Paradores & Pousadas: Historic Lodgings of Spain & Portugal
When: June 03, 2013 - June 17, 2013 (iCal)
“Tufts trips are enlightening, convivial, well planned, and executed.” Tufts traveler
Join Tufts travelers on a journey through the Iberian Peninsula, staying in distinctive and intimate lodges of medieval monasteries, historic fortresses, and stately palaces. We will experience the spell of Portugal and Spain’s rich Roman and Moorish pasts, plus the pull of their vibrant contemporary life. Beginning in Lisbon, we will visit the capital city’s highlights and take an excursion to the National Palace of Queluz. We will travel through picturesque Alentejo, a region of olive groves, vineyards, and wheat fields, to one of Portugal’s finest pousadas, set in a former 15th-century convent. Crossing into Spain, we will take in the ancient, ruin-filled city of Merida, the UNESCO World Heritage Site of Cordoba, and the Moorish architecture of Seville, followed by the medieval Spanish capital of Toledo. We will conclude with Madrid’s gems, Palacio Royal and the world-famous Prado. An optional post-tour extension in Barcelona is available.
Activity level: Active
From $5,134 (Boston or New York Gateway)
Other dates and gateways available upon request.
Includes land and air; per person, based on double occupancy.
To avoid the disappointment of a sold out program, Register Now!
Usha Nand Sellers Ed. D., Director Tufts Travel-Learn Program, at email@example.com or 617-627-5323.
Day 1 - Depart U.S. for Lisbon, Portugal
Day 2 - Arrive in Lisbon
We will arrive in the Portuguese capital city early this afternoon. The remainder of the day will be at leisure before dinner at our hotel.
Day 3 - Lisbon/Queluz
This morning’s city tour includes the Jeronimos Monastery, a masterpiece of Manueline architecture; Belem Tower; and the Monument to the Discoveries commemorating Portugal’s storied explorers. Then we will 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 will be at leisure to explore as we wish..
Day 4 - Lisbon/Evora
Leaving Lisbon this morning we will travel through the rolling hills of the agricultural Alentejo district with its fields of wheat, fra¬grant vineyards, and stands of olive and cork trees. After stopping for lunch in the fortified hilltop town of Monsaraz, we will head to Evora, capital of the Alen¬tejo region and site of our pousada.
Day 5 - Evora
We will begin this morning with a walking tour of Evora, a prosperous regional capital with many architectural gems. Evora is university town with a UNESCO World Heritage site, thanks to the many relics of its Roman and Moorish heritage. Our afternoon will be at leisure to enjoy the city as we wish.
Day 6 - Evora/Merida/Carmona
Today we will travel through a countryside peppered with the ruins of fortresses and castles and head to the Spanish border town of Merida. Once the capital of ancient Lusitania (Latin for the kingdoms of Spain and Portugal), Merida boasts ancient Roman ruins. We will have time to -explore and eat lunch on our own before continuing on to Carmona and our parador, a 14th-century Arab fortress.
Day 7 - Carmona/Seville
This morning we will visit the Moorish capital of Spain’s Andalusia region and a city of beauty and romance - Seville. This is the place that inspired Carmen and Don Giovanni; where fragrant orange trees and flower-bedecked balconies are visual delights; and home of the re-nowned Catédral, the world’s largest Gothic building. After stops which include the palace and the Arab quarter, our afternoon is free to explore independently. We will return to Carmona in the late afternoon and dinner will be at our parador.
Day 8 - Carmona/Cordoba
First we will visit Cordoba - the capital of Roman Spain and then of Moorish Spain. Cordoba features some of the country’s most impor¬tant monuments, including the Old Quarter built around the Mezquita mosque. It was here that the Moors ruled from the 8th to the 11th centuries and fostered a culture of learning and relig¬ious harmony known throughout the world. Cordoba is also home to Andalusia’s only synagogue to survive the expulsion of Spain’s Jews in the 15th century. After visiting these and other highlights, we will have free time to explore on our own. Later in the afternoon we will return to Carmona and have dinner at our parador.
Day 9 - Carmona/Ronda
Leaving Carmona this morning we will travel south to tiny Ronda, one of Spain’s oldest and most aristocratic towns. It is set high in the mountains with whitewashed houses clinging improb-ably to the edge of El Tajo Gorge. After a brief walking tour, the remainder of the afternoon is at leisure. This evening dinner is at our parador.
Day 10 - Ronda
Today is at leisure to explore this historic town on our own. Our evening’s dinner will include regional specialties at our parador, Ronda’s original town hall.
Day 11 - Ronda/Granada/Ubeda
Continuing our journey, we will 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 palace of Spain’s last Moorish rulers. Sprawled across a hilltop above the Darro River, the Alhambra offers views of the city below, as we will see during our afternoon visit. We will also visit the Granadian-style Generalife, the palace’s gardens. Later in the afternoon we will head north to Ubeda and our next parador, a former palace dating to the 16th century. Dinner is at our parador
Day 12 - Ubeda/Toledo/Madrid
Today’s highlight will be our visit to Toledo, capital of medieval Spain. Declared a Spanish National Landmark, the city is little changed visually from its earlier days, when it was favored by the artist El Greco. Toledo boasts an incomparable hilltop setting overlooking the Castilian plains, surrounded on three sides by the Tagus River. After lunch on our own we will take a guided tour of Toledo’s most important sights, including the massive Gothic Cathedral begun in 1226 and finally finished in 1493. We will continue on to Madrid, arriving there late in the afternoon.
Day 13 - Madrid
Our morning tour of this monu¬mental capital city will include 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. Our tour ends at the Prado, one of the world’s greatest museums, where we will be free to explore on our own. Displaying treasures by Spanish masters Goya, El Greco, and Velazquez, the Prado also houses an impor¬tant collection of Flemish and Italian master¬pieces. The remainder of the day is free for independ¬ent exploration.
Day 14 - Madrid
Today is set aside as a free day to further explore this cosmopolitan city. We will meet this evening to bid “Adios” to Spain and to our fellow travelers at a farewell dinner.
Day 15 - Depart for U.S.
We transfer to the airport this morning for our connecting flights to the U.S.
*Price and Itinerary are tentative and subject to change