PS3 Portugal & Spain Tour

Iberia in Depth

TOUR HIGHLIGHTS:

Port Wine region, the Douro Valley; Lisbon: Colonial elegance; Santiago de Compostela: Place of Pilgrimage; Bilbao's Guggenheim; Comprehensive Barcelona city tour; Madrid: City tour & Prado; Granada & the Alhambra; Arab, Jewish, Christian, Roman, Visigothic legacies; Andalucia: Orange groves, flower-filled patios

  • DATES & PRICES
  • FULL ITINERARY
  • MAP & HOTELS
  • TRIP INFORMATION

Dates & Prices

To book this tour, please refer to the sidebar ►

Prices below are per person, twin-sharing costs in US Dollars (USD). Pricing does not include airfare to/from the tour and any applicable taxes. For single supplement rates and taxes (if any), please refer to the entries under the blue box below.


Start DateEnd DatePriceMore Info
Wed 06 May 2020Sat 30 May 2020 $7510 USD
Wed 01 Jul 2020Sat 25 Jul 2020 $7510 USD
Wed 09 Sep 2020Sat 03 Oct 2020 $7510 USD

Optional Single Supplement: $1250 USD (number of singles limited).


Tour Overview


On this Portugal & Spain tour we see how referring to history as existing in a series of layers can be an analogy taken quite literally when we see how the Colegiata de Santa Maria church was built on the foundations of what was a Roman temple and a mosque at one time.

Stepping into the capital of Portugal, Lisbon, we can observe how history, still alive through the city's ancient architecture, shines through the modern scenes of bustling markets and cafes.

The Port Wine region was established as the world's first demarcated area for wine production in 1756 and it is still where a thriving industry exists today.

Once we're in Santiago de Compostela, Spain, we can see how all the structures built out of massive granite blocks seem to blend the present with the past.

While Portugal has a mosaic of time-periods co-existing in its architecture, Toledo blends various cultures, such as Arab, Jewish, Christian and Visigothic.

In Cordoba, we see the Cathedral-Mosque, the only place in the world where a catholic cathedral stands in the centre of a mosque.

Regions visited: Western Europe
Countries visited: Portugal and Spain


Testimonials


(Port Gamble, WA, US)

I enjoyed all the excursions. Liked the olive oil factory and the walk to the top of the mountain across from the Alhambra. The Flamenco dancing was amazing. The meal plan met our expectations, so many different local cuisines. Chris is a foody and the tour benefited from it. In all my years of traveling, our tour leader Chris was the best. This was a trip of a lifetime for me.

Full Itinerary

To book this tour, please refer to the sidebar ►

Day 1 Arrival in Lisbon
Today we arrive in Lisbon.

The capital of Portugal since its conquest from the Moors in 1147, Lisbon is a legendary city with over 20 centuries of history. This was the centre of Europe's first and largest overseas empire and, as a result, the city still has a feeling of colonial elegance.

Overnight in Lisbon.

Included Meal(s): Dinner

Day 2 Lisbon: City Tour
Lisbon is an enticing tangle of past and present -- funky and old-fashioned, unpretentious and quirky, restored and revitalised, booming with new confidence. With cultural diversity combined with a laid-back ambience and an architectural time-warp, this is one of Europe's most enjoyable cities.

Today's half-day city tour takes us along the banks of the River Tagus and the Belem Tower guarding the mouth of the river. We visit Jeronimo's Monastery with the tomb of Vasco da Gamma. We continue by bus to see the Henry the Navigator Monument, Praca do Comercio Square, and lower Alfama District.

We also drive along the Avenida da Liberdade, a fashionable tree-lined street through the centre of town. We continue on a walking tour through the oldest quarter -- Baixa, Rossio, and Restauradores. Afternoon at leisure.

Overnight in Lisbon.

Included Meal(s): Breakfast and Dinner

Day 3 Lisbon - Obidos - Nazare - Fatima - Leiria
Today we travel by road northward to Obidos, a medieval symbol of narrow streets surrounded by walls. Obidos is known for its typical white houses with blue trim, flowered windows, narrow streets and steps paved with beautiful stone. On arrival in Obidos we embark on a walking tour, passing through the 18th century entry arch covered in glazed tiles (azulejos). Small bright white houses lining narrow cobblestone streets, flower pots on window-sills, Gothic and Renaissance churches -- especially the beautiful Church of Santa Maria -- reminds of the importance of Obidos's past.

We continue to Nazare, the most famous fishing town in Portugal. Among the brightly coloured rowing-boats moored on the beach bathed by the Atlantic Ocean, one may watch the fisherfolk bring in the nets. A superb view is enjoyed from the "Sitio" for where you may observe women still wearing the traditional seven-skirted costumes near the Nossa Virgem de Nazare Basilica, an important pilgrimage centre.

Our final stop is nearby Fatima, the well-known Roman Catholic Marian shrine. We visit the Basilica and the Chapel of Apparitions that marks the spot where the three shepherd children had visions in 1917. We continue to Leiria, a charming town with small homes over archways and behind graceful arcades.

Overnight in Leiria.

Included Meal(s): Breakfast and Dinner

Day 4 Leiria - Coimbra - Bussaco - Urgeirica
This morning we travel to the university town of Coimbra, known for its twisting streets and terraced houses. We visit the 12th century Se Velho Cathedral, and 13th-century university with its magnificent library, Manueline doors and chapel. We also visit the Alameda Gate, the Cathedral and Santa Cruz Church.

We continue through the lovely Bussaco, a mountain forest located just northeast of Coimbra. Bussaco is a delightful refuge of cypress groves, ferns, statues, fountains, and formal gardens.

Overnight in Urgerica.

Included Meal(s): Breakfast and Dinner

Day 5 Urgerica - Douro Valley - Porto
We depart today for a picturesque drive through a landscape speckled with granite houses with wooden or wrought-iron balconies, before entering the Port Wine region, the Douro Valley, a UNESCO protected site. En route we have a brief stop in Viseu to walk through the historical zone. This is port country and was, in fact, the world's first demarcated wine region, established in 1756. Evidence of the port industry can be seen along the valley with all the famous company names -- Cockburns, Taylors, Sandeman and others -- appearing on large placards on the hillsides. En route we will stop for a cellar tour, tasting and lunch (included today).

We will also stop in Amarante to visit the local market before continuing to Porto (dinner on your own this evening).

Overnight in Porto.

Included Meal(s): Breakfast and Lunch

Day 6 Porto: City Tour
Today will be spent exploring Porto (Oporto), the ‘2nd city’ of Portugal.

For many travellers Oporto is one of the last ‘undiscovered’ European metropolises. Located along the Douro river estuary in northern Portugal, Porto is one of the oldest European centers, and the atmospheric ancient port is steeped in history and tradition. With 2,000 years of history, the settlement of the city dates back to when it was an outpost of the Roman Empire. During the Roman era the city gained prominence as a commercial port, primarily for trade between Lisbon and Braga. Today the western part of the city limits extend right to the coastline of the Atlantic Ocean.

The city was built along the hillsides overlooking the mouth of the Douro River, and has an outstanding urban landscape. The continuous growth of the city has always been linked to the sea (the Romans gave it the name Portus, or port), and can be seen in the many and varied monuments. Porto is rich with well-preserved treasures, including monuments in the Romanesque, Gothic, Baroque and Neo-classical style. The historical center of Porto preserves a strong identity forged over many centuries, and in 1996 UNESCO included it on its World Heritage list. Strategically close to the Atlantic coast, at a natural intersection of the routes travelled by people from both north and south, the city has always played an important role in international trade.

We will wander through Porto's lively city center, and see the Old Quarter, the modern districts, and the low section that fronts the River Douro. Our walking tour of Porto's riverfront Ribeira district will include the lavish rooms of its neoclassical Stock Exchange Palace, the exquisitely gilded Church of Santa Clara, the Cathedral and the São Bento Train Station. The alluring district of Ribeira is a crumbling but fascinating place made up of medieval streets and alleyways, including the riverfront square ("Praça da Ribeira"). During our time here we will see the Church of Sao Francisco which dates to the 13th century. Along with being the second-largest Portuguese city after Lisbon, Porto is also one of the most prominent urban areas in Southern Europe.

This afternoon we will enjoy a relaxing cruise on the Douro River.

Overnight in Porto.

Included Meal(s): Breakfast and Dinner

Day 7 Porto: Braga & Guimaraes
Today we visit Braga, a city famous for its churches, last count surpassing 300! As the religious centre of Portugal, Braga boasts the highest number of churches per capita in Christendom. The strategic location has always made it ripe for occupation and development. The Goidelic Celts, also known as the Bracari, are believed to have founded the city and given it a name several thousand years ago. The Romans occupied it in 250 BC and made it the hub of five major roads, all leading to Rome. Through them Christianity and the first Bishops of Braga eventually came. The Suevians over ran the city in AD 409, but were replaced in 485 by Visigoth invaders, who, in turn, were vanquished in 711 by a Moorish army. For more than three centuries, the Christians and the Moors jousted over Braga, until the Muslims were finally expelled at the end of the 11th century. In the old quarter of Braga, you can explore the ornate Renaissance and Manueline palaces, baroque churches, and narrow medieval streets.

After lunch we proceed to Guimaraes, birthplace of Portugal's first king and for 2012, European Capital of Culture. In this charming town (a UNESCO site) we offer a walking tour of the old mediaeval quarter. We begin in the Largo da Oliveira, with its varying styles of architecture. As we walk through the Old Quarter, notice the window boxes with fresh, colourful spring flowers. On our walk you will see workshops, bakeries, stores, and the like operating like time has never passed.

Overnight in Porto.

Included Meal(s): Breakfast and Dinner

Day 8 Porto, Portugal - Santiago de Compostela, Spain
Today we travel by road to Santiago de Compostela.

Built of golden granite, Santiago is one of the most beautiful of all Spanish cities. The medieval city has been declared in its entirety a national monument, and remains remarkably integrated, all the better for being almost completely pedestrianized. The buildings and the squares, the long stone arcades and the statues, are hewn from the same granite blocks and blend imperceptibly one with the other, often making it impossible to distinguish ground level from raised terrace.

En route we make a stop in Baiona, one of the most important coastal towns in Galicia because of its harbour and fishing fleet. The caravel Pinta landed here on her arrival back in Europe from Columbus's "discovery" of America. You'll have some time for enjoying a coffee or some Spanish tapas as well as local shopping.

Depending on our time of arrival, we may accomplish some of our sightseeing today after we check in to our hotel.

Overnight in Santiago de Compostela.

Included Meal(s): Breakfast and Dinner

Day 9 Santiago de Compostela: City Tour
This morning we have a walking city tour of Santiago, a UNESCO World Heritage city. Our tour begins at Obradoiro Square where some of its more prominent monuments can be seen: the Archbishop's residence which preserves some 12th century lounges; the Town Hall, former Raxoy Palace, with its classical facade; the San Jeronimo College, whose facade shows Roman influences.

We also include the city's famous cathedral, a truly grand building adorned with many statues of St James in his familiar pilgrim guise with staff, broad-brimmed hat, and scallop-shell badge.

We also visit the Cathedral Museum, the Cloister and finally, the Platerias Gate, the only Romanesque one that is still preserved; and we take a guided tour of the Cathedral roofs,* which allows us to climb to the very top of the building and look out over the historic centre from the heights. To do so we make for the Gelmirez Palace, located to the side of the Cathedral in the Plaza del Obradoiro square. We pass through the interior of the Gelmirez Palace, past the Cathedral gallery (above the Gloria doorway) and up to the roof of the cathedral.

* Impending maintenance on the roof has been announced starting from late winter 2018, and it is unclear as to how long a closure may last. Please be advised that this element may not be possible if the roof tour is unavailable for your chosen departure.

Overnight in Santiago de Compostela.

Included Meal(s): Breakfast and Dinner

Day 10 Santiago de Compostela - Leon
This morning we take the train (2nd class) to Leon.*

On arrival in Leon we visit the San Isidoro Collegiate Church, an important piece of western Romanesque, where 23 kings and queens are buried. The cathedral was built in the middle of the 13th century in a gothic style similar to the French cathedrals and is famous for the beauty of more than 100 glazed windows. Our Leon sightseeing continues with the old quarter of the city, which conserves a large part of the medieval wall and some remains of the original Roman wall. One can also find the Casa de Botines, a neo-gothic building and an excellent example of the architecture of Antoni Gaudi.

* NOTE: We use the rail system quite extensively on this tour (except tours ES1 qnd PS2, which feature only ONE rail journey). YOU MUST BE ABLE TO MANAGE YOUR OWN BAGS ONTO / OFF TRAINS AND IN TRAIN STATIONS. Packing lightly is essential.

Overnight in Leon.

Included Meal(s): Breakfast and Dinner

Day 11 Leon - Cave of Altamira - Bilbao
Today we travel by road to Bilbao, via a stop at the museum connected with the Cave of Altamira. Dating from 12000 BC, the caves are full of prehistoric paintings of wild animals and impressions of human hands. When discovered in the 1870s the vivid and evocative paintings were nearly perfectly-preserved. Even Picasso commented on the paintings here: "After Altamira, everything is decadence." (We will be visting a museum and a replica of the cave paintings; the actual cave has been closed to visitors in the interest of conservation).

We continue deeper into Basque country and toward Bilbao, tucked into the deep lush folds and clefts of Euskadi's coastal range. The name is "Bilbo" in Basque, but its inhabitants prefer to call it the "botxo," Basque for hole, or orifice. The orifice was originally a scattering of fish hamlets, huddled on the left bank where the hills offered some protection from the Normans and other pirates.

Overnight in Bilbao.

Included Meal(s): Breakfast and Dinner

Day 12 Bilbao: The Guggenheim
Today we explore the Old Town of Bilbao on a walking tour. We travel back in time to Medieval Bilbao with its cobbled streets, charming corners and squares, and trace its development through the centuries.

The major highlight today is our visit to the newest and biggest attraction in Bilbao, the Guggenheim Museum. The 31 329 sq m (349,000 sq foot) colossus is one of the focal points of a $1.5 billion redevelopment plan for the city. The Frank Gehry design features a 50 m- (165 foot-) high atrium, more than one-and-a-half times the height of the rotunda of Frank Lloyd Wright's Guggenheim Museum in New York. The museum is devoted to American and European art of the 20th century, featuring (on rotation) the works of such renowned artists as Kandinsky, Mondrian, Picasso, Ernst, Pollock, Lichtenstein, Oldenburg, Serra, and others.

Options for your free afternoon include: remain at the Guggenheim on your own, the Basque Museum, Fine Arts Museum, a guided boat tour of the estuary, or local bus trip to San Sebastian (+/- 1:20) etc. Your Tour Leader can help you plan your afternoon.

Overnight in Bilbao.

Included Meal(s): Breakfast and Dinner

Day 13 Bilbao - Barcelona: City Tour
Today we fly to Barcelona.

Barcelona, located on the Mediterranean Sea in the very north of the Spanish coast, is certainly the most cosmopolitan and economically active city in this country. Of course, Barcelona has an long history, and there are monuments of Romanesque, Gothic and Renaissance periods and before, but most characteristic is what has been built during the last 100 years.

We are aiming for the morning flight so that we might embark on the guided portion of our Barcelona sightseeing upon arrival (mostly on foot - leisurely pace). Our first stop is Parc Guell, a beautiful place in the morning. We have time to visit the Casa Gaudi with its collection of Gaudi-designed furniture. We'll walk through the Parc, ending up at the main entrance to visit the terrace and pavilion unit and Doric columns.

Overnight in Barcelona.

Included Meal(s): Breakfast and Dinner

Day 14 Barcelona: City Tour
This morning we travel by bus to Barcelona's most famous and most photographed attraction -- La Sagrada Familia Cathedral (Cathedral of the Holy Family), an amalgam of fantasy and Gothic impulses, and Gaudi's most unique piece of architecture. Our bus stops on the side of the Nativity facade (north) from where we walk around to the Passion facade. We explore the interior and also visit the cathedral museum during our stop. At some point during our time in Barcelona, we will also visit the Picasso Museum.

We also stroll down the avenue of Las Ramblas, the exotic "spine of Barcelona," with a stop to look at Palau Guell, another Gaudi creation. We continue to Placa Catalunya and Placa Reial via the central market, Bequiria; a very lively place, crowded with stalls selling caged birds and lush plants and the constant clamor of people haggling and selling.

We then walk into Barri Gotic, a densely-packed area of narrow lanes with a fascinating mixture of medieval and stately Renaissance buildings.

Overnight in Barcelona.

Included Meal(s): Breakfast and Dinner

Day 15 Barcelona: Montserrat & Leisure Time
This morning we include a half-day guided tour of , one of Spain's most sacred sites, set in beautiful mountains about 1 hour's drive from Barcelona. Long before we reach Montserrat, we will see the jagged silhouette of the great peak, and understand how it got its name ('serrat' means 'serrated). This massive rock fortress is dotted with paths, stairs, caves, chapels and hermitages. We drive through the Montserrat Natural Park and up to the Sanctuary, around 725m (2,380 feet) above sea level. On a clear day you will see breath-taking panoramas of the Pyrenees.

We will arrive at the Sanctuary, where we can visit the Royal Basilica and the Chapel of Our Lady of Montserrat. Inside the Chapel is the famous 12th century Romanesque carved wood statue of La Moreneta (the Black Virgin). La Moreneta is the patron saint of Catalonia, and is a presence strongly felt and revered. This celebrated statue has made The Royal Basilica one of the most important pilgrimage sites in Spain. The tour also includes entrance to an interesting audiovisual exhibition ("Montserrat Portes Endins"), and the chance to taste four locally-produced liquors.

We return to Barcelona with time at leisure.

Overnight in Barcelona

Included Meal(s): Breakfast and Dinner

Day 16 Barcelona - Madrid: Royal Palace
Today we travel to Madrid by fast train (+/- 3 hours).

This afternoon we include a tour of the Royal Palace* where we see, among other things, its principal staircase, throne, gala dining room, museum of silver, and principal courtyard. This is the official residence of the royal family, but today it is used only state ceremonies. Otherwise known in Spanish as the Palacio Real, the Royal Palace was built during the 18th and 19th centuries, and is a monumental building. It replaced the former medieval Alcazar, which was burnt to the ground in 1794. The present day Royal Palace of Madrid was decorated to the tastes of Charles III, and is extremely lavish inside.

* Please note that the palace is periodically closed without notice due to official functions. We apologize if this activity is not possible.

Overnight in Madrid.

Included Meal(s): Breakfast and Dinner

Day 17 Madrid & The Prado
This morning we have a panoramic tour of broader Madrid, terminating at the Prado Museum for a guided tour. Our route to the museum likely takes us past Plaza Espana point and the Cervantes Monument.

Originally opened to the public in 1819, the Prado houses all of the finest works collected by Spanish Royalty as well as Spanish paintings gathered from other sources over the past two centuries. The Prado is one of the most important repositories of art in the world, including a vast collection of Italian paintings. For the purposes of our visit, however, we will concentrate on works by Spanish masters -- Velasquez, Goya, Ribera, El Greco, Zurbaran, to name a few.

After our tour, we'll head off on foot for an informal stroll up Gran Via and into the old quarter of Madrid. You'll then have free time for lunch and an afternoon of independent exploration. Your Tour Leader can help you plan your free time, with recommended shopping, other historical sites and galleries. You may want to visit the nearby Reina Sofia for the important modern art collection, including Picasso's masterpiece, "Guernica." Or visit the Museo Naval, one of the world's most important Navy Museums, to learn about the history of the Spanish Armada.

Overnight in Madrid.

Included Meal(s): Breakfast and Dinner

Day 18 Madrid: Toledo Day Trip
This morning we travel to Toledo, a city with a unique blend of Arab, Jewish, Christian, Roman, and Visigothic elements. Toledo sits on a rocky promontory isolated on three sides by a looping gorge of the Tagus River. The history of several different cultures is contained within this region, represented by the houses, synagogues, churches, and mosques.

Our excursion includes a visit to the Cathedral, as well as the Santa Maria la Blanca Synagogue, which shows the influence of the Granada Moors.

We also see one of Toledo's most outstanding attractions, El Greco's masterpiece "The Burial of the Count of Orgaz" located inside the Church of Santo Tome.

After lunch and some free time in Toledo, we return to Madrid.

Overnight in Madrid.

Included Meal(s): Breakfast and Dinner

Day 19 Madrid - Cordoba: City Tour
Today we travel by fast train to Cordoba (+/- 2 hours), crossing the Despenaperros Mountains and the border pass between Castile and Andalucia.

During our time in Cordoba (a World Heritage City), we will gain a sense of the city's long and varied past and multicultural nature. Our tour starts at the Roman Bridge and the Calahorra Tower, an Arab defensive tower. Next we arrive at the Mezquita-Catedral, or Great Mosque of Cordoba, one of the oldest structures still standing from the time Muslims ruled Al-Andalus. The buildings on this site are as complex as the extraordinarily rich history they illustrate. Historians believe that there had first been a temple to the Roman god, Janus, on this site. The temple was converted into a church by invading Visigoths who seized Cordoba in 572. Next, the church was converted into a mosque and then completely rebuilt by the descendants of the exiled Umayyads -- the first Islamic dynasty who had originally ruled from their capital Damascus (in present-day Syria) from 661 until 750.

We visit the Alcazar fortress, built by King Alfonso XI, and containing mosaics and sarcophagi.
Finally we will have a stroll in the Jewish Quarter where the synagogue is located.

Please note: Our official meal plan for today is "breakfast & dinner"; however, due to other variables, however (such as hotel location), your Tour Leader may choose to include lunch instead of dinner today. You will, of course, be advised in advance.

Overnight in Cordoba.

Included Meal(s): Breakfast and Dinner

Day 20 Cordoba - Granada
Our tour continues to Granada, set in the heart of Andalucia with the majestic Sierra Nevada mountains as a backdrop. Conquered by the Moors in AD 711, Granada blossomed into one of Europe's wealthiest and most refined cities. The legacy of Granada's rich history and heritage remain visible throughout the city centre with its cobblestone streets and lovely plazas. In 1992 Granada celebrated the 500th anniversary of the Christian re-conquest by the Catholic Monarchs, Ferdinand, and Isabella.

On arrival we visit the Royal Chapel, featuring tombs carved out of marble by the Tuscan sculptor Domenico Fancelli. As both Queen Isabel and King Fernando died before the Royal Chapel was finished, they were first buried in the Friary of San Francisco in the Alhambra. They were then later moved to the chapel once it had been completed, and buried alongside King Felipe and Queen Juana. Although their original idea was for all future Spanish Kings and Queens to be buried here, this did not happen as the monastery in El Escorial was used instead.

Overnight in Granada.

Included Meal(s): Breakfast and Dinner

Day 21 Granada: The Alhambra
The focus of our sightseeing today is Granada's main attraction, the Alhambra, a mighty fortress that houses an extraordinarily delicate and beautiful Moorish palace begun in the 13th century. This was the palace of the Nasrid Sultans, rulers of the last Spanish Moorish Kingdom. A fantasy of "lace in stone" surrounded by arabesque gardens and fountains, it affords superb views of the Old Quarter and Sacromonte, a mountain occupied by gypsy cave dwellers. In many ways, the Alhambra represents the Moorish concept of life itself -- something glorious to be ennobled by learning and enlivened by every kind of pleasure.

We also visit the nearby Generalife Gardens; in your free time, you may choose to explore the old Moorish quarter of the Albaicin.

Overnight in Granada.

Included Meal(s): Breakfast and Dinner

Day 22 Granada - Reserva Tauro - Ronda: Town Tour
We continue our tour (by road) to Ronda, a historic town located on a towering plateau in the mountains of Malaga Province. En route we visit Reserva Tauro, a 500 acre bull and horse breeding farm. Here we have the opportunity to get close to bulls and gain an understanding of the culture without attending a bull fight.

In Ronda, we will walk around the old town where you will learn the origins of this ancient town where Romans, Arabs, and Christians left their traces. We visit the Mondragon Palace, built in a Mudejar style and finally to the Bullring, the oldest in the country. Ronda is famous for its dramatic escarpments and views, and for the deep El Tajo gorge that carries the rio Guadalevin through its centre. We suggest a walk to the 18th century Puente Nuevo 'new' bridge, which straddles the 100m/328 ft chasm below, for its unparalleled views out over the Serrania de Ronda mountains.

Overnight in Ronda.

Included Meal(s): Breakfast and Dinner

Day 23 Ronda - Pileta Caves - Sevilla
Today we travel to Seville via a stop at the well-preserved rock paintings at the Pileta Caves (walking required on wet stone with no hand rails - speak to your leader for further guidance). The 25,000 year old Neolithic and Paleolithic drawings of black, ochre, and red are mostly just lines or patterns, but there are also horses, goats, cattle, and a rare giant fish, made from a mixture of clay and fat. This is not a well-developed tourist attraction; you must be steady on your feet and prepared for some slow walking.

We then follow (by road) the route known as "the route of the white villages" for the singularity of the scenery. Lunch and time to explore Grazalema, a white hill down nestled in Grazalema National Park. Prior to arrival in Sevilla (Seville), we stop at a viewpoint for a panoramic photo opportunity.

Overnight in Sevilla.

Included Meal(s): Breakfast and Dinner

Day 24 Sevilla: City Tour
Sevilla, the fourth largest city in Spain, is the picture-perfect image of Andalucia, complete with restored Andalusian architecture, orange groves, flower-filled patios, and castanet-rattling Gypsies.

While in Sevilla we visit the largest cathedral in Spain, built in a Gothic style with lovely stained glass windows, choir, and chapels. We visit the Giralda Tower, with its spectacular views of the city. We will also see the Moorish Alcazar Palace, a 14th century palace, the oldest royal residence in Europe and still in use.

Later we will walk along the Guadalquivir riverbank and view historic monuments like the Maestranza Bullring, the Torre del Oro, and the Monument to the Tolerance by Eduardo Chillida.

Overnight in Sevilla.

Included Meal(s): Breakfast and Dinner

Day 25 Depart
Departure from Sevilla.

BUEN VIAJE!

Included Meal(s): Breakfast

Tour Map

To book this tour, please refer to the sidebar ►

*The red tour trail on the map does not represent the actual travel path.


Hotel List


The following is a list of sample hotels at some locations included on this tour. The hotels shown here are meant to provide a general sense of the standard of hotel we usually aim for; they are not necessarily confirmed for your chosen departure.


Sana Lisboa Hotel

Rating: 4 Star Accommodation4 Star Accommodation4 Star Accommodation4 Star Accommodation
Location: Lisbon
Country: Portugal

A 2-minute walk from the nearest metro station, this downtown, modern hotel is 4 km from both Jardim Zoológico de
... and Targus River.
The airy, upscale rooms feature free Wi-Fi, flat-screens, minibars and city views.

Read More.

Click here to visit hotel website

Hotel Eurostars das Artes

Rating: 4 Star Accommodation4 Star Accommodation4 Star Accommodation4 Star Accommodation
Location: Porto
Country: Portugal

For people who love art. For people with a feeling for the Douro. For people who appreciate a good port
... and know how to enjoy it with the necessary calm. For these people we have opened the doors of the Eurostars Das Artes, the essence of which is to be found in the art exuded by the grand capital of the Douro.

The Eurostars Das Artes Hotel, set in the very centre of Oporto, comprises two buildings, one historical and the other modern, with a sky-blue tiled façade welcoming its guests. Location: Porto

Rating: 4-star

CLICK on photo for more information

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Hesperia Gelmirez

Rating: 3 Star Accommodation3 Star Accommodation3 Star Accommodation
Location: Santiago de Compostela
Country: Spain

This cozy hotel is situated in the heart of Santiago de Compostela, near the railway station and just 10 km
... the airport. An ideal base from which to tour the splendid historical and cultural features of the city. The hotel boasts 138 fully-equipped rooms with heating, telephone, television and satellite TV.

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Ilunion Auditori Hotel

Rating: 3 Star Accommodation3 Star Accommodation3 Star Accommodation
Location: Barcelona
Country: Spain

The Ilunion Auditori is a modern property boasting an unbeatable location right in the centre of Barcelona. Among features, guests
... find comfortable and elegantly-appointed accommodations, a bar, a pool bar and a restaurant. Sport lovers can also avail of the outdoor swimming pool and the gym to do a bit of exercise.


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Hotel Emperador

Rating: 4 Star Accommodation4 Star Accommodation4 Star Accommodation4 Star Accommodation
Location: Madrid
Country: Spain

In a 1940s stone building amid the shops and nightlife on bustling Gran Via, this refined hotel opposite Santo Domingo
... station is an 8-minute walk from the Royal Palace of Madrid. Warm, elegant rooms have minibars, free Wi-Fi and flat-screen TVs.
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Eurostar Maimonides

Rating: 3 Star Accommodation3 Star Accommodation3 Star Accommodation
Location: Cordoba
Country: Spain

Its privileged location in the very heart of the Jewish Quarter (in front of the Mosque) and 50 meters from
... Convention Center makes it a tourist reference point in the center of Córdoba. The Hotel has 82 bedrooms with spectacular sights of the old town, all of them completely equipped, provided with Air Conditioner, Central Heating, Amenities, PC and Fax connection, Minibar, Parabolic TV, Telephone, Hair Dryer and Desk.


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Click here to visit hotel website


Trip Information

To book this tour, please refer to the sidebar ►

Inclusions

Breakfast and dinner (hotels & local restaurants) daily. All sightseeing and entrance fees for sites noted as 'visited' in the detailed itinerary. Gratuities for local guides, drivers, restaurant staff, porters. Airport transfers for land & air customers arriving / departing on tour dates.

Exclusions

International airfare to/from the tour. Tour Leader gratuities, lunches, drinks, personal items (phone, laundry, etc), domestic & international air taxes (if applicable), excursions referenced as 'optional'. Airport transfers for Land Only customers. Our post-reservation trip notes offer further guidance on optional meal costs and shopping.

Seasonality and Weather

This tour is offered in spring, summer and fall the most popular of which are spring and fall when when temperatures are mild. Showers are possible in spring and possible in late fall and winter. Summer is just plain hot.

Transport and Travel Conditions

Land transport throughout by private air-conditioned motor coach, 24-36 seats depending on ultimate group size (see 'group size'). Though we will have some full bus days, road travel is not particularly arduous as there are plenty of stops of interest.

Train journeys are comfortable (2nd class).

YOU MUST BE ABLE TO MANAGE YOUR OWN BAGS ON / OFF TRAINS AND IN TRAIN STATIONS.

This trip is typical of most of our European tours, which are ambitious and involve full days of travel and sightseeing. While we don't have any actual strenuous activity (ie hiking) built into the program, you will do a lot of walking on this trip. These walks will mostly be in the form of walking tours of towns and cities and short walks to dinner. Being Europe, and a hilly/mountainous area, cobbles, uneven surfaces, and slopes/stairs are common. If you are accustomed to typical "bus tours," which rely heavily on vehicular transport for all sightseeing activities, you should be aware that this tour is considerably more active.

Am I suitable for this tour? Please refer to our self-assessment form.

Accommodation

Well-located, air- conditioned, mid-range hotels (3-4 star) throughout. All hotels have en suite bath, though some may have shower only. Porter service is usually available (see 'inclusions') though you should be independent with your luggage. Single rooms are limited and likely smaller than twins.

Staff and Support

Tour Leader throughout, driver, local step-on guides in various locales.

Group Size

10-18 (plus Tour Leader)

PS3 TRIP DETAILS

DURATION25 days

TOUR STARTLisbon

TOUR ENDSevilla

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