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Barcelona & Madrid with Lisbon by Rail

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4.5 stars(2 reviews)
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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.

You are viewing the 2021 itinerary. Select your departure year
20212022
11 days From $2,075 per person

2021 Tour code: SE-BMLW-21

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.

Highlights

What’s included

Itinerary

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.

Includes
  • Breakfast
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. 

Includes
  • Breakfast
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.

Includes
  • Breakfast
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. 

Includes
  • Breakfast
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.

Includes
  • Breakfast
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.

Includes
  • Breakfast
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. 

Includes
  • Breakfast
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.

Includes
  • Breakfast
Day 11 - Lisbon

Your Spanish expedition concludes today as you are transferred to Lisbon Portela Airport for your return flight home.

Includes
  • Breakfast

Additional information

Pricing Plans

Superior
Hotels are centrally located 3.5 - 4 star properties such as Hotel Astoria, Barcelona; Rafaelhoteles Atocha, Mardrid; and HF Fenix Music, 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.

Deluxe
Hotels are centrally located 4.5 - 5 star properties such as H10 Art Gallery, 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.

Departure times

Departure times vary based on selected rail vacation. This information will be provided in your final documents. For more information please speak with your rail specialist.

Mobility information

Due to the nature of our tours they are generally unsuitable for those with restricted mobility. If you’d like to discuss any particular vacation with us in this respect, then please don’t hesitate to call us.

Trains

AVE
Lusitania Trenhotel Sleeper Train

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Reviews

4.5 stars4.5 / 5 · 2 reviews

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Victoria

4 stars

Submitted 29 Apr 2019

The hotels for this trip are good with the exception of Barcelona, which was in a rough neighborhood beside an abandoned building that is now used as a garbage dump by the locals. It is next door to a ?theater,? that is frequented by some rough types like motorcycle gangs. I usually walk places, but a taxi seemed safer there. The hotel in Madrid and Lisbon were both very nice in nice neighborhoods. They were safe for walking. Some of the local guides are fantastic and some are mediocre. It is worth the tours to skip the lines. The Gaudi tour line in Barcelona would have taken the whole day if not for the tour. The problem, not extreme, is that some of the local guides, are not around when they say they will be in the hotel lobbies. The guides for the outside tours were very timely. I enjoyed the trip. It was at a good price and all have short tours, but plenty of time to explore on my own. All the hotels provided breakfast. I love to explore local cuisines so lunch and dinner on my own was perfect.

Collected by Vacations By Rail

Sammye C, New York, NY

5 stars

Submitted 18 Feb 2018

This was one of THE best experiences of my life. The tour guide was beyond excellent...he was knowledgeable, personable and treated everyone like family. Our group was small, which made it easier for us to bond as a group.

Collected by Vacations By Rail

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