Spain, Morocco and Portugal17 Days • 8 Cities
Spain & Portugal are tried and true destinations. Madrid has mouthwatering tapas, Seville is a picturesque metropolis, and Lisbon might darn well be Europe’s best kept secret. But what if we add a little spice to it? A little zest. A flare of the exotic. That’s where Morocco comes in. It’s as if you’re eating your favorite meal, unaware that some life-changing hot sauce is right there, within arm’s reach across the dinner table (AKA the Strait of Gibraltar, in this metaphor). All you have to do is say yes to adding Africa to your Iberian adventure, and you will be rewarded with dizzying marketplaces, endless couscous, and if you’re lucky, you may even see a camel.
What are the top highlights?
- Immerse yourself in Spanish culture, cuisine, and customs
- Fall in love with buildings (you didn't think that was possible, did you?)
- Taste-test tapas and wash them down with a glass of cava (and more tapas)
- Learn to dance flamenco/embarrass yourself in Seville
- Try (and fail) to eat just one pastel de nata, a classic Portuguese custard tart
- Relax on the pristine beaches of the Algarve region
- Gaze upon ocean views and hilltop castles in Lisbon
- Barter like a pro in Marrakesh at one of Africa’s largest marketplaces
- Have a date—the food kind, not the Tinder kind—with mouth-watering Moroccan food like chicken tagine, couscous, figs, zaalouk, and more
- Put your Intro to Art Appreciation class to work as you examine thousands of years of unparalleled masterpieces in the form of ornamented city gates, museums, and palaces in Morocco
Your trip includes
- Round-trip flights & airport transfers
- Multilingual Tour Director & local guides
- Private deluxe motorcoach
- 15 nights in hand-picked accommodations
- Welcome Mixer with appetizers & drinks
- Daily breakfast, 1 lunch & 3 dinners
- Three-course farewell dinner
- Metro passes in each major city
- Entrance to the Alhambra, the Mezquita, Fez's Medina & Royal Palace, Castelo Sao Jorge, and other select attractions
You’ll stay at accommodations hand-picked by our team of local experts, in rooms only for EF Ultimate Break travelers. Each property is located in a safe, convenient area. You’ll receive your exact accommodations 30 days before your trip departs.
Click here for examples of where you'll stay.
Admit it, booking flights is the worst. Here's why you should let us do it for you:
- Flight costs are included in your monthly payment plan, so you can pay over time
- Airport transfers are included, so we’ll be waiting, sign in hand
- Flights are booked with major airlines
- 24/7 support no matter what time zone you’re in
- One checked bag included on most flights
- Option to make changes to your trip up to 99 days before departure
Booking with a friend? Let us know and we’ll do our best to make sure you’re on the same flight. Still want to book your own flights? That’s cool, simply select ‘No flights included’ instead of your departure city in the ‘Flights from’ dropdown.
Day 1: Overnight Flight
Board your overnight flight, bound for Spain, where food and nightlife (and Felipe VI) are king. Cafes and restaurants line the streets of Madrid, which is good because Spanish tapas are must-try. And then try again. You know, for quality-testing purposes.
Day 2: Arrive in Madrid
Welcome to Madrid! Spain’s capital is famous for its world-class art museums, live music scene, and never-ending nightlife. It seems people never sleep here (except for two hours after lunch). Madrid is a city that definitely knows how to relax and have fun. Get ready—your life is about to get loco.
- Meet an EF representative at the airport.
- Transfer to your accommodation and check in.
- Receive the latest schedule from your Tour Director.
- Meet your fellow travelers as they arrive.
In the evening, it’s time for your Welcome Mixer. Enjoy appetizers and drinks with fellow travelers at an authentic local spot. Afterwards, you’re free to take the party elsewhere!
Day 3: Tour Madrid + Optional Royal Palace & Rooftops Excursion
With a population of over 3 million people, Madrid is Spain’s biggest city (almost double that of Barcelona). One thing you’ll notice walking around, is that Madrileños love soccer. (Whatever you do, don’t mention Messi, Barcelona’s star player.) Today you'll see all the best Madrid has to offer with a local guide on a tour of the city. Afterwards, take the rest of the day to explore on your own.
- Meet your local guide and experience the city's highlights by bus and foot.
- Visit Madrid's Royal Palace for a guided tour of this elaborate, 9th-century building featuring over 2,000 rooms and plenty of stuff you can't touch.
- Stop at Puerta del Sol, the epicenter of the city, where stores and cafes are by the dozen, and people dressed up as Spider Man want you to take their picture.
- Head into the Plaza Mayor, the Renaissance hub that witnessed everything from bullfights to weddings to public executions.
- Go out on your own, and walk through Parque del Buen Retiro, Madrid's biggest park, and keep a lookout for the trees that look like broccoli (you'll know it when you see it).
Free Time Suggestions
Exit Through the Gift Shop: The Chueca and Malasaña neighborhoods are two of the hippest and happeningest places in Madrid. Picture vintage fashion shops, inexpensive tapas bars, and locals trying to figure out how you found out about their favorite spots. Keep an eye out for graffiti from the famous street artist, Banksy.
Get Cultured: Visit The Golden Triangle (no, this is not something from Indiana Jones). It’s an art triangle featuring The Prado, Thyssen-Bornemisza and The Reina Sofia museums. You can see world-famous artworks from artists like Pablo Picasso, Diego Velázquez, and Salvador Dalí.
¡GOOOOOOOOOL!: Tour Estadio Santiago Bernabeu, home to Madrid’s soccer (fútbol) team, Real Madrid. Sit in the players’ seats, see trophies up close, and practice your goal celebration dance on the field below.
Royal Palace & Rooftops(extra cost)
The Royal Family of Spain will see you now. Keep an eye out for a duke or duchess as you stroll the Palacio Real at your own leisure. Once you’ve had your fill of grand, gilded, and gorgeous in the palace, indulge your appetite with included tapas and a drink at an authentic nearby spot. Save room for #views though—the final stop on this magical evening in Madrid is a rooftop bar. We got you covered on your entrance fee and your next drink, but it’s up to you to take the most awe-inducing panoramic pics of the city skyline yourself.
Day 4: Travel to Granada via Cordoba
After a few days in the big city, it’s time to see what Spain’s smaller metropolises are hiding. You’re going to Granada, but not before a stop in medieval Córdoba to tour the famous Mezquita. Spoiler alert: There will be beautiful Islamic-era buildings, delicious food, and plenty of wine.
- Give Madrid a loving little kick (you know, like a soccer ball) on your way out of the city.
- Arrive in Córdoba—the former Islamic capital, and current palm tree capital of Spain.
- Avoid your knees buckling at the overwhelming beauty of the Mezquita—a 1,300+ year old massive house of worship that has consistently been the most beautiful building in Spain.
- Continue on to the city of pomegranates, Granada.
Day 5: Tour Granada
Lucky you. A whole day in Granada! First things first—join a local guide for a VIP tour of the city. There’s heavy North African and Arabic influence here, and you’ll see it all around you in the intricate architecture, fusion food, and even the music of Granada. Get ready to be dazzled by the Alhambra palace and fortress, the true highlight of Granada.
- Get up, get out, and get lost walking through Albayzin, a maze of cobblestone streets. Just make sure you leave a trail of crumbs to find your way home.
- Take everything in as you wander the vast grounds of the Alhambra. It's part palace, part fortress, all parts awesome.
- Walk along the Darro river to Paseo de los Tristes, and grab a table at a nearby café.
- Look up and see the Alhambra looking right back down at you. Not in the creepy way, though.
Day 6: Arrive in Africa
“Welcome to Africa!” …is what we’ll say once you get there. But first, you’ll travel to Tarifa and ride a ferry across the Strait of Gibraltar to Tangier, Morocco. The continent that birthed mankind is happy to have you, and man, there’s kind of a whole lot of history to be seen here. So clear your schedule and trade your paella for couscous—you’re going to Morocco.
- Yawn a big yawn and then keep your jaw dropped when you realize you can cross another continent off your bucket list.
- Swap out your sea legs for, um, land legs as you disembark your ferry in Tangier.
- Board your private motorcoach from Tangier to Fez—home to over a million people, and namesake to the tasseled hat that Aladdin wears.
- Spend the night in Fez how you see fit—make sure to snap some dramatic shots of mosques and markets while the sun goes down, then hit the Medina to take on a taste of the nightlife.
Day 7: Explore Fez + Optional Moroccan Dinner & Music Show
You think your Great Aunt Edwina is old? Just wait until you see how old Fez is. Hint: over 1,200 years old. Follow your Tour Director for an in-depth look at how the oldest Imperial City has shifted and morphed in its millennium-plus of existence.
- Be dazzled by Fez’s ornate Moorish architecture like that of the Royal Palace Gate and the Bab Bou Jeloud, and realize you certainly don’t want… less-ish.
- Visit the Old Jewish Quarter, known as the Mellah, and learn about the rise and fall of Fez’s once-numerous Jewish population.
- Attend a ceramics demonstration and get your pot on. (No, not THAT kind of pot.)
- Get down and dirty at one of the world’s oldest tanneries and learn that leather is traditionally soaked in cow urine and pigeon feces—just don’t tell that to your motorcycle gang.
Moroccan Dinner & Music Show(extra cost)
“Are you not entertained?!” Gladiator: great movie, partially filmed in Morocco! Anyways, you certainly will be entertained tonight. Indulge in dinner and drinks, sit back and watch a belly dancing performance—after all, why fly all the way to Morocco if you’re not going to see belly dancing? And if that weren’t enough, you’ll also be treated to a Moroccan orchestra, a Hiata group, a Bedouin dancer, a magician, and a Moroccan marriage ceremony. Think of it like tapas—a little bit of everything, and all of it is so, so good.
Why wait? Save money by booking this optional excursion before your trip departs.
Day 8: Explore Marrakesh
You’re going to Marrakesh today. Marrakesh IS Morocco. Literally. In many languages, the name for Morocco is just “Marrakesh.” The Red City is easy to get lost in, but fear not, there’s excitement around every corner, and your local guide is here to ensure you get to see it all. Follow them today for a real taste of Morocco—both metaphorically and culinarily.
- Feast your eyes on the pseudo-European floral beauty of the Gueliz District—designed by the French while feeling homesick for Paris.
- Pay respect to your elders when you see Koutoubia Mosque—it’s over 800 years old, but doesn’t look a day over 799.
- Bask in the gloriously geometric #architectureporn of Bahia Palace, the Saadian Tombs, and the Medina (old city).
- Prepare to have your definition of “supermarket” blown out of the water as you haggle your way through the Marrakesh Souk, the city’s premiere market and meeting-place.
Day 9: Free Day in Marrakesh + Optional Moroccan Cooking Class
Good morning! While most of Marrakesh is awake in time for the early Call to Prayer, we’re guessing you’re up early, too, in anticipation of the crazy day to come. Yesterday you saw the “must-see’s” of Marrakesh, and today is all about the hidden gems. Feel free to spend the day exploring, eating, or for the truly daring, learning to charm snakes.
- Catch a whiff of organized chaos as you weave in and out of Marrakesh’s spiraling alleyways mingling with the nearly one million city residents.
- Spend the day crafting puns on the word “souk,” meaning “market,” as you bargain for souvenirs at any of the hundreds of vendors around the city.
- Realign your chakras on the hunt for the bohemian vibes that attracted hippies and artists alike, including The Beatles, The Rolling Stones, and Yves Saint Laurent.
- Treat your taste buds to an optional Moroccan cooking class.
Free Time Suggestions
Garden Variety: Visit three different museums at the Majorelle Garden, named for the eponymous French painter who designed the sprawling grounds and lived in the shockingly blue villa on the property. The cactus-laden complex also includes the Islamic Art Museum, the Berber Museum, and the Yves Saint Laurent Museum.
Gate Grandpa: Not to be confused with the similarly named mashed eggplant dish, Bab Agnaou is a 12th century city gate that once represented Marrakesh’s doorway to Sub-Saharan Africa. These days, however, it’s mostly just a cool spot to take a selfie with a very old wall.
Moroccan Cooking Class(extra cost)
Learn the in’s and ras el hanout’s (a delicious local spice mix) of chicken tagine and assorted Moroccan salads as you cook your own authentic lunch. Moroccan cooking is deeply indebted to both European and African cooking traditions, and the rich flavors of the Mediterranean and the Maghreb melt perfectly together when slow cooked in a clay pot tagine. So sit back, relax, and start planning Instagram captions for this fragrant, photogenic, homemade hearty meal. Enjoy the rootin’-est tootin’-est cooking class in the wild wild west, partner. West Africa, that is (no affiliation to the American frontier).
Why wait? Save money by booking this optional excursion before your trip departs.
Day 10: Travel to Tangier via Casablanca
You deserve the presidential treatment, which is why you’re going to white house today for lunch. Or as it’s more commonly known, Casablanca. As if that weren’t all that and a bag of dates, you get a two-for-one deal today: ending the day back in beautiful Tangier.
- Kiss Marrakesh goodbye (not literally—those are some old, old buildings) and board your private motorcoach to Casablanca.
- Arrive in Casablanca and finally get around to declaring “quite frankly my dear I don’t give a damn,” but we won’t tell anyone that that’s from Gone With the Wind, not Casablanca.
- Nosh on an included traditional Moroccan lunch in Casablanca.
- Make your high school literature teacher proud upon arrival in Tangier—this Mediterranean city once drew famed American writers like Jack Kerouac, Paul Bowles, and Tennessee Williams to its turquoise and whitewashed façade.
- Raise a glass in honor of your final night on this continent—this one’s for Africa, to paraphrase Shakira.
Day 11: Return to Europe
Spain couldn’t bear to be without its amor—AKA you—for too long, so you’re going back. By now, you’re old pals with España. So skip the small talk and head straight for Seville.
- Watch for some of the world’s best kitesurfers as your morning ferry approaches the shore in the Spanish port town of Tarifa.
- Stare longingly across the Strait of Gibraltar in the direction of Morocco in memory of your Saharan expedition.
- Arrive in Seville, Spain’s 4th largest—and potentially 1st coolest—city.
- Flamenco your way downtown for some late night fun.
Day 12: Explore Seville
Today is all about you, Seville, and a local guide. Your guide will show you the best of the best when it comes to Seville. Afterwards, get out and enjoy some free time in your new favorite city. Let nothing get in your way (except for the pigeons, maybe).
- Meet your local guide to experience the city’s highlights by bus and foot.
- Gaze up at the immense Seville Cathedral, one of the largest churches in the world, and, allegedly, home to Christopher Columbus's grave (Dominicans also claim they have his remains).
- Wander through the lavish Plaza de España and admire the Neo-Moorish architecture.
- Visit the Moorish Alcázar, which was built in the 14th century for a king named Pedro the Cruel. Hmm...wonder if people liked him?
- Wind your way through Santa Cruz, the former Jewish quarter and most picturesque neighborhood in Seville. Instagrammers, get your phone ready. This is your moment.
Day 13: Travel to Algarve
Leave Seville behind for coastal Faro, the southernmost town in Portugal. Faro’s location along Ria Formosa lagoon makes for more than just a good photo op, it also led a bunch of different people to settle here back in the day. Influenced by Phoenician, Roman, and Moorish customs, present day Faro is essentially an appetizer sampler of international cultures, with heaping sides of beautiful buildings and postcard-worthy beaches.
- Hop on a bus, bound for the breathtaking Algarve Region of Portugal.
- Breathe in the ocean air and whip out the shades—you’re on the Mediterranean coast.
- Walk through historic Old Town Faro with your Tour Director.
- Spend the rest of the day exploring, eating, and Port wine (it’s from Portugal after all) to your heart’s content.
Free Time Suggestions
Bone head: Stop by Capela dos Ossos, a chapel in Faro lined with over one thousand skeletons. If you can get past the inherent creepiness of hundreds of human skulls staring down at you, you’ll notice the church is beautiful and filled with tons of history. And bones, obviously. So many bones.
Praia de Faro: Kick back on this 5km stretch of golden sand, beach bars & cafes. Its easy-going vibe makes it a popular spot for locals and travelers alike.
Day 14: Ilha Deserta + Beach Day
You’re headed to a deserted island. This sunny strip of beach is complete with untouched nature and pristine waters, and will be your home for the day. And the night, if you miss the last ferry. Punctuality, people! Now, slather on the sunscreen and enjoy a day of sun, sand, and utter island bliss on one of the most picturesque beaches in the Algarve Region.
- Stroll along the Santa Maria boardwalk and experience the biodiversity of Ilha Deserta. If there was a prize for natural beauty, this place would take home the crown and sash.
- Splash around in the clear blue waters off Ilha Deserta Beach ‘til your fingers start to look like raisins.
- Enjoy the “southern hospitality” at Cape St. Mary, the southernmost point of mainland Portugal.
- Attempt to get all of the sand out of your hair, and head back to Faro for the night.
Day 15: Explore Lisbon
Welcome to Lisbon! Get ready to work those glutes, because nearly everything here requires an uphill walk. This colorful Portuguese capital is home to classic European charm, urban innovation, and breathtaking vistas from just about anywhere you stand.
- Meet a local guide for an in-depth tour of Lisbon (and story time, obviously).
- Catch a ride from a fellow American—a historic trolley that was imported from the U.S. in 1901 and is now a Lisbon staple for navigating the steep ascensions.
- Traverse the labyrinthine streets of Alfama, the oldest district of Lisbon.
- Go medieval at Castelo de São Jorge (Saint George Castle), a massive fortress overlooking the city below.
- Enjoy the rest of the afternoon and evening to explore on your own.
Day 16: Free Day in Lisbon + Farewell Dinner
The day is yours to experience the best of Lisbon. Go back to some of your favorite places from yesterday, or set out on your own to explore new sights, sounds, smells, and flavors. If you’re feeling extra ambitious, head out to discover all the hills you’ve counted.
- Catch a ride from a fellow American—a historic trolley that was imported from the U.S. in 1901 and is now a Lisbon staple for navigating the steep inclines.
- Explore the city on your own, at your own pace, with as many snack stops as you want.
- Indulge yourself with a pastel de nata, the most classic of all Portuguese pastries.
- Wander through Bairro Alto, Lisbon’s bohemian quarter and the ideal neighborhood for bar hopping.
Free Time Suggestions
Elevator Pitch: Originally steam powered, the Elevador de Santa Justa is the handiwork of Gustave Eiffel’s apprentice, so it might look a little familiar. A ride up gives you awesome views of the city skyline.
Portu-gas: Take a gastronomic world tour at Mercado Fusão, a food market, where kiosks serve up everything from Brazilian cakes to sushi. Don’t miss the famous samosas at Kebab Ali House.
Share some last laughs (and maybe shed a few tears) at an included farewell dinner with the group.
Day 17: Fly Home
Translation: Goodbye friends. Your next destination awaits—home. Before you head to the airport, enjoy your last few moments together. Take one more group photo. Grab that final drink. (Fine, maybe a couple of drinks.) But this isn’t goodbye. It’s “See you later.” The only question is, where?
EXTEND YOUR TRIP 2 WAYS
1. Double the fun
A lot of our trips line up back to back! Give us a call—we can help you add another and save big while you're at it.
2. Go ahead or stay behind
Extending your trip is easy! During checkout, you'll have the option to fly to (or from) the gateway of your choice for an additional fee. We'll adjust your flights accordingly, but you'll be responsible to take care of your transportation, hotels, and other logistics outside of tour.
Note: Depending on your desired gateways, additional fees may apply.
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