If you opt for the AVE tour from Madrid to Barcelona,, Cordoba beckons first with the Mezquita. This massive building, constructed as a mosque by the Moors in 786CE, is famous for its forest of columns topped with Moorish arches constructed of alternating red and white stones. Next up: Valencia with the 15th century La Lonja de la Seda – the Silk Exchange, which is on the UNESCO World Heritage List. It was built when Valencia was the Spanish centre of the silk trade. Make sure to see its Iberian Gothic exterior and its impressive interior vaulting in the trading hall. Looking for something smaller but equally impressive? A trip to the Lladró Porcelain Museum and Factory will fill the bill. It’s in the Tavernes Blanques suburb, a shot hop from city centre (Note – admission is free, but must be scheduled before hand: http://www.lladro.com/porcelana/sede) You’ll finally cap your tour in fanciful Barcelona – city of Antonio Gaudí and the Sagrada Familia cathedral, complete with a half-day walking tour of his architectural sites.