Stay in historic lodgings as you journey from Lisbon to Barcelona to explore breathtaking architecture and important religious shrines, fishing villages and cosmopolitan cities, and Basque and Catalan cultures.

Starting at: $5,778 * Includes airfare, taxes & all fees Make a Reservation Ask Us A Question or Call 855-330-1542
 Boats moored in the outer harbor, Porto  The rolling hills and Pyrenees Mountains of the Basque countryside  Vista from Gaudi's Parc Guell in Barcelona  The medieval Belém Tower in Lisbon  Sunset over the Douro River, Porto  Symbol of Santiago de Compostela, found throughout the city and along the Pilgrims Way  The cathedral in Santiago de Compostela  The Guggenheim Museum of Contemporary Art, Bilbao  Monument to the running of the bulls in Pamplona  The Gothic Quarter of Barcelona  Older architectural style of Barcelona  La Sagrada Familia, Barcelona  Gaudi's masterpiece, La Sagrada Familia  Interior of Antoni Gaudi's La Sagrada Familia  Gaudi's Casa Mila apartment building  Traditional <i>tapas</i> bar in Spain. Credit: Peter Horree/Alamy  Spanish tapas

Across Northern Spain and Portugal

Featuring Historic Paradores and Pousadas

17 days from $5,778 | includes airfare, taxes and all fees

Stay in historic lodgings as you journey from Lisbon to Barcelona to explore breathtaking architecture and important religious shrines, fishing villages and cosmopolitan cities, and Basque and Catalan cultures.

or Call 855-330-1542

Tour Details

TOUR BROCHURE

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WHAT OUR TRAVELERS SAY

The tour itself was excellent and quite enlightening. The addition of the local guides, the personal touches of being in a private home, brought the experience to a much more complete level giving us a piece of Spanish culture we would not have had otherwise.

- Lois C.

One of the very best Smithsonian trips we have taken! 

- John & Helen A.

JOURNEYS DISPATCHES

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Overview

Activity Level 2: Moderate


Expectations: One of our Classic Land Journeys, this tour features visits to many cities, iconic sites, hidden gems, and various regions. Although comprehensive, it's not rushed, but well paced and finely tuned. Expectations include longer touring days with many full-day motor coach excursions and seven different hotels. Many hotels are historic buildings that have been restored or renovated as hotels; although modern in most amenities, they can sometimes require additional walking to get to guest rooms (and several do not have an elevator).

Mostly full-day excursions from four to six hours, with seven afternoons at leisure. Standing and walking for long periods of time during city tours, museum visits, and outdoor activities. Daily walks of up to three miles; walking over sometimes difficult terrain that includes cobblestones and city hills (especially in hilltowns), uneven pavement, stairs without handrails, and absence of elevators; longer walks to get to city centers where coaches are prohibited. There are four longer coach rides of approximately three to four hours duration. 

Please note that evening dinners in Spain are typically later in the evening than we are accustomed to here in the United States. The majority of the dinners on this tour will take place at approximately 8:30 pm. 

Appropriate for: Travelers who are physically fit and comfortable with longer days of touring (both walking tours and coach time).

The tour itself was excellent and quite enlightening. The addition of the local guides, the personal touches of being in a private home, brought the experience to a much more complete level giving us a piece of Spanish culture we would not have had otherwise.

- Lois C.

One of the very best Smithsonian trips we have taken! 

- John & Helen A.

Itinerary

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

Day 2 — Lisbon

Upon arrival, transfer to your hotel. This afternoon is at leisure to relax before tonight’s welcome dinner. (D)

Day 3 — Lisbon

A morning tour introduces you to the city on the River Tagus. The afternoon is free for independent exploration. (B)

Day 4 — Porto

Leaving Lisbon we head north, stopping in the small fortified town of Obidos and in the seaside village of Nazare. Mid-afternoon you'll reach lovely Porto, Portugal’s second largest city and World Heritage site. (B,D)

Day 5 — Porto

Highlights of today’s city tour include colorful Bolhao Market, the historic city center, the baroque Clerigos Church, and the sophisticated Foz oceanfront district. Then enjoy an hour long cruise on the Douro River. End the tour with a visit to a port lodge for a tasting of the fortified wine exclusive to the region. (B,L,D)

Day 6 — Santiago de Compostela, Spain

En route to Santiago, stop in the old Galician town of Pontevedra. Then continue to Santiago, capital of Spain’s northwest Galicia region, arriving mid-afternoon at your parador. (B,D)

Day 7 — Santiago de Compostela

Last stop on the celebrated pilgrimage route of the Way of St. James (Camino de Santiago) and presumed repository of the remains of St. James the Apostle, Santiago de Compostela also ranks among Spain’s most beautiful and visited cities. Discover this important cultural and educational capital on today’s tour, featuring the Cathedral housing the silver crypt believed to hold the remains of St. James. From here enter Plaza de Obradoiro, the monumental square surrounded by Santiago’s most important buildings. This afternoon is free for independent exploration in this eminently walkable and lovely World Heritage city. (B,D)

Day 8 — León

Leaving Santiago this morning, travel east to vibrant León, another stop on the Way of St. James pilgrimage route and known for its religious festivals and Easter Week processions. Upon arrival, encounter the city’s impressive historical and architectural heritage as you visit the 12th-century León Cathedral, one of Spain’s most beautiful with its sculpture-covered façade and impressive stained glass windows; Casa Botines, a Modernist structure by architect Antoni Gaudi; and the notable Castille León Museum of Contemporary Art (MUSAC), known for its outstanding architecture and up-to-the minute modern art collection. Reach your hotel early this evening and dine there tonight. (B,D)

Day 9 — Santander and Bilbao

Stop today in the elegant port city and Cantabrian capital of Santander for a tour and lunch. Then travel to Bilbao, the industrial port city almost magically transformed by the construction of the Guggenheim Museum Bilbao in 1997. (B,L)

Day 10 — Bilbao

This morning’s tour begins in Bilbao’s medieval Old City, with a charming mix of narrow cobblestone streets and inviting squares. See the Catedral de Santiago (c. 1379), once a stop on the pilgrimage route; monumental Plaza Nueva; and busy seaside La Ribera market. Then take a guided tour of the Guggenheim Museum Bilbao and its contemporary art collection. Designed by architect Frank Gehry, the jaw-dropping structure of limestone, titanium, and glass has drawn acclaim, attention, and visitors to this popular, revitalized city. Your last stop is Bilbao’s Fine Arts Museum, with a rich collection of Spanish and Basque artworks. (B,D)

Day 11 — Basque Country

A day-long excursion takes you through countryside historically home to the Basque people of Spain’s Atlantic Coast and western Pyrenees. At the seaside village of Bakio, follow a coastal road of wild beauty to the islet of San Juan de Gaztelugatxe, with its hermitage to St. John the Baptist. Stop in the key fishing town of Bermeo then continue on to the medieval fishing village of Mundaka, to enjoy magnificent views of the Urdaibai Biosphere Reserve of streams and a salt marsh surrounded by sheer cliffs. Your last stop is a poignant one: Gernika (Guernica), heart of the Basque region and the town razed by Nazi bombing in 1937 during the Spanish Civil War that was immortalized in the namesake painting by Picasso. (B,L)

Day 12 — Pamplona and Bielsa

Travel today to the Pyrenees town of Bielsa, stopping en route in fabled Pamplona, known for its annual Running of the Bulls tradition. (B,D)

Day 13 — Bielsa

Fresh mountain air and stunning scenery are on tap as you visit Ordesa y Monte Perdido National Park, a UNESCO Biosphere Reserve. Touring by coach and on foot, see the limestone Pyrenees chain, its lush valleys dotted with clear blue streams and beech, fir, and pine trees. (B,D)

Day 14 — Bielsa and Barcelona

Travel today to the world-class city of Barcelona, arriving mid-afternoon. After a brief orientation walking tour, you are free for dinner on your own. (B)

Day 15 — Barcelona

This morning’s city tour of Barcelona features Barri Gòtic (Gothic Quarter), a maze of medieval streets, and Las Ramblas, the tree-lined pedestrian mall that attracts locals and visitors alike, day and night. Pay homage to Barcelona’s native son, flamboyant artist Antoni Gaudi, visiting his curving stone-faced Casa Milà; fanciful Parc Guell, and the landmark Sagrada Familia, the surreal – and unfinished – cathedral. Following a tapas lunch, the remainder of the day is free. (B,L)

Day 16 — Barcelona

Today is at leisure to enjoy this vibrant city as you wish. Tonight bid ¡adios! to Spain, and to your fellow travelers, at a farewell dinner. (B,D)

Day 17 — Depart for the U.S.

Transfer to the airport this morning for flights to the U.S. (B)

Included meals are denoted as follows: Breakfast (B), Lunch (L), Reception (R), Dinner (D)