Military Historical Tours (MHT) is proud to offer the military history of Spain, from the period of the Carthaginian conquests over the Phoenicians to the current Afghan War spans a period of more than 2200 years. We hope to give you both the military history but also allow you to experience the proud culture, wonderful people and excitement of Espana.
Tour Leader: Col Dave Wall USMCR(Ret)
Spain's early military history emerged from her location on the western fringes of the Mediterranean Sea, a base for attacks between the Roman Empire and its rival for control of the Mediterranean, Carthage. With the fall of the Roman Empire, Spain was devastated by successive barbarian invasions. The early Middle Ages for Spain saw the country forming the front line in a battle between Christian and Islamic forces in the Mediterranean; the Reconquista took centuries to reach a military resolution. The 16th and 17th centuries marked the peak of Spanish power, the so-called Spanish Golden Age. Spain acquired a vast empire by colonizing the newly discovered what was to become Central & South America and the Philippines. Her “tercio” infantry units, backed by imperial gold and silver, were dominant in Europe. It was not until the years after the Thirty Years' War that Spanish military power began to fade; even then, supported by a reinvigorated navy, Spain remained a major military power throughout the 18th century, in competition with Britain and France on the global stage.
The Napoleonic Wars changed Spanish military history dramatically; defeated at home, the Peninsular War (the Spanish War of Independence) saw the development of guerrilla warfare against the occupying French forces. The collapse of central Spanish authority resulted in successful led to a sequence of civil wars in Spain itself, many fought by frustrated veterans of the French and colonial campaigns. Attempts to reassert imperial power during the mid-19th century, enabled by the development of the steam frigate ultimately failed, leading to the collapse of the remnants of Spain's empire in the Americas and Asia in 1898 at the hands of a rising power, the United States of America. The political tensions spilled over once again in the Spanish Civil War of 1936–9 bringing a foretaste of the tactics of the Second World War, several nations used the conflict as a testing ground for new aerial and armored warfare tactics. In the post-war period, Spain has played a growing modern military role within the context of the NATO alliance.
The unique Military Historical Tours in-depth approach includes extensive pre-departure research, utilizing a vast resource of maps and other source material, ensuring the finest possible experience. Our Tour Leader for this program is among the most knowledgeable on this subject. In-depth, but easily understood, briefings are conducted historic sites.
For those wanting to go into more detail, the onsite staff is always available. We welcome your phone calls, letters or e-mails to discuss this expedition with one of our Battlefield Specialists. Call us toll free at 800-722-9501, M-F 9AM - 5:00PM, write or e-mail us. We look forward to hearing from you!
Spain Tour Pricing:
Main Tour Cost (Air not included): $ 2,695
(bodo - based on two persons sharing double room)
Single Room Supplement: $ 595
Barcelona Post Tour (bodo): $ 695
Barcelona Single Room Supp: $ 295
Main Tour Price Includes:
* Deluxe Hotel accommodations
* Air conditioned motor coach
* Tours featuring military historical sites
* Entrance fees for indicated sites
* Meals as indicated in itinerary
Airfare Not Included: Discount airfare from the continental U.S. to Spain is available through MHT’s travel partners. Please call the office to obtain the discounted rates from your departure city.
9 Sept—(Day 1) Flight to Espana
International Overnight Flight to Madrid. Travel to our hotel and welcome cocktail upon arrival. Hotel: Gran Hotel Velazquez
10 Sept—(Day 2) - Madrid
After breakfast, we visit the Navy Museum; full of History but also with artistic and scientific items, and references to America and to the US. After lunch we take a walking tour through Madrid´s Bourbons district including Columbus square, Alcala Gate (the unofficial symbol of Madrid), New City Hall (former General Post Office) and Retiro Park (memorial to King Alphonse XII) Meals: B-Breakfast L-Lunch
11 Sept—(Day 3) – Toledo (day trip by coach)
After breakfast we travel by bus to nearby Toledo. The visit is divided between the Army museum and the city. Lunch is scheduled at the museum restaurant. Afterwards we tour historic Toledo.
Above, the Alcazar fortress houses the army museum. Its construction dates from Roman times. It was rebuilt during the reigns of Alfonso VI and Alfonso X the Wise, when it became the first fortress with a square floor plan and with towers at the corners. Meals: B/L
12 Sept—(Day 4) - Madrid
Visit to the Spanish Army Armored Collection at El Goloso military base (Civil War and WWII vintage tanks.) As it is a quite technical museum, the alternative for wives is shopping in Madrid; (no coach is needed for this option as all the hotel’s location is in one of the bests shopping areas. When group reunites, a walking tour through Madrid´s old city is planned with a “Spanish Ham and Wine tasting” scheduled during the route. Meals: B/L
13 Sept—(Day 5) - Segovia (day trip by coach)
The Alcazar fortress will be visited that houses an artillery museum including a very early Middle Age collection. Tour Segovia’s typical city streets and its huge millenary roman aqueduct. Meals: B/L
14 Sept—(Day 6) - Cordoba (day trip by high speed train)
Transfer from station to city center, and return to station, by coach. Visit the famous Mosque – cathedral one of the wonders of Spain. After lunch, time to discover the city and its mixture of Christian, Jewish and Muslim areas. Lunch at a restaurant with a menu based on typical Spanish /Andalusian “tapas”. We will view an exhibition explaining the Muslim times of the city, with a model of the mosque before its capture by the Christians, are displayed inside the tower. Meals: B/L
15 Sept—(Day 7) - Village of Chinchon (day trip by coach We visit Chinchon’s 15th & 16th century main square and houses, church tower and medieval castle. We have lunch at El Cid, an excellent Spanish restaurant that also houses the Spanish Civil War and the Ethnological Museum. Meals: B/L
16 Sept—(Day 8) - Valley of the Fallen and Manzanares Castle
Today we visit the Valley of the Fallen monument, basilica and Franco´s grave, as well as a war grave and Spanish Civil War Memorial. Manzanares castle, one of the most impressive of the castle. Also inside are knights’ armors, Middle Ages artifacts, a medieval warfare exhibition and renaissance tapestries. Upon return to hotel we gather for a farewell Madrid Dinner Meals: B/L/Farewell Dinner
17 Sept—(Day 9 ) Pardo Palace and Royal Guard Historical Room Departure Flight or Post Tour high speed train to Barcelona
This morning we visit the Pardo Palace used by the Spanish Royalty until 1885 and in 1939 Generalissimo Franco used it as his residence as Head of State. If time allows, we tour the nearby Spanish Royal Guard Historical Room The military unit Spanish Royal Guard - one of the world´s oldest guard units - protects the King, conducts ceremonies, provides escort, renders honors and maintains and drives the royal (or head of state during the Franco reign) official cars. We will be able to see the G4/W31 Mercedes, the last of this official version as it was a gift by Hitler to Franco. Only four were built, this is the last remaining as the two belonging to Hitler and the one given as a gift to Mussolini were lost at the end of WWII.
Post Tour departs Atocha Station built in 1892 and considered a milestone of the “steel architecture” (like Eiffel Tower) for the high speed train to Barcelona. Arrive around 1800 (6PM), with time to check into the hotel and start enjoying the city. Hotel: Urquinaona
Barcelona Post Tour
18 Sept—(Day 10) Barcelona Post Tour (Day 1)
Today we start with a Barcelona Walking Tour. First stop is the Sagrada Família Cathedral which is hailed as Antoni Gaudi's best work and finest masterpiece. We traverse Diagonal Avenue, to the widest and one of the most important avenues in Barcelona, Gaudi’s Casa Mila, a UNESCO World Heritage Site and this unique structure has no straight lines. We pass the famed architectural buildings of the "Block of Discord." We arrive at the Plaça de Catalunya the city's busiest square where nine streets meet including the La Rambla. This legendary boulevard is the one place that all visitors are bound to pass through as we start at the Mercat de Sant Josep de la Boqueria massive indoor market, Royal Square in Barcelona's Old Town and Guell Palace, a UNESCO site another great works by artist and architect Antoni Gaudi. We finish our stroll at the huge 60 meters tall Columbus Monument constructed in 1888 at the end of La Rambla. Meals: B/L
19 Sept—(Day 11) Barcelona Post Tour (Day 2)
Today we have a driving tour of the rest of the city to include the Barcelona Cathedral in the heart of Barcelona and is also known as La Seu was begun in 1298. Next up is the Picasso Museum opened in 1963 in a row of five 13th and 14th century Catalan-Gothic style palazzos which were brought together to hold a collection of more than 4,000 works of art. We tour Plaça d'Espanya the busy square that is considered the gateway to Montjuic as it is located at the foot of the Montjuic Hill as well as a hub of entertainment venues and attractions. In 1929, the entire area was redesigned and smartened up for the International Exhibition including many iconic buildings. We conclude the day at the Carretera de Montjuic, this popular Military museum located in the Castell de Montjuic, in addition to exhibiting the costumes and cannons of the regions military over the years, offers visitors a spectacular view of the surrounding countryside and sea. Meals: B/L
20 Sept—(Day 12) Departure Flight from Barcelona
Hotel to airport: by private coach for departure.
España - Spanish Military & Cultural History (9 - 20 Sept 2017)
- Product Code: 17-EUR-ESP
- Availability: 12