MORE EXPERIENTIAL IDEAS

Keep in mind that these are just some suggestions/examples of the types of activities that can be organized and included in the itinerary. The list is not meant to be exhaustive and there are many other options that can be explored, based on your interests and specifications.

SPAIN

Urban Activities

  • expert-guided tour of classical art at Prado & modern masterpieces at Reina Sofia; Madrid’s two must-sees;
  • guided tour of Sagrada Familia inside & outside, including climbing of the towers;
  • a guided walk through the Retiro Park, Madrid’s High Park and Parc de Guell in Barcelona;
  • dining at some of Madrid’s and Barcelona’s Michelin-recommended and/or beachfront seafood restaurants with visit to the kitchen;
  • Learn how to cook Paella or prepare traditional Spanish tapas and enjoy them afterwards with a glass of Sangria;
  • Watch an unforgettable Flamenco show at, among other places, Corral de La Moreira, which, according to New York Times is one of the “1000 Places to see before you die”;
  • Enjoy an evening stroll or a bike/segway ride through the very “metrosexual” Chueca and “hip” Malasana neighbourhoods of Madrid or Barrio Gothic/El Borne in Barcelona, followed by a glass of Tinto de Verano or Vermuth at some of its most emblematic bars;
  • pinxo tasting in the late evening at some of Bilbao’s (Basque country) well known establishments specialized in them;
  • private guided tour of one of the world’s most spectacular architectural gems, the Guggenheim Bilbao, admiring the chrome giant fish-shaped exterior of the structure; seeing incredible works of contemporary art and, specifically, learning key ideas behind the Expressionist art movement;
  • guided tour of Sevilla’s monumental Cathedral and magical former Moorish Palace and gardens (Alcazar);
  • guided tour of Cordoba’s Mezzquita, along with the city’s emblematic Jewish quarter and some of the neighbourhood’s prize-winning patios, along with a visit to the Museum of Sephardic Jews to learn about the long history of Spanish Jewry;

Rural Activities

view-of-Zahara-from-the-castle-hill

  • professional guided tour of World-Heritage listed Toledo which, in about half a day, will introduce you to one of Spain’s greatest national monuments for art, history and spirituality. The town’s  architectural gems, including the amazing thirteenth century Cathedral, medieval castle, synagogue and of course its stunning El Greco masterpieces are included;
  • guided tour through the walled town of Avila and/or the old town of Segovia with famous Roman aqueduct and a stunning Castillo (castle), rumored to have inspired the castle in Disney’s Sleeping Beauty; enjoy the region’s traditional dishes such as the suckling pig or a roast lamb at some of the towns’ oldest and most traditional restaurants;
  • visit the Royal Palace of La Granja de San Ildefonso near Segovia and enjoy a stroll through its spacious gardens with a tour of its magical fountains (in the summer  time) which you will find particularly… refreshing (that’s all we will say for the time being, but be prepared for a surprise!);
  • guided hot-air balloon ride: See the sun rise around you on an exciting hot-air balloon ride over some of Spain’s most gorgeous medieval cities: Toledo or Segovia; flying above sites like Toledo Old Town or Segovia Aqueduct; the views are worth the early morning start; After an hour in the air, touchdown to enjoy a sumptuous Spanish brunch with a glass of cava;
  • Hike (or take the funicular) up San Sebastian’s Monte Igeldo to take in the view of the unforgettable Bahia de la Concha, and enjoy one of the most beautiful beaches in Europe;
  • Enjoy wine-tasting at some of Spain’s most acclaimed wineries (we have a long list). Whichever of the wineries you select (or all of them for real wine enthusiasts!), you will be attended by the winery´s welcoming and professional staff who will inform you about the history and culture of the winery and you will experience the beautiful landscapes it has to offer.
    A highlight of each visit is, of course, tour of the vineyards, the beautiful landscapes it offers; wine tasting; food pairing; and tasting/pairing courses (depending on the winery selected).

Rural & Ecotourism

views-from-El-Castillo-de-los-Mendoza

  • Visit some of Spain’s most emblematic oil mills and learn about the country’s proud olive oil production history. The visit would, of course, include oil tasting and discovering the different characteristics of various olive oils, including its many health benefits and different culinary uses. A delicious home-made lunch (cooked using, of course, olive oil) will be included along with possibility to purchase many olive oil products, both for culinary and/or cosmetic uses;
  • Spend a night at one of Spain’s numerous castle hotels. With their beautifully preserved architectural lines and their cultural traditions respected, they offer a truly magical experience. There’s a wide variety to choose from: old monasteries; Renaissance or Moorish palaces; ancient hospitals that once offered comfort to pilgrims; 1000-year-old Moorish hilltop castles; spending a night at any of them can easily become one of the highlights of any trip to Spain.
  • Visiting some of Spain’s most recognized eco-farming ranchos where you will be able to help the farmers in the field and learn about the benefits of eco-farming and various uses of the crops grown there;
  • Stay at some of Spain’s numerous Rural Homes and enjoy traditional home-cooked meals, along with a lesson in home cooking;
  • national parks and/or trekking, including: visit some of Spain’s most picturesque National Parks with either guided or unguided treks with different degrees of difficulty to suit each groups’ preferences, etc.; the parks offers a wide range of hikes, from half-day walks to multi-day treks, all of which take you past natural wonders, including (depending on the park) crashing waterfalls, gaping canyons and bright-green valleys;
  • Wildlife viewing in Andalusia and/or the Pyrenees; fishing expeditions along the Atlantic Coast and Picos de Europa in the north of Spain, etc.
  • Visits to renowned Spanish spas where you will be treated to rejuvenating mud baths and stone massages utilizing olive and other essential oils, etc.

Sports & Extreme Sports

Paragliding, Atlantic Coast

  • Mountain biking along some of Spain’s countless mountain ranges;
  • Whitewater rafting or kayaking/canoeing in the Pyrenees;
  • Scuba diving along Costa del Sol, particularly in Tarifa;
  • Paragliding along the Atlantic coastline in the Basque country or Costa Brava in Cataluna;
  • Boating and sailing along the Mediterranean, including boat rental to sail to one of Spain’s many Mediterranean islands;
  • Bungee jumping in Cataluna, Basque Country or just an hour south of Madrid in Castilla La Mancha
  • Horseback riding along with visits to some of Spain’s many horse stables

PORTUGAL

Boat trip along the beautiful coastline along with stops for either swimming or fishing and exploring some of the region’s landmark caves and secluded beaches; learn how to surf; visit some of the best fishing markets and enjoy some of the best seafood in Europe in authentic water-front restaurants with home-cooked meals; Walk along the Via Algarviana (a spectacular186-mile walking route running from Alcoutim  near the Spanish border, right across the interior of the Algarve to Cape St Vincent in the far west); join a bike tour of the region;  Accompanied by marine biologists, hop on a RIB and go an expedition where you are likely to see sea turtles and many other water animals; join a bird-watching expedition as this region of Europe is renowned for attracting various species of migratory birds, etc.

Join a guided tour of the infamous Chapel of Bones, where you will be submerged under thousands of bones, in a both disturbing but also beautiful image of art and harmony; the Alentejo region is famed for its delicious cuisine and there are plenty of restaurants in Évora in which to sample it. There is a strong pig-rearing tradition in the local area, ensuring that tender, succulent pork features strongly on every menu, along with tasty Serpa cheese, plenty of hearty lamb and offal dishes and of course a good dose of mouth-watering sweet treats; be guided through the town’s ancient streets with stops at the aqueduct, ruins of a Roman Temple, old city walls, the Cathedral and ruins of old palaces just to name a few of the amazing sights or visit a guided tour of Megalithic Standing Stones West of the city.

Hop on Tram 28 and go on a guided walk around the city’s most picturesque Alfama district; join a guided tour of the waterfront neighbourhood of Belem with some of Lisbon’s most important monuments (including Mosteiro dos Jeronimos and Torre de Belem) and one very popular Portuguese tart place; tour the city’s landmark Castelo de Sao Jorge and be taken aback by the vistas of the city and the ocean; visit Lisbon’s “glorious Eden” also known as Sintra, just west of the city; the small town’s rolling hills are accented with extensive fairytale villas (or mini castles) such as the Palácio Nacional de Pena and the Palácio Nacional de Sintra; for a chic half-a-day excursion, visit the seaside town (once a small fishing village) of Cascais; join a guided tour and enjoy the intimacy of the small but impressive Gulbenkian Museum with a world-renowned collection of art including a medieval illuminated manuscripts, Chinese vases and paintings by artists from Rubens to Cassatt; enjoy fine Portuguese cuisine at some of the city’s best rated restaurants in Baixa or Bairro Alto, etc.

Guided walk through Cais de Gaia with unforgettable vistas of Cais de Ribeira and the skyline beyond, one of the most memorable images of the city for visitors; includes stops at several of the picturesque boats docked at the side of the river and Port Wine warehouses (where most of the world’s supply of Port is stored and aged); followed by a walk into the alleys uphill, where 19th century manor houses and even more port lodges can be found; a Duro river port wine cruise is also possible to arrange with stops at some of the most important port-producing facilities and villages along the river; guided tour of the Serralves Museum; a world-class museum displaying cutting-edge international contemporary art in a striking minimalist building; the eighteen hectares of grounds also contain natural farmland, and are filled with modern sculptures; a visit to the city’s architectural marvel, Casa de Musica, which for  many architecture buffs justifies a visit to Oporto on its own;  guided walk through Cais de Ribeira, a World Heritage Site and the city’s most picturesque district made up of colorful ancient houses, medieval streets and seedy alleyways, etc.; guided hiking through the Gerês National Park, the only national park in Portugal whose interesting feature is its small villages occupied by families that have lived in them for many generations as well as the abrigos (special beehive-like dwelling spread across some of the foothills and mountainsides)