Spain and Portugal in Depth

(Nov 5~19, 2014)


Grand Circle Travel was in charge of this trip. We followed the red path on the map below:

We started in Madrid, which is located in the center of Spain and which is the highest capital city in Europe. There we visited the Royal Palace and many famous museums, including the Prado which is one of the best Art Museums in the world.We then traveled to the old city of Toledo, which is an UNESCO heritage site because of its historical importance as the "City of Three Cultures" based on the harmonious co-existence of Christan, Muslim, and Jewish communities between the 11th and 13th centuries. Cordoba, another UNESCO site, was next on our itinerary. Its Great Mosque features wonderful examples of both the Moorish and Christian cultures. Our next stop was Granada, with its famous Alhambra Palace and Gardens. From our hotel in Torremolinos on the Costa Del Sol, we visited Malaga and enjoyed a host family luncheon in Salinas. We were also able to spend a day in Tangier after taking a boat trip across the straits of Gibraltar to Morocco. One of the oldest cities in Spain, Ronda was charming and full of history for our next stop. Our last stop in Spain was Seville, a lovely city with a huge square, which was used in the movie Lawrence of Arabia. Before we got there, we visited a farm which raises fighting bulls. It was quite an interesting experience! On the way to our final destination, Lisbon in Portugal, we stopped at another farm which raises show horses. We had a lunch and saw a horse presentation afterwards. Lisbon was built on seven hills, so it is a very hilly and beautiful city with wonderful fruits and interesting people. This trip was a very enjoyable one. We feel that we have learned a lot about these places. We were not very rushed, but there was no time wasted. From my personal point of view we especially enjoyed the trip because Christina and Ed were able to join us (see picture below).  Also, and most importantly, we enjoyed getting to know our program director, who made the trip a marvelous learning experience. A picture of him, taken with his wife who joined the group for the last part of the trip, is also shown below.

Four happy travelers at the fountain in the Man of La Mancha Square:

Our Program Director with his wife:

Instead of listing all our stops on this trip in sequence, we have decided to just present our favorite pictures in different catagories. You may click what you would like to see below:

1)  Local

2) People

3) Food

4) History

5) Specials