Portugal, Galicia & the Heart of Spain 2022

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905-639-9954

dhtour@dhtour.ca

13 Days / 12 Nights
Availability : May to October
Start: Lisbon, Portugal
End: Barcelona, Spain

Portugal, Galicia & the Heart of Spain: 2 nts Porto, 2 nts Santiago de Compostela, 1 nt Salamanca, 2 nts Madrid, 2 nts Cuenca, 3 nts Valencia

The riches of Portugal and Spain had no bounds: Gold-encrusted chapels sitting on street corners, a palace packed with 4,000 rooms, and cathedrals that almost touch the sky.

On this tour, you get a chance to witness the treasures and venture through the heart of these legendary countries. You taste the sweet liqueurs of the Douro Valley, ramble alongside the magical landscapes that inspired the trials of Don Quixote, and savour authentic paella in its birthplace, Valencia.

Take this trip experience the escence of Portugal and Spain.

13 DAYS / 12 NIGHTS / MAX 16 GUESTS

Contact DHTour at 1-888-597-3519 or 905-639-9954 or dhtour@dhtour.ca to book this small group tour Portugal, Galicia & the Heart of Spain.

Tour Details
Places you explore

Coimbra – This historic, cultured town was once the capital of Portugal and boasts the oldest university in the country

Porto – A historic centre, charismatic locals, sumptuous food, and famous port: no one can resist the charms of this UNESCO World Heritage city

Douro Valley – Admire steep terraced vineyards by the Douro River on an optional boat cruise

Costa da Morte – Plunging cliffs, remote sandy beaches and rocky headlands; this is the stunning and treacherous ‘Coast of Death’

Santiago de Compostela – Combine artistic and spiritual delights when you visit this grand city, the final stop of the epic Camino de Santiago pilgrimage route

Cuenca – Marvel at the hanging houses of this medieval city stacked on a promontory between two gorges

Valencia – The birthplace of Paella and one of Spain’s most liveable coastal cities

Utiel Requena – Wine has been produced here since 7th century BC. Sample the produce and savour the history

Pick Up Location & TIme

Lisbon (Google Map)
Check-in closes at 8:15am (tour departs at 8:30am) – Hotel Roma, Av. de Roma 33, 1749-074 Lisboa, Portugal

Drop off Location & Time

Barcelona  (Google Map)
6:15pm – Hotel Evenia Rocafort, C. de Rocafort, 23, 25, 08015 Barcelona, Spain

Price Includes

  • 12 nights 3/4 star hotel accommodation
  • Transport in a 16 seat Mercedes mini-coach
  • Air conditioning as standard
  • Daily breakfasts
  • The stories and services of an English-speaking driver-guide
  • Entrance to Coimbra University Library and El Escorial
  • Entrance to Aranjuez Royal Palace and Gardens
  • Entrance to Lapis Specularis Mine
  • Entrance to Villar del Humo cave paintings
  • Requena wine tasting

Meals

  • 12 breakfasts
  • 0 lunches
  • 0 dinners
  • 0 teas

Price Excludes

  • Entry fees to visitor attractions/Optional Activities
  • Airfare
  • Transfers
  • Pre / Post hotel nights
  • Driver / Tour Leader gratuity is at your discretion
  • Travel Insurance
What to Expect

Explore in 16 seat mini-coaches, always taking the scenic route, you have great views through large windows, and you’re free to sample the local tipple without worrying about driving. Our driver-guides are famous for their knowledge, facts, quirky stories, history, and fairy-tales. They truly take you beyond the guidebooks and into your adventure. You make your trip your own. We provide the timetable; and you can choose where you want to eat and which attractions you pay to see. So, if you want to skip a castle and read your book by a mountain view, you can.

A good night’s sleep is often needed for a good day of travel. So we’ve hand-picked three-star to four-star hotels in remote coastal villages, bustling towns, and mountain valleys. Your accommodation is included in the tour price.

Most people can comfortably enjoy our tours, but it’s worth bearing in mind that we often include optional short walks in scenic locations. Please also be aware that many of the old European towns are built on steep hills with cobbled lanes, and you may have to carry your own luggage at times.

We’ve arranged experiences for you on your tour. The ‘included activities’ are already booked and paid for as part of your trip, whereas you can purchase ‘optional activities’ while on your tour. You also have free time in many destinations to pick and choose which attractions you visit.

Pack comfortable shoes for walks up to beautiful views. Carry swimwear and a towel for swimming spots. Your holiday’s more fun when you protect yourself from the sun.

Itinerary
Portugal, Galicia & the Heart of Spain

Day 1Lisbon - Óbidos - Coimbra - Aveiro - Porto

  • Marvel at the Moorish architecture in the town of Óbidos
  • Learn about the thinkers of the past in one of the oldest universities in the world in Coimbra

You say ‘bom dia’ to your guide and fellow travellers, leave the coastal capital city of Lisbon, and travel the short distance to Óbidos.

This quaint walled town has a wealth of wonders for you to discover. You can study the sturdy walls of their Moorish Castle; amble through the little cobbled shopping lanes; or combine two of your favourite guilty pleasures in a drink of Ginjinha d’Óbidos, a sweet liqueur served in a chocolate cup.

Back on the road, you venture further north to Coimbra. This former Portuguese capital is famous for being the home of one of the oldest universities in the world. You will explore this magnificent institution, whose roots go back to the 13th century, before finding some local food for lunch.

After you’ve soaked up the history, it’s time to head to Aveiro. You feel like you’ve been teleported into little Venice in this town that’s lined with canals and art-nouveau architecture.

Your final stop of the day is in Porto, your home for the next two nights. It’s been a busy day, but hopefully you’re not too tired to walk to a sunset spot in this many-tiered town.

Included Activities: Entrance to Coimbra University Library

Accommodation: Grande Hotel do Porto or similar, Porto

Day 2Porto - Douro Valley - Porto

  • Peruse shops and restaurants of Porto’s cobbled lanes
  • Marvel at the terraced vineyards on the banks of the Douro River

Today, you have an important decision to make.

Do you lounge around and take in the cathedrals, cellars, and cuisine of beautiful Porto? Or do you hop on the mini-coach with us and venture through the Douro Valley?

Lucky for you, there’s no wrong option.

When you join our optional half day excursion, you travel to Pinhão by coach to enjoy a river cruise on a traditional rabelo boat. Once you’ve arrived at this small port-producing town, it’s time to savour its delicious tipple and admire the stunning vistas before returning to Porto mid-afternoon.

The rest of the day is yours to discover more of the city and indulge in its wines and flavours in your own style. And if you’re a fan of live music, don’t miss out on a performance of Fado, Portugal’s emotionally stirring traditional music. (B)

Optional Activities: River Douro boat cruise and wine tasting

Accommodation: Grande Hotel do Porto or similar, Porto

Day 3Porto - Peneda-Gerês National Park - Soajo - Santiago de Compostela

  • Rejuvenate your senses in the natural landscapes of Portugal’s national park
  • Cross the border into Northern Spain

Your last few days have been packed with bustling towns and boozy flavours. So now it’s time to refresh your senses with a taste of the great outdoors.

You head to the Peneda-Gerês National Park, the only national park in Portugal. You spend the morning here enjoying views of lakes, mountains, and waterfalls before travelling to the tiny town of Soajo.

This town not only boasts beautiful views, it’s also one of the most rustic villages you’ll have ever laid your eyes upon. You have time here to take a look at their famous 17th-century granite granaries and grab lunch.

And now, it’s over the border and into Spain. You arrive in Santiago de Compostela, one of the most famous pilgrimage sites in the world, where you stay for two nights. (B)

Accommodation: Hotel Gelmirez or similar, Santiago de Compostela

Day 4Santiago de Compostela - Ézaro waterfall - Cape Finisterre - Muxía - Santiago de Compostela

  • Explore the architecture, atmosphere, and history of Santiago de Compostela
  • Journey to Cape Finisterre, the furthermost edge of ancient Europe

Today, you can relax and enjoy the sights of Santiago de Compostela at your own pace or come on a half-day adventure with us to the Costa da Morte, ‘the Coast of Death’.

And no, this isn’t a shoreline infested with pirates and cannibals, it’s a place that was once notorious for shipwrecks.

If you join our trip to the coastline, you start the day by going to Ézaro waterfall. Here, you go for a small walk to take in the views of a rare wonder – the Ézaro River tumbling straight into the sea.

After you’ve enjoyed the waterfall, we travel to the ‘End of the World’ at Cape Finisterre. Ancient civilisations believed this was the end of the earth. You have time here to admire the lighthouse and look out over the wild Atlantic Ocean.

Your next stop is in Muxía. This lovely, historic harbour town is the perfect spot to sample the fresh seafood that this region is famous for and watch the ships set off to sea.

You arrive back in Santiago de Compostela in the afternoon. The evening is yours to try Galician specialities or admire the famous cathedral built over the remains of St James, one of the apostles of Jesus Christ. (B)

Accommodation: Hotel Gelmirez or similar, Santiago de Compostela

Day 5Santiago de Compostela - Lugo - Las Médulas - Salamanca

  • Roam upon the ramparts of the ancient Romans in Lugo
  • Survey the other-worldly landscapes that were created by the Roman gold excavating technique, ruina montium (wrecking of mountains)

Your first stop of the day is in Lugo. This town has a lot to be proud of. Apart from a stunning cathedral and oodles of charm, it has the only fully intact Roman city walls in the world. So feel like a Roman Legionnaire and take a stroll along the defences.

You continue to follow in the footsteps of the ancient Romans and travel to Las Médulas. Strange red pinnacles and holes in the mountains make this landscape look and feel otherworldly. The Romans created what you see before you by boring into the earth in their quest for gold.

You explore this area and enjoy your lunch before continuing the journey to Salamanca for your overnight stay. This mesmerising city is adorned with the riches of the Spanish Golden Age and boasts a great culinary scene. (B)

Accommodation: Hotel Artheus Carmelitas or similar, Salamanca

Day 6Salamanca - El Escorial - Madrid

  • Admire the artistic achievements of the Spanish Golden Age in Salamanca
  • Become envious of the lifestyle of kings in the palace of El Escorial

You have time in the morning to marvel at the golden-hued landmarks of Salamanca’s Old Town and university. Or you can have a lie-in if you enjoyed the famous nightlife a little too much the night before.

Grab early lunch and cast a last glance at the stunning architecture of the city before we head off. You continue the journey through the vast plains of Castile and León to visit El Escorial, the remarkable residence of the Spanish Royals and a UNESCO World Heritage Site.

After having been immersed in the riches of Spain, we take you to Madrid in the evening. (B)

Included Activities: Entrance to El Escorial

Accommodation: Hotel Porcel Ganivet or similar, Madrid

Day 7Madrid

  • Marvel at the opulence of the Royal Palace in Madrid
  • Try tapas in one of the La Latina district’s local bars

You have a free day in the golden metropolis of Madrid and can decide how you want to spend it. Packed with tapas bars, world-renowned art, and amazing architecture; this city really knows how to live.

To get around town, you can use Madrid’s fantastic public transport or jump on a hop-on hop-off sightseeing bus. Begin your exploration with the oldest part of Madrid, home to the lavish Royal Palace. It boasts a staggering 3,418 rooms decorated with paintings by world-renowned artists. Then, stroll around the city’s grand plazas; the portico-lined square of Plaza Mayor and Puerta del Sol.

Next, fuel your batteries in one of many restaurants before an exciting afternoon. For art lovers; there’s Prado Museum lined with Spanish, Italian and Flemish masterpieces. For nature lovers; there’s El Retiro Park, a green oasis in the heart of the city where you can row a boat.

And in the evening head to La Latina; the city’s top district for tapas, mojitos, and terraces. But don’t get carried away too much by the city’s energy, because tomorrow you join the next leg of your tour. (B)

Optional Activities: Ticket for a hop-on hop-off sightseeing bus

Accommodation: Hotel Porcel Ganivet or similar, Madrid

Day 8Madrid - Aranjuez - Villarejo de Salvanés - Torrejoncillo del Rey - Cuenca

  • Discover 500 years of the Spanish royal family at Aranjuez
  • Arrive in a town that’s carved into the cliffs, Cuenca

You’ve heard the Concierto de Aranjuez. This morning, it’s time to travel from Madrid and discover its inspiration.

Aranjuez was the spring home for the Spanish royal family for 500 years and is a fairground for culture vultures, art-lovers, and history buffs. You can snap panorama photos of the huge palace, wander through the fountain-strewn gardens, and ponder over the ancient bull ring.

You continue your journey through Castilla-La Mancha, the heart of Old Spain. This stunning region boasts gentle landscapes, lush nature, and unrivalled Manchego cheese. It’s also where Cervantes set the fictional journeys of Don Quijote in his novel that laid the foundation for modern European literature.

Your next stop is Villarejo de Salvanés. This small town boasts an unusual castle and archaeological sites that pre-date the Romans.

You travel the short distance to Torrejoncillo del Rey. Back in the 1950s, a resident from here sought treasure. They dug deep into a Roman well and uncovered a 2,000-year-old Lapis Specularis mine, the material the Romans used for windows. Tickets to go into the mine and discover its history are included in your tour.

Clinging to the cliffs of a limestone hill, you find Cuenca. A medieval town of cobbled paths and superior crafts. You overnight here for two evenings. (B)

Included Activities: Entrance to Aranjuez Royal Palace and Gardens, and Entrance to Lapis Specularis Mine

Accommodation: Hotel Exe Cuenca or similar, Cuenca

Day 9Cuenca - Parque Natural de la Serranía de Cuenca - Cuenca

  • Traverse the natural stone sculptures and scenic heights of Parque Natural de la Serranía de Cuenca

Today, you explore one of Castilla-La Mancha’s finest nature reserves – Parque Natural de la Serranía de Cuenca, a 73,000-hectare wildlife paradise.

Your first stop in the natural park is in the ‘Enchanted City’. This location boasts some of the strangest rock formations you’ll ever see. Wander around this magical landscape and spot mushroom-shaped stones and faces glaring at you from limestone.

You continue your journey through this landscape and stop at the stunning Mirador de Uña viewpoint.

After lunch, there are a variety of optional activities for you to choose from. Go kayaking, hiking, or visit more vibrant villages. Your guide will help you pick which one suits you best.

Back in Cuenca, you can scroll through your images from the day over tapas and red wine before enjoying a well-earned rest. (B)

Optional Activities: Various outdoor leisure activities in Parque Natural de la Serranía de Cuenca

Accommodation: Hotel Exe Cuenca or similar, Cuenca

Day 10Cuenca - Fuentes - Villar del Humo - Utiel - Winery in Requen - Valencia

  • Study the symbols of ancient cave paintings in Villar del Humo
  • Savour the flavours of the wines and cuisines of the region

You leave Cuenca behind and travel to Fuentes. At this stop, you get to stretch your legs and admire a few… dinosaurs. Yes, you read that right. This region is famous for palaeontology, and there are a few realistic life-sized models to help transport you to the land before time.

From the Jurassic period, you travel a few thousand years to the Neolithic period in Villar del Humo. Here, you can study the details and symbols of ancient cave paintings on a visit included in the tour price.

You stop at the tiny village of Utiel for a rustic lunch. This region is famous for seafood, pumpkin dishes, and the best oranges in the country – great nourishment for all that time travelling!

Later on, you travel to a winery in Requena for an included wine tasting which will invigorate your taste buds. The delicious beverage has been produced in this area since at least the 7th century BC, so you know it’s going to be delicious.

You then travel to Valencia; the home of paella, laid-back nightlife, awesome architecture, and your accommodation for the next three nights. (B)

Included Activities: Entrance to Villar del Humo cave paintings, and Requena wine tasting

Accommodation: Hotel Eurostars Rey Don Jaime or similar, Valencia

Day 11Valencia - Albufera Natural Park - Valencia

  • Learn about Monastic life at the Monastery of Santa Maria
  • Roam through the unique wetlands of Albufera Natural Park

Today, your journey takes you on a half day trip that combines monastic knowledge with fantastic nature spots.

In the morning, you can choose an optional visit to the Monastery of Santa Maria in El Puig. This large building combines cloisters with defensive structures and has been used as a temple, a school, and even a prison.

It’s now time to explore the rice paddies that gave birth to the paella in the Albufera Natural Park. Your visit here also gives you a chance to spot the unique flora and fauna around a large freshwater lagoon.

You arrive back in Valencia in the afternoon. Here you can join an optional guided tour of the city combined with a tasty tapas experience.

Use the evening to either enjoy the city’s famous nightlife or prepare for the next day of your adventure. (B)

Optional Activities: Guided city walk and tapas experience in Valencia, and Monastery of Santa Maria in El Puig

Accommodation: Hotel Eurostars Rey Don Jaime or similar, Valencia

Day 12Valencia - Xàtiva - Los Charcos de Quesa - Valencia

  • Lose yourself in the history and narrow streets of Xàtiva

Xàtiva, the town of ‘a thousand fountains’ lies upon the slopes of Monte Vernissa. A castle crowns the hills, and the location is famous for ancient paper production, educational institutions, and the notorious House of Borgia. This morning, you travel here and have free time to delve deep into all this history and more.

In the afternoon, you embark on a journey to Los Charcos de Quesa. We hope you have packed your swimwear, because this scenic nature spot boasts natural pools and waterfalls for you to dip your toes in.

You return to Valencia in the early evening. (B)

Accommodation: Hotel Eurostars Rey Don Jaime or similar, Valencia

Day 13Valencia - Sagunto - Peñiscola - Sitges - Barcelona

  • Imagine an ancient Roman play at the theatre of Sagunto
  • Admire a fusion of artistic and architectural styles in Sitges

Sagunto is your first destination this morning. You have time here to roam around a well-preserved Roman theatre, climb to the top of a 2,000-year-old castle complex, and explore the famous Jewish quarter.

You leave this historic town and make your way to the seaside town of Peñiscola. This place is known as the ‘City in the Sea’ and boasts a castle built by the Knights Templar. It’s also the delightful location where you have your lunch today.

A little further along the Mediterranean coast, your journey takes you to Sitges. A happening cultural hotspot, a menagerie of modernist architecture, and a few fascinating museums make this a great preparation for the big city.

You arrive in Barcelona in the evening. (B)

Dates and Prices - Hotel accommodation
Departure Dates and Days Double/Twin (pp) Single Rate
2022: May 16, 30 $4,210 $5,080
2022: June 13 $4,210 $5,080
2022: June 27 $4,290 $5,240
2022: July 11, 25 $4,290 $5,240
2022: August 8, 22 $4,390 $5,370
2022: September 5, 19 $4,210 $5,080
2022: October 3, 17 $4,210 $5,080

All guaranteed departures.

Pricing

Pricing is per person (pp) based on twin/ double occupancy.
Rates are in $ CAD.

 


Contact DHTour at 1-888-597-3519 or 905-639-9954 or dhtour@dhtour.ca  to book.

Ask us for the best available pricing for your dates & choice of airline.

 

Notes
Mobility: All of our tours involve walking and require our guests to board and disembark our vehicles several times a day making this tour unsuitable for those with reduced mobility.

Luggage: You’re restricted to 20kg (44lbs) of luggage per person. This should be one piece of luggage similar to an airline carry-on bag (approximately 55cm x 45cm x 25cm / 22in x 17in x 10in) and a small bag for onboard personal items.

Want to extend your stay in Lisbon and/or Barcelona?  Ask us for a hotel package. 

Map

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