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Discover Spain and Portugal- 18 Nights

From $6375pp

Over nineteen fascinating days you will discover the cultural riches of the Iberian Peninsula. Begin with a memorable drive along the mountainous north of Spain, through beautiful cities like San Sebastian or Santander. Then when you reach Galicia, turn south into Portugal, where you’ll explore its most enchanting cities. Visit the first Portuguese Gothic-style church in Alcobaca, admire the Monastery of Santa Maria da Vitoria, attend the candle-lit procession at the Marian Shrine in Fatima, and enjoy a memorable stopover in Oporto, an acclaimed UNESCO-listed World Heritage Site. After Portugal, turn east to explore Andalusia’s historical riches, from Phoenician times through its Roman, Muslim, Jewish and Christian periods. Visit spellbinding World Heritage Sites such as the Alcazar and Cathedral in Seville, the Great Mosque of Cordoba and the Alhambra in Granada. Then continue up the Mediterranean coast through Valencia and Barcelona.

Itinerary

Day 1 -  MADRID – ZARAGOZA – SAN SEBASTIAN (580 Km – 6 Hrs)

Join the group at the meeting point at 8:30 in the morning (Departure from established hotels in Madrid. Please refer to your documentation for detailed departure information). Here you’ll board a coach for a leisurely ride to Zaragoza. Once there, enjoy some free time to stroll through the charming old streets of the city. Make sure you don’t miss visiting the Cathedral-Basilica of Our Lady of the Pillar, famously described as the ‘mother of the Hispanic peoples’ by pope John Paul II. Later, in the afternoon, hop back onto the bus to drive northwards to San Sebastián, one of Spain’s most famous tourist destinations. This vibrant city is the backdrop of the yearly San Sebastián International Film Festival. Overnight in San Sebastian.

Day 2 - SAN SEBASTIAN

Breakfast at the hotel. Enjoy the panoramic tour of this elegant and gentrified city whose landscape is dominated by the Bay and La Concha Beach. We will go up to Mount Igueldo, from where we will be able to contemplate a magnificent view of the city. Rest of the day at leisure. In the afternoon, the possibility of an optional visit to the picturesque villages of Hondarribia and San Juan de Luz, already in French territory. Overnight in San Sebastian.

Day 3 - SAN SEBASTIAN – BILBAO – CASTRO URDIALES – SANTANDER (205 Km – 2,5 Hrs)

Wake up to breakfast at hotel and proceed towards Bilbao. Enjoy some free time on the esplanade where The Guggenheim Museum is located in order to admire this modern architectural building. Proceed to the quaint little fishing village Castro Urdiales, where you’ll spend some free time absorbing its charming atmosphere. Depart then to Santander, a port city located between the sea and the mountains, renowned for its Sardinero Beach, one of the best-known beaches in Spain. Free time to stroll through this elegant city before spending the night at the hotel. Overnight in Santander.

Day 4 - SANTANDER – SANTILLANA – COVADONGA – OVIEDO (220 Km – 3,5 Hrs)

After breakfast at hotel, depart to Santillana, one of the most important historical and artistic towns in Spain. It contains a wealth of architectural treasures, such as the Collegiate of Santa Juliana, a jewel of Cantabrian Romanesque Architecture. Continue then to Covadonga and enjoy some free time to see the Sanctuary and the Grotto, where you will see the patroness of Asturias, Our Lady of Covadonga. In the afternoon, depart to Oviedo, where you will see on a series of hills the beauty of Saint Maria de Naranco Church, a classic example of Asturian pre-Romanic architecture. Then explore the city of Oviedo at your leisure; many of its streets are pedestrian, so you will be able to calmly walk towards World Heritage Sites like its Gothic Cathedral. Overnight in Oviedo.

Day 5 - OVIEDO – MONDONEDO – LUGO – SANTIAGO DE COMPOSTELA (350 km – 4hrs)

Breakfast at the hotel is followed by a drive to the Galician region. On the way to Lugo stop in Mondenedo for free time to visit its imposing 12th-century cathedral and try the delicious “Mondoñedo cake”. Then, depart to the mediaeval city of Lugo. Enjoy free time to take a walk along the Roman remains that still preserves in the town´s walls and was declared a World Heritage Site. Continue to Santiago de Compostela, whose ancient city is a World Heritage Site, and one of the most important monumental centers in Spain, center of Christian pilgrimage and end of the Camino de Santiago, originally built by the Roman Empire. Overnight in Santiago de Compostela.

Day 6 - SANTIAGO DE COMPOSTELA

After breakfast at the hotel, enjoy a city tour that will acquaint you with the city’s main square, called Obradoiro, and the magnificent Cathedral (entrance included) dedicated to the Apostle Santiago. The rest of the day is for you to spend at leisure wandering through the narrow cobblestoned streets and appreciating the city’s young lively atmosphere. Overnight in Santiago de Compostela.

Day 7 - SANTIAGO DE COMPOSTELA – RIAS BAJAS – LA TOJA – PORTO

Indulge in a delicious breakfast at the hotel before continuing to your following destination Porto. En route you will be passing through the most charming area, Rías Bajas, well-known as the Spanish fjords. Driving along this spectacular landscape you will arrive at the island of La Toja, famous for the wellness center and rich thermal quells. After this short stop, our panoramic drive continues along the river Arosa to Portugal. Check in to your hotel in Porto and spend the rest of the afternoon at leisure.

Day 8 - PORTO

Wake up to breakfast at the hotel and get ready for the panoramic tour around Porto which was declared to UNESCO World Heritage Site. Its magnificent Cathedral, the stock exchange building and Santa Clara Church are just a few of the gems of this city. Afterwards, enjoy a different perspective of the city on a boat cruise along the Douro River and discover the historical heritage by visiting a well-known Port Wine Cellar with wine tasting. Rest of the day at leisure. Overnight in Porto.

Day 9 - PORTO

After breakfast at the hotel enjoy a free day in this magnificent city on the banks of the Douro. Overnight in Porto.

Day 10 - PORTO – COIMBRA – FATIMA (215 Km – 2,5 Hrs)

Enjoy a leisurely breakfast at the hotel and then depart to your next destination: Coimbra, home to one of the oldest universities in Europe and the birthplace of Fado. After some free time wandering around the city, continue to Fatima, a world-renowned centre for the Christian Faith and a World Pilgrimage Sanctuary. Contemplate its impressive Basilica and the Cova da Iria, the legendary place where the Virgin Mary miraculously appeared. The Chapel of the Apparitions, heart of the sanctuary, contains the tombs of the three shepherds who witnessed the miracle, Lucia, Francisco and Jacinta. At night, conditions permitting, you have the option to attend the procession of the candles. Overnight in Fatima.

Day 11 - FATIMA – BATALHA – NAZARÉ – ALCOBAÇA – LISBON (190 Km – 3 Hrs)

After breakfast at the hotel, hit the road and drive to the Batalha Monastery, a masterpiece of the Gothic and Manueline styles, listed as a World Heritage place by UNESCO. Continue then to the picturesque fishing town of Nazaré, where you’ll spend some free time absorbing its quint atmosphere. Continue later to Alcobaça, yet another World Heritage site, and visit its famous 12th-century church and the tombs of Pedro and Inés de Castro. Then one last drive takes you all the way to Lisbon, where you’ll check-in and spend the night. Overnight in Lisbon.

Day 12 - LISBON

Breakfast at the hotel is followed by a morning sightseeing tour of the ancient Olissipo, as Lisbon was known in Roman times. Drive through its main squares and avenues, and see renowned landmarks like the Belem Tower, the Jeronimos Monastery, the Monument to the Discoverers. Spend the afternoon at leisure wandering through the nostalgic corners of the Alfama Quarter, the old city gathered next to the city castle, with old buildings nested in narrow twisting ruas of coloured houses and genuine tabernas playing Fado late into the night. Overnight in Lisbon.

Day 13 - LISBOA – CACERES – CORDOBA (585 Km – 7 hrs)

Depart to Caceres after breakfast at the hotel in the morning. Yet another city listed as a World Heritage by UNESCO, the streets of modern Caceres seamlessly blends its ancient Roman, Islamic, Northern Gothic and Italian Renaissance architecture. Walkthrough its main square and old town, which contains the famous Mediaeval Quarter. Afterward, continue towards Cordoba, the ancient capital of the historic Caliphate of the same name. Overnight in Cordoba.

Day 14 - CORDOBA – SEVILLE (145 Km – 2 hrs)

Begin the day with breakfast at the hotel before hitting the streets to join a tour of this fascinating historical city. Admire its impressive “Mosque” – today reconverted into a Cathedral – and a great many other interesting sites. Ease your mind and spirit by strolling through the narrow winding streets of the Jewish Quarter. In the afternoon, after a short two-hour ride, reach Seville. Overnight in Seville.

Day 15 - SEVILLE

After breakfast at the hotel, head out on a morning panoramic tour of the city. Marvel at the exterior of the second largest cathedral in the Catholic world after St. Peters in Rome, before continuing to explore the Santa Cruz quarter. This charming neighbourhood is a natural setting for “Carmen” and where the myth of “Don Juan” developed. Later visit Maria Luisa Park and Plaza de España. The afternoon is free for you to spend at leisure discovering exclusive views or specific flavours of this lively city. Overnight in Seville.

Day 16 - SEVILLE – GRANADA (250 Km – 3 hrs)

Wake up to breakfast at the hotel before driving east through the Caliphate road and into the heart of Andalusia. Along the way, contemplate the endless number of olive trees that flank the road to Granada and its incredible monumental environment, last stronghold of the Moorish Kingdoms up to 1492. Once you set foot in this historical city, visit the world-famous Generalife Gardens that have inspired several authors with its sound and sights, such as the well-known “Tales of the Alhambra” by W. Irving. Overnight in Granada.

Day 17 - GRANADA – VALENCIA (490 Km – 5 hrs)

After breakfast at the hotel, start driving towards the Mediterranean coast. After passing through Murcia, capital of the fertile region of the Segura river, turn north via Alicante, the second largest city in the region of Valencia. Once you reach Valencia, step off the coach and start discovering one of the main capitals of the Mediterranean coast, which is also the hometown of the world-famous and delicious paella. Make sure to find a restaurant in which to try it while staying here. Overnight in Valencia.

Day 18 - VALENCIA – BARCELONA (355 Km – 4hrs)

Wake up to breakfast at the hotel before heading out on a morning city tour of this bright and beautiful city. The tour includes a leisurely drive through the old city, during which you will get to set eyes on some of the neighbourhood’s most prominent buildings. You will then be driven past the old riverbed of the Turia, today a lush park, all the way to the city’s most avant-garde complex, the “Ciudad de las Artes y las Ciencias”. Here you will be invited to admire the stunning exteriors of the six buildings that compose the complex. Early in the afternoon, it is time to get back onto the bus and depart northward, skirting the Mediterranean coast, all the way to Catalonia. On the way, you will drive by Tarragona, which in Roman times was known as Tarraco. At the end of the trip, you’ll finally reach Barcelona, one of the Mediterranean’s most iconic cities and home to several buildings by Antoni Gaudí, Catalan Modernism’s most famous architect. Overnight in Barcelona.

Day 19 - BARCELONA

Wake up to breakfast at the hotel before driving east through the Caliphate road and into the heart of Andalusia. Along the way, contemplate the endless number of olive trees that flank the road to Granada and its incredible monumental environment, last stronghold of the Moorish Kingdoms up to 1492. Once you set foot in this historical city, visit the world-famous Generalife Gardens that have inspired several authors with its sound and sights, such as the well-known “Tales of the Alhambra” by W. Irving. Overnight in Granada.

Day 20 - BARCELONA DEPARURE

Enjoy one last breakfast at the hotel before saying goodbye to Barcelona and heading off to Barcelona Airport for your departure flight. Breakfast included.