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Sample the best of Iberian Peninsula's fabulous food, vibrant cities and fascinating history

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What's Included

  • Luxury accommodation throughout
  • Private transfers and rail travel
  • Privately guided city tours, cooking classes and hikes
  • Full support from your Travel Concierge before, during and after your trip
Use this itinerary to inspire your bespoke journey

At a glance

A fabulous city-hopping tour of southern Spain and Portugal, immerse yourself in the history, incredible food and vibrant culture that make the Iberian Peninsula such a fabulous corner of Europe to explore.

Begin the Spanish capital of Madrid where you’ll get your first taste of tapas, an introduction to the country’s story from a local historian guide and visit the world-famous Prado Museum, one of Europe’s great art galleries.

Take a train south to Andalusia, are mountainous region ruled by the Moors from the 8th-15th centuries, leaving behind an incredible architectural legacy. En route, spend a day in the handsome city of Cordoba, a centre of culture and learning in the Muslim golden age and home to the famous ‘Mezquita’ Mosque–Cathedral. From here continue to Granada, whose hilly old streets are overlooked by the lavish Alhambra palace and Generalife Gardens, perhaps the finest example of Moorish design anywhere.

Next turn west to sunny Seville. Its old centre is dominated by the towering mosque turned awe-inspiring cathedral – one of the largest in Europe – 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 hands-on cooking class.

Continue westward into Portugal for a couple of days relaxing on the sands of the Algarve at a beautiful little resort with a restaurant overseen by the country’s most highly decorated chefs, and two more in the rural region of Alentejo where you can trace Roman, Gothic, Renaissance, Baroque and the Neoclassical in the ‘museum city’ of Évora.

Close by is the elegance and old-world charm of the capital, Lisbon, and a little further north the fabulous riverside setting of Porto. Spending two nights in each, and ending in a romantic evening boat cruise along the Douro, glass of the valley’s celebrated vinicultural produce in hand.

Example Trip Itinerary

Days 1-3

Madrid

Flights & Transfers

Transfer

Private transfer to your hotel in Madrid

Accommodation in Madrid

Two nights in Madrid Two nights in Madrid

The Spanish capital is bursting with life and passion and through its well planned streets course Madrilenos, the city's inhabitants who really know how to live

Madrid is a powerhouse of culture, and no trip here could miss a tour of the the Golden Triangle of Art, encompassing the Prado Museum, the Reina Sofía Museum and the Thyssen-Bornemisza Museum. Music is also an important feature and the city marches to the beat of flamenco, jazz and live music of all kinds. And don't forget that Madrid serves some of the most delicious tapas that there is.

Tapas walking tour 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 Madrid tour Historical and Artistic Madrid tour

Meet your art historian guide and venture out into the city to learn about its urban and architectural evolution since its foundation by the Moors in the early ninth century. Admire the wide variety of styles that coexist in the city, from contemporary architectural wonders to seventeenth century baroque buildings - most of them within the limits of the old city like the Plaza Mayor or the former City Hall - through the magnificent eighteenth century neoclassical period with such masterpieces as the Prado Museum, the Puerta de Alcalá and the Fuente de Cibeles. Close by, 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, one of Europe's great art galleries, to see some of its 9,000 pieces by artists such as Bosch, Titian, El Greco, Rubens, Velasquez, Goya and Madrazo.

Royal Palace 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.

Flights & Transfers

Transfer

Private transfer to Madrid Atocha railway station

Transfer

High speed train from Madrid to Cordoba

 
Tour of Cordoba Tour of Cordoba

Cordoba is perhaps Spain’s most handsome 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.

Flights & Transfers

Transfer

Private transfer from Cordoba to Granada

Days 3-5

Granada

Accommodation in Granada

Two nights in Granada Two nights in Granada

Seville's brooding Andalusian sister sits at the foot of the Sierra Nevada mountains, the Iberian Peninsula's highest massif. Renowned as the last stronghold of the Moors who were driven out of Western Europe in the 15th century, it's here that you'll best discover Andalusia's splendid Arabic architectural heritage at its finest at the beautiful Alhambra Palace.

Tour of the Alhambra and Generalife Gardens Tour of the Alhambra and Generalife Gardens

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.

Flights & Transfers

Transfer

Private transfer to Malaga

 
El Caminito del Rey Path El Caminito del Rey Path

Start this route at the Desfiladero de los Gaitanes, a natural beauty spot in the centre of Malaga. It is a canyon carved by the river Guadalhorce river andrecently a water channel from the reservoirs was constructed to make the most of the slope in a hydroelectric power station. This King’s Little Pathway, is 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, and offers a fantastic opportunity to take in the surrounding nature and crimson cliffs.

Flights & Transfers

Transfer

Private transfer to Seville

Days 5-8

Seville

Accommodation in Seville

Three nights in Seville Three nights in Seville

The jewel in the Moorish Caliphate of Cordoba and the capital of the most powerful Castilian Kingdom, 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 need to spend a few days here at least to experience the true essence of Spanish grandeur.

Bike tour of Seville Bike tour of Seville

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 Flamenco show

Flamenco is the traditional song and dance of the gypsies 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.

Hands-on Andalusian cooking class 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.

Flights & Transfers

Transfer

Private transfer to the Algarve

Days 8-10

The Algarve

Accommodation in The Algarve

the-algarve-portugal.
Two nights in the Algarve Two nights in 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.

Flights & Transfers

Transfer

Private transfer to your hotel in Alentejo

Days 10-12

Alentejo

Accommodation in Alentejo

Two nights in Alentejo Two nights in Alentejo

Covering almost a third of the country, Alentejo is a vast region of cork plantation, 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. Explore the rolling hillsides, rugged peaks, endless plains and its sweeping Atlantic beaches. Vast swathes of sand lay sheltered between rocky cliffs and over 100km of the coastline is part of the South West Alentejo and Costa Vicentina National Park, an area rich in animal and plant life. Heading inland, Alentejo is littered with Roman ruins, crumbling Moorish castles, marble towns and whitewashed villages. The UNESCO towns of Evora and Elvas are home to baroque bell towers, temples and mighty fortresses and there are plenty of smaller atmospheric towns with winding cobbled streets to explore.

Private guided tour of Evora Private guided tour of Evora

A UNESCO World Heritage Site known as the 'museum city', Évora traces some 2000 years of history, from the Roman to the Neoclassical via Gothic, Renaissance and Baroque.

The main square, Praça do Giraldo, is the heart of the city where you can see the 16th Century St. Anton’s Church and the popular Henriquina Fountain. The Gothic and Manueline architecturally influenced Church of St. Francis is a pearl of its own with its golden altars and painted blue, as well as the Capela dos Ossos - the Chapel of Bones – the entire room covered with about 5000 human bones and skulls built by Franciscan monks. Then, of course, there’s Évora’s Cathedral, 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.

Flights & Transfers

Transfer

Private transfer to your hotel in Lisbon

Days 12-14

Lisbon

Accommodation in Lisbon

lisbon-tram
Two nights in Lisbon Two nights in Lisbon

Europe’s second oldest capital, Lisbon is an effortlessly elegant city, full of old-world charm. Winding your way through the city, 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, the favoured mode of transport of Lisbonites and 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 and there are plenty of places to stop, sip a coffee and savour a Portuguese custard tart while watching the world go by

Lisbon highlights tour Lisbon highlights tour

This tour allows you to discover Portugal's capital, colonised by many civilizations through the centuries including the Phoenicians, Greeks, Carthaginians, Romans, Moors and finally the Portuguese after 1147. You will visit the Castle of Saint Jorge and the surrounding area of Alfama, Lisbon's oldest quarter.

This city is linked with the heroic deeds of the Portuguese maritime exploration in the 15th and 16th centuries. This was the Age of Discoveries and the Golden Era of Portugal, transforming Lisbon into the opulent center of a vast empire. Part of the wealth from these expeditions was used to build magnificent monuments in the extravagant Manueline style. Some of these monuments can still be seen, especially in the area of Belem. You will visit also the traditional commerce zones of the city, with their 18th-century buildings as well as the Baixa and Chiado neighborhoods.

Sintra, Cascais and Estoril tour Sintra, Cascais and Estoril tour

This tour will take you on a journey to explore Portugal's traditional towns. Discover Sintra where hundreds of years of history and culture await. Walking through the city center you will find yourself surrounded by old houses now converted into quaint handicraft shops and traditional pastry shops. Driving around the mountain you will pass amazing chalets and aristocratic residences, until you reach the 19th-century Pena Palace, an incredible combination of architectural styles, colors and shapes.

The Palacio da Pena, located in the Sintra hills, is the greatest expression of 19th-century romanticism in Portugal. The palace was built in such a way as to be visible from any point in the park, which consists of a forest and luxuriant gardens with over 500 different species of trees originating from the four corners of the earth.

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.

Flights & Transfers

Transfer

Private transfer to Lisbon Train Station

Transfer

Train from Lisbon to Porto

Days 14-16

Porto

Flights & Transfers

Transfer

Private transfer to your hotel in Porto

Accommodation in Porto

Two nights in Porto Two nights in Porto

Portugal's second city is one of Europe's most charming. Built on a steep riverbank, a jumble of colourful medieval houses hug the calm waters of the Douro River where wooden boats bob on the surface and people spill out of its cafes and bars, more often than not with a glass of the wine that gave the city its name.

lello-bookshop-porto
Porto city tour Porto 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.

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
Evening boat cruise along the Douro River Evening boat cruise along the Douro River

The best way to discover the romantic and mythical city of Porto is by boat, and this evening you will experience it in the most spectacular way. 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. Whilst on board you will enjoy a traditional Portuguese meal, before heading back to the dock.

Flights & Transfers

Transfer

Private transfer to Porto airport

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