Duration: 9 Days
This Escape brings together the sights and cultures of Spain’s and Portugal’s most famous cities—Barcelona, Madrid, Cordoba, Seville, and Lisbon—and weaves them into one marvelous vacation. Barcelona has so much to offer, during your guided sightseeing see the Sagrada Familia Basilica, Gaudi’s still unfinished masterpiece and explore the charming Barrio Gotico. In Madrid, visit the famous Prado Museum, one of the world’s most prestigious art museums. A guided walking tour in Cordoba showcases the sights, including a visit to the magnificent 8th-century Mosque of the Caliphs. In Seville, visit the Casa de Pilatos, with a splendid collection of Roman sculptures.
In Seville, enjoy dinner with local specialties and Flamenco entertainment, and in Lisbon, a farewell dinner at a local restaurant. Throughout this Spain and Portugal vacation, you’ll be accompanied by an expert Tour Director and Local Guides who will bring these destinations to life with in-depth, first-hand knowledge of the cities’ histories, sights, cultures, and insider secrets. Magnificent churches and cathedrals, local specialties and wine, and much more...what else could you ask for in a dream vacation and guided tour of Spain’s famous cities and Lisbon?
Welcome to Barcelona! At 6 pm, meet your Tour Director and travelling companions for a welcome dinner at your hotel. (D)
Sightseeing with a Local Guide features the Columbus Monument, Plaza de Cataluna and the Sagrada Familia. Highlight is a walk through the charming Barri Gotic, the GOTHIC QUARTER. Also enjoy a panoramic view of the city and harbour from Montjuic Hill. This afternoon, an optional excursion to Montserrat can be arranged. (B)
Enjoy rustic Catalonian and Aragonian landscapes on your journey to Madrid, the capital of Spain since 1561. (B) Today's Distance: 385 mi / 620 km
Madrid today is a strikingly modern city, the showcase of a country resolutely facing towards the future. Your Local Guide takes you to the Puerta del Sol, Plaza de Espana with its monument to Cervantes, the Parliament, Cibeles Fountain, elegant Calle Alcala, and Paseo de Castellana. Then, enjoy a highlight visit to the palatial PRADO MUSEUM with its priceless art treasures. An optional excursion to Toledo is available to make the most out of your stay. (B)
Drive south through the arid landscapes of Don Quixote's La Mancha to Cordoba, where sightseeing with a Local Guide includes the Alcazar, the Roman Bridge, and the medieval Jewish quarter. Tour the magnificent 8th-century MOSQUE OF THE CALIPHS, famous for its 850 pillars of porphyry, marble, and jasper. Later, continue to Seville, the vibrant, festive capital of Andalusia. (B) Today's Distance: 354 mi / 570 km
During your guided sightseeing tour, you will hear about the city's role in Roman times, its conquest by the Moors in 712 AD, and its contribution to the discovery of the New World. Admire Maria Luisa Park, the Golden Tower on the Guadalquivir River, and the university that was once the tobacco factory of Carmen fame. Also visit the magnificent CASA DE PILATOS, a mixture of Moorish and Roman architecture with a splendid collection of Roman sculptures. Then, stroll through the narrow lanes of the charming SANTA CRUZ QUARTER. For those interested, an optional extended guided visit to the cathedral is available. This evening, dine on local specialties prepared for you at El Palacio Andaluz restaurant and accompanied by Flamenco entertainment. (B,D)
A scenic drive today takes you over the border to Portugal and its capital city Lisbon, starting point of many successful 15th-century expeditions to the New World. (B) Today's Distance: 273 mi / 440 km
Lisbon was the centre of Europe's longest-lived overseas empire. Portugal's imperial ambitions date back to Prince Henry the Navigator's 15th-century discoveries in West Africa. Morning sightseeing with a Local Guide features a drive through the Baixa quarter's main squares, as well as a walk through the cobblestone alleys of quaint ALFAMA, the popular quarter of the seamen and Fado singers. Drive along the grand Avenida da Liberdade up to Pombal Square, and stop for pictures of Belem Tower and the Monument to the Discoveries. Also visit the CHURCH OF SANTA MARIA with the tomb of Vasco da Gama. Tonight, enjoy a farewell dinner with your travelling companions at one of Lisbon's excellent local restaurants. (B,D)
Your holiday ends with breakfast this morning. (B)