12-Nights Highlights of Spain and Portugal
Highlights Of Spain And Portugal
A round-trip featuring all the highlights of Spain and Portugal. Spend time in the pilgrimage centre of Fátima, join a family on their stud farm in the Alentejo and explore the icons left behind by Catholic kings and Moorish sultans.
- Explore Córdoba, Seville, Évora, Lisbon, Toledo and Madrid with a Local Specialist
- Discover Valencia, Cádiz and Salamanca
- Visit the Alhambra Palace in Granada, the Cathedral Mosque in Córdoba, Seville Cathedral, the Cathedral of Évora, the Hieronomyte Monastery in Lisbon, the Shrine at Fátima, Plaza Mayor in Salamanca and the Church of Santo Tomé and the Synagogue in Toledo
- View the Hanging Houses of Cuenca, the Towers of Serrano and Quart, the City of Arts and Sciences complex in Valencia and the Cave Houses of Guadix
- 12 breakfasts
- 1 lunch (Be My Guest)
- 5 dinners
- Audio Headsets for flexible sightseeing
- Daily breakfast and up to half your evening meals
- Luxury air-conditioned coach with Wi-Fi in most countries or alternative transportation (such as rail journeys)
- Cherry-picked hotels, all tried and trusted
- Optional Experiences and free time
- All porterage and restaurant gratuities
- Must-see sightseeing and surprise extras
- An expert Travel Director and professional Driver
- All hotel tips, charges and local taxes
- Handcrafted Highlights
12 nights from $3040 per person
The capital of Spain since 1562, Madrid is located on the geographic center of the Iberian Peninsula. Because of its central location and high altitude, the climate of Madrid is characterized by warm dry summers and cool winters. Madrid is a city of great monuments. Among its highlights are the medieval center dating back to the Habsburg Empire and the Prado Museum. Madrid is not just a cultural destination. It is also a lively metropolis with many pubs, cafes, discotheques and nightclubs open late into the night.
Portugal’s capital is an 18th-century city - elegant, open to the sea and carefully planned. Most places of interest are within easy walking distance. Rossio Square, the heart of Lisbon since medieval times, is an ideal place to start exploring. Many rebuilt houses with original façades provide stores and restaurants with modern interiors. High above Baixa is Bairro Alto - with its teeming nightlife. There are many monuments and museums, such as San Jeronimos Monastery, Royal Coach Museum and Gulbenkian Museum. Two well-known landmarks are the Monument to the Discoveries and the Tower of Belem. A statue of Christ looms above Europe’s longest suspension bridge. Madragoa, Bica and Bairro Alto, Lisbon’s older sections, offer a variety of sights: the Church of Sao Roque, with its beautiful tiles; St. George Castle, which offers a splendid view from its location above the Alfama quarter; the botanical gardens, featuring an unusual, cold greenhouse; and the cathedral, stunning with its Moorish design. Renowned Gulbenkian Museum is the cultural center of Portugal.
Seville is one place most beloved by visitors to Spain. Although today Moorish influence is architectonically most evident - Andalusia was occupied by Moors for about 800 years - it has been a cultural center long before. Seville was home of famous and infamous figures of history, the legendary "Don Juan" started from here to conquer the hearts of women across all Europe, while Columbus started from a port close to Seville to discover a new world. Prosper Merimée's "Carmen", who couldn't make her decision between the officer Don José and the bullfighter Escamillo, can still be watched today in opera houses. Seville is the very heart of Andalusian culture and the center of bullfighting and Flamenco music. Take it easy and interrupt sightseeing from time to time to have a few "tapas", those typical "small spanish dishes", and a glass of Sherry wine in one of the many bars in this city.
Valencia is one of the biggest, liveliest cities in Spain. It is located at the Mediterranean sea with beaches right in its heart that offer every kind of sports. With its active nightlife and various cultural offerings, Valencia is one of the most dynamic cities in Spain. One of the most famous buildings in Valencia is the Cathedral and its tower named, "El Miquelet" (Little Michael) which was built between 1381 and 1424. Try Spain's most famous food right where it was born: "Paella Valenciana". Valencia is the city where "El Cid", Spain's national hero, fought against the Moors, and popular festivals in the city and many villages around still remind of this epoch.
The ancient city of Salamanca, famous for its university founded by Alfonso IX in the early 1200s, is well preserved, with turreted palaces, faded convents, Romanesque churches, and colleges that have attracted scholars from all over Europe. Nearly all the attractions are within walking distance of the Plaza Mayor. In its day, Salamanca was ranked with Oxford, Paris, and Bologna as one of "the four leading lights of the medieval world." The intellectual life continues to this day, and a large invasion of American students brings added life to the town in summer. Still a youthful, spirited place because of the venerable Salamanca University, the city has been named a "World Heritage City" by UNESCO, one of six such cities in Spain.
Evora is considered a seat of learning with its University founded in 16th Century by Cardinal Dom Henrique. Within the surrounding wall the most prominent feature is the 2nd or 3rd Century ruins of a Roman Temple dedicated to Goddess Diana. Another attractive feature is the 15th Century Convento dos Lóios. The city’s 13th century cathedral took 50 years to build and is reminiscent of a fortress. The main square with its 16th Century fountain has a sad history. Among other events, Dom João II witnessed the beheading by his orders of his brother-in-law. Equally unpleasant were the sights caused by the Inquisition in this public place. A macabre reminder is the Capela dos Ossos in the 15th Century Igreja de São Francisco - where the bones of 5,000 monks lie. There are several museums - the Museu de Arte Sacra, Galeria de Arte Casa Cadaval, the Museu de Artes Decorativas Religiosas and the Museu de Évora. The museum, formerly the palace of the Bishop, built with many worked stones from previous buildings in the city, has some outstanding religious items.
Granada is located at the foot of the Sierra Nevada Mountains of Andalusia, Spain. Granada has been inhabited by many empires for 2,500 years from the Greeks, Romans, Visigoths and the Moors. Remainder of each reigning era is prominent in Granada’s cultural and architectural influences. Imprints of the past can be found in Albaicin, an old Arabic quarter paved with cobble stoned streets, ogee arches, voussoirs, and decorative tile work. When the sun sets, Alhambra is at its most beautiful and radiant complimenting Byzantine courtyards and muqarna details. Homes also reflect the Mediterranean and Renaissance elegance long past. Present-day Granada attracts visitors by recapturing the past and evoking the co-existence of different cultures.
Valid Travel Dates
** This departure has been designated a guaranteed departure by the operator, meaning that the minimum number of guests has been met, although still subject to weather and other conditions.
* For single travellers purchasing the twin-share option, please note that there is a no smoking policy in all shared rooms. Solo travel is not accepted on guided Family Experiences holidays unless travelling as part of a family group.
* Twin-share option not available for trips to South America, Costa Rica, Mexico, Alaska, Hawaii or for any holiday & cruise combination, or in Asia and Eastern Mediterranean except Highlights of Turkey (without cruise) & Best of Turkey. It's also not available on Small Group trips. Guided Vacations included in this restriction are Newfoundland and Labrador (DNLA) as well as Panama, the Canal & Beyond (LPAN).
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