This tour travels to four contrasting Mediterranean countries – Morocco, Gibraltar, Spain and Portugal.
The imperial cities of Marrakech, Fes, Meknes and Rabat, the High Atlas Mountains and desert dunes highlight Moroccan society and its way of life – this tour covers it all.
Gibraltar, a little niche of England guarding the Mediterranean always interests travellers and our past tour groups confirm this as a must-stop destination.
Sevilla, Andalucía’s capital in Spain with three UNESCO World Heritage sites including the Royal Alcāzar castle, (Islamic Africa’s gift to Spain) is a special stopover.
The Algarve Coast, Lisbon, Coimbra and Porto are Portugal highlights before relaxing for seven nights on our river boat exploring the Duoro River.
Visit Medieval Salamanca and sample the local port and wine – experiences to remember.
A tour of numerous highlights.
Evening departure on Emirates.
Arrive in Dubai early morning. Transfer to hotel. A relaxing morning to refresh before an afternoon sightseeing tour and later an evening dinner at the Souk.
Morning departure for flight to Casablanca. On arrival transfer to your hotel with the afternoon free before a Welcome Dinner.
Visit the new Mohamed V mosque – the only modern mosque on tour; the central market, the Habbous Quarter and residential Anfa.
Later drive by coach to Marrakech and enjoy an eye-popping walking tour of the Medina, Souks and Djemaa El Fina Place – timed for sunset
Today an authentic Moroccan cooking lesson is included. Cook and enjoy your food for lunch – a great insight into Moroccan food and culture. An afternoon tour includes further highlights of the city.
Today travel across the Tizi n Tichka Pass (2660m) in the Atlas Mountains through rural Morocco to Ouarzazate, stopping at Ait Ben Haddou, a former stop on the caravan route from Sahara. It is known for its Kasbahs and has been the location for more than 17 movies and TV shows!
Arrive in Ouarzazate (the ‘Door of the Desert’) late afternoon for a two night stay.
Travel along the desolate Daraa River Valley with its unusual rock formations to Zagora (perfect for the production of dates and figs). Some of the towns along the valley are built inside fortified walls. A day to remember. Dinner at the hotel in Ouarzazate.
Morning, tour the city of Ouarzazate including the partly-ruined Kasbahs of Tifoulout and Taourit.
Travel along the Dades Valley - centre for distilling rose essence. Skoura is an oasis village with date palms, figs and birch trees – all watered by underground Kheltaras (pipes). Later arrive in Boumalne.
A full travel day. First visit Tinghir, a town in the High Atlas Mountains in the heart of the Todra Valley and a former French Garrison town. Travel on to the Todra Valley palmerie, a checkerboard of cereal fields, vegetable gardens, palm and olive groves. Continue on to Erfoud.
Early wake up and depart by 4x4 to the dunes to ride camels and climb the dunes to see the sunrise. Return to the hotel for breakfast. Later continue by 4x4s to visit the Ksar Abbar ruins and the town of Rissani before lunch in the dunes at Tisserdmine. Remainder of afternoon free before dinner.
Travel to Midlet (1508m) on the high plains between the High and Middle Atlas Mountains where development is credited to the mining of lead and gypsum. Continue to Ifrane, a surprising ski resort in European style. Arrive in Fes late afternoon for a two night stay.
A day to savour with a tour of the oldest cultural and spiritual city in Morocco. Visit the medieval medina with its ancient leather works, spice stalls, craftsmen and narrow streets with only room for foot and mule traffic.
Visit the partially-excavated Roman ruins at Volubilis and the holy city of Moulay Driss before arriving in Meknes - known as the ‘Moroccan Versailles’. Continue on to Rabat known as the ‘White Imperial City.’
Rabat is the administrative capital of Morocco. Enjoy a short city tour before travelling through rich farming and cropping land to the port city of Tangier at the entrance to the Straits of Gibraltar. Cross by fast ferry to Algeciras in Southern Spain. Transfer to Gibraltar for a three night stay. See British policemen, spend pounds sterling and enjoy duty free shopping.
‘The Rock’ of Gibraltar is a monolithic headland at the entrance to the Mediterranean Sea. Most of the ‘rocks’ upper area is natural reserve, home to colonies of rock apes which along with the large network of tunnels attract thousands of tourists each year.
Gibraltar was transferred from the Spanish to Great Britain in 1713 where it has remained ever since. When WWII broke out in 1939, the civilian population was evacuated and by 1942 there were more than 30,000 armed forces stationed at Gibraltar.
Its invincibility inspires the saying ‘Solid as the rock of Gibraltar.’
Sightseeing tour of ‘The Rock’ – the former Military fortification and gateway to the Mediterranean Sea. Highlights include the natural reserve area as well as the tunnel system and the views across the strait to Africa.
Today is free to explore Gibraltar and relax.
A coach will meet you at the hotel and after crossing the border into Spain, travel through the Andalusian countryside via Cádiz and Jerez to Seville.
This morning’s city tour includes the tomb of Christopher Columbus, views of the city from La Giralda and a walk in the Quarter of Santa Cruz - a maze of small streets, squares and gardens.
Visit the magnificent Alcāzar, a royal palace from the Islamic period with changes made under Christian rule.
This afternoon, time to explore on your own and dinner is included with a Flamenco show.
After a leisurely breakfast, we travel from Spain through orange groves and whitewashed villages through the border and into Vilamoura on the Algarve coast for a two-night stay. Rest of the day at leisure.
Drive along the coast to the fishing and sailing port of Lagos where highlights include the regional museum and the magnificent panoramic view from Ponta da Piedade.
Continue on to the historic seaport of Sagres, (home of Prince Harry the Navigator who founded the Navigation School) with time at Cape St Vincent situated on the peninsular before returning to Vilamoura for the night.
We journey north through the Portuguese countryside, renowned for its cork trees and farming, before crossing the famous Vasco da Gama Bridge to the Portuguese capital of Lisbon.
Our city tour of Lisbon highlights its historic past and its tribute to the famous Portuguese navigators. See the famous Belem Tower and Jeronimos Monastery built in the 16th century. (Both UNESCO World Heritage sites). Enjoy a ‘pastel de Belém’ pastry before continuing to the oldest part of the city surrounding St George’s Castle and the Alfama District.
This morning drive to Sintra to visit the Palácio National da Pena perched on the highest peak. Enjoy leisure time before returning to Lisbon with afternoon free before a dinner and show at a Fado House.
The hilltop town of Sintra has been designated a UNESCO World Heritage site for its historic and cultural attractions. It was just a small quaint fishing village until the Portugese King Luis II decided to turn the citadel into his summer residence. Since that time the town has been a beacon to jet setters, the exiled royal families of Europe and tourists looking for a beautiful harbour town, with cobble stoned streets and historic city centre.
Travel north to the medieval hilltop town of Ôbidos with its fortified walls, imposing castle, narrow cobble stoned streets and terracotta roofs. A highlight! Later visit Nazaré – a typical fishing village with a clifftop suburb overlooking the bay. Continue to Coimbra, preceded by a brief visit to Fatima, a place of pilgrimage made famous in 1917 by the virgin’s apparition appearing to three shepherd children.
Before departing this charming town, we visit the main university buildings in Coimbra before travelling to Porto. Visit Clérigos Tower and the Central Station before we embark M/S Gil Eames - your home for the next seven nights. Enjoy a welcome drink and presentation of the Captain and crew before dinner. Later set out on an optional tour to explore Porto by night.
Porto, one of the oldest cities in Europe has long-been a destination for the rich and famous! Its historic centre is recognised as a UNESCO World Heritage Site. Porto is known as the cultural home of the Portugal’s famous Port Wine.
Enjoy a morning city tour of Porto with the remainder of the day at leisure. Return to the ship and an evening of Fado music.
After breakfast, an excursion by coach to the UNESCO-listed city of Guimarâes with its historic town centre. Arrive in Régua early evening. Enjoy dinner on board with time to stroll through Régua.
This morning an excursion to Vila Real to walk through the beautiful gardens of the Solar de Mateus. After lunch onboard, sail past hills covered with vine trellises, planted in terraces up to 700m (2300ft) high and plunging majestically down towards the river . Arrive in Vega De Teron. Tonight is Flamenco night on board.
Today is a full day excursion to Salamanca (awarded World Heritage status by UNESCO) and to see rural Spain. This town of dazzling beauty houses some extraordinary Roman, Arabic and Christian architectural treasures.
After our tour, enjoy lunch and return to the boat late afternoon.
This morning cruise through the locks in Pocinho and Valeira and continue cruising until after lunch and arrive in Ferradosa. Join a tour through the vineyards to a ‘quinta’ where we sample the wines of Porto. Evening entertainment is a festival gala evening.
This morning an excursion to the charming old town of Lamego, with quaint quiet charm and a square surrounded by 17th century Baroque buildings overlooked by a cathedral and its 700-step staircase. Back onboard for lunch before cruising downstream passing through several large locks to arrive in Porto in the evening.
Tonight enjoy a traditional folk-lore themed evening and our Farewell Dinner.
Morning at leisure before disembarking and transferring to the Airport for the flight to Madrid.
Arrive Dubai early morning and change planes. Depart on Emirates flight for home.
Arrive Auckland mid-morning.
|Cost Per Person * |
Auckland - Auckland
|Business Class Upgrade||$6,813|
|Early Booking Discount ( 31/08/2019 )||$150|
|Previous International Pukekohe Travel Tour Discount||$100|
*This is a cash or cheque price. Credit cards will incur a 2% fee
*Itinerary and costs subject to change, airline and fuel charges and currency fluctuations prior to final payment
Travel Insurance is essential. Please feel free to contact us for a quote.
|Climate / Temperatures (May)||Max||Min|
|April / May is a perfect time to visit Morocco with clear skies, moderate temperatures and little rain.
It is springtime in Spain and Portugal so there may be some rain.
A scarf for visiting mosques is a must and shoes that are easily to slip on and off at religious sights are recommended.
Comfortable easy-wash and wear clothes for touring are best along with TEVA-type sandals.
Smart casual for evenings will be fine throughout the tour
|Currency / Money|
Moroccan food is fresh, light and delicious (tomatoes, cucumber and yoghurt, olives, falafels). Flat bread and grilled meat and fish are often served. Breakfasts are westernised in most places.
Tea is always available in Morocco – beware the coffee is very strong. If you like an early morning cup of tea – take your own tea making equipment as not all hotels have tea making facilities in the rooms.
Care will need to be taken to prevent stomach upsets. Included meals are at restaurants with a good reputation.
No mandatory inoculations are required.
Walking tours are an important part of the tour and a good standard of fitness is required. The ground at historical sites is often uneven and there are usually stairs and cobble-stoned streets.
|MS Gil Eames||
|All cabins include:||
|Public areas include:||
Note: Pukekohe Travel reserves the right to correct errors and omissions on our website without recourse.
* Itinerary subject to change