12-Day INDULGING IN SOUTHERN SPAIN AND PORTUGAL


INDULGING IN SOUTHERN SPAIN & PORTUGAL

From Granada to Lisbon, immerse yourself in the history and the culture, 
and relish in the traditional culinary delights of these extraordinary countries.

TRIP LENGTH: 12-Day/11-Night - DEPARTURE DATE: On request to suit you

GROUP SIZE: 2 Plus - MEALS: 11 Breakfasts, 4 Lunches, 5 Dinners

TRIP TYPE: Private trip on a date to suit you and accompanied by expert local guide.

PRICE: From Euro 7,745 per person twin share subject to availability. DEPOSIT: AUD 3,000


TRIP OVERVIEW

This comprehensive gastronomic journey uncovers the delights of Southern Spain, with a sprinkle of Portugal. Our crafted itinerary includes the impressive Alhambra in Granada and the stunning Mezquita in Cordoba, not forgetting Seville, all significant parts of Spanish history.  The beautiful towns and villages truly come alive when you meet the people, farmers, chefs, musicians and wine makers, all giving you a true insight into local life.

EXCEPTIONAL ACCOMMODATION EXPERIENCES


The well-appointed accommodation has been carefully selected to include boutique style posadas, casas and distinctive hotels for you to feel at home and, all with a strong sense of place, and a touch of class and individualism.

EXCEPTIONAL CULINARY EXPERIENCES


Highlighted by tasting menus, fine dining and scrumptious, delectable foods, this culinary extravaganza will surpass all expectations. Bodegas, fincas and highly sought after local restaurants are featured. Not forgetting some of the worlds’ best wines!

TRIP HIGHLIGHTS

Day 1
Granada

Welcome to Granada - the last stronghold of the Moors in mainland Spain and home to its most spectacular monument, The Alhambra Palace.

This evening you will be greeted by our experienced, well versed and knowledgeable leader, who will accompany the entire journey.  A welcome dinner is a terrific introduction to the region’s superb cuisine and fine local wines, as you dine at one of Granada’s most impressive restaurants, on the terrace overlooking The Alhambra Palace with the sun set as a backdrop.

Day 2
Full day in Granada


Starting the day at The Alhambra Palace, considered to be one of the world masterpieces of Islamic art. Your private guide will help you discover its hidden corners and allow you to enjoy the beauty of its detailed decoration and the peace of its courtyards and gardens.

Touring the fascinating Albaicin neighbourhood and its distinctive Arabic influences by electric bike, is another highlight of today.

Finally, a drive into the Sacromonte neighbourhood, which consists of many cave houses dug back into the hills. A very traditional Gypsy neighbourhood and one of the homes of flamenco, where you will enjoy a performance of this most passionate of art forms inside one of the original cave houses.

Day 3
To Seville via Cordoba

The journey to Córdoba takes you through the vast expanses of olive groves of inland Andalucia, tens of millions of trees cover the hillsides as far as the eye can see.

Cordoba was the cradle of learning in Europe for half a millennium. A thousand years ago, this was the largest city on the continent – a beacon of learning and culture. The greatest expression of Cordoba’s importance was in the great mosque – intended to rival that of Damascus.

A private tour of the mosque (also known as the Mezquita) and the heart of the city, unlocks the history of what is now a charmingly sleepy small town.  In the afternoon, you make the short trip to Seville where you settle in the old Jewish quarter of the city, and explore the local Tapas bars on your doorstep of your hotel in the evening.

Day 4 
Insider’s Seville

This morning your local guide introduces you to the wonders of Seville off the beaten track. The old convents where nuns still make sweets to sell to the public. Perhaps a medieval palace home to precious Roman mosaic floors rescued from nearby Italica. The winding streets of Seville’s centre are alive with history and culture – this morning is all about soaking that up, before a tapas lunch on the Banks of the Guadalquivir River and waterfront cruise.

The afternoon features the beautiful Royal Palace or Alcazar which is the highest expression of Mudejar architecture in Spain – this is the art created by Muslim workers in the employ of Christians. It is therefore a hybrid style unique to Spain. In fact, it is the gardens of the Alcazar which are perhaps the best part of the visit – beautifully filled with fragrant flowers and flowing water.

From the Alcazar it’s a short stroll to the vast cathedral, the largest gothic structure in the world and also final resting place of Christopher Columbus. Or is it....? After a long, though slow paced day, the shops will be reopening at around 5pm so from this point there is free time to continue enjoying this most beautiful city. 

Day 5
Ronda

Today you head into the high hills of the Sierra de Ronda. The town of Ronda is perched spectacularly over a gorge but more than this, the town is one of remarkably rich history. From the Romans to the Moors, there are spectacular remains of Spain’s ancient cultures all around. It is also birthplace of bullfighting in its modern form (on foot) so the bullring holds a special place in the taurine culture of the south.

After a morning and lunch at leisure in the town, we cross the Grazalema hills to the pretty white town of Arcos de la Frontera and your base for the next two nights, visiting a traditional olive mill, almazara, en route.

Day 6
The Coast of Cadiz

You spend the day exploring the coast of Cadiz and its rich history and culinary tradition. Your guide knows all about the fishing culture of the nearby coastline and the variety of its resources, from the world class red tuna to the traditional fried fish.  Immerse yourself into the traditional world of fishermen, learning about the traditional almadraba red tuna fishing in the Straits of Gibraltar.

Stroll around Cadiz, one of the oldest towns in Europe, known as Little Habana due to its almost unbelievably laid back nature.  Visit the port and watch the fish arriving, all the while led by your local guide who can teach you all about this ancient way of living.

Have lunch in the coastal village of Conil de la Frontera, looking out over the sea. After lunch drive the short distance to Canos de Meca, from where you have great views of Cape Trafalgar, a vital spot in the history of Europe. 

In the afternoon, take a walk along the cliffs and pine forest of the Barbate Natural Park from Canos de Meca to Barbate to enjoy the views before returning to Arcos for the night.

Day 7
Horses and Wines of Jerez

Travelling the short distance to Jerez de la Frontera. Jerez is world famous for its wines, flamenco and Spanish horses. Savour the essence of Andalucía as we see the skills of the Spanish horses and riders before visiting the monumental sherry wineries.

At the Royal Equestrian School, you enjoy the show of dancing horses. It may be a well-known tourist attraction but the Real Escuela is not just there for show. There will undoubtedly be Olympic medal winning horses and riders showing off their dressage skills.

A fascinating stop at the oldest winery in Jerez, belonging to the Domecq dynasty. The bodega gives a great insight into the history of sherry production.

All within easy reach, you make your way to the town of Aracena, dominated by its Moorish hilltop castle and known for the caves which sit underneath the heart of the town. And then onwards to your charming rural hotel in the hills, where you will spend the next two nights.

Day 8
Aracena Hills and Ibérico Pigs

Spoilt by amazing views, you walk in the pretty Aracena Hills, which rise to the west of Seville. This is an area of chestnut trees, cork oaks and free range Iberico pigs. Whitewashed villages retain a charm and rural culture which feels incredible so close to the city of Seville.

You visit the region’s only organic Iberico ham producer to learn about this most sustainable of products in the company of the wonderful Armando and Lola. This is slow food at its very best.

From the farm, it is a pretty drive through the sierra to the lovely village of Linares de la Sierra, home to a restaurant which specialises in food sourced from the surrounding hills. As one client recently put it – “Michelin star cooking without the fuss”.

After an unforgettable tasting lunch with a variety of local wines, the hotel is a short hop up the hill. A splendidly comfortable bolt-hole sitting high above the village of Alajar. Relax on the terrace or by the side of the pool before dinner – which will be another highlight - at the hotel.

Day 9
Overland to Lisbon


Reluctant to leave the hills, just four hours away, you will be delighted by the beautiful town of Évora, most famous for its striking Roman temple and one of the finest Roman remains in Iberia. There is also the Capela dos Ossos – a chapel lined with the bones and skulls of thousands of townspeople. It also has a huge 16th century aqueduct which we can walk all the way out of town. Évora is capital of the Alemtejo region, famously the most rural in Portugal. The more flashy urban types look down on the slow pace of life out here but the locals don’t care, they like the slow lane. Plus, they have fantastic wines. Lunch today is made up of local specialities including cheeses, cured meats and wines.

After lunch, you head to Lisbon, pausing at the Cromeleque dos Almendres, a peaceful and pretty site of over 100 granite monoliths – one of the largest megalithic monuments in Europe. Surrounded by cork oaks, this is also the perfect place to learn about the importance of cork as a crop in this part of the world.

Day 10
Full day in Lisbon


Today is dedicated to understanding the rich history of not just Lisbon but of Portugal - from the giddy heights of colonial expansion through the silver trade to the lows of the dictatorship an d subsequent carnation revolution.

A little way along the banks, towards the spectacular road bridge over the Tajo river, lies the San Jeronimo monastery. This 15th century display of power and wealth is a reminder of just how important Portugal was, notably in Asia, for several centuries. Here at the monastery lie the greatest of Portugal’s golden era monarchs.

Further along the estuary is the Torre de Belem, one half of the maritime entrance defences to Lisbon, with sweeping views out to the Atlantic.

Back in the heart of the city, you will spend time exploring the central neighbourhoods of Barro Alto, Alfama and Graca perhaps hopping on one of the city’s old trams and finish with a visit to the castle. Lisbon isn’t just history though; it is a city which has reformed and refreshed itself enormously in the past 20 years. It is now the European hub for innovation in mobile technology so it also has a youthful buzz and energy which contrasts wonderfully with the ancient stones.

The afternoon is free for exploring and wandering.

Day 11
Full day at leisure in Lisbon


Today is free to explore at leisure. Your local guide however is on hand, as ever, to help.

This evening’s farewell dinner is an evening of Fado.  Fado, meaning fate, is akin to flamenco with its often mournful, moving blend of guitar, song and dance.

Tonight’s farewell dinner will again be an excellent selection of wines, accompanied by a similarly notable feast.

Day 12
Farewell Lisbon

Although your trip comes to an end after breakfast today, the experiences enjoyed on this wonderful journey will be etched in your memory for a lifetime.

Wandering the World is proud to present this exclusive journey. 

FOR MORE INFORMATION OR TO MAKE A BOOKING:

PHONE: +61 402 910 552

EMAIL: Glenyce Johnson glenycej@wanderingtheworld.com.au

VISIT: www.wanderingtheworld.com.au

Full booking conditions and payment details available on request.

Wandering the World specialises in creating and tailoring exceptional walking, trekking and touring holidays in some of the most beautiful places on earth. This includes both escorted small group and self-guided trips, as well as individually tailored itineraries for privately organised trips.

We are passionate about sharing the places we love and offer our expertise to ensure our travellers enjoy rich and authentic travelling experiences. Wandering the World select authentic and comfortable accommodation and our itineraries are focused on immersing travellers in the local culture and uncovering the hidden gems of a destination. We are committed to ensuring our travellers have a trip of a lifetime.


*If your printer does not print to pdf, try using Chrome as your browser - download software here