A Luxury Trip to Spain and Portugal

Duration 16 days
Price guide
From
  PP
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Plaza de Espana in Seville, Spain
Cliffs on the coast of the Algarve, Portugal
Patio in Royal Alcazars of Seville, Spain
Colourful azulejo souvenir tiles in Portugal
Panoramic view of Alfama rooftops in Lisbon, Portugal
On this fabulous city-hopping tour of Spain and Portugal, you'll immerse yourself in the Iberian Peninsula's incredible history, food and culture. From the Spanish capital, Madrid, you'll head south to sunny Andalusia before continuing westward into Portugal for beach days in the Algarve. Your trip comes to a close with the old-world charm of Lisbon and Porto, and a cruise along the magnificent Douro river.

Trip highlights

  • Enjoy the best of Madrid's delicious tapas scene
  • Visit the Prado, one of Europe’s greatest art galleries
  • Spend a day in the culture-rich city of Cordoba
  • Explore the streets and squares of sunny Seville
  • Soak up the sun on a beach in the Algarve
  • Enjoy a romantic evening cruise along the Douro

Our bespoke trips include

We design one-of-a-kind journeys incorporating luxury in all its forms. Our bespoke trips include:

  • Luxury accommodation throughout
  • Privately guided tours
  • Private transfers
  • Meticulously selected experiences
  • Expertise and support from your Jacada Concierge
Black and white illustration of two guides pointing to a building in the distance
  • Days 1–3 Madrid
  • Days 3–5 Granada
  • Days 5–8 Seville
  • Days 8–10 The Algarve
  • Days 10–12 Alentejo
  • Days 12–14 Lisbon
  • Days 14–16 Porto
A Luxury Trip to Spain and Portugal
Price guide
  PP
  • Days 1–3 Madrid
  • Days 3–5 Granada
  • Days 5–8 Seville
  • Days 8–10 The Algarve
  • Days 10–12 Alentejo
  • Days 12–14 Lisbon
  • Days 14–16 Porto

Itinerary in detail

Every Jacada trip is tailored to your personal preferences and interests. Below you’ll find a sample Spain and Portugal itinerary to inspire your own custom-designed journey.

Days 1–3

The marvels of Madrid

Your trip starts with two nights in the Spanish capital Madrid, a city bursting with life and passion. Madrilenos, the city’s inhabitants, really know how to live. As you explore its well-planned streets, you’ll get your first taste of tapas and an introduction to the country from a local historian.

Madrid is a powerhouse of culture. You’ll tour of the Golden Triangle of Art, encompassing the world-famous Prado Museum, one of Europe’s great art galleries, the Reina Sofía Museum and the Thyssen-Bornemisza Museum. Music is also an important feature. The city marches to the beat of flamenco, jazz and live music of all kinds.

Royal Palace and Cathedral of Madrid

See the city

Tapas

History

Architecture

Tapas and Pintxo in Spain

Tapas walking tour

Spain has an incredibly rich culinary history and is famous for its tapas, bite-sized morsels of delicious food usually enjoyed with a glass or wine or beer. You’ll visit some of the city’s best tapas bars and enjoy dining the way Spaniards have for more than two centuries.

Historical and artistic tour

Meet your art historian guide to learn about Madrid’s architectural evolution. Travel through the magnificent eighteenth century neoclassical period, with such masterpieces as the Prado Museum, the Puerta de Alcalá and the Fuente de Cibeles, before visiting the elegant and glamorous Barrio de Salamanca, a showcase of 19th and early 20th century buildings. The tour includes a visit to the Prado Museum itself, home to 9,000 pieces by artists such as Bosch, Titian, El Greco, Rubens, Velasquez, Goya and Madrazo.

Visit the Royal Palace

Madrid’s Royal Palace was the residence of the Kings of Spain from the 18th century to the early 20th century. It was built by order of Philip V on the site of the old Alcázar fortress, a former Moorish castle. The Sabatini and Campo del Moro Gardens are among the Palace’s other attractions, as well as its several different façades. Notable among its numerous rooms are the Royal Guards’ Room, the Columns Room, the Hall of Mirrors and King Charles III’s room.

A stop in charming Cordoba

Cordoba is perhaps Spain’s most elegant city, an historic centre of culture and lasting testament to a golden age of religious tolerance during its time as a caliphate. King Ferdinand III then claimed the city for Castile during the Spanish Reconquista, bequeathing it its gothic and renaissance finery. Visit today, and you’ll find Cordoba’s grand past beautifully reflected in the city’s magnificent architecture. During your tour, explore the Moorish, Jewish and Christian quarters including the Alcazar with its beautiful gardens. You’ll also discover Roman remains and the famous Mezquita Mosque-Cathedral.

Days 3–5

Two nights in glorious Granada

Taking the train south to the brooding city of Granada you’ll discover the mountainous region of Andalusia, ruled by the Moors from the 8th–15th centuries. The Sierra Nevada mountains are the Iberian Peninsula’s highest massif and are renowned as the Moors last stronghold before they were driven out of Western Europe.

They left behind an incredible architectural legacy. Granada’s hilly old streets are overlooked by the lavish Alhambra palace and Generalife Gardens, perhaps the finest example of Moorish design.

Exploring Granada and surrounds

The Alhambra

The Alhambra

The lavish Alhambra is Granada’s most visited site. Once a palace and fortress for the city’s Muslim rulers, the Alhambra means ‘red fort’ and is named after the red clay used in its construction in the mid-13th century. The Generalife was the country residence of the Nasrid king and the recreational courtyard and its beautiful gardens sit on the slopes of the Cerro del Sol, offering spectacular views.

El Caminito del Rey

If you’re feeling adventurous, spend an afternoon walking El Caminito del Rey, a path following a canyon carved by the river Guadalhorce. It’s commonly known as El Caminito del Rey because it was first opened by King Alfonso XIII in 1921 in celebration of the inauguration of the nearby dam. The walkway is three feet wide, rising one hundred metres above the river below, and is not for the faint-of-heart. Trekking the whole path takes about three hours, a fantastic opportunity to take in the surrounding nature and crimson cliffs.

Days 5–8

Soak up the atmosphere in Seville

The jewel in the Moorish Caliphate of Cordoba and the capital of the most powerful Castilian Kingdom, sunny Seville has been left with eye-popping architecture and majestic grace. While Seville reached its peak in the 17th century and then suffered terribly in the Spanish Civil War, today it has resurrected itself as the capital and largest city of Andalusia.

You’ll spend three nights here to experience the true essence of Spanish grandeur.

The old centre is dominated by the towering mosque turned awe-inspiring cathedral – one of the largest in Europe – the beautiful Alcázar palace complex and the General Archive of the Indies, once the centre of the Spanish Empire. From here, narrow streets and buzzing squares brimming with century-old bars, restaurants and shops make it a great city for long nights out alongside the locals. You’ll also attend an evening of flamenco and a hands-on cooking class.

Architecture of Seville

Make it mine

Exploring

Dancing

Cooking

Seville by bike

Meet an expert resident guide an take to two wheels, exploring the beautiful city of Seville at a leisurely pace. Cycle along its pretty streets and over the bridge, passing by the Golden Tower and through parks while your host brings the city to life with fascinating stories and intriguing anecdotes.

flamenco-show-at-el-cordobes

A thrilling flamenco show

Flamenco is the traditional song and dance of Andalusia and was developed over hundreds of years before becoming popular in the 19th century as a form of café entertainment. There are three parts to every flamenco show: ‘grande’ or ‘hondo’ with intense, profound songs; ‘intermedio’; and finally ‘pequeño’, lighthearted songs about love and nature.

A hands-on Andalusian cooking class

Meet your host, Amelia Gomez, before beginning this hands on class where you will cook and taste some of the most famous dishes of Andalusian cuisine. Enjoy the traditional salmorejo, beetroot and avocado cream and Spanish omelette or fried aubergine with honey. You will learn how to prepare Paella with saffron, vegetables and chicken or seafood.

Days 8–10

Relax on the Portuguese coast

Continue westward into Portugal for a couple of days relaxing on the sands of the Algarve. Sitting right at the foot of the country, the Algarve is one of Portugal’s most popular coastal destinations and home to some of its loveliest beaches. West of Faro you’ll find golden sands and hidden coves, with the coastline getting wilder the further west you head. This is the perfect place to unwind and enjoy life by the sea.

You’ll stay at a beautiful little resort with a restaurant overseen by the country’s most highly decorated chefs.

Footprints in the sand on a beach in southern Portugal
Days 10–12

Peace and quiet in Alentejo

Covering almost a third of the country, rural Alentejo is a vast region of cork plantations, wheat fields, vineyards and clusters of historic hilltop towns. Its name means beyond the Tajo, and it stretches south from the River Tajo to the northern mountain ranges of the Algarve.

Alentejo is littered with Roman ruins, crumbling Moorish castles, marble towns and whitewashed villages. You’ll also find beautiful Gothic, Renaissance, Baroque and Neoclassical architecture in the UNESCO ‘museum city’ of Évora.

Evora old town in Portugal

Your private guided tour of Evora

Start in the main square Praça do Giraldo, where you can see the 16th Century St. Anton’s Church and the Henriquina Fountain. The Gothic and Manueline architecturally influenced Church of St. Francis is a pearl of its own with its golden altars, as well as the Capela dos Ossos – the Chapel of Bones – the entire room covered with human bones and skulls built by Franciscan monks. Évora’s Cathedral is by far the most dominating site in the whole town and the largest cathedral in Portugal. Inside, you may enter the Chapel of Nossa Senhora da Piedade (also known as Chapel of Esporão), and observe the fine decoration representative of the Renaissance movement.

Days 12–14

Two nights exploring Lisbon

Europe’s second oldest capital, Lisbon is an effortlessly elegant city, full of old-world charm. Winding your way through the streets, you’ll pass rows of houses in warm shades of orange, yellow and rust red. Washing is strung from wrought iron balconies and window boxes overflow with flowers. Weaving their way through this pretty patchwork are the city’s trams: a great way to hop between the different districts.

Lisbon has plenty to offer, with a plethora of museums and galleries as well as beautiful buildings covered in iconic azelujo tiles. The city is built on seven hills, each one offering spectacular views over the city and the River Tajo. It is also known for its lively restaurant scene. There are plenty of places to stop, sip a coffee and savour a Portuguese custard tart while watching the world go by

View of the Alfama Lisbon

Highlights of Lisbon

In the city

Out of the city

Lisbon city tour

Go back through the centuries to the time of the Phoenicians, Greeks, Carthaginians, Romans, Moors and finally the Portuguese on this enthralling city tour. You’ll visit the Castle of Saint Jorge, the Alfama, Lisbon’s oldest quarter, and Belem – as well as the Baixa and Chiado neighborhoods. Along the way you’ll learn about Portuguese maritime exploration in the 15th and 16th centuries, the Age of Discoveries and Golden Era of Portugal that transformed Lisbon into the opulent center of a vast empire.

Sintra, Cascais and Estoril tour

Start in Sintra where hundreds of years of history and culture await, including the 19th-century Pena Palace, an incredible combination of architectural styles, colors and shapes, in the Sintra hills. It’s the greatest expression of 19th-century romanticism in Portugal. Cascais is a coastal town, once a small fishing village, that became popular with artists and writers thanks to its idyllic scenery. You will also have time to explore the town of Estoril.

Days 14–16

Bring your trip to a close in Porto

Porto, Portugal’s second city, is one of Europe’s most charming. Its jumble of colourful medieval houses are built on a steep riverbank, hugging the calm waters of the Douro River where wooden boats bob on the surface and people spill out of its cafes and bars.

You’ll spend two nights here, ending your trip with a romantic evening boat cruise along the Douro, a glass of the valley’s celebrated vinicultural produce in hand.

A traditional tiled church in central Porto

The best of Porto

A private city tour

This tour is a great introduction to Porto, its history and its cultural treasures. Discover a colorful city with medieval relics, soaring bell towers, extravagant baroque churches and stately beaux-arts buildings piled on top of one another. You’ll visit landmarks such as the Stock Exchange Palace, the Church of Saint Francis, the Cathedral and Lello Bookstore in the historic Ribera district – one of the most ornate bookstores in the world with carved wooden ceilings and stained glassed roof.

porto-night-bridges-and-boat

An evening boat cruise along the Douro

The most spectacular way to discover the romance of Porto is from the water. Cruise along the Douro River on your private boat and enjoy a glass of local wine as the views of soaring bell towers, baroque churches, and stately beaux-arts buildings are illuminated by the last rays of the sun. Once the sun has set, the lit-up homes seem to dance along Porto’s hills, and the city takes on a whole new character.

Why book with Jacada

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Personalised design

We’ll plan your trip around your personal interests, tastes and preferences, providing honest advice based on first-hand knowledge.

Authentic experiences

Our expert guides and brilliant Concierges are hand-picked for their ability to bring your destination to life with care and passion.

Positive Impact

We seek out unforgettable experiences that benefit both local communities and the environment.