Visit 18 handpicked World Heritage Sites on your 17-day exclusive Spain and Portugal itinerary that will take you on a journey through the surreal styles of old the Iberian Peninsula. The heritage compels and confounds, as the cities are full of mystery and the stories packed with folklore. Most of the World Heritage Sites are living expressions of the past with entire towns and cities you can savor.
Madrid – El Escorial and Introduction to Spain
Glistening gold and flamboyant murals, El Escorial will provide a shimmering introduction to Iberia’s World Heritage Sites. After you land in Madrid, you’ll be escorted to this showpiece of religious and royal might. The palace is amongst Europe’s most extravagant buildings, which was created at a time when religion was used to impress the population. In the evening you get a sense of Spain’s relaxed style by dining on an al fresco terrace. As the sun fades the people come out, creating a vibrant atmosphere that’s backdropped by superb architecture.
Madrid – The Palace of Aranjuez and Mystery of Toledo
Salamanca – A City Behind Walls and a City of Golden Sandstone
Salamanca – Full Day Discovering the Architectural Styles and Heritage
Caceres – Spain’s Hidden and Untouched History
Caceres – Full Day at Leisure in One of Europe’s Most Mysterious Cities
Merida – A Spectacular Roman History
Evora – World Heritage on the Portuguese Side of the Frontier
Lisbon – Monuments From the Portuguese Age of Discovery
Lisbon – The Exotic Cultural Landscapes of Sintra
Batalha – Castles, Cities and Gothic Brilliance
Porto – The Blue World Heritage Heart of a Traditional City
Porto – Braga and Guimaraes Day Trip
Day 14 - 15
Sao Joao da Pesqueira – Relaxing in the World Heritage Upper Douro Wine Region
Tomar – A Remarkable University and the Tale of the Templar Knights
Lisbon – Departure
- Immerse yourself in the past while you stay in the heart of World Heritage cities, including Oporto and Caceres
- Celebrate the groundbreaking creativity of the architecture with a journey through the styles in Salamanca and the Manueline brilliance of Lisbon
- Take in the shimmering opulence of the medieval royals by exploring El Escorial, the Palace of Aranjuez, and the dazzling old palaces of Sintra
- Journey far back in time while you visit Merida, home to stunning Roman history and Avila encased by thick white walls
- Embrace the atmosphere of Spain and Portugal’s World Heritage Sites, as towns like Evora and Toledo preserve the feeling of their history
- Admire some of the world’s great architectural expressions, like the Gothic monasteries at Alcobaca and Batalha, and the Convent of Christ in Templar
- Travel across the delightful rural landscapes of both countries, including the open plains of Castile y Leon and the wine terraces of the Upper Douro Valley
The World Heritage Sites of Iberia come in all styles and forms, including royal palaces, flamboyant castles, Baroque masterpieces, monasterial remains, Roman legacies, and wine valleys. While some are outstanding individual buildings or monuments, most of the UNESCO sites encompass entire towns and cities. Iberia is where the heritage is fully alive, where it’s not just the buildings that have been preserved but the feeling of a distant place and time. Salamanca is a city of golden sandstone built in the past. Caceres is a town etched in folklore and mystery. Evora is an expression of the frontier from a time of quarrel. Oporto is a city of creative genius and color. On this unique and private itinerary you’ll visit 18 World Heritage Sites, many of them entire cities that have preserved the past.
Your visit to Spain will be followed by a journey through Portugal. The Spanish adventure focuses on the central plains, a landscape mostly crafted by the medieval era. Explore the sites in and around Madrid on the first two days, including a trail through Toledo. Discover the ancient city of Avila before you travel to the golden heart of Salamanca. Relax in surreal Caceres – a unique city that still receives few tourists – then uncover the Roman paradox of Merida. Along the way, you’ll get a sense for other aspects of Spanish heritage, like the food, the wine, and the sociable evenings on a Plaza Mayor.
When you stand on the frontier, Evora will be your first dreamy impression of Portugal. You’ll immediately sense that things are different across the border as the attitudes and ambiances are distinct to their larger neighbor. Spend time in Lisbon, including a morning in Sintra, before hopping north towards Porto through the Gothic discoveries of Alcobaca and Batalha. Your exploration of Porto and the far north will be followed by downtime in the Upper Douro wine valley, an idyllic place to relax after the cultural adventure. You’ll stop at the World Heritage Sites of Coimbra and Tomar before flying out of Lisbon’s international airport.
$4,857 per person (excluding international flights)
Your Zicasso trip is fully customizable, and this sample itinerary is a starting place for your travel plans. Actual costs are dynamic, and your selection of accommodations and activities, your season of travel, and other such variables will bring this budget guideline up or down. Throughout your planning experience with your Zicasso specialist, your itinerary is designed around your budget. You can book your trip when you are satisfied with every detail. Planning your trip with a Zicasso travel specialist is a free service.
- In-country transportation
- Some or all activities and tours
- Expert trip planning
- 24x7 support during your trip
Your final trip cost will vary based on your selected accommodations, activities, meals, and other trip elements that you opt to include.
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