Spain’s Costa del Sol & The Portuguese Riviera
|Spain's Costa del Sol & The Portuguese Riviera
|Europe, Portugal, Spain
Enjoy a true taste of the Iberian Peninsula. In Madrid, you choose your experience: a city tour and tour of the renowned Prado Museum with a local expert, or a walking tour of the citys Hapsburg-era architectural treasures. Travel via high-speed train to the Moorish city of Cordoba. Relax in a parador on the Costa del Sol. Tour Granadas Alhambra Palace. Marvel at the architecture of the Cathedral of Seville, third largest in the world. Visit Ronda, an architectural marvel in Andaluca. Choose from a panoramic tour of Lisbon with a visit to the coach museum or a walking tour of the Moorish Alfama Quarter. Enjoy a 4-night stay on Portugals Riviera. Visit the Mafra Palace and Monastery, one of the most impressive Baroque buildings in Portugal. Travel the Silver Coast and visit Fatima, the world-famous pilgrimage site. Enjoy leisure time for independent explorations.
Day 1: Overnight Flight
Day 2: Madrid, Spain – Tour Begins
Welcome to Madrid, Spains dynamic capital city. Tonight, enjoy a charming welcome dinner.
Day 3: Madrid
Today, you choose your tour! You may choose to join a local expert who introduces you to Madrids architectural treasures on a panoramic tour; then, explore the priceless masterpieces of the Prado Museum which opened in 1819 and boasts the world’s finest collection of art by masters such as Velazquez and Goya. Or, perhaps you would prefer 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; the Mercado San Miguel, the last remaining market constructed in forged iron; Arco de los Cuchilleros (the Arch of the Knifemakers); and Plaza de la Villa with its historic Baroque and Mudjar-style buildings. The remainder of your day is at leisure.
Day 4: Madrid – High-Speed Train – Cordoba – Costa del Sol
Sit back and enjoy stunning landscapes as you travel via high-speed train to the Moorish city of Cordoba. Embark on a walking tour of the Mezquita, a UNESCO World Heritage site. Originally built as a mosque, it was converted into the citys cathedral when the Christians conquered the region in 1236. Enjoy a stroll through the streets of the historic Jewish quarter. Continue on to Spains Costa del Sol and enjoy a 3-night stay by the sea at Parador Mlaga Golf.
Day 5: Costa del Sol
Enjoy a day at leisure to relax and experience your hotels direct beach access or pristine 18-hole golf course. Your Tour Manager will be on hand to help you plan your day.
Day 6: Costa del Sol – Granada – Costa del Sol
Take a day trip to Granada, the last great capital of the Moors in Spain. Travel past rolling hills dotted with olive groves, capturing the countrys classic beauty. Upon arrival, join a local expert for a tour of the world-famous Alhambra, a hilltop palace and UNESCO site. Tour the Generalife, Garden of the Architect, and behold the waterfalls, courtyards and secret gardens on its grounds.
Day 7: Costa del Sol – Ronda – Seville
Travel to Ronda, one of the loveliest and most historic towns in Andaluca. Join a local expert exploring Rondas old town full of twisting narrow streets, the 18th-century Puente Nuevo (New Bridge) over the El Tajo gorge, and La Alameda Park with its wonderful panoramic views of the surrounding countryside and mountains. Then, continue to Spains cultural capital Seville.
Day 8: Seville
In Seville, see Columbus tomb, the ornate cathedral (UNESCO), and Giralda Bell Tower. Take a walking tour of the quaint Santa Cruz Quarter with its cascading bright flowers, whitewashed buildings and winding streets. Continue to Plaza de Espaa and the beautiful Maria Luisa Park one of the loveliest parks in all of Europe.
Day 9: Seville – Azeitao, Portugal – Cascais
Depart Spain and travel through the Portuguese countryside to Azeitao an agricultural village known for red wine, olive trees and country estates. Enjoy a tour and tasting of local wines when you visit a centuries-old winemaker. Later, arrive in Cascais, the famous and picturesque coastal resort on the Portuguese Riviera.
Day 10: Cascais – Lisbon – Cascais
This morning its your choice! You may choose to join a panoramic Lisbon city tour via coach – featuring Jeronimos Monastery (UNESCO), Belem Tower (UNESCO), and the Monument to the Discoveries, capped off with a visit to the National Museum of Coaches. Or, perhaps you will select a walking tour* of the Alfama District, Lisbon’s most symbolic quarter; step back in time as you explore this residential neighborhood which is considered a village within a city; stroll through its medieval alleys, narrow streets, tiny squares, and by beautiful churches and whitewashed houses with tile panels and wrought-iron balconies adorned with pots of flowers; then, climb the hill to explore the castle that has the most breathtaking panorama of the city. Your afternoon is at leisure in Cascaisperhaps walk the beach promenade or shop for ceramics, hand-woven works and tapestries.
Day 11: Cascais – Ericeira – Sintra – Cascais
Visit the impressive Mafra Palace and Monastery, one of the largest Baroque buildings in Portugal. A guided tour takes you through the domed basilica, the royal apartments decorated in 18th-century furniture and paintings, and the magnificent Baroque library, one of the finest in Europe. Enjoy some free time to explore the fishing village of Ericeira, perched on cliffs overlooking the Atlantic. Its unique narrow streets, lined with whitewashed chapels and white houses edged in blue, are the perfect place for thoughtful wandering. Continue on to the town of Sintra, a UNESCO site and the favorite summer residence of Portuguese kings for six centuries. Here, peruse specialty shops filled with Portuguese handicrafts.
Day 12: Cascais – Obidos – Nazare – Fatima – Cascais
Travel Portugals Silver Coast, a region filled with sleepy villages, rich vineyards and centuries-old castles. Stop in charming Obidos, protected by medieval city walls. Continue to Nazare, a coastal fishing village. Then, visit Fatima, the world-famous Marian pilgrimage site. This evening, join your fellow travelers for a wonderful farewell dinner.
Day 13: Cascais – Tour Ends