- National Geographic Orion
- Luxury Expedition Ship
- 102 Capacity
- 8 Days
- Price from
Summary : Follow in the wake of Roman conquerors, Phoenician traders, and Moorish kings on a voyage to the sun-dappled shores of Portugal and Spain. Discover the whitewashed villages of the Algarve and Andalusia, and photograph the iconic silhouette of the Rock of Gibraltar en route to exploring charming towns nestled along the Mediterranean. Encounter wonders both ancient and modern, from the Roman ruins of Cartagena to the Gothic cathedrals of Sevilla to the avant-garde architecture of Valencia. Savor the rich flavors of Iberian cuisine, explore mountain trails and medieval fortresses, and delve into the musical traditions of two of Europe’s most captivating countries.
Activities : Birding, Culture, Hiking, Kayaking, Photography
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$7,990 to $16,610
Embark the National Geographic Orion and enjoy lunch aboard. Settle in and head to the deck with your camera for a sunset departure out of Rio Tejo.
Sail through the morning and arrive in Portimao. This afternoon, discover the ancient and storied city of Silves, with its Moorish castle and XIII century cathedral. Venture inland to a typical village in the Portuguese countryside and learn of the traditional practice of cork oak harvesting. See the houses of Alte with their colorful windows and big white chimneys, and taste “Medronho”, the local spirit of the southernmost province of Portugal.
Arrive in Cadiz and head out for an exciting day in the neighboring city of Seville, known for its historic architecture, tapas, sherry, and fiery flamenco. Learn the roots of this southern Iberian dance and what it reveals about the past, present and future of Spain.
Watch from on deck as you pass stunning Gilbraltar on the way to Malaga. Malaga is Picasso’s birthplace and a gem of a coastal city surrounded by charming Andalusian villages. You will arrive here shortly after lunch and have a variety of options for exploring the area. See the artistic and architectural elements of the city, visit the whitewashed village of Mijas tucked at the foot of the mountains, or hike in El Torcal, a magnificent stone forest landscape full of fossils from more than 200 million years ago when Andalusia was below the sea. Dinner ashore and a free evening allows you to experience Malagan nightlife.
Wake up in Motril and experience the many wonders this area has to offer. A visit to Granada’s majestic Alhambra is a must-see for first-time visitors. Outside of Granada, learn about the historical Moorish countryside settlements and their terraced lands. You can also hike the surrounding natural areas with waterfalls, deep swimming pools and hanging bridges.
Throughout the morning, look for marine mammals along the Mazarrón Escarpment. After arriving in Cartagena, you will have the afternoon to explore the downtown area on foot or segway, or leave for an exploration through the foothills.
Soak up Valencia’s charm on your last day. Explore the “City of Arts and Sciences”, a modern cultural and architectural complex in the heart of the city. You’ll also experience the city’s natural history, including the thriving Albufero Lake ecosystem, where rice cultivation and marshlands are home to local agriculture and many migrating birds. Learn about the fascinating discovery of a giant pterosaur in this area by a National Geographic grantee in 2010. Taste traditional paella and board the ship for an early evening departure to Barcelona.
Wake up in Barcelona. Disembark and head to the airport for your flight home, or remain in Barcelona for an added stay.
This itinerary is subject to change. ExpeditionTrips.com is not responsible for itinerary changes.
Reverse Itinerary (Barcelona to Lisbon): 5/15/2016
The photo team, a National Geographic Photographer and a Photo Specialist, will enhance your voyage by working with you on photo composition and exposure; helping you develop your own unique vision; showing you how professionals edit and store images while on the go; and sharing the stories behind some of their greatest images. Whether expert or interested beginner, you'll find added benefits such as walks ashore and Zodiac cruises dedicated to photography, presentations on the creative and technical aspects of photography, and one-on-one mentoring and coaching in the field.
All accommodations aboard ship; all meals aboard ship; alcoholic and nonalcoholic beverages aboard ship; excursions; sightseeing and entrance fees; special access permits; transfers to and from group flights; use of kayaks and snorkeling equipment; services of expedition leader, National Geographic photographer, naturalist staff and expert guide; services of a ship physician; all gratuities; all port charges and service taxes.
Air transportation; extensions; passport; visa; immigration fees; travel protection plan; items of a personal nature including internet, laundry, etc.