Best of Spain featuring Lisbon and Barcelona
Spain is one of the world’s great holiday countries, but if has far more to offer than its endless beaches and southern sun. Its attractions lie not only along its hundreds of miles of coastline, but also inland where we will visit picturesque towns and villages to experience some of the country’s most ornate cathedrals and majestic castles. The landscape throughout is a “photographer’s paradise,” featuring the rugged Iberian mountains, the great cork forests, far-reaching plains, sheer cliff-bound coasts, and the colorful culture and people of this land.
The relatively small country of Portugal offers a range of scenic, cultural, and historic attractions. In earlier centuries, the Portuguese were one of the greatest European powers. The country’s capital, Lisbon, is one of the most strikingly situated cities in the world.
We look forward to experiencing this gorgeous part of the world with you. We have again partnered with NAWAS International Travel. You will be assured of quality hotels, deluxe transportation, and excellent guides. Our tour includes round trip airfare from Atlanta; $470 government taxes and airline surcharges; accommodations at first class/select hotels; most meals; comprehensive sightseeing throughout; all hotel service charges, value added taxes, and porterage; all admission fees per itinerary; gratuities for all guides, drivers, meals, and included activities; and $100,000 automatic flight insurance.
Atlanta/Lisbon. Depart this evening from Atlanta aboard your transatlantic jet flight. En route, enjoy dinner followed by a movie.
Lisbon. Arrive today in the capital city of Lisbon. In the 15th Century, Portugal was the first nation to begin exploration and trade far from the shores of the Mediterranean. (D)
Lisbon. This morning you visit Jeronimos Monastery, a Manueline Renaissance masterpiece, where Vasco da Gama is buried. See the Tower of Belem, Castelo Sao Jorge, the Alfama district, the cobble-stoned streets of the Old Bairro Alto, the Lower Town (Baixa), the Praca do Rossio, arcaded buildings and fountains, and the tropical Estrela gardens. This afternoon is free for shopping. Specialties include ceramics, rugs, thick hand knit fisherman sweaters and cork products. (B)
Lisbon/Seville. Depart Lisbon today driving through the province of Alentejo past cork forests and vineyards. Enjoy the region’s picturesque scenery and winding quaint roads as you continue east, crossing the border into Spain. Proceed through the region of Andalucía to its capital city, Seville. (B, D)
Seville. This morning visit Alcazar Palace and the ornate cathedral with Columbus’ tomb and Giralda Tower. Also see Maria Luisa Park, City Hall, the Gold Tower and the area of the April Fair described by Hemingway. The afternoon is at leisure to explore more of colorful Seville on your own, before partaking in a special dinner including a live Flamenco performance! (B,D)
Seville/Cordoba/Granada. Depart this morning to Cordoba. After an orientation tour of the city, continue to the 8th century Moorish stronghold of Granada in the foothills of the Sierra Nevada Range. Afternoon sightseeing includes visits to the Generalife, summer palace of the Moorish princes; plus the Alhambra, an ornate, Arabesque confection in pink granite. (B, D)
Granada/Toledo/Madrid. Today you drive past the many olive and orange groves of the rolling Andalusian hills and then through the barren landscapes of Don Quixote’s La Mancha as you head northwards to Toledo. The ancient Castilian capital sits high of a hilltop ringed by Visigoth walls and circled by a loop of the Tagus River resembling a moat. Visit the 13th century Cathedral containing priceless jeweled chalices and paintings before going to Madrid. (B, D)
Madrid. This morning you will see the white-trimmed 2,800-room Royal Palace and the exquisite gardens that surround it. Other highlights include the Puerta del Sol, Cervantes Memorial, the Plaza de Espana and acacia-lined Castellana. Then visit the Prada Museum, housing a collection of masterpieces by Spain’s artists Velazquez, Goya, and El Greco. Your afternoon is at leisure for shopping or exploring on your own. (B)
Madrid/Valencia. This morning, depart Madrid and travel through the green rolling hills of the Province of Cuenca to Valencia, known as the “City of Flowers” and renowned for its Orange Groves. Upon arrival, enjoy a panoramic tour of the city with its fortified gates, impressive churches and beautiful residential areas. (B, D)
Valencia/Barcelona. The sweet scent of oranges accompanies you on your journey north along the Costa Dorada. Continue past fertile huertas to Barcelona, to Barcelona, the cultural and political center of Catalonia and Spain’s most European city. The city itself is divided into two major parts: the older area symbolized by the Gothic Quarter and the more modern part with its wide avenues. (B, D)
Barcelona. This morning, enjoy a city tour including a visit to the Gothic Quarter. See the Gothic palaces of the Government of Catalonia and the City Hall, the world-famous Cathedral with its fine medieval cloister and arcades, and view from the outside the towering La Sagrada Fa- milia Church designed by the Catalonian architect Antoni Gaudí. Begun in 1882, the church is still under construction today. The afternoon is at leisure to further explore this magnificent city on your own. You may wish to do more sightseeing, shopping or perhaps take time to relax and try some tapas at a sidewalk café. (B)
Barcelona/Atlanta. Your adventure is over as you board your flight back to the Atlanta, arriving the same day. (B)