This is an overland adventure tour to Spain, Portugal, and Morocco for active travelers who wish to explore beyond the average tourist attractions. Our Overland expedition to Spain, Portugal, and Morocco is about the in-depth cultural encounters and the unsurpassed natural landscapes these three destinations of Spain, Portugal, and Morocco share naturally, historically, and geographically. Here is a budget-priced overland expedition and tour of Spain, Portugal, and Morocco for you to enjoy the environment and ecology with a small group or private personalized expedition scheduled for 2023 and 2024.
Our two-week overland adventure tour from Madrid to Marrakech trip is hand down one of the most culturally eclectic expeditions that one can take so close to home. Our overland truck expedition is an intimate adventure totally private transport to explore the best scenic roads and off-the-path trails through the three countries of Spain, Portugal, and Morocco that we have featured on our carefully personalized tour itinerary for the active traveler.Our overland adventure expedition Starting in Spain’s capital, Madrid with its fine collections of art galleries and all-around metropolitan highlights of Madrid, we then take the road toward some time in historic Salamanca before heading across the border into Portugal. We will travel the scenic road to Coimbra where we will spend two nights exploring the marvels of this ancient city in a small boutique hotel. We then head south to spend a couple of days roaming around Portugal’s stunning capital of Lisbon the stunning capital city of Portugal. Lisbon is one of the most charismatic and vibrant cities in Europe. It is a city that effortlessly blends traditional heritage, with striking modernism and progressive thinking. As a holiday destination, Lisbon offers a rich and varied history, a buzzing nightlife, and is blessed with a glorious year-round climate. After a couple of days on the Algarve coast, enjoying the promontory of this Atlantic relaxing beach, we will pop back into Spain for 24 hours so that we can take the boat to Morocco, taking a quick visit to the sumptuous city of Seville and the triangle of Cherry, where everything changes from Spaniard culture to Moorish culture. You can notice the Moroccan influences already, with its Moorish architecture standing proudly alongside flamenco and tapas bars.
From here to Tarifa, where we take the hydrofoil ferry crossing over to Tangier. A dramatic cross at the Straight of Gibraltar when leaving Europe to Africa right between the Atlantic Ocean and the Mediterranean. It is only an hour's cross but could be an adventure you will treasure for a lifetime. We will overland straight to Chefchaouen, one of the best blue cities in the Mediterranean basin nestled at the peaks of the Rif Mountains. Every city in Morocco has its character and identity. The imperial cities are all exciting in their own ways, as two days in Fez will reveal the Moroccan arts and crafts sophistication, with its well-preserved ancient Islamic heritage. The Old Medina of Fez does not owe anything to modernity but electricity. And finally, we take an overland ride across the Atlas Mountains to Marrakech, a city that needs little introduction but which leaves the most memorable mark for its vibrant, sense awakening, and exciting atmosphere Joie de Vivre. Are you ready to explore the marvels of Spain, Portugal, and Morocco on our overland expedition? then hop in our truck and enjoy this small group adventure tour.
Upon your arrival at Madrid Airport, you will meet our tour leader right after clearing customs. He will greet you and introduce you to your small group sharing your overland tour to Spain, Portugal, and Morocco. Welcome to Madrid, Spain. The elegant capital of Spain is known for its spacious boulevards and well-groomed parks, a vibrant royal city in the heart of Spain's geography. Your small group overland adventure tour begins with a welcome meeting then a guided tour of Madrid. We will retreat to the hotel for a group orientation meeting around 7:00 pm. After the meeting, we will head out for an optional group dinner where you can get to know your fellow travelers. If you're going to be late, please inform the hotel reception. If you can't arrange a flight that will have you arrive at the hotel in time on the day, we recommend arriving early. We'll be happy to book additional accommodation for you (subject to availability). As there's very limited time for sightseeing in Madrid, consider flying in a few days early to explore as Madrid landmarks are worth exploring. After the welcome meeting, perhaps get into the mind of a Madrileno with some tapas and Rioja for a little taste of Spanish nightlife.
After breakfast, we will hop on our overland vehicle and head toward the historic city of Salamanca (approximately 3 hours). Situated among beautiful pastures and rolling green hills on Spain's northern plateau, the rose-hued medieval town of Salamanca is great to explore on a walking tour to discover its historic highlights. Your leader will take you on an orientation walk on arrival, where you can explore the central Plaza Mayor and discover the beautiful Renaissance and Baroque architecture the city is known for. Plaza Mayor is a true central Plaza of vibrant local life, perhaps the most perfect city square in Spain. Not only is it architecturally unique, but it also thrives with activity as locals meet and take coffee, tapas, or cocktails on the square. The rest of your afternoon and evening is then free. You can admire the intricate detail of the Casa de Las Conchas, or ‘House of the Shells’, see the contrasting Old and New Cathedrals, and climb to the top to get a view across the terracotta rooftops. Due to Salamanca's educational reputation, the city thrives on a large student population. Salamanca then enjoys the young exuberance of nightlife, so you can soak up the buzzing vibe tonight if you wish.
Meet the group in the morning after breakfast, then travel further west in your overland truck to Coimbra on the scenic road (approximately 4 hours). Coimbra will be your base for the next two nights. Coimbra is set on the banks of the River Mondego, it was once the capital of Portugal, and its royal heritage can be felt in its ancient streets and buildings. On arrival, your leader will escort you on a walking tour to help you orientate yourself in the maze of alleyways of this riverfront city. Half the fun of Coimbra is wandering and exploring, so use your free time to get to know the city more. Coimbra features typical white stone buildings with several excellent examples of colorful Azulejos tiling. Some of the historical structures were originally built in the 12th century (like the Cathedral Se Velha). Coimbra is also known for its Romanesque architecture can find some of Portugal's best examples. The University of Coimbra – the oldest in Portugal – and the famous baroque library, the Biblioteca Joanina, with its 18th-century bell tower, are the highlights one must explore.
Enjoy a day free to discover more historic and artistic highlights of Coimbra before treating yourself to a traditional Fado performance. Fado songs must follow a particular structure, and though this traditional music can really be about anything, it popularly features mournful tunes with lyrics about the sea or the life of the poor. In Coimbra, male university students would often serenade their sweethearts with this music, with songs here tending to be literary translations or follow themes students can relate to. We are offering an optional excursion in the afternoon to the Roman ruins outside Coimbra into the countryside in search of ancient Roman ruins, which takes around 30 minutes by bus. The ruins of Conimbriga are rich in well-preserved mosaics and offer a great insight into ancient Roman life. There are several options to return, including a three-kilometer walk through the countryside to the unspoiled rural town of Condeixa (optional). If you have time, you can take a short boat tour to take in the view of Coimbra from a different angle.
After breakfast, we will travel on our 4x4 truck through the countryside of central Portugal to Lisbon (approximately 3.5 hours). Lisbon is considered to be one of Europe's most pleasant and affordable capital cities. The City combines the best elements of Portuguese life, offering fantastic architecture, a multicultural population, delicious seafood, and non-stop nightlife, just what the doctor can prescribe for an active traveler. Upon our arrival in Lisbon, we will meet our local guide who will take us on a historic visit to the city. Lisbon is located on the banks of the Tagus (Tejo) River. Much of Lisbon’s character and charm lies in its beautiful renovated buildings, grand boulevards, and impressive medieval castles and churches. Visit the old citadel in the heart of the city center, the Citadel of Sao Jorge Castle, which dates back to Moorish times and sits on the highest point of the Old Town. Look down on a city swarming with endless angular white houses and buildings with distinct red terracotta rooftops. Your afternoon and evening are free, so perhaps head to the grand Naval Museum for an insight into the history of Portuguese navigation. Or maybe you'd prefer to roam through charming narrow streets of local neighborhoods and discover Portuguese local life play out. If you want to indulge yourself in some Portuguese nightlife, Barrio Alto is the place to head this evening.
You do not have to be with your small group on this overland adventure tour. Today is free for you to explore more of Lisbon, or maybe take a 45-minute train ride out to the mountainous region of Sintra, an absolute jewel of Portugal where you can visit the beautiful Pena Palace. This area offers great walking, stunning cliff-top palaces, and unique Moorish architecture. The 8th-century Castle of the Moors looks down on the Old Town, and the views from the battlements across the Serra de Sintra mountain range are stunning.
Enjoy exploring the marvels of the Algarve today at your leisure. You can go and trek the environment of Algarve or simply relax on one of the white beaches of Olhao for the day. If you choose to visit the nearby islands, your leader can point you in the right direction to catch a small ferry boat used by locals to travel between the coast and the islands. For walkers, maybe head towards the Ria Formosa Nature Reserve, a beautiful landscape of canals, salt pans, lagoons, and sandbanks, separated from the Atlantic Ocean by a series of barrier islands. One of these is Ilha de Culatra, where you can wander along with a series of boardwalks, leading away from the fishermen’s settlements, and cross over dunes and lagoons to beaches that are so long that they disappear into the haze of the horizon. Evenings are best spent watching breathtaking sunsets, and the best place to do so is Olhao’s Old Town, where you will also have a chance to try some true Portuguese Funtime.
Today, we will travel southward to Seville in Spain. The myths narrate that Seville was founded by Hercules and its origins are linked with the Tartessian civilization. To the Romans it was Hispalis, and to the Moors it was Ishbilya. After the Christian reconquest, it became thought of as the portal to the 'New World', and is today is the largest city in southern Spain. Seville is famous for its vitality and flamboyance as the city of Carmen, Don Juan, and Figaro. Seville is also well-known for its oranges, tapas, and flamenco style of Saetas and Sevillanas, all three of which are ingrained in the fabric of the city and its proud Andalusian People. Enjoy a short orientation walk around the main sights, then enjoy some limited free time to discover as you wish. Enjoy the lively atmospheric nightlife in Seville. We will stay in a small inn or a campsite if the weather is cooperative.
Today, we will travel first to Tarifa to catch an afternoon ferry to Tangier then proceed to Chefchaouen, one of the best bleu cities in the Mediterranean. We will leave Spain behind and head to Morocco. Before doing so there will be a chance for an optional walking tour of Tarifa Castle visit. Ferry across the straits to the city of Tangier (approximately 1 hour). We will cross with our overland truck not to waste any time. Chefchaouen is about fifty miles south of Tangier. We will reach there in the late afternoon and check to Akchour Lodge where we will spend the night. Visit the Tallassemtane National park then the beautiful city of Chefchaouen with a local guide. Chefchaouen, which is in the center of a mountainous agricultural region. Dinner and overnight will be at your guesthouse.
Meet your local guide early in the day to explore the maze of streets in Chefchaouen. The ‘blue city’ is arguably one of the prettiest towns of Morocco. Set against a wide valley and nestled between two peaks in the stunning Rif Mountains, Chefchaouen may take you by surprise. Its medina is the emblem of a typical Moorish white village with striking blue and whitewashed houses, red-tiled roofs, and artistic doorways. The Medina is not only a residential area but an ensemble of workshops and an open market simultaneously replete with crafted goods. The main square has shops selling woven goods and small sweets. Discover the reality of daily life in a small Moroccan community, visit a communal bakery, watch local women do their laundry, and walk up to a former mosque for a great view over the town that's nestled between two mountain peaks. Later, we will take off to Fez visiting Volubilis Roman Ruines and the venerated city of Moulay Idris, the first Islamic city in Morocco. Dinner and accommodation are in your hotel in Fez.
Your guide will be ready to take on a full-day tour to the ancient city of Fez. Today you are about to discover the heartbeat of Moroccan cultural aspects in depth. The city of Fes offers an enactment of a surreal setting. Step back in time at a medieval medina thick with exotic smells, tastes, and sounds, vibrant, noisy, fascinating, and overwhelming – a visual and pungent feast for the senses – Fes is by far the largest lively of all medinas on earth. Enjoy a traditional lunch in the heart of the old city in a typical Moroccan restaurant offering the best Moroccan delights of a Fez fine cuisine. The afternoon will be devoted to the arts of bargaining, so shop till you drop in these medieval souks where you can find all kinds of handcrafted goods straight from the hands of the maker. Crown your Fez experience by watching the sunset over the Medina while a dozen melodic prayer calls vie for attention is an experience you'll likely remember for a lifetime.
After breakfast, our small group will take off to Ifrane to visit a little bit of the Atlas Mountains and Berber villages. After that, we will hit the highway straight to Marrakech. Upon arrival to Marrakech, we will head out with the group for a quick visit to the main square, Djema El Fna before dinner. The square is filled with a hive of activity. Henna-painters, performers, and storytellers share the square with a street food bazaar, packed with stalls loaded with Moroccan delicacies. On the edge of the square stands the sumptuous Minaret of Al Koutoubia. One of the sister towers built by the Almoravid King in Marrakech, Rabat, and Seville/Spain. After visiting the square, we will walk back to the hotel which is not far from the square for dinner and accommodation.
You will devote your morning to the exploration of Marrakech’s many historical sites, starting at the Menara, a magnificent pool surrounded by flowerbeds, reflecting the image of an exquisite Moorish edifice. It was constructed in 1866 for dignitaries, who enjoyed glorious sunsets with the ethereal Atlas Mountains as a backdrop. The pool also functions as an innovative irrigation system that is serving dry life in the desert. Your tour will cover many impressive sites, including the Koutoubia Minaret (which is identical to la Giralda, a tower found in Sevilla, Spain), and the Saadian Necropolis Tombs, which demonstrate Moorish architecture at its best. The tombs consist of sixteenth-century mausoleums, which had lain walled-in and undiscovered until 1917. Next, you will explore the gardens of the Agdal then the Marjorelle. Finally, you will return to your hotel for dinner and other accommodations.
Your Madrid to Marrakech adventure ends this morning. There are no activities planned for the final day and you're able to depart the accommodation at any time as long as you abide by the hotel's internal check-out rules. For those of our group travelers who wish to extend their journey in Morocco, As there's not much time spent in Marrakech, we recommend booking an extra few nights accommodation so you can fully explore this amazing city. Our reservations team will be happy to help (subject to availability). We will transfer those who have their flight in the morning to Marrakech Airport.
|DEPARTING||FINISHING||SEATS||TOTAL IN USD|
|Sat 23 Dec 2023||Sun 7 Jan 2024||Available||$2485||INQUIRY|
Cost per person: $2885 USD
Single supplement: $485 USD
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