DAY 1: ARRIVAL
Arrive in southern Iberia. Orientation walk of Granada, an autonomous community of Andalusia, Spain.
DAY 2: GRANADA'S ALHAMBRA
Today we tour The Red Fortress,
better known now as the Alhambra
Palace, residence and fortress of the Moorish of the Emirate of Grenada.
Constructed during the mid-14th century, it is noted for
its throne room, intricate tile work, and steam baths. The palace
was also the home of Christian rulers: Charles V, Holy Roman
Emperor in 1527, built his own palace with the Alhambra. Allowed to
fall into disrepair in the 19th century, it is now one of Spain's major
tourist attractions, exhibiting the
country's most significant and well known Islamic architecture,
together with 16th-century and later Christian building and garden
interventions. The Alhambra is a UNESCO World Heritage Site.
In the evening, we will be entertained by the sounds of flamenco.
DAY 3: GIBRALTAR
Dinner in Gibraltar. Overnight in La Linea ("the border"), Spain, a coastal town in the province of Cadiz.
DAY 4: TANGIER, MOROCCO, NORTH AFRICA
Morocco lies just over the Mediterranean, but this exotic North African gem feels like a world away! A high-speed ferry across the Straits of Gibraltar (45 to 60 minutes), brings us to the Moroccan city of Tangier, founded by Carthaginians in the early 5th century BC, and since then has been controlled by Romans, Arabs, Portuguese, and Spanish governments. Visit the famed medina (old town), where the Sultan's palace is located, the picturesque market of the Grand Socco, and the beautiful beach....
Overnight in La Linea.
DAY 5: CADIZ, SEVILLE
Today, we travel to Cadiz, the oldest continuously-inhabited city in the Iberian Peninsula and one of the oldest in all southwestern Europe. Situated on a narrow spit of land surrounded by the sea, Cadiz is a typical Andalusian city with many attractive vistas and well-preserved historical landmarks. The older part of Cadiz is commonly referred to as the Casco Antiguo ("Old City"), featuring narrow winding alleys that connect large plazas. Newer areas of Cadiz contain numerous parks with giant trees supposedly brought to Spain by Columbus.
Overnight in Seville.
This morning we tour Seville, fourth-largest city in Spain, capital of the autonomous region of Andalucia, and southern Spain's center of culture and finance. You can still see Seville's Roman and Muslim past in the city today: the Moorish Giralda Tower is now the bell tower for the Cathedral - one of the world's largest churches (climb the tower for a great view of the city). You'll also visit Alcazar (a Moorish palace that is a World Heritage monument), the Parque Maria Luisa, and the Plaza de Espana (a semicircular plaza that formed the centerpiece at the city's famous 1929 Exposition).
Later on we travel west into Portugal, where our goal is the city of Lagos, an ancient maritime city on the Atlantic, and our introduction to the Algarve, the southwest region of Portugal.
Overnight in Lagos, Portugal.
DAY 7: LAGOS and SAGRES
Today we start with the site of Lagos, including the Church of St. Anthony of Lisbon (dating from 1715), and the Forte do Pau da Bandeira, attacked by Sir Francis Drake in the late 1580s.
Next we visit Sagres, only a few kilometers from the Europe's most southwestern point. Here we get a feeling of the daily live of the Algarve. Optional horseback riding.
Overnight in Lagos.
DAY 8: LISBON
Today we take the train to Lisbon ("Lisboa"), capital of Portugal, and the final stop on our tour. Train time will take 4 - 5 hours depending on the stops, but it will provide a relaxing view of the countryside lined with cork and olive trees as we cross through the Alentejo province, and along the coast. Once we check into our hotel, we'll be have time for a walking tour of our local area.
Overnight in Lisbon.
our last full day in Europe, we take a city tour of Lisbon, one of the
greatest maritime centers in history. The Portuguese capital
imported exotic wares from the far-flung corners of its empire:
treasures from India, China, and the Americas eventually found their way to Lisbon. Visit Saint George's Castle (a fortification and palace with many Moorish walls still remaining), the tomb of explorer Vasco da Gama (Mosteiro dos Jerónimos), the Tower of Belém and others.
In the evening, listen to fado - a form of music characterized by mournful tunes and lyrics, often about the sea or the life of the poor.
Overnight in Lisbon.
DAY 10: RETURN FLIGHT
Fly back to Boston from Lisbon's international airport.
• Round-trip airfare.
• Accommodations in centrally-located hotels.
• Services of a tour guide.
• Motorbus with driver.
• Organization of performances.
• All breakfasts and some lunches/dinners included.
Granada - 2 nights
La Linea - 2 nights
Seville - 1 night
Lagos - 2 nights
Lisbon - 2 nights