Visit Classic Spain on a tour via Madrid, Barcelona and San Sebastian

Tour Spain and Portugal's pin-up attractions on this classic adventure. Soak up art and history in Madrid, be staggered by the grandeur of Alhambra Palace in Granada and take in the dramatic spectacle of a flamenco performance in Seville. Travel to Portugal to chill out in the Algarve, get footloose with Lisbon locals in the Bairro Alto and imbibe delectable port wine in Porto. Back in Spain, visit Santiago de Compostela and Salamanca en route to Barcelona - the epitome of all things stylish, cultural and fashionable - before continuing on to Pamplona, Longrono and the glorious beaches of San Sebastian.

Start
Madrid, Spain
Finish
Madrid, Spain
Countries
Portugal,
Spain
Themes
Explorer
Code
ZMSJC
Physical rating
Cultural rating
Ages
Min 15
Group size
Min 1 Max 12
Carbon offset
644kg pp per trip


Highlights

  • - Gaze in awe at the artistic feats of the Spanish masters in Madrid, and experience a different sort of mastery with a fiery flamenco performance in Seville
  • - Get lost in the labyrinthine streets of the Albayzin in Granada, before crossing the river to visit the imposing Moorish fortress of the Alhambra
  • - Unwind in a laidback fishing village in the Algarve, Portugal's scenic south coast. Soak up the sun on a beach and enjoy a cocktail-coloured sunset over the Atlantic Ocean
  • - Lisbon and Porto 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
  • - People from all over the world come to Spain to walk the famous Camino de Santiago. Join pilgrims along the last leg of the journey, as they reach the historic cathedral in Santiago de Compostela
  • - Rub shoulders with the chic in the 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 cathedral, La Sagrada Familia
  • - The fortified medieval city of Pamplona is a great place to discover on foot. Weave through the city's winding alleyways to the immense Gothic Cathedral and walk down the street of the famous bull run.
  • - Logrono is bursting with delicious local produce and wine, just waiting to be enjoyed on an included tapas crawl. Delicioso!
  • - Take a long siesta on the golden beaches of San Sebastian, one of Spain's most scenic coastal destinations. As the sun goes down, join the crowds as they come out to play among the city's exciting nightlife

Itinerary

Hola! Welcome to Spain.
Your adventure begins with a welcome meeting at 6pm on Day 1.

You can arrive at any time during the day as there are no activities planned until this important meeting; please check with the hotel reception where and when it will take place, or check the reception notice boards. If you can't arrange a flight that will have you arrive at the hotel by early evening, you may wish to arrive a day early so you're able to attend. We'll be happy to book additional accommodation for you (subject to availability). If you're going to be late, please inform the hotel reception. We'll be collecting your insurance details and next of kin information at this meeting, so please ensure you have all these details to provide to your leader.
Madrid offers a remarkable blend of sights, sounds and experiences. Soak up the art, be wowed by the architecture and swoon over the exceptional food.
As there's limited time for sightseeing in Madrid we recommend you make arrangements to arrive a few days early to see the highlights of the city and surrounds.
While away hours on the Paseo del Arte, or Art Walk, for a panoramic perspective of Western art history. Start with the Museo del Prado, one of the world's finest collections of European art from the 12th-19th centuries and an unmissable stop on any art tour. Discover modern Spanish masters, including Picasso and Dali, in the Museo Reina Sofia's 20th century collection. Finish with the Museo Thyssen-Bornemisza, which spans eight centuries of European painting.
Take a break in the oasis of Real Jardin Botanico, a botanical wonderland dating from the 18th century.
Travel by bus to Granada. (approx 5 hours)
Home to the stunning Alhambra Palace and set against a backdrop of the spectacular Sierra Nevada mountains, Granada is one of Andalucia's most enchanting cities.
Visit the Renaissance cathedral with its ornate facade and gold-and-white interior, dating from the 16th century.
Take a walk around the Albaicin, the old Arab quarter, a labyrinth of crooked streets with alleyways, fountains, plazas, whitewashed houses and villas. If you are feeling energetic continue on and watch the spectacular sunset from the most famous viewpoint in Granada - the Mirador de San Nicolas, located at the top of Albaicin's steep streets.
Explore the Alhambra Palace, which was first built by the Moors as a fortress. Its instantly recognisable exterior hides richly decorated rooms and luxurious gardens with bubbling fountains, and a walk through the compound gives us an idea of the decadent lifestyle the Moorish kings used to enjoyed.

Granada was one of the region's most important cities during the Muslim rule of Spain and the Alhambra is a very good example of this period. The Alhambra is made up of three parts: the Alcazaba, the 11th-century Muslim wing where you can get spectacular aerial views from the tops of its towers; the Palacio Nazaries, the centre of the complex; and Generalife, the summer palace of the sultans.
Travel by train to Seville, one of the most vibrant cities in Spain (approx 2.5 hrs).
Seville is renowned for its oranges, tapas and flamenco - all three are ingrained in the fabric of the city and its proud people.
Visit the Alcazar - a magnificent palace dating from Moorish times.
Explore the world's largest Gothic cathedral. You can also the climb the cathedral's adjoining 76-metre Moorish tower, known as La Giralda, well worth it for the excellent views of the city and surrounding area (be prepared for a line-up).
Catch a glimpse of true, local flamenco - filled with emotion and drama, it's a real highlight.
Travel by bus crossing into Portugal and the seaside town of Lagos (approx 5 hours)
Gifted with a temperate Mediterranean climate, a bounty of beaches and a rich heritage, Portugal casually flies under the European travel radar. Home to culinary greats, effortlessly cool cities, charming colonial towns and magical stone villages, travellers will find that this enduring historic heavyweight still packs a punch.
The southern coastline of Portugal is known for its fertile plains, rich with orange and olive groves, fig trees, almonds and maize fields. Long beaches and hidden coves await us.

Our base is the lively town of Lagos. During the day, join your leader for a picnic lunch on Praia Dona Ana, one of the most photographed beaches in Portugal. In the evening, wander the cobblestone streets and discover the history of town which launched many naval excursions during Portugal’s extraordinary Age of Discoveries, or simply relax at the numerous cafes.
Head north by public bus to Lisbon (approx 4 hours).
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.
Lisbon has a number of remarkable museums of modern and ancient art, such as Calouste Gulbenkian Museum, National Museum of Contemporary Art, National Coach Museum, and Carmo Archaeological Museum. However, Lisbon isn't all history and culture - Bairro Alto is the centre of the city's nightlife with various bars and restaurants where fado, traditional Portuguese music, can be enjoyed.
Included is an orientation/sightseeing walk led by your group leader.
Visit the medieval Citadel in the city centre. Lisbon is a city swarming with endless angular white houses and buildings with distinct red terracotta rooftops. From the citadel, this makes a sharply contrasting panorama when viewed against the deep blue of the sky and ocean.
Take a bus further north to Porto. (approx 3.5 hours)
Porto, the capital of the north sits between the north bank of the River Douro and the Atlantic Ocean. The World Heritage-listed Ribeira district is filled with a collection of twisting alleys, criss-crossing staircases and baroque churches. For a sensational view of the whole town head to the Torre dos Clerigos.

Indulge in a port tasting, Porto being the namesake of the sweet fortified wine. If sampling the best from the region piques curiosity, why not learn more about the history of wine and port making at the Museu do Vinho.
Travel by bus back to Spain and famous Santiago de Compostela. (approx 3 hours)

Be surrounded by piety in Santiago de Compostela, the finish point for pilgrims walking the Camino de Santiago. Soak up religious fervour in the cathedral where St James, one of the 12 Apostles, is purportedly buried.

Join the pilgrims on the last stretch of Santiago de Compostela route. Take an early bus to O Amenal village where our 15 km walk starts. It will take us through villages, fields and rivers of Galicia. In Lavacolla village we will cross the river in which pilgrims used to wash themselves before entering the city of Santiago de Compostela. From there we will head to Mont de Gozo. From its top pilgrims could see the first view of The Cathedral of Santiago de Compostela, the end point of their journey.

The entire walk takes approximately 4 hours to complete. It is important to have comfortable footwear and rain coat, as weather in this region of Spain is highly unpredictable, even during summer months.

For those not wishing to join the walk, there is an opportunity to stay and enjoy Santiago de Compostela, and numbers of activities it has to offer.
We'll take a short flight from Santiago de Compostela to Barcelona.
Spain's cosmopolitan second city, Barcelona offers ground-breaking art and architecture, stylish shopping, superb dining and non-stop nightlife.
During free afternoon, visit the labyrinthine streets of the old Gothic Quarter, the Picasso Museum, wander the Rambla - the tree-lined pedestrian boulevard, or take the funicular to the top of Montjuic or Tibidabo for panoramic views of Barcelona and the harbour. Gaudi's bizarre La Sagrada Familia Cathedral is possibly the most iconic landmark in this city rich with famous sights.
As this is a combination trip, your group leader and the composition of your group may change at this location. There will be a group meeting to discuss the next stage of your itinerary and you're welcome to attend, as this is a great chance to meet your new fellow travellers.
Travel by train to Pamplona in the heartland of Basque country.
Named after its founder, Pompey the Great, Pamplona has served for centuries as both a military stronghold and an important point on the Camino de Santiago pilgrimage trail.
Following an orientation walk, set out to explore this well preserved fortified medieval town and its impressive 16th century walls and citadel.
Travel to Logrono by public bus.
A small, friendly town known for its red wine, Logrono has plenty of tapas bars to explore.
Visit the wine museum (July to September) to learn more about this region's famous tipple. When the museum is closed, our group leader will take us to visit a local winery.
Take a bus from Logrono to San Sebastian (approx. 2 hours).
With its great beaches and vibrant old city, San Sebastian is a fantastic place to stroll along the promenade, shop and consume pintos (Basque-style tapas) to your heart's content, or just soak up the sun.
Take a walk up Mount Urgull for stunning views of both the town's beaches.
For a different perspective of the most central beach, La Concha, why not climb or catch a cable car to Monte Igueldo.
If you crave more culture, there's plenty of time to catch a local bus (approx 1 hr) down the road to Bilbao to visit the world-famous and architecturally awesome Guggenheim Museum.
Journey by train or bus to Madrid.
With incredible restaurants, art galleries, shopping and nightlife on offer, Madrid is a truly world-class city that exudes confidence and style through every pore.
While away hours on the Paseo del Arte, or Art Walk, for a panoramic perspective of Western art history. Start with the Museo del Prado, one of the world's finest collections of European art from the 12th-19th centuries and an unmissable stop on any art tour. Discover modern Spanish masters, including Picasso and Dali, in the Museo Reina Sofia's 20th century collection. Finish with the Museo Thyssen-Bornemisza, which spans eight centuries of European painting.
Take a break in the oasis of Real Jardin Botanico, a botanical wonderland dating from the 18th century.
Enjoy a coffee in one of the atmospheric streets and squares around the famous Plaza Mayor. At night, head out to Chueca, Plaza Dos de Mayo or Plaza Santa Ana, where the pulse of the city will lead you from bar to bar on a night out you are sure to remember.
There are no activities planned for the final day and you are able to depart the accommodation at any time.
View trip notes to read full itinerary

Inclusions

Meals
1 breakfast
Transport
Bus, Metro, Plane, Public bus, Taxi, Train
Accommodation
Hotel (19 nights), Pension (2 nights)
Included activities
  • Alhambra entrance
  • Flamenco performance
  • Beach Picnic
  • Orientation Walk
  • Port Tasting
  • Pamplona Orientation Walk
  • Tapas Crawl - Logrono
  • Ontañon winery visit - Logrono
  • Monte Igueldo Cable Car - San Sebastian

Dates

There are currently no departures for this trip.

{{departure_day.departure_date | date:'EEE d MMMM yyyy'}} {{departure_day.arrival_date | date:'EEE d MMMM yyyy'}}

Style: {{departure.style}}

Boat/Ship: {{departure.vehicle_name}}
On sale Hot deal Departure guaranteed On request
{{product.currency_code}} {{room.base_price | noFractionCurrency:product.currency_symbol}}
{{product.currency_code}} {{room.discount_price | noFractionCurrency:product.currency_symbol}}
Fully booked Bookings closed

Total price per person {{room.room_type | lowercase}}
Includes {{departure.kitty_currency_code}} {{departure.kitty | noFractionCurrency:departure.kitty_currency_symbol}} kitty
Includes {{extra.extras_code}} {{extra.extras_symbol}}{{extra.extras_value}} in local payments Single supplement available from {{product.currency_code}} {{departure.single_supp | noFractionCurrency:product.currency_symbol}}

Contact us to arrange an alternative departure for you

Book {{departure.places_left}} spaces left! space left!


Important notes

1) A single supplement is available on this trip. Please see Trip Notes for details.
2) Names as per passport are required at the time of booking due to the internal flight on this trip.

Trip notes

Want an in-depth insight into this trip? Your trip notes provide a detailed itinerary, visa info, how to get to your hotel, what’s included - pretty much everything you need to know about this adventure and more.

View trip notes

Reviews

Our Classic Spain and Portugal trips score an average of 5 out of 5 based on 1 reviews in the last year.

Classic Spain and Portugal , May 2015

Was this page helpful?