Paradores & Pousadas Historic Lodgings of Spain & Portugal
Set out on a distinctive small group journey, limited to 24 travelers, through the Iberian Peninsula to the intimate lodgings of Spain's paradores and Portugal's pousadas: medieval monasteries, historic fortresses, and stately palaces, each reflecting the spirit of its region. Feel the spell of Iberia's rich Roman and Moorish past and the pull of its vibrant contemporary life. The 15-day odyssey begins in Lisbon with the Portuguese capital's highlights, including the majestic Jerónimos Monastery and iconic Belém Tower. Visit the lovely National Palace of Queluz. Travel on through the picturesque Alentejo region to Evora, a treasure trove of Roman and Moorish heritage and UNESCO site, for a two-night stay in one of Portugal's finest pousadas. Sample a local winery's offerings. Crossing into Spain next, see Mérida's outstanding Roman ruins en route to Carmona for a three-night sojourn. Discover the beauty and romance of Seville that inspired Carmen and Don Giovanni, and visit its renowned CatÃ©dral. In Cordoba, cultural gem and UNESCO site, tour its Old Quarter and magnificent Mezquita mosque. After two nights in charming Ronda, set dramatically atop El Tajo Gorge, journey on to Granada, the former Moorish stronghold in the snowcapped Sierra Nevada. Tour its extraordinary fortress, the Alhambra, and the acclaimed Generalife gardens. A highlight awaits next with a visit to beautiful hilltop Toledo. With three final nights in Spain's monumental capital, Madrid, touring includes the Royal Palace, the world-renowned Prado, and vast Plaza Mayor. Enjoy Barcelona, Spain's spirited cultural capital, with an optional 4-day/3-night post-tour extension.