Lisbon, Santiago de Compostela, Oviedo, San Sebastian, Saragossa, Barcelona, Porto
Dates are flexible and customizable for private departures.
Savor the hills and valleys along with the grapevines and coastlines during your 12-day customizable Portugal and Northern Spain tour. Historical cities glisten with orange-tiled rooftops and cobblestone streets that beg you to wander. The spires of Sagrada Basilica in Barcelona soar as a hidden church chamber in Oviedo hides a chest of ancient treasures. You can linger in the majestic ambiance, the dramatic landscape, and inspiring culture.
Lisbon – Arrive in the Capital of Portugal
Historical funiculars climb the seven hills of Lisbon, and the elegant façade of the Jerónimos Monastery represent the gilded age of the Portuguese Empire. The city features a striking combination of cobbled alleys, and ancient ruins as Cathedrals glisten with white domes. Historical cafes serve traditional salted cod and grilled prawns, and the surrounding homes glow with vibrant colors to cast a radiant light along the turquoise River Tagus. Your private transfer will meet you at Lisbon’s Humberto Delgado Airport and escort you to your luxurious hotel set in the heart of the city. Your accommodation will blend charm and history with sophistication and a spectacular location. The remainder of the day is yours to enjoy the splendor of the city at your leisure to get your bearings along the seven hills and the marvelous seaside.
Castelo de São Jorge stands atop the plateau over the Old City as gleaming red roofs and the white facades of historical homes shine against the castle’s golden stone. The National Museum of Ancient Art features the largest collection of 15th and 16th-century Portuguese paintings with an equally impressive display of works from Europe, Asia, and Africa to highlight the country’s rich tradition of exploration. The earthy tone of the walls help each piece to burst from their canvas and display case. The museum was erected on the grounds of the Saint Albert Carmelite monastery, which folded during an 18th-century earthquake, with the first of the museum’s three floors preserving the remains of St. Albert Chapel, which was once connected to the monastery.
Lisbon – Delight in a Full Day Historical and Cultural Tour
Contemporary Lisbon lives amongst Portugal’s history with cobblestone alleys leading to the shoreline and the banks of the River Tagus winding into the countryside. The city has indelible links to historical navigators and the Atlantic which connects the streets, the culture, and the people with the Golden Age of Discovery. After breakfast, your guide will meet you at your hotel eager to lead you through the city’s remarkable past that emanates from the Old City. You will begin in the 18th-century square of Praça do Comércio. The façade has a meringue texture with mosaic stones outlining the lemon hues, and the plaza once welcomed those arriving by boat into the city. A regal statue of Dom José I atop a horse rises out of the center of the square representing the roots of the plaza as the site of the original Palacio da Ribeira before the earthquake of 1755.
The Arco da Rua Augusta flickers with white stone and beautiful statues that highlight Portuguese history, including the striking figure of Vasco de Gama. The funiculars meander down the steep slopes of the hills alongside old stone steps as the Romanesque Cathedral of Sé features twin bell towers embellished with battlements, turning the regal, heavenly architecture into a militaristic figure. The church was established in the mid 12th century and contains nine distinct chapels, including the 14th-century sarcophagi of King Afonso IV.
Porto – Discover Fatima and the Vistas and History around Porto
In the morning, the vendors of the Feira da Ladra flea market celebrate the unique curiosities of the country. A market has filled the streets between Panteão Nacional and São Vicente de Fora since the late 19th century. Colorful antique houses frame the walkways and the aroma of fresh bread and strong coffee emanates from the cafes. Your private transfer will meet you at your hotel and escort you north towards the city of Porto. En route, you will stop in the city of Fatima, where millions of people make a pilgrimage to visit the site in which the Virgin Mary appeared before three awestruck children.
An esplanade more than a half-mile long connects the two towering Basilicas that crown each end. The limestone landscape supports the majestic ambiance as the Neo-Baroque Basilica has a central tower that dominates the walkway at the height of nearly 215 feet. The small, charming chapel of Capela das Apariçôes marks the site of the apparition. Once in Porto, the atmosphere shifts from majestic to enticing with the waters of the River Douro rushing against the flush banks. Orange-tiled roofs glow beneath the spreading sunlight. The 18th-century Torre dos Clérigos punctuates the skyline at nearly 250 feet tall with 240 steps circling to the top.
Restaurants serve traditional plates with contemporary twists, taking inspiration from the bustling food markets and retro-chic cafes. The city has pockets of lookouts that offer spectacular views that spread across the rooftops, the River Douro, the Atlantic Ocean, and the Douro Valley. You will make your way to the Church of Sao Francisco to view the 18th-century Baroque interior that glitters with golden veneer. The dazzling display of wealth embellishes the high altar and the supportive columns, along with the decorative pillars. The family tree of Jesse edges the north wall with gilded leaves and painted wood offering insight into the genealogy of Jesus’ family.
Santiago de Compostela – Travel to Spain on a Scenic Road to visit La Toja
The historical heart of the city has delightful interweaving alleys laid with cobblestone. The skyline shines with a mixture of old towers and contemporary windows that reflect the sunlight off of the Museu de Arte Contemporânea. The Casa da Música has an iconic minimalist design and inspires the beating heart of the city’s musical culture within the shiny cuboid. After breakfast, your private transfer will lead you towards Vigo and the Spanish border. The Spanish village was erected over Roman ruins in the Middle Ages and grew into a city in the 16th century, and now houses Europe’s largest fishing fleet. Tapas bars open to the street and fill the air with fried, salted cod and sweet red wines.
Old Town spreads across the hilltop and leads to the contemporary sprawl of the modern streets and the surrounding verdant countryside. The seaside aroma blends with the antique stones of Old Town as you make your way to the refreshing waters of La Toja Island. The famous local spring has helped heal visitors from around the world amongst the sea view and Thalassotherapy scent found inside the local resort. A small waterfall trickles into the baths and the cool water provides a soothing welcome amongst the fluttering palms outside the window. You can take a moment to relax in the ancient spring and 19th-century spa before continuing to Santiago de Compostela.
Santiago de Compostela – Relish a Half-Day Tour of Town
The splendor of Santiago de Compostela emanates from the central Cathedral. The stone streets represent the beauty of history and the preserved culture of glistening Old Town. The festive ambiance drifts along the cobblestone year round, erupting in July and August as pilgrims flock to the city from around the globe. Santiago de Compostela stands at the end of the faithful journey represents the path of Saint James, when the relics moved from Jerusalem to the city. You will make your way across town on a guided tour to experience the unforgettable atmosphere and welcoming locals of Santiago, beginning with your visit to the sacred destination of Catedral de Santiago, the most sacred Christian monument in the country.
The edifice soars above the city and crowns the Plaza del Obradoiro. The city began construction on the Cathedral in the 11th century and completed the remarkable structure in 1211 AD. The bell towers reach a height of more than 260 feet, and the façade shines with Baroque features flanked by the statues of St. James. The ground rises to meet the quadruple flight of steps as the interior contains hints of frankincense and myrrh that linger beneath the vaulted ceilings. The altar features a medieval statue of a bejeweled St. James. Pilgrims hug the statue upon entering the Cathedral and receive a certificate after traveling 60 miles or more on foot.
Oviedo – Explore the Splendors of Luarca and Oviedo on the Asturian Coast
In the morning, the pilgrims continue to reach the city from along the Camino de Santiago. The orange-tiled rooftops of Old Town glow beneath the spreading sunlight that leads to the Plaza de las Platerías. The Galician Contemporary Art Centre provides insight into the region’s current culture as shaped by the landscape and unique history. After breakfast, you will set out with your private transfer to reach the city of Oviedo, located in the lush, rolling hills of the Picos de Europa Mountains. The peaceful pastures and pre-Romanesque churches beckon to visitors, along with the narrow pedestrian lanes of Old Town.
En route to Oviedo, you will travel along the stunning Asturian coastline. The shoreline protrudes into the sea with dramatic cliffs, splendid boulders, and remarkable beaches lined with soft sand. The valleys shimmer with verdant orchards and fields amongst charming villages as fishing boats wade in the calm waters amongst colorful homes that line the marina at Luarca. The town fills with the aroma of the sea, both in the breeze and emanating from the tavernas that line the cobblestone streets.
After settling into the comforts of your centrally located hotel in Oviedo, your guide will lead you on an exclusive visit to the Cámara Santa de Oviedo, within the Cathedral of San Salvador. The holy chamber was established in the early 9th century AD to house the Arca Santa chest. You will enter into the cooler atmosphere of church’s stone and pass beneath the 270-foot tall tower. You will take the steps down into the transept to find the precious reliquary brought to the city after the Toledo fell to the Moors. Silver-plated reliefs glint in the dim lights and protect the ancient relics from Jerusalem.
San Sebastian – Visit Santillana and Bilbao en route to San Sebastian
The hidden church of San Tirso was erected in the 9th century and has a single window attached to its original pre-Romanesque design. The semicircular arches feature marble columns and decorative capitals crowned with Moorish molding that shines in the morning light. After breakfast, you will leave the city Oviedo behind to make your way towards the coastline of the famous Basque region. You will first stop in the Cave of Altamira, located midway between Oviedo and Bilbao. The ancient cave winds more than 885 feet into the hillside with an entrance hall, gallery and side hall decorated with prehistoric rock art. The many paintings depict bison, deer, boar, and horses and date back approximately 14,000 years.
The scent of rich minerals emanate from the cave walls, and the cool temperatures and stone protect the artwork from the heat and the rain. The polychrome colors contain ochre and charcoal to add dimensions to the animals’ various poses. You will continue to Santillana del Mar, a medieval town of bright cobblestones streets and tanned brick buildings. Flowerpots adorn the balconies and bring an extra layer of charm to the already picturesque atmosphere. The town has preserved its 16th-century splendor by not allowing vehicles into the heart of Old Town, so you can stroll along the main street to pass the 15th to 18th-century homes in which nobles once resided. The 12th-century Romanesque monastery of Colegiata de Santa Juliana stands tall with a formidable storehouse and gorgeous cloister.
San Sebastian – Stroll along Old Town at your Leisure
San Sebastian is a gem set upon the sands and the hills that edge the Bay of Biscay. The sea breeze floats across the cobblestone streets as Michelin star restaurants populate the hidden alleys. Cafes look out along the Playa de la Concha, an idyllic beach of golden sand and calm waters that shimmer with turquoise and cobalt. The city is yours to experience at your leisure, so you can bask in the sunlight on the comforts of the sandy beaches or traverse the tapas bars that fill the streets with the enticing aromas of talo con chistorra, a soft corn tortilla stuffed with sausage.
The streets of Old Town tell of the past through the colorful facades of the buildings that stretch along Alameda del Boulevard and Monte Urgull. Arcades decorate Plaza de la Constitución, and the municipal library captures the eyes of passersby with wonderful neoclassical architecture embellishing the façade. The Pescadería, the local fish market, continues to thrive in the mornings with locals and visitors alike wandering the aisles to view the freshest seafood in the city.
Butchers fill the cobblestone basement to present freshly made sausages and cured meats sliced to order. The stalls outdoors feature vibrant flowers and gorgeous produce, bringing the sweet aromas of berries and tomatoes. For an unforgettable view of the city, make your way to the steep summit of Monte Igueldo, located at the edges of Ondarreta Beach. A funicular will ferry you to the peak at more than 600 feet above sea level to offer a stunning panorama of the water, city, boats, and beaches.
Saragossa – Enjoy the History and Culture of Pamplona
The calm waves splash against the golden sands of San Sebastian’s beaches as fishing boats return to the marina with fishers eager to take their daily catch to market. The sea breeze will drift past the quiet cafes to blend the semi-sweet aroma of the Bay of Biscay with the decadent scent of strong, freshly brewed coffee. Your private transfer will meet you at your hotel and escort you south towards the city of Saragossa, located in on the banks of the Ebro River. Before reaching Spain’s fifth largest city, you will stop in the celebrated town of Pamplona, famous for the annual San Fermin Festival known for the Running of the Bulls.
The scent of garroticos, miniature chocolate croissants, emanates through the morning though cheese and ham glasses glow with ruby red wine. Explore the 16th-century fortress of Ciudadela with its pentagonal citadel and three out of its original five defense bastions. Remarkable archways support the walkway that leads to the main entrance. The Plaza de Toros represents the connection between the city and the great bulls and touches Paseo de Hemingway, a street named in honor of the bullfighting aficionado. A magnificent statue pays homage to the grace and power of bulls, along with the drama of a bullfight, casting the movement in bronze stretching a length of more than 36 feet.
Barcelona – Tour Saragossa and Transfer to Remarkable Barcelona
The city of Saragossa fills with the aroma of the traditional Spanish tortilla, made with eggs and potato. In the morning, the city returns to vibrant life that spreads across the banks of the Ebro River. Futuristic bridges arch over the waterway northwest of the city center and lead to the refurbished bus and railways station. The Alfajería crowns Saragossa as the finest example of Islamic-era edifices outside of southern Spain. The city fell to Muslim forces in the 11th-century before Catholic Monarchs of the 15th century added to the structure. When entering into the Patio de Santa Isabel, you will discover the central courtyard of the Islamic palace. Delicate arches interweave with masterful geometric shapes leading to an octagonal prayer room to the north with a horseshoe-arched doorway.
Baroque architecture brings a striking presence along the riverbanks that frame the 17th-century façade of the Basilica de Nuestra Señora del Pilar. The entrance overlooks the Plaza del Pilar, framed by historical buildings. The Cathedral remains the most important church in Spain after that of Santiago de Compostela. The Sacred Column was crafted of jasper stone and is associated with the apparition of Mary, leading to the belief that St. James erected a small chapel on this site dedicated to Saint Mary. The high altarpiece is made of alabaster and famous Spanish artist Goya painted the decorative frescoes that circle the cupola and the ceilings. After your in-depth exploration of Saragossa, your private transfer will bring you to the celebrated city of Barcelona.
Barcelona – Experience Barcelona with a Full Day Immersive Tour
In the morning, the aroma of fresh peppers and simmering tomatoes will emanate from the famous Mercat de la Boqueria. Locals circle the aisles in search of fresh fish and vibrant produce as the restaurant’s stalls open to the scents of sautéed garlic and robust cheeses. The fragrance of it all drifts out onto the mosaics of bustling La Rambla, the tree-shaded avenue dividing Old Town. After breakfast, your private guide will meet you at your hotel and escort you through the fascinating history and friendly culture of Barcelona beginning in the Gothic Quarter. You will stroll along the cobbled streets and beneath the historical archways as you pass relics with ancient Roman foundations.
The medieval Cathedral crowns the highest point in the city, Mont Taber, and was the site in which the monarchs of Spain received Christopher Columbus after his return from the New World. The narrow lanes turn into a labyrinth of history as laughter blends with the Spanish classical guitar that spill out of hidden tapas restaurants. Children kick soccer balls against the stone walls in hidden corners as walkways turn into shading terraces for cafes. The former Gothic Convent of Sant Agustí houses an exquisite little museum dedicated to the history of Spain’s connection with chocolate. Wander through and then continue to the 18 staggering spires of the Basilica de la Sagrada Familia to view the city’s most iconic structure as designed in the 19th century by Antoni Gaudi.
Barcelona – Depart for Home
In the morning, the water along the Mediterranean sparkles with cobalt hues beneath the spreading sunlight. The fine-grain golden sand crumbles beneath the feet of passersby as sailboats glide past the Port Olímpic Marina and rustling palm fronds. The Museum of Barcelona History, found along La Rambla, takes visitors back to the Roman foundations and offers visions of the antique streets and sewers, wine markets and fish factories that flourished around the 1st century BC. The entryway leads visitors through the 16th-century home of a former noble family. The Gothic and Baroque mansions provide an elegant welcome along the external staircase, and the museum galleries lead visitors to the 16th-century lookout tower of King Martin for a stunning view over the city’s seasoned streets. When you are ready, your private transfer will meet you in your hotel lobby and escort you to Barcelona-El Prat Airport for your flight home.
- Visit the tomb of famous Portuguese explorer Vasco de Gama in the Jerónimos Monastery
- Explore the historical streets and the vibrant culture of Lisbon on a full day tour of the former capital of the seafaring country
- Visit an old port wine cellar in the Portuguese city of Oporto, known for the grapes produced along its Douro Valley
- Visit the 9th-century Arca Santa chest inside a hidden reliquary in a chapel in Oviedo
- Discover the splendor and majesty of Santiago de Compostela, Spain during a visit to the Cathedral that millions of pilgrims visit each year
- Linger in the restorative waters of an ancient natural spring inside a 19th- century spa with modern amenities in La Toja, Spain
- Bask in the seductive cuisine and along the charming beaches of San Sebastian
- Traverse the wonders of Barcelona on a full day guided tour through the Gothic Quarter and the iconic Sagrada Familia Basilica
- Wander the cobbled streets of Pamplona while following the path runners take during the Running of the Bulls before sampling the enticing Rioja wines
- Delight in a scenic drive along the Asturian coast to view the gorgeous waters, the dramatic shores, and the verdant hillsides
- Engage with the captivating history found inside the Altamira Neo Cave, home to stunning Paleolithic cave paintings dating back more than 14,000 years
Follow in the footsteps of history to indulge in the joys of many distinctive cultures during your 12-day tour of the highlights of Portugal and Northern Spain. Your journey will begin in Portugal with your arrival at Lisbon Humberto Delgado Airport. Your private transfer will escort you to your gorgeous hotel at the heart of the historical city that offers your connection to the past garnished with contemporary luxuries. The remainder of your arrival day will be yours to get acquainted with the city of Lisbon at your leisure. Wake the next morning and your guide will meet you at your hotel eager to lead you on a fabulous tour of Lisbon to travel the gilded features of the main squares, the cobblestone alleys, and the stunning avenues. You will also visit Jerónimos Monastery, which houses the tomb of Vasco de Gama before making an excursion to the royal palace of Queluz.
Your private transfer will meet you the next morning ready to escort you to the city of Oporto. En route, you will visit the city of Fatima to see the Sanctuary of Our Lady of the Rosary. Continue to the banks of the Douro River to explore old Oporto and sample the flavors of port in a wine cellar dedicated to the famous Portuguese export. The following day, you will leave Portugal behind and cross into Spain to traverse the ancient history of Vigo. Once on the gorgeous island of La Toja, you can relax with a spa treatment inside the famous vintage resort before continuing onward to Santiago de Compostela. Meet your guide in the lobby of the hotel the next day to discover the majesty of Santiago de Compostela. Traverse the galleries of the Cathedral to view relics of St. James, and then venture to Coruña for an excursion to the intriguing city.
The next day, you will enjoy your scenic drive along the Asturian coast to reach the white houses of Luarca and the green hills that encircle the provincial capital of Oviedo. Traverse the old streets of the city and view Cathedral of San Salvador and the secluded Arca Santa reliquary. Continue that next day as you travel to Santillana del Mar to enjoy the enchanting preservation of the 15th-century ambiance. Wander amongst the Altamira Neo Cave en route to Bilbao where you can visit the Guggenheim Museum or walk along the streets of the port before settling along the shores of San Sebastian. The next day is at your leisure to marvel at the city on the sand. Linger in the Old Quarter or bask in the sunlight on the soft golden sand. You could also indulge in a food tour to experience the celebrated flavors of the culturally vibrant city.
Move out the next morning for the cobbled streets and hills of Pamplona. Sample a selection of special Rioja wines with lunch and discover the spirit at the heart of the Festival de San Fermin en route to the bustling city of Saragossa. The next morning, your guide will lead you on an engaging tour of Saragossa to take in the Plaza del Pilar and the Basilica. In the afternoon, you will make your way to Barcelona to relish the unparalleled ambiance of the Mediterranean city. The following day, your guide will take you on a private tour of the famous city and lead you along La Rambla and the Gothic Quarter, Sagrada Familia Basilica and the walkways of Park Guëll. Conclude as your private transfer will greet you at your hotel and escort you to Barcelona-El Prat Airport for your flight home.
$2,635 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.
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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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