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12 Days in Spain

Imagine the sound of live music filling the streets, the taste of wine and tapas on a patio in the Spanish sun, all surrounded by the exotic heartbeat of authentic Spain.  We've all seen our friends' photos of the stunning architecture, white-sand beaches, dramatic flamenco dancing, and medieval fortresses.  We've heard their stories of being blown away by the experience of it all.  The food, the wine, the dancing, the cobblestone streets, the romance, the "fiestas and siestas" culture, the beauty at every turn... followed up with an emphatic "I could live there!".  This is the Spain we know and love and can't wait to experience with you, whether you're a first time visitor to Spain, or a tenth.  Spain is that rare country that will steal a piece of your heart and beg you to come back for it.

Our trips through Spain encompass the greatest regions of the diverse country, from eccentric Barcelona on the Mediterranean coast, to the Andalucian towns of Granada and Seville which live up to all the Spanish stereotypes (think flamenco, sangria, and Ole!), to the iconic beauty of the capital city Madrid.  With 12 days and a laid-back pace we've got the time to fully immerse ourselves in each of these four destinations.  Sip sangria above Barcelona on Montjuic, take in some live flamenco in Seville, learn to cook our own tapas under the shadow of the Alhambra in Granada, and live it up in the lively capital of Madrid to cap it all off.

Days 1, 2, and 3 - BARCELONA

Barcelona is jam-packed full of unique things to see and do which is why it’s such a loved place by its visitors! Our first three nights are spent finding out why this city makes people yearn to come back over and over again. We’ll check out some famous spots together such as the Sagrada Familia, and Las Ramblas then take in the view from the best vantage point atop Mont Juic while sipping the finest Sangria. Our first meeting time on day 1 is at 4pm where we'll all meet together to start our adventure!

Included Activties: Walking tour of Barcelona (inc. Sagrada Familia)

Optional Activities: Barcelona Biking Tour • Park Güell • La Padrera • Casa Batló • Art Museum of Catalonia • Palau de la Musica

Days 4, 5, and 6 - GRANADA

The famous Alhambra looms over the quaint, picturesque, traditionally Andalusian streets, all set against the background of the snow-capped Sierra Nevada mountains. “Can’t miss” items in this gorgeous town include visiting the hill-top Alhambra at sunset, taking in a local flamenco show, and checking out the many parks, streets, and buildings dating back to the time of the Moorish rule. Whether you’d like to take a Spanish cooking course here, take a day trip up to the Sierra Nevada mountains, or maybe even visit local wineries, you’ll have plenty of options to keep you as busy as you'd like.

Included Activities: 3-hour walking tour of Granada

Optional Activities: The Alhambra • Flamenco Show • Hammam Arab Baths • Olive Oil Tour • Granada Cathedral

Days 7, 8, and 9 - SEVILLE

Seville (or "Sevilla" as the locals call it) is incredibly rich in history and is the home to many things that scream "SPAIN!" including tapas, flamenco, and paella.  It's also known as being one of the most romantic cities in Spain with romance in the air at every turn.  Of course there's also a very lively gay community here too if you're looking to meet some locals!  All of this makes Seville a perfectly well-rounded city with beauty, history, and culture galore.

Included Activities: 3-hour walking tour of Seville

Optional Activities: Seville Cathedral • Bullring Experience • Plaza de Espana • Royal Alcazar • Spanish cooking class • Seville bike tour • Segway tour

Days 10, 11, and 12 - MADRID

One of the world's great cities.  A hub of art, history, nightlife, shopping, and culinary delights, Madrid is an incredible city to discover.  The last 2 nights of our Spanish adventure together will be spent here surrounded by impressive architecture and endless things to keep busy with.  Impressive museums such as the Museo del Prado and the Museo Thyssen-Bornemisza are located here and are worth the time if you enjoy art museums, otherwise, enjoy our included 3-hour walking tour in the morning with a local guide, then get lost in the beautiful streets and alleyways.  Once night falls, there's no better place to be than the blocks that surround our group hotel in the heart of Chueca, Madrid's ecclectic gay neighborhood.

Our time together comes to an end on the 12th day of the trip and all travelers are welcome to depart from Madrid any time on this day, or ask us to add extra nights in Madrid if you'd like more time to expore this beautiful city.

We don't like staying in smelly shacks on our vacations and we're pretty sure you don't either! You work hard to go on vacation and we believe you deserve an enjoyable, comfortable place to wind down at the end of each day. We put a LOT of time into finding the perfect accommodation for your trip. After rigorous wifi signal testing, fluffing pillows, and taking a shower or two, we've narrowed down our favorite properties. Check out our approved accommodation to see where we've stayed in the past and where we'll likely be staying on your trip.

BARCELONA: Hotel Catalonia Eixample 1864

Located in the heart of the Eixample area of Barcelona, this beautiful hotel is centrally located with a unique dedication to Catalonia cuisine and Venetian-style art. Room features include air conditioning, room safes, free wifi, flat-screen TVs and en-suite bathroom.

GRANADA: Hotel Boutique La Casa de la Trinidad

Located in the historic district of Granada, this hotel resides in a perfectly restored 19th century building featuring civil Granadian architecture. Each room features air conditioning, room safes, high-speed wifi, satellite TV, and en-suite bathrooms.

SEVILLE: Soho Boutique Catedral

A hotel within the heart of Seville Cathedral, this upscale hotel is central to all the central areas of Seville. Featuring a swimming pool and rooftop bar, each modern room includes free wifi, flat-screen TV, room safe, minibar and air conditioning.

 

MADRID: Soho Boutique Opera

You couldn't get more perfectly located, next to Opera, Plaza Mayor, Puerta del Sol, the Royal Theatre and the Royal Palace. This property features large air conditioned rooms, with free high-speed wifi, room safe, satellite TV, and full bathrooms.

 

*Please note that due to availability, these exact hotels may not all be available during all Detours trips. However, we will always replace these with similar hotels, and will never downgrade.

The Climate

Don’t worry about getting chilly, our trips are scheduled in the warm months ensuring maximum warmth and sunshine! Temperatures will vary from warm to hot depending on your chosen travel month and itinerary stop. In Barcelona we can expect temperatures in the high 70’s and 80’s Fahrenheit (high 20’s Celsius) during the day, while Granada and Seville can even reach up into the 90’s (mid 30’s Celsius. That said, weather can sometimes be unpredictable so it's always good to pack a “just in case” outfit for the odd rainy day.

The People and LGBTQ+ friendliness

You may notice a difference between the Catalonian people of Barcelona, and the Andalusian people of Seville and Granada. Both areas are proud of their unique heritage which is evident in the people you’ll meet. Although Spain is known as a Catholic country, it is also an incredibly LGBT-friendly country too, being one of the first countries in the world to legalize same sex marriage nationally. The gay community in Spain ranges from the beach and party-loving crowd in Barcelona, to the more laid-back social and friendly communities in Granada and Seville. Although English is very widely spoken, consider learning a few words of the Spanish language while you're here, we recommend starting off with “Hola” (hello), “Gracias” (thank you), and of course “Donde esta la playa?” (where’s the beach?).

The areas of Spain that we'll be visiting are very open-minded and most people will be welcoming of homosexuality.  As one of the first countries in the world to legalize gay marriage nationally, gays are widely accepted and although you may not see same-sex couples showing their love in the streets, it is not a place where it is dangerous to be ourselves.

The Cuisine

Who doesn’t like Spanish food?! Think Mediterranean favorites such as paella, and unique tapas served on perfect people-watching patios. Spanish people love taking long breaks (“siesta hours”) in the afternoon when they’ll close up shops for a couple hours to grab a bite with friends. This is a perfect time to indulge in some afternoon tapas and a glass of sangria. Detours doesn't believe in limiting your choices by including all of your meals at pre-decided restaurants as part of the trip package. Instead, we include all of your breakfasts to start your day off, then we explore all of the different restaurant options available for lunch and dinner. This way we can eat when we want, where we want, and spend what we want! Your trip leader definitely has their favorite spots so if you'd like some advice on the best in each location, just check with them.

What to Bring

Our advice is simple. Pack your bag, then take half of those things out and leave them back home. It’s common to hear people wishing they’d packed less stuff, but we’ve never heard anyone complain that they didn’t bring enough. Even if you realize you forget to pack some crucial item you can always pick up a replacement once you arrive in Spain. Just make sure to review the climate section above and remember that our trips are run in a casual style so you can leave your tuxedos at home. We'll include some trip-specific packing advice based on expected weather as part of our update email to you, sent 10 days prior to your trip.

Money

We REALLY suggest just bringing your regular bank card from home and using the ATMs in Spain to get cash; in our experience it’s cheaper than any currency exchange service in Spain or even at home. Spain uses the Euro as their local currency and shops/restaurants do not accept US dollars so once you arrive into Barcelona airport you should stock up on some Euro cash. Credit cards are widely accepted in Spain so it’s good to bring one on your trip too. Travelers checks are a thing of the past so we don’t recommend them any more.

It can sometimes be challenging to use large-denomination bills at shops and restaurants, so we encourage you to request small denomination bills when getting cash prior to your trip.

If possible, it's always a good idea to travel internationally with a credit card that doesn't charge foreign transaction fees.  The savings will add up over the course of your trip and may end up being worth the work of getting a new card prior to your trip.  Once you're overseas, if presented with the option to pay in the local currency or your home currency, we suggest always choosing the local currency to further avoid fees.

Tipping

While tipping isn't a native custom in this destination, those working in the tourism industry all over the world have come to expect gratuities when providing good service.  This extends to local guides, restaurant wait staff, bus drivers, and your Detours trip leader.  Of course the actual amount is left up to your discretion, if you've been provided excellent service we suggest leaving around 15% for restaurant/wait staff as well as the local equivalent of a few dollars to bus drivers and luggage porters, as well as around $10-15 USD per day for local guides and your Detours trip leader.

Accommodation

We have pretty high standards when it comes to choosing our accommodations, and trust us, we’ve done plenty of room-sniffing, pillow-patting, bed-jumping and bathroom inspections to make sure we stay at quality spots. To be approved as a Detours accommodations provider, a hotel/guesthouse must: be locally owned (to support the local community), be in an amazing location (close to the beach or other hot spots), AND be gay-owned or gay-friendly. We won't be staying in 5-star Ritz-Carltons but we also won't subject you to anything we wouldn't want to stay in ourselves. Clean, comfortable, well-located spots that'll put a smile on your face, you can count on that!

Trip Leaders

All Detours trips are led by one of our own Detours trip leaders.  They're there with you every day and their job is to help ensure that this is your trip of a lifetime by taking the hassle out of your trip and enabling you to experience everything you came to Spain for.  Consider them like a friendly concierge that's traveling along with you.  All of our trip leaders are gay and all are well-traveled and experienced in the destination they're leading in, so they'll be a great part of your experience!

Alarm Clocks

We do absolutely everything possible to avoid needing such a mundane awakening. A world without alarm clocks is one we want to be part of, and your “rise and shine” while in Spain should come from the sound of crashing waves or church bells in the distance. However, sometimes due to current train or flight schedules we are required to make early departures, but we do everything we can to minimize this.

Your Group

Our Detours groups are run with a maximum of 16 travelers. Ages of group members vary but around 90% of our travelers are in their 30's, 40's, and 50's. Whatever the age of the guys on our trips everyone's already got something in common, an exciting new experience in a new country! Each group is led by a Detours trip leader who is there to ensure everything goes off without a hitch, allowing you to focus on having the time of your life! We welcome both men and women onto our trips although it’s important to know that most groups are 100% gay men.

Solo Travelers

No problem! Don’t worry, lots of our travelers come solo and our trip will provide plenty of chances to meet great people both inside and outside of our group, including other solo travelers. As far as your accommodations go, you’ve got two choices. We can either pair you up with another solo group member in a two-bed room for no extra charge, or you can have your own room for a reasonable surcharge.

Electrical Outlets

Spain uses a "type C" and "type F" plug, the same as most European countries and several other places in the world. The voltage is 230V with 50 Hz frequency. These days, the majority of items that are plugged into an outlet are built to handle varying voltage and frequency levels, but just to be sure, we suggest checking your item for its accetable range

Staying Connected

To ensure you don't lose connection along the way, your cell phone provider likely has several roaming options available.  We suggest reaching out to them prior to the trip to find out which package is right for you as it will depend on how much you intend to use your phone while traveling.  Keep in mind that all accommodation and most restaurants have free WiFi available as well.

What's included? • All taxes • All group transport between itinerary destinations • Domestic flight from Barcelona to Granada • High-speed train from Seville to Madrid • Accommodations for your 12-day Detours experience • Welcome dinner and drinks • All breakfasts • Group travel within Spain • Sagrada Familia tickets and Barcelona tour with local guide • 3 hour walking tour of Granada, Seville and Madrid each with local guide • Knowledgeable and fun Detours trip leader • 

What isn't included? • Meals and drinks outside of those listed above • Activities outside of the those listed above • International Airfare • Arrival/departure airport transfers • Optional gratuities •

Additional spending budget?  Your big-ticket items are included through the trip, but you'll want to budget for additional spending such as additional meals, drinks, shopping, activities, etc. These costs can vary dramatically with differing personal habits but we suggest expecting to spend an additional $750 USD at the lower end for the more budget-conscious and $1200 USD at the higher end for the splurgers.  We suggest arriving to Spain with approximately 300 local Euros.

Gay Group Tours of Spain


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A group pic by Alhambra.
Two people posing in front of an ancient bridge with a backdrop of historic buildings on a sunny day.
Sunlight bathes the arched gallery of the plaza de españa in Seville, highlighting the ornate architecture.
The spires of sagrada família against a blue sky with clouds.
A panoramic view of barcelona seen from park güell with colorful ceramic mosaics in the foreground.
A sunny view of the plaza de españa in seville with a bridge over the canal, blossoming trees, and visitors exploring the grounds.
Horse-drawn carriage waiting in front of a historical cathedral on a sunny day.
Statue overlooking a panoramic view of barcelona with the cityscape and mountains in the distance.
A group of smiling individuals posing with a large pan of paella, some wearing aprons indicating a cooking class setting.


Trip Reviews

Stephen A. - USA

May 8, 2024

I just got home from 12 days in Spain with Brandon (and Clay in training)... this trip was nothing short of amazing. It was my first time to all of the locations on the trip. In real life, I like to be in control of everything... but on this trip, I handed it over to the most unflappable, kind, energetic, creative and outstanding team leader (Brandon) that anyone could wish for. There was not a T uncrossed or an I undotted... in the trip descriptions, it appears that you may have to figure out more than you actually do... if you want a trip where you can leave your brain at home, you can have it... if you want a lot of free time, you can do that too. You always have dinner companions, like minded excursion buddies and photographers if you want them. For purposes of anyone who might think they are too young or old, our age group ranged from 30 to early 60's (I am closer to the older side of that group lol), but it did not make a difference! I would say the trip gave me an opportunity to grow, reflect, energize and enjoy. It was truly one of those trips that make you feel even better about life when it was done. I truly cannot thank Brandon enough for his leadership... Clay for his partnership... and the many friends I made on this trip (you know who your are!)... I haven't laughed as much as I did in this trip in a long time... stop pondering whether you should book it, just do it... you will not regret it!

Scott S. - USA

May 7, 2024

All the fun with none of the stress!! Detours does an incredible job. I’ve taken two trips with them and it’s my favorite way to travel! They handle the hotels and loosely plan some activities, but you have plenty of free time to do things at your own place and the trip leader is always there to make suggestions and coordinate activities for you. The group of guys that they assembled to travel with are wonderful and I have made some lasting friendships from my trips.

David D. - USA

October 16, 2023

My September-October Detours trip to Spain exceeded expectations. Accommodations and the central location of accommodations were excellent. This was my second Detours trip, which says something in and of itself, right? I’m pretty much a lone wolf, and the prospect of travel with others, no matter who they are, can be a bit off putting. Under the excellent leadership of Scott and the nice mix of really good men ( and one very special woman), I felt comfortable and had lots of fun. I was able to seamlessly vacillate between time with the group and time to myself without it feeling one bit awkward. About half the guys were coupled and the other half single. I liked that mix too. Kudos to Scott on a job well done! I highly recommend Detours!

Victor C. - USA

October 24, 2023

My husband & I recently returned from the October 2023 Spain trip. We really loved our Detour Tours travel experience. Our trip was made up of 16 fellow travelers - 4 couples & 8 singles who were all personable and easy going. We had a wonderful Tour Leader, Scott, who was very knowledgeable, experienced, approachable and looked out for all of us.  He went out of his way to be inclusive and was a great source of information on the local sites and activities.  Detours arranged the hotel accommodations, the airport transfers, and the travel between the 4 amazing cities of Barcelona, Granada, Seville, and Madrid. The tour included walking tours and a major attraction at the start of each destination city, but the rest of the time we were free to explore, join a group activity, or just chill in our hotel room or a nearby cafe. Our favorite experiences were the walking tours because the local gay tour guides were so knowledgeable, informative and personable. We learned a lot about the rich local history and culture of the Spanish cities we visited.  Our second favorite experiences were the fun group dinners and pre-and post dinner drinks that Scott organized and which most of us joined in. Although there was no pressure to join in other optional activities, we ended up signing up for a number of them such as cooking class, watching a flamenco show, and seeing the Prado Museum. They were all memorable and fun. Thank you Scott & Detours. If you are looking for a well run LGBT group travel experience, we strongly recommend Detours Travel. Victor and Jim from Palm Springs CA.

Daniel W. - USA

June 2, 2023

Wonderfully run tours for gay men. I took their 12 day tour of Spain which included Barcelona, Granada, Sevilla and Madrid.

I enjoyed their helpful yet flexible format so much I'm planning my next tour with them.

Unlike other group tours, you're not stuck on a bus and forced into their schedule. You can go with the group to popular locations or you can spend time on your own, or both! It's really the best of both worlds, having a reliable tour leader to take you to see the sites--as well as having all the free time you want to explore on your own.

There's a walking tour of each city, and a list of the most popular sites. You choose what you want to do, and the tour leader creates a schedule so your interests don't conflict.

You go to big attractions, like Gaudi's Sagrada Familia, as a group because they've arranged for tickets in advance (without which you can't get in).

Our group leader, Dan, was always helpful, organized, kind, cheerful, always calm, and funny. He made sure we got to see what we wanted to see, either as a group or individually.

The 14 gay guys on the trip were all good-natured and easy to get along with.

As well as having a great format, Detours is also an excellent value as travel gets more expensive. You stay at lovely, centrally located hotels, with a buffet breakfast included to keep you going all day. The group meets for dinner which you can attend or not, as always, it's your choice.

Transportation between cities on the tour are also included.

It's a low stress, great fun way to discover the world with like-minded people.

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