Highlights of Spain & Portugal Winter 2016-2017

14 Days from $2,050 per person

This trip shows Spain and Portugal at their best – the Hanging Houses of Cuenca, Alhambra Palace, the historic port of Cádiz and vibrant cities like Madrid, Valencia and Lisbon. 

You'll enjoy Insider moments like… finding out why a metal feather-plumed opera house, eye-shaped planetarium and ‘water lily' aquarium emerged from a riverbed, as you walk around Valencia, City of Arts and Science.

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Tour Pace: Active
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  1. Board your overnight flight to Europe (not included).
  2. Welcome to Madrid, the capital of Spain. Relax or take a stroll along tree-lined boulevards before meeting up with your fellow travelers and Travel Director. Enjoy an evening drive to take in some of the city's main sights followed by a Welcome Reception.
    hotel:Ayre Gran Colon
  3. In Cuenca view the hanging houses, built on the edge of the cliffs over the deep gorge. On arrival in Valencia your orientation drive will include views of the Towers of Serrano and Quart. Stop to view the City of Arts and Sciences, which is a large-scale urban recreation center for culture and science and designed by Santiago Calatrava. This complex is also featured in the George Clooney movie 'Tomorrowland'. Tonight why not sample paella, a specialty from this region?

    hotel:Silken Puerta Valenica
  4. Travel inland through the ‘sierras' to view the troglodyte cave dwellings at Guadix. Cave houses are common throughout the province of Granada but the highest concentration is in Barrio Santiago region of Guadix. Take the jagged Mora Pass to the Moorish city of Granada. Dine tonight in a local restaurant for a special Regional Meal.
    meal(s):BB, RM
  5. Your Local Specialist takes you on a visit to the incredible Alhambra Palace, built in the 14th century and a magnificent example of Moorish architecture. Admire the ancient stucco, quiet courtyards and colossal walls. In Córdoba visit the Cathedral Mosque of Córdoba, the former mosque of the caliphs, a jewel of Hispano – Islamic art featuring striking arches and Byzantine mosaics with a Local Specialist. Later arrive in Seville, your home for the next three nights.
    meal(s):BB, DW
    hotel:Melia Lebreros
  6. See the Giralda Bell Tower with your Local Specialist during your sightseeing tour of Seville. Visit the Maria Luisa Park, the centrepiece of the 1929 Exposition, built in a Moorish style and featuring half a mile of fountains, ponds, pavilions and lush plantings, and walk through the imposing Plaza de España. Visit the largest Gothic cathedral in the world, where the explorer Christopher Columbus is entombed. Tonight why not experience the passion of the flamenco?

  7. Start your day in Jerez and gain a Cultural Insight into sherry production which is renowned in this region. Later visit the historic port city of Cádiz. Columbus departed from here on many of his voyages, and the exotic plants and trees dotted throughout the city are said to have been brought here by him upon his return. Once home to the vast Spanish Navy, Cádiz was raided by Sir Francis Drake a year prior to the 1588 Spanish Armada departure. This evening experience a unique Be My Guest dinner at an authentic ranch with views over the Andalusian countryside.
    meal(s):BB, BG
  8. Cross the border into southern Portugal for a leisurely afternoon on the sunny Algarve. Spend time relaxing on the beach or take a stroll along the harbor of Vilamoura.
    meal(s):BB, DW
    hotel:Pestana Vila Sol Algarve
  9. See the Serra de Arrabida mountains on the way to Lisbon. On your included sightseeing with a Local Specialist visit the UNESCO World Heritage site of the Hieronymite Monastery as well as seeing the Belém Tower. Tonight why not sample a traditional fado show?
    hotel:Olissippo Marques De Sa
  10. Enjoy a relaxing free day to explore all of Lisbon's attractions. Why not visit the lively Rossio Square where street cafes overlook the baroque fountains or the Alfama district with its medieval alleyways and outstanding views? Later perhaps join an Optional Experience to the historic towns of Cascais and Sintra.
  11. A scenic drive north through the magnificent Serra d'Aire Mountains brings you to the Shrine at Fátima, site of celebrated religious miracles. Cross the border back into Spain and arrive later in Salamanca where you view Plaza Mayor during your orientation tour.
    hotel:Gran Corona Sol
  12. See the walled city of Ávila before arriving in Toledo. Visit the Church of Santo Tomé, home to one of El Greco's most famous paintings – The Burial of Count Orgaz. Visit the synagogue during your guided walk through the narrow streets with your Local Specialist. Enjoy a Cultural Insight into the historical steel industry while watching local craftsmen at work. Later arrive in Madrid, your home for the next two nights.
    hotel:Ayre Gran Colon
  13. This morning join your Local Specialist for a sightseeing tour of Madrid where you will see the Royal Palace, Puerta del Sol and the Cervantes Monument. This afternoon enjoy free time to explore the city or you can take an Optional Experience to the medieval UNESCO World Heritage City of Segovia. This evening join your fellow companions and Travel Director for a Farewell Dinner.
    meal(s):BB, FD
  14. Say ‘adios' to your traveling companions, your Travel Director and these beautiful countries at the end of a memorable vacation. Airport transfers are available. Conditions apply.

30 Day Refund Guarantee

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.

Add air to your reservation

Let our Air Specialists handle your air reservations. We have direct access to the most current airfare routes and prices, so you’ll get the best value available when we book your flights. We never charge a booking fee and you’ll enjoy the flexibility to pay for air 60-90 days prior to departure.

  • Professional Travel Director Professional Travel Director
  • Sightseeing with Local Experts Sightseeing with Local Experts
  • Expertly Selected Hotels Expertly Selected Hotels
  • Cultural Enrichment Cultural Enrichment
  • 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

Meal Summary

12 nights’ accommodation, 12 hot buffet breakfasts, 6 dinners (including Be My Guest).

Included Highlights

Hidden Treasure

  • City tour in Cordoba, Seville, Lisbon, Toledo and Madrid.
  • Orientation of Valencia, Cadiz, the Algarve Region and Salamanca.
  • Visit the Alhambra Palace in Granada, Cathedral Mosque in Cordoba, Seville Cathedral, the Hieronomyte Monastery in Lisbon, the Shrine at Fatima, Plaza Mayor in Salamanca, Santo Tome and Synagogue in Toledo.
  • View the Hanging Houses of Cuenca, the Towers of Serrano and Quart, the City of Arts and Sciences in Valencia and The Cave Houses of Guadix.

Your Insider Experiences

  • Local Specialist: For included sightseeing in Granada, Córdoba, Seville, Lisbon, Toledo and Madrid.
  • Cultural Insight: Enjoy a sherry tasting in Jerez. Visit an inlaid steel factory in Toledo, see local craftsmen at work.
  • Be My Guest: Traditional dinner on a ranch in the Andalusian countryside near the white-washed village of Gerida.
Definite Departure
Depart Date Return Date Price Discount AvailabilityPrice
12 Nov 16 25 Nov 16 checkmark $2,275pp
3 Dec 16 16 Dec 16 checkmark $2,275pp
$2,275 pp
17 Dec 16 30 Dec 16 checkmark $2,350pp
$2,350 pp
22 Dec 16 4 Jan 17 checkmark $2,450pp
$2,450 pp
26 Dec 16 8 Jan 17 checkmark $2,395pp
$2,395 pp
14 Jan 17 27 Jan 17 checkmark $2,050pp
$2,050 pp
4 Feb 17 17 Feb 17 $2,050pp
$2,050 pp
11 Feb 17 24 Feb 17 $2,050pp
$2,050 pp
18 Feb 17 3 Mar 17 $2,175pp
$2,175 pp
25 Feb 17 10 Mar 17 $2,175pp
$2,175 pp
11 Mar 17 24 Mar 17 checkmark $2,275pp
$2,275 pp
25 Mar 17 7 Apr 17 checkmark $2,295pp
$2,295 pp

Solo Traveler Discount: These departures include 40-100% discount on our standard single supplement. 

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 $300.

Gratuities: Option to pre-pay gratuities for Travel Director and Driver $100 per person.

Christmas & New Year's Eve Highlights: The December 18th, 2016 departure will celebrate Christmas in Lisbon. The December 23rd, 2016 departure will celebrate Christmas in Granada and New Year's Eve in Lisbon. The December 27th, 2016 departure will toast New Year's Eve in Seville. Each of these specially arranged festive meal celebrations will replace one of the included meals featured in the itinerary.

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

Early Payment Discount: Pay in full to save the amount listed above. For details, click here.

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.

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

  • 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.


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