The Splendors of the Iberian Peninsula: Spain & Portugal.

Iberia has never, ever looked so good

DEPART APRIL 24th, 2019
RETURN MAY 5th, 2019

11 days, 10 nights

…like a good Spaniard he needed words as much as he needed money, and the words he wanted had to be the most expansive and inflated available. In Spain words form a kind of currency which must be spent freely, and to do this is not easy for an American, yet not to do it in Spain is to miss the spirit of human relationships.
― James A. Michener, Iberia

 

Chris Baker


Chris Baker

KFAB News Radio 1110

 

 

 

KFAB News Radio 1110transparent

Joining this tour is KFAB’s Chris Baker

Chris Baker is “Road Rage Relief” on the way home each afternoon during drive-time. Drawing on his years as a stand-up comic, as fill-in for Glenn Beck’s nationally syndicated radio show, and radio host in some of America’s biggest cities, Chris says “The world cracks up, and we’re here to chronicle it”.

 

The Rivalries Continue


Madrid, Barcelona, and Lisbon

 

But we’ve come this time not to choose one but to discover all three! In Spain we find the classic, elegant European capital with its monarchical roots, royal palace, the grand square (La Plaza Mayor) the narrow passageways and grand boulevards illuminated as only the Europeans do! El Caldero for a Paella feast then it’s on to the historic and artistic icons of Toledo & Segovia, Guimaraes & Lisbon!

But there is another voice to be heard from on the Iberian Peninsula – Portugal – and there are few if any countries with so much culture, history and natural beauty packed into such a small geographical footprint. Portugal, a land of sunshine, charm, fine wine, cuisine and cultural expansion that’s touched the planet from one end to the other, from East to West! For example, did you know that perhaps the best-known dessert in present day China is a direct import from Portugal?

Spain is, in a word, warmth. Spaniards give meaning to the words “welcome” and “hospitality.” Their kindness is striking and genuine and you’ll feel as though you’re part of their extended family, not just a visitor. Spaniards are genuinely friendly and Tapas stopthe older generations are truly fascinated with America as many of them have never come to America but have an image of a land of plenty. We’ll discover the heart of this sun-drenched country, Madrid, and visit it the way a Spaniard would, leisurely, yet taking the time to appreciate the beauty of its architecture,.

Though surrounded by world-class cities and civiliations, at Conservative Tours we’ll never miss the chance to savour a tasty tapas – a little nibble to tide you over until the next stop!

Highlights

  • Madrid, Toledo, Segovia, Avila, Salamanca and Barcelona!
  • Cibeles, El Prado, La Puerta del Sol, The Royal Palace. La Castellana (The Champs Elysees of Madrid).
  • Lisbon, The Douro River Valley, Guimaraes, Porto, Coimbra and Fatima!
  • Churros con Chocolate (no Hersey’s milk chocolate for these favorites!)
  • The Acqueduct of Segovia
  • La Sagrada Familia (Barcelona)
  • Other vestiges of Roman Civilization
  • Jeronimo’s Monastery & Belem Tower
  • The Glorious Eden of Lord Byron
  • Traditional Fado Music presentation at dinner
  • Chance to shop for quality hand made goods, like leather and shimmering swords from Toledo, from merchants we know and trust.
  • Las Ramblas in Barcelona, plus The Block of Discord.
  • Tapas stops in several cities – yum!
  • Traditional Flamenco performance
  • Tasting session of Port wine
  • Foz do Douro

Itinerary

DAY 1

Overnight transatlantic flight to Lisbon, Portugal on American Airlines. Balance of the afternoon at leisure. Tonight enjoy a welcome to Portugal dinner including Fado traditional music.

DAY 2

Lisbon City Tour. Today’s tour of Lisbon highlights the variety of heritage and styles that makes this one of Europe’s most beautiful and amusing cities. Begin with the treasured 16th century Belem Tower and the Jeronimo’s Monastery, the city’s most prominent monument, designated a UNESCO World Heritage Site. Today, the monastery serves as a reminder of Portugal’s wealth and power during the Age of Discovery. Then, to the dramatic Monument of Discoveries, built in honor of Henry the Navigator, instrumental in the success of Portuguese explorations during the 15th century. His monument stands majestically at the marina in Belem, starting point for many of the country’s explorers. Walk through the cobbled alleys of Alfama, the Mariners’ quarter, and admire the stately elegance of Liberdade Avenue.

Time for lunch on your own before an afternoon at leisure. Perhaps join the optional tour to quaint Sintra, the “Glorious Eden” of Lord Byron, and ancient summer retreat of the royal court, highlighted by lavish romantic castles and stunning monuments. Visit the Sintra Royal Palace, a 15th-century royal residence, containing one of the largest tile collections in Portugal, before returning to Lisbon.

DAY 3

Head off to iconic Fatima, one of the most important Catholic shrines in the world dedicated to the Virgin Mary. Enjoy lunch at a local restaurant. The Sanctuary welcomes millions of pilgrims from all over the world.

Fatima’s fame is due to the Apparitions of Our Lady of the Rosary that appeared to three shepherd children in 1917. Here, visit the great Basilica of Our Lady of the Rosary built in neoclassical style, flanked by colonnades linking it with the extensive convent.

This afternoon head towards Coimbra, the third-largest city in Portugal, to visit the university of Coimbra, among the oldest universities in Europe and with more than seven hundred years of history.

DAY 4

Porto City Tour today. Enjoy a sightseeing tour of Porto with a local guide. Take a panoramic drive to the mouth of the Douro River, and visit the Church of Sao Francisco and the Stock Exchange, renowned for its exquisite neoclassical façade and ornate gilded Arabian Hall. Finish the tour with a visit to a Port Wine Cellar for a tasting. This afternoon participate in the optional Douro River Cruise. Cruise along the colorful river valley, viewing the city from a new perspective. Pass by the numerous port wine cellars and under the magnificent bridges and experience the Foz do Douro. Tonight enjoy dinner at a local restaurant.

DAY 5

Guimarães En route to charming Guimaraes this morning we will explore Mihno Province—– home of the famous Vinho Verde. Visit Guimarães, the first capital and birthplace of Portugal; and enjoy the medieval city center, resplendent in beautiful granite facades. Later in the day we continue our leisurely journey to Regua to spend the night before heading east towards Salamanca.

Day 6

Douro Valley. After breakfast in your hotel, departure for the Douro Valley. We follow the stream on the river that sources in Spain Picos de Urbión through Portugal into the Atlantic. Today experience the terrace vineyards where Port Wine and Portugal’s most outstanding red table wines are produced. Enjoy a local wine tasting session while enjoying the spectacular scenery where verdant terraced hills and colorful fields dotted by almond trees meet the vast Douro River widely considered Europe’s most beautiful river. In the late afternoon we continue to follow the river into historic Spain.

DAY 7

After capturing a sampling of historic Salamanca we’ll continue our voyage into the heart of the Iberian Peninsula. Majestic and mystical Segovia sightseeing en route to Madrid. In Segovia stare up at the stunning and best preserved 1st century AD Roman Aqueduct, symbol of the city, designated a UNESCO World Heritage Site. I would rate the Aqueduct of Segovia as breathtaking a creation as the Pont du Gard in southern France, as examples of Roman Empire engineering prowess.

Other important monuments include the fairy-tale Alcazar with its soaring turrets, moats and magical towers. If you’re up for a few stairs in an ancient castle then you may climb to the roof-top perch and drink in one of the best views in all of Spain! Next we’ll visit the powerful Gothic Cathedral that took almost 200 years to complete. After leaving Segovia we head across the rugged Sierra de Guadarrama towards Spain’s capital, Madrid, arriving in the heart of the city, Plaza Mayor, considered Spain’s most beautiful central plaza, exceptionally memorable when its arcaded facades are illuminated at dusk.

DAY 8

Madrid City Tour This morning enjoy a sightseeing tour of Madrid. Drive along the Gran Via through the Opera District, Plaza de Colon and view the Royal Palace. Pass through Puerta del Sol Plaza and Plaza España with its monument to the author Cervantes. The tour will end at the Prado Museum, where you will be able to view works of art by famous artists such as El Greco, Velázquez, and Ribera. Enjoy the afternoon at leisure. In the evening, experience some of the “tapas” bars that have made Madrid famous. Sample specialties at each café and then continue on your tasting tour throughout the night!

DAY 9

Toledo This morning travel to “La Mancha”, legendary home of Don Quixote, highlighted by views of his famous windmills. Arrive in Toledo, the former capital city of Spain that still retains its medieval atmosphere and charm. Recognized as a UNESCO World Heritage Site in 1986, Toledo is known for its extensive monumental heritage and historical coexistence of Christian, Muslim and Jewish cultures. Walk through the ancient Jewish Quarter before visiting the Church of Santo Tomé with the masterpiece painting by El Greco and the Synagogue of Santa Maria La Blanca, the oldest synagogue in Europe still standing.

In discovering Spain one can’t help but learn about the often times contentious past of religious rivalries—Christianity, Judaism and Islam. Nowhere in Spain is this past more evident than in Toledo: its magnificent structures, its artifacts and its culture. It was common, for example for the Moors to plaster over the walls of a synagogue as they converted it to a mosque. You’ll actually see proof of this when we’re in this fascinating historic city.

Late afternoon return to Madrid. Tonight enjoy dinner at a local restaurant including Flamenco show as we say farewell to Spain!

DAY 10

Depart hotel in Madrid for Barajas Airport. Flight home on American Airlines, nonstop to the USA.

DAY 10
(FOR THOSE CHOOSING THE BARCELONA TOUR EXTENSION)

A visit to Spain would not be complete without a memorable stop in Madrid’s rival for cultural and architectural preeminence: Barcelona. the truly unique capital of Modernista art. Barcelona is not historic Spain and that’s why we’re going there; it’s a world apart!

If you’ve visited the Salvador Dali museum in Saint Petersburg, Florida, you’ll love the city in which Dali frequently created his masterpieces. Barcelona takes its rightful place as one of the most stylish and beautiful cities in all of Europe, and La Sagrada Familia is just one of the city’s architectural marvels! We’ll see the best this city has to offer and dine and loge in luxury as we wind up our Historic Spain tour.

Morning departure from Madrid on the magnificent Bullet Train – known as the AVE – and into the capital of Catalonia, Barcelona. Arriving in the afternoon it’s Welcome to Barcelona! This is Spain’s second most important city with its unending choice of museums, galleries, and cafes.

After check-in you will enjoy the balance of the day at your leisure. Perhaps stroll along Las Ramblas, Barcelona’s famous pedestrian walkway with its life size animators, stalls and people watchers. Tonight enjoy a welcome dinner at a local restaurant.

DAY 11

Barcelona City Tour This morning’s tour of Barcelona begins with a drive along the old Harbor to the Plaza de Catalunya, the city’s bustling main square. In the charming Ribera district, visit the beautiful Santa Maria del Mar basilica. Afterward, pass the famous works of Gaudi, the master architect, including the Casa Batllo, seemingly constructed from skulls and bones. Then, view the iconic symbol of Barcelona, La Sagrada Familia, a colossal church that is legendary and still unfinished. Ascend Montjuic Hill, home to a number of sports facilities built for the 1992 Olympics with the Olympic Stadium at its center. Later this afternoon you’ll want to visit perhaps the Block of Discord for its stunning Modernista structures or perhaps savor the view of the city, all the way to the sea, from Gaudi’s Alice in Wonderland like playground/park: Parc Guell.

Day 12

Free day in Barcelona

Day 13

It’s the end of your tour, so transfer to airport for your return to the USA.

 

Pricing

Price: $4789.00   Deposit: $500.00
Single: +$900.00
Optional Barcelona Extension: +$1667.00

 

What’s Included

  • Madrid, Toledo, Segovia, Avila, Salamanca and Barcelona!
  • Cibeles, El Prado, La Puerta del Sol, The Royal Palace. La Castellana (The Champs Elysees of Madrid).
  • Lisbon, The Douro River Valley, Guimaraes, Porto,Coimbra and Fatima!
  • Churros con Chocolate (no Hersey's milk chocolate for these favorites!)
  • The Acqueduct of Segovia
  • La Sagrada Familia (Barcelona)
  • Other vestiges of Roman Civilization
  • Jeronimo’s Monastery & Belem Tower
  • The Glorious Eden of Lord Byron
  • Traditional Fado Music presentation at dinner
  • Chance to shop for quality hand made goods, like leather and shimmering swords from Toledo, from merchants we know and trust.
  • Las Ramblas in Barcelona, plus The Block of Discord.
  • Tapas stops in several cities – yum!
  • Traditional Flamenco performance
  • Tasting session of Port wine
  • Foz do Douro
  • 9 nights in first class 4 star Hotels/paradores.
  • Escorted luxury motor coach transportation throughout Portugal and Spain.
  • Airfare to Lisbon and returning from either Madrid or Barcelona.
  • COMPREHENSIVE GROUP TRAVEL INSURANCE POLICY FROM TRAVEL INSURED INTERNATIONAL.

WHAT’S INCLUDED IN OPTIONAL 4 DAY TOUR EXTENSION TO BARCELONA

  • All transfers
  • All breakfasts. 1 lunch, 5 dinners with wine
  • Sightseeing per the itinerary in modern air-conditioned motor coach
  • Services of English-speaking tour manager throughout
  • Services of local expert guides in all major cities
  • Entrance fees as per the itinerary
  • Comfortable wireless earphones for enhanced touring
  • Ride the fabulous Bullet Train “the AVE” from Madrid to Barcelona (for those taking the Barcelona tour extension)

 

What’s Not Included

Optional: Half Day Sintra Tour (from Lisbon)
Optional: Douro River Cruise (from Porto)
Optional: Tour extension to Barcelona Government Air Tax

 

Tour Notes

At Conservative Tours we love to dine. Some suggestions while spanning the Iberian Peninsula:

  • Coming soon!

 


Act now to experience the very best that Spain and Portugal has to offer with this 2019 first class excursion.

Contact Conservative Tours 888-733-9494 for more information or to reserve your place on this exceptional trip!

Learn About This Tour

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TESTIMONIALS

“We’ve now enjoyed our second tour event with Conservative Tours in less than one year. The Italian Grand Event was everything promised and then some; but the organization was superb. Always had the feeling that good things were going to happen each day, and they did. The leisurely pace was helpful and the fine dining (particularly the Castle and Il Latini) was memorable.”

Mark & Celeste Lalli, New York City
Toured Italy with Conservative Tours

Madrid

Toledo

Segovia

Avila

Salamanca

Barcelona

Lisbon

Douro River Valley

Guimares

Porto

Coimbra

Fatima


Suggested reading and viewing

Ministry of Time (Netflix)

Quirky television series that visits luminaries from Spain’s rich history.

Money Heist (Netflix)

Very popular fictional Netflix series about the multi-million Euro robbery of the Royal Mint of Spain

James A. Michener's Iberia

Essentially this is Michener’s diary of his travels through Iberia