The Iberian-Moroccan Explorer
*This experience runs on selected Tuesdays starting 30 April till 03 September, 2019 – (Prices may vary according to departure dates)
*Accommodation might vary between hotels, hostels and ferries (Check below for further info)
21 days discovering Spain and beyond!
Visiting 3 countries: Spain, Morocco, Portugal
Get lost in the vibrant cities, cultures and landscapes of Portugal, Spain and Morocco on this epic trip with oh-so-much flavour. As we make our way from buzzing Barcelona to metropolitan Madrid, we’ll discover Spain’s fascinating history while sampling delectable dishes and experiencing the fabulous fiesta spirit that’s ingrained in this part of the Mediterranean. Add to that the magic of Morocco and the beach side havens of Portugal, and you’ve got yourself one tasty trip. Salud!
Day 1: Barcelona, Spain
Bienvenidos to the city of art nouveau, alluring accents and (most importantly) tapas. Meet and greet your fellow travelers before getting your bearings on a guided tour of bustling Barça, ticking off the likes of the Sagrada Família, the Columbus Monument and Las Ramblas. Then: fuel up for the notorious nightlife with a feast of local cuisine.
-Driving tour of Barcelona
Day 2: Barcelona to Valencia
You’ve got a whole morning to spend in Barcelona, so jump at the chance to catch up on anything you might have missed yesterday. Later, we’ll head to Valencia – with a pit stop at the Cava caves along the way. Lose yourself down the dark, narrow tunnels and spiraling staircases of these mazy structures.
-Walking tour of Valencia
-Explore the Cava caves
Day 3: Valencia
We’ve cleared your schedule so you can spend a whole day exploring the birthplace of paella (and obviously dig into copious amounts of the local dish). Check out the Old Quarter for some serious throwback charm or just, you know, hit the beach. We won’t judge. Later, there’s an optional pub crawl to get involved in, so brace your beer-swilling arm.
– Pub crawl
Day 4: Valencia to Granada
Wake up to a scenic drive to Granada, the last Moorish city in Spain to fall to the Christians. Ready to discover why this is the hottest destination in Andalusia?
Day 5: Granada
First things first: take in the impressive Moorish architecture in the Albaycín district, which is set against the backdrop of the Sierra Nevada mountains. Cue an endless stream of Instagram-worthy pics! Treat yourself to some local cuisine for dinner. Tip: most places serve free tapas with your beverage. Win!
Day 6: Granada to Asilah, Morocco
Next up: the whitewashed wonder that is the seaside town of Asilah. This place oozes Greek island village vibes, and will no doubt impress with its burgeoning art scene and drool-worthy selection of tapas restaurants.
Day 7: Asilah to Fes
Today you’ll discover why the oldest and largest medieval city in the world is better known for its food. Work up an appetite on our drive through the Moroccan landscape – we’re going local for dinner again tonight. In other words: tagine.
Day 8: Fes
Tick off the Royal Palace, the Jewish neighborhood, the UNESCO-listed medina and a leather tannery on a walking tour with a local guide. Then hunt down a hammam and lose yourself in a labyrinth of souks and cobblestone streets. Bring your bargaining pants and embrace the centuries-old tradition of paying what you want for things, not what you’re told they cost. Afterwards, relax with some mint tea and congratulate yourself on your haggling prowess.
-Guided tour of Fes
Day 9: Fes
Spend the day checking out the Roman ruins of Volubilis, once the ruling center of the Roman province of Mauritania. The ancient site dates back to 40 AD, which explains why the ville nouvelle, or ‘new city’ neighborhood of Fes bears its name – despite being 700 years old. Also on today’s agenda: a visit to the World Heritage-listed city of Meknes.
-Guided tour of Volubilis
-Visit the historic city of Meknes
Day 10: Fes to Seville, Spain
Leave the tagines for paella – we’re off to Seville! Seville was founded 3,000 years ago by Hercules, and Sevillanos are extremely proud of their city. Lawrence of Arabia, Star Wars Episode II: Attack of the Clones, Kingdom of Heaven and season five of Games of Thrones were all filmed or partly filmed here. When you look as good as Seville it’s hard not to show off.
-Walking tour of Seville
Day 11: Seville
What will you do on your free day in Seville? Our suggestion: visit the Real Alcázar. This palace is the most stunning example of Mudéjar architecture found on the Iberian Peninsula. If you’ve got time, you could also take a wander around the Plaza de España and the Cathedral of Seville. Your date tonight: an optional hot and spicy flamenco show.
Day 12: Seville to Lisbon, Portugal
Flirt with Spain’s girl next door and discover why Lisbon is basically the San Francisco of Europe. Let the Jeronimos Monastery and the World Heritage-listed Belem Tower feed your daily dose of history. Then: a local meal will sustain a night of dancing in Bairro Alto. Oi!
-Guided tour of Lisbon
Day 13: Lisbon
Time to get friendly with Portugal’s capital city on foot. Check out the medieval maze that is Alfama, the oldest neighborhood in Lisbon, or venture up to São Jorge Castle for epic views and a history lesson on Moorish culture. Afterwards, wind down in the Botanical Gardens. Did you know that this place was built by a Portuguese king who wanted one of every type of plant in the world? You do now! Sprawl out, have a picnic and get in touch with nature.
Day 14: Lisbon to Porto
If you think Porto has something to do with port wine, you’re right. There’s just enough time for a quick stop in Sintra to visit the Palácio Nacional da Pena and Vila Nova de Gaia.
Day 15: Porto
First today, we’ll take a look round Ribeira, Porto’s famous old town, on a guided walking tour. Medieval streets, quirky alleyways and hand-painted azulejos culminate in a stunning port, complete with traditional fishing boats. UNESCO rates it and so should you. Then: rest your legs on an optional cruise down the Douro river. Did we mention there’s also port tasting on the cards for today? Let’s do this!
-Walking tour of Porto
-Port tasting at a winery in Porto
-Boat cruise down the Douro River
-Boat cruise down the Douro River
Day 16: Porto to Madrid, Spain
Today it’s up and onwards to the old haunts of Picasso, Dalí, Miró and a whole bunch of other enviably creative artists from the ritzy 1920s. Get acquainted with the city on a driving tour, then gather with the crew for a tasty included dinner this evening.
-Driving tour of Madrid
-Guided tour of Salamanca
Day 17: Madrid
Another day to roam free! Check out the Royal Palace, home to one of Europe’s oldest monarchies, then stroll through the expansive Plaza Mayor, get your art fix at the Prado Museum and make like a local at one of the buzzing bistros in Malasaña – an über trendy neighborhood with a unique character and a provocative past. If all else fails, there’s always an optional food tour to get on board with. Elasticated clothing recommended.
-Food tour of Madrid
Day 18: Madrid to San Sebastián
Next: San Sebastián. On the way, we’ll swing by the Valley of the Fallen memorial and the city of Segovia – another World Heritage-listed gem. Let’s just say dinner will be well deserved, you history buffs, you.
-Visit the Valley of the Fallen
-Orientation tour of Segovia
-Orientation tour of San Sebastián
Day 19: San Sebastián
Wake up! Who needs the snooze button when you’re in the surfing paradise that is San Sebastián? Opt in to spend some time catching waves, or simply soak up the sun. Either way, you’ll discover exactly why this Basque hotspot is known for its beaches – and, of course, it’s infectious tapas culture. Pintxos, bite size snacks served on sticks (think olives, but bigger mouthfuls) are all the rage in this region. Head to Parte Vieja to eat yourself silly at the city’s most popular pintxo bars.
Day 20: San Sebastián to Barcelona
Our first stop today is Zaragoza – then it’s back to Barcelona for a final sangria. What better way to toast the end of another adventure? Salud!
Day 21: Barcelona
Should you stay or should you go? Your call, but we’re outta here after breakfast.
Morocco, Portugal, Spain
3 Weeks +
IN DEPTH: CULTURAL & HISTORICAL
- Guided tour of the Alhambra, Granada
- Local guide in Fes and Volubilis
- Port winery tour and tasting in Porto
- Visit UNESCO Heritage listed cities Porto & Meknes
- Farewell dinner in Barcelona
- Walking tour of Valencia
- Driving tour of Madrid
- Walking tour of Segovia
- Walking tour of Lisbon
- Visit Sintra
- Walking tour of Seville
- Driving tour of Lisbon
- Visit Zaragoza
- Walking tour of Porto
- Visit the Valley of the Fallen
- Driving tour of Barcelona
- Guided tour of Fes
- Walking tour of San Sebastián
- Guided tour of Volubilis
- Visit the historic city of Meknes
- Port tasting at a winery in Porto
Hostel Plus trips host our most eclectic types of accommodation. While modern hostels make up the majority of your overnighters you could also stay in hotels (free upgrade – yeah!), Austrian Gasthofs, canvas cabins, ferry cabins or bungalows.
The ‘More Inclusions’ section details what type of accommodation will be used for overnight stops on your trip.
The number of people to a room on Hostel Plus trips will vary. For hostels you will have multi-share rooms and usually share with between 3 and 5 others (although in some circumstances you will share with more than 5) while in hotels there will be twin or triple-shares (and the odd quad-room). The number of people sharing in bungalows, canvas cabins, ferry cabins and Austrian Gasthofs can vary.
Please note: When staying on a Hostel Plus trip, multi-share accommodation is single-sex. You will also need to bring your own towels with you as these are not provided by all of our hostels.
Your included meals are detailed in the ‘More Inclusions’ section of this document.
Breakfasts are included every day (except on the first morning). They are usually ‘continental breakfasts’, which are typical in most European countries. A typical breakfast may consist of cereals with milk or yoghurt, bread, croissants, cold meats, cheese and a range of spreads, with fruit juice, tea or coffee to drink. It is rare to get a hot breakfast in continental Europe, though on some occasions there may be some hot food available as well.
Included meals will be a combination of those prepared by on-Site Chefs, local restaurants and places in which we stay. Included evening meals are in local restaurants or accommodations, and are either two or three courses. In most cases table water is provided with the meals, and if you wish to purchase additional drinks you can do so at your own expense.
If you have any dietary requirements we will make every effort to cater to your specific needs as long as you advise your travel agent or Customer Service Consultant when you book. However, please be aware that although we will do everything in our power to arrange it, we cannot guarantee that every restaurant we use will be able to cater to all dietary needs, particularly in Eastern Europe. We also cannot cater for tastes or dislikes, as most of our included evening meals feature a set menu.
- 20 breakfasts, 10 dinners
- 4 nights in hotel upgrades, 16 nights in hostels
- Strait of Gibraltar ferry crossings
- Modern air-conditioned coach with free Wi-Fi
- Guided tours of all major cities
- Awesome Trip Leader and Driver
Meet at 2pm in Barcelona
Approximately 9am in Barcelona
ravel experience, but you have a choice as to whether or not you will participate. These are not included in the cost of your trip. They are usually organised on a group participation basis and should be taken into consideration when budgeting your spending money.
None of the Optional Activities on your trip are operated by Drifters Guide, nor do they form part of your contract with Drifters Guide for your trip. Drifters Guide arranges the activity as an agent of the local supplier. Should you participate in any Optional Activities your contract will be with the local supplier and their conditions will apply.
Please note: while we make every effort to keep these prices as accurate and up-to-date as possible, they are subject to change and in rare circumstances the actual price may vary slightly to what is published here.
Explore the Cava caves: T15 EUR
Pub crawl: 15 EUR
Flamenco Show: 28 EUR
Food tour of Madrid: 69 EUR
San Sebastián, Spain
Surfing lesson: From 45 EUR
Boat cruise down the Douro River: 15 EUR
One of the best parts of travelling is experiencing the nightlife and entertainment each city has to offer. However, amidst the fun and excitement, it’s important to be aware of your surroundings and personal safety as well. Before you hit the road with us, it’s important to be aware of the following:
When you’re on a night out, remember to avoid walking alone, particularly through deserted areas like beaches and back streets. Always stick together, take a taxi where possible, and keep a note of your accommodation details so you can find your way back to your fellow Topdeckers if you become separated.
In some countries, alcoholic measures can be considerably larger than what you may be used to. Try to keep track of what you’re drinking, and if you see one of your trip mates looking a little worse for wear, take them back to your accommodation. Be cautious when accepting drinks from strangers and never leave your drink unattended.
It’s also important to be aware that what you might consider harmless flirting may be interpreted differently in some countries. Be yourself and have fun, but don’t be naïve, and be mindful of the signals you are sending out so that you don’t find yourself in an uncomfortable situation.