'Magnifico' Spain and Portugal Tour
18 days from $8,499 pp twin share
- Leisurely 2 and 3 night stays
- Small group size from just 10 to 28
- Genuinely inclusive, no additional on tour costs
- Character hotels in superb locations
- Designed for Australians & New Zealanders
- 'My Time' guaranteed
Such emotion… The passion of the flamenco, the click of heels and clack of castanets, the seductive gardens of Granada’s Alhambra, the heart stopping chasm at Ronda, your private cruise on the Alto Douro and waking up in a Pousada in Lisbon… Magnifico!
- Explore the Alhambra Palace and the verdant Gardens of the Generalife
- Relax with free time in Granada’s old town
- Stay 3 nights in Seville’s vibrant Santa Cruz neighbourhood
- Walk over the famous chasm at Ronda
- Dine at a Spanish Flamenco dinner show
- Stay 3 nights in a grand historical Pousada hotel in Lisbon
- See the Monument to the Discoveries and Belem Tower in Lisbon
- Explore dramatic, mountain top Palace de Pena in Sintra
- Experience a traditional Portuguese Fado dinner show
- Stay 3 nights in the heart of Porto on the River Douro
- Enjoy a port tasting and tapas lunch
- Taste Vinho Verde at Aveleda Wine Estate
- Relax on a lunch cruise on the Alto Douro
- Explore the striking monuments and Plaza Mayor in Salamanca
- See Segovia’s dramatic Alcázar and relax beside the massive stone aqueduct
- Enjoy a special farewell dinner with dramatic city views
'Magnifico' won the title
I wanted to call this tour Paradors, Pousadas and Palaces because of the stunning selection of ‘antique’ hotels we stay in, but ‘Magnifico’ won the title. When designing it, it just struck me that we had a fantastic opportunity to create a dramatically different tour staying in some of the most extraordinary ‘timepiece’ hotels in Europe.
We could quite easily have gone for modern, steel, concrete and glass first class hotels and kept the price down but that would be so boring, so dull, so ordinary and would not have been even remotely sensitive to these gorgeous, evocative destinations. Spain and Portugal - home and heart to two empires that stretched across the globe spanning centuries of conquistadores, galleons, castles and monasteries, port and sherry, Fado and Flamenco, the strum of the Spanish guitar, the click of heels and the clack of castanets. We had to do it justice.
Where we stay adds so much depth and flavour. Distinctly Spanish and Portuguese. The name ‘Magnifico’ won because the longer, 2 and 3 night stays in our selection of hotels set the scene wonderfully for our unique activities and inclusions – such as Portuguese pastries and coffee in Lisbon’s Belem district and chartering our own lunchtime cruise boat to sail on the Alto Douro. It is the complete touring experience which makes it absolutely ‘Magnifico’.
Day 1: Madrid welcome
Your tour commences this evening in Spain’s cosmopolitan capital city, Madrid. Join us tonight for a welcome drink before dinner in your hotel. This is an ideal chance to meet, and get to know, your Tour Manager and fellow travellers.
Day 2: Cordoba's Mesquita and Granada
Travelling by AVE express train we enter Andalusia and reach Córdoba late morning. Here we are joined by a local guide who will show us the major sights and take us through the famous 8th century, UNESCO World Heritage Listed Mesquita – the Cathedral and former Great Mosque of Córdoba. Later we join our touring coach and drive through to the famous city of Granada where we stay two nights. Dinner tonight is in your wonderful hotel.
Day 3: Alhambra Palace and ‘My Time’ in Granada
This morning we are joined by a local guide who will take us through the incredible Alhambra and Generalife Gardens. With origins dating back to the 9th century and named for its reddish walls, this fortress complex looms high over the city. In the 13th and 14th century the Moorish Emirates built the famous Nasrid Palaces surrounded by lavish gardens and courtyards. Moorish poets once described the Alhambra as “a pearl set in emeralds”. This is one of the great sights of the world. This afternoon will be free in Granada’s old town which boasts a mixture of original Arab and Christian architecture, the Cathedral and Royal Chapel.
Day 4: Stunning Ronda and Seville
Cutting through the mountains we reach Ronda. Retaining much of its historic charm, it is famous for being divided by the deep El Tajo gorge which carries the Rio Guadalevín through its centre. The 18th century Puente Nuevo ‘new’ bridge, which spans the 100m chasm below, has stunning views out over the Serranía de Ronda Mountains. Take timeto walk over the bridge and explore the old quarter looking for a characterful taberna to enjoy a leisurely lunch. Later wecontinue to Seville where we stay the next three nights.
Day 5: Seville sightseeing and ‘My Time’
Welcome to the home of Carmen, Don Juan and Figaro. This morning we are joined by a local guide who will take us through the enormous cathedral and bring to life this wonderful capital of Andalusia. Your afternoon is at leisure. The Santa Cruz quarter is famous for its narrow streets, flowered balconies and hidden patios. Nearby are the Giralda Tower and the royal palace, the Alcazars of Seville. This evening we have included a special evening out to enjoy dinner and a traditional Flamenco show.
Day 6: Atlantic port of Cadiz, Seville and Flamenco lesson
A leisurely start today as we enjoy an excursion to the Atlantic port of Cadiz. Situated on a peninsula, the seafront is lined with centuries-old houses and behind this you will find the grand cathedral surrounded by a historic centre of honeycombed narrow streets. Returning to Seville, the rest of your afternoon is free. How would you like to learn how to dance the Flamenco? For those of you who are interested we have included a special treat as we visit a Flamenco Dancing School to try our hand at this flamboyant folk dance. Don’t wish to dance? Then come along and just sit and enjoy the spectacle, as it is so much fun! Your evening is free and the old town near the flamenco school is bursting with tapas bars, lively cafés and restaurants, perfect for ‘tapas hopping’.
Day 7: Évora sightseeing and historic Lisbon
Driving into Portugal we stop at the UNESCO World Heritage Listed town of Évora where a local guide joins us for a walking tour to discover the town’s rich history which spans 2000 years. The compact centre of town is easily explored on foot and boasts a Roman temple, Moorish buildings, Christian monasteries and convents. Later we continue to the capital city of Lisbon where we stay the next three nights. Meals: B,D
*18 September departure stays 3 nights at Hotel Pestana Cidadela in nearby Cascais.
Day 8: Lisbon sightseeing and 'My Time'
Today is spent exploring Lisbon. We meet our local guide for a tour to see the major sights of this wonderful, historical city – from the Belem Tower, to the fairytale palaces and the Discoveries Monument, built on the north bank of the Tagus River. The highlight will be a guided tour through the Jeronimos Monastery. Later we will stop to enjoy coffee and Portuguese Pastel de Nata (small, soft custard pies – served hot). Your afternoon is at leisure amongst Lisbon’s grand sights, paved avenues, shops, cafés and colourful trams.
Day 9: Palace de Pena and old town of Sintra
Today we visit the Palace de Pena and explore the old town of Sintra. Dating back 500 years the Palace de Pena was originally a peaceful monastery until destroyed by an earthquake. Due to its fantastic hill top location Ferdinand II rebuilt it to be the luxurious summer palace of the royal family. With stupendous views – on a clear day you can easily see Lisbon – the palace is one of the greatest expressions of 19th century architectural romanticism in the world. We have included a guided visit through this UNESCO World Heritage site which is also classified as one of the ‘Seven Wonders of Portugal’. Later, we will enjoy lunchtime in the delightful town of Sintra. Its noble villas and palaces prompted Lord Byron to say the town was “perhaps in every respect the most delightful in Europe”. The remainder of your afternoon is at leisure in Lisbon. This evening we have included a special treat! We visit the Alcantra quarter to enjoy dinner and a traditional Portuguese Fado show*.
*18 September departure has afternoon at leisure in Cascais & enjoy dinner and a traditional Portugese Fado Show in Cascais
Day 10: Obidos, Nazaré and Porto
Travelling north we enjoy a morning stop in medieval Obidos. Known as one of Europe’s most romantic medieval villages, you will find picturesque cobblestone streets lined with colourful houses adorned with geraniums and bougainvillea and whitewashed churches – all of which is encircled by the walls of a 12th century castle. Lunchtime will be spent in the traditional fishing village of Nazaré. Here we have also included a funicular ride up to the overhanging village of Sitia, to take in the breathtaking views of the coastline. We continue to Porto where we stay three nights.
Day 11: Porto sightseeing and ‘My Time’
After a city tour with a local guide, we cross the River Douro to Cais de Gaia. The city’s stunning skyline is enhanced by the picturesque boats and the soaring Dom Luis Bridge. Here we visit one of the port wine warehouses to sample this famous brew and enjoy tapas lunch with a view over Porto.
The rest of the day is completely free. Visit the Avenida dos Aliados – a sloping boulevard lined with grand buildings, and the medieval streets and dark alleyways of the Ribeira which meander down to the riverfront square (“Praça da Ribeira”), the most picturesque spot in the city. Here you will find traditional boats moored by the quayside, overlooked by colourful trader’s houses.
Day 12: Bom Jesus Sanctuary and Wine Tasting
First stop on our full day excursion is at Braga where we take a funicular train up to the famous Bom Jesus Sanctuary. Built in 1784, this twin towered neoclassical church sits on top of a hill, above an enormous baroque staircase lined with chapels. Lunchtime will be spent amongst the medieval streets and historic monuments in the birthplace of Portugal – Guimarães. Later in the afternoon we sample Vinho Verde at the Aveleda Wine Estate with its magnificent gardens.
Hand Selected Experience
An absolutely ‘Magnifico’ experience
No visit to Portugal would be complete without sampling a glass of smooth white Vinho Verde in an age old, historical wine estate. Visiting the 350 year old Quinta da Aveleda winery is like stepping into a different world. Behind its large entrance gate, you will find the villa and 160 hectares of manicured vines. The winery is surrounded by magnificent gardens and century-old trees. Your hosts, the Guedes family, keep ancestral traditions alive, creating award winning Vinho Verde wine. An absolutely ‘Magnifico’ experience.
Day 13: Scenic lunch cruise on River Douro
Crossing the country we join the River Douro at Régua where we board a vessel to cruise up the most scenic stretch of the Alto Douro River to Pinhao. Exclusively chartered for our use, your cruise includes a port aperitif and tapas lunch with wine and tea or coffee. Relax as we cruise past vineyards and riverside wine estates. Later we continue into Spain and arrive in Salamanca where we stay two nights.
Hand Selected Experience
Cruise the River Douro
The River Douro stretches from Spain’s Duruelo de la Sierra across to Porto in the West. But it is only the Alto Douro or ‘High’ Douro region that is UNESCO Heritage Listed – a 2000 year old wine-producing region with age old terraced vineyards, quintas (winery complexes) and villages. This is where we enjoy a unique 3 hour tapas lunch cruise. We could board a large, impersonal tourist boat but instead we choose to charter our own private ‘Barco Rabelo’ to complete an amazing touring experience.
Day 14: Salamanca sightseeing and ‘My Time’
Salamanca has a largely pedestrian centre and the city brims with striking monuments and buildings such as the ancient university and cathedral, many of which are constructed out of golden stone. After a fascinating walking tour with a local guide, enjoy the rest of the day at leisure. Make sure you relaxin a café on Plaza Mayor, one of the finest squares in Spain.
Day 15: El Valle de los Caidos and El Escorial
Passing the walled city of Avila we spend the morning in El Valle de los Caidos (The Valley of the Fallen). Set in the woodlands of the Sierra de Guadarrama hills, the enormous Basílica de la Santa Cruz is remarkable as it is actually underground – hewn out of the centre granite ridge which is topped by the tallest memorial cross in the world. We spend lunchtime amongst the leafy squares of El Escorial before visiting the massive palace monastery complex of San Lorenzo de El Escorial. Later we continue to a hidden gem of a city – Segovia.
Day 16: Segovia sightseeing and ‘My Time’
This morning we have included a guided walking tour to discover this amazing city. Dating back to Celtic times, the beautifully preserved hill top town revolves around the huge main square which is flanked by the massive cathedral, heritage buildings, picturesque restaurants and al fresco cafés. In one direction a winding street will lead you to the impressive Alcázar – the fortified stone palace that juts out on a rocky crag, surrounded by sheer cliffs. Down another street you will find the astonishing Roman Aqueduct that cuts high across the base of town. The rest of the day is at leisure to explore this splendid town.
Day 17: Toledo sightseeing and ‘My Time’
Arriving into Toledo mid-morning, we are joined by a local guide who will take us on a city walking tour. Toledo has a wealth of monuments. Christians, Arabs and Jews lived together here for centuries hence it is sometimes called the “city of the three cultures”. Here you will find a city crammed with churches, palaces, fortresses, mosques and synagogues. Highlight of your day will be a visit to Catedral Primada Santa María de Toledo, which many consider to be Spain’s finest cathedral. The shopping is excellent and the rest of your day is free. This evening we enjoy a farewell dinner in your historic hotel.
Day 18: To Madrid
After breakfast we will transfer you to Madrid where your tour ends late morning. Drop off points will be the city centre followed by the airport. We recommend you book flights or trains that depart Madrid after 2pm.
Incredible Value Inclusions
Over $1,800 value of extras already included
- ALL excursions, scenic drives, sightseeing and entrances as described
- Fully escorted by our experienced Tour Manager
- Travel in a first class air-conditioned touring coach
- AVE train Madrid to Córdoba
- 17 nights specially selected hotel accommodation
- Hotel porterage (1 bag per person)
- 29 Meals – including breakfast daily (B), tapas lunch in Porto and tapas lunch cruise on the River Douro (L), 10 dinners including a Flamenco Dinner show and Fado Dinner show (D)
- Tea, coffee and a complimentary beverage with all included dinners
- Welcome drink in Madrid and Aveleda Vinho Verde wine tasting
- Hand Selected Albatross Experiences - Flamenco dance class Seville, port warehouse visit and tasting, River Douro lunch cruise
- Local guides as described in the itinerary
- ALL tips to your Tour Manager, Driver and Local Guides
- Personal audio system whilst on tour
- Free WiFi on most coaches and at hotels
- Albatross Travel App and ‘On Tour’ Travel Map
- Albatross Memories Photobook
No additional 'on tour' costs
Alhambra Palace Hotel, Granada – 2 Nights
Inspired by the beauty of Alhambra, the Alhambra Palace Hotel offers spectacular views across Granada and features Moorish inspired décor. Located just outside Alhambra Palace’s ancient walls, it is just a short walk to many attractions including the UNESCO World Heritage site of Albayzin.
Hotel Fernando III, Seville - 3 Nights
Located in Seville’s Santa Cruz neighbourhood, this elegant, Andalusian-style hotel is six minutes’ walk from the Gothic Seville Cathedral. The air-conditioned rooms feature a contemporary design and offer the ideal combination of comfort and functionality.
Pousada de Lisboa Praça do Comercio, Lisbon – 3 Nights
Pestana Vintage Porto Hotel, Porto – 3 Nights
Hospes Palacio de San Esteban, Salamanca – 2 Nights
This stylish hotel is set in a renovated convent and superbly located in the heart of Salamanca, five minutes’ walk from the Plaza Mayor, one of Spain’s most beautiful squares.
Hotel Real Segovia – 2 Nights
This recently renovated 4-star hotel is located in the centre of Segovia between the Cathedral and Aqueduct. The hotel features classic and elegant décor.
Parador Hotel, Toledo – 1 Night
I was so impressed with the whole itinerary & especially the fact that we stayed more than 1 night in the different places. We had an excellent Tour Manager who was just so lovely to all & so knowledgable & helpful. This was such a bonus as I write up a journal each night on the days experiences & places & had much more information than was in the itinerary. I must say how very careful & what an excellent coach driver we had & so helpful to us all as we were exiting the coach. I have a problesome hip & his help was invaluable (I called him my hero each time). I was also so impressed with the amount of free time we were given which was so good as the shopping in Spain & Portugal is a dream. I have been on another tour with another company & it was very sad that we only had such limited free time we hardly had time to shop. This is such an important part of visiting another country. I would certainly recommend Albatross to all & I am so pleased to have done this tour. The places we stayed were the best & we certainly saw the most important features in every part of the countries.
Thank you for making my tour so memorable.
We enjoyed everything about the tour. We had an excellent Tour Manager, her knowledge of Spain and Portugal and their history couldn't be bettered. The accommodation was first class, with a good mix of central and historical hotels.
We love the extra nights and free time that an Albatross Tour provides. Would certainly recommend Albatross Tours.
Thanks Albatross - Another great tour. The Spain and Portugal tour was our fifth Albatross tour and we have not been let down! For me there were many highlights but the Valley of the Fallen and the Basilica de la Santa Cruz followed by Toledo was a perfect last memory of our adventure in Spain/ Portugal. Our tour manager, Darren, was helpful when our luggage was lost by Air France at the beginning of our tour. I can't thank him enough for his support at such a trying time.
I found touring with Albatross Tours to be a very enriching experience. Spain and Portugal were both new to me and I enjoyed exploring them both immensely. As well as spending a fair amount of time in large cities, we also explored smaller towns along the way to saw the diverse character of the small towns. Our tour manager was very helpful and knowledgeable. Out meals were fabulous and we had along with the included excursions a suitable amount of time to do our own thing which was great. Thank you Albatross Tours. I have no hesitation in recommending you to all and I cannot wait to tour with you again.
We loved everything about the Magnifico Spain & Portugal tour. Darren our tour manager was great. Very knowledgeable and helpful. We had a lovely group on the tour and have told all of our friends about our great experiences with Albatross. We will definitely be booking another tour!
Albatross Tours, thank you so much for our tour Magnifico Spain and Portugal. It was indeed Magnifico from start to finish!
The hotels were top class and memorable. Our Tour Director/Leader was outstanding and our driver extremely competent in all situations.
We thoroughly enjoyed all the visits on our tour and found the extra days and free time an added bonus other tour companies do not often provide. The option to not tour and do your own thing if you wanted was there also. We walked a lot, but for someone who doesn’t often use the word ‘walk’ in her vocabulary I hardly noticed. Just wear good shoes and don’t expect to lose any kilos – the food is just too good!
The group we travelled with were mostly couples from Australia (all states), a few from New Zealand and a couple from the UK. The ages ranged from 25 years – 75 years. There were a number of singles on this trip too. Everyone got on well and new friendships were made while we explored Spain and Portugal together. I wouldn’t hesitate to recommend this tour; in fact I’d do it again tomorrow if I could.
The itinerary was very well considered, well paced and with a very good mix of structured touring and free time. This gave us the opportunity to have the very best experience from each stop.
We were particularly drawn to the longer stays at each location and to the smaller touring group, a major reason why we chose Albatross Tours. In this we were not disappointed, the longer stays were great, we felt so much more relaxed. We really felt that we were on holiday! Each day brought with it a sense of adventure at an enjoyable pace.
The hotels were very good and well chosen for character, location and style.
The number of inclusions for meals was very good including breakfast each day and most dinners. My dietary needs were well catered too with our tour guide making sure that myself and others with dietary needs were given a broad range of food during the tour.
Local guides were provided to take us through towns and places of interest.These were great and vastly improved our understanding and appreciation of the places that we visited.
Our tour guide was excellent, her knowledge of Spain and Portugal was outstanding. In addition,our driver was great and the bus both comfy and spotless.
We would not hesitate to take another Albatross tour and would recommend this tour to others.
Thankyou for providing such a fantastic tour. We had no idea what to expect from Spain other than the notes in the brochure. The country-side, the culture, the food, the history and the architecture were mind-boggling. Each day seemed to surpass the day before, without taking anything away from what we had already seen. It was truly amazing. Albatross and particularly our tour manager, Darren, are to be congratulated for providing us with an experience that will live long and wonderfully in our memories.
Dates and Prices
|Start Date||End Date||Price Per Person||Guaranteed to Depart||Availability|
|24 Apr 2018||11 May 2018||AUD $8,899||Space Available|
|8 May 2018||25 May 2018||AUD $8,899||Space Limited - Call Now|
|22 May 2018||8 Jun 2018||AUD $8,899||Space Available|
|5 Jun 2018||22 Jun 2018||AUD $8,899||Space Available|
|19 Jun 2018||6 Jul 2018||AUD $8,899||Space Available|
|21 Aug 2018||7 Sep 2018||AUD $8,699||Space Available|
|4 Sep 2018||21 Sep 2018||AUD $8,899||Space Available|
|11 Sep 2018||28 Sep 2018||AUD $8,899||Space Available|
|18 Sep 2018||5 Oct 2018||AUD $8,499||Space Available|
|25 Sep 2018||12 Oct 2018||AUD $8,899||Space Available|
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Over $100 value of extras per day are already included. There are no additional 'on tour' costs - even your end of tour tips are included!