Mysteries of Iberia (Spain and Portugal) 11 Days

$2,999.00

Barcelona – Valencia – Alicante – Granada – Malaga – Seville – Lisbon – Toledo – Madrid – Zaragoza

The Iberian Peninsula, incorporating Spain and Portugal, is an incredible melting-pot of cultural influences. From the Celts, Visigoths, Romans, and Jews, to the Arab and Berber Moors, and the final supremacy of Catholicism – its history is one of conflict and exclusion, and eventual integration and fusion. You will marvel at the sublime mosques and Gothic cathedrals, and the stunningly surreal Sagrada Familia in Barcelona, designed by Antoni Gaudi. Reach the westernmost point of continental Europe in Portugal, visit the tomb of Christopher Columbus in Seville. You'll most likely sample grilled sardines and the original Portuguese custard tarts, and perhaps some local wines – but something else might satisfy you more – the mysteriously warm light that unifies the incomparable Iberian peninsula.

Highlights

  • Visit Valencia and see the famed Valencia Cathedral, where the Holy Grail is reputedly kept
  • In Granada you will visit the Alhambra, palace of Moorish Sultan Yusuf I, and later the royal court of Ferdinand and Isabella
  • On to Seville, where you will visit the Alcázar of Seville – the oldest royal palace still in use in Europe
  • In Portugal, you'll reach westernmost point of continental Europe, then on to Lisbon to enjoy the famed custard tarts.
  • See beautiful Toledo, hugged by the Tagus River and graced by the Toledo Cathedral, which represents the peak of Gothic architecture in Spain
  • Enjoy a thorough tour of Madrid, Spain's capital, including the Piazza di Spagna, Plaza de Colón, the Royal Palace of Madrid and more
  • In Barcelona, marvel at Antoni Gaudi's fairy-tale La Sagrada Familia cathedral, and enjoy some free time for shopping

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Guaranteed Departure Dates

2017 Price Per Person Single Supplement
03 Jun 12 Jul* 21 Oct From $2,999 $499
10 Jun 19 Aug 28 Oct
17 Jun* 26 Aug 04 Nov
24 Jun* 02 Sep 11 Nov
01 Jul* 09 Sep 18 Nov
08 Jul* 19 Sep 25 Nov
15 Jul* 23 Sep* 02 Dec
22 Jul* 30 Sep* 09 Dec*
29 Jul* 07 Oct*
05 Aug* 14 Oct
2018
24 Feb 09 Jun 22 Sep*
03 Mar 16 Jun 29 Sep*
10 Mar 23 Jun 06 Oct*
17 Mar 30 Jun 13 Oct*
24 Mar 07 Jul* 20 Oct
31 Mar 14 Jul* 27 Oct
07 Apr* 21 Jul* 03 Nov
14 Apr* 28 Jul 10 Nov
21 Apr* 04 Aug 17 Nov
28 Apr 11 Aug 24 Nov
05 May 18 Aug 01 Dec
12 May 25 Aug 08 Dec
19 May 01 Sep 15 Dec*
26 May 08 Sep
02 Jun 15 Sep

Inclusions:

  • Return international airfares economy class and taxes flying China Southern or China Eastern Airlines (subject to availability)
  • Sightseeing and orientation tours included in the itinerary – expertly planned to maximise your time to visit iconic and must-see sites in each city (optional excursions also available).
  • Accommodation in a comfortable three-star (minimum) hotel, twin room with private facilities.
  • Dedicated coach transportation
  • Return airport-hotel transfers
  • English speaking tour guide(s)
  • Daily continental breakfast

Exclusions:

  • Mandatory tip for the tour manager and driver of €5 per traveller per day (€3 for the tour manager and €2 for the driver), which will be collected by the tour manager whilst on tour.
  • City entrance fees + taxes – paid directly to tour guide
  • All optional activities, tours and attraction tickets not included in the itinerary
  • Travel insurance (strongly recommended)
  • Personal expenses

Attractions and Optionals Price List

  • Ronda Town – The most famous cliff town in Spain, beloved by Ernest Hemingway – €20
  • Flamenco Dance Show + Dinner + Transfer – €65
  • Night excursion to Alicante beach – €10
  • Excursion to Mijas – €15
  • Sagrada Família Church – €15

NOTE: Due to limited daily access at Sagrada Família church, to avoid disappointment, we recommend that customers who strongly wish to visit the Sagrada Familia book tickets online in advance on www.sagradafamilia.org/en/tickets/)

NOTE: Please the abocve pricing use as reference only, as prices are subject to change. Some excursions are subject to minimum numbers and local conditions. You can only book optionals/pay taxes whilst on tour. Your tour manager will also collect payment in cash only (Euros).

Hotel Accommodation

The hotels we use are carefully selected to provide you with a comfortable stay in a relaxing environment. All the hotel we use are three-star, with continental breakfast included. A selection of our preferred hotels in our main destinations is listed below. As the hotels are generally not in the downtown area, we cannot guarantee that there is transportation to the city except for taxis. Please note that hotels will vary depending on group sizes and hence hotel information can only be ascertained within 24 hours prior to check-in.

Marid (Spain) Novotel Madrid Sanchinarro
Silken Puerta
Sanchinarro 15, 28050 Madrid
Juan Rizi 5, 28027 Madrid
Zaragoza (Spain) Eurostars hotel Rey Fernando
Nexh Zaragoza
Bari 27 (Plataforma Logistica de Zaragoza), 50197 Zaragoza
Camino De Los Molinos 42, 50015 Zaragoza
Barcelona (Spain) AC by Marriott hotel Sant Cugat
Holiday Inn Express Barcelona Sant Cugat
Plaza Xavier Cugat, Sant Cugat del Valles, 08174 Barcelona
Avda. Can Fatjo Dels Aurons S/N Parc Empresarial A7 Sant Cugat
Alicante (Spain) EXE Alicante Hill
Holiday Inn Express Alicante
Glorieta Reino Unido 6, 03008 Alicante
Avenida de Elche 112, 03008 Alicante
Malaga (Spain) Hotel Don Curro
Holiday Inn Express Malaga
Sancha de Lara 7, 29015 Malaga
Avenida de Velazquez 294, 29004 Malaga
Seville (Spain) Hotel GIT Via Sevilla Mairena
Eurostars hotel Regina
Av. De Los Descubrimientos s/n, 41927 Mairena de Aljarafe
San Vicente 97, 41002 Sevilla
Lisbon (Portugal) Holiday Inn Express Lisbon Airport
Sana Malhoa
Rua Da Guine Nr. 18-18b, Prior Velho, 2685-334 Lisbon
Av. José Malhoa, 81099-089 Lisbon
Take an international flight from Australia to Barcelona.
Arrive in Barcelona. You will be transferred to your hotel.
Barcelona
After breakfast at the hotel, we’ll leave Barcelona for Spain’s third largest city, Valencia. Valencia is celebrated as the gateway to the Mediterranean. It’s commercially and culturally rich, with Moorish culture, customs and food all represented in the cultural blend. Trade allowed Valencia to enjoy prosperity and glory that other Spanish cities didn’t achieve. Although today’s Valencia is less prominent, it’s still an important city for large commerce exhibitions and trade fairs to be held in throughout the year. Upon arrival, we will visit Modernisme Plaza of the City Hall, Valencia’s Ancient City Gates and Valencia Cathedral, where the true Holy Grail is reputedly kept. The day is rounded off with a drive to Alicante.
Valencia Cathedral
This morning we depart for the city of Granada on the plateau of Andalusia province. This historic city has been ruled by Visigoths and Moors. It became the last stronghold of the eight hundred year Moorish rule over the Iberian Peninsula, until in the 15th century King Ferdinand successfully expelled the Moors and united Spain. We will visit the Alhambra, a Moorish citadel and palace, also known as the Red Palace. Once you arrive, the Moorish legacy will catch your eye immediately. Representing the ‘golden age’ of Moorish architecture, the dome is stunning and delicate in construction. We proceed on our journey to Costa del Sol – the ‘Sunny Coast’ and go direct to our hotel overnight.
Alhambra, Granada
In the morning we go north to the largest city of Andalusia province, Seville. This city was the capital of the Moorish Muslim rulers, and is considered to be the centre of culture in Andalusia, and the birthplace of flamenco dance. Seville is the primary setting of many operas, the best known of which is Bizet’s Carmen. As the fourth largest city in Spain, it hosted the World’s Fair in 1992. Upon arrival, we visit Seville Cathedral, the largest Gothic cathedral and the third-largest church in the world. Completed in the early 16th century, the cathedral halls are now dedicated as the Royal Chapel, and the burial place of kings for over a century. Christopher Columbus, who discovered the New World, was also entombed here in recognition of the great navigator. From there we see the Alcázar of Seville, used to be a Muslim palace and later the Spanish royal palace. The upper levels of the Alcázar are still used by the royal family as their official Seville residence. This is the oldest royal palace still in use in Europe and was registered in 1987 by UNESCO as a World Heritage Site, along with the Seville Cathedral. Then we walk through the Santa Cruz, Torre del Oro (the Tower of Gold) and Maria Luisa Park, site of the 1992 World Expo. In Plaza de España (Spain Square), we can admire a crafted porcelain painting, detailing the history and elegance of old Spain.
Plaza Espana, Seville
Today we depart for the capital and the largest city of Portugal, Lisbon. We are expected to arrive in Cabo da Roca (Cape Roca) which forms the westernmost point of mainland Portugal and continental Europe, in the afternoon. Don’t forget to buy a remembrance certificate! Later we return to Lisbon’s city centre and visit Belém Tower and Jerónimos Monastery, both UNESCO World Heritage Sites. Belém Tower played a significant role in the Portuguese maritime Age of Discoveries. Jerónimos Monastery is one of the most prominent examples of the Portuguese Late Gothic Manueline style of architecture in Lisbon. You will pass through Marquis of Pombal Square and then stop at Rossio Square for some free time. Those who are interested in Portuguese custard tarts can taste authentic ones at the century-old bakery.
Lisbon, Portugal
Today we will drive back to Madrid via Toledo, declared a World Heritage Site by UNESCO in 1986 for its extensive cultural and monumental heritage. This old city is located on a mountaintop, surrounded on three sides by a bend in the Tagus River, and contains many historical sites. Strolling across the city, overlooking the Alcázar of Toledo and visiting the grand structure of Toledo Cathedral, you will feel the echoes of old Spain. Then take a well-earned rest as you sit back and catch your breath, taking in the landscape of Spain and enjoying the rich palette of natural surroundings as you travel to Madrid.
Toledo
The Yellow Line tour starts from the capital of Spain, Madrid, where we will pass by the Cibeles Fountain, and then visit Plaza Mayor, Piazza di Spagna, Plaza de Colón and the Royal Palace of Madrid. The Royal Palace of Madrid was built in the 18th century, and shows the magnificence and historical grandeur of the Spanish empire. Then you’ll arrive at the Puerta del Sol, a public square in Madrid. You can find the ‘KM 0’ tile in the pavement, indicating that the Puerta del Sol is the centre of the of Spanish road network. In the square, you can shop for speciality leather goods, clothing, and traditional Spanish souvenirs. In the afternoon, we say farewell to Madrid and head to Zaragoza to stay the night before heading to Barcelona.
Madrid
In the morning we drive directly to the warm and charming coastal city of Barcelona. After arrival we will visit the Columbus Monument and La Rambla, followed by La Sagrada Família, which is a large Roman Catholic church designed by Spanish architect Antoni Gaudí. Gaudí’s unique colours and fairy-tale architecture is seen throughout the city and makes the place feel like a fantasy in the artist’s mind. Then it’s on to Camp Nou, a football stadium which has been the home of FC Barcelona since completion in 1957. We’ll also visit Estadi Olímpic Lluís Companys, the main stadium for the 1992 Summer Olympics. The stadium is located on Montjuïc, a large hill to the southwest of Barcelona which overlooks the city. The remaining time is spent in the bustling Plaza Catalonia, where you have free time to do some shopping.
La Sagrada Família

Day 10: Barcelona (B)

After breakfast enjoy the morning at leisure before you are transferred to Barcelona airport to board your overnight night to Australia.
Barcelona City
Arrive home this morning.