Starting in the Spanish capital, Madrid, we will pass the Cibeles Fountain by coach before arriving at the Plaza Mayor, Piazza di Spagna, Plaza de Colónand Royal Palace of Madrid. The Royal Palace of Madrid was built by the Spanish Royal Family with its magnificent and splendid former empire and historical grandeur.
Next stop is the Puertadel Sol, a public square in Madrid. You can find the Km. 0 squared tile placed on the pavement, which represents the Puerta del Sol is the centre of the radial network of Spanish road. In the square, you can shop for speciality leather goods, clothing and traditional Spanish souvenirs in Spain.
In the afternoon, we say farewell to Madrid and head to party town of Zaragoza.
In the morning, we drive directly to the Spanish warm and charming coastal city of Barcelona. After arrival we will visit the Columbus Monument and La Rambla, followed by Sagrada Família, the monumental Roman-Catholic Church designed by Spanish architect Antoni Gaudí. Gaudí’s unique vision and out-worldly decoration can be seen throughout the city and makes it feel like one is entering the Artist’s mind.
Our next photo stop is Camp Nou, the home grounds of FC Barcelona since 1957. We’ll also visit Estadi Olímpic Lluís Companys, the main stadium where the 1992 Summer Olympics were located from Montjuïc, a large hill to the southwest of Barcelona which overlooks the city views. Any remaining leisure time is taken at the bustling Plaza Catalonia, where you can eat, drink and shop like the locals do.
After having breakfast at the hotel, we leave Barcelona for Spain’s third largest city, Valencia. Valencia forms the gateway to North Africa. With a history of affluent commerce, cultural ties to Moorish and Arab culture, Valencia enjoys a level of prosperity and depth thanks to its advantageous geographical location. Despite Valencia's understated position in these recent times, the port and its businesses still attract traders from all continents throughout the year.
Upon arrival, we will visit the Modernisme Plaza of the City Hall of Valencia, the Ancient City Gates and the grand Valencia Cathedral, where you can see the true Holy Grail.
The day is completed with a drive into our next stop Alicante.
This morning we depart for the city of Granada on the plateau of the Andalusia province.
This historic city has been ruled by Visigoth and Arab. It became the last stronghold for the Arab Dynasty while its eight-hundred-year-long rule in the Iberian Peninsula. In 15th century, King Ferdinand successfully expelled the Arabs and achieved to unite Spain. We will visit the Alhambra, a Moorish citadel and palace, also known as the Red Palace. Once arrived, the Moorish legacy will catch your eye immediately. Generally referred to as the ‘golden age’ of architecture, the dome shape is both stunning and admirable.
We continue our journey to the popular European coastline of Costa del Sol where we check into our hotel for a much needed rest.
In the morning, we go northbound to the largest city of the autonomous community of Andalusia, Seville. This city was the capital of the Muslim dynasty, considered to be the guardian angel of culture in Andalusia and the birthplace of the flamenco dance. Seville is the primary setting of many operas, the best known of which is Bizet’s Carmen. As the fourth largest city in Spain, it has hosted the World’s Fair in 1992. Upon arrival, we visit Seville Cathedral, the largest Gothic cathedral and the third-largest church in the world. Its completion was back to the early 16th century and now the cathedral halls are dedicated as Royal Chapel, the burial place of the kings’ mausoleum for over a century, also the tomb of Christopher Columbus who discovered the New World as a credit to the great navigator.
From there onwards we see the Alcázar of Seville, used to be a Muslim palace and the Spanish Royal Palace. The upper levels of the Alcázar are still used by the royal family as the official Seville residence, which is the oldest royal palace still in use in Europe and was registered in 1987 by UNESCO as a World Heritage Site, along with the Seville Cathedral.
Then we walk through the Santa Cruz, Torre del Oro (the Tower of Gold) and Maria Luisa Park, here the 1992 World Expo was located. In Plaza de España (Spain Square), we can admire a crafted porcelain painting, detailing the history and elegance of old Spain.
Today we depart for the capital and the largest city of Portugal, Lisbon. We are expected to arrive in Cabo da Roca (Cape Roca) in the afternoon, which forms the westernmost extent of mainland Portugal and continental Europe. The cape displays the voluminous Atlantic surrounded by endless scenery. Don’t forget to buy the remembrance certificate to prove once footstep was on the west point as it will be a memorable souvenir to keep.
Later we will be back to the Lisbon city centre and visit Belém Tower and Jerónimos Monastery, both were classified a UNESCO World Heritage Site. Belém Tower played a significant role in the Portuguese maritime discoveries of the era of the Age of Discoveries. Jerónimos Monastery is one of the most prominent examples of the Portuguese Late Gothic Manueline style of architecture in Lisbon.
You will pass through Marquis of Pombal Square and then stop at Rossio Square for some free time to sample authentic Portuguese custard tarts at the century-old bakery.
Today we will drive back to Madrid via Toledo, a World Heritage Site declared by UNESCO in 1986 for its extensive cultural and monumental heritage. This old city is located on a mountaintop, surrounded on three sides by a bend in the Tagus River and houses many historical sites.
We stroll across the city, overlooking the Alcázar of Toledo and visiting the grand structure of Toledo Cathedral, you will feel the grandeur of Spain of old times.
The day is concluded with a well-earned rest as you recline in our coach to catch a breath taking landscape of Spain and enjoy its rich palette of colours in natural surroundings while on the journey to Madrid.