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This exciting adventure introduces you to the fascinating major cities of the Iberian Peninsula, many of which are UNESCO World Heritage Sites. Begin in the Spanish capital of Madrid. Then, visit fortified Ávila and pretty Salamanca, pearls of the Castile region, and cross the Serra da Estrela into Portugal to reach Coimbra, a charming hillside town that overlooks the Mondego River. Stop in Fatima to see its famous sanctuary, then on to the impressive walled city of Obidos with its towers and bastions. Spend two nights in Lisbon and discover explorer Henry the Navigator’s exquisite city. Travel back into Spain via the Sierra de Aracena for two overnights in Seville, a lively city on the banks of the Guadalquivir River. The city center boasts many stunning highlights, including the cathedral, Alcazar, and Plaza d’España. Admire the Andalusian landscapes on the way to Cordoba with its lovely Moorish cathedral. Travel across Don Quixote’s La Mancha, known for its castles and windmills, and return to Madrid for the final two nights of your vacation.
Destinations & Sightseeing
Individual headsetsInside visits and special features:Shown in UPPERCASE in the tour description including admission charges where applicable.Sightseeing:Visits to Ávila, Salamanca, Coimbra, Fátima, Obidos, Seville, CordobaGuides:
Local Guides for city sightseeing in Lisbon, Madrid; professional Tour Director while touring
Scenic Highlights: Serra da Estrela, Andalusia, La Mancha
NOTE:April 8 Departure – Feria in Seville
The following UNESCO World Heritage Sites can be seen or visited on this vacation:
Transportation: Touring by private, first-class, air-conditioned motorcoach
Meals & Itinerary
Buffet breakfasts daily; 3 dinners
Inside visits and special features are shown in UPPERCASE in the tour description.
Day 1 Arrive in Madrid, Spain
Check into your hotel. The rest of the day is free for you to start exploring lively Madrid. Tonight, meet your Tour Director and fellow travelers.
Day 2 Madrid–Avila–Salamanca–Coimbra, Portugal
Journey west to fortified Ávila, then on to Salamanca, just six miles from the spot where Wellington routed Napoleon’s army in 1812. Make sure you spend some time wandering around Salamanca’s Plaza Mayor, the most beautiful square in Spain. Leave Salamanca and journey into the valley of the Serra da Estrela on your way for an overnight in Coimbra.
Day 3 Coimbra–Fátima–Obidos–Lisbon
This morning, enjoy an orientation tour of Coimbra, strategically situated on a hill overlooking the Mondego River. Next, Fátima. Stop here to see the SANCTUARY, made famous by the Virgin Mary’s apparition to three shepherd children—Francisco, Jacinta, and Lucia—on May 13, 1917. A few more miles for a stop in Obidos, a fortified city still flanked by towers and bastions overlooking the countryside dotted with windmills. Overnight in Lisbon.
Day 4 Lisbon
Henry the Navigator made Lisbon the 15th-century “Mistress of the Seas.” You’ll see his monument, the Belem Tower, the Moorish Citadel, the impressive Black Horse Square, and other highlights on the guided sightseeing excursion. Spend the afternoon in the Alfama’s tile-decorated streets, or take an optional excursion along the Estoril Coast to Cascais and Sintra.
Day 5 Lisbon–Seville, Spain
Drive southeast this morning into the Alentejo through the countryside famous for its production of cork. Then, on to the border at Vila Verde and cross into Spain for the journey into Andalusia, enjoying quite different scenery as you skirt the Sierra de Aracena before reaching delightful Seville for two overnights.
Day 6 Seville
One of Spain’s most colorful cities. Perhaps you’d like to spend the morning enjoying an optional sightseeing tour including the main highlights of this vibrant city.
Day 7 Seville–Cordoba–Madrid
Drive north towards Carmona, an Old World country town dominated by an ancient Alcazar (fortress), to Cordoba. This is Spain’s most Moorish city with its great mosque, which is rightly known as one of Islam’s greatest pieces of architecture outside the Arab world and a Catholic cathedral since 1236. Later, into the very heart of La Mancha, famed for its castles and windmills. This evening, why not join the optional Madrid by Night excursion with dinner?
Day 8 Madrid
This morning, the optional trip to Toledo is very rewarding! The splendid setting of this old walled city above the Tagus was made famous in El Greco’s painting—even now, it’s like a great open-air museum of Spanish history and art. Later, join the included Madrid city sightseeing. Not only because it’s the capital of Spain but also because it is situated 2,180 feet above sea level, the Spaniards say it’s the nearest thing to Heaven.
Day 9 Madrid
Your vacation ends with breakfast this morning.
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.
ENRIQUE AQUINO LONGO
Years of Experience: 11
“I originally came to Spain to discover the other half of my heritage. I'm still here! I just fell in love with it. The culture, never-ending history, breathtaking landscapes, delicious food, bright sunshine and friendly people make it fascinating. Don't be surprised if you'll be the next one to fall in love too. Nothing makes me happier than to show my guests what makes Iberia and Morocco my home.”
MADRID NH Ribera del Manzanares (F) or Praga (ST)COIMBRA Dom Luis (ST) or Tryp (F)LISBON Roma (ST)SEVILLE Don Paco (ST) or Tryp Macarena (F)MADRID Praga (ST)
The following list of optional excursions are examples only for this vacation. These optional excursions might or might not be offered. Whether it's a special dinner, a local show or a special behind-the-scenes glimpse into an historical site, optional excursions are a wonderful way to enrich your vacation even further. Plus, they give you flexibility. We include the must-see sites and experiences, and we also understand that people take interest in different activities and may want to craft a more personal vacation by hand-picking optional excursions that appeal to them.
A Real Portuguese Evening
No visit to Lisbon is complete without seeing a live ""Fado"" show. The word ""Fado"" literally means faith and this form of urban folklore is a repository of the sadness and joys derived from the destiny of Portugal throughout its history. You will be taken to one of the most renowned venues located in the former cellars and stables of a 17th century palace. The dinner will let you sample delicious traditional Portuguese dishes together with locally produced wine or soft drinks or beer plus mineral water, coffee or tea. Be entertained during dinner by the Fado singing performers - an experience to remember!
Approximate value: 55 EUR per person
Sintra & Portuguese Riviera
On this interesting afternoon excursion with a local guide you will first drive along the scenic ocean road of the Portuguese Riviera, passing the cosmopolitan town of Estoril to arrive at the quaint fishing village of Cascais. Back in the early 20th century it was a popular resort favored by European nobility and kings and today is a colorful town with elegant pedestrian streets, some paved with blocks recreating wave patterns. There will be time here to look around and perhaps have some lunch before continuing to the town of Sintra. This beautiful town at the foot of the mountain range of the same name, has been classified as a UNESCO world heritage site. It comes under the special category of a "cultural landscape" due to its natural riches as well as the historic buildings in the town and mountains. A visit will be made to the Sintra National Palace, one of the best preserved medieval Royal palaces in Portugal, due to it being inhabitated more or less continuously from the early 15th century up to the late 19th century. Its history goes back to the times of Islamic domination when Sintra had two different castles, one located on the top of a hill overlooking Sintra and the other located downhill. After visiting this fascinating Palace you will have time on your own for sightseeing or shopping before driving back along the coastal road to Lisbon.
Approximate value: 48 EUR per person
Classic Flamenco Show
One cannot leave Spain without having heard the clicking of castanets!! You will be taken to a flamenco venue founded in 1952 which hosts many famous flamenco performers and is known for performances which feature a variety of flamenco styles as well as classical Spanish dance and music. The evening lasts about 1 and a half hours and during the evening one drink is included at your choice.
Approximate value: 38 EUR per person
Splendors of Seville
Enjoy an added bonus to the normal sightseeing tour of Seville as after departing from the hotel with a local guide, the coach takes you just outside the city center to the site of Italica - the Roman city founded by Scipio. The ruins of the Roman town, close to Santiponce and not very far from the Cartuja complex include an amphitheater, baths, theatre and various buildings containing mosaics. After an interesting guided visit, and a short break, return back to Seville and at Murillo Gardens you will leave the coach for a walk through the streets of the Old Jewish Quarter to the magnificent Gothic Cathedral for an inside visit of one of the most complete Christian temples in existence. The excursion lasts approx. 4 hours and at the end of the sightseeing you will be taken back to the hotel by coach. In case the Cathedral is closed to the public a visit will be made to Casa de Pilatos (Pilate's House), which is an Andalusian palace and serves as the permanent residence of the Dukes of Medinaceli.
Approximate value: 35 EUR per person
The most Moorish-looking of all Spanish cities. Cordoba was founded by the Romans and due to its strategic importance as the highest navigable point of the Guadalquivir River, it became a port city of great importance, used for shipping Spanish olive oil, wine and wheat back to Ancient Rome. The Romans built the mighty bridge crossing the river, now called "El Puente Romano". But Cordoba's hour of greatest glory was when it became the capital of the Moorish kingdom of El-Andalus and this was when work began on the Great Mosque or "Mezquita". The 3 hour sightseeing tour with local guide starts first with a panoramic drive to see the Guadalquivir River, Roman Bridge, Calahorra Tower, Arabic water mills and water wheel, city walls and Almodovar Gate. Then get off the coach and proceed on foot through the Old Jewish Quarter, a labyrinth of winding, narrow streets, shady flower-filled courtyards and picturesque squares with first stop at the ancient Jewish Synagogue, now a museum, and then Memorial Statue of Maimonides. The walk then takes you to one of Cordoba's treasures, the unique mosque-cathedral "Mezquita" with a guided visit inside this incredible complex. At the end of the sightseeing you will be taken back to the hotel by coach.
Approximate value: 30 EUR per person
Madrid By Night & Tapas
An authentic Spanish food experience in a local restaurant tucked away in the center of old Madrid. The venue with its warm ambiance is home to solid Castillian cuisine and the tapas dinner we are offering you gives a sample of a variety of dishes i.e. "tortilla espanola", "jamon serrano". Included is the well-known Spanish drink "sangria" or soft drink or mineral water. After dinner, see some of the main sights of Madrid on a short orientation drive before returning to the hotel.
Approximate value: 38 EUR per person
The Majestic City of Toledo
Toledo is one of the Spanish cities with the greatest wealth of monuments. Known as the "city of three cultures" because Christians, Arabs and Jews lived together there for centuries. Behind its walls Toledo preserves an artistic and cultural legacy in the form of churches, palaces, fortresses, mosques and synagogues. This great diversity of artistic styles makes the old quarter of the capital of La Mancha a real open-air museum, which has led it to being declared a World Heritage site. Upon arrival in Toledo there will first be a drive around the city with a stop for a panoramic view. Then a walk in the city visiting one of the most outstanding buildings in Toledo - the Cathedral - considered one of the high points of Gothic art. Continue with a visit of the church of Santo Tomè, which is famous for housing El Greco's famous picture entitled "The burial of Count Orgaz".
Approximate value: 47 EUR per person
Know Before You Go
These Know Before You Go travel tips are designed with you in mind, with helpful hints to help you prepare for and enjoy your escorted vacation. They are your guide to getting ready and contain general information on travel documentation, customs, and the country/countries you will be visiting, including budgeting, transportation, climate, languages, and much more. With Globus, you benefit from our experience.
* The "Starting at" or listed price is based on the lowest price available to book. Price is per passenger based on double occupancy and does not include airfare; additional fees/charges are not included. If a price is crossed out, the new price includes a limited time promotional offer(s) – please review current promotions or deals
for additional information. Some tours require intra-vacation flights (and in some cases intra-vacation segments must be purchased from Cosmos).