Start the trip off with the Spanish city life in Madrid, be entranced by the Portuguese charm of Lisbon, enjoy the breathtaking beaches of Lagos, discover Spanish culture in Sevilla, and top it off with dancing til dawn in Barcelona at Abroadfest. The best beach clubs you'll ever visit, unique art and culture, and unrivaled beaches, this is a southern sojourn you won't soon forget.
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**Please note the Southern Loop departing on the 22nd of February 2018 is operating in reverse order, starting in Madrid and ending in Barcelona for Abroadfest** Please see the itinerary below.
The trip meets in Madrid on Thursday evening. You will be able to check into our accommodation anytime after 16:00. There are frequent shuttles from the airport to the city center. You will meet your guide at the accommodation.
Friday morning we will have breakfast at our hostel in Madrid. Madrid is one of the most historical cities in Spain, with a bustling city atmosphere that's sure to keep you energized.
We will depart for a walking tour of Madrid. Our tour will cover the Royal Palace, Teatro Real, Moorish ruins, and other highlights. The rest of the day is yours to explore Madrid. Highlights include Parque del Retiro, the San Miguel Market, Plaza Mayor, Reina Sofia, and many more museums.
Friday night your trip leader will provide dinner suggestions. Madrid has an electric nightlife, so your trip leader will also provide suggestions to have a great night on the town, including the bars in Plaza Mayor and the famous El Kapital nightclub.
Saturday morning we will depart Madrid for Lisbon. We will arrive in Lisbon in the early afternoon to check into our accommodation. We will depart on the walking tour after check in to take in Lisbon's top sites and get acquainted with the city.
The night is yours to enjoy dinner out on the town, hit up the bars, or relax at the accommodation.
Sunday morning we will depart by bus for the optional surf camp in Peniche. The long and sandy beaches of this surfer’s paradise offer excellent conditions for beginners who want to learn quickly and in a safe area. More experienced surfers will find perfect conditions to improve their skills on either good sand bank breaks or accessible reef breaks. Peniche is also home to Supertubos, a world class surf break, also known as the European Pipeline. The optional surf camp includes a half-day surf lesson, followed by time in the afternoon to relax on the beach or practice your surf skills. That evening, we will depart Peniche for Lisbon.
For those who don't wish to participate in the surf camp, the day is yours to explore explore the city’s winding alleyways or hit the beach. From Carcavelos to Cascais, most beaches are within a 20 minute reach. The most popular beach for Lisbonites and tourists alike is Carcavelos, the Estoril Coast’s widest and sandiest beach.
The night is yours to enjoy dinner out on the town, hit up the bars, or relax at the accommodation. There will also be an optional pub crawl that will take you to some of Lisbon's best nightlife spots.
Monday morning we will check out of the hostel in Lisbon and depart for Lagos. We will arrive in the early afternoon and the day will be yours to explore all that Lagos has to offer. There are water sport options for the adventurers, and many museums and historical sites to visit as well. These include the Lagos Zoo, the famous fish market, various art and archeological museums, many historical churches, the old city walls and watchtowers, and the old Slave Market.
Monday night, your tour leader will provide suggestions for dinner and nightlife spots.
Tuesday we will have the day in Lagos to relax on some of the world’s top beaches. There will be an optional kayaking trip so you can take in the stunning views of the Portuguese coast by sea.
Tuesday night, your trip leader will provide dinner suggestions so you can sample Portuguese cuisine, and will also provide suggestions for you to take in the Lagos nightlife.
We will be waking up early on Wednesday morning to depart for Seville and arrive around lunch. You will have the day to explore the city with suggestions from your Bus2alps guide. We will be departing by bus for Barcelona on Wednesday night.
Early Thursday morning we will arrive in Barcelona. After breakfast at the hostel, we will meet in the lobby and head out on an included walking tour of Barcelona. The walking tour will take us through the beautiful neighborhoods of Barcelona while covering a brief history of the city. After the tour, you will be taken to one of the most delicious sandwich shops in all of Spain, Bo de B. Next, your trip leader will accompany you to the Sagrada Familia, Antoni Gaudi’s famous church that has been under construction for hundreds of years. You can also explore Parc Güell, the Picasso museum, the beach, the gothic district, or just wander around and get lost in Europe’s most beautiful city.
Thursday night, your trip leader will direct you to the venues for Abroadfest and Springfest. If you are not attending the festival, your trip leader will direct you to other options in Barcelona’s famous nightlife, including popular bars such as Los Chupitos or Ovella Negra, and ending at one of the rocking nightclubs.
On Friday morning your trip leader will meet you in the hostel lobby to explore Antoni Gaudi’s famous park, Parc Güell. This gorgeous park is known as one of the largest architectural works in Europe, containing the best views in all of Barcelona. After, your trip leader will inform you how to get to Barcelona’s top sites, including Montjuic via cable car, the Picasso Museum, the beach and more.
Your trip leader will be available again for dinner recommendations. Friday night, your trip leader will direct you to the venues for Abroadfest and Springfest. If you are not attending the festivals, your trip leader will provide suggestions for exploring more of Barcelona’s famous nightlife, including Le Cyrano and the beach clubs.
On Saturday you will have a free day to explore Barcelona. Later in the evening, your trip leader will be available for dinner recommendations where you can taste-test typical Spanish dishes including tapas, paella, or tortillas at different restaurants. If you are attending Abroadfest or Springfest, your trip leader will direct you the festival venues. If you are not attending the festivals, your trip leader will provide suggestions for a great night out in Barcelona.
The tour ends Sunday and checkout from the hostel is in the morning. If you would like to extend your stay in Barcelona, please contact the accommodation directly.
**Please note the Southern Loop beginning on the 22nd of February 2018 is operating in reverse order, so starts in Madrid and ends in Barcelona for Abroadfest. As the tour terminates in Barcelona, you will be responsible for your transportation home.**
New Barcelona Walking Tour: This tour will bring to life the incredible rich history and culture of Barcelona, brought to you by enthusiastic and knowledgeable local guides.
New Lisbon Walking Tour: This tour will show you where land meets sea and Europe meets Africa. The ancient Phoenicians recognised the great advantages of the location and all the great civilisations that followed have expanded the city well beyond its legendary Seven Hills. New Europe will show you this is a city built upon exploration, conquest and adventure.
New Madrid Walking Tour: This tour shows Madrid the way it should be seen: by walking from the heart of the city through both twisted medieval streets and down grand boulevards.