DAY 01: MADRID ARRIVAL
Welcome to Madrid! Upon arrival at the airport, we shall be waiting to transfer you to your hotel. Our guide will be ready to welcome you and will provide the necessary information. Towards the end of the day, we provide transfers to the Egyptian Debod temple, Plaza de Espaiia and Gran Via; a vibrant district where you can dine at your preferred restaurant; Indian, Chinese, Spanish and Middle Eastern are some of the options.
DAY 2: MADRID – TORDESILLAS – LEON – OVIEDO
We will leave in the early morning, crossing Castilla y León. Stop in TORDESILLAS to see the history of this small town and have a coffee in its main square. Continuation to LEÓN, time for lunch and to see the fantastic Gothic cathedral of this historic city on the Way of St James. We will later cross the mountains of the Cantabrian Range on our way to Asturias. Arrival in OVIEDO at mid-afternoon. We include (occasionally on Tuesday mornings) an hourand-a-half visit of the city with a local guide. We will visit its 9th century cathedral, Calatrava Congressional Palace, Campoamor Theatre, Calle de la Rua
DAY 3: OVIEDO – COVADONGA – SANTILLANA – SANTANDER
We will travel to Picos de Europa. We will visit Basílica de COVADONGA which is surrounded by beautiful scenery. We will resume our journey following the coastline to SANTILLANA, one of Spain’s most beautiful towns, and we will visit its well-preserved medieval quarter. We visit the National Museum and Research Centre of ALTAMIRA (ticket included) located in the vicinity of this town. We will later travel to SANTANDER, the region’s capital city, a coastal city with amazing views and beaches. We include panoramic city tour to discover this elegant city and its beautiful bay.
DAY 4: SANTANDER – BILBAO – LA RIOJA – ZARAGOZA
We follow the motorway along the Cantabrian coast; some of the scenery between the mountains and the sea is very beautiful. BILBAO, arrival in the largest city in the Basque Country. On arrival we include a funicular climb to the Artxanda viewpoint, where we have a great view of the city, and after which, with a local guide, we make a short tour of the city:Guggenheim area, old quarter, Cathedral then there will be free time for some “pintxos”.We will later travel to LA RIOJA region, an out- standing wine region. We will visit the Wine Museum in Briones, and we will learn about the importance of wine making from time immemorial. We will later stop in SAN- TO DOMINGO DE LA CALZADA, a historic town in Camino de Santiago, a rooster lives in its cathedral. ZARAGOZA, arrival late in the afternoon. Dinner included.
DAY 5: ZARAGOZA – POBLET – MONTSERRAT – BARCELONA
We include a morning sightseeing tour of ZARAGOZA with a local guide. We will visit the Cathedal-Basilica of Our Lady of the Pillar. We will learn about Goya, the famous painter, and see some of his works. We will also visit a Roman theatre, a Renaissance palace, and walk by the Aljafería Palace. After lunch, we will continue to POBLET MONASTERY, a walled monastery surrounded by beau- tiful scenery. It is one of the best preserved medieval monasteries in the world (ticket included with guided tour). We will later travel to MONSERRAT ABBEY where we include a ride on the rack railway to enjoy fantastic landscapes. We will resume our journey to BARCELO- NA where we will arrive late in the afternoon.
DAY 6: BARCELONA
Today we will get to know Barcelona, an impressive city right on the Mediterranean Sea. Our visit includes an in- formative city tour with a local expert (Note: If the group has fewer than fifteen people, explanations can be giv- en by our guide.) We also visit the city’s historic central area with its Gothic neighbourhood dating back to the Middle Ages. We will visit the area where the Olympic Games took place. It will be possible to see and photograph La Sagrada Familia basilica; the masterpiece designed by the architect Gaudí. Subsequently, we include the entry ticket to “Poble Espanyol” (meaning “Spanish Village”). This open air architectural museum is situated in one of the most emblematic areas of Barcelona. Be delighted by the best Spanish craftsmanship and discover the architectural styles, traditions and folklore of the different communities in Spain. Free time to explore the city on your own. In the evening we provide transfer to Las Ramblas and Plaza Catalunya area, where you can select from a great variety of restaurants (including Indian, Chinese, Halal, Internation- al and regional Spanish cuisine). Return to hotel.
DAY 7: BARCELONA – PENISCOLA – VALENCIA
We travel south along the Mediterranean. A special stop is made at PENISCOLA, a small walled town on the shores of the sea. After a short introduction given by our guide, you can make your way through the town, discovering the fishing port, the castle and the beach. Time for a walk. Af- terwards we travel to VALENCIA, time for lunch. In the af- ternoon, with a local guide we will include a visit to the third largest Spanish city that mixes the modern with the historical. We will know its historic center, the fish market, the cathedral and also the avant-garde City of Arts and Sciences. the most important modern tourist site in the city. Evening transfer to the Plaza de Toros. In this area you will have time to dine in line with your preferences (Spanish, Indian, international, etc.) Return to hotel.
DAY 8: VALENCIA – ALICANTE – CARAVACA DE LA CRUZ – GRANADA
We continue through the community of Valencia. ALICANTE. Time to stroll in this active and very pleasant city by the sea. After lunch we go on our way to the Murcia region, where we will see CARAVACA DE LA CRUZ, A town considered by the Catholic Church as one of the 5 holy cities, its church holds a relic of Christ’s Cross. We include a ride up to the historic area on the tourist train. After this we will carry on along an attractive scenic road to ANDALUSIA. Arrival at the end of the day in GRANADA.
DAY 9: GRANADA
A full day in GRANADA and tour (including entrance and local guide) of the immense Alhambra Palace and its beautiful Generalife gardens built in Arab times. Time for lunch. Free afternoon to see the Cathedral with the sepulchre of the Catholic Kings. Later, enjoy an evening transfer to the Albaicín of Granada, a World Heritage site along with the Alhambra, where you can enjoy dinner in a restaurant in the narrow winding streets of this captivating Medieval Moorish quarter. To- night you have the option to attend a flamenco dance show and the traditional neighborhood of Sacramonte.
DAY 10: GRANADA – MALAGA – MARBELLA – RONDA – SEVILLE
We leave Granada and travel towards the Costa del Sol. MALAGA, arrival and time for a stroll in the historic centre with its cathedral and the Picasso Museum. After this we will continue along the coastal motorway with beautiful views of the Mediterranean. PUERTO BANUS, in Marbella, a pretty high level recreational port. In the afternoon we will continue through the hills and their stories of bandoliers until we come to RONDA, a very beautiful white town with its large gorge that divides it in two. Continuation to SEVILLE. Arrival at the end of the afternoon.
DAY 11: SEVILLE
After breakfast, a local expert guides you through a sce- nic visit of Seville featuring the Cathedral and its famous Giralda, the banks of the Guadalquivir River, popular neighborhoods of Santa Cruz and Triana and the beautiful Plaza de España. (Note: If the group is fewer than fifteen travellers, it can be arranged in both Spanish and English). After the tour, we will include a boat trip along the riv- er Guadalquivir, enjoying the panoramic views from the boat. Enjoy leisure time straight afterwards. At the end of the afternoon, we will go to the historic city centre area (Calle Alfonso XII) where many different restaurants can be found. You can choose your favorite cuisine: Indian, Halal, Chinese, Spanish, International, and so on.
DAY 12: SEVILLE – RABIDA MONASTERY – MERTOLA – EVORA – LISBON
We leave Seville and in the province of Huelva, we trav- el to PALOS DE LA FRONTERA. We include entrance to the Carabelas Museum; this is where Columbus set sail on 3 August 1492 for America. We will see the Rabida Monastery, declared a World Heritage site, a Franciscan monastery strongly linked to the history of the discovery (entrance included). After this we will travel to Portugal. MERTOLA, a stop in this ancient Muslim city, its pres- ent church was a mosque, and time for lunch. After this, through white villages we come to EVORA city declared a World Heritage site with its wide streets, its Renaissance
policies and its cathedral, we will include the entrance to the impressive Chapel of Bones, built with 5000 skeletons! LISBON, arrival at the end of the day.
DAY 13: LISBON
In the morning we have a sightseeing tour with a local guide (Note: Explanations may be given by our guide if the group has fewer than twelve people). We visit traditional neighborhoods, which take in the Belem district, which is the birthplace of the great Portuguese navigators who sailed the oceans in the Fifteenth Century. We shall look round the Monument to the Discoveries, Belem Tower, and the beautiful Jeronimos Monastery, a UNESCO World Heritage Site. The afternoon is free so that you can explore this great city independently. At the end of the afternoon, we include transportation to Restauradores Square , full of atmosphere with its bars and cafes from where we suggest you to take the ¨Elevador da Gloria¨
that brings you to the Upper district and its viewpoint.
DAY 14: LISBON – FATIMA – MADRID
We travel to the north of Portugal and visit FA- TIMA, an important sanctuary. We will continue on our way through the green lands of the cen- tre, passing into Spain, and over grasslands we cross the North of Extremadura. Lunch included en route in a regional food restaurant . Continuation to MADRID. Arrival at the end of the day. End of our services. Check the time of your flight in case you need an additional night.