Spain and Portugal 2019

Tuesday, June 4, 2019

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June 4: Marrakech for 3 nights Meet & greet private transfer from airport to your hotel La Mamounia***** On some days during the three years it took to restore Marrakech’s undisputed grande dame hotel, more than 1,000 craftsmen were at work on the site. Parisian designer Jacques Garcia, entrusted with returning the 1923 property to its former glory, sought out the city’s most talented painters and wood carvers. The craftsmen he chose laid millions of hand-cut tiles, pieced together wood-marquetry walls, carved ornate designs into plaster columns and forged hundreds of handmade lanterns. Thanks to them, the palace is once again a vibrant celebration of the city’s past, present and future, displaying Moroccan style, complete with intricate patterns and arabesques based on Berber and Arab-Andalusian traditions. Breakfast included.

June 5: Full day private guided tour of Marrakech During private touring, explore exquisite Moorish gardens and architectural highlights such as Jardin Majorelle, Jardin Menara, the Palmeraie and the Bahia Palace. See important historic monuments and districts, including the Jewish quarter, Koutoubia Mosque, and Ali ben Youssef Mosque and Medersa. . Take an insider tour of the massive souks where shops offer local products such as argan oil, Berber carpets and Moroccan slippers. Also visit the spice souks, which are stocked with locally harvested saffron, cumin and other ingredients.

June 6: Full day private guided tour to High Atlas with lunch in a Berber House Only 50km from Marrakech along the road towards Taroudant sits the picturesque village of Asni, a Berber village that lies on the edge of the Toubkal National Park. Asni is known for its weekly souk which is held every Saturday. Just after Asni a left turn in the road leads directly towards the mountains, and the village of Imlil. Approximately 5km along this road is Sir Richard Branson’s Kasbah Tamadot, where you will stop for a coffee. Explore in the lush, fertile Mizzane valley , the village of Imlil, nestled at the foot of the High Atlas mountain range. Imlil is the departure point for hikes in the Toubkal National Park, for visiting the Kasbah du Toubkal, and for climbing Mount Toubkal (4167m), the highest peak in North Africa. Upon arrival in the village of Imlil you’ll meet your local Berber Mountain Guide who will take you on a gentle one and a half hour walk through amazing landscapes – valleys, nature and small rural villages. You’ll start by heading up to the Kasbah du Toubkal, along a path that climbs slowly at first, then more steeply through the walnut groves up to the Kasbah. Beyond the Kasbah you’ll stop beside a magnificent waterfall, and then on to a local village, passing along the way several orchards, almond trees, irises and some stunning scenery. Don’t forget your camera! A traditional Berber lunch is included at a Berber lodge at the end of the walk.

June 7: Private transfer from hotel to airport Iberia flight from Marrakech to Madrid Departure at 1:20 pm, arrival at 4:15 pm YOU WANT TO GO: In a double or twin: $2,400.00 per person In a double single use: $2,929.00 per person Hold your place with $500 per person deposit-- refundable only if we do not fill group. PLEASE MAKE YOUR CHECK PAYABLE TO: Holt Travel Service THE MAIN EVENT: SPAIN AND PORTUGAL

June 7: Madrid for 2 nights Meet & greet private transfer from airport to hotel Hotel Unico***** Hotel Único Madrid’s Ramon Freixa Madrid restaurant has 2 Michelin Stars. Located in Madrid’s Salamanca district, this restored 19th-century building offers free Wi-Fi, a modern gym and a charming garden courtyard. This boutique hotel features unique avant-garde décor. Each stylish room includes flat-screen satellite TV, a DVD player and iPod dock. Bathrobes, slippers and a pillow menu are provided. Recoletos Train Station and Colon Metro Station are around 1,641 feet from the hotel. The beautiful Retiro Park is a 10-minute walk away. The Único Hotel has several lounge areas and a library. A range of massages is offered in the wellness center. The hotel can also arrange personal trainers and shoppers. Day at leisure.

June 8: 6 hour private Insider tour of Madrid. First, we’ll zigzag our way through narrow streets and along big arteries of the downtown area. Madrid’s exciting history, the beautiful architecture and our lovely guides will keep you enjoying every minute of it. We will see the catholic Cathedral of La Almudena, and the imposing Royal Palace which for centuries was the residence of the Spanish Monarchy, and already the site of much earlier fortifications. We’ll cover the main squares, among them of course Plaza Mayor and Puerta del Sol, where we’ll be looking for some of Madrid’s symbols. Along our walk we’ll admire churches and historic monuments, while our entertaining guides share many interesting anecdotes. We’ll see the “Houses of Malice”, the Arabic walls and the San Miguel market. Once we’ve crossed the old town we’ll get into one of our comfortable touring vans and drive passed the Retiro Park towards the Gate of Alcalá. We’ll get a glimpse of the most important museums of Spain on our panoramic way up towards the North. Depending on how much walking you would like to do and what your interests are we’ll cover some of the following: the Soccer stadium of the Real Madrid, the business center to the North, the bullring of Las Ventas, the Egyptian Debod temple, the huge park called Casa de Campo, and the modern Madrid Rio park to the South. On several occasions we’ll get out of the van to thoroughly explore the sites. If you would like to have some quick tapas during their tour our expert guide will take them to an authentic tapas restaurant close by.

June 9: Seville for 3 nights Private transfer from hotel to train station 1st class train from Madrid to Seville with seat reservations Departure at 10 am, arrival at 12:30 pm Meet & greet private transfer from train station to Hotel Alfonso XIII***** One of Spain's most prestigious hotels, Hotel Alfonso XIII - A Luxury Collection Hotel is located next to Seville’s Real Alcazares. It offers an outdoor swimming pool, gym and a typical garden courtyard with fountain. The Alfonso XIII’s elegant design includes Arabic-style arches and ceramic tiles. Rooms are individually decorated and feature air conditioning, a minibar, bathrobe and slippers. Each room has a mini fridge with drinks and snacks. Free internet is also available. Hotel Alfonso XIII - A Luxury Collection Hotel offers casual al fresco dining in its Taifas Restaurant next to the swimming pool. Sweet snacks are available, as well as beers and wines. The San Fernando restaurant is located in the Andalusian-style courtyard and serves traditional local dishes for breakfast, lunch and dinner. There is also a terrace set next to the courtyard, as well as the elegant Bar Americano cocktail bar. Set on the edge of the historic Santa Cruz district, hotel is within 985 feet of Seville Cathedral and the Giralda. The Torre de Oro and the banks of the River Guadalquivir are just 329 feet away. This evening enjoy a Tapas Tour of Seville. Bursting with color, passion and sunshine, it’s hard not to fall head over heels for beautiful Seville. One of Spain’s most important cities since ancient times, Seville has been home to Romans, Muslims, Jews and Christians – a melting pot of cultures whose lasting legacy is its incredible food. Today Seville is a dream come true for foodies. Join us on our 4-hour walking food tour and delve deep into Seville’s culinary traditions. You’ll eat your way through three of the city’s neighborhoods while learning about the different civilizations who have made the local gastronomy so unique. And while Seville has experienced an avalanche of new gourmet tapas bars in recent years, on this tour we avoid the fancy and embrace the rustic, the authentic, and the real – the places where born-and-bred Sevillians eat, drink and celebrate. Nor is this a tapas tour – there will be tapas, but there will be lots more on your food tour (because the locals don’t just eat tapas all day!). Your expert English-speaking guide will take you off the beaten track and into seven family-run food businesses where you’ll taste a true flavor of the city – from breakfast to dessert (and with the best Spanish ham, traditional tapas, wine and lots more in between). Along the way you’ll also explore some of the city’s best kept secrets, from stunning hidden plazas to tiny alleyways where most tourists would never know to look.

June 10: Full day private guided tour to Granada Skip past the Alhambra’s long entrance lines with your private guide and explore this incredible palace complex! Including priority access, this private tour ensures you’ll see the best of Granada’s premier UNESCO World Heritage Site with ease. Tour all the must-visit Alhambra highlights like Alcazaba Fortress, the Nasrid Palaces and Generalife Gardens, while learning about its Moorish history. Then start your stroll through gorgeous Albaicin. Listed as a UNESCO World Heritage Site, the neighborhood sprawls over a hill adjacent to the Alhambra, and is known for its views of the palace complex set against the Sierra Nevada mountain range. Explore the area with your guide and admire the cármenes (Granadan villas) and their beautiful gardens that line the streets. Moorish architecture abounds in this charming quarter, and your guide will point out some of the finest examples while talking about the days when the Moors reigned. After admiring views of the Alhambra — another of the city’s UNESCO World Heritage stunners — continue walking from Albaicin to the Sacromonte caves. Built on the slopes of Cerro de San Miguel, the caves were originally lived in by Spanish gypsies and the area became a popular for the community to meet up, dance flamenco and relax. Now a sought-after residential neighborhood, Sacromonte still retains its old-world charm and appeal, and represents the heart of Granada’s flamenco dancing scene. Lunch at restaurant Mirador de Morayma Only ten minutes away by foot from the Alhambra. In Granada´s ancient Moorish quarter, the Albayzín, a UNESCO World Heritage site, you will find an elegant restaurant with a breathtaking view of the Alhambra.

June 11: Full day private guided tour to Cordoba With whitewashed courtyards, colorful cobblestone alleys, historic monuments and a fascinating melting pot of Muslim, Christian and Jewish culture, Cordoba is bound to enchant. On this easy day trip from Seville, let an expert guide show you the highlights of this beautiful Andalusian city, crowned by the UNESCO World Heritage–listed city center (the second-largest old town in Europe). Stand in awe of the Mezquita and the Alcázar, visit one Spain’s few existing synagogues, explore the medieval streets of the Jewish quarter and take a snapshot of iconic Calleja de las Flores. Lunch at restaurant Bodegas Mezquita: Best known Tapas-bar and Restaurant of the Judería (Jewish Quarter), at Cordoba’s Old Town.

June 12: Lisbon for 4 nights Private transfer from hotel to Seville airport Tap from Seville to Lisbon Departure at 7 am, arrival at 7:05 am Meet & greet private transfer from airport to Hotel Lapa Palace***** Built in the 19th-century, this luxurious 5-star hotel is nestled on a sub-tropical garden on a hilltop overlooking the Tagus River. It has an expansive spa and indoor and outdoor pools. For relaxation, The Lapa Palace Spa features a sauna and a Turkish bath. The masseuses are also available to provide massages tailored to the individual client. There is also a modern gym equipped with cardiovascular equipment. The elegant rooms at the Olissippo Lapa Palace are bright and airy and include a spacious seating area, satellite TV and a marble bathroom. Most rooms have a balcony with views of the Tagus River or the pool and sub-tropical garden. Restaurant Hotel Lapa serves fine Mediterranean cuisine and regional wines, while Le Pavillion, during summer time, serves cocktails, homemade iced teas and fruit juices around the pool. On warmer days, meals can be enjoyed on the terrace. In the evenings, the live music is featured. Full day private guided tour of Lisbon. During this private tour, you will discover Lisbon, the capital of Portugal, the city built on seven hills, located near the meeting point of the Tagus River with the ocean. It is the only European capital with sunsets on the sea, so close to golden beaches, with a captivating mild climate even in winter, when most other European cities are freezing. A charming and friendly city, with cosmopolitan population, World Heritage monuments, impressive museums. Here every corner breathes History, Culture and Art. You will discover the beautiful area of Belem, an ode to the superb age of the Portuguese Discoveries. Here you will visit the Belem Tower and you will admire the Monument to the Discoveries, followed by the magnificent Jeronimos Monastery, considered one of the most stunning monuments of Portugal. Free time for lunch. Then we will proceed to the charismatic Alfama district, the house of the traditional Fado music, with twisting streets wind up to an imposing castle on one of the city’s highest hills. With whitewashed houses, flower-laden balconies and red-tiles roofs, it is a perfect mixture of a tourist site and residential area. You will also discover the most important squares of this city and the famous Liberdade Avenue. And during this gorgeous tour, you will also have opportunity to taste the delicious and sweet “Pastel de Belem”, a typical pastry.

June 13: Day at leisure

June 14: Full day private guided tour of Estoril Coast The surroundings of Lisbon offer an incredible variety of tourist attractions, from fairytale places to romantic towns and breathtaking viewpoints. This private Full-Day Tour was idealized for discovering four of the most stunning lands around the Capital of Portugal. We will start with the romantic Sintra. This village is a harmonic combination of History and fantasy and it was described as a “glorious Eden” by the British poet Lord Byron, in the 18th century. Stroll through its medieval streets and admire the special handicraft. You will have free time to explore this marvelous village and our friendly driver/guide can recommend you some imposing monuments and wonderful palaces that worth a visit. Free time for lunch. The next stop will be the Roca Cape, the westernmost extent of mainland Portugal, where the land ends and the sea begins. With an impressive view over the beautiful Atlantic Ocean, the crashing waves make this place even more gorgeous. And on our return to Lisbon, you will appreciate the fishing harbor and the tourist center of Cascais, former summer residence of the Portuguese royal family and nowadays an excellent place for surfing, and the famous Estoril, known for its Casino, the largest in Europe, with attractive gardens.

June 15: Full day private guided tour to Obidos & Nazare Our first stop will be the beautiful town of Obidos. Filled with cobbled streets and typical painted houses, the entire town is encircled by solid walls. Recaptured from the Moors, it is considered the “wedding gift”, as it was gifted to a queen, not once by many times throughout the centuries. Here the caste stands out, as well as its medieval streets and white houses adorned with bougainvillea and honeysuckle. Then we will proceed to Nazare. Nazare is the most traditional fishing village in Portugal. It is famous for its long sandy half-moon shaped beach, its wooden fishing boats that are colourful, narrow and with curved prows, its uncommon fishmongers who still wear the traditional seven skirts and its furious waves that can achieve world records.

June 16: Barcelona for 3 nights Private transfer from hotel to airport Tap from Lisbon to Barcelona Departure at 10:55 am, arrival at 1:45 pm Meet & greet private transfer from airport to Hotel Neri***** This chic, exclusive hotel is set in an 18th-century aristocratic house overlooking a secluded square in the heart of the Gothic Quarter. Its contemporary style contrasts with the impressive historic surroundings. Set right beside the city’s Cathedral, the Hotel Neri lies just a short distance from the bustling Las Ramblas. The building’s original period charm has been preserved and enhanced by the hotel’s sophisticated interior design. This design blends with relaxing music and sensual aromas to create a unique setting in this ancient, atmospheric area of central Barcelona. Dine on delicious specialities in the hotel restaurant or enjoy a drink at the terrace bar. You can also spend a relaxing moment in the tranquil library or on the pretty rooftop garden terrace. Hotel Neri Relais & Châteaux preserves its impressive façade to Sant Felip Neri square as well as a stone wall of s. XII perfectly traceable at present, which separates the lounge bar area of the restaurant. It has the status of Specialty Monument. 4 hour private Gaudi Tour This is by far the most popular tour in Barcelona: The architect Antoni Gaudí left his heritage in the city transforming forever the city’s urban landscape with his touches of genius, color and forward thinking. Don’t miss one of the best Gaudi tours in the city of Barcelona! During this private Gaudi tour you will get acquainted with his masterpieces, learn about his life and personality, and understand his interest in nature and his exceptional command of engineering – all in an informative but fun way! Casa Batlló and Casa Milà / Pedrera. One inside and one outside Park Güell. Inside. Sagrada Família Church. Inside is a MUST! (Towers not included)

June 17: Day at leisure

June 18: Boqueria Market and Cooking Class followed by lunch Savor the best of Barcelona’s food scene during this private 4-hour excursion combing a market tour, cooking class and 12-course tapas tasting. Wander the labyrinth of produce and seafood for sale at La Boqueria Market before taking your food knowledge to the next level in a Spanish cooking session led by a professional chef. If your mouth is watering from all this food talk, don’t worry: finish your trip with a 12-course Spanish tapas meal accompanied by wine and beer. Your guide, all food tasting and unlimited drinks are included. Enjoy a dynamic, interactive, and fun tapas workshop. It begins with a stroll through La Boqueria, one of the most important markets in Spain, including an explanation of the history of the area where it is located, in the old town. Follow-up your visit with a practical cooking class featuring typical Spanish recipes and the explanation of the history of tapas in Spain. It ends with a tasty cuisine of local dishes accompanied by the finest wines, all served by waiters in a private lounge. Sample Menu: Seafood Paella, Spanish omelette, potatoes "Bravas" with three sauces, assorted Iberian cold cuts, Andalusian fish, Garlic prawns traditional, Traditional croquettes, Manchego cheese, Cantabrian anchovies, Mussels with Salsa, Octopus “feira” and Catalan cream. Accompanied by fine wine with denomination of origin, mineral water, beer or cola.

June 19: Private transfer from hotel to airport YOU WANT TO GO: In a double or twin: $9,440.00 per person In a double single use: $11,342.00 per person Hold your place with $2000 per person deposit-- refundable only if we do not fill group. PLEASE MAKE YOUR CHECK PAYABLE TO: Holt Travel Service COSTA BRAVA: OPTIONAL EXTENSION FOR THOSE WHO WANT TO UNWIND AND SOAK IT ALL IN—The Beach

June 19: Costa Brava for 3 nights Private transfer to Costa Brava with touring on the way and visit of Girona and lunch included. The Costa Brava, the “rugged coast”, is coined as such due to its high, sheer cliffs and numerous rocky coves yet is home to small medieval towns, fishing villages, and secluded beaches, most of which are largely only reachable by boat or narrow coastal trails. As the Costa Brava is one of the few authentic and pristine coastlines in the western Mediterranean, our small group and private day trips and tours to the Costa Brava and Girona take guests to experience charming fishing villages, local markets, city gardens, short walks to secluded beaches and great panoramic lookout points over this Mediterranean paradise. Girona city tours take you through the rich history of one of Spain’s most charming, medieval walled cities that has been very well preserved since it was founded by the Romans in the 1st century. You’ll wind through the narrow stone streets of the old quarter and see Girona highlights such as the Cathedral, Roman and medieval wall, Rambla de la Llibertat, Onyar River houses and bridges, Jewish Heritage museum and more. Prior to exploring Girona, a four-course lunch is served in Girona city at a great traditional restaurant with wine, big salads, olives, grilled meats or the fresh fish dishes, which many guests qualify as their best meal while in Spain! Arrive at Hotel Hostal de la Gavina***** This property is 2 minutes walk from the beach. Set just 329 feet from S’Agaro Beach, the 5-star Hostal de la Gavina features a spa, tennis club and outdoor pool surrounded by Mediterranean gardens. Rooms offer wonderful sea views. La Gavina has an ideal setting on the Costa Brava, just 16.8 miles from Girona Airport and 62.1 miles from Barcelona. Each room at Hostal Gavina has large windows and classic décor, including luxury fabrics and antique furniture. All rooms include air conditioning, a minibar and satellite TV. Candelight by Romain Fornell is a gastronomic restaurant with bright design. Prior reservations are required. The hotel’s poolside Garbí restaurant serves Mediterranean lunches. Meals and cocktails can be enjoyed on the terrace in summer. The Gavina spa includes a hammam, hot tub and heated indoor pool. There is also a gym and relaxation area with sea views. Guests can choose from a wide range of beauty treatments.

June 20: Day at leisure At the spa… Or the pool…

June 21: Full day Dali Tour with Catalan lunch included Explore the northern border of Catalunya where Dalí was born, raised and lived and the landscape, culture and politics which helped shape and inspire his world renowned art, life and lifestyle. While the day’s itinerary is essentially based around the quintessential visits to the Dalí House Museum in Port Lligat (Costa Brava) and Dalí Museum in Figueres, there is a lot to do and see in between throughout the day’s journey. You get to spend the day in the heart of the Catalan countryside and Costa Brava getting a true feel for the Catalan Mediterranean culture, architecture, traditions and world-class cuisine. Then visit to the Dalí house museum in Port Lligat is a one-hour guided visit through Dalí’s main residence with a maximum group size of eight persons. The house is a veritable labyrinth shifting through narrow corridors and passageways into the rooms and workshop where Dalí and his wife Gala lived and which are still in the original decoration from when they resided there. The Dali Teatre Museu in Figueres was designed and built by Dalí himself and showcases some of his great masterpiece paintings as well as some of his sculptures, furniture and jewelry that he designed. The chance to visit Cadaques is in itself worth the trip north. Cadaqués, with its white washed houses, winding cobbled streets, galleries and shops, has been the home of many artists, including Pablo Picasso (1910) and is still an artist colony today. Cadaqués’ unique and somewhat tricky location, surrounded by literally miles of stone wall terracing is an incredible thing in itself and will surely be a highlight of the day along with the Dali museums.

June 22: Private transfer from hotel to airport


In a double or twin: $2,386.00 per person

In a double single use: $3,780.00 per person

Hold your place with $500 per person deposit – refundable only if we do not fill group.


**Itineraries and prices may shift slightly