There are so many countries to visit, so many cultures to immerse oneself in and so many culinary dishes to be explored, that choosing where to travel to can be downright impossible. Rubinsohn Travel (215) 886-5200 has taken care of the headache of making the choice between so many great options, and put together a vacation that will take you on a Mediterranean adventure you will never forget. Strap in for this 10-day vacation that will take you on a journey through Portugal and Spain.
Lisbon, Portugal – Recommended stay: 2 days
Lisbon is the capital of Portugal and is only a short one-and-a-half-hour flight from Barcelona. It is located right on the coast of Portugal, so it’s surrounded by beautiful beaches, however much of its wonder remains in the city, rather than on the water. If there is one landmark that is an absolute must see in Lisbon, it is the Torre de Belem. The tower was constructed back in the 16th century, and it has grown to become one of the most iconic features in the city. One of the best ways of travelling the city and exploring all of its vital monuments and landmarks is to take a ride in an eco-friendly tuk tuk, and allow your driver to show off their amazing hometown. Take in the beautiful architecture, and marvel at the unique Arabic textile designs coating many of the building as you explore the depths of the city. Lisbon is certainly a scenic town with its bright colored buildings, but is also famous for its seafood, which will light up your taste buds and make only a small dent in your wallet. All of the seafood is freshly caught, with the coast no more than 45 minutes away from most locations. While everything off the seafood menu is mouthwatering and delicious, the Portuguese prawns are a national treasure, and a must have for anyone venturing to Lisbon for the first time.
Sintra, Portugal – Recommended stay: 1 day
Sintra is only a 30-minute train ride from Lisbon, costs only 10 euro to get there and back, and is one of the most aesthetically unique and beautiful cities in all of Europe. Once there, various tour options will be available the moment you hop off the train. All of them are suitable methods to take in the sites of Sintra, and all of them will eventually take you to Sintra’s crown jewel, the Palacio de Pena. In order to reach the palace, tickets must be purchased at the entrance to El Parque Nacional de Palacio de Pena. The national park is full of various hiking trails that will showcase nature’s beauty, while the main path takes you up the mountain to the castle. The Portuguese castle was listed as a UNESCO world heritage site back in 1990, and is something out of a fairytale with its unique architecture, bright colored towers and location sitting atop a mountain peak. Walk around the outside of the castle, and enjoy some of the best views in all of Sintra. Then take a tour of the inside, and discover how the Portuguese royalty once lived. After exploring the castle, venture down the mountain to enjoy a traditional Portuguese meal at one of many local restaurants and cafes. We really recommend trying a dish with cod, it’s what they’re known for!
Barcelona, Spain – Recommended stay: 3 days
Barcelona is the second most populated city in Spain, with just over 1.6 million residents, and it is the first stop on your adventure for a reason. There is so much unique architecture that gives Barcelona a personality of its own, and oddly enough, the most important piece of that architecture isn’t even completed yet. La Sagrada Familia embodies the dreamlike works of Antoni Gaudi and is a sight to behold, despite being only ¾ of the way done. It includes architectural styles such as Catalan Modernism, Art Nouveau, and Spanish Late-Gothic, however it cannot be placed definitively in any one category because it is truly one of a kind. Next, take a stroll over to Gràcia, and see what small town life is like for the locals of Barcelona. The narrow streets and plazas are packed with bars and restaurants that are filled with people at all times during the day. It is a great place to sit down and relax with some delicious tapas, enjoy good company, and truly embrace the laxed Spanish lifestyle. In order to experience the full might of Barcelona’s culture, venture to Camp Nou, the 99,000 capacity fútbol stadium which has been home to FC Barcelona since 1957. The booming energy and intense loyalty can be felt throughout the entire stadium each and every game, and it is a spectacle to behold.
Cadaqués, Spain – Recommended stay: 2 days
Cadaqués is a vacation town located on the Costa Brava in Spain, and it is one of the most beautiful towns in the entire country. It takes just under 2 hours to drive there from Barcelona, but once there, it will be worth every minute spent on the road. Upon arrival, drop your things off in your hotel, and go out for a stroll around the town before heading towards the Far de Cala Nans hiking trail. It is a beautiful trail that will give you a view of the Spanish coast unlike anything else. You will be engulfed in nature throughout the hike, and after about 3 km of walking you will come across a set of stone steps that will take you down to a private beach. It is the perfect place to bring some traditional Spanish bocadillos, soak in the sun and go for a swim to cool off. Cadaqués boasts some of the best seafood you will have in your entire life. From some of the most flavorful calamari in the world, to freshly caught fish grilled to perfection, Cadaqués will provide you with a culinary experience you will never forget.
Barcelona, Spain – Recommended stay: 2 days
Yes, that’s right it is time to head back to Barcelona! After a few days of constant travelling, relaxing by the beautiful Barcelona beaches is the perfect way to end your trip. If you are up for one final adventure, travel up to the old Spanish civil war bunkers. It doesn’t cost a thing to venture to the bunkers and for your efforts, you will be rewarded with the best view in the entire city. The entire city landscape can be captured in an instant, and you will truly feel on top of the world. It is important to cap off your vacation with a trip to a restaurant called Terraza Martinez. This restaurant is missed by most tourists because it is not located in the heart of the city, however don’t make the mistake of missing out on what many consider to be the best paella in the city. Paella is a traditional Spanish dish consisting of rice, vegetables and a sea or land-based protein that will melt in your mouth with each and every bite. Enjoy a fine dining experience, some of the best food you will ever have, and look back at the memories you have gained over the course of you trip.
Immersing yourself into the rich cultures of Spain and Portugal will show you a completely new way of life, and we guarantee that when the time to head home rolls around, you won’t want to leave. We have planned an unforgettable journey for you and your travel companions to embark on, so what are you waiting for? Give us a call at (215) 886-5200 and get your Mediterranean adventure planned today!