Inside the Travel Lab

Your Perfect Spain and Portugal Itinerary for 10 to 14 Days

February 1, 2023

Cover collage for a wonderful Spain and Portugal itinerary

Welcome to the complete Spain and Portugal itinerary planner. Enjoy the best of the Iberian peninsula and get ready for your next trip.

Spain and Portugal itinerary planner cover image for Pinterest

Table of Contents

Planning Your Trip Through Spain and Portugal

Many describe Spain and Portugal as some of the most beautiful destinations in the world. And what’s not to like about them? They have gorgeous beaches, centuries-old buildings, delicious food, and a mild climate that attracts tourists even in the winter.

Best of all, they sit next to each other, so you can easily create an amazing Spain and Portugal itinerary and see all the best places in one trip.

I lived in Spain for years and frequently crossed the border into Portugal. But I know that it can seem overwhelming when you’re sitting down to plan out an itinerary for the first time.

So, if you are not sure where to start, here’s a complete guide, including the best cities to visit, top hotels and restaurants, as well as some ideas for day trips in case you have extra time. Follow it as it is or adapt it to your budget and interests and have a fabulous time!

Disclosure: if you book or buy through any of the links on this page, we may earn a small commission at no extra cost to you.

Recommended

I love sharing the best travel resources I can find. 

  • I never book a flight without looking on Skyscanner first
  • My favourite one stop shop for airport transfers, food tours & excursions is Get Your Guide
  • Out of the big accommodation machines, I use Expedia and Booking.com the most
  • I’ve hand-picked useful travel gear and tools for you in my Amazon shop . Never leave home without a travel adapter or collapsible water bottle . I’d also recommend these soft ear plugs and a sleep mask .
  • Access all our planners and budget spreadsheets in the Travel Toolbox ©
  • Plan the perfect road trip with our Road Trip Planner & Toolkit ©
  • Use these packing cubes to make life so much easier on the road.
  • Save on mobile phone roaming charges with an eSIM from Airalo .

How Many Days Do You Need for a Spain & Portugal Trip?

There’s so much to see in Spain and Portugal that you’ll probably need months or even years to explore everything. However, you can see the main cities and taste a bit of the local culture in about 14 days. Some people race through both countries in seven days but that is a push and you will feel rushed. Spending around 10 days in Spain and Portugal is a decent amount of time but you will still be moving pretty quickly.

How to Tour Spain & Portugal

All the big towns in Spain and Portugal are connected through direct flights that are shorter than 1 hour and 30 minutes, so if you want to travel fast, it might be worth adding in some flights. You can find some tips to get cheaper plane tickets here.

However, flights bring problems, from having to turn up early to possibly losing your luggage to missing out on all the landscapes and smaller places between the big cities. Plus, the costs (and time) adds up travelling out and back to airports all the time.

Instead, I’d recommend looking at some of the sleek, fast trains and hiring a car in a few places for a great Iberian road trip.

Top Tip: Don’t forget about travel insurance . When you are visiting so many cities in a row, the chances of losing your luggage or experiencing a delay increase.

When Is the Best Time to Visit Spain & Portugal?

The summer months are extremely hot in Spain and Portugal, so it can be uncomfortable to hop from one city to another at 40 degrees Celsius (or higher in Seville.) Having said that, there are plenty of things to be enjoyed during a summer in Spain .

It is better to visit in the spring (March to May) or autumn (September to October) when the weather is still warm, the crowds are smaller, and the hotel prices are that bit lower.

Or, you could be unusual and see what it’s like to visit Spain in winter.

Spain - Barcelona-Casa Mila - Travel writer - Abigail King

Your 14-Day Spain & Portugal Itinerary

This itinerary starts in Madrid, continues to two big cities in Portugal, and returns to Spain for more splendid destinations full of history and colour.

Madrid – 3 Days

The capital of Spain, Madrid, is a beautiful city, combining the charm of the old streets and churches with a more modern architectural vision. It is the first destination on your 14-day itinerary, and you have 3 days to explore its attractions and surroundings.

What to Visit in Madrid

One of the best ways to discover the main attractions in Madrid is to take a tour with a local guide. But you can also visit everything on your own if you are organised. We recommend using public transportation, as the streets are quite busy for a rental car.

Puerta del Sol

As soon as you arrive, head to the city centre to discover one of its most famous sites. Puerta del Sol is the square where all major streets meet. Check out the famous clock that’s the centre of attention on New Year’s Eve, when locals and tourists gather in the square to celebrate.

Plaza Mayor

Grab a coffee or have a bite to eat in Plaza Mayor, a magnificent square in the centre of Habsburg Madrid. This is the oldest part of the city, thronging with souvenir shops, restaurants, bars, and street artists and musicians.

Mercado de San Miguel

Tasty and well-heeled, this much loved madrileño market sells fresh produce and tasty snacks, everything from pastry to charcuterie, Venezuelan corn, and vermouth.

The Palacio Real de Madrid

The Royal Palace in Madrid was inspired by Bernini’s sketches for the Louvre, rejected in France but put to good work in Spain, where this architectural jewel was built. The structure has more than 3,000 rooms, some with special themes. Take the Royal Chemist’s room filled with natural medicine cabinets, for example (you can check out the prescriptions the medics wrote to the members of the royal family.) Or the Royal Chapel, home to a magnificent collection of string instruments made by Antonio Stradivarius.

Catedral de la Almudena

Step out of the Royal Palace and enter the grand Catedral del la Almudena, consecrated by Pope John Paul II in 1993. It is the most important cathedral in Madrid and houses a museum with objects related to the life of the local patron saints. If you’ve got a good pair of lungs, climb the stairs to the dome for a splendid view of the city.

Prado Museum

A huge art hub, the Prado houses over 8,600 paintings, so whatever you do, don’t plan on seeing them all. I would highly recommend booking a guide to help you understand and focus. Alternatively, Prado’s website suggests three itineraries that can help you find your way. Do not miss the highlights: the galleries dedicated to El Greco and the extended Goya collection.

El Retiro Park

In the afternoon, stroll around this huge park, recently declared a UNESCO World Heritage Site. It includes a large number of gardens and monuments spread across 125 hectares.

Snap a picture of the only statue in the world dedicated to the devil, the Fallen Angel, which sits at 666 meters above sea level, and check out the rare plants in the botanical garden. There’s also a puppet theatre that still holds shows, great for kids and adults.

Find out more fun facts about Madrid here.

Where to Stay in Madrid

Pick a hotel close to the centre to access the main attractions on foot. The Centro and La Latina areas are close to everything, including tapas bars and restaurants, and it’s easy to find a good stay here. You can also stay in Lavapiés or Huertas for a more colourful and bohemian atmosphere.

SLEEP’N Atocha and Petit Palace Triball come highly recommended.

Where to Eat in Madrid

La Latina is the best area for eating in Madrid, especially when you only have a few days. Check out Casa Lucas to try their famous black cannelloni, or take a seat at La Perjila for a plate of delicious tapas. If you fancy a steak, don’t miss Casa Lucio – it’s been sizzling since 1974.

Day Trips from Madrid

Dedicate one of the days when you’re based in Madrid to one of the nearby towns or villages for a taste of how life is outside the capital. We suggest Salamanca or Toledo.

A university city located 214 km from Madrid, Salamanca has earned a place on the UNESCO World Heritage Site list due to its splendid cathedral, the Monterrey Palace, and huge Plaza Mayor.

Only 73 km from Madrid, Toledo is the former capital and something of a museum city reflecting the Jewish, Muslim, and Christian heritage of the people who built it. You can visit the Cristo de la Luz Mosque, El Transito Synagogue, and the Toledo Cathedral to see how cultures crossed in this city that attracted Goya and Picasso.

Getting from Madrid to Porto

  • Plane: 1 hour 15 minutes
  • Train: 7 hours 15 minutes
  • Car: 5 hours 50 minutes

Portugal - Porto -Rabelo boat with Ribeira in the background

Porto – 2 Days

Cross the border and stop in Porto, a magically romantic city famous for its harbour and wines. See also our fun guide on unusual things to do in Porto.

Top Attractions in Porto

You only have one day to explore the city, if you choose to do a day trip on the next one, so you will need to concentrate on the big attractions only.

Livraria Lello

Book lovers will be delighted to discover the impressive number of novels, poetry books, scientific and historic treatises and so on, all gathered in what seems to be a reader’s paradise. But even those who haven’t read a book in a while shouldn’t miss this place for its exquisite neo-gothic façade and stunning interior. It’s said to have inspired Harry Potter.

Igreja do Carmo

The next stop on your 2-day Porto itinerary, Igreja do Carmo, consists of two buildings connected through a very small home. It used to be a convent, with one building housing the nuns and the other the monks of the Carmelite Order in Porto. The narrow house between them was built to help preserve the chastity of the nuns and the monks’ vow of celibacy. Today, it’s a museum.

Check out the ‘azulejos’ on the exterior of Igreja do Carmo, which are hand-painted blue and white tiles specific to the area.

Sao Bento Train Station

A masterpiece of azulejo art, the palace-like Sao Bento Train Station unravels its imposing façade just a few steps from the Cathedral of Porto. Inspired by the “Beaux-Arts” style, it has a large vestibule covered in almost 20,000 tiles that depict scenes of daily life in Northern Portugal. The grandeur of the vestibule, along with its large glass ceiling, is simply fascinating. And you’ll see plenty of people hanging out here, trying to get that instagram shot.

Chapel of Souls

Probably the most photogenic building in Porto, the Chapel of Souls sits in the middle of the main shopping street. You will immediately recognise its impressive exterior covered in the popular blue and white azulejos depicting different religious episodes like the death of Saint Francis of Assisi or the martyrdom of Saint Catherine.

Porto Cathedral

The Sé do Porto is the oldest cathedral in the city, built in the 12th century and expanded over the centuries. It combines the Romanesque style with Baroque and Gothic influences and is designed more like a fortress with massive walls. Spend a moment of peace in its beautiful forecourt and then head inside to admire its baroque interior. The star is the Baroque loggia, lovely decorated with azulejos.

Ribeira Promenade

Spend the evening in the dreamy Ribeira neighbourhood, discovering the historic centre and admiring the sunset from the Dom Louis I Bridge which connects the two banks of the Douro River. This area of Porto was declared a UNESCO World Heritage Site. And a beautiful one it is too.

Where to Stay in Porto

The Centro-Baixa and Ribeira are the best areas to stay in Porto due to their proximity to the main attractions. The PortoBay Flores is a popular hotel for its luxurious rooms and great service, but if you are looking for mid-range accommodation, Hotel Mercure Porto Centro Aliados offers everything you need at an excellent price.

Where to Eat in Porto

Porto is famous for its tapas, fish, meats, pastel de nata, and wine. Stop by A Bolina for a nice glass of wine over a plate of tapas, and visit O Caseirinho if you want to try an authentic Portuguese fish-based dish. For the best pastel de nata, Confeitaria do Bolhão is your place.

Day Trip from Porto: Douro River Cruise

On your second day in Porto, cruise along the Douro River and visit the Douro Valley, the region famous for producing grapes for the Porto wine. The river cruises start at Porto’s Ribeira pier and can last from a few hours to a whole day.

Porto to Lisbon

  • Plane: 55 minutes (plus airport time)
  • Train: 3 hours 23 minutes
  • Car: 3 hours 10 minutes

Trams in Lisbon - a favourite photo thing to do in Portugal

Lisbon – 3 Days

A 3-day Lisbon itinerary is the right amount of time to explore the city itself and take a road trip to one of the nearby cities. But if you have less time, you can skip Sintra or Cascais and head directly to Seville.

What to Visit in Lisbon

Lisbon is an acquired taste. Her joy lies in the tumbling ruins and steep streets, her shareable food and her people far more than her checklist of sights. So, don’t rush your first day in the city. Instead, try to connect to the general vibe.

São Jorge Castle

Dating back to the 5th century, this huge castle sits on the summit of São Jorge hill, the highest point in Lisbon. It will take several hours to see it all, along with the small museum inside, so try to be there early in the morning to avoid the crowds. Climb to the top of the fortress for a magnificent view of the city.

Next to São Jorge Castle, you will find the Alfama district with its massive cathedral, the St. Vincent Monastery, and the National Pantheon. Stop by the Lisbon Cathedral to see where St Anthony was baptised. And, if you are a literature lover, don’t miss Casa dos Bicos, where you will find an exhibition space dedicated to Nobel Prize winner Jose Saramago.

Santa Justa Lift

Step on this historic lift, which takes you from the Baixa neighbourhood to Bairro Alto. It has a wonderful observation deck that reveals the views over Baixa.

Chiado and Bairro Alto

Stroll around these picturesque neighbourhoods. Chiado is elegant and bohemian, with gorgeous cafes and theatres, whilst Bairro Alto is famous for its great fado restaurants and graffiti art.

Parque das Nações

If you still have time, spend the rest of the day at this modern park, which manages to include an oceanarium with over 25,000 sea creatures, the Vasco da Gama bridge and tower, the Lisbon Casino, and the Vasco da Gama Centre, a huge mall with stores and spaces for entertainment. Other iconic buildings to visit here are the Oriente Station, the turtle-like Altice Arena, and the Portugal Pavilion.

Day 2 – Belem

On your second day in Lisbon, leave the city centre and visit the Belem district at the mouth of the river Tagus. This is the place from where many Portuguese explorers set sail to other parts of the world, returning with incredible riches. Visit the Jeronimo Monastery (another UNESCO World Heritage Site) and the Belem Tower and stop at the Pastéis de Belém, the place where the delicious Portuguese egg tarts were invented.

Where to Stay in Lisbon

Baixa is the most popular neighbourhood in the city, with lots of accommodation options. But the Rossio, Chiado and Cais do Sodre are close to the biggest attractions as well. If you want a 5-star hotel, book a room at the Avenida Palace, or go for Hotel Santa Justa for something more mid-range.

  • Look at our guide on the best places to stay in Lisbon here.

Where to Eat in Lisbon

The food in Lisbon is simply divine, and there are plenty of restaurants cooking it to perfection. Choose Invicta if you crave fish or langoustines plucked fresh from the ocean.

Food writers say that the best octopus in town is served at Frade dos Mares, and Floresta Das Escadinhas is genius when it comes to ribs.

For more about what to eat in Lisbon, check out our Lisbon food guide here.

Day Trips from Lisbon

If you can spare one more day, take a short trip to the nearby spots of Sintra or Cascais. The easiest way to get there is by car or bus, although you can manage a train and bus combination to Sintra, if you don’ t mind a steep climb at the end.

Sintra is a sight to behold, full of colourful whimsy, history and heritage. UNESCO World Heritage. Visit Vila Palace, the former summer resort of the Portuguese kings, and then stop at the glorious Pena Palace which overlooks the town from its hill.

Even if you don’t have much time, you can pay a quick visit to the fishing village of Cascais, which is only half an hour from Lisbon. Lots of shops and restaurants and sunny beaches make this place worth visiting. It is also famous for its fresh fish and shellfish, so you are in for a feast.

  • Recommended reading: the best souvenirs from Porto

Lisbon to Seville

  • Train: 6 hours 45 minutes
  • Car: 4 hours 25 minutes

Spain - Seville - Plaza Espana

Seville – 2 Days

Cross the border again, this time to discover Southern Spain, where sun-kissed beaches and century-old buildings are only two of the best things to explore.

Seville Tourist Attractions

Seville cathedral and la giralda.

All visits to Seville find themselves in front of the Catedral de Santa Maria de la Sede, or simply the Seville Cathedral. Only by St Paul’s Cathedral in London and St Peter’s Basilica in Rome surpasses this monumental building in size.

The main point of focus is the tomb of Christopher Columbus, but the collection of gold and jewellery is something to behold.

The main cathedral tower is the landmark of the city and nicknamed La Giralda. The geometric patterns give away its youth: it was first part of a mosque which once stood upon this land.

Real Alcázar of Seville

Next on, the Royal Alcázar of Seville is a spectacular palace with a lush garden and sumptuous decorations. It was here that Columbus applied for funding for his voyage to “India” and here, too, where the Game of Thrones filmed their palace in the Kingdom of Dorne. Today, it is also a UNESCO World Heritage Site, although for the former rather than latter fact, I believe.

Barrio Santa Cruz

Leave the grand buildings behind and wander through Seville’s most tight-streeted neighbourhood, the former Jewish Quarter in the city. Step by the Centro de Interpretacion Juderia de Sevilla to learn more about their tragic history. And elsewhere, enjoy the bodegas and boutique shops which have sprung up around this lively part of the city.

Casa del Pilatos

The second most beautiful palace in Sevilla, Casa del Pilatos, was inspired by Pontius Pilate’s house in Jerusalem. It combines the Gothic, Italian Renaissance, and Mudéjar styles in an architectural masterpiece decorated with marble columns, azulejos, and flowers. Spend some time in the garden before ending the day on the Guadalquivir River waterfront.

Plaza de Espana and Maria Luisa Park

On the next day, visit Maria Luisa Park, which displays a spectacular collection of Mediterranean trees and plants. It is an oasis of peace in the middle of the town, providing a sweet relief for locals and tourists alike during the summer.

Next to the park, you will find the Plaza de España, a grand affair built for the 1929 Ibero-American exhibition.

Museum of Fine Arts

Probably the second most important museum in Spain after the Prado, the Museo de Bellas Artes in Seville sits in an old monastery building. The façade of the building, as well as the interior, is exquisite, and the collections are not something to miss. Here’s a taste: El Greco, Velásquez, Zurbarán, and Murillo.

Where to Stay in Seville

As in most cities, the city centre is the best place to stay, and you have some fabulous hotels here that seem to be the smaller copies of the palaces in town – the Boutique Hotel Casa del Poeta and the Hotel Gravina51, for example. For a picturesque view and more affordable prices, you can book a room in Barrio Santa Cruz – we recommend H10 Casa de la Plata.

Where to Eat in Seville

Sevilla is home to lots of upscale restaurants where you can try divine dishes in a gorgeous venue, often decorated with plants and small trees. Ispal Restaurante is one of the most popular places in town, and you will have a lovely time here, but if you want a royal experience, try the Michelin-starred Restaurante Az-Zait.

  • Check out our guide to the best tapas bars in Seville.

Day Trips from Seville

Andalusia, the region around Seville, deserves a road trip of its own. And that’s why we wrote one here. However, if you don’t have time for that, you can arrange for some absolutely spectacular day trips to three of the south’s big hitters: Cordoba, Granada, or Malaga.

The Mezquita in Cordoba is one of the most beautiful buildings in the world. Cordoba itself is a fragrant, picturesque Andalusian town. It’s the perfect place to sip on a lemonade or tinto de verano and watch a flamenco performance on one of the lively terraces. But it’s the UNESCO World Heritage Site of the Mezquita, a mosque turned into cathedral, which will linger in your memory for decades to come.

At the foot of the Sierra Nevada Mountains lies the wonderful city of Granada. It’s lively, it’s pretty, it’s fun. And it’s the closest city to the UNESCO World Heritage Site of the Alhambra, a masterpiece of a Moorish palace and a symbol of defeat and despair. See this Alhambra quote Do not weep like a woman…

Beach lovers should head to Malaga for a relaxing day in the sun. It’s not all about the beach (although it can be if you want it to be.)

Malaga is also the birthplace of Picasso, with a museum dedicated to the artist, and an extremely lively town offering tapas and nightlife galore.

Seville to Barcelona

  • Plane: 1 hour 35 minutes
  • Train: 5 hours 54 minutes
  • Car: 9 hours 15 minutes

Spain - Barcelona-Gaudi Casa Mila Sky Scultupres

Barcelona – 3 Days

The last stop on your Spain-Portugal trip, Barcelona is the heart of the autonomous region of Catalunya, and a popular spot, receiving over 8 million visitors each year.

Barcelona Tourist Attractions

Sagrada familia.

The most iconic building in Barcelona, the Sagrada Familia, is still under construction. And it has been since 1882.

It is the work of the famous Antonio Gaudi, and like no religious building you’ve ever seen. The best way to visit the basilica is to take a walking tour with a local guide who will give you more information on Gaudi’s vision and the history of the place. Also, book in advance, as tickets to the Sagrada Familia quickly become sold out.

Sant Pau Recinte Modernista

This complex was built at the beginning of the 19th century to serve as a garden city for nursing the sick. It is an exceptional architectural ensemble built in the Art-Nouveau style and declared a World Heritage Site in 1997. A visit here will take you through the history of medicine in Barcelona whilst you admire an outstanding architectural piece.

Barcelona and Gaudi are two inseparable entities. Barcelona left its mark on Gaudi, and Gaudi left his mark on the city. And Park Guell is a prime example. Spend a few hours in this park, considered one of the most iconic Modernist works in the world, and visit the Gaudi House and Museum to learn more about the most loved architect of Barcelona.

A temple for football worshipers, Camp Nou is the mythical stadium of the beloved FC Barcelona. You can take a tour of the stadium and then visit the museum inside. It is the best place to buy yourself a nice FC Barcelona souvenir.

If you are not a big football fan, you can skip Camp Nou and head to Tibidado, a 520-meter mountain. Besides the dramatic views, it is a place of fun, housing an amusement park with a Ferris wheel and a roller coaster.

Casa Batlló

Start your second day in Barcelona at Casa Batlló, another famous Gaudi masterpiece built between 1904 and 1906. Admire the colourful façade and step in to visit the former residence of the Batlló family bathed in light.

Also known as Casa Milà, La Pedrera got its name from its rocky exterior. At the time, the neighbours found this quite unusual, if not downright ugly. When it was built, it completely broke with the conventions of the time. And, yes, it is another fine piece of work from Gaudi.

Montjuic and the Magic Fountain

For an impressive show with music and lights, visit the magic fountain of Montjic in the evening. It usually plays classical music, and is a great place to relax.

Where to Stay in Barcelona

The best neighbourhoods to book a room in Barcelona are Barri Gòtic, La Rambla, and El Raval since they are close to the centre. For a luxurious experience, you can stay at the Serras Barcelona or Seventy Barcelona.

Where to Eat in Barcelona

Bodega Biarritz 1881 has a long history of serving delicious tapas and local dishes, so it’s worth visiting. We also recommend L’Antic Bocoi del Gotic if you want to try a Barcelona fish speciality.

Day Trips from Barcelona

On one of your three days in Barcelona, visit Costa Brava or Sitges for a more small-town vibe.

Costa Brava

Barcelona has a wonderful beach, but Costs Brava is an entire coast of beaches, with inland mountains, volcanic craters and more. You can spend a full day driving around the coast, stopping to visit the medieval city of Girona, zipping off to Michelin starred museums and taking in the surreal nature of the Dali Museum.

At only 39 km from Barcelona, this town is fully surrounded by nature and has a charming historic quarter. It is once again a beach destination that attracts sun worshippers every year. It has an overall bohemian vibe and used to be a meeting point for poets and artists at the end of the 19th century.

Portugal - Porto - This impressive rabbit street art shows how there is always more to see on any Spain and Portugal itinerary

More Ideas for Your Spain and Portugal Itinerary

As you can see, this Portugal and Spain itinerary takes in a lot in two weeks. But it also misses a lot out.

There are so many more wonderful road trips through Spain to take. So many more city breaks to enjoy.

In the north, you can visit the Guggenheim Museum in Bilbao and discover the religious (and foodie) heritage of San Sebastian. A road trip through Asturias reveals magical mountains and delicious food, and the coast of Galicia can keep you entertained as well.

In the south, you can spend one or two weeks driving around Andalusia in southern Spain or spend a week roaming through the Algarve or walking the overlooked Costa Vicente in Portugal.

Looking for a slightly different experience? Check out our r eview of the Avalon Alegria Douro River Cruise .

More Travel Articles about Spain

  • The Spain quiz for curious people
  • 49 Interesting facts about Spain
  • Spain in one week: an itinerary for your first time in Spain
  • How to plan a road trip through Andalucia
  • Galicia: how to travel through the salty north of Spain
  • The best road trips in Spain
  • How to spend a summer in Spain

close up of rock formations and golden sand on the praia do camilo in algarve portugal, one of the best places to visit on a 2 weeks in spain and portugal itinerary

The Perfect 2 Week Spain and Portugal Itinerary (+ Essential Tips!)

Tempted by the cultural charm and natural beauty of the Iberian Peninsula and hoping to plan the perfect 2 week Spain and Portugal itinerary?

If so, we’ve designed this itinerary for Portugal and Spain for you!

Tucked away in the southwest corner of Europe, planning a combined trip to Spain and Portugal over 2 weeks is as invigorating as it is challenging.

After more than a year of living in Lisbon as American ex-pats and more trips to Spain than we can count, we have quite a few opinions about planning the perfect 14 days in Portugal and Spain!

These two countries–both of which feature a list of bucket-list destinations that could take months to see if given the opportunity–are fascinating and engaging places, though with more differences between them than might be immediately apparent on the surface.

If you’re hoping to enjoy a whirlwind, fast-paced, crash-course in what makes traveling in Spain and Portugal special, this itinerary is for you.

Here’s how to make the most of 14 days in Spain and Portugal!

Table of Contents

How We Structured This 2 Week Spain and Portugal Itinerary

Getting around during your 14 days in portugal and spain, the ultimate 2 weeks in spain and portugal itinerary, possible alterations to this 14 day itinerary for spain and portugal, the best time of year to enjoy this portugal and spain itinerary, how to extend your iberian peninsula vacation (+ morocco advice), what to pack for your 2 weeks in portugal and spain, faq about planning a spain and portugal vacation, more portugal and spain travel tips, your 14 day spain and portugal itinerary map.

kate storm jeremy storm and ranger storm in plaza de espana seville spain

Some links in this post may be affiliate links. If you make a purchase through one of these links, we may earn a small commission at no extra cost to you. Please see our disclosure policy for more detail.

We structured this 14 day itinerary for Spain and Portugal as a “U” shaped route beginning in Barcelona and ending in Porto.

In addition to those 2 cities, we also cover stops in Seville , Cordoba , Granada, the Algarve, Lisbon , and Sintra .

In other words, this is a very, very fast-paced itinerary!

While very doable, I’ll be perfectly honest: this is a mildly exhausting pace, and if you prefer a more relaxed itinerary, trimming the stop that appeals to you the least is a very reasonable option.

kate storm jeremy storm and ranger storm sitting on the edge of the duoro river porto portugal

We agonized over what destinations should make the cut (and it took me a long time to come to the conclusion Madrid wasn’t doable on top of everything else, though you could easily swap it for Barcelona or Porto if you prefer), but ultimately, we decided to suggest an ambitious but realistic plan that is as varied as possible.

Major cities, legendary architecture, stunning coastlines, and small towns all feature on this itinerary for Spain and Portugal, and we truly believe that you’ll walk away from this trip with a wonderful snapshot of both destinations.

In order to fit it all in, though, be prepared to lace up your most comfortable shoes, plan your transportation in advance, and squeeze lots of sightseeing into one day!

Oh, and pack as light as you can–trust me, unpacking and re-packing this many times in a row is not a blast.

kate storm walking through the columns of the balcony at the barcelona opera house

What About Morocco?

When planning a combined vacation to Spain and Portugal, there’s another country that tends to draw the eye: Morocco, which sits a tantalizingly short ferry trip or plane ride away from the southern edge of the Iberian Peninsula.

We opted not to include Morocco here due to sheer logistics.

The reality is that 14 days is barely enough time to do justice to Spain and Portugal, let alone add on a whole additional country (with a wildly different culture, packing list, and attractions to consider, too).

jeremy storm riding a camel on a sahara desert tour in morocco during a backpacking 6 month round the world trip

When you add in the fact that Tangier, the Moroccan port city reachable by ferry from the Iberian Peninsula, isn’t typically the favorite destination of visitors to Morocco, it simply doesn’t make sense to add it to this route.

Now, that being said, Morocco is unforgettable–we still count our time there camping in the Sahara Desert as one of our favorite travel memories of all time.

If you have 3 weeks to work with instead of 2, you might consider adding a Morocco leg onto your trip.

We wouldn’t recommend a day trip, though: about 5 days, enough to see the Sahara Desert overnight as well as Marrakech and/or Fes, is enough to give you a solid taste of the country (though of course, 7-14 days would be even better).

With more time, the Blue City of Chefchaouen and the coastal city of Essaouira offer wonderful experiences.

Sahara Desert Tour Marrakech, Morocco

This itinerary for visiting Spain and Portugal in 2 weeks is best accomplished with a mix of transportation.

Between each Spanish city, the best way to get around is typically via high-speed train, though a flight is an option on one route.

In order to pull this itinerary off effectively, you’ll want to purchase tickets in advance and make sure you’re using the most direct routes!

Spain’s high-speed AVE trains, like many high-speed trains around Europe, use dynamic pricing–in other words, you should lock down your fares as soon as you can commit to dates.

laptop open to our escape clause on renfe train in spain itinerary

(Be sure to show up early, too, as high-speed train routes in Spain require a security check before boarding).

We use and recommend Omio , a ground transportation aggregate that is popular for traveling in Europe, for checking timetables and purchasing tickets.

For traveling between Spain and Portugal, which in this itinerary means traveling from Seville to Lagos, you’ll want to book a bus ( you can also do this through Omio , and the journey takes around 5 hours).

While it is possible to rent a car for this part of the route too, one-way drop-off fees between countries are generally astronomical.

kate storm and ranger storm sitting along the seven hanging valleys trail, one of the best things to do in algarve portugal

Once you’re in Portugal, depending on your travel style, you might prefer to rent a car for the Algarve portion of your trip and then drive the car to Lisbon, or to do without and take the train to Lisbon.

Taking the train between Lisbon and Porto is very simple, but if you’d rather step off the beaten path and visit somewhere like Óbidos , the Alcobaca Monastery, or Tomar along the way, driving can also be fun!

This guide for traveling between Lisbon and Porto breaks down your options in detail.

Shop rental cars  and  train tickets  for your 2 weeks in Spain and Portugal today!

jeremy storm and ranger storm at porto campanha station between porto and lisbon train

Here on Our Escape Clause, we have written (and continue to write) extensively about traveling to Spain and Portugal.

Those guides include (but are far from limited to) standalone trip itineraries for Spain , Portugal , and Andalucia , as well as detailed itineraries for most cities covered in this itinerary (for example, here are our suggestions for Madrid , Seville , and Lisbon ).

For that reason, I’ll try to keep the descriptions of each day semi-brief, as this Portugal and Spain travel guide will no doubt be extremely long regardless!

For more detailed day-to-day advice, I’ll continue to link to additional relevant guides throughout the itinerary, and you can also peruse all of our Portugal blog posts here and/or Spain blog posts here .

kate storm and jeremy storm sitting on a wall overlooking lisbon portugal

Day 1: Arrive in Barcelona and hit the ground running.

For the purposes of this 2 week Spain and Portugal itinerary, we’ll assume you arrive in Barcelona in the morning, jet-lagged but excited to start exploring!

(This is an extremely common schedule for flights from North America to Spain).

Once you drop off your language at your hotel (most are more than happy to store bags for you until check-in), it’s time to explore Barcelona’s iconic architecture.

On your first day in Barcelona, start with a visit to either  Casa Milà  or  Casa Batlló , two of the most famous homes designed by Gaudi!

They’re fairly close together, but given how much there is to see in Barcelona, we recommend only going inside one and seeing the other from the outside.

placa reial in barcelona spain with a fountain surrounded by palm trees

Personally, we recommend  pre-booking tickets for Casa Batlló  for as early a time in the day as possible.

After hitting up your first major attraction, take some time to explore the Gothic Quarter, including the Barcelona Cathedral, the Santa Caterina Market, the famous Las Ramblas, and Plaça Reia.

If you have time (and energy) Catalunya Plaza and Mercado de la Boqueria are also worth a look.

If you’re excited about all of Barcelona’s Catalan modernism architecture, we can also heartily recommend a visit to  Palau de la Música Catalana .

interior of the palace of catalan music, an amazing stop in barcelona on a 2 week spain and portugal itinerary

Though not designed by Gaudi, it’s an amazing (and compared to much of Barcelona, uncrowded) example of the style and a memorable place to visit!

Barcelona’s Arc de Triomf is also only a 10-minute walk away, and Ciutadella Park is just beyond it.

From there, depending on your energy, it might be time for a (brief) afternoon nap!

If you can pull together enough energy in the late afternoon or early evening, though, heading down to Barcelona’s coastline and soaking up some sunshine on the beaches (whether that means a swim or just grabbing a bench and enjoying the environment) is a memorable way to close out your first day on the Iberian Peninsula.

view of barcelona beach on a crowded day with a palm tree in the foreground

Where to Stay in Barcelona, Spain

When deciding where to stay in Barcelona, it’s important to keep in mind that this sprawling city requires some effort to move around.

In other words, there’s no way to stay near all the best things to see in Barcelona, but it’s best to stay by some of them!

We recently stayed at  Citadines Ramblas Barcelona  and were extremely satisfied–to the point that we may just keep going back on additional trips.

Our room was spacious, complete with a kitchenette, and extremely quiet despite the hotel being located in a prime spot right along Las Ramblas.

The view of the Barcelona Cathedral from the rooftop deck of the  Colón Hotel Barcelona  is pretty incredible too, though, and we have it bookmarked for a possible future trip.

If you’re traveling on a bit more of a budget,  Hotel Nouvel  also gets excellent reviews and is in a wonderful location.

Check rates & book your stay in Barcelona today!

jeremy storm and ranger storm walking down las ramblas in barcelona spain

Day 2: Dive deeper into Barcelona.

After your first full day of exploring, it’s time to dive even deeper into Barcelona!

Today, plan to head further afield, starting with a visit to  Park Güell  and/or Tibidabo for one of the best views over sprawling Barcelona!

(Keep in mind that these are a bit of a trek from the city center, especially Tibidabo, so plan on using a chunk of time for transportation).

Later on, the incredible Picasso Museum (which holds over 4,000 of the artist’s works), is a must-see for art lovers in Barcelona, while Camp Nou is a popular pilgrimage for football lovers.

view of park guell barcelona from above, a fun stop on a 10 days in spain itinerary

And, of course, we can’t forget  the Sagrada Familia : Gaudi’s unfinished masterpiece of a cathedral is an absolute must-see when visiting Barcelona!

We visited in the early evening after hearing that the interior’s light was at its best then, and we were not disappointed–the colors were phenomenal.

If you wrap up at the Sagrada Familia before sunset and would like to enjoy the Mediterranean while in Barcelona, consider wrapping up your evening with  a sunset catamaran cruise .

Book skip-the-line tickets to visit the Sagrada Familia  today!

interior of the sagrada familia in barcelona spain, an amazing destination when traveling to europe for the first time

Day 3: Enjoy a morning stroll in Barcelona and then head to Seville.

After a last look at Barcelona–perhaps one more pass through the Gothic Quarter, a stroll along the beach, or a leisurely breakfast in a cafe–it’s time to head south to Andalucia!

Seville, the capital of Andalucia and one of the best places to visit in Spain, is a 6+ hour train ride from Barcelona.

Alternatively, it’s about a 2-hour flight between the 2 cities.

ranger storm in the plaza de espana smiling at the camera

While we personally find the train more comfortable and pleasant (and it saves you the time and hassle of getting to and from the airports), there’s another factor to consider: flying is sometimes cheaper than traveling by train.

We recommend considering and pricing out both options, but either way, most of day 3 will be eaten up with getting to Seville!

Once you arrive, meander through Barrio Santa Cruz, grab dinner (or just a bunch of tapas– this popular tapas crawl is a fun option if you want to find the best spots with ease) and rest up for a full day of sightseeing tomorrow.

Shop train tickets from Barcelona to Seville today!

colorful white and yellow building barrio santa cruz seen during a day in seville spain

Where to Stay in Seville, Spain

When deciding where to stay in Seville, location is key as ideally, you’ll want to stay within walking distance of Seville’s best attractions.

We had a fantastic experience at  Petit Palace Puerta de Triana  on our most recent trip to Seville.

The hotel  has a fantastic location (central but also quiet–a far-from-guaranteed combination in Spain), a delicious breakfast, and comfortable rooms.

Looking for something a bit different?

The incredibly popular  Hotel Rey Alfonso X  is an excellent choice, and its rooftop views are sublime!

If you’d like to stick to more of a budget,  Hotel America Sevilla  gets wonderful reviews and doesn’t sacrifice too much in terms of location.

Meanwhile, for the height of luxury, you can’t beat the absolutely stunning  Hotel Alfonso XIII !

Check rates & book your stay in Seville today!

view of seville cathedral and patio de las naranjas from the giralda

Day 4: See the best of Seville.

Today, it’s all about appreciating the beauty of colorful, vibrant Seville!

Don’t miss the chance to visit the gilded and glamorous Seville Cathedral (with a side of dark history: you’ll find the tomb of Christoper Colombus here).

Climbing the cathedral’s bell tower (Giralda) for incredible views of the city is also incredibly memorable, and included with your ticket for visiting the Seville Cathedral .

The tiled Plaza de Espana, which is one of the most photographed spots in the city, is also a must-see!

One of Seville’s top attractions, the Royal Alcazar of Seville , is definitely worth experiencing–but depending on your sightseeing style, you may prefer to skip it and enjoy relaxing in the city more.

kate storm in a blue dress overlooking the alcazar gardens in seville spain

The Alcazar, with its complex of intricate palaces and beautiful gardens, is incredible… but it is outshone by the Alhambra in Granada , which you’ll be seeing in a couple of days when following this itinerary for Spain and Portugal.

If you’re a traveler who likes to leave no stone unturned, we recommend visiting the Alcazar first thing in the morning–otherwise, you have a more leisurely pace to work with.

Regardless of what you decide about the Alcazar, though, we highly recommend ending your evening with this wildly popular flamenco show , which is held in a venue dating to the 15th century and will give you an excellent taste of flamenco culture.

Flamenco is widely associated with Spain as a whole, but it originated in the south of Spain–and, according to some sources, it originated in Seville itself, making this the perfect place to pause for a show!

Book your flamenco show in Seville today!

tiled benches of plaza de espana as seen during a day in sevilla espana

Day 5: Take a half-day trip to Cordoba.

Less than  an hour from Seville by train  or car, you’ll find the captivating Andalucian city of Cordoba–which happens to be one of our favorite places in the region!

Once the most powerful city in Islamic Spain, the Cordoba of today is small and manageable, a bite-size tourism destination that nonetheless leaves a big impact on visitors.

Cordoba is most famous for its incredible  Mosque-Cathedral –literally a former mosque with a cathedral built into its center–which is one of the most memorable buildings we’ve had a chance to visit anywhere.

kate storm underneath arches of cordoba mosque cathedral, top attractions in cordoba spain

The Mosque-Cathedral should absolutely be your top priority when visiting Cordoba, but beyond that, there’s still plenty to see within a short walk!

Snapping photos of the picturesque Calleja de las Flores, relaxing in the Patio de los Naranjos, wandering through the Jewish Quarter, and checking out some of  the beautiful patios of Cordoba  should also be on your to-do list.

After enjoying the best of Cordoba, head back for a relaxing night in Seville.

You’ll need the rest: tomorrow will be one of the busiest days during your Spain and Portugal vacation!

kate storm in a floral dress visiting one of the patios of cordoba during a spain vacation

Day 6: Experience the legendary Alhambra.

Today is all about enjoying one of the giants of tourism in Spain: Granada’s legendary Alhambra.

This collection of centuries-old palaces (plus a fort, gardens, ruins of a medina, and more), is one of the most unique groupings of architecture in Europe, and the most-visited tourist attraction in Spain!

We wrote about  visiting the Alhambra extensively here , so I’ll try to keep this (kind of) brief, but the long and the short of it is that this is a place you need to plan ahead for.

Tickets often sell out, but coming from Seville for the day, we highly recommend booking an organized day trip (and as a bonus, that means you won’t need to book as far in advance as travelers hoping to score tickets independently).

Why take a tour?

court of the lions in alhambra nasrid palaces

While the Alhambra is absolutely worth seeing–it’s truly one of the most incredible places to visit in Spain, and worth going out of your way for–it’s in Granada, which is 3 hours, each way, from Seville.

Add in getting to and from the Alhambra itself and wanting to leave a small amount of time to sample the rest of Granada (we love this city!), and letting someone else take the lead will make your life much easier.

If that doesn’t appeal, there are two alternatives.

First, you could spend the previous night in Granada ( we stayed here and loved it )–but that will add on hours of travel to your journey to Portugal tomorrow.

Alternatively, you could opt to enjoy the Royal Alcazar in Seville instead, perhaps take a half-day trip to a closer town like Ronda or Setenil de las Bodegas, and save the Alhambra for another trip.

close up of fountains in generalife alhambra spain

If you don’t expect to be back in Andalucia soon, we believe the Alhambra and Granada are worth the headache–but with only 14 days to visit Spain and Portugal, it’s completely understandable if you’d rather slow down a bit, too.

If you do want to experience the Alhambra, this day trip gets great reviews and covers transportation, the Alhambra (including the essential tickets to the Nasrid Palaces), and time in Granada’s beautiful Albayzin neighborhood.

Don’t miss the view from the Mirador de San Nicholas!

Book your day trip to the Alhambra in Granada today!

kate storm and ranger storm at the mirador san nicholas in granada spain, one of the best places to visit in andalucia

Day 7: Say goodbye to Spain and hop over to Lagos, Portugal.

As you hit the halfway point of your Iberian adventure, it’s time to trade Spain for Portugal!

The simplest and most efficient way to travel from Seville to Lagos will be to travel by bus , which takes about 5 hours.

Unfortunately, with no trains between Seville and the Algarve, and no direct flights, there are limited transportation options to work with.

However, the good news is that if you haven’t been on a bus since you were school-aged, these buses are likely much more comfortable than you may think!

Considering driving?

Unfortunately, picking up a rental car in one country and dropping it off in another tends to incur extreme fees–think around 1000 Euro, give or take.

kate storm at ponta da piedade , one of the best lagos attractions

Once you arrive in Lagos, check into your hotel and head to the sea!

If you’re ready to stretch your legs (and have enough time in the day–summer visitors will likely have better luck here than winter ones ), consider hiking the Ponta da Piedade coastal trail to one of Portugal’s most famous viewpoints.

It takes a bit over an hour each way, though you can trim time on the way back by simply hiking along the road instead of the trail (though it’s much less scenic).

Want to enjoy the views from Ponta da Piedade, but without the hike?

Calling a ride share (we tend to use FreeNow in Europe, though Uber works too) will get you there from the historic center of Lagos in just a few minutes.

view of rocky cliffs of ponta da piedade in lagos algarve portugal, a fun stop during 2 weeks in spain and portugal itinerary

Where to Stay in Lagos, Portugal

Lagos’ central location, beautiful beaches, and convenient town center make it a fantastic place to base yourself during your time in the Algarve!

Each of these properties boasts excellent reviews and a prime location within walking distance of many of the top things to do in Lagos.

For budget travelers, a fantastic included breakfast, private room, and free parking are all waiting for you at Dream Lagos B&B  –and as the rave reviews indicate, you won’t be disappointed.

The trade-off is staying a bit further from the town center, though still within walking distance.

view of Fort Ponta da Bandeira with water in the foreground

For mid-range travelers, Hotel Lagosmar features excellent reviews and a perfect location right across from the Lagos Marina, plus a rooftop terrace with gorgeous views of the sea and town.

If you’d like to splash out a bit (and by the standards of much of Europe, the Algarve is a very affordable place to do so outside of the peak summer months), Tivoli Lagos makes a wonderful base in Lagos.

We adored our stay at this 4-star resort and would be thrilled to return to enjoy the beautiful property, gorgeous pool, restaurants, and delicious included breakfast again.

With free parking (almost) on-site, comfortable rooms, and incredibly easy access to Lagos’ attractions, Tivoli Lagos is a fantastic place to stay.

Check rates & book your stay in Lagos today!

view of gardens at tivoli lagos restort, one of the best places to stay in lagos portugal

Day 8: Soak up Algarve views.

With one full day to enjoy the Algarve, the best way to spend your time depends on a few factors, including your travel style, the season, your energy levels now that you’re past the halfway point of your 2 week trip through Spain and Portugal, and whether you feel like driving.

First things first, though: want to find a beach and spend all day on it?

You’re in a great place for that (though fair warning for those who grew up in hot climates like us: the water is quite chilly in the Algarve, even in summer).

Praia Meia, Praia do Camilo, Praia dos Estudantes, and Praia do Pinhão are just a handful of the many dreamy beaches in the immediate vicinity of Lagos (some within walking distance) that are excellent places to relax.

Praia do Camilo in particular is so scenic that it’s worth stopping by just to admire it for a minute!

praia do camilo from above, one of the best things to do in lagos portugal

Craving more activity?

Heading back to Ponta da Piedade, this time from the water, is an incredible experience!

Whether you want to kick back and relax on a boat ride or join an adventurous kayaking tour , you’ll be treated to unforgettable coastal views.

With any luck, you may spot a few dolphins, as well (though if that’s your focus, a dolphin spotting cruise might be more your speed).

front bow of a boat entering a grotto at ponta da piedade, one of the best activities lagos portugal

Willing to head 30-45 minutes away from Lagos by taxi, ride-share, or rental car?

The famous Benagil Cave can be visited from the charming town of Carvoeiro, and the magnificent Seven Hanging Valleys Trail and Marinha Beach can also be accessed nearby!

If you want to actually walk inside Benagil Cave, though, prepare to sweat for it: popular boat tours like this can enter the cave but can’t land there.

If you want to land… you’ll need to visit by kayak or SUP (but don’t worry–it’s only a 200m distance or so from the shore).

Book your Benagil Cave kayaking tour  or  small boat tour  today!

kayaks and sup boards at the edge of the beach in benagil cave algarve portugal

Day 9: Make your way to Lisbon.

After a last breakfast, a local beach stroll, and possibly even a quick morning visit to Ponte da Piedade, it’s time to say goodbye to the Algarve and head north to Lisbon–our former home for more than a year and a downright delightful city to visit.

The fastest way to get to Lisbon from Lagos is to drive, however, since you won’t need a car once you arrive (and you’ll incur a one-way drop-off fee for returning the car to a different city), you’ll likely want to opt for a train or bus instead.

The train is the most comfortable option, but generally takes between 4 and 5 hours and requires you to make a change, as there are no direct routes between Lisbon and Lagos.

The bus, while less comfortable, is cheaper, doesn’t require a change, and is a bit faster.

You can check both train and bus prices and times here.

long exposure of a train leaving a lisbon train station, traveling lisbon to porto train tickets

Once you arrive in Lisbon, it’s time to check into your hotel and then hit the ground running with sightseeing!

We loved this food tour , which starts later in the afternoon, and it is an excellent way to get introduced to the city.

Alternatively (or in addition!), head to the top of Lisbon to enjoy the gorgeous views from the remains of Castelo de São Jorge , and meander through Alfama.

Here, you’ll see many Lisbon postcards come to life, including the views from the Miradouro das Portas do Sol and the Miradouro de Santa Luzia, the famous Tram 28 (though we don’t recommend riding it–just snap photos from outside) and the Lisbon Cathedral.

view of lisbon portugal cityscape from miradouro de santa luzia

As you head downhill from the heart of Alfama, you’ll reach the riverside neighborhood of Baixa (where the food tour starts).

Be sure to check out Praça do Comércio, Rossio Square, and the Church of São Domingos while there!

If you’re interested in experiencing an evening Fado show in Lisbon, tonight is a great opportunity to do so.

Book your Lisbon food tour today!

kate storm in a black dress sitting on a ledge at miradouro de santa luzia, one of the best places to visit in lisbon in 3 days

Where to Stay in Lisbon, Portugal

While there are plenty of excellent neighborhoods to stay in throughout Lisbon, we recommend picking somewhere central with good transportation connections around the city.

Alfama, Baixa, Chiado, Principe Real, and Barrio Alto are great names to keep an eye out for when browsing places to stay.

For a budget-friendly hostel experience (with private rooms available), the  Sunset Destination Hostel  is a great, centrally located option.

At a mid-range price tag, you can’t beat the location or rave reviews for  Tempo FLH Hotels Lisboa .

Looking for a splurge?

The Lumiares Hotel & Spa  is part of the much-acclaimed Small Luxury Hotels of the World Collection, and offers stunning views that you won’t forget anytime soon!

Check rates & book your stay in Lisbon today!

view of praca do comercio from the top of the arch of rua augusta, one of the best lisbon off the beaten path viewpoints

Day 10: Enjoy sightseeing in Lisbon.

Today is all about sightseeing in Lisbon–and wear some comfortable shoes, because it will be a long (and hilly) journey!

First things first: if you didn’t visit Alfama yesterday, take a quick stroll through there and the neighborhood of Castelo (and stop for some pasteis de nata at Pastelaria Santo António while you’re at it).

If you’ve already visited Alfama, start your morning in Lisbon’s Bairro Alto (high town) and Chiado, exploring a corner of the historic center that you didn’t get to see yesterday!

Highlights include the Miradouro de São Pedro de Alcantara, the overwhelming Church of São Roque, the Carmo Convent, and a stop at Livraria Bertrand , the oldest still-operating bookstore in the world.

If you’re a fan of glitzy cafes, consider also grabbing a coffee and pastry at A Brasileira.

kate storm overlooking a mirodouro in lisbon portugal

From there it’s time to head over to the popular riverside neighborhood of Belém (taxi or ride share will be the easiest way to get there).

Here, you’ll find the famous Jerónimos Monastery and accompanying church (the church is free to enter, the monastery is not), the gorgeous Belém Tower (you don’t need to go in, but it’s worth seeing the exterior), the Monument of the Discoveries, and stunning views of the Tagus River.

You’ll also find the wildly popular Pastéis de Belém, which serves up the original pastéis de nata.

Yes, they are worth the long line (hint: the table service line is often much shorter than the takeaway line!), but if standing in line for carbs isn’t your thing, Manteigaria, another popular Lisbon bakery, has a location just down the street.

flatlay of pasteis de nata and coffee at pasteis de belem lisbon portugal

Meanwhile, the Jerónimos Monastery, while a must-see, is home to some of the longest lines for any tourist attraction in Portugal!

Pre-book your ticket and, since you’re visiting Belém in the afternoon, consider going close to closing time.

In the evening, close out your day with a sunset boat cruise on the Tagus River, soaking in some of the best views of Lisbon, the Tagus, and the Ponte 25 Abril Bridge from the water.

We absolutely loved our sunset cruise experience in Lisbon and highly recommend it–kicking back and relaxing with beautiful views is the perfect way to end a busy sightseeing day.

Book your sunset cruise in Lisbon today!

sailboats moving along the tagus river at sunset with ponte 25 de abril in the background, one of the best things to do in lisbon belem

Day 11: Take a day trip to Sintra.

Set in the hills just outside of Lisbon, the beautiful town of Sintra–complete with several fantastic palaces–is easily among the most popular places to visit in Portugal.

From the beauty of the distinctive yellow-and-red Pena Palace to the quirky Alice in Wonderland vibes of Quinta da Regaleira to the stunning views from the Moorish Castle and beyond, visiting Sintra is incredibly memorable and worth the effort.

… But, its popularity also has another side effect: the palaces of Sintra are among the most crowded places included on this Iberian Peninsula itinerary, so be prepared for that.

With only 2 weeks to cover both Spain and Portugal, you’ll want to visit Sintra on a day trip from Lisbon, and that essentially leaves you 2 options: travel by public transportation, or on a guided day trip like this .

view of coast from cabo da roca, a fun stop during an itinerary for portugal in 10 days

This day trip is one of the most popular tours in Portugal and includes visits to Pena Palace and Quinta da Regaleira as well as Cabo da Roca (long believed to be the westernmost point of mainland Europe, now simply a stunning viewpoint), and a short stop in the resort town of Cascais .

The pros of taking a tour are simple: as the palaces in Sintra are far enough apart that you can’t walk between most of them and parking is very tricky, it saves you time and allows you to see more.

The cons are simple too: with so many stops to make, you won’t have much time to linger.

If you’d rather travel independently, you can absolutely do that as well, though we recommend nabbing your tickets for Pena Palace and other popular places in advance.

Pena Palace in Sintra, an excellent day trip from Lisbon Portugal

The train takes about 40 minutes from central Lisbon.

Once you arrive in Sintra, you’ll board one of 2 buses that will take you to your first palace, and then (depending on which palaces you choose to see) another to your second and maybe third, depending on how fast you explore.

When you’re finished, you can head back to Lisbon via train or simply call an Uber (which is what we tend to do).

Book your day trip to Sintra today!

kate storm in stone tower at quinta da regaleira in sintra portugal

Day 12: Make your way from Lisbon to Porto.

All aboard to Porto!

The final destination of this itinerary for 2 weeks in Spain and Portugal, the beautiful city of Porto is compact and memorable, featuring stunning river views, endless port (and if you don’t think you like port… try it here before you commit to that opinion), and oodles of azulejos .

Easy sightseeing and a relaxed vibe make it the perfect final destination of your trip–but first, you need to get there!

The easiest way to travel from Lisbon to Porto is to take the train, which travels directly between the 2 cities and takes about 3.5 hours.

Most trains leave from Lisbon’s Santa Apolonia Station and run consistently throughout the day.

We go into more detail on managing the journey between the 2 cities in this blog post .

We recommend booking your train tickets for the earliest time you feel comfortable with–the sooner you get to Porto, the better!

sao bento train station, your first glimpse of porto after traveling from lisbon to porto train

Once you arrive in Porto, drop your bags off at your hotel (if it’s not time for check-in yet, they should be able to hold them in the lobby for you) and get ready to explore!

If you’re looking for a quick lunch, the roast pork and soft cheese sandwich at Casa Guedes is a great place to start.

From there, we recommend checking out some of Porto’s attractions that are further from the river, such as the Chapel of Souls, the Church of Saint Ildefonso, and Rua Santa Catarina.

If you have time, head over to the Church of Carmo, as and soak up the view from Miradouro da Vitória (and if you don’t have time to visit the Church of Carmo today, add it to your list for tomorrow).

And, of course, you can’t forget the very first attraction you’ll see as you arrive in Porto: the interior of the São Bento train station is magnificent!

kate storm jeremy storm and ranger storm at miradouro da vitoria in portugal travel

Where to Stay in Porto, Portugal

We’ve visited Porto several times now, and have made a habit of staying at Pestana Porto – A Brasileira or NH Hotel Porto Batalha during our visits.

Both hotels are beautiful, with excellent customer service and incredibly central locations that both make it easy to explore Porto on foot and easy to check in when arriving by train.

(They both also welcome Ranger, a must for us).

If you’re traveling Spain and Portugal on a budget, the Zero Box Lodge Porto gets excellent reviews.

Check rates & book your stay in Porto today!

historic boats on the douro river in porto portugal, the last stop on a 14 day spain and portugal itinerary

Day 13: Get to know Porto (and Vila Nova de Gaia).

After a leisurely brunch (we can heartily recommend Floresta Cafe and Esquires Coffee, both of which we’ve eaten at many times), make your way to Clerigos Tower to enjoy one of the most stunning views of Porto!

From there, check out the Porto Cathedral–while the church is free to enter, it’s well worth forking over a few Euro to explore the cloisters and attached museum, too.

Meander down toward the gorgeous Bolsa Palace (if you want to go inside, you’ll need to book a 30-minute guided tour ) and the Church of San Francisco, which is home to a downright stunning interior!

cloister of porto cathedral in porto portugal

At this point, you’ll be very close to Porto’s vibrant, famous, and colorful riverside, also known as the Ribeira District.

Once the haunt of fishermen and sailors, and now the haunt of tourists, the Ribeira district is a beautiful place to relax and enjoy views of Porto.

Like many picturesque neighborhoods around the world, the restaurants here tend toward being expensive and mediocre, but you can find occasional gems (we enjoyed our meal at Grupo Desportivo Infante D. Henrique, which has a great view but is a bit out of the hustle and bustle).

From Ribeira, make your way across the (lower level of the) Dom Luis I Bridge, to Vila Nova de Gaia.

kate storm and her grandparents in the ribeira district during a 10 day portugal itinerary

This charming riverfront destination is technically a separate city from Porto, but it’s also home to all of the port lodges, and no trip to Porto is complete without a port tasting!

This port cellar tour and tasting will give you a good idea of what to expect from a typical tasting, and you can either opt for an organized tour or a build-your-own adventure experience ( Quinta dos Corvos is a personal favorite lodge of ours).

This is also where you can hop on a 6 Bridges Cruise to experience Porto from the water for an hour–a delightful experience in and of itself.

Once you wrap up exploring Vila Nova de Gaia, ride the cable car back up to the top of the Dom Luis I Bridge, where you’ll be treated to gorgeous views over the city and an easy walk back to your hotel.

view of cable car in front of bridge and monastery in porto, a cool experience during an itinerary for spain and portugal in 2 weeks

Day 14: Say goodbye to the Iberian Peninsula and head home.

As you come to the close of 14 (hopefully) perfect days spent exploring Portugal and Spain, there’s one more challenge ahead: getting home!

By far the simplest method for closing out this itinerary is to fly out of Porto, however, for many North Americans, there’s a chance that will be a less ideal option due to scheduling, price, or both (Porto’s airport is much smaller than Lisbon’s).

It’s worth considering, but most likely, you’ll want to head back to Lisbon either the night of day 13 or this morning in order to catch a flight home.

However you say goodbye, be sure to make time for at least one more pastel de nata as you bid adios and adeus to the Iberian Peninsula!

kate storm in front of igrejo do carmo azulejos, one of the best places to visit in porto in a day

I mentioned this above, but it bears repeating here: while realistic, this itinerary is jam-packed, and one of the fastest-paced itineraries that we’ve published here on Our Escape Clause.

If you’re a traveler who loves to move fast, doesn’t mind changing hotels, and is hoping to see as much variety as possible on their Spain and Portugal vacation, you’ll love it (and be very excited to get home to your own bed afterward).

If you prefer a slower pace, or are enjoying 2 weeks in Spain and Portugal as part of an even longer adventure, you’ll likely want to slow it down a bit.

Here are a few good options for personalizing this itinerary.

restaurants underneath cliff overhand in setenil de las bodegas spain

Skip Porto to spend longer in Lisbon and the Algarve.

I debated for a long time whether or not to include Porto in the original itinerary above, as it adds quite a bit of travel time!

However, Porto is a small city that can be thoroughly sampled in a day, and it’s a very different city from the other cities featured on this itinerary.

Plus, port!

However, while we definitely consider Porto well worth a visit, if you’re flying out of Lisbon and want to limit your train time toward the end of the trip (it’s about 3 hours each way by train), skipping northern Portugal is definitely a valid option.

If you decide to spend longer in Lisbon, you might even want to add on an easy additional day trip to see a different side of Portugal, such as to Cascais or Óbidos ( here are the best day trips from Lisbon ).

view from the castle walls in obidos portugal, a fun addition to a 2 week portugal and spain itinerary

Start your itinerary in Seville.

While Barcelona is wonderful, there’s no doubt that you can cut your travel time significantly by flying straight to Seville to start your trip!

The downside of this route is that you’ll only see one region of Spain ( Andalucia ), but the upside is, you’ll move at a much slower pace.

highly decorated center of mosque in cordoba spain

Skip the Algarve and head right to Lisbon.

We decided to include the Algarve in this 14 day itinerary as it is not only beautiful and an incredibly fun place to visit, but a great change of pace from the more city-sightseeing-and-history-focused stops that make up most of the itinerary.

However, while swapping city streets for sandy beaches and seaside hikes is a wonderful addition to this trip, you can definitely save time by heading right from Seville to Lisbon.

If you’re more interested in cities than coastlines, or the weather isn’t cooperating for your trip, this might be a great option.

Visiting Cabo da Roca from Lisbon as part of your day trip to Sintra, or taking a day trip to Cascais , will also give you a small chance to appreciate the beauty of the Portuguese coastline offers without leaving the Lisbon area.

kate storm in cascais portugal on a day trip from lisbon

Swap Barcelona for Madrid.

This change isn’t a matter of timing, but of taste (and flight schedules).

We included Barcelona in this itinerary over Madrid as there’s only room for one of Spain’s two most famous cities, and Barcelona is both the most popular and arguably the most unique.

However, while Barcelona’s Gaudi architecture, Catalan culture, and seaside location are phenomenal, Madrid also has a lot to offer!

If you’re a big fan of art museums and royal palaces, you might prefer the Spanish capital ( our recommended Madrid itinerary is a great guide to what to expect).

Not sure which you’d prefer?

Let flight deals dictate which city you visit!

kate storm, sophie nadeau, and christina juan at cristal palace in retiro park madrid in the fall

Spain and Portugal are both the definitions of year-round destinations, and that includes this Spain and Portugal itinerary!

That being said, though, if you have flexible dates and are trying to pinpoint the ideal time to travel Portugal and Spain, we recommend enjoying this itinerary in the spring or fall.

Summer in Spain in particular, especially in Andalucia, can be brutally hot (we shudder to think of  visiting the Alhambra  at noon in July).

taxis driving through rossio square during jacaranda season during spring in lisbon portugal

Winter is perfectly doable, but the weather can be rainy and less predictable than in spring or summer (it is, however, a fantastic time to go hiking in the Algarve, as long as you don’t mind skipping the swimming).

On the plus side for winter, though, you’ll experience few crowds, low prices, and still have a decent chance at soaking up some sunshine, albeit with a jacket at hand.

The sweet spot for this 14 day Spain and Portugal itinerary, though, which travels across a decent swath of both countries and therefore needs to take multiple climates into account, is the spring and fall.

We have spent time in both Portugal and Spain in every season, and while each trip was a delight, we have a special place in our hearts for the spring and fall!

kate storm and jeremy storm at the alhambra during an andalucia road trip itinerary

If you’re lucky enough to have more than 2 weeks in Spain and Portugal, you have a chance to do two things: first, add Madrid to this itinerary (it was very hard leaving it off!).

And, second, slow down as much as you can: every one of the destinations included in this itinerary has plenty more to see, and also boasts far more incredible day trip options than there is time to cover in 2 weeks.

A day trip to Toledo from Madrid , to Monserrat from Barcelona, to Ronda from Seville, to Cascais from Lisbon , or to the Douro Valley from Porto, just barely scratches the surface of the options out there!

For even more ideas, here are the best day trips from Lisbon , and here are the best day trips from Barcelona .

kate overlooking the sea in cascais, a fun stop during 10 days in portugal itinerary

By adding day trips instead of overnights, you’ll be able to slow down the pace of travel and enjoy your trip even more.

If you have close to 3 weeks on the Iberian Peninsula, that’s when I would start to potentially consider adding on a Morocco leg, if that’s something you’re interested in.

As I mentioned at the beginning of the post, we’d recommend concentrating on the Sahara Desert , Marrakech and/or Fes, and if you have time, Chefchaouen and/or Essaouira.

Taking the ferry from Spain or Portugal to Tangier, Morocco, is a cool experience (though if you have a tendency toward seasickness like me–fair warning, it was also a nauseating experience), but Tangier is quite far from the most popular places to visit in Morocco.

Unless you’re particularly interested in traveling overland for its own sake, flying will likely make more sense, and there are tons of budget airline routes between Spain, Portugal, and Morocco.

Marrakech, Morocco: Jemma el-Fnaa

Our detailed packing lists for visiting Europe in the spring ,  summer ,  fall , and  winter  cover just about everything you’ll need to bring on your 14 day Spain and Portugal vacation!

To get you started on your list, though, here are a few essentials to add to your packing list:

Travel Adaptors for Spain and Portugal  — If you’re coming from outside of mainland Europe, you’ll definitely need adaptors for your electronics!

Spain and Portugal use the same plugs/voltage, so you won’t need anything different when moving between them.

alcazar gardens seville spain with a fountain in the foreground

Travel Insurance  — No one like to think about the possibility of canceled or interrupted trips, let alone accidents on the road.

Anything can happen while traveling, though–and that’s where travel insurance can help.

Check travel insurance policy inclusions and prices with  Safety Wing  for your trip here.

Camera  — We completely adore our  Sony a7R III , but whatever camera you’re comfortable with works–just make sure you have something with you to preserve your memories!

Comfortable Day Bag  — We currently use   Pacsafe’s sleek anti-theft backpack  and love it, but if you don’t want to shell out the cash for this trip, that’s totally understandable.

Just aim for something comfortable to wear, not flashy, and medium-sized–we used a  Northface Jester backpack  for years and loved it as well.

kate storm in a blue dress overlooking jeronimos monastery, one of the best things to do in lisbon portugal itinerary

Sunglasses  — The sun in Spain and Portugal is famous for a reason!

I find myself regularly reaching for sunglasses even in the winter when on the Iberian Peninsula.

Apple Air Tags  — Air Tags are a relatively new addition to our packing list, but we’ve absolutely loved having the extra security when checking our luggage!

They’ll be coming with us from now on.

Reusable Water Bottle  — Save both money and plastic during your 14 days in Spain and Portugal and add a reusable water bottle to your packing list for Europe!  I love this metal one .

Portable USB Charger  — Don’t stress about your phone dying while you’re sightseeing in Portugal and Spain: bring a USB charger along for the ride.

jeremy storm standing in front of sagrada familia in barcelona spain travel guide

How many days do you need for Portugal and Spain?

Personally, we recommend visiting for a minimum of 2 weeks if you want to have a solid overview of both Spain and Portugal.

If you have less time to work with, consider sticking with fewer destinations, and perhaps sampling one city in each country instead.

Can you do Spain and Portugal on the same trip?

Yes, you can absolutely visit both Spain and Portugal on the same trip!

As next-door neighbors located in the far southwestern corner of Europe, Portugal and Spain make a great combination when planning a European vacation .

chapel of all souls in porto, a wonderful stop during 2 weeks in spain and portugal

Is it possible to visit Spain and Portugal in 7 days?

Yes, you can visit both Spain and Portugal in 7 days–but don’t expect (or try) to see everything!

If you have a week in Spain and Portugal, we recommend picking one city in each country to focus on, with a possible day trip from each.

You’ll likely want to fly between the two countries in this scenario as well unless you happen to pick Lisbon and Seville, which are fairly close together (about 4.5 hours by car).

view of the torre del oro with women in flameno dresses in front, a fun place to walk during a one day seville itinerary

Can you drive a rental car from Spain to Portugal?

Typically, yes, you can drive rental cars between Spain and Portugal.

Be sure to confirm with your rental car company, though, and as always, make sure you tell them you plan to cross borders!

Can you rent a car in Spain and return it in Portugal (or vice versa)?

Yes, it’s technically possible to rent a car in one EU country and return it to another, but be prepared for an eye-watering fee for doing so!

One-way rental fees are almost always a bit pricey, but when it comes to crossing borders, it can get very expensive: we’ve been quoted around 1000 Euro (not a typo) more than once for the privilege.

If you plan to rent a car for your trip to Spain and Portugal, be sure to build extra fees into your budget… or just plan on returning it to the same country you picked it up in.

Check prices and shop rental cars for your Spain and Portugal road trip today!

jeremy storm with a gray rental car parked at the megaliths near evora portugal

Which is cheaper to visit, Spain or Portugal?

We go into this in a bit more detail in our Spain vs Portugal comparison post , but the basic answer is that while online resources and blog posts tend to state that Portugal is cheaper to visit than Spain, the reality on the ground is a bit more complex.

The cost of travel in Spain (and Portugal, for that matter) varies dramatically based on where you visit.

Barcelona, for example, clocks in as a pricey destination on par with  Paris  or  Milan , while other regions like Andalucia can be  far  less expensive–including less expensive than popular places in Portugal’s Algarve.

Overall, from the perspective of planning a vacation, I would say that the Spain leg of this trip and the Portugal leg probably cost about the same, with the most expensive destination (Barcelona) being balanced out by Andalucia being among the more affordable stops.

praia da marinha from above, one of the most beautiful beaches algarve portugal

Can you take the train between Spain and Portugal?

Technically, you can take trains between Spain and Portugal… but for this trip, you probably won’t want to.

Spain and Portugal are not well-connected by train, and doing so requires going out of your way from most major tourist destinations (there’s a train from Porto to Vigo in the north, and alternatively, with multiple stops, you can cobble together a very long route through the center of Portugal into Spain).

Lisbon and Madrid used to be connected via a night train, but that was discontinued in 2020 and talk of bringing it back (or installing a high-speed rail) is stalled at rumor level indefinitely.

There are no trains connecting the Algarve to Andalucia.

jeremy and ranger at abrantes portugal train station when traveling europe by train

Looking for more tips for visiting Spain and Portugal?

We’ve written about both countries extensively, with many more blog posts to come in the future!

You can scroll through all of our Portugal articles here , our Spain articles here , or check out these guides:

  • The Ultimate 3 Days in Lisbon Itinerary
  • Visiting the Alhambra in Granada: 21 Important Tips (FAQ + Tour Info!)
  • 17 Best Things to Do in Lagos, Portugal (+ Nearby!)
  • The Ultimate 3 Days in Madrid Itinerary
  • How to Travel From Lisbon to Porto (By Train, Car, or Bus!)
  • 19 Best Day Trips from Barcelona (+ How to Get There!)
Take This Map With You! Click each highlight to pull up the name of the destination. To save this map to “Your Places” on Google Maps, click the star to the right of the title. You’ll then be able to find it under the Maps tab of your Google Maps account! To open the map in a new window, click the button on the top right of the map.

4 photos of lisbon, the algarve, cordoba, and seville. black and red text reads "the perfect spain and portugal itinerary"

About Kate Storm

Image of the author, Kate Storm

In May 2016, I left my suburban life in the USA and became a full-time traveler. Since then, I have visited 50+ countries on 5 continents and lived in Portugal, developing a special love of traveling in Europe (especially Italy) along the way. Today, along with my husband Jeremy and dog Ranger, I’m working toward my eventual goal of splitting my life between Europe and the USA.

9 thoughts on “The Perfect 2 Week Spain and Portugal Itinerary (+ Essential Tips!)”

This Spain and Portugal itinerary is a fantastic guide for planning my upcoming trip – it covers all the highlights I’ve been dreaming of! 🌍🌟

Thanks so much! Have a great trip. 🙂

Wonderful info in this guide. Planning our Portugal and Spain trip for April/May 2024 including 10 day Portuguese Camino de Santiago walk. I will be using lots of the tips you have included in this itinerary. Thank you.

Thanks so much, Glenda–hope your Camino is wonderful!

Hi. Thanks for the tips & advice. What’s the best way to visit sights in each city? Uber? And did you book your accommodation in each city in advance?

Within each city, a combination of walking, tram/metro, and occasional taxi or Uber is best–it depends on which city and which specific sites you’re trying to visit! We have written detailed itineraries on several of the included cities that break those steps down in more detail. For example, here’s one of our Lisbon itineraries: https://www.ourescapeclause.com/3-days-in-lisbon-itinerary/

We do recommend booking your accommodation in advance. Personally, we never choose to arrive in a city without knowing where we’re staying. 🙂

Any suggestions re: going “counter clockwise” from Barcelona to Lisbon? We’d like to catch San Sebastian/Bilbao and maybe part of the Camino on the way to Porto then head home from Lisbon (2-3 weeks). Thank you for sharing your great insight!

My understanding is that you’re wanting to cover Barcelona, San Sebastian/Bilbao, some of the Camino (we’ll call that 5-7 days), Porto, and Lisbon–but nowhere else on this itinerary.

If so, that’s doable over 3 weeks, though I’d consider trimming one stop (probably the Camino, as it’s a bit of a commitment even when doing a section) if you need to trim the trip down to 2 weeks.

You’ll also be in the lucky position of being able to take the train from Spain to Portugal, which is typically out of the question for most standard itineraries! There is a route from Vigo (you can connect there from Santiago de Compostela in Spain) to Porto that will get you across the border.

Great insight. Thank you!

Leave a Comment Cancel reply

Deals of the Week   Make a Splash!   Up to 50% OFF

Portugal and Spain Tours & Trips

Find the right adventure for you through Portugal and Spain. We've got 440 tours going to Portugal and Spain, starting from just 4 days in length, and the longest tour is 32 days. The most popular month to go is September, which has the highest number of tour departures.

250+ Iberian Peninsula (Spain, Portugal & Gibraltar) tour packages with 4,024 reviews

Spain, Portugal & Morocco Tour

  • In-depth Cultural

Spain, Portugal & Morocco

This tour was truly Amazing!!! We loved it. Could not fault it. Well worth the money we paid.
  • 10% deposit on some dates Some departure dates offer you the chance to book this tour with a lower deposit.

Iberian Explorer (13 Days) Tour

  • Coach / Bus
  • Christmas & New Year

Iberian Explorer (13 Days)

The last night of the tour should include dinner so we had a chance to celebrate and say goodbye.

Spanish Ring with Lisbon Tour

Spanish Ring with Lisbon

We had an amazing time, lots of places we have seen in Spain and Portugal in a limited time.

France, Spain and Portugal Tour

France, Spain and Portugal

Excellent accommodation though extremly busy. Amazing Spanish tour guide-Julia V. She is kind , always smiling, supportive and very informative. Extremely organised and alwyas informed what, where to meet. dealt with disgruntled travellers who always want to sit at the front to take photos. There were many groups merging and interchanging which means extra work for tour guides and some.grumpy travellers. Thank you for organing the visit to Alhambra Palace, I have been to Spain 5 times and this was the first time I could visit Alhambra Palace My group of friends are Margaret Julie Lai Kow WONG Yun Wah WONG Boon thong Terry TEH Shu Jia DIAO Siong Mun NG Yan Ming ZHANG Look forward to book with Europamundo for my next tour Kind regards Margaret Wong 24 May 2024

Best of Spain & Portugal Tour

Best of Spain & Portugal

An adventure from the beginning. It is fast paced but slow enough where you get great experiences.

Highlights of Spain and Portugal Tour

Highlights of Spain and Portugal

The tour was great and hopefully we would have a chance to travel with VPT again.

Spain, Portugal & Morocco Tour

It was good, but tiring.

Portugal, Andalucia and Morocco from Madrid Tour

Portugal, Andalucia and Morocco from Madrid

The tour provided a wonderful opportunity to immerse ourselves in the local culture and experience the true essence of the destination.
  • €50 deposit on some dates Some departure dates offer you the chance to book this tour with a lower deposit.

Spain & Portugal Explorer Tour

Spain & Portugal Explorer

The tour needs more videos about the cities we visited and they should be presented in the bus before we reach the places.

Spain & Portugal: Flamenco & Tapas Tour

Spain & Portugal: Flamenco & Tapas

Amazing experience, beautiful places and incredible people to experience it with!

Discovery of Spain & Portugal - 15 days Tour

Discovery of Spain & Portugal - 15 days

Itinerary was great. Last stop Barcelona was the only weak part.

Spain and Portugal Highlights (Small Group) Tour

Spain and Portugal Highlights (Small Group)

We enjoyed each and every city and location, rich with history and culture, and learned so much about them.

Portugal, Andalusia and Morocco (Multi country) Tour

Portugal, Andalusia and Morocco (Multi country)

The actual tour itself was good. Guides were great, accommodation was excellent.

Charming Spain & Portugal - 10 Days Tour

Charming Spain & Portugal - 10 Days

We saw some beautiful spots and the optional tours were great.

Portugal and Andalucia from Madrid Tour

  • Sightseeing

Portugal and Andalucia from Madrid

Accommodations better than expected but number of people, (sometimes 50+), changing groups & buses.

What people love about Portugal And Spain Tours

Salida de Madrid (18/04/2024): Salimos directamente de la base de VPT en Madrid y el servicio a cliente ahí no es agradable cuando no eres un cliente directo de ellos. No nos aclararon el proceso, solo nos dijeron que esperaramos ahí a que alguien gritara nuestro nombre. Podrían ser más cordiales y con mayor claridad del proceso de recolección e inicio de los tours. Tour hacia Portugal (Natxo): En general todo excelente: el autobús (disponible con cargador USB, aire acondicionado, asientos cómodos), el conductor (excelente conductor) y el guía ( excelente en organización y atención). Los hoteles en Portugal: Hotel Lutecia (Lisboa) - Terrible que solo tuviera un elevador disponible y 3 autobuses haciendo check-in, pero en general el hotel bien. Hotel Aeminium (Coimbra) - Mal servicio de cena y desayuno, no era el de todos los huespedes. Las habitaciones estaban muy bien. Hotel Sol Principe (Torremolinos) - TERRIBLE experiencia en este hotel, de ida hacia Marruecos y de regreso a España. El hotel es viejo, con poco mantenimiento y pésimo servicio al cliente a la llegada. Nos dieron LAS PEORES habitaciones. Asignan habitaciones en el piso 11 y el elevador solo llega al 10, se tuvo que cargar las maletas 1 piso por las escaleras porque no tienen servicio de botones. El wifi no llega al piso 11. Lo único bueno del hotel es el buffet del desayuno y cena. Lo demás hoteles, todo muy bien en general. Tour opcional en Portugal (Sintra): Mala organización en la salida al tour - llegamos tarde a Sintra y nos dejaron solo 45min para poder recorrer la ciudad, lo cual no es suficiente para visitar los lugares más importantes! Tour de Andalucia (Carmen): Conductor y autobús muy bien. La guía bien, aunque podría limitarse a no emitir opiniones. Emitir opiniones acerca de temas como las corridas de toros es algo muy personal que debería evitar. Su organización en los hoteles y las salidas fue muy buena. Tranferencia a Marruecos: La recolección y la organización para subir al ferry bien, pero la información que se compartió no fue completa (agente: Inmaculada): no explicaron que se tenía que sellar el pasaporte subiendose al ferry, no explicaron el proceso para subirse al ferry, no explicaron el proceso para llegar a Marruecos bajando del ferry. Tour en Marruecos: Nos mezclaron con un grupo francés e inglés. Esto hizo MUY dificil y lentos TODOS los procesos. El guía hizo lo mejor que pudo para mantener todas las explicaciones en los 3 idiomas simultáneamente, pero era claro que no todo se podía compartir en los 3 idiomas en todo momento. Deberían tener un máximo de 2 idiomas simultáneos. Los tours a pie se dividían así y estuvieron muy bien organizados y guiados. El autobús era de menor calidad, no tenía cargadores ni servicio de Wifi, y el último día se descompuso la puerta. El conductor y el guía hicieron lo mejor que pudieron con sus herramientas de trabajo. Hoteles en Marruecos: Hilton Tanger - El MEJOR hotel de TODO el tour. Palm Plaza de Marrakesh - Hotel viejo, poco manteniemiento. La puerta de los baños no cerraba, la cama estaba muy incómoda. Mala asignación de habitaciones (nos dieron una habitación sobre el Club con mucho ruido nocturno). El servicio de buffet es bastante bueno. Los demás hoteles en Marruecos estaban excelentes. Las Tiendas a las que nos llevaron durante el tour en Marruecos son una ESTAFA a los turistas. Abusan de la confianza, pues no son ni los mejores lugares, ni los más baratos. Encontramos artículos que vendían a la mitad de precio en otras tiendas que recorrimos por nuestra cuenta. Cena opcional en Fes (experiencia árabe): PÉSIMA EXPERIENCIA --> TERRIBLE!!! Entrando pudimos notar que la zona que nos asignaron en el palacio era vieja y poco cuidada. Nos asignaron una mesa detrás de un enorme poste, de dónde no se veía nada. Nos dieron una mesa pequeña para 10 personas (de la mitad de tamaño que la que asignaron a un grupo de 9 franceses). La cena fue la misma que lo que habíamos comido a medio día. Los artistas eran de muy baja calidad (bailarinas, mago, músicos, etc) y la atención de los meseros era grosera (aventaban los platos con muy mala cara) Cena opcional en Marrakesh (experiencia bereber): EXCELENTE!! Es el tipo de experiencias que un turista espera experimentar con lo que se vende y platica. Transferencia de regreso a España: El guía explicó bien el proceso y se pudo hacer el regreso sin contratiempos. La recolección en Tarifa fue otra vez un problema, pues la agente (Inmaculada) llegó tarde a recogernos. La tuvimos que esperar afuera de los autobuses durante casi 1 hora bajo el sol a que se organizara, nos dividiera y nos asignara nuestros lugares en cada autobús. Tour de Andalucia (Ofelia): La guía y el conductor hicieron un buen trabajo, pero el autobus no era cómodo, no tenía servicio de Wifi y no tenía cargadores. No hizo sentido tener 3 personas angloparlantes en este autobús lleno de castellanos, cuando tienes otro autobús lleno de angloparlantes siguiendo la misma ruta. Hizo el tour más lento y, aunque la guía hizo un esfuerzo, su nivel de inglés no es muy bueno. Hotel Sol Principe en Torremolinos: Ver referencia arriba. Este hotel NO ESTÁ a la altura del servicio que se ofrece en todo el tour. Debería quedar FUERA. Hotel Los Angeles en Granada: buen hotel, aunque tiene detalles que debe cuidar en las habitaciones (puerta del baño no cierra, secadora de cabello no funcionaba) TODOS LOS GUIAS LOCALES ESTUVIERON EXCELENTES. Manejo de idioma, manejo del grupo, organización y conocimientos. LAS PARADAS: Todas las paradas que se hicieron en las carreteras durante el tour en Portugal, Andalucía y Marruecos estuvieron muy bien y oportunos. Debería intentarse no hacer las paradas simultáneas con todos los grupos para evitar aglomeraciones en los baños. El tema de seguridad y confianza en todos los lugares que visitamos estuvieron excelentes. Los conductores muy responsables con el tema de nuestras pertenencias en los autobuses.
I really loved our tour guide Ana Rita Lima. She helped us through a couple rough patches and I appreciate that. Very energetic and delightful!! I loved every bit of the tour except the hotel quality on the first night of the tour. It needed a vending machine that worked and more opportunity to get snacks upon arrival. It was just very basic. Also the hotel in ( I can't remember which city) we didn't have air conditioning. Our tour guide told us of where to be cautious (pick pockets) and some things we should be aware of. I appreciate that they stopped regularly for food and bathrooms breaks. Our driver, Rui, ( proved to have great skill, navigating in traffic, fog, rain and parking!! Overall, a great tour, with important history and valuable information!! With the exception of two poor quality hotels it was a memory that will last a life time. By the way, the Best Western in Barcelona is much better than the one we stayed in on the tour.
It was an incredible experience to see all of the different places in Spain! It felt like we were stepping into a movie with every new place we visited. Which made sense because a lot of those places actually were movie locations. Our tour guide, Emmanuel, was a funny and awesome guy. He was very patient, very accommodating, and informative; and he made sure that nobody was left behind.
  • Fully Guided (360)
  • Family (274)
  • In-depth Cultural (177)
  • Coach / Bus (95)
  • River Cruise (81)
  • Personalized (45)
  • Active (38)
  • Self-Guided (22)
  • Private (19)
  • Bicycle (13)
  • Hiking & Trekking (13)
  • Ocean Cruise (7)
  • Self Drive (7)
  • Food & Culinary (5)
  • Intl. Flights Included (5)

Travel Styles

  • Small Group (31)
  • Budget (65)
  • Luxury (33)
  • Singles and Solo (268)
  • For Couples (164)
  • Young Adults (5)
  • Seniors (154)
  • 7 Day Tours (33)
  • 10 Day Tours (86)
  • 2 Week Tours (103)
  • 3 Week Tours (72)
  • 4 Week Tours (11)
  • Summer 2024 (262)
  • Fall / Autumn 2024 (267)
  • Winter 2024 / 2025 (126)
  • Spring 2025 (169)
  • May 2024 (72)
  • June 2024 (237)
  • July 2024 (235)
  • August 2024 (244)
  • September 2024 (250)
  • October 2024 (248)
  • November 2024 (156)
  • December 2024 (117)
  • January 2025 (95)
  • February 2025 (97)
  • March 2025 (120)
  • April 2025 (86)

Discover TourRadar

  • Iceland Tours
  • Hawaii Tours
  • Lombardy 7 day tours
  • Jebel Toubkal Trek Budget tours
  • Cambodia, Laos and Vietnam 4 week tours
  • Fold n Visit tours
  • Group tours
  • Inspiration
  • Destinations
  • Places To Stay
  • Style & Culture
  • Food & Drink
  • Wellness & Spas
  • News & Advice
  • Partnerships
  • Traveller's Directory
  • Travel Tips
  • Competitions

All products are independently selected by our editors. If you buy something, we may earn an affiliate commission.

The 23 Best Places to Go in Spain and Portugal in 2023

By Redacción Condé Nast Traveler

Las Merindades Burgos

The start of a new year offers an opportunity to draw up lists of resolutions, and in our case, that means deciding which destinations around the world we want to explore. As the editors of Condé Nast Traveller Spain , we have collectively created another list: 23 places that we want to visit, and revisit, that are close to home – in Spain and Portugal too.

At the same time, the editors of all of the Condé Nast Traveller editions around the world have been discussing, debating, and defending their choices in order to create a collective list of the top 23 places to visit around the world in 2023. We are happy that two of our picks – a Spanish province and a town in the Alentejo region of Portugal – made the global list. We also hope the double honour for these two destinations will serve as a recognition of their new cultural, gastronomic, and hospitality offerings as well as encourage readers to go visit and see them in person.

Before you read further, you might want to grab a pen and a calendar as you begin to plan a year full of travel. And don’t forget to visit our global list of international destinations to visit next year –  the best places to travel in 2023 , vetted by  Condé Nast Traveller editors, plus ideas for  places to travel in the UK ,  places to go in the USA and  destinations to book in India .

Bañndose en el Roque de las Bodegas

Tenerife, Canary Islands

“In whatever month you visit Tenerife, it is always warm during the day and chilly at night,” our contributor Raque Sanchez wrote in a love letter to the island that expressed sentiments we agree with 100 per cent. The largest of the Canary Islands is a good place to visit, in any and every season. While you are there you can take a dip in the Atlantic, gaze at the stars from the summit of Mount Teide (with an elevation of 12,198 feet, it’s the highest point in Spain), explore little towns, and wander along the island’s many beaches, some rocky and some sandy. Tenerife’s varied landscape includes forests, deserts, valleys, and ravines and the Anaga Rural Park is a highlight. There are also two UNESCO World Heritage sites : the Teide National Park and the city of San Cristóbal de La Laguna.

An added plus is that the island has a remarkably rich and diverse choice of hotels. Among the award-winning properties are the  Hotel Botánico & The Oriental Spa Garden ,  Baobab Suites ,  The Ritz-Carlton Abama ,  H10 Atlantic Sunset ,  Gran Meliá Palacio de Isora , and  Bahía del Duque . On the island’s north coast,  BeTenerife offers an excellent selection of private villas for two or four guests.

It is also one of the best destinations in Europe for cycling enthusiasts, has long been a pioneer in sustainability (it has been recognised as a Biosphere Sustainable Destination), and is decidedly LGBTQ+ friendly, with an annual  Culture & Business Pride festival in June. Looking towards the future, the island’s Artificial Intelligence Tourism Master Plan is the first of its kind to be approved in Spain, and Tenerife aspires to become an Intelligent Tourism Destination – a distinction promoted by Spain’s tourism ministry to recognise destinations with innovative technological infrastructure that have demonstrated their commitments to sustainability, accessibility, and improving the quality of life of residents.

Tenerife also sparkles with Michelin stars. Among the restaurants enjoying that distinction are  M.B and  Kabuki (at The Ritz-Carlton, Abama),  Nub , and  El Rincón de Juan Carlos . Other  highlights of the island’s dining scene include  Kensei (at the Bahía del Duque hotel),  Kiki ,  San Hô , and  Melvin by Martín Berasategui , at the Terrazas de Abama Suites, where chef Sergio Fuentes helms the kitchen. You’ll also want to visit some of the island’s traditional beach bars including Punta de Hidalgo’s  La Cofradía , known for its limpets and shrimp;  Chiringuito Pirata , on La Tejita beach, where octopus is the signature dish; and  Bollullo , on the beach of the same name, where you’ll want order the cuttlefish. Clara Laguna

Zamora

Zamora, Castilla y León

Even many Spaniards are unaware of one of Zamora’s claims to fame: it is the European city with the greatest number of Romanesque buildings. Its sights in that style include 24 churches, a cathedral, a castle, a bridge, two palaces, nine manor houses, and the defensive walls that encircle the city. It is not surprising that the city is seen as a likely contender to be recognised by UNESCO in 2023. The city’s proximity to Madrid – less than an hour on the new high-speed AVE train – makes it an even more appealing and convenient destination.  

Zamora offers more, however, than just its Romanesque buildings. It also has an enormous legacy of modernista structures from the late 19 th and early 20 th centuries, the Duero River winds its way through the heart of the city and shapes the surrounding landscape, and the Lagunas de Villafáfila are a birdwatcher ’s delight, home to a dazzling variety of migratory species. It’s just one of many sights near the city. Lake Sanabria is the largest glacial lake in Europe, and a few miles away Puebla de Sanabria is considered one of the most beautiful villages in Spain. Farther south, the Sierra de la Culebra has the highest wolf population in Western Europe, although last summer’s wildfires devastated much of the area. Heading east, you will come across Toro, a beautiful wine capital where the LVMH group boasts its own winery, the excellent Numantia.

Nearby, in the heart of the vast plain known as the Tierra de Campos, the restaurant Lera has become famous as a temple to the pleasures of game and country cuisine. It draws celebrated chefs like Dabiz Muñoz who fill the tables at the restaurant in Castroverde de Campos, a small town in one of the quietest corners of Spain.

Finally, to the south of Zamora, the Arribes del Duero provide some drama. The imposing cliffs and the fjords below them act as a natural border with Portugal in an area that has attracted acclaimed international winemakers like Charlotte Allen from England, Thyge Jensen of Denmark and José Manuel Beneitez, originally from Madrid . Olive and citrus trees help to turn this corner of the region into a Mediterranean paradise. New gastronomic and hotel projects point toward the area becoming a little Tuscany in Zamora, even if, for now, few people in Spain or beyond have heard of it. David Moralejo

Mirador del Garbí Sierra Calderona Comunidad Valenciana

Sierra Calderona, Valencia

Located between the provinces of Castellón and Valencia , the  Parque Natural de la Sierra Calderona is a protected natural park that includes almost 70 square miles of pine and strawberry tree forests, ravines, sweeping vistas, and dramatic peaks. The summit of Montemayor, at an elevation of 3,320 feet, is the highest point in the park.

While the residents of Valencia know about this treasure – it is located just 12 miles from the province’s capital – it largely remains a secret in the rest of Spain. That means that visitors can still find tranquility and even a little bit of mystery alongside the park’s beauty and splendour.

A number of different civilisations and people have settled in the Sierra Calderona over the millennia. A trek through the range offers a chance not only to see all its natural wonders, but it is also a walk through history with stops at the 11 th -century Castillo de Serra, built during the Arab conquest of the region, and the Iberian hilltop fort Puntal dels Llops, which dates from the fifth century BCE.

Travellers interested in hiking and birdwatching will find a little paradise with several different routes to choose from: Garbi, which leads to the sea; the four-mile Olocau route, which starts in the village of the same name; the longer but largely flat 5.2-mile Portaceli trail, the more challenging 7.8-mile Tristán trail, and, for those who are more experienced and ambitious, the rewarding 23-mile Senda dels Cartoixos route that connects two historic Carthusian monasteries. There are also many other trails maintained by local governments and other organizations, like the Vía Verde de Ojos Negros, a popular cycling route that connects the town of Teruel and the Mediterranean.

The most visited peak in the range is Garbí, with a vista that offers spectacular views and is easily accessible. Other highlights in the area are the Serra Castle, the Portacoeli Charterhouse (a Carthusian monastery), the Santo Espíritu monastery, the Mola de Segart (a dramatic mesa), and the Font del Compte (a reservoir originally built by the Romans).

The Sierra Calderona is a natural wonder that has been passed down through the generations and from one culture to the next. If you visit, please leave it as beautiful as you found it. María Casbas

Briones uno de los pueblos con ms encanto de La Rioja.

Briones, La Rioja

The walled town with 700 residents is possibly the prettiest town in the Rioja. Its secret is its cobblestone streets, palecetes (“small palaces”), and churches. Located in the la Sierra de la Demanda and near many of Rioja’s best wineries, you’ll find vines growing in many of the postcard views here.  

You can start your wine itinerary right in town at the Vivanco Museum of Wine Culture, considered to be one of the best in the world. Displays focus on wine’s role in Western civilisation and the museum extends over 43,000 square feet, including six gallery spaces (five hosting the permanent collection and the sixth dedicated to temporary ones). The museum’s Garden of Bacchus includes 220 different varieties of wine grapes from around the world. A stroll through it offers a unique masterclass.

A highlight of the year in Briones is its unusual  Medieval Days in mid-June, specifically 17 and 18 June 2023. Declared a Festival of National Tourist Interest in 2012, the event celebrates a 1379 treaty between the kings of Castille and Navarra. Almost the entire town turns out in costume for a parade and other events when Briones turns the clock back more than six centuries. The accommodations are far from medieval, however, at the new and charming

Santa María de Briones , a 16-room boutique hotel located in a restored mansion.  Don’t leave without seeing the town’s old pharmacy, now located at the Ermita del Cristo church. After its former owner left the pharmacy to the church in his will, the church chose to move the beautiful 19 th -century cabinets, apothecary jars, and other items and reconstruct the pharmacy on church property where visitors can admire it. Cynthia Martín.

Melides

Melides, Portugal

Suddenly everyone is talking about Melides . That may cause some wistfulness on the part of some, aware that the secret is now out, but that’s how it goes. The little town on Portugal’s Alentejo coast , located a half-hour from already popular Comporta , is now the name on everyone’s lips. 

It all makes sense. There’s no shortage of reasons to fall in love with Melides beginning with the nearby Galé beach, where a red stone cliff of five-million-year-old fossils creates a dramatic backdrop to a long, sweeping stretch of sand. The landscape here still feels wild, something that it is (if we are honest about it) increasingly hard to find in Comporta though that town still has its undeniable charms. Alongside with its natural beauty, the beach has the plus of never feeling crowded. It is part of a 30-mile or so stretch of sand the runs from the village of Troia to nearby Sines. The waters are rough and cold, deterring all but the hardiest swimmers, but this stretch has another plus of fewer mosquitoes (which tend to plague the beaches that sit alongside rice fields in Comporta and elsewhere).

Another reason to visit will be added to the list in 2023. The designer Christian Louboutin, who helped to put this part of Portugal on the map with a 2013 campaign shot in the photogenic port of Carrasqueira, will open the boutique Hotel Vermelho . “Vermelho” is red in Portuguese, a nod to the trademark colour of the soles of Louboutin’s shoes. It’s a much-anticipated addition of big-city style to a town with fewer than 2,000 residents.  

The village’s charm comes from its typical Alentejo architecture, set amid a green and wooded landscape in the foothills of the Serra da Grândola. Olive, oak, and cork trees frame the views from the Vermelho mansion of the surrounding countryside. Louboutin’s vision echoes a phrase uttered by Tancredi in  The Leopard  by Lampedusa: “Everything must change for everything to remain the same.” The designer hopes only to breathe new life into place while preserving its peaceful atmosphere. 

Louboutin is not alone and the Hotel Vermelho will join  Pa.te.os , an impressive new hotel and architectural beauty designed by Manuel Aires Mateus. Made up of a number of separate villas, the hotel is reimagining luxury in the middle of the countryside near Melides. At the same time,  Melides Art , an artists’ residence and contemporary art space, has also been drawn to this corner of Portugal with its bohemian air, discreet charms (many of the admittedly bourgeois), and a pervasive sense of a calm. We hope the quiet survives Melides’s new popularity. David Moralejo

Mlaga

Málaga, Andalucía

Recently it feels like everyone in Spain, and a good number of people beyond Spain too, has decided to move to Málaga. If you are dubious, raise the topic at any dinner party in Madrid and you’ll soon learn about someone who has recently packed up and gone to the Costa del Sol or, at least, you’ll meet someone who is dreaming of it. 

The phenomenon has not happened overnight, though the rise of digital nomads and remote work have definitely contributed to it. If you can work from anywhere, why not choose a place where the climate is pleasant, you’ll receive a warm welcome, and the culinary offerings are excellent from the first bite.

If you aren’t quite ready to move to Málaga, you can at least visit, or revisit, in 2023. In fact judging from the results of the most recent  Readers Choice Awards from  Condé Nast Traveller , we expect the city is already included in many travellers’ plans. With its ideal size, neither too small nor too intimidating; nearly 3,000 hours of sunshine each year; the ease of getting there from other parts of Spain and Europe; its rich cultural offerings, and the pleasant setting it’s easy to understand the smiles on the faces of both the tourists and locals strolling along Calle Larios (the pedestrianised shopping street), the inviting Pasaje de Chinitas, and the waterfront Palmeral de las Sorpresas.

Recent hotel openings give travellers a varied choice of options. In 2021, notable hotel additions included  Only You Málaga and  Soho Boutique Equitativa ; in 2022,  H10 Croma Málaga joined them. And more projects are in the works. The best known of them is an enormous development planned for alongside the port of Málaga while others that we are watching eagerly – and which should open or reopen soon – are the Cortijo La Reina (following a complete renovation and upgrade of the existing hotel), Le Privé, and a five-star hotel planned for the Jewish Quarter that will be managed by Marugal, who also run the  Palacio Solecio . 

The list of additions to the gastronomic scene will entice travellers who live to eat. At the beginning of 2022, chef Álvaro Saura and entrepreneur Zuzana Salamon opened  Tasca Láska while Dani Carnero, who learned his craft from chefs including Ferran Adriá and Martín Berasategui, opened his third project in Málaga,  La Cosmo (following La Cosmopolita and Kaleja). Asturian chef Marcos Granda, who already has two restaurants in Marbella, Nintai and Skina, will land in Málaga in 2023, with In-Formal, a new culinary concept designed for the reimagined Gourmet Experience in the department store El Corte Inglés. 

Málaga has also been preparing for a milestone year related to one of its most famous native sons, Pablo Picasso, with 2023 the 50 th anniversary of his death. During what has been named the Year of Picasso, there will 42 exhibits covering the painter’s work around the world, including Málaga, where he was born. 

The  Museo Casa Natal Picasso will host several exhibits:  Bernardí Roig: El último rostro y La Afonía del Minotauro  (“Bernardí Roig: The Last Portrait and the Silence of the Minotaur”) until 28 May 2023,  Las Edades de Pablo (“The Ages of Pablo”) from 21 June to 1 October 2023, and  La Imagen de Picasso (“The Image of Picasso”) from October 18 to March 3, 2024. The  Museo Picasso Malaga will host  Picasso: Materia Y Cuerpo (“Picasso: Media and Bodies”) from 9 May to 10 September 10 2023, and  El Eco de Picasso  (“The Echo of Picasso”) focused on the master’s artistic legacy. Other institutions in Málaga are organising events, from talks to musical performances, marking the milestone. Expect more announcements in the months ahead.  

In other news, the Teatro Soho CaixaBank, Antonio Banderas’s personal project in his city, is staging a production of  Godspell , produced by Banderas himself and Emilio Aragón. María Casbas

Campo de Criptana Ciudad Real

Campo de Criptana, Ciudad Real

In a corner of La Mancha, travellers will come upon one of the most beautiful scenes in Spain. The windmills of Campo de Criptana inspired Cervantes, drove Don Quixote crazy, and charm everyone who visits this part of Castilla-La Mancha.

Campo de Criptana, Mota del Cuervo, and Consuegra have a remarkable concentration of some of the most picturesque and best-preserved windmills in the region. The three towns also have other charms that justify at least a weekend exploring them. Of the three, Campo de Criptana, in the province of Ciudad Real, is said to have been the specific inspiration for the plain of windmills in Cervantes’s book, which its famous protagonist believes are giants as he heads into combat against them.

In addition to the windmills (some of which are open to the public), the most important monuments in the town date from around the 16 th century and include the Royal Granary, the Convent of the Barefoot Carmelites, and ten hermitages – the most impressive of them is the one dedicated to the Virgen de la Paz, or Virgin of Peace.  A more recent addition, the Church of the Assumption of Our Lady, dates from 1958 and stands on the site of an earlier 16 th -century during destroyed in the Spanish Civil War. The eastern part of town, known as the Albaicín, was originally settled by Moorish refugees from Granada after that city was conquered by Christians. Many houses still have original Mudejar details like tiles and wrought-iron grilles. Cynthia Martín

Comillas Cantabria

Comillas, Cantabria

Comillas is one of those places that is so beautiful exactly how it is today that you hesitate to share its name, for fear that word will get out. For now, fortunately, Comillas remains a traditional vacation town of northern Spain. There are more houses than hotels, and more people who are here for the season than for a week. Unlike some other similar coastal summer towns, Comillas also has a number of historic sites of interest: the buildings of the Comillas Pontifical University (the university moved to Madrid, though the buildings remain), the Sobrellano Palace (once owned by the Marquis of Comillas), the Baroque church of San Cristobal, and the archaeological site, the Cuevas de la Meaza.

And then that is also the work of architect Anton Gaudí who gave the city one of its most famous landmarks, El Capricho. This playful and elaborate house is one of Gaudí’s few works outside of Catalonia, but it isn’t the only work of modernista architecture here. In 1881, the entrance to the town’s cemetery and some of its exterior walls were redesigned by Luis Domènech i Montaner, another prominent figure in Catalonia’s modernista architectural circles He was also responsible for the town’s Parque Güell and the Fountain of the Tres Caños, or “three spouts.” A work of modernista sculpture from 1895 can also be found at the cemetery, the  Ángel Exterminador by Josep Limona. 

There are also English-style houses from the last turn-of-the-century, like the home of the Duque de Almodóvar del Río and the so-called Casas Indianas, the houses of locals who had made their fortunes in the Americas. (These houses will typically have at least one palm tree planted nearby, making them easier to spot.)  The town has even appeared in the Guinness World Records as the world’s smallest whaling port (it was active into the 18 th century). Beachgoers can choose from the city beach and ones in the nearby Parque Natural de Oyambre; shoppers will want to scour the antiques markets; and gourmets can count on eating well.  David Moralejo.

The new London restaurants to try in May 2024

Olivia Morelli

The world's 50 best restaurants in 2024: who will take the top spot?

Sarah James

The best things to do in Bath, Somerset

Daisy Allsup

The best restaurants in London right now

Jerez de la Frontera, Andalucía

Think of the cliches of southern Spain, and the words “wine,” “flamenco,” “horses,” and “cellars” may come to mind. Instead of running from them, Jerez de la Frontera makes the wise choice of embracing them. Bring it on, the city says, as it welcomes visitors – with the table set and wine poured. There’s no need to hurry, however. You’ll find time for everything in Jerez. In this city that embraces tradition, you’ll want to start your adventure on the right foot, with a toast.

Whether you are on your first or 10th visit to Jerez, strolling aimlessly through the historic centre is the best way to ease into this city. With each step, you’ll feel yourself become part of the place as it reveals its character around every corner and a history written by Phoenicians, Romans, Muslims, and Christians unfolds before you. Palaces and lavish city houses alternate with religious buildings like the famous cathedral and a late 12 th -century mosque inside the city’s fortified Alcazar, home to a number of historic buildings. If it takes your breath away, inhale and then follow the smell of wine in the air.

 Jerez is a leading destination for wine tourism in both Spain and the world generally thanks to its abundance of wineries, many of them belonging to the Jerez-Xérèz-Sherry denominaciones de origen or DO (the Spanish version of the French AOC for its wine regions). Among the acclaimed wineries are  Tío Pepe-González Byass ,  Sandeman ,  Emilio Lustau , and  Williams & Humbert . Oenophiles will also want to stop at tabancos, classic tavernas that are the perfect places to sample local products; a museum celebrating wine; and wine stores.

Some people might say that sherry is trending right now, but we think that’s not the right way to understand the situation. Sherry is a timeless classic that just happens to be enjoying a moment of positive attention. Jerez does offer more to visitors than its namesake wine. The Horse Fair, the Flamenco Festival, the Harvest Festival, and the Motorcycle Grand Prix all offer opportunities to dive into an aspect of local culture and celebrate with the city’s residents (who are excellent at celebrating). Whether your visit coincides with a festival or not, the city’s two Michelin-starred restaurants provide a glimpse of a lively gastronomic scene:  Lú, Cocina y Alma is led by chef Juanlu Fernández and  Mantúa by chef Israel Ramos. 

Another reason to visit Jerez de la Frontera will be inaugurated in 2023: the Museo de Lola Flores. The museum to the outspoken and beloved actor and singer will open on the 100 th anniversary of her birth in Jerez. María Casbas  

Puerto deportivo de La Coruña

La Coruña, Galicia

This little corner of Europe, tucked above Portugal in the northeastern corner of Spain, was long described as “the end of the world.” Recently, however, it is starting to feel closer to being at the centre of the stage. One of the changes is noticeable even after a short stroll: the streets are increasingly filled with people of different nationalities, speaking different languages, and wearing different clothes. Ask one of them why they are in La Coruña, and the likely answer is “to work.” Ask where they work and what you will get in reply is likely a gesture towards the west, and the neighbouring town of Arteixo, where Inditex is headquartered. (Even if you don’t recognise Inditex as the name of an enormous multinational clothing company, you likely know some of its brands, including Zara, Bershka, and Massimo Dutti.) 

The Galician city’s increasingly cosmopolitan atmosphere is apparent not only when wandering its streets but also exploring the cultural offerings of its museums and art galleries.

One of the most important cultural initiatives has an Inditex connection via Marta Ortega Pérez, who is both the new president of Inditex and the president of a foundation that bears her initials. The MOP Foundation is structured around three pillars: La Coruña, photography, and fashion. Last year it hosted the successful exhibition  Peter Lindbergh: Untold Stories seen by 110,000 visitors.

“After that success, it was clear that we had to organise another exhibition,” Leticia Castromil, exhibition coordinator for the MOP Foundation says. “We couldn’t stop there.” At the end of November 2022,  Steven Meisel 1993 A Year in Photographs  opened its doors and the free exhibition will be up until 1 May 2023. The show is at a building on the city’s harbour, the Muelle de la Batería. Naomi Campbell, Irina Shayk, and Christy Turlington were among the fashion stars who attended the opening.

“The exhibition space is a former industrial building next to the port. It’s located in an area near the city centre but which had been closed to the public. Thanks to this initiative, part of another dock is now accessible again and people can walk around it,” Castromil adds.

In addition to the Meisel exhibition, 2023 includes a milestone for a one-time resident of La Coruña. Pablo Picasso, who lived in the city between ages 9 and 13, died 50 years ago. “Continue doing what you are doing and never doubt that you will achieve glory and a brilliant future,” a review published in  La Voz de Galicia said after seeing an exhibition by a precocious Picasso when he was only 13 years old.

During the year-long  Picasso Celebración 1973-2023 a series of events and activities will take place around the world. In the region where the young genius spent four formative years, the centre of the celebration is the  Casa Museo Picasso . The  Museo de Belas Artes da Coruña will host Picasso, Blanco en el Recuerdo Azul (“Picasso, White in the Blue Memory”) from 24 March to 23 June 2023. The Fundación Luis Seoane will organise a show on the women who shaped Picasso’s life and the  Escuela de Arte y Superior de Diseño Pablo Picasso is also planning events to mark the anniversary.

Alongside the rich cultural scene, there is an impressive gastronomic one as well, led by Árbore da Veira, Omakase, Bido, la Taberna de Miga, NaDo, Terreo, and Salitre. You’ll find specialty coffee shops, wine bars, cocktail lounges, pottery workshops, bookstores, and design stores as you make your way about the city. All this, with the Atlantic in the background serving as a reminder that while this was once the end of the world, today it is a place where new adventures begin.  María Casba

Playa de Santa Cruz Aethos Ericeira

Costa da Prata, Portugal

Three Portuguese destinations are on this year’s list, and all three overlook the sea. Or, more accurately, the ocean. One of the Atlantic’s gifts to Portugal is some of the most beautiful stretches of coast in the world including the Costa da Prata. The Algarve may be more famous, Comporta and Melides may be more “cool,” and Cascais and Estoril have nostalgic charms, but the Costa da Prata has its own, undeniable appeals.   

Even the name Costa da Prata isn’t that common, yet, but some of the towns along it – Ericeira, Nazaré, Peniche, and Aveiro are better known, especially among surfers. We are stretching the Costa a little farther south than some would define it by including Ericeira, which is about 45 minutes north of Lisbon. For many it starts instead at Playa Santa Cruz, in Torres Vedras. That town, which is roughly 20 miles north of Ericeira, is the home of a hotel that is a popular seaside favourite of surfers:  Noah Surf House . The northern end of the coast is often defined as Esmoriz, a half-hour south of Porto by car.  

There’s a reason we want to pull the southern end of the coast a little closer to Lisbon, to include the new  Aethos which is reinterpreting luxury with a surfer attitude that embodies the relaxed vibe of this part of Portugal – and which is also, oddly, a driver of its imminent boom.  Immerso , the first five-star hotel in this region, has interiors that highlight brilliant local craftsmanship, giving the project a unique and very Portuguese personality. Chef Alexandre Silva (one Michelin star) leads the gastronomic offering, an ode to Atlantic cuisine. 

Nazaré is better known thanks to its record waves (it’s official: Guinness Records gives the title of world’s largest surfed wave to one at Nazaré in 2020. It was 86 feet tall and German surfer Sebastian Steudtner rode it into the record books.) Nazaré itself manages, despite the fame of its swells, to remain a low-key fishing town, where some women still wear the traditional “seven skirts.” In 2021, an appealing new overnight option opened here, the family-friendly glamping at  Ohai Nazaré .

Peniche, and especially the beach known as Supertubos, is also popular with the surfer crowd. Consolação, another beautiful beach here, is capped at one end by a 17 th -century fort. The town is also a gateway to the Islas Berlengas, a half-hour by ferry. The islands form a protected nature reserve and only 550 visitors are allowed each day. Near the northern end of the coast, Aveiro has been nicknamed the Venice of Portugal and its colourful streets offer up a bounty of Instagram moments. We know the Costa da Prata will become a favourite of travellers as word gets out, just give it some time. David Moralejo

Estación de Canfranc

Canfranc, Huesca

It has been four years since we first reported that the spectacular Canfranc train station, inaugurated in 1928 and abandoned for decades, was going to become a luxury hotel. Despite the pandemic and other events creating some obstacles, the moment has arrived and the  Canfranc Estación, a Royal Hideaway Hotel will open its doors at the beginning of 2023. 

Located in Jacetania, a corner of Aragón along the French border and high in the Pyrenees, Canfranc’s main claim to fame historically has been the elaborate station which was constructed to facilitate and celebrate French and Spanish cooperation. Despite the grandeur of the inauguration, with King Alfonso XIII representing Spain alongside France’s president, traffic never lived up to the original forecasts and the station closed in 1970. Today the only train to use the station is a short-distance tourist one, the Canfranero, that travels the 117 miles from Zaragoza to Canfranc. 

A century after construction started on the original station, the building will begin its new life as a five-star, 104-room hotel in 2023 with the design studio Ilmiodesign responsible for the interiors. The developers’ goal is to make the hotel a leader in tourism to the Aragonese portion of the Pyrenees, helping to attract both national and international interest.

The project preserves the historic building and will support the local economy with the creation of around 150 jobs. Guests arriving at the hotel will find reception in the historic station lobby while the first floor also houses a wellness area, a library, and the main restaurant, which includes two carriages that have been refurbished to become elegant dining cars.

Architect Michele Corbani and industrial designer Andrea Spada, the founders of Ilmiodesign, were inspired by the aesthetics of classic stations and the luxurious world of long-distance train travel in the early 20th century, but they also wanted to add a contemporary touch, creating warm and elegant spaces that blend with subtle Art Deco elements. Wood, brass, velvet, and a palette inspired by the 1920s coexist with various elements drawn from Aragonese popular culture and colour combinations inspired by the regional costumes of the region.

Don’t fear that it will no longer be possible to reach Canfranc by train, on the Canfranero. While the hotel was being restored, a new railway station and platforms were also constructed. 

The Canfranc Estación hotel will put the Aragonese town on the radar of many travellers, but Canfranc will keep their interest thanks to the mesmerising beauty of the place, set amid the stunning peaks of the Pyrenees. While the station’s meticulous restoration allows it to begin its new life, when you hear the words “next stop, Canfranc” you’ll be adding some more lines to an ongoing story collectively written by thousands of passengers under a dizzying variety of circumstances with each leading to its own final destination.  María Casbas

Las Merindades Burgos

Las Merindades, Burgos, Castilla and León

Alfoz de Bricia, Alfoz de Santa Gadea, Arija, Berberana, Cillaperlata, Espinosa de los Monteros, Frías, Junta de Traslaloma, Medina de Pomar are some of the 26 towns and cities that make up Las Merindades, a corner of Castilla and León that sits just to the south of the Basque region. The capital of Las Merindades is Villarcayo de Merindad de La Vieja, a town of some 4,000 residents that provides a good starting point for visiting the historic region.

Arguably the most magical settlement in the region is Puentedey, a small village with less than fifty residents. Built along the Nela river, the two sides of Puentedey are connected by a natural stone bridge. In 2022, the village’s beauty and its cultural importance was officially recognised when it was added to the list of the Most Beautiful Towns in Spain in 2022 – a club that includes 105 localities to date. Puentedey is not alone when it comes to gems in the area. Frias, located atop a mesa overlooking the Ebro river, would also have a good claim to the title of the prettiest village in Spain if not for being disqualified on a technicality. In 1435, King Juan II of Castille gave Frias, now home to only 270 people, the title of “city” making it the smallest city in Spain. 

Those are only two of the many reasons to go to Las Merindades. There’s also the natural beauty of the region, thanks to its location in the foothills of the Cantabrian Range cooled by Atlantic breezes, a sense of history that is palpable in every town, castle, and even house, and surprises like the Ojo Guareña, a karst cave complex with almost 70 miles of galleries and passageways that have been used for shelter by humans for millennia. David Moralejo

Fbrica La Encartada

Enkarterri, Basque Region

Few people know about Enkarterri, a rich and surprising corner of the province of Vizcaya. (Enkarterri is its Basque name, in Spanish it is Encartaciones.) Those who discover it, however, tend to return. Only 35 minutes southwest of Bilbao, the sea and the mountains meet here in a land of green valleys that sits at the point where Burgos, Cantabria, and the Basque Country meet. The area also has an important “Indiano” heritage – that’s the word used in Spain to describe Spaniards who went to the Americas, or the Indies as it were, to make their fortunes. You can look inside some of the lavish Casas Indianas, mansions that are the results of 19 th -century versions of the American dream. Another important reminder of Vizcaya’s economic history is apparent in the factories and plants that dot the landscape here. One used to be dedicated to the production of that essential Basque accessory, the beret. In operation until 1992, and then converted into a museum in 2007,  La Enkartada offers a glimpse into northern Spain’s industrial past, and a lesson in how berets are made.

After exploring the factory, fill your stomach at  Casa Garras , an institution going on its fifth decade thanks to its evergreen appeal. Carnivores will fall hard for the “beef days,” which take place during the winter months, when the restaurant serves an 11-course beef-themed tasting menu with delicious creations like a rump steak tartar with roasted marrow.

And there is more. Txacolí, the sparkling white wine produced in this part of Spain, always provides a good excuse to explore different wineries set amid the region’s beautifully wild landscapes including the biggest valley in the province (Karrantza Harana/Valle de Carranza, which includes some 49 settlements along its length). There are many options for hikers, bikers, spelunkers, as well as those looking for more low-impact activities like the Japanese tradition of “forest bathing.” On a completely different topic, the area is also home to  the largest private collection of Rolls-Royces in Europe, located in a 14 th -century castle. Cynthia Martín

Edificios en la fotognica plaza Daoíz y Velarde de Oviedo.

Oviedo, Asturias

Oviedo, the elegant capital of Asturias, is known for the distinguished neoclassical architecture surrounding the city’s imposing cathedral in a flamboyant Gothic style and its remarkable pre-Romanesque buildings from the ninth century, with five works recognised by UNESCO: the Foncalada Fountains, the city walls, and three churches: Santa María del Naranco, San Miguel de Lillo, and San Julián de los Prados, known as Santullano. The city is also a top cultural and gastronomic destination.

Culture permeates life in this city thanks in large part to the Princess of Asturias Awards which are presented every year at the Campoamor Theater. In 2023, the ceremony will also celebrate the coming of age of the awards’ namesake, Leonor, the first-born daughter of the King and Queen of Spain and heir presumptive. The year ahead will bring some welcome additions to Oviedo. The Wamba Hotel from the  Sensia Hotels group will open next to the cathedral while a much-anticipated AVE high-speed train from Madrid will enter service in May, making it possible to travel from the capital of Spain to the capital of Asturias in about three hours.  This remarkable engineering project has taken years to complete and includes a 15-mile-long tunnel, one of the longest in Europe, which crosses the Cantabrian Range under the Puerto de Pajares mountain pass. 

Meanwhile, Oviedo continues to embrace its gastronomic heritage that makes it one of the great epicentres of cuisine in the country. The city can boast of nine stars from Michelin, with Casa Marcial holding two of them. In total, 43 restaurants in the city are recommended by the guide. Some local favourites include Cocina Cabal, Ca'Suso, Salazogue, Casa Fermín, Mestura, and Gloria.

Director Woody Allen captured the essence of the city when he listed its positive qualities: “Oviedo is delicious, exotic, beautiful, clean, pleasant, peaceful, and kind to pedestrians. It’s as if it doesn't belong to this world, as if it could not possibly exist. Oviedo is like a fairytale.” David Moralejo

Laguna salada de Calanda Teruel Aragón

Bajo (or Lower) Aragon

Spain constantly rewards travellers who want to venture off the beaten patch. Bajo, or Lower, Aragon is an outstanding example of this truth. Located roughly 90 minutes by car to the northwest of Valencia, Bajo Aragon is known for its processions of drummers during Holy Week while fans of motorsports head to  MotorLand , but there’s more to entice travellers. Its landscape of chasms, rivers, and marshes has been shaped by the extreme climate and the passage of time, giving rise to the area’s unique flora and fauna. In addition, the generally clear skies and the low light pollution in this largely empty part of Spain adds up to remarkable stargazing opportunities.

It is not easy to find top-of-the-line hotels here, but there are some promising new ventures like the beautiful  Torre del Marqués , while the  Parador de Alcañiz has an incomparable hilltop setting next to a castle and convent. At its restaurant, La Concordia, you can discover some of the highlights of Aragonese cuisine, often overshadowed by other regions, like migas (a dish made with stale bread, soaked and then sauteed with other ingredients), lamb, and, of course, ham from Teruel.

The ambitious ongoing project of restoring the Convent of the Desert, an 18 th -century convent that has been called the Escorial of Aragon given its enormous size, is also attracting interest while in Calanda, the birthplace of surrealist director Luis Buñuel, you can visit a museum, the  Centro Buñuel Calanda , dedicated to his films and life. Pack comfortable shoes as you’ll likely be getting in a lot of steps as you visit cave paintings (Val del Charco del Agua Amarga), Iberian sites (on the Route of the Iberians of Bajo Aragón), climb mountains (following the Route of the Stony Giants), or gaze at the stars (on the Route of Astronomical Viewpoints). Other sites are just half an hour away, like Matarraña (another idyllic rural corner of Spain) and Campo de Belchite, the birthplace of painter Francisco Goya.  Clara Laguna

Isla de Corvo Azores

Ilha do Corvo, Azores, Portugal

We like the remote and the unknown and that’s why this year we want to send you to the smallest and most remote island of Portugal’s Azores . Quite likely on your trip to the archipelago, often described as the Atlantic’s Hawaii (though with far fewer tourists), you will hop among a few islands. If that if your plan, include Corvo on your list of ports of call.

There’s only one paved road on the island. Follow it to Caldeirão, the crater of the volcano that gave birth to the island. From its viewpoint you will be able to take in its enormous size, almost 1.5 miles in circumference and almost 1,000 feet deep. At the bottom of the crater are two lakes where, according to legend, all the islands of the Azores are reflected on their surfaces. Cows and wild horses graze freely in this natural wonder, for immediately apparent reasons, the most photographed place in Corvo.

A small airport and ferries that cross daily from the island of Flores connect Corvo with the rest of the world, as does free Wi-Fi throughout its (tiny) territory. Tiny but with its own city. Fewer than 500 inhabitants reside in Vila do Corvo in a handful of whitewashed houses with red roofs. You’ll find most locals are happy to chat with curious visitors. Operators here offer a myriad of bird-watching tours – the island it is considered one of the best areas in the world to spot a variety of species; its status as the westernmost of the Azores adds to its diversity with some vagrants from the Americas landing here. Other guides offer boat trips around the island, if the sea permits, with chances to swim alongside steep cliffs that plunge into the water. David Moralejo

Vistas desde la terraza del 360º Rooftop Bar.

The capital of Spain continues its ascent to the top of lists of must-visit cities. Madrid has always extended a warm welcome, but there is a new energy and bustle as it assumes its place as a cosmopolitan, world capital. In the spring of 2022, we dedicated the cover of our 15 th anniversary issue to the city, and now it is already time to revisit it and update the list of new and upcoming openings. The reasons to visit Madrid will only increase in 2023.

 Both familiar and avant-garde; a cultural, gastronomic, and wellness centre, Madrid is a city of contrasts that never stops. Luxury hotel brands all want a presence here, and thus we have seen the recent openings of the  Mandarin Oriental Ritz and the  Rosewood Villa Magna . Only a little bit older, the  Four Seasons Madrid , the  Madrid EDITION , and  Thompson Madrid have added to the wealth of choices. And, while it’s not a new property, the renovation of the  Santo Mauro has elevated a favourite to a new level of luxury as it joins Starwood’s Luxury Collection.

Madrid, however, is far from done. The brand new  UMusic Hotel , the first hotel from Universal Music, is located in the old Teatro Albéniz building, a very short walk from the Plaza Mayor. Coming up next are the  Nobu Hotel Madrid , located halfway between the Puerta del Sol and the Paseo del Prado. The early-20 th -century landmark Metropolis building is set to be reborn with a boutique hotel, restaurants, and shopping and just a little further up the Gran Via, Brach Madrid, designed by Philippe Starck, is another much-anticipated opening of 2023. There are still rumours that Fairmont will be joining the mix soon with a property near the Congress building, and another surprising addition is a hotel on Plaza de Canalejas from Pescaderías Coruñesas, known for its critically acclaimed restaurants and gourmet fish stores. This is their first foray into hotels. All of these projects near the Puerta del Sol are earning the area the nickname, Milla de Oro, or “golden mile.” If your budget doesn’t include staying at one of these new hotels, at least visit its restaurants, spas, and rooftops (the competition is fierce in that last category). Two somewhat different options nearby are  Cool Rooms Palacio de Atocha (if you would like to stay in a 19 th -century palace given a contemporary update) and the new  https://www.thesocialhub.co/madrid/ (if you would like to stay in a co-working space, though one with incredible views and a full calendar of events. 

When it comes to shopping, stops you may want to include are the enormous Zara (the world’s largest) on Plaza de España, the revolutionary  WOW Concept store on Gran Vía, and  Galeria Canalejas , where you’ll find 11 iconic international brands including Hermès, Cartier, and Louis Vuitton). Madrid’s culinary scene continues to dazzle – if you want to visit some of the new stars, plan on making reservations far in advance. Among the most coveted tables are Leña and Smoked Room by Dani García and Amós, at the Rosewood Villa Magna, led by three-Michelin-star chef Jesús Sánchez (for his Cenador de Amós, on the Cantabrian coast). Desde 1911 is a sophisticated option and the venerated Zuara is among the best Japanese restaurants in the city.  At Zuma, Berria,  Bar Trafalgar , and the cocktail lounge  Isa (at the Four Seasons), you are guaranteed to eat  and drink well.  If you want to keep the party going into the morning, Lula Club and Medias Puri are two popular choices at the moment. Don’t be surprised if you decide you need one more weekend day, and night, with Madrid. This city, well, it can be a lot. Clara Laguna

Santa Iglesia Catedral de Santa María Murcia

Murcia, the city and region

Ask Spaniards of a certain age about the phrase, “Murcia, qué hermosa eres” (“Murcia, how beautiful you are”) and they will likely recall an odd television variety show from the late 1990s that promoted the region, and successfully implanted a slogan in viewers of several generations. Now many of those same people are discovering the truth of the motto.

The beauty of the province of Murcia can be experienced at  the Regional Park of Calblanque, the Monte de las Ceniza, and Peña del Aguila , perhaps one of the most beautiful and wild stretches of Spain’s Mediterranean coastline. The waters at Cabo de Palos are a favourite of divers while the lush Sierra de Espuña is the province’s green heart surrounded by vast orchards. There is also, however, a unique beauty to the region’s capital, the city of Murcia, which is the destination we are recommending for 2023.

“No tienes ni idea de lo que estás perdiendo,” or “You have no idea what you are missing,” is Murcia’s more recent tagline, and it has its truth too. The region’s history is not as well-known as that of some of Spain’s other cities, even with a cathedral that is an almost perfect example of Spanish Baroque architecture and an episcopal palace in a Rococo style that reflects Murcia’s long-running connections with Noto, Lecce, and other cities in southern Italy.

The city was established by the emir of Cordoba in 825, and Moorish influences and evocative references remain visible, including at the lavish 19 th -century Real Casino de Murcia, a glittering mix of architectural styles with an Arab patio, 20,000 sheets of gold leaf, and a neo-Baroque ballroom.

The 18 th -century Puente de los Peligros connects the historic centre with the Carmen neighbourhood where you’ll find another one of the city’s Baroque wonders, Carmen’s parish church, which was originally part of a Carmelite convent. The  Museo Salzillo focuses on the sculptural works of one of the most celebrated artists of the Spanish Baroque, Francisco Salzillo, whose works can be seen in many Murcian churches.  

The Arab medieval period in the city’s history lives on in the city walls and the Aljufía irrigation system, which was one of the first such systems in Europe and is still used to this day to irrigate much of Murcia’s farmland and orchards. Murcia’s status as the source of much of Spain’s produce is evident when you sit down to eat. The perfect freshness of the ingredients helps to make the cuisine here even more exquisite and helped to justify the city’s turn as the Spanish Capital of Gastronomy in 2021. Don’t leave without trying a traditional meat pie, a dish made with the famous bomba rice grown in Calasparra, stewed and salted fishes, zarangollo (a dish made with eggs, onion, and squash), and a Murcian salad (made with tomatoes, tuna, eggs, and olives).  David Moralejo

Vista de Sa Foradada desde Son Marroig

Mallorca, Balearic Islands

If you thought that the economic upheaval and travel disruptions of the pandemic meant that the Balearic Islands were going to suddenly become a bargain, it didn’t work out that way. At least there is a silver lining. As the destination perfects its approach to luxury, you’ll get a mix of exclusivity, exquisite service, and sustainability that justifies the price.

Mallorca’s most anticipated upcoming openings are from the Four Seasons and the Virgin Group, at opposite ends of the island. The iconic Formentor in Pollença (in the north of the island), where celebrities including Grace Kelly and Prince Rainier stayed, will reopen as the  Four Seasons Resort Mallorca at Formentor in 2024. The property, located on a 3,000-acre estate, aims to be the island’s most sustainable. The French interior design firm, Gilles & Boissier, who recently completed the renovation of the Mandarin Oriental Ritz, Madrid, were entrusted with the interiors of the Four Seasons as well.

Richard Branson’s much anticipated  Son Bunyola hotel is now taking reservations for dates after August 1, 2023. The luxury hotel is located in the estate’s 16 th -century finca, or manor house, and has 26 rooms. They join three existing villas – Sa Punta de S'Aguila, Sa Terra Rotja, and  Son Balagueret – on an 810-acre property with grape vines and almond, citrus, and olive orchards. Son Net is another luxury property that will open (spring 2023) in this stunning part of the island, from the owners of the impeccable  Finca Cortesin in Puigpunyent. Also nearby the  Belmond La Residencia , in Deià, offers polished luxury in one of the most picturesque parts of the island while the new  Kimpton Aysla Mallorca , just nine miles from Palma, is a contemporary retreat set amid landscaped grounds.

Sustainability is a focus of other recent openings on Mallorca as with  Can Ferrereta , in Santanyí, from the creators of the award-winning Sant Francesc hotel in Palma; the boutique hotel  Nivia Born , in Palma; the refurbished agroturismo property  Finca Ca'n Beneït , in the Tramuntana mountains; and  Es Racó d'Artà , which was recognised by Condé Nast Traveller in 2021 as the best health, sports, and wellness hotel.  HM Palma Blanc , in Palma, marries a contemporary style with local Mallorcan materials and power from solar panels. The adults-only  Vicenç de la Mar , in cala Sant Vicenç, was designed by architect Rafael Balaguer Prunés and carries the Design Hotels seal. Yurbann, a hotel group from Barcelona, also has an opening planned. You have to be quick to stay on top of Mallorca’s hotel scen e! Clara Laguna

Arco de la Estrella en la Plaza Mayor de Cceres.

Cáceres, Extremadura

The 2021 inauguration of the Helga de Alvear Museum, with its outstanding contemporary art collection assembled by the museum’s namesake gallerist and philanthropist, marked a turning point for the city of Cáceres in Spain’s Extremadura region, alongside the Portuguese border. The new building, and the Premio Nacional de Arquitectura that Emilio Tuñón of  Tuñón Arquitectos won for its design, announced that both the city and the broader province of Cáceres intended to compete for the attention of culturally curious travellers. 

The hospitality and culinary offerings are already waiting and continuing to improve. The 17 th -century  Hotel Hospes Palacio de Arenales & Spa is located amid olive groves but only 10 minutes by car from the city centre. There, Atrio can boast two Michelin stars while the Torre de Sande, also from the Atrio team, is located in a 15 th -century palace and is a star of Extremadura’s culinary scene which has long been an interesting region given its ties to neighbouring Portugal. Looking ahead, the Atrio team is also behind the renovation of the Casa Paredes-Saavedra, a Renaissance palace that is going to reopen as an exclusive 11-suite hotel facing the  Parador del Palacio de los Marqueses de Torreorgaz . Another palace, the Palacio de Godoy from the 16 th century, will reopen as a 72-room Hilton after having been closed for ten years.

The city of Cáceres is also a good gateway to explore the beautiful Jerte Valley and the area of Vera, part of Extremadura that is famous for its lush forest and many springs. The broader region of Extremadura has a total of six UNESCO sites that travellers will want to visit: the historic monuments of Cáceres, the archeological sites of Mérida, the Royal Monastery of Santa María de Guadalupe, the Monfragüe Biosphere and National Park, the Tajo Internacional Biosphere Reserve, and the Villuercas-Ibores-Jara World Geopark. While it has yet to get the UNESCO nod, the Monastery of San Jerónimo de Yuste has been recognised as part of Spain’s Patrimonio Nacional and deserves a place on travellers’ lists too. 

In 2022, the landlocked Extremadura boasted an impressive eight Blue Flag beaches on its lakes, rivers, waterfalls, and streams. Baños de Montemayor and Alange have been welcoming spa-goers since the Romans built baths at both hot springs.  Clara Laguna  

Un verano en Pals.

Pals, Catalonia

Writer Josep Pla once wrote that the best view in the region of Empordà is from  el Pedró , the restaurant that makes the best rice dishes in the town of Pals. Located in the historic centre, the view includes the Torre de las Hores, the Church of St. Peter, and the city walls that lead to a mirador that has now been renamed in honour of the author. “The contrasts that this site offers – the ocean, beach, and the Medes Islands; the eroded peaks of the Montgrí Massif, the deep greens of evergreen, cork, and pine forests with the geological formations of the Gavarres peaks and the flat farmland; and the botanical wonders along the banks of the Ter River – it all adds up to a rich bounty of great beauty,” the journalist wrote.  

This medieval village in the Baix Empordà region, along Catalonia’s Costa Brava, offers travellers easy access to the most charming coves along this part of the Mediterranean, such as Aigua Xelida, and beaches such as the familiar and wide Pals, Gola del Ter, l'Illa Roja, and Aiguablava. The bravest swimmers can dive into the Vies Braves, a public network of marine and open water routes offering a wilder experience of the Mediterranean. Cycling through the rice fields of the area or finding a glamping site as a base for an active vacation are other options for visitors, who will also find an ideal setting for golf, a chance to enjoy the  White Summer market and music festival, or simply visit organic vineyards.  Visitors can also learn more about Catalonia’s rich Romanesque and medieval heritage following routes through the villages of Begur, Palau Sator, Peratallada, and Monells, among others.

At the  Arkhe Hotel Boutique , a contemporary focus on health, wellness, and sustainability is paired with an intimate setting in the heart of historic Pals. Beyond exploring the region’s sites, staff can arrange everything from a “conscious nutrition” workshop to a meal amid the countryside’s wildflowers. Catalonia is known for the excellence of its produce and other ingredients as well as its celebrated chefs. Not far from Pals,  El Celler de Can Roca has three Michelin stars; some critics and fans argue it is the best restaurant in the world.  Bo.Tic , with two Michelin stars, is also among the region’s best restaurants along with Vicus and Pahissa del Mas. Make sure to have at least one dish made with the famous rice from Bassess d’en Coll before you leave. Clara Laguna

Agroturismo Mar Ccruz Valle del Arce Navarra

Valle de Arce, Navarra

South of Roncesvalles, the Valle de Arce (or Artzibar, in Basque) is one of the best-known areas of Navarra and famous for the beech forest to its east, which is one of the largest and best preserved in Europe. This destination is full of natural and historical treasures but not people – there are barely 300 living in the village of Arce and smaller hamlets nearby. The buildings feel untouched by time and it is possible to easily access ravines, forests, and unforgettable postcard views.

A plus of the Navarra Pyrenees is that they are beautiful any time of the year, whether its peaks are dusted with snow or its alpine lakes are shimmering in the summer sun. Simply take a deep breath, walk in any direction, and be surprised by charming villages like Usoz, with its sweeping views, Azparren, or Gorráiz – with its historic houses and churches. Stop and listen to the murmur of the Urrobi and Irati rivers, which form two valleys in the region. This part of the Navarra Pyrenees is a paradise for mountain and hiking lovers, who will find routes for all levels and tastes.

The area’s Romanesque heritage can be traced in historical monuments such as the hermitage of Santa María de Arce, next to the Urrobi river, and the church of San Julián in Nagore, both from the 12th century. You can admire the 15 th -century fortified palace of Ayanz and the Torre de Liberri, at least from a distance (both are located on private property and not open to public). You can get a closer look at the 13 th -century  Torre de Uriz , however, which has been converted into a stylish and intimate 12-room hotel.

 Another charming option is the  Agroturismo Mari Cruz , which combines a warm, family welcome with organic cuisine and a lot of magic. They say that amid its cabins, which provide retreats in the woods for those who want to slow down and discover another way of seeing the world, real live elves have been spotted. First, though, you need to take the time to truly listen and look. How’s that for a goal in 2023? Clara Laguna

o

  • New Zealand

logo

Ultimate 7 Day Portugal and Spain Itinerary with a Map

Due to the global pandemic, travel looks different right now depending on where you're going from/to. Please check for travel restrictions and adhere to all local guidelines before planning a trip to any destination you may read about on this site.  Please note: this post may contain affiliate links. If you purchase something by clicking the links, I will get a small compensation, at no extra cost to you.

Sharing is caring!

I won’t lie to you, Portugal and Spain weren’t really on my travel radar. Not because I wasn’t interested in them, but because I just had (in my mind) bigger things to see and experience. But I’m happy to report, I was so wrong for not prioritizing these destinations sooner!

Portugal is known for its beautiful (and incredibly hilly) coastal cities like Porto and Lisbon and delicacies including pastel de nata and piri piri chicken, plus port wine! You’ll love their orange roofs, blue and white tiled buildings, and historic gems.

Spain, I’m sure you’re more familiar with. Known for culturally vibrant cities, underrated coastal and mountain towns, incredible hiking (hello Caminos!), and food like you wouldn’t believe!

When tackling these two neighboring countries, it’s tempting to want to bite off more than you can chew…mainly in the name of limited travel time and your ability to be away from work. I get it. I’ve been there. Luckily, you can get around Spain and Portugal easily without a car and can accomplish a lot in as little time as one week.

With this Portugal and Spain itinerary, I’m sharing my exact one week itinerary with some suggestions on how to fill extra days if you have them!

This day by day Portugal and Spain itinerary covers the best things to do in Lisbon, Porto, and Madrid with stops in Aveiro, Sintra, Cascais, Salamanca, and Toledo.

Portugal and Spain Itinerary Summary

🛎️ Accommodation:

  • Lisbon (2 nights): Lisboa Sao Bento Hotel ($150+ per night) – great neighborhood, easily accessible via public transit and breakfast included
  • Porto (2 nights): Zero Box Lodge ($80+ per night) – amazing location, clean and safe, breakfast option available
  • Salamanca (1 night): Sercotel Puerta de la Catedral ($100+ per night) – in the center of town, walkable, Cathedral views
  • Madrid (2 nights): Melia Castilla ($150+ per night) – extensive breakfast, higher quality to end your trip, spacious

💃 Top attractions and tours:

  • Quinta da Regaleria in Sintra
  • Moliciero boat ride in Aveiro
  • Food tour in Porto
  • Flamenco show and dinner in Madrid

🍽️ Must try food:

  • pastel de nata in Lisbon
  • ovos moles in Aveiro
  • bifana sandwich in Porto
  • Iberico ham in Spain
  • churros and chocolate in Madrid

Is one week enough time to explore Portugal and Spain?

Yes and no. You will absolutely get a ton crossed off your bucket list on this one week trip in both countries, so don’t fret if you only have one week. But, as with MANY destinations, there’s never enough time.

In my opinion, you can easily do the highlights of Portugal and some of Spain in this itinerary, where I’ll be focused on the area of Spain closest to Portugal. Of course, Spain is a massive country, so this itinerary won’t be tackling the farther to get to places like Barcelona (all the way to the east away from Portugal) or Bilbao (to the northern coast).

If you have more than one week, I’ll share my recommendations on how to extend this itinerary to visit some other destinations in Spain or slow the pacing down to enjoy these destinations more deeply.

All this to say, if you only have one week to spend, this itinerary is going to be AMAZING to dive into Portugal and Spain.

View of a lighthouse over grassy hills with the ocean in the back

I have 10 – 14 days, is this itinerary right for me?

Definitely! In fact, if you have more time than one week, I’ll share exactly how I would spend those extra days. Then, from there, you can choose what sounds best to you!

View of a marina in Lisbon, Portugal

How to get around Spain and Portugal

If you’re coming from the US, you’re likely going to be impressed at how easy it is to get around Portugal and Spain. I’d argue that in the US, our public transportation system is lacking, but that’s not the case in Europe. Luckily, you can get around easily within cities and between them with buses, trains, and more!

The easiest way to travel long distances is often by train in Europe. They have an elaborate system where their trains can get you everywhere you need to go. On this itinerary, you’ll be using the train to get across Portugal and then again to get from Portugal to Spain.

Yellow train in Porto train station

The most important things to remember when traveling by train are to validate your ticket in the yellow kiosks around the platform and to ensure you get on the correct train. I found this super intimidating when I was traveling solo in Paris , but when in doubt, ask and use Google Translate on signs and in conversation. Don’t let the fear of asking for help stop you from getting to where you need to go.

Yellow validation kiosk in European train station

It’s very common to travel by bus in Europe as well. Buses are typically for shorter distances, although I’ve certainly used them to travel cross-country in Europe, as well.

You’ll use a bus to get around in this itinerary when crossing between Portugal and Spain in conjunction with a train above.

Ride Shares

Apps like Uber and Bolt are the two ride share apps most popularly used here. I recommend downloading them ahead of time, just so you aren’t scrambling when you need to request a ride.

Personally, I could never get Bolt to work for me because it needed to send a code to my phone number for verification and I never got it no matter what I did or where I was.

Still, I had no problem using Uber to get around if I needed it. And, fares are inexpensive compared to prices in the US, so you can expect rides for $6-10 USD or less.

Lisbon Portugal modes of transport include tram, car, and motorcycle

Taxis are most common when getting to and from the airport, however, they are used all over the place. In fact, I took a taxi in Salamanca (day 5 on this itinerary) to get back to my hotel because they were more prevalent than ride shares since it was a smaller town.

Local Transport

While you’re in each city, they’ll have their own local public transit to get around locally. For example, Lisbon is known for their trams!

Google Maps is your best friend when it comes to local navigation, especially. I also love the travel app , Rome2Rio, which shares lots of options for longer navigation.

Yellow tram in Lisbon with historic building in the background

Map of this Portugal and Spain Itinerary

The Ultimate Portugal and Spain Itinerary for 7 Days

Day 0: arrival in lisbon.

Depending on your travel dates, you may need to account for an extra day “0” to act as your arrival day. You might not have much time that day to do much of anything as far as sightseeing goes.

If you arrive in the morning you can skip ahead to Day 1 for the itinerary to truly begin.

Day 1: Lisbon

I’m starting you off in Lisbon as I did on my trip. Lisbon is a fantastic opener and one of the most important cities in Portugal. It is the capital after all!

There’s lots to see in Lisbon, so I recommend an early start if you arrived yesterday (day 0). If you arrived today, you can choose the activities you think you can fit in.

Hotel recommendation: Lisboa Sao Bento Hotel for 2 nights ($150+ per night) – great neighborhood, easily accessible via public transit and breakfast included (add a night if you arrive on Day 0, not Day 1)

Breakfast in Alfama

Now the one thing I missed when I was in Lisbon is the one spot I think I would have loved the best and that’s Alfama, the oldest neighborhood in Lisbon with the most beautiful, classic buildings. I was traveling on a Contiki group trip , so my itinerary was a bit out of my hands.

However, I was traveling with a fellow blogger (Elle of Travels with Elle ) who had visited the area on a prior trip and recommended Alfama to me.

Friends on Contiki trip in Porto, Portugal in front of a rabbit found art sculpture on the corner of a building

So, for you, I highly recommend getting breakfast there.

If I were permitted a do-over, I’d go to Augusto Lisboa in the heart of Alfama. This brunch restaurant serves up some stellar breakfast and some of the reviews even say it’s the best breakfast they’ve ever had! As a breakfast fiend, I’d definitely opt for there!

View of Alfama in Lisbon from a balcony above

Walking tour of Lisbon

For your first main activity, I recommend a walking tour of the city — whether that’s guided or on your own.

There are lots of highlights to see and you can do it yourself.

Start in Restauradores Square where you’ll spot a statue commemorating the tile workers who laid down the beautiful cobblestone-esque streets in Lisbon.

Make your way down to A Ginjinha , a classic liquor store where you can try the namesake drink. The drink is really a shot of liqueur made from ginjinha berries found in Portugal. It’s strong and tastes a bit like alcoholic cherries.

Woman holding a tray of ginjinha shots for a group of travelers in Lisbon, this drink made from ginjinha berries is a must try when visiting Portugal and Spain

Right next door is the Church of Saint Dominic , which played a role in the Inquisition when Jesuit, Gabriel Malagrida, was executed. It was also the site of the Lisbon massacre when New Christians (Sephardic Jews and Moors who were forced to convert to Catholicism) were murdered by Christians. You can also see evidence of a fire that occurred inside where the walls are were left in their scorched state.

The church is free to visit, so you can just pop in to take a look.

Church of Saint Dominic in Lisbon on a sunny day

Continue to Praça Dom Pedro IV (aka Rossio Square) where there’s a beautiful fountain, a statue of Dom Pedro IV, a king of Portugal, and wavy tiles that make it look like the ground is undulating.

View of Rossio Square fountain with Carmo Archaeological Museum in the background and wavy black and white tiles on the ground

Head to Santa Justa Lift, the most iconic elevator in the city that was built in the 19th century during the Industrial era. It takes you up to a viewpoint, however, the queue can get insanely long, so instead I recommend walking to the top.

Santa Justa Lift from the ground in Lisbon on a clear sunny day

You can either take the stairs at the back of the elevator, or walk around the city and up the hill. If you’re walking around (rather than taking the stairs), it’s easiest to navigate to Chafariz do Carmo , a fountain in a central square at the top of the hill. Head to the southeast corner toward the street, Tv. Dom Pedro de Menezes, which will take you to the viewpoint.

View of Lisbon cityscape form the top of Santa Justa Lift

If you are walking, you can also head to Praça do Comércio first to see another iconic square in Lisbon. This one is on the water, so it’s a really lovely spot to relax and take a breather.

Walking tour of Lisbon takes you through shopping streets like the one pictured here.

Traditional and Non-Traditional Lunch Options

There are lots of great restaurants in Lisbon, so I’ll share where I went and where I would have gone instead.

I ate at Organi Chiado , which was a vegan restaurant near the trek up to the Santa Justa Lift viewpoint. The food was delicious, but not the most classically Portuguese, so here’s where I’d go instead: Taberna dos Ferreiros , located closer to our next bout of activities.

They have traditional dishes like bacalhau, aka salted cod, which is a must try!

Vegan restaurant plate of food from Organi Chiado in Lisbon, Portugal

The original Pastel de Nata

Make sure you save room for dessert because I’m sending you to Pastéis de Belém , the original shop that made and sold Portugal’s most iconic dessert – the egg custard tart. This shop has been around since 1837 and they make pastel de nata best!

They were first made by someone from a neighboring monastery and sold in order to save the monastery, which was closed as a result of the Liberal revolution in 1820. The recipe has been secretly passed down generation-to-generation.

Now, when you visit expect crowds and a wait. It’s the name of the game, but one worth playing.

Box full of egg tarts from Pasteis de Belem in Lisbon, Portugal

One pastel de nata pastry costs 1,15€, and you’ll likely want more than one…they’re addictive. Plus, be sure to grab a packet of cinnamon to try them with for extra flavor and deliciousness.

You can get a table inside to enjoy them from, or simply get some to go. In fact, you can enjoy them from Praça do Império Garden or Garden Vasco da Gama, two nearby parks/gardens, if you don’t want to wait for a table.

Pastel de nata in Lisbon with colorful tiles behind from Pasteis de Belem

Monument to the Discoveries

This is one of the most iconic monuments in Lisbon – the Monument to the Discoveries (Padrão dos Descobrimentos), which honors the Portuguese discoverers of the 15th and 16th centuries including Henry the Navigator.

You can visit this monument for free and walk around it to see all of the discoverers on it. Plus, it’s MASSIVE so it’s fun to try to capture in a photograph. I especially loved that it borders the sea, which really emphasized the theme of discovery by crossing the ocean.

Monument to the Discoveries and Discoverers in Lisbon Portugal on a sunny spring day

Belém Tower

Keep walking to Belém Tower (pronounced Beleng), which is a tower that was erected to welcome people to the city as they approached on boats. Its architecture is in the Manueline style, which was named after King Manuel I. This type of architecture is also known as Portuguese late Gothic and features Gothic, religious, and maritime elements for a conglomeration of themes and pieces.

The tower acted as a ceremonial gateway to the city and a send off point for discoverers, although it was outfitted for military purposes as needed.

View of Belem Tower as with the sun obstructed behind it

Belém Tower was built in 1514 and completed in 1519 and was admitted as a UNESCO World Heritage Site in 1983, so it’s definitely a worthwhile stop!

As you admire it, try to spot the rhinocerous on the side, which is thought to be the first depiction of such an animal in Western Europe.

If you’re feeling up to it, feel free to go inside the tower to tour around. It costs 8,50 € for adults and is free for kids up to 14 years old.

Belem Tower in Lisbon close up of side with rhinocerous

Dinner at Farol de Cacilhas

In order to get the best view of Lisbon this evening, I recommend having dinner at Farol de Cacilhas , a seafood restaurant on the opposite coast of Lisbon’s main city area.

They have some amazing prawns, seafood rice, and Mozambique shrimp! Yum!

Expect 15 – 20 € for this meal. And feel free to find some inexpensive street food as an alternative, if you’re staying on a tighter budget.

shrimp and crawfish on plates at a seafood restaurant called Farol in Lisbon

Be sure to head outside to enjoy the views as well! You can walk along the water and spot the 25 de Abril Bridge, which was built by the same engineering company as the Golden Gate Bridge in San Francisco . Can you spot the similarities? (It’s impossible not to tbh).

View of 25 de Abril Bridge at sunset in Lisbon.

Related read >> Detailed 1 day Lisbon itinerary

Day 2: Sintra and Cascais

While you certainly can stay in Lisbon to keep exploring, I think it would be a disservice to ignore some of the smaller, less visited cities in Portugal. So instead, I recommend a day trip to Sintra and Cascais.

Sintra as it was explained to me is where the “old money” of Portugal was and Cascais is for “new money.” If you’re wondering what that means…think historic and lavish mansions in Sintra and upscale beach town for Cascais.

Both are worth a visit and you can see a lot of both in just one day, so let’s go!

And an aside here, I recommend grabbing breakfast at your hotel or from a bakery or café before you leave for the day. It doesn’t need to be anything fancy, just enough.

Getting to Sintra

The easiest way to get to Sintra is to take the train operated by Comboios de Portugal . It costs 2,60 € maximum each way for an economy class ticket and you can get them ahead of time or the day of at the station.

It’ll take you about 45 minutes to get to Sintra from Lisbon via the train.

Sintra castle on the hill as shown through tree leaves and fog

Quinta da Regaleira in Sintra

The most prominent mansion in Sintra is Quinta da Regaleira , which is classified as a World Heritage Site by UNESCO.

It was built in the 16th century and is a Renaissance-style home, which evolved over the years as different families purchased and lived in it.

Biggest attraction in Sintra, Portugal is Quinta da Regaliera shown here on a cloudy moody day

Most notably, it has features that were added and used by the Masons where the cave system and wells were built for initiation purposes. For example, they would walk down the spiral lining the well and soul search. Once they arrived at the bottom, they would pass under a waterfall and cross over stones along the water, which represented Jesus walking on water.

Masonic well in Sintra Portugal with people traveling down the stairs in a spiral

I mentioned that the property evolved as new families owned it. One interesting thing to spot is a giant fireplace with a bench that was once in the main home, but when a new family moved in and didn’t like it, they moved it out to its current location in the gardens!

Large stone gate in Quinta da Regaliera in Sintra

I recommend a guided tour to get the most of your visit, but feel free to do it self-guided!

Don’t skip a little exploration of the town of Sintra. They’re known for their travesseiro pastries (literally translated to pillow ), which are puff pastries full of egg and almond cream. One of the best places to get them is a shop called Piriquita . They have two locations in Sintra (called Piriquita I and Piriquita II), so if one is busy, head to the other.

Piriquita 1 in Sintra city, a must stop on a day trip to Sintra from Lisbon for their almond pastry

If you’d like to spend more time in Sintra, definitely check out the National Palace of Pena, which is a gorgeous, brightly colored castle on the hill. We didn’t have time to go since I was on a group trip (I cry), so go for me and tell me how it was!

Exterior entrance of National Palace of Pena in Sintra with yellow towers and historic stone uncolored towers

Lunch at Hifen in Cascais

To get to Cascais, there are a few options, but to save time and connections, I would go with the 1623 route bus (red line). It’s operated by Carris Metropolitana , so consult their site for further details like the schedule.

Once you’ve arrived in Cascais, visit Hifen for lunch if you want somewhere to sit down, or a street food/quick service vendor if you want more time by the beach.

Cloudy day in Cascais, a must visit beach town in Portugal

Hifen serves up Spanish inspired Poruguese food and the highlight for me was certainly dessert. I actually spoke with their pastry chef, Martim, who happened to be serving my group, and he recommended his chocolate walnut nougat dessert topped with homemade passionfruit ice cream from Santinni (a local ice cream vendor/maker). He said the dessert took him over 100 hours to perfect and you can taste it! Don’t miss it!

P.S. Their chocolate mousse was also devine!

Dessert from Cascais restaurant with walnut chocolate nougat topped with passionfruit ice cream and a blackberry

Explore Cascais

There are a few lovely places to check out in Cascais. First of all, the beaches are beautiful, but Boca do Inferno adds some ✨ spice ✨. This chasm in the seaside cliffs is gorgeous! To get there, you can simply walk 20 minutes along the water (northwest from Hifen).

Along that walk, there’s a number of museums that you’re welcome to explore as well including Museu Condes de Castro Guimarães , a Revivalist-style palace with art and artifacts, Santa Maria House Museum , with an elegant oil-painted dining room ceiling, and Santa Marta Lighthouse Museum , which teaches you about the namesake lighthouse and depending on the time of your visit, you can go inside!

Museum and lighthouse on the shore in Cascais on a sunny day in Portugal

Dinner in Lisbon

While I certainly can give you every restaurant that I visited, I did go to some not so great ones, so I’m going to refrain from giving you a recommendation just because I went there. Instead, I’ll share where I would go if I could have a do-over.

This dinner is that! I would go to Minhota da Prata , which serves up classic Portuguese dishes in a cozy restaurant in the center of town.

It looks like a great location with even better food. Although, one note, the all knowing Google says they’re cash only, so either come prepared, or take your own restaurant pick!

One food to try that they have is francesinha, a Portuguese sandwich with layers of hot meat like wet-cured ham, steak, linguiça, or chipolata and topped with cheese and a tomato based sauce.

Two women travelers dining at Farol, a seafood restaurant in Lisbon, Portugal

Day 3: Lisbon to Porto via Aveiro

Time to hop on another train to head north to Porto! For the most direct route, opt for train IC 273 Braga operated by Comboios de Portugal (same as the one used to get to Sintra yesterday). It’ll take you about 2 hours and 25 minutes to get to Aveiro and cost 29,50 €.

Moliceiro Boat Ride and a Snack

While you certainly can go straight to Porto, I think it would be a disservice to skip over Aveiro. This little town is also called the “Venice of Portugal” because they have two canals that run through town and gondola-like boats that traverse them, called Moliceiro boats.

Grab a ticket for a boat ride and enjoy learning a little history about Aveiro including the boats themselves, architecture of the surrounding buildings, and Aveiro’s historic role in fishing trade in Portugal.

Moliceiro boats in Aveiro, a great stop between Lisbon and Porto

While you’re there, pop into one of the bakeries in town to try their local delicacy, ovos moles, which is a flaky shell filled with whipped egg yolks and sugar. They typically are shaped after maritime elements like shells, fish, boats, etc.

Ovo moles shaped like a sea shell in Aveiro

Of course, a stop in Aveiro is optional, but I really enjoyed it there and it certainly makes for a nice break after traveling for hours.

Bifana Sandwiches for Lunch

Head to Porto on the AP 137 Braga train operated by Comboios de Portugal. It’s only a 45 minute train ride and 3,90 €.

You’ll probably arrive in Porto around lunch time, so I recommend finding a lunch spot. If you want one of my favorites, visit Conga for their bifana sandwiches, which is a Portuguese pork sandwich. They’re hearty, delicious, and inexpensive. You can also watch them make the sandwiches from the window out front or from the bar as soon as you walk inside.

A note here that many quick service restaurants in Porto feature these stand up bars at the entrances from which you can dine. You can just walk up or ask to be “seated” there.

Pork bifana sandwich from Conga restaurant in Porto, Portugal

Relax at Parque de Serralves

For your afternoon and evening in Porto, visit Parque de Serralves , which is a combination of gardens including a sculpture park, and an art museum. This is a unique way to be introduced to the city as you’ll learn about Portuguese art, while visiting one of Porto’s most beautiful greenspaces.

Don’t worry, tomorrow there’s lots of classic Porto activities on a walking tour and food tour. If you’re feeling up for it, you can certainly divvy up the Porto activities between today and tomorrow as you see fit as you read this guide.

As I mentioned before, I really encourage you to explore the city on your own and find somewhere for dinner on your own that looks great to you! More food recommendations coming tomorrow!

Raining in Porto from the rooftop

Local food tour for dinner

It wouldn’t be an “Alanna itinerary” without a food tour…they’re kinda my favorite thing.

In Porto, I went with Eating Europe and we went to the best local spots! We had croquettes, Portuguese rye and Iberico ham, and more. It’s definitely filling for a dinner and it starts in the 6:00 pm hour.

Guided food tour led by male tour guide of Eating Europe in Porto at night

Hotel recommendation: Zero Box Lodge for 2 nights ($80+ per night) – amazing location, clean and safe, breakfast option available

Day 4: Porto

Good morning from Porto!

Tackling Livraria Lello

This morning, I’m starting you off at one of the most touristy places on the list, which might be a confusing way to start, but there’s good reason!

If you want to visit Livraria Lello , the world’s most beautiful bookstore, it takes strategy. This bookstore became so popular from social media that they now charge to enter and the lines get absolutely insane…not to mention the crowds inside.

Still, I think it’s worth seeing at least once. So here’s how to do it.

Interior of Livraria Lello, the world's most beautiful bookstore, with mid-afternoon crows

First, buy a skip-the-line ticket online ahead of time. It costs 15,90 € and comes with a book. So you’re really just buying a book as a souvenir!

The tickets are timed and dated. I booked my ticket the day before, but I visited in shoulder season in March. If you’re visiting in the summer, check their calendar and be sure you get your ticket well ahead of time.

I recommend the first time slot of the day (hence this being activity number one on today’s itinerary). That’s so you can avoid as much of the crowd as possible.

@periodicadventures Replying to @Anamika And book tickets in advance! #livrarialello #portoportugal #porto #thingstodoinporto #portoportugal🇵🇹 #beautifulbookstore #bookstore #bookstores #traveltips ♬ original sound – ur mom <3

When you arrive, look for the line that matches your timed entry and ticket color (skip-the-line tickets were gold when I purchased). That ensures you’re in the correct spot. When in doubt, ask (politely…people get crazy rude around crowded tourist spots).

Livraria Lello interior with crowds

Once you make it inside, enjoy the central staircase, the Hogwarts library vibes (it was said to be inspiration for the author), and the little details that make Livraria Lello so gorgeous. The stained glass ceiling is incredible, the lamps, the book trolley tracks on the ground, and pulley system for transporting books between levels are all worth noting. Toward the back, there’s also an exhibit that rotates, so don’t miss it.

Jose Saramago exhibit in Porto Portugal, nobel prize winner

You’ll notice a collection of classics in special Livraria Lello covers. Those are the books you can choose from that come with your ticket. And I know that when you purchase your ticket online ahead of time, it has you choose between two books (mine was Art of War or Romeo and Juliet), but I asked the staff and you can choose any book in that special collection.

Once you’ve picked yours, you have to check out at a register so they can mark the book as “sold” in their system. Be patient and kind. They’re swamped.

The Art of War special collection Livraria Lello edition

Feel free to reward yourself with gelato from Amorino Gelato next door. I won’t tell.

Gelato flower in a cone from Porto

Walking tour of Porto

Let’s embark on a walking tour of Porto. You can certainly book a guided one , but in case you’re on a tight budget or want to do it yourself, I’ll guide you through some spots to visit.

Assuming you’re starting from Livraria Lello, head across the way to the Fonte dos Leões (or Lion Fountain). The lions here actually look more like griffins and are said to have been further Harry Potter inspiration when the author spent time in Porto.

Woman posing in front of Lion Fountain in Porto Portugal

Make your way a bit north to Letras do Porto, which is the massive Porto sign in front of Porto’s town hall. This area gives some great views of the city and is a fun photo spot!

Porto letters in blue in front of town square

Next up is a lunch stop. Although, I’ll share a bit of a spoiler now. I am sending you to the world’s most beautiful McDonald’s, so if you’re one of those people who loves to try McDonald’s when you travel, that’s an option for lunch a bit later on.

If not though, walk to Mercado do Bolhão, one of Porto’s most famous markets. It’s two levels and is housed in a neoclassical building with over 75 vendors. I highly recommend walking the market and finding something to eat. There’s prepared foods like sandwiches and groceries including produce, meats, and cheeses, for example. I had a simple ham sandwich on focaccia and it was delicious!

Outdoor market in Porto with covered vendor stalls

I also tried some hibiscus candy, which is popular in Europe. It’s made from dried hibiscus flowers and is candied so it’s chewy like a fruit roll up. You can find them at all the candy stalls!

My Harry Potter fans won’t want to miss the Majestic Café , where she who must not be named wrote part of the series. It’s a very popular café because of that, so if you intend to dine there, even for just coffee, expect a wait. Personally, I was content just peeking through the window to see the Belle Epoque-era decor for a moment including ornate wood carvings, chandeliers, and mirrors galore.

Majestic Cafe inspiration for Harry Potter when JK Rowling author was writing the series

Don’t miss the Church of Saint Ildefonso , which was built beginning in 1709 and completed in 1739 and features the iconic blue tile work on the facade (called azulejo) that was added in the 1920s.

And a note for azulejo tiles! These are painted tin-glazed ceramic tiles that are famous in Spain and Portugal. They often tell stories as they’re essentially canvases. You’ll spot them all over the place in both countries, so keep an eye out.

Anyway, back to the Church! Inside, you’ll marvel at the gold retable, which is the giant structure placed behind the altar. That alone is worth stepping inside for and don’t worry, it’s free to enter!

Exterior of Church of Saint Ildefonso in Porto, Portugal with blue tiles on the exterior

Continue to Porto São Bento, which is the main train station in Porto. Even if you aren’t traveling by train, I still recommend a stop here. It opened in 1916 and has some of the most beautiful azulejo tiles you’ve ever seen! Not to mention, it’s an UNESCO World Heritage Site and a National Monument of Portugal.

Train station in Porto with blue tiles and yellow ceiling

There are over 20,000 azulejo tiles and they depict the history of Portugal as well as peoples from the various regions in the country. You’ll spot a chronology of Portugal’s transportation system developments, conquests such as those by Henry the Navigator, and the wedding of King John I and Philippa of Lancaster, for example.

Portuguese blue tiles called azulejo tiles as seen in a train station

The final stop on your walking tour of the city center is McDonald’s Imperial, which is considered to be the world’s most beautiful McDonald’s. That might sound weird, but it’s true!

This was once a café, but when McDonald’s took over, they did their best to keep all the Art Deco elements found throughout the building. So now, you’re greeted with chandeliers, Art Deco stained glass, mirrored walls, and ornate sculpture decor on the upper walls.

@periodicadventures Not what you were expecting? 😂 #traveldestinations #beautifulplaces #beautifulplacestotravel ♬ LOVE. 70s remix by dustin garza – mo

This McDonald’s is called McDonald’s Imperial because out front, the sign has a massive eagle sculpture accompanying it. Sometimes, they even hire someone to stand out front with a live eagle!

It might sound kitschy, but it’s an interesting oxymoron of place.

McDonald's Imperial in Portugal is a must see on any porto itinerary because of it's art deco interior shown here

Now to continue our walking tour, I want to take you down to the water. You can either take the bus there on line 901 toward Valadares where the closest stop is Elevador Guindais, or you can take a ~ 15 minute walk down the hills of Porto to Cais da Ribeira, the picturesque waterfront area.

Here, there are vendors selling souvenirs, fresh chestnuts, and jewelry, among other things. Plus, you can sit for awhile on the water’s edge and watch the boats go by. It’s a peaceful break to split up the busy day.

When you’re ready, cross Luís I Bridge toward Cais da Ribeira de Gaia, another scenic spot where you can view Porto from across the way. This gives you the best view of the city itself!

boat traveling across the water outside of Porto shown in the background

Don’t miss Half Rabbit by Bordalo II, an art sculpture that takes up an entire side of a building. As it’s made entirely from recycled and fount materials, it’s a critique of society’s wastefulness.

Catch this sculpture made of found art called Half Rabbit

Port Wine Tasting at Casa Ferreira

The final stop for today is a trip to Casa Ferreira , a port wine cellar. What makes them so spectacular is that the person who lead the family business and brought Casa Ferreira to success was a woman, Dona Antónia Adelaide Ferreira! Who run the world?…GIRLS!

They cultivate their port wine from the Douro region with a focus on quality, tradition, and innovation.

Dona Ferreira Port Wine Cellar tasting with five tastes of aged wines

It wouldn’t be a trip to Portugal without a port wine tasting, so what better place for it! Tickets are 21 € and include a tour of the aging warehouse, vintage museum, and gardens, plus, of course, a port wine tasting, in 50 minutes. With your ticket you can try three wines.

For a more extensive experience, there’s another hour and a half long tour option for 28 € which includes a tour focusing on Dona Antónia Adelaide Ferreira herself and a tasting of 5 port wines. I did this one and it was incredibly interesting! Not to mention that port wine is STRONG (it’s like liquor, not wine), so the value of two extra tastings for only 7 € is definitely there.

Port wine cellar in Porto, Portugal

Dinner at Brasão Aliados

For dinner, I recommend Brasão Aliados , where they serve Portuguese sharable pub fare like pica-pau ( woodpecker in Portuguese), a stew-like dish with cubes of beef and vegetables served with toothpicks to skewer the pieces like a “woodpecker.”

To get there, you can take bus 901 to Trinidade (the opposite direction of the one to get to Cais da Ribeira).

They also have francesinha, which if you haven’t had a chance to try it, now’s your moment. Francesinha is that meat filled sandwich with cheese and tomato sauce on top (from Day 3 above).

And I have to mention their brownie because this thing was what chocolate dreams are made of! If you have room, don’t miss it!!

Warm brownie with chocolate sauce, cookie crumbles, vanilla ice cream, and fresh whipped cream.

Day 5: Porto to Salamanca

Alexa play “On to the Next One” by Jay-Z. Yepp, we’re moving on. And I know it feels fast, but we’ve got to get to Spain at some point on this Portugal and Spain itinerary, right?

How to get to Spain from Portugal

Today we’re headed to Salamanca, Spain, which is a smaller university town. In fact, it’s been a college town for it’s entire history!

It might be tempting to skip straight to Madrid or a bigger city in Spain, but unless you want to catch a flight, it’s actually best to take an extra day to travel from Porto to Madrid.

You can get to Salamanca from Porto via two buses. First take FlixBus 1038 to Viseu, then transfer to a BlaBlaCar Bus , which goes directly to Salamanca. the first leg is 2 hours and the second is 3 hours. If you need a break, I recommend a stop in Ciudad Rodrigo, which is one of the two stops before Salamanca on the BlaBlaBus. That total journey will cost about $25 USD.

PS: Be sure to look out the window! You’ll see some historic fortresses and cities along the way!

Woman lounging and sitting across two seats on a large coach bus with her feet in the aisle

Exploring Ciudad Rodrigo and Lunch

This small town in Spain is a beautiful first stop. It sits atop a rocky ridge and has been occupied as a city since the Neolithic Age (Americans could never!).

One of the best things to do there is explore the Cathedral of Santa Maria. Tickets are $6.40 and come with an audio guide so you can learn about the Gothic and Renaissance architecture in this Spanish National Monument.

Outside of Cuidad Rodrigo Cathedral in Spain

Ciudad Rodrigo also falls along the Camino de Santiago, one of Spain’s most famous medieval pilgrimage trails. I don’t know if I’ll ever have it in me to do one of the Caminos…but at least I’ve stepped on the trail, right?

Ciudad Rodrigo Camino de Santiago in Spain route path

I recommend a pause for lunch as well. My group went to Parador de Ciudad Rodrigo for their medieval themed luncheon. They have a restaurant on site that serves non-themed meals as well with a focus on Iberian pork, a delicacy of the area. You can make a reservation here .

They also have a hotel on site, so if you have more time in your itinerary than the 7 days I’ve allotted, you can slow it down, spend the night here and unwind.

Medieval meal in Spain at Pasadores Ciudad Rodrigo

Evening in Salamanca

As you arrive in Salamanca, it’s likely that it’ll be late afternoon. Luckily, since the town is so quaint, you can see a lot in a short amount of time. After dropping your bags at your hotel, head to the town square, called Plaza Mayor. It was built in the Spanish Baroque style in 1755 and was the inspiration and location for the film Vantage Point (which is quite good, if you haven’t seen it!).

The medallions (or circular portraits) that surround the plaza have notable and historic Spaniards, such as Francisco Franco and Miguel de Cervantes, who wrote Don Quixote.

Sunset in Plaza Mayor in Salamanca Spain

While you’re there, grab some of the best ice cream from Heladería Bico de Xeado . I had their plain chocolate and it was so creamy and delicious.

The best way to explore Salamanca is on foot.

Head out of Plaza Mayor to Casa de las Conchas, a unique building that’s covered in stone shells. It was built in the late 15th century and it’s actually a public library now! Remember, university city!

You can go inside or just admire the shell-covered exterior.

Salamanca Spain shell building Las Conches, which is a library

Head toward the Cathedral, which is impossible to miss. One of the most interesting features is that when the cathedral underwent restoration work in the 1990s, the artist added in a couple modern features to this 16th century cathedral including an astronaut and dragon eating ice cream.

The exterior is quite busy with figures, so they can be hard to spot, so it’s like a Where’s Waldo game!

Exterior of Salamanca Cathedral during golden hour

The astronaut in particular fueled lots of confusion and questions regarding 16th century prediction of space travel. It’s a compliment to the artist that he was able to add it in so seamlessly that people thought it was original!

Salamanca Cathedral astronaut

If you have time before dinner (aka if you’re not starving yet), I’ll usher you to visit Museo Art Nouveau y Art Déco – Casa Lis , which has a fabulous collection of decorative art by local Salamanca artists and beyond. Admission is only 5 € and they’re open pretty late, close to European dinner time at 7 or 8 pm depending on the day of the week.

While I didn’t have time to visit the museum, I certainly hope you do, because it looks amazing!

Woman in brown standing in front of a brown door in European small town

For dinner, I unfortunately don’t have a personal recommendation. Not because the food wasn’t good, but because I wasn’t feeling well this day of my own trip and left my dinner early without eating anything. It was picturesque, though, so I can recommend it based on that!

The restaurant we went to was called Mesón Cervantes and it was located in Plaza Mayor overlooking the square.

Feel free to find somewhere else though!

Woman standing on a balcony at night in Plaza Mayor in Salamanca, Spain.

Hotel recommendation: Sercotel Puerta de la Catedral for 1 night ($100+ per night) – in the center of town, walkable, Cathedral views

Day 6: Salamanca to Madrid

It’s time to be moving on, so hop on the train to Madrid this morning. It’s operated by Renfe and is called the Media Distancia line, which costs 24,95 €. It’s a direct route and takes about 2 hours and 45 minutes.

Lunch and a Must Try Dessert

Once you arrive in Madrid, drop your bags at your hotel and head out for lunch. For the most Instagram-friendly spot with great food, I recommend Restaurante-Coctelería Inclán Brutal Bar . They have some of the most insane dishes like duck rice served in a ceramic duck.

You can get drinks, too, in cups that look like celebrities including Freddie Mercury, Marilyn Monroe, and Elvis!

Note that they open for lunch at 1 pm, so if you need something sooner, you’re on your own.

Woman sitting at a mirrored table in a room covered in peacock decor, made for Insta-worthy spot in madrid

Okay, not entirely on your own. Whether you have this for dessert or a second breakfast Hobbit-style , don’t miss Chocolatería San Ginés where they’re famous for their churros and dipping chocolate. I can’t even begin to explain how freaking delicious this is, so please if you do nothing on this whole itinerary, please try these! Yes, that’s dramatic, and yes, I stand by it!

I served churros and chocolate as my wedding dessert, so it’s kind of a big deal to me haha!

Churro dipped in chocolate in Madrid at an outdoor table

Walking Tour of Madrid

This afternoon, I recommend a walking tour to get acquainted with the city. There’s a few notable squares including one called Puerta del Sol, which features “kilometer zero,” a plaque that marks the center of Madrid.

Plaza Sol in Madrid with Kilometer Zero marker on the ground

We honestly did a really relaxed walking tour of Madrid, so I recommend a guided one for a more extensive experience.

Dinner and a Flamenco Show

This evening, head to Tablao Los Porches to enjoy an authentic Spanish flamenco show . They have a full dinner menu including tapas and paella, as well as drinks.

Flamenco is such an interesting art, specifically because the dancer is leading the musicians. Meaning, the dance comes first and they read the dancer and follow with music including guitar and singing. It’s also an incredibly emotional art form, so pay attention to the dancers’ facial expressions as they dance. It will move you. I promise!

Male and female flamenco dancers with guitar player and two singers behind them on stage at Tablao Flamenco Los Porches in Madrid, Spain

A Night Out in Madrid

While I’m certainly not a nightlife type gal and often omit it from my itineraries, I actually did go out in Madrid because I was on a Contiki group trip and it was our goodbye festivities. If you’re looking for nightlife, Madrid is definitely a great place for you!

We went to a couple places, both of which were very fun — Enbabia Infused , which was more of a bar vibe with hookah in the back, and Espit Chupitos Madrid Sol , which boasts over 600 different shot flavors and was way more of a party!

Two women posing in a pink lit up corner of a bar in Madrid nightlife

Hotel recommendation: Melia Castilla for 2 nights ($150+ per night) – extensive breakfast, higher quality to end your trip, spacious

Day 7: Madrid with Toledo Day Trip Option

Listen, I’m just saying if you went back for churros and chocolate for breakfast, I wouldn’t tell anyone, okay?

Day Trip to Toledo

While there’s certainly enough to keep you busy in Madrid for a GOOD while, there’s actually some incredible day trips from Madrid to take including one to Toledo, that’s a great option.

You can get there directly on the Alsa bus for 6.18 €. It’s only about an hour and a half away and there’s lots of neat historic monuments, buildings, and activities in Toledo.

I recommend a trip up to Mirador del Valle, which is a viewpoint of the city. To get there, take the Unauto Bus L71 to the Ctra. Circunvalación (H. Doménico) stop.

Miradores viewpoint in Toledo, Spain

Toledo is a wonderful city for wandering because there are some incredible shops, namely for swords and metalworks, which is what this medieval city was known for.

Finally, you can go ziplining in Toledo over the river that runs through, called The Taugus, with Fly Toledo ! It’s only 11 € or 15 € if you want your photo taken.

Woman on a zipline in Toledo, Spain wearing a blue helmet, purple tank top, and jeans

Because I was on a group trip, I wasn’t entirely on my own time, which meant I missed some things in Toledo I wish I hadn’t. One was the Monasterio de San Juan de los Reyes, which just looks so beautiful. I also wish I had had time for the Cultural Exhibitions , which at the time I was visiting featured a witchcraft exhibit.

To get back to Madrid, you’ll take the same Alsa bus back.

Toledo, Spain metalworks and swords

Alternatively, consider a guided day trip to Toledo from Madrid that includes transportation, a stop at Mirador del Valle, a guided walking tour, and free time!

How to Spend a Day in Madrid

Alternatively, if you decide to stay in Madrid, there’s plenty to do.

I would personally do a guided food tour of Madrid , because those are always my favorite ways to explore a city.

I also really enjoyed their art museum, Museo Nacional del Prado . They have some very famous works including Las Meninas and The Garden of Earthly Delights. Just as a heads up, this museum is the most maze-like museum I’ve ever been to…that includes the Louvre in Paris . Take a map and give yourself extra time to navigate the place.

Admission is 15 €.

Madrid, Spain national art museum with Las Meninas and Garden of Earthly Delights

Some other things to do include touring the Royal Palace, exploring El Retiro Park , visiting the National Archeological Museum , and Temple of Debod , which is an ancient Nubian temple.

Exterior view of Spanish Royal Palace in Madrid from a view point on a neighboring hill

I know…kind of an open-ended ending to the itinerary. But, I really feel like the magic is in the wandering. Use this as a guide and don’t be afraid to stumble into what looks interesting!

FAQs about this Portugal and Spain Itinerary

What currency do you need.

Portugal and Spain both use the Euro. I had about 50 € on me in cash for the whole trip because most places do take card.

My preferred method of getting currency is through your local bank at home in US as part of my international travel checklist . You can do this online and they’ll mail you your currency. Super easy!

And just remember, if you pay with card, always choose to pay in the local currency (Euro), not your converted home currency as the rates are always awful.

Lisbon Rossio Square fountain and museum

How much does this itinerary cost?

Accommodation – $860 (7 nights)

Activities – $355

Food – $190

Transportation (excluding flights) – $130

Extras (food, souvenirs, etc.) – $50 (estimated)

Where to fly into and out of

I have you flying into Lisbon and out of Madrid. Depending on how much flights cost, it might be more beneficial to do the reverse. If that’s the case, you’ll have to reverse this itinerary. That part isn’t too difficult, but note that the transportation options may be different going in the reverse direction as I’ve stated here.

If you have more time to spend as well, you can choose where to fly into and out of based on your availability.

Madrid plaza Sol with fountain and statue of man on a horse with Tio Pepe sign on the building in the background

When is the best time to visit?

I’d opt for shoulder season, which is spring and fall. I visited in March and it wasn’t crowded most places, weather was mild, and prices weren’t too gouged yet.

Summer is considered peak season, so with it you’ll get way more crowds, which makes for a less than pleasant experience. Not to mention the heat can be intense and not all hotels run AC (although this is improving lately).

Winter is also a good option if you don’t mind it being cooler.

Madrid during spring with white blossoming tree in the city streets

I have more time, where should I go?

Of course, it depends on how much time you’re working with. One option if you’re shorter on time is to simply take this itinerary and slow down. Meaning you can spend an extra full day in Lisbon, Porto, or Madrid, as there’s much to do in those big cities.

For example, in Lisbon, there’s an incredible coach museum (like Cinderella coaches…not handbags), Museum of Art Architecture and Technology , and a castle with lots of viewpoints around town!

Historic plaza in Madrid with painted wall faces

If you have more time or simply want to go somewhere new, you can get to Spain’s southern region, Andalusia, by train. The big hitters there are Seville, Granada, and Córdoba, where Granada was the last home of the Moors before they were kicked out to Africa during the Reconquista. The Alhambra is the most famous Moorish palace to see.

You can get to Cordoba and Grenada from Madrid via the Renfe AVE trains where 02092 goes to Cordoba, 03930 goes from Cordoba to Grenada. To get to Seville, take the Renfe Intercity train 02494. It takes about 3 hours to get from Madrid to the Andalusia region, so I’d be sure you have an extra 2 full days to explore one of these cities.

view from under an archway out and up looking at the birds flying in the sky with Spanish architecture and details on the archway in Andalusia region of Spain

Don’t forget that as you move farther from the big cities, like Madrid, flight prices are likely to be increased unless you make your way back to those larger international airports.

You can also take a high-speed train (Iryo 06091) for 3 hours to Barcelona from Madrid. The most iconic things to do in Barcelona are architecture-related including Gaudi’s Park Güell, Sagrada Familia, and Casa Batlló. I’d give yourself 2 extra days to get to Barcelona and explore fully before flying out of their international airport (Josep Tarradellas Barcelona-El Prat Airport).

Barcelona view from Park Guell

Tips for visiting Spain and Portugal

Download google maps and translate offline.

Assuming Portuguese and Spanish are a language barrier for you as they are for me, you’ll definitely want to download those languages in Google Translate offline. That will allow you to translate menus and the like on the go even without service!

To download a language offline, tap your little person icon in the top left corner, then hit “Downloaded Languages” and tap the download button next to the language you want to download. Easy!

Similarly, you’ll want to download the Google Maps offline of the regions you plan to visit, specifically the cities you’ll be navigating on a deeper level.

To do so, enter the name of the destination in Google Maps and search. Once it pulls it up, scroll all the way to the right and hit the download button. That’s it!

Set of bookshelves that look like a man walking with his hand extended to hold a book found in Livraria Lello in Porto, Portugal on day 4 of this portugal and Spain itinerary

Use Bolt or Uber in these destinations

For ride shares, the two apps that are most used are Bolt and Uber. Personally, I could never get Bolt to send me the code for verification upon creating my account, so I never used it. But, if you have better luck, it is reliable, as is Uber!

Expect the heat

I don’t know why but it was hotter than I was expecting in Portugal particularly. It’s not closer to the equator than I’m used to, but for some reason their 62 degrees felt like 80! I literally had to buy tank tops when I was there because I had packed light long sleeves.

And even though I run hot, I know it wasn’t just me because I was with a group and everyone was hot! So, just come better prepared for the heat than I did, even if the temperature is “cool.”

Lisbon during March was incredibly sunny with not one cloud in the sky

Travel light

For any busy itinerary like this where you’re moving from destination to destination every day or so, pack light. You do not want to be hauling two suitcases and a backpack everywhere you go. Trust me.

Especially on train after train, it gets old FAST.

Try planning your outfits ahead of time and keeping a note in your phone to make sure you don’t overpack.

Not to mention, European hotel rooms can be quite small!

View of the city of Lisbon from the top of the Santa Justa Lift

What to pack for Portugal and Spain

Speaking of packing, here are some essentials to bring on your Portugal and Spain trip.

  • Reusable water bottle
  • Anti-pick pocket bag
  • Good walking shoes ( these are my go to’s for Europe …see below)

Group of travelers surrounding a trip manager tour guide who is explaining the significance of the Belem Tower in Lisbon behind them.

You’ll find these other resources helpful:

  • Overwhelmed? Find out if a group trip is better for you !
  • Best places around the world for college students
  • How to plan a trip budget using Excel
  • Tips for traveling on a budget
  • How to find the best things to do on vacation
  • Ultimate guide for easy trip planning
  • Other Europe travel guides

Woman on a ferry during winter in Istanbul

My Travel Essentials

  • Travel Insurance  – Going on an international trip? Don’t forget travel and medical insurance with SafetyWing .
  • Travel Card  – If you’re new to travel hacking, fear not! My favorite card for beginners gives you $750 in rewards when you spend $4,000 in the first 3 months, plus lounge access, 10x points on hotel bookings, and free TSA pre-check!
  • Get Your Guide  – Check out Get Your Guide for a one-stop-shop for booking travel activities.
  • Booking.com  – This is my favorite hotel search aggregator, specifically for reading reviews. On Booking.com , the reviews can be searched for keywords like WiFi, breakfast, pool, amenities, etc.! So helpful!
  • Anti-pickpocket bag – Worried about having your valuables swiped? PacSafe makes the best travel bags with zippers and straps that lock and with mesh steel enforced fabric.
  • Give the Gift of Travel  – This is the perfect gift for travelers in your life! Tinggly allows you to gift experiences around the world, perfect for birthdays, weddings, or anniversaries.
  • Staycation Idea  – Check out Resort Pass , which gives you day passes to resorts so you can use their pool, spa, and fitness center, a great staycation idea!

Save to Pinterest

In this one week Portugal and Spain itinerary, I'm sharing a day by day breakdown on how to spend the time in Lisbon, Sintra, Cascais, Porto, Salamanca, Toledo, and Madrid! This travel guide has transportation recommendations, accommodation tips, and more!

previous post

Santa Justa Lift from the ground in Lisbon on a clear sunny day

Alanna Koritzke

Recent PhD graduate and hyper-planner of Periodic Adventures, my goal is to share travel inspiration, budget tips, detailed guides, and fun travel stories!

Related Posts

How to spend 1 day in lisbon, portugal: highlights, culture, and iconic eats.

Cleveland sign on the waterfront

How to Spend a Delightful Day Trip to Cleveland, Ohio

Arc de Triomphe rooftop view of Champs Elysées during daylight on a sunny clear day

The Perfect 1 Day in Paris Itinerary (with a map!)

Post a comment cancel reply.

Save my name, email, and website in this browser for the next time I comment.

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed .

Privacy Overview

We3Travel

Portugal and Spain Itinerary: A 14-Day Iberian Journey

Trying to squeeze in the highlights of Spain and Portugal into a two-week trip can be tricky. Both are incredible countries with rich culture, varied landscapes, vibrant cities, and architectural wonders. After traveling all over the Iberian Peninsula, I’ve come up with a route that hits every city efficiently and makes the most out of your time. This two-week Portugal and Spain itinerary will cover the must-see landmarks in each city, activity suggestions, restaurant and hotel recommendations, and my personal favorites.

As a Portuguese-American woman, I’ve visited these Portuguese cities countless times and, after living in Seville for four months and traveling the country, I have combined all of my favorite things into one trip. Plus, I’ve included hidden gems that most tourists would miss!

Best Times to Visit Spain and Portugal

The best time to visit Portugal and Spain is either early summer or fall. The months of May through early July are less busy than the following summer months. You’ll still get nice weather and less tourism around you. If you choose to visit in the fall, the weather will be just as good, and you’ll get to experience even less tourism. Keep in mind that summer in Southern Spain is incredibly hot and November and April are both rainy months in Portugal.

vineyards in douro valley

Portugal and Spain Itinerary Overview

This itinerary starts in Porto, Portugal and ends in Barcelona, Spain. You can also flip this itinerary if you prefer to visit Spain first!

  • Douro River cruise and wine tasting
  • Dinner and a view
  • Livraria Lello and Majestic Cafe for Harry Potter lovers
  • The Praça de Liberdade (Liberty Square) 
  • Michelin star restaurant
  • Medieval town
  • Castle of Óbidos
  • Pousada do Castelo de Óbidos hotel
  • Nazare beach
  • Commerce Square and Alfama
  • Tuk Tuk tours
  • Cable car 
  • Miradouro S. Luiza scenic spot
  • Castelo S. Jorge
  • 25 April Bridge
  • Rossio Square
  • Torre de Belém
  • Sunset boat cruises on the Tagus River 
  • Fado show 
  • Pena Palace and the Quinta da Regaleira
  • Cabo da Roca 
  • Albufeira and Lagos
  • Epic Sana Hotel or the Pine Cliff Resort 
  • Martinhal Sagres Family Resort 
  • Benagil Cave 
  • Vila Joya and Bon Bon fine dining 
  • Hotel Alfonso XIII or Hotel Palacio de Villapanes
  • Cathedral of Seville
  • Royal Alcazar
  • Setas de Seville
  • Plaza de Espana & Maria Luisa Park
  • La Carbonería 
  • Triana Market
  • Paella cooking class
  • Casa Manolo Lèon 
  • Hotel Neri and Ohla 
  • Gothic Quarter
  • Las Ramblas
  • Gaudi houses
  • Park Güell
  • Sagrada Família
  • Paella and Catalan dishes 
  • Montserrat mountains 

This map was created using Google My Maps and covers my suggested Portugal and Spain itinerary. You can click on the star next to the title and save this to your Google Maps account or click on the share icon to send it to yourself via email.

14-Day Portugal and Spain Itinerary

Note: This post contains affiliate links. If you click a link and make a purchase, I may receive a small commission at no cost to you.

For this itinerary, I recommend that you fly into Porto and out of Barcelona (or vice versa). It may be easiest if you rent a car to drive from city to city, but if you want, you can take the train or bus from place to place and then fly from Seville to Barcelona. Keep in mind that parking in cities like Lisbon and Porto can be quite challenging, so you could also consider just picking up a rental car for a portion of your trip.

Day 1-2: Porto, Portugal  

Porto skyline from the bridge

Once arriving in Porto, you should check into the PortoBay Flores Hotel or The Yeatman. Both are 5-star hotels but provide different experiences. PortoBay Flores is in the heart of Porto’s historic district. The hotel has an historic charm to it but still has plenty of modern luxuries, such as an indoor swimming pool. People who want to fully immerse themselves into the history and culture of Porto should stay here. The hotel is the perfect walking distance from plenty of landmarks such as Ribeira Square, the historical square of Porto.

The Yeatman Hotel is a luxury wine and spa hotel in the Vila Nova de Gaia historical district. For those who want to relax but also sightsee, this hotel is the best fit. You’re also able to have city views from the hotel of the famous Douro River. 

If you are starting in Porto and arriving after an overnight flight, you will want to start off by exploring some of the city’s highlights on a self-guided walking tour . Begin by walking around and experiencing what Porto has to offer from stores, cafés to the historical districts.

Harry Potter fans and those with children, should visit Livraria Lello and Majestic Cafe. The Livraria Lello is the book store that gave J.K. Rowling inspirations for Harry Potter’s world, such as the moving staircases in Hogwarts. Majestic Cafe is where Rowling hung out and wrote.

The Praça de Liberdade (Liberty Square) is Porto’s main square that connects the old town with the modern part of the city and also a great place to walk around. Be sure to following the narrow streets down to the Douro River and cross over the Luis I Bridge to the Vila Nova de Gaia neighborhood where you can visit the World of Wine, sample some port, and enjoy the fun vibe along the riverfront.

douro river in porto with boats

Finish up your first day with dinner at Terra Nora. Terra Nora is an intimate dining experience with traditional Portuguese cuisine. When making your reservation, request to sit at a window in order to see the Douro River as you dine. For sunset lovers, reserve a time a few minutes before it sets in order to see the sun set on the river. 

For your second day, no trip to Porto is the same without doing a cruise or tour through the Douro Valley to see vineyards and breathtaking scenery. There are so many options, but I always prefer the tours that last all day for a full experience. The authentic Douro River tours last about 9 hours, including travel time to and from the Douro Valley.

The ideal Douro River excursion would include winery visits and tastings of both authentic Port wine and the other wines grown in the region. The wine tasting would then be followed by a cruise on the Douro River and ending with a typical Portuguese lunch made with Douro region products. If you don’t want to spend a full day in the Douro Valley, you can also take a cruise on the river in Porto on an authentic boat that used to carry wine barrels down the river.

For the final night in Porto a perfect meal is needed. For those staying in the Yeatman Hotel, there is a Michelin Star restaurant downstairs that has amazing reviews. Seafood lovers should make a reservation for the restaurant Gruta . After dinner, Porto nightlife is something you don’t want to miss out on. But don’t stay out too late as we prepare for a travel day tomorrow. 

Day 3: Óbidos, Portugal

Obidos

From Porto, you can travel to Óbidos by bus, train, or rental car. Óbidos is known for its medieval town surrounded by the Castle of Óbidos. For the one night you have here, stay at Pousada do Castelo de Óbidos hotel. The hotel is housed within the 12th-century medieval castle.

If you have a car, you can stop in Nazare on your way to Óbidos. Nazare’s beach is popular with surfers and known for its epically tall waves. Plus, there is a beautiful look-out point. 

Days 4-6: Lisbon & Sintra, Portugal

Commerce Square in Lisbon

After your night in Óbidos, take a bus/train or drive to Lisbon. You should stay in the center of Lisbon by Commerce Square or the older part in Alfama. The Bairro Alto Hotel is a charming, centrally located stay that has a great restaurant within it. Another option is the Hotel Tivoli Avenida Liberdade Lisboa that is a large property out of the noisy city center on the tree-lined Avenida Liberdade.

The best way to see Lisbon is to just walk. Some streets are so narrow and steep that cars won’t fit through or get up. Lisbon’s infamous Tram 28 is a great tourist option to get explore the city. Tuk Tuk tours are also very popular for seeing Lisbon.

When going to popular scenic spots, it’s best to go early in the morning before 9:00 a.m. The Miradouro S. Luiza scenic spot has great views of Lisbon’s port and cathedral. It will be full of tourists the entire day, so get there early to get your picture. 

Once you’ve gotten all your pictures, make your way to the Castelo S. Jorge that is only a five-minute walk away. The views from the castle are, in my opinion, the best it gets. You can see multiple landmarks such as the 25 April Bridge that was inspired by the Golden Gate Bridge as well as the Sanctuary of Christ monument.

For clothes, shoes, and trinket lovers; Rossio is a great shopping area with high-end stores. I highly recommend checking out shoe stores, any you can find around there are great quality and affordable. Once you get tired from shopping so much, take a quick walk to Rossio Square for a place to relax and people watch. Some alternative must see sights for the remainder days in Lisbon are; Commerce Square, Torre de Belém, and Jerónimos Monastery. 

A sunset boat cruise on the Tagus River is my favorite activity to do in Lisbon by far. Nothing can beat being on a vintage sailboat with champagne in hand while eating Portuguese cheese and prosciutto. The sunset cruise I took was about two hours long, and I was able to sit right in the front of the boat on bean bag chairs while listening to the water and soft music. 

Lisbon sunset under bridge

After the appetizers you consumed on the cruise, it’s now time for dinner. My top four restaurants in Lisbon are; BAHR , Alma , Solar dos Presuntos , and JNcQUOI Asia . All are traditional Portuguese dishes of meat and fish, except JNcQUOI Asia. Although I love Portuguese food, on this long of a trip I tend to want something different. JNcQUOI Asia offers four types of Asian cuisine: Indian, Thai, Chinese and Japanese.

Another option is to book a dinner and Fado show. Fado is a Portuguese music genre that consists of folk guitars, hand clapping, and singing. Parreirinha de Alfama is a small Portuguese restaurant that has Fado singing. The restaurant is very quaint in order for it to feel like a homespun restaurant. All the food is cooked in a tiny kitchen by one woman. 

After spending a day or two in Lisbon, it’s worth making a day trip to Sintra and the seaside town of Cascais. Sintra is known for the Pena Palace and the Quinta da Regaleira. The town is very small and can be seen in a few hours. On the way back from Sintra, make a stop in Cascais for the Cabo da Roca which is the cape of Portugal and the most western part of Europe. 

For more suggestions, see my 3 Day Lisbon Itinerary .

Days 7-8: Algarve, Portugal

Algarve cliffs

Once you’ve seen everything I listed for Lisbon, it’s now time to head south to the Algarve for some relaxation. If you have a rental car, it’ll only be a three-hour drive to pure beauty. If you want to take the train, you would take the Lisbon to Faro train to stay in either the Albufeira or Lagos area. Both are easy to get to via Uber or bus from the station.

The Epic Sana Hotel or the Pine Cliff Resort are both nice hotels, followed by the Martinhal Sagres Family Resort , which is a great family resort great for those with children.

The first thing you have to do is head out to the beaches. Algarve beaches are tucked between stunning sandstone cliffs on one of the most beautiful coastlines in Europe. The most famous tourist attraction is a boat ride to visit the Benagil Cave, but there are many ways to explore the coastline.

Albufeira and Lagos both have spectacular beaches and shopping and nightlife. There are little villages all over to explore. If you’re lucky, some sort of festival will be held downtown that is full of great music, food, and drinks. There’s always something to celebrate in Algarve. Two popular restaurants are Vila Joya and Bon Bon for fine dining. 

Days 9-11: Seville, Spain

Plaza de Espana Seville

Enough relaxation, it’s time to get back into exploring and sightseeing and move on to Spain! The easiest way to get to Seville from Algarve is to drive or take a three-hour bus ride. Seville is the gateway to visiting the Andalusia region of Spain.

Choose to stay at either Hotel Alfonso XIII or Hotel Palacio de Villapanes . Both hotels are in the old town of Seville surrounded by history. Hotel Alfonso XII is the most famous hotel to stay at and has been around since the 1900s. The regal rooms and decor make this hotel stand out from others. 

Since you’d already be in the city center, you should visit the Cathedral of Seville as well as the Royal Alcazar. The Royal Alcazar is a historical royal palace with beautiful tile work and stunning gardens, which have been featured in many films and shows.

From there, Seville’s beauty is often found just while wandering around. After living there for four months, my favorite places were the ones I stumbled upon, even just a favorite bench. The center also has hundreds of stores to choose from for clothes, shoes, and souvenirs. While wandering around, you can’t miss the Setas de Seville. This large wooden structure is the best way to see the city from high up, the views are unbeatable. 

A 10-minute bus ride or 20-minute walk will take you to the Plaza de Espana. The Plaza de Espana is my favorite place in all of Seville. The square is beautifully built with authentic tiles all around.

The Maria Luisa Park is connected to the plaza and is a large garden made for lounging and relaxing with multiple fountains and benches. You’re able to rent a row boat to cruise on the river for an hour at your own pace or take a boat cruise.

Seville is also home to the famous dance of flamenco. There are multiple places that host flamenco performances, but you should have an authentic flamenco experience at a local restaurant. La Carbonería is a tavern with flamenco performances in an old coal warehouse. They have three flamenco shows every night, running from 8:30-10:30. 

paella cooking class in Seville

Another activity to do is a paella cooking class. The Triana Market is a fresh food market with vendor stalls selling produce, meat, and prepared meals. Within the market, Taller Andaluz de Cocina , hosts cooking classes and a tour of the market. The cooking class is held in a makeshift kitchen with everything you need. The class consists of three authentic Seville courses such as gazpacho, paella, and spinach and chickpeas. 

The best restaurants in Seville are the Abantal, El Pinton , and Casa Manolo Lèon . Abantal is known for their fine dining with modern variations on Andalusian cuisines. El Pinton is well known tapas restaurant. Casa Manolo Lèon is my personal favorite, with authentic Andalusian cuisine and an outdoor patio filled with flowers and greenery. 

Also see things to do in Seville with kids .

Days 12-14: Barcelona, Spain & Montserrat 

Park Guell view in Barcelona

From Seville, take a quick flight to Barcelona for Spain’s most famous city. Hotel Neri and Ohla are my picks for your stay. Both are located in the Gothic Quarter. I personally recommend always staying in that area because it’s in the center of all the landmarks, shopping, and restaurants.

You’re able to walk around and get to any place if you stay there. From the Gothic Quarter you’re able to see the Cathedral and the Las Ramblas scenic area. 

If you’re interested in art or architecture, you should book tickets to see the Gaudi houses. Casa Battló is one of Gaudi’s creations that we’re able to visit. The house belonged was lived in by Gaudi and his family. The design takes inspiration from the environment and its animals. Park Güell is an attraction I always go to when I’m in Barcelona. The park consists of Gaudi’s artwork within the framework and architecture of the gardens and buildings. 

The following day, you should visit the Sagrada Família. When booking tickets for the Sagrada, you will have to do it relatively very early and also try to get skip the line passes . This is Barcelona’s biggest attraction, and it gets very crowded in there.

After spending a few hours in the Sagrada Família, I would take the rest of the day to walk around the Gothic Quarter. The last time I was in Barcelona, wandering around, I stumbled upon a fashion show at a park as well as a music video in the streets. This city is filled with vibrant energy and people, just appreciate what’s around you. 

Barcelona is known for having some of the best restaurants. Disfrutar is considered as the top restaurant in Europe. Its experimental tasting menus are Mediterranean seafood based and more on the pricey side. Estimar is a hidden restaurant with an open kitchen view from your tabel. They’re known for their seafood and delicious seafood. If you’re tired of paella yet, Mana 75 specializes in paella and Catalan dishes. 

On your last day before flying back home to the U.S., I recommend taking a day trip to Montserrat in the mountains. It’s the perfect escape from the intense city life you’ve experienced the last few days. Montserrat is known for its stunning mountain views, historic buildings, and hiking trails.

Also see things to do in Barcelona with kids .

Read more about Portugal and Spain

  • One-week Portugal itineraries (4 options)
  • Portugal trip planning tips
  • How much does a trip to Portugal cost?
  • 3 Days in Lisbon
  • Things to do in Madrid with kids
  • Day trip to Segovia
  • Day trip to Toledo

Spain and Portugal 2 week itinerary

Emma Da Silva is a journalism major at the University of Rhode Island and an aspiring Travel Writer. Her love for photography and experience studying aboard have led her to want to write for other adventurers and inspire them to go out and make lasting memories.

Find this useful? Share it!

Publish Date: March 20, 2024

Brand_Element_1.png

SIGN UP FOR OUR NEWSLETTER & RECEIVE A FAMILY VACATION PLANNING KIT!

We3Travel.com will use the information you provide on this form to send you newsletters. You can unsubscribe at any time by clicking the link in the footer of any email you receive from us, or by contacting [email protected] . By clicking below, you agree that we may process your information in accordance with these terms.

fam-book

Start typing and press enter to search

Europe Chevron

Spain Chevron

The 23 Best Places to Go in Spain and Portugal in 2023

By CNT Editors

23 Best Places to Go in Spain and Portugal in 2023 According to Cond Nast Traveler Editors

This is part of our global guide to the Best Places to Go in 2023 —find more ideas on where to travel in the year ahead in the U.S. , India , the U.K. , and beyond.

Our wish for you in 2023? That you embrace the new year ready to travel the world. A new year is an opportunity to draw up resolutions, after all—and in our case, that means deciding where to visit next.

To get you started, we, the editors of  Condé Nast Traveller Spain, took a look around our own backyard. We wanted to identify and highlight the best places to go in Spain and Portugal—our region of expertise—that deserve global recognition for their new cultural, gastronomic, and hospitality offerings.

With all this in mind, we share the below: Our list of the 23 best places to go in Spain and Portugal in 2023. We hope to run into you on a  playa or in the Pyrenees.

All listings featured in this story are independently selected by our editors. However, when you book something through our retail links, we may earn an affiliate commission.

Picturesque village on the hillside Tenerife Canary islands

Tenerife, Canary Islands, Spain

“In whatever month you visit Tenerife, it is always warm during the day and chilly at night,” our contributor Raque Sanchez wrote in a love letter to the island . The largest of the Canary Islands is a good place to visit, in any and every season; take a dip in the Atlantic, gaze at the stars from the summit of Mount Teide (with an elevation of 12,198 feet, it’s the highest point in Spain), explore little towns, and wander along the island’s many beaches, some rocky and some sandy. Tenerife’s varied landscape includes forests, deserts, valleys, and ravines, and the Anaga Rural Park is a highlight. There are also two UNESCO World Heritage sites: Teide National Park and the city of San Cristóbal de La Laguna. An added plus is that the island has a remarkably rich and diverse array of hotels. Among the award-winning properties are the  Hotel Botánico & The Oriental Spa Garden ,  Baobab Suites ,  The Ritz-Carlton Abama ,  H10 Atlantic Sunset ,  Gran Meliá Palacio de Isora , and  Bahía del Duque . On the island’s north coast,  BeTenerife offers an excellent selection of private villas for two or four guests.

It's one of the best destinations in Europe for cycling enthusiasts, has long been a pioneer in sustainability (it has been recognized as a Biosphere Sustainable Destination), and is decidedly LGBTQ+ friendly, with an annual  Culture & Business Pride festival in June. Looking towards the future, the island’s Artificial Intelligence Tourism Master Plan is the first of its kind to be approved in Spain, and Tenerife aspires to become an Intelligent Tourism Destination—a distinction promoted by Spain’s tourism ministry to recognize destinations with innovative technological infrastructure that have demonstrated their commitments to sustainability, accessibility, and improving the quality of life of residents.

Tenerife also sparkles with Michelin stars. Among the restaurants enjoying that distinction are  M.B and  Kabuki (at The Ritz-Carlton, Abama),  Nub , and  El Rincón de Juan Carlos . Other highlights of the island’s dining scene include  Kensei (at the Bahía del Duque hotel),  Kiki ,  San Hô , and  Melvin by Martín Berasategui , at the Terrazas de Abama Suites, where chef Sergio Fuentes helms the kitchen. You’ll also want to visit some of the island’s traditional beach bars including Punta de Hidalgo’s  La Cofradía , known for its limpets and shrimp;  Chiringuito Pirata , on La Tejita beach, where octopus is the signature dish; and  Bollullo , on the beach of the same name, where you’ll want order the cuttlefish. — Clara Laguna

Zamora

Zamora, Spain

Even many Spaniards are unaware of one of Zamora’s claims to fame: It's the European city with the greatest number of Romanesque buildings. Its sights in that style include 24 churches, a cathedral, a castle, a bridge, two palaces, nine manor houses, and the defensive walls that encircle the city—it's not surprising that the city is seen as a likely contender to be recognized by UNESCO in 2023. The city’s proximity to Madrid —less than an hour on the new high-speed AVE train—makes it an even more appealing and convenient destination.  

 Zamora also has an enormous legacy of  modernista structures from the late 19 th and early 20 th centuries, the Duero River winds its way through the heart of the city and shapes the surrounding landscape, and the Lagunas de Villafáfila are a bird-watcher’s delight, home to a dazzling variety of migratory species. Lake Sanabria is the largest glacial lake in Europe, and a few miles away Puebla de Sanabria is considered one of the most beautiful villages in Spain. Farther south, the Sierra de la Culebra has the highest wolf population in Western Europe, although last summer’s wildfires devastated much of the area. Heading east, you will come across Toro, a beautiful wine capital where the LVMH group boasts its own winery, the excellent Numantia. Nearby, in the heart of the vast plain known as the Tierra de Campos, the restaurant Lera has become famous as a temple to the pleasures of game and country cuisine. It draws celebrated chefs like Dabiz Muñoz who fill the tables at the restaurant in Castroverde de Campos, a small town in one of the quietest corners of Spain.

Finally, to the south of Zamora, the Arribes del Duero provide some drama. The imposing cliffs and the fjords below them act as a natural border with Portugal in an area that has attracted acclaimed international winemakers like Charlotte Allen from England, Thyge Jensen of Denmark and José Manuel Beneitez, originally from Madrid. Olive and citrus trees help to turn this corner of the region into a Mediterranean paradise. New gastronomic and hotel projects point toward the area becoming a little Tuscany in Zamora, even if, for now, few people in Spain or beyond have heard of it. — David Moralejo

Mirador del Garbí Sierra Calderona Comunidad Valenciana

Sierra Calderona, Spain

Located between the provinces of Castellón and Valencia, the  Parque Natural de la Sierra Calderona includes almost 70 square miles of pine and strawberry tree forests, ravines, sweeping vistas, and dramatic peaks. The summit of Montemayor, at an elevation of 3,320 feet, is the highest point in the park. While the residents of Valencia know about this treasure—it is located just 12 miles from the province’s capital—it largely remains a secret in the rest of Spain. That means that visitors can still find tranquility and even a little bit of mystery alongside the park’s beauty and splendor.

 A number of different civilizations and people have settled in the Sierra Calderona over the millennia. A trek through the range offers a chance not only to see all its natural wonders, but also to walk through history with stops at the 11 th -century Castillo de Serra, built during the Arab conquest of the region, and the Iberian hilltop fort Puntal dels Llops, which dates from the fifth century BCE.

Travelers interested in hiking and birdwatching will find a little paradise with several different routes to choose from: Garbi, which leads to the sea; the four-mile Olocau route, which starts in the village of the same name; the longer but largely flat 5.2-mile Portaceli trail, the more challenging 7.8-mile Tristán trail, and, for those who are more experienced and ambitious, the rewarding 23-mile Senda dels Cartoixos route that connects two historic Carthusian monasteries. There are also many other trails maintained by local governments and other organizations, like the Vía Verde de Ojos Negros, a popular cycling route that connects the town of Teruel and the Mediterranean. The most visited peak in the range is Garbí, with a vista that offers spectacular views and is easily accessible. Other highlights in the area are the Serra Castle, the Portacoeli Charterhouse (a Carthusian monastery), the Santo Espíritu monastery, the Mola de Segart (a dramatic mesa), and the Font del Compte (a reservoir originally built by the Romans).

The Sierra Calderona is a natural wonder that has been passed down through the generations and from one culture to the next. If you visit, please leave it as beautiful as you found it. — María Casbas

Briones uno de los pueblos con ms encanto de La Rioja.

Briones, Spain

This walled town with 700 residents is possibly the prettiest town in La Rioja thanks to its cobblestone streets,  palecetes (“small palaces”), and churches. Located in the Sierra de la Demanda mountains and near many of Rioja’s best wineries, you’ll find vines growing in many postcard views here. You can start your wine itinerary right in town, at the Vivanco Museum of Wine Culture, considered to be one of the best in the world. Displays focus on wine’s role in Western civilization and the museum extends over 43,000 square feet, including six gallery spaces (five hosting the permanent collection and the sixth dedicated to temporary ones). The museum’s Garden of Bacchus includes 220 different varieties of wine grapes from around the world. A stroll through it offers a unique master class.

A highlight of the year in Briones is its unusual  Medieval Days in mid-June, specifically June 17 and 18 in 2023. Declared a Festival of National Tourist Interest in 2012, the event celebrates a 1379 treaty between the kings of Castille and Navarra. Almost the entire town turns out in costume for a parade and other events when Briones turns the clock back more than six centuries. The accommodations are far from medieval, however, at the new and charming Santa María de Briones , a 16-room boutique hotel located in a restored mansion. Don’t leave without seeing the town’s old pharmacy, now located at the Ermita del Cristo church. After its former owner left the pharmacy to the church in his will, the church chose to move the beautiful 19 th -century cabinets, apothecary jars, and other items and reconstruct the pharmacy on church property where visitors can admire it. — Cynthia Martín.

The 10 Most Affordable Cities in Europe to Visit This Year

Olivia Morelli

The Most Beautiful Coastal Towns in Italy

Matt Ortile

How to Avoid Traffic and Crowds While Traveling This Memorial Day Weekend

Jessica Puckett

The Best Hotels in Costa Rica, From Luxury Glamping Sites to Sustainable Resorts

Juliet Kinsman

Melides

Melides, Portugal

Suddenly, everyone is talking about Melides . That may cause some wistfulness on the part of those aware the secret is now out, but that’s how it goes. The little town on Portugal’s Alentejo coast, located a half-hour from already popular Comporta, is now the name on everyone’s lips.  

And there’s no shortage of reasons to fall in love with Melides, beginning with the nearby Galé beach, where a red stone cliff of five-million-year-old fossils creates a dramatic backdrop to a long, sweeping stretch of sand. The landscape here still feels wild, something that it is (if we are being honest) increasingly hard to find in Comporta, though that town still has its undeniable charms. Alongside its natural beauty, the beach has the plus of never feeling crowded. Part of a 30-mile or so stretch of sand the runs from the village of Troia to nearby Sines, its waters are rough and cold, deterring all but the hardiest swimmers—but this stretch has another plus of fewer mosquitoes (which tend to plague the beaches that sit alongside rice fields in Comporta).

Another reason to visit coming in 2023: designer Christian Louboutin, who helped to put this part of Portugal on the map with a 2013 campaign shot in the photogenic port of Carrasqueira, will open the boutique Hotel Vermelho . “Vermelho” means red in Portuguese, a nod to the trademark color of the soles of Louboutin’s iconic shoes. The property is a much-anticipated addition of big-city style to a town with fewer than 2,000 residents. The village’s charm comes from its typical Alentejo architecture, set amid a green and wooded landscape in the foothills of the Serra da Grândola: Olive, oak, and cork trees frame the views from the Vermelho mansion of the surrounding countryside. Louboutin’s vision echoes a phrase uttered by Tancredi in the novel The Leopard  by Tomasi di Lampedusa: “Everything must change for everything to remain the same.” The designer hopes to breathe new life into place while preserving its peaceful atmosphere.

Louboutin is not alone, as the Hotel Vermelho will join  Pa.te.os , an impressive new hotel and architectural beauty designed by Manuel Aires Mateus. Made up of a number of separate villas, the hotel is reimagining luxury in the middle of the countryside near Melides. At the same time,  Melides Art , an artists’ residence and contemporary art space, has also been drawn to this corner of Portugal with its bohemian air, discreet charms (many of the admittedly bourgeois), and a pervasive sense of a calm. We hope the quiet survives Melides’s new popularity. — D.M.

Mlaga

Málaga, Spain

Recently it feels like everyone in Spain—and a good number of people from beyond Spain—has decided to move to Málaga. If you are dubious, raise the topic at any dinner party in Madrid and you’ll soon learn about someone who has recently packed up and gone to the Costa del Sol, or at least you’ll meet someone who is dreaming of it. The phenomenon has not happened overnight, though the rise of digital nomads and remote work have definitely contributed to it. If you can work from anywhere, why not choose a place where the climate is pleasant, you’ll receive a warm welcome, and the culinary offerings are excellent from the first bite.

If you aren’t quite ready to move to Málaga, you can at least visit (or revisit) in 2023. In fact, judging from the results of our most recent  Readers Choice Awards , we expect the city is already included in many travelers’ plans. With its ideal size, neither too small nor too intimidating; nearly 3,000 hours of sunshine each year; the ease of getting there from other parts of Spain and Europe; its rich cultural offerings, and the pleasant setting it’s easy to understand the smiles on the faces of both the tourists and locals strolling along Calle Larios (the pedestrianized shopping street), the inviting Pasaje de Chinitas, and the waterfront Palmeral de las Sorpresas.

Recent hotel openings give travelers a varied choice of options. In 2021, notable hotel additions included  Only You Málaga and  Soho Boutique Equitativa ; in 2022,  H10 Croma Málaga joined them. And more projects are in the works. The best known of them is an enormous development planned for alongside the port of Málaga while others that we are watching eagerly—and which should open or reopen soon—are the Cortijo La Reina (following a complete renovation and upgrade of the existing hotel), Le Privé, and a five-star hotel planned for the Jewish Quarter that will be managed by Marugal, who also run the  Palacio Solecio .

 The list of additions to the gastronomic scene will entice travelers who live to eat. At the beginning of 2022, chef Álvaro Saura and entrepreneur Zuzana Salamon opened  Tasca Láska while Dani Carnero, who learned his craft from chefs including Ferran Adriá and Martín Berasategui, opened his third project in Málaga,  La Cosmo (following La Cosmopolita and Kaleja). Asturian chef Marcos Granda, who already has two restaurants in Marbella, Nintai and Skina, will land in Málaga in 2023, with In-Formal, a new culinary concept designed for the reimagined Gourmet Experience in the department store El Corte Inglés.

 Málaga has also been preparing for a milestone year related to one of its most famous native sons, Pablo Picasso, with 2023 the 50 th anniversary of his death. During what has been named the Year of Picasso, there will 42 exhibits covering the painter’s work around the world, including Málaga, where he was born. 

The  Museo Casa Natal Picasso will host several exhibits:  Bernardí Roig: El último rostro y La Afonía del Minotauro  (“Bernardí Roig: The Last Portrait and the Silence of the Minotaur”) until May 28, 2023,  Las Edades de Pablo (“The Ages of Pablo”) from June 21 to October 1, 2023, and  La Imagen de Picasso (“The Image of Picasso”) from October 18 to March 3, 2024. The  Museo Picasso Malaga will host  Picasso: Materia Y Cuerpo (“Picasso: Media and Bodies”) from May 9 to September 10, 2023, and  El Eco de Picasso  (“The Echo of Picasso”) focused on the master’s artistic legacy. Other institutions in Málaga are organizing events, from talks to musical performances, marking the milestone. Expect more announcements in the months ahead.  In other news, the Teatro Soho CaixaBank, Antonio Banderas’s personal project in his city, is staging a production of  Godspell , produced by Banderas himself and Emilio Aragón. — M.C.

Campo de Criptana Ciudad Real

Campo de Criptana, Spain

In a corner of La Mancha, travelers will come upon one of the most beautiful scenes in Spain. The windmills of Campo de Criptana inspired Cervantes, drove Don Quixote crazy, and charm everyone who visits this part of Castilla-La Mancha. Campo de Criptana, Mota del Cuervo, and Consuegra have a remarkable concentration of some of the most picturesque and best-preserved windmills in the region. The three towns also have other charms that justify at least a weekend exploring them. Of the three, Campo de Criptana, in the province of Ciudad Real, is said to have been the specific inspiration for the plain of windmills in Cervantes’s book, which its famous protagonist believes are giants as he heads into combat against them.

In addition to the windmills (some of which are open to the public), the most important monuments in the town date from around the 16th century and include the Royal Granary, the Convent of the Barefoot Carmelites, and ten hermitages—the most impressive of them is the one dedicated to the Virgen de la Paz, or Virgin of Peace. A more recent addition, the Church of the Assumption of Our Lady, dates from 1958 and stands on the site of an earlier 16 th -century during destroyed in the Spanish Civil War. The eastern part of town, known as the Albaicín, was originally settled by Moorish refugees from Granada after that city was conquered by Christians. Many houses still have original Mudejar details like tiles and wrought-iron grilles. — C.M.

Comillas Cantabria

Comillas, Spain

Comillas is one of those places that is so beautiful that you hesitate to share its name, for fear that word will get out. For now, fortunately, Comillas remains a traditional vacation town of northern Spain. There are more houses than hotels, and more people who are here for the season than for a week. Unlike some other similar coastal summer towns, it also has a number of historic sites of interest: the buildings of the Comillas Pontifical University (the university moved to Madrid, though the buildings remain), the Sobrellano Palace (once owned by the Marquis of Comillas), the Baroque church of San Cristobal, and the archaeological site, the Cuevas de la Meaza.

And then there is also the work of architect Anton Gaudí who gave the city one of its most famous landmarks, El Capricho. This playful and elaborate house is one of Gaudí’s few works outside of Catalonia, but it isn’t the only work of modernista architecture here. In 1881, the entrance to the town’s cemetery and some of its exterior walls were redesigned by Luis Domènech i Montaner, another prominent figure in Catalonia’s modernista architectural circles He was also responsible for the town’s Parque Güell and the Fountain of the Tres Caños, or “three spouts.” A work of modernista sculpture from 1895 can also be found at the cemetery: the  Ángel Exterminador by Josep Limona.

There are also English-style houses from the last turn-of-the-century, like the home of the Duque de Almodóvar del Río and the so-called Casas Indianas, the houses of locals who had made their fortunes in the Americas. (These houses will typically have at least one palm tree planted nearby, making them easier to spot.)  The town has even appeared in the Guinness World Records as the world’s smallest whaling port (it was active into the 18th century). Beachgoers can choose from the city beach and ones in the nearby Parque Natural de Oyambre; shoppers will want to scour the antiques markets; and gourmets can count on eating well. — D.M.

Estación de tren de Jerez de la Frontera

Jerez de la Frontera, Spain

Think of the cliches of southern Spain, and the words “wine,” “flamenco,” “horses,” and “cellars” may come to mind. Instead of running from them, Jerez de la Frontera makes the wise choice of embracing them. Bring it on, the city says, as it welcomes visitors—with the table set and wine poured. In this city that embraces tradition, strolling aimlessly through the historic center is the best way to ease into this city. With each step, you’ll feel yourself become part of the place as it reveals its character around every corner and a history written by Phoenicians, Romans, Muslims, and Christians unfolds before you. Palaces and lavish city houses alternate with religious buildings like the famous cathedral and a late 12th-century mosque inside the city’s fortified Alcazar, home to a number of historic buildings. If it takes your breath away, inhale and then follow the smell of wine in the air.

Jerez is a leading destination for wine tourism, in both Spain and the world generally, thanks to its abundance of wineries, many of them belonging to the Jerez-Xérèz-Sherry  denominaciones de origen or D.O. (the Spanish version of the French Appellation d'Origine Contrôlée [AOC] wine regions). Among the acclaimed wineries are  Tío Pepe-González Byass ,  Sandeman ,  Emilio Lustau , and  Williams & Humbert . Oenophiles will also want to stop at the tabancos , classic tavernas that are the perfect places to sample local products.

Some people might say that sherry is trending right now, but that’s not quite right: Sherry is a timeless classic that just happens to be enjoying a moment of positive attention. Jerez does offer more to visitors than its namesake wine. The Horse Fair, the Flamenco Festival, the Harvest Festival, and the Motorcycle Grand Prix all offer opportunities to dive into an aspect of local culture and celebrate with the city’s residents (who are excellent at celebrating). Whether your visit coincides with a festival or not, the city’s two Michelin-starred restaurants provide a glimpse of a lively gastronomic scene:  Lú, Cocina y Alma is led by chef Juanlu Fernández and  Mantúa by chef Israel Ramos. Another reason to visit Jerez de la Frontera will be inaugurated in 2023: the Museo de Lola Flores. The museum to the outspoken and beloved actor and singer will open on the 100 th anniversary of her birth in Jerez. — M.C.

Puerto deportivo de La Coruña

La Coruña, Spain

This little corner of Europe, tucked above Portugal in the northeastern corner of Spain, was long described as “the end of the world.” Recently, however, it is starting to feel closer to being at the center of the stage. One of the changes is noticeable even after a short stroll: The streets are increasingly filled with people of different nationalities, speaking different languages , and wearing different clothes. Ask one of them why they are in La Coruña, and the likely answer is “to work.” Ask where they work and what you will get in reply is likely a gesture towards the west, and the neighboring town of Arteixo, where Inditex is headquartered. (Even if you don’t recognize Inditex as the name of an enormous multinational clothing company, you likely know some of its brands, including Zara, Bershka, and Massimo Dutti.)

The Galician city’s increasingly cosmopolitan atmosphere is apparent not only when wandering its streets but also exploring the cultural offerings of its museums and art galleries. One of the most important cultural initiatives has an Inditex connection via Marta Ortega Pérez, who is both the new president of Inditex and the president of a foundation that bears her initials. The MOP Foundation is structured around three pillars: La Coruña, photography, and fashion. Last year it hosted the successful exhibition  Peter Lindbergh: Untold Stories seen by 110,000 visitors.

“After that success, it was clear that we had to organize another exhibition,” Leticia Castromil, exhibition coordinator for the MOP Foundation says. “We couldn’t stop there.” At the end of November 2022,  Steven Meisel 1993 A Year in Photographs  opened its doors and the free exhibition will be up until May 1, 2023. The show is at a building on the city’s harbor, the Muelle de la Batería. Naomi Campbell, Irina Shayk, and Christy Turlington were among the fashion stars who attended the opening. “The exhibition space is a former industrial building next to the port. It’s located in an area near the city center which had been closed to the public. Thanks to this initiative, part of another dock is now accessible again and people can walk around it,” Castromil adds.

 In addition to the Meisel exhibition, 2023 includes a milestone for a one-time resident of La Coruña. Pablo Picasso, who lived in the city between ages 9 and 13, died 50 years ago. “Continue doing what you are doing and never doubt that you will achieve glory and a brilliant future,” a review published in  La Voz de Galicia said after seeing an exhibition by a precocious Picasso when he was only 13 years old.

During the year-long  Picasso Celebración 1973-2023 a series of events and activities will take place around the world. In the region where the young genius spent four formative years, the center of the celebration is the  Casa Museo Picasso . The  Museo de Belas Artes da Coruña will host Picasso, Blanco en el Recuerdo Azul (“Picasso, White in the Blue Memory”) from March 24 to June 23, 2023. The Fundación Luis Seoane will organize a show on the women who shaped Picasso’s life and the  Escuela de Arte y Superior de Diseño Pablo Picasso is also planning events to mark the anniversary.

 Alongside the rich cultural scene, there is an impressive gastronomic one as well, led by Árbore da Veira, Omakase, Bido, la Taberna de Miga, NaDo, Terreo, and Salitre. You’ll find specialty coffee shops, wine bars, cocktail lounges, pottery workshops, bookstores, and design stores as you make your way about the city. All this, with the Atlantic in the background serving as a reminder that while this was once the end of the world, today it is a place where new adventures begin.  — M.C.

Playa de Santa Cruz Aethos Ericeira

Costa da Prata, Portugal

Three Portuguese destinations are on this year’s list, and all three overlook the ocean. One of the Atlantic’s gifts to Portugal is some of the most beautiful stretches of coast in the world, including the Costa da Prata . The Algarve may be more famous, Comporta and Melides may be more “cool,” and Cascais and Estoril have nostalgic charms, but the Costa da Prata has its own, undeniable appeal.   

Even the name Costa da Prata isn’t that common, yet, but some of the towns along it—Ericeira, Nazaré, Peniche, and Aveiro are better known, especially among surfers. We are stretching the Costa a little farther south than some would define it by including Ericeira, which is about 45 minutes north of Lisbon. For many it starts instead at Playa Santa Cruz, in Torres Vedras. That town, which is roughly 20 miles north of Ericeira, is the home of a hotel that's a favorite with surfers:  Noah Surf House . The northern end of the coast is often defined as Esmoriz, a half-hour south of Porto by car.  

There’s a reason we want to pull the southern end of the coast a little closer to Lisbon: to include the new  Aethos , which is reinterpreting luxury with a surfer attitude that embodies the relaxed vibe of this part of Portugal—and which is also, oddly, a driver of its imminent boom.  Immerso , the first five-star hotel in this region, has interiors that highlight brilliant local craftsmanship, giving the project a unique and very Portuguese personality. Chef Alexandre Silva (one Michelin star) leads the gastronomic offering, an ode to Atlantic cuisine. 

Nazaré is better known thanks to its record waves (Guinness World Records gave the title of world’s largest surfed wave to one at Nazaré in 2020—at 86 feet tall, German surfer Sebastian Steudtner rode it into the record books) but despite the fame of its swells, it manages to remain a low-key fishing town, where some women still wear the traditional “seven skirts.” In 2021, an appealing new overnight option opened here, the family-friendly glamping at  Ohai Nazaré .

Peniche, and especially the beach known as Supertubos, is also popular with the surfer crowd. Consolação, another beautiful beach here, is capped at one end by a 17 th -century fort. The town is also a gateway to the Islas Berlengas, a half-hour by ferry. The islands form a protected nature reserve and only 550 visitors are allowed each day. Near the northern end of the coast, Aveiro has been nicknamed the Venice of Portugal and its colorful streets offer up a bounty of Instagram moments. We know the Costa da Prata will become a favorite of travelers as word gets out, just give it some time. — D.M.

Estación de Canfranc

Canfranc, Spain

It has been four years since we first reported that the spectacular Canfranc train station, inaugurated in 1928 and abandoned for decades, was going to become a luxury hotel. Despite the pandemic and other obstacles, the moment has arrived and the  Canfranc Estación, a Royal Hideaway Hotel will open its doors at the beginning of 2023.

Located in Jacetania, a corner of Aragón along the French border and high in the Pyrenees , Canfranc’s main claim to fame historically has been the elaborate station constructed to facilitate and celebrate French and Spanish cooperation. Despite the grandeur of the inauguration, with King Alfonso XIII representing Spain alongside France’s president, traffic never lived up to the original forecasts and the station closed in 1970. Today the only train to use the station is a short-distance tourist one, the Canfranero, that travels the 117 miles from Zaragoza to Canfranc.

A century after construction started on the original station, the building will begin its new life as a five-star, 104-room hotel with the design studio Ilmiodesign responsible for the interiors. The developers’ goal is to make the hotel a leader in tourism to the Aragonese portion of the Pyrenees, helping to attract both national and international interest. Guests arriving at the hotel will find the reception in the historic station lobby while the first floor houses a wellness area, a library, and the main restaurant, which includes two carriages that have been refurbished to become elegant dining cars.

Architect Michele Corbani and industrial designer Andrea Spada, the founders of Ilmiodesign, were inspired by the aesthetics of classic stations and the luxurious world of long-distance train travel in the early 20th century, but they also wanted to add a contemporary touch, creating warm and elegant spaces that blend with subtle Art Deco elements. Wood, brass, velvet, and a palette inspired by the 1920s coexist with various elements drawn from Aragonese popular culture, and color combinations draw from the regional costumes of the region. Don’t fear that it will no longer be possible to reach Canfranc by train, on the Canfranero—while the hotel was being restored, a new railway station and platforms were constructed.

The Canfranc Estación hotel will put the Aragonese town on the radar of many travelers, but Canfranc will keep their interest thanks to the mesmerizing beauty of the place, set amid the stunning peaks of the Pyrenees. While the station’s meticulous restoration allows it to begin its new life, when you hear the words “next stop, Canfranc” you’ll be adding some to a story collectively written by thousands of previous passengers.  — M.C.

Las Merindades Burgos

Las Merindades, Spain

Some of the 26 towns and cities that make up Las Merindades, a corner of Castilla and León that sits just to the south of the Basque region , include Alfoz de Bricia, Alfoz de Santa Gadea, Arija, Berberana, Cillaperlata, Espinosa de los Monteros, Frías, Junta de Traslaloma, and Medina de Pomar. The capital is Villarcayo de Merindad de La Vieja, a town of some 4,000 residents that provides a good starting point for visiting the historic area.

Arguably the most magical settlement in the region is Puentedey, a small village with less than 50 residents. Built along the Nela river, the two sides of Puentedey are connected by a natural stone bridge. Puentedey is not alone when it comes to gems in the area though. Frias, located atop a mesa overlooking the Ebro river, would also have a good claim to the title of the prettiest village in Spain if not for one technicality: In 1435, King Juan II of Castille gave Frias, now home to only 270 people, the title of “city” making it the smallest city in Spain.

Those are only two of the many reasons to go to Las Merindades. There’s also the natural beauty of the region, thanks to its location in the foothills of the Cantabrian Range cooled by Atlantic breezes, a sense of history that is palpable in every town, castle, and even house, and surprises like the Ojo Guareña, a karst cave complex with almost 70 miles of galleries and passageways that have been used for shelter by humans for millennia. — D.M.

Fbrica La Encartada

Enkarterri, Spain

Few people know about Enkarterri, a rich and surprising corner of the province of Vizcaya. (Enkarterri is its Basque name; in Spanish it's Encartaciones .) Those who discover it, however, tend to return. Only 35 minutes southwest of Bilbao , the sea and the mountains meet here. The area also has an important Indiano heritage—that’s the word used in Spain to describe Spaniards who went to the Americas, or the Indies as it were, to make their fortunes. You can look inside some of the lavish Casas Indianas, mansions that are the results of 19th-century versions of the American dream. Another important reminder of Vizcaya’s economic history is apparent in the factories and plants that dot the landscape. One used to be dedicated to the production of that essential Basque accessory, the beret. In operation until 1992, and then converted into a museum in 2007,  La Enkartada offers a glimpse into northern Spain’s industrial past, and a lesson in how berets are made.

After exploring the factory, fill your stomach at  Casa Garras , an institution going on its fifth decade thanks to its evergreen appeal. Carnivores will fall hard for the “beef days,” which take place during the winter months, when the restaurant serves an 11-course beef-themed tasting menu with delicious creations like a rump steak tartar with roasted marrow.

And there is more. Txacolí, the sparkling white wine produced in this part of Spain, always provides a good excuse to explore different wineries set amid the region’s beautifully wild landscapes including the biggest valley in the province (Karrantza Harana/Valle de Carranza, which includes some 49 settlements along its length). There are many options for hikers, bikers, spelunkers, as well as those looking for more low-impact activities like the Japanese tradition of forest bathing. On a completely different topic, the area is also home to  the largest private collection of Rolls-Royces in Europe, located in a 14th-century castle. — C.M.

Edificios en la fotognica plaza Daoíz y Velarde de Oviedo.

Oviedo, Spain

Oviedo, the elegant capital of Asturias, is known for the distinguished neoclassical architecture surrounding the city’s cathedral, and its remarkable pre-Romanesque buildings from the ninth century, with five works recognized by UNESCO: the Foncalada Fountains, the city walls, and three churches: Santa María del Naranco, San Miguel de Lillo, and San Julián de los Prados, known as Santullano. The city is also a top cultural and gastronomic destination.

Culture permeates life in this city thanks in large part to the Princess of Asturias Awards, which are presented every year at the Campoamor Theater. In 2023, the ceremony will also celebrate the coming of age of the awards’ namesake, Leonor, the first-born daughter of the King and Queen of Spain and heir presumptive. The year ahead will bring some welcome additions to Oviedo. The Wamba Hotel from the  Sensia Hotels group will open next to the cathedral, while a much-anticipated AVE high-speed train from Madrid will enter service in May, making it possible to travel from the capital of Spain to the capital of Asturias in about three hours.  This remarkable engineering project has taken years to complete and includes a 15-mile-long tunnel, one of the longest in Europe, which crosses the Cantabrian Range under the Puerto de Pajares mountain pass. 

Meanwhile, Oviedo continues to embrace its position as one of the great epicenters of cuisine in the country. The city can boast of nine stars from Michelin, with Casa Marcial holding two of them. In total, 43 restaurants in the city are recommend by the guide. Some local favorites include Cocina Cabal, Ca'Suso, Salazogue, Casa Fermín, Mestura, and Gloria. — D.M.

Laguna salada de Calanda Teruel Aragón

Bajo Aragón, Spain

Spain constantly rewards travelers who want to venture off the beaten path. Bajo (or Lower) Aragon is an outstanding example of this truth. Located roughly 90 minutes by car to the northwest of Valencia, Bajo Aragon is known for its processions of drummers during Holy Week while fans of motorsports head to  MotorLand . But there’s more to entice travelers. Its landscape of chasms, rivers, and marshes has been shaped by the extreme climate and the passage of time, giving rise to the area’s unique flora and fauna. In addition, the generally clear skies and the low light pollution in this largely empty part of Spain add up to remarkable stargazing opportunities. 

It is not easy to find top-of-the-line hotels here, but there are some promising new ventures like the beautiful  Torre del Marqués , while the  Parador de Alcañiz has an incomparable hilltop setting next to a castle and convent. At its restaurant, La Concordia, you can discover some of the highlights of Aragonese cuisine, often overshadowed by other regions, like migas (bread soaked and then sauteed with other ingredients), lamb, and, of course, ham from Teruel.

The ambitious ongoing project of restoring the Convent of the Desert, an 18 th -century institution that has been called the Escorial of Aragon given its enormous size, is also attracting interest while in Calanda, the birthplace of surrealist director Luis Buñuel, you can visit a museum, the  Centro Buñuel Calanda , dedicated to his films and life. Pack comfortable shoes as you’ll be getting in a lot of steps to see cave paintings (Val del Charco del Agua Amarga) and Iberian sites (on the Route of the Iberians of Bajo Aragón), climb mountains (following the Route of the Stony Giants), or gaze at the stars (on the Route of Astronomical Viewpoints). Other attractions are just half an hour away, like Matarraña (another idyllic rural corner of Spain) and Campo de Belchite, the birthplace of painter Francisco Goya. — C.L.

Isla de Corvo Azores

Corvo Island, Azores, Portugal

We like the remote and the unknown, and that’s why we love Portugal’s Azores . Ooften described as the Atlantic’s Hawaii (though with far fewer tourists), most visits include hopping among a few islands. If that's your plan, include Corvo on your list of ports of call.

There’s only one paved road on the island. Follow it to Caldeirão, the crater of the volcano that gave birth to the island. From its viewpoint you will be able to take in its enormous size, almost 1.5 miles in circumference and almost 1,000 feet deep. At the bottom of the crater are two lakes where, according to legend, all the islands of the Azores are reflected on their surfaces. Cows and wild horses graze freely in this natural wonder—for immediately apparent reasons, it's the most photographed place in Corvo. 

A small airport and ferries that cross daily from the island of Flores connect Corvo with the rest of the world, as does free Wi-Fi throughout its (tiny) territory.  Fewer than 500 inhabitants reside in Vila do Corvo in a handful of whitewashed houses with red roofs. You’ll find most locals are happy to chat with curious visitors. Operators here offer a myriad of bird-watching tours—the island is considered one of the best areas in the world to spot a variety of species; its status as the westernmost point of the Azores adds to its diversity with some birds from the Americas landing here. Other guides offer boat trips around the island, if the sea permits, with chances to swim alongside steep cliffs that plunge into the water. — D.M.

Vistas desde la terraza del 360º Rooftop Bar.

Madrid, Spain

The capital of Spain continues its reign on must-visit lists. The list of reasons to visit Madrid will only lengthen in 2023. 

Both familiar and avant-garde; a cultural, gastronomic, and wellness center, Madrid is a city of contrasts that never stops. Luxury hotel brands all want a presence here, with recent openings including the Mandarin Oriental Ritz and the  Rosewood Villa Magna . Only a little bit older, the  Four Seasons Madrid , the  Madrid EDITION , and  Thompson Madrid have added to the wealth of choices. And, while it’s not a new property, the renovation of the  Santo Mauro has elevated a favorite to a new level of luxury as it joins Starwood’s Luxury Collection.

The brand new  UMusic Hotel , the first hotel from Universal Music, is located in the old Teatro Albéniz building, a very short walk from the Plaza Mayor. Coming up next are the  Nobu Hotel Madrid , located halfway between the Puerta del Sol and the Paseo del Prado. The early-20 th -century landmark Metropolis building is set to be reborn with a boutique hotel, restaurants, and shopping. Just a little further up the Gran Via, Brach Madrid, designed by Philippe Starck, is another much-anticipated opening of 2023.  There are still rumors that Fairmont will be joining the mix soon with a property near the Congress building, and another surprising addition is a hotel on Plaza de Canalejas from Pescaderías Coruñesas, known for its critically acclaimed restaurants and gourmet fish stores. This is their first foray into hotels. All of these projects near the Puerta del Sol are earning the area the nickname Milla de Oro, or “golden mile.” If your budget doesn’t include staying at one of these new hotels, at least visit one of their restaurants, spas, and rooftops (the competition is fierce in that last category). Two somewhat different options nearby are  Cool Rooms Palacio de Atocha (a 19 th -century palace given a contemporary update) and the new  Social Hub (a coworking space, though one with incredible views and a full calendar of events). 

When it comes to shopping, stops you may want to include are the enormous Zara (the world’s largest) on Plaza de España, the revolutionary  WOW Concept store on Gran Vía, and  Galeria Canalejas , where you’ll find 11 iconic international brands including Hermès, Cartier, and Louis Vuitton. Madrid’s culinary scene continues to dazzle—among the most coveted tables are Leña and  Smoked Room by Dani García and Amós, at the Rosewood Villa Magna, led by three-Michelin-star chef Jesús Sánchez (for his Cenador de Amós, on the Cantabrian coast).  Desde 1911 is a sophisticated option, and the venerated  Zuara is among the best Japanese restaurants in the city.  At Zuma, Berria,  Bar Trafalgar , and the cocktail lounge  Isa (at the Four Seasons), you are guaranteed to eat  and drink well.  If you want to keep the party going into the morning, Lula Club and Medias Puri are two popular choices at the moment. Don’t be surprised if you run out of time—this city has a lot to offer. — C.L.

Santa Iglesia Catedral de Santa María Murcia

Murcia, Spain

Ask Spaniards of a certain age about the phrase, “ Murcia, qué hermosa eres ” (“Murcia, how beautiful you are”) and they will likely recall an odd television variety show from the late 90s that promoted the region, and successfully implanted a slogan in viewers of several generations. Now many of those same people are discovering the truth of the motto.

The beauty of the province of Murcia can be experienced at  the Regional Park of Calblanque, the Monte de las Ceniza, and Peña del Aguila , perhaps one of the most beautiful and wild stretches of Spain’s Mediterranean coastline. The waters at Cabo de Palos are a favorite of divers while the lush Sierra de Espuña is the province’s green heart surrounded by vast orchards. There is also, however, a unique beauty to the region’s capital, the city of Murcia.

The region’s history is not as well-known as that of some of Spain’s other cities, even with a cathedral that is an almost perfect example of Spanish Baroque architecture and an episcopal palace in a Rococo style that reflects Murcia’s long-running connections with Noto, Lecce, and other cities in southern Italy.

The city was established by the emir of Cordoba in 825, and Moorish influences and evocative references remain visible, including at the lavish 19th-century Real Casino de Murcia, a glittering mix of architectural styles with an Arab patio, 20,000 sheets of gold leaf, and a neo-Baroque ballroom. The 18 th -century Puente de los Peligros connects the historic center with the Carmen neighborhood where you’ll find another one of the city’s Baroque wonders, Carmen’s parish church, which was originally part of a Carmelite convent. The  Museo Salzillo focuses on the sculptural works of one of the most celebrated artists of the Spanish Baroque, Francisco Salzillo, whose pieces can be seen in many Murcian churches.  

The Arab medieval period in the city’s history lives on in the city walls and the Aljufía irrigation system, which was one of the first such systems in Europe and is still used to this day to irrigate much of Murcia’s farmland and orchards. Murcia’s status as the source of much of Spain’s produce is evident when you sit down to eat. The perfect freshness of the ingredients helps to make the cuisine here even more exquisite and justified the city’s turn as the Spanish Capital of Gastronomy in 2021. Don’t leave without trying a traditional meat pie, a dish made with the famous bomba rice grown in Calasparra, stewed and salted fishes, zarangollo (a dish made with eggs, onion, and squash), and a Murcian salad (made with tomatoes, tuna, eggs, and olives). — D.M.

Vista de Sa Foradada desde Son Marroig

Mallorca, Balearic Islands, Spain

If you thought that the economic upheaval and travel disruptions of the pandemic meant that the Balearic Islands were going to suddenly become a bargain, it didn’t work out that way. At least there is a silver lining. As the destination perfects its approach to luxury, you’ll get a mix of exclusivity, exquisite service, and sustainability that justifies the price. 

Mallorca’s most anticipated upcoming openings are from the Four Seasons and the Virgin Group, at opposite ends of the island. The iconic Formentor in Pollença (in the north of the island), where celebrities including Grace Kelly and Prince Rainier stayed, will reopen as the  Four Seasons Resort Mallorca at Formentor in 2024. The property, located on a 3,000-acre estate, aims to be the island’s most sustainable. The French interior design firm, Gilles & Boissier, who recently completed the renovation of the Mandarin Oriental Ritz, Madrid, were entrusted with the interiors of the Four Seasons as well.

Richard Branson’s much anticipated  Son Bunyola hotel is now taking reservations for dates after August 1, 2023. The luxury hotel is located in the estate’s 16 th -century finca, or manor house, and has 26 rooms. They join three existing villas—Sa Punta de S'Aguila, Sa Terra Rotja, and  Son Balagueret—on an 810-acre property with grape vines and almond, citrus, and olive orchards.  Son Net is another luxury property that will open (spring 2023) in this stunning part of the island, from the owners of the impeccable  Finca Cortesin in Puigpunyent. Also nearby the  Belmond La Residencia , in Deià, offers polished luxury in one of the most picturesque parts of the island while the new  Kimpton Aysla Mallorca , just nine miles from Palma, is a contemporary retreat set amid landscaped grounds.

Sustainability is a focus of other recent openings on Mallorca as with  Can Ferrereta , in Santanyí, from the creators of the award-winning Sant Francesc hotel in Palma; the boutique hotel  Nivia Born , in Palma; the refurbished agroturismo property  Finca Ca'n Beneït , in the Tramuntana mountains; and  Es Racó d'Artà .  HM Palma Blanc , in Palma, marries a contemporary style with local Mallorcan materials and power from solar panels. The adults-only  Vicenç de la Mar , in cala Sant Vicenç, was designed by architect Rafael Balaguer Prunés and carries the Design Hotels seal. Yurbann, a hotel group from Barcelona, also has an opening planned. You have to be quick to stay on top of Mallorca’s hotel scene. — C.L.

Arco de la Estrella en la Plaza Mayor de Cceres.

Cáceres, Spain

The 2021 inauguration of the Helga de Alvear Museum, with its outstanding contemporary art collection assembled by the museum’s namesake gallerist and philanthropist, marked a turning point for the city of Cáceres in Spain’s Extremadura region. The new building, and the Premio Nacional de Arquitectura that Emilio Tuñón of  Tuñón Arquitectos won for its design, announced that both the city and the broader province of Cáceres intended to compete for the attention of culturally curious travelers.

The hospitality and culinary offerings are already waiting and continuing to improve. The 17 th -century  Hotel Hospes Palacio de Arenales & Spa is located amid olive groves but only 10 minutes by car from the city center. There, Atrio can boast two Michelin stars while the Torre de Sande, also from the Atrio team, is located in a 15 th -century palace and is a star of Extremadura’s culinary scene. Looking ahead, the Atrio team is also behind the renovation of the Casa Paredes-Saavedra, a Renaissance palace that is going to reopen as an exclusive 11-suite hotel facing the  Parador del Palacio de los Marqueses de Torreorgaz . Another palace, the Palacio de Godoy from the 16th century, will reopen as a 72-room Hilton after having been closed for 10 years.

The city of Cáceres is also a good gateway for exploring the beautiful Jerte Valley and the area of Vera, part of Extremadura that is famous for its lush forest and many springs. The broader region of Extremadura has a total of six UNESCO sites that travelers will want to visit: the historic monuments of Cáceres, the archeological sites of Mérida, the Royal Monastery of Santa María de Guadalupe, the Monfragüe Biosphere and National Park, the Tajo Internacional Biosphere Reserve, and the Villuercas-Ibores-Jara World Geopark. While it has yet to get the UNESCO nod, the Monastery of San Jerónimo de Yuste has been recognized as part of Spain’s Patrimonio Nacional and deserves a place on travelers’ lists too. In 2022, the landlocked Extremadura boasted an impressive eight Blue Flag beaches on its lakes, rivers, waterfalls, and streams. Baños de Montemayor and Alange have been welcoming spa-goers since the Romans built baths at both hot springs.  — C.L.

Un verano en Pals.

Pals, Spain

Writer Josep Pla once wrote that the best view in the region of Empordà is from  el Pedró , the restaurant that makes the best rice dishes in the town of Pals. Located in the historic center, the view includes the Torre de las Hores, the Church of St. Peter, and the city walls that lead to a mirador that has now been renamed in honor of the author. “The contrasts that this site offers—the ocean, beach, and the Medes Islands; the eroded peaks of the Montgrí Massif, the deep greens of evergreen, cork, and pine forests with the geological formations of the Gavarres peaks and the flat farmland; and the botanical wonders along the banks of the Ter River—it all adds up to a rich bounty of great beauty,” the journalist wrote.  

This medieval village in the Baix Empordà region, along Catalonia’s Costa Brava, offers travelers easy access to the most charming coves along this part of the Mediterranean, such as Aigua Xelida, and beaches such as the familiar and wide Pals, Gola del Ter, l'Illa Roja, and Aiguablava. The bravest swimmers can dive into the Vies Braves, a public network of marine and open water routes offering a wilder experience of the Mediterranean. Cycling through the rice fields of the area or finding a glamping site as a base for an active vacation are other options for visitors, who will also find an ideal setting for golf, a chance to enjoy the  White Summer market and music festival, or simply visit organic vineyards. Visitors can also learn more about Catalonia’s rich Romanesque and medieval heritage following routes through the villages of Begur, Palau Sator, Peratallada, and Monells, among others.

At the  Arkhe Hotel Boutique , a contemporary focus on health, wellness, and sustainability is paired with an intimate setting in the heart of historic Pals. Beyond exploring the region’s sites, staff can arrange everything from a “conscious nutrition” workshop to a meal amid the countryside’s wildflowers. Catalonia is known for the excellence of its produce and other ingredients as well as its celebrated chefs. Not far from Pals,  El Celler de Can Roca has three Michelin stars; some critics and fans argue it is the best restaurant in the world.  Bo.Tic , with two Michelin stars, is also among the region’s best restaurants along with Vicus and Pahissa del Mas. Make sure to have at least one dish made with the famous rice from Bassess d’en Coll before you leave. — C.L.

Agroturismo Mar Ccruz Valle del Arce Navarra

Valle de Arce, Spain

South of Roncesvalles, the Valle de Arce (or Artzibar, in Basque) is one of the best-known areas of Navarra, famous for the beech forest to its east, which is one of the largest and best preserved in Europe. This destination is full of natural and historical treasures, but not people—there are barely 300 living in the village of Arce and smaller hamlets nearby. The buildings feel untouched by time and there's easy access to ravines, forests, and unforgettable views. 

A plus of the Navarra Pyrenees is that they are beautiful any time of the year, whether the peaks are dusted with snow or the alpine lakes are shimmering in the summer sun. Simply take a deep breath, walk in any direction, and be surprised by charming villages like Usoz, with its sweeping views, Azparren, or Gorráiz—with its historic houses and churches. Stop and listen to the murmur of the Urrobi and Irati rivers, which form two valleys in the region. This part of the Navarra Pyrenees is a paradise for mountain and hiking lovers, who will find routes for all levels and tastes. The area’s Romanesque heritage can be traced in historical monuments such as the hermitage of Santa María de Arce, next to the Urrobi river, and the church of San Julián in Nagore, both from the 12th century. You can admire the 15 th -century fortified palace of Ayanz and the Torre de Liberri, at least from a distance (both are located on private property and not open to public). You can get a closer look at the 13 th -century  Torre de Uriz , however, which has been converted into a stylish and intimate 12-room hotel.

 Another charming option is the  Agroturismo Mari Cruz , which combines a warm, family welcome with organic cuisine and a lot of magic. They say that amid its cabins, which provide retreats in the woods for those who want to slow down and discover another way of seeing the world, real live elves have been spotted. First, though, you need to take the time to truly listen and look. How’s that for a goal in 2023? — C.L.

A version of this article originally appeared on Condé Nast Traveller Spain. It was translated by John Newton.  

Palacio Arriluce

By signing up you agree to our User Agreement (including the class action waiver and arbitration provisions ), our Privacy Policy & Cookie Statement and to receive marketing and account-related emails from Traveller. You can unsubscribe at any time. This site is protected by reCAPTCHA and the Google Privacy Policy and Terms of Service apply.

The Geographical Cure

The Best 10 Days In Portugal and Spain Itinerary

Planning a trip to Portugal and Spain? Here’s my guide to taking a fantastic 10 day road trip in southern Portugal and southern Spain.

cityscape of Lisbon

This 10 day Spain-Portugal itinerary takes you from Lisbon Portugal to Granada Spain. This popular road trip route is dense with exciting cities, must visit medieval villages, Moorish architecture, UNESCO-listed landmarks, and loads of old world charm.

This ten day itinerary begins in Lisbon, Portugal’s sultry capital. Lisbon is an exciting sun-kissed city with glistening azulejo facades and stunning vistas. 

Pinterest pin for Portugal-Spain itinerary

It’s a compact and lively collection of small villages, tapas bars, and some of Europe’s most important palaces.

From Lisbon, you’ll travel through beautiful Evora Portugal en route to Seville in sunny southern Spain. You’ll finish the Andalusia portion of your trip in Granada.

The city of Granada is home to the mighty Alhambra, the world’s greatest existing Moorish fortress.

Plaza Espana in Seville

Andalusia is a dreamy sun-kissed place. From flamboyant Seville to gritty Granada, you’ll discover a well-balanced blend of must see hotspots, hidden gems, tiny whitewashed villages, and natural wonders.

Here’s my recommended 10 day itinerary for a self drive road trip from Lisbon to Granada. You can always reverse the order and start in Granada and travel west to Lisbon. This would work if you are already in Spain visiting Barcelona or Madrid .

READ : Guide To 24 Hours in Barcelona

With this Spain-Portugal itinerary, you don’t need to pick up your rental car until day 4. You won’t want a car in Lisbon unless you have a roomy space to park.

National Palace in Sintra Portugal

Overview of 10 Day Spain-Portugal Itinerary

Here’s a quick snapshot of what you’ll see with 10 days in Spain and Portugal:

  • Day 1 : Lisbon
  • Day 2 : Lisbon and Belem
  • Day 3 : Sintra Day Trip
  • Day 4 : Drive from Lisbon to Seville, stop in Evora
  • Day 5 : Seville
  • Day 6 : Seville
  • Day 7 : Day Trip to Cordoba or Ronda
  • Day 8 : Drive to Granda, stop in Antequera
  • Day 9 : Granada
  • Day 10 : Granada

the UNESCO-listed Roman Bridge of Cordoba

Length : 10 days

Start and End Points : Lisbon and Granada

UNESCO World Heritage Sites : Jeronimos Monastery, Tower of Belem, Cultural Landscape of Sintra, Pena Palace, Quinta da Regaleira Palace, Royal Alcazar, Seville Cathedral, the Mezquita, Roman Bridge of Cordoba, Medina Azahara, Antequera Dolmens, the Alhambra, the Albaicin

For this Spain-Portugal road trip, you’ll have three bases: Lisbon (3 nights), Seville (4 nights), and Granada (3 nights).

This trip is best done by car. I give you tips on where to stay for each city.

Courtyard of the Lions in the Alhambra in Granada Spain

But this Lisbon to Granada itinerary also also works by train. Just make sure you pre-book/catch an early high speed ATV train when moving from city to city.

A car is superior because it gives you more flexibility over your schedule and the ability to make pit stops (planned or unplanned) along the way.

There are plenty of great destinations to explore in this Portugal to Spain road trip. This super detailed 10 day itinerary is perfectly adjustable.

You can make it shorter or longer, depending on your available vacation time or personal fast/slow travel pace. I’ve tried to give you a mix of cities and leisurely villages, with day trip options as well.

Here’s my guide with tips for renting a car and driving in Europe .

cityscape of Lisbon Portugal

10 Day Itinerary for Portugal and Spain

Day 1: lisbon.

Welcome to the start of your 10 day tour of Spain and Portugal! 

You’re likely going to arrive in Lisbon in the early to mid afternoon. To get oriented, you may want to book a  guided walking tour .

Begin by exploring the main city squares. Start in the Pombaline-designed Rossio Square, also known as Praça Dom Pedro IV.

It’s a lively place with flower vendors and eye catching sidewalks with an optical illusion wave style. Two Baroque fountains stand at each end.

the triumphal arch of Rua Augusta

Then head down the main drag, Rua Augusta, to the Praça de Comércio, the showy 18th century square with a triumphal arch.

But don’t dine or shop here; the squares are mostly filled with tourist traps. Be sure to walk through the arch so you can take in the views from the other side.

After poking around, head to Lisbon’s adjacent Chiado neighborhood. It’s a rather arty upscale neighborhood filled with lovely cafes, chic art galleries, bookshops, and tony boutiques. You can also book a  3 hour guided walking tour  of Chiado.

Be sure to pop into the world’s oldest bookstore, Livraria Bertrand. And check out one of the most beautiful azulejo facades in Lisbon — the House of Ferreira das Tabuletas.

view from St. George's Castle in Lisbon

Take in the evocative Carmo Convent . It’s probably Lisbon’s best historical site Lisbon and a open air memorial to the worst day of Lisbon’s history, when the 1755 earthquake demolished much of the city.

After visiting Carmo Convent, settle in at an authentic eatery in Chiado, like Taberna da Rua das Flores or Cantinho do Avillez.

If you want a Michelin experience, try Alma . This tony restaurant claims to serve up “emotions, identity, knowledge.”

Then head to Alfama, Lisobn’s most charming must see neighborhood. Steeped in history, immortalized in Fado, and rising over Lisbon, Alfama is Lisbon’s most authentic district. It largely escaped the earthquake’s wrath.

the Alfama neighborhood of Lisbon

Alfama is city outside a city. Steep stairways tumble down to Baixa below and Castelo São Jorge (St. George’s Castle) stands guard above on Lisbon’s highest hill. As a result, Alfama is incredibly beautiful and photogenic.

You can follow a my walking tour for the Alfama. You can book a  3 hour guided walking tour of this historic neighborhood

Or just surrender to the lively chaos and get lost in the maze of tangled streets, decorated with street art, flowers, and the residents’ laundry.

the UNESCO-listed Belem Tower in the Belem neighborhood of Lisbon

Day 2: Lisbon and Belem

On day 2, head to the architecturally-rich suburb of Belém. You’ll be cast back to the Age of Discoveries, when the world was Portugal’s colonial oyster.

This neighborhood could take up your entire day, if you’re so inclined. Here’s my guide to the top attractions in Belem .

Your top priority in Belem is Jeronimos Monastery. It’s a 500 year old UNESCO site and a mandatory destination in Lisbon. Jeronimos Monastery is the premiere example of Manueline architecture in Portugal and the #1 site in Lisbon’s Belem district.

You must pre-book a  skip the line ticket   or you’ll wait in incredibly long lines. You can also book a  3 hour guided walking tour of Belem  that includes a skip the line ticket to the monastery.

There’s nothing like the moment you walk into the monastery’s two level cloister, honey colored and dripping with organic detail.

Manueline cloister of Jeronimos Monastery

You’ll be wowed by the delicately scalloped arches, twisting turrets, and columns intertwined with leaves, vines, and knots. And the gargoyles and beasties on the upper facade.

READ : Complete Guide To Jeronimos Monastery

You can also visit the Tower of Belem and the Monument to the Discoveries. Both are included in Belem’s UNESCO designation.

You can admire them from the outside or explore inside. Be forewarned, crowds will be intense and there will be long lines to visit the interiors. You can also book a  2 hour skip the line guided tour  the includes both the monastery and the tower.

Belem Tower is a fortress-like structure also built by Manuel I. It had a very Game of Thrones like feel to me with its filigree stonework. A very narrow spiral staircase leads you to the top for fantastic views.

>>> Click here to book a ticket for Belem Tower

Monument to the Discoveries in Belem

When you’re done gorging on Manueline architecture and Belem’s famous Pasteis de Belem custard tarts, travel back to Lisbon.

At night, head to Lisbon’s nightlife spot, the hilly neighborhood of Bairro Alto for food and drink.

Or, take in a dinner and Fado sho w . Here’s a good list of Fado places in the Alfama and another with places in Bairro Alto.

Pena Palace in Sintra Portugal, a must visit town with 10 days in Portugal and Spain

Day 3: Day Trip To Sintra

On day 3, you’ll venture to Sintra Portugal , the most popular day trip from Lisbon. Sintra is rock star glamorous. The town is chock full of UNESCO-listed castles and palaces.

It’s dazzling, colorful, and romantic. Even the town itself is quaint, filled with artisan shops, and well worth exploring. Sintra packs a punch and delivers on its hype.

There are so many amazing things to do and see in Sintra, that I’ve written a guide with tips for visiting Sintra . You need to have a specific strategy and manage your time well to make the most out of one day in Sintra.

To avoid the wait and lines, you may want pre-book a  guided skip the line tour for Pena Palace, the top attraction. Or go on a  guided tour of the Sintra’s highlights with a historian .

If you don’t want to worry about transportation, book a  guided tour full day tour from Lisbon  or a  guided day tour that includes the coastal Cascais and Cabo da Roca .

merman gargoyle on the facade of Pena Palace

The three sites in Sintra that you can’t miss are: (1) Pena Palace, (2) Quinta da Regaleira, and (3) the Moorish Castle.

1. Pena Palace

Pena Palace is an operatic romantic palace. It’s intensely colorful, a heavy handed mish mash of different architectural styles.

The palace looks like several castles smooshed together. It’s a schizophrenic whirlwind of onion domes, turrets, crenellation, and fanciful sneering gargoyles.

Pena Palace was commissioned by King Ferdinand II in 1842. The project was possibly in an attempt to rival the Neuschwanstein Castle in Bavaria .

Ferdinand was strongly influenced by German Romanticism, a style that emphasized the subjective, the irrational, the imaginative, and the spontaneous.

>>> Click here to pre-book a Pena Palace ticket

Quinta da Regaleira Palace in Sintra

2. Quinta da Regaleira

Quinta da Regaleria is a stony Gothic palace built by eccentric and superstitious millionaire Antonio Monteiro.

It’s an eerie romantic place with stunning gardens featuring grottos, fountains, towers, and tunnels. It’s a short 10 minute walk from the historic center of Sintra.

The gardens feature a startling “initiation well” that was used for secret initiation rites. You walk 90 feet down the spiral (and somewhat slippery) staircase. Then, you enter underground tunnels that take you into the gardens.

>>> Click here to book a ticket to Quinta da Regaleira

the 9th century Moorish Castle in Sintra

3. Moorish Castle

The Moorish Castle is an ancient 9th century fortress perched high on the hills of Sintra. It’s only a 10 minute walk from Pena Palace. It has astounding 360 panormic views.

There aren’t a lot of good food options in Sintra for dinner. So, it may be better to head back to Lisbon where you’ll have a plethora of choices.

>>> Click here to book a ticket for the Moorish Castle

Where To Stay In Lisbon

I would recommend staying in or near the Chiado neighborhood. The  Verride Palacio Santa Catarina  is a boutique hotel in a renovated palace with incredible views.

LX Boutique  is a pretty luxury hotel with a maritime themes and blue colors. The  Memmo Principe Real   is a historic hotel in a quiet area. It has limestone floors and original paintings.

view from Evora Cathedral

Day 4: Drive From Lisbon To Seville, Stop in Evora

The drive from Lisbon to Seville is 4.5 hours. En route, to break up the journey, stop in the UNESCO town of Evora. Evora is a 1:15 drive from Lisbon and then it’s another 3.5 hours to Seville.

If you want another stop between Evora and Lisbon, pull over in Merida . Merida is an ancient Roman city and UNESCO-listed site.

The UNESCO-listed Evora is tucked away in the Alentejo region of central Portugal. Evora was untouched by the great earthquake of 1755 and its historic center is well preserved. You can book a guided walking tour of the historic city center .

Evora is topped by a grand 14th century cathedral, commonly refered to as Evora Cathedral. But its official name is the Cathedral Of Nossa Senhora Da Assuncao.

Chapel of Bones in Evora

While not particularly pretty itself, it’s worth it to go inside just for the beautiful vistas over Evora from its balcony.

The star of Evora is an ossuary, the Chapel of Bones, attached to the large Royal Church of St. Francis. Franciscan monks slaved away in the early 17th century building this unusual site when cemeteries were overflowing.

Evora was also an important Roman town, lying on a trade route to Rome . In Evora’s center, you’ll see 14 Corinthian columns rising to the sky.

After you’ve seen the sites, leave Evora and head to Seville, your base for the next four nights.

Seville cityscape with Plaza de Espana buildings

Day 5: Explore Seville

On day 5 of your 10 days in Portugal and Spain itinerary, you’ll explore Seville. Seville is one of my favorites cities in Europe and and a must visit destination in Andalusia.

Seville is known for its Moorish architectural flourishes. The city is guarded by one of the world’s most colossal Gothic cathedrals. It’s a seductive mix of Mudéjar palaces, ornate baroque churches, colorful azulejo tiles, and shady cobblestone lanes.

And you can feast on inventive tapas, ice cold beer, and sweet sherry. At any hour of the day, no less.

On your first day in Seville, plan on seeing Seville Cathedral, La Giralda, and the Royal Alcazar.

Seville Cathedral

1. Seville Cathedral

Seville Cathedral is a massive Gothic affair, an odd to excess. It’s the largest cathedral in the world. It’s essential to pre-book a skip the line ticket  in advance.

Tickets include an audio guide. You can also book  tickets + a guided tour of the cathedral and explore its rooftops.

Tickets include an audio guide. To enter the cathedral, you walk through the lovely Patio of the Orange Trees, decorated with a Moorish gate.

The Main Chapel, Capilla Mayor, is a glittering affair. It houses one of the world’s finest high altars, elaborately detailed and finished in gold leaf. There are over 1,000 carved biblical figures.

Courtyard of the Cabildo (Patio del Cabildo) inside Seville Cathedral

Along the aisles of the cathedral, there are 80 side chapels to explore. You’ll find spires and reliefs depicting biblical events dedicated to saints.

There’s a large mirror reflecting the intricate ceiling, which you’ll have to queue up to peer into. Lighting up the interior are 75 stained glass windows from the 16th to 19th century.

The Cathedral houses the tomb of Christopher Columbus in the south transept. Many places lay claim to Columbus’ bones.

But apparently DNA tests have confirmed that, in fact, a bit of him is in Seville, maybe a shin bone or something.

Seville Cathedral and La Giralda

2. La Giralda

La Giralda, or the bell tower, dates from 1184. It’s the symbol of Seville and the oldest part of the cathedral complex.

The tower was originally constructed as the minaret of the Almohad Mosque that previously stood here, and was used to call Muslims to prayer. It was modeled after the Koutoubia Mosque in Marrakesh.

You access the 100 meter high Giralda in the far right corner. It’s an easy climb, 35 sloping ramps to reach the top.

There are ramps instead of stairs so that horses could be ridden to the top. You’ll be rewarding with sweeping views of the cathedral and Seville.

Courtyard of the Maidens in Seville's Royal Alcazar

3. Royal Alcazar

I’ve written at length about my adoration of the UNESCO-listed Royal Alcazar in Seville. It’s my very favorite spot in Andalusia, even above Granada’s incandescent Alhambra .

It’s essential to pre-book a slip the line ticket  in advance or you’ll have long wait in line. You can also book a   guided tour  of the alcazar with priority entrance.

The Alcázar is one of the world’s greatest cultural treasures. The Alcazar is a centuries old complex of palaces and fortifications, lovely courtyards, and extensive gardens bursting with orange, purple, and green colors.

You cannot help but feel catapulted back in time.

ornate interior of the Hall of Ambassadors in the Royal Alcazar

The crown jewel of the Alcazar is the sumptuous Mudéjar Palace of King Pedro the Cruel, built around the iconic Maiden’s Courtyard.

The Ambassador’s Hall, or Throne Room, is the big showstopper. It’s nicknamed the “Half Orange” Room, in honor of its gilded cedar domed ceiling.

But perhaps the best part of visiting the Alcazar is its amazing gardens. They’re a lush, exotic, labyrinthian paradise, encompassing 80% of the Alcázar grounds.

The Baths of Dona Maria de Padilla are perhaps the most striking and frequently visited spot in the Alcázar Gardens.

columns of Hercules in Seville's Alameda neighborhood

4. Dinner & Drinks

In the evening, amble up to the hipster haven of La Alameda. This is Seville’s trendy bohemian district, situated around the Plaza Alameda de Hercules.

This not-so-touristy neighborhood of Seville has lively local pubs, parks, boutiques, chic galleries, and Roman era columns.

My pick for dinner in Alameda is Duo Tapa s , where you get delicious tapas under fairy lights. It’s popular and a great value.

You can also try La Taberna de Panduro Baños or the nearby Eslava , hidden behind the Basílica de Jesús del Gran Poder.

In lieu of a restaurant, you could also go on a  3 hour tapas crawl . I did this tour when I was last there and I loved everything except the orange wine. Or try this  “10 tasting of Seville” walking tour  or this  4 hour gourmet food tour .

Plaza Espana in Seville

Day 6: Seville

1. plaza espana.

Start your second day in Seville at the magnificent Plaza Espana. It’s a famous architectural landmark, photogenic spot, and a must visit attraction in Seville .

The plaza was built for the Ibero-American World Fair of 1929, where Spanish speaking countries enjoyed a year long mutual admiration festival. It’s open to the public and there’s no entry fee.

The park’s highlight is the Spanish Pavilion, the sweeping half circle structure with rose gold brick buildings. Designed in an Art Deco style with some Moorish touches, the Plaza has the expected Spanish flair — lots of color and lavish embellishment.

There are 49 alcoves, each decorated with tiles. They show historical scenes and maps from the 49 provinces of Spain arranged in alphabetical order.

Plaza Dona Elvira in the Barrio Santa Cruz

2. Barrio Santa Cruz

Then head to Barrio Sant Cruz, Seville’s popular medieval district. The neighborhood is a mass of tangled cobbled streets with tiny palazzos and tile covered patios.

You may want to book a  guided walking tour  of the pretty barrio.

Some streets are so impossibly narrow, they’re called “kissing lanes.” There are also orange trees everywhere. You can get lost and stumble across secret squares, pretty churches, and tapas bars.

Barrio Santa Cruz

Plaza de la Santa Cruz is the heart of the barrio. But I liked Plaza de Dona Elvira best, and stopped for a delicious lunch there at Vinela Street Food.

Be sure to stroll along the winding and romantic Calle Agua, which runs along the walls of the Alcazar to Plaza Alfaro. In Plaza Alfaro, you’ll see a Juliet balcony said to have inspired Shakespeare’s Romeo and Juliet .

If you like old masters, pop into the Hospital de los Venerables. The pretty baroque building was founded in 1675.

Now, it’s a museum with a few carefully guarded masterpieces by Zurburan, Murillo, and Velasquez. And some gorgeous ceilings.

the colorful Triana neighborhood of Seville

In the afternoon, cross the Puente de Isabel II bridge over the Guadalquivir River and head to the colorful Triana neighborhood. Triana is a small soulful village within a big city and the old gypsy quarter of Seville.

What was once considered the “wrong side” of the river, is now the fun and funky part of town. Locals still call it the “Independent Republic of Triana.”

Triana is steeped in romance and myth. It was home to many of Spain’s best flamenco dancers and bullfighters.

Once over the bridge, you’ll be greeted by the Capilla del Carmen with its bell tower and chapel. The main commercial street in Triana is the pedestrianized Calle San Jacinto where you’ll find shops and cafes.

For lunch, get off the main drag and head left. Have some modern fusion (Venezuelan and Spanish) tapas at Vega 10 in Triana.

Located at Calle Rosario, its specialty is bull’s tail cannelloni. Or, get some tapas at Casa Cuesta or Las Golondrinas.

beautiful homes in the Triana neighborhood of Seville

If you want to assemble your own dinner, head to Triana’s famous Mercado de Triana, or covered market, located on Capilla del Carmen in the Plaza del Altozano.

Stroll the stalls filled with meats and cheeses. Or try a smoothie or fresh squeezed juice. When you’re done, take a stroll along the river on Calle Betis.

>>> Click here to book a flamenco show in Triana

Where To Stay In Seville

Air Bnb is a good option in Seville. There are also some beautiful boutique hotels.

My picks would be:  Hotel Colon Gran Melia ,  Suites Machado , or  Hotel Casa del Poeta .

I also think Barrio Santa Cruz is a great, and more quiet, place to stay. In this area, you could book at  Hotel Casa 1800 Seville  (timeless elegance) or the  EME Catedral Hotel  (sumptuous hotel with a roof terrace, Michelin restaurant, and spa).

the beautiful old Jewish Quarter in Cordoba

Day 7: Day Trip to Cordoba or Ronda

On day 7, take a day trip to Cordoba or Ronda. If you want a city with a lot of attractions, pick Cordoba. If you want to experience a classic white pueblo village, pick Ronda.

I’d recommend Cordoba just to see the UNESCO-listed Mosque Cathedral called the Mezquita .

1. Option 1: Cordoba

You can take the train from Seville. Or you can book a full day guided tour from Seville . Or a guided tour that includes both Cordoba and Carmona .

Cordoba is an exotic stone paved city with both a Roman and Moorish past. Cordoba is a natural film set, it’s just so beautiful. Cordoba has an authentic Spanish vibe with fewer tourists than Seville or Granada.

candy cane arches in the Mezquita

Most people come just for Cordoba’s #1 site: the magnificent Mezquita , the Mosque-Cathedral of Cordoba. Dating from the 10th century, it’s a UNESCO site and one of the world’s most well-preserved Islamic buildings.

Here’s my one day in Cordoba itinerary . Click   here  to pre-purchase a ticket. Click  here  to book a 1 hour guided tour of this magnificent edifice.

The courtyard is free to visit. And you can climb the minaret for views.

In the 16th century, King Ferdinand and Queen Isabella converted the interior of the mosque into a cathedral, calling it the Cathedral of Our Lady of Assumption.

I expected the combination to be discordant and perplexing. But I found it a fascinating place, a snapshot of the sophisticated dual culture that once existed in Spain.

colorful flower patio in Cordoba

You walk into the Mezquita from a courtyard of orange trees via the Porte de las Palmas. You’re immediately amidst an overpowering forest of 1,000 candy cane horseshoe arches.

They’re constructed from granite, onyx, jasper, and marble. A highlight is the Mihrab, or high altar. It’s a prayer niche covered in an intricate design of gold leaf and mosaic fragments.

The Renaissance cathedral is built right in the center, sharing marble and space with the Islamic arches. The soaring vaulted ceilings are stunning.

Be sure to go up the minaret for spectacular views of Cordoba. You buy tickets for the tower at a separate ticket booth below the bell tower.

the old Roman Bridge and the Mezquita

But there’s so much more to Cordoba than the Mezquita. Just downhill from the Mezquita is the Guadalquivir River. Stroll across the stunning Roman Bridge , both a UNESCO site and a Game of Thrones filming location.

Amble around the narrow languid streets of the charming old Jewish Quarter, with its brilliantly white walls and delicate filigreed window grills. You may even want to a  2 hour guided walking tour  of this romantic area.

Skip the Instagram popular Calleja de las Flores, or just stroll by. It’s overrated and crammed with tourists. There are beautiful flowers and patios everywhere in Cordoba.

Go into the Jewish synagogue. Say hello to the nearby statue of Maimonides, an influential medieval Jewish philosopher.

Visit the beautiful Alcazar de los Reyes Cristianos. This Alcazar can’t hold a candle to Seville’s UNESCO-listed Royal Alcazar, but I thought it was still well worth a visit. Click  here  if you’d like to book a 1 hour guided tour of the alcazar.

the stunning New Bridge in the town of Ronda

2. Option 2: Ronda

Ronda is Andalusia’s third most visited city. It’s one of Andalusia’s most beautiful towns .

You can take the train from Seville. Once there, you may want to take a 2 hour guided walking tour to get oriented.

If you’d prefer to leave the transportation to someone else, you can book a guided day tour from Seville . You can also book a guided full day tour of the white pueblo villages that includes Ronda .

Ronda is not so much a white pueblo town as a sophisticated city. Ronda has a dramatic setting.

It’s perched on a mountainous gash, 1000 feet above the plain below. Ronda is synonymous with its dramatic 18th century bridge, the Puente Nuevo.

the bullring in Ronda

The famed bridge connects the old and newish parts of the town over the 328 feet El Tajo gorge. There’s a staircase leading to the floor of the gorge, for a different viewing perspective.

Ronda is also famed as the birthplace of bullfighting. The city’s Plaza de Toros is one of Ronda’s most popular attractions, thanks to its beautiful architecture. The bullring is ringed with double rows of columns, lending it a Neo-Classical look.

If you want to delve more deeply into Spain’s bullfighting culture, head to the Museum of Bullfighting. You’ll even find some sketches depicting the “art” (not sport) of bullfighting by Francisco Goya , the renowned Spanish artist.

Aside from the bridge, Ronda itself is beautiful — plenty of cozy town squares, cobblestone alleys, balconies everywhere, and lovely architecture. You can visit the Mondragon Palace and the Arabic Baths, if you’re feeling ambitious.

cityscape of Antequera

Day 8: Drive from Seville to Granada, Stop in Antequera

The Spanish-Baroque town of Antequera is fittingly dubbed the “Florence of Andalusia.” Antequera is a hidden gem in Andalusia. You’ll have the place mostly to yourself, which is a singular joy in southern Spain.

Since you’re day tripping, there’s a lot to do. Park your car on the outskirts of town and walk up Calle Don Infante. Antequera boasts an impressive Moorish Alcazaba, almost like a mini Alhambra.

It also has a lovely Renaissance church and a stunning medieval and baroque historical core. You’ll have an eyeful of swoonful scenery.

>>> Click here to book a guided walking tour of Antequera

cityscape of Antequera

Antequera’s ancient megaliths/dolmens are outside the old town. You’ll see signs. The dolmens date from the Bronze Age and are among the oldest things on the planet. They are essentially Spain’s Stonehenge.

The dolmens are ancient burial grounds that were declared a UNESCO site in 2016. They’re one of the most remarkable engineering and architectural works of European prehistory and an important example of European Megalthism.

For more details and information, check out my two guides to visiting the town of Antequera and to Antequera’s UNESCO dolmens .

History buffs may want to book a guided tour of the dolmens .

view of the Alhambra in Granada

Day 9: Granada

Granada will sweep you away with its authentic Spanish vibe and dazzling attractions. Lorded over by the Sierra Nevada Mountains, it’s an absolutely beautiful ancient city with historic architecture. For its size, it’s surprisingly cosmopolitan.

Granada boasts many atmospheric neighborhoods, each with an earthy distinct character. It’s home to the mighty Alhambra, a Moroccan souk, a massive cathedral, flamenco music, and — perhaps best of all — free tapas.

Start your day at Granada’s marquis site, the UNESCO-listed Alhambra. This amazing Granada attraction requires more than half a day at a bare minimum.

The Alhambra is one of the most popular and best sites in southern Spain, and even in the world. In fact, you might want to split your visit to the Alhambra in two, with separate morning and evening visits.

READ : Top Attractions In Granada

the famous Lion Fountain in the Alhambra

Here’s my complete  guide to visiting the Alhambra . More than any other attraction I’ve mentioned, you MUST have a  ticket to visit the Alhambra  and reserve it well (weeks) in advance. They sell out so fast.

You may want to book a guided tour of this magnificent UNESCO site. Tours are also another way to nab the valuable ticket. They also sell out fast.

Here are some guided tour options:

  • a 2.5 hour small  group  guided tour
  • a 3 hour private tour
  • a 3 hou r tour of t he Alhambra and Generalife Gardens
  • a  3 hour t our  with a historian
  • a 2 ho ur ni ght visit
  • a 6 hou r tour  of the Alhambra and the highlights of Granada

reflecting pool in the Alhambra

The Alhambra stands on a stunning piece of real estate, high on Sabika Hill, with panoramic views over Granada and the beautiful countryside. The Alhambra is a tranquil place with burbling fountains and beautiful mosaics.

The highlights of the Alhambra are the Alcazaba, the Charles V Palace, and the jaw dropping Nasrid Palace. The Nasrid Palace is the world’s finest example of the refined, intricate, and elegant architectural style of the Moorish civilization.

The Court of the Myrtles, the Hall of the Ambassadors, and the Hall of the Two Sisters are a succession of intricate tile work, honeycomb cupolas, and cursive script.

The wonder of wonders is the Court of the Lions, named for the antique fountain of 12 lions in the center. Around the edge runs an arcade of arches supported by white marble columns.

When you’re done with the lavish palaces, head over to the beautiful Generalife for its soothing water gardens.

Generalife Gardens

Later, wander around and explore the old Arab neighborhood of the Albaicin, or Albayzin. Built on a steep hill, it’s an ancient area with tight tangled winding streets and a bohemian feel. The lively place was declared a UNESCO site in 1984.

The main drags in the Albaicin, which both run parallel to the River Darro, are Paseo de los Tristes and Carrera del Darro.

Amidst a jasmine scented breeze, you’ll find restaurants, cafes, tapas bars, and even street performers. You can enjoy a sunset view at Mirador San Nicolás.

To explore this beauty of the Albaicin and the neighborhood of Sacromonte, you can book a  guided walking tour . I did this tour and thought it was amazing. Sacromonte is a good place to book a  sunset walking tour .

the Albaicin neighborhood of Granada

Day 10: Granada

On your second day in Granada, visit the ornate late Gothic tombs of the ambitious dynasty-builders Ferdinand and Isabella. They reigned over the Christianization of Granada and the exploration of the “new” Americas. In the sacristy hangs Queen Isabella’s personal art collection.

10 minutes away, visit Granada Cathedral in Granada’s historic center. Click  here   to book a guided tour of the cathedral and the Royal Chapel.

The cathedral is the second largest cathedral in Spain after Seville Cathedral.It’s the fourth largest cathedral in the world.

The edifice is a mix of Renaissance and Baroque styles. Inside, there’s a towering interior, a grand altar, and side chapels.

Don’t miss Granada’s otherworldly barrio of Sacromonte, home to Granada’s Roma community. Time stands still in this unusual rustic quarter of Granada.

Sacromonte district of Granada

For centuries, Sacromonte was the home of gypsies, bohemians, artists, and foreign refuges. Sacramonte also sports one of the most mesmerizing views of the Alhambra.

Click  here  to book a flamenco show in Sacromonte, which has the best venue for performances in Granada.

Where To Stay In Granada

The  Eurostars Catedral  is a lovely hotel housed in a 16th century manor, just a short walk from the cathedral. The  Catalonia Granada  is a lovely hotel that comes complete with a plunge pool and open air terrace. 

If you want a place where tradition and avant garde style meet, check out the  Hospes Palacio de los Patos . It’s housed in a UNESCO-listed palace, with sprawling gardens, a spa, and mosaic floors.

the stunning hilltop town of Frigiliana

More Time in Spain?

If you want some time to relax after your 10 day Portugal-Spain road trip, head to the Costa del Sol for a few days of beach time and coastal views.

If you want a big city, head to Malaga. If you want a more laid back beach town, try Marabella or Nerja. Don’t miss the pretty mountain villages of Frigiliana en route.

To read about these towns and other villages in Andalusia, check out my guide to the 27 most beautiful towns in Southern Spain .

the pretty town of Nerja in southern Spain

You may enjoy these other Portugal travel guides and resources:

  • 10 day itinerary for Portugal
  • Historic landmarks in Portugal
  • 4 day itinerary for Lisbon
  • Guide to the Alfama neighborhood
  • Guide to the Belem neighborhood
  • Day trips from Lisbon
  • Hidden gems in Lisbon
  • Best sites and photo spots in Porto
  • Best azulejo tiles in Porto

Plaza Mayor in Madrid

You may also enjoy these other Spain travel guides and resources:

  • 33 secret towns in Spain
  • 10 day itinerary from Madrid to Seville
  • 10 day itinerary from Barcelona to Bilbao
  • 1 week itinerary for northern Spain
  • 10 day itinerary for Basque Spain
  • 2 day itinerary for Madrid
  • Most Beautiful Cites and Towns in Andalusia
  • 3 day itinerary for Seville

If you’d like to spend 10 days in Portugal and Spain, pin it for later.

Pinterest pin for the best 10 day itinerary for Spain and Portugal

2 thoughts on “The Best 10 Days In Portugal and Spain Itinerary”

Do you have hotel recommendations?

Yes, the article gives you recommendations for where to stay in Lisbon, Seville, and Granada. The hotels are listed at the end of your stay in the city.

Leave a Comment Cancel reply

Save my name, email, and website in this browser for the next time I comment.

Last Updated on June 30, 2023 by Leslie Livingston

Explore Spain & Portugal

15 days | from the hills of granada to the beaches of lisbon.

Intrepid travellers and tour leader in Madrid city, Spain

Follow an enticing trail of delicious tapas, avant-garde art, architectural triumphs and dramatic history on this 15-day tour through Spain and Portugal. Travel the scenic route from Madrid, relaxing on the beach in Algarve, sipping wine in Porto, enjoying the rolling green hills of Granada and being charmed by Andalusian Seville. Admire the masterpieces of Picasso, Dali and Gaudi, experience the passion of flamenco, taste some of the best port in the world and embrace the culture of these two spirited countries with a local leader to show you the way.

Trip overview

  • Get lost in the labyrinthine streets of the Albaicin in Granada before crossing the river to visit the imposing Moorish fortress of the Alhambra.
  • Unwind in a laidback fishing town in the Algarve, soaking up the sun on the beach and enjoying an included boat trip around the rocky cliffs of the coast.
  • Join pilgrims along the last leg of the famous Camino de Santiago journey as they reach the historic cathedral in Santiago de Compostela.
  • Sit back, relax and watch the water flow by in one of Porto’s river restaurants while you sample a couple of varieties of the city’s signature wine – port!
  • Start and end your adventure in Madrid, home to art galleries, colourful architecture and some of the best restaurants in Spain.
  • By travelling on this trip, you’ll directly support our Intrepid Foundation partner, Open Arms. Donations help them safeguard the physical integrity and rights of migrant people in imminent danger who have fled their homes across the Mediterranean Sea.
  • This trip covers a lot of ground and the majority of travel is done by trains and public buses. It's a good time to sit back, relax and let the scenery roll past your window. Please read the Itinerary carefully for travel time estimates.
  • We recommend packing light and smart for this trip as you'll be required to carry your own luggage between train stations and hotels, which can include going up and down multiple flights of stairs, and across cobblestones. Train stations often don’t have lifts available.
  • Summer temperatures can be extreme in this region (over 40C/104F). It’s important to use sun protection, wear layers to combat the heat, and drink plenty of water. Many hotels in Europe have fans, not air conditioning. Please carefully consider the time of the year you wish to travel and your suitability to that season.
  • Space is at a premium in Europe and your hotel is no exception. Rooms are often small, but usually the central location makes up for that. For those travelling as a duo, hotels in Europe often don't have double beds, but rather two single beds that can be pushed together.

Hola! Welcome to Madrid, the Spanish capital known for its elegant boulevards and expansive, manicured parks. Your adventure begins with a welcome meeting at 6 pm tonight. As there's limited time for sightseeing in Madrid, booking a few extra days isn't a bad idea. After the welcome meeting, perhaps get into the mind of a Madrileno with some tapas and Rioja with your fellow travellers.

  • Hotel (1 night)

There are no meals included on this day.

  • Madrid - Museo Thyssen-Bornemisza - EUR13
  • Madrid - Museo del Prado - EUR15
  • Madrid - Real Jardín Botánico - EUR6
  • Madrid - Museo Reina Sofia - EUR10
  • Madrid - Royal Palace - EUR14
  • Madrid - Tapas Urban Adventure - EUR99

It’s very important that you attend the welcome meeting as we will be collecting insurance details and next of kin information at this time. If you are going to be late please let your travel agent or hotel reception know. Ask reception or look for a note in the lobby for more information on where the meeting will take place. 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 or two early. We'll be happy to book additional accommodation for you (subject to availability).

Take a bus to Granada today. 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 Cathedral and Capilla Real, or watch the world go by as you indulge in some tapas at a bar. Granada is the kind of city to leave your guidebook behind and trust your intuition.

Your travel time today will be approximately 5 hours.

Today make a visit to Granada's impressive Alhambra Palace. An entrance ticket is included in the trip and grants you the visit of the Palace and the Gardens. Discover this 11th-century marvel and its dominating red fortress towers, palace decor, architectural styles, and magnificent gardens. It's all set against the backdrop of the Sierra Nevada mountains. With fountains, impeccably maintained hedges and pools, centuries-old defensive walls, turrets, and views overlooking Granada, this renowned palace will not disappoint. Make sure you allow enough time as 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. After your visit ask your leader to take you deeper into Granada’s Moorish Albaicin quarter and to the area of traditional tea houses. The view from this area across to the Alhambra Palace is not to be missed. Tonight, perhaps meet up again with the group for dinner.

  • Granada - Guided Visit to Alhambra Palace & Gardens
  • Granada - Mirador de San Nicolas - Free
  • Granada - Science Park - EUR7
  • Granada - Science Park Planetarium - EUR2
  • Granada - Catedral de Granada - EUR6
  • Granada - Capilla Real - EUR6

Due to high demand and to be able to control visitor numbers, local authorities have implemented a timed ticket slot system for the Alhambra Palace. Depending on your departure date the time of your group's visit can vary. Please note that tickets are nominative, and you will need to advise us of your passport details at the time of booking as we are unable to organise tickets for you without them. Details will be counter checked at the entrance, so make sure you bring your passport with you at the time of the visit.

Travel by bus and train this morning 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. After the Christian reconquest, it became thought of as the portal to the 'New World', and is today the capital of Andalucia and the largest city in southern Spain. 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. As the rest of the day is free for you to explore, why not go and experience it all in person. 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.

Your travel time today will be approximately 2.5 hours.

Please note that currently there are track works on the train line between Granada and Seville. We will therefore travel by both train and bus on this stretch of our journey.

Today is a free day to discover Seville. 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. 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. Charged with emotion and drama, this powerful, fiery show is a real highlight!

  • Seville - Evening Flamenco Performance
  • Seville - Torre del Oro - EUR3
  • Seville - Santa Paula Convent - EUR3
  • Seville - Indias Archive - Free
  • Seville - Museum of Fine Arts - EUR2
  • Seville - Archaeological Museum - EUR3
  • Seville - Andalusian Contemporary Art Centre - EUR3
  • Seville - Guided Tour including Alcazar - EUR13
  • Seville - Museum of Art & Popular Customs - EUR2
  • Seville - Cathedral & Giralda Tower - EUR12
  • Seville - Casa de Pilatos - EUR10

Today board a bus and cross the border into Portugal. 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. Set on the banks of the Rio Bensafrim, Lagos is gifted with a temperate Mediterranean climate, a bounty of beaches and a rich heritage. When you arrive, you might want to take a walk around town. Wandering around Lagos’s old town enclosed within 16th century walls, on pretty cobbled streets and picturesque plazas and churches, is definitely a good thing to do. In the evening, why not head to feast on freshly caught fish at a restaurant or cafe overlooking the water and behold a golden sky at sunset, before throwing yourself into Lagos' pumping nightlife.

Most of today is free to enjoy Lagos and its surrounds. At some point during the day (depending on availability) you will enjoy an included boat tour around Algarve’s rocky cliffs. Explore the jagged, weathered rockface of Pinta da Piedade, full of arches, towers, grottoes and caves that have been eroded into this fabulous limestone coast. Your leader will inform you about the exact time in advance so you can plan other activities around that. For the rest of the day, perhaps pack a book and towel and head to the beach. The vast sands of Meia Praia stretch for over 4 km, and it is peppered with beach bars, cafes and sun lounges. Also, plenty of water sports are on offer in the summer. In addition, there are numerous boat trip options, focusing on birdwatching, fishing, or even spotting the Algarve dolphins. Praia do Porto de Mos and Camilo Beach are also good options, lovely water and sands surrounded by great rock formations. Take a stroll through the quaint alleys of central Lagos, or head down to the waterfront to watch the boats come in. Just ask your leader for any tips if you’re unsure.

  • Lagos - Algarve Cliff Boat Trip

Today head north by public bus to Lisbon. 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. When you arrive, 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 afternoon and evening is then free, so maybe head to the grand Naval Museum for an insight into the history of Portuguese navigation. You can roam through the charming narrow streets of local neighbourhoods and see local life play out. Maybe simply sit back in one of many outdoors restaurants and cafes – watching the life go by is definitely one of the best ways to relax in Lisbon. 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).

  • Lisbon - Fado Show with Dinner - EUR50

Your travel time today will b approximately 4 hours.

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. Much of Lisbon’s character and charm lies in its beautiful renovated buildings, grand boulevards and impressive castles and churches. Maybe head out this morning on a tour to visit to the medieval citadel in the city centre of Lisbon. Discover the medieval citadel of Sao Jorge Castle, which dates back to Moorish times and sits on the highest point of the Old Town. Look down on a city swarming with endless angular white houses and buildings with distinct red terracotta rooftops. From the citadel, this makes a contrasting panorama when viewed against the deep blue of the sky and ocean. With the rest of your free time today, perhaps catch a tram or hire a bike and cycle along the water to the historic neighbourhood of Belem. Make sure you try a sumptuous custard tart at the famous Casa Pasteis de Belem. Relax at a cafe in hilly Alfama, or check out the fascinating street art spread throughout the city.

  • Lisbon - Naval Museum - EUR7
  • Lisbon - National Art Museum - EUR6
  • Lisbon - Folk Art Museum - EUR5
  • Lisbon - Oceanarium - EUR25
  • Lisbon - Puppet Museum - EUR5
  • Lisbon - Gulbenkian Museum - EUR10
  • Lisbon - Sao Jorge Castle - EUR15
  • Lisbon - Belem Tower and Monastery - EUR20

Continue north on a local bus 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, Porto is also well known for one more thing – as the birthplace of the fortified wine, port. Indulge in an included group tasting of some famous tawny and ruby ports at one of the many wine houses across the river. Most of the grapes are grown and harvested in the nearby Douro Valley. 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 later on in the afternoon. Alternatively, spend the evening soaking up the atmosphere of this coastal city in numerous cafes and restaurants that Porto has to offer.

  • Porto - Port Wine Tasting

Your travel time today will be approximately 4 hours.

Today is a free day 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. Sao 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 sensational 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. This is the city’s most famed market, bursting with fresh produce and other goodies. 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. For dinner, make sure you try the country’s most famous sandwich – the francesinha – then head to Galerias Paris Street for nightlife.

  • Porto - Livraria Lello - EUR8
  • Porto - Clerigos Tower - EUR8
  • Porto - Serralves Foundation - EUR20
  • Porto - Bolhao Market - Free

Today board a bus bound for Santiago de Compostela in northwestern Spain. The capital of Galicia became a symbol of the Spanish Christians' struggle against Islam and is famous as the culmination point for pilgrims walking the Camino de Santiago. Soak up the religious energy in the cathedral where St James, one of the 12 Apostles, is purportedly buried. The cathedral was consecrated in 1211 and is the central point within the medieval walls of the old town, standing majestically on the Plaza del Obradoiro with its towers soaring above the town. Elaborately carved stone facades open onto grand plazas, full of pilgrims and locals spending their day in this atmospheric place. Maybe join them in one of the cafes, sitting back and listening to many of the street artists performing on the streets of the old town. Visit the cathedral and do as pilgrims do – circle the main altar admiring the greatness of the place. Tonight, maybe and explore the streets close to the cathedral for Galician specialties. Perhaps try peppers of Padron and empanadas (Galician pies, filled with meat or seafood).

Today you'll have the opportunity to join pilgrims on the last stretch of the Santiago de Compostela route. Take an early bus to Amenal village where the 18 km walk begins. The trek will take you through the villages, fields and rivers of Galicia. In Lavacolla village you'll cross the river where medieval pilgrims traditionally bathed in the river to purify themselves before arriving in the holy city. From here, ascend again to the Monte do Gozo (Mount of Joy), so called for the feeling when pilgrims would catch their first sight of the towers of Compostela Cathedral. Embrace the atmosphere up here on the mount, alongside some walkers who may have trekked over 800 km to be here. The entire walk takes approximately 4 to 6 hours to complete. It is important that you wear comfortable footwear and bring a rain coat, as weather in this region of Spain can be unpredictable, even during the summer months. Once back in Santiago the rest of the day is free for you to explore. Santiago de Compostela is a World Heritage site, an open-air museum that holds many delights within its walls – the lively squares, the market and the University buildings are must sees. For you final night in town, maybe wander down the streets of Rua do Franco and Rua da Raina to try some tapas.

  • Santiago de Compostela - Camino de Santiago Hike
  • Santiago de Compostela - Visit to a Local Cheesemaker - EUR20
  • Santiago de Compostela - Bike Hire - EUR10
  • Santiago de Compostela - Pilgrimage Museum - EUR2
  • Santiago de Compostela - Cathedral - EUR12

Please speak to your leader if you are unsure whether the hike activity is suitable for you. For those not wanting to do in the walk, there are plenty of things to keep you entertained in town for the day. Please note that this activity is subject to weather conditions.

Today, you'll take a train back to Madrid. When you arrive, check into your hotel and then head out on an orientation walk with your leader to get your bearings. Then, the rest of the day is free for your to explore how you wish. Maybe hang out in El Retiro Park or explore Prado Museum’s works by Goya, Velazquez and other Spanish masters. Tonight, why not ask your leader the best spot for dinner and head out with your fellow travellers to cheers to a trip well-travelled.

Today your Spain and Portugal adventure comes to an end. There are no activities planned so you are able to depart the accommodation at any time. If you'd like to extend your stay, just speak to your booking agent.

9 breakfasts

Train, Public bus, Metro, Taxi

Hotel (14 nights)

Dates and availability

Important notes.

1. A single supplement is available if you’d prefer not to share a room on this trip. The single supplement applies to all nights of your trip and is subject to availability. Please speak to your booking agent for further information. 2. Please provide your full name and passport details at the time of booking so that we can secure Alhambra entrance tickets for you. Fees may apply for adding or amending details within 60 days of departure. In some cases, without these details, we may not be able to obtain entrance tickets for you.

Want an in-depth insight into this trip? Essential Trip Information provides 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.

Filter by rating

travel to spain portugal

Get our Rail Planner app

Plan your trip, get extra discounts, and show your Pass as you go.

travel to spain portugal

Our favorite spring routes

Celebrate spring with these 7 off-the-beaten-path train routes

travel to spain portugal

All about seat reservations

Everything you need to know about booking your seats

travel to spain portugal

Alternatives to Busy Routes

Travel between popular European cities without seat reservations

travel to spain portugal

Through our Chatbot in the bottom right corner.

travel to spain portugal

Ask the Community

Browse questions from fellow Eurail travellers, or ask your own!

  • Plan your trip
  • Suggested Itineraries

Spain and Portugal itinerary

  • Order overview
  • Reservations overview
  • My Trips & Travelers
  • {{translatedTraveler}} {{#promotional}} {{currencySign}} {{standardPrice}} {{/promotional}} {{quantity}}x {{currencySign}} {{finalPrice}}
  • Child {{childPasses}}x FREE
  • {{translatedPassType}}
  • {{translatedValidityPeriodDescription}}
  • {{translatedClass}}
  • Remove Pass(es)
  • {{variant.localizedTravelPackDescription}} {{quantity}}x Free
  • {{variant.localizedPassUpgradeDescription}} {{quantity}}x {{currency}} {{price}}
  • Your order will arrive by {{expectedDeliveryDate}} 1 x {{currency}} {{price}}

Your cart is empty

Dream of your Iberian adventure

Spain and Portugal are ideal rail partners. These countries, part of the Iberian peninsula, are packed full of beautiful cities, fascinating history and plenty of attractions - both day and night. With comprehensive rail networks and easy international rail links in the north, there’s no reason why you shouldn’t follow this Spain and Portugal itinerary for the ultimate Iberian adventure.

Itinerary in short

Cities visited on this trip:.

Portugal and Spain map

1. Vigo, Spain

Once inhabited by Romans, the Spanish city of Vigo is a coastal destination with a rich maritime history. It also has a burgeoning gastronomic scene. It's a major fishing port, so you can expect an abundance of fresh seafood. Museums, galleries and water-related activities will keep you busy throughout the day.  

How to get there

It’s possible to reach Vigo by train from anywhere in northern Spain. You can also take a direct Alvia train from Madrid (Chamartin station), which takes just over 6 hours.

View this post on Instagram A post shared by Vigo 😍 (@vigotoday) on Aug 21, 2017 at 1:38pm PDT

2. Porto, Portugal

Porto is a beautiful vibrant city set on the banks of the Douro River. You'll be treated with several stately bridges, a medieval district packed with winding streets and quaint houses, beautiful parks, an abundance of Port wine and a vibrant artistic scene and nightlife. This Portuguese city is an unmissable part of any Spain and Portugal itinerary.  

There are two direct InterCity trains between Vigo and Porto daily — one at 08:58 AM and another at 07:56 PM. The journey takes 2 hours 22 minutes.

View this post on Instagram A post shared by Visit Porto (@visitporto) on Aug 25, 2017 at 1:21pm PDT

3. Coimbra, Portugal

This riverfront city is rich in history, owing to its previous status as the capital of Portugal. It's also home to the famed University of Coimbra. This historic university still gives it a youthful charm, and the medieval buildings make it one of Portugal’s most architecturally beautiful destinations.  

There are regular direct InterCity trains between Porto and Coimbra throughout the day, which take approximately one hour.

View this post on Instagram A post shared by Universidade de Coimbra (@ucoimbra)

4. Lisbon, Portugal

The Portuguese capital is understandably the most visited city in the country - and it never fails to disappoint. The rolling hills, accessible history in Alfama, delectable food and all-night parties make this one of Europe’s greats. You also have a range of day trip options to the likes of Sintra, Belém and Cascais.  

There are regular direct daily trains from Coimbra to Lisbon. Depending on the train, the journey takes between 1 hour 30 mins and 2 hours.

View this post on Instagram A post shared by Hakan M (@hakan.mhmd) on May 8, 2020 at 11:12am PDT

5. Faro, Portugal

Faro lies in the far south, in Portugal’s Algarve region. In summer months, this is the main hub from which to explore the area. It offers easy accessibility to beaches, waves and the laid-back coastal vibes and hedonistic jaunts that define this popular part of the country.  

There are several daily InterCity trains between Lisbon and Faro that take about 3.5 hours.

View this post on Instagram A post shared by Visit Portugal (@visitportugal) on Aug 17, 2017 at 7:55am PDT

6. Seville, Spain

Seville is the capital of Andalusia. Its history, culture and favourable climate have made it a major hub for rail travellers in Spain. Flamenco dancing, tapas bars, Roman ruins, a massive cathedral, the Alcázar palace complex, and river views combine to make it an impressive stopover.  

There are no train routes between Portugal and Spain in the south. The quickest and easiest way to get from Faro to Seville is via bus, of which there are at least four daily. Please note that this bus isn't included in your Eurail Pass, and a one-way journey costs around €15 - €20.

View this post on Instagram A post shared by Sevilla Lens (@sevilla_lens) on May 3, 2020 at 12:48pm PDT

7. Cadiz, Spain

Cadiz in southwestern Spain is one of the oldest continuously inhabited regions of Europe. This shows through in the classic architecture, quaint eateries and quiet, winding alleyways. It also benefits from a laidback coastal atmosphere and stunning ocean views.  

There are several daily trains between Seville and Cadiz. The journey time is approximately 1 hour 40 minutes.

View this post on Instagram A post shared by 𝗦𝗲𝗿𝗴𝗶𝗼 𝗣𝗮𝘆𝗮𝗻 𝖢𝖺𝗅𝗅𝖾 𝖲𝖺𝗅𝗏𝖺𝖽𝗈𝗋 (@sergiopayan_oficial) on May 11, 2020 at 1:12pm PDT

8. Granada, Spain

Granada, at the foot of the Sierra Nevada mountains, is home to the Alhambra — one of the most celebrated attractions in Europe. The Moorish palace and castle sit on a hill above the town, and though it’s the primary reason for most visits, the surrounding city is full of life as well.  

There are four daily trains between Cadiz and Granada that connect in Dos Hermanas. The total journey time is approximately 5 hours 30 minutes.

View this post on Instagram A post shared by AVIATRAVΞL 🌐 WORLD (@aviatravelworld) on May 11, 2020 at 1:02pm PDT

Related Pages

Barcelona

1 week in Portugal by train

1 week in Portugal by train

Spain Itinerary

Spain Itinerary

Portugal Itinerary

Portugal Itinerary

Change of currency

You cannot change the currency once you have a Pass in your cart. Remove the Pass, and then change the currency on the website header.

Get the Hottest Deals First!

feefo-stars

Exploring Iberia: Southern Spain to Coastal Portugal

About this tour.

From bustling cities to peaceful stays on the Mediterranean coast, get a true taste of the Iberian Peninsula. Explore Málaga on a walking tour, where you can taste some of the delicacies of this southern Spanish region. Visit Frigiliana and Nerja, two of the Andalusian white villages that leave memories of quiet, simpler days. Visit Ronda, a clifftop marvel. Gaze at Cordoba’s Mezquita and colorful patios. In Seville, learn about the history of Flamenco with a hands-on lesson. In Lisbon, travel by tram to the cobbled narrow streets and visit Belem, home to the Jerónimos Monastery. Relax on Portugal’s Riviera during a 3-night stay. Experience the history of Spain and Portugal while enjoying the region’s sunshine and local flavors.

Your Tour Includes

  • 4 Handpicked Accommodations
  • 4 Choice on Tour Options

Included Highlights

  • Choice on Tour: Málaga Alcazaba or Picasso Museum
  • White Villages of Andalusia
  • The Alhambra

Your Tour at a Glance

11 Breakfasts

Travel Style

Explorations

Customize Your Tour

$1,199.00 pp

Optional Excursions

Starting at $120.00

Activity Level

  • Level This Tour

For specific details about this tour&#39;s activity level and other info to know before you book your trip, click here.

Extension Style

Travel styles, highlights and inclusions.

Must-See Inclusions:

Step back in time as you take in the sights of the picturesque White Villages of Andalusia.

In Cordoba, take a walking tour of La Mezquita, a religious marvel.

Tour the Alhambra palace, a Wonder of the Muslim World in Granada.

Cultural Experiences:

View Lisbon in a new way through the windows of your private tram.

  • Experience Ronda, one of Spain's loveliest and most historic towns.

Explore Sintra, the summer residence of Portuguese kings for centuries.

Culinary Inclusions:

  • Sample Málaga’s tapas during a tour of the city.

Enjoy a home-hosted meal in Ronda.

Savor the flavors of a family-owned olive oil producer for lunch.

  • La Mezquita
  • Home-Hosted Meal
  • Seville Cathedral
  • Choice on Tour: Historic Santa Cruz Walking Tour or Seville Horse & Carriage Ride
  • Portuguese Riviera
  • Quinta da Regaleira

Book with Confidence

* With Insurance Purchased

  • *No Hassle Refunds
  • Traveling Well Safety
  • No booking fee, *no change fees
  • Top Rated Travel Protection

Share This Tour

Looking to add your itinerary for friends and family? Share your Itinerary

Getting Prepared

Know before you go, travel tips, enhance your tour.

Pre and Post Tour Extensions

  • Choice On Tour

Pre and Post Night Stay

Unique Experience

Cultural Experiences

Enhance Your Trip

  • Tour Extensions

Hosted

Experience Madrid, Spain's lively capital and largest city, on a 3-night stay. Immerse yourself in the city on a guided tour, seeing iconic sites like the Puerta del Sol and Plaza Mayor. Enjoy time at leisure to discover more of the city on your own, perhaps visiting the famous Prado Museum with your included entrance tickets and Metro pass. Uncover the rich culture, elegant boulevards and cultural treasures of this magnificient city. Your other option is to extend your stay in Malaga. Hosted You’re accompanied by a Tour Manager part of the time, for some guided excursions. The rest of the time, you’re at leisure to explore the destination your own way.

  • Overnight Flight
  • Your tour begins with an overnight flight to Madrid.
  • Madrid, Spain - Tour Begins
  • Welcome to Madrid, Spain’s lively capital and largest city. Meet your Tour Manager and gather with your fellow travelers and enjoy a welcome dinner.
  • Start the day exploring the city with your Tour Manager. During the walking tour of Madrid’s historic center, see iconic sites such as the Puerta del Sol and Plaza Mayor, where events have been held since the 17th century. After lunch on your own, visit the Prado Museum. Then, you are free to explore the city on your own using your metro card. Tonight, you might choose to experience Madrid like a local with a metro ride and a walking tour followed by dinner with traditional entertainment at a local restaurant.
  • Today the day is yours to explore this magnificent city, discovering Madrid’s elegant boulevards and rich culture.
  • Madrid - Málaga
  • Board your train* to Málaga where you will join your fellow travelers for your main tour.

Hotel-NH Malaga

Hotel-Vila Gale Collections Palacio dos Arcos

Fado: the perfect blend of voice and guitar. Declared a UNESCO World Heritage Cultural Patrimony, as a celebrated form of world music that captures what it is to be Portuguese. The word Fado comes from the Latin word fatum, which means fate or destiny. It is a style of music that is all about deep feelings: the disappointments of love, the ups and downs of life. No one knows quite how Fado first came into being, but to this day, Portugal's traditional music remains at the very heart of the country's culture. In one of Lisbon’s most popular Fado restaurants, professional performers entertain you while you enjoy a typical Portuguese three-course dinner with wine included.

Experience Ronda, one of Spain's loveliest and most historic towns.

Sample Málaga’s tapas during a tour of the city.

Accommodations

Arrive earlier.

Pre Night: NH Malaga From $130 per night

H10 Palacio Colomera

H10 casa de la plata.

...

Vila Gale Collections Palacio dos Arcos

Nights 9-11

Stay Longer

Post Night: Vila Gale Collections Palacio dos Arcos From $150 per night

Need More Information?

We're here to help

Call us toll free at 800.340.5158

Trip reviews.

Live, Unedited, & Independent Traveler Reviews

travel to spain portugal

Filter Reviews: All

5 stars

Related Blog Content

An alpine adventure with collette, my first guided tour with collette (i’m coming back for more), the foliage factor: 5 fall trips beyond new england, top 10 phrases to know for your next trip to sicily, get a taste of sicilian street food, the wines of sicily, similar tours.

travel to spain portugal

Peaks of Europe: The Alps to The Dolomites featuring France, Switzerland, Liechtenstein, Austria, and Italy

travel to spain portugal

Flavors of Portugal & Spain: featuring the Douro and Rioja Wine Regions

travel to spain portugal

The Azores Jewels of Portugal

travel to spain portugal

Tuscan & Umbrian Countryside featuring Italy's Charming Hill Towns

travel to spain portugal

Italy: Amalfi Coast to Puglia

travel to spain portugal

Italy's Treasures Art, Food & Wine of Italy

Not seeing the date you want? We can help!

Call our Customer Care Team to inquire about dates beyond what's currently listed and to make an advanced reservation. You can find our full terms and conditions here .

Request a Quote

 alt=

Please fill out the form below, and a Collette Expert will contact you shortly.

  • Yes, I'm a Travel Professional
  • Yes, I am working with a Travel Professional
  • I am traveling with 8 or more travelers

Find a Travel Agency

Once you've found the perfect Collette tour, your local travel agent can assist you in making reservations. To find a preferred travel agent in your area, please enter your 5-digit zip code, then click Search.

Enter a Whole or Partial Zip Code

Please tell us everything, we want it all.

We really value your feedback, please be open an honest. Tell us where we can improve, how we can get better. This feedback is anonymous, but if you would like us to get in touch with you regarding an issue provide your email address as part of your feedback and we will get right back to you.

Talk to an Expert

View or download.

travel to spain portugal

Part of the TTC Family of Brands

GET A QUOTE

DESTINATIONS

WAYS TO TRAVEL

SPECIAL OFFERS

1 888 680 1241

Spain and Portugal

Portugal Guided Tours And Travel Guide

SEE ALL SPAIN & PORTUGAL TOURS

FEATURED TOURS

Save up to $700

Northern Spain Guided Tour

Northern Spain

11 Locations

Price $3,925

Save up to $539

Easy Pace Spain Guided Tour

Easy Pace Spain

8 Locations

Price $3,595

Save up to $400

Country Roads of Portugal Guided Tour

Country Roads

Country Roads of Portugal

16 Locations

Price $3,191

Save up to $1,190

Treasures of Spain, Portugal and Morocco Guided Tour

Treasures of Spain, Portugal & Morocco

15 Locations

4 Countries

Price $5,795

Save up to $677

Grand Spain and Portugal Guided Tour

Grand Spain & Portugal

19 Locations

2 Countries

Price $6,584

Spanish Heritage Guided Tour

Spanish Heritage

17 Locations

SHOW ALL EUROPE TOURS

Spain Tour Blog

9 REASONS WHY BEST OF SPAIN & PORTUGAL IS A SIMPLY UNMISSABLE TOUR

Spain Cities Blog

CASTLES AND CONQUISTADORS: DISCOVER TWO OF SPAIN’S MOST CULTURAL CITIES

Spain Passionate Blog

INSIGHT INVESTIGATES: WHY SPAIN IS CONSIDERED THE MOST PASSIONATE OF ALL EUROPEAN DESTINATIONS

From our blog, #insightvacations.

Discover inspiring, magical moments captured by our guests in Spain and Portugal

ALL EUROPE DESTINATIONS

Bosnia and Herzegovina

Czech Republic

Liechtenstein

Netherlands

Switzerland

Alps Central and Eastern Europe

Northern Europe

Eastern Mediterranean

Christmas Markets

Central Europe

Scandinavia and Northern Europe

Eastern Europe

Mediterranean and Southern Europe

OTHER REGIONS

UK and Ireland

North Africa

USA and Canada

Latin America

ALL THE SIGHTS AND THE INSIGHTS, UP CLOSE AND PERSONAL, IN COMFORT AND IN STYLE

EXPLORE WITH INSIGHT

TOUR STYLES

Discovery Journeys

Regional Journeys

Domestic Escapes

Special Interest Tours

Get A Quote

Request A Brochure

Travel Insurance

The Insightful Blog

Privacy Policy

Booking Conditions

Tour Deposit Level

Travel Updates

My Personal Information

Do Not Sell or Share My Personal Information

Selected Region

United States

United Kingdom

New Zealand

South Africa

© Insight Vacations 2024. All Rights Reserved.

Cookie Policy

TTC family of brands

My Trafalgar

Destinations

Get Inspired

866 513 1995

Spain Morocco and Portugal

1122 reviews

Choose your end location

Seasonal Sale

Save up to $650

Available Dates

Your itinerary

Dates & prices

Spain Morocco And Portugal Guided Tour

16 Day Tour of Madrid, Granada, Marrakesh and Lisbon

16 days, 3 countries and 14 cities

Accommodation

15 Breakfasts, 1 Be My Guest, 6 Dinners

View day-by-day trip itinerary

Every day is an adventure on this Spain, Portugal and Morocco trip, whether you’re enjoying a traditional barbeque with the Albaserrada family at their farm in Andalusia, celebrating Portugal’s proud seafaring heritage or venturing deep within the ancient Medina of Fes to find treasures to take home.

Looking to book in a group of 9 or more?

Deals, savings and exclusive private touring options available plus if you need a different date or itinerary change we can create a custom trip. Contact us for more details

Trip code: 

Low deposit from $200

Deposit protection

Free booking changes

Trip map & itinerary

Day by day itinerary

16 days itinerary trip from Madrid to Madrid visiting 3 countries and 14 cities Choose your end location

Download itinerary

Print itinerary

Expand all days

Choose to end your trip in Lisbon or return to Madrid.

Change view

Selected Version

This tour ends in Madrid.

This tour version ends in Lisbon.

About this trip

Sightseeing highlights.

Explore Madrid, Toledo, Marrakesh, Fes, Seville, Casablanca and Lisbon

Discover  Rabat, Tangier, Fátima and Salamanca

Visit the Synagogue and Santo Tomé in Toledo, the Alhambra in Granada, Dar El Bacha and a Moroccan pharmacy in Marrakesh, the Cathedral in Seville, the Hieronymite Monastery in Lisbon and Plaza Mayor in Salamanca

View the Royal Palace in Rabat, the Hassan II Mosque in Casablanca, the Belém Tower in Lisbon and the Shrine at Fátima

Travel highlights

Specific transfer information can be found here:

Airport Transfers

An expert Travel Director and professional Driver

Cherry-picked hotels, all tried and trusted

All porterage and restaurant gratuities

All hotel tips, charges and local taxes

Breakfast daily and up to half of your evening meals

Must-see sightseeing and surprise extras

Audio headsets for flexible sightseeing

Luxury air-conditioned coach with Wi-Fi in most countries or alternative transportation (such as rail journeys)

Return ferry crossings between Spain and Morocco

Optional Experiences and free time

On occasion, hotels of similar standard and location may be utilized.

Three local female weavers in colourful traditional local dress including festooned hats, weaving colourful alpaca wool on the ground

MAKE TRAVEL MATTER® Experiences

Every one of our tours includes at least one conscious travel experience that supports one or more of the United Nations Sustainable Development Goals (SDGS). Look out for yours within the day-by-day trip itinerary.

Find out more

Large People Preparing To Grow A Small Tree With Soil In The Garden 1198078044

Net-zero by 2050

Travel knowing our 4-point climate action plan will ensure net-zero greenhouse gas emissions by 2050.

Large BMG Australia Tasmania Mount Gnomon Farm With Guy Robertson

Support Local

Your tour directly supports local communities by visiting family-run businesses, UNESCO sites and places of cultural significance.

Large Aerial View Over Solar Panels And Windmills 1367402534

Sustainable Practices

Every part of our business, from trip design to how we run our offices, aligns to our 5-year sustainability strategy which ensures a positive impact on people, the planet and wildlife.

Scotland

Philanthropic Efforts

Our not-for-profit, the TreadRight Foundation, invests in nature-based solutions to address climate change.

You’ll make a positive impact to people, planet and wildlife on this tour

LIVE, UNEDITED & INDEPENDENT TRAVELER REVIEWS

Spain Morocco and Portugal trip reviews

Real moments from real travelers, creating the greatest travel stories they’ll ever tell

Or search for something else

travel to spain portugal

Help & Info

WE MAKE TRAVEL MATTER®

Unedited Reviews

Our Destination Management Companies

Frequently Asked Questions

Travel Updates

Do Not Sell or Share My Personal Information

Travel Planning

Get Your Free Brochure

Travel Insurance

Booking Conditions

Trip Deposit Level

Recommendations

Trafalgar Tours Limited is a proud member of  The Travel Corporation  family of companies.

#SimplyTrafalgar

Travel House, Rue du Manoir St Peter Port, Guernsey, GY1 2JH

Selected Region

United States

United Kingdom

New Zealand

South Africa

Copyright 2024 Trafalgar. All rights reserved.

Terms and Conditions

Privacy Policy

Cookie Policy

IMAGES

  1. Best Spain & Portugal Tours, Vacations & Travel Packages 2020-2021

    travel to spain portugal

  2. The Best 10 Day Itinerary for Portugal and Spain

    travel to spain portugal

  3. Explore Spain & Portugal

    travel to spain portugal

  4. Highlights of Spain & Portugal Tour

    travel to spain portugal

  5. Spain & Portugal Travel Part V: Lisbon : Travel Cities

    travel to spain portugal

  6. The Ultimate 10 Day Portugal-Spain Itinerary Europe Itineraries, Europe

    travel to spain portugal

VIDEO

  1. SPAIN BEST PLACES TO VISIT

  2. GYPSY CARAVAN SPAIN AND PORTUGAL 2021

  3. MAG TRAVEL 4x4 MITSUBISHI PAJERO TRAVEL 8.500 km

  4. Revenge Travel to Europe (Spain & Portugal)

COMMENTS

  1. Best Spain and Portugal Itinerary for 10

    Madrid - 3 Days. The capital of Spain, Madrid, is a beautiful city, combining the charm of the old streets and churches with a more modern architectural vision. It is the first destination on your 14-day itinerary, and you have 3 days to explore its attractions and surroundings.

  2. The Perfect 2 Week Spain and Portugal Itinerary (+ Essential Tips!)

    Day 1: Arrive in Barcelona and hit the ground running. For the purposes of this 2 week Spain and Portugal itinerary, we'll assume you arrive in Barcelona in the morning, jet-lagged but excited to start exploring! (This is an extremely common schedule for flights from North America to Spain). READ NEXT.

  3. 10 Best Portugal and Spain Tours & Trips 2024/2025

    Portugal and Spain Tours & Trips. Find the right adventure for you through Portugal and Spain. We've got 459 tours going to Portugal and Spain, starting from just 4 days in length, and the longest tour is 32 days. The most popular month to go is September, which has the highest number of tour departures.

  4. Spain & Portugal

    8 Day Portugal & Spain Vineyards, Palaces, Gardens & Ports Walking Tour. May - Oct '24. 1 Arcos de Valdevez, 2 Pontevedra, 1 Padron Area, 1 Santiago de Compostela, 1 Porto. Walking/Hiking. $2699. $3579*. 9 Day Spain Christmas Spirit. Book By Jun 6, 2024 & Save!

  5. The 23 Best Places to Go in Spain and Portugal in 2023

    Among the award-winning properties are the Hotel Botánico & The Oriental Spa Garden , Baobab Suites , The Ritz-Carlton Abama , H10 Atlantic Sunset , Gran Meliá Palacio de Isora, and Bahía del Duque. On the island's north coast, BeTenerife offers an excellent selection of private villas for two or four guests.

  6. Ultimate 7 Day Portugal and Spain Itinerary with a Map

    5 Map of this Portugal and Spain Itinerary. 6 The Ultimate Portugal and Spain Itinerary for 7 Days. 6.1 Day 0: Arrival in Lisbon. 6.2 Day 1: Lisbon. 6.2.1 Breakfast in Alfama. 6.2.2 Walking tour of Lisbon. 6.2.3 Traditional and Non-Traditional Lunch Options.

  7. Portugal and Spain Itinerary: A 14-Day Iberian Journey

    This itinerary starts in Porto, Portugal and ends in Barcelona, Spain. You can also flip this itinerary if you prefer to visit Spain first! Days 1-2 in Porto, Portugal. Douro River cruise and wine tasting. Dinner and a view. Livraria Lello and Majestic Cafe for Harry Potter lovers.

  8. The 23 Best Places to Go in Spain and Portugal in 2023

    This is part of our global guide to the Best Places to Go in 2023—find more ideas on where to travel in the year ahead in the U.S., India, the U.K., and beyond.. Our wish for you in 2023? That ...

  9. The Best 10 Days In Portugal and Spain Itinerary

    Here's a quick snapshot of what you'll see with 10 days in Spain and Portugal: Day 1: Lisbon. Day 2: Lisbon and Belem. Day 3: Sintra Day Trip. Day 4: Drive from Lisbon to Seville, stop in Evora. Day 5: Seville. Day 6: Seville. Day 7: Day Trip to Cordoba or Ronda. Day 8: Drive to Granda, stop in Antequera.

  10. Explore Spain and Portugal Tour

    Reviews. Follow an enticing trail of delicious tapas, avant-garde art, architectural triumphs and dramatic history on this 15-day tour through Spain and Portugal. Travel the scenic route from Madrid, relaxing on the beach in Algarve, sipping wine in Porto, enjoying the rolling green hills of Granada and being charmed by Andalusian Seville.

  11. 10 Days in Spain & Portugal

    Itinerary #1: Explore Portugal & Southern Spain. Enjoy a well-rounded introduction to Spain and Portugal on this 10-day highlights tour, complete with two days each in Porto, Lisbon, Seville, and Granada.Perfect for first-time visitors, you'll love soaking up the culture during guided tuk-tuk tours, an evening of fado, and a flamenco show.

  12. Spain and Portugal Tours & Packages

    Spain and Portugal Tours. AARP Members Save $100AARP SAVE $100on select vacations booked with uson select vacations. Learn More. Explore Spain and Portugal and experience the vibrant cities, sites, and culture of the Iberian Peninsula. If you're looking for a vacation with some flair, you'll be sure to find one in our collection of 7-18 day ...

  13. Spain & Portugal Tours and Guided Travel Packages

    Spain's Classics & Portugal. View Dates Book Now. Request A Quote. 15 DAYS. From $3,799. $3,599 pp*. Save up to $200. *Rate is per person, land only, double occupancy, tour inclusions and available options may vary based on departure date. Please select a date below for more details.

  14. Spain Tour

    Northern Spain & Portugal: Pilgrimage into the Past Crossroads of the Adriatic: Croatia, Montenegro, Bosnia & Herzegovina, and Slovenia 1-800-955-1925. New Adventures (21) ... Travelers rate excellence across their entire travel experience, focusing on the categories below:

  15. Spain and Portugal itinerary

    Follow this Spain and Portugal itinerary. 1. Vigo, Spain. Once inhabited by Romans, the Spanish city of Vigo is a coastal destination with a rich maritime history. It also has a burgeoning gastronomic scene. It's a major fishing port, so you can expect an abundance of fresh seafood.

  16. Best of Spain and Portugal Guided Tour

    See the masterpieces of Spain and Portugal on this 15-day guided tour. In Madrid, an art historian will walk you through the Prado Museum, where Spain's most impressive paintings hang. Navigate Segovia's medieval streets alongside a Local Expert. Journeying to Granada, visit the region's oldest olive grove, before dining in the home of a local family, sampling local produce and wine.

  17. Travel to Spain & Portugal

    Spain & Portugal in Depth. Average group size of 30 travelers. Traveler Reviews (447) 93% Traveler Excellence Rating. Spain: Madrid, Granada, Torremolinos, Seville Portugal: Lisbon. STARTING FROM $3,695.

  18. Travel to Spain & Portugal: Small Group Tours & Trip Itineraries

    Exploring Iberia: Southern Spain to Coastal Portugal. View Dates Call to Book: 800.340.5158. Request A Quote. 13 DAYS. $3,599 pp*. *Rate is per person, land only, double occupancy, tour inclusions and available options may vary based on departure date. Please select a date below for more details. Tour Highlights Itinerary Reviews Enhance Your Trip.

  19. Spain & Portugal Guided Tour Packages

    9 REASONS WHY BEST OF SPAIN & PORTUGAL IS A SIMPLY UNMISSABLE TOUR. READ MORE. CASTLES AND CONQUISTADORS: DISCOVER TWO OF SPAIN'S MOST CULTURAL CITIES. ... Travel Updates. My Personal Information. Do Not Sell or Share My Personal Information. Selected Region. United States. Selected Region. United States. United Kingdom. Canada.

  20. Spain Morocco and Portugal

    Trafalgar Tours Limited is a proud member of The Travel Corporation family of companies. #SimplyTrafalgar. Travel House, Rue du Manoir St Peter Port, Guernsey, GY1 2JH. <p>Every day is an adventure on this Spain, Portugal and Morocco trip, whether you're enjoying a traditional barbeque with the Albaserrada family at their farm in Andalusia ...

  21. Spain & Portugal

    8 Day Portugal & Spain Vineyards, Palaces, Gardens & Ports Walking Tour Book By Dec 12, 2024 & Save! Apr - Oct '25. 1 Arcos de Valdevez, 2 Pontevedra, 1 Padron Area, 1 Santiago de Compostela, 1 Porto. Walking/Hiking. $2749. $3669*. 9 Day Tastes of Spain Book By Dec 12, 2024 & Save! Feb - Dec '25. 7 Marbella.

  22. Spain to Portugal

    Rome2Rio makes travelling from Spain to Portugal easy. Rome2Rio is a door-to-door travel information and booking engine, helping you get to and from any location in the world. Find all the transport options for your trip from Spain to Portugal right here.

  23. Northern Spain & Portugal: Pilgrimage into the Past

    Northern Spain & Portugal: Pilgrimage into the Past. Small groups of no more than 16 travelers, guaranteed. Traveler Reviews (337) 83% Traveler Excellence Rating. Spain: Bilbao, San Sebastian, Pamplona, León, Santiago de Compostela Portugal: Douro Valley, Porto. STARTING FROM $5,295.