15 Day Jewish Heritage tour of Portugal & Spain - J

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Tour Overview



Arrival in Lisbon and private transfer to the hotel. Overnight in Lisbon.




Breakfast at the hotel. Departure for a full day tour of Lisbon, discovering all about the Jewish legacy in the Portuguese capital. It is known that until 1496 there were three Jewish Quarters in Lisbon. Besides strolling through the Alfama, we will visit the Church of São Domingos, in Rossio, in Largo de S. Domingos, where the Jewish Massacre of Lisbon took place in 1506. In  the afternoon we leave for the district of Belém, where you will find the monuments refering  to the time of the Maritime Discoveries in the 15th and 16th centuries. Free time for lunch. We will stop at the Belém Tower (classified as World Heritage by UNESCO), the 15th century fortress and departure point of caravels (portugese sailing ship), and at the Discoveries Monument to mark the 500th anniversary of the death of Henry the Navigator. We will then visit the Monastery of Jeronimos (classified as World Heritage by UNESCO), a masterpiece of Manueline architecture. Return to the hotel. Overnight in Lisbon.




Breakfast at the hotel and checkout. We set off for Tomar to visit the Synagogue and Luso-Hebrew Museum of Abraham Zacuto. A very rare example of a medieval Jewish temple and of pre-Renaissance Portuguese art, the Tomar Synagogue is the only one of its kind from this period to have been fully preserved in Portugal. Before leaving, it is mandatory to visit the Templar Castle and the Convent of Christ in Tomar, unique monuments in the history of the western world, awarded the classification of World Heritage by UNESCO. Built on a site that was originally used for Roman worship, this vast monumental complex illustrates seven centuries of Portugal's history and contains several important momentos of decisive moments in the history of the western world. Free time for lunch. Departure to Porto at the hotel.

Overnight in Porto.



Breakfast at the hotel. Discover Jewish Porto and walk along the streets where a community was born and developed, a community that is supposed to have appeared just before the foundation of Portugal. The Jewish quarter of the city was situated deep in the heart of the village, which, in the 12th century, was located near the Cathedral. Today this area is defined by the ruins of the Convent of Monchique, by the Torre dos Clérigos, Sé, Alfândega do Porto and the square and tunnel of Ribeira where some Jewish altars still survive in private estates. Walk towards the area of Palácio da Bolsa and the old Mercado Ferreira Borges. This is where another Jewish quarter once stood, with a synagogue in its center, in what is today known as Rua do Comércio do Porto. In the Boavista area, the hub of Jewish life in the 17th and 18th centuries, visitors can see the Kadoorie synagogue, the largest synagogue in the Iberian Peninsula Jewish temple built between 1929 and 1937. In the afternoon, Enjoy a 50-minute cruise through the Douro before heading back to the hotel. Overnight in Porto.




Breakfast at the hotel and checkout. Departure from Porto towards the medieval town of Trancoso, strongly marked by an ancestral Jewish presence. The town’s historic center, surrounded by walls, allows us to discover the façades of old houses, where regular granite stones follow the sinuous outline of the streets, kept since the middle ages. We will visit to the Isaac Cardoso Jewish Culture Interpretation Centre. Founded in 2012, the goal of this space, where the modern Beit Mayim (the Well of Living Water) synagogue stands out, is to be a place for culture and debate by teaching about the ancient legacy Beira Jewish communities have left behind. We drive to Belmonte, which is, perhaps, the Portuguese town with the strongest Jewish presence and it stands out because it was a unique example within the Iberian Peninsula, where Hebrew culture and tradition have lasted from the early 16th century until today. We will visit the Jewish Museum, the first museum that portrays the History of Jewish people in Portugal, as well as its integration in the society and the decisive role it played in Portuguese culture, art, literature and trade. We will end the day in Castelo Branco, a city that became a refuge to a large community of New Christians when the Jews were expelled or forced to convert by the Inquisition. Check in at the hotel. Overnight in Castelo Branco.



Breakfast at the hotel and check out. Depart for Madrid and on arrival enjoy a sightseeing tour of Madrid.
Check in at the hotel. Overnight in Madrid.




After Breakfast. The day is devoted to Toledo, perched high on a hill by the Tagus River. With its naturally fortified location, Toledo was once the true center of Spain, and is widely considered a “pearl” in terms of its subtle beauty. This city was also the center for Jewish Spain, with a rich, creative heritage. You will feel this atmosphere as you stroll along the narrow alleys of its historic section. Your tour will include El Greco’s house, formerly the palace of the prominent Samuel Halevy (treasurer of King Pedro I, and architect of the El Transito Synagogue). Continue to Sinagoga de Santa Maria La Blanca, later converted to a church, and to the Sinagoga del Transito, which today houses the Sephardic Museum. Return to Madrid in the afternoon and enjoy time at leisure.

Overnight in Madrid.



After breakfast, take a full day excursion to Avila and Segovia. Your tour of Avila includes the imposing city walls and the former Jewish areas (Juderias). In Segovia, you will sense history as you tour the historic part of the town including the Aqueduct, and the Jewish Quarter. Though only a few traces depict the story of a glorious past, Segovia stills stands as a remarkable monument to its past. Return to Madrid in the afternoon.

Overnight in Madrid.



After breakfast. Check out from the hotel and transfer by coach to Cordoba, the former home of many Jewish scholars and poets. Once the biggest city in all of Europe, Cordoba thrived and expanded with its unique blend of cultures. These are beautifully expressed with a visit to Mezquita, the most significant Muslim architectural achievement in the Western world. Walk the street leading up to the Juderia, with its whitewashed houses and colorful courtyards and shops. Though not Jewish in its current expression, a few signs hint to the reminders of the Golden Age. Note, for example, the tiny, gemlike Synagogue, as well as the statue of the great court doctor and Torah sage, Maimonides (Rabbi Moshe Ben Maimon).

Overnight in Cordoba.


DAY 10


After breakfast, a short drive will take you to Seville. Upon arrival begin a tour of this classic city. The tour will include the imposing Cathedral, said to be one of the largest in the world. Here, find the resting place of Spanish Kings and Queens, as well as the impressive sepulcher of Christopher Columbus – but are his remains there? Continue past the Alcazar Palace, still used as a residence for the Spanish Royal Family, to the grand Plaza Espana, site of the pavilion of the great 1992 exhibition. Finally, visit the Barrio de Santa Cruz – the former Jewish Quarter. Today, it is one of Seville’s most charming areas. Return to Cordoba in the afternoon. Overnight in Cordoba.

DAY 11


After breakfast, enjoy a day to rest and explore Cordoba on your own or join a tour into the Andalusian countryside. In Baena, visit the Olive Oil museum and pay respect to Jose Luis Santaelle, recognized as Righteous among the Nations for helping the Jewish people in Berlin. Later visit Lucena, formerly known as the Pearl of Sefarad. Enjoy a walking tour of the picturesque town before returning to Cordoba in the late afternoon. Overnight in Cordoba.

DAY 12


Breakfast then we leave for Granada. Upon arrival, visit one of the Wonders of the World, the Moorish Palace of Alhambra and the Generalife. Located on a hilltop with the Sierra Nevada as a background, Alhambra’s exquisite design and layout have few rivals. You will be filled with a sense of mystique as you are guided past graceful courtyards, splashing fountains and lavish rooms. In the afternoon, check in for the flight to Barcelona. On arrival transfer to the hotel in Barcelona.

Overnight in Barcelona.

DAY 13


Following breakfast we do some sightseeing in the most exciting city Spain can offer – Barcelona, capital of the Catalonian province. Begin with a visit to one of Spain’s landmarks: the incomplete architectural masterpiece of Antonio Gaudi, known as the Sagrada Familia (Sacred Family). Next, continue on a walking tour through the centuries old streets and alleys of the Gothic Quarter of Barcelona. You tour will include an introduction to this former Jewish area in Barcelona where you will visit the old Synagogue, which has recently been restored. Remainder of the day at leisure.

Overnight in Barcelona.

DAY 14


Breakfast, then we head northwards to visit Girona, which stands today not only as a charming example of Spain’s quaint early-Medieval ambience, but also as a reminder of the days when Jewish traditions bloomed. Girona was once a link between the first Kabbalists of Provence and the poets and writers of Cordoba and Toledo — also major Kabbalah Centers. Jewish settlers came to Girona at the end of the 9th century, growing and prospering until the Spanish Inquisition forced them into exile in 1492 – a span of 600 years! Walking through the “Call” (Jewish Quarter) still evokes this precious Jewish culture, an important part of the Golden Age of Spain. The spirit of our ancestors, as you will sense, has never vanished. Visit the Archeological and Jewish Museums during your tour. Lunch. Later, continue to Besalu, to see the re mains of the pre-Inquisition Mikveh. Return to Barcelona in the afternoon.

Overnight in Barcelona.

DAY 15


Breakfast at the hotel and checkout. Private transfer to Barcelona airport.


Dates & Rates

For groups less than 10 passengers or individuals, rate available on request

Departure dateStart DateEnd DateDouble PriceSingle PriceChild PriceBook
18 May 2019 19 May 2019 02 Jun 2019 $3463 $5089 $3463 BOOK THIS TOUR

* All prices in USD



LISBON Hotel Mundial 4*   LISBON Tivoli Avenida Liberdade 5*
PORTO Pestana Palácio do Freixo 4*   PORTO Pestana Palácio do Freixo 5*
CASTELO BRANCO Hotel Rainha D. Amélia 4*   CASTELO BRANCO Hotel Rainha D. Amélia 4* 
MADRID Petit Palace Santa Barbara 4*   MADRID NH Collection Madrid Suecia 5* 
CORDOBA Hotel Maciá Alfaros 4*   CORDOBA Hospes Palacio Bailio 5*
BARCELONA Hotel Balmoral 4*   BARCELONA Ohla Hotel 5*
Some of the hotels may be substitute to similar (due to availability at the time of booking)



  • Meet and assist at the airport by IBMT representative 
  • Transfer from the airport to your hotel and return 
  • 14 nights bed & breakfast basis;
  • Daily breakfast 
  • Private transportation in minibus with English-speaking driver

Not included

  • Meals and beverages, except when mentioned in the program;
  • Entrances at museums/monuments, except when mentioned in the program;
  • Guide, except when mentioned in the program;
  • The city tax in Lisbon of € 1,00 per person per night (subject to legal changes); *** APPROXIMATELY  USD $1.20
  • The city tax in Porto of € 2,00 per person per night (subject to legal changes);   *** APPROXIMATELY  USD $2.40
  • The city tax in Barcelona of € 1,50 per person per night (subject to legal changes); *** APPROXIMATELY  USD $1.80
  • Porterage service; limited to 1 bag per person
  • Personal expenses;
  • Tipping
  • Any other services not mentioned in the program.

Book This Tour Today



We recently returned from a IBMT Tour for our son’s Bar Mitzvah and we all agree that it was the best vacation that we have taken to date.  The tour was well organized and the staff were friendly and very knowledgeable.  The events that they include in the tour include everything “must see” in Israel and activities that will make you laugh, cry, and everything in between.  The tour allows for activities for all ages and accommodates anyone who wants to do more or less than they have planned.  It is ...

Michael Rodney, Toronto, Canada

To Ornan and  IBMT Tours staff,

We just got back from tour with IBMT for our Bat Mitzvah Tour in Israel.

We are so glad we have chosen the right company for our tour as I can’t express my words of how wonderful this tour company was, starting before we left, the personal service they showed here back home and later the service in Israel with our great tour guide Natalie who was so informative on every place we went and what we saw. It was so wonderful to listen to a ...

Chana Pulvermacher, Brooklyn, NY - 2017

Dear Sheryl,

The visit to Israel was better than advertised. All of us had an awesome and inspiring vacation or as I call it, an education. Danny is one of the nicest and smartest men I have had the pleasure of meeting. He made the trip so special and I cannot imagine any other person showing us Israel but Danny.

Hotels were great but for Eilat, but no big deal. Food in Jerusalem and Tel Aviv restaurants were delicious. Sheila in Tel Aviv was extraordinary. Dinners at hotels just “so so”. Loved Mitzpe ...

Craig Savage,


Thank you very much for the IBMT Bat Mitzvah tour we just completed.  We had a fabulous time & there were lots of special little parts from the tour that contributed to that.  The different experiences for dinner were very special, and I liked the variety of different types of sites/attractions.  Our tour guide Natalie was excellent, and I heard good things from the other group about their guide Liat.

Thanks again

Adam Waese, OSHAWA, ONT

9 Days Holyland Tour

Sara / Ornan,

I had a fabulous time on this tour and highly recommend it to anyone interested.  We had an especially knowledgeable guide with us Doron Hoffman who as a history major added so much more information and had a great demeanor.  I was part of an international group and made some new friends.   




Janie Carpenter, US Embassy Moscow

Hi Ornan,

"Opting to celebrate our son's bar mitzvah this summer with IBMT is one of the best decisions we've ever made.  The itinerary took us to places around the country that I've never experienced on previous trips to Israel.  Experiencing our son's bar mitzvah atop Masada as opposed to a more rushed, crowded experience at the wall truly sets IBMT apart from other tour companies.  The professionalism of the IBMT staff both in North America and Israel was superb...everything was incredibly well organized and we were heartened ...

David M Zimmerman, Jericho, NY - 2017

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