8 Day Madrid & Barcelona by Rail (New York)
Air & Land
Hotels/Plans Available for Departure Dates
Click a Date to Book Online
Click a Date to Book Online
|2023 Dates & Prices Single Supplement: $300|
|Hotel||Dates||Embark||Tour Starts||Ship||Land Only||Air & Land|
|2023 Dates & Prices Single Supplement: $300|
|Hotel||Dates||Embark||Tour Starts||Ship||Land Only||Air & Land|
Transfers, optional tours and gratuities.
Passengers traveling abroad require a passport valid for six months beyond their travel dates. All travelers are responsible to check if a visa is required for all countries on their itinerary. For visa information, check our Visas page.
Is This Trip Right for You?
Independent Package Includes
- Flights New York-Madrid, Barcelona-New York
Other departure cities available. Click on date of departure for selection and prices
- Airline taxes & fuel surcharges
- 6 nights accommodations in your choice of hotels
- 3 nights Madrid
- 3 nights Barcelona
- Breakfast daily
- Transportation between cities via Standard Class high speed rail with reserved seats
Is This Trip Right for You?
This independent program allows the flexibility to explore on your own. Affordable optional sightseeing excursions are available to enhance your holiday. We offer a selection of hotels to accommodate a variety of tastes and budgets. Please note that this program is not escorted and therefore you will not have the services of a tour manager to assist with hotel check-in formalities and luggage handling. This program's unconstrained nature excludes group advantages associated with escorted tours. Hotel locations, services and amenities differ according to the Plan. Read the descriptions in full and locate the hotels on our provided map to ensure the Hotel/Plan you select meets your desired criteria. A variety of airfare options are available for this program, including some low-cost fares which may exclude complimentary checked luggage and advance seat assignments. Please read each offering to ensure you choose the option that best fits your wishes. This is an Independent program. For more information, click here.
Gate 1 Travel itineraries may contain suggestions for activities for your leisure time; these suggestions do not constitute a recommendation nor an endorsement of any specific service provider and the decision to participate in any such activities should be made independently.
- Tours purchased while travelling may cost an extra 10% or more
- Tours often sell out. Avoid disappointment
- Save your cash. Credit card processing may not be possible locally
- Travel insurance only covers services purchased prior to departure
- Book Online or call to book these tours up to 1 week before your departure
- The day the optionals operate varies by the day of the week
Enjoy a visit to what has often been described as the "eighth wonder of the world." El Escorial is, perhaps, Philip II's most enduring legacy to Spain. This combination monastery-palace-mausoleum is situated approximately one hour outside of Madrid in the foothills of the Guadarrama Mountains. This austere monastery, erected by King Philip II in 1584, was intended to be a memorial to his father, King Charles V, and to commemorate Spain´s victory at Saint Quentin in 1557. It has since become the burial place of subsequent Spanish kings and queens. You will have free time to visit the site Gardens and surrounding area. Continue with a short drive to the Valley of the Fallen, a monumental complex, located in Sierra de Guadarrama. Visit the underground basilica, built into the mountain, that is topped with the world's largest cross, which can be seen from miles away.
Departs at 8:30 am from c/ San Nicolás 15 (next to Plaza de Ramales). Tour ends at Plaza de Oriente, 2. Drop-off to be advised locally. Approximate tour duration is 5 hours.
|Day #3||11 Sep 2023 - 31 Oct 2023||$70.00|
Embark on a walking tour of the Gothic Quarter. Begin with a visit to the impressive Cathedral of Barcelona. Afterward, continue the walking tour through the oldest part of the city and learn about its historic significance. Stroll down the narrow streets of the Born neighborhood, and view Santa Maria del Mar Church. Then, board the bus for a panoramic tour through the city. See the Olympic Port, the beach and the fisherman's quarter, called Barceloneta. Head to Montjuïc Mountain, home to the 1992 Summer Olympic Games. Ride the cable car up the hill, for spectacular views over Barcelona. At the MNAC viewpoint, admire panoramic views of the city. Conclude the tour with a drive through Passeig de Gracia to see some of the most emblematic Gaudi buildings such as Casa Batlló and la Pedrera.
Approximate tour duration is 4.5 hours.
|Day #6||12 Sep 2023 - 31 Oct 2023||$55.00|
Take a guided tour of Park Guell, a UNESCO World Heritage Site and one of the city's largest urban parks, a colorful and playful Gaudi creation. On arrival, admire the multi-colored mosaic dragon and learn about the park's history. Continue on to visit the iconic symbol of Barcelona, La Sagrada Familia, Gaudi's masterpiece; a colossal church that is legendary and still unfinished. Marvel at the astonishing interior, rich in symbolism inspired on natural wonders.
*Please note that there is a dress code to enter the Sagrada Familia. Shoulders, back, and stomach must be covered and shorts and skirts should come to mid-thigh. See-through clothing will not be permitted. Hats will not be permitted except if worn for health or belief-related purposes.
Departs at 11:00 am from Gaudí Experience, Larrard street n. 41. Tour ends at Sagrada Familia. Approximate tour duration is 4 and a half hours.
|Day #7||01 Aug 2023 - 31 Oct 2023||$90.00|
|Know Before You Go|
|Although most of the planning and preparation is taken care of for you, there are still a few things you should know and some details you should take care of to ensure your comfort, safety and peace of mind. Please review the following information before your departure to ensure that any surprises along the way will only be pleasant ones.|
|Getting Ready to Go|
|Passports and Visas|
|It is each traveler's responsibility to have a passport valid for at least 6 months beyond the dates of travel and a visa if required. Please check the information at www.gate1travel.com/visas.aspx for the specific country/region you are visiting for more details. IMPORTANT: Passengers who are not U.S. citizens must check with the respective consulate or a visa agency to determine what personal identification is required. Passengers who enter, leave and then re-enter the same country on their itinerary should check if they require a double-entry visa. Passport applications are available at most U.S. Post Offices, as well as at regional Passport Agencies. Passengers requiring visas, whether obtained in advance or locally upon arrival, should ensure that their passport has blank pages.
|Traveling with Friends or Family?|
|If you are traveling with friends or family who are booked on another reservation, please make sure that we are aware. On occasion, we may operate more than one vehicle on your tour departure in which case we will ensure that guests will be assigned together. This is achieved by connecting your reservations before your departure. Once you arrive in your destination, it may not be possible to make assignment changes. To check that your reservations are linked, log into https://www.gate1travel.com/res with your email and password, select your reservation number, and check to see that your reservations are indicated as "Traveling With" at the top right side of the display. |
|A little pre-planning can make your trip go a lot smoother. Several weeks before your trip, make a list of what you will need to take with you. Make sure your personal documents (passports, visas, driver's license) are in order. Make sure also that you have enough prescription medications to last through the trip and carry them with you in case your luggage is delayed. Bring a change of clothes in your carry-on bag in the event that your luggage is delayed or lost. Lost luggage is common. We strongly urge you to consider carry-ons instead of checked bags when possible, and when checking a bag is necessary, choose a bag color and identification that stands out. We suggest that you make photocopies of passports, visas, personal ID and any other important travel documents and pack them separately from the originals. You may also make a digital copy of your passport to keep a clear picture with the important details in your cell phone or digital camera photos. If you lose the originals while traveling, you'll have copies for easier reporting and replacement. Pack a list of medications including dosage and generic names. You may consider bringing a small supply of over the counter medications for headaches and/or anti-diarrhea pills (especially when traveling outside of the USA and Western Europe). We recommend that you pack a portable alarm clock. Due to security reasons, many museums have restrictions on the size of bags that can be taken inside and backpacks, carry-on bags or large purses may not be permitted. It is recommended to bring a small shoulder bag or purse to use in these situations instead. Avoid placing valuables such as cameras in your checked luggage. Airplane pressure can cause similar pressure in your body, most notably in ears, as well as liquid tubes and bottles. Your physician can suggest medication for decongestion. We suggest that you place liquid containers into Ziploc bags to catch any leaks. |
|Travel Safety Advice: The safety of our guests is Gate 1’s #1 concern. Before making the decision to reserve your vacation, we want you to be aware of potential situations which may impact your holiday. While most of the time our programs run precisely according to plans, on rare occasion force majeure events including weather, transportation mechanical issues, or uninhabitable accommodation, civil unrest and even criminal or terrorist activities will present themselves unexpectedly and with little or no notice. Gate 1 will make the decision to cancel a tour only after receiving verifiable government issued information. We are otherwise obliged to comply with contractual airline and vendor agreements and carry out the tour until or unless we are advised otherwise. In the event of such an occurrence anytime after your date of departure, Gate 1 and the local destination ground staff, in coordination with government advisories, airlines, hotels, cruise ships and other vendors, will make decisions with regard to your safety first. We strongly recommend that tour participants review the destination country's specific information at https://travel.state.gov/content/passports/en/alertswarnings.html. |
|Even the best-planned trips can be impacted by the unexpected. And that is why we recommend that you help protect yourself and your investment by purchasing Travel Protection for your Gate 1 trip. Travel Protection can help with medical coverage for illness or injury, trip cancellation and/or interruption, baggage loss, medical evacuation, and more. At any time before you complete Final Payment, you may choose to purchase Travel Protection. The protection plan premium is non-refundable after a 10-day review period. In addition, you must be medically able to travel at the time the premium is paid. For a summary of the plan details on coverages, benefits, limitations and exclusions, please refer to the Description of Coverage by visiting www.gate1travel.com/insurance/. |
Cancel for Any Reason Waiver Benefit (CFAR) is a non-insurance feature that allows you to cancel up to 72 hours before your scheduled departure for any reason not otherwise covered in the Travel Protection Plan. CFAR must be purchased at the same time as the Travel Protection Plan as well as within 21 days of the original booking date. Independent or escorted tour reservations will be eligible for a future travel credit equal to the full cost of your trip, less the cost of initial deposit, airline-assessed fees, amendment fees, and insurance premium. Sea or river cruise reservations will be eligible for a future travel credit equal to 50% of the cost of your trip, less the cost of initial trip deposit, airline-assessed fees, amendment fees, and insurance premium. All CFAR credits are valid for a period of two years from the original date of travel. CFAR Credits have no cash value and are not transferrable. Airline-assessed fees are generally $300 per person, but may be as much as fully non-refundable. Some non-refundable airline tickets may retain value, less airline-assessed fees. Your future air credit must be used to book with the same airline. Deadlines to rebook and complete travel vary by airline and may be as early as 12 months from when the tickets were originally issued (not the date of travel). For details, www.gate1travel.com/insurance/.
This program does not apply to custom groups and Antarctica cruises. Residents of New York, Missouri & Minnesota may purchase this Cancel for Any Reason Waiver Benefit separate from Travel Protection. Call to speak with a reservation agent for details. This Cancel for any Reason Wavier Benefit is not insurance and is provided by Gate 1 Travel.
|Mobile networks differ from country to country. We recommend you check with your provider to see if your wireless plan will work in the destination(s) you are visiting. To avoid possible roaming charges, you may want to consider purchasing an international plan. With most major phone companies, for a modest fee, you will be able to use your domestic plan's talk, text, and data allowances just like you do at home. If you can access the internet while you travel, you can also take advantage of services such as WhatsApp or Skype. |
|Making Telephone Calls from One Country to Another|
|When dialing a number from one country to another, you should proceed as follows: dial your country's Exit Code (often indicated with a “+” sign), then the destination Country Code, then the Phone Number. For most countries, the exit code is 00. Exceptions include the USA and Canada (011), Hong Kong and Cambodia (001), Australia (0011), and Russia (8 Pause 10*). For Brazil, please consult with the local telephone company. If you are dialing from a mobile phone, you can enter a “+” instead of the international Exit Code (011, 001, 0011 or 00) by pressing and holding the 0 key. For most countries in Africa, Asia, Europe, South America and South Pacific, if you are calling from a local phone to a number within the same country, you should drop both the exit and country codes and then add a leading 0 (zero). Exceptions include Spain, Italy, Hungary and Malta (no additional zero needed to dial locally). |
To dial the following number in Germany (as listed on your voucher): +(49) 0555-555
From USA or your US cell phone: 011-49-555-555
From another country in Europe: 00-49-555-555
From a German phone within Germany: 0555-555
|WiFi is available in most airports, hotels, and cruise lines, as well as on some flights, trains, and buses. There may be a fee for access and service quality and speed may vary greatly especially while on moving vehicles. Availability on cruises is also dependent upon its location while sailing through multiple countries. Please note that WiFi can be extremely slow, unreliable, and sometimes nonexistent in developing countries. |
|Staying Healthy While Traveling|
|All travelers should familiarize themselves with local conditions, such as high altitude or required immunizations, which could affect their health. We recommend you consult with your personal healthcare provider, the Centers for Disease Control (www.cdc.gov) and/or the World Health Organization (http://www.who.int/en/) for their recommendations. |
There are several easy steps you can take to stay healthy while traveling which may help prevent contracting an illness while away from home.
|Notice on Aircraft Cabin Insecticide Treatment - Please note that some countries may require aircraft cabin insecticide treatment for in-bound foreign flights. A list of such countries is available at:
|Consideration for Tour Participants (Escorted Tours)|
For the benefit of all tour participants, we ask tour members to be considerate of their fellow travelers in the following ways: |
|Climate & Clothing|
|Spain - Spring and Autumn: 55–75°F; Summer: 75–90°F; Winter: 35–55°F. Bring comfortable walking shoes, a sweater, clothes you can layer and an all-weather jacket. Some religious sites may require modest dress to enter (no shorts, short skirts, or sleeveless tops). |
Spain Average Temperatures: https://www.gate1travel.com/weather/europe/default.aspx#spain-weather
|Unmanned Aerial Vehicles (UAV) or “drone” technology has quickly become affordable and is increasingly popular with recreational users. While some countries have clear, established drone laws, others do not, or existing regulations are undergoing review and change. Travelers who wish to bring a drone on their trip are responsible to research and abide by the laws and regulations of the countries they are visiting, as well as to check with their airline(s) regarding their rules for transporting drones. Please note that tours are unable to extend the length of scheduled visits and stops to accommodate use of drones. |
|About Independent Travel|
|Independent tours allow you the freedom and flexibility to enjoy your vacation days at your own pace, to explore on your own, to be spontaneous and to focus on personal interests. Accordingly, independent tours are very different from Gate 1's escorted tours, which are conducted by a Tour Manager who accompanies you throughout, manages your needs and provides expert guiding services from the beginning to the end of your tour. |
When traveling independently, please bear in mind that you will be responsible for your needs throughout. Depending upon the package or services you have selected, you may encounter representatives along the way, such as a transfer driver, or a local sightseeing guide. Those may be included in your tour or options you have pre-selected. However, you will be on your own to handle your luggage, locate service providers, check into and out of your hotels, and to get to and from train stations or car rental counters.
Independent touring, as the name implies is for the independent traveler who is comfortable traveling on one's own with less guidance. Of course, as with all Gate 1 touring packages, you will find your services exactly as reserved when you arrive to your destination.
|Book & Film Recommendations|
|Many of our guests enjoy reading about their destination - either in advance of their trip or while traveling - as a way of adding context to their visit. Whether reading a traditional guide book, learning about the history and culture, or simply enjoying a fictional novel set in the destination, a good book can add greatly to your experience. Similarly, a good movie set in your destination helps set the mood before you travel. We asked our Tour Managers and staff to recommend books and films which past guests may have enjoyed. The following does not constitute an endorsement of any authors, books or films listed, it is merely a collection of guests' recommendations. |
Tales of Alhambra by Washington Irving
Cathedral of the Sea by Ildelfonso Falcones
South from Granada by Gerald Brenan
Driving Over Lemons: An Optimist in Andalucia by Chris Stewart
Shadows of the Pomegranate Tree by Tariq Ali
The Last Jew by Noah Gordon
Raquel, The Jewess of Toledo by Lion Feuchtwanger
Iberia by James A.Michener
By Fire, By Water by Mitchell James Kaplan
Sultana / Sultana´s Legacy by Lisa J. Yarde
Pain and Glory (2019)
Vicky Cristina Barcelona (2008)
El Cid (1961)
|Preparing for Your Trip|
| As a courtesy service, complimentary airline seat assignments are requested on your behalf and, when available, are displayed in order of Passenger #1, #2 and so on. Assignments reflect the best available seats at the time of booking. Some airlines and/or fare types do not allow for pre-seating and require this be done at airport check-in only; in which case the display shows “N/A”. Seats are subject to change by your airline(s) including, for example, when there is a schedule change or equipment change after your initial booking; this may cause seat assignments to be changed or even cancelled. Some airlines offer preferred seating for an additional fee; these seats may only be purchased directly from the airline. You will need your family name and the 6-digit airline “Record Locator” which is displayed with the flight details on your reservation. In the event that you change seat assignments directly with your airline, changes will not be reflected on your invoice or documents. At the time that Gate 1 travel documents are issued, the currently assigned seats will be listed based on the assignments stored in your airline reservation at that time. Should you have questions regarding your assignments, please write to us at www.gate1travel.com/contactus. |
|Luggage & Packing|
|Checked bags are typically limited to a total dimension of 62 inches by adding length + width + height (example: 26"+26"+10" = 62”), and a maximum weight of 50 lbs (23kg). Smart Bags with a USB charging port, GPS tracking device and other high-tech features are prohibited as checked or carry-on baggage unless the bag is made with removable batteries and the batteries are removed and stored separately. Many airlines charge for checked bags including flights which begin and end within the USA. The most inexpensive airfare options commonly known as Basic Economy airfares do not include any checked bags nor seat assignments before the day of departure. However, for some airlines, other airfare categories also do not include checked baggage. This will be clearly displayed in our airfare selection and on your invoice. Where available, we highly recommend selecting airfares which include at least 1 piece of checked baggage. Gate 1 Travel is not responsible for checked bag fees, excess luggage or weight charges levied by an airline. Checked baggage allowances displayed on reservation details and invoices reflect the applicable allowance at the time of booking but are subject to change by your airline(s). For your airline’s requirements and fees, visit www.gate1travel.com/baggagefees.aspx. For important baggage information, visit www.gate1travel.com/luggage.aspx. Avoid placing valuables in your checked luggage. Federal law forbids the carriage of hazardous materials aboard the aircraft in your luggage, your carry-on or on your person. A violation can result in five years’ imprisonment and penalties of $250,000 or more (49 U.S.C. 5124). Hazardous materials include explosives, compressed gases, flammable liquids and solids, oxidizers, poisons, corrosives and radioactive materials. Examples: Paints, lighter fluid, fireworks, tear gases, oxygen bottles, and radio-pharmaceuticals. There are special exceptions for small quantities (up to 70 ounces total) of medicinal and toilet articles carried in your luggage and certain smoking materials carried on your person. Check the Transportation and Safety Administration (TSA) website www.tsa.gov to find out the current list of acceptable items you may bring on a plane before packing. We recommend that you use brightly colored luggage tags, straps or other identifiers to help you locate you luggage upon arrival or to describe it in the event that it is lost. |
|Day of Departure|
|What to do if You Need Assistance|
Whether you purchased your airfare from Gate 1 Travel or from the airline directly, please bear in mind that Gate 1 Travel does not own nor operate the airline(s), nor the airport facilities where they operate. At times, flying can be a frustrating experience, especially when things do not go exactly as planned, and airline explanations can be confusing or even misleading. Should you face a problem, remain calm and seek assistance either from the airline directly or from Gate 1. Please be aware that in most cases, on the day of your flight(s), airlines pass responsibility for your reservation to their staff at the airport and it is not always possible for Gate 1 Travel to intervene on your behalf, either through our reservations system or directly with your airline.
|Arrival & Departure|
|Upon arrival, please complete immigration formalities if necessary and claim your luggage. If your program includes airport arrival transfers, check your voucher for specific instructions, as they vary with every destination. In most cases, you will be met after collecting your luggage or passing through Customs by the local representative who will be holding a Gate 1 Travel sign and/or a sign with your name on it. In some instances you will be instructed to walk a short distance to a transportation counter. The company's name and location will be printed on your voucher. If for any reason you do not connect with the Gate 1 transfer personnel, go to the Tourist Information Desk and ask them to page the Gate 1 Travel representative or phone the number on your voucher. Be wary of airport scammers who offer unwanted assistance. If you are delayed due to lost luggage, phone the number on the voucher or have a companion exit the Customs Area to advise the transfer representative. |
|What To Do When Your Flight Is Delayed|
|Airlines do not share flight manifest information. Therefore, the only way we may learn of a delay or schedule change while you are traveling is from you, the traveler. The sooner you are able to contact one of our offices, the better we can respond. Please refer to the Emergency Assistance instructions on this same document. Gate 1 Travel is only able to guarantee pre-reserved arrival transfers for up to one hour from the scheduled time, no matter the cause. In case you are delayed for any reason, and are unable to follow the instructions on your voucher, please make independent transfer arrangements and retain your receipts. Unused tour services, including transfers and hotel nights are not refundable. Upon you return home you will need to contact your airline and/or insurance carrier to investigate the possibility of reimbursement for any unused tour services. |
|If your program includes departure transfers, instructions will be stated on your voucher or provided locally. |
|Due to local traffic and other extenuating circumstances, we ask that you allow 30 minutes from your scheduled transfer time for our representative to arrive. This includes hotel, airport and cruise transfers. Such possible delays are taken into consideration in scheduling transfers and you should therefore have no concerns about arriving late for your tour, flight or cruise. For transfers from a hotel, let the hotel reception desk or concierge know that you are waiting for a transfer. In the case of a missed transfer, reimbursement for your out-of-pocket expenses will be considered provided you obtain a written statement from the hotel's front desk verifying the length of time you waited, and the time you left the hotel, and a receipt for your transportation with time and date. |
The cost of a transfer is more expensive than hiring a taxi, as a Gate 1 transfer necessarily includes round trip service, or 'dead-leg'. Often the places of call (airports, seaports, hotels) demand entrance and parking fees, where drivers may have to wait for up to an hour. Passengers comfortable hiring a taxi on their own and do not require assistance will save money.
|About Your Accommodations|
|Gate 1 Travel has carefully selected each hotel based on overall quality, location, price, food, service, and cleanliness. All rooms are standard twin-bedded (two single beds) rooms with private facilities. Special requests such as bed types, smoking preference and connecting rooms are subject to availability. Room selection in all cases, unless otherwise reserved, is strictly at the discretion of the hotel's management on a run-of-house basis. Triple rooms consist of standard twin beds or one double bed plus a sofa/folding bed or cot for third person except in the U.S. and Canada, where triple rooms often consist of two double/queen beds for three persons; where available, a fee may be charged by the hotel for the addition of a cot/rollaway. The number of persons accommodated does not dictate the room size. Although available at most 4 and 5 star hotels, the use of air-conditioning abroad differs greatly from the United States, and is often shut down at night and from the end until the start of the summer months. Some lodges and accommodations in remote regions may not have all of the amenities, such as hairdryer, alarm clock and room service, that you might find in a larger hotel located in a city center. |
|Hotel Check-in/ Check-out|
|Hotel check-in time is generally not before 4:00 p.m. and check-out time is prior to noon. If you will be arriving early in the day or departing in the evening, hotels will usually allow you to store your luggage in their luggage room. Ask at the front desk if the hotel can check you in earlier, or let you stay later. |
|Spain - Hotels in Spain are generally local or international chains of standard quality with a variety of amenities. Some hotels may be housed in historic buildings, especially centrally located hotels in cities such as Madrid, which could result in a variety of room sizes and styles. |
|At Your Destination|
|Eco & Sustainable Tourism|
|We support global efforts to create a more eco-friendly world, intolerant of any forms of cruelty, abuse and intentional environmental destruction. To that end we ask that our clients maintain a watchful eye as they travel, and report any abuses they may encounter. One of the many benefits of tourism is the shared cultural knowledge and ultimate elimination of negative behavior through education. We rely on your good feedback to enable this element of symbiosis. As you travel and learn about foreign cultures, we ask first and foremost that you practice tolerance and respect for local customs. |
|Tipping is always a matter of personal discretion. For your convenience, please use the summary below as a guideline for recommended gratuity amounts. Gratuities may be paid in local currency or US dollar equivalent where accepted. Please be aware that tipping is considered by many locals to be a part of their normal remuneration and some may approach you for additional "compensation." There is no need to be intimidated by the request, nor should you feel pressured to pay more than recommended. If you become uncomfortable by any behavior you encounter, please advise your tour manager or phone our local office. Numbers are provided in your documents for your convenience. |
|Suggested Tipping: Independent Tours|
Hotel Porter: US $3 per bag
Hotel Wait staff: 5-10% of the bill (lunch or dinner)
Local Sightseeing Tours: Guide: US $3 per person per half day, US $6 per person per full day
Driver: US $2 per person per half day, US $4 per person per full day
Gate 1 Representative (where applicable): US $10 per person per day
|Spain - Gratuities are appreciated and expected for good service in restaurants and other places that cater to tourists. Restaurant bills often include a service charge. |
|About Your Sightseeing|
|To ensure a pleasant and fair experience for passengers on our escorted tours, there is a mandatory seat rotation policy on our motor coaches which will be organized by your Tour Manager. On river cruises, color-coded group splits may be used for shoreside included and Optional tours. Some buses are equipped with toilet facility, however they are strictly intended for emergency use only and often require the vehicle to stop for safety reasons before use. When travel dates coincide with religious holidays and national celebrations, some monuments and sites may be closed, sometimes without prior notice. On these occasions, escorted touring itineraries may be amended to reflect these closures. Occasionally, during holidays and certain periods, and/or due to other unforeseen circumstances including weather conditions, there may be last-minute changes, sometimes after arrival, which may affect the sequence of the tour and locations visited. National monuments and tourist sites regularly undergo renovations, which can obscure the monument's view. No tour will be canceled due to renovations, however Gate 1 will decide based on the conditions whether to amend an itinerary. To respect the privacy of all tour participants, your tour manager will not organize a group photo or collect passenger email addresses for a group list. |
|Land Only Passengers (Escorted Tours)|
|Your tour manager will contact you after your arrival at your hotel. Passengers who have not purchased arrival transfers from Gate 1 Travel should proceed directly to the hotel for check-in. The details of the hotel can be found in your documents. |
|Purchasing Tours Locally|
| On escorted tours, the guides will generally sell optional tours to passengers who have not pre-purchased them. Payment can be made by cash or credit card, unless otherwise noted below. This does not apply to Independent packages. Please see Gate 1 Terms & Conditions for more information. https://www.gate1travel.com/terms.aspx#optional |
|Independent Activities - Gate 1 itineraries may contain suggestions for activities for your leisure time; these suggestions do not constitute a recommendation nor an endorsement of any specific service provider and the decision to participate in any such activities should be made independently and with due consideration. Gate 1 is not responsible for any activities not expressly included in its programs. Caution should be exercised when selecting certain activities that may require physical strength, coordination or exertion. Particular care should be taken when considering animal rides, such as on camels, mules or horses |
|Spain - The Euro is the currency of Spain. |
|Spain - ATMs are available in larger cities and towns. Credit cards are generally accepted, but may not be for smaller purchases or in local markets. |
|Most people enjoy bringing home at least one souvenir from the countries they visit. However, some find any amount of shopping to be too much while others never find enough opportunities. |
We have built into our Escorted itineraries a few shopping stops at recommended spots. These stops are designed to enhance your experience by providing an opportunity to see first-hand quality locally crafted merchandise which you may not be able to find on your own. Shops are checked to ensure the quality and authenticity of the products they offer, and we limit guides from visiting other locations. In some cases, we plan these stops to provide an opportunity to use clean bathrooms and to stretch your legs. All shops want your satisfaction, and therefore in case of any misunderstanding they ask that you kindly submit your claim to us within one week of the item's receipt. Claims submitted later will be subject to each store’s policies.
While shopping independently, we advise you to exercise care and common sense when making any purchase. Always get a formal receipt. And remember that, just like in this country, if a deal seems too good to be true, it probably is!
About Tax-Free Shopping
Tax-Free Shopping allows shoppers to reclaim the VAT (Value-Added Tax) or GST (Goods and Services Tax) they have paid on their purchases in some foreign countries in accordance with restrictions and procedures as dictated by each country. Refund eligibility varies by country, but may require presenting a scanned copy of your passport at the time of purchase, a minimum amount spent, or providing original store receipts. For more details, check the respective country’s online website, with the shop salesperson, with your tour manager or at www.globalblue.com for specific country regulations and airport operation hours. Please keep in mind that you must apply for VAT refund in the airport of the country the items were purchased and allow enough time prior to your flight for the application.
U.S. Customs & Shipping Charges
You may carry items with a fair retail value totaling $800 into the U.S. Taxes may be applied to the next $1,000 worth of merchandise. U.S. Customs determines the value of your items, often honoring a genuine sales receipt. Items which are shipped home are always subject to duty when received in the U.S. (in addition to shipping charges). Some shops may offer to include shipping and duties in the price but this typically means shipping only to the customs facility closest to you and payment only of the export duties; you would still need to collect the item and pay U.S. import duties. Please be aware that it is illegal to import products made from endangered animal species. U.S. Customs & Border Protection will seize these items, as well as most furs, coral, tortoise shell, reptile skins, feathers, plants, and items made from animal skins.
|Spain - Smaller shops usually open in the morning, close in the early afternoon for siesta, and re-open in the late afternoon, Monday through Saturday. Larger stores do not close for siesta. Most stores, regardless of size, are closed on Sunday. Additionally, many cities feature permanent markets, offering another way to shop for interesting goods. Items of particular interest include porcelain, fine leather, woodwork, ceramics, and paintings. Madrid and Barcelona both feature permanent markets, including the famous La Boqueria located just off Las Ramblas in Barcelona. |
|Your Safety is Very Important|
Prior to your trip, if you are traveling overseas, we strongly recommend that you visit the website of the U.S. Department of State at www.travel.state.gov, specifically the section which addresses International Travel. You should read the tips for foreign travel and travel warnings for the country or countries that you plan to visit. |
It is also important that you do not allow your common sense to take a vacation while on your trip. Here are several tips which, if followed, will save much potential hardship:
If you've purchased an escorted tour program, your travel documents will include telephone numbers of local Gate 1 Travel representatives who will do their utmost to assist you in the event of an emergency. The numbers are printed on your Gate 1 Travel vouchers. Please copy the numbers. Once you relinquish the voucher, you will not have this information. Passengers traveling independently should employ the services of hotel concierges and local authorities.
|Tourist Street Scams|
Pickpockets and thieves can destroy an otherwise wonderful holiday. Be mindful of these precautions to help avoid being scammed or robbed: |
|Local Emergency Phone Numbers|
|Spain - Spanish is the local language. Limited English is generally spoken in tourist areas. |
|Please note: The U.S. uses 120 volts and you can purchase a converter and transformer at most hardware stores for your 120V appliances. |
|Spain - The voltage used is 220 volts. |
|Code of Conduct|
|Spain - In general, casual but tasteful clothing is acceptable public attire. Personal appearance is important in Spanish culture. The Catholic faith is the dominant religion in Spain and retains a strong cultural influence. Common courtesies should be practiced. Conservative clothing should be worn when visiting religious buildings, meaning legs and shoulders should be covered. Smoking is now restricted to open outdoor spaces, such as streets or parks, that are not near children's play areas or schools. |
|Meals & Dietary Requests|
|Included meals are based on the restaurant's buffet or set menu. Beverages are not included, unless specifically stated. Although special diets like Vegetarian and Vegan are relatively commonplace in the USA, much of the world's menu options are more provincial. Please do not expect to find the variety of food selection outside of the local norm. Every effort will be made to honor special dietary requests selected no later than 5 days prior to departure in the passenger details section of your reservation. In addition, we recommend that you make preferences known to your tour manager upon arrival, and at each hotel/restaurant. Special requests are subject to local conditions and availability and cannot be guaranteed. |
|Spain - Meal times in Spain are later than in many areas. Lunch is not served before 1:30 pm and dinner is not served until 9:00 pm. Some restaurants in the main tourist areas may open earlier. In Spanish culture it is considered bad manners to leave food uneaten, so take this into account when ordering. A waiter can explain portion sizes to help avoid this. |
|On public holidays, there may be reduced public transportation, as well as limited hours or closures of attractions, shops and restaurants. |
|Holidays - Spain|
Jan 1: New Year's Day
Feb 21: Carnival
Apr 7: Good Friday
Apr 9: Easter
Apr 25: Liberation Day
May 1: Labor Day
Jun 8: Corpus Christi
Jun 10: Portugal Day
Aug 15: Assumption of Mary
Oct 5: Republic Day
Nov 1: All Saints' Day
Dec 1: Independence Restoration Day
Dec 8: Feast of the Immaculate Conception
Dec 25: Christmas Day
Jan 1: New Year's Day
Jan 6: Epiphany
Feb 13: Carnival
Mar 29: Good Friday
Mar 31: Easter
May 1: Labor Day
May 30: Corpus Christi
Aug 15: Assumption of Mary
Oct 12: Spain Hispanic Day / Fiesta Nacional de Espana
Nov 1: All Saints' Day
Dec 6: Constitution Day
Dec 8: Feast of the Immaculate Conception
Dec 25: Christmas Day