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We have been to many, many places all over the world, with many different tour companies.  None of them compare to the Odysseys Unlimited small group experience.

Nancy & William Sondervan
Sherrills Ford, NC
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Small Group Tour Highlights
  • Eight nights’ accommodations in distinguished historic lodgings
  • National Palace of Queluz, Portugal
  • Lisbon sightseeing, including Belém
  • Evora, a UNESCO World Heritage site
  • Roman ruins at Mérida
  • Moorish Toledo
  • Tour of Cordoba, a UNESCO World Heritage site
  • Seville and its renowned Catédral
  • Granada’s Alhambra and Generalife Gardens
  • Three-night stay in sophisticated Madrid
  • Madrid sightseeing, including Prado, Plaza Mayor, and Royal Palace
Day-by-Day Itinerary

Day 1: Depart U.S. for Lisbon, Portugal

Day 2: Arrive Lisbon We arrive in the Portuguese capital and transfer to our hotel. As guests’ arrival times vary, we have no group activities planned during the day. Tonight we enjoy a welcome dinner. D

Day 3: Lisbon/Queluz This morning’s city tour includes the Jeronimos Monastery, a masterpiece of Manueline architecture; iconic Belem Tower; and the Monument to the Discoveries commemorating Portugal’s storied explorers. Then we visit the National Palace of Queluz, the former residence of Portuguese royalty now used for state occasions. After returning to Lisbon, the remainder of the day is at leisure to explore as we wish. B

Day 4: Lisbon/Evora Leaving Lisbon this morning, we travel through the rolling hills of the agricultural Alentejo district, with its bountiful fields of wheat, fra­grant vineyards, and stands of olive and cork trees. After stopping for lunch in the fortified hilltop town of Monsaraz (pop. 150), late afternoon we arrive in Evora, capital of the Alen­tejo and site of our pousada, considered Portugal’s finest. B,L,D

Day 5: Evora Our morning walking tour of Evora introduces us to the many charms of this architectural gem – a university town, prosperous regional capital, and UNESCO site thanks to the many relics of its Roman and Moorish heritage. We sample Alentejo wines at a local winery then the afternoon is at leisure to enjoy this “Golden Age” city as we wish. B,D

Day 6: Evora/Merida, Spain/Carmona Today we travel east through countryside peppered with the ruins of fortresses and castles to the Spanish border town of Merida. Once the capital of ancient Lusitania (Latin for the kingdoms of Spain and Portugal), Merida boasts outstanding Roman ruins. There’s time to ­explore and eat lunch on our own before we continue on to Carmona and our parador, a restored 14th-century Arab fortress. B,D

Day 7: Carmona/Seville This morning we visit splendid Seville, Moorish capital of Spain’s Andalusia region and city of beauty and romance. This is the place that inspired Carmen and Don Giovanni; where fragrant orange trees and flower-bedecked balconies delight the senses; and home of the re­nowned Catédral, the world’s largest Gothic building. After a tour that includes the Alcazar palace and the Arab quarter, the afternoon is free to explore in­dependently. We return to Carmona late afternoon and dine at our parador this evening. B,D

Day 8: Carmona/Cordoba Today’s visit to this cultural gem promises to be special indeed. First the capital of Roman Spain, then of Moorish Spain, Cordoba features some of the country’s most impor­tant monuments, including the Old Quarter built around the magnificent Mezquita mosque. It was here that the Moors ruled from the 8th to the 11th centuries and fostered a culture of learning and relig­ious harmony known the world over. Cordoba also is home to Andalusia’s only synagogue to survive the expulsion of Spain’s Jews in the 15th century. After touring these and other highlights we have free time to explore on our own. Late this afternoon we return to our parador, where we dine tonight. B,D

Day 9: Carmona/Ronda Leaving Carmona this morning we travel south to tiny Ronda, one of Spain’s oldest and most aristocratic towns. It’s set high in the mountains with whitewashed houses clinging improb­ably to the edge of El Tajo Gorge – 500 feet deep and 300 feet wide. B,D

Day 10: Ronda This morning we take a walking tour of Ronda. We return to our parador, Ronda’s original town hall, for a special tapas lunch then the rest of the day is free for independent exploration. B,L

Day 11: Ronda/Granada/Ubeda Continuing our journey, we travel today to Granada, the former stronghold of Moorish Spain set in the foothills of the snowcapped Sierra Nevada. The city’s undisputed highlight is the Alhambra, the extraordinary palace of Spain’s last Moorish rulers. Sprawled across a hilltop above the Darro River, the Alhambra commands breathtaking views of the city below, as we see on our afternoon tour of this splendid citadel. We also visit the Granadian-style Generalife, the palace’s acclaimed gardens. Late afternoon we travel north to Ubeda and our next parador, where we dine tonight. B,D

Day 12: Ubeda/Toledo/Madrid A highlight is in store today as we visit Toledo, capital of medieval Spain. Declared a Spanish National Landmark, the city is little changed visually from its 16th-century days as a subject for the artist El Greco. Toledo boasts an incomparable hilltop setting overlooking the Castillian plains and surrounded on three sides by the Tagus River. After lunch on our own we see Toledo’s most important sights on our guided tour, including the massive Gothic Cathedral begun in 1226 and not finished until 1493. Then we continue on to Madrid, arriving late afternoon. Dinner tonight is on our own; perhaps to dine late as the Madrileños do. B

Day 13: Madrid Our morning tour of this monu­mental and dignified capital city includes vast Plaza Mayor, in the heart of Old Madrid; the Moorish medieval district; and opulent 18th-century Palacio Real (Royal Palace), with its 2,800 rooms. Then we sample some of Madrid’s specialties over a lunch of tapas. Our tour ends at the Prado, one of the world’s greatest museums, displaying treasures by Spanish masters Goya, El Greco, and Velazquez. The remainder of the day is free for independ­ent exploration in this most cosmopolitan city. Well known for its “foodie” culture, Madrid offers a bounty of restaurants for dinner on our own tonight. B,L

Day 14: Madrid Today is at leisure to enjoy the Spanish capital as we wish. Tonight we bid “Adios” to Spain and our fellow travelers at a farewell dinner. B,D

Day 15: Depart for U.S. We transfer to the airport this morning for our connecting flights to the U.S. B

Please note: This trip involves considerable walking up hills or stairs, and on uneven or cobblestone streets. You should be in good physical condition to enjoy the tour to its fullest.

B = Breakfast included L = Lunch included D = Dinner included

Tour Price Includes
  • Round-trip air transportation from listed cities
  • 13 nights’ accommodations: 5 nights in Deluxe hotels; 8 nights in First Class paradores and pousadas
  • 25 meals: 13 breakfasts, 3 lunch, 9 dinners
  • Regional wine with dinners
  • Extensive sightseeing as described, including all entrance fees
  • Services of an Odysseys Unlimited Tour Director
  • Private motorcoach transportation throughout your trip
  • Luggage handling for one bag per person
  • Gratuities for local guides, dining room servers, airport and hotel porters, and all drivers
  • $100 frequent traveler credit towards your next Odysseys Unlimited tour ($200 after 3 tours; $300 after 10 tours)
Tour Dates & Prices

2019 Tour Dates and Prices
including international airfare and all taxes, surcharges, and fees

Mar 14
Mar 21
Mar 25
Oct 28
Oct 31
Nov 2
Apr 8
Apr 15
Oct 17
Oct 21
Apr 22*, 29*
May 6*
Sep 2*, 5
Sep 9, 16*
Sep 23*
Sep 30
Oct 7, 10
May 13*
May 20
May 27
Boston, New York$4,178$4,478$4,578$4,878
Phil, Wash, DC$4,378$4,678$4,778$5,078
Atlanta, Balt,
Char, Chicago,
Cinc, Cleveland,
Detroit, Miami,
Orlando, Tampa
$4,478$4,778$4,878$5,178
Dallas, Den, Hou,
Los Ang, Minn,
Phoe, Port (OR),
San Fran, Seattle
$4,578$4,878$4,978$5,278

Please call if your city is not listed or for land only prices. Prices are per person based on double occupancy and include airline taxes, surcharges, and fees of $683, which are subject to change until final payment is made.

Single travelers please add $1,195. Your $375 deposit is fully refundable up to 95 days prior to departure. All 2019 tour prices above (excluding airline taxes, surcharges, and fees) are guaranteed.

*Accommodations on Days 4 & 5: Pousada Castelo de Estremoz (Estremoz)

Airline upgrades (subject to availability) on round-trip Trans-Atlantic flight: Business Class – $3,595 per person; Premium Economy – $1,495 per person

A visa is not required for this tour.

Accommodations
    Corinthia Hotel Lisbon, Lisbon / Days 2-3 / Deluxe

    Situated a short distance from the historic city center, the Corinthia Hotel Lisbon overlooks Monsanto National Park. The 518-room hotel features two restaurants and an indoor/outdoor lounge, indoor swimming pool, gym, spa with massage treatments, complimentary Wi-Fi internet access, solarium, jewelry shop, and laundry and dry cleaning services. Air-conditioned guest rooms have private bath with hair dryer, mini-bar, tea- and coffee-making facilities, in-room safe, TV, and phone.

    Pousada dos Loios, Evora / Days 4-5 / First Class

    A former 15th-century convent lovingly converted into a hotel, this building features fine architectural details including decorative arches, a marble staircase, a cloistered garden, and frescoed walls and ceilings. The Pousada dos Loios does feature a restaurant and laundry service. Small but comfortable guest rooms have been converted from a monastic cell, but you won’t need to sacrifice your comfort to enjoy it, because your room is fully equipped with modern amenities, including air conditioning and private bath with hair dryer, Internet access, safe, TV, and phone. The pousada has no elevators.

    Parador de Carmona, Carmona / Days 6-8 / First Class

    Converted from a 14th-century Moorish castle and overlooking the scenic plains of Carmona, this hotel features Internet access, an Andalusian Courtyard with Moorish columns and a fountain, a stone-vaulted restaurant, laundry service, swimming pool, and garden. Your room is equipped with a private bath with hair dryer, air conditioning, safe, mini-bar, TV, and phone.

    Parador de Ronda, Ronda / Days 9-10 / First Class

    Originally a medieval town hall, this parador boasts a stunning location on a cliff overlooking a dramatic gorge. It features a restaurant, Internet access, laundry service, and gardens with footpaths and sweeping vistas of the gorge and surrounding mountains. Your room is equipped with air conditioning, private bath with hair dryer, in-room safe, mini-bar, TV, and phone.

    Parador de Ubeda, Ubeda / Day 11 / First Class

    Located in the main square in historic Úbeda, this parador is a former 16th-century Renaissance palace that has been converted to an intimate and lovely lodging. A beautiful inner courtyard highlights the parador’s public rooms; other amenities include a restaurant featuring Andalusian specialties, a bar, laundry service, and Internet access. High-ceilinged guestrooms have air conditioning, private bath with hair dryer, safe, mini-bar, TV, and phone.

    Wellington Hotel, Madrid / Days 12-14 / Deluxe

    This old-world style hotel is located in the Salamanca neighborhood, near several of Madrid’s most prestigious boutiques. The hotel features a swimming pool with terrace; internet access; laundry and dry cleaning services; wellness center with sauna and massage; hair salon; snack bar; and two restaurants, including a Michelín-rated Japanese restaurant and a grille room. Fully air-conditioned guest rooms feature private bath with hair dryer, safe, mini-bar, TV, and phone.

    Hotel Avenida Palace, Barcelona / Extension / Superior First Class

    Built in 1952, Hotel Avenida Palace stands in the heart of Barcelona and offers a good location from which to explore. The 151-room hotel is just minutes from La Ramblas, the Picasso Museum, and the museum housing the works of modern architect Antoni Gaudí. The hotel features restaurant and bar, wellness center, fitness room, laundry and dry cleaning services, and Internet access. Air-conditioned guest rooms are fully equipped with private bath with hair dryer, safe, TV, and phone.

Ratings are based on the Hotel & Travel Index, the travel industry standard reference.
Post-Tour Extension

Barcelona – On Your Own

4 days/3 nights for $795 total price
Single Supplement: $355

Enjoy this bustling seaport, Spain’s cultural and commercial capital, with its medieval Gothic Quarter and popular Ramblas waterfront promenade.

 

Your Tour Price Includes
  • Air transportation Madrid/Barcelona, inclusive of airline taxes and fees
  • 3 nights’ accommodations at Hotel Avenida Palace (Superior First Class)
  • 3 meals: 3 breakfasts
  • Transfers to/from airport

Please see the Accommodations tab for hotel information.

Tour Directors for this Journey
Vera Soublechero Alvarez

“Vera is the most charming, knowledgeable, conscientious, and warm person. Her enthusiasm is contagious.”
Pat & Monika Hseu
Escondido, CA

Blaz Bostjancic

“He was great – we loved him throughout the trip.”
Dennis & Holly Nappen
Coronado, CA

Fernando Derqui

“Fernando was a total ‘ace.’ His skills and knowledge, combined with his charm and kindness, had all of us in awe!”
Jon & Ruth Hutchison
Riverside, CA

Elena Gonzalez

“Elena is terrific! Very cooperative, very knowledgeable and informative. She is always upbeat and professional.”
Richard & Maureen Wright
Fort Myers, FL

Rafael Lugo

Odysseys Unlimited Tour Director

 

Carmen Manzanares

“Carmen was outstanding. She worked diligently in making sure everyone was well taken care of and happy with arrangements. She was knowledgeable and informative.”
Phil & Jane O’Sullivan
Norwell, MA

Margaret Monnier

“Margaret was the best tour director ever. … Wish I could go on another trip with her!”
Gordon Alexander
Austin, TX

Susana Olivares

“Susana was a delightful combination of charm, efficiency, and knowledge. Outstanding!!”
Ken & Judy Ryan
Tucson, AZ

Africa Palacios

“Africa is an amazing, funny woman and a great asset to Odysseys.”
Linda LaBella
Bohemia, NY

Jesus Martin Rodriguez

“Jesus was the best tour guide I have had in all my travels, which were many! He was very knowledgeable and really cared about all of us.”
Gloria Parisi
South Pasadena, FL

Jesus Ruiz

“In 15 years of international travel, he was the best overall guide we have had – extremely caring, efficient, and knowledgeable. Going out of his way to be helpful and available. Everyone else we talked to said the same thing. You couldn’t have anyone better!!”
Tilden & Mary Edwards
Bethesda, MD

Hazel Sharp

“Lively, fun, knowledgeable, friendly, thoughtful, efficient are the words we would use to describe Hazel…She is an all-around great tour director.”
Judy and Marvin Beriss
Fairfax, VA

Destination Insight

Suggested Reading

Peter R. Bush (Editor)
Spain, A Traveler’s Literary Companion
This collection of 30 stories from a who’s who of contemporary Spanish literature, including writers from Galicia, Leon, the Basque Country, Madrid and Barcelona.

Robert Irwin
The Alhambra
Irwin’s brief, indispensable guide introduces the stunning Moorish palace and fortress complex, revealing its mysteries, myths and significance with wit and insight.

Eyewitness Guides
Eyewitness Guide Lisbon
A compact illustrated guide to the city featuring excellent neighborhood maps and hundreds of color photographs. It also includes chapters on the surrounding areas and Lisbon’s coast.

Eyewitness Guides
Eyewitness Guide Spain
This superb, colorful guide covering all of Spain features bright photography, dozens of maps and a region-by-region synopsis of the country’s attractions.

National Geographic
Spain & Portugal Adventure Map
A double-sided full color map of Spain and Portugal at a scale of 1:1,000,000 with good shaded relief, topographic detail, roads and waterways.

Streetwise Maps
Lisbon Map
A handy folded, laminated street map of Lisbon in full color at a scale of 1:8,000.

Borch Maps
Madrid Map
A detailed map of Madrid at a scale of 1:10,000, laminated and folded for easy reference.

George Mendes
My Portugal, Recipes and Stories
A showcase of 125 Portuguese recipes interwoven with tales and anecdotes by the author, a Michelin-starred chef.

John A. Crow
Spain, The Root and the Flower
Take this book with you to Spain: it’s an absorbing, well-written account of Spanish cultural history from prehistory to the Romans, Jews, Moors, Golden Age and on to Franco and his legacy in modern Spain.

Ian Robertson
A Traveller’s History of Portugal
A lively, admirably concise survey from prehistory to the present, great for travelers to Portugal who would like an overview of the country’s history and culture.

Giles Tremlett
Ghosts of Spain
Tremlett captures the Spanish character, history and modern politics in this masterful portrait, interweaving the story of his love for the country (where he has lived for 20 years) with interviews, anecdotes and observation.

Jules Stewart
Madrid, The History
Jules Stewart sketches the history of a beloved city from Mayrit to Madrid, the Bourbons, Franco and beyond. With suggested whirlwind itinerary for Madrid in Two Days (and Nights).

Maria Rosa Menocal, Harold Bloom (Introduction)
The Ornament of the World, How Muslims, Jews, and Christians Created a Culture of Tolerance in Medieval Spain
A lively, illuminating portrait of the Andalucian Kingdom, its cultural achievements and religious tolerance from the eighth century to 1492.

Stanley Lane-Poole
The Story of the Moors in Spain
A wonderfully readable, sweeping tale of splendor and tragedy, first published in 1866.

Neill Lochery
Lisbon, War in the Shadows of the City of Light, 1939-1945
This well-researched chronicle of intrigue and espionage uncovers the backstage role Lisbon played in WWII as the conflict raged around neutral Portugal.

Jeanine Baticle
Goya, Painter of Terrible Splendor
A pocket-size encyclopedia, this slim book is an illustrated overview of the life and times of Goya. It’s an illuminating portrait of 18th-century Madrid.

James Michener
Iberia, Spanish Travels & Reflections
In this best-selling travelogue, Michener presents a compulsively readable and well-observed account of his love affair with Spain and all things Spanish. It has achieved the status of a classic, rich in detail and insightful.

Jose Saramago
Journey to Portugal, In Pursuit of Portugal’s History and Culture
Jose Saramago’s richly detailed account of his journey across Portugal in 1979. He combines his vivid impressions of the Portuguese landscape and people with a dose of history, fiction and meditation.

Chris Stewart
Driving over Lemons, An Optimist in Andalucia
Stewart’s memoir about moving with his wife to a farm in Alpujarras is charming and insightful. Unlike many expatriates, Stewart manages to ground himself far enough into the community to make lasting friends – as well as a home for his young daughter.

Federico Garcia Lorca, Christopher Maurer (Translator)
A Season in Granada, Uncollected Poems & Prose
A selection of poems and prose in celebration of Granada, where Frederico Garcia Lorca was raised, studied and spent much of his short life.

Juan Ramon Jimenez, Eloise Roach (Translator)
Platero and I
This lyric portrait of life – and the little donkey, Platero – in a remote Andalusian village is the masterpiece of Juan Ramon Jimenez, the Spanish poet awarded the 1956 Nobel Prize for Literature.

Ernest Hemingway
The Sun Also Rises
Hemingway’s great novel, which encapsulates the angst of the post-WWI “Lost Generation,” is the story of unmoored American and British expats travelling from Paris to Pamplona.

Ernest Garcia, Eduardo De Juana
The Birds of the Iberian Peninsula
This definitive book on the birds of Iberia covers the status and distribution of each species in the region and also includes photos and introductory chapters on climate, habitats and the history of Iberian ornithology.

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