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Visit the ornate Belem Tower and Jeronimos Monastery and stroll the narrow, winding streets of the charming Alfama district. Enjoy marvelous old Sintra, a royal country retreat, and Cascais, a beautiful seaside resort. Explore medieval Obidos or make a pilgrimage to Fatima, where the Virgin Mary appeared repeatedly to three shepherd children in 1917.
Explore picturesque, historic Oporto and the Vila Nova de Gaia quarter, home of its famed port wine industry. Or discover Portugal’s scenic countryside and visit Guimaraes with its impressive medieval castle and beautiful Braga with its Bom Jesus Shrine and superb cathedral.
See the famed Tower of Hercules, the still working 2nd century Roman lighthouse, and wander through this historic town of fine churches, old palaces, cobbled streets and unique fishermen’s houses. Or spend the day in beautiful Santiago de Compostela, an important pilgrimage site renowned for its magnificent cathedral and superb architectural and cultural heritage.
Bilbao is a charming city both modern and dynamic while at the same time, with its 700 years of history, it is quite traditional as well. Enjoy a walk around the Old Quarter, the most popular area of the city. Here you will see the Teatro Arriaga; el Arenal, the old stevedoring port and today one of the favorite promenades of the citizens of Bilbao; the San Nicholas Church; and the Cathedral of Santiago along with its cloister, Plaza Nueva. No visit to Bilbao would be complete without a visit to the architecturally stunning Guggenheim Museum, which is in and of itself a work of art.
Enjoy the city’s visual feast of wonderful ornate buildings, broad avenues, marvelous squares and the Cathedral of St. André, where Eleanor of Aquitaine married Louis VII. Stroll through Old Bordeaux. Then visit the area’s fabulous vineyards and magnificent châteaux and delight in tasting their superb wines.
Lying on an immense natural harbor formed by three rivers that flow into the Atlantic, Lorient nestles along the beautiful southern coast of Brittany. Once a base for French colonialism, Lorient boasts the Musée de la Compagnie des Indes, a museum displaying artifacts from 1660 to the end of the 18th century. Still, Lorient has a modern appearance, as it was thoroughly rebuilt after World War II. For a unique perspective of that time, visit the massive German submarine base.
Explore this fascinating fortified town or discover the lovely medieval town of Dinan with its impressive clock tower and picturesque half-timbered houses. Drive along the rugged Brittany coast and savor the stunning view of mystical Mont St. Michel before wandering through its steep, winding streets and the mazelike abbey passages.
Enjoy the scenic trip through the rolling French countryside to Paris and spend the day savoring it’s gardens, museums and historic sites. Visit the Louvre, Notre Dame and the Eiffel Tower. Take a boat ride along the Seine and a stroll along the Champs Elysee. Or visit historic Rouen or the battlefields of Normandy.
London, the capital of England and the United Kingdom, is a 21st-century city with history stretching back to Roman times. At its centre stand the imposing Houses of Parliament, the iconic ‘Big Ben’ clock tower and Westminster Abbey, site of British monarch coronations. Across the Thames River, the London Eye observation wheel provides panoramic views of the South Bank cultural complex, and the entire city.
Step back in time to the 14th century as you meander along the narrow streets of this medieval gem past gabled buildings and through the bustling market. Take a boat ride along the city’s canals. Or spend the day exploring Brussels and its famed Grand Place or Antwerp, home of Rubens and Bruegel, seeing the verdant countryside along the way.
Take a boat ride along Amsterdam’s charming canals past sturdy old houses and under quaint bridges. Visit one of the city’s superb museums housing many of the Dutch Masters’ most outstanding works, or learn about Anne Frank and the city’s Jewish heritage. Journey into the countryside and see historic windmills and the fascinating porcelain works in Delft.