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Portugal and Andalusia from Madrid

Inclusions:

  • 10 nights’ accommodation in selected hotels
  • Tour Escort during the tour
  • Air-conditioned deluxe motor-coach
  • Breakfast (B)
  • 5 Dinners (D)
  • Guided visits in Porto, Lisbon, Cordoba, Seville, Granada and Toledo
  • Panoramic sightseeing as per itinerary.

Portugal and Andalusia from Madrid


Day 1: Madrid - Avila - Salamanca - Porto

Depart early morning from Madrid heading towards the border. Stop en-route in the preserved medieval walled city of Avila. Continue to the university town of Salamanca. Enjoy some free time in this unique city that is dripping in academic, architectural and artistic wealth. Depart Salamanca and head to the Portuguese border, reaching your first destination the coastal city in northwest Portugal, Porto.

Day 2: Porto

Join a panoramic tour of this mystical world-heritage site of Porto. Admire the cathedral with its stunning views of the river, the neoclassical Stock Exchange Palace and the national monument of the Church of Santa Clara or locally known Igreja de Santa Clara. Depending on your taste buds, you may opt to partake in an optional visit to a famous winery with tastings of the world-famous “port-wine”.  Alternatively spend the afternoon further exploring the historic centre, sumptuous food and wine and engaging with the charismatic locals. B

Day 3: Porto - Coimbra - Fatima

Farewell Porto as you head south towards the birthplace of Fado, the riverfront city of Coimbra. Spend some free time in this fascinating city, which sits high on the banks of the Mondego River and home to one of the oldest universities in Europe. Why not scale the 180 steps of the 16th century tower at the highest point of the university for a fantastic panoramic view of the city. Continue to the religious capital of Portugal. Once a tiny village in the hills of Santarem between Lisbon and Porto, Fatima is now one of the most important Catholic shrines in the world dedicated to the Virgin Mary. Visit Fatima’s Sanctuary, that welcomes millions of pilgrims and tourists each year. View the impressive Basilica and Cova da Iria, the place where the Apparitions of Our Lady of the Rosary appeared to three young shepherd children. At the heart of the Chapel of Apparitions is the sanctuary and the location of the tombs of the three shepherds. This evening you may wish to attend the procession of the candles. B

Day 4: Fatima - Batalha - Nazre - Alcobaca - Lisbon

Continue your drive south towards Lisbon along the Portuguese coastline. Stop en-route in Batalha to visit one of the most impressive religious buildings in Portugal, the Gothic monastery of Batalha Monastery. This UNESCO World Heritage Centre was built to commemorate the victory of the Portuguese over the Castilians at the battle of Aljubarrota in 1385. Next stop is the picturesque fishing village of Nazare. Possibly the most famous fishing town in Portugal, Nazare is unique in many ways. Spend some free time uncovering the architectural treasures, the grandiose monuments and the historic atmosphere of a bygone era still steeped in traditions. Continue to Alcobaca, a low-key town that lies between the valleys of the Rivers Alcoa and Baca. This small town’s centre is dominated by the 12th century monastery complex. Visit this impressive example of Cistercian and Gothic architecture and where the ill-fated legendary Portuguese lovers Pedro and Ines de Castro lie entombed in the nave of the monastery. Final arrive in the Portuguese capital city, Lisbon. Chose to add on the optional night tour to attend a show of Fado, a typical Portuguese song and music. B

Day 5: Lisbon

Spend the morning on a guided sightseeing tour of this stunning capital city. Visit the ancient Olissipo, drive through the main squares and avenues, view the Belem Tower, Jeronimos Monastery, the Coach Museum, Monument to the Discoverers, Marquis of Pombal Square and Liberty Avenue. Spend the afternoon further exploring this stunning capital with is charismatic and vibrant atmosphere. Discover the effortless blends of traditional heritage with its striking modernism. B

Day 6: Lisbon - Caceres - Cordoba

With an early morning departure sees you head towards the magical and medieval city of Caceres.  This town has a unique blend of Roman, Islamic, Northern Gothic and Italian Renaissance architecture. Spend some time walking through the charming core of this truly extraordinary city. Narrow cobbled streets twist and climb among ancient stone walls lined with palaces, mansions, arches and churches. Like skyward and marvel at the turrets, spires and gargoyles that watch down over this city. Depart this Middle-Aged marvel and head into the right of Andalusia.  Once the capital of Caliphate, Cordoba is now an ancient Andalusian city bursting with world-class Moorish architecture, beautiful courtyards and a revitalised riverside mecca of cafes and restaurants. BD

Day 7: Cordoba - Seville

Enjoy a morning tour of the mesmerising multi-arched Mosque, one of the greatest Islamic buildings and a symbol of the worldly sophisticated culture that has flourished here over the centuries. Explore the real charms of Cordoba as you wander through the winding, stone-paved lanes of the medieval city. Drive the short 2 hours to reach Seville, the doorway to the past. BD

Day 8: Seville

Spend this morning on a panoramic tour of the city. View the historic centre with the colossal Gothic cathedral, surpassed only by St Peter's Basilica in Rome. Drink in the intoxicating mix of Mudejar palaces, baroque churches and winding medieval lanes. Visit Santa Cruz, the real-life location of Carmen as well as where the legend of Don Juan started. Take in Parque de Maria Luisa a delightful oasis of green and Plaza de Espana, the most extravagant of the building projects completed for the 1929 Esposicion Iberoamericana. Spend the afternoon at leisure immersing more into this wonderland of architectural brilliance. This evening you can either dine at your hotel or join an optional excursion that includes the traditional Flamenco. BD

Day 9: Seville - Ronda - Costa del Sol

Drive through the heart of Andalusia on the way to the coast.  Pass by typical Andalusian villages before reaching the Ronda. Sitting in the heart of the Serrania de Ronda, about 100 kilometres from Malaga, this historical fairytale city sits astride the mountains carved out by the mighty Rio Guadalevin. Littered with history its spectacular location atop El Tajo gorge makes for some spectacular sightseeing.  Earning its name as the largest Andalusian white village it is easy to see why this is a favoured spot for American Europhiles Ernest Hemingway and Orson Welles. After free time in Ronda, continue to head towards the Costa del Sol. BD

Day 10: Costa del Sol - Granada

Reboard your coach and head towards the city of Granada, the city of a thousand castles. Visit the alluring draw card of Granada, the Alhambra Palace. The last stronghold of the Moorish Kingdoms, set against the brooding Sierra Nevada peaks, once started its life as a walled citadel. Now this fortified palace is amongst the finest Islamic buildings in Europe and with the stunning Generalife gardens makes for a must-see visit. This evening you have the choice of dining at your hotel or taking in the optional excursion of a Gipsy Flamenco show in the Sacromonte quarter. BD

Day 11: Granada - Toledo - Madrid

Today is your last day on the road and sees you head northward towards the impressive imperial city of Toledo.  This World Heritage city is an eye-catching marvel as it emerges high on a hill above the Castilla-La Mancha plains of central Spain, surrounded by the Tagus River. Well known for its mixture of Christians, Arab and Jewish monuments, located within the fascinating walled historic centre. Take a short-guided tour of this historical old town as you meander through the narrow streets. Continue with a visit to a famous gold and silver inlaying in iron factory, otherwise known as Damasquinado. After your adventure in Toledo head towards Madrid, where your time with us comes to an end. B


Travel Dates:

Selected Tuesday’s: April 2019 - March 2020

From $2,780*pp