- Discover Lisbon's significant monuments and hike among Sintra's forest palaces
- Learn about Azorean cuisine and go wine tasting on São Miguel Island
- Trek along Sete Ciudades, then soothe tired muscles in the Furnas hot springs
- Explore Seville as you experience authentic flamenco dancing and tapas bars
- See Barcelona's iconic spots before going wine tasting in the Penedès Region
|Day 1||Arrive in Lisbon (Portugal), Lisbon with a Local Tour||Lisbon|
|Day 2||Day Trip to Sintra & Guided Heritage Hike||Lisbon|
|Day 3||Fly to São Miguel Island, Discover São Miguel's Beaches||São Miguel Island|
|Day 4||Free Day on São Miguel, Evening Azorean Cuisine & Wine Experience||São Miguel Island|
|Day 5||Sete Ciudades Jeep Adventure||São Miguel Island|
|Day 6||Explore the Furnas Valley, Evening Hot Springs||São Miguel Island|
|Day 7||Fly to Lisbon, Transfer to Seville (Spain)||Seville|
|Day 8||Guided Tour of Seville, Evening Flamenco Experience||Seville|
|Day 9||Train to Málaga, Sunset Catamaran Cruise||Málaga|
|Day 10||Explore Málaga & its Beaches||Málaga|
|Day 11||Fly to Barcelona, Tapas Culinary Experience||Barcelona|
|Day 12||Private Tour of Barcelona & La Sagrada Família, Free Afternoon||Barcelona|
|Day 13||Day Trip to Montserrat & Penedès Region Wine Tasting||Barcelona|
|Day 14||Depart Barcelona|
Day 1: Arrive in Lisbon (Portugal), Lisbon with a Local Tour
Welcome to Portugal! Upon arrival at Lisbon airport, your driver will be waiting to transfer you to your hotel in the city center. Once settled in, meet your local guide, who will lead you through the highlights of Portugal's historic capital.
During the tour, you'll stop at the Elevador de Santa Justa, a thin iron elevator built in 1902, which you can ride to the top of a 150-foot-tall (45 m) tower showcasing city views and the sea beyond. Pass through the grand archway, Arco Monumental da Rua Augusta, which leads into Praça do Comércio (Commerical Square), and discover the colorful Chiado district and bohemian Bairro Alto for hilltop views over the city.
Your guide will end the tour with some restaurant recommendations, and then you can explore independently. Stop for a coffee and pastel de nata, Portugal's signature egg-tart treat, and perhaps head out to the Belém neighborhood to visit UNESCO-listed Torre de Belém and Mosteiro dos Jerónimos, an imposing monastery built in 1501 in a blend of Gothic and Renaissance style.
Day 2: Day Trip to Sintra & Guided Heritage Hike
UNESCO World Heritage-listed Sintra and its mystical hills, dotted with fairy-tale palaces and extravagant villas, have enchanted visitors for centuries. This place inspired poets and writers, such as Lord Byron, and now it's your turn to fall in love.
More than a day trip, today you'll hike through amazing scenery up to the incredible Moorish Castle, which dates back to the eighth century, and admire the marvelous Palácio da Pena at the top of the mountain, a favorite of the region. This 6-mile (10 km) hike will venture through the dense forest and the exotic natural environment, discovering the best trails and places in this fascinating region. After, your guide to drop you back in Lisbon.
Day 3: Fly to São Miguel Island, Discover São Miguel's Beaches
Bid farewell to the mainland today as a driver takes you to the airport for your flight to São Miguel, the largest island in the Azores. Located roughly 1,000 miles (1,609 km) off Portugal's Atlantic coast, this archipelago of nine islands is known for its breathtaking natural beauty and distinctive landscapes of dormant volcanoes, lush greenery, and turquoise crater lakes. Upon arrival, pick up your rental car at the airport and head to your hotel.
Once you're settled in, spend the rest of the day discovering some of the island's best praias (beaches). At Praia de Santa Bárbara you'll find over half a mile of soft sand and a great lunch spot at the nearby Tuka Tulá Bar, while Praia de Água D'Alto boasts a wide stretch of volcanic sand, clear water, and dramatic cliffs—a combination that makes it one of the most popular beaches on the island.
If you're looking to swim, the sheltered Vila Franca do Campo Islet is a bather's paradise as well as a great snorkeling spot. In contrast, the oceans around Praia do Fogo remain naturally warmer due to nearby hot springs. Praia dos Moinhos can't be beaten for quiet, while Praia dos Mosteiros—with its dark volcanic sand and towering rocks emerging from the sea—remains one of the best photo-ops on the island.
Day 4: Free Day on São Miguel, Evening Azorean Cuisine & Wine Experience
Today, you'll have a free day to enjoy São Miguel and its capital of Ponte Delgada however you'd like! Despite being the most populous metropolis in the Azores archipelago, this is hardly a typical European city; Ponta Delgada retains a quiet, small-town charm with quaint cobbled streets, historic churches, pedestrian squares, and serene parks. You'll also find a lengthy seaside promenade and some great restaurants and bars. If you get hungry along the way, stop for a bite and sink your teeth into the island's famous pineapples.
This evening you'll discover some of the best food and wine in the Azores with a guided walk through Ponta Delgada's trendiest eateries and neighborhood bars. Wind through the vibrant downtown as you sample a progressive menu of fruit, honey, bread, pastries, seafood, artisanal meats, and homemade desserts—all washed down with locally-produced wines. Along this flavorful culinary experience, you'll also visit some of the main city sights, discover off-the-beaten-path highlights, and pick up some great local recommendations for your time in the Azores.
Day 5: Sete Ciudades Jeep Adventure
Escape the usual tourist routes and add adventure to your Azores holiday with an off-road excursion to Sete Cidades. Located on the west side of São Miguel Island, this remarkable area of natural beauty is considered one of the Seven Wonders of Portugal. Lush hillsides and volcanic craters rise between numerous tranquil lakes, each with its distinctive character. Along today's 4WD trip, you'll stop at several viewpoints, such as Carvão and Vista da Princesa, where you can contemplate this breathtaking landscape accessible only by foot or with a 4WD vehicle.
Stop for a hike along the iconic Cumeeiras Trail, which follows the volcano's rim and offers stunning views from both sides. Continue to the charming local church and enjoy a cup of tea or coffee in the village located inside the crater. On the way back to Ponta Delgada, a trail around the lake's edge passes through a small peninsula shrouded in trees and flowers—giving you one last chance to capture the wilderness of this pristine landscape with your camera.
Day 6: Explore the Furnas Valley, Evening Hot Springs
Spend today visiting the Furnas Valley, a volcanic caldera that has lain dormant since 1630. Here at São Miguel's best geothermal spots, you'll find a series of bubbling mud pots and steaming fumaroles amid the lush green landscapes. Follow the trail along the peaceful lakeshore, passing the Capela da Nossa Senhora Das Vitórias, a neo-Gothic church built in the late 19th century. Continue through the forest to reach Salto do Rosal Waterfall at the end of the route. You can also take a dip in the thermal pools, where mineral-rich water remains between 95°F (35°C) and 104°F (40°C).
Chat with a local specialist who can help organize your trip.
Day 7: Fly to Lisbon, Transfer to Seville (Spain)Savor your last few hours on the beach today before driving to the airport, dropping off your rental car, and catching a flight back to Lisbon. Upon landing at the airport, a driver will be waiting to take you on the four-hour drive east into Spain to reach Seville. This capital of Spain's southern Andalusia region is known for its Moorish history and mind-blowing tapas scene, with a rich culture and history that's evident as soon as you arrive. Your driver will drop you at your hotel in the city center, and you'll have the remainder of the day to rest up for tomorrow's walking tour.
Day 8: Guided Tour of Seville, Evening Flamenco Experience
Get acquainted with Seville on a guided walking tour and learn about its 2,000-year history. With a local guide, you'll admire the Seville Cathedral, a 15th-century Roman-Catholic church. It's a UNESCO World Heritage Site, the largest Gothic church in the world, and an awe-inspiring testament to pious grandiosity. You'll also see La Giralda, the cathedral's looming bell tower. There's a noticeable stylistic difference between the two structures, as this 12th-century pillar was initially built as a minaret for the Great Mosque back when the Moors ruled Andalusia.
Walk to the orange tree-filled Santa Cruz neighborhood, known as the Jewish Quarter, with its narrow streets and quaint squares. It's a colorful and well-preserved part of the historic center, with many cafés and tapas bars—the perfect excuse to take a break and enjoy some small plates and local wine. Conclude your walk at the banks of the Guadalquivir River. You'll also visit the Royal Alcázar, a majestic UNESCO-listed monument with palaces and gardens representing a harmonious synthesis between Christian and Muslim cultures.This evening, you'll enjoy a flamenco show in the heart of the region where it originated, Andalusia. This musical style dates back to the ninth century, when the music and dances of immigrants in Andalusia mixed with the cultures of local Moors and Jews. Over the centuries, the intermingling of these influences has produced the style of flamenco that has come to define Spanish music today. Your show will take place in one of the city's most famous flamenco tablaos, venues specifically designed to host flamenco performances and where the quality of the flamenco is as high and authentic as possible.
Day 9: Train to Málaga, Sunset Catamaran Cruise
This morning, head to Seville's train station on your own to catch a three-hour train to the coastal city of Málaga. Upon arrival, a private car will pick you up and take you to your hotel. You'll then have the rest of the day to enjoy this sun-kissed metropolis—which happens to be the birthplace of Pablo Picasso.
Day 10: Explore Málaga & its Beaches
Today is free for you to get to know Málaga at your own pace. If the weather's right, you can head to the city center and laze on the golden beach of La Malagueta. To get away from the crowds, head about an hour east of the city to the fishing village of Nerja. Known for its coastal cliffs and beautiful beaches, the town is just as famous for the Caves of Nerja, a series of caverns that stretch 5 miles (3 km). There's even a cave theater that holds regular concerts.
Other sights include the remodeled Port of Málaga (perfect for a waterfront stroll) and the 16th-century Málaga Cathedral, which features 131-foot ceilings, 15 chapels, and church organs with more than 4,000 pipes. As for culture, you can visit a number of museums, like the Pompidou Centre, which displays works by Frida Kahlo and Francis Bacon, among others. Of course, the most famous is the Picasso Museum, which houses 200 works by the master of cubism and Málaga's favorite son.
After working up an appetite, indulge in the city's strong tapas culture and sit down to a meal of small plates—favorite local haunts include La Deriva, La Farola de Orellana, Lo Güeno Mesón, Matahambre, and Mesón Ibérico.
Day 11: Fly to Barcelona, Tapas Culinary Experience
Enjoy a final morning in Málaga, then say your goodbyes as you catch a 1.5-hour flight to Barcelona. Upon arrival, a driver will be waiting to take you to your hotel in the city center. Get settled in and freshened up, then get ready to start exploring the Catalonian capital with a three-hour authentic tapas culinary experience. This five-stop gastronomic adventure combines delicious local foods with a walking tour through some of the city's most famous and historic neighborhoods.
See how people eat, live, and enjoy a picoteo in Barcelona. The origins of the word picoteo lie in the verb picar, which means eating small bites from several shared plates, also known as tapeo or tapas. It's a wonderfully fun and informative experience to enjoy in the company of your local tour guide, who will share their tips, insider knowledge, and passion for the city. They'll show you the city they love, away from the overcrowded tourist trails. Where the locals go, you'll go!
Day 12: Private Tour of Barcelona & La Sagrada Família, Free Afternoon
There's plenty of sightseeing in store today, starting with a private guided walking tour of Barcelona. During this half-day excursion, you'll see some of the city's most emblematic spots and hidden corners, including the iconic La Sagrada Família, the spectacular Roman Catholic church and UNESCO World Heritage Site designed by Catalan architect Antoni Gaudí. Afterward, your guide will take you to a recommended tapas bar or restaurant before parting ways leaving you to enjoy the afternoon exploring Barcelona at your own pace.
If you feel like an afternoon of sun and surf, head to Barceloneta Beach, the main stretch of sand in the city. Barceloneta has a promenade with many beach bars, cafés, discos, and restaurants. It's also great for swimming and perfect for sunbathing. If people-watching is your thing, you'll love the endless parade of beautiful people frolicking in the surf with the Mediterranean Sea as a backdrop.
Day 13: Day Trip to Montserrat & Penedès Region Wine Tasting
Join your guide this morning for a day trip to the ancient heart of Catalonia in Montserrat, located about one hour by car from Barcelona. Tour the Santa Maria de Montserrat Benedictine Monastery, home to the famous Black Virgin, a sculpture many believe was carved in Jerusalem in the early days of Christianity (although it is more likely a 12th-century Romanesque carving). Walk around the fascinating Museum of Montserrat, a treasure trove of archaeology, modern painting and sculpture, and artworks related to the Bible.
Another highlight of visiting Montserrat is hearing one of Europe's oldest boys' choirs, La Escolania de Montserrat. They usually sing at 1 pm on weekdays and noon on Sundays. Then explore a network of scenic trails leading to small chapels and hermitages near town. After lunch, visit the Penedès wine-growing region to taste cava, the famous local sparkling wine, and a variety of other wines produced here. After your winery visit, you'll return to Barcelona.
Day 14: Depart Barcelona
It's time to bid farewell to the Iberian Peninsula! When the time comes, a driver will be waiting to take you to the airport to catch a flight to your final destination. Safe travels!