Spain-Portugal

Customized Spain and Portugal Holidays

Spain- An explorer’s paradise

Spain is an exotic country in Europe. It exudes a vibrant energy and is a captivating blend of rich history, tradition and architecture. Travellers to Spain are also taken in by the glorious mountain ranges, landscapes, the warm Mediterranean waters, historical cathedrals and of course the delicious food. Spain must definitely be on your travel list if you want a good mix of culture and fun from a holiday.

Best places to visit in Spain

The destinations that must be included in your Spain tour package from India are:

1. Madrid

Madrid, the capital of Spain, is the city that promises a good life. There is a huge amount to see and do there, as well as excellent nightlife in terms of bars, restaurants, clubs and entertainment. The city provides many resorts, leisure facilities and some of the best restaurants in Spain. It is also a great place for shopping, theatre, opera, museums, parks and more.

Best Time to Visit

The best times to visit Madrid are from September to November and from March to May.

Flight Connectivity

There are no direct flights to Madrid. Connecting flights from major cities like Kolkata, Delhi and Mumbai are available via New Delhi, Moscow, Dubai and Rome etc.

Things to do in Madrid

  • Puerta Del Sol- Stroll around and explore the historical places of the most popular squares of Madrid like Oso y Madrono statue, Calle Alcala etc.
     
  • Plaza Mayor- It is one of the best places to witness the architectural grandeur and the vibrant street of the city.
     
  • Plaza de la Villa- A small plaza which is bounded by historical monuments of the city like House and Tower Lujanes.
     
  • Palacio Real- Visit the Royale Palace of Madrid.
     
  • Catedral de la Almudena- Seek blessings at the Catholic Church of Madrid.
     
  • Museo Del Prado- Admire the Spanish art at the national museum of Madrid.
     
  • El Retiro Park- It’s the largest park in Madrid filled with monuments, sculptures, galleries and lakes.
     
  • Gran via- One of the most happening street, with numerous clubs, hotels, theatres and shopping centers.

 

Must-Try Dishes in Madrid

  • Chocolate con churros

These are crispy, deep fried sticks of dough are dipped into mugs filled with thick, steamy chocolate.

  • Patatas bravas

Potato with bravas sauce is simply fresh cut potatoes fried and covered with a red sauce.

  • Cocido

The dish is made with chickpeas and various meats and vegetables, including lard, chorizo and blood sausage.

  • Tortillas

These are omelette stuffed with eggs and potatoes or thicker slices holding sausages, peppers and onions.

  • Callos a la Madrilena

It consists of large chunks of chorizo sausage. It is thoroughly cleaned and then boiled before cooking it as a stew in the mixture of tomato sauce, garlic and onions. It also contains potatoes, chickpeas and spices.

2. Barcelona

Barcelona is a charming seaside city. It boasts of scenic beauty and a cool lifestyle. The city is filled with galleries, museums and monuments, gorgeous scenery, breathtaking architecture and many other cultural attractions. Barcelona is also the chocolate producing center for Spain. The city has everything that you would wish for on a holiday.

Best Time to Visit

The best time to visit Barcelona is from May to June.

Flight Connectivity

There are no direct flights to Barcelona. Connecting flights from major cities like Kolkata, Delhi and Mumbai are available via Moscow, Dubai and Abu Dhabi etc.

Things to do in Barcelona

  • Sagrada Familia- Visit this unfinished Roman Catholic basilica in Barcelona, designed by famous Spanish architect Antoni Gaudí.
     
  • Girona- It is a little town known for its culture and nightlife. You can take a day trip to Girona.
     
  • Las Ramblas- Best walkaway in Barcelona and you can find interesting street performers here.
     
  • Park Guell- It is a singular garden complex, known for its architecture and offers one of the best views of the city.
     
  • Tibidabo- It’s an amusement park with a lot of rides for children.
     
  • Magic Fountain of Montjuic- Consisting of three waterfalls, it is a must visit for those people who love light and music.
     
  • Placa Reial- It is a well-known square and it is known for its famous nightclubs like Jamboree, Karma etc.

 

Must-Try Dishes in Barcelona

  • Fideua
    Pasta blended with seafood and meat, similar to paella.

     
  • Escalivada 
    It’s a vegetable dish where onions, aubergine and peppers are chargrilled before being preserved in olive oil. It can be accompanied to meat or fish or served on bread as a snack.

     
  • Crema Catalana
    It’s a dessert where rich custard is poured into shallow ramekins before being finished off with a layer of caramelized sugar on the top.

     
  • Fricando
    It is made using thin slices of beef and a sauce which features small local mushrooms.

     
  • Escudella
    It’s a type of soup which is made of a clear broth with vegetables, pasta shapes and a large meatball called pilota. The broth and pasta are usually eaten as a first course while the meatball and vegetables are eaten as the main course.

 

3. Granada

Granada is the gem of Spain and is a popular spot among tourists. Granada has a rich culture and history. It is known for the Alhambra Palace which is the last stronghold of the Moorish kingdom. It is also known for its monuments, nightlife and adventure activities like skiing and trekking. Known for its brilliant accessibility, climate, beautiful beaches and the snowcapped mountains, Granada is perfect for adventure as well as cultural travel.

Best Time to Visit

The best times to visit Granada are from May to June as well as September to October.

Flight Connectivity

There are no direct flights to Granada. Connecting flights from major cities like Kolkata, Delhi and Mumbai are available via Doha, Paris, London and Madrid etc.

Things to do in Granada

  • Plaza Isabel la Catolica- Visit the place which features a bronze sculpture of Queen Isabella with Christopher Columbus.
     
  • Catedral de Granada- Visit the cathedral for its baroque and renaissance architecture.
     
  • Royal chapel- Visit the grand chapel which is situated in a Royal Palace.
     
  • Madraza Palace- It’s a mosque school which was founded by Yusuf 1.
     
  • La Alcaiceria- Shop at the amazing Moorish Silk market.
     
  • Alhambra- The most famous palace and fortress, known for its Islamic architecture and one can get stunning panoramic views of the city.

 

Must-Try Dishes in Granada

  • Plato Alpujarreno
    It contains potatoes, fried eggs, cured ham, blood sausage, sweet peppers and chorizo.

     
  • Remojon Granaino
    It’s a refreshing salad made of oranges, spring onion, olives, hard boiled eggs and codfish.

     
  • Tortilla Del Sacromonte
    It contains mutton brains, nuts and Serrano ham or chorizo.

     
  • Olla De San Anton
    It is made with beans, rice and pig slaughter, including the tail, spine and more.

 

Portugal- The best in Europe

Portugal is a Southern European country with a rich culture, picturesque cities and exquisite countryside. Portugal is known for its landscapes, beaches, waterfalls and food. Portugal also offers surfing opportunities for adventure lovers. Portugal is the best place to be if you want to experience landscapes and culture in one spot.

Best places to visit in Portugal

The places that must be included in your Portugal tour package from India are:

1. Lisbon

Lisbon is the stunning capital city of Portugal and is one of the most charismatic cities in Europe. The city has a liberal atmosphere and offers a rich and varied history, a buzzing nightlife, exotic landscapes and sandy beaches. You cannot miss the wide range of food here, specifically seafood. This city is one of the most interesting experiences across Western Europe.

Best Time to Visit

The best time to visit Lisbon is either from March to May or September to October.

Flight Connectivity

There are no direct flights to Lisbon. Connecting flights from major cities like Kolkata, Delhi and Mumbai are available via Helsinki, Moscow, Dubai and Paris etc.

Things to do in Lisbon

  • Castelo de Sao Jorge- Lisbon’s major attraction, it is a combination of museum and an archaeological site.
     
  • Mosteiro dos Jeronimos- It’s a monastery with stunning monument of historic and cultural significance.
     
  • Oceanario de Lisboa- One of the largest aquariums in the world, it is home to an array of fish and marine animals.
     
  • Museu Calouste Gulbenkian- Explore and admire the priceless collection of Eastern and Western Art of the museum.
     
  • Elevador de Santa Justa- An antique elevator with beautiful city views.

 

Must-Try Dishes in Lisbon

  • Bacalhau a bras
    Portugal’s favourite dish is a shredded codfish with fried potato, onion and scrambled eggs. The dish is topped with a sprinkle of black olives and chopped parsley.

     
  • Carne de Porco Alentejana
    It’s a combination of pork and clams. Cubed pork is first marinated in a sauce of white wine, paprika, garlic, cilantro, salt and pepper. Then you can add pickled vegetables and chopped cilantro to the dish.

     
  • Polvo a Lagareiro
    It’s a grilled octopus served with grilled potatoes, sprinkled with cooked garlic and drizzled with olive oil.

     
  • Frango no Churrasco
    It is basically chicken cooked on a grill and seasoned with Piri-Piri hot sauce. It’s served with French fries, rice and a simple salad of lettuce, tomato and onion.

     
  • Cozido a Portuguesa
    This dish is prepared with boiled potatoes, carrots, sausages, cabbage, leafy greens, beans and beef.

 

2. Porto

Portugal’s second city, Porto, is a city with numerous cultural attractions. The city offers cherished architectural treasures, Heritage sites, Baroque churches, museums, picturesque squares and the futuristic music venues. This fascinating and vibrant city is rapidly becoming one of the most happening tourist destinations of Portugal.

Best Time to Visit

The best time to visit Porto is from May to September.

Flight Connectivity

There are no direct flights to Porto. Connecting flights from major cities like Kolkata, Delhi and Mumbai are available via Doha, Madrid, Moscow and Dubai etc.

Things to do in Porto

  • Torre dos Clerigos- The tower is the city’s most visible landmark and punctuates the skyline of the city.
     
  • Porto Bridge Climb- Climb the arches of the Arrabida Bridge and enjoy panoramic views of the city and the river.
     
  • Igreja de Sao Francisco- Visit the beautiful church of St. Francis and admire its baroque interiors and architecture.
     
  • Cais da Rebeira- These are narrow, winding streets near the riverside and are the most popular area in the city for relaxing and socializing.
     
  • Ponte Dom Luis I- Stroll around one of the most iconic structures of Portugal.
     
  • Museu Nacional Soares dos Reis- Explore and admire the outstanding collection of Portuguese art.
     
  • World of Discoveries- Visit the interactive museum and the theme park.

 

Must-Try Dishes in Porto

  • Caldo Verde
    Known as Kale soup in English, it’s made with vegetables and flavoured with Portuguese chourico. These are then thickened with pureed potatoes and flavoured with garlic.

     
  • Tripas a Moda do Porto
    This dish is made with beans, sausage, vegetables and herbs. It is served with rice.

     
  • Francesinha
    This dish is a twist on a classic French sandwich. It is a sandwich filled with four or five types of meats, covered in cheese and drowned in sauce.

     
  • Cozido a Portuguesa
    It is a stew with many types of meats, served alongside cabbage, carrots, onions and potatoes.

     
  • Bacalhau com Natas
    It’s the quickest recipe where the codfish is mixed with cream and served.

 

3. Albufeira

Albufeira is a city in Algarve, in the south of Portugal. It’s a beautiful and bustling beach resort and has gained popularity for its red gold sand beaches. It has become a major holiday destination because of its gorgeous weather, wild nightlife, choice of activities and beautiful sandy beaches. If you want to experience it all, then this destination is a must in your Portugal tour packages.

Best Time to Visit

The best time to visit Albufeira is between June and August.

Flight Connectivity

There are no direct flights to Albufeira. Connecting flights are available from major cities like Kolkata, Delhi and Mumbai to Faro Airport via Dubai, Lisbon, Frankfurt and Paris etc. After that, you can take a bus to Albufeira.

Things to do in Albufeira

  • Praia da Falesia- You can walk the length of the beach on a path on the clifftop, with access to the beach below by steep stairways.
     
  • Nightlife- You can enjoy the bars, nightclubs, amusements and fast food joints.
     
  • Old Albufeira- Explore the pedestrian streets of the old town.
     
  • Watersports- You can opt for kayaking, canoeing and stand-up paddleboard excursions.
     
  • Zoomarine Algarve- This attraction has marine animal demonstrations alongside a waterpark.
     
  • Igreja Matriz- The main church of Albufeira and is admired for its neoclassical architecture.

 

Must-Try Dishes in Albufeira

  • Cataplana de marisco
    A seafood feast, it’s a pan with two rounded sides connected by a hinge that opens and closes like a clam where onions, garlic and tomatoes are stewed with glugs of white wine, clams, whole prawns and choice of chorizo.

     
  • Sardinhas assadas
    A platter of freshly grilled sardines where sardines are roasted and seasoned with sea salt.

     
  • Cozido a Portuguesa
    It’s a platter of slowly boiled meats, sausages and vegetables.

     
  • Arroz de tamboril
    Chunks of flaky white fish stirred into a tomato stew peppered with garlic, laurel and rice.

     
  • Acorda
    A peasant food, which is crafted out of day old bread and mashed with garlic, bits of coriander, olive oil, vinegar and poached eggs. Along the coast, shrimp and other seafood can be added to the dish.

 

An ideal Spain and Portugal itinerary

Here’s a handcrafted Spain and Portugal tour package from India:

Day 1: Arrival in Lisbon. Check in to the hotel. Overnight stay in Lisbon.

Day 2: Breakfast. City sightseeing includes Gothic Cathedrals, monuments and more. Overnight in Lisbon.

Day 3: Breakfast. Check out and fly to Madrid. Check in to the hotel. Day at leisure. Overnight in Madrid.

Day 4: Breakfast. Walking tour of Madrid and visit the Royal Palace. Overnight in Madrid.

Day 5: Breakfast. Arrival at Seville by train. Check in to the hotel. Enjoy the Flamenco show. Overnight in Madrid.

Day 6: Walking tour includes Alcazar Palace and more. Relax at the ancient Thermal Baths. Overnight in Seville.

Day 7: Full day tour of Granada includes Nasrid Palace, Alcazaba fortress and more. Overnight in Seville.

Day 8: Breakfast. Check out and fly to Valencia. Check in to the hotel. Overnight in Valencia.

Day 9: Proceed to visit the Sciences Museum and Oceanographic tour. Overnight in Valencia.

Day 10: Breakfast. Arrival in Barcelona by train. Proceed for Park Guell Tour in the afternoon. Overnight in Barcelona.

Day 11: Barcelona city tour includes Ras Ramblas, Barcelona Cathedral, the Sagrada Familia, and more. Overnight in Barcelona.

 Day 12: Breakfast. Checkout and transfer to the airport to fly back home.

 

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