Ultimate Spain & Portugal

Valid for all trips departing January 1st, 2014 - September 13th, 2015 Last Updated:
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Introduction

As former imperial superpowers, Spain and Portugal have centuries of history and captivating culture to draw upon. You, on the other hand, have only 22 days. Make ‘em count! This comprehensive adventure across the Iberian Peninsula presents travellers with the chance to explore these two nations through their cuisine, architecture and idyllic countryside. Here, you’ll wander the wondrous streets of Lisbon, Barcelona and Madrid, step up into the Pyrenees, relax in glorious San Sebastián and live the local culture alongside the locals themselves. Spain and Portugal: Europe’s greatest two-for-one deal!

  • Explore Moorish palaces and great Iberian cities
  • Capture photos of stunning countryside and age-old cathedrals
  • Devour tapas at a local haunt
  • Relax on the Algarve coast
  • Live like a local in a 'casa rural' in the Pyrenees
  • Experience the Basque way of life
Duration: 22 days
Start/Finish City: Lisbon to Madrid
Service Level: Standard
  • Great value, reasonable prices, quality experiences
  • Comfortable and varied tourist-class accommodations chosen for location and character
  • Mix of public and private transport for the best overall experience
  • All the top highlights included, plus plenty of time to explore on your own
Physical Grading: 2
There'll be some light walking and hiking. Suitable for most fitness levels. Nothing too challenging.
Travel Style: Classic
The trips we've built our reputation on.

Designed for maximum variety, these trips are geared towards travellers searching for a healthy mix of active exploration, uncommon landscapes, amazing wildlife and local cultures.

Trip Type: Small Group
Group trips average 12 travellers per departure, depending on the adventure. The maximum is usually no more than 16, but some can be smaller or bigger, depending on the trip. Check individual trips for details.

Itinerary

Route map for Ultimate Spain & Portugal (ESLM)

Day 1 Lisbon

Welcome to Lisbon, the capital of Portugal since its conquest from the Moors in 1147, and a fascinating city with over 20 centuries of history. We recommended arriving a day or two early to fully explore this vibrant city.

As your fellow travellers are arriving throughout the day, there are no planned activities, so check-in to the hotel (check-in time is approx. 3pm) and enjoy the city. In the evening meet your fellow group members at 7pm to go over the details of your trip. Check the notice boards or ask at reception for the exact location of this group meeting. After the meeting, you have the chance to head out for a meal at a local restaurant with the group (optional).

Please make every effort to arrive on time for this important welcome meeting. If you are delayed and will arrive late, please contact the hotel or inform us - contact numbers are provided in these notes. Your Tour Leader will then leave you a message at the front desk informing you of where and when to meet up.

Day 2 Lisbon (1B)

This morning you will enjoy an orientation walk of central Lisbon with your CEO. Afterwards, you will have time to explore at your leisure. The Alfama is one of the oldest quarters in Lisbon, it largely survived the great earthquake of 1755, so it is well worth a visit as the area still retains much of its original layout. Along the narrow medieval streets lined with typical tile-covered façades, you can listen out for Portugal's traditional music, fado, being played and sung at night.

Adjacent to the Alfama are the Castelo and Mouraria quarters, found on the western and northern slopes of the hill where Castelo de Sao Jorge (St. George's Castle) is found. The Graça quarter and the churches of São Vicente de Fora and Santa Engrácia are within walking distance of this area. Laid out in the 16th century, the Bairro Alto (literally "high quarter") is one of the most picturesque quarters in the city. Its architecture, traditional shops, restaurants, bars, and fashionable boutiques give it a unique feel. It is also a good area to experience Lisbon's nightlife.

At the top of the Gloria Funicular are the gardens and belvedere of S. Pedro de Alcantara. Continue past them along Rua D. Pedro V until you come to the Principe Real Gardens, under which there is a water cistern, built in 1864 that can be visited on weekdays. You might choose to take the Santa Justa Elevator up to the ruins of the Carmo Convent, destroyed in the 1755 earthquake and the only remaining example of early gothic architecture in Lisbon.

Belem is linked to Portugal’s Golden Age of Discoveries as the site where the famous navigators set sail to discover the world. This western suburb has some sights worth checking out such as the Estrela Prazeres, Estrela Gardens, Estrela Basilica, Mouraria Castelo, and the Church of Senhora da Sade, with its beautiful tiles and carved wood altar.

If you have already been in Lisbon for a couple of days, you may wish to make a half day trip out the beautiful hilltop town of Sintra.

Days 3-4 Evora/Algarve (2B)

This morning we travel by public bus to Evora.

Your CEO will take you on an orientation walk including the ghoolish "Chapel of Bones" which is constructed almost entirely from the bones of thousands of people, and the centrally located ruins of the Temple of Diana. Erected in the 2nd century, it was transformed into a fortress during the Middle Ages and even a slaughterhouse in the 19th century. There will be some free time to explore this lively student city of medieval alleyways and quaint architecture. You might want to make a stop at Evora's magnificent Cathedral.

Afterwards we make our way to the Algarve region, and the coastal town of Lagos, our stop for the next two nights. Lagos is an attractive, cobblestoned town with fabulous, accessible beaches. Make sure to visit the daily fish and veggie market and trek to the Ponte da Piedade (in front of the lighthouse) for fantastic views of Lagos bay as the Monchique hills rise up in the distance.

On Day 4 enjoy an included hike along the famous golden cliffs and sandy coves of the Algarve. The coastal walk is about 7km long.

Estimated Travel Time:Lisborn to Evora by public bus or train, 2 hours.
Estimated Travel Time: Evora to Lagos by public bus or train, 5 hours.

Days 5-6 Seville

This morning we will head south by public bus to Seville, one of the most colourful and exciting cities in Spain. We spend our time here exploring Muslim monuments, parks and gardens at our leisure, getting a feeling of Seville's energetic pulse while savouring some tapas at the city's many bars and cafés. This evening we will head out to an evening flamenco performance.

After your CEO has taken you on a short orientation walk to get your bearings, you will have time to take in all this great city has to offer. Be sure to explore the wonderful interiors and gardens of the Alcázar, a magnificent palace dating from Moorish times. During Seville’s warm summer nights (until mid-September) you can enjoy a series of concerts in the beautiful setting of the Reales Alcazares. The true heart of Seville lies in the Santa Cruz quarter a charming area with its winding alleys, picturesque lime-washed houses,flowery patios and small squares.

Seville is home to the world’s largest gothic cathedral. The climb to the adjoining tower, known as La Giralda, is well worth the effort for the great views of the city. The 76m Giralda was constructed by the Moors as a mosque between 1184 and 1197; after the reconquest Christians fitted the minaret with its bell tower in 1568.

Other attractions include the Museo Arqueológico, the Casa de Pilates and the Parque de María Luisa, which has a maze of paths, garden beds, pretty little patios, fountains and shaded lawns.

Estimated Travel Time: Lagos to Seville by public bus 6 hours.

Day 7 Cordoba/Granada

This morning we travel from Seville to Granada making a worth-while stop in Cordoba. We will visit Cordoba's most famous monument, it's extraordinary Mezquita. Built as a mosque in 785 by the Moors, the Mezquita was converted in the 16th century by the remarkable addition of a Christian cathedral inserted into the centre of the building. Afterwards, we will stroll Cordoba's historic medieval Jewish quarter, full of narrow winding lanes and traditional houses.

Cordoba’s gastronomy features a cuisine steeped in Roman, Moorish, Christian and Jewish traditions. Why not head out tonight and sample some such as the thick, hearty stew called "caldereta de cordero" or cool off with "ajo blanco," a hearty white gazpacho soup.

After exploring Cordoba we will continue on our journey to Granada.

Estimated travel time: Seville to Cordoba by public bus 2 hours.
Estimated travel time: Cordoba to Granada by public bus 3 hours.

Day 8 Granada

Today we include a visit to the Alhambra, one of the greatest accomplishments of Islamic art and architecture, and the highlight of the trip for most visitors. During the Muslim rule of Spain, Granada was one of the region’s most regal cities. The greatest Muslim legacy in Europe, the Alhambra, is located in Granada. The Alhambra has captured the imagination of visitors for years, and much has been recorded about the history and purpose of this area. No amount of reading or study can truly prepare you for your first visit—it is simply breathtaking.

The Alhambra is divided into three sections: the Alcazaba, the Palacio Nazaries and Generalife. The Alcazaba is the Alhambra's Muslim 11th century wing, offering spectacular views of the city from the tops of its towers. The Palacio Nazaries is the center of the Alhambra, and is most famous for its detailed works and gardens. The Generalife was the summer palace of the sultans. We include a full guided visit of the Alhambra to help you make the most of this truly memorable experience.

Granada, however, has so much more to offer than the Alhambra, magnificent as it is. Take a wander through the whitewashed historic quarter of the Albaicin, with its narrow lanes and fantastic views back to the Alhambra - this is a great place to go for sunset. A trip to Granada wouldn't be the same without a night on the town, the city is filled with trendy tapas bars and has a lively music scene.

Days 9-10 Madrid

Madrid, the grande dame of European cities, has it all — history, architecture, museums, galleries, beautiful parks and a wild nightlife. The capital's most exciting street is the Gran Vía, but be sure to visit the Plaza Mayor –the true heart of Madrid. Enjoy a coffee in one of the plaza’s many cafes and watch the world go by. In the evening, we head out on a tapas and wine bar stroll- a real must do in Madrid.

A trip to the Museo del Prado, one of the greatest art galleries in the world, is a definite highlight. The main emphasis of the museum is 15th to 19th century Spanish, Flemish and Italian art. There is plenty of Goya and you'll find a wealth of paintings by Diego Velázquez. For a more modern take and one of the best art history lessons you'll ever get, check out the Museo Thyssen-Bornemisza, a private assembly of paintings from Titian to Picasso.

The beautiful Real Jardin Botánico, near the Prado, is a good spot to recover from an art overdose. To see what style the kings and queens lived in, visit the Palacio Real, where you'll get a chance to see some of the most elaborately decorated and furnished rooms. The epicenter of Madrid's nightlife is Plaza del Dos de Mayo, in the area known as Malasaña – head here after hours to have a taste of Sangria and dance to the latest music!

The Escorial, a magnificent palace and mausoleum constructed by Felipe II is also a major tourist attraction within the capital area. The building’s magnificent style is a worthy monument to the power and wealth that was Spain during the 16th century. The Escorial also became a great center for learning and has an outstanding library.

Estimated travel time: Granada to Madrid 6 hours.

Days 11-12 Valencia

A long travel day today as we head to the shores of the Mediterranean and the vibrant city of Valencia. Spain's third-largest city, historical yet cosmopolitan, Valencia is the home of paella, the Holy Grail, the birthplace of the inimitable architecture of Santiago Calatrava and one of Europe’s newest and most impressive science museums. Valencia is a fun and fascinating study in contrasts.

Established in the fertile terrain on the shores of the Mediterranean, close to the mouth of the river Turia, the luminous city of Valencia comes as a pleasant surprise to many. At night people fill the bustling open terraces and street cafés in the Plaza de Cánovas del Castillo, the cobbled streets of the Carmen district, or the romantic dance clubs with live music on the Malvarrosa beach. Everywhere, world class restaurants, discos, nightclubs and pubs provide the scene for enjoying a night out in Spain's "fiesta" capital.

You'll almost certainly want to try Valencia's famous dish, Paella - your CEO will arrange an optional evening out to a local paella restaurant where you can eat your fill. Don't forget to try a few of the great Valencian wines!

Estimated Travel Time: Madrid to Valencia by public bus 7 hours.

Days 13-15 Barcelona (2B)

We take a morning bus to Barcelona. Upon arrival your CEO will take you out for an orientation walk to familiarise yourself with the city's layout. Spend the rest of today and Days 14 and 15 at your leisure exploring the city’s museums and cathedrals, or feel free enjoy some of the best shopping in Europe.

Barcelona is Spain’s second largest city, but it is the capital when it comes to fashion, architecture, food and music. Known worldwide for its dynamic atmosphere and exciting style, Barcelona never disappoints. There is plenty of history too: visit the old Gothic Quarter with its maze of dark streets, historic cathedral, medieval buildings, bars and cafes. Stroll the Rambla, a large tree-lined pedestrian boulevard perfect for people-watching and window shopping, ending at the harbourfront facing the Mediterranean Sea.

Make sure to view Gaudi’s most famous life work, the cathedral La Sagrada Familia, an inspiring yet bizarre testament to the artist’s unique vision. On Day 14, we find some quiet time away from it all with a visit to the imaginative Park Guell, to stroll the tree-lined paths and admire more of Gaudi’s creative genius at play.

Find time to tour the beautiful Palau Musica, built between 1905 and 1908 as a home for catalan music, it is full of light and of colour. For nightlife, the highest concentration of beautiful young locals dancing, both in the bars and on the street, can be found near the intersection of Santaló and Mariano Cubi streets. Here you can always find good music, good drinks and lots of fun. Another good nightlife spot for meeting the fashionable locals of Barcelona is on the Plaza Francesc Maciá.

On Day 15, some members of the group may depart and new travellers may join the tour to continue on through Northern Spain.

Estimated Travel Time: Valencia to Barcelona by public bus 4 hours.

Days 16-17 Pyrenees (2B, 2D)

For two nights stay in a "casa rural", or converted farmhouse in the Pyrenees. Enjoy home-cooked meals and some optional hiking in the area.

Days 18-19 Bilbao/San Sebastián (2B)

Take a public bus to San Sebastián, the first stop in the unique Basque region of Spain. Opt to take a Pintxo (tapas) tour and learn the different food, dialect and culture of the area. On Day 19, take a day trip to Bilbao, known for the stunning Guggenheim museum.

San Sebastián is a scenic and historic city in the Basque region of Spain. It has a gorgeous beach bumping up against buildings and churches that give this city such character. The city has a cozy feel with many restaurants, bars and shops. Getting around this city by foot or by bike is easy and a great way to get the true flavour of the area. Bike rentals are available around the city.

Opt to take a funicular or walk up Monte Igueldo for a stunning view of town. Don't miss checking out the sculpture called The Wind Comb, it was made by a local artist and has become a symbol for San Sebastián. There are tons of other optional activities for anyone spending time in this unique city. Check out the beaches, go surfing or hiking- either short or long depending on what you're up for! Visit the aquarium, rent some kayaks or even go waterskiing!

The real treat in this part of the country is the eating. Basque cuisine is famous in Spain and around the world, with many believing this is the best food in the country. While San Sebastián didn't invent tapas, they are well-acknowledged to have perfected them. Wander through the streets before lunchtime or int he evening and check out what each bar has on offer. Stop in each place for some wine or beer and sample their tapas (pinxtos in Basque) selection. Move on to the next bar and repeat! Delicious seafood abounds here as well, so if yuo're looking for more than just pinxtos, head to the harbour and hole up in a traditional simple tavern. Don't leave San Sebastián without trying the famous Jamon Iberico.

The speciality drink in this area is call the Kalimotxo- half wine (usually red table wine) and half coca-cola!

About 1 hr from San Sebastián is Bilbao, a bigger city nestled amongst green hills and the Nervión River. The Guggenheim Museum is a must see- even if just to marvel at the outside of the building. Frank Gehry designed this titanium-clad twisting, curving and angular building to much praise in the 1990s. The building has a maritime theme, supposedly representing the ships along the docks of the city, with titanium squares acting as fish scales and the skylights inside designed to look like fish fins. There are also many churches of interest, in particular the Basílica de Begoña. Take some time to wander through the piazzas and the Casco Viejo, marvel at the buildings and spot the art sprinkled throughout the city. Climb the Mallona stairs to Parque Etxebarria for beautiful views over Bilbao. And, as always, try the pinxtos!

Day 20 Logroño (1B)

Travel to Logroño and enjoy an included wine tasting in the Rioja region.

Logroño is located on the Ebro River and is the capital of the Rioja region. Originally settled by the Romans and then the Celts, this region is overflowing with history and charm. Most famous for its Rioja wine, Logroño has made a name for itself in the culinary world as well. There are over 50 tapas restaurants located in a 4 block area in the centre of town and visiting these establishments is an excellent way to get your Rioja wine fix, too.

With tons of churches, roman bridges, parks, plazas and ancient buildings, there's no shortage of sights to be seen by wandering around this city.

Enjoy an included wine tasting where you can indulge in the local specialties like Tempranillo.

Day 21 Madrid (1B)

Travel back to Madrid by bus and enjoy some free time in the capital.

Day 22 Madrid

Depart at any time.

What's Included

Lisbon orientation walk. Evora orientation walk. Church of Bones visit. Algarve hike. Seville orientation walk. Flamenco performance. Cordoba Mezquita (mosque) and Jewish Quarter visits. Granada orientation walk. Alhambra guided visit. Madrid orientation walk. Valencia's Old Quarter orientation walk. Barcelona orientation walk including Gothic Quarter and Las Ramblas. 'Casa rural' stay with traditional meals (Pyrenees). Bilbao day trip. Wine tasting in the Rioja region. All transport between destinations and to/from included activities.

Highlights

Explore Moorish palaces and great Iberian cities, capture photos of stunning countryside and age-old cathedrals, devour tapas at a local haunt, relax on the Algarve coast, live like a local in a 'casa rural' in the Pyrenees, experience the Basque way of life

Dossier Disclaimer

The information in this trip details document has been compiled with care and is provided in good faith. However it is subject to change, and does not form part of the contract between the client and the operator. The itinerary featured is correct at time of printing. It may differ slightly to the one in the brochure. Occasionally our itineraries change as we make improvements that stem from past travellers, comments and our own research. Sometimes it can be a small change like adding an extra meal along the itinerary. Sometimes the change may result in us altering the tour for the coming year. Ultimately, our goal is to provide you with the most rewarding experience. Please note that our brochure is usually released in November each year. If you have booked from the previous brochure you may find there have been some changes to the itinerary.

VERY IMPORTANT: Please ensure that you print a final copy of your Trip Details to review a couple of days prior to travel, in case there have been changes that affect your plans.

Important Notes

1. It is important to note that in Europe, all guiding is based around local guides all of whom are licensed to work only in a particular city. As such, our leaders are able to provide orientation walks which will show you the layout of each town and city as well as the location of local services such as post offices and laundromats, but are unable to legally share historical facts and figures in public places.
2. In Europe it is very rare to find elevators in train stations, hotels or other public places. We use public transport on this trip, which means you will need to carry your luggage from platform to platform, in and out of trains and buses etc. and also possibly up several flights of stairs. You will also need to be able to stow your luggage safely on trains and buses. It is therefore essential that you pack light and bring luggage which is compact and lightweight, and which you can easily transport. The carrying of your luggage remains your responsibility at all times.

Group Leader Description

This G Adventures group trip is accompanied by one of our group leaders. The aim of the group leader is to take the hassle out of your travels and to help you have the best trip possible. They will provide information on the places you are travelling through, offer suggestions for things to do and see, recommend great local eating venues and introduce you to our local friends. While not being guides in the traditional sense you can expect them to have a broad general knowledge of the countries visited on the trip, including historical, cultural, religious and social aspects. We also use local guides where we think more specific knowledge will add to the enjoyment of the places we are visiting - we think it's the best of both worlds. On this trip we include a local guide at the Alhambra in Granada

Group Size Notes

Max 16, avg 12

Meals Included

11 breakfasts, 2 dinners.

Meals

Eating is a big part of traveling. G Adventures understands the importance of breakfast to start your day, we strive to include a basic breakfast wherever possible. A typical breakfast may include toast, coffee and tea, however this may vary depending on the city. Should breakfast not be included, your CEO can suggest some local options.

Travelling with G Adventures you experience the vast array of wonderful food that is available out in the world. Generally meals are not included in the trip price when there is a choice of eating options, to give you the maximum flexibility in deciding where, what and with whom to eat. It also gives you more budgeting flexibility, though generally food is cheap. Our groups tend to eat together to enable you to taste a larger variety of dishes and enjoy each other's company. There is no obligation to do this though. Your CEO will be able to suggest favourite restaurants during your trip. While trekking in remote regions etc. food is included, plentiful and made of fresh local ingredients.

For all trips please refer to the meals included and budget information for included meals and meal budgets.

Meal Budget

Allow EUR550-650 for meals not included.

Transport

Public bus, train, walking

About our Transportation

Intercity transport on this trip will be mainly by public bus and train. The bus and train systems in Spain are generally very good, most offer seat reservations, some buses have toilet facilites and others don't, but drivers often stop en route for service station breaks.
Please note that we use public transport such as metro and taxis to get to train and bus stations. It is important that you are able to carry your luggage comfortably and that it can be packed into a relatively small space.
Between transport and hotels you may be required to carry your luggage short distances (up to 15mins walk), occasionally the group will take taxis to and from hotels. From Seville to Ronda the group will travel by private minibus with driver.

Local Flights

If required all local flights are included in the cost of your tours unless otherwise noted. It is important that we have your passport information at the time of booking in order to process these tickets. Internal flight tickets are issued locally and will be given to you prior to the flight departure.

Solo Travellers

We believe single travellers should not have to pay more to travel so our group trips are designed for shared accommodation and do not involve a single supplement. Single travellers joining group trips are paired in twin or multi-share accommodation with someone of the same sex for the duration of the trip. Some of our Independent trips are designed differently and single travellers on these itineraries must pay the single trip price.

Accommodation

Hotels (19 nts), casa rural (2 nts).

My Own Room

Please note that if you have booked the "My Own Room" option for this tour, you will receive your own single room for all night stops

About Accommodation

It is important to note that accommodation in Europe tend to be quite different to other areas of the world you may have travelled in. Buildings and rooms are generally old and may not have been renovated or maintained to the highest standard. Downtown hotels in Europe were not build to be hotels but rich owners houses, which have been changed into hotels. Therefore unusual room sizes are common as large rooms have been partitioned in the past, resulting in rather "thin" walls. Reception areas, rooms and bathrooms tend to be very small as they were often added into an existing room, and may have a hand nozzle rather than a conventional shower head.

On this trip you can expect to stay in small family-run hotels or pensions (with the exception of the start and finish hotels, which are often larger city hotels), which will vary a little in standard and facilities: some may not have elevators, air-conditioning or English-speaking staff, but most importantly all are locally-run, with some traditional character, and in excellent central locations to give you maximum time for exploring the sights. You can expect to find clean, safe, simple accommodation in convenient locations.

Staff can occasionally demonstrate less than perfect customer service. As accommodation is in short supply, especially during the summer months, hotels can charge a premium and there is sometimes little motivation to improve facilities.

Joining Hotel

Residencial Florescente
Rua Portas de Santo Antão, nº99
Baixa Pombalina & Santa Justa districts
1150 - 266 Lisboa
Phone: +351 213426609 /+351 213425062 / +351 213463517
Fax: +351 213427733
E-mail: geral@residencialflorescente.com
Website: www.residencialflorescente.com

Joining Instructions

Residencial Florescente is located in centre of the city " Baixa Pombalina " - the historical and trading centre of Lisbon, near Restauradores and Rossio Squares areas. Portas de Santo Antão street is a pedestrian street, where you can stroll and enjoy the countless esplanades and restaurants.

The two easiest ways to get there from the airport are the following:

TAXI-VOUCHER
From 07:00am to 09:00pm : From Lisbon Airport to Lisbon City center - 20 Euros
From 09:00pm to 00:00am : From Lisbon Airport to Lisbon City center - 25 Euros

+/-20 min ride

*Prices are indicative only, surcharge can apply on weekends, bank holidays, and per pieces of luggage and you always need to reconfirm the price just in case vouchers are not "available".

*If you need a taxi to visit the city ask the hotel how much should it be to get to where you want, then deal with the driver, this way no bad surprises when the taxi meter just doesn´t work today!

Aerobus
Everyday from 7:45am to 8:15pm every 20 minutes, the Aerobus (Carris n. 91) runs between the Airport and the city centre. Tickets can be purchased on board. Fare: 1,20 Euros 3,10 Euro (1 day ticket); 2,00Euros (1 day TAP Voucher)
35-40min ride
Get off the bus at the "Restauradores" stop, cross the square to the red "Correios" (post-office) building and take the street next to it. This will lead you directly to Rua Portas de Santo Antão. Turn left and you will find the hotel on your left.

Arrival Complications

We don't expect any problems, and nor should you, but if for any reason you are unable to commence your trip as scheduled, as soon as possible please contact your starting point hotel, requesting that you speak to or leave a message for your CEO (if you are not on a group tour please refer to the emergency contact details provided in this dossier). If you are unable to get in touch with your leader, please refer to our emergency contact details.

Emergency Contact

Should you need to contact G Adventures during a situation of dire need, it is best to first call our local office. If for any reason you do not receive an immediate answer, please leave a detailed message and contact information, so they may return your call and assist you as soon as possible.

G Adventures Local Office
Emergency Cell Phone: +44 7817 262559

If you are unable for any reason to contact our local office, we have a toll-free line for North America, which will connect you directly with our Toronto office. In the event that you cannot get through, you can reach a member of our Operations department at the mobile number below.

Toll-free, North America only: 1 800 465 5600.
Calls from UK: 0844 272 0000
Calls from Australia: 1 300 796 618
Outside North America, Australia and the UK: +1 416 260 0999

What to Take

You will be on the move a lot, so our advice is to pack as lightly as possible. We highly recommend using a backpack or light sports bag, whichever you find easiest to carry, plus a small daypack. Luggage space on public transport is limited. You must be prepared to carry your own bags and be comfortable carrying them between transport and hotels (max. 15-20 mins walking), hopping on and off trains and public buses and up and down stairs.

Checklist

Suggested Items:
•Light fleece top
•Light windproof/waterproof jacket
•Small towel and swimwear
•Sun hat
•Personal clothing for mild to hot weather (See also "What to Take" and "Local Dress" sections of this dossier)
•Sturdy walking shoes
•Sport sandals
•Sunblock
•Sunglasses
•Toiletries (biodegradable)
•Watch or alarm clock
•Water bottle
•Pocketknife
•Money belt
•First-aid kit (should contain lip salve, Aspirin, bandaids, anti-histamine,
Imodium or similar tablets for mild cases of diarrhea, rehydration powder, insect
repellent, extra prescription drugs you may be taking)

Optional Items:
•Camera and film
•Reading/writing material
•Binoculars
•Cover for backpacks

Documents:
•Passport (with photocopies)
•Travel insurance (with photocopies)
•Airline tickets (with photocopies)
•EUR cash
•Credit or debit card (see personal spending money)
•G Adventures vouchers, pre-departure information and dossier
•Any entry visas or vaccination certificates required

Laundry

Laundry facilities are offered by some of our hotels for a charge or ask your CEO where the closest laundromat is. There will be times when you may want to or have to do your own laundry so we suggest you bring non-polluting/biodegradable soap.

Visas

Contact your local embassy or consulate for the most up-to-date visa requirements, or see your travel agent. It is your responsibility to have the correct travel documentation. While we provide the following information in good faith, it is vital that you check yourself and understand that you are fully responsible for your own visa requirements.

All visitors to the EU (European Union) and EEC (European Economic Community) countries require a valid passport (with a minimum 6 months validity). USA, Canada, Australia and New Zealand passport holders do not need a visa to visit the Schengen area (see below), however they may not stay longer than three months in any 6-month period.

For other nationalities, travelling in Europe has been simplified with the introduction of the Schengen visa. As a visitor to the Schengen area (Austria, Germany, Netherlands, Belgium, Greece, Norway, Denmark, Iceland, Portugal, Finland, Italy, Spain, France, Luxembourg, Sweden, Czech Republic, Hungary, Estonia, Latvia, Lithuania, Malta, Poland, Slovakia, Slovenia and Switzerland) you will enjoy the many advantages of this unified visa system. Generally speaking with a Schengen visa, you may enter one Schengen country and travel freely throughout the Schengen region during the validity of your visa. There are limited border controls at Schengen borders, if any at all.

Please note that the UK and Ireland are NOT part of the Schengen agreement.

A Schengen visa is applied for at the Embassy or Consulate of the Schengen country in which you will be spending the most nights on your trip to the Schengen space. If you are only visiting one country on your trip then you apply for your visa at the Consulate of this Schengen country.

Spending Money

Every traveller is different and therefore spending money requirements will vary. Some travellers may drink more than others while other travellers like to purchase more souvenirs than most. Please consider your own spending habits when it comes to allowing for drinks, shopping and tipping. Please also remember the following specific recommendations when planning your trip.

Money Exchange

Credit cards and debit cards are very useful for cash advances. Visa cards are the most widely accepted cards. While ATMs are widely available, there are no guarantees that your credit or debit cards will actually work in Western Europe. Check with your bank. You should be aware that to purchase products or services on a credit card a fee of 5%-10% usually applies. Do not rely on credit or debit cards as your only source of money. A combination of euros, travellers cheques and cards is best. Always take more rather than less, as you don\'t want to spoil the trip by constantly feeling short of funds.

As currency exchange rates can fluctuate often we ask that you refer to the following website for daily exchange rates: www.xe.com

Emergency Fund

Please also make sure you have access to at least an additional USD $200 (or equivalent) as an 'emergency' fund, to be used when circumstances outside our control (ex. a natural disaster) require a change to our planned route. This is a rare occurrence!

Departure Tax

Usually included in international air ticket, check with your air travel agent.

Tipping

It is customary in Europe to leave a small tip for service providers, such as waiters, if you are pleased with the service (€1-2). Tipping is an expected - though not compulsory - component of your tour program and an expression of satisfaction with the persons who have assisted you on your tour. Although it may not be customary to you, it is of considerable significance to the people who will take care of you during your travels. There are several times during the trip where there is opportunity to tip the local guides. You may do this individually, or your CEO will offer to collect the money and tip as a group. Recommendations for tipping local guides would range from €3-5 per day depending on the quality and length of the service; ask your CEO for specific recommendations based on the circumstances and culture. Also at the end of each trip if you felt your G Adventures CEO or skipper did an outstanding job, tipping is appreciated. The amount is entirely a personal preference, however as a guideline €20-25 per person, per week can be used.

Optional Activities

All prices are per person in Euro amounts(unless stated otherwise), and are subject to change as services are provided by third party operators.

Seville:
Traditional Flamenco Show - €15
Walking City Tour - €15
Real Alcázar - €7.50
Cathedral and Giralda - €8
Casa Pilates - €6
City Bus Tour - €16
Arab Baths (Hammam) - €28

Cordoba:
Madinat Al-Zahra Ruins - €1.50 (transport not inc.)
Aljama Mezquita - €5
Alcazar de Los Reyes - €3
Fine Arts museum - €1.50
Bullfighting Museum - €3
Synagogue - Free

Granada:
Bike tour (various) - €30-€50
Cathedral - €4
Royal Chapel - €3.50

Ronda:
Bike Tour - €30
Arab Bath Ruins - €2
Moorish House - €5
Flamenco Show - €23
4x4 Excursion in National Park - €25-€56
Guided hike in Sierra de las Nieves - €21-52
Zahara Canoeing - €22-€50
Caving - €26-€54

Health

Please note inoculations may be required for the country visited. It is your responsibility to consult with your travel doctor for up to date medical travel information well before departure.

You should consult your doctor for up-to-date medical travel information well before departure. We recommend that you carry a First Aid kit and hand sanitizers / antibacterial wipes as well as any personal medical requirements. Please be aware that quite often we are in remote areas and away from medical facilities, and for legal reasons our leaders are prohibited from administering any type of drug including headache tablets, antibiotics, etc. When selecting your trip please carefully read the brochure and itinerary and assess your ability to cope with our style of travel. Please refer to the Physical and Culture Shock ratings for trip specific information. G Adventures reserves the right to exclude any traveller from all or part of a trip without refund if in the reasonable opinion of our CEO they are unable to complete the itinerary without undue risk to themselves and/or the rest of the group.

Safety and Security

Many national governments provide a regularly updated advice service on safety issues involved with international travel. We recommend that you check your government's advice for their latest travel information before departure. We strongly recommend the use of a neck wallet or money belt while travelling, for the safe keeping of your passport, air tickets, travellers' cheques, cash and other valuable items. Leave your valuable jewellery at home - you won't need it while travelling. Many of the hotels we use have safety deposit boxes, which is the most secure way of storing your valuables. A lock is recommended for securing your luggage. When travelling on a group trip, please note that your CEO has the authority to amend or cancel any part of the trip itinerary if it is deemed necessary due to safety concerns. Your CEO will accompany you on all included activities. During your trip you will have some free time to pursue your own interests, relax and take it easy or explore at your leisure. While your CEO will assist you with options available in a given location please note that any optional activities you undertake are not part of your itinerary, and we offer no representations about the safety of the activity or the standard of the operators running them. Please use your own good judgment when selecting an activity in your free time. Although the cities visited on tour are generally safe during the day, there can be risks to wandering throughout any major city at night. It is our recommendation to stay in small groups and to take taxis to and from restaurants, or during night time excursions.

Protests and Demonstrations- Protests and demonstrations, even those that are well intended, have the potential to turn violent with no warning. Counter protests can also turn violent. Action by security forces to disperse demonstrators and protesters may occur at any time. If you are in an area where demonstrators or protesters are gathering, avoid the temptation of staying for a good photo opportunity and leave the area immediately.

Water based activities have an element of danger and excitement built into them. We recommend only participating in water based activities when accompanied by a guide(s). We make every reasonable effort to ensure the fun and adventurous element of any water based activities (in countries with varying degrees of operating standards) have a balanced approach to safety. It is our policy not to allow our CEOs to make arrangements on your behalf for water based activities that are not accompanied by guide(s).

Swimming, including snorkeling, is always at your own risk.

We take all prudent measures in relation to your safety. For ways to further enhance your personal safety while traveling, please visit:


www.gadventures.com/travel-resources/safety/

Trip Specific Safety

Always keep an eye on your belongings especially in major cities, bus and train terminals.

Medical Form

Our small group adventures bring together people of all ages. It is very important you are aware that, as a minimum, an average level of fitness and mobility' is required to undertake our easiest programs. Travellers must be able to walk without the aid of another person, climb 3-4 flights of stairs, step on and off small boats, and carry their own luggage at a minimum. Travellers with a pre-existing medical condition are required to complete a short medical questionnaire, which must be signed by their physician. This is to ensure that travellers have the necessary fitness and mobility to comfortably complete their chosen trip. While our CEOs work hard to ensure that all our travellers are catered for equally, it is not their responsibility to help individuals who cannot complete the day's activities unaided. Please refer to the physical ratings in this Trip Details document for more information.

The medical questionnaire can be found online at:

www.gadventures.com/medical-form
.

A Couple of Rules

Illegal drugs will not be tolerated on any trips. Possessing or using drugs not only contravenes the laws of the land but also puts the rest of the group at risk. Smoking marijuana and opium is a part of local culture in some parts of the world but is not acceptable for our travellers. Our philosophy of travel is one of respect towards everyone we encounter, and in particular the local people who make the world the special place it is. The exploitation of prostitutes is completely contrary to this philosophy. Our CEOs have the right to expel any member of the group if drugs are found in their possession or if they use prostitutes.

Travel Insurance

Travel insurance is compulsory in order to participate on any of our trips. When travelling on a group trip, you will not be permitted to join the group until evidence of travel insurance has been sighted by your CEO, who will take note of your insurance details. When selecting a travel insurance policy we require that at a minimum you are covered for medical expenses including emergency repatriation. We strongly recommend that the policy also covers personal liability, cancellation, curtailment and loss of luggage and personal effects. If you have credit card insurance we require proof of purchase of the trip (a receipt of credit card statement) with a credit card in your name. Contact your bank for details of their participating insurer, the level of coverage and emergency contact telephone number.

Planeterra-The G Adventures Foundation

Through our commitment to responsible tourism we have developed the Planeterra Foundation, a non-profit organization dedicated to making a positive difference in the lives of people and communities around the world through support of international charities, local organizations and community projects in the places that we visit on our tours. G Adventures matches all individual donations and pays all administration costs, which means that 100% of each donation is doubled and goes directly to support our projects. For more information about Planeterra and the projects we support, or to make a donation, please visit www.planeterra.org

Planeterra Dollar-A-Day Program
Our Dollar-A-Day Program provides travellers with the opportunity to help us give back to the people and places visited on our tours by donating one dollar per day for the duration of their tour. 100% of these proceeds will go directly to support our Planeterra projects.

To participate in this program please indicate at the time of booking that you would like to participate in G Adventures’ Dollar-A-Day program, either by clicking the check box online, or by advising your G Adventures specialist or travel agent. (Note: Donation will be charged in the currency of your booking)

Feedback

After your travels, we want to hear from you! Your feedback information is so important to us that we'll give you 5% off the price of your next G Adventures trip if your feedback is completed on-line within 30 days of finishing your trip. Your tour evaluation will be e-mailed to you 24 hours after the conclusion of your trip. If you do not receive the tour evaluation link in the days after your tour has finished, please drop us a line at customerservice@gadventures.com and we will send it on to you.

Newsletter

Our adventure travel e-newsletter is full of travel news, trip information, interesting stories and contests. To avoid missing out on special offers and updates from G Adventures, subscribe at www.gadventures.com/newsletters/

Stay current on how our company invests in our global community through our foundation – Planeterra. Sign up for Planeterra's monthly news to learn more about how to give back and support the people and places we love to visit.

Travel Forum - The Watering Hole

Be sure to stop by The Watering Hole, our adventure travel forum. If you're interested in meeting others booked on your upcoming trip, check out the Departure Lounge section of our forum and introduce yourself. Otherwise, just drop in at anytime to share some travel tips, ask questions, meet other travellers and quench your thirst for travel. Our forum is located at wateringhole.gadventures.com.