Lisbon – Obidos – Fatima – Seville – Gibraltar – Malaga
Granada – Cordoba – Toledo – Madrid – Montserrat – Barcelona
Tour 1: Sept 14, 2019 – Sept 27, 2019 Price: $4,595 + Tax
Tour 2: May 16, 2020 – May 29, 2020 Price: $4,595 + Tax
Sanctuary of Our Lady of Fatima, Portugal
Lisbon: The capital city of Portugal. Visitor highlights include the 25 de Abril Bridge, the Belém Tower, and Lisbon Old Town.
Obidos: The city of castles built between the 12th and the 19th century and influenced by Gothic, Moorish and Baroque architecture. It is here where each road, each square, and each ruin serves as a fascinating portrayal of Obidos’ medieval period.
Fatima: Our Lady of Fatima is one of the titles given by Catholics to Virgin Mary. This title was dedicated to her after she reportedly appeared to three little shepherds – Lúcia, Francisco và Jacinta – in Cova da Ira, 2km away from Fatima. Our Lady appeared to them six times in 1917 and revealed three secrets.
Barcelona: The Square of Catalunya & La Rambla are unique of Barcelona. The former is the link of Barcelona, where all roads start. La Rambla is a tree-lined pedestrian boulevard. It stretches for 1.3 km (0.8 mi) connecting the Square of Catalunya with the Christopher Columbus Monument. The Old Town with the Gothic Cathedral of Barcelona (La Seu) was built in the Middle Age. Barcelona has the largest medieval town in Europe. Another visitor highlight is Plaça del Rei (meaning “King’s Square”). Sagrada Familia Cathedral is iconic and unique of Barcelona.
Madrid: While Spain attracts 40-50 million visitors yearly, the capital Madrid is a major tourist destination. Visitor highlights of this city include the Royal Palace of Madrid (Palacio de Real), the Prado Museum, Plaza Mayor, Puerta del Sol (the Door of Sun), and Cibeles Square, depicting the goddess in a chariot pulled by two lions.
Seville: Is the center of art, culture, and finance of Southern Spain. As the old saying in Spain goes: “You won’t see miracles until you see Seville.” The city is home to a number of fascinating landmarks and cultural gems, including Plaza d’Espana, Seville Cathedral, Maria Luisa Park and the vibrant Flamenco dance.
Toledo: Recognized as a UNESCO World Heritage in 1986. Visit St. Thomas Church where you will admire El Greco’s masterpiece: The Burial of the Count of Orgaz, aged 400 years.
Depart from Los Angeles to Lisbon, Portugal.
Welcome to Lisbon. You’ll get to see the main highlights of this scenic city, including the 25 de Abril Bridge – a suspension bridge connecting Lisbon to Almada district. Take a leisure walk in Alfama and visit some of the picturesque places that the city has to offer at night. (D)
Our next stop is the iconic Belém Tower (or the Tower of St Vincent), a fortified tower built in 1515. In 1983, it was recognized as a UNESCO World Heritage.
Portugal was founded in 1143. It is a sovereign state located on the Iberian Peninsula in southwestern Europe. Geographically and culturally somewhat isolated from its neighbor, Portugal has a rich and unique culture.
Return to Lisbon for dinner with a folkloric show (Fado). (D)
Travel north through the countryside to the ancient walled town called Obidos. Obidos is a medieval city surrounded by the wall of the castle with picturesque narrow streets, whitewashed houses, iron balconies, and flower pots by every window. Ranked 4th in the top 10 romantic cities in Europe, Obidos also has another name – “The wedding present town” – because, on their wedding day in 1282, King Dinis gifted the entire town to his new Queen Isabel. This romantic tale makes Obidos a romantic wedding and honeymoon destination for newlyweds.
En route to the Sanctuary of Fatima, a center of Christian faith and a sacred pilgrimage site that hosts more than two million visitors annually. See the chapel where our Lady appeared to three little shepherd children and revealed three secrets.
Visit the Basilica of the Holy Trinity, a minor basilica in the Sanctuary of Fatima. The simple modernist design is both functional and iconographic to express its religiosity. From the main portico, the Door of Christ brings attention to the transcendence of God. It represents the themes of Father, Son and Holy Spirit with iconic imagery. Come to Cova da Iria to visit the tombs of Francisco and Jacinta, the children who saw the apparitions of Virgin Mary. Visit other sites related to the miraculous appearances of the Virgin Mary to the children in 1917 as well.
In the evening, join us for a candlelight procession in the Prayer Area of the Sanctuary of Fatima. Approach the area and find yourself in total silence as you witness people crawl on their knees towards the heart of the shrine to light a candle, say a prayer, and make a vow to Our Lady of Fatima as signs of their faith and devotions.
The hotel we choose for you tonight is within a walking distance to the Sanctuary of Fatima. (B/D)
Transfer to Seville, stop for some scenic views of many castles, the Alentejo region of Portugal with its many cork forests. In the late afternoon, arrive in Seville, the capital of southern Spain’s Andalusia region. It is an iconic city of Andalusia and a well-known destination of the arts, culture, and finance.
After dinner at your hotel, our guide will take you out for a walk to Plaza d’Espana. The place is symbolic of Seville and was built to serve an exposition in 1929. (B/D)
Our local tour guide, with tremendous knowledge of the local culture and history, will guide you to the Seville Cathedral (The Cathedral of Saint Mary of the See) with its iconic Bell Tower (known as La Giralda).
The old town of Santa Cruz is another cultural gem of Seville that will inspire you for the rest of your journey. Your evening will end with a memorable traditional Flamenco show and dinner. (B/D)
This morning, we’ll venture to La Linea to cross the Rock of Gibraltar, a limestone promontory ceded to the British in 1713 and a point of contention.
Our next stop is St Michael’s Cave, a seemingly bottomless cave which has attracted visitors ever since the days of the Romans.
Visiting Gibraltar, you will definitely stumble across Barbary Macaques, Gibraltar’s most popular tourist attraction. The Barbary Macaque in Gibraltar is the only wild monkey population in the European continent. While you’re observing them, try do do so as naturally as possible. Refrain from feeding and shouting at them.
The lighthouse “Europa Point”, standing at the very tip of Gibraltar, is our next stop. In a clear day when the sea water is still, stand on Europa Point and appreciate the incredible views. From here you can even see the Straits of Gibraltar, where the Mediterranean Sea and the Atlantic Ocean collide.
After lunch, we’ll transfer to the fabulous Costa del Sol (meaning “the sun coast”). It features the coastal towns and communities that reside along the Mediterranean coastline of Malaga Province, in the autonomous community of Andalusia. As the birthplace of artist Pablo Picasso, Malaga is considered the art hub of the region, one that can be compared to Madrid. Its dynamism and fine dining can be compared to Barcelona.
After dinner, with our guide, take a leisure walk in downtown Malaga, perhaps stop at some sidewalk cafes and enjoy a restful night in Malaga. (B/D)
Leaving Costa del Sol to Granada where you will visit the Alhambra, former residence of the Moorish kings. The Moorish citadel and palace is one of the most famous sites of the Islamic historical legacy. An overnight in Jaen will assure you a restful night. (B/D)
Venture to Toledo, the capital of Castile with a history of 2000 years. You will visit St. Thomas Church where you will admire El Greco’s masterpiece, The Burial of the Count of Orgaz. The interior of the church is in lavish baroque and the exterior is influenced by the Gothic style. Toledo is famed for its sword-making industry. For over 2000 years, the city has been a traditional sword-making, steel-working center.
Your journey continues to Madrid, the capital and largest city of Spain. (B/D)
Welcome to Madrid. Although founded in 852 AD, it was not until 1561 that Madrid was declared the capital city of Spain, earning the title from Toledo. The Royal Palace of Madrid (Palacio de Real) was chosen as the official residence of the Spanish Royal Family.
Your guided tour in Madrid will stop by the Prado Museum, the 5th largest museum in the world, keeping a world-class European art collection, ranging from the masterpieces of Velazquez, Goya to El Greco.
Check out Plaza Mayor, Madrid’s grand central square and one of the prettiest open spaces in Spain. The grandeur of the plaza is due in large part to the surrounding old and elegant apartments, with 437 wrought-iron balconies. The plaza is now a center of Madrid life. While exploring the plaza, make sure you sample Jamón, Spain’s signature ham. You can only take in its freshness and fine texture while dining at a restaurant and pairing it with a glass of wine. It is little wonder why Jamón is the crown jewel of Spanish cuisine.
Visit Puerta del Sol (the Door of Sun), a public square with an equine statue of King Carlos III and also Marid’s point zero. The popularity of Puerta del Sol can be compared to that of Time Square. On the evening of the 31st of December, thousands of people flock to the square to usher in the New Year. At this time, all televisions in Spain light up with the image of the Puerta del Sol.
In case you extend your stay in Madrid, check out the Thyssen Museum, Reina Sofia, Palacio de las Telecomunicaciones… or perhaps just some small sidewalk cafes and restaurants to take in the tastiness of Spanish cuisine. (B/D)
You will have the balance of the day to soak up the splendors of Madrid while we en route for Barcelona by AVE high-speed train. The train takes around 2h30min compared to a bus trip, which would normally consume 8-10 hours of your travel time. Especially, you won’t have to bring your luggage on the train. We’ll have it transferred to your hotel in Barcelona.
Welcome to the capital of the Catalonia region – Barcelona. This city offers a unique mix of medieval charm and avantgarde grandeur. Our local expert will lead you to explore the Gothic Cathedral of Barcelona (La Seu). It was built on the foundation of Roman Catholic churches between 1298 and 1459. Proceed to visit Plaza de Rei (‘The King’s Square’). After dinner, enjoy a walking tour in the city. A spectacular night-time experience will be on offer at Casa Mila, one of the masterpieces of the great architect Gaudi. (B/D)
Transfer to Montserrat Benedictine monastery, one of the 10 most unique monasteries in the world. The place is notable for its unique architecture and enshrining the statue of the Black Virgin of Montserrat. According to Catholic historians, the statue was carved around 50 AD and brought to Spain. It was later hidden from the Moors in a cave, then rediscovered in 880 AD by shepherds. Legend has it that they followed a bright light and heard heavenly music then eventually found the statue. The Bishop of Manresa, present at the discovery, suggested that the statue of the Black Virgin of Montserrat be moved to Manresa. However, when they were trying to move the small statue, it was too heavy to be lifted. Thus people had to build a monastery around the statue. It seemed that the Virgin had indicated her will to stay on Montserrat to be venerated there.
Spend the rest of your day on some shopping on the famous La Rambla boulevard in Barcelona. (B/D)
Proceed to visit La Sagrada Familia Cathedral, the largest unfinished Roman Catholic church in the world, designed by Catalan architect Antoni Gaudi. The construction of the church began in 1883, and Gaudi worked on it until his death in 1926. Sagrada Familia is expected to be completed in 2026 with funding from donations and ticket sales. Currently, 8 out of 12 about 100 meters tall bell towers are completed. The higher towers of the facade of the glory and the central dome with a height of over 170 meters will be built. The style of this marvelous church is a mixture of Spanish Late Gothic, Catalan Modernism and Art Nouvea. While visiting the church, give yourself a lot of time to examine the details of the facades, where many embassies and biblical stories are hidden. (B/D)
Depart from Barcelona for Los Angeles. (B)