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Even if you are an independent traveler, there are times group tours can make sense, such as a day excursion from a major city or traveling with friends and family.
Topics I discuss on this page:

The Pros and Cons:
I like to have control of my schedule. I do not like being rushed through major attractions, or when I am ready to leave, having to wait for others. Of course, traveling with family or a friend means some compromise; traveling with a group requires a little more compromise.

The advantages of bus tours are numerous. Someone else does the navigation and driving, it can be a super way to connect socially with others, and if you are traveling by yourself, there is a feeling of security.

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Plan your Group's Spanish Adventure!

Working with excellent local contacts throughout Spain, Madrid & Beyond designs special programs to open up some of the best-kept secrets of Spain.

Planning your own group tour puts you in control:
Putting together one's own travel group is perhaps one of the most overlooked options for bus travel.

Traveling with your friends and/or family can be a much different experience than traveling with a group of strangers. Family reunions, as part of a tour, not only allow the sharing of old memories but the formation of new shared experiences. Clubs such as photography clubs, sewing clubs, or trade associations can plan special excursions to address their areas of focus.

When putting together your own tour, you can also customize it to your preferences. Maybe you just want a driver to take your group from city to city, or maybe you will want a guide to inform you about all the sights. Designed properly, planning your own tour can provide you with many of the benefits of independent travel while sharing your travel with others.
Suggested Booking Resource for Planning your own Group Tours - Madrid & Beyond

Private Chauffeured tours:
Perhaps one of the more expensive options a traveler to Spain could select, the private chauffeured tour is for the independent traveler who wants someone else to do the driving. Private chauffeured tours can be for just a few hours or for weeks. Of course the more people traveling together, the more economical this option becomes, and the driver and vehicle can be contracted for just a part of the trip, not all of it. For those who can afford it, you can also consider the option of having an expert English-speaking tour guide with you for some or all of your trip. This is a great way to learn about Spain, its people, and its culture.
Suggested Booking Resource for Private Tours - Madrid & Beyond

1/2 day and 1 day excursions:
These large group, local tours, only last for a few hours, providing ground transportation, a guide, and for full day tours, often lunch. On my first visit to Spain, I took a half-day tour out of Madrid to visit the El Escorial. Local bus excursions can easily be arranged through your Spanish hotel on arrival. It is best to make reservations for these tours at least one day in advance, but same day reservation is often possible. Or, pre-book these tours through Viator; Tours out of Madrid, Tours out of Barcelona, Tours from Costa del Sol, Tours out of Granada, Tours out of Seville.

More on Spain's Private Escorted Tours can be found here

Fixed date tours can be large or small:
Large group tours are often the least expensive option. By booking hotel rooms in bulk and packing as many tourists as possible into the tour, tour operators are able to lower their costs. As an independent traveler, I am not attracted to this type of travel unless it is just for a day trip excursion. Many people enjoy this type of travel immensely. They like the comfort of being part of the large group, and they like having a variety of people to meet. With large tours, do not expect hotel accommodations of local character. While hotels can be luxurious, the hotels used by large tour operators must be massive enough to accommodate the fleets of tourist buses that arrive daily.
Suggested Large Group Tours - Viator has a few multi day, large group tours

Small group tours are a good balance for tour travel. You are still part of a group, but when the guide speaks you might actually be able to hear everything that is said. Waiting times for almost everything (bus loading, viewing an attraction, entering an attraction, etc.) should be less than with a large group tour.

Plan your Group's Spanish Adventure!
Working with excellent local contacts throughout Spain, my recommended Spain Travel Agent designs special programs to open up some of the best-kept secrets of Spain. To name but a few of Madrid & Beyond services, they can arrange personally guided city tours, visits to wine bodegas, tickets for the bullfights, tickets for Real Madrid, cookery classes, tapas tours, and all types of transportation within Spain. In addition, Madrid & Beyond personally inspects the hotels that they recommend, offering accommodations to suit individual tastes and requirements. Working with on-the-ground experts can make all the difference."

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Tours of Spain
A listing of day and multi-day tours; Powered by Viator Inc.
Tours out of Madrid
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