This Iberian adventure begins with a three-night stay in the beautiful Vila Gale Palacio dos Arcos hotel, a refurbished 15th century palace located just outside Lisbon. A visit to the pine-covered hills of Sintra with its fairytale landscape of turreted palaces and castle ruins, and a visit to Lisbon on your free day is well recommended before we embark the luxurious Azamara Quest®, our stylish floating home from where our Iberian Adventure will unfold. Overnight stays in Valencia and Barcelona offer plenty of time for explorations, together with a late night at the Rock of Gibraltar.
- Escorted Tour
- Ocean Cruises, Escorted Tour
Titan’s VIP door-to-door travel service collects you from home, for your journey to London Heathrow Airport and your direct, scheduled British Airways flight to Lisbon. On arrival, we make the short transfer to our hotel, the Vila Gale Palacio dos Arcos (4T), with time to settle into your surroundings before we enjoy dinner this evening.
We drive across verdant hills and alongside farmland to Sintra, where Lord Byron spent much of his youth - even on a winter’s day, 200 years later, Sintra is immensely picturesque. The town is dotted with fairytale palaces and we take time to wander through the ornately-decorated rooms of Sintra National Palace, in the heart of the old town. Considered the best-preserved medieval royal palace in the country, it was the summer retreat for the Portuguese royal family for six centuries.
Today is free to spend as you wish - the hotel is beautifully located and history tells it was from the balconies of Palácio dos Arcos that King Manuel I watched the caravels leaving on their way to India. You can relax here, or choose to make your way the short distance to Lisbon for a personal exploration of this city that hosts a wealth of grand buildings, from baroque churches and palaces to art nouveau façades. Perhaps take in Jeronimos Monastery, the last resting place of Portuguese explorer Vasco de Gama, or visit the Belem Tower built in 1515.
After breakfast, we depart the hotel to embark Azamara Quest® (5T) and settle in before we begin our cruise.
The breathtaking scenery of Portugal’s southernmost region has long made the Algarve a magnet for those seeking some winter sun; golden sandy beaches beneath dramatic cliffs, the aroma of fresh sardines on the grill and some of the best golf courses in Europe - what could be better? Alternatively, the award-winning Museum de Portico houses archaeology, underwater finds, and a recreation of the old fish cannery which used to occupy the building in the 19th century.
Dating back over 3,000 years, and considered ‘the oldest continuously inhabited settlement in Europe’, the south-western port of Cadiz is perched on a narrow strip of land surrounded by brilliant-blue waters. Stroll through the barrios and narrow alleyways of the Old Town, with stops along Plaza San Antonio, Plaza de Mina, and Plaza de la Catedral, where you can see one of the city’s most famous landmarks, Cadiz Cathedral. In the El Populo district, you’ll find the second largest Roman theatre in the world, constructed in the 1st century BC.
The towering Rock of Gibraltar is a sight to behold. Overlooking the mouth of the Mediterranean Sea from a height of more than 425m, it is a natural fortress in a strategic position to control all naval traffic between the Mediterranean and the Atlantic.
Málaga is the lively capital of the Costa del Sol, famed for its beaches and mild climate, and gateway to Andalucia, with its Moorish architectural heritage. The city’s Alcazaba is a fine example; an 11th century citadel sitting in majestic splendour overlooking the African coast. In addition to their rich cultural heritage, Malagueños are also very proud of their most famous citizens, such as Picasso, for whom there is a museum commemorating his birth.
Today is spent cruising towards Valencia and relaxing on board or taking part in the onboard activities. We arrive in the port of Valencia in the early evening and remain overnight.
Olde world charm meets modern architectural genius in Valencia. Gothic riches abound in the palaces and mansions of a 15th century golden age. The cathedral has a more recent, and opulent, baroque façade, and the Silk Exchange sports an exterior resembling a medieval fortress and a main hall filled with palm-tree shaped columns and enigmatic carvings.
An early arrival in the dynamic city of Barcelona means we have all day and our final evening on board to enjoy exploring some of the many attractions. Those who enjoy architecture will love the magnificent medieval buildings of the Gothic Quarter to the Modernist movement typified by the work of Antoni Gaudi. His masterpiece is the amazing Church of the Sagrada Familia, colossal and as yet unfinished, though construction began in 1882.
We disembark and transfer to the airport for a direct, scheduled British Airways flight to London Heathrow Airport. On arrival you will be met and guided to your Titan vehicle, for the journey home.
Why Titan Travel?
Scooping 21 awards at the 2016 British Travel Awards, you can be sure that a touring holiday with Titan Travel will be something special. Among others, Titan received gold awards for Best Escorted Tours Holiday Company and Best Special Interest Holiday Company, so they are perfectly placed to provide that exceptionally epic tour to any corner of the globe.
A Titan holiday begins and ends at your front door with chauffeur-driven transfers, scheduled international flights and the most memorable form of touring transport. Where this is a coach, they provide the best available. Titan pride themselves in providing tours that enable you to see all the sights of the area you visit as well as giving you the option for plenty of free time, optional excursions and extra nights here and there to tailor-make your holiday and make it extra special. The choice of destinations and interests are extensive including gems such as a wildlife tour of Sri Lanka, exploring the musical history of the Deep South, grand tours of North America, China, South America, Italy, Asia and Kenya, searching for the Northern Lights in Iceland and Norway, and a cruise to discover Japan and Russia.
Escorted tours are not simply limited to coaches. Titan is also one of the UK’s leading rail specialists and a number of their holidays incorporate journeys on iconic trains that transport you not only through some of the most dramatic and beautiful landscapes in the world, but also back in time to a nostalgic ‘golden age’ of luxurious and stylish travel. If you are undecided between the elegance and relaxation of a cruise and the enthralling insight of an escorted tour, Titan’s Cruise & Tour holidays could be the perfect choice. You can cruise with some of the most respected names in the industry, including Fred.Olsen and Holland America, around regions of awe-inspiring beauty and then head ashore for an extra land-based touring adventure. The waterways of Europe, Egypt and China link the most spectacular cultural gems in picturesque fashion and a river cruise is an excellent way to appreciate wonderful destinations from a different and more relaxed perspective.