21 Day Best of Spain & Portugal itinerary
Your 3 Week Tour of Spain & Portugal
Welcome to our 21-day Best of Spain and Portugal itinerary, a journey through two of Europe’s most fascinating and diverse countries. From the vibrant cities of Madrid and Lisbon to the charming villages of the Spanish and Portuguese countryside, this tour offers an immersive and authentic experience that will take you to the heart of these incredible destinations.
Over the course of three weeks, you will have the opportunity to see some of the most iconic sights and hidden gems of Spain and Portugal. You will visit world-renowned landmarks, such as the Sagrada Familia in Barcelona and the Alhambra in Granada, as well as lesser-known treasures like the medieval town of Obidos.
Our experienced and knowledgeable guides will take you on a journey through the history, culture, and traditions of Spain and Portugal, sharing their passion and expertise with you every step of the way. Whether you are a first-time visitor or a seasoned traveler, we believe that this tour will offer something for everyone.
So come and join us on the Best of Spain and Portugal tour, and discover the magic of these two incredible countries for yourself. We can’t wait to show you everything that Spain and Portugal have to offer.
Day 1: Welcome To Barcelona
Upon arrival at Barcelona airport, your private local driver will pick you up and drive you to your hotel to check in and drop your baggage off.
You will have had a long flight, so for your first evening in Barcelona, we suggest taking a relaxed approach. Our team of tour planners could reserve tickets for a live music or dance performance, or we could provide our suggestions on how to best spend the evening sampling the local cuisine at one of Barcelona’s many excellent restaurants.
Stay overnight in Barcelona.
Day 2: Explore Barcelona
Start your day with a visit to the iconic Sagrada Familia, one of Barcelona’s most famous landmarks. Gaudi’s masterpiece features a unique and striking design that combines elements of Gothic, Art Nouveau, and Spanish Catalan styles. The basilica is also famous for its intricate and detailed ornamentation, which includes sculptures, mosaics, and stained glass windows depicting religious scenes and symbols.
In addition to its architectural and artistic merits, the Sagrada Familia is also famous for its history and significance to the city of Barcelona. Construction of the basilica began in 1882, and it has been an ongoing project for over 130 years. It is a symbol of the city and a major tourist attraction that attracts millions of visitors each year.
With your private guide, you will enjoy skip-the-line access to the Cathedral to learn about the history and architecture of this incredible basilica and climb to the top of one of the towers for panoramic views of the city.
After the Sagrada Familia, head to the Gothic Quarter to explore the narrow streets and hidden squares of this historic neighborhood. Visit the Cathedral of Barcelona and the Plaça del Rei, and stop for a coffee and a pastry at a local café.
Afternoon Touring Barcelona
In the afternoon, make your way to the Picasso Museum to see the largest collection of works by the famous Spanish artist. Spend some time admiring the paintings, drawings, and sculptures on display, and learn about the different periods of Picasso’s career.
After the museum, take a break for lunch at a local restaurant and try some traditional Catalan dishes, such as paella or calçots.
In the evening, head to the vibrant neighborhood of Gracia to experience the lively atmosphere and local culture. Stroll through the streets, check out the independent shops and boutiques, and grab a drink or a bite to eat at one of the many bars and restaurants.
To end your day, catch a performance at the Palau de la Música Catalana, a beautiful modernist concert hall with a rich history and impressive acoustics. You can choose from a variety of music and dance performances, ranging from classical to contemporary.
Stay overnight in Barcelona.
Day 3: Excursion To Montserrat
Your private chauffeur will collect you from your hotel in the morning as you make the short 45-minute scenic drive to the Montserrat mountain range.
Montserrat’s ancient history dates back to Roman times when a temple was built to worship Venus. In 1987, the mountain was declared a Nature Park due to its unique geological characteristics. There are many hiking trails to explore, and the Santa Maria de Montserrat Abbey is located at the top of the mountain. The abbey is home to 80 Benedictine monks and is an important religious retreat in Catalonia. It contains one of the few Black Madonna statues in Europe. If the timing is just right then your visit will coincide with a performance by The Escolania boys’ choir who often perform at the abbey. The Montserrat Museum offers a range of exhibits, from archaeology to paintings by Old Masters to modern art.
On your day trip, we recommend that you:
Visit the Santa Maria de Montserrat Abbey
The abbey is an important cultural and spiritual site, and a must-see destination in Montserrat. It houses the Black Madonna, a famous statue of the Virgin Mary, and offers stunning views of the surrounding landscape. You can attend a religious service, learn about the history of the abbey, or simply admire the architecture and art.
Hike to the top of the mountain or take the cable car
Montserrat is a popular destination for hikers, due to its beautiful landscapes and challenging trails. The views from the top of the mountain are breathtaking, and there are several routes to choose from depending on your fitness level and experience. Hiking to the top of Montserrat is a rewarding and unforgettable experience.
Visit the Montserrat Museum
The Montserrat Museum is located in the abbey and offers a fascinating look at the history, art, and culture of the region. The museum houses a collection of religious artifacts, sculptures, and paintings, and provides valuable insight into the cultural heritage of Montserrat. It is a must-visit destination for anyone interested in the history and culture of the area.
Your private driver will return you to Barcelona for the evening.
Day 4: Barcelona To Valencia
The rail link between Barcelona to Valencia will take approximately 2 hours and 45 minutes.
After you have checked into your hotel and recharged sufficiently, your guide will meet you for an evening walking tour.
During this private guided walking tour of Valencia, you will discover the city’s most notable streets, squares, and monuments, including the City Hall square, Central Market, Lonja, Plaza Redonda, Palacio del Marquess de Dos Aguas, Plaza del Patriarca, Cathedral, and Plaza de la Virgen. Your guide will provide interesting information and insights about the history and significance of these places.
The Valencia Cathedral is a highlight of the tour and houses two spectacular treasures: beautiful Renaissance frescoes and the authentic Holy Chalice. Your guide will explain the history and significance of these treasures.
The tour also includes a stop for a sweet break to taste horchata, a typical vegetarian drink made from a local fruit called “chufa,” and fartons, sweet breadsticks. Your guide will explain how to taste these treats and their cultural significance.
Overnight stay in Valencia.
Day 5: Valencia Cooking Experience & Bicycle Tour
Valencia is the birthplace of Paella so what better way to spend the morning than joining a local chef for a private cooking experience where you will learn how to make this famous Spanish dish?
During the class, you will work with the chef to prepare all the ingredients and cook the paella. You will learn about the history and origins of the dish, as well as the different regional variations and their distinctive flavors and ingredients.
The chef will provide all the necessary ingredients and equipment and will guide you step by step through the process of making the paella. You will have the opportunity to ask questions, learn new cooking techniques, and taste the different ingredients as you go.
Once the paella is ready, you will have the chance to sit down and enjoy the fruit of your labors, along with other traditional Spanish accompaniments such as sangria or wine. The chef will provide information about the different flavors and ingredients.
Afternoon Valencia Bike Tour
A Valencia bike tour is a fun and active way to explore the city and its sights. The tour typically begins at a central location, where you will be provided with a bike and any necessary equipment. The route typically takes you through the Turia Gardens, a lush and beautiful park that was created on the former riverbed of the Turia River. The gardens offer a peaceful and scenic environment for cycling and are a popular spot for locals and visitors alike.
From the gardens, the tour will continue through the historic old quarter of Valencia, where you will have the chance to explore the narrow streets, charming squares, and beautiful buildings that make this area so special. Your guide will provide interesting information and anecdotes about the history and culture of the old quarter and will point out some of the most notable sights and landmarks.
The final destination of the tour is the City of Sciences and Arts, a futuristic complex that houses a range of science, technology, and cultural institutions. The complex is an architectural marvel and offers a fascinating contrast to the historic old quarter. You will have the opportunity to explore the different museums, galleries, and exhibitions on offer, and learn about the latest developments in science and technology.
Spend the night in Valencia.
Day 6: Valencia To Madrid
Relax in the comfort of a first-class carriage as you make the 1hr 45minute train journey from Valencia to Madrid.
After checking into your hotel in Madrid, your guide will meet you to begin an afternoon walking tour of the city to discover the history, culture, and sights of Madrid and gain a deeper understanding and appreciation of the capital of Spain.
The Villa and Court of Madrid is a unique and fascinating destination that offers a rich history and cultural heritage. On this private walking tour, you will have the opportunity to explore the oldest districts of the city with a knowledgeable guide. You will discover the legacy of centuries of history, starting from the Arab wall of the tenth century and passing through the monuments left by the Austrians and the Bourbons, including former hospitals, palaces, theaters, and narrow medieval streets.
Along the way, you will visit some of the city’s most famous landmarks and attractions, such as the Puerta del Sol, the Plaza Mayor, and the elegant Plaza de Oriente. You will also have the opportunity to explore traditional shops and sample local delicacies.
In the evening enjoy a Flamenco show & dinner at Corral de la Moreria, one of the oldest and most prestigious Flamenco venues in Madrid.
The show typically begins with a dinner of traditional Spanish cuisine, such as paella, tapas, and sangria. You will have the opportunity to taste some of the local flavors and delicacies and enjoy the lively atmosphere of the venue.
After dinner, the main event begins: a performance by some of the best Flamenco dancers and musicians in Madrid. The show is a showcase of the different styles and forms of Flamenco, from the traditional to the contemporary. You will be able to see and hear the passion and intensity of the dancers and musicians and be swept away by the rhythm and energy of the music.
Overnight stay in Madrid.
Day 7: Prado Museum & Royal Palace Private Tours
With skip-the-line access, you begin your guided tour by visiting the Prado museum’s main collection, which features some of the most famous and important works of art in the world. Some highlights to look out for include The Garden of Earthly Delights by Hieronymus Bosch, The Third of May 1808 by Francisco Goya, and The Annunciation by Leonardo da Vinci.
After exploring the main collection, head to the museum’s special exhibitions, which showcase a range of temporary displays and installations. These exhibitions often focus on specific periods, styles, or themes, and offer a unique perspective on the museum’s collections.
Just a short walk from the Prado, your guide will take you to explore The Royal Palace, still to this day the official residence of the Royal Family in Madrid.
Begin your tour by exploring the palace’s exterior with your guide as they discuss the grand entrance, the beautiful gardens, and the surrounding Plaza de la Armería. Your guide will provide interesting information and anecdotes about the history and architecture of the palace and will point out some of the most notable features.
After the exterior, head inside the palace to explore the grand state rooms and halls. These include the throne room, the banqueting hall, the Hall of Mirrors, and many others. Each room is richly decorated with paintings, sculptures, tapestries, and other works of art, and provides a glimpse into the opulent lifestyle of the Spanish monarchy.
Next, visit the Royal Armory, which is one of the largest and most impressive collections of armor and weapons in the world. The armory includes over 4,000 pieces, ranging from medieval armor to modern weapons, and provides a fascinating look at the history of warfare and military technology.
After the armory, visit the Royal Pharmacy, which is the oldest pharmacy in Spain. The pharmacy contains a collection of over 5,000 objects, including medicinal herbs, spices, and other ingredients used in the preparation of traditional remedies. The pharmacy is a unique and fascinating look at the history of medicine and health care in Spain.
Finally, visit the palace’s shop and café, where you can purchase souvenirs, grab a snack or a drink, and relax after a day of exploring the palace.
Return to your Madrid accommodation in the evening.
Day 8: Day Trip to Toledo
Meet your driver in the morning as you set off for the 1-hour transfer from Madrid to Toledo.
Begin your tour by visiting the Toledo Cathedral, which is one of the most important Gothic buildings in Spain. The cathedral is home to a stunning collection of art and artifacts, including paintings by El Greco, sculptures by Francisco de Pisa, and the famous Transparente altarpiece. The cathedral is a UNESCO World Heritage Site and is a must-see destination in Toledo.
After the cathedral, visit the Toledo Synagogue, which is one of the oldest and most well-preserved synagogues in Europe. The synagogue was built in the 13th century and is an important example of the cultural and religious diversity of Toledo during the Middle Ages. The synagogue is a beautiful and fascinating building and offers a unique glimpse into the history and culture of the city.
Next, visit the San Juan de Los Reyes Monastery, which is a beautiful and serene building that was founded in the 15th century. The monastery is an excellent example of Gothic and Mudéjar architecture and features a beautiful cloister, a museum, and a rich collection of art and artifacts. The monastery is a peaceful and contemplative space and offers a nice contrast to the bustling streets of Toledo.
After the monastery, visit the Museum of Santa Cruz, which is located in the former hospital of Santa Cruz. The museum is home to a collection of paintings and sculptures from the 14th to the 16th centuries, including works by El Greco, Pedro Berruguete, and other famous artists. The museum offers valuable insight into the art and culture of Toledo during the Middle Ages and the Renaissance.
Finally, visit the Casa-Museo de El Greco, which is the former home of the famous painter El Greco. The house has been converted into a museum and contains a collection of El Greco’s paintings, sketches, and other personal belongings. The museum offers a fascinating look at the life and work of this important artist and provides a unique glimpse into the history and culture of Toledo.
Return to Madrid for the evening.
Day 9: Madrid - Granada
Today you will make the 3.5-hour train journey from Madrid to the magical city of Granada in Andalucia.
For your evening meal for your first night in Granada, we can organize a tasting menu with local delicacies in the Albaicín quarter.
The Albaicín is a charming and historic neighborhood and offers stunning views of the city of Granada and the Alhambra Palace. During your meal, you will have the opportunity to taste some of the best local flavors and ingredients and enjoy the magical views of the city.
Day 10: Private Guided Tour of The Alhambra Palace
Begin your private tour of the Alhambra by visiting the Court of Lions, which is one of the most famous and iconic spaces in the Alhambra. The Court of Lions is a large courtyard surrounded by arcades and columns and is named after the 12 marble lions that stand in the center of the courtyard. The courtyard is a beautiful and serene space and offers a glimpse into the elegance and refinement of the Alhambra.
After the Court of Lions, visit the Nasrid Palaces, which are the heart of the Alhambra. The Nasrid Palaces were the residence of the last Muslim rulers of Granada, and are a stunning example of Islamic art and architecture. The palaces are richly decorated with geometric patterns, calligraphy, and intricate details, and offer a unique and fascinating glimpse into the lives of the Nasrid rulers.
Next, visit the Hall of the Abencerrajes, which is one of the most beautiful and ornate rooms in Alhambra. The hall is named after the legendary story of the Abencerrajes, a noble Muslim family who was betrayed and killed by their rivals in the hall. The hall is decorated with intricate carvings, colorful tiles, and beautiful arches, and offers a striking example of the art and craftsmanship of the Nasrid period.
After the Hall of the Abencerrajes, visit the Comares Tower, which is the highest and most impressive tower in Alhambra. The tower offers panoramic views of the city of Granada and the surrounding mountains and is a popular spot for taking pictures and admiring the scenery. The tower is also home to the throne room of the Nasrid rulers, which is decorated with beautiful stucco and tile work.
Finally, visit the Palace of Charles V, which is a Renaissance building that was built within the walls of the Alhambra. The palace is a contrast to the Islamic architecture of the Nasrid palaces and is a beautiful example of Renaissance style and design. The palace is home to a museum, a library, and a collection of sculptures, and offers a unique and interesting perspective on the history and culture of the Alhambra.
Afternoon Ceramics Class
This afternoon activity offers a unique and immersive experience in Granada, with the opportunity to learn about the city’s rich tradition of ceramics.
The ceramic tile painting class takes place in an artist’s studio on the slopes of the Alhambra and allows you to explore your creativity and learn about the techniques and designs of this art form. Your teacher is a graduate of the Royal College of Art in London and a local artist with many years of experience and will provide guidance and support throughout the class.
At the end of the class, you will glaze your tiles, which will be fired in a kiln and delivered to your hotel or a forwarding address when ready. The class is suitable for all levels of artistic ability and is a great activity for adults and children alike.
Overnight in Granada.
Day 11: Granada - Cordoba
To reach Cordoba you will take the direct train from Granada which takes approx 1hr and 20 minutes.
Cordoba was the capital of the Roman Empire and the Umayyad Caliphate, and its historic legacy has been recognized by UNESCO, which has designated the Mosque-Cathedral and its surrounding streets and buildings as a World Heritage Site.
Start your tour at the Mezquita, a UNESCO World Heritage Site and one of Córdoba’s most famous landmarks. This former mosque is a stunning example of Moorish architecture, with its lush courtyard gardens and impressive arches.
Next, make your way to the Judería, the old Jewish quarter of Córdoba. This charming neighborhood is filled with narrow streets, colorful houses, and beautiful courtyards. Be sure to visit the Synagogue, which dates back to the 14th century.
From the Judería, head to the Roman Bridge, which spans the Guadalquivir River. The bridge has been in use for over two thousand years and offers beautiful views of the city and the river.
After crossing the bridge, make your way to the Alcázar de Los Reyes Cristianos, a 14th-century castle that was once used by the Christian kings of Spain. The castle features beautiful gardens and is a great place to relax and enjoy the view.
Finally, end your tour at the Plaza del Potro, a lively square in the heart of Córdoba. The square is surrounded by restaurants, bars, and shops, and is a great place to grab a bite to eat and people-watch.
In the afternoon we have a horse riding tour planned for you:
Experience the rich history of Andalusia on horseback at La Hacienda la Albaida. Located in a unique setting for special events, this is the perfect destination for equestrian and cultural tourism. La Hacienda la Albaida is well-respected by horse enthusiasts, having hosted the Championships of Spain for Doma Vaquera and the International Horse Show from 2014 to 2016.
In the 16th century, King Philip II ordered the construction of the Royal Stables at La Hacienda la Albaida as a breeding ground for stallions. The horses were allowed to graze in the Royal Meadows, where they were raised and born. The breed of the Andalusian horse, or “Pura Raza Española,” owes much of its success to these ancestors.
Spend the night in Córdoba.
Day 12: Cordoba - Seville
Today you travel from Cordoba to Seville, the capital of Andalucia. We can provide a private vehicle and chauffeur for you which would take 1.5 hrs, or you may wish to travel by high-speed train, which would take 45 mins.
Join your private guide for a monumental walking tour of Seville, where you will visit two of the city’s most important landmarks: the Cathedral and the Alcazar. Your tour begins in the charming Santa Cruz Quarter, Seville’s old Jewish district, with its winding cobblestone streets and whitewashed buildings.
The Alcázar of Seville is a beautiful palace complex in Seville, Spain, that is known for its stunning architecture and rich history. On a tour of the Alcázar, you will have the opportunity to explore the palace’s many rooms and gardens.
As you walk through the palace, you will see a variety of architectural styles, including Gothic, Mudéjar, Renaissance, and Baroque. You will also see beautifully decorated rooms and courtyards, as well as intricate tile work and other decorative details.
In the gardens of the Alcázar, you will find peaceful paths and tranquil pools, as well as fountains, sculptures, and other beautiful features. The gardens are a great place to relax and enjoy the beauty of the palace.
Your next destination is the beautiful Seville Cathedra, a UNESCO World Heritage site and one of the city’s most famous landmarks. The cathedral is the largest Gothic cathedral in the world and is known for its impressive size and intricate details.
On a tour of the cathedral, you will have the opportunity to explore the interior and see its many impressive features. You will explore the cathedral’s towering columns and arches, as well as its beautiful stained glass windows and intricate carvings.
One of the highlights of the cathedral is the main altar, which is made of wood and features intricate sculptures and decorations. The cathedral also has a number of chapels and side altars, each of which has its own unique features and artwork.
In addition to its beautiful interior, the Seville Cathedral is also known for its iconic La Giralda bell tower, which was once the minaret of the mosque that stood on the site before the cathedral was built. You can climb to the top of the tower for panoramic views of the city.
Overnight in Seville.
Day 13: Private Cooking Class with Market Visit
Treat yourself to a culinary experience in Seville with a visit to a local market, a private cooking class, and a delicious lunch with views of the Seville Cathedral.
Your day begins with a visit to the market, where you will see a wide variety of fresh seafood, meat, fruit, and vegetables. Your chef will guide you through the market and help you select the ingredients for your meal.
After the market, you will head to the cooking workshop, where you will learn how to prepare authentic Spanish dishes. Your chef will show you how to make each dish and provide tips and techniques to help you achieve the best results. You will have the chance to cook each dish yourself and enjoy a glass of sherry as you learn.
Once your dishes are ready, you will sit down to enjoy a delicious lunch on the terrace, with views of the Seville Cathedral. You will have the opportunity to share a glass of wine with your chef and discuss the dishes you have prepared.
Overall, this cooking experience in Seville is a great way to learn about Spanish cuisine and enjoy a delicious meal in a beautiful setting.
Overnight in Seville.
Day 14: Day Trip to Ronda
Ronda is a beautiful city in Andalusia, Spain, known for its stunning landscapes, rich history, and cultural heritage.
Start your tour at the Puente Nuevo, the iconic bridge that spans the Tajo Gorge and offers breathtaking views of the city and the surrounding landscape. The bridge is a symbol of Ronda and is one of the city’s most famous landmarks.
After crossing the bridge, make your way to the Plaza de Toros, the oldest bullfighting arena in Spain. The arena is an important part of Ronda’s history and culture, and visitors can learn about the history of bullfighting in Ronda and even attend a bullfight if they are interested.
Next, visit the Museo del Bandolero, a museum dedicated to the history of banditry in Ronda. The museum has a collection of artifacts and documents related to the banditry that was once prevalent in the region.
After the museum, make your way to the Arab Baths, a beautiful and well-preserved example of Moorish architecture in Ronda. The baths were once used for public bathing and are now open to the public as a museum.
In the afternoon, visit the Iglesia de Santa María la Mayor, a beautiful Gothic church that dates back to the 14th century. The church has a stunning interior and is a great example of Gothic architecture in Ronda.
Finally, end your day with a visit to the Palacio del Rey Moro, a beautiful palace that was once the home of the Moors who ruled Ronda. The palace has a beautiful courtyard and gardens and offers stunning views of the city.
Return to Seville to stay overnight.
Day 15: Seville - Lisbon
Make the short 1-hour flight from Seville to Lisbon in the morning.
Enjoy a half-day private tour of Lisbon with your driver at your disposal. Discover the city’s most exciting sights, including Liberty Avenue, Restauradores Square, Rossio Square, and the Alfama Quarter. Visit the Lisbon Cathedral and the St. Anthony Church, and walk up to St. Georges Castle, passing by the Roman Theatre Ruins.
Next, continue on to the Belem area, passing by Trade Square, 24 de Julho Avenue, and the river Tagus. Take in the sights of the 25th April Bridge, the Christ King Monument, and Belem, with a stop at the Jeronimos Monastery, a UNESCO World Heritage Site. Finally, visit the Belem Tower, another UNESCO site, and the Monument of the Discoveries.
Overnight in Lisbon.
Day 16: Sintra Day Trip
Join your private driver, who is at your disposal during your half-day tour to Sintra.
Enjoy a private guided sightseeing tour of Sintra, a beautiful town at the foot of the mountain range of the same name. Not only have UNESCO classified it as a World Heritage site they even felt it necessary to create a special category for the purpose – that of “cultural landscape” – taking into account its natural riches as well as the historic buildings in the town and mountains.
Start your tour at the Pena Palace, a stunning 19th-century palace that is one of the most iconic landmarks in Sintra. The palace features a mix of architectural styles, including Gothic, Manueline, and Renaissance, and is surrounded by beautiful gardens.
Quinta da Regaleira
Next, visit the Quinta da Regaleira, a must-visit destination for anyone interested in history, architecture, and the occult. The Quinta da Regaleira is a 16th century renovated t in the early 20th century by a wealthy Brazilian businessman named Antonio Carvalho Monteiro, who was influenced by his interest in the occult and Portuguese mysticism.
The Quinta da Regaleira is known for its stunning architecture, which combines Gothic, Renaissance, and Manueline styles. The property is also home to several unique features, including an underground network of tunnels, grottos, and wells, as well as a chapel, an observatory, and a palace.
Sintra National Palace
After exploring the Quinta da Regaleira, head to the Sintra National Palace, a beautiful palace that was once the residence of the Portuguese royal family. The palace was originally built in the middle of the 15th century by King John I of Portugal and has undergone several renovations and additions over the centuries.
The Sintra National Palace is known for its stunning Portuguese Gothic design. The palace is also home to a wealth of art and historical artifacts, including tapestries, paintings, and furniture. In addition, the palace’s gardens are a beautiful and peaceful space and offer stunning views of the surrounding landscape.
Castle of the Moors
In the afternoon, visit the Castle of the Moors, an ancient castle that stands on a hilltop overlooking the city and was constructed in the 8th and 9th centuries by the Moors, who ruled much of the Iberian Peninsula at the time.
The Castle of the Moors is known for its well-preserved walls, towers, and gates, which offer a fascinating glimpse into medieval military architecture. The castle is also surrounded by beautiful gardens and forests, making it a peaceful and picturesque destination. In addition, the castle offers stunning views of the surrounding landscape, including the town of Sintra and the Atlantic Ocean.
Finally, before you return to Lisbon, end your tour of Sintra with a visit to the Convent of the Capuchos, a 16th-century convent that is known for its simple, austere architecture and beautiful gardens. The convent is a peaceful and tranquil place to end your tour of Sintra.
Day 17: Boat Tour & Fado Experience
Discover Lisbon from the Atlantic Ocean and enjoy the wonderful views from the Lisbon coast.
A sailboat tour along the river Tagus is a wonderful way to see some of the most beautiful and historic sights in Lisbon and its surrounding areas. The river flows through the heart of the city, and a sailboat tour allows you to experience the city from a unique perspective, with the wind in your hair and the water at your feet.
One of the top sights to see on a sailboat tour along the river Tagus is the Belem Tower. This iconic fortress was built in the 16th century to defend the city from naval attacks, and today it is a UNESCO World Heritage Site. You can also visit the Jeronimos Monastery, which was built in the same period and is known for its beautiful Manueline architecture. Other sights to see along the river include the Monument to the Discoveries, the 25 de Abril Bridge, and the Christ the King statue.
Experience the magic of Portuguese culture with a Fado show & dinner
Fado is a traditional music style that originated in the 1840s around the neighborhoods of Lisbon, mainly from the Alfama and Mouraria districts. It is known for its haunting melodies and emotional lyrics. The origins of Fado are shrouded in mystery, with some attributing its origins to African or Arab influences, while others believe it is a unique product of Lisbon’s rich and diverse cultural heritage.
After the performance, you will also be treated to a delicious dinner of fine Portuguese cuisine, all in the intimate setting of a traditional Fado venue. This is a unique opportunity to immerse yourself in the culture and history of Lisbon and to experience the emotional power of Fado music.
Overnight in Lisbon.
Day 18: Transfer from Lisbon to Porto, Including Obidos & Aveiro
After leaving Lisbon, the driver-guided tour would continue to the town of Obidos, where there are several sights to see and activities to enjoy.
One of the top attractions in Obidos is the medieval castle and walls that surround the town. These well-preserved fortifications were built in the 13th century to defend the town from invaders, and today they offer stunning views over the surrounding countryside.
Inside the castle walls, you can explore the narrow streets and colorful houses of the old town. You can also visit the Gothic Church of Santa Maria, which was built in the 14th century and is known for its beautiful stained glass windows and stone carvings.
Other sights to see in Obidos include the Town Hall Square, the Santa Clara Monastery, and the Obidos Museum. You can also try some of the town’s famous ginjinha, a sweet cherry liqueur that is a local specialty.
After leaving Obidos, the driver-guided tour would continue to the city of Aveiro, where there are several sights to see and activities to enjoy. One of the top attractions in Aveiro is the Museum of Aveiro, which is located in a beautiful 16th-century building. Here, you can learn about the history and culture of the city, as well as its famous boat-building tradition.
After visiting the museum, you can stop for lunch at a local restaurant and try some of Aveiro’s delicious seafood. The city is known for its fresh fish and shellfish, and many restaurants offer traditional dishes such as caldeirada (seafood stew) and arroz de marisco (seafood rice). After lunch, you can take a walk along the canals of Aveiro, which are known as the “Portuguese Venice.” Here, you can see the colorful boats that are used for fishing and transportation, as well as the historic buildings that line the water.
Continue onto Porto where you will stay overnight.
Day 19: Porto Full-day Guided Walking Tour
Your guide will collect you from your accommodation as you prepare to see the best of the city on an epic full-day guided walking tour with skip-the-line access to all of Porto’s major attractions.
Guided Tour of Porto Cathedral
Firstly you will visit The Porto Cathedral, one of the most important historical landmarks in the city. Built-in the 12th century, this Romanesque church is known for its beautiful stone carvings and stained glass windows. Inside the cathedral, you can see the tombs of several important Portuguese figures, including King Afonso Henriques, the first king of Portugal, and Bishop Martinho of Braga, who is considered the patron saint of the city.
In addition to the tombs, the cathedral also features a Gothic cloister and the Treasury Museum, which houses a collection of religious artifacts and art. The cathedral also offers panoramic views over the city from its bell tower, which is open to the public.
The Clérigos Tower
After visiting the Porto Cathedral, the next stop on the full-day guided walking tour would be the Clérigos Tower. This tall baroque bell tower is one of the most iconic landmarks in the city, and it offers panoramic views over Porto from its observation deck. The tower was built in the 18th century and is the tallest building in Porto, standing at 75 meters (246 feet) tall.
On a private tour of the Clérigos Tower, you can explore the inside of the tower and learn about its history and architecture. You can also climb to the top of the tower and enjoy the views over the city. From the observation deck, you can see many of Porto’s top sights, including the Porto Cathedral, the Ribeira neighborhood, and the Douro River.
Your guide will then take you to the gorgeous Lello Bookstore. This beautiful art nouveau building is considered one of the most beautiful bookstores in the world, and it is a must-see for anyone visiting Porto. The bookstore was built in 1906 and features ornate decorations, stained glass windows, and a sweeping marble staircase.
On a tour of the Lello Bookstore, you can explore the interior of the building and admire its beautiful architecture. You can also browse the shelves and see the wide variety of books that are available for sale. The bookstore is particularly known for its collection of Portuguese literature, but it also has a wide range of books in other languages.
Ribeira District & Sao Francisco Church
This Gothic church is known for its beautiful golden altarpiece and its intricate wood carvings, which cover the walls and ceilings. The church was built in the 14th century and is an important example of Gothic architecture in Portugal.
Step outside and continue your tour into the Ribeira neighborhood, a historic riverside district that is known for its narrow streets and colorful houses. This charming neighborhood is a great place to stroll and explore, and it is full of interesting shops, restaurants, and cafes.
Evening Tour of Porto Wine Museum
A private tour of the Porto Wine Museum is a great way to learn about the history and production of port wine, one of the city’s most famous products. Located in the historic Ribeira neighborhood of Porto, the museum offers a fascinating look at the centuries-old tradition of making port wine in the Douro Valley.
One of the best things about a private tour of the Porto Wine Museum is that you can go at your own pace and spend as much time as you like exploring the exhibits. You will have the undivided attention of your tour guide, who will be able to answer any questions you have and provide more in-depth information about the history and production of port wine.
Another advantage of a private tour is that you can tailor the itinerary to your own interests. If you are particularly interested in the history of port wine, your tour guide can focus on that aspect of the museum. If you are more interested in the production process, your tour guide can take you to see the barrels and tanks where the wine is aged and bottled.
Stay overnight in Porto.
Day 20: Full-day excursion to Douro Valley
The first section of the itinerary focuses on the Pinhão Wine Region, which is known for producing some of the finest Port wines in the world. The region is characterized by its rolling hills and terraced vineyards, which have been carefully cultivated for centuries.
Upon arrival in the Pinhão Wine Region, visitors will have the opportunity to visit a local winery and learn about the history and production of Port wine. They will be able to taste a variety of Port wines, from young ruby and tawny styles to the more mature and complex vintage and colheita wines. Additionally, they will be able to sample local delicacies such as cheeses, chocolates, and dried fruits that are traditionally paired with Port wine. After the tasting, visitors can explore the picturesque vineyards and quaint villages of the Pinhão region, taking in the stunning views and getting a glimpse of the region’s rich cultural heritage.
The second section of todays itinerary involves a boat cruise on the Douro River. Guests will board the boat for a scenic cruise down the Douro River. As they make their way towards the mouth of the River Tua, they will be able to enjoy the stunning scenery of the Douro Valley, including its terraced vineyards, rugged hillsides, and picturesque villages.
Along the way, the boat will stop at a traditional riverside tavern where visitors can sample more of the region’s famous wines and enjoy a delicious lunch. They will have the opportunity to try some of the local specialties, such as roast pork with roasted potatoes or grilled trout with onions and peppers. As they savor their meal and drink in the beautiful views of the Douro Valley, they will have a chance to relax and unwind, taking in the tranquil atmosphere of the river and the surrounding countryside.
The third and final section of the itinerary involves a session with a local winemaker. After the boat cruise, visitors will have the opportunity to meet with a winemaker and learn about the art and science of winemaking. The winemaker will give them a tour of the winery, showing them the process of grape harvesting, crushing, fermentation, and aging.
During the tour, visitors will have the chance to see the various stages of winemaking and learn about the different techniques and methods used to produce the region’s famous wines. After the tour, the winemaker will lead a guided tasting of the winery’s wines, teaching visitors how to properly evaluate and appreciate them. They will learn about the different aromas and flavors of the wines, as well as how to pair them with different foods. By the end of the session, visitors will have a greater understanding and appreciation of the wines of the Douro Valley.
Stay overnight in the Duoro Valley.
Day 21: Transfer To The Airport
From the vibrant cities of Madrid and Lisbon to the charming villages of the Spanish and Portuguese countryside, we have taken you on a journey through two of Europe’s most fascinating and diverse countries. Along the way, you have had the opportunity to see some of the most iconic sights, such as the Sagrada Familia in Barcelona and the Alhambra in Granada, as well as lesser-known gems like the Roman ruins of Merida and the medieval town of Obidos.
As your private driver drops you off at the airport, we hope that you will take with you many wonderful memories of your time on the Best of Spain and Portugal tour!
Contact Us About A 21 Day Best of Spain & Portugal Tour
We believe that this 21-day Best of Spain and Portugal tour is a fantastic way to see the best of both of these incredible countries. From bustling cities to the peaceful countryside, this tour offers a diverse and immersive experience that will leave you with lasting memories.
We like to personalize every tour we provide, however, so If you would like us to create a bespoke version for you, we would be happy to do so on a completely complimentary basis. Simply let us know your preferences and we will work with you to design a tailor-made tour that meets your individual needs and interests.