PORTUGAL – GALICIA AND NORTHERN SPAIN 9 DAYS
DAY 1. LISBON AIRPORT – LISBON
Arrival in airport and transfer to Lisbon for a panoramic view of Lisbon. It is a coastal city known for its café culture and soulful Fado music. From imposing São Jorge Castle, the view encompasses the old city’s pastelcolored buildings, Tagus Estuary and the 25 de abril Ponte (suspension bridge). The city is rich in architecture from Romanesque to Baroque. Modern and Postmodern constructions can be found all over Lisbon. Free time for lunch. In the afternoon we meet with our local guide for visiting the Belém tower (entrance included), part of a defense system at the mouth of the Tagus river, as well as Jeronimos Monastery (entrance included) which became a burial place, for kings, and later poets. Today it is admired as a remarkable piece of architecture but also as integral part of Portuguese culture and identity. Inn 1983 UNESCO classified it as a «World Heritage Site». Once we back to Lisbon downtown, you have free time to discover the city by strolling about Alfama quarter or taking a coffee in Brasileira Café or doing some shopping in Rua Augusta. Accommodation at hotel in Lisbon.
DAY 2. SINTRA – CAPE ROCA – CASCAIS
Breakfast. Then we’ll go to Sintra, where Nature and Man have combined in such a perfect symbiosis. Here we will have the chance of visiting with a local guide the Royal Palace with its two distinctive conehaped chimneys. From the late 14th century, it was a sum- resort for many Kings throughout the history of Portugal. Free time for a gentle stroll along the narrow alleys or selling regional products in traditional shops. Lunch by the costumer. Go on our route to Cape Roca the western point of continental Europe where a dramatic landscape with high cliffs going steep into the Atlantic Ocean. Next, we move slowly heading back to Lisbon. On the way we stopped first at the Devil’s Mouth near Cascais. Later on we also have a quick break in Cascais a fisherman town that beca- me an extremely popular holiday destination. Even if it’s super wealthy now the place still has the old times charm. Accommodation at the hotel in Lisbon.
DAY 3. COIMBRA – PORTO
Breakfast. We move to Coímbra, we will visit the third largest urban centre in Portugal with our local guide. Its historical buildings were classified as a World Heritagesite by UNESCO in 2013, site of the country’s greatest University (entrance included) for the past five centuries. Free time for lunch. In the afternoon we head to Oporto where we meet with our local guide for a panoramic sightseeing whose historical core was pro- claimed a World Heritage Site by UNESCO in 1996. Among the architectural highlights we point out th Porto Cathedral, the small romanesque Church of Cedofeita, the gothic Church of São Francisco (entrance included), the remnants of the city walls and a few
15th-century houses. The neoclassicism and romanticism of the 19th and 20th centuries also added interesting monuments to the landscape of the city, like the magnificent Stock Exchange Palace «Palacio da Bolsa» (entrance included). Oporto is also famous for its production of port wine. We have the opportunity to walk through a wine cellar followed by a tasting (included). Accommodation at hotel in Oporto.
DAY 4. O GROVE – CAMBADOS – SANTIAGO DE COMPOSTELA
Breakfast. The group depart for Rías Baixas (Southern Galicia). We will arrive in O Grove for boarding in a cruise along Arousa estuary (included) with a stop at a hatchery or breeding farm with a brief talk on mussel, enjoying the submarine panoramic view through catamarán glass bottom and including a tasting of steamed mussels with wine. Later on we move to a wine cellar in Cambados (included) where we will know everything about Albariño wine. Lunch by the customer. We go on with our trip to Santiago de Compostela where our local guide will take us for a tour in the capital of Galicia. The city’s Old Town was designated a la UNESCO World Heritage Site in 1985. The most emblematic places we visit are the Cathedral (entrance included), The Pórtico de la Gloria, St James tomb, we also have the chance to embrace the gilded statue of St James. We have then the opportunity to visit the Cathedral surrounding area, walking along The Obradoiro square. Accommodation in hotel in Santiago de Compostela
DAY 5. LUGO – O CEBREIRO – LEÓN
Breakfast. We’ll start today’s trip by the St. James Way (El Camino de Santiago) route to Castile. Our first stop is Lugo, the only city in the world to be surrounded by completely intact Roman walls, these 3rd century walls are protected by UNESCO as a World Heritage Site. Free time for walking and lunch by the customer. In the afternoon we continue towards O Cebreiro, a typical Galician stoned «aldea» (hamlet) and finally we will arrive in León. Here we have the chance to visit its old town, which is home of many churches and cathedrals, among them is the Gothic 13th century Catedral de León, with its towers and flying buttresses. Accommodation at the hotel in León.
DAY 6. LEON – OVIEDO
After breakfast we continue our route to Oviedo, our local guide will take us for a tour to discover this ancient city. Oviedo contains a very rich architectural history, with many buildings dating back to the early medieval period. We’ll visit the Cathedral and The Camara Santa (entrance included) and San Julián de los Prados Basilica (entrance included), are the main interesting sites for visiting. Lunch by the customer. Free time for shopping, paying a visit to a Museum or popping in one of the typical bars around the town for tasting the most famous beverage is Asturias: Cider. Accommodation at the hotel in Oviedo.
DAY 7. OVIEDO – COVADONGA – SANTILLANA – SANTANDER
arly in the morning and after having breakfast, we start our trip towards Picos de Europa. We can enjoy the beautiful scenery on our way to Covadonga Basilica, a Catholic church that was declared as basílica on 1901. Typical lunch in Restaurant in Covadonga or surroundings. Later on we continue our journey to Santillana, one of the most beautiful towns in Spain. Nearby we will visit the Altamira Cave’s Museum “Neocave» (entrance included). We continue our trip to Santander, the capital of the Cantabrian region. It features a small historic center and a handful of beaches. Its most famous tourist attraction is the Magdalena Palace which was used as a summer resort of Spanish royalty. Accommodation in hotel in Santander.
DAY 8. SANTANDER – BILBAO
Breakfast at hotel and the group has the opportunity of roaming along the roads of this majestic city. Later on we continue our route along the Cantabrian Coast whose beauty is the combination of sea and mountains. Our next stop is Bilbao, the largest city in the Basque Country. Lunch by the costumer. In the afternoon we will visit the Guggenheim Museum (entrance + audio guide) which became the most important structure of its time when it opened in 1997. Free time for discovering on your own the narrow alleys in its old quarter and taste some «pintxos” (well-prepared snacks) accompanied by Txakoli wine. Accommodation in hotel in Bilbao.
DAY 9. BILBAO – BILBAO AIRPORT
Breakfast at hotel or take away and transfer to airport. End of our services.
- 2 Nights at Hotel ***/**** in Lisbon or surrounds
- 1 Night at Hotel ***/**** in Porto or surrounds
- 1 Night at Hotel ***/**** in Santiago or surrounds
- 1 Night at Hotel ***/**** in León or surrounds
- 1 Night at Hotel ***/**** in Oviedo or surrounds
- 1 Night at Hotel ***/**** in Santander or surrounds
- 1 Night at Hotel ***/**** in Bilbao or surrounds
- Meal Plan as indicates in the itinerary
- Transport by coach
- Group assistant during all the tour
- Lunch at restaurant in Covadonga
- Local guide in Porto
- Local guide in Sintra
- Local guide in Lisbon
- Local guide in Coímbra
- Local guide in Santiago de Compostela
- Local guide in Oviedo
- Entrance into the Jeronimos Monastery & Belém Tower
- Entrance into Sintra Royal Palace
- Entrance into São Francisco Church in Porto
- Entrance into Stock Exchange Palace in Porto
- Visit a wine cellar with tasting in Porto
- Entrance into Santiago Cathedral
- Entrance into Oviedo Cathedral + Camara Santa
- Entrance into Guggenheim Museum