Due to the high level of interest in the first Discover Spain and Portugal Journey, we have added a second version during the exact same dates with the reverse itinerary. Join Friendship Force International on a grand tour of Spain & Portugal! Tucked into the corner of the continent, these countries have their own spice. Portugal and Spain share so much more than a border. The little towns and big cities in both countries are teeming with storied pasts, but also bring their own modern flavors and traditions to light. On this Journey, you’ll delve into the art, architecture, and history of this lively region by walking along the cobblestone streets, seeing global landmarks, and visiting world-renowned museums. - Education First

Home Hospitality

Though we do not have clubs in Spain and Portugal, you will get to know Friendship Force members from all over the world as we discover the best of these two countries.

Live With a Local

  • Join a local at their home in Barcelona to enjoy traditional dishes and dine like a true Catalan. During dinner, you’ll receive an authentic understanding of your host’s life while learning about Catalan culture and traditions from a new perspective.
  • Gather with your Tour Director and fellow travelers at a welcome dinner. Enjoy traditional Castilian courses at one of the oldest restaurants in the city and live tuna music, an artistic tradition with its roots in Spain’s universities.
  • Take part in an interactive cooking class where you’ll learn how to make a traditional three-course Portuguese meal. Then, sit down to enjoy the cuisine you cooked, paired with wine, for dinner.

Sightseeing Highlights

  • Prado
  • Toledo
  • Stock Exchange Palace
  • Douro River cruise
  • Tower of Belém
  • Fátima
  • Sintra
  • Évora’s “Chapel of Bones”
  • Royal Alcázar
  • Alhambra
  • La Sagrada Família
  • Monastery of Montserrat

Discover Spain and Portugal II

17 Days / 16 Nights Program and Itinerary:

November 1, 2019 – November 17, 2019
Coordinator: Marty McKnew

All Friendship Force Itineraries are subject to change.

Nov. 1, 2019 - Travel Day

Board your overnight flight to Barcelona


Nov. 2, 2019 - Arrival in Barcelona

Welcome to Spain!

Settle in to your hotel before gathering with your fellow travelers at tonight’s welcome dinner of local specialties, including paella

Included meals: welcome dinner

Nov. 3, 2019 - Sightseeing tour of Barcelona & Monserrat

Follow a local on a guided tour of the Catalan capital:

Step inside La Sagrada Família, Gaudí’s famous masterwork-in-progress

Drive along Passeig de Gràcia, past Gaudí’s “house of bones”

Stop at Montjuïc, where the 1992 Olympic Games took place, and stroll through Mirador de l’Alcalde Park

Pass Plaça d’Espanya and view the soaring monument to Christopher Columbus

Then, journey to the ninth-century Monastery of Montserrat, which inspired the composer Richard Wagner as he wrote Parsifal

Ride a high-flying cable car up the mountain and enjoy magnificent views of the Llobregat River Valley and—if skies are clear—the Pyrenees

Join a local guide as they lead the way to the secluded Santa Maria de Montserrat
Abbey, where you may have a chance to see La Moreneta, Catalonia’s miraculous
and beloved statue of the Black Virgin of Montserrat

Take some time to explore the monastery before descending the mountain by bus

Included meals: breakfast

Nov. 4, 2019 - Valencia via Peñíscola

Pass through Peñíscola, a seaside fortress, on your way to Valencia.

Tonight in Valencia, join your group for dinner.

Included meals: breakfast, dinner

Nov. 5, 2019 - Sightseeing tour of Valencia

Discover Valencia on a guided sightseeing tour:

Pass the City of Arts and Sciences, a symbol of Spain’s modernist architecture

View Valencia Cathedral during a walk through the Old Town and stop for a tasting of the decadent beverage known as horchata

Included meals: breakfast

Nov. 6, 2019 - Granada via Guadix

On the way to Granada, stop in the cave district of Guadix, where nearly half of the residents live underground

Included meals: breakfast

Nov. 7, 2019 - Sightseeing tour of Granada & transfer to Seville

Get to know Andalusia on a guided tour of Granada:

Explore the Alhambra, the Moorish sultans’ last stronghold in Spain

Admire the blend of Western art and Islamic design

Stroll through the Generalife gardens

Afterward, travel to Seville

Included meals: breakfast

Nov. 8, 2019 - Sightseeing tour of Seville & flamenco show

Uncover the beauty of Seville, the historic Andalusian capital, on a guided tour:

View the tiled pavilion of the Plaza de España and step inside the Gothic Seville Cathedral, the third-largest church in the world

Pass the whitewashed homes of Barrio de Santa Cruz

Enter the Royal Alcázar, the former home of King Ferdinand and Queen Isabella

Tonight, get a taste of old Seville during a live flamenco show:

Sip an included drink as you watch the authentic performance, featuring expressive lyrics, moving instrumentals, and passionate dancing

Enjoy free time to explore the vibrant Santa Cruz neighborhood

Included meals: breakfast

Nov. 9, 2019 - Lisbon via Evora

Travel through the unspoiled countryside of Spain en route to Portugal, stopping
in Évora to follow a local guide through the Church of St. Francis, known as the “Chapel of Bones”

Later, arrive in Lisbon

You’ll enjoy an included dinner and spend the evening at one of the city’s taverns listening to fado, Portugal’s national musical treasure

Included meals: breakfast, dinner

Nov. 10, 2019 - Sightseeing tour of Lisbon & Portuguese cooking class

Embark on a guided tour of Portugal’s capital city:

Admire views of the city from Eduardo VII Park, then pass the Plaza del Marqués
de Pombal and the Mouraria District

Discover the city’s maritime heritage at the Monument to the Discoveries and Tower of Belém

Enter the Jerónimos Monastery, built to honor voyagers

Walk from Bairro Alto through Chiado square to the Baixa district in the heart
of the city

This evening, take part in an interactive cooking class and learn to make a traditional three-course Portuguese meal. Then, sit down to enjoy the cuisine you cooked, paired with wine, for dinner

Included meals: breakfast, cooking class, dinner

Nov. 11, 2019 - Sightseeing tour of Sintra & the Portuguese Riviera

Journey to the UNESCO World Heritage-listed town of Sintra and learn why the poet Lord Byron once called it a “glorious Eden”

Get a glimpse into royal life during a guided tour of the 19th-century, romanticist Pena Palace

Soak in the picturesque gardens and sweeping views of the Portuguese countryside

Enjoy free time to stroll through Sintra, viewing its colorful villas, small shops, and impeccably manicured gardens

Stop in the old fishing village of Cascais to eat lunch and discover the town’s winding, narrow streets, pastel-colored buildings, and bustling fish market

Included meals: breakfast

Nov. 12, 2019 - Porto via Fátima

Travel to Fátima and join a local guide for a tour of the famous Catholic site where
the Virgin Mary is said to have appeared six times to three young shepherds

Step inside the Houses of Jacinta to learn more about the three Secrets of Fátima

Enter the Sanctuary of Our Lady of Fátima and explore its grotto

Later, make your way to Porto, where you’ll enjoy dinner with your group

Included meals: breakfast, dinner

Nov. 13, 2019 - Sightseeing tour of Porto, Douro River cruise & Port wine cellar

Get to know Porto like a true tripeiro (Porto resident) as you follow your local guide:

Pass citywide icons, such as the Baroque-style Clérigos Tower and Maria Pia Bridge

Wander through the medieval lanes of the Old-World Ribeira district and along the picturesque Douro Riverfront

Step inside the city’s famed neoclassical Stock Exchange Palace and the Gothic São
Francisco Church

Later, float along the beautiful Douro, the Iberian Peninsula’s third-longest river

Drift under five of the river’s most iconic Old-World bridges, passing colorful hillside villas and traditional rabelos, or flat-bottomed boats

Dock on shore for a guided tour of one of Porto’s most prestigious Port wine cellars

Learn about the long-standing history of Port wine, as well as the ins and outs
of Port production and warehousing

Sit down to taste three of the cellar’s world-famous labels, paired with cheese

Included meals: breakfast, wine tasting

Nov. 14, 2019 - Sightseeing tour of Salamanca & train to Madrid

Transfer to Salamanca and set off on a sightseeing tour:

Explore Salamanca’s historic city center

Walk through Plaza Mayor as you make your way to Casa de las Conchas and Las
Torres de la Clerecía

See the Pontifical University of Salamanca and the University of Salamanca, which was founded in the 13th century

View Anaya Palace and the city’s new and old cathedrals

After, travel to Madrid via high-speed rail

Then, join a local at their home in Madrid to enjoy traditional dishes while learning about Spanish culture and traditions from a new perspective

Included meals: breakfast, dinner

Nov. 15, 2019 - Sightseeing tour of Madrid

Get an insider’s view of Madrid with a local guide:

View the Royal Palace, Spain’s largest royal residence

Pass by the Temple of Debod, a reassembled temple from ancient Egypt

See the city’s many squares, including Plaza de España, Plaza Mayor, and the bustling Puerta del Sol

Explore the Prado, a world-class art museum that began as the private collection of the Spanish monarchy and is home to the works of Goya, Velásquez, and more

Included meals: breakfast

Nov. 16, 2019 - Toledo

Discover Toledo, the clifftop city often referred to as “The Imperial City”

Explore the labyrinth of medieval alleyways at the heart of the city

Take a guided tour of Toledo Cathedral, a massive, Gothic structure that houses 750 medieval stained glass windows and a treasure trove of golden artifacts

Gaze upon the cathedral’s sacristy, containing masterpieces by the likes of van Dyck, El Greco, Rubens, and Titian

Visit the Church of Santo Tomé and one of Europe’s oldest synagogues, Santa María la Blanca

Tonight, celebrate your trip with your fellow travelers at a farewell dinner. You’ll enjoy traditional Castilian courses at one of the oldest restaurants in the city and hear live tuna music, an artistic tradition with its roots in Spain’s universities.

Please note: Today’s activities involve some walking over uneven terrain.

If the Synagogue of Santa María la Blanca is closed, you’ll visit the Synagogue of El Tránsito

Included meals: breakfast, farewell dinner

Nov. 17, 2019 - Departure

Transfer to the airport for your flight home

Please note: The inclusions and order of events on this tour are subject to change and will be confirmed prior to your departure.

Included meals: breakfast (excluding early morning departures)


$3499 USD

Price Includes: FFI fees, 15 nights in hand-picked hotels, 15 breakfasts, seven dinners with beer or wine, one wine tasting, one cooking class, guided sightseeing tours, expert Tour Director & local guides, and a private deluxe motor coach.


Wait list only


Know before you go

  • Journey Number: 15413
  • On this guided tour, you’ll walk for about 2.5 hours daily across moderately uneven terrain, including paved roads and cobblestone streets, with some hills.
  • Round-trip airfare from JFK is around $730, but can be adjusted to be from your local airport!
  • Price is based on double occupancy and there is a single supplement of $560 USD per person. Please note: The inclusions and order of events on this tour are subject to change and will be confirmed prior to your departure.
Interested in this Journey?

We would love to have you on this Journey with us.

Our Mission

Friendship Force International provides opportunities to explore new countries and cultures from the inside by bringing people together at the personal level. Through the signature program of home hospitality, local hosts welcome international visitors into their culture, sharing with them meals, conversation, and the best sights and experiences of their region.
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