If you have already started to think about your trip for summer 2017, we have a great option for you to consider in the form of our ‘Iberian Inspiration’ tour. The holiday takes you along the roads less-travelled through Spain and Portugal from Madrid to Lisbon, providing a wide range of included activities for you to enjoy along the way. It lasts for 11 nights and includes access to an experienced tour leader and accommodation in boutique hotels.
Interested? Read on for some fantastic highlights.
From Moorish palaces to ancient mosques, there is historic architecture wherever you look during this tour. In your first stop of Toledo, you will visit Santa Maria la Blanca and San Juan de los Reyes, a synagogue and monastery respectively. These two buildings stand proud in Spain’s former capital and showcase the city’s multi-cultural side.
Further down the road, you will see the UNESCO protected Mezquita mosque in Cordoba and the Alhambra Palace just outside of Grenada. However, these are arguably outdone by the magnificence of Seville’s Alcazar, the oldest royal palace in Europe that is still used today.
Food and Drink Tastings
This part of Spain is known for its fantastic flavours and you will get to taste them for yourself at certain points of the tour. There’s the option to experience the tapas of Seville in your own free time, but there are a number of included food and drink activities that you are sure to enjoy. The first comes in Valdepenas, a name that might be familiar to wine lovers, where you will visit a bodega for a tasting. The glorious weather and high lime content in the soil help to create crisp Chardonnays, well-rounded Cabernet Sauvignons and the local speciality of aloque – created by blending white and red grape varieties together.
Other food experiences include sampling authentic olive oil at the grove where it is produced and tasting the world renowned Jamón Ibérico at a farm that rears the black Iberian pigs from which it is produced.
Dinner and Dancing
Aside from oranges, Seville is synonymous with a Spanish tradition that can be traced back to the 1700s. Many people think that flamenco just consists of dancing but the singing, guitar playing and finger clicking are just as important when it comes to this flamboyant art form. In Europe’s sunniest city, you will dine on traditional dishes of the region whilst watching an electrifying performance. There’s no better way to be welcomed into Seville.
As you leave Seville and head towards the border with Portugal, there’s time for one last adventure in Spain. An adventure that will take you underground to a cave system that has formed over thousands of years and was discovered at the turn of the 20th century.
La Gruta de la Maravillas has a name which translates to mean ‘Cave of Wonders’ and it’s easy to see why when you step inside. Impressive stalactites and stalagmites create an eerie feeling and some are coloured with a red-brown hue thanks to the copper deposits in them. Perhaps the most impressive part of the cave in the dramatic Cathedral Hall, but the Emerald Lake and Glassworks of God are sure to leave their impression on you too. Due to its awe-inspiring nature, the site was used as a filming location for the 1959 original adaptation of ‘Journey to the Centre of the Earth’.
Now that you’ve heard of some of the highlights during this tour, you may feel you’ve found your perfect trip for 2017. If so, or if you would just like some more information, contact us today.