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Highlights of Spain & Portugal

Operated By:
Tour Pace: Comfortable
Flamenco Dresses, Madrid, Spain
Tour Style: First Class
14 Days from $2,453 per person

Kick off your Iberian adventure in Madrid before heading to the hanging houses in Cuenca and devouring delicious paella in Valencia. See the troglodyte cave dwellings at Guadix, the 14th century Alhambra Palace and passionate Flamenco in Seville before heading to Portugal's Algarve, its hilly capital, Lisbon, and Fátima, site of celebrated religious miracles.

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  1. Board your overnight flight to Europe (not included).
  2. On arrival at Madrid Airport transfers will operate at 10.30am, 1.00pm and 3.30pm. Guests arriving later should make their own way to the hotel. Embrace la buena vida and soak up the passionate atmosphere of Madrid's vibrant streets before joining your fellow travelers and Travel Director for a Welcome Reception and orientation of the city's glorious sights as the sun sets on the capital.

    meal(s):WR
    hotel:NH Collection Eurobuilding
  3. Witness the dramatic honey-coloured clifftop hanging houses of Cuenca during our first stop today before we journey to Valencia. An orientation drive will include views of the 15th century Towers of Serrano and Quart, and the City of Arts and Sciences.
    meal(s):BB
    hotel:Silken Puerta
  4. Meandering through the sierra of Spain, we arrive in Guadix. Witness how generations of Guadix locals have carved cozy abodes into their rocky surrounds, then travel through the jagged Mora Pass to Granada. This evening, sample the hearty flavors of Andalusia during a special Regional Meal at a local restaurant.
    meal(s):BB, RM
    hotel:Occidental
  5. Tread in the footsteps of Spain's last emirs, joining your Local Specialist for a visit to the incredible Alhambra Palace, built in the 14th century. Soak up the tranquil atmosphere in quiet courtyards, follow its colossal ancient walls and admire the ornate stone carvings. We leave Granada behind for Córdoba where we'll join a Local Specialist to visit the mesmerising Cathedral Mosque of Córdoba, the former mosque of the caliphs and a jewel of Hispano-Islamic art featuring striking arches and Byzantine mosaics. Our final stop for the day is beguiling Seville, our home for the next three nights.
    meal(s):BB, DW
    hotel:Meliá Lebreros
  6. Seville takes center stage today as we spend the day exploring this charismatic city. We'll see the symbolic Giralda Bell Tower in the company of a Local Specialist, then visit the Maria Luisa Park. We'll walk through the imposing Plaza de España and visit the largest Gothic Cathedral in the world, where the explorer Christopher Columbus is entombed. Perhaps witness the twirling of colorful skirts and rhythmic clapping of castanets this evening at a fiery flamenco performance.
    meal(s):BB
  7. We indulge in the aromatic flavors of Jerez today as we gain a Cultural Insight into the centuries-old tradition of Spanish sherry production. The leafy boulevards and quiet plazas of romantic Cádiz are our next stop.
    meal(s):BB
  8. We journey from Spain to the sun-kissed shores of southern Portugal's Algarve, a retreat for sun-worshippers with its spectacular natural landscapes and fascinating heritage.
    meal(s):BB, DW
    hotel:Agua Riverside
  9. Travel north to the Serra de Arrábida mountains and the golden landscapes of the Alentejo where you'll enjoy a delicious Be My Guest lunch at a traditional Stud Ranch where Lusitano horses have been reared since the 18th century. We arrive in the seafaring Portuguese capital of Lisbon this afternoon where we'll join a Local Specialist for a sightseeing tour of the spectacular 16th century Hieronymite Monastery, and Belém Tower, built as a tribute to Vasco da Gama's journey of discovery.
    meal(s):BB, BG
    hotel:Olissippo Marques De Sa
  10. Meander through the cobblestone lanes of Lisbon's Bairro Alto and the grand shopping boulevards that stretch from the shores of the Tagus and Lisbon Baixa to Rossio. Today is yours to embrace the charm of the Portuguese capital. Consider joining an Optional Experience to the historic towns of Cascais and Queluz.
    meal(s):BB
  11. Follow the road taken by pilgrims over the last 100 years to the Shrine at Fátima, site of celebrated religious miracles. We leave Portugal, traveling to the historic Spanish city of Salamanca where we will view its 18th century Plaza Mayor during our orientation tour.
    meal(s):BB
    hotel:Gran Corona Sol
  12. See the walled city of Ávila, the town of stones and saints, so named for its vast collection of Romanesque and Gothic churches. We arrive in the clifftop city of Toledo where we'll visit the Church of Santo Tomé, home to one of El Greco's most famous paintings – The Burial of Count Orgaz. Join a Local Specialist for a guided walk through the quaint streets and see the oldest synagogue building still standing in Europe. Later enjoy a Cultural Insight into the historical steel industry while watching local craftsmen at work. We arrive in Madrid this evening, our home for the next two nights.
    meal(s):BB
    hotel:Ayre Gran Colon
  13. This morning we join a Local Specialist for a sightseeing tour of Madrid where you will see the Royal Palace, Puerta del Sol and the Cervantes Monument with its stone representations of Don Quixote's "true love". Spend the rest of the afternoon exploring the city on your terms. This evening marks the end of our memorable journey through the Iberian Peninsula. Join your fellow companions and Travel Director for a Farewell Dinner.
    meal(s):BB, FD
  14. For now it's time to say a fond adios to Spain and Portugal at the end of a memorable vacation. Return transfers on the last travel day will arrive at Madrid Airport at 8.30am and 11.00am. Conditions apply.

    meal(s):BB
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We promise you’ll enjoy a stress-free travel experience from the minute you start your vacation planning or we’ll refund your deposit. Make your reservation with a $350 deposit. If you change your mind for any reason within 30 days of booking, we’ll offer you a full refund.
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2019 Departures
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  • Festive Celebrations: Christmas and/or New Year Celebrations have been arranged for these departures.
  • Solo Traveler Discount: This departure includes a 25-100% discount on standard single supplement subject to availability.
  • 2019 Departures: are subject to change of itinerary, price, discount and hotels.

Price is per person and is based on two people sharing a twin bedded room. Single rooms are available at a supplement.

Single Room Supplement: from $550 p.p.

Triple Room Discount: $40 p.p.

Gratuities: Option to pre-pay gratuities for Travel Director and Driver $127 per person.

Airport transfers: Transfers on arrival at Madrid Airport will operate at 10:30 am, 1:00 pm and 3:30 pm. Guests arriving later should make their own way to the first hotel. Return transfers from the last hotel will arrive at Madrid Airport at 8:30 am and 11:00 am.

AARP Members are entitled to an exclusive Member Benefit Discount on all Grand European Travel vacations. Plus receive a free travel gift!  Call Toll Free: 1-866-847-3858 for details.

Frequent Travelers: Save an additional 5% off the price of the vacation.

  • Professional Travel Director Professional Travel Director
  • Sightseeing with Local Experts Sightseeing with Local Experts
  • VIP Access VIP Access
  • WIFI on Coach and in Hotels WIFI on Coach and in Hotels
  • Personal Flight Options Personal Flight Options
  • Most Meals Most Meals
  • Hotel Tips Hotel Tips
  • Expertly Selected Hotels Expertly Selected Hotels
  • Cultural Enrichment Cultural Enrichment

Meal Summary

12 nights, 12 hot buffet breakfasts, 1 lunch, 5 dinners, On-trip transport, .

Included Highlights

Be My Guest

  • Saddle up for a superb stud farm visit, the tragic story of unrequited love and a traditional home-cooked lunch with Tiago and Vera in Portugal's beautiful Alentejo

Cultural Insight

  • Sample the famous sherry tradition in the southern Spanish city of Jerez, that has been making wine since the 7th century. The invincible swords of Toledo have defended cities for centuries. Visit an inlaid steel factory in Toledo to see local craftsmen forging the highest quality steel

Local Specialist

  • For included sightseeing in Granada, Córdoba, Seville, Lisbon, Toledo and Madrid

Hidden Treasure

  • Enjoy at least one surprise Hidden Treasure

Sightseeing Highlights

  • City tour in Córdoba, Seville, Lisbon, Toledo, Madrid
  • Orientation of Valencia, Cadiz, the Algarve Region, Salamanca
  • Visit the Alhambra Palace in Granada, Cathedral Mosque in Córdoba, Seville Cathedral, the Hieronomyte Monastery in Lisbon, the Shrine at Fátima, Plaza Mayor in Salamanca, Santo Tomé, Synagogue in Toledo
  • View the Hanging Houses of Cuenca, the Towers of Serrano and Quart and the City of Arts and Sciences complex designed by Santiago Calatrava in Valencia, The Cave Houses of Guadix

Reviews

Friday, July 28, 2017
Service:
Vacation:
Service rating : Hotel accommodations, photo opportunities, additional activities, and "ears" added to the overall experience. The tour director and local guides were all excellent and provided travelers with a plethora of information. Everything was well planned and executed. Definitely a five star trip.
Vacation : Excellent overview of Spain and Portugal
  • U.S. citizens traveling to Spain and Portugal must have a current passport valid for six months beyond the conclusion of their trip. You can find information on how to apply for a passport here, and how to renew a passport here. No visa is required for U.S. citizens visiting Spain and Portugal.

  • The currency in Spain and Portugal is the Euro (€).  While it’s a good idea to bring some money for when you first arrive, you’ll usually find a better exchange rate in your destination.  The most convenient way to obtain cash is to use your ATM card at local banks in Spain and Portugal. We recommend you also bring a valid credit card for purchases while you are traveling.  It is important that you inform your financial institutions of your travel plans before you leave home so they don’t flag your purchases as potentially fraudulent charges.

  • Spain offers a delicious selection of cured hams, chorizo sausage, seafood, cheeses, and more.  Try traditional dishes such as tortilla española (Spanish omelet), paella, and desserts such as flan, churros, and Catalan cream. For a quick lunch at a reasonable price, stop by a café or food cart for a bocadillo, a traditional Spanish sandwich made with baguette-style bread, ham and cheese.  In the evening, try a selection of tapas – small bites served in bars and restaurants that can be enjoyed as an appetizer or a meal. 

    With Portugal’s long coastline, seafood is featured prominently on their menus. Popular dishes include sopa de mariscos (a shellfish soup) and bacalhau (dried codfish), and Portuguese grilled chicken prepared with chili, garlic and olive oil. For dessert, don’t miss out on the famous pastéis de nata custard pastry or arroz dolce (rice pudding) and a glass of port wine. 

  • We suggest bringing a variety of lightweight clothing items that can be layered to save space in your suitcase.  This will also give you many options for how to dress in Spain and Portugal’s varying climates. It’s a good idea to bring a lightweight scarf to wear at religious sites and in the evening when temperatures cool off. For more helpful information please refer to our Packing Tips & Packing List.

  • Tipping in Spain and Portugal is much less common than in the U.S. When dining out, it’s appreciated, although not required, to leave a few extra euros for your server, and up to 10 percent for particularly good service.  Leave your tip on the table rather than adding it to your credit card slip to ensure that your waiter receives it. 

    At the end of your guided vacation, it’s customary to offer your motor coach driver and Travel Director a gratuity. We recommend €3.00 per person/per day for your driver and €5.00 per person/per day for your Travel Director.  Recommended gratuity for a Local Host and Local Specialist is 1-2 euros per person, paid at the conclusion of each guided visit.  A convenient option is to prepay your tips before your departure.

  • Baggage on our trips is restricted to one large suitcase per person with dimensions not exceeding 30x19x10 inches and a maximum weight of 50 pounds. You are also permitted one piece of hand luggage, which should be small enough to fit under your coach seat or on the small overhead shelf compartment. Please note that luggage with an adjustable handle and wheels will not fit in the overhead compartment of the coach. Hotel porterage is included in your vacation.

  • You will need to be comfortable on your feet, walking and standing for up to three hours in various weather conditions.  All of our vacations involve walking, often on cobblestone and uneven surfaces in historic city centers.  In order to get the most out of your vacation you need to be able to comfortably walk 1-3 miles unassisted in one day, be in good condition and be able to keep pace with the group. 

    If you need any medications, it is important that you bring enough to last you the whole trip and keep them in your carry-on bag while you travel.

  • We highly recommend our optional Travel Protection Plan, which allows you to cancel for any reason up to 48 hours before departure. The plan also includes trip interruption, baggage loss or delay, and medical and emergency assistance. Click here for a summary of coverage details, terms and conditions.

Optional Experiences are subject to change. Your Travel Director will supply you with a final list of Optional Experiences available on your trip. Optional Experiences cannot be booked online; they can be purchased during your trip through your Travel Director.

Algarve

Wonders of the Algarve

Adult Price: € 34

Your opportunity to experience the coastal Algarve region, with wonderful photo opportunities at Ponta da Piedade. Next, we'll walk around Lagos and then to photogenic Praia da Rocha before you’ll enjoy free time in one of the well-known yachting marinas. This is a fully-guided tour.

Granada

Gypsy Night Out in Old Granada

Adult Price: € 34

Enjoy an evening in Granada’s old quarter, which offers the finest views over the illuminated Alhambra Palace. We’ve organised tickets for you to see the Zambra dances by Sacromonte's famous gypsies – a fiery, emotive performance unique to this part of Spain. And we've also included a drink, too.

Lisbon

Gourmet Dinner, Parliament, Exclusive Estrela and Evening Orientation

Adult Price: € 53

Your opportunity to enjoy the exclusive district of Estrela, its park, basilica and the Portuguese Parliament, on the way to a delicious gourmet dinner. You’ll finish the evening with a drive along the banks of the mighty River Tagus.

Portuguese Fado Evening Of Music & Song With Dinner

Adult Price: € 65

An evening's entertainment Portuguese style. You’ll savour a typical meal with local aperitifs and wines and hear beautiful, traditional Fado singing.

Seafood Dinner By The Tagus River

Adult Price: € 53

Take a ferry across the mighty Tagus River and enjoy typical Portuguese seafood and fish specialities at a local restaurant. After dinner, we’ll cross the impressive Suspension Bridge for a sweeping view over the Portuguese capital.

The Golden Triangle: Sintra, Cascais & The Estoril Coast

Adult Price: € 46

We'll visit the impressive Royal Palace of Sintra before passing through the fashionable resort of Estoril. Then, we'll explore the picturesque fishing village of Cascais, with its beautiful array of mansions and exclusive residences.

Madrid

Dinner and Discovery in Old and New Madrid

Adult Price: € 61

This evening you'll have the chance to admire the elegance of Madrid's new city, with its wide, tree-lined avenues and decorative fountains, before you experience the flavour of the old. Join the locals in a chat, and people-watch as you sip an aperitif before enjoying a delicious dinner.

Segovia World Heritage Site - Its Ancient Aqueduct & Fairy-tale Castle

Adult Price: € 45

Enjoy a visit to Segovia, a UNESCO World Heritage Site which sits on a rocky outcrop between two rivers. With your Local Specialist, you’ll visit the 13th-century castle, reputed to have inspired Walt Disney, as well as seeing the best-preserved Roman aqueduct which has remained intact for 2,000 years.

Seville

The Moorish Alcazar And Plaza America

Adult Price: € 38

On this trip, you’ll begin with a visit to the elegant Moorish Alcazar, set in its own beautiful gardens. You'll then journey to the famous exhibition site of Plaza America which is a must for any visitor to Seville.

Discover The Origin Of "Tapas" & Evening In Old Seville

Adult Price: € 53

Join us for a dinner of mouth-watering tapas-style specialties. You’ll get the chance to taste different flavours and wines, before taking an atmospheric evening stroll through the charming old quarter of Seville.

Flamenco: Experience the Best Show in Town with a Drink

Adult Price: € 40

Discover the passion, rhythm and magic of an Andalucian flamenco show with us this evening. We've organised tickets to the best show in town, where you’ll experience 90 minutes of memorable entertainment with an included drink.

Flamenco, the best show in town with a three-course dinner

Adult Price: € 69

After a three-course dinner of Andalucian specialities, you’ll discover the passion, rhythm and magic of flamenco this evening. We've organised tickets to the best show in town, where you’ll experience 90 minutes of memorable entertainment with an included drink.

Valencia

Paella Experience

Adult Price: € 50

Spain's famous rice dish "The Paella" originated inValencia. This evening, we'll travel to a seafront restaurant where we'll sample several of its many variations. We'll also enjoy great beach views and a drive through the new yachting marina, home of the America's Cup 2007.

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