This Two-Week Spain and Portugal Itinerary is Full of Surprises

by | 10 Jun 2024

The ultimate Spain and Portugal itinerary, over 15 days experience everything that make Iberia so enchanting on Best of Spain & Portugal. From the fiery passion of flamenco in Seville to the soulful Fado music in Lisbon, the architectural marvels of Barcelona’s Gothic Quarter to the sun-soaked beaches of the Costa del Sol.

Guided by Local Experts, discover the artistic legacy of the Alhambra in Granada and the intricate tilework of Porto’s Ribeira district, along with local experiences that define the essence of these tow sought-after destinations. Whether you’re a history buff, a foodie or simply looking for a scenic escape, if you are planning visit Spain and Potugal, this ultimate itinerary is packed with hand-picked 5 and 4 star hotels, premium dining and curated experiences, a signature of our ‘Business Class’ Tours.

Discover the tour: Best of Spain & Portugal


Days 1-2: Madrid

The white and gold Cibeles Fountain In Downtown Madrid, Spain is shown with a n ornate fountain in front

Created around the year of 860 A.C, Madrid has been the capital of Spain since the 17th century. Whether you love culture, history or food this city has something unique in store for you. Upon arrival your transfer will takes you to your hotel. Depending on your departure dates, you’ll stay in one of premium hotels the Barceló Emperatriz or the Barceló Torre de Madrid. Centrally located they’re perfect for seeing the sights. Tonight your Welcome Dinner is a great occasion to meet your Travel Director and fellow travelers, enjoy some excellent Spanish cuisine and get a taste of things got come.

The next morning, your Local Expert will take you to some of Madrid’s most historic neighborhoods, including the Old Quarter. The world-famous Prado Museum is another highlight of your stay in the capital. Spain’s national art museum, it is considered one of the most comprehensive museum collections of Old Master paintings in Europe and you get to see it with an Art Historian as your guide.

The evening is yours to explore as you wish and your Travel Director is on hand with recommendations of where to dine or whatever else you may wish to do. Highlights of Madrid include the stunning Royal Palace, the Plaza Mayor with 400 years of history, the buzzing Puerta del Sol, the famous Gran Vía full of shops and the four tallest towers in Spain.

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Day 3: Segovia and Golden Salamanca

The fortified UNESCO World Heritage city of Segovia is your first destination today. World renowned for its Alcazar fortress and grand gothic cathedral, this city is also home to a famous historic aqueduct. A magnificent structure with 167 arches, it is one of the most important legacies of the Roman Empire in Spain. Your Local Expert will bring everything to life on your guided tour of the city.

The afternoon is dedicated to the ‘Golden City’ of Salamanca. A guided sightseeing tour will show you the golden stone buildings the city is famous for, including the honey-colored cathedral and the 16th century university. Keep an eye out for the historical Casa da las Conchas – the building’s curious façade is decorated with more than 300 shells.

With the opportunity to choose your lunch and dinner you can try out the local specialties. Salamanca prides itself in meat dishes, with its Iberico ham considered a regional delicacy. For those with a sweet tooth, try the delicious Doughnuts of Ledesma.

Read more: Castles and conquistadors: discover two of Spain’s most cultural cities


Day 4: Porto

Today you get your first taste of Portugal, as its second largest city Porto takes center stage. Set along the Duoro River, this picturesque UNESCO World Heritage site is a highlight of your Spain and Portugal itinerary. lush vineyards flank the hillsides. As you explore, you’ll enjoy many art and murals and notice intricate painted tiles (azulejos) used to decorate churches, train stations, and other buildings. Porto is in fact one of the oldest cities in Europe. Evidence of settlers in the city date back 2000 years, to the Bronze Age, so history lovers are spoiled for choice on what to see.

A highlight of today is a port wine tasting at Vila Nova de Gaia. The Douro Valley is a stunning UNESCO-listed wine region, known as the international capital of Port wine. Its rugged terrain, Mediterranean climate, and schist soil create optimal conditions for grape cultivation, and you’ll get the chance to taste some of the best from the Sandeman collection. Tonight, your included dinner will be a hand selected treat decided by your Travel Director, and you’ll stay in a 300-year-old palace that once hosted 18th century balls for local dignitaries.

Discover more about this fascinating city: Discovering Porto’s Best-Kept Secrets with Travel Director Kristy


Day 5: Holy Fátima, Ancient Óbidos


Today you’ll travel through two of Portugal’s historic towns. First stop Fatima may be small but is known as one of the world’s holiest sites. Our Lady of Fatima is a Roman Catholic title for the Virgin Mary whose apparition is believed to have appeared at the town of Fátima, Portugal on the thirteenth day of six consecutive months in 1917.

In Obidos, your Travel Director will lead you on a tour of this picturesque walled town, a must see when you visit Spain and Paortugal. One of Europe’s best-preserved medieval villages, it’s an open-air museum of white houses embellished by bougainvilleas and winding streets. In fact, it’s so beautiful that until 1883 Óbidos was exclusive property of the Queens of Portugal.

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Day 6: Lisbon

With its scenic views, delicious cuisine and warm climate, you’ll just love Portugal’s capital. A big city with a local feel, Lisbon’s rich history dates back to ancient times, including Roman and Moorish influences. Portugal is also one of the world’s most revered maritime powers, with many expeditions that changed history departing from Lisbon’s ports. You’ll uncover all this history while sightseeing with your Local Expert.

Key attractions include the Belém Tower, Jerónimos Monastery and the lively Alfama district. Along the way you’ll be treated to a very special traditional tasting of the famous Pastéis de Belém. With the afternoon to yourselves, Lisbon is an easy city to explore, public transportation is good with many trains and buses. Maybe join an Optional Experience to the Portuguese Riviera – a fine way to finish an unforgettable day on this Spain and Portugal itinerary.

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Day 7 – 8: Seville

After spending two days and nights) in this beautiful Andalusian city you will never want to leave. Your premium hotel, the 4 star NH Collection Sevilla puts you right in Seville’s heart, so exploring is a breeze and you have the perfect amount of time to see the sights. Seville Cathedral takes pride of place on the agenda. Then, depending on your mood, you can choose form two included experiences, a guided walk through the Jewish Quarter, or a scenic drive around the city for panoramic views. The following day’s highlight is a MAKE TRAVEL MATTER® Experience at the famous Christina Heeren Dance School. Learn some steps form the best dancers in the world and enjoy an intimate performance with dancers so close you can feel them breathe.

Across these two days in Seville, you have plenty of free time to explore at your leisure and soak up the atmosphere. Maybe take an optional experience with a day trip to the ancient city of Cordoba?

Read more: Discover the Art of Flamenco with the Cristina Heeren Foundation


Day 9 – 10: Gibraltar and the Costa del Sol

Taking a break from city life, today you’ll head south to Gibraltar, part of mainland Spain yet an overseas territory under British control since 1704. Highlights include the Rock of Gibraltar, St. Michael’s Cave and the Barbary Apes. These are the only free ranging apes in Europe – they have possibly been present since the Moorish occupation of the Iberian Peninsula from 711 AD. Your Local expert will have many stories to tell of interactions with these cheeky guardians of the colony.

Then Torremolinos on the sun-drenched Costa del Sol beckons. Two nights in the elegant Meliá Costa del Sol with superb service and stunning Mediterranean views is just the perfect opportunity to unwind. Relax by the azure waters, savor local specialties in charming restaurants, or maybe explore Málaga, the birthplace of Picasso.

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Day 11: Alfarnatejo and Granada

Take a unique memory of the Costa del Sol with you as you enjoy two local experiences in Alfarnatejo. A quiet whitewashed village with a population of under 500, here you’ll travel to the oldest olive grove in the region to taste a selection of oils, paired with home baked bread. You’re then invited into the home of a local family for a delicious lunch of flavours typical of the region. Hear stories of local life and ask any questions you wish, before journeying on Granada where the sensational Alhambra Palace awaits. One of the most famous monuments of Islamic architecture and one of the best-preserved palaces of the historic Islamic world, your Local Expert will shine a light on every stone and corner.

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Day 12: Valencia

Bienvenidos Valencia, the home of paella! Whether you’ve tried this tasty dish before or not, sampling it in its birthplace is something else and something you must do when you visit Spain and Portugal. A delicious premium experience, today you’ll join the chef of a local family-run restaurant for a cooking demonstration in the heart of the Old City. You’ll also savor the flavors of this classic dish for dinner, accompanied by Sangria if you wish. You’ll also have plenty of time to explore the city highlights including the ultra-modern Centre of Arts and Sciences and the huge gates of the old town, Torres de Serranos and Torres de Quart.

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Day 13 – The coast to Peñíscola and Barcelona

A mini road trip along the Spanish coast offers a scenic day of mediterranean splendor, with our ‘Business Class’ coaches making the day even more spectacular. Relax with extra leg room and take all the pictures with elevated seats and large windows. As you travel along the coast to Peñíscola enjoy medieval charm and beautiful beaches. A highlight on this Spain and Portugal itinerary is the sea-lapped castle featured in the film ‘El Cid’. Proceed along the Costa Dorada to the Cava Bodegas in Sant Sadurní d’Anoia. Enjoy a delightful lunch at the Cava Vineyards while learning the sparkling secrets of Spanish bubbly and tonight stay in Meliá Barcelona Sarrià, a luxurious hotel where you’ll save time being just a stone’s throw away from Barcelona’s key attractions.

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Day 14 -15: Barcelona – a fitting finale to your Spain and Portugal itinerary

Overlooking the Mediterranean Sea and renowned for Gaudí and its Art Nouveau architecture, you’ll enjoy two days in Barcelona, one of Europe’s trendiest cities. It serves as a hub for new trends in culture, fashion and of course cuisine, blending the creativity of its artists and designers with a deep respect for local traditions.

On a tour of the big city with your Local Expert explore Las Ramblas, Barcelona’s famous tree-lined boulevard that stretches for 1.2 kilometers.  At the elegant Passeig de Gràcia, admire some of the finest Modernist architecture then travel through the Eixample district to witness Gaudí’s extraordinary masterpiece, the mesmerizing basilica Sagrada Família.

With the afternoon yourself, why not visit Gaudi’s colorful Park Guell or many of his other famous buildings? Or simply enjoy the many restaurants serving Barcelona favorites. From irresistible crema Catalana to local favorite pà amb tomàquet the Barcelona food scene is as rich and interesting as the local culture. Tonight, you’ll celebrate your travels on this fascinating Spain and Portugal itinerary with your fellow guests over a Celebration Dinner in a local restaurant.

You may also be interested to read: 10 Most Famous Gaudi Masterpieces in Barcelona You Need to Know About

For the ultimate Spain and Portugal itinerary in ‘Business Class’ style, book yourself a place on Best of Spain and Portugal

I'm a writer, editor and interview specialist with a lifetime's love of travel. There’s nothing more inspiring to me than meeting, and writing about, the world's leading destination experts and travel industry insiders. The thing I love most about writing for Insightful is that I'm always learning something new.