top of page

explore SOUTHERN SPAIN

IMG_3560[83].jpg

MADRID       TOLEDO       CORDOBA        SEVILLA        RONDA       GRANADA       MALAGA


June 19 - 30, 2024

10 Nights 11 Days

Explore the heritage of Al-Andalus, the Islamic civilization that flourished in Iberia (modern Spain and Portugal) from 711-1492 CE. Starting from the nation’s capital and passing through the region of La Mancha, journey through key cities of the Muslim era in Andalucía (a region of several provinces in southern Spain), learning about the multi-faith experience of cooperation and conflict, scientific advancements, and cultural influences that continue to impact us today. Visit UNESCO World Heritage sites, try unique cuisines, and enjoy the beautiful landscapes that will transport you to another world.

faculty guide

Professor Munir Shaikh

Unknown-1.jpeg

Bayan’s vice president and professor Munir Shaikh will be the faculty escort for the tour. He holds an M.A. in Islamic Studies from the University of California, Los Angeles, with a specialization in the history of Islamic Iberia (Al-Andalus), and certificates from academic programs in Morocco, Egypt and Spain. He has lived for periods of time in Spain (and Morocco), and is conversant in Spanish. He has taught academic courses on Islamic Spain, Middle Eastern history, Islam, and world history, and led world heritage tours in various countries, including seven previous excursions in Southern Spain.

Itinerary in southern Spain

Bayan - Uzbekistan Itinerary (Facebook Post).png
BAYAN TOURS .png

Bayan has been offering faculty-led tours to world heritage destinations since 2017, with recurring tours to Southern Spain, Malaysia & Singapore, Uzbekistan, Jerusalem & Jordan, Turkey, Egypt, Bosnia-Herzegovina, with exciting new destinations being planned for the coming years.

WHY JOIN A BAYAN TOUR?

Tours offered by Bayan cater to the diverse interests and needs of families, while offering an exceptional educational and cultural program. Each tour is led by one or more faculty members who provide daily background lectures and insights about the historical and contemporary contexts. Local guides are utilized as well at various points in time. The itinerary is crafted by experienced personnel to maximize your enjoyment and satisfaction. While the scheduled program is robust, ample time is provided to explore on your own, shop for local handicrafts and souvenirs, and enjoy some leisure activities. Bayan’s tour group size is typically up to 35 participants.

SOUTHERN SPAIN TOUR HIGHLIGHTS

Madrid

  • Plaza Mayor, Gran Via, Puerta del Sol

  • Royal Palace

  • Friday prayer at Madrid Central Mosque

  • El Retiro Park

 

Toledo

  • Mezquita de Cristo de la Luz

  • Synagogue El Transito & Sta. Maria La Blanca

  • Damascene metalworks shops

  • Visigothic Museum

 

Cordoba

  • Mezquita-Catedral (Great Mosque)

  • Judería (old Jewish quarter)

  • Museum of Three Cultures

  • Madinat Al-Zahra archaeological site

 

Sevilla

  • Royal Alcázar of Sevilla

  • Cathedral of Sevilla / Giralda Tower

  • Plaza de España

  • Horse-carriage ride

 

Ronda

  • Puente Nuevo

  • Casa del Rey Moro

  • Arab baths archaeological site

 

Granada

  • Alhambra palace

  • Friday prayer at Mosque of Granada

  • Albaicín (old Muslim city)

  • Flamenco show

 

Malaga

  • La Calle Larios

  • Boardwalk / Promenade

  • Gibralfaro castle vista point


 

Along with visiting these sites, we will encounter the people and make friendships, sample various cuisines, appreciate cultural programs, and enjoy the natural landscapes that we pass through.

IMG_3157[33].jpg

TOUR INFORMATION

Tour Pricing - land package only

All pricing is double-occupancy, airfare is not included.

 

Adult                             $3,195

Additional Adult          $2,795

Minors (8-17)               $2.395

 

Single supplement:       $500

Land Package Inclusions

  • Airport transfers in Spain

  • 10 nights hotel (4* in most cases)

  • Ground transportation by private A/C coach

  • Local bus, taxi, metro fares during group excursions

  • Entrance fees for sites

  • Breakfast + lunch or dinner (2 meals/day)

  • Bayan scholar providing daily talks and guidance

 

exclusions

  • International airfare to Spain (budget about $1,500 round-trip per person from US gateways) and applicable baggage fees

  • Tourist visa if required (US and EU citizens do not need a visa)

  • Gratuities for driver(s) and guide(s)

  • Personal items

  • Hotel incidental charges, hotel porters and other individualized services

  • Covid-19 testing costs (if required for entry or return to country of origin)

  • Urgent care, medical treatment and testing, related expenses

  • Travel insurance (recommended)

International Travel Arrangements

 

Arriving to Spain

Numerous airlines provide service to Spain. Participants should book roundtrip flights to Madrid (MAD), and arrive no later than Thursday, June 20. Participants may wish to arrive several days earlier to Madrid or fly into Barcelona (BCN) and make their own way to Madrid by June 20.  The tour program officially begins at 6:00pm on June 20 with a group orientation meeting in the Madrid hotel, evening walk in Madrid, and group dinner. For travelers from the US, this would mean departing from your city of origin on Wednesday, June 19. You can plan your travel to add extra days in transit before reaching Madrid, but the included transfer from airport to hotel is only available to those arriving on June 20. 

 

Departing from Spain

Participants departing Malaga (AGP) on June 30 will be provided a transfer to the airport several hours before their flight departure time.  Outbound flights might be to other countries such as Portugal, England, France, etc. or to Madrid (to connect to flights bound for the US or elsewhere, or spend more time in Madrid or elsewhere in Spain).  Alternatively, participants may opt to secure a train ticket from Malaga to Madrid or other cities on June 30.  Those who wish to remain longer in Spain after the tour concludes must make their own lodging arrangements for the night of June 30 and beyond, and arrange their own transfer to the airport or train station on their departure.

 

Booking Your Flights

Once you’ve paid your deposit to Bayan Tours, you should book your flights as soon as possible to try and obtain well-priced airfare with suitable flight timings and layovers. You can use your own travel agent, check airline websites, or use other booking sites to select the flight legs that are best for you. We recommend that you choose routes with layovers of not less than 90 minutes.

HOTELS

  • Madrid: Hotel Catalonia Gran Via  (2 nights)

  • Cordoba: Eurostars Palace (2 nights)

  • Sevilla: Petit Palace Marques Santa Ana (1 night)

  • Ronda: Hotel Catalonia (1 night)

  • Granada: NH Victoria (3 nights)

  • Malaga: Vincci Larios Diez (1 night)

Bayan Tours-3.png
  • Who is leading the tour?
    Bayan’s vice president and professor Munir Shaikh will be the faculty escort for the tour. He holds an M.A. in Islamic Studies from the University of California, Los Angeles, with a specialization in the history of Islamic Iberia (Al-Andalus), and certificates from academic programs in Morocco, Egypt and Spain. He has lived for periods of time in Spain (and Morocco), and is conversant in Spanish. He has taught academic courses on Islamic Spain, Middle Eastern history, Islam, and world history, and led world heritage tours in various countries, including seven previous excursions in Southern Spain.
  • What is the expected group size?
    Bayan’s tours are focused on providing a well-rounded experience featuring scholarly knowledge, cultural exposure, recreational activities, and free time. Most tour groups are multi-generational and diverse in nature. In addition to historical and contemporary sites of interest, the itinerary includes visits to mosques and other places of worship to accommodate the religious needs of group members. Our group size tends to be in the range of 30-40 participants from North America and beyond. Participants are able to get to know one another and develop bonds of friendship and camaraderie that can last a lifetime. By participating in a tour, you are helping sustain and advance Bayan’s mission as a non-profit educational institution.
  • When is the registration deadline?
    We are accepting registrations for the tour until March 31, in order to reserve seats on a train, book sufficient hotel rooms, procure entrance tickets to monuments, and ensure other details. You must pay a refundable deposit of $500 per traveler. Deposits are partially refundable through February 15, 2024, however, a cancellation charge of $ 100 per traveler will apply for any cancellation requested 24 hours after time of booking. For other important terms and conditions, please click here. After payment of your deposit, you will receive an invoice for the remaining balance for your party, reflecting any applicable discounts. The balance payment is due no later than April 15, 2024.
  • Is a visa required for U.S. citizens to enter Spain?
    Bayan’s tours are open to participants who wish to join from anywhere in the world. However, the majority of participants tend to be from the United States. US passport holders do not need to obtain a visa to enter Spain for tourism. This is true for nationals of many other countries as well. However, non-US passport holders are encouraged to check requirements for their nationality and obtain a visa if required.
  • How physically demanding is the tour?
    Our group will be transported from city to city in a luxury air-conditioned tourist bus. However, in each city, since we will be in the historical centers where buses can't go, we will use the metro or other local public transportation, and occasional taxis, to get around. Even so, there will be a significant amount of walking on most days, on slight inclines and steps. The streets at times will have cobblestones. The walking distances involved at any given time can range from 1/4 to 1/2 mile between rest points. The guides will take into account the differing abilities and health conditions of group members and regulate the pace and intensity of the tour accordingly. Nonetheless, participants should expect to walk roughly 12,000 steps each day (about 6 miles in aggregate) during the first few days of the program, and perhaps 8,000 steps per day during the latter portion of the itinerary. This tour may not be suitable for those with knee, hip or foot pain that could be aggravated by the amount of walking involved. Ideally, all participants should prepare for the tour by walking at least 5,000 steps per day in the weeks leading up to the tour.
  • What type of food will we have on the tour?
    Spain’s food is a mix of Mediterranean and local traditions. Some dishes, such as paella, reveal their roots in Arab/Muslim cuisines. While the types of vegetarian options have grown in recent years in Spain, most local meat dishes feature pork (we will be sure to avoid any foods prepared with pork or alcohol). During the tour, we will dine at restaurants that serve zabiha halal foods, or at places that offer seafood and vegetarian options. You can expect meals to include Middle Eastern, Turkish and Moroccan dishes at restaurants run by local Muslims, and Italian and other types of dishes more generally. You’ll have the option of sampling various suitable tapas (small dishes) that are routinely consumed in neighborhood establishments..
  • Will you provide more information about the daily schedule and other details?
    Yes, all participants who have completed their full payment will receive a detailed information packet that includes descriptions of the cities and sites to be visited, the daily schedule, currency exchange, local prayer times, electrical adapters, weather, what to pack, and more.
  • What precautions are you taking with regard to COVID-19?
    We encourage participants to be fully vaccinated with at least one booster shot for all who are eligible to receive these shots. Travelers may visit Spain for tourism, but must provide either a certificate proving full vaccination, a negative test (PCR or rapid antigen), or a certificate of recovery. Travelers can enter using the EU Digital Covid Certificate or its equivalents. We do not expect to mandate masking during the tour, but we encourage masking whenever possible and according to each individual’s comfort level. For example, when shopping in crowded areas, it would be best to wear a mask. General sanitary practices should be maintained at all times, such as washing hands with soap, using sanitizing gels and wipes, and maintaining a reasonable distance between individuals.
bottom of page