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Paradores & Pousadas of Spain & Portugal

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An Iberian heritage escapade

An Iberian heritage escapade from Lisbon to Malaga with stays at a collection of historic, luxury and culturally significant boutique hotels.

Stays at unique accommodation promises complete immersion into the rich heritage of two countries, from dining on regional cuisine to admiring historic architecture. A guided tour of hilly Lisbon’s cobbled streets lined with colourful tiled buildings will be followed by visits to the coastal town and royal haven haunt, Estoril and UNESCO-listed Sintra, renowned for its 19th-century Romanticist architecture. A coffee break and pastéis de nata (custard tart) will be enjoyed in the district of Belém before the option to experience a Fado dinner and dance show will further enhance your cultural itinerary.

Leaving the flurry of the city behind, the tour will travel south to the coastline of the authentic village of Vila Real de Santo António on the Algarve, making stops in charming Alcácer do Sal and Alentejo for a wine tasting at a local vineyard. The lively marketplaces will also be seen in Olhão, as will riverside Tavira with views of Ria Formosa Natural Park in Cacela Velha and the sandy beach of Monte Gordo. The border to Spain will then be crossed, with Seville serving as your first destination. Survey its grand monuments and orange-tree ringed piazzas and partake in a sherry tasting at a bodega in Jerez de la Frontera, where you'll gain insights into the sherry production process. Another excursion takes you around the white villages (pueblos blancos) of Cadiz and involves sampling goat’s cheese. During the final days, you’ll discover the dramatic cliffside beauty of Ronda, with its 13th-century Moorish fortress and stroll through the flower-pot fringed streets and whitewashed old town of Mijas, a picturesque Andalusian gem.



What does this price include?

  • Seven nights’ bed and breakfast accommodation in Lisbon (2 nights), Vila Real de Santo António (2), Arcos de la Frontera (2) and Malaga (1)
  • Seven breakfasts and two dinners
  • Tour of Lisbon with a coffee break in Belém
  • Excursion to Estoril and Sintra
  • Scenic drive from Lisbon to the Algarve with visits to Alcácer do Sal and a wine tasting in Alentejo
  • Excursion to Olhão, Tavira, and Cacela Velha
  • Excursion to Seville and a sherry tasting in Jerez de la Frontera
  • Excursion to the white villages of Cadiz and a goat’s cheese tasting
  • Excursion to Ronda, Marbella and Mijas
  • Return flights to Lisbon and from Malaga
  • Comfortable, air-conditioned coach travel throughout
  • Fully escorted by friendly, experienced tour managers

Your Itinerary

View a full breakdown of your holiday to help you plan your trip

  • Arrive in Portugal’s capital, where you’ll be welcomed by a Newmarket Representative. A transfer will then take you to the Baixa district, and you’ll check into your first historic hotel, housed in a restored iconic building next to the Arco da Rua Augusta.  

    You can unpack, settle in, and explore the area, perhaps strolling around Praça do Comércio, the nearby public square lined with restaurants and shops. The lively neighbourhoods of Alfama and Chiadois are also within walking distance, as is the boulevard of Avenida da Liberdade.  

  • After breakfast, embark on a guided tour of Lisbon, built across seven hills, and along the Atlantic Ocean and Tagus River. As you wander the narrow, steep cobbled and colourful streets, lined with the tracks of yellow historic trams, you’ll encounter centuries-old cathedrals, Moorish influences in architecture, and colourful tiles known as azulejos that tell stories of Portugal's past. 

    Starting with the Alfama district, one of the oldest neighbourhoods in the city, you’ll see Lisbon Cathedral, and the winding staircases leading up to the Moorish São Jorge Castle, or St George’s Castle. The Rua Augusta Arch, a stone memorial-like arch on Praça do Comércio is another highlight, as well as Rossio Square and Figueira Square, historic squares bustling with open-air cafés.  

    The coastal town of Estoril on the Portuguese Riviera is next, with its golden sandy beaches and sprawling promenade. One of Europe’s largest casinos can also be found here, and the town boasts a glamorous history as a haven for royal families and spies during World War II. Numerous luxury hotels, restaurants and entertainment options sit alongside a pristine seafront, which you’ll have time to discover.  

    Sintra set in the foothills of the Sintra Mountains, is next, and this UNESCO World Heritage Site attracts visitors with its 19th-century Romanticist, whimsical architecture, and lush, manicured gardens. A resort town and former royal sanctuary, Sintra is made up of a wooded landscape adorned with palaces, historic estates, and pastel villas. Sintra National Palace is the best-preserved medieval royal palace in Portugal with a minimalist Gothic façade and incredibly ornate rooms. You’ll also see Plácio Nacional da Pena, a multi-hued structure, ringed by enchanting gardens, and perched on a hilltop and Castelo dos Mouro, a walled Moorish fortress dating back to the 8th century. The historic centre of Sintra will be explored, with some time to admire the traditional Portuguese architecture.   

    Upon returning to the city, stop for a coffee break in the district of Belém. It was from here that explorers set sail during the Age of Discovery. This area is also home to Torre de Belém and UNESCO-listed Mosteiro dos Jerónimos. Don’t miss trying the famous pastéis de nata (custard tart) at the Pastéis de Belém bakery – these treats are a local speciality.  

    Later in the day, you’ll return to the hotel, and you can opt to relax or join an optional Fado dinner and dance show. During this excursion, you’ll get to feast on Portuguese delicacies while enjoying the traditional genre of music, Fado, known for its heartfelt songs. Sitting in a softly lit venue and listening to soulful singing and strumming of a classic guitar will serve as a memorable and moving experience.  

  • Following breakfast, check out of the hotel, leave Lisbon and travel south towards the Algarve. This scenic journey involves crossing the famous Vasco da Gama Bridge, a marvel of modern engineering that spans the Tagus River. The longest bridge in Western Europe, this striking cable-stayed structure connects the northern and southern regions of the Greater Lisbon metropolitan area.

    Alcácer do Sal, your coffee stop on route, is a charming town of white-washed buildings with roots tracing back to the Roman Empire. You’ll have some time to meander around its historic centre and observe its well-preserved medieval castle, which sits on a hill looking out over the city and the Sado River.

    As the afternoon progresses, you’ll also pause in Alentejo, a region often referred to as ‘Portugal’s Tuscany’ because of its picturesque countryside laden with vineyards. The coach will pass by Roman ruins, ancient castles, and pretty villages before calling at a winery to sample the local wine labels and learn about the production process.

    In the evening, you’ll pass Monte Gordo, a coastal town, fronted by a stretch of sandy beach and promenade. Shortly afterwards, arrive in Pousada Vila Real de Santo Antonio, a delightful historic building.

    When you’ve settled in, you have a free evening, perhaps to swim in one of the outdoor pools before finding somewhere for dinner around Praça Marquê de Pombal.

  • Today, after breakfast, you’ll delve even deeper into the real Algarve. The first stop will be Olhão, with its local market, a bustling hub of activity, offering a glimpse into the daily life of Portugal's fishing communities. You can walk along its waterfront promenade admiring views of the Ria Formosa lagoon and browse the vibrant market stalls brimming with fresh seafood, fruits, vegetables, and artisanal crafts.

    Tavira, your next destination, is a pleasant riverside town with a 13th-century castle, a Roman bridge, and collection of Moorish churches. At the centre, the Praça da República is bounded by cafés and restaurants, where you can sip on a drink while people watching. The area is also known for its salt production, and you can see the surrounding salt flats.

    Your last visit of the day will be Cacela Velha, a small, quiet village bounded by walls, with rows of white-washed houses built in a typical Algarve style. From the hill it’s located on, you can view the nearby Ria Formosa Natural Park and the Atlantic Ocean. You can also see the 16th-century church and the ruins of a medieval fortress.

    Monte Gordo's long sandy beach, where you'll end the day, is a favourite among locals and visitors alike. It's the perfect spot to lounge, swim, and savour the beauty of the Algarve coastline as the sun sets.

  • Have breakfast, check out and board the coach to make the journey across the border into Spain in the middle of the Guadiana River.  

    You’ll then arrive in Seville, a lively, colourful city, abounding with grand monuments, and famed for flamenco dancing, which will be soaked up with the help of a guided walking tour. Traverse its narrow lanes, bordered with tightly packed shops, cafés, and bars by foot, pausing to rest in the shade of an orange tree-ringed piazza. 

    Towering over Seville, the Giralda bell tower is unmissable, as is the Royal Alcázars of Seville, a UNESCO World Heritage Site, with its chambers, towers, and gardens adorned in vibrant Moorish tiles. The Cathedral of Seville, another UNESCO World Heritage Site, is one of the largest churches in the world, as well as the largest Gothic church, and houses 80 chapels. 

    The city’s biggest and most eye-pleasing piazza, Plaza de España, built in 1928, will also be sought out, with its canal, mosaic-lined alcoves, trickling fountains, and Venetian-inspired bridges. You’ll then have a break for lunch, which is best enjoyed in the tapas bars of the old town and complemented by a cold beer or glass of wine – tapas is an integral part of life in Seville after all. 

    Later, the tour will continue to Jerez de la Frontera, a lesser-known city, and a hidden gem rich in history with a beautifully preserved old town. At its historic centre, you’ll discover Alcázar de Jerez, a Moorish fortress, which was built in the 11th century and is bounded by a pretty estate. The Catedral de Jerez is another highlight and was only built in the 17th century, despite looking medieval with its bell tower. 

    You’ll then partake in an activity to celebrate the city’s long heritage of port and sherry production. Visit a popular sherry bodega for a tasting and to learn about the fermentation process and the different styles. 

    As the day ends, you’ll check into a parador, a traditional hotel looking out over the Guadalete River and the Castle of Arcos de la Frontera. You can freshen up and then enjoy an included dinner at the hotel, with views of the city illuminated at night.   

  • Once you’ve had breakfast, you’ll embark on a full day exploration of the white villages (pueblos blancos) of Cadiz within the beautiful Sierra de Grazalema Natural Park. Each charming village of white-washed Moorish architecture features its own collection of castles, churches, and archaeological sites, and is surrounded by rows of olive trees and sprawling Andalusian plains. 

    El Bosque is first, with its mountainous landscapes and remarkable main church, followed by Ubrique, renowned for its long-standing tradition of leather craftsmanship. Next, you’ll visit Villaluenga with its history of cheese production and traditional cheese-making industry. Here, you'll have the opportunity to taste the local goat's cheese, a culinary tradition deeply rooted in the region. Lastly, the tour will call at Grazalema, popular for its traditional woollen productions and filled with workshops producing these high-quality items.  

    Back at the hotel, you’ll enjoy another included dinner at the hotel.  

  • Once you’ve had breakfast, check out of the hotel, and then head to Ronda, uniquely positioned on a cliffside and the dramatic El Tajo Gorge, which separates the city’s new town from its old town. A visit here will allow you to see Ronda's Alcazaba, a Moorish fortress originally built in the 13th century and serving as a defensive structure during the Arab rule.  

    Continue to the Costa del Sol and the resort town of Marbella, with the Sierra Blanca Mountains in the background. After arriving, you’ll get to see the ‘Golden Mile’ of stylish hotels, bustling clubs, and lively beach bars and the 15th-century old town, with its whitewashed houses and colourful flower displays. Of course, you’ll also visit the world-famous marina, known for its beach clubs and nightlife. Luxury yachts satiate the harbour and trendy alfresco restaurants, and high-end shops border the streets. 

    You’ll then conclude the tour with a stop at Mijas with its historic whitewashed old town and flower-pot fringed streets. Survey its chapel, Ermita de la Virgen de la Peña, built into the rocks, Mijas Bullring, one of the oldest in Spain, and the lovely main square, Plaza de la Constitución.  

    This evening, you’ll check into your final parador, positioned next to a golf course and overlooking the Mediterranean Sea.  

  • Enjoy your last breakfast, and depending on the time of your flight, take advantage of the hotel’s amenities, visit the beach in front of the hotel or the nearby Plaza Mayor shopping centre.  

    A transfer will then collect you and take you the short distance to Malaga airport for your flight home.

Dates & Prices

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Hotels

Paradores & Pousadas of Spain & Portugal Touring Hotels

You'll be staying in a series of comfortable hotels that are conveniently located for your tour itinerary.

View Hotels

Further Information

  • The transfer time from the airport to your hotel is approximately 30 minutes upon arrival and 10 minutes on departure.

  • We sometimes need to combine transfers to and from your hotel. We always try to keep any wait to a minimum, but you may be asked to wait at the airport for up to an hour, while other incoming flights arrive, before the transfer to your hotel. Similarly, we may need to transfer you back to the airport up to three hours before your flight home departs.

  • Some hotel have introduced a room tax of between 1 € and 3 € per person per night, payable directly by the guest to the hotel on check-out. You will be advised by your tour manager at your destination if a particular hotel is implementing this charge.

  • If you have notified us of any special requirements, please check that they have been noted and acknowledged. This is especially important with any dietary needs you may have.

  • The majority of our tours involve a certain amount of walking, including a short walk from the coach stop to the town, attraction or venue you're visiting. If you are bringing a wheelchair, please let us know at the time of booking so that appropriate arrangements can be made.

  • Occasionally, for operational reasons, we may have to change the order of the excursions on your holiday. The final day-by-day itinerary will be confirmed on your Final Travel Documents, which you will receive approximately three weeks prior to your departure.

  • Visit www.gov.uk/foreign-travel-advice to find out the latest Foreign And Commonwealth Office travel advice for your holiday destination, as well as information about passports and visas.

  • Rules may have changed since you last travelled to European Union countries as well as Iceland, Liechtenstein, Norway and Switzerland. The following are useful guidelines which will help you prepare for your next adventure. You do require government issued passport to travel.

    Names - It is very important that all passenger names are exactly as per your passport although we do not require middle names.

    Passport - Your passport must meet two requirements to travel to an EU country and to Switzerland, Norway, Iceland and Liechtenstein. It must be: Less than 10 years old on the day you return home (please check the "date of issue") and valid for at least 3 months after the day you return home (please check the "expiry date").

    Visa - You do not need a visa for short trips to most EU countries, Iceland, Liechtenstein, Norway and Switzerland. You’ll be able to stay for up to 90 days in any rolling 180-day period.

    European Travel Information & Authorisation System (ETIAS) - Commencing in late 2023 or 2024, all citizens of the United Kingdom will require a ETIAS electronic form completed prior to their arrival into the EU and Schengen member countries. The cost for this travel authorisation will be €7.00 per person with exceptions for under 18’s and over 70’s. The latest information and further details can be found at www.etias.com.

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