Spain & Portugal Encompassed (Starts Madrid) 2024

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1-888-597-3519

905-639-9954

dhtour@dhtour.ca

13 Days / 12 Nights
Availability : April to November
Start: Madrid, Spain
End: Madrid, Spain

Spain & Portugal Encompassed (Starts Madrid): 1 nt Córdoba, 2 nts Granada, 2 nts Seville, 2 nts Lisbon, 2 nts Porto, 2 nts Santiago de Compostela, 1 nt Salamanca

The water shines electric blue on the sunny coast; the soil and foliage glows green and gold within deep valleys; and the wines, meats, and arts are imbued with a deep, seductive red: The colours of the Iberian Peninsula are simply beguiling.

On this tour, you bathe your sights in all the vivid scenery of Spain and Portugal.

You explore the kaleidoscopic markets and Moorish palaces of Granada, Seville, and Córdoba. You greet the great white sandy beaches at the edge of the Ancient World. And you tread through the orange-tinged, cobbled lanes of towns that are blessed with both lovely locals and delicious flavours.

Join this tour and discover the vibrant Iberian Peninsula.

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 Spain & Portugal Encompassed (Starts Madrid).

Tour Details
Places you explore

Córdoba – This ancient Andalucían city will take your breath away with the marvels of La Mezquita and the Palace of the Christian Kings

Granada with Alhambra and Sierra Nevada Mountains – Get mesmerised by the lavish palace built by the Moors and explore the rugged mountains of the Sierra Nevada National Park

Seville– Get dazzled by the history, spectacular architecture and magic of Flamenco in the city influenced by a number of civilisations

Pueblos Blancos – Fall in love with beautiful white villages built on hilltops overlooking Spain’s wild landscapes

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’

Lisbon – Pastel-coloured buildings, spectacular hilltop vistas, and a wonderful waterfront location. Delve into the history and culture of this lovely capital city

Pick Up Location & TIme

Madrid  (Google Map)
Check-in closes at 8:15am (tour departs at 8:30am)- Hotel Porcel Ganivet, C. de Toledo, 111, 113, 28005 Madrid, Spain

Drop off Location & Time

Madrid  (Google Map)
approx. 7:30pm – Hotel Porcel Ganivet, C. de Toledo, 111, 113, 28005 Madrid, 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 La Mezquita
  • Entrance to an olive oil production site
  • Entrance to the Alhambra with audio guide included
  • Entrance to Coimbra University Library and El Escorial
  • Fortaleza de la Mota entrance with audioguide included
  • Visiting Muelle de las Carabelas in Huelva

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
Spain & Portugal Encompassed (Starts Madrid)

Day 1Madrid - Toledo - Despeñaperros Natural Park - Córdoba

  • Uncover the fusion of cultures that shaped Toledo, the former capital of Spain
  • Travel through Castilla-La Mancha, the backdrop for Don Quixote’s adventures

You leave the heart of Spain and head south to the former capital of the country, Toledo.

Sitting atop a hill and overlooking the Tajo River, this city used to be known as the ‘City of Three Cultures’. To get the real feel of the place, wander through the cobbled streets and try to spot the Muslim mosques, Jewish synagogues and Christian cathedrals.

You travel through Castilla-La Mancha, the setting for the adventures of the literary hero Don Quixote. Next, you stop on the way through the Despeñaperros Natural Park, the gateway to Andalucía.

Córdoba, your home for the night, welcomes you with its bustling squares and delightful architecture.

Accommodation: NH Cordoba Califa or similar, Córdoba

Day 2Córdoba - La Mezquita - Granada

  • Explore La Mezquita, an immense mosque-cathedral and a UNESCO World Heritage site
  • Learn about olive-making and take in views of endless olive groves

In the morning, you visit La Mezquita, one of the most spectacular mosques constructed by the Moors in Spain. This world-famous construction boasts countless rows of decorated arches and a serene interior and is large enough to have a cathedral built inside it!

Next, we travel through rolling hills blanketed with the silvery-grey-green leaves of olive trees. It’s a sign you’ve entered the oil-producing province of Jaén. 

We continue our journey south to the ruined hilltop fortress of Fortaleza de la Mota and arrive in Granada early evening, our base for two nights. (B)

Included Activities: Entrance to La Mezquita, and Entrance to Fortaleza de la Mota

Accommodation: Hotel Porcel Alixares or similar, Granada

Day 3Granada - the Alhambra - Huerta de San Vincente - Granada

  • Become entranced by the ornamentation of the Alhambra Palace
  • Uncover the unique neighbourhood of house caves in Gaudix

You wake up in a city adorned with the most sensual palace of Europe, the Alhambra.

Your morning is blessed with a visit to this famous monument. When you look at it, you’re transported to the tales of 1,001 Nights. Originally a fortress and then a palace, this UNESCO World Heritage site will seize your imagination.

In the afternoon you’ll uncover the unique Barrio de las Cauevas of Gaudix (neighbourhood of house caves in Gaudix). Choose to learn more about the history and evolution of this intricate maze of homes at the Gaudix Cave Dwellings Interpretation Centre, located inside several original cave dwellings.  

There may be time for a photo stop of the Sierra Nevada mountains before you head back to Granada.

Use your evening in Granada to discover tapas restaurants and more of the culinary delights.(B)

*Sometimes this day will be reversed, and you will visit the Alhambra in the afternoon.

Included Activities: Entrance to the Alhambra with audio guide included

Optional Activities: Entrance to the Gaudix Cave Dwellings Interpretation Centre

Accommodation: Hotel Porcel Alixares or similar, Granada

Day 4Granada - El Torcal de Antequera - Ronda - Seville

 

  • Discover the charm of Ronda, the most stunning of the pueblos blancos

Today is all about exploring the other faces of Andalucía; the beautiful wilderness and iconic pueblos blancos.

You travel west to El Torcal de Antequera, a nature reserve in the Sierra del Torcal mountain range. You’ll be amazed by the stunning limestone formations that have been formed over millions of years. 

Your adventure then takes you through the landscapes of Malaga’s ‘Lake District’ before you reach Ronda. Precariously clinging to a steep cliff of the El Tajo Gorge, this commune captures your imagination with its literary connections and history full of outlaws. Stroll along the city walls, explore picturesque plazas, and enjoy your lunch.

Before making your way to Seville, you’ll have the chance to learn how Spain’s ‘liquid gold’ is made at an olive oil farm.

Cast a last glance over the Andalusian countryside and start your journey to Seville, your home for two nights. (B)

Accommodation: Hotel Exe Sevilla Macarena or similar, Sevilla

Day 5Seville - Jerez de la Frontera - Seville

  • Soak up the grandeur as you stroll through the Plaza de España
  • Try the finest sherry in Jerez de la Frontera

Seville signifies the essence of Spain. This city will seduce you with its rich Moorish heritage, the orange trees, tapas and passionate flamenco.

Today it’s up to you to decide how to spend the day.

You can dedicate your time to discover the best gems of the city’s 80 chapels at the Seville Cathedral and marvel at La Giralda. Or go for a stroll along the bank of the Guadalquivir to admire the iconic Torre del Oro, a military tower dating back to the 13th century.

Alternatively, you can join our half day tour and travel to Jerez de la Frontera. This elegant town is the heartland of sherry and Spanish brandy.

Whichever option you choose, spend the late afternoon and evening strolling through the shaded arches of the grand Plaza de España. Warning: with the hypnotic Flamenco performances, delicious tapas and buzzing bars, this city can keep you entertained till the small hours. (B)

Optional Activities: Sherry winery visit in Jerez with wine tasting and snack

Accommodation: Hotel Exe Sevilla Macarena or similar, Sevilla

Day 6Seville - Huelva - Tavira - Lisbon

  • Soak up the sun in Huelva on the Costa de la Luz
  • Wander through Tavira, one of the most charming towns of the Algarve

Say farewell to Seville and enjoy the last glimpses of the Andalusian countryside as you travel west towards the Costa de la Luz, a land of bright sunlight and golden sandy beaches.

You stop in the seaside city of Huelva, where Christopher Columbus planned his trip to find a western sea route to China and India.

Next, you cross the Portuguese border and stop at Tavira in the Algarve. Set on the River Gilão, this town exudes an irresistible charm and makes you want to discover its hidden corners. Wander through the cobblestone streets, cross an old Roman bridge and try Portuguese cuisine for the first time.

Take in the last views of the Algarve and journey north where laid-back Lisbon awaits you in the evening. (B)

Included Activities: Entrance to Muelle de las Carabelas

Accommodation: Hotel Zenit or similar, Lisbon

Day 7Lisbon

  • Catch a ride on the iconic 28 tram in the Alfama district
  • Get mesmerised by soul-stirring fado music

Bom dia! You have a free day to explore Lisbon; a European capital boasting a wonderful waterfront location, a balmy climate, and loads of charm.

This inspiring place was shaped by four cultures, colonial riches, a catastrophic earthquake, and a period of restoration.

Start the day delving into the oldest part of the city; the Alfama district. Here, you can visit the iconic São Jorge Castle, an ancient Moorish fortification that rises from a hill. If Lisbon’s hilly terrain is a bit too much to brace, jump on the legendary yellow tram 28 or get on a guided hop-on hop-off bus.

In the afternoon, head to the charming district of Belém. It used to be the docks and shipyards’ district. And it was here Vasco da Gama sailed from on his voyage to reach India. Stroll along the promenade, cast your eyes on the mighty Tagus River, and admire the Belém Tower.

Spend your evening enjoying delectable food and wine accompanied by the haunting Fado music in the Alfama or Bairro Alto district. And don’t forget that tomorrow is the next leg of your tour. (B)

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

Accommodation: Hotel Zenit or similar, Lisbon

Day 8Lisbon - 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. (B)

Included Activities: Entrance to Coimbra University Library

Accommodation: Grande Hotel do Porto or similar, Porto

Day 9Porto - 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.

Next you drive to Peso de Regua for an optional wine tasting at a local winery. Alternatively, spend a little time exploring the town. 

Before returning to Porto mid-afternoon, you’ll stop off at Mesão Frio viewpoint for stunning views of the river Douro and its banks.

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, and Wine tasting at winery in Peso de Regua

Accommodation: Grande Hotel do Porto or similar, Porto

Day 10Porto - Braga - Guimarães - Santiago de Compostela

 

  • Cross the border into Northern Spain

You leave Porto behind and venture north to Braga where you’ll visit the famous Bom Jesus Sanctuary. This place of religious, cultural and architectural heritage was declared a UNESCO World Heritage Site in 2019.

At the foot of Mount Espinho, you’ll admire the Baroque staircase as it zig-zags upwards with ornate granite fountains and statues on display. Perched at the top is a neoclassical church with stunning views over the city. To get to the top you can purchase a ticket for the special elevator. Or, if you’re feeling fit, you can tackle the almost-600 steps by foot.

Your next stop is Guimarães, known as the ‘birthplace of Portugal’. The historic centre is of the city is part of UNESCO World Heritage. As well as learning more about the city, you’ll have some free time here to enjoy lunch. For a must-see glimpse into the 15-16th century life of the Braganza Dukes, you can opt to visit the Palace of Braganza.

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 11Santiago 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 an adventure with us.

If you join our trip, the day will start with a drive along 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. You’ll arrive first at the town of Noia, then continue on to Muros for a coffee stop. Next up is a photo stop of Galicia’s largest beach – Playa de Carnota.

You’ll then visit the 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.

When you arrive back in Santiago de Compostela, 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 12Santiago 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 13Salamanca - 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.

Cast a last glance at the stunning architecture of the city before we head off, and you continue the journey through the vast plains of Castile and León.

You’ll have a lunch stop and some free time in the city of Ávila before visiting 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

Dates and Prices - Hotel accommodation
Departure Dates and Days Double/Twin (pp) Single Rate
2024: April 8, 22 $5,670 $6,920
2024: May 6, 20 $5,820 $7,080
2024: June 3, 17 $5,820 $6,890
2024: July 1, 15, 29 $5,670 $6,750
2024: August 12, 26 $5,670 $6,690
2024: September 9, 23 $5,820 $7,000
2024: October 7, 21 $5,670 $6,750
2024: November 4 $5,810 $7,070

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 Madrid?  Ask us for a hotel package. 

Map

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