Americas-Magnificent-National-Parks

15 Day Americas Magnificent National Parks

Natural Wonders and Glittering Lights Abound on This 15-Day Guided Tour in the U.S.

Price Includes

 

  • 15 Day guided tour in the U.S
  • 14 nights accommodation
  • 21 meals included: 14 Breakfasts, 1 Lunch, 6 Dinners with Wine
  • Visit Crazy Horse Memorial in the Black Hills
  • Watch sunrise over the Grand Canyon
  • Zion National Park Open-air tram

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Itinerary
Day 1 - Arrive in Phoenix and Travel to Scottsdale 
Welcome to Arizona, famous for its scenic road trips, towering Monument Valley, and of course the awe-inspiring Grand Canyon. Your airport transfer will whisk you to your hotel in Scottsdale where you can enjoy the facilities and grounds of this striking desert oasis. Why not head out and explore Old Scottsdale, a vibrant and unique urban downtown area that introduces you the best of the state? Here, you’ll be surrounded by retro wooden buildings, rodeo inspired artwork and a selection of local stores, all radiating a classic Southwestern flair. At 18:00, join your Travel Director and fellow travellers for a Welcome Dinner at Zuzu, where you will have the opportunity to mingle and get to know one another. 

Day 2 - Sedona and the Wonders of the Mighty Grand Canyon 
Travel through world-renowned Red Country along the Red Rock Scenic Byway, one of only 20 designated All-American Roads nationwide. Explore bohemian Sedona with its shops and galleries, or simply take in the exceptional beauty of Red Rock Country before you make your way to the Grand Canyon. Follow Oak Creek Canyon Scenic Byway through Coconino National Forest, a breathtaking stretch of road recognized by Rand McNally as one of the Top Five Most Scenic Drives in America. 

On arrival, you can take an optional flightseeing tour over the Grand Canyon. Whether you prefer a helicopter or a fixed-wing plane, you'll enjoy magnificent scenery with aerial views from above. Meet your Local Expert Canyon Tim at the South Rim of the Grand Canyon to discover its wonders. You'll learn all about the origins of the five-million-year-old canyon, its rock formations and the human impact on this natural masterpiece. He'll also talk to you about the local flora and fauna, and where you might be able to spot them.  
 
Day 3 - Monument Valley and Lake Powell 
Early risers will take advantage of the lodge location to witness one of Mother Nature's grandest shows on earth: a sunrise over the Grand Canyon. Travel along the South Rim Desert View Drive, skirting the South Rim of the canyon. We will stop at Desert View Point to see the historic Watchtower built by Mary Colter in the Puebloan style, the Colorado River turning north and the Painted Desert extending towards Navajo and Hopi Indian lands. Make Travel Matter as we will be supporting the Grand Canyon Conservancy and making a donation to support the development of the Desert View Inter-tribal Heritage Center. Head to the Cameron Trading Post, on of the oldest and most historic general stores in Arizona. Enter Monument Valley Tribal Park, where you'll join a MAKE TRAVEL MATTER® Experience as you meet your Navajo Local Experts and board all-terrain vehicles with open sides for a private, off-the-beaten path exploration of this magical valley. Learn about Navajo history, culture and heritage from your expert as you travel deeper into the natural wonders of this unique landscape. Enjoy a Navajo cookout amid the giant buttes and mesas of this unique landscape. Spend the rest of the day relaxing at your lakefront resort. 
 
Day 4 - Leisurely Lake Powell 
Today is entirely yours to do as you please. Partake in one of our popular optional experiences, explore on your own, or simply relax by the resort swimming pool with views of Lake Powell. As an optional activity this morning, let yourself be tempted by a gentle float trip down the Colorado River. Calmly float down the Colorado, past some of the most awe-inspiring sites, like the iconic Horseshoe Bend and Petroglyph Beach. In the evening, enjoy dinner with wine at the Red Heritage as you get the opportunity to watch local dancers talented in colorful powwow dancing, flute playing, and live drum music and enjoy a traditional dinner at this Navajo owned Native American Performing Arts Theater. 
 
Day 5 - Bryce Canyon and Zion National Parks 
Journey across a wide-open landscape punctuated by colorful sandstone cliffs, sagebrush-covered flats, and high ridges dotted with piñon pine and juniper. Travel through Bryce Canyon Country on a portion of the Scenic Highway 89, recognized by National Geographic as the No. 1 Driver's Drive in the world. You will be struck by the beauty of Bryce Canyon National Park, an otherworldly landscape of red rock pillars known as hoodoos, pink cliffs, and endless vistas. Follow the Rim Trail from Surprise Point to Bryce Point. Stops will be made at the major viewpoints and there will be time for a leisurely walk along Sunset Point or a more physical hike down the canyon. Either way, you will be spellbound by the beauty and majesty of this dramatic natural landscape. 
 
Day 6 - Zion National Park 
Journey across a wide-open landscape punctuated by colorful sandstone cliffs, sagebrush-covered flats, and high ridges dotted with piñon pine and juniper. Travel through Bryce Canyon Country on a portion of the Scenic Highway 89, recognized by National Geographic as the No. 1 Driver's Drive in the world. You will be struck by the beauty of Bryce Canyon National Park, an otherworldly landscape of red rock pillars known as hoodoos, pink cliffs, and endless vistas. Follow the Rim Trail from Surprise Point to Bryce Point. Stops will be made at the major viewpoints and there will be time for a leisurely walk along Sunset Point or a more physical hike down the canyon. Either way, you will be spellbound by the beauty and majesty of this dramatic natural landscape. 
 
Day 7 - Salt Lake City 
This morning you make your way out of Zion National Park and will transfer to Salt Lake City, the capital of Utah. Your hotel is short walk away from Temple Square, which is the headquarters of the Mormon church. In the evening join for a dinner with wine at the hotel. 

Day 8 - Jackson and the Tetons 
Before leaving Salt Lake City, take in the State Capitol building. Drive along the scenic Logan Canyon, over the Wasatch Mountain Range, and up to the Bear Lake Summit. Stop for lunch at Garden City, Utah while enjoying views of the beautiful turquoise waters of Bear Lake. You will then head north across the Oregon Trail to historic Jackson. Have your cameras ready for the famous elk antlers the central square, while eager shoppers will find a number of charming traditional boutique galleries to browse. Enjoy the rest of the evening at leisure, with your hotel located only a short walk away from Jackson's Town Square. 

Day 9 - Yellowstone National Park 
Wake up to a mountainous view like no other and witness the striking Grand Tetons thrust skyward 6,562 feet (2,000 metres) from the valley floor. This morning, you have the opportunity to partake in an optional scenic float down the Snake River (signed waiver required) inside Grand Teton National Park. In keeping with today’s rustic country charm, you’ll enter Yellowstone, the world’s first National Park. Known for its unique geothermal activity, spectacular landscapes and abundant wildlife, you’ll experience Wyoming in all its glory. Keep an eye out for black bears or wolves. Tonight you’ll stay in the National Park Lodges, allowing you to experience the park after hours, in its natural habitat. 

Day 10 - Geysers and Colourful Mudpots 
Savour the surreal surroundings of Yellowstone with a relaxed start. Walk among the rainbow tinted hot springs and watch the erupting geysers as you take in the history of the park on an informative stroll with your Travel Director. Catch the renowned colourful bubbling mud pots and observe Old Faithful geyser shooting water over 120 feet (37 metres) into the air. In the afternoon, enjoy the Grand Canyon of Yellowstone as you take in stunning natural wonders. While driving through Hayden Valley, famous for its wildlife, keep an eye out for wolves, bears, elk and hundreds of bison. The rest of the evening is at leisure for you to relax. 

Day 11 - The Ranch at Ucross 
Set off on your travels through the stark Shoshone Canyon and Absaroka Rocky Mountains, leading you to the Wild West Town of Cody. Channel your inner showman and learn more about America’s great Western legends at the Buffalo Bill Centre, known for its Western art collection, firearms, and natural history. Travel through the Bighorn National Forest to the Ranch at UCross. Take in the rustic charm as you're hosted at a traditional Wyoming Family ranch. Start off the evening with a cocktail hour in the historic Ranch House bar. After a home-cooked dinner, enjoy a fire pit with live entertainment, including country, folk and bluegrass music. 

Day 12 - Devils Tower into the Black Hills 
Live the American frontier dream and begin your day with a scenic country horseback ride (8) accompanied by a Ranch Hand. If playing cowboy isn’t your thing, perhaps go fishing or merely relax and take in your beautiful surroundings, the choice is yours. Make your way to Devils Tower, an astounding geological feature that protrudes out of the surrounding Black Hills. This symbolic landmark is considered sacred to the Lakota and other tribes. Experience Spearfish Canyon, a favoured spot among wildlife enthusiasts and one famous for its elvish woodland beauty. The limestone palisades of this creek-carved gorge are more ancient than the Grand Canyon itself. 

Day 13 - Custer and the Wild, Wild West 
A day for those looking to explore the Wild West, try to spotting the fastest mammal in North America, the pronghorn antelope as you cross the great high plains to the Black Hills of South Dakota. Once in Deadwood, you’ll have the opportunity to join Kevin Costner’s Original Deadwood Tour. A Local Expert will tell you tales of Wild Bill Hickok and Calamity Jane, who made this once lawless town famous during the Gold Rush of the 1870s. Continue on to Custer State Park, renowned for its beautiful landscape and abundant wildlife.  

Day 14 - Mountain Monuments of the Black Hills 
Travel to the iconic Mount Rushmore National Memorial. Here, carvings of Presidents Washington, Jefferson, Lincoln, and Roosevelt overlook the landscape. Next, head  to Crazy Horse Memorial, which is dedicated to protecting and preserving the culture, tradition and living heritage of the North American Indians. An exclusive Insight Experience awaits as you are taken up to stand face-to-face with this impressive sculpture. At 641 feet (195 metres) long and 563 feet (172 metres) tall the piece takes the record for the world’s largest mountain carving. 

Join your Travel Director and newfound friends for a Celebration Dinner with wine, as you reflect on your adventure across the wide-open spaces of America's national parks. 

Day 15 - Depart Rapid City 
Those ending in Rapid City may depart at any time. 

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Travel Dates

Valid for select departures 3 - 24 September 2022

 

Offer Ends

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Itinerary

Day 1
Welcome to Madrid.

Your transfer will depart Madrid airport at 09:00, 11:00, 13:30 or 16:00. Join your Travel Director at 18:00 for a Welcome Dinner in a local restaurant and get to know your fellow travellers over a beautiful evening of delicious food and wine.

Hotel:  Barceló Torre de Madrid/Barceló Emperatriz.
Meals: Dinner with Wine

Day 2
Madrid of the Bourbons.

Enjoy sightseeing with your Local Expert as they take you along the main historical areas in the Capital of Spain known as Madrid of the Bourbons. Your drive continues through the Old Quarter discovering the origins of the city. A highlight of your trip is a visit to the magnificent Prado Museum with an art historian to admire the paintings of Velázquez, Goya and many others.

Hotel:  Barceló Torre de Madrid/Barceló Emperatriz.
Meals: Breakfast

Day 3
Segovia and Golden Salamanca.

Travel to the fortified city of Segovia where you will walk through the medieval streets from the ancient aqueduct to see the magnificent Alcazar fortress. Journey west, passing the ancient walls of Ávila, en route to Salamanca. During your orientation see some of the golden stone buildings the city is famous for, including the handsome arcaded Plaza Mayor, the honey-coloured cathedral and the 16th century university buildings.

Hotel:  Hotel Alameda Palace, Salamanca.
Meals: Breakfast
 
Day 4 - Relaxed Start
Porto, Grande Dame on the Douro.

Cross the Portuguese border to reach Porto, situated on the River Douro and celebrated internationally as the capital of Port wine. Visit the Vila Nova de Gaia wine stores that house the famous wines and walk along corridors of casks. Get to know your tawnys and vintages during a tasting. Continue your exploration of the city, admire the multi-coloured houses and churches covered in glazed tiles, as well as the iconic bridges (or ‘Eiffel Towers on end’ according to one Frenchman).

Hotel:  NH Collection Porto Batalha.
Meals: Breakfast, Dinner with Wine

Day 5
Holy Fátima, Ancient Obidos and Lisbon.

Head south for a visit to miraculous Fátima. See the Basilica or visit the Chapel of the Apparitions, which commemorates the appearance of the Virgin Mary to three young shepherds in 1917. Journey to the fortified town of Obidos and walk inside its walls, exploring the narrow, medieval streets with houses covered with flowers. Your travels continue to the Portuguese capital, Lisbon.

Hotel:  Dom Pedro Lisboa/Altis Grand Hotel (Superior Rooms), Lisbon.
Meals: Breakfast

Day 6 - Relaxed Start
Lisbon and the Age of the Great Discoveries.

Sightseeing with a Local Expert takes you along the spacious avenues of the Lower Town and beneath the hilltop Bairro Alto to the Terreiro do Paco, the finest square in the city. Visit the Belém Quarter from where sailing ships once set forth to discover unknown lands. Enjoy a taste of the famous Pastéis de Belém from a traditional patisserie that has managed to hold on to the secret recipe of Portugal's finest pastry for almost 200 years. View the modern Monument to the Discoveries and the more ancient Belém Tower. This fortress was originally set in the middle of the river, but is now left high and dry on the riverbank. Visit the UNESCO World Heritage Site of the Jerónimos Monastery with its beautiful Manueline architecture. With the afternoon at your leisure, perhaps join an Optional Experience to the Portuguese Riviera? It is often visited by surfers, occasionally royalty, and even James Bond.

Hotel:  Dom Pedro Lisboa/Altis Grand Hotel (Superior Rooms), Lisbon.
Meals: Breakfast
 
Day 7
Seville, the City of Carmen.

Leave Lisbon via the modern Tagus Bridge and cross the border to reach Seville. With your Local Expert, visit the immense cathedral to see the Tomb of Christopher Columbus and the slender Giralda Tower, the former minaret of the Great Mosque. Explore the labyrinthine Santa Cruz Quarter and see the Alcazar.

Hotel:  Ayre Hotel Sevilla (Superior Rooms), Seville.
Meals: Breakfast

Day 8 - Relaxed Start
Free Time and Flamenco in Seville.

Enjoy a relaxed start and a day to relax, shop or continue exploring this fascinating city at your own pace. Our suggestion is to join an Optional Experience to the ancient city of Córdoba, where you will visit the magnificent Mezquita, see the old Jewish Quarter, and enjoy some free time to shop or explore as you wish. In the evening you are treated to dinner, wine and entertainment featuring a fiery flamenco show.

Hotel:  Ayre Hotel Sevilla (Superior Rooms), Seville.
Meals: Breakfast, Dinner with Wine
 
Day 9
Head for Gibraltar, the Costa del Sol and Mijas.

Head south to Gibraltar, part of mainland Spain yet an overseas territory under British control since 1704. With your Local Expert, visit the Rock of Gibraltar and St. Michael’s Cave to see the Barbary Apes, legendary guardians of the colony. Relax as you travel the scenic route along the Costa del Sol through exclusive resorts where the rich and famous holiday. Your journey continues through the green hills to the white-washed village of Mijas. Stroll through the old streets and gardens and take in the views of the coast.

Hotel:  Meliá Costa del Sol, Torremolinos.
 Meals: Breakfast, Dinner with Wine
 
Day 10 - Relaxed Start
At Leisure on the Costa del Sol.

Enjoy the following day at leisure on the sun-drenched Costa del Sol. Relax by the blue Mediterranean waters, stroll along the promenade, savour the specialities in the local restaurants or consider exploring Malaga, the birth city of Picasso.

Hotel:  Meliá Costa del Sol, Torremolinos.
Meals: Breakfast

Day 11 - Relaxed Start
Dining with Locals and the Alhambra.

Travel to the oldest olive grove in the region and stop at the rural mill-factory of Almazara to taste a selection of different oils with locally made farmer bread. Continue to Alfarnatejo, a quiet town with a population of just 500 people and surrounded by stunning mountainous landscape. Walk the town centre to see the 18th century Iglesia del Santo Cristo de Cabrilla. In small groups, you are invited into the home of a local family to join them for a delicious Highlight Lunch made of fresh, local produce with flavours typical of the region. Continue to Granada to visit the magnificent Alhambra Palace with your Local Expert. Built as a citadel by the Moors in the 13th century, it is a wonder of beautiful gardens, fountains and stone cut like lace.

Hotel:  Vincci Albayzín, Granada.
Meals: Breakfast, Lunch with Wine

Day 12
On to Valencia. 

Journey to Valencia, the City of Arts and Sciences. Pass through the Old City and see its ancient gates. In your free time perhaps take a stroll to the Cathedral and El Miguelete? Or sit back with a drink and watch the Valencian’s go about their day. Valencia is home to one of the world's greatest dishes, paella. Meet the chef of a local family-run restaurant in the heart of the old town and learn the traditional recipe during a Cooking Demonstration, before savouring the delicious flavours of this classic dish, washed down with a glass of sangria, during your Highlight Dinner.

Hotel:  Barceló Valencia.
Meals: Breakfast, Dinner with Wine

Day 13
Along the coast to Peñíscola and on to Barcelona.

Follow the coast to Peñíscola to view the sea-lapped castle used in the film 'El Cid'. Continue along the Costa Dorada to the Cava Bodegas at Sant Sadurni d'Anoia. During a delicious light lunch, enjoy a tasting as you learn the sparkling secrets of Spanish bubbly. Continue along the coast to reach Barcelona.

Hotel:  Meliá Barcelona Sarriá.
Meals: Breakfast, Lunch with Wine 

Day 14 - Relaxed Start
Barcelona Sightseeing.
A Local Expert joins you for a drive along the Passeig de Gràcia adorned with elegant wrought-iron street lamps and some of the most flamboyant Modernist buildings. Continue through the Eixample district to visit inside Gaudi’s extraordinary masterpiece, the Sagrada Família. See the central nave with its giant, tree-like pillars, spectacular vaulting and the beautiful rainbows flooding in through the intricate stained-glass windows. At a local restaurant, join your fellow travellers to toast newfound friends and a wonderful journey as you enjoy a Celebration Dinner with wine.

Hotel:  Meliá Barcelona Sarriá.
Meals: Breakfast, Dinner with Wine
 
Day 15
Depart Barcelona.

Your journey ends after breakfast. Departure transfers arrive at Barcelona airport at 07:00, 09:00 and 11:00.

Meals: Breakfast

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