Europe Forums

Post New Topic

Recent Activity

  • How do you plan your trips?
  • Please help us learn by participating in a brief survey.
View all Europe activity »
  1. 1 Suggestions needed for our trip to Austria & Switzerland in October
  2. 2 Paris Navigo weekly Pass
  3. 3 Fes to Southern Spain (Jerez, Malaga)
  4. 4 Greece Itinerary Jun-Jul 2017
  5. 5 European Travel & Trivia Quiz #162
  6. 6 Flat in London
  7. 7 How the kids age calculated
  8. 8 Euro Travel & Trivia Quiz #163
  9. 9 Places to cover in Switzerland in 8-9 days & then 5-6 days in Austria
  10. 10 Souvenirs to collect while backpacking?
  11. 11 How early in the spring to visit London & England?
  12. 12 For a Taste of Four Cultures on Two Contınents
  13. 13 Parma/strasbourg or frankfurt???
  14. 14 Rome neighborhoods equivalent to arrondissements 6 and 7 in Paris?
  15. 15 Driving from Munich to Barcelona
  16. 16 Buying Train Tickets to and from Prague
  17. 17 4 Nights - Bern/Grindelwald / Interlaken / Lucerne
  18. 18 lurento sports car rental - anyone?
  19. 19 Airport Transfer - Palma Mallorca
  20. 20 Basilicata region of southern Italy, also known as Lucania
  21. 21 Transferring from LCY to LHR . PLEASE HELP
  22. 22 Trip Report Houses, Gardens & Walking in England
  23. 23 Madrid airport question
  24. 24 Provence best farmstays!!??
  25. 25 Opinion on sights in Florence
View next 25 » Back to the top

Trip Report Spain and Portugal in Depth

Jump to last reply

It began with an overheard conversation during church coffee hour. A friend who loves to travel with her mother mentioned how she would like to go to Spain and Portugal and thought about Grand Circle travel company. I overheard her and commented, "Yes, I would recommend Grand Circle. We've enjoyed eight tours with them and each was great." There was murmuring at the table and eventually "Well, let's plan a trip together then." Now DW and I had about decided at our age we were done with overseas travel...so instead we'd toured New Brunswick and Maritimes with GCT last year. (Besides going to Maine, the Cape, and other places like Des Moines for a wedding).

Thing is, I had always had a dream of going to southern Spain. Years ago we spent some weeks in Salamanca studying St. Teresa and toured Avila, Segovia, Madrid, etc. There had been a longing to see other places like Alcazar and the Alhambra. It turned out that nine of us from the church signed up for an October 6-20 tour "Spain and Portugal in Depth" recruited by my friend. So this is a report on what we saw and did, not so much accomodations nor transportation details (being with a tour) as impressions on what we saw and did, from Madrid heading south to Andalucia and over to Ronda and Torremolinas and to Lisbon. And we did a few things no average tourist would do.

So first that late afternoon flight to Europe where you don't sleep and suddenly it's morning. We flew via Iberia from Boston. Actually, we survived without being as dragged out as we had feared. Arriving Madrid early morning we were transported to Hotel Tryp Cibeles. The hotel is right off the busy Gran Via with many shops and The Lion King showing down the block. Since the rooms weren't ready some of us friends set forth to tour the Royal Palace. Turned out it was quite a walk and yet worth it...a splendid place with rooms trimmed in gold, including the royal throne room and the marvelous Tiepolo ceiling. Also four Goya paintings of the Royalty. I like Rick Steves' commentary stroll through the palace. Later in the day our program director led us on a stroll down side streets and walkways off Gran Via. Some of our Newton, MA, group relaxed with sangrias outdoors at The Moon and then an evening meal at Public. There are so many little cafes all over, some of course are tapa bars. So typical all over Spain are outdoor tables. More later on food.

Next: more on Madrid. Feel free to chip in anytime on this report along the way.

75 Replies |Back to top

Sign in to comment.

Advertisement