Faculty: Jim Foster, Paul Chamberlain
Meeting: Tuesday, 6:30 - 9:00 PM
Spain and Portugal share the Iberian Peninsula and across a narrow strip of ocean is Saharan Africa. For centuries this region of the world has been the meeting place for influential cultures that shaped the modern world, and is where the Muslim and Christian worlds collided.
This trip will explore the histories and cultures of this region. Our visit will begin in Spain, and include Barcelona and Madrid, where we will visit the world famous, and architecturally controversial, Sagrada Familia Cathedral, the Gothic Quarter, and Guadi’s Parque Guell (fantastic architecture). We will also take an excursion into the mountains to ride the St. Joan cable car to the heights of Montserrat and the Monestir de Montserrat and see one of Catalonia’s spectacular vistas. In Portugal we will travel through the picturesque countryside to Lisbon, where we will visit the Tower of Belem and Ajuda National Palace. From Lisbon, we travel to the coastal city of Lagos where we will tour the old town and then spend a day on the beach. Then it will be back to Spain, and Seville and a visit to the Seville Cathedral and Christopher Columbus’ grave. In a side trip to Cordoba, we will see evidence of the Moorish influence, and visit the Grand Mosque. From there we go to the British enclave of Gibraltar and perhaps see the wild Barbary Apes. Then we cross the Strait of Gibraltar to Tangiers, Morocco for a completely different cultural experience. In Morocco we will tour Tangiers, Rabat and Marrakech, and then spend three days in the Sahara Desert. Through the Atlas Mountains we then cross the desert sands and visit spectacular gorges and valleys. We end the tour in the fabled Casablanca.
ADDITIONAL IMMUNIZATIONS MAY BE REQUIRED
Day 1 Fly from the USA
Day 2 Arrival in Barcelona
Transfer to hotel and check-in followed by an orientation walk.
Day 3 Barcelona
Tour of Barcelona and visit Gaudi’s Parque Guell and Sagrada Familia Cathedral, one of the most extraordinary buildings in Europe. Later take a stroll through Barcelona’s old town Gothic quarter.
Day 4 Day trip to Santa Maria de Montserrat
Take a short trip to a wonderful abbey set in a mountainous location of terrific beauty and a ride up on the St. Joan cable car to the heights of Montserrat.
Day 5 Barcelona to Madrid
Take a high speed train ride to Madrid and afternoon tour of Madrid.
Day 6 Day trip to Toledo
This morning the group takes a trip to the medieval walled town of Toledo known as a city of three cultures; Christian, Jewish and Muslim. Later free time in Madrid.
Day 7 Madrid to Lisbon
A long bus ride to Lisbon through the beautiful countryside.
Day 8 Lisbon
A sightseeing tour which includes the Tower of Belém, Jerónimos Monastery Ajuda National Palace, and the Baixa district.
Day 9 Day trip to Sintra and Cascais
The hillside town of Sintra is a UNESCO World Heritage site known for the romance of its architecture. You will visit Pena Palace which stands dramatically at the top of the town. On the return journey a stop at the cool and cosmopolitan fishing port of Cascais.
Day 10 Lisbon to Lagos via Algarve
The Algarve region of Portugal is an outstanding area of natural beauty and a favorite vacation area for many Europeans. Lagos is a coastal resort which offers a good combination of cultural and historic interest as well as the beach.
Day 11 Lagos
A day of leisure. You can choose to take a day of leisure on the beach or alternatively take a short trip to Sagres, or perhaps try a surfing lesson or take a boat trip to view the Ponta da Piedade cliffs.
Day 12 Travel to Yeguada stud and Seville
Travel to Seville, with a possible stop at Yeguada stud farm, to learn about the famous Andalusian horses followed by a tour of the city.
Day 13 Day trip to Cordoba
This morning take a half-day excursion to Cordoba whose historic centre has earned the World Heritage gold standard. The visit includes the extraordinary Grand Mosque and cathedral. This afternoon return to enjoy free time in Seville.
Day 14 Seville to Gibraltar
Travel to Gibratar and possibly see the Barbary ‘apes’.
Day 14 Gibraltar to Tangiers
This morning take a ferry from Gibraltar to Tangiers, Morocco.
Day 15 Tangiers to Rabat
Travel to Morocco’s seventh largest city, Rabat, the capital of Morocco. We will visit the 144 ft Hassan Towers as well as a stroll along the Kasbah to get tremendous ocean views.
Day 16 Rabat to Marrakech
The journey continues on to Marrakech nestled in the foothills of the Atlas mountains. We will visit Djemaa el-Fna market as well as the Saadian Tombs, a mausoleum for 16th-century princes.
Day 17, 18, 19 Sahara tour
A three day trip into the High Atlas Mountains and onto the sands of the Sahara features lodging in a small inn on one night as well as a tented encampment on another. Highlights visits
will include: Dades Gorge, Tizi nTichka Ait, Benhaddou, Ouarzazate and the Valley of the Rose, Erg Chebbi, Merzouga, Todra Gorge and a chance to trek on a camel.
Day 20 Travel to Casablanca
The final leg of your journey is to Casablanca. A final walk through the old market and a chance to pick up souvenirs and gifts.
Day 21 Return to Portland