A comprehensive Spain and Portugal tour reveals the scenic and cultural contrasts of the fascinating countries sharing the Iberian Peninsula. Explore Portugal’s capital of Lisbon and the UNESCO World Heritage Sites of Sintra and Evora, and savor the best of Spain in Seville, Toledo, Granada, Córdoba, Madrid and more. Special experiences include lunch at a sherry bodega, a taste of authentic Andalucían cuisine during a family-style dinner at a local restaurant, and a visit to the Royal Andalucían School of Equestrian Art. Your Spain and Portugal tour offers you a delightful and culturally enriching vacation!
Day 1: Welcome to Lisbon
The guided sightseeing tour in Lisbon provides an introduction to this intriguing city and its most famous landmarks. Visit the National Coach Museum and the famous monastery Mosteiro dos Jerónimos and view the nearby Tower of Belém, both UNESCO World Heritage Sites from the mid-16th century; and see the Discoveries Monument commemorating Portugal’s “Age of Exploration” of the 15th- and 16th centuries.
Day 2: Portuguese Riveira
An excursion from Lisbon today takes you to Sintra, a UNESCO World Heritage Site, for a visit to the 14th-century Royal Palace of Sintra, a highlight of every Portugal tour. Continue to the fishing village of Cascais, its bay dotted with brightly colored boats, before returning to Lisbon to spend the rest of the day and evening as you please.
Day 3: Medieval Evora
Cross Europe’s longest suspension bridge – the Vasco da Gama Bridge over the Tagus River – en route to the medieval, walled city of Evora, a UNESCO World Heritage Site and another highlight of any Portugal tour. A tour with your local guide reveals how its Roman ruins, Moorish arcades, and a score of churches and monasteries create a fascinating cultural tapestry. Spend the night at a 15th-century convent-turned-luxury hotel and spa in a picturesque location in Evora.
Day 4: Andalucía
As your Portugal tour concludes, your exploration of Spain heats up! Spain’s famous southern province of Andalucía is as famous for gypsies and flamenco dancing as it is for its seaside resorts and small, whitewashed villages; see the Roman ruins of Mérida, some of the best-preserved in Europe, on a guided visit. The provincial capital of Seville blends the vibrant Spain of today with centuries of history and old-world charm. Spend the next two nights in the heart of the city at one of Europe’s most luxurious hotels, commissioned by the King of Spain for the famous Exposition of 1929.
Day 5: Historic Seville
After taking in many of Seville’s historic and cultural attractions on a sightseeing tour with your local guide, ride a horse-drawn carriage to visit the city’s impressive Gothic cathedral; see its renowned Giralda bell tower (once the minaret of a mosque during Seville’s Moorish days), and the tomb of Christopher Columbus. Enjoy a walking tour of fascinating Barrio de Santa Cruz, the city’s Jewish Quarter, prior to exploring Seville as you wish for the remainder of the day.
Day 6: Sherry Bodega
Depart Seville for Jerez de la Frontera, known for its fine horses, flamenco dancers, sweet wines, and sherry (whose name is derived from the town’s. Visit the palatial Royal Andalucían School of Equestrian Art, where you may watch the famous Andalucían horses that are bred here in a training session.
Enjoy a true taste of the region during lunch at a sherry bodega; then it’s on to Gibraltar, where you’ll view the fabled Rock and see the famed Barbary Macaques in the Apes’ Den. Your final destination today is the glamorous coastal resort town of Marbella on the Costa del Sol, for a two-night stay at a beachfront resort and spa.
Day 7: Marbella by the Sea
A day of delight by the sea begins with a morning orientation walk through Marbella, with its Old Town (Casco Antigua) surrounded by shops and cafés, and the imposing 15th-century Iglesia de la Encarnación. Afterwards, the entire day is yours to enjoy the seaside pleasures of this famed Costa del Sol resort, a year-round favorite of the rich and famous.
Day 8: Ronda and Granada
Journey from the coast into the mountains to visit scenic Ronda, perched on a cliff overlooking the spectacular El Tajo gorge. Ronda is synonymous with the evolution of the art of bullfighting; along with revealing the town’s Moorish heritage and remains, a guided walking tour includes a visit to one of Spain’s oldest bullrings, the Plaza de Toros. Continue on to Granada, situated in the foothills of the Sierra Nevada Mountains. The city boasts extraordinary architecture from over 250 years as the capital of a Moorish kingdom; your hotel is steps away from Granada’s celebrated Moorish palace, the Alhambra. Enjoy a private flamenco show tonight!
Day 9: The Alhambra
A highlight of your Spain and Portugal tour is today’s guided visit to Granada’s famed Moorish palace, The Alhambra, constructed to be a “paradise on Earth” by caliphs who ruled here in the 13th century. Tour the palace, considered to be one of the world’s most beautiful, and stroll the Generalife, grounds of the summer palace of former sultans.
Day 10: Córdoba
Journey to Córdoba today for a guided walking tour through the cobblestone streets of the Judería, Córdoba’s old Jewish Quarter; from its alleyways, you can see the walls and decorative details of the candy-striped La Mezquita (mosque). Your visit to this masterpiece of architecture and art reveals its nearly 1,200-year history as an early Christian church, a Moorish mosque, and, since the 16th century, a Roman Catholic cathedral.
Day 11: Train to Madrid
Board the train in Preferente class for a journey to Spain’s capital city. Arrive in Madrid for three nights at The Westin Palace, Madrid – a Belle Époque landmark in the heart of the city, a short walk from the tapas bars that American novelist Ernest Hemingway made famous. Join a local guide to a guided tour to landmark sights that includes a visit to the Royal Palace.
Day 12: Museums of Madrid
View the art treasures of the Museo del Prado with a local expert. The rest of the day is free to spend as you please in one of the world’s most popular cities. Your tour includes admission to the Thyssen-Bornemisza Museum; view works by Titian, Goya and Picasso at your leisure.
Day 13: Toledo
A full-day excursion to Toledo today features guided sightseeing of this monument-filled city. See the Synagogue Santa Maria La Blanca and go inside the Cathedral. Back in Madrid, a farewell fiesta awaits!
Day 14: Farewell
Your Spain and Portugal tour ends in Madrid. You might to extend your vacation with a cruise or another tour.