Day 1 Arrive Porto
Welcome to Porto, the capital of the north that sits between a river and the Atlantic Ocean. Stretching along the banks of the River Douro, Porto is one of Portugal’s most romantic cities. Known for majestic bridges, medieval riverside district with its cobbled streets, merchants’ houses and cafes. Spend the evening enjoy the atmosphere of this coastal city in numerous cafes and restaurants that Porto offers.
Day 2 Porto
Today after breakfast, enjoy the panoramic tour to explore Porto. The city’s World Heritage-listed Ribeira district is packed with twisting alleys, staircases, and baroque churches, and is great to explore on foot. São Francisco church is known for its lavish interior with ornate gilded carvings. The palatial 19th-century Palácio de Bolsa, formerly a stock market, was built to impress potential European investors. For a extraordinary view of the whole town head to the Torre dos Clerigos (Clerigos Tower). Head down Allies Avenue to see the French-inspired buildings, then make a turn for Bolhão Market. Up in the cathedral area you’ll find the oldest neighbourhood in Porto and a place where you’ll see its true soul. Boat cruises along the Rio Douro operate several times a day, offering insight into the history of Porto’s six famous bridges. A cruise is also a great chance to snap some great photos of the colourful tiled houses lined up along the riverbank. Overnight in Porto.
Day 3 Porto – Lisbon
Today head south by train to Lisbon (approximately 3.5 hours). As one of Europe’s most pleasant and affordable capital cities, Lisbon combines the best elements of Portuguese life, offering fantastic architecture, a multicultural population, delicious seafood and non-stop nightlife. On arrival to the city, head out on an orientation walk of Lisbon to find your feet. There are some great modern and ancient art museums to check out, such as the Calouste Gulbenkian Museum, the National Museum of Contemporary Art or the National Coach Museum. Your evening is then free, so you can roam through the charming narrow streets of local neighbourhoods and see local life play out.
Day 4 Lisbon
Today is a free day to further discover Lisbon, which is located on the banks of the Tagus (Tejo) River and is truly one of Europe’s great cities. As you will be spending free time today, catch a tram or hire a bike and cycle along the water to the historic neighbourhood of Belem. In the evening, as the sun goes down, some of Lisbon’s best nightlife centres on the neighbourhood of Bairro Alto, where you can enjoy an emotional fado performance (traditional Portuguese music).
Day 5 Lisbon – Algarve
Today board a train, travel through fertile plain landscapes of orange orchards, olive groves and maize fields to the Algarve, Portugal’s stunning southern coast, where your destination is the seaside town of Lagos (approximately 4 hours). On arrival, relish boat trip out on the water, perhaps appreciating the jagged, weathered rockface of Pinta da Piedade, full of grottoes, caves, arches and towers. In the evening, enjoy the Lagos’ pumping nightlife.
Day 6 Algarve
Today after breakfast, enjoy the whole day at leisure to explore the beautiful beaches on your own.
Day 7 Algarve – Seville
Today after breakfast, travel across the border to Spain (overnight by train) to the vibrant city of Seville. If the legends are to be believed, Seville was founded by Hercules and its origins are linked with the Tartessian civilisation. To the Romans it was Hispalis, to the Moorsm Isbiliya. Known for its important monuments and fascinating history, Seville is universally famous for being a joyous town. Sevillians are well known for their wit and sparkle, and the city itself is striking for its vitality and flamboyance – the city of Carmen, Don Juan and Figaro. Seville is also famous for its oranges, tapas and flamenco, all three of which are ingrained in the fabric of the city and its proud people. Enjoy the rest of the day at leisure. You can enjoy the walking tour on your own, Barrio Santa Cruz, with its multicultural history, is a great place to start. This shaded warren was designed in medieval times to provide refuge from the great Andalusian heat. Or maybe spend your evening San Jacinto, the bustling main street of the Triana quarter, and discover the interesting and adventurous food on offer.
Day 8 Seville
Today enjoy Seville in a panoramic way. Checking out the world’s largest Gothic cathedral is a must. You can also the climb the cathedral’s adjoining Moorish tower, known as La Giralda. While you might have to line up, it’s well worth it for the views over the city. Visit the magnificent Alcazar, a complex of palaces used by Moorish and Christian rulers through the ages, and now gaining international fame as a shooting location for ‘Game of Thrones’. Wander through the fragrant gardens and examine the Moorish and Mudejar architecture. If you feel like an injection of culture, explore Seville’s Museum of Fine Arts or the Archaeological Museum, or head to the Real Maestranza Bullring for insight into the Spanish tradition of bull fighting. As Seville is the tapas capital of Spain, be sure to sample some of the tasty morsels on offer in one of the city’s many tapas bars. In the evening, catch a local flamenco performance with the group (included). Charged with emotion and drama, this powerful, fiery show is a real highlight.
Day 9 Seville – Malaga
Today travel south to the Malaga (approximately 3.5 hours). On the western side of Andalusia, the coast faces the Mediterranean and North Africa. Your base for the next two nights is Tarifa, a laid-back beach town endowed with spectacular rocky scenery, a sea fortress, a lighthouse and plenty of character. The afternoon is free to relax at the beautiful beaches on your own. In the evening, why not grab some dinner in town and join in for a vibrant nightlife.
Day 10 Malaga
Today there are plenty of optional activities to choose from today. Perhaps head out on a whale and dolphin watching expedition on the Iberian Peninsula or enjoy the day at leisure to explore the beautiful white sand beaches on your own.
Day 11 Malaga – Granada
Today after breakfast, catch a train to Granada today (approximately 2.5 hours). Located at the foot of the Sierra Nevada Mountains, Granada is packed with Moorish architecture, great tapas bars and natural beauty. Take a walk around the old Arab quarter of the Albaicin, a labyrinth of crooked alleys, fountains, plazas and whitewashed houses, or the ‘Alcaiceria’ (old silk market area) and observe the craftworks on sale that include ceramics, marquetry and leather goods. If you’re feeling energetic, climb the steep streets up to the Mirador de San Nicolas for sunset views over the famous Alhambra. If you have time, perhaps check out the historic Renaissance Catedral and Capilla Real. Granada is the kind of city to leave your travel guide behind and trust your view. Discovering the narrow streets of Albaicin and the white-walled house garden of Realejo quarter may lead your adventurous spirit to find something that you have long been looking for. For the best view of Granada at sunset try the Mirador de San Nicolas at the very top of the city’s steep streets. In the evening, perhaps head to one of the small flamenco taverns around the city.
Day 12 Granada
Today make a visit to Granada’s impressive Alhambra Palace. An entrance ticket is included in the trip and grants you the visit of Nasrid Palace and the Gardens. The Alhambra was first built by the Moors as a fortress during the Muslim rule of Spain. The Alhambra is made up of three parts: the Alcazaba, the 11th-century Muslim wing which features spectacular views from its towers; the Palacio Nazaries, the centre of the complex; and Generalife, the summer palace of the sultans. This evening, enjoy the day at leisure.
Day 13 Granada – Valencia
Take a train and head east to the coastal town of Valencia (approximately 4.5 hours). Known for being the Spanish gateway to the Mediterranean, Valencia has a large port, beautiful beaches, restaurants and a beach promenade along the waterfront. The old town is set back from the seafront through, and in the centre you will find the beautiful monuments and historical buildings. Busy markets, clean beaches, spectacular mountains and a fascinating mix of old town and new town makes up the best of Valencia. Perhaps rent a bike from one of the many bike stations that are dotted around the city. Cycle through the park that runs through the centre of the city to the impressively designed Museu de les Ciencies Príncipe Felipe (Arts and Science Museum). Valencia is also built with separate cycle paths, so it’s really easy to get around. In the evening enjoy the day at leisure.
Day 14 Valencia
Take the day to explore. Why not do as the locals do and start the day with a breakfast of tortillas or churros at the colourful stalls of the Mercado Central. Then, visit the 13th-century cathedral, which houses what’s claimed to be the Holy Grail, and climb the 207 steps of the Miguelete tower for the best views of the city. For something a little quirkier, head to the Museum of the Fallas, which contains a history of the Valencia fire festival and giant papier mache figures that have been spared from the burning. The Museo de Bellas Artes has Spain’s second-biggest art collection, housed in a beautiful 17th-century convent. There are also many fine parks and gardens, or you may want to head to the beach to enjoy the evening.
Day 15 Valencia – Barcelona
Today take the train up the coast to Barcelona (approximately 3.5 hours). Barcelona’s charm and fabulous Catalan cuisine mixes seamlessly with a groundbreaking art scene, Gothic architecture, superb dining and a non-stop nightlife, making it a city you won’t soon forget. In the afternoon, there are plenty of options to keep you busy. Perhaps pay a visit to the Picasso Museum, the National Art Museum of Catalonia or the Museum of City History to brush up on your local knowledge. Take the funicular to the top of Montjuic or Tibidabo for panoramic views of Barcelona and the harbour. Enjoy the rest of the evening for leisure.
Day 16 Barcelona
Today after breakfast enjoy an orientation walk around Barcelona today. See some of the city’s main sights, including a visit to Antonio Gaudi’s incredible La Sagrada Familia Cathedral. The architect worked on this hugely ambitious project for decades until his death, and it remains in constant construction. Along with the Camp Nou football stadium, it is possibly the city’s most iconic landmark. Gaudi was the master of the unique Catalan Modernista architecture for which Barcelona is famous, and his work is dotted all over the city. Perhaps check out the Neo-Gothic mansion of Guell Palace, or the wave-inspired structure of Casa Batlo. For more insight into the artist himself, head to the Gaudi House Museum inside Parc Guell. Enjoy the evening at leisure.
Day 17 Barcelona – Madrid
Journey on the train to Madrid this morning, (approximately 4-5 hours), a city overflowing with world-class art galleries, atmospheric city squares, and heaving nightclubs and bars. The sassy central capital is known for its elegant boulevards and expansive, manicured parks, but it also pulsates with energy, and is without doubt a vibrant city. On arrival, after checking in your hotel, set off for an orientation tour. There is plenty to do and see in Madrid, so instead, you may choose to go out and discover on your own. The Paseo del Arte (Art Walk) gives a great panoramic perspective of western art history. Perhaps wander through the pristine gardens of Real Jardin Botanico and then delve deeper into the art of the city at Museo Reina Sofia and Museo Thyssen-Bornemisza. Sports fans, if you’re lucky enough for your trip to fall on match day, you can head to the Santiago Bernabeu Stadium to watch Real Madrid playing. Overnight in Madrid.
Day 18 Depart Madrid
Today your Spanish journey comes to an end in the morning. Later check out of the hotel to transfer to airport to board your flight back to India.