Spain & Portugal Farm Tour
Iberian Peninsula – Cattle – Dairy - Wine – Cooperatives
Spain is one of the largest agricultural producers in Western Europe. Southern Spain has a semi-arid Mediterranean climate. One of the main concerns is water and they many projects to reduce the use of water and also desalinate from the bordering seas. In 2021, Spain imported over $1.7 billion in agricultural goods from the US to be used in food production. Spain is a European leader in technology and food manufacturing and has an impressive logistical foothold including some of the most important ports in Europe. Spain’s largest export is citrus and equals 3 million metric tons. Similar to Spain, Portugal raises similar crops and enjoys a long agriculture tradition.
Spain & Portugal Farm Tour Date: Feb 6-17, 2024
Notice: Travel to Spain / Portugal does not require a visa / tourist card at this time.
Immunizations: Check with your local health professional and / or www.cdc.gov.
Spain & Portugal Farm Tour Itinerary
Depart Chicago Madrid is 7 hours ahead of Central Standard Time. Meals: Meals on flight
Morning arrival in Madrid. Pass through immigration and customs and meet your local guide and driver who will be with you the duration of the tour. Madrid 1 Greenwich Mean Time (+7 hrs ahead of CST). Panoramic tour into Madrid. Visit the neoclassical Basilica of St Francis the Great that was constructed in 1760 under Carlos III. The dome is the largest in Spain and the fourth largest in Europe. Visit the Almudena Cathedral, started in 1889 and consecrated by Pope John Paul II in 1993. Continue to visit the Royal Palace. Madrid’s Royal Palace was constructed on the site of the old Alcazar fortress that was a Moorish castle using similar plans to the Louvre. It is an official residence of the royal family. Of particular interest are the Royal Armoury and the Painting Gallery with art by Caravaggio, Goya, Morales and others. Rest and time to have lunch on own at a street side restaurant. Continue to hotel for check-in and time for rest. Dinner included nearby. 4* Hotel Madrid. Meals: On Flight, Dinner
After breakfast depart to the old imperial city of Toledo, which has become a symbol of the peaceful coexistence between Christian, Jews and Muslims. Enjoy a walking city tour of the old town. Visit the Cathedral of Santa Maria (13th C) and the Alcazar (16th C). Also of note are two well preserved medieval Jewish synagogues from 1492. Lunch included. This afternoon visit a Manchego Cheese factory and manchega sheep farm. Return to Madrid4* Hotel Madrid. Meals: Breakfast, Lunch
After breakfast depart to Colmenar to visit a cattle farm. Lunch included. Continue to Segovia, a UNESCO world heritage site. The old city contains a multitude of historic buildings including a large number of buildings of Jewish origin. See the Roman aqueduct, the Alcazar and the Cathedral. Visit the Alcazar, a 12th Century medieval stone fortress hovering on a granite rock over the confluence of two rivers. Dinner and overnight Segovia. 4* Hotel Segovia. Meals: Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner
Breakfast at the hotel. This morning visit the wine producing area of Duero where production dates back to the 10th Century. The soil is rich in iron and good drainage producing pH balanced wines. Huge cornfields dominate this flat, sparsely populated landscape know as the breadbasket of Spain. Lunch included. Visit a crop farm whereby there will be no crops in the ground at this time of year. Speak with the farmer and local agribusinessmen about farming in their region. Return to Segovia. Dinner on own. 4* Hotel Segovia. Meals: Breakfast, Dinner
Breakfast at the hotel. Free morning to enjoy Segovia. Lunch included. Visit a pig farm specializing in Iberian ham. Spain has developed a protected brand and unique breed of pig that feeds on acorns and produces a unique ham. Continue to Salamanca, which was once an important trading center. The city is known for its University, one of the oldest in Europe, with more than 40,000 students. The city is a UNESCO protected World Heritage Site. Dinner included. 4* Hotel Salamanca. Meals: Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner
Breakfast at the hotel. Visit to the lively Central Market where produce, seafood and meats have been sold for centuries. Depart to Portugal border. Enjoy a boat cruise through the Douro River valley. The river carved deep valleys and then man transformed the schist mountains into stepped terraces, with exposure to the sun, planting wine grapes. It is the oldest demarcated wine region in the world. The Douro River was also the only source of transportation from deep inland to the Atlanta for the rich fruits and vegetables grown in the region. Lunch included. Visit a wine bodega to learn about wine growing and enjoy a tasting. Continue to Porto to checkin for 2 nights. Dinner on own. 4* Hotel Porto. Meals: Breakfast, Dinner
After breakfast, visit the town of Porto for a walking tour. Porto is at the mouth of the Douro River, expelling into the Atlantic Ocean. The city has half a million inhabitants and is the third largest city in Portugal. Porto is a market town, rich with traders, is shown through its astounding architecture. It is known as “The Baroque City” with narrow, winding streets dense with buildings. Port wine hales from this region and the day will end with a port wine tasting. Visit the local farmer’s market as well as a supermarket to see how locals shop. This afternoon visit an agricultural cooperative to learn about their supply chain and the marketing for the farmers. Lunch included. 4* Hotel Porto. Meals: Breakfast, Lunch
Breakfast at hotel and depart. The first visit of the day is to a cork factory to learn about the process of stripping the bark of the cork oak (Quercus suber). This region has been exploiting the cork oak since the 2nd Century. The trunks are peeled where the first layer, full of resin, is used for corkboards or thermal insulation. Every 8 to 12 years, the secondary layers can be harvested for the production of bottle corks and other items. This region is the world leader in cork production. Continue to visit a Charolais cattle farm. Lunch included. This afternoon meeting with local city officials to learn about their promotion of rural and agricultural activities. End the day in Fatima. Dinner included. 4* Hotel Fatima. Meals: Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner
After breakfast depart to the monastery of Saint Mary of the Victor in Bathalha with an abbey dated to the 12th C. A part of the UNESCO heritage site faculty, it has been an important part of Portugal’s history. The city of Fatima serves as a Catholic pilgrimage site due to the fact that in 1917 three shepherd’s children returned from tending sheep and saw an apparition resembling the Virgin Mary that spoke to them. Continue for lunch at a hacienda. Technical visit of the hacienda which has 50,000 acres and specializes in wheat farming, wine, rice, olives, feedstuffs, cattle and horses. They also have an intensive forestry management program for their pines, eucalyptus and other trees that are utilized for wood production. Dinner included. 4* Hotel Lisbon. Meals: Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner
Breakfast at hotel. Touring of Lisbon starting with a visit to the Castle of Sao Jorge with a stunning view of the city. Continue through the maze of alleyways of the Alfama, Lisbon’s oldest quarter. Continue to the Belem district to visit the Belem Tower. Lunch on own and free time in afternoon. Farewell dinner with Fado Show showcasing traditional music of Portugal. 4* Hotel Lisbon. Meals: Breakfast, Dinne
Breakfast at hotel. Depart to airport for flight home with one or two connections. Meals: Breakfast, Meal on flight
10 nights in superior tourist class accommodations.
Meals: 9 Breakfasts, 6 Lunches, 8 Dinners
Roundtrip airfare from Chicago - add on airfare available, please call.
Transportation provided in air-conditioned motorcoach.
Sightseeing/technical visits as outlined in itinerary.
Services of full time professional tour manager with agricultural background.
All taxes and fees.
COVID testing fees, museum entrances, tour manager and driver tips, passport fees, public transportation, personal items, beverages at meals, travel insurance. Based on mimimum of 15 participants.
$4,999 per person, based on double occupancy.
Add $500 to guarantee single room.