Spain & Portugal Explorer
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Discover a tour that perfectly connects two epic European countries: Spain and Portugal. Take to the streets of cities like Madrid, Barcelona and Seville to feel the rhythmic vibe of the Iberian Route. Discover UNESCO sites in the Old City of Salamanca, Toledo and Segovia. Stroll along cobbled streets of Grenada and Zaragoza. Stop for tastings at tapas bars, seafood tavernas and local port distilleries. Even make your way to Andorra, a small principality that straddles France and Spain. This is your chance to follow the sun and have a taste of the serene European lifestyle!
Why this Trip
- All tour dates are guaranteed to depart.
- Only 10% deposit or minimum $110.00 required and no booking fees.
- Pay the remaining balance off in instalments.
- Services of your Expat Explore tour leader.
- FREE Wi-Fi in hotels.
- No minimum numbers required.
Itinerary PrintView full Itinerary here
Elba Madrid Alcala, 15:00-17:00 hrs
Madrid train station, 13:00 hrs
Madrid hotel, 14:00 hrs
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 your group.
DAY 2: 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 3: 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 4: 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 5: 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 6: 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 7: Valencia - Madrid
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. This evening we'll meet the travellers joining us from the Highlights of Spain & Portugal tour at an included dinner.
DAY 8: 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 9: Ronda - Seville
The journey through Andalusia continues! Spend the morning exploring the city of Granada, or join our optional excursion to the Alhambra Palace (please note: this excursion must be pre-booked). In addition to a rich Moorish and Medieval history, Granada is a fascinating city that is packed with street art, culture and the best restaurants. After a morning of exploring find your way to Ronda, a town located on both sides of the El Tajo gorge. The most iconic site here is the ‘Puente Nuevo’ (New Bridge). Take in the spectacular views from the bridge before spending time at your leisure over lunch. The final stretch of the day takes you to the enchanting city of Seville. Sit down this evening for a traditional tapas dinner followed by a tour accompanied by a local guide. This is the ideal way to take to the streets of Seville to soak up the culture, tastes, sights and sounds of the city.
DAY 10: 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 11: Algarve - Lisbon
Today we travel to Lisbon, Portugal! Along the way we'll visit the Algarve, the stunning southern coastal region of Portugal that features golden beaches and limestone cliffs. We'll make a comfort stop at one of these beautiful beaches so you can top up your tan or take a dip in the ocean. 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 12: 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. Alternatively, join an optional excursion to Sintra, a charming UNESCO World Heritage Site village and the capital of the Romanticism in Portugal, known for its striking monuments. This evening enjoy one of Portugal's cultural highlights; Fado music. Unique to Portugal, it 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 13: 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 walking 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 14: 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 15: 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 the tour ends.
- 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
- Alhambra Palace & Gardens
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 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.
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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.
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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).
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- Why this Trip
- What's Included
- Departure Dates
- Pre-Trip Info
- Q & A