Jewish Heritage & History in Spain Tour

Officially Licensed Guides

Over 23 years guiding US travelers

Small Private Tours

Explore Spain your way

Spain is home to a deeply rooted Jewish history, possibly dating back to the 5th century BC. Sephardic Jews (sometimes referred to as Sephardi Judaism or Hispanic Judaism) lived on the Iberian Peninsula (Spain and Portugal) up until the inquisition, and our private tours team are specialists at organizing and delivering cultural experiences that enable you to explore that Jewish heritage, traditions and significant locations throughout Spain.

Our local insight enables us to create tours that explore regions others simply won’t include. Guests can wander through old Juderías (Jewish neighborhoods), where Spanish Jews lived (somewhat) peacefully up until the inquisition in 1492, often side by side with the Moors (Muslims). Alongside medieval synagogues and sites of significance to the Jewish diaspora, we will also ensure your private tour takes you to the major cultural, historical, and architectural wonders that Spain has to offer.

Highlights of Our Jewish Spain Tour

We provide complimentary customized itineraries to our clients to ensure that we have designed the perfect tour for them before they consider booking. Your personal tour planner will be in touch to discuss which locations you may have a special connection with and to provide their expert local knowledge to create the best experience possible for you, tailored exactly to your tastes.

Below is a succinct description of some of the most popular cities and sites in Spain with significant Jewish heritage and artifacts for you to visit with your private guide.

Barcelona: an ancient city, with a rich Jewish past

Jewish synagogue tour in Barcelona
Jewish Quarter, Barcelona, Spain

The 2000-year-old coastal city was once home to four synagogues. Here the Judería is called El Call, and there are still Hebrew letters on some of the neighborhood’s buildings. Part of the famous Gothic Quarter, the main synagogue in El Call is said to be one of Europe’s oldest. It has since been restored and is now open to visitors. 

One of Barcelona’s most popular sites, Montjuic, translates to Jewish mountain. This is due to the Jewish cemetery that you can visit. You can also take a cable car from Montjuic to enjoy amazing views over the city and bay.

The Jewish Quarter of Girona

Museu d'Historia dels Jueus, Girona
Museu d'Història dels Jueus, Girona, Spain

Girona, north of Barcelona has one of the best-preserved Jewish quarters in all of Spain. 

In the heart of the Judería is a new Sephardic heritage cultural site that recreates Sephardic Spain through art, music, and gastronomical events. This was where the synagogue once was. Today there is even a Catalan Museum of Jewish Culture containing a library with many medieval Jewish manuscripts. A beautiful small city, Girona is a must for travelers wishing to explore Jewish Spain.

Legend has it that some of the families expelled in 1492 boarded up their homes believing they would return one day. The Catholics did not want to unearth these homes, out of fear that the authorities might mistake them for being Jewish and expel them too.

Toledo: the “Jerusalem of the west”

Synagogue of Santa María la Blanca
Synagogue of Santa María la Blanca

For those interested in Sephardic Spain, ancient Toledo is a great bet and was the historic capital of Spain. 

Travelers to Toledo can visit two synagogues: Synagogue El Tránsito and the Synagogue of Santa Maria La Blanca. The former houses a small Sephardic museum and the later has some of Spain’s most beautiful Mudéjar arches. In the early middle ages, Moors, Christians, and Jews even co-existed here.

Toledo is close to the “new Spanish capital” which we would suggest should be your next stop on this tour of Jewish Spain.

The Royal City - Madrid

Almudena cathedral in madrid
The Royal Palace, Madrid

Madrid was hand-picked as the new capital in the 16th century by Spanish king Felipe II. This was when Spain had an extensive empire and was a superpower of Europe.

Up until then, the Spanish capital was in ancient, hilltop Toledo. It was a practical and central location but lacked space for new buildings. King Felipe II wanted more space to build and show off the newfound wealth and power of the worldwide Spanish Empire. While there is no direct Sephardic architecture in Madrid, it is worth a day to see the amazing Royal Palace and world-class art collections of El Prado and the Reina Sofia. 

There’s currently a small Jewish community in Madrid. If you’d like to visit one of the synagogues or cultural centers, we can personally contact them for you in advance to arrange it. These are not standard destinations for typical tourists, so prior agreements should be arranged.

Splendid Segovia

Aqueduct in Segovia.
Segovia, Spain

Many companies overlook Segovia as they have not done their homework. As Spain & Portugal travel specialist you don’t miss out on us!  

Revisit unforgettable Segovia’s Jewish past with a walking tour of the city’s magical old quarter. Although it is full of Roman influences, Segovia was home to one of Spain’s most important Jewish communities and your private guide will reveal all of the secrets that the ancient walls hold. There is also a huge Roman aqueduct and a castle that apparently inspired the castle seen on the introduction to Walt Disney productions!

Tour of Jewish Cordoba

Spain Trip to Cordoba by Magical Spain
Cordoba, Spain Old Town

Famous for the “peppermint-styled arches” ancient Córdoba has a rich Sephardic heritage and is arguably the best place to see Sephardic Spain come alive. Ancient Córdoba was a Roman capital in Hispania. Later medieval Córdoba under the Moors was one of the western world’s wealthiest cities and most culturally rich and literate cities with huge multi-lingual libraries.

All of the sites are in the Judería, or old Jewish neighborhood, in very close proximity to the Mezquita.  This was a time when the Jews and Muslims lived in relative harmony.  Wander the narrow alleyways, which are usually so alive and colorful with Cordoba’s signature flowers adorning them.

You will not want to miss the old Córdoba synagogue, in mudéjar-style architecture but with Hebrew writing. Torah scholar and philosopher, Moses ben Maimon, commonly known as Maimonides, was from Cordoba.  You can find a statue dedicated to him in the middle of the small plaza named for him, Plaza Maimonides, pictured above).

Now there are many things to do in Cordoba, Spain that bring the city’s Jewish history to life.  Although many cities in Spain once had a large Jewish population, the history of Jews in Spain feels most accessible to visitors in Cordoba.

The Alhambra Palace & Citadel in Granada

Alhambra private tour in Granada.
Alhambra, Granada, Spain

One of the richest and most populous cities of Europe during Moorish rule. Discover the Alhambra, a breathtaking Moorish castle, palace, and garden complex on a hillside overlooking the city. Also visit the Generalife, the summer palace, and gardens of Moorish royalty. 

See additional city highlights such as the opulent Royal Chapel, where monarchs Ferdinand and Isabella are buried, or the labyrinthine Albaicin (the former Arab Quarter), a world of winding streets, Moorish fountains, and teterias (Arabic tearooms) in the hills.

Sephardic Seville

Jewish District, Barrio Santa Cruz Seville
Barrio Santa Cruz, Seville

Andalucía’s capital city, Seville had a wealth of Sephardic history and colonial gold from the New World.  The first Jews arrived way before that. Possibly as early as the 5th century BC, so there is a lot of history in this port city, which is only an hour from the Atlantic. 

From trouble with the Visigoths to returning to Seville living (somewhat) peacefully with the Moors up until about 100 years before the inquisition.  In 1391, the Judería was attacked and nearly 4,000 of Sevilla’s Jewish population was killed. Barrio Santa Cruz, which is popular with visitors to Seville today, for its quaint streets and proximity to the cathedral and Alcazar, was the Judería.  And it is the largest Judería on the Iberian peninsula.

SideBar Tour Request

Meet the Founder of Magical Spain

Hola! I’m Dan O’Beirne C.E.O of Magical Spain, and an American family man who settled here over 20 years ago.

At the heart of Magical Spain lies my two passions in life, travel, and family. After working in the Health and Wellness sector back home in the U.S, my desire to travel led me to Spain where I met my beautiful wife-to-be, and where we now live with our young son. As our relationship blossomed, so did my love for the country, cultures, and people here. It was only natural then that Nuria and I should work together to create Magical Spain as a platform to share this passion and insight into Spain with our American clients.

Step 1

Fill out the form with the destinations, wish-list, & personal preferences for your perfect trip. If you would like your tour planner to offer some inspiration, then we are happy to provide a suggested itinerary which we can then refine with you until you are 100% delighted with it.

Step 2

Soon after receiving your request, your personal tour planner will be in touch to begin planning your custom tour. You will then receive a tailor-made tour itinerary which can be revised an unlimited number of times to ensure total satisfaction and the perfect vacation.

Step 3

Your officially licensed private guide will meet you at the pre-arranged starting point of your tour. You can count on us for 24/7 in-country support and everything else necessary for a wonderful vacation and seamless tour experience. Welcome to Iberia!

Contact Our Jewish Spain Specialists

Alongside exploring Jewish heritage, history, and traditions in Spain, our private tour planning team will create a custom itinerary for you to ensure that you will experience the attractive climate, food, wines, arts, and culture that make modern Spain perhaps the most attractive destination in Europe for high-class travelers.

For your complimentary tour itinerary, simply complete the form below.

Tour Request
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