Are you thinking of planning a trip to Spain and Portugal, but not quite sure where to start? Both countries have so much to offer. This 2-week itinerary for Spain and Portugal covers some of the best things to see in both countries.
So what can you expect in this Spain and Portugal itinerary? 14 days of cultural immersion, the two capitals; Madrid and Lisbon, fairy tale castles in Sinatra, the UNESCO heritage sites of Cordoba and the awe-inspiring Alhambra and a whole lot more. This article offers the best Spain and Portugal itinerary in just two weeks, I’ve also included some great travel tips on how to make the most out of each destination in this guide.
This Portugal and Spain trip does involve a full schedule and although doable, if you have a longer time scale, or prefer a slower style of travel, then extend this itinerary to suit. This two weeks in Spain and Portugal itinerary has been based on public transport to get around – trains, flights and the occasional bus (I have included information on how to do this in each section).
Alternatively, you could opt to do this route as a road trip – however, I suggest extending this Spain and Portugal in 2 weeks itinerary into a month-long trip due to the distances travelled. There is a FAQ section at the end of the article that answers lots of questions, you can jump straight to it here.
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Spain and Portugal Itinerary: 14 days at a glance
If you’re in a rush and don’t want to read the full itinerary for Spain and Portugal, here’s a quick overview as to what’s included. This Spain and Portugal trip starts in Barcelona, Spain and finishes in Porto, Portugal. However, there’s no reason why you can’t do it in reverse.
You can download this free quick reference guide, checklist and map of this Spain and Portugal 2 weeks itinerary straight to your inbox by clicking here.
What's in this article?
It’s time to go and grab a brew and get into the nitty-gritty of this bucket list itinerary for Spain and Portugal.
The Complete Itinerary for Spain and Portugal
This Portugal and Spain itinerary covers some of the best cities, sites and monuments in a fast-paced 2-week plan. This map will give you some bearings of what’s covered in this trip. If you want to download and keep this map for future reference, along with a checklist of the cities and attractions covered and a ton of useful information, then click here and have it sent straight to your inbox.
Spain and Portugal Itinerary Map
Day 1 & 2: Barcelona
Your 2 weeks in Spain and Portugal itinerary starts in the beautiful city of Barcelona. Home to some of the most beautiful architecture in Europe, including Antoni Gaudi’s imposing La Sagrada Familia. Allow two days in the city of Barcelona, this will give you enough time to see the highlights and get a feel for one of Spain’s most cosmopolitan cities.
Spend the first day visiting some of the iconic Gaudi buildings, including Casa Milà, Casa Batlló and of course Park Güell, all three of these get extremely busy, so start early in the day to avoid crowds and book tickets in advance to skip the queue.
Naturally, you’ll also want to see La Sagrada Familia, again, (book your La Sagrada Familia ticket here), and plan your two days around this. Allow a good portion of time (3 hours or more) to explore the unfinished cathedral. One thing you’ll notice about all of Gaudi’s architecture is the attention to detail, each building is so ornately and intricately designed.
Other places in Barcelona to explore include La Ramblas, which is a tree-lined 1.2km long pedestrian street in the heart of the city and The Gothic Quarter. For delicious food, head to Mercado de La Boqueria. If you have time and energy, then the fountains at Montjuïc hill are also worth a visit. If you’re after a more relaxed affair, then you can head to one of the beaches.
Top things to do in Barcelona
- Peruse the beautiful Gaudi architecture; Casa Milà, Casa Batlló and Park Güell)
- Marvel at the magnificent La Sagrada Familia
- Wander along La Ramblas in the heart of the city
- Try delicious local cuisine at Mercado de La Boqueria
- Explore the Gothic Quarter
- Enjoy the lively nightlife (head towards El Raval and El Born)
Tips on Visiting La Sagrada Familia
Building work on the unfinished basilica started in 1882, today you’ll still find it clad in scaffolding, it’s still not complete. The UNESCO World Heritage site was designed by the Catalan architect Antoni Gaudí and consists of both architectural and engineering feats, many of which were pioneering at the time. Every feature of the grand building is heavily decorated in a mixture of Gothic and Art Nouveau styles, with an abundance of hidden and subliminal messages concealed in the detailing.
Gaudi died in 1926, at the time, only about a quarter of the construction was complete. Antoni Gaudi is buried in the crypt in the basilica. One interesting fact about the building, it’s entirely funded by private donations!
La Sagrada Familia is Barcelona’s most popular attraction, so it does get very busy. It’s best to arrive early, firstly, you’ll probably want to spend a lot of time scanning every surface for the tiniest of hidden details, and of course, being the city’s most popular attractions, you’ll also encounter hundreds of other tourists.If you can, book a tour that lets you visit the roof, like this Sagrada Familia Tour with Tower Access!
Getting to Barcelona from Barcelona Airport
Your Spain and Portugal trip starts in the fabulous city of Barcelona, so you’ve arrived, but now what? To get from Barcelona Airport to the city centre, you could pre-arrange a taxi which will drop you straight at your hotel. This is the easiest option, although the most expensive.
Spain offers a good train service; the national provider is RENFE. There is a regular service running to and from Barcelona Airport to the city centre. The frequent service runs approximately every 30 minutes, with the journey also taking a similar time. It stops at the main train station in Barcelona, Barcelona Sants (Sants Estació).
Another way to get from Barcelona Airport to the city centre is via the Aerobus which is a shuttle bus service running between the airport and downtown. Although several buses are servicing this route, the Aerobús A1 and Aerobús A2 are the quickest and most regular.
Where to stay in Barcelona
Day 3 & 4: Madrid
The next destination on this Spain and Portugal two week itinerary is the Spanish capital of Madrid. The vibrant city of Madrid boasts some of the finest museums in the country, as well as beautiful architecture and cool hipster districts.
To make the most of the city, you’ll be spending 2 days here. This will give you ample time to explore some of the most notable museums in Spain, including the iconic and world-renowned Museo Nacional del Prado and Museo Nacional Centro de Arte Reina Sofía.
The city is expansive, one of the most efficient ways to orientate yourself is via a walking city tour. They will go past some of Madrid’s top landmarks including Puerta del Sol. This is the heart of the city, known as Point 0, you’ll find a plaque on the ground to show you the exact position, look up, and you’ll see the iconic Tio Pepe sign.
Other landmarks in Madrid worth visiting are Gran Via. To get here from Puerta del Sol, head along Calle de la Monterra, this will lead you out onto Gran Via, from here, if you head towards Callao Metro Station and look upwards, you’ll see another iconic landmark in Madrid, the Schweppes Building.
Other places worth spending some time at are Plaza Major which dates back to the late 1500s, this major public square in old Madrid was once home to Madrid’s main market. Today, if you’re after outstanding local cuisine check out San Fernando in Lavapiés or the hipster and upmarket one in San Miguel. When you’re done exploring the city, then head to Parque El Retiro which is the biggest park in Madrid.
One of the most opulent buildings in Madrid is the Palacio Real de Madrid (Royal Palace of Madrid) which is the official residence of the Spanish Royal family. It dates back to the 1700s, and if you’re into over-the-top grandeur, then it’s certainly worth a tour inside. Opposite the Royal Palace, you’ll find the Almudena Cathedral (Santa Maria la Real de La Almudena). Construction on this building started in 1879, although it wasn’t finished until 1993! Check out the interior for the vibrant paintwork.
Top things to do in Madrid
- Visit the nation’s top museums: Museo Nacional del Prado and Museo Nacional Centro de Arte Reina Sofía.
- Stand at ‘Point 0’ the official centre of Spain in Puerta del Sol
- Indulge in Gran Via, and the historical centre of Plaza Major
- Try delicious local cuisine at Mercado de San Fernando and San Miguel.
- Relax and wander in the expansive Parque El Retiro
- Discover the lavish Palacio Real de Madrid
Tips On Visiting The Prado and Reina Sofía
If you’re wanting to explore some of the best artworks in Europe, then these two galleries are a MUST when you visit Madrid. Like with all the top attractions, they do attract crowds. The best way to avoid them and make the most out of your precious time in Madrid is to book a skip-the-line ticket.
Related Article – A Locals Guide: Two Days in Madrid
Madrid Time Saving Tip
Madrid is a huge city, and although it’s well connected by an extensive Metro network, it can be confusing navigating your way around, especially if you don’t know exactly which line and station you need. If you’re not keen on walking, but want to see as much of the city as possible, then the hop-on-hop-off bus is a great way to do it. If your time is limited, this is the most efficient way to see everything.
Getting to Madrid from Barcelona
You started your Spain Portugal 2 week itinerary in Barcelona, which is a whopping 500km away. The most proficient way of getting from Barcelona to Madrid is by plane or train…forget the bus, unless you’re not limited by time – it takes more than 7 hours!
If you opt to travel by train between Barcelona and Madrid it will take about 2hour 40minutes. There are several departure times per day, with trains departing from Barcelona Sants and arriving in Madrid Atocha. Book your ticket well in advance, and you can bag some bargain prices. This is the most efficient way to travel between Barcelona and Madrid.
Alternatively, you could fly. The actual flight is only around 1hour 15 minutes, but after you consider the time taken to get from both of the city centres out to the airports and then the pre-flight time you need to be at the airport for, you won’t save any time compared with going via train. You can check out prices here if you do want to travel by plane.
Where to stay in Madrid
Day 5 & 6: Granada
Your Spain Portugal 2 weeks itinerary continues in the enchanting city of Granada. Granada is home to one of the most stunning landmarks in Spain, the UNESCO Heritage Site and Moorish complex of the Alhambra. Allow two days in this city to fully explore everything at a comfortable pace.
The city is a buzzing hub of students (there is a major university here) as well as international tourists. The city itself is worth exploring, in particular, if you’re looking for souvenirs, then head to the Alcaiceria Bazar.
If you’re after a bit of pampering after all the exploring, then you’ll love the spa treatments at the Arab Baths. Another great place to discover is the autonomous district of Albaicín and meander through the ancient, narrow cobbled streets and up to some of the Miradors.
Top things to do in Granada
- Explore the Alhambra complex (allow at least one full day)
- Watch sunset or sunrise from one of the Miradors (Mirador San Nicolas, San Miguel, San Cristobal)
- Wander the pretty cobbled streets of the autonomous district of Albaicín
- Shop in the old Alcaiceria Bazaar
- Visit the Granada Cathedral
- Enjoy a traditional spa treatment at the Arab Baths: Hammam Al Ándalus
Tips on Visiting the Alhambra
When you’re planning your Spain and Portugal trip itinerary, as soon as you know the dates, book your entrance ticket for the Alhambra. There is a limit on how many people can enter, although you can buy your ticket at the ticket office, at peak times, entry slots sell out.
The ticket will give you entrance to a whole load of surrounding parts of the complex, where you can enter at a time of your choice, as long as you have a valid ticket. For the Nasrid Palace, you’ll be given a time allocated slot.
To get to the Alhambra complex from Granada centre, you essentially have two options: walk or shuttle bus. To walk, it’s a steep incline, from the town centre, head towards the pretty road of Carrera del Darro, follow the signpost, cross the river and head up through the steep cobbled steps and slope. From the bottom, it will take about half an hour. Alternatively, there is a regular shuttle bus from the town centre which makes the looped journey up to the complex.
It’s best to arrive early at the Alhambra complex, firstly, there is a lot to explore, and secondly, this is one of the most popular attractions in Spain, so tourists will be here in their coach loads.
Inside the complex, amongst other things, be sure to visit Generalife, Nasrid Palaces (where you’ll find the stunning Patio de Los Leones), Palace of Charles V.
Getting to Granada from Madrid
The best way to get from Madrid to Granada, using public transport is by train. It takes about 3.5 hours for the direct train, with up to three services a day – one early in the morning, one in the early afternoon, and one in the early evening. Trains depart from Madrid Atocha and arrive at Granada Train Station. Book tickets in advance to get the best prices.
If you’re on a budget or travelling at a slower pace, then you could opt for the bus, however, the journey takes more than 4.5 hours. It departs from Madrid Estacion Sur and arrives at Granada Bus Station. There are frequent services, throughout the day, some are direct, and others have a change.
Where to stay in Granada
Day 7 – Cordoba
Your 2 weeks in Spain and Portugal tour continues in the ancient city of Cordoba. The city is blessed with an abundance of historical sites including a UNESCO listed historical centre, beautiful Alcazar and the piste de resistance, the jaw-droppingly stunning Mosque-Cathedral of Cordoba.
The region of Andalucía is blessed with numerous historical towns which feature remnants from the Mudéjar period. If you loved the Moorish influence of the Alhambra, then you will certainly enjoy what Cordoba has to offer. Although you could spend more than just a day here, if you plan carefully, you will be able to see the highlights of this city in just 24 hours.
To get the most out of your day here, start with Cordoba’s Mosque-Cathedral. Wander in through the Patio de Los Naranjos, which is one of the oldest parts of the building, and also the main entrance to the Mosque-Cathedral. Allow a couple of hours here to take in the beauty of everything.
The interior is filled with columned archways which feature the characteristic red and cream coloured blocks. These features date back to when the building was a Mosque. In the centre, you’ll find architecture more in line with Christian design, in the centre of the Mosque-Cathedral is a high ceiling, extravagantly decorated and going up into a great spire.
After you’ve visited the Mosque-Cathedral, take some time to explore the historical centre and the Jewish Quarter. You could whittle away hours exploring the quaint cobblestoned alleyways and courtyards. Often the courtyards are adorned with colourful flowers in brightly painted pots. However, if you’re visiting Cordoba in May, then your visit will coincide with the Los Patios festival where every courtyard, alleyway, and square is heavily decorated in flowers. Walk over the Roman Bridge of Cordoba where you can take a fantastic panoramic photo of the city.
There are numerous things to do in Cordoba, and if you have longer to complete your Spain and Portugal travel itinerary, then allow at least two days here to do it justice. However, if you only have one day here, then another not-to-miss landmark is the Alcazar de Los Reyes Cristianos. Historically, this building has served both as a fortress and palace. A few highlights to look out for here are the Hall of the Mosaics, the Arab baths and the Mudejar courtyards.
Top things to do in Cordoba
- Visit the UNESCO Heritage-listed Cordoba’s Mosque-Cathedral and Patio de Los Naranjos
- Lose yourself in the Historical Centre and Jewish Quarter.
- Explore the colourful flower-laden patios and alleyways (especially during the Los Patios festival in May)
- Discover the Alcazar de los Reyes Cristianos
- Walk over the Roman bridge of Córdoba for stunning city views
Tips on Visiting the Mosque-Cathedral of Cordoba
Before you set off on your 2 week Spain and Portugal itinerary, book your tickets for the Mosque-Cathedral (or the Mezquita Cathedral de Cordoba) in advance. Like this Alhambra, this landmark pulls in thousands of tourists every year.
To make the most of your short time in Cordoba, book a skip-the-line ticket. Arrive early to dodge the crowds. You can enter the building with or without a guide, and photos are allowed inside. However, because this is an active place of worship, check the opening times beforehand.
Inside the Mosque-Cathedral, signage is limited, so if you’re interested in hearing the history of this fascinating building, then book a private guided tour, you can of course just wander freely around the 856 columned arches. Two highlights once inside are the Capilla Mayor with its gigantic central dome and the intricate Marsura Dome.
Related Article – How to spend a full day in Cordoba
Getting to Cordoba from Granada
You can travel from Granada to Cordoba by train or bus, the cities are very well connected.
By train, it takes about 1hour 30 minutes, and by bus about 2hour 30minutes. If you book tickets in advance, there isn’t much price difference between the two.
The direct train departs several times a day from Granada station and arrives at Cordoba Central. There are fewer options for the bus, however, there are still quite a few departures per day. The bus route departs from Granada Bus Station and arrives in Cordoba Bus Station.
Where to stay in Cordoba
Day 8 & 9 – Seville
From Cordoba, your 14 day Spain and Portugal itinerary continues towards the capital of Andalucía, the majestic city of Seville. This city is bursting to the seams with beautiful architecture, stunning landmarks, including an abundance of UNESCO Heritage sites and of course the home of flamenco.
Although I have marked two days here, if you have the option to plan a longer Portugal Spain itinerary, then I’d defiantly recommend spending at least an extra day here to absorb everything.
Start by exploring the historical centre, which includes the area called Barrio Santa Cruz; the old Jewish District. Also, plan to visit the Cathedral de Seville and the Real Alcazar de Seville. The historical centre is also where most of the walking tour guides mingle if you’re interested in joining one of them. All three places have UNESCO status and are close to each other. I recommend booking tickets in advance for both the Cathedral and the Alcazar and using any time between to explore the Barrio.
Seville has deep roots in its folklore, which heavily influence its music and dance. It would be sacrilege to not take the opportunity to watch one of the Flamenco shows in its birthplace in the evening.
On your second day, explore some of the city’s other outstanding attractions, start at the gargantuan Plaza de España (if you type in Seville landmarks into a Google search, I 100% guarantee this will come up – it’s synonymous with the city). It was built in 1929 as part of an Expo, it’s free to enter and features a mix of styles. The semi-circular building features decorative tile work from all the districts in Spain. If you love the tile work in Seville, then add in a trip to Triana, across the river, to see the factory whey they were traditionally made.
Next to Plaza de España you’ll find Parque de Maria Luisa, which is a great place to head to for shade. If you have time then explore some of the photogenic old houses, La Casa de Pilatos is a good option. In the evening, go up the Metropol Parasol (which is often called Las Setas – The Mushrooms) for fabulous sunset views over the city. This enormous organically shaped wooden structure is a very much love-it-or-hate-it landmark in Seville, it features a snakelike walkway at the top with various viewing platforms over the city.
Related Article – The perfect three day Seville itinerary
Top things to do in Seville
- Spend time exploring the UNESCO Heritage landmarks: Cathedral de Seville and Real Alcazar de Seville.
- Get lost in the pretty narrow streets of Barrio Santa Cruz
- Marvel at the expansive Plaza de España
- Relax in Parque de Maria Luisa
- Soak up the local culture and watch a Flamenco show
- Swoon at the beautiful houses of La Casa de Pilatos
- Take panoramic sunset shots at The Metropol Parasol
Tips for Visiting the Cathedral and Real Alcazar
Like with most of the major attractions I’ve mentioned so far, I’d recommend booking tickets in advance for both the Cathedral and Alcazar. Preferably, before you start your southern Spain and Portugal itinerary. The Alcazar has a limit to around 750 visitors a day, so at peak season, these do sell out.
There are various skip-the-line tickets available, which are the most efficient options to go for. The queues can get very long, especially for the Real Alcazar (Royal Palace), so plan to do this one first, and as early in the day as possible. Check opening times for Seville Cathedral, it is still an active place of worship, so at times access is limited.
Inside the Alcazar, some of the must-see places are the Salón de Embajadores (Ambassador’s Hall), and the Patio de las Donacellas (The Courtyard of the Maidens).
The top things to see at Seville Cathedral is the tomb of Christopher Colombus, as well as to climb the mighty tower of the Giralda. This part of the building dates back to the reign of the Moors.
Hint: If you love ornate cathedrals, like the one in Seville, and you’re visiting Spain for an extended amount of time, then check out the equally stunning cathedral facade of San Sebastian in the Basque country.
Getting to Seville from Cordoba
Seville is well connected to Cordoba, so there are plenty of options for train and bus travel, both options are quick. By train, it is under an hour, and by bus just under two hours. If you book tickets in advance, the tickets are also very cheap.
There are direct trains and buses several times a day. The train departs from Cordoba Central and arrives at Santa Justa Train Station in Seville, Santa Justa is a little way out from the historical centre, so get a taxi from here. The bus leaves from Cordoba bus station and arrives at Plaza de Armas Bus Station in Seville, the bus station is within walking distance to most of the attractions in Seville.
I recommend travelling in the evening of your second day in Seville, so you have a full day to explore Lisbon tomorrow.
Where to stay in Seville
Day 10, 11 & 12 - Lisbon
Your itinerary for Portugal and Spain continues today, in Lisbon. You’ve finally made it to the Portugal leg of the journey, where you start in the nation’s capital. Lisbon is a cosmopolitan city with an abundance of history, adorable barrios and delicious food.
In this Spain Portugal two week itinerary, I’ve allowed three days in Lisbon, however, one of these days will be for a day trip out to nearby Sintra (see Day 11 – the next section for more information on this). Sintra is where you’ll find some of the most beautiful castles in the whole of Europe, and one of the top sights in Portugal. Day 10 and 12 will be spent in Lisbon city, two days will allow you to see all the highlights and not feel too rushed.
Start the first day in the Praça do Comercio (Commerce Square), this is one of Lisbon’s most recognisable landmarks with one side of the large square facing out to the Targus River. On the side opposite the river is the equally iconic Arco de Rue Augusta, if you’re lucky and time it right, you can photo this landmark with one of Lisbon’s signature yellow trams trundling past.
From Commerce Square, head towards Lisbon Cathedral and up through the oldest part of the city; Alfama. You will want to spend a decent amount of time getting lost in these streets which ooze with history. Make your way up the hill, and eventually, you’ll come out to São Jorge Castle.
On the second day, start in the centre and head towards the Santa Justa Lift, this quirky attraction carries passengers up to the upper part of town. Not far from the top of the list is the ruins of the Carmo Convent. This convent was destroyed in one of Lisbon’s darkest days, the Great Lisbon Earthquake in 1755, which killed thousands of people and destroyed the majority of the city.
Wander through the narrow cobblestone streets here and down towards the colourful Rossio Square before picking up the local train to the UNESCO listed sites of Mosteiro dos Jerónimos and the Belém Tower. Hand about Belem tower until sunset – it looks stunning in this light and is popular at this time of day with locals and tourists.
Two other must-do things during your time in Lisbon, which you can fit in at any point is to take a ride on the iconic E28 Yellow Tramline, and eat copious amounts of a Pastel de Natas!
Related Article – How to see the best of Lisbon in two days
Top things to do in Lisbon
- Explore the iconic landmarks of Praça do Comercio and Arco de Rue Augusta
- Lose yourself in the pretty narrow streets of Alfama.
- Visit the São Jorge Castle.
- Ride the Santa Justa Lift and the E28 Yellow Tram
- Eat copious numbers of Pastel de Natas
- See the ruins of the Carmo Convent
- Swoon over the UNESCO Heritage sites of Mosteiro dos Jerónimos and the Belém Tower
Tips for Visiting Lisbon’s top landmarks
Compared to some of the more compact cities I’ve listed in this 2 weeks in Portugal and Spain trip, which are easily and quickly navigated by foot, lots of the attractions in Lisbon are fairly spread out. Also, Lisbon is a very hilly city. If you’re not keen on walking to each of the landmarks, then opt for the hop-on-hop-off bus which will pick up and drop off at all the locations I’ve mentioned.
Getting to Lisbon from Seville
The city of Seville is well connected to Lisbon, by bus and plane (there is no direct train route). The good news is that flights a very affordable and take just over an hour. The bus takes about 7 hours, but if you time this right, then you can catch an overnight bus from Seville and arrive in Lisbon the following morning.
If you choose to travel by bus, then it departs from Seville at Plaza de Armas and arrives in Lisbon Oriente Bus Station. It’s a direct bus, so no need to get off and change, which makes it ideal if you’re on a budget as you can save money on a night’s accommodation. Tickets are very cheap if booked in advance.
If you’re preferred option to get from Seville to Lisbon is to fly, then there are several direct flights a day departing from Seville Airport and arriving in Lisbon Portela Airport. There are airport shuttles at both airports which make the journey from the city centres to the airports. Again, by booking tickets in advance, you can land some really good prices.
Where to stay in Lisbon
Day 11 - Sintra, Lisbon
Day 11 of your 14 days in Spain and Portugal will see you heading from the mind-blowingly beautiful town of Sintra. This is an incredibly popular and easy day trip from Lisbon, the journey can be made by train, it’s only 30km away.
Just a short distance from the capital, you’ll feel like you’re a million miles away, think rolling hills covered in thick and luscious green forests, in between these are fairy-tale castles and stunning mansions which look like they’ve been plucked straight from a Disney film set. This little region is simply magical.
To get there, pick up the train at Lisbon’s Rossio Station, the journey takes about 40 minutes. Sintra Train Station is located in the town centre, and although you can walk between each of the attractions, you will lose valuable time. So make the most of the shuttle buses here, look out for numbers 434 and 435 which make a looped circuit and drop off outside each of the attractions.
Although you could easily spend a few days in the UNESCO listed region of Sintra, if you want to explore everything here, you’ll be able to see the highlights in a day. Be sure to start early as it does get very busy. Start the day at Palacio da Pena, head to the main castle complex first to try to beat most of the crowds. You will want to spend at least 3 hours here, both inside the castle and the exterior parts.
From Pena Palace, if you have time, visit the Castelo dos Mouros, you can walk the walls of this restored castle, on a clear day you can also see the sea from here. To do the castle wall walk, will take about an hour. From the Moorish Castle, head back down to Sintra Old Town which, although small, has some very cute little alleyways. If you’re pushed for time, you could skip these two things and catch the bus straight to Quinta da Regaleira.
The exquisite house and gardens heavily feature Gothic style architecture. Gargoyles, balconies and grottoes fill the grounds. It was designed as an aristocrat’s playground, with the terrace gardens also featuring folly castles and towers, underground mazes and the iconic Initiation Well. Head to the Initiation Well first. If you have any time left on your day trip to Sintra, then call in at the Moorish influenced Palácio de Monserrate.
There is a lot to pack into one day, so when you’re finished catch the train back to Lisbon for one final night there before continuing the final part of your Spain and Portugal 2 week itinerary.
Related Article – A day in Sintra: Portugal’s fairy tale castles
Top things to do in Sintra
- Explore the dream-like Pena Palace and surrounding gardens.
- Walk the walls of Castelo dos Mouros
- Wander the pretty streets of Sintra Old Town
- Lose yourself in the grottoes and underground mazes at Quinta da Regaleira
- If you have time, visit Palácio de Monserrate.
Tips for visiting Sintra’s top landmarks
One word of warning, anticipate crowds everywhere here. Sintra is incredibly popular, and if you visit the area at peak time you’ll be in the company of thousands of other people. Arrive early! and book your tickets in advance.
Although Sintra is a very easy day trip to do independently, you might find it more efficient to book onto a guided day tour which often includes fast track entry to everything, plus you won’t need to wait around for the train or bus.
Day 13 & 14 – Porto
For the final leg of travel to Spain and Portugal itinerary, you’ll be heading to the lively city of Porto. Porto is the second-largest city in Portugal (after Lisbon) and is a hub for great food and drink. It’s located on the Douro River and close to the Douro Valley which has worldwide recognition for Port fortified wine. If you’re a wine connoisseur, then certainly visit some of the vineyards in this region. If you’re going to take a full-day tour to the vineyards, I suggest you arrange this for your first day in Porto.
Are you a Harry Potter fan? If so, visit heck out Livraria Lello which is said to have inspired JK Rowling’s magical world, even if you’re not a fan of the series, the iconic library is still worth a visit to see the pretty spiral staircase and ancient books on the shelves. As a Harry Potter fan, it feels like stepping into a bookshop in Daigon Alley!
Another stunning place to explore is the Clérigos Church, which is an ornately decorated Baroque church featuring a narrow tower you can climb. Go up it to get a panoramic view of the city from above. From the church, head up towards Miradouro da Vitoria, for a different panoramic lookout point.
Although I wouldn’t usually suggest a train station as a tourist attraction, I do recommend at least popping your head into Porto Sao Bento Train Station, it’s decorated with over 20,000 Azulejo tiles which make up 3 beautiful murals on the inner walls. Finally, during your time in Porto, be sure to walk across the stunning Luis I Bridge. This bridge has become a bit of an icon to the city, which connects the two sides. You have the option of walking across on the upper level or the lower level, both give great views of the city, especially at sunset.
Finish off the final night of your Spain Portugal trip itinerary with a locally-sourced dish and a glass of port from the many restaurants as you reflect on the abundance of fabulous things you have seen and experienced across Portugal and Spain in two weeks.
Related Article – 34 famous landmarks in Portugal to add to your bucket list
Top things to do in Porto
- Take a tour along the Douro Valley to visit the vineyards and sample the world-class port and wine.
- Explore the old town, stepping back in time at Livraria Lello and Clérigos Church
- See the photogenic Azulejo tiles at Porto Sao Bento Train Station
- Walk over Luis I Bridge at sunset.
- Discover locally produced food along the Douro Riverside
Tips for visiting The Douro Valley
The best way to experience the Douro Valley is by booking one of the many day trips from Porto. There are typically two ways to do one of these small group tours, by mini-van or by riverboat. Both will stop at various vineyards, give a tour and allow you to sample a variety of locally produced wines and ports. You can then buy bottles (or cases) direct from the sellers to enjoy back home.
Getting to Porto from Lisbon
Lisbon and Porto are incredibly well connected, so you have the option of taking the bus, train or plane. Trains and Buses take a similar time, around 3hour 15 minutes, and if booked in advance, are available for bargain prices. The Train departs from Lisbon Oriente and arrives at Porto Campanha Station. The Bus departs from Sete Rios Station in Lisbon, an arrives at Oporto Campo 24 Agosto. Both the Train and Bus offer a direct service.
If you opt to fly from, it will take about an hour. Again, if booked in advance, tickets are very reasonable. Flights depart from Lisbon Portela Airport and arrive at Porto Airport. There are shuttle services between the city centres and the airports.
Where to stay in Porto
Spain /Portugal Itinerary: 14 days - FAQ
How many days do you need in Spain and Portugal?
You could spend at least 2 weeks in Spain and 2 weeks in Portugal as individual trips, and still not be able to see it all. So how many days in Portugal & Spain will depend on how many days you can travel for, as well as what things you specifically want to see. This guide has been put together to enable you to see the highlights of both countries in the quickest way possible. Ideally, you could stretch out this Spain Portugal itinerary to cover a whole month if you prefer to travel slower.
When is the best time to visit Spain and Portugal?
In theory, you can visit Portugal and Spain all year round. The peak season for prices and crowds coincide with the longest and warmest days which are July and August. The week of Easter in March or April can also see a boom in prices and tourists. During these peak months, expect tour-group dodging and queues for all of Spain and Portugal’s top attractions – plan and book hotels and entrance tickets well in advance at these times.
If you want to take advantage of the warm weather and fewer crowds, then if possible plan your visit to Portugal and Spain during the shoulder season: May to June and September to October.
Winters in Spain and Portugal can be cool and wet (especially in Madrid, Granada, Lisbon and Porto). Seville can be blessed with warm weather, even in the winter, although the nights are cold.
Like with all of Europe, it can rain at any time of the year and even in summer you might get a monsoon-like downpour, sometimes evenings can get chilly, especially near the coast. So be sure to pack a lightweight waterproof or umbrella, as well as have a lightweight jumper or jacket for cooler evenings.
Are there any small group tours that offer a similar trip?
If you’re not into solo travel, or you prefer the convenience of everything done for you, then there are other ways you can see the highlights of Spain and Portugal. Small group tours are a great way to travel, especially, if you’re not confident to go alone, or you want to travel hassle-free.
You can read more details about the best small group tours to Portugal and Spain here.
If you’re looking for something more exotic, then you might love this trip that also includes Morocco!
Can I do this itinerary as a Spain and Portugal road trip?
Unless you want to spend hours driving instead of sightseeing, I don’t recommend you do this exact itinerary as a road trip. You could follow the same route, but plan for extra days. Also if you hire a car or campervan, be careful about the rules on taking it to a different country.
If you are interested in doing a road trip, Spain and Portugal are both great countries to do this in. Head over to Andalucía Explored, which is a site dedicated to road tripping in the Iberia region for some great ideas.
Related Article – Complete Road Trip Essentials Checklist
If I do want to do this Spain/Portugal itinerary as a road trip, how do I hire a car?
If you’re not planning on using your own set of wheels, then you’ll have to hire them. Each city in this itinerary has plenty of options for car hire. To find the best deals, check out AutoEurope car hire.
They cater for both car and campervan hire and have a great choice of vehicles at competitive prices because their platform searches across a whole load of different car hire companies.
Just remember that to take a car across a country border e.g., from Spain to Portugal, you will probably have to pay a premium. It’s much easier and cheaper to drop the car off in the same country you hired it from, take public transport (a bus or train) over the border to the nearest city, and then take out a new rental car in the next country to avoid these charges.
What is driving like in Spain and Portugal?
Driving in both Spain and Portugal is very straightforward, and although the cities can be a bit of a nightmare, the highways are great. The roads in both countries are generally well maintained with good signposting and again, outside of the cities, traffic is minimal.
Before you get behind the wheel, it’s worth reading up on the highway code if you’re not familiar with driving in Europe.
How easy is it to get around Spain and Portugal using public transportation?
In this Spain and Portugal itinerary, 2 weeks guide, the route has been planned with public transport in mind. Spain and Portugal have superb public transportation systems.
To get the best prices, I highly recommend booking in advance, especially if you’re on a budget. I have used a combination of plane, train and bus – giving at least two transport options on how to get to each city.
One app that I’m obsessed with for booking cheap transport is Omio, you put in your starting point and destination along with the date, and then it will search for the best prices on all three methods of transport in one go. It’s available as a desktop app as well as mobile, and the great bit is, you get sent a digital ticket, so no need to hunt down a print shop when you’re on the go.
What should I pack to visit Spain and Portugal?
Although this will depend on the season you visit, some essential things all year round are a rain-proof jacket, jumper, comfortable and waterproof shoes as well as a small day pack for sightseeing.
Typically, in Europe, it’s always a good idea to take clothes that can be layered, especially if you’re travelling in the shoulder season.
For more information about what to pack for Europe, take a look at these articles here:
Approximately, how much will this trip cost?
This will vary greatly depending on your travel style. I’ve included the price for budget travel and splurge travel based on the price per person on this two-week itinerary, doing a tour or visiting at least one paid-for attraction every day. Naturally, this will change if you are sharing accommodation costs or if you opt-out of visiting some things. Prices have been listed in Euros and United States Dollars.
If you’re travelling on a budget: 1230 Euro (Approx. $1350)
• 15 Euro per night dorm accommodation x 14 nights = 210 Euro
• 30 Euro (average) transportation x 6 cities = 180 Euro
• 30 Euro food & drink x 14 days = 420 Euro
• 20 Euros on attractions & entrance (with group tours) x 14 days = 420 Euro
If you’re travelling on a splurge: 2980 Euro (Approx. $3300)
• 100 Euro per night boutique hotel x 14 nights = 1400 Euro
• 30 Euro (average) transportation x 6 cities = 180 Euro
• 50 Euro food & drink x 14 days = 700 Euro
• 50 Euros on attractions & entrance (with private tours) x 14 days = 700 Euro
The Perfect Spain Portugal Itinerary: 2 weeks - Final Thoughts
So, what do you think? Like I said at the start, this is a fast-paced trip, to see as many highlights of both of these countries in the most efficient way. So do you think this is the best Spain Portugal itinerary, what would you have added, or what would you skip?
If you’re wanting to add more to your trip to Portugal or Spain, you can check out these other great articles:
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