Ancient cities of Portugal & Spain

Ancient Cities of Portugal and Spain

Day 1 Lisbon

Arrival transfer from airport to hotel.  Overnight.

Day 2 Lisbon

Breakfast. This morning enjoy a half day tour of Lisbon with a private driver.  A morning tour today to the suburb of Belem, where you will visit the Torre de Belem, the Jeronimos Monastery and the Monument to the Discoveries.  A gourmet highlight today is a stop at the famous “Casa Pasteis de Belem” to sample a delicious ‘pastel de nata’ or Portuguese custard tart.  Your driver will then take you back to the city centre, to "Café Nicola" at Rossio (downtown). This Coffee-house is one of the literary cafés in Lisbon and was founded in 1787.  Free afternoon.  Overnight.

Day 3 Lisbon - Mafra - Obidos - Lisbon

Breakfast. A full day excursion with a driver and on board guide today.  You will travel to Mafra to visit the massive Baroque palace and monastery which dwarfs the small town and was built during the reign of Portugal’s most extravagant monarch, Joao V.  Back on the road as you travel north to Obidos, Portugal’s medieval whitewashed village. Here, stop in a local shop to taste the famous “Ginjinha chocolate cup”, where the town’s famous cherry liqueur is served in a chocolate shell.  Enjoy a walking tour with your guide before free time for lunch at leisure.  Return to the capital after a fascinating day.  Overnight.

Day 4 Lisbon - Evora

Breakfast. Take the train to Evora today.  Arrival and free time at leisure. Overnight.

Day 5 Evora

Breakfast. Enjoy a morning walking tour today, visiting the Cathedral, Museu de Evora and the eerie Chapel of Bones.   In the centre of town is the Cathedral and on its left side is the Museu de Evora. The Cathedral which began construction in 1186 and consecrated in 1204 was completed in 1250.  Free afternoon at leisure. Overnight.

Day 6 Evora - Mérida

Breakfast. Transfer by private car with driver across the border to reach Merida.    Check-in and free time to explore. The city's centrepiece is the Roman Theatre, one of the best preserved Roman theatres anywhere, and which is still used for the city's drama festival annually.  It is part of the larger site with an amphitheatre and gardens.  Nearby are the remains of a Roman house, the Casa del Anfiteatro, where there are underground galleries and large areas of well-preserved mosaics.  Overnight.

Day 7 Mérida - Sevilla

Breakfast. Take the morning train south to Sevilla today. Sevilla, capital of 'Andalucia', is an energetic city with charming, tiny cobbled streets and beautiful, colourfully tiled patios.  Free afternoon to perhaps head out for tapas in the old quarter. Overnight.

Day 8 Sevilla

Breakfast. This morning you are met by a local guide for a walking tour of the city. You will visit the Santa Cruz district, the impressive Cathedral and the Giralda finishing up at the Moorish Alcazar. Free afternoon at leisure to perhaps stroll through the beautiful Maria Luisa Gardens and admire the impressive Plaza de España.  Overnight.

Day 9 Sevilla

Breakfast. A free day at leisure. We suggest you take the train to nearby Cordoba for the day, where you can visit the city’s remarkable Mosque/Cathedral and stroll through the streets of its well preserved Jewish quarter.  Return to Sevilla. Overnight.

Day 10 Sevilla - Cadiz

Breakfast. Back to the station today for your train south to Cadiz. Prominently out of the Bay of Cadiz and almost surrounded by water, is Cadiz, considered one of Europe's oldest cities.  Legend names Hercules as its founder.  Perhaps spend the afternoon exploring the waterfront and sampling the excellent seafood in the evening.  Overnight.

Day 11 Cadiz

Breakfast. A free day at leisure. The joy of visiting Cadiz lies in walking along the waterfront with its well-tended gardens and open squares.  The old town is full of narrow alleys and street life.  The Cathedral is Baroque and Neo-Classical, built over the site of an older one and is one of Spain’s largest.  Overnight.

Day 12 Cadiz - Madrid

Breakfast. A last journey by rail as you head north to the capital. Madrid's main attractions include three internationally famous art galleries, a royal palace, grand public squares and many museums filled with the treasures of Spain's history. Overnight.

Day 13 Madrid

Breakfast. This morning head out on foot on your walking tour with a local guide. From the Plaza Mayor to the Paseo del Prado, we enjoy a walk through Madrid’s most popular shopping district, admiring the beautiful and regal architecture. This area was shaped by enlightened monarchs and influenced by modernism that inspired the change of the financial district in the early twentieth century. We will discover the essence of the Barrio de las Letras, unique in Europe, where intellectual and popular culture appears in every street. Stroll through streets, avenues and squares, past fountains, gardens, historic taverns, cafes and terraces. This tour will finish with a walk through the Bourbon area of Madrid.  Free afternoon at leisure. Overnight.

Day 14 Madrid

Farewell the city as you are transferred to the airport.  End of services.