COACH TOUR: This two week tour of Spain and Portugal sets off from Madrid, visiting Porto, Lisbon, Cordoba, the Costa del Sol and more. Cruise the Douro River and taste local Port wine in a Porto wine cellar. Visit the mosque-cathedral of La Mezquita in Cordoba and the second-largest cathedral in the Catholic world in Seville. Admire the mountains of Andalusia and the beaches of the Costa del Sol, sample organic local olive oil and explore the Alhambra palace in Granada. Watch a traditional Flamenco show, visit hilltop Toledo and end your journey back in the Spanish capital.
Today we explore the Spanish capital on a coach tour. We take in highlights of the city including 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.
After the tour, the rest of the afternoon is at leisure. There's an included Welcome Dinner this evening at an authentic Tapas restaurant.
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 to Lisbon
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. Departing Lisbon, we cross the border back into Spain and the southern region of Andalusia. We make a stop in Caceres, home to a fascinating UNESCO-listed Old Town. Caceres is 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 tour & 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
Granada & the Alhambra
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
Toledo & back to Madrid
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.
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.