The blog for you to GETAWAY FROM YOUR EVERYDAY!!!!!

We’ll feature up to 3 destinations every two weeks. If you don’t want to do a package deal then have no fear because we can do most independently for you or what used to be call an ON YOUR OWN package.

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GLOBUS/COSMOS OFFERS AND PROMOTIONS

 

 

Save $800 per couple on 2019 Globus Iceland Adventure (ZR) Vacation


Book a 2019 Globus Iceland Adventure (ZR) vacation by August 31, 2019 to receive a $400 per person discount off the land price.

 

Save 5% on select 2020 Globus Asia, Africa and South Pacific early bookings


There will never be a better time to see and experience the world. Globus invites you to enjoy every moment of your journey. What are you waiting for?

 

Save $600 Per Couple On Select 2019 Globus Iceland Vacations


Book a 2019 Globus Gems of Iceland with Whale Watching (ZRS) or with Northern Lights (ZRW) vacation by February 28, 2019, to receive a $300 per person discount off the land price.

 

Save $300 per couple on select 2020 air-inclusive Cosmos Europe vacations on British Airways/American Airlines


Book a select 2020 air-inclusive Globus or Cosmos vacation to Europe (excluding Escapes by Globus, Oberammergau and Cosmos Lite vacations) on American Airlines/British Airways to receive a $150 per person air credit.

 

 

PACIFIC PRINCESS

 

$2759 PER PERSON+ port fees and taxes

 

 

VOYAGE SUMMARY

 

 

 

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Tahiti (Papeete), French Polynesia

14NOV20

SAT

                     

CHECK IN STARTS AT 0400P

OVERNIGHT

Tahiti (Papeete), French Polynesia

15NOV20

SUN

DEPART 5:00PM

                   

At Sea

16NOV20

MON

                     

Rangiroa, French Polynesia

17NOV20

TUE

ARRIVE 8:00AM DEPART 5:00PM

                   

TENDER REQUIRED        WHEELCHAIR ACCESS LIMITED

At Sea

18NOV20

WED

                     

Huahine, French Polynesia

19NOV20

THU

ARRIVE 8:00AM DEPART 5:00PM

                   

TENDER REQUIRED        WHEELCHAIR ACCESS LIMITED

Raiatea, French Polynesia

20NOV20

FRI

ARRIVE 7:00AM DEPART 10:00PM

                   

Bora Bora, French Polynesia

21NOV20

SAT

ARRIVE 8:00AM

                   

TENDER REQUIRED        WHEELCHAIR ACCESS LIMITED OVERNIGHT

Bora Bora, French Polynesia

22NOV20

SUN

DEPART 5:00PM

                   

TENDER REQUIRED        WHEELCHAIR ACCESS LIMITED

Moorea, French Polynesia

23NOV20

MON

ARRIVE 8:00AM DEPART 5:00PM

                   

TENDER REQUIRED        WHEELCHAIR ACCESS LIMITED

Tahiti (Papeete), French Polynesia

23NOV20

MON

ARRIVE 8:00PM

                   

OVERNIGHT

Tahiti (Papeete), French Polynesia

24NOV20

TUE

ARRIVE 6:00AM

                   

·         Approx. 214 to 222 sq. ft., including balcony

·         Balcony with 2 chairs and table

·         Floor-to-ceiling sliding glass doors

·         Comfortable queen or two twin beds

·         Refrigerator.

·         Flat-panel television

·         Private bathroom with shower

·         100% cotton, high-thread count linens

·         Complimentary 24-hour room service

·         Spacious closet

·         Spacious closet

·         Desk

·         Hair dryer & fine bathroom amenities

·         Digital security safe

 

 

 

Freedom Sale

 

 

 

 

 

 

www.railtoursireland.com


The All Ireland Tour

Price: from US$1,369 pps

Travel South, Southwest and North by train on a 6-day rail tour covering all the highlights - with two nights in Killarney, two nights in Galway, and two nights in Dublin. This tour explores a significant part of the Wild Atlantic Way and the Causeway Coast. We head south to visit Cork, Blarney Castle & the Ring of Kerry, west to the Cliffs of Moher, Connemara, the Aran Islands in Galway Bay and North to the Giants Causeway. 3 FREE UPGRADES for your clients.

Click for Details!


Cork City, Blarney, Ring of Kerry & Cliffs of Moher 
Price: from US$629 pps

Enjoy Railtours Ireland's 3-day tour to the South and South West of Ireland, covering Cork, Blarney Castle, The Queenstown Story, as well as Killarney, touring the Ring of Kerry along the Wild Atlantic Way. The Ring of Kerry is a 179-km-long circular tourist route in County Kerry, South Western Ireland. See the Skellig Rocks (islands) on this tour, where Star Wars 'The Force Awakens' was recently filmed. The tour also visits the Cliffs of Moher and Galway Bay, and returns to Dublin by train from Galway's energetic city centre. FREE UPGRADES for your clients.

Click for Details!


 


Waterford Crystal, Kilkenny City & the Suir Valley 
Price: US$139 pp

Enjoy a full day tour of Ireland's Ancient East - in Ireland's sunny south east. This rail tour visits the ancient city of Kilkenny or as it is known "The Marble City". After which, it continues on to explore the historic Viking City of Waterford where we visit the Waterford Crystal Visitor Centre. The tour returns to Dublin via the lovely Suir Valley. A day filled with the best of Ireland's Ancient East.

Click for Details!


 


 

Railtours Ireland First Class 16 Amiens Street, Dublin 1.
Tel: +353 1 856 0045 Toll Free: 1-877-451-4783
Freephone (UK): 0800 328 2899
Email: 

 

 

 

 

TIME IS A TICKING AWAY TO JOIN US GOING NORTH THIS OCTOBER


Pacific Northwest Coast(#5373304)

 

Prices Starting At: $ 999.00
+ 245.00 taxes/fees
Date(s): 10/20/2019 - 10/27/2019
Ship: Grand Princess

Newly enhanced with our latest innovations, Grand Princess continues to offer the signature service for which Princess Cruises is renowned. With our innovative features like Movies Under the Stars®, our Italian-inspired Piazza and The Sanctuary®, there are plenty of ways to help you escape completely. Sip on a variety of soothing teas at Leaves Tea Lounge & Library, or enjoy hand-tossed pizza in Alfredo's, our full-service pizzeria.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 
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The Iberian Peninsula ... that's Portugal and Spain, Classic Fall destinations!  See if any of these deals can inspire a vacation where you can getaway from your everyday!

Spain

Budget airlines and affordable fares have turned Spain into a beach resort haven for northern Europeans wishing to escape their own (sometimes) damp and dreary climates. With sun-bleached beaches and a favorable rate of exchange for most travelers, it's easy to see why Spain is such a popular choice for an unforgettable beach holiday in Europe. An incredible 53 million people visit Spain each year (the second most in Europe after France), and the country deserves its formidable reputation as a tourist haven. Some may feel that the Canary and Balearic Islands have been overrun by tourists, and this is true to some extent - Tenerife, Lanzarote and Mallorca have become synonymous with cheap package holidays and warm beer, and Ibiza's reputation has, for some, been tarnished by the revelers frequenting its famous dance clubs and beach parties. However, even in these crowded resort areas you will find many magical, unspoiled corners awaiting discovery.

Spain is comprised of numerous autonomous regions, offering great variation within one country. The hundreds of miles of Mediterranean coastline provide ample opportunity to get off the beaten track, and the country's vibrant cities and colorful festivals will amaze and delight even the most seasoned traveler. Art lovers can get lost in the Spain of Gaudi, Dali, and Picasso, of Goya and Velazquez - proudly displayed in the country's museums and galleries.

Spain's Pamplona is a unique experience of thundering streets that vibrate to the rhythm of man and beast during the annual running of the bulls, and while the whole country celebrates each February with the Carnaval, no place does it better than Sitges. Barcelona is Spain's showcase of the unique architectural style of Gaudi's bizarre organic turrets and balconies. For a more provincial experience, the Valencian town of Buñol goes wild every year with the La Tomatina festival, a time when the region's surplus tomatoes - following the annual harvest - are dumped on the streets and pelted about in a friendly riot. Spain is also a country rich in heritage and the historic cities of Toledo, Salamanca, Seville and Granada promise a wealth of early Christian and Moorish buildings and monuments, as well as the remains of some incredible medieval sites. Spain has six cities that have been declared UNESCO World Heritage sites, more than any other country in the world.

Key Facts

Language: Spanish is the official language, but English is widely understood in areas frequented by tourists. Catalan, Galician and Basque are spoken in the relevant areas.

Passport/Visa: The borderless region known as the Schengen area includes the following countries: Austria, Belgium, Czech Republic, Denmark, Estonia, Finland, France, Germany, Greece, Hungary, Iceland, Italy, Latvia, Lithuania, Luxembourg, Malta, The Netherlands, Norway, Poland, Portugal, Slovakia, Slovenia, Spain, and Sweden. All these countries issue a standard Schengen visa that has a multiple entry option that allows the holder to travel freely within the borders of all. Non-EU nationals must hold a return or onward ticket, all necessary documents for onward travel and sufficient funds. For travel to Spain, sufficient funds as defined as EUR 62.40 per day of stay, with a minimum of EUR 561.60 or equivalent in other freely convertible currency. Visitors to Spain also require an invitation letter or confirmation of accommodation. It is highly recommended that passports have at least six months validity remaining after the intended date of departure from Spain. Immigration officials often apply different rules to those stated by travel agents and official sources.

Currency: Spain's official currency is the Euro (EUR). One Euro is divided into 100 cents. Money can be exchanged at bureau de change and major hotels, but banks give the best rates. All major credit cards are widely accepted at most hotels, restaurants, and shops. ATMs are widespread and are generally the cheapest and most convenient method of obtaining money.

Electricity: Electrical current is 230 volts, 50Hz. European-style two-pin plugs are standard.

Travel to Spain

Spain is more than a travel destination - it's a way of life. The country's many attractions and the journeys between them are infused with the warm welcome of the diverse people and the laid-back lifestyle that the Spaniards have perfected. Spanish holidays should be slow, with room for spontaneity and unexpected diversions. The wealth of things to see and do is such that the top attractions in Spain are whole cities, towns and islands, and a single holiday can barely scratch the surface of what this country has to offer. It is often best to plan an itinerary around a single city or region.

Favorite destinations in Spain include: Toledo, for Roman architecture and ancient history; Santiago de Compostela for religious history and art; Cordoba, for medieval charm and the Mezquita cathedral; Barcelona, for Gaudi and almost anything else a tourist could want; Ibiza, for beach parties and clubbing; Bilbao, for industrial creativity and the Guggenheim Museum; Majorca, for stunning landscapes and medieval villages; Madrid, the capital, for a cosmopolitan Spanish experience; Tenerife, for spectacular beaches and diverse landscapes; Seville, for history and fun after dark; Granada, for mountains, tradition and architecture; and San Sebastian, for beautiful beaches and good food.

Climate in Spain

Southern Spain is the ideal holiday region, having the warmest weather on mainland Europe, even during the winter months. The southern and eastern coast of Spain has a Mediterranean climate with hot, dry summers and mild winters, while the West Atlantic coast is cooler in summer and wet in winter. Inland the climate is temperate and the capital Madrid, which is situated on a plateau, can be surprisingly cold in winter. Most of Spain is extremely hot during mid-summer, in July and August. The rest of the year the climate is generally temperate in the north, but warm in the south.

The peak tourism season is summer, between June and August, with August the busiest month, but many people prefer to visit Spain during spring or autumn (May or October) when the weather is still pleasant and the crowds thinner. The exception to this recommendation is the Atlantic coast, which has heavy rains in October and November. Budget travelers should consider visiting Spain in the winter as accommodation and flights are offered at discount rates. The Canary Islands are a good beach destination if visiting in winter, and cities like Barcelona are exciting destinations at any time of year.

Health Notes

There is no health risks associated with travel to Spain, and no vaccination certificates are required for entry. Medical facilities are good in Spain, but comprehensive travel insurance is always advised. Spain has a reciprocal health agreement with most EU countries, including the UK, providing emergency health care for EU travelers on the same terms as Spanish nationals. EU travelers should take a European Health Insurance Card (EHIC). Note that the scheme gives no entitlement to medical repatriation costs, nor does it cover ongoing illnesses of a non-urgent nature, so comprehensive travel insurance is still advised. Travelers should take any medication they require along with them, in its original packaging and accompanied by a signed and dated letter from a doctor detailing what it is and why it is needed.

Safety Notes

Most visits to Spain are trouble-free, except for occasional street crime, which is common in the big cities; travelers are advised to take precautions to avoid theft of passports, credit cards, travel documents and money. Crime is usually petty and violent assault is rare. Be wary of strangers offering or asking for help of any kind, as it is often a distraction for accomplices. There are also scams involving letters for outstanding traffic fines or Spanish lottery winnings. If travelers exercise all the normal precautions they should have a trouble-free holiday in Spain

 

Spanish holiday

 

 

Spanish Wonder Winter 2019 2020


Starting At: $ 1591.25

This zesty fiesta through Spain includes the ornate Alhambra Palace in Granada, Valencia's 19th-century Bullring and Gaudí's Gothic gift to Barcelona - La Sagrada Família.

 

Madrid Getaway 5 Nights


Starting At: $ 811.00

6 Days, featuring: Madrid

 

4 Nights Barcelona & 4 Nights Madrid


Starting At: $ 1744.00

9 Days, featuring: Madrid

 

4 Nights Barcelona & 5 Nights Madrid


Starting At: $ 1868.00

10 Days, featuring: Madrid

 

10 Day Highlights of Spain


Starting At: $ 5840.00

Let the passions of Spain's history and people ignite your spirit as you take in Gaudí's architecture in Barcelona, tour the mystical Alhambra in Granada, explore archaeological sites, and much more.

 

Lisbon To Madrid Escape


Starting At: $ 999.00

8 Days, featuring: Lisbon, Portugal

 

Spain & Portugal Escape


Starting At: $ 1199.00

9 Days, featuring: Barcelona, Spain

 

The Best Of Spain


Starting At: $ 2099.00

9 Days, featuring: Seville-granada

 

Iberian Discovery & Morocco


Starting At: $ 2639.00

13 Days, featuring: At Leisure On The Costa Del Sol

 

Spain's Classic

 

Starting At: $ 2849.00

Explore Lisbon, Portugal, Europe's second oldest capital city. Visit the pilgrimage center of Fatima, the picture perfect fishing village of Nazare and the medieval walled town of Obidos. Then experience Spain's colorful pageant of art, history and culture. Set against a backdrop that spans sunny Mediterranean shores and grand mountain ranges, this stunning destination is dotted with white pueblos and groves of oranges and olives. Explore the priceless treasures of the Royal Palace, one of Eu...

 

Ibiza & Palma De Mallorca


Starting At: $ 2300.00

 

A cruising we will go.....

 

Cruising by Spain

 

 

Barcelona to Barcelona


Starting At: $ 1799.00
+ 165.00 taxes/fees
Ship: Wind Surf

On any day, our 310-guest flagship, Wind Surf, draws admiring glances as she glides majestically into port with her tall sails billowing. And her beauty is far more than skin deep. Starting with all new finishes and furnishings in suites and staterooms, Wind Surf renovation now brings you some of the most beautiful public spaces at sea. Everything about Wind Surf speaks of welcome. Come aboard and see it for yourself.

 

Barcelona to Lisbon


Starting At: $ 2799.00
+ 269.00 taxes/fees
Ship: Wind Star

Wind Star is a sleek, 4-masted sailing yacht accommodating 148 guests. With four decks and a gross tonnage of 5,307, Wind Star feels like your own private yacht. Wind Star features wide open, teak decks-quite unusual for small ships. Guests will find hidden nooks for private moments giving them a feeling of being on their own private veranda.

 

Barcelona to Malaga


Starting At: $ 4699.00
+ 488.00 taxes/fees
Ship: SeaDream II

We visit the intimate yachting playgrounds, harbors and ports where large cruise ships cannot go. "It's yachting, not cruising" and you may never want to go on a cruise ship again.

 

7-Day Spanish Isles & Florence


Starting At: $ 2999.00
+ 195.00 taxes/fees
Ship: Seabourn Ovation

Aboard The Yachts of Seabourn, the world is more intimate and more enchanting. Here, you'll explore ports rarely visited by larger ships and meet people who are happy to show you around their hidden corner of the globe. With their unmatched sense of style, elegance and grace, The Yachts of Seabourn beckon you to travel beyond the bounds of the imagination. Aboard Seabourn, every desire is met promptly and with a welcoming smile. Whether it's a warm blanket and a cup of gourmet hot chocolate as you drift along the Norwegian Fjords or a relaxing neck massage poolside, you'll feel that you're a member of a very exclusive club.

 

Unforgettable Douro with Madrid


Starting At: $ 10385.00
Ship: Scenic Azure

As the only Scenic ship sailing the Douro in Portugal, the 5-star Scenic Azure allows you to make the most of your time on-board. With the same all-inclusive luxury experience that has become synonymous with Scenic and just 96 passengers, guests can enjoy a more intimate and relaxed atmosphere.

 

Barcelona to Lisbon


Starting At: $ 9524.00
Ship: Seven Seas Explorer

As soon as guests step aboard Seven Seas Explorer they know they have arrived somewhere special. She is the most luxurious cruise ship to ever grace the seven seas and at every turn her designer touches astound, just as her professional crew delights guests by tending to their every need at a ratio of 1 to 1.38.

 

Mediterranean Collection


Starting At: $ 3059.00
+ 225.00 taxes/fees
Ship: Emerald Princess

Launched in 2007, Emerald Princess is one of the largest ships in the Princess fleet. She offers nearly 900 balcony staterooms from which to take in the colorful sunrise over the ocean, or capture a breathtaking sunset sail-in to a romantic city like Venice. Leisurely days spent onboard in the Piazza-style atrium are relaxing and entertaining, with the nearby International Café and Vines wine bar fulfilling your cravings for warm cookies, toasted paninis, and even hand rolled sushi.

 

Highlights of Spain - Tour 2C (CruiseTour)

 

Starting At: $ 4099.00
+ 135.00 taxes/fees
Ship: Emerald Princess

Launched in 2007, Emerald Princess is one of the largest ships in the Princess fleet. She offers nearly 900 balcony staterooms from which to take in the colorful sunrise over the ocean, or capture a breathtaking sunset sail-in to a romantic city like Venice. Leisurely days spent onboard in the Piazza-style atrium are relaxing and entertaining, with the nearby International Café and Vines wine bar fulfilling your cravings for warm cookies, toasted paninis, and even hand rolled sushi.

 

12-Day Iberian Adventure


Starting At: $ 1058.00
+ 190.00 taxes/fees
Ship: Nieuw Statendam

Launching in December 2018, ms Nieuw Statendam, a sister ship to Koningsdam and the second of our Pinnacle-class ships, features a design inspired by the fluid curves of musical instruments. Guests can savor her innovative specialty restaurants-from Sel de Mer to the Grand Dutch Cafe. Explore at America's Test Kitchen's cooking classes and hands-on workshops. And thrill to BBC Earth Experiences presentations at our spectacular two-story World Stage.

 

Canary Islands Celebration


Starting At: $ 1499.00
+ 78.57 taxes/fees
Ship: Queen Victoria

Queen Victoria is known for her elegance and her graceful splendour. Her unique facilities are amongst the most modern you will find and yet she has a special ambience so evocative of great liners past. With luxurious marbles, woods and rich fabrics she exudes elegance and is adored by her crew and passengers alike.

 

Spain, France & Italy Cruise


Starting At: $ 1399.00
+ 0.00 taxes/fees
Ship: Celebrity Edge

Exciting Deal: Can only be booked 9:00 am EST Monday, Jul 08, through 11:59 pm EST Monday, Jul 15

 

Portugal

A sun-soaked land on the Iberian Peninsula with plenty to offer to both short- and long-term visitors, Portugal's greatest attraction is its gorgeous coastline. The southern region of the Algarve is a firm favorite, where an array of top-class beach resorts, once sleepy fishing villages, provide luxurious oceanside accommodation. The region's fine, year-round climate and ease of access mean that it is a hugely popular winter sun vacation destination. Additionally, there are several low-cost European carriers that provide direct cheap flights to the Algarve. It also serves well as the perfect place for a weekend getaway when the daily grind of city life becomes too much. Seaside towns like Albufeira and Lagos are home to some of the best beach resorts in the Algarve, providing a heady mixture of sheltered beaches, outstanding natural scenery and high-quality lodgings. There is far more to Portugal than its beaches, however. As anyone who has ever set foot in Lisbon's historic Alfama district, or travelled to the medieval town of Évora will tell you, the country is home to some breathtaking architecture and cultural treasures. Notable tourist sites in Lisbon include the Jerónimos Monastery and its Manueline architecture, the iconic Monument to the Discoveries, and the most-photographed building in all of Portugal, the Tower of Belém. This geographically varied country also offers skiing opportunities at the Vodafone Ski Resort in the Serra Estrela Mountains. This craggy, forested mountain range is also a great area for walking and hiking trails, and is the place to go for those craving the pampering of a spa resort holiday in Portugal.

Key Facts

Language: Portuguese is the official language, but English is widely spoken and understood. Passport/Visa: All visitors, except EEA member states, must hold tickets and documents for their return or onward journey, and proof of paid accommodation (equivalent in convertible currency accepted). The borderless region known as the Schengen area includes the following countries: Austria, Belgium, Czech Republic, Denmark, Estonia, Finland, France, Germany, Greece, Hungary, Iceland, Italy, Latvia, Lichtenstein, Lithuania, Luxembourg, Malta, The Netherlands, Norway, Poland, Portugal, Slovakia, Slovenia, Spain, Sweden and Switzerland. All these countries issue a standard Schengen visa that has a multiple entry option that allows the holder to travel freely within the borders of all. It is highly recommended that passports have at least six months validity remaining after your intended date of departure from your travel destination. Immigration officials often apply different rules to those stated by travel agents and official sources.

Currency: The official currency is the Euro (EUR), which is divided into 100 cents. There are numerous banks, bureau de change and ATMs available in main cities and tourist destinations. Foreign currency can be exchanged at banks, bureau de change and automatic currency exchange machines. Banking hours are generally 8.30am to 3pm Monday to Friday. Major credit cards are widely accepted.

Electricity: Electrical current is 230 volts, 50Hz. Round two-pin plugs are used

Travel to Portugal

Sightseeing in Portugal is a privilege and joy to those who've sampled the country's warm climate, charming ports and friendly people. The sea has always been Portugal's first love. The golden beaches and soaring cliffs of the Algarve attract millions of visitors every year. Vibrant, energetic tourist resorts in the South give way to the natural treasures of the Parque Natural de Ria Formosa. The trademark seven hills of Portugal's historic capital city, Lisbon, stand over a colorful city. Visitors can wind their way through the city aboard the famous Tram 28, and experience mournful Fado music in the Alfama district. Not to be missed is a day trip to the picturesque town of Sintra, nestled in the mountains north of Lisbon. Equally impressive is the walled town of Obidos, with its hilltop castle now turned into a luxury pousada (inn). Not far away lay the mysterious megalithic monuments of the Cromeleque dos Almendres, situated just outside the lively university town of Evora. Porto, in the north, is an edgy city boasting a historic centre and great food and drink, gateway as well to the famous Port-producing region of the Doura Valley. On the way north to Porto, visitors should stop to take in the atmosphere in Coimbra, former medieval capital of Portugal and home to the country's oldest university dating back to the 13th century. Portugal's historic seafarers uncovered yet more delights in their travels to the West. The tiny island of Madeira is known as a 'floating garden', hiding a botanical wonderland and famous fortified wine behind its soaring ocean cliffs. Further West lie the Azores, dramatic island landscapes shaped by geological forces within the earth. Visitors can indulge in water sports, see whales and dolphins, hike to volcanic craters and explore the lush scenery.

Climate in Portugal

 The weather in Portugal is among the warmest in Europe, with an average temperature of around 55°F (15°C) in the north, and 64°F (18°C) in the south. The average annual rainfall is as high as 118 inches (300cm) in the northern mountains, but countrywide is closer to 43 inches (110cm). Southern Portugal has a Mediterranean climate with hot, dry summers and mild winters. There is very little rain and summers are warm, but refreshing sea breezes make for pleasant conditions. Summer temperatures in the Algarve can pass 86°F (30°C), and reach as high as 116°F (47°C) in the Alentejo. In the north, the weather is wetter, particularly in winter, and cooler, with temperatures influenced by Atlantic currents and the Spanish Meseta. The climate of the Azores and Madeira is subtropical with some variation from island to island. Much of the Azores experiences dry summer months with warm temperatures year-round. The best time to travel to Portugal is during spring (April and May) and autumn (September and October) when days are pleasantly sunny and warm but tourist areas are relatively quiet. These seasons also offer cheaper rates at hotels and less crowded beaches, restaurants and golf courses.

Health Notes

 There are no health risks attached to travel to Portugal. A yellow fever vaccination certificate is necessary for entry for anyone travelling from an infected area and destined for the Azores or Madeira. Health facilities are good and reciprocal health agreements exist with most European countries, including the UK, whose citizens can receive low-cost emergency care at state hospitals. It is advisable that travelers obtain a European Health Insurance Card (EHIC) before travel. Dental care and repatriation costs are not covered under this agreement, and medical insurance is therefore advised.

Safety Notes

Generally, safety is not a problem for travel in Portugal but there is a rising incidence of petty theft and pick pocketing in tourist areas, so reasonable care should be taken. Portugal has a very poor road safety record so exercise caution and drive defensively when exploring in a rented car.

Top 10 Attractions in Portugal

 

Portugal is a small country that faces the Atlantic coast of the Iberian Peninsula. Because of its beautiful coastline and historical heritage, it is one of the most visited countries in Europe. Its smaller size makes it easier to get around and see more places than say neighboring Spain in the same amount of time. The temperate climate makes it a year-round vacation destination, where travelers can see Roman and Moorish ruins among other spots to visit.

 

The Alcobaça Monastery is a Roman Catholic Monastery located in the town of Alcobaça, in central Portugal. It was founded by the first Portuguese King, Afonso Henriques, in 1153, and maintained a close association with the Kings of Portugal throughout its history. The church and monastery were the first Gothic buildings in Portugal, and, together with the Monastery of Santa Cruz in Coimbra, it is one of the most important of the medieval monasteries in Portugal.

 

The University of Coimbra is one of the oldest, continuous universities in Europe, having been established in 1290. It also is one of the largest universities in Portugal, with approximately 20,000 students. There are many sections of interest within the university complex. Built in the early 18th century at the instigation of King Joao V, the library Biblioteca Joanina is a fine example of Baroque architecture. The Sala dos Capelos, the original throne room, is where the doctorates are awarded.

 

The Capela dos Ossos would appear to come straight out of a Halloween movie, but, in reality, it was a simple solution by 16th century monks on what to do about too many cemeteries taking up space in Evora. They moved the human remains to a special chapel, known as Bone Chapel, where the bones decorate the interior of the chapel. The chapel is part of the Gothic Church of St. Francis. It’s estimated that 5,000 skeletons, including skulls, adorn the chapel walls and ceiling.

 

Cabo Girão is located in the southern coast of Madeira, in the Portuguese archipelago with the same name. At 570 meters (1,870 feet), the cliff is often referred to as the highest sea cliff in Europe but at least three European cliffs are higher. The view down the almost sheer drop to the ocean is thrilling nonetheless. In 2012 a glass-floored platform was installed creating an even scarier viewing experience.

 

The São Jorge Castle is one of the top tourist attractions in Lisbon as it can be seen from all over the city. It dates back to Roman times, though the Moors rebuilt the fortifications in the 10th century. The castle was freed from Moorish rule in 1147 during the Siege of Lisbon in the Second Crusade. It later served as the residence of King Alfonso III. The castle has been destroyed and rebuilt several times. Today, walls and 18 towers that visitors can climb remain.

 

 

Obidos Castle is an impressive structure that sits on a hill at Obidos, a small city that dates back to Roman times on Portugal’s Atlantic coast. The Moors built the castle sometime in the eighth century. It was remodeled around the 14th century and a keep was added. The castle today houses a luxury pousada hotel. A traditional medieval market takes place in the castle every July.

 

Cais da Ribeira is a charming picturesque district in Porto, sometimes referred to as “the soul of Porto.” It’s made up of medieval streets that end on a square by the Douro River. Medieval buildings are filled with bars, cafes and restaurants, making Ribeira a popular place for eating and drinking. Ribeira is especially popular on feast days when townspeople flock there to see fireworks. There’s a bronze cube in the middle of the square. Nearby is the house where Prince Henry the Navigator was born in 1394.

 

Praia da Marinha is considered one of the most beautiful beaches in Portugal. Located in the Atlantic coast region of Algarve, the beach is flanked by gorgeous blue waters on one side, and sandy beaches and high cliffs on the landside. Also known as Navy Beach, it is a small cove that is used extensively as an image in travel brochures. The beach’s clear waters make it a good place for snorkeling. This picturesque beach is about a 30-minute drive from Albuferia; free parking is available.

 

Belem Tower, also known as the Tower of St. Vincent, sits on what once was an island in the Tagus River in Lisbon, the capital of Portugal. Dating back to 1515, the imposing tower was built both to defend Lisbon from invaders and to welcome the city’s friends. Built in the Age of Discovery, the four-story limestone tower has a bastion connected to it; the bastion had space for 17 cannons that could fire long range shots. A statue of Our Lady of Safe Homecoming, designed to protect sailors on their voyages, faces the river.

 

The Pena National Palace seems like a fairy tale castle as it stands above the clouds on overcast days. Yet, sitting atop a hill in Sintra, it can be seen from Lisbon on a clear day. Created by King Ferdinand II, it is an impressive example of 19th century Romanticism, not only in Portugal but also the world, as it combines Moorish and Manueline architectural styles. It started out as a chapel to Our Lady of Pena during the Middle Ages, and is used for state occasions today.

 

Portugal Adventures

 

 

Castles & Culture of Portugal


Starting At: $ 12395.00

Savoring the flavors of life is a Portuguese passion-relish in the cultural and culinary delights as you explore Portugal?'s historic landmarks, UNESCO World Heritage Sites, and a love of fine wine and food few countries rival. Tour gothic Porto, cruise the Douro River, and taste the region?s unique and hearty port wine. In Lisbon, explore the beautiful 16th-century monuments, and medieval city center, as well as nearby charming old villages of Óbidos, Évora and Alentejo. Enjoy private visits...

 

Wonders of Portugal Winter 2019 2020


Starting At: $ 1515.25

Wander through the medieval cities of Óbidos, Évora and Guimarães, and visit the religious landmarks of Fátima, Batalha and the dramatic Hieronymite Monastery, enjoying a delicious pasteis de nata or two along the way.

 

3 Nights Lisbon & 3 Nights Oporto


Starting At: $ 1136.00

7 Days, featuring: Lisbon, Portugal

 

9 Day Portugal Signature


Starting At: $ 4527.00

Explore wine-rich Porto, classic Lisbon, and majestic Sintra, the summer retreat of the Royals in bygone times. Relax on the golden sandy beaches of the sun-drenched Algarve region.

 

Best of Spain & Portugal end Barcelona (Summer 2019)


Starting At: $ 3355.00

Follow the fortunes of the Spanish, Portuguese and Moorish Kingdoms as evidenced in their grand castles, stupendous religious buildings and incredible works of art. Last Minute Deal: Must book by 2019-07-11

 

Country Roads of Portugal end Lisbon (Summer 2019)


Starting At: $ 2899.00

Portugal's great New World discoveries brought the country trade and wealth, and left their mark throughout the Kingdom. Witness this legacy, from the sunny beaches of the Algarve to the vineyards of the Douro Valley. Last Minute Deal: Must book by 2019-07-11

 

Portuguese Escape


Starting At: $ 1099.00

9 Days, featuring: Viseu-belmonte-castelo De Vide-evora

 

The Best Of Spain & Portugal


Starting At: $ 1849.00

13 Days, featuring: Madrid

 

Portugal Explorer


Starting At: $ 849.00

7 Days, featuring: Lisbon

 

Sunny Portugal Estoril Coast, Alentejo & Algarve

 

Starting At: $ 2099.00

Explore sunny Portugal, with its miles of dramatic shoreline and legacy of global discovery. Discover Lisbon your way with a choice of included sightseeing. Enjoy a three-night stay in a beautiful resort town on the Portuguese Riviera. Savor time to meander its narrow cobblestone streets, oceanfront promenade and quaint bay area. In Evora, step inside a medieval walled city with Roman ruins. Travel to Portugal's scenic "Silver Coast," dotted with charming villages and castles. Enjoy a sense o...

 

Portugal & Its Islands featuring the Estoril Coast, Azores & Madeira Islands

 

Starting At: $ 2799.00

Discover the true gems of Portugal. Enjoy multi-night stays on the remote islands of São Miguel, Azores and Madeira, the "Pearl of the Atlantic." Marvel at the geothermal wonders of the Furnas Valley. Take in the beauty of the twin lakes of Sete Cidades and Lagoa do Fogo (Fire Lake). Enjoy charming coastal villages, beautiful botanical gardens and a wine tasting in Madeira. Experience Azorean culinary traditions during an interactive cooking demonstration. Explore Portugal's Riviera with vis...

 

Exciting Azores


Starting At: $ 570.00

 

The Wines Of Portugal


Starting At: $ 2525.00

 

Spectacular Azores


Starting At: $ 740.00

 

Lisbon & Porto, A Portuguese Food & Wine Experience


Starting At: $ 2423.00

 

Portugal's Lisbon & Algarve


Starting At: $ 468.00

 

The North Of Portugal


Starting At: $ 2732.00

 

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SPOTLITE CITY

Barcelona

The enchanting city of Barcelona is a visual delight, and has an atmosphere that combines elegance and sophistication with provincial charm. In exploring its streets you'll discover medieval romance in its Gothic quarter and the awe-inspiring delights of the fantastic and sometimes outrageous Art Nouveau architecture of Gaudi and his contemporaries. The funicular up to Tibidabo, or the cable car up Montjuic, both offer breathtaking views over this attractive city. Its skyline is perhaps most famous for Antoni Gaudi's masterwork, the still incomplete church of the Sagrada Familia, as well as the city's huge Gothic cathedral. The artistic legacy of Barcelona is one of the city's most appealing attributes, with museums containing extensive collections of the works of Miro and Picasso. Barcelona is also a shopper's paradise, with the city's flair for style reflected in its numerous boutiques and markets, open late into the evenings. As the sun sets, and the city's many bars and restaurants open, the night truly comes alive. Dinner is served at any time between nine o'clock and midnight, and the festivities around the bars and nightclubs carry on well into the early hours of the morning. Barcelona is the commercial centre of the popular holiday region known as the Costa Brava, the northernmost Mediterranean seafront in Spain, as well as the Costa Dorada to the south. The coast is dotted with popular resort towns, many retaining their age-old charm, which can be easily reached from the city.

Climate for Barcelona

Barcelona enjoys a subtropical-Mediterranean climate with long, hot summers and cool winters. Winters, between December and February, are mild and snow is rare. January is the coldest winter month, with temperatures averaging between 41°F (5°C) and 57°F (14°C) during the day and colder at night. The peak summer months are June to August, but Barcelona's summer really lasts a full six months, from May to October. August is the hottest summer month, with temperatures averaging between 70°F (21°C) and 84°F (29°C) during the day. April and November are transitional months, with more unpredictable weather. Barcelona doesn't get much rain, with only a handful of rainy days every month; the wettest months are September, October and May, with thunderstorms occurring between August and November. Although the city gets plenty of sun, it can get foggy and cloudy, with sea fog especially common in early spring. The ideal months to visit Barcelona, the Costa Brava, and the nearby resorts of Sitges and Vilanova are May, June, July and September, when visitors can expect good, hot weather. In August, despite the shade in the tree-lined boulevards, locals desert Barcelona for the coastal resorts to escape the heat.

Attractions in Barcelona

Spain Legendary rocker Freddie Mercury once described Barcelona's beautiful horizon as 'a jewel in the sun', an apt observation which visitors will understand as they gaze out at the cityscape. Barcelona can best be described as a visual city. It is a sightseer's paradise with plenty of space for strolling, including seven beaches and 10 hectares (25 acres) of municipal parkland allotted throughout the city. From the hills of Montjuic and Tibidabo one can take in the scope of Barcelona and look down on the scenic tree-lined La Ramblas boulevard, the iconic pedestrian street running from the city centre to the Port Vella, Barcelona's oldest harbour. With beautiful warm weather for most of the year, Barcelona is one of those cities blessed with plenty of outdoor attractions and activities. Go to the beach to splash around in the turquoise Mediterranean, cycle round the neighbourhoods of this bicycle friendly city, or jump on the hop-on hop-off tourist bus for some sightseeing. Barcelona also carries with it a rich history. Founded over 2,000 years ago, the city's architecture reflects its Roman heritage, and carries the mark of various influences since. Particularly notable is the Catalan modernisme architecture movement founded in Barcelona, and Gaudi's distinctive creations are among many of the city's buildings declared as World Heritage Sites. The weird and wonderful architectural and artistic creations of Barcelona make the city refreshingly unique, quite unlike any other urban destination.

Basilica de la Sagrada Familia

One of Europe's most unconventional churches, this spectacular basilica is the most famous sight in Barcelona. The UNESCO-listed Basilica de la Sagrada Familia stands in the northern part of the city, dominating its surroundings with its 18 spindly towers soaring high above all other monuments. The Basilica of the Sacred Family is also known in Spanish by its official name: Temple Expiatori de la Sagrada Família.

Barri Gòtic (Gothic Quarter)

For 2,000 years, the Gothic Quarter has been the spiritual and secular center of the city. Relics of ancient Roman buildings are still found here, but the Middle Ages are best represented by the historic monuments packed into this quarter. A masterpiece of Gothic architecture, the medieval cathedral stands on Monte Tabor, the highest point in the town center. The Gothic Quarter is where Christopher Columbus was received by the Catholic Monarchs after his first voyage to the New World, and since the 14th and 15th centuries, the city administrations have had their seat here.

Casa Mila (La Pedrera)

In the Eixample district off the elegant boulevard of Passeig de Gràcia, the UNESCO-listed Casa Milà is Antoni Gaudí's most famous secular building. Casa Mila is also affectionately known as "La Pedrera," which translates to "The Stone Quarry" because the building resembles an open quarry. Built between 1906 and 1912, this flamboyant avant-garde dwelling looks more like a sculpture than a functional building. Every line of the natural stone facade is curved, with rounded windows and metal balcony railings twining around in plant-like shapes. Even the roof has an undulating shape complemented by the decorative chimneys.

La Rambla: Barcelona's Social Hub

The heart of Barcelona's social life is found on La Rambla, a broad, tree-shaded avenue that divides the Old Town into two parts. La Rambla stretches from the Plaça de Catalunya, where the beautiful Romanesque 12th-century Convent of Santa Anna stands, all the way down to the port. This wide street, featuring expansive pedestrian sidewalks, is lined with shops, restaurants, and outdoor cafés, making it one of the most popular hangouts in the city. During the day, many locals are found here doing their everyday shopping at the Mercat de la Boqueria and at night, groups of friends and families take their evening paseo(stroll) on La Rambla to enjoy the fresh air and lively ambience Depending on the day, onlookers might be treated to live music, a mime show, or other impromptu street performances

Palau de la Música Catalana (Palace of Catalan Music)

Built between 1905 and 1908 as a concert hall for the choral society Orfeó Català, The Palau de la Música Catalana was designed by the architect Lluís Domènech i Montaner, in the Catalan Modernista style. But although the building is characterized by the style's curving lines and colorful palette, unlike Gaudi's works, this design puts function ahead of form. Although the interior décor is just as colorful and fanciful as the outside, its shape and decoration are dedicated to choral and other musical performances.

Parc Güell: Gaudí's Surrealist Park

Colorful, cheerful, and full of whimsy, this splendid surrealistic park is another UNESCO World Heritage Sitedesigned by Antoni Gaudí. Created between 1900 and 1914, the Park Güell is beautifully landscaped and features architectural elements in Gaudí's signature style. Viaducts, grottoes, a colonnaded hall, winding staircases, and semi-closed conversation seats are scattered throughout the space. These creative structures are decorated in multicolored ceramic fragments. A spectacular terrace offers panoramic views of the city and the sea. Gaudí himself loved this area of the city, and his home was located here.

Casa Batlló

Yet another amazing Gaudí creation, the UNESCO-listedCasa Batlló is one of the most characteristic Modernist buildings in Barcelona. The fantastical mansion was designed as a private residence for the textile manufacturer Josep Batlló i Casanovas. With its freely swinging shapes and ornamental facade, this dreamlike building looks like a castle from a surreal fairy tale.

Camp Nou

Just as Modernista buildings are must-see attractions for architecture fans, Camp Nou is a must-see for football (soccer) fans. Home of the FC Barcelona, the 99,354-seat stadium is the largest in Europe and second largest in the world. Attend a game here or take the lively tour and visit the museum. Camp Nou was one of the venues for the 1992 Summer Olympics in Barcelona.

The Magic Fountain

One of the favorite things to do in Barcelona at night is to watch the Magic Fountain of Montjuïc, at the beginning of Avinguda Maria Cristina in the Montjuïc neighborhood. The large Art Deco fountain, erected in 1929, delights all ages with its light and water shows choreographed to music. It was designed by Carles Buigas for the 1929 International Exhibition, which took place in Montjuïc. The show lasts for about an hour.

Scenic Views and Art Museums in Montjuïc

This hilltop neighborhood is on the site of an old Jewish cemetery, explaining its name, "Mont Juïc," which translates to "Mountain of the Jews." Standing 213 meters above the sea, the hillside is crowned by a fortress on its summit and slopes steeply down to the Mediterranean. This scenic area of the city is known for its beautiful natural park with great views and superb museums. The National Art Museum of Catalonia has an exceptional collection of Catalan art from the 10th to the 20th centuries, including sculpture, paintings, drawings, engravings, and photography.

 La Barceloneta

Adjacent to the cruise port, the neighborhood of La Barceloneta borders the long, wide Sant Sebastià Beach, where locals go to sunbathe, surf, and socialize in the many seafood restaurants and tapas venues that overlook the sea. A long promenade lined with palm trees connects the beach area to marinas filled with yachts. You get a good view of the marinas and port area from the Port Cable Car, which ascends from here to hilltop Montjuïc