We are thinking about doing back to back tours, has anyone been on these tours and would have comments on whether this is a good idea?
I have not been on the Best of Portugal but I’m a vet with 15 tours under my belt. I’ve done 3 back-to-back and it was great! The only reason I will not have done more is my budget 😂! By all means consider doing both since you’ll be spending a chunk on airfare.
Been on both tours but not back to back. We did something similar last year when we took Best of Sicily and Best of South Italy back to back. It certainly saves on airfare. Do give yourself several days in between the tours to do laundry and sleep in and do some slow strolling somewhere. It’s definitely doable!
A lot depends on your stamina. We took the Portugal tour back to back with London. Although both shorter tours, we did a huge amount of walking particularly in London. We’ve done the best of Spain as well and it’s a great tour. If you are in good shape, go for it. If you can schedule a day or two downtime between tours this will greatly add to your enjoyment.
I think scheduling the downtime might be the key to making it work.
It makes perfect sense once you're there to see both countries of the Iberian Peninsula that are very different from each other. I took both tours April 2022 beginning in Lisbon ending in Porto, then Ryann Air to Barcelona for the BofS tour beginning the next day, flying back to Seattle from Sevilla via Amsterdam. There's no jet lag to get over, but back-to-back tours are tiring and learning another set of names can be challenging as well. Ideally a couple days to chill between tours to recharge your batteries is great if it fits your schedule. Loved both tours of course and look forward to the Best of Southern Italy/Best of Sicily this October. I have 3 days in Palermo to chill this time before the Sicily tour begins, and maybe some laundry.
I have be on 11 RS tours, all very positive, and have several times taken 2 tours back-to-back, often with a few extra days before, between or after the tours. I have also taken both the RS Spain and Portugal tours, but in different years, not back-to-back. I think the 2 countries and tours are both wonderful experiences!
If you have the time and funds available, I would encourage back-to-back tours, with these comments:
First, try to do these tours in the spring or fall, not in summer. Summer in some of these areas can be very hot and very crowded, which would make your trip both more tiring and less enjoyable, I think. The heat can be especially an issue in Andalusia, meaning Seville and nearby in Spain, so watch the dates when you would be there.
Second, the one place you will visit on these 2 tours which really calls for or even demands additional time, is Barcelona. The tour spends little time there, and there are many, many diverse sites and experiences in and around Barcelona. So, you might consider scheduling the Portugal tour first, then spend a few days both relaxing and exploring in Barcelona, maybe also in wonderful old Girona, before joining the Spain tour.
Go for it, and enjoy!
We did back-to-back tours 3 years in a row and it was fantastic! We arrived a day early for each one and spent a couple of days in between the tours, and it worked out perfectly. In 2012 we did Paris/GAS, in 2013 we did Loire to the South of France/Best of Italy and in 2014 we did Eastern France/Best of Spain. We have not been on the Best of Portugal tour, but really enjoyed Spain. We have been on 9 RS Tours and loved them all, so we know you will have a wonderful time.
We're doing back to back Eastern Europe and Heart of Italy tours starting in September. It will be the longest we've been away (5 weeks total). We're so confident in our abilities to handle this well (LOL!!) that we signed up for back to back Spain and Portugal tours next September. We considered tacking on the Basque Country tour after the Best of Spain, but I really wanted to see Portugal, and the Basque Country tour could be tacked onto a France tour easily enough.
No risk, no reward!
Give your self a good break in between to restore yourself but also because transit from Spain to Portugal is not always as straightforward as you would think, particularly if you do not wish to fly.
I did two back to backs in 2022. Spring: Turkey then Greece, Fall: Spain then Portugal. I arrived in Portugal several days early to wash clothes and sleep late. RS tours can exhaust you if you do site seeing on your own. Plus the tours leave by 7:30 am to 9:00 am, so you need to rise early to really enjoy your breakfast, at least I do. Both Spain and Portugal are busy but not overwhelming. I also arrive 2-3 days before any trip to get over the worse of jet lag. If you fly first class perhaps jet lag is not an issue. The bad thing about back to backs is that information overload may occur. The good thing of back to back is that one can feel completely free for one month of any responsibility except getting up in and not the morning and arriving on time to the tour bus.