THE MAGIC AND CHARM OF PORTUGAL AND SPAIN
Lisbon to Barcelona
Traverse Portugal and Spain, passing through Lisbon, Sintra, seaside resorts, medieval villages and famous monasteries and pilgrimage sites. See Gothic masterpieces, monuments and UNESCO Heritage sites and attractions. Visit Seville, the birthplace of Flamenco dancing, embrace the lively street scenes and plazas and see famous original art and architecture by Picasso, Dalí, Miró and Gaudi!
Single supplements available!
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Lisbon | Sintra | Estoril | Obidos | Fatima | Evora | Seville | Cordoba | Granada | Toledo | Madrid | Barcelona
• Round-trip airfare
• Plaza Premium airport lounge pass
• 12 nights 4-star hotel accommodation
• 12 breakfasts, three dinners
• Private motor coach transportation
• Local English speaking tour guide
• All entrance fees as per the itinerary
• Merit Travel tour host**
• All taxes and gratuities
Level of support:
Merit Travel Hosted
Related Services Available to Add:
Breakfast Incl. (B), Lunch Incl. (L), Dinner Incl.(D)
DAY 1 | Mar. 29, 2019 | Toronto/Vancouver - Lisbon
Depart Toronto or Vancouver for your overnight flight to Lisbon.
DAY 2 | Mar. 30, 2019 | Lisbon (B, D)
Upon arrival to Lisbon, transfer to the hotel.
This evening you are in for a very special treat with a Fado dinner including a set menu with wine. During dinner, you will listen to Fado, the national song. Fado is sung by candlelight and supported by guitar and is often compared to gospel due to the melody of the song. Fado song lyrics are passionate and can be forlorn or cheerful, speaking of lost love or forbidden passions as well as good wine, bullfighting and spending time with friends!
Overnight at Turim Lisboa Hotel or similar (3 nights)
DAY 3 | Mar. 31, 2019 | Lisbon - Sintra - Cascais - Estoril (B)
Breakfast at the hotel before departing for a full-day tour of Lisbon and Sintra. In the morning, we leave towards the district of Belém where we will make our first stop at the Belém Tower, a UNESCO World Heritage Site.
Then we will make a stop at the Discoveries Monument which marks the 500th anniversary of the death of Henry the Navigator, and visit the church of the Monastery of Jeronimos Tower, also a UNESCO World Heritage Site. Our passage through Belém will end with a visit to the National Coach Museum, containing one of the most important collections of coaches in the world.
We then pass through Old Lisbon, strolling through the district of Alfama where we will have a tasting of port wine. We will also see the extraordinary Praça do Comércio, Rossio (heart of the city) and Avenida da Liberdade, Lisbon’s main boulevard.
In the afternoon, we continue towards Sintra, a magnificent UNESCO World Heritage village, where we will start with a visit to the National Palace (or Town Palace), situated in the heart of the village. There will be time to enjoy exploring the historic centre and taste the local sweet delicacies: travesseiros and queijadas.
Next we will be stopping at the westernmost point of mainland Europe, Cabo da Roca, enjoying marvelous views the ocean on our way to Cascais. The last stop is Estoril, before returning back to Lisbon.
DAY 4 | Apr. 1, 2019 | Lisbon - Óbidos - Alcobaça - Nazaré - Batalha - Fatime (B)
Breakfast at the hotel. Today we depart for the charming village of Óbidos and travel back in time to this walled medieval town, admiring its Gothic churches and the narrow winding stone streets.
We continue towards Alcobaça, where we will visit the church of the Monastery of Santa Maria, the largest in the country, known for its medieval architecture. This monument is a UNESCO World Heritage Site and inside are the tombs of Pedro and Inês de Castro. We will visit the colourful fishing village of Nazaré, with its magnificent bay and also stop at the Dominican monastery church of Santa Maria da Vitória in Batalha. We will end the day with a visit to the sanctuary of Fatima, a place of faith and world pilgrimage before returning to Lisbon.
DAY 5 | Apr. 2, 2019 | Lisbon - Évora - Seville (B)
We will have breakfast at the hotel and check-out to then depart to the UNESCO town of Évora, standing in the middle of the beautiful Alentejo plains and protected by walls of Moorish and medieval origin.
Our journey through time begins with a visit to the Roman Temple, dating from the 3rd century A.D. According to the legend, this temple was dedicated to Diana, the goddess of hunting and was used as gunsmith, slaughterhouse and theatre.
We continue to the Romanesque-Gothic Cathedral, whose first stone was laid in 1186, before continuing on to the Church of San Francisco and it's main attraction, the Chapel of Bones, built in the 17th century.
Afterwards we will reach Seville and upon arrival check-in at the hotel.
Overnight at Silken Al Andalus Palace or similar (3 nights)
DAY 6 | Apr. 3, 2019 | Seville (B)
After breakfast, we will sightsee around Seville seeing some of the most important and unique attractions including the University, the Old Tobacco Factory, the Plaza de España, the centerpiece of the 1929 Iberoamerican Exposition, San Telmo Palace, The Golden Tower, Isabel II Bridge and the Macarena Basilica.
We will wander through Santa Cruz, the famous Jewish quarter; a labyrinth of narrow streets which lead to the gorgeous Plaza de los Venerables. We'll also visit the Royal Alcazares, a UNESCO World Heritage Site and one of the remaining examples of Mudéjar architecture, and finally the Cathedral of Seville, the largest gothic cathedral of the world, and where you will see Cristopher Columbus’s tomb.
DAY 7 | Apr. 4, 2019 | Seville - Cordoba (B, D)
After breakfast at the hotel we depart for Córdoba. We start our visit with the majestic Alcazar of the Catholic Kings, and view inside this beautiful Mosque.
Then we visit the Cordoban Jewish Quarter, where we will see its most emblematic streets like the flower lined Side Street, and the square of the great Maimonides, including the secluded Synagogue.
The rest of the afternoon allows for wandering around at your leisure in the wonderful pedestrian streets of the Jewish Quarter.
Later we will return to Sevillle for dinner at the hotel.
DAY 8 | Apr. 5, 2019 | Seville - Granada (B)
Breakfast at the hotel and check-out. Today we depart for Granada and upon arrival, check in to the hotel.
The rest of the afternoon is at leisure to orient yourself before exploring in more detail tomorrow!
Overnight at Catalonia Granada Hotel or similar (2 nights)
DAY 9 | Apr. 6, 2019 | Granada (B)
After breakfast we depart for Granada situated at the foot of the Sierra Nevada mountains, between the rivers Darro and Genil, in eastern Andalusia.
We visit the Alhambra, situated on a hill and adorned with beautiful and aromatic gardens. Designated as a UNESCO World Heritage Site in 1984, it has been visited for centuries, by millions of travelers from all corners of the world.
The rest of the afternoon at leisure to enjoy the sites.
DAY 10 | Apr. 7, 2019 | Granada - Madrid (B)
After breakfast we'll check out of the hotel and make our way to Madrid, checking in at the hotel in the afternoon and having a night at your own leisure to wander around Madrid.
Overnight at Hotel Agumar or similar (2 nights)
DAY 11 | Apr. 8, 2019 | Madrid - Toledo (B)
Breakfast at the hotel. Today we enjoy a city tour of Madrid which will show the medieval origins of the city, including the Arabic fortress, at the Barrio de la Morería.
We will also learn about the Hapsburg Madrid of Felipe II, with its Renaissance and Baroque buildings, the Plaza Mayor, and Plaza de la Villa. We will visit the Bourbon Madrid and the urban layout made by Carlos III, the Royal Palace, the Cibeles Fountain, Neptune Fountain and the Puerta de Alcalá.
We'll have plenty to learn about when visiting contemporary Madrid's Gran Via, Paseo de la Castellana, Barrio Salamanca, Plaza de Castilla and Parque del Oeste, as well as the financial districts of Madrid.
In the afternoon, we continue to Toledo, the “City of the Three Cultures”. This city-museum, declared as a UNESCO World Heritage Site, is one of the oldest towns in Europe and has a great artistic beauty and buildings in many styles including Arabian, Gothic, Mudéjar, Renaissance and Baroque.
We will also see the Cathedral and visit the Church of St. Tomé to see the El Entierro del señor de Orgaz, a masterpiece of El Greco as well as stopping at the Synagogue of Santa María la Blanco. We'll return to Madrid in the afternoon.
DAY 12 | Apr. 9, 2019 | Madrid - Barcelona (B)
Breakfast at the hotel and check-out, before departing for Barcelona and checking in to our hotel for the next two nights.
Overnight at Catalonia Barcelona 505 or similar (2 nights)
DAY 13 | Apr. 10, 2019 | Barcelona - Montserrat (B, D)
Breakfast at the hotel. Today we depart for Montserrat, rising more than 4,000 feet above sea level. Enjoy breathtaking views of the Montserrat Mountain, visit the Royal Basilica of Montserrat, which contains the famous 12th century Romanesque carving of Verge Moreneta (the Black Madonna). The Benedict sanctuary of Montserrat was founded in 1025 and provides a mystical backdrop for the Virgin of Montserrat, the patron saint of Catalonia who is enshrined in the monastery's Royal Basilica.
In the afternoon, we continue on a city tour of Barcelona, known as the capital of Modernism and the place where the famous architect Antoni Gaudí worked and lived. Gaudi, one of the greatest innovators of his time, has left behind numerous treasures to discover in Barcelona. We will also visit the Sagrada Familia (Holy Family) Basilica, Gaudi's unfinished masterpiece and Barcelona's most famous landmark.
Our tour continues to Passeig de Gràcia to see Gaudi's famous apartment buildings including Casa Mila “La Pedrera”, Casa Batlló and others modernist buildings.
This evening we enjoy a farewell dinner with our group at a local restaurant.
DAY 14 | Apr. 11, 2019 | Barcelona - Toronto/Vancouver (B)
Breakfast at the hotel and check-out, prior to transferring to the airport for our international flight home.
Operated by Merit Travel.
Not included: Any personal expenses, such as insurance, passport fees, any meals, or items not mentioned.
*Prices are in CDN$ per person, double occupancy. Taxes included. Single supplement add $1,100. Airfare available from most Canadian airports, please enquire.
**Minimum 12 passengers required for a Merit Travel tour host.
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