Well hello Boutique travellers. Who’s ready for 12 days of trendy European hangouts, dreamy hotel sleeps and a travel crew of dreams? This evening we’ll keep things low key and casual with a tasty welcome dinner, followed by an evening walking tour to get you a little better acquainted with Barcelona.
Gothic architecture, sunkissed beaches, contemporary design and awesome locals - how can that not be a recipe for perfection? This morning get to know what makes Barcelona tick with a bike ride through the city, then the rest of the day is yours to explore. With Park Güell, Casa Milà and the Sagrada Familia all on your doorstep, the only question is where first? Tonight we've got a fiery flamenco dinner and show to tempt you with, with the bars and clubs of Porto Olimpico on offer for afters.
Adios Barca, we've got your cultural cousin Bilbao in our sights. But not before dropping by the gloriously colourful city of Zaragoza for a spot of lunch and a visit to the mighty multi-domed Basilica de Nuestra Señora de Pilar. Arriving into Bilbao late afternoon, we'll get our fingers straight on the local pulse with an included regional dinner showing off the very best of Basque cuisine. But wait, there's more...namely a balmy evening stoll that drops by the mighty Guggenheim, followed by bar hopping fun fueled by cocktails and pinxtos.
Fuel up on that tasty hotel spread peeps, we've got a day of dreams ahead of us. San Sebastian's beaches that take your breath away and a laid back, loving life attitude are just the tip of the San Seb iceberg. We'll explore the cobbled streets of the Old Town where upscale shops rub shoulder to shoulder with tiny tapas bars, working up an appetite for our pinxtos hopping lunch. A few hours of free time could then see you beach lazing, learning to surf or you know, seeing what wines go with which pinxtos...We'll also take in a spot of Pamplona, we'll take a walk in the fabled footsteps of Ernest Hemingway who's accliamed work 'The Sun also Rises' was inspired by the festivities of the Fiesta de San Fermin. Retracing the procession of the fiesta, we'll wind up at Café Iruna for Churros con Ciocolatta.
Another breakfast feast, and then it's adios for now Bilbao. The extraordinary Gothic Cathedral is the shining star of Burgos, and guess what, it's first up on our agenda, followed by a visit to the Statue of El Cid, Spain's most legendary knight. Lunch and people watching in Plaza Mayor are also on the menu. Salamanca's golden sandstone works to create a magical feel to this city, our stop for tonight, and we challenge you not to feel enchanted. We'll get you acquainted with the city with a walking tour through Universidad, Casa del la Concha, Catedral Nueva and Catedral Vieja, stopping for a tasting of Jamon Iberico y Chorizo to keep rumbling tummies at bay.
Rise and shine Spanish wanderers, we've got Portugal in our sights. Our first bite of the Portuguese pie comes in the form of Guimaraes, where we'll stop for lunch. With its higgledy-piggledy old town, Pinterest worthy colourful houses and Ribeira waterfront vibe, Porto seamlessley blends old and new. We'll get you orientated with the city, then for dinner we've got a tasty waterfront seafood dinner to tempt you with.
Today is free and Porto is yours to conquer any way you like. Maybe explore the Mercado do Bolhao for local munch, see the rabelo boats that traditionally transported barrels of port from the vineyards upstream, or get lost amidst the winding lanes of the old town. Want to get on the river? Hop on board a ferry ride. Tonight, reflect on the days adventures over our included regional dinner.
Another tasty hotel breakfast and then it's all eyes on the Lisbon horizon as we hit the road. Arriving into Aveiro you'd be forgiven for thinking you'd blinked and woken up in Venice. This pretty little town is a colourful mix of bridges, canals and art nouveau buildings, with no better way to explore than by Moliceiros, converted seaweed-harvesting boats. We'll pit stop in Obidos for a late lunch and Ginja tasting - the Portuguese liqueur made from ginja berries. Rolling into Lisbon, it's a game of who can spot the first ornately tiled building (tip - they're everywhere). After checking in to our hotel, it's all aboard a local tram to get better acquainted with the city. We'll jump off at Cais Do Sodre for dinner in Mercardo da Ribeira, then tonight is all about hunting down the trendiest bars in the hipster Barrio Alto district.
Portugal's capital city, prepare to be unravelled. This morning's all about exploring Lisbon finest buildings and monuments, including a guided tour of Belem and the San Jeronimo Monastery. Refueling for morning tea and Pastel de Belem at Café de Belem, we'll then hop, skip and jump over to the Moorish castle of São Jorge for another guided tour. This afternoon is all about you exploring Lisbon your way in all it's hilly, cobbled street, patterned building glory, then tonight we've got another tasty dinner to tempt you with - an Almada seafood delight and cruise on the Rio Tajo. And for afters? How about visiting Lisbon's very own Christ the Redeemer statue...
It's an early start today because Madrid, we incoming. Once on the coach it's all about plugging in, chilling out, and day dreaming of Spain once again…Arriving into Madrid early evening, dinner's on us this evening at our hotel, followed by a stroll into Madrid's main plaza for Churros. Still want more? Head out to Plaza Santa Ana for salsa, caipirinhas and giggles...
It's straight into the action today with a city tour of Madrid, including a visit to the Palacio Real, the official residence of the Spanish Royal family. You've then got the option to spend a day exploring Madrid, or day trip with us over to nearby Toledo, Spain's former capital city. Famed for it's huge haul of churches, convents, mosques and synagogues, plus gastro-tapas bars so good they'll make you question every other cuisine, you know it makes sense. Back in Madrid later we've got one final dinner option to tempt you with as we end our Boutique adventure on a high.
One final hotel brekkie and then it's all over (sob). Hugs all round, we know we'll be seeing you again sometime soon…
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Trip Name: Boutique Local
Duration: 12 Days
From Price: 1954
Trip Code: 163442
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