Espíritu Travel came about from the union of cultures, values and experiences and is a company that believes travelers want to experience authentic trips in a way that makes a positive impact to local communities and the places that they visit.
Explore Spain & Portugal’s hidden gems. The perfect mix of culture, gastronomy, nature, and history. You’ll visit not only Barcelona and Lisbon but you’ll travel north of Spain and Portugal, and discover the culinary scene of the Basque Country. You will finish your trip in the magical country of Portugal. This is an experience that you will never forget.
Your tour will start off in Barcelona. You are met at the airport for transfer to your hotel.
Later in the day, you will get your first taste of Catalan cuisine on a Barcelona tapas crawl, led by a passionate foodie. You’ll visit the most authentic gems in the off-the-beaten-track Sant Antoni neighborhood, and pop in and out of the busy bars just like the locals do.
By the end of the night, you’ll know exactly what it means to do tapas like a local, and why tapas culture can’t exist outside of Spain (so you’ll have to come back!).
After breakfast, you’ll be embarking on a guided bicycle tour of Barcelona (you can also do a guided walking visit). This three-hour tour passes through historic and popular neighborhoods like the medieval Gothic Quarter and trendy Raval and El Born, Along the way your guide will point out historic highlights, including Roman ruins, the grand Plaça Reial, and the Gothic Barcelona Cathedral, which dates to the 13th century.
But the tour doesn’t end here. You’ll cycle from the Gothic Quarter through Ciutadella Park, one of the largest green spaces in the city, all the way to Barceloneta Beach. This is Barcelona’s main urban beach, and it’s always a hub of activity, lined as it is with cafés, beaches, bars, and discos. Riding along the promenade fronting the water is the perfect way to cap your cycling tour of Barcelona’s most famous areas.
After the cycling tour, you’ll return to the hotel and relax.
Later in the afternoon, you can opt to embark aboard a chartered sailboat. There is a two-hour excursion that sails just outside Barcelona along the Mediterranean coast while enjoying panoramic views of the city’s skyline. After relaxing on the boat for a couple of hours, you would return to dry land and enjoy the rest of the evening at your leisure.
After breakfast, you’ll transfer to Barcelona’s train station where you’ll embark on a five-hour railway journey. The destination is the northern Atlantic coast and the city of San Sebastian, which sits on the Bay of Biscay near the border with France. It’s located in the heart of Basque Country, one of Spain’s most beautiful regions and a haven for foodies across the globe.
Today you can explore Barcelona on your own, visiting one of the many museums or opt for one of the several day trips – you can choose between mountains, beaches and pretty little towns, all just a short ride away. You can also learn about Spanish cuisine in a Cooking Class!
Take the train to San Sebastian. Sit back and enjoy the scenery for the journey to the Basque Country.
In the evening, you have a special cider experience. Cider holds a prized spot in any Basque’s glass, and an annual visit to the cider house is a sacred ritual. Experience this incredibly unique yearly local rite of passage with one of our guides in this tour, perfect for groups and friends.
You visit an authentic cider house, whose walls are lined with barrels of freshly fermented cider, waiting to be tapped whenever thirst strikes. You will feast family-style on chorizo a la Sidra, a Spanish omelette with salt cod, cod with sweet peppers and onions, and txuleta (grilled bone-in prime rib cooked over an open fire). Dessert is local sheep’s cheese with walnuts and membrillo. The meal is always punctuated with laughs and unlimited visits to the cider barrels.
A day to explore the city on your own or decide to do one of the optional day trips:
In the evening, your rental car will be delivered to your hotel.
Transfer by car to Bilbao. Travel time: 1 hour. You will be met by our local guide to get to know Bilbao. Staggering architecture, a venerable dining scene, and stunning landscapes just outside the city center.
Basque culture takes on many forms in this thriving waterfront city. Evocative museums like the Euskal Museoa and the Arkeologi Museo provide a glimpse into centuries past, with their collections of ancient Basque carvings, Middle Age treasures and everyday implements of the mariners, artisans and landowners of this age-old people.
After your city tour, you can visit on your own the icon of Bilbao, shimmering titanium Museo Guggenheim Bilbao. Is one of modern architecture’s most iconic buildings.
In the evening, immerse yourself in the heart of the pintxo tradition. Visit traditional haunts where classic pintxos reign and sample cutting-edge, bohemian establishments where innovative chefs impress daily. It’s not all about the pintxo though, as it would be sacrilege not to help your pintxo with some local drop; Txakoli, Cider or our Rioja reds and whites.
Today can visit the icon of Bilbao, shimmering titanium Museo Guggenheim Bilbao. It is one of modern architecture’s most iconic buildings. It played a major role in helping to lift Bilbao out of its post-industrial depression and into the 21st century – and with sensation. It sparked the city’s inspired regeneration, stimulated further development and placed Bilbao firmly in the international art and tourism spotlight.
In the afternoon, you will head north to Plentzia, where you will visit the world’s first undersea winery. You visit the laboratory, learn all about the innovative project and taste some of their products along with local pintxos. Once the visit has finished, you will head back to Bilbao to enjoy the city at night.
Today you drive to Oviedo. Travel time: 3 hours
In route, you can make stops at theAltamira Caves: Spain’s finest prehistoric art, the wonderful paintings of bison, horses, deer, and other animals. These magical carbon-and-ochre illustrations are particularly special for depicting completely colored-in beasts, rather than animal outlines (as in other Cantabrian caves).
You can also stop in Santillana del Mar for lunch: Santillana is the town of the three lies: not holy (santi), flat (llana) or by the sea (del mar). This medieval jewel is in such a perfect state of preservation, with its bright cobbled streets, flower-filled balconies and huddle of tanned stone and brick buildings – it’s a film set, surely? Well, no. People still live here, passing their grand precious houses down from generation to generation.
After lunch, continue to Oviedo.
In the afternoon, enjoy a self-guided tour of the historic center of Oviedo.
Today you drive to Santiago de Compostela. Travel time: 3 hours
En route there are several interesting places to stop for lunch and explore before arriving to Santiago de Compostela.
In the evening, enjoy your first taste of Galicia cuisine.
Today, you will be met at the hotel by a local guide for your visit to Santiago de Compostela. There is much more to Santiago then just the cathedral: you will visit Santiago’s Old Medieval Town with its impressive Baroque buildings in granite, the grandiose 12th-century Romanesque Cathedral, its 18th century lively market of Abastos and medieval frame to discover all the treasures this wonderful city.
The rest of the day is yours to explore the city.
You can opt to visit the natural hot springs of Muíño da Veiga or Outariz y Burga de Canedo.
Today opt for an excursion outside the city to experience the Galician countryside.
Today, you leave the car rental behind. You are picked up for a private transfer to Porto, Portugal. Travel time. 2,30 hours.
In route, you make a stop inViana do Castelo, the jewel of the Costa Verde, Viana do Castelo is blessed with an appealing medieval center, an attractive riverfront, and lovely beaches just outside the city. The old quarter showcases leafy 19th-century boulevards and narrow lanes crowded with Manueline manors and rococo palaces, all dramatically presided over by the pearly white, neo-Byzantine Santa Luzia church on the hilltop high above the town. The town’s setting just by the Rio Lima estuary makes Viana a handy base for exploring the lower Lima valley.
A self-guide visit to this fantastic seaside town, time for lunch before continuing to Porto.
Today head out to start your half-day excursion in Porto. This excursion will lead you through the most important landmarks of Portugal’s second most populous city. Settled by Romans, this is an emblematic city known for its delicious Port wine, medieval townhouses stack up beside the beautiful Douro River and churches wearing their blue-and-white “azulejo” tiles.
And after a visit to the imposing Cathedral with its superb silver altarpiece, we will be able to enjoy the riverbanks of the immense Douro River, its Ribeira plaza and the D. Luís Bridge.
In the afternoon, be sure and visit one of the famous port houses in Vila Nova de Gaia.
Today you will be picked up at your hotel for this full day excursion to discover Douro Valley and national cuisine at the highest level! Having lunch “on” the Douro river, it will be the perfect combination of landscape, river, wines and signature cuisine of Chef Rui Paula from DOC Restaurant: a unique moment in life!!! You will also have the opportunity to walk through the stunning grounds of one of the many terraced “Quintas” of the Douro and taste their extraordinary wine.
After you excursion this World Heritage site, you will return to your hotel in Porto.
Today you will be picked up at your hotel for the transfer by car. In route, you will make a stop in Coimbra. Travel time: 3 hours.
Coimbra is the medieval capital of Portugal for over a hundred years, and site of the country’s greatest university for the past five centuries, Coimbra wears its weighty importance in Portuguese history with dignity. Its atmospheric, beautiful historic core cascades down a hillside in a lovely setting on the east bank of the Rio Mondego: it’s a multicolored collage of buildings spanning nearly a millennium.
After lunch, continue to Lisbon and have dinner at one of the best places to have Fado Dinner in Lisbon!
Today, you will discover Lisbon, the capital of Portugal, a city that was built on seven hills, located near the meeting point of the Tagus River with the ocean. It is the only European capital with sunsets on the sea, so close to golden beaches, with a captivating mild climate even in winter, when most other European cities are freezing. A charming and friendly city, with a cosmopolitan population, World Heritage monuments, impressive museums. A place where every corner breathes history, culture, and art.
The surroundings of Lisbon offer an incredible variety of attractions, from fairytale places to romantic towns and breathtaking viewpoints.
You will head to romantic Sintra. This village is a harmonic combination of History and fantasy and it was described as a “glorious Eden” by the British poet Lord Byron, in the 18th century. Stroll through its medieval streets and admire the special handicraft. You will have free time to explore this marvelous village and our friendly driver/guide can recommend you some imposing monuments and wonderful palaces that worth a visit. Free time for lunch.
The next stop will be the Roca Cape, the westernmost extent of mainland Portugal, where the land ends and the sea begins. With an impressive view over the beautiful Atlantic Ocean, the crashing waves make this place even more gorgeous. And on our return to Lisbon, you will appreciate the fishing harbor and the center of Cascais, the former summer residence of the Portuguese royal family and nowadays an excellent place for surfing, and the famous Estoril, known for its Casino, the largest in Europe, with attractive gardens.
After the excursion, you will return to Lisbon.
Time to say goodbye to Lisbon, transfer to the airport. Tchau Portugal!