PORTUGAL & SOUTHERN SPAIN – 11 DAYS FROM MADRID
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| DOUBLE ROOM
| SINGLE ROOM
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Sightseeing city tour in Porto, Lisbon, Seville, Granada (Alhambra Palace & Generalife Gardens) and Toledo with local guide / Visit to a wine cellar with wine tasting included in Porto / Tour escort throughout the whole holiday / Air conditioned modern motor-coach / Accommodation at 4* hotels / Daily buffet breakfast / 7 meals / City taxes in Porto and Lisbon / Travel insurance.
Day 1. (Friday) MADRID – SALAMANCA – VIGO
Departure from Madrid to Salamanca, the university city par excellence. Free time to explore at your own pace this World Heritage Site of great artistic wealth. A stroll around the pedestrian streets in its historic centre will take you to Plaza Mayor, one of the most beautiful squares in Spain, you may visit Salamanca's two cathedrals (the old cathedral dating from the 12th-13th centuries of Romanesque style, and the new one from the 16th century), the House of Shells, the Baroque style Clerecia church and the University with its beautiful Plateresque façade. Later we'll continue northwest towards Galicia, a mythical land full of history and a unique natural wealth and a rich landscape. Arrival in Vigo, located in the middle of the estuary to which it gives its name, the southernmost of the Rías Baixas (Lower Estuaries) and undoubtedly the most beautiful one, with beaches of great attraction. Dinner and overnight at the hotel.
Day 2. (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 3. (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 4. (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 5. (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 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 continue to Lisbon, the capital and largest city of Portugal. Arrival and lodging in the hotel. In the evening, optionally you can enjoy a Fado music show (typical Portuguese folklore).
Day 6. (Wednesday) 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 7. (Thursday) 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 8. (Friday) 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 we'll invite you to taste the local andalusian gastronomy in a central restaurant (lunch included) and then 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. Accommodation at the hotel. At night, optionally you can enjoy a flamenco show.
Day 9. (Saturday) SEVILLE – 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 gorge of the Guadalevin River (locally known as Tajo de Ronda) that cuts the city in half. You'll enjoy some fre 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 10. (Sunday) 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 11. (Monday) 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).