Get ready to float through two of Europe's finest countries, staying south where the nights never fizzle and the days can sizzle. We'll kick off with Barcelona's beachside beauty before heading through the sun-drenched coast of San Sebastian, bohemian Bilbao and Portuguese heavyweights like Lisbon and Porto. Along the way expect beaches, flamenco shows, port tasting and all the moreish tapas and fresh seafood that this part of the world is famed for.
We’ll join up & kick off in the sultry Spanish city of Barcelona. From the hip hood of Gracia to the iconic church of Sagrada Família, this city is a utopia of possibilities. We’ll warm up to the spirit of adventure with a welcoming Spanish dinner, then the night hours will be open to us if we’re feeling mischievous.
From the Gothic Quarter to the LaRambla district, we won’t leave a pocket of this sizzling city uncovered. You can choose to take a cruise of the backstreets by bike & sign up for a traditional Flamenco Show over dinner. Top off with churros and sangria for ultimate Spanish bliss.
This morning we wave goodbye to our beachside beauty, and start crossing through the country in the direction of the north coast.Eager to absorb as much of this fine country as we can, we’ll pit-stop en route to Bilbao in the ancient Roman town of Zaragoza. With UNESCO World Heritage site buildings peppered by the Ebro River, this town will give us so much more than just the pretty Church of the Holy Pillar.Eager to absorb as much as we can, we’ll pit-stop for a night in Pamplona, famed for its San Fermin festival & immortalised by the words of Ernest Hemingway.
We’ll say farewell to Pamplona this morning as we journey to the stunning coastline of San Sebastian.As we walk the cobblestone Old Town and the picturesque Bayfront, we’ll admire the gorgeous beaches and verdant hillsides, before enjoying an authentic Spanish lunch of fresh seafood. After a cocktail and perhaps a pintxos or two, we’ll leave San Sebastian with our bellies full and our hearts fully stolen, embarking towards the bohemian beauty of Bilbao.Welcome to Bilbao, the city of bohemian beauty. You'll have time to pop in to the Guggenheim Museum before tonight when we share a group dinner, Spanish-style.
With a little kicking and screaming we’ll drag ourselves away from all the glory that was Bilbao, only to find something equally wonderful sitting on the horizon…Though it serves as a convenient half way point between northern Spain and our first map point in Portugal, Salamanca is not just a break-up-the-trip location. An archive of the Spanish Civil War with fascinating architecture and a picturesque river setting, this village is quite the beauty. Walk through the UNESCO World Heritage Site Old City, see the ancient Cathedral Vieja, and bask in the sun of Casco Historico.
Pack your bags and slap on your sunny Portuguese attitude – it’s time to cross the border and find ourselves in the pretty town best known for its port wine.Move over Venice, there’s a new wooden row boat town on our radar, and it goes by the name of Aveiro. Boasting gondola esque ‘Moliceiros’ boats painted in rainbow shades (that perfectly compliment the houses), best get the camera on full charge for this stop over.Cruising into the terracotta washed city of Porto, we’ll immediately feel the love for Portugal (and quite surprised that a few short hours in the coach could lead us into such a vastly different part of Europe). Slip right into Portuguese life by opting to explore this city on foot in a Walking Tour, seeing all the main sites like the lavish São Francisco Church and 19th-century Palácio de Bolsa, and sneaking in some cheeky port tasting on the way. Tonight we'll continue the living-like-a-local theme with an included dinner in the city centre.
With a full free day in Porto, you'll have the chance today to get to know a city experiencing a well-deserved renaissance, coming alive with galleries and coffee shops. But this new energy certainly isn’t replacing Porto’s rich heritage, which can be found in the old wooden tram that rattles along the streets & in the UNESCO stamped alleys of Ribeira. Top it all off with an optional group dinner by the sea, Porto-style, before we set off tomorrow for the capital.
Now fully attuned to the Portuguese ways, we’ll be ready to conquer her capital. Travelling south along the Atlantic we’ll spot windmills, olive groves and pretty houses en route.Mosaic tiled streets, pastelarias & antique stores - there’s a lot to love about Lisbon. We’ll spend our time here exploring the trendy streets of Alfama, sipping cocktails at rooftop bars, riding trams through the cobbled streets, and hunting down the best custard tarts in the city. Ah Lisbon, we’re charmed already…
With plenty of optional activites on the cards today, this is your chance to make the most of your free time in Lisbon and find the secret corners of a city brimming with quirks & charisma. Sign up for a guided tour through the fairytale world of Sintra & bohemian Cascais, full of castles, secret gardens and cobbled streets all steeped in history. Tonight, you have the chance to join a group dinner at a local Lisbon hangout across the river.
Out of Lisbon and waving goodbye to Portugal, we’ll head back into our much adored starting point of Spain. Our final destination is a capital of cool; prepare to have your hearts officially stolen.From rooftop bars to 1920’s architecture, Madrid holds an unassuming charm and multi-layered persona that’s hard to resist. We’ll bunker down here for the rest of our trip, getting acquainted with every nook and cranny.
This morning we'll set out to visit the Royal Palace, with included entry and a tour through some of its 3,418 (yep, really) Baroque & Classical passages, chambers & state rooms. Afterwards you'll have the opportunity to venture beyond the city outskirts to the Valley of the Fallen, or explore more of Madrid. Why not check out the trendy Malaseña district & catch some reflection rainbows at the Crystal Palace in Buen Retiro Park? Then toast our final night with an optional Farewell Española dinner, saving your goodbye tears for the AM.
Our last morning on tour is a license to get a little sad, then patch things up by eating churros for breakfast. We’ll say heartfelt goodbyes before going our separate ways, and quickly putting more travels in the pipeline.
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Trip Name: Fiestas and Siestas
Duration: 12 Days
From Price: $1,696
Supplier Tour ID: 66.677B/237108
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