Iberian Voyager

StudentUniverse  »  Iberian Voyager

Iberian Voyager

from £1,535
Duration: 21 days
Countries: Morocco, Portugal, Spain
Venture to the wonderful cities, cultures and landscapes of Portugal and Spain, and beyond - with a stunning segue to the North African nation of Morocco!
Summary

Iberian Voyager

As we make our way from beautifully laidback Barcelona to metropolitan Madrid, we will get to sample all the delectable dishes, discover the fascinating history, and get a taste for the spirit of fiesta that’s endemic in this part of the Mediterranean. But not just limited to travel to Spain of course, this tour will take us to alluring Morocco and the wonderful beaches of Portugal, and introduce us to the forefront of an Arab and European interaction of another age.

N.B. Price includes food fund of £240

Itinerary

Day 1: Barcelona, Spain

Bienvenidos to the city of art nouveau, alluring accents and most importantly, tapas. Meet and greet your fellow travellers before getting your bearings on a guided tour of bustling Barca, ticking off the likes of Sagrada Familia, Columbus Monument and Las Ramblas. Then: fuel up for the notorious nightlife with a feast of local cuisine.

Included today:
-Welcome meeting with Trip Leader
-Guided tour of Barcelona

Meals: Dinner.

Did you know:
-One legend claims Barcelona was founded by Hercules 400 years before the building of Rome. The other supposes it was founded in the 3rd century BC by Hannibal’s father, Hamilcar Barca, naming the city Barcino after his Carthaginian family. Take your pick.

Day 2: Barcelona to Valencia

Travel Day: Barcelona, Spain to Valencia.

A whole morning in Barcelona and the chance to catch up on anything you might have missed yesterday. Then we head to Valencia with a pit stop at the Cava Caves. Lose yourself down the dark narrow tunnels and spiralling staircases of these mazy structures.

Included today:
-Valencia walking tour
-Dinner in local restaurant

Meals: Breakfast, dinner.

Optional activities:
-Cava Caves tour

Did you know:
-The Cava Caves housed the first vintage cava ever made and can contain up to 600,000 bottles of wine. That's a lot of borracho nights.

Day 3: Valencia

We’ve cleared your schedule to explore the birthplace of paella (and obviously dig into copious amounts of the local dish). Check out the Old Quarter for some serious throwback charm or just, you know, hit the beach. We won’t judge.

Meals: Breakfast.

Did you know:
-Your quest for the Holy Grail ends in Valencia — literally. See the supposed Holy Chalice at the Cathedral of Valencia and prepare to defend yourself against the skeptics.
-If you’re a Spanish politician, expect to see a gigantic papier-mache version of your head at some point. During the annual Las Fallas party citizens construct and parade their satirical puppet creations, then set fire to them all on the last day. #ouch

Day 4: Valencia to Granada

Travel Day: Valencia to Granada.

Wake up to a scenic drive to Granada, the last Moorish city in Spain to fall to the Christians, and gear up for a couple of days to discover why this is the hottest destination in Andalusia. Tonight: bring your appetite, we've got the rest.

Included today:
-Dinner in local restaurant

Meals: Breakfast, dinner.

Did you know:
-A man sued his airline after they took him to the Caribbean nation of Grenada rather than Granada, Spain. It also happened to a lady the week prior. People are just really excited about getting to Granada. Geez guys, get it right.

Day 5: Granada

Feign royalty on a guided tour of Alhambra, a former palace city dating back to the Muslim Nasrid Dynasty that ruled the region for more than two centuries. Once you leave the regal grounds, take in the impressive Moorish architecture within the Albayzín district against a backdrop of the Sierra Nevada mountains. Cue: FOMO photos and the ever appropriate #sorryimnotsorry. Seal the deal by treating yourself to some local cuisine for dinner. Tip: most places serve free tapas with your beverage. Win!

Included today:
-Guided tour of Alhambra

Meals: Breakfast.

Did you know:
-The city symbol is a pomegranate because, guess what, that's what Granada means in Spanish.
-You can send yourself an Alhambran sound postcard. Once you tearfully return home from your voyage, you can jog your Echoic memory with the city's sounds, as José Iges and Concha Jerez have artfully captured them. #wordlesssoundpoems

Day 6: Granada to Asilah, Morocco

Travel Day: Granada to Asilah, Morocco.

Make your way to the whitewashed wonder that is the seaside town of Asilah and get snap-happy in between Spanish feasts. Feeling more like a Greek island village, this place will impress with its burgeoning art scene and drool-worthy selection of tapas restaurants.

Meals: Breakfast, dinner.

Did you know:
-John the Baptist's real tomb is believed to be masquerading under a shrine to revered saint Sidi Yahya in the city of Oujda.
-It's common practice for a Moroccan to extend an invitation to their home at least three times. Accept graciously. #homecooking

Day 7: Asilah to Fes

Travel Day: Asilah to Fes.

Today you'll discover why the oldest and largest medieval city in the world is better known for its food. Work up an appetite on our drive through the Moroccan landscape, we're going local for dinner again tonight. In other words: tagine.

Meals: Breakfast, dinner.

Did you know:
-Moroccan goats prefer a more unique approach to scavenging for food. They climb trees with agility that has to be seen to be believed, and hop from branch to branch in search of their next tasty morsel. #totallyworthit

Day 8: Fes

Tick 'em off with a local guide: royal palace, Jewish neighbourhood, UNESCO-listed medina and leather tannery. Then hunt down a hammam and lose yourself in the labyrinth of souks and cobblestone streets. Bring your bargaining pants and embrace the centuries-old tradition of paying what you want for things, not what you're told they cost. Bargains can be had if you're willing to put in the lip service. Relax with some mint tea afterwards and congratulate yourself on your bargaining prowess.

Included today:
-Guided tour of Fes

Meals: Breakfast.

Day 9: Fes

Spend the day amongst the Roman ruins of Volubilis, the once ruling centre of the Roman province of Mauritania. The ancient site dates back to 40 AD, which explains why the ville nouvelle, or 'new city' neighborhood of Fes bears its name despite being 700 years old. Also: a visit to the World Heritage listed city of Meknes and dinner at a local restaurant in Fes.

Included today:
-Tour of Volubilis with a local guide
-Visit the World Heritage-listed city Meknes
-Dinner in local restaurant

Meals: Breakfast, dinner.

Day 10: Fes to Seville, Spain

Travel Day: Fes to Seville, Spain.

Leave the tajines for the birthplace of paella and the Moorish brilliance that is the Alcazar. Seville was founded 3000 years ago by Hercules and Sevillanos are extremely proud of their city. Lawrence of Arabia, Star Wars Episode II: Attack of the Clones (the palace on Naboo), Kingdom of Heaven and Games of Thrones (season 5) were all filmed or partly filmed here. When you look as good as Seville it's hard not to show off.

Included today:
-Dinner at a local restaurant

Meals: Breakfast, dinner.

Day 11: Seville

The royal tour continues in Seville with the likes of the Real Alcazar. The palace (and oft used film set - hello, #GoT) is the most stunning example of Mudéjar architecture found on the Iberian Peninsula. Also on the schedule: Plaza de Sappan and the Cathedral of Seville. Your date tonight? The Casa de la Guitarra flamenco show.

Included today:
-Guided tour of Seville

Meals: Breakfast.

Optional activities:
-Flamenco show

Did you know:
-In 1983 an Alsatian dog was arrested for snatching a bag. Just another day of Seville acting in it's lawful duty.
-Seville's Gothic Cathedral allegedly holds the (slightly aged) bones of Christopher Columbus. He is also rumoured to be in Hispañola, Havana and the Dominican Republic.

Day 12: Seville to Lisbon, Portugal

Travel Day: Seville to Lisbon, Portugal.

Flirt with Spain's girl next door and discover why Lisbon is basically the San Francisco of Europe. Find (or lose) your bearings on a guided tour of the undulating capital and let the Jeronimos Monastery and the World Heritage listed Belem Tower feed your daily dose of history. A local meal will sustain a night of dancing in Bairro Alto. Oi!


Included today:
-Guided tour of Lisbon

Meals: Breakfast, dinner.

Did you know:
-Only five people in the world know the recipe for the famed Portuguese tarts - pastel de belém. Their recipe is locked away in the noggins of five men who cannot travel in the same planes, cars, or eat the same thing at any restaurant together, lest the recipe be lost forever.
-Construction on the Santa Engrácia church began in the 17th century and wasn't completed until 1966, when the majority of the church was already 266 years old. They just really like to take their time with details.

Day 13: Lisbon

The Lisbon Botanical Gardens are the result of a king wanting one of every type of plant in the world. He didn't quite get all of them but came pretty close. The gardens are a great place to have a picnic or if you can, learn the only three Portuguese words you'll need: Pastéis de Belém. This secret recipe has never been written down and people who know it never take the same flight, car or order the same dish at a restaurant. Just in case.

Included today:
-Free day

Meals: Breakfast.

Day 14: Lisbon to Porto

Travel Day: Lisbon to Porto.

If you think Porto has something to do with port wine, you're right. A quick stop in Sintra to visit the Palacio Nacional da Pena, and Vila Nova de Gaia, then we hit the cellars! Cue raised pinkies and pretentious dialogue.

Included today:
-Visit to Sintra
-Port winery and tasting in Porto

Meals: Breakfast, dinner.

Did you know:
-The Initiation Well in Sintra reaches 27 metres into the earth's core, resembling an inverse tower. Your ascent into the light signifies a rebirth through the womb of mother nature, where all things come and will eventually return. Be polite, go and be reborn - you'll feel neue again.
-Sintra even inspired Lord Byron to wax lyrical about the city's charm, sparking the thought for his epic Childe Harold's Pilgrimage poem.

Day 15: Porto

Check out Ribeira, the famous old town of Porto, on a guided walking tour. Medieval streets, quirky alleyways and hand-painted azulejos culminate in a stunning port with traditional fishing boats bobbing along the river shores. UNESCO rates it and so should you. Then: rest your legs on a cruise down the Douro river.

Included today:
-Walking tour of Porto

Meals: Breakfast.

Optional activities:
-Six bridges boat cruise down Douro river

Day 16: Porto to Madrid, Spain

Travel Day: Porto to Madrid, Spain.

On to the old haunts of Picasso, Dali, Miro and a number of enviably creative artists from the ritzy 1920s. But first: Salamanca, one of the most spectacular renaissance cities in Europe and home to the oldest university in Spain. Walking tour included, selfies optional.

Included today:
-Visit to and guided tour of Salamanca
-Guided tour of Madrid

Meals: Breakfast, dinner.

Did you know:
-Salamancans allegedly speak the purest form of Spanish, making the city a popular place for Spanish learners and grammar nazis alike.

Day 17: Madrid

Another day to roam free. Check out the Royal Palace, home to one of Europe's oldest monarchies, then stroll through the expansive Plaza Mayor and get cultured at the Prado Museum. Or just kick back and relax in the botanical gardens.

Included today:
-Free day

Meals: Breakfast.

Day 18: Madrid to San Sebastian

Travel Day: Madrid to San Sebastian.

Onward to San Sebastian via the Valley of the Fallen and Segovia, another World Heritage-listed city. Let’s just say dinner will be well deserved, you history buffs, you.

Included today:
-Visit to Valley of the Fallen
-Guided tour of Segovia

Meals: Breakfast, dinner.

Did you know:
-Segovia has extremely wise water. The city’s aqueduct built in 1st century AD still stands today and continues to supply water to the city.

Day 19: San Sebastian

(Attempt to) catch some waves or soak up the sun. Either way, you'll experience why this Basque hotspot is known for its beaches. And of course it's infectious tapas culture. Pintxos, a local range of bite size snacks served on sticks (think olives, but bigger mouthfuls) are all the rage in this region. Head to Parte Vieja (old town) to gorge yourself at the city's most popular pintxo bars.

Included today:
Walking tour of San Sebastian.

Meals: Breakfast.

Optional activities:
Surfing lesson.

Day 20: San Sebastian to Barcelona

Travel Day: San Sebastian to Barcelona.

First stop today is Zaragoza then it's on to Barcelona for a final sangria to celebrate (or commiserate) the end of another adventure. Salud!

Included today:
-Zaragoza visit
-Farewell dinner

Meals: Breakfast, dinner.

Did you know:
-Every year the people of Tarazona in Zaragoza bombard tomatoes at the character Cipotegato - a man in a harlequin costume - for the festival of patron saint Atilano. He could have dinner sorted with one wring of the costume - who would want to waste Spanish tomatoes?

Day 21: Barcelona

Should you stay or should you go? Your call, but we're outta here after breakfast.

Meals: Breakfast.


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Details

Further Details

More information about this gap year opportunity...

Price details:

from £1,535

Phone:

Call 0333 333 9952 to enquire or book

Inclusions

Local guide Fes
Local guide Volubilis
Guided tour of the Alhambra, Granada
Port winery tour & tasting, Porto
Farewell dinner in Barcelona
Visit UNESCO Heritage listed city Meknes
Visit UNESCO Heritage listed city Porto

More Inclusions

20 breakfasts, 12 dinners
4 nights hotel upgrade & 16 nights in hostels
Strait of Gibraltar ferry crossings
Modern air-conditioned coach
Guided tours of all major cities
Awesome Trip Leader + Driver

Group Size

Average 35, maximum 48

Transport

Modern air-conditioned coach, including power points for charging electronics.
During peak season, some coaches will not have Wi-Fi

Age

This tour is suitable for people aged 18-39

About StudentUniverse

StudentUniverse has been supplying the best flight, hotel and tours deals to students around the world for years now and we’re delighted to be the preferred travel partner of gapyear.com and to make your travel experience even more amazing.

We have a great team of travel gurus that understand what a gap year is all about just waiting to help you, and since we are part of the Flight Centre Travel Group we are able to offer the best flights, gap year packages, hostels, tours, volunteer placements and insurance - the works. This is not your average travel agency, it’s the ultimate backpacker travel agency.

If you’d like to get in touch to chat about your travels, even if you’re in the preliminary stages and you’d just like some advice, give us a call on 0333 333 9923 or submit an enquiry to StudentUniverse – we’d love to hear from you.

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