Montserrat is the consummate travel dilemma: many things to do and see and not enough time! The tour information is wonderful and then in your free time you can take the funicular up to the top of the mountain (well worth the round trip fare but not enough time to hike too far), go down to the cave where the statue of the black virgin was discovered (we did not have time to do this but wish we did), go to hear the choir sing (wonderful sound however VERY crowded and not worth the wait in our opinion). The real issue became getting lunch and getting back to the bus on time after listening to the choir, especially if you want to shop for souvenirs at all. If you are pressed for time go to the self-serve counter near where the buses are parked and pick up food to go. The next stop (only a few minutes away) is at a thousand year old chapel where you can eat your lunch. The cava winery is beautiful with a fun (especially the tram ride through the cellars at breakneck speed!) and informative tour. It is NOT a big sale job and the tasting is fabulous. Very interesting to see this aspect of Spanish culture.
Avila is a very picturesque walled city with many towers in the walls. The tour walked through the city and stopped at a couple churches including the Convent of St. Teresa. Segovia is the star of the trip! It is a breathtaking city with ancient Roman aqueduct, meandering streets, great restaurants (lunch on your own gives you many options and we highly recommend it!), and the incredible Alcazar (the royal castle of Segovia and Summer home of King Ferdinand and Queen Isabella). The views of the countryside from Alcazar were stunning! Definitely a lot of walking but well worth it!
Incredible small group (turned out to just be the 6 of us!) with the best guide in Portugal - Sofia! Fatima is a great educational and inspirational experience no matter your religion. Nazare is a quaint coastal town with views from the cliffs. Lunch on our own was easy and delicious! We can't wait to go back and spend a few days. Obidos is a walled city full of chocolate and cherry liquor... it was fun to see from the tops of the walls. This is a must do tour from Lisbon!
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