3/126 Albert Road, Warragul VIC 3820 Phone: (03) 5623 5151 Fax: (03) 5623 4952 Email us EMERGENCY NUMBER +61 (0)419 213 274
A Journey through Spain and Portugal
Personally escorted by Jacquey Turner
EXPRESSIONS OF INTEREST
SAMPLE ITINERARY ONLY
The itinerary below is from a previous tour and should be used as a guide ONLY to the
YOUR TOUR ESCORT
Jacquey Turner is a highly experienced travel agent and tour escort with more than 27 years’ industry experience.
Jacquey’s attention to detail and personal care ensure that everyone travelling in her group will have a most enjoyable Canada and Alaska holiday experience.
Our Tour Director from Lisbon to Porto will be the lovely Lucy!
Based on minimum of 20 participants
Please note: There are very limited cabins available in each category and will be allocated in the order that the final deposits are received.
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YOUR TOUR INCLUDES:
If you cancel more than 120 days prior to tour departure, a cancellation fee of $750 will be charged, which cannot be credited to another booking. Notice of cancellation must be made in writing to Gippsland Travel Centre.
If notice of cancellation is received less than 75 days prior to departure, the following fees apply:
All costs are based on the exchange rate
We depart Gippsland in the afternoon and travel by coach to Melbourne Airport in time for our flight to Lisbon, Portugal.
On our arrival in Lisbon, we will be met and transferred to our hotel, the VALVERDE HOTE, or similar, for the next 3 nights.
During our time in Lisbon we visit the Belém district and the magnificent Jerónimos Monastery, an extraordinary example of Portugal’s ‘Manueline’ style of architecture and the splendid Coach Museum, an impressive collection of painted and gilded baroque coaches.
We shall also visit the charming town of Sintra, a UNESCO World Heritage Site and former summer residence of Portuguese kings and aristocrats and see the National Palace of Sintra, a former royal residence characterised by a variety of architectural styles.
Depart Lisbon this morning and drive towards the border. We shall arrive in Seville in the afternoon and will check into the HOTEL ALFONSO XIII, or similar, for a 3 night stay.
Seville is one of Spain’s most fascinating and exciting cities. Over the next couple of days we will take a walking tour and visit the 15th century cathedral, one of the most breathtaking, and see La Giralda, Seville’s most famous monument. The massive cathedral is the burial place of Christopher Columbus. We visit the Alcazar, a magnificent 14th century Mudejar palace that is one of the oldest royal residences in Europe still in use and enjoy a walk through the Barrio de Santa Cruz, a maze of narrow streets, whitewashed houses and small squares. The best way to appreciate the city is by a horse drawn carriage ride through the streets. No visit to Seville is complete without attending a performance of the region’s famous Flamenco and one evening you’ll see an authentic Flamenco show.
We shall also visit the haunting Casa de Pilatos, which is still occupied by the ducal Medinaceli family, and is one of the city’s most glorious mansions. It’s a mixture of Mudéjar, Gothic and Renaissance styles, with some beautiful tilework and artesonados (ceilings of interlaced beams with decorative insertions).
After breakfast we shall drive past the olive groves and the gleaming white villages to glorious Granada. On arrival we will check into the NH COLLECTION VICTORIA HOTEL, or similar, for a 2 night stay.
We set off early along the Guadalquivir Valley, for the well-preserved Moorish city of Cordoba. On arrival we will check into the LAS CASAS DE LA JUDERIA HOTEL, or similar, for an overnight stay.
While in Cordoba we will see the 2000 years old bridge and the famous Plaza de Porto. Afterwards we shall have a walking tour through the flower-filled streets of the Jewish Quarter and visit the Mezquita, built between the 8th and 10th centuries, considered one of the most extraordinary buildings in all of Europe.
This morning we shall transfer to the rail station for our AVE train journey to Madrid. On our arrival in Madrid we shall check into the HOTEL ORFILA, or similar, for the next three nights.
Madrid is a vibrant, sophisticated city which we will explore on a walking tour through the historic centre and the arcaded 17th century Plaza Mayor. We shall also see the Puerta del Sol before visiting the Palacio Real, whose rooms are filled with antiques and treasured artworks.
During our time in Madrid we will have a full day trip travelling south to the fortified city of Toledo which dates from Roman times. We shall visit the 6th century cathedral and the Church of Santo Tomé which houses some of El Greco’s most important works. Before returning to Madrid, we shall also visit the city’s oldest synagogue, the 12th century Santa Maria la Blanca.
Along with a gourmet tapas walking tour and many other highlights we shall visit in Madrid, there will be plenty of free time for shopping and additional sightseeing.
During your free time you may like to visit the Prado Museum, one of Madrid’s main attractions where works by Spain’s three great masters Goya, Velazquez and El Greco are on show or the Reina Sofia Art Centre which concentrates on 20th century art, its most famous work being Picasso’s ‘Guernica’.
This morning we re-board the AVE train for our journey to Barcelona, Spain’s second city. We shall transfer to the MAJESTIC HOTEL, or similar, for a 2 night stay.
Our time on Barcelona will be spent exploring many attractions including a guided introduction to Gaudi’s architectural masterpieces starting off at the Casa Mila, one of Barcelona’s best-known Art Nouveau buildings, considered architecturally innovative for its steel structure and curtain walls. Next is the impressive, but as yet unfinished, Sagrada Familia Basilica and Parc Güell, a beautiful municipal garden with a superb panoramic view over the city.
We shall also explore the heart of the old city – the medieval Gothic Quarter. The narrow, labyrinthine streets and quiet squares are quite distinct from the rest of the city. We shall see the magnificent 13th century cathedral, notable for its fine Gothic chapels, medieval choir stalls and shady cloister. And also visit the Picasso Museum, where some of the painter’s earliest works are housed in the remarkable setting of a part-Gothic, part-Roman palace.
This morning we shall transfer to the Barcelona El Prat Airport for our short flight to Bilboa where we will visit the Guggenheim Museum. Hailed as the most important structure of its time when it opened in 1997, Frank Gehry’s Guggenheim Museum has changed the way people think about museums and continues to challenge assumptions about the connections between art, architecture, and collecting. After lunch we drive to the beautiful San Sebastian. On arrival we shall check in to the HOTEL MARIA CHRISTINA, or similar, for a 2 night stay.
San Sebastián is a resort town on the Bay of Biscay in Spain’s mountainous Basque Country. It’s known for Playa de la Concha and Playa de Ondarreta, a very upmarket district known as a millionaires' belt on account of its lavish holiday homes, beaches framed by a picturesque bayfront promenade, and world-renowned restaurants. In its cobblestoned old town (Parte Vieja), upscale shops neighbour vibrant bars pairing local wines with bite-size regional specialties.
During our time in San Sebastian we shall also take a walking tour of the Old Quarter. We shall see the numbered balconies of the Plaza de la Constiticion, a reminder of the days when bullfights were held in the square.
We leave San Sebastian and head west along the coast to picturesque Santillana de Mar. After checking into our hotel, PARADORES, or similar, for a 2 night stay, we will have time to stroll the rustic cobblestone streets to the church square.
Santillana del Mar is a historic town situated in Cantabria, Spain. Its many historic buildings attract thousands of holidaymakers every year. There is an old saying that Santillana del Mar is The Town of Three Lies, since it is neither a Saint (Santo), nor flat (llana), nor is it by the sea (Mar) as implied by its name. However, the name actually derives from Santa Juliana (or Santa Illana) whose remains are kept in the Colegiata, a Romanesque church and former Benedictine monastery.
Another highlight we shall visit is The Cave of Altamira in Spain famous for its Upper Palaeolithic cave paintings featuring drawings and polychrome rock paintings of wild mammals and human hands. When the discovery was first made public in 1880, it led to a bitter public controversy between experts since many did not believe prehistoric man had the intellectual capacity to produce any kind of artistic expression. The acknowledgment of the authenticity of the paintings, which finally came in 1902, changed the perception of prehistoric human beings.
This morning we drive south west to the Castilla-Leon region, located in the interior of the northern part of Spain. Its natural heritage includes the Picos de Europa National Park, which can be explored by taking the Route of the Cares River. The area of Las Médulas, a landscape of open-air mines, has also been awarded the World Heritage designation by the UNESCO.
The province of León is home to places with a rich cultural heritage such as Ponferrada, Astorga with its Episcopal Palace by Gaudí; as well as the capital, León, with its Cathedral and the Casa Botines building, also designed by Gaudí.
Our hotel for our 2 nights in Castilla Leon is the PARADOR DE VILLAFRANCO DEL BIERZO, or similar.
Santiago de Compostela is the capital of northwest Spain’s Galicia region. It’s known as the culmination of the Camino de Santiago pilgrimage route, now considered by UNESCO a World Heritage Site, and the alleged burial site of the Apostle St. James (“Santiago”). His remains lie within the Cathedral de Santiago de Compostela, consecrated in 1211, whose elaborately carved stone facades open onto grand plazas within the medieval walls of the old town.
Santiago is certainly one of Spain's most monumental towns, with a particular architectonical style all of its own. But it is also a town full of life, with one of the most famous Universities and a large number of students who guarantee youthful ambience in between the historical walls. Also the region's cuisine is of great reputation, and it is said that nowhere you can eat better sea-food than in Galicia.
While in Santiago we will stay at the PARADORES DE SANTIAGO, or similar, for two nights.
After breakfast we will drive south into Portugal to Porto where we will join our 7 night Uniworld cruise on board the chic QUEEN ISABEL.
Uniworld’s Queen Isabel provides an up-close and unforgettable view of Portugal’s Douro River Valley—a designated UNESCO World Heritage Site—renowned for its dramatic, rugged scenery and pristine waters. Named after Portugal's beloved queen, this boutique 118-passenger vessel is the most unique and stately ship on the Douro, a wonderful place to admire the region’s steeply terraced hillside vineyards and charming wine estates.
FEATURED EXCURSIONS: Douro Museum, Mateus Palace and Gardens and dinner at Quinta da Avessada
FEATURED EXCURSION: Castelo Rodrigo tour with wine tasting.
Take an expertly guided tour of the walled village of Castelo Rodrigo, a fascinating site that dates back to the 12th century. From its lofty hilltop position, this small village looks down over the plateau stretching eastwards to Spain and northwards to the deep.
FEATURED EXCURSION: Wine tasting at a local quinta.
Make your way to Quinta do Seixo—a prestigious Port wine estate—for an enlightening tour of its state-of-the-art facility. Sample some of their famous Sandeman Port, learn more about the production of this famous fortified wine and admire breathtaking views from the estate’s tasting room.
FEATURED EXCURSIONS: Choice of Porto city tour OR exclusive “Do as the Locals Do” Porto walking tour, and wine cellars of Cais de Gaia.
The epicentre of the Port wine industry, Porto is experiencing a booming cultural revival. See its well-preserved historic buildings and cutting-edge architecture on a guided city tour, or opt to see the sites from a local’s perspective, with stops at a pastry shop and an opulent bookstore. After lunch, visit one of the city’s famed Port cellars for a tasting.
FEATURED EXCURSIONS: Choice of Guimarães city tour OR “Soul of Porto” Ribeira district walking discovery tour.
We can enjoy a panoramic city tour of historic Guimarães, Portugal’s first capital and the home to its first king, and now a UNESCO World Heritage Site. Alternately, you can explore Porto’s UNESCO-designated Ribeira district on foot. In the evening, we shall enjoy a Gala Dinner on board our ship.
This morning we will disembark the ship and transfer to Porto Airport for our flight home.
We shall arrive in Melbourne in the early morning and transfer to Gippsland by coach.