Spain/Morocco/Portugal UVM Band Tour January 2015 (10 days)

Tentative itinerary


Spain

DAY 1: ARRIVAL

Arrive in southern Iberia.  Orientation walk of Granada, an autonomous community of Andalusia, Spain.

Overnight Granada.


 Prado Museum 


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.

Overnight Granada.



El Escorial

DAY 3: GIBRALTAR

The Rock of Gibraltar is located at the entrance of the Mediterranean. Its strategic location and history have made it an international symbol of solidity and strength, and it frequently features in the world press and media.

Gibraltar is connected to Spain by a sandy isthmus, and is a ferry ride to Morocco. The subject of repeated conquest and sieges, Gibraltar has been a British Territory since 1704. Ceded forever to Britain by Spain in the Treaty of Utrecht (1713), Gibraltar joined the EU in 1973, under the British Treaty of Accession.

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.


DAY 6: SEVILLE, and LAGOS, PORTUGAL

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.

Lagos


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.




DAY 9: LISBON

On 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.
Portugal



DAY 10: RETURN FLIGHT

Fly back to Boston from Lisbon's international airport.





INCLUDES
• 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.

OVERNIGHTS
Granada - 2 nights
La Linea - 2 nights
Seville - 1 night
Lagos - 2 nights
Lisbon - 2 nights