Cruise along the Douro River in Porto, explore some of the world’s top museums in Madrid and visit Sintra’s fairy tale castle.
Tapas, sangria, delicious pastries, and siestas - no one knows how to live quite like the Spanish and the Portuguese! On this epic Iberian trip you’ll dance the flamenco until dawn, sample some of the best local wines in Europe, be blown away by incredible architecture and experience sunsets so gorgeous you’ll think you were dreaming. From cruising along the Douro River in Porto to exploring some of the world’s top museums in Madrid and visiting Sintra’s fairy tale castle, this is a trip that will make you fall in love with the Iberian Peninsula.
We spend 8 days exploring Spain, Portugal. We visit Barcelona, Lisbon, Madrid, Salamanca, Avila, Porto.
What Is Included...
All coach transport
Your fantastic Busabout crew
7 nights’ accommodation
A visit to Sintra
Iberian Highlights Starts at 8:00am at Barcelona, Barcelona
The Tour Ends at 10:00am at Lisbon, Lisbon
When We Go
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8 Day Itinerary
Day 1: Barcelona to Madrid
That’s right, you’ve been counting down the days for this adventure to begin, and now the moment is finally here! We kick off the trip nice and early this morning, as we depart Barcelona and start our scenic meander through the Spanish countryside towards Madrid. Settle into our comfy coach and meet your new travel buddies on our journey through the region of Castilla-La Mancha, famous as the setting of Cervantes’s “Don Quixote” novel. Keep your eyes open for the Osbourne billboards, now used as the national emblem of Spain! Upon our arrival into Madrid, you’ll notice there’s a tonne to see and do. Home to aristocratic palaces, incredible museums such as the Reina Sofia (where you can see Picasso’s Guernica!), and bustling nightlife. We’ll stretch our legs on an orientation walk through the main squares of the city: Plaza Espana, Puerta del Sol and Plaza Mayor. Later we’ll relax and get to know each other better with a tasty dinner and drinks in Malasana, the most hip district of Madrid!
Day 2: Madrid
The day is yours to explore Madrid, so have a chat to your awesome guide to sign up for any optional excursions that take your fancy! If you’d rather just have a wander at your own pace, we highly recommend you visit the Golden Triangle of Art - that’s the Prado Museum, the Reina Sofia Museum, and the massive Royal Palace. If that doesn’t entice you, then go for a stroll at the Botanical Gardens and enjoy the outdoors! If you’re keen to explore further, sign up for an optional walking tour around the city. Later this evening you can sign up for an authentic and exciting flamenco show, or if you’re a bit tired from all the wandering today, then perhaps a relaxing hammam and massage experience would be more up your alley. Breakfast included
Day 3: Madrid to Avila to Salamanca
It’s time to hit the road with our morning departure towards Salamanca. Shortly after we leave Madrid, we’ll be driving through the Valley of the Fallen, the battlefield of the Spanish Civil War. We’ll stop to stretch our legs for a couple of hours at the city of Avila, known as the Town of Stones and Saints, claiming that it’s one of the towns with the highest number of Romanesque and Gothic churches per capita in Spain. Then we’ll climb back aboard our coach and continue our drive, arriving early afternoon into Salamanca, home to the oldest university in Spain! This is one of the most lively cities in the country due to the big population of students. We’ll have an orientation walk through the Cathedral (try to spot the frog or the astronaut here) and Plaza Mayor. This evening we’ll head out to a tapas crawl, followed by a few drinks in one of the city’s local student bars! (B)
Day 4: Salamanca to Porto
You’ve got the morning to visit any of the sights you’ve missed around Salamanca, or take it easy and grab lunch in one of the many local eateries. This afternoon we’ll make our departure and head towards Porto! This charming city is known for its architecture, Douro River, Port wine valley, and “azulejos” - the local form of street art on hand-painted tiles. Once we arrive mid-afternoon you’ll have some time to freshen up before we head out on our orientation walk. We’ll explore the Douro River, check out the local cuisine and head out to sample the famous Port wines of the region. Breakfast included
Day 5: Porto
You have the entire day to spend wandering the beautiful streets of Porto. For any Harry Potter fans in the group, head to the Livraria Lello Porto, one of the bookshops which inspired the Hogwarts library. If you feel like checking out the scenery from the water, meander to the Douro River for a cruise. For those who are really hungry (and feel like a challenge!), head to a local eatery and try to take on the ‘francesinha’ - the mother of all layered sandwiches. If you can finish one, you have our respect! Later this evening we’ll meet back at the hostel and take a ride on the Teleferico de Gaia cable car, before heading out for a sunset picnic dinner at one of the city’s viewpoints. Take in the view overlooking the medieval Ribeira district, and gear up for another epic day to come. Breakfast included
Day 6: Porto to Lisbon
Say farewell to Porto, as we climb back aboard our coach this morning on our drive to Lisbon. On our way we’ll drive through Fatima, home to the Sanctuary of Fatima, a Catholic pilgrimage site. Around midday we’ll make a stop in the UNESCO-listed Sintra! We stop here for a couple of hours, giving you time to visit the Pena Palace, or hike up to the Moorish Castle. You’ll be rewarded with stunning views over the Sintra-Cascais National Park. After you’ve stretched your legs, we continue onwards to our destination of Lisbon arriving mid-afternoon. Take some time to check in before we go for a stroll through the Old Town of Lisbon, Bairro Alto, which is very popular with students! Tonight we’ll go for an optional dinner in a traditional Portuguese restaurant to sample the local dishes. Save some energy for later as we’ll explore the nightlife and grab a few drinks in Bairro Alto and the infamous Pink Street. Breakfast included
Day 7: Lisbon
It’s your final full day, so get your comfy shoes on and get exploring! We highly recommend signing up to the optional walking tour of Lisbon’s most picturesque and oldest quarter, Alfama. The tour lasts about 3 hours, and will cover the history of Lisbon’s rise to the title of Europe’s capital of espionage, the haunting traditional music, and the towering walls of Sao Jorge Castle. In the afternoon, head to the area of Belem and visit the original Pasteis de Belem factory for the best pastel de nata in Lisbon! We hope you’ll join us later for the optional dinner at the Time Out Food Market of Lisbon. To celebrate our last night together, we’ll get some drinks at a rooftop bar overlooking Lisbon’s Old Town and reflect on the trip of a lifetime! Breakfast included
Day 8: Lisbon
The tour ends after breakfast. We hope to see you again soon! Breakfast included
This tour connects with the following trips
All of our tours are designed to link to each other. The Iberian Highlights connects to these great trips.