mediterranean coast that made the country a holiday hotspot, yet it has a beautiful and diverse landscape. The rugged mountains of the Pyrenees and Sierra Nevada, lush plains of the Rioja, wetlands of the Doñana National Park and Cabo de Gata, the only desert in Mainland Europe where the hills that drop down to the coast are long extinct volcanoes.

Andalusia, with its pretty, white-washed, hilltop villages, is often referred to as the heart of Spain for it is the cradle of bullfighting and embraces the traditions of tapas, fiesta and flamenco. A cruise on the River Guadalquivir is a chance to discover the richest of Spanish heritage.

Sarah Amos
NEW

Formerly the Hotel S’Algar, the adult-only AluaSoul Menorca, has for many, many years been a firm favourite of First...

  • Full bridge programme directed by Sarah Amos and hosted by Barry and Maggie Watts, with seminars and varied bridge sessions
  • Masterpoints and prizes awarded
  • Airport transfers from Mahon airport on our arrival and departure dates
  • 7 or 14 nights in 4-star accommodation on an all-inclusive board
  • Complimentary use of the Turkish Bath, Jacuzzi and sauna in the spa at the AluaSoul Hotel

Availability:

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Sarah Amos
NEW

The Hotel Bella Playa & Spa is proving to be a firm favourite with our First for Bridge guests. We will be returning to this delightful hotel, as our guests love its excellent dining, friendly service, warm atmosphere, and relaxing facilities.

  • Return flights from London Gatwick and regional flights at a supplement
  • 11 nights' accommodation on a half-board basis at the Hotel Bella Playa & Spa
  • Varied bridge sessions and Masterpoints and prizes awarded
  • Two morning seminars
  • Services of our friendly bridge hosts and EBU qualified director
  • Palma tour

Availability:

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Karin Hellaby
NEW

Attend the famous Sitges International Patchwork Festival and join us for two fantastic city tours of Barcelona and Girona, taking in the beautiful architecture and Spanish heritage.

  • Return flight London to Barcelona with one piece of hold luggage
  • 7 nights bed and breakfast accommodation
  • Welcome dinner
  • 2 workshops with Karin Hellaby, with kit and tea/coffee
  • 2 days entrance ticket to Sitges International Patchwork Festival
  • Services of an experienced Tour manager

Availability:

  • 2023
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Dr Richard Plant
NEW

Join us as we travel from Burgos to León on this culturally thrilling portion of the Camino de Santiago that threads across the northern plains of Castilla y León, packed with art and architecture.

  • Return flights from London to Bilbao with Vueling
  • 3 nights’ bed and breakfast at the 4-star NH Collection Palacio de Burgos
  • 2 nights’ bed and breakfast at the 4-star NH Collection Plaza Mayor Leon
  • 2 evening meals and 3 lunches
  • Guided visits to sites listed in the programme
  • Services of your expert lecturer and Tour Manager
  • Detailed programme and study notes

Availability:

  • 2023
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Pat Archibald
NEW

Treat yourself to a 7-day quilting retreat in Andalusia with expert, Pat Archibald, and indulge in 3 and a half days of quilting workshops, the use of Bernina sewing machines, and guided visits to the loveliest towns of Andalusia.

  • 7 Nights 4-star accommodation on bed and breakfast
  • Dinner on the 1st and last nights
  • Travel by private coach, as described in the itinerary
  • Use of the Bernina sewing machines
  • 1 half day and 3 full day workshops with Pat Archibald
  • The services of an experienced Arena tour manager who will accompany the tour throughout

Availability:

  • 2023
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Sue Rollin
NEW

Discover the cultural heritage of Andalucia and view exquisite examples of Islamic, Renaissance and Baroque art and architecture on this remarkable Art Pursuits tour.

  • Return flights from London to Malaga
  • 3 nights’ bed and breakfast at the 4-star Villa Oniria, Granada
  • 3 nights’ bed and breakfast at the 4-star Hotel Las Casas de la Juderia, Córdoba
  • 4 evening meals and 1 lunch
  • Guided visits to sites listed in the programme
  • Services of your expert lecturer and Tour Manager
  • Detailed programme and study notes

Availability:

  • 2023
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Spain Highlights


Experience the Mediterranean with Arena Travel. Spain attracts thousands of visitors every year and it is no mystery why; its major cities are packed full of Gothic and Renaissance architecture, religious art, and iconic monuments. Visually, Spain is stunning, and its passionate people will make you want to come back again and again. 

From beautiful Seville to the wonderful city of Barcelona, Spain welcomes those looking to explore some of the oldest history in Europe. Renowned worldwide for its architectural ambition and works of art, discover sensational destinations brimming with iconic masterpieces – from Burgos to Figueres, there’s unique artistic heritage to unearth. 

For spectacular scenery and mountainous landscapes – neither of which are in short supply – soak up the scenery by rail as you journey through the Pyrenees and the Costa Brava. Or, for those searching for Bridge holidays, our tours taking in Majorca and the Costa Calida offer the perfect blend of time to explore with Bridge afternoons and seminars. And for those searching for a place to express their creativity, our Stitchtopia tours to Sitges and Andalusia will be a perfect fit.


Experiences just for you

Browse key sights and the popular tours you can see them on.

  • Visit Seville, the capital of AndalusiaView Tour
  • Explore the mountaintop city of Ronda that sits dramatically above a deep gorge View Tour
  • Visit La Seu, the city’s splendid Gothic cathedralView Tour
  • Admire Girona's Jewish Quarter - one of the best preserved in the worldView Tour
  • Explore Valldemossa, a picturesque town in the Tramuntana MountainsView Tour

Local Information

  • Capital Madrid
  • Language Spanish
  • Currency Euro 
  • Tip 15%
  • Time Zone GMT +1 
  • Electricity Type C& F Two Pin (230V)

Must See

Visit UNESCO world heritage sites, including the magnificent Mezquita, and the winding streets of Córdoba’s historic city centre

View Tour

Key Destinations

Spain by rail

Journeying through Spain via a comfortable, cool train carriage will make the experience all the more enjoyable, with the additional bonus of being able to see all the glorious Spanish scenery stretch itself across your window.

 


One of the country’s most iconic rail journeys can be had on the Nuria Valley Railway. It is the only means of transport that accesses the valley. 


Fantastic cities

From its capital, Madrid, to the wonderful city of Barcelona, Spain’s appeal stretches from those looking for a busy night in the city centre, to those looking to explore some of the oldest history in Europe. Its cities have everything you would expect from a bustling, energetic hotbed of activity, but with a Spanish twist to make them even more exciting.

Food and drink

Spanish cuisine differs depending on the region: coastal regions are heavily fond of rice and fresh fish, with paella as the archetypal dish. Central and Atlantic regions, however, are well versed in garlic- and cheese-based dishes. Spanish beer is pleasantly light, while their sangria is the perfect beverage for a day spent in the sun. The Spanish have a particularly quirky eating habit in that they like to eat late at night; make sure you venture out for a midnight supper while you are in Spain.

Rich cultural history

Spain is world-renowned for its architectural ambition, and the country is peppered with beautiful and historically significant cathedrals, castles and monuments. Music and dance are highly valued in the Spanish culture, and many festivals are celebrated throughout the year — any excuse for a song and a dance!