How to Explore Spain and Portugal by Train in One Week

If you’re looking for an unforgettable adventure in Europe, exploring Spain and Portugal by train is a fantastic option. This one-week itinerary will guide you through some of the most beautiful and historic destinations in both countries. Whether you’re a solo traveler or journeying with a companion, this experience is sure to be a memorable one.

Spain and Portugal are two neighboring countries that share a rich history, stunning landscapes, and a vibrant culture. Traveling between them by train offers a convenient and picturesque way to explore the Iberian Peninsula. This one-week itinerary will take you from the bustling streets of Madrid to the charming alleys of Lisbon and back, all via train.

Day 1: Arrival in Madrid

Your adventure begins in Madrid, Spain’s vibrant capital. After arriving at the Adolfo Suárez Madrid-Barajas Airport, take a train or taxi to the city center. Spend your first day exploring the heart of Spain, visiting iconic sites like the Royal Palace, Puerta del Sol, and Plaza Mayor. Sample some traditional Spanish cuisine in a local restaurant before resting up for the next leg of your journey.

Day 2: Toledo – A Day Trip from Madrid

Toledo, a UNESCO World Heritage City, is a short train ride from Madrid. You can easily spend a day discovering its medieval architecture, narrow streets, and impressive historical monuments. Highlights include the Toledo Cathedral, Alcázar of Toledo, and the beautiful views from Mirador del Valle.

Day 3: Madrid to Seville

On Day 3, board a high-speed train from Madrid to Seville. In just over two and a half hours, you’ll reach the capital of Andalusia. Stroll through the enchanting streets of the Santa Cruz neighborhood, visit the Alcázar of Seville, and explore the stunning Seville Cathedral. Don’t forget to enjoy a traditional flamenco show in the evening.

Day 4: Seville to Granada

Take a morning train from Seville to Granada, a journey that lasts around two and a half hours. Your main attraction in Granada is the Alhambra, a magnificent palace and fortress complex. Be sure to book your tickets in advance as this UNESCO World Heritage site is extremely popular. Spend your evening wandering through the Albaicín district, a maze of narrow streets and whitewashed houses.

Day 5: Granada to Cordoba

The train ride from Granada to Cordoba is approximately two hours. Cordoba is known for its Mezquita, a former mosque that was converted into a cathedral. The city’s historic center is filled with charming streets and courtyards. Take your time exploring this unique blend of cultures.

Day 6: Cordoba to Lisbon

On Day 6, you’ll head to Portugal. Catch a train to Lisbon, which takes about seven hours but offers scenic views of the Spanish and Portuguese countryside. Once you arrive in Lisbon, take some time to explore the charming neighborhoods of Alfama, Bairro Alto, and Baixa. Enjoy traditional Portuguese dishes and pastries like pastéis de nata.

Day 7: Exploring Lisbon

Your final day is dedicated to Lisbon, the capital of Portugal. Visit the historic Belém district, where you’ll find the Jerónimos Monastery and the Belém Tower. Enjoy a ride on the iconic Tram 28, which passes through many of the city’s highlights. Wrap up your journey with a sunset view from the São Jorge Castle.

Day 8: Return to Madrid

Your one-week adventure is coming to an end. Take a train back to Madrid, allowing you to reflect on your incredible journey. You’ll arrive in Madrid with enough time for some last-minute shopping or a final taste of Spanish cuisine.

How to Explore Spain and Portugal by Train in One Week
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