This Escape brings together the sights and cultures of Spain’s and Portugal’s most famous cities—Barcelona, Madrid, Cordoba, Seville, and Lisbon—and weaves them into one marvelous vacation. You’ll spend two nights each in Barcelona, Madrid, Seville, and Lisbon, and you’ll enjoy guided sightseeing in each. Fans of art and architecture are sure to be delighted by the visit to Barcelona’s Sagrada Familia Basilica, architect Gaudì’s masterpiece. Begun in 1882, it is still not completed. In Madrid, visit the famous Prado Museum, which houses 8,000 pieces of Western painting and is one of the world’s most prestigious art museums. A guided walking tour in Cordoba showcases the sights, including a visit to the magnificent 8th-century Mosque of the Caliphs. In Seville, visit the Casa de Pilatos, with a splendid collection of Roman sculptures.
In Seville, you’ll enjoy a special dinner with local specialties and Flamenco entertainment, and in Lisbon, a farewell dinner at a local restaurant. Throughout this Spain and Portugal vacation, you’ll be accompanied by an expert Tour Director and Local Guides who will bring these destinations to life with in-depth, first-hand knowledge of the cities’ histories, sights, cultures, and insider secrets. Magnificent churches and cathedrals, local specialties and wine, an expert Tour Director, guided sightseeing with Local Guides, and much more…what else could you ask for in a dream vacation and guided tour of Spain and Lisbon?
Inside visits and special features are shown in UPPERCASE in the tour description, including admission charges where applicable.
Welcome to Barcelona! At 6 pm, meet your Tour Director and travelling companions for a welcome dinner at your hotel. (D)
Sightseeing with a Local Guide features the Columbus Monument, Plaza de Cataluna, and Paseo de Gracia. A highlight is a visit to the spectacular SAGRADA FAMILIA BASILICA, Gaudi’s masterpiece. Also enjoy a panoramic view of the city and harbor from Montjuic Hill. This afternoon, an optional excursion to Montserrat can be arranged. (B)
Enjoy rustic Catalonian and Aragonian landscapes on your journey to Madrid, the capital of Spain since 1561. (B)
Madrid today is a strikingly modern city, the showcase of a country resolutely turned towards the future. Your Local Guide takes you to the Puerta del Sol, Plaza de Espana with its monument to Cervantes, the Parliament, Cibeles Fountain, elegant Calle Alcala, and Paseo de Castellana. Then, enjoy a highlight visit to the palatial PRADO MUSEUM with its priceless art treasures. Optional excursions are available to make the most of your stay. (B)
Drive south through the arid landscapes of Don Quixote’s La Mancha to Cordoba, where sightseeing with a Local Guide includes the Alcazar, the Roman Bridge, and the medieval Jewish quarter. Tour the magnificent 8th-century MOSQUE OF THE CALIPHS, famous for its 850 pillars of porphyry, marble, and jasper. Later, continue to Seville, the vibrant, festive capital of Andalusia. (B)
During your guided sightseeing tour, you will hear about the city’s role in Roman times, its conquest by the Moors in 712 AD, and its contribution to the discovery of the New World. Admire Maria Luisa Park, the Golden Tower on the Guadalquivir River, and the university that was once the tobacco factory of Carmen fame. Also visit the magnificent CASA DE PILATOS, a mixture of Moorish and Roman architecture with a splendid collection of Roman sculptures. Then, stroll through the narrow lanes of the charming SANTA CRUZ QUARTER. For those interested, also an optional extended guided visit to the cathedral is available. This evening, dine on local specialties prepared for you at El Palacio Andaluz restaurant and accompanied by Flamenco entertainment. (B,D)
A scenic drive today takes you over the border to Portugal and its capital of Lisbon, starting point of many successful 15th-century expeditions to the New World. (B)
Lisbon was the centre of Europe’s longest-lived overseas empire. Portugal’s imperial ambitions date back to Prince Henry the Navigator’s 15th-century discoveries in West Africa. Morning sightseeing with a Local Guide features a drive through the Baixa quarter’s main squares, as well as a walk through the cobblestone alleys of quaint ALFAMA, the popular quarter of the seamen and Fado singers. Drive along the grand Avenida da Liberdade up to Pombal Square, and stop for pictures of Belem Tower and the Monument to the Discoveries. Also visit the CHURCH with the tomb of Vasco da Gama. Tonight, enjoy a farewell dinner with your travelling companions. (B,D)
Your holiday ends with breakfast this morning. (B)