LISBON, FATIMA & SOUTHERN SPAIN – 10 DAYS FROM BARCELONA
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Sightseeing city tour in Lisbon, Seville, Cordoba, Granada (Alhambra Palace & Generalife Gardens) and Toledo with local guide / Tour escort throughout the whole holiday / Air conditioned modern motor-coach / High speed AVE train Barcelona - Madrid / Accommodation at 4* hotels / Daily buffet breakfast (except in Madrid) / 6 meals / City tax in Lisbon / Travel insurance.
Day 1. (Tuesday) BARCELONA – MADRID
Call on at Barcelona “Sants” Station and departure by high-speed train to Madrid. Pleasant and short journey with the comfort and speed of this fast train. Arrival in Madrid, capital city of Spain. Transfer on your own to the hotel. Free day at your disposal to discover Madrid, diplomatic capital, economic center and most populous city in Spain, headquarters of the Spanish government and city where the Spanish monarchy resides. We recommend taking a walk through the courtly Madrid de los Austrias Neighborhood with its Renaissance and Baroque buildings in Puerta del Sol, Plaza Mayor and Plaza de la Villa, continue to the Royal Palace located in the elegant Plaza de Oriente, get to know the Cibeles Fountain, Fountain of Neptune, Puerta de Alcalá, Gran Vía or Paseo de la Castellana. You can also, optionally, visit the nearby imperial city of Toledo, declared a World Heritage Site. Hotel accommodation.
Day 2. (Wednesday) MADRID – TRUJILLO – LISBON
Departure westbound to the Region of Extremadura in western Spain. Arrival in Trujillo, cradle of illustrious characters linked to the discovery of America (Francisco de Pizarro, discoverer of Peru, and Francisco de Orellana). You'll enjoy some free time to get to know its monumental Plaza Mayor Square, centre of social and commercial life of the city. Around the square you'll find religious buildings (San Francisco, Santa Clara or San Martin Churches), Renaissance mansions (Palace of the Marquis of Piedras Albas, Palace of the Dukes of San Carlos or the Palace of the Marquises of the Conquista) and also the bronze-cast statue of Pizarro on horseback. We recommend you to try the local gastronomy derived from Iberian pig, as well as recipes of pastoral origin or traditional cold soups such as gazpacho and ajoblanco. Continue our route now on Portuguese soil traveling among beautiful landscapes of Alentejo Region. Crossing the Tagus River estuary on the impressive 25 de Abril Bridge we will arrive to Lisbon, the capital and largest city of Portugal. Arrival at the hotel and accommodation. In the evening, optionally you can enjoy a Fado music show (typical Portuguese folklore).
Day 3. (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 4. (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 5. (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 6. (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 7. (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 8. (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 9. (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 Nicolás. Dinner and accommodation at the hotel. Optionally you can see a Gipsy Flamenco Show held in a cave-house at Sacromonte Quarter.
Day 10. (Thursday) GRENADE – TOLEDO – MADRID
Breakfast at the hotel. Drive northward where, toward the sky of Castile and surrounded by the Tagus River, it emerges the impressive Imperial City of Toledo – a World Heritage City – where the three cultures Christians, Moorish and Jewish, have lived together in harmony. Resume of the Spanish art, history and spirituality, the whole town of Toledo is a National Monument. We'll enjoy the lunch in a local restaurant (included) and then we'll do an in depth city tour of Toledo that includes the most important monuments, its narrow streets and we'll discover the famous “Damasquinado Art” (gold and silver inlaying in iron). After the visit we'll continue to Madrid. Arrival and end of our 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).