Itinerary Highlights
    • Explore the endless delights of north-central Iberia in complete freedom and at your own pace
    • Hang up your hat in a collection of beautiful and well-located hotels perfect for families with children
    • Make memories everywhere you go: fishing, visits to art museums, walking tours with locals and sailing on the Douro

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This great loop from Bilbao to the coast of Portugal and back again, brings together the two beautiful sister countries that make up the Iberian Peninsula: Spain and Portugal. While landscapes, cultures and traditions overlap, each nation (and each destination within them for that matter) reveals its own endearing personality. This road trip kicks off in bustling Bilbao, where you can soak in the rich Basque culture before hugging the coast along to Llanes and Pontevedra, two charming coastal towns. From here you’ll cross the border into Portugal, where you’ll soak in the scenic and cultural delights of the vibrant city of Porto and the peaceful vineyards of the Douro Valley. Round off your adventure with a few days back in Spain, admiring the historic and religious sites of two of north-central Spain’s most fascinating cities:
Salamanca and Burgos. Along the way you’ll be making unforgettable memories with the family: learning to fish like a local, sailing down to Douro on a wooden boat, touring the bookshop that inspired Harry Potter and so much more.


Everything is 100% tailored to you


Your family holiday to Spain and Portugal starts today. After a bit of mayhem at home making sure the youngsters are packed and ready to go, head to the airport. After whizzing through security, settle into the airport lounge to enjoy some down time with nibbles and refreshments as you await departure. Flight time to the coastal city of Bilbao is two hours, enough time to practice some handy Spanish phrases as a family before touchdown. On arrival, collect your spacious hire car and head to your first accommodation: a comfortable contemporary hotel well-situated for visiting the city’s most emblematic site, the Guggenheim Museum, this afternoon. Tickets will be waiting for you at the hotel, so once you’ve settled in and freshened up, stroll over to the museum for an afternoon of culture. The permanent exhibitions are home to one of Spain’s most exquisite collections of modern art. You can admire pieces by Jeff Koons, Yves Klein, Eduardo Chillida, Louise Bourgeois and many others. The little ones will likely be taken by Richard Serra’s ‘Matter of Time’ installation: high eight steel maze-like sculptures that you can walk around and get lost in. The rest of the afternoon is yours to play with. Turn to our destination-specific Dossier (full of tried-and-tested eateries) to find a tapas bar that takes your fancy for an aperitif, before heading back to the hotel for a delicious evening meal and a good night’s rest.



Today is all about soaking in the scenic and cultural delights of Bilbao. The city centre is compact, walkable and full of an eclectic mix of architectural styles. After spending an hour or two discovering the bustling centre, head over to La Ribera market. Spanning a whopping 110,000ft², this beautiful Art Deco-style food hall is among the largest covered food markets in all of Europe. Spend some time browsing the many stalls and tapas bars before heading to the main restaurant to enjoy some local Basque specialities, such as kokotxas (garlic fish stew) and txipirones (cuttlefish in an ink sauce).



Your adventure continues today. After a delicious breakfast at the hotel this morning, hit the road to your next destination: the colourful coastal town of Llanes, a two-hour drive away. On arrival, settle in for two nights in a spacious, comfortable apartment in an elegant hotel. After a couple of hours in the car, a walk to stretch your legs and burn some of the little ones’ energy will certainly be in order. There is a beautiful trail that hugs the rugged coastline peppered with beautiful coves perfect for a refreshing dip. Head back to the hotel this evening for a delicious meal at the hotel’s restaurant.



Make sure to fuel up at breakfast this morning as today you’ll be heading out on an exciting excursion. This morning you’ll be met by an experienced local guide who’ll be taking you on a fun-filled journey into the marine origins of Llanes. You’ll discover local fishing techniques as well as how fish is sold in the markets. The little ones can round off the day taking part in a handicraft workshop designed for children.

DAYS 5 & 6


Today you’ll be switching up your surroundings, swapping Spain’s northern coast for its western shores. Your next destination is Pontevedra, a beautiful city nestled at the tip of an inlet of the same name. The journey takes a good four-and-a-half hours, so make sure to charge up the iPads and fill the car with snacks before heading off. The first half of the drive hugs the northern coast, so you can make plenty of scenic stops to stretch your legs. On arrival, settle in for two nights in a spacious and modern flat perfect for families with children. The rest of today and tomorrow is yours to spend discovering Pontevedra and the surrounding coastline at your leisure. You can explore the serene car-free old town, with its Gothic houses lining the narrow streets and beautiful historic sites, including the Basilica of Sainte-Marie Majeure. It is also possible to spend a whole day soaking in the nearby scenic and cultural delights: Galicia is home to a collection of fascinating megalithic monuments, as well as a plethora of idyllic beaches. Our team could also arrange for you to head to the island of Arousa for a guided cycle ride.



Your adventure across the Iberian Peninsula continues today. After a hearty breakfast this morning, you’ll (temporarily) be bidding farewell to Spain and journeying across the border to Portugal. Your first destination here is Porto, a bustling port city, a two-hour drive from Pontevedra. On arrival, check in for three nights in a comfortable contemporary flat in the heart of town. The rest of today is yours to spend settling into your new Portuguese surroundings. We recommend soaking in the city’s main attractions with a spot of sightseeing. You can explore at your own leisure or we can arrange for you to head out with a knowledgeable local guide bursting with fascinating stories about the many sites on display. As for dinner this evening, you can turn to your destination-specific Dossier to find a top-recommended local restaurant or you can head back to your apartment to whip up something tasty in your well-equipped kitchen.



After spending yesterday seeing the main historic sites, today you’ll be getting to know a different side of Porto on a private walking tour with a clued-up local guide. The walk is relaxed, spontaneous and based around you, so if there is anything specific you’d like to see or do then don’t hesitate to ask. The idea is to see Porto through the lens of a local: understand its traditions, society and contemporary culture.



Frequently touted as one of the most beautiful bookshops in the world, your visit to Porto is simply incomplete without a visit to Livraria Lello. The youngsters will be happy to hear that this particular bookshop is said to have fuelled J.K Rowling’s inspiration for the Harry Potter series. Lello was founded in 1906, however its interior teleports you back into the times of opulent neo-Gothic architecture: stained glass ceilings, towering wooden book shelves and carved twisting staircases.

DAY 10


Today you’ll be switching up your surroundings. After a few stops at coastal cities in Spain and Portugal, it’s time to head inland, into the heart of the Iberian countryside. Your next destination is a beautiful estate surrounded by the pristine vineyards of Sabrosa, where you’ll be staying for the next two nights. The journey takes just over an hour and is very scenic, passing through the sweeping landscapes of the Douro Valley. Spend the rest of today unwinding in nature. You could head out for a stroll in the countryside or simply kick back and enjoy the peace and quiet in your new home.

DAY 11


Today is all about getting those sea legs moving. After a hearty breakfast at the estate this morning, hop onto a traditional rabelo boat for a cruise down the Douro. This type of wooden cargo boat has been used for centuries to carry barrels of wine between the wine-growing regions upstream and the production towns of Porto and Vila Nova de Gaia. Seeing the valley by boat makes it possible to admire some of the most beautiful parts of the region, with its many vineyards and farmhouses, that aren’t visible from the road.

DAY 12


Your journey into the heart of the Iberian Peninsula continues east today. Make sure to fuel up on snacks and refreshments at breakfast this morning as the journey ahead is three hours. Your next destination in Spain is the historic intellectual city of Salamanca, where you’ll settle in for two nights in a former convent converted into a charming hotel. The rest of today is yours to spend getting your bearings. Head out for a wander through town and soak in the vibrant atmosphere of the city.

DAY 13


Today is dedicated to soaking in the many historic sites that call Salamanca home. You can compare the architecture of the new and old cathedrals, stroll through the Plaza Mayor, imagine yourself a student in one of Europe's oldest universities, snap shots of the Casa de las Conchas (a house covered in seashells), discover the Art Nouveau and Art Deco museums and sample plenty of local chorizo and wine. You can explore the sites on foot at your own leisure or we can arrange for you to head out on a guided bike ride with a knowledgeable local.

DAY 14


It’s time to set off to your final destination on the Iberian Penisula: the charming city of Burgos, a two-and-a-half hour drive away. On arrival, check in for one night in an intimate and elegant hotel in the historic centre. This medieval city is an important stop along the iconic pilgrimage to Santiago de Compostela. Make sure to soak in some of the fine religious sites on display, such as the Gothic Cathedral of St. Mary and the Chapel of Condestable (located inside the Cathedral). Spend your final evening enjoying a tapas aperitif in town before tucking into a delicious meal at the hotel’s exquisite restaurant.

DAY 15


And just like that your epic voyage across the Iberian Peninsula comes to a close. But don’t worry, those family memories will last a lifetime. After one last hearty Spanish breakfast this morning, hop into your hire car for the final time and drive two hours to the airport in Bilbao. Drop off your hire car, whizz through security and take the opportunity to stock up on any last-minute souvenirs and specialities before boarding your two-hour flight back to the UK.

A la carte


Linked to mainland Spain by a simple road, the island of Arousa is a small but mighty natural paradise. Here you can find a large population of herons that thrive in the Carreiron nature park. The best way to discover this delightful little island is undoubtedly on a guided bike ride. The island has several miles worth of well-marked cycle paths, making it possible to cycle around the island and reach the most inaccessible spots, such as the Punta Cabalo lighthouse, the port of O Xufre and the Mirador O Con do Forno.


Born in the mountains of old Spanish Castile, the Douro crosses Portugal from east to west for almost 150 miles. The waters are controlled by huge damns, one of which is the highest in Europe. Head out today on a historic train in the company of local guide full of knowledge. The train passes through some of the most important sites of the Doruo, including the village of Tua with its steep wooden footbridges, the Cantoneiro house and a historic vineyard (where you can sample some delicious wine). Round off your day with a short cruise aboard a traditional rabelo boat.


A UNESCO World Heritage Site, Salamanca's monumental quarters stretch from the Roman bridge to the Zamora gate. Its university is one of the oldest in Europe and is at the very heart of the city. Spend today discovering the many sites of the city on bike, in the company of a knowledgeable local guide.

A Rough Idea of Price

Dependent on season, accommodation and activities
The estimated cost for this trip starts from £1,410 to £1,910 per person. The final cost of the trip depends on the way we tailor it especially for you. The final cost varies according to several factors, which include the level of service, length of trip and advance booking time. The exact price will be provided on your personalised quote. The average starting price for this trip is £1,650 per person.
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