27 May 2019 • 31 Day Spain & Portugal Tour + Provence & Lyon Cruise

  • Pricing

    per person twin share  –  $16,832


    single price – $18,739.00

    *Balcony upgrade and business class flight options are available, ask for pricing.

    Inclusions

    • Return economy class airfare from Australia*

    • One night accommodation pre-cruise in Nice

    • Economy class airfare from Madrid to Nice

    • 2 nights accommodation post-cruise in Lyon

    18 day Spain & Portugal tour includes –

    • ALL excursions, scenic drives, sightseeing and entrances as described
    • Fully escorted by our experienced Tour Manager
    • Travel in a first class air-conditioned touring coach
    • AVE train Madrid to Córdoba
    • 17 nights specially selected hotel accommodation
    • Hotel porterage (1 bag per person)
    • 29 Meals – including breakfast daily (B), tapas lunch in Porto and tapas lunch cruise on the River Douro (L), 10 dinners including a Flamenco Dinner show and Fado Dinner show (D)
    • Tea, coffee and a complimentary beverage with all included dinners
    • Welcome drink in Madrid and Aveleda Vinho Verde wine tasting
    • Hand Selected Albatross Experiences – Flamenco dance class Seville, port warehouse visit and tasting, River Douro lunch cruise
    • Local guides as described in the itinerary
    • ALL tips to your Tour Manager, Driver and Local Guides
    • Personal audio system whilst on tour
    • Free WiFi on most coaches and at hotels

    8 day South of France river cruise includes –

    • 7 nights onboard on Emerald Liberte in a Emerald Stateroom

    • All meals while on board, includes Captain’s Welcome & Farewell Reception and Dinner

    • Complimentary wine, beer and soft drinks served with lunch and dinner on board

    • Services of a Cruise Director

    • All tipping & gratuities plus all port taxes & charges

    • Included excursions – Guided Tour of Village of Beaune & Hospice, city tour of Lyon or a guided bike tour in Lyon, walking tour of Tournon or guided bike tour to Glun, walking tour of Viviers, guided tour in Avignon or guided active hike in Avignon, guided tour of Arles

    • Activities onboard – Regional wine lecture on board in Tournon, cheese and olive tasting, Provencal dinner hosted by local chef Fabien Morreale, Yoga lesson on board in Avignon

    • Extra special touring included for our 50+ Travel Club members – excursion to Les Baux de Provence (while in Arles) , excursion to Pont du Gard (while in Avignon),  tour to Grignan (while in Viviers), tour to Perouges (while in Lyon)

     

    *Airfare prices from Brisbane, Sydney & Melbourne are included in package price. Departing from other capital cities may be at an extra cost. Ask us at time of booking. Pricing & availability is correct at time of publish but can change without notice at any time.
  • Itinerary 

    18 day Spain & Portugal tour itinerary

    Day 1 & 2: 27 & 28 May – Depart Australia, arrive Madrid
    Your tour commences this evening in Spain’s cosmopolitan capital city, Madrid. Join us tonight for a welcome drink before dinner in your hotel. This is an ideal chance to meet, and get to know, your Tour Manager and fellow travellers. Meals: D Hotel: Melia Madrid Princesa Hotel

    Day 3: 29 May – Cordoba’s Mesquita and Granada
    Travelling by AVE express train we enter Andalusia and reach Córdoba late morning. Here we are joined by a local guide who will show us the major sights and take us through the famous 8th century, UNESCO World Heritage Listed Mesquita – the Cathedral and former Great Mosque of Córdoba. Later we join our touring coach and drive through to the famous city of Granada where we stay two nights. Dinner tonight is in your wonderful hotel. Meals: BD Hotel: Alhambra Palace Hotel

    Day 4: 30 May – Alhambra Palace and ‘My Time’ in Granada
    This morning we are joined by a local guide who will take us through the incredible Alhambra and Generalife Gardens. With origins dating back to the 9th century and named for its reddish walls, this fortress complex looms high over the city. In the 13th and 14th century the Moorish Emirates built the famous Nasrid Palaces surrounded by lavish gardens and courtyards. Moorish poets once described the Alhambra as “a pearl set in emeralds”. This is one of the great sights of the world. This afternoon will be free in Granada’s old town which boasts a mixture of original Arab and Christian architecture, the Cathedral and Royal Chapel. Meals: B

    Day 5: 31 May –  Stunning Ronda and Seville
    Cutting through the mountains we reach Ronda. Retaining much of its historic charm, it is famous for being divided by the deep El Tajo gorge which carries the Rio Guadalevín through its centre. The 18th century Puente Nuevo ‘new’ bridge, which spans the 100m chasm below, has stunning views out over the Serranía de Ronda Mountains. Take timeto walk over the bridge and explore the old quarter looking for a characterful taberna to enjoy a leisurely lunch. Later we continue to Seville where we stay the next three nights. Meals: BD Hotel: Hotel Fernando III

    Day 6: 1 June –  Seville sightseeing and ‘My Time’
    Welcome to the home of Carmen, Don Juan and Figaro. This morning we are joined by a local guide who will take us through the enormous cathedral and bring to life this wonderful capital of Andalusia. Your afternoon is at leisure. The Santa Cruz quarter is famous for its narrow streets, flowered balconies and hidden patios. Nearby are the Giralda Tower and the royal palace, the Alcazars of Seville. This evening we have included a special evening out to enjoy dinner and a traditional Flamenco show. Meals: BD

    Day 7: 2 June – Atlantic port of Cadiz, Seville and Flamenco lesson
    A leisurely start today as we enjoy an excursion to the Atlantic port of Cadiz. Situated on a peninsula, the seafront is lined with centuries-old houses and behind this you will find the grand cathedral surrounded by a historic centre of honeycombed narrow streets. Returning to Seville, the rest of your afternoon is free. How would you like to learn how to dance the Flamenco? For those of you who are interested we have included a special treat as we visit a Flamenco Dancing School to try our hand at this flamboyant folk dance. Don’t wish to dance? Then come along and just sit and enjoy the spectacle, as it is so much fun! Your evening is free and the old town near the flamenco school is bursting with tapas bars, lively cafés and restaurants, perfect for ‘tapas hopping’. Meals: B

    Day 8: 3 June – Évora sightseeing and historic Lisbon
    Driving into Portugal we stop at the UNESCO World Heritage Listed town of Évora where a local guide joins us for a walking tour to discover the town’s rich history which spans 2000 years. The compact centre of town is easily explored on foot and boasts a Roman temple, Moorish buildings, Christian monasteries and convents. Later we continue to the capital city of Lisbon where we stay the next three nights. Meals: BD Hotel: Hotel Pestana Cidadela in nearby Cascais.

    Day 9: 4 June –  Lisbon sightseeing and ‘My Time’
    Today is spent exploring Lisbon. We meet our local guide for a tour to see the major sights of this wonderful, historical city – from the Belem Tower, to the fairytale palaces and the Discoveries Monument, built on the north bank of the Tagus River. The highlight will be a guided tour through the Jeronimos Monastery. Later we will stop to enjoy coffee and Portuguese Pastel de Nata (small, soft custard pies – served hot). Your afternoon is at leisure amongst Lisbon’s grand sights, paved avenues, shops, cafés and colourful trams. Meals: B

    Day 10: 5 June – Palace de Pena, old town of Sintra and Cabo da Roca
    Today we visit the Palace de Pena and explore the old town of Sintra. Dating back 500 years the Palace de Pena was originally a peaceful monastery until destroyed by an earthquake. Due to its fantastic hill top location, Ferdinand II rebuilt it to be the luxurious summer palace of the royal family. With stupendous views – on a clear day you can easily see Lisbon – the palace is one of the greatest expressions of 19th century architectural romanticism in the world. We have included a guided visit through this UNESCO World Heritage site which is also classified as one of the ‘Seven Wonders of Portugal’.

    Later, we will enjoy lunchtime in the delightful town of Sintra. Its noble villas and palaces prompted Lord Byron to say the town was “perhaps in every respect the most delightful in Europe”. In the afternoon we will cross the Sintra-Cascais Natural Park to take in the breathtaking views from the dramatic cliffs at Cabo la Roca – the westernmost point in Europe which, until the 14th century, was believed to be the ‘edge of the world’. This evening we have included a special treat! Enjoy dinner and a traditional Portuguese Fado Show in Cascais

    Day 11: 6 June – Obidos, Nazaré and Porto
    Travelling north we enjoy a morning stop in medieval Obidos. Known as one of Europe’s most romantic medieval villages, you will find picturesque cobblestone streets lined with colourful houses adorned with geraniums and bougainvillea and whitewashed churches – all of which is encircled by the walls of a 12th century castle. Lunchtime will be spent in the traditional fishing village of Nazaré. Here we have also included a funicular ride up to the overhanging village of Sitio, to take in the breathtaking views of the coastline. We continue to Porto where we stay three nights. Meals: BD Hotel: Pestana Vintage Porto Hotel

    Day 12: 7 June – Porto sightseeing and ‘My Time’
    After a city tour with a local guide, we cross the River Douro to Cais de Gaia. The city’s stunning skyline is enhanced by the picturesque boats and the soaring Dom Luis Bridge. Here we visit one of the port wine warehouses to sample this famous brew and enjoy tapas lunch.

    The rest of the day is completely free. Visit the Avenida dos Aliados – a sloping boulevard lined with grand buildings, and the medieval streets and dark alleyways of the Ribeira which meander down to the riverfront square (“Praça da Ribeira”), the most picturesque spot in the city. Here you will find traditional boats moored by the quayside, overlooked by colourful trader’s houses. Meals: BL

    Day 13: 8 June – Bom Jesus Sanctuary and Wine Tasting
    First stop on our full day excursion is at Braga where we take a funicular train up to the famous Bom Jesus Sanctuary. Built in 1784, this twin towered neoclassical church sits on top of a hill, above an enormous baroque staircase lined with chapels. Lunchtime will be spent amongst the medieval streets and historic monuments in the birthplace of Portugal – Guimarães. Later in the afternoon we sample Vinho Verde at the Aveleda Wine Estate with its magnificent gardens. Meals: B

    Day 14: 9 June – Scenic lunch cruise on River Douro
    Crossing the country we join the River Douro at Régua where we board a vessel to cruise up the most scenic stretch of the Alto Douro River. Exclusively chartered for our use, your cruise includes a port aperitif and tapas lunch with wine and tea or coffee. Relax as we cruise past vineyards and riverside wine estates. Later we continue into Spain and arrive in Salamanca where we stay two nights. Meals: BLD Hotel: Hospes Palacio de San Esteban, Salamanca

    Day 15: 10 June – Salamanca sightseeing and ‘My Time’
    Salamanca has a largely pedestrian centre and the city brims with striking monuments and buildings such as the ancient university and cathedral, many of which are constructed out of golden stone. After a fascinating walking tour with a local guide, enjoy the rest of the day at leisure. Make sure you relaxin a café on Plaza Mayor, one of the finest squares in Spain. Meals: B

    Day 16: 11 June – El Valle de los Caidos and El Escorial
    Passing the walled city of Avila we spend the morning in El Valle de los Caidos (The Valley of the Fallen). Set in the woodlands of the Sierra de Guadarrama hills, the enormous Basílica de la Santa Cruz is remarkable as it is actually underground – hewn out of the centre granite ridge which is topped by the tallest memorial cross in the world. We spend lunchtime amongst the leafy squares of El Escorial before visiting the massive palace monastery complex of San Lorenzo de El Escorial. Later we continue to a hidden gem of a city – Segovia. Meals: BD Hotel: Hotel Real Segovia

    Day 17: 12 June – Segovia sightseeing and ‘My Time’
    This morning we have included a guided walking tour to discover this amazing city. Dating back to Celtic times, the beautifully preserved hill top town revolves around the huge main square which is flanked by the massive cathedral, heritage buildings, picturesque restaurants and al fresco cafés. In one direction a winding street will lead you to the impressive Alcázar – the fortified stone palace that juts out on a rocky crag, surrounded by sheer cliffs. Down another street you will find the astonishing Roman Aqueduct that cuts high across the base of town. The rest of the day is at leisure to explore this splendid town. Meals: B

    Day 18: 13 June – Toledo sightseeing and ‘My Time’
    Arriving into Toledo mid-morning, we are joined by a local guide who will take us on a city walking tour. Toledo has a wealth of monuments. Christians, Arabs and Jews lived together here for centuries hence it is sometimes called the “city of the three cultures”. Here you will find a city crammed with churches, palaces, fortresses, mosques and synagogues. Highlight of your day will be a visit to Catedral Primada Santa María de Toledo, which many consider to be Spain’s finest cathedral. The shopping is excellent and the rest of your day is free. This evening we enjoy a farewell dinner in your historic hotel. Meals: BD Hotel: Parador Toledo

    Day 19: 14 June – To Madrid
    After breakfast we will transfer you to Madrid where your tour ends late morning. Drop off points will be the city centre followed by the airport. Fly to Nice this afternoon for your one night stay pre-cruise, the rest of the day & night is yours at leisure. Meals: B

    Day 20: 15 June – Nice 

    Tour map

    8 day Provence & Lyon river cruise itinerary map

    You will be transferred to Arles today to board Emerald Liberte (2.5hr drive) where you will be welcomed by your Captain and crew. Tonight, enjoy a welcome reception and dinner on board.Meals included: Dinner

    Day 21: 16 June – Arles
    Sail into Arles where you will join your local guide for a walking tour showcasing the highlights of the city in particular the 2000-year-old Roman Amphitheatre still in use today, which was originally built to hold 20,000 spectators in the style of the Colosseum in Rome. Includes a Provencale dinner hosted by local chef Fabien Morreale. Included for our 50+ Travel Club members –  Excursion to Les Baux de Provence. Meals included: Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner

    Day 22: 17 June – Avignon
    Avignon has a rich history from Celtic beginnings to being the residence of the Popes and later central to the French Revolution. Although a fortified town, it is the Papal Palace which stands more secure on a hill in the centre of town; its walls are 17–18 feet thick. Your guided walk with a local guide takes you through this historic centre with its cobbled laneways and shops, overlooking the famous ‘Pont d’Avignon’ or you may like to partake in a guided active hike in Avignon or a yoga lesson on board. Included for our 50+ Travel Club members –  Excursion to Pont du Gard. Meals included: Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner

    Day 23: 18 June – Viviers 
    Arrive in Viviers, a town which still has a lot of flare. Viviers is also the home of one of France’s oldest cathedrals, join an included city tour exploring all the architectural heritage of this quaint town. Also includes a cheese and olive tasting on board. Included for our 50+ Travel Club members –  Tour to Grignan. Meals included: Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner

    Day 24: 19 June – Tournon 
    Join your local guide for a walking tour of Tournon, which is dominated by the 16th century castle and roman ruins, and is nestled in the valley near the steep slopes of le Massif Central, France’s 3rd largest mountain range. The area has a long tradition in wine making, including the renowned wine growing centre of Tain l’Hermitage across the river. Or you may like to partake in an active guided walk through vineyards or a guided bike tour of Glun. Also includes a regional wine taste on board. Meals included: Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner

    Day 25: 20 June – Lyon
    Lyon is France’s third largest city, a former Roman capital positioned at the conference of the Rhone and Saone rivers, which is steeped in history. Today be part of the guided tour of Lyon, which starts with a drive to the Basilique Notre Dame de Fourvière, Lyon’s hilltop church, with stunning views over the town. Then, pass by the recently re–discovered Roman amphitheatre and walk through the cobbled streets of the gastronomic old town including the secret laneways. Alternatively, join a guided bike tour of Lyon. Included for our 50+ Travel Club members –  Tour to Perouges. Meals included: Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner

    Day 26: 21 June – Chalon-Sur-Saône – Beaune
    Chalon–Sur–Saône is best known as the birthplace of photography and the center of Burgundy’s wine region. Travel by road to the quaint village of Beaune, where we visit the Hospices de Beaune, one of the finest examples of French fifteenth–century architecture. Marvel at the multi–colored roofs of this former hospital, now a museum, which has become one of the symbols of Burgundy. Meals included: Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner

    Day 27: 22 June – Lyon Disembarkation
    After breakfast disembark your river cruise ship in Lyon. Make your way to your accommodation in Lyon for your two night stay at the Radisson Blu Lyon. Meals included: Breakfast

    Day 28 & 29: 22 to 24 June – Lyon

    Explore Lyon at your leisure. Hotel: Radisson Blu Lyon. Meals included: breakfast

    Day 30 to 31: In flight transit, arrive home 26 June

  • Only one date available – 27 May to 26 June 2019

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