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Costsaver trips are great if you are looking for a budget friendly, semi-independent vacation that is designed with just the basics in mind. Unlike classic tours, Costsaver includes just the essentials including 3-star accommodation (not always centrally located, but close to public transportation for easy access to the center of town), airconditioned motorcoach transportation, an expert Travel Director and Driver. With a basic orientation included in major cities, enjoy the freedom and flexibility to explore the destination at your own pace, or tailor your days on trip with Choice Optional Experiences unique to each itinerary and arranged by your Travel Director.View all CostSaver Tours
Add a dash of emoción to your journey across the Iberian Peninsula, following an enticing trail of tapas, architectural triumphs and centuries-old art on this 13 day adventure through Spain and Portugal. You'll ramble through Barcelona, people-watch in Madrid, and stroll along the golden beaches of Costa del Sol. Other famous highlights along the way include the ancient cave dwellings at Guadix, Lisbon's iconic Belém Tower and the world's greatest Gothic Cathedral in sizzling Seville.
Bienvenido a España! The golden shores of Barcelona kickstart your exhilarating visit to Spain and Portugal. Check in to your hotel, then take some time to recharge siesta-style before meeting your Travel Director and fellow travellers for a glimpse of what lies ahead. There's boundless energy to Barcelona and you'll want to soak it all up on your first evening in the capital of Catalonia.
Gear up for an exciting morning of sightseeing in Barcelona, joining your Local Specialist who knows all the best spots in town. Capture the sights and sounds of La Rambla, Passeig de Gracia and the ornate La Sagrada Família as you tour the city. Spend the rest of your day exploring on your own. Head to the Gothic Quarter or seek out the fanciful façades of Spanish Art Nouveau architect Antoni Gaudí, whose plentiful works of art and architecture lend a fairy-tale feel to Barcelona's skyline. Consider joining an Optional Experience to Montserrat with its hidden monastery, home to the revered La Moreneta, and later opt into a scenic drive of Montjuic, host to the 1992 summer Olympics, before indulging in a delightful Catalonian feast with drinks.
Today we'll skirt along the Costa Dorada, a gleaming strip of the Mediterranean coastline, travelling past expansive orange groves to Peñíscola. You'll see its imposing 13th-century Templar Castle, famed as the dramatic backdrop for the Hollywood classic El Cid. Then continue to Valencia, catching a glimpse of the iconic highlights of this bustling modern metropolis on your orientation tour with your Travel Director. View the Art Nouveau, Train Station Estación del Norte, the Towers of Serrano and Quart. Next, leave the present behind and admire the futuristic ‘City of Arts and Sciences', a cultural complex built into the Turia riverbed.
Today we journey to the foothills of the Sierra Nevada where you'll find a hidden underground world of cave houses. The trogloditas of Guadix live in these ancient man-made dwellings, skilfully carved centuries ago. The only clue to their existence is the white chimneys that rise up from the hills and front doors etched into the rockface. You'll have the chance to capture this curiosity on camera then continue your scenic travels across the Mora Pass to Granada, the last stronghold of the Moors in Spain.
Embrace the laid-back spirit of your Spanish hosts and enjoy a slow start to the day on your Mediterranean tour. Spend your free morning exploring Granada and its Moorish influences on your own. There's even time for a quick tea break at a traditional tetería or you may choose to join an Optional Experience to the Albaicín Quarter, one of the oldest centres of Islamic culture in the city. Later, we head to the golden beaches of the Costa del Sol. Set your watch to siesta time or don your sandals and sunglasses for a leisurely stroll to soak up the fresh sea air. Consider joining an Optional Experience this evening to the hilltop village of Mijas offering stunning views of the coast followed by a delicious Mediterranean meal.
Explore a slice of Britain when you cross the border into Gibraltar, the much-contested gateway to the Mediterranean Sea. Maybe join an Optional Experience to get up close to the Barbary apes and visit the cave of St. Michael at the Rock of Gibraltar, the Roman and Greeks' former pillar of the “known world”. Next, we return to Spain, travelling north through the Andalusian countryside to sizzling Seville.
A Local Specialist is on hand today to reveal Seville's special allure and, standing amidst the pavilions and fountains of Maria Luisa Park, you'll hear all about the elaborate Ibero-American Exposition of 1929 which put this sleepy Spanish city on the global map. See the world's largest Gothic Cathedral and its Giralda Bell Tower, then consider joining an Optional Experience to the Alcázar, built by a Christian king who loved Mudéjar architecture. This lavish palace complex has witnessed key moments in Spanish history and welcomed great Spanish kings and queens over the centuries. After dinner at your hotel tonight, you might consider an Optional Experience to see the whirling skirts and fiery passion of a flamenco show. This foot-tapping extravaganza is not to be missed.
The highlights of your Spain and Portugal value tour just keep on rolling and for now it's adiós Sevilla and a warm olá to Portugal, as we journey through the golden and green plains of the Alentejo to Lisbon. Pastel and azulejo-clad façades line the Portuguese capital's narrow streets which ramble across and over its seven hills from St. George Castle to the Tagus River. You'll be drawn to the city's vibrant nightlife in the Bairro Alto and beyond, so head out with new friends for a night on the town or join your Travel Director for a poignant Optional Experience including a traditional meal accompanied by the authentic sounds of fado.
Visit the banks of the Tagus River this morning, joining a Local Specialist for a guided sightseeing tour that will take you past the iconic Hieronymite Monastery and Belém Tower, built in the 16th century to defend the city. Later, you'll want to hop on one of the city's signature trams to explore the city's hilly bairros or find a corner café to sample some of the local pastries – pasteis de nata anyone? You could choose to leave the city limits behind this afternoon and visit the beach playgrounds of Estoril and Cascais, as well as Sintra, on an Optional Experience of the iconic Golden Triangle – the choice is yours.
Rub shoulders with visiting travellers who have made the journey to the Catholic pilgrimage centre of Fátima. It was here in 1917 that the Virgin Mary is said to have appeared to three shepherd children. Today this humble village has been transformed into a place celebrating a religious miracle. There's time to explore the Basilica and Sanctuary before venturing east and crossing the Spanish border bound for Salamanca where your Travel Director will take you to one of Spain’s most beautiful plazas - Plaza Mayor with its golden baroque facades. Spend the evening your way amidst the historic monuments and honey-hued façades for which this ancient university town is famous.
We leave Salamanca behind, with Madrid firmly in our sights. Our scenic drive takes us through the Sierra de Guadarrama Mountains before arriving in the Spanish capital. With a Local Specialist at your side, you'll embark on a sightseeing tour to view the Cibeles Fountain, Gran Vía and Paseo de la Castellana. Admire views of the Royal Palace and Retiro Park, originally created as a retreat for the Royal Family. The evening is yours to discover why the Madrileños adore their nightlife, so resist the urge to set an early curfew and perhaps join an optional dinner and discovery in downtown Madrid.
There's every excuse to rise with the Madrileños and enjoy a leisurely start to your morning. You'll have a full free day to explore the city your way and discover the legacy of 'Madrid's Best Mayor', which installed Madrid as one of the most gracious capitals across Europe. King Charles III's desire to 'beautify' Madrid can be seen around every turn. Alternatively, you could take an opportunity to join an Optional Experience to the medieval city of Toledo, the country's famous sword-making centre. This evening, you'll celebrate with your fellow travellers as your enchanting journey through the Iberian Peninsula comes to a close.
Keep that Spanish gusto in your step as you prepare to close the curtain on your epic Mediterranean journey through Spain and Portugal. It's time to say a final hasta la vista to your fellow travellers and your Travel Director.
Sign up on tour for additional experiences that have been curated by your Travel Director from their own in-depth local knowledge.
Joined by our Local Specialist, we’ll take a drive to the enchanting and mystical mountain of Montserrat. You’ll feel as though you’ve stepped inside a fairytale as you take in the spectacular scenery and enjoy a tour of the sights, including the Benedictine Monastery where you’ll view the famed Black Madonna.
We'll enjoy the beauty of Barcelona as the day ends, including a drive up to Montjuïc hill with our Local Specialist to experience an incredible panorama over the city with its impressive harbor. Later, we've included free time for dinner in a Catalan restaurant with your newfound friends.
Valencia has a well-preserved medieval centre which our Local Specialist will bring alive as they take us back to the city's heyday, from Roman and Gothic times into the Golden Age, when Valencia was Spain’s most important city. We'll take a leisurely stroll through the medieval streets and also visit Lonja, an exquisite late gothic building, UNESCO-listed since 1996.
We'll delve into the country's third-largest city to enjoy its Mediterranean verve. Vibrant and modern, Valencia still retains much of its past, going back to its Roman foundation 2,000 years ago. The iconic dish "Paella" originated here and tonight we'll learn about its traditions and enjoy this singular Spanish fare during a typical meal in one of the city’s most emblematic restaurants.
Visit this charming hilltop village, perched up high with splendid views of the coastline. With our Local Specialist, we'll traverse its narrow streets, pass white-washed houses and see the oval bullring, with time for hunting hidden gems in the shops. Our evening finishes with a Mediterranean dinner at a coastal restaurant.
With our Local Specialist, we'll enjoy a leisurely walking tour through the Albaicín UNESCO World Heritage Site – a maze of narrow streets and Moorish splendour. You'll explore the Catholic Monarchs' tombs and some of their treasures at the Royal Chapel, and wander through the picturesque Alcaicería quarter.
Experience a tour of the Rock of Gibraltar, one of the pillars of Hercules, by private minibus. With cameras at the ready, you'll be sure to enjoy magnificent views of the meeting of the Atlantic and Mediterranean and the Spanish Sierra. You'll also have the chance to visit St. Michael`s Cave and see the famous Barbary apes for an unforgettable travel experience.
Travelling through Andalusia is all about immersing yourself in the authentic culture of locals. Discover the passion, rhythm and magic of an Andalusian 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.
This evening you’ll discover the magic, rhythm and passion of flamenco, while being served a three-course dinner of Andalusian specialties with drinks included. We've organised tickets to the best show in town. You won't soon forget this incredibly memorable ninety-minute experience.
Travelling through the historic city of Seville you'll be left in awe of gothic architecture, splendid palaces and, of course, dazzling Flamenco shows. But one of the best experiences to add to your bucket list is an evening of traditional tapas. Join us for an evening of mouth-watering taps specialties in the charming old quarter of Seville, sampling different flavours and wins as you dine like a local.
Today, with our Local Specialist, we'll visit the elegant 14th Century Moorish Alcazar, a royal palace set in its own beautiful gardens. The gardens were recently used as the setting for the Water Gardens of Dorne in the Game Of Thrones series thanks to their breathtaking beauty. We'll also journey to the famous exhibition site of Plaza América - a must for any visitor to Seville.
Take on the must-visit sights of Lisbon on this tour, kicking off with your chance to view the exclusive district of Estrela, its lush green park, enchanting Basilica and the Portuguese Parliament before enjoying a delicious gourmet dinner. You'll top off the evening with a drive along the banks of the mighty Tagus River.
Take your tour of Portugal to the next level as you immerse yourself in the culture and tradition of Lisbon with a night on the town. Savour a typical meal with local aperitifs and drinks included as you listen to the melodic sounds of beautiful Fado singing, an expressive musical art with more than 200 years of history. Cancellation within 24 hours will incur a 50% cancellation fee.
Venture outside Lisbon with our Local Specialist to experience some of the region's most wonderful sights. After passing through the fashionable Estoril Coast, explore the picturesque fishing village of Cascais, with its beautiful array of mansions and exclusive residences. To complete the Golden Triangle, we'll visit one of the impressive Royal Palaces of Portugal nestled in the Sintra Mountains.
Take your tour of Spain's capital city to the next level as we scratch beneath the surface of Madrid. Enjoy a tour of some lesser-known sights in Downtown Madrid, before indulging in an “a la carte” meal with musical entertainment. Top off the evening with a spin around beautiful squares and fountains of this magical city.
Explore the UNESCO World Heritage Listed city of Toledo with a Local Specialist, uncovering the culture and enchanting medieval architecture of the ancient capital of Spain. Learn of the Moorish and Jewish cultures in the region, discover why Toledo is famous for Damascene metalworks and visit El Greco’s masterpiece in St Thomas’ church.
Official Languages in Spain and Portugal: Castilian Spanish is the official language of Spain, and Portuguese is the official language of Portugal.
Currency in Spain and Portugal: The Euro (€) is the currency used in Spain and Portugal.
Capital Cities: Madrid (Spain), Lisbon (Portugal)
Time Zones in Spain and Portugal: Central European Time Zone and Central European Summer Time (Spain) and Western European Time Zone and Western European Summer Time (Portugal)
Passport, visa, and entry requirements for Spain and Portugal for US citizens.
Spain has a diverse climate due to its size and geographical variations. In general, the country experiences a Mediterranean climate with hot summers and mild winters. Coastal regions, such as Barcelona and Valencia, enjoy mild winters and hot summers with temperatures reaching 30°C (86°F) or higher. Inland areas, like Madrid, have a more extreme climate, with hot summers and cold winters, sometimes dropping below freezing. The northern regions, such as Bilbao and Santiago de Compostela, have a maritime climate with cooler summers and mild, rainy winters.
Portugal has a Mediterranean climate, with mild, rainy winters and warm, dry summers. The coastal areas experience cooler temperatures compared to the inland regions. Summers are typically hot, with temperatures ranging from 25°C to 35°C, while winters are mild, averaging around 10°C to 15°C. The southern region, particularly the Algarve, tends to be hotter and drier, with temperatures sometimes exceeding 40°C during heatwaves.
On-Tour Luggage & Carry-On Bag Size Limits
Luggage: Each guest traveling may bring one suitcase no larger than 30” x 18” x 10" and weighing no more than 50 lb
Carry-On Bag: *Restricted to one piece per person, not to exceed 12” x 11” x 6”
So your driver and any hotel porters can safely lift and transport your suitcase throughout your vacation, we strongly recommend that you test the weight of your baggage prior to travel. You should be able to lift and comfortably transport it for short distances.
Baggage allowances vary from airline to airline, and you should check with your chosen carrier for details prior to travel.
Packing Tips for Your Tour
Packing for a guided tour will vary depending on the duration of the trip, the time of year, and the activities planned. Here is a general packing list to help you get started:
Medications and First Aid:
Remember to pack light and versatile items that can be mixed and matched for different outfits. Laundry facilities are often available, or you can have your clothes laundered at hotels during your trip. It's also a good idea to pack a small bag or backpack to bring on the coach for day trips and excursions, leaving your larger luggage at the hotel.
American appliances run on 110-120 volts at 60 Hz, while European appliances run on 220-230 volts at 50 Hz.
As a result, American appliances designed for use in the United States (typically 120 volts at 60 Hz) may not be directly compatible with the higher voltage used in European countries. Plugging a 120-volt appliance into a 220-240-volt outlet without the appropriate voltage converter or transformer can cause damage to the appliance or pose safety risks.
If you plan to bring American appliances to Europe, you will need a voltage converter or transformer to change the voltage to 220-240 volts from 110 volts. Additionally, you will likely need a plug adapter to fit the American-style plug into the European power outlets. All of Europe operates on the same two round-pronged outlets (Type C).
It's important to note that not all appliances are compatible with voltage converters, so it's essential to check the labels or user manuals of your devices before using them with a voltage converter. Some electronic devices, such as laptops, smartphones, and camera chargers, are dual voltage and can support 120V and 220-240V, so they may not require a voltage converter, but a plug adapter will still be necessary.
To avoid any issues with electrical compatibility during your travels, consider purchasing appliances specifically designed for the voltage used in the region you'll be visiting or use appropriate voltage converters and plug adapters to ensure the safe operation of your American appliances in Europe.
We recommend purchasing an adapter with a voltage converter so you can pack less. And to pick up any necessary adapters or converters for your electronic devices before departing on your guided tour and bringing them with you.
Hair Dryers in Your Hotel
Hair dryers are common accessories in hotels. Should you want to bring your own, though, you will need to bring an adapter and voltage converter or make sure it is dual voltage by checking the label for INPUT AC 120V - 240V or a switch that can be set to 125V or 250V. Many devices have this feature, so it's worth checking before you travel. If you need a hair dryer during your trip but can't find one in your hotel room, you can inquire with the hotel staff. Many hotels will be able to provide a hair dryer upon request, either at the front desk or through housekeeping.
Air conditioning is commonly available in European hotels, restaurants, and public spaces, especially in major cities and tourist areas, but it is worth noting that the settings will differ from what you are used to in the USA.
However, it's important to note that not all accommodations or historic buildings may have air conditioning, particularly in more traditional or rural settings. Most hotels in Europe can provide a portable fan for additional room cooling if requested. Your Travel Director will be on hand to assist you throughout your trip.
Traveling by coach
Our modern air-conditioned coaches have been selected with your comfort in mind. Your Travel Director will familiarize you with all the onboard features, including a washroom fitted for your convenience and comfort. Regular stops are made to stretch your legs, take refreshments, fill up your water bottles, and use the facilities.
Airport transfers to and from the airport on the first and last days of your tour are complimentary only if you are traveling on a tour operated by Trafalgar, Insight Vacations, or Luxury Gold, and your flight times coincide with the shuttle-coach transfer timings. Learn more about Airport Transfers here.
To enable you to personalize your tour experience, you will find a number of Optional Experiences designed to complement the itinerary. These are designed to offer a deeper insight into the culture and character of the areas to be visited and provide some wonderful highlights to your travels. The optional program is designed to let you experience more of what interests you and to get the most from your vacation without replacing or overlapping with anything included in an itinerary.
The majority of Optional Experiences will be offered to you by your Travel Director at the beginning of your trip. Some may be subject to change, depending on the time you are traveling or local circumstances, including weather and days of the week. Your Travel Director will provide further information.
Usually, most Optional Experiences will be priced in the local currency, but please read through the details of individual optional experiences for specific information. Exact payment options will be advised locally by your Travel Director/Local Representative for each Optional Experience, but in many cases, cash, Visa, MasterCard, and American Express are all accepted.
It is recommended to have travel insurance that covers medical expenses while abroad.
In order to ensure a healthy and enjoyable trip, we strongly suggest that you pack a plentiful supply of any medication you may need while on vacation. Here’s what you need to know about traveling with medications.
Prior to traveling, please notify GET of any disability requiring special assistance or any specific dietary needs that you may have, and we will strive to accommodate these.
It's essential to ensure that your routine vaccinations are up-to-date before traveling to any destination. Routine vaccinations may include vaccinations for measles, mumps, rubella, diphtheria, tetanus, pertussis, polio, and influenza.
When traveling with GET, baggage handling at hotels, service charges, and tips for hotel wait staff (for included meals) will all be taken care of by your Travel Director. There are, however, a few instances where individual tipping is welcome.
It is customary to show appreciation for the insights, stories, and know-how shared with you by the Local Specialists, and we suggest a gratuity equivalent to $1.00-$2.00 USD per person per half day.
Your Coach Driver and Travel Director
The trip cost does not include gratuities for your Travel Director and Driver. At the end of your trip, you may express appreciation to your Travel Director and Driver for their excellent service and the personal attention you received. Gratuities are given at the discretion of each guest, and a suggested amount per person/per day is listed in your travel documents.
For your convenience and ease, there is an option to pre-pay gratuities for the Travel Director and Driver at the time of booking.
It is customary to tip hotel staff for room service delivery if the charge has not already been added to the bill. Where ice machines are not available, and you receive ice from the bar, a small tip to the bartender is always appreciated.
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