Why our optional land packages in Spain’s capital are not to be missed.

Immerse yourself in the beautiful city of Madrid, surrounded by the diverse architecture, flourishing plazas, and bustling streets of the Spanish capital. Walk alongside the locals, referred to as Madrileños, and discover the city’s rich collection of art, beautiful green parks, and an endless supply of bars and cafés. 

With the streets always buzzing with life, Madrid is full of energy and excitement. The capital’s rich history and welcoming locals make Madrid a must-see destination. Experience the Spanish way of life in the vibrant capital as part of your 3-night Madrid land package with your Flavors of Portugal & Spain cruise and, beginning in 2026, on your 4-night Madrid & San Sebastián land package with your Taste of Bordeaux cruise.

Stroll Through Vibrant Plazas and Narrow Streets  

On both optional land packages that venture to Madrid, you will be treated to a city tour that includes a visit to Madrid’s Plaza Mayor, one of the city’s best-known squares, which housed bullfights, symphonies, tournaments, and executions in the age of the Spanish Inquisition. Today, Plaza Mayor is lined with shops, cafés, and restaurants. Stop into the nearby Mercado de San Miguel, an indoor market brimming with sights and smells. Taste a variety of tapas, delicious Spanish appetizers, such as patatas bravas (a spicy potato dish) and gambas al ajillo (a garlic shrimp Spanish staple). Indulge your senses with a flood of baked goods, cured meats, and fine wines during your included Madrid City Tour. 

Around the corner from Plaza Mayor is the Puerta del Sol, a favorite meeting spot for tourists and locals alike. This plaza, perhaps the busiest place in Madrid, is home to festivals, demonstrations, and street performers. 

In a tucked-away street, just minutes away from the bustling plaza, is Madrid’s oldest restaurant, Sobrino de Botin. If you have the time, go and order “cochinillo por favor” to indulge in the restaurant’s specialty: roast suckling pig! 

Nearby, continue your guided excursion with a tour of the largest functioning palace in Europe, the Royal Palace of Madrid, which is over 1 million square feet. Adorned with stucco, Spanish marble, mahogany, and beautiful frescos, the palace is a collection of lavish décors.

People Watch in the Paseo del Prado  

Located in the southern end of the heart of the city is the Paseo del Prado. A perfect place to take a rest on a sunny day, go for a stroll, or sit and listen to drumming circles, the tree-fringed boulevard is a lovely break from the hustle and bustle of the city. If you have time, be sure to visit and take in the towering trees, scattering of fountains, and beautiful bordering buildings. 

Discover the Art of Madrid

The Paseo del Arte is home to three of Spain’s most renowned art museums, known as the “Golden Triangle of Art.” In your free time, visit the Museo del Prado, which houses masterpieces by Velásquez, Goya, and Bosch. The Thyssen-Bornemisza houses over 1,600 paintings, ranging from the old Italian masters to the more recent artists of the 20th century. The Centro de Arte Reina Sofía holds an equally impressive collection, including Picasso’s famed Guernica.

An Evening of Music and Dance

Madrid is known as the capital of flamenco, a traditional style of passionate music and dance. After a full day of sightseeing, enjoy a lavish meal and live entertainment at the Corral de la Morería, the most known flamenco venue in the world, an evening that is well worth your time. Enjoy the sounds of Spanish guitar and watch the fiery, intricate performances into the evening during our optional Flamenco Show.

Take an Excursion to the Medieval City of Toledo

A UNESCO World Heritage Site, the walled city of Toledo was Spain’s capital until the mid-1500s. Offered as part of our 3-night Madrid land package, you will take a short 30-minute trip outside of Madrid to Toledo. This town was once home to a large population of Jewish and Muslim communities before they were exiled from Spain at the turn of the 16th century. Today, religious meeting places such as the Synagogue of Santa María la Blanca, the Synagogue of El Transito, and the Mosque of Cristo de la Luz, remember these populations.

Why Reserve Our Optional Land Package in Madrid 

Get extra time to experience this vibrant city before or after your cruise and explore an additional country: Spain!

What’s Included in Your Optional Land Package

  • 3 nights in Madrid at the Hotel NH Collection Madrid Colón (or similar) with 3-night Madrid land package
  • 2 nights in Madrid and 2 nights in San Sebastián at 4- or 5-star hotels with 4-night Madrid & San Sebastián land package
  • Daily breakfast at the hotel
  • Convenient transfers between your hotel and ship
  • Guided tours
  • The services of one of our wonderful Cruise Managers – unique in the industry

Contact your preferred travel advisor to reserve an extended stay in Madrid as part of your Flavors of Portugal & Spain itinerary along the Douro River!

*An additional cost applies to this optional tour.

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