A tale of the beauty and history of the Iberian Peninsula unfolds before your eyes on this independent vacation through Barcelona and Madrid in Spain and Lisbon in Portugal.
About the Tour
Customize your adventure as you explore the idyllic surroundings of the Iberian Peninsula on this tour of Spain and Portugal. Begin in the coastal city of Barcelona, where art and history sit aside modern amenities. Enjoy shared touring in the city, as well as time to explore on your own before moving onto the Spanish capital of Madrid. In Madrid, travel through the city’s historic timeline on a guided tour, which includes admission to the Royal Palace. The intoxicating culture of the city is visible at each turn. Continuing by overnight train, cross the Spanish border into Portugal. Your destination is Lisbon - a place that is renowned for its pleasant weather and picturesque surroundings. Take in the sights on a shared tour of the city, then enjoy two full days to sightsee on your own. As you move through the peninsula, enjoy centrally-located accommodations, excellent optional excursions and stunning scenery, creating a journey to remember.
- Rail travel onboard the high-speed AVE network
- Rail travel on the Lusitania Trenhotel Sleeper Train in First Class (1 night on train)
- Hotel accommodations for 9 nights
- Tapas Evening Walking Tour in Barcelona
- Barcelona city sightseeing tour
- Madrid city tour, including Royal Palace
- Lisbon sightseeing tour
- Select transfers
Day 1 - Arrive Barcelona
Arrive in Barcelona today, and enjoy a private transfer from the airport to your centrally-located hotel. Take some time to get settled in, then this evening, embark on a guided gastronomic tour of the city. Your knowledgeable guide presents a sampling of the city’s landmarks while escorting you between beloved bars and cafés where you get a taste of Spain through traditional tapas and local wines. Overnight Barcelona.
Day 2 - Barcelona Guided Tour
Admire the beauty and culture of Barcelona as you set out on a guided tour of the city today. During the excursion, explore the narrow streets of the city’s Gothic Quarter, see Barcelona’s cathedral and learn about the Olympic facilities that were built for the 1992 summer games. You tour Spanish Village, an open-air museum that hosts a variety of traditional Spanish buildings, and climb Montjuïc by cable car, taking in panoramic views of the city whilst ascending the mountain.
As the tour concludes, the remainder of the day is yours to sightsee at leisure. Perhaps begin your explorations in some of the local eateries, sampling even more of the city’s delicacies. Visit one of the many museums - which range from art, maritime history and Spanish culture to chocolate and football - or visit the beautiful Park Güell. Overnight Barcelona. (B)
Day 3 - Barcelona at Leisure
Take in the sights and scenes of the city at your own pace today. There are palaces and churches to explore, or you may simply wish to peruse the architecture of the city, which ranges from Gothic and traditional Spanish designs to unconventional modern buildings. One of the biggest attractions in the city is La Boqueria city market, where local wares sit aside produce from the region.
Alternatively, there are several optional excursions to choose from. Perhaps set out to Montserrat on a half-day tour, including a cogwheel train up the mountain to see the enchanting views, the Royal Basilica of Montserrat, the Black Madonna and the monastery that calls this mountain home. Alternatively, discover the inspiration for some of the world’s most famous artworks as you follow Picasso’s footsteps through Barcelona on a Picasso Walking Tour. For an all-day adventure, enjoy a Wine and Cava tour to three different wineries throughout the Penedes region to sample locally produced wines and cava. Overnight Barcelona. (B)
Day 4 - Barcelona to Madrid
Enjoy a morning at leisure ahead of a private transfer to Barcelona’s rail station. Here, board your high-speed AVE train bound for Madrid. The inland route takes just under 3 hours to complete. As the train arrives in Madrid, you are transferred to your centrally-located hotel.
Spend the remainder of the afternoon getting acquainted with Spain’s capital city. Soak in the lively culture, experience the food and drink or begin your explorations of Madrid’s landmark sites. There is a rich art scene in Madrid, and numerous art museums call this city home. Sitting aside the grand buildings and exquisite homes are charming green spaces, such as El Retiro Park, which is a lovely place to soak up the sun whilst walking around 19th-century fountains. Overnight Madrid. (B)
Day 5 - Madrid City Tour & Royal Palace
Depart from your hotel by motorcoach this morning for a comprehensive tour of Madrid. This excursion highlights the dynamic history of the city, including a visit to the Royal Palace. Enjoy included entry to the former home of the Spanish royals and have a chance to tour the lavish rooms, which are complete with 18th-century furniture, fantastic tapestries and works of art, and lovely views of the surrounding grounds.
Trace the medieval origins of the city, like the Arabic fortress, at the Barrio de la Morería, characterized by the antiquity of its buildings and the taste of its typical restaurants. Experience the Hapsburg Madrid of Felipe II, with its Renaissance and Baroque buildings, while walking and taking pictures on Calle Mayor, Plaza Mayor, and Plaza de la Villa. See the Bourbon Madrid and the urban layout made by Carlos III, including the Cibeles Fountain, Neptune Fountain and the Puerta de Alcalá. Get to know contemporary Madrid in areas such as Gran Vía, Paseo de la Castellana, Barrio Salamanca, Plaza de Castilla and Parque del Oeste, as well as the commercial and financial areas of Modern Madrid, like the emblematic Ventas Bullring or Santiago Bernabéu Stadium. The remainder of the day is at leisure to enjoy the ambiance of the city. Overnight Madrid. (B)
Day 6 - Madrid at Leisure
The day is yours to sightsee through Madrid at your own pace. You may wish to further explore sites from yesterday’s tour or to seek out new looks at the city. Museo Nacional del Prado holds a vast collection of works and is thought to be one of the best art museums in the world, and the National Archeological Museum holds treasures of Spanish culture from all over the country. The Temple of Debod is one of the most unique attractions in the city - a reconstructed Egyptian temple. Of course, the city is also full of stunning plazas and districts that are best explored on foot.
If you prefer a tour today, there are several options to choose from. Visit Toledo on a half day tour that takes you to the UNESCO World Heritage “City of the Three Cultures.” Toledo is one of the oldest towns in Europe and has influences from Jewish, Christian and Muslim cultures. Gaze upon buildings, churches, synagogues and mosques that span centuries as a guide takes you through the city. Another option, introduces you to some of Spain’s most famous dishes, including tortilla, paella, sangria and Spanish salads. Guided by an experienced chef, you first visit Mercado de Torrijos to choose fresh, local ingredients, then you are taken to a kitchen to learn how to cook these delectable dishes for your friends and family. You also have the option to attend a flamenco show at Cafe de Chinitas, a legendary flamenco club. Enjoy dinner while watching the amazing moves of the dancers. Overnight Madrid. (B)
Day 7 – Madrid and on to Lisbon
Spend the day continuing your immersion in the unique culture of Madrid. Perhaps seek out some authentic Spanish hot chocolate and churros during your perusal of the city. This evening, a private transfer takes you from the hotel to Madrid’s train station where you board the Lusitania Trenhotel Sleeper Train bound for Lisbon. The overnight journey is made in a First Class cabin, for your comfort. Overnight train. (B)
Day 8 - Lisbon City Tour
As you wake this morning, the train is approaching the Portuguese capital, Lisbon. Disembark the train upon arrival, and enjoy a private transfer to your centrally located hotel. You have some time to meander the hilly streets of the city, taking in the colorful architecture against the blue ocean, ahead of your city tour this afternoon. With the help of a knowledgeable guide, explore sites such as Jeronimos Monastery, Belém Tower, the Monument to the Discoveries, the National Coach Museum, the historic area of Alfama and Rossio Square. Overnight Lisbon.
Day 9 - Lisbon at Leisure
Take in the wonders of Lisbon at your leisure today. While there are no beaches in Lisbon, there are several in the region that can be reached in 30 minutes or less via public transit or taxi. Some of the most popular include Praia de Carcavelos, Praia de Santo Amaro de Oeiras and Praia Sao Pedro. Of course, there is also the beach in Algés, a charming village less than 15 minutes from Lisbon. Staying in the city, explore history dating back to medieval times or enjoy the more modern luxuries of the city. Visit St. George’s Castle or learn about marine life at the Lisbon Oceanarium. The National Museum of Ancient Art is another popular destination in the city.
Alternatively, embark on an optional day tour today. Perhaps a full-day tour to Sintra and Cascais fits meets your desires. This tour takes you into the resort town of Sintra, where you take in beautiful mountain views and visit King Ferdinand II’s Pena Palace. Following, the tour continues to coastal Cascais, where cliffs and grottoes make a lovely backdrop for the beach town. Overnight Lisbon. (B)
Day 10 - Exploring Lisbon
Another day of independent explorations lies ahead today. Enjoy the city’s landmark sites, fantastic eateries and wine bars, and unique atmosphere at your own pace. If you wish to embark on a tour, you have the option of joining the shared Fatima, Obidos, Batalha, Alcobaca & Nazare Full-day tour. This journey highlights three of Portugal’s seven wonders and includes looks at historic landmarks and beautiful villages. Overnight Lisbon. (B)
Day 11 - Lisbon
Your Spanish expedition concludes today as you are transferred to Lisbon Portela Airport for your return flight home. (B)
Hotels are centrally located 3.5 — 4 star properties such as Hotel Astoria, Barcelona; Paseo del Arte Hotel, Mardrid; and Legendary Lisboa Suites, Lisbon. Rail tickets between Barcelona and Madrid are in 2nd Class, and the overnight journey between Madrid and Lisbon is in a private 1st Class Sleeper. Hotel accommodations are based on availability; substitutes will be of similar quality and amenities.
Hotels are centrally located 4.5 — 5 star properties such as Hotel Murmuri, Barcelona; H10 Puerta de Alcala, Madrid; and Hotel Mundial, Lisbon. Rail tickets between Barcelona and Madrid are in 1st Class, and the overnight journey between Madrid and Lisbon is in a private 1st Class Sleeper. Hotel accommodations are based on availability; substitutes will be of similar quality and amenities.
AVE is Spain's flagship high-speed service, connecting Madrid, Cordoba and Seville across dedicated high-speed tracks. AVE trains are based on the French TGV and Thalys, and the speed and comfort are similar. 2nd Class, or Turista, service includes air conditioning throughout your trip in the comfort of roomy seats and some delicious snacks available in bar-buffer-trolley. 1st Class, or Preferente, service offers you access to several lounges and waiting rooms before departure. On-board, a catering service can deliver you some food and beverages directly to your seat for no extra charge.
Lusitania Trenhotel Sleeper Train
Enjoy all the comforts of a hotel and the advantages of a daily train service. This service is designed to offer you the chance to reach your destination while you sleep, allowing you to wake up in your chosen city first thing in the morning. The sleeper crew will greet you with the key to your berth, and ask you at what time you would like your wake-up call. There is a buffet car to complete the Trenhotel service. First class berths can be used as singles or twins and come with sinks and amenities, as well as individual telephones to contact on-board staff. The entrance door to each berth has a mechanical security lock with locking from the inside and the beds measure 190 cm x 77 cm. Passengers travelling in these cabins benefit from the club lounge and free newspaper services.
Upgrades to Grand Class may also be available. The Grand Class berths are designed to ensure maximum comfort and come with amenities: shower, basin and toilet, a full set of toiletries and linens. Speak with a rail specialist for details.
Additional departures available upon request. Speak with a rail specialist for details.
It is your responsibility to check and fulfill the passport, visa, health and immigration requirements applicable to your itinerary. We do not accept any responsibility if you cannot travel, or incur any other loss because you have not complied with any passport, visa, immigration requirements or health formalities. You agree to reimburse us in relation to any fines or other losses which we incur as a result of your failure to comply with any passport, visa, immigration requirements or health formalities.
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