Paradores and Pousadas

Quick Facts
SEP. 3-17, 2015 $4,295
Lisbon, Evora, Carmona, Ronda, Ubeda, Madrid
UCLA Faculty on Tour Activity Level: Moderate Activity Hide This
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Paradores and Pousadas

SEP. 3-17, 2015
Lisbon, Evora, Carmona, Ronda, Ubeda, Madrid

Join UCLA English Professor Michael Allen for this tour through Portugal and Spain. Begin in Lisbon, touring the Portuguese capital’s highlights and taking an excursion to the National Palace of Quelez. Travel to Évora, a treasure-trove of Portuguese, Roman and Moorish heritage, and to Mérida, a Spanish border town also boasting outstanding Roman ruins. Discover the beauty and romance of Seville and marvel at the renowned cathedral. Tour the Old Quarter and other highlights in Córdoba. Spend two nights in charming Ronda and then travel to Granada, the former Moorish stronghold. Visit medieval Toledo en route to Madrid where the tour concludes with visits to the imposing 18th-century Royal Palace, the world renowned Prado and vast Plaza Mayor.

Cost: $4,295
Odysseys Unlimited, Inc.
Activity Level: Moderate Activity
COVID-19 Information:
  • Eight nights’ accommodations in distinguished historic lodgings
  • National Palace of Queluz, Portugal
  • Lisbon sightseeing, including Belem
  • Evora, a UNESCO World Heritage Site
  • Roman ruins at Merida
  • Moorish Toledo
  • Tour of Cordoba, a UNESCO World Heritage site
  • Seville and its renowned Cathedral
  • Granada’s Alhambra and Generalife Gardens
  • Three-night stay in sophisticated Madrid
  • Madrid sightseeing including Prado, Plaza Mayor, and Royal Palace

UCLA Faculty on Tour

Michael Allen
UCLA Professor of English
Michael Allen is a Distinguished Professor of English with a doctorate in history. Now emeritus, he is a former director of UCLA’s Center for Medieval and Renaissance Studies, a past president of the Renaissance Society of America, and a fellow of the British Academy. A popular professor, the winner of UCLA's Eby award for undergraduate teaching and a Phi Beta Kappa national lecturer, he has long been fascinated by Spain and its complex relationship to the rest of Europe, especially Italy.



DAY 1 | Sep. 3. Depart U.S. for Lisbon, Portugal

DAY 2 | Sep. 4. Arrive Lisbon
We arrive in the Portuguese capital early this afternoon. The remainder of the day is at leisure before dinner at our hotel.

DAY 3 | Sep. 5. Lisbon/Queluz
This morning’s city tour includes the Jeronimos Monastery, a masterpiece of Manueline architecture; Belem Tower; and the Monument to the Discoveries commemorating Portugal’s storied explorers. Then we visit the National Palace of Queluz, the former residence of Portuguese royalty now used for state occasions. After returning to Lisbon, the remainder of the day is at leisure to explore as we wish, perhaps to visit a local club to hear Portuguese Fado music.

DAY 4 | Sep. 6. Lisbon/Evora
Leaving Lisbon this morning, we travel through the rolling hills of the agricultural Alentejo district, with its bountiful fields of wheat, fragrant vineyards, and stands of olive and cork trees. After stopping for lunch in the fortified hilltop town of Monsaraz (pop. 150), late afternoon we arrive in Evora, capital of the Alentejo and site of our pousada, considered Portugal’s finest.

DAY 5 | Sep. 7. Evora
Our morning walking tour of Evora introduces us to the many charms of this architectural gem – a university town, prosperous regional capital, and UNESCO World Heritage site thanks to the many relics of its Roman and Moorish heritage. The afternoon is at leisure to enjoy this “Golden Age” city as we wish.

DAY 6 | Sep. 8. Evora/Merida, Spain/Carmona
Today we travel east through countryside peppered with the ruins of fortresses and castles to the Spanish border town of Merida. Once the capital of ancient Lusitania (Latin for the kingdoms of Spain and Portugal), Merida boasts outstanding Roman ruins. There’s time to explore and eat Tour membership limited to 24 alumni & friendslunch on our own before we continue on to Carmona and our parador, a restored 14th-century Arab fortress.

DAY 7 | Sep. 9. Carmona/Seville
This morning we visit splendid Seville, Moorish capital of Spain’s Andalusia region and city of beauty and romance. This is the place that inspired Carmen and Don Giovanni; where fragrant orange trees and flower-bedecked balconies delight the senses; and home of the renowned Catédral, the world’s largest Gothic building. After a tour that includes the palace and the Arab quarter, the afternoon is free to explore independently. We return to Carmona late afternoon and dine at our parador this evening.

DAY 8 | Sep. 10. Carmona/Cordoba
Today’s visit to this cultural gem promises to be special indeed. First the capital of Roman Spain, then of Moorish Spain, Cordoba features some of the country’s most important monuments, including the Old Quarter built around the magnificent Mezquita mosque. It was here that the Moors ruled from the 8th to the 11th centuries and fostered a culture of learning and religious harmony known the world over. Cordoba also is home to Andalusia’s only synagogue to survive the expulsion of Spain’s Jews in the 15th century. After touring these and other highlights we have free time to explore on our own. Late this afternoon we return to our parador, where we dine tonight.

DAY 9 | Sep. 11. Carmona/Ronda
Leaving Carmona this morning we travel south to tiny Ronda, one of Spain’s oldest and most aristocratic towns. It’s set high in the mountains with whitewashed houses clinging improbably to the edge of El Tajo Gorge – 500 feet deep and 300 feet wide.

DAY 10 | Sep. 12. Ronda
This morning we take a walking tour of Ronda, taking in the graceful cathedral of Santa Maria Mayor in the town’s Old Quarter; two 17th-century bridges; and the Casa de Mondragon, once home to Moorish kings. Then the rest of the day is free for independent exploration. Tonight we dine on regional specialties at our parador, Ronda’s original town hall.

DAY 11 | Sep. 13. Ronda/Granada/Ubeda
Continung our journey, we travel today to Granada, the former stronghold of Moorish Spain set in the foothills of the snowcapped Sierra Nevada. The city’s undisputed highlight is the Alhambra, the extraordinary palace of Spain’s last Moorish rulers. Sprawled across a hilltop above the Darro River, the Alhambracommands breathtakingviews of the city below, as we see on our afternoon tour of this splendid citadel. We also visit the Granadian-style Generalife, the palace’s acclaimed gardens. Late afternoon we travel north to Ubeda and our next parador, a former palace dating to the 16th century and where we dine tonight.

DAY 12 | Sep. 14. Ubeda/Toledo/Madrid
A highlight is in store today as we visit Toledo, capital of medieval Spain. Declared a Spanish National Landmark, the city is little changed visually from its 16th-century days as a subject for the artist El Greco. Toledo boasts an incomparable hilltop setting overlooking the Castillian plains and surrounded on three sides by the Tagus River. After lunch on our own we see Toledo’s most important sights on our guided tour, including the massive Gothic Cathedral begun in 1226 and not finished until 1493. Then we continue on to Madrid, arriving late afternoon.

DAY 13 | Madrid
Our morning tour of this monumental and dignified capital city includes vast Plaza Mayor, in the heart of Old Madrid; the Moorish medieval district; and opulent 18th-century Palacio Real (Royal Palace), with its 2,800 rooms. Our tour ends at the Prado, one of the world’s greatest museums, where we’re free to explore on our own. The remainder of the day is free for independent exploration in this cosmopolitan city.

DAY 14 | Madrid
A free day to enjoy the Spanish capital as we wish. Tonight we bid “Adios” to Spain and our fellow travelers at a farewell dinner.

DAY 15 | Depart for U.S.


Tivoli Lisboa Hotel 

Evora Pousada dos Loios 

Carmona Parador de Carmona 

Ronda Parador de Ronda 

Ubeda Parador de Ubeda 

Madrid Wellington Hotel


$5,178 to $5,578

Download Reservation Form Download Brochure (12.4 MB) Request Brochure In Mail
310.206.0613 (P)
310.209.4271 (F)
  • I try to only travel with UCLA Alumni Travel. Each trip has been wonderful and Paradores and Pousadas is one of my most memorable."
    Betty Dranow ’76, Traveler
  • We always recommend UCLA Alumni Travel as we usually get a bit more than we signed up for and always exciting foreign adventure surprises complete the package. A privilege to travel."
    Mitzi Maltz ’59 and Perry, Travelers

Book this Tour

How to Book

Download the tour Reservation Form here. This tour is booked quickly, so sign up early to reserve space.

Enclose a check or provide credit card information for $500 per person, per tour, as a deposit for the selected tour. Make check payable to Odysseys Unlimited, Inc. Deposits are provisional and fully refundable pending your acceptance of final brochure terms.

Mail completed reservation form and your deposit to:
UCLA Alumni Association
Attn: Alumni Travel
James West Alumni Center
Los Angeles, CA 90095-1397

A brochure will be mailed to you as soon as it is available.

Terms & Conditions

Written cancellations from time of booking up to 90 days prior to departure will be assessed a minimum administrative fee of approximately $250; within 90 days of departure, refunds vary according to the policies of each tour operator. Please read the cancellation clauses contained within the brochure for this tour carefully.

CST 2077973-40

Travel Insurance

We strongly recommend you purchase travel insurance to cover the possibility of trip cancellation or interruption, emergency medical evacuation, medical expenses and baggage loss incurred while traveling. All confirmed passengers will receive travel insurance information in your confirmation packet. It’s one of our many membership benefits! For information about travel insurance, visit Coverage for pre-existing medical conditions, terrorist incidents and travel supplier financial insolvencies will be provided if the insurance is purchased within 15 days of your trip deposit. Please read the insurance brochure carefully.

Download Reservation Form Download Brochure (12.4 MB) Request Brochure In Mail
310.206.0613 (P)
310.209.4271 (F)
  • I try to only travel with UCLA Alumni Travel. Each trip has been wonderful and Paradores and Pousadas is one of my most memorable."
    Betty Dranow ’76, Traveler
  • We always recommend UCLA Alumni Travel as we usually get a bit more than we signed up for and always exciting foreign adventure surprises complete the package. A privilege to travel."
    Mitzi Maltz ’59 and Perry, Travelers