Portugal, Spain, Morocco
Lisbon, Seville, Madrid, Toledo, Ouarzazate, Erfoud, Casablanca, Fes, Marrakech
Dates are flexible and customizable for private departures.
From exotic spices to tanned leather, captivating storytellers to beautiful displays of inspiring art, you will find constant wonder with your every step during your multi-country customizable tour of Spain, Portugal, and Morocco. Trace Moorish traditions and the footsteps of the Crusades, and then wander labyrinthine cobblestone streets and preserved historic souks before traversing the captivating sand dunes and the Rock of Gibraltar. Indulge in the aromas of honey, figs, and pomegranates and...
Lisbon – Arrive in Portugal’s Bustling and Beautiful Capital City
Lisbon is a city of adventure and history, a home to European explorers and captivating culture. The city also boasts the title of the second oldest capital on the continent, after Athens, so travelers the world over arrive on the shores of Lisbon to follow in the footsteps of Magellan and Vasco de Gama. The viewpoint of Miradouro das Portas do Sol provides a panorama of the whitewashed homes crowned by red-tiled roofs as medieval Lisbon shimmers beneath the Mediterranean sunlight. A statue of Saint Vincent depicts the patron of the city holding a boat and two ravens, the latter of which are the symbols of Lisbon. Your flight will arrive at Lisbon Humberto Delgado Airport, where your private transfer will greet you.
You will be escorted to a grand hotel in the historical center of the city that will offer views to the oldest building in the Lisbon, the Cathedral. The waters of the Rio Tejo brush against the riverbanks that lead to the Atlantic. White domes adorn old Cathedrals, and the aroma of grilled seafood drizzled with lemon and garlic emanates from restaurants that are preserving culinary tradition. Cobblestones texture the narrow alleyways that lead to the ruins of Carom Convent. The skeletal pillars and archways of the former structure continue to stand and offer insight into the devastating earthquake of 1755. The small archeological museum exhibits the treasures once found inside the convent, including 4th-century sarcophagi.
Lisbon – Enjoy a Full Day Private Tour of Lisbon’s Historical Neighborhoods
In the morning, the aroma of freshly brewed coffee emanates from the popular cafes hidden in the alleys of the shopping district known as Chiado. A nearby popular coffeehouse has offered a place for the Portuguese literati to chat, sip coffee, and work since its opening in 1905. After breakfast, your guide will greet you in your hotel lobby eager to lead you on a private tour of the city’s historical streets and endlessly vibrant culture.
The Santa Engracia Church is Portugal’s National Pantheon, established in the 1680s. It took more than 280 years to complete the chalk-white structure that fills the skyline of the Alfama neighborhood. The architectural features of the edifice resemble those of St. Peter’s Basilica in Rome. The interior displays the tombs of Portuguese presidents, as well as celebrated artists within the architectural plan of the Greek cross. The bright marble floor glints in the natural light that pours through the windows and the dome provides a 360-degree view of the city’s rooftops and the rushing waters of the River Tejo.
Continue to the spectacular grounds of the Jerónimos Monastery, which was built in the 16th-century. Stonework incorporates reliefs of maritime themes with Gothic and Renaissance styles as the interior echoes with footsteps along the marble floors. The image of Vasco da Gama’s tomb glows beneath the vaulted ceilings as the famous explorer is forever linked to the country’s Age of Discovery as he traveled across the waters to begin the first sea-trading route with India in the late 15th-century.
Seville – Visit a Traditional Tile Workshop en route to Seville, Spain
The morning brings the familiar semi-sweet aroma of the seaside as the breeze sweeps across the hills and rustles the palm fronds. The sunlight washes over the golden walls of the Castle of St. Jorge. Remarkable coaches depicting the wealth and lavish aesthetic of Portugal’s nobility fill the National Museum of Coaches located inside the neoclassical Belém Palace. After a perfect Portuguese breakfast of savory cheeses and delicious fresh squeezed orange juice, your private transfer will meet you at your hotel and escort you to the town of Azeitao.
Mansions line the streets between quiet wine shops, and the sleepy village ambiance brings charm to the cobblestone lanes. Eventually, you will find the 15th-century Renaissance villa of Quinta da Bacalhoa that was restored to its original grandeur as the summer home for King Manual I’s mother. Inside the 16th-century gardens, you can wander along the manicured hedges and blossoming marigold to take it all in. Fountains trickle into Moorish pools, and the geometric patterns offer another clear connection to the inspirations gathered by explorers through visits to Africa and the Far East.
The decorative tiles that adorn the villa showcase artwork in relation to the heritage. Before crossing into Spain, you will stop at a tile factory to see the continued tradition of the brilliant technique. The mall workhouse is hidden in the hills outside of Azeitao and a red-tiled roof frames the charming yellow farmhouse. Inside artists create the tiles by hand, using various glazes to represent the Hispano-Moorish tradition made popular in the 16th century.
Seville – Explore the Marvelous Streets, Architecture, and Culture
The city of Seville will quickly enchant you the moment you step onto the cobblestone lanes. Palm trees line the main promenades, and antique street lamps continue to light the evening sky. Horse-drawn carriages complete the historical ambiance as the echoing horse hooves accompany the sounds of captivated visitors. The morning air fills with the aroma of heated stone and strong coffee drifts from the quaint cafes. The medieval fortress, known as the Alcázar, retains its Moorish architectural elements first crafted in the 10th-century. Barrio de Santa Cruz was the former Jewish Quarter with whitewashed walls and flower pots dangle from the second-story windows.
The narrow lanes meander between the main Cathedral and the Alcázar, filled with homes, patios, and inviting cafes. The Cathedral was erected between the 15th and 16th centuries with a tower soaring more than 305 feet tall. You will enter the grounds through the Patio of Orange Trees, which once stood as the forecourt to the mosque upon which the Cathedral stands. The trees cast delightful shade over the stones and fill the air with the zesty aroma of sweet citrus. An octagonal fountain remains at the center of the courtyard to offer another connection to the building’s former presence. The interior has the subtle aroma of lingering frankincense and the vaulted ceilings, and decorative walls guide you to the 1899 additions with the tomb of Christopher Columbus.
Casablanca – Fly to Rabat to Tour the Capital City en route to Casablanca
In the morning, the enticing aroma of fresh oranges will fill the city before the enticing scent of coffee drifts along the cobbled streets. After your meal, your private transfer will escort you to Seville Airport for your flight to Rabat, the capital of Morocco. The city stands along the western edges of the country and overlooks the Atlantic Ocean on the banks of the Bou Regreg River.
Across the riverbanks stands the sister city of Salé shimmering beneath the drifting desert sun. Your private transfer will meet you at Rabat-Salé Airport and lead you on an immersive tour of the fabulous city beginning with the palm-lined boulevards of the Ville Nouvelle. The central beach will glisten with gold sand against the turquoise waters of the Atlantic. The 11th-century walls of the Kasbah district protect the interior neighborhood amongst the twisting lanes lined with blue and white homes. The unfinished Hassan Tower stands at nearly 150 feet tall and features an intricate motif etched along the façade. Construction of the edifice began in the mid 12th century situated beside the Mausoleum of Mohamed V and the quiet streets easily enchant visitors with their combination of historic sites and ease of discovery.
Marrakech – Relish a Half-Day Tour of Casablanca and Drive to Marrakech
Casablanca has a chic and bohemian atmosphere beneath the palm-lined boulevards and lapping waves of the Atlantic Ocean. The beachfront district known as the Corniche overflows with opulent restaurants and luxury hotels. Locals eager to soak in the sun at the private swimming pools or wander along the shoreline around the pebbled beach enjoy the refreshing sea breeze. Art galleries in the heart of the bustling commercial city open display works that connect contemporary aesthetics with traditional Muslim design. After a beautiful breakfast of yogurt drizzled with honey, your guide will lead you to Hassan II Mosque, which overlooks the crashing waves of the Atlantic Ocean. The structure was completed in the early 1990s and boasts the title of the third largest mosque in the world, encompasses nearly five acres.
The minaret reaches a height of more than 650 feet, and in the morning, the poetic call to prayer accompanies the soothing south of water as it splashes against the coastal rocks. The interior showcases incredible artisanship through hand-carved stone and wood that complement the intricate marble flooring and gilded cedar ceilings. The colorful ceramic tiling adds unique textures to the walls and fountains, like an antique-inspired backsplash. A spectacular display of human ingenuity and nature’s beauty arrives in the form of a glass floor that overlooks the waves that break on the rocks below the basement. After your exploration of Casablanca, your private transfer will escort you south to the lively city of Marrakech.
Marrakech – Delight in the Spirit of Morocco while Exploring Marrakech
The city of Marrakech embodies the history and culture of Morocco in the preserved culture and architecture of the Medina. Storytellers and performers fill the Djemaa El-Fna Square, and rooftop cafes offer panoramic views of the colorful roofs that spread across the cityscape. Sacks of spices decorate the antique marketplace with a rainbow of colors and the exotic aromas of cinnamon, cardamom, and tarragon. The Koutoubia Minaret towers more than 220 feet above the town center, and glittery shoes dangle from the doorways of a shoe shop inside the labyrinthine Medina.
Your guide will meet you after a delicious breakfast of semolina pancakes drizzled with honey and walnuts. As you finish, you will make your way past the perfume and leather stores that fill the narrow lanes of the old city. Merchants eagerly call out to you, and you will feel as though you have stepped back in time. The Bahia Palace was erected in the 19th century under the reign of Gran Vizier Bou Ahmed, and the interior will give insight into the vision of the famous artists of Morocco at the time. The sensational zellige tiles and geometric designs decorate the ceilings, walls, and fountains, along with wrought-iron features.
The sunlight will pierce the stained glass windows of the former harem and bring beautiful hues to shine against the floor as bouquets of painted roses adorn the ceilings. You will continue to the Saadian Tombs to view the burial grounds of the 16th-century dynastic ruler and take in the atmospheric décor and marble character of the main mausoleum. In the afternoon, the main square will fill with the aroma of slowly cooked meats and snake charmers as they woo their serpents through movement and song as horse-drawn carriages move along the edges of the square.
Ouarzazate – Travel to the Desert Oasis of Ouarzazate to See the Landscape
At breakfast, the table will be filled with a selection of delicious olives and cheeses made from farms located near the edges of Marrakech. Fresh apricot jam accompanies the semolina pancakes as the aroma of mint tea with honey drifts from your small glass. The marketplace known as the souk returns to its bustling ambiance with artisan crafters offering special prices on leather goods and wooden art pieces. Your private transfer will meet you at your hotel after breakfast and escort you to the desert city of Ouarzazate. The town has historically acted as a central meeting place for merchants arriving from the Atlas Mountains or surrounding valleys. The Kasbah helped established a French garrison town in the 1920s to protect the interests of colonial France.
The town shines with the golden brown buildings that imitate the rugged landscape found at the edge of the Sahara Desert. Narrow lanes bisect the fort-like structures erected in blocks as from a distance the city blends into the hillside. The upper levels of the exterior structures feature stunning geometric embellishments. Wonder along the maze-like lanes to witness the history of the powerful Glaoui family who ruled over the Atlas region between 1912 and 1956. Slim passageways pass between the sharp stairways as rooms lead to multi-level towers that look out into the desert expanse. Remnants of rich mosaics and painted stucco remain in the nearly 300 rooms inside the Kasbah proper as calligraphic Arabic adorns the wooden ceilings of the chambers for an added layer of elegance.
Erfoud – Enjoy the Dades Valley, Todra Gorge, and Erb Chebbi Sand Dunes
The morning light will wash over the desert landscape and return the golden and tan hues to the Kasbah of Ouarzazate. At breakfast, the aroma of savory, creamy cheeses accompanies the scent of freshly baked bread. You will set out early into the oases of the Dades Valley. Homes in this region are similar to those of Ouarzazate, made with rich earth blending into the landscape as a contrast with the verdant trees that feed off of the natural spring. Goats graze on the grasslands and desert shrubbery as in the hills, the scent of roses overtakes the fragrant soil of the desert. The rose growing region of El Kelaa M’Gouna cultivates vibrant petals of white, red, blue, and yellow roses with an elegant perfume to match.
In the village of Azlag, working blacksmiths model graceful daggers and finely worked metals. An eagle may glide through the sky in search of a meal passing below as a group of camels enjoys the shade of the oasis trees. The scent of dates and figs fills the air as you continue to descend the colorful layered striations of the Todra Gorge to reach Erfoud and the sand dunes of Erg Chebbi. The sunlight will glint off of the golden sands of the desert. The dunes roll like endless mounds across the horizon with the largest of the dunes reaching a height of nearly 500 feet, textured with waves that spread across the landscape. The sun sets over the dunes as you sip refreshing mint tea and enjoy the tranquility of the empty desert and returning night sky.
Fes – Venture North to across the Middle Atlas Mountains to Reach Fes
In the morning, the colors of the desert landscape shimmer gold beneath the sunrise. The aroma of dates and figs will drift from your table at breakfast, accompanied by the scent of mint tea. After the meal, your private transfer will escort you to Fes and follow the roads through the Ziz Valley and over the Middle Atlas Mountains. The scenic drive offers views of the Tafilalt oases that are shimmer with jade tree canopies. You will stop in the town of Ifrane, located in the mountains at an altitude of 5,460 feet above sea level. Snow clings to the pine trees in the winter and the alpine atmosphere is evident in the blossoming flowerbeds and houses adorned with red roofs as the lake reflects the surrounding homes and trees.
The aroma of cedar will fill the air and contrast with the dry climate and desert landscape in which you woke this morning. The French built the city in the 1930s, and today the city has a university which brings a youthful ambiance of the streets, restaurants, and cafes. In the forest and outside of the town of Barbary, macaques linger along the tree branches and around the trekking paths. They snack on nuts, fruits, seeds, and leaves. After taking the time to discover the distinct alpine culture of the city, you will continue onwards to the enchanting city of Fes.
Fes – Revel in the Regal and Vibrant Atmosphere of Fes on a Guided Tour
The sunlight washes over the Bab Boujloud, the entrance gate to the Median erected with Andalusian style in 1913. Majestic tiles shine beneath the adorning bastions to create captivating blue swirls around the tripartite Moorish arches and keyholes. The edifice stands beside the original gateway built in the 12th century. After breakfast, you will set out for the bustling old city with your guide for an immersive experience in the preserved culture on the grounds that once inspired scholars and artisans over the centuries.
Donkey carts roam down the narrow lanes and alleyways as they have since the Middle Ages. The aroma of slow-cooked meat emanates from homes hidden down shadowy niches. Rooftops offer unique views to the skyline of minarets and flattop-homes. The 17th-century synagogue of Ibn Danan was restored in 1999 to showcase the original Torah scrolls and mosaic floors and the brightly painted walls and rails add a sense of light and space to the small interior graced with high, wooden ceilings.
You will continue to the famous tanneries of Fes where artisan crafters continue to stain leather in a tradition dating back more than a millennium. The tanners fill stone vessels with dye and various liquids to create an abundance of watercolors. Men stand waste deep in the vibrant hues and process the various types of goods in need of coloration before producing bags, coats, or shoes. Belt and bag makers tinker with the leather in their shops within view of the tanners.
Granada – Traverse the Scenic Roads and Waterway to Granada, Spain
Today your private transfer will meet you at your hotel after an early breakfast and bring you northbound to the Strait of Gibraltar. You will board your ferry at the port of Tanger Med, one of the largest ports in the whole of Africa. You can see the coast of Spain across the body of water, which tapers to a width of nine miles at its narrowest point. The strait shimmers with cobalt hues as the calm sea splash upwards from the hull of the ferry before you dock in Gibraltar. Although connected to Spain, the principality stands under the British flag. The sea air blends with the aroma of fresh fish and chips emanating from the local shops while restaurants and pubs offer afternoon tea.
The limestone ridge for which the area is known protrudes for nearly three miles and reaches a height of nearly 1,400 feet above sea level. Dramatic cliffs border the northern and eastern edges of the mountain as Barbary macaques traverse the trails and trees of the Upper Rock Nature Reserve. The macaques remain the only wild monkeys on the European continent, numbering nearly 300. The silver limestone crags fade beneath the lush trees that spread across the highest point. A scenic cable car leads to the top of the peak to offer views of the water, the Spanish countryside, and the Moroccan shoreline to the south. Upon descending the Rock of Gibraltar, you will cross the border into Spain and continue to Granada.
Madrid – Tour Medieval and Moorish Toledo before Arriving in Madrid
The city of Granada sits along the foothills of the Sierra Nevada Mountains, and the snowcapped peaks glisten in the sunlight above the hilltop masterpiece of Islamic architecture known as the Alhambra. The aroma of zesty oranges lingers in the streets, drifting from the trees that shade the hidden plazas of the city. Your guide will lead you to the top of the fortified hill to traverse the stunning grounds at the heart of the Moorish dynasty in Spain between the 13th and 15th centuries.
Ancient walls wrap around the plateau with rosy hues that contrast against the cypress and palm trees. The manicured landscape will lead you to the Alcazaba, the oldest section of the fortress erected in the 1200s. The ramparts and towers along the outer walls provide a panorama of history and the surrounding labyrinthine lanes of the city beneath the soaring Torre de la Vela, which reaches a height of 85 feet along the west terrace.
The marble floors of the Court of Myrtles accentuate the Patio de Los Leones. The fountain at the center of the courtyard features 12 marble lions that once spouted water upon the hour. 124 pillars support the bordering arcade beneath latticed arches. After exploring the Alhambra, your private transfer will collect you and escort you to Toledo, a city preserved in the medieval ambiance that drapes across the hillside above the Tagus River. The 13th-century Altácantra Bridge arches over the dramatic gorge and connects the city to the opposite riverbanks. The gate tower was built in the 15th century and provides views to the ascending city.
Madrid – Discover the Splendors of Spain’s Capital City on a Guided Tour
In the morning, the sunlight washes over the unassuming Plaza Puerto del Sol. A stone slab along the wall signifies the “Zero Kilometer Point,” from which all distances in Spain are measured. On the quiet street of Calle Cuchilleros stands the oldest restaurant in the world that has served the locals of Madrid for more than 200 years.
Madrid is the fast-paced capital of Spain, unique in the greenery of the parks and endless buzz of activity. The Prado Museum represents the golden age of the country’s artistic creation and the Royal palace rivals Versailles in size and grandeur. The morning sunlight will glare off of the wrought iron and glass structure that houses Mercado de San Miguel located near the edges of Plaza Mayor. Vendors sell fresh produce alongside small tapas stands that grill fresh prawns on open flames with minced garlic. Your guide will meet you at your hotel after breakfast eager to lead you through Spain’s remarkable capital city.
Plaza Mayor was constructed to elegant success in the 17th century. Cobblestones pave the plaza around a central statue of Phillip III. For a unique view of Spain’s past, you can make your way to the Museo Naval Paseo del Prado to view the oldest known map to show America. The old atlas was drawn around the turn of the 16th century in the style of a “world map,” incorporating information of the western hemisphere along with charts from Vasco de Gama’s trip to India in the late 15th century.
The magnificent Baroque Basilica of San Francisco el Grande boasts a mesmerizing frescoed dome with a diameter of nearly 110 feet. From the culinary majesty of the Mercado de San Ildefonso to the unique ruins of an Ancient Egyptian temple at the center of La Montaña Park, Madrid’s contains endless splendors. After breakfast and one last morning to take it all in, your private transfer will meet you at your hotel ready to escort you to Adolfo Suárez Madrid-Barajas Airport. You could always extend your stay in Spain to continue your exploration of Madrid and discover the marvels of Barcelona.
- Wander the enchanting sand dunes of the Sahara Desert at Erb Chebbi, Morocco for an unforgettable sunset
- Discover the captivating medieval grandeur of Europe’s second oldest capital city of Lisbon, Portugal to view a mixture of contemporary and traditional culture
- See the oldest known map to include America, located in a museum in Madrid
- Witness the traditional techniques used for tanning leather in the Moroccan city of Fes
- Embrace the Moroccan spirit as embodied in the continued traditions of Marrakech’s Medina and Djemaa El-Fna Square
- Traverse the decorated halls and courtyards of the Alhambra in Granada to find marble floors, latticed arches, and magnificent fountains
- Venture to the top of the Rock of Gibraltar for an unparalleled view of the Spanish countryside, Atlantic Ocean, and Moroccan coast
- Learn about the antique techniques used to create the celebrated 16th-century art from inside a tile factory
- Tour the world’s third largest mosque to take in the sensational embellishments and the tallest minaret in the world
- Explore the narrow cobblestone lanes and whitewashed homes of Seville, which all lead to the majestic portals of the captivating Cathedral
Discover the charms of the past and the pleasures of contemporary life in Spain, Portugal, and Morocco during your 14-day tour. Your journey will begin with your arrival in Lisbon, Portugal as your flight lands at Lisbon Humberto Delgado Airport. Your private transfer will greet you before escorting you into the heart of the old city, and the remainder of the day is yours to enjoy the cobblestone streets, trams, and funiculars that traverse the seven hills that overlook the River Tejo. The next morning, your guide will meet you at your hotel to lead you on an encompassing tour of Lisbon’s rich history, including the Alfama Quarter and the Jerónimos Monastery.
After breakfast the following day, your private transfer will escort you to Azeitao to enjoy the charm of the quiet streets and visit an artisanal workshop that focuses on tiles. Continue over the Spanish border to reach Seville for the evening, and wake the next morning to explore the narrow streets of Seville to view the Santa Cruz district, Casa de Pilatos, and the inspiring magnificence of the Cathedral. Your private transfer will escort you from your hotel to the airport for your flight from Seville to Rabat the following day. Enjoy a private tour of Morocco’s capital city before transferring to the bustling streets of Casablanca, and then set out on a marvelous half-day tour of Casablanca to visit Hassan II Mosque and the palm-lined boulevards en route to fabulous Marrakesh, where you will settle in for the evening.
The next day, your guide will take you through the captivating maze-like alleys of the Medina before visiting the Bahia Palace and Saadian Tombs. Spend time to absorb the vibrant and historical culture embodied in the evening life of the Djemaa El-Fna Square. Move on to enjoy a scenic drive to the desert city of Ouarzazate to visit the meandering stairways and hidden rooms of the Kasbah. Continue the next day deep into the desert landscape at Erfoud to traverse the remarkable oases of the Dades Valley and the impressive sand dunes of Erg Chebbi en route.
You will set out for Fez the following day, and your private transfer will stop in the Ziz Gorges and Middle Atlas Mountains to enjoy the majestic colors of the landscape and the Barbary macaques that reside in the forest outside of the alpine town of Ifrane. Upon reaching Fez, you can settle into the luxury of your accommodation located in the heart of the old city. Wake the next morning and your guide will meet you at your hotel after breakfast ready to escort you around the old Jewish Quarter and captivating Medina. Visit the bustling souk and historical Medersa before finishing the full day tour. Venture north the next day to the port of Tanger Med to board the ferry to Gibraltar. Spend time traversing the British territory before meeting your private transfer that will take you to the maze-like streets of Granada, Spain.
Wake the next morning to enjoy a half-day tour of Granada and explore the celebrated Alhambra palace. Continue to Toledo for an introductory exploration of the medieval quarters on the sloped banks of the River Tagus before arriving in Madrid, the capital of Spain. Discover the splendors of Madrid on a full day tour on as you visit the Royal Palace and the Prado Museum. You could also view the oldest map portraying the Americas, and then finally, your private transfer will meet you at your hotel and escort you to Adolfo Suárez Madrid-Barajas Airport for your flight home.
$2,795 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
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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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