Portugal, Spain & France
|Portugal, Spain & France
|Europe, France, Portugal, Spain
Embark on a journey through three of the worlds most influential nations throughout history and uncover a tapestry of culture that is sure to captivate you. Tour Lisbon with a local guide. Savor local cuisine during dinner accompanied by traditional Fado music. Feel the energy of Spain at a flamenco performance in Seville. In Cordoba, take a walking tour of the Mezquita, a religious marvel. In Madrid, you choose your experience: a walking tour featuring sites of the Hapsburg era or coach tour with a visit to the Prado Museum. In vibrant Barcelona explore La Sagrada Familia, Antoni Gauds unfinished masterpiece. Stay inside the medieval fortified UNESCO city Carcassonne. Sample world-class wines in Bordeaux and the Loire Valley, and sip Cognac in the city thats its namesake. Embark on a tour of spectacular Chteau de Chenonceau with its stunning, traditional French gardens. See Paris by bus or by Metro with a choice on tour! Savor French cuisine and breathtaking views of Paris as you dine at the Eiffel Tower. From beginning to end there is always a new experience ahead.
Day 1: Overnight Flight
Explore three of the worlds most influential nations throughout history Portugal, Spain and France. Each is home to a wealth of diverse history, culture, cuisine and heritage.
Day 2: Lisbon, Portugal – Tour Begins
Welcome to Portugal, where quaint farming villages and cork & olive tree plantations dot the landscape. Your tour opens in Lisbon, Portugal’s vibrant capital city. Tonight, gather with your fellow travelers for a welcome dinner.
Day 3: Lisbon
Get to know Lisbon as you join a local guide for a tour of the city featuring the Moorish Alfama Quarter, Jeronimos Monastery (a UNESCO World Heritage site), the Monument to the Discoveries, and the Tower of Belem (UNESCO). Tonight, savor local cuisine and wine during dinner accompanied by traditional Fado music (UNESCO).
Day 4: Lisbon – Azeitao – Seville, Spain
Your day begins with time in Azeitao, an agricultural village known for its fine red wine, abundance of olive trees and charming country estates. At a centuries-old winemaker you are treated to a tour and tasting of local wines. We continue on and cross the border into Spain. Ease your way into the local culture as your Tour Manager introduces you to a few key phrases of the native language before arriving in Seville, considered Spains cultural capital.
Day 5: Seville
Begin your day with a walking tour of the quaint Santa Cruz Quarter with whitewashed buildings and winding streets adorned with colorful flowers. Next, see Columbus tomb, the ornate cathedral (UNESCO), and Giralda Bell Tower. Continue to Plaza dEspaa and the beautiful Maria Luisa Park, one of the loveliest in all of Europe. This evening, take your reserved seats for an authentic flamenco show (UNESCO) featuring Seville’s top performers.
Day 6: Seville – Cordoba – Madrid
Travel to the extraordinary Moorish city of Cordoba. Embark on a walking tour of the Mezquita (UNESCO), an architectural marvel built by the Moors in the 8th century as a magnificent mosque that was converted into the citys cathedral in the 16th century. Continue your exploration of Cordoba in the city’s well-preserved and historical Jewish Quarter. Later, transfer to the historic capital city of Spain Madrid.
Day 7: Madrid – Choice on Tour
Today its your choice! You may choose to join a local expert who will introduce you to the architectural treasures of Madrid on a panoramic tour via coach; then continue exploring the priceless masterpieces of the Prado Museum which boasts the world’s finest collection of art by masters such as Velazquez and Goya. Or, perhaps youll choose to spend your morning on a walking tour of Madrid featuring sites of the Hapsburg era: discover the Puerta Del Sol, Plaza Mayor and the famous Andalusian Tavern La Torre del Oro; see the Mercado San Miguel, the last remaining market constructed in forged iron, and Arco de los Cuchilleros (the Arch of the Knifemakers); and explore Plaza de la Villa with its historic Baroque and Mudjar-style buildings. The remainder of your day is at leisure.
Day 8: Madrid – Barcelona
Todays journey brings you to Barcelona, one of Europes most beautiful and vibrant cities. You will have the afternoon at leisure to explore Barcelonas fascinating boulevards including the famous Las Ramblas, dotted with colorful bird and flower stalls.
Day 9: Barcelona – Parc Güell – La Sagrada Familia
Become acquainted with Barcelona, a city that is considered one of the liveliest cities in all of Europe, during a locally guided tour. Discover Parc Gell one of Gauds greatest works, it is where he let his imagination shine through amazing buildings, sculptures and tile work. Next, explore the most popular monument in Spain, Antoni Gauds unfinished masterpiece, La Sagrada Familia, still under construction after more than 100 years. The afternoon is at leisure to explore further or you may take an optional excursion outside the city to Montserrat, a spectacular mountaintop monastery.
Day 10: Barcelona – Carcassonne, France
Cross the French border as we make our way to the hilltop town of Carcassonne. This fairy-tale village and medieval citadel is famous for its 53 watchtowers and Gallo-Roman double-walled fortifications. Enjoy free time to explore the inner ramparts, the archaeological exhibits at Chteau Comtal, a 12th-century fortress, or simply relax and take in the charming ambience.
Day 11: Carcassonne – St. Emilion – Bordeaux
Travel to the medieval wine village of St. Emilion, one of the most famous wine regions in Bordeaux. Follow your local guide through the streets past the quaint limestone buildings and into the famous catacombs. After some free time meandering through the village, its on to a winery where youll get to sample some of the regions best wines, typically blended with Merlot and Cabernet Franc. Arrive in Bordeaux, often called La Perle dAquitaine (the pearl of the Aquitaine). Tonight, enjoy a sumptuous meal typical to the region.
Day 12: Bordeaux
Become familiar with Bordeaux during a locally guided tour. Discover the heart of this city that dates back to Gallo-Roman times, and learn how the name Bordeaux became synonymous with the best, and often most expensive, wine in the world. Visit the Place de la Bourse, the Saint-Andre Cathedral (UNESCO), and Rue St. Catherine, the longest pedestrian street in Europe. The afternoon is yours to explore this incredible city as you choose. Perhaps youll stroll along the river walk.
Day 13: Bordeaux – Cognac – Blois (Loire Valley)
Make your way north to the Land of Chateaux the Loire Valley. Pause along the way to visit Cognac, a city made famous for creating arguably the worlds best brandy. Savor a visit to one of the local cognac houses to learn about the distillation process and get a chance to sample some of this fine cordial. This afternoon we visit Chinon, a medieval village straddling the Vienne River. Walk through the narrow streets and visit the towering castle, the location where Joan of Arc first met Charles VII in 1429.
Day 14: Blois (Loire Valley)
Embark on a tour of spectacular Chteau de Chenonceau perched along the banks of the Cher River and a jewel of Renaissance architecture with stunning, traditional French gardens. Proceed to the picturesque center of Amboise. Enjoy free time to explore the colorful market street and get to know the local culture. Continue on for a tour of Chteau du Clos Luce, where Leonardo da Vinci spent his last three years, which showcases a display of his early inventions.
Day 15: Blois (Loire Valley) – Paris
Continue north through the Loire Valley to Paris. En route, well take some time to discover one of the famous wineries in Vouvray, one of the finest white wine producing regions in France. Continue on to Orleans, the site where Joan of Arc defeated the English. Free time is available to stroll these historic streets before finishing the day in Paris, The City of Light. You may choose to relax at your hotel or enjoy an optional dinner at Paris oldest Cabaret dinner theater.
Day 16: Paris – Choice on Tour
Get to know this grand city your way by coach or by Metro! You may choose to take a splendid panoramic tour via coach that includes a stop to explore the impressive Notre Dame Cathedral. Or for a truly local experience, you may prefer to join a guide who will take you to some of Paris most iconic sights by Metro. Either way youll see the Arc de Triomphe, Notre Dame Cathedral, Champs-Elysees, Place de la Concorde and the magnificent Place Vendome with your local guide. Tonight, enjoy a wonderful farewell dinner at the Eiffel Tower with breathtaking views of Paris.
Day 17: Paris – Tour Ends
You return home with many treasured memories of a spectacular trip to Portugal, Spain and France.