The Charms of Portugal & North West Spain
6 day tour

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See Portugal’s beautiful towns; travel to the edge of ancient Europe; and explore Salamanca, Galicia, El Escorial and the treasures of Spain.


Highlights

Palaces
Roman Ruins
Boat Cruises
National Parks
UNESCO Heritage Sites
Universities
Beaches
Wine

Places you explore


Coimbra - This historic, cultured town was once the capital of Portugal and boasts the oldest university in the country

Porto - A historic centre, charismatic locals, sumptuous food, and famous wine: no one can resist the charms of this UNESCO city

Douro Valley - Admire steep terraced vineyards by the Douro River and indulge your taste buds with the finest ports and wines

Peneda-Gerês National Park - This national park protects an ecosystem, helps a local way of life stay alive, and leaves you speechless

Santiago de Compostela - Combine artistic and spiritual delights when you visit this grand city, the final stop of the epic Camino de Santiago pilgrimage route.

Cape Finisterre - Stare into the horizon on this beautiful cape once believed to be the end of the known world.

Costa da Morte - Plunging cliffs, remote sandy beaches and rocky headlands; this is the stunning and treacherous ‘Coast of Death’.

Las Médulas- Marvel at the reddish mountains that once watched over the most important gold mine in the entire Roman Empire.

Salamanca - Steeped in history and golden sandstone buildings, this university city has been a centre for learning for centuries

El Escorial - Built at the end of the 16th century, this combination of royal institutions stands in a beautiful site at the foothills of the Sierra de Guadarrama, north-west of Madrid.


Your journey


The ancient civilizations of Europe left behind a wealth of wonders.

The monks of Porto created delicious drinks for religious ceremonies, the Romans shaped entire mountains in their pursuit of gold, and the 16th-century kings used their riches to build ostentatious plazas and palaces.

On this journey, you leave behind the modern world and venture to the edge of ancient Europe to discover the tastes, traditions, and treasures of the past.

You wander through the cobbled lanes of Portugal’s old towns. You learn about the influential universities of Coimbra and Salamanca. You explore the cathedral that marks the end of the world-famous pilgrimage route, the Camino de Santiago. And you experience some of the greatest achievements of the Roman Empire.

It’s the perfect trip for someone who loves ancient history, delicious seafood, and stunning natural landscapes.


Tour Details

Starts
08:30 - Lisbon
Finishes (approx.)
19:00
Madrid
Luggage
You’re restricted to 20kg (44lbs) of luggage per person. This may consist of a small bag for onboard personal items and a larger suitcase or rucksack.
Discounts
  • Children between 5 and 15 (unfortunately, we don't carry children under 5 years old)
Important information
  • Pack comfortable shoes for walks up to beautiful views
  • Your holiday’s more fun when you protect yourself from the sun
Tour inclusions
  • Transport in a luxury mini-coach
  • Air conditioning as standard
  • The stories and services of an English-speaking guide and driver
  • 5 nights in a three-star hotel with continental breakfast
Tour exclusions
  • Entry fees to visitor attractions

Itinerary

Day 1

  • Marvel at the Moorish architecture in the town of Óbidos
  • Learn about the thinkers of the past in one of the oldest universities in the world in Coimbra

You say ‘bom dia’ to your guide and fellow travellers, leave the coastal capital city of Lisbon, and travel the short distance to Óbidos.

This quaint walled town has wealth of wonders for you to discover. You can study the sturdy walls of their Moorish Castle; amble through the little cobbled shopping lane; or combine two of your favourite guilty pleasures in a drink of Ginjinha d’Óbidos, a sweet liqueur served in a chocolate cup.

Back on the road, you venture further north to Coimbra. This former Portuguese capital is famous for being the home of one of the oldest universities in the world. You have time here to explore the town’s churches and history and eat some of the delicious local food for lunch.

After you’ve soaked up the history, it’s time to head to Aveiro. You feel like you’ve been teleported into Venice in this town that’s lined with canals and art-nouveau architecture.

Your final stop of the day is in Porto, your home for the next two nights. It’s been a busy day, but hopefully you’re not too tired to walk to a sunset spot in this many-tiered town.

Day 2

  • Peruse through shops and restaurants of Porto’s cobbled lanes
  • Discover the quintessential flavours of famous port wines in the lush Douro Valley

Today, you have an important decision to make.

Do you lounge around and take in the cathedrals, cellars, and cuisine of beautiful Porto? Or do you hop on the mini-coach with us and venture through the Douro Valley?

Lucky for you, there’s no wrong option.

If you come with us, your day begins with a boat cruise down the Douro Valley. This is a chance to ogle at the wine producing hills of the region from a new angle. Once you’re back on dry land, you travel to a local quinta. Here, you can go on a guided tour of a winery and taste different styles of the famous Porto wine.

You travel back to Porto in the late afternoon to continue indulging in the wines and flavours of the city in your own style. And if you’re a fan of live music, don’t miss out on a performance of Fado, Portugal’s emotionally stirring traditional music.

Day 3

  • Rejuvenate your senses in the natural landscapes of Portugal’s peaceful national park
  • Cross the border into Northern Spain

Your last few days have been packed with bustling towns and boozy flavours. So now it’s time to refresh your senses with a taste of the great outdoors.

You head to the Peneda-Gerês National Park, the only national park in Portugal. You spend the whole morning here enjoying views of lakes, mountains, and waterfalls before travelling to the tiny town of Soajo.

This town not only boasts beautiful views, it’s also one of the most rustic villages you’ll have ever laid your eyes upon. You have time here to take look at their famous 17th-century granite granaries and grab lunch here.

And now, it’s over the border and into Spain. You arrive in Santiago de Compostela with enough time to admire the huge cathedral that’s famously built over the remains of St. James, one of the apostles of Jesus Christ.

Day 4

  • Explore the architecture, atmosphere, and history of Santiago de Compostela
  • Journey to Cape Finisterre, the furthermost edge of ancient Europe

Today, you can relax and enjoy the sights of Santiago de Compostela at your own pace or come on an adventure with us to the Costa da Morte, ‘Coast of Death’.

And no, this isn’t a shoreline infested with pirates and cannibals, it’s a place that was once notorious for shipwrecks.

If you join our trip to the coastline, you start the day by going to Carnota Bay. Here, you can clamber over a timber boardwalk and say hello to crystal clear blue seas and a lovely white 7km stretch of sand.

After you’ve enjoyed the beach, we travel to the ‘End of the World’ at Cape Finisterre. Ancient civilisations believed this was the end of the earth. You have time here to admire the lighthouse and look out over the wild Atlantic Ocean.

Your next stop is in Muxía. This lovely, historic harbour town is the perfect spot to sample the fresh seafood that this region is famous for and watch the ships set off to sea.

You arrive back in Santiago de Compostela in the early evening.

Day 5

  • Roam upon the ramparts of the ancient Romans in Lugo
  • Survey the other-worldly landscapes that were created by the Roman gold excavating technique, ruina montium (wrecking of mountains)

Your first stop of the day is in Lugo. This town has a lot to be proud of. They have the only fully intact Roman city walls in the world, a stunning cathedral, and oodles of charm. You have free time here to choose what you visit.

You continue to follow in the footsteps of the ancient Romans and travel to Las Médulas. Strange red pinnacles and holes in the mountains make this landscape look and feel otherworldly. The Romans created what you see before you by boring into the earth in their quest for gold.

You explore this area, have your lunch, and make the journey to one of the best viewpoints in the area, Mirador de Orellán.

From here, you travel to Salamanca for your overnight stay. This mesmerising city is adorned with the riches of the Spanish Golden Age.

Day 6

  • Admire the artistic achievements of the Spanish Golden Age in Salamanca
  • Become envious of the lifestyle of kings in the palace of El Escorial

You have time in the morning to explore the cathedral, university, and pretty plazas of Salamanca before we head off. Or you can enjoy a lie-in if you decided to enjoy the famous nightlife a little too much the night before.

Your first stop is in Ávila. Orson Welles once said this was the place he would most like to settle down in. And you can see why; the huge medieval walls and gothic churches are cinematic and steeped in stories. You have time here for lunch and a walk around town.

You travel further east to El Escorial. This is one of the most remarkable historical buildings in all of Spain. The huge structure was built by king Philip II and has functioned as a monastery, basilica, royal palace, pantheon, library, museum, university, school and hospital.

After you’ve learned about the riches of Spain, we take you to Madrid.

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Accommodation

Where does this tour stay overnight?

You stay two nights in Porto, two nights in Santiago de Compostela, and one night in Salamanca.


To get more information about your accommodation, please contact our friendly team 3 weeks prior to departure.


How does the accommodation work?

A good night’s sleep is often needed for a good day of travel.

So we’ve hand-picked three-star to four-star hotels in remote coastal villages, bustling towns, and mountain valleys.

Your accommodation is included in the tour price; and when you book your trip, you can choose whether you want double rooms, twin rooms, or single rooms.


Are there any extra accommodation costs?

The price you see is for all your tour's accommodation and for the tour itself. This figure is based on shared accommodation. When you're booking your tour and select a single room, an additional single room supplement will be added to the price.


A few European destinations charge tourist taxes. These funds help them keep the locations clean, safe, and beautiful. You usually pay these at the accommodation suppliers, and cost between 1€ and 5€ per night.

FAQs

Do I need a visa to take this tour?

You may need a Schengen Visa to travel throughout Europe. Check the official tourism website of the country you’re visiting for up-to-date and reliable information. Travel between countries is easy because there are no passport checks at the borders.


Do you offer hotel pickups in the departure cities?

Europe's historic city centres are full of narrow streets and winding roads. So, to speed up your departure and avoid contributing to congestion issues, we only start our trips from the airport hotel specified in your departure information.

Our friendly team will send you more information about your departure location closer to your departure date.


When should I get to the departure point?

Arrive at the hotel lobby 15 minutes before your departure time. Unfortunately, we’re unable to wait for you if you’re late due to vehicle restrictions. But depending on your situation, we may be able to help you catch up with your tour.


What are your cancellation policies?

We have a cancellation period of 42 days for our Europe tours. If you cancel your trip before this period, we give you a full refund minus a 10% admin charge. If you cancel inside this timeframe, you’re liable for the cost of the tour package.

We understand how disappointing it is when you have to cancel a trip with us, so please contact our friendly team who will try their best to resell your ticket and refund you.

Click here to view full terms and conditions.


What is a guaranteed departure?

It's simple: you book, you go. This means we'll never cancel your tour because of a minimum numbers policy.


Can I pre-book a specific seat?

Due to logistical reasons, we're unable to let you pre-book a seat on the bus. But our comfortable mini-coaches have huge windows, So you always get a good view.


Are there toilets on the bus?

We like to keep our coaches small, nimble, and odour free. This means we have no on-board toilet facilities, but you frequently stop in local towns and villages for comfort breaks.


Are the tours suitable for people with mobility issues?

Most people can comfortably enjoy our tours, but it's worth bearing in mind that we often include optional short walks in scenic locations. Please also be aware that many of the old European towns are built on steep hills with cobbled lanes, and you may have to carry your own luggage at times.

So that we can ensure you're comfortable travelling with us, please let us know about any special requirements or needs at the time of booking. If you have any more questions, simply email tours@rabbies.com .


Do you take children on your tours?

Unfortunately, we’re unable to have children under the age of five on our Europe tours.

You can ask us about the tours we recommend for younger children. And if your child is less than 1.35m tall, you should let us know, so we can provide them with a suitable booster seat.


How much time do I get off the bus?

We want you to enjoy your trip to Europe. And we believe the best way to do this is to get you off the mini-coach and out exploring. So, we give you plenty of stops to take photos, go walking, and explore ancient ruins.


Why do you exclude visitor attractions?

We exclude visitor attractions in your tour price because it lets you travel your way. It means you can pamper yourself with a luxury lunch or skip an attraction whenever you feel like it.


Do we need to bring our own lunch?

You don't need to pack or bring along food on the mini-coach. We stop in small European towns, villages, and rural eateries where you can choose whatever meal pleases both your taste buds and your budget.


What should I do if I have too much luggage?

It’s more enjoyable to travel with light luggage. You can take less by cleaning clothes along the way. Most hotels provide affordable laundry service.

But if you are travelling with more than 20kg of luggage, we are very happy to help you. Options include storing your excess luggage or a courier service to ship it to a destination of your choice.


Should I tip the driver and the guide?

Let's be honest, our drivers and guides would never refuse a cheeky bonus. But it's up to you, and the amount is entirely at your discretion.


What about travel insurance?

We highly recommend you take out travel insurance, so you can enjoy a stress-free journey.


What is ABTOT?

You're protected by ABTOT when you choose to let us book your accommodation on a multi-day tour. This means you can claim back anything you've paid us if we run into any issues. Read our terms and conditions for more information.

Our packages are covered by the Package Travel Regulations. For full details of your key rights please click here.


I have more questions, who can help me?

If you have any more questions, call us on +44(0)131 226 3133, email tours@rabbies.com, or check out our full FAQs.

4 reasons to choose Rabbie's

Travel the local way on small group tours of 16 people or fewer

You'll have a guaranteed experience, or your money back

Guaranteed departures: you book, you go

Our eco-friendly tours support local communities

BTA_2017.png Green Tourism Award Scottish Thistle Awards Winner 2015/2016 TC_2018_WHITE_LL_R-112x105.png queens-award.png Scottish Tourist Board 5 Stars

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