A Tour to Discover
A tour to discover Spain and Portugal. Starting from Madrid, located in the geographic centre of the country and is the capital for over 500 years, when Philip II decided to bring his court there. Among the many attractions of the city including the internationally renowned art galleries, rich museums that preserve the art and history of the nation, majestic squares and imposing buildings, the first of the Royal Palace, the royal residence for centuries, now used for state occasions. Thejourney will continue to the magical atmosphere of Andalusia. From Granada, full of Moorish and Christian witnesses suggestions, Cordoba with its Cathedral and the Jewish quarter, Seville scented with orange and jasmine and its Alcazar. Ending in Lisbon, whose unique urban layout creates a sinuous course made of steps, climbs and dizzying descents, steep alleys and unexpected sights.You will fall in love with the Iberian Peninsula.
MADRID, Senator Gran Via 70 Spa Hotel – 4*
GRANADA, Andalucia Center Hotel – 4*
CORDOBA, Hotel Cordoba Center – 4*
SEVILLE, Hotel Tryp Macarena – 4*
LISBON, Real Palacio Hotel – 4*
DAY 1: MADRID
Arrival at Madrid airport and transfer to the hotel. Depending on flight times, take time to relax or explore the city at your leisure. Overnight in Madrid.
DAY 2: MADRID
After breakfast, we will take a guided tour of the city to visit the most important places in Madrid including its fountains, Cibeles and Neptun, view of the Prado, Reina Sofia and Thyssen Bournemitza, Atocha Liberty railway station and one of Madrid’s symbols: Puerta d’Alcala. We will go on to Plaza de Toros, the Paseo of the Castellana and exterior of the Royal Palace and Opera. Enjoy free time for lunch. In the afternoon we will visit Toledo, a World Heritage sight, the Mudejar Cathedral, the church of Saint Tome’ with its famous El Greco painting, then a short walk in this open air museum. In the evening we will enjoy a typical dinner in a tapas restaurant with a typical flamenco show. Overnight in Madrid.
DAY 3: MADRID
After breakfast, enjoy a full free day to explore the city at your leisure. In the morning, take an optional guided tour of the Prado Museum to see Goya and Velasquez masterpieces. In the afternoon, you may take an optional guided tour of the famous Monastery Real of El Escorial. The structure comprises a monastery, church, pantheon or royal mausoleum, a palace intended as summer and autumn residence of the court, college, library, art galleries and is renowned as the eighth wonder of the world. It was begun in 1563, at the order of Philip II, by the architect Juan Bautista de Toledo, assisted by Lucas de Escalante and Pedro de Tolosa, and was intended to commemorate the Spanish victory over the French at the battle of StQuinten in 1557. Probably another reason was that Philip II was obliged by the will of Charles V to erect a royal mausoleum. Overnight in Madrid.
DAY 4: MADRID - ARANJUEZ - GRANADA
Following breakfast we will depart from Madrid to Granada via Aranjuez, where we will visit the Royal summer castle with its magnificent gardens. We will then head south to Granada driving through La Mancha region, the world’s largest wine producing area. Overnight in Granada. In the evening enjoy an optional Gipsy show in the picturesque area of Sacromonte and visit of the Albaicin quarter with its fantastic view over the Alhambra.
DAY 5: GRANADA
After breakfast we will take a guided tour of one the most important monuments in Spain: the Alhambra. You will discover the unique Arabic medieval citadel, probably the best preserved in the world. We will show you the gardens and yards, like the Partal or the Generalife Gardens; the fortress and the dungeons and the sultan’s palaces such as the Palace of the Lions or the Throne Palace. You will feel the atmosphere of Moorish culture surrounded by the scent of the flowers and the murmuring of the water. Spend the afternoon at your leisure or perhaps pay a visit to Plaza Isabela the Catholic, Gran Via, the Gothic Cathedral and the old market known as Corral del Carbon and the Alcaiceria, that resembles an Arabic souk. Overnight in Granada.
DAY 6: GRANADA - CORDOBA
After breakfast we will proceed to Cordoba and enjoy a guided tour of the Mezquita, a mosque of exceptional beauty with its 850 columns, the Cathedral and the Jewish quarter. We will enjoy a short walk to discover the old city centre. Overnight in Cordoba.
DAY 7: CORDOBA - RONDA SEVILLE
After breakfast we will travel from Cordoba to Ronda, one of Andalucia’s loveliest towns, steeped in history and dubbed the Dream City by the poet Rilke. We will proceed to Seville, called “the city of grace”, a magical town, simultaneously Spanish and Arabic. Dinner is followed by a beautiful boat trip along the Guadalquivir River. Overnight in Seville.
DAY 8: SEVILLE
Breakfast at the hotel will be followed by a guided tour of Seville. We will visit the old city with the Cathedral and the Giralda tower at its heart. (You can climb the steps inside the tower for a magnificent view of the City). Very close by are the royal Mudéjar palace known as the Alcazar with its marvellous gardens and the Santa Cruz quarter with its cramped streets, flowered balconies, richly decorated facades and hidden patios. Other sights not to be missed in the old city are the Casa de Pilatos, a large sixteenth-century mansion where Mudejar, Gothic and Renaissance styles blend harmoniously amidst exuberant patios and gardens and, crossing the Triana bridge over the large Guadalquívir River, the lively popular quarter of Triana with its charming narrow streets around the church of Santa Ana and traditional ceramic factories. In the afternoon take an optional visit to Reales Alacazares, masterpiece of Mudejar Art. Overnight in Seville.
DAY 9: SEVILLE - LISBON
After breakfast we will drive to Lisbon, capital of Portugal and legendary city with over 20 centuries of history. Once the launch pad for many of the voyages of discovery (notably Vasco da Gama’s epic journey to India), Lisbon was the first true world city, the capital of an empire spreading over all continents, from Brazil to China (Macao). It is forever known as the city of the explorers, and you too will be filled with the spirit of discovery as you retrace the footsteps of Prince Henry the Navigator or Ferdinand Magellan. On arrival, relax and take time to explore the city at your leisure. Overnight in Lisbon.
DAY 10: LISBON
After breakfast, we will take a half-day guided tour of the city: we will drive down Avenida da liberdade to Rossio, the very heart of the city and then up the hill for a stop at St George’s castle to have a glimpse at the old quarters. Then we will drive along the riverside to admire black old square, the bridge over the Tagus with stops at the Belem Tower and the monument to the discoveries. There we will see the largest collection of some of the world’s finest old coaches. In the afternoon, enjoy free time. In the evening you may choose to see an optional Fado show with dinner. Overnight in Lisbon.
DAY 11: LISBON
Following breakfast, we will take a full day excursion to Sintra, Cascais and Estoril. We will enjoy a walking tour through the historical center of Sintra, classified as a World Heritage site by Unesco. We will visit the Pena palace, the most beautiful romantic palace in Portugal before proceeding to the picturesque and charming town of Cascais, where we will take a short walk through its animated center. We will then drive past the Estoril casino and its gardens and will enjoy a tour along the coast road of Estoril, one of the most beautiful and charming itineraries of Lisbon’s surroundings. We will then continue to Lisbon and stay overnight.
DAY 12: LISBON
After breakfast, enjoy the city of Lisbon at your leisure Overnight in Lisbon.
DAY 13: LISBON - DEPARTURE
Enjoy breakfast at the hotel. Then depending on the flight departure time, visit the city on your own for shopping or sightseeing. Transfer from the hotel to the airport and return to your original departure city