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As Spain's cosmopolitan capital city, Madrid continually captures the hearts of its visitors with world-famous museums, historic buildings and lively plazas. The Museo del Prado and the Museo Nacional Reina Sofia exhibit Spanish and European artwork ranging from the 12th to the 20th centuries. The Palacio Real, considered one of the finest palaces in Europe, stands as a symbol of the monarchy and the power of the former Spanish empire while the Puerta del Sol and the Plaza Mayor simultaneously embody the spirit of old Madrid and the modern nation.

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As Spain's first capital, Toledo is saturated with history. Declared a UNESCO World Heritage site in 1986, this is the city that inspired Renaissance painter El Greco in the 16th century. Since then it has remained largely unchanged in its blend of Arabic, Jewish, Christian and Visigothic elements. Toledo is famous for its splendid Cathedral, which houses several of El Greco’s paintings along with many other art treasures.

Excursion included in: Granada 1

Las Alpujarras

Head to the region of Las Alpujarras, located just south of Andulacia'a Sierra Nevada Mountain range. The gently sloping, terraced villages and subsistence farms of the southern slopes are among some of Spain's loveliest landscapes. Time seems to have forgotten this place, which yields breath-taking views of coastal hills and the Mediterranean. Local architecture, dialect, and customs still reflect the influence of Moorish Muslims who fled the Christian Reconquista. Students may take guided hikes across rugged trails or stroll through some of Andalucia's quaintest pueblos.

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Gibraltar & Cádiz

Gibraltar is one of the most unique places on earth. Rising out of the ocean, the Rock of Gibraltar can be seen from over 20 miles away and has a very different climate, culture and feeling from Spain. The British colony enjoys beautiful weather all year with spectacular views of Africa and Spain and is home to the famous Barbary macaques ape community that is known for its common interaction with visitors.
Students will also head for the beaches of Cádiz to tour the ancient Roman ruins of Bolonia, a once important fishing village located right on the Atlantic seashore.

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Spain's Costa del Sol is one of the most visited locations in Europe and with good reason.  Traditional Spanish fishing villages dot the Mediterranean coast and create interesting summer getaways.  Nerja boasts one of the most spectacular views of the Mediterranean Sea from its Balcón de Europa and its beaches are second to none. Visitors can find fresh seafood, mild weather, and a series of prehistoric caves of great archeological significance.