Cultural: Two Continents

Cultural: Two Continents

Spain - Portugal - Morocco

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Duration: 15 days

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This 15-day tour is an ultimate experience for those who’d like to visit three countries (Spain, Portugal, Morocco) that belong to two continents (Europe and Africa) - in just a bit more than two weeks.

During the tour you will see major cities of Spain: Madrid, Toledo, Salamanca, and all the most beautiful and authentic places of Spanish South – Andalusia: Seville, Cordoba and Granada. You will also spend couple nights on a famous beach resort Costa del Sol.

In Portugal we’ll tag Coimbra with one of the ancient Universities in the world, Fatima - the center of pilgrims from all over the world, and of course, Lisbon – the capital, and one of the oldest cities in the world, and the oldest in Western Europe, predating other modern European capitals such as London, Paris and Rome by centuries.

In Morocco we will see pretty much all the major cities and noticeable sights. Of course, those are four main imperial cities: Fez, Meknes, Marrakesh and Rabat. It’s coastal cities of Casablanca and Tangier and famous blue town of Chefchaouen.

In Morocco you’ll see many beautiful places, feel the unique atmosphere of the ‘’souks’’ - the traditional Arabian markets, you’ll try local food and will generally feel the spirit of this beautiful Arabian country.

The whole trip based on Half Board food arrangement, which means that you will always have a breakfast and lunch or dinner (according to itinerary on some days better will fit dinners, on others – lunch). Those are in a local restaurants or hotels, with drinks included. 

Day 1. Madrid

Arrival. Meet’n’greet at the airport. 4h introductory city tour to show all the highlights of the city. Main places to see: Royal Palace from outside, Plaza de España with Don Quijote statue, Puerta del Alcala, Gran Via, Plaza de Cibeles, Puerta de Toledo, Stadium Santiago Bernabeu (from the outside), Debod Temple, Bull ring arena, Paseo de la Castellana, Plaza Real and Puerta del Sol. Check in to the hotel, free time. Welcoming dinner in the evening.

 

Day 2. Madrid – Salamanca – Coimbra

Breakfast in the hotel. Leaving towards Portugal. Arrival to Salamanca ans short city tour to visit the main highlights: Plaza Mayor, Salamanca University, St. Stephens cConvent with the Old and New Cathedrals. Some free time and lunch on your own. Continuation to Coimbra. Arrival, check in and traditional Portugese dinner.

 

Day 3. Coimbra – Fatima- Lisbon

Breakfast, followed by the city tour to see Coimbra university - a Portuguese public university, established in 1290 in Lisbon, it went through many relocations until it was moved permanently to its current city in 1537, being one of the oldest universities in continuous operation in the world, the oldest university of Portugal, and one of its largest higher education and research institutions. You’ll see Mosteiro de Santa Clara-a-Velha - the monastery of 14th century and the old Cathedral of Coimbra. Then transfer to Fatima - - main center of pilgrimage of Portugal, well-known for its Marian apparitions that occurred in Cova da Iria in 1917 and which were later recognized by the Catholic Church, which later marked these events as "worthy of belief". A small chapel was built here in honor of Our Lady of Fátima, in the beginning of 1918, and a statue of her installed; the chapel and statue have since been enclosed within a large shrine and basilicas. After some free time and lunch – continuation to Lisbon. Arrival, check in to the hotel and a dinner.

 

Day 4. Lisbon

Breakfast and a city tour around the city to see all the best spots - Jeronimos Monastery, which is a former monastery of the ‘’Order of Saint Jerome’’ near the Tagus. The monastery is one of the most prominent examples of the Portuguese Late Gothic Manueline style of architecture in Lisbon. It was classified a UNESCO World Heritage Site, along with the nearby Tower of Belém, in 1983. The other highlights: Descubridores Monument - Located along the river where ships departed to explore and trade with India and Orient, the monument celebrates the Portuguese Age of Discovery (or Age of Exploration) during the 15th and 16th centuries. Plaza de Comercio, Triumphal Atc and an old Alfama - Lisbon's most emblematic quarter – are places not to be missed as well. Lunch during the tour. Free evening.

 

Day 5. Lisbon – Seville

Breakfast, transfer to Seville. Lunch and 3h city tour to see its famous see Seville’s most beautiful places and notorious sights: park of Maria Luisa – Sevilles’s main public park and the largest green area that stretches along Guadalquivir river; the Plaza de Espana – most famous square in Seville and one of the largest in Spain; the Cathedral of Saint Mary; the Minaret of Giralda; as well as the typical Quarter of Santa Cruz (former Jewish Quarter) with its white houses and tiny narrow streets, Cathedral from outside. Check in to the hotel and free evening.

 

Day 6. Seville – Algeziras – Tangier

Breakfast, then transfer to Algeziras or Tarifa (depending on the exact date of travel) to take a ferry, crossing the border to Morocco.  In the afternoon we are in Tangier – or first destination on Moroccan land, and we’ll start with a city tour to see the grottoes of Hercules Cave (place where Hercules is said to have lived), walk thru streets of Medina, and enjoy a truly breathtaking view from the Cap Spartel – a viewing point just outside the city. Check in to the hotel, and first Moroccan-style dinner.

 

Day 7. Tangier – Chefchauen – Fez

Breakfast, then transfer towards Fez. On the way stop and a short excursion in the so-called ‘’blue city’’ of Chefchaeuen. Many buildings of this charming small town are painted blue, and are popular subject of interest, attracting thousands of tourists from all over the world. Some free time and continuation to Fez. Arrival, check in and dinner.

 

Day 8. Fez – Meknes – Rabat

Breakfast and a city tour in Fez, to see it’s old and beautiful Medina (Fes el Bali), with a maze of narrow streets, thousands of them. Fes el Bali is listed as a UNESCO World Heritage Site and is one of the world's largest car-free urban areas. With its exotic corners, mosques, madrasas, fountains and handicraft shops, this place never gets boring. Later continuation to Meknes – another Royal city of Morocco, the formal capital. It is a marvelous place, surrounded by 40 kilometers of town walls and with a huge gate called ´´Bab el-Mansour´´, - the grandest of all imperial Moroccan gateways. Short tour and continuation to Rabat. Late lunch (or early dinner!), and check in to the hotel. Free evening.

 

Day 9. Rabat - Casablanca – Marrakesh

Breakfast, followed by the city tour around Rabat. Main highlights: Mausoleum of Mohammed V, which contains the tombs of the Moroccan king and his two sons, late King Hassan II and Prince Abdallah. The building is considered a masterpiece of modern Alaouite dynasty architecture, with its white silhouette, topped by a typical green tiled roof; Hassan Tower – minaret of an incomplete mosque, also intended to be the world´s largest, The Kasbah of the Udayas – the main Kasbah (fortress!) of Rabat. Continuation to Casablanca, where we´ll have a panoramic sight-seeing tour to explore the city´s most famous sights, amongst which is the Hassan 2 Mosque – the largest mosque in Morocco. Lunch, then depart towards Marrakesh. Arrival and dinner.

 

Day 10. Marakesh

Breakfast and a short tour to see famous Bahia Palace and the largest bazaar square (market place) – Jamaa el Fna, Mosque of Koutoubia, and Saadian Tombs (Graves of Saadinas). Most of the day is free to enjoy the beautiful city of Morocco on your own. Dinner at night.

 

Day 11. Marrakesh – Tangier – Torremolinos (Malaga)

Breakfast in the hotel. On this day we are coming back to Spain. First, we’ll start with the transfer back to Tangier, some 6-7h drive, obviously with a stop for quick snack and a group lunch in Tangier. Customs, and a ferry back to Spain. Arrival to port in Algeciras (Spain) and a bus transfer to Torremolinos – famous resort in the south of Spain. Check in to the hotel.

 

Day 12. Torremolinos (Malaga)

Breakfast and a completely free day to enjoy it on your own and relax after the previous long day through the country of Morocco. Relax, beach, shopping, and souvenirs time. Dinner at night.

 

Day 13. Malaga – Granada

After breakfast we will proceed to Granada – another pearl in the crown of Andalusian cities. Here you are going to visit the impressive monumental conglomeration of La Alhambra, its beautiful Palaces of Nazaries and the Generalife Gardens. Later check in to the hotel, some free evening and a dinner at night.

 

Day 14. Granada – Toledo – Madrid

On this day, we are completing the ´´circle´´, and coming back to the place we started from – capital of Spain – Madrid. But before, after few hours transfer, we´ll pay a visit to the another, this time - former capital of Spain – Toledo. -  medieval and gorgeous city, a place where Muslims, Christians and Jewish were leaving together for centuries. We´ll stroll through narrow and charming streets, see old squares, thick walls, and we´ll fully immerse into a real atmosphere of a medieval town. Continuation to Madrid. Arrival and a Gala dinner.

 

Day 15. Madrid – fly out

Breakfast then transfer to the airport for the flight home.