Best of Spain & Portugal
from $15070
Duration: 27 Days
Carve a path through Spain and Portugal and witness the iconic imagery that defines these iconic European destinations. Follow fine wines and produce form farm to table, wander white-washed villages and medieval towns and immerse yourself in authentic culture with tours and excursions led by passionate locals. Over 27 days explore icons like Guimaraes and Santiago de Compostella while enjoying moments like a tour of Porto’s best-kept cafe secrets and a performance of melancholy fado music in Coimbra.
  • Discover Portugal’s first capital and the birthplace of the country’s first king on a guided day tour of Guimaraes.
  • Gather around an upturned rustic port barrel for exclusive tastings of delicious cheese, meats, breads and (of course) port in Porto.
  • Hike beautiful paths under snow-capped mountains in Picos de Europa National Park and enjoy a picnic lunch in in a meadow framed by rugged grey mountains.
  • Explore the tranquil lagoon Albufera and is tiny islands by boat and learn about the local fishing industry and how it has changed in recent years.
  • Granada is a city like no other. Explore the outstanding Alhambra Palace with a guide, then lose yourself in the charming streets of the Old Moorish Quarter.
  • Complimentary Airport Arrival Transfer
  • Local market tour & tasting
  • Lake Albufera - Boat tour & Barraca visit
  • Alhambra entrance
  • Granada - Alhambra Visit & Guided Tour
  • Cordoba - Synagogue Cordoba guided tour
  • Cordoba - Guided tour of Mezquita & Cordoba City
  • Seville - Guided Tour including Alcazar
  • Guided tour of Seville including Alcazar Seville
  • Seville Flamenco show & dinner
  • Cathedral Toledo
  • Toledo - Guided Tour
  • Alcazar of Segovia tour inc audioguide
  • Burgos leader led tour
  • Locally produced Cider tasting
  • Picnic lunch including locally sourced cheese
  • Covadonga Lake walk
  • Carbayon tasting in Oviedo
  • Santiago de Compostela pilgrimage guided walk
  • Porto - Port Wine Tasting
  • Day 1 Location: Barcelona
    Your trip starts today with your arrival in Barcelona, one of Europe’s most loved and dynamic cities. You will be picked up from the airport and taken to your centrally located hotel. There are no activities planned for before your group meeting in the evening (usually at 7 pm). Find more details about this meeting at the hotel reception. If you arrive early and are out and about, perhaps visit the excellent Picasso Museum. After your meeting, you will dine with your fellow travellers on some local Catalan specialties.
    Day 2 Location: Barcelona
    It's all about food this morning, so loosen that belt and venture forth to the morning markets with a passionate local guide who'll have the hot tips on all things food related. They'll talk you through both traditional Iberian foods and the new trends, then have you tasting some of the most delicious things on the planet: three types of olives, pickled garlic, lomo Iberico de Belotta, manchego cheese and olive oil. The afternoon is free for your own discoveries and a siesta, of course. Perhaps you'll visit Sagrada Familia, one of Gaudi's masterpieces and a wonderful icon of the city. Gaudi dedicated the majority of his life to the project, right up until his death in 1926, and although it's still unfinished today, the church has been declared a World Heritage Site and we highly recommend visiting though you will need to prebook tickets. After the visit, why not venture into the narrow medieval streets of the Gothic Quarter, home to the La Boqueria, a colourful public market dating back to 1217.
    Day 3 Location: Valencia
    Bid farewell to Barcelona today as you travel to the city of Valencia (approximately 4.5 hours). Valencia is your base for the next two nights. Spain’s third largest city, Valencia has a unique cultural identity and a wonderful old town centre that dates back 2,000 years. Discover the harmonious mix of Roman, Muslim and Christian influences in its buildings and monuments and magnificent gardens. After checking into your hotel, an orientation walk will familiarise you with the main sights of the city. The balance of the day is free for you to spend as you wish. You may want to visit the city's major landmark – the City of Arts and Science, a large and futuristic museum complex designed by Calatrava.
    Day 4 Location: Albufera Lake – Sagunta - Valencia
    The morning is free to spend in the City of Arts, Science and Paella! And actually paella is just one flavour in this full-on, taste bud-tingling gastronomical heaven! Among the treats that Valencia has to offer, the choice is yours, from horchata to jamón to even artisan chocolates. Early afternoon, take a short drive south of Valencia to discover Albufera Lake, an important ecological site of the region. The lake is surrounded by beach, dunes, lagoons, wetlands and Mediterranean forest, and is home to six small islands. You will visit the island of El Palmar and discover its typical ‘barraca’ houses. Travel by boat to the middle of the lake and learn about the important agricultural crop of the area, namely the local rice. Finish off with included late lunch - paella lunch of course!
    Day 5 Location: Granada
    Depart Valencia and travel to Granada. Along the way you will travel through the distinctive countryside of the region and pass through Elche, capital of the region of Bajo Vinalopó. The historic quarter of Elche preserves part of its Muslim past and Baroque splendour. Walk around palm tree grove, one of the largest and the only one in Europe. It was established by the Phoenicians and expanded by the Arabs in the 8th and 9th centuries. The palmeral consists of several parts spreading across downtown. Then it's on to the city of Granada, one of the jewels of Andalucia.
    Day 6 Location: Granada
    After breakfast, take a guided tour through the incredible Alhambra Palace, one of the world’s great architectural masterpieces. Dating back to the 11th century and taking its name from the Arabic word for 'red castle', Alhambra represents Muslim art in its final European stages. The dominating red fortress towers, sumptuous palace decor, multitude of architectural styles and magnificent gardens of the 'Generalife' (literally meaning ‘architect's garden’) are all set against the backdrop of the Sierra Nevada mountains. With soothing pathways, fountains, impeccably-maintained hedges, pools, centuries-old defensive walls, turrets, and views overlooking Granada, Alhambra is certainly very memorable. The afternoon is free for you to discover the other highlights of Granada, such as the cathedral and the Albaicin Quarter.
    Day 7 Location: Cordoba
    Today you will learn more about the importance of olive oil production in the Andalucia region by visiting an oil farm on your way to Cordoba. Let the passionate owner of the family-run business walk you through the process of olive oil production. Here there will be the chance to taste the different olive oils too. Then continue your journey to the city of Cordoba, where Muslim, Jewish and Christian influences are present in the architecture, culture and cuisine. Cordoba is also home to the Mezquita – a rare site which has served as both a mosque and a cathedral throughout the centuries. Today a cathedral stands within the centre of this amazing mosque – an interesting example of the interplay of Christian and Muslim cultures in Spain. Discover this supreme example of Islamic architecture on a comprehensive guided tour which continues outside of the Mezquita and explores the charming quarters and hidden corners of Cordoba.
    Day 8 Location: Seville
    Farewell Cordoba and head for Seville this morning. A town famous for its cultural vitality and dazzling architecture, Seville is the largest city in southern Spain. On arrival, explore the city, on an included guided walking tour. You'll see the Alcazar of Seville, a grand royal Palace. Known as one of the most beautiful in Europe, the Spanish royal family still to this day use the Alcazar as their residence in Seville. The rest of the afternoon is free, so you may wish to take an optional visit to the Giralda Tower and the famous Seville Cathedral, one of Europe’s largest cathedrals and home to Christopher Columbus’ elevated tomb.
    Day 9 Location: Seville
    Today enjoy a free day in Seville. Discover this beautiful and intriguing city in your own pace. Perhaps visit a Cathedral de Giralda, on of the largest Christian churches in the world standing on the side of 12th century Almohad mosque. Plaza de Toros is the famous bullring in Seville and the oldest is Spain. As a Responsible Travel Company, Peregrine suggests not going to watch the bull fight, but rather visiting the venue to learn about the history and tradition. In the evening, join your fellow travellers for dinner and a flamenco show.
    Day 10 Location: Madrid
    Travel from Seville to Madrid by train (approximately 5 hours). Upon arrival in Madrid, settle into your hotel before heading out on a walk through the Old Quarter of Spain’s capital with your Tour Leader. The rest of the day is free. If you're feeling artsy, while away the hours on the Art Walk, which offers an expansive history of Western art. Start with the Museo del Prado, home to one of the world's finest collections of European art from the 12th to the 19th century. Discover modern Spanish masters, including Picasso and Dali, in the Museo Reina Sofia's 20th-century collection. Finish at the Museo Thyssen-Bornemisza, which displays eight centuries of European painting. Take a break in the Real Jardin Botanico, a garden wonderland dating from the 18th century. Madrid is your base for the next three nights.
    Day 11 Location: Madrid
    Today is a free day in Madrid. If you want, you can take an optional trip to the UNESCO-listed Alcazar of Segovia, about 1.5 hours north of the city, an incredible structure rumoured to be Disney's castle inspiration. There are plenty of activities to keep you educated and entertained if you choose to stay in the city too. Check out the Royal Palace, spend a day strolling around Parque del Retiro or pull up at a bar on the cobblestone streets and please your palate with a few glasses of vino tinto and a much-loved bocadillo de calamares. Madrid's nightlife is legendary, so maybe grab your fellow travellers, organise a late dinner (which will probably still be early for Madrid) and try dancing some salsa or bachata.
    Day 12 Location: Toledo – Madrid
    Travel to the city of Toledo this morning. The unique old town of this city sits on a high craggy rock and is encircled by the Tagus River. As a former capital of Spain, Toledo has immense historic significance and holds many architectural treasures. Examples of buildings from most architectural periods in Spain’s history can be seen here, from the Gothic to the Baroque. You'll explore the city with a local guide and pay particular attention to the Cathedral of Saint Mary, ranked among the greatest Gothic structures in Europe. After your visit to Toledo, drive back to Madrid and enjoy some free time there.
    Day 13 Location: Madrid
    Enjoy a free day in Madrid. There will be a meeting at 6 pm where you’ll welcome some new travellers on the next stage of your European adventure.
    Day 14 Location: Madrid – Segovia
    Spend a day exploring Segovia on a daytrip. This World Heritage-listed city is full of sights such as the monumental aqueduct constructed by the Romans almost 2000 years ago. You’ll also see the rough-hewn stones that make up the narrow alleyway of the Old Jewish Quarter, stately churches and the fairy-tale-esque towers of the Alcazar de Segovia. Enjoy time to stroll along the city's green belt – lined in part with orchards – then return to Madrid, arriving in the late afternoon. Once back in Madrid, perhaps ask your leader where to find a bocadillo de calamares (fried calamari sandwich), a local favourite.
    Day 15 Location: Burgos
    Travel to Burgos (approximately 2.5 hours) and take an orientation walk with your leader on arrival. This walk will introduce you to the historic Old Town, which is packed with medieval structures, limestone apartment blocks and features the majestic Burgos Cathedral. Spend the afternoon and evening as you wish. Named the Gastronomic Capital of Spain in 2013, Burgos is a great place to seek out traditional Castilian fare. Ask your leader for advice on where to find the best blood morcilla de Burgos (spiced blood sausage).
    Day 16 Location: Picos de Europa
    Today involves 5 hours spent on the road in a private vehicle. While the journey will be broken up with a handful of stops, it’s a good idea to have an audio book loaded up on your phone in case you need it. The destination today is Picos de Europa National Park, which holds the limestone mountain range from which so many historic Spanish buildings get their materials. This evening you can kick back and sample the so-called lifeblood of Asturias – cider. Enjoy a tasting of a few local ciders and learn about the significance of this tipple to the region.
    Day 17 Location: Picos de Europa
    Lace up your boots and take on a trail during a guided walk. The exact path will be determined on the day but no matter the direction you will have stunning vistas to contemplate along the way. Green meadows with low shrubs are dotted with grazing cattle, framed by impossibly tall mountains of grey and white. Stop along the way for a picturesque picnic, including some regional cheeses.
    Day 18 Location: Santiago de Compostela
    Drive towards Santiago de Compostela (6 hours) stopping en route at Oviedo. Enjoy a short walk around this historic town, taking in sights of white stone buildings, then stop to eat a carbayon. This local sweet was created to represent Oviedo and is made from almond meal and sweet alcohol. Wash it down with a glass of cider, then hit the road once again. Arrive in Santiago, check in to your hotel and then spend the evening at your leisure.
    Day 19 Location: Santiago de Compostela
    Spend a half day on the final leg of the Camino de Santiago, joining pilgrims as they finish their journey. Enjoy the fresh air of the woodlands and Galician countryside and drink in the sight of the Santiago de Compostella’s spires as they come into view. Spend the evening relaxing in Santiago, perhaps munching on a Galician specialty like piments de padron (fried green peppers).
    Day 20 Location: Porto
    Travel to colourful, coastal Porto (2.5 hours). Get your bearings on an orientation walk with your leader, then enjoy a free afternoon to explore. Perhaps visit the Clerigos Church and Tower or stop by the very popular Lello Bookstore. In the evening, gather with your fellow travellers for a feast and port tasting. Make a toast to new friends and old history.
    Day 21 Location: Porto
    Enjoy a free day in Porto. There will be a meeting at 6 pm to welcome any new travellers joining you on the next stage of your European adventure.
    Day 22 Location: Porto
    Discover Porto: Portugal’s second largest city and the capital of the north that sits between the River Douro and the Atlantic Ocean. The World Heritage listed Ribeira district is filled with a collection of twisting alleys, crisscrossing staircases and baroque churches. On a guided tour, discover one of Portugal's most romantic cities. You will pass majestic bridges, medieval riverside district with cobbled streets, merchants’ houses and cafes, stop by the cathedral, the Tower of Clerigos, and the impressive hall of Porto’s Sao Bento Railway Station. Clerigos Tower offers sensational sweeping views across the whole city, while the grand train station and its historic entrance hall panels evokes a more refined age of rail travel. On your exploration today, discover lesser known parts of the city to tourists (in fact they are known well, but only to the local people and experts). Go under the skin of this beautiful city with an included tasting of some of the region’s specialties, and go out and try some coffee and pastry in small, classic cafes, enjoying best local Port wine in a cosy local tavern with dishes like codfish and the Francesinha (Portuguese sandwich). You can spend the evening soaking up the atmosphere of this coastal town, strolling along the riverside or observing local life in action from one of many rooftop bars.
    Day 23 Location: Porto - Guimaraes - Braga
    Today you will journey outside Porto to Guimaraes (approximately 1 hour). Portugal’s first capital and the birthplace of the country’s first king (the ‘conqueror’, which gives the town its name), the town consists of a well-preserved old city and an impressive castle. Explore Palace of the Dukes of Braganza located in the historical centre of the city and witness the grandeur of the Guimaraes Castle: one of the most complete medieval strongholds in Portugal, dating from the 10th century. As the believed birthplace of King Afonso Henriques, the castle is something of a national shrine. Next you will travel to Braga (approximately 30 minutes), considered by many to be one of Portugal’s most stunning cities. It has long been a religious centre, and overflows with churches, monasteries, and chapels. The charm of this place lies in its impressive Baroque buildings, most notably the Bom Jesus Sanctuary. On the western slopes of Monte Espinho, the sanctuary is lead to by a magnificent criss-crossing staircase that has 14 different chapels, each representing a station of the cross. Venture back to Porto for the evening and night’s stay.
    Day 24 Location: Coimbra
    This morning, farewell Porto and travel to your next stop, and base for the evening, which is the university city of Coimbra. Sitting dignified on the banks of the River Mondego, Coimbra was once the capital of the county, and its royal heritage can be felt in its ancient streets and buildings. Join your tour leader on a wander through the lanes and squares of the Old Quarter, passing the University of Coimbra – the oldest in Portugal. This evening, regroup and experience more of Portugal’s cultural heritage by heading to an included traditional Fado music show. Tonight’s dinner is at your own expense.
    Day 25 Location: Lisbon
    Today you’ll travel to Lisbon (approximately 2 hours), which is located on the banks of the Tagus (Tejo) River and is truly one of Europe’s great cities. Much of Lisbon’s character and charm lies in its beautiful renovated buildings, grand boulevards and impressive castles and churches. We will visit one of the most symbolic buildings in the city, Lisbon Cathedral, which was built on the site of an old mosque in 1150 by Lisbon’s first bishop, Gilbert of Hastings. Inside are nine chapels, each with their own story to tell, and the wonderful Gothic cloister. We will also have time to visit the medieval citadel of Sao Jorge Castle. The citadel dates back to Moorish times and sits on the highest point of the Old Town. Although much of the original castle has been destroyed throughout history, some sections of walls and 18 different towers remain today. Look down on a city swarming with endless angular white houses and buildings with distinct red terracotta rooftops. The afternoon is free to make further discoveries of Lisbon – perhaps roam through the charming narrow streets of local neighbourhoods and see local life play out, visit Belem Tower (a wonderful building originally designed as a lighthouse) or the spectacular Monastery of the Jeronimos.
    Day 26 Location: Lisbon
    Travel outside of the city for a full-day excursion from Lisbon. First to Sintra, which is a jewel of Portugal. This bewitching place, with its fairy-tale atmosphere, is set amidst lush vegetation and rugged, mystical hills. The cooler climes made it a summer retreat for royalty, and it has drawn and inspired many poets, writers and travellers for centuries, including Lord Byron. Spend some time here exploring Sintra’s Pena Palace and Gardens. The views across the Serra de Sintra mountain range are stunning. Then, continue to Cabo da Rocha: a cape which forms the westernmost extent of mainland Portugal and continental Europe. After the colourful Bay of Cascais and its dazzling beaches, stop in cosmopolitan Cascais. Once a quiet fishing village, later Cascais became a residence of the Portuguese royal court in the 19th century and is now a glamorous holiday destination of designer boutiques and upscale restaurants. During your free time here, why not sit down in one of the little restaurants and try some local delicacies? On the drive back to Lisbon along the coast in the afternoon, see a different perspective of the capital as you approach from the other side of the Tagus River. After a great full day of sights, enjoy this evening at your leisure in Lisbon.
    Day 27 Location: Lisbon
    There are no activities planned for today, and as such, you are free to leave at any time. If you wish to spend some more time exploring Lisbon, we will be happy to arrange additional accommodation for you (subject to availability).
    Dates
    Prices
    Availability
    Departure Date:
    11MAY2020
    Return Date:
    06JUN2020
    15460NZD
    available
    Departure Date:
    25MAY2020
    Return Date:
    20JUN2020
    15765NZD
    available
    Departure Date:
    15JUN2020
    Return Date:
    11JUL2020
    15070NZD
    available
    Departure Date:
    24AUG2020
    Return Date:
    19SEP2020
    15370NZD
    available
    Departure Date:
    14SEP2020
    Return Date:
    10OCT2020
    15460NZD
    available
    Departure Date:
    05OCT2020
    Return Date:
    31OCT2020
    15460NZD
    available
    Departure Date:
    10MAY2021
    Return Date:
    05JUN2021
    15070NZD
    available
    Departure Date:
    24MAY2021
    Return Date:
    19JUN2021
    15070NZD
    available
    Departure Date:
    14JUN2021
    Return Date:
    10JUL2021
    15070NZD
    available
    Departure Date:
    23AUG2021
    Return Date:
    18SEP2021
    15070NZD
    available
    Last modified (date)

    16 Feb 2020

    Trip title

    Best of Spain & Portugal

    Trip code

    PEECC

    Validity

    Validity: 01 Jan 2020 to 31 Dec 2020

    Introduction

    Carve a path through Spain and Portugal and witness the iconic imagery that defines these iconic European destinations. Follow fine wines and produce form farm to table, wander white-washed villages and medieval towns and immerse yourself in authentic culture with tours and excursions led by passionate locals. Over 27 days explore icons like Guimaraes and Santiago de Compostella while enjoying moments like a tour of Porto’s best-kept cafe secrets and a performance of melancholy fado music in Coimbra.

    Style

    Peregrine

    Transport

    Private vehicle,metro,minibus,tram,train

    Physical Rating

    2

    Physical preparation

    This trip can be enjoyed by just about anyone with a reasonable level of fitness. Some trips may have individual inclusions that may be of a higher physical rating compared to the overall rating of the trip. Please read the day-to-day itinerary carefully to find out more details on each day's activities, and whether they are suitable for you. Activities can be opted out of if you don't want to participate.

    Joining point

    Hotel Catalonia Portal del Angel

    08002 Barcelona, Spain

    Barcelona

    SPAIN

    Phone: 0034 933 18 41 41

    Joining point description

    Contemporary rooms feature complimentary Wi-Fi, flat-screen TVs and minibars, as well as tea and coffeemakers; most have balconies and marble bathrooms.

    Joining point instructions

    Hotel Portal de l'Angel is just a 5-minute walk from Catalunya Metro and Railway Station, easily reachable from Barcelona international airport. Complimentary private arrival transfer is included on this trip. If you have pre booked an arrival transfer, your transfer driver will be waiting in the arrivals hall holding a board with the Peregrine Logo or your name. In case of flight cancellations, changes, if you experience severe delays at immigration, baggage collection or customs, or if you are not able to find to the driver, please contact the transfer operator directly: +34 657 547 304

    Finish point

    Lisboa Tejo Hotel

    Poço do Borratém, 13

    Lisbon

    PORTUGAL

    Phone: 351 218866182

    Finish point description

    Hotel Lisboa Tejo has 58 rooms, all air-conditioned with safety box, mini bar, TV and telephone. Private bathrooms are usually equipped with showers and also have hairdryers available.

    Important information

    PASSPORT DETAILS FOR ALHAMBRA VISIT Due to high demand and in order to be able to control visitor numbers, local authorities have implemented a timed ticket slot system for the Alhambra Palace. This system requires each visitor’s full name, passport number, nationality and date of birth. As tickets sell out months in advance we need these details from you at least 60 days prior to the trip’s departure. Failing to provide these details may result in us not being able to secure tickets for you. Please also remember to carry your passport with you at the time of the visit, as details will be counter checked at the entrance gate. SINGLE SUPPLEMENT A single supplement is bookable on this trip, subject to availability at the time of booking. Please note that due to the small properties we use in Europe there is only a limited amount of single supplements available per trip departure. If you would like to book a single supplement and enquire about availability please speak to your booking agent. ARRIVAL TRANSFER An arrival transfer from the airport to the start point hotel is included in the price of the trip. Please advise your travel agent of your flights times at least 2 weeks before your departure date. If you are planning to reach the destination by train or bus, please enquire the possibility of re-scheduling the transfer with your travel agent at the time of booking.

    Group leader

    All group trips are accompanied by one of our group leaders. The aim of the group leader is to take the hassle out of your travels and to help you have the best trip possible. Peregrine leaders are experienced and knowledgeable and all are local to the destinations or have lived or extensively travelled through the region. Your leader will provide information on the places you are travelling through, offer suggestions for things to do and see, recommend great local eating venues and introduce you to our local friends. While not being guides in the traditional sense you can expect them to have a broad general knowledge of the places visited on the trip, including historical, cultural, religious and social aspects. We aim to support local guides who have specialised knowledge of the regions we visit. If you were interested in delving deeper into the local culture at a specific site or location then your leader can recommend a local guide service in most of the main destinations of your trip.

    Safety

    SAFETY Many national governments provide a regularly updated advice service on safety issues involved with international travel. We recommend that you check your government's advice for their latest travel information before departure and ensure that your travel insurance covers you for all areas your itinerary covers. Please refer to our website's safety page for links to major travel advisories and updates on safety issues affecting our trip. We strongly recommend the use of a neck wallet or money belt while travelling, for the safe-keeping of your passport, air tickets, cash and other valuable items. Leave your valuable jewellery at home - you won't need it while travelling. Many of our hotels have safety deposit boxes, which is the most secure way of storing your valuables. A lock is recommended for securing your luggage. Your leader will accompany you on all included activities, however during your trip you'll have some free time to pursue your own interests, relax and take it easy or explore at your leisure. While your leader will assist you with the available options in a given location, please note that any optional activities you undertake are not part of your itinerary, and we make no representations about the safety of the activity or the standard of the operators running them. Please use your own good judgement when selecting an activity in your free time. Please also note that your Leader has the authority to amend or cancel any part of the trip itinerary if it's deemed necessary due to safety concerns. FIRE PRECAUTIONS Please be aware that local laws governing tourism facilities in this region differ from those in your home country and not all the accommodation which we use has a fire exit, fire extinguishers or smoke alarms. TRAFFIC AND DRIVING ON THE OTHER SIDE OF THE ROAD Depending on where you come from please note that drivers in this part of the world may drive on the opposite side of the road from what you are used to. Look both ways before crossing any road. Traffic can be a little more chaotic than you might be used to at home. Be aware! PETTY THEFT AND PERSONAL SAFETY While travelling there is always the risk of pick-pocketing and petty theft, particularly in the more touristy cities. We recommend that you exercise caution when walking alone at night and encourage you to walk together and only on main, well-lit thoroughfares. Be particularly vigilant on public transport. Simple measures like carrying your day pack on your front, not hanging your bag over the back of your chair or on the floor and wearing a money belt will reduce any chance that your valuables should go missing. SCAMS Common scams operating in Europe include ploys to get you fined on the metro without a validated ticket. Ensure that you always travel with a validated ticket (have your ticket stamped). Another common scam is used by children who distract you with a map or a newspaper and while you are attending to them, steal your valuables. You may also come across players offering you to participate in the so-called "shell game". This is a scam and you will most certainly lose your money.

    Visas

    Visas are the responsibility of the individual traveller. Entry requirements can change at any time, so it's important that you check for the latest information. Please visit the relevant consular website of the country or countries you’re visiting for detailed and up-to-date visa information specific to your nationality. Your consultant will also be happy to point you in the right direction with acquiring visas. Visas can take several weeks to process, so familiarise yourself with any requirements as soon as you have booked your trip to allow for processing time. Your passport details are required to complete your booking. Please ensure the name on your passport matches the name on your booking Australian, New Zealand, Canadian, US and British citizens currently do not require a visa to visit Germany, Czech Republic, Austria and Hungary. Other nationalities should check with the relevant embassy or consulate in their home country for up to date visa information. Hotel Emperador is a hotel with a lot of history and character which has witnessed many legendary events in Spanish history, including the coronation of King Felipe VI and Queen Letizia in 2014. The hotel is a true architectural landmark with excellent views of the city and a privileged location in Gran Via, the heart of the Spanish capital.

    Why we love it

    Discover Portugal’s first capital and the birthplace of the country’s first king on a guided day tour of Guimaraes.

    Gather around an upturned rustic port barrel for exclusive tastings of delicious cheese, meats, breads and (of course) port in Porto.

    Hike beautiful paths under snow-capped mountains in Picos de Europa National Park and enjoy a picnic lunch in in a meadow framed by rugged grey mountains.

    Explore the tranquil lagoon Albufera and is tiny islands by boat and learn about the local fishing industry and how it has changed in recent years.

    Granada is a city like no other. Explore the outstanding Alhambra Palace with a guide, then lose yourself in the charming streets of the Old Moorish Quarter.

    Is this trip right for you

    Summer temperatures can be extreme (over 40°C), so it's important to use sun protection, wear layers to combat the heat and drink plenty of water. Please consider your suitability to the season you are travelling in. During your discoveries you will visit a numerous religious sites – this requires a level of modesty. You will need to bring clothes that cover the arms and pants or skirts that go past the knees. A light scarf is also a good idea for covering shoulders and arms when it’s hot. Your tour Leader will be able to advise when such a clothing is necessary. Cobblestones are common in Portuguese cities and so in that case you may prefer to bring a backpack instead of rigid wheelie suitcase. It's important not to exceed the luggage weight and size recommendations. You can find this information in the 'Packing' section of the Essential Trip Information. On this trip you will visit a lot of interesting places and you will discover them predominantly on foot. That means you’ll be expected to walk for, often, most of the day which will be tiring in hilly Portugal. Good, comfortable pair of walking shoes will definitely help! Travel on this trip takes place in a comfortable private vehicle, but please note that two days on this trip feature significant time spent driving (5 and 6 hours respectively). Breaks to use the bathroom, eat and sightsee are included. Picos de Europa is known for the diversity of the weather. It can be relatively cold even in the height of summer, so please pack appropriately with layers. As accommodation on this trip is twin-share, single travellers will share a room with another traveller of the same sex. If you’d prefer not to share, a single room supplement is available at an additional charge. Please ask your travel consultant for more details. Also, hotels in Europe often don't have double beds, but rather two single beds that can be pushed together and rooms in Europe can seem rather small by American or Australian standards.

    Health

    All Peregrine travellers need to be in good physical health in order to participate fully on this trip. When selecting your trip please make sure you have read through the itinerary carefully and assess your ability to cope with our style of travel. Please note that if, in the opinion of our group leader or local guide, any traveller is unable to complete the itinerary without undue risk to themselves and/or the rest of the group, Peregrine reserves the right to exclude them from all or part of a trip without refund. There is no malaria risk in any European country, however you should consult your doctor for up-to-date medical travel information and other vaccinations requirements. We recommend that you carry a first aid kit as well as any personal medical requirements (including a spare pair of glasses) as they may not easily be obtained at the locations on this trip. For legal reasons our leaders and guides are prohibited from administering any type of drugs including headache tablets and antibiotics. Please ensure that you are adequately prepared.

    Food and dietary requirements

    While travelling with us you'll experience the vast array of wonderful food available in the world. Your group leader will be able to suggest restaurants to try during your trip. To give you the maximum flexibility in deciding where, what and with whom to eat, generally not all meals are included in the trip price. This also gives you more budgeting flexibility. As a rule our groups tend to eat together to enable you to taste a larger variety of dishes and enjoy each other's company. There's no obligation to do this though. Vegetarians might find the menu selection less varied than they would see at home. Vegetarianism is not as common in this region and choices may be limited to soups, salads, bread, cheese, fruit, yoghurt, eggs etc. Vegans and those on gluten-free diets will find this region very challenging and may need to supplement meals with their own supplies from supermarkets and markets. Wherever possible we will cater for dietary needs for included meals, but there may be times when those with special requirements may need to provide their own.

    Money matters

    BANKING IN SPAIN & PORTUGAL The monetary unit is the euro (€), divided into 100 cents. Changing and accessing your money is easy in Spain, as ATMs are nearly everywhere, and are probably the easiest way of accessing your money. Credit cards are widely accepted in Spain and Portugal, however, in some rural villages it may be only possible to purchase goods with cash. CASH The most convenient and cheapest way to acquire money in Europe is via an Automated Teller Machine (ATM) or Bancomat as they are often referred to. Check with your bank in advance concerning the suitability of your account / card overseas and any international fees that will be applied. You can withdraw local currencies easily at airports, major train stations and most city centres, but be sure to bring some extra emergency cash in a major currency that can be exchanged if the ATMs are not functioning. When leaving home don't forget your PIN and make sure you know the telephone number for cancelling your card if it is stolen. Keep this in a safe place. Credit cards are not always accepted in stores and restaurants. We recommend you carry some cash to pay for restaurant bills and other services. SPENDING MONEY When it comes to spending money on the trip, every traveller is a little different. You know your spending habits better than we do, so please budget a sensible amount for things like meals not included, drinks, shopping, optional activities and laundry. It's always better to bring a little more than you think you'll need. Also make sure you've read your trip details thoroughly so you know what's included in the trip price and what isn't. This should make budgeting a little easier. You'll find this info in the Inclusions section of your Essential Trip Information (that's this document). TIPPING On this trip, we have included gratuities for the essential services that you will receive as part of your tour package. Where applicable, this will cover tips to drivers, specialist local guides and restaurant staff for included meals. This amount DOES NOT include a tip for your tour leader, so you may wish to set aside some funds for this. It is customary to tip your tour leader for outstanding service throughout your trip. Tips are greatly appreciated as a gesture of thanks for their professionalism and leadership during your holiday. We are often asked what a reasonable amount might be. The amount is at your discretion, but a sum of €2-4 per person/per day is a general tipping standard. You also wish to put aside some money for your own tipping, such as when you are doing our own optional sightseeing or activity that involves local guides and/or drivers, when joining in optional groups meals or dining out on your own, or for porters, bellboys and other hotel staff, including room-cleaning staff. In these instances, we advise you to carry small notes of local currency each day to make tipping easier. The amounts can vary greatly according to destination. Tipping in Europe, although not compulsory, is a widespread practice. Tips for good service are appreciated, if not expected. The amount depends on your resources, tipping philosophy and the circumstance. In restaurants, look out for any service charges. Tipping is applicable only at restaurants that have waiters and waitresses. If you order your food at a counter, don't tip. At restaurants with table service menus usually state (at the bottom) if the service is included. If so you don't need to tip, although if you're pleased with the service you can round up a few euros. If the menu states that the service is not included, tip about 10% by rounding up or leaving the change from your bill. Typically, it's better to hand the cash to the waiter than to leave it on the table, particularly in busy places where the wrong party might pocket the change. In some places, you may want to tip in cash even if you pay with your credit card, otherwise your tip may never reach your waiter. When you're paying for taxis, round up to the next euro on the fare (maximum 10 percent). Use common sense! If you feel like you're being driven in circles or otherwise ripped off, skip the tip. Carry some change. If you stop at a public WC, you may have to tip the attendant anywhere from a bit of change to €1.50. If you're not sure whether (or how much) to tip for a service, ask your tour leader for advice. EMERGENCY FUNDS Please also make sure you have access to an additional US$500, to be used when unforeseen incidents or circumstances outside our control (e.g. a natural disaster, civil unrest, strike action or an outbreak of bird flu) necessitate a change to our planned route. BUDGET Please budget for additional meals and expenses while on your trip. We suggest EUR 1200.00 for meals not included on this trip. Our suggestion is based on past traveller feedback but you may choose to spend more or less.

    What to take

    What you need to bring will vary according to when you are travelling. Generally speaking, we recommend you pack as lightly as possible and make sure that you are able to carry and lift your own luggage, and walk with it for short distances. Most travellers carry their luggage in a backpack, although an overnight bag with a shoulder strap would suffice if you travel lightly. Smaller bags or backpacks with wheels are convenient although we recommend your bag has carry straps. We also recommend you take a day pack/bag to carry water and a camera etc for day trips. As well as your clothes, passport and toothbrush and other items you always need to pack for travel, below are some items that you specifically need for this trip. ESSENTIALS - Rain gear, including jacket with a hood. Being prepared for all weather conditions will increase your enjoyment of the trip - Sun protection - hat, sunscreen, sunglasses - Comfortable shoes for walking. While this trip is not classed as a hiking trip, please note that you will be on your feet a lot in order to explore each destination. RECOMMENDED - Personal medical kit. Your leader will carry a large kit but we recommend you carry items such as blister relief, mild pain killers and bandaids. - Water bottle. We recommend at least a 1.5 litre capacity. The sale of bottled water contributes to an enormous environmental problem around the world. In addition to the water in bottles, the production of a 1 litre plastic bottle takes 2 litres of water and 200ml of oil. A large proportion end up in limited landfill or discarded in waterways and natural environments. OPTIONAL - Camera with spare batteries. You won't be able to recharge during the day We operate trips in Europe in spring, summer and the start of autumn. Bear in mind that the weather will vary significantly from place to place also depending on the time of year. Remember that quality rain gear is essential for any destination - you’ll enjoy your holiday to the fullest if you’re prepared for all kinds of weather! Laundry facilities are available in some destinations.

    Climate and seasonal

    SUMMER Summer temperatures can be extreme in many of the regions visited (over 40°C), which can be uncomfortable. It’s important to use sun protection and drink plenty of water. Please carefully consider the time of the year you wish to travel and your suitability to that season. SHOULDER SEASON In contrast, weather in shoulder season can be unpredictable, and snow is not unheard of at higher altitudes. If you travel at the start or towards the end of the European season please pack accordingly with warm and/or waterproof clothes (preferably layers). The advantage of travelling during this time is that there are less tourists around.

    A couple of rules

    Everyone has the right to feel safe when they travel. We don’t tolerate any form of violence (verbal or physical) or sexual harassment, either between customers or involving our leaders, partners or local people. Sexual relationships between a tour leader and a customer are strictly forbidden. Use or possession of illegal drugs will not be tolerated on our trips. If you choose to consume alcohol while travelling, we encourage responsible drinking, and expect that you’ll abide by the local laws regarding alcohol consumption. The sex tourism industry is known to exploit vulnerable people and have negative consequences on communities, including undermining the development of sustainable tourism. For this reason, patronising sex workers will not be tolerated on our trips. By travelling with us you are agreeing to adhere to these rules. Your group leader has the right to remove any member of the group for breaking any of these rules, with no right of refund. If you feel that someone is behaving inappropriately while travelling with us, please inform your tour leader or local guide immediately. Alternatively, contact us on the emergency contact number detailed in the Problems and Emergency Contact section of this Essential Trip Information.

    Feedback

    Can’t stop thinking about your adventure? Tell us all about it! We read each piece of feedback carefully and use it to make improvements for travellers like you. Share your experience with us at: https://www.peregrineadventures.com/feedback

    Pre-departure checklist

    Before you travel please download our pre-departure checklist to make sure you are fully prepared for your trip: http://www.peregrineadventures.com/pre-departure-travel-checklist

    Emergency contact

    BOOKING ENQUIRIES / ISSUES For general enquiries or questions about your booking, please contact your agent or adventure specialist, or visit us at: www.peregrineadventures.com/contact-us CRISIS AND EMERGENCIES In case of a genuine crisis or emergency please contact our local ground representative on the number below: Peregrine's Local Operator: +49 867 791 866 57

    Responsible travel

    Travelling responsibly is all about making good choices. It's about ensuring you have an incredible trip while also having a positive impact on the local environment, community and economy you're travelling in. How can you be a Responsible Traveller? See our tips below: - Choose to travel with a responsible travel company like us! We've already offset the main carbon emissions of your trip, so your footprint is already lighter. - Consider offsetting your flights when you book your trip/flights with us or your travel agent. - Bring a refillable water bottle and some water purification tablets (or a Steripen) to cut down on plastic bottle waste. - Be an animal-friendly traveller. Only go to venues that respect animals by allowing them to live normally in their natural environment. Steer clear of venues that use animals for entertainment or abnormal activities and/or keep animals in poor and unnatural conditions. - Eat at local restaurants, buy from regional artists and support social enterprises so you can contribute directly to locals and their economy. - Always be respectful of local customs and ask permission if you want to take a photo of someone. - Learn a few words of the local language and engage with the people around you. - Carry a cloth or re-usable bag so you can avoid plastic bags. - Give back by making a donation to a local project via The Intrepid Foundation. Share your thoughts with us by completing your feedback form after your trip. This helps us to continue to improve our commitment to responsible travel.

    The Intrepid Foundation

    Help us change thousands of lives by creating meaningful work and supporting skills training in communities around the world. The Intrepid Foundation is the not-for-profit for Peregrine Adventures, a brand of the Intrepid Group, and works with local organisations around the world to improve the livelihoods of vulnerable individuals and communities through sustainable travel experiences. With our travellers’ help, we’ve contributed more than AU $6 million to over 100 community organisations since 2002. Did you know that tourism is one of the biggest contributors to the global economy, making up 1 out of every 10 jobs? That’s why we support local projects that create meaningful jobs and give people the skills they need to work in the destinations we take you to. And it’s why we exist – to make it easy for travellers to give back to the communities and places they’ve been in an effective and meaningful way. All donations to The Intrepid Foundation are matched dollar for dollar (up to AU$10,000 per donor and AU$500,000 in total each financial year, excluding emergency appeals). And because Intrepid Group covers all administration costs, every cent goes directly to the projects. Donating is simple and secure. Please ask your leader for information about the projects we support through The Intrepid Foundation or visit our website: http://www.theintrepidfoundation.org/

    Accommodation notes

    We have chosen our Peregrine accommodation to provide you with the high comfort, style and authentic feel of the place you are visiting. Expect pleasant accommodation with your own bathroom and heating/air conditioning where appropriate. Most of Peregrine accommodation has lifts or porters to help with your bags, 24 hour reception with English speaking staff and other amenities to make your stay a pleasure after a long day of exploring. The exact style of accommodation indicated in the day-to-day itinerary is a guideline. On rare occasions, alternative arrangements may need to be made due to the lack of availability of rooms in our usual accommodation. A similar standard of accommodation will be used in these instances. Throughout the trip we request that our hotels prepare rooms in time for our arrival, especially if we're arriving prior to normal check-in time. However this isn't always possible which means we won't be able to check-in immediately on arrival at some hotels. Instead, we can store our luggage and explore our new destination. If you've purchased pre-trip or post-trip accommodation (if available), you may be required to change rooms from your trip accommodation for these extra nights. TWIN SHARE BASIS Accommodation on this trip is on a twin share basis (unless noted otherwise in the day-to-day itinerary). A single supplement is available on this trip. Please check Important Notes section of this document for any exceptions to the single supplement. Hotel Emperador is a hotel with a lot of history and character which has witnessed many legendary events in Spanish history, including the coronation of King Felipe VI and Queen Letizia in 2014. The hotel is a true architectural landmark with excellent views of the city and a privileged location in Gran Via, the heart of the Spanish capital. San Francisco Hotel Monumento Located in the convent of San Francisco and the historic heart of the city, this picturesque hotel boasts a heated pool and Jacuzzi with views of Mount Pedroso Hotel Vila Gale Coimbra is located close to the city's historic centre, offering stunning views over the Mondego River and boasts an indoor pool, sauna and jacuzzi.

    Transport notes

    Our private vehicles are air conditioned and comfortable, which makes traveling around Europe much more enjoyable. On some of the days we will be covering long distances, which will make these days feel longer, but the best part about all of these long drives are the spectacular views and interesting stops en route. On those days, we depart early in the morning to ensure we optimise our time at our next destination. Roads in Europe are generally good, but in some countries they are better maintained then in the others. Occasionally some drives may feel a little bumpy and while traveling through mountain passes you will experience windy roads. If you experience travel sickness we recommend you consider medication to help ease the discomfort.

    Travel insurance

    Travel insurance is compulsory for all our trips. We require that, at a minimum, you are covered for medical expenses including emergency repatriation. We strongly recommend that the policy also covers personal liability, cancellation, curtailment and loss of luggage and personal effects. When travelling on a group trip, you won't be permitted to join the group until evidence of travel insurance and the insurance company's 24 hour emergency contact number has been seen by your leader. If you have credit card insurance your group leader will require details of the participating insurer/underwriter, the level of coverage, policy number and emergency contact number rather than the bank's name and credit card details. Please contact your bank for these details prior to arriving in-country.

    Your fellow travellers

    As you travel on a group trip you will be exposed to all the pleasures and maybe some of the frustrations of travelling in a group. Your fellow travellers will probably come from all corners of the world and likely a range of age groups too. We ask you to be understanding of the various needs and preferences of your group - patience with your fellow travellers is sometimes required for the benefit of everyone's travel experience. Remember too that you have responsibilities to the group. If you are requested to be at a place at a certain time, ensure that you don't keep the rest of the group waiting. We have found time and time again that the very best trips we operate are those where the dynamics within the group work well - this takes just a little effort on your part. Sharing a room can be a great way to get to know people quickly and make close friends. It just takes a little effort on your part.

    Itinerary disclaimer

    ITINERARY CHANGES: Our itineraries are updated regularly throughout the year based on customer feedback and to reflect the current situation in each destination. The information included in this Essential Trip Information may therefore differ from when you first booked your trip. It is important that you print and review a final copy prior to travel so that you have the latest updates. Due to weather, local conditions, transport schedules, public holidays or other factors, further changes may be necessary to your itinerary once in country. The order and timing of included activities in each location may also vary seasonally to ensure our travellers have the best experience. Your tour leader will keep you up to date with any changes once on tour.

    Accommodation

    Comfortable hotel (21 nights),Feature stay (5 nights)

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