Iberian Inspiration 2019
11 Days - TOLEDO / CÓRDOBA / GRANADA / RONDA / ARACENA
East meets west and past meets present. Spain and Portugal offer a heady mix of treasures, from Arabic palaces and Roman temples to Catholic cathedrals. We’ll take it all in on a rural road trip in search of hidden Iberia.
- Experience the historic charm of Córdoba, Granada, Ubeda, Estremoz and Ronda from charming old town hotels
- Taste the delicious and famous Jamón Ibérico in Sierra de Aracena
- Enjoy a traditional Flamenco show
- 10 nights in boutique accommodation
- Experienced Back-Roads Driver and Tour Leader
- Premium mini-coach transportation
- Daily European-style breakfast (B), 3 evening meals (D)
- Entrance included to all attractions in the itinerary, including: Synagogue of Santa María la Blanca, Monastery of San Juan de los Reyes, Alhambra
DAY 1 MADRID – TOLEDO
After meeting in Madrid, we’ll begin our journey to Toledo, where centuries of history come alive. After a city tour, we’ll enjoy a welcome dinner at our hotel’s restaurant, which specialises in suckling pig and lamb. (D)
DAY 2 TOLEDO – VALDEPEÑAS – CÓRDOBA
Our road continues south across the vast plains of La Mancha. We’ll pause in Valdepeñas to visit a local bodega for wine and tapas before continuing on to Córdoba – our home for the next two nights. (B,L)
DAY 3 CÓRDOBA
This morning, we’ll go back to the days of Islamic Iberia in Córdoba’s Old Town. After a city tour with an included entrance to the Mezquita (a UNESCO-protected mosque), you’ll be free to explore at your own pace. Seek out hidden squares and local cafés, pamper yourself at a traditional hammam or simply marvel at the city’s eye-catching architecture. (B)
DAY 4 CÓRDOBA – ÚBEDA – GRANADA
Today, we’ll check out the town of Úbeda, which is full of spectacular Renaissance palaces. This morning, we’ll pause to taste Spanish olive oil in a peaceful olive grove before settling into our hotel. Dinner tonight is a group affair. (B)
DAY 5 GRANADA
Intricately carved archways. Lavish interiors featuring colourful tiles. Vibrant gardens. Today we’ll pay a visit to the Alhambra, a breathtaking Moorish palace perched on a hilltop outside Granada. This afternoon will find us back in the city centre, where you’ll be free to discover the city. Be sure to make time to take in the stunning cathedral. (B)
DAY 6 GRANADA – RONDA
From Granada, our path turns east as we pass through rural countryside to Ronda. With a dramatic setting on the edge of a deep canyon, this historic town boasts breathtaking views. Tonight, we’ll join together for a group dinner in a local restaurant.
DAY 7 RONDA – GRAZALEMA – JEREZ – SEVILLE
Today, we’ll drive to Jerez to visit a local winery with a private gallery before enjoying a tapas lunch and wine tasting. Later, we’ll move on to Seville, where we’ll enjoy a traditional flamenco show. (B)
DAY 8 SEVILLE
After breakfast, it’s time to explore Seville at your own leisure. You could search out Roman ruins, Moorish mosaics and classical squares, or you could take yourself on a tapas tour, hopping from bar to bar while sampling Andalucían specialities. (B)
DAY 9 SEVILLE – SIERRA DE ARACENA
It’s back to nature today as we make tracks to the Sierra de Aracena, a wonderfully picturesque mountain range peppered with castles, quaint villages and pastures. With a variety of well-maintained trails, the area certainly deserves its status as a fantastic place for a ramble.
DAY 10 ARACENA - MONSARAZ- ESTREMOZ
Our first stop of the day is Monsaraz, a charming Portuguese hilltop village with sweeping views of the Alqueva Dam. We’ll take some time to stroll its narrow streets before moving on to Estremoz to end the day. (B, D)
DAY 11 ESTREMOZ – ÉVORA – LISBON
Today we’ll continue to Évora, the capital of the Alentejo region. After taking a look around the marvellous cathedral, the Templo Romano and the town square, we’ll press on to Lisbon, where we’ll say farewell to the group.