Spectacular Spain and Portugal

Cultural Tour
FromAUD5,575

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    This tour is provided by

    Vibrant Women

    Vibrant Women Travel provides retreats and inspirational journeys for women. Shared adventures in extraordinary places. Bespoke, curated, fully escorted, small group women’s travels and experiences for the soul.

    Solo travellers can take the opportunity to travel in the safety of a small group, as well as doing some exploring on their own. People travelling with friends will have wonderful memories to share well into the future.

    • 10 Days
    • Group or Private Tour
    • Spain

    Spain conjures images of flamenco dancers, sangria, tapas, café-lined plazas, sleepy villages with white-washed houses, olive groves, soaring cathedrals, ancient Roman ruins to vast plains and high mountain peaks. This modern country offers top-notch museums, inventive cuisine and never fails to open up travelers’ eyes, minds and hearts. From the country to the coast, its landscapes and varied cultures are well worth exploring.

    Oh Spain… how you dazzle us with architectural feats and artistic treats, enrich us with historic treasures and nourish us with sangria and tapas! From charismatic cities full of lively bars and hip galleries, to sleepy villages dotted with white washed houses and olive groves, Spain never fails to open up travellers’ eyes, minds and hearts.

    Spain offers some of the richest cultural heritage to be found anywhere in Europe. And, the Andalusia region is an excellent example with its unique blend of Roman, Arab and Catholic inspired influences. Spain conjures images of flamenco dancers, café-lined plazas, white hillside villages, and soaring cathedrals. Beyond these traditional associations, this modern country offers top-notch art museums, inventive cuisine, and exciting nightlife.

    There’s nothing quite like losing yourself while wandering through Lisboa’s Bairro Alto with a belly full of the freshest seafood and local wine, as images of medieval charm and blue painted tiles swirl in your head, only to turn a corner and catch a glimpse of the glimmering sea. Once the world’s richest and most powerful empire and now the vibrant home to powerhouse wine regions, incredible art museums and excellent surfing, Spain and Portugal are a true traveller’s dream.

    Locations We Will Visit

    • Madrid
    • Toledo
    • Granada
    • Cordoba
    • Seville
    • Evora
    • Lisbon
    • Sintra
    • Cascais

    Arrivals & Departures

    ARRIVALS are to Madrid-Barajas Airport

    DEPARTURES are from Lisbon Humberto Delgado Airport. If you choose to get a return flight from your home country to Madrid you can fly ($100AUD) from Lisbon back to Madrid to meet your departing flight. If you are continuing on with us the flight from Lisbon to Madrid is approx $125AUD and we will be in touch regarding this once you have booked your tour.

    Airport Transfers before the 10th of July or after the 19th of July will be €30 each way per person and can be arranged for you however please note there will be no tour guides available before the 10th of October or after the 19th of July to assist you so please take this into consideration when booking your flights.

    *Flights from Australia to Madrid return around $1600AUD.

    If you need assistance with FLIGHT BOOKINGS please contact Donna McHugh from Wauchope Travel on (+61) 02 65852288 or email [email protected]

    Donna can arrange flights to and from anywhere in the world and she knows our itineraries.

    Price Includes

    • Private transport throughout the tour
    • 9 Nights accommodation in 4* hotels
    • All breakfasts
    • Private English speaking guide throughout
    • Entrance fees to the Royal Palace Madrid, the Cathedral, Santo Tome Church and La Blanca Sinagogue Toledo, Alhambra, Generalife and Royal Chapel in Granada, the Cathedral and Royal Alcazares in Sevilla and the National Palace in Sintra
    • Tapas tour in Madrid (visiting 2-3 bars. Total 6 tapas and 3 drinks (wine, beer, soft drink or water) – maximum 4 hours
    • Flamenco show in Sevilla (includes 1 drink per person)
    • Food Market Visit and Tapas cooking class in Sevilla
    • Portuguese Tart making class in Lisbon
    • Fado show in Lisbon
    • Airport transfers on the 10th and 19th of July 2021

    Price Excludes

    • International Airfares
    • Some entrance fees not stated in the itinerary, for example the Prada Museum in Madrid, which you may or may not arrive in time to attend on the 4th of October. Extra requests to visit sites not stated in the itinerary We suggest taking travel insurance within 14 days of booking your tour as your deposit is non-refundable
    • Lunches and Dinners
    • Personal purchases
    • Drinks and alcohol purchases
    • Tipping, we suggest $25 per person per day and collect this at the beginning of the trip to be distributed amongst out drivers, hotel staff and guides. Or you can add to your invoice if you prefer which would be $250AUD or if collect in Spain will be €155
    • Travel Insurance, (which is compulsory). We suggest taking travel insurance within 14 days of booking your tour as your deposit is non refundable.
    • Airport Transfers before the 10th of October or after the 19th of July will be €30 each way per person and can be arranged for you however please note there will be no tour guides available before the 10th of July or after the 19th of July to assist you so please take this into consideration when booking your flights.

    Optional Extras

    Add Greece to your tour

    To add Greece to the Spain and Portugal Tour you will require 1 extra nights accommodation in Madrid after the Greece tour has concluded on the 9th of July and a flight from Athens to Madrid. 

    We will look at flights closer to the tiem and be int ouch to suggest the best flight to book. 

    An extra nights accommodation in Madrid will cost $370 for a single and $210 for a twinshare including airport transfers. We can book your extra nights accommodation and airport transfers for you.

    Add Barcelona to your tour

    You can add this extension on the booking form or just let Tammie know. 

    The single supplement is 96€ and this extension does not include transport from Lisbon to Barcelona. We will recommend flight for this closer to the time.  

    *Please note this is independent travel, independent of Vibrant Women, we have just arranged this for you as some people requested it. This extension requires a minimum of 4 people to proceed. You will not have a guide with you at all times but will be travelling as a group and in your itinerary attached. You have guides booked for sightseeing etc as per the itinerary who will collected you and take you back to your hotel. You also have airport transfers included, however please note the transfer on the 21st is a group transfer so if you are not all departing at the same time a transfer to the airport normally costs around 30 Euros. 

    To add Barcelona to your trip please contact [email protected] 

    Your Host

    Tammie Day is the founder of Vibrant Women, a retreat and travel company. She spends her days creating inspirational journeys so you can travel in the security of a small group, whilst enjoying another culture. Tammie’s role is to ensure you feel well taken care of throughout your trip.  She is constantly sourcing the most enchanting places to run her Inspirational Journeys, places that truly capture your heart and imagination, Spain and Portugal are definitely a must for anyone who loves exploring spectacular places, with like-minded people. 

     

    Itinerary

    Day 1Arrival Madrid-Barajas Adolfo Suárez Airport

    Private transfers will be organised based on flights and the number of guests for each transfer

    Today is set aside just for arrivals, if you are arriving early in the day, feel free to wander the local area, hang out in a local cafe or do some shopping. This evening enjoy an included Tapas tour with an English speaking guide: Tapas are one of Spain’s biggest cultural exports to the rest of the world. When people around the globe think of Spanish cuisine, these little treats are right up there with paella and sangria. But not all tapas are created equal, and the concept itself can mean many different things. The Spanish capital is without a doubt one of the best places to experience traditional tapas firsthand. But when choosing where to go, the options can be overwhelming. Madrid has nearly 15,000 restaurants and bars—one for every 211 inhabitants—according to a recent study.

    *Airport Transfers before the 10th of July or after the 19th of July will be €30 each way per person and can be arranged for you however please note there will be no tour guides available before the 10th of July or after the 19th of July to assist you so please take this into consideration when booking your flights. 

    Day 2Madrid

    Madrid, Spain’s capital, is a city so full of life and culture that it’s hard to do justice to it in a few paragraphs. This big European city has its fair share of hustle and bustle, but that doesn’t mean it skimps on providing visitors with an authentic Spanish experience. The Prado Museum features works by some of Spain’s most famed artists, including Velázquez and Goya. The Palacio Real (Royal Palace) is open to the public and the El Rastro flea market or the upscale shops in Salamanca provide hours of shopping. 

    This morning enjoy a private walking tour of Madrid, including the Palacio Real (Royal Palace). With its 2,000 rooms and it’s NeoClassical style rivals Versailles. We’ll also stop in to the Palace Armory where you’ll be able to see centuries of battle armor and tools, the Cathedral and finish at the Plaza Mayor.

    After your morning tour you will have the balance of the day to explore other Madrid sites like museums: the world renowned Prado, Reina Sofia to see Picasso’s Guernica or the Thyssen-Bornemisza Museum. You might enjoy strolling through the Mercado de San Fernando or take a walk through the spectacular city park, Retiro Park. But if you’re drained from a long day of sightseeing, you might want to rest at an open-air cafe, especially the ones that skirt Plaza Mayor.

    Dinner at one of our favourite restaurants or enjoy some free time.

    Day 3Madrid, Toledo, Granada

    After breakfast today, board your mini bus with your tour manager for your first discovery of the day, Toledo. With your private guided tour you will visit the Cathedral, Santo Tomé church and La Blanca Synagogue.

    Toledo is one of the Spanish cities with the greatest wealth of monuments. Known as the “city of the three cultures”, because Christians, Arabs and Jews lived together there for centuries and behind its walls Toledo preserves an artistic and cultural legacy in the form of churches, palaces, fortresses, mosques and synagogues. This great diversity of artistic styles makes the old quarter of the capital of Castile – La Mancha a real open-air museum, which has led to it being declared a World Heritage Site.

    You then continue South to the unforgettable city of Granada, which was the last strong hold of the Moorish empire in southern Spain until it finally, fell to the catholic kings in 1492. Granada (Gáranata) was once the grandest city in Spain! Set at the foot of the Sierra Nevada mountain range it is the most visited of all Andalusian cities.

    When Isabel I, the queen of Castile and King Ferdinand II of Aragon, married in 1469, the pair united the peninsula’s two most powerful kingdoms and began a period of economic growth and religious zeal never before seen. They were the driving force behind the brutal Spanish inquisition, beginning the forceful conversion, expulsion and persecution of all non-Christian believers in what was formerly a religiously tolerant Hispania. Granada was the last city of Al-Andalus to fall to the Christian Reconquista in 1492.

    Upon arrival into the city, we will check into our centrally located hotel and freshen up.

    Dinner at one of our favourite restaurants or enjoy some free time.

    Day 4Granada

    This morning is dedicated to the magnificent Alhambra, UNESCO World Heritage site, a breath taking Moorish palace and fortress perched on top of a steep hill adjacent to the city Centre. The Alhambra feels like it comes straight from ‘Tales of the Arabian Nights’, rising from the woods against the mountainous backdrop. A true tribute to the beauty of the North African architecture in Andalusia, the Alhambra contains a huge network of beautiful rooms, patios and gardens. The palace is close to architectural perfection, perhaps also the most refined example of Islamic art anywhere in the world and not to mention the most enduring symbol of 800 years of Moorish rule known as Al-Andalus. From afar, the Alhambra’s red fortress’s towers dominate the Granada skyline set against a backdrop of the Sierra Nevada’s magnificent peaks.

    Entrance times may vary and require an afternoon tour.

    **ALHAMBRA
    The entrances for the Alhambra have to be reconfirmed in case of confirmation of the Trip. We can´t confirm entrances until 3 month before. We can´t guarantee, that we will get entrances for the Alhambra.In case of cancellation of the tickets the cancellation fees are 15€ per ticket.

    The rest of the day is at leisure and an opportunity for great shopping at the Albycin, where you will feel like you are in a Moroccan souk. Other options are hiking up to the Sacramonte area to enjoy their winding streets and beautiful views from St. Nicholas.

    Included Flamenco show: take in the passion and seduction of the art-form known as Flamenco at your included show. Flamenco is an art form that was born, and thrives, here in Spain. Spanish flamenco is the best because Spaniards start dancing when they can barely walk, and they dance every day. The stomping of the feet, the twirling of the body, and the drama of the music are simply part of their culture.

    Dinner at one of our favourite restaurants or enjoy some free time.

    Day 5Granada, Cordoba, Sevilla

    Enroute from Granada to Seville, ( around 2 hours) we will make our way to Cordoba. Let the Jewish, Moorish and Christian Córdoba seduce you. This visit (about 4h) will enable you to stroll through the historic center – registered in the list of UNESCO World Heritage – and to broaden your knowledge thanks to your English speaking guide. Discover the history of the medieval Jewish community visiting one of the three synagogues that remain in Spain. Explore famous corners like the small square of flowers, the souk, the orange trees courtyard of the Mosque Cathedral (included) and the typical Cordovan courtyards. During your walk, you will visit traditional some craftsman workshops, also registered in the list of UNESCO World Heritage, through a ceramist’s workshop, a silversmith and a saddler where you will have the opportunity to know the most old-style skills of civilizations that have inhabited this thousand-year-old city.

    After your visit of Cordoba, we will proceed to Sevilla!

    Historically Andalusians chose to live in fortified hilltop towns and villages called Pueblos Blancos (white villages) to escape preying bandits. These white towns are whitewashed in the Moorish tradition and today are functioning agricultural towns that will give you insight to Andalucia´s colorful past. The romantic town of Ronda, the largest of the White Villages, is the oldest town in Spain, having been established in the 9th Century BC!

    Settled by the Phoenicians around the 7th century BC, later conquered by the Muslims and finally settling under Spanish rule, Ronda has had a long and varied history marked by war, trade, and geographic wonder. Ronda is also the birthplace of modern bullfighting. Perched high in the Serranía de Ronda mountains, the old town offers dramatic views over the Rio Guadalevín. The ancient part of Ronda is separated from the new by a vertigo-inducing 328-foot river gash called El Canon del Tajo. Then make your way to the city of Seville, the capital of Andalusia situated on the banks of the Guadalquivir River, the most cosmopolitan of its neighbors, a storied city that has been Andalucía’s seat of power and glory for nearly 1000 years.

    Dinner at one of our favourite restaurants or enjoy some free time.

    Day 6Sevilla

    Visit of the market with your specialized guide, purchase of products and then morning dedicated to the preparation of Sevillian specialties with your chef. During this cooking class, you will discover the best way to eat in Andalusia : the tapas. This tradition allows to taste a variety of dishes in the same meal. Among the most popular: hams and Spanish cheeses, anchovies in vinegar, minced meat, ensaladilla, potatoes aliñás, Spanish larded omelette. Traditional Sevillian desserts are highly influenced by Arabic culture and are made with honey or wine. The best known are cakes and polvorones (shortbread cake). The richest Seville pastry is prepared in the convents of the city.

    In the afternoon we explore the vibrant city of Seville with our expert local guide the highlights include a stroll through the Jewish quarter; the impressive cathedral of Saint Mary, burial site of Christopher Columbus and 3rd largest in the world built on top of the Almohad Mosque. Two parts of the mosque were preserved in the cathedral: the Moorish entrance court Patio de los Naranjos; and the Giralda, a minaret converted into a bell tower; the Alcazar de Sevilla, the oldest royal palace in Europe that is still in use.

    The original nucleus of the Alcázar, that you will visit today, was constructed by the Moors in the 10th century as a fortified governor’s palace and is still in use today as a residence for the Spanish royal family. It is a spectacular complex of palaces, courtyards and gardens from various periods and in complementing architectural styles – all in all a dazzling trip back in time.

    With a flair for drama, its own traditional dance and flamboyant modern architecture, Seville displays Spain’s most noticeable local pride. Nowhere is as quintessentially Spanish as Seville, a city of capricious moods and soulful secrets which has played a pivotal role in the evolution of flamenco, bullfighting, baroque art and Mudejar architecture.

    Known as Hispalis in Roman times, Seville was taken by the Moors in 712 and remained a Muslim capital until the 13thcentury. Between 1503 and 1718 Seville had a monopoly as the only trading port between Spain and the Americas, becoming extravagantly wealthy and spawning a Golden Age of arts and literature.

    Day 7Seville, Evora, Lisbon

    This morning we will set out for Lisbon with a stop in the town of Évora, capital of Portugal’s south-central Alentejo region and a UNESCO World Heritage site. In the city’s historic center stands the ancient Roman Temple of Évora (also called the Temple of Diana).

    One of Portugal’s most beautifully preserved medieval towns, Évora is an enchanting place to delve into the past. Inside the 14th-century walls, Évora’s narrow, winding lanes lead to striking architectural works: an elaborate medieval cathedral and cloisters; the cinematic columns of the Templo Romano (near the intriguing Roman baths); and a picturesque town square, once the site of some rather gruesome episodes courtesy of the Inquisition. Aside from its historic and aesthetic virtues, Évora is also a lively university town.

    After visiting the sites with your tour manager you will also have a little time to shop for amazing cork products before continuing onto Lisbon.

    This evening enjoy an included Fado show: Fado music is a form of Portuguese singing that is often associated with pubs, cafés, and restaurants. This music genre officially originated in Portugal around the 1820s, though it is thought to have much earlier origins. Fado is known for how expressive and profoundly melancholic it is. In fado music, the musician will sing about the hard realities of daily life, balancing both resignation and hopefulness that a resolution to its torments can still occur. It can be described by using the Portuguese word “saudade,” which means “longing” and stands for a feeling of loss. This loss is generally permanent and of long-term consequence. Fado music often has one or two 12 string guitars, one or two violas, and sometimes a small 8 string bass.

    Day 8Sintra and Cascais

    This morning leave the bustle of the city and meet the most stunning places around Lisbon on your private guided tour of Sintra and Cascais.

    With its rippling mountains, dewy forests thick with ferns and lichen, exotic gardens and glittering palaces, Sintra is like a page torn from a fairy tale. Its UNESCO World Heritage–listed center, Sintra-Vila, is dotted with pastel-hued manors folded into luxuriant hills that roll down to the blue Atlantic. Leaving Lisbon’s western suburbs and climbing into Sintra feels like crossing over into another world. This town is in a green mountainscape of palaces, country estates, parks and a medieval castle. In the center, the Palace of Sintra was a residence for the Portuguese royalty, and it’s just one of many exquisite properties to win you over.

    The Palace of Sintra is the oldest palace in the town, and no royal medieval residence is in a better state of preservation in Portugal. Royalty lived here on and off from the 1400s to the 1700s, and each successive occupant added a bit of their own personality. One, King Manuel I was responsible for a lot of the interior decoration, cladding the walls with eye-catching Seville azulejos. These are in the Mudéjar style (Moorish revival) and have geometric, carpet-like patterns. Another of his works was the magnificent Sala dos Brasões (Coats of Arms Hall), where the coffered ceiling sports the 72 coats of arms of the Portuguese royalty and nobility.

    The day continues onto Cascais, a delightful Portuguese fishing town situated on a beautiful coastline. This coastal resort lies just outside of Lisbon, yet this pleasant town is a world away from the commotion of the bustling capital and has retained the charm of its fishing past with its daily catch still being auctioned and the colorful boats that bob in the harbor. Home to stunning sun-soaked beaches, such as Guincho – an incredible surfing beach – and picturesque ocean views, Cascais is truly a spectacular holiday destination full of heritage and history.

    Dinner at one of our favourite restaurants or enjoy some free time.

    Day 9Lisbon

    Your journey will start with a half-day walking tour, discoverring the historic center of Lisbon. Starting with the Baixa and its beautiful Praça do Comércio lined with arcades and ministries or the Rossio and the Praça Don Pedro IV where stands the National Theater which is also located in the vicinity of the Elevador de Santa Justa classified as a National Monument. The Alfama, the oldest and most picturesque district of the capital, is a tangle of narrow, cobbled streets where you will find the “Sé Patriarcal”, a Romanesque-Gothic cathedral dating from the 12th century, and the viewpoint of Santa Luzia.

    Then after lunch (for dessert) we will indulge in a unique cooking class. We will learn how to make the best Portuguese custard tarts ever : The famous Pastel de Nata ! The class will take place in the heart of the city, in the trendy foodcourt of Mercado da Ribeira. Duration: about 1h30.

    The lets wander and walk of all those custard tarts with a stroll along the Tagus River, the district of Belem is the legacy of the great Portuguese explorers. A lot of emblematic monuments stand in this area : The famous Belem Tower from the 16 century, the discoveries monument built in 1960. The monastery of Jerónimos and the church of Santa Maria where Vasco da Gama and Luis Vaz de Camoes rest in peace. Lisbon is so lively, lets take it all in!

    Dinner at one of our favourite restaurants or enjoy some free time.

    Day 10Departure Day

    Enjoy a leisurely breakfast.

    Your tour concludes at 10am.

    Private transfers will be arranged to the airport for your international flights.

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