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When it comes to culture, cuisine, music, dance and a thirst for life, there’s nothing like the region encompassing Spain, Portugal and Morocco. You'll revel in every aspect of these stunning countries and their ancient cultures. From the bustling Catalonian city of Barcelona in the north, to Valencia and Andalucia, and the historic cities of Seville, Cordoba and Granada in the south, you’ll experience a unique mix of everything these destinations have to offer.
These are just the bare highlights of 17 days of experiences that will leave you wanting more.
* Various itinerary options are available. See full itinerary for details.
In the style of most Global Escapes Independent Traveler itineraries, this is a perfect blend of self-guided adventure and forward-planning to ensure that the main elements are organised in advance allowing for plenty of time to relax and take in each place you visit.
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Take in many of the highlights of these three fascinating countries over 17 fun-filled days. Simply add extra days if you want more time to explore any particular detination.
Click/tap the player above to watch this short video about the diversity of Spain. Opens in a new browser tab.
Private car airport and train transfers:
Tours and activities:
This itinerary is fully customisable to suit your requirements. Add comprehensive, best-in-class, travel insurance for just $299 per person* valued at over $800 per couple. Enquire today to find out if your travel dates are available.
Lonely Planet is renowned for its first-hand approach, up-to-date maps and commitment to providing the best information for travelers. Lonely Planet authors are experienced, insightful travel experts. They personally research the places they write about - both in the first and in subsequent editions - and provide essential travel details along with a wealth of insider information and first-hand tips.
You will receive these guides to to help you gain the most out of your holiday. Recommendation: Take the time to read suggestions for things to see and do before you leave Australia. Take your Lonely Planet guides with you in your luggage.
* All prices are per-person on a twin-share basis and all bookings are subject to availability. Price and deposit amount varies according to travel date. A flight cost provision (allowance) applies. Total price after Getaway Cash credits and Australian Escapes Free Flights Vouchers is generally payable as follows: Deposit on booking, balance 120 days prior to departure. Packages can be priced for families and groups on request. All prices are estimates only. A firm quote (travel plan) with payment terms will be submitted for consideration prior to booking. Standard prices are for non-members for the same or similar package. Flight pricing included in packages or other estimates is based on travel from Sydney, Melbourne or Brisbane. Travel can be arranged from any other major centre and for any number of people. Travel insurance pricing is based on two travellers aged 69 years or less as at the date of departure from Australia. Surcharge applies for travellers aged 70 years and over. Full booking terms and conditions are available here.
Welcome to Spain! Your private car and driver will be waiting at the airport to greet you and take you to your hotel in downtown Barcelona.
Wander and explore, or just relax:
Your first day is all about relaxing after your flight and getting into the rhythm of the country. Wander and explore at your own pace (refer to your Lonely Planet guide for ideas), or simply relax and enjoy the hotel facilities.
An evening of flamenco and gourmet cuisine:
In the evening, you’ll get your first taste of authentic spanish cuisine and the captivating feast of music and dance that is flamenco at the famous flamenco theatre, Los Trarantos Barcelona.
Today you’ll explore the highlights of Barcelona on the city’s popular Hop On Hop Off bus tour. The beauty of this tour is that you can choose where and when you want to start and finish, and which parts of the city, monuments and attractions you want to see along the way. With a city so filled with great sights, the hardest part is choosing from the 44 amazing stops you have on offer.
Authentic Paella Workshop & Wine and Cheese Tasting:
You’ll also have the opportunity to indulge in more of Barcelona’s world-renowned cuisine. Learn how the locals make Spain’s most famous dish – Paella – and taste typical Spanish tapas, wines and cheeses. What a way to say goodbye to Barcelona before heading south.
After breakfast, meet your guide for a day trip to the world-famous Catalonian coastal region of Costa Brava. Along the way you’ll visit four of the regions most picturesque villages – Figueres, Cadaques, Pubol and Cap de Creus. First up, you’ll visit the village of Figueres and Salvador Dali’s birthplace. Art lover or not, a visit to the Dali Theatre-Museum is an experience you won’t soon forget.
Breathe in the fresh Mediterranean air as you drift down the coast visiting stunning beaches and the idyllic coastal village of Cadaques, then onto Pubol, Port Lligat – where Dali created most of his works – and Cap de Creus, the easternmost point of the Spanish mainland, before returning to Barcelona.
From Barcelona you’ll head to Valencia, Spain’s third largest city. A private shuttle will pick you up from your hotel in the morning and take you to Barcelona Sants train station. Here you’ll board a super-fast train. Travelling down the Mediterranean coast at speeds of up to 220mph, you’ll be in Valencia in just over three hours. A private shuttle will be waiting for you at Valencia Sorolla station to take you to your hotel. After you’ve settled in, you might like to spend the afternoon getting a feel for the city with a stroll around Valencia’s Old Town, before an evening tour of the spectacular City of Arts & Sciences complex.
Optional – City of Arts & Sciences Tour:
On this tour you will discover the modern masterpiece at the centre of Valencia’s arts and culture scene and an icon of the city. Designed by celebrated Spanish architect, Santiago Calatrava, this futuristic complex houses a dizzying array of museums, exhibitions and attractions, including the Príncipe Felipe Science Museum and Europe’s largest aquarium, the Oceanogràfic.
After a lie-in and a leisurely breakfast, spend a few hours getting acquainted with the city’s rich history and distinctive tastes. Take a walk with your guide through the city, visiting popular historical sites, such as the Torres de Serrano, Llotja de la Seda and Palacio Borja, before lunch. Afterwards sit down and sample Valencia’s famous paella and wines. You can’t leave Valencia without tasting the popular local drink called horchata. Originating in the nearby town of Alboraya, this drink made from tiger nuts is often accompanied by a much-loved pastry called ‘fartons’ (and, yes, it’s a real name).
Optional – Valencia Sunset Cruise with dinner at the beach:
Tonight feel free to relax and do your own thing, or join a Valencia Sunset Cruise. Watch the sunset over Valencia’s beautiful beaches with cocktail in hand. And then enjoy dinner at the beach Playa de las Arenas with breathtaking views over the Mediterranean sea.
Visiting Attractions (optional tour):
It’s time to return to Europe with a flight to the intoxicating southern Spanish city of Seville. Friendly, smiling people, exuberant nightlife and an amazing history. This is Seville. Enjoy a free afternoon to take in the sites and sounds as you choose. In the evening, why not join a local family for a typical Spanish meal.
Optional: Dinner Experience Hosted by a Local Spanish Family
Take this unique opportunity to experience how the locals live and get a real feel for Seville’s culture and gastronomy. Enjoy the warm Andalusian hospitality, not to mention a glass or two of the local vino.
Visiting Attractions (self-guided):
Join your experienced local guide for a jam-packed tour of this mesmerising city. Just some of the highlights include the world's largest Gothic cathedral and the imposing Giralda Tower, as well as the city’s many charming plazas and colourful, multicultural districts, such as Triana and La Macarena. Round out the evening with a traditional flamenco performance, or try your hand at flamenco or making traditional tapas yourself.
When visiting Spain a trip to Granada is not to be missed. Your included tour introduces you to this beautiful and culturally-rich city which is home to one of Europe’s great treasures – Alhambra Palace. You’ll explore the art and intricacy of this magnificent structure, it’s Eden-like gardens, and the breathtaking views from the fortress watchtower. And that’s just the start of what Granada has to offer. All set against the snow-capped peaks of the Sierra Nevada.
Optional: Cordoba / Sierra Nevada Excursions
A visit to the historic city of Cordoba or a trip up into the Sierra Nevada mountains with tours available by foot, bike or 4WD are some of the other popular options available to you.
This morning you’ll travel by bus to the intriguing British Overseas Territory of Gibraltar on Spain’s south coast. Dominated by the imposing Rock of Gibraltar this tiny territory is a fascinating mix of English, Spanish and North African cultures. If you’re into shopping you won’t be disappointed. But for something a bit more adventurous, take a cable car up to the top of The Rock and a get a close-up snap with a Barbary macaque, the only wild monkey population in Europe.
Visiting Attractions (self-guided):
Today you’ll leave Europe for Africa, crossing the Straits of Gibraltar early by ferry and arriving in Tangier later in the morning. Then it’s time to relax and immerse yourself in the atmosphere of one of Africa’s most intriguing cities. Take an afternoon stroll and lose yourself in the ancient, labyrinthine streets – there really is a surprise around every corner. Then you will head to the airport for your evening flight to Casablanca.
Full Day Private Tour to Marrakech from Casablanca:
Get set for a real African adventure. After being picked up from your hotel in the morning, you’ll head to one of Morocco’s famous imperial cities – Marrakech. During full day of amazing sites and experiences, you’ll visit the UNESCO-listed Bahia Palace and the market square of Jemaa el Fnaa (replete with snake charmers), as well as the magnificent Moorish architecture of the Medersa ben Youssef and the Saadian Tombs. And enjoy delicious local delicacies at lunch.Visiting Attractions:
Visit Ait Ben Haddou:
Included is a special side-trip to this famous, World Heritage-listed fortified village in the middle of the desert. Wander and explore the distinctive clay buildings that have featured in dozens of movies and TV series and learn about its fascinating history.
Fez from Casablanca / Marrakech Private Tour
Today you’ll journey to the Imperial city of Fez – the cultural and spiritual centre of Morocco. Walk among the ancient fortifications, World Heritage-listed Old Medina and the Royal Palace. Watch local craftspeople at work on the region’s famous jewelry, embroidery and natural cosmetics. Return to Casablanca in time for dinner.
Today you’ll catch a flight to the seafaring capital of Portugal, Lisbon. Take the afternoon to relax and find your feet in one of Europe’s often overlooked gems. Perhaps spend a couple of hours exploring the city centre and sampling some delectable Portuguese aperitivos (starters) featuring only Portuguese produce and, of course, the drink for which the country is known, Port wine. At night take in a live fado show – a traditional style of Portuguese guitar music and folk dancing.
Visiting Attractions (self-guided):
For a small city Lisbon has a lot to see and do. Spend the morning on a private and leisurely tour of the city’s major monuments and attractions, including the Tower of Belém, the Monument to the Discoveries, World Heritage-listed Jerónimos Monastery, and walk the cobblestone streets of the old-world Alfama neighborhood.
Optional: Fátima Tour
If you choose, spend the morning seeing the sights of Lisbon and the afternoon at the celebrated shrine of Fátima – one of the world’s most important Catholic pilgrimage sites. Enjoy the wonderful countryside scenery on route.
Visiting Attractions (optional tour):
Today leave the city behind for a trip to the surprising natural paradise of Berlenga Grande Island. Travel to the picturesque fishing village of Peniche where you’ll board your boat for the 40-minute crossing. Then the choice is yours: Visit St. John the Baptist Fort, take a walk in the UNESCO-listed Biosphere Reserve, explore the island’s caves on a kayak or glass-bottom boat excursion, swim, snorkel or simply relax on the beach.
Today you’ll head overland from Lisbon to Europe’s highest capital city – Madrid. This fiery and frenetic city is the perfect place to spend the last days of your trip. But before a busy day of seeing what this incredible city has to offer, spend the afternoon and evening relaxing and taking in the city at your own pace, perhaps a wander down the Gran Via. (Optional) Dinner and a show at Corral de la Moreria – considered the ‘cathedral of flamenco’ – is highly recommended.
Madrid Hop-On Hop-Off Bus Tour
With so many sites and attractions to see, a Madrid Hop-On Hop-Off Bus is a great option. Offering two routes and more than 30 stops and buses every 8-15 minutes, you choose where and when you want to visit. Madrid must-sees include: the world-famous Prado Museum; Plaza de España; the Royal Palace; and, for the soccer lovers, Real Madrid’s Santiago Bernabeu Stadium. There are also plenty of private, guided tour options, if you prefer.
Depending on yourflight time you will have some extra time to relax and enjoy Madrid before returning to Australia. This unusual adventure was designed with input from a Spanish local and will be certain to give you a wonderful holiday.
Consider our classic stop-over package: 2 nights Singapore on the way over, 2 nights Dubai on the way back. Effectively you start your holiday as soon as you leave Australia. This breaks the trip and makes the flights much easier on you and far more enjoyable. Even if you have visited these places before, there is always more to see, do and revisit. We include tried and proven activities that will enhance your stop-over enjoyment even more.
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