Land of the Conquerers
Pizarro, Pitarra (Wine), Iberian ham and Holy Week
Spain & Portugal
We will begin our exploration in Madrid and then, head south through Extremadura, Andalusia and Castilla-La Mancha to visit the medieval birth places of Hernan Cortés, conqueror of Mexico, Francisco Pizarro, contributed in conquering Perú, and Francisco Orellana. Along the way, we will experience culinary treasures: wines, and sherry, the famous Iberian ham and homemade cheeses. We will participate in the world famous Holy Week of Seville, and explore the ancient Roman amphitheatres, ruins, and Moorish castles. We will bathe in the same beaches of Cádiz that people did a thousand years ago. In Toledo we will walk through the same streets of the Kings and Queens of Spain. And of course, we will pay tribute to Don Quixote's windmills!
14 DAYS * 8 CITIES * 2 COUNTRIES
Our adventure begins in Madrid via private van. Heading south, we explore Mérida, Évora, crossing into Portugal, and then Cádiz, Jerez de la Frontera, Seville and Toledo back in Spain. From there, we return to Madrid.
Departure from your home in the Americas.
Arrival in Madrid. A van will be waiting to pick up the group, or a taxi to the hotel if it arrives before or after the pick-up time. That evening, we will take a walking tour of the city center.
Explore Madrid: in a tourist bus, we will make stops at the Royal Theater, Royal Palace, Puerta de Toledo, San Francisco el Grande, Almudena Cathedral, Plaza Mayor, Puerta del Sol, Círculo Bellas Artes, Thyssen Museum, Reina Sofía Museum, Botanical Garden, Prado Museum, Puerta de Alcalá, Salamanca District, Plaza de Colón, Plaza de Cibeles, Gran Vía, Plaza de España, Temple of Debod.
Head to Mérida, Extremadura, in Western Spain. It is declared a World Heritage Site for its Roman amphitheater, bridges and temples; and for its Muslim Alcazar and Palaces, all of which we will be investigating!
Excursion to Trujillo, the charming medieval town that is the birthplace of Francisco Pizarro, conqueror of Peru. We will return to Mérida to take a night walk across the longest Roman bridge in the peninsula and through the its islands.
Excursion to Évora, Portugal, another charming medieval World Heritage city. Here we can experience another language and the wonders of Portugal. We will return to spend the night in Merida.
Excursion to Medellín, where Hernán Cortez, conqueror of Mexico, was born. We will explore its Roman amphitheater and go to a tasting of artisan wines and cheeses from the region. Again, we will spend the night in Merida again.
We will go to Jerez de la Frontera to visit a bodega where we can taste its famous wines and sherry and take a walking tour of the historic center. We will continue along the coast to Cádiz. It was founded in 1,100 BC. by the Phoenicians and is known as the oldest still inhabited settlement in Europe.
We will continue to the city of Cádiz where we'll take a walking tour of the cathedral and the historic center. We can enjoy the traditional Cadiz cuisine and walk along the beach of La Caleta and its fortresses.
We will travel to Seville, the capital of the autonomous community of Andalusia, which is famous for flamenco, Moorish influence, and as the administrative center and commercial port of the discovery of America. We will explore the tower where Columbus the treasure brought from the new world.
We will experience an Andalusian Holy Week in world famous Seville. We will witness their sacred acts such as solemn masses, besamanos, las procesiones con costaleros, bands, and the Sevillian atmosphere infused with incense.
We will spend another day in Seville where we will visit the Torre del Oro and the Cathedral, where Colón's remains lie. We will climb La Giralda and enter the Mozarabé palace, and we'll lose ourselves in the narrow, winding, picturesque streets in the Jewish quarter. In the evening, we will enjoy a flamenco show.
Before ending our trip in Madrid, we will visit the famous wind mills, and the world of Don Quixote! We will then go on to visit Toledo, the city of the three cultures and ancient capital of the Visigothic kingdom with its views and castles.
We say goodbye to Extremadura and Andalusia, Spain and to Portugal from our final point of the adventure in Madrid.
This is a boutique excursion
Meaning the schedule may change according to our group if we need to take advantage of any unforeseen cultural opportunities.