This tour showcases the unique and exciting country of Spain. You'll begin in Madrid, the energetic capital of Spain, where you'll explore the illustrious Prado Museum and see the Puerto del Sol and Plaza Mayor, the city's main public area since the 17th century. In Toledo, discover a city of many cultures including the magnificent Gothic cathedral and the 13th century synagogue of El Transito. You'll stop in the small city of Cordoba, the Moor's Mecca of the West, to see the incredible artistry of the Mezquita, a magnificent mosque built by the Moors in the 8th century. Visit the fun-loving city of Seville whose attractions include La Giralda Bell Tower, the quaint Santa Cruz Quarter, and the oldest bullring in Spain. And, of course, no trip to Spain would be complete without taking in a traditional flamenco show! In Granada, admire the beautiful Moorish architecture of the 13th-century Alhambra, a sprawling complex of palaces, towers, gardens, and courtyards before heading to the Mediterranean coast and the lovely city of Valencia. Here you'll stop at Lonja, the old Silk Exchange, recognized by UNESCO as one of the most beautiful buildings of civil Gothic architecture. Your tour ends in the eclectic coastal city of Barcelona where nearly everywhere you look is a feast for the eyes. A city tour highlights the tree-lined Las Ramblas Boulevard, the famous Columbus Monument, and Gaudi’s architectural masterpiece "La Sagrada Familia."
Day #1 Overnight Flight -
Day #2 Arrive Lisbon, Portugal - Welcome to Portugal, where quaint farming villages, cork and olive tree plantations dot the landscape. Enjoy Lisbon, Portugal's vibrant capital city. Tonight, begin your journey with a welcome dinner.
Day #3 Lisbon - A tour of Lisbon features the Moorish Alfama Quarter, Jeronimo’s Monastery, Monument to the Discoveries and the Tower of Belem. Tonight, enjoy a dinner complete with local cuisine, wines and Fado music at Adega Machado’s restaurant.
Day #4 Lisbon - Fatima - Nazare - Obidos - Lisbon - Your day on Portugal’s “Silver Coast” begins in the pilgrimage town of Fatima. View the Batalha Monastery, an example of Manueline Architecture, and travel to the quaint towns of Nazare and Obidos.
Day #5 Lisbon - Madrid, Spain - Depart Lisbon and cross the border into Spain. Enjoy a day viewing the countryside of Portugal and Spain before arriving into the capital city of Spain – Madrid.
Day #6 Madrid - Prado Museum - Toledo - Madrid - During a locally guided tour of Madrid’s historic center, see the Puerta del Sol and Plaza Mayor, where events have been held since the 17th century. A guided tour of the Prado Museum, open since 1819, provides you with an historical and cultural perspective of this magnificent museum that boasts the world's finest collection of art by masters such as Velazquez and Goya. This afternoon travel to Toledo, a UNESCO site and the capital of medieval Spain until 1560. A comprehensive tour highlights the magnificent Gothic cathedral and the 13th century synagogue, a testament to Toledo’s Jewish heritage. Also stop in the Church of Santo Tome to view El Greco’s masterpiece painting, The Burial of Count Orgaz.
Day #7 Madrid - Cordoba - Seville - LANGUAGE DISCOVERY: Today, your Tour Manager will help you discover the origin and history of the language(s) you will experience on your tour along with key words and phrases that will help you communicate with the locals. Travel to the extraordinary Moorish city of Cordoba. Embark on a walking tour of the Mezquita. This UNESCO site, an architectural marvel, built by the Moors in the 8th century as a magnificent mosque, was converted into the city’s cathedral in the 16th century. Continue your exploration of Cordoba in the city's well-preserved and historical old Jewish Quarter. Later, transfer to Seville, considered Spain’s “cultural capital.”
Day #8 Seville - Today you will see Columbus’ tomb, the ornate cathedral, a UNESCO site, and Giralda Bell Tower. Enjoy a walking tour of the quaint old Santa Cruz Quarter with its bright flowers, white-washed buildings and winding streets; then continue to Plaza D’Espana and the beautiful Maria Luisa Park, one of the loveliest in all of Europe. A local flamenco dancer joins you for a typical “tapas lunch” featuring small portions of hot and cold specialties; here you learn about the history, culture and artistry of flamenco. This evening, take your reserved seats for an authentic flamenco show featuring Seville's top performers.
Day #9 Seville - Granada - Travel along the peaceful Sierra Nevada to Granada, the last great capital of the Moors in Spain before it fell to the Catholic monarchs in 1492. Join a local expert for a tour of the world-famous Alhambra, the immense hilltop palace that is a UNESCO site. Also tour the Generalife, meaning “garden of the architect,” where the grounds are beautifully designed with waterfalls, courtyards and smaller secret gardens.
Day #10 Granada - Valencia - Today you travel through Spain's amazing landscape viewing rolling hills dotted with picturesque olive groves while en route to the Mediterranean coast. Arrive in the city of Valencia, a treasure trove of Roman and Arabic architecture, surrounded by citrus groves.
Day #11 Valencia - Barcelona - A city tour of historic Valencia features the ornate 14th century Serranos Tower and imposing 15th century Quart Tower. You'll also see the bustling central market, one of the largest in Europe, and view the Gothic Cathedral, where construction began in 1262 on the site of an ancient mosque. Your trip to Valencia would not be complete without a stop at Lonja, the old Silk Exchange, recognized by UNESCO as one of the most beautiful buildings of European civil Gothic architecture.
Day #12 Barcelona - Get an in-depth look at Barcelona, one of the most vibrant and lively cities in Spain! Your locally guided tour showcases Las Ramblas Boulevard, the most famous in Barcelona, dotted with bird and flower stalls. Also see Columbus Monument; Parc Montjuic; Antonio Gaudi’s works including “La Sagrada Familia,” a UNESCO site which is still under construction; Parc Guell, and the unconventional Casa Mila building. This afternoon continue to explore colorful Barcelona on your own. Gather this evening for a farewell dinner celebrating the end of a lovely trip to Spain!
Day #13 Barcelona - Tour Ends - You return home with vivid memories of a spectacularly beautiful land with an old, rich and diverse cultural heritage.