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15 nights Spain & Portugal Active Family Holiday

Description

Photo courtesy of Cityscape-of-Porto-Tow, Associação-de-Turismo-do-Porto-e-Norte-AR

This custom itinerary was designed for an active Family of 3 Adults (mom & dad & grandma) and 2 children ages 11 & 12 for their summer holiday. This itinerary combines half & full day private tours between leisure days for relaxation.

Day 1 - Arrive in BARCELONADay 2 - BARCELONADay 3 - BARCELONADay 4 - BARCELONADay 5 - BARCELONA to PORTODay 6 - PORTODay 7 - PORTODay 8 - PORTO to DOURO VALLEYDay 9 - DOURO VALLEYDay 10 - DOURO VALLEYDay 11 - DOURO VALLEY to LISBONDay 12 - LISBONDay 13 - LISBONDay 14 - LISBONDay 15 - LISBONDay 16 - Depart LISBON
Upon arrival at Barcelona Airport meet your driver in the arrivals hall and transfer to your hotel in Barcelona where you will be assisted with check-in procedures.

The remainder of the day is for you to have some rest in your beautiful Art Suite at the lovely Hotel El Palace and its rooftop swimming pool or for self-exploration of the nearby neighborhoods for your afternoon lunch.

Hotel El Palace has undergone a two-year modernization that brings fresh splendor to one of the most exclusive hotels of Barcelona. Centrally located, near the Gothic Quarter, Las Ramblas, Paseo de Gracia and famous landmarks such as the Picasso Museum and the Sagrada Familia, it boasts an important art history, as Salvador Dali and his wife Gala once lived in the Royal Suite, now named Suite Dali. True to its name, the hotel has public areas in opulent style, with marble colonnades, ornate moldings, richly upholstered seating and crystal chandeliers. Accommodations have a contemporary feel, with some of the classic deluxe rooms with mosaic-covered Roman-style bathrooms, and new exclusive suites based on the six classic arts. The perfect choice for dining is the hotel’s gastronomic restaurant Winter Garden – a must; and The Garden for buffet breakfast.

Decorated in the finest of inviting hardwoods, the Bluesman Cocktail Bar is the only place in Barcelona where you can enjoy a cocktail while listening to jazz or blues.

The outdoor pool, the gem of the rooftop retreat, was designed by the hotel’s original owner, César Ritz, and inspired by ancient Roman baths. Look out over all of Barcelona from your bamboo armchair at the charming Winter Garden restaurant. Cast-iron furniture is inspired by antique designs, while the armchairs date back to the hotel’s early 20th-century beginnings.  Take in the full experience at the hotel’s highest point, the solarium, where at the end of the day the perch atop the city promises a perfect view of a shimmering sunset.

There are few cities in the world that can compare to the beauty of Barcelona; the capital of Catalonia and Spain’s second-largest city. It has long rivaled Madrid in industrial might and business prowess, and considers itself equal to other great European cities. Barcelona enjoys a deep cultural life and long heritage as home of the architect Antonio Gaudi, known for his Modernism.  The true heart of Barcelona lies in the Barri Gotic (Gothic Quarter), a twisting maze of mysterious streets representing the oldest part of the city. Among its wealth of medieval buildings are the Cathedral, the Picasso Museum and La Ramblas, Barcelona’s most famous street.

Europe’s most unconventional church, the Sagrada Familia, is considered Barcelona’s most eccentric landmark. Crammed with symbolism, it epitomizes Gaudi’s greatest work, having become his life’s endeavor for 16 years. The most complete part of the church is the Nativity facade, its doorways representing Faith, Hope and Charity.

The Placa del Rei, the city’s most historic square and a place where tradition lives, was where Columbus was greeted on his return from the New World.

 

 

 

 

 

This morning after breakfast, discover the UNESCO World Heritage Site masterpieces of Catalonia’s most famous architect, Gaudí, with your expert guide. The Casa Mila, also known as La Pedrera, was completed in 1912 and is one of Barcelona’s best-known Art Nouveau buildings. Considered a breakthrough construction, it anticipated twentieth-century architecture and was at the cutting edge of design and technology. Appropriately, today it is a cultural centre and an exhibition space for art. The visually-arresting Sagrada Familia Basilica was started in 1882 and currently is two-thirds complete. Combining Gothic with Art Nouveau, this unique place of worship is a sight to behold. Work continues and with new construction techniques, the aim is to complete the building by the mid-2020s.

The final stop of your morning is at Parc Guell, a beautiful municipal garden with a superb panoramic view over the city; the focal point is a colorful sea-serpent-shaped central terrace. Gaudi lived in the gatehouse during his later years, and this is now a museum dedicated to him.

After free time for lunch, take the afternoon to explore the true heart of the old city – the medieval Gothic Quarter. The narrow, labyrinthine streets and quiet squares are quite distinct from the rest of the city. Your guide shows you the magnificent thirteenth-century cathedral, notable for its fine Gothic chapels, medieval choir stalls and shady cloister.  You also visit the Picasso Museum, where some of the painter’s earliest works are housed in the remarkable setting of a part-Gothic, part-Roman palace. (8 hours, driver and guide)

Please note: Casa Mila (La Pedrera) & Parc Guell are not recommended for people with mobility issues and are not accessible for wheelchairs.

Evening at leisure to explore the city on your own.

 

After breakfast, dad & the kids will have the morning at leisure, and mom & grandma will meet their driver at the hotel and be privately transferred to the workshop to enjoy a private Mosaic class. Barcelona is one of the most prestigious cities

Calçada Portuguesa_Credit José Manuel

in the world when it comes to mosaics and the stunning Mediterranean city is full of picturesque and visually arresting mosaics whether it be in parks such as Gaudi’s Parc Guell or everyday items such as tables and mirrors. With this much heritage, you are in the right place when embarking on designing your own mosaic. During the workshop, your mentor will help you to use the Trencadís technique in order to make your own individual and unique mosaic piece – a great memento to your time in the Catalan capital. At the end of your workshop, you are transferred back to your hotel. (Return transfers and 2 hours; private mosaic class) 

After lunch, grandma & the kids will have the afternoon at leisure and mom & dad will meet their driver at the hotel to be transferred to Tablao Flamenco El Cordobes, to take a private flamenco lesson. This captivating dance is, of course, extremely complex and it is only possible to learn some of the rudiments in a single class. Here, rather than learning just a few steps, you will experience all the elements which are the essence of flamenco; dance, singing and the guitar.  Receive a warm welcome with a glass of red wine and a delicious Spanish snack, whilst listening to an expert guitarist and then a singer, after which it will be time to take the floor and learn some of the simpler steps and get into the rhythm of clapping and the castanets. Flamenco, the hypnotic music of the gypsies of Andalucía, has its roots firmly in places like Seville and Jerez de la Frontera.  Over the last 50 years however, there has been massive migration of Andalusians to Barcelona, bringing with them the heritage and live tradition of flamenco.  Some of the most famous flamenco dancers of modern times, such as Antonio Gades, first reached fame in Barcelona.  Consequently, flamenco is very much alive in Barcelona today and it is a perfect place to experience and learn something of this uniquely Spanish tradition.  (Return transfers, 1 hour private class).

 

At the end of the flamenco lesson, the reminder of the day is at leisure for you to explore the city with the family.

After breakfast, dad & the kids will have the morning at leisure, and mom & grandma will meet their driver and local representative at the hotel to be transferred to start your cooking experience. In the company of your expert chef, visit the Boquería market, one of the most famous in Europe, offering all kinds of fresh produce imaginable from fresh fish to freshly-baked bread. Select your ingredients from the many stalls in preparation for the recipes you are creating this morning. After a 15-20 minute car journey, you arrive at the kitchen to prepare for your exciting cooking class. Your chef teaches you how to cook a number of classic Spanish dishes; savor the fruits of your labor at lunchtime, accompanied by fine local wine. (6 hours, local representative and private transfers)

The remainder of the day is at leisure for the family to explore the city of Barcelona.

After breakfast, meet your driver to be privately transferred to Barcelona airport for your flight to Porto.

Upon arrival in Oporto you are transferred from airport to your hotel.

The rest of the day is for you to explore Porto on your own.*** The hotel does not offer a shuttle service, clients will need to make own way to town by Taxi.

01 NightLife_Porto_Credit Yves Callewaert

Occupying a breath taking position overlooking the Douro River and the historic city centre, the luxury The Yeatman hotel enjoys stunning panoramic views and is famous for its outstanding selection of wines. The hotel’s 70 rooms and 12 suites blend the finest Portuguese furnishings with British flair for ultimate comfort and luxury. The Yeatman is renowned for its Michelin star restaurant that favours the importance of wine and food pairing. It is also famous for its extensive wine cellar containing more than 25,000 bottles of wine, a haven for wine lovers and those wishing to explore the fascinating world of Port and other wines from Portugal’s best producers. Cushioned seating areas are set around the outdoor pool that overlooks the Douro River and the contemporary, well-equipped gym offers state-of-the-art cardiovascular equipment. Conveniently located in Vila Nova de Gaia, The Yeatman hotel is only a short walk from General Torres Station and the Douro River, perfect for wine enthusiasts and those seeking the best views of Porto from the comfort of their own room.

After breakfast, discover the history surrounding Porto’s nickname, the ‘Unvanquished City’, on your private city tour today. The city is situated on a steep escarpment running down to the glorious River Douro, and occupies its north bank. Visit the

Portugal; Porto; Douro River Courtesy of Akorn DMC

Cais da Ribeira, the quayside of the fascinating Ribeira district, and some of the city’s most beautiful monuments including the opulent 19th-century Stock Exchange Palace and the St Francis Church. Round off your tour with a port wine tasting at one of the famous riverside lodges. (4 hours, driver and guide

 

 

 

Afternoon at leisure to explore the city on your own.

After breakfast, learn the secrets of one of Portugal’s wonderful traditions today on your private tour. Accompanied by your driver and guide, head northwards to an authentic farm in the village of

Credit Porto Convention & Visitors Bureau

São Lourenço da Montaria. After a private demonstration on how to make mouth-watering Portuguese cornbread, you have the chance to make your own loaf using methods that date back to the 16th century. While your bread bakes in the wood-fired oven, take a short hike through the charming countryside and terraced fields until you reach the local watermills to discover their cultural heritage. You are transferred back in company of your driver to your hotel in Porto. (6 hours, driver and guide

 

 

Evening at leisure to continue exploring the city on your own.

After breakfast, today you are transferred to your hotel in Douro Valley and will have a stop for lunch at the winery Quinta de Aveleda.

Upon arrival in Pinhao, rest of the day at leisure to explore the area on your own.

Douro_D06-PG0107_Credit ©RCL-RuiCunha

The Vintage House Hotel enjoys an idyllic and tranquil riverside location at Pinhão in the authentic heart of the Douro Valley. The Douro is one of Europe’s oldest and most beautiful wine regions, a breath-taking man made landscape enjoying World Heritage status. Remote and undiscovered, it offers the discerning traveler one of Europe’s most unforgettable vineyard experiences.

After breakfast, meet your guide and driver at the hotel to explore The Douro Valley, otherwise known as the Alto Douro Wine Region, is protected by the Marão and Montemuro Hills. This famous wine region is now a World Heritage Site and has no less than 240,000 hectares under cultivation, producing equal quantities of port and table wines. Its stunning landscape of terraced hills overlooks the winding River Douro. Accompanied by your driver and guide, follow the river upstream from the river port of Regua, stopping at one of the best wineries in the region for a tour, tasting and chance to take in the wonderful views. Continue from here to the river port of Pinhão to see the glorious glazed tiles of the railway station before heading north towards the city of Vila Real.

 

PN_Douro_Credit_J.P.SottoMayor

Here you have the opportunity to explore the Casa de Mateus; a Baroque masterpiece designed by the Italian architect Nicolau Nasoni, which is set in equally sumptuous gardens. The house famously features on the label of a well-known rosé wine. Return to Pinhão in the late afternoon. (8 hours, driver and guide)

Evening at leisure.

After breakfast, you have the full day at leisure to enjoy this lovely riverside hotel.

Aquapura Douro Valley Hotel 1C9B0907_Credit Six Senses Hotels Resorts Spas

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

After breakfast, you are transferred from Douro Valley to Lisbon, on the way stop in Coimbra to see this historical village.

Once Portugal’s capital, the city of Coimbra has a rich past. Taking you along the main avenue, past the aqueduct and botanical gardens, the drive up to the iconic Old University, a UNESCO World Heritage site, is a ‘must see’ in itself. Founded in 1290, Coimbra University is one of Europe’s oldest, featuring the superb Joanina Library, with its grand Rococo design, the Manueline chapel and a beautiful ceremonial hall.

After your visit inside, stroll down the narrow medieval streets lined with shops and cafés, past a Roman crypto-portico below the Bishop’s Palace, to Se Velha, the Romanesque Cathedral and the ancient city center. Here, wander through a warren of enclosed streets and squares to the River Mondego.


Photo Coimbra – Santa Cruz_Credit Centro de Portugal

After some free time to have lunch at leisure (payable locally) continue to Lisbon with your driver.  (8 hour transfer, driver and 3 hour, local guide)

Four Seasons Hotel Ritz Lisbon rises from one of Lisbon’s seven hills and is one of the most prominent modern landmarks of the city. Located in the heart of the city within walking distance from the historic “old town” the hotel boasts 18th-century replica furnishings and a museum calibre collection of contemporary Portuguese art, reflecting historic Portugal’s nobility and charm. Most of the guest rooms and suites feature private balconies with magnificent views of the Eduardo VII Park and the city. They are all equipped with high-speed access to Internet and dual telephone lines. The restaurant “Varanda” overlooks the Park and is acclaimed as the city’s most sophisticated restaurant for business lunches or more intimate diners.  The Ritz bar with dramatic décor and soft piano music entertains late into the night. The Hotel also offers a 24 hours business centre as well as a boutique arcade.  The Ritz Spa is located on the garden level of the Hotel and offers relaxing views over the garden and the Eduardo VII Park. It features an indoor lap pool and a pool lounge area; multi-functional treatment rooms with private showers; a relaxation room, with reading light and personal music system; and changing areas, that include Sauna and Steam room as well as a refreshing crushed ice fountain.

With a unique setting on the rooftop of the Hotel and offering breathtaking views over the city and the Tagus River the Fitness Centre provides its guests with 700m2 of exclusive facilities – including a full Pilates Studio, one to one training studios and a 400m outside running track – and state of the art equipment in the exercise room.  Four Seasons’ impeccable service anticipates every need to ensure a comfortable stay.

After breakfast, commence your private city tour explore the Belem district with its magnificent Jerónimos Monastery, an extraordinary example of Portugal’s ‘Manueline’ style of architecture.

Belem_River view1_Credit Turismo Lisboa

Once populated by monks, the UNESCO-listed monastery was commissioned by King Manuel I to celebrate Vasco da Gama’s discovery of a sea route to India in 1498. Time permitting, visit Torre de Belém (Belém Tower), one of Lisbon’s most iconic buildings and symbolic of Portugal’s great Age of Expansion.

Next, it’s time for a refreshment stop at the Belém Pastry Factory, where you may wish to sample the famous and scrumptious Pastéis de Belém (custard tarts).
Photo Pasteis de Nata_8EEW0973_Credit Pedro Clarinha-Pasteis de Belem

Afterwards, continue to the world-famous coach museum, accommodated in the sleek, minimalist building designed by Pritzker Prize winner Paulo Mendes da Rocha.  Photo  DSC01828_Museu dos Coches_Credit PJF-TdP

After lunch at leisure (payable locally) venture out of the city today to explore Sintra, known for its countless 19th-century Romantic architectural monuments and previously as the summer residence of Portuguese kings and aristocrats.

This charming and pastel-coloured town on the northern slopes of the Serra de Sintra, has been designated a UNESCO World Heritage site for its array of spectacular buildings. Enjoy a visit to the National Palace of Sintra, a former Royal residence, with a variety of architectural styles and interior decorations. Discover for yourself why the town is often referred to as a page torn from a fairy-tale as you stroll at leisure through the ancient narrow streets, occupied with local handicraft shops and cafés. Sintra is world-famous for its Marzipan, at the end of your tour, you are transferred back to your hotel in Lisbon (8 hours, driver and guide). Please note that the National Palace of Sintra has a total of 150 steps and no elevators.

Photo Palacio da Pena, Sintra_Credit Joao Paulo

After breakfast, a short drive from Lisbon, is a traditional tile workshop which can give you a glimpse into the fascinating reproduction of antique-style tiles influenced by designs not only from Europe, but also from Islamic and Chinese cultures.

Calçada Portuguesa_Credit José Manuel

Your visit this morning allows you the opportunity to understand the methods for making hand-painted relief tiles and to learn how different colored glazes can be used to create intricate designs in the style of 16th-century Hispano-Moorish tiles. After taking time to admire the designs and learn the history and tradition entwined in this long-standing craft, you return to your hotel with your driver. (4 hours, driver and guide)

After breakfast, meet your driver for your private full day adventure experience. Lisbon’s surroundings are rich in landscape and history, and it is well worth venturing out of the city today to explore them in full.

Arrabida (2)_Credit Arch.TdP

The Arrabida Natural Park makes for an active adventure experience with a true Mediterranean environment. Start your tour in Azeitão village to get a feeling of the traditional atmosphere, and taste some fresh and delicious local pastries. From here you head on to the natural park to start your three-hour hike through the charming natural environment.

Stop at Portinho da Arrábida beach for lunch before you hit the water with your kayaks for a two-hour paddle along the rugged coast line.


a34_Canoagem_Penacova_Rio Mondego_Credit Paulo Magalhães

You round off your tour with a visit to the JMF winery for a tasting, before returning to your hotel. (Up to 10 hours, driver and guide)

Vinho_Credit (c) Nuno Correia

 

 

After breakfast, you have the full day at leisure to relax at this beautiful luxury hotel or for some last minute shopping and self-exploration.

 

Shopping, Lisbon 02_Credit José Manuel

Queluz National Palace, Sintra_Credit Turismo Cascais

Praia Tamariz, Estoril C-PG-C1105_Credit Turismo Cascais

 

 

After breakfast, you will be transferred to the Lisbon airport by private vehicle to board your flight.

Pacific Destination Center Spain & Portugal Specialists are here to help personalize your holiday for the Most Memorable Experience – Just give us a call at 800-227-5317, or email us at info@pacific-destinations.com with your desired destinations and focused activity wish list, or special occasion celebration and we will get started on your personalized dream holiday.

Phone one of our Spain & Portugal Specialists at 1-800-227-5317 to start planning your Spain & Portugal Holiday now!

CST #2023415-40

 

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