35. Galicia, Portugal & Andalusia

35. Galicia, Portugal & Andalusia

Departure point: Madrid
Kicks off every Tuesday, till Oct 22, 2019
Duration: 14 days

Price from: €1549
Duration: 14 days

Tour starts on every single TUESDAY between April 2 and October 22nd.


Tour code: C-2142

Included in tour:

- accommodation in **** hotels

- 13 breakfasts, 2 lunches, 8 dinners

- modern and air-conditioned bus

- multi-ligual tour escort

- sightseeing tour with local guide in Santiago, Porto, Lisbon, Sevilla, Granada and Toledo

- tickets to Santiago's Cathedral

- tickets to St. Geronimus Monastery

- tickets to Alhambra in Granada

- tickets to St. Tome Church in Toledo

- visit to a wine cellar with a tasting of Porto wine

- travel insurance

- free Wi- Fi on board

- porter service (1 suitcase per person)

- tips 

This two-weeks tour does not only allow you to explore northern and southern Spain's best highlights, but it is also a great opportunity to get to know Spain's western neighbor: Portugal, a country with a rich history and gorgeous landscapes.

First, your tour leads to the green, cool and windy region of Galicia. Explore this gorgeous part of Spain that includes the cities of La Coruña, Santiago de Compostela and Vigo, as well as the area of Rias Bajas.

Then you will relocate to Portugal to check out a number of interesting places. The old fisherman's town of Oporto, which is a main port and the second largest city in the country; Coimbra with its ancient university, Fatima - one of the main pilgrimage centers in Europe, and Lisbon, the Capital and one of the oldest cities in Europe.

 Later you'll travel back to Spain and continue to the heart of Andalusia, where its magnificent cities of Seville and Granada truly encompass passion and spirit. Experience the romantic Spanish guitar, the passionate flamenco, heady wines and delicious tapas, surrounded by passionate people – this is what Spain is famous for.

Old cathedrals, medieval palaces, beautiful gardens and 1000 years of history waiting to be uncovered.

The tour also includes visits to the ancient Spanish towns of Caceres, Ronda and Toledo, not forgetting a half-day on the beaches on the beautiful Costa del Sol in Marbella.

And finally, just before heading back to Madrid, you'll visit the ancient capital of Spain - Toledo. 

Day 1. Madrid - Leon - Oviedo (446km ~ 277 miles)

Departure at 08.00 in the morning towards Leon - a former Roman encampment, founded in the 1st century AD. Its standout attraction, the Cathedral of León is a breathtaking sight. The impressive cathedral is one of the great masterpieces of Early Gothic architecture in Spain. At the heart of the Casco Antiguo (Old Town) is the Plaza de San Martín, where the 13th-century Iglesia de San Martín stands. This quaint public square is lined with many shops and restaurants. From the Plaza de San Martín, many lively little streets wind their way around the medieval maze of the Old Town. Feel free to explore the city on your own.

Later, we continue onward to Oviedo.

Dinner and accommodation upon arrival.


Day 2. Oviedo - La Coruna (295 kms)

Breakfast. Departure to the region of Galicia.

Arrival to La Coruna - a port. It is beachy, hot spot, a cruise-ship destination, a busy commercial center and a cultural enclave, a historic city and a modern metropolis with a buzzing nightlife. All in all, it is a very intriguing place to discover.

After a short panoramic tour through the city, you will have free time to explore it on your own.

We offer an optional excursion to visit the villages of Pontedeume and Betanzos - well-preserved historical villages in the area.

Dinner and accommodation in La Coruna. 

 

Day 3. La Coruna - Santiago de Compostela (75km ~ 47 miles)

Breakfast.

Departure towards Santiago de Compostela. The City is a very important pilgrimage center and the capital of the autonomous community of Galicia. Locals say that the stone streets of Santiago de Compostela are at their most beautiful in the rain, when the old city glistens with rain drops. Most would agree, that it's hard to catch Santiago in a bad light.

Whether you're wandering the medieval streets of the old city, nibbling on tapas in the taverns, or gazing down at the rooftops from the top of a cathedral, Santiago seduces all with its brilliance.

Upon arrival you will join a city tour to discover all the beautiful sights, such as the Plaza de Obradoiro or the main Cathedral (with entrance-fee included).

Free time in the late afternoon.

Dinner and accommodation.

 

Day 4. Santiago de Compostela - Rias Bajas - Vigo (90km ~ 56 miles)

Breakfast.

Departure towards the region of the Rias Bajas. The ´Rias Bajas,´ which stands for ‘lower rivers,’ are a series of four estuarine inlets located on the southwestern coast of Galicia.

Some spectacular views along the way include, Isla de la Toja, and the Ria de Arosa or Pontevedra.

In the afternoon you can take part in an optional excursion to Santa Tecla and Valenca Domino, where you will cross the border, and can visit Portugal.

We continue onto Vigo.  

Dinner and accommodation.

 

Day 5. Vigo - Viana do Castelo - Braga - Oporto (220km ~ 137 miles)

Breakfast.

Departure towards Viana do Castelo - the jewel of the Costa Verde, blessed with an appealing medieval center and lovely beaches just outside the city.

You will have free time to explore the beautiful old town with its cobbled streets.

Afterward, we depart to Braga, the third largest town in Portugal, known as the town of the archbishops due to its splendid array of baroque churches.

We depart to Oporto. 

Accommodation and a free evening.


Day 6. Oporto

Breakfast, then a city tour to explore this lovely town, which is part of the World Heritage Sites of UNESCO, and it's the second largest city in Portugal after Lisbon. During the panoramic excursion, you will discover the Cathedral and the Santa Clara Church, while enjoying the colorful and picturesque landscape.  

At the end of the day, you will be escorted to a local winery to get a taste of the world-famous Porto Wine, Vino de Porto.

Free evening and another night in Oporto.

 

Day 7. Oporto - Coimbra (120km ~ 75 miles)

Breakfast. Departure to Coimbra, an ancient capital of Portugal and home to the country's oldest University (founded in 1290). Coimbra played an important role in Portuguese history, and now takes its place as an important cultural center. Coimbra offers an outstanding example of an integrated university city with a specific urban typology, as well as its own ceremonial and cultural traditions that have been kept alive through the ages. Its historical buildings were classified as a World Heritage site by UNESCO in 2013. 

Free time to explore the city. Accommodation and dinner.

 

Day 8. Coimbra - Fatima - Lisbon (222km ~ 138 miles)

Breakfast.

In the morning we depart from Coimbra and head to Fatima, an important pilgrimage center known for its Marian apparitions that occurred in Cova da Iria in 1917, and which were later recognized by the Catholic Church.

You sill have free time to visit the Basilica, thereafter you will travel on to the capital of Portugal - Lisbon.

At night, you have the choice to take in a Fado show (typical Portuguese guitar play and songs).

Accommodation.

 

Day 9. Lisbon

After breakfast you will join a sightseeing tour to discover the beauty of the city, located at the mouth of the River Tagus. You will see the oldest district of Lisbon - the Alfama Quarter, the fortified Tower of Belem, that was built to commemorate Vasco da Gama’s expedition, and the Jeronimos Monastery, which was classified as a UNESCO World Heritage Site, as well as many other impressive sights. During the second half of the day, you are free to explore the city on your own. It is recommended to try a famous Portuguese pastry (‘’pastel de nata’’).

Optional excursions to the beautiful suburbs of Lisbon - Sintra, Cascais and Estoril - are possible. Accommodation. Another night in Lisbon. 

 

Day 10. Lisbon - Caceres - Seville (575km ~ 357 miles)

Breakfast.

Departure towards Spain.

Crossing the border to go back to the Spanish region of Extremadura, this time to Caceres - a town founded by the Romans in 25 BC. There you will have free time to explore the charming Old Town (‘Parte Antigua’), with tiny streets, thick walls and a great medieval atmosphere. Caceres was declared a World Heritage City by UNESCO in 1986 because of the city's unique blend of Roman, Moorish, Northern Gothic and Italian Renaissance architecture. 

After a break you will take the highway towards Andalusia with a first overnight stop in Seville.

Dinner and accommodation.

 

Day 11. Seville

Breakfast.

A city tour with a local guide to see Seville’s most beautiful places and notorious sights:

  • Park of Maria Luisa – Seville’s main public park, and the largest green area that stretches along Guadalquivir river,
  • the Plaza de España – most famous square in Seville and one of the largest in Spain,
  • the Cathedral of Saint Mary
  • the Minaret of Giralda;
  • the typical Quarter of Santa Cruz (former Jewish Quarter) with its white houses and tiny narrow streets.

After the city tour you will have the afternoon off to rest or explore more on your own.

You can also join an optional tour to the Reales Alcazares (Royal Palaces of Seville). 

Dinner and a night in Seville.

 

Day 12. Seville - Ronda - Marbella (190km ~ 118 miles)

Breakfast.

On your way to Costa del Sol you will check out some beautiful white villages as well as the roman village, Ronda, founded by Romans, and situated in a very mountainous area around 750 meters above sea level.

It is famous for its three bridges:

  • ''Puente Romano'',
  • ''Puente Viejo'' and
  • ''Puente Nuevo''

that span the canyon. After some free time, there you will continue to the coastal city of Marbella, located on the Costa del Sol, translated as the Sunny Coast. Marbella is known as a very rich city, where famous actors, singers, and other well-known people from all over the world permanently reside or spend their vacations. Seeing famous people, especially actors, is a common occurrence here.

Arrival in Marbella during the late afternoon. You can take a swim, walk along the promenade, relax and enjoy the sunset on the beach.

Dinner and a night in Marbella.

 

Day 13. Marbella - Granada (180km ~ 112 miles)

After breakfast you will continue to Granada. Here you are going to visit the impressive monumental complex, the fortresses La Alhambra, with its typical Arabian palaces Nazaries, and its green picturesque Generalife Gardens. Besides Granada´s absolutely awesome and historical sights, this city is known as one of Andalusia’s hippest, most youthful places, with a free tapas culture (when you get a free ´tapa´ or snack, along with every drink ordered), cool bars and intimate flamenco haunts.

In the evening you will have the opportunity to visit the Sacromonte caves and experience a magnificent Zambra flamenco show.  

Dinner and accommodation.

 

Day 14. Granada - Toledo - Madrid (446km ~ 277 miles)

Breakfast.

In the morning of your last day you will leave Granada and make your way towards the imperial city of Toledo - a former capital of Spain, a place where Muslims, Christians and Jews lived together for centuries. After lunch you will enjoy a walking tour where you can stroll through narrow and charming streets, see old squares, thick walls, and fully immerse yourself into the real atmosphere of a medieval town.

You´ll visit the church of St Tome, with its famous paintings of El Greco, and the Synagogue of St. Mary.

Later, you´ll pay a visit to the factory where jewelry and other items were produced from the infamous Damascus steel. Toledo was for its swords, made from excellent, high quality Damascus steel many centuries ago.

In the early evening, you will head back to the starting point of the tour - Madrid.

Arrival and end of the tour.

--------------- 

Please click here to see the route on a map.

Please click here to see the optional day trips for this tour.

Prices:

Per person in double/twin room: 1549€

Single Supplement: 500€

Supplement July to Oct.: 80€

Supplement for departure on April 2, April 9, April 16, April 23, April 30: 100€ 

 

Discounts:

- Children less than 4 years old: free, without granted seat in the bus

- Children between 4 and 7 years old: 25% discount off adult price, in a room with adults

- Teenagers between 8 and 18 years old: 5% discount off adult price 

- Seniors (65+ years old): 5% discount off adult price 

- Third person in triple room: 5%

Discounts cannot be combined. 

Oviedo 

Gran Hotel Regente****: conveniently located at the very center of the city, this hotel will not disappoint you. It is very close to numerous museums, and also Bulevar de la Cidra - street, where many famous ‘‘cidrerias’’ are located (cidra of Asturias - sort of light alcoholic beverage, very popular in northern Spain).

 

La Coruna

Tryp Coruña**** hotel is located in the leisure part of the city, next to huge shopping centers El Corte Inglés and Cuatro Caminos.  Also, it is only 20 min away from the Riazor - Orzan beaches. TRYP Coruña has 181 spacious and modern rooms; different dining spaces, such as breakfast room with show cooking and cafeteria; free high speed Wi-Fi internet and 24h mini gym. All rooms are outward facing, all large, bright and fully furnished.


Santiago

Gran Hotel Santiago**** is a luxurious 4-star hotel in Santiago De Compostela, located just outside of the center of the city. The plants that bloom in the yard throughout the whole year will giove you the sensation of being surrounded by nature. Also, elevators have panoramic views of the hotel and in the main lobby a cascading fountain greets visitors in an atmosphere of serenity. Hotel’s restaurant offers nice variety of fish, that Galician region is famous for - sea bass, lamprey, monkfish, and hake. All 115 rooms are exterior and perfectly equipped.

 

Vigo

Hesperia Vigo**** Hotel boasts a fantastic location in the center of the city’s financial district. You'll also be exhited to know how easy it is to get to the beach. The hotel has 123 guestrooms distributed over 10 floors. Standard rooms include air conditioning, satellite TV, free wifi, spacious bathrooms and lots of natural light. The hotel restaurant serves delicious meals with both local and international flavors. There is also an outdoor terrace where you can enjoy your meal or drink under the sun or moonlight. 


Oporto

The hotel Eurostars Oporto**** is a modern, newly-built hotel boasting an optimal location very near the main entrances to the city. The Hospital São João, the most important universities and the Das Antas zone, the home to Oporto's Do Dragão football stadium, are all just a few minutes away from the Oporto hotel. The modern, attractive building houses a highly functional hotel in Oporto with 64 apartments. Because of its location, features and comfort, it is a great option for pleasure travel. 


Coimbra 

The hotel Tryp Coimbra**** is located in short distance from the historic centre, the University of Coimbra, the Botanical Gardens, Celas Convent, Jardim da Sereia and the Machado Castro Museum. With its spacious, bright and modern rooms, the Tryp Coimbra is the best option for discovering this fantastic Portuguese city.

 

Lisbon

Olissippo Marques de Sa****. This hotel, opened in 1996 and completely refurbished in 2009, is located in one of the most elegant areas of the city, near the famous shopping center "El Corte Ingles", Gulbenkian museum and few underground stations. Your stay in one of the 169 luxury rooms will definitely be a pleasant one. 

 

Seville

Silken Al-Andalus Palace**** This hotel is located among the gardens of the Heliopolis neighborhood and close to the María Luisa Park and Plaza de España, in the southern part of the city, a short walk from the historic center of the Andalusian capital. Rooms are spacious, full of natural light, comfort and serenity. Among the services of the Silken Al-Andalus you will find a fantastic outdoor pool, with bar service. The hotel also offers a gym, beauty salon, as well as terraces, gardens and open spaces to relax in.

 

Marbella

The NH Marbella**** hotel is an ideal place for exploring Marbella’s upmarket shops, bars and restaurants. It’s located along the ‘Golden Mile’, roughly halfway between the city center and famous Puerto Banus. It is less than 10 minutes walking to the beach. Hotel’s 163 rooms are spacious, modern and comfortable. They all have balconies and many come with mountain or sea views. Free Wi-Fi, air conditioning and satellite TV are standard. Hotel’s restaurant serves classic Mediterranean dishes. In spring and summer you can dine outside on beautiful terrace. In the gardens, you’ll find a pool with a poolside bar, also hotel possess a free gym.


Granada

Los Angeles and Spa**** hotel located right in the heart of Granada, close to La Alhambra’s peaceful and quite residential area. This recently refurbished family hotel is perfectly equipped to provide the most relaxed stay for its customers.  Comprised of 6 floors, the Los Angeles & Spa offers a number of facilities amongst which is Spa, equipped with 2 pools, and massage rooms with bathrobes. During the evenings, guests can enjoy typical Andalusian dishes before relaxing with a cocktail at the bar. 


In some cases hotels can be substituted with the ones of the same category and level.

Here you will find commonly asked questions regarding our tours. Although you can find most of the information under the ''Overview'', ''Itinerary'' and ''Prices'' sections, we decided to lay it out below:

 

 Are the tours for individuals, families, small groups of friends?

- Yes. Our tours are for single travelers, couples, families, and groups of friends whom we put together with other travelers to form a larger group.

 

How many people are normally included on a tour?

- We cannot guarantee an exact number per tour. Normally it ranges from 10-20 people per group, but these numbers can vary greatly depending on the season in question. In summer, groups tend to be larger as this is a popular time of year while the Winter season usually attracts smaller groups. There are certain tours that combine travelers if the destinations follow the same routes, e.g., you may be on a 10-day tour package with companions travelling on a 5-day package. The tour will cover the same areas and the 5-day package guests will break off thereafter.

 

Is there is a guide in the bus?

- Yes. An accompanying guide (tour leader) usually travels with the group during the entire tour. An exception may occur when there are minimal numbers signed up for a particular tour. These small groups will travel with an experienced, English-speaking driver/guide. For the city tours, we use local professionals and licensed guides.

 

What languages do the guides use?

- English and Spanish. All our tour guides speak both languages fluently. If a tour group consists of an English-speaking group only, the tour will run in English.

 

Do your tours run during certain times of the year?

- Most of our tours run all year long. Some tours, e.g., those running to the northern regions of Spain, only run from March till October. Each tour’s description provides all the relevant information needed For example: ''Sundays all year'' means that a tour will start on every Sunday of the year, regardless of the numbers.

 

What cities do the tours start from?

- The first four tours start in Madrid and the rest start in Barcelona, however the description for each tour is listed.

 

Where are the meeting points for the tours?

In Madrid, it is Calle Ferraz 3 (Ferraz str., 3). The meeting point is in the City center, right off Plaza España.

- In Barcelona, it is in the reception of the Hotel ‘’Catalunya Barcelona 505’’, Carrer de Muntaner, 505, 08022, Barcelona.

 

Do you pick up from the hotels on the first day of the tour?

- By default, no. We do not pick up from hotels because that would delay the tour launch time.

However - if your hotel is enroute, using the same bus route on launch day, we will pick you up. A week before travel, we require the name of your hotel in Madrid, and will inform you if you can be picked up directly from your hotel or need to head over to the meeting point at 7.45am.

In Barcelona, the meeting point is always in the reception of the ''Catalunya Barcelona 505'' hotel.

 

What type of vehicles do you use?

- Buses for larger groups and minibuses for smaller ones. Vehicles are modern with air- conditioning.

 

Are meals included?

- Lunches and dinners are included anywhere that's mentioned in the itinerary (section ''Itinerary''). Buffet breakfasts are included every morning in all hotels our guests occupy during their tour.

 

I am a vegetarian or allergic to certain products, any problem?

- No problems at all. Inform the tour leader and he will assist you. On a side note, many dinners are of the buffet-type, so you can simply choose what you prefer. For those with allergies, if in doubt, please remind tour leader during mealtimes. Alternatively, ask the restaurant staff about the content of the dishes. 

 

What time do you depart for Madrid on the last day of travel? Can I book a flight on the same day, flying out of Spain?

- Normally we return to Madrid between 17.00 and 19.00 on the last day of the excursion (depending on the specific tour). However, it is not recommended to book the flight out on the same evening/night, as traffic jams in Madrid or other possible events may delay your flight.

 

I need a night in the hotel or transfer from/to the airport to be booked before or after the tour.

- Sure. Just let us know when.

  

Can I just show up for the trip without reservation and pay directly in the office, on the spot?

- Unfortunately, not. The tour must be booked in advance, as we need to make all the arrangements beforehand.

 

How long in advance should I book a trip?

- If you book at least 2 weeks in advance, the trip is guaranteed, though we recommend booking even earlier, if possible. Requests received with less than 2 weeks to go prior to launch date, usually work out 80% of the time, just contact us.

 

Can I customize one of the tours for myself?

- No. However, if you are a group of 20+ persons, the route can be customized upon your request as the tour could be run privately for your group. Please contact us regarding the terms and conditions.

 

What is the booking process?

- It is very simple. Once you have chosen the tour, there are 6 steps:

   a) you confirm the tour by e-mail, indicating starting date, tour code, number of persons travelling and their names,

    b) we send you an invoice,

    c) you pay 10% to book the tour,

    d) we issue the confirmation,

    e) 2 weeks before the starting date, you pay the rest of the monies due, and

    f) you show up for the tour on the appointed date and time.

 

How much should I pay and when?

- We require a 10% deposit during reservation, and the remaining 90% in no less than 2 weeks before the tour commences.

 

How would I pay?

- You can pay in one of four ways:

1) Bank wire to our company’s bank account. Our banking details are included on the invoice that you receive,

2) We can charge your credit card. Please keep in mind that in this case we charge an additional 2% on top of the amount (bank charges), we need you to sign an Authorization form and you need to send us your passport copy and copy of the credit card (the front) to verify ownership,

3) Western Union (normally for short-notice reservations, and when amount needs to be received urgently), and

4) Transferwise.com – an online system allowing the transfer of funds. There is a small commission attached.

 

What is the cancellation and refund policy?

- 10% paid at the time of reservation is non-refundable. The other 90% is fully refundable if cancelled in no less than 2 weeks (e.g., if you paid 100% upfront during reservation). There are no refunds for cancellations made with less than 2 weeks to go before the trip.

 

Are there any discounts?

- Yes. Discounts are listed under the section ''Prices''.

 

Are taxes included in the tour prices?

- VAT and Tourist Taxes are always included, except for the Tourist Tax in Cataluña (the region where Barcelona is located) that needs to be paid at the hotel. The amount is currently 1 euro/person and per night.

 

Most of the multi-day tours start and ends in Madrid. What are the options for a “Day Tour” and excursions in Madrid on my own/o, if we have a few days in the Capital before or after a multi-day tour?

- We have numerous day tours around Madrid and to the surrounding areas. If you have time before or after your multi-day tour, please check our website for options. If you wish to start in Barcelona, please check this link.

 

How do I know if I need a visa for Spain or Morocco?

- Please check the visa information on the official website for the Ministry of Foreign Affairs in Spain. The visa requirements for Morocco can be found here. Please note that all trips to Morocco will require your Schengen visa to be of an ''multiple entry'', as you will enter Spain for the second time.

 

I am ready to go ahead and book one of your tours, but I need a Visa to enter Spain.

- Yes, we do help our customers to get their Visas, after a trip is confirmed and the deposit has been paid. As we are a fully licensed tour operator in Spain, after the deposit paid, we can issue the confirmation, which you later bring to Spanish Embassy/Consulate. In this letter we confirm that you booked and partly (or fully) paid for a tour with us. Please note, we do not guarantee the issue of visa and cannot influence the process. The decision is up to the Embassy, as they have their own rules and regulations for each country. At the same time, we do our best to ensure we provide assistance where possible.