JAMAICA TEACHERS’ ASSOCIATION

TOUR TO MOROCCO, PORTUGAL, SPAIN AND FRANCE

JULY 20 – AUGUST 8, 2018

 

Day 01. 20 July, 2018, Friday: Kingston-London Gatwick

BA   Departure: 1745

 

Day 02. 21 Jul. Sat:  Arrive Gatwick

Connect Easy Jet Flight to Marrakech. Departure: 1200. Arrival at Marrakech at 1440. Cost of Flight US$298 not included in package cost. Assistance will be provided by our qualified English-speaking guide. Transfer and check-in at hotel. Dinner and overnight at hotel. [D]

 

Day 03. 22 July. Sun: Marrakech

Breakfast at hotel followed by sightseeing tour around the city. Marrakech is the “pearl of the south” founded by the Almoravides Dynasty at the end of the 12 Century. Morning visit to the Saadyines Tombs, Menara and Agdal Gardens, the Koutoubia, and the Bahia Palace. Afternoon visit to the Souks of Marrakech and the Djemaa El Fna Square. Dinner at a Moroccan restaurant and folklore show. Overnight at hotel [B.D]

 

Day 04. 23 July, Mon: Marrakech – Casablanca and Rabat

After breakfast, depart to Casablanca, the economic capital of Morocco. Sightseeing of the economic capital, the Mohammed V Square, Royal Palace and Habous District, the residential area of Anfa, the United Nations Square, Hassan II Mosque (outside), largest Mosque in Africa, decorated with beautiful tiling of the utmost craftsmanship, then Ain Diab Corniche. Depart to Rabat. Check-in at hotel, dinner and overnight at hotel [B.D]

 

Day 05. 24 July, Tue:  Rabat

After breakfast, depart to the second imperial city – Rabat, the administrative capital of the Kingdom of Morocco. Sightseeing tour with a visit to the Mohamed V Mausoleum, the Hassan Tower, Ouadayas Garden, the Mechouer, ramparts and walls surrounding the Royal Palace. Dinner and overnight at hotel [B.D]

 

Day 06. 25 July, Wed: Rabat Tangier – Tarifa-Gibraltar

After breakfast, depart to Tangier, a fascinating city with an interesting mix of North Africa, Spain, Portugal and France. It is separated from Spain, only by the 20 miles Strait of Gibraltar.

 

Assistance and departure transfer to board Ferry to Tarifa. [Dep: 1400, Arr: 1630] The bohemian town of Tarifa is situated at the southernmost point in Europe, just 14 kilometres from Africa, where the Mediterranean meets the Atlantic Ocean. Enjoy spectacular views of the Rif Mountains of Africa across the water. We continue to Gibraltar. On reaching Gibraltar, check-in at hotel for overnight. [B+D]

 

Day 07. 26 July. Thu.  Gibraltar

With its unique geographical location at the mouth of the Mediterranean and its proximity to Africa, Gibraltar has played a vital role in the defensive military strategy for centuries. The ancient Greeks and Romans believed the Rock was one of the two Pillars of Hercules, and a marker of the edge of the ancient world. Today we will visit the many attractions of Gibraltar: Europa Point, the Pillars of Hercules, St. Michaels Cave, and O'Hara's Battery. Chat with the Macaques, visit the Great Siege Tunnels, WW2 Tunnels and the Moorish Castle, etc. Overnight at hotel. [B]

 

Day 08. 27 July. Fri.  Gibraltar – Sevilla

Early breakfast and depart for Sevilla. In the afternoon, explore major attractions of Sevilla. Among the Sevilla’s attractions are the third largest cathedral in the world, behind St. Peter’s in Rome and St. Paul’s in England. This Cathedral holds the record as the largest gothic building in the world and is the most visited site in Seville. Construction began in 1401 on the grounds of the center mosque, which was constructed during Arab occupation. The Patio deNaranjos and the main section of the Giralda are the only structures remaining from the mosque. The climb up the Giralda, approximately 70 meters, is made easier with the absence of stairs. Instead a series of ramps lead you to the top for a perfect view of the city. Inside are works by Murillo, Goya, Pedro de Campaña, Luis de and Vargas.  Sculpture includes works by Martinez Montañés. The tomb of Columbus is said to be located here as well – a disputed claim which may soon be known as a fact when the FBI finishes DNA analysis of the remains. Overnight at hotel. [B+ D]

 

Day 09. 28 July. Sat.  Sevilla – Lisbon.

After early breakfast, depart for Lisbon. On arrival, check-in at hotel. Rest of the day at leisure. [B+D]

 

Day 10. 29 July. Sun. Lisbon.

Explore Lisbon. Sprawled across seven picture-perfect hills, Lisbon is blessed with many sunny days, a unique heritage that dictates the style of its architectural gems and Atlantic-battered beaches.  Lisbon rose from the ashes of an almost apocalyptic earthquake, tsunami and fire in the 18th century, and most of its buildings were constructed after this event. The Basilica da Estrela is visible from many parts of the city and delights with its dazzling cupola. We will visit the many important attractions of this interesting city. Overnight at hotel. [B]

 

Day 11. 30 Jul. Mon.  Mon. Lisbon-Fatima – Obidos – Coimbra

After an early breakfast, we will depart for Fatima, one of the most important catholic shrines in the world dedicated to the Virgin Mary. Fatima’s Sanctuary welcomes millions of pilgrims and tourists from all over the world. Fatima’s fame is due to the Apparitions of Our Lady of the Rosary that appeared to three shepherd children: Lucia dos Santos and her two younger cousins, Francisco and Jacinta. Between May and October of 1917, the three children witnessed several apparitions. The last one, on October 13th, was confirmed by a miracle witnessed by 60,000 people and is known in the catholic world as “the day the sun danced”.

 

After visiting the attractions of Fatima, we leave for Coimbra, visiting the medieval town of Obidos on the way. Obidos, ‘The Wedding Town’ was the traditional bridal gift of the kings of Portugal to their queens, a custom which begun in 1282 by Dom Dinis. The town has hardly changed in appearance since then: its cobbled streets and steep staircases wind up to the ramparts, from where you can gaze across at the countryside of windmills and vineyards. The parish church, Igreja de Santa Maria (in the central Praça), was chosen for the wedding of the ten-year-old child-king Afonso V and his eight-year-old cousin, Isabel, in 1444. It dates mainly from the Renaissance, though the interior is lined with seventeenth-century blue azulejos (or painted tiles) in a homely manner typical of Portuguese churches.

 

Coimbra is one of Portugal's oldest cities (it already was an important municipality in Roman times) and is home to one of the world's first universities.  It was the capital of the country from 1139 to 1256 and its university was founded in 1290. Today, this impressive university is still one of the world's most illustrious and the city's biggest attraction. Surrounding it in the old town (called "cidade alta" or "upper town") are fine old churches and narrow streets standing on a hill overlooking the Modego River. Overnight at Coimbra hotel. [B+D]

 

Day 12. 31 Jul. Tue. Coimbra – Salamanca-Avilam –  Madrid.

Travel to Madrid. Visit the Old City of Aslamanca, a UNESCO World Heritage site, admire the beautiful architectural and historical landmarks and the interesting Piaza Mayor; admire the array of medieval walls in Avila and reach Madrid for dinner.  In the evening, feel the feverish heat of Spain’s traditional dance with a flamenco show and dinner at one of the country’s most prestigious ‘tablaos’ (Flamenco Venue) [B.D]

 

Day 13. 01 Aug. Wed. Madrid.

Sightseeing tour of Madrid. Spain’s regal capital, the highest in Europe, offers a wonderful mix of ancient and modern attractions, colourful fiestas, world renowned works of art and fascinating history. Your sightseeing with our local guide will give you real insight into its history and culture. Overnight at hotel. [B]

 

Day 14. 02 Aug. Thu. Madrid – Bilbao

Early departure for Bilbao. The city of Bilbao is situated on the northern side of Spain, close to the coastline and nearby beaches, and is the largest and most lively city in the Basque Country. Bilbao is a particularly historic city, with a legacy of old buildings and a rich culture, based around Old Town Bilbao, in the Casco Viejo area. However, Bilbao is constantly reinventing itself, with many spectacular projects and impressive contemporary architecture, such as the breath-taking Guggenheim Museum, making this one of Spain’s most exciting cities. Often known locally as 'Botxo', Bilbao also boasts an impressive selection of restaurants and shops, together with a vibrant nightlife to rival any city. With a scenic backdrop of green hills from the Vizcaya area, Bilbao has long been a major tourist destination and is dissected by the Nervión River, much of which is lined by a host of sightseeing opportunities. We will have a brief panoramic tour of Bilbao city before reaching the hotel by late afternoon. Rest of the day at leisure. [B+D]

 

Day 15. 03 Aug.  Fri. Bilbao – Bordeaux

After early breakfast, depart for Bordeaux. The city of Bordeaux is among France's most exciting, vibrant and dynamic cities. In the last decade and a half, it has shed its languid, Belle au Bois Dormant (Sleeping Beauty) image, thanks to the vision of City Mayor Alain Juppé, who has pedestrianised boulevards, restored neoclassical architecture, created a high-tech public transport system and reclaimed Bordeaux's former industrial wet docks at Bassin à Flots. Half the city (18 sq km) is Unesco-listed, making it the largest urban World Heritage site; while world-class architects have designed a bevy of striking new buildings – the Herzog & de Meuron stadium (2015), decanter-shaped La Cité du Vin (2016) and Jean-Jacques Bosc bridge (2018) across the Garonne River included. Bolstered by its high-spirited university-student population and 5½ million visitors annually, La Belle Bordeaux scarcely sleeps: think barista-run coffee shops, super-food food trucks, an exceptional dining scene and more fine wine than you could ever possibly drink. Santé! Panoramic tour of Bordeaux before reaching the hotel. Rest of the day at leisure. [B+D]

 

Day 16. 04 Aug. Sat.  Bordeaux - Paris

After breakfast relax and enjoy the scenic journey to Paris. On reaching Paris, check-in at hotel. Rest of the day at leisure. Overnight at hotel. [B] Optional: Visit to Lido de Paris for dinner and cabaret show.

 

Day 17. 05 Aug. Sun. Paris.

A full day of activities in Paris including a boat cruise. Paris needs no introduction. It has a timeless familiarity for first-time and frequent visitors, with instantly recognisable architectural icons, along with exquisite cuisine, chic boutiques and priceless artistic treasures. The wrought-iron spire Eiffel Tower piercing the clouds, the broad Arc de Triomphe guarding Paris’ most glamorous avenue, the Champs-Élysées, the gargoyled Notre Dame cathedral, lamplit bridges spanning the Seine and art nouveau cafes spilling on to wicker-chair-lined terraces are indelibly etched in the minds of anyone who has visited the city – and the imaginations of anyone who hasn’t (yet). [B]

 

Day 18. 06 Aug. Mon.  Paris.

Rest of day at leisure. Enjoy shopping or explore rest of the city on your own. [B+ farewell Dinner]

 

Day 19. 07 Aug. Tue. Paris-London.

Travel to Calais to board ferry to Dover. Ferry Dep: 0925. Arr: Dover 1155

Transfer to hotel in London. Rest of the day at leisure.  Enjoy shopping and other activities. [B]

 

 

 

Day 20. 08 Aug. Wed.  London – Kingston.

Early breakfast and transfer to airport on time for your return flight to Jamaica.

Dep: Gatwick 1150 Arr: KIN 1530 [B]

 

Please Note

1.     The Itinerary is subject to change without notice to accommodate local situations, weather, traffic conditions, etc.

2.     Single supplement US$1,430.00

3.     Baggage allowance for Gatwick – Marrakech Flight: 1 luggage per person, maximum 20 kg plus hand luggage 5kg

4.     Cancellation Charges: I month prior to departure US$1,160.00; 2 weeks prior to departure US$1,930.00; 1 week prior to departure, 100% of cost. 

 

Upcoming Events

Monday, November 18, 2019 - 08:30
Monday, December 2, 2019 - 00:01
Thursday, December 5, 2019 - 00:01
Monday, December 9, 2019 - 00:01
Monday, December 9, 2019 - 00:01

Latest Member Musings