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Marina Courtaut

Can you think of a better way to live adventures than traveling?
When we travel we open our minds to new experiences and learn new cultures by making the destination we visited our home for a short time. My job as part of the Espiritu Travel team is to ensure that after your trip, you will always remember that destination as another one of “your home”. I am passionate about designing trips that include the highlights of Spain and Portugal, including small places that go beyond the conventions and show the authentic culture of the place.

I am Spanish by birth but my father is from France so my heart is divided. My passion for traveling came from my parents, who have shared their trips around the world with me. Since then, I haven't stopped, always looking for authentic experiences that help me understand the culture of the place I visit. I have had the opportunity to live in the state of Michigan, in Amsterdam and in Paris, and I have traveled through many of the corners of the world and in my country Spain, the cradle of the Flamenco Art.

What places and activities do you specialize in?

"We specialize in trips to Spain and Portugal as well as Cuba. In both countries, we have our own offices so we can create all types of tailor-made trips; culture, art, history, culture, architecture, gastronomy, outdoor activities, nature-based, small groups, off the beaten track"

How did you get involved in travel?

"Since I was little, I've had the opportunity to travel through wonderful places and I was always amazed at the exchange of cultures that occurred while traveling, whether traveling as part of a group or solo. I decided to start my career as a professional in the world of travel at the age of 19 when I started studying the Tourism degree in Madrid. Since then, I have worked in different roles in the tourism industry: in travel agencies, as a tourism consultant, and in hotels. In addition, I studied the Master “International Tourism Management”. As part of the Espíritu Travel team, I continue my trip through the tourism industry as a local Travel Specialist in Spain and Portugal."

Please share a unique travel experience you will never forget.

"It is difficult to choose an experience of all the lived one while traveling ... it is like choosing a favorite song, so difficult!

But if I had to choose one I think it would be the one I lived during the Holy Week in Malaga, it was not the first time I visited Malaga but it was the first time I saw a procession. Malaga is a beautiful coastal city in southern Spain.

I was shocked with the magic of the city during these holidays, especially when the processions happen at night. The city is silent and the music of the orchestra touches you in a magical way accompanied by the light of the torches carried by the brotherhoods.

Regardless of the religious character of this party, it is moving to see how the Spanish live Holy Week."

Marina is part of the following groups: Portugal Travel Agents, Spain Travel Agents
Mother and daughter in Malaga
Family Adventure in Southern Spain: Málaga, Granada, Seville & More - 10 Days

During this fun, family-friendly 10-day tour you will experience the natural beauty of southern Spain, as well as its cultural highlights. Activities like treasure hunts and canyon walks have been selected to suit families with kids, who want a combination of action and down time. Starting in Málaga and ending in Seville, along the way you'll visit Ronda, Granada, and Córdoba, home to a wealth of Spanish culture and history.

View of Madrid at Sunrise
Highlights of Spain, from Barcelona to Andalusia - 16 Days

This tour takes you from the unique architecture of Antoni Gaudí in Barcelona to the vibrant streets of Madrid, finishing in the historic region of Andalusia in Spain's south. Along the way, visit the cities of Segovia and Toledo, as well as Ronda and the traditional white villages of Grazalema and Zahara de la Sierra, including a hike along the Caminito del Rey. Enjoy a guided visit through the Alhambra in Granada, and ample time to explore Córdoba, Seville, and Cádiz on your own, all while enjoying traditional tapas, local wine, and a flamenco show.

Charming town of Cascais
Exploring Portugal's Heritage - 8 Days

Combining the exploration of vibrant cities like Porto, Lisbon, and Coimbra with exceptional nature in Tomar and the Portuguese Riviera, this trip showcases the unique and diverse culture of Portugal. You'll peruse historical city streets and monuments, plus UNESCO sites like the Roman ruins of Évora, the Pena National Palace and forest in Sintra, and the birthplace of Portugal, the town of Guimarães. Escape the city vibes with the impressive Almourol Castle along the Tejo River, the scenic town of Cascais along the Riviera, and the most westerly point in mainland Europe, Cabo da Roca.

Lagos, Portugal
7 Days in Portugal - 6 Unique Itinerary Ideas

With a week in Portugal, you can see the highlights of Lisbon and Porto, or enjoy a deeper exploration of a specific region like the Algarve. You can also let your interests inform your trip: History buffs can enjoy private guided tours of palaces and pilgrimage sites, foodies can taste Douro Valley wines and take hands-on culinary workshops, and active travelers can enjoy day hikes to cliffs, forests, gardens, and mansions. Read on to get inspired by these unique trip plans for every type of traveler.

View over Lisbon, Portugal
5 Days in Portugal - 6 Unique Itinerary Ideas

If you only have five days in Portugal, you can pair two major cities—Lisbon and Porto, for example—or choose one region for an in-depth experience. Explore the dreamy Algarve coast, head to the wine-famous Duoro Valley, or stick to Lisbon and its surrounds. The itineraries below offer unique options that appeal to all kinds of travelers, from Portugal first-timers to foodies and wine enthusiasts to sun worshipers.

Portuguese grilled sardine on toasted bread
Food Tour of Portugal - 5 Days

Foodies will love this unique trip plan, which introduces you to Portuguese history and culture one bite at a time. You'll start in Lisbon, where a private guide will take you on a delicious culinary excursion that will set the stage — and your palette — for your epicurean adventure. Explore the old world charm of Óbidos and its historic castle, then hit the streets of Porto for a delectable lesson on the city's dynamic food scene. You'll also learn tips and tricks for recreating your favorite local specialties in a hands-on cooking workshop. End your trip with time in the stunning Douro Valley, where you can visit legendary wineries, learn about olive oil pressing, or take in the scenery on a relaxing boat ride.