24 days
Duration
Europe
Destination
Level 3 - Moderate
Activity

Small Group Tour to Spain and Portugal

A Small group tour to Spain and Portugal. Discover Iberia in this fully escorted small group program to Spain and Portugal for the single traveller or couple. . Although divided by history and language, these close neighbours once possessed mighty empires bringing them great wealth which they then used to create many of the monuments we admire today. .

The Iberian Peninsula is renowned for its red wines, exotic food and the rich texture of its street life. Our educational small group tour explores the intricate history, art and architecture of what is referred to as the Iberian Peninsula as well as its measured way of life.

Itinerary

This small group tour spends 24 days exploring the two countries. The tour commences in Spain in Barcelona. From Barcelona the tour head north into Rioja and Basque country before reaching the northern industrial city and home to Europe’s Guggenheim museum, Bilbao. We leave Bilbao heading south to spend almost 6 days in the Spanish capital and its local area. After Madrid the tour heads north- west into Portugal, exploring the Atlantic coast and then on to Lisbon, the nation’s historic capital. Leaving Portugal the tour heads south to Seville and finally concludes in Granada.

Highlights

This tour is fully escorted but also makes great use of local guides whose knowledge enhances the programs highlights. These include a visit to La Rioja, the mountain kingdom of Navarra, along with neighbouring Basque Country and the astounding Guggenheim Museum. We also take a guided tour of Braga in Portugal, and explore its beautiful and historic capital, Lisbon. The magnificent architecture left behind by the Moors in Seville and Granada will be another highlight.

This small group tour to Spain and Portugal is limited to 18 travellers. Odyssey offers 2 departures a year as well as a short version of the program.

Discovering Iberia

For more details, click the ‘Top 5’ or ‘Itinerary’ buttons above! If you’re keen to experience this tour, please call or send an email. Or, to book, simply fill in the form on the right hand side of this page.

Tour Notes
  • Group size is limited to a maximum of 18 participants.

PDF of Tour PDF of Reading List

1
Marvel at Madrid and the architectural splendours of Salamanca, Avila, and the Catalan Barcelona.
2
Experience La Rioja, the mountain kingdom of Navarra, and neighbouring Basque Country with its astounding Guggenheim Museum.
3
Explore Toledo and Moorish cities of Cordoba, with its awe-inspiring “Mezquita,” and Granada, with its Alhambra Palace.
4
In Portugal, stay in the charming city of Braga, visit Oporto, and explore the historical capital, Lisbon.
5
Visit Jerez de la Frontera to sample one of the famous sherry bodegas and view a training session of Spain’s famous white horses.

Overview: Upon arrival in Barcelona, we will come to the hotel individually. Our tour begins with an orientation and welcome dinner.

(D)

Accommodation: 3 nights at Amister Hotel or similar.

Overview: This morning we will meet our local guide at our hotel and embark on a full day guided tour of Barcelona. Today, we visit the Miro Foundation Museum.

Once part of the Aragonese Empire, Catalonia is now an autonomous Spanish province, proud of its distinctive language and culture. Stretching from the Mediterranean to the Pyrenees, it was here that the Romans first landed on the Iberian peninsula and founded a new “colonnia” on the site of a previous Carthaginian settlement, the area now forming Barcelona’s “Barri Gotic.” Catalonian heritage is a mixture of old and new as ancient churches and monuments vie for attention with the Modernist school of Gaudi and Dali. The Catalonian capital reflects this contrast with architecture ranging from its Gothic cathedral to Gaudi’s modernist Sagrada Familia.

(B)

Accommodation: Amister Hotel or similar.

Overview: Today we will continue to explore Barcelona. We will view the main sights of the city, walk along the Paseo de Gracia, and walk through the Barrio Gothic. Entrance to the Museum of Contemporary Art is included. We will have lunch individually, and afternoon touring takes us to the Pauau de La Musica Catalana, with a guided tour and entrance to Sagrada Familia cathedral.

(B)

Accommodation: Amister Hotel or similar.

Overview: Today we will check out of our hotel early and travel to the region of Calahorra. We will visit the Picasso Museum with entrance to the Design Hub Museum. We will take the high speed train from Barcelona to Zaragoza. Zaragoza, founded by the Romans in 25 BC, features some of Spain’s best examples of Mudejar architecture.

(B,D)

Accommodation: 1 night at Parador de Calahorra or similar.

Overview: This morning we will travel to Pamplona, famed for the running of its bulls. We will meet our local guide for a tour of the city. After lunch at own arrangements, we carry on to Bilbao.

(B,D)

Accommodation: 1 night at Tryp Bilbao Arenal Hotel or similar.

Overview: We will view the main sights of the port city of Bilbao with our guide, who will show us the city’s highlights. Today’s highlight is the amazing Guggenheim Museum. We will drive to Haro and stop at La Rioja for a vineyard tour and tasting in the afternoon, before continuing to Burgos. We will return to our hotel for dinner.

(B,D)

Accommodation: 1 night at Meson del Cid or similar.

Overview: Today we will have a city tour of Burgos, with entrance to the Cathedral. We will drive to Segovia with a stop for lunch in Santo Domingo de la Calzada, and view the Roman Aqueduct before heading to Madrid where we stay for 4 nights.

(B,D)

Accommodation: 4 nights at Hotel Agumar or similar.

Overview: Madrid is the capital of Spain and Europe’s highest capital city, located close to the country’s geographical centre on the Castilian Plateau. With a population of over 3 million, it offers a rich treasure chest of Spain’s art and ancient monuments. We include entrances to the Royal Palace and the Prado Museum. We will head back to our hotel for Tapas Dinner this evening.

(B)

Accommodation: Hotel Agumar or similar.

Overview: Today we will join our local guide to explore Toledo. We will visit the Synagogue de Santa Maria la Blanca, Sante Tome Church, the cathedral, and the Alcazar. We have a free afternoon before meeting up with our local guide for an evening wining and dining in 4 of the local tapas bars.

(B)

Accommodation: Hotel Agumar or similar.

Overview: Sightseeing in Madrid includes entrance to the Reina Sofia Museum-Modern and Contemporary Art. Our afternoon is at leisure. Dinner is included this evening at our hotel.

(B)

Accommodation: Hotel Agumar or similar.

Overview: This morning we will check out of our hotel and travel to Salamanca. We will pause first in El Escorial, where we visit the Royal Monastery as well as Avila with the finest preserved medieval walls in Europe.

Salamanca is probably best known for having the oldest university in Spain and one of the oldest in Europe. This university is still what gives a charming ambiance to the town. Hundreds of students pass through the streets and enjoy the numerous and beautifully decorated cafés until late at night. This charming town is unrivaled in its architectural purity. In central areas all recent buildings are built in Salamanca’s best tradition. The city has been declared a “World Heritage Site” by UNESCO.

We have dinner this evening in a local restaurant and we will continue to our hotel in Salamanca for overnight.

(B,D)

Accommodation: 2 nights at Hotel Artheus Carmelitas or similar.

Overview: We meet our local guide this morning and have a field trip to see Salamanca’s main sights. We will visit the Old Cathedral, the House of Shells, and the university. This great university city with its fine Renaissance honey-coloured architecture evokes a past and glorious era, known as Spain’s “Golden Age.” We have a free afternoon before dinner in a local restaurant, then go back to our hotel.

(B)

Accommodation: Hotel Artheus Carmelitas or similar.

Overview: We will check out of our hotel and depart for Portugal this morning. En route to Braga, we will explore Zamora. Upon arrival in Braga, we will check in to our hotel before having dinner.

(B,D)

Accommodation: 2 nights at Hotel Do Parque Bom Jesus or similar.

Overview: This morning we will meet our local guide and explore Oporto. We will visit the cathedral and the Church of Sao Francisco, then visit a local wine lodge and have a guided tour and tasting of port. En route to Braga we will pause to explore Guimaeres.

(B)

Accommodation: Hotel Do Parque Bom Jesus or similar.

Overview: We will check out of our hotel this morning and travel to the Portuguese capital, Lisbon. We will pause in Coimbra to explore at leisure and arrive at our Lisbon hotel in time for dinner.

(B,D)

Accommodation: 3 nights at Hotel Mundial or similar.

Overview: This morning we will meet our local guide for a tour of Lisbon, including entrance to the Royal Carriage Museum. The afternoon is free for us to explore the city at leisure before our dinner at the hotel.

The Portuguese capital, Lisbon, lies on the banks of the River Tagus. It was rebuilt in the 18th century following a devastating earthquake. World traders of renown, the Portuguese sailed the seas in search of new territories and merchandise. Remnants of this Golden Age of Discovery still exist in and around the capital and remind us of Portugal’s maritime heritage.

(B)

Accommodation: Hotel Mundial or similar.

Overview: Today we will explore the coastal areas surrounding Lisbon. We travel first to Estoril, and on to Cascais. We will pause in Cabo de Roca to view Europe’s westernmost point, and in Sintra where we will have time for lunch at own arrangements. We pause in Queluz to visit the royal palace and gardens before returning to Lisbon. Tonight we will have dinner at a local restaurant, where we will see the traditional Portuguese art form of Fado.

(B)

Accommodation: Hotel Mundial or similar.

Overview: We will leave the Portuguese capital today as we aim for Merida. En route we will pause in Badajoz. Upon our arrival in Merida, we meet our local guide and have a city tour, during which we will visit the Roman theatre, the amphitheatre, the Casa del Mitreo, and the National Museum of Roman Art. We return to our hotel for dinner.

(B,D)

Accommodation: 1 night at Hotel Velada Merida or similar.

Overview: We will depart Merida for Seville this morning. En route we pause in Aracena with time to explore at leisure.

After the discovery of the Americas, Seville was given the monopoly on trade with the new colonies and subsequently became one of Europe’s most wealthy ports. Its wealth is reflected in the city’s rich architectural heritage and perhaps its love of fiestas.

We arrive in Seville and have some free time before dinner at our hotel.

(B,D)

Accommodation: 3 nights at Hotel Murillo or similar.

Overview: Today we will explore Jerez de la Frontera. We will visit Tio Pepe Sherry Bodega (or similar) for a tour and tasting and will enjoy a tour and a show at the Royal Andalucian Horse School. We will return to Seville and have dinner at own arrangements this evening.

(B)

Accommodation: Hotel Murillo or similar.

Overview: This morning we meet our local guide for a guided tour of the highlights of Seville. On our tour we will visit the Alcazar, the cathedral, the treasury, and Giralda. We will walk through the Barrio de Santa Cruz. This afternoon is free for us to explore at leisure and this evening we will attend a flamenco show with included tapas dinner.

(B)

Accommodation: Hotel Murillo or similar.

Overview: We will check out of our hotel this morning and travel to Granada. En route we will meet a local guide in Cordoba, where we will see the highlights of the city. Our guide will take us to the Mezquita before we continue on to Granada. We arrive at our hotel and check in in time to relax before dinner.

(B,D)

Accommodation: 2 nights at Carmen Hotel or similar.

Overview: We will meet our local guide this morning and begin our exploration of Granada. We view the main sights of the city and visit the Royal Chapel. We then enter the magnificent Alhambra and the Generalife Gardens. The remainder of the afternoon is free to explore Granada at leisure. We will come together this evening for our farewell dinner in a local restaurant.

(B,D)

Accommodation: Carmen Hotel or similar.

Overview: The tour will end today in Granada.

(B)

What’s included in our Tour

  • Lectures and field trips as indicated.
  • 23 nights of hotel accommodation.
  • Gratuities and necessary tips.
  • 23 breakfasts and 12 dinners.
  • Touring by comfortable and modern coach.
  • Services of a study / group leader.
  • Detailed tour information booklet.
  • Applicable entry fees and services of local guides.

What’s not included in our Tour

  • Items of a personal nature such as telephone calls and laundry.
  • Return economy class international airfare and departure taxes.
  • Comprehensive travel insurance.
  • Lunches.

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Small group tour to Spain and Portugal
Small group tour to Spain and Portugal

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