Spain & Portugal Encompassed (Starts Lisbon)
13 day tour

  • Porto
  • Douro Valley
  • Alhambra
  • Seville
  • Ronda

Delve deep into the colourful culture, cuisine, and landscapes of the Iberian Peninsula.

Highlights

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

Douro Valley - Admire steep terraced vineyards by the Douro River on an optional boat cruise

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

Córdoba - This ancient Andalucían city will take your breath away with the marvels of La Mezquita and the Palace of the Christian Kings

Granada with Alhambra and Sierra Nevada Mountains - Get mesmerised by the lavish palace built by the Moors and wonder at the rugged mountains of the Sierra Nevada National Park

Pueblos Blancos - Fall in love with beautiful white villages built on hilltops overlooking Spain’s wild landscapes

Seville - Get dazzled by the history, spectacular architecture and magic of Flamenco in the city influenced by a number of civilisations

Madrid - Experience the tapas bars, world-renowned art and amazing architecture in the city that really knows how to live


Your journey


The water shines electric blue on the sunny coast; the soil and foliage glows green and gold within deep valleys; and the wines, meats, and arts are imbued with a deep, seductive red: The colours of the Iberian Peninsula are simply beguiling.

On this tour, you bathe your sights in all the vivid scenery of Spain and Portugal.

You explore the kaleidoscopic markets and Moorish palaces of Granada, Seville, and Córdoba. You greet the great white sandy beaches at the edge of the Ancient World. And you tread through the orange-tinged, cobbled lanes of towns that are blessed with both lovely locals and delicious flavours.

Join this tour and discover the vibrant Iberian Peninsula.


If you love this itinerary but want to start in Madrid, have a look at this tour.


Tour Details

Starts
Check-in closes at 08:15 (tour departs at 08:30) - Lisbon Pick Up Point, Hotel Zenit, Lisbon,
Finishes (approx.)
19:00 - Lisbon Drop Off, Hotel Roma, Lisbon,
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
Important information
  • This journey combines two of our tours and a free day in Madrid. This means you may swap your bus and guide during the journey
  • Pack comfortable shoes for walks up to beautiful views
Tour inclusions
  • Transport in a luxury mini-coach with a local driver
  • Air conditioning as standard
  • The stories and services of an English-speaking guide
  • 12 nights in 3-4 star hotels with continental breakfast
  • Entrance to Coimbra University Library and El Escorial
  • Entrance to La Mezquita
  • Entrance to an olive oil production site
  • Entrance to the Alhambra with audio guide
Tour exclusions
  • Meals, unless listed above
  • Attractions, unless specified above

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 a wealth of wonders for you to discover. You can study the sturdy walls of their Moorish Castle; amble through the little cobbled shopping lanes; 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 will explore this magnificent institution, whose roots go back to the 13th century, before finding some 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 little 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.

 

Included Activities

  • Entrance to Coimbra University Library

 

Accommodation

Grande Hotel do Porto or similar, Porto

Day 2

  • Peruse shops and restaurants of Porto’s cobbled lanes
  • Marvel at the terraced vineyards on the banks of the Douro River

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.

When you join our optional half day excursion, you travel to Pinhão by coach to enjoy a river cruise on a traditional rabelo boat. Once you’ve arrived at this small port-producing town, it’s time to savour its delicious tipple and admire the stunning vistas.

Before returning to Porto mid-afternoon, you'll stop off at Mesão Frio viewpoint for stunning views of the river Douro and its banks.

The rest of the day is yours to discover more of the city and indulge in its wines and flavours 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.

 

Optional Activities

  • River Douro boat cruise and wine tasting

 

Accommodation

Grande Hotel do Porto or similar, Porto

Day 3

  • Cross the border into Northern Spain

You leave Porto behind and venture north to Braga where you'll visit the famous Bom Jesus Sanctuary. This place of religious, cultural and architectural heritage was declared a UNESCO World Heritage Site in 2019.

At the foot of Mount Espinho, you'll admire the Baroque staircase as it zig-zags upwards with ornate granite fountains and statues on display. Perched at the top is a neoclassical church with stunning views over the city. To get to the top you can purchase a ticket for the special elevator. Or, if you're feeling fit, you can tackle the almost-600 steps by foot.

Your next stop is Guimarães, known as the 'birthplace of Portugal'. The historic centre is of the city is part of UNESCO World Heritage. As well as learning more about the city, you'll have some free time here to enjoy lunch. For a must-see glimpse into the 15-16th century life of the Braganza Dukes, you can opt to visit the Palace of Braganza.

And now, it’s over the border and into Spain. You arrive in Santiago de Compostela, one of the most famous pilgrimage sites in the world, where you stay for two nights. 

 

Optional Activities

  • Ticket for Bom Jesus do Monte Funicular (elevator)
  • Entrance to Palace of Braganza

 

Accommodation

Hotel Gelmirez or similar, Santiago de Compostela

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.

If you join our trip, the day will start with a drive along the Costa da Morte, ‘the 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. You'll arrive first at the town of Noia, then continue on to Muros for a coffee stop. Next up is a photo stop of Galicia's largest beach - Playa de Carnota.

You'll then visit the Ézaro waterfall. Here, you go for a small walk to take in the views of a rare wonder - the Ézaro River tumbling straight into the sea.

After you’ve enjoyed the waterfall, 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.

When you arrive back in Santiago de Compostela, the evening is yours to try Galician specialities or admire the famous cathedral built over the remains of St James, one of the apostles of Jesus Christ.

 

Accommodation

Hotel Gelmirez or similar, Santiago de Compostela

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. Apart from a stunning cathedral and oodles of charm, it has the only fully intact Roman city walls in the world. So feel like a Roman Legionnaire and take a stroll along the defences.

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 and enjoy your lunch before continuing the journey to Salamanca for your overnight stay. This mesmerising city is adorned with the riches of the Spanish Golden Age and boasts a great culinary scene.

 

Accommodation

Hotel Artheus Carmelitas or similar, Salamanca

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 marvel at the golden-hued landmarks of Salamanca’s Old Town and university. Or you can have a lie-in if you enjoyed the famous nightlife a little too much the night before.

Cast a last glance at the stunning architecture of the city before we head off, and you continue the journey through the vast plains of Castile and León.

You'll have a lunch stop and some free time in the city of Ávila before visiting El Escorial, the remarkable residence of the Spanish Royals and a UNESCO World Heritage Site.

After having been immersed in the riches of Spain, we take you to Madrid in the evening.

 

Included Activities

  • Entrance to El Escorial

 

Accommodation

Hotel Porcel Ganivet or similar, Madrid

Day 7

  • Marvel at the opulence of the Royal Palace in Madrid
  • Try tapas in one of the La Latina district’s local bars

You have a free day in the golden metropolis of Madrid and can decide how you want to spend it. Packed with tapas bars, world-renowned art, and amazing architecture; this city really knows how to live.

To get around town, you can use Madrid’s fantastic public transport or jump on a hop-on hop-off sightseeing bus. Begin your exploration with the oldest part of Madrid, home to the lavish Royal Palace. It boasts a staggering 3,418 rooms decorated with paintings by world-renowned artists. Then, stroll around the city’s grand plazas; the portico-lined square of Plaza Mayor and Puerta del Sol.

Next, fuel your batteries in one of many restaurants before an exciting afternoon. For art lovers; there’s Prado Museum lined with Spanish, Italian and Flemish masterpieces. For nature lovers; there’s El Retiro Park, a green oasis in the heart of the city where you can row a boat.

And in the evening head to La Latina; the city’s top district for tapas, mojitos, and terraces. But don’t get carried away too much by the city’s energy, because tomorrow you join the next leg of your tour.

 

Optional Activities

  • Ticket for a hop-on hop-off sightseeing bus

 

Accommodation

Hotel Porcel Ganivet or similar, Madrid

Day 8

  • Uncover the fusion of cultures that shaped Toledo, the former capital of Spain
  • Travel through Castilla-La Mancha, the backdrop for Don Quixote’s adventures

You leave the heart of Spain and head south to the former capital of the country, Toledo.

Sitting atop a hill and overlooking the Tajo River, this city used to be known as the ‘City of Three Cultures’. To get the real feel of the place, wander through the cobbled streets and try to spot the Muslim mosques, Jewish synagogues and Christian cathedrals.

You travel through Castilla-La Mancha, the setting for the adventures of the literary hero Don Quixote. Next, you stop on the way through the Despeñaperros Natural Park, the gateway to Andalucía.

Córdoba, your home for the night, welcomes you with its bustling squares and delightful architecture.

 

Accommodation

Hotel Eurostars Conquistador or similar, Córdoba

Day 9

  • Explore La Mezquita, an immense mosque-cathedral and a UNESCO World Heritage site

In the morning, you visit La Mezquita, one of the most spectacular mosques constructed by the Moors in Spain. This world-famous construction boasts countless rows of decorated arches and a serene interior and is large enough to have a cathedral built inside it!

Next, we travel through rolling hills blanketed with the silvery-grey-green leaves of olive trees. It’s a sign you’ve entered the oil-producing province of Jaén.

We continue our journey south to the ruined hilltop fortress of Fortaleza de la Mota and arrive in Granada early evening, our base for two nights.

 

Included Activities

  • Entrance to La Mezquita
  • Entrance to Fortaleza de la Mota

 

Accommodation

Hotel Porcel Alixares or similar, Granada

Day 10

  • Become entranced by the ornamentation of the Alhambra Palace
  • Uncover the unique neighbourhood of house caves in Gaudix

You wake up in a city adorned with the most sensual palace of Europe, the Alhambra.

Your morning is blessed with a visit to this famous monument. When you look at it, you’re transported to the tales of 1,001 Nights. Originally a fortress and then a palace, this UNESCO World Heritage site will seize your imagination.

In the afternoon you'll uncover the unique Barrio de las Cauevas of Gaudix (neighbourhood of house caves in Gaudix). Choose to learn more about the history and evolution of this intricate maze of homes at the Gaudix Cave Dwellings Interpretation Centre, located inside several original cave dwellings.  

There may be time for a photo stop of the Sierra Nevada mountains before you head back to Granada.

Use your evening in Granada to discover tapas restaurants and more of the culinary delights.

 

*Sometimes this day will be reversed, and you will visit the Alhambra in the afternoon.

 

Included Activities

  • Entrance to the Alhambra with audio guide included

 

Optional Activities

  • Entrance to the Gaudix Cave Dwellings Interpretation Centre

 

Accommodation

Hotel Porcel Alixares or similar, Granada

Day 11

  • Discover the charm of Ronda, the most stunning of the pueblos blancos

Today is all about exploring the other faces of Andalucía; the beautiful wilderness and iconic pueblos blancos.

You travel west to El Torcal de Antequera, a nature reserve in the Sierra del Torcal mountain range. You'll be amazed by the stunning limestone formations that have been formed over millions of years. 

Your adventure then takes you through the landscapes of Malaga’s ‘Lake District’ before you reach Ronda. Precariously clinging to a steep cliff of the El Tajo Gorge, this commune captures your imagination with its literary connections and history full of outlaws. Stroll along the city walls, explore picturesque plazas, and enjoy your lunch.

Before making your way to Seville, you'll have the chance to learn how Spain’s ‘liquid gold’ is made at an olive oil farm.

Cast a last glance over the Andalusian countryside and start your journey to Seville, your home for two nights.

 

Included Activities

  • Entrance to an olive oil farm

 

Accommodation

Hotel Macia Sevilla Kubb or similar, Sevilla

Day 12

  • Soak up the grandeur as you stroll through the Plaza de España
  • Try the finest sherry in Jerez de la Frontera

Today it’s up to you to decide how to spend the day.

You can dedicate your time to discover the best gems of the city’s 80 chapels at the Seville Cathedral and marvel at La Giralda. Or go for a stroll along the bank of the Guadalquivir to admire the iconic Torre del Oro, a military tower dating back to the 13th century.

Alternatively, you can join our half day tour and travel to Jerez de la Frontera. This elegant town is the heartland of sherry and Spanish brandy.

Whichever option you choose, spend the evening strolling through the shaded arches of the grand Plaza de España. Warning: with the hypnotic Flamenco performances, delicious tapas and buzzing bars, this city can keep you entertained till the small hours.

 

Accommodation

Hotel Macia Sevilla Kubb or similar, Sevilla

Day 13

  • Soak up the sun in Huelva on the Costa de la Luz
  • Wander through Tavira, one of the most charming towns of the Algarve

Say farewell to Seville and enjoy the last glimpses of the Andalusian countryside as you travel west towards the Costa de la Luz, a land of bright sunlight and golden sandy beaches.

You stop in the seaside city of Huelva, where Christopher Columbus planned his trip to find a western sea route to China and India. Here you'll visit the waterside exhibition, Muelle de las Carabelas, where you can see life-size replicas of Columbus's three ships.

Next, you cross the Portuguese border and stop at Tavira in the Algarve. Set on the River Gilão, this town exudes an irresistible charm and makes you want to discover its hidden corners. Wander through the cobblestone streets, cross an old Roman bridge and try Portuguese cuisine for the first time.

Take in the last views of the Algarve and journey north where laid-back Lisbon awaits you in the evening.

 

Included Activities

  • Entrance to Muelle de las Carabelas

Accommodation

 

Where does this tour stay overnight?

You stay two nights in Porto, two nights in Santiago de Compostela, one night in Salamanca, two nights in Madrid, one night in Córdoba, two nights in Granada, and two nights in Seville.

For examples of the accommodation, please see the tour itinerary.

 

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 a double room, a twin room, or a single room.

 

Are there any extra accommodation costs?

The price you see is for all your tour accommodation and for the tour itself. It also includes a tourist tax. 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.

 

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.

 

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 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 start our trip from hotels located conveniently on the edge of cities. We choose hotels with good public transport connections to the city centre, so you can enjoy your evening explorations.

To make your tour more convenient, you can add an optional pre and post-departure accommodation in the hotel we use as a pick up or a drop off point.

 

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 time frame, 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 routes change?

Your friendly driver and guide are passionate about the places they visit and know all the local gossip. This means your tour itinerary can change a little due to festivities, attraction opening hour changes, and spontaneous photo opportunities.

 

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 offer 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.

 

Do you take children on your tours?

We're unable to permit children under 15 years old on our Europe tours due to the nature of the activities that are included.

 

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.

 

What are 'included activities' and 'optional activities'?

We've arranged experiences for you on your tour. The 'included activities' are already booked and paid for as part of your trip, whereas you can purchase 'optional activities' while on your tour. You also have free time in many destinations to pick and choose which attractions you visit.

 

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're travelling with more than 20kg, don't worry! There are left luggage facilities close to the majority of our departure points, and courier companies who could ship your excess luggage on to your chosen destination. Our team are happy to help if you need any suggestions or recommendations.

 

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 book a tour with us. 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: We’ll never cancel your tour because of minimum numbers

Our eco-friendly tours support local communities


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Green Tourism Award Scottish Thistle Awards Winner 2015/2016 Scottish Tourist Board 5 Stars
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