Across the sun-drenched Iberian Peninsula are two countries with a soul and history that go hand in hand.
Our Northern Spain and Portugal tours span the many cultures that have thrived in these two countries, from before the Moors' arrival in 711 AD to well after the Golden Age of Discovery that saw these two empires emerge on a world stage.
It is a culture-rich region, where around every corner is a reminder of the vast wealth and incredible charms that have been born here.
Far more than just a destination for port wine in the Douro Valley, Portugal is a land that has a varied landscape and an abundance of culture that far out numbers its small land size.
Within the compact borders are medieval castles and stately palaces as well as an inconceivable amount of churches and monasteries. In the tiny town of Braga, over 300 churches have been erected, making this the religious centre of Portugal with more churches per capita than anywhere else in the world.
Strolls along the old cobblestone streets, like that of the flower filled alleys in Urgencia or among the sounds of Fado that echo from the restaurants that line the hilly Alfama district in Lisbon, are a photographer's and traveller's dream.
Everyday life is filled with old-world wonders, from the intricate old city quarters to the small, serene fishing villages lining the Atlantic.
With all its beauty, it's hard to imagine how the sailors must have felt as they pulled anchor and set sail away from the Manueline architecture buildings of Jeronimos Monastery or Belem Tour in Lisbon.
From Brazil in the Americas to Macau in Asia and much of Africa in between, the Portuguese left their mark in the world and in their museums have many of the spoils from their colonization.
Another super power in maritime exploration, Spain has a culture that can be sampled in tapas or in their vibrant city centres across the nation.
While our journey begins at the end of the line on a spiritual pilgrimage to Santiago de Compostela, it is only the beginning of impressive cathedrals we'll discover on our Spain and Portugal tours.
From the Romanesque churches of Leon to the unique La Sagrada Familia of Barcelona, each is unique and offers an insight into the artistic flavour of the time.
Arts still play a dominant role in displaying the Spanish brilliance. One of the world's most wonderful collections is found at the Prado in Madrid, while a visit to the masterpiece of engineering and design at the Guggenheim in Bilbao is also a must.
For those who love the living arts, witness a dance with as much passion as the people themselves, the Flamenco, while we visit the south of Spain.
Mealtimes are always a pleasure on our Spain and Portugal tours. From the delicious vinho to the tasty tapas, we dine in local establishments to better discover the diversity found in Iberia.
For those who love culture and history by experiencing the traditions still in place in locations fit for royalty, Spain and Portugal tours are definitely the perfect travel choice.
Prices below are per person, twin-sharing costs in US Dollars (USD). Pricing does not include airfare to/from the tour and any applicable taxes. For single supplement rates and taxes (if any), please refer to below Prices & Dates table. For general information on flights to/from the tour, click here.
Select a date below to reserve your spot:
Optional Single Supplement: $1180 USD (number of singles limited).
Breakfast and dinner (hotels & local restaurants) daily. All sightseeing and entrance fees for sites noted as 'visited' in the detailed itinerary. Gratuities for local guides, drivers, restaurant staff, porters. Airport transfers for land & air customers arriving / departing on tour dates.
International airfare to/from the tour. Tour Leader gratuities, lunches, drinks, personal items (phone, laundry, etc), domestic and international air taxes (if applicable), excursions referenced as 'optional'. Airport transfers for Land Only customers. Our post-reservation trip notes offer further guidance on optional meal costs and shopping.
Seasonality and Weather
The best time to visit Iberia is in spring (March-May), when the country is in bloom and waking after the winter. Fall (between September and October) is also ideal, when the sun is still shining, the weather is warm, and summer crowds have dispersed.
Transport and Travel Conditions
Land transport throughout by private air-conditioned motor coach, 24-36 seats depending on ultimate group size (see 'group size'). Though we will have some full bus days there are plenty of stops of interest. Train journeys are comfortable (2nd class). Roads are in good condition though winding on some stretches.
This trip is typical of most of our European tours, which are ambitious and involve full days of travel and sightseeing. While we don't have any actual strenuous activity (ie hiking) built into the program, you will do a lot of walking on this trip. These walks will mostly be in the form of walking tours of towns and cities and short walks to dinner. Being Europe, and a hilly/mountainous area, cobbles, uneven surfaces, and slopes/stairs are common. If you are accustomed to typical "bus tours," which rely heavily on vehicular transport for all sightseeing activities, you should be aware that this tour is considerably more active.
Am I suitable for this tour? Please refer to our self-assessment form.
Well-located, air- conditioned, mid-range hotels (3 star) throughout. All hotels have en suite bath, though some may have shower only. Porter service is not likely-you should be independent with your luggage. Single rooms are limited and likely smaller than twins.
Staff and Support
Tour Leader throughout, driver, local step-on guides in various locales.
Maximum 18 (plus Tour Leader)
This tour is part of a series that can be upgraded to make for a longer trip. For more options, please refer to tour code/s:
Tour Overview Countries Visited: 2 Acivity Level: 2 Tour Style: Cultural
On this Portugal & Spain tour we see how referring to history as existing in a series of layers can be an analogy taken quite literally when we see how the Colegiata de Santa Maria church was built on the foundations of what was a Roman temple and a mosque at one time.
Stepping into the capital of Portugal, Lisbon, we can observe how history, still alive through the city's ancient architecture, shines through the modern scenes of bustling markets and cafes.
The Port Wine region was established as the world's first demarcated area for wine production in 1756 and it is still where a thriving industry exists today.
Once we're in Santiago de Compostela, Spain, we can see how all the structures built out of massive granite blocks seem to blend the present with the past.
While Portugal has a mosaic of time-periods co-existing in its architecture, Toledo blends various cultures, such as Arab, Jewish, Christian and Visigothic.
In Cordoba, we see the Cathedral-Mosque, the only place in the world where a catholic cathedral stands in the centre of a mosque.
Tour Overview Countries Visited: 3 Acivity Level: 2 Tour Style: Cultural
Our Portugal, Spain and Morocco tour is one solid 32-day adventure that will leave us with a stronger desire to expose ourselves to more worldly experiences.
Once in Portugal, we will have the chance to see the country's collection of Gothic and Renaissance churches.
They seem to coincide with the country's natural beauty so well that it seems as if the structures were extensions of the land itself.
Glancing upon the antiquity in the halls of the Muse Archaelogique in Casablanca in Morocco can be compared to looking over a missing chapter in our history books.
The most important lesson that this journey can impart is, "discovery does not end here."
Tour Overview Countries Visited: 3 Acivity Level: 2 Tour Style: Cultural
If we are to conjure up images of Portugal, we might picture white-stone balconies supporting various arrangements of flower pots.
When thinking about Spain, we might imagine towering cathedrals.
Morocco brings to mind large dunes of glowing-orange sand that slowly fades as the sun sinks behind them.
This 37-day Portugal, Spain & Morocco Tour is the perfect opportunity for those who are slightly curious to take the chance in experiencing these details first-hand rather than relying on flights of the imagination that could never do these countries justice.
Come see the streets of Lisbon, Portugal, the Gothic Cathedral of Segovia, Spain, and the majesty of the sand dunes in Merzouga, Morocco, and bring new definition to what you imagine these stellar destinations to be about.
*The red tour trail on the map does not represent the actual travel path.
The following is a list of sample hotels at some locations included on this tour. The hotels shown here are meant to provide a general sense of the standard of hotel we usually aim for; they are not necessarily confirmed for your chosen departure.
Warmly ... rooms offer free Wi-Fi and satellite TV.
The Eurostars Das Artes Hotel, set in the very centre of Oporto, comprises two buildings, one historical and the other modern, with a sky-blue tiled façade welcoming its guests. Location: Porto
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