Uncover the Wonders of Spain, Portugal & Morocco on a 17-Day Guided Tour
Traverse Spain, Portugal and Morocco on this 17-day guided tour. In Madrid, visit the Prado Museum and learn about the origins of the city with a Local Expert. In Lisbon explore the long avenues of Lower Town with a Local Expert and see the finest square in the city: the Terreiro do Paço. Journey to Gibraltar, a territory under British control, visit St. Michael’s Cave; be sure to look out for the legendary guardians of the colony, the Barbary Apes. In Fes, tour the Medina and learn about renowned local crafts. Travel to the white-washed village of Alfarnatejo, then discover the oldest olive grove in the region, where you’ll taste freshly pressed oils and dine on a traditional meal in the home of a Spanish family.
- 16 nights accommodation
DAY 1 - WELCOME TO MADRID
Join your Travel Director for a Welcome Dinner in a local restaurant and get to know your fellow travellers over an evening of delicious food and wine.
DAY 2 - PRADO MUSEUM AND ON TO THE GOLDEN SALAMANCA
With your Local Expert, travel along the main historical areas of the capital of Spain, known as Madrid of the Bourbons. Your drive continues through the Old Quarter, to discover the origins of the city. A sure highlight is when you join an art historian to explore the Prado Museum, a magnificent palace housing works by Velázquez, Goya, Rubens and other masters. Journey past the walls of Ávila en route to Salamanca, with its honey-coloured cathedral and 16th-century university buildings.
DAY 3 - HOLY FATIMA AND LISBON
Cross the Portuguese frontier and skirt the Estrela Mountains en route to Fátima, Portugal’s most renowned religious site. Join the pilgrims flocking into the great basilica, commemorating the miraculous appearance of the Virgin Mary to three young shepherds in 1917. In the heart of the Shrine of Fátima is The Chapel of Apparitions, marking the exact location of her first appearance. Other sacred sites include the Museu de Arte Sacra e Etnologia, exhibiting religious artifacts and the modern church of the Basilica of the Most Holy Trinity. Your travels continue to Lisbon.
DAY 4 - LISBON AND THE AGE OF THE GREAT DISCOVERIES
Your guided sightseeing with a Local Expert takes you along the spacious avenues of the Lower Town and across the tree-shaded squares. Pass beneath the hilltop Bairro Alto to the Terreiro do Paço, the finest square in the city, named after the palace that was destroyed in the terrible earthquake of 1755, along with much of the rest of the city. Visit the Belém Quarter from where sailing ships once set forth to discover unknown lands. Enjoy a taste of Pastéis de Belém from the patisserie that has been using the same secret recipe for almost 200 years. Visit National Coach Museum, which features one of the most prominent horse-drawn carriage collections in the world. This afternoon is free to explore further as you wish or perhaps decide to visit the Portuguese Riviera.
DAY 5 - TO SEVILLE, THE CITY OF CARMEN
Visit Seville's Cathedral, the final resting place of Christopher Colombus. Explore the city with Insight Choice. Choose to walk through the old Jewish quarter and see La Giralda, the former minaret of the Great Mosque, which is now the bell tower of the cathedral. Alternatively, join a scenic drive and enjoy panoramic views.
DAY 6 - FREE TIME AND FLAMENCO IN SEVILLE
This morning is yours to completely relax or continue exploring this fascinating city. Perhaps join an Optional Experience to Córdoba and visit the magnificent Mezquita, an 8th century mosque with a Christian cathedral built inside it? Later this afternoon, join a MAKE TRAVEL MATTER® Experience as you visit the Cristina Heeren Foundation, a flamenco dance school and beneficiary of a TreadRight Foundation grant. Their mission is to promote the teaching and conservation of flamenco. Feel the passion behind the choreography as you put your rhythm to the test during a dance lesson before witnessing emotions come to life in a flamenco performance.
DAY 7 - THE STRAIGHTS OF GIBRALTAR TO FES
Set sail across the Strait of Gibraltar to reach Morocco, a historic land of deep-rooted tradition and compelling cultural character.
DAY 8 - EXPLORE FES
Your Local Expert will guide you through the ancient Medina, teeming with hidden courtyards, beautiful mosques and local workshops. Sensorial delights await around every corner as you take in the historic grandeur of this walled city. Walk through the souks and pass one of the world’s oldest universities. Learn about the ancient craft of handwoven carpets, a tradition developed in this region over thousands of years. Gain insight into the exceptional skill and artistic symbolism applied to make each carpet unique.
DAY 9 - ON THE ROAD TO MARRAKESH
During today's journey, see traditional mud-walled villages set against the vast arid plains. Glimpse the Atlas Mountains as you approach Marrakesh, a bustling hub of culture and trade.
DAY 10 - EXPLORE MARRAKESH
Join a Local Expert to explore the Medina, the historic heart of the city. See the Koutoubia Mosque, its minaret dominating the Marrakesh skyline with golden brickwork. Visit the intricately-decorated Palais Bahia, a 19th-century mosaic-laden masterpiece built to be the greatest palace of its day. Experience the city's captivating charm during time at leisure. Perhaps try your hand at haggling in the souks on Jemaa-el-Fnaa Square or visit one of the acclaimed museums.
DAY 11 - PLAY IT AGAIN SAM IN CASABLANCA
Journey to the west coast of Africa to reach Casablanca. Did Humphrey Bogart really did say ''Play it again, Sam''? Your Local Expert will reveal the truth to this and other fascinating elements of this storied city. See the impressive Hassan II Mosque, the largest in the country. For those who came to Casablanca for the waters, the Corniche, a chic seaside strip, welcomes you with its trendy restaurants and cafes.
DAY 12 - RABAT AND TANGIER
Travel north to Rabat to see the intricately-decorated Royal Palace and Hassan Tower with your Local Expert.
Your journey continues to Morocco’s port of Tangier, overlooking the Strait of Gibraltar where the Atlantic meets the Mediterranean. You will be taken for a guided sightseeing tour of the city with a Local Expert. After dinner, enjoy an evening at leisure to relax in the comfortable surroundings of your hotel as the sun sets or take a stroll along Avenue d'Espagne on the Bay of Tangier.
DAY 13 - ON TO THE COSTA DEL SOL
Cross the water to Spain and continue on to Gibraltar, an overseas territory under British control since 1704. Meet your Local Expert for a guided tour of the Rock of Gibraltar, St. Michael’s Cave and see the Barbary Apes, legendary guardians of the colony. Your travels continue through Andalucía and on to the Costa del Sol, famous for its beaches.
DAY 14 - AT LEISURE ON THE COSTA DEL SOL
Enjoy the day at leisure on the sun-drenched Costa del Sol. Relax by the blue Mediterranean waters, stroll along the promenade, savour the specialities in the local restaurants, or consider exploring Malaga, the birth city of Picasso.
DAY 15 - DINING WITH LOCALS AT THE ALHAMBRA PALACE
Continue to Alfarnatejo, a quiet white washed village with a population of just 500 people, surrounded by stunning mountainous landscape. Walk the town centre to see the 18th century Iglesia del Santo Cristo de Cabrilla. Travel to the oldest olive grove in the region and stop at the rural mill-factory of Alfarnatejo to taste a selection of different oils with locally made farmer bread. In small groups, you are invited into the home of a local family to join them for a delicious Highlight Lunch made with fresh, local produce that showcases the flavours typical of the region. Continue to Granada, where overlooking the town stands one of the most remarkable fortresses ever built, the Alhambra. Led by your Local Expert, explore this exquisite palace built as a citadel by the Moors in the 13th century - a fantasy of arabesque gardens, fountains and stone cut like lace. Stroll through the elegant, exotic water gardens of the Generalife, the summer residence of the Spanish royals.
DAY 16 - TO MADRID IN SEARCH OF DON QUIXOTE
Your journey continues to the north, through countryside immortalised by Cervantes' fictional hero, Don Quixote. On return to Madrid, toast your travels with your newfound friends during a lively Celebration Dinner of delicious food and wine at a local restaurant.
DAY 17 - DEPART MADRID
Today bid farewell to your journey along Spain and Portugal as you transfer to the airport.