After the huge success of our previous tours, we return to ‘real Spain’ and the fascinating region of Andalucía. A chance to explore this wonderful country steeped in tradition, and to discover some of Spain’s most striking scenery and captivating cities; Madrid and the Andalucian cities of Granada, Seville and Salamanca, each are architectural gems with a rich and varied history.
The Pont Aven launched in 2004 has dramatically improved sailing times to Spain. The ship’s stunning features include a superb pool and leisure area. A range of entertainment and relaxation options normally only found on cruise ships are available including shows, where talented entertainers put on a number of performances with live music, magic shows, quizzes, and DJs as well as two cinema’s. For relaxation take a stroll! The Promenade on deck six allows you to walk all around the ship, while the ship’s top deck offers a calm spot to sit and enjoy the sea air and incredible views, particularly when entering or leaving the port. All 652 cabins have air-conditioning with individual temperature control, en-suite bathrooms, comfortable seating, radio and alarm, and tea and coffee making facilities. The ship offers a wide range of high-quality dining options, including the a la carte and selfservice restaurants.
We use a selection of 3 and 4 star standard hotels all conveniently located. Bedrooms are all ensuite with air conditioning. Buffet breakfast is included and dinner is either table d’hote or buffet. A separate leaflet is available from our office containing comprehensive details of each individual hotel.
Sunday Collected from your front door by taxi and taken to the Club Class coach for the early morning drive to the south coast and Plymouth for the early afternoon sailing on the cruise ferry ‘Pont Aven’. Once on board there will be time to settle in to cabins and become familiar with the ships facilities prior to departure. Meals on board are not included in the tour price.
Monday A morning at sea before a midday arrival in the Spanish port of Santander. This afternoon we travel south through the rolling hills of Cantabria via Burgos, home of the great El Cid, then proceed to the capital city, Madrid for dinner and our hotel for the next 3 nights, the 4 star NH Ribera del Manzanares, where there is a welcome drink of Cava on arrival.
Tuesday Our morning starts with a tour of Madrid, the very heart of Spain, before spending the remainder of the day exploring this fabulous city at our leisure. Relax with a cup of ‘café con leche’ on the Plaza Mayor and watch the world go by. Later visit the Puerto de Alacla, an ancient gateway to Madrid, and the Royal Palace official residence of the Spanish Royal family.
Wednesday This morning we make the short drove to the city of Toledo, known as the ‘Imperial City’ for having been the home of the court of Charles 1 and the ’City of the Three Cultures’, owing to the historical co-existence of Christians, Muslims and Jews. The small city is surrounded on three sides by the River Tajo and two medieval walls on the fourth side. A Land Train operating from the main plaza makes a good way to look round for the less energetic.
Thursday Today we bid farewell to Madrid and take the motorway south into Andalucía, stopping off at Jaen, a city that has a wealth of Andalusian culture and noted for its olive oil known locally as ‘Liquid Gold’, then on to Granada, and our second hotel, the 4 star Gran Hotel Luna de Granada, a 20 min stroll from the historic centre. More sparkling wine greets our arrival.
Friday This morning we include admission and a guided tour of the magnificent Alhambra, an enormous palace and fortress complex built by the Moorish rulers on a ridge overlooking the city. The focal point for most visitors is the 25 palace interiors and courtyards. Marvel at the exotic water gardens of the Generalife, the Royal summer residence. In the afternoon there will be time to explore the narrow streets and wide squares of the city itself.
SaturdayWe leave Granada and continue or journey through the breathtaking countryside of Andalucia. Our destination is Seville via Cordoba, once the most important city of the Western World and location of Europe’s first university. Cordoba is also famed for its Jewish Quarter, a labyrinth of narrow streets and the Mezquita (the Grand Mosque). A truly magnificent sight are the enormous number of interior pillars and columns, over 800. Later we continue to Seville, famous for its historical beauty and oranges. We stay for the next three nights at the 4 star Hotel Sevilla Macarena which offers an attractive combination of comfort and elegance, an unbeatable location and wonderful panoramic views of the city of Seville.
Sunday A morning step on guided tour of Seville, birthplace and inspiration of artists, writers and painters and one of the most visited cities in Spain. Once again we are joined by a local guide to help us enjoy the many sights which include the Cathedral, where Christopher Columbus is buried, Alcazar, the Royal Palace that was home to Spanish Kings for over 7 centuries, and Giralda, the tall slender tower built as a minaret. Later there will be free time to explore at leisure or relax and enjoy tapas at one of the many pavement cafes, the dish is reputed to have been created here.
Monday A relaxing day in Seville exploring at leisure the wealth of attractions including the unusual 18th century bull fighting ring at the Plaza de Toros and the Museum of Flamenco dancing.
Tuesday This morning we leave Seville and head north through the mountains of the Sierra Morena and the heart of Spain on to Salamanca and our final overnight hotel, the splendid 4 star Parador de Salamanca . Our arrival will allow time to explore the city’s famous Plaza Major, a stunning 18th century square.
Wednesday A morning return to Santander for the mid-afternoon sailing to Portsmouth. This afternoon and evening are at leisure to enjoy the facilities on board, as with our outward crossing we will be allocated 2 berth cabins with private facilities.
Thursday After a night at sea we approach Portsmouth for afternoon disembarkation. Formalities completed we journey through the South counties and by way of Oxford to arrive in our home area mid evening.
Fenn Holidays Ltd, Whittlesey Road, March, Cambridgeshire PE15 0AG