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Classic Madrid to Lisbon

On this nine-day adventure through Spain and Portugal, you’ll dip into Madrid for a tapas dinner, take a trip into Salamanca’s sandstone surrounds and stay in UNESCO World Heritage-listed Douro Valley. After indulging in delicious local wines and soaking in the views of rolling greens, head to the birthplace of port wine and wander through the medieval riverside district, meeting locals and watching the city light up as the sun sets. Enjoy some free time in Coimbra – the official European Region of Gastronomy – and wander its historic university before ending it all in shining Lisbon. Don’t leave without tasting the famous pasteis de nata (the flakiest pastry you’ll ever treat yourself to) and why not – another splash of local wine!

9 days, from


per person


12 people max


Trip code: ZMKO
Style: Comfort
Theme: Explorer


Countries Visited:  Portugal Spain
Accommodation: Hotel (8 nights)
Transportation: Private vehicle , Train , Taxi
Included Meals:

  • 8 breakfasts
  • 1 lunches
  • 2 dinners

Group size: Minimum 1, Max 12

  • Journey into the UNESCO World Heritage-listed Douro Valley and indulge in a wine tasting of local wines, served with a delicious lunch of Portuguese specialties.

  • Tick Madrid, Salamanca, Porto and Lisbon off your bucket list and spend afternoons wandering around narrow, cobbled streets, colourful architecture with hilltop views and glittering coasts as you wait for nightly sunsets to transform these cities into glittering havens.

  • Feast on Spanish and Portuguese cuisine, snacks and local wines with a delicious tapas welcome dinner in Madrid, a port tasting in Porto, a bacalhau dinner in Coimbra and the unmissable pasteis de nata from the best spot in Lisbon – yum!

  • Rub shoulders with the locals in the University of Coimbra, famed for its baroque library and historical buildings, during a tour with a local guide who has all the insights.

  • Spend a day discovering the history of Tomar – a 12th century town of relaxed streets, verdant gardens and the Castillo de Tomar, a Templar castle just waiting for the curious to explore its ramparts and cloisters.

  • By travelling on this trip, you’ll directly support our Intrepid Foundation partner, REFOOD. Donations help them save good food, from restaurants and supermarkets, that is destined to go to waste and distribute it amongst people in need.


Show Full Itinerary

Day 1: Madrid

Bienvenidos! Welcome to Spain. Your adventure begins in the capital city of Madrid, with a welcome meeting at 6 pm where you will meet your trip leader and fellow travellers. If you arrive early, why not explore the city? Maybe have a picnic in Buen Retiro Park or explore the rich culture of European art at the Prado Museum, which houses works by Goya, Velaquez and other Spanish masters. Tonight, after the meeting, you’ll enjoy a welcome dinner of traditional tapas, maybe try patatas bravas, tortilla or croquetas.

Day 2: Douro Valley

Take the train to Salamanca – home to the 10th century university that continues to bring vibrancy to the town through its diverse student population. When you arrive, head out on an orientation walk, taking in the ornate sandstone architecture of the city. Then, enjoy some free time for lunch. Drive to the Douro Valley by private vehicle. This UNESCO World Heritage area is set on the highest flowing river of the Iberian Peninsula and the region is known for its wineries and unforgettable scenery. When you arrive, you have the option to take a Rabelo boat ride – the traditional Rabelo was once a Portuguese cargo boat used to transport barrels of port wine. Take in the sights from the water or enjoy your free time on the banks. As the sun goes down, maybe stroll along the river or take in the views at a local bar and sample some local wines.

Day 3: Porto

Enjoy a leisurely breakfast, maybe heading out for a morning walk or taking the chance to rest and recharge for the day ahead. Today, you’ll enjoy an included lunch and wine tasting at a local vineyard. As you tuck into some local Portuguese cuisine and choose your new favourite afternoon wine, soak in the last of the sweeping green hill views and then head in a private vehicle to Porto, the second-largest city in Portugal. When you arrive, you have a free afternoon to wander this coastal city. Maybe visit Livraria Lello – a bookstore that’s been standing since 1906. If the romance of books isn’t your thing, you can head to the Serralves Foundation – this art foundation boasts a contemporary art museum, a park and a villa, all demonstrating contemporary Art Deco architecture and Modernism.

Day 4: Porto

This morning, you’ll head out on a leader-led walk around Porto, taking in the city’s colourful architecture and stately bridges. Wander through the medieval riverside district, the narrow cobbled streets and the countless cafes that are all surrounded by the Douro River. You’ll visit the local market, too, where you can grab some snacks before heading to a port wine tasting – port wine production is this city’s namesake, after all! This afternoon is at your leisure to explore how you wish. Maybe take the chance to take a boat ride to see the colourful buildings of Porto from a new perspective. Tonight, ask your leader for the best local restaurants and people watch as the sun goes down.

Day 5: Coimbra

This morning, take the train to Coimbra – the former capital of Portugal. Coimbra is now a university city home to a well-preserved medieval Old Town. When you arrive, you can explore however you wish – maybe stroll by the 12th-century Romanesque cathedral of Se Velha or wander the Jardins da Quinta das Lagrimas – 12 hectares of gardens and a palace that has been converted into a luxury hotel – and take a walk through the woodlands. Tonight, head out for dinner with your group and feast on traditional Portuguese favourites at a restaurant specializing in the nation’s favourite – bacalhau (salted cod).

Day 6: Coimbra

Join a local guide this morning for a tour of the University of Coimbra, including the famed Biblioteca Joanina (the baroque library). After, you have a free day to choose your own adventure. You might like to keep exploring the wonderful architecture of this region and visit the Santa Clara-a-Velha Monastery and the Santa Clara-a-Nova Monastery. Tonight, maybe head to a fado show to immerse yourself in the culture’s traditional music scene. Coimbra was elected the European Region of Gastronomy for 2022, so you shouldn’t have a hard time finding the perfect spot for a delicious dinner!

Day 7: Lisbon

Drive to Tomar – a city perfect for history and architecture buffs! When you arrive, take a leader-led orientation walk to get your bearings and then visit the Castillo de Tomar – this castle of the Knights Templar is a national monument built by King Afonso Henriques around 1160 near the river Nabao. After exploring the Convent of Christ inside, enjoy free time for lunch and then maybe take an afternoon walk in the National Forest of Sete Montes or visit the Church of Santa Maria do Olival. Later, you’ll continue your journey to Lisbon, arriving in the late afternoon. You’re free in the capital city tonight, so maybe ask your leader for the best dinner spots and watch the city light up as the sun goes down.

Day 8: Lisbon

Join your leader for an orientation walk to get your bearings, making a stop at the Fabrica de Nata for coffee and pasteis de nata (the famed Portuguese tarts that you’ll soon be obsessed with if you’re not already). This is home to one of the best custard-filled pastries (is your mouth watering yet?) in the world, so it’s a good idea to buy a few extras to take with you. The rest of the afternoon is free, so maybe wander to the Belem Tower, tour the Castelo de Sao Jorge or take a leisurely boat trip on the Tejo River. Tonight, you might like to rejoin your group for an optional farewell dinner and toast to a trip well-travelled with another glass of port or local wine.

Day 9: Lisbon

With no activities planned today, your trip comes to an end after breakfast. If you’d like to spend more time in this charming capital (as is recommended), just speak to your booking agent.