Spain and Portugal - these are two countries with rich histories and distinct cultures, and on this affordable Best of Spain & Portugal tour, you'll see their fascinating highlights. In Spain, you’ll overnight in Madrid, Granada, Cordoba, Seville, and Salamanca. In Portugal, you’ll stay in Lisbon and Oporto.
One of the tour highlights is a visit to Toledo, a town that attracts more visitors from around the world than any other Spanish town. In this old walled town, built on a hill, you’ll visit the 12th-century Church of St. Tome, which has one of El Greco's most famous paintings.
You will be delighted by the included visit of the Alhambra complex, built in the 13th century by Moorish kings featuring one of the oldest decorative gardens in the Western World. In Avila—a UNESCO World Heritage city founded in the 11th century—see the towers and walls and visit St. Theresa's Convent, a Carmelite convent opened in 1636 on the birthplace of St. Teresa.
In Portugal, visit Lisbon with a local guide, who will show you Belem Tower, a UNESCO World Heritage Site built circa 1514 to commemorate the expedition of Vasco de Gama and Oporto's cathedral, built between the 12th and 13th centuries in Romanesque style on a terrace overlooking the port wine cellars on the banks of the Douro River.
In Spain, enjoy guided sightseeing in Toledo, Granada, Seville and Madrid. These local guides - experts in the cities' histories and cultures - will highlight the must-see sights. All of this and more—including a visit with wine tasting to a local wine cellar in Montilla—await you on this fabulous and affordable Spain and Portugal tour designed for value-minded travellers.
Meals - Breakfast: 12 Lunch: 0 Dinner: 4
Transport - Touring by private, air-conditioned motor coach. Free Wi-Fi (where available)
Accommodation - Rooms with private bath or shower. Includes hotel taxes, porterage, tips and service charges
- Mosque of Córdoba
- Plaza Mayor, Salamanca
Check into your hotel. The rest of the day is for you to relax or start exploring Madrid. Tonight, meet your Tour Director and fellow travellers. (D)
Drive south to Toledo. Spectacularly situated on a granite hill surrounded by a loop of the Tagus River, the ancient Castilian capital attracts more visitors from around the world than any other Spanish town. Visit the walled Old Town with a Local Guide and marvel at the 12th-century CHURCH OF ST. TOME, known for its large painting by El Greco of The Burial of the Count of Orgaz. Later, cross the Guadalquivir River and head for the olive and orange groves that dot the rolling Andalusian hills. Overnight in history-steeped Granada at the foot of the Sierra Nevada. (B, D)
Granada was the Arabs' most treasured city, and they still mourn its loss in their prayers. With a Local Guide, visit the ALHAMBRA COMPLEX*, built by Moorish kings. More grand scenery as you reach Montilla to visit a local WINE CELLAR and taste some of its wine. Then, continue to Cordoba on the banks of the Guadalquivir River. (B)
With a Local Guide visit the magnificent MEZQUITA, famous for its 850 pillars of porphyry, marble, and jasper. On to vibrant, festive Seville. (B, D)
Get to know Seville on the included city tour. Capital of Andalusia and the cultural and financial centre of southern Spain, colourful Seville has much to offer: the cathedral, the third-largest church in the world after St. Peter's in Rome and St. Paul's in London; the beautiful La Giralda minaret tower, a symbol of Seville; the Real Alcázar palace with its extravagant moorish architecture and opulent gardens; Plaza de Espana, used in the filming of Episodes I and II in the Star Wars trilogy; and so much more. (B)
Enjoy the scenery of the Sierra de Aracena before crossing into Portugal and the fertile plains of the Alentejo. Admire the forest of cork trees and make a stop to visit Evora, a delightfully attractive Moorish city with arches, alleys, flower-decked balconies, brilliant white houses, and the Temple of Diana. Continue to Lisbon. (B)
Henry the Navigator made Lisbon the 15th-century "Mistress of the Seas." You'll see his monument, the Belem Tower, the Moorish Citadel, the impressive Black Horse Square, and other highlights on the guided sightseeing tour. Spend the afternoon at leisure in the Alfama's tile-decorated streets or take an optional excursion along the Estoril Coast to Cascais and Sintra. (B)
Stop in Fátima to visit its world-famous SANCTUARY, dedicated to the Virgin Mary. Continue to Coimbra, known for its university, one of the oldest in Europe, and to Oporto on the northern bank of the Douro River. For the perfect way to round out your day, why not join an optional Douro River cruise and dinner? (B)
Discover Oporto's highlights on the guided city tour. See its historical cathedral and visit a Port wine cellar along the banks of the Douro River. This afternoon, consider an optional excursion to Guimarães, called the "cradle" of Portugal and a UNESCO World Heritage Site. Tonight, enjoy an included dinner at a local restaurant. (B, D)
Enjoy the plentiful woodlands and mountains on your return to Spain via the scenic Douro Valley. Reach the ancient and beautiful university town of Salamanca in the early evening and maybe take a stroll in the Plaza Mayor. (B)
Journey to fortified Ávila with its many towers and visit ST. THERESA'S CONVENT before continuing to Segovia, a medieval town picturesquely set on a rocky hill. Spend some time in Segovia before crossing the boundary between new and old Castile to arrive in Madrid. (B)
The capital of Spain situated 665 metres (2,180 feet) above sea level, Madrid is the nearest thing to Heaven according to Spaniards. The day is dedicated to discovering Madrid's main highlights on the included guided city tour. (B)
Your holiday ends with breakfast this morning. (B)