•13 October 2018 • 22 Day Escorted Tour Madrid to Lisbon • Low Single Supplement

  • Pricing

    $13,295 per person twin share


    $15,290 per person single

    Inclusions

    • THAI Airways economy class return flights ex Australia

    • Airport check-in assistance (Brisbane) & Airport departure taxes

    • Convenient 1 night Bangkok airport hotel stopover including buffet breakfast and transfers en route to Europe

    • Meet and greet and assistance during outbound flights. Airport transfers and airline check-in assistance in Europe

    • Economy class return flights in Europe and 1 night London airport hotel including buffet breakfast at the end of the tour (if flying THAI)

    • 19 nights in charming heritage accommodation (Paradores & Pousadas) including daily buffet breakfast, 3 course dinner with wine, mineral water and coffee/ tea based on typical traditional regional cuisine

    • Luxury coach travel in Europe, entry fees covering sightseeing and entertainment, hotel service charges, city taxes, most tipping, baggage handling (1 bag pp)

    • Services of a fulltime professional tour director and local city guides

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    DAY 1 – DEPARTURE AUSTRALIA Airport Stopover (1 night) Meet with your tour representative for assistance with your airline check-in (for Brisbane passengers). En route to Europe, interstate passengers will meet up at our stopover hotel. Sit back and relax and enjoy a good flight followed by transfer to your airport hotel. You will enjoy an overnight stay with breakfast included and the next day you will have access to your room until check-out in the early evening. The time in between outbound flights is at your leisure. There is time to explore the local surrounds on a guided tour, do some shopping, visit the day spa at the hotel or simply relax with a book around the pool. You will be offered assistance and advice during your stopover. (B/Airline in-flight service)

    DAY 2 – ARRIVAL MADRID Castilla La Mancha Region (4 nights) Bienvenido! In Madrid, your tour director and luxury coach will be awaiting you at the airport for transfer to your first Parador in Toledo just south of Madrid. This typical Toledan country house offers a stunning location, overlooking the old town which is beautifully lit at night. The friendly restaurant offers traditional local cuisine and wine and a delicious welcome dinner in the evening. (D)

    DAY 3 – A DAY AT YOUR LEISURE Sleep in, have a leisurely breakfast and relax as today is yours to do as you wish. Enjoy the view from the hotels balcony or take a stroll through the old cobbled-stone alleyways in the heart of Toledo leading up to tomorrows guided tour. At night dinner at the hotel. (B/D)iStock-471948077_web resize.jpg

    DAY 4 – TOLEDO Settled in and after a typical Spanish breakfast, we are now ready to explore and start our adventure with a guided tour of the ancient city of Toledo, famous for its magnificent location (and its steel), high on a granite hill and surrounded on three sides by a deep gorge and the River Tagus. With its ring of Gothic and Moorish walls, its towering Alcazar, mighty Cathedral and stately mansions, the city resembles a rich museum and has been declared a National Monument. Today we will be visiting the most famous monuments of Toledo also allowing free time to make your own discoveries of artistic gems and walk through the mystical maze of narrow streets. At night dinner at the hotel. (B/D)

    DAY 5 – MADRID This morning we head for Madrid and enjoy a full day in the Spanish capital including visits to the Prado Museum and the Royal Palace. After lunch we continue with a relaxing city bus tour. The historical centre of Madrid has stylish architecture, beautiful monuments, grand plazas, splashing fountains, parks and wide tree-lined boulevards. Dinner is again planned at our charming Parador. (B/D)

    DAY 6 – CROSSING THE PLAINS OF LA MANCHA Andalusia Region (1 night) After hotel check-out, we head south through the region of ‘La Mancha’, famous for its windmills and adventures of ‘Don Quixote’ before entering the region of Andalusia. This was the land of The Moors for seven centuries and their presence abounds in the rich architecture of the cities. Here your image of Spain becomes a reality in an historical, traditional and artistic sense. En route, we break at a typical Andalusian inn offering an excellent shop and good Spanish coffee. Our hotel in Granada is simply charming, the dining room displays a regional gastronomic feast which we will sample in the morning. At night, dinner and a ‘Flamenco Fiesta’, an absolute highlight of our trip. Our Flamenco Tableo is located in the heart of the old Gypsy quarter and the dancers show you some of the most pure and genuine Flamenco to be found in Spain. (B/D)portugal_landscape_at_night

    DAY 7 – GRANADA Andalusia Region (3 nights) After breakfast we spend some free time in Granada. Situated at the foot of the snow-covered ‘Sierra Nevada’ mountains, this well known city was the last stronghold of the Moors in Spain. Around noon, we visit the world famous ‘Alhambra’ Palace and walk through its lush tropical gardens. Proclaimed the best-preserved medieval Moorish palace in the world, the majestic Generalife sits high on a hill and is defended by a network of walls and towers. This exotic palace unfolds vast architectural riches.
    The delicately sculptured interior decoration and intricate ceramic tile work is exquisite, while the trickling fountains and reflective pools in the patios and gardens are delightful. After our visit, we will head for the very Spanish town of Ronda with its hospitable Parador. The Parador in Ronda offers one of the most stunning settings imaginable. Set high on the hill our hotel offers panoramic views of the Tajo, a gorge of more than 100 metres. Ronda itself, though only 1 hour away from the coastal towns on the Costa del Sol, is surrounded by the beautiful Serrania de Ronda mountains and offers a very authentic Spanish experience. Dinner at the hotel. (B/D)

    DAY 8 – A DAY AT YOUR LEISURE Today is at your leisure so sleep in and make the most of a late breakfast. Walk through the town of Ronda, explore the local shops and restaurants for lunch and reflect on the journey enjoyed so far. Our Parador is ideally located in the heart of the city and Ronda offers many interesting sites including the famous bull ring or ‘Plaza de Toros’, ancient Moorish baths and the famous Bandolero Museum. For those who want to fit in a little shopping, this authentic town offers many options. At night we all meet again over dinner in the hotels restaurant and share each others stories of the day. (B/D)

    DAY 9 – GIBRALTAR Experience a very different day as we head for Gibraltar to explore the famous ‘Rock’ and of course its Barbary Apes. A British colony since 1704, the famous limestone rock rises 426 metres out of the Mediterranean Sea. Today is your day to stock up on all things British, tax free. We will enjoy some free time followed by a guided bus tour of ‘Gib’ in the afternoon. Our tour with a local guide will give you a good insight into the history of Gibraltar, with its melting pot of people, its beautiful caves, dramatic look-out points and the Ape Den. Today is simply lots of fun! Tonight dinner at the Parador. (B/D)

    DAY 10 – JEREZ DE LA FRONTERA Andalusia Region (3 nights) Breakfast and hotel check-out sees us on our way north for a 3 day stay at the beautiful Carmona Parador, a 14th c. Moorish fortress. En route we visit the Royal Andalucian School of Equestrian Art where we visit the stables and witness the famous dancing horses in training. After lunch, a visit to one of Spain’s most famous sherry houses, located in the wine-growing region of Jerez de la Frontera. Our guided tour will consist of a charming train ride and a visit to several brandy and sherry bodegas. An excellent video featuring the history of sherry will enhance your understanding even more and is naturally followed by a taste of the real thing. Our Parador is located high on the hill, 30 km east of Seville overlooking the fertile plains. The bedrooms are bright and spacious and decorated with Sevillian tiles, rugs and numerous antiques. Dinner at the Parador. (B/D)

    DAY 11 – CORDOBA Today we explore the elegant city of Cordoba, once the heart of western Islam. We will enjoy a guided tour of the great Moorish mosque The Mezquita. This building with its labyrinth of columns, is one of the largest and most famous mosques in the world dating back to the 8th c. Our visit today also includes the beautiful centre of Cordoba where we explore the maze of narrow streets and small plazas, whitewashed buildings, lovely flowers and wrought-iron doorways giving glimpses to plant-filled patios. Dinner at the Parador. (B/D)

    DAY 12 – SEVILLE This morning we head for Seville, silvery green olive trees cover the countryside entering the capital of Andalusia. Situated on the banks of the Guadalquivir River, the city is quintessentially Spanish. This is the home of bull-fighting, tapas and flamenco. Streets lined with orange trees, blended Moorish and Christian architecture, flower-filled patios and music. Seville has an intoxicating atmosphere. We enjoy a guided tour and visit the famous Cathedral (tomb of Columbus) view the Giralda Tower, the Alcazar, Plaza de las Americas, Plaza de Espana followed by a typical tapas lunch and free time in the heart of Seville. At night, dinner again at our Parador. (B/L/D)

    DAY 13 – TAVIRA Algarve Region (2 nights) After hotel check-out, we’re on our way to the Portuguese border and enter the Algarve, Portugal’s most southern province with a stop en route for lunch. Everyone knows the Algarve for its reputation of golden beaches and typical rock formations but this Moorish influenced region has many other charms to offer. Artistically decorated chimneys, traditional Algarve folk music and typical fishing boats painted in red, green and yellow. It was actually in the Algarve that the epic Portuguese ‘Age of Discoveries’ began. Our hotel is uniquely positioned in the heart of this hospitable province. At night dinner at the Pousada. (B/D)shutterstock_219393298_web resize.jpg

    DAY 14 – SILVES – LAGOS – PONTE DA PIEDADE Enjoy a relaxing panoramic tour including the very best of the Algarve and its beautiful hinterland. In the morning we visit the local produce market in Olhao followed by a visit to a famous church in Alcantarilha. We continue to the charming village of Silves where we stop and take some pictures of the old castle. Today we also explore the interesting coastal town of Lagos famous for its slave history as well as the nearby Ponte da Piedade offering stunning views. It was from this part of Portugal that the famous discoverers began exploring Brazil, India and Africa. Today offers a good insight into how unspoiled and beautiful the Algarve region still is today. Olive groves, walnut, fig trees all add to the charm. Lovers of colourful ceramics will also get their fill today. A typical Portuguese dinner is again awaiting us at the hotel. (B/D)

    DAY 15 – CROSSING THE PLAINS OF THE ALENTEJO Northern Portugal Region (2 nights) After breakfast we travel cross country, from the south to the north, through unique cork and olive forests, both typical for the Alentejo region offering a dry and warm climate year round.
    Over half the cork in the world from stoppers in bottles of the finest champagne to the linings of spacecraft, is supplied from these fields. Cultivating cork is not a trade for the impatient as the cork tree with its heavy twisted branches, takes about 25 years before it is ready to yield its bark. This sunny part of the nation produces approx. 2000 tons of cork a year and Portugal earns more than 200 million dollars a year in exports from this constantly expanding sector. Dinner at the Pousada. (B/D)

    DAY 16 – PORTO Today is planned for a visit to Porto, the nation’s second largest city. A trading agreement with England in 1703, created the wealth of the town and the birthplace of the famous port wine trade from grapes produced on the slopes of the Douro Valley.
    On arrival in Porto, we enjoy a city tour and some fresh air sailing the River Douro on a cruise followed by free time for lunch. We continue the day with a visit to the cellars of one of the nation’s famous port making families. Port, the noble wine, where only the best grapes are used. The bunches of grapes are crushed, the wines fermented and only then commences the amazing marriage between the wood of noble oak and the immature wine.
    After a guided tour of the cellars naturally a tasting will follow and an opportunity to buy a special gift for your friends back home. Leaving Porto we head back to relax before we enjoy dinner at the Pousada. (B/D)Parador de Jarandilla 1-web resized.jpg

    DAY 17 – CONIMBRIGA – BATALHA – FATIMA Central Portugal Region (1 night) We start our day with a visit to the nearby Roman ruins of Conimbriga followed by visits to the cultural heart of the region including a World Heritage monument, the Abbey of the Gothic Manueline Mosteiro de Santa Maria da Vitoria in Batalha.
    Before check-in at the hotel we visit the world famous Sanctuary of Fatima, one of the most important places of pilgrimage in the Catholic world. The town now rivals Lourdes in popularity and is visited by over 4 million pilgrims a year. Our visit will allow ample time to visit the Cathedral, square and surrounding shops at your own leisure. Dinner at the Pousada. (B/D)

    DAY 18 – ALCOBACA – NAZARE – OBIDOS Lisbon Region (3 nights) In the morning, marvel at the Cistercian Monastery ‘Santa Maria de Alcobaca’, one of Portugal’s greatest architectural masterpieces. We follow in the footsteps of the monks and visit their giant kitchens. Today is also wonderful for lovers of colourful ceramics. We then head for Nazare, a typical Portuguese fishing village on the Atlantic ocean. Driving via scenic coastal towns, we continue with a visit to a medieval whitewashed village.
    A quaint little town, Obidos was the traditional bridal gift of Portugal’s kings to their queens overlooking a largely unspoiled landscape and a 16th c. aqueduct. Until the 15th c. it overlooked the sea. Over time the bay silted up leaving only a lagoon and the town became landlocked. Cobbled lanes, bougainvillea and pots of geraniums are all typical for this charming village.
    Explore the ancient walls or simply enjoy lunch after which we will continue our journey heading further south for Cascais located on the elegant Estoril Coast. Dinner at the hotel tonight. (B/D)portugal_washing_line

    DAY 19 – QUELUZ – SINTRA – ESTORIL COAST We begin our day with a tour of the National Palace in Queluz and continue with an afternoon visit of Sintra, a romantic town high in the hills where we visit the famous palace and also enjoy free time to explore the many local shops and delicacies. Today will also take in the beautiful coastline of Cabo da Roca with its typical lighthouse. We continue our day and head for the elegant coastal towns of Estoril and Cascais with free time for lunch. In the evening, a traditional dinner and show is planned at a typical fado house in Lisbon. (B/D)

    DAY 20 – LISBON Settled on seven hills on the northern bank of the estuary of the river Tagus, Lisbon’s Latin name is ‘Olissapona’ meaning ‘delightful little port’. Explore the nations impressive capital city also offering free time for lunch and shopping in the afternoon in the lively city centre of ‘Lisboa’. Todays guided tour will include visits to the capitals most photographed icon, the Torre de Belem, the Monument of the Discoveries, Jeronimus Church and the surprisingly fascinating coach museum in the old neighbourhood of Belem. A farewell dinner is planned at the hotel. (B/D)

    DAY 21 – LISBON AIRPORT Airport Stopover (1 night) After hotel check-out, we head for Lisbon’s International Airport for our flight to London Heathrow before check-in at your airport hotel. If you are not quite ready to fly home yet, consider a 3 night package in Lisbon. (B)

    DAY 22 – LONDON HEATHROW AIRPORT All good things come to an end, after breakfast and hotel check-out, we head for London Heathrow Airport for airline check-in. (B / Airline in-flight service)

  • Only one date available 13 Oct to 4 Nov 2018

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