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Written by Akshaya Devi on November 14, 2022 Share on

A Detailed 8-day Itinerary to Go Offbeat in Spain and Portugal

When it comes to Europe, it’s never been easy to tick everything off in one go. And you shouldn’t try as well. Realise a multi-country vacation in Europe rooting for culture and culinary endeavours across boundaries. Let’s start with the astonishing Iberian beauties of Europe —

Here’s a detailed 8-day itinerary to unwrap the best of both Spain and Portugal!

4 Days in Portugal:

What to skip:
➤ Trade the top-rated attractions like Viana do Castelo for countryside wanders or offbeat culture expeditions. This is the best way to escape eternal queues and tourist crowds in Portugal.
➤ If you fancy travelling like a local and get under the skin of Portugal, trade luxury hotels and high-end restaurants for Tascas. Tascas are all about authentic food and socializing with locals.

2 Days in Porto

How to spend 48 hours in Porto

Day 1

After flying into Porto, ease into Portugal by devouring some delightful papo secos and pastel de nata, typical Portuguese breakfast. Head on to exploring Ribeira, the most picturesque and antique district in the whole of Portugal. Stroll through its vibrant streets laden with quaint little homes stacked above the Douro riverbank.

Douro lunch cruise: Have a laid back river cruise that lets you soak up Porto’s culture in its entirety. Tasting delicious local wines, adoring scenic riverside villages and unraveling mythical ancient castles are just a few amongst the many enchanting offerings of this cruise!

Leisure walk in Rua Santa Catarina: Reason is, it’s in this stretch where Porto’s vivid nightlife comes into life. Stop at Cafe Majestic, that which has been soaking up Porto’s coffee talks from the 1920s. Also this is where Portugal found inspiration for many of its cult literature.

Day 2

Vila Nova de Gaia tour: Get high on the sassiest corners of Vila Nova de Gaia, the wine hub of Portugal. So what it’s morning you’re on a vacation and it’s a sin not to devour down a glass of vintage wine on the brinks of Douro.

Clerigos church tour: Unleash your artistic lenses to inspect this paradigm of baroque architecture, which gracefully took over the legacy of the preceding renaissance era.

Geeky tour to Livraria Lello: Portugal’s literature stacked in glorious neo-gothic architecture is an absolute show-stealer. Readers are welcomed to lose their hearts in Liraria Lello, one of the best bookstores in the world.

2 Days in Lisbon

How to spend 48 hours in Lisbon

Day 3

Morning to Afternoon:
Take a train ride to Lisbon. Spend the time gawking at Portugal’s stunning vistas for the 2:30 hours(usual) of travel time.

Belém District and the Salazar Dictatorship Legacy – private walking tour: Explore Lisbon at its best. In the west corners of Lisbon lies this charming district laden with many iconic attractions.

Day 4

Sao Jorge castle tour: Marvel at the stunning views of the Baixa district from this ancient citadel deep-seated in Portugal’s history. All lit up in golden at night, this fairy castle only gets better at night!

Parque das Nacoes tour: Where modernity meets medievalism. Encounter the otherwise antique Lisbon in a whole new light. Amongst the many attractions that await you are Vasco da Gama bridge, Theatre Camoes and Europe’s largest indoor aquarium.

Jeronimos monastery tour: On the brinks of Tagus river lounges, this most ornated of the churches, as a fervent symbol of the European age of exploration.

4 Days in Spain:

What to skip:
➤La Rambla, the famous shopping street in Spain, is good for window shopping and people watching. It doesn’t sell traditional Catalan savouries, no meaningful souvenirs—you will mostly find overpriced miniature versions of famous attractions.
➤ Spend time in gaining experiences rather than sightseeing—Try Flamenco dance, watch a cultural show while sipping on Sangria rather than getting stuck in Puerto del Sol(It’s a good experience though, maybe next time, when you have more number of days to spend!)

2 Days in Barcelona

How to spend 48 hours in Barcelona

Day 5

Take your flight to Barcelona, which typically takes 1:40 hours. Check in to your hotel.

Casa Mila tour: Looks like Antoni Gaudi, the Catalan modernist had little or no interest in building something usual. With a sumptuous wavy facade that challenges every architectural style ever, Casa Mila of Spain will truly stand the test of time.

Wooden Boat Cruise in Barcelona: Fall in love with the radical views of Barcelona’s cityscape as you luxuriate along the Mediterranean coasts packed with many attractions including the Montjuic hill and Sagrada Familia.

Day 6

Morning to Afternoon:
Museu Nacional d’Art de Catalunya tour: Catalan modernism at the end of 19th century swayed the European architecture with style and the ripples are still felt. This museum keeps stashed in itself thousand years of art from the various eras of European architecture.

Casa Bacardi Sitges tour: Casa Bacardi illustrates how the phenomenal Bacardi brand came alive. Also, learn about the fascinating thread that connects Bacardi’s history with the city of Sitges.

2 Days in Madrid

How to spend 48 hours in Madrid

Day 7

Morning to Afternoon:
Take a train from Barcelona to Madrid, which usually takes around 2:30 hours.

Explore Madrid by a Segway night tour: The beauty of Madrid at night is unparalleled. Meander through the instagrammable streets of Madrid and stop along the way to adore the Temple of Debod, Plaza Mayor and Royal Palace.

Day 8

Morning to afternoon:
Stroll the shopaholics’ paradise, El Rastro: Shop till you drop at the largest flea market of Spain, El Rastro where the fads of Spain fashion start. While you’re there make a visit to La Latina, the liveliest Madrid street laden with many tapaz bars and tavernas.

Casino de Madrid tour: Take a recreational tour to what started as a social resort where people can rendezvous in peace by the dissident youth of the 1830s.

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