Spain and Portugal Sept 17

Looks like the trip is on. Anyone else joining us on September 17. Wondering if there will be any changes in the itinerary?


  • **we are scheduled for that trip but are debating whether to cancel or not. On the CDC website, it indicates that both Spain and Portugal are rated at level 4, do not travel regarding COVID. The report goes on to say that it is not advisable to go to Spain due to civil unrest and terrorism.
    As for changes to the trip, I was informed by Tauck that our visit to Alhambra Palace has been cancelled.

  • jrbhsor5, it would be interesting if the CDC would apply the same travel recommendations for U.S. states the way they do for foreign countries. I suspect plenty of our states would be level 4 as well. Plenty of states here with high transmission rates. Would they consider every mask protest in the U.S. civil unrest? How about someone threatening to blow up the U.S. capital? I take the CDC's recommendations on this with a grain of salt. We all have to weigh the risks, pros/cons, etc of traveling anywhere these days.

    If they are dropping key elements of a tour that mean you won't enjoy it as much then that is a different matter from possibly health risks.

  • jrbhsor5 - As for changes to the trip, I was informed by Tauck that our visit to Alhambra Palace has been cancelled.

    I assume you mean the visit to the Alhambra, which is a palace, has been cancelled vs the Alhambra Palace which is the hotel we stayed at while in Grenada. The Alhambra and Generalife were the two major attractions of Grenada. The sites of the town were interesting, but the not the major draws of Grenada.

    That cancellation isn't quite to the level of Ephesus being cancelled on the Treasures of the Aegean tour, but it is a major cancellation for this tour. That's a real bummer. It will be interesting to see how Tauck adapts on the fly to make up for that cancellation.

  • Many countries have warnings about civil unrest and terrorism and have done for years, this is nothing new. If you take a look at a random number of countries, you will see what I mean. There are all sorts of frightening things mentioned. The main thing is to be aware of all of them when you travel. Don’t draw attention to yourself by having expensive suitcase, jewelry and watches, handbags and cute sneakers. Don’t be seen looking lost with a map, don’t bring your wallet out in a crowded area. Avoid any protests however harmless they look. Register your trip with the STEP program, travel with Tauck etc etc

  • I am also bummed about the palace. Looks like they are replacing it with nothing. I just checked the State Department website as well as CDC and they strongly state do not travel to Spain and Portugal. There is also a switch in dinners those nights. In the travel documents we got they also suggested restaurant reservations before we leave home as there are many restaurants with limited seating and reduced hours (similar to here in US). This tour seems to have more meals that you are on your own for.

  • I have traveled to Spain and Portugal many times, both independently and with Tauck. There are two regions in northern Spain, the Basque and Catalonia; both regions wish to have independence from the rest of Spain and will have protests at times. I have never felt threatened while in those regions and have never seen any protests there while on a Tauck tour. The Spain and Portugal tour does not travel to these northern regions. Tauck is not going to put their guests in harms way and has many contingency plans in place to handle virtually any issue. There has not been a terrorist attack since early 2004 when the beautiful Madrid train station was bombed. Some family members were in that station and it was, indeed, horrible. I believe a few years ago two individuals died in Barcelona when a terrorist drove a vehicle into Las Ramblas.

    With respect to the Alhambra, once a Moorish palace and fortress, Tauck removed that visit quite some time ago. I do not know why. There is a free day when in Granada so you can always see it on your own. I would highly recommend a visit there and the gardens are lovely.

    You have to do what feels right for you. For me, I would feel safer there than in the U. S. given the widespread virus outbreak we are experiencing.

    If you do decide to go, you will have a wonderful time. Good luck in making your decision.

  • If Tauck removed the visit to the Alhambra "some time ago" they sure didn't tell all their resellers or the resellers didn't get the word. A quick check yielded this quote from the itinerary listed on the current websites of at least three resellers for Day 10 of the 2021 Tauck Portugal & Spain tour, "A highlight of your journey is today's guided visit to Granada's famed Moorish palace, the Alhambra . . . . " The visit has been removed from 2021 and 2022 itinerary on Tauck's website, however.

  • Yes, hard to fathom but true. So sad.

  • Just returned August 26 from Treasures of Spain and Portugal partnering with Windstar cruises on the Wind Surf. Fantastic tour. With so few tourists it felt like the venues were open just for our private experience. 22 Tauck guests were part of the ship's total 126 guest count. With 162 crew members we were outnumbered and pampered! Tauck was able to secure tickets for the Alhambra visit. The number of tickets is drastically reduced due to Covid restrictions/distancing required in each room of the palace. Windstar guests who signed up for and paid an extra excursion fee had a tour of only the gardens. The Covid restrictions in Portugal and Spain are among the most strict in Europe... most are masked, even outdoors, and maintain social distancing. Our little group of 22 was divided into 2 or 3 groups of 7 to 11 when disembarking on the daily locally-guided tours. We wore masks on the ship unless dining/drinking. So yes... if you are wondering... no allowance for wandering off to explore or shop except when in Lisbon and Barcelona prior to boarding and after final disembarkation. Windstar requires all guests and crew to be vaccinated. Daily temperature checks as we disembarked for excursions. Antigen AND PCR test in the ship terminal on the first day prior to boarding. Another antigen test to disembark in Barcelona then a final test at the hotel for those returning to US. Now back in the US I'm shocked by the number of unmasked and non-distancing fellow citizens. I long for the comfort of Portugal and Spain.

  • Patrice -

    I am so glad you were able to experience the Alhambra. Thanks for sharing your experiences!

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