Tiled mosaics at Barcelona's Parc Guell

Barcelona, Madrid and Lisbon – 10 Days

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Tour Description

Your journey begins in Spain: the land of bullfighters and flamenco dancers, fiestas and siestas and crispy churros con chocolate. Start off in Barcelona, once home to such influential artists as Picasso, Miró, and Dalí. No stop in this vibrant city is complete without a visit to Gaudí's architecturally intriguing Casa Batlló, Park Güell, and the Sagrada Familia. In Madrid, take in the sights and sounds of the Plaza Mayor or relax with a row around the pond in El Retiro. Last - but certainly not least - is Lisbon, Portugal's rejuvenating capital. Here you can wander the cobblestoned streets of timeworn Alfama, indulge in a crispy pastry from a local confeitaria, or take a ride on one of the city's old-fashioned yellow trams.

Highlights and Inclusions

  • Accommodations: Barcelona 3 nights,
    Madrid 3 nights, Lisbon 3 nights
  • Breakfast daily except where noted otherwise
  • Private arrival transfers
  • Fast-Track Sagrada Familia Tour
  • Private Barcelona Sightseeing Tour
  • Tapas Evening Walking Tour
  • Private Monsterrat Tour
  • Art Flamenco Show with Dinner
  • Private Madrid Tour with Royal Palace and Prado Museum
  • Madrid Paella, Tortilla, and Sangria Cooking Experience
  • Private Lisbon Tour
  • Fatima, Obidos, Batalha, Alcobaca, and Nazare Tour with Lunch
  • Lisbon by Night Tour with Fado Show
  • Private departure transfers

The Placa de Espanya in Barcelona

Barcelona - 3 nights

DAY 1: Arrive in Barcelona
Arrive in Barcelona and collect your bags. As you exit customs, a transfer representative will be waiting to take you to your hotel. Take the afternoon to get acquainted with your surroundings. Don't forget to lace up your comfortable shoes for your late-afternoon guided tour of La Sagrada Familia. When it's over, stroll through the produce and food stands of the Mercat de la Boqueria or check out the evening happenings on the Rambla pedestrian boulevard.

Barcelona is known as the capital of Modernism and the home of famous architect Antoni Gaudí. His cathedral, La Sagrada Familia, is one of the most visited buildings in the world. This tour will walk you through the astonishing interior of this church, with its 18 symbolic towers and 230-foot vaulted ceilings. You will also visit the Sagrada Familia Museum, which houses drawings, plaster models, and photographs depicting the basilica's history and development.

DAY 2:
After breakfast, meet in the hotel lobby for your private guided tour of the city. The rest of the afternoon is yours to explore. Take a walk to admire the façade of Gaudí's architecturally unique Casa Batlló, tour the Picasso Museum, or sample some traditional Catalan cuisine in El Raval. In the evening, meet up for your three-hour tapas walking tour.

Get a feel for Barcelona's history and culture with this tour of the city's most emblematic sites. The itinerary is up to you, but possible points of interest could include Passeig de Gracia, Park Güell, the port and beaches, Olympic Park, or Poble Espanyol.

On this pre-dinner walking tour of Barcelona's famous tapas bars, you'll learn how to order tapas (bar snacks) and discover some of the best bars and cafes in the city. Your guide can also offer suggestions to help you get the most from your time in Barcelona. To start the tour, there will be a guided tasting of three selected Spanish products (cheese and/or cured meats with bread and a drink). Following this, your guide will lead you through La Rambla - a famous boulevard lined with tapas bars and restaurants - and La Boqueria - a food market with an array of fresh fruits and vegetables, seafood, cheese and meat. Next, you'll visit a restaurant offering a wide selection of local tapas. Here you will enjoy three tapas with a glass of wine, beer or cider. You'll continue through the Gothic Quarter, which will give you a glimpse of the architecture, atmosphere, language and gastronomy that are unique to Spain. Your last stop will be a bar where you'll enjoy four tasty tapas and a glass of wine.

DAY 3:
Begin your day with a private tour of the awe-inspiring Montserrat. When you return, grab a late lunch - maybe some black rice with garlic aioli - and head out to do any final sightseeing in the city. Take in an FC Barcelona match at Camp Nou or spend a serene afternoon at the 14th-century Monastery of Pedralbes, now a museum of monastic life.

This tour will take you on an unforgettable journey to the Benedictine monk mountain retreat of Montserrat. Here you'll visit Montserrat Natural Park and learn about its geology and wildlife while gazing down upon the spectacular Catalan landscape. You'll tour the 11th-century sanctuary, Gothic basilica, and Chapel of the Virgin. Depending on the time and day, you might be lucky enough to witness a performance by the Montserrat Boy's Choir in the basilica. After some free time to explore, the tour will head back to Barcelona.

A Madrid intersection at sunset

Madrid - 3 nights

DAY 4: Arrive in Madrid
After breakfast, pack your bags and meet your private driver in the hotel lobby for your ride to the train station. The train will take you to Madrid, where you'll meet the transfer representative who will deliver you to your hotel. The afternoon is yours to explore. In the evening, you'll attend a flamenco show with dinner included.

Enjoy a traditional flamenco show at Cafe Chinitas with dinner. This 18th-century mansion hosts performances by some of flamenco's top virtuosos, as well as promising up-and-comers. The dinner menu includes an appetizer of olives, bread, and butter, followed by salad, paella, dessert, and a glass of sangria.

DAY 5:
Eat a hearty breakfast and head to your hotel lobby to meet the guide for your private full-day city tour, which will include the interior of the Royal Palace and the Prado Museum. When you return, treat yourself to a traditional local meal like cocido Madrileño - a slow-cooked broth flavored with vegetables, chickpeas, chorizo, and pork.

This tour will take you on a journey through the ages, from the city's origins as an Arab fortress to the modernization of its district's boulevards. You'll drive through the courtly Madrid of the Habsburgs, replete with Renaissance and Baroque architecture, as well as the city's commercial and financial districts. From there you'll head to the legendary Las Ventas bullring and the Santiago Bernabeu football stadium, home to Real Madrid. After this panoramic overview of the city, you'll tour the interior of the Royal Palace. Built on the site of the former Palace of the Hapsburgs, the Royal Palace was the official residence of the Spanish monarchy from 1765 to 1931. The tour will conclude with a guided visit through the Prado Museum, featuring masterpieces by such renowned painters as Raphael, Titian, and El Greco.

DAY 6:
This morning, take some time to explore. People-watch in the Plaza Mayor, wander the paths and marble statues of Parque del Buen Retiro, or head to the Centro de Arte Reina Sofía to admire Picasso's "Guernica." In the afternoon, you're headed to cooking school!

Prepare yourself for a rip-roaring introduction to Spanish gastronomic culture! Your three-hour cooking experience begins with a trip to the food stalls of Torrijos Market, where your experienced chef-teacher will show you tips for picking the best local and seasonal products. When you return from the market, your chef will guide you through process of crafting paella, tortillas (Spanish omelets), Andalusian salad, and sangria - Spanish dishes that have influenced cuisines around the world. When you're finished, you'll taste your dishes with a sampling of Spanish wines. Your parting gift will be a recipe card, so you can recreate these delicious dishes in your own kitchen.

Rossio Square in Lisbon

Lisbon - 3 nights

DAY 7: Arrive in Lisbon
After breakfast, head to the lobby to meet the driver who will take you to the airport. Arrive in Lisbon and collect your bags. As you exit customs, a transfer representative will be waiting to take you to your hotel. Spend some time getting settled, then head out on your private half-day tour of Lisbon. Then grab some dinner and head to one of the city's popular - and plentiful! - wine bars.
Explore Lisbon with a private driver-guide at your disposal. You'll visit sites including the Castle of São Jorge, Rossio Square, Jerónimos Monastery, Lisbon Cathedral, and the Cristo Rei monument. Customized itineraries are possible if they are arranged in advance.

DAY 8:
You'll need lots of energy for today, so eat a good breakfast before heading off on your tour of some of Portugal's most historically and culturally significant landmarks. When you return, indulge in an authentic Portuguese meal. Try arroz de marisco - rice cooked with herbs and an abundance of seafood - or spicy chicken piri piri.

This tour will guide you to some of Portugal's most important landmarks, including three of the Portuguese Seven Wonders. Transport yourself back in time with a visit to a medieval Obidos, admire the Gothic churches of Batalha and Alcobaca, and have lunch in Nazare, Portugal's most famous fishing village. You'll end the day in Fatima, home to the Catholic pilgrimage site of the Sanctuary of Fatima.

DAY 9:
End your stay in Portugal with an itinerary of your choosing! Spend your morning and afternoon at the National Tile Museum, or explore the shops and cafes of the old Alfama district. In the evening, you'll embark on a night tour through Lisbon followed by a traditional Fado show.

Begin your evening with a leisurely drive through Lisbon and across the 25 de Abril Bridge, a vast suspension bridge built over the River Tagus. A stop in Almada will give you a great vantage point from which to gaze down upon the gleaming lights of Lisbon. Your driver will take you back across the bridge to a restaurant where you can have dinner (not included) and take in a traditional Fado show.

DAY 10:
Pack your bags and head to the hotel lobby to meet the driver who will take you to the airport. Reflect on how quickly your trip flew by, but recognize that the experiences you had are yours forever.


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