Tag Archives: Spain

The Christmas Tradition of the Three Kings in Spain

In Spain, the tradition of gift giving at Christmas is particularly special for children. They are the ones who await most eagerly the arrival of the Three Wise Men, who come in through the windows house by house, sharing out presents in just one night. They are not the only ones to have a good time, however. Grown-ups cannot help becoming infected by their happiness during the preparations for the big day: 6 January.

Sharing the exciting wait with them is a gift of love and emotion. This Christmas tradition fills the little ones’ days with unforgettable magic.

The Letter

First of all, children have to write their letter to the Three Wise Men, saying which presents they would like them to bring. After this comes one of the favourite moments: giving the letter in. They can either give the letter to the Wise Men personally when they arrive “officially” on 5 January, or to the emissaries and royal postmen to be found in the centre of all Spanish towns a few days before. They will be asked if they have been good at school and at home, because naughty children get left coal instead of presents. Although, in truth, it is a “sweet” punishment because the coal is made of sugar.

Spectacular parades

When the long-awaited day finally arrives, the whole family come out onto the street to receive the Wise Men. They arrive with a traditional parade, riding through the streets on their camels, loaded with presents and accompanied by royal pages who throw sweets and goodies to the children. One by one, the delightful floats pass by, decorated with bright colours and inspired in popular children’s characters. The little ones will love them. All the while, a band brings joy to the celebration with Christmas songs and carols. The spectacle of joy, light and colour, combined with the smiles of the children, make for a feeling of complete happiness.

There are parades celebrated all over Spain on this day. Each has its own particular style, depending on where you are. In Barcelona, for example, the Three Wise Men arrive by sea, while in the village of Alarilla, in Guadalajara, they are daring enough to arrive by hang-glider and paraglider. Or why not see the parade in Alcoi, Alicante, the oldest in Spain?

Three Kings’ Night

After the parade, children go to bed early but excited, to wait for Melchoir, Caspar and Balthazar to come in through the window and leave presents in their shoes. First they should put water and bread on the windowsill for the camels to eat and drink while the Wise Men do their work.

Come and experience Christmas in Spain and discover this magical tradition that will fill your children with joy. Let them get carried away by all the moments of joy, surprise and tender happiness to be found in our country at this festive time. Now is your chance. Make the most of it.

For more information or to book your Spanish Christmas,

click here to contact Traveline

or call us at 1-888-700-TRIP.


A Taste of Luxury at Hotel Alfonso XIII, Seville


Taste of Luxury

Savour the flavours of The Luxury Collection hotels. Stay 6 nights in Hotel Alfonso XIII and enjoy the following benefits:

  • Double luxury accommodation
  • Breakfast buffet for two in the restaurant
  • For stays during July, August, January or February: 7th night of accommodation complimentary
  • For stays between 1 April and 31 August: 2 welcome drinks at the American Bar and 2 tickets for a guided tour

Click here to contact Traveline

or call us at 1-888-700-TRIP for more information.

Plus, enjoy our special Virtuoso amenities:

–        Buffet breakfast in San Fernando restaurant for up to two in room guests

–        Complimentary lunch/dinner (menu of the day) for up to two persons per room, excluding alcoholic beverages, taxes and gratuities, once during the stay

–        Upgrade on arrival subject to availability

  • Offer subject to availability
  • Offer available for stays of minimum 6 nights
  • For stays during the months of July, August, January and February the 7th night will be complimentary
  • For stays between 1 April and 31 August 2 welcome drinks and 2 tickets for a 3 hours guided tour will be offered
  • Rates are per night, per room and include VAT
  • Offer not combinable with other promotions or discounts
  • The discount for the fourth night free will be applied manually to check in at the hotel
  • The offer includes daily buffet breakfast for two at the restaurant

Spanish Fairs & Fiestas in May

Contemporary Fairs and Colorful Fiestas.

Boasting a mix of the most celebrated cultural traditions with an enviable cosmopolitan ambiance, Spain invites you to enjoy its May fairs and fiestas, and experience the vibrant energy as the country prepares to welcome the summer months. Spring is in full swing, love is in the air, and the upcoming itineraries are guaranteed to appeal to a variety of traveler tastes.
»From May 3rd through May 6th, Barcelona welcomes its 30th International Comicon (Salón del Comic) at Fira’sMontjuic exhibition center. One of Europe’s biggest comic festivals, last year’s edition welcomed over 100,000 visitors and 143 exhibitors. A must-see for all comic enthusiasts and beyond, the festival attracts the leading comic artists, entertainers, and creative minds, often becoming front page news throughout Europe»Barcelona Bridal Week (Noviaespaña 2012) lights up the city from May 11th through 13th, and features five days of bridal collections from local and international designers. An absolute must for brides, grooms, wedding and event planners, as well as those interested in fashion, beauty, and elegance. This year’s event features 200 top-level brands from over 50 countries worldwide, becoming the ultimate bridal hotspot.

»From May 24th to 26th, Swab International Contemporary Art Fair brings together over 70 galleries from all over the world. Founded in 2006, the event features works by younger, emerging, contemporary art stars dedicated to making the world better through contemporary art.

Organized by IFEMA from May 3rd until May 6th, the Madrid International Bridal Fashion Show (Madrid Novias) brings together the best ideas and the latest trends for brides, grooms, as well as wedding parties and first communion celebrations. A recognized leader in bridal and formalwear, the event features top fashion and accessories designers from Spain.

Cultural Festivals and Fiestas

»The May flowers have bloomed, and the annual Cordoba Patios Festival invites you to join the festivities from May 2nd to May 13th. Founded nearly a century ago in 1918, the festival offers a visual feast of floral arrangements, colorful mosaics, and ceramic decorations, filling the air with the smell of jasmine and orange blossom, Córdoba’s signature scents. Córdobais less than a two-hour train ride from Madrid on the high-speed AVE, making it a perfect day or weekend trip.»Declared an international interest celebration, the world-famous Feria del Caballo (Horse Fair), welcomes equestrians, animal lovers, and history buffs alike to Jerez de la Frontera in Andalusia. From May 7th to 13th, the event that originated in the medieval times as an annual livestock trade today pays homage to the beautiful animals with a vibrant celebration. From carnival rides for kids to delicious regional cuisine, sherry wine and dancing for grown-ups – Feria del Caballo is one of the most memorable celebrations in the country.

»From May 11th to May 13th, the city of Ibiza (Balearic Islands) takes you back in time during its Medieval Festival. Dalt Vila, the Old Town—a designated UNESCO World Heritage site—offers a perfect backdrop to the historically-themed festivities. Complete with music, singing, dancing, acrobats, performers, and a medieval market, your journey to the Middle Ages will become an unforgettable experience.

»From May 17th to May 27th, the town of Tarragona, celebrates its Roman history with the Tarraco Viva festival. Tarragona’s Roman remnants come alive with traditional gladiator battles, circus performances, acrobatics, gymnastics, music, archaeological wonders and cultural rituals. Just 60 miles away from Barcelona, Tarragona’s Roman Festival is a rare opportunity to experience Roman heritage today.

Parador de San Marcos
Parador de San Marcos

Suggested Lodging and Accommodations:

or call Traveline at 1-888-700-TRIP for more details

  • Servigroup opened a 4-star Hotel Servigroup Galúa in Cartagena’s La Manga del Mar Menor neighborhood, alongside Galúa Beach. Also reopened after a 6-month renovation is Sevigroup’s Papa Luna property. Named after the Spanish Pope Luna, it is located in Peñíscola (Castellón).
  • Accor will add the 43rd property to its roster in Spain. Idris Hotel, situated next to the Bullfighting Ring in Madrid, will occupy the perfect location convenient for business travelers and vacationers.
  • Recently opened – Hotel & Spa Ceres in Lerma (Burgos) is a remodeled 19th century Santa Isabel flour mill.
  • A new 4-star NH Hotels property opened its doors in Orense with 9 suites and 41 standard rooms.

Save $750 on Companion Airfare to Europe

When the first person pays FULL price.* Book by June 4, 2012.

Our mission

We strive to create extraordinary travel experiences that fulfill the vacation dreams of our clients. Here’s what we consider most important.

We’re all about family

Collette Vacations is a third generation, family-owned company headquartered in Pawtucket, Rhode Island with offices in Toronto and Vancouver, Canada; and London, England. Collette’s executive team and our employees are travel experts who are passionate about travel and who strive daily to make your vacation worry-free, fun, and memorable.

Creating a World of Travel

We offer more than 150 expertly designed, escorted tours spanning 50-plus countries on all seven continents. Founded in 1918, we are the oldest major U.S. tour operator and have taken countless travelers around the globe on escorted vacations that balance extraordinary experiences that connect you to new places and people, history and culture, with leisure time to venture out independently

Italian Vistas
13 days, 18 meals
Rome • Amalfi Coast • Isle of Capri • Florence • Venice • Murano Island • Verona • Stresa • Locarno, Switzerland
Departure Date: 7/23/2012
1st Person (total) – $4999*
2nd Person (total) – $4249*

Rates include land, r/t air, tax & fuel surcharges from New York City.

Reflections of Italy
10 days, 14 meals
Rome • Assisi • Perugia • Siena • Florence • Venice • Murano Island • Lugano, Switzerland • Como
Departure Date: 8/20/2012
1st Person (total) – $4099*
2nd Person (total) – $3349*

Rates include land, r/t air, tax & fuel surcharges from New York City.

Rome & the Amalfi Coast
10 days, 13 meals
Rome • Ravello • Villa Rufolo • Vietri-sul-Mare • Sorrento • Paestum • Pompeii • Naples
Departure Date: 8/2/2012
1st Person (total) – $3999*
2nd Person (total) – $3249*

Rates include land, r/t air, tax & fuel surcharges from New York City.

France Magnifique
12 days, 15 meals
Paris • Normandy • French Riviera • Avignon • Aix-en-Provence • Nice • Monaco
Departure Date: 7/19/2012
1st Person (total) – $4899*
2nd Person (total) – $4149*

Rates include land, r/t air, tax & fuel surcharges from New York City.

London & Paris
8 days, 10 meals
Buckingham Palace • Big Ben • Eurostar Train • Seine River Cruise • Arc de Triomphe • Eiffel Tower Dinner
Departure Date: 8/23/2012
1st Person (total) – $3999*
2nd Person (total) – $3249*

Rates include land, r/t air, tax & fuel surcharges from New York City.

British Landscapes
10 days, 13 meals
London • Cambridge • York • Edinburgh Castle • Lake District • North Wales • Stratford-upon-Avon Bath • Stonehenge
Departure Date: 8/23/2012
1st Person (total) – $3999*
2nd Person (total) – $3249*

Rates include land, r/t air, tax & fuel surcharges from New York City.

Spain’s Classics
11 days, 15 meals
Madrid • Toledo • Cordoba • Seville • Flamenco Show • Granada • Alhambra • Valencia • Lladro-City of Porcelain • Barcelona
Departure Date: 7/7/2012
1st Person (total) – $3999*
2nd Person (total) – $3249*

Rates include land, r/t air, tax & fuel surcharges from New York City.

Shades of Ireland
10 days, 13 meals
Dublin • Kilkenny • Blarney Castle • Ring of Kerry • Killarney • Limerick • Cliffs of Moher • Galway • Castle Stay
Departure Date: 6/17/2012
1st Person (total) – $3699*
2nd Person (total) – $2949*

Rates include land, r/t air, tax & fuel surcharges from New York City.

Other dates and gateways available. Call 1-888-700-TRIP for pricing.

*Rates are based on double occupancy and include land, roundtrip air, tax & fuel surcharges from the gateway and departure date specified. Offer is valid for new bookings with deposit made from April 6 – June 4, 2012 for travel May 15 – August 30, 2012. Pricing is available for other dates & gateways, please call for details. Your price is subject to increase prior to the time you make full payment. Your price is not subject to increase after you make full payment, except for changes resulting from increases in government imposed taxes & fees. Some airlines may impose additional charges if you choose to check any baggage. Please contact your airline or refer to its website for detailed information regarding your airline’s checked baggage policies. Offer is not applicable for groups or combinable with any other offer and may be withdrawn at any time. For travel agent bookings, air is non-commissionable. Not available for booking online, please call for additional details.

Discover the Magical Gardens of Barcelona and Valencia

Magical Gardens of Barcelona
Ciudadela Park, Barcelona
Barcelona and Valencia, Spain’s second and third largest metropolises respectively, are gifted with a perpetual spring–like climate and a unique culture. The blend of their Roman, Catalan, and Arab pasts with modernity has given root to spectacular parks and gardens next to the Mediterranean Sea. The distinctive Spanish garden style, filled with villas and fountains, original architecture, and unique plants and foliage are on display in these two “garden cities,” making them wonderful itineraries for those visiting the destinations.
Park Güell
One of the main attractions in Barcelona, the entire Park Güell is a work of art, created by genius architect Antonio Gaudí. Deserving special attention is the Sala Hispóstila with its 86 imposing columns, as well as the mythological dragon at the main staircase, the undulating bench of pieces of broken ceramic called trencadís, the frenzied pavilions at the entrance, and the stone viaducts that mimic the surrounding nature perfectly. Above it all, stands a tower topped with Gaudí’s characteristic four–branched cross.

Horta Labyrinth
The highlight of this park is its eponymous maze. Home to numerous gardens and pavilions, Horta Labyrinth will delight the visitors with its many different routes, statues, and exuberant greenery. These gardens were created at the end of the 18th century by a Catalan aristocrat on a piece of his ancestral property. Designed in the Italian and French romantic styles, the gardens underwent extensive renovation and improvement by the family until the Barcelona city government acquired the grounds and opened them to the public in 1969.

Ciutadella Park
For decades, the original urban park of Barcelona was the only green space in the city, and has thus remained its most popular. Designed in 1870 by Josep Fontsere, the idea was to transform the facilities at the site of the military citadel built by Philip V at the end of the War of Spanish Succession into public gardens to house the first Universal Exposition. About half of the park’s 60 hectares is home to the city zoo. The remainder of the park holds many scenic romantic paths around its lake and avenues that enable visitors to admire the park’s foliage. The park’s centerpiece is the Cascada, a triumphal fountain built in 1881, complete with a pair of crab statues that salute the goddess Venus and the gleaming Quadriga de l’Aurora.

University of Valencia Botanical Gardens
The flagship university of Spain’s third largest city brings an academic style to its botanical gardens. The park dates back to 1802 when Vicente Lorente, its director, planted squares of foliage based on Carl Linneus’s plant classification. The park has been rebuilt several times, following destruction during the Spanish Civil War and the great flood in Valencia in 1957. Today, the restored grounds house an impressive watchtower, a rock garden, and impressive woods, but still retain its philosophy. Continuing its biological classification origin and purpose, the botanical gardens also house an aquarium, an aviary, several diverse greenhouses, and areas dedicated to aquatic plants and succulents.

Monforte Gardens
Built next to an aristocratic mansion, the Monforte Gardens are the best–tended and loveliest gardens in Valencia. Dating back to the 1860s and 1970s, these neoclassical orchards can be differentiated into three sections—the Old Parterre with clipped hedges of spindle trees and abundant statuary on pedestals, the New Parterre with hedges of cypress and myrtle around the patio of water jets, and the natural woodland forest with numerous paths and trails to stroll in. Monforte completes its postcard of green beauty with a rose garden and a gallery of hanging plants.

The Umbracle
One of the five distinct areas of Santiago Calatrava–designed City of Arts and Sciences, the Umbracle is a tree–lined garden that doubles as a panoramic zone, offering magnificent views of the surrounding buildings, lakes, walkways, and landscapes. Boasting vegetation characteristic of Valencia’s nearly perfect Mediterranean climate, the Umbracle also houses a collection of contemporary sculptures by internationally acknowledged artists in the Art Promenade, as well as the Garden of Astronomy, an open–access area that offers astronomy–related elements and activities.