The start of the total eclipse as seen from our site in Pinahat, India October 24, 1995. Prominences, chromosphere and Baily’s Beads are visible. It is encouraging to know that 31 years later all of these phenomena should be visible and photographable at the 2026 eclipse. Paul D. Maley photo with Celestron 5 telephoto back in the days of film cameras.
This will be our 55th solar eclipse expedition as organized by Paul D. Maley of the NASA Johnson Space Center Astronomical Society. The total eclipse will be his 89th solar eclipse, the count includes partial, annular and total eclipses which has been one of the main focal points of his life.
We are at the sunset end of the path of the eclipse due to the poor weather prospects along the track from Greenland through the Atlantic Ocean to Spain. After looking closely at the weather, Spain offers the most optimistic cloud forecasts and we plan to be in a great position to intercept it near local sunset.
Map showing the beginning and end points of the tour and the base of operations for our group for the eclipse. Base camp is the location of where we will be headquartered before heading out to observe the eclipse.
Meals included are shown as B=breakfast, L=lunch, D=dinner
ITINERARY IS SUBJECT TO CHANGE
Arrive in Madrid, clear customs. Shared transfer to your hotel provided you arrive at scheduled times (to be announced later). [A private transfer can be set up at extra cost.] Day at leisure until 5:00pm orientation briefing and welcome reception. Group dinner at 6:00pm. Overnight Madrid. (D)
Breakfast at leisure in the hotel. This morning join the “Astronomy Experience in Madrid” tour. Group visit to the Royal Observatory. Afterwards the group will spend some time exploring the Parque del Buen Retiro. This is a World Heritage Site. From late May through early October, every Sunday at midday, the Banda Sinfónica de Madrid gives free concerts from the bandstand in the park near the Calle de Alcalá. Following this is a group lunch. The rest of the day and dinner at your leisure. (B, L)
Madrid’s Royal Astronomical Observatory
Palacio de Cristalis in the Buen Retiro Park
Breakfast at leisure in the hotel. City tour of Madrid, visiting famous sites such as Puerta de Alcala and the Catedral de la Almudena. Group lunch at one of Madrid’s popular markets, such as the Mercado San Miguel or the Mercado de San Anton. In the afternoon, group will visit the Reina Sofia Museum. The rest of day at leisure. 6:30PM – 9:30PM Group Dinner with Flamenco show. (B, L, D)
Breakfast at leisure in the hotel. After this check out and board the bus for transfer to the Hotel Landa in Burgos, Spain with sightseeing along the way. Burgos will be our base for the solar eclipse. Lunch on your own. Afternoon briefing on plans for the solar eclipse by Paul D. Maley followed by a group dinner. If the weather is clear there will be an opportunity for observing the night sky since we will be in a New Moon period. (B, D)
Hotel Landa’s tower
Breakfast in the hotel. This morning we will leave for a day trip to Pamplona. This city is best known for the Running of the Bulls (Feast of San Fermín) in July. During this legendary multiday festival, bulls are led through the city streets by daredevil runners. After this we will visit and Zaragoza stopping at La Seo Cathedral and the Roman Wall. The tour ends at Plaza de Pilar followed by a group lunch. Afternoon in Zaragoza at leisure before returning to your hotel in Burgos. Tonight have dinner at your leisure. (B, L)
Breakfast in the hotel. This is eclipse day. A morning day trip is set to visit the Rioja wine region followed by lunch on your own.
A vineyard in Rioja
Spain is on the GMT+2 time zone. The expected event times and angles are rounded as follows. If you review the contact timings here you will see that literally the entire eclipse from beginning to end can be seen with the end occurring as the Sun has just set.
C1=START OF PARTIAL ECLIPSE: …3:33PM SUN ELEVATION 18 DEGREES, AZIMUTH 273 DEGREES
C2=START OF TOTALITY:…………….4:28PM SUN ELEVATION 8 DEGREES, AZIMUTH 282 DEGREES
C3=END TOTALITY:……………………..4:30PM SUN ELEVATION 8 DEGREES, AZIMUTH 283 DEGREES
C4=END OF PARTIAL ECLIPSE……..5:21PM SUN ELEVATION -1 DEGREE, AZIMUTH 291 DEGREES
Depending on the weather we will either observe from the hotel or board our motor coach for an observation site in the area. We should expect to see up to 1 minute 44 seconds of totality. Dinner will either be in route after the eclipse or at the hotel. (B, D)
Overhead view of the Hotel Landa property.
A large view looking down into the eclipse path on August 12, 2023 at eclipse time. You can see northern Spain is mostly clear.
Breakfast at leisure in the hotel. Depart for a scenic drive to the town of Huesca. Visit the Huesca Cathedral followed by city walk and lunch on your own near Plaza Mayor. The Holy Cathedral of the Transfiguration of the Lord, also known as the Cathedral of Saint Mary of Huesca, is a Roman Catholic church in Huesca, in Aragon, north-eastern Spain. It is the seat of the Bishop of Huesca. Its architecture is Gothic, and its construction began in the late 13th century and was finished in the early 16th century. Afternoon at leisure. Tonight a traditional Spanish dinner at one of Burgos’ top restaurants. Overnight Burgos. (B, D)
Saint Mary Cathedral of Huesca
Breakfast at leisure in the hotel. Drive to Zaragosa. Arrive 11am. Zaragosa walking tour with lunch included. From there travel to and through Barcelona. Afternoon guided walk to La Rambla & Gothic Quarter. This evening a progressive tapas dinner. (B, L, D)
Example of modern architecture in Barcelona
Example of modern architecture in Barcelona
Example of modern architecture in Barcelona
La Rambla de Mar, Spain
Breakfast at leisure in the hotel. Today we will visit the Montjuc area with Magic Fountain and Sagrada Familia. The Temple Expiatori de la Sagrada Família (Expiatory Temple of the Holy Family) is considered to be the symbol of Barcelona by many residents, and the one place you shouldn’t miss when you visit the Catalan capital. Initially intended to be a simple Roman Catholic church dedicated to Jesus, Mary and Joseph, the church ultimately became the most prominent example of Catalan Modernism. Pope Benedict XVI declared it a basilica in 2010.
La Sagrada Familia basilica
Next is a stop at the Cosmo Caixa Science Museum. The museum’s most distinctive attractions include the new permanent exhibition “The Universe Gallery” where visitors can learn about the cosmos and its evolution from the big bang to the present day. An interactive experience beginning with the creation of the cosmos and going on to explore the evolution of the species and the innermost workings of the human brain. The “Flooded Forest” recreates the ecosystem of the Amazon inside a glass house covering an area of 1,000 m2, which is home to piranhas, crocodiles and other animal and plant species typical of the area, and the “Geological Wall” consists of seven vast sections of genuine rock that allow us to interpret the world’s geology.
The museum building is just as fascinating as its contents. Science Museum CosmoCaixa is a beautiful example of modernist architecture, designed and built between 1904 and 1909 by Josep Domènech i Estapà. Lunch on your own – return to hotel (optional). Tonight will be our farewell dinner. Overnight Barcelona. (B, D)
Breakfast at leisure in the hotel. Following this check out and transfer to the airport for your return flight home. Those going on optional post tours will be adhering to that schedule.
|Standard Double Room package||$7,380.00|
|Suite* Double package||$7,880.00|
|Grand Suite* Double package||$8,380.00|
*applies to 4 nights in Burgos only. Remaining nights are in standard rooms
Prices set to rise by $300 per person on 3/31/24.
We are in top locations, with all excursions, most meals, a guide, a host, and porterage with 4 nights in the viewing area.
Deposit & Registration: Registering for a spot on this program requires a $750.00 refundable deposit per person until January 31, 2024. Deposits are accepted by credit card only. After February 1, 2024 all deposits are non-refundable. The 2nd non-refundable deposit is due March 31, 2025 of $2,000 per person. Final payment is due October 31, 2025. Registrations are acknowledged in order of receipt. Direct Travel handles all invoicing. For questions about registrations or billing contact Direct Travel by phoning +1 309-834-3739.
Cancellations and Refunds: Cancellation fees are based on the date the written notice is received by Direct Travel. (Notification of cancellation must be received in writing.) A full copy of our terms can be found on the eclipsetours.com website. The $750 per person deposit is refundable and is due at time of booking until January 31, 2024. From February 1, 2024-March 31, 2025 the cancellation fee is $750 per person. From April 1, 2025 – October 31, 2025 the cancellation penalty is $2,750.00 per person. From November 1, 2025 until trip departure the penalty to cancel is 100% of the trip cost.
Travel Insurance: We highly recommend the purchase of trip cancellation/interruption and out of country medical insurance once the program is confirmed and your deposit becomes nonrefundable.
Use the following link to register and provide payment to Direct Travel.