Route: Barcelona Valencia Madrid Seville Faro Lisbon Porto
Duration: 21 nights
Transport: Escape to the sun-drenched paradise of Iberia with 3 amazing weeks exploring 7 Mediterranean cities on this Spain and Portugal interrailing trip! This route is 22 days long, involving 21 nights in your accommodation. Journeys vary in length from 2 to 4.5 hours.
Sustainability: This trip only creates 116.6 kg of carbon emissions! To fly the same route would cost 825
Reviews: All independent reviews
Timing not quite right? Check out these versions of the route.
Alternative Durations: Timing not quite right? Check out these versions of the route.
Want a break from reality? You’ll definitely find it on this Spain & Portugal trip as you interrail your way across our pick of the finest cities in Iberia. With at at least 3 nights in nearly every destination, you’ll get to know each city well, whilst also getting time to squeeze in a few day trips elsewhere.
Make your way across the stunning Iberian Peninsula with our favourite cities from Barcelona all the way to Porto. This is the hub of rugged and sun-kissed landscapes, phenomenal food and drink, friendly locals and gorgeous coastlines and it’s yours for the taking on this essential Western European route. It goes without saying that this trip is the perfect escape from those dull winter days – we definitely wouldn’t complain!
Kick-start your interrail adventure with 4 nights in Barcelona, the Catalan city that has it all. With surreal architecture, sunshine in buckets and pulsating nightlife, it won’t disappoint!
Next, head off to the cosmopolitan city of Valencia. Lounge around on its long city beach, devouring spicy and rich paella on the promenade in the city of its origin. Wash it all down with cold beers in the old quarter, or take in the city’s many museums before getting a taster of the vibrant nightlife here.
Next up, ‘the most Spanish of Spain’s cities’ – Madrid. Wander around the majestic Palacio Real or take a picnic out on the boating lake at El Retiro Park. We wouldn’t say no to gorging ourselves on artisanal bread, tangy cheeses, and meaty, wine-drenched Spanish tapas! If that’s also your bag, why not take a foodie tour around the city to discover its specialty dishes? Laidback days exploring the city are almost as good as the city’s nightlife….almost! Grab a bottle of local brew or a sangria and head out to soak up the live music scene in this buzzing cosmopolitan city. Impromptu gigs and club nights are every reason to stay out till dawn here! Just make sure you stock up on a filling churro breakfast to soak it all up the next day…
Then, you’ll find yourself in Seville, watching authentic flamenco dancing, and taking in its majestically beautiful architecture. The Alcazar and the Plaza de España are our sights of choice, so don’t miss out on filling up your Insta feed!
After stopping off for a few sun-soaked days on the beaches of the Algarve you’ll head over to Portugal’s colourful capital, Lisbon, with its trendy yet old-worldly vibe. It won’t be long before you relax into the city’s slower pace, catching waves with the friendly laid-back locals in this surfers’ haven. Don’t sit back just yet, though! There are imposing castles, towers and monasteries to make your way around. When night falls, check out its quirky bars and clubs to get a real feel for what this city is all about!
Finally, welcome to Porto! Home of stately bridges, cobbled streets, hipstery cafes and, of course, port wine! Climb the Dos Clerigos Tower for stunning views of Porto’s skyline before listening to traditional fado music at one of the city’s many incredible cafes.
It may not be the capital city, but Barcelona sure is one of Spain’s main cultural hubs and is definitely not to be missed! Home to amazing art, surreal architecture and vibrant Catalan culture, you won’t be disappointed to know that the nightlife and food here are just as incredible.
See the Picasso Museum in the Gothic Quarter
Spot Gaudi’s distinctive architecture in Parc Guell
Crawl the bars around Las Ramblas
Train to Valencia – 4 hours
Paella comes from the rice fields around Valencia and this is the place to taste the genuine article, either sitting by the beach or in the old quarter of El Carmen. A belt of greenery runs uninterrupted along the old riverbed and this stunning destination is also graced with Sim-City-style futuristic wonders.
Marvel at the modern architecture in the old riverbed of the Turia river
Taste real paella by the city’s long beach
Have a drink in one of the cosy old town bars
Train to Madrid – 2.5 hours
Madrid is certainly one of the ‘in’ cities at the moment and it’s easy to understand why as it offers a real insight into Spanish life with its attractive tourist spots buzzing both day and night, brimming with shops, delicious tapas bars and clubs to enjoy.
Go to the world famous Museo del Prado
Stroll through the 17th Century Rastro Flea Market
Watch a Real Madrid match at the Bernabeu stadium
Train to Seville – 2 hours
Seville is so unmistakably Spanish, with fierce heat in the middle of the day that rubs off onto its fiery character, its Flamenco dances, its lively conversation. The café and tapas culture here is as good as it gets and the backdrop of the old town exudes charm and elegance.
Visit the sumptuous Alcazar Palace
Experience the characterful Flamenco dances
Have a drink on the terraces of an old town café
Bus to Faro – 4 hours
From the city of Seville to the soft sand and sunsoaked coast of the Algarve. Soak up the rays, explore the old towns, try surfing on those famous west coast rolling waves, or even go dolphin-spotting!
Relax on the beach and soak up the sun!
Jump aboard Comboio Turística, or tourist train, which provides a novel way to discover Faro
Go on a dolphin watching boat trip, cave tour, or both!
Train to Lisbon – 4 hours
Lisbon doesn’t pretend to be anything it’s not; it’s picturesque and modest whilst maintaining an enthralling urban landscape imbued with exhilarating sights, sounds and smells. Head to Lisbon for history, for hilly heights, for hedonism and a whole lot more.
Learn about Portugal’s colonial past
Climb up steep cobbled streets to the castle
Dance to live rock and electro at the Music Box club
Train to Porto – 3 hours
Porto exudes charm of every sort. From its parties in the piazzas to the zigzag streets of the UNESCO Ribeira district, its namesake fortified wine and its warm, friendly atmosphere. It’s a beautiful and beguiling city of spires, old bridges and romance that rivals any big city in Europe.
Take a sightseeing cruise down the Duoro River
Explore the Ribeira, Baixa, and Bolhão districts
Watch the sunset from the Dom Luis 1 Bridge