2024 Visions of Spain and Portugal: Art, Culture & History Tour with Michael Phillips

Dates September 21 - October 5, 2024
Destination Madrid, Spain; Segovia, Spain; Salamanca, Spain; Coimbra, Portugal; Lisbon, Portugal; Seville, Spain; Gilbraltar; Alhambra, Spain; Toledo, Spain;
Duration 15 days 14 nights
Price From 4,495
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Religious Focus:


Activity Level:

Walking Level:

Welcome to the enchanting world of Spain and Portugal, where history, art, and culture intertwine to create a tapestry of unparalleled beauty and richness. Our journey through these two Iberian gems promises to be a transformative experience led by tour maestro, Michael Phillips. While on tour you will delve deep into the heart of the region's artistic legacy and cultural heritage.

As we embark on this extraordinary adventure, you'll find yourself transported back in time to eras of grandeur and innovation. From the poetic landscapes of the Alhambra to the charming neighborhoods of Lisbon, every step you take will be a brushstroke on the canvas of history. Our tour is a celebration of creativity, a tribute to the minds and hands that have shaped Spain and Portugal's identity. We'll explore renowned museums, wander through charming cobblestone streets, and admire the intricate details of historic landmarks. We'll savor the flavors of authentic Spanish and Portuguese cuisine, witness flamenco performances, and hear the soulful melodies of Fado music.

But it's not just about the past. Our journey will also bring us face-to-face with the contemporary art scenes in bustling cities like Madrid and Lisbon. We'll meet local artisans, discover hidden gems, and learn about the living traditions that continue to define these vibrant cultures. In Spain and Portugal, the past and the present are inextricably linked, and our tour aims to unravel this connection. So, whether you're an art aficionado, a history buff, or simply someone who appreciates the beauty of different cultures, this adventure promises to leave an indelible mark on your heart.

So, fasten your seatbelts, open your senses, and get ready to embark on a journey through the art, culture, and history of Spain and Portugal that will captivate your soul and inspire your imagination. Welcome to the Iberian Peninsula - a land of legends, passion, and artistic brilliance.

*Please note that while the physical activity on this tour (walking distances) is not strenuous, the days are full of touring from breakfast to dinner time with "down-time" only in the evening.

Tour ID #9224I21

A CASH DISCOUNT of $125.00 per person applies for all payments made by check or ACH AFTER the deposit (listed deposit amount only allowed by credit card for this discount) 

To book this tour contact your favorite Morris Columbus Travel Advisor or the Group Tour Manager listed below:

Questions? Contact:

Sarah Wangsgard, Tour Manager
Tel: (801) 483-6473
Email Sarah

Days 1-2: Saturday-Sunday, September 21-22, 2024
Days 1-2: Saturday-Sunday, September 21-22, 2024

Depart the USA to Madrid, Spain

Saturday we will board our overnight flights to Spain arriving at the Madrid Airport on Sunday, September 22nd, 2024. Upon arrival, we will be met by our tour guide for the length of the tour to welcome us and transport us to our hotel to leave our luggage, clean up from our travels, and grab a bite to eat. This afternoon we will take a panorama city tour by motorcoach to get acquainted with the main city highlights. We have a stop and visit at the Chapel of San Antonio de la Florida. This historic chapel is renowned for its frescoes painted by the famous Spanish artist, Francisco Goya. We will have time to admire the beautiful artwork and learn about Goya's life and influence on Spanish art. Afterward, we will return to the hotel to rest from our busy arrival day. Dinner is on your own at the hotel or you can choose from many of the surrounding restaurants to enjoy. 

Meals : In-flight
Day 3: Monday, September 23, 2024
Day 3: Monday, September 23, 2024

Madrid, Spain

Today after breakfast we begin our day by visiting The Prado, often referred to as "the greatest painting museum in the world." We’ll explore the remarkable collection of European art, including works by Goya, Velázquez, El Greco, and many others. After a lunch stop, we’ll head to the Royal Palace of Madrid. This grand palace is the official residence of the Spanish royal family and is known for its opulent rooms, impressive architecture, and beautiful gardens. Our tour will let us explore the royal chambers, the Throne Room, and the Royal Armory, which houses a vast collection of arms and armor. We’ll also take a leisurely stroll in the palace gardens and enjoy the scenic views of the city. This evening again is on your own for dinner. We suggest you make your way to the vibrant Plaza del Sol. This central square is the heart of Madrid and offers a bustling atmosphere with shops, restaurants, and street performers. There you can find an outdoor cafe and savor a delicious Spanish tortilla while people-watching. If you are still ready to explore after dinner, take a leisurely walk through the nearby streets, explore local shops, or perhaps indulge in some churros with hot chocolate at a local chocolatería. 

Meals : Breakfast
Day 4: Tuesday, September 24, 2024
Day 4: Tuesday, September 24, 2024

Madrid to El Escorial and Segovia, Spain

Today we will check out of our hotel and enjoy a scenic drive as we head to the town of San Lorenzo de El Escorial. Here we will explore the Royal Monastery of El Escorial, a magnificent palace, monastery, and library complex built during the reign of King Philip II. We’ll discover its rich history and architecture, including the beautiful basilica and the impressive library. From here we continue to the Valley of the Fallen (Valle de los Caídos). As we marvel at the grandeur of this monumental site, which includes a massive basilica carved into the rock of the mountain, housing one of the largest cathedrals in the world we’ll gain a great appreciation for this memorial dedicated to those who died in the Spanish Civil War. We finish our journey today traveling to the historic city of Segovia. Here we visit the Alcázar of Segovia, a fairy-tale castle with its distinctive turrets and enchanting architecture. Explore the interior of this medieval fortress, which boasts impressive rooms, courtyards, and panoramic views of the city. We continue to stroll through the charming old town and admire the Segovia Cathedral, a stunning example of Gothic architecture. Take in the city's atmosphere, wander its narrow streets, and perhaps enjoy some local cuisine at a traditional Spanish restaurant. We will check into our hotel and rest from our busy travel day. 

Meals : Breakfast, Dinner
Day 5: Wednesday, September 25, 2024
Day 5: Wednesday, September 25, 2024

Segovia to Salamanca, and cross into Coimbra, Portugal

Today after breakfast we start our journey over the border to Portugal. We will be traveling via the enchanting city of Salamanca where we make our way to the vibrant Plaza Mayor, a central square celebrated for its stunning Baroque architecture. We’ll appreciate the beauty of the square and maybe indulge in some coffee or pastries at a nearby cafe. Next, we’ll visit the awe-inspiring Salamanca Cathedral. Explore its remarkable interior and be sure to gaze upon the intricate façade. Our morning concludes by visiting the University of Salamanca, one of the oldest universities in Europe. Don't forget to search for the famous "Frog of Salamanca" on the university's façade. We continue towards Ciudad Rodrigo, a charming Spanish town, and enjoy a leisurely drive through the picturesque Spanish countryside and arrive in Ciudad Rodrigo in the afternoon. Here we’ll savor a delightful lunch at the Parador de Ciudad Rodrigo, which offers a fantastic view overlooking the border with Portugal. We finish our journey today as we cross the border into Portugal reach the historical city of Coimbra and check in to our hotel for a restful overnight stay in Coimbra, eagerly anticipating the adventures ahead in Portugal.

Meals : Breakfast, Lunch
Day 6: Thursday, September 26, 2024
Day 6: Thursday, September 26, 2024

Coimbra to Lisbon via Nazare, Batalha, Fatima, and Óbidos

We begin our day in Coimbra with a visit to the charming old town to stroll through the narrow streets, taking in the historic atmosphere and local shops. We’ll explore the University of Coimbra, which is not only one of the oldest universities in the world but also home to a magnificent library. Marvel at the library's grandeur and its rich collection of books and manuscripts. We continue the morning with a visit to Coimbra Cathedral (Sé Velha). This Romanesque gem offers stunning views of the city. From here, we depart from Coimbra and head towards Nazaré, but make the most of your journey with several significant stops: 

Batalha: Visit the Monastery of Santa Maria de Batalha, a masterpiece of Gothic and Manueline architecture. Explore its impressive interior and cloisters.

Fátima: Discover the remarkable pilgrimage site of Fátima, known for its Neoclassical Basilica and the Sanctuary of Our Lady of Fátima. Take time for reflection and exploration.

Óbidos: Explore the captivating medieval walled city of Óbidos. Walk along its cobblestone streets, admire the picturesque houses adorned with colorful flowers, and enjoy a taste of Ginja, a traditional Portuguese liqueur.

After an eventful afternoon, continue your journey to the vibrant capital city, Lisbon to check into our hotel to rest and recharge for your adventures tomorrow in Lisbon.

Meals : Breakfast
Day 7: Friday, September 27, 2024
Day 7: Friday, September 27, 2024

Lisbon and Beyond

Be sure to enjoy a full breakfast for the full day ahead! We begin with a visit to the Belém district, a historic area of Lisbon with significant cultural and historical sites. We start at Belém Tower (Torre de Belém), a UNESCO World Heritage site. Explore this iconic fortress and enjoy the panoramic views of the Tagus River. We continue to the Monument of the Discoveries (Padrão dos Descobrimentos), which pays tribute to Portugal's Age of Exploration. Climb to the top for more stunning views. Don't miss a visit to the Jerónimos Monastery (Mosteiro dos Jerónimos), a masterpiece of Manueline architecture. Explore its intricate cloisters and the final resting place of explorer Vasco da Gama. From here we’ll depart from Lisbon and head to the enchanting town of Sintra, a UNESCO World Heritage site to explore the colorful and whimsical Pena Palace (Palácio da Pena), perched atop a hill. Wander through the palace's eclectic architecture and beautifully landscaped grounds. We’ll also visit the Moorish Castle (Castelo dos Mouros) with its ancient ruins and breathtaking views of the region. Here the lush Gardens of Monserrate (Parque de Monserrate), a serene and exotic garden with unique plant species await us. In the evening, we make our way to Cape Roca (Cabo da Roca), the westernmost point of mainland Europe. Here we’ll witness the dramatic cliffs and the meeting point of the Atlantic Ocean and the European continent. We continue to the resort town of Estoril, known for its beautiful beaches and vibrant nightlife. Take a leisurely stroll and soak in the coastal atmosphere. Finally, we’ll return to Lisbon for the night. 

Meals : Breakfast, Dinner
Day 8: Saturday, September 28, 2024
Day 8: Saturday, September 28, 2024


Our tour itinerary today begins by visiting the historic Castle of São Jorge (Castelo de São Jorge), an iconic fortress that offers panoramic views of Lisbon. Explore the castle's ancient walls and enjoy the picturesque surroundings.  Wander through the Alfama district, one of the oldest neighborhoods in Lisbon. Stroll its narrow streets, and soak in its charming, atmosphere. We’ll visit the Miradouro de Santa Luzia, a viewpoint that provides breathtaking views of the city and the Tagus River. It's a perfect spot for some photos and relaxation.  In the afternoon, we’ll immerse ourselves in the arts at the Gulbenkian Museum (Museu Calouste Gulbenkian), home to an exceptional collection of art, including paintings, sculptures, and decorative arts, and explore the vibrant Chiado district, known for its lively atmosphere and boutique shops. Now we head to the Bairro Alto, a historic and bohemian neighborhood. Take a funicular ride from the San Pedro Terrace (Elevador de Santa Justa) into the heart of Bairro Alto. Tonight, we’ll enjoy a traditional Portuguese dinner in the Bairro Alto district with soul stirring Fado music at a local Fado show, where passionate performances will captivate you with the essence of Portuguese culture and emotions.

Meals : Breakfast, Dinner
Day 9: Sunday, September 29, 2024
Day 9: Sunday, September 29, 2024

Lisbon to Saville via Evora

Enjoy breakfast before our departure from Lisbon. As we leave the city, take in the breathtaking views from the 25th of April Bridge, Europe's longest suspension bridge.  We’ll make a stop at the Cristo Rei (Christ the King) statue. This Christ statue offers an excellent vantage point, and you can enjoy panoramic views of Lisbon and the Tagus River. On our journey to Saville, we will have a break with time for lunch in Evora, the historic city which is known for its well-preserved medieval architecture. After the lunch break if time you can explore the town, possibility the Roman Temple, a well-preserved ancient structure, and admire the Gothic Évora Cathedral with its impressive architecture. We spend the balance of the afternoon traveling to our hotel check-in and dinner on our own. 

Meals : Breakfast
Day 10: Monday September 30,  2024
Day 10: Monday September 30, 2024

Explore Saville

Today we begin our morning by visiting the majestic Alcazar of Seville. Explore the ornate palace, beautiful gardens, and admire the stunning Moorish and Spanish architecture. Next, head to Seville Cathedral, one of the largest Gothic cathedrals in the world. We don't miss the opportunity to climb the Giralda Tower for panoramic views of the city and wander through the charming Jewish Quarter (Barrio Santa Cruz), with its narrow streets, whitewashed buildings, and historic ambiance. After a morning filled with history and culture, take a stroll to Plaza Nueva, a lively square in the heart of Seville. We will see the statue of the Weeping Virgin (Virgen de los Reyes) located nearby. Continue our afternoon with a visit to the Museum of Fine Arts of Seville (Museo de Bellas Artes), known for its outstanding collection of Spanish art. In the evening, experience the passion and artistry of Flamenco at a local tablao. Enjoy a captivating Flamenco show accompanied by a delicious Spanish dinner.  

Meals : Breakfast, Dinner
Day 11: Tuesday, October 1, 2024
Day 11: Tuesday, October 1, 2024

Zahara, Grazalema, Pileta Caves, and Gilbraltar

We start our day by traveling to the picturesque town of Zahara de la Sierra. This "white village" is perched on a hill, offering stunning views of the surrounding countryside and a beautiful reservoir. Explore the charming streets and visit the Castle of Zahara de la Sierra, which has a rich history and offers fantastic panoramic vistas. We continue our journey to Grazalema, another charming village located within the Sierra de Grazalema Natural Park. Enjoy a leisurely walk through its cobblestone streets and admire its Andalusian architecture. In the afternoon, venture to the Pileta Caves (Cueva de la Pileta), a renowned cave complex with cave paintings dating back 25,000 years. Explore the incredible rock art and the fascinating geological formations. After our exploration, we’ll make our way to Gibraltar, a British Overseas Territory with a distinct blend of cultures. Experience the unique atmosphere and enjoy a dinner that might remind you of "jolly old England" before checking into our hotel for the night. 

Meals : Breakfast, Dinner
Day 12: Wednesday, October 2, 2024
Day 12: Wednesday, October 2, 2024

Costa del Sol to Granada with an Alhambra Visit

Begin our day with a scenic drive along the stunning Costa del Sol. Enjoy the picturesque coastal views as you make your way towards Granada. We’ll make a short stop in the charming town of "Torremolinos" to stretch our legs and explore the local attractions or enjoy a coffee or Hot Chocolate’ at a seaside café. We’ll continue the journey to the historic city of Granada, which is renowned for its rich Moorish heritage and the iconic Alhambra. In the evening, our visit of the city Alhambra, a UNESCO World Heritage site and one of the most iconic landmarks in Spain. Explore the Nasrid Palaces, the Generalife Gardens, and the Alcazaba Fortress while enjoying the intricate Islamic architecture and beautifully landscaped gardens. We’ll return to Granada for our overnight. 

Meals : Breakfast
Day 13: Thursday, October 3, 2024
Day 13: Thursday, October 3, 2024

Journey through La Mancha to Toledo

Our day starts with a journey through the enchanting region of La Mancha, famous as the setting for Miguel de Cervantes' renowned novel, "Don Quixote." We’ll enjoy the scenic drive through the iconic landscapes and windmills that inspired this literary classic. As we arrive in the historic city of Toledo, a UNESCO World Heritage site known for its rich history and architectural beauty we’ll check into our hotel to rest. This evening we’ll savor a delightful dinner at a local restaurant, where you can enjoy traditional Spanish cuisine.

Meals : Breakfast, Dinner
Day 14: Friday, October 4, 2024
Day 14: Friday, October 4, 2024

Exploring Toledo’s Cultural and Artistic Treasures

After breakfast, we start our morning with a visit to the Santo Tomé Church (Iglesia de Santo Tomé), which houses El Greco's masterpiece, "The Burial of the Count of Orgaz." Admire this iconic artwork and the church's architectural beauty.  We continue to El Greco's House (Casa de El Greco), the former residence of the famous artist. Explore the house museum and gain insight into the life and works of El Greco. We then visit the Santa Cruz Museum (Museo de Santa Cruz), a prominent museum that houses a diverse collection of art and artifacts, including Spanish Renaissance and Mannerist works. This afternoon, you can spend your time exploring the charming streets of Toledo, known for their medieval architecture and historic charm. We suggest visiting local shops and boutiques to indulge in some souvenir shopping. Tonight, dinner is on your own. 

Meals : Breakfast
Day 15: Saturday, October 5, 2024
Day 15: Saturday, October 5, 2024

Final Day, Departure Home to the US

As we bid a fond farewell to the Iberian Peninsula and lifelong friends we have made throughout this journey, we prepare to fly home with wonderful memories that will last a lifetime.

Meals : Breakfast, In-flight

Highlights of the Tour:

  • 1 tour-bus experience for the whole tour
  • Our trusted Tour Director will be with you for the whole trip
  • Local guides for in-depth location detail and history
  • Advance timed entry tickets to attractions included = less time waiting in lines


  • Local Licensed English-speaking guides and historians
  • Hotel accommodations in 4-star deluxe hotels
  • Airport Transfers when flights are scheduled for group arrival and departure times.  (Others can be booked for an additional fees)
  • Sightseeing as outlined on the itinerary
  • Meals as outlined 
  • Entrance fees to all noted locations and museums
  • Deluxe/Air Conditioned motor coach transportation
  • Audio system headsets throughout the tour
  • Document package

Not Included:

  • International Airfare
  • Additional transfers when not arriving or departing with the group
  • Any private sightseeing not included on the itinerary
  • Items of a personal nature 
  • Tipping for international guides, hotels or drivers
  • Travel Insurance 
  • Meals not included in tour outline

Optional Pricing:

  • Single Rate For Private Room - $5,550.00 
  • Cash discount - $125 per person available! Please inquire for more details! 

Payment Terms:

  • $500.00 per person deposit will be due at the time of booking 
  • Final Payments June 22, 2024