On the Fiestas & Siestas we'll float through two of Europe's finest countries, staying south where the nights never fizzle and the days can surely sizzle. We'll commence in Spain's beachside beauty then leg it north to find Bull Fest fame, before drifting into Portugal's inimitable culture.
We’ll join up & kick off in the sultry Spanish city of Barcelona. From the hip hood of Gracia to the iconic church of Sagrada Família, this city is a utopia of possibilities. We’ll warm up to the spirit of adventure with a welcoming Spanish dinner, then the night hours will be open to us if we’re feeling mischievous.
From the Gothic Quarter to the LaRambla district, we won’t leave a pocket of this sizzling city uncovered. You can choose to take a cruise of the backstreets by bike & sign up for a traditional Flamenco Show over dinner. Top off with churros and sangria for ultimate Spanish bliss.
This morning we wave goodbye to our beachside beauty, and start crossing through the country in the direction of the north coast.
Eager to absorb as much of this fine country as we can, we’ll pit-stop en route to Bilbao in the ancient Roman town of Zarragoza. With UNESCO World Heritage site buildings peppered by the Ebro River, this town will give us so much more than just the pretty Church of the Holy Pillar.
As capital of Spain’s Vizcaya province and home to the architectural masterpiece that is the Guggenheim Museum, Bilbao is the perfect mix of bohemian and hipster. With 2-nights here we’re in no hurry to rush through the sites, meaning we can sip slowly at a bar in the Plaza Nueva this evening.
Today holds no shortage of beauty and culture as we play in the Bay of Biscay in San Sebastian, and explore the legendary town of Pamplona, best known for its San Fermin festival. A fresh lunch of seafood in San Sebastien and maybe some afternoon cocktails in Pamplona will round off this day perfectly.
With a little kicking and screaming we’ll drag ourselves away from all the glory that was Bilbao, only to find something equally wonderful sitting on the horizon…
Though it serves as a convenient half way point between northern Spain and our first map point in Portugal, Salamanca is not just a break-up-the-trip location. An archive of the Spanish Civil War with fascinating architecture and a picturesque river setting, this village cum city is quite the beauty. Walk through the UNESCO World Heritage Site Old City, see the ancient Cathedral Vieja, and bask in the sun of Casco Historico.
Pack your bags and slap on your sunny Portuguese attitude – it’s time to cross the border and find ourselves in the pretty town best known for its port wine.
Cruising into the terracotta washed city of Porto, we’ll immediately feel the love for Portugal (and quite surprised that a few short hours in the coach could lead us into such a vastly different part of Europe). We’ll settle in to Portuguese life with a traditional dinner, likely having a quiet one knowing we have all day tomorrow to explore.
Today we’ll get to know a city experiencing a well-deserved renaissance, coming alive with galleries and coffee shops. But this new energy certainly isn’t replacing Porto’s rich heritage, which can be found in the old wooden tram that rattles along the streets & in the UNESCO stamped alleys of Ribeira. Take it all in and cruise the Duoro River - tomorrow we’re heading on to the capital.
Now fully attuned to the Portuguese ways, we’ll be ready to conquer her capital. Travelling south along the Atlantic we’ll spot windmills, olive groves and pretty houses en route.
Move over Venice, there’s a new wooden row boat town on our radar, and it goes by the name of Aveiro. Boasting gondola esque ‘Moliceiros’ boats painted in rainbow shades (that perfectly compliment the houses), best get the camera on full charge for this stop over.
Mosaic tiled streets, pastelarias & antique stores - there’s a lot to love about Lisbon. We’ll spend our time here exploring the trendy streets of Alfama, sipping cocktails at rooftop bars, riding trams through the cobbled streets, and hunting down the best custard tarts in the city. Ah Lisbon, we’re charmed already…
Hop onto a sightseeing tour and find the secret corners of a city brimming with quirks and charisma. We’ll also take a trip to a mountain of castles & secret gardens known as Sintra, the place some call the soul of the country. By night, why not get involved with our dinner hosted by locals, picking their brains on the best after hours spots…
Out of Lisbon and waving goodbye to Portugal, we’ll head back into our much adored starting point of Spain. Our final destination is a capital of cool; prepare to have your hearts officially stolen.
From rooftop bars to 1920’s architecture, Madrid holds an unassuming charm and multi-layered persona that’s hard to resist. We’ll bunker down here for the rest of our trip, getting acquainted with every nook and cranny.
Today you’ll be guided by an uncovering City Tour, and have the opportunity to venture beyond the city skirts to the the Valley of the Fallen. Later, why not explore the trendy Malasaña district, or catch some reflection rainbows at the Crystal Palace of Buen Retiro Park? Top it all off with a Farewell Española dinner, saving your goodbye tears for the AM.
Our last morning on tour is a license to get a little sad, then patch things up by eating churros for breakfast. We’ll say heartfelt goodbyes before going our separate ways, and quickly putting more travels in the pipeline.
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Trip Name: Fiestas and Siestas
Duration: 12 Days
From Price: $1,914
Supplier Tour ID: 66.141/237214
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