Day 1 ARRIVE IN BARCELONA, SPAIN.
Welcome to Barcelona! At 6 pm, meet your Tour Director and traveling companions for a welcome dinner with wine at your hotel. (D)
Day 2 BARCELONA.
Sightseeing with a Local Guide features the Columbus Monument, Plaza de Cataluña, and Paseo de Gràcia. Highlight is a visit to the spectacular SAGRADA FAMILIA BASILICA, Gaudi’s masterpiece. Also enjoy a panoramic view of the city and harbor from Montjuïc Hill. This afternoon, an optional excursion to Montserrat can be arranged. (B)
Day 3 BARCELONA–MADRID.
Enjoy rustic Catalonian and Aragonian landscapes on your journey to Madrid, the capital of Spain since 1561. (B)
Day 4 MADRID.
Madrid today is a strikingly modern city, the showcase of a country resolutely turned towards the future. Your Local Guide takes you to the Puerta del Sol, Plaza de España with its monument to Cervantes, the Parliament, Cibeles Fountain, elegant Calle Alcala, and Paseo de Castellana. Then, enjoy a highlight visit to the palatial PRADO MUSEUM with its priceless art treasures. To make the most of your stay, exciting optional excursions are available. (B)
Day 5 MADRID–CORDOBA–SEVILLE.
Drive south through the arid landscapes of Don Quixote’s La Mancha to Cordoba, where sightseeing with a Local Guide includes the medieval Jewish quarter, a visit to the magnificent 8th-century MOSQUE OF THE CALIPHS, famous for its 850 pillars of porphyry, marble, and jasper, the Roman Bridge and the remains of the Alcazar. Then, continue to Seville, the vibrant, festive capital of Andalusia. (B)
Day 6 SEVILLE.
During your guided sightseeing tour, you will hear about the city’s role in Roman times, its conquest by the Moors in 712 AD, and its contribution to the discovery of the New World. Admire Maria Luisa Park, the Golden Tower on the Guadalquivir River, and the university that used to be the tobacco factory of Carmen fame. Also visit the magnificent CASA DE PILATOS, a mixture of Moorish and Roman architecture with a splendid collection of Roman sculptures. Then, stroll through the narrow lanes of the charming SANTA CRUZ QUARTER. For those interested, an optional extended guided visit to the cathedral is available. This evening, [LF] a special dinner to try out local specialties has been prepared for you at El Palacio Andaluz restaurant with Flamenco entertainment. (B,D)
Day 7 SEVILLE–AZEITÃO, PORTUGAL–LISBON.
A scenic drive today takes you to Portugal. Stop in Azeitão and enjoy [LF] a WINE TASTING before arriving in Lisbon, proud capital of Portugal. (B)
Day 8 LISBON.
Lisbon was the center of Europe’s longest-lived overseas empire. Portugal’s imperial ambitions date back to Prince Henry the Navigator’s 15th-century discoveries in West Africa. Morning sightseeing with a Local Guide features a drive through the Baixa quarter’s main squares. Then, enjoy a walk through the cobblestone alleys of quaint ALFAMA, the popular quarter of the seamen and Fado singers. Drive along the grand Avenida da Liberdade up to Pombal Square, and stop for pictures of Belem Tower and the Monument to the Discoveries. Also visit the CHURCH with the tomb of Vasco da Gama. Tonight, a special farewell dinner has been prepared for you at a local restaurant. (B,D)
Day 9 LISBON.
Your vacation ends with breakfast this morning. (B)