Best of Spain, Portugal and Morocco

Trip Type: In Depth Explorer
Spain | 32 Days

NZD 10,660.00 /Person

Ready for a month-long adventure of culture, food & colourful experiences? Explore UNESCO World Heritage sites in Porto. Party in Ibiza. And even c...

Best of Spain, Portugal and Morocco

Ready for a month-long adventure of culture, food & colourful experiences? Explore UNESCO World Heritage sites in Porto. Party in Ibiza. And even check out the magical markets of Marrakesh. This is your chance to explore the ins and outs of ALL of Iberia and Morocco’s iconic hotspots – with local guides to give you the inside scoop.

Start Madrid

Welcome to Spain! Join up with your new crew tonight over your first group dinner in the metro magic of Madrid. Tomorrow will be a whole world of discovery, so you'll be thankful for your hotel sleep.

Accommodation:

Hotel Praga (or similar)

Locations Visited:
  • Madrid

Madrid to Pamplona via Burgos

The first leg of our Iberian roadtrip kicks off this morning as we travel north in search of Burgos and Pamplona. We couldn't race to our night's stop-off point without letting you marvel at the pretty medieval town of Burgos first. For real, just wait till you see the gorgeous town square. Our next stop is the colourful Pamplona. We’ll start with a brief orientation tour of this well-preserved town, and then you'll have some free time to explore in your own way.

Accommodation:

AZZ Pamplona Norte (or similar)

Locations Visited:
  • Madrid
  • Burgos
  • Pamplona

Pamplona (Including Bilbao and San Sebastián)

Rise and shine, Spanish explorers! Two new cities await us today, but not until we’ve had breakfast. Bilbao might get bragging rights to being an up-and-coming cultural hub of Spain, but that hasn't diminished its uber laid back spirit. Home of one of the world’s most famous museums, the Museo Guggenheim, you're free to use your morning to play art critique and absorb Bilbao's pretty surrounds and architecture.  Next stop, San Sebastián! This is a pretty postcard town where cobbled lanes slope towards pristine beaches. Take a walk, do some shopping or just sit and chill in a bar, enjoying endless plates of pintxos (the Basque version of tapas). Our day ends where it started in Pamplona, where you’ll sleep soundly with a head full of modern art-themed dreams.

Accommodation:

AZZ Pamplona Norte (or similar)

Locations Visited:
  • Pamplona
  • Bilbao
  • San Sebastián
  • Pamplona

Pamplona to Barcelona via Zaragoza

This morning we spread our wings and take metaphorical flight once again, this time in the direction of Zaragoza with an end goal of none other than bustling Barcelona. A colourful cathedral & traditional Spanish churros will set our hearts aflutter in Zaragoza, as we roam the casco (old town) soaking up historic architecture and good vibes aplenty. Even the pit stops are amazing on Contiki.  With 2-nights in Barcelona, you'll be pronouncing Barcelona's C with a "tthh" like a true local by the time we make tracks. We’re off for an included dinner at Mescladis, a non-profit restaurant that works to foster social cohesion in Barca and beyond.

Accommodation:

Hotel Catalonia Park Putxet Barcelona (or similar)

Locations Visited:
  • Pamplona
  • Zaragoza
  • Barcelona

Barcelona

Today is up to you to explore your way. You could take a wander through the colourful buildings & gardens of Gaudi's iconic Parc Güell, beach lovers could head to the shores of the Mediterranean Sea, or those wanting to explore the city can sign up for an optional bike tour.

Accommodation:

Hotel Catalonia Park Putxet Barcelona (or similar)

Locations Visited:
  • Barcelona

Barcelona to Ibiza

Switching from ancient streets to strobe lights, we’ll head south along the coast to Denia where we'll then travel to the world’s party capital of Ibiza.  Worshipped worldwide as the party destination to end all party destinations, here you'll find super clubs, super DJs & super strobes like you've never seen them before, and that's just the island's 3am drawcards. For those that like to take the chilled approach, Ibiza's beaches, coves, and local markets need to be seen to be believed.

Accommodation:

Ryans Lolas (or similar)

Locations Visited:
  • Barcelona
  • Ibiza

Ibiza

Although this seems to be an island that never sleeps, you're going to need to drag that head out of bed so you can see the incredible beauty of the place when drenched in daylight. Go snorkelling, explore Ibiza's cute old town and its little souvenir shops or take a trip to spiritual Es Vedra.

Accommodation:

Ryans Lolas (or similar)

Locations Visited:
  • Ibiza

Ibiza to Valencia

It's been a magical time on this island, but we have the rest of Spain to explore. With Ibiza ticked off our bucket list, we'll hop on a ferry back to the mainland. Touching down in Denia we'll jump on our coach, headed for Valencia. It's hard to not be enchanted by the port city of Valencia, where beach meets culture in the happiest way possible. With one night here in the land that invented paella it would be crazy not to sign up for an optional paella-making class tonight with the crew. Who's in?

Accommodation:

Hotel Mas Camarena Valencia (or similar)

Locations Visited:
  • Ibiza
  • Valencia

Valencia to Granada

It's been short but sweet, Valencia, and we won't forget you. This morning we'll take an orientation walk before seeking the very different vibes of Granada. How are all these places in just one country? Granada is brimming with romance and offering an eclectic mix of Arab and Spanish feels only to be found in Andalusia. This is one place you may never want to leave!

Accommodation:

Macia Condor (or similar)

Locations Visited:
  • Valencia
  • Granada

Granada

We start the morning with free time to explore. You can fill yours by opting for a guided tour of the Muslim quarter of Albaicin & the Capilla Real, and while you're at it, fill up on some of Granada's incredible food, like its famous Arab pastries. This afternoon we head to Spain's number 1 visited attraction, the Alhambra Palace. We'll discover the breathtaking beauty and history of this Moorish Palace, with its intricate patterns and detailed architecture that will leave you spellbound, and wondering why you haven't been here sooner. To top it off, Alhambra offers the best views of the city. Feel the Spanish rhythm and style by opting for a traditional flamenco and tapas night with your Contiki family. Que beuno!

Accommodation:

Macia Condor (or similar)

Locations Visited:
  • Granada

Granada to Madrid via Toledo

Bouncing out of bed should be no problem this morning, given the scenic adventures we have planned today on route to Madrid. Synagogues, churches and medieval buildings sit atop the hill town of Toledo. We'll uncover the city's gothic cathedral, the famous Renaissance sculptor, painter and architect El Greco’s house and the site of sieges, revolutions and treason. Just another pit-stop in our life in glorious Spain. Here we are, back where the party started. You're free to spend the evening your way tonight and Madrid's nightlife is pumping, so grab some tapas, sangria and your dancing shoes for a night out on the town.

Accommodation:

Hotel Praga (or similar)

Locations Visited:
  • Granada
  • Toledo
  • Madrid

Madrid to Córdoba

Leaving some of our group to finish their adventures here in Madrid, the rest of us (along with some new friends) will drive onwards to Córdoba. With storybook balconies & charming little lanes, this UNESCO World Heritage-listed city is sure to take your breath away. We'll start out by finding our feet here in Córdoba, only to be swept off them again with a trip to the Mezquita (The Great Mosque of Córdoba). History buffs, this is basically your perfect day. This evening we'll stay in for an included dinner together at our Special Stay for the night, a 15th Century monastery with vaulted ceilings, outdoor pool and internal courtyard.

Accommodation:

Hotel el Monasterio de San Francisco (or similar)

Locations Visited:
  • Madrid
  • Córdoba

Cordoba to Seville

Ready to explore more of Andalucía? This morning we'll leave historical Córdoba with our sights set on sun-soaked Seville. 13th century architecture and one of the world's biggest cathedrals wait for us in the passionate arms of Southern Spain's capital, Seville. We'll be seduced with a guided stroll of the city, admiring the city's river, Mudéjar palaces & aristocratic mansions. Just be sure to save some energy for our optional EatWith dining experience tonight, an authentic feast.

Accommodation:

YIT Via Sevilla Mairena (or similar)

Locations Visited:
  • Córdoba
  • Seville

Seville

Another day free to explore Seville? Don't mind if we do. Take a wander through picturesque Barrio Santa Cruz, visit the Alcazar (a Game of Thrones location for those in the know) and explore winding medieval lanes to your heart's delight.

Accommodation:

YIT Via Sevilla Mairena (or similar)

Locations Visited:
  • Seville

Seville to The Algarve

We couldn't think of a more perfect way to say goodbye to Spain, and say goodbye we must, because our agenda today sees us moving westwards on the Iberian penninsula to Portugal. Crossing the border, spirits are high as we cruise along the Algarve, where petiscos and pastéis de nata await. Remarkable coastlines. Show-stopping seafood. Pastel-coloured streets. And a sunny Atlantic breeze. Welcome to Portugal. Our first destination in this wonderful country is the breathtaking beaches of The Algarve. You’ll drop your bags off at our hotel and join us as we search for the best dinner spots. And so begins the second part of our adventure…

Accommodation:

A conveniently located hotel

Locations Visited:
  • Seville
  • The Algarve

The Algarve

Folks, it's beach time. But not just any beach, we’ll visit the stunning sun-kissed beaches of Algarve. So wake up, get some of that included breakfast, and put on your swimsuits. You’ve got the ENTIRE day to spend as you please. Soak in the sunlight. Dive into the water. Grab a book and chill. Taste some fresh seafood. Wow. For dinner, we’ll walk around the colourful streets and get some dinner on the way. Pure bliss.

Accommodation:

A conveniently located hotel

Locations Visited:
  • The Algarve

The Algarve to Lisbon via Sintra and Cascais

Good morning, it’s time to say goodbye to the Algarve. Don’t worry. We’ve still got more coastal spots to explore. So, fill up on some breakfast and hop onto your coach! Our first stop this morning is in the coastal town of Cascais, known for its stunning beaches and tasty seafood. Stroll along the marina or opt in for a MAKE TRAVEL MATTER ® Experience hosted by local residents: a street art tour showcasing the culture of a neighbourhood shaking off old perceptions by creating an urban art gallery unlike anywhere in the world. Stop two? The incredible UNESCO World Heritage-listed Sintra. Here in this fairytale town, expect to feel fully enchanted with a stop-off at Quinta da Regaleira – Sintra’s mesmerising manor house. Welcome to yet another example of incredible Europe’s historical cities. Here in Lisbon, vintage looking trams roll down cobbled streets and tiny intricate tiles make everything beautifully picturesque. You’ve got plenty of time for exploring tomorrow. So why not take to the streets and check out some of the sidestreet cafes or restaurants for dinner?

Accommodation:

VIP Executive Zurique Hotel (or similar)

Locations Visited:
  • The Algarve
  • Cascais
  • Sintra
  • Lisbon

Lisbon

A free day gives you plenty of time to explore all the hotspots including Portugal's Christo Rei (Christ the King), Rossio Square, the Belém District, home to the famous tower of the same name, and feel some Moorish vibes at a monastery where Vasco de Gama's tomb is held.

Accommodation:

VIP Executive Zurique Hotel (or similar)

Locations Visited:
  • Lisbon

Lisbon to Porto via Quinta do Sanguinhal Vineyard

Lisbon, you’ve been incredible. But the show must go on. Today, we’ll make our way further up north, along the stunning coastline. We can’t leave Portugal without tasting some authentic local wine, can we? That’s why we’re visiting the 19th century vineyards to see, swirl, sniff, sip, and savour some of it. Alive with galleries and coffee shops and amazing food culture, the city of Porto is basically a dream for art lovers and foodies alike. So, it's a good thing you've got a free evening here to spend however you like. And if you're on the hunt for things to do, you can join us for a tour of some of the local foodie hotspots! Then, it's time to tuck in for tomorrow.

Accommodation:

Ibis Porto Gaia (or similar)

Locations Visited:
  • Lisbon
  • Quinta do Sanguinhal Vineyard
  • Porto

Porto

Wakey wakey. You get to decide the agenda for today. You can choose to try local food (if you're still craving some from last night). Discover heritage in the old wooden tram in Riberia. Or walk along the picturesque coastline, and view the main sites like lavish São Francisco Church and 19th century Palácio da Bolsa.

Accommodation:

Ibis Porto Gaia (or similar)

Locations Visited:
  • Porto

Porto to Salamanca via Ciudad Rodrigo

See ya Portugal, you've shown us all your best places and we're feeling very thankful! We'll have an hour to check out a fortified city on the Spain/Portugal border - that dates back all the way to the Roman Empire (true story!) We'll settle for the night in Salamanca. We're just 2 hours from Madrid but somehow Salamanca feels like a whole other world, with a 13th century University, mysteriously futuristic gargoyles, a painted indoor sky fresco, and a Cathedral dotted with carved stone shells. After orienting ourselves to the city we'll have some free time to find some food (think cheeses, cured meats, wine & sweet almond cookies) and explore more this evening.

Accommodation:

Hotel Bardo Recoletos Coco (or similar)

Locations Visited:
  • Porto
  • Ciudad Rodrigo
  • Salamanca

Salamanca to Madrid via Ávila

Satisfied with our time in Salamanca, we'll make our way back to Madrid with a stop in Ávila. Ávila is best known for its perfectly preserved 11th century medieval walls, protecting the medieval UNESCO World Heritage-listed city inside. We'll stop to admire them before jumping back in the coach, bound for Madrid. Back where it all began, again! Here in Madrid you'll be able to make the most of our night together with an optional dinner of traditional food at an iconic Spanish restaurant near the Plaza Mayor.

Accommodation:

Hotel Praga (or similar)

Locations Visited:
  • Salamanca
  • Avila
  • Madrid

Madrid to Marrakesh

Madrid, you've been great. But it's time to say goodbye to Europe, because we're flying a bit further down south to soak in the intoxicating vibes of Morocco. It's time to let our senses guide us as we arrive in the colourful city of Marrakesh. We'll spend the evening enjoying North African aromas and spices ahead of a full day exploring tomorrow.

Accommodation:

Hotel El Andalous (or similar)

Locations Visited:
  • Madrid
  • Marrakesh

Marrakesh to Casablanca

Today we'll get to explore the sights and sounds of Marrakesh on a sightseeing tour and discover what this city is all about. You'll be sure to discover the likes of Koutoubia Mosque, Bahia Palace and Jemaa El-Fna. Then its time to move on to our next destination... Welcome the Casablanca, the iconic city of Hollywood legend. For our first adventure, we'll wander the cornice and soak up all of those coastal views.

Accommodation:

Hotel Diwan (or similar)

Locations Visited:
  • Marrakesh
  • Casablanca

Casablanca to Chefchaouen via Rabat

Today we'll get to explore the elegant city of Casablanca and admire the Moorish buildings. We'll also we'll pay a visit to the iconic Hassan II Mosque, the largest functioning one in all of Africa. More astounding architectural sights are in store in Rabat, as we visit the Mohammed V Mausoleum, tour Hassan and see the gilded royal palace. We then make our way to Chefchaouen, keeping our eyes peeled for the iconic blue buildings. Cameras at the ready: we'll explore Chefchaouen's most iconic insta spot - the 'Blue City' - whilst also uncovering the likes of Place Outa Hamam, Kasbah, and the local markets.

Accommodation:

Hotel Madrid (or similar)

Locations Visited:
  • Casablanca
  • Rabat
  • Chefchaouen

Chefchaouen to Fes via Volubilis

After breakfast this morning, we’ll make our way to Fes… with a stop-off in Volubilis along the way. Welcome to Volubilis – once a Roman settlement, and Morocco’s largest ancient attraction to this day (it’s also a UNESCO World Heritage Site). We’ll get to explore this marvellous site on a walking tour with a local guide. We'll travel through the Rif mountains to the cultural capital of Fes and check in to our hotel, ready for a full day of exploration tomorrow.

Accommodation:

Hotel Arena (or similar)

Locations Visited:
  • Chefchaouen
  • Volubilis
  • Fes

Fes

Welcome to Fes, Morocco's famed cultural capital - known for its medieval architecture and old-world atmosphere. Today you'll see the sights while also learning about the art of making carpets, handicrafts and how to shop medina style. Tonight, we’re off for an optional Moroccan feast… with live entertainment too.

Accommodation:

Hotel Arena (or similar)

Locations Visited:
  • Fes

Fes to Erfoud

Today we drive into the High Atlas Mountains, North Africa's highest mountain range as we make our way over to Erfoud. Expect to see some staggering peaks and breath-taking views, whilst making some pit stops in the gorgeous towns of Ifrane and Midelt, sitting between the Middle Atlas and High Atlas mountains. All before making base and enjoying some dinner in Erfoud, an oasis town situated in the mist of the Sahara Desert.

Accommodation:

Kasbah Tizimi Hotel Erfoud (or similar)

Locations Visited:
  • Fes
  • Erfoud

Erfoud to Merzouga

Erfoud, it's been a blast, but move on we must! We'll be making a charming stop for a home visit where we'll enjoy local Berber hospitality and plenty of Moroccan mint tea. Back on the road but we'll be making a stop in Rissani for a lazy lunch and maybe a cheeky swim (just what we need)! We've arrived, but we're not stopping yet. Enjoy optional activities such as visiting the Barber Music Center for some culture, or quad biking through sand dunes for some epic fun. Then in the evening, we'll swap the coach out for some camels and trek into the Sahara Desert for some beautiful sunset views. For dinner you'll be treated to a traditional Berber feast inside the royal tent before settling in for the night.

Accommodation:

Auberge La Caravane (or similar)

Locations Visited:
  • Erfoud
  • Rissani
  • Merzouga

Merzouga to Ouarzazate via Todra Gorge

We're back on the road, and today it's time to unleash your inner Gladiator. After driving the iconic 1000 kasbahs and eating lunch at the beautiful oasis of Tinghir, we’ll head off to Todra Gorge. Here you’ll have the chance to do some hiking, and also try out rock climbing at Todra Gorge. Afterwards, you can visit Tatefy, a local women’s cooperative on the edge of the Dades Valley, known for its tea and baked goods (a MAKE TRAVEL MATTER® experience). Once you're full and ready to go we will explore Ouarzazate - an iconic city you'll recognise from films including Kingdom of Heaven and Gladiator.

Accommodation:

Les Jardin De Ouarzazate (Or similar)

Locations Visited:
  • Merzouga
  • Todra Gorge
  • Ouarzazate

Ouarzazate to Marrakesh

It's the final full day and time to head back to Marrakesh. But first we'll enjoy some traditional treats, including stopping at a local traditional argan oil cooperative to learn the different techniques and traditional ways of producing this fragrant oil - which helps to support the ladies of the cooperative and their families (a MAKE TRAVEL MATTER® experience). Don't cry because it's over, smile because it happened. And besides, we're not done yet. Before you bid farewell to magical Morocco, you’ll have the chance to take a cooking class with a local family learning all about Moroccan hospitality and even have the chance to get a traditional Hammam Spa treatment.

Accommodation:

Hotel El Andalous (or similar)

Locations Visited:
  • Ouarzazate
  • Marrakesh

Marrakesh

You've seen the sights, tasted the culinary delights - It's been emotional! But all good things must come to an end. It's time for all the hugs and most likely a few tears as we bid a farewell and start planning the reunion!

Locations Visited:
  • Marrakesh

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Destination Details
Spain | 32 Days
Trip Location
Trip Starts:
Madrid, Spain
Trip Finishes:
Marrakesh, Morocco
Countries Visited:
Spain
Portugal
Morocco

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