Spain and Portugal are renowned for their rich history, natural splendors and zest for life. Join us to explore both these sun-burnished lands on this captivating 12-day vacation. In Spain, experience pulsating Madrid and flamenco-fueled Seville, marvel at the exquisite Alhambra in Granada, and feel the full force of the exuberance of Barcelona. In contrast, Portugal casts a gentler, though equally enchanting spell. Discover the maritime charms of Lisbon, see magical Sintra, and visit the holy shrine at Fatima.
Itinerary at a glance
Today, fly to Madrid, the first stop in your 12-day voyage around Spain and Portugal.
Arrive in Madrid, Spain’s capital since 1561 and its largest city. Pulsating with life, the city stands as a perfect testament to the Spanish zest for life, with its unquenchable appetite for art, architecture, dance, and epicurean pleasures. A city rich in beauty and history, it serves up imperious monuments and sites at every turn, from cobbled plazas to grand museums and majestic royal palaces all framing a cosmopolitan modern center. After meeting your Peony Tours representative at the airport, transfer to your hotel and then enjoy the rest of the day at leisure, with time to explore the city as you choose.
Included: Dinner at hotel
Relax over breakfast before taking our sightseeing tour of Madrid. First, admire the handsome Plaza Espana. Next, enjoy a fascinating guided tour of the Royal Palace*, the opulent 18th-century residence of Spain’s Bourbon’s rulers that boasts a staggering 2,800 rooms. The afternoon is then free for you to explore as you wish, perhaps hunting for souvenirs along Madrid’s shop-filled boulevards; or taking an optional excursion to the historic town of Segovia to see its Roman Aqueduct and the UNESCO-listed castle, and enjoy a traditional roasted pig lunch! (Prado Museum will be a substitute if the Royal Palace is not available).
This morning, travel to the splendid University City of Salamanca, home to one of the oldest universities in Europe. Accompany your guide as you stroll around the arcade-lined Plaza Mayor, an 18th-century square that many consider to be Spain's most beautiful, and see the sculpted facades and sandstone-ocher entrance of the University, founded in 1218. After lunch, continue through pretty countryside into Portugal and on to the religious town of Fatima, for an overnight stay. This evening, after dinner at hotel, if you desire, you may enjoy a stroll along the quaint streets to the world famous Sanctuary of Our Lady of Fatima.
Included: Breakfast, Dinner at hotel
One of Europe's greatest pilgrimage centers, Fatima attracts an annual six million worshippers who come to see the place where the Virgin Mary is said to have appeared to three peasant children in 1917. Enjoy some time to visit the Shrine of Our Lady on the site of the apparition and then travel by coach to Lisbon, Portugal's capital. On arrival, enjoy lunch independently before a city sightseeing tour. With a local guide, explore the Belem district that fringes the River Tagus and visit the Monument of the Discoveries, built to commemorate Portugal's 15th-century maritime expeditions. Take photos of the nearby 16th-century Belem Tower, another symbol of the country's Age of Discovery, and head to the ornate Jeronimos Monastery, to visit its sublime cloisters, built in classic Manueline style. Later, choose to celebrate your arrival in Lisbon by joining us for an optional seafood dinner at a popular restaurant.
Sprawled over seven hills, Lisbon serves up cobbled streets, grand squares and broad avenues. This morning, set out on a full-day tour to view the city and its surrounding shores, the latter often dubbed Portugal’s Sunshine Coast. Head first for Sintra, the one-time summer retreat of Portugal’s kings. Admire the mountain-backed setting of the town and visit 14th-century Sintra Palace, famous for its fairy tale-like architecture. Next, drive to Cape Roca, mainland Europe’s westernmost point. See this rugged peninsula before following the coastline to the elegant beach town of Cascais. Have lunch here before visiting Estoril, famous for its casino: Europe’s oldest and largest. Admire Estoril beach before returning to Lisbon for a panoramic tour, passing sights such as Restauradores Square with its obelisk and art deco buildings, cafe-lined Rossio Square, Gold and Silver Streets, and grandiose Trade Square, overlooking the River Tagus.
Included: Breakfast, Dinner
Leave Lisbon behind this morning and travel back into Spain to visit the old Moorish city of Seville, situated along the banks of the Guadalquivir River. Discover its highlights on a sightseeing tour, including spectacular Seville Cathedral*, the world’s third-largest church, its neighboring Giralda Tower* and the glorious Plaza Espana, the Jewish Quarter of Santa Cruz and Maria Luisa Park. Tonight, don’t miss the chance to experience an exciting optional Flamenco dance and dinner show.
Your tour continues southward through the olive groves and Sierra Nevada mountains of Andalusia to Granada, once an Islamic kingdom inhabited by Jews, Christians and Muslims. After enjoying views of the gypsy cave dwellings in the surrounding hills, pay a visit to the Moorish-built Alhambra Palace*, whose sublime patios, cupolas and marquetry date to the 13th century. While you’re here, also visit the Generalife Gardens*, whose terraces and promenades offer grandstand views of the city. After dinner, be sure to join our “Journey of Cave Culture” tour to discover the flamenco and culture of the Roma communities that live in the gypsy caves of Granada’s Sacromonte neighborhood.
Included: Breakfast, Dinner at hotel
If time did not allow yesterday, visit Alhambra Palace the first thing this morning, then leave Granada and head towards Spain’s Mediterranean coast, traveling through beautiful mountain scenery. On route, see the famous cave houses at Purullena before traveling to the picturesque seaside resort of Alicante. Take time out this afternoon to amble down its mosaic-patterned, palm-dotted promenade, perhaps stopping for drinks or to browse for souvenirs at its shops.
Included: Breakfast, Dinner at hotel
This morning, continue to Valencia, the birthplace of paella, and known for its commercial fruit and vegetable gardens. Stop along the way at the City of Arts and Sciences, a stunning cultural and science park of innovative buildings by architect Santiago Calatrava. Admire the incredible complex before continuing into downtown Valencia. See the historic Central Market and the UNESCO World Heritage Site - La Lonja* (The Silk Exchange), and enjoy a walking tour of the center, admiring such landmarks as the cathedral, bullring, and medieval Serrano and Quart Towers, part of the old defensive walls. After free time for lunch at the Cathedral Square - perhaps savoring Valencian paella - relax as we drive along the coast to Barcelona, capital of Spain's Catalonia province, and renowned for its fanciful architecture by Antoni Gaudi.
Today, drink in the sights of cosmopolitan Barcelona on a panoramic coach tour. View the La Rambla shopping street, Catalonia Square, Columbus Monument and impressive 1992 Summer Olympic site, and take in the city’s iconic UNESCO World Heritage sites, including Gaudi’s Guell Park*. As a highlight, admire the exterior of Gaudi’s unfinished masterpiece, the breathtaking Holy Family Cathedral (outside), known locally as La Sagrada Familia. Later, visit the world-famous Picasso Museum* before dinner at local restaurant.
Included: Breakfast, Dinner
Bid farewell to Spain today as you transfer to Barcelona airport for your homebound flight to the US.
Excellent bilingual (English & Chinese speaking) tour manager throughout the tour in Europe.
Sightseeing with specialist local guides in selected cities.
European or buffet breakfast daily at the hotel.
Lunches or dinners included as specified in the itinerary.
Admission fees for sightseeing attractions as denoted by an asterisk* in tour itinerary:
Madrid - Royal Palace (or Prado Museum)
Sintra - Sintra Palace
Seville - Seville Cathedral, Giralda Tower
Granada - Alhambra Palace, Generalife Gardens
Valencia – La Lonja (Silk Exchange)
Barcelona - Park Guell, Picasso Museum
Lisbon - Jeronimos Monastery
Deluxe air-conditioned tour coach with professional service of drivers.
Airport group transfers in Europe on arrival (Madrid) and departure (Barcelona). (Land+Air Packages only).
Group identification badge, luggage tag and document holder provided for your convenience and easy recognition.
Create your ideal getaway with the following upgrade options. Extensions and upgrades can be added during the booking process or speak to one of our travel advisors to tailor your perfect trip.
Treat yourself to the most sought-after seats on our coaches — those in the first two or three rows. We assign 10 seats in the front rows on a first-come, first-served basis subject to availability. To pre-book these seats for less than $10 per day, select the front of coach seating option online in your Peony Tours account.
Airfares included in the advertised Land + Air Package prices are from New York(JFK), including fuel surcharge and taxes/fees, not including any baggage fees or seat assignment fees.
Departures from other gateway cities, please add appropriate U.S. domestic add-on fares. For time zone of your gateway city, please call Peony Tours.
*Fares are subject to availability; for detailed gateway fares please view our dates & pricing
★ ★ ★ ★ ★
The Silken Puerta Madrid Hote is located in the San Blas district, in a business district close to IFEMA and the Adolfo Suárez - Madrid Barajas Airport, the Silken Puerta Madrid offers a free shuttle service to and from Madrid airport. The Hotel has spacious rooms, all outward-facing and with lots of light. They are equipped with Wi-Fi, trouser press, safe and a large desk.
★ ★ ★ ★ ★
With a prime location, just 2 minutes walk from the Sanctuary of Fatima, Hotel Santa Maria follows the most modern concepts of architecture and contemporary design, providing the guest's peace and tranquility.
★ ★ ★ ★ ★
Portugal's spectacular capital city beckons at the Lisbon Marriott Hotel, a leading 4-star destination. Once you've checked in, relish in a 4-star experience in our hotel rooms, all of which feature floor-to-ceiling windows, high-speed Wi-Fi.
★ ★ ★ ★ ★
The Silken Al-Andalus Palace, modern and bright, emerges as an oasis in the Andalusian capital, among the gardens of the Heliopolis neighbourhood and close to the María Luisa Park and Plaza de España. This 4-star hotel stands out for its extremely spacious facilities, 15,000 m2 of gardens, swimming pool, 623 tranquil and bright rooms and piano bar with live music, among other virtues.
★ ★ ★ ★ ★
Located in the village of Monachil, Hotel Granada Palace combines Moorish-style architecture with modern interior design. Its stylish air-conditioned rooms feature free Wi-Fi, equipped with satellite TV and a mini-bar. Granada Palace has an outdoor pool and sun terrace. The hotel also has a spa, with a water circuit and massage service. A varied breakfast is served daily in the hotel’s Restaurante Palatium.
★ ★ ★ ★ ★
AC hotel AIicante conveniently located near the commercial area, the busy city center, Paseo de la Explanada and the Postiguet Beach. After an adventure in Alicante, make our hotel your home base and share your feed in social media with our free Wi-Fi: relax in our guest rooms, with sleek design and the amenities you need. Enjoy Alicante’s Sun in our rooftop pool with panoramic views of Santa Barbara’s Castle with a delicious smoothie and drop by our on-site NEW AC Lounge.
★ ★ ★ ★ ★
The Barcelona Condal Mar By Meliá is located in Barcelona, near the Barcelona International Convention Centre (CCIB), the beach and Diagonal Mar shopping mall. Amongst a wide range of services and facilities, you can enjoy a wonderful outdoor swimming pool with spectacular 360º views of Barcelona, a fully equipped gym, Turkish bath, massage booths, free WiFi.
Why not check out the optional excursions available on your tour and pre-book? Booking them in advance will save you money and hassle. Optional tours must be purchased 7 days prior to departure.
Special exchange rate: When you pre-book optional excursions in US Dollars you enjoy a discounted exchange rate, saving you money. Online prices are in USD for our European tours; on-site prices will be in Euros (EUR) or British Pounds (GBP) in the UK.
Easy budgeting: Pre-booking your excursions makes budgeting for your vacation easy. You’ll find it easier to plan your spending money and you’ll need less cash during your vacation.
Delve into Spain's rich past and culture on a half-day trip to honey-stoned Segovia from Madrid. Behold the historic town's main claim-to-fame: a 2,000-year-old Roman two-tiered aqueduct built from 20,000 granite blocks without mortar. Marvel at this architectural feat, one of Spain's greatest Roman-era monuments; and admire the Alcazar, Segovia's stunningly restored, 11th-century fortress, and
Fiery flamenco is emblematic of Andalucia and has its 500-year old roots in the region’s gypsy and Moorish heritage, reflecting the struggles of these peoples during centuries of persecution. On this excursion, be swept up by this passionate art form with a delicious dinner and show at one of Seville's premier flamenco "tablaos". Enjoy a
Discover Granada's ancient Moorish culture on this evening tour of the city's lovely Albaicin neighborhood. With a tour guide to explain the area's history and architecture, delve into this charming UNESCO-listed Arabic Quarter, where narrow cobbled lanes thread past white-washed houses and birdsong-filled gardens. Admire stunning views of the twilit Alhambra and visit the former Gypsy
We had a very exciting trip on PSP1014 this year. The tourist guide Ms. Caro Hsu was excellent. She provided much information with the history and story for each place where we were. The day-to-day arrangement was organized very well. The hotel was nice and the bus was also comfortable. It was the second time of our vacation to choose Peony Tours. Peony Tours is still giving us a good impression.More Less
So lucky to have Caro Hsu as our tour manager. She was amazing. Took us tour Madrid the very first day, got to visit Prado, Market Miguel, Plaza Major, Puerta de Sol, even watched the first bullfight of the season. The company has cancelled the visit to Quell Park in Barcelona, she bought tickets individually for the whole tour group, we were so happy to be able to visit that Quell Park. Thought out the tour, we learned so much about the history, the people, the places where we visited. She worked and walked tirelessly with us. She is the best tour manager I have ever had.We could not reserve seats on Iberia Airline which was the major street. Some hotels wifi were not functional. But overall, i enjoyed the trip very much.More Less
We took Spain and Portugal in mid-Sep-2016. Juliette the tour guide was very pleasant and accommodating. We were able to get additional discounts maybe due to off season. The price was reasonable, the tour planning was worth while. I will highly recommend Peony tour to anyone who likes to see most with very little budget.This tour was worth every penny, very professional people. If we get similar type of discounted fair we will join again in 2017 most likely for Eastern Europe.More Less
Ms. Juliette Lu was excellent host, very courteous, professional,knowledgeable,and very accommodating. We requested for special meals for the trip (no Pork related item), she went beyond her duty and made sure that we get requested meals at all time. We would love to join her tour in future. We bought land only tour, Ms Juliette was cooperative in arranging airport pick up and drop-off. Overall we would highly recommend Ms. Juliette to anyone, she is a great asset to Peony Tour Company.More Less
Caro was very friendly, helpful, responsible and likeable. An excellent tour guide by all standards. She is also very knowledgeable and a good interpreter. Getting to watch the bull fight in Madrid was excellent. I think the Pablo Picasso museum in Barcelona was not particularly interesting to most members of my tour because it is really interesting for art fans only, and should be replaced with going inside the Sacrada Familiar or another activity.More Less
It was extremely delightful to have Caro as the tour manager/guide. My wife and I were especially impressed with her diverse knowledge about places visited. She was very professional and always had tour group members' interest in mind, and did her best to satisfy everyone. I hope to have her again when we sign up for other Peony tours in the future.More Less