Explore Spain & Portugal

Trip Code: ZMSI

Why we love it

Get lost in the labyrinthine streets of the Albaicin in Granada before crossing the river to visit the imposing Moorish fortress of the Alhambra., Unwind in a laidback fishing town in the Algarve, soaking up the sun on the beach and enjoying an included boat trip around the rocky cliffs of the coast., Join pilgrims along the last leg of the famous Camino de Santiago journey as they reach the historic cathedral in Santiago de Compostela., Pulsing with quirky and vibrant art and architecture, walking the streets of Barcelona is the perfect way to immerse yourself in the unique culture of Catalonia., Sit back, relax and watch the water flow by in one of Porto’s river restaurants while you sample a couple of varieties of the city’s signature wine – port!

Is this trip right for me?

Please note that this trip covers a lot of ground. The majority of travel between destinations on this trip is done by trains and local buses. Time estimates are given in the day-to-day itinerary. It's a good time to sit back, relax and let the scenery roll past your window. It's also a perfect opportunity for local interaction.

Summer temperatures can be extreme in Spain and Portugal (over 40°C), so it’s important to use sun protection, wear breathable layers to combat the heat and drink plenty of water. Many hotels in Europe have fans, not air conditioning. In contrast, this trip also has departures during the winter months (mid-October to mid-March). This is the perfect time to see the highlights of Spain without any of the crowds, however the weather during this time of year is unpredictable, and possibly cold and rainy. Please carefully consider the time of the year you wish to travel and your suitability to that season.

Space is at a premium in Europe and your hotel is no exception. Rooms are often small, but usually the central location makes up for that. Accommodation on this trip is twin share, which means solo travellers will be paired with a roommate of the same gender. If you do not identify with the gender listed on your passport, please notify us at the time of booking. For those travelling as a duo, hotels in Europe often don't have double beds, but rather two single beds that can be pushed together. In some cases, bathroom facilities will be shared rather than ensuite.

You don't have a lot of time in Madrid and Barcelona at the start and the end of the trip respectively, so if you're keen to explore these spectacular cities in depth, we recommend you arrive a day or two before the start of the trip and/or extend your stay at the end.

Some hotels and train stations don't have lifts, and you will need to walk up and down some stairs carrying your luggage. Please make sure it doesn’t exceed our weight and size recommendations. You can find this information in the 'What to Take' section of the Essential Trip Information.

Please note that shops, attractions, sights and businesses may be closed for up to 5 hours in the middle of the day for siesta time. This gives the locals time to escape the heat and spend time with their families, eat a large lunch or simply sleep through the most uncomfortable time of day. This means of course that people work later into the evening and dinner time can seem quite late – 9.30 pm is not uncommon for family dinner time.

Important information

1. A single supplement is available if you’d prefer not to share a room on this trip. The single supplement applies to all nights of your trip and is subject to availability. Please speak to your booking agent for further information. Please note that due to the small properties we use in Europe, only a limited number of single supplements are available on each trip departure. If you would like to book a single supplement please speak to your booking agent.
2. A guided visit to the Alhambra Palace and Gardens is included in your trip. Please note that due to high demand and to be able to control visitor numbers, local authorities have implemented a timed ticket slot system for the Alhambra Palace. Depending on your departure date the time of your group's visit can vary. Please note that tickets are nominative, and you will need to advise us of your passport details at the time of booking as we are unable to organize tickets for you without them. Details will be counter checked at the entrance, so make sure you bring your passport with you at the time of the visit.
3. The luggage limit for airlines we use for the domestic flight on this trip is 20kg. Exceeding this limit will incur an excess baggage charge, payable by the traveler. However, we must stress that due to the adventurous nature of this trip and the amount of public transport we use on it, this limit far exceeds Intrepid's recommended luggage weight for this tour (10kg).

What to bring/pack

PACKING
On this trip you must pack as lightly as possible because you will be expected to carry your own bag and although you won't be required to walk long distances with your luggage (max 30 minutes), we strongly recommend keeping the weight under 10kg / 22lb. Most travellers carry their luggage in a backpack, although an overnight bag with a shoulder strap would suffice if you travel lightly. Smaller bags or backpacks with wheels are convenient although we recommend your bag has carry straps to accommodate the cobbled streets, uneven surfaces, stairs and steps you are lightly to encounter while carrying your luggage. You'll also need a day pack/bag to carry water and a camera etc for day trips. You can find Intrepid's Ultimate Packing List on our website. It should be used as a guide only and isn't intended to be a complete packing list., https://www.intrepidtravel.com/packing-list, WATER BOTTLE
Please bring your own water bottle to refill along the way. Although it can be difficult to avoid bottled water when travelling, please use the water dispensers which are provided on some of our vehicles and at some of our accommodation. Your leader will advise whether tap water is safe to drink in your destination, if it is you can simply refill with tap water. When unable to avoid bottled water it is better to buy the largest available and distribute into your smaller bottle for the day.

Physical rating

 
2

This trip can be enjoyed by just about anyone with a reasonable level of fitness. Some trips may have individual inclusions that may be of a higher physical rating compared to the overall rating of the trip. Please read the day-to-day itinerary carefully to find out more details on each day's activities, and whether they are suitable for you. Activities can be opted out of if you don't want to participate.

Joining your group

Gran Legazpi Hotel, Paseo de la Chopera 71, Madrid, SPAIN, Phone: +34 915396600

The Gran Legazpi Hotel is located in the Legazpi neighbourhood of Madrid, next to the emblematic Plaza de Legazpi, close to Madrid's shopping, cultural and financial centre. It is situated on Metro line 3, with a ride into the centre of Madrid taking approximately 15 minutes. The Gran Legazpi is a modern hotel, offering fully equipped rooms with the latest amenities.

Joining instructions

Madrid International Airport Barajas (airport code MAD) is located within the city limits, just 9km from the city centre. From the airport take metro line 8 to Nuevos Ministerios metro station and then metro line 6 (circular line clockwise) to Legazpi metro station. Alternatively metered taxis are available in taxi ranks outside any of the main terminal exits. Please note that the metro line from the airport to the city centre is particularly notorious for pickpockets, and travellers with backpacks or suitcases are indeed a target. Please ensure you are careful with your valuables on the metro.

Pre booked arrival transfer from the airport: If you have pre booked an arrival transfer, your transfer driver will be waiting in the arrivals hall holding a board with the Intrepid Logo or your name. In case of flight cancellations, changes or if you are not able find the driver, please contact our transfer dedicated number +44 20 4576 9838.

Finishing your trip

Hotel Catalonia Sagrada Familia, Calle Aragon 577-579, Barcelona, SPAIN, Phone: +34 932458905

Hotel Catalonia Sagrada Familia is located on Aragon Street, in the heart of Barcelona. Metro Lines L1 and L2 will deliver you to Ciutat Vella (Barcelona's Old Town) and the famous La Rambla. The comfortable and fully equipped rooms come with private bathrooms with shower and hairdryer, TV, phone, room service, safety deposit box, free Wi-Fi, heating and air-conditioning.

If you are making your own way to the airport the hotel will be able to help book you an airport shuttle or taxi. Please ask at reception. Alternatively it is easy to catch the frequent direct train from Clot Metro Station to the airport, or a mix of Metro L1 and bus A2 (with a change at Plaza Espana).

Pre booked departure transfer to the airport: You will be collected at your accommodation 3 hours before your flight departure time. In case of flight cancellations, changes or if you are not able to find the driver, please contact the transfer operator directly: +34 657 547 304

Meals & dietary information

Breakfasts included: 9

Lunches included: 

Dinners included: 

While travelling with us you'll experience the vast array of wonderful food available in the world. Your group leader will be able to suggest restaurants to try during your trip. To give you maximum flexibility in deciding where, what and with whom to eat, generally not all meals are included in the trip price. This also gives you more budgeting flexibility. As a rule our groups tend to eat together to enable you to taste a larger variety of dishes and enjoy each other's company. There's no obligation to do this though.

MEAL TIMES IN SPAIN
Please note that meal times in Spain are later than in many other countries. Dinner is usually served between 8pm and 10pm. While this takes some getting used to it is a great way to observe Spanish food culture.

VEGETARIANS
Vegetarians might find the menu selection in Europe less varied than they would see at home. Vegetarianism is not as common in this region and generally the choices are basic, involving vegetables, soups, salads, bread, cheese, fruit, yoghurt, eggs etc. Vegans and those on gluten-free diets may find this region very challenging and may need to supplement meals with their own supplies from supermarkets and markets. Wherever possible we will cater for dietary needs for any included meals, but there may be times when those with special requirements may need to provide their own.

BREAKFASTS
There are some continental breakfasts included on this trip which may simply include bread/toast or pastries, butter, jam, coffee/tea/juice (or similar).

Climate & seasonal information

SUMMER
Summer temperatures can be extreme in many of the regions visited (over 40°C), which can be uncomfortable. It’s important to use sun protection and drink plenty of water. Please carefully consider the time of the year you wish to travel and your suitability to that season.

SHOULDER SEASON
In contrast, weather in shoulder season can be unpredictable, and snow is not unheard of at higher altitudes. If you travel at the start or towards the end of the European season please pack accordingly with warm and/or waterproof clothes (preferably layers). The advantage of travelling during this time is that there are less tourists around.

WINTER
The winter months in Europe are usually quite cold and possibly snowy. Temperatures can drop to freezing or below, and snowfalls are common, especially at higher altitudes. You will need to be prepared to travel in varying temperatures and snow. Extra layers, a warm jacket, hat, gloves and good footwear are a must.

SPANISH SIESTA
Please note that shops, attractions, sights and businesses may be closed for up to 5 hours in the middle of the day for siesta time. This gives the locals time to escape the heat and spend time with their families, eat a large lunch or simply sleep through the most uncomfortable time of day. This means of course that people work later into the evening and dinner time can seem quite late: 9.30pm is not uncommon for family dinner time. One of the great things about our trips is that we encourage every member of the group to spend time interacting with local people. In order to best be able to do this in Spain, we recommend that you try to do as the locals do - avoid the heat of the day, and stay out later at night.

In case of emergency

While we always endeavour to provide the best possible holiday experience, due to the nature of travel and the areas we visit sometimes things can and do go wrong. Should any issue occur while you are on your trip, it is imperative that you discuss this with your group leader or our local representative straight away so that they can do their best to rectify the problem and save any potential negative impact on the rest of your trip.

We recognise that there may be times when your group leader/local partner may not be able to resolve a situation to your satisfaction - if this is the case, please ask the leader to speak to their direct manager.

You may also choose to provide details in your online feedback, which we ask you to complete within 30 days of the end of your trip. Please do be aware that it is very difficult for us to provide any practical help after the trip is completed, so informing us while still travelling will give us the opportunity to resolve the issue in real-time.

For general contact details please use the following page: http://www.intrepidtravel.com/ourtrips/contact/

In case of a genuine crisis or emergency, you can reach our local office on the number below.

If you have booked an arrival transfer, and you experience severe delays at immigration, baggage collection or customs, or if you are not able to find to the driver, please contact the transfer operator directly on the number listed in the joining point instructions in the section above.

In the case of a genuine crisis or emergency, Intrepid's Europe Operations Team can be reached on the number listed below:

Intrepid's Local Operator: +49 8677 9186 657

Accommodations

OCCASIONAL ALTERNATIVE ACCOMMODATION
The style of accommodation indicated in the day-to-day itinerary is a guideline. On rare occasions, alternative arrangements may need to be made due to the lack of availability of rooms in our usual accommodation. A similar standard of accommodation will be used in these instances.

TWIN SHARE BASIS
Accommodation on this trip is on a twin/multishare basis. We pair up solo travellers with another traveller of the same gender as per the gender marker on each of their passports. Please note there may be times where facilities will be shared rather than ensuite and rare occasions when you share a room with passengers travelling on different Intrepid trips than your own.

CHECK-IN TIME
Throughout the trip we request that our hotels prepare rooms in time for our arrival, especially if we're arriving prior to normal check-in time. However this isn't always possible which means we won't be able to check-in immediately on arrival at some hotels. Instead, we can store our luggage and explore our new destination.

PRE/POST TRIP ACCOMMODATION
If you've purchased pre-trip or post-trip accommodation (if available), you may be required to change rooms from your trip accommodation for these extra nights.

FACILITIES
Your accommodation may not always have private en suite facilities or air-conditioning. European hotels generally don't provide kettles or fridges.

Transportation

TRANSPORT IN EUROPE
Half the fun of travel is the travelling itself, that's why we like to travel the local way – whether that means mingling with commuters on a local train, watching the scenery roll by from the window of a long distance bus, arriving on a high speed train in the city centre of your next destination, or navigating each city's public transport system. In Europe, you are guaranteed to travel by genuine local public transport wherever possible, which puts you right in the centre of the action.

DOMESTIC FLIGHT
On this trip we will jump on an internal flight between Santiago de Compostela and Barcelona. Please note that we require your full passport details (including your middle name) at the time of booking in order to secure your flight. There is a luggage weight limit of 20kg on this flight, so please pack accordingly. If the weight of your luggage exceeds this limit you may incur extra charges at the airport.


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