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Trip Overview

Discover the incredible West Coasts of Spain and Portugal following Michael Portillo and the Great Continental Railways guide from La Coruña down to Lisbon. Explore a different side of Spain through the beauty of Galicia with stops in the largest city, La Coruña, and the capital Santiago de Compostela, before riding the rails through three of Portugal's essential cities: the Duoro-side city of Porto, the historic university city of Coimbra and thriving coastal capital of Lisbon.

Highlights

  • Admire the grand architecture in Coimbra
  • Visit the imposing Cathedral in Santiago de Compostela
  • Savour Porto's delicious wines
  • Explore the vibrant capital of Portugal, Lisbon

PACKAGE INCLUDES:

  • Rail travel in standard class throughout
  • 2 nights' hotel stay with breakfast in La Coruna
  • 1 night hotel stay with breakfast in Santiago de Compostela
  • 2 nights' hotel stay with breakfast in Porto
  • 1 night hotel stay with breakfast in Coimbra
  • 2 nights' hotel stay with breakfast in Lisbon
Trip Map

Disclaimer:

Prices are per person, based on double occupancy. Prices do not include rail from your hometown. Please call for pricing. Package prices are subject to change without notice, and all reservations are based upon availability at the time of booking. Single occupancy supplements will apply for solo travelers. Hotel and room facilities vary and may be subject to additional fees. Some hotels require payment of local city taxes on arrival. Please call for pricing. We accept all major credit and debit cards. Activities referenced in the itinerary during free time are for suggested purposes only and are not included. Seasonal activity (if applicable): During the off-season, some tours may not be available. In this case, a similar tour will be substituted. Passports are required when traveling outside the United States including crossing the Canadian border.

DAY 1 - ARRIVE IN LA CORUNA
Arrive in La Coruña today, and check in at your hotel for a two-night stay. Once you have settled in, head out to explore the city! La Coruña is Galicia's largest city, and you will no doubt find a wealth of beauty and activities to enjoy during your stay here. If the weather is fine, there is no better place to start your trip than the long beach fronts that flank the city. For sandy, coastal vistas, head to the beaches Orzán and Riazor. From either of these spots, you can relax or take a walk and stop in one of the many local bars or cafés to people watch and sample some local cuisine. (Overnight in La Coruna)

DAY 2 - LA CORUNA
After breakfast today, enjoy exploring more of La Coruña. The historical center - Cidade Velha - is home to many of the wonderful architectural and cultural monuments of the city. Here you will find the wonderful Santiago Church, as well as the Castelo de San Antón - a castle that plays host to a fascinating archaeological museum. To follow Portillo, and the hordes of Edwardian Britons who travelled before him, visit the remains of Sir John Moore by heading into the romantic gardens 'Xardín de San Carlos,' also situated in the old town. And don't leave without visiting the Torre de Hércules - or Tower of Hercules - a famous Roman lighthouse that is arguably the oldest in the world still in use. In the evening, the best tapas can be found around Calle de la Estrella, where you will find locals indulging in some of the finest seafood and tapas in the country. There is also no better place to enjoy a pint of the city's famous, local beer - Estrella Galicia. (Overnight in La Coruna) B

DAY 3 - LA CORUNA TO SANTIAGO DE COMPOSTELA
Enjoy breakfast in your hotel this morning before catching the train along the Pilgrims' Trail to Santiago de Compostela. Check in at your hotel for an overnight stay. Santiago de Compostela is famous around the world for being the final resting place of St James the Apostle, who it is said was brought to the city by a stone boat after his death in Palestine. You can visit the Cathedral Santiago de Compostela, an imposing and breathtaking church that showcases a variety of beautiful architectural styles. The tomb of St. James is located underneath this Cathedral, and it is possible to visit the tomb and observe the sculpture representing the man himself. Also of interest are the Pilgrimage Museum and the Cathedral Museum, which provide an in-depth insight into the trail and the Apostle. The historical squares surrounding the Cathedral are also exciting places to visit and photograph. For the best views of the Cathedral, head to Praza de Praterías, which is also home to a beautiful fountain! The old city center is registered as a UNESCO World Heritage Site, and wandering the medieval streets admiring your surroundings and stopping in a local tavern is the perfect way to spend an evening! (Overnight in Santiago de Compostela) B

DAY 4 - SANTIAGO DE COMPOSTELA TO PORTO
Check out of your hotel this morning and take the beautiful journey from Santiago de Compostela towards Porto, arriving at the magnificent São Bento station. Don't leave the station without admiring the incredible, ornate azulejo (tile) panels that depict the history of Portugal - as these are a treat in themselves! Head to your hotel and check in for a two-night stay. Porto is known for being a stunning city, and you will no doubt be charmed by the colorful buildings flanking the hills, the beautiful baroque churches and the meandering mazes of streets that embroider the banks of the Duoro. For the best sightseeing, head to the Ribeira district, a registered UNESCO World Heritage Site near the river. From here you will be able to see the port-wine lodges on the opposite bank and the impressive Dom Luís I Bridge that spans the cities of Porto and Vila Nova de Gaia. (Overnight in Porto) B

DAY 5 - PORTO
After breakfast, spend another day enjoying Porto. For a true local experience, visit the Mercado do Bolhão, a traditional food market selling fresh produce and dotted with local restaurants. Those interested in photography shouldn't miss a trip to the Centro Português de Fotografia, the Portuguese Photography Museum in the city center that is housed in an impressive building. For an evening stroll, head to the Matosinhos area near the beach. It is here you will find some of the best restaurants in the city. (Overnight in Porto) B

DAY 6 - PORTO TO COIMBRA
This morning after breakfast you will take the train from Porto down to the university city of Coimbra. Check in at your hotel for an overnight stay. Coimbra is often described as the medieval capital of Portugal, and the prestigious university has a strong influence over the city, both in terms of providing the area with beautiful history and architecture, and also in supplying the city with huge numbers of students during term times, which creates a lively and exciting atmosphere. The university is well worth a visit, of course. Walk from the glorious Mondego River up to the top of University Hill for beautiful views of historic, multi-colored buildings that climb the hill and impressive vistas from the top looking out over the city. A clear highlight of the University is the wonderful Biblioteca Joanina, the Old University's library which was a gift from João V. View the elaborately frescoed ceilings and the Chinoiserie bookshelves and gaze at the 300,000 books on offer - some of which are incredibly ancient and valuable. The medieval downtown area is a beautiful place to spend time. In the evenings, you will likely hear the deep and dulcet tones of traditional Fado singers accompanied by the delightful sounds of their guitars. Here, visit the churches of São Bartolomeu and Sao Tiago for incredible architectural highlights. (Overnight in Coimbra) B

DAY 7 - COIMBRA TO LISBON
Head back to the station this morning and take the high-speed train towards Lisbon, the capital city of Portugal. On arrival, make your way to your hotel and check in for a two-night stay. Lisbon offers all the wonders you would expect from an established European capital, yet perhaps does not get the attention it deserves. You will find delights along every turning backstreet here, with a melting pot of monasteries, museums, cathedrals and historic squares waiting to be discovered. Head to Rossio, the main square in Lisbon that dates back to the middle ages. The column of Pedro IV is located in the middle, with the Maria II Theatre and the Public Gardens towards the north. You will find many shops and restaurants here and, as the square is a popular meeting place, the area is perfect for people watching! (Overnight in Lisbon) B

DAY 8 - LISBON
After breakfast this morning, continue to explore Lisbon. For incredible views of the city, take the elevator and visit the Cristio Rei, a statue of Christ that stands 328 feet over the city. You may want to include a trip to Praça do Comércio - Palace Square - as Michael Portillo did, for a wonderful look into Portugal's amazing history and architecture. In the evenings, a visit to the hilltop district Bairro Alto is recommended. Here you will find pretty, narrow streets embellished with a wide range of restaurants, bars and cafés and - in the summer especially - the streets are likely to be filled with music. (Overnight in Lisbon) B

DAY 9 - DEPART LISBON
After breakfast this morning, check out of your hotel and continue with your travels. If you wish to extend your vacation, perhaps with an additional day in a different city, one of our Rail Vacation Experts will be happy to assist you with the details. B

MEAL GUIDE: B - BREAKFAST, BR - BRUNCH, L - LUNCH, AT - AFTERNOON TEA, D -DINNER

Teatro

Hotel Teatro arose from the spot where the Baquet Theatre was inaugurated in 1859. A hundred and fifty-one years later, the unique, refined and bohemian environment of the Theatre has been revived here in a hotel.

NH Santiago de Compostela

NH Santiago de Compostela

The NH Collection Santiago de Compostela, formerly known as NH Obradoiro, hotel is in a quiet part of Santiago de Compostela, just minutes from the old town.

NH Collection Porto Batalha

Situated opposite Batalha Square and the S. João National Theatre, the NH Collection Porto Bathala occupies a wonderful spot in the heart of Porto. The elegantly decorated rooms all feature en suite bathrooms, air conditioning, satellite television and coffee machines. Guests can swim in the indoor pool, make use of the fitness centre or relax in the sauna after a long day of sightseeing.

Select Your Departure Date

For more information or to make a reservation, call our rail holiday experts at:
1 (800) 268-7252
Disclaimer:

Prices are per person, based on double occupancy. Prices do not include rail from your hometown. Please call for pricing. Package prices are subject to change without notice, and all reservations are based upon availability at the time of booking. Single occupancy supplements will apply for solo travelers. Hotel and room facilities vary and may be subject to additional fees. Some hotels require payment of local city taxes on arrival. Please call for pricing. We accept all major credit and debit cards. Activities referenced in the itinerary during free time are for suggested purposes only and are not included. Seasonal activity (if applicable): During the off-season, some tours may not be available. In this case, a similar tour will be substituted. Passports are required when traveling outside the United States including crossing the Canadian border.

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