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Ultimate Spain & Portugal
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From Jan 17 From Jan 18

As former imperial superpowers, Spain and Portugal have centuries of history and captivating culture to draw upon. You, on the other hand, have only 22 days. Make ‘em count! This comprehensive adventure across the Iberian Peninsula presents travellers with the chance to explore these two nations through their cuisine, architecture, and idyllic countryside. Here, you’ll wander the wondrous streets of Lisbon, Barcelona, and Madrid, step up into the Pyrenees, relax in glorious San Sebastián, and live the local culture alongside the locals themselves. Spain and Portugal: Europe’s greatest two-for-one deal!

  • Duration: 22 Days
  • Guaranteed Departure: Yes
  • For lovers of: Local Culture & Cuisine, Sightseeing, Walking Tour
  • Physical rating: Light
  • Accommodation standard:   Budget%
  • Traveller Tour Rating: 0%  
  • Your Guide: English speaking
  • Supplier Tour ID: ESLM.A/201647
  • Starts: Lisbon, Portugal
  • Finishes: Madrid, Spain
You will Visit
  • Lisbon
  • Lagos
  • Seville
  • Granada
  • Madrid
  • Valencia
  • Barcelona
  • Pyrenees
  • Bilbao
  • San Sebastián
  • Logroño

Itinerary

01

Day 1: Lisbon

Arrive at any time.
We recommend arriving a day or two early to fully explore this vibrant city. There are no planned activities until an evening welcome meeting.

02

Day 2: Lisbon

Orientation walk of Lisbon. Wander through the distinct city quarters and the historical area of Belém.
Enjoy a morning CEO-led orientation walk of central Lisbon. After, explore the city with some free time. The Alfama is one of the oldest quarters in Lisbon, and is well worth a visit.

Visit the area of Belém where the famous navigators set sail to discover the world.

03

Day 3: Lisbon/Lagos

Travel to Évora and visit the Chapel of Bones en route to the Algarve Coast.
There will be some free time to explore this lively student city made up of medieval alleyways and quaint architecture. Opt to make a stop at Évora's magnificent cathedral.

04

Day 4: Lagos

Spend the day on the Algarve with an included hike along the famous golden cliffs and sandy coves.

05

Day 5: Lagos/Seville

Travel to Seville and enjoy an orientation walk. Later, watch a dramatic flamenco performance.
Spend time in Seville exploring Muslim monuments, parks, and gardens, getting a feel for Seville's energetic pulse. Opt to savour some tapas at the city's many bars and cafés.

06

Day 6: Seville

Spend a day enjoying this city and its Moorish influence. Opt to explore the district of Santa Cruz, the Alcázar palace or the world's largest Gothic cathedral.
Take the time to see all this great city has to offer. Opt to explore the interiors and gardens of the Alcázar, a magnificent palace dating from Moorish times, or the true heart of Seville, the Santa Cruz quarter— a charming area with winding alleys, picturesque lime-washed houses, flowery patios, and small squares.

Seville is home to the world's largest gothic cathedral — climb the adjoining tower for great views of the city. Other attractions include the Museo Arqueológico, the Casa de Pilates and the Parque de María Luisa, which has a maze of paths, garden beds, pretty little patios, fountains, and shaded lawns.

07

Day 7: Seville/Granada

Travel to Granada via Cordoba. Visit the mosque and the medieval Jewish Quarter. Watch the sunset along the banks of the Guadalquivir River.
Visit Cordoba's most famous monument, the extraordinary Mezquita. Built as a mosque in 785 by the Moors, the Mezquita was converted in the 16th century into a Christian cathedral.

After, stroll through Cordoba's historic medieval Jewish Quarter, full of narrow winding lanes and traditional houses.

While here, sample some of Cordoba's cuisine, steeped in Roman, Moorish, Christian, and Jewish traditions.

08

Day 8: Granada

Enjoy an orientation walk of Granada and a guided visit to the architectural masterpiece, the Alhambra. In the evening, opt to go for a stroll and check out the local tapas and wine bars.
After visiting the Alhambra, opt to take a wander through the whitewashed historic quarter of the Albaicin, with its narrow lanes and fantastic views. It is a great place to go for sunset.

In the evening, opt for a night on the town. The city is filled with trendy tapas bars and has a lively music scene.

09

Day 9: Granada/Madrid

Head north to the capital city of Madrid. Take an orientation walk to get the lay of the land.

10

Day 10: Madrid

Spend the day in this cosmopolitan city. Opt to visit the Museo del Prado, the Gran Vía or Plaza Mayor.
Other options for exploring the city include the Palacio Real, Real Jardin Botánico or Escorial. Experience more nightlife at the Plaza del Dos de Mayo, in the area known as Malasaña. Taste some sangria and dance to the latest music.

11

Day 11: Madrid/Valencia

Journey to Valencia and take an orientation walk of the Old Quarter.
After a long travel day, arrive to the shores of the Mediterranean and the vibrant city of Valencia. The city is the home of paella, the Holy Grail, the birthplace of the inimitable architecture of Santiago Calatrava, and one of Europe's newest and most impressive science museums.

12

Day 12: Valencia

Opt to visit the Valencia City of Arts and Sciences or relax at one of the city beaches. Experience world-class restaurants, discos, nightclubs and pubs, which earn Valencia the title of Spain's "fiesta" capital.
Try Valencia's famous dish, paella. Opt for an evening out to a local paella restaurant and sample a few of the great Valencian wines!

13

Day 13: Valencia/Barcelona

Travel to Barcelona and take an orientation walk, including visits to the Gothic Quarter and Las Ramblas. Opt to enjoy an evening of tapas and wine to round out the day.
Take the bus to Barcelona. Join a CEO-led orientation walk before free time to explore this unique city.

Visit the old Gothic Quarter with its maze of dark streets, historic cathedral, medieval buildings, bars, and cafés. Stroll Las Ramblas, a large tree-lined pedestrian boulevard perfect for people watching and window shopping.


14

Day 14: Barcelona

Spend the day exploring the city's museums and cathedrals, or opt for some of the best shopping in Europe. Choose to visit Gaudí's Parc Güell, the Sagrada Familia, and other Gaudí masterpieces. Montjuïc and Barceloneta are worth a visit, too.
Barcelona is filled with the work of one famous resident, Antoni Gaudí. Opt to visit these masterpieces sprinkled throughout the city. With time, opt to tour the beautiful Palau Musica, a home for catalan music.

For nightlife, the highest concentration of young locals dancing can be found near the intersection of Santaló and Mariano Cubi streets. Find good music, good drinks, and lots of fun. Another nightlife spot to meet the fashionable locals is on the Plaza Francesc Maciá.

15

Day 15: Barcelona

Arrive at any time. We recommend arriving a day or two early to fully explore this vibrant city.
There are no activities planned until an evening welcome meeting.

16

Day 16: Barcelona/Pyrenees

Take the morning to explore beautiful Barcelona. Head to the Pyrenees region for 2 nights in a 'casa rural'. Enjoy home-cooked meals and hiking.
Explore a bit of Barcelona before an afternoon departure north. Travel to the Pyrenees by local bus and van to reach a 'casa rural', or converted farmhouse, near the town of Ainsa. Indulge in delicious local meals and time to explore the beautiful landscape.

17

Day 17: Pyrenees

Enjoy the day in the scenic Pyrenees. Opt for some hikes in the area or head to Ainsa to explore. Spend another night in the 'casa rural'.

18

Day 18: Pyrenees/Bilbao

Travel to Bilbao, the first stop in the unique Basque region of Spain. Arrive in the early afternoon. Opt to visit the stunning Guggenheim Museum, or climb the Mallona Stairs to Parque Etxebarria for beautiful views over the city.

19

Day 19: San Sebastian

Take a day trip to San Sebastian. Opt to take a pintxos (tapas) tour and learn about the fascinating culture of the area. Return to Bilbao for the night.
The real treat in this part of the country is the eating. Basque cuisine is famous in Spain and around the world, with many believing this is the best food in the country. While San Sebastián didn't invent tapas, they are well-acknowledged to have perfected them. Wander through the streets before lunchtime or in the evening and check out what each bar has on offer.

Stop in each place for some wine or beer and sample their tapas (pintxos in Basque) selection. Move on to the next bar and repeat!

Delicious seafood abounds here as well. Looking for more than just pintxos? Head to the harbour and hole up in a traditional simple tavern. Don't leave San Sebastián without trying the famous jamon iberico.

The specialty drink in this area is called the Kalimotxo — half wine (usually red table wine) and half Coca Cola.Take some time to wander through the plazas, marvel at the buildings, and spot the art sprinkled throughout the city. And, as always, try the pintxos.

20

Day 20: Bilbao/Logroño

Travel to Logroño and enjoy an included wine tasting in the Rioja region.
With tons of churches, roman bridges, parks, plazas, and ancient buildings, there's no shortage of sights to be seen when wandering around this city.

21

Day 21: Logroño/Madrid

Travel to Madrid and enjoy free time in this capital city.

22

Day 22: Madrid

Depart at any time.
We recommend staying an extra day or two to fully experience all this lively city has to offer.

Inclusions:
    Activities
    • Hands-On: Rioja Region Wine Tasting, Logroño
    • Lisbon orientation walk
    • Evora orientation walk
    • Church of Bones visit
    • Algarve hike
    • Seville orientation walk
    • Flamenco performance
    • Cordoba Mezquita (mosque) and Jewish Quarter visits
    • Granada orientation walk
    • Alhambra guided visit
    • Madrid orientation walk
    • Valencia's Old Quarter orientation walk
    • Barcelona orientation walk including Gothic Quarter and Las Ramblas
    • Bilbao day trip
    • All transport between destinations and to/from included activities
    Accommodation
    • Hotels (19 nts), casa rural (2 nts)
    • 19 breakfasts, 2 dinners
    Transport
    • Public bus, train, walking
    Group Leader
    • Chief Experience Officer (CEO) throughout, local guides
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Tour Highlights:
  • Explore Moorish palaces and great Iberian cities
  • Capture photos of stunning countryside and age-old cathedrals
  • Devour tapas at a local haunt
  • Relax on the Algarve coast
  • Live like a local in a 'casa rural' in the Pyrenees
  • Experience the Basque way of life.