Explore several locations across the Iberian Peninsula. Starting off in Lisbon, Portugal, see how this port city was the center of the Western world in the 1500s. After a relaxing day in Lagos, Portugal, travel to Seville, Spain, an inspiration for many classic artists. Continue through Spain on a scenic drive to the Spanish capital, Madrid. Finish the trip in the beautiful and historic city of Valencia where you will admire the Balearic Sea shores and pick up some authentic souvenirs.
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Start your adventure with an overnight flight to Lisbon.
After you arrive in Portugal in the afternoon, you will be picked up by your Stone & Compass guides, check in to your hotel and enjoy a warm welcome. Explore the hilly Alfama neighborhood where Portuguese cuisine and wine is served with a generous helping of music by local Fado artists.
Today we will dive into Lisbon, starting with its cultural heart, Belem. Here you will find the Tower of Belem, the Maritime Museum, the Monastery of Jeronimo and many other national treasures. For lunch, we will go to the Time Out food market, where you have your choice of the finest cuisine throughout the city. We’ll spend the afternoon exploring the Castle of St. George. Then end the day strolling the shop and restaurant lined promenades of the center of Old Lisbon.
Prepare for some hiking, for today we are off to the mountainous terrain of Sintra. 40 minutes outside of Lisbon, this area is home to several beautiful and amazing castles, including 2 National Palaces. The National Palace of Sintra reflects the mix of Moorish and Hispanic architecture and art indicative of the region’s tumultuous history. On the peak above, sits the majestic Park and Palace of Pena. Between the two, once again reflecting the mixed history, is the Moorish Castle. Many other beautiful structures and sites abound throughout the area, including some of the most thrilling hiking and rock climbing.
Enjoy the relaxing beaches of Lagos. Admire the unique rock formations along the coast while sipping a refreshing beverage. Stroll through the picturesque walking streets in the center of town before heading off the Spain!
We will travel to Seville in the morning, where we will explore the city that inspired many of our classical composers and authors. We’ll be greeted by the “Tower of Gold” (pictured) as we approach the center of old Seville. Spend the afternoon strolling the Parque de Maria Luisa, where Spain hosted an expo of the Spanish dominion in 1929. A plaza was built for each of the Spanish territories, the largest, of course being the Plaza de Espana where a scene from Star Wars was filmed.
We will begin today at the magnificent Seville Cathedral, a monumental structure completed in the 16th century. Today it maintains its title of the world’s largest Gothic church. Its largest tower, the Giralda Tower (pictured), is a Moorish structure initially built in the 12th century. Around the corner, we will explore the Royal Alcazar of Seville – the ancient and beautiful royal palace initially constructed for Christian monarch, Peter of Castile. After enjoying authentic Spanish tapas, we will travel on to our next destination, Granada.
Today we travel to the Spanish capital of Madrid where our first stop will be Plaza Mayor, the city’s main square. We’ll enjoy a late lunch in the nearby San Miguel Market, where many of the best restaurants of Madrid maintain a stall. Enjoy a relaxing evening strolling the pedestrianized streets around Puerta del Sol, kilometer marker zero, the very center of Spain.
On our second day in Madrid, enjoy one of the finest collections of European art in the world at the Museo Nacional del Prado. Continue on to the Gran Via, the Broadway of Spain. Stroll down and enjoy the shops, cafes, and beautiful architecture. Finish the day at the Temple of Debod, an ancient Egyptian temple that has been rebuilt in the city. Rest up for the following day which will bring us to Valencia!
Spend the day in the center of the city! Enjoy breakfast at the Valencia Central Market in the heart of Old City where you can pick up some authentic and fresh Valencian fruits, cheeses, breads, and fish! Walk down the cobblestone roads and stop in the small shops that line the quaint streets.
Today, we will venture to the center of the city to see the old Turia River bed. Valencia used to be slit by the Turia River but, after incredible flooding damaged the city, the river was rerouted leaving its river bed behind as a park in the middle of Valencia. Then, marvel at the Basilica of Our Lady of the Forsaken covered with jaw-dropping frescos.
Enjoy a quick breakfast in the morning before we say goodbye to the incredible Iberian Peninsula and head back to the United States with memories to last a lifetime!
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Due: May 1, 2021
Due: June 1, 2021
Due: August 1, 2021