East meets west, and past meets present. Spain and Portugal offer a heady mix of treasures, from Arabic palaces and Roman temples to Catholic cathedrals. We take it all in on a rural road trip, in search of hidden Iberia.
- 10 nights in boutique accommodation
- Experienced Back-Roads Driver & Tour Leader
- Local guide in Granada
- Premium mini-coach transportation
- European breakfast daily (B), 4 evening meals (D)
- Tapas lunch with wine tasting
- Olive oil and Ibérico ham tasting
- Flamenco show
- Entrance included to: Santa Maria la Blanca, San Juan de los Reyes, Mezquita, Jaén Cathedral, Alhambra, Gruta de la Maravillas.
- Unless otherwise specified in the listed inclusions, airfares are not included in the tour price.
- Driver/tour leader gratuity is at your discretion.
- Lunches (unless otherwise stated), social drinks, meals on free nights,’ items of a personal nature and entrance fees when not listed in the schedule of inclusions.
- Occasional optional evening theatre/festival visits and entrances not detailed in the tour inclusions.
- Incidental expenses, such as room service incurred at hotels. All expenses are to be settled prior to leaving the accommodation.
- Laundry costs and any shipping charges for the return of purchases made on tour, or for the return of property lost on tour.
- Pre and post tour accommodation.
- Unless otherwise listed in the inclusions, transfers are not included in the tour price.
After meeting in Madrid, we begin our journey to Toledo where centuries of history come alive. Afterwards, we sit down to a welcome dinner in a traditional Spanish restaurant. (D)
Our road continues south across the vast plains of La Mancha, where Cervantes’s Don Quixote jousted with windmills. We pause in Valdepeñas to visit a local bodega for wine and tapas, before continuing on to Córdoba – our home for the next two nights. (B,L)
This morning we go back to the days of Islamic Iberia in Córdoba’s old town. Today you’re free to explore at your own pace. Seek out hidden squares and local cafés, pamper yourself at a traditional hammam or simply marvel at the city’s eye-catching architecture. A highlight is the monumental Mezquita – a UNESCO protected mosque. (B)
Today we pay court to two great women of Andalucía. The towns of Ubeda and Baeza, called ‘Queen’ and ‘Lady’ respectively by poet Antonio Machado, are replete with spectacular Renaissance palaces. This morning we pause to taste Spanish olive oil at its source in a peaceful olive grove, before settling into our hotel. Dinner tonight is a group affair. (B,D)
Our first stop today is Jaén Cathedral, with its towers set against a backdrop of rolling hills. After free time, we continue on to Granada. With two nights here, we have plenty of time to unravel its secrets. (B)
Intricately carved archways. Lavish interiors featuring colourful tiles. Vibrant gardens. The Alhambra, a breathtaking Moorish palace perched on a hilltop outside Granada, must be seen to be believed. Afternoon finds us back in the city centre, where you’re free to discover the city – just be sure to take in the stunning cathedral. (B)
From Granada our path turns east, passing through rural countryside to Ronda. With a dramatic setting on the edge of a deep canyon, this historic town boasts breathtaking views. (B)
Today we drive to Jerez to visit a local winery with a private gallery followed by a tapas lunch and wine tasting. Later, we visit Seville where tonight we enjoy a traditional flamenco show. (B)
After breakfast, it’s time to explore Seville at your own leisure. You could search out Roman ruins, Moorish mosaics and classical squares. Or take yourself on a tapas tour, hopping from bar to bar, sampling Andalucían specialities in each. (B,D)
The city rooftops disappear as we head into the great outdoors. Our first stop is Ibéricos, a farm in the Sierra de Aracena and Picos de Aroche National Park where black Iberian pigs roam. After working up an appetite, we sample the famous Jamón Ibérico, before making a visit to Castle Vila Vicosa. We continue to Estremoz to end the day. (B,D)
We set our sights for Portugal today, first travelling to Evora before our road winds into Lisbon where we say farewell. (B)