Golden sands, art and culture and foods that will have you giddy with excitement, the Iberian peninsula is THE place to be. If you haven’t been to Spain or Portugal before, book your tickets right away. Here are some places to give you a bit of inspo for your next getaway.
Catch some rays and some waves in Lagos. This hip beach town in the Algarve Peninsula in Portugal is the best place to chill during the day and party during the night. Start your adventures in the city centre and follow the coastline past amazing rock formations and golden sand beaches. Head to Crema di Gelato to satisfy your cravings: voted best gelato in the Algarve. The town is swarming with bars with cheap drink deals and live music so there’s no shortage of places to indulge in a beverage or two.
The hills in the Portuguese capital of Lisbon are famous, but not as famous as the beauty of the city. Spend your days walking up and down the colourful streets and checking out landmarks like the Belem Tower and Palace Square. Make it your mission to eat as much pastel de nata you can get your mitts on and be very happy with your life decision in doing so. Watch the sunset at one of the many lookouts, known as miradouros. In the evening, head to the Bairro Alto neighbourhood. Buy a beer from one of the bars, walk out onto the street and drink with all your new friends.
If you have a day to spare while in Lisbon, catch the train to Sintra. This town is home to one of the most colourful palaces you will ever lay eyes on. To get an extra special view of the Pena Palace, hike over to the big cross on the hill. Finish with a trip to Casa Piriquita for a fix of the town’s famous travesseiros pastries.
Once you’ve been to Porto, you’ll be pretty darn keen to return! How could you not with its azulegos tiled buildings, exquisite views and large quantities of port wine. No visit to Porto is complete without checking out one of the many port wine cellars – Porto Cálem offers great tours and wine tastings right by the Douro river.
Old-town charm and futuristic architecture combine in the Spanish town of Valencia. Stroll around the Old Town and check out the charming churches, plazas and the impressive Gothic style Government Palace. Chow down on some traditional paella, drink some Agua di Valencia and get a sugar fix of horchata and fartons at the Central Market. For a visit to the future, head to the City of Arts and Sciences: a series of ultra-modern buildings, containing a planetarium, museums and an aquarium.
Head to Barcelona and you will immediately see why so many people rave about this historical and cultural hub. Indulge your artistic side and check out Gaudi’s works of art at La Sagrada Familia and Park Güell. Grab some €1 juices and a tapa or two at the La Boqueria Market. Read a book or people-watch at the always bustling La Barceloneta beach. Finish your day watching the sunset from the Bunkers del Carmen and then listen to some beats at one of the many bars and clubs that the city is known for.
The Andalusian capital of Seville definitely does not have a shortage of insane architecture. With the Plaza de España and Catedral de Sevilla alone, your money will be well spent coming here. If you appreciate a good painting, the Fine Arts Museum has one of Spain’s finest arts collections. Be sure to not miss out on the famous flamenco dancing. While it’s possible to go to fairly affordable shows to witness the dance, it’s common to stumble across buskers moving their feet on many of the main streets.
If you're keen to check out the incredible Iberian Peninsula for yourself, take a look at our awesome Iberian itineraries!