Day 1 Your Journey Begins
Board your overnight flight to Europe (please ask about our great deals).
Day 2 Welcome to Madrid.
Your airport transfer departs Madrid airport for your hotel at 09:00, 11:00, 13:30 or 16:00. The rest of the day is at leisure to begin to get to know this stylish city. During your time in Madrid you will travel along the Gran Vía and through the Puerta del Sol, seeing the Royal Palace and famous Cibeles Fountain. At 18:00, join your Travel Director for your Welcome Dinner at a local restaurant and enjoy the opportunity to get to know your fellow travellers over a delightful evening of good food and wine.(Dinner with Wine)
Day 3 The old Capital of Toledo and on to Granada.
Venture south to meet a master craftsperson in a Damascene workshop for a personal insight into this ancient craft handed down by the Moors centuries ago. Continue to the fascinating city of Toledo, situated high above the River Tagus. This was Spain's capital during the golden era, where Arab, Jewish and Christian cultures flourished side-by-side through the Middle Ages. Walk within the city walls, through the narrow cobbled streets, led by your Local Expert. Visit the Church of Santo Tomé, housing El Greco's famous painting, ‘The Burial of the Count of Orgaz.' Your journey continues to Granada.(Buffet Breakfast / Dinner with Wine)
Day 4 The Alhambra Palace and Seville, City of Carmen.
'There is no pain in life so cruel as to be blind in Granada', cries the inscription on the walls of the Alhambra. Bathed in morning light, the Alhambra Palace awaits - a fantasy of arabesque gardens, fountains and stone cut like lace. Explore with your Local Expert and also visit the exotic water gardens of the Generalife, the royal summer residence. Take a moment to relax in the sunshine as you enjoy the fine views over the town and its three verdant hills. Embark on a scenic drive to Seville where a Local Expert will guide you through the maze of narrow lanes and shady squares of the Santa Cruz Quarter. Emerge by the huge walls of the fabulous Alcazar to see La Giralda, the former minaret of the Great Mosque, but now the cathedral bell tower. Enter the immense 15th century cathedral, the final resting place of Christopher Columbus and see his tomb enriched with the spoils of the New World. During a highlight evening enjoy the flavours of Andalucía and share the passion of Spain's most fiery region as you experience a flamenco show.(Buffet Breakfast / Dinner with Wine)
Day 5 Free Time in Seville.
(Relaxed Start) This is a free day, so take your time to bask in the city's romantic aura and explore as you wish. You may like to join an Optional Experience to Cordoba and visit the magnificent Mezquita, an 8th century mosque with a Christian cathedral built inside it.(Buffet Breakfast)
Day 6 The plains of the Alentejo to Lisbon.
(Relaxed Start) Pass through the oak forests where black Iberian pigs are bred for the famous Spanish hams. Stop in Jabugo for an insight into the history and curing process of Jamón Ibérico. The subtle differences will be revealed with a delicious tasting. Then venture across the wide Alentejo Plateau to Lisbon.(Buffet Breakfast)
Day 7 Lisbon and the Age of the Discoveries.
During your stay, a guided orientation of the city with your Local Expert takes you along the avenues of the Lower Town and beneath the hilltop Bairro Alto to the Terreiro do Paco, the finest square in the city. Visit the Belém Quarter from where sailing ships one set forth to discover unknown lands. See the traditional patisserie that has managed to hold on to the secret recipe of Portugal's finest pastry for almost 200 years and enjoy a taste of the famous Pastéis de Belém. View the Monument to the Discoveries and the more ancient Belém Tower. This fortress was originally set in the middle of the river, but is now left high and dry on the riverbank. Visit the 500-year-old Jerónimos Monastery with its beautiful Manueline architecture, a UNESCO World Heritage Site. With the afternoon at your leisure, perhaps join an Optional Experience to the beautiful town of Sintra which was the summer residence of the Kings of Portugal?(Buffet Breakfast)
Day 8 Holy Fátima and Golden Salamanca.
Travel into the green hills north of Lisbon to visit Fátima, the most celebrated place of pilgrimage in Portugal. Visit the Basilica commemorating the appearance of the Virgin Mary to three children in 1917. Cross the border, returning to Spain and continue to Salamanca, famous for its golden stone buildings and the handsome arcades of the Plaza Mayor. Across the River Tormes, see the Puente Romano with 15 of its 26 arches dating from the time of the ancient Romans.(Buffet Breakfast)
Day 9 Old Castile, to St. Teresa of Ávila and on to Madrid.
Cross the rock-strewn hills of the Castile, to arrive at Ávila. Walk within the ancient city that is still entirely enclosed within 11th century walls, a unique occurrence in Europe. Return to Madrid to explore the old town with your Local Expert. At a local restaurant, join your Travel Director and newfound friends for a a lively Celebration Dinner.(Buffet Breakfast / Dinner with Wine)
Day 10 Depart Madrid.
After breakfast, your transfer to Madrid airport arrives at 07:00, 09:00 or 11:00.(Buffet Breakfast)