12-Nights Iberian Discovery & Morocco
Variety is the spice of life-and of every great vacation. In addition to the flavorful ports, sherries, and sangrias Spain and Portugal are famous for, this tour of the Iberian Peninsula adds the tantalizing taste of Morocco to your rich itinerary. Following the scent of fresh mint, ginger, and turmeric through the narrow streets of Tangier-and the scenic winding roads to the dramatic views of Cap Spartel-adds just the right kick to your tasty tour of Spain and Portugal. Beyond Portugal’s lively Lisbon, the pilgrimage site of Fátima, and the cork farms of Azaria, we pop open the fun in Spain with visits to artsy Madrid, ancient Seville, storied Granada, medieval Toledo, and the famous Costa del Sol where you’ll have a full day at leisure for your choice of sunbathing, boutique browsing, people watching, or all of the above.
12 nights from $2474 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.
The "Gateway to Africa," located at its northwestern tip, Tangier is a fashionable resort retaining its age-old mystery and excitement. French and Islamic influences meet and merge in this fascinating old city. Mosques and minarets overlook the shadowy streets of the bazaar, while the higher part of town, with its broad boulevards and lovely parks, looks down on the ocean.
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.
Costa del Sol
The coast of Malaga is of great touristical importance, thanks to its splendid beaches, outstanding installations and smooth climate. Among the most famous centers are Marbella, Torremolinos, Benalmadena, Fuengirola, and San Pedro de Alcantara.
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
Charges not included in the land vacation price: airfare to and from the start of your vacation; airline baggage fees including checked and/or excess baggage fees; Federal inspection fees for the Federal U.S. Customs and Immigrations; agricultural tax; other per person taxes imposed by government entities; applicable cruise taxes, fees, fares and port charges; passports; visas and vaccinations; transfers; tips to your Tour or Cruise Director, Local Host, driver, Local Guides, and/or ships' crew; gratuities on ferries, trains, and cruise ships; laundry; telephone; minibar; alcohol, beverages, and food outside of the contracted menu as presented at a hotel or restaurant (these extra items will be billed to you before leaving the hotel, ship, or restaurant); additional excursions and activities not listed as 'included' in the itinerary; porterage at airports or train stations; Travel Protection premiums; and all other items of a personal nature.
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