Day 1, 3rd June: Lisbon
Lisbon is famous for it’s gorgeous and quirky hostels so we will be staying in one! You have the day at leisure. In the evening, enjoy the flavors of Portuguese cuisine on a small-group gourmet Portuguese food and wine tour of Lisbon! Visit traditional eateries and taste some of Portugal’s delicacies as your guide gives you tips on how to appreciate Portuguese wine and food. As you walk through the streets and visit the pastry, wine and cheese shops, sample some of the products and get advice from your guide on where to eat for the rest of your trip!
Experiences: Food tour (Add On)
Stay: A boutique hostel in the city centre (6 bed dorm with shared bathroom; twin room/single room available at extra cost)
Day 2, 4th June: Lisbon
Explore the capital city of Portugal through a fun guided walking tour. Lisbon’s 3000 years of proud history has always been on the edge: where land meets sea and Europe meets Africa. The ancient Phoenicians recognised the great advantages of the location and all the great civilisations that followed have expanded the city well beyond its legendary Seven Hills. This is a city built upon exploration, conquest and adventure. It’s no surprise the Portuguese led the Age of Discovery and laid the foundations for the world we live in, for Lisbon is known as ‘the Queen of the Seas’. The untold riches of empire have left a legacy of incredible monuments and culture for the modern visitor – a legacy that was almost destroyed by the Great Earthquake of 1755 which sent philosophical shockwaves throughout Europe. It changed the face of Lisbon, politics and religion forever and this 3 hour walking tour explores its full impact and how the city rose from the ashes. You have the rest of the day at leisure.
Experiences: A guided walking tour of Lisbon
Day 3, 5th June: Lisbon – Faro (Algarve) (3.5 hours by bus)
Say goodbye to Lisbon as you make your way to the gorgeous beaches of the Algarve in Faro. It has an attractive marina, well-maintained parks and plazas, and a historic old town full of pedestrian lanes and outdoor cafes. Its student population of 8000 ensures a happening nightlife, and its theatre scene is strong. It also retains its traditional charm, as a walk around the old city centre will soon confirm. The narrow little streets house many shops selling local handicrafts and it is hard to resist the local almond-based sweets, the Dom Rodrigos, at any one of the city’s pastry shops. Traditional fish restaurants provide the local shellfish specialities that often come straight from the estuary.
You have the day at leisure at leisure to explore this beautiful town.
Stay: A boutique B&B in Old Town (double occupancy with common bathroom facilities)
Day 4, 6th June: Faro
The bustling city of Faro lies alongside one of the most beautiful natural wonders of the region, the 60 km-long expanse of lagoons, natural dunes and stunning beaches of the Ria Formosa Nature Park. The beaches are many, ranging from the thriving resort of Ilha de Faro with its bars, restaurants and abundant amenities, to the seclusion of the miles of uninhabited sand dunes of Barreta island, lying between the ocean and one of the estuary’s lagoons.
The calm, warm waters of Faro’s gorgeous beaches attract swimmers and water sports enthusiasts alike. Jet skiers, windsurfers and pleasure craft often frequent the lagoons, and boat trips are available for scenic tours around the maze of canals that criss-cross the marshlands and sand bars of this beautiful area. The marshlands are a favourite nesting ground for migratory birds, so you might well spot flocks of flamingos and a variety of other species on the way. During the summer months, boats also provide access to the peaceful beach of Barreta island.
Experience: Explore Faro (DIY)
Day 5, 7th June: Faro to Seville (4 hours 45 minutes by bus)
On an early morning bus, we make our way to Seville, arguably the tapas capital of Spain. Once you’ve settled into the hotel, make sure you get some rest because later at night we will set out on a food tour with a local expert in tow. Bursting with color, passion and sunshine, it’s hard not to fall head over heels for beautiful Seville. One of Spain’s most important cities since ancient times, Seville has been a Roman, Muslim, Jewish and Christian city– a melting pot of cultures whose lasting legacy is its incredible food. Today Seville is a dream come true for foodies.
End the evening in a local bar with a traditional flamenco performance! it is a form of Spanish folk music and dance from the region of Andalusia in southern Spain. It includes cante (singing), toque (guitar playing), baile (dance) and jaleo, which refers to the vocalizations and rhythmic sounds of palmas (handclapping) and pitos (finger snapping) that encourage performers to excel.
Experiences: Seville nightlife and flamenco
Stay: A boutique B&B housed in a restored Andalusian Palace in city centre (double occupancy with private bathroom facilities)
Day 6, 8th June: Seville – Madrid (2.5 hours by train)
After breakfast, we will leave for Madrid. The train ride in itself is an experience as Seville to Madrid is one of the most picturesque routes. It’s a long journey but a beautiful one. You will reach Madrid by late afternoon and you have the rest of the day at leisure.
We have an exciting evening planned for you with a guided pub crawl of 3 popular bars and a club in Madrid – free shots, VIP entry, free beer and sangria are included! Madrid is Spain’s nightlife capital and with an expert pub crawler, shift between techno and house to RnB and Reggae, underground club to cocktail bars. This is just an introduction to the amazing trip that lies before you.
Experience: Train ride from southern to central Spain| Madrid nightlife 101 | Pub crawl (add on)
Stay: A chic hostel in city centre (8 bed dorm with shared bathroom)
Day 7, 9th June: Madrid
After breakfast, take a guided walking tour of Madrid. We’ll take you down medieval streets, across majestic squares and through 1200 years of history. The tour promises to be informative and engaging! See Madrid the way it should be seen: by walking from the heart of the city through both twisted medieval streets and down grand boulevards. You’ll cover the famous must-see sights and secret places the tour buses can’t go.
After the tour, we make our way to grab some delicious lunch. Head back to the hotel for a little siesta time! In the evening, we will visit two of Spain’s most magnificent museums: the Reina Sofia Museum and the Prado Museum. Between the two museums, you can see artworks by masters like Picasso, Goya, Velásquez, Rubens, El Greco, Bosch, among others. Back in Madrid by evening, we head to the lively Mercado de San Miguel, one of Madrid’s oldest and most beautiful markets. There are a variety of counters serving up a diverse array of delicious tapas and bigger plates, think of from caviar, oysters, chocolate and everything in between. Wind down like the Spanish do: with chocolate and churros. Tapas or finger food has been perfected to an art form by the Spaniards with each city, offering its own variations of tapas.
Experiences: A fun walking tour of Madrid| Museum visit (optional)| Dig into delicious tapas at Mercado de San Miguel
Day 8, 10th June: Madrid-Barcelona (3 hours by train)
Head to Barcelona and get ready for a taste of Catalan culture. We check into our hotel and relax. We have an amazing evening planned for you: A live tapas dinner! Rated among the top activities in Barcelona, we go to a local’s house while they take us through an interactive (and delicious) tapas making session followed by a tasting session of the many tapas. There will veg options available too. Experience local food and local life first hand.
Experiences: A live tapas dinner at a local’s house (add on)
Stay: A centrally located hostel (8 bed dorm with shared bathroom facilities)
Day 9, 11th June: Barcelona
After a leisurely start to the day, we will go for a Gaudi themed guided walking tour giving us glimpse of his eccentric life and a discovery of his most magical buildings around Barcelona. Marvel at his work and his unfinished masterpiece, the Sagrada Familia. For lunch, you may head to the Mercado de La Boqueria, a sprawling food market knows for its fresh produce. Rest of the day is at leisure.
Experiences: A Gaudi themed guided walking tour
Day 10, 12th June: Barcelona return
Make your way back home, with a bag full of memories!
An exciting 10 day Spain and Portugal holiday. One awesome Blueberry Trails coordinator traveling with you. You should join this one!