Cross the Iberian Peninsula by car, plane, and train to discover six vibrant cities and plenty of natural beauty. Begin in Portugal with a tour of Porto, breaking away for day trips to the surrounding towns and villages, then continue to Lisbon, where a fado performance and the palaces of Sintra await. Fly to Spain for a tapas and flamenco night in Seville, explore the UNESCO-listed Alhambra in Granada, and enjoy one night in Valencia before ending in Barcelona to discover Gaudí's architectural masterpieces.


  • Discover the "Venice of Portugal" as you cruise Avéiro's canals in a "moliceiro" boat
  • Experience the drama and artistry of a fado show in Lisbon
  • Unwind in a traditional Nasrid-era hammam spa in Granada
  • Drive yourself to Valencia to enjoy a 10-course tapas tasting
  • Learn how to cook authentic Catalan dishes in Barcelona

Brief Itinerary

Day Highlights Overnight
Day 1 Arrive in Porto (Portugal), Guided City Tour Porto
Day 2 Day Trip to Avéiro & Coimbra Porto
Day 3 Day Trip to Guimarães & Braga Porto
Day 4 Transfer to Lisbon via Nazaré & Óbidos, Fado Performance & Dinner Lisbon
Day 5 Guided City Tour of Lisbon Lisbon
Day 6 Day Trip to Sintra, Cabo da Roca, Cascais & Estoril Lisbon
Day 7 Fly to Seville (Spain), Walking Tour, Tapas & Flamenco Night Seville
Day 8 Day Trip to Córdoba via Carmona Seville
Day 9 Day Trip to Zahara de la Sierra, Grazalema & Ronda Seville
Day 10 Transfer to Granada, Guided Tour of Sacromonte & Albaicín Granada
Day 11 Guided Tour of the Alhambra, Relax in a Hammam Granada
Day 12 Drive to Valencia, Visit the City of Arts & Sciences  Valencia
Day 13 Train to Barcelona, Explore the Catalonian Capital on Your Own Barcelona
Day 14 Full-Day Tour of Barcelona, Gaudí's Masterpieces & Roman Temple  Barcelona
Day 15 Discover Blanes & Tossa de Mar on the Costa Brava Barcelona
Day 16 Boquería Market & Cooking Class, Depart Barcelona  

Detailed Itinerary

Day 1: Arrive in Porto (Portugal), Guided City Tour

Stroll along Porto's colorful waterfront promenade to see the iconic Dom Luís I Bridge

Welcome to the second-largest city in Portugal, Porto! Meet your driver at the airport for a hotel transfer, refresh, and then venture out on a private city tour tailored to your interests. You may start in the UNESCO-listed Ribeira district, where you'll follow medieval alleyways down to the Douro River for a stroll along the bustling waterfront promenade. Look out at the iconic Dom Luís I Bridge, a double-deck iron structure that connects the Ribeira district to Vila Nova de Gaia, known for its cellars offering wine tastings on the other side of the river.

Enjoy panoramic views of the city and the tranquil river from the top of the bridge before continuing to Livraria Lello, a neo-Gothic bookstore often cited as one of the most beautiful in the world. Admire the ornate woodwork, spiral staircase, and rows of books spanning every genre. Then, head to nearby Lello's Art Nouveau Café for a delicious cup of Portuguese coffee paired with a pastel de nata, a custard tart with a flaky pastry crust. Hopefully, you're not too full, as your final stop may be the Mercado do Bolhão to sample local products like Portuguese olives, chorizo, or local wine. 

Day 2: Day Trip to Avéiro & Coimbra

Jump aboard a moliceiro and cruise down Avéiro's tranquil canals

Leave Porto behind for the day and meet your guide for a 45-minute drive to Avéiro, often called the "Venice of Portugal" because of its intricate canal network filled with moliceiros—brightly painted fishing boats now used to transport people around the city. When you arrive, hop in a moliceiro and float down the canals lined with Art Nouveau architecture. Glide under charming bridges covered with flowers and look out for azulejos, traditional Portuguese ceramic tiles, adorning the buildings.

Disembark and follow your guide to Praça do Peixe, a bustling square full of markets and cafés, to try ovos moles, a dessert of sweet egg yolks enclosed in a thin wafer. After exploring Avéiro, continue one hour to Coimbra, the former capital of Portugal, on the Mondego River. Start your tour at the University of Coimbra, one of the oldest universities in the world, to visit the Joanina Library, a Baroque masterpiece with over 300,000 books protected by its resident bats.

Climb one of the library's towers for wide-ranging views of the cityscape and the meandering river before continuing to the nearby Palacio de las Escuelas, a historic square in the center of the university, to stroll along the cobblestone paths framed with elegant archways and intricate statues. Be sure to visit the Sala dos Capelos, a regal hall used for academic ceremonies, where you'll admire the carved wooden ceiling and historic portraits lining the walls. When you're done exploring the university, return to your hotel in Porto, which is 1.5 hours away.

Day 3: Day Trip to Guimarães & Braga

Climb the Baroque staircase to the Sanctuary of Bom Jesus do Monte

Today, you'll set off on another guided day trip, this time to Guimarães, known as the "Birthplace of Portugal" because of the crucial role the city played in the 12th century during the reign of Alfonso Henriques, recognized as the country's first king. After the 50-minute transfer, begin your journey at Guimarães Castle, where you'll explore the ancient gates, stone walls, and well-preserved towers, all built in the 10th century. Continue to the historic center to wander along cobblestone streets lined with picturesque squares and medieval architecture. 

In the afternoon, transfer 30 minutes to Braga, often called the "Rome of Portugal," as it's full of medieval churches and Romanesque architecture. Start at the Cathédrale de Braga, an imposing 11th-century cathedral that blends Romanesque, Gothic, and Baroque architecture. Then, stroll to the UNESCO-listed Sanctuary of Bom Jesus do Monte for sweeping views of the cityscape below. End the tour at the Sanctuary of Our Lady of Sameiro perched atop Mount Sameiro. Admire the ornate altars, stained glass windows, and religious artifacts inside, then transfer 45 minutes back to Porto.

Day 4: Transfer to Lisbon via Nazaré & Óbidos, Fado Performance & Dinner

Explore the medieval town of Óbidos, surrounded by ancient walls

Say goodbye to Porto this morning as you transfer three hours south to Portugal's capital, Lisbon. Break up the drive at the fishing village of Nazaré, nestled along Portugal's Costa de Prata (Silver Coast). Walk along Praia da Nazaré, a golden-sand beach renowned for its impressive waves, then sit down for lunch at one of the waterfront restaurants to sample fresh seafood dishes, like arroz de polvo, rice with octopus and squid. Your next stop is Óbidos, a medieval town enclosed within ancient walls. Stroll through the historic center to discover the artisan shops, cozy cafés, and traditional taverns.

Before leaving, look up at the Castle of Óbidos sitting atop the town's highest point. When you arrive in Lisbon, get settled at your hotel, then venture out to the Bairro Alto neighborhood for dinner and a traditional fado performance. Start with authentic Portuguese dishes like bacalhau à brás, salted cod served with potatoes, onions, and eggs, or caldo verde, a green soup made with kale, potatoes, and chorizo. Then, after your meal, be immersed in the haunting melodies of the fadista (singer) as the fado musicians serenade you with melancholic music on traditional Portuguese guitars.

Day 5: Guided City Tour of Lisbon

Follow your private guide to some of Lisbon's most iconic landmarks, like the Torre de Belém

Spend the day exploring Portugal's capital city on a private tour tailored to your interests. You may start in Alfama, the city's oldest district, to explore the 12th-century São Jorge Castle perched atop one of the highest hills in the city. Discover the well-preserved courtyards and ancient battlements, then take in the panoramic view of the city and winding Tagus River. Descend into Baixa, the city's downtown core, to marvel at the neoclassical architecture and bustling squares, specifically the grand Praça do Comércio, a waterfront square that opens up to the river. 

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Follow the water to Belém, where the UNESCO-listed Torre de Belém and Discoveries Monument await. Stop at the iconic Pastéis de Belém, a bakery known for selling the best pastel de nata, then end the tour at another UNESCO World Heritage Site, Mosteiro dos Jerónimos, a 16th-century monastery built to commemorate Vasco da Gama's successful world-first voyage to India. Admire the exterior of the building, featuring intricate stone carvings that depict maritime motifs, botanical elements, and religious symbolism, then discover the interior at your own pace.

Day 6: Day Trip to Sintra, Cabo da Roca, Cascais & Estoril

Enjoy panoramic views of the National Palace of Pena from the Castelo dos Mouros

Head 30 minutes into the countryside with your guide this morning to the picturesque town of Sintra, renowned for its UNESCO-listed palaces and whimsical castles. Start your tour at the town's centerpiece, the colorful National Palace of Pena, perched atop the Sintra Mountains. Admire the blend of Manueline, Gothic, and Moorish architecture surrounded by manicured gardens, then discover the opulent rooms filled with ornate furnishings, intricate tilework, and impressive art. Continue downhill to the Castelo dos Mouros, a medieval castle that was a stronghold during Islamic rule.

Walk along the stone walls to the different watchtowers and gates until you reach the castle's highest point, where you'll enjoy spectacular views of the palace you just left and the surrounding greenery. When you've worked up an appetite, head to the Old Town to try some pastries the town is known for, like travesseiros (puff pastry pillows filled with sweet almond and egg cream). Once you've had your fill, drive along some of the area's pristine beaches and stop at Cabo da Roca, the westernmost point of continental Europe, to enjoy views of the Atlantic Ocean.

Jump back in the car for a scenic drive along the coast to Cascais, a fishing village turned resort town. Stroll along the waterfront promenade lined with shops, cafés, and art galleries, then take a break on one of the nearby beaches. Your final stop before returning to Lisbon is Estoril, home to Estoril Casino, one of the largest casinos in Europe. While there, enjoy the tranquil gardens of Parque do Estoril. Follow the shaded pathways through the park to experience the lush vegetation, charming bridges, and art installations before transferring 30 minutes back to Lisbon. 

Day 7: Fly to Seville (Spain), Walking Tour, Tapas & Flamenco Night

Sample an array of delicious tapas at one of three taverns in Seville

Trade one capital city for another this morning as you head to the airport for a one-hour flight to Seville in Spain. After settling into your hotel, venture out on a two-hour off-the-beaten-track walking tour to local hotspots like Alameda de Hércules, a lively square lined with outdoor cafés, street art, and bars. Wander through the Macarena district to discover alternative boutiques offering one-of-a-kind fashion pieces made by local designers. Immerse yourself in the city's literary atmosphere at quirky bookstores, then stroll through lesser-known alleys and courtyards to uncover hidden art galleries.

In the evening, set off on another walking tour through Santacruz or Triana to experience flamencoSpain's passionate art form of song, dance, and instrumental music. Watch the dancers, adorned in vibrant costumes, take the stage and channel profound emotions of joy, sorrow, and longing through their intricate footwork and fluid movements. Listen to the accompaniment of loud claps, heel stomping, and guitar strumming. Then, after the mesmerizing one-hour performance, stroll to three nearby taverns to sample delicious tapas to end the night.

Day 8: Day Trip to Córdoba via Carmona

Walk beneath the endless archways within the UNESCO-listed Mosque-Cathedral of Córdoba

Set off on your first guided day trip in Spain to Córdoba, once a flourishing center of Moorish civilization. Break up the 1.5-hour drive with a stop in Carmona to admire the historic buildings, elegant squares, and flowering balconies. When you arrive in Córdoba, follow your guide across the Roman bridge that spans the Guadalquivir River to reach the historic center, where you'll meander through the labyrinthine streets. Enter the city's Jewish Quarter to discover the Córdoba Synagogue, Royal Stables, and Patios Cordobeses—vibrant courtyards filled with colorful flowering plants. 

You've likely worked up an appetite by now, so enjoy some free time for lunch and shopping. Once refueled, finish the tour at the UNESCO-listed Mosque-Cathedral of Córdoba, a structure that seamlessly blends Islamic, Gothic, Renaissance, and Baroque architectural elements. Step inside the expansive interior and roam among the arches and columns, revealing intricate mosaics, gilded altars, and ornate chapels. Finally, climb up Giralda Tower for far-reaching views of the cityscape and meandering river below before returning to your hotel in Seville. 

Day 9: Day Trip to Zahara de la Sierra, Grazalema & Ronda

Cross the 18th-century Puente Nuevo over the El Tajo Gorge in Ronda

You'll travel 45 minutes into the countryside on today's trip to discover Castillo de las Aguzaderas, a 14th-century hilltop fortress. Walk along the castle's battlements, towers, and defensive walls, then take in the panoramic views of the surrounding Andalusian landscape. Continue to the Zahara de la Sierra village, where whitewashed houses cling to the slopes of a rocky hill crowned by Zahara de la Sierra Castle. Follow the cobblestone streets through the village to admire the bustling squares, ancient churches, and azure waters of the Zahara-El Gastor Reservoir.

Your next stop is the village of Grazalema via the winding road through Parque Natural Sierra de Grazalema. Admire the national park's rugged peaks and picturesque valleys on the drive to the village, which is set among cork oak forests. Explore the village's narrow alleys of quaint white houses adorned with colorful flowers, then, after lunch, drive on to the mountaintop town of Ronda, perched on either side of a deep gorge. Follow your guide across the iconic Puente Nuevo, a bridge spanning the El Tajo Gorge, to the historic Old Town. 

After learning about the area's rich history from your guide, you'll have free time to explore Ronda independently. You can visit Plaza de España, a bustling square adorned with lush gardens, a central fountain, and splendid buildings like the town hall. Then, check out Palacio de Mondragón's manicured gardens, ornate courtyards, and elegant interior. In the evening, transfer two hours back to your hotel in Seville to rest after an action-packed day.

Day 10: Transfer to Granada, Guided Tour of Sacromonte & Albaicín

Discover the cave houses turned into workshops and museums in Sacromonte

Bid farewell to Seville this morning as you set off on a 2.5-hour transfer east to Granada, a city renowned for its medieval architecture dating back to the Moorish occupation. After settling into your hotel, join your guide for a two-hour tour of two of the city's iconic neighborhoods. Start in the UNESCO-listed Moorish quarter, Albaicín, to discover the distinct Nasrid architecture, traditional tea houses, and charming plazas. Ascend to the Mirador de San Nicolás for scenic views of the Alhambra, an opulent fortress and palace overlooking the city.

Continue to Sacromonte, a historic neighborhood known for its cave houses and vibrant flamenco culture. You can visit some of these cave houses, as many have been transformed into museums or workshops, offering insights into the unusual lifestyle of the neighborhood's inhabitants. Then, climb up the slopes of Valparaíso Hill to get to the underground chapels within the Abadía del Sacromonte. When evening falls, venture into a flamenco show within a cave on your own, where rhythmic guitar strumming, soulful singing, and passionate dance unfold in the intimate setting. 

Day 11: Guided Tour of the Alhambra, Relax in a Hammam

Explore the UNESCO-listed Alhambra, a vast palace and fortress complex

Your visit to Granada includes the Alhambra—the fortified palace of the Moorish monarchs. Meet your private guide this morning to tour this monumental complex, starting in the 14th-century Nasrid Palaces. Admire the ornate Moorish details and intricate tilework as you wander through rooms like the Court of the Lions or the Hall of the Abencerrajes. Outside, stroll through the Generalife Gardens for sweeping views of Granada and the Sierra Nevada mountain range. Then, continue to the Palacio de Carlos V, a Renaissance palace within the complex, to take in its distinct symmetrical design.

End your tour in the Alcazaba, the fortress portion of the complex, to see how the rugged military architecture differs from the opulent palaces. After a whole morning of walking, spend your afternoon unwinding in a hammam, an ancient steam bath left over from the Nasrid era. Pop in and out of the thermal baths, ranging from hot to cold, then relax in the steam rooms filled with essential oils. You might like to choose one of the traditional treatments with a skilled therapist, such as exfoliation or a relaxing massage, to complete your experience.

Day 12: Transfer to Valencia, Visit the City of Arts & Sciences 

Admire the eye-catching exterior of each building in the City of Arts and Sciences

Meet your driver for the 4.5-hour transfer to Valencia this morning, a city that seamlessly blends medieval architecture with futuristic structures. Break up the drive with a stop in Murcia, a university city in southeastern Spain. Meander through the historic core to see landmarks like the Catedral de Murcia and Real Casino de Murcia, a 19th-century building with lavish interiors, including a beautiful library and ballroom. For an authentic dish of pulpo a la Murciana (oven-cooked octopus), choose one of the Plaza de las Flores restaurants for lunch.

When you're ready, complete the journey to Valencia, where you'll refresh at your hotel and then venture out to the City of Arts and Sciences. This futuristic complex houses an IMAX cinema, planetarium, science museum, aquarium, and theater. Admire the exterior of each building while your guide highlights the complex's history and architecture, then head up to a private rooftop to enjoy a 10-course tapas tasting menu paired with award-winning regional wines. Enjoy your meal while watching the sunset over the city before meeting your driver outside to return to your hotel.

Day 13: Train to Barcelona, Explore the Catalonian Capital on Your Own

Stroll along the tree-lined La Rambla in Barcelona center at your own pace

Make your way to the station after just one night in Valencia to catch a three-hour train to Barcelona, the capital of the Catalonia region. When you arrive, the day is yours to spend at your leisure. You could stroll down La Rambla, a bustling boulevard lined with tapas bars, markets, boutiques, and landmarks like Font de Canaletes, an ornate fountain crowned by a lamp post. If you're a soccer fan, head to Camp Nou next, the stadium home to FC Barcelona. You can book a tour to explore the hallowed grounds, from the player's tunnel to the press room, for a behind-the-scenes experience.

Be sure to visit the FC Barcelona Museum within the stadium to browse the trophy collection, historical memorabilia, and interactive exhibits. If you want to immerse yourself in the city's rich art scene, visit the Picasso Museum, housed within five medieval palaces in the center of the Barrio Gòtic (Gothic Quarter). At each palace, discover the collection of over 4,000 works spanning Picasso's early years to his later masterpieces. In the evening, wander along the narrow medieval streets and enjoy a meal of fideuà (a noodle and seafood version of paella) at one of the neighborhood eateries tucked away from the crowds. 

Day 14: Full-Day Tour of Barcelona, Gaudí's Masterpieces & Roman Temple

Marvel at the exterior of one of Gaudí's greatest masterpieces, the Sagrada Família

Enjoy a full-day tour of the city's highlights, starting in the enchanting Park Güell, where you'll gain priority access to this beautifully landscaped park adorned with the surreal creations of beloved architect Antoni Gaudí. Admire the vibrant mosaics, unique sculptures, and the iconic lizard fountain before continuing to another Gaudí masterpiece, the Sagrada Família. Look up at the basilica's towering facade, then step inside to watch the play of light through the mesmerizing stained-glass windows that bathe the interior in a kaleidoscope of colors. 

Seek out more of the city's architectural wonders by strolling down the Passeig de Gràcia, a major avenue lined with luxury boutiques and a mix of Modernist and Art Nouveau masterpieces, like La Pedrera with its stone facade and wrought-iron balconies, or the vibrant colors, whimsical shapes, and intricate details of Casa Batlló, both designed by Gaudí. Trade Gaudí's creations for ancient Roman architecture in the Gothic Quarter. Follow the labyrinthine alleyways past hidden squares to the Temple of Augustus, a 2,000-year-old Roman temple dedicated to Emperor Augustus.

Your next stop is Vila Olímpica, a waterfront neighborhood developed for the 1992 Summer Olympics. Stroll along the palm-lined promenade, passing the marina dotted with sleek yachts to reach Barceloneta Beach, your endpoint on this full-day tour. Spend the rest of the day lying on the golden sand and swimming in the crystal-clear water. Stay for sunset to watch the sky transform the Mediterranean Sea into hues of orange and red, then venture into the Barceloneta district to try escalivada, a smoky eggplant and bell peppers dish, at one of the seafood restaurants or tapas bars. 

Day 15: Discover Blanes & Tossa de Mar on the Costa Brava

Enjoy a guided tour of the Costa Brava, starting in Blanes

Travel 50 minutes up the coast with your guide this morning to Blanes, known as the "Gateway to the Costa Brava." Follow the scenic road to some of the hidden coves dotting the coastline, where you'll admire the dramatic cliffs and crystal-clear waters the area is known for. Then, spend two hours relaxing on a nearby beach or exploring the Jardí Botànic Marimurtra, a botanical garden sprawling across the slopes of a coastal hill. After leaving the beach or the garden, continue to another panoramic viewpoint to admire the rugged coastline.

When you've worked up an appetite, head to a family-owned restaurant to enjoy a typical Mediterranean lunch paired with a glass of sangria overlooking the water. After lunch, continue to the town of Tossa de Mar to explore Murallas de Tossa de Mar, a 12th-century castle built to defend the town from pirate attacks. Walk along the sturdy stone ramparts and enjoy endless views of the deep blue sea before descending to Vila Vella, the Old Town. Pop in and out of the quaint boutiques, bars, or souvenir shops lining the medieval roads to end the tour before returning to your hotel.

Day 16: Boquería Market & Cooking Class, Depart Barcelona

Learn how to make paella, a beloved Spanish dish, before your flight home

Spend your last few hours in Spain, immersing yourself in Barcelona's vibrant culinary culture with a cooking class. Start at Mercado de La Boquería, a bustling market that's been open since 1835, to pick up the ingredients you'll need to prepare authentic Spanish dishes. Browse the stalls filled with fresh vegetables, exotic fruits, local seafood, cured meats, and artisanal cheeses, and choose the best ingredients with the help of your expert guide. If some artisanal products catch your eye, you can take them home as souvenirs for your family and friends. 

Ingredients in hand, head to a local kitchen to partake in a cooking class under the guidance of an experienced chef. Learn how to make Spanish specialties, like paella, a rice dish made with saffron, olive oil, vegetables, and protein, such as chicken, rabbit, shrimp, or mussels. When everything is ready, sit down to enjoy the fruits of your labor paired with a local wine or beer before returning to the hotel to grab your bags and meet your driver. Transfer to the airport in time for your flight home. Safe travels!

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Map of Grand Tour of Portugal & Spain's Iconic Cities - 16 Days
Map of Grand Tour of Portugal & Spain's Iconic Cities - 16 Days