GREAT TOUR OF SPAIN & PORTUGAL – 21 DAYS FROM LISBON
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| DOUBLE ROOM
| SINGLE ROOM
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Sightseeing city tour in Lisbon, Seville, Cordoba, Granada (Alhambra Palace & Generalife Gardens), Barcelona, Santiago de Compostela and Porto with local guide / Tour escort throughout the whole holiday / Air conditioned modern motor-coach / Accommodation at 4* hotels / Daily buffet breakfast / 12 meals / Visit to a winery with wine tasting in Porto / City taxes in Lisbon, Parcelona & Porto / Travel insurance.
Day 1. (Wednesday) LISBON
Olá! Bem Vindo a Portugal! Welcome to Europe! You'll have the entire day at your disposal to get acquainted with this cosmopolitan city, the capital and largest city of Portugal. Please check the informative panels in the hotel reception area for the welcome meeting with your guide and fellow travellers, and to receive information about the circuit. We recommend you to leave your luggages at the hotel and start exploring at your own pace this magnificent city. As you'll enjoy a complete sightseeing tour of Lisbon on the next day of the tour, we recommend you to get away from the touristic routes and experience, feel and taste the genuine Lisbon. It’s worth going for the tram ride! These vintage restored streetcars, wooden and painted yellow, are a throwback to another era. That retro feel, perched on a bench as the tram clatters its way through the city’s narrow streets and blares its horn, is priceless. You should taste the pastel de nata (cinnamon-dusted egg custard tart), Portugal’s signature confection any of the pastry shops in Lisbon. And then, feast your eyes on displays of tiles spanning 500 years of feverish creativity at the Museu do Azulejo, housed in convent cloisters. And finally, from imposing São Jorge Castle, take a memorable picture of the old city’s pastel-colored buildings, Tagus Estuary and Ponte 25 de Abril suspension bridge. Accommodation in hotel.
Day 2. (Thursday) LISBON
Breakfast at the hotel. We'll have a full day to explore each corner of Lisbon. We'll start the day with an in-depth sightseeing tour of Lisbon. We'll visit Lisbon's traditional neighbourhoods, which take us into the Belem district, on the northern bank of the Tagus River estuary, the birthplace of many great Portuguese navigators who sailed the oceans in the Fifteenth Century to explore and trade with India and the Orient. We will walk around the Monument of the Discoveries (Padrão dos Descobrimentos), a monument that celebrates the Portuguese Age of Discovery, we'll see the Belem Tower, a medieval defensive fortification and a prominent example of the Portuguese Manueline style. We will finally see the beautiful gothic style Jeronimos Monastery, Vasco da Gama's resting place, classified a UNESCO World Heritage Site along with the nearby Tower of Belen. Enjoy some free time at leisure to explore Lisbon at your own pace, to discover the nostalgic corners of the Barrio de Alfama, the old city grouped next to its Castle with its old buildings in narrow and twisted "ruas" full of color and housing the genuine "taverns" where Fado music sounds like a lost past. Optionally you can do a beautiful coach trip to visit Sintra, a UNESCO World Heritage site, along with Cabo da Roca and admire Cascais and Estoril. Accommodation at the hotel.
Day 3. (Friday) LISBON – FATIMA – LISBON
After our breakfast at the hotel, we head north towards Fatima (Cova do Iria). Full day excursion to discover this important sacred center of the Christian Faith, known worldwide for its sanctuary, a place of Christian pilgrimage since the beginning of the 20th century. Free time at your disposal to visit the Shrine of Our Lady of Fatima consisting of an impressive Basilica of Our Lady of the Rosary, the Chapel of the Apparitions, heart of the sanctuary and place where according to the Roman Catholic Church, three visionary children Lucia, Francisco and Jacinta Marto received several apparitions and heavenly messages by the Blessed Virgin Mary, Mother of God. You can visit the tombs of the three little shepherds, the precious statue of Our Lady of Fátima, the great oak tree, and also the monument dedicated to the three little shepherds (the seers) of Fátima. At the end of the day we will return to Lisbon through the colorful agricultural region. Arrival and lodging in the hotel.
Day 4. (Saturday) LISBON – CACERES – SEVILLE
Our last breakfast in Portugal. Departure towards Spain travelling along beautiful green plains that extend as far as the eye can see dotted with cork oaks and olive trees that withstand time. Back in Spain, we enjoy the beautiful landscape of Region of Extremadura, the typical wooded pasture known as the "dehesa" where the iberian pigs forage freely for acorns. Arrival in Caceres, a magical medieval city, capital of the Extremadura region in western Spain. Free time to stroll through the old town with its city walls and watchtowers and its well-known medieval neighborhood, considered a World Heritage Site. We recommend you to follow the narrow walkways that will transport you to another century and engage you in its old charm. You'll discover the main square of Cáceres – the Plaza Mayor and the Bujaco Tower locally known as the Clock Tower, the Arch of the Star, which is one of the five access gates of Cáceres, the beautiful Palace of the Golfines... In the afternoon, we'll travel along the Silver Highway towards Andalusia, a region with a huge heritage from a splendorous past, to arrive at Seville, Andalusia's capital. Dinner and overnight at the hotel.
Day 5. (Sunday) SEVILLE
After breakfast we'll do a monumental and panoramic visit of Seville. You will visit from outside the Cathedral of Seville, the second largest in the Catholic world after San Pedro in Rome and its famous Giralda, the old minaret of the Arab mosque, then stroll throuhg the popular neighborhoods of Santa Cruz, natural scenery of "Carmen" as well as where it developed the myth of "Don Juan" and also Triana, with a deep popular flavor and cradle of bullfighters and artists. After the visit you'll enjoy some free to discover different perspectives and specific flavors of this active city full of light. May we recommend you an optional boat trip on the Guadalquivir River to enjoy the panoramic views that exist from the boat? Then you can walk along the banks of the Guadalquivir River, the "great king of Andalusia" as the local poet Luis de Góngora y Argote called it. Dinner and accommodation. At night, optionally you can enjoy a flamenco show.
Day 6. (Monday) SEVILLE – CORDOBA
Breakfast at the hotel. We'll drive to Cordoba, former capital of the Caliphate. Lead by a knowledgeable English speaking guide we will visit the highlights of Cordoba: the narrow winding streets of the Jewish Quarter, the Synagogue and the fantastic Great Mosque of Cordoba, one of the world's greatest works of Islamic architecture, still standing from the time Muslims ruled Al-Andalus, that will ease our mind and spirit. In the afternoon, free time at your disposal to stroll through the historic center of Cordoba, with its medieval streets or visit the Royal Palace "Alcazar de los Reyes Cristianos" and its beautiful gardens. Dinner and overnight at the hotel.
Day 7. (Tuesday) CORDOBA – RONDA – COSTA DEL SOL
After breakfast at the hotel we'll drive south along the Route of the White Washed Villages, listening to stories of bandits while arriving at Ronda, one of the most beautiful towns in Andalusia, situated on the deep gorge of the Guadalevin River (locally known as Tajo de Ronda) that cuts the city in half. You'll enjoy some free time to admire this town of Celtic origin and the marvellous views of the valley and mountain range. In the afternoon continue on to the Costa del Sol, one of the most modern and important international tourist areas of Spain. Dinner and overnight at the hotel in Marbella.
Day 8. (Wednesday) COSTA DEL SOL – GRENADE
Breakfast at the hotel and departure to Granada, with its incredible and amazing monumental environment, the last stronghold of the Moorish Kingdom up to 1492. We'll visit the world famous Alhambra Palace (Red Palace) and Generalife Gardens. Its fountains, gardens and patios (courtyards) have inspired several authors with their sounds and sights, such as the “Tales of the Alhambra” by Washington Irving. Free time in the afternoon. We recommend you to visit the Cathedral and the Royal Chapel that houses the tombs of the Catholic Monarchs or stroll through the Albaicín neighborhood and enjoy the beautiful views of the Alhambra from the Mirador de San Nicolas. Dinner and accommodation at the hotel. Optionally you can see a Gipsy Flamenco Show held in a cave-house at Sacromonte Quarter.
Day 9. (Thursday) GRANADA – VALENCIA
After our breakfast at the hotel we drive eastwards heading to the Mediterranean Coast. We'll pass Murcia, capital of the fertile garden of the Segura River, and continue north via Alicante, the second largest city within the autonomous Region of Valencia. Arrive to Valencia, a vibrant and cosmopolitan city on the Mediterranean coast, that harmoniously combine the remnants of its farthest past, with the most innovative and avant-garde buildings from the new millennium. Valencia's landmark is the modern Arts and Sciences Architectural Complex integrated by six elements: Hemispheric, Umbracle, Science Museum, Oceanographic, Palau de les Arts and Agora. Arrival at the hotel and accommodation. We recommend you to take a night walk to enjoy the breath-taking avant-garde architecture of the City of Arts and Sciences under the nocturnal ornamental lighting. And of course, you must taste the paella rice, Valencia's most well-known dish world-wide in one of the local restaurants.
Day 10. (Friday) VALENCIA – BARCELONA
Breakfast at the hotel. Free morning at your disposal to discover its beautiful old town with the most prominent buildings: Valencia's Gothic Cathedral and the famous Micalet Bell Tower, Virgin Mary Square, Valencia Townhall and Post Office - 2 impressive buildings, the World Heritage Silk Exchange Building, its beautiful Central Market, Serranos and Quart Towers... We'll depart northward along the Mediterranean Coast to Catalonia, passing through Tarragona, the ancient roman city of Tarraco. Arrival to Barcelona, main city of the Spanisn Mediterranean Coast, homeland of the famous architect Gaudí, symbol of the Catalonian modernism. Accommodation at the hotel.
Day 11. (Saturday) BARCELONA
We wake up in Barcelona. After breakfast, we get on the bus to visit Barcelona with a local guide, discovering its main avenues decorated with impressive modernist buildings of Antoni Gaudí. We'll make a short stop to see the impotent Gaudí's Great Basilica of Sagrada Familia (Holy Family) from outside, a unique creation that has become Barcelona's most universal symbol. Our next destination is Montjuic and the Olympic Ring, a legacy of the 1992 Olympics Games that took place in Barcelona. The city tour of Barcelona ends with a walk into the city’s historic central area with its Gothic neighbourhood dating back to the Middle Ages. From this moment you'll have free time to explore in depth what you couldn't see before. We recommend you to book in advance your tickets to see the Sagrada Familia from inside if it is of your interest, or if you prefer, you may explore other parts of the Gothic Quarter... there are many options: visit the Cathedral of Barcelona, Plaça del Pi, the Plaza Real or take a walk on the famous Rambla de los Capuchinos, an emblematic street and a must-see for any visitor to Barcelona. Accommodation in Barcelona.
Day 12. (Sunday) BARCELONA – ZARAGOZA – SAN SAN SEBASTIAN
After breakfast, departure towards Zaragoza, located on the banks of the Ebro River, one of Spain's major cities and capital of the Region of Aragon. Free time to visit the Basilica of Our Lady of Pilar, Patroness of Hispanity and stroll through the old streets of Zaragoza to discover its impressive monumental legacy as Romans, Muslims, Jews and Christians left their mark on this place. Taste the typical dishes of the region and, of course, take part in one of the great traditions of the city, "going for tapas": small gastronomic creations that delight anyone who tries them. In the afternoon we continue our trip to the Basque Country, a green paradise, land of great contrasts, to reach San Sebastian and its world-renowned La Concha Beach, framed by Mount Igueldo and the island of Santa Clara. Arrival at the hotel, dinner and accommodation.
Day 13. (Monday) SAN SEBASTIAN – BILBAO – SANTANDER
Breakfast at hotel. At mid-morning departure to Bilbao, capital of the province of Vizcaya. Arrival and brief stop to admire the avant-garde building of the Guggenheim Museum. Design and architecture permeate this entire city. Later on we'll continue to Santander, capital of Cantabria Region, one of the most elegant and beautiful cities of the North Coast of Spain. Santander is a port city located between the sea and the mountains, well known for its Sardinero Beach, one of the best known beaches in Spain. Free time to stroll through this elegant city. Arrival at the hotel, dinner and accommodation.
Day 14. (Tuesday) SANTANDER – SANTILLANA – COVADONGA – OVIEDO
Breakfast at hotel. Departure to Santillana del Mar, one of the most important historical artistic towns in Spain. It contains architectural treasures such as the Collegiate Church of Santa Juliana, a Jewel of the Romanesque Arquitecture in Cantabria. Later on, driving a twisty road that will slowly reveal a beautiful countryside made up of calm waters, unimaginable green carpets and mountain peaks which all seem to be almost within reach, we will arrive to Covadonga, where you will have free time to visit the Shrine, a place of worship and pilgrimage for the people of Asturias, where you will see the Patroness of Asturias our Lady of Covadonga. In the afternoon, departure to Oviedo, a city of an unquestionable medieval flavour. Free time to explore Oviedo, most of its streets are pedestrian, where you will be able to see World Heritage Sites like the Cathedral of Oviedo, a splendid example of gothic asturian arquitecture or the beautiful church of Santa Maria de Naranco, a jewel of the pre-romanic asturian arquitecture. Dinner and accommodation.
Day 15. (Wednesday) OVIEDO – LA CORUÑA
Breakfast at the hotel. Departure to Galicia with its landscapes of lush valleys and stunning beaches, spectacular cliffs, charming fishing villages and incredible cities. Arrival to the stately city of A Coruña, with its beautiful houses of glazed galleries, cobbled streets that embrace the old city, the castle of San Anton or the Tower of Hercules, the oldest lighthouse in the world in operation and World Heritage Site by the UNESCO. We'll enjoy a panoramic tour of the city and free time to explore at your own pace this beautiful historic city. In the afternoon your guide will offer an optional excursion alongside the Rias Altas Estuaries in northern Galicia overlooking the Atlantic with their spectacular cliffs, beaches and the fishing villages of Pontedeume, Betanzos, etc. Dinner and accommodation.
Day 16. (Thursday) LA CORUÑA – SANTIAGO DE COMPOSTELA
Breakfast at the hotel. Departure to Santiago de Compostela, whose old town is a World Heritage Site, one of the most important monumental centers of Spain, one of the sacred cities of Christendom and end of the Way of Saint James pilgrimage route. Upon arrival we'll enjoy a city tour visiting amongst others, the Plaza del Obradoiro, the point at which all roads into the city converge, where we can find Santiago's Highlight, the Cathedral dedicated to the Apostle James the Elder, one of the twelve disciples of Jesus Christ and brother of John, the Evangelist. Free time in the afternoon so you can continue visiting at your pace this historic city, discover its university atmosphere of joy and vitality, try the delicious cuisine that Galician tradition has preserved and its regional products, especially seafood, fish and beef. Accommodation and dinner at the hotel.
Day 17. (Friday) SANTIAGO DE COMPOSTELA – RIAS BAJAS – LA TOJA – VIGO
After breakfast we travel to the most picturesque area of the Galician Estuaries, the Rias Baixas Estuaries. Through splendid landscapes of the Ría de Arosa, we will arrive at La Toja Island, universally known for its spa. In O Grove, you can optionally take a catamaran tour to learn how oysters and mussels are grown. During this optional excursion we include a tasting of mussel and Ribeiro wine. Our route continues to Vigo, located in the middle of the estuary to which it gives its name, the southernmost estuary of the Rías Baixas and undoubtedly the most beautiful one, with beaches of great attraction. As an optional activity you can take an excursion to Mount Santa Tecla, a must-see place for its interesting archaeological, religious and landscape values. The Santa Tecla archaeological site is considered one of the most important examples of the Roman culture of the Iberian Northwest region. Dinner and overnight at the hotel.
Day 18. (Saturday) VIGO – VIANA DO CASTELO – BRAGA – PORTO
Breakfast at the hotel. Crossing the border with Portugal we will arrive at Viana do Castelo, a town located between the mouth of the Miño River and Porto. You'll enjoy some free time to visit the old town with cobbled streets and emblazoned buildings. Our route continues to Braga, known as the city of the archbishops and the third most populous city in Portugal. Free time to discover at your own pace the essence of Braga, its labyrinthine narrow streets that hide places of historical interest, original monuments and traditional family businesses. You may visit the medieval Braga Cathedral, home to a sacred art museum and the Gothic-style Kings' Chapel, the imposing Archbishop’s Palace and the beautiful Santa Barbara Garden. Don't leave Braga without tasting its exquisite gastronomy among its typical dishes you may find codfish prepared in the Braga style, roast kid and crème caramel with bacon. In the afternoon, departure to Porto, city declared a World Heritage Site. Arrival at the hotel and accommodation.
Day 19. (Sunday) PORTO
Breakfast at the hotel. We have a whole day to enjoy this authentic city, capital of Northern Portugal. We begin with a panoramic visit of Porto to discover the Cathedral of Sé, the most important religious monument in Porto, a mixture of styles and influences, also the Palacio de la Bolsa, one of the most beautiful buildings in Porto, Santa Clara Church and ending in a local winery where we will taste the world-famous "Porto wine". Afternoon free at your disposal to continue exploring the corners of Porto, stroll along the Avenida dos Aliados, the Ribeira de Porto on the banks of the Duero and admire the Don Luis I Bridge, the most famous bridge in Porto, climb to the Clérigos Tower, the best viewpoint of Porto, from where you will have panoramic views of the historic city center or take an optional cruise on the Duero River. Hotel accommodation.
Day 20. (Monday) PORTO – COIMBRA
Breakfast at the hotel. We leave Porto heading south to reach Coimbra, a riverfront city rising scenically from the Rio Mondego and the country’s former capital during the Middle Ages. Arrival and free time at your disposal to explore its preserved medieval old town with its dark cobbled lanes, visit Coimbra's monuments: the monumental 12th century Romanesque cathedral Sé Velha, the historic University of Coimbra, Portugal's oldest and most prestigious university, the gothic Igreja de Santa Cruz, Coimbra’s most historically important church or enjoy a relaxed coffee and sweet pastry in the Café Santa Cruz. Arrival at the hotel, dinner and accommodation.
Day 21. (Tuesday) COIMBRA – FATIMA – LISBON
After breakfast at the hotel, we continue our route southward to Fatima. We will discover this important sacred center of the Christian Faith, known worldwide for its sanctuary, a place of Christian pilgrimage since the beginning of the 20th century. Free time at your disposal to visit the Shrine of Our Lady of Fatima consisting of an impressive Basilica of Our Lady of the Rosary, the Chapel of the Apparitions, heart of the sanctuary and place where according to the Roman Catholic Church, three visionary children Lucia, Francisco and Jacinta Marto received several apparitions and heavenly messages by the Blessed Virgin Mary, Mother of God. You can visit the tombs of the three little shepherds, the precious statue of Our Lady of Fatima, the great oak tree, and also the monument dedicated to the three little shepherds (the seers) of Fatima. At the end of the day we will continue to Lisbon, the capital and largest city of Portugal. Arrival and end of the services.
* Pepe Tours reserves the right to alter and modify the itinerary and the order of the excursions for organizational reasons. Depending on hotel availability or in case of last minute reservations, Pepe Tours may replace the hotels provided by others of the same category (see list of hotels in this link).