Your airport transfer departs Madrid airport for your hotel at 09:00, 11:30, 13:30 or 16:00. The rest of the day is at leisure to begin to get to know this stylish city. While in Madrid, explore the elegant boulevards, expansive parks and varied architectural styles. At 18:00, join your Travel Director for your Welcome Dinner at a local restaurant and enjoy the opportunity to get to know your fellow travellers over a delightful evening of good food and wine.
Venture south to meet a master artisan in a Damascene workshop for a personal insight into this ancient craft, handed down by the Moors centuries ago. Continue to the fascinating city of Toledo, situated high above the River Tagus. This was Spain's capital during the golden era, where Arab, Jewish and Christian cultures flourished side-by-side through the Middle Ages. Walk within the city walls, through the narrow cobbled streets, led by your Local Expert. Visit the Church of Santo Tomé, housing El Greco's famous painting, ‘The Burial of the Count of Orgaz.' Your journey continues to Granada.
'There is no pain in life so cruel as to be blind in Granada', cries the inscription on the walls of the Alhambra. Bathed in the morning light, the Alhambra Palace awaits—a fantasy of arabesque gardens, fountains and stone cut like lace. Explore with your Local Expert before visiting the exotic water gardens of the Generalife, the summer residence of the Spanish royals. Take a moment to relax in the sunshine as you enjoy the fine views over the town and its three verdant hills. Explore Seville with Insight Choice. Choose to visit the cathedral, the burial place of Christopher Columbus, and walk through the old Jewish Quarter. Alternatively, enjoy a drive around the city with panoramic views and stop in a café for a refreshing beverage.
This day 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? Visit the Cristina Heeren Foundation, a beneficiary of a TreadRight Foundation grant, for a MAKE TRAVEL MATTER® Experience. This private dance school is dedicated to promoting the conservation of flamenco and supports young enthusiasts from all over the world with a special focus on new talent from the Andalusian region. 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. With some free time for dinner, wander the restaurants in Triana or try the local night market Lonja Del Barranco selling tapas made from fresh, local produce. Why not grab yourself a refreshing sangria for a cheers to your new found dancing feet?
Continue to the lively university town of Évora, one of the best preserved towns in Portugal, with architectural styles dating back to Roman Times. Visit the fascinating Capela dos Ossos, a chapel decorated with 5000 bones, before making your way to Lisbon.
During your stay, a guided orientation of the city with your Local Expert takes you along the avenues of the Lower Town and beneath the hilltop Bairro Alto to the Terreiro do Paco, the finest square in the city. Visit the Belém Quarter and enjoy a taste of Pastéis de Belém from the patisserie that has been using the same, secret recipe for almost 200 years. View the Monument to the Discoveries and the historic Belém Tower. This fortress was originally set in the middle of the river, but is now left high and dry on the riverbank. Visit the 500-year-old Jerónimos Monastery with its beautiful Manueline architecture, a UNESCO World Heritage Site. With the afternoon at your leisure, perhaps join an Optional Experience to the beautiful Portuguese Riviera?
Travel into the green hills north of Lisbon to visit Fátima, the most celebrated place of pilgrimage in Portugal. Visit the chapel commemorating the appearance of the Virgin Mary to three children in 1917. Cross the border, returning to Spain and continue to Salamanca, famous for its golden stone buildings and the handsome arcades of the Plaza Mayor. Across the River Tormes, see the Puente Romano with 15 of its 26 arches dating from the time of the ancient Romans.
Cross the rock-strewn hills of the Castile, to arrive at Ávila. Walk within the ancient city, still entirely enclosed within 11th century walls, a unique occurrence in Europe. Return to Madrid to explore more of the capital with your Local Expert. At a local restaurant, join your Travel Director and newfound friends for a lively Celebration Dinner.
After breakfast, transfers arrive at Madrid airport at 07:00, 09:00 and 11:00.