SPAIN & PORTUGAL LONGSTAYS – 29 NIGHTS | 4 ★
COSTA DEL SOL, ALGARVE & LISBON
A classic favourite! This complete hosted Mediterranean vacation combines the best of Spain and Portugal! Start with 14 nights in Spain’s Costa del Sol in a modern hotel located on stunning Carihuela Beach. Six cultural excursions are included with your stay.
Then spend 13 nights in Portugal in a modern resort in the Algarve. Enjoy the expansive beaches, white-washed villages and stunning seascapes. End your stay with two nights in the fascinating city of Lisbon, and a day trip to Sintra a UNESCO World Heritage site.
Includes breakfast daily and most dinners
* Round-trip airfare
• Plaza Premium airport lounge pass†
• Airport transfers in country
• Costa Del Sol: 14 nights in a suite at the Hotel Sol House Aloha, Costa del Sol, with two meals daily and free WiFi
• Four full-day excursions with lunch including: Granada, Córdoba, Gilbraltar and Nerja
• Two half-day excursions to Málaga with dinner and Flamenco show and Mijas with dinner
• Algarve: 13 nights in a hotel room at the Aqua Pedra dos Bicos Design Beach Hotel with two meals daily, free WiFi, free safe-box
• Two excursions including: Moorish Heritage with wine tasting and lunch and Loule Market
• Lisbon: two nights at the Hotel Mundial with breakfast, Lisbon walking tour with tapas plus a full-day Sintra tour with lunch, and farewell dinner
• Local tourist taxes and gratuities
• Merit Travel tour host**
Spain: Costa del Sol – The Sol House Aloha Costa del Sol is situated right on the seafront promenade and near Puerto Marina close to restaurants, bars and markets within walking distance, with breakfast and dinner included daily. Fully renovated one-bedroom suites feature a double bed or 2 twin beds with a modern loft style design, a sofa bed and a furnished terrace. All rooms have been recently redecorated and include two flat-screen TVs, air conditioning, free WiFi, safe, and a full bathroom with rain shower or bathtub. Unwind by the gorgeous pool area with sunbeds overlooking the sea.
Portugal: Algarve – The Aqua Pedra Dos Bicos Design Beach Hotel is set in a Mediterranean pinewood only 500 m from the famous Albufeira strip with direct access to the beach (with steps) only 400 m away or walk along Clube Praia da Oura (1 km away). All rooms have a modern look and open onto private balconies. There is satellite TV, telephone, mini bar, free safe-box, free Wi-Fi and air conditioning. WiFi also available in public areas. Housekeeping daily, change of towels daily; change of linen twice weekly. The Serenata Restaurant offers Mediterranean fusion cuisine in a sophisticated atmosphere. Other facilities include 24-hour reception, an outdoor pool and two bars. The Balaia golf course is 2 km away.
Portugal: Lisbon – The Hotel Mundial is set in Lisbon’s historic Baixa Pombalina district and features a terrace with stunning panoramic city and São Jorge Castle views. It is a two minute walk from Rossio Square. Renovated in March 2016, rooms at the Hotel Mundial have air -conditioning, traditional-style furnishings and are equipped with satellite TV, and a private bathroom with a bathrobe and hairdryer. The Varanda de Lisboa restaurant is highly regarded and offers stunning views over the city.
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Day 1 Feb. 5, 2020 | DEPART TORONTO – MALAGA, SPAIN
Board your overnight Air Transat flight 477 departs Toronto at 6:00 p.m. arrives Montreal 7:15 p.m. Connects with Air Transat flight 254 departs Montreal at 8:40 p.m. arrives Malaga 9:40 a.m. (following day).
Day 2 Feb. 6, 2020 | MALAGA – COSTA DEL SOL (D)
Upon arrival in Málaga, meet your local representative and transfer to your hotel in Costa del Sol. Enjoy a welcome dinner this evening with your group.
Accommodation: Sol House Aloha Hotel in Costa del Sol (14 nights)
Days 3 – 15 Feb. 7 – Feb. 19, 2020 | COSTA DEL SOL (B, D)
Enjoy the amenities at your resort, take a stroll on the beach, go shopping or just soak up the atmosphere. You have six cultural tours included in your vacation to really understand the local culture. Your tour host will be available for suggestions on local excursions. Breakfast and dinner is included daily at your resort!
Included half-day Excursion to Malaga and Flamenco Show
(Feb.08, 2020) (D)
Meet at the hotel lobby for a 3:00 p.m. departure. This afternoon, you will tour the city of Malaga, described once by de Nobel Price winner Vicente Alexandre, as the City of Paradise. Starting with the “Alcazaba” (Citadel) and the ancient Roman Theatre located nearby the house where Picasso was born. “The Gibralfaro” an old Arab Fortress offers fantastic views over the city and the Mediterranean and the Cathedral is one of the best examples of Spanish Renaissance architecture. The interior, with its high and wide naves is noteworthy for its chapels, choir-stalls and paintings by Cano, Morales and Coello. Enjoy dinner at a local restaurant and then you will attend a live performance of a fabulous Flamenco Show at a local ‘Tablao’ before returning back to your hotel. Appropriate for travellers who are physically fit and comfortable with longer days of touring by transport and by foot and do not require mobility aids.
Included full-day Excursion to Granada (Feb. 10, 2020) (L)
Meet at the hotel lobby for an 8:00 a.m. departure. Discover the UNESCO World Heritage-listed Alhambra on this fascinating tour. You’ll explore beyond the beautiful Moorish architecture to learn the history of one of the most visited attractions in the world. Your visit begins in the Alhambra, whose construction began in the 11th century. Visit the most important halls and courtyards of the Alhambra.
Your tour then continues to the Palace of Charles V and the Generalife Gardens. Found next to the Alhambra, these gardens were a place of leisure and recreation for the Moorish kings of Granada and from here you can enjoy wonderful views across the city. You’ll enjoy lunch at Restaurant H. Carmen and then have some free time to explore Granada on your own before returning back to your hotel.
Included half-day Excursion to Mijas (Feb 13., 2020) (D)
Meet at the hotel lobby for a 4 p.m. departure. This afternoon, you will visit Mijas situated on the edge of the mountains surrounded by pine trees and facing the Mediterranean Sea. Mijas is a village full of history and culture that still conserves the image of a traditional Andalusian village.
The key sights to see on foot include The shrine of the Virgen de la Peña, the Parish Church, the Bullring, the auditorium and the Carromato de Max”, a museum of miniatures. Mijas Burro Taxis, also known as donkeys, are available for non-walkers, for a more traditional taxi method through the narrow streets. After your tour you will enjoy dinner at a local restaurant before returning back to your hotel.
Included full-day Excursion to Nerja & Frigiliana (Feb. 14, 2020) (L)
Meet at the hotel lobby for a 9:00 a.m. departure. In the Eastern Coast of Málaga Province, Frigiliana shines with mosaic paved streets and immaculate white houses. This beautiful village maintains a Morisco-Mudejar centre which has received numerous awards for its excellent state of conservation.
Taste the local sweet wine and enjoy free time for strolling around. A few kilometres from Frigiliana, you will find Nerja, a village that still retains much of the character of its Moorish past. The historic centre was constructed around 1487 of which the Balcon de Europa (Balcony of Europe) is part, which now provides a viewing area out to sea. To the side of the Balcon is the XVII Century El Salvador Church constructed in Barroque-Mudejar style.
You will also visit the magnificent prehistoric Caves known as the Underground Cathedral a unique example of natural architecture, with stalactites and stalagmites that were formed over millions of years. A delicious lunch will be served at Restaurant Servillano, before returning back to your hotel.
Included full-day Excursion to Gibraltar (Feb. 17, 2020) (L)
Meet at the hotel lobby for a 9:00 a.m. departure. On this tour visit Gilbraltar, a British Colony since 1713 is often described as the shopping centre of the Western Mediterranean. The key local attraction is St. Michael’s Cave, situated at a height of approximately 300 m above sea level, this is one of Europe’s most dramatic natural grottoes, a remarkable example of natural architecture.
The Ape’s Den is where we will find Barbary Macaques or Barbary Apes. Roaming freely along the upper rock, these endearing creatures will enchant you with their antics. We will stop for lunch at Restaurant le Square café and will have some free time to explore before returning back to your hotel.
Included full-day Excursion to Córdoba (Feb. 18, 2020) (L)
Meet at the hotel lobby for an 8:30 a.m. departure. On this tour you will visit one of the most emblematic buildings of Islamic Art, the 16th century Aljama Mosque, displaying Gothic, Baroque and Plateresque elements. The panoramic tour shows the Roman Bridge displaying the restoration work performed by the Muslims. The “Juderia” (Jewish Quarter), with its Synagogue, situated near “La Aljama” district. After lunch at restaurant Bandolero, you will have free time for shopping the local handicrafts, before returning back to your hotel.
Day 16 Feb. 20., 2020 | DEPART COSTA DEL SOL, SPAIN FOR THE ALGARVE, PORTUGAL (B, D)
Please check out and bring your luggage to the lobby by 8:00 a.m. Today you will depart after breakfast and transfer to the Algarve via private motor coach. Enjoy the scenic route to Portugal (approximately a five-hour drive) and arrive in the Algarve in the early afternoon, and check in to your hotel. This evening enjoy a welcome dinner with your group at 7:00 p.m.
Accommodation: The Aqua Pedra Dos Bicos Design Beach Hotel (13 nights)
COSTA DEL SOL, ALGARVE & LISBON – HOSTED
Days 17 – 28 Feb. 21 – Mar. 3, 2020 (B, D)
You have included in your vacation two cultural excursions. Your Merit Travel tour host will be available for suggestions on local excursions. Breakfast and dinner is included daily at your resort.
Included half-day Excursion to Loule Market (Feb. 22, 2020)
Meet in the lobby for a 9:30 a.m. departure by coach to Loule, an attractive town in the countryside for a guided tour and to visit the weekly Market that attracts tourists from all over the region. The town’s landmark is the Market Building where the local farmers sell fresh products such as fish, fruits and vegetables. Enjoy some time to walk in the narrow streets of Loule and visit the medieval castle and the city wall.
Included full-day Excursion to Moorish Heritage Excursion with Wine Tasting (Feb. 25, 2020) (L)
Meet in the lobby for a 9 a.m. departure by coach towards the town of Silves, a charming town situated on the banks of the Arade River, which was once the capital of the Algarve. Arriving in Silves, we will have a guided visit through the old town to learn more about the history of this area.
The Castle of Silves is the best-preserved castle in the Algarve. It was built on the site of late Roman and Visigoth fortifications from the 4th and 5th centuries. The Cathedral is considered the most important gothic monument in the Algarve. Another impressive sight is the Cruz de Portugal (the Cross of Portugal), it is a limestone cross dating from the 15th or 16th century. After visiting Silves we continue to one of the local wineries where several medals have been awarded, certifying the growing quality of the wines.
Day 29 Mar. 4, 2020 | DEPART ALGARVE – LISBON (B, D)
Please check out and be ready in the lobby for 9:00 a.m. You will depart from your hotel in the morning by coach for Lisbon (approximately a three-hour drive).
This afternoon enjoy a Lisbon walking tour to explore the hidden gems of this fascinating city. Discover Lisbon’s old city centre followed by a wine tasting. You will have the opportunity to taste some of the most traditional Portuguese Tapas (petiscos) and also some Portuguese iconic wines including the famous Port wine!
Tonight enjoy a farewell dinner at 7:30 p.m. with your group at Varanda de Lisboa restaurant including wine.
Accommodation: Hotel Mundial (two nights)
Day 30 Mar. 5, 2020 | LISBON | FULL-DAY SINTRA AND CASCAIS EXCURSION (B, L)
After breakfast, depart from your hotel at 9 a.m. by coach to see the city’s highlights. During your tour enjoy an informative commentary and a relaxing drive through the town, stopping to take photographs at famous landmarks and places of interest such as the Monument to the Discoveries, Belém Tower and the Jerónimos Monastery. Continue to the charming town of Sintra, a UNESCO World Heritage Site, where you can admire many stunning buildings and works of art. Upon arrival you will visit Sintra National Palace, also known as Palácio da Vila, famous for its magnificent painted ceilings. After your visit to the palace enjoy some free time to explore the town. From Sintra continue to Cabo da Roca, the most western point of Europe, where you will have time to photograph the stunning views. Your tour ends with a visit to Cascais, a popular resort with a wonderful bay lined by elegant houses, before returning back to your hotel.
Day 31 Mar. 6, 2020 | DEPART LISBON – TORONTO (B)
This morning transfer to the airport for your flight home. Air Transat flight 337 departs Lisbon at 11:45 a.m. arrives Toronto 3:05 p.m.
*CDN$ p.p. dbl. occ. Taxes included. Single supplement: $1,700. †Plaza Premium airport lounge pass applicable at Toronto airport only. Airfare available from most Canadian airports, please enquire. **Minimum 15 passengers required for a Merit Travel tour host.
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