Spain & Portugal Explorer
If you adore destinations with incredible cuisine, intriguing history and vibrant, energetic citizens, Spain and Portugal need to go on the top of your travel bucket list straight away!
Our tour starts in the glorious city of Madrid, and then follows a lingering route among quaint tapas bars and waterside seafood tavernas, spellbinding Moorish buildings and the inimitable Latin ambience of Spain and Portugal's medieval strongholds. We discover UNESCO World Heritage sites in the Old City of Salamanca, Toledo and Segovia; stop over for tastings at local wineries and port distilleries; and take to the trails along the cobbled streets of Grenada, Zaragoza and Seville.
We also make our way to Andorra, a small principality in the heart of the Pyrenees mountains with a scant population of 85 000 and a fascinating culture that straddles France and Spain. Expat Explore guests enjoy free days in Barcelona, Seville and Lisbon, so they may throw caution to the wind, jump in with both feet and experience these cities from their own perspective.
This tour truly is a history and culture-packed adventure through the highlights of Spain and Portugal!
Like all Expat Explore bus tours, this itinerary is a guaranteed departure, and you will be accompanied for the duration by an experienced and passionate tour leader. Our tour buses are modern, comfortable and air-conditioned, and at each hotel we include free wi-fi in your tour package so you can stay connected and share all your incredible photos and memories with your friends and family while on tour!
Why this Trip
- All tour dates are guaranteed to depart.
- No minimum numbers required.
- FREE Wi-Fi in hotels.
- Services of your Expat Explore tour leader.
- Only 10% deposit or minimum $110.00 required and no booking fees.
Itinerary PrintView full Itinerary here
DAY 1: Arrive in Madrid
Welcome to the start of your 15 day tour of Spain and Portugal! On arrival in Madrid, make your way to the hotel to meet up with your tour leader and the other travellers in the tour group. Depending on your arrival time, you may have time to explore Madrid, or alternatively relax in the comforts of the hotel. This evening, you will get your first taste of Spain with dinner included, giving you a great opportunity to meet the other travellers in the group.
DAY 2: Toledo - Granada
This morning, we leave Madrid and head to the UNESCO World Heritage town of Toledo. You are sure to fall in love with this charming medieval town, with its Gothic architecture and its impressive Cathedral. The tour continues south to the Moorish city of Granada. This afternoon, your tour leader will take you on an orientation tour to give you a great insight into this beautiful region of Spain.
DAY 3: Ronda - Seville
Sit back and relax, as we take you on a journey through Andalusia. This area is famous for Flamenco, tapas, matadors and bullfighting. Our first stop is Ronda, which is famous for its ‘Puente Nuevo’ (New Bridge) that divides the city and offers dramatic views of the surrounding countryside. Once you have explored Ronda, we head to Seville for a two night stay in a comfortable hotel. You will have time to freshen up before heading out to see the old town and many other sights on an included walking tour of the city. Seville is known as the home of tapas, and this evening we will enjoy an included dinner of delicious tapas dishes.
DAY 4: Seville - Free day
Legend has it that Seville was founded by Hercules, and it has certainly had a colourful history it was named Hispalis by the Romans and Isbiliya by the Moors. With a full free day, you will have all the time in the world to explore this beautiful and pleasingly compact city. Seville is famous for its flamenco, tapas bars and orange bars. The cobbled streets of the old town make for a pleasing morning stroll, while in the afternoon you may wish to visit the Metropol Parasol for amazing views, the palaces of Alcázar Casa de Pilatos or the Museum of Flamenco.
DAY 5: Algarve - Lisbon
Today we travel to Lisbon, Portugal! Watch the countryside glide past from the comfort of the Expat Explore coach. Upon arrival in Lisbon we take you on an orientation tour of the capital, from the imposing Sao Jorge Castle to the pastel colours of the old town, Lisbon has it all.
DAY 6: Lisbon - Free day
Today is your free day to explore Lisbon on your own. See Lisbon's landmarks, including the Monument to the Discoveries and the Belém Tower or discover the hill top district of Bairro Alto, with dozens of restaurants and bars lining the narrow streets and lots to see and do. Fado music is unique to Portugal, and is arguably the oldest urban folk music in the world - you are sure to discover bars in this area playing this type of music.
DAY 7: Obidos - Porto
On our way to Porto this morning we’ll stop off in Obidos, a classic fortified town with narrow cobbled streets, picturesque houses and an imposing hilltop castle. We continue our tour of Portugal and enter into Porto - the second largest city and one of the oldest European centres. Your tour leader will take you on a driving tour of Porto, where you will see Ponte de'Luis - a stunning bridge which crosses the River Douro, the Clerigos Tower and many other famous landmarks. One of Portugal’s famous exports is port wine, which is named after Porto, and you will have the opportunity to taste it this afternoon at the included Port tasting.
DAY 8: Guarda - Salamanca
It is time to depart Portugal and travel back to Spain, as our journey today takes us through the countryside. This morning we make one more stop in Portugal before we arrive back in Spain. Guarda was founded in the 12th Century by King Sancho I, and much of the fortified towers and defensive walls he built survive to this day. Once we arrive into Salamanca, you will have time to freshen up at the hotel and enjoy some free time. We recommend you visit the old town and go up the Cathedral Bell Tower, which offers amazing panoramic views of the town and its surroundings. To cap off the evening we'll enjoy an included farewell dinner, offering three courses of delicious food from around the province of Salamanca.
DAY 9: Avila - Madrid
This morning we depart Salamanca and travel to Avila, where we take a comfort stop. Avila is notable for its many Romanesque and Gothic churches, and the famous and incredibly well preserved medieval walls. We then continue onto the capital Madrid, where you'll have some free time before we meet up again for dinner this evening.
DAY 10: Segovia - San Sebastian
This morning we’ll depart Madrid and make our way to San Sebastian on Spain’s northern coast. Along the way we’ll enjoy a comfort stop in Segovia, a picturesque UNESCO World Heritage Site city which offers the highest concentration of Romanesque churches in Europe, as well as an incredibly well-preserved Roman aqueduct that runs into the heart of the city. Later this afternoon we’ll arrive in San Sebastian, a charming city with a beautiful beach and vibrant nightlife. A foodie’s paradise, San Sebastian is known for its Basque gastronomy, so this evening is best spent exploring the beachfront bars and indulging in pintxo, northern Spain's version of tapas!
DAY 11: Pamplona - Zaragoza
Our first stop today is Pamplona, the historic city made famous by “the running of the bulls” during the San Fermin festival. Packed with history, you’ll have some free time to explore the beautiful medieval city centre and see the city walls and citadel. We’ll then head to Zaragoza, enjoying a wine tasting along the way, before taking a walking tour of the city. The city has experienced a long and varied history, with Roman, Moorish, Jewish and Christian communities leaving their marks over the centuries, as seen in the Basílica del Pilar cathedral, Aljafería Islamic palace and the Roman theatre.
DAY 12: Andorra - Barcelona
On our way to Barcelona we’ll take a comfort stop in Andorra, a tiny independent principality with a population of just 85,000, located between France and Spain in the Pyrenees mountains. We’ll enjoy some free time to explore Andorra la Vella, the highest capital city in Europe and a popular ski resort. Later this afternoon we’ll arrive in the cosmopolitan capital of the Catalonia region, Barcelona. Your tour leader will acquaint you with the city’s vibrant energy with a driving tour, so keep your eyes open for the famous Sagrada Familia cathedral, and some of the spectacular examples of Antoni Gaudi’s eclectic art and architecture.
DAY 13: Barcelona - Free day
Today is all yours to do with as you please! The best views of the city can be had from Park Guell, and you can take in the panoramic splendour and skyline of Barcelona. The park itself offers a very interesting design which is a product of Anton Gaudi’s challenging architectural visualisations. Barcelona is home to many of Gaudi’s building designs and you could spend the whole day simply locating each one. One of his most famous works is that of the unfinished Sagrada Familia - an interpretation of a Gothic cathedral which is unlike any building you will have ever seen. You can’t miss it from Park Guell, or most other vantage points in the city. Harbour tours, La Ramblas, the ‘Old Town’, museums, art galleries and some of Europe’s best shopping - there is much to do in this incredible city. If you wish to participate in our optional excursion, we can organise tickets for you to see a traditional Flamenco show! The dance of passion is performed with style, flair and energy, and is a real experience not to be missed.
DAY 14: Peniscola - Valencia
Leaving Barcelona behind we’ll make our way south down the coast towards Valencia, stopping off along the way in Peniscola. With a historic old town, beautiful promenade and sandy beach overlooked by an imposing castle built by the Knights Templar, there are few more picturesque places in Europe to enjoy a lunch stop. Once we’ve arrived in Valencia we’ll enjoy an orientation tour of this thriving port city, which retains plenty of historic charm despite the decades of development that have given it a distinct space-age feel. As our last night on tour, we’ll round off the day with a farewell paella dinner this evening.
DAY 15: Valencia - Madrid
Enjoy some free time this morning to explore Valencia - why not visit the cathedral or stroll through the Turia River Bed Gardens? Our journey then continues through the historic La Mancha region, made famous by the legend of Don Quixote. Later, we’ll explore Castillo de Belmonte, with entrance to this medieval castle included in your tour package. The interiors are dominated by spectacular stucco works in the Gothic and Moorish styles, and a beautiful Neo-Gothic courtyard. Later this afternoon we’ll arrive back in Madrid for the end of the tour.
- 14 nights' accommodation in twin rooms with private en-suite facilities. Single travellers have the option to pay a single supplement to ensure a private room.
- Services of your Expat tour leader, who will be on hand with advice and tips to ensure that you get the most from your trip. You can also book any of the optional excursions available during your tour with your tour leader – please see the 'Essential Information' tab for more details.
- 14 breakfasts, 7 dinners
- All taxes and fees
- Any public transport used as part of the tour (excludes free days)
- Modern air conditioned coach with reclining seats, TV for showing DVDs, and toilet.
- 24 Experiences (including guided walking tours, orientation walks, driving tours of cities plus other exciting experiences)
- Free Expat Explore tour souvenir – a memorable gift of your once in a lifetime trip.
Optional ExcursionsOptional excursions are payable in cash currency to your tour leader whilst on tour.
- Flamenco show & dinner
- Sintra Half-Day Trip
- Algarve Beach Lunch
- Flamenco Dinner Show
- Douro River Cruise
- Catalan tapas dinner
- Seville electric bike tour
Save - without compromising on quality - by booking directly with the leading tour operator
How we make awesome trips affordable
- No intermediary: You book directly from the tour operator so you don't have to pay any travel agent.
- As a Europe leading bus tour operator we have 11 years of experience finding the best hotels for your budget and continuously optimizing our selection based on customer feedback.
- We book our hotels well in advance so we get great value rates that we can pass on to you!
- Thanks to the great number of people who travel with us each year, we can negotiate great deals that would be quite impossible for you to find on your own.
Detailed Info Pack
- Tour start & end points
- Pre-departure information
- Pre-tour accommodation
For more information on, starting points & times, emergency contact details, budgeting for your tour & much more you can download our information pack here.
Helpful Pre-Trip Info
On tour costs
Please refer to the tour itinerary for full details of what activities are included, which meals are included and what is excluded. We would recommend budgeting €25-€40 per day (this excludes optional excursions).
Please note, all rooms are twin bed as standard.
- Partners: When you book for more than one person, we will by default group you together in a room (unless you specifically request us not to). If you are unequal numbers (3, 5, 7 etc.) and we are unable to secure a triple room then the the remaining traveler will be roomed with another passenger of the same gender.
- Single Travelers: If you are travelling alone there is no compulsory charge - you will share a twin room with another passenger of the same gender. There is an optional single supplement/private room upgrade available for single travellers who wish to have a private room. This can be added at the time of booking or by contacting our customer services team. Please note that the room provided may be a single room with a single bed.
- Triple Room requests: We can generally provide a triple room on request; however it is not guaranteed to be available in every destination. Please contact our customer services team to request a triple room. Please note that in some hotels, the triple may be a double and a single bed, or the third bed may be a pull-out or bunk-bed. Where we cannot provide a triple room the rooming will consist of one twin room and the third passenger sharing with another single traveller of the same gender.
In some destinations you will have a full free day, where you can choose to join our optional excursions or explore on your own.
Your tour starts and finishes in Madrid. Please have a look at our Essential Tour Information page for detailed information.
This should be valid for at least six months after you have returned home from your trip. You should also have several blank pages as Visas and entry/exit stamps can take up a whole page.
Have a question?
Are children allowed?
Are international flights included in the tour price?
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Can you cater for my dietary requirements?
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Can you tell me the name of the hotels I will be staying in?
Do I get allocated a seat on the coach?
If you have any medical conditions that may be affected by where you sit, please discuss them with your Tour Leader, but note that the seat rotation policy will most likely mean that your request may not be honoured.
Do I need a visa to travel on this tour?
Do I need to change money before the tour?
Do you have storage/left luggage facilities?
How can I get the documents I need to apply for my visa?
How do I book/pay?
How many other people will be on my tour?
How much luggage can I bring?
How much spending money do I need for my holiday?
How much time will be spent on the coach?
How much walking is involved in your tours?
Is Europe a safe place to travel to?
Is my deposit refundable?
Is travel insurance compulsory?
For a relatively small price, travel insurance provides you with the peace of mind so that you can enjoy your tour without any worries. To receive a quote from one of our preferred travel insurance partners, please visit WorldNomads (for all nationalities) or Hollard (for South Africans).