Last year we customized a number of tours around cruises of Portugal and Spain, starting in Lisbon and finishing in Barcelona, for our clients using companies such as Azamara Club Cruises and Paul Gauguin Cruises, amongst others. Here are some ideas to inspire you for your next trip….
The first day kicks off in Lisbon where your local guide will take you to explore the city on Private Gourmet and Historical Tour, introducing you to the Portuguese culture, cuisine and its incredible mix of Mediterranean tradition and exotic influences from all corners of the World.
Your guide will explain the history of Portugal’s famous fortified wine, Port, stopping off at numerous wine bars on your journey where arrangements have been made for you to taste the very special famous ports from Douro and Portuguese wines, such as Vinho Verde do Minho (the famous green wine of Minho) along with the perfect accompliment – the delicious Azeitão Portuguese cheese.
Making the most of the Madrid surroundings, the second day in Lisbon can be used to visit Palacio de Pena, a World Heritage Site and one of the main residences of the Portuguese Royal family in the nineteenth century and the most powerful expression of romantic style architecture at this time. Following on from that our private chauffeur will take you on the short journey to Estoril, a cosmopolitan resort with a Victorian-era charm and Sintra an oasis of luxurious parks spotted with hide away fairytale palaces. To finish off the day- a glass of wine in the charming and cosmopolitan seaside village of Cascais.
From Lisbon to Sevilla! Collected by your officially licensed guide at the port you will be whisked off for a tour of the beautiful Barrio Santa Cruz, Seville´s old Jewish quarter stopping off along the way to admire some of Seville´s finest architecture such as the Cathedral, La Giralda and the Reales Alcazares-the oldest royal palace in Europe and a beautiful place to relax and explore the gardens.
Today, the city of Granada. Where you will travel the hour’s journey from Motril to Granada by private chauffeur and meet with one of our Officially Licensed Guide who will take you on a grand tour of this magnificent city, the highlight being the incredible Alhambra- consisting of gardens, fortifications and palaces. It was the home of many of the Arab Sultans who ruled the whole province over the years. Stretched along the top of the hill known as La Sabika, the Alhambra is the stuff of fairy tales, with the Sierra Nevada forming a magnificent backdrop.
A wander around the Albaicín to end the day, the old Arabic quarter located on the hill opposite the Alhambra. It is characterized by cobble stoned streets with white washed houses and still retains a strong Arabic feeling, stop off for a cup of hot mint tea and sink into a velvety couch in one of the many atmospheric Teterias ( Moorish tea houses) tucked away down cobblestone alleyways.
The final day- Barcelona! A private chauffeur will take you to all the top sights in Barcelona, starting with a drive up to Montjuic (Jewish Mountain) for a magnificent panoramic view of the city. After a tour around the infamous La Boqueria Market our expert guide will take you along the Gaudi Route visiting the magnificent Sagrada Familia, Casa Batllo and La Pedrera.
Lunch time in Barcelona takes you to one of the hottest foodie spots in the city- Vila Vineteca Delicatessen where you will be able to enjoy a light lunch of exquisite tapas, including Spain’s best Iberica “bellota” ham, Joselito, fine cold meats and sausages, the finest wild tuna, anchovies, clams from Galicia, a selection of the best Spanish olive oils, cheeses and salads. Here, there are over 6000 wines to choose from (but also English speaking sommeliers to guide you through your choices for the meal!)
If you are planning a cruise around Spain and Portugal why not see if you can squeeze the most out of your experience by organizing with us your day shore excursions to cities such as Lisbon, Barcelona, Seville or Granada . Our local experts and tour guides promise to take you off the beaten track to see a different side of these enchanting cities.