Spain and Portugal holiday, historic cities & villages
Description of Spain and Portugal holiday, historic cities & villages
Travel the scenic route through Spain and Portugal, from Madrid to Barcelona, on this thoughtfully paced trip, visiting cosmopolitan cities and sleepy seaside villages. You’ll travel with a guide but despite covering a lot of ground there is time in each destination to explore at your leisure.
Follow an enticing trail of delicious tapas, avant-garde art, architectural triumphs and centuries-old culture on this history- and culture-packed adventure highlighting the very best of Spain and Portugal. In Spain, gaze at the artistic feats of the Spanish masters in Madrid, experience a fiery flamenco performance in Seville, and get lost in the labyrinthine streets of the Albaicin in Granada, before crossing the river to visit the imposing Moorish fortress of the Alhambra.
Hopping across the border to Portugal, you can unwind on the beach in a laidback fishing town in the Algarve, before heading to Lisbon and Porto. These are two of the most visited cities in Portugal, and for good reason. Explore a medieval fortress in the middle of cosmopolitan Lisbon and sweeten your day with a port tasting in, well, Porto. Finally, travel north back into Spain to join pilgrims along the last leg of Camino de Santiago, as they reach the historic cathedral in Santiago de Compostela. The trip ends in the chic and exciting city of Barcelona. Pulsing with culture, art and an outstanding drinking and dining scene, the city is also home to fascinating architecture, the star of which is Antoni Gaudi's basilica, La Sagrada Familia.
This is a small group (max 12 people) guided trip, across 15 days, with at least two days in each place, so you can explore at your leisure. You’ll travel by bus, metro, plane (from Santiago de Compostela to Barcelona), public bus, taxi and train (between Granada and Seville). Spend 12 nights in hotels and two in comfortable pensions.
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1 Reviews of Spain and Portugal holiday, historic cities & villages
Reviewed on 29 Jul 2018 by Rehab Bitane
1. What was the most memorable or exciting part of your holiday?
Monasteries of Meteora and Acropolis of Athens
2. What tips would you give other travellers booking this holiday?
Keep your baggage as small as possible.
3. Did you feel that your holiday benefited local people, reduced environmental impacts or supported conservation?
Yes, I do.
4. Finally, how would you rate your holiday overall?
PlanetAs a global tour operator, we are committed to operating every one of our trips in a way that respects and benefits local people, their culture and economy, while minimising our impact on the natural environment.
Every journey is made by public transport, to keep our carbon footprint to a minimum. Mostly we travel on public buses, but we also take trains from Granada to Seville, Santiago de Compostela to Burgos, and Burgos to Barcelona. We get about within cities by metro or on foot wherever possible.
When in the Algarve, we enjoy a picnic of local produce when we take a coastal walk, and in Porto we indulge in a tasting of the locally-fortified wine for which the region is renowned. There are opportunities to visit markets, such as La Boqueria in Barcelona which offers a wealth of fresh produce.
PeopleWe travel in small groups – on this trip the maximum group size is 12 passengers – which means we can stay in small, locally-owned or family-run hotels and in Lisbon we spend two nights in a pension (guesthouse).
One of the stops on this tour is Santiago de Compostela, which is the finish point for the Camino de Santiago pilgrimage. Although some undertake this for non-religious reasons, the city has a religious significance for many and when visiting the cathedral and other religious sites we request that passengers dress respectfully, covering their shoulders and ensuring they don’t wear skimpy tops or shorts. This is just one of the responsible travel guidelines that we expect our passengers to follow, along with recycling where possible and minimising the use of plastic bottles.
So that you have flexibility over where you eat, very few meals are included as part of the tour. Your tour leader will suggest authentic, local restaurants, bars, markets and other eating places where you can sample local produce and regional specialities. Southern Spain is famed for its tapas, so in Seville and Granada we are likely to eat a series of small dishes in different bars which is a good way to support a number of small businesses.
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