Day 1 London - Lisbon - Palmela
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 transfer to the Pousada do Castelo de Palmela (4T), situated in a 17th century castle in Palmela, outside Lisbon.
Day 2 Lisbon
We begin our discovery with a full-day tour of Europe’s second-oldest capital, Lisbon. Courtesy of some of the world’s greatest explorers, including Magellan, Lisbon became the capital of an empire that spread over many continents. The city’s memorials to this past age of discovery decorate the grand squares whilst traditional cobbled streets present thriving, chic boutiques in sun-bleached limestone buildings.
Day 3 Palmela
Spend today making your own explorations, or discover the gateway to the Alentejo with an optional excursion to Évora. A scenic and wild region of Portugal which is home to some of the finest vineyards in Europe, it is also known for its mass cork production. The tour will offer an insight into a city that has been in existence since before Roman times, with many features, such as the old city walls, still in place.
Day 4 Palmela - Serra da Estrela
Today we travel by coach to the Serra da Estrela mountain range, known as ‘Mountain Range of the Stars’ and the highest in continental Portugal. On arrival, we check into our base for the next three nights, the recently-opened Pousada da Serra da Estrela (4T). The remainder of the day is yours to enjoy the fantastic panoramic views offered from the pousada’s great vantage point.
Day 5 Serra da Estrela
Take a day to relax at the luxurious pousada, or take an optional full-day excursion visiting the historical hilltop city of Viseu. Dating back to Celtic times, the rich influence from the Roman Empire is still apparent. It is also a city with deep roots in religion, with many fine, architecturally-beautiful churches, and the historic centre is a maze of cobbled streets and hidden gems. The return journey to the pousada will be through rows of nurtured vineyards. Stop at Santar, which boasts 120 hectares of vines, used in winemaking for centuries.
Day 6 Serra da Estrela
We depart for a full-day excursion to discover some of the beautiful region of the Serra da Estrela Mountains and Natural Park. The largest protected area in Portugal is located on a high plateau marked by rocky outcrops, boulders and crags, and cut by rivers and streams. Enjoy superb views and see historical Portuguese villages, monuments and castles.
Day 7 Serra da Estrela - Salamanca
Today we cross the border into Spain, travelling onwards to Salamanca and our home for the next two nights, the Parador de Salamanca (4T). This city is well worth discovering, not least because its historic centre has been designated a UNESCO World Heritage Site. Salamanca University was the first to be founded in Spain and is one of the oldest in Europe, attended by some of the greatest Spanish thinkers, artists and writers.
Day 8 Salamanca
This morning we have a walking tour of the old city centre, including the magnificent Plaza Mayor, one of the finest town squares in Spain, the Casa de las Conchas (House of the Shells), which has 400 scallop shells carved on its façade, and some of the charming old university buildings. We include a visit to Salamanca’s unusual cathedral, which is in two parts: the original 12th century late Romanesque style, Catedral Vieja, is now incorporated in the much larger 16th century Catedral Nueva. This afternoon is free for you to relax.
Day 9 Salamanca - Ávila - Segovia
We travel on to Segovia, stopping at Ávila, capital of the province of the same name, and at 1,131 metres above sea level, the highest provincial capital in Spain. Ávila is one of the finest examples of a medieval walled city in Europe and was the birthplace of St Teresa of Ávila, a Carmelite nun who became one of the great mystics of the Catholic Church. Ávila’s Romanesque and early Gothic cathedral is one of the oldest in Spain. We arrive later at the Parador de Segovia (4T) or Parador de la Granja (4T), where we stay for two nights.
Day 10 Segovia
After breakfast we have a walking tour of Segovia, dominated by its two-tier Roman aqueduct, which still carries water today. The Gothic cathedral is well worth a visit, as is the magnificent Alcázar or castle, which has a fairytale silhouette of many towers and pinnacles. The afternoon is free to enjoy at leisure.
Day 11 Segovia - Madrid - London
Today we travel to Madrid Airport for our 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.