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Kick off your Iberian adventure in Madrid before heading to the hanging houses in Cuenca and devouring delicious paella in Valencia. See the troglodyte cave dwellings at Guadix, the 14th century Alhambra Palace and passionate Flamenco in Seville before heading to Portugal’s Algarve, its hilly capital, Lisbon, and Fatima, site of celebrated religious miracles.
Welcome to Madrid, the capital of Spain. Relax or take a stroll along tree-lined boulevards before meeting up with your fellow travellers and Travel Director. Enjoy an evening drive to take in some of the city’s main sights followed by a Welcome Reception. (WR)
In Cuenca view the hanging houses which are built on the edge of the cliffs over the deep gorge. On arrival in Valencia your orientation drive will include views of the Towers of Serrano and Quart. Stop to view the City of Arts and Sciences which is a large-scale urban recreation centre for culture and science and designed by Santiago Calatrava. This complex is also featured in the George Clooney movie ‘Tomorrowland’. Tonight why not sample paella, a speciality from this region. (BB)
Travel inland through the ‘sierras’ to view the troglodyte cave dwellings at Guadix. Cave houses are common throughout the province of Granada but the highest concentration in this area. Take the jagged Mora Pass to the Moorish city of Granada. Dine tonight in a local restaurant for a special Regional Meal. (BB, RM)
Your Local Specialist takes you on a visit to the incredible Alhambra Palace, built in the 14th century and a magnificent example of Moorish architecture. Admire the ancient stucco, quiet courtyards and colossal walls. In Córdoba visit the Cathedral Mosque of Córdoba, the former mosque of the caliphs, a jewel of Hispano – Islamic art featuring striking arches and Byzantine mosaics with a Local Specialist. Later arrive in Seville, your home for the next three nights. (BB, DW)
See the Giralda Bell Tower with your Local Specialist during your sightseeing tour of Seville. Visit the Maria Luisa Park, the centrepiece of the 1929 Exposition, built in a Moorish style and featuring half a mile of fountains, ponds, pavilions and lush plantings and walk through the imposing Plaza de España. Visit the largest Gothic cathedral in the world, where the explorer Christopher Columbus is entombed. Tonight why not experience the passion of the flamenco. (BB)
Start your day in Jerez and gain a Cultural Insight into sherry production which is renowned in this region. Later visit the historic port city of Cadiz. Columbus departed from here on many of his voyages, and the exotic plants and trees dotted throughout the city are said to have been brought here by him upon his return. Once home to the vast Spanish Navy, Cadiz was raided by Sir Francis Drake a year prior to the 1588 Spanish Armada departure. (BB)
Cross the border into southern Portugal for a leisurely afternoon on the sunny Algarve. Spend time relaxing on the beach or take a stroll along the harbour. (BB, DW)
See the Serra de Arrabida mountains and enjoy a Be My Guest lunch at a traditional Stud Ranch where Lusitano horses are reared. This afternoon arrive to Lisbon and visit the UNESCO World Heritage site of the Hieronymite Monastery as well as see the Belém Tower on your sightseeing tour with a Local Specialist. Tonight why not sample a traditional fado show. (BB, BG)
Enjoy a relaxing free day to explore all of Lisbon’s attractions. Why not visit the lively Rossio Square where street cafes overlook the Baroque fountains or the Alfama district with its medieval alleyways and outstanding views? Later perhaps join an Optional Experience to the historic towns of Cascais and Sintra. (BB)
Drive north through the magnificent Serra d’Aire Mountains to the Shrine at Fátima, site of celebrated religious miracles. Cross the border back into Spain and arrive later in Salamanca where you view Plaza Mayor during your orientation tour. (BB)
See the walled city of Avila before arriving in Toledo. Visit the Church of Santo Tomé, home to one of El Greco’s most famous paintings – The Burial of Count Orgaz. Visit the synagogue during your guided walk through the narrow streets with your Local Specialist. Enjoy a Cultural Insight into the historical steel industry while watching local craftsmen at work. Later arrive in Madrid, your home for the next two nights. (BB)
This morning join your Local Specialist for a sightseeing tour of Madrid where you will see the Royal Palace, Puerta del Sol and the Cervantes Monument. This afternoon enjoy free time to explore the city or you can take an Optional Experience to the medieval UNESCO World Heritage City of Segovia. This evening join your fellow companions and Travel Director for a Farewell Dinner. (BB, FD)
Say ‘adios’ to your travelling companions, your Travel Director and these beautiful countries at the end of a memorable holiday. Airport transfers are available. Conditions apply. (BB)
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