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Transfers leave Madrid airport for your hotel at 09:00, 11:00, 13:30 and 16:00. Join your Travel Director at 18:00 for a delicious Welcome Dinner and the chance to get to know your fellow travellers.(Dinner with Wine)
With your Local Expert travel down the beautiful boulevards to the Cibeles Fountain on the wide Paseo de la Castellana. Cross the Puerta del Sol and see the monument to Cervantes in the Plaza de España. A sure highlight is when you join an art historian to explore the Prado Museum, a magnificent palace housing works by Velazquez, Goya, Rubens and other masters. Journey past the walls of Ávila en route to Salamanca, with its honey-coloured cathedral and 16th century university buildings.(Breakfast)
Cross the Portuguese frontier and skirt the Estrela Mountains en route to Fátima. Join the pilgrims flocking into the great basilica commemorating the miraculous appearance of the Virgin Mary to three young shepherds in 1917. Your travels continue to Lisbon.(Breakfast)
Exploring with a Local Expert takes you along the avenues of the Lower Town to the Terreiro do Paço with a visit to the Belém Quarter. Enjoy a taste of the famous Pastéis de Belém from a traditional patisserie that has managed to hold on to the secret recipe of Portugal's finest pastry for almost 200 years. View the modern Monument to the Discoveries and the more ancient Belém Tower, a fortress that was originally set in the middle of the river but with receding waters, now sits on the riverbank. Visit the 500-year-old Jerónimos Monastery with its Manueline architecture, a UNESCO World Heritage Site. The afternoon is free for you to explore further as you wish.(Breakfast)
Journey to Seville to join your Local Expert for a tour of the immense Seville Cathedral, burial place of Christopher Columbus. See the slender Giralda Tower, the former minaret of the Great Mosque and now the cathedral's belltower. Continue your exploration through the labyrinthine narrow streets and shady squares of the Santa Cruz Quarter, emerging beside the great walls of the Alcazar.(Breakfast)
This day is yours to completely relax or continue exploring this fascinating city. Perhaps join an Optional Experience to Córdoba and visit the magnificent Mezquita, an 8th century mosque with a Christian cathedral built inside it? Enjoy an evening of food and wine while you are entertained by throbbing guitars, lamenting solos, colourful dancers and the rhythmic stomp of flamenco.(Breakfast / Dinner with Wine)
Set sail across the Straits of Gibraltar to reach Morocco - a land of musky spices and colourful souks. Your travels continue to Fes, Morocco’s most ancient imperial city.(Breakfast / Dinner)
Your Local Expert will guide you through the ancient Medina. Explore this walled city of hidden courtyards, mosques and workshops. Walk through the souks and pass one of the world’s oldest universities. Learn about the ancient craft of carpet making and gain an insight into the motifs and colours used in the designs. Then you are at leisure to continue exploring as you wish, or perhaps cool off with a dip in the pool at your hotel.(Breakfast)
See the Middle Atlas Mountains and mud-walled villages as you journey to Marrakesh.(Breakfast)
An exploration with your Local Expert will show you the Medina with its many souks and the Koutoubia Minaret dominating the skyline. Visit the intricately decorated Palais Bahia, intended to be the greatest palace of its time when it was built in the late 19th century.(Breakfast / Dinner)
Journey to the west coast of Africa to reach Casablanca. Discover if Humphrey Bogart really did say 'Play it again Sam' during sightseeing with your Local Expert. You will also see Hassan II Mosque, the largest mosque in the country and the très chic seaside strip, known as the Corniche, lined with trendy restaurants and cafes.(Breakfast / Dinner)
Travel north to Rabat, to see the Royal Palace and Hassan Tower with your Local Expert. Your journey continues to Morocco’s great port of Tangier, overlooking the Straits of Gibraltar. Here you will enjoy beautiful views where the Atlantic meets the Mediterranean. After dinner, you are at leisure to relax in the comfortable surroundings of your hotel or take a stroll along the Bay of Tangier.(Breakfast / Dinner)
Cross the water to Spain and continue on to Gibraltar, an overseas territory under British control since 1704. Meet your Local Expert for a guided tour of the Rock of Gibraltar, St. Michael’s Cave and see the Barbary Apes, legendary guardians of the colony. Travel through the green hills to the north of Costa del Sol, which translates to Coast of the Sun, to the white-washed village of Mijas. Stroll through the old streets and gardens and take in the views of the coast. Relax as you are driven along the scenic route, passing exclusive resorts where the rich and famous holiday.(Breakfast)
Enjoy the following day at leisure on the sun-drenched Costa del Sol. Relax by the blue Mediterranean waters, stroll along the promenade, savour the specialities in the local restaurants or consider exploring Malaga, the birth city of Picasso.(Breakfast)
Travel to the oldest olive grove in the region and stop at the rural mill-factory of Almazara to taste a selection of different oils with locally made farmer bread. Continue to Alfarnatejo, a quiet town with a population of just 500 people and surrounded by stunning mountainous landscape. Walk the town centre to see the 18th century Iglesia del Santo Cristo de Cabrilla. In small groups, you are invited into the home of a local family to join them for a delicious Highlight Lunch made of fresh, local produce with flavours typical of the region. Continue to Granada, where overlooking the town stands one of the most remarkable fortresses ever built, the Alhambra. Led by your Local Expert, explore this exquisite palace built as a citadel by the Moors in the 13th century - a fantasy of arabesque gardens, fountains and stone cut like lace. Stroll through the elegant, exotic water gardens of the Generalife, the royal summer residence.(Breakfast / Lunch with Wine)
Your journey continues to the north, through countryside immortalised by Cervantes fictional hero, Don Quixote. On return to Madrid, toast your travels with your newfound friends during a lively Celebration Dinner of delicious food and wine at a local restaurant.(Breakfast / Dinner with Wine)
Departure transfers arrive at Madrid airport at 07:00, 09:00 and 11:00.(Breakfast)
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.
Across the mighty Tagus River await Lisbon's famous seafood restaurants and wonderful views of the city. Board your ferry to cross the wide blue waters for a delightful evening of Portuguese seafood and fish specialities. After dinner, encounter more sweeping views over the Portuguese capital, as you return to your hotel via the impressive suspension bridge.
Adult Price: €53
Like the Kings of Portugal before you, travel to the glamorous resort of Cascais, a veritable jewel in the crown of Portugal. Via the wealthy playground of Estoril, with its famous Casino, we'll continue with our Local Expert to the Portuguese Riviera and through the forest of Sintra to visit one of the Royal summer palaces before heading back to Lisbon.
Adult Price: €46
Known as ''the soul of the Portuguese identity'', Fado is the emotive national song. Take in an unmissable performance of this UNESCO-recognised art in one of the country's famed fado houses. To complete the experience, savour a typical Portuguese dinner with wine included.
Adult Price: €66
Drive to the Bairro Alto, the old quarter of Lisbon, to admire the beautiful views over the city. Then take a funicular ride to the downtown Baixa area where cobblestones sparkle in the light of the shops, bars and cafes. Returning to your hotel, you'll pass monuments and buildings, lit up in all their glory.
Adult Price: €19
Dining out is more than a way of eating, it's a way of life and while regional culinary divisions remain strong in Spain, the nation is wholly united in its love of ‘sobremesa.’ Enjoy a delicious array of alluring Andalusian specialities in a local restaurant with wine included. Perhaps round off the evening with a stroll through the atmospheric squares and lanes of Seville's old quarter, which has a magical charm by night.
Adult Price: €53
Join your local expert for a walking tour of the perfectly preserved Moorish city of Cordoba. The highlight is undoubtedly the magnificent Mezquita, an 8th-century mosque with a Cathedral built inside. Walk with your local expert through the forest of horseshoe shaped arches to the Baroque choir stalls of the Cathedral and the richly ornamented Mihrab prayer niche.
Adult Price: €45
This afternoon we make our way to Bhalil, a remote village at the foot of the middle Atlas where we'll visit the caves hewn out of the mountain (Troglodyte) in which these families have lived in primitive conditions for many generations. This is your chance to meet and talk to the locals. Then we make our way to the oldest and best known ceramic work shop to see how ceramic is made, starting from the soft clay to the finished product.
Adult Price: €28
Marrakesh comes alive when the sun goes down. Take a horse and buggy ride to the magical Jemaa el-Fna market place where an assortment of acrobats, snake charmers, trained monkeys, jugglers and conjurers congregate by night. Then dinner is served in a vibrant Moroccan restaurant. Enjoy classic tagine dishes, fruit teas and colourful salads amid the sultry ambience of Arabic rhythms and twirling belly dancers balancing trays of lit candles.
Adult Price: €69
A scenic drive south of Marrakesh brings you to the beautiful and fertile Ourika Valley. Enjoy spectacular views of the towering High Atlas Mountains which are snow capped nine months of the year.
Adult Price: €30
Join us for a delicious Mediterranean style dinner in a delightful family restaurant on the Costa del Sol. We'll sample fresh Mediterranean fare, including some of the restaurant's signature dishes such as "fritura malagueña" and sea bass baked in sea salt, a traditional recipe since Roman times. Your meal will be accompanied by local wine.
Adult Price: €53
A short drive brings you to Malaga, the thriving capital of the Costa del Sol. We'll enjoy sweeping vistas over this little known Mediterranean jewel from the Gibralfaro Castle perched above. Then, in a guided tour of the old town, we'll visit the house in which Pablo Picasso spent his early years. The town is also famous for its sweet, full-bodied wines and our tour concludes with a taste of the recent vintage.
Adult Price: €40
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