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Best of Portugal or Best of Spain?

Looking at one of these tours for early summer 2019. So hard to decide between these two amazing itineraries. I think we would enjoy either based on all the enthusiastic reviews.

Suggestions?

Posted by
2426 posts

They are both great tours. Spain has more “wow” sights-Sagrada Familia, the Prado, The Alhambra to name a few. Nothing close to that in Portugal. But we enjoyed Portugal a lot for the people, the food, the smaller towns. It’s a tough choice, but, by a smidgen given you can only do one this year, I would choose Spain.

Posted by
3493 posts

Working on a bucket list of visiting all the places where I share DNA (8% Iberian Peninsula), I decided to do both these tours back-to-back. I signed up yesterday and am waiting for an email telling me if have a seat on either or both.

I've been to Lisbon once before and Spain twice before, but the itineraries have almost no repetition of what I saw and did those trips. IMHO, you can't go wrong with either of them, especially if you spend a little extra time in country before or after the tour.

Posted by
2586 posts

We took The Heart of Portugal Tour in 2016. As previously mentioned, we also enjoyed engaging with the kind people, history, cuisine & charm of this relaxed country. We also had amazing guides! We added a couple days before the tour and took a great day tour to Sintra.

Following the tour we extended another 8 days between Madrid, Toledo and Barcelona. We loved Spain and would like to return to travel South when we have more time. I don't think you could go wrong with either, or both!

Posted by
4486 posts

Lo, how exciting! When are you going? Portugal is on my wish list; maybe 2021. JLS, you seem to always be one step ahead of us on tours!

We did the Barcelona/Madrid tour some years ago, and loved it. I'm trying to figure out when we can get back to that part of the world; maybe 2020, although I'm in need of another Italy fix. And maybe 2021, although some local friends want to go to Europe with us to celebrate their 25th anniversary, and they've already decided on Germany!

Posted by
2258 posts

Suzanne, I did Best of Spain in 2016, Best of Portugal in 2017 (both with extra time on my own before and after the tours), and Basque Country plus about 3 weeks on my own in Spain in 2018. All wonderful! Spain has more big world-class sites and museums, but is also very diverse with small cities and towns and rural stops. Portugal is more intimate, and the tour is somewhat more relaxed. I would even love to repeat Best of Spain and Best of Portugal, maybe not Basque Country.

Posted by
3493 posts

Jane,

The timing was best to do Portugal first, so I signed up for Heart of Portugal 3-14 June and Best of Spain 17-30 June.

If all goes well I'll arrive in Lisbon on 1 June, giving me 2 nights in Lisbon before the tour starts. I'll spend the night of 14 June in Porto where the tour ends, then fly from there to Barcelona on 15 June, giving me 2 nights there before that tour starts.

The Best of Spain tour ends in Sevilla on 30 June. I'll spend that night there, then start the journey back to the US on 1 July.

Obviously, the transport is heavily researched but isn't nailed down yet because I have no seat confirmation for either tour yet. I'm doing the extra nights partly to have time to rest or see/do something not covered on the tours and that I haven't seen/done before.

I'm also doing it partly because I hate rushing (as in an early flight the last morning of the tour) and because I'm heeding the advice of someone who did these same tours with no break between them (don't remember when) and said they were absolutely exhausted before the end of the second one. They wished they'd had some "vacation from the vacation" time somewhere along the way.