TODAY’S HIGHLIGHTS: Transfer to the hotel. Evening transport to the Gran Vía district. Welcome to Madrid! Upon arriving at the airport we will be waiting to transfer you to your hotel. You can enjoy free time until your tour starts. Please, check the informative posters placed at the hotel reception area which have all the information about the welcome meeting with your guide and fellow travellers. Towards the end of the day, we provide transfers to the Egyptian Debod Temple, Plaza de España and Gran Via; a vibrant district where you can dine at your preferred restaurant: Indian, Chinese, Spanish and Middle Eastern are some of the options available.
TODAY’S HIGHLIGHTS: Madrid city tour. Stroll through the Retiro Park. Visit to the Las Ventas bullring. Evening transfer. The morning starts with a comprehensive tour through the centre of Madrid including the Paseo del Prado, Cibeles, Neptuno, the Gate of Alcalá, Plaza de Colón and Plaza Mayor. We then will visit Retiro Park, an oasis in the city centre, where we will see the lake and the Glass Palace. A visit to Las Ventas Bullring (admission included) is next. This is one of the most famous bullrings in the world where we will learn about the tradition of the “corridas” at the Bullfighting Museum. Enjoy the rest of the afternoon at your own leisure. At sunset we will provide a transfer to Plaza de Oriente, opposite the Royal Palace, an elegant and bustling area with many restaurants serving different cuisines, such as local Spanish food, international and Chinese. Enjoy a pleasant dinner of your choice. At the end of the evening we will return to the hotel together.
MADRID 79ºF - GRANADA 79ºF
TODAY’S HIGLIGHTS: Lunch included. Entrance and local guide in the Alhambra (if you bought the trip with the entrance included). Evening transfer. We leave Madrid in the early morning. We travel to the south across La Mancha, stopping in PUERTO LAPICE, a ‘manchego’ village evoking the figure of Don Quixote. We will enter Andalusia via Despeñaperros, arriving in GRANADA. Lunch included. In the afternoon, if you bought the trip with the entrance included, we will visit with a local guide the immense Alhambra Palace and its beautiful Generalife gardens, built in Arab times. In the evening we visit the Albaicín district of Granada, a World Heritage site along with the Alhambra, where you can enjoy dinner in the narrow winding streets of this captivating Medieval Moorish quarter. Tonight, you have the option to attend a flamenco dance show and the traditional neighbourhood of Sacromonte.VERY IMPORTANT NOTE: The number of people authorised to visit the Alhambra is limited by law. The number of places assigned to tour operators is small and we are only given the quota one month before arrival. Even if you buy the trip with the ticket included, we cannot guarantee a visit to the Alhambra (if these tickets cannot be offered, the Reales Alcázares in Seville, which is similar, would be visited and a sightseeing tour with a local guide of the city of Granada would also be offered). If the visit to the Alhambra is very important to you, we suggest you purchase the trip “without tickets” (the lowest price) and book your tickets on-line from the quota for individuals on the heritage website https://www.alhambra.org .
GRANADA 79ºF - MALAGA 86ºF - MARBELLA 84ºF - RONDA 81ºF - SEVILLE 88ºF
TODAY’S HIGHLIGHTS: Costa del Sol and the Andalusian village of Ronda. Departing from Granada and travelling towards the Costa del Sol, we will arrive in MALAGA and explore its historic city centre, with its cathedral and the Picasso Museum. After this we will continue along the coastal motorway with beautiful views of the Mediterranean. Stopping in PUERTO BANUS, Marbella, a pretty resort known as the playground of Europe’s rich and famous. In the afternoon we will continue through the hills until we reach RONDA, a very beautiful “white town” with its large gorge that divides it in two. Then we will travel onward to SEVILLE, arrival sometime in the late afternoon.
TODAY’S HIGHLIGHTS: Guided visit with local expert in Seville. Boat trip along the river Guadalquivir. Night transfer to the historic centre. After breakfast, a local expert will guide you on a scenic visit of Seville featuring the Cathedral and its famous Giralda (bell tower), the banks of the Guadalquivir River, popular neighborhoods of Santa Cruz and Triana and the beautiful Plaza de España. After the visit, we will include a boat trip along the river Guadalquivir, enjoying the panoramic views from the boat. Right after, you will have free time to explore at your own leisure. At the end of the afternoon, we will go to the historic city centre area (Calle Alfonso XII) where there are many different types of restaurants for you to choose from.
SEVILLE 88ºF - MONSARAZ 81ºF - EVORA 81ºF - LISBON 73ºF
HIGHLIGHTS: a scenic stage with walled border villages. Evora Chapel of bones. We will leave Seville on a stage of scenic beauty. Amidst hills and olive trees we will enter Extremadura. We will stop in JEREZ DE LOS CABALLEROS, this town belonged to the Knights Templar and is where Vasco Nuñez de Balboa was born. We will then enter Portugal. MONSARAZ, one of the most picturesque villages in Portugal with its walls, castle, great views and white and flowery streets. We will travel on to the city EVORA, declared a World Heritage Site, with its white streets, its Renaissance palaces and its cathedral. Time for lunch. We will also visit the impressive Chapel of Bones (admission included), built with 5000 skeletons! We will be arriving in LISBON toward the end of the day.
TODAY’S HIGHLIGHTS: Visit Lisbon. Evening transfer. In the morning we will have a sightseeing tour with a local guide. We will visit the traditional neighbourhoods including the Belem district, which is the birthplace of the great Portuguese navigators who sailed the oceans in the Fifteenth Century. We will have a look around the Monument of the Discoveries, Belem Tower, and the beautiful Jeronimos Monastery, a UNESCO World Heritage Site. Enjoy the free afternoon when you are free to explore the city at your own leisure. In the late afternoon, we will have a transfer to the Restauradores Square, a public square with plenty of restaurants and cafes. We suggest you ride the Elevador Da Gloria funicular that takes you to the viewpoint of San Pedro with beautiful views over Lisbon and the Bairro Alto. Return to the hotel.
LISBON 73ºF - FATIMA 75ºF - PORTO 70ºF
TODAY’S HIGHLIGHTS: Fatima Shrine. Visit Porto and the old cellars. We will head to the north of Portugal and visit FATIMA, an important sanctuary. We will continue on our way through to PORTO, Portugal’s second largest city. We will have time to have lunch and then go on a sightseeing tour of this city, which sits on the bank of the Duero river, and its historic city centre. We will also include a visit to the old cellars. Free time.
OPORTO (PORTO) 70ºF - BOM JESUS DO MONTE SANCTUARY - CAMBADOS 70ºF - SANTIAGO DE COMPOSTELA 66ºF
TODAY’S HIGHLIGHTS: Cable car ride to the Bom Jesus Sanctuary. Wine and Mussels tasting on a boat trip. Visit Santiago de Compostela. On this day we will travel through beautiful landscapes. In the city of BRAGA, we will get on the world’s oldest cable car to ride up to the Santuário do BOM JESÚS, where we will enjoy its gorgeous views. We recommend trekking back down in order to admire its beautiful stairway. Then, we will resume our trip and head to Galicia. We will visit the historic town of CAMBADOS in Rías Baixas where we will go on a glass bottom boat trip in which we will learn about the production of mussels and oysters. Wine and mussel tasting included. At lunchtime we will arrive in SANTIAGO DE COMPOSTELA, where we will go on a guided tour with a local guide. This town was a famous pilgrimage destination in the Middle Ages.
SANTIAGO DE COMPOSTELA 66ºF - LUGO 64ºF - O CEBREIRO 59ºF - LEON 63ºF - OVIEDO 70ºF
TODAY’S HIGHLIGHTS: Beautiful landscapes. Visit Oviedo. We will travel along the Camino de Santiago (Way of St. James) to Castile. In LUGO we will have time to visit the historic town centre and Roman walls, which were declared a UNESCO World Heritage Site. We will make a stop en route in O´CEBREIRO, a small Galician stone village. Arrival in LEÓN at lunchtime, where we will have time to visit the Gothic cathedral with its stained-glass windows and to stroll through the historic town centre. After that, we will cross the Cantabrian Range mountains on our way to Asturias. Arrival in OVIEDO in the mid-afternoon. We will include (occasionally on Tuesday mornings) an hour-and-a-half visit of the city with a local guide in which we will visit its 9th century cathedral, Calatrava Congressional Palace, Campoamor Theatre and Calle de la Rua.
OVIEDO 70ºF - COVADONGA - SANTILLANA 64ºF - SANTANDER 68ºF
TODAY’S HIGHLIGHTS: Fantastic landscapes. Altamira National Museum. Panoramic city tour of Santander. We will travel to Picos de Europa. We will visit Basílica de COVADONGA, which is surrounded by beautiful scenery. Then, we will resume our journey following the coastline to SANTILLANA, one of Spain’s most beautiful towns, and we will visit its well-preserved medieval quarter. We will also visit the National Museum and Research Centre of ALTAMIRA (ticket included) located in the vicinity of this town. We will later travel to SANTANDER, the region’s capital, a coastal city with amazing views and beaches. We will explore and learn about this elegant city and beautiful bay on the included panoramic city tour. NOTE: On some high difficulty dates (especially in summer from May to mid September), some groups can be accommodated in Bilbao.
SANTANDER 68ºF - BILBAO 68ºF - FORONDA SERVICE AREA (REFRESHMENT BREAK) - MADRID 79ºF
TODAY’S HIGHLIGHTS: Bilbao. Wine Museum in La Rioja. Santo Domingo de la Calzada. Dinner in Zaragoza. We will follow the motorway along the Cantabrian coast; some of the scenery we will go through as we travel between the mountains and the sea is of special beauty. BILBAO. We will arrive in the Bask Country’s largest city and, upon arrival, we will go on a short tour of the city with a local guide which will cover: Guggenheim area, old quarter, Cathedral… then there will be free time for some “pintxos”. After lunch, we will leave Bilbao and head to Madrid where we will be arriving at around 21.00h. Note: In case the group is small, the portion of the trip from Bilbao to Madrid may be done by train or regular transport. End of our services. Please, check the time of your flight in case you might need an additional night.