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Jewels of Southwestern Iberia

Spain & Portugal Tour

Overview

From sensual Lisbon all the way down to vibrant Seville, southwestern Iberia is home to some of the most unique and well-conserved towns in the entire peninsula. This tour will take you to a toro bravo ranch to observe the emblematic beast in its natural environment, to the rugged red Algarve cliffs and the tranquil beaches that hug them, to the heart of Portugal by way of transcendental fado music, and all of the castizo gems in between. By the end of your route, you will feel like you truly know the soul of classic Spain and Portugal, having seen it through the eyes of the locals that dedicate their lives to sustaining it.

Itinerary

Day 1 Seville
After being picked up at the Seville airport, you will head to your fabulous hotel for some leisure time to enjoy the glamorous atmosphere. Once you are rested, you’ll be off to a tapas dinner tour with your local host to try some regional delicacies and dive headfirst into one of the most important parts of Sevillano culture.

Day 2 Seville
Spend the day getting to know the oldest and most beautiful corners of Seville. Your expert guide will take you through the Jewish quarter, the stunning cathedral and Giralda, its Moorish minaret, and the Royal Alcazar residence and gardens, an incredible example of Moorish and Andalusian architecture within a natural oasis of orange blossoms and trickling fountains.

Day 3 Seville and Gerena
Today you will enjoy a truly Andaluz experience at a brave bull ranch. Among the olive groves and green hills of the Sevillano countryside, you will learn about the importance of the Toro Bravo in Spanish history while observing the beasts in their natural habitat. After you’ve toured the grounds and watched a colourful tentadero, enjoy a typical aperitif of local olives and cheese, wine and sangria.

Day 4 Jerez de la Frontera and Algarve
Head to Jerez de la Frontera to visit the Royal Andalusian School of Equestrian Art, where your host will be delighted to share the details of Andalusian equestrian tradition, and invite you to a private show. Afterwards, stop by the prestigious Emilio Lustau Winery to learn about the sherry-making process, and tuck into a delicious lunch of traditional tapas paired with different sherries. Finally, cross the border into Portugal and check into your spectacular Algarve hotel.

Day 5 Algarve
Today is a day to relax and enjoy the idyllic beaches of the Algarve. Your neo-Moorish hotel has the Atlantic at its feet, providing access to some of the best beaches in the region. Later, head to the spa for a treatment followed by some time in the Turkish baths, or hit the links on one of the world-famous golf courses in the area.

Day 6 Algarve
It’s time to get out on the water to experience the Algarve’s beauty from a different point of view. Cruise along the Ria Formosa Lagoon on your private boat as you take in the dazzling crimson cliffs and natural grottoes. Stop for an oyster tasting to learn all about the juicy Atlantic bivalves with a local expert before turning back towards your hotel.

Day 7 Evora
Head north to Evora and check into your refurbished 15th-century convent hotel. After you settle in, get to know the 2000-year-old city on a private guided tour, exploring the largest cathedral in Portugal, a bone wrapped chapel, and architectural wonders ranging from Gothic to Neoclassical.

Day 8 Evora, Estremoz, Elvas and Vila Vicosa
Embark on a day trip to three of the Alentejo region’s most charming towns. Start the morning in Estremoz, exploring the pre-historic relics and the intriguing marble quarry established in Roman times. Next, head to Elvas for a private tour of the city’s monuments, like the magnificent aqueduct and huge military bastion. End the afternoon with lunch and a guided tour in Vila Vicosa, where you will visit the Italian Renaissance Style Ducal Palace and the 17th century Our Lady of the Conception Church.

Day 9 Lisbon
Head north to the dazzling capital city of Lisbon, where you will check into your wonderful hotel in the Bairro Alto. Enjoy some leisure time to settle into the boutique accommodations before setting off for a petiscos dinner tour, tasting local treats and learning all about the importance of the custom of sharing small plates in Lisboeta culture.

Day 10 Lisbon
Spend the day getting to know the most charming nooks and crannies Lisbon with your private guide. Visit the Castle of Saint George, the extraordinary Belem, Baixa, Alfama and Chiado neighbourhoods, and many marvellous monuments from the Age of Exploration. After the tour, feel free to explore on your own, tuck into a hidden spot for lunch, or head back to rest at your hotel.

Day 11 Lisbon
It’s time to learn your way around a Portuguese kitchen at a cooking workshop. Get your hands dirty preparing a traditional appetiser and entree, and enjoy the fruits of your labour once you’ve finished. After some leisure time, cap off the day with a traditional dinner and fado performance. The dark, soulful music is representative of the nation’s complex, but beautiful, roots.

Day 12
Depart Lisbon and return to reality after almost two weeks of luxury travel.

Location

The Iberian Peninsula is a mountainous region that's most associated with the countries of Spain and Portugal. Its history under Muslim and Christian rule is reflected in its landmarks.

Highlights

Enjoy a private show at the Royal School of Equestrian Art in Jerez de la Frontera, explore the Jewish quarter of Seville, or indulge in a spa treatment and a visit to the Turkish baths in Algarve. Immerse yourself in the culture of Spain and Portugal, try local delicacies, and maybe even participate in a cooking workshop and learn to prepare them yourself. By the end of your trip, you will know the heart and soul of the Iberian Peninsula and you will have made countless memories that will stay with you long after you have returned home. 

Accommodations

Throughout this tour, you will stay in the finest and most luxurious hotels where you can relax after a long and eventful day exploring the Iberian Peninsula.

Useful Info

Most of the Iberian Peninsula has a Mediterranean climate. The best time to travel in Spain and Portugal is spring and fall because that is when good weather occurs. The months of April, May, June, September, and October are very good for travel. Summer is quite hot, especially in inland cities like Seville.

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