Spain and Portugal Grand Tour- XESX

Number of Days: 15
Destination: Europe
Overview
Itinerary
Inclusions
Available Dates
  • If you adore destinations with incredible cuisine, intriguing history and vibrant, energetic citizens, Spain and Portugal need to go on the top of your travel bucket list straight away. Our tour starts in the glorious city of Madrid, and then follows a lingering route among quaint tapas bars and waterside seafood tavernas, spellbinding Moorish buildings and the inimitable Latin ambience of Spain and Portugal's medieval strongholds. We discover UNESCO World Heritage sites in the Old City of Salamanca, Toledo and Segovia; stop over for tastings at local wineries and port distilleries; and take to the trails along the cobbled streets of Grenada, Zaragoza and Seville.

    We also make our way to Andorra, a small principality in the heart of the Pyrenees mountains with a scant population of 85 000 and a fascinating culture that straddles France and Spain. Enjoy free days in Barcelona, Seville and Lisbon, so they may throw caution to the wind, jump in with both feet and experience these cities from their own perspective. This tour truly is a history and culture-packed adventure through the highlights of Spain and Portugal, but we also have a 9 day tour if your short of time to explore these amazing two countries. Our tour coaches are modern, comfortable and air-conditioned, and at each hotel we include free wi-fi in your tour package so you can stay connected and share all your incredible photos and memories with your friends and family while on tour.

     

  • DAY 1: Madrid
    On arrival in Madrid, make your way to the hotel to meet up with your tour leader and other travellers in the tour group. Depending on your arrival time, you may have time to explore Madrid, or relax in the comforts of the hotel. This evening, you get your first taste of Spain with a welcome dinner (included). Enjoy a traditional Spanish meal tonight, where you will sample local food like croquettes, fried shrimp and paella.D

    Accommodation:
    Holiday Inn Madrid - Calle Alcala
    Travelodge Madrid Torrelaguna
    or similar

    DAY 2: Toledo – GranadaThis morning, we leave Madrid and head to the UNESCO World Heritage town of Toledo. You are sure to fall in love with this charming medieval town, with its Gothic architecture and its impressive Cathedral. The tour continues south to the Moorish city of Granada. This afternoon, a walking tour is included. The Arabic influence has left its traces in everything in Granada, and the food is no exception. The use of vegetables such as beans, artichokes, and aubergines is very important. Classic dishes include 'La tortilla del Sacromonte' - a type of omelette made with sweetbreads and ham, gazpacho - cold tomato soup and 'las habas con jamón' - broad beans with meat.B

    Included experiences: Toledo comfort stop to see the Gothic architecture up close. Granada walking tour - witness the Moorish influence in southern Spain

    Accommodation:
    Hotel Juan Miguel
    or similar.

    DAY 3: Ronda – Seville
    Sit back and relax, as we take you on a journey through Andalusia. This area is famous for Flamenco, tapas, matadors and bullfighting. Our first stop is Ronda, which is famous for its ‘Puente Nuevo’ (New Bridge) that divides the city and offers dramatic views of the surrounding countryside. Once you have explored Ronda, we head to Seville for a two night stay in a comfortable hotel. You will have time to freshen up before heading out to see the old town and many other sights on an included walking tour of the city.Seville is famous as the home of tapas - small plates of hot and cold dishes, and the city is known to have 3,000 tapas bars. Pork, fish and seafood figure prominently, with influences from across Europe and Moorish North Africa. Seville is also famous for its Oranges - you can smell the sweet perfume of bitter oranges through the city. Try them as a compote spread over a freshly toasted piece of bread.B,D

    Included experiences: Ronda comfort stop - see the ‘Puente Nuevo’ (New Bridge). Enjoy a walking tour of Seville and witness its many historical buildings

    Accommodation:
    Hotel Sevilla Macarena
    or similar

    DAY 4: Seville - Free dayLegend has it that Seville was founded by Hercules, and it has certainly had a colourful history it was named Hispalis by the Romans and Isbiliya by the Moors. With a full free day, you will have all the time in the world to explore this beautiful and pleasingly compact city. Seville is famous for its flamenco, tapas bars and orange bars. The cobbled streets of the old town make for a pleasing morning stroll, while in the afternoon you may wish to visit the Metropol Parasol for amazing views, the palaces of Alcázar Casa de Pilatos or the Museum of Flamenco.B

    DAY 5: Algarve – Lisbon
    Today we travel to Lisbon, Portugal. Watch the countryside glide past from the comfort of the Our coach. Upon arrival in Lisbon we take you on an orientation tour of the capital, from the imposing Sao Jorge Castle to the pastel colours of the old town, Lisbon has it all. Lisbon is culinary heaven, and its two most famous dishes are salt cod and custard tarts. Saltfish is codfish that has been covered in vast quantities of salt and dried under the hot sun, which means it can be kept for prolonged periods of time. It is then shredded into one of numerous dishes or served as sliced stakes. Pasteis de Nata - soft, sweet, custard tarts, are worth a trip to Portugal in themselves.B,D

    Included experiences: Lisbon orientation tour

    Accommodation:
    Hotel Roma, Lisboa
    or similar

    DAY 6: Lisbon - Free dayToday is your free day to explore Lisbon on your own. See Lisbon's landmarks, including the Monument to the Discoveries and the Belém Tower or discover the hill top district of Bairro Alto, with dozens of restaurants and bars lining the narrow streets and lots to see and do. Fado music is unique to Portugal, and is arguably the oldest urban folk music in the world - you are sure to discover bars in this area playing this type of music.B

    DAY 7: Lisbon – Porto
    We continue our tour of Portugal and enter into Porto - the second largest city and one of the oldest European centres. You tour leader will take you on a driving tour of Porto, where you will see Ponte deLuis - a stunning bridge which crosses the River Douro, the Clerigos Tower and many other famous landmarks. One of Portugal’s famous exports is port wine, which is named after Porto, and you will have the opportunity to taste it this afternoon at the included Port tasting.B

    Included experiences: Porto driving tour - experience Porto and its World Heritage Site historical centre. Port tasting experience - sample the famous Portuguese fortified wine. It is typically a sweet, red wine, often served as a dessert wine. It is availabe in dry, semi-dry, and white varieties.

    Accommodation:
    HF Ipanema Porto
    HF Ipanema Park
    or similar

    Petiscos is the Portuguese version of Spanish tapas - classic dishes include thin pork sandwiches and snails in a herbal broth. From it's colonial past spices are used abundantly in Portugese cooking, especially piri-piri, made from African bird’s eye chili peppers.

    DAY 8: Porto – Salamanca
    It is time to depart Portugal and travel back to Spain, as our journey today takes us through the countryside. Once we arrive into Salamanca, you will have time to freshen up at the hotel and enjoy some free time. We recommend you visit the old town and go up the Cathedral Bell Tower, which offers amazing panoramic views of the town and surroundings. To cap off the evening, we have dinner included, and this is your chance to taste the famous Spanish tapas. Enjoy authentic Spanish tapas tonight, like home made croquettes, Spanish omelette, cold meats, olives, patatas bravas, albóndigas (meatballs) and chorizo.B,D

    Included experiences: Have free time to explore Salamanca, before enjoying a traditional tapas dinner.

    Accommodation:
    Gran Hotel Corona Sol
    or similar

    DAY 9: Avila – Madrid
    This morning we depart Salamanca and travel to Avila, where we take a comfort stop. Avila is notable for its many Romanesque and Gothic churches, and the famous and incredibly well preserved medieval walls. We then continue onto the capital Madrid, where you'll have some free time before we meet up again for dinner this evening.Enjoy a traditional Spanish meal tonight, sample local food like croquettes, fried shrimp and chorizo.B,D

    Included experiences: On our way back to Madrid, we take a comfort stop in the beautiful Medieval walled town of Avila.

    Accommodation:
    Holiday Inn Madrid - Calle Alcala
    Travelodge Madrid Torrelaguna
    or similar

    DAY 10: Segovia - San SebastianThis morning we depart Madrid and make our way to San Sebastian on Spain’s northern coast. Along the way we’ll enjoy a comfort stop in Segovia, a picturesque UNESCO World Heritage Site city which offers the highest concentration of Romanesque churches in Europe, as well as an incredibly well-preserved Roman aqueduct that runs into the heart of the city. Later this afternoon we’ll arrive in San Sebastian, a charming city with a beautiful beach and vibrant nightlife. A foodie’s paradise, San Sebastian is known for its Basque gastronomy, so this evening is best spent exploring the beachfront bars and indulging in pintxo, northern Spain's version of tapa eaten in bars throughout northern Spain. Pintxo is similar to tapas, but is usually served with bread on a skewer or toothpick. The most common ingredients include fish, cold meats, stuffed peppers, tortilla de patatas (Spanish omelette) and croquettes.B

    Included experiences: Explore the historic old town of Segovia, a UNESCO World Heritage Site. Highlights in the old town include the ancient Roman aqueduct, the Alcazar (royal palace) and Segovia Cathedral. Enjoy a night in San Sebastian - relax on the beach and then get to know the locals as you hit the bars for traditional pintxo.

    Accommodation:
    Ibis Irun
    or similar

    DAY 11: Pamplona – Zaragoza
    Our first stop today is Pamplona, the historic city famous for “the running of the bulls” during the San Fermin festival. Packed with history, you’ll have free time to explore the beautiful medieval city centre and see the city walls and citadel. We then head to Zaragoza, enjoying a wine tasting along the way, before taking a walking tour of the city. The city has experienced a long and varied history, with Roman, Moorish, Jewish and Christian communities leaving their marks over the centuries, as seen in the Basílica del Pilar cathedral, Aljafería Islamic palace and the Roman theatre. The Ebro River passes through Zaragoza, and trout caught from the river is a common dish in the city and the surrounding Aragón region. It’s typically pan fried or stuffed with peppers and bacon and grilled.B

    Included experiences: Explore the history of Pamplona, including the Baroque facade of the town hall in Plaza Consistorial, the Gothic church of San Saturnino and Cámara de Comptos (the oldest building in the city, dating from the 13th century).As we make our way from San Sebastian to Zaragoza, we'll drive through popular wine growing regions of northern Spain, and enjoy a tasting of local Spanish wines. Typical Spanish grape varieties include Tempranillo, Garnacha, Albariño and Macabeo.Enjoy a walking tour of Zaragoza and experience the legacy of the many different cultures that have influenced the city’s history. The city centre is compact and easy to walk around; perfect for an evening stroll.

    Accommodation:
    Ibis Zaragoza Centro
    or similar

    DAY 12: Andorra – Barcelona
    On our way to Barcelona we’ll take a comfort stop in Andorra, a tiny independent principality with a population of just 85,000, located between France and Spain in the Pyrenees mountains. We’ll enjoy some free time to explore Andorra la Vella, the highest capital city in Europe and a popular ski resort. Later this afternoon we’ll arrive in the cosmopolitan capital of the Catalonia region, Barcelona. Your tour leader will acquaint you with the city’s vibrant energy with a driving tour, so keep your eyes open for the famous Sagrada Familia cathedral, and some of the spectacular examples of Antoni Gaudi’s eclectic art and architecture. Escalivada is a typical Catalan dish - a salad of roasted aubergine, peppers, tomatoes and onions. Crema Catalana is the region's version of the crème brûlée, flavoured with lemon zest and cinnamon.

    included experiences: Short stop in Andorra - enjoy some free time to explore the sixth-smallest nation in Europe. Barcelona - enjoy a driving tour of this vibrant and diverse city that you can then explore further during your free day tomorrow. You may see La Monumental Bullring, Sagrada Familia, Casa Batllo, Joan Miro Park, Fountain of 3 Rivers, The Venetian towers, Magic Fountain, Poble Espanyol (Spanish Village), Olympic stadium, Port, Christopher Columbus Column, Las Ramblas, and views over the city.B,D

    Accommodation:
    Ibis Meridiana
    or similar

    DAY 13: Barcelona - Free day
    Today is all yours to do with as you please. The best views of the city can be had from Park Guell, and you can take in the panoramic splendour and skyline of Barcelona. The park itself offers a very interesting design which is a product of Anton Gaudi’s challenging architectural visualisations. Barcelona is home to many of Gaudi’s building designs and you could spend the whole day simply locating each one. One of his most famous works is that of the unfinished Sagrada Familia - an interpretation of a Gothic cathedral which is unlike any building you will have ever seen. You can’t miss it from Park Guell, or most other vantage points in the city. Harbour tours, La Ramblas, the ‘Old Town’, museums, art galleries and some of Europe’s best shopping - there is much to do in this incredible city. If you wish to participate in our optional excursion, we can organise tickets for you to see a traditional Flamenco show. The dance of passion is performed with style, flair and energy, and is a real experience not to be missed.B

    DAY 14: Peniscola – Valencia
    Leaving Barcelona behind we’ll make our way south down the coast towards Valencia, stopping off along the way in Peniscola. With a historic old town, beautiful promenade and sandy beach overlooked by an imposing castle built by the Knights Templar, there are few more picturesque places in Europe to enjoy a lunch stop. Once we’ve arrived in Valencia we’ll enjoy an orientation tour of this thriving port city, which retains plenty of historic charm despite the decades of development that have given it a distinct space-age feel. As our last night on tour, we’ll round off the day with a farewell paella dinner this evening. Valencia is known as the birthplace of paella, a rice dish with ancient roots that originated in its current form in the 1800s. Although paella is often served around the world as ‘mixed’ with both meat and seafood, Valencians insist that only the original recipe, consisting of just seafood, is authentic.B,D

    Included experiences: Enjoy a lunch stop in picturesque Peniscola, a fortified seaport on a rocky headland with only a narrow strip of land connecting it to the mainland. The castle was built in the early 14th century and served as the home of the Avignon pope Benedict XIII from 1415 to 1423. Orientation tour of Valencia - experience the bold architecture (both contemporary and art nouveau) - see the City of Arts and Sciences complex, Colón Market, Turia Gardens and the Cathedral. Enjoy a fabulous farewell dinner on our last night on tour, featuring paella in the city where this classic dish is so revered.

    Accommodation:
    Eurostars Rey Don Jaime,
    or similar

    DAY 15: Valencia – Madrid
    Enjoy some free time this morning to explore Valencia - why not visit the cathedral or stroll through the Turia River Bed Gardens? Our journey then continues through the historic La Mancha region, made famous by the legend of Don Quixote. Later, we’ll explore Castillo de Belmonte, with entrance to this medieval castle included in your tour package. The interiors are dominated by spectacular stucco works in the Gothic and Moorish styles, and a beautiful Neo-Gothic courtyard. Later this afternoon we’ll arrive back in Madrid for the end of the tour. Visit Belmonte castle, with entrance included in your tour package. This beautifully restored medieval castle was built in the 15th century on the hill of San Cristobal.B

    Included experiences: Enjoy some free time this morning to explore Valencia. Explore the Old Town (where all the sights are conveniently within walking distance), or visit the biggest fresh-produce market in Europe, Mercado Central.

    Includes: Meals as per itinerary B = Continental breakfast, L = Light lunch, D = Welcome and other specified dinners.

  • 14 Night accomodation

    Activities included as per itinerary. Meals included as per itinerary.

    Includes: Meals as per itinerary B = Continental breakfast, L = Light lunch, D = Welcome and other specified dinners. 

  • Available Dates

    • $3450 pp twin share. Single supplement + $2295.

    Ref: XESX

    29-Sep-2018 13-Oct-2018

    $3,450.00 Book Now

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    01-Sep-2018 15-Sep-2018

    Fully Booked

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    04-Aug-2018 18-Aug-2018

    $3,450.00 Book Now

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    07-Jul-2018 21-Jul-2018

    $3,450.00 Book Now

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    09-Jun-2018 23-Jun-2018

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