Description of Private Coastal Tour - Madrid to Lisbon ULIB14
- A private tour through the Alhambra and Generalife in Granada
- Fine Sherry and superb seafood in Sanlucar de Barrameda
- A day in the sun on the Costa del Sol
- A day of Leisure in Faro on the Algarve
This evening you board your overnight flight to Spain to begin your trip from Madrid to Lisbon by the Southern Route.
Day 2 Welcome to Madrid
You arrive in Madrid and complete immigration procedures. Upon leaving customs, you are met by your guide and given an overview of Madrid's scenic attractions including famous squares such as Plaza de Espana, de Oriente, Plaza Mayor Puerta del Sol and Plaza Castilla and well known avenues like Castellana and Gran Via. You will then be taken to your deluxe, centrally located hotel where you can rest or begin your exploration of Spain's capital city. Dinner, this evening, is at the hotel's well regarded restaurant.
Day 3 The Royal Palace and the Prado Museum
Today your morning will be focused on the Royal Palace and the Prado Museum. The Royal Palace is the largest in Europe and was built by Philip V in the 18th Century. The building itself is an architectural treasure but inside is a rare and diverse collection of ceramics, tapestry and clocks. After the palace you visit the Prado, one of the most important art galleries in the world. Here are the Spanish masters including Goya, Velasquez, El Greco and Ribera. They are joined by Raphael, Rubens and Titian among others. This afternoon is left open to allow you some time for personal sightseeing or some shopping. Your guide can tell you the best shopping streets. This evening we will take you on a gastronomic exploration of Madrid as you visit three different establishments in old Madrid to partake of various pairings of wine and food.
Day 4 Cordoba and Granada
After breakfast you are taken to the station to catch an AVE train for the trip to the City of Cordoba. Upon arrival you are met by your guide who will take you on a tour of this ancient Moorish city. You will visit the 8th Century Mosque which is now a cathedral, visit the Alcazar and walk the Calle de los Judios (street of the Jews) to the ancient synagogue in the Jewish Quarter. Following your tour you will enjoy lunch before heading to the city of Granada. Upon arrival tou are taken to your impressive hotel in the center of the city.
Day 5 The Alhambra and Generalife
Today you will visit the Alhambra a gem of a Moorish palace and a UNESCO World Heritage Site. Built between the 13th and 15th Centuries it is a series of interconnected buildings with representative Moorish architecture. Adjacent to the Alhambra are the magnificent Generalife gardens which you explore. After your visit the afternoon is free.
Day 6 A Day on the Costa del Sol
After breakfast, your guide will take you on a coastal tour of the stretch of Mediterranean shore known as the "Coast of the Sun" and renowned for its mild climate and sophisticated lifestyle in places like Marbella and Puerto Banus. You will stop for lunch before arriving at your deluxe resort on the water near the fishing village of Estepona. Dinner is at the resort this evening.
Day 7 Relaxing in Estepona
We have left this day open for you to be free to enjoy the resort's beach or swimming pools, to take a short walk to the charming village of Estepona or a brief ride to the luxury yachts and chic shops and restaurants in Puerto Banus.
Day 8 Sherry and Seafood in Sanlucar de Barrameda
Today you drive to Portugal but on the way, you stop in Sanlucar de Barrameda which has a spectacular location at the mouth of the Guadalquivir River looking across the Donana national park to the Atlantic Ocean. The town is equally known for its fine seafood and for the superb Sherry it produces. You will visit the vineyards where the grapes are cultivated, and then to the bodega where the Sherry is blended and fortified and stored in wooden casks. Here you will get a tutored tasting so that you will begin to know the various types of Sherry. After the tasting you are taken to one of the seafood restaurants along the bank of the estuary where you will enjoy the freshest seafood, accompanied by the finest Manzanilla Sherry. After lunch you continue west crossing the Portuguese border before arriving at your hotel located on the foothills of the Algarve.
Day 9 North through the Alentejo
The Alentejo region of Portugal stretches from the Algarve north to the Tagus River in Lisbon. Since most tourists tend to go directly to the Algarve or from Lisbon by plane to the Algarve it is relatively undiscovered by visitors particularly those from North America. It is a beautiful land, however with its terracotta earth covered in wheat fields and bordered by rows of olive trees marching up and down the hills like Roman Centurions. Here and there, white washed villages and towns appear crowned by castles. The Romans left their aqueducts, the Portuguese a wealth of architecture from Gothic to the Baroque. This is the land in which you travel today stopping for a chance for some lunch before arriving at the quaint town of Evora where you will overnight.
Day 10 Arrival in Lisbon
After breakfast you drive into Lisbon where you have a panoramic tour around the city including the Royals Coach Museum, Jeronimos Monastery and the Belem tower which commemorates the port that was here and from whence the Portuguese Caravelles departed to explore and discover many parts of the New World. You will stop for lunch before taking a walking tour of Alfama, one of the oldest quarters in the city. Your hotel is near the Alfama so you will check in and rest up before heading out to a nearby restaurant for dinner.
Day 11 Sintra, Cascais and the Boca do Inferno
oday your guide is waiting to take you on a full day excursion outside of Lisbon. Your first stop will be the town of Sintra where high atop a hill stands the fairytale National Palace with its huge painted rooms, each individually named and a huge pair of conical chimneys. You will take time to explore the interior of the palace including the Swans' Room, the Room of the Sirens and the Magpie Room. You then head for Cascais, originally a fishing village but now a sophisticated resort but still retaining its charm. you will have lunch here and take some time to enjoy its quaint streets and water views. On the way out of Cascais you will stop at the Boca do Inferno or Hell's Mouth, a small bay surrounded by craggy rocks and caves providing a fantastic spectacle when the sea clashes against them on stormy days. This evening you go to a restaurant for your farewell dinner. In addition to a fine meal you have the chance to hear Fado the soulful songs of Portugal.
Day 12 Return to USA
After breakfast your guide will be waiting to take you to the airport for your return flight to the US.
Additional Pricing Information
- 1st Class rail travel as indicated on the itinerary
- Superior Rooms at the properties indicated in the accommodations area (We reserve the right to substitute a property of equal quality in advance of departure should the designated hotel be unavailable)
- Private Transfers to and from the airport or rail station at destination
- All meals as indicated on the itinerary by B=Breakfast, L=Lunch and D=Dinner
- Private guides for city explorations and private driver/guide while traveling.
- Entrance fees to all museums, attractions and other venues as indicated on the daily itinerary
- Baggage handling at all hotels
- All applicable taxes and service fees
Services Not Included
- International airfare (round-trip from hometown departure gateway to destination)
- Beverages with included meals (unless otherwise indicated on itinerary page)
- Any meals not indicated on the Itinerary page
- Items of a personal nature e.g. minibar, film, postcards etc.
- Gratuities to Guides and Driver/Guides (we provide suggested guidelines for your selected destination in your pre-departure material)
- Any passport or visa fees or government departure taxes (It is the traveler’s responsibility to secure the latest information regarding passports and visa requirements)
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