The Geographical Cure

The Best 10 Days In Portugal and Spain Itinerary

Planning a trip to Portugal and Spain? Here’s my guide to taking a fantastic 10 day road trip in southern Portugal and southern Spain.

cityscape of Lisbon

This 10 day Spain-Portugal itinerary takes you from Lisbon Portugal to Granada Spain. This popular road trip route is dense with exciting cities, must visit medieval villages, Moorish architecture, UNESCO-listed landmarks, and loads of old world charm.

This ten day itinerary begins in Lisbon, Portugal’s sultry capital. Lisbon is an exciting sun-kissed city with glistening azulejo facades and stunning vistas. 

Pinterest pin for Portugal-Spain itinerary

It’s a compact and lively collection of small villages, tapas bars, and some of Europe’s most important palaces.

From Lisbon, you’ll travel through beautiful Evora Portugal en route to Seville in sunny southern Spain. You’ll finish the Andalusia portion of your trip in Granada.

The city of Granada is home to the mighty Alhambra, the world’s greatest existing Moorish fortress.

Plaza Espana in Seville

Andalusia is a dreamy sun-kissed place. From flamboyant Seville to gritty Granada, you’ll discover a well-balanced blend of must see hotspots, hidden gems, tiny whitewashed villages, and natural wonders.

Here’s my recommended 10 day itinerary for a self drive road trip from Lisbon to Granada. You can always reverse the order and start in Granada and travel west to Lisbon. This would work if you are already in Spain visiting Barcelona or Madrid .

READ : Guide To 24 Hours in Barcelona

With this Spain-Portugal itinerary, you don’t need to pick up your rental car until day 4. You won’t want a car in Lisbon unless you have a roomy space to park.

National Palace in Sintra Portugal

Overview of 10 Day Spain-Portugal Itinerary

Here’s a quick snapshot of what you’ll see with 10 days in Spain and Portugal:

  • Day 1 : Lisbon
  • Day 2 : Lisbon and Belem
  • Day 3 : Sintra Day Trip
  • Day 4 : Drive from Lisbon to Seville, stop in Evora
  • Day 5 : Seville
  • Day 6 : Seville
  • Day 7 : Day Trip to Cordoba or Ronda
  • Day 8 : Drive to Granda, stop in Antequera
  • Day 9 : Granada
  • Day 10 : Granada

the UNESCO-listed Roman Bridge of Cordoba

Length : 10 days

Start and End Points : Lisbon and Granada

UNESCO World Heritage Sites : Jeronimos Monastery, Tower of Belem, Cultural Landscape of Sintra, Pena Palace, Quinta da Regaleira Palace, Royal Alcazar, Seville Cathedral, the Mezquita, Roman Bridge of Cordoba, Medina Azahara, Antequera Dolmens, the Alhambra, the Albaicin

For this Spain-Portugal road trip, you’ll have three bases: Lisbon (3 nights), Seville (4 nights), and Granada (3 nights).

This trip is best done by car. I give you tips on where to stay for each city.

Courtyard of the Lions in the Alhambra in Granada Spain

But this Lisbon to Granada itinerary also also works by train. Just make sure you pre-book/catch an early high speed ATV train when moving from city to city.

A car is superior because it gives you more flexibility over your schedule and the ability to make pit stops (planned or unplanned) along the way.

There are plenty of great destinations to explore in this Portugal to Spain road trip. This super detailed 10 day itinerary is perfectly adjustable.

You can make it shorter or longer, depending on your available vacation time or personal fast/slow travel pace. I’ve tried to give you a mix of cities and leisurely villages, with day trip options as well.

Here’s my guide with tips for renting a car and driving in Europe .

cityscape of Lisbon Portugal

10 Day Itinerary for Portugal and Spain

Day 1: lisbon.

Welcome to the start of your 10 day tour of Spain and Portugal! 

You’re likely going to arrive in Lisbon in the early to mid afternoon. To get oriented, you may want to book a  guided walking tour .

Begin by exploring the main city squares. Start in the Pombaline-designed Rossio Square, also known as Praça Dom Pedro IV.

It’s a lively place with flower vendors and eye catching sidewalks with an optical illusion wave style. Two Baroque fountains stand at each end.

the triumphal arch of Rua Augusta

Then head down the main drag, Rua Augusta, to the Praça de Comércio, the showy 18th century square with a triumphal arch.

But don’t dine or shop here; the squares are mostly filled with tourist traps. Be sure to walk through the arch so you can take in the views from the other side.

After poking around, head to Lisbon’s adjacent Chiado neighborhood. It’s a rather arty upscale neighborhood filled with lovely cafes, chic art galleries, bookshops, and tony boutiques. You can also book a  3 hour guided walking tour  of Chiado.

Be sure to pop into the world’s oldest bookstore, Livraria Bertrand. And check out one of the most beautiful azulejo facades in Lisbon — the House of Ferreira das Tabuletas.

view from St. George's Castle in Lisbon

Take in the evocative Carmo Convent . It’s probably Lisbon’s best historical site Lisbon and a open air memorial to the worst day of Lisbon’s history, when the 1755 earthquake demolished much of the city.

After visiting Carmo Convent, settle in at an authentic eatery in Chiado, like Taberna da Rua das Flores or Cantinho do Avillez.

If you want a Michelin experience, try Alma . This tony restaurant claims to serve up “emotions, identity, knowledge.”

Then head to Alfama, Lisobn’s most charming must see neighborhood. Steeped in history, immortalized in Fado, and rising over Lisbon, Alfama is Lisbon’s most authentic district. It largely escaped the earthquake’s wrath.

the Alfama neighborhood of Lisbon

Alfama is city outside a city. Steep stairways tumble down to Baixa below and Castelo São Jorge (St. George’s Castle) stands guard above on Lisbon’s highest hill. As a result, Alfama is incredibly beautiful and photogenic.

You can follow a my walking tour for the Alfama. You can book a  3 hour guided walking tour of this historic neighborhood

Or just surrender to the lively chaos and get lost in the maze of tangled streets, decorated with street art, flowers, and the residents’ laundry.

the UNESCO-listed Belem Tower in the Belem neighborhood of Lisbon

Day 2: Lisbon and Belem

On day 2, head to the architecturally-rich suburb of Belém. You’ll be cast back to the Age of Discoveries, when the world was Portugal’s colonial oyster.

This neighborhood could take up your entire day, if you’re so inclined. Here’s my guide to the top attractions in Belem .

Your top priority in Belem is Jeronimos Monastery. It’s a 500 year old UNESCO site and a mandatory destination in Lisbon. Jeronimos Monastery is the premiere example of Manueline architecture in Portugal and the #1 site in Lisbon’s Belem district.

You must pre-book a  skip the line ticket   or you’ll wait in incredibly long lines. You can also book a  3 hour guided walking tour of Belem  that includes a skip the line ticket to the monastery.

There’s nothing like the moment you walk into the monastery’s two level cloister, honey colored and dripping with organic detail.

Manueline cloister of Jeronimos Monastery

You’ll be wowed by the delicately scalloped arches, twisting turrets, and columns intertwined with leaves, vines, and knots. And the gargoyles and beasties on the upper facade.

READ : Complete Guide To Jeronimos Monastery

You can also visit the Tower of Belem and the Monument to the Discoveries. Both are included in Belem’s UNESCO designation.

You can admire them from the outside or explore inside. Be forewarned, crowds will be intense and there will be long lines to visit the interiors. You can also book a  2 hour skip the line guided tour  the includes both the monastery and the tower.

Belem Tower is a fortress-like structure also built by Manuel I. It had a very Game of Thrones like feel to me with its filigree stonework. A very narrow spiral staircase leads you to the top for fantastic views.

>>> Click here to book a ticket for Belem Tower

Monument to the Discoveries in Belem

When you’re done gorging on Manueline architecture and Belem’s famous Pasteis de Belem custard tarts, travel back to Lisbon.

At night, head to Lisbon’s nightlife spot, the hilly neighborhood of Bairro Alto for food and drink.

Or, take in a dinner and Fado sho w . Here’s a good list of Fado places in the Alfama and another with places in Bairro Alto.

Pena Palace in Sintra Portugal, a must visit town with 10 days in Portugal and Spain

Day 3: Day Trip To Sintra

On day 3, you’ll venture to Sintra Portugal , the most popular day trip from Lisbon. Sintra is rock star glamorous. The town is chock full of UNESCO-listed castles and palaces.

It’s dazzling, colorful, and romantic. Even the town itself is quaint, filled with artisan shops, and well worth exploring. Sintra packs a punch and delivers on its hype.

There are so many amazing things to do and see in Sintra, that I’ve written a guide with tips for visiting Sintra . You need to have a specific strategy and manage your time well to make the most out of one day in Sintra.

To avoid the wait and lines, you may want pre-book a  guided skip the line tour for Pena Palace, the top attraction. Or go on a  guided tour of the Sintra’s highlights with a historian .

If you don’t want to worry about transportation, book a  guided tour full day tour from Lisbon  or a  guided day tour that includes the coastal Cascais and Cabo da Roca .

merman gargoyle on the facade of Pena Palace

The three sites in Sintra that you can’t miss are: (1) Pena Palace, (2) Quinta da Regaleira, and (3) the Moorish Castle.

1. Pena Palace

Pena Palace is an operatic romantic palace. It’s intensely colorful, a heavy handed mish mash of different architectural styles.

The palace looks like several castles smooshed together. It’s a schizophrenic whirlwind of onion domes, turrets, crenellation, and fanciful sneering gargoyles.

Pena Palace was commissioned by King Ferdinand II in 1842. The project was possibly in an attempt to rival the Neuschwanstein Castle in Bavaria .

Ferdinand was strongly influenced by German Romanticism, a style that emphasized the subjective, the irrational, the imaginative, and the spontaneous.

>>> Click here to pre-book a Pena Palace ticket

Quinta da Regaleira Palace in Sintra

2. Quinta da Regaleira

Quinta da Regaleria is a stony Gothic palace built by eccentric and superstitious millionaire Antonio Monteiro.

It’s an eerie romantic place with stunning gardens featuring grottos, fountains, towers, and tunnels. It’s a short 10 minute walk from the historic center of Sintra.

The gardens feature a startling “initiation well” that was used for secret initiation rites. You walk 90 feet down the spiral (and somewhat slippery) staircase. Then, you enter underground tunnels that take you into the gardens.

>>> Click here to book a ticket to Quinta da Regaleira

the 9th century Moorish Castle in Sintra

3. Moorish Castle

The Moorish Castle is an ancient 9th century fortress perched high on the hills of Sintra. It’s only a 10 minute walk from Pena Palace. It has astounding 360 panormic views.

There aren’t a lot of good food options in Sintra for dinner. So, it may be better to head back to Lisbon where you’ll have a plethora of choices.

>>> Click here to book a ticket for the Moorish Castle

Where To Stay In Lisbon

I would recommend staying in or near the Chiado neighborhood. The  Verride Palacio Santa Catarina  is a boutique hotel in a renovated palace with incredible views.

LX Boutique  is a pretty luxury hotel with a maritime themes and blue colors. The  Memmo Principe Real   is a historic hotel in a quiet area. It has limestone floors and original paintings.

view from Evora Cathedral

Day 4: Drive From Lisbon To Seville, Stop in Evora

The drive from Lisbon to Seville is 4.5 hours. En route, to break up the journey, stop in the UNESCO town of Evora. Evora is a 1:15 drive from Lisbon and then it’s another 3.5 hours to Seville.

If you want another stop between Evora and Lisbon, pull over in Merida . Merida is an ancient Roman city and UNESCO-listed site.

The UNESCO-listed Evora is tucked away in the Alentejo region of central Portugal. Evora was untouched by the great earthquake of 1755 and its historic center is well preserved. You can book a guided walking tour of the historic city center .

Evora is topped by a grand 14th century cathedral, commonly refered to as Evora Cathedral. But its official name is the Cathedral Of Nossa Senhora Da Assuncao.

Chapel of Bones in Evora

While not particularly pretty itself, it’s worth it to go inside just for the beautiful vistas over Evora from its balcony.

The star of Evora is an ossuary, the Chapel of Bones, attached to the large Royal Church of St. Francis. Franciscan monks slaved away in the early 17th century building this unusual site when cemeteries were overflowing.

Evora was also an important Roman town, lying on a trade route to Rome . In Evora’s center, you’ll see 14 Corinthian columns rising to the sky.

After you’ve seen the sites, leave Evora and head to Seville, your base for the next four nights.

Seville cityscape with Plaza de Espana buildings

Day 5: Explore Seville

On day 5 of your 10 days in Portugal and Spain itinerary, you’ll explore Seville. Seville is one of my favorites cities in Europe and and a must visit destination in Andalusia.

Seville is known for its Moorish architectural flourishes. The city is guarded by one of the world’s most colossal Gothic cathedrals. It’s a seductive mix of Mudéjar palaces, ornate baroque churches, colorful azulejo tiles, and shady cobblestone lanes.

And you can feast on inventive tapas, ice cold beer, and sweet sherry. At any hour of the day, no less.

On your first day in Seville, plan on seeing Seville Cathedral, La Giralda, and the Royal Alcazar.

Seville Cathedral

1. Seville Cathedral

Seville Cathedral is a massive Gothic affair, an odd to excess. It’s the largest cathedral in the world. It’s essential to pre-book a skip the line ticket  in advance.

Tickets include an audio guide. You can also book  tickets + a guided tour of the cathedral and explore its rooftops.

Tickets include an audio guide. To enter the cathedral, you walk through the lovely Patio of the Orange Trees, decorated with a Moorish gate.

The Main Chapel, Capilla Mayor, is a glittering affair. It houses one of the world’s finest high altars, elaborately detailed and finished in gold leaf. There are over 1,000 carved biblical figures.

Courtyard of the Cabildo (Patio del Cabildo) inside Seville Cathedral

Along the aisles of the cathedral, there are 80 side chapels to explore. You’ll find spires and reliefs depicting biblical events dedicated to saints.

There’s a large mirror reflecting the intricate ceiling, which you’ll have to queue up to peer into. Lighting up the interior are 75 stained glass windows from the 16th to 19th century.

The Cathedral houses the tomb of Christopher Columbus in the south transept. Many places lay claim to Columbus’ bones.

But apparently DNA tests have confirmed that, in fact, a bit of him is in Seville, maybe a shin bone or something.

Seville Cathedral and La Giralda

2. La Giralda

La Giralda, or the bell tower, dates from 1184. It’s the symbol of Seville and the oldest part of the cathedral complex.

The tower was originally constructed as the minaret of the Almohad Mosque that previously stood here, and was used to call Muslims to prayer. It was modeled after the Koutoubia Mosque in Marrakesh.

You access the 100 meter high Giralda in the far right corner. It’s an easy climb, 35 sloping ramps to reach the top.

There are ramps instead of stairs so that horses could be ridden to the top. You’ll be rewarding with sweeping views of the cathedral and Seville.

Courtyard of the Maidens in Seville's Royal Alcazar

3. Royal Alcazar

I’ve written at length about my adoration of the UNESCO-listed Royal Alcazar in Seville. It’s my very favorite spot in Andalusia, even above Granada’s incandescent Alhambra .

It’s essential to pre-book a slip the line ticket  in advance or you’ll have long wait in line. You can also book a   guided tour  of the alcazar with priority entrance.

The Alcázar is one of the world’s greatest cultural treasures. The Alcazar is a centuries old complex of palaces and fortifications, lovely courtyards, and extensive gardens bursting with orange, purple, and green colors.

You cannot help but feel catapulted back in time.

ornate interior of the Hall of Ambassadors in the Royal Alcazar

The crown jewel of the Alcazar is the sumptuous Mudéjar Palace of King Pedro the Cruel, built around the iconic Maiden’s Courtyard.

The Ambassador’s Hall, or Throne Room, is the big showstopper. It’s nicknamed the “Half Orange” Room, in honor of its gilded cedar domed ceiling.

But perhaps the best part of visiting the Alcazar is its amazing gardens. They’re a lush, exotic, labyrinthian paradise, encompassing 80% of the Alcázar grounds.

The Baths of Dona Maria de Padilla are perhaps the most striking and frequently visited spot in the Alcázar Gardens.

columns of Hercules in Seville's Alameda neighborhood

4. Dinner & Drinks

In the evening, amble up to the hipster haven of La Alameda. This is Seville’s trendy bohemian district, situated around the Plaza Alameda de Hercules.

This not-so-touristy neighborhood of Seville has lively local pubs, parks, boutiques, chic galleries, and Roman era columns.

My pick for dinner in Alameda is Duo Tapa s , where you get delicious tapas under fairy lights. It’s popular and a great value.

You can also try La Taberna de Panduro Baños or the nearby Eslava , hidden behind the Basílica de Jesús del Gran Poder.

In lieu of a restaurant, you could also go on a  3 hour tapas crawl . I did this tour when I was last there and I loved everything except the orange wine. Or try this  “10 tasting of Seville” walking tour  or this  4 hour gourmet food tour .

Plaza Espana in Seville

Day 6: Seville

1. plaza espana.

Start your second day in Seville at the magnificent Plaza Espana. It’s a famous architectural landmark, photogenic spot, and a must visit attraction in Seville .

The plaza was built for the Ibero-American World Fair of 1929, where Spanish speaking countries enjoyed a year long mutual admiration festival. It’s open to the public and there’s no entry fee.

The park’s highlight is the Spanish Pavilion, the sweeping half circle structure with rose gold brick buildings. Designed in an Art Deco style with some Moorish touches, the Plaza has the expected Spanish flair — lots of color and lavish embellishment.

There are 49 alcoves, each decorated with tiles. They show historical scenes and maps from the 49 provinces of Spain arranged in alphabetical order.

Plaza Dona Elvira in the Barrio Santa Cruz

2. Barrio Santa Cruz

Then head to Barrio Sant Cruz, Seville’s popular medieval district. The neighborhood is a mass of tangled cobbled streets with tiny palazzos and tile covered patios.

You may want to book a  guided walking tour  of the pretty barrio.

Some streets are so impossibly narrow, they’re called “kissing lanes.” There are also orange trees everywhere. You can get lost and stumble across secret squares, pretty churches, and tapas bars.

Barrio Santa Cruz

Plaza de la Santa Cruz is the heart of the barrio. But I liked Plaza de Dona Elvira best, and stopped for a delicious lunch there at Vinela Street Food.

Be sure to stroll along the winding and romantic Calle Agua, which runs along the walls of the Alcazar to Plaza Alfaro. In Plaza Alfaro, you’ll see a Juliet balcony said to have inspired Shakespeare’s Romeo and Juliet .

If you like old masters, pop into the Hospital de los Venerables. The pretty baroque building was founded in 1675.

Now, it’s a museum with a few carefully guarded masterpieces by Zurburan, Murillo, and Velasquez. And some gorgeous ceilings.

the colorful Triana neighborhood of Seville

In the afternoon, cross the Puente de Isabel II bridge over the Guadalquivir River and head to the colorful Triana neighborhood. Triana is a small soulful village within a big city and the old gypsy quarter of Seville.

What was once considered the “wrong side” of the river, is now the fun and funky part of town. Locals still call it the “Independent Republic of Triana.”

Triana is steeped in romance and myth. It was home to many of Spain’s best flamenco dancers and bullfighters.

Once over the bridge, you’ll be greeted by the Capilla del Carmen with its bell tower and chapel. The main commercial street in Triana is the pedestrianized Calle San Jacinto where you’ll find shops and cafes.

For lunch, get off the main drag and head left. Have some modern fusion (Venezuelan and Spanish) tapas at Vega 10 in Triana.

Located at Calle Rosario, its specialty is bull’s tail cannelloni. Or, get some tapas at Casa Cuesta or Las Golondrinas.

beautiful homes in the Triana neighborhood of Seville

If you want to assemble your own dinner, head to Triana’s famous Mercado de Triana, or covered market, located on Capilla del Carmen in the Plaza del Altozano.

Stroll the stalls filled with meats and cheeses. Or try a smoothie or fresh squeezed juice. When you’re done, take a stroll along the river on Calle Betis.

>>> Click here to book a flamenco show in Triana

Where To Stay In Seville

Air Bnb is a good option in Seville. There are also some beautiful boutique hotels.

My picks would be:  Hotel Colon Gran Melia ,  Suites Machado , or  Hotel Casa del Poeta .

I also think Barrio Santa Cruz is a great, and more quiet, place to stay. In this area, you could book at  Hotel Casa 1800 Seville  (timeless elegance) or the  EME Catedral Hotel  (sumptuous hotel with a roof terrace, Michelin restaurant, and spa).

the beautiful old Jewish Quarter in Cordoba

Day 7: Day Trip to Cordoba or Ronda

On day 7, take a day trip to Cordoba or Ronda. If you want a city with a lot of attractions, pick Cordoba. If you want to experience a classic white pueblo village, pick Ronda.

I’d recommend Cordoba just to see the UNESCO-listed Mosque Cathedral called the Mezquita .

1. Option 1: Cordoba

You can take the train from Seville. Or you can book a full day guided tour from Seville . Or a guided tour that includes both Cordoba and Carmona .

Cordoba is an exotic stone paved city with both a Roman and Moorish past. Cordoba is a natural film set, it’s just so beautiful. Cordoba has an authentic Spanish vibe with fewer tourists than Seville or Granada.

candy cane arches in the Mezquita

Most people come just for Cordoba’s #1 site: the magnificent Mezquita , the Mosque-Cathedral of Cordoba. Dating from the 10th century, it’s a UNESCO site and one of the world’s most well-preserved Islamic buildings.

Here’s my one day in Cordoba itinerary . Click   here  to pre-purchase a ticket. Click  here  to book a 1 hour guided tour of this magnificent edifice.

The courtyard is free to visit. And you can climb the minaret for views.

In the 16th century, King Ferdinand and Queen Isabella converted the interior of the mosque into a cathedral, calling it the Cathedral of Our Lady of Assumption.

I expected the combination to be discordant and perplexing. But I found it a fascinating place, a snapshot of the sophisticated dual culture that once existed in Spain.

colorful flower patio in Cordoba

You walk into the Mezquita from a courtyard of orange trees via the Porte de las Palmas. You’re immediately amidst an overpowering forest of 1,000 candy cane horseshoe arches.

They’re constructed from granite, onyx, jasper, and marble. A highlight is the Mihrab, or high altar. It’s a prayer niche covered in an intricate design of gold leaf and mosaic fragments.

The Renaissance cathedral is built right in the center, sharing marble and space with the Islamic arches. The soaring vaulted ceilings are stunning.

Be sure to go up the minaret for spectacular views of Cordoba. You buy tickets for the tower at a separate ticket booth below the bell tower.

the old Roman Bridge and the Mezquita

But there’s so much more to Cordoba than the Mezquita. Just downhill from the Mezquita is the Guadalquivir River. Stroll across the stunning Roman Bridge , both a UNESCO site and a Game of Thrones filming location.

Amble around the narrow languid streets of the charming old Jewish Quarter, with its brilliantly white walls and delicate filigreed window grills. You may even want to a  2 hour guided walking tour  of this romantic area.

Skip the Instagram popular Calleja de las Flores, or just stroll by. It’s overrated and crammed with tourists. There are beautiful flowers and patios everywhere in Cordoba.

Go into the Jewish synagogue. Say hello to the nearby statue of Maimonides, an influential medieval Jewish philosopher.

Visit the beautiful Alcazar de los Reyes Cristianos. This Alcazar can’t hold a candle to Seville’s UNESCO-listed Royal Alcazar, but I thought it was still well worth a visit. Click  here  if you’d like to book a 1 hour guided tour of the alcazar.

the stunning New Bridge in the town of Ronda

2. Option 2: Ronda

Ronda is Andalusia’s third most visited city. It’s one of Andalusia’s most beautiful towns .

You can take the train from Seville. Once there, you may want to take a 2 hour guided walking tour to get oriented.

If you’d prefer to leave the transportation to someone else, you can book a guided day tour from Seville . You can also book a guided full day tour of the white pueblo villages that includes Ronda .

Ronda is not so much a white pueblo town as a sophisticated city. Ronda has a dramatic setting.

It’s perched on a mountainous gash, 1000 feet above the plain below. Ronda is synonymous with its dramatic 18th century bridge, the Puente Nuevo.

the bullring in Ronda

The famed bridge connects the old and newish parts of the town over the 328 feet El Tajo gorge. There’s a staircase leading to the floor of the gorge, for a different viewing perspective.

Ronda is also famed as the birthplace of bullfighting. The city’s Plaza de Toros is one of Ronda’s most popular attractions, thanks to its beautiful architecture. The bullring is ringed with double rows of columns, lending it a Neo-Classical look.

If you want to delve more deeply into Spain’s bullfighting culture, head to the Museum of Bullfighting. You’ll even find some sketches depicting the “art” (not sport) of bullfighting by Francisco Goya , the renowned Spanish artist.

Aside from the bridge, Ronda itself is beautiful — plenty of cozy town squares, cobblestone alleys, balconies everywhere, and lovely architecture. You can visit the Mondragon Palace and the Arabic Baths, if you’re feeling ambitious.

cityscape of Antequera

Day 8: Drive from Seville to Granada, Stop in Antequera

The Spanish-Baroque town of Antequera is fittingly dubbed the “Florence of Andalusia.” Antequera is a hidden gem in Andalusia. You’ll have the place mostly to yourself, which is a singular joy in southern Spain.

Since you’re day tripping, there’s a lot to do. Park your car on the outskirts of town and walk up Calle Don Infante. Antequera boasts an impressive Moorish Alcazaba, almost like a mini Alhambra.

It also has a lovely Renaissance church and a stunning medieval and baroque historical core. You’ll have an eyeful of swoonful scenery.

>>> Click here to book a guided walking tour of Antequera

cityscape of Antequera

Antequera’s ancient megaliths/dolmens are outside the old town. You’ll see signs. The dolmens date from the Bronze Age and are among the oldest things on the planet. They are essentially Spain’s Stonehenge.

The dolmens are ancient burial grounds that were declared a UNESCO site in 2016. They’re one of the most remarkable engineering and architectural works of European prehistory and an important example of European Megalthism.

For more details and information, check out my two guides to visiting the town of Antequera and to Antequera’s UNESCO dolmens .

History buffs may want to book a guided tour of the dolmens .

view of the Alhambra in Granada

Day 9: Granada

Granada will sweep you away with its authentic Spanish vibe and dazzling attractions. Lorded over by the Sierra Nevada Mountains, it’s an absolutely beautiful ancient city with historic architecture. For its size, it’s surprisingly cosmopolitan.

Granada boasts many atmospheric neighborhoods, each with an earthy distinct character. It’s home to the mighty Alhambra, a Moroccan souk, a massive cathedral, flamenco music, and — perhaps best of all — free tapas.

Start your day at Granada’s marquis site, the UNESCO-listed Alhambra. This amazing Granada attraction requires more than half a day at a bare minimum.

The Alhambra is one of the most popular and best sites in southern Spain, and even in the world. In fact, you might want to split your visit to the Alhambra in two, with separate morning and evening visits.

READ : Top Attractions In Granada

the famous Lion Fountain in the Alhambra

Here’s my complete  guide to visiting the Alhambra . More than any other attraction I’ve mentioned, you MUST have a  ticket to visit the Alhambra  and reserve it well (weeks) in advance. They sell out so fast.

You may want to book a guided tour of this magnificent UNESCO site. Tours are also another way to nab the valuable ticket. They also sell out fast.

Here are some guided tour options:

  • a 2.5 hour small  group  guided tour
  • a 3 hour private tour
  • a 3 hou r tour of t he Alhambra and Generalife Gardens
  • a  3 hour t our  with a historian
  • a 2 ho ur ni ght visit
  • a 6 hou r tour  of the Alhambra and the highlights of Granada

reflecting pool in the Alhambra

The Alhambra stands on a stunning piece of real estate, high on Sabika Hill, with panoramic views over Granada and the beautiful countryside. The Alhambra is a tranquil place with burbling fountains and beautiful mosaics.

The highlights of the Alhambra are the Alcazaba, the Charles V Palace, and the jaw dropping Nasrid Palace. The Nasrid Palace is the world’s finest example of the refined, intricate, and elegant architectural style of the Moorish civilization.

The Court of the Myrtles, the Hall of the Ambassadors, and the Hall of the Two Sisters are a succession of intricate tile work, honeycomb cupolas, and cursive script.

The wonder of wonders is the Court of the Lions, named for the antique fountain of 12 lions in the center. Around the edge runs an arcade of arches supported by white marble columns.

When you’re done with the lavish palaces, head over to the beautiful Generalife for its soothing water gardens.

Generalife Gardens

Later, wander around and explore the old Arab neighborhood of the Albaicin, or Albayzin. Built on a steep hill, it’s an ancient area with tight tangled winding streets and a bohemian feel. The lively place was declared a UNESCO site in 1984.

The main drags in the Albaicin, which both run parallel to the River Darro, are Paseo de los Tristes and Carrera del Darro.

Amidst a jasmine scented breeze, you’ll find restaurants, cafes, tapas bars, and even street performers. You can enjoy a sunset view at Mirador San Nicolás.

To explore this beauty of the Albaicin and the neighborhood of Sacromonte, you can book a  guided walking tour . I did this tour and thought it was amazing. Sacromonte is a good place to book a  sunset walking tour .

the Albaicin neighborhood of Granada

Day 10: Granada

On your second day in Granada, visit the ornate late Gothic tombs of the ambitious dynasty-builders Ferdinand and Isabella. They reigned over the Christianization of Granada and the exploration of the “new” Americas. In the sacristy hangs Queen Isabella’s personal art collection.

10 minutes away, visit Granada Cathedral in Granada’s historic center. Click  here   to book a guided tour of the cathedral and the Royal Chapel.

The cathedral is the second largest cathedral in Spain after Seville Cathedral.It’s the fourth largest cathedral in the world.

The edifice is a mix of Renaissance and Baroque styles. Inside, there’s a towering interior, a grand altar, and side chapels.

Don’t miss Granada’s otherworldly barrio of Sacromonte, home to Granada’s Roma community. Time stands still in this unusual rustic quarter of Granada.

Sacromonte district of Granada

For centuries, Sacromonte was the home of gypsies, bohemians, artists, and foreign refuges. Sacramonte also sports one of the most mesmerizing views of the Alhambra.

Click  here  to book a flamenco show in Sacromonte, which has the best venue for performances in Granada.

Where To Stay In Granada

The  Eurostars Catedral  is a lovely hotel housed in a 16th century manor, just a short walk from the cathedral. The  Catalonia Granada  is a lovely hotel that comes complete with a plunge pool and open air terrace. 

If you want a place where tradition and avant garde style meet, check out the  Hospes Palacio de los Patos . It’s housed in a UNESCO-listed palace, with sprawling gardens, a spa, and mosaic floors.

the stunning hilltop town of Frigiliana

More Time in Spain?

If you want some time to relax after your 10 day Portugal-Spain road trip, head to the Costa del Sol for a few days of beach time and coastal views.

If you want a big city, head to Malaga. If you want a more laid back beach town, try Marabella or Nerja. Don’t miss the pretty mountain villages of Frigiliana en route.

To read about these towns and other villages in Andalusia, check out my guide to the 27 most beautiful towns in Southern Spain .

the pretty town of Nerja in southern Spain

You may enjoy these other Portugal travel guides and resources:

  • 10 day itinerary for Portugal
  • Historic landmarks in Portugal
  • 4 day itinerary for Lisbon
  • Guide to the Alfama neighborhood
  • Guide to the Belem neighborhood
  • Day trips from Lisbon
  • Hidden gems in Lisbon
  • Best sites and photo spots in Porto
  • Best azulejo tiles in Porto

Plaza Mayor in Madrid

You may also enjoy these other Spain travel guides and resources:

  • 33 secret towns in Spain
  • 10 day itinerary from Madrid to Seville
  • 10 day itinerary from Barcelona to Bilbao
  • 1 week itinerary for northern Spain
  • 10 day itinerary for Basque Spain
  • 2 day itinerary for Madrid
  • Most Beautiful Cites and Towns in Andalusia
  • 3 day itinerary for Seville

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Last Updated on June 30, 2023 by Leslie Livingston

Inside the Travel Lab

Your Perfect Spain and Portugal Itinerary for 10 to 14 Days

February 1, 2023

Cover collage for a wonderful Spain and Portugal itinerary

Welcome to the complete Spain and Portugal itinerary planner. Enjoy the best of the Iberian peninsula and get ready for your next trip.

Spain and Portugal itinerary planner cover image for Pinterest

Table of Contents

Planning Your Trip Through Spain and Portugal

Many describe Spain and Portugal as some of the most beautiful destinations in the world. And what’s not to like about them? They have gorgeous beaches, centuries-old buildings, delicious food, and a mild climate that attracts tourists even in the winter.

Best of all, they sit next to each other, so you can easily create an amazing Spain and Portugal itinerary and see all the best places in one trip.

I lived in Spain for years and frequently crossed the border into Portugal. But I know that it can seem overwhelming when you’re sitting down to plan out an itinerary for the first time.

So, if you are not sure where to start, here’s a complete guide, including the best cities to visit, top hotels and restaurants, as well as some ideas for day trips in case you have extra time. Follow it as it is or adapt it to your budget and interests and have a fabulous time!

Disclosure: if you book or buy through any of the links on this page, we may earn a small commission at no extra cost to you.


I love sharing the best travel resources I can find. 

  • I never book a flight without looking on Skyscanner first
  • My favourite one stop shop for airport transfers, food tours & excursions is Get Your Guide
  • Out of the big accommodation machines, I use TripAdvisor and the most
  • I’ve hand-picked useful travel gear and tools for you in my Amazon shop . Never leave home without a travel adapter or collapsible water bottle . I’d also recommend these soft ear plugs and a sleep mask .
  • Access all our planners and budget spreadsheets in the Travel Toolbox ©
  • Plan the perfect road trip with our Road Trip Planner & Toolkit ©
  • Use these packing cubes to make life so much easier on the road.

How Many Days Do You Need for a Spain & Portugal Trip?

There’s so much to see in Spain and Portugal that you’ll probably need months or even years to explore everything. However, you can see the main cities and taste a bit of the local culture in about 14 days. Some people race through both countries in seven days but that is a push and you will feel rushed. Spending around 10 days in Spain and Portugal is a decent amount of time but you will still be moving pretty quickly.

How to Tour Spain & Portugal

All the big towns in Spain and Portugal are connected through direct flights that are shorter than 1 hour and 30 minutes, so if you want to travel fast, it might be worth adding in some flights. You can find some tips to get cheaper plane tickets here.

However, flights bring problems, from having to turn up early to possibly losing your luggage to missing out on all the landscapes and smaller places between the big cities. Plus, the costs (and time) adds up travelling out and back to airports all the time.

Instead, I’d recommend looking at some of the sleek, fast trains and hiring a car in a few places for a great Iberian road trip.

Top Tip: Don’t forget about travel insurance . When you are visiting so many cities in a row, the chances of losing your luggage or experiencing a delay increase.

When Is the Best Time to Visit Spain & Portugal?

The summer months are extremely hot in Spain and Portugal, so it can be uncomfortable to hop from one city to another at 40 degrees Celsius (or higher in Seville.) Having said that, there are plenty of things to be enjoyed during a summer in Spain .

It is better to visit in the spring (March to May) or autumn (September to October) when the weather is still warm, the crowds are smaller, and the hotel prices are that bit lower.

Or, you could be unusual and see what it’s like to visit Spain in winter.

Spain - Barcelona-Casa Mila - Travel writer - Abigail King

Your 14-Day Spain & Portugal Itinerary

This itinerary starts in Madrid, continues to two big cities in Portugal, and returns to Spain for more splendid destinations full of history and colour.

Madrid – 3 Days

The capital of Spain, Madrid, is a beautiful city, combining the charm of the old streets and churches with a more modern architectural vision. It is the first destination on your 14-day itinerary, and you have 3 days to explore its attractions and surroundings.

What to Visit in Madrid

One of the best ways to discover the main attractions in Madrid is to take a tour with a local guide. But you can also visit everything on your own if you are organised. We recommend using public transportation, as the streets are quite busy for a rental car.

Puerta del Sol

As soon as you arrive, head to the city centre to discover one of its most famous sites. Puerta del Sol is the square where all major streets meet. Check out the famous clock that’s the centre of attention on New Year’s Eve, when locals and tourists gather in the square to celebrate.

Plaza Mayor

Grab a coffee or have a bite to eat in Plaza Mayor, a magnificent square in the centre of Habsburg Madrid. This is the oldest part of the city, thronging with souvenir shops, restaurants, bars, and street artists and musicians.

Mercado de San Miguel

Tasty and well-heeled, this much loved madrileño market sells fresh produce and tasty snacks, everything from pastry to charcuterie, Venezuelan corn, and vermouth.

The Palacio Real de Madrid

The Royal Palace in Madrid was inspired by Bernini’s sketches for the Louvre, rejected in France but put to good work in Spain, where this architectural jewel was built. The structure has more than 3,000 rooms, some with special themes. Take the Royal Chemist’s room filled with natural medicine cabinets, for example (you can check out the prescriptions the medics wrote to the members of the royal family.) Or the Royal Chapel, home to a magnificent collection of string instruments made by Antonio Stradivarius.

Catedral de la Almudena

Step out of the Royal Palace and enter the grand Catedral del la Almudena, consecrated by Pope John Paul II in 1993. It is the most important cathedral in Madrid and houses a museum with objects related to the life of the local patron saints. If you’ve got a good pair of lungs, climb the stairs to the dome for a splendid view of the city.

Prado Museum

A huge art hub, the Prado houses over 8,600 paintings, so whatever you do, don’t plan on seeing them all. I would highly recommend booking a guide to help you understand and focus. Alternatively, Prado’s website suggests three itineraries that can help you find your way. Do not miss the highlights: the galleries dedicated to El Greco and the extended Goya collection.

El Retiro Park

In the afternoon, stroll around this huge park, recently declared a UNESCO World Heritage Site. It includes a large number of gardens and monuments spread across 125 hectares.

Snap a picture of the only statue in the world dedicated to the devil, the Fallen Angel, which sits at 666 meters above sea level, and check out the rare plants in the botanical garden. There’s also a puppet theatre that still holds shows, great for kids and adults.

Find out more fun facts about Madrid here.

Where to Stay in Madrid

Pick a hotel close to the centre to access the main attractions on foot. The Centro and La Latina areas are close to everything, including tapas bars and restaurants, and it’s easy to find a good stay here. You can also stay in Lavapiés or Huertas for a more colourful and bohemian atmosphere.

SLEEP’N Atocha and Petit Palace Triball come highly recommended.

Where to Eat in Madrid

La Latina is the best area for eating in Madrid, especially when you only have a few days. Check out Casa Lucas to try their famous black cannelloni, or take a seat at La Perjila for a plate of delicious tapas. If you fancy a steak, don’t miss Casa Lucio – it’s been sizzling since 1974.

Day Trips from Madrid

Dedicate one of the days when you’re based in Madrid to one of the nearby towns or villages for a taste of how life is outside the capital. We suggest Salamanca or Toledo.

A university city located 214 km from Madrid, Salamanca has earned a place on the UNESCO World Heritage Site list due to its splendid cathedral, the Monterrey Palace, and huge Plaza Mayor.

Only 73 km from Madrid, Toledo is the former capital and something of a museum city reflecting the Jewish, Muslim, and Christian heritage of the people who built it. You can visit the Cristo de la Luz Mosque, El Transito Synagogue, and the Toledo Cathedral to see how cultures crossed in this city that attracted Goya and Picasso.

Getting from Madrid to Porto

  • Plane: 1 hour 15 minutes
  • Train: 7 hours 15 minutes
  • Car: 5 hours 50 minutes

Portugal - Porto -Rabelo boat with Ribeira in the background

Porto – 2 Days

Cross the border and stop in Porto, a magically romantic city famous for its harbour and wines. See also our fun guide on unusual things to do in Porto.

Top Attractions in Porto

You only have one day to explore the city, if you choose to do a day trip on the next one, so you will need to concentrate on the big attractions only.

Livraria Lello

Book lovers will be delighted to discover the impressive number of novels, poetry books, scientific and historic treatises and so on, all gathered in what seems to be a reader’s paradise. But even those who haven’t read a book in a while shouldn’t miss this place for its exquisite neo-gothic façade and stunning interior. It’s said to have inspired Harry Potter.

Igreja do Carmo

The next stop on your 2-day Porto itinerary, Igreja do Carmo, consists of two buildings connected through a very small home. It used to be a convent, with one building housing the nuns and the other the monks of the Carmelite Order in Porto. The narrow house between them was built to help preserve the chastity of the nuns and the monks’ vow of celibacy. Today, it’s a museum.

Check out the ‘azulejos’ on the exterior of Igreja do Carmo, which are hand-painted blue and white tiles specific to the area.

Sao Bento Train Station

A masterpiece of azulejo art, the palace-like Sao Bento Train Station unravels its imposing façade just a few steps from the Cathedral of Porto. Inspired by the “Beaux-Arts” style, it has a large vestibule covered in almost 20,000 tiles that depict scenes of daily life in Northern Portugal. The grandeur of the vestibule, along with its large glass ceiling, is simply fascinating. And you’ll see plenty of people hanging out here, trying to get that instagram shot.

Chapel of Souls

Probably the most photogenic building in Porto, the Chapel of Souls sits in the middle of the main shopping street. You will immediately recognise its impressive exterior covered in the popular blue and white azulejos depicting different religious episodes like the death of Saint Francis of Assisi or the martyrdom of Saint Catherine.

Porto Cathedral

The Sé do Porto is the oldest cathedral in the city, built in the 12th century and expanded over the centuries. It combines the Romanesque style with Baroque and Gothic influences and is designed more like a fortress with massive walls. Spend a moment of peace in its beautiful forecourt and then head inside to admire its baroque interior. The star is the Baroque loggia, lovely decorated with azulejos.

Ribeira Promenade

Spend the evening in the dreamy Ribeira neighbourhood, discovering the historic centre and admiring the sunset from the Dom Louis I Bridge which connects the two banks of the Douro River. This area of Porto was declared a UNESCO World Heritage Site. And a beautiful one it is too.

Where to Stay in Porto

The Centro-Baixa and Ribeira are the best areas to stay in Porto due to their proximity to the main attractions. The PortoBay Flores is a popular hotel for its luxurious rooms and great service, but if you are looking for mid-range accommodation, Hotel Mercure Porto Centro Aliados offers everything you need at an excellent price.

Where to Eat in Porto

Porto is famous for its tapas, fish, meats, pastel de nata, and wine. Stop by A Bolina for a nice glass of wine over a plate of tapas, and visit O Caseirinho if you want to try an authentic Portuguese fish-based dish. For the best pastel de nata, Confeitaria do Bolhão is your place.

Day Trip from Porto: Douro River Cruise

On your second day in Porto, cruise along the Douro River and visit the Douro Valley, the region famous for producing grapes for the Porto wine. The river cruises start at Porto’s Ribeira pier and can last from a few hours to a whole day.

Porto to Lisbon

  • Plane: 55 minutes (plus airport time)
  • Train: 3 hours 23 minutes
  • Car: 3 hours 10 minutes

Trams in Lisbon - a favourite photo thing to do in Portugal

Lisbon – 3 Days

A 3-day Lisbon itinerary is the right amount of time to explore the city itself and take a road trip to one of the nearby cities. But if you have less time, you can skip Sintra or Cascais and head directly to Seville.

What to Visit in Lisbon

Lisbon is an acquired taste. Her joy lies in the tumbling ruins and steep streets, her shareable food and her people far more than her checklist of sights. So, don’t rush your first day in the city. Instead, try to connect to the general vibe.

São Jorge Castle

Dating back to the 5th century, this huge castle sits on the summit of São Jorge hill, the highest point in Lisbon. It will take several hours to see it all, along with the small museum inside, so try to be there early in the morning to avoid the crowds. Climb to the top of the fortress for a magnificent view of the city.

Next to São Jorge Castle, you will find the Alfama district with its massive cathedral, the St. Vincent Monastery, and the National Pantheon. Stop by the Lisbon Cathedral to see where St Anthony was baptised. And, if you are a literature lover, don’t miss Casa dos Bicos, where you will find an exhibition space dedicated to Nobel Prize winner Jose Saramago.

Santa Justa Lift

Step on this historic lift, which takes you from the Baixa neighbourhood to Bairro Alto. It has a wonderful observation deck that reveals the views over Baixa.

Chiado and Bairro Alto

Stroll around these picturesque neighbourhoods. Chiado is elegant and bohemian, with gorgeous cafes and theatres, whilst Bairro Alto is famous for its great fado restaurants and graffiti art.

Parque das Nações

If you still have time, spend the rest of the day at this modern park, which manages to include an oceanarium with over 25,000 sea creatures, the Vasco da Gama bridge and tower, the Lisbon Casino, and the Vasco da Gama Centre, a huge mall with stores and spaces for entertainment. Other iconic buildings to visit here are the Oriente Station, the turtle-like Altice Arena, and the Portugal Pavilion.

Day 2 – Belem

On your second day in Lisbon, leave the city centre and visit the Belem district at the mouth of the river Tagus. This is the place from where many Portuguese explorers set sail to other parts of the world, returning with incredible riches. Visit the Jeronimo Monastery (another UNESCO World Heritage Site) and the Belem Tower and stop at the Pastéis de Belém, the place where the delicious Portuguese egg tarts were invented.

Where to Stay in Lisbon

Baixa is the most popular neighbourhood in the city, with lots of accommodation options. But the Rossio, Chiado and Cais do Sodre are close to the biggest attractions as well. If you want a 5-star hotel, book a room at the Avenida Palace, or go for Hotel Santa Justa for something more mid-range.

  • Look at our guide on the best places to stay in Lisbon here.

Where to Eat in Lisbon

The food in Lisbon is simply divine, and there are plenty of restaurants cooking it to perfection. Choose Invicta if you crave fish or langoustines plucked fresh from the ocean.

Food writers say that the best octopus in town is served at Frade dos Mares, and Floresta Das Escadinhas is genius when it comes to ribs.

For more about what to eat in Lisbon, check out our Lisbon food guide here.

Day Trips from Lisbon

If you can spare one more day, take a short trip to the nearby spots of Sintra or Cascais. The easiest way to get there is by car or bus, although you can manage a train and bus combination to Sintra, if you don’ t mind a steep climb at the end.

Sintra is a sight to behold, full of colourful whimsy, history and heritage. UNESCO World Heritage. Visit Vila Palace, the former summer resort of the Portuguese kings, and then stop at the glorious Pena Palace which overlooks the town from its hill.

Even if you don’t have much time, you can pay a quick visit to the fishing village of Cascais, which is only half an hour from Lisbon. Lots of shops and restaurants and sunny beaches make this place worth visiting. It is also famous for its fresh fish and shellfish, so you are in for a feast.

Lisbon to Seville

  • Train: 6 hours 45 minutes
  • Car: 4 hours 25 minutes

Spain - Seville - Plaza Espana

Seville – 2 Days

Cross the border again, this time to discover Southern Spain, where sun-kissed beaches and century-old buildings are only two of the best things to explore.

Seville Tourist Attractions

Seville cathedral and la giralda.

All visits to Seville find themselves in front of the Catedral de Santa Maria de la Sede, or simply the Seville Cathedral. Only by St Paul’s Cathedral in London and St Peter’s Basilica in Rome surpasses this monumental building in size.

The main point of focus is the tomb of Christopher Columbus, but the collection of gold and jewellery is something to behold.

The main cathedral tower is the landmark of the city and nicknamed La Giralda. The geometric patterns give away its youth: it was first part of a mosque which once stood upon this land.

Real Alcázar of Seville

Next on, the Royal Alcázar of Seville is a spectacular palace with a lush garden and sumptuous decorations. It was here that Columbus applied for funding for his voyage to “India” and here, too, where the Game of Thrones filmed their palace in the Kingdom of Dorne. Today, it is also a UNESCO World Heritage Site, although for the former rather than latter fact, I believe.

Barrio Santa Cruz

Leave the grand buildings behind and wander through Seville’s most tight-streeted neighbourhood, the former Jewish Quarter in the city. Step by the Centro de Interpretacion Juderia de Sevilla to learn more about their tragic history. And elsewhere, enjoy the bodegas and boutique shops which have sprung up around this lively part of the city.

Casa del Pilatos

The second most beautiful palace in Sevilla, Casa del Pilatos, was inspired by Pontius Pilate’s house in Jerusalem. It combines the Gothic, Italian Renaissance, and Mudéjar styles in an architectural masterpiece decorated with marble columns, azulejos, and flowers. Spend some time in the garden before ending the day on the Guadalquivir River waterfront.

Plaza de Espana and Maria Luisa Park

On the next day, visit Maria Luisa Park, which displays a spectacular collection of Mediterranean trees and plants. It is an oasis of peace in the middle of the town, providing a sweet relief for locals and tourists alike during the summer.

Next to the park, you will find the Plaza de España, a grand affair built for the 1929 Ibero-American exhibition.

Museum of Fine Arts

Probably the second most important museum in Spain after the Prado, the Museo de Bellas Artes in Seville sits in an old monastery building. The façade of the building, as well as the interior, is exquisite, and the collections are not something to miss. Here’s a taste: El Greco, Velásquez, Zurbarán, and Murillo.

Where to Stay in Seville

As in most cities, the city centre is the best place to stay, and you have some fabulous hotels here that seem to be the smaller copies of the palaces in town – the Boutique Hotel Casa del Poeta and the Hotel Gravina51, for example. For a picturesque view and more affordable prices, you can book a room in Barrio Santa Cruz – we recommend H10 Casa de la Plata.

Where to Eat in Seville

Sevilla is home to lots of upscale restaurants where you can try divine dishes in a gorgeous venue, often decorated with plants and small trees. Ispal Restaurante is one of the most popular places in town, and you will have a lovely time here, but if you want a royal experience, try the Michelin-starred Restaurante Az-Zait.

  • Check out our guide to the best tapas bars in Seville.

Day Trips from Seville

Andalusia, the region around Seville, deserves a road trip of its own. And that’s why we wrote one here. However, if you don’t have time for that, you can arrange for some absolutely spectacular day trips to three of the south’s big hitters: Cordoba, Granada, or Malaga.

The Mezquita in Cordoba is one of the most beautiful buildings in the world. Cordoba itself is a fragrant, picturesque Andalusian town. It’s the perfect place to sip on a lemonade or tinto de verano and watch a flamenco performance on one of the lively terraces. But it’s the UNESCO World Heritage Site of the Mezquita, a mosque turned into cathedral, which will linger in your memory for decades to come.

At the foot of the Sierra Nevada Mountains lies the wonderful city of Granada. It’s lively, it’s pretty, it’s fun. And it’s the closest city to the UNESCO World Heritage Site of the Alhambra, a masterpiece of a Moorish palace and a symbol of defeat and despair. See this Alhambra quote Do not weep like a woman…

Beach lovers should head to Malaga for a relaxing day in the sun. It’s not all about the beach (although it can be if you want it to be.)

Malaga is also the birthplace of Picasso, with a museum dedicated to the artist, and an extremely lively town offering tapas and nightlife galore.

Seville to Barcelona

  • Plane: 1 hour 35 minutes
  • Train: 5 hours 54 minutes
  • Car: 9 hours 15 minutes

Spain - Barcelona-Gaudi Casa Mila Sky Scultupres

Barcelona – 3 Days

The last stop on your Spain-Portugal trip, Barcelona is the heart of the autonomous region of Catalunya, and a popular spot, receiving over 8 million visitors each year.

Barcelona Tourist Attractions

Sagrada familia.

The most iconic building in Barcelona, the Sagrada Familia, is still under construction. And it has been since 1882.

It is the work of the famous Antonio Gaudi, and like no religious building you’ve ever seen. The best way to visit the basilica is to take a walking tour with a local guide who will give you more information on Gaudi’s vision and the history of the place. Also, book in advance, as tickets to the Sagrada Familia quickly become sold out.

Sant Pau Recinte Modernista

This complex was built at the beginning of the 19th century to serve as a garden city for nursing the sick. It is an exceptional architectural ensemble built in the Art-Nouveau style and declared a World Heritage Site in 1997. A visit here will take you through the history of medicine in Barcelona whilst you admire an outstanding architectural piece.

Barcelona and Gaudi are two inseparable entities. Barcelona left its mark on Gaudi, and Gaudi left his mark on the city. And Park Guell is a prime example. Spend a few hours in this park, considered one of the most iconic Modernist works in the world, and visit the Gaudi House and Museum to learn more about the most loved architect of Barcelona.

A temple for football worshipers, Camp Nou is the mythical stadium of the beloved FC Barcelona. You can take a tour of the stadium and then visit the museum inside. It is the best place to buy yourself a nice FC Barcelona souvenir.

If you are not a big football fan, you can skip Camp Nou and head to Tibidado, a 520-meter mountain. Besides the dramatic views, it is a place of fun, housing an amusement park with a Ferris wheel and a roller coaster.

Casa Batlló

Start your second day in Barcelona at Casa Batlló, another famous Gaudi masterpiece built between 1904 and 1906. Admire the colourful façade and step in to visit the former residence of the Batlló family bathed in light.

Also known as Casa Milà, La Pedrera got its name from its rocky exterior. At the time, the neighbours found this quite unusual, if not downright ugly. When it was built, it completely broke with the conventions of the time. And, yes, it is another fine piece of work from Gaudi.

Montjuic and the Magic Fountain

For an impressive show with music and lights, visit the magic fountain of Montjic in the evening. It usually plays classical music, and is a great place to relax.

Where to Stay in Barcelona

The best neighbourhoods to book a room in Barcelona are Barri Gòtic, La Rambla, and El Raval since they are close to the centre. For a luxurious experience, you can stay at the Serras Barcelona or Seventy Barcelona.

Where to Eat in Barcelona

Bodega Biarritz 1881 has a long history of serving delicious tapas and local dishes, so it’s worth visiting. We also recommend L’Antic Bocoi del Gotic if you want to try a Barcelona fish speciality.

Day Trips from Barcelona

On one of your three days in Barcelona, visit Costa Brava or Sitges for a more small-town vibe.

Costa Brava

Barcelona has a wonderful beach, but Costs Brava is an entire coast of beaches, with inland mountains, volcanic craters and more. You can spend a full day driving around the coast, stopping to visit the medieval city of Girona, zipping off to Michelin starred museums and taking in the surreal nature of the Dali Museum.

At only 39 km from Barcelona, this town is fully surrounded by nature and has a charming historic quarter. It is once again a beach destination that attracts sun worshippers every year. It has an overall bohemian vibe and used to be a meeting point for poets and artists at the end of the 19th century.

Portugal - Porto - This impressive rabbit street art shows how there is always more to see on any Spain and Portugal itinerary

More Ideas for Your Spain and Portugal Itinerary

As you can see, this Portugal and Spain itinerary takes in a lot in two weeks. But it also misses a lot out.

There are so many more wonderful road trips through Spain to take. So many more city breaks to enjoy.

In the north, you can visit the Guggenheim Museum in Bilbao and discover the religious (and foodie) heritage of San Sebastian. A road trip through Asturias reveals magical mountains and delicious food, and the coast of Galicia can keep you entertained as well.

In the south, you can spend one or two weeks driving around Andalusia in southern Spain or spend a week roaming through the Algarve or walking the overlooked Costa Vicente in Portugal.

More Travel Articles about Spain

  • The Spain quiz for curious people
  • 49 Interesting facts about Spain
  • Spain in one week: an itinerary for your first time in Spain
  • How to plan a road trip through Andalucia
  • Galicia: how to travel through the salty north of Spain
  • The best road trips in Spain
  • How to spend a summer in Spain

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Spain and Portugal Itinerary | 10 Days in Spain and Portugal

Spain and Portugal are beautiful destinations that are both worth visiting, however, if you happen to be on a time crunch, I suggest this Spain and Portugal Itinerary. With many of us out there with jobs and schools that deter us from visiting every country on our bucket list, I always recommend at least a week itinerary for 7 days or a 10-day vacation within Spain and Portugal. If you are planning a trip to Spain or Portugal, here are some of my highlights included in my 10-day Itinerary to Spain and Portugal. These 2 countries are quite different from each other, but it’s the perfect combination because they are quite unique compared to the rest of the European countries.

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Spain and Portugal Itinerary

Travel planning resources  .

  • Flights :  Skyscanner , Google Flights , and  Expedia  are the best sites to search for the cheapest flights and great deals from your home country.
  • Accommodation : ,  Agoda , and  HostelWorld are the only platforms you need to book hotels and hostels anywhere in the world.
  • Travel Insurance : The best travel insurance available are  World Nomads  or  SafetyWing .  Safety Wing is also perfect for expats or remote workers.
  • Transportation : To book trains, Trainline is the best and cheapest website. To book buses within the US and Europe, try using FlixBus . For travel in Asia, we use  12Go .  
  • Car Rental :  Expedia is a reliable platform to book rental cars.
  • Tours :  Get Your Guide   &  Viator  are the only platforms you will need for most countries. If traveling to Asia, I suggest using Klook or Trazy .
  • Luggage : It depends on what type of bags you like. If you are looking to backpack around Europe, I highly recommend the Osprey Fairview 40L .
  • What to Pack : Use this ultimate Carry On Essentials list for things you should pack for every trip.
  • Send Money Anywhere:  WISE  is the best account for transferring funds abroad.
  • Stay Connected:  Staying connected abroad is important for safety and travel. Using Airalo will save you time and money for your trip by getting an eSIM right from the start. Use NordVPN to keep access to websites in your home country or shows on Hulu abroad!

Planning a trip to Spain and Portugal? This is the best place to start.

To make the most of your trip you will have to decide when and where you want to travel to these destinations. This Itinerary for Spain and Portugal is best for 10 days, however, if you have more time you can easily add to it. I will add some other destinations and things you can possibly do during your trip closer to the bottom for you to decide how to continue your travels. Whether you are planning 3 weeks in Spain and Portugal or 10 days, this will be a great base itinerary to add and incorporate more ways to travel within the 2 countries.

Spain and Portugal are filled with hundreds of UNESCO World Heritage Sites worth checking out and I’ve included many of them in this Spain Portugal Itinerary post.

Are you LGBTQ+? Be sure to read this guide about gay-friendly cities in Spain .

Palace of Sintra

Best time to visit Spain and Portugal

The best time to visit for your 10 days in Portugal and Spain is from March through May and September – October.  These months are not considered hot and will have more manageable and comfortable weather to walk around in. You may be able to avoid tourists during these months.  Moreover, the busiest months to visit Spain and Portugal are between June – August.  The summer months can get quite hot, although the weather in Portugal was very comfortable when we visited in August.

Pro Tip: Save money on flights by flying in on a weekday or during the off-season. Base your itinerary on the most affordable rates you can travel.

Travel Insurance – Don’t forget to get insurance for your trip! I highly recommend getting travel insurance from World Nomad .  

The language of Portugal is Portuguese and of Spain is Spanish.  Additionally, we found it easy to communicate in Portugal with many of the locals speaking English. English was easy in Spain as well, but there were times, especially in Madrid, where some of the locals primarily speak Spanish. Of course, if you travel to a less touristy area, you may have more difficult times communicating in English.

Form of Currency

Both Portugal and Spain use the Euro and is part of the European Union.

How to get around Spain

Spain has a lot of great forms of public transportation including buses, subways, taxis, Uber, and more. Many of the major cities have great forms of public transportation which are great for travelers. Additionally, traveling from major cities to cities around Spain varies based on the location you would want to visit. Some I would take the train such as taking the train from Barcelona to Montserrat, however, I would suggest taking a flight from Barcelona to Madrid since the flights are about the same price as taking the train. Traveling solo to Spain? Check out this Barcelona Solo Women Travel Guide.

RELATED: 2 Weeks in Spain

How to get around Portugal

In Lisbon, there are buses and subways, but unless we were going somewhere far, we found it easier to travel by Tuk Tuk. To travel from Lisbon to Sintra, I suggest you take the train. Once you arrive in Sintra you can travel by Bus or Tuk Tuk depending on what you find more comfortable. Traveling by Tuk Tuk is costlier but more time-efficient.

The Best way to travel from Portugal to Spain

There are several ways to travel between Spain and Portugal and I’ve listed those options below.

  • Flying – In my opinion, this is the best way to travel from Spain to Portugal. I suggest this especially if you are the type short on time and making the most of your trip.
  • Bus – There are several itineraries on how to travel from Spain to Portugal by Bus . This is another option to take if you want to save money.
  • Car Rental – If you have plenty of time, this is the best way to plan a trip and be able to take your time and see everything.
  • Train – Unless you have a train pass within the EU, I felt the price of the train was about the same as a plane ticket. I regret taking the train and wish I chose to fly instead. If you love trains, I highly suggest you check out this Europe train itinerary .

Tips to save money in Spain and Portugal

There are a lot of ways to save money in Spain and Portugal including taking advantage of many of the free things to do in each destination such as wandering the Alfama District, visiting the Parco dom Pedro, and visiting many of the museums at the last 2 hours of the day. Additionally, taking public transportation overtaking a Tuk Tuk or Taxi and bringing your own water bottle from home, and buying a large bottle of water at a corner store to refill will save on time and money during your  1 week in Spain and Portugal.

Where you will visit in 10 Days in Spain and Portugal

I have chosen some of the most popular places to visit for this Portugal and Spain Itinerary, however, it can easily be adjusted for a Spain and Portugal Itinerary for 14 days or more. Check out the additional Spain itinerary locations and Portugal itinerary locations.

  • DAY 1: LISBON – Arrive in Lisbon. Explore, rest, for half a day.
  • DAY 2: SINTRA – Full day of highlights in Sintra including the palace
  • DAY 3: LISBON – Full day of exploring and eating your way through Lisbon
  • DAY 4: LISBON TO MADRID – Travel day to Madrid, half-day experiencing Madrid
  • DAY 5: MADRID – Unique Madrid City Highlights
  • DAY 6: MADRID TO BARCELONA – Travel day to Barcelona, half-day in Barcelona
  • DAY 7: BARCELONA – Full day in Barcelona
  • DAY 8: BARCELONA – Sightseeing in Barcelona
  • DAY 9: MONTSERRAT – Day trip and hiking to Montserrat from Barcelona
  • DAY 10: BARCELONA – Half day in Barcelona and leaving to your next destination

Additional Spain Itinerary Locations

  • Valencia – Read about things to do in Valencia

Additional Portugal Itinerary Locations

  • Porto – If you have more time, be sure to read more about how to spend one day in Porto .

Unsure whether to visit Madrid or Barcelona ? Read this post on which is better to visit Madrid or Barcelona.

Spain and Portugal Itinerary Day 1 | Arrival in Lisbon

To start your Spain and Portugal Itinerary, it’s best to arrive in Lisbon. I felt started in Portugal was something that was necessary. If you haven’t traveled abroad to a country that doesn’t speak English starting in Lisbon was important. Everyone we met spoke English here, while in Spain, it was hit and miss on who spoke English. Now if you plan to make a longer excursion than this one, you can start your trip to Porto and work through this 10 day Spain and Portugal itinerary.

Arrival and getting to your hotel in Lisbon

  • Private Transfer – You can easily request a private transfer from the airport to your hotel which makes it a lot easier and just a bit less stressful when you get there. You can book a private transfer from Lisbon Airport here.

Things to do in Lisbon on your first day

Portugal was one of my favorite countries to visit in Europe. I wanted to stay longer and visit more places, but I decided to visit the most important places. This trip was mostly focused on visiting Spain but a chance to visit Portugal as well. Lisbon is a hilly city with lots of slippery tile sidewalks, beautiful paths, and delicious foods. Although I don’t expect you to explore much of Lisbon on the first day of arrival, there are plenty of things to do.

PRO TIP: Most places are closed on Sundays including restaurants so if you are on a short time limit, you may want to consider that when planning your itinerary.

Pena Palace | Spain and Portugal Itinerary

Spain and Portugal Itinerary Day 2 | Sintra

Sintra, Portugal is one of the most famous cities to visit in Portugal because of its beautiful Pena Palace.  Pena Palace is a UNESCO Portugal world heritage site . Sintra is a wonderful day trip from Lisbon with only a  30-40 minute train ride. There are a lot of monumental sites to visit in Sintra such as the Palace of Sintra, Belem Tower, and more. The locals who live in Sintra we found polite and charming which made us love this destination even more. Finally, I feel that Sintra deserves two days of exploring

READ: Lisbon to Sintra Day Trip

Recommended things to do in Sintra

  • Pena Palace
  • Palace of Sintra
  • Moors Castle
  • Monserrate Palace
  • Bar do Binho

Jeronimos Monastery | Spain and Portugal Itinerary

Spain and Portugal Itinerary Day 3 | Lisbon

I suggest you start your day early to get to the Pasteis de Belem. Pasteis de Belem is known for its amazing Pastels also known as an egg tart. Ultimately, this place is large with a lot of seating, but it gets busy fairly quickly with lines wrapping around the corner. After you enjoy your breakfast, you will near many locations such as the Monument to the Discoveries, the Tower of Belem, and Jeronimos Monastery.

If you want to extend your trip in Portugal, you can easily spend 2 days in Porto or head down to Faro and also to Lagoa, where you can kayak the caves of Bengali .

READ: One day in Lisbon

Recommended things to do in Lisbon

  • Drinking Ginja
  • Praca dom Pedro
  • Monument to the Discoveries
  • Jeronimos Monastery
  • Tower of Belem
  • Mercado da Ribera
  • Pasteis de Belem

RELATED: Gay Lisbon Travel Guide

Crystal Palace | Spain and Portugal Itinerary

Spain and Portugal Itinerary Day 4 | Lisbon to Madrid

Now you will be traveling to Madrid, a beautiful city in Spain which is a must for your Spain and Portugal Itinerary. We found Madrid to be our favorite in Spain although we have a lot more to discover. Depending on what time you arrive in Madrid, there are still a lot of things to do including at night! Finally, if you arrive late and happen to have a sweet tooth, I highly suggest you visit the Chocoleteria san Gines.

READ: 2 Days in Madrid

Recommended things to do in Madrid Day 1

  • Crystal Palace in Retiro Park
  • Plaza de Cibeles
  • Temple of Debod
  • Madrid Food Tour or Tapas Tour
  • Chocoleteria San Gines

RELATED: Tapas in Madrid | 15 cheap tapas in Madrid

Flamenco Show | Spain and Portugal Itinerary

Spain and Portugal Itinerary Day 5 | Madrid

Today you will have plenty of time to see everything Madrid has to offer. If there was something you weren’t able to see on day 1, don’t you worry we will see plenty of items today.  Madrid is one of my favorite places to visit in Spain and less fast pace in comparison to Barcelona. The official residence for the Royal Family in Spain is at the Royal Palace of Madrid.

READ: Places to Visit in Northern Spain

If you want to add more time to your Itinerary, you can head down and spend one day in Seville .

Recommended things to do in Madrid Day 2

  • San Miguel Market
  • Palace of Madrid
  • Cathedral of Alemundo
  • Museum del Prado
  • Flamenco Show
  • Plaza de Espana

La Sagrada Familia | Spain and Portugal Itinerary

Spain and Portugal Itinerary Day 6 | Madrid to Barcelona

Next on your Spain and Portugal Itinerary is Barcelona. There is so much to do in Barcelona, but I must warn you that there are a lot of tourist traps especially when it comes to food in Barcelona (I feel that is something that is common in any major city). Moreover, we found a ton of delicious food, don’t get me wrong, but there are a few places that do not have great or authentic Spanish dishes. Furthermore, I suggest another food tour to get the best places to eat.

If you plan to arrive in Barcelona in the evening time, I suggest you at least visit La Sagrada Familia or Park Guell since both locations are beautiful during the evening. La Sagrada Familia is a beautiful cathedral filled with gorgeous stained glass windows that are perfect to see during sunset. The light comes shining through the glass and creating colors on the floor of the cathedral.

READ: 3 Day Itinerary Barcelona

Recommended things to do in Barcelona Day 1

  • La Sagrada Familia – UNESCO World Heritage Site
  • Casa Mila – UNESCO World Heritage Site
  • Casa Batllo – UNESCO World Heritage Site
  • Casa Amatler – UNESCO World Heritage Site

Park Guell | Spain and Portugal Itinerary

Spain and Portugal Itinerary Day 7 | Barcelona

Now you get to explore for your first full day in Barcelona. Keep in mind that the Mercado de la Boqueria is closed on Sundays. I suggest you take a stroll down La Rambla and explore all the cute shops and more. This day is a great day to relax and enjoy the beautiful views of Barcelona. If you have time or it’s not too cold, be sure to visit Barceloneta Beach. If you are looking to enjoy some delicious food, be sure to read more about Catalan food and food at Opera Samfaina .

Recommended things to do in Barcelona Day 2

  • Bunkers de Caramel
  • Mercado de la Boqueria
  • Barceloneta Beach

Arc de Triomf | Spain and Portugal Itinerary

Spain and Portugal Itinerary Day 8 | Barcelona

This is the perfect time to visit the Gothic Quarter and the Picasso Museum. There are many narrow cobblestone streets and a lot of art shops in the area. Furthermore, if you aren’t a big fan of art or just don’t care to see the Picasso Museum, continue to visit Montjuic.  Afterward, explore the beautiful Ciutadella Park and stroll down the path and view the Arc de Triomf. In addition, there are a lot of street performers during the evening hours. We found it relaxing to explore and just be in the presence of Barcelona.

Recommended things to do in Barcelona Day 3

  • Gothic Quarter
  • Picasso Museum
  • Ciutadella Park
  • Arc de Triomf

Montserrat | Spain and Portugal Itinerary

Spain and Portugal Itinerary Day 9 | Montserrat

Furthermore, Montserrat is a beautiful day trip away from Barcelona. It is the perfect place to visit when you need to escape the busy city life. Furthermore, if you enjoy hiking, this is a great location to do an uphill hike and get a great view of the mountainside. In addition, the path is paved and easy to walk. My best friend and I actually hiked the path in sandals and found it bearable, although I don’t suggest it. I think by the end of our Spain and Portugal trip, we definitely needed something outdoors and a bit more quiet from the big crowds.

RELATED: Montserrat Day Trip from Barcelona

Spain and Portugal Itinerary Day 10 | Leave Barcelona

Today is the day to venture back home or if you want to continue your Spain and Portugal itinerary you can continue to Bilbao, Valencia, Seville, or Grenada.  There are so many places to discover in Spain. So if you can continue your ventures, but this post is a great starting point for your first visit to Spain and Portugal.

If you have more time, add Mallorca, Spain to your itinerary and learn more about things to do in Mallorca, Spain.

Finally, please let me know in the comment below what you think of this Spain and Portugal Itinerary. Is there anywhere you would add that I might have forgotten?

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  • Spain in August
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  • 3 Day Itinerary Barcelona
  • Top 10 Places to see in Barcelona
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Hey, I'm NieNie, also known as Stephanie – a California native of hapa heritage (an American with a mix of Korean and German) with an enduring love for travel. Transitioning from my expat life in South Korea to embracing the experience of living in Germany, while also frequenting visits to my family in the Philippines, I'm documenting my adventure as a plus-size woman immersing herself in diverse cultures. Join me on Adventures with NieNie for travel tips, cultural insights, and inspiring stories from South Korea, the Philippines, and Germany. Let's embark on this adventure together!

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Wow, thanks for such a detailed post! I would love to visit Portugal someday (and go back to Spain), so I’m definitely saving this for later!

What a wonderfully detailed guide! I love Spain and haven’t seen nearly as much as I’d like, and am yet to visit Portugal but it’s high on the list! Definitely like the sound of a tapas tour in Madrid, it’s so delicious there!

Spain and Portugal. Both are on my bucket list and it’s great to know that I still have a few months to get there during the prime seasons. I better get booking! Thanks for such a great post, its super helpful! I never even considered some of the places you mentioned but it all looks incredible so I’m adding them to my travels.

That’s a lot of ground to cover in just 10 days! But definitely some of the highlights of the region there. Barcelona is one of my favorite cities and I could easily spend ten days there alone! Did you use a lot of overnight transportation to fit this all in?

I didn’t check out any overnight transportation. Although, the train tickets were the same price as flying and most of the destinations you could get there in an hour or less by flying. I didn’t see an overnight transportation necessary. ?

Wow, great post! You really have all the information I need, including an amazing itinerary.

This guide is so detailed and awesome for someone to use on a first visit . I have never been to Europe, but hope to make it there in the next year. Great images too! ‘ Valerie

This is such a great resource and is perfectly timed. My husband and I have been looking into visiting Spain and Portugal. Thanks for the great tips!

I love this!!

So, my brother in law has been dating a Portugese lady for a while now, so my husband and I have a feeling that he might pop the question to her soon…so we are hoping when/if he does we’ll be able to have a holiday in Portugal (and Spain) to see them get hitched! I will totally keep this blog in mind if/when we get to plan our travels(!!)

It was a wonderful guideline for all the traveler, which will make all the adventure lovers best traveling experience in Spain and Portugal. I an enjoyed a lot to read it. I never visit Spain, but I want to explore Spain this October. Barcelona will my main target and never miss the beach and the La Sagrada Familia. Thanks for this motivating post.

This is such a great plan! I’ve haven’t been in Portugal yet but it’s on my list! Do they really have tuk tuks there ? Are they as cool as those in Thailand ? I’ve visited Spain few times but never made it to Madrid , however I Love Barcelona and I would love to go back ! Great post !

Awesome itinerary! Spain and Portugal are both such lively destinations and have such great food! Your photos show how vibrant and lively these places are. I’d love to visit someday.

Barcelona and Montserrat are such beautiful places! I have been 2 times in Barcelona and I still want to go back! Thanks for sharing this awesome article!

Thanks for such a detailed itinerary, Portugal is amazing and I hope I get to visit Portugal again. I’ve been to Portugal twice on tour with the band I played in, on one of these trips we played 19 concerts in 18 cities, so as you can imagine – there wasn’t much time to really check out Portugal and all the places it has to offer.

Sintra is probably one of my most favorite places I’ve ever been. Such a nice hidden gem. And glad you got to see some flamenco in Spain! I lived there for 4 years. Great article, great photos!

woow this is such detailed guide post on portugal and spain would love to visit it someday.bookmarking it for future reference

Both destinations are worth to explore. Very informative and detailed itinerary. Within 10 days so many places to explore and I’m loving all architectural design the most.

All the places look awesome. Your itinerary is perfect and covers important aspects of both Spain and Portugal. Thank you for sharing.

This looks like a quick trip but a great introduction to these two countries that will leave travelers eager to get back and see more!

I’m in Portugal now and this guide is amazing! In Madeira but will be in Lisbon next week and will definitely use these tips. Would love to do Spain soon!

I’ve been to Spain a few times, but have been dying to go to Portugal! Very much appreciate your tip about Sundays, if we plan a trip we’ll be sure to keep that in mind. Thanks!

wow this post is very ambitious! i prefer splitting up the two countries… did 14 days in Portugal and 10 days in Spain last year. I personally like smelling the roses and not packing my days. You’ve covered all the highlights here though ! xo, natalie

I missed Spain and Portugal on my last trip to Europe and this post is making me realize just how much I missed out! These two countries will definitely be at the top of my list when I return. I’m going to pin this post for future reference – thank you! 🙂

Detailed and thorough itinerary! I’d love to visit these 2 countries. A week may be too short and jam packed though. I’d say 10-12 days would be great to fully appreciate everything!

Hi NieNie! Thanks for sharing all the beautiful photos and awesome guided details. I am leaving with my girlfriends in mid Nov for 11 days. Arriving into Barcelona in the morning. What do you advise on my itinerary if to travel to Lisbon because I need to return to Barcelona for my departure flight? Hope you hear from you soon 🙂

Blessings !

Have you read my guide on 24 Hours in Lisbon?

Spain and Portugal have been on my list for a few years now! I went to Italy a couple years ago and absolutely loved the coast. What time of year would you recommend going?

I would probably go in the fall or spring, we went during the summer and it was pretty hot but nothing compares to how hot it is in Korea haha. So honestly it depends on what suits you. There were a lot of people as well, so if you don’t mind crowds.

I want to go in July after 10 from Uk so can u send me the date and price with what included

This varies from person to person and what things you plan to do. If you follow this to a t, it depends on where you book your trips to. I believe this overall cost us about $500 for the week but it does not include flights and hotels.

great article.. thanks for the information…

I wanted to take a moment to express my sincere thanks for the comprehensive and thorough information you have shared with me. Your attention to detail and willingness to go above and beyond to ensure that I have the information I need is truly remarkable. I cannot thank you enough for your time and effort in providing me with such valuable insights.

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Perfect Spain and Portugal Itinerary 10 days to 2 weeks

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Spain and Portugal are two of the popular destinations that can be easily explored in one mega Europe trip . These two countries make up most of the Iberian peninsula, and they are so different from other European states. In this Spain and Portugal Itinerary 10 days to 2 weeks, we will discover the best of city landmarks, history, culture, cuisines, and sightseeing tours.  

As a bonus, we will be including day trips from Spain and Portugal to nearby countries like Andorra, Gibraltar, and Morocco. Follow our footsteps and see how we made the most of our time in Europe.

Spain and Portugal Itinerary 10 days to 14 days – Preparing for your trip 

Spain and Portugal Itinerary 10 days - 14 days Guide

Disclosure: This post contains affiliate links. If you click one of them, we may receive a small commission at no extra cost to you.

To make the most of your trip to Spain and Portugal, you will have to prioritize. Geographically it makes sense to book a flight to Spain, and then head to Portugal . You will find tons of flights, connecting Barcelona and Madrid to the rest of the world.

To choose which Spanish cities you should visit is a big task. Spain has a very distinct culture in each of its regions. Catalonia in the north with Gaudi’s architecture is very different from Moorish castles laden Andalucía.

A popular Spain vacation idea is to take a road trip to the southern region. The capital city of Madrid is a world-class urban hub, with tons of history. So which cities you wish to explore is up to you!

Pro-tip: You can select based on cheaper/shorter flights from your home country or personal taste and interests!

We have written a detailed one week Spain itinerary with 4 samples. We recommend giving it a read if you are unsure about where to go in Spain !

Evening views in Spain and Portugal Itinerary 10 days

For the purposes of this itinerary, we will explore one major city in Cataluña and one in Andalucía – this allows a traveler to get a taste of both regions. We will start with Barcelona (northern Spain), explore nearby areas and finish the itinerary in Seville (with a flight back to Barcelona after 10-14 days).

Snapshot: Spain and Portugal Itinerary 10 – 14 days with Andorra, Gibraltar, and Morocco

Spain and Portugal Itinerary with optional countries : Travel Guide

  • Day 1:  Arrive in Barcelona Spain. Half-day exploration
  • Day 2:  Full day city highlights of Barcelona
  • Day 3 : More of Barcelona sightseeing, in-depth exploration of favorite spots
  • Day 4 : Day trip to Montserrat, Girona, or Andorra
  • Day 5 : Fly to Lisbon Portugal, and explore city highlights
  • Day 6 : Explore Belem and other areas of Lisbon
  • Day 7 : Day trip to Sintra Portugal (or choose from a list of 16 other options), overnight bus to Seville Spain
  • Day 8 : Explore Seville city highlights
  • Day 9 : More of Seville – culture, offbeat places
  • Day 10 : Take a day trip to Granada (or any of the Andalucian cities – Ronda, Cadiz, Cordova, etc.)
  • Optional Day 11:  Extend stay to another Spanish city in the south (pick any from the list in the itinerary)
  • Optional Day 12 : Seville to Gibraltar day trip
  • Optional Day 13 : Seville to Tangier Morocco day trip (or 2 days). Fly to Barcelona for the flight back home on day 14. Tangier has an airport and seaport
  • Optional Day 14 : Travel from Seville to Barcelona

Alternate Route (Madrid as a starting point and more time in Portugal)

14 days in Spain and Portugal itinerary map

Option 1: 

  • To include Madrid in the itinerary for  14 days:  On day 11, take a train to Madrid from Seville and explore the capital city for 2-3 days. On day 14 fly to Barcelona.

Option 2: 

  • To start the trip in Madrid, you can customize the itinerary as follows: Start day 1 in Madrid. Explore for 2-3 days (switch Barcelona for Madrid). Take an overnight train to Seville (explore Seville, take day trips to Granada, Gibraltar, and/or Tangier Morocco). Take an overnight bus from Seville to Lisbon Portugal. Explore Lisbon and Sintra as outlined here.
  • By doing this route, you will miss Barcelona, Andorra day trip, and Montserrat. From Madrid, you can take a day trip to Toledo – a charming medieval city located an hour away from the capital city.
  • Our guide to Airbnbs in Spain

Pre-packed Itinerary Vacations

Traveling with a small group guided tour is a good option if you do not wish to plan, research, and manage all the bookings. Here are 2 tours that we recommend.

  • Spain & Portugal in 14 days by G Adventures : This is one of the best small-group tours. It is conducted by G Adventures – one of our favorite tour providers and they are Canadian! They focus on cultural and local experiences in Spain and Portugal.  Check out their pre-packed tour here
  • Spain & Portugal in 9 days (Madrid to Madrid):  Another great group tour option, doable in 9 days.  Click to check prices and dates here

Day 1 Spain Portugal Itinerary 10 days – Barcelona – Arrival and city highlights

We landed in Barcelona on day 1 of our Spain and Portugal Itinerary. Flights to Barcelona were cheaper than Madrid and we were super excited about the tons of day trip opportunities from here.

Port Vell - Barcelona Spain and Portugal Itinerary

Arrival and getting to the hotel in Barcelona 

El Prat Barcelona Airport is an international airport connecting Barcelona Spain to the world. Once you are at the airport, here are a few options to reach the city center or your hotel.

  • Metro Train – Take a metro train to the city center for 4.20 euros. Barcelona public transportation is very efficient and connects the city very effortlessly. (The Airport Metro line is called L9 Sud). If you plan on using transit extensively it is worth purchasing a pass for 2-3 days. We saved quite a bit doing this on our first trip to Barcelona (also useful if your hotel is located further away from the city center). Buy your Barcelona metro pass here.
  • Aeroport Bus  – Take an airport bus (Aeroport bus from terminal 1) to the Plaza Espanya and the metro from there to your destination (or walk if it’s located nearby). It takes about 40 minutes. We utilized this service on our first day in Barcelona.  Book your bus tickets here.
  • Taxi  – Private taxi to your hotel.  You can reserve your private airport transfer here.

Spain and Portugal Itinerary - Park Guell and Gaudi Museum

Where to stay in Barcelona 

For a quick 3 day Barcelona trip, we recommend staying near the city center. Hotels in Barcelona get filled really fast, so plan and book rooms ahead of time.

One of the hotels we stayed in Barcelona was Hotel Garbi Millenni. It was close to the city center and also had quick access to the metro station. All of our day tours were a breeze from here, as we could just walk down or take the train. Check out hotel Garbi Millenni here.

Search for other hotels in Barcelona Spain.

Depending on your flight arrival to Barcelona, you will be able to explore a few of the city’s highlights on day one.

Here is what you should check out on day one (options for both half-day or full-day sightseeing)

Gothic Quarter walking tour

  • Las Ramblas – Head to Las Ramblas in the city center. It is a leafy boulevard lined with restaurants and shops, just a stone throw’s away from the famed Gothic Quarter. La Rambla is easily connected via the metro or just walk down from Hotel Garbi Millenni.
  • Gothic Quarter – One of the few Roman remnants that the city of Barcelona has – is the Gothic Quarter. You can take a walking tour of the neighborhood, snap photos and learn about its history. Book this guided walking tour here.
  • If you are in Barcelona for a full day (on day 1), you can also include a Gothic quarter plus Picasso Museum and El Born guided tour. This is a 3.50-hour tour – more details here.
  • The gothic quarter also has tons of cafes and restaurants for meals. We recommend choosing the Gothic quarter over Las Ramblas for dining or lunching!

La Boqueria Market-

  • La Boqueria – One of the oldest markets in Barcelona and located near Las Ramblas is La Boqueria. Here you will find tons of local delicacies to try out, in tapas-style. Explore the market late evening and eat your heart out.
  • Port Vell – Finish day one, with an evening or sunset cruise from Port Vell. Port Vell is home to the Monument of Christopher Columbus and his sea voyages from 1493. Check out this evening cruise tour.
  • If you are into scenic viewpoints like us, Barcelona has TONS. Head up to the top of the monument of Christopher Columbus to see the night lights of the city. Get tickets to the Christopher Columbus Monument.

READ: More Barcelona Tips and Tricks for your visit

Day 2 – Barcelona – Hop on and hop off sightseeing tour, with Gaudi’s creations

For day 2 and 3 in Barcelona , purchase a hop on and hop off bus tour so that you can explore more of the city in less time. We bought the bus tour (or part of the Barcelona Card) in addition to the BCN Metro Card , which gave us discounted train rides.

Spain and Portugal Trip - Sagrada Familia Barcelona

BCN Card – The BCN Metro Card is handy for commuting in the city. You will need tickets to travel to and from the airport, to get to your hotel every day, etc. Read more about the  BCN Metro Card here

Choose one hop-on and hop-off sightseeing line to kick off city exploration. We began with the popular Sagrada Familia. So here is how we did it, 

Sagrada Familia - One week in Spain Itinerary

  • We arrived at the Sagrada Family early morning. There is a train station right outside the famed church. Hop on and hop off tours can be redeemed here as well.
  • Sagrada Familia – The iconic church – Sagrada Familia is a MUST visit for everyone, heading to Barcelona. The church is currently incomplete, with plans to finish the project by 2024 – on the death anniversary of Anthony Gaudi – the Catalan hero. Allot 2-3 hours at the Sagrada Familia. Take a guided tour , explore the interiors, and its beautiful stained glass windows, and also climb up their towers to look at the city from up there.
  • Casa Milà or La Pedrera – From Sagrada Familia, explore Casa Mila – a UNESCO World Heritage Site and a modernist building designed by Gaudi. Casa Mila was constructed as a residence for the Mila family – Pere Milà and Roser Segimon. Today you can access the rooftop for scenic views.
  • Casa Batllo – Another modernist building by Gaudi. Built as a residence for the Batllo family, Casa Batllo is unique with gorgeous glass window panes and balconies – that almost look like a dragon’s mouth. Exploring the Casa Batllo will take you 1-2 hours. Here are the entry tickets.

Casa Batllo in Barcelona

  • Arc de Triomf Barcelona – This one is no comparison to the Arc de Triomphe in Paris, but still worth a sight. It was built as the main access gate for the 1888 Barcelona World Fair. 
  • Park Guell – Park Güell is another of Gaudi’s creations. It was built as a housing oasis for the rich – far and away from the crowded city center. We booked our entry tickets for 06:00 pm so that we could see the sun go down on Gaudi’s tiled creations. Entering the parking area is completely free, but to access the monument buildings, there is an entry fee (with an entry time slot on it). We loved the views from there – of the city, the Gaudi Museum, and the park complex itself. Expect a line up here, pretty much at any time of day. So booking tickets online is recommended. Book it here.
  • Magic fountain show – Magic Fountains are a free light show that happens every night in Barcelona’s Plaza Espanya area, near Montjuic. The fountain show has been in operation since the 1992 Olympics that Barcelona (we will explore more of that tomorrow). If you are using the hop on and hop off tour, get down near the Plaza de Espanya, have dinner and then proceed to the Magic fountains area by 09:15 pm. The area gets pretty crowded so watch out for your belongings. You can also book a night lights tour on a bus with a guide to see the Magic Fountain show.

Park Guell Views

Day 3 of Spain Portugal Itinerary 10 days – More of Barcelona

For day 3 of Barcelona , explore the other popular landmarks of the city like the Montjuïc Castle, Mont Tibidabo, MNAC – Museum of Natural Arts of Catalunya, and more. Use the hop on and hop off tours to streamline the trip.

Today’s itinerary highlights are centered around the 1992 Olympics that were hosted in Barcelona. If we backtrack a little bit here, Spain was under dictatorship for a long time. The Spanish Civil War of 1936 saw conflicts between the Republicans (leftist side comprising of the government with unions and workers) and the Nationalists (rightists comprising of the bourgeoisie, the landlords, and the upper classes). 

Followed by decades of dictatorship rule. (There is a similarity here with Portugal’s political scene around this time)

Spain became a constitutional monarchy with a parliamentary form of government in 1975. Their current constitution was adopted in 1978. A lot of the royal palaces and residences are located in Madrid and not in Barcelona.

However, both cities saw a lot of destruction during the Spanish Civil War.

Tibidabo - Best views in Barcelona

  • Mont Montjuïc – Mont Montjuïc is a hill in the southwestern part of Barcelona and was home to the 1992 Barcelona Summer Olympics. Montjuic word is derived from the Catalan meaning ‘Jewish Mountain’ and was it home to the city’s Jewish community. You can reach Montjuic via a cable car ride or get down at one of the hop on and hop off stops. Every first Sunday of the month you can visit the Montjuic castle for free. Here is the round trip cable car ride to Montjuic. 

Views from Bunkers in Barcelona in September

  • Palau Nacional and MNAC – The Palau Nacional or the National Palace was the site of the 1929 International Exhibition. It is located on the hill of Montjuïc. The MNAC or the  Museu Nacional d’Art de Catalunya is one of the finest art museums in Spain. Entry  is free with the Barcelona Pass.
  • From the MNAC’s balconies, you can absorb amazing city views. Here are more scenic viewpoints of Barcelona
  • Mont Tibidabo – Head to Mont Tibidabo to admire the Sagrat Cor church/Temple of the Sacred Heart of Jesus as well as the entire city of Barcelona. This is the highest point in the city, and you can also enjoy these city views from the Tibidabo Amusement Park – one of the oldest parks in Europe. Get entry tickets to Mont Tibidabo. 
  • Camp Nou – For football lovers, a trip to Camp Nou is a must. Join in a guided tour of Camp Nou Experience – the largest football stadium in Spain and Europe. It is also home to Barcelona FC. 
  • Spanish Villages – Explore Poble Espanyol or the Official Spanish Village. It is an open-air architectural museum in Barcelona, originally built for the 1929 Barcelona International Exposition. 
  • All the above attractions are located in and around Montjuic and Tibidabo, and it will easily occupy the majority of the day. After exploring these two areas, get down at Park Guell stop, if you are using the hop-on and hop-off sightseeing tour. From the Park Guell stop, walk to the Bunkers – MUHBA Turó de la Rovira
  • Bunkers del Carmel/MUHBA Turó de la Rovira – Bunkers del Carmel was a Spanish Civil War bunkers and anti-aircraft gun installation site. The views from up here are FREE and so very stunning. Come here for sunset views after a day’s sightseeing in Barcelona. 

Sunset views from Bunkers

Day 4 of Spain Portugal Itinerary 10 or 14 days – Take a day trip from Barcelona to another city or country!

Now, here is what gets exciting. One of the reasons, we chose particular cities in this Spain and Portugal Itinerary is the feasibility of exploring other countries, or other cities if you prefer that. 

We don’t believe in counting countries, BUT….there are some places or countries in the world that you may or may not re-visit. Or it is too difficult to fly to. That’s why combining day trips to those countries is worth it – especially when you are flying miles away from home.

So, for your day 4 Spain Portugal Itinerary, you can explore a beach town like Costa Brava, nature/monastery in Montserrat, or a new country.  

Another option is to fly to San Sebastian from Barcelona, and in this itinerary, we recommend allotting 2 days for the resort town.

Costa Brava – You can visit Costa Brava for a day, chill at the beach and explore Dali’s museums. There are so many day tours, starting from Barcelona to Costa Brava. Check out this Costa Brava and Girona day trip from Barcelona here. 

Montserrat – Montserrat is a mountain range near Barcelona. This is an easy day trip and a perfect option, if you like hiking, stunning landscape, and religious site. We visited Montserrat for its views alone!

Admiring these stunning mountains in Montserrat Day tour

The beauty of Montserrat is that (other than the mountain shape) you can explore this in a half-day tour or full-day. If you are using public transportation it will take one full day to explore. There are day tours available for 4 hours, and you can also drive there if you are renting a vehicle. 

If you wish to explore a nearby beach in Barcelona, head to La Barceloneta beach in the morning and then take a half-day tour to Montserrat in the afternoon. 

Andorra – Andorra is a small country, also known as a microstate in Europe. Andorra de Vella, its capital is the highest capital in Europe. The country is ski heaven and a shopper’s paradise.

Andorra - Europe bucket list items

Andorra has no airport, so in order to visit this country, you have to fly down to the nearest city with an international airport. So make use of your trip to Barcelona and explore their capital!

You can also take a day tour to Andorra with a stop in France’s Ax de la Thermes . On this day trip, you will notice how the landscape of Catalonia is different from Barcelona.

Views of Ax la thermes

If you are visiting Spain and Portugal for 14 days, then use one day to visit Andorra (make it day 5). 

Click to book a day tour from Barcelona to Andorra

Day 5 of Spain and Portugal Itinerary 10 days – Arrive in Lisbon and explore

We flew to Lisbon from Barcelona on day 4. Local flights are cheaper at night. We started at 09:30 pm and we arrived in Lisbon Portugal in an hour and a half.

Views of Alfama

Lisbon is served by Humberto Delgado Airport (also called Lisbon Airport or Portela Airport.) Lisbon international airport is located about 7 kilometers northeast of the city center. Lisbon metro is located right outside the airport. Or if you prefer you can book an Aero-port bus that drops you right in front of the hotel.

Reaching the city center or hotel from Lisbon Airport 

  • Lisbon Aerobus – Lisbon Aero bus is a convenient way to reach your hotel room from the airport. They only stop at hotels – over 100 spots. This service is available between 8:00 AM and 9:10 PM. Reserve your Aerobus seat here
  • Lisbon Metro line – Lisbon metro is efficient and affordable. Use a metro pass to get free unlimited rides for 24, 48, or 72 hours. This Lisbon Card is also handy for the airport to the hotel and the return trip, to get to tours and for sightseeing. Buy Lisbon Card here 
  • Private Transfer – Or use a one-time private transport from Lisboa airport to hotel. 

Where to stay in Lisbon Portugal 

We stayed at the easyHotel Lisbon which is located super close to the Marques de Pombal Square. Marquis de Pombal Square is like a transportation hub – a great place for metro, bus, and tour connectivity.

There are hotels located right in the square area. Our hotel – easyHotel Lisbon – was a 5-minute walk away from the square. easyHotel had standard hotel rooms, it was an affordable stay. You have to pay for wifi, breakfast, and storing your bags here. 

Another option is to stay at the city center itself. Affordably priced and located at the heart of the city, Hotel da Baixa is a great option – access to restaurants, metro lines, and sightseeing attractions, all in one place. 


After a night’s sleep, wake up to pastel de nata and coffee in Lisbon. Lisbon was the MOST DELIGHTFUL part of our Spain and Portugal itinerary. And I always look for excuses to write about this city. Because we LOVED it so much.

can you visit spain and portugal in 10 days

Breakfast near Pombal Square and then go about exploring

  • Guided walking tour of Chiado and Baixa Areas – Head to the city center (or start at the city center) for a guided walking tour to learn about the history and culture of the city. The walking tour is for 3 hours and it will take you through some of the historical spots in Lisbon and nearby neighborhoods. We took this walking tour and highly recommend it.  Check it out here – Lisbon Essentials History tour.  
  • Carmo Ruins – Admire the ruins of the Convent of Our Lady of Mount Carmel. Located in the civil parish of Santa Maria Maior, Carmo ruins were damaged in the earthquake of 1755. Today it is home to the Museu Arqueológico do Carmo aka Carmo Archaeological Museum. 
  • Santa Justa Lift – Located close to the Carmo ruins is the Santa Justa Lift. This lift was built to transfer people from the lower level Baixa to upper-level Largo do Carmo. You can access the lift for some stunning city views.  

Get the best guide to Lisbon photography spots. Use these best photo spots in Lisbon to complete your itinerary. Also includes a FREE Lisbon photo spots map

  • Tram 28 – If you wish to explore more of the historic areas in Lisbon, a ride on the historic tram is a MUST. 
  • Alfama neighborhood and amazing viewpoints – Alfama is Lisbon’s oldest neighborhood and is filled with stunning viewpoints. Located at a higher level than the center, Alfama showcases the best of Lisboa with views from Miradouro da Graça and river Tagus. Find amazing photo spots in Lisbon
  • São Jorge Castle – An 11th-century castle – Castelo de Sao Jorge is a must-visit while exploring Alfama. The castle towers over the city of Lisbon. Learn about Lisbon’s past and enjoy mesmerizing views. Book tickets to the Sao Jorge Castle ahead of time.
  • Lisbon Cathedral – Lisbon Cathedral or Sé de Lisboa is a Roman Catholic church, which towers over the city. The church was built in the 12th century and was partially damaged during the earthquake of 1755. 
  • Rua de Augusta Arch and the Praça do Comércio   – The Praça do Comércio is a large plaza that was built on the ruins of the previous royal palace. The palace was completely destroyed in the 1755 earthquake. Post-earthquake, the enlightened Prime Minister of Portugal, Marquis of Pombal came up with new urban planning and building designs called the Pombaline – which were anti-seismic buildings. Watch the sun go down here (this square is a must-visit for Christmas celebrations). 
  • Pink Street and Fado show – In the evening, head to the city center – this time for dinner and a Fado show in Chiado. Fado is a music/dance form, that originated in Portugal with melancholy and romantic tones. Here is a fado show for the evening.
  • Make your way via Pink Street, which was a red-light district once upon a time, and now home to Instagrammable spots and the popular Time Out Market. 

Day 6 More of Lisbon – Explore Belem and sea of discovery landmarks

For day 6 of Spain Portugal itinerary, explore more of Lisbon by learning and exploring the monuments of sea discoveries and the nearby neighborhood of Belem. Belem is home to the Torre de Belem (or Belem tower) and the cruise port terminal of Lisboa.

Belem Tower

We highly recommend taking the hop on and hop off city tour to reach Belem and enjoy the attractions and then use the same bus tour to reach other areas of the city further away from the city center. So here is what you can explore in and around Lisbon on day 6.

  • 25 de April bridge – When you hop on the bus and enjoy the ride towards Belem, you will be greeted by a red bridge that looks like the Golden Gate Bridge of San Francisco. Of the many similarities between these two cities, the 25 de April Bridge is one. The 25 de April Bridge was named after the success of the Carnation Revolution that took place in Lisbon Portugal to overthrow the dictator rule. Crossing the bridge will get you to the nearby district of Almada.
  • Monument to the Sea Discoveries – Monument to the Sea Discoveries (or Padrão dos Descrobrimentos in Portuguese) is a wonderful testimony to the sea voyages and discoveries that Portuguese people were involved with. The monument is not assigned to one person, although it is led by Henry the Navigator’s statue, it credits pretty much everybody who was engaged or contributed to the golden age from sailors, to navigators, and more. This monument is located on the south side of the Targus River and it greets you before arriving at the Belem port.
  • Torre de Belem – The Belém Tower is a beautiful 16th-century fortress, located on the south bank of the Targus river. The tower was used as a ceremonial gateway to Lisbon. Built with lioz limestone and the structure has a 30-meter, four-storey tower, that surfaces from a distance. There is an entry fee to enter the tower complex, but it is also possible to get a good glimpse of the structure from either side of the river bank.
  • Lisbon port – In Belem, you can enjoy a nice breezy afternoon stroll (and lunch overlooking the 25 de April Bridge) and soak in the Portuguese sun. There are many activities in and around the port area – go on a bicycle tour or the popular hippo bus, sightseeing cruise on the Tagus River, souvenir shopping or lunching.

25 April bridge best lisbon photo spots

  • Jerónimos Monastery – Jerónimos Monastery is a stunning building located just a few blocks away from the Tower of Belem. If you are on the hop on and hop on bus, you can reach Jeronimos Monastery in 5-7 minutes. This building was a former monastery of the Order of Saint Jerome. It was Christianised in the late 19 th century and the interiors are super grand and have beautiful cravings. The line-ups to the Jerónimos Monastery are crazy long and not fun during peak seasons, so book tickets ahead of time .
  • Maritime Museum – The Maritime Museum of Lisbon is also called the Navy museum and it is administered by the Portuguese navy. Located near the Jerónimos Monastery, Museu de Marinha is dedicated to the history of navigation in Portugal and the great adventures of the sea discoveries and the glorious era.
  • Vasco da Gama Bridge – From the Belem area, hop on the bus to explore the newer side of Lisbon – the developments and expansion of the 20 th century. Start with the Vasco da Gama Bridge, the longest bridge in Lisbon and named after the famed explorer Vasco da Gama (who discovered a sea route to India).  Ponte Vasco da Gama is also Europe’s longest bridge over water.
  • The Lisbon Oceanarium – The Lisbon Oceanarium or the (Oceanário de Lisboa is the largest indoor aquarium in Europe. Located in the Parque das Nações neighborhood, the complex was the site/exhibition grounds for the Expo ’98. You can spend the evening (or even half a day with children). Get the tickets here, valid for a day .
  • Parque Eduardo VII – For the evening, you can either head back to the town center for drinks and dinner or skip the Oceanarium (if that’s not your thing) and go for a stroll at the Parque Eduardo VII. Parque Eduardo VII was located very close to our hotel and it is a lovely green space at the top of the Avenida da Liberdade and provides amazing sea and city views. The park is dedicated to Eduardo VII, and it is spread from the Avenida da Liberdade (in the north) to the Marquis of Pombal Square, in the city center.

Day 7 of Spain Portugal Itinerary 10 days – Day trip to Sintra 

You can easily take a day trip from Lisbon to nearby cities to maximize your experience and time in Portugal. Popular destinations in Portugal include Porto, Coimbra, Aveiro, Fatima, and Obidos. For some cities (like Porto and Coimbra), you do need at least a weekend trip. 

For the purposes of this Spain Portugal Itinerary, we will head to Sintra on a day trip . You can visit Sintra on a day tour (with options for multiple cities or nearby towns) or use the metro train system from Lisbon.

Here are some day tour options:

To reach Sintra via train, start from the Rossio Station in Lisbon city center and take the train towards Belem. Sintra train station is 10 minutes away from the town center.

  • Sintra Town Center – Take the time to wander through the many pretty lanes of Sintra, some whitewashed and some painted in yellow. This will be your go-to spot for a meal, taking 434 buses to the Sintra hills for Pena Palace or hop on and hop off sightseeing bus.
  • The Palace of Sintra or Town Palace – Located in the town center is the Palace of Sintra – a well-preserved heritage house that was home to many different rulers and dynasties in the nearby Lisbon area. A designated UNESCO World Heritage site, this palace’s staterooms are beautiful and a must-visit.  
  • Pena Palace – The famed bright yellow and red fairytale-like castle towering from the Sintra hills, is the beautiful Pena Palace. A modern palace (dating from the 19 th century), many tourists travel to Sintra just to explore the Pena Palace. It is a popular attraction and remains crowded all year round, so book your tickets in advance. A visit to the palace interiors is a must – we enjoyed the different architectural styles and materials used at the Pena Palace. Prices for visiting the interiors versus the park entry and gardens are slightly different. Find ticketing options here.

Pena Palace in Sintra

  • Moorish Castle – Towering higher than the Pena Palace is the Moorish Castle of Sintra. Exploring this castle means a lot of walking and absorbing views of Sintra town and hills. There is nothing of the “staterooms” left in the castle, just empty areas and easy to walk through.
  • Quinta de Regaleira –  A beautiful complex set in stonework with romantic palaces and chapels and stunning initiation wells – the Quinta de Regaleira was home to wealthy businessmen in the 20 th century. A UNESCO World Heritage site today, and a popular photo spot, a visit to the Quinta will reveal why it is called the millionaire’s mansion – it’s like an entire city created within this complex! 
  • Park and Palace of the Monserrate – Often ignored by most tourists as the park and palace of Monserrate is located further away from the town center, it is worth a visit if you are staying in town for a day or two, or just love Indian style gardens. The staterooms and palace of the Monserrate are small but beautiful.
  • Sintra- Cascais Natural Park – A part of the stunning coastline of Portugal is its natural parks. Sintra-Cascais can be explored as part of your day tour.
  • Cabo da Raco – Located within the Sintra Cascais Natural Park is the westernmost tip of the European continent – Cabo da Raco. The cliffs and the gushing waters with the lighthouse in the backdrop have been helping explorers over the centuries, find their way!

Tip: To make the most of your day trip from Sintra, here are a few options

  • Take a day tour: Day tour to Sintra will include return transportation and sightseeing at popular attractions like the Pena Palace, Cascais, Cabo da Raco, and the town center area. You won’t be able to explore all of Sintra like the Moorish castle or Pena Park, so you can utilize the free/lunchtime to explore the Quinta de Regaleira or the Palace of Sintra.
  • Bus 434 : Bus no. 434 takes you from the historic town center to the Sintra hills to explore the Moorish Castle and Pena Palace. 
  • Bus 435: Bus 435 is useful to explore some of the other sightseeing areas in Sintra, like Monserrate Palace, Seteais Palace, and the Regaleira Estate.

Please do not walk or hike to the hills, it is risky and there is no pedestrian lane. Parking space is limited. During peak seasons, expect to wait for a bus.

Day 8 Back to Spain – in Seville Andalucia – Spain Portugal Itinerary

For day 8, head back to Spain. This time to Seville – Seville is the gorgeous capital of southern Spain’s Andalusia region. Seville and Andalusia, in general, are characterized by Moorish architecture. The North African Moors, who were Islamic ruled over Andalusia from the 8 th  to 15 th century and they left an indelible mark on the region’s architecture, food, and culture. 

Plaza de Espanya Seville

Arriving in Seville Spain

We took an overnight bus to Seville Spain from Lisbon Portugal. The bus departed from Lisbon’s Oriente bus station and arrived at Seville’s Plaza de Armas station (in the morning at 06:30 am). Book your bus tickets from Bus Bud here.

  • You can also fly to Seville. Seville airport is located about 11 kilometers from the city center (6.8 miles).
  • On another note, there is a high speed train option to Seville from Madrid. Fare starts at €23.15 one-way for a Standard Class ticket per person. 

Where to stay in Seville?

It is a good idea to stay near the city center or closer to landmark attractions to make the most of your time in Seville. 

We stayed at the  Hotel Madrid Seville . It is a 3+ star hotel located near the central area. The hotel was clean and the host was super helpful in suggesting to us things to see in Seville, maps, etc. Free wifi was provided as well. Book your stay here

Another option is to stay at the beautiful  Hotel Meliá Sevilla. This hotel is located near the historic city center, and it offers amazing views of the Plaza Espanya. It has also stunning interiors and an outdoor rooftop pool. Book your stay here

For your first day in Seville, start with a warm breakfast at a bar, yes you heard it – a bar. Most restaurants and cafes in Seville have a beer tap and an espresso machine side by side. Very casual and relaxed vibes in Andalucia will win you over!

  • Torre del Oro – The Tower of Gold or the Torre del Oro was a military watchtower erected by the Almohad Caliphate by Seville’s Guadalquivir River (in the 13 th century). Left abandoned for decades and later revived, today houses a naval maritime museum.
  • Plaza de Toros la Maestranza – Plaza de Toros la Maestranza is a bull ring arena, located a few steps away from the Torre de Oro. It is a 12,000 capacity arena and it has hosted many competitions and shows in the past. This bull ring is the oldest in Spain and guided tours are available.

Real Alcazar Palace

  • Real Alcazar Palace – The Royal Alcazar of Seville is THE stunning royal palace located in Andalucia. Showcasing a mix of Moorish and Christian architectural styles, the Royal Alcazar Palace is a treat to the senses. Start the fountains and gardens and make your way into the interiors, graced with beautiful Islamic cravings on the doors and ceilings.

The palace was built for the Christian King Peter of Castile when he proceeded to rule the southern region. The original site of the palace belonged to an Abbadid Muslim fortress (which was destroyed during the conquest of Seville), dating to the 10 th century.

The palace as you see it today was built in the 14th century. It is super important to get your tickets for the Alcazar ahead of time, otherwise, you will be waiting in line forever. We encountered line-ups during the shoulder season, so you can imagine how it will be during peak tourist months (and hot).

  • Seville Cathedral and Giralda Tower – Another gem of Seville is its grand cathedral called the Cathedral of Saint Mary of the See. It was built as a means to showcase the prosperity of the state and I can say, the cathedral is lavish and spread over a large area, with fields of orange trees nearby and of course the Giralda tower.

Royal Alcazar Palace

The Giralda Tower is a Moorish minaret. When the Seville Cathedral was built, they left the minaret as is, and later on, it added Christian elements like the church bell tower (and there are winding steps to reach the top of the tower for stunning views).

Christopher Columbus is buried at the Seville Cathedral. Book entrance tickets to the Seville Cathedral and Giralda tower

The Royal Alcazar Palace, along with the Seville Cathedral and the General Archives of the Indies (located in the same complex) together are recognized as UNESCO world heritage sites.

  • Santa Cruz Quarter – Spend the second half of your day, wandering through the lanes of the Santa Cruz Quarter. A very touristy neighborhood, Barrio Santa Cruz is located near the Seville cathedral and it was home to the Jewish community during the Christian rule. Today some of the coolest bars, restaurants, and spas are located here. With its narrow cobblestone streets and colored houses, Santa Cruz is every photographer’s delight!
  • Guadalquivir River cruise – If you fancy sightseeing river cruises like us, then hop on an hour’s cruise on the Guadalquivir River. This is perfect for a later afternoon or evening activity when the sun is setting down in this wonderful city, and you can admire both sides of the river neighborhood and many bridges. Here is a river cruise to add to your itinerary
  • Tapas food tour – In the evening, go on a food tour to enjoy Andalucian tapas . By joining a tour guide, you will wander through the old town and learn about its history and also get a tip or two about proper tapas bars hopping in Seville. Book a tapas and wine tasting tour in Seville.

Tapas in Seville

Day 9 of Spain Portugal Itinerary – More of Seville Spain

For your second day in Seville , explore the newer side of the city with its many world trade expositions. It will be useful to take a hop on and hop off bus for exploring this part of the city so that you see more in less time and make pit stops depending on your interests.

Plaza de Espanya in Seville

Start with the Plaza de Espanya.

  • Plaza de Espanya – Plaza de Espanya was a plaza built for the 1929 Ibero-American exposition. The plaza is located in the Parque María Luisa or Maria Luisa Park, which was re-designed for the 1929 expo by Jean-Claude Nicolas Forestier. The Plaza de España complex comprises of many beautiful structures and edifices in a mix of Moorish, Renaissance, and Baroque styles.
  • Explore the many Expo Pavilions – From the Plaza de Espanya, hop on the bus again to explore more of the Expo pavilions. Some of these pavilions house permanent exhibitions or are archive centers.

Seville’s history is marked by royal dynasties – whether it’s the Moors of the Castile Kings. In the 20 th century, trade expositions made way and they helped promote and develop the city, and today Seville is the largest (and the capital) city of Andalucía.

The 1929 Iberian Exposition and the 1989 Expo shaped the face of Seville, where new bridges and train networks were built across the city. The express train from Madrid to Seville was built during the 1989 exposition.

  • Puente de Isabel II – The Puente de Isabel II is the bridge that connects the Triana neighborhood with the center of the city. It is therefore also known as the Triana Bridge and it crosses one of the arms of the River Guadalquivir that isolates the neighborhood.
  • Macarena neighborhood – La Macarena is the oldest neighborhood of Seville. The area gets its character and name from the statue and image of Lady Macarena, dedicated to the Virgin of Hope of Macarena. La Macarena was an important site since the Almohad Caliphate times and a gate was built to safeguard the neighborhood quarters. 

Triana Views

  • Triana neighborhood – Triana is the bohemian neighborhood of Seville. Known as the birthplace of flamenco, you can expect to see tons of colorful houses and quarters here. It is located on the west bank of the Guadalquivir River and the Triana Bridge connects Seville to Triana. Spend time exploring the old site of Sao Jorge Castle, cafes, and leafy quarters. 

Day 10 Take a day trip to other cities in Spain or head to Gibraltar or Morocco

Malaga Spain - Warm places to visit in Europe in December, January & February

For day 10, venture out of Seville to explore more of the cities in Andalucia or head to Gibraltar or Morocco. 

Read : Southern Spain itinerary 7 days

Ronda – Ronda is a beautiful city located about a 2-hour drive away from Seville. Known for its stunning deep gorge and legends surrounding it, the city is a wonder of wonders full of medieval charm and natural views.

Ronda’s bridges will greet you as soon as you near the city, take a moment to admire the landscape from there. The bull ring arena in Ronda is a must-visit – Plaza del Toros. Bullfighting didn’t flourish in Catalonia, but it found a home in Andalucía.

Ronda South Of Spain

Granada – Located in the foothills of Sierra Nevada with amazing views is the city of Granada. Granada is most well known for the grand palace of Alhambra.

On a day trip, you can explore this Moorish palace (which is bigger than the Real Alcazar Palace), gardens – Generalife, town center, many museums, and historical remnants in the downtown area.

Granada’s history traces back to 700 years so there are plenty of things to do in and around the city center to keep you busy for a day (or two).

Granada Views

Cordoba – Cordoba is another Andalucía city filled with Roman and Islamic history. Its most popular attraction and historical site is La Mezquita – a mosque built during the rule of the Moors and later converted to a place of Christianity worship.

The monument is absolutely breathtaking with mixed architectural designs and work, and it tells a story of how people, religions, and styles can co-exist.

Gibraltar – Unlike Andorra, Gibraltar has an airport and it is the ONLY runway in the world that you can walk across. However, only 2 flights are allowed to operate to and from Gibraltar. The History Channel has named Gibraltar airport as the fifth most dangerous in the world. 

Strait of Gibraltar Views

Gibraltar is a British Overseas Territory. So for travelers using Schengen Visa for Spain and Portugal, you will have to apply for a separate visa to arrive in Gibraltar.

Now, the Strait of Gibraltar and the hope of traveling inside the “rock” made us book a day tour to the country/state/territory. Parking is expensive and a pain – so public transportation or day tours are a great option.

Tangier, Morocco – Tangier is a port city in Northern Morocco. Associated with the world explorer Ibn Batuta, Tangier is a good mix of the urban city and traditional Moroccan nuances. It is possible to take a day trip to Morocco from Tarifa or Seville Spain.

Things to do in Tangier Medina

Separated by a distance of 14 kilometers and a 45-minute ferry ride (one way), you can get your passport stamped and ready to explore Tangier’s attractions like the Hercules Caves, Cape Spartel, Tangier American Legation Museum, and of course the medina.

If you are unsure, about taking the ferry from Spain to Tangier Morocco , you can always opt for a day tour.

Tip: You can allot a day each to Gibraltar and Tangier to extend your itinerary to the 13th day Spain and Portugal trip. Use the 11th day for anyone of the Andalucian cities, and travel back to Barcelona on day 14th for your return flight. 

Options for Spain and Portugal Itinerary 14 days 

Now, those were our 10 days in Spain and Portugal Itinerary. We continued our trip to Tangier from there. We took a day tour, but stayed back in Morocco and went on to explore more of the country. For more details on our trip to Morocco – read our Morocco 7 day itinerary

It took us over 3.50 weeks to explore all of these beautiful cities, with a mix of buses, trains, local flights, and day tours. We didn’t rent a car in any of these cities – public transportation and shared/group tours worked just fine!

Cristobal Colon

Spain and Portugal Itinerary 14 days (Option 2)

Here is an alternate Spain and Portugal 14-day itinerary with a focus on extended sightseeing in Lisbon, Porto, and the Algarve. 

Day 1 – 3: Madrid, Spain

Begin your journey in the vibrant capital of Spain, Madrid. Spend your days exploring the city’s rich history and culture, strolling through the Retiro Park, visiting the Prado Museum, and enjoying the city’s renowned tapas bars in the evening.

Day 4 – 5: Seville, Spain

Hop on a train for a scenic ride to Seville. Visit the Alcazar palace, admire the Seville Cathedral, and wander through the charming Santa Cruz district. Don’t miss the traditional Flamenco performance.

Day 6 – 8: Lisbon, Portugal

Travel to Lisbon, the capital of Portugal. Explore the city’s rich history and vibrant nightlife. Visit the Belém Tower, ride the iconic Tram 28, and try the famous pasteis de nata.

Add a cooking class to your itinerary and learn how to make traditional Portuguese dishes. End the night with a live Fado performance, one of Portugal’s most beloved musical traditions.

Day 9 – 10: Porto, Portugal

Next, head to the stunning city of Porto . Explore the old town, wander around the streets lined with colorful buildings (Ribeira district), and cross the famous Dom Luís I Bridge. 

Spend some time in the Douro Valley, where you can visit a traditional wine estate and enjoy a Port wine tasting. Before heading back, don’t forget to buy port wine – it’s an essential souvenir from Portugal !

Day 11 – 14: Hiking in the Algarve, Portugal

Your journey comes to an end in the beautiful Algarve region. Relax on the beautiful beaches, indulge in the local Portuguese cuisine, and visit the historic town of Lagos.

If you have a rental car, you can drive across the country to the Algarve. 

Without a rental car, public transportation is available to connect to Algarve from Lisbon. 

The Algarve region is home to some of the best hiking routes in Portugal. Hit many of the off the beaten path trails to your Portugal itinerary for an epic adventure. 

Tip: If you prefer you can set aside 6 days of your Spain and Portugal trip for a multi-provincial hike (Alentejo and Algarve) called the Rota Vicentina. 

Part of this is the Historical Way gives a glimpse into the traditional, rural culture of the region, while the Fishermen’s Trail provides stunning coastal views (4-day trip). 

Alternatively, you can hit the Seven Hanging Valleys Trail , an 11.9 km or 7.4-mile out-and-back trail in Faro. Or explore the hills of Monchique. The trail to the Foia Peak, the highest point in the Algarve, offers a challenging climb rewarded with breathtaking panoramic views. It is a 7.5 km or 4.7-mile loop trail and is perfect for spending half a day. 

After a day of hiking, enjoy a hearty Portuguese meal made with locally sourced ingredients. 

Not into hiking? Spend the 3 days exploring the many towns of the Algarve – Lagos, Faro, and the Silver Coast. Set aside time for a day tour of the Benagil Cave and enjoy a relaxing beach day! 

Travel Tips for Spain Portugal Itinerary 10 days

Travel Documents for Visiting Spain and Portugal 

Both Spain and Portugal belong to the Schengen zone of countries. If you belong to one of the non visa exempt countries, then you will have to apply for a Schengen visa ahead of time, before arriving. Learn all about the Schengen visa and how to successfully apply for one.

To visit Gibraltar and Morocco separate visa application is required.

Citizens of the US and Canada can travel visa-free for up to 90 days for personal or tourism reasons.

After 2023, passport holders of the United States and Canada will have to apply for an online travel authorization prior to arriving in any Schengen country, called the ETIAS. ETIAS takes minutes to be filled out online and a confirmation will be sent via email.

Travel Insurance  – Don’t forget to insure your trip. We highly recommend insuring your camera and other gear while traveling.  Get Travel Insurance quotes from Safety Wing here.

Currency and credit cards in Barcelona

Euro is the currency of Spain and Portugal. Credit cards are widely accepted and you will easily find bank machines in the city as well. 

More Europe travel tips

If this is your first trip to Europe, you can start with these handy resources

  • Europe 101  – Our introductory guide to  planning a trip to Europe.
  • Europe Itinerary Samples  – Want to make the most of your visit to Europe?  This is the ultimate 27 itinerary samples.
  • Europe Packing Guide  –  This is the only packing guide to Europe you will ever need . It has references to seasons and regional variations.
  • Visiting Europe in winter  –  Here are some of the best traveler picks.
  • Warm places in Europe?  –  Here are the warmest places to visit in Europe from December through March.

We hope you found this itinerary useful. You can easily explore Spain and Portugal in 10 days, and add the nearby destinations for a well-rounded trip of 2 weeks or more!

Pin: Portugal and  Spain Itinerary 10 days to 14 days

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Mayuri is the founder & editor of ToSomePlaceNew. An Indian-Canadian globetrotter, she has traveled to over 100 cities and 35+ countries. Mayuri has a graduate degree in History and is an MBA. She loves traveling the world, capturing historical nuances, and discussing that over a cup of coffee with her husband, Salil. She currently resides in Edmonton, Canada, and plots travel plans to Europe, the Americas, and beyond. 

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Thanks for this detailed list of recommendations. We traveled in the high season with kids and this helped plan the trip extremely well. We used flights for inter-city transfer but trains might have been more reliable and on time. Two weeks is not enough time to visit Spain – honestly it is an under sold country, tourism vise.

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The Ultimate 10-Day Spain and Portugal Itinerary

With this 10-Day Spain and Portugal itinerary you will visit 6 different cities across the 2 countries. It’s a fast paced itinerary, but totally doable with some good planning. That being said, let’s jump into it.

10-Day Spain and Portugal Itinerary

can you visit spain and portugal in 10 days

Best Time to Visit Spain 

Spring (March-May) or fall (September-November) is the best time to visit Spain. In the summer (June-August) temperatures can get very warm and humid. Also, it’s prime tourist season, which means crowds and higher costs. 

We visited at the beginning of December and had decent weather.

10-Day Spain and Portugal Itinerary

Best Time to Visit Portugal 

Portugal is a year-round destination; however, most people say the best time to visit Portugal is in the spring (March to May) and in the fall during September and October. During these months, accommodations are cheaper and there are fewer crowds. Plus, the weather is pleasant with highs in the 60s and 70s and lows in the high 40s.

Like most European countries, June-August is the high season with high temps, high costs, and high amounts of tourists. In the winter, the temperatures and crows are low, but there is a higher chance of rain. 

We visited at the end of November and the temperatures were comfortable to walk around in. However, we did experience a little rain. 

10-Day Spain and Portugal Itinerary

Spain and Portugal Itinerary – Day 0: Fly Into Madrid or Barcelona

For our trip, we flew into Barcelona and then took an early morning train to Madrid. If you can book your flights so that you fly into Madrid and out of Barcelona, that would be ideal. But if you booked a roundtrip ticket to Barcelona like us you’re still good.

Spain and Portugal Itinerary – Day 1 + 2: Madrid & Toledo

Spend day one and two of your 10 days in Spain and Portugal in Madrid . On your first day, explore the Royal Palace of Madrid , take a stroll through Retiro Park, and eat your way through Mercado de San Miguel. 

On Day 2, take a day trip to Toledo , a beautiful, historical city located a short train ride from Madrid. Spend the day exploring the different sites and make sure not to miss Santa Iglesia Catedral Primada de Toledo , it’s absolutely amazing. 

Spain and Portugal Trip - Madrid

Spain and Portugal Itinerary – Day 3 + 4: Seville

After two days in Madrid, make your way south to Seville . 

Seville is the capital of the Andalusian region of Spain, and my favorite city we visited during our 10 day trip to Spain and Portugal. There’s so much stunning architecture from Plaza de España to Casa Pilatos to The Royal Alcazar . 

Also, make sure to visit Seville Cathedral where you can see Christopher Colombus’ tomb. Plus, you can take a tour of the rooftops which teaches you all about the construction of the cathedral and offers some stunning views once you reach the roofs. 

While you’ll be able to see quite a bit in 2 days, you could easily spend 3 or 4 days in Seville. 

Seville, Spain - 10 Days in Spain & Portugal

Spain and Portugal Itinerary – Day 5-7: Lisbon & Sintra

Days 5-7 are when you finally make it to the Portugal portion of this Spain and Portugal itinerary. To maximize our time, we took a late flight out of Seville, so we could wake up on day 5 in Lisbon.

There’s so much to see and do in Lisbon that you could easily spend 4-5 days exploring the city and taking some day trips to nearby Sintra and Cascais. We spent 2 days in Lisbon and then took a day trip to Sintra . Sintra is absolutely beautiful and not to be missed.   

Also, make sure to stop by Pasteis de Belem for some of the famous egg tarts. I tried them from a few different places in Lisbon, and I think Pasteis de Belem were the best ones. 

Lisbon - spain and portugal trip

Spain and Portugal Itinerary – Day 8 + 9: Barcelona

After spending 3 days in the Lisbon area, it’s time to head back to Spain to spend your final 2 days in Barcelona .

Barcelona is home to La Sagrada Familia , the famous church designed by Antoni Gaudi, and many of his other works. I highly recommend visiting Casa Batllo if you’re interested in learning more about Gaudi and his design process. It was probably my favorite thing we did while in Barcelona. 

la sagrada familia - spain itinerary

Spain and Portugal Itinerary – Day 10: Home

After all your exploring it’s time to head home.

arc de triomf - spain itinerary

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The Perfect Group Road Trip: A 10-Day Itinerary in Portugal and Spain

We chose Portugal and Spain for a giant road trip through several destinations, and planned 10 days in Spain and Portugal. Both are friendly and fun countries, easy to navigate and perfect for groups with several different interests. My husband and I met another couple shortly after we moved to London that we got on with swimmingly. A couple years in the making, we found time where all of us could do a holiday together. Our budgets were decent, but we wanted to maximize our time and our funds among the four of us. When you find those perfect friends that you know would be amazing to go on a trip with, you should jump on the opportunity!

10 Days in Spain and Portugal Itinerary

Day 1 and 2: The Algarve and Southern Portugal

Day 3 and 4: Lisbon, Portugal

Day 5, 6 and 7: Seville , Spain

Day 8 and 9: Granada and Rhonda, Spain

Day 10: Marbella, Spain

(Looking for just Portugal? Check out our Portugal itinerary: 5 days of fun too! Or stick below to our itinerary: Spain and Portugal together)

Day 1-2: The Algarve and Southern Portugal

vale d'oliveria portugal

Flying into Faro, we pick up our car booked through Auto Europe at the airport and headed west. The first place to greet us in the sunny Algarve region of Portugal is the Vale d’Oliveiras Quinta Resort & Spa. A gorgeous haven in the hills, with sprawling green property wrapping around endless luxury amenities. We had a blast drinking mimosas for breakfast overlooking the beautiful water installations, then watching in wonder the live acts over our outdoor BBQ dinner.

breakfast at vale d'oliverias portugal

Hidden beaches are only a stone’s throw from Vale d’Oliveiras too – although the water was chilly! We dove in anyway and took turns jumping off rocky cliffs, snorkeling and sun tanning. Do note that a lot of these beaches require a quick hike in the heat to reach – and welcome nudity. But it’s all worth the experience, as they’re some of the prettiest beaches I’ve ever seen. Keep an eye out specifically for Praia do Carvalho, which I think is the best.

Day 3-4: Lisbon, Portugal

A first for me, I was so excited to finally make it to Lisbon on my 4th trip to Portugal . NOTE: We did this a bit backwards, so you could fly into Lisbon , head south to the beach and then venture into Spain.

It’s about a two-and-a-half hour drive, but you can take your time along the coastal route too for some beach breaks. Our sanctuary in the city is the award-winning Altis Belem design hotel. It’s located on the river near the Padrão dos Descobrimentos monument.

Padrão dos Descobrimentos monument lisbon

Indulge in spectacular harbor views, a Michelin-star restaurant onsite and individually themed rooms that feel more like small apartments. Sleek common spaces with muted concrete and artwork details made for a sophisticated ambiance to be enjoyed between bouts of sightseeing. It was the perfect oasis to return to after a couple of days of riding the famous trams through Lisbon and admiring the vibrant street art.

Lisbon Portugal Lake Boat Patio

We also loved the hidden gem below Altis Belem – a modern spa space available to guests for some soaking and relaxing. At the end of the day it’s virtually empty, so we were able to float through the hot-and-cold pools in privacy.

Lisbon Portugal Altis Belem Spa Relaxation

We didn’t have to look far for beautiful things to do (and eat) in Lisbon right from the hotel. A quick walk brought us to the front door of Pastéis de Belém , one of the original bakeries serving the famous custard pastry. Although not as fresh, it was fun to realize they serve these until late night, so we’d grab a few on the walk back to the hotel after dinner.

Car Switch!

While our budget was not super limited for a road trip within Europe, we did realize it would drastically change if we had a car rental for the full ten days . Most rental companies tack on a massive fee for a one-way trip when it crosses country borders. We were quoted an additional 600 euro for this route!

car rental auto europe in spain

Luckily, the amazing people at Auto Europe offered a simple alternative: Two separate rentals. We had one car for our driving trip in Portugal for the first five days, then a second car for the second five days. It was a slight inconvenience, but it’s only a two-hour drive between Faro in southern Portugal to Seville in southern Spain. It’s simple to take an Uber, car share program or bus between the destinations and you can then use your saved funds to splash out later.

We worry so you don't have to.

Day 5-6-7: Seville, Spain

My favorite city in the whole world. After studying abroad in Seville , then returning later as an au pair, it seemed as no time passed at all. The rich Spanish-style architecture, lovingly protected and celebrated as true Sevillano wonders. At first, we spent a night in the Helipolis neighborhood to enjoy a little pool-time in the staggering heat at Silken al Andalus , then headed into the barrios of the old town.

group shot alcazar seville spain

The Vincci La Rábida Hotel is super close to the giant gothic cathedral and the Alcazar Palace in Seville, so most attractions are easily accessible through the narrow cobblestone streets. This hotel has classic archways and a cool courtyard for a drink and a treat. Head up to the rooftop to see the top of the cathedral too. I don’t know which was better – this rooftop view or the picturesque yellow-trimmed courtyard with fountain you can indulge for breakfast.

vincci la rabia rooftop

One thing that had popped up right before I moved back to the U.S. was the Metropol Parasol . I know it’s a futuristic-looking structure with a mall on the ground floor but didn’t realize how many layers could be explored until we went with our group at dusk.

Seville Spain Metropol Parasol at Dusk

Erected to avoid ancient ruins discovered below its surface, the ‘mushroom’ offers rooftop views of the city from a fresh angle. Pay for a ticket and take the elevator to the top, where there’s a curvy catwalk flanked by a sign to highlight points of interest. Your ticket is good for a free sangria at the bar there too.

Seville Spain Metropol Parasol group photo

As for meals, we were lucky to stumble on the Casa Pepe Hillo. If you can move past the bullheads that decorate the walls, you’ll be rewarded with some of the best tapas I’ve had in the city. It’s near the famed bullring and is open until midnight.

Before leaving we swung by the Plaza de Espana and spontaneously decided to take one of the rowboats around the mini waterway. Impromptu flamenco song wafted through the air as we floated by the horseshoe of Renaissance and Moorish revival architecture. It’s a must-see, and for a couple of euro, hilarious to row through too.

Day 8-9: Granada and Ronda, Spain

The drive onwards from Seville was scenic and lovely, with a stop in the staggering cliff-top town of Ronda, about 2-hours’ drive prior to Granada. It was so hot so our trip was quick, but it was worth the pit stop to have lunch and marvel at the deep gorge in the main part of town.

cliffs in ronda spain road trip

To deal with the oppressive heat (besides blasting the air conditioning in the car) on our drive to Granada, we found a wild swimming hole near Benaojan and Ronda called the Cueva del Gato. It’s off the main road and mostly frequented by locals, but don’t miss the chance to take a dip! Bring some tapas and get ready for a crazy cold but crazy refreshing swim in the clear waters. Some people jumped from the mini waterfall with loud shouts and machismo behavior, which did ruin the chilled-out mood a little. But we still loved it and it was a welcomed break from the winding, bumpy roads.

Granada Ronda Spain Benaojan Ronda Cueva del Gato Swimming Hole

Granada is rich in Moorish tradition, with its iconic Alhambra Palace perched on a hill overlooking the city below. You must buy tickets in advance to see this modern world wonder and be prepared for lines to get into some of the more spectacular areas of the complex. People might disagree, but I think if you also enjoy Seville, you can do one or the other – either the Alhambra or the Alcazar. Both are stunning and worth an afternoon of photo taking and soaking up the beautiful designs.

You can book public or private tours of the Alhambra through Viator and skip all the lines!

alhambra granada spain eileen cotter wright

Besides the Alhambra, we were on a tapas hunt. In Granada, you can order a drink at the bar and they will offer a free snack! There is a real pizzazz to this method of eating and grazing. Be ready for your group to often get the same tapas, so warn the picky eaters. The guys didn’t catch on fast enough and kept asking for pints – but if you plan several rounds, it’s better to go for halves or small glasses of wine to get the best results.

Tapas-time evolved into Flamenco-time. We had heard not the best things about the touristy caves and wanted to still see some of this artform up close. Le Chien Andalou couldn’t have been better- it’s intimate and unassuming. At midnight, we saw an almost semi-private performance that moved a few people to tears. It’s exactly as I remember it – tragic, mesmerizing and so powerfully done. I was humbled to see some great flamenco and would certainly go back to this place next time.

flamenco show granada spain eileen cotter wright

A lot of ‘bebidas’ has us feeling a little rough the next morning, so a session at the Hammam al Andalus was just what was need to cure our blues. I didn’t think I’d like the cave-style hammam, especially with the hot weather outside, but it was wonderfully quiet and pleasant. Mint tea, steam rooms, hot stone areas and pools carved with Arabic/Moorish design transported us to another time and place. It’s well worth the time for you and friends to fully relax.

Granada Spain cave style Hammam al Andalus relaxation

Our hotel was also a highlight of visiting the city. My parents are huge fans of Marriott hotel properties as am I. However, I had not heard of the Autograph Collection before and think it’s the perfect blend of brand-name service and local charm. The AC Palacio De Santa Paula is under the Marriott name, but boasts an old converted convent and traditional courtyard true to Granada style. Our rooms had a lofted wood beamed ceiling, modern bathroom and swinging dark wooden window shutters. It’s one of the most aesthetically-pleasing rooms I’ve seen and a perfect base for exploring the rest of Granada by foot.

Day 10: Marbella

Marbella Embalse de los Bermejales Beach

It was time to handle the heat one more time before making it to the coast. Near Granada is a sparkling turquoise reservoir that welcomes swimmers all year round. The Embalse de los Bermejales is gorgeous and located in a valley. Have a plan for shade as it’s totally out in the open, but you can drive right onto the beach close to the water.

Marbella Embalse de los Bermejales Beach

Before driving on, you must have a massive meal at the Complejo Rural El Molinillo overlooking the reservoir. We ordered way too many things and dug through piles of calamari, roasted pork, and fresh salads. There was a huge birthday party indoors, and the wait staff brought a few free tapas to apologize for the short wait.

salad tapas granada eileen cotter wright

A few long days of driving definitely earned us some luxurious rest at the end of an incredible trip. As we pulled up to the grand entrance of Villa Padierna , I knew we were somewhere special. I knew the likes of former first lady Michelle Obama had stayed at this property on her own trip to Spain, so our group was thrilled to experience some similarly lavish and enjoyed by American royalty. While the ambiance of the pool area and spa was wonderful, we also spent part of the day at Villa Padierna’s beach club.

villa padierna marbella eileen cotter wright

Although the property doesn’t have direct beach access it should not be overlooked as a flaw; you can take a driver down five minutes to the shore any time during the day for a swim and a snooze under the cabanas. With a bottle of bubbly ordered to the room as the sun went down, we had our friends over to our spacious balcony and enjoyed one more evening in the balmy nighttime weather before returning.

villa padierna marbella rainbow

  A little adventure and a lot of luxury are what made our 10 days in Spain and Portugal unforgettable.

Have you taken a trip with your friends before? What’s your travel style?

The perfect group trip; here is a 10 days in #Spain and #Portugal itinerary of all the things you and your friends do and see. Hotels, restaurants and route! | car rentals spain | road trip #europe

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Join the discussion 24 Comments

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It looks like you all had a great HOLIDAY!! So much to see and do,Europe is so full of history and I see why you Brits love to explore. Beautiful pictures as well!!

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I’m off to Lisbon for my birthday next year (not until May but already booked!) so this post has made me all the more excited!!!

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Some good tips here! We’re looking into visiting Seville and also Lisbon on our road trip. Perhaps a stop at Granada and Ronda could make the itinary too!

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This looked like an amazing trip! I’m seriously jealous i’m in major need of a beach or resort holiday!

  • Pingback: Review: Hotel Silken Al-Andalus Palace in Seville, Spain - Pure Wander

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We loved Portugal so much we wanted to move there! Your post really brought back some amazing memories, thanks for sharing!

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This looks like such an amazing trip! And, great tip about splitting the car rental – I’ve never thought of doing that but it’s brilliant!

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what time of the year were you there? We plan to go in Sept and wonder what the weather will be like.

can you visit spain and portugal in 10 days

HI Tammy! We actually went in the early summer time – it’s definitely hot, but there’s far less tourists in the cities and at the beaches. I lived in Seville though year-round, and September is a lovely time of year. Can be quite hot, but great for swimming in Portugal, and often cool at night. Let me know if you need anything else! -Eileen

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I am planning a 10 day trip to Portugal and Southern Spain for early October. Is the weather nice then? Are there any other things to do or places to visit you would recommend more for this time of year?

Hey Jordan! It gets really hot in the summer in the south, like stupid hot. It’s best to avoid the cities then, but the beaches are great (albeit a bit crowded with Spanish/Portuguese tourists). I think the best time to go is shoulder seasons, like spring and fall. It gets a bit rainy in January/February. October should be awesome – I was in the Algarve in November once and it was beautiful, perfect swim weather. Have a great time!

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The Best Spain and Portugal Itinerary to Take Now!

a quick guide to sintra including can't miss attractions, must do's and where to stay

Spain and Portugal

Planning a trip always takes the longest.

Where to go, how long to stay, should I do this city or that one. We decided to do a Spain getaway at the last minute and then added on Portugal at even later minute and found it helpful to read Rick Steves , Lonely Planet , forums and blogs to ultimately decide which cities to linger in and which to skip altogether.

We’re now back from our trip to Spain and Portugal so we thought we’d share a summary of our itinerary. We had 2 weeks and visited Spain’s 2 main cities, Madrid and Barcelona, then headed south to see the Andalusian cities before heading west for a taste of Portugal.

Below is my day by day itinerary featuring  Instagram photos from the trip! You can check out the whole photo series by exploring the hashtag  #shershegoes_spain


Or save this article to read later by pinning it ⇟


Spain and Portugal Itinerary

Here’s a summary of the Spain and Portugal itinerary that we did. We would recommend at least 2 weeks if you want to visit both Spain and Portugal. If you have less time, say 10 days, then concentrate on Madrid and Barcelona in Spain!

2 Weeks in Spain

Keep reading below for a day by day city   itinerary of must-see sights, things to eat and where to stay! I’ve also included day trip suggestions below.

Days 1-2: Madrid

can you visit spain and portugal in 10 days

We arrived first in Madrid, Spain’s capital city.

The streets are narrow, the apartments all have beautiful shuttered balconies and the charm is everywhere. We settled in for a couple days of sightseeing, healthy doses of tapas, rioja wine and laid back nights that ended with churros con chocolate.

can you visit spain and portugal in 10 days

The Best Things to Do in Madrid

Main Attractions: Royal Palace, Museo del Prado, Retiro Park

Don’t Miss: a night hopping from bar to bar sampling tapas and pinchos. Recommended dishes:

  • gambas al ajillo (shrimp in hot garlic and oil)
  • jamon iberico bellota (fancy coldcuts of iberico pigs fed on acorns)
  • calamares a la romana (fried squid rings)
  • my special favorite, patatas bravas (fried potato wedges served with a mayo aioli)!

can you visit spain and portugal in 10 days

Where to Stay in Madrid

I recommend 2 days, 3 nights. Perhaps the best neighborhood to stay in Madrid would be the Centro district, to stay centrally located near the main sights and attractions. Other solid neighborhoods: La Latina, Chueca and Barrio de las Letras.

We recommend  Catalonia Plaza Mayor , a comfortable hotel that's centrally located in the heart of old Madrid.

Check rates: , ,  Expedia  

Read reviews:   TripAdvisor

can you visit spain and portugal in 10 days

Best Day Trips from Madrid

We stayed in Madrid an extra couple nights in order to do some day trips in Castille La Mancha. I couldn’t decide on one, so we visited a couple (images above from left to right).

Here are the best day trips from Madrid that I’d recommend!

  • Segovia an ancient town famous for its Roman aqueduct ruins
  • Toledo a medieval city
  • El Escorial  a monastery and entombment for ancient Spanish kings

You can browse more fun day trips from Madrid here .  

Day 4: Cordoba

can you visit spain and portugal in 10 days

After thoroughly explored Spain’s capital, we headed south for a loop through Andalusia . First up, Cordoba!

The small town was once a regional capital for the Roman and Moorish empires so today, it bears characteristics of each. The historic sights are all located within the compact Old Town and easily walk able.

We got lucky and timed our visit for their spring festival, the Patio Festival! Patio means inner courtyard in Spanish, and it’s a really pretty time to visit because the entire town comes alive, locals are happy to show off their homes and everywhere you look there are stunning flowers are in bloom. 

can you visit spain and portugal in 10 days

Best Things to Do in Cordoba

Main Attractions:  Mezquita-Cathedral, Palacio de los Reyes Cristianos, Roman Bridge

Don’t Miss: a visit in Spring, when this beautiful town comes alive with flowers. The Patio Festival is an opportunity for proud locals to exhibit their version of ‘Best Lawn’ and visitors can see traditional Moorish style patios decorated with a profusion of beautiful pink, red and green blooms.

can you visit spain and portugal in 10 days

Where to Stay in Cordoba

The city deserves 1 full day – unless you're in town for the Cordoba Patio Festival when you won't be able to get enough with even two or three days!

For a beautiful hotel, stay at  Eurostars Palace Hotel  which has a gorgeous inner courtyard and gives a true feel for Cordoba's patios. Inner courtyards are usually hidden to outsiders so this hotel is a treat!

Check rates: , , Expedia  

Read reviews:  TripAdvisor

Days 5-6: Seville

can you visit spain and portugal in 10 days

From Cordoba, we hopped back on the high speed train for Seville.

Flamboyant Seville is home to the fiery flamenco, stadium roaring bull fights and the most delicious tapas bars of my entire trip! We did a bit more sightseeing, although by this point I was thoroughly wow’ed by the cathedrals and had pretty much reached my limit.

can you visit spain and portugal in 10 days

Best Things to Do in Seville

Main Attractions:  Cathedral, Alcázar, Barrio Santa Cruz

Don’t Miss:  the gardens in the Alcázar are breathtaking – you might recognize them as ‘Dorne’ from Game of Thrones!

Seville is a fantastic town for foodies. In Madrid, you have lots of old, historic bars, while in Barcelona you’ll find trendy, beautifully decorated restaurants with fantastic fusion food. But in Seville? Expect small, authentic and delicious, with a bit of flair. Essentially, it felt like it offered the best of everything in one compact town. 

can you visit spain and portugal in 10 days

Where to stay in Seville

The city is worth at least 2 days & 2 nights – so you can eat all the affordable and tasty tapas you can find! Book a room at  Hotel Alfonso XIII , a luxurious property featuring gorgeous Moorish architecture and every comfort imaginable. Hotel Alfonso is located in a prime spot next to Seville's Real Alcazar.

Check rates , ,   Expedia  

Read reviews  TripAdvisor

Days 7-8: Granada

can you visit spain and portugal in 10 days

After thoroughly exploring Seville, we hopped on a (10 euro!) bus to explore Granada, once the Moorish stronghold of the west. Today the city retains much of its North African flavor and is an absolute must see on any southern trip through Spain.

The main attraction in Granada is the breathtaking Alhambra, an old fortress and palace with extensive gardens. Tickets sell out quite fast so you’ll need to book this in advance. You can read about everything you need to know regarding Alhambra tickets in this post here .

Or, skip the mess entirely and take a guided tour that bypasses the queue altogether here .

I ended up extending our Granada stay for an extra half day so that I could grab the only ticket option remaining during my trip.

can you visit spain and portugal in 10 days

Best Things to Do in Granada

Main Attractions:  the Alhambra !

Don’t Miss: a relaxing retreat at the Arabian baths , or Hammam Al Andalus . The current baths are built over the ancient bath site and gorgeously decorated.

There are a number of different pools at different temperatures as well as some fun massage options. We loved how relaxing this experience was! Budget around 3 hours to fully enjoy the experience.

can you visit spain and portugal in 10 days

Where to stay in Granada:

Budget 2 full days in order to fully explore the city, with a full 1/2 day devoted to the Alhambra . We stayed at  Anacapri Granada , an affordable, clean hotel within walking distance from the Alhambra.

The Anacapri Granada is located in the heart of Old Town and also conveniently near the local bus stop, should you wish to explore Granada's farther sights.

Check rates: , ,   Expedia  

Days 9-12: Barcelona

can you visit spain and portugal in 10 days

From Granada, there are a couple ways to get to Barcelona including via car, high speed rail or plane . We decided to fly after hearing unimpressed reviews of the overnight train service.

Barcelona was by far one of the highlights of my trip – I enjoyed it a lot more than Madrid! The city is cosmopolitan, proudly Catalan and lively with some of the most impressive and unique sights in Spain.

After almost two weeks of sightseeing, lots of churches and an abundance of small town charm, the genius works of architect Antoni Gaudí were so distinctive and colossal that I couldn’t help but be awed.

can you visit spain and portugal in 10 days

Best Things to Do in Barcelona

Main Attractions:   La Sagrada Familia , Casa Batlló, Casa Milà (aka La Pedrera), Park Güell

Don’t Miss:  a full day dedicated to Gaudi’s works: the modernist mansion Casa Batlló and the still under construction Sagrada Familia church .

Day Trips:  Barcelona had some of the most innovative tapas bars that I tried in Spain – don’t miss a good evening out trying various Spanish small plates  or try a cooking class . Die hard soccer / football fans will want to see FC Barcelona’s stadium and see a match or two.

can you visit spain and portugal in 10 days

Where to stay in Barcelona:

Royal Ramblas  is a great hotel to stay in, as it's located right on the main shopping and pedestrian road, Las Ramblas. There's so much to see in Barcelona (and the city makes a great base for nearby day trips in Catalonia) so budget at least 3 full days!

can you visit spain and portugal in 10 days

Best Day Trips from Barcelona

Near Barcelona are a couple cities worth visiting. Montserrat is a religious pilgrimage site for many Catalans and a breathtaking change of scenery for tourists – the monastery is actually high up in the mountains!

Also within an easy day trip from the city are Girona , a walkable old city famous for its historic Jewish quarter of narrow cobblestone streets, and Figueres, where Salvador Dali built his museum and personal shrine.

Trains connect all three towns within easy access of Barcelona Sants rail station. We decided to do the first two and left Figueres for another trip simply because the train schedules weren’t as convenient.

  • Montserrat :  a dramatic mountaintop monastery where the Black Madonna was discovered
  • Girona :  a quaint medieval town very similar to Dubrovnik and currently the set of King’s Landing for the Game of Thrones series

Days 13-14: Lisbon

can you visit spain and portugal in 10 days

Portugal’s capital Lisbon feels a lot like San Francisco .

Both have rolling hills, quaint trolleys and well worn cobblestone streets. Lisbon has some amazing seafood spots and charm, but also a sad air of neglect to the magnificent tiled apartment buildings.

I first visited Lisbon on a fun long weekend trip in college, where we spent the days sipping on Sangria and the nights partying in Chiado and Bairro Alto.. with nightly stops at McDonalds in Rossio Square for CBO sandwiches and McFlurrys. 

This time, I focused a bit more on sightseeing and managed to fit in a wonderful day trip to nearby Sintra.

can you visit spain and portugal in 10 days

Best Things to Do in Lisbon

Main Attractions:  São Jorge Castle, Alfama walk (medieval district) and Baixa walk (downtown with major squares)

Don’t Miss:  dinner at Cervejaria Ramiro, a local favorite of Anthony Bourdain that completely lived up to my seafood heavy anticipation. Get the garlic shrimp in olive oil and large grilled prawns and wash it all down with beer and buttery garlic bread.

can you visit spain and portugal in 10 days

Where to stay in Lisbon:

Hotel Santa Justa is an affordable luxury hotel with an amazing location right by the famous lift. We opted for 2 nights in Lisbon, with an extra day to check out the wacky, beautiful mansions at nearby Sintra !

Check rates: , ,  Expedia  

can you visit spain and portugal in 10 days

Day Trip from Lisbon to Sintra

A couple friends recommended Sintra as a must do while in Lisbon. After a major earthquake and tsunami hit Lisbon in 1755, Portuguese royalty permanently left the city in favor of this mountain retreat.

On a day trip, you can explore the national palace, Pena palace and a number of extravagant private mansions. It’s a unique town and ended up being my favorite day trip of the entire trip!

can you visit spain and portugal in 10 days

Best Things to Do in Sintra

Main Attractions:  National Palace, Quinta da Regaleira, Palace of Queluz, Arab Walls

Don’t Miss:  the Pena Palace , which is said to have inspired Walt Disney’s vision of Cinderella Castle!

Stay:  1 days, 1 night to see the highlights, a 2nd day if you want to see the exotic mansions like Montserrate Mansion that are farther from the town square.

Getting Around Spain

We took a combination of transportation to get around Spain, including

  • local flights
  • the high speed train

Spain by Train

Mostly, we used the high speed train service, as it was the most convenient.

To book tickets, use Omio . It’s the largest distributor for European train tickets and accepts international credit cards. Spain does have its own train website, but its in Spanish and meant for local Spanish citizens to book.

The Omio site is much more user friendly – you can both browse train schedules and keep track of all your purchased tickets by making an account. They charge a nominal booking fee for the process, I believe around 1-3 euro per transaction, so try to organize your route first then buy all the tickets in one go.

Train routes typically are published 3-6 months out so if you can’t find the schedule for your dates, you might be looking to early. Just check back in a couple weeks or so. Ticket prices will get more expensive with time, so book in advance to save.

Check  train schedules for Spain here .

I got a lot of questions about how we got around. If following my itinerary, here’s the breakdown:

  • We flew into Madrid, and spent a couple days exploring the area. From Madrid, we took the high speed train down to Cordoba and again from Cordoba to Seville.
  • From Seville , you can take either the train or bus . We found a steal bus fare (~10 euro per person), so we tried the bus. If you can’t find a bus deal, just use the train as it’s much easier to navigate!
  • From  Granada , we chose to fly up northeast to Barcelona. You can take the train, but it’s historically been offered as an overnight train option, and friends who took it said it was very uncomfortable. Granada has been doing construction on its train station, so double check whether a train is available for your dates. Personally, we recommend flying. 
  • In Barcelona, we booked day trips to nearby Montserrat and Girona using the train. After fully exploring the Catalonia region, we flew to neighboring Portugal to visit Lisbon and Sintra.

Best Time to Visit

Spring (April – May) and Fall (September – October) are the best times to visit Spain and Portugal. There’ll be less crowds and more comfortable temperatures!

What Not to Miss

Here are some highlights you absolutely shouldn’t miss in Spain and Portugal!

Exploring Southern Spain’s Moorish history

  • the Cathedral Mosque in Cordoba, the Alhambra Palace in Granada and the Alcazar in Seville, where scenes from Game of Thrones were filmed

Visiting Spain’s political and cultural capitals

  • Madrid: home to 
  • Barcelona: home to Gaudi’s masterpieces: the unfinished Sagrada Familia cathedral, the UNESCO World Heritage Casa Battlo site and colorful Park Guell

Portugal’s Legendary Food & Culture

And there you go! My trip report after visiting Spain and Portugal for the first time. 

I hope my 2 week itinerary was helpful! If you have less time, say 10 days or 1 week, I would cut out Southern Spain . You could save Andalusia for a separate trip entirely as there’s lots to see!

Are you planning a trip to Spain, Portugal or both? Let me know any questions in the comments below!

Visiting Spain – Travel Checklist

To make the most of our time, we booked open jar flights, flying from NY to Madrid and departing from Lisbon. Check flight deals for your dates here .

For getting around within Spain, we recommend the local train system. Both fast and slow options are available, so Spain train travel is easy and effective! The only catch? It's difficult for non Spanish users to book. Instead, book your tickets on Omio , which is much more convenient for English speakers and accepts international credit card holders. Check train schedules for Spain here .

We mixed up our accommodation throughout the trip, alternating between Airbnb and hotels. You can browse last minute Spain hotel deals here . 

Lastly, be sure to visit Spain with travel insurance . Whether you get injured and need to be hospitalized, your phone gets stolen, or a flight delay leaves you with nothing but the clothes on your back, travel insurance will help when you need it most. Get a quote for your trip here .

  You Might Also Enjoy:  

Spain Vacation Planning Articles

Spain and Portugal: A Perfect Itinerary to Explore Both Countries!

Headed to Andalusia? Check out this 7 day Southern Spain travel guide

How We Spent 3 Incredible Days in Granada

Insider Tips for Visiting the Alhambra Palace

The Best Things to Do in Seville

A Spain Food Guide: Important  Tapas + Food Names in Spanish!

Spain's Hidden Gem: The Quaint Town of Cordoba

Don't Miss Cordoba's Patio Festival ! Here's Why

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Cordoba and Grenada look gorgeous. I love all the flower shots in Cordoba, what a great time to go! I love all your pictures & travel style too! I might be planning a Spain trip for this summer, I’ll bookmark this and avidly follow all your recommendations haha

Gah you’re making me so jealous, girl!!!! I studied abroad in Salamanca in high school and spent a lot of time in Barcelona and Madrid, but I haven’t been back since. I desperately want to go back and go down to Granada to see the Alhambra!

Wow, so much information & this is so detailed! I may be going to Lisbon in November, so this is cool to know it’s like San Fran. I have my list of must-sees made after reading this post!

Wow, what an incredible trip and your pictures are absolutely stunning! I want to go now!

Nice tips! I will going to Spain later in the summer, so this will help a lot.

Your photos are stunning! Now I want to visit :)

Your photos are absolutely stunning! I’ll be moving to Spain in the fall and will definitely refer back to this.

Aw, thanks for the kind words Colby!

Hey there thanks for the awesome guide! Can you share approx how much you spent for the two weeks. I’m trying to plan a budget and I have no clue how much to plan for

Hi May – glad it was helpful! Since it’s not a packaged tour, the trip cost will depend on what you want to do! Hotels, restaurants, flights, sights etc – it just depends how luxury or budget you go :) You can get an idea upfront by booking your flights and hotels first. Some of the more famous sites in Spain can be booked online in advance too.

Your vacation looks AH-Mazing!!! And the photos!!! Makes me want to book a trip asap!

Thanks Melissa! It was an amazing trip, I hope you have a great summer!

Wow I can’t wait to visit Spain someday, what a great post! Thanks for sharing x

Yes, Spain is amazing! Hope you visit soon. xoxo

Great pictures!! Amazing photos!!!

Thank you Trang!

Excellent review and nicely planned trip. Pictures of Granada and Cordoba look very nice. Too bad you didnt see Porto, such a nice city as well. Many thanks for the inspiration.

Thanks Julian! Yea – I keep seeing Porto all over now. Wish I had gone but it was nearing 3 weeks at that point and I had to get back to work! If only haha.

Fantastic and comprehensive post! I always appreciate a post catering to first timers, as that is quite often what I am, myself! Beautiful photos, thanks for the insight into such spectacular places!

Your photos are simply stunning!! Awesome trip!

i did portugal a couple of years ago! i loved it, sintra was unreal.

All these places are amazing,I definitely have to visit them someday!

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I am absolutely in love with Spain and Portugal but haven’t visited all of these places you’ve listed. This is a beautiful and helpful guide. Thanks so much for sharing and happy travels :)

Love your list! And what amazing photos. I just googled the Patio Festival in Cordoba and it looks so nice! The houses look amazing then. Nice tip

Hey Andra! Yes the patio festival is amazing. I recently posted about it with tons of photos, have a look! :)

A very well arranged guide for the travel you have experienced. I found this clear and easy to understand with structure of information and pictures coming along with. I have printed it for the trip to Spain in next two years. Thanks.

First of all I have to say I LOVE your photos and the way they are set up in this post. Haven’t been to all these places in Spain but definitely have to get back so I can visit more.

Hi Natasha! Thanks so much for the kind words. xx Sher

I will be going to Granada in autumn for 5 night and I am very looking forward to it. Thank you for the tickets tip, I will keep it in mind and book them at least 2 months in advance. :)

Wowwww I’m just in love with Sintra because of your photos <3 I have a thing for colorful cities. Beautiful….

Thank you Renne! Yes I’m so glad I took a detour to Sintra on this Portugal trip, it was a really fun day trip and actually 2 days would have been better!

Love the itinerary and the photos! I’ve been to all these cities and I can say that you pretty much covered everything for a first time trip.

I’m also more a fan of Barcelona than Madrid. In the highlights there, I would add the palace of the Catalan Music – one of my favourite places with the Sagrada Familia – and la Boqueria, the market on the Ramblas. Great guide!

Yes! I loved La Boqueria too – had a great seafood brunch there. Can’t believe I forgot to add that, thanks for the note Stephanie!

I love this :) I did this trip exactly back in 2012 with the addition of Porto. Your photos are beautiful!

That is a concise and well planned itinerary. Very useful and am bookmarking it for my future trip.

All of these places are must-visits, especially Sintra… and Grenada… and Madrid… I think adding the day trip to Segovia is brilliant.

I really enjoyed your post and the pictures look amazing. Lisbon has a lot to do and see, 2 days might not be enough if you want to visit Sintra as well, but that’s my opinion :)

Did you enjoy Belem as well? I can see that you went there because of the picture of the famous Pasteis de Belem :D

Yes! I wish I had spent an extra day in Sintra – there was a lot more to see than I had realized!

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Hi! I am planning an 8 day trip to Europe in April and am torn between two different itineraries: 1. Fly into Barcelona, explore Barcelona, and do monterassat, and then take a flight to Lisbon and explore Porto and sintra

2. Fly into Madrid, do Sevilla and Granada with day trips to Córdoba and Sevilla

Any insight you have would be wonderful!!

Hi Tara – either itinerary would be amazing, it really depends on what you’re looking to do on your trip? Between Madrid & Barcelona, I liked Barcelona a lot more (personally) as it’s a larger, vibrant city with amazing restaurants, lots of sights (mostly of Gaudi’s works) and Montserrat was very different.

Madrid is more historic and I really loved South Spain. Andalusia has Moorish history so there’s lots of beautiful arabic-influenced sights like the Alhambra. Tapas are really good in Sevilla! Cordoba really comes alive in early May for the flower festival.. Either way there’s lots to see in both options you outlined! Maybe you can extend your trip for 2 weeks?? :)

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Hi Sher! Im in love with your photos! Im also planning a same trip for July. I just want to ask a few questions , I hope you don’t mind. your first stop was Madrid right? then from barcelona did you fly to lisbon? And was it easy to travel via trains also? I don’t drive so I’ll probably be commuting my entire trip. Im already thinking of flying to Madrid from Singapore(where i come from) and do the same itinerary as yours then go back to Singapore either from Barcelona or Lisbon( I cant decide yet). Thanks for reading my comment . Any advice is a great help thanks;)

Hi Sheena, aw thank you! Happy to help. Yes I flew in to Madrid and yes also flew from Barcelona to Lisbon. In between I took trains from Madrid down south to Seville/Cordoba/Granada. All of those train rides are very doable and you can find the train schedule on The site doesn’t fully translate from Spanish to English but the time schedules are easy enough to read. To actually book the tickets I used rail europe (i have a link to that in the post) because it’s easier to pay – with renfe you pretty much need a spanish credit card or it won’t work.

I didn’t rent a car so to get from city to city I took the train or flew. I felt like walking in any of the Spanish cities was very doable and walked pretty much everywhere! Even 30 minutes in some cases but I also don’t mind to walk. There are local buses and taxis to get around too so no need for a car!

I definitely really liked Lisbon but I went with family and they were kind of tired after 10 days in spain, so if you decide to go home after Barcelona that could be fine too. Lisbon is very hilly (kind of like San Francisco if you have been there?) and you mostly have to walk around for sights and such but there’s also the trolley to take which is fun. If you do go to Lisbon, I highly recommend Sintra! There are some colorful palaces and mansions there which are really unique.

Let me know if you have any other questions and thanks for reading :)

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We’re planning to go visiting Spain and Portugal departing from the UK for 13 days, wondering what would be the best itinerary be for our first time visit on these both countries and we need to head back to Hong Kong after, need your suggestion to see if we’re able to fly direct either from those countries or get back to the UK first. FYI, we don’t drive.

Many thanks for your help in advance.

Wow! your itinerary is perfect! ;) Great choice of places and I also loved your pictures.

Love this itinerary! I’m planning a trip now hoping to hit most of these places, but I only have about 14 days. How many days total was your trip?

Hey Sara! Glad you like it :) I took about 2 weeks so it sounds like you have plenty of time. With shorter time the day trips from Madrid are probably easy to cut and maybe less time in Cordoba if the patio festival isnt going on

Hi Sher, I love everything you posted here, especially the itinerary and the photos. its so easy to understand and the photos are all amazing. I’ll be doing Spain and Portugal trip for 16 days this May, adding few days to spend in Porto and Barcelona. Im planning to do the whole exact thing as yours, I can’t wait to visit Cordoba for the flower festival and Sintra! Thank you so much for your itineraries :)

Hi Sher your blog was really insightful! I have a question. I’m planning to buy train tickets in advance (traveling to Spain and Portugal) but since my itenerary is not finalized so how do I go about making reservations? Is it hard to make same day /2dayreservations in advance for train seat reservation? Thanks for your help!

Hi Namrata, glad my posts were helpful! Hm, it depends. When are you planning to go?

If spring/summer I would recommend you finalize your itinerary and buy the tickets online before you go. Spain gets quite crowded as early as May and certain popular places will sell out. For example, the Madrid day trip to Toledo is strangely very popular!

I booked all of my trains ahead of time, except my Portugal day trip to Sintra. the line at the train station was very, very long the day of. In hindsight I would have bought it ahead of time to save time.

If you are visiting in the fall/winter its probably less important to book ahead.

For the Alhambra you absolutely need to buy a ticket ahead of time (I have a whole post on that). In general the high speed train runs pretty frequently, you just might not the time or seat you want if you buy the day of. Hope that helps!

Hi Sher Your website is so informative and I;m glad that you’re doing well because of it. We are planning a 11 day trip, flying into Barcelona on Aug 10 and flying out of Lisbon on Aug 21st. We are currently scheduled to fly out of Barcelona on Aug 16th and spend 1 night in Seville, and the remaining time in Lisbon. We are a relaxed family (2 adults, 2 teens 13-15) who like to soak it all in and enjoy nights out exploring the town etc. Would you recommend that we cut 1 day short in Barcelona and spend 2 nights in Seville ?

Thank you..

Hi Monica, thanks for the sweet words! Hm it sounds like you have 6 days planned for Barcelona and 1 for Seville. In that case because you have so much time in Barcelona, I would recommend an extra day in Seville, just to get an extra taste for south spain (which is quite different from the two big cities up north)

There’s lots to see, do and eat in Barcelona. You mentioned your family likes to go out and explore at night, I think you’ll really love Barcelona for that.

Seville is much quieter and smaller, but there’s enough to fill 2 days. The tapas bars were my favorite – they have some very authentic “stand at the bar and order” type of tapas bars and more modern, fancier tapas restaurants so you could easily spend the full 2 days eating! If you get bored (which i dont think you would, but just if, Cordoba is a very cute small town only a quick day trip train ride away) that I really loved. Hope that helps and have a fantastic trip!

Hi! Sher, I’m so glad I spotted your travel blog. It has been very helpful so far, very detailed and organized. I was wondering if you could help me plan a better itinerary for a trip my husband and I are planning. It will cover Southern Spain (Andalusia: Seville, Córdoba, Granada, Malaga) to Tangier, Morocco then to Portugal (Lisbon, Fatima, Sintra, maybe Porto) then back to California. This will be for Sept 25-Oct 18. My plan is to fly into Seville first (4 nights) then take the train to Córdoba (2 nights), Granada (3 nights), Malaga (2 nights), ferry to Tangier (2 nights), back to Seville to fly to Lisbon. We have no specific itinerary for Portugal yet except to be in Fatima by Oct 11-14 for the Fatima Centennial events. We plan to take the train between cities in Spain. Do you have a better suggestion in which order should we visit the 4 cities in Andalusia? I’m stuck with the train routes. There’s no direct train route to Granada from the other 3 cities, so we’ll have to keep on backtracking to Córdoba or Seville to get to Granada and Malaga which will be a waste of time. any thoughts? Thank you.

Hi Regina – thanks for the kind words! Hm.. I see what you mean. Granada has an airport as well, which might be convenient if you haven’t already booked your flights.

The train routes in Spain are set, so like you said you sometimes have to backtrack. There is a very affordable and comfortable bus between Seville + Granada. Book through the company Alsa and if you book enough in advance, it’s only 10-15 euro per person.

Perhaps you might split up your time in Seville into 2 night, then Cordoba for 2 nights, then back to Seville for 2 nights so that it’s a more comfortable journey. Sometimes I do that and pick a different neighborhood / hotel to stay at and find that I get a completely different experience! Or you might want to visit Cordoba on a day trip when you’re in Seville. Some people feel Cordoba is small and that the highlights can be seen in a day trip.

I am currently researching and planning a trip to both Portugal and Spain and found your information helpful. Thank you!

Thanks for this incredible detail – it’s amazing. I’m planning a 11-day trip to Spain and, possibly, Portugal. I’d love your input on a planning dilemma I’m having.

We are SUPER adventurous and active, but really want to take in each city.

Ideally, I’d do 4-5 days in Barcelona, then 2 days in each of Granada, Seville, and Lisbon (with the Sintra day trip). It feels like too much. If you had to choose between Granada, Seville, and Lisbon – which would you choose? What about between just Granada and Seville? There’s not enough time for all the things!! :-)

Thanks in advance for your input.

Hi Sarah – I know what you mean! It’s always a challenge between seeing as much as possible and soaking it in. I would recommend cutting out lisbon. I’m not sure of the route you’re taking but flying to Portugal from Spain usually involves flights out of Barcelona, so you would go Barca > Andalusia > back to Barca just to get to Lisbon, which adds extra time.

I liked the small town feel of Seville more and the excellent local tapas scene, but Granada has more sights so usually people do at least 2 days in seville and 3 in Granada. Out of them all, I loved Barcelona – I’m definitely a city person – so I would do 5 days in Barcelona if you have time. There’s lots of sights and then fun nearby day trips to take advantage of. Hope that helps!

That’s extremely helpful. Thank you – I think you just helped make my decision!

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Hi Sher – In the Sintra section of this post, where was your 1st and 4th photo posted above taken? Is this a specific palace in Sintra? Thanks! :) (P.s. super helpful blog post!!!)

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I love your blog! I am planning at trip to Spain (Barcelona, Madrid, and Lisbon) for my birthday in April. I’m a bit overwhelmed with the planning. How long did it take you to plan this trip?

Hi Marcie! So glad you like it :) What a great birthday trip!! You’ll love Spain.

I know what you mean, it takes a loooong time to plan because I like to customize my itinerary to things I like to do, plan the transportation myself and also keep things within budget! What I find helpful is to get a guidebook first, like Rick Steves or Fodors for europe, scan it through to get a general outline and then read blogs and forums for the details.

In the beginning it was really hard and there wasn’t much info out there so I started writing these posts to help other people who like to plan their own trips too!

This is wonderful. Curious for your trip, what was your budget? In planning stages so trying to get a sense. Also are you able to “beach” it anywhere along these stops?

Hi Jessica, Hm I don’t remember exactly what we spent but what I usually do is book the flights, hotels & transportation first – those are usually the bulk of the trip cost. If you’re booking in advance things are much much cheaper, especially flights and trains. In the larger cities hotels are more expensive so you can look into AirBnB for a more budget friendly option.

For sights – Barcelona has some really great sights but the tickets can be expensive if you see them all. The nice thing is you can buy them online in advance and get a sense of budget. I booked those last minute the day of and I think if you book earlier, it is cheaper.

Food in Spain is average priced (compared to New York). Lisbon is budget friendly but again, just depends how you travel. I spent all my time/money at the bars when I was younger but re-visiting Lisbon this time, I spent more on sights and food. So, it really depends!

There are beaches in Barcelona! I’ve heard great things about Portugal’s beaches but haven’t personally been.

Hey Sher, loved your pics and your details so useful. I need an advice. i am planning for a trip on the end of January(16 days).First i will be with prepaid guided tour France-Switzerland-Italy(6 days) and back to Paris, but instead of going back to Paris i was thinking of traveling from Avignon to Barcelona. I was this close to cancel Barcelona and go straight to Madrid then Andalusia then Portugal than after reading your post , i think i can do it. what do you suggest?! What is the best way to manage my time and to see all these cities!

Sounds like an amazing European tour! Not sure how much time you have but if you can fit it all in then great!

Hi Sher! Great pics!! I am planning to do Spain/Portugal in May for 7 days. We were thinking of staying in Barcelona for 4 nights and then heading out to Libson. I also wanted to check out Sintra(day trip). Do you think three nights will be enough in Libson? Unfortunately, I already booked my tickets from/to Barcelona.

Hello Sher! Thank you for a very detailed post- very useful for our Spain Portugal trip in late May!

I might follow your itinerary too :)

I was planning to make Cordoba only a day trip from Madrid (or Seville?) so we wont be dragging our luggage behind. What can you suggest?

I noticed that you don’t have separate posts for Madrid and Barcelona unlike the 3 Andalusia cities which you discussed very thoroughly (you even included day to day itineraries!).

Can you suggest links For Madrid and Barcelona very similar to your Andalusia posts?

Can we travel Madrid-Cordoba-Seville-Granada-Lisbon-Barcelona?

What routes are better traveled by train and those by plane?

Thank you for your help.

With best regards, Ann

Hi Ann – glad you found the posts helpful! I covered transportation in my posts but for specific detailed advice, I highly recommend Rick Steves’ Spain book – relied on it heavily to plan my own trip – or a travel agent to plan all the little details!

This is an amazing itinerary! I’m doing one similar to it when I go to Portugal and Spain in October. I’m doing Spain for five days, Madrid for four days and Seville for three…then an extra day in Lisbon on my way home. Did you fly to a majority of the places? Like Madrid to Cordoba? I’m worried about feeling rushed lol

Thanks! We did a mix of flights and trains – you can see the specific breakdown in my individual spain posts! In general train is easier :)

A couple of points. Citing $300 a night hotels as ‘affordable’ is not something most people would consider a reasonable statement. Only other point is with your assertion that the Pena Palace inspired Disney’s Cinderella Castle. That is incorrect. The inspiration was Neuschwanstein castle in Germany.

Hi Tim – The hotels I mentioned are recommendations based on my trip. Keep in mind that rates fluctuate dramatically depending on the time of year that you’re searching for.

Pena Palace is widely believed to have inspired Disney – in addition to Neuschwanstein.

I am so glad that I encounter your website, your photos are all beautiful, your itinerary is very detailed and very helpful that I will consider following some of it and add 2 things: 1st, From Barcelona – I will avail the “Three Countries in One Day: France, Andorra and Spain” 2nd, I am also keen to include “Morocco Day Trip” either from Seville or from Granada going to Malaga or Costa del Sol as there are 2 options a) Morocco Day Trip from Malaga to Tangier b) Morocco Day Trip from Costa del Sol to Tangier what do you think about the possibility of this?

My other question are: 1.How did you travel from Madrid to Cordoba? By bus, I guess? 2.How about BUS from Cordoba to Seville? 3.How did you travel from Barcelona to Lisbon? By plane, I guess?

Awaiting for your replies… Thank you in advance.

Hi Pia – glad you found the post helpful! The 3 countries in one day tour sounds incredible as does the Morocco day trip. It’s up to you, whichever tour best fits your schedule (malaga or costa del sol)

From Madrid, I took the high speed train down to Cordoba and then again the train from Cordoba to Seville. I didn’t take the bus but you can check the Spain bus website if you prefer to take the bus. It will be much slower.

Yes I took a flight from Barcelona to Lisbon. I think that is the easiest way. Even though Spain and Portugal are neighbors, it’s not the easiest to get from one to the other. I heard once that it’s because of mountains.. but I’m not sure. Flight is easiest.

Sher, your post is very helpful and sounds like a wonderful trip. I wish we had time to follow your itinerary. We will be traveling to Spain for 5 days before heading to Portugal for a group trip. We’d love to see as much as possible, where would you recommend we go if we only have 5 days? We prefer exploring the cities over spending lots of time in museums. Would it be doable to fly into Barcelona and spend 2 nights there, flying out to Madrid and exploring Madrid for a couple of days (3 nights) including a day trip before heading to Portugal? Or are we better off going to just Barcelona and doing day trips or Madrid and doing day trips? Thanks!

Hi ZD! If you have a short time, Madrid and Barcelona are definitely the 2 cities you want to visit! Regarding where to spend your 5 days, it depends on how you prefer to travel.

I spent 5 days in just Barcelona, since its a big city and there are lots of sights to see. I also took day trips to Montserrat and Girona which I really liked. For Madrid, I felt like there was a bit less to see, and that the city had a older / historic vibe. I guess you could compare Barcelona to NYC and Madrid to Washington DC? So it just depends on the kind of atmosphere you like.

I think for me, if it was my first time, I would visit both cities just so I could see them both. Now that I’m looking back and can compare them, I enjoyed Barcelona more (but am still glad I went to both!)

Hi Sher Your post is just amazing!! It felt like you wrote this for me…we also are going for exact 14 days and intend to cover Spain and Portugal, have taken a note of all your recommendations:)

I have one question- do you suggest any particular operator for Baixa and Alfama walk in Lisbon? I am travelling with a 4 year old so looking to cover both separately on two dates…

Thanks again Nidhi

Hi Nidhi – so glad it’s been helpful for you! hm what do you mean by a particular operator? like a tour guide? i usually book guided tours through viator and they connect to a local company. hope that helps!

Hi Sher, We are planning to visit Granada from Seville and loved your itinerary. Can you please share which bus company you used for the journey?

Hey Sher! The pictures looks absolutely fantastic!!!. Thanks for the detailed itinerary. I guess for anyone travelling for the first time, the usual dilemmas are always the same – Which places to consider and their relevance, though it might vary from person to person but your post gives a good comparative view of the places to visit.

Just yesterday while talking to a friend, who cover Spain and Portugal starting from Portugal and then moving on the Spain. She found Portugal better than Spain with the exclamation most the places look the same in Spain. She even advised me considering either of Barcelona or Madrid as they both are very similar.

I would be travelling from Bombay and would like to ask which place should be the starting point – Portugal or Spain and am considering around May. Which month did you visit and as per you which would be the ideal time to travel to these places?

Hi Romesh – thanks for the kind words! Hm, I had a different opinion. I found Portugal and Spain to be quite different. I did like Portugal better, I think the food and the people really stand out there. It’s up to you for Madrid vs Barcelona. Personally I think they are very different cities (similar to Washington DC vs NYC). If you have the time I would do both, but if you only have time for 1, it depends what you think you’d like more.

Barcelona has great food, lots of nightlife, impressive architecture, shopping, a cosmopolitan feel. Madrid is older, more historic, government buildings and classic museums. For example, if you want trendy Spanish tapas = Barcelona. If you want old school tapas bars = Madrid. That’s a generalization, of course, but that was my experience.

We went in Spring and loved it. Good weather, less crowds. For starting point, go with whatever transportation is easiest from Bombay and is cheaper!

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This itinerary is awesome! My friend and I want to spend 14 days in Spain and Portugal end of the year. What was the cost for your trip? I know prices change, but a ball park estimate will help with our planning. Thank you so much!!

Hi Kate – so glad you like it! I don’t remember the exact cost but for you can do the trip as budget or as luxury as you want. What I usually do is price out the cost of flights + hotels and that’s usually the two most expensive things. And then I know if I can splurge day to day or if I need to set a limit for how much to spend when I’m there. Hope that helps!

Hi Sher. I am from Singapore and am looking to holiday in Spain In June. As this is my first time I was wondering how to go About it. Your itinerary is so detailed. I think I am going to follow it to the tee. Including staying at the same hotels. I want to do some shopping as well. Heard that Zara is all over. I plan to leave on 10 June and return on 24 June. Are there any tips you can give me. Thank you. Faye.

Hi Faye – You’ll have a great time! Thanks for the kind words about my itinerary :) Zara is AMAZING in Spain (at least compared to the US), plus they have Zara Home stores that I love because we don’t get them in New York! June will be pretty hot in Spain, especially in the South, so try planning your day to get up early and sight see, take a siesta at your hotel in the afternoon, and then go out again after. Have a fantastic trip!

Hi Sher. As we do not want to be too stressed on the trip. Please let me know which areas I can skip. And can u please help me to customize an itinerary including how I get from one place to another. I am not a frequent traveler and this is the first time I am venturing so far out in my own. And if there are cheaper hotel options. I will fly into Barcelona and out of Seville. Is that ok? Thank you. I appreciate your help.

Hi Faye – I’ve shared my itinerary and included lots of options for how to customize it to fit your trip length and interests. Feel free to include or exclude whatever you like :) I think if you read through all my posts on Spain, pick up the Rick Steves guidebook and read through a couple other Spain blogs, you can easily find all the answers to your questions and create your perfect Spain & Portugal vacation.

I love trip planning and planned the entire trip listed in my post but I understand not everyone likes to do the same. If you would like me to review your itinerary, answer questions in depth or plan your trip I offer travel consultations where you can hire me for a one hour call.

I don’t make the bookings though – If you want a completely hands off experience, I have friends who are travel agents who you can hire to create a completely custom itinerary.

Pls send me a contact of a travel agent who can help me with the train and other bookings. Do let me know the charges as well. Tks.

This is WONDERFUL! Thank you so much, I was worried I wouldn’t get the most out of my stay in Barcelona until now!

Hi! I love this post and am largely basing my trip to Spain off it, so thanks for a great article!

Just wondering if you could please clarify how many days you spent in Barcelona and Madrid with day trips.

Did you spend two days in Madrid and then 1 day trip visiting Segovia, Toledo and El Escorial all in one day?

Likewis, did you spend 3 days in Barcelona and then 1 day trip visiting Montserrat and Girona in the same day?

Thanks for your help!

Hi Milli – glad the post is helpful! The itinerary above is just an example and I structured it so that if you have more/less time you can consider the day trips – essentially you can spend however many days you wish in each city!

For Madrid I’d recommend 2 days, longer if you’re interested in the day trip options. For Barcelona, I’d recommend 3 full days, with extra time if you want to add the day trips. Each day trip option would take 1 full day though, it’d be very tight to squeeze 3 different cities in a day trip :)

Personally, I enjoyed Barcelona more and think you could even spend a week just there!

Hello, I am planning a trip to Spain and Portugal in Spring of 2019. I will be traveling for 10 days. I will be visiting Barcelona and Madrid. Would it be better to start at Madrid to the little towns in the south then over to Portugal and then head up to barcelona? Or would it better to start Barcelona, then over to Portugal and then to Mardrid and fly home from there?

Hi Jackie – It depends! What I suggest is checking out the transportation options for your trip dates.

First go to Google Flights here and see if flights are available and how much they cost. Then go to Rail Europe here and see how much train rides cost for each long leg. That’s how I plan my trips!

Even though Spain + Portugal are right next to each other, I found for my trip dates that surprisingly flight connections were not that convenient. So, we did Madrid, train south, flight to Barcelona, flight to Lisbon. Hope that helps!

Hi, I’m planning a trip for 4 people (active “seniors”) to Spain and Portugal for Fall 2019. We were thinking of driving. I see you used train, and planes.Why did you choose planes versus trains? Would you not recommend driving? I see you only visited Lisbon with day trip to Sintra, where else in Portugal do you recommend? My thoughts are Barcelona, Madrid, Granada, Seville, possible beach stop in Costa del Sol, then onto Portugal, Lisbon and ….How long do you recommend for this itinerary? Thank you.

Hi Anna – If there are trains available, I prefer trains. They’re MUCH more convenient and often cheaper. Train stations are usually in or near the town center so I can just hop on, get off and go sight see. Whereas airports are outside the city so they require additional transportation to & from, plus I need to factor in at least an hour to go through security and if I have carry on suitcases, domestic airlines will often charge extra per piece.

Spain has a pretty great train network so it’s fast, convenient and affordable. Head to Rail Europe and plug in the cities you want to visit and check the times/ rates.

Driving in Spain is tough, but I think you can see even more if you drive! I’ve heard great things about Cascais in Portugal – check that out.

Thanks for a great article. I was wondering if you could please break down your visit to Madrid and Barcelona into days spent in the cities themselves vs day trips (and what/ how many places you visited for each day trip)?

Hi Milli – I’d recommend at least 2 days in Madrid and at least 3 full days in Barcelona. If you want to do the day trips, add on an extra day for each, or a 1/2 day if you want to go from the day trip on to another city. Hope that helps!

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Hi..your trip looks amazing. Do you recommend driving in Spain and Portugal to do similar trips?

Thanks, Kavita

Hi Kavita – if you’re comfortable driving then it could be a great idea to see some smaller towns! For me, I had limited time (2 weeks) and the main cities are easily connected via train/flights so that’s what we did.

I am traveling to Barcelona solo for nine days in mid October. I am looking for a week of being in one spot to unwind and be near a beach. I have been looking non stop and can’t seem to find anything great that is priced right. Either what I have found it extremely expensive or seemingly too inexpensive for what is being offered. I will have completed Ironman Barcelona (hard endurance triathlon race) and I am normally very curious yet I know that I will want a beach and relaxation with some culture and fun. That said, I am more interested in unwinding rather than exploring…. Do you have any ideas? Thank you!

Love reading your post before planning my travels. I wanted to know, would you recommend doing Barcelona first and the Southern Spain or the way you did it. We are flying in and out of Madrid so i cant decide what would make more sense. Any input would be grateful.

Thanks, Sumaiya

Hi Sumaiya – check the flight + train schedules for your dates! I usually decide the order of our route based on the times tables + fares.

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We are two couples from India who are planning to visit Spain and Portugal during September. However we would like to see more of country side, small towns and beaches . We would not like to spend too much time in Madrid/ Barcelona. We are planning 12 to 14 days tour. Could you recommend some places

Thank you for your informative post! I’m sooooo happy to chance upon it! Your photos are so nicely taken as well!

I’m planning a trip for 4 adults in February. Have you heard of Barcelona carnival before? Do you think it is worth going?

Also, we are there for 11 days 10 nights, flying in and out from Barcelona. Do you think it’s possible to do Barc-> Madrid -> Cordoba -> Grananda -> Seville -> drive to Lisbon -> drive back to Spain -> take train back to Barc? Or is it too ambitious?

Thank you so much for your time and help!!

Hi Charmaine – No problem! So glad you found it helpful.

I’ve never been to Barcelona for carnival but it sounds like a lot of fun! I haven’t driven in Spain or Portugal, so unfortunately wouldn’t have any advice on that.

Thanks so much for an amazing summary. You helped me a lot. I hope you continue to do and that you get to travel the world.

Ah, thank you for the nice comment! Have a great trip to Spain / Portugal!

Hi Sher, I am so pleased to have found your blog! Your photos and descriptions of each city and places of interest are absolutely inspiring! Our itinerary goes something like this at this stage: 1 – fly into Madrid from Australia. Explore the city and visit Segovia and Toledo on day trips 2 – trying to decide whether to train to Cordoba, Malaga or Grenada. I’m not sure how we can make this work. Is it possible to stay in one of these as a base and visit each of these places in day trips from one of these? Say 5 days spent between these three cities? 3 – Train to Seville for a few days 4 – Fly [?] from Seville to Lisbon. From Lisbon we will go to Sintra then Porto [by train?] 5 – We will then travel to Vigo [train or fly?] to join one of the Camino routes finishing at Santiago de Compestela. 6 – From here we will go to Barcelona for a few days before flying home. I would really appreciate any thoughts you might have Sher. Thank you so much, Jenni

Hi Jennifer – thanks for the kind words! your proposed itinerary sounds great. yes, it is possible to choose a city as a base and then take day trips from the train.

i haven’t been to malaga, but cordoba + seville are quite close together. granada is a bit farther. so, you could either go from madrid down to cordoba and explore the city, then continue onwards to seville, or you can go from madrid to granada and double back on a day trip to cordoba.

check flight schedules for your dates here . for my trip and dates, i found that flying to lisbon was easier from Barcelona, as it was a larger hub.

walking the camino route sounds incredible, i’ve heard great things! have a great trip!!

Hi Sher! I’ve been wanting to visit Spain and Portugal together for years so this guide was fantastic! My only on concern is that other blogs mentioned that doing too much can be overwhelming and rushed. Did you feel you got adequate time everywhere or were you just concerned with the planning and packing process to get to the next place? I definitely want to do them all but don’t want anything to feel rushed or missed because I’m on a strict itinerary. Thanks!!

Hi Stephanie – glad you found my article helpful! It depends how much time you have – we spent 2 weeks and felt like it was all very comfortable. But, we also are the kind of people that like to do a lot on vacation :) You can use our itinerary above as a starting point and adjust depending on your time frame!

Hi! So how is it taking so many flights within a trip? I’ve never actually flown from one European city to another and am curious about the pain of checking in/out of airports and going through security multiple times. I am going to Lisbon later this year but it’s WAY cheaper to fly into Barcelona so I’m thinking of adding it into the itinerary. I just know the boyfriend isn’t going to be thrilled about “schlepping” luggage to and from airports within a day or so of each other. But we’re talking a $1000 price difference here! :O

Hi Elizabeth,

I feel your pain – I hate to fly and it is definitely annoying to schlep bags. We had a long enough trip to Spain / Portugal that we wanted to see as much as possible, and so for us, a mix of trains, flights + bus were good. We didn’t do fly back to back though. I think it depends on where you want to go and how much time you have! as i get older, i find I care more about convenience then price, ha

Haven’t been to San Fransisco but I heard a lot of people comparing Lisbon to SF. I traveled almost two years ago around Portugal and Lisbon reminded me a lot of some neighborhoods of downtown Athens. Lisbon is such a wonderful and vintage city -and the food is terrific. Thanks for sharing your itinerary :)

I am thinking about Spain and/or Portugal for a family vacation this summer (my sons are in their early 20’s). I’ve been to Madrid and Toledo already, so I am OK missing these. We are certified scuba divers and not sure if we can fit in a day of diving to break up the city experience. I also wonder if we should consider taking a ferry over to Moracco/Gibraltor. I’d appreciate any/all suggestions – thanks!

Hi Sher, Are there any good beaches in Portugal? We want to relax more rather than sightseeing from point A to B. Any suggestions?

Hi Felicia, I haven’t personally been to any beaches in Portugal, so can’t say!

Thanks so much for putting this together, very helpful! We were thinking of a very similar itinerary but were thinking of not going to Barcelona instead possibly visiting Valencia and islands and also a couple additional days in Portugal. Any thoughts or recommendations if we did that? Thanks in advance!

You could definitely do that! I haven’t been to Valencia but heard good things. And Barcelona is a big city, so it’s definitely easy to catch a flight back and explore in the future

Please could you give more information on this tour

We can travel around march 29 2020

for two people from LA to madrid

Hi Lorna – this is just the itinerary we took, not a tour. Sorry!

Thank you for sharing your wonderful itinerary. Me and my daughter with 2 other friends are planning to go to Portugal and Spain this coming November for 2 weeks. We would like to include Fatima. When do you think is best to insert Fatima for a day or a day and a half? Your recommendation is highly appreciated. Thank you so much.

Hi Pinky – sounds like a great trip! I haven’t been to Fatima unfortunately, so don’t have any advice.

Hoping you would be kind enough to recommend an agency to help us with logistics and reservations for Portugal and Spain trip I am planning for four people. Very much enjoyed your posts and experiences…but I desire to chat with someone and help me set up.

Sure – happy to refer you to my travel adviser. Shoot me an email with some more details about what you’re looking for specifically!

Sher than you for sharing your wonderful itenerary. Me and my friend are planning to go Portugal and spain in November. Where to include Marrakesh in the 14 days itnerary.

Hi Mona – Not sure what your specific plans are but you could fit it in before or after!

Hi and thanks for this post. I’m planning on landing in Barcelona in March and plan on spending a month, so it would be nice to get your advice on how the wife and I should break up our time in Spain and Portugal. Looking forward to your advice.

wow! A very comprehensive itinerary. I am totally impressed. I’m planning a trip there for my 25th wedding anniversary. My husband loves soccer so we might stay longer in Barcelona. Thanks for sharing your trip.

Your Itinerary and comments are very helpful. We are planning a 2 weeks trip to Spain and Portugal in early July 2020. My questions, I have many.

1. what is the easiest way to get to your airbnb from airport? i am overwhelmed by the choices, Aerobus, Barcelona train, taxi, Uber?

2. Is Uber and Cabify the same concept?

3. Did you buy the Barcelona City pass? It seems really over the top in terms of cost.

4. Do you recommend doing the tower at the Sagrada Familia?

Thank you so very much, Sonal

Thanks Sher, great itinerary. What was your rough cost of the trip. We traveling in end of March, 16 days, similar itinerary..Did you visit the San Sebastián and region, I would like to know if it a mast see as we can add days.

Thanks, Gila

Definitely pre-book your tickets to the Alhambra in Granada. Tickets sell out fast! This was a costly lesson for us. Cordoba and Seville are very much worth seeing.

What a very well written article. So full of all the relevant details and informational. So helpful. Thank you.

Oh thank you!

Do u recommend we rent a car? We are 4 friends wanting to tour Spain, Portugal and Morocco for 14 days. We are fine with just 2-3 days spent in Morocco

Hm, depends where you’re going! Spain and Portugal are pretty big, probably inconvenient to drive.

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Spain and Portugal Itinerary, 14 days: A Bucket List Itinerary for Spain and Portugal

Are you thinking of planning a trip to Spain and Portugal, but not quite sure where to start? Both countries have so much to offer. This 2-week itinerary for Spain and Portugal covers some of the best things to see in both countries.

So what can you expect in this two weeks Spain and Portugal itinerary? 14 days of cultural immersion, the two capitals; Madrid and Lisbon, fairy tale castles in Sinatra, the UNESCO heritage sites of Cordoba and the awe-inspiring Alhambra and a whole lot more.

This article offers the best Spain and Portugal itinerary in just two weeks, I’ve also included some great travel tips on how to make the most out of each destination in this guide.

This Portugal and Spain trip does involve a full schedule and although doable, if you have a longer time scale, or prefer a slower style of travel, then extend this itinerary to suit.

This two weeks in Spain and Portugal itinerary has been based on public transport to get around – trains, flights and the occasional bus (I have included information on how to do this in each section).

Alternatively, you could opt to do this route as a road trip – however, I suggest extending this Spain and Portugal in 2 weeks itinerary into a month-long trip due to the distances travelled. There is a FAQ section at the end of the article that answers lots of questions.

Image of Parc Guel by Gaudi showing a green tiled wall overlooking an open area filled with people. On etither side of the open area are two of Gaudi's houses. The sky is blue and in the background is a city scape of Barcelona - Barcelona is a must visit on any itienrary for Spain and Portugal

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Spain and Portugal Itinerary: 14 days at a glance

If you’re planning your itinerary for Spain and Portugal , here’s a quick overview of what’s included. This 14 days Spain and Portugal trip starts in Barcelona, Spain and finishes in Porto, Portugal. However, there’s no reason why you can’t do it in reverse.

You can download this free quick reference guide, checklist and map of this Spain and Portugal 2 weeks itinerary straight to your inbox by clicking here .

Where to stay in Barcelona

Where to stay in madrid, where to stay in granada, where to stay in cordoba, where to stay in seville, where to stay in lisbon, top things to do in sintra, where to stay in porto, save it for later.

I’m not gonna lie, this 2 weeks Spain and Portugal article is looonng. So, I suggest you go grab a coffee, beer or glass of wine or whatever else before you get into the nitty-gritty of this bucket list itinerary for Spain and Portugal. Ready? Let’s go!

Spain and Portugal Itinerary, 14 days: A Bucket List Itinerary for Spain and Portugal 2

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The Complete Itinerary for Spain and Portugal

This Portugal and Spain itinerary covers some of the best cities, sites and monuments in a fast-paced 2-week plan. This map will give you some bearings of what’s covered in this trip.

If you want to download and keep this map for future reference, along with a checklist of the cities and attractions covered in this 14 day itinerary Spain and Portugal guide, plus a ton of useful information, then click here and have it sent straight to your inbox.

Spain and Portugal Itinerary Map

This map shows all the cities you’ll be visiting on this itinerary. This best of Spain and Portugal article is written based on using public transport and includes all the information you’ll need for getting between the cities.

If you prefer to do this as a self-drive trip, I suggest taking longer than 14 days. Use this as the basis for your Spain and Portugal road trip map and plan additional stops along the way.

A map showing all the citys that feature in this article about an itinerary for Spain and Portugal in 14 days

best 2 week itinerary for Spain and Portugal

So, are you sitting comfortably, and have a drink in hand? Great, let’s delve into this two weeks in Portugal and Spain itinerary.

  • Day 1 & 2 – Barcelona, Spain
  • Day 3 & 4 – Madrid, Spain
  • Day 5 & 6 – Granada, Spain
  • Day 7 – Cordoba, Spain
  • Day 8 & 9 – Seville, Spain
  • Day 10 – 12 – Lisbon, Portugal
  • Day 11 – Day trip to Sintra from Lisbon
  • Day 13 & 14 – Porto, Portugal

If you have longer to do this Spain Portugal travel itinerary, then why not tag on a trip to Morocco aswell? From Seville, you can fly to Morocco in less than an hour, or if you’re driving, catch the ferry over from Algeciras on Spains south coast, and arrive in Tangier in the north of Morocco.

Day 1 & 2: Barcelona

Your 2 weeks in Spain and Portugal itinerary starts in the beautiful city of Barcelona. Home to some of the most beautiful architecture in Europe, including Antoni Gaudi’s imposing La Sagrada Familia.

Allow two days in the city of Barcelona, this will give you enough time to see the highlights and get a feel for one of Spain’s most cosmopolitan cities.

Spend the first day visiting some of the iconic Gaudi buildings, including Casa Milà, Casa Batlló and of course, Park Güell, all three of these get extremely busy, so start early in the day to avoid crowds and book tickets in advance to skip the queue.

  • Buy tickets for Park Guell
  • Buy tickets for Casa Mila
  • Buy tickets for Casa Batllo

Naturally, you’ll also want to see La Sagrada Familia. Book your skip-the-line ticket for La Sagrada Familia ticket first, and then, plan your two days around this.

Allow a good portion of time (3 hours or more) to explore the unfinished cathedral. One thing you’ll notice about all of Gaudi’s architecture is the attention to detail, each building is so ornately and intricately designed.

Image of La Sagrada Fimilia, the famous cathedral in Barcelona by Antoni Gaudi. Theimage shoes the cathedral against a blue sky with a park in the forground. This landmarks features in one of the top things to see during a Spain and Portugal 14 day itinerary.

Other places in Barcelona to explore include La Ramblas, which is a tree-lined 1.2km long pedestrian street in the heart of the city and The Gothic Quarter.

For delicious food, head to Mercado de La Boqueria. If you have time and energy, then the fountains at Montjuïc hill are also worth a visit. If you’re after a more relaxed affair, then you can head to one of the beaches.

Book Here: Skip-the-Line La Sagrada Familia Ticket

Top things to do in Barcelona

  • Peruse the beautiful Gaudi architecture; Casa Milà, Casa Batlló and Park Güell)
  • Marvel at the magnificent La Sagrada Familia
  • Wander along La Ramblas in the heart of the city
  • Try delicious local cuisine at Mercado de La Boqueria
  • Explore the Gothic Quarter
  • Enjoy the lively nightlife (head towards El Raval and El Born)

Tips on Visiting La Sagrada Familia

Building work on the unfinished basilica started in 1882, today you’ll still find it clad in scaffolding, but it’s still not complete. The UNESCO World Heritage site was designed by the Catalan architect Antoni Gaudí and consists of both architectural and engineering feats, many of which were pioneering at the time.

Every feature of the grand building is heavily decorated in a mixture of Gothic and Art Nouveau styles , with an abundance of hidden and subliminal messages concealed in the detailing.

As soon as you know the dates for your 14 days in Spain and Portugal itinerary, I suggest booking your tickets for the Sagrada Familia – they do sell out! If you can, book a tour that lets you visit the roof, like this Sagrada Familia Tour with Tower Access !

Gaudi died in 1926, at the time, only about a quarter of the construction was complete. Antoni Gaudi is buried in the crypt in the basilica. One interesting fact about the building, it’s entirely funded by private donations!

La Sagrada Familia is Barcelona’s most popular attraction, so it does get very busy. It’s best to arrive early, firstly, you’ll probably want to spend a lot of time scanning every surface for the tiniest of hidden details, and of course, being the city’s most popular attractions, you’ll also encounter hundreds of other tourists.

Check Availability: La Sagrada Familia Visit with Roof Access

Getting to Barcelona from Barcelona Airport

Your Spain and Portugal trip starts in the fabulous city of Barcelona, so you’ve arrived, but now what? To get from Barcelona Airport to the city centre, you could pre-arrange a taxi which will drop you straight at your hotel. This is the easiest option, although the most expensive.

Book Here: Airport Transfer from Barcelona

Spain offers a good train service; the national provider is RENFE. There is a regular service running to and from Barcelona Airport to the city centre. The frequent service runs approximately every 30 minutes, with the journey also taking a similar time. It stops at the main train station in Barcelona, Barcelona Sants (Sants Estació).

Another way to get from Barcelona Airport to the city centre is via the Aerobus which is a shuttle bus service running between the airport and downtown. Although several buses are servicing this route, the Aerobús A1 and Aerobús A2 are the quickest and most regular.

Luxury Accommodation – 5* Monument Hotel, Barcelona

  • Swimming Pool
  • Central Location
  • Sauna & Fitness Room

Check Availability on Booking

Check Availability on Agoda

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Comfort Accommodation – 4* Uma Suites Pau Claris, Barcelona

  • Wifi in all rooms
  • Breakfast available
  • Central location

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Budget Accommodation – Barcelona Pere Tarres Alberg

  • Shared kitchen
  • Dorm & Private Rooms

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Read Also:  33 Iconic Spanish Landmarks You Should See At Least Once In Your Lifetime

Day 3 & 4: Madrid

The next destination on this Spain and Portugal two week itinerary is the Spanish capital of Madrid. The vibrant city of Madrid boasts some of the finest museums in the country, as well as beautiful architecture and cool hipster districts.

To make the most of the city, you’ll be spending 2 days in Madrid . This will give you ample time to explore some of the most notable museums in Spain, including the iconic and world-renowned Museo Nacional del Prado and Museo Nacional Centro de Arte Reina Sofía.

The city is expansive, and one of the most efficient ways to orientate yourself is via a guided city tour . They will go past some of Madrid’s top landmarks including Puerta del Sol. This is the heart of the city, known as Point 0, you’ll find a plaque on the ground to show you the exact position, look up, and you’ll see the iconic Tio Pepe sign.

The fascade of the Palacio Real de Madrid in Spain, the clouds are purple and orange at sunset. The courtyard infront of the palace is open and there are no peple around. There are a few small green treees in the forground. This is a must visit if you're planning a Madrid 2 days itinerary or if yo're planning 2 weeks in Spain and Portugal

Other landmarks in Madrid worth visiting are Gran Via. To get here from Puerta del Sol, head along Calle de la Monterra, which will lead you out onto Gran Via, from here, if you head towards Callao Metro Station and look upwards, you’ll see another iconic landmark in Madrid, the Schweppes Building.

Another place worth spending some time at is Plaza Major which dates back to the late 1500s, this major public square in old Madrid was once home to Madrid’s main market. Today, if you’re after outstanding local cuisine check out San Fernando in Lavapiés or the hipster and upmarket one in San Miguel.

When you’re done exploring the city, then head to Parque El Retiro which is the biggest park in Madrid.

Book Here: Madrid Private Guided City Tour by Tuk Tuk

Plaza Major in Madrid, Spain. A big open plaza with a stature in the centre. The statue is of a hourse and a knight and is on a plinth, there is a small gate around it. In the background you can see buldings that surround the Plaza. They are red and pale orange. Some of the buildings have spires. There is a small archway that's on the bottom level of the buildings leading around the plaza. Be sure to visit Plaza major on your Madrid 2 day Itinerary or as part of your Portugal and Spain 14 days itinerary

One of the most opulent buildings in Madrid is the Palacio Real de Madrid (Royal Palace of Madrid) which is the official residence of the Spanish Royal family. It dates back to the 1700s, and if you’re into over-the-top grandeur, then it’s certainly worth a tour inside.

Opposite the Royal Palace, you’ll find the Almudena Cathedral (Santa Maria la Real de La Almudena). Construction on this building started in 1879, although it wasn’t finished until 1993! Check out the interior for the vibrant paintwork.

Madrid is an all-year-round destination with an abundance of things to do. If you’re looking to escape the cold, then some of the best things to do in Madrid in winter are the Reina Sofia Museum, Prado Museum and my personal favourite – Cahmberi/Anden0, the abandoned Metro station which is now open as a museum and looks just as it did back in the 1950s!

Book Skip the Line: Madrid Skip-the-Line Royal Palace Tickets

Top things to do in Madrid

  • Visit the nation’s top museums: Museo Nacional del Prado and Museo Nacional Centro de Arte Reina Sofía.
  • Stand at ‘Point 0’ the official centre of Spain in Puerta del Sol
  • Indulge in Gran Via, and the historical centre of Plaza Major
  • Try delicious local cuisine at Mercado de San Fernando and San Miguel.
  • Relax and wander in the expansive Parque El Retiro
  • Discover the lavish Palacio Real de Madrid

Tips On Visiting The Prado and Reina Sofía

If you’re wanting to explore some of the best artworks in Europe, then these two galleries are a MUST when you visit Madrid . Like with all the top attractions, they do attract crowds. The best way to avoid them and make the most out of your precious time in Madrid is to book your tickets in advance.

Skip the Line Ticket: Prado Museum, Madrid

Skip the Line Ticket: Reina Sofia Museum

Madrid Time-Saving Tip

Madrid is a huge city, and although it’s well connected by an extensive Metro network, it can be confusing navigating your way around, especially if you don’t know exactly which line and station you need.

If you’re not keen on walking, but want to see as much of the city as possible, then the Madrid hop-on-hop-off bus is a great way to do it. If your time is limited, this is the most efficient way to see everything.

Getting to Madrid from Barcelona

You started your Spain Portugal 2 week itinerary in Barcelona, which is a whopping 500km away. The most efficient way of getting from Barcelona to Madrid is by plane or train…forget the bus, unless you’re not limited by time – it takes more than 7 hours!

If you opt to travel by train between Barcelona and Madrid it will take about 2 hours 40 minutes. There are several departure times per day, with trains departing from Barcelona Sants and arriving in Madrid Atocha.

Book your Madrid to Barcelona train ticket well in advance, and you can bag some bargain prices. Because this Spain and Portugal 14 day itinerary is pretty packed, then I’d personally opt to use the train, as it’s the most efficient way to travel between Barcelona and Madrid.

Alternatively, you could fly. The actual flight is only around 1 hour 15 minutes, but after you consider the time taken to get from both of the city centres out to the airports and then the pre-flight time you need to be at the airport for, you won’t save any time compared with going via train. You can check out train prices here if you do want to travel by plane.

Luxury Accommodation – 5* Gran Hotel Ingles, Madrid

  • 24-Hour Front Desk
  • Spa & Fitness Centre

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Comfort Accommodation – Hostal Central Palace, Madrid

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Budget Accommodation – Ok Hostel, Madrid

  • On-Site Bar

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Related Article:  A Locals Guide: Two Days in Madrid

Day 5 & 6: Granada

Your Spain Portugal 2 weeks itinerary continues in the enchanting city of Granada. Granada is home to one of the most stunning landmarks in Spain , the UNESCO Heritage Site and the Moorish complex of the Alhambra. Allow two days in this city to fully explore everything at a comfortable pace.

The city is a buzzing hub of students (there is a major university here) as well as international tourists. The city itself is worth exploring, in particular, if you’re looking for souvenirs, then head to the Alcaiceria Bazar.

If you’re after a bit of pampering after all the exploring, then you’ll love the spa treatments at the Arab Baths. Another great place to discover is the autonomous district of Albaicín and meander through the ancient, narrow cobbled streets and up to some of the Miradors.

Book Here: Priority Access to The Alhambra & Nasrid Palace

Image of the Alhambra in Granada. This is a light stone bilding made up of castle walls, towers and large block shaped buildings. It sits on top of a hill surrounded by green trees. In the background you can see the Sierra Nevada mountain range. The sky is a a purply gray colour.  A visit is a must during your Spain and Portugal Itinerary 2 weeks

Top things to do in Granada

  • Explore the Alhambra complex (allow at least one full day)
  • Watch sunset or sunrise from one of the Miradors (Mirador San Nicolas, San Miguel, San Cristobal)
  • Wander the pretty cobbled streets of the autonomous district of Albaicín
  • Shop in the old Alcaiceria Bazaar
  • Visit the Granada Cathedral
  • Enjoy a traditional spa treatment at the Arab Baths: Hammam Al Ándalus

Tips on Visiting the Alhambra

When you’re planning your Spain and Portugal trip itinerary, as soon as you know the dates, book your entrance ticket for the Alhambra . There is a limit on how many people can enter, although you can buy your ticket at the ticket office, at peak times, entry slots sell out.

The ticket will give you entrance to a whole load of surrounding parts of the complex, where you can enter at a time of your choice, as long as you have a valid ticket. For the Nasrid Palace, you’ll be given a time-allocated slot.

To get to the Alhambra complex from Granada Centre, you essentially have two options: walk or shuttle bus. To walk, it’s a steep incline, from the town centre, head towards the pretty road of Carrera del Darro, follow the signpost, cross the river and head up through the steep cobbled steps and slope.

From the bottom, it will take about half an hour. Alternatively, there is a regular shuttle bus from the town centre which makes the looped journey up to the complex.

To really do the site justice, you will want to spend a full day at the Alhambra . It’s best to arrive early at the complex, firstly, there is a lot to explore, and secondly, this is one of the most popular attractions in Spain, so tourists will be here in their coach loads.

Inside the complex, amongst other things, be sure to visit Generalife, Nasrid Palaces (where you’ll find the stunning Patio de Los Leones), Palace of Charles V.

Book Now: Skip the Line Tickets for The Alhambra

A view inide one of the Nazrid palaces at the Alhambra in Granada. You can see pillars and arches in the forground and light coloured buildings in thebackground. The pillars and arches are covered in intricate Moorish style plaster work - make sure you visit Granada during your 14 day Spain and Portugal itiinerary

Getting to Granada from Madrid

The best way to get from Madrid to Granada, using public transport is by train. It takes about 3.5 hours for the direct train, with up to three services a day – one early in the morning, one in the early afternoon, and one in the early evening. Trains depart from Madrid Atocha and arrive at Granada Train Station.

Book your Madrd to Granada train tickets in advance to get the best prices.

If you’re on a budget for this Portugal and Spain 2 week itinerary, or simply travelling at a slower pace, then you could opt for the bus. However, the downside is that the bus journey takes more than 4.5 hours. It departs from Madrid Estacion Sur and arrives at Granada Bus Station. There are frequent services, throughout the day, some are direct, and others have a change.

Luxury Accommodation – 5* Haxaris Casa Boutique, Granada

  • Entire Apartment

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Comfort Accommodation – Apartmentos Campo del Principe, Granada

  • Contactless Check In

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Budget Accommodation – TOC Hostel, Granada

  • 24 Hour Check In

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Day 7 – Cordoba

Your 2 weeks in Spain and Portugal tour continues in the ancient city of Cordoba. The city is blessed with an abundance of historical sites including a UNESCO-listed historical centre, the beautiful Alcazar and the piste de resistance; the jaw-droppingly stunning Mosque-Cathedral of Cordoba.

The region of Andalucía is blessed with numerous historical towns which feature remnants from the Mudéjar period. If you loved the Moorish influence of the Alhambra, then you will certainly enjoy what Cordoba has to offer.

Although you could easily spend more than a day in Cordoba , if you plan carefully, you will be able to see the highlights of this city in just 24 hours.

Inside the Mosque Cathedral in Cordoba, Spain. A room filled with pillars - the pillars are grey marble. The roof is covered in arches that stretch between the pillars. The arches are made of red and cream cooured stone, each block of colour alternates. Be sure to visit the Mezquita if you have one day in Cordoba, or as part of your 14 day Spain and Portugal itinerary

To get the most out of your day here, start with Cordoba’s Mosque-Cathedral. Book skip-the-line tickets for the Cordoba Mosque-Cathedral in advance, it gets busy!

Wander in through the Patio de Los Naranjos, which is one of the oldest parts of the building, and also the main entrance to the Mosque-Cathedral. Allow a couple of hours here to take in the beauty of everything.

The interior is filled with columned archways which feature the characteristic red and cream-coloured blocks. These features date back to when the building was a Mosque. In the centre, you’ll find architecture more in line with Christian design, in the centre of the Mosque-Cathedral is a high ceiling, extravagantly decorated and going up into a great spire.

Book Here: Skip the Line Tickets for Cordoba Mosque-Cathedral

One of the doors to the Mezquita, in Cordoba. A carved wooden door with arabic styling - some pars are painted and other parts are carved in plaster or wood. It's very intricaete and made up of geometric shapes, flowers, and patterns. Visit the Mosque-Cathedral of Cordoba day trip from Seville or as part of a 2 weeks Portugsl and Spain itiernary.

After you’ve visited the Mosque-Cathedral, take some time to explore the historical centre and the Jewish Quarter. You could whittle away hours exploring the quaint cobblestoned alleyways and courtyards.

Often the courtyards are adorned with colourful flowers in brightly painted pots. If you’re visiting Cordoba in May, then your visit will coincide with the Los Patios festival where every courtyard, alleyway, and square is heavily decorated in flowers. Walk over the Roman Bridge of Cordoba where you can take a fantastic panoramic photo of the city.

There are numerous things to do in Cordoba , and if you have longer to complete your Spain and Portugal travel itinerary, then allow at least two days here to do it justice.

Another not-to-miss landmark is the Alcazar de Los Reyes Cristianos . Historically, this building has served both as a fortress and a palace. A few highlights to look out for here are the Hall of the Mosaics, the Arab baths and the Mudejar courtyards.

Book Now: Guided Tour of Alcazar de Los Reyes Cristianos

Top things to do in Cordoba

  • Visit the UNESCO Heritage-listed Cordoba’s Mosque-Cathedral and Patio de Los Naranjos
  • Lose yourself in the Historical Centre and Jewish Quarter.
  • Explore the colourful flower-laden patios and alleyways (especially during the Los Patios festival in May)
  • Discover the Alcazar de los Reyes Cristianos
  • Walk over the Roman bridge of Córdoba for stunning city views

Tips on Visiting the Mosque-Cathedral of Cordoba

Before you set off on your 2 week Spain and Portugal itinerary, book your tickets for the Mosque-Cathedral (or the Mezquita Cathedral de Cordoba) in advance. Like Alhambra, this landmark pulls in thousands of tourists every year.

Arrive early to dodge the crowds. You can enter the building with or without a guide, and photos are allowed inside. However, because this is an active place of worship, check the opening times beforehand.

Inside the Mosque-Cathedral, signage is limited, so if you’re interested in hearing the history of this fascinating building, then book a private guided tour, there are guides at the entrance or if you’re on a budget, then use the audio-guided tour of the Mosque-Cathedral instead.

You can of course just wander freely around the 856 columned arches. Two highlights once inside are the Capilla Mayor with its gigantic central dome and the intricate Marsura Dome.

Getting to Cordoba from Granada

You can travel from Granada to Cordoba by train or bus, the cities are very well connected, this is also one of the shorter legs on this 2 weeks Portugal and Spain trip.

By train, it takes about 1 hour 30 minutes, and by bus about 2hour 30minutes. If you book tickets in advance , there isn’t much price difference between the two.

The direct train departs several times a day from Granada station and arrives at Cordoba Central. There are fewer options for the bus, however, there are still quite a few departures per day. The bus route departs from Granada Bus Station and arrives at Cordoba Bus Station.

Luxury Accommodation – 5* Eurostars Palace Hotel, Cordoba

  • Breakfast Available
  • Swimming Pool & Spa

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Comfort Accommodation – El Manantial B&B, Cordoba

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Budget Accommodation – Patio de la Plateria, Cordoba

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Day 8 & 9 – Seville

From Cordoba, your 14 day Spain and Portugal itinerary continues towards the capital of Andalucía, the majestic city of Seville. This city is bursting to the seams with beautiful architecture, and stunning landmarks, including an abundance of UNESCO Heritage sites and of course the home of flamenco.

Although I have marked two days here, if you have the option to plan a longer Portugal Spain itinerary, then I’d definitely recommend spending at least three days in Seville to absorb everything.

Start by exploring the historical centre, which includes the area called Barrio Santa Cruz; the old Jewish District. Also, plan to visit the Cathedral de Seville and the Real Alcazar de Seville.

All three places have UNESCO status and are close to each other. This Seville Bucket List tells you all the best places to see in the city. I recommend booking tickets in advance for both the Cathedral and the Alcazar and using any time between to explore the Barrio.

Seville has deep roots in its folklore, which heavily influences its music and dance. If you want to experience Spain authentically, then it would be sacrilege to not take the opportunity to watch a Flamenco show in its birthplace in the evening.

Book Here: Seville Alcazar Skip the Line Ticket

The laza de Espana in Seville. It's a large crecent shaped plaza with a small moat running parallel to it. Around hte edge is a large building. The building in decorative and covered with arches , woers and alcoves. There are bridges crossing the moat. The bridges and building are covered with colourful tiles. Visit as part of your two weeks in Spain and Portugal

On your second day, explore some of the city’s other outstanding attractions, starting at the gargantuan Plaza de España. If you type in Seville landmarks into a Google search, I 100% guarantee this will come up – it’s synonymous with the city. It was built in 1929 as part of an Expo, it’s free to enter and features a mix of styles.

The semi-circular building plays host to decorative tile work, depicting all the districts in Spain. If you love the tile work in Seville, then add in a trip to Triana, across the river, to see the factory whey they were traditionally made.

Next to Plaza de España, you’ll find Parque de Maria Luisa, which is a great place to head to for shade. If you have time then explore some of the photogenic old houses dotted around the city; La Casa de Pilatos is a good option.

In the evening, go up the Metropol Parasol which is affectionately known as Las Setas, or the Mushrooms in English. Here you’ll find fabulous sunset views over the city. This enormous organically shaped wooden structure is a very much love-it-or-hate-it landmark in Seville, it features a snakelike walkway at the top with various viewing platforms over the city.

👉 If this tour is too rushed, then you might prefer this 7 day road trip in Andalucia , and sticking to just one region instead.

Or if you’re craving the sea and sand, then check out some of these beaches close to Seville for a day of relaxation.

Related Article: The Perfect Three Day Seville Itinerary

Top things to do in Seville

  • Spend time exploring the UNESCO Heritage landmarks: Cathedral de Seville and Real Alcazar de Seville.
  • Get lost in the pretty narrow streets of Barrio Santa Cruz
  • Marvel at the expansive Plaza de España
  • Relax in Parque de Maria Luisa
  •  Soak up the local culture and watch a Flamenco show
  • Swoon at the beautiful houses of La Casa de Pilatos
  • Take panoramic sunset shots at The Metropol Parasol

Tips for Visiting the Cathedral and Real Alcazar

Like with most of the major attractions I’ve mentioned so far, I’d recommend booking tickets in advance for Seville Cathedral and Alcazar. Preferably, before you start your southern Spain and Portugal itinerary. The Alcazar has a limit of around 750 visitors a day, so at peak season, these do sell out.

There are various skip-the-line tickets for the Real Alcazar . Booking in advance is advisable as the queues can get very long, especially during peak season. I advise doing the Alcazar first, and as early in the day as possible.

Inside the Alcazar, some of the must-see places are the Salón de Embajadores (Ambassador’s Hall), and the Patio de las Donacellas (The Courtyard of the Maidens).

The top things to see at Seville Cathedral are the tomb of Christopher Colombus, as well as to climb the mighty tower of the Giralda. This part of the building dates back to the reign of the Moors.

Hint: If you love ornate cathedrals, like the one in Seville, and you’re visiting Spain for an extended amount of time, then check out the equally stunning cathedral facade of San Sebastian in the Basque country.

Book Priority Pass Tickets: Seville Cathedral & Giralda and Seville Alcazar

Real Alcazar in Seville, the Royal Palace. Theimage shows a central courtyard with a rectangular pond in the middle. The floos is red tilled, It's surrounded by Moorish archtecture made up of decorative arched buildings with coloumns and intricate pattern.

Getting to Seville from Cordoba

Seville is well connected to Cordoba, so there are plenty of options for train and bus travel, both options are quick. By train, it is under an hour, and by bus just under two hours. If you book train tickets in advance , the tickets are also very cheap.

There are direct trains and buses several times a day. The train departs from Cordoba Central and arrives at Santa Justa Train Station in Seville, Santa Justa is a little way out from the historical centre, so get a taxi from here.

The bus leaves from Cordoba bus station and arrives at Plaza de Armas Bus Station in Seville, the bus station in Seville is within walking distance of most of the attractions.

Luxury Accommodation – 5* Hotel Alfonso XIII, Luxury Collection Hotel, Seville

  • Rooftop Pool

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Comfort Accommodation – Monsalves 39, Seville

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Budget Accommodation – For You Hostel Sevilla

  • Bicycle Hire

Spain and Portugal Itinerary, 14 days: A Bucket List Itinerary for Spain and Portugal 17

👉 Insider Tip: Did you know that you can see Morocco from Spain’s southern coast ? They are a mere 14km apart.

If you’ve enjoyed the Moorish architecture of Granada, Cordoba and Seville, then you could tag on a day trip to Morocco. To do it independently, take the ferry from Tarifa on the south coast for the 90-minute crossing.

Alternatively, check out this organised day tour to Morocco from Seville .

Related Article: The Ultimate Seville Bucket List: 35+ Things to See In Seville

Day 10, 11 & 12 – Lisbon

Your itinerary for Portugal and Spain continues today, in Lisbon. You’ve finally made it to the Portugal leg of the journey, where you start in the nation’s capital. Wondering why visit Lisbon? Lisbon is a cosmopolitan city with an abundance of history, adorable barrios and delicious food.

In this Spain Portugal two week itinerary, I’ve allowed three days in Lisbon, although at a push, you could see the best parts of Lisbon in 2 days , however, one of these days will be for a day trip out to nearby Sintra  – see Day 11 – the next section for more information on this.

Sintra is where you’ll find some of the most beautiful castles in the whole of Europe, and one of the top sights in Portugal. Days 10 and 12 will be spent in Lisbon city, two days will allow you to see all the highlights and not feel too rushed.

Start the first day in the Praça do Comercio (Commerce Square), this is one of Lisbon’s most recognisable landmarks with one side of the large square facing out to the Targus River. This square is also where most of Lisbon walking tours start.

On the side opposite the river is the equally iconic Arco de Rue Augusta, if you’re lucky and time it right, you can photo this landmark with one of Lisbon’s signature yellow trams trundling past.

From Commerce Square, head towards Lisbon Cathedral and up through the oldest part of the city; Alfama. You will want to spend a decent amount of time getting lost in these streets which ooze with history. Make your way up the hill, and eventually, you’ll come out to São Jorge Castle.

Book Here: Lisbon City Guided Tour

Rossio Square in Lisbon features a large open square. The pattern on the floor is made of black and white small square shaped stones. They are arranged in the smape of waves. In the centre of the square is a fountain. The fountain is blue and has multi tiers of water cascading down. Two weeks in Spain and Portugal

On the second day, start in the centre and head towards the Santa Justa Lift, this quirky attraction carries passengers to the upper part of town. Not far from the top of the lift is the ruins of the Carmo Convent. This convent was destroyed in one of Lisbon’s darkest days, the Great Lisbon Earthquake in 1755, which killed thousands of people and destroyed the majority of the city.

Wander through the narrow cobblestone streets here and down towards the colourful Rossio Square before picking up the local train to two of Portugal’s most beautiful landmarks , the UNESCO-listed sites of Mosteiro dos Jerónimos and the Belém Tower.

Hang about Belem Tower until sunset – it looks stunning in this light and is popular at this time of day with locals and tourists.

Two other must-do things during your time in Lisbon, which you can fit in at any point is to take a ride on the iconic E28 Yellow Tramline, and eat copious amounts of a Pastel de Natas!

Read Also: How To See The Best Of Lisbon In Two Days

Top things to do in Lisbon

  • Explore the iconic landmarks of Praça do Comercio and Arco de Rue Augusta
  • Lose yourself in the pretty narrow streets of Alfama.
  • Visit the São Jorge Castle.
  • Ride the Santa Justa Lift and the E28 Yellow Tram
  • Eat copious numbers of Pastel de Natas
  • See the ruins of the Carmo Convent
  • Swoon over the UNESCO Heritage sites of Mosteiro dos Jerónimos and the Belém Tower

Tips for Visiting Lisbon’s top landmarks

Compared to some of the more compact cities I’ve listed in this 2 weeks in Portugal and Spain trip, which are easily and quickly navigated by foot, lots of the attractions in Lisbon are fairly spread out.

Also, Lisbon is a very hilly city. If you’re not keen on walking to each of the landmarks, then opt for the Lisbon hop-on-hop-off bus which will pick up and drop off at all the locations I’ve mentioned.

 Image of Lisbon yellow tram infront of Lisbon Cathedral with a blue sky background Spain and Portugal Itinerary 2 weeks

Getting to Lisbon from Seville

The city of Seville is well connected to Lisbon, by bus and plane (there is no direct train route). The good news is that flights a very affordable and take just over an hour. The bus takes about 7 hours, but if you time this right, then you can catch an overnight bus from Seville and arrive in Lisbon the following morning – this will also help save on accommodation for one night.

If you choose to travel by bus, for this leg of the Portugal and Spain itinerary 14 days trip, then it departs from Seville at Plaza de Armas and arrives at Lisbon Oriente Bus Station. It’s a direct bus, so no need to get off and change, which makes it ideal if you’re on a budget as you can save money on a night’s accommodation. Bus tickets are very cheap if booked in advance .

If you’re preferred option to get from Seville to Lisbon is to fly, then there are several direct flights a day departing from Seville Airport and arriving at Lisbon Portela Airport. There are airport shuttles at both airports which make the journey to and from the city centres straightforward.

Again, as I’ve mentioned throughout this article, as soon as you know the dates you’ll be doing this 2 week itinerary Portugal and Spain trip, book flights in advance , you can land some really good prices.

Luxury Accommodation – 5* Corpo Santo Lisbon Historical Hotel

  • Historical Building
  • Exceptional Rooms

Spain and Portugal Itinerary, 14 days: A Bucket List Itinerary for Spain and Portugal 18

Comfort Accommodation – AlmaLusa Baixa Chiado, Lisbon

  • Boutique Design

Spain and Portugal Itinerary, 14 days: A Bucket List Itinerary for Spain and Portugal 19

Budget Accommodation – This Is Lisbon Hostel

Spain and Portugal Itinerary, 14 days: A Bucket List Itinerary for Spain and Portugal 20

Related Article: The Best Things To See in Lisbon in One Day

Day 11 – Sintra, Lisbon

Day 11 of your 14 days in Spain and Portugal will see you heading from the mind-blowingly beautiful town of Sintra. This is an incredibly popular and easy day trip from Lisbon, the journey can be made by train, it’s only 30km away.

Just a short distance from the capital, you’ll feel like you’re a million miles away, think rolling hills covered in thick and luscious green forests, in between these are fairy-tale castles and stunning mansions which look like they’ve been plucked straight from a Disney film set. This little region is simply magical.

To get there, pick up the train at Lisbon’s Rossio Station, the journey takes about 40 minutes. Sintra Train Station is located in the town centre, and although you can walk between each of the attractions, you will lose valuable time.

Make the most of the shuttle buses here, look out for numbers 434 and 435 which make a looped circuit and drop off outside each of the attractions. If you’re after an easier way to do it, then take a look at this full day tour from Lisbon to Sintra , it includes all your transportation.

Although you could easily spend a few days in the UNESCO-listed region of Sintra, if you want to explore everything here, you’ll be able to see the highlights in a day. Be sure to start early as it does get very busy.

Start your day trip to Sintra at Palacio da Pena. Head to the main castle complex first to try to beat most of the crowds. You will want to spend at least 3 hours here, both inside the castle and the exterior parts.

Book Here: Sintra Full Day Trip from Lisbon

Colurful buildings that make part of Pena Palace in Portugal. The buildings are a mix of red, yellow and light coloured stone. Visit Portugal's most beautiful fairytale castles on a fully packed Lisbon to Sintra day trip. Everything you need to know about spending one day in Sintra. All the best things to see in Sintra are included in this full-on Sintra Itinerary. Includes getting to Sintra, and visiting Pena Palace.

From Pena Palace, if you have time, visit the Castelo dos Mouros , to walk the walls of this restored Moorish Castle, on a clear day you can also see the sea from here. To do the castle wall walk, will take about an hour.

After the Moorish Castle, head back down to Sintra Old Town which, although small, has some very cute little alleyways. If you’re pushed for time, you could skip the Moorish Castle and Sintra Town and catch the bus straight to Quinta da Regaleira. It can get extremely busy at Quinta da Regaleira, so book a skip the line ticket .

Quinta da Regaleira features an exquisite house and gardens heavily feature Gothic style architecture. Gargoyles, balconies and grottoes fill the grounds. It was designed as an aristocrat’s playground, with the terrace gardens also featuring folly castles and towers, underground mazes and the iconic Initiation Well. Head to the Initiation Well first.

If you have any time left on your day trip to Sintra, then call in at the Moorish-influenced Palácio de Monserrate .

There is a lot to pack into one day, so when you’re finished catch the train back to Lisbon for one final night there before continuing the final part of your Spain and Portugal 2 week itinerary.

Read Next: A Day in Sintra: Portugal’s Fairy Tale Castles

  • Explore the dream-like Pena Palace and surrounding gardens.
  • Walk the walls of Castelo dos Mouros
  • Wander the pretty streets of Sintra Old Town
  • Lose yourself in the grottoes and underground mazes at Quinta da Regaleira
  • If you have time, visit Palácio de Monserrate.

Tips for visiting Sintra’s top landmarks

One word of warning, anticipate crowds everywhere here. Sintra is incredibly popular, and if you visit the area at peak time you’ll be in the company of thousands of other people. Arrive early! and book your entry tickets in advance .

Although Sintra is a very easy day trip to do independently, you might find it more efficient to book a full-day Sitra guided tour with transportation and fast track entry to everything, plus you won’t need to wait around for the train or bus.

Check Availability: Sintra Day Trip with Transportation & Fast Track Entry

Day 13 & 14 – Porto

For the final leg of travel to Spain and Portugal itinerary, you’ll be heading to the lively city of Porto. Porto is the second-largest city in Portugal, after Lisbon, and is a hub for great food and drink. Explore the historical centre by foot , stopping off every so often to try the local wine.

It’s located on the Douro River and close to the Douro Valley which has worldwide recognition for Port fortified wine. If you’re a wine connoisseur, then certainly visit some of the vineyards in this region. If you’re going to take a full-day tour to the vineyards , I suggest you arrange this for your first day in Porto.

Are you a Harry Potter fan? If so, check out Livraria Lello which is said to have inspired JK Rowling’s magical world, even if you’re not a fan of the series, the iconic library is still worth a visit to see the pretty spiral staircase and ancient books on the shelves. As a Harry Potter fan, it feels like stepping into a bookshop in Daigon Alley!

View of Porto, Lisbon and the colourful houses going up a hill with the river and boats in the forground Spain and Portugal Itinerary 2 weeks

Other stunning places to explore are the Clérigos Church , which is an ornately decorated Baroque church featuring a narrow tower you can climb. Go up it to get a panoramic view of the city from above.

From the church, head up towards Miradouro da Vitoria, for a different panoramic lookout point. If you love beautiful architecture, then it’s also worth taking a guided tour of the Palácio da Bolsa .

Finally, during your time in Porto, be sure to walk across the stunning Luis I Bridge. This is one of the top landmarks in Portugal , and the bridge has become a bit of an icon to the city, which connects the two sides. You have the option of walking across on the upper level or the lower level, both give great views of the city, especially at sunset.

Finish off the final night of your Spain Portugal trip itinerary with a locally-sourced dish and a glass of port from the many restaurants as you reflect on the abundance of fabulous things you have seen and experienced across Portugal and Spain in two weeks.

Top things to do in Porto

  • Take a tour along the Douro Valley to visit the vineyards and sample the world-class port and wine.
  • Explore the old town, stepping back in time at Livraria Lello and Clérigos Church
  • See the photogenic Azulejo tiles at Porto Sao Bento Train Station
  • Walk over Luis I Bridge at sunset.
  • Discover locally produced food along the Douro Riverside

Tips for visiting The Douro Valley

The best way to experience the Douro Valley is by booking one of the full day wine tours from Porto . There are typically two ways to do one of these small group tours, by mini-van or by riverboat.

Both will stop at various vineyards, give a tour and allow you to sample a variety of locally produced wines and ports. You can then buy bottles (or cases) direct from the sellers to enjoy back home.

Getting to Porto from Lisbon

Lisbon and Porto are incredibly well connected, so you have the option of taking the bus, train or plane. Trains and Buses take a similar time, around 3 hours 15 minutes, and if you book travel in advance , are available for bargain prices.

The Train departs from Lisbon Oriente and arrives at Porto Campanha Station. The Bus departs from Sete Rios Station in Lisbon, and arrives at Oporto Campo 24 Agosto. Both the Train and Bus offer a direct service.

If you opt to fly from Lisbon, it will take about an hour. Again, as soon as you know the dates of your two week Spain and Portugal itinerary, I suggest booking your flights. When booked in advance, tickets are very reasonable. Flights depart from Lisbon Portela Airport and arrive at Porto Airport. There are shuttle services between the city centres and the airports.

Luxury Accommodation – 5* Torel 1884 Suites & Apartments, Porto

  • Suite or Apartment

Spain and Portugal Itinerary, 14 days: A Bucket List Itinerary for Spain and Portugal 21

Comfort Accommodation – Porto Trindade Hotel

  • WiFi in all rooms
  • Spa Facilities

Spain and Portugal Itinerary, 14 days: A Bucket List Itinerary for Spain and Portugal 22

Budget Accommodation – Being Porto Hostel

Spain and Portugal Itinerary, 14 days: A Bucket List Itinerary for Spain and Portugal 23

Read Next: 34 Famous Landmarks In Portugal To Add To Your Bucket List

Spain Portugal Itinerary 14 days – FAQs

How many days do you need in spain and portugal.

You could spend at least 2 weeks in Spain and 2 weeks in Portugal as individual trips, and still not be able to see it all. So how many days in Portugal & Spain will depend on how many days you can travel for, as well as what things you specifically want to see.

This two week itinerary Spain and Portugal guide has been put together to enable you to see the highlights of both countries in the quickest way possible. Ideally, you could stretch out this Spain Portugal itinerary to cover a whole month if you prefer to travel slower.

When is the best time to visit Spain and Portugal?

In theory, you can visit Portugal and Spain all year round. The peak season for prices and crowds coincides with the longest and warmest days which are July and August. The week of Easter in March or April can also see a boom in prices and tourists.

During these peak months, expect tour-group dodging and queues for all of Spain and Portugal’s top attractions – plan and book hotels and entrance tickets well in advance at these times.

If you want to take advantage of the warm weather and fewer crowds, then if possible plan your visit to Portugal and Spain during the shoulder seasons: May to June and September to October.

Winters in Spain and Portugal can be cool and wet (especially in Madrid, Granada, Lisbon and Porto). Seville can be blessed with warm weather, even in the winter, although the nights are chilly.

Like with all of Europe, it can rain at any time of the year and even in summer you might get a monsoon-like downpour, sometimes evenings can get cool, especially near the coast. So be sure to pack a lightweight waterproof or umbrella, as well as have a lightweight jumper or jacket for the cooler evenings.

Are there any small group tours that offer a similar trip?

If you’re not into solo travel, or you prefer the convenience of everything done for you, then there are other ways you can see the highlights of Spain and Portugal. Small group tours are a great way to travel, especially, if you’re not confident to go alone, or you want to travel hassle-free.

Here are two great options for small group tours to Spain and Portugal:

  • 14 Day Best of Spain & Portugal  Small Group Tour
  • 21 Day Ultimate Spain & Portugal Small Group Tour

Can I do this itinerary as a Spain and Portugal road trip?

Unless you want to spend hours driving instead of sightseeing, I don’t recommend you do this exact itinerary as a road trip. You could follow the same route, but plan for extra days and stop off in lots of the smaller towns in between the main cities. For the best prices, check out AutoEurope Car Hire comparison site .

If you are interested in doing a road trip, Spain and Portugal are both great countries to do this in. Head over to Andalucía Explored , which is a site dedicated to road-tripping in the Iberia region for some great ideas.

Related Article: Complete Road Trip Essentials Checklist

If I do want to do this Spain/Portugal itinerary as a road trip, how do I hire a car?

If you’re not planning on using your own set of wheels for this 2 week Portugal and Spain itinerary, then you’ll have to hire them. Each city in this itinerary has plenty of options for car hire. To find the best deals, check out AutoEurope car hire .

They cater for both car and campervan hire and have a great choice of vehicles at competitive prices because their platform searches across a whole load of different car hire companies.

Just remember that to take a car across a country border e.g., from Spain to Portugal, which you will need if you’re following this Portugal and Spain travel itinerary, you will probably have to pay a premium.

It’s much easier and cheaper to drop the car off in the same country you hired it from, take public transport (a bus or train) over the border to the nearest city, and then take out a new rental car in the next country to avoid these charges.

What is driving like in Spain and Portugal?

Driving in both Spain and Portugal is very straightforward, and although the cities can be a bit of a nightmare, the highways are great. The roads in both countries are generally well maintained with good signposting and again, outside of the cities, traffic is minimal.

Before you get behind the wheel, it’s worth reading up on the highway code if you’re not familiar with driving in Europe.

How easy is it to get around Spain and Portugal using public transportation?

In this Spain and Portugal itinerary, 2 weeks guide, the route has been planned with public transport in mind. Spain and Portugal have superb public transportation systems.

To get the best prices, I highly recommend booking in advance, especially if you’re on a budget. I have used a combination of plane, train and bus – giving at least two transport options on how to get to each city.

One app that I’m obsessed with for booking cheap transport is Omio , you put in your starting point and destination along with the date, and then it will search for the best prices on all three methods of transport in one go. It’s available as a desktop app as well as mobile, and the great bit is, you get sent a digital ticket, so no need to hunt down a print shop when you’re on the go.

What should I pack to visit Spain and Portugal?

Depending on when you’re planning on doing this Spain & Portugal itinerary 14 days, you might get away with light summer wear, or need to bring winter wear. Spain and Portugal both have 4 seasons.

Although this will depend on the season you visit, some essential things all year round are a rain-proof jacket, jumper, comfortable and waterproof shoes as well as a small day pack for sightseeing. Take a look at this winter in Europe Packing List

Typically, in Europe, it’s always a good idea to take clothes that can be layered, especially if you’re travelling in the shoulder season.

Approximately, how much will this trip cost?

Try typing Spain Portugal itinerary 2 weeks budget into a search engine, and you’ll get a ton of answers. This will vary greatly depending on your travel style. I’ve included the price for budget travel and splurge travel based on the price per person for this 2 week Spain Portugal itinerary I’ve also added approximate prices for doing a tour or visiting at least one paid-for attraction every day.

Naturally, this will change if you are sharing accommodation costs or if you opt out of visiting some things. Prices have been listed in Euros and United States Dollars.

If you’re travelling on a budget: 1230 Euro (Approx. $1350) • 15 Euro per night dorm accommodation x 14 nights = 210 Euro • 30 Euro (average) transportation x 6 cities = 180 Euro • 30 Euro food & drink x 14 days = 420 Euro • 20 Euros on attractions & entrance (with group tours) x 14 days = 420 Euro

If you’re travelling on a splurge: 2980 Euro (Approx. $3300) • 100 Euro per night boutique hotel x 14 nights = 1400 Euro • 30 Euro (average) transportation x 6 cities = 180 Euro • 50 Euro food & drink x 14 days = 700 Euro • 50 Euros on attractions & entrance (with private tours) x 14 days = 700 Euro

The Perfect Spain Portugal Itinerary: 2 weeks

Like I said at the start, this is a fast-paced trip, to see as many highlights of both of these countries in the most efficient way making it the best itinerary for Spain and Portugal if you’re limited by time.

So do you think this is the best Spain Portugal itinerary, what would you have added, or what would you skip?

If you’re wanting to add more to your trip to Portugal or Spain, you can check out these other great articles:

  • Read more Spain Travel articles here
  • Read more Portugal Travel articles here
  • 34 Portugal Landmarks to add to your Bucket List
  • 36 Spainsh Landmarks to add to your Bucket List

If you enjoyed this 14 day itinerary: Spain and Portugal or know someone that will then like and share or pin it for future reference.

If there’s a question I didn’t answer, then drop me a message via the contact page.

Spain and Portugal Itinerary, 14 days: A Bucket List Itinerary for Spain and Portugal 25

Hey, I'm Becki......and I'm a self-confessed travel addict and experience connoisseur!

In other words, I’m a bucket-list traveller, on a mission to experience the best things our fabulous little planet has to offer with the least environmental impact.

When I'm not climbing mountains, scuba diving, spotting wildlife or exploring ruins, you'll probably find me sipping coffee, or with a glass of wine in hand planning my next adventure.

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Spain and Portugal Itinerary: 10 Days You Won’t Forget

Spain and Portugal, with their vibrant cultures, rich histories, and mouthwatering cuisines, are two countries that should be on every traveler’s bucket list.

Truth be told, 10 days is hardly enough to fully explore these two beautiful countries, but it’s enough to get a great first impression! I’ve crafted a Spain and Portugal itinerary that contains some of the best experiences the two countries have to offer.

These amazing 10 days will leave you wanting more. At least, I for one fell in love with Spain and Portugal. And I keep coming back to explore new corners.

Table of Contents

Spain and Portugal Itinerary 10 Days

You could easily do a separate 10-day itinerary for Spain and a 10-day itinerary for Portugal, but I get it, sometimes the holidays are just too short and you need to make the most out of it. So, I’ve combined some of the must-see places in both countries into one epic itinerary.

Throughout this itinerary, you’ll have the chance to experience the beautiful cities and charming towns, try some delicious local cuisine, learn about the fascinating history and culture, and relax on stunning beaches.

To keep things super chill and avoid packing your bags every other day, I’ve divided the itinerary into four main sections so you can settle in and feel more at home in each place.

Feel free to adjust this Spain-Portugal itinerary in any way to fit your travel style better.

1. Stop: Barcelona

The first stop of our Spain trip is Barcelona, the vibrant capital of Catalonia. This city is known for its stunning architecture, lively street life, and amazing food.

Now, you might be wondering about Spain’s capital city, Madrid, but trust me, when time is of the essence and you compare Madrid to other Spanish cities , it’s best to skip Madrid, even if it means you’ll miss the Royal Palace.

🤩 Explore Barcelona’s highlights with a guided walking tour.

Sagrada Familia from the outside

Day 1: Barcelona City Tour

Start your first day of this Portugal and Spain itinerary by exploring the stunning city of Barcelona. Visit the iconic Sagrada Familia cathedral, and marvel at Antoni Gaudi’s architectural masterpieces such as Park Güell and Casa Batlló.

🤩 Get skip-the-line tickets to Antoni Gaudi’s masterpieces, Sagrada Familia and Park Güell

Stroll through the charming alleys in the Gothic Quarter, treat yourself to some delicious vegan tapas in Barcelona , and walk through the Arc de Triomf on your way to Ciutadella Park.

Parc de la Ciutadella in Barcelona

In the evening, watch the sunset from one of the best viewpoints in Barcelona or watch a light show at the Magic Fountain of Montjuïc. Both of those are amazing things to do in Barcelona for free .

Those are the absolute top things to do in Barcelona, but you could easily spend 3 days in Barcelona or even more to explore all the city has to offer.

Day 2: Barcelona or Day Trip

Montserrat Monastery is considered to be one of the best day trips from Barcelona by train

On your second day, take a break from the city and embark on a day trip from Barcelona .

Some popular day trip options are the picturesque coastal town of Sitges , the medieval city of Girona , or the breathtaking mountain monastery of Montserrat . My favorite day trip from Barcelona was to Girona, I was so pleasantly surprised by this charming town.

🤩 Visit Girona and the stunning Costa Brava with this amazing day tour!

After an exciting day out, head back to Barcelona and spend your evening in one of the trendy rooftop bars or clubs.

If you prefer to stay in Barcelona, spend the day at Barceloneta Beach or visit some of the city’s interesting museums and galleries. My favorite museum in Barcelona is the Museu Nacional d’Art de Catalunya , it showcases the best local artists.

2. Stop: Andalusia

Next up, we’ll head straight to the heart of Southern Spain – the enchanting region of Andalusia. Trust me, it’s magical! You can easily get there from Barcelona by train or a quick flight.

If I could, I’d spend a full 10 days in Andalusia because it’s just that stunning, but time is limited, right?

So, I’ve crafted a thrilling 3-day itinerary with the unmissable highlights of Andalusia. We’ll set our base in Seville and explore the surrounding cities on day trips from Seville .

Tina leaning on a colourful railing in front of historic looking buildings at Plaza de España in Seville

Day 3: Seville City Tour

Start your day in Seville by visiting the Alcázar , a stunning palace with intricate Moorish architecture and beautiful gardens.

Right next to the Alcázar is Seville Cathedral, the fourth largest church in the world. The palace and the cathedral are both a UNESCO World Heritage site.

🤩 Get skip-the-line entrance tickets for the main attractions in Seville!

A big cathedral from the outside in Seville

In the afternoon, explore Plaza de España, the most picturesque square in Seville. It’s located inside the María Luisa Park.

In the evening, go up to Las Setas, a modern wooden structure with a rooftop viewing platform that offers the best views of the city.

In the evening you can see a traditional flamenco show in Seville if you’re up for it.

It’s possible to see the best attractions in Seville in one day but if time allows it, I do recommend spending more time in Seville .

🤩 Skip walking in Seville’s hot weather! See the beautiful city from a Tuk Tuk!

Day 4: Day Trip to Granada

Building and palm tree reflecting in water; 10 Visiting Alhambra tips

Usually, I would recommend staying 3 days in Granada. But since time is short a full day trip from Seville to Granada has to suffice.

The main highlight in Granada is, of course, the Alhambra, a stunning Moorish palace and fortress complex. A quick Alhambra tip : Make sure to book your tickets in advance as they sell out quickly.

Is Granada worth visiting? 10 reasons why it is

After visiting the Alhambra, explore the charming Albayzín neighborhood with its white-washed houses and narrow streets. End your day by watching the sunset from the Mirador de San Nicolás, a viewpoint with breathtaking views of the Alhambra and the city.

The best way to see Granada in a day from Seville is by taking a guided tour that includes transportation. Make sure to get a tour that includes the city of Granada as well as the Alhambra Palace.

🤩 Love this Seville to Granada tour! It includes Alhambra ticket & time to explore Granada city!

Day 5: Day Trip to Córdoba

Columns and arches inside the cathedral in Cordoba

On your last day in Andalusia, take a day trip to the city of Córdoba . The main highlight here is the Mezquita-Catedral, a stunning mosque-cathedral with an interesting mix of Moorish and Christian architecture.

Stroll through the charming Jewish Quarter and visit the stunning Alcázar de los Reyes Cristianos , a medieval palace with beautiful gardens.

In the evening, head back to Seville to pack your bags for the next stop on our Spain-Portugal itinerary.

🤩 I highly recommend this walking tour with included entrance tickets!

3. Stop: Algarve

On day 6, we’ll cross the border and start our Portugal trip in the stunning Algarve region. The quickest way to get there is by taking a bus or flight from Seville to Faro, the capital of Algarve.

The Algarve is known for its breathtaking coastline with sandy beaches, hidden coves, and dramatic cliffs.

Day 6: Faro

An impressive city gate leading to Faro old town

Start your day in Faro, a charming city with a beautiful old town and lively marina.

Stroll through the charming old town of Faro , and take a boat tour to the Ria Formosa Natural Park, a stunning lagoon with beautiful flora and fauna.

In the afternoon, soak up some sun at Praia de Faro beach. If you’re up for it, you can also try some water activities like kayaking or stand-up paddleboarding.

Alternatively you can also catch a train to Olhão or Tavira to explore the lesser known side of the Algarve.

🤩 Visit two remote islands and relax on the beautiful beaches in the Ria Formosa!

Day 7-8: Lagos

Limestone coastline in Lagos, which you can visit on one of the tours from Lisbon to Algarve

Next, head to the picturesque town of Lagos , for some more beach time. Lagos is known for its stunning cliffs, hidden grottos, and golden beaches.

Spend your two days in Lagos relaxing at the beach, taking a boat tour to explore the famous Ponta da Piedade rock formations, or hiking along the coastal cliffs.

🤩 I absolutely loved my boat cruise to see the stunning cliffs near Lagos!

Don’t miss the chance to take a boat tour to the awe-inspiring Benagil Caves, the most popular destination in the Algarve.

A picture of a dolphin in the ocean

On the way to the Benagil Caves, you’ll probably also have the chance to see some dolphins in the Atlantic Ocean. One of the incredible things to do in the Algarve.

🤩 See dolphines on your way to the famous Benagil Caves!

4. Stop: Lisbon

Our final stop in Portugal is the capital city, Lisbon. From Lagos, you can either take a bus or train to Lisbon, or rent a car and drive along the stunning Portuguese coast. We’ll spend two days in Portugal’s capital .

🤩 Tuk Tuk Tours are really popular in Lisbon since the roads can get very narrow and steep!

Day 9: Sightseeing in Lisbon

A gothic monastery in Lisbon from the outside

Start your day in Lisbon by visiting Belém, an area famous for its iconic landmarks such as the Belem Tower and Jerónimos Monastery.

Don’t forget to try the famous pastel de nata, a delicious custard tart. You can find vegan versions of it at some of the vegan restaurants in Lisbon .

A small street with yellow buildings on both sides in Lisbon

In the afternoon, head to the Alfama district, the oldest neighborhood in Lisbon with narrow streets and stunning views of the city. Take a ride on the historic Tram 28, and explore the castle of Lisbon.

🤩 Explore Lisbon on this highly-rated walking tour!

Day 10: Lisbon or Day Trip

On your last day in Lisbon, you can choose to spend the day exploring more of the city or take a day trip from Lisbon .

The outside of a gothic building, very detailed facade

The most popular day trip from Lisbon is Sintra , a magical town known for its fairytale-like castles and palaces, such as Pena Palace and Quinta da Regaleira. As magical as Sintra is, I wouldn’t recommend it during high season as it just gets too crowded.

An alternative day trip could be to Cascais , a charming beach town known for its beautiful beaches and historic center.

🤩 Visit both, Sintra and Cascais, with this customizable private tour!

View of the old town of Porto and a steel bridge spanning a river, the best view of any 3 day Porto itinerary

Or you can even take a day trip from Lisbon to Porto , the home of the traditional port wine. Although it would be best to have more time in Porto.

The options are endless, and it just depends on your preferences and interests.

10-Day Itinerary Spain and Portugal: How to Get Around

The best way to get around Spain and Portugal is by taking a combination of trains, buses, and day tours. So, it’s easy to do this itinerary by public transportation.

There are also affordable flights available between the main cities in both countries. However, keep in mind that taking flights will limit your ability to see the beautiful landscapes along the way. And taking a high speed train is more eco-friendly than a short flight.

You can also opt for a rental car, but it’s really not necessary. A road trip by car great option if you want to customize the itinerary more and you like to take stops between the main places on this itinerary.

Now, let’s have a look at how to get from one place to the next:

A visual guide for a 10-day Spain and Portugal itinerary, showing travel durations for key routes like Barcelona-Seville and Lagos-Lisbon by various modes of transport, as seen on

Best Time to visit Spain and Portugal

The best time to visit the Iberian peninsula is during the shoulder seasons of spring (April-May) and fall (September-October). The weather is pleasant, and there are fewer crowds compared to the peak season.

However, if you don’t mind the hot weather and larger crowds, then the summer months (June-August) can also be a great time to visit. Especially if you want to spend as much time as possible swimming in the ocean and relaxing on the beaches.

Final Thoughts: Itinerary for Spain and Portugal

With this 10-day Spain-Portugal itinerary, you can get a taste of the best things those two beautiful countries have to offer.

In Spain, you can marvel at the unique architecture by Gaudi in Barcelona, soak in the vibrant atmosphere of Seville, admire the Alhambra’s intricate beauty, and soak up Córdoba’s Moorish history.

In Portugal, you can relax on stunning beaches in the Algarve, explore beautiful, small towns like Sintra and Cascais, and discover the vibrant city of Lisbon.

While this itinerary covers some of the top highlights, there is so much more to see and do in both countries. Don’t be afraid to venture off the beaten path and discover hidden gems along the way.

Pin it for later:

A smiling woman at Park Güell in Barcelona overlooking the cityscape, and the iconic Benagil Sea Cave in Algarve, Portugal, with the overlay text '10 Amazing Days in Spain & Portugal'. Perfect visual for a Spain and Portugal 10-day itinerary blog post.

Tina Riegelnegg is the founder of Veganderlust. She started this blog in 2022 to share her experiences in order to help other travellers have the best experience and find the best vegan food while travelling. So far Tina has been to 31 countries on 5 continents.

view of park guell barcelona from above, a fun stop on a 10 days in spain itinerary

The Ultimate 10 Days in Spain Itinerary (+ Travel Tips)

If you’re planning your first trip to Spain and are hoping to sample a variety of what makes this sun-drenched country special, we designed this 10 day Spain itinerary for you!

Spain has had a special place in our hearts ever since we landed in Madrid for the first time when kicking off our supposed “6-month” round-the-world trip (that was almost 7 years ago, and that trip arguably never ended).

In the years since, we have been lucky enough to visit Spain so many times that we’ve lost count, exploring countless cathedrals, castles, alcabazas , beaches, and cities along the way.

We’ve explored the country via train, car, bus, and ferry, sampling iconic attractions and little-known villages alike, traveling both alone and with various groups of family and friends.

This itinerary for Spain in 10 days has been curated for first-time travelers based on our lived experiences in Spain, and we hope that you walk away loving this beautiful country as much as we do!

Here’s how to fall in love with Spain in 10 days.

Table of Contents

How We Structured This 10 Day Spain Itinerary

Getting around during your 10 days in spain, the ultimate 10 days in spain itinerary, the best time of year to enjoy this itinerary for spain, more than 10 days in spain, what to pack for your trip to spain, your 10 day spain itinerary map.

kate storm jeremy storm and ranger storm in plaza de espana seville spain

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We structured this 10 day Spain itinerary to cover many of the country’s most popular destinations in a “U” shape, beginning in Madrid and ending in Barcelona.

In addition to the ever-popular Madrid and Barcelona, this itinerary also loops through Toledo, Seville, Granada, and Cordoba in a quest to sample a variety of what makes traveling in Spain special.

With the help of the high-speed train between Madrid and Barcelona , you can easily enjoy this trip by either flying round-trip to and from Madrid, or booking an open-jaw ticket where you fly into Madrid and leave from Barcelona.

And, while we opted to start this itinerary for Spain in the capital, you can easily reverse it and start in Barcelona instead, if the flights work out better that way!

ranger storm overlooking toledo spain on his first vacation in europe

Since this 10 days in Spain itinerary is focused on cities, there’s no need to rent a car or drive on this route!

The simplest (and most fun) way to travel between each destination on this itinerary is via train.

For most places, you’ll have the choice of a high-speed train (more expensive but much faster), or a slower regional train.

We recommend comparing train schedules and prices via Omio , the service we use to book many trains around Europe.

Spain’s high-speed AVE trains, like many high-speed trains around Europe, use dynamic pricing–in other words, you should lock down your fares as soon as you can commit to dates!

Once you’re in a given destination, each city is walkable (with the help of public transportation and/or cab rides in certain places).

Shop train tickets for your trip to Spain today!

laptop open to our escape clause on renfe train in spain itinerary

Day 1: Arrive in Madrid and start sightseeing.

There’s nowhere better to kick off your 10 days in Spain that in the vibrant capital city of Madrid!

Often underestimated compared to popular Barcelona, Madrid is beautiful, endlessly interesting, and pulsates with life from every corner.

It’s one of our favorite cities in Europe to fantasize about living in, and who knows–one day we might just make it happen.

On your first day in the city, tour the (gigantic, opulent) Royal Palace , check out the cathedral, meander through Plaza Mayor, and stop by the Templo de Debod.

And, of course, your first day in Spain can’t be complete without tapas!

Head to Mercado San Miguel for endless options, or opt for this popular tapas tour to learn the ins and outs of this tradition (knowledge that will be very useful for the rest of your time in Spain).

Book your Madrid tapas tour today!

Kate Storm and Jeremy Storm in gardens of Madrid Royal Palace, an excellent stop on any 3 day Madrid itinerary

Where to Stay in Madrid

Hostal Adis  — Located just off Puerta del Sol and boasting excellent reviews, you couldn’t ask for a better location in Madrid–and at a budget price, too!

Hostal Adis is an excellent property for budget travelers looking for an excellent location and plenty of privacy–rather than being a traditional hostel, Hostal Adis is more like a budget hotel.

Check rates & book your stay at Hostal Adis today!

Hotel Regina  — Featuring plush beds, spacious rooms, excellent customer service, and a perfect location near Puerta del Sol, mid-range travelers can’t go wrong with a stay at the popular Hotel Regina.

If you’re feeling like a bit of a splurge, upgrade to a room with a panoramic view for an experience you won’t forget anytime soon!

Check rates & book your stay at Hotel Regina today!

Metropolis Building in Madrid Spain--when trying to see Madrid in 3 days, its most popular building is a definite stop worth making.

Catalonia Las Cortes  — Simultaneously sleek and cozy, modern and traditional, Catalonia Las Cortes is housed in an 18-century building in the heart of Madrid and has blended together all the best of classic atmosphere and modern convenience.

We’ve stayed at a few Catalonia hotels over the years and have always been impressed.

An excellent location near Puerta del Sol, rave reviews and beautiful rooms make Catalonia Las Cortes the perfect luxury hotel choice for those looking for a blend of traditional and modern during their 3 days in Madrid!

Check rates & book your stay at Catalonia Las Cortes today!

Kate Storm in a gray coat walking down the street in Madrid with a red brick building to her left

Day 2: Enjoy a second day in Madrid.

The second day of this itinerary for Spain opens with one of the most memorable art museums in the country: Spain’s National Art Museum, the Prado.

Packed with masterpieces (primarily Spanish, but also from across Europe), the Prado is one of those museums that we never get tired of.

Skip-the-line tickets are a great idea here, but for the most context (and efficient sightseeing), consider taking a tour in order to make sure you see the best of Velázquez, Goya, El Greco, and beyond!

Book tickets to visit the Prado today!

Once you’re ready to move on, head to the delightful Retiro Park.

With gardens to explore, rowboats to rent, statues to admire, lawns to lounge on, and even the Palacio de Cristal to enjoy, Retiro Park is a wonderful place to relax.

kate storm, sophie nadeau, and christina juan at cristal palace in retiro park madrid in the fall

Eventually, make your way to the exit by the Puerta de Alcalá and head up Gran Vía to check out some of Madrid’s most famous architecture!

This shopping street is where you’ll find the iconic Metropolis Building (the rooftop bar and restaurant on top of the Círculo de Bellas Artes has an amazing view of it!), as well as the Cybele Palace.

Branch off to explore the Puerta del Sol and lively La Latina neighborhood in the afternoon and evening!

Don’t wrap up your last (full) day in Madrid without at least one round of churros con chocolate at Chocolatería San Ginés , either.

pile of churros con chocolate at Chocolatería San Ginés one night in madrid spain

Day 3: Take a day trip to Toledo.

Today, it’s time to leave the capital behind and take a day trip to the beautiful medieval city of Toledo.

Set about 35 minutes away from Madrid by high-speed train (or about an hour by bus or car), beautiful Toledo is easily one of the best day trips from Madrid.

Surrounded on 3 sides by the Tagus River, Toledo is as charming to look at as it is historically relevant.

The city once briefly served as the capital of Spain, and was even an independent kingdom at one point!

view of toledo spain from the opposite side of the tagus river

Some of the best things to do in Toledo include visiting the magnificent Toledo Cathedral, touring the Alcázar, stepping inside the Monastery of San Juan de Los Reyes, and meandering through the city’s charming streets.

Don’t miss the viewpoints of the town from across the river, either!

You can easily take the high-speed train to Toledo yourself for the day, but if you prefer the context of a tour (and/or want the easiest access to the viewpoints from across the river), this popular day trip is also an excellent option.

Book your day trip to Toledo today!

interior of toledo cathedral, an amazing addition to an itinerary for spain in 10 days

Day 4: Head south to Seville.

Sunshine, sour orange trees, flamenco, and some of the most fascinating architecture in Europe await in the next part of this Spain itinerary: welcome to Andalucia.

This is one of our favorite regions in Spain, and it always seems to keep drawing us back.

A roughly 2.5-hour high-speed train journey will deliver you from Madrid to Seville, the capital of the Andalucia region and an excellent jumping-off point for your explorations.

We recommend taking an early train down from Madrid, dropping off your luggage at your hotel (most are happy to hold it until check-in for you), and starting your sightseeing.

Today, be sure to check out the stunning Seville Cathedral , climb to the top of the Giralda (bell tower) for beautiful views of the city, wander through the famous Plaza de Espana, and explore the delightful neighborhood of Barrio Santa Cruz.

tiled benches of plaza de espana as seen during a day in sevilla espana

The Royal Alcazar of Seville is stunning, and also one of the best attractions in town–but we’d only recommend visiting today if you’re a really big architecture fan.

As amazing as the Alcazar is (and it is, truly), it’s somewhat overshadowed by the Alhambra, which you’ll see in another couple of days when following this 10 day Spain itinerary.

On the other hand, if you’re interested in adding a flamenco show to your Spain itinerary, Seville is the place to do it.

Andalucia is widely considered the birthplace of flamenco (though the specific origins are debated), and a flamenco show like this is a wonderful way to close out your evening.

Book your flamenco show in Seville today!

view of the torre del oro with women in flameno dresses in front, a fun place to walk during a one day seville itinerary

Where to Stay in Seville

When deciding where to stay in Seville, location is key as ideally, you’ll want to stay within walking distance of Seville’s best attractions.

We had a fantastic experience at  Petit Palace Puerta de Triana  on our most recent trip to Seville.

The hotel  has a fantastic location (central but also quiet–a far-from-guaranteed combination in Spain), a delicious breakfast, and comfortable rooms.

Looking for something a bit different?

The incredibly popular  Hotel Rey Alfonso X  is an excellent choice, and its rooftop views are sublime!

If you’d like to stick to more of a budget,  Hotel America Sevilla  gets wonderful reviews and doesn’t sacrifice too much in terms of location.

Meanwhile, for the height of luxury, you can’t beat the absolutely stunning  Hotel Alfonso XIII !

Check rates & book your stay in Seville today!

ranger storm in the plaza de espana smiling at the camera

Day 5: Take a half-day trip to Cordoba.

Less than an hour from Seville by train or car, you’ll find the captivating Andalucian city of Cordoba–which happens to be one of our favorite places in the region!

Once the most powerful city in Islamic Spain, the Cordoba of today is small and manageable, a bite-size tourism destination that nonetheless leaves a big impact on visitors.

Cordoba is most famous for its incredible Mosque-Cathedral –literally a former mosque with a cathedral built into its center–which is one of the most memorable buildings we’ve had a chance to visit anywhere.

The Mosque-Cathedral should absolutely be your top priority when visiting Cordoba, but beyond that, there’s still plenty to see within a short walk!

Snapping photos of the picturesque Calleja de las Flores, relaxing in the Patio de los Naranjos, wandering through the Jewish Quarter, and checking out some of the beautiful patios of Cordoba should also be on your to-do list.

kate storm in a floral dress visiting one of the patios of cordoba during a spain vacation

After seeing the best of Cordoba, you have two options for the rest of your day: first, you could enjoy another evening in Seville.

Or, if you’d rather make today particularly busy in favor of having more time for sightseeing tomorrow, you could head onto Granada.

Granada, home to the Alhambra, is about 3 hours from Seville by train or car and is your destination for tomorrow.

You could opt to continue sleeping in Seville and take a long day trip there on day 6, or, if you’re open to packing and unpacking an extra time, you could sleep in Granada starting tonight to give yourself more time in the city.

Personally, we love Granada and would recommend spending extra time there, but both options are compatible with this Spain itinerary.

highly decorated center of mosque in cordoba spain

Where to Stay in Granada

When spending a few days in Granada, we opted to rent an apartment from  Mosaiko Homes and could not have had a better experience: the owner was responsive, the apartment fantastic, and the location unbeatable!

Mosaiko Homes  is located on a quiet street a short walk from many of Granada’s top sights, offering the combination of a convenient location and a lack of noise at night–two things that can be difficult to find together in Andalucia!

Another excellent option with near-perfect reviews is the incredibly unique  Casa de Reyes  (that decor!).

For a bit of luxury, the popular  Shine Albayzin  is not only housed in a 16th-century palace, it overlooks  the Alhambra .

Generally speaking, lodging in Granada is much more affordable than in, say, Barcelona or even Seville.

If you’re going to splurge on a luxury property during your 10 days in Spain, Granada is a fantastic place to do so!

Check rates & book your stay in Granada!

colorful street in albayzin granada, fun stop on a 10 day southern spain road trip itinerary

Day 6: Explore Granada and tour the Alhambra.

Whether you’re visiting on a day trip from Seville or spending the whole day in Granada (we recommend the second, but the first is doable too), there is one major item on the agenda today: the Alhambra.

This collection of centuries-old palaces (plus a fort, gardens, ruins of a medina, and more), is one of the most unique groupings of architecture in Europe, and the most-visited tourist attraction in Spain!

We wrote about visiting the Alhambra extensively here , so I’ll try to keep this (kind of) brief, but the long and the short of it is that this is a place you need to plan ahead for.

Tickets often sell out, and a tour is a great idea here if you like historical context ( we enjoyed this one ).

If you’re visiting from Seville, we recommend booking a day trip , because 3 hours of transit each way plus navigating to and from the complex is a headache in a short time frame (we rarely suggest taking day trips this long, but the Alhambra is worth it).

court of the lions in nasrid palaces alhambra spain

However you decide to visit, make sure that you book a ticket or tour that includes the Nasrid Palaces!

These magnificent palaces, the final stronghold of Islamic Al-Andalus before the Reconquista was officially completed by the Catholics in 1492, are the jewel of the Alhambra and an absolute must-visit.

Not all tours and tickets include them, though, so book yours carefully .

Once you wrap up at the Alhambra, if you’re staying in Granada, be sure to wander through the Albayzin neighborhood, admire the views of the Alhambra from a distance at the beautiful Mirador de San Nicolas, and visit the beautiful Granada Cathedral.

Granada is also a fantastic place to enjoy Spain’s tapas culture, so be sure to indulge in some snacks along with a tinto verano .

kate storm and ranger storm at the mirador san nicholas in granada spain, one of the best places to visit in andalucia

Day 7: Head north to Barcelona.

Today, say goodbye to Andalucia and head north to Barcelona!

This is the longest travel day included on this 10 days in Spain itinerary, and you can expect to spend 6+ hours on a train from Granada to Barcelona.

We recommend booking this trip at least a few weeks in advance, as you’ll want a choice of schedules and to get the best price possible.

If you’re on a budget, you can price out flights too, but traveling by train is much more fun!

Once you arrive in Barcelona, you can check into your hotel, get unpacked, and start exploring.

Meander through the Gothic Quarter, check out the Barcelona Cathedral, sample the Santa Caterina Market, stroll down Las Ramblas, and soak up the beauty of Plaça Reial.

placa reial in barcelona spain with a fountain surrounded by palm trees

Where to Stay in Barcelona

When deciding where to stay in Barcelona, it’s important to keep in mind that this sprawling city requires some effort to move around–there’s no way to stay near all the best things to see in Barcelona, but it’s best to stay by some of them!

We checked into Citadines Ramblas Barcelona and were extremely satisfied–to the point that we may just keep going back on additional trips.

Our room was spacious, complete with a kitchenette, and extremely quiet despite the hotel being located in a prime spot right along Las Ramblas.

The view of the Barcelona Cathedral from the rooftop deck of the Colón Hotel Barcelona is pretty incredible too, though, and we have it bookmarked for a possible future trip.

If you’re traveling on a bit more of a budget, Hotel Nouvel also gets excellent reviews and is in a wonderful location.

Check rates & book your stay in Barcelona today!

kate storm walking through the columns of the balcony at the barcelona opera house

Day 8: Explore Barcelona’s unique architecture.

On your first full day in Barcelona, start with a visit to either Casa Milà or Casa Batlló , two of the most famous homes designed by Gaudi!

They’re fairly close together, but with only a couple of days left in Spain, we recommend only going inside one and seeing the other from the outside.

You’ll also want to get an early start–personally, we recommend pre-booking tickets for Casa Batlló when it opens).

From there, explore any nooks and crannies of the Gothic Quarter you didn’t get to see yesterday, including Catalunya Plaza and Mercado de la Boqueria.

fruit stand in mercado de la boqueria barcelona itinerary spain in 10 days

If you’re excited about all of Barcelona’s Catalan modernism architecture, we can also heartily recommend a visit to Palau de la Música Catalana .

Though not designed by Gaudi, it’s an amazing (and compared to much of Barcelona, uncrowded) example of the style and a memorable place to visit!

Barcelona’s Arc de Triomf is also only a 10-minute walk away.

From there, you’ll be about a 25-minute walk from Barcelona’s beaches and bustling coastline.

view of barcelona beach on a crowded day with a palm tree in the foreground

Day 9: Dive deeper into Barcelona (and possibly take a day trip).

With its long list of incredible attractions, it would be very easy to spend the penultimate day of your Spain vacation exploring the city in-depth–but another option would be to add on a trip to the monastery of Monserrat.

This mountain retreat away from the city is known for its incredible views, and a half-day trip there is a wonderful way to get a taste of Catalonia beyond Barcelona itself.

However, staying in the city also has its charms: the views from Park Güell  and/or Tibidabo, the incredible Picasso Museum (which holds over 4,000 of the artist’s works), and a visit to Camp Nou are possible additions to your list.

view of park guell in barcelona spain, a top europe bucket list travel destination

And, of course, we can’t forget the Sagrada Familia : Gaudi’s unfinished masterpiece of a cathedral is an absolute must-see when visiting Barcelona!

We visited in the early evening after hearing that the interior’s light was at its best then, and we were not disappointed–the colors were phenomenal.

If you wrap up at the Sagrada Familia before sunset and would like to enjoy the Mediterranean while in Barcelona, consider wrapping up your evening with a sunset catamaran cruise .

Book skip-the-line tickets to visit the Sagrada Familia today!

interior of the sagrada familia in barcelona spain, an amazing destination when traveling to europe for the first time

Day 10: (Maybe) head back to Madrid and say goodbye to Spain.

How the final day of this itinerary for Spain works for you depends on one factor: whether you’re flying home from Madrid or Barcelona.

If you’re taking an evening flight home from Madrid, you’ll need to take the high-speed train back to the capital (we highly recommend booking this in advance ).

If you’re leaving from Barcelona, you may have time for one more round of pan con tomate enjoyed while admiring the bustling of the city before you catch your flight!

However you close out your 10 days in Spain, we hope you say goodbye already dreaming of your trip back.

Shop train tickets from Barcelona to Madrid today!

patio in the palacio de viana, one of the best attractions cordoba spain

Spain is the definition of a year-round destination, and that includes this Spain itinerary!

That being said, though, if you have flexible dates and are trying to pinpoint the ideal time to travel Spain, we recommend enjoying this itinerary in the spring or fall.

Summer in Spain, especially in Andalucia, can be brutally hot (we shudder to think of visiting the Alhambra at noon in July).

Winter is perfectly doable, but the weather can be rainy and less predictable than in spring or summer.

On the plus side for winter, though, you’ll experience few crowds, low prices, and still have a decent chance at soaking up some Spanish sun, albeit with a jacket at hand.

The sweet spot for this 10 day Spain itinerary, though, which travels a decent chunk of the country and therefore needs to take multiple climates into account, is the spring and fall.

We have visited Spain in every season, and while each trip was a delight, we have a special place in our hearts for our spring and fall visits!

kate storm and ranger storm on a balcony overlooking toledo spain in winter

Lucky enough to have longer than 10 days in Spain? If so, congratulations!

Our first recommendation with a couple of extra days to add to your Spain itinerary is to slow down: every destination covered in this travel guide could easily use another day or two at least.

While it’s doable to travel Spain at a breakneck pace for a week and a half, the longer you’re there, the slower you’ll want to travel.

Alternatively, if you want to keep the speed going, you could add on another day trip: visit Girona from Barcelona, Segovia from Madrid, or Ronda from Seville, for example.

view of cliff of ronda spain with countryside in the background, a fun addition to a 2 weeks in spain itinerary

If you have closer to 2 weeks in Spain, consider adding Basque country to your itinerary!

San Sebastián, Bilbao, Vitoria-Gasteiz, and beyond makes for a wonderful extension to round out a couple of weeks in Spain.

Alternatively, you could opt to extend the Andalucia portion of your trip to include a couple of days on the Costa del Sol.

With near-limitless ways to enjoy a Spain vacation, it’s safe to say that wherever you head, you’re bound to have a wonderful trip.

tossa de mar, costa brava, from above, with castle in the foreground and water in the background, one of the best beach towns in spain

Our detailed packing lists for Europe in summer , fall , and winter cover just about everything you’ll need to bring on your 10 day Spain vacation!

To get you started on your list, though, here are a few essentials to add to your packing list:

Travel Adaptors for Spain — If you’re coming from outside of mainland Europe, you’ll definitely need adaptors for your electronics. 

Camera  — We completely adore our  Sony a7R III , but whatever camera you’re comfortable with works–just make sure you have something with you to preserve your memories! 

jeremy storm standing in front of sagrada familia in barcelona spain travel guide

Comfortable Day Bag  — We currently use   Pacsafe’s sleek anti-theft backpack  and love it, but if you don’t want to shell out the cash for this trip, that’s totally understandable.

Just aim for something comfortable to wear, not flashy, and medium-sized–we used a  Northface Jester backpack  for years and loved it as well.

Sunglasses  — They’re not kidding about the Spanish sun! I find myself reaching for sunglasses regularly even when visiting Spain in winter.

Portable USB Charger  — Don’t stress about your phone dying while you’re sightseeing in Spain: bring a USB charger along for the ride.

Take This Map With You! Click each highlight to pull up the name of the destination. To save this map to “Your Places” on Google Maps, click the star to the right of the title. You’ll then be able to find it under the Maps tab of your Google Maps account! To open the map in a new window, click the button on the top right of the map.

4 photos of spain travel destinations, barcelona cordoba seville and granada. black and red text reads "how to spend 10 days in spain"

About Kate Storm

Image of the author, Kate Storm

In May 2016, I left my suburban life in the USA and became a full-time traveler. Since then, I have visited 50+ countries on 5 continents and lived in Portugal, developing a special love of traveling in Europe (especially Italy) along the way. Today, along with my husband Jeremy and dog Ranger, I’m working toward my eventual goal of splitting my life between Europe and the USA.

62 thoughts on “The Ultimate 10 Days in Spain Itinerary (+ Travel Tips)”

Great overview and suggestions, Kate!

Any suggestions you can offer for an afternoon of wine tasting along the journey?

Thanks, Rob!

We haven’t done a lot of dedicated wine tourism in Spain, though of course, the local wines are delicious. You’ll be near wine regions in each stop, though, so can easily opt for a half-day wine tasting outside the city somewhere.

Alternatively, every city has more excellent wine bars and wine shops than you can count!

Amazing!! Thank you so much for all of this!!

Kate quick question if I may bother you for a bit.

I went through everything you wrote and I calculate maybe about $5,000 would cover the hotel, train and eating expenses between cities for a family of three (My husband and I and our baby girl, toddler) This does not count the air flight ✈️ to Spain.

We were thinking of visiting ending of May or Beginning of June.

Does this sound about reasonable amount to take ??

$5000 (USD, I’m assuming) is very doable, especially if you’re conscious of your budget when booking hotels! I’d recommend booking your train tickets in advance too, as those can be pricier at the last minute.

Generally speaking, Barcelona will be the most expensive stop on this itinerary and Andalucia the most affordable.

Thank you so much!

Thank you so much for creating this! This is extremely helpful and I appreciate all your tips. I am going to Spain in the middle of Semana Santa, but flying into Barcelona and departing from Madrid. I would love to visit the cities you mentioned, but this is the current itinerary I have going. Do you think that this is doable?

DAY 1 – ARRIVAL IN BARCELONA DAY 2 – BARCELONA DAY 3 – BARCELONA Easter DAY 4 – Fly to GRANADA DAY 5 – GRANADA (Alhambra visit) DAY 6 – SEVILLE DAY 7 – SEVILLE (day trip to Cordoba) DAY 8 – SEVILLE DAY 9 – MADRID DAY 10 – MADRID DAY 11 – Fly home

Yes, that sounds like a very reasonable itinerary! You’ll have a great time.

I’d definitely have some food/snacks with you as you’re traveling on Easter Sunday, as you’ll no doubt run into lots of closures.

The week of Easter is also VERY busy in Spain (and in much of Europe), so expect higher-than-usual prices and crowds. I’d recommend booking your hotels ASAP and Alhambra visit ASAP!

I love your site and this itinerary for Spain. We’re spending about 12 days in Spain in early April (unfortunately also over Easter, like Chloe in the message above), and using your itinerary as our template, we want to add a day or two in Gibraltar & Tangier. Have you done this? Too ambitious to add to the itinerary? It would look something like this:

1 – Arrive in BARCELONA 2 – BARCELONA 3 – Fly to GRANADA 4 – GRANADA (Alhambra visit) 5 – GIBRALTAR 6 – TANGIER 7 – SEVILLE 8 – MADRID 9 – MADRID (Toledo) 10 (Easter) MADRID 11 – Back to BARCELONA 12 – Fly home

That is a very packed schedule, but I do get the temptation of adding on a quick day in Morocco (and the UK, in a manner of speaking).

If you want to add on Gibraltar and Tangier, I’d consider trimming a different destination to give yourselves more breathing room, as that’s a tough pace to keep up for 12 days (though doable, if you are dedicated to seeing every last place).

Seville is a gorgeous city, but taking it off your itinerary would give you another day to work with, which you could then add to Granada or Gibraltar, since you’ll really only have an afternoon and evening there.

If you really want to see Gibraltar, of course it’s worth seeing, but if it’s more or less just a stop on the way to Tangier, you could also look at Tarifa, a beautiful Spanish beach city (no passport control) that you can access Morocco from (I believe the ferry is slightly shorter from there, too–we’ve taken that one ourselves).

Alternatively, the high-speed trains do run on Easter, so if that day is more or less just a holding day on your calendar (since the Madrid sites will be closed), you could travel back to Barcelona then, which would give you day 11 back to see a bit more of that city.

Any high-speed trains you do opt for, though, I’d book ASAP. It’s often a mad rush for trains over Easter with people traveling for the holiday.

Thanks Kate. After doing some more reading and research, we’re going to bypass Tangier. Instead, we’ll use that time to explore the towns between Granada and Seville (Thinking Nerja and Ronda) by car. Have you rented a car and driven in southern Spain? Any issues we should know about or is it a pretty standard car rental experience?

Gracias! Chris

We’ve driven in southern Spain many times(including Granada, Seville, Ronda), but generally by renting cars in Portugal and then driving them over.

It’s a pretty standard European driving experience, though–parking outside of historic centers and walking in, etc. If you’re a confident driver I wouldn’t be worried. The driving is also stunning–plenty of chances to enjoy gorgeous views along the way!

There is no condensed itinerary on this page

Here you go, Sarah. 🙂

Day 1: Arrive Madrid Day 2: Madrid Day 3: Day Trip to Toledo From Madrid Day 4: Travel to Seville Day 5: Half- Day in Cordoba Day 6: Granada and the Alhambra Day 7: Travel to Barcelona Day 8: Barcelona Day 9: More Barcelona or Day Trip Day 10: Travel Home

This is a GREAT article. I’m going to follow your itinerary. I’d also like to visit San Sebastián and Cadiz. Could you recommend a way to incorporate these into your itinerary? Thank you!

So glad you found our post helpful!

There’s not an incredibly efficient way to add San Sebastian to this itinerary, as it’s several hours out of the way regardless of where you add it on. It is a gorgeous city, though!

Your best bets would probably be either visiting after Madrid and then flying to Andalucia from San Sebastian, or visiting after Barcelona (especially if you’re flying out of Madrid) and then taking the train back to Madrid to head home.

Of course if you find a good flight to or from San Sebastian you could use it as a starting or ending point, but Madrid and Barcelona tend to have the best deals for transcontinental flights (assuming you’re not coming to/from Europe).

Cadiz is much easier to add on–it’s just an hour or so south of Seville by car, so you can easily add it to your Andalucia leg. Some people even visit it as a day trip from Seville.

Hi! Your trips look amazing! Wondering if you could offer advice. I have 10 days to plan. In my head I will be able to see Madrid, Barcelona, Seville, a beach town, Lisbon or some location in Portugal, and Morocco. As I’m researching, this looks like it might be impossible. Knowing my family would like to hit all 3 countries, what would you offer as a reasonable way to spend these days without feeling crazy and traveling constantly. It is myself, my husband, and kids age 13 & 17 who travel very well. Thanks for any help!

You know, I actually have it on my list of future blog posts to write some sample itineraries combining Spain and Portugal. Thanks for the reminder!

If you want to see all 3 countries in 10 days, the most realistic way is to do it via a sampler platter style, meaning 1-2 base destinations in each of Spain and Portugal, depending on whether you want to take a day trip to Tangier or you plan to spend a few days in Morocco.

One option could be 3 days in Lisbon (with a possible day trip), 3 days in Seville (with day trips further afield–possibly Granda/the Alhambra and Cordoba), 2 days in Tarfia (pretty Spanish beach town with ferries to Tangier), and then a couple days in Tangier. But that’s already pushing it as far as what you can fit in!

Keep in mind that unfortunately, Spain and Portugal are not very well-connected to each other by rail. When you’re short on time, your best options will be renting a car and driving across the border (in the south/if you want to go to the Algarve) or flying (between major cities).

Hi, Thank you for this great itinerary! My husband and I are planning a trip on similar lines this year and I had a few questions I was wondering you could advice us on: 1. Is early September a good time to visit? Would August be too hot?! 2. Is one day in Granada enough? I have heard that Alhambra itself can take quite a while and hence was wondering if one day would be too tight a squeeze 3. Between Barcelona and Madrid, if you had to suggest one for first time travellers, which would you recommend?!

Hi Rushali,

Of course, happy to help!

Early September is definitely preferable to August. It’ll still be warm, especially in Andalucia, but it’ll be much less crowded. It often feels like all of Europe heads to the beaches or mountains in August and then promptly goes home by September 1–so September will be much more pleasant from that angle.

One day being enough in Granada is all dependent on how much else you want to do! In a perfect world, I’d love to rent an apartment in Granada for a few months and take advantage of all the food and nearby hiking. 🙂

But for the purposes of a short trip, one day is enough to see the Alhambra (it will take up the bulk of your day) and then do a quick pass through the rest of town, hopefully prioritizing the Albayzin neighborhood, the Mirador de San Nicholas, and tapas.

If you’re able to add on a second day (or even half day, like I laid out as an option above), you won’t be sorry, though.

Barcelona vs Madrid… that’s an intense debate! Personally, we prefer Madrid, but we’re in the minority. Barcelona is wildly popular (deservedly so!) and has the beach, more outlandish architecture, and a more fast-paced vibe.

Madrid is arguably more elegant, with world-class museums, and is a bit cheaper.

Both are incredible–if you are struggling to decide, I’d make a list of the top 3-4 things you want to see in each city and see which ones pull to you more.

Hope you guys have a wonderful time!

Hi Kate, Would you recommend activities like River Rafting, Hot Springs, Walk in the wild while in Spain? We are planning a trip during early May

If they’re priorities for you and you have time, absolutely! Andalucia in particular has great options for all of those. You might want to look into extending your time in Granada if you want to get outdoors during your trip.

Hi! My husband and I are going on a 10 day trip starting in Barcelona. We go to Mallorca then Seville. Were having a hard time deciding if we want to end in Madrid or Lisbon, any recommendation?

Hi Samantha,

That’s a hard call, as they’re both wonderful but very different!

Very generally speaking, I’d say that Madrid is best if you’re looking for museums, the royal palace, and a chance to travel overland from Seville (it’s an easy train ride).

Lisbon is best for views, being near the coast (you can easily take a day trip to Sintra, Cascais, or both), and the chance to sample another country during your trip. There’s no train service from Seville, you’ll need to fly, drive, or take a bus.

Both offer popular food options, but Lisbon has a bit more of a seafood focus while Madrid tends toward pork.

This is all very general, but I hope it helps a bit!

If you haven’t seen them, our guides to spending a few days in each city will give you a feel for them:

Madrid: Lisbon:

Good luck deciding! 🙂

Hi Kate! Would recommend Lisbon or Madrid if we can only go to one on our trip? Were going to Barcelona, Mallorca and Seville before.

Hi Kate! Thank you for this great itinerary. My husband and I are planning to visit Spain this September (finally will be going on our honeymoon!). We are thinking of being out there for about 10-12 days. I have two questions that I would love your insight on. First, considering we may have extra days, any suggestions on which cities we should extend our stay at? We love wine, great food, and the outdoors. Second, what, if any, restrictions are still in place due to COVID that we should keep in mind? Thank you in advance for your help!

Congratulations on your marriage!

Honestly, any of these cities are worthy of spending more time in, but if I absolutely had to pick, I’d recommend Granada (because your time there is really compressed in the original 10-day itinerary and there’s lots of great hiking just outside of town) or Barcelona (the most popular day trips include the Penedes Wine Region and the beautiful small towns along the Costa Brava–a different kind of nature to appreciate).

I could make a case for any of them, though!

As far as COVID, there aren’t any current restrictions that are likely to impact your trip. I believe masks are still required in pharmacies and hospitals, but that’s about it.

Hope you guys have a fantastic honeymoon!

Hi! Thanks so much for this super helpful blog.. I have a question about transportation. We are a group of 3 ladies arrving from US to Madrid in the afternoon and would like to start our trip in Barcelona and end in Madrid for return flight. I think we will travel via train same day to Barcelona but my concern is luggage. Do you know if trains allow for larger suitcases or will we be met with bag costs?

Thanks so much for any advice!

You can take your luggage onto the train without issue! European trains are much more flexible with bags than any plane is, you’ll even see people bringing sporting equipment and such onboard, depending on the place.

We have many more tips on what to expect on trains here:

Have a great trip!

Hi Kate! I am planning a two-week trip to Spain for my husband and me for next spring. (Your 10-day Spain itinerary has been super helpful!) So far, I am generally following that itinerary with a few extra nights in some places (we have 3 nights in Madrid with a day trip to Toledo, 3 nights in Seville with a day trip to Cordoba, 2 nights in Granada, and 4 nights in Barcelona with a day trip to Girona). My question is, if we still have 2 more nights we can add on somewhere, would you recommend renting a car and seeing some of the White Hill Towns of Spain (with 2 nights in Ronda), or using the Lisbon stopover program and spending those 2 nights in Lisbon (with a day trip to Sintra)? I can’t decide between the two! Any thoughts or suggestions you have would be great! Thanks!!

Definitely a very hard decision! And unfortunately, there’s no right answer.

I’d opt for the hill towns if you’re looking for more peace and quiet with a side of nature, and Lisbon if you’re looking for a city break and palaces (in Sintra). The hill towns are gorgeous but aren’t as heavy on sightseeing as a capital city is.

Lisbon definitely adds more variety to your trip, so I’m inclined to lean that way (the stopover program is very convenient, we used it ourselves several years back), but if hill towns definitely make for a more relaxing trip since you’ll be spending a full week in Andalucia that way.

Hope that helps a bit, but I’m afraid there’s no clear winner or loser here!

I think we are going to spend a few days in Lisbon! Thank you!! 🙂

Hi, how would you recommend adding Ibiza to this itinerary in a 2 week trip?

Hi Rebecca,

Assuming you’re trying to fit everything within 14 days, the only realistic way to do so would be to trim another destination or two. Personally, I’d recommend visiting either Madrid or Barcelona (whichever appeals to you more/has better flight options for you), then Ibiza by plane, then fly to Andalucia from there.

You can take the ferry to Ibiza as well, but I’d recommend looking into an overnight route so you don’t lose one of your days to traveling there.

If you have longer than 14 days and want to add Ibiza as an addition, I’d probably leave from Barcelona and then fly to Andalucia afterward.

Hi Kate, we will be visiting friends who live in Madrid in later March-early April of 2023 (exact dates still TBD). We’re spending a week 3/23-3/31 with them at a rental house in Benimeli, but will likely travel around on our own for another week or two on our own. Your itinerary sounds lovely. Can I ask why you don’t include Valencia? My sister studied there in college and loved it.

For the same reason we didn’t include Basque Country, Mallorca, Galicia, and many more… simply time! Can’t see it all in 10 days, as lovely as that would be, so we focused on the destinations that tend to be a priority for first-time visitors.

Valencia is a beautiful city, though, and would definitely allow you to trim the budget a bit if you swapped it for Barcelona. 🙂

Hi Kate! This is SO helpful!

I’m planning a trip for December, which will be winter and on Christmas Eve/Day. Do you have advice or tips for travelling, where to go, what to do/not do or anything that would be useful for being in Spain at this time?

Thank you!!

In general, expect for things to be closed and everything to be VERY quiet on Christmas Eve and Christmas Day! Some places will be open the morning of the 24th and then close around midday.

I’d recommend stocking up on groceries and planning to spend a relaxed day exploring places that can’t “close”–parks, plazas, etc.

If you’re there before Christmas, check out any Christmas markets that are around! They don’t have quite the same atmosphere as the ones in Central Europe, but they can still be lots of fun.

We’ve already been to Seville (loved it of course), any thoughts on swapping it with Valencia? Curiously nobody in the comments has mentioned it, and you don’t either…we travel in January and seems like a really nice place to visit that time of year. Looks beautiful. 10ish days split between Madrid/Valencia/Barcelona seems easy travel wise too.

Valencia is a beautiful city, and very popular with expats! It doesn’t tend to call as many tourists as Seville, probably due to both location and fame. I don’t know anyone who has visited who didn’t love it, but as most people are working with very limited time, the most iconic cities tend to pull visitors.

I’d have a hard time suggesting someone skip Andalucia entirely if it’s their first trip to Spain (it’s one of our favorite regions, and we’re far from alone in that), but you’re obviously in a different position!

We are planning this trip from Jan 1-11th. Thank you so much for sharing your trip. The only place we are skipping is Granada. Should we try to accommodate a stop there, or leave it for another trip.

1st DAY- MADRID (1)(Hotel Regina, RIU, or any other) 2nd Day- TOLEDO (2) (35 mins highspeed train) 3rd Day- MADRID TO SEVILLA (3) (2.5 hrs highspeed train) 4th Day- Still in Sevilla (Day trip to Cordoba (4)) 5th Day- Sevilla to Cadiz (5) 1hr 24 mins 6th Day- Cadiz to Malaga (6) 3hrs 48 mins (day trip to Marbella(6)) 7th Day- Malaga to Barcelona (7) 6hrs 17 mins 8th Day- Barcelona 9th Day- Barcelona 10th Day- Madrid

Your itinerary is already very full, so if Granada isn’t at the top of your priority list, I think it makes sense to leave it off for this trip!

I’m not sure if you’re planning to sleep in Toledo on day two or take a day trip, but personally, I’d recommend opting for a day trip to keep the transition simpler.

The other day that sticks out is day 6. It doesn’t seem like you have enough time to explore both Malaga and Marbella, so I’d recommend choosing one of them and staying there. If you’re mostly hoping to appreciate Marbella, in other words, I’d just head right there and spend the night instead of taking a half-day trip after spending several hours getting there from Cadiz.

Hope that helps and that you have an incredible time in Spain!

Kate and Jeremy,

Thank you so much for taking the time and effort to educate those of us who will be traveling to Spain for the first time. My wife and I, who are around 70, are planning a 10 – day trip to Spain in September. Your 10-day intinerary sounds fantastic. While we are both in good health, my wife does have a knee that can act up. Based on your experience, is this itinerary a reasonable one for people our age?

The other question I have is whether there is a travel agent you would recommend to help us coordinate everything? We are spoiled as we just returned from a trip to Argentina and worked with an amazing person — both professionally and personally. Plans came together perfectly. Does anyone come to mind?

Thank you, again, for your thoughtful recommendations. It is incredibly helpful and reduces the anxiety of being completely overwhelmed by all the touring options. Happy holidays.

Gayle and Alan

So happy you’ve found our site helpful!

Everyone is different at any age, of course, but I’d say you’d have better luck with this Spain itinerary than, say, a similar one in Italy–fewer hills. You’ll definitely want to take advantage of tours to smaller towns (with possibly some hop on/hop off bus tours), including Toledo, to limit walking in hilly places. For the Alhambra, definitely take transportation up to the palace–it’s a long, steep walk from town.

But Madrid, Barcelona, and Seville all offer lots of flatter walking areas.

Anecdotally, we visited Seville and Cordoba last year with my grandparents in their late 70s, and they found it very doable.

As far as travel agents, no advice to offer there, I’m afraid–we’ve never worked with one ourselves.

Hope you guys have an incredible trip!

I have been practicing Spanish for the goal of traveling to Spain in 2024 or 25 with my family. I wanted to do 10 days and capture all the popular and non-popular but recommended spots. I think this is perfect – going to save it!

That’s great to hear, thanks Anita! Good luck with your Spanish studies–it definitely does a lot to enhance a trip. 🙂


So happy you found our posts helpful, Marisha!

Choosing between Spain and Italy definitely isn’t easy! Personally, we have a slight preference for Italy, but both countries count among our favorite places to travel. You truly can’t go wrong, so I’d decide which is home to your absolute top 1-2 destinations, whether that’s Madrid, Cinque Terre, etc, etc, and then go with whichever country that is.

Alternatively, you could of course enjoy one city in each country with a flight betweeen!

Here’s our recommended 2 week Italy itinerary if you want to compare:

Thank you for all your wonderful tips! My husband and I are planning a 10-12 day trip to Spain this year and wanted to ask for some advice on cities to see. We love architecture, churches, markets, and music and enjoy walking and exploring new sites.We were thinking of doing the following cities: Madrid (fly in/out of), Toledo, Seville, Cordoba, Granada but wanted to know what other day/overnight trips you would recommend to places such as Ronda, Nerja, Malaga, Andalusia or Estepona. As much as we would love to visit Barcelona we would rather do that on another trip.

Hi Melinda,

There are definitely more than enough day trip options (or overnights) to keep you busy with that timeline! Truly you don’t necessarily need to add any others–slowing down a bit in the places you mentioned will still leave plenty of stones unturned–but if you would like, the white villages (including Ronda, Setenil de las Bodegsas is also very memorable, among others) are a great option.

The Costa del Sol is a bit further, but if you want to spend some time on the beach, Estepona, Malaga, Cadiz, Tarifa, etc, are all wonderful bases as well.

Our Seville day trips guide might give you some ideas, it covers the general area pretty well:

Thank you Kate for the info! Do you mind giving recommendations on day trips vs. overnight stays? I don’t want to feel rushed when visiting a city but don’t mind spending a night or two in places where there’s plenty to see and do.

In your case, if you’re hoping to spend time on the Costa del Sol, I’d pick one base to spend a night or two in down there and potentially visit another spot from that base. Personally, we love Tarifa, while Malaga is very convenient for hopping from village to village. The smaller beach towns are lovely, but I’d opt for one of those if you’re hoping to stay in one place for a bit, as opposed to using it as a place to take day trips from.

The small white villages, like Setenil de las Bodegas, can easily be done as a day trip. We spent a few days in Ronda and loved the slower pace, but you can easily cover over half its main attractions on a day trip as well–just depends on your priorities!

Hi Kate, thank you for creating this itinerary! We used your Portugal itinerary last year and loved it! Planning a 12-day family trip to Spain in July with 3 kids ages 14-17. Currently considering the following: Fly into Malaga (2-3d) Granada (1d) Seville (1d) Cordoba (1d) Madrid (1-2d) /Toledo day trip (opt) Barcelona- remaining time/fly out of Main question- is Malaga worth visiting? Or we can do start/ end in Barcelona. Is it too much? Remove/add something? We don’t plan to rent a car, but may consider if it makes sense for a portion of the trip. Thank you in advance!

That’s amazing you hear you enjoyed our Portugal suggestions, thank you for sharing!

First, Malaga–if you’re wanting to spend a couple days relaxing on beaches, I’d consider going a bit further afield, perhaps to Nerja, Estepona, etc. If you’re just wanting some general sightseeing, a full day in Malaga is probably enough, and I’d consider trimming a day or two there and giving it instead to Seville, Granada, or Madrid.

Malaga has some cool places, and it’s definitely worth seeing the Alcazaba, Picasso Museum, Cathedral, etc. if you fly into there, but I would say that personally, we find it the least compelling city on your list (which is admittedly a list with very stiff competition).

You may already be planning on this, but I’d definitely take a day trip to Cordoba from Seville rather than spending the night there to avoid the hassle of changing hotels again–it’s a very easy day trip.

If you trim a bit from Malaga, I think you’ll be moving at a very doable pace, and agree there’s no need for a car on this route.

Enjoy some tapas for us!

Hi Kate, thank you so much for your reply and additional tips! I was thinking the same regarding Malaga, given the competition :). So reworked the itinerary as follows: D1 Fly into Madrid (seems to be doable with current flight options) D2 Madrid /Toledo day trip D3 Seville D4 Seville/Cordoba day trip D5 Granada D6 Granada D7-D12 Barcelona- /fly out of

A couple of questions: 1. Would you recommend adding a day or two D1-D6, and if so, where? 2. In addition to sightseeing in Barcelona, we hope for some beach time. Would you recommend staying in Barcelona for the beaches? Or is there one that is a reasonable day trip and is worth it. 2a. I looked into Cala sa Boadella, do you have any thoughts on that or any other one? Thank you so much!

Personally I’d suggest adding one day to Madrid to give you time to see a bit of the city in addition to visiting Toledo. Gives you a little more time after the flight to get settled, and Madrid is also a very cool city (we love it there).

Barcelona’s beaches are expansive, sandy, and good for relaxing on, but they’re generally not considered the best beaches in the region. If you’re looking to get out of the city for a little beach time, Sitges is a very easy and popular day trip, and Tossa de Mar offers a combination of beach + castle. There are lots of beach towns nearby, though! A Barcelona expat we know wrote up several day trip options from Barcelona for us and she included quite a few beach destinations:

Hi Katie I just read through your entire itinerary and it sounds great. My husband and I and our two adult children are flying into madrid, arriving on 4/15 and out of Barcelona on 4/24. We want to visit Sevilla during the Feria de Abril. I was thinking 4/15 and 16 in Madrid. Should we take train to Sevilla on the 17th or plan to leave Madrid on the evening of the16th? Want to do a day trip to Cordoba and see Granada before heading to Barcelona, Could you give me your thoughts how we should alot time in each city

Hi Suzanne,

If you are open to a more fast-paced itinerary, I’d definitely consider an evening train to Seville on the 16th, since it sounds like you’re hoping to fit in quite a bit down there.

From there, I’d recommend spending the 17th-19th in Seville (with one day allotted for Cordoba), then head to Granada on the 20th, see the Alhambra on the 21st, and head to Barcleona the 22nd.

That leaves you with only enough time for a very whirlwind tour of Barcelona, but since you’re hoping to enjoy the Feria de Abril, you won’t want to cut Seville short!

Kate This might be a duplicate comment. Going to Spain arriving in Madrid 9am on 4/15/24 and leaving from Barcelona on 4/24/24. We want to see El Palacio Real and Prado museum for sure. We are thinking of just staying one night in Madrid and then heading to Sevilla. We would like to go to Toledo. Should we go from Madrid or Sevilla? We are not interested in other museums in Madrid but have considered 2 nights in Madrid. We also want to go to Granada before Barcelona. Not sure how to split up our days. Any suggestions? We are traveling as a family with my husband, 31 yr old daughter and 28 yr old son. Also what are would you suggest if we would rather get an apartment than hotel in Madrid

Just saw you left two comments! I also have a message for you under your other one. 🙂

For Toledo, I’d recommend taking a day trip from Madrid and not changing hotels. You will have to double-back slightly that way, but overall it should be more efficient than changing hotels again, as the city is really very close to Madrid.

As far as using a hotel vs apartment in Madrid, there are pros and cons to both (and we use both depending on the trip). For such a short trip, though, we’d personally probably opt for a hotel unless you’re planning on eating most of your meals in an apartment versus going to markets/restaurants. If you do opt for an apartment, I’d carefully peruse the reviews for noise, as it can be an issue in Madrid depending on the street and neighborhood!

Not sure about the festival but we will be there during that time. How much time should we consider spending in Sevilla? If we want more time in Barcelona would you give up Cordoba or Granada?

I’d recommend making your you have one full day in Seville itself, excluding days you arrive, depart, or take a day trip to Cordoba. Here’s what we’d recommend doing with one day in the city:

As far as Granada versus Cordoba, they’re both wonderful.

Based purely on sightseeing, I’d recommend Granada, as it’s a distinct city that has a very different feel than Seville, and it also has the Alhambra, which is easily one of the best historic sites to visit in Spain.

However, Granada can’t easily be done as a day trip from Seville (you really need an organized tour for it, and even then, it’s a very long day), so I’d make the decision based on whether you want to keep your pace of travel slower (in which case I’d visit Cordoba), or if you want to prioritize seeing as much variety as possible in limited time, in which case I’d visit Granada but make sure to spend at least one night there.

That being said, we love Cordoba too! The Mosque-Cathedral is an unforgettable building, and either city will be a great addition to your trip.

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Jessica Lynn Writes

The Best Spain and Portugal Itinerary: 14-Day Road Trip

With this Spain and Portugal itinerary, 14 days is the perfect way to get your feet wet by exploring two amazing countries. The best part is that this guide is the perfect combination of sightseeing and relaxation without any crazy long driving days because you don’t want to spend the majority of your trip stuck inside a car, right?

Can’t read this now? Pin it for later!

Enjoy this detailed, family-friendly Spain and Portugal itinerary. 14 days is the perfect way to get your feet wet in two amazing countries.

And spoiler alert about this Spain and Portugal itinerary: there’s an option to also visit Morocco, Africa, and Gibraltar, too! Of course, you can always stay somewhere shorter/longer, but there’s just enough time allotted with this guide to unpack your bags and explore a city. You’ll feel like you experienced it, by seeing as many places as possible.

We took this 14-day Spain and Portugal road trip during our kids’ spring break in April, and it was the perfect time to visit. The weather was excellent, we did and saw so many cool things, and it totally filled our bucket to see and experience new cultures. Surprisingly, we all got along just fine, too. I was almost certain we’d be at each other’s throats, but it went off without a hitch. (To be transparent: I was the one who got grumpy on the last day.)

If you’ve been searching for a great plan for two weeks in Spain and Portugal, look no further.

spain and portugal 14 day road trip itinerary

Quick Tips for Visiting Spain and Portugal

  • Dinner starts around 8 pm. Keep that in mind if you like to eat early or if you’re traveling with kids. Since we were in Spain and Portugal for two weeks we decided to embrace the culture and get into a new routine. We ended up enjoying an afternoon siesta (see below), having a snack around our normal dinnertime, and then enjoying a Spanish or Portuguese dinner. And truly: try to do this if at all possible. Towns come alive after 8 pm in a way that’s hard to describe. The entire vibe changes and there’s an incredible energy in the evenings.
  • Siesta time! Expect places to shut down in the afternoon for siestas—a block of time devoted to rest. We noticed this in smaller towns, and even in the bigger cities, so plan accordingly. My advice: embrace it . You’ll likely be staying up later, so a mid-day rest isn’t the worst thing.
  • English is spoken everywhere. We never had an issue speaking English, and many places offered English menus, too.
  • We were there during “shoulder” season (spring 2022) and it was already very, very busy. I highly recommend a great travel bag or backpack that locks. It was nice to not be terribly worried about pickpocketers.

Where this Spain and Portugal Itinerary Starts and Ends

Start your spain and portugal 14 day road trip in Madrid!

I came up frustrated and empty-handed when I started researching this trip—many Spain and Portugal itineraries suggest flying from one side of the country to the other (Barcelona to Madrid or Seville, for example), but we were jonesing for a good road trip within Spain and Portugal and didn’t want to hop on a second or third plane.

Yes, a plane might let us see even more in a short amount of time, but the scenery we saw, and the impromptu stops we made during those 14 days in Spain and Portugal were spectacular, and we would’ve missed out if we flew.

We bought one-way tickets on RyanAir and flew into Madrid, Spain. From there we rented a car and drove for the rest of our journey, making our way over to the west edge of Spain, into Portugal, down the coast, along the southern Portuguese edge, and back into Spain. We returned our rental car and flew out of Seville, Spain.

Pro tip: Renting a car would’ve been one of our biggest expenses for this trip. Instead, we used credit card points and got it for “free.”

Quick look: 14-Day Spain and Portugal Itinerary

a stop in Alburquerque, Spain

Here’s a quick look at the exact route we used for our Spain and Portugal 14-day road trip.

  • Day 0: Flew into Madrid (late flight)⁠
  • Day 1: Madrid all day (slept in Segovia, Spain)⁠
  • Day 2: Segovia⁠, Spain
  • Day 3: Drove to/explored Lisbon⁠, Portugal
  • Day 4: Lisbon, Portugal
  • Day 5: Sintra, Portugal⁠
  • Day 6: Drove to Algarve⁠, Portugal⁠
  • Day 7: Algarve⁠, Portugal⁠
  • Day 8: Algarve⁠, Portugal⁠
  • Day 9: Drove to Tarifa⁠, Spain
  • Day 10: Tarifa, Spain (alternative: day trip to Morocco)⁠
  • Day 11: Tarifa, Spain (alternative: day trip to Gibraltar)⁠
  • Day 1 2: Drove to Seville⁠, Spain
  • Day 13: Seville⁠, Spain
  • Day 14: Seville⁠, Spain
  • Day 15: Flew out of Seville early AF⁠

This may look like A LOT, and while it was a long trip, keep in mind that you’re balancing touristy attractions with a decent amount of relaxation. ⁠

Day 0: Fly into Madrid

can you visit spain and portugal in 10 days

To kick off our two-week road trip around Spain and Portugal we flew directly into Madrid via RyanAir. We picked a late flight on purpose; intending to really start our trip the next day.

Pick up a Rental Car

Do you really need a car for this Span and Portugal itinerary? 14 days around two countries is a decent amount of land to cover, so we loved renting a car; it gave us the flexibility to change plans if needed. Parking was plentiful (we only had an issue once in Lisbon, but it was a holiday weekend, and we only ended up walking a little further than intended); we didn’t spend very much on tolls.

What sealed the deal for us was that we used credit card points, making the car rental free for the entire two weeks in Spain and Portugal.

PRO TIP: We used the mifold boosters for all three kids (aged 5, 7, and 9) on this trip. This solution worked out fantastic instead of bringing their boosters with us, and best of all: they lugged them in their own backpacks when we flew on the plane. This compact and backless booster is designed for kids ged 4+, 40-100 lbs and between 40-59″ tall. It’s also safety tested and globally regulated, meaning you can use it in every country except Australia and Taiwan

Where to Stay in Madrid

I thought I picked a place to stay near the airport, when, in fact, it was actually about 30 minutes away, and I wouldn’t recommend it. If I had a do-over I’d pick a spot near El Retiro, one of the largest parks in Madrid.

For a family, look into staying at 60 Balconies Art . If you’re visiting as a couple, this trendy boutique hotel ; looks amazing. And if you’re on a budget, consider Hostal Brua .

Day 1: Madrid, Spain

can you visit spain and portugal in 10 days

If you’re sticking with this Spain and Portugal itinerary, then you only have a day to spend in Madrid, so make the most of it and start your day early, trying to cover as much ground as possible.

What to do with One Day in Madrid

can you visit spain and portugal in 10 days

If you’re driving into the city, I suggest parking here for the day. We were only in Madrid for about 8 hours, but we packed a decent amount into our day.

Start your morning with a stroll through El Retiro; the park is huge and gorgeous, and if you’re lucky you’ll even catch some live musicians playing for tips.

can you visit spain and portugal in 10 days

We loved walking through here in the morning—it was fairly empty except for locals out for a morning run.

Explore the park (go on a paddle boat ride, or check out the Palacio de Cristal), or just make a bee-line across the street to the Museu Nacional del Prado.

Enjoy El Retiro Park and Royal Palace of Madrid during this Madrid Royal Palace and Retiro Park Guided Tour with an expert guide. You will have an opportunity to discover the Palace’s various rooms and expansive grounds of El Retiro.

can you visit spain and portugal in 10 days

No, you don’t have time to go into the museum (but you can if you have two days in Madrid); you’re going to get on a HoHo bus( the hop on, hop off bus , obviously).

Hop aboard, grab a seat up top so you can see the sights, and hop off whenever you’d like. We rode the tourist bus all around and still managed to clock around 20,000 steps.

There’s so much green space in Madrid, but since we parked near El Retiro, we spent time in that area the most.

Where we Ate in Madrid

can you visit spain and portugal in 10 days

Our hotel served breakfast, so we filled up there before exploring Madrid.

Lunch was at a delicious tapas place near the Plaza Mayor. They spoke English but were also super patient while I attempted my rusty Spanish. The Sangria was fantastic (not all are created equal, as I found out along this trip), and we loved trying all their dipping sauces.

We stopped for a mid-day snack (and bathroom break) at a cafe across from the Catedral de Santa María la Real de la Almudena.

Our dinner was in Segovia after we arrived there for the night.

Food tours in Madrid

  • 🍷 Enjoy Madrid’s vibrant culinary scene: Madrid Tapas and Wine Tasting Tour (children under 9 years can not take part of the tour)
  • 😋 Learn more about Madrid’s historical and culinary sides during this Tapas, Taverns & History Tour Madrid
  • 🧑🏼‍🍳 Learn how to cook classic dishes of Spanish cuisine: 4-hour Spanish Cooking Class in Madrid an expert chef
  • 🚶🏼‍♂️ Visit several authentic tapas bars while strolling through the atmospheric streets of the old city center: Madrid Historical Walking Tour with Food Tasting and Dinner
  • 😋 Immerse yourself in a culinary world of Madrid during this Madrid Food Tour: Gastronomy & History with Lunch or Dinner

If we had More Time in Madrid

can you visit spain and portugal in 10 days

Even though we were only in Madrid long enough to basically “window shop” (we didn’t have time to go into places), I made a note of all where I’d like to go back. If you have more than one day to spare, or if any of these look great, make them a priority during your day in Madrid:

  • it’s huge and you could spend hours/days looking at everything
  • There was a CRAZY long line to get in when we walked by; get skip-the-line tickets in advance
  • a modern take on a cathedral
  • supposedly stunning inside, but they close for siesta, so keep that in mind)
  • the train station; there’s a tropical garden inside!
  • either ride when they open at 10 am or get tickets early for later.
  • Really long lies in the afternoon
  • a little outside the city, but super cool place⁠
  • San Miguel Market

Find even more to do in Madrid:

Day 2: segovia spain.

Heading to Spain and Portugal for two weeks? Plan for s stop in Segovia.

A few weeks before our trip we watched the Spain episode on Europe from Above on Disney+, and decided we had to make a stop in Segovia, Spain, too. So we cut Madrid down to one day and spent the next day about an hour north of the capital city.

If Segovia doesn’t interest you, plan for an extra day in Madrid.

What to do with One Day in Segovia

Must visit: segovia during on a spain road trip

Surprisingly, there’s more than enough to keep you busy for an entire day in Segovia.

The big site to see here is the aqueduct, but you can see that at any time of the day, so prioritize other places like the castle.

Start your morning at the Alcázar de Segovia —a castle that inspired Disney’s, Sleeping Beauty.

can you visit spain and portugal in 10 days

If you didn’t buy tickets ahead of time, get there early. We opted for the tower tickets, and if you go to the tippy-top you’ll have an excellent view of the whole area.

After the castle, walk up the narrow cobble-stone road and you’ll eventually see the stunning, and huge Catedral de Segovia .

Segovia is a great stop during a Spain and Portugal road trip

While we thought it was slightly more impressive from the outside, it was nice to get out of the heat and go inside for a little bit.

The walk to the cathedral was charming.

can you visit spain and portugal in 10 days

PRO TIP: There’s a delicious ice cream shop just outside the Catedral de Segovia. Great pit-stop for kids who may need a little extra oomph to keep them going.

The main reason we went to Segovia was to see the Roman aqueduct that dates back to the 1st century. ⁠It was so impressive and bigger than I thought it’d be.

can you visit spain and portugal in 10 days

One of the coolest parts of this aqueduct is that the ginormous stones are held together simply by the force of gravity—there is no mortar or cement holding it together. ⁠

You can even climb up the side to see it from the top. Head to the stairs near the tourist information center and make your way up there to see the aqueduct from a different point of view.

Where we Ate in Segovia

can you visit spain and portugal in 10 days

There are several cafes and bakeries near the center of Segovia, along with many restaurants. Keep in mind that most restaurants take reservations, so plan accordingly.

Cochinillo , better known as “suckling pig” is popular in Segovia. It’s a perfectly roasted pig that’s so tender restaurants boast that it can be cut with a plate instead of a fork.

can you visit spain and portugal in 10 days

Several restaurants claim they have the best, but we tried one place simply because they had an opening when we were available. While I loved the atmosphere inside, and that it was directly next to the aqueduct, the service at Mesón De Cándido was less than stellar, and they didn’t have a kid’s menu (or even anything that my three wanted to eat).

The food, on the other hand, was fantastic. (We got a steak for the kids to split and it was amazing…even if they refused to eat it.)

FUN FACT: There’s a McDonald’s across from the aqueduct…just saying.

Where we Parked

We parked on the side of the road near the castle for our morning adventures, but you’ll also see signs for a parking garage near the cathedral.

When we went into town to see the aqueduct we parked in this parking garage .

Where we Stayed in Segovia

Because we didn’t want to be packing and repacking every other day, we spent two nights near Segovia. The place itself was fantastic . There was ample room and it was great for our family of 5; however, it was kinda in the middle of nowhere. The sleepy “town” lacked amenities, but we didn’t mind since we had our own car.

If you’re jonesing to stay closer to Segovia’s center, consider staying here ; it has a fabulous roof-top view.

If You have More Time in Segovia


Pit Stop in Alburquerque

can you visit spain and portugal in 10 days

On our way from Segovia to Lisbon, we actually made a pit stop in Alburquerque, Spain , the sister city to our hometown of Albuquerque, New Mexico. Stopping in this sleepy Spanish town on Palm Sunday was a highlight of our trip. I’m going to do a full post on this stop.


Day 3 & 4: Lisbon, Portugal

Go see the tiles in Lisbon. A must-see for your Spain and Portugal itinerary

Continuing with our Spain and Portugal itinerary, it’s time to make our way into Portugal! The drive from Madrid/Segovia to Lisbon was fine, although keep in mind that the time changes and goes back one hour as you enter Portugal.

Another interesting tidbit about the Lisbon area (and the Algarve region mentioned below): they love cilantro and put it on everything . Just something to keep in mind if you’re not a fan; ask for your dish without coriander.

What we did in Lisbon

can you visit spain and portugal in 10 days

Lisbon is a vibrant, colorful, and hilly city oozing charm and character, and it captivated us.

Our total time in Lisbon was two days, but it was half a day, a full day, and half a day, so these activities were all spread out over the course of three days.

can you visit spain and portugal in 10 days

✰ Go on a Tuk-Tuk Tour Wanting to make the most of our time, we booked an afternoon tuk-tuk tour as soon as we arrived, and it was a fantastic decision. Riding around in a tuk-tuk let us experience so much more than we would’ve in a car, and we didn’t have to climb the crazy hills. I 100%, highly recommend going on a tour that’s at least three hours long (honestly, if I knew how much we’d love this, I would’ve found a full-day or a half-day tour).

✰ Sea the Aquarium (HA! “Sea” what I did there?!) During our full day in Lisbon, we relaxed a little bit and kept things simple. Our first stop was the Oceanário de Lisboa, the aquarium, recommended by several friends. I highly recommend getting tickets ahead of time . Honestly, the aquarium didn’t impress me much, but the kids loved it. There is also a cafe on sight.

✰ Paint Your Own Tiles We were enchanted by all the tiles we saw around Lisbon, so it’s no surprise that this was a highlight of our entire trip. We spent 3 hours with a local artist learning about azulejos, and then painting our own tiles. I thought we would just make one or two each, but the kids ended up making multiple tiles, and bowls and even painted some mugs. It was so much fun!

*If you’re going to do this, make sure to book it for the beginning of your time in Lisbon since the tiles need to be baked . Also, make sure you have room in your suitcase to bring them back with you!

✰ (Maybe) Visit the Tile Museum The Museu Nacional do Azulejo is an art museum devoted to—you guessed it—the history of Lisbon’s tiles. While there were sections that were very pretty to see, our kids were all bored and mentioned that they liked seeing them on the buildings more. The museum also closes in the middle of the day, so keep that in mind.

If we had More Time in Lisbon

I still wish we had more time in Lisbon, and if my husband and I can ever sneak away, Lisbon will be my first choice of place to go with him. We purposely left one of our days in Lisbon to be a little more relaxed; I truly think that was part of why this Spain and Portugal itinerary didn’t exhaust us.

However, there’s still so much to see in Lisbon. Explore more here :

Where we Ate in Lisbon

Pastel de natas are totally necessary during a Spain and Portugal road trip!

All the Pastel de Natas Oh. My. Great. Goodness. When in Lisbon, get yourself a (lot) pastel de nata! What is a pastel de nata? It’s basically an egg-custard pastry, but I don’t think that gives it any justice. ⁠

I was actually prepared to hate them; custard desserts aren’t really my jam. Thankfully, I’m VERY happy these proved me wrong. ⁠ The pastry is a super buttery and flakey, melt-in-your-mouth crust filled with a not-too-sweet egg-yolk custard with a caramelized crust. Top it off with a dusting of cinnamon and let’s just say that you’re in for a big treat.

Time Out Market Lisbon You have to make time for this food hall when you’re in Lisbon. There are more than two dozen unique restaurants (with everything from pizza and hamburgers to local Portuguese favorite dishes and desserts), several bars, and a dozen shops.

This place fills up, especially on a weekend, so be prepared for long lines if you visit during peak times. But it’s well worth the wait!

Do you want to learn more about the local cuisine? If the answer is yes , then I recommend you to take a food tour and immerse yourself in the culinary world of Lisbon!

Where we stayed in Lisbon

We stayed here , just outside the city center in the Alfama area (near the Belém Tower), and it was a great location. The host was beyond helpful and spot on with his recommendations, the place itself was perfect for a family of five, and there was a washer and a dryer!

If you’re looking to stay more in the heart of Lisbon, here are a few places to check out: For a couple on a getaway, check out this gem (and it includes breakfast). This 2-bedroom apartment looks great for a family. If you’re on a budget, this spot looks funky and fun, too.

Want to read more about Lisbon? Check out all of my Lisbon posts here !

Day 5: Sintra, Portugal

can you visit spain and portugal in 10 days

Ah, Sintra. This is a wonderful spot to visit, and I highly recommend a full day here, if not longer. We decided that if we have a chance we’d love to come back and stay in Sintra for a weekend.

What to do with One Day in Sintra

One thing to know about Sintra is that you cannot drive your own car up to any of the main attractions, so it’s highly recommended that you hire a guide/tour . You can do it on your own, but if you plan on visiting more than a couple of places, it will be easier to have a driver.

Here are the places I suggest you check out (and the order you should visit them):

can you visit spain and portugal in 10 days

✰ Pena Palace This is the main attraction: get there early, and get tickets in advance . Also, keep in mind that you have to get from the bottom of the hill up to the palace. The walk will take about 15-30 minutes, but there is a bus you can get included with your ticket.

After you’ve explored the palace: walk back down through the gardens. It’s beautiful and you won’t regret it.

✰ Monserrate Palace Full disclosure: we did not visit this palace, and I 100% regret it. I’ve been told that it’s beautiful and a hidden gem in Sintra since most people flock to other more popular places instead.

✰ Quinta da Regaleira A neat place to visit. Plan on spending at least an hour if not two, walking around here.

✰ Moorish Castle (IF you have time) If you’ve seen castle ruins before, this won’t be all that impressive, which is why I think you can skip it.

✰ Cabo da Roca (AKA: the end of the world) Welcome to the westernmost point of mainland Europe with breathtaking views. Getting to Cabo da Roca is about a half-hour drive from Sintra, and totally worth squeezing it into your plans.

Where we Ate in Sintra

can you visit spain and portugal in 10 days

We enjoyed snacks and treats at the top of Pena Palace and from Casa Piriquita; a popular bakery dating back to 1862. (NOTE: at Casa Piriquita, customers order based on a number, so grab a ticket with a number on it when you walk in!)

Lunch came in the form of tapas from Romaria de Baco , but all the other restaurants in the area looked great, too.

If we had More Time in Sintra

Since we didn’t make it to the Monserrate Palace , I’d definitely go there. I’d also like to spend more time at Pena Palace. We drove through the resort town of Cascais and it looked delightful. If we spent a weekend in the Sintra area, we’d definitely spend more time in Cascais.

Where to stay in Sintra

We stayed in Lisbon since it’s not that far away, but if you are specifically looking to stay in Sintra, here are a few options:

This villa looks stunning, and there are rooms for up to 6 people. This chalet also has accommodation for up to 6 people, and it’s in the heart of Sintra. If you’re looking for a boutique hotel, check out this one .

Day 6, 7, & 8: Algarve, Portugal

can you visit spain and portugal in 10 days

The Algarve region of Portugal is one of the most beautiful places in the world, and you could easily spend weeks in the area. We were only there for three days, but it was a glorious three days, and I would happily return.

One thing to note: Unless you’re staying directly on the beach, you will have to drive a decent amount to get to places. What looks like a “short” drive may end up being around a half-hour to get from place to place. Just something to keep in mind.

can you visit spain and portugal in 10 days

Pro tip: On your way from the Lisbon area to Algarve, make sure you make a pit stop (only for about 15 minutes) to see the largest cork tree in the world !

Things to do in Algarve

can you visit spain and portugal in 10 days

Spending time in the Algarve was relaxing for us. We didn’t have any specific “must-do” things except enjoy the area.

✰ Chill at the Beach There’s no shortage of pristine beaches in the Algarve. Our favorite spots were Praia da Luz⁠ and Praia de Salema (but they were also near where we were staying.)

Keep in mind that women often go topless at the beach in Portugal.

If you’re looking for more beaches to explore, check out this post from my friend Bri.

✰ Hike Along the Cliffs Truly, pick a spot and just start walking. There are trails everywhere, and the scenic views are breathtaking.

✰ Find Dinosaur Footprints YES, like, actual fossilized dinosaur footprints right along the coast! This was a total highlight and a fun experience to see. I wrote all about it (including a detailed map with specific directions to find them) in this post .

✰ Go to the (other) end of the World Cabo de Sao Vicente is the most southwesterly point in Europe. The views are fantastic (check it out during sunset) and if you’re in the area it’s worth checking out. During the Middle Ages, it was considered to be the “end of the world” by the people who lived there.

Opens at 10 am; closes at 6 pm; closed Mondays. There’s a gift shop and toilets available, free parking, and food trucks outside of the lighthouse area.

✰ Shop for Ceramics You’ll pass by some cute ceramic shops (you’ll know where they are since they have fun plates hanging on the exterior walls). If you have room in your suitcase, stop in one and take a look.

✰ Explore the Caves The famous caves of the Algarve are a must-see, especially Benagil. But be warned: it will get VERY busy unless you go early in the morning. We took a boat tour (and loved it), but if you want to get out in any of the caves you must do that via swimming, kayaking, or a private tour.

Here are some tours to look at for checking out the caves:

  • Boat tour of the caves (we did this one and loved it; we did not get out of the boat to see the caves)
  • Catamaran + kayak tour to see the caves (my friend Crystal did this one with her kids and they did get to kayak to the caves)
  • Kayak to the caves
  • Swim—or float—out to the caves (check out what my friend Bri did to get out to see the Benagil cave!)

If we had More Time in Algarve

There are tons to do in Algarve! If we had more time we would’ve done the following:

  • Sand City in Lagoa
  • Wine tasting
  • Horseback riding along the coast
  • Go check out more adorable seaside towns.


Where we Ate in Algarve

can you visit spain and portugal in 10 days

We had several meals where we stayed (see more below), but here are a couple of other places we loved:

At Praia da Salema: We grabbed lunch from  A Bóia  nearby, and it was delicious. I highly recommend their sardines or the catch of the day—ask and they’ll bring out several different options.

At Praia da Salema: the pizza from Pizza Real was legit, one of the best pizza’s I’ve ever tasted. And we lived in Italy. It was just SO good, and it’s a good thing we had it on our last night, otherwise, I would’ve wanted to go back there for every meal.

Where we stayed in Algarve

We stayed at Turiscampo , part of Yelloh Village (which we LOVE), and their premium cottage was perfect for our family of five. The village has a little shop (with fresh baked goods every morning and everything you might need during your stay), two restaurants, indoor/outdoor pools, laundry, and so much more.

There are literally thousands of places to stay along the Algarve. Find your perfect spot here:

Day 9, 10, & 11: Tarifa, Spain

can you visit spain and portugal in 10 days

Our stay in Tarifa for this portion of our Spain and Portugal itinerary during our 14-day road trip was supposed to be our “home base” just for sleeping.

The first day was for leisurely driving from Algarve to Tarifa (which we did). On the second day, we were going to go to Gibraltar, and on our last day there we were going to hop a ferry to Morocco.

Unfortunately, we couldn’t get into Gibraltar and ended up turning around to come home. If you’re U.S. military, read this before attempting to go into Gibraltar.

And Morocco was just unfortunate timing. Tarifa has ferries that go back and forth to Tangier, Morocco, but they were closed because of the pandemic and actually reopened two days before we arrived. The problem was that anyone unvaccinated needed a PCR test to enter. Our (then) 4-year-old son was unvaccinated, and we couldn’t get the results from a PCR test in time, so we couldn’t go over.

All that to say: We ended up staying in Tarifa for much longer than expected, but it ended up being great and we really enjoyed the town.

Good to know: street parking is very limited in Tarifa. There is a parking lot , but I’m honestly not sure how much it is (or maybe it’s free). It was attended when we arrived and unattended when we left a couple of days later.)

What we did in Tarifa

can you visit spain and portugal in 10 days

If you find yourself with more time in Tarifa, you’ve gotta hit the beach and wander the adorable streets.

We really enjoyed both of those things and spent most of our time in the water, on the sand, and wandering the streets.

Windsurfing is really popular in Tarifa, because of the gusts that come from Africa and through the sea. If you have a chance, go to Valdevaqueros beach to watch the windsurfers there; it was remarkable to watch.

Where we Ate in Tarifa

can you visit spain and portugal in 10 days

Tarifa comes alive after 8 pm and the restaurants will all be filled to the brim. Any place you go is sure to be fantastic.

On the beach, though, I highly recommend Chiringuito Tangana ; it was delicious and so enjoyable to watch the windsurfers from there.

Optional Day Trips from Tarifa

  • 45-minutes away
  • read this post before going, especially if you are U.S. military
  • I wish I had first-hand experience with this, but we, unfortunately, couldn’t make it.
  • See Tarifa/Tangier ferry info here
  • Day trip to Tangier: we were going to use Jamal Chatt, a local tour guide who comes highly recommended and is very quick to respond to your questions.

Where we stayed in Tarifa

Our place in Tarifa was….good? One thing to note is that you can’t park your car anywhere near the town’s center, so we parked in a parking area that randomly closed the day we left (and I’m so thankful we got our car out!). The reason for my uncertainty in that first sentence is that our place had zero cell service and zero wifi. This is where we stayed … a great location within the town, but I’m not sure if I’d recommend it if you like to stay connected.

If you just have two or three in your party, check out this place in the heart of Tarifa. Traveling with four people? Here’s an apartment for you. For a little more space out of town, families may enjoy staying here .

Day 12, 13, & 14: Seville, Spain

Sevilla is a must-see city on an epic spain and portugal 14-day road trip

Seville was so amazing that I’ll definitely do a more in-depth post, but in the meantime here are some things to do in a nutshell.

Our Day 12 was a travel day; we leisurely made our way to Seville from Tarifa, about 2.5 hours away. Days 13 and 14 were crammed with fitting as much as possible into our last days in Spain.

What we did in Seville

can you visit spain and portugal in 10 days

While we usually love going on HoHo (hop-on/hop-off tour bus rides), we didn’t like this one; it took you through parts of Seville that were definitely off-the-beaten-path (and not in a good way).

Instead, take a walking tour . We did this, and it was great to have some background on places, but you’ll want to plan on going back to the places since you don’t have much time to look around anywhere.

Here are the must-see/do things in Seville:

✰ Explore Plaza de España This is one of Seville’s most popular places and for good reason. It’s remarkable, and you may recognize it from Star Wars Episode 2: Attack of the Clones and Laurence of Arabia. It took 15 years to complete, and you can easily spend at least an hour wandering around. You can also rent paddle boats (note that they open at noon).

✰ See a flamenco show If you’re in Seville you must see a flamenco show. The passion the performers express during the show is astonishing. It was a highlight of our stay.

HOT TIP: see the performers at Plaza de España for free during the day.

✰ Explore the Real Alcázar de Sevilla Book tickets ahead of time, and I suggest going with a guide ; I wish we did that so I’d know what we’re looking at. Plan for a few hours; the gardens are huge and beautiful.

✰ Drink sangria aka “tinto de verano,” eat all the tapas , and cool off with gelato during your Spain and Portugal itinerary.

✰ Climb La Giralda at the Seville Cathedral The Cathedral and the grounds are a mix of Muslim and Christian architecture (so basically it’s beautiful). When you’re in the cathedral, keep an eye out for Christopher Columbus’s tomb.

Fun fact: the bell tower is made up of ramps, not stairs. Fair warning if you’re at the top of the tower at the top of the hour…the bells are LOUD! Also, skip-the-line tickets are awesome.

✰ Check out the bull ring (Plaza de toros de la Real Maestranza de Caballería de Sevilla) It was really interesting seeing the museum portion of the bull ring; the kids really liked it and asked us TONS of questions.

And yes, there are still bullfights that take place here, but there weren’t happening while we were there (and I’m not sure if we would have gone anyway.)

✰ Stroll around Old Town; it’s adorable .

If we had More Time in Seville

There’s so much to do in Seville, but in case you can’t cram it into your already packed Spain and Portugal itinerary, rest easy knowing that it’s easily doable with just a weekend (if you have one to spare sometime). If you want more options, check these out:

Where we Ate in Seville

can you visit spain and portugal in 10 days

Everything was awesome. Truly. We ate at random places, and every time it was fantastic. Order the tapas version of whatever you get since the plates are small enough that you can try multiple things.

Where we stayed in Seville

We stayed here , about a 10-minute walk to the old town. The space was wonderful for a family of five. It was a two-level apartment, and the exposed brick added a ton of charm. The kitchen was a little limited, but we didn’t use it very much (when in Spain, enjoy the tapas). However, if we went again I’d try to stay closer to the old town — it was just so adorable.

Here are a couple of places I had on my radar, but they were sold out for our dates. This place looks a little more in central old town (and can accommodate large families), and this place looks amazing and families can stay there, too, but it’s possibly a splurge.

But there are SO many spots to stay in Seville. Start your search here:

don’t forget this post! Pin it for later!

The Best Spain and Portugal Itinerary: 14-Day Road Trip

I truly hope this Spain and Portugal itinerary helps you plan your trip. Longer trips can often be difficult to put together, which is why I wanted to share as much as possible in this post. If this helps you in any way, I’d love to know; please let me know how it went!

Looks like such an amazing trip! I’ll definitely be pinning it for the future. I’m still holding out hope we’ll be able to re-schedule our Madrid trip. 🤞

This looks great! Can you post a link to where you stayed in Lisbon? Thanks.

Thanks for catching that! I just updated the post with where we stayed, and here’s the link as well:

Hello Jessica, I really enjoyed reading you blog. We are traveling from NYC last week of March. My wife and I are researching a 2 week road trip.

Anyway I can get a copy of your trip/suggestions?

Alan & Josephine

[email protected]

I’m so glad you found this helpful. I don’t have this post in PDF form, so the only thing I can suggest is copying the parts that might work for you to help you plan your trip. I wish I had a better solution right now!

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Global Gallivanting

Our epic spain and portugal road trip route & itinerary.

Visiting Alhambra on our epic spain and portugal road trip

In September 2021 we drove an epic 3,500 km in 1 month visiting 12 destinations on an amazing whirlwind Spain and Portugal road trip.

We had the time of our life exploring the beautiful cities, landscapes and historical sights, eating as many tapas and pasteis de nata as possible, visiting offbeat communities and catching up with friends who have moved out there.

We didn’t find many articles online about driving around both Spain and Portugal in one trip and I didn’t find any Spain and Portugal itinerary that started from the ferry ports in Northern Spain.

So in this blog post I’ll share our route, itinerary and tips for an epic Spain and Portugal road trip – what we loved and what we would have done differently another time.

Our 1 Month Spain and Portugal Road Trip Route

We got the ferry from the UK to Spain and this was our 1 month Spain and Portugal road trip route:

Portsmouth (UK) – ferry to – Bilbao (Spain) – San Sebastian – Madrid – Granada – Orgiva – Seville – Algarve – Lisbon – Fundao – Porto – Braga – Oviedo – Bilbao – ferry to – Portsmouth.

Spain and Portugal Roadtrip 2021 map

We had wanted to do this in 2020, but it looked too difficult with the constantly changing Covid restrictions, but in 2021 the dream finally came a reality and Covid really didn’t affect our trip too much. I’ll explain more about what it’s like traveling nowadays later on in this post.

My Top Tips for Driving in Spain and Portugal

anna me porto gaia river portugal

The best time to travel around Spain and Portugal is during the shoulder seasons like May – June and September – October. During this time the weather is the most pleasant and the crowds are less than during the summer holidays.

To see all of Spain and Portugal you need at least 1 month, but you could see the highlights like Barcelona, Madrid, Granada, Seville, Lisbon and Porto in 2 weeks.

We spent 1 month in Spain and Portugal, 3 weeks traveling and 10 days visiting a friend’s farm in Portugal towards the end of our trip. 3 weeks allowed us to have a few days to relax and really explore each place.

If you have time, I would recommend spending 1 month as there is plenty to see and do in both beautiful countries. If you have 1 week then just do a road trip around Andalusia or travel from Lagos to Porto or you’ll be spending more time driving than enjoying!

Car or Camper?

Whether I travel by car or campervan, my favourite way travel experiences are always road trips. Nothing can beat the freedom of exploring with your own set of wheels.

We took our own car over on the ferry from the UK, but when we’ve rented cars on previous trips to Europe we used Discover Cars because they compare all the major car hire companies and got us the best price with and no hidden fees.

A campervan or motorhome is even better for this route as your transport, accommodation and kitchen are all on wheels for the ultimate freedom! Check out Motorhome Republic to compare and find the best deals for campervans, motorhomes and RVs.

The free roads in Spain were great, but in Portugal we had to take some toll roads if we didn’t want to spend double the time driving.

Pin me for later! 🙂

Our epic Spain and Portugal road trip itinerary route and tips

To Book or Not To Book?

Europe is very popular in the summer so, especially if you are traveling in the peak season of July and August, you should book your accommodation and tickets for popular sights and attractions to avoid disappointment.

I usually prefer to book accommodation, but for a road trip I like how Agoda has a handy filter to find hotels with car parks. The downside of taking a road trip is navigating confusing city center one way systems and finding affordable places to park.

To avoid this we stayed at hotels a little outside the city center with parking and took public transport to save us the hassle of driving in. I’ll mention the car friendly hotels with parking and easy access from the motorways that we stayed at in each destination in this post.

Be aware that tickets for some of the most famous attractions do sell out and some, like the Alhambra (a highlight of my trip) have to be arranged at least 3 days before visiting. I use Viator and Get Your Guide , to find skip the line tickets to make the most of your time and avoid queues.

There’s more practical Spain and Portugal itinerary and road trip tips at the end of the post but lets get on with my Spain and Portugal road trip route!

Our Spain Road Trip

ferry portsmouth to bilbao spain and portugal road trip

We began our Spain and Portugal road trip taking the 24 hour ferry with Brittany Ferries from Portsmouth (UK) to Bilbao (Spain). Bilbao is a buzzing port city in the Basque region of Northern Spain and home to the Guggenheim Museum.

From Bilbao we drove through the mountainous landscape to San Sebastian. Driving a British right hand drive car on the right side of the road and figuring out the different road signs, in Spanish and Basque, was a bit confusing at first!

But Spanish roads are great and we soon got the hang of driving in Europe. It was useful to have someone in the passenger seat when merging into motorways or overtaking but over all it was fine once we got used to it.

Still, I would recommend allowing time in your Spain and Portugal itinerary so that you don’t have to rush on the first day and can acclimatize to the different driving conditions.

Bilbao to San Sebastian: 127km –  2 hours

San sebastian.

view over San Sebastian

Donostia San Sebastian was a perfect start to our Spain and Portugal road trip adventure!

Only 2 hours driving (avoiding tolls) from the ferry port at Bilbao is this pretty seaside town with lovely beaches, stunning views and a fab foodie scene.

San Sebastian’s Old Town is lovely to wander while sampling the delicious Pintxos (tasty tapas-like bar snacks) in the bars and the harbour treated us to a spectacular sunset.

Our highlight was taking the historic funicular railway up to Monte Igueldo to see the quirky amusement park and incredible views from there.

sunset san sebastian

Best Things to Do in San Sebastian

  • Wander through the Old Town or take a walking tour
  • Go up to Monte Igueldo for the views and amusement park
  • Taste the best pintxos in the city – we took this food tour
  • Laze on La Concha Beach or stroll along the Paseo De La Concha.

Check out more things to do in San Sebastian and  book tours here.

Where to Stay in San Sebastian –  Mercure Monte Igueldo Hotel 

The Mercure Monte Igueldo Hotel has the best views over San Sebastian, a lovely outdoor swimming pool, great breakfasts and free parking.

Also Visit: Barcelona is one of my all time favourite cities in the world for it’s combination of beautiful and unique art and architecture, beaches, food and all round amazing vibes.

Barcelona shouldn’t be missed off any Spain and Portugal itinerary but as I’ve been to Barcelona many times before we skipped it on this trip, but if you haven’t been you could skip Madrid and visit Barcelona instead and then head down the coast visiting Valencia and then heading to Granada.

San Sebastian to Madrid: 471km – 4.75 hours

plaza mayor, madrid, spain

From San Sebastian we drove almost 5 hours through the country to Madrid, the Spanish Capital, to break up the journey south to Andalusia.

Madrid is a beautiful, classy city with grand architecture, amazing parks, some of the most impressive art galleries and museums in the world and the largest Royal Palace in Western Europe.

puerta de alcala madrid spain

Our highlight was visiting the Prado and exploring the Parque de El Retiro. This huge city center park, originally a pleasure grounds for King Felipe IV in the 17th century, is one of Madrid’s most well loved hang outs. It’s full of interesting statues, monuments, palaces, gardens, museums, galleries and activities. You can even row a boat on the lake.

parque el retrio, madrid, spain

Best Things to do in Madrid

  • Explore Madrid’s Art Triangle; the Prado Museum , the Reina Sofía and the Thyssen-Bornemisza are considered the best art galleries. The Art Walk Pass gives you entrance and queue jump at all three.
  • Marvel at Madrid’s Royal Palace – the largest in Western Europe.
  • Stroll around the Gran Vía, Puerta del Sol and Plaza Mayor
  • Relax and explore Parque El Retiro and row a boat on the lake
  • Visit IKONO and the Museum of Illusions
  • Sample Madrid’s best wine and tapas – we took this fun tapas crawl tour.

Check out more things to do in Madrid and  book your tickets and tours here.

Where to Stay in Madrid – Barcelo Imagine

Not wanting to drive right into Madrid we stayed at the Barcelo Imagine. It’s close to the motorways and Chamartin metro station with parking available onsite. The stylish rooftop pool, gardens and interiors also made this hotel a winner.

Madrid to Granada: 420 km – 4 hours

Anna at the Alhambra, Granada, Spain

After a 4 hour drive from Madrid we reached Andalusia – Spain’s most flamboyant region and somewhere not to be missed of any Spain and Portugal itinerary. If you didn’t have time to travel around the whole of Spain, Andalusia is my top choice for a short Spain road trip.

From the Sierra Nevada mountains to the Mediterranean Coast, the beautiful landscapes, sun soaked white-washed villages, Moorish forts and palaces make Andalusia one of the most bewitching regions of Spain and my personal favourite.

Granada is home to  The Alhambra , a vast palace and fortress perched imposingly on a rocky outcrop against the backdrop of the mountains.

Alhambra granada spain and portugal road trip

The Alhambra’s long and storied history dates back to 899 AD. It was once home to Granada’s Nasrid rulers in the 14th century and contains some amazingly intricate architecture and palaces inside.

As one of the finest and largest Moorish Islamic buildings in Europe it’s almost overwhelming how much there is to see here. The Nasrid Palaces, Alcazaba, Carlos V Palace and the gardens at Generalife are all must sees.

When planning your Spain and Portugal itinerary take into account that you must book at least a few days in advance to get a time slot for the Nasrid Palaces and have your passport with you when you visit.The audio guide isn’t the best so I recommend taking a guided tour so you know more about what you are looking at!

This Alhambra guided tour has great reviews and includes the admission ticket and allows you to skip the line. I’d definitely do that next time.


Best Things to do in Granada

  • Explore the magnificent Alhambra – book your fast track tickets here.
  • Take a photo from the Plaza Mirador de San Nicolas for the best viewpoint of the Alhambra
  • Join a sunset walking tour or a fun Segway tour of Albaicín & Sacromonte – Granada’s medieval neighbourhoods
  • Visit the Sacromonte Cave Museum and see how people used to live in cave houses.
  • Visit Granada Cathedral – Spain’s 2 nd largest cathedral
  • Relax in a traditional Arabic Hammam

Check out more things to do in Granada and  book your tickets and tours here.

Where to Stay in Granada –  Hotel Andalusia Center 

Parking is difficult in Granada so we stayed at this comfortable, modern, good value hotel on the outskirts with a rooftop pool and on site parking only 15 minutes walk into town.

One of our reasons for taking a road trip through Spain and Portugal is because we wanted to visit some alternative communities, friends and more remote regions that would have been difficult to access by bus.

Orgiva is a small town tucked away in a beautiful valley between the Sierra Nevada mountains about 1 hour from Granada.

Views over Orgiva

I’d heard about the alternative communities around Orgiva from friends in Goa and wanted to check it out for myself.

I loved how people were able to build their own unique homes and form a community in this beautiful valley. It was really inspiring for me but if you’re not into this kind of stuff and just want to focus on seeing the sights then you can skip this part for your own Spain and Portugal itinerary.

The town, and it’s interesting mixture of inhabitants, is also brought to life in the book – Driving Over Lemons by Chris Stewart which is now being made into a TV series.

Where to Stay in Orgiva –  Casa Jazmin

A lovely traditional Spanish house with beautiful swimming pool and gardens. Situated close to town with free street parking and friendly hosts

Granada to Seville: 250 km – 2.5 hours

Anna in Plaza de Espana, Seville, Spain

Andalusia, and especially Seville , really captures the essence of Spain. As both the Moorish capital and later a 16th-century metropolis rich on the back of trade with the New World, flamboyant Seville has no shortage of sights and was one of the highlights of our trip.

You can see Seville’s sights on a horse and carriage ride or simply wander in the sunshine, admiring the incredible architecture and beautiful parks like Parque de María Luisa.

Me and Damien in Seville on our spain and portugal road trip

Don’t miss the Plaza de Espana, the Royal Alcazar and the massive Seville Cathedral – it’s the largest Gothic cathedral in the world and was even built to ‘make something so beautiful and so magnificent that those who see it will think we are mad!’

Soaking up Spanish culture, eating tapas washed down with sangria and watching flamenco is the perfect way to spend an evening in Seville.

I really fell in love with Seville, it’s became my favourite place on this trip and I already can’t wait to return. Definitely allow at least 3 days to explore Seville into your Spain and Portugal itinerary.

seville catherdral spain

Best Things to do in Seville

  • Marvel at The Royal Alcázar of Seville – Europe’s oldest royal palace still in continual use
  • See Seville’s sights on a romantic horse drawn carriage ride
  • Explore the Plaza de Espana and the beautiful Parque de Maria Luisa
  • Visit Seville Cathedral and climb the La Giralda Tower
  • Watch a traditional Flamenco performance in the home of Flamenco
  • Visit the futuristic Metropol Parasol , also known as Setas de Sevilla, at night.

Check out more things to do in Seville and  book your skip the queue tickets and tours here.

Read More: My Perfect 3 Day Seville Itinerary and Tips

anna seville spain and portugal road trip

Where to Stay in Seville – Exe Isla Cartuja

The historic centre of Seville is another place where it’s hard to find hotels with parking. Exe Isla Cartuja is a good value modern hotel located near the stadium with plenty of free parking. It also offers easy access from the motorway and a quick bus into town

Seville to Carvoeiro, Algarve: 250km – 3.5 hours (avoiding tolls)

We just drove straight over the bridge and crossed the border from Spain into Portugal – there were no checks or Covid documentation required.

Our Portugal Road Trip

Anna algarve portugal

The Algarve

We started the Portugal part of our road trip with a much needed beach day in the Algarve! If you’re following a packed Spain and Portugal itinerary like us you’ll probably want to factor in some rest days too!

Even though it was warm in the September sun, the sea was really quite cold already so it was a super refreshing swim. The turquoise water and golden cliffs, a quintessential Algarve beach scene, made a stunning backdrop.

carvoeiro algarve portugal road trip

We only had a couple of days to spend in the Algarve to we stayed in the center of the region near the fishing village of Carvoeiro.

There is still no shortage of beautiful beaches in the Algarve , but sadly a lot of this region has been blighted with developments of towering white concrete apartment blocks (which looked empty)

But Carvoeiro retains it’s charm and made a good base to explore the nearby beaches like Praia da Marinha, kayak to Benagil Caves and to walk the Seven Hanging Valleys hiking trail to soak up the stunning views and rock formations that the Algarve is known for.

Best Things to do in the Algarve

  • Relax on the beaches
  • Take a boat tour  or kayak to visit Benagil Caves
  • Take your Benagil Cave tour to the next level by travelling on a pirate ship!
  • Walk the Seven Hanging Valleys Trail
  • Learn to surf by taking a surf lesson or joining a surf camp

Check out more things to do in the Algarve and find the best deals for activities and day tours here .

Bengali Caves in The Algarve. One of the best things to see on a Portugal road trip

Where to Stay in Carvoerio –  Castelo Guest House

A unique castle themed hotel in a central location with free street parking. Soak up the stunning views over the beach from the rooms and terraces and enjoy the wonderful breakfast and hosts.

Carvoeiro, Algarve to Lisbon: 307km – 2.75 hours

(4.25 hours avoiding tolls).

Taking the toll road from the Algarve to Lisbon will cut your journey time in half.

Or, if you have more time for your Spain and Portugal itinerary and want to take the scenic route you could visit the historic town of Evora on the way from the Algarve to Lisbon.

It’s one of the most picturesque and best preserved medieval walled towns in Portugal and a UNESCO world heritage site.

Anna lisbon portugal road trip

One of Europe’s most distinctive, colourful and picturesque cities. Old yellow trams rattle and screech up and down along Lisbon’s cobbled streets, terracotta rooftops sprawl across the hillsides, while tile covered, pastel coloured buildings part to reveal glimpses of the shimmering Tagus river.

It’s hard not to fall in love with Lisbon. Plan to spend at least 3 days here in your Spain and Portugal itinerary.

lisbons trams are a highlight of a portugal road trip

Best Things to do in Lisbon

  • Wander and explore or join a walking tour through Lisbon’s most historic and storied districts – this is the tour we took
  • Ride the historic Route 28 tram through Lisbon’s most iconic districts. Or, if you’d rather avoid cramming in with the crowds take a tram tour or follow the route in Tuk Tuk!
  • See the Belem Tower and marvel at the 16th-century Manueline architecture of the Jerónimos Monastery
  • Take in the beautiful, heart-felt sounds of a traditional acoustic Fado show.
  • Explore Lisbon from land and water in adventurous style on an amphibious vehicle
  • Take a day trip to Sintra to explore the colourful fairytale castles and palaces.

Check out more things to do in Lisbon and book your skip the queue tickets and tours here.

After spending so long in Goa , and falling in love with the unique blend of Indian and Portuguese influences there, it was interesting to learn about the history and culture of Portugal on a guided walking tour of Lisbon and to explore the narrow streets of Alfama (the only part of the Old city to survive the devastating 1755 earthquake)

Anna belem lisbon portugal

The waterside district of Belem is definitely worth the short tram ride out of Lisbon’s city center. This was the place where many of the Portuguese maritime explorers left from to explore the world and is a lot more spacious and relaxing than the city center.

Don’t miss the marvelling at the Belem Tower and walking along the Tagus River to the Discoveries Monument. There’s also a huge world map in mosaics on the floor behind showing all the places the Portuguese explored which was eye opening to see.

The Jeronimos Monastery , also in Belem, has beautiful nautical themed details and you can try the original recipe pasteis de natas at Pasteis de Belem nearby.

anna trams lisbon portugal

Our Highlight: Lisbon’s old yellow trams have become an icon of the city and quite the tourist attraction. Riding the scenic tram route 28 as it twists like a rollercoaster through the historic neighbourhoods like Alfama, Baixa and Chiado was one of the highlights of my time in Lisbon.

You can buy a Viva Viagem 24 hour unlimited ticket for only €6.40 which includes all trams, metros, buses and elevadors in Lisbon. But you can only buy it at a metro station not on the tram. Or you could get a Lisbon Card which gives you free access to Lisbon’s top attractions as well as free public transport.

It’s so popular its actually difficult to get on! Board at Martim Moniz, where the metro meets the tram terminus, for a good chance of getting a seat. Standing is quite the experience as the tram lurches, screeches and rattles around.

Or, to be guaranteed a seat and learn something about the streets you travel though, I recommend taking the  tram tour for a better experience.

sintra portugal castles pena palace portual road trip

Day Trips from Lisbon

Lisbon is also a great base to explore the many beautiful places nearby. Most of these are easily accessible with a day trip tour.

Don’t miss Sintra , a town and former royal retreat in the Sintra Mountains just 30 minutes from Lisbon. The colourful, fairy-tale like castles and mansions at Sintra are a UNESCO World Heritage Site and one of the most enchanting places in Portugal. This is the Sintra day trip we took.

You could also combine Sintra with a stop at Cabo da Rocha and the seaside town of Cascais or the picturesque Azenhas do Mar.  Find more Sintra day trips here.

Visit the surfing capital of Europe – the surf reserve of Ericeria only 45 minutes away. It’s a charming historic blue and white fishing town with beautiful beaches and one of the best places to learn to surf in Portugal – more about surf camps in Portugal here.

Where to Stay in Lisbon –  Inspira Liberdade Boutique Hotel

An elegant hotel with free parking located near Marques de Pombal so it’s easy to drive to and also close to the metro station. Some balconies have hot tubs.

For more on the different areas of Lisbon and the best hotels check out my post on Where to Stay in Lisbon.

Lisbon to Porto: 317km – 3 hours (5.5 hours avoiding tolls)

After Lisbon we headed inland to the region of Castelo Branco to visit friends on their farm near Fundao.

If you didn’t want to go into the countryside the route up the coast from Lisbon to Porto is only about 320 km which takes 3 hours driving on toll roads, or 5.5 hours without tolls.

obidos portugal road trip

There’s plenty of stunning beaches, legendary surf spots like Peniche and Nazare and historic towns to visit on the way including picture perfect Obidos , the historic university city of Coimbra and Aveiro , the Venice of Portugal.

A Lisbon to Porto road trip is one of the highlights of many people’s Spain and Portugal itineraries, but this time we went inland to see what life was like on the farm so check out this blog for more about the Lisbon – Porto route.

Lisbon to Fundao: 260 km – 2.5 hours (4.5 hrs avoiding tolls)

Portuguese farm life, castelo branco.

ruined farms in castelo branco on our portugal road trip

One of our main reasons for taking this Portugal road trip was to visit friends who bought an old farm near Fundao in Castelo Branco, Central Portugal and to check out what the lifestyle is like there.

This area is pretty remote with just a few small villages and plenty of nature backed by the mountains of the Serra da Estrela . There’s alot of ruins and cheap land in this area of Portugal (find them on Pure Portugal ) and its inspiring to hear and see how people have moved out here to renovate the ruins and farms to build self sufficient homesteads and live off grid.

Views of the Castelo Branco region driving through Portugal

Some are also building eco villages, communities and yoga retreats and it’s been a dream of mine for a long time to come and see what farm life in Portugal is like for myself.

Our home for the week was this self contained cabin on our friend’s farm. It’s a beautiful area and it’s really inspiring to see what’s going on here but it’s also a reality check of how much money, time and hard work it takes to make it happen.

farm cabin portugal

If you aren’t lucky enough to have a friend with a farm in Portugal but still want to have this experience you can find hosts on Worldpackers looking for volunteers and you’ll receive free food and accommodation in return for your help.

(Use the code ‘GLOBALGALLIVANTING’ to get $20 off membership with Worldpackers.) 

Where to Stay in Castelo Branco –  Natura Glamping

Natura Glamping is an amazing example of a new eco resort with white geometric domes, spa baths, infinity pool, amazing views and free onsite parking.

Monsanto, Castelo Branco

monsanto portugal road trip

While staying on the farm we took a day trip to the historic village of Monsanto – a village in Central Portugal that won the award of ‘ the most Portuguese village in Portugal ‘ and was one of the coolest places we’ve seen in the country.

Yes, the Portuguese seem to like building settlements on steep hills, but Monsanto isn’t really your typical Portuguese village. Actually it’s quite unique and even the Game of Thrones are filming the ‘House of The Dragon’ here!

monsanto boulder house portugal

I loved exploring the historic village of cobble stoned pathways and houses built around the boulders. The ruins of Monsanto castle perch high above the village with amazing views and an old church with spooky graves cut out from the rock.

Best of all it just felt like we were exploring, it doesn’t feel like a tourist attraction. Monsanto is definitely worth a visit if you’re in the Castelo Branco region.

Due to the steep, narrow, historic lanes you can’t drive into Monsanto village. There is car parking and a shuttle bus slightly down the hill.

Where to Stay in Monsanto –  Casa Mont’Santo

A cute historic fully equipped 3 bedroom cottage, accessible by car with parking, large terraces and great views

Fundao to Porto: 259 km – 2.5 hrs (4.5 hrs without tolls)

anna me porto gaia river portugal

Portugal’s 2 nd city is worth visiting just as much as Lisbon and mustn’t be missed from your Spain and Portugal itinerary!

Explore the grand cathedrals, blue mosaic covered churches and the colourful buildings of the historic Ribeira district that tumble down to the Douro River where port barges would have awaited their cargo.

riberia porto portugal

Nowadays you can take a cruise along the river , ride the old trams, funiculars and the modern Gaia Cable Car to explore Porto and stop in at cellar doors to taste Port wine in the city that it was invented.

Did you also know that author JK Rowling taught English and lived in Porto for a while and found inspiration for the Harry Potter series in the enchanting bookstores here like the Livraria Lello and in the uniforms of the university students.

blue moasic church porto portugal

Best Things to do in Porto

  • Cross over the river on the Ponte de Dom Luis I Bridge for magnificent views
  • Take the 6 bridges cruise down the Douro River
  • Visit the port wine cellars and taste the best wines of Portugal on a wine tour
  • Explore the historic Ribeira district or join a walking tour.
  • Enjoy panoramic views of Porto from the top of the Torre dos Clérigos
  • Watch the sunset from the Jardim do Morro.
  • See the places that inspired JK Rowling on a Harry Potter tour
  • Visit the World of Discoveries museum 

Check out more things to do in Porto and find the best deals on tours and attraction tickets here.

views from bridge in porto portugal

Our Highlight: The iconic Ponte de Dom Luis I Bridge is rated on Trip Advisor as the best thing to do in Porto and I can see why. Whether admiring it from below or walking along the top soaking up the sweeping views of this beautiful and unique city and watching the sunset from Jardim do Morro.

Soaking up the picturesque views and riverside vibes while tasting port wine in Vila Nova de Gaia and riding the cable car up to the bridge was another highlight.

Where to Stay in Porto –  Vincci Porto 

Amazing art deco style hotel in a stylishly renovated landmark building with easy access from motorway, onsite parking and opposite a tram stop. The panoramic river views from the terrace were a highlight.

Porto to Braga: 54 km – 1 hour without tolls

We made a short stop in Braga to meet a friend’s 2 week old baby! Braga looked like a lovely, historic city but it was raining most of the time we were there so we spent most of the time inside catching up and playing with the little ones.

The amazing stairs to the Bom Jesus Do Monte church in Braga

One thing I couldn’t miss when in Braga is the UNESCO listed Bom Jesus do Monte! The wedding cake like layered steps remind me of the Our Lady of the Immaculate Conception Church – the famous church in Panjim, Goa.

funicular bom jesus do monte braga portugal

If you’re not keen on walking up the 577 steps you can take the historic wooden funicular railway up to the top. Dating back to 1882 it’s the oldest in the world that moves using water counter balancing.

Where to Stay in Braga –  Vila Gale Collection Braga

Located in an amazing heritage building that used to be a church! With a beautiful swimming pool and gardens, fantastic central location and free onsite parking

Braga to Oviedo: 479 km – 4.5 hours (6 hours without tolls)

As we hadn’t planned enough time for our epic Spain and Portugal itinerary, after Braga we only had a few days to drive the 700km back to Bilbao for the ferry so we had to put our foot down if we were going to make it back to the ferry on time and sadly has to skip Santiago de Compostela.

We wound our way over the mountains of Northern Portugal and crossed over the border into Spain without any border checks or paperwork.

Oviedo, Spain

Oviedo cathedral sunset spain

Northern Spain and the regions of Galicia, Asturias and Cantabria are beautiful, green and alpine-like – very different from the rest of the Spain.

We stayed 1 night in Oviedo , the unpretentious capital of the Asturias region, and had a bit of time to look around the compact and characterful old town, wander the Campo de San Francisco park and try the local food and cider.

There’s plenty to keep you occupied for a few days in Oviedo. It’s also part of the pilgrims route – the camino (way) to Santiago de Compostela and the cathedral at sunset was a mesmerising sight.

Where to Stay in Oviedo –  Exe Oviedo Centro

Great value modern hotel with spacious, comfortable rooms and free onsite parking, close to train station and 15 mins walk to the cathedral

Oviedo to Bilbao: 280 km – 3 hours

I would have loved to spend more time in Northern Spain but sadly we had our return ferry booked. The ferry departed at 8pm so the next day we drove the 3 hours along the coast from Oviedo to Bilbao.

San Vicente de la Barquera

We stopped for lunch at the pretty seaside town of San Vicente de la Barquera . The harbour, beaches, old village and castle amongst the backdrop of the mountains of the Picos de Europa make it one of the most picturesque sights on the Cantabrian coast.

Other places to visit

If we had planned our Spain and Portugal itinerary better we would have loved to visit Santiago de Compostela and spend some time walking the Camino , the historic pilgrimage route, but we didn’t have time. Plus, it feels a bit like cheating to drive there instead of walk! I’ll save it for another trip when I have enough time to walk the camino properly!

We also wished we’d had more time to explore the coastline of Northern Spain and Picos de Europa – we didn’t know the region would be so beautiful so I recommend that you leave more time in your Spain and Portugal road trip itinerary for Northern Spain than we did.


FAQs and Tips for Planning a Spain and Portugal Road Trip

Why take a road trip around spain and portugal.

There are many ways to travel around Europe – flights are cheap, an interrail pass is fun and convenient and buses are affordable.

But for this trip as we wanted to visit a lot of places in a small amount of time, including some communities and friends off the beaten track. Doing this would be difficult, time consuming and expensive without our own transport.

Nothing beats the freedom of having your own set of wheels and being able to go wherever you want, whenever you want.

Plus, there was less chance of catching Covid or dealing with Covid related paperwork when traveling in the safety of our own vehicle. When we crossed the borders between Spain and Portugal there were no checks or controls at all – we just flew straight through.

Where’s the best place to rent a car or campervan in Spain and Portugal?

We took our own car from the UK on the ferry from Portsmouth to Spain but it’s sometimes cheaper and more convenient to take a cheap flight and then rent a car when you get there.

The benefit of this is that you can drop it off in a different location from where you picked it up saving time and money on fuel (you may have to pay a one way hire charge though)

To find the best deals on rental cars I recommend Discover Cars. They compare all the best deals from the best companies which can save you alot of money – sometimes even 70%, Best of all there are no hidden fees so you can easily see the total price you’ll pay.

motorhome europe spain and portugal road trip

Traveling in a campervan, RV or motorhome is also an amazing way to explore and road trip in Europe. You can save money on accommodation and eating out when staying in a campervan or motorhome.

I use Motorhome Republic to find the best deals for motorhome and RV rental. As one of the largest motorhome rental agencies they have a price beat guarantee and the biggest choice from reputable and trusted companies.

You can find places to camp on the Park 4 Night app .  It’s easy to find places to camp for free in Spain but Portugal made wild camping illegal in 2021. There’s plenty of campsites which are still a fun, friendly and affordable option. Many have swimming pools, bars and restaurants and feel more like a resort.

How much does the fuel for a Spain and Portugal road trip cost?

We spent €300 on fuel for this 3,500 km trip.

When’s the best time for a Spain and Portugal road trip?

The Summer months of July and August are the peak season for traveling in Spain and Portugal but I think the best time for a Spain and Portugal road trip is the Spring or Autumn as it won’t be so hot and the sights will be less crowded, plus you’ll get cheaper rates on accommodation.

How to plan a Spain and Portugal itinerary? How long should we spend in each destination?

When planning an itinerary you’ll need to research what you want to see and do so you know how many days to spend in each destination.

As a general rule of thumb I usually recommend spending at least 2 nights/ 3 days  in each destination so that you have enough time to explore and relax and don’t feel like you’re spending most of your time driving.

We took 1 month for this trip but we spent 10 days with friends on their Portuguese farm, so we only had 3 weeks to travel. Although we tried to fit as much in as possible, there are still places we sadly had to skip because, to be honest, we didn’t plan our Spain and Portugal itinerary very well! So I would recommend spending at least 1 month to see the highlights of both Spain and Portugal.

If you have less time maybe just concentrate on one region like Northern Spain, Andalusia or Lisbon to Porto.

sunset over porto portugal

Did you use toll roads in Spain and Portugal?

To keep costs down and to see more of the countryside we tried to avoid toll roads on our Spain and Portugal road trip. This was easy to do in Spain because the free roads were so good and, on the motorways, there were petrol stations literally every 10 kms.

Portugal was a different story though and by avoiding toll roads in Portugal we would have ended spending double the time driving.

The Portuguese toll system is a bit tricky, especially if you are driving an non-Portuguese registered vehicle and don’t have an electronic transponder in your car, so it’s worth getting acquainted with it before you go for a hassle free trip . Read this article for tips.

If you rent a car in Portugal you can rent a transponder from the car hire company.

Is it more expensive to take your car on the ferry straight to Spain or to drive through France?

This is a question we spent alot of time deliberating on. Driving all the way through France looked fun with plenty to stop and see but would ultimately end up being exhausting and costly so we decided to take the car on the ferry from Portsmouth, UK to Bilbao in Northern Spain.

We estimated how much we would have spent in 5 or so days traveling through France in fuel, tolls, eating and accommodation (not to mention attractions and sightseeing) and it made more sense to take the ferry instead.

We paid £780 for return ferry tickets for 2 people, 1 car and cabins on each crossing. We found it useful to compare the routes available and get the best deal on Ferry Savers.

This 24 hour crossing is known for being rough at times but it was nice and calm and I didn’t feel sea sick at all. We had a comfortable en-suite cabin and enjoyed exploring the ferry. It felt like a mini cruise with the bars, restaurants, sun decks and even a small swimming pool.

Taking the ferry made it feel like much more of an adventure than flying!

boarding the ferry to bilbao at portsmouth. the start of our spain and portugal road trip

What was it like traveling in Spain and Portugal during Covid in 2021?

The Covid situation and rules are always changing and you should always check the most up to date news before traveling.

But in our experience, in September and October 2021, Covid didn’t adversely affect our Spain and Portugal road trip too much,

We had to present either a negative test, proof of vaccination or proof of recovery and fill out a health form to enter Spain. The process of checking in and disembarking from the ferry was quick and simple. You don’t even need to get out of your car to go through immigration.

Our passports did get stamped at the Spanish border (due to Brexit UK citizens are only allowed 90 days out of 180 in the Shengen zone now.)

Apart from people wearing masks both inside and outside on the street (even though it was not a legal requirement to wear them outside) we didn’t notice many differences from traveling Europe before Covid.

Everything was open, people were friendly and happy to see tourists and, apart from wearing face masks in supermarkets and on public transport, Covid didn’t restrict or impact on our trip too much.

The restrictions had recently been relaxed in Portugal so we no longer need any tests or proof of vaccination to stay in a hotel or eat in a restaurant. There was no Covid pass in Spain.

When returning to the UK we had to fill out a passenger locator form and book a test to do on day 2 after we arrived back. We didn’t need to isolate or quarantine.

Covid doesn’t have to ruin your travels, but it’s really important these days to always check the most up to date rules before traveling!

Our epic Spain Portugal road trip itinerary

Do you have any more tips or questions about our Spain and Portugal road trip?

I’d love to hear from you in the comments below!

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[…] Also Read: Our 2021 Epic Spain and Portugal Road Trip – Route, Itinerary and Tips! […]

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Always beautiful article.

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Thanks for your really interesting blog on Spain and Portugal road trip. We are travelling over from Australia in September/October for a 6 week road trip and your blog was very insightful and informative. It will help us immensely. Thanks for making our travel plans a bit easier. Nicky

Hey Nicky! So nice to hear that my blogs been useful for you! Thank you! 🙂 Hope you have a great trip 🙂

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Great blog post. Really informative. Keep up the good work.

[…] was my favourite place on our epic Spain and Portugal road trip and I hope this post will give you all the tips you need to love it as much as we […]

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Thanks so much for this write up. My partner and I have just decided (literally today) to do a 25 day or so road trip through Portugal and Spain and your article is really helping us plan. We fly to Seville in a week and have absolutely zero plan. Luckily car rentals are very very cheap. I was initially feeling motivated to do Southern Spain, Andalusia, Algarve, up through Lisbon and Porto and then NW Spain to San Sebastian/Bilbao/etc. But in reading your article I’m starting to think the smart thing to do is cut out NW Spain. I’d love to hear your thoughts on this. It sounds like you really enjoyed Seville. My girlfriend loves beaches, and I know that NW Spain has fantastic ones, but I also imagine that late September might be too cold. Anyways, thanks again for sharing your story!

Hi Peter Thanks so much – it’s great to hear that my blog has helped you plan what sounds like an epic trip. Andalusia and Southern Portugal were my highlights of this trip and unfortunately we stayed longer than planned and ran out of time to stop at some of the beautiful places we drove through in Northern Spain when we drove back to the ferry. If you have time I think the north is a bit of a hidden gem but you can’t miss places like Seville and Lisbon – I never wanted to leave. Hope you have an amazing trip 🙂

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10 day Spain and Portugal Itinerary: Best Things to do on a Budget contains affiliate links and is a member of the Amazon LLC Associates Program. If you make a purchase using one of these Amazon links, I may receive compensation at no extra cost to you. I only recommend products I believe in. Read my disclaimer for more information.

Me and my best friend visited the countries of Spain and Portugal in May of 2019.

We had an absolute blast visiting the colorful streets of Lisbon, the stunning beaches of Lagos, and wandering around Spain’s culture filled cities of Seville and Barcelona!

In this post, I will break down the costs of our trip, how we got to each place, and what we did while we there!

Cost Breakdown

Flight from Newark, NJ to Lisbon per person with TAP Air Portugal= $478.

Airbnbs per person for the whole trip (11 nights) = $394.

Buses/ trains/ flights between cities per person = $170.

Food/ Entrance Fees/ Misc. per person for 11 days = $500.

Flight from Barcelona to Newark, NJ per person Norwegian Airlines = $220.

TOTAL Price per person for 11 day trip = $1760.

Days One & Two: Lisbon

Read my more in depth post about how to spend two PERFECT days in Lisbon here:

We arrived in Lisbon, Portugal in the morning. To get from the airport to the city center, you just have to take a cheap bus ride. This took about 45 minutes, and costs just 4 euro.

We ate breakfast, dropped our things off at our Airbnb, and explored the colorful streets with tiled houses in the Alfama district on our way to some of the best viewpoints in Lisbon where we sat back and drank beer and sangria just enjoying liiifeee!

The next day in Lisbon we took a fantastic boat tour, and explored a castle!

Days Three, Four, & Five: Lagos

On day three, we took a 4 1/2 hr bus ride to Lagos from Lisbon that cost about 25$ per person.

Read more about how to spend two full days in Lagos in my blog post:

On our first full day, we went on a speed boat tour to the Benagil Cave and other sea caves.

The next day, we walked the Coastal Cliff Walk in Lagos that features many beaches and viewpoints.

Days Six, Seven, & Eight: Seville and Cordoba

On the morning of day six, we took a 4 hr bus ride to Seville from Lagos that cost about 25$ per person.

We spent the rest of day six in Seville and all of day eight here.

In Seville we went to the famous Alcazar, Plaza de Espana, and accidentally walked into a huge festival of Feria de Abril which was amazing! Seville was just beautiful and really felt like the ‘authentic’ Spain.

On day seven, we took a 25$ train ride to Cordoba and spent the day there. In Cordoba, we walked down white washed alleys covered in flowers, and explored a gorgeous Mezquita!

Check out my more in depth post on exploring beautiful Cordoba here:

Day Nine, Ten, (and Eleven): Barcelona

On the morning of day nine, we took a short flight to Barcelona from Seville that cost us just 95$ per person one way with Vueling Airlines.

We spent our last two days exploring Barcelona. We went to Parc Guell, walked Las Ramblas, explored the many parks there, and explored the Gothic Quarter. We left for the airport around 2pm of the 11th day.

Check out my more in depth post on going to Seville and Barcelona, and which city I would choose if I had limited time:

If you enjoyed my content and found it helpful for your next trip, please like this post, subscribe to my blog, and follow me on Instagram for more travel inspiration!  Thanks for reading! 🙂

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10 Day Portugal and Spain Tours & Trips

Filter for departure dates and price to find the right 10 day Portugal and Spain tour with TourRadar. Choose from 94 trips with 597 customer reviews, that range from 8 up to 10 days.

94 Portugal And Spain 10 day tour packages with 597 reviews

Portuguese Camino Tour

  • In-depth Cultural

Portuguese Camino

Magical Portugal & Spain - 10 Days Tour

  • Christmas & New Year

Magical Portugal & Spain - 10 Days

Highlights of Spain and Portugal Tour

Highlights of Spain and Portugal

Seeing 9 places in 6 days was incredible! At some times tiring but well worth it. We had Thomas and he was fantastic! My friend and I were the youngest on the tour and were pretty much the only English speaking people. Despite the age and language barriers, we met some wonderful people and now have more reason to see more of the world and visit them. My only down point was staying one night in places meant we were not able to wash and couldn’t unpack. So be mindful of what you pack.
  • 10% deposit on some dates Some departure dates offer you the chance to book this tour with a lower deposit.

Spain & Portugal: Flamenco & Tapas Tour

  • Active Adventure

Spain & Portugal: Flamenco & Tapas

Andalucia & Morocco Tour

Andalucia & Morocco

Meticulously planned and executed... when there were 3 different subcontractors doing tours, we enjoyed each locations. Pros: Morocco tour was highlight, we were super relaxed and well informed throughout... I could easily give 6 out of 5 to them. Driver/guide went over and above to make sure we know history, gastronomy and culture - even arranged local bytes everywhere he could. Strait crossing handover between travel agencies was executed super smoothly ? Last part of the tour was done in private car, not bad, ex-teacher driving us and giving history lessons enroute was amazing. Made real good friend from Australia, perfect takeaway from tour. Cons: Bus during first part of tour was super noisy and uncomfortable, rarely got what guide explained. Once off bus, we can feel how much we missed out, as guide were knowledgeable. Human factor was missing.... tour was cultural tour, but people on tour weren't introduced to each-others or encouraged to eat at same table to get familiar. So, we got to know everything and everyone except other people traveling with us.

Northern Spain and Galicia from Madrid Tour

Northern Spain and Galicia from Madrid

Good tour but more information required prior to departure. We only found out basics such as itinerary details, were to depart from and specifics after emailing Julia travel direct several times. English spoken by second guide was basic and we missed a lot of info and one optional tour entirety - again that could have been outlined in an email previously so we had information and time to decide on options.
  • €50 deposit on some dates Some departure dates offer you the chance to book this tour with a lower deposit.

Charming Spain & Portugal - 10 Days Tour

Charming Spain & Portugal - 10 Days

We enjoyed the trip for the most part. The bus was not as luxurious as we hoped it would be. We were glad it was not a full tour as it would have been very crowded sitting side by side for hours at a time We thought there would be washroom facilities onboard. The WiFi was spotty, at best. All the tour guides were excellent. The hotels were very nice except for the one in Cordoba. The meal served was adequate but the atmosphere was not a 4 star. We changed buses twice which was an inconvenience but can only imagine the logistics of all the tours you offer. I would have preferred an English only speaking tour. At times, you were tired of listening to Spanish and Portuguese before they spoke in English. We saw some beautiful spots and the optional tours were great. I believe the Sintra tour should be part of the trip.

Delve Deep: Spain & Portugal Tour

Delve Deep: Spain & Portugal

Absolutely Amazing! Had the best time and made friends for life such a great way to see Spain, Portugal and Morocco and Bec was the BEST!!!!
  • €75 deposit on some dates Some departure dates offer you the chance to book this tour with a lower deposit.

Andalusia with Cordoba, Costa del Sol and Toledo 10-Day Tour Tour

  • Coach / Bus

Andalusia with Cordoba, Costa del Sol and Toledo 10-Day Tour

Iberian Triangle ( 10 days ) Tour

  • Sightseeing

Iberian Triangle ( 10 days )

Madrid & Secrets of the Douro Tour

Madrid & Secrets of the Douro

Secrets of the Douro & Madrid Tour

Secrets of the Douro & Madrid

Galicia & Portugal Tour

Galicia & Portugal

10-Day Tour to Northern Spain and Galicia Tour

10-Day Tour to Northern Spain and Galicia

Northern Spain & Galicia 10 Days from Madrid Tour

Northern Spain & Galicia 10 Days from Madrid

Reviews of 10 day portugal and spain tours.

Intrepid does an outstanding Portuguese Camino 10 day trip! Was well organized and conducted, kudos to the Tour leader, Margareta. Especially liked the accommodations and the added extras like wine tasting, oysters, and celebration dinner in Santiago❗️
For last 3 days, the coach is not so comfortable . The tour should included Valencia city tour. Thank you.
I made some of the very best memories of my life in this G Adventures tour. I only wish it would've been longer. Being able to visit these great places with like-minded people was an experience in it's own right but the guide and activities took it to that next level. More time was needed in most of the places, but I still loved my time on the tour and I'd absolutely recommend going to others.

International Versions

  • Deutsch: 10 Tage Portugal-Spanien Rundreisen
  • Français: Circuits Portugal et Espagne de 10 Jours
  • Español: Circuitos por Portugal y España de 10 Días
  • Nederlands: 10-Daagse rondreis Portugal en Spanje

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Wheatless Wanderlust

How to Plan an Amazing Portugal Itinerary (10 Days)

Planning a trip to Portugal? You’re in the right place. We started and ended our three month European adventure in Portugal, and fell in love with its warm, inviting culture (and SUPER friendly people), its food and wine, and its beautiful landscapes from the terraced vineyards in the world-famous Douro Valley, to the stunning beaches on the Algarve.

In this guide to planning your Portugal itinerary, here’s what we’re going to cover:

  • Exactly how to plan a 10 day Portugal itinerary, including what stops to make, what route to take, and all the important logistics you need to know
  • A guide to what to do, where to stay, and how to get there for each stop on the itinerary
  • Options for shorter (5-7 days) and longer trips if you have more or less time than 10 days in Portugal

Throughout the guide, we’ll share our favorite finds and experiences in Portugal based on our trip to help you plan your unforgettable trip.

Sound good to you? Let’s get into it!

can you visit spain and portugal in 10 days

Disclaimer: Some of the links in this post, like hotel links, are affiliate links, meaning at no additional cost to you, we make a little bit of money if you click through and book. That being said, we would never recommend something to you that we don’t stand behind 100%.

Is 10 Days in Portugal Enough?

We want to start this guide out by setting expectations before we dive into how to make the most of a trip to Portugal if it’s your first trip. 

No, 10 days is not nearly enough time to see everything there is to see in Portugal. It’s true that Portugal is a relatively small country, compared to other countries in Western Europe like Spain, France, and Italy. It’s also true that there’s just too much ground to cover in 10 days. 

So you need to go into this itinerary knowing that you’re not going to be able to see it all . 

If it’s your first trip to Portugal and you have 10 days, we think you’ll be disappointed if you don’t see Lisbon , Porto , and the Algarve . So we’ve structured this 10 day Portugal itinerary to make sure you’re able to spend about three days in each of those places. 

Is it ideal? No, ideally you’d have more time to explore within each region. But with limited time, you have to make some compromises. 

But Matt and Alysha, what about Coimbra / Nazare / Braga (insert many other Portuguese cities here) ? Yes, all of those are well worth seeing, but if you only have ten days and it’s your first time, we’d recommend focusing your time on the three places we outlined above – Lisbon, Porto, and the Algarve. 

What if you have more or less than 10 days?

  • With 7 days in Portugal , we think you can realistically tackle the Lisbon – Porto corridor (including some nice day trips) OR the Algarve. Not both. 
  • With two weeks in Portugal , you’ll have more time to breathe and can add a few additional stops in smaller cities like Braga , Coimbra , Tavira , or Évora in addition to seeing Lisbon, Porto, and the Algarve. 

Getting Around Portugal

Getting around Portugal with limited time is a bit complicated, which we’ll get into in a second. 

At a high level, there’s a robust train network run by Comboios de Portugal and bus network through companies like FlixBus and ALSA that connect most major cities and towns throughout the country.

We used Omio a lot on our trip to Portugal. Omio shows you all the options for getting from one city to another in one place – by train, bus, or plane – so that you can compare without going to multiple other websites. Plus, we ran into issues occasionally with our American credit cards getting declined through the official train website, and Omio was much easier to use without throwing our phones across the room. It’ll cost you a very small service fee (usually one Euro per ticket), but we think it was a much, much better experience (which is why we used it so often).

We love traveling by train, and it’s the best way to get around on the west coast, between Lisbon and Porto (and even further north than Porto) where there are both regional and high speed trains to choose from.

Trains in Portugal are significantly cheaper than in places like Spain and Italy, which is an added bonus (they’re also slightly less comfortable, in our experience). 

With limited time, always choose the high speed (Intercity, or IC) trains, which will be more expensive but significantly faster.

Once you get out of that major thoroughfare, the options for train travel get a little worse, which is where the bus network comes in. Oftentimes the buses take roughly the same amount of time as the regional trains, and can be even cheaper. 

For each step in this itinerary, we’re going to give you our take on the best way to get from one place to another. Oftentimes it will be the train, but sometimes the buses offer a convenient alternative. 

Should You Fly Between Cities in Portugal? 

This one highly depends on which route you choose below. There are some journeys, particularly from Porto to the Algarve, that are actually best done by flying between cities. 

We’ll get into this in the “routes” section, but we’d only recommend flying if it’s absolutely necessary – it will be expensive, oftentimes slower if you count all the time getting to the airport and sitting around waiting, and less convenient overall. 

Definitely don’t fly between Lisbon and Porto – the high speed train does a good job connecting those two major cities. 

Should You Rent a Car in Portugal?

We think you should rent a car to visit the Algarve . The car will give you the flexibility to get off the beaten path a little bit and out to some less crowded (but equally beautiful) beaches that just aren’t well connected with public transportation. We would not have been able to make it to nearly as many places as we did if we didn’t have a car.

That being said, you can still enjoy the Algarve without a car, but it will be a slightly different experience. 

However, we absolutely would not recommend having a car in either Lisbon or Porto , where it will be more of a hindrance than a help thanks to parking and traffic. 

Instead, plan on renting a car when you arrive on the Algarve, and keeping it only during that leg of the trip. This will also save you money in the long run on gas, days of car rental, and tolls. 

We rented a car through AutoEurope , which gives you the prices and availability for multiple car companies all in one place.

When you choose your carrier, stick to the major international car rental companies like Europcar, Hertz, and Avis, and steer clear of the regional Portuguese car rental companies, which will do their best to nickel-and-dime you into financial ruin. 

can you visit spain and portugal in 10 days

Tips for Renting a Car in Portugal

We think you should definitely rent a car to do the Algarve, it’s just a matter of figuring out the best way to do it for your particular trip.

Here are a few things to consider about renting a car in Portugal that we discovered over the course of our trip. 

  • If you’re picking up a rental car in one place and dropping it in a different place, your rental will be subject to a “one-way” fee that escalates based on the distances between locations. For reference, we picked up our car in Lagos and dropped it in Évora, which is about a three hour drive, and it was a 50 Euro fee. We imagine the fee would be similar for Lisbon. 
  • There is an airport surcharge of about 30 Euros, depending on the company, that applies when you are either picking up or dropping off at an airport (in this case, likely either Lisbon Airport or the Faro Airport). You could avoid this by picking up the car in Lagos instead, but if you are arriving at the Faro Airport, it makes more logistical sense to just pay the fee. 
  • There are toll roads throughout Portugal, which means you will pay to use the bigger, faster highways. The two you’re most likely to encounter are the A2 between Lisbon and the Algarve, and the A22 between Lagos and Faro. The easiest way to handle them is to ask your rental car company to activate their electronic transponder, which will automatically bill you for any tolls. More information on toll roads in Portugal here . 

Where to Start & End Your Trip

There are two options that we’ve come up with, and each has a set of pros and cons. Which one you choose most likely depends on your flight into Portugal. 

The first option is flying in and out of Lisbon , which tends to have the most routes – particularly direct flights – in and out of Portugal to international destinations.

This is also likely to be the cheapest option, though it’s the least convenient in terms of logistics (as we’ll get into in the next section) because it involves you making your way back to Lisbon from the Algarve, which can be a bit of a journey at over four hours. 

The second option, and the one we’d strongly recommend, is to fly into Porto and out of Faro (the main airport on the Algarve).

This option might have fewer flight options and can be a bit more expensive, but it’s also by far the most convenient because it doesn’t involve hours of backtracking to catch your flight home. 

The Route for This Portugal Itinerary

We’re putting our stake in the ground and recommending the version of the itinerary that has you flying into Porto and out of Faro, which is by far the least complicated way to do it. We think the potential added cost is going to be worth it for the time saved by not having to get back to Lisbon to catch your flight . 

We get that you might not agree, and it’s pretty easy to rearrange the itinerary below to accommodate flying in and out of a single city. You’ll just need to add a train or bus journey to your itinerary at the end to get back to catch your flight. 

With that out of the way, here’s how we’d spend 10 days in Portugal if it’s your first time. 

  • Day 1 : Arrive in Porto in AM
  • Day 2 : Porto 
  • Day 3 : Day Trip to Douro Valley
  • Day 4 : Travel to Lisbon (as early as possible)
  • Day 5 : Lisbon
  • Day 6 : Day Trip to Sintra
  • Day 7 : Travel to Algarve + Pick up Rental Car
  • Day 8 : Algarve
  • Day 9 : Algarve
  • Day 10 : Algarve + Fly Home

You obviously have a bit of flexibility in terms of when you choose to do the day trips from Lisbon and Porto, what days to do which activities, and more. We’re not going to give you a day-by-day itinerary – instead, we’re going to give you our picks for what to do, where to stay, and how to plan a day trip (to the Douro or to Sintra) for each city. 

The Complete 10 Day Portugal Itinerary for First Timers

And now that we’ve got all the boring-but-important logistics out of the way, onto the fun stuff! 

If you’re coming from somewhere like the US or Canada, you’re going to be a little slow on your first day due to jet lag. Plan on taking it relatively easy, drink plenty of water, and don’t go buckwild on the Port on your first day in Portugal. 

Days 1-3: Porto + Day Trip to the Douro Valley

can you visit spain and portugal in 10 days

Your first stop in Portugal is Porto, which has a friendly rivalry with its neighbor to the south, Lisbon, over the fact that Porto was the original capital and is the city that the entire country is named after.

Portugal was conquered by the Christian armies of the Inquisition from north to south, ending in the 12 th Century, which is when the borders of present-day Portugal were formed (and have more or less stayed the same since). 

We found Porto to be similar to Lisbon in some ways, but significantly different in many respects.

The first is that it’s a much older city. Lisbon was leveled by a massive earthquake (somewhere between 8.5 and 8.9 on the Richter scale) in 1755. Along with the subsequent fires and a tsunami. Not a great day for Lisbon. 

Porto survived the earthquake, which means the buildings in the city center are much, much older. Which gives it a more lived-in feeling, and a less polished look. We heard the word “gritty” used, but don’t quite agree with that assessment. Lived-in is a better term in our experience. 

Everywhere you go in Porto, it feels like real people live there (rather than parts of Lisbon that feel like it’s exclusively tourists). And that’s a feeling that we really enjoy. 

P.S.: To help you plan an amazing few days in Porto, we wrote a guide to planning an amazing 3 days in Porto ! We also have a guide to spending one day in Porto , if you’re short on time.

can you visit spain and portugal in 10 days

Porto is a great two day destination, which begs the question “why do you have us here for three days then?” 

At the end of every trip, we do a “best experience / food / drinks” recap together over a glass of wine (or several). There was an experience that came up over and over again during the conversation about our trip to Italy , Spain , and Portugal.

And that experience was our day trip to the Douro Valley , which included a winery visit to try port, an amazing lunch experience, and a boat cruise on the picturesque Douro River. 

It’s expensive, it’s true, but we think it’s worth a whole day of your time to see the famous terraced vineyards of the Douro Valley, one of the oldest wine regions in Europe (if not THE oldest). 

Pro-tip : Every single local we met in Porto said something along the lines of “hey, be careful with port” – it’s super easy to drink, it’s 20% alcohol, and it’s full of sugar so the hangovers are awful. You’ve been warned. 

can you visit spain and portugal in 10 days

Arriving in Porto

There’s a handy metro line that goes to and from the Porto airport – Porto Francisco Sá Carneiro Airport (OPO) – in 30-40 minutes. You can buy tickets at the entrance, and it will connect you with the other metro lines once you arrive in the city. More information here . 

You can also take a taxi (which will cost around 23 Euros) or pre-book a private transfer to take the stress out of arriving. 

What to Do in Porto

Here are some things we enjoyed in Porto, in no particular order.

  • A Walking Tour to Learn about Porto’s History . Porto’s history is fascinating, going all the way back to the Roman Empire (and beyond that, too) and along the way becoming the capital of Portugal before Lisbon was given that title. One thing you’ll notice is the fact that Porto is an older city than Lisbon, mainly because of the earthquake that leveled Lisbon in 1755. A walking tour will introduce you to all that history and more with a local who can give you tips on what to eat and where to eat it, how to get around, what not to miss, and more. We always do walking tours in nearly every city we go to, and always walk away (ha!) with a bunch of new stories and a better understanding of history. We’ve also learned that you get what you pay for here, and there’s a reason the free tours are, well, free. Here’s the one we’d choose in Porto, though we actually chose this private walking tour in Porto ourselves with our favorite tour company, Withlocals. 
  • Miradouros . Porto is a beautiful city, perched on a hill overlooking the river below, so there are a few viewpoints that we think you shouldn’t miss. First is Miradouro da Vitória ( here on Google Maps), which is a place we found ourselves multiple times on our trip. It’s a great view out over the city and river, and it’s worth the effort you’ll expend coming from the bottom of the hill. On the opposite side of the river, Jardim de Morro ( here on Google Maps – technically in Vila Nova de Gaia) has some of the best views of the city, which sprawls up the hill away from the river, and the Ponte Dom Luis I (the bridge).
  • The Port Houses in Vila Nova de Gaia . Across the river from the city of Porto is a separate city called Vila Nova de Gaia, which is where all of the port houses are located. It’s worth an afternoon of your time to cross the river and do a tour, where you’ll learn about the process of making port and usually get to enjoy a tasting at the end to understand the differences between ruby, tawny, and the other types of port. We did the tour at Graham’s Port Lodge and really enjoyed it, though we also heard good things about Taylor’s and Churchill too from various locals we interacted with. If you’re looking to try port in the city center of Porto, go to Prova , where we got a mini-lesson on the basics of port before we made it across the river later in the trip. 
  • Eat a Bifana and a Francesinha . Two of Porto’s most famous dishes are meat-heavy sandwiches that we had mixed feelings on. Neither of us are huge meat eaters, and I have Celiac Disease and need to eat gluten free, so our choices were limited. We did manage to find both, though! The Francesinha is a sandwich stacked with multiple types of meat, a fried egg, and a spicy sauce made of beer and broth. It’s basically a heart attack on a plate. We enjoyed it, but probably wouldn’t eat it again. The second is the bifana , which is a pork sandwich that is both cheap and delicious. My brother was the guinea pig here, and ended up enjoying it. We got it at Conga , recommended to us by our walking tour guide. You know it’s authentic when you can see them making the meat in the window. 
  • Livraria Lello . We’re conflicted about this one, because we actually chose to skip it after seeing the massive line outside – which exists all day long, opening to closing. This is a beautiful bookstore that became famous when fans learned that J.K. Rowling wrote a portion of the books while working in Porto as an English teacher in the early 90’s, and that this bookstore might have served as inspiration (key word: might). The interior, particularly the staircase, is beautiful, but we were a little shocked by the price and popularity. It’s 5 Euros to enter, which you’ll get back if you decide to buy a book.

You might notice that all of the port houses have very, uh, English names. Graham’s. Taylor’s. Sandeman’s. That’s because they were, and still are, owned by English companies who, at the time they were started, were looking to find a new source of wine after the French ramped up prices.  

can you visit spain and portugal in 10 days

If you’re looking to get some deeper knowledge and insight into the food scene in Porto and northern Portugal, we’d recommend a food tour. Given the fact that I have Celiac Disease, we didn’t do one ourselves (it would just be me salivating over everyone else eating delicious food, even though I’d love the history and stories part of the tour). Here’s the tour we would have done, had it made sense. 

can you visit spain and portugal in 10 days

Where to Stay in Porto

Porto is a compact city, so staying anywhere near the center of the city is going to put you within walking distance of basically everything in the city. It’s a little bit hilly, but not too bad.

We have an entire guide dedicated to deciding where to stay in Porto , which you should definitely read if you want to get deeper into each neighborhood we recommend and why we like it.

Otherwise, here are the highlights.

That being said, we’d recommend staying relatively close to the river, either in the upscale Ribeira neighborhood along the river, or in one of the neighborhoods adjacent to it to the north. 

We personally stayed in Bolhão , which was about 10-15 minutes away from the river on foot, and was a more affordable location than the area along the river. And, to be honest, it was much more enjoyable and we’d stay there again in a heartbeat. 

We heard mostly Portuguese (versus the mix of English, French and Spanish you’ll hear near the river) and there were a ton of great places to eat and drink within 3-5 minutes of walking. And it felt younger and more lively, particularly at night. 

We stayed at Your Opo Cozy Apartments , which was the perfect base for us because we need access to a kitchen and prefer having more space to spread out (especially since we were traveling with my little brother).

We also had our eye on Hotel Moon & Sun , which is a good option if you’re looking for a nice hotel in a great location (across from one of our favorite coffee shops in the city). 

Update 2024: My mom and her friend stayed at Hotel Moon & Sun in late 2023 and loved it. The location is great (they also loved So Coffee Roasters across the street).

We were originally going to stay at The Passenger Hostel , but changed to an apartment with more space when my brother decided to join. 

Planning Your Day Trip to the Douro Valley

can you visit spain and portugal in 10 days

In short, we could not recommend the tour we did more highly . Like we said above, we spent a full 90 days (well, 89, really) in Europe, and that day was at the top of the list of our favorite experiences. 

If you’re looking for our top recommendation, that’s the tour we’d choose. However, there are a couple of other ways you could tackle the Douro Valley. 

  • Do it independently by public transportation : It is possible to do this day trip using public transportation, but we think you have to make significant trade offs doing it that way (though it is much cheaper). There is a train from Porto to Pinhão, a major town in the Douro Valley full of wineries and restaurants along the river. However, once you’re there, you’ll have to walk / taxi between places, and you’re really confined to the area immediately around town. 
  • Do it independently by car : If you rent a car, we think you’ll have a better experience than using public transportation. But, again, it comes with tradeoffs. You’ll have to drive, which means watching how much port you drink (don’t drink and drive, folks!), and it can be expensive and inconvenient to rent a car for a day. That being said, it does give you more flexibility even than a guided tour to discover places that you wouldn’t have otherwise found, which we like. If you want to do the Douro Valley independently, this is how we’d do it. 

can you visit spain and portugal in 10 days

We’d definitely recommend making it out to the Douro Valley. The best way to do it is either by  booking the tour we did , which includes a winery, an amazing lunch (with more wine), a Douro River cruise (with more wine), and all transportation, or  renting a car and doing it independently .

Days 4-6: Lisbon + Day Trip to Sintra

can you visit spain and portugal in 10 days

Lisbon, Portugal’s capital, is a lovely city to explore. In fact, it reminds us a lot of San Francisco, our last home before we quit our jobs and hit the road full time (ish).

It has hills with amazing views, a great food and drink scene, and even has a red bridge that looks suspiciously like the Golden Gate. 

We were somewhat surprised to learn that the entire city was essentially flattened in the 18 th Century thanks to a giant earthquake (another similarity to San Francisco). It has since been rebuilt, and has made multiple lists of “best places to travel” over the past decade or so. 

Lisbon is no longer off the beaten path, but it still very much has the charm of a mid-sized city, with a mix of tourists and locals, that places like Paris and Rome just don’t have. 

can you visit spain and portugal in 10 days

Getting to Lisbon

Hourly Intercity (IC) trains – those are the fast ones – depart from Porto’s Campanhã train station and will take you to Lisbon in about three hours. We’d opt for an early train to get to Lisbon by noon or so. 

Plan to arrive at Lisbon’s Santa Apolonia station, which is connected to the rest of the city with Lisbon’s clean and efficient metro. The alternative is Oriente, which is further out and not as well-connected. 

Click here to see prices and train times for the journey from Porto to Lisbon . 

What to Do in Lisbon

We have an entire guide to spending 3 days in Lisbon, which you should definitely read for far more detailed information on exactly what to do and see in Lisbon. 

Here are the highlights. 

  • Try to Visit All the Miradouros . Lisbon is a city full of hills, which means there are great views to be had at the top of them. Our favorite views in the city were from Miradouro da Senhora do Monte ( here on Google Maps), which is allll the way at the top of the hill behind Alfama. The view, which includes the castelo and the bridge, is worth the climb (it’s where the picture at the top of this section was taken). Another great view is Miradouro de São Pedro de Alcântara ( here on Google Maps), which is near Bairro Alto with views back towards the castle.  
  • Take a Walking Tour to Learn About the City’s History and Rebirth . We actually did two different walking tours in Lisbon, and would recommend them both. The first was a private walking tour through Withlocals , which is one of our favorite tour companies. They connect you with a local who takes you on a one-of-a-kind private city tour to see their city through their eyes, which is unique. We also did the We Hate Tourism walking tour through the “Real City,” which is more focused on socially responsible travel and takes you to a neighborhood that you probably wouldn’t ordinarily make it to on your own. Both are great for different reasons. 
  • Head Out to Belem . Belem used to be a suburb of Lisbon, and in a way it still kind of is, though it’s technically inside the city limits. There are a few things to do and see out in Belem, and it’s an easy 15-20 minute tram ride from the center to get there. There’s the Torre de Belem, a former defensive tower (that wasn’t particularly good at its job) turned prison that sits in a strategic location along the Tagus River. DON’T GO INTO THE TOWER – NOT WORTH IT. The Jerónimos Monastery is worth a visit for the beautiful cloister. The Monument to the Discoveries is a towering nod to Portugal’s intrepid past as one of the original naval powers in Europe. And, of course, there’s Pastéis de Belem , which claims to be the first place to sell the egg custard tart, and has its own name for them that nobody else gets to use (they came in second in our pastéis de nata taste-off). 
  • Hunt for the Best Pastéis de Nata in Lisbon . Over our time in Lisbon – almost a week – we made it a goal to try all the pastéis de nata and decide which one we liked best. We quickly learned that the endeavor was going to be impossible, so we decided to focus on the couple of spots that consistently get all the press. Mantegaria , a recommendation from our walking tour guide, ended up being the clear winner. Pastéis de Belem took the second spot. Aloma , a pick of both locals we did walking tours with, was a distant third, but that might have been user error given that the pastéis we got weren’t warm. It’s also worth noting that they aren’t usually gluten free, so Matt had to watch Alysha and his two brothers devour pastéis with reckless abandon. 

can you visit spain and portugal in 10 days

Where to Stay in Lisbon

First of all, below is the short version. We have an entire guide dedicated to deciding where to stay in Lisbon , which you should read for more detail on the options, pros/cons, and specific places to stay.

While there are many possible answers to this question, we think 99% of people should choose between the central and charming Chiado neighborhood, and the historic Alfama neighborhood, which is full of narrow cobblestone streets and amazing viewpoints. 

Chiado is more utilitarian – it’s well connected to the rest of Lisbon with its central location in the center of the city and a dedicated metro stop. There’s an endless number of places to eat and drink your heart out, and you’re going to be 5-10 minutes away from the best food and nightlife in the city (which we think are in Bairro Alto and Principe Real). 

Alfama is the most romantic part of the city. It’s the part of Lisbon where you’ll find narrow, pedestrian-only cobblestone streets, and it’s home to two of the best views of the city. There are a handful of hotels and guesthouses scattered throughout the neighborhood. 

We’d highly recommend avoiding staying in an Airbnb in Lisbon because of the impact it has had on housing prices, which have in turn forced locals out of the city and further out into the suburbs. Choose hotels, apart-hotels, guesthouses, and hostels instead. 

Planning Your Day Trip to Sintra

can you visit spain and portugal in 10 days

Sintra is a great day trip from Lisbon, and is also the most common day trip that visitors take, which means you’re not going to be alone on the journey out there.

The main attraction here is Pena Palace, which is all the way at the top of the hill. Take the bus or a taxi to get there from the train station, it should be your first stop in Sintra. From there, work your way back down the hill. 

Pena Palace is essentially a summer home, built in the Sintra Mountains by King Ferdinand II. Originally, it was a monastery on the hill, but it was destroyed during the 1755 earthquake and sat there in disrepair for years.

Then, Ferdinand said “wouldn’t it be great to have a place to escape the oppressively hot Lisbon summers? Maybe a place on a hill, with nice views and a cool coastal breeze?” 

12 years later, the palace was finished. There are tons of other attractions to see in addition to Pena Palace, but you should keep in mind that you won’t be able to see them all on a day trip.

Focus on 2-3 (we have thoughts below on what those 2-3 should be, duh), and save some time for walking around the town of Sintra at the bottom of the hill. 

Planning on taking a day trip to Sintra? We have an entire guide dedicated to planning an amazing Lisbon to Sintra day trip , which has more detail than the section below.

can you visit spain and portugal in 10 days

Getting to Sintra 

Sintra is an easy 45 minute train ride from Lisbon’s Rossio Station in Baixa. Getting to Rossio is pretty easy from basically anywhere in Lisbon, including Baixa, Chiado, and Alfama. 

The most important thing to know is that you will want to be on the first feasible train out to Sintra , which totally depends on how early you want to wake up. 

The train we chose left at 8:11 am, which we think is the perfect time because you’ll arrive in Sintra around 9:00 am, and most of the attractions open at 9:30 am, giving you about 30 minutes to get up the hill to Pena Palace to start your day and beat the rest of the visitors. 

What to Do in Sintra

Here’s the thing – there’s actually A LOT to do in Sintra. So much so, that you’re definitely not going to be able to comfortably fit it all into a single day, which is likely the amount of time you have. 

For context, we were on one of the first trains out to Sintra, and didn’t make it back to the city until somewhere around 3:00 or 4:00 pm. And we only really did a couple of the many tourist attractions in Sintra. We would suggest picking two or three things that you’re most interested in, and tackling those two plus the town of Sintra, which has some good places to eat and drink. 

We also obviously have an opinion on what you should focus your time on, and we think the two sites you should choose are Pena Palace and the Moorish Castle . Both offer different experiences – one is an opulent palace with fertile gardens, one is a replica of a former, you guessed it, Moorish Castle with spectacular views out over the ocean. 

If you want to add in a third sight, we’d recommend the Quinta da Regaleira . 

We’d do the two aforementioned sights before lunch, making your way down the hill as you go, having lunch in the town of Sintra, then doing the 10 minute walk out to the Quinta da Regaleira before heading back into town to catch the train back to Lisbon. 

Strap in, bring water and snacks, and prepare yourself for a full day affair. 

Here are some more details on the Pena Palace and Moorish Castle. 

Pena Palace

can you visit spain and portugal in 10 days

There are two parts of the Pena Palace complex, and they require different tickets. There are the gardens, and then there’s the interior. We decided to skip the interior – we’ve seen plenty of opulent palaces over the course of our travels, maybe the rich dudes should have spent the money that they spent on their summer home on something, I don’t know, more useful?

We would recommend just getting a ticket for the grounds, and admiring the palace from the outside. Here’s how we’d spend your time: 

  • Start by exploring the gardens. When we arrived, the palace was fogged in and you could barely make out the bright yellow facade. If you find yourself in the same boat, fear not! It will likely burn off. Head out to the High Cross in the gardens, which is a nice view (if the fog happens to be gone – it wasn’t when we were there). In general, our favorite part of the gardens was the lakes area at the bottom of the hill. 
  • Then make the walk up to the palace. Admire the arches and tiles along the outside, and go up into the chapel, which is free. 
  • Walk the walls of the palace . There’s a short path around the palace walls, which you should save for last because it’s a great view out over Sintra and all the way to the coast, so you want it to be clear. 

More info here . 

Castelo dos Mouros

can you visit spain and portugal in 10 days

Honestly, we were SO close to skipping this. But we were so glad we didn’t!

Walking along the reconstructed walls of this Moorish Castle from the 8th or 9th Century was the highlight of our time in Sintra, and the views are nothing short of spectacular. 

It was built when the were in control of the Iberian Peninsula, and then it was taken by the Christians in the 12th Century, and basically left in various levels of desertion ever since as tensions calmed and people no longer felt the need to live within the castle walls and started making their way downhill towards Sintra and proverbial greener pastures. 

can you visit spain and portugal in 10 days

There are some historical sights to see along the way, but we’d focus your time on walking the walls from one end to the other, which involves some steps (which are actually kind of hard), and is basically a nonstop spectacular view from start to finish. Go counter-clockwise. 

More information here . 

Dive deeper into Lisbon with our other Lisbon travel guides:

  • 3 Days in Lisbon: Planning the Perfect Lisbon Itinerary
  • Where to Stay in Lisbon: Our Guide to 4 Amazing Places to Stay
  • Gluten Free Lisbon: A Complete Guide to Lisbon’s Best Gluten Free Restaurants
  • The Best Coffee in Lisbon: 9 Amazing Lisbon Coffee Shops to Add to Your List
  • Planning Your Lisbon to Sintra Day Trip: A Complete Guide

Days 7-10: The Algarve

can you visit spain and portugal in 10 days

The Algarve is the area along Portugal’s southern coast, and it’s very, very different from the other cities and regions in the country.

It’s more Mediterranean, with incredible fresh fish and seafood, warm weather (too warm in the summer for us), and a gorgeous coastline full of golden sand beaches and coves of turquoise water.

It’s the perfect place to spend the last few days of your Portugal itinerary soaking up the sun and relaxing on the beach before returning home. 

Getting to the Algarve

There are three options for getting to the Algarve if you’re coming from Lisbon. We used Omio to compare (and usually, book) our trains and buses in Spain and Portugal.

It’s a better user experience (we occasionally ran into issues with our foreign credit cards being declined by the official train websites) and it’ll just cost you a small service fee (usually 1 Euro per ticket). 

First is the train . We love traveling by train in Europe, and there are intercity trains (those are the fast ones!) that will get you from Lisbon to Faro in 3 hours.

From there, you’ll have to connect with a regional train to get to places on the Algarve like Lagos or Carvoiero (spoiler: those are two places we’d recommend staying on the Algarve). Book your train tickets as far in advance as possible for lower prices. 

Second is the bus – we’d opt for FLIXBUS. The bus is slightly less comfortable, we think, but usually cheaper (especially if you’re booking close to the date of travel, when Intercity trains become more expensive).

There are also more direct options to more places on the Algarve (Lagos, in particular), versus the train to Faro and then connecting with a regional train from there. The bus is going to take about 3.5 hours, and cost somewhere around 6-10 Euros. 

Third is renting a car in Lisbon and driving, which takes about three hours or so. This is a particularly good option if you’re flying out of Lisbon to get back home.

If that’s the case, this is actually our top recommendation because it’ll make getting back to catch your flight a little more simple, and you won’t have to pay a one-way fee for dropping off the car in a different place than where you picked it up. 

Whichever way you choose, we’d opt for an early departure from Lisbon to get you to the Algarve for the afternoon. Click here to compare your different options on Omio . 

Do You Need a Car on the Algarve?

After traveling by train and bus for part of our trip to the Algarve, and then renting a car for the second part, we have a strong perspective that the best way to enjoy the Algarve is by renting a car.  

Sure, there is a regional train network that connects the major towns on the Algarve, but oftentimes the best beaches are going to be a bit outside of town, and a car makes it easier to get there. 

Having a car will also give you more flexibility, since trains aren’t that plentiful (they only come a few times a day) and it’s hard to figure out exactly when local and regional buses come (or if they come at all). 

We rented a car twice during our three month European adventure, once in Sicily , once on the Algarve.

Both times we used AutoEurope to compare prices with different rental companies and find the best rates, and booked a car through Europcar , which was a pleasant experience both times. We’d recommend both.

What to Do on the Algarve

You have three days on the Algarve, and we have a strong perspective on what you should do with those days based on our own experiences. 

Heads up: In this section, we’re going to give you a bit more of a day-by-day itinerary to help you organize your time. For more detail, head over to our Algarve itinerary , which has all the information you’ll need to make the most of your time on Portugal’s southern coast. 

Day 7: Lagos and Around

can you visit spain and portugal in 10 days

On your first day, spend the day settling in and exploring the area around Lagos. There are three beaches in particular that we think are well worth your time. 

  • The first, Praia dos Estudantes , is one of the Algarve’s most famous beaches thanks to the Roman bridge that is visible from the beach. 
  • Next, stop by Praia do Pinhão , where you can pick up a coastal route up on the bluffs that takes you to the third beach on your tour-de-Lagos-beaches.
  • The last beach, Praia da Dona Ana , is also one of the most-visited beaches in the entire region. It’s a little cove, accessible from both ends, and the best views of the beach are from the bluffs on the eastern side (which is where you’ll find yourself if you follow the coastal trail). 

All three beaches would be a good spot to relax in the sun for a few hours. Make sure to bring sunscreen and plenty of water. You can walk to all of them, doing one big loop back to the center of Lagos. 

For seafood that’s about as fresh as it can be, head out to Restaurante Chico Zé for lunch, which is a 10 minute drive north of the center of Lagos.

It’s a family run, lunch-only establishment where there is almost always a line out the door during the high season (and sometimes during shoulder seasons). Don’t miss the grilled sardines, served with potatoes. 

An alternative closer to town would be Tasca Da Lota , which is within walking distance of the city center near the train station. It’s cash only. 

For sunset, drive out to Ponta da Piedade , which is a unique rock formation surrounded by sheer cliffs. It’s a spot that most of the boat tours leaving from Lagos stop at because there’s a series of cool sea caves and hidden grottos. 

can you visit spain and portugal in 10 days

On foot, you can walk down the long set of stairs to get to the base of the cliffs – just remember that you’ll have to climb back up. Once you’ve done that, it’s also worth finding the trail that heads west from the parking lot and walking along the boardwalks for more amazing coastal views. 

On the way, stop by Praia do Camilo , a small, hidden beach accessible only by climbing down a long set of steep stairs (and, again, climbing back up when you’re done, of course).

Day 8: The Seven Hanging Valleys Trail

can you visit spain and portugal in 10 days

On your second day, tackle what we think is the best hike on the Algarve – the Seven Hanging Valleys Trail . 

This hike, best done from east to west starting from Praia da Marinha to Praia do Vale de Centeanes , was one of our favorite experiences in Portugal. And we’re from coastal California, which we learned is very similar to the Algarve in terms of scenery, flora, and fauna.

The point is, it’s a great hike, and that’s coming from two people who have done countless hikes with similar views and scenery. 

First, an overview of the full out-and-back hike. 

  • Length : 7 miles / 11.4 km
  • Elevation Gain : 1,200 ft. / 365 meters
  • Season : Year round (more on this below)
  • Trail Type : Out and Back (we have ideas on alternate routes below)
  • Difficulty : Easy / Moderate
  • Trailhead Location : Either Praia da Marinha or Praia do Vale de Centeanes
  • Dog Friendly : Yes! 

If that sounds like too much for you, you have a few options in terms of shortening the hike. 

  • Option 1: The Full Hike, Round Trip – 7 miles / 1,200 feet of elevation gain (11.4 km / 365 m). Hike the entire trail out-and-back from Praia da Marinha to Praia do Vale de Centeanes, and then back the way you came. 
  • Option 2: The Full Hike, One Way – 3.5 miles / 600 feet of elevation gain (6 km / 180 m). Do the entire hike, but only one way. This requires using either taxis, Uber, or hitching a ride to get back to your car at the first trailhead (or finding a way to get there without a car). 
  • Option 3: Partial Hike, Out and Back – 3.3 miles / 600 feet of elevation gain (5.6 km / 180 m). Hike the section between Praia da Marinha and Praia do Carvalho, which in our opinion is the best part of the trail. You can continue on to the nice lighthouse – Farol de Alfanzina, for an additional 2 miles (3.2 km) added to your round-trip distance. 

can you visit spain and portugal in 10 days

For more details, including which direction to go, where to park, what time of day to hike, and a detailed trail report, head over to our Seven Hanging Valleys Trail Guide .  

Finish your day at the ending point for the trail you hiked earlier in the day – Praia do Vale de Centeanes – which is a pretty spectacular place to watch the sunset.

You can either bring a blanket and set up shop on the beach, or head up onto the bluffs to the east of the beach, where there’s a point that juts out into the sea and has some benches overlooking the spectacular coastal landscape. 

Day 9: Sagres and the Western Algarve

can you visit spain and portugal in 10 days

On your third day, head the opposite direction towards the Atlantic Ocean, where you’ll find a dramatic coastline that looks a little bit different than the one you’ve explored so far. Think towering limestone cliffs and dramatic drop offs with the churning sea below. 

This part of the Algarve, which is much quieter than the area around Lagos and to the east, reminds us a lot of Point Reyes National Seashore, which is a short drive from our home base in California. 

Start by driving all the way out to Farol do Cabo de São Vicente, the southwestern-most point in Europe, and making your way back east towards Lagos. 

  • Praia do Beliche ( here on Google Maps) was our favorite beach in the area, and the steps leading down to it are super steep (which is saying something in Europe, land of the unnecessarily steep steps).
  • The town of Sagres is a little sleepy, but it’s worth heading out to the Fortaleza de Sagres , which you’ll have to pay a few Euros to access, but the views from the point are worth it. It is going to be windy when you’re there – it almost always is. It’s also home to some of the best surfing in Europe if that’s something you’re into. We were there in the winter, so we took a hard pass on surfing lessons . 
  • Praia da Mareta ( here on Google Maps) and Praia do Martinhal ( here on Google Maps) are two nearby beaches we enjoyed. 

can you visit spain and portugal in 10 days

After you’ve explored Sagres and the surrounding area, you can either head back to where you’re staying and do some more exploring, or head up the coast north along Portugal’s Atlantic coast to Praia da Arrifana , which is a different feeling than the Algarve. Or you could stop by the small fishing town of Salema on your way back to Lagos. 

Where to Stay in the Algarve

For this amount of time on the Algarve, we’d recommend choosing one home base and exploring from there. 

Keep in mind that this is the quick version. We have an entire guide dedicated to choosing exactly where to stay in the Algarve , so you should head over there if you want the details.

For the sake of convenience, we also think that place should be relatively central to give you the best access to both the eastern Algarve and its pristine white sand beaches, and the rocky, cliff-y (is that a word?) coastline of the western Algarve. 

We stayed in two separate places in the Algarve, and would recommend them both. Those two places are Lagos and Carvoeiro , and anywhere in between those two, which are a 35 minute drive apart, would be a perfect place to stay. 

can you visit spain and portugal in 10 days

Lagos is more of a city, with a charming old town and plenty of bars, restaurants, and other amenities that you might be interested in.

If you’re looking to stay in the middle of a bustling city with lots of restaurant options and bars that are open until the early hours of the morning, Lagos is for you.

In Lagos, we stayed at the Salty Lodge , which is smack dab in the middle of the old town. We really enjoyed this place, and our room had a pretty spectacular view towards the ocean. If your room doesn’t, they also have a rooftop terrace with this view. 

can you visit spain and portugal in 10 days

Rooms at the Salty Lodge are apartment-style, complete with stovetops and ovens for cooking. Though you’ll be within walking distance of about 25 different restaurants, if you’d rather do not cook on your trip to Portugal. 

Carvoiero has a more relaxed vibe. Sure, there’s a little area near the main beach that has a nice stretch of bars and restaurants, but the draw here is the unparalleled access to beautiful beaches and the laid back nature of the town. If you’re looking for a relaxing, quiet place to stay, we’d recommend Carvoeiro.

can you visit spain and portugal in 10 days

In Carvoeiro, we stayed at Hello Villas , which turned out to be among the nicest places we stayed on our entire Portugal trip.

They’re spacious, quiet, and have everything you need to cook meals at home. Plus, they’re walking distance to town, though there’s a rather steep hill in between. 

Dive deeper into the Algarve with our other Algarve travel guides:

  • A Complete Guide to Planning an Algarve Road Trip (3-7 Days)
  • How to Hike the Seven Hanging Valleys Trail: Complete Trail Guide
  • Where to Stay on the Algarve: 5 Charming Towns to Use as a Home Base

What to Do with More Time in Portugal

If you’re lucky enough to find yourself with more than 10 days when you’re visiting Portugal, here are a few things that we’d add to your itinerary, along with how much time we’d allocate to each. 

  • Évora (1-2 Days) : A stop in Évora, a walled town in Portugal’s Alentejo region, known for its great food and wine, that has been designated a UNESCO World Heritage site. We were here for about 24 hours, and that was perfect. It’s just 90 minutes from Lisbon by train, but we’d recommend staying overnight if you can. 
  • Coimbra (1 Day) : A charming, riverfront town known for having the oldest university in Portugal. Students walking around with Harry Potter-style capes give the town a lively, fun vibe, though only when school is in session. We spent a night here between Lisbon and Porto and enjoyed walking up the hill from the river, though school wasn’t in session so the town was a little empty. 
  • Óbidos (1 Day) : Another good stop between Lisbon and Porto, this one is known for its intact medieval walls and castle, along with its charming narrow cobblestone streets. Plus, ginjinha, the sour cherry liqueur from Portugal, is served in a traditional chocolate cup here. 
  • More time on the Algarve (1-2 Days) : You could easily add a day or two on the Algarve and spend it going deeper, especially on the eastern Algarve. We loved Tavira, and heard good things about Olhão (though we didn’t personally make it there). 
  • Braga (1-2 Days) : Braga, way up in northern Portugal, is worth adding either as a day trip from Porto, or as an overnight destination on its own. We didn’t have time to fit it in (despite having almost a month in Portugal), but if we did, our first stop would have been Bom Jesus do Monte, a sanctuary on a hill with excellent views and architecture. 

What to Do with Less Time in Portugal

If you have less than 10 days in Portugal, you’re going to have to choose between the Lisbon / Porto corridor OR the Algarve. It’s just not possible to do Lisbon, Porto, and the Algarve in less than 10 days. 

We’d recommend the Lisbon / Porto corridor for most people , which is the more culturally interesting place where you’ll find great food, wine, and historical places to learn more about Portugal’s history. You can easily spend anywhere from 5-9 days on this part of Portugal alone (honestly, you could spend months and not see it all). 

If you want a beach vacation , well, then the Algarve is probably your best bet.

7 Days in Portugal

With 7 days in Portugal, we’d focus on the corridor between Lisbon and Porto and spend 2-3 days in each with time for day trips into the surrounding areas. There’s a high-speed train connecting the two cities, so you can either fly in and out of the same city, or fly into Lisbon and out of Porto (or vice versa) – whichever is cheaper. 

You definitely shouldn’t rent a car for this version of the itinerary. It’ll be more of a pain than anything if you’re using Porto and Lisbon as home bases for exploring the surrounding areas. 

The good news is that everything in this 7 day Portugal itinerary is also in the more detailed itinerary above, so you’ll be able to use the information above to plan your trip. 

Here’s what that 7 day itinerary could look like. It depends on where you’re flying in and out of – this assumes into Porto and out of Lisbon, but it totally works if you’re flying into Lisbon, or even if you’re flying in and out of Lisbon or Porto. 

  • Day 1 : Arrive in Porto
  • Day 6: Day Trip to Sintra
  • Day 7 : Lisbon + Fly Home

5 Days in Portugal

With 5 days, you have a few options. We’re going to give you three of our top picks, but of course there’s a nearly unlimited combination of different ways to tackle your visit to Portugal. 

You can do a shorter version of the 7 day Portugal itinerary we covered above, which could look something like this: 

  • Day 3 : Travel to Lisbon (as early as possible)
  • Day 4 : Lisbon 

The downside of that option is that you don’t have time to fit in day trips from either place. Which leads us to a second option, which involves focusing your entire time on Lisbon . 

  • Day 1 : Arrive in Lisbon
  • Day 2 : Lisbon
  • Day 3 : Day Trip to Sintra
  • Day 4 : Lisbon or Another Day Trip (Cascais or Óbidos)
  • Day 5 : Lisbon and fly home

Last, but not least, is to spend 5 days on the Algarve. This involves either flying in and out of Faro and renting a car there, or flying in and out of Lisbon and renting a car from there. Here’s what that could look like. For more detail, check out our Algarve itinerary . 

  • Day 1 : Arrive in Faro + Travel to Lagos / Carvoiero
  • Day 2 : Lagos + Surrounding Beaches
  • Day 3 : The Western Algarve (Sagres + Praia do Beliche)
  • Day 4 : Hike the Seven Hanging Valleys Trail
  • Day 5 : The Eastern Algarve (Faro + Tavira) + Travel Home

can you visit spain and portugal in 10 days

Planning a trip to Portugal?  

Here are our other Portugal travel guides to help you plan an incredible trip (even if you have to eat gluten free!).

If there’s no link below, it means we’re still working on it – long, in-depth guides take time! We’re working on it, though, we promise.

  • 10 Days in Portugal: Planning the Perfect Portugal Itinerary
  • 25 Incredible Things to Do in Lisbon: A Complete Guide
  • One Day in Lisbon: The Best of Lisbon in 24 Hours
  • 3 Days in Porto: Planning the Perfect Porto Itinerary
  • One Day in Porto: How to See the Best of Porto in a Day
  • Where to Stay in Porto, Portugal: The 3 Best Places to Stay

The Algarve:

  • Where to Stay in the Algarve: 5 Charming Towns to Use as a Home Base

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Matt is the founder and main writer behind Wheatless Wanderlust, which he started back in 2018 as a way to share his gluten free travel guides with his fellow Celiac travelers.

Since then, Matt and his wife Alysha have visited 18 national parks, spent three months in Europe and six weeks in Colombia, and have explored every corner of the Pacific Northwest, which is where Matt grew up.

He writes super detailed guides to the places they visit, bringing together personal experience and historical context to help YOU plan an amazing trip.


We have completed 2 weeks of our 4 week stay in Lisbon and the information shared here has been extremely helpful for us. We also made a day trip to Fatima and spent a few days in Porto and Lourdes (France). Lourdes was unusually cold 0 C (31 F) and because of that there were no crowds at all. We are from Michigan, so the cold weather didn’t matter much to us :). Porto is amazing and a must visit if you come to Portugal. We are staying in an ABB near Alameda metro station and we love it here – everything is within walking distance and my wife and I love walking. We easily do about 16-20K steps everyday! Uber is everywhere and very affordable and because of that, we haven’t tried the metro yet. Cafes and restaurants are everywhere and very good quality at a reasonable price.

Thanks a LOT to Matt and Alysha for documenting your experience which helped us a lot in our planning!

Thanks for the kind words, Joe! Glad you found our experiences helpful – that’s what we’re here for!

I am planning to visit Portugal for a 10 day trip starting April 11. Given this time of the year, does it make sense to visit Algarve? Is it possible to include Madeira by replacing Algarve for such a short trip?

Hey there! We were in the Algarve in early December, and it was lovely. It was warm – but not blazing hot – and the crowds were nonexistent. In April, it’ll be warmer and busier, but still worth a visit we’d say. However, if you want to do Madeira instead, just swap it in for the Algarve (it might get a little more complicated in terms of flights). However, we would say that it’s a lot of traveling to try to do Madeira (you essentially lose two full half days to flights).

I was reading some blogs and found yours to be the most detailed, precise and resourceful. So thank you for the efforts! I’ve heard a lot about Madeira Islands in Portugal, do you recommend visiting the islands in a 10day itinerary ? it is called the Hawaii of Portugal and I wanted to check if it worth visiting in a short span of time ?

Hey there! I would say that it’s a little far to try to do in 10 days, but if you wanted to squeeze it in, we’d essentially swap Madeira for the Algarve (you might have to move things around to accommodate the flights e.g. start in Lisbon, fly to Madeira and back, train up to Porto to finish). It depends on the logistics!

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can you visit spain and portugal in 10 days

10 Day Spain & Portugal Itineraries

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Create your dream Iberian vacation with the experts. Explore lively medieval streets full of savory morsels, admire architecture that harkens to past eras, and discover stunning countrysides that host local secrets. Intimately explore these European gems with a 10-day Spain and Portugal itinerary from Zicasso, which will continue to inspire you long after you leave.

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Spend the evening enjoying the romantic scenery of Lisbon, Portugal

10  Day Custom Tour

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Spain and Portugal embody the romance of lovers, providing a passionate and unforgettable customizable tour embracing history, culture, and excursions tailored for couples. Fairytale castles cling to precipitous hillsides. The melodies of Fado create a romantic soundtrack to an evening in Lisbon. The aroma of the Mediterranean Sea blends with the seductive scent of chocolate in Barcelona. From secluded medieval streets hiding the works of Picasso to the grand galleries of Madrid’s Royal Palace, you will indulge in the dreamy ambiance and desirous charms of Spain and Portugal.

View of the Belem Tower in Lisbon, Portugal

Stand beneath the soaring towers of La Sagrada Familia Cathedral and then wander the gilded halls of Spain’s royal palace.  Follow in the footsteps of celebrated Portuguese explorers and then traverse the narrow cobbled lanes of an ancient Moorish neighborhood. Your customizable tour will encompass the highlights of Barcelona, Madrid, and Lisbon and immerse you in natural beauty, diverse culture, and unrestrained history. Bask in the beautiful sounds of Portuguese Fado and indulge in the coastal air of the Mediterranean and Atlantic waters. Discover Spanish markets and seductive coastal cuisines, historical trollies and medieval walls while reveling in the wonders of the Iberian Peninsula.

Portuguese pastry, pastel de natal

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On this luxurious, 10-day culinary tour through Spain and Portugal, you will uncover the best gastronomic treasures that these countries have to offer. Spain and Portugal are home to some of the best culinary scenes in the world, and they are always inviting new guests to visit and see what is causing all the hype. Indulge in Pastel de Nata, partake in a traditional cooking lesson, and explore the Douro Valley on an exclusive wine tour . From the intriguing flavors of pintxos in the Spanish Basque Country to the world-class vintages of Catalonia’s wine region, this trip will offer you the culinary experience of a lifetime.

Spanish Palace in Seville, Spain

On this luxurious, 10-day excursion through Spain and Portugal, discover the highlights of these fascinating and enchanting countries. From the hilly streets of Lisbon to the sensual flamenco of Seville, prepare to embark on an adventure that you will never forget. Wander through Madrid’s Parque del Retiro, attend a soccer match in Madrid, indulge in a private tour of La Sagrada Familia, and delight in a private flamenco show.

La Rambla pedestrian area in Barcelona, Spain

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Iberia’s iconic cities celebrate both the enchantment of history and the vibrant ambiance of today. Begin with Barcelona to enjoy the cobbles to the Modernistas to the magic of Catalonia. Move next to Madrid to take in the royal treasures mixed with decadent tapas and the elegance of the plazas. Finally, you will stop in Lisbon, the Portuguese capital of color and charm where every neighborhood has its own idiosyncratic style. With several nights spent in each city, this luxury tour will uncover both the past and the present of the three iconic cities of Iberia, Barcelona, Madrid, and Lisbon.

Garden and bell tower at Alhambra Palace in Granada in a beautiful summer day, Spain

From the prestige of the Alhambra to the historic charms of the Castelo de Sao Jorge, your custom-tailored 10-day senior tour of Europe leads you through Spain and Portugal for the best of the Iberian Peninsula. Feel the beating spirit of Seville during a flamenco performance, sample the subtle flavors of celebrated wines in the Douro Valley, climb the impressive stairwell of the Spanish Royal Palace, and wander along the remnants of Moorish ramparts.

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View of São Jorge Castle in Lisbon, Portugal

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On this 10-day adventure through Spain and Portugal, experience some of the very best that these countries have to offer. Wander through the charming streets of Sintra and stop to listen to the melodies of Fado music as it drifts through the air. In Barcelona, gape in amazement at the glorious church of La Sagrada Familia. From the beaches of southern Portugal to the traditional Spanish center of Madrid, on this tour, your family is sure to make memories that you will cherish forever.

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The fabulous Pena National Palace on one of the hills of Sintra, Portugal

On this 10-day excursion through Spain and Portugal, explore much of the best of these Western European countries. Stroll along the charming streets of Sintra, ride in a hot air balloon over Barcelona, and attend a live flamenco show accompanied by regional tapas. From the serene beaches of Barcelona to the bustling streets of Madrid, this adventure will open your eyes to the rich history and culture of this fascinating region.

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During this 10-day off-the-beaten-path tour of Spain and Portugal, glide along the picturesque canals of the small Portuguese town of Aveiro as the sweet sounds of Fado music drift through the air. Delight in the natural beauty of Nerja as magnificent cliff faces rise from the sea, uncover these countries’ hidden treasures, and venture to locales that are rarely frequented, even by the locals. From the indulgent flavors of Madeira wine to the medieval charm of Salamanca, this journey will offer you a unique experience in two of Western Europe’s most spectacular countries.

Smoked salmon and sauce cooked by molecular gastronomy technique in Barcelona, Spain

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A Broken Backpack

Perfect 10 Days In Portugal Itinerary

by Melissa Giroux | Last updated Feb 24, 2023 | Europe , Portugal , Travel Tips

If you haven’t been to Portugal yet, you have to add it to your list.

Portugal is becoming a trendy destination, as it is a country that has everything. It’s an affordable country to travel in, making it a popular destination, especially for digital nomads. 

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Portugal has a rich history and culture with so much to do.

It is the perfect destination for beachgoers, wine drinkers, adventure seekers, and nature lovers – it truly is a magical place. 

Keep reading to find our perfect Portugal 10 day itinerary .

Ideal for road-trippers, backpackers, or food lovers – you’re going to love your 10 days in Portugal.

If you’re going to Portugal for one week, take a look at this one-week Portugal itinerary instead.

Moliceiro boat, Aveiro, Portugal

Lisbon (Day 1-3)

To begin your trip, fly into Lisbon. Lisbon is the capital of Portugal and the largest city in the country.

Lisbon is a beautiful and friendly city with so much to do! Lisbon offers delicious foods, numerous viewpoints, and vibrant nightlife. 

A great way to explore the city is through a walking tour! You can take a free walking tour that starts at Palace Square . This is a great thing to do one of your first days in the city.

You will learn history about the city, and if there is anything that catches your interest, you have time to go back and explore it more!

Alfama is a great neighborhood to wander around in Lisbon.  It has beautiful views and numerous lookout points. It is a hilly neighborhood and also one of the oldest areas in Lisbon.

You will find many cute shops and cafes to explore. 

Take a ride on Tram 28. Although it is just a tram, it has become a tourist attraction. The tram route is scenic, and you can explore the hilly neighborhood of Alfama without walking up the steep hills!

If you go during tourist season, ride the tram early in the morning to avoid crowds, because it does get crowded!

Lisbon is a city of numerous viewpoints. A couple to check out are Santa Justa Lift and Miradouro da Senhora do Monte Lookout.

Santa Just Lift is an old and beautiful lift built in 1920 that takes you to the top for Lisbon’s panoramic views.

The architecture of the lift is magnificent to see!

Miradouro da Senhora do Monte Lookout is a peaceful spot to view Lisbon. It’s the perfect spot to visit in the evening, with a bottle of wine and watch the sunset.

It is a steep climb to the top, but the views are worth it!

St George’s Castle is an impressive and well-kept castle with (another) gorgeous view of the city. You can wander around and admire the castle before grabbing a seat at the wine bar overlooking the city. 

From Lisbon, you should take a day trip to Belem . It is about a 45-minute train ride from Lisbon to Belem. The train route is right next to the water, and the ride is so scenic it will fly by.  

In Belem, there is a bakery, Pasteis de Belem , that sells the famous Portuguese pastry, pastel de nata. This is where the original recipe was developed and is a must-try! 

You will find Jeronimos Monastery , a great monastery that is lovely to walk through near the bakery. There is a cathedral inside with gorgeous architecture. 

Lastly, you can visit the Belem Tower , which has a rich history to learn about. You can even venture inside the tower and climb to the top.

PSSST.  Bring good walking shoes. Lisbon is hilly but also a great walking city to see all the sites! 


Where To Stay In Lisbon

Budget Hostel – Lookout Lisbon Hostel is located in the heart of Lisbon. The location is excellent and allows you to walk to numerous attractions. This is a great place to stay for solo travelers, as it is a fun and welcoming atmosphere. 

Mid-Range Hotel – Spacious studios at The Visionaire Apartments make for a comfortable and homey stay. The location is excellent, situated right in the historical downtown of Lisbon. There are numerous cafes and restaurants in the neighborhood. The rooms are spacious and private and a great option for your stay.

Luxury Hotel –  Corpo Santo Lisbon Historical Hotel is a 5-star hotel that offers everything you could need. It’s rated for its comfortable beds, historical building, and perfect location. The staff are excellent and go above and beyond for their guests. 

Porto (Day 3-5)

Next stop, the charming city of Porto. Porto is the second-largest city in Portugal and is a magical and very walkable city. 

Porto is another great city to do a walking tour. There is so much history to learn, and you can intake it in a fun way – plus it’s a great way to see the city! 

Not sure if two days in Porto is enough? Find out exactly how many days in Porto you’ll need.

Livraria Lello Bookshop is a stunning bookstore in Porto. The architecture on the inside is truly spectacular.

It is said that the architecture of the bookstore inspired JK Rowling when she was creating Hogwarts – so if you are a Harry Potter fan, this is a great stop!

This is a trendy spot among tourists so buy tickets ahead of time!

Porto is known for its port wine, and it is a must-try!

The gorgeous Douro River flows through Porto, and on the other side of the river, there are numerous Port Wine Cellars for you to visit! You can plan a port tasting tour to visit a few of them or visit on your own.

If you have the time, you can plan a trip to Douro Valley , a wine region close to Porto and a UNESCO World Heritage Site. This is a great place to experience port wine at its finest. 

A great way to experience the Douro River is to take a boat tour. It’s a relaxing way to experience the river and the city. It is especially great on a sunny day, after some port drinking.

There is a gorgeous park, Jardins do Palacio de Cristal, that overlooks the river and city. The park is enticing, as there is something new and unique to view around every corner.

There are even peacocks you can see in the park! It’s a stunning park and a memorable experience.

For more amazing views of the city, ride a cable car! It is a fast ride, but it is cheap, and you can see beautiful parts of the city and the beach!

Wandering around Porto is one of the best ways to take in the city’s beauty. You’ll find gorgeous buildings from the outside, and the beauty continues inside.

Some stunning buildings to check out are Porto City Hall , Sao Bento Railway Station , and Igreja Paroquial do Carvalhido , to name a few.


Where To Stay In Porto

Budget Hostel –  Porto Wine Hostel is in an excellent location, right in the heart of the city center. It is one of the most picturesque neighborhoods in Porto! The staff and guests are helpful and welcoming – it’s a great place to stay on a budget.

Mid-Range Hotel – Have you ever wanted to stay in a castle? Well, now is your chance! Castelo Santa Catarina is set in a castle with beautiful gardens. There are sun loungers in the garden to hang out or enjoy a drink. The beds are comfortable, and the rooms are tastefully decorated. 

Luxury Apartment –  Your Opo Bolhao Apartments offers stunning apartments that will make you feel right at home. The rooms are massive and uniquely decorated. The location is also excellent – close enough to all the main attractions and the city center! 

Sintra (Day 5-6)

Just a 1-hour train ride away from Lisbon is the gorgeous town of Sintra . Sintra is a UNESCO World Heritage Site and has stunning sites to view. It’s known for its magical palaces and quaint town.

There are so many palaces in Sintra – how do you choose?

Pena’s Palace is a palace that sits on top of a hill in Sintra. It’s the highest point in Sintra, and on a clear day, you can even see the Palace from Lisbon!

The outside of the palace looks like it is from a fairytale – sitting on top of a mountain, with bright colors, it almost looks unreal.

The inside of the building is gorgeously decorated. You will find a mix of historical styles, along with a combination of different cultural influences.  

Visit the Old Centre of Sintra , which is the main town. Cobblestone streets, beautiful buildings, and winding roads give the center a charming feel.

Quinta Da Regaleira is a stunning 20th-century architectural wonder. It’s recommended you take a tour of the area to learn about the rich history it holds.

There are secret passages and even underground tunnels in the palace’s garden – it is fun to roam around and get lost.  

However, the most stunning part is the Initiation Well , which consists of a spiraling staircase leading down a well.

You can walk down the well to explore it from the bottom and marvel at what happened in this well.

There is a secret passage at the bottom that brings you out in a completely different location – it’s truly a magical place!


Where To Stay In Sintra

Budget Hostel – Casa Azul Hostel is a clean and comfortable hostel with welcoming guests and staff. The rooms are comfortable, and the location is great. 

Mid-Range Hotel – This charming bed and breakfast is the perfect place to stay in Sintra. Sintra1012 Boutique Guesthouse is located in the heart of Sintra. The rooms are spacious, the location is excellent, and the beds are comfortable – what more could you want?

Luxury Guesthouse –  Chalet Saudade is one of the top places to stay in Sintra. However, it is located in the center, far enough away from the tourist attractions, in a serene location. The rooms are modern, comfortable, and elegantly decorated. Look at the pictures for yourself. It is a special place to stay!

Lagos (Day 6-8)

Lagos is located in the Algarve region and is a popular spot for tourists looking for a vacation.

The Algarve is the southernmost region of Portugal and is famous for its beaches and nature. 

Lagos has a cute town, beautiful beaches, and breathtaking caves. There are even amazing beaches that are accessible by foot from the town! 

The best way to view all the beaches and caves is to take a grotto tour .  You will get the chance to experience caves and beaches you might not have been able to find on your own!

Take a day trip to Sagres, which is only a 30-minute drive away. The beaches in Sagres are magnificent.  The most popular beach is Praia da Mareta, which boasts long strips of white sand. 

In Sagres, visit Cabo de Sao Vicente, which was believed to be the end of the world in the past. It is the westernmost point of mainland Europe.

The town of Sagres is small but charming. You’ll find many family-run shops and stores.

You won’t find the overwhelming tourist feeling you might find in other parts of the country, but instead, find some peace and relaxation.


Where To Stay In Lagos

Budget Hostel – Olive Hostel Lagos is located in the heart of Lagos, and a 10-minute walk to the beach. The hostel is extremely welcoming, with movie and yoga sessions regularly organized. 

Mid-Range Hotel – Hotel Marina Rio overlooks the scenic marina. The hotel has comfortable rooms and even has a rooftop pool and sun terrace! The location is also excellent, close to the city center’s attractions and close to the beach – only 850m away!

Luxury Resort –  Cascade Wellness Resort is a luxurious resort that is situated in the cliffs. It has an outdoor pool, spa, hot tub, sauna, tennis courts, a golf course, and a fitness center – amazing, right?  It’s also only 200m from the beach!

Faro (Day 8-10)

Faro is the capital city of the Algarve and also the largest city in the region.

One of the best ways to familiarize yourself with the city is to explore the Old Town . Cobbled streets pave the Old town, and all roads lead to the Igreja de Santa Maria , the cathedral of Faro.

It’s worth exploring the magnificent inside of the cathedral, and you can even travel up the cathedral’s tower for a great view.

A fun way to explore the old town is to take the Comboio Turística, or the tourist train, which takes you on a tour of the Old Town, along with other essential sites. It is about a 45-minute tour.

It is an excellent way to get a glimpse of the city, and you can go re-visit anything that catches your eye after the tour!

To explore the Algarve region’s fantastic nature, take a trip to the Parque Natural da Ria Formosa. You can take a boat tour or travel by land from Faro. You will be surrounded by amazing nature and wildlife.

You will find an exceptional variety of birds here. There are walking trails for you to explore and enjoy the peaceful outdoors. It’s a great place to relax and recharge.


Where To Stay In Faro

Budget Hostel –  Hostel Alameda Exclusive House is a beautiful and modern hostel. It has an amazing rooftop terrace where you can relax and socialize. The location is excellent, and the staff is friendly and helpful. 

Mid-Range Hotel –  Lemon Tree Stay is a lovely bed and breakfast in a central location. It is located in the picturesque historic old town of Faro.  The rooms are comfortable, and the staff is extremely accommodating. 

Luxury Hotel –  Eva Senses Hotel is centrally located. The hotel offers a rooftop pool, a sauna, and a Turkish bath! The rooms are spacious, some offering a sea view. The hotel and rooms are beautifully decorated and comfortable. 

Best Time To Visit Portugal

Portugal is a fantastic destination no matter what time of the year you visit.

However, there will be the best time to visit, based on the type of traveler you are.

The height of the tourist season is in the summer, June to August, so this is when you will find it the most crowded and more expensive, but you will also experience the gorgeous summer weather. 

If you are traveling on a budget, traveling outside of the summer will result in fewer crowds and lower prices overall.  

Spring is an amazing time to visit the country, March – June, as you will have nice weather, can see flowers blooming everywhere, and enjoy the tourist attractions with slightly fewer crowds. 

Lastly, fall from September – November is also a great time to visit! The weather will be a bit cooler, but it is the perfect temperature to sit and sip port wine to warm you up.  

How To Get Around Portugal

There are a few options to travel through Portugal. The train system is excellent so you can take the train for many routes. A second option is to fly, as flights are cheap between the cities.

Alternatively, you can check bus routes on Busbud .

Lastly, if you feel adventurous, renting a car is a great way to explore the country and travel on your own schedule!

How Many Days In Portugal

Wondering how many days in Portugal is enough?

We recommend a minimum of 10 days to make the most of your trip to Portugal. Although, if you have only a week, you may need to prioritize certain areas in the country like the Algarve for example.

To help you decide on the number of days you’ll need in Portugal, we suggest you use the itinerary above or make a list of the destinations and things you want to do in Portugal.

Once that’s done, you should consider the time of arrival, and departure to see if this sounds realistic at all.

There you have it, the ideal of days to spend in Portugal!

Final Thoughts On Portugal In 10 Days

You won’t be able to truly understand the beauty of Portugal until you experience it for yourself. It is an unforgettable experience. 

Portugal is rich in history, culture, and experiences, and no matter where you travel in the country, you will be greeted by friendly locals, delicious foods, and breathtaking sites.

So, what are you waiting for?

Make sure to bookmark our 10-day itinerary in Portugal so that you can come back to it at any time during your trip.

can you visit spain and portugal in 10 days







can you visit spain and portugal in 10 days

Clarice Mendez

  • Amazing Spain Itinerary: 7, 10, or 14 Day Plans

I f you’re planning a trip to Spain, but aren’t entirely sure where to start, I’ve got three amazing ideas for a Spain itinerary to choose from. These Spain itineraries include a 7 day, 10 day, and 14 day plan.

I’ve included approximate travel times between cities as well as the quickest mode of transport. However, be aware travel times may vary depending on different factors, so be sure to double check your actual travel time when you purchase your tickets.

Now before we delve into these exciting Spain itineraries, let’s cover a few important basics about visiting Spain.

Disclosure : This post contains affiliate links. I may earn a small fee from qualifying purchases at no extra cost to you.

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A Few Important Things to Know Before Planning a Spain Itinerary

Spain is located on the Iberian Peninsula in Europe, and is neighbored by Portugal to the West and France to the North. It meets the Atlantic Ocean to the West and the Mediterranean Sea to the East.

The far eastern region of Spain known as Catalonia has its own distinct identity apart from the rest of the country, including its own language, Catalan. In fact, some have expressed interest in Catalonia breaking apart from Spain to create its own country.

When planning outings, keep in mind the siesta hour, especially in small towns. The siesta hour is a part of Spanish culture where people head home in the early afternoon for a long, leisurely lunch, and maybe even a nap. During this time, businesses may have fewer personnel scheduled, or may even close altogether. As a result, you can also expect late dinners and late nights to be a normal part of the day as well.

As Spain is part of the European Union, their currency is the Euro. However, the majority of places accept credit or debit cards in Spain. As for tipping, the service industry in Spain is well compensated for their time and tipping is not considered necessary.


Public transit in Spain includes buses, subway, and train. The public transit system in Spain is generally reliable, clean, and safe, although you’ll want to watch for pick pockets as you would in any large city.

Spain Itinerary Option One: 7 Day Itinerary

This seven day Spain itinerary entails lodging in Madrid and a series of day trips to four towns in the surrounding area: Ávila, Segovia, El Escorial, and Toledo.

I love this option for its ease and convenience. You can skip the hassle of packing your bags every day or two and schlepping them from one hotel to another. You don’t have to worry about checking under the bed for run away socks every morning before you leave the hotel, because you know you’re coming back to the same room each night.

And yet, there’s still so much variety of things to do and see in this itinerary, you won’t get bored. This Spain itinerary takes the least amount of planning, and the day trips can all be booked at a travel kiosk on Puerta del Sol once you’ve already arrived in Spain.

This map was made with Wanderlog , a road trip planner app on iOS and Android

Arrive in Madrid in the morning and get settled into your hotel. I highly recommend Hotel Europa for its central location and good price. Hotel Europa is located in Puerta del Sol and has quick, easy access to public transit. After getting settled, take a moment to book a few day trips for the week. You’ll find a travel kiosk just outside Hotel Europa where you can do this.

Then, get ready to explore Madrid in the afternoon and evening! Wander around Puerta del Sol or Plaza Mayor, or take a Hop on Hop off bus tour to get to know the city. Check out my post about Madrid for more ideas of what to see and do there.

Take a day trip to Ávila , Spain. Ávila lies about an hour and a half northwest of Madrid. This small medieval town is surrounded by a wall you can walk the perimeter of. Other sites of interest in Ávila include the cathedral and the Convent of St. Teresa.

Travel back to Madrid in the afternoon with plenty of time left for site-seeing in the evening. You can catch a Flamenco show with dinner, or take a Spanish Inquisition tour .

Travel Time : Madrid to Ávila is about 1 hour 30 minutes by tour bus or 2 hours by train

Adventure to the fairy tale town of Segovia for another day trip. An hour northwest of Madrid, Segovia is a UNESCO world heritage site. Take time to wander through the Jewish quarter, visit a 1st century Roman aqueduct, and stop in at the last gothic style cathedral built in Spain. You’ll also want to see the Alcázar de Segovia, the castle that Disney Snow White’s castle was modeled after!

Return to Madrid in the afternoon. Stop in at the Royal Botanical Garden or visit the Crystal Palace at Buen Retiro Park.

Travel Time : Madrid to Segovia is about 1 hour 10 minutes by train

Stay the day in Madrid. Maybe take a day to kick back and relax. Or discover Madrid’s Golden Triangle of Art, the Reina Sofia, Prado, and Thyssen art museums.

Today, head an hour northwest of Madrid to San Lorenzo de El Escorial , the seat of rule and burial place of Phillip II. Take a guided tour through this fortress of a monastery to see a stunning library.

Head back to Madrid in the afternoon and catch a Real Madrid soccer match at Bernabéu Stadium.

Travel Time : Madrid to El Escorial is about 1 hour by train

The last full day in Spain, take one final day trip an hour southwest of Madrid to the medieval town of Toledo. Walk down Toledo’s cobble stone streets and explore it’s walled “old city” quarter. Visit El Greco Museum, the Alcázar de Toledo, a gothic cathedral, and Puente de San Martín, an old medieval bridge.

Return to Madrid and go shopping along Gran Via for some final souvenirs.

Travel Time : Madrid to Toledo is about 1 hour by train

On your last day in Madrid, catch any sites you missed before packing up and flying home.

Spain Itinerary Option Two: 10 Day Itinerary

This 10 day plan was our actual Spain itinerary, and I feel like we were able to see and do a little bit of everything. We ate delicious food, went to parks, gardens, and museums. We watched sports, went shopping, and spent time outdoors. And of course we saw plenty of castles and cathedrals! I also love that we spent time in both big cities and small villages. This Spain itinerary really covers it all.

Trip map created using Wanderlog, for making itineraries on iOS and Android

Arrive in Barcelona and get settled into your hotel. We booked our first stay in Barcelona at Hotel Neri in the gothic quarter. Stroll along La Rambla, a romantic tree-lined street, on your way to La Boquería, an open air food market. Visit the Cathedral of Barcelona before tapas bars for dinner.

Spend a day in Barcelona all about Antoni Gaudí . Start at the Gaudí House Museum, before moving on to Casa Milà and Park Güell. End the day at La Sagrada Familia to catch the sunset through the stained glass windows.

Hop on an early train to Madrid , and get checked in at your hotel. Again, I recommend staying at Hotel Europa on Puerta del Sol. Take a moment to book some day trips from Madrid at the travel kiosk in Puerta del Sol. Then take a Spanish Inquisition walking tour before dinner.

Travel Time : Barcelona to Madrid is about 2 hours 30 minutes by train

Take a day trip to Segovia and Ávila . In Segovia, see a 1st century Roman aqueduct and the Alcázar de Segovia, the castle that Disney Snow White’s castle was based on. You can also visit the last gothic cathedral built in Spain.

In Ávila, you can visit the first gothic cathedral built in Spain, as well as walk the perimeter of the medieval wall surrounding the town. Then return to Madrid to catch a Flamenco show with dinner.

Travel Time : Madrid to Segovia is about 1 hour 10 minutes by train or bus. Segovia to Ávila is about 50 minutes by bus. Ávila to Madrid is about 1 hour 30 minutes by tour bus or 2 hours by train. (Some tours will allow you to book Segovia and Ávila together in one day)

Spend the day visiting Madrid’s Golden Triangle of art museums: the Reina Sofia, the Prado, and the Thyssen Museums. Or spend some time outdoors and check out the Royal Botanical Garden and the Crystal Palace at Buen Retiro Park.

Take a half day trip an hour northwest of Madrid to San Lorenzo de El Escorial . Tour the monastery and see an elaborate library. Then return to Madrid and catch a Real Madrid soccer match at Bernabéu Stadium.

Option A). Take an early train from Madrid to Córdoba. Spend the afternoon exploring Córdoba before continuing on to Ronda by train for the night. In Córdoba, you can see a 1st century Roman bridge, the Mezquita of Córdoba, and the Alcázar de los Reyes Cristianos.

Travel Time : Madrid to Córdoba is about 1 hour 45 minutes by train. Córdoba to Ronda is about 2 hours by train.

Option B). Take a plane from Madrid to Málaga . Then spend the afternoon exploring Málaga, and rent a car to drive to Ronda. In Málaga, you can see a 1st century Roman amphitheater and the Alcazaba, a fortress to rival Granada’s Alhambra.

Travel Time : Madrid to Málaga is about 1 hour 15 minutes by plane. Málaga to Ronda is about 1 hour 20 minutes by car OR about 1 hour 50 minutes by train

Our original plan was option A, but we made a last minute change in plans for option B. This allowed us to catch some southern Spanish sun on the beach in Málaga.

In Ronda, I suggest staying at Hotel Montelirio. It sits in the Moorish Quarter on the edge of the breathtaking Tajo Gorge and is very reasonably priced.

Once settled in your hotel, hike or take a taxi down to the Arco de Cristo for a postcard-worthy view of Ronda’s Puente Nuevo (The “New Bridge”).

Spend the morning in Ronda visiting the Plaza de Toros de Ronda Museum, the oldest bullring in Spain. Explore the Arab Bath ruins, and go inside Puente Nuevo. Take the afternoon to hike Caminito del Rey or see some prehistoric drawings inside Pileta Cave, both about an hour to an hour and a half outside of Ronda.

Fly back early from Málaga to Barcelona. This time around, we booked our stay at Soho House just across from the bay. If you haven’t already, find some time to stroll along Barcelona’s beach.

Did you know Barcelona has more than 80 museums? Pick a few and use today to check them out. We visited the Picasso Museum and the Chocolate Museum, but the Barcelona History Museum also caught my interest.

Travel Time : Ronda to Málaga is about 1 hour 20 minutes by car OR about 1 hour 50 minutes by train. Málaga to Barcelona is about 1 hour 35 minutes.

Enjoy one more morning in Barcelona before packing up and saying good-bye to Spain.

Spain Itinerary Option Three: 14 Day Itinerary

This 14 day Spain itinerary includes an overnight in Lisbon, Portugal. You’ll fly into Barcelona, Spain, and fly home from Lisbon, Portugal.

Places mapped by Wanderlog, a trip planner on iOS and Android

Arrive in Barcelona and get settled into your hotel. Explore La Rambla and La Boquería, an open air market. End your day strolling the beach before going out for tapas for dinner.

Take your first full day in Barcelona to learn all about Antoni Gaudí . Visit the Gaudí House Museum, Casa Milà, Park Güell and La Sagrada Familia. I suggest visiting La Sagrada Familia towards late afternoon to catch the sunset through the stained glass windows.

Spend the day checking out some of Barcelona’s 80 plus museums. For just a few examples, there’s the Picasso Museum, the Museum of Natural Sciences of Barcelona, the Barcelona History Museum, the Chocolate Museum, and even a Museum of Funeral Carriages!

Hop an early flight south from Barcelona to Granada , the final foothold of the Moors. Spend the afternoon in Granada visiting Spain’s second largest cathedral, the Hammam El Bañuelo (the Moorish baths), and exploring the Moorish Quarter. End your day at San Nicolás Viewpoint as you watch the sun set on the Alhambra.

Travel Time : Barcelona to Granada is about 1 hour 30 minutes by plane

Use your second day in Granada to visit the Alhambra, a Moorish palace. You’ll want to be sure you’ve made a reservation in advance, as tickets are often sold out!

Take the train from Granada to Málaga. Spend the afternoon in the Southern Spanish sun looking out on the Mediterranean Sea.

Travel Time : Granada to Málaga is about 1 hour 10 minutes by train

Spend the day in Málaga visiting a 1st century Roman amphitheater and the Alcazaba, said to rival the Alhambra in Granada. You can also visit Málaga’s cathedral, the “one-armed lady,” so nicknamed for its unfinished state, having only one tower instead of the originally planned two towers.

If you’re feeling brave, rent a car and drive out early to Ronda . Otherwise, you can reach Ronda by train. Although many people see Ronda for a day trip, it’s worth staying over night to see Puente Nuevo (the “New Bridge”) and the Tajo Gorge in the twilight, after most of the tourists have returned to the bigger cities. On the way there, stop to hike Caminito del Rey or see prehistoric drawings in Pileta Cave.

Travel Time : Málaga to Ronda is about 1 hour 20 minutes by car OR about 1 hour 50 minutes by train

Take today to explore Ronda. Visit the Plaza de Toros de Ronda Museum, the first bullring in Spain. Tour the Arab baths, walk through the Moorish Quarter, and go inside Puente Nuevo. Hike or take a taxi down to the Arco de Cristo to catch a stunning view of Puente Nuevo at sunset.

Set out west by bus to Sevilla early in the morning. In Sevilla, you can climb the bell tower of the world’s largest Gothic cathedral, tour the Bullring and Bullfight Museum, and visit the Flamenco Dance Museum. Visit the Royal Alcázar and catch a flamenco show in the evening.

Travel Time : Ronda to Sevilla is about 2 hour 20 minutes by bus

Travel by train from Sevilla to Córdoba. See a 1st century Roman Bridge, the Mezquita (a Mosque Cathedral), and the Alcázar de los Reyes Cristianos.

Travel Time : Sevilla to Córdoba is about 45 minutes by train

Plan to arrive in Toledo early for a full day of sight seeing. Wander through Toledo’s cobble stoned streets in the “old city.” Visit the El Greco Museum, the Alcázar de Toledo, a gothic cathedral, and Puente de San Martín (an old medieval bridge).

Travel Time : Córdoba to Toledo is about 2 hours 30 minutes by train

Day Thirteen

Take an early flight from Madrid to Lisbon , Portugal. In Lisbon, visit the Castelo de São Jorge and the National Tile Museum. Grab something to eat at the Mercado de Ribeira, a food market. And take a tuk tuk tour of the city!

Travel Time : Toledo to Madrid is about an hour by train. Madrid to Lisbon is about 1 hour 20 minutes by plane.

Day Fourteen

Purchase any final souvenirs, pack your bags, and say good-bye until next time!

Further Reading

If you’re looking for more details on things to do in a specific city on your Spain itinerary, I’ve written blogs posts on many of these places. Check out my blog posts on Barcelona , Madrid , Segovia , Ávila , El Escorial , or Ronda for a deeper look. And be sure to check back, because a blog post on Málaga is soon to come!

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The post Amazing Spain Itinerary: 7, 10, or 14 Day Plans appeared first on The Clever West Wind .

Check out these three exciting Spain itinerary ideas for a 7 day, 10 day, or 14 day trip, including Madrid, Barcelona, Toledo, Seville, Córdoba, and more.


Travel warning for Brits planning holidays to Spain, France and Portugal this year

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Aerial view of Tossa de Mar beach in Gerona province, Catalonia, Spain.

For anyone thinking of booking a trip to Spain , France and Portugal this year, you might want to take a closer look at those holiday costs.

That’s because certain European hot spots have increased dramatically in price.

So your summer holiday might set you back more than you anticipated.

The biggest hike seen is for return flights from the UK to Menorca – where average flight prices have shot up from £178 in 2020 to £291 now (a staggering 63% rise).

According to findings by The Mirror , along with flight comparison website Hopper, trips to Barcelona have also been hiked by around 30%, rising from £143 to £187.

Spain on the whole has seen some big price increases, with the likes of Malaga in third place rising 28% to £246 from £129. Ibiza Town is also in the top ten, after increasing 17% from £182 to £213.

beautiful latina standing in a balcony in Cala Morell,Minorca,Balearic islands; Spain

Popular spots in Greece also made it onto the list – with Athens and Mykonos ranking fourth and fifth, respectively. Trips to these popular locations tot up to £223 and £340 (up from the previous £182 and £278) highlighting a 23% and 22% jump for our bank balances.

The likes of Faro and Porto, in Portugal, have also increased. Now prices stand at £234 and £182 – up from £196 and £155 previously.

However, it’s not all bad news as some destinations are getting cheaper too.

In Portugal, Funchal is 20% cheaper (down from £259 to £207) while over in Greece, Lesbos and Souda complete the top three – with both showcasing dips of 13%.

Madeira’s capital Funchal offers a natural retreat on the city’s doorstep...

Despite its tiny size, Madeira is criss-crossed by thousands of miles of water channels. As these lavadas run through the Portuguese island, so does life — green and bursting. 

Nature is everywhere in the capital, Funchal. The trees are from all corners of the world, after centuries of the trading hub collecting anything passing by, and the banana  plants  yield local varieties sweeter than any I have ever tried.

Back in the city, the peaks are still within reach. A cable car, just a ten-minute walk from the hotel, takes us up to rural suburb Monte, where views of the city and the sea open up and visitors can explore tropical gardens.

Find out more about things to do in Funchal here …

Likewise, in Spain, Tenerife is down to £296 from £339: a fall of 13%.

So while lots of the popular resorts may have jumped up in price, there are certainly deals to be snapped up – if you know where to look.

Do you have a story to share?

Get in touch by emailing [email protected] .

MORE : Must-visit UK spots where you can see the Northern Lights, according to travel experts

MORE : Red UK passport holders issued warning ahead of summer holiday travel

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Brits planning summer holidays to Spain, France and Portugal this year issued travel warning

Brits planning summer holidays to Spain, France and Portugal this year issued travel warning

Brits have been warned that they could be paying more for their summer holiday if they’re flying out to numerous locations across Europe.

As you may have noticed, we’re currently in the midst of a cost of living crisis with the price of just about everything going up - from mortgage repayments to your weekly shop .

In fact, the price of food and drink rose by eight per cent year-on-year by the end of 2023 and let’s not get started on the hike in energy bills.

And, in some deeply unwelcome news, the price of holidays is the latest in a long line of things that have seen a steep price increase. Sorry to be the bearer of bad news.

The Mirror and price comparison site Hopper crunched the numbers to work out exactly how much more you’d be expected to stump up to fly to numerous places and it makes for pretty depressing reading.

Looking at prices for more than 200 airlines, to compare a 'good deal price' - what a holidaymaker should expect to pay - available at the end of January 2020 and the end of January 2024.

Brits jetting off to Barcelona have been issued a warning. Credit: Pexels/Aleksandar Pasaric

Popular Spanish destinations were particularly hard hit, with return flights from the UK to Menorca shooting up a whopping 63 percent, from £178 in 2020 to £291 this year. Ouch.

Barcelona wasn’t far behind, with a 30 percent price increase bringing the cost of a trip up to £187 compared to £143 in 2020.

Malaga and Ibiza had similar increases of 28 percent and 17 per cent respectively - return flights to the party island would now set you back £213 compared to £182 in 2020.

Greece also saw increases in popular tourist spots, with Athens going from £182 for return flights to £223 and Mykonos shooting up to £340 from £278.

Holidaymakers could be in for a shock. Credit: Pexels/Flo Dahm

Faro in Portugal has gone from £196 in 2020 to £250 in 2024, while Porto has increased 17 percent from £155 to £182.

Meanwhile, Izmir in Turkey has also gone up, from £216 to £244 and Bodrum has increased 12 per cent from £276 to £311.

But it’s not all bad news, honest - as the study also discovered several locations where the price had gone down.

Funchal in Portugal was down 20 percent from £259 in 2020 to £207, while the stunning city of Lisbon is also cheaper, with return flights now costing £165 compared to £170 four years ago.

Flights to the ever-popular destination of Tenerife in Spain have also come down from £339 to £296, while Lesbos and Souda in Greece have dropped 15 percent and 13 per cent respectively.

Featured Image Credit: Getty stock image

Topics:  Travel , Money , Cost of Living , UK News

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    Spend day one and two of your 10 days in Spain and Portugal in Madrid. On your first day, explore the Royal Palace of Madrid, take a stroll through Retiro Park, and eat your way through Mercado de San Miguel. On Day 2, take a day trip to Toledo, a beautiful, historical city located a short train ride from Madrid.

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    With 10-days in Spain and Portugal, you can experience the bucket list sights of Porto, Lisbon, Seville, and Granada on a highlights tour or take a deep dive into the Iberian Peninsula's fascinating history on a self-drive road trip featuring numerous guided city tours.

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    Destinations Letters To The Editor The Perfect Group Road Trip: A 10-Day Itinerary in Portugal and Spain By Eileen Cotter Wright March 15, 2018 We chose Portugal and Spain for a giant road trip through several destinations, and planned 10 days in Spain and Portugal.

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    If you have less time, say 10 days, then concentrate on Madrid and Barcelona in Spain! 2 Weeks in Spain Keep reading below for a day by day city itinerary of must-see sights, things to eat and where to stay! I've also included day trip suggestions below. ADVERTISEMENT Days 1-2: Madrid We arrived first in Madrid, Spain's capital city.

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    With this 10-day Spain-Portugal itinerary, you can get a taste of the best things those two beautiful countries have to offer. In Spain, you can marvel at the unique architecture by Gaudi in Barcelona, soak in the vibrant atmosphere of Seville, admire the Alhambra's intricate beauty, and soak up Córdoba's Moorish history.

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    The Ultimate 10 Days in Spain Itinerary (+ Travel Tips) Last Updated on November 11, 2023 by Kate Storm If you're planning your first trip to Spain and are hoping to sample a variety of what makes this sun-drenched country special, we designed this 10 day Spain itinerary for you!

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    Here's a quick look at the exact route we used for our Spain and Portugal 14-day road trip. Day 0: Flew into Madrid (late flight)⁠. Day 1: Madrid all day (slept in Segovia, Spain)⁠. Day 2: Segovia⁠, Spain. Day 3: Drove to/explored Lisbon⁠, Portugal. Day 4: Lisbon, Portugal. Day 5: Sintra, Portugal⁠.

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    Splitting your time between Spain and Portugal when you have 10 days can give you enough time to explore the highlights of each country. Embrace the rich architecture of cities such as Barcelona and Madrid, and delight in Portuguese must-sees such as Lisbon and a number of surrounding towns.

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  16. 10 day Spain and Portugal Itinerary: Best Things to do on a Budget

    Flight from Newark, NJ to Lisbon per person with TAP Air Portugal= $478. Airbnbs per person for the whole trip (11 nights) = $394. Buses/ trains/ flights between cities per person = $170. Food/ Entrance Fees/ Misc. per person for 11 days = $500. Flight from Barcelona to Newark, NJ per person Norwegian Airlines = $220.

  17. 10 Best 10 Day Portugal And Spain Tours & Trips

    10 Day Portugal and Spain Tours & Trips. Filter for departure dates and price to find the right 10 day Portugal and Spain tour with TourRadar. Choose from 98 trips with 487 customer reviews, that range from 8 up to 10 days.

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    No, 10 days is not nearly enough time to see everything there is to see in Portugal. It's true that Portugal is a relatively small country, compared to other countries in Western Europe like Spain, France, and Italy. It's also true that there's just too much ground to cover in 10 days.

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    Dynamic pricing from $3,115. Highlights of Spain & Portugal's Best Cities Itinerary. 10 Day Custom Tour. Dynamic pricing from $3,115. Barcelona, Madrid and Lisbon 10-Day Luxury Tour. 10 Day Custom Tour. Dynamic pricing from $7,145. Best Spain & Portugal Highlights for Seniors. 10 Day Custom Tour.

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    Gawk at the Catedral Santa María de la Sede. From one awe-striking site to another, the Catedral Santa María de la Sede (or Catedral de Sevilla) is bound to leave your jaw sagging. Seville's biggest drawcard is as impressive a sight as any in Spain. The 15th-century cathedral was built upon a 12th-century mosque.

  21. 10 Days in Portugal: The Perfect Portugal Itinerary

    July 7, 2023 Share The relatively small Western European country of Portugal has something for everyone. Whether you're after tasty cuisine, enticing cities, or stunning beaches, you'll find it there. While it may neighbor Spain, Portugal has its own distinct culture, and it's this uniqueness that makes many people fall in love with it.

  22. 10 Days in Spain Itinerary (Ultimate Guide for First-Timers!)

    On a 10-day Spain itinerary, you cannot see and do everything, but you can definitely enjoy some of the best places to visit in Spain, and experience a good sampling of its art and architecture, history, music and dance, and cuisine. We guarantee you'll be so enthralled by Spain that you'll be planning a return visit on the flight home!

  23. Perfect 10 Days In Portugal Itinerary 2024

    Faro (Day 8-10) Faro is the capital city of the Algarve and also the largest city in the region. One of the best ways to familiarize yourself with the city is to explore the Old Town. Cobbled streets pave the Old town, and all roads lead to the Igreja de Santa Maria, the cathedral of Faro.

  24. Amazing Spain Itinerary: 7, 10, or 14 Day Plans

    Check out these three exciting Spain itinerary ideas for a 7 day, 10 day, or 14 day trip, including Madrid, Barcelona, Toledo, Seville, Córdoba, and more. ... Portugal. In Lisbon, visit the ...

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  26. Travel warning for Brits holidaying to Spain, France and Portugal this

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    Funchal in Portugal was down 20 percent from £259 in 2020 to £207, while the stunning city of Lisbon is also cheaper, with return flights now costing £165 compared to £170 four years ago.