Best of Spain & Portugal

Lisbon, Seville, Costa del Sol, Granada & Madrid

This itinerary is for a past tour program.
Check out our current tour packages in Spain.

Itinerary at a Glance
Best of Spain & Portugal
Day Destination
1 Depart USA
2 Lisbon, Portugal
3 Lisbon, Portugal
4 Elvas & Seville, Spain
5 Seville, Spain
6 Ronda & Marbella
7 Marbella, Costa del Sol
8 Granada
9 Cordoba & Madrid
10 Madrid
11 Madrid
12 Depart Spain
Barcelona Extension
12 Madrid & Barcelona
13 Barcelona
14 Barcelona
15 Depart Spain

Spain and Portugal have long ranked among the hottest travel destinations in the world—and with good reason. From their cosmopolitan capital cities, sun-drenched beaches, and medieval hilltop towns to their fascinating historical and cultural legacies and castles, fortresses and architectural treasures galore, these two countries offer endless possibilities for every type of traveler.

If you've dreamed of visiting these two fascinating destinations, join us on our 12-day Spain & Portugal tour, a fantastic celebration of the cultural splendors and natural beauty of the Iberian Peninsula. You'll discover the richness and complexity of Spain and Portugal as you travel to the chic capital cities of Lisbon and Madrid, the colorful Andalucian town of Seville, the luxurious beaches of Costa del Sol, and the captivating historical cities of Cordoba and Granada, as well as many stops in between.

Everything you need to explore Spain and Portugal—from convenient flights, transfers, great hotels in fabulous locations in the heart of each city, buffet breakfast daily and 3 dinners, and a comprehensive sightseeing tour program—are part of this deal. But don't wait too long. At these prices, our Spain & Portugal tour is sure to sell out quickly!

Detailed Itinerary

Best of Spain & Portugal tour itinerary Day 1: Depart USA. Your fascinating journey begins as you depart New York this evening on your overnight flight bound for Lisbon, Portugal.

Day 2: Lisbon, Portugal. Lisbon, the capital of Portugal, is a sprawling, yet incredibly charming city set on the banks of the Tagus River. Upon arrival at Lisbon's International Airport, collect your luggage and board your deluxe motor coach to for a panoramic tour of Lisbon, en route to your hotel for check-in. Enjoy the remainder of the day at leisure to rest or explore your new surroundings. Tonight, join your travel companions for a welcome dinner and orientation at your hotel. Accommodations: Hotel AC Lisboa or similar. Dinner provided.

Belem tower, Lisbon Day 3: Lisbon. After breakfast this morning, set out on your half-day tour of Lisbon. You'll visit two of city's most important landmarks: the Belem Tower, a beautiful 16th century structure that served as a lighthouse and defense against pirates, and the Mosteiro dos Jeronimos, a 16th century monastery that is considered to be the best example of original Portuguese architecture. The monastery also houses the ornate tombs of Vasco da Gama, the Portuguese explorer who was the first to sail directly from Europe to India, and Luis de Camoes, Portugal's most famous poet.

A typical Fado performance Spend the remainder of the afternoon and evening at leisure. We recommend a walk or tram ride through Lisbon's winding streets and hills. You'll encounter medieval facades, art nouveau buildings, black and white mosaic sidewalks, fado bars, and charming boutiques at every turn.

Or, this afternoon, join an optional tour to Sintra, an UNESCO World Heritage site. After a scenic drive along the Estoril coast, arrive in Sintra, where you'll visit the 15th century royal palace and stroll the picturesque streets of the village. Return to Lisbon. (€45 or $63 per person). Breakfast provided.

Flamenco dancers in Seville Day 4: Elvas & Seville, Spain. This morning, board your touring coach and embark on your scenic drive to Seville. En route, stop at Elvas, a fantastic medieval, walled city with a drawbridge entrance. Enjoy a brief tour of the castle, ramparts, and aqueduct, as well as some time for lunch on your own.

Continue driving across the border until you reach Seville, Spain's vibrant Southern city. With its narrow, winding streets, its beautiful gardens and plazas, its friendly locals, and the scent of fresh jasmine permeating the air, it's easy to become enchanted by this historic city. Accommodations: Hotel Ciudad de Sevilla or similar. Breakfast provided.

Columbus tomb, Giralda cathedral Day 5: Seville. Today's half-day tour of Seville highlights the city's must-see sites, including the famous Giralda Cathedral, one of the world's largest Gothic-style cathedrals. Inside the cathedral, you'll find four statues supporting a casket that is said to hold the remains of Christopher Columbus. Across from the cathedral is the magnificent Alcazar, a royal residence and stunning example of Mudejar architecture, characterized by arched doorways, intricate designs, colorful tiles, and a beautiful garden labyrinth of lush green shrubs.

The afternoon is yours to explore independently. Breakfast provided.

Ronda Day 6: Ronda & Marbella. Depart after breakfast this morning for a tour of Ronda, a historic town famous for its dramatic views. Continue on to the Costa del Sol, a 100-mile stretch of gorgeous Mediterranean coastline which boasts some of the best beaches in Spain. Arrive later today in the popular beach town of Marbella. Accommodations: NH Marbella or similar. Breakfast & dinner provided.

Day 7: Marbella, Costa del Sol. Enjoy a full day at leisure to hit the beach or explore the Sun Coast. Or, join an optional guided tour to Gibraltar, a British Colony for over 300 years. View the Strait of Gibraltar. See the famous Barbary Apes and dramatic views of the Spanish and Moroccon coastline. (€48 or $68 per person). Breakfast provided.

The Alhambra Day 8: Granada. Granada remained under Muslim rule for more than seven centuries until 1492, when it became the last Spanish city to be conquered by the Christians. Today, the city retains much of its Islamic heritage, as evidenced in particular by the various examples of Moorish architecture throughout the city. Upon arrival in Granada, enjoy a half-day tour of the city and a visit to one of the most awe-inspiring architectural splendors in the world—the Alhambra.

The Alhambra reflecting pool Constructed between the 13th and 15th centuries, the Alhambra is an impressive complex of fortresses, palaces, and gardens. Set against the magnificent backdrop of the Sierra Nevada mountain range, the Alhambra's walls and towers emit a red glow that transmits a mystical aura throughout the entire city. Its ornate interior—including the Court of Lions and reflecting pool—is simply unforgettable.

This afternoon, take some time to wander the streets of the Albayzin, Granada's medieval quarter. Be sure to stop along the way for refreshments at one of the various teterias, or tea houses.

Tonight, a special optional excursion allows you to experience the Albayzin at night, dinner and a Flamenco show (€50 or $70 per person). Accommodations: Los Angeles Hotel and Spa or similar. Breakfast provided.

Day 9: Cordoba & Madrid. Depart Granada this morning and head north to Madrid. Enjoy the scenic drive through La Mancha, the stomping ground of Spain's most beloved literary protagonist, Don Quixote.

The Roman bridge in Cordoba Stop en route in Cordoba, one of the most important cities in the medieval world. Your guide will lead you on a walking tour of the city, including a visit to the Mezquita, a 10th century mosque with dazzling rows of red-and-white-striped, horseshoe-shaped arches. In the 16th century, after the Spanish Reconquista, a Catholic cathedral was inserted inside the mosque, making the Mezquita a unique testament to Spain's diverse history.

Arrive later today in Madrid, Spain's cosmopolitan capital city. Accommodations: AC Carlton or similar. Breakfast provided.

Retiro park, Madrid Day 10: Madrid. After breakfast this morning, enjoy a half-day panoramic tour of this bustling city and lively European cultural center. Your tour culminates with a visit to the Prado Museum, one of the most impressive and comprehensive art museums in the world.

You'll have the rest of afternoon free to explore on your own. Madrid is an energetic city that brims with an abundance of leisure activities. Art-lovers can continue at the Prado or head to the nearby Reina Sofia to view the work of more contemporary artists such as Picasso, Dalí, and Miró. Or, if you are in the mood for a scenic stroll, Retiro Park and the Botanical Gardens are sure to please.

Traditional tapas bar Tonight, we recommend that you soak up the atmosphere and indulge in sumptuous tapas at one or more of the many excellent bars and restaurants in Madrid. Breakfast provided.

Day 11: Madrid. Enjoy your final full day in Spain at leisure to explore on your own, shop for souvenirs, and snap last minute photos.

The Toledo skyline Or, join an optional day tour to nearby Toledo, a beautiful hilltop city that once served as the capital of Roman Spain. Toledo was also home to the master painter El Greco. A number of his works are displayed in various venues throughout the city (€36 or $50 per person).

Tonight, reminisce about your journey during a farewell dinner with your travel companions. Breakfast & dinner provided.

Day 12: Depart Spain/Arrive USA. Your Iberian adventure comes to an end today as you transfer to the airport for your return flight to the USA, or extend your stay in Spain with an independent trip to Barcelona. Breakfast provided.

Optional Tours

All the optional tours mentioned can be booked locally with your guide. The above prices in US$ are the approximate equivalent of the amount in Euro.

Barcelona Optional Extension

Take advantage of your already-included international airfare and extend your stay in Spain with an independent extensions to Barcelona, one of Spain's most beautiful cities. You will return to the U.S. 3 days after the dates shown above.

Sagrada Família Cathedral, Barcelona Day 12: Madrid & Barcelona. This morning, make your way independently to the station for your train journey to Barcelona via highspeed AVE train with reserved seats. Upon arrival, make your way independently to your centrally located hotel. Accommodations: Saint Moritz or similar. Breakfast provided.

Day 13 & 14: Barcelona. Enjoy two days at leisure in Barcelona. Stroll Las Ramblas, the main boulevard. Take time to visit the Cathedral, the Olympic Village and Montjuic (Hill of the Jews). Admire Park Guell, a park designed by Gaudí, the famous Catalan architect. See his other masterpieces such as the unfinished Sagrada Familia basilica. Breakfast provided.

Day 15: Barcelona/USA. Transfer independently to the Barcelona Airport for your return flight to the USA. Arrive in the USA later today.

Shop & Compare

Our tours may look similar to others you've seen, but we invite you to shop & compare. There are important differences that make Friendly Planet tours the best you can find.

No Compromise on Quality: Despite our extraordinary prices, there are no compromises on our Spain & Portugal tours. You'll stay in Superior First Class, centrally located hotels that are noted for their amenities and service.

Included Features: Your group transfers are all included, not expensive extras as in other tours.

Credit Cards or Cash: You asked, and we listened! Whether you pay by check, money order or your favorite major credit card, your tour price on this tour is the same. No extra cost to charge your dream vacation to Spain & Portugal. Credit Card Authorization Form.

Personal Service: Most important of all, the extra ingredient that makes our tours stand apart from others—the wonderful, personal attention you'll receive from our friendly staff in the USA and our representatives in Europe —is completely free of charge. Compare our Spain & Portugal program to others, feature for feature. You'll see for yourself that ours are the very best value for money you'll find anywhere.

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