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Grand Tour of Spain & Portugal

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A grand tour indeed, this journey showcases the colorful past and vibrant future of the Iberian Peninsula while exploring cities throughout Spain and Portugal.

12 days From $3,695 per person
Travel among a group of like-minded travelers led by a professional tour manager

2023 Tour code: GR-SVGA-23

About the tour

From Barcelona, Spain, in the east to Lisbon, Portugal, in the west, the Iberian Peninsula is filled with deep culture, memorable vistas, and some of the most wonderful gastronomy globally. Dip your toe in highlights of it all as we embark on a grand tour through both countries. The expedition begins in Spain with stays in cities like Madrid and Salamanca. Admire the sights while touring alongside an expert guide and sightseeing on your own before crossing the border into Portugal. Travel through the scenic Douro Valley to Porto, where a visit to one of the local wine cellars highlights a regional specialty: port wine. From here, spend a whole day in coastal Lisbon before crossing back into Spain to visit enchanting cities like Seville, Granada, and Barcelona. From ancient fortresses to a basilica that spans the centuries in its construction, the Iberian peninsula is home to many a wonder. In some ways, it is a living, breathing representation of the vibrancy of this part of the world. Your twelve-day tour will open your eyes to all the delights it holds.

Highlights

What’s included

Itinerary

Day 1 – Arrive in Madrid

Spain's vibrant capital city welcomes you to the Iberian Peninsula. As you arrive today, transfer to your hotel and get settled while dreaming of the adventures to come. Take the rest of the evening to get acquainted with this colorful destination. You may wish to set out on foot to explore the city's pretty plazas or taste the local gastronomy at any of the fantastic restaurants and sidewalk cafés. Overnight Madrid.

Day 2 - Madrid Sightseeing

We set out alongside an expert guide to see sites like the Prado Museum, El Retiro Park, and the museums that lend to Madrid's artistic nature. Centuries-old parks and architecture further complement the scenery as we tour. Following this we enjoy lunch on the Plaza Mayor, one of Europe's great city squares. Following lunch we visit Madrid's Royal Palace. Overnight Madrid. 

Includes
  • Breakfast, Lunch
Day 3 - Salamanca

Gorgeous sandstone buildings and stories spanning the ages offer a remarkable change in scenery as we transfer to Salamanca this morning. We join a guided tour of the city on arrival and soak in the ancient ambiance of Salamanca, one landmark at a time. Highlights of our tour may include places like Plaza Mayor, the city's New and Old Cathedrals, 800-year-old Salamanca University, or UNESCO World Heritage Old Town. This part of Salamanca dates to the 3rd century and features influences from Gothic, Renaissance, and Baroque architectural styles. While we explore, our guide tells us the history of the Camino, a religious pilgrimage in Spain that ends in Santiago. There are many routes throughout the country; however, one of the most scenic and peaceful routes traverses through the heart of Salamanca. Take the remainder of the afternoon to continue sightseeing at leisure. This evening, join the group for dinner at a historic restaurant to taste the local delicacies. Overnight Salamanca. 

Includes
  • Breakfast, Dinner
Day 4 - To Porto via the Douro

Venture further into the Iberian Peninsula today as we cross the border into Portugal aboard a deluxe motorcoach. Once we have entered the country, we change modes of transportation and follow along the scenic path woven by the Douro River to Porto, enjoying lunch as we cruise down the river.

On arrival this afternoon, you are free to get your footing in this new location in any way you see fit before we enjoy a port wine tasting and dinner in one of the city's historic port houses.  Overnight Porto.

Includes
  • Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner
Day 5 - Travel to Lisbon

This morning, we enjoy a guided sightseeing tour of the city. As the second-largest city in Portugal, Porto is a treasure trove to discover. Think fantastic seafood and grandiose Gothic and Romanesque architecture. Imagine a city center so filled with history it has been designated as a UNESCO World Heritage Site and vibrant establishments serving locally made port wine. 

Our journey continues down the coast this afternoon as we depart Porto by train in pursuit of the country's capital, Lisbon. The route takes approximately three hours to complete. You will know we are approaching as the colorful buildings come into view. Lisbon is a warm, welcoming destination renowned for its fantastic culture. Seafood, music, dancing, and history are all bountiful here. Once we have checked in at our hotel, you are free to set out into the city to sightsee or immerse yourself in the local culture. Overnight Lisbon.

Includes
  • Breakfast
Day 6 - Guided Touring in Lisbon

The scenic highlights of Lisbon are yours to behold as we board an historic tram car for a private touring experience. Accompanied by a local guide, we whizz around the old streets of the city to see the best of Lisbon. Lisbon is home to 17 UNESCO World Heritage Sites, which means there is plenty for us to admire during our excursion. Of course, no tour through Lisbon is complete without a visit to Pasteis de Belém, home to the original egg custard tart since 1837. Your day may also include a historic tram tour if the itinerary allows; otherwise, you are at leisure to continue enjoying the lovely surroundings of Lisbon. Overnight Lisbon.

Includes
  • Breakfast
Day 7 - En Route to Seville

Join the group in our transfer to Lisbon's railway station this morning to board a train bound for Faro on the southern coast. The journey takes us through Portugal's interior, highlighting quintessential towns and lovely rolling plains while the route unfolds. As the train stations in Faro, we join a motorcoach for the remainder of the day's travels to Seville. The capital of the Andalusian province, Seville is renowned for flamenco dancing and stunning buildings, many of which are constructed in Moorish and Gothic styles or a unique combination of the two. The city is set in the shadow of two incredible structures - the Alcázar of Seville and the Seville Cathedral - and has a skyline constructed piece by piece since the 13th century. Take the remainder of the day at leisure to meander through the cobbled streets and savor the city's delicacies. Overnight Seville.

Includes
  • Breakfast
Day 8 - Seville Walking Tour

Alongside a knowledgeable guide, discover the local hotspots and famed landmarks that make Seville such an exciting destination on this morning's walking tour. Gaze upon the intricate architecture of the Alcázar and the Cathedral as we meander through the scenic streets. Other highlights of your day may include Torre Giralda, monuments, and sites that retell the story of the Inquisition. There is a great food market in town and numerous winding cobbled streets that seemingly transport you back in time. For lunch, enjoy another type of touring - one that allows you to taste your way through the city. Seville is said to be the birthplace of tapas and, as such, is home to thousands of tapas bars. Bite by bite, savor the bold flavors of Andalusia in dishes that range from stews and small sandwiches to fried fish and artfully combined vegetable dishes.

Following the morning's tours, you have the rest of the day to continue your explorations in Seville independently. You may wish to wander through the lush surroundings of the Parque de María Luisa alongside the Guadalquivir River or peruse the galleries at the Seville Museum of Fine Arts. The 13th-century Torro del Ore watchtower is also a wonder to see in person. Overnight Seville.

Includes
  • Breakfast, Lunch
Day 9 - Granada & the Alhambra

This morning, we say goodbye to Seville as we set out by train toward Granada, deep in southeastern Spain. Granada, as it is seen today, came to be in the early 1200s; however, the city has much deeper ties to civilization and was under Islamic rule beginning in the 700s. Its idyllic position between the Sierra Nevada mountains and the Alboran Sea makes Granada incredibly scenic and a fabulous locale to discover. We arrive this afternoon, and after checking in at our hotel, we get a proper introduction to the city's most notable attraction, the Alhambra. Construction on this Islamic fortress began in 1238 and lasted for another 120 years. Today, the Alhambra sits as a shining reminder of the depth of Granada's history on its plateau above the city. She is astounding in her beauty, both inside and out. During our visit this afternoon, enjoy looks at both the High and the Low Gardens, with their fountains, flowers, and beautifully pruned cypress trees. The Nasrid Palaces within the fortress feature a plethora of halls and well-preserved rooms to uncover. Ornate carvings, detailed tile work, and lavish architectural features, including moldings and archways, further demonstrate the love and care of the Alhambra's construction. This evening, we gather at a local eatery for dinner while overlooking the mighty Alhambra. Overnight Granada. 

Includes
  • Breakfast, Dinner
Day 10 - To Barcelona by Train/Barcelona Sightseeing

Another day of travel lies ahead as we transfer to the local rail station this morning and press forth with our journey toward Barcelona by high-speed AVE train at speeds of up to 192 miles per hour. Our route takes us along the eastern seaboard, through cities like Murcia and Valencia en route to Barcelona, the capital of Catalonia. The beating pulse of this city is its colorful heritage and lively atmosphere cultivated through sports, cuisine, and beautiful beaches. We arrive mid-afternoon and are immediately consumed by vistas of the imposing Sagrada Familia, which towers over the city at 566 feet tall. Views of it, and many of Barcelona's other gorgeous buildings and attractions, lie ahead on our walking tour. Explore the Gothic Quarter and Barcelona's Old Town. Set your sights upon points of interest dating back to the Romans, including the remnants of the preserved walls. Other points of interest include the Palatine Chapel of Santa Agata, Plaça del Reial, the Temple d'August, and Barcelona Cathedral. A special highlight is a visit to La Boqueria, a wonderful fresh produce market, where we will taste some local specialties. Following the tour, you are free to continue sightseeing on your own. Perhaps take a stroll through the La Boqueria to see the offerings of over 200 vendors or to test your navigation skills in the maze at Parc del Laberint d'Horta. Overnight Barcelona.

Includes
  • Breakfast
Day 11 - Sagrada Familia

Nearly 150 years of construction have led to the grand Basilica, which is a crowning jewel of Barcelona, the Sagrada Familia. Though the labors and craftsmanship continue to this day, what has been completed so far is nothing short of a masterpiece. We visit the Sagrada Familia Basilica this morning with ample time to soak in the careful details of the structure. Look upon its carved facades and three-dimensional ceiling artwork. Soaring columns within the Basilica make the ceilings seem even higher than they are. You may also wish to pay respects to the Sagrada family in the crypt or learn their history in the onsite museum. Your visit can also include climbs within the Passion and Nativity Towers. The remainder of your day is at leisure to enjoy Barcelona's offerings. Whether you stroll the beaches or sample the local flavors, there is no wrong way to spend your day in Barcelona. This evening we enjoy a farewell dinner in a local restaurant. Overnight Barcelona.

Includes
  • Breakfast, Dinner
Day 12 - Tour Conclusion

After nearly two weeks of travel and endless opportunities to soak in the glories of the Iberian Peninsula, your grand tour of Spain and Portugal concludes this morning.

Includes
  • Breakfast

Additional information

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.

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