Fantasies from Spain and Portugal and Mysterious Morocco

Duration

19 Days

Physical rate

Moderate

Starting city

Madrid

Available

April 2020 / March 2021

Cities to visit: Madrid; Granada; Tanger; Asilah; Rabat; Casablanca; Marrakesh; Ait Benhaddou; Ouarzazate; BOULMANE DADES; ; Erfoud; Fez; Sevilla; Monsaraz; Evora; Lisbon; Fatima; Porto; Bom Jesus Do Monte, Braga; Cambados, Pontevedra, Galicia; Santiago De Compostela; Lugo; Leon; Oviedo; Covadonga; Santillana Del Mar; Santander; Bilbao, Vizcaya Province

Video Gallery


Detailed day by day description

Introduction

This tour is a flexible, guaranteed escorted coach tour, guided in English only.

Once the tour is booked, it is guaranteed so it will definitely go ahead, and will never cancel.

The tour is flexible so you can tailor it to suit your needs. By clicking ‘Quote or Book’, you will have an option to choose your start and end date and destinations within the tour parameters. As these tours allow for such flexibility, the same people, tour guides or drivers may not be on your entire journey.

Day

Welcome to Madrid!
Welcome to EuropaMundo!!!.  


IMPORTANT -  IF YOU REQUESTED ADDITIONAL NIGHTS on arrival at the hotel you will have your booking made but the guide of your trip will normally not arrive until the start of the included activities. YOUR TIME BEFORE THIS MOMENT IS THEREFORE FREE. At your hotel they can help you with all the information you need.  

NB:   The schedules you will find in this itinerary are approximate. The guide, depending on the situation and in order to improve the development of the circuit, may adjust the schedules. 

Upon arrival at the airport, we shall be waiting to transfer you to your hotel.  Check the informative panels in the hotel reception area for the welcome meeting with your guide and fellow travellers to receive information about the circuit. 

Towards the end of the day, we provide transfers to the Egyptian Debod temple, Plaza de España and Gran Vía, a vibrant district where you can dine at your preferred restaurant, Indian, Chinese, Spanish and Middle Eastern are some of the options.

Highlights: Guided tour and stroll through Retiro Park. Visit to Las Ventas Bullring (admission included) and transfer to Plaza del Oriente.   

The day starts about 08.30 hrs with a comprehensive tour through the centre of Madrid including Paseo del Prado, Cibeles, Neptuno, the Gate of Alcalá,  Plaza de Colón and Plaza Mayor. 

Visit to Retiro Park , an oasis in the city centre, where we will see the lake and the Glass Palace. Admission to Las Ventas Bullring included . This is one of the most famous bullrings in the world where we will learn about the tradition of “corridas” in the Bullfighting Museum. 

Enjoy the rest of the afternoon.


At sunset we provide a transfer to Plaza de Oriente , opposite the Royal Palace, an elegant and bustling area with many restaurants serving different exquisite cuisines (Indian, Middle Eastern, Muslim, Spanish, International)  in which to enjoy a pleasant dinner. Return to hotel.

Total distance:  450 km  
Scenery: The plains of La Mancha with the shadow of some mills and the great extensions of olive groves in the province of Jaén.  
TODAY’S HIGLIGHTS: Lunch included- entrance and local guide in the Alhambra if the bought tour included the Palace. Evening transfer. 

08:00 hrs. - Madrid – departure. We travel to the South.  We stop at Puerto Lápice , a beautiful town of La Mancha plain evoking the figure of Don Quixote de la Mancha.    
13:45 hrs. - GRANADA – Arrival at the hotel. Lunch included . For those who booked the trip with the entrance included, after lunch we will visit with a local guide the immense Alhambra Palace and its beautiful Generalife gardens, built in Arab times. 

19.00 hrs.- Enjoy an evening transfer to the Albaicín of Granada , a World Heritage site along with the Alhambra, where you can enjoy dinner in a restaurant  in the narrow winding streets of this captivating Medieval Moorish quarter. Return to hotel. Tonight you have the option to attend a flamenco dance show and the traditional neighbourhood of Sac­ramonte. 

IMPORTANT NOTE: The maximum number of people allowed to visit the Alhambra is limited by the local government. Given that the number of tickets assigned to tour operators is small, and we are only given the confirmed number one month before your arrival, even if you buy the trip with the ticket included we cannot guarantee entrance to the Alhambra. In such event, we would offer entry to the Reales Alcázares in Seville, which is similar. As with the Alhambra visit, the group would be led by a local guide of the city of Granada. If the Alhambra is a very important landmark to visit for you, we suggest you purchase the trip “without tickets” (the lowest price) and book your tickets on-line on the heritage website https://www.alhambra.org as there is a larger quota for individual visits/purchases.  

Distance travelled: 530 km.
 
Landscapes: We follow the Costa del Sol with views over the Mediterranean Sea and cross the Straits of Gibraltar. Our journey continues along areas adjoining the Moroccan coast. INSTRUCTIONS: Do not forget your passport, you will need it at the border. Depending on the time of year, the time in Morocco is 1 or 2 hours behind Spain. Your guide will tell you when to change the time, and will confirm the time difference.  

Please note: During the crossing between Spain and Morocco, you must carry your own luggage. 07:30 hrs Granada. Departure. Stunning views over the Mediterranean. 
11:45 hrs Algeciras-Tarifa -Arrival-. We board a ferry and cross the Straits of Gibraltar, crossing into Africa on a modern boat. The crossing takes approximately 1.5 hours (we suggest that you have lunch on board). Arrival in the port of Tangiers. Customs and border procedures (there are sometimes delays). We continue to Asilah, a small walled city facing the sea. Time for lunch and a stroll through its beautiful walled medina. 
16:30 hrs -Departure- Asilah. Continue via the motorway to Rabat, the diplomatic capital of the city, with its special charm. 
 19:30 hrs - Rabat- Arrival, dinner and accommodation.

Total distance travelled: 350 km.
 
Landscapes: As we continue inland, the landscapes become progressively drier, and are almost desert upon reaching Marrakech. 

08:00 hrs We start the sightseeing tour of the Kingdom´s capital. This city is one of the most beautiful in the country. We visit the imposing Oudaia Fort, the Hassan Tower where the mausoleum of King Mohammed V is located, the Andalusian walls, the outside of the Royal Palace and the modern neighborhoods where the embassies are situated. Following our tour, free time. 


12:00 hrs - Rabat - Departure. 
13.15 hrs - Casablanca - Arrival. Brief introductory tour of this modern city with a local guide. We visit the exterior of the immense Mosque of Hassan II; the second largest mosque in the Muslim world (after Mecca). Short stop at the Corniche for lunch.

15.30 hrs.- Casablanca, departure towards Marrakech. 
18.45 hrs - Marrakech -Arrival. Upon arrival, we include a 40 minute tour in Kalesas (horse drawn carriages) to visit the famous Djemaa El Fna market square, which is brimming with activity at this time of the day. We continue to the hotel. Dinner and accommodation.

08:15 hrs We start with a sightseeing tour of the city . Located among hundreds of palm trees and surrounded by ochre walls, this exotic city brims with activity and life. We return to the Jemaa El Fna square, Koutoubia Mosque, the Jewish Quarter and the Bahia Palace. Lunch at the hotel and free afternoon. At night, we recommend attending the Fantasia dinner show where you can experience the rich and varied folklore of Morocco.

Total distance travelled: 300 km.
 
Landscapes: Incredibly beautiful. We cross the Atlas mountains and pass by beautiful villages perched on the mountainsides. 
Please note: Do not forget to keep your camera handy. We also recommend warm clothes for the mountains. 
08:00 hrs - Marrakech - Departure. We begin a beautiful part of the journey, crossing the high mountains of the Atlas, a natural barrier of the Sahara desert. En route, we stop at a high mountain village. 
13:30 hrs - Ait Benhaddou - Arrival in this fortified adobe-built town, which is a World Heritage Site, where many films have been shot due to its incredible landscape backdrop. Time for lunch and a stroll among its mud houses. 
15:00 hrs - Ait Benhadou -Departure- 
15:30 hrs - Ouarzazate A desert city with an imposing fortress, whose oldest part is also a World Heritage Site. 
16:30 hrs - Ouarzazate- Departure. We continue through desert plains and valley oases. 
18:00 hrs - Boulmane Dades . You can enjoy the facilities at our hotel. Dinner and accommodation. 
Please note: In very exceptional cases, it may happen that, due to bad weather, the road through the Atlas is cut off (with snow or flash floods). In this is the case, Europamundo will arrange the following alternative route: FRIDAY: Marrakech-Essaouira / SATURDAY: Essaouira-Safi-El Jadida-Meknes / SUNDAY: Meknes-Fez.

Distance traveled: 280 km.
 
Landscapes: Extremely beautiful, following the so-called "Valley of the Kasbahs"; and an area with ??biblical landscapes. 
Tip: Wear comfortable footwear. Are you carrying a book you have finished reading? Maybe you would consider donating it to the library that we are creating in Tinejad? 
07.15 hrs - Boulmane Dades - Departure. We follow the Valley of the Kasbahs; adobe fortresses that protected the crops and villages from attacks from other nomadic tribes. Breathtaking oases and palm groves, where we glimpse delightful adobe-built villages. 
09.00 hrs - Todra Gorge. A deep canyon cuts through the Atlas Mountains amidst one of the most beautiful areas of Morocco. We include free time to enjoy this beautiful landscape (sometimes, following intense rain, we cannot access the gorges due to flooding of the rivers). 
09.45 hrs Todra Gorge -Departure-. The predominance of the desert becomes ever more marked as we progress along this part of our journey. 
10.45 hrs - Ksar el Khorbat -If time does not prevent it (access road), we stop at this adobe/oasis town with which the Europamundo Foundation is collaborating. You will be able to learn about the lives of the desert peoples in these impressive fortified villages. 
11.45 hrs Ksar el Khorbat -Departure-. 
14.00 hrs - Erfoud -Arrival-. Lunch at the hotel. Relax in the gardens and pool at this desert hotel. Our tour guide will propose an optional excursion in all-terrain vehicles across the Merzouga sand dunes, with dinner included on the dunes: an unforgettable landscape and experience.

Total distance covered: 425 km.
 
Landscapes: Very beautiful scenery of the Atlas, passing into more verdant areas covered by forests. 
08:00 hrs - Erfoud - Departure. We recommence crossing the Atlas, and follow the extremely beautiful Ziz Valley (with gazelles), which is the world´s largest oasis and includes 1.5 million date palms. We continue upstream until we reach the cool highlands where it often snows in wintertime. Stop en route for lunch. Arrival in Fez at about 16:00 hrs.
 Then we have a visit that includes the Jewish quarter, the bronze doors of the Royal Palace, and a panoramic view to take wonderful photographs of the old city. Dinner and overnight stay at the hotel.    

Total distance: 315km
TODAY’S HIGHLIGHTS:  Guided city tour of Fes. Admission prices included. Dinner is included.

08.00hrs- We leave the hotel to discover Fes with an informative scenic tou r with a local guide.
We conclude the visit by  including lunch in an ancient palace in the Medina district.

14.00hrs- At the beginning of the afternoon, we depart towards the north of Morocco. Fields of olive trees and wheat in the valleys of the Rif. Fertile areas of sugar cane and fruit trees.

19.15hrs- Arrival in  Tangier  in the middle of the afternoon. Dinner included and hotel accommodation.

Distance covered by road: 280 km.
 
Landscapes: Amazing views over the cliffs and Straits. Pleasant scenery of white villages in Andalusia. WARNING: Remember to keep your passport handy. 
PLEASE NOTE: The ferry departure time varies depending on the season. Border formalities may involve delays. Returning to Spain, you will have to put your clocks forward by 1 or 2 hours (depending on time of year). Your guide will advise you about the change. 
At about 11:00 hrs (variable), we shall depart from the port of Tangier. Boarding formalities. Each traveller must carry their bags and hand luggage, as required by the Spanish national security authorities. Crossing of approximately one hour. We suggest having lunch on the ferry. Arrival in Algeciras/Tarifa. Our journey continues through beautiful white villages.  
 20.30 hrs Seville . -Arrival. 

Highlights:   Guided visit with local expert in Seville.  Boat trip along the river Guadalquivir.   Evening transfer.


After breakfast, a local expert guides you through a scenic visit of Sevilla (if the English-speaking group is fewer than fifteen people, the tour can be conducted in both English and Spanish). Lasting one hour and a half featuring the Cathedral and the Giralda, Plaza de España, the beautiful banks of the river Guadalquivir, the Golden Tower, the districts of Santa Cruz and Triana, the Maestranza Bullring, and Cartuja Island. After the tour, we will include a  boat trip along the river Guadalquivir , enjoying the panoramic views from the boat. Enjoy leisure time straight afterwards or the tours to the Cathedral or the Flamenco Show that will be offered  as optionals by your guide. 

At the end of the afternoon, we will go to the historic city centre area ( calle Alfonso XII) where many different restaurants can be found. You can choose your favorite cuisine: Indian, Halal, Chinese, Spanish, International and so on.  Return to the hotel.


Total distance: 460 km  
HIGHLIGHTS: a scenic stage with walled border villages. Evora Chapel of bones.    
Scenery: Attractive landscapes of white villages, mountain ranges, castles en route. 
Note: In Portugal we must set our watches back one hour.   

08.15 hrs.- We will leave Seville We travel to the west of Andalusia. Pleasant landscapes en route amidst hills and olive trees we will enter Extremadura.   
11.00 hrs.- JEREZ DE LOS CABALLEROS , stop in  this town that belonged to the Knights Templar and where Vasco Nuñez de Balboa was born. 

13.00 hrs- Jerez de los Caballeros. We continue our stage to Portugal. 
13.30 (14.30 hrs in Spain) - MONSARAZ , one of the most picturesque villages in Portugal with its walls, castle, great views and white and flowery streets. Time for lunch. 

15.00 hrs.- Mosaraz- Departure. 
16.00 hrs.- EVORA, a city declared a World Heritage Site, with its white streets, its Renaissance palaces and its cathedral. We will also visit the impressive Chapel of Bones (admission included), built with 5000 skeletons!  

18.00 hrs- Evora- Departure. 
20.00 hrs.- LISBON - We will be arriving toward the end of the day.

Highlights-  Comprehensive tour of Lisbon. Night transfer to Restauradores Square.

09:00h. - Start of our  tour with a local guide . We visit traditional neighborhoods, which take in the Belem district, which is the birthplace of the great Portuguese navigators who sailed the oceans in the fifteen century.  We shall look round the Monument to the Discoveries, Belem Tower and to the beautiful Jeronimos Monastery, a UNESCO World Heritage site. 
The afternoon is free so that you can explore this great city independently.


18:00h.- At the end of the afternoon, we include transportation to  Restauradores Square  , full of atmosphere with its bars and cafes from where you can take the "Elevador da Gloria" (not included) that brings you to the Upper district and its viewpoint of San Pedro with beautiful views over Lisbon and the Bairro Alto. Return to hotel.

Total distance covered: 320 km.
  
Countryside:  Pleasant green scenery, hills, historic cities.    

07:30 hrs - Lisbon - Departure.  
09:15 hrs - Fatima  -Arrival. Time to visit the Sanctuary.   

11.00 hrs - Fatima - Departure.   
13:30 hrs - Oporto.  - Arrival. Time for lunch. In the afternoon, we will make a  tour of the city  of approximately two hours  with a local guide:  the river Duero, its historic centre declared a UNESCO World Heritage Site, the Iron Bridge. At the end of the tour, we will also  visit one of its centenary wineries  where the famous "Vino de Oporto” is made.  Free time. 

Total distance covered: 270 km.
 
Countryside:  Beautiful green countryside and views over the Rías Bajas. 
NB:  Remember that we will be taking a boat trip. Have you got warm clothing for the crossing?   

08.00hrs.- Oporto -departure. 
09.00 hrs. - in the city of  Braga  is the  sanctuary of Bom Jesus ; we include a trip on the oldest funicular in the world... Moved only with water, after a visit to the sanctuary, we suggest walking down the beautiful staircase admiring the views and the sanctuary gardens.  

10:15 hrs Bom Jesus -departure. We go into to Galicia, with views over the Galician estuaries. We will see the Ría de Arosa. 
13.00 hrs (12.00 hrs in Portugal) - Cambados  - Arrival. A historic maritime town. We include a  glass bottomed boat trip along the Ría de Arosa  estuary. We will be told how mussels are grown. On the boat, we include  wine tasting and mussels.  Time afterwards to stroll in Cambados and have lunch. 

16.00 hrs -Cambados. - Departure.  
16.45 hrs -Santiago de Compostela.  - Arrival. We include a  panoramic tour of the city  with a local guide. They will tell us how St James brought pilgrims over the centuries, we will stroll through the mediaeval streets in the centre and admire the cathedral.  

NB:  On some dates (particularly on the festivity of Santiago, or St James) our groups may be accommodated in a town near Santiago. 

Total distance covered: 475 km.
  
Countryside:  Attractive green scenery, villages. Spectacular mountain scenery crossing the Cordillera Cantábrica mountain range.    

08.00 hrs. - Santiago -departure. Following the ancient way of St James amidst picturesque scenery, we travel to Lugo.   
09:30 hrs.- Lugo  - Free time, you can stroll around its walls built more than 2000 years ago by the Romans, declared UNESCO World Heritage.  

11.00 hrs.- Lugo -departure. We travel to Castile, and on our way we make a stop at O Cebreiro, a small Galician stone village that shows us this region’s traditional way of life. 
14:15 hrs. -Leon . - Time for lunch and stroll in this historic Leonese capital which stands on the Way of St James. Its Gothic cathedral stands out with magnificent stained glass windows.   

16:45 hrs -Leon. - Departure.   
18:30 hrs   -Oviedo  - Arrival. We include (sometimes on the following morning) a one and a half hour  tour of the city with a local guide.  We will see the ninth century cathedral, the Calatrava Palace, the Campoamor Theatre, and the Calle de la Rua. Night in the capital of the Principality of Asturias. A city with a great atmosphere. As an option, the atmosphere can be enjoyed in a typical Asturian cider house. 

Total distance covered: 260 km.
 
Countryside:  Very beautiful scenery: mountains, views of the sea, little villages scattered along the way.   

08:30 hrs Oviedo -departure from the capital of Asturias. 
09:45 hrs.-Covadonga.  - Time to see the sanctuary pinned between mountains, the place where the Reconquista of Spain began. 

10:45 hrs.- Covadonga -departure. The green mountains blend with the sea. Beautiful scenery along the way. 
12:30 hrs.- Santillana.  -Arrival. Time in this beautiful mediaeval village, its stone streets, its blazoned houses, the Collegiate. Time to have a stroll and for lunch. In the vicinity we will see  (tickets included) the Museum of the Caves of Altamira , a reproduction of the fantastic rock paintings preserved here. 

16.00 hrs.- Santillana/Altamira-departure. 
16:30 hrs.- Santander –  Arrival in the regional capital, a maritime city with impressive views between mountains and beaches.  We include a  panoramic tour  of a little over 2 hours with a local guide to discover this elegant coastal city and its beautiful bay. During the tour, we will stroll around the Pereda Gardens, we will climb to the Centro Botín and reached the Cathedral Square. Then, in the bus, we will continue to the Magdalena Peninsular, the Sardinero Beaches, the Grand Casino, Piquío Gardens and climb to the Cabo Mayor Lighthouse for the beautiful views of the city and its spectacular cliffs.  

Arrival at a hotel at around 18:45 hrs   


NOTE:  On some high difficulty dates (especially in summer from May to mid September), some groups can be accommodated in Bilbao.

Total distance covered: 525 km.
 
Countryside:  Great views over the sea, mountains and green scenery before entering in the Castilian Plateau.  

09.00 hrs.- Santander -departure. Magnificent scenery. Travel to the Basque Country.   
10:30 hrs.- Bilbao.  -Arrival, we are in the largest city of the Basque Country. On arrival, with a  local guide, we will make a short tour of the city:  the Guggenheim area, Old Quarter, Cathedral, etc.  at the end of the tour there will also be time to try one of the famous “pintxos” and have lunch.   

14:15 hrs – Bilbao. Departure- . We travel to Castile.
20.30 hrs.- Madrid- Arrival.

NB:  If the number of travellers from Bilbao to Madrid is very small, the trip may be done by train or regular transport.

End of our services. Please, check the time of your flight in case you might need an additional night. 


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