COACH TOUR: Uncover the best of Spain, Portugal and Morocco on this 21-day coach tour which starts and ends in Madrid. Enjoy guided sightseeing in the Spanish capital, as well as Porto, Lisbon, Casablanca, Marrakech, Fes and more! Spend two free days relaxing on the beaches of the Costa del Sol, explore the mighty cathedral in Seville and Granada's Alhambra fortress. Cruise the Douro River in Porto, sample delicious Spanish tapas and watch a traditional Fado show in Lisbon. Explore Cordoba and Caceres, visit the Moroccan capital of Rabat and stop in hilltop Toledo.
Today we take an all-encompassing coach tour of Madrid. Highlights of the excursion include the historic Barrio de la Morería region, Habsburgs District, Puerta del Sol central square, Plaza Mayor and the Neptuno Fountains. These are dedicated to Neptune, a Roman water god. In the more modern part of the city we see the Salamanca district, Plaza Castilla and Parque del Oeste. We also see the Santiago Bernabeu, the football stadium of Real Madrid, the most successful European club.
The rest of today is free for you to relax in the hotel or head out and explore further at your own pace. Tonight we enjoy a group Welcome Dinner at a local Tapas restaurant. Get to know your fellow travelers and enjoy some authentic Spanish cuisine.
Overnight: Madrid | Breakfast, Dinner
Salamanca & Porto
Madrid - Salamanca - Porto (Portugal). Departing Madrid after breakfast, we make a stop in the university city of Salamanca, with free time to enjoy a stroll around. After our visit, we cross the border into Portugal and complete our drive to Porto. One of the oldest cities in Europe, Porto is located along the Douro River estuary and was designated a UNESCO World Heritage Site in 1996.
Overnight: Porto | Breakfast
Today is spent exploring Porto with a number of included activities. We enjoy a guided city tour, taking in highlights such as the Cathedral, Stock Exchange and Santa Clara Church. We also take a cruise on the Douro River, which runs through the heart of Porto. And we visit one of the riverfront Port Wine Cellars, with included tasting of this local drink.
Overnight: Porto | Breakfast
Porto - Coimbra - Fatima. Departing Porto after breakfast, our first stop today is in Coimbra. This riverfront city is home to one of the oldest universities in Europe, which was established in 1290. It was also the birthplace of Fado music. There's free time to explore.
We complete our drive to Fatima, another important site in Christianity. It is here, at the Cova da Iria that the Virgin Mary appeared before three local shepherd children - Lucia, Francisco and Jacinta, who are buried at the Sanctuary of Our Lady Fatima, the country's most important pilgrimage site. Tonight, we may be able to attend the candlelit procession at around 22:00.
Overnight: Fatima | Breakfast
Fatima - Batalha - Nazare - Alcobaca - Lisbon. This morning we visit the UNESCO-listed Batalha Monastery, a 14th Century Gothic masterpiece, built to commemorate the victory of the Portuguese over the Castilians at the Battle of Aljubarrota in 1385. We then enjoy some free time in the quaint fishing village of Nazare before arriving in Alcobaca, where we can see the even older 12th Century monastery located here. This is widely regarded as one of the finest examples of Gothic architecture in the world. After admiring the monastery, we complete our journey to Lisbon, the capital city of Portugal. The evening is at leisure.
Overnight: Lisbon | Breakfast
Our day starts with a city sightseeing tour, taking in many of Lisbon's highlights. We see the city's main plazas, the fortified Belem Tower, Jeronimo's Monastery, the Monument to the Discoverers and the Marquis of Pombal Square roundabout.
The afternoon is free, and we recommend you head into the Alfama Quarter, the oldest part of Lisbon. Crowned by the Sao Jorge Castle, this part of the city features narrow alleyways and colorful 'tabernas'.
Tonight, there is an included group dinner at one of the oldest Fado venues in Lisbon.
Overnight: Lisbon | Breakfast, Dinner
Caceres & Cordoba
Lisbon - Caceres (Spain) - Cordoba. After breakfast we say farewell to Lisbon and head back into Spain, specifically the southern region of Andalusia. Before we reach mainland Spain's southernmost region, we stop in Caceres. The Old Town here is UNESCO-listed, known for its blend of Roman, Islamic, Northern Gothic and Italian Renaissance architecture. There's time for a walk through the Plaza Mayor Square and the Old Town. We then climb back on board our coach and complete the journey to Cordoba, where the evening is at leisure.
Overnight: Cordoba | Breakfast
Cordoba sightseeing & Seville
Cordoba - Seville. This morning we tour Cordoba, an important Roman city that was also an Islamic center during the Middle Ages. The most important landmark here is the sprawling La Mezquita mosque-cathedral, which dates back to 988 AD. Entrance to the mosque is included on our tour and we also take a stroll through the Jewish Quarter before departing the city and travelling south-west to Seville, capital of Andalusia.
Overnight: Seville | Breakfast
Today we explore Seville on a guided tour. Entrance to the city's cathedral, the second largest in the Catholic world, is included. We also visit the Santa Cruz Quarter, where the famous opera 'Carmen' is largely set. Wander through Maria Luisa Park and the picturesque Plaza Espana. After our tour, the afternoon is free for you to further explore Seville at your own pace.
Overnight: Seville | Breakfast
Ronda & the Costa del Sol
Seville - Ronda - Costa del Sol. Leaving Seville after breakfast, we pass through quaint Andalusian villages and make a stop in the picturesque mountain-top town of Ronda, where there is free time to explore and admire the view of the surrounding valleys and mountains.
Continuing our journey, we stop at a local Almazara, olive oil mill. Here we can walk through the olive groves and taste some of the delicious organic olive oil produced here. We then reach the stunning Mediterranean coast of the Costa del Sol, where we will usually stay in Malaga or Torremolinos. The evening is at leisure.
Overnight: Costa del Sol | Breakfast
Today is completely free for you to enjoy the sunshine and beaches of the Costa del Sol. Grab a sunbed and a book, head for a walk along the seafront or taste some fresh seafood in one of the area's fabulous restaurants.
Overnight: Costa del Sol | Breakfast
Costa del Sol - Tarifa - Tangier (Morocco) - Casablanca. Today we say goodbye to Spain, as we drive along the coast to the port town of Tarifa, and board a ferry across the Strait of Gibraltar to Tangier. After clearing customs, we head south to Casablanca, a city made famous by the classic 1942 film of the same name. Your first evening in Morocco is at leisure, and dinner is included.
Overnight: Casablanca | Breakfast, Dinner
Casablanca - Marrakech. Today is a big day of sightseeing for us in Morocco! We start with a guided tour of Casablanca, taking in highlights such as Anfa Boulevard, Nations Square and the grand Hassan II Mosque, which can hold up to 25,000 worshipers at any time.
After our tour we leave the city and travel south, to Marrakech. This is perhaps Morocco's most popular destination. The capital of the south, it is located in an oasis near the Atlas Mountains. On our included sightseeing tour we will see the Koutoubia Mosque, Bay Palace, Saadian Tombs necropolis and the atmospheric Djemaa el Fna main square - where fortune tellers, snake charmers, market sellers and acrobats entertain and enthral the crowds. It's the heart of the city and a fascinating place to explore.
Overnight: Marrakech | Breakfast, Dinner
Marrakech - Rabat - Meknes - Fes. Leaving Marrakech after breakfast, our first stop today is Morocco's capital city - Rabat. On our sightseeing tour we will take in the ornate Royal Palace from the outside, the Mausoleum of Mohamed V and Hassan Tower. Hassan Tower is the minaret of an incomplete mosque which was intended to be the largest mosque in the world, but failed quite comprehensively! Commissioned by Caliph Abu Yusuf Yaqub al-Mansur in the 12th Century, construction was abandoned after his death in 1199.
We make a stop in the imperial city of Meknes to see the Walls of Bab el Mansour and the Mausoleum of Moulay Ismail, Sultan of Morocco from 1672 until 1727. We then arrive in the ancient city of Fes.
Overnight: Fes | Breakfast, Dinner
This morning we enjoy a tour of ancient, UNESCO-listed Fes, most important of the imperial cities in Morocco and the oldest and largest medieval city in the world. On our tour we will wander down some of the old walled city's 9,400 alleyways and take in the heart of the medina. We also see the seven gates of the Royal Palace, explore the Jewish Quarter and admire the ornate gate of Bab Bou Jeloud, built by the colonial French administration in 1913. Tonight there is an optional show with dinner included - book and pay locally.
Overnight: Fes | Breakfast, Dinner
Fes - Tangier - Tarifa (Spain) - Costa del Sol. After breakfast on day 17 we depart Fes and make our way back to the port city of Tangier. Here we board the ferry and retrace our steps back across the Strait of Gibraltar to Tarifa in Spain. From here we return to the Costa del Sol, and enjoy our first evening back in Spain.
Day 18 is free for you to enjoy some more leisure time on the beaches of the Costa del Sol - time to top up that tan!
Overnight: Costa del Sol | Breakfast x 2
Costa del Sol - Granada. Today we travel to Granada and enjoy an included visit to the Alhambra complex. This famous 13th century palace and fortress is one of the best-preserved examples of early Islamic architecture anywhere in the world, as well as being home to important Spanish Renaissance architecture. We'll tour Alhambra and the adjacent Generalife Palace and Gardens. The gardens have historically inspired many authors, including Washington Irving. This American author wrote his Tales of the Alhambra in 1832 whilst visiting the area.
Back in the city, there is some free time before we enjoy an included group dinner and Flamenco show.
Overnight: Granada | Breakfast, Dinner
Granada - Toledo - Madrid. We return to the Spanish capital of Madrid today, stopping in the imperial hilltop city of Toledo en route. This picturesque location is surrounded by the Tagus River and is protected by UNESCO. It's also something of a confluence of culture, with Christians, Jews and Muslims having lived side by side for centuries. We enjoy a short tour of the historic Old Town before completing our journey back to the Spanish capital, where the evening is at leisure.
Overnight: Madrid | Breakfast
Enjoy a final breakfast in the hotel before our tour comes to an end. There is an included transfer to the airport.
Prices & Dates
Departure dates noted with a 'G' are guaranteed to operate. All departure dates are guaranteed with a minimum of 8 persons. Prices shown are per person travelling. 'Twin/Double' prices per person apply when there are 2 people travelling, sharing a room. The Single Room price applies for solo travellers who require their own room.
The hotels listed below are ones which we frequently use on this tour. We reserve the right to substitute these hotels to ones of a similar standard.
Hotel Riu Plaza Espana, Madrid
Housed in the striking red and white Edificio Espana building in the centre of Madrid, the 4-star Riu Plaza Espana boasts an outdoor swimming pool on the 21st floor, free Wi-Fi throughout, a fitness centre and a sky bar offering sweeping vistas of the city. All rooms come equipped with ensuite bathrooms, mini-fridge and air-conditioning. Buffet breakfast is served in the onsite restaurant and travellers can tuck into authentic Tapas at the El Eden Gastrobar a la carte restaurant. This hotel is located on the Gran Via, often referred to as the 'Spanish Broadway', with a host of shopping and dining opportunities at hand. It is also an easy walk to the Royal Palace.
BessaHotel Boavista, Porto
Located in Porto's popular Boavista district, the BessaHotel Boavista is just a few minute's walk from the Casa da Musica concert hall and other attractions. Bright and spacious guest rooms offer private bathrooms, tea and coffee making facilities, air-conditioning and TV. There is an onsite gym and dining options include the BRestaurant & Bar, where Head Chef Vitor de Matos serves impeccable Iberian cuisine. Breakfast is served buffet style and there is also an outdoor terrace serving an array of cocktails and regional Douro Valley wines. Complimentary Wi-Fi is also offered.
Hotel Santa Maria, Fatima
A 2-minute walk from the Sanctuary of Our Lady Fatima, Hotel Santa Maria has been contemporarily designed, with tall glasswork allowing plenty of light into the hotel. Displaying works by artists including Pedro Calapez, Silvia Patrício and Inês Carrelhas, the hotel also features a tranquil garden, restaurant serving local cuisine, and a bar. Views of the Sanctuary can be admired from the upper floor terrace. Rooms are air-conditioned, with free Wi-Fi and carpeted floors.
Smart Design Hotel Lutecia, Lisbon
This recently renovated hotel features 9 themed floors, with rooms and corridors decorated in varying contemporary patterns and pastel hues. Smart Design Hotel Lutecia is located just 200m from the nearest metro station, giving guests quick and easy access to different parts of the city. Rooms are equipped with modern amenities such as design chairs, smart TV's and espresso coffee machines. In the morning enjoy an expansive buffet breakfast.
Hesperia Cordoba, Cordoba
Located on the peaceful banks of the Guadalquivir River, Hesperia Cordoba offers views of Cordoba's two main attractions, La Mezquita and the Alcazar and is just a 7-minute walk from the city's historic centre. Facilities include a rooftop pool, garden and complimentary Wi-Fi connection. Rooms at the hotel all come equipped with ensuite bathrooms, air-conditioning and satellite TV. Decor is classic white, as is commonplace in southern Spain. As well as an onsite restaurant, there is a rooftop bar serving drinks until 23:30.
Melia Lebreros, Seville
A stylish hotel located in Seville's commercial district, Melia Lebreros was extensively refurbished recently and modern, elegant decor is visible throughout. Rooms offer air-conditioning, wood panelled flooring, minibar, flat screen TV and ensuite bathrooms with complimentary toiletries. Facilities include an outdoor pool and complimentary Wi-Fi throughout the property. Local and international cuisine can be enjoyed at the Mosaico Restaurant and local dishes are served in a traditional atmosphere at La Taberna la Dehesa. There is also an onsite bar.
Sol Don Pablo, Torremolinos, Costa del Sol
Sol Don Pablo is located in the resort town of Torremolinos, just 200 metres from Bajondillo Beach and a host of seafront bars, restaurants and shops. As well as its proximity to the ocean, the hotel boasts two outdoor pools and a hot tub, making it the perfect place to enjoy the fine weather of the Costa del Sol. Air-conditioned guest rooms come equipped with balconies and ensuite bathrooms and there is an onsite buffet restaurant and pool bar. A variety of evening entertainment is also offered for guests to enjoy, as is complimentary Wi-Fi.
Grand Mogador City Center, Casablanca
Offering free Wi-Fi, two onsite restaurants serving Mediterranean, Moroccan and international cuisine and 417 elegant yet modern guest rooms, the Grand Mogador City Center Hotel is a great option for guests travelling to Casablanca. There is a spa and fitness centre for guests to enjoy. Spacious rooms are air-conditioned and come equipped with flat-screen satellite TV, ensuite bathrooms with hairdryer and complimentary toiletries.
Palm Plaza Hotel & Spa, Marrakech
An upscale hotel located on landscaped grounds in the Agdal district of Marrakech, the 5-star Palm Plaza boasts a large outdoor pool and sun terrace, piano bar, nightclub, sauna, hamman and gym for guests to enjoy. Dining is at the El Menzah International Restaurant buffet, or the Marrakech-Phuket open air restaurant, serving regional dishes in a relaxing environment. There is also a poolside snack bar. Guest rooms are decorated in Moroccan style, with flat screen television, air-conditioning, seating area, ensuite bathroom and a terrace or balcony. Free Wi-Fi is available.
Royal Mirage Hotel, Fes
Located in the heart of ancient Fes, the Royal Mirage Hotel is just a short walk from the medina. There is a large outdoor pool and terrace, free Wi-Fi and a Moroccan spa and wellness centre. Traditional cuisine is served in the Al Wadi restaurant and there are a number of smaller snack bars, coffee shops and bars serving alcoholic drinks. Guest rooms offer either a pool or garden view and come with a balcony or terrace, as well as modern amenities including ensuite bathroom, air-conditioning, safe and TV.
Hotel Catalonia Granada, Granada
Located in the heart of Granada, the Catalonia hotel offers sleek and modern guest rooms with smart TV, private bathrooms, minibar and desk. There is free Wi-Fi throughout the property and other amenities include an outdoor swimming pool and rooftop sun terrace. Buffet breakfast is served in the main restaurant, and there is an onsite Gastrobar open from 11am to 11pm, serving a variety of snacks and Mediterranean dishes.