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9 days (Tue Departures) or 12 days with Madrid (Sun Departures) – 8 Apr – 14 Oct
The Galicia, Leon and Portugal Tours visits: Madrid, Astorga, Lugo, A Coruna, Santiago De Compostela, Rias Bajas, La Toja, Vigo, Salamanca, Ciudad Rodrigo, Coimbra, Fatima, Obidos, Lisbon, Caceres and back to Madrid
9 days/8 nights (Tue Departures) or 12 days/11 nights with Madrid (Sun Departures) – 8 Apr – 14 Oct 2018.
Arrival on your own at Madrid airport. Transfer to your hotel, free time at leisure for own activities. Overnight in Madrid
After breakfast a morning panoramic city tour of Madrid to visit the old and new sections of the city to see Spain Square including all major sites including Cibeles square, Gran via, etc. Stop at Devode Temple, Plaza Mayor and Ventas Bull ring. Continue to Columbus square where we end the tour. Afternoon at leisure to explore the city on your own, to visit the world Famous Prado art gallery or take an optional excursion to Toledo, an important medieval city famous for its religious tolerance and a World Heritage site.
Departure towards Villacastin and Medina del Campo, where we will admire the impressive Castilian Castle of La Mota. Continue to Astorga, in the northern province of Leon where cocoa and chocolate from the New World was first introduced to Europe in 1528 by Hernando Cortez, the feared Conquistador. Brief stop to admire the Astorga Episcopal Palace designed by the world famous architect of Barcelona, the builder of Sagrada Familia. Antonio Gaudi. Depart to Lugo, which holds one of the most impressive roman ramparts with a perimeter of 2266 meters in circumference, a UNESCO World Heritage monument. Overnight.
Breakfast at the hotel. Departure to La Coruña. Brief panoramic drive through the main avenues of this port city driving by the Marine Avenue to admire the elegance of this city with the typical Galician architecture of glass house galleries. Brief stop at one of the wonders of the world, the oldest still working lighthouse the “ Tower of Hercules” dating back to the Roman period. Afternoon at leisure or optional tour to the nearby villages of Rias Altas. Overnight.
Breakfast at hotel. Departure to Santiago de Compostela declared World Heritage site as it is one of the most important centers of Christian Pilgrimages in Spain and the world and the end of the Camino de Santiago route built during the Roman Empire. City tour where we will see the main square called Obradoiro and also the Cathedral ( entrance included ) dedicated to the Apostle Santiago. Afternoon free at leisure to explore the narrow cobblestone streets and get the feel of the medieval atmosphere. Overnight.
Breakfast at the hotel. Departure towards one of the most picturesque areas of Galicia, the Rias Bajas. Driving through this magnificent landscape we will arrive at La Toja Island, known for its spa. Free time and continue to the Ria de Arosa, passing through Pontevedra to arrive to Vigo, situated in the middle of the Rias Baixas region. Afternoon at leisure to enjoy this lively city or an optional tour to Bayona and Santa Tecla to see the old Celtic remains situated on the hill of Santa Tecla and the impressive views of the Miño River and of Portugal. Overnight.
Breakfast at the hotel. Departure to Salamanca following The Old Silver Route built during the roman times. On arrival free time in this world renowned city with one of the oldest universities in the world dating back to 1134; the magnificent Plaza Mayor, the Shells House and the old and new Cathedral. Overnight.
Breakfast at hotel. Departure towards the border town with Portugal, Ciudad Rodrigo where we will have a short visit to view the old 11 century city walls and the cathedral and the castle. Continuing via Guarda we reach the University city of Coimbra with one of the oldest educational building in Europe (1290) and once the capital of Portugal. Free time to admire their narrow streets, hanging houses, palaces, chapels and churches. Later we drive to Fatima, well known for the Sanctuary of our Lady of Fatima, patroness of Portugal. Free time to visit the Basilica. Overnight.
Breakfast at the hotel. Departure to the quaint medieval city of Obidos, where we can explore the white washed cobblestone streets and red roofed white houses sheltered by city walls. Our next stop will be in Lisbon, the capital city of Portugal, located on the right bank of the Tagus River. In the evening optional dinner with Fado show to enjoy the bitter-sweet national songs of Portugal expressing sorrow, passion and longing to loved ones at faraway places exploring the high seas. The songs’ roots originate in the era of World Discoveries and are a must to hear. (this optional evening has to be booked in advance) Overnight.
Breakfast and overnight, In the morning included a panoramic city tour of Lisbon, passing through the Alfama district, birthplace of St. Anthony and once the old Moorish Quarters, the Belem Tower symbol of Lisbon and the Jeronimous Monastery. Afternoon at leisure. Possibility of an optional tour to see the 3 most visited towns on the western coast: Sintra world Heritage Town, Cascais and Estoril seaside resorts.
Breakfast at the hotel. Departure towards the Spanish border to arrive to the World Heritage city of Caceres, with unparalleled historic buildings dating back from the 14th and 16th century. The old quarter is one of the 3 best conserved medieval quarters in Europe. Free time on your own for lunch and to walk around the Plaza Mayor and the old medieval district. Proceed back to Madrid. Overnight. For those taking the shorter version, the tour ends here without overnight in Madrid.
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