Tour description

Finest Culture of Spain & Portugal Tour

Discover the scenic beauty and strong cultural identity of the regions of Spain & Portugal with this food and cultural tour. Whether you want to be driven around in comfort, or watch the sweeping scenery by train, this 20 day private tour of Spain & Portugal will showcase the Iberian Peninsula’s highlights. Starting in Barcelona you will discover several of Spain’s architectural wonders in Granada, Seville and Cordoba, before seeing Portugal’s delights. From the famous cities of Lisbon and Porto to lesser-known Estremoz and Evora, Portugal will astound you with its colourful architecture and rich history, before heading back to Spain. Visit beautiful Santiago de Compostela before finishing in Madrid, the Spanish capital of art and the good life. This tour includes wonderful regional lunches, private cultural city tours and an opportunity to uncover the artistic heritage of the Iberian Peninsula. Do your soul a favor and visit Spain & Portugal!



On arrival at Barcelona Airport to start your private Spanish & Portuguese food and cultural tour, our chauffeur will transfer you to your 4* boutique hotel. Located in the vibrant Barcelona Gothic Quarter, the hotel is near to all major sights but at the same time on the port front. The rooftop terrace bar and pool provide an astonishing view of the city as well as the port, and your lovely room looks out onto the harbor. A representative of Gourmand Breaks will meet you for a welcome drink, and together you will discuss your personalized itinerary for your Finest Culture of Spain & Portugal Tour. Apart from having available your online personal travel webpage, you will be handed your personal travel journals containing your itinerary and plenty of suggestions for restaurants and free time. Our excellent guides and chauffeurs will attend you throughout your tour with us and you will also have our 24/7 back office assistance, for anything you might need.
The history of Barcelona dates back to Roman times, but modern history had the city replanned, with its medieval walls demolished in 1854; as the eclectic place visited today. Over the next sixty years, much of modern Barcelona was built, its architecture funded by the bourgeoisie and designed by Antoni Gaudi and his Modernista contemporaries, Lluis Domenech and Josep Puig. On this first evening in Barcelona you might want to simply relax and unwind after your journey, otherwise we have several dinner recommendations for Barcelona’s best restaurants or informal tapas places nearby to be found in your Finest Culture of Spain & Portugal personal travel website.

Tour in a nutshell: Chauffeured transfer from Barcelona airport. Welcome meeting with your Gourmand Breaks tour representative. Overnight in a 4* palace hotel overlooking the port in Barcelona.



Today your Officially Licensed Guide will meet you at your hotel, to take you on a cultural and foodie tour of Barcelona! Together you will beat the queues to enjoy a private guided visit to incredible La Sagrada Familia, a beautiful Cathedral on a grand scale. The masterpiece of Antoni Gaudi, the cathedral has so many incredible elements that visiting it will be a joyous experience. Your journey will continue onto La Boqueria, Spain’s largest marketplace; full of a spectacular array of food and produce! Our expert Barcelona guide will lead you around the best booths, so that you can try fantastic local food and produce. After being guided through Barcelona’s gothic and Born quarters, you will taste some excellent natural Spanish cheeses at a charming local cheese shop. The knowledgeable owner will divulge the secrets of her cheeses while you taste some of the delicious specialties paired with excellent Priorat wine. For something sweet, your tour will stop at the oldest venue in Barcelona for dried nuts and fruits, homemade nougats and chocolates.

Your luxury private food and cultural tour will be rounded off with a light lunch of exquisite produce, from one of the best delicatessens in the city. Try Spain’s best Iberian ham, an assortment of delectable local preserves and a selection of the best Spanish olive oils and olives. This is the finale of your food and cultural tour, your Barcelona guide leaving you to enjoy your delicious meal. Prior to leaving you, your guide will be happy to provide a lot of suggestions for great places to eat and shop, etc.

Tour in a nutshell: Private guided tour of Barcelona. Gourmet food & wine tastings. Overnight Barcelona.


Finest Culture of Spain & Portugal Tour

This morning you will be discovering more about the essence of Spanish culture – its food – when you attend a fantastic local small group cooking class. Your chef will first escort you to La Boqueria, the visit slightly different from yesterday because you will be buying produce, rather than merely enjoying the atmosphere of this lively market. You and your chef will choose ingredients for seafood paella or fideua, crema catalana and other specialties, that you will cook for lunch. The market is a hive of activity and a rainbow of color! Your chef is on hand to answer any questions you have, about the array of products before you. Next, it’s time to put your food knowledge into practice – to make a wonderful paella or a typical Spanish tortilla. You will set to work in the kitchen as your gourmet Spanish cooking class begins. Here, you will enjoy the chef’s attention to detail and his tricks of the trade. An authentic and delicious Spanish lunch; the fruits of your labor, will follow, and be accompanied by great local wine. You will also receive a copy of the recipes you have made – wow your friends back home with your newly acquired repertoire!

Following this, enjoy a free evening in Barcelona to do as you wish, with the suggestions contained in your Finest Culture of Spain & Portugal personal travel website. There are many excellent authentic local restaurants in Barcelona to choose from for dinner this evening.

Tour in a nutshell: Tour of La Boqueria market with the chef followed by small group cooking class. Lunch with wine. Overnight Barcelona.



This morning, our chauffeur will accompany you to Bacelona Sants train station for your next destination, Andalucia; the south of Spain. The many elements of what foreigners think of when it comes to Spanish culture and food, have their roots here in Andalucia. On arrival at the other end, our chauffeur will be waiting to drive you to your excellent 5* hotel, a luxuriously converted former convent. This restored architectural masterpiece has also been declared an artistic and historic Spanish monument, and is excellently located in the historic center of Granada. Granada has its usual quotient of churches, museums etc. typical for a southern European city. However, Granada also has the incredible Alhambra, which you will be visiting in the company of our guide; a Moorish palace which will leave you in awe! While in Granada you may also like to visit the Royal Chapel (Capilla Real) commissioned by the Catholic Monarchs and built in a flamboyant Gothic style. The Cathedral stands next to the chapel and is considered to be the first renaissance church in Spain.

You may like to visit the Old Arab market “Alcaiceria”. It is an interesting place to wander around and besides looking at the goods for sale, there are some good examples of Islamic architecture, and tiled wall decorations. The small archway off the famous Bib Rambla Square magically transports you to North Africa and into the narrow, tented streets of this market which is full of color, scents, music and vendors. For dinner this evening we have many suggestions in your Finest Culture of Spain & Portugal personal travel website, for something typically Andalusian.

Tour in a nutshell: 1st Class high-speed train to Granada. Chauffeured transfers. Overnight in a 5* luxury hotel in Granada’s heart.



Delve deeper into Spanish culture today with our Officially Licensed Andalucian guide, who will take you on a private guided tour of one of the most incredible structures in Spain! The incredible Alhambra is considered by some to be one of the 10 wonders of the world. The Alhambra – gardens, fortifications and sumptuous palaces – was home to many Arab Sultans who ruled the province for almost 800 years. Stretched along the top of the hill known as La Sabika, the Alhambra is the stuff of fairy tales. From outside, its red fortress towers and walls appear plain, yet imposing, as they rise from cypress and elm woods, with the Sierra Nevada forming a magnificent backdrop.

The Alhambra was originally constructed as a small fortress in 889 AD and was then largely ignored until its ruins were renovated and rebuilt in the mid-11th century by Moorish king Mohammed ben Al-Ahmar who built the current palace and walls. With each new section that was added the consistent theme of “paradise on earth” was followed. Column arcades, fountains with running water, and reflecting pools were used to add to the aesthetic and functional intricacy. In each case, the exterior was left plain and austere. After being allowed to fall into disrepair for centuries, the Alhambra was rediscovered in the 19th century by European scholars and travelers, with restorations commencing. Today, the Alhambra exhibits the country’s most significant and well known Islamic architecture, together with 16th-century, and later Christian, building and garden interventions. You will surely be amazed by this incredible place and the stories and anecdotes your tour guide will reveal.

Tour in a nutshell: Private guided tour of Granada including entrance to the Alhambra. Overnight Granada.



Towards Seville today on your Finest Culture of Spain & Portugal Tour, but on the way you will be stopping in beautiful Ronda for some sightseeing and a delicious lunch! The Serrania de Ronda is a mountainous area that is famous throughout the world for it’s beautiful white villages, in Spanish known as the Pueblos Blancos. This part of Spain is unique, it is only here that the white villages exist in such abundance. Ronda is remarkably appealing with a beautifully preserved old town, Arab Baths and many great bars and restaurants, but the most famous landmark in Ronda is the Puente Nuevo or New Bridge. Completed in 1793 the bridge took forty two years to build and joins the old Moorish town and the newer, El Mercadillo parts of the city. Ronda is also said to be the home of modern day bullfighting in which you will visit the Real Maestranza bullring, one of the oldest and most picturesque in Spain.

Alternatively, if you are a wine lover, you can make a detour through Jerez, the birthplace of sherry. For lunch, you will enjoy a meal in the lively coastal town of Puerto Santa Maria, famous for its seafood restaurants. Your chauffeur will then take you to Jerez, where sherry grape cultivation dates back to the Roman era, and, where several types of sherry are produced today by many famous bodegas. You will have a Sherry date at a fantastic winery, founded in 1896, at one of the major producers in Spain. After a winery tour you will then be able to immerse yourself in the sherry culture with an extended tasting of their fabulous sherries!

Tour in a nutshell: Private chauffeured transportation to Seville with a stop over in Ronda or Jerez. Delicious lunch with wine. Optional private guided visit to a top sherry producer with sherry tastings. Overnight in a boutique 5* hotel in Seville.



Today our officially licensed Seville guide will take you on a private sightseeing tour of the Barrio Santa Cruz, which is the old Jewish quarter. You will amble around its beautiful squares and narrow streets, which form a labyrinth, but beware, it is very easy to get lost! This is part of the charm of the jasmine and orange scented Barrio because, when one is lost, a convent or a palace may be discovered. Many of the palaces have wrought iron gates that allow a sneak-peek into their beautiful patios. The area abounds in small food stores and artisan shops, as well as unique art galleries. Your tour continues through historic Seville, including a visit to Seville Cathedral, the oldest and most spectacular Gothic cathedral in the world, and La Giralda, a tower which provides spectacular views of the city. You will have worked up an appetite on this fascinating tour so your guide will lead you now to a tantalizingly delicious tapas lunch. Seville boasts more than 4,000 tapas bars – roughly 1 for every 200 locals! Tapas-hopping is part of Andalusian life and as you step into some of the many food-loving hot spots you can try a variety of dishes that come fresh from the kitchen. Plate after plate of tantalizing food appears on the bar to tempt your palate, try roast pepper salad or anchovies in vinegar, meatballs in sauce or a slice of potato omelet … the choice is yours! Of course, as is customary, your tapas is best appreciated with a glass of sherry, wine or draft beer.

In the evening prepare yourself to be wowed by more Spanish culture with a wonderful Gypsy Flamenco Show. The swirling skirts, sensuous movements and tapping heels of the dancers will excite and amaze the senses!

Tour in a nutshell: Private guided tour of Historic Seville to include the Cathedral and gourmet tapas. Evening Gypsy Flamenco show. Overnight Seville.



This morning you will set off for Corboda, once the biggest city in all of Europe, whose blend of cultures created much of Spain’s culture today. These cultural influences are beautifully expressed with a visit to Mezquita, the most significant Muslim architectural achievement in the Western world. This 8th century structure was first a church, then a mosque, and today has a cathedral oddly placed in its center. Walk the street leading up to the Juderia, with its whitewashed houses and colorful courtyards and shops. Though not Jewish in its current expression, a few signs hint of the former Golden Age of Jewish life, before the Expulsion of 1492. The Jewish Quarter is the best-known part of Cordoba’s historic center, which was declared a World Heritage Site by UNESCO in 1984 and is one of the largest in Europe.

You are free to explore this beautiful city on your own, but as the Mosque “Mezquita” is a must-see, we will provide you with all the information and maps you may need. Alternatively, we could arrange a private guided tour with our Officially Licensed Guide who, on arrival in Cordoba will be waiting for you to explain the history of and to show off the city. Relax over lunch and watch the world go by on a restaurant terrace in one of the city’s charming squares, such as Plaza de la Corredera which is like a mini Venetian St Mark’s Square. Then, after lunch, why not stroll down to the river to the famous ancient Roman Bridge before heading back to the train station for your return to Seville? We have many suggestions in your Finest Culture of Spain & Portugal Tour personal travel journal for a final Sevilliano style dinner tonight!

Tour in a nutshell: Return high-speed train tickets to Cordoba. Optional private guided tour of Cordoba. Overnight Seville.



Today you will be leaving Spain behind and our private chauffeur will be waiting to transfer you to the Portuguese wine region of Alentejo, a vast, sun-drenched area covering around a third of Portugal. Only five per cent of the land is planted with vines and between towns you can drive for miles passing cork and olive groves, vines, crops and grazing livestock. Here you will be able to stretch your legs and admire the views from beautiful hilltop village of Estremoz, before visiting a prestigious and historical winery, where you will learn a lot about the Portuguese wine and sample some great reds as you enjoy a delicious harvest lunch of Portuguese cuisine, with Alentejo bread, olives, cheeses, typical Alentejo sausages, etc.

Afterwards you will head to the walled city of Evora with a proud, rich and imposing past. The Romans were here, leaving their 1st century Temple behind, but so were the Moors who occupied the narrow streets with quaint small white washed houses. Evora is laid out over a gently sloping hill rising out of the huge Alentejo plain. It guards its historic center with a vast outer wall and represents a valuable cultural legacy that UNESCO has classified World Heritage. On arrival our chauffeur will drive you around this gorgeous Portuguese town and show you some monuments you might wish to visit this afternoon on your own. Then, you will check in to your elegant 5* spa hotel, perfectly located in the historical heart of the city and within short walking distance from the sights.

Tour in a nutshell: Private chauffeured tour of Estremoz. Tour and lunch at a prestigious winery. Overnight in a historic luxury 5* hotel in Evora.


This morning, you will be leaving Evora behind and heading to the gorgeous little mountain city of Sintra, for the next step in your Finest Culture of Spain & Portugal Tour. Verdant and graceful with stunning palaces and gardens, Sintra claims the Palacio da Pena, a fairytale palace built in the 1840’s for Queen Maria II by her husband. You will meet your guide at the palace and will together visit this unique, historical site. Your journey then continues to Cascais, a Portuguese fishing-town, now considered a high-end district. Here we have arranged a delicious, elegant and typical Portuguese lunch with wine. After this delicious meal you may like to stretch your legs by strolling the cobblestone sidewalks of this quaint place, admiring the traditional tile-work on the buildings and maybe indulging in a spot of shopping!

Onward now to Portugal’s capital, Lisbon, where you will check into your elegant 4* Boutique Hotel, in an unbeatable location in the city center and known for top notch service. If San Francisco had a sister, it would be Lisbon. Both cities have twin bridges and famously foggy weather. Both are situated on the best natural harbors on the west coast of their respective continents. Both have trolleys rattling up and down their steep hills past characteristic buildings. And both have survived horrific earthquakes. In 1755, an estimated 9.0 earthquake leveled two-thirds of Lisbon. Within a month, a new city was designed, and downtown Lisbon was rebuilt on a progressive grid plan, with broad boulevards and square squares. Today, Lisbon is a charming mix of old and new. We can recommend many restaurants in Lisbon for you to discover some local Portuguese cuisine this evening!

Tour in a nutshell: Chauffeured transportation. Elegant lunch with wine. Private guided visit to Palacio da Pena in Sintra. Overnight in a boutique 4* hotel in Lisbon.



Discover more of Portugal’s culture today! Your Officially Licensed guide will be waiting at your hotel, to take you on a private gourmet and historical tour of Lisbon. You will start with Moorish St George’s Castle, from where you will have impressive views over the sea and city below. Leading down from the castle to the river, you will traverse the Alfama, the old sailors’ quarter. Its tangled street plan is one of the few parts of Lisbon to survive the big quake, making the Alfama a cobbled playground of Old World color. Urban-jungle roads are squeezed into a maze of confusing alleys, designed to frustrate invaders trying to get up to the castle. Gnarled houses snuggle together in their romantic shabbiness; the air drips with laundry and the smell of clams and raw fish. Onward now to the Baixa and Chiado districts where there are many well-known cafes to enjoy a coffee stop and a typical Portuguese cake. You will be visiting a specialized gourmet delicatessen stocked with authentic local delights such as the typical Bacalhau (dried, salted cod), exclusive wines, traditional sweets, chorizo sausages and much more.

This evening you are set for a fabulous Fado experience, Portugal’s national music. You will dine at an authentic, elegant Portuguese Fado restaurant in Lisbon’s picturesque Bairro Alto. Founded in 1931 this institution in Lisbon has entertained prime ministers and presidents. The show is composed of Fado Sessions until 2am so you can stay as long as you wish, although most of our guests leave around 11pm.

Tour in a nutshell: Private guided gourmet & historic tour of Lisbon. Delicatessen lunch with wine. Fado Evening. Overnight Lisbon.



The beautiful city of Lisbon is yours to discover at your leisure today – your Finest Culture of Spain & Portugal Tour personal travel journal holds a fount of suggestions! Perhaps you will want to have a wander and try some more local cheeses or ports by making a visit to the Port Wine Institute. Wander around the Alfama district and find a little local cafe for a port or coffee, or alternatively, just take it easy for the rest of the day, sip a glass of good Portuguese wine and watch the world go by. Your Lisbon guide will have given you many ideas on further sightseeing options within the Portuguese Capital. Maybe ride on one of the famous trams (originally called Americanos), or visit Santa Engracia church, which is in the Guinness Book of Records for being the church that took the longest time to construct: started in the 17th century, the last dome was completed in 1966! Lisbon is also known as the town of seven hills which consist unsurprisingly, of seven hills: Castelo, Graca, Monte, Penha de Franca, S.Pedro de Alcantara, Santa Catarina and Estrela. An uphill walk will be tiring but the views are well worth it!

Alternatively you may like to head out of the city and optionally, we can arrange for our private chauffeur to take you to Azeitao, south of Lisbon for a Portuguese wine tour. Your day will commence with a tour of a famous wine estate, owned by a major art lover. You will tour the estate with its 16th century renaissance gardens and incredible vineyards, Japanese garden and finally, the wine cellars where you will enjoy a tasting of their best wines. You will now pause for a delicious country fare lunch with typical Portuguese local wines served at a local hostelry, an ideal opportunity to taste the local sweet speciality, Tortas de Azeitão.

Tour in a nutshell: Free day in Lisbon OR optional day trip to Azeitao. Overnight Lisbon.


Finest Culture of Spain & Portugal Tour

This morning you will travel from Lisbon to Porto, to have another cultural taste of Portugal! Your luxury 5* wine and spa hotel has the perfect location in Vila Nova de Gaia in the midst of the famous Port Wine Lodges and descends from a family who entered the Port trade in 1838. Your officially licensed guide will meet you at your hotel this afternoon to take you on a historical tour of Porto with gourmet tastings en-route. On your journey you will see and hear of the city’s most emblematic monuments. You will visit the 14th century Church Sao Francisco, well-worth seeing for its Baroque decorations, as well as the Se Cathedral, a 12th century Baroque church with Gothic cloisters and ornately painted blue-and-white azulejos tiles, Sao Bento railway station, Clerigos tower, Ribeira square and the elaborately decorated Lello bookstore which was recently rated as one of the most beautiful bookstores in the world. You will pass by some interesting wine shops on your journey and, as you are in the home of Port wine, arrangements have been made for you to taste some of the very special famous ports – your guide will gladly share with you her deep knowledge on the subject.

Relax for the rest of the day and enjoy a dramatic and unobstructed view across the River Douro to the historic centre of Porto from your balcony. You may like to use the hotel’s luxury spa facilities with its large indoor pool and hot tub or sit around the outdoor pool offering panoramic views of Porto. You may like to have dinner at your hotel tonight, but if not, we have many suggestions in your Finest Culture of Spain & Portugal Tour personal travel journal for typical Portuguese restaurants.

Tour in a nutshell: 1st class train tickets to Porto. Private guided tour of historic Porto including Port Wine tasting. Overnight in a 5* spa hotel in Porto.


Finest Culture of Spain & Portugal Tour

Your Finest Culture of Spain & Portugal Tour has you booked for a guided visit to a fantastic Port Wine Lodge; another aspect of Portuguese culture. For many, it is the archetypal Port house and its wines the quintessential Ports, having been established over three centuries ago in 1692. It is dedicated entirely to the production of Port wine and in particular to its finest styles. Since its foundation the company has remained independent. Now, well into its fourth century, it has thrived and prospered, establishing itself as one of the world’s most respected historic wine houses. You will enjoy a private guided tour of the Wine Lodge concluded with a delightful tasting of some of their best ports. You will then head to the Gaia riverfront, the meeting point for traders and fishermen since medieval times; it was here they crossed the river to sell the products from the Upper Douro. Your next visit will be to another fantastic Port Wine Lodge that combines tradition and modernity. The building dates back to the 18th century and was restored in 1881 with the expansion of the Port wine trade. After your visit to the premises you will discover some of their delicious Port Wines, followed by lunch accompanied by river views overlooking Porto.

This afternoon, why not take a stroll over the Dom Luis Bridge, an unmistakable icon of Porto, to the Ribeira district or to discover more of the old town? We have many suggestions for further sightseeing for this afternoon, or alternatively, you may wish to return to your hotel and enjoy relaxing in the pool and spa.

Tour in a nutshell: Tours & tastings at 2 prestigious Port wine lodges. Lunch with wines. Overnight Porto.


Finest Culture of Spain & Portugal Tour

Today you venture back into Spain, to the famous pilgrim site of Santiago de Compostela, but on the way you will be stopping in Guimaraes with time for a walk around. Guimaraes is called the birthplace of Portugal, as Afonso Henriques who went on to be the first king of Portugal, was born here in 1110. Guimaraes has beautifully preserved its illustrious past which you will find evident in the local architectural details. Its medieval center is a labyrinth of lanes and picturesque plazas framed by 14th-century buildings.

Onward now to Santiago de Compostela! Your chauffeur will drop you off at your grand luxury 5* hotel, set in a beautiful 15th-century building; a former pilgrims’ hospital. It is located in the Old Town, on Obradoiro Square, near the cathedral, creating an area of spectacular beauty in one of the most visited provincial capitals in the world. Santiago de Compostela is known as the end of the Camino de Santiago pilgrimage route and its cathedral is the alleged burial site of the apostle St. James. It became a symbol of the Spanish Christians’ struggle against Islam, being destroyed by the Muslims at the end of the 10th century; it was subsequently completely rebuilt in the following century. This town is a very well preserved historical city and a place deeply instilled with faith. The cathedral’s elaborately carved stone facades open onto grand squares within the medieval walls of the old town.

Please note: If you would like to experience Camino de Santiago, our chauffeur will take you to the prettiest part of the Padron/Escravitude/Santiago route, a trail of around 20km. You could then arrive in Santiago de Compostela in style, walking as an authentic Pilgrim!

Tour in a nutshell: Chauffeured transfer to Santiago de Compostela via Guimaraes. Overnight in a luxury 5* hotel in Santiago de Compostela.


Finest Culture of Spain & Portugal Tour

A wonderful cultural tour of Santiago de Compostela awaits you this morning, when our officially licensed guide meets you at your hotel. You will first visit Santiago de Compostela Cathedral, the most outstanding building of Romanesque art in Spain, and the final destination of the St. James’ Way, which, over the centuries, has brought thousands of pilgrims to the apostle’s tomb. The crypt of Saint James the apostle lies directly beneath the Baroque style main altar of the Cathedral. And in the Cathedral’s Museum you will see all the historic and artistic treasures, from the earliest basilicas. You will then meander through the intricate alleys and narrow streets of the old city center and be able to admire some of its most ancient stores and buildings.

You will also make a visit to the traditional market where many of its traders are the producers, harvesters, butchers and fishmongers selling their very own fresh vegetables, fruit, local cheeses, catches of the day etc. En-route you will be introduced to the famous Galician gastronomy – the Galician Rias offer a wide variety of fish (mostly eaten boiled or grilled) and seafood, so you will surely delight in tasting the typical dishes such as Fair-style octopus, seafood, fried peppers from Padron and the famous empanadas or meat pies, accompanied by a glass of Albarino wine. Your private guide will leave you with many personalized suggestions for some more sightseeing for the rest of your day. For example, a walk in the beautiful open space that is Alameda Park dating back to the 19th century offers a privileged and stunning view of ancient Santiago!

Tour in a nutshell: Private guided morning tour of historical Santiago de Compostela with food & wine tastings. Overnight in Santiago de Compostela.


Finest Culture of Spain & Portugal Tour

Leave Santiago behind and head to Madrid with the train on your Finest Culture of Spain & Portugal Tour today. Your boutique hotel’s location is perfect, within the Golden Triangle of Art, so you will not have far to walk to get to the Prado, the Thyssen-Bornemisza and the Reina Sofia. After time to settle into your hotel, perhaps a light lunch and a chance to make the most of the Spanish “siesta”, you will join our Officially Licensed guide for a guided tour of Madrid. Your private Madrid tour will first take you to El Prado museum, which is the biggest art gallery in the world. It has more than 7,600 paintings, but can exhibit only one part of its collection due to lack of space. However, a recent addition to the museum increased the space by 50%, so more paintings will gradually be displayed. Prado means meadow, and the museum got the name of Prado because there was an open meadow where the museum now sits. Your private guide, additionally qualified in Spanish History and Art, will make sure you don’t miss anything. You are in excellent hands.

Your private tour of Madrid will then take you to the Plaza Oriente to see and learn about the Palace and the Cathedral. You will then walk through the Old town to the Plaza de la Villa, and on to San Miguel market, the hottest gastronomic spot in Madrid where its bars and restaurants make it the place to meet. On your journey this afternoon/evening you will enjoy some fantastic bites to eat, and a beverage or two, as you sample the best variety of wine and tapas the city has on offer!

Tour in a nutshell: High-speed train to Madrid on a 1st Class basis. Private guided tour of El Prado and Old Madrid with gourmet tapas-hopping. Overnight in a luxury 4* hotel in Madrid..


Finest Culture of Spain & Portugal Tour

Your Finest Culture of Spain & Portugal tour takes you today to Toledo! You have return train tickets to this beautiful town just 30 mins from Madrid. You are free to discover Toledo on your own, but should you wish to have a private tour with our Officially Licensed Guide, this can be arranged. A must-see in this Castilian town is Toledo Cathedral, considered to be one of the high points of Gothic art. On its main façade the outstanding feature is the doorway, made up of three doors: Infierno (Hell), Perdon (Forgiveness) and Juicio (Judgement). The exterior is topped by the two cathedral towers, one of them in flamboyant Gothic style and the other in Gothic-Renaissance. Other wonderful architectural monuments are the Synagogue of Santa Maria La Blanca and El Transito, testament to Toledo’s cultural Jewish influences. In the synagogue of El Transito, built in 1357, you can admire one of the best Mudejar coffered ceilings of all those preserved in Toledo, along with walls richly decorated with geometrical and botanical designs and Hebrew inscriptions. Nowadays, this Jewish place of worship houses the Sephardic Museum, in which an interesting collection of art and objects used in Jewish ceremonies are exhibited. Finish your tour of Toledo with a visit to the church of Santo Tome, famous for housing El Greco’s El Entierro del Conde Orgaz (The burial of Count Orgaz). You will then have free time to enjoy Toledo and have lunch, for which several suggestions are contained in your personal travel journal.

Once back in Madrid, the evening is free to do as you wish – relax, have dinner, wander around the city and enjoy the Spanish capital.

Tour in a nutshell: 1st class high-speed return train tickets to Toledo. Optional private guided tour of Toledo. Overnight Madrid.


Finest Culture of Spain & Portugal Tour

You have the day free in Madrid on your Finest Culture of Spain & Portugal tour today. Perhaps you wish to visit the Reina Sofia Museum or the Thyssen-Bornemisza Collection in the company of our expert guide? The Reina Sofia Museum is the national museum for 20th century art in Spain. The museum was officially inaugurated in Madrid in 1992 and is named after the former Queen of Spain. The Reina Sofia museum collection consists of more than 20,000 works from the late 19th century to the present day, mainly dedicated to Spanish art with highlights including two of the greatest 20th century masters; Pablo Picasso and Salvador Dali. The most famous painting displayed is Picasso’s ‘Guernica’ – incredible to see up close. The Thyssen-Bornemisza Museum is a collection of art which in the 1980s, was one of the greatest coups in European art history. Amassed by a central European collector beginning around 1920, and formerly displayed in Lugano, Switzerland, its 700 canvases, by artists ranging from El Greco to Picasso, are arranged in chronological order. This fantastic collection rivals the legendary holdings of the Queen of England herself.

Maybe you wish to return to the Royal Palace (Palacio Real) to view its interesting interior. Otherwise, take a leisurely walk through El Retiro Park, a great place to enjoy the open air as you stroll along the paths, passing fountains, statues, the delicate Palacio de Cristal and the boating lake. This evening we have many recommendations for fine dining in Madrid, be it old style Spanish food or a Michelin starred extravaganza!

Tour in a nutshell: Free day Madrid. Overnight Madrid.


Finest Culture of Spain & Portugal Tour

It is always sad to say goodbye, but this is the last day of your Finest Culture of Spain & Portugal tour and after breakfast you will check out of your hotel and will have a chauffeured transfer to Madrid Airport for your onward journey home. This all-encompassing cultural tour of Spain and Portugal means that you will have learned much about the food and wine of Iberia as well. We do hope you will join us for this truly memorable experience!

Tour in a nutshell: Chauffeured transfer to Madrid airport.

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We are excited that you are considering joining us on one of our fabulous custom-built tours of Spain, Portugal, SW France and/or Italy! Please fill in the form below and we will happily provide you with a non-committal initial quote for the sample tour itinerary chosen.

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Tour in a Nutshell

Iconic places: Santiago de Compostela, Madrid, Lisbon & Porto

This food adventure showcases the flavours of Spain & Portugal

Private guides will show you the Iberian Peninsula’s secrets

Chauffeur driven tours & first-class train transportation

20 days/19 nights, boutique 4* and 5* hand selected hotels

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