Vantage celebrates its 40th anniversary this year!
In addition to its famous museums, bustling streets dotted with all kinds of shops, restaurants featuring world-class cuisine and traditional specialties; and unbeatable nightlife, Madrid will surprise you with its tranquil historic spots that charm everyone walking by. Immerse yourself in the culture of this lively, Iberian city during your optional pre-trip extension.
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Fly to Madrid
Board an overnight flight to Madrid today, arriving on Day 2 of your optional pre-trip extension.
Arrive in Madrid and check in to your hotel
Welcome to Spain! If you purchased your airfare from Vantage, a representative will meet you at the airport to assist with transfers to your hotel. Following check-in, you’ll have time to settle in and get acclimated before joining your fellow travelers for a Welcome Briefing and Dinner at the hotel this evening.
Enjoy a taste of Spain today
Following breakfast at the hotel, you will head out on a panoramic tour of Madrid. In addition to its renowned museums, Madrid is also well-regarded for its impressive historic architecture and respected cultural scene. You’ll be able to walk around the city center and savor tasty tapas at the Central Market. Enjoy lunch on your own before continuing your discoveries with a guided tour of the Prado Museum, hosting one of the finest museum collections in the world.
Enjoy an afternoon at leisure before heading out to dinner at a local tablao, including a thrilling Flamenco performance.
Madrid at your leisure
Craft your own itinerary today with a day at leisure to do as you wish. Head back to the Prado Museum to see more of its extensive collection, or visit the Reina Sofía National Art Centre to see Pablo Picasso’s masterpiece, Guernica. When hunger hits, there’s no shortage of places to dine, from casual tapas at a laid-back castizo to cutting-edge restaurants offering multicourse meals. The day is yours to make your own.
Head to Barcelona and join the base tour
Following breakfast this morning, you will check out of your hotel and board a high-speed train to Barcelona, where you will join your fellow travelers for Day 2 of your base journey.
Immerse yourself in the exoticism, fascinating history, and resplendent architecture of Istanbul, where Europe meets Asia along the bustling Bosphorus Strait. You’ll step into the world of Ottoman sultans at the Topkapi Palace, marvel at the towering domes and minarets of the Blue Mosque and Hagia Sophia; and roam the endless passageways of the Grand Bazaar and the Spice Market, teeming with colorful carpets, leather goods, jewelry, and lanterns. This is the perfect way to round out your ocean voyage.
Arrive in Istanbul
Welcome to Istanbul! Settle in and enjoy the rest of the day at leisure to acclimate before heading out to a lively Turkish dinner with a folkloric show.
Royal and cultural splendors of Istanbul
After breakfast, head to the Fatih district, home to the Historic Areas of Istanbul, a UNESCO World Heritage Site. Begin your explorations at the Topkapi Palace. Once home to Ottoman sultans, today it is a magnificent museum. Your guided tour leads you into some of its many chambers, including the Harem Apartments. Stop for lunch before continuing on to the spectacular Blue Mosque, named for the countless blue Iznik tiles that adorn its vast interior. Conclude the day among the teeming stalls and passageways of the Grand Bazaar, Istanbul’s historic marketplace.
Spectacular Sultanahmet on foot
Stretch your legs this morning during a walking tour of the Sultanahmet district, stopping at the 6th-century Hagia Sophia. Built as a church, and later converted into a mosque, it has been a magnificent museum since 1935. After, follow your nose to the Spice Bazaar, where mounds of colorful turmeric, saffron, and countless other spices vie for your olfactory attentions. While you’re here, be sure to sample some Turkish Delight, the nation’s favorite sweet! Following lunch on your own, enjoy a free afternoon to relax and explore. Dinner is included at the hotel tonight.
Fly to Athens and then fly home
Transfer to the airport this morning for your return flight to the U.S.