THE BEST OF SPAIN AND PORTUGAL IN 5 WEEKS PLAN
Hop off the Paris-Madrid train at gorgeous San Sebastian (2 days, 946), and check out the new Guggenheim in Bilbao (1 day, 951) before heading to Madrid for urban fun (4 days, 854). Day trip to the austere palace of El Escorial (1 day, 873) and the medieval streets of Toledo (1 day, 874). Visit the university town of Salamanca (1 day, 881) and then cross the border into Portugal, heading up to the unpretentious Porto (2 days, 838). Marvel at the painted tiles in Lisbon (3 days, 814) with a daytrip to the town of Sintra (1 day, 828). Bake in the sun along the Algarve in Lagos (3 days, 831), where hordes of visitors dance the night away.
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Sleep off your hangover on the 7hr. Express bus from Lagos to Seville (2 days, 892) and prepare for a romantic stroll along the Guadalquivir River. Delve deeper into Arab-influenced Andalucia-don't miss the Mezquita in Cordoba (2 days, 887) and the Alhambra in Granada (2 days, 906). From Granada head up the Mediterra nean Coast to stop in Valencia (1 day, 913) for the paella and oranges. Move on to northeastern Spain and hit sunny Costa Brava (2 days, 939), artsy Figueres (1 day, 939), and medieval Girona (1 day, 940). Finish up your journey in colorful Barcelona (4 days, 916).
THE BEST OF SPAIN AND PORTUGAL
Tayac (1 day, 346) and stroll through the golden streets of Sarlat (1 day, 346). Sniff, swirl, and spit in Bordeaux (2 days, 347) before following the pilgrims to miraculous Lourdes (1 day, 351). Zip southward for some Franco-Spanish flavor in Toulouse (1 day, 352). Head east to reach the magnificent Roman ruins of Nimes (1 day, 355), the birthplace of denim. The stunning Gothic fortifications of the Palais des Papes cast shadows over festive Avignon (1 day, 356). Students have been partying in elegant Aix-en- Provence (1 day, 359) for 600 years, but for non-stop action go to Nice (3 days, 369), undisputed capital of the Riviera. For a change of scenery, climb into the Alps to reach dynamic Grenoble (2 days, 384). Strasbourg (1 day, 397) offers a pleasant blend of French and German culture. Finish off in style with a tasting at one of the many champagne caves in Reims (1 day, 403).