PORTUGAL & SPAIN
9 DAYS/7 NIGHTS

DESCRIPTION

Discover layers of culture and history on this amazing journey including two countries and four major cities. Crowned by St. George's Castle and straddling seven hills, Lisbon is one of Europe's most visually striking capitals. Evora, an architectural phenomenon, once enclosed behind medieval walls, lives up to its reputation as a living museum. Seville's historic center is lorded over by a colossal Gothic cathedral, Mudéjar palaces, baroque churches and winding medieval lanes. The Mosque-Cathedral of Cordoba is a symbol of the worldly sophisticated culture that flourished here more than a millennium ago when Cordoba was the capital of Islamic Spain and Europe's largest cultural and intellectual center. Join us on this all-encompassing and unique journey through Portugal and Spain.

HIGHLIGHTS

  • Explore historic & colorful Lisbon
  • Old-World neighborhoods of Alfama and Belém
  • UNESCO World Heritage Jeronimos Monastery & Belém Tower
  • Traditional Fado show
  • Discover Historic town of Sintra
  • Visit a tile factory
  • Evora, a living museum
  • Welcoming art of Portuguese people
  • Embrace Moorish spirit in Seville and Cordoba
  • The Santa Cruz Jewish quarter
  • Interactive Flamenco Dance Museum in Seville
  • Discover Jerez and Arcos de la Frontera, beautifully preserved Andalusian villages
  • Horse show in Jerez
  • Experience majestic Madrid with its magnificent monuments such as, Neptune and Cibeles fountains, the Alcale Gate, the Plaza de Espana & the Royal Palace, the lavish site of royal events

Photo and Video



DAY BY DAY ITINERARY


Day 1 Depart USA
Depart the US bound for Portugal on an overnight flight.

Day 2 Arrive Lisbon, Portugal
Arrive at Lisbon Airport, be greeted by your tour director, and transfer to your hotel. Spread across picturesque hillsides that overlook the River Tejo, Lisbon offers a myriad of delights as Portugal’s star attraction, yet with a fraction of the fuss of other European capitals. Cathedrals, regal monasteries, and charming museums are all part of the colorful cityscape, but the real delights of discovery lie in its people, touring its sites, and Lisbon’s lovely and old-world backstreets. Dinner is on your own tonight, offering you the opportunity to venture along at your own pace and take in the acclaimed gastronomy of Portugal.

Day 3 Lisbon - City Tour
After breakfast at your hotel, enjoy a morning tour of Lisbon, including the opportunity to explore the city center, the old quarter of Alfama, as well as the Belem quarter and its monuments including Jeronimos Monastery, the Belém Tower, and the Monument to the Discoveries. This city, the capital of Portugal, is a legendary city with more than 20 centuries of history. Voyages of discovery turned Lisbon into one of the world’s greatest ports and the base of an empire that stretched from Brazil in the West to India in the East. This monumental city features typical tile covered building facades and narrow winding streets. Tonight your welcome to Portugal features a flavorful dinner of local favorites and an unforgettable Fado show, a part of our Cultural Discovery Series. Meaning “destiny” or “fate”, Fado is the urban folk music of Portugal. It thrives today in the country’s bars, taverns and Fado houses for everyone to relish as a global melodic symbol of Portuguese culture and tradition. Sit back and feel free to linger over some port wine and take-in the soulful passion of Portugal via its musical tradition of Fado that is sure to stir the passion in you! (B,D)

Day 4 Lisbon
Today is yours to explore at leisure or embark on a captivating optional excursion to Sintra, Cabo di Roca, Cascais, and Estoril. Your first stop on this fascinating day’s adventures is the historic town of Sintra, where a walking tour takes you to delve into the village’s treasures and includes a tour of the Palacio Nacional de Sintra. Next, it’s on to Cabo da Roca, the westernmost point of Continental Europe where you can sample a Portuguese liquor called Ginjinha. Your day’s activities take you along to the famous resort of Cascais and the cosmopolitan coastal village of Estoril. (B)

Day 5 Lisbon/ Evora - City Tour
As we travel from Lisbon to Evora this morning, we visit a tile factory and take part in an interactive tile painting workshop. As part of our Cultural Discovery Series this workshop will teach us all about Azulejos, the blue-white ceramic tiles, traditionally used in Portugal to decorate the facades of various landmark buildings, churches, and monasteries. Continue to Evora, one of Portugal’s most beautifully preserved medieval towns, a UNESCO World Heritage Site. Your local guide reveals how Evora's Roman ruins, Moorish arcades, and a score of churches and monasteries create a fascinating cultural tapestry; see the Capela dos Ossos, the 15th century Church of Sao Francisco, and the Cathedral of St. Mary. Spend the remainder of the day exploring this enchanting town at your own pace, and discover its labyrinthine streets, picturesque town squares, and a great display of Moorish-inspired arches. (B,D)

Day 6 Evora/Seville - City Tour
After breakfast, journey to Seville, Spain's fourth largest city and the capital of the Andalusia region. Built on the banks of the Guadalquivir River, the city has a rich history with vast Moorish influences and was once a prosperous trading port with the Americas. Take a guided walking tour with visits to the Barrio Santa Cruz (the old Jewish Quarter in Middle Ages) and see the renowned Giralda Bell Tower (once the minaret of a mosque during Seville's Moorish days). Then explore the impressive Gothic Cathedral, one of the world's most beautiful and burial site of Christopher Columbus. Next, take part in our Cultural Discovery Series and visit the interactive Flamenco Dance Museum to learn about the art and evolution of Flamenco. Evening is at leisure for you to further explore this vibrant and colorful city. (B)

Day 7 Seville - Tour of Jerez & Arcos de la Frontera
Today we spend the day exploring the whitewashed villages of Spain’s pueblo blancos. Drive to Jerez de la Frontera, the capital of the Andalusian horse culture, and also one of the largest producers of fine sherry wines. Visit the famous Bodega and learn all about the tradition of producing an aged sherry, and afterwards sample different kinds of this very special Spanish wine. Next, enjoy a spectacular show featuring horses with riders dressed in 18th century costumes performing to stirring music. After some free time and lunch on your own, drive to the quintessential hill town, Arcos de la Frontera, known for its exceptional architecture and impressive location. The old town is a tangled labyrinth of cobbled streets that lead up to a sandstone castle, the Castillo de los Arcos which offers exhilarating views over the town and the rolling plain below. After a walking tour with your guide, enjoy time at leisure, before returning to the hotel late in the afternoon. (B)

Day 8 Seville
Spend the day at leisure or join us on an optional tour to Cordoba where we visit the unparalleled mosque-cathedral, La Mezquita, a symbol of the worldly sophisticated culture that flourished here more than a millennium ago when Cordoba was the capital of Islamic Spain and Europe’s largest cultural and intellectual center. Cordoba was a major seat of Jewish learning in the Middle Ages, and although few Jews have returned to the city since their forced exile from Spain during the Inquisition, the historic Jewish Quarter of Cordoba remains well preserved. Explore the synagogue and view the Maimonides sculpture to get a picture of the Jewish heritage in the city. Return to Seville and join your fellow travelers for a farewell dinner at the hotel. (B,D)

Day 9 Seville to USA or extend your stay with an optional Madrid extension
After breakfast transfer to Seville Airport for your return flight home. (B)

OPTIONAL MADRID EXTENSION
Day 9 Seville/Madrid
Following breakfast you will say farewell to Seville and head to Madrid, Spain's capital city. Upon arrival, check-in onto your hotel and spend the rest of the day at leisure to explore on your own. (B)

Day 10 Madrid - City Tour
After breakfast the highlights of your morning city tour include the magnificent fountains of Neptune and Cibeles, the Alcala Gate, the Plaza de Espana, and a visit to the Royal Palace. The rest of the day is at leisure for some shopping, a visit to the Prado Museum or for a stroll through the gardens of Retiro Park. Tonight you will have the opportunity to join an optional tour including dinner at a local restaurant followed by a flamenco show. (B)

Day 11 Madrid/USA
After breakfast transfer to the airport for your return flight home. (B)


Hotel and itinerary are subject to change.

INCLUDES

  • ROUND TRIP AIR TRANSPORTATION - Air transportation from New York
  • FIRST-CLASS ACCOMMODATIONS - Hotel accommodations for 7 nights
  • SUPERB CUISINE - 10 included meals consisting of 7 buffet breakfasts and 3 dinners
  • SIGHTSEEING TOUR PROGRAM - Sightseeing, including local guide and all entrance fees as follows: City tours of Lisbon, Evora, and Seville as well as tour of Jerez and Arcos de la Frontera including horse show and a visit to Bodega. Optional tours available
  • CULTURAL DISCOVERY SERIES - Our program encompasses cultural connections, in-depth learning on the local economy and social systems, and interaction with locals such as learning about Fado, the traditional form of Portuguese singing, taking part in an interactive tile workshop during a visit at the tile factory, and learning about the art and evolution of Flamenco
  • PROFESSIONAL TOUR DIRECTOR - Assistance of a professional Tour Director for the entire length of the tour upon arrival to Lisbon
  • DELUXE MOTORCOACHES - Touring by private deluxe air-conditioned motorcoach
  • BAGGAGE HANDLING AND TRANSFERS - Baggage handling for one piece of checked luggage outside of the airport

OPTIONAL MADRID EXTENSION TOUR FEATURES
  • FIRST-CLASS ACCOMMODATIONS - Hotel accommodations for 2 night
  • SUPERB CUISINE - 2 included meals consisting of 2 buffet breakfasts
  • SIGHTSEEING TOUR PROGRAM - Sightseeing, including local guide and all entrance fees as follows: Half day tour of Madrid, including the Royal Palace
  • PROFESSIONAL TOUR DIRECTOR - Assistance of a professional Tour Director for the entire length of the tour upon arrival in Madrid
  • DELUXE MOTORCOACHES - Touring by private deluxe air-conditioned motorcoach
  • BAGGAGE HANDLING AND TRANSFERS - Baggage handling for one piece of checked luggage outside of the airport

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