• Spanje & Portugal

Spanje & Portugal

6 – 26 April 2021

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Beleef die beste van dié twee lande! Geskiedenis, kultuur en goeie wyne!

Passievol, sophisticated and devoted to living the good life, SPAIN is both a stereotype come to life and a country more diverse than you ever imagined. Add the medieval castles, cobblestone villages, captivating cities and golden beaches of PORTUGAL, and the perfect holiday is arranged.

Reisprogram

We meet at OR Tambo and check in for our flight to Spain.

On arrival in Barcelona, we collect our luggage and meet our guide who will stay with us throughout the tour. After check-in at the hotel, we have the rest of the day at leisure to rest and explore on our own.

Tonight we enjoy dinner at the hotel.

Today we have a full-day guided tour of Barcelona, the cosmopolitan capital of Spain’s Catalonia region, and known for its art and architecture. The fantastic Sagrada Família church and other modernist landmarks designed by Antoni Gaudí dot the city. The Museu Picasso and Fundació Joan Miró feature modern art by their namesakes. The city history museum MUHBA, includes several Roman archaeological.

We visit some of Gaudi’s famous sights such as the Sagrada Familia, Park Guell and Casa Batllo. We walk through the Gothic Quarter and along the Las Ramblas. We might have the opportunity to take the cable car up Montjuic (weather permitting *).

After a fun-filled day, we enjoy dinner at a local restaurant.

After breakfast, we bid Barcelona farewell and travel to Zaragoza. Along the way, we stop in the ancient city of Lleida. The city stands out because of its ruined hilltop fortress that looms over the city. We have some free time to explore the city on our own before heading to Zaragoza.

We check into our hotel and have time to relax before we depart for our evening walking tour of Zaragoza. The city is a famous pilgrimage destination, as the Nuestra Senora del Pilar basilica has a much revered shrine to the Virgin Mary. We visit the basilica and the Aljaferia, which combines Islamic and Gothic architecture.

We enjoy dinner at a local restaurant before returning to the hotel.

We enjoy breakfast at the hotel and depart towards Bilbao. Our first stop is Eltziego, where we will visit the Marques de Riscal winery, well known for its unique architecture. We are taken on a guided tour of the winery and enjoy a wine tasting. Lunch will also be served at the winery.

We continue our drive to Bilbao. Dinner at the hotel.

Today we explore this beautiful city, which was founded in the 14th century. It is Basque country in the northern part of Spain. On a walking tour we enjoy what the city has to offer and view the main sites.

We enjoy lunch at a local restaurant.

The remainder of the afternoon and the evening are at leisure.

After breakfast, we depart for Santillana del Mar and visit the Altamira Cave Museum. This museum exhibits some extraordinary cave paintings from the nearby caves. To preserve and protect these ancient paintings the cave itself can no longer be visited.

After the visit, we make our way to the mountain village of Camaleno and enjoy dinner at the hotel.

Today we spend a full day in the Picos de Europa National Park, the first park to be awarded that designation in Spain. Its history goes back to 1918, when Don Pedro Pidal, Marquis of Villaviciosa, promulgated the act to create the Montaña de Covadonga National Park, named Picos de Europa National Park in 1995. This natural area was awarded the UNESCO Biosphere Reserve designation in 2002.

This mountain range offers unique and breath-taking scenery. We travel by cable car up one of the mountains for a magnificent view of the surrounding area. We have free time to explore before descending by cable car.

Dinner at the hotel.

After breakfast, we travel towards Santiago de Compostela. Our first stop is the beautiful Somiedo Natural Park, which will provide us with some good photo moments. The Somiedo Nature Reserve was awarded the UNESCO Biosphere Reserve designation in 2000.

Santiago de Compostela is part of the pilgrim route called the Camino de Santiago or, in English, the Way of Saint James. Many follow its routes as a retreat or a path to spiritual growth. It is also popular with hiking and cycling enthusiasts. We have the option to walk some of the Camino, should we want to.

We enjoy dinner at a local restaurant.

We enjoy breakfast and start our journey to Porto, city famous for its port. En-route we visit a porto cave for a guided tour and a tasting afterwards. Upon arrival in Porto, we check into the hotel and have the remainder of the day free.

Dinner at a local restaurant.

We have the morning to ourselves to explore this beautiful city, one of the oldest European centres. Its historical centre was proclaimed a UNESCO World Heritage Site. One of Portugal’s internationally famous exports, port wine is named after Porto. The metropolitan area and the cellars of Vila Nova de Gaia are still responsible for the packaging, transport and export of the fortified wine.

We depart from Porto late morning. Our first stop en route is Coimbra. This city is famous for its university library, Biblioteca Joanina. We visit Portugal dos Pequinitos, an open-air museum which exhibits houses from around Portugal in a miniature version. We enjoy lunch at a local restaurant before continuing to Lisbon. When we arrive in Lisbon, we will be free for the remainder of the day before enjoying dinner at a local restaurant.

After breakfast, we enjoy a half-day guided tour of Lisbon, the capital and largest city in Portugal. Lisbon is one of the oldest cities in the world, and the oldest in Western Europe, pre-dating other modern European capitals such as London, Paris and Rome by centuries.

We view the Bairro Alto and Alfama neighbourhood, the Sao Jorge Castle and the Azulejo Museum. Another stop on our tour of Lisbon will be the Belem area. Here we will see the Monument to the Discoveries and visit the Monastery of Jeronimos.

Afternoon at leisure.

OPTIONAL

Half day guided tour to Sintra. Sintra National Park houses the Pena National palace and Park, the Quintra de Regaleira and the Palaccio de Montserrat. A longtime royal sanctuary, its forested terrain is studded with pastel-colored villas and palaces. The Moorish- and Manueline-style Sintra National Palace is distinguished by dramatic twin chimneys and elaborate tilework. The hilltop 19th-century Pena National Palace is known for a whimsical design and sweeping views.

Tonight we enjoy dinner in a local restaurant.

After breakfast we bid farewell to Lisbon, and travel to Merida.

Upon arrival, we enjoy a city tour of Merida. This capital of western Spain’s Extremadura region was founded by the Romans in the 1st century B.C. Remains of the ancient city include the still-used Teatro Romano, which has a double tier of columns rising on stage. The ancient Puente Romano, a 792 m

th
bridge spanning the Río Guadiana, adjoins the Alcazaba, a 9 -century Islamic fortress built over Roman

walls.
Dinner tonight is at a local restaurant.

After breakfast, we depart for Seville.

We enjoy a walking guided tour of Seville. We walk through the Santa Cruz neighbourhood and visit the Royal Alcazar Palace and the Seville Cathedral with the Giralda Tower. The remainder of the day is at leisure.

Dinner in a local restaurant.

After breakfast we bid Seville farewell and travel to Granada.

Granada, a city in southern Spain’s Andalusia region, in the foothills of the Sierra Nevada mountains is known for grand examples of medieval architecture dating to the Moorish occupation, especially the Alhambra. This sprawling hilltop fortress complex encompasses royal palaces, serene patios, and reflecting pools from the Nasrid dynasty, as well as the fountains and orchards of the Generalife gardens.

We enjoy a guide city tour and visit Alhambra and Generalife before checking into our hotel. Dinner in a local restaurant.

After breakfast, we travel to Cordoba where we visit the Mezquita, walk through the Jewish Quarter and view the Plaza Corredera.

Remainder of the day at leisure.

Dinner in local restaurant.

After breakfast we are transferred to the station and board our train for our journey to Spain’s capital, Madrid.

The capital of Spain and third-largest city in Europe, lies on the River Manzanares and is in the centre of Spain. While Madrid possesses modern infrastructure, it has preserved the look and feel of many of its historic neighbourhoods and streets.

We enjoy a guided half-day tour of Madrid, viewing the Retiro Park, Plaza Mayor and Pierta del Sol. We visit the Palacio Real, the official residence of the Spanish Royal Family, but which is only used for state ceremonies. The Royal Family does not reside in the palace, choosing instead the modest Palace of Zarzuela on the outskirts of Madrid.

We have the afternoon at leisure.

We enjoy our farewell dinner in a local restaurant.

We have the morning at leisure for last-minute shopping and sightseeing. At lunch time, we travel to the airport and check in for our flights home.

We arrive in Johannesburg after an unforgettable tour.

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