Welcome to Madrid.
Transfers leave Madrid airport for your hotel at 09:00, 11:00, 13:30 and 16:00. Join your Travel Director at 18:00 for a delicious Welcome Dinner and the chance to get to know your fellow travellers.
Prado Museum and on to Golden Salamanca.
With your Local Expert travel down the beautiful boulevards to the Cibeles Fountain on the wide Paseo de la Castellana. Cross the Puerta del Sol and see the monument to Cervantes in the Plaza de España. A sure highlight is when you join an art historian to explore the Prado Museum, a magnificent palace housing works by Velazquez, Goya, Rubens and other masters. Journey past the walls of Ávila en route to Salamanca, with its honey-coloured cathedral and 16th century university buildings.
Day 3 - Relaxed Start
Holy Fátima and Lisbon.
Cross the Portuguese frontier and skirt the Estrela Mountains en route to Fátima. Join the pilgrims flocking into the great basilica commemorating the miraculous appearance of the Virgin Mary to three young shepherds in 1917. Your travels continue to Lisbon.
Lisbon and the Age of the Great Discoveries.
Exploring with a Local Expert takes you along the avenues of the Lower Town to the Terreiro do Paço with a visit to the Belém Quarter. Enjoy a taste of the famous Pastéis de Belém from a traditional patisserie that has managed to hold on to the secret recipe of Portugal's finest pastry for almost 200 years. View the modern Monument to the Discoveries and the more ancient Belém Tower, a fortress that was originally set in the middle of the river but with receding waters, now sits on the riverbank. Visit the 500-year-old Jerónimos Monastery with its Manueline architecture, a UNESCO World Heritage Site. The afternoon is free for you to explore further as you wish.
To Seville, the City of Carmen.
Journey to Seville to join your Local Expert for a tour of the immense Seville Cathedral, burial place of Christopher Columbus. See the slender Giralda Tower, the former minaret of the Great Mosque and now the cathedral's belltower. Continue your exploration through the labyrinthine narrow streets and shady squares of the Santa Cruz Quarter, emerging beside the great walls of the Alcazar.
Day 6 - Relaxed Start
Free Time and Flamenco in Seville.
This day is yours to completely relax or continue exploring this fascinating city. Perhaps join an Optional Experience to Córdoba and visit the magnificent Mezquita, an 8th century mosque with a Christian cathedral built inside it? Enjoy an evening of food and wine while you are entertained by throbbing guitars, lamenting solos, colourful dancers and the rhythmic stomp of flamenco.
The Straits of Gibraltar to Fes.
Set sail across the Straits of Gibraltar to reach Morocco - a land of musky spices and colourful souks. Your travels continue to Fes, Morocco’s most ancient imperial city.
Day 8 - Relaxed Start
The Ancient Imperial City of Fes.
Your Local Expert will guide you through the ancient Medina. Explore this walled city of hidden courtyards, mosques and workshops. Walk through the souks and pass one of the world’s oldest universities. Learn about the ancient craft of carpet making and gain an insight into the motifs and colours used in the designs. Then you are at leisure to continue exploring as you wish, or perhaps cool off with a dip in the pool at your hotel.
On the Road to Marrakesh.
See the Middle Atlas Mountains and mud-walled villages as you journey to Marrakesh.
Day 10 - Relaxed Start
Marrakesh, Pearl of the South.
An exploration with your Local Expert will show you the Medina with its many souks and the Koutoubia Minaret dominating the skyline. Visit the intricately decorated Palais Bahia, intended to be the greatest palace of its time when it was built in the late 19th century.
Day 11 - Relaxed Start
Play It Again Sam in Casablanca.
Journey to the west coast of Africa to reach Casablanca. Discover if Humphrey Bogart really did say 'Play it again Sam' during sightseeing with your Local Expert. You will also see Hassan II Mosque, the largest mosque in the country and the très chic seaside strip, known as the Corniche, lined with trendy restaurants and cafes.
Day 12 - Relaxed Start
Rabat and Tangier.
Travel north to Rabat, to see the Royal Palace and Hassan Tower with your Local Expert. Your journey continues to Morocco’s great port of Tangier, overlooking the Straits of Gibraltar. Here you will enjoy beautiful views where the Atlantic meets the Mediterranean. After dinner, you are at leisure to relax in the comfortable surroundings of your hotel or take a stroll along the Bay of Tangier.
On to the Costa del Sol.
Cross the water to Spain and continue on to Gibraltar, an overseas territory under British control since 1704. Meet your Local Expert for a guided tour of the Rock of Gibraltar, St. Michael’s Cave and see the Barbary Apes, legendary guardians of the colony. Travel through the green hills to the north of Costa del Sol, which translates to Coast of the Sun, to the white-washed village of Mijas. Stroll through the old streets and gardens and take in the views of the coast. Relax as you are driven along the scenic route, passing exclusive resorts where the rich and famous holiday.
Day 14 - Relaxed Start
At Leisure on the Costa del Sol.
Enjoy the following day at leisure on the sun-drenched Costa del Sol. Relax by the blue Mediterranean waters, stroll along the promenade, savour the specialities in the local restaurants or consider exploring Malaga, the birth city of Picasso.
Dining with Locals and the Alhambra Palace.
Travel to the oldest olive grove in the region and stop at the rural mill-factory of Almazara to taste a selection of different oils with locally made farmer bread. Continue to Alfarnatejo, a quiet town with a population of just 500 people and surrounded by stunning mountainous landscape. Walk the town centre to see the 18th century Iglesia del Santo Cristo de Cabrilla. In small groups, you are invited into the home of a local family to join them for a delicious Highlight Lunch made of fresh, local produce with flavours typical of the region. Continue to Granada, where overlooking the town stands one of the most remarkable fortresses ever built, the Alhambra. Led by your Local Expert, explore this exquisite palace built as a citadel by the Moors in the 13th century - a fantasy of arabesque gardens, fountains and stone cut like lace. Stroll through the elegant, exotic water gardens of the Generalife, the royal summer residence.
To Madrid in search of Don Quixote.
Your journey continues to the north, through countryside immortalised by Cervantes fictional hero, Don Quixote. On return to Madrid, toast your travels with your newfound friends during a lively Celebration Dinner of delicious food and wine at a local restaurant.
Departure transfers arrive at Madrid airport at 07:00, 09:00 and 11:00.