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10 Days Culinary Vacations in Spain and Portugal

10 Days Culinary Vacations in Spain and Portugal

  • Lisbon - Faro - Seville - Barcelona

Portugal and Spain Culinary Tour

Do not miss this chance to soak up the art, food, and history of two wonderful and inviting European regions. During your holiday, you will explore the Spanish land of tapas, flamenco, surreal architecture, and crazy nightlife, and also discover the beauty of Portugal, known for its café culture, soulful Fado music, and gorgeous beaches. Enjoy a relaxing holiday, with gritty stretches as far as the eye can see, nestled snugly among golden cliffs, virtually deserted islands, and small coves sheltered by the rocks, while the ocean, in every shade of blue and mostly calm and warm, will invite you for long swims and exciting water sports.

Highlights

  • Pub crawl in Madrid
  • Pastry, wine, and cheese tastings
  • Visit the famous Prado and Reina Sofia museums
  • Enjoy a mesmerizing flamenco performance in Seville
  • Half-day trip exploring the city highlights of Lisbon
  • Discover the gorgeous beaches of Algarve
  • 9 nights accommodation
  • 9 days with instruction
  • English
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Accommodations will vary depending on the city. In Lisbon, you will be staying at a boutique hostel in the city center; in a 6-bed dorm with a shared bathroom. Twin rooms or a single room are available at an extra cost. In Faro, you will be staying at a boutique bed and breakfast, in the Old Town, that provides double occupancy with common bathroom facilities. In Seville, accommodations will consist of a boutique bed and breakfast, housed in a restored Andalusian Palace in the city center, providing double occupancy with private bathroom facilities. In Madrid, as well as Barcelona, you will be staying at chic, centrally-located hostels, in a 8-bed dorm with shared bathroom.

Day 1: June 3, 2016 - Lisbon

Lisbon is famous for its gorgeous and quirky hostels, and that is exactly where you will be staying! Upon arriving, you will be free to spend your time as you wish before the evening, when you will be enjoying the flavors of Portuguese cuisine on a small-group gourmet Portuguese food and wine tour of Lisbon. During the tour, you will visit traditional eateries and taste some of Portugal’s delicacies as your guide gives you tips on how to appreciate Portuguese wine and food. As you walk through the streets and visit the pastry, wine, and cheese shops, you will be able to sample some of the products and get advice from your guide on where to eat for the rest of your trip.

Day 2: June 4, 2016 - Lisbon

Explore the capital city of Portugal through a fun guided walking tour. Lisbon is a city built upon exploration, conquest, and adventure. It is no surprise the Portuguese led the Age of Discovery and laid the foundations for the world we live in, for Lisbon is known as the Queen of the Seas. The untold riches of empire have left a legacy of incredible monuments and culture for the modern visitor, a legacy that was almost destroyed by the Great Earthquake of 1755, which sent philosophical shockwaves throughout Europe. It changed the face of Lisbon, politics, and religion forever and this 3-hour walking tour explores its full impact and how the city rose from the ashes. You have the rest of the day at leisure.

Day 3: June 5, 2016 - Lisbon and Faro

You will say goodbye to Lisbon as you make your way to the gorgeous beaches of the Algarve in Faro. Upon arrival, you will have the day at leisure to explore this beautiful town.

Day 4: June 6, 2016 - Faro

This day will be reserved for exploring the natural wonders of this wonderful region. You will generally be free to choose the way you wish to spend your time; however, your guide can provide you with a range of activities to choose from in order to get the most out of your experience here.

Day 5: June 7, 2016 - Faro to Seville

On an early morning bus, you will make your way to Seville, arguably the tapas capital of Spain. Once you have settled into the hotel, make sure you get some rest because later at night, you will set out on a food tour with a local expert. Bursting with color, passion, and sunshine, Seville is a dream come true for foodies.

Your evening will end in a local bar with a traditional flamenco performance. Flamenco is a form of Spanish folk music and dance from the region of Andalusia in southern Spain. It includes cante (singing), toque (guitar playing), baile (dance), and jaleo, which refers to the vocalizations and rhythmic sounds of palmas (handclapping) and pitos (finger snapping) that encourage performers to excel.

Day 6: June 8, 2016 - Seville and Madrid

After breakfast, you will leave for Madrid. The train ride in itself is an experience, as the route from Seville to Madrid is one of the most picturesque; it is a long journey but a beautiful one. You will reach Madrid by late afternoon and will have the rest of the day at leisure.

If you are interested, you can take advantage of an offered add-on and participate in an exciting guided pub crawl of 3 popular bars and a club in Madrid, with free shots, VIP entry, free beer, and sangria included. Madrid is Spain’s nightlife capital and with an expert pub crawler, you will shift between techno and house to rhythm and blues, and reggae underground clubs to cocktail bars. This is just an introduction to the amazing trip that lies before you.

Day 7: June 9, 2016 - Madrid

After breakfast, you will take a guided walking tour of Madrid. You will travel down medieval streets, across majestic squares, and through 1200 years of history. The tour promises to be informative and engaging. You will get to see Madrid the way it should be seen: by walking from the heart of the city through both twisted medieval streets and down grand boulevards. You will cover the famous must-see sights and secret places that the tour buses cannot access.

After the tour, you will make your way towards grabbing some delicious lunch, before heading back to the hotel for a little siesta time. In the evening, you will visit two of Spain’s most magnificent museums: the Reina Sofia Museum and the Prado Museum. Between the two museums, you can see artworks by masters like Picasso, Goya, Velásquez, Rubens, El Greco, Bosch, among others.

Back in Madrid, by evening, you will head to the lively Mercado de San Miguel, one of Madrid’s oldest and most beautiful markets. There are a variety of counters serving up a diverse array of delicious tapas and bigger plates, from caviar, oysters, chocolate, and everything in between. Wind down like the Spanish do: with chocolate and churros. Tapas or finger food has been perfected to an art form by the Spaniards, with each city offering its own variations of tapas.

Day 8: June 10, 2016 - Madrid and Barcelona

As you head to Barcelona, get ready for a taste of Catalan culture. Upon arrival, you will check into your hotel and relax, as you prepare for the amazing evening planned for you: a live tapas dinner. Rated among the top activities in Barcelona, you will go to a local’s house while they take you through an interactive and delicious tapas making session followed by a tasting session of the many tapas. There will be vegetarian options available too.

Day 9: June 11, 2016 - Barcelona

After a leisurely start to the day, you will go for a Gaudí themed guided walking tour, providing you with a glimpse of his eccentric life and a discovery of his most magical creations around Barcelona. You will be able to marvel at his work and his unfinished masterpiece, the Sagrada Familia. For lunch, you may head to the Mercado de La Boqueria, a sprawling food market known for its fresh produce. The rest of the day will be free to spend at your own leisure.

Day 10: June 12, 2016 - Departure

After breakfast, you will make your way back home, with a bag full of memories and a heart full of adventure.

  • Food tour in Seville
  • Gaudí themed, guided tour of Barcelona
  • Guided walking tour of Madrid
  • Visit the Reina Sofia Museum and the Prado Museum
  • Walking tour of Lisbon

This holiday will take you across some of the most beautiful areas of Portugal and Spain, starting with Lisbon and ending with Barcelona.

Barcelona

Barcelona is a magical city housing many eccentric visionaries along the stretch of time, each leaving behind a piece of themselves in the fabric of its being, with Gaudi being the most notable contributor.

Faro

Next on the map, are the gorgeous beaches of the Algarve in Faro. With an attractive marina, well-maintained parks, and plazas, Faro is a historic old town full of pedestrian lanes and outdoor cafés. Its student population of 8000 ensures a happening nightlife and Faro´s theater scene is quite strong as well. Faro retains its traditional charm, as a walk around the old city center will soon confirm; the narrow little streets house many shops selling local handicrafts and it is hard to resist the local almond-based sweets, the Dom Rodrigos, at any one of the city’s pastry shops. Traditional fish restaurants provide the local shellfish specialties that often come straight from the estuary.

The bustling city of Faro lies alongside one of the most beautiful natural wonders of the region, the 60 kilometer expanse of lagoons, natural dunes, and stunning beaches of the Ria Formosa Nature Park. The beaches are many, ranging from the thriving resort of Ilha de Faro to the seclusion of the miles of uninhabited sand dunes of Barreta island, lying between the ocean and one of the estuary’s lagoons. The marshlands are a favorite nesting ground for migratory birds, so you might well spot flocks of flamingos and a variety of other species on the way.

Lisbon

Also known as the Queen of the Seas, Lisbon’s 3000 years of proud history has always been on the edge, where land meets sea and Europe meets Africa. The ancient Phoenicians recognized the great advantages of the location and all the great civilizations that followed have expanded the city well beyond its legendary Seven Hills. This is a city built upon exploration, conques,t and adventure.

Madrid

Your holiday will take a turn towards the artistic side, as you explore the cultural city of Madrid, with its 1200 years of history, twisted medieval streets, grand boulevards and Spain's most magnificent museums, such as the Reina Sofia Museum and the Prado Museum.

Seville

Seville, arguably the tapas capital of Spain, is one of Spain’s most important cities since ancient times. Seville has been a Roman, Muslim, Jewish, and Christian city, a true melting pot of cultures whose lasting legacy lives on through its incredible food. Today, Seville is a dream come true for foodies worldwide.

During your trip, you will enjoy the flavors of Portuguese and Spanish authentic cuisine. In Portugal, you will visit traditional eateries and taste some of this region's delicacies as your guide gives you tips on how to appreciate Portuguese wine and food. As you walk through the streets and visit the pastry, wine, and cheese shops, you will also sample some of the fresh products.

In Spain, you will visit the Mercado de San Miguel, one of Madrid’s oldest and most beautiful markets, where you will be able to experience a variety of counters serving up a diverse array of delicious tapas and bigger plates, which include everything from caviar, oysters, chocolate, and other tasty treats.

Tapas have been perfected to an art form by the Spaniards, with each city offering its own variations of them, which is precisely why this holiday will also be taking you to experience a live tapas dinner in Barcelona. You will be joining a local family in their home as they take you through an interactive tapas making session followed by a tasting.

  • Attend local events
  • Enjoy the beach
  • Explore the cities where you will be staying
  • Go cycling
  • Go shopping
  • Pub crawl in Madrid
  • Sample the local cuisine
  • Visit museums and admire the local architecture
  • 9 nights accommodation
  • All internal transport between cities
  • Breakfast on all days except the first
  • Food tour in Lisbon
  • Gaudí themed guided tour
  • Guided walking tour of Lisbon
  • Seville nightlife and flamenco experience
  • Tapas dinner at a local's house
  • Tapas tour in Madrid
  • Visit to Reina Sofia Museum and the Prado Museum
  • Walking tour of Madrid
  • Additional meals
  • Airfare
  • Any costs arising from flight delays, change in weather conditions, strikes, or others
  • Beverages
  • Entrance fees at local monuments and museums
  • Local transport within the city
  • Personal expenses
  • Tips
  • Travel insurance
  • Visa charges and processing

Arrival by airplane

The nearest airport is Lisbon Portela Airport (LIS).