Highlights of Spain & Portugal Summer 2019 - Leisure Holidays

Highlights of Spain & Portugal Summer 2019Spain

From RM11,004 / per person for 12 nights
Visit the Cave Houses of Guadix, the Alhambra Palace and Seville Cathedral on this Regional Explorer trip.

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Summary

Kick off your Iberian adventure in Madrid before heading to the hanging houses in Cuenca and devouring delicious paella in Valencia. See the troglodyte cave dwellings at Guadix, the 14th century Alhambra Palace and passionate Flamenco in Seville before heading to Portugal's Algarve, its hilly capital, Lisbon, and Fátima, site of celebrated religious miracles.


Map
Itinerary

Transfer

On arrival at Madrid Airport transfers will operate at 10.30am, 1.00pm and 3.30pm. Guest arriving later should make their own arrangement to the hotel.

Return transfers on the last travel day will arrive at Madrid Airport at 8.30am and 11am.

Accommodation

Day 1: Hotel NH Collection Eurobuilding

Day 2: Hotel Tryp Oceanic

Day 3: Hotel Catalonia

Day 4-6: Hotel Melia Lebreros

Day 7: Hotel Agua Riverside

Day 8-9: Hotel Olissippo Marques de Sa

Day 10: Hotel Gran Corona Sol

Day 11-13: Hotel Gran Colon

Sightseeing

Day 1: Arrive Madrid
The fiery Spanish capital of Madrid paves the way for an unforgettable journey through centuries of history and cultural highlights across the Iberian Peninsula. Embrace la buena vida and soak up the vibrant city atmosphere, before joining your fellow travellers and Travel Director for a Welcome Reception and orientation of the city's iconic sights.


Day 2: Madrid ▶  Cuenca ▶  Valencia  
Witness the dramatic honey-coloured clifftop hanging houses of Cuenca, before your journey continues to Valencia, renowned for its modern verve and spirit of innovation. An orientation drive will include views of the 15th-century Towers of Serrano and Quart, and the City of Arts and Sciences, a large-scale urban recreation centre for culture and science and designed by Santiago Calatrava. This evening, consider indulging in Valencia's fragrant flavours and aromas of paella.


Day 3: Valencia ▶  Guadix ▶  Granada
Our journey takes us through the sierra of Spain, before arriving in Guadix to view the troglodyte cave dwellings that blend effortlessly into the surrounding ochre landscape. Witness how generations of Guadix locals have carved cosy abodes into their rocky surrounds, then travel through the jagged Mora Pass to Granada, the last stronghold of the Moors in Europe. This evening, sample the hearty flavours of Andalusia during a special Regional Meal at a local restaurant.


Day 4: Granada ▶  Córdoba ▶  Seville (3 Nights)
Tread in the footsteps of Spain's last emirs, joining your Local Specialist for a visit to the incredible Alhambra, with its amazing palaces, gardens and fountains. Inspired by poetry, the architecture is said to be a reflection of paradise as described in Islamic verse. Immerse yourself in the tranquil atmosphere in quiet courtyards, follow its colossal ancient walls and admire the ornate stone carvings. We leave Granada behind for Córdoba where we'll join a Local Specialist to visit the mesmerising Cathedral of Córdoba, the former mosque of the caliphs and a jewel of Hispano-Islamic art featuring striking arches and Byzantine mosaics. Our final stop for the day is alluring Seville, our home for the next three nights.


Day 5: Seville Sightseeing and Free Time
Seville takes centre stage today as we spend the day exploring this charismatic city. We'll see the symbolic Giralda Bell Tower with a Local Specialist, then visit the Maria Luisa Park, the centrepiece of the 1929 Exposition. The park was built in a Moorish style and features half a mile of fountains, ponds, pavilions and lush plantings. We'll walk through the imposing Plaza de España and visit the largest Gothic Cathedral in the world, where the explorer Christopher Columbus is entombed. Consider an Optional Experience this evening to witness the twirling of colourful skirts and rhythmic clapping of castanets at a fiery flamenco performance.


Day 6: Seville ▶  Jerez and Cádiz Excursion
We indulge in the aromatic flavours of Jerez today as we 'Dive Into Culture' and into the centuries-old tradition of Spanish sherry production. The leafy boulevards and quiet plazas of romantic Cádiz are our next stop. Tread in the footsteps of Columbus, who used this historic port city as his launch pad to the 'New World', and see the exotic plants and trees dotted throughout the city, said to have been brought here by him upon his return.


Day 7: Seville ▶  Algarve Region
We journey from Spain to the sun-kissed shores of southern Portugal's Algarve, a retreat for sun-worshippers with its spectacular natural landscapes. Enjoy the delicious flavours of piri piri chicken and grilled sardines against the picture-perfect backdrop of the Atlantic, relax on its golden beaches or consider joining an Optional Experience.


Day 8: Algarve ▶  Lisbon Sightseeing (2 Nights)
Travel north to the Serra da Arrábida mountains and the golden landscapes of the Alentejo where you'll 'Connect With Locals' over a Be My Guest lunch at a traditional Stud Ranch which has been rearing Lusitano horses since the 18th century. We arrive in the seafaring Portuguese capital of Lisbon this afternoon, where we'll join a Local Specialist for a sightseeing tour of the spectacular 16th-century Hieronymite Monastery. See Belém Tower, built as a tribute to Vasco da Gama's journey of discovery, before a free evening to spend as you wish. Consider visiting the hillside Bairro Alto in search of delicious Portuguese flavours or witness the melancholic tunes of the fado.


Day 9: Lisbon Free Day
Today is yours to connect with the Portuguese capital. Relax at a sidewalk café with a creamy pasteis de nata and venture to the Castle of São Jorge and admire the sea of pastel pinks, yellows and blues that clad Lisbon's seven hills. You may choose to join an Optional Experience to the historic towns of Cascais and Queluz.


Day 10: Lisbon ▶  Fátima ▶  Salamanca
Follow the road taken by pilgrims over the last 100 years to the Shrine at Fátima, a site of celebrated religious miracles. We leave Portugal, travelling to the historic Spanish city of Salamanca with its golden-hued façades and ancient university heritage, where we will view its 18th-century Plaza Mayor during our orientation tour.


Day 11: Salamanca ▶  Toledo ▶  Madrid (2 Nights)

See the walled city of Ávila, the town of stones and saints, so named for its vast collection of Romanesque and Gothic churches. We arrive in the clifftop city of Toledo where we'll visit the Church of Santo Tomé, home to one of El Greco's most famous paintings – The Burial of Count Orgaz. Join a Local Specialist for a guided walk through its streets and see the former Synagogue of Santa María la Blanca. Later, 'Dive Into Culture' and witness local craftsmen at work creating inlaid steel the traditional way. We arrive in Madrid this evening, our home for the next two nights.


Day 12: Madrid Sightseeing and Free Time
This morning, we join a Local Specialist for a sightseeing tour of Madrid, where we'll see the Royal Palace, Puerta del Sol and the Cervantes Monument with its stone representations of Don Quixote's "true love". Spend the rest of the afternoon exploring the city on your own. Admire the world's finest collection of Spanish art at the Prado Museum, indulge in some last-minute shopping on Gran Vía or consider an Optional Experience to the medieval UNESCO-listed City of Segovia. This evening, marks the end of our memorable journey through the Iberian Peninsula. Join your fellow companions and Travel Director for a Farewell Dinner.


Day 13: Depart Madrid 
For now it's time to say a fond adiós to our travelling companions, your Travel Director and the beauty of Spain and Portugal at the end of a memorable holiday. Airport transfers are available. Conditions apply.


Extras

Included Extras

Please find below a selection of extras that are included within the price of your tour.

On-Trip Transport

Luxury air-conditioned coach with WiFi in most countries or alternative transportation (such as rail journeys)

Meals

18 Meals as per itinerary - 12 hot buffet breakfast, 1 lunch (Be My Guest), 5 dinners with local wine

Local Specialist

Local specialist to bring locations alive

Travel Director

An expert Travel Director & separate driver

Charges & Taxes

All baggage handling, hotel charges & local taxes

Dive Into Culture

Sample the famous sherry tradition in the southern Spanish city of Jerez, which has been making wine since the 7th century.

Connect with Locals

Saddle up for a superb stud farm visit, the tragic story of unrequited love and a traditional home-cooked Be My Guest lunch with Tiago and Vera in Portugal's beautiful Alentejo.

Optional Extras

All of the below extras are additional to the price of your tour, and can be selected on the next stage.

/per person

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