13 Days/ 12 Nights. Discover the splendor of Spain and Portugal with a first class escorted tour. Acquaint yourself with the elegant towns and cities of Toledo, Cordoba, Granada, Seville, Valencia and Madrid. In Portugal enjoy a day in the sunny Algarve at a beach resort before continuing to see historic and colorful Lisbon, the world famous Shrine of Fatima, and the changing scenery of the countryside. Your tour includes daily buffet breakfast and 6 evening meals. 13 days/12 nights beginning and ending in Madrid and including a 3 night stay in Seville, 2 nights in Lisbon and 2 nights in Madrid. e.
Day 1 - Arrive in Madrid
Welcome to Madrid, the Spanish capital! Relax or perhaps take a stroll along the tree lined boulevards. This evening meet your Tour Director and fellow travel companions for a Welcome Reception with cocktails and light snacks. Enjoy an orientation drive this evening, the perfect introduction to this magical city. Hotel: AC Cuzco.
Day 2- Madrid - Cuenca - Valencia
Travel this morning to Cuenca to see the hanging houses built on the edges of cliffs overlooking a deep gorge. Upon arrival in Valencia, there will be an orientation drive which will include views of the Towers of Serrano and Cuarte. Gain an unique insight into the striking architecture of the impressive Opera House, designed by Santiago Calatrva. Tonight, you may wish to sample Paella, a specialty of this region. Buffet breakfast included. Hotel: Confortel Aqua.
Day 3 - Valencia - Guadix - Granada
Travel inland through the mountains to view the troglodyte cave dwellings at Guadix. Cave houses are common throughout the province of Granada but the highest concentration is in Barrio Santiago. Take the jagged Mora Pass to the Moorish city of Granada. Dine tonight in a local restaurant for a special Regional Meal. Buffet breakfast included. Hotel: Carmen.
Day 4 - Granada - Cordoba - Seville (3 nights)
Morning sightseeing features a visit to the exquisite Alhambra Palace, former residence of the Moorish Kings. In Cordoba visit the Cathedral Mosque of Cordoba (the former mosque of the Caliphs, a jewel of Hispano-Islamic art featuring striking arches and Byzantine mosaics) with a local expert. Later, arrive in Seville, your home for the next 3 nights. Buffet breakfast and dinner with wine. Hotel: Melia Lebreros.
Day 5 - Seville sightseeing and free time
Your sightseeing tour with a local expert includes the Giralda Bell Tower and Maria Luisa Park: the center piece of the 1929 World's Fair built in a Moorish style, featuring a half mile of fountains, ponds, pavilions, and lush foliage. Walk through the imposing Plaza de España and visit the largest Gothic cathedral in the world where explorer Christopher Columbus is entombed. In the evening you may wish to see a Flamenco show. Buffet breakfast included.
Day 6 - Cadiz and Jerez excursion from Seville
Visit the historic port of Cadiz, departure point for some of Columbus' voyages. Once home to the vast Spanish navy, Cadiz was raided by Francis Drake a year prior to the 1588 departure of the Spanish Armada. This evening you will experience dinner at a family owned rancho and learn the family history of Olive Oil production. Buffet Breakfast included.
Day 7 - Seville - Algarve, Portugal
Cross the border into southern Portugal for a leisurely afternoon on the sunny Algarve coast. Spend time relaxing on a beach or take a stroll along the harbor of Villamoura. Buffet Breakfast included. Hotel Pestana Vila Sol Golf and Resort.
Day 8 - Algarve - Lisbon (2 nights)
Travel north over the Serra da Arrabida mountains to Lisbon. Enjoy an included city sightseeing tour of the UNESCO World Heritage Jeronimos Monastery and the Belem Tower with a local expert. This night you may wish to consider a traditional Fado show. Buffet breakfast included. Hotel: Hotel Olissipo Marques de Sa.
Day 9 - Lisbon at leisure
Free time today to explore Lisbon from the lively and trendy Chiado to the former fishermen's district of Alfama with its medieval alleyways and fine vistas. Later, you may wish to join an optional tour of beautiful Sintra (UNESCO World Heritage) and the seaside resort town of Cascais. Buffet breakfast included.
Day 10 - Lisbon – Fatima – Salamanca
Enjoy a scenic drive through the magnificent Serra d'Aire Mountains to visit the Shrine at Fatima, scene of celebrated religious miracles and destination for millions of pilgrims. From here travel across the border and back into Spain to Salamanca for the night. On arrival an orientation tour shows you the Plaza Mayor. Dine tonight at your hotel. Buffet breakfast and dinner included. Hotel: Gran Corona Sol.
Day 11 - Salamanca - Madrid (2 nights)
Your morning drive takes you through the Sierra de Guadarrama Mountains before making your way back to Madrid, Europe's highest capital city. A sightseeing tour of Madrid with a local expert includes the Royal Palace, Puerto del Sol and the Cervantes Monument. Buffet breakfast included. Hotel: AC Cuzco.
Day 12 - Toledo excursion from Madrid
On this day a local expert will take you on a walking tour of Toledo. Visit the Church of Santo Tome, home to one of El Greco's most famous painting: The Burial of Count Orgaz. Visit the Synagogue during your guided walk through the narrow streets. Later, arrive back in Madrid where you have free time to explore the city. Tonight, join your traveling companions and your Tour Director for a Farewell Dinner. Buffet breakfast and farewell dinner included.
Day 13 - Madrid - end of tour
This morning it's time to say "adios" to Spain, Portugal, your traveling companions and Tour Director. Buffet breakfast included.