Cosmos

Spain, Portugal & Morocco (6830) - 2015 / 2014

16 Day Tour from Madrid to Madrid


Spain, Portugal & Morocco
Alhambra at Sunset
Alhambra at Sunset
Lisbon, Portugal lies in the western Iberian Peninsula on the Atlantic Ocean and the Tagus River
Marrakesh is justly reputed the most fascinating of all Moroccan cities
Lisbon is one of the oldest cities in the world, predating other modern European capitals
Marrakesh, Morocco is known as the red-colored imperial city
Explore the beautiful city of Seville, the artistic, cultural, and financial capital of Southern Spain
Marrakesh
Lisbon, Portugal is situated at the mouth of the Tagus River and is the westernmost capital of a mainland European country
Walk through the massive stone walls of the Hassan II Mosque
TOUR FOR 8+ PEOPLE

Vacation Overview

Combine the highlights of the Iberian Peninsula with fascinating Morocco on this unforgettable vacation. Start in Madrid, Spain’s grand capital, then visit fortified Avila with its many towers, and renaissance Salamanca. Enter Portugal and arrive in Coimbra, a charming hillside town that overlooks the Mondego River. Visit the Batalha Monastery and the Sanctuary of Fátima, and arrive in explorer Henry the Navigator’s exquisite city of Lisbon. Spend two nights in spectacular Seville before boarding a ferry for Morocco. As you arrive on the African continent, motor along the Barbary Coast to Rabat, capital of the Kingdom of Morocco, and stop in Casablanca to see the illustrious Hassan II Mosque. Next, head through the Middle Atlas mountain range to Marrakesh, known for its colorful Djemaa el Fna, a square bustling with acrobats, storytellers, dancers, singers, and food stalls. Spend two overnights in the old walled city of Fez. Visit a traditional medina on the included sightseeing tour. Re-cross the Strait of Gibraltar and return to mainland Spain. Drive through the Andalusian countryside to Granada for a treat: a visit to the exotic Alhambra complex, residence of Moorish kings. Retrace Don Quixote’s footsteps as you travel past the windmills and castles of La Mancha, then return to Madrid for the conclusion of your exciting journey.

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Individual headsets

Inside visits and special features:
Shown in UPPERCASE in the tour description including admission charges where applicable.

Sightseeing:
Visits to Avila, Salamanca, Coimbra, Batalha, Fátima, Portuguese wine bodega, Seville, Casablanca

Scenic Highlights:
Serra da Estrela, Andalusia, Guadalquivir Valley, Costa del Sol, La Mancha, Middle Atlas

Guides:

Local Guides for city sightseeing in Madrid, Lisbon, Rabat, Marrakesh, Fez, Granada-Alhambra. Professional Tour Director while touring

NOTES:

  • March 29 Departure – Holy Week in Seville
  • April 19 Departure – Feria in Seville
  • December 22 Departure – New Year's "Reveillon" dinner in Marrakesh.


Day 1Arrive in Madrid, Spain

Check into your hotel. The rest of the day is free to start exploring lively Madrid. Tonight, meet your Tour Director and fellow travelers. (D)

Day 2Madrid

Of the Spanish capital, situated 2,180 feet above sea level, the Spaniards say it’s the nearest thing to heaven. You’ve only a day here, and it’s certainly worth making the most of it by joining the included guided sightseeing tour: a full panoramic drive by way of the Avenida Mayor, Puerta del Sol, Parliament Square, and a picture stop outside the ROYAL PALACE. The optional trip to Toledo is most rewarding, too. The splendid setting of this old walled city above the Tagus was made famous in El Greco’s painting, and even now it’s like a great open-air museum of Spanish history and art. (B)

Day 3Madrid–Avila–Salamanca–Coimbra, Portugal

West for a visit to fortified Avila with its many towers. Next is Salamanca, just six miles from the spot where Wellington routed Napoleon’s army in 1812. Make sure you spend some time wandering around Plaza Mayor, the grandest square in Spain. Across the frontier to Guarda, the highest town in Portugal. From here, descend to the valleys of the Serra da Estrela to Coimbra for an overnight. (B,D)

Day 4Coimbra–Batalha–Fátima–Lisbon

This morning, enjoy your orientation tour of Coimbra, celebrated for its beauty and ancient university. Later, travel southwards to Batalha with a visit to its beautifully sited MONASTERY. Today’s unique highlight is a visit to the SANCTUARY of Fátima. En route, stop for an enjoyable wine tasting before reaching Portugal’s capital, Lisbon, for two overnights. (B)

Day 5Lisbon

Henry the Navigator made Lisbon the 15th-century “mistress of the seas.” On the included tour, see his monument, the Belem Tower, the Moorish Citadel, and the impressive Black Horse Square. Spend the afternoon in the Alfama’s tile-decorated streets, or take an optional excursion to coastal Estoril and Cascais. (B)

Day 6Lisbon–Seville, Spain

From the rolling plains of the Alentejo with its woodlands of cork and eucalyptus trees, southwards all the way to the brilliant light of Andalusia. Admire its neat white-painted villages and sun-drenched plantations of olives, figs, and almonds, while traveling by way of Beja into magnificent Seville. (B,D)

Day 7Seville

At leisure in one of Spain’s most colorful cities. Perhaps you’d like to spend this morning enjoying an optional sightseeing tour including the main highlights of this vibrant city. (B)

Day 8Seville–Ferry to Morocco–Rabat

An interesting drive today through Spain’s pretty sherry wine region and south to the coast. Here, you will embark the FERRY and cruise across the Strait of Gibraltar to Morocco on the African continent. Motor along what was once the infamous Barbary Coast, then join the new motorway for the drive south via Kenitra to Rabat for an overnight. (B,D)

Day 9Rabat–Casablanca–Marrakesh

Today starts with an included guided city sightseeing tour of the country’s lively capital. In 2013, Rabat was a filming location for the movie Black Hawk Down. Later, via Settat, reach Morocco’s westernmost city: Casablanca. Enjoy a short break in this modern city and see the illustrious Hassan II Mosque—perched dramatically on a platform over the Atlantic Ocean. One of the largest mosques in the world, its minaret soars 689 feet into the sky and part of the mosque’s floor is made of glass so worshippers can kneel directly over the ocean’s waters. Continue on to the historic oasis city of Marrakesh. (B,D)

Day 10Marrakesh

The highlight of this morning is included city sightseeing that will make you feel like you’ve been whisked back in time. Founded in the 9th century, Marrakesh remains a tapestry of ramparts, mosques, palaces, gardens, and vibrant public squares and souks (markets)—where buying and selling and a carnival of entertainment and fascinations occur daily. An optional excursion this evening is the perfect end to the day. (B)

Day 11Marrakesh–Fez

Today, motor through the fragrant cedar forests of the Middle Atlas mountains, where a number of peaks soar above 13,000 feet in elevation. This range is home to the endangered Barbary ape, as well as wild boar and polecats. On your way north to Fez, enjoy glimpses of North African village life reminiscent of Beau Geste. (B,D)

Day 12Fez

Ancient Fez is a city of outstanding scenic beauty. Visit the MEDINA during included sightseeing this morning, and enjoy the maze of narrow streets through the colorful bazaars and exotic atmosphere. In the afternoon, explore further on your own. (B)

Day 13Fez–Ferry Crossing to Spain–Málaga

Today, an early departure takes you north for the FERRY back to mainland Spain. Drive along the coastal road of the Costa del Sol (Coast of the Sun) to reach Málaga for an overnight. (B)

Day 14Málaga–Granada

Head into the heart of Andalusia to reach Granada. On the agenda: an included guided visit of the ALHAMBRA, a lavish palace and fortress complex built by Moorish kings. With construction dating back to 889 AD, you’ll marvel at its architectural beauty and magnificent gardens. This afternoon, there’s time at leisure—why not join an exciting optional excursion? (B,D)

Day 15Granada–Madrid

Travel north today through the very heart of La Mancha, famed for its castle and windmills. Tonight, consider joining your fellow travelers at an optional traditional tapas evening, a fitting way to say Adios to Spain! (B)

Day 16Madrid

Your vacation ends with breakfast this morning. (B)

Transportation:
Scheduled transatlantic flights and airport transfers in Madrid if Cosmos issues the air tickets. Touring by private first-class air-conditioned motorcoach. Ferry across the Straits of Gibraltar


MADRID Praga (ST) or NH Abascal (F)
COIMBRA Dom Luis (ST)
LISBON Roma (ST)
SEVILLE Don Paco (ST) or Tryp Macarena (F)
RABAT Rihab (ST)
MARRAKESH Zalagh Kasbah & Spa (ST)
FEZ Zalagh Parc Palace (F)
MALAGA Tryp Alameda (F)
GRANADA Don Juan (ST)

Buffet breakfasts; 7 dinners


With Cosmos, there’s no better way to get to know your destination than through the eyes of your Tour Director. Averaging over a decade... we’d like you to meet a Tour Director, who is representative of the type of expert that will be with you on your vacation.

JULIAN HIDALGO

Years of Experience: 17 years

After so many years in this fascinating land, I never get tired of showing people the wonders of Spain, Portugal, and Morocco. Every tour is an adventure...a unique cultural experience I share with my guests. Like a storyteller, I can´t wait to meet my audience and start the show. Introducing travelers to the people, colors, and flavors of the region is exciting-something you just can't get from a guidebook!

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