Stay in historic inns in Spain and Portugal and discover the spirit of Iberia's rich Roman and Moorish past.

Starting at: $4,978 * Includes airfare, taxes & all fees Make a Reservation Ask Us A Question or Call 855-330-1542
 Belem Tower, Lisbon  The evocative garden area of the Generalife at the Alhambra, Granada  The Plaza de Espana, Seville  Intricate architectural design at the Alhambra, Granada  The immense Gothic cathedral of Seville  The Alhambra of Granada  Treasures of the legendary Prado Museum, including <i>Las Meninas</i>, 1656, by Spanish master Diego Velázquez  The landscape of medieval Toledo  Madrid's vibrant Plaza Mayor  Traditional <i>tapas</i> bar in Spain. Credit: Peter Horree/Alamy  The <i>parador</i> in Ronda overlooking the famous gorge  A courtyard in the Alcazar, or Royal Palace, in Seville  The mosque in Cordoba  Parador de Carmona courtyard  The interior of the Jerónimos Monastery near Lisbon  Parador de Carmona hotel pool  Roman theater in Mérida  Monument to the Discoveries in Lisbon  The Court of the Lions at the Alhambra, Granada  Traditional Spanish culinary delights include seafood paella  A plaza in charming Ronda

Treasures of Southern Spain and Portugal

Featuring Historic Paradores and Pousadas

15 days from $4,978 | includes airfare, taxes and all fees

Stay in historic inns in Spain and Portugal and discover the spirit of Iberia's rich Roman and Moorish past.

or Call 855-330-1542

Tour Details

TOUR BROCHURE

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WHAT OUR TRAVELERS SAY

This was my first Smithsonian Journeys tour and I loved it. I would recommend it highly to anyone who is interested in history, art, architecture and culture of Spain and Portugal. 

- Joan B.

JOURNEYS DISPATCHES

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SPECIAL VALUE

This tour is specially designed for a small group of 16 to 24 Smithsonian travelers and offers outstanding travel value. Prices include airfare, airline taxes, fuel surcharges, and departure fees.

Overview

An exciting history of explorers and invaders is etched across the gentle landscapes of the Iberian Peninsula. Hilltop citadels, striking Roman sites, and elaborate cathedrals and palaces speak of the many cultures that graced southern Spain and Portugal. 

Highlights Include

  • Paradores and PousadasSpend eight nights in distinctive historic inns, including a medieval convent, 14th-century Moorish castle, stately Renaissance palace, and a medieval town hall overlooking a dramatic gorge. 
  • Lisbon and Evora: Delight in Portugal’s lively capital with visits to Belem Tower, the Jeronimos Monastery, and the Monument to the Discoveries, plus the National Palace in nearby Queluz. Also explore the university town of Evora, featuring Roman and Moorish sites. 
  • Merida, Seville, Cordoba: Crossing into Spain, stop in Merida to see the impressive Roman theater, temple, and aqueduct. In Seville, a city known for colorful Spanish tile work, tour the large Gothic cathedral and the delicately ornate Moorish Alcazar (royal palace). Nearby Cordoba holds a rich legacy where Moorish, Christian, and Jewish cultures flourished, as reflected in your walking tour, which features the magnificent mosque. 
  • Ronda and Granada: In tiny Ronda, perched dramatically on a bluff overlooking a plunging gorge, take a walking tour and enjoy time at leisure to discover the impressive Moorish architecture, spectacular views, and amenities of your parador. Then travel to Granada and the World Heritage site of the legendary Alhambra, a sprawling palace complex featuring the epitome of exquisite Moorish architecture and evocative gardens. 
  • Toledo and Madrid: Feel the ambiance of medieval Toledo, the city of El Greco, as you discover the massive Gothic cathedral, exquisite synagogue, and other sites. In Madrid take a city tour featuring Plaza Mayor, the Moorish medieval district, and the opulent Royal Palace. Plus, enjoy a day to explore at leisure. 

This was my first Smithsonian Journeys tour and I loved it. I would recommend it highly to anyone who is interested in history, art, architecture and culture of Spain and Portugal. 

- Joan B.

To see itinerary, please click on an option below.

Itinerary

Day 1 — Depart the U.S. for Lisbon, Portugal

Day 2 — Lisbon

Arrive in Lisbon early this afternoon. The remainder of the day is at leisure until your welcome dinner with fellow travelers. (D)

Day 3 — Lisbon and Queluz

On a tour of Portugal’s lively capital city, visit the waterfront area of Belém. See the medieval Belém Tower, the Jeronimos Monastery, and the Monument to the Discoveries, which commemorates Portugal’s storied explorers. In the nearby town of Queluz, visit the National Palace, the former residence of Portuguese royalty now used for state occasions. (B)

Day 4 — Evora

Travel through the Alentejo region with its olive groves, vineyards, and wheat fields. After stopping for lunch in the fortified hilltop town on Monsaraz, late this afternoon arrive in Evora, regional capital of the Alentejo. Relax at your pousada, considered one of Portugal’s finest. (B,L,D)

Day 5 — Evora

Spend the day exploring this university town, a World Heritage site. A morning walking tour highlights the well-preserved Roman and Moorish heritage, while the afternoon is at leisure to enjoy this Golden Age city on your own. (B,D)

Day 6 — Merida, Spain, and Carmona

Travel east through a countryside checkered with the ruins of fortresses to the Spanish border town of Merida. Upon arrival, explore the Roman ruins and then enjoy time at leisure for lunch and personal interests. Continue to Carmona and your parador, a dramatic 14th-century Arab fortress. (B,D)

Day 7 — Carmona and Seville

Today visit nearby Seville, the splendid Moorish capital of the Andalusia region and considered by many to be the cultural capital of Spain. A walking tour includes a visit to the famous cathedral, the world’s largest Gothic building, and features the delicately ornate Moorish Alcazar, or Royal Palace. Return to Carmona late this afternoon and dine at your parador this evening. (B,D)

Day 8 — Carmona and Cordoba

Travel to Cordoba, once a major European center for art, science, and culture during the Middle Ages. Here, explore a rich legacy where Moorish, Christian, and Jewish cultures mingled successfully. After touring the highlights, including the magnificent Mezquita Mosque, enjoy free time to explore on your own, then return to Carmona. (B,D)

Day 9 — Ronda

Leave Carmona behind and travel south to tiny Ronda, scene of the last great rising of the Moors against Ferdinand and Isabella. Its whitewashed houses, and your parador, are perched dramatically near the edge of a plunging gorge, spanned by an 18th-century arched bridge. Enjoy a special afternoon excursion to a local olive farm. (B,D)

Day 10 — Ronda

After a brief walking tour, the day is at leisure to explore this charming town on your own. Take in the spectacular views of the gorge and bridges, and marvel at the impressive Moorish architecture. Tonight, dine on regional specialties at your parador, Ronda’s original town hall. (B,D)

Day 11 — Granada and Ubeda

Depart this morning for Granada, the former stronghold of Moorish Spain, is set in the foothills of the snowcapped Sierra Nevada. The city’s undisputed highlight is the Alhambra, the extraordinary palace of Spain’s last Moorish rulers. Sprawled across a hilltop above the Darro River, the Alhambra commands breathtaking views of the city below. This afternoon, tour this splendid citadel and the Generalife, the palace’s acclaimed gardens. Continue traveling north to Ubeda and your next parador, a former palace dating to the 16th century. (B,D)

Day 12 — Toledo and Madrid

Toledo, capital of medieval Spain, still looks much like it did when the artist El Greco painted here in the 16th century. See Toledo’s most important sites on a guided tour, including the massive Gothic cathedral. Continue to Madrid, arriving late in the afternoon. (B)

Day 13 — Madrid

Enjoy a morning tour of this monumental and dignified capital city including the vast Plaza Mayor, in the heart of Old Madrid; the Moorish medieval district; and the opulent 18th-century Palacio Real (Royal Palace), with its 2,800 rooms. Our tour ends at the Prado, one of the world’s great museums, where you are free to explore on your own. The remainder of the day is free. (B)

Day 14 — Madrid

Spend your final day enjoying the Spanish capital as you wish. Stroll along the city’s broad boulevards; see Picasso’s famed painting Guernica at the Reina Sofia Museum; wander through the weekly El Rastro Market; or enjoy traditional Spanish tapas (appetizers) at a local restaurant. Tonight bid adios to Spain at a farewell dinner. (B,D)

Day 15 — Depart for the U.S

Depart Madrid for the U.S. on individual flights. (B)