Iberian Peninsula Tour: Portugal and Spain
Join fellow Osher members as we tour Portugal and Spain and become immersed in two thousand years of history, some of the world’s best modern architecture and one of Europe’s oldest protected wine regions. This adventure scheduled for February 10 – 22, 2024 will offer you an incredible array of experiences, both geographically and culturally.
The tour includes:
- Transportation from Milwaukee to O’hare with flights going from Chicago and to Lisbon and returning from Barcelona.
- 11 nights accommodations
- 2 nights Lisbon
- 2 nights Seville
- 3 nights Costa del Sol
- 2 nights Madrid
- 2 nights Barcelona
- Hotel taxes, fees & service charges including Barcelona city taxes
- Hotel porterage
- AVE high-speed train: Costa del Sol – Madrid, Madrid – Barcelona
- 15 meals: 11 breakfasts, 4 dinners with wine
- Sightseeing per itinerary in modern air-conditioned motor coach
- Services of English-speaking tour manager throughout
- Services of local guides in all major cities
- Entrance fees per itinerary
- Comfortable wireless earphones for enhanced touring
- Visit the Cathedral of Lisbon, the oldest place of worship in the city
- Tour enchanting Evora, one of Portugal’s most beautifully preserved medieval towns
- Visit the Cathedral of Seville, where Christopher Columbus is buried
- Travel to the cliffside city of Ronda, home to the oldest bullring in the country
- Leisure time in the Costa del Sol, with its gorgeous beaches and beautiful landscapes
- Visit the 13th century Alhambra in Granada
- At the renowned Prado Museum, view masterpieces by El Greco, Velázquez and Goya
- View Gaudi’s legendary La Sagrada Familia, iconic symbol of Barcelona
Full Itinerary for 2024:
Feb 10 DAY 1, Saturday – Depart for Portugal
Depart for Portugal
Feb 11 DAY 2, Sunday – Arrive in Lisbon
Welcome to captivating Lisbon, one of the oldest cities in Europe with its Moorish and Roman ruins and transfer to your hotel. Your tour will begin with an orientation meeting with your Tour Manager at approximately 7 PM, followed by dinner.
Feb 12 DAY 3, Monday – Lisbon City Tour and Sintra
In Lisbon, the tour begins with a stop at the top of Edward VII’s Park to marvel at the magnificent view over the hills of Lisbon and the River Tagus. Next, view the treasured 16th century Belem Tower and the Jeronimos Monastery, designated a UNESCO World Heritage Site. Afterwards, visit the Cathedral of Lisbon and enjoy the elegant Liberdade Avenue. In the afternoon, visit quaint Sintra, the “Glorious Eden” of Lord Byron, and ancient summer retreat of the royal court, highlighted by lavish romantic castles and stunning monuments. Visit the Sintra Royal Palace, a 15th century royal residence, containing one of the largest tile collections in Portugal. Then, spend some free time in the Village Historical Center before returning to Lisbon.
Feb 13 DAY 4, Tuesday – Enchanting Evora, Andalucia’s Seville
Travel from Lisbon to enchanting Evora, the walled UNESCO World Heritage Site, considered one of Portugal’s most beautifully preserved medieval towns. Inside the town’s 14th century walls, you find an elaborate cathedral and cloisters, columns of a Roman temple and the Sao Francisco Church and Ossuary Chapel, whose walls are decorated with thousands of human bones and skulls. Stroll through the picturesque squares and linger at an outdoor café. Later, head to Spain’s energetic city of Seville, capital of the scenic Andalucia region on Spain’s southern coast. Time to settle in before dinner at a local restaurant. Later, attend a Flamenco Show in this city known as the birthplace of Flamenco (included).
Meals: Breakfast, Dinner
Feb 14 DAY 5, Wednesday – City Tour of Seville and Cordoba
Begin the day at the beautiful Plaza de España and the fragrant gardens of Maria Luisa Park before taking a walking tour in the quaint Barrio Santa Cruz, the former Jewish Quarter of the city with its winding cobblestone streets. Continue with a visit to the Cathedral of Seville, the largest Gothic cathedral in the world and legendary burial site of Christopher Columbus. In the afternoon, tour fascinating Cordoba, founded by the Romans. Visit the astonishing Mezquita de Cordoba, one of the largest mosques in the world, transformed into a soaring cathedral in the 16th century. A walking tour of the city reveals the ancient Jewish Quarter with its labyrinth of winding narrow streets, shady flower filled courtyards, picturesque squares, and view of the 14th century Synagogue on Calle de los Judios.
Feb 15 DAY 6, Thursday – Ronda, Costa del Sol
Your travels take you to the dramatic cliffside city of Ronda, which overlooks the El Tajo gorge, home to the Plaza de Toros, the oldest bullring in the country. Ronda, considered the birthplace of modern bullfighting in the 18th century, was once a horsemanship training facility. View the historic stables and its interesting museum with exhibits of some of Spain’s most famous Matadors. Later, a scenic drive to the lovely resort area of the Costa del Sol. Dinner together this evening.
Overnight: Costa del Sol
Meals: Breakfast, Dinner
Feb 16 DAY 7, Friday – Costa del Sol and Malaga
Enjoy some leisure in the Costa del Sol, known for its hundreds of gorgeous beaches, quiet hidden coves and glamorous clubs, restaurants, and cafes. Tour to Malaga, birthplace of Pablo Picasso. Visit the Picasso Museum with over 285 works donated by members of Picasso’s family. View the Paseo de la Alameda, fragrant Paseo del Parque and the Barrio de la Malagueta. A walking tour through this historical town is accented by views of the Malaga Cathedral, the second highest in southern Spain. After a stop at Cathedral Square, return to the Costa del Sol for time on your own.
Overnight: Costa del Sol
Feb 17 DAY 8, Saturday – Moorish Granada
Today’s journey takes you from Spain’s southern coast to Moorish Granada. Here, visit the 13th century Alhambra,* one of Spain’s most celebrated monuments, dramatically perched atop Assabica Hill overlooking the entire city. This imposing hilltop fortress, a UNESCO World Heritage Site, is one of the world’s finest examples of Moorish art and architecture. During the reign of the Moors, the Alhambra served as the residence of the royal family. Walk along the lanes of the serene Generalife Gardens with its beautifully designed courtyards, waterfalls and ponds, and views of the Sierra Nevada Mountains. Return to the Costa del Sol for the rest of the day at leisure
*Alhambra visiting times, which may include evening hours, and which areas of the complex are accessible on the day of your visit, are determined solely at the discretion of the Alhambra. Your itinerary will be arranged by your Tour Manager to accommodate the designated time of entry.
Overnight: Costa del Sol
Feb 18 DAY 9, Sunday – AVE High Speed Train to Madrid
At the train station, board the AVE high speed train to Madrid that travels via the region of La Mancha, storied home of Don Quixote. View some of his legendary windmills before arriving in the lively metropolis of Madrid, birthplace of many of the world’s greatest writers and painters. An orientation sightseeing tour begins with a drive along the Gran Via through the Opera District and Plaza de Colon, stopping for spectacular views of the magnificent Royal Palace. On to the world-renowned Prado Museum; stand before astonishing masterpieces by El Greco, Velázquez, and Goya. In the evening, experience on your own some of the tapas bars that have made Madrid famous
Feb 19 DAY 10, Monday – Madrid and Toledo
Spend some time at your leisure in Madrid for independent discoveries. Then, tour to Toledo, the former capital of Spain that still retains its medieval atmosphere and charm. Recognized as a UNESCO World Heritage Site, Toledo is known for its unique historical coexistence of Christian, Muslim, and Jewish cultures. Walk through the ancient Jewish Quarter to the Santa Maria la Blanca Synagogue, the oldest in Europe and the St. Tome Church, with its El Greco masterpiece. Enjoy a panoramic drive to the Alcazar of Toledo, a stone fortification located in the highest part of the city and the 13th century cathedral before returning to Madrid. Savor dinner tonight at a local restaurant.
Meals: Breakfast, Dinner
Feb 20 DAY 11, Tuesday – AVE High Speed Train to Barcelona
A morning transfer to the train station to board the AVE high speed train that whisks you to sensational Barcelona. Upon arrival, a drive along the old harbor to the Plaza de Catalunya, the city’s bustling main square. Then, your first look at the stunning works of Gaudi, the master architect, begins at the exterior of Casa Batllo, seemingly constructed from skulls and bones. View the legendary La Sagrada Familia, iconic symbol of Barcelona; this colossal church is still unfinished after 100 years*. Ascend Montjuic Hill, home to the Olympic Complex, a number of sports facilities built for the 1992 Summer Olympics. Tonight, enjoy your first taste of Barcelona’s rousing nightlife and fabulous cuisine.
*Entrance to La Sagrada Familia is not included. Passengers can visit on their own and are advised to book tickets in advance.
Feb 21 DAY 12, Wednesday – Barcelona & Montserrat
Enjoy exploring Barcelona’s countless museums and superb galleries, or choose to visit La Sagrada Familia independently. In the morning, tour Montserrat on a drive past picturesque villages to Montserrat Mountain. On arrival, visit the Royal Basilica and view the world-famous 12th-century Romanesque sculpture of “Virgen Moreneta.” This evening, attend a reception with your Tour Manager at the hotel.
Feb 22 DAY 13, Thursday – Depart Spain
Transfer to the airport for your departure flight
Is This Trip Right for You?
This moderately active trip covers a fair amount of ground each day. Expect from three to four hours walking every touring day. The pace is moderate, however you will encounter some uneven surfaces, cobblestone streets, stairs, steps and significant slopes. This tour is not recommended for people who have difficulty walking. COVID vaccination and a passport valid for at least 6 months from return date are required.
Date: Feb 10-22, 2024
Delivery Method: In-person
Time: 7-11am CT
Location: To Be Announced
Enrollment Limit: 40
Program Number: 8330-15508
Note: Registration opens on April 11 at 10am
Registration Deadline: June 15, 2023Registration deadline has passed.