Peanut butter and jam, Thelma & Louise, Hall & Oates – certain combinations just work. Spain and Portugal are no different.
In the world of travel, they are an ideal pairing. Simple geography may have coupled them together but like PB & J, to say they’re similar would be doing both a great disservice. It’s Tempranillo versus Vinho Verde, each offering a just representation of the delicious differences between two of Western Europe’s great destinations.
Sure, you can do one or the other as there’s plenty to see in either country, and many do. Using Lisbon as your Portuguese hub, you can easily tour the ancient cork forests and vineyards, surf the rugged north or feast your way through sun-drenched Faro and the Algarve. In Spain, central Madrid can be your gateway to Basque country, Bilbao’s Guggenheim and stunning San Sebastian, the unabashed Catalan bliss of Barcelona and the always festive Balearic Islands of Mallorca and Ibiza.
While all of the above scenarios guarantee a great holiday, if you have a little more time, it is well worth your while to combine the two for a truly epic Mediterranean adventure – especially when you consider the fact that you can basically fly into Madrid, on to Lisbon and home, for virtually the same cost of a round trip ticket to either city.
Until September 10th, Air Canada is offering daily non-stop service between Toronto and Madrid, using their crème de la crème Boeing 787-900 Dreamliner. After the high season rush, service slows to three times weekly throughout the winter months. For those looking to upgrade their flying experience, the Dreamliner’s Premium Economy Class cabin will not disappoint.
Flying between Madrid and Lisbon is a one hour breeze with TAP Portugal’s comprehensive flight schedule of multiple daily flights.
Non-stop service back to Toronto from Lisbon is handled by Air Canada’s rouge.
Not from Toronto? No problem! Air Canada’s extensive domestic network can connect you through Toronto’s Pearson International Airport with a simple connector-fare from nearly anywhere in Canada.
Aeroplan members; all of the above legs are flown by Star Alliance airlines accruing frequent flyer points.
Your options are many. Getting around can be done by quick and cheap local flights, by renting a car or by scenic and relaxing trains. Eurail offers visitors Youth, Adult and Family rates on their Portugal & Spain Pass, available from 4 to 10 days of train travel within a 2 month period, providing excellent value in both 1st and 2nd class.
Where to Stay…
Both Madrid and Lisbon have no shortage of incredible places to stay. Paradores in Spain, or pousadas in Portugal, are converted historic buildings, often monasteries and castles, operating as luxury hotels with all the modern comforts of home. In addition, you’ll find global hotel chains, bed & breakfasts and hostels too, as well as a good range of boutique options in just about every visited city. No matter what your comfort level, settle into old-world warmth, contemporary design and classic European style.
What to do…
Probably the best part of this particular multi-stop ticket is that it can be used in conjunction with our new line of EuroBreaks, combining this incredible airfare with your choice of accommodations and bespoke activities.
Again, the options are almost endless. Choose from our list of favourites or do your own thing. Run with the bulls in Pamplona, get your dance on at Boom Festival, snap some stars on the red carpet at the San Sebastian Film Festival or marvel at the historic grandeur of Alhambra.
And there you have it – a comprehensive look at one of our most popular multi-stop tickets and our Fare of the Month. To price a departure from your gateway and for other great multi-stop itineraries, click here.