Porto, Portugal - sunset

A Taste of Spain and Portugal

Fall 2023

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Exact Dates TBD

This program focuses on delving deep into the regional diversity and vibrant culinary landscape of northern Spain and Portugal. Learn about how centuries worth of history, migration and language influenced the preparation and significance of certain foods to these cultures. Experience unique landmarks while authentically engaging with local communities and engaging firsthand in their evolving and innovative food scenes.  This program departs the end of December and returns to Limestone prior to the spring semester starting.

Students interested in the Taste of Spain and Portugal adventure can register for the class (IS200 with Dr. Ridsdale) any time after registration begins in March 2023.  Students are advised to register early as popular trips fill up quickly.

Group Leader:  Dr. Noel Ridsdale

Sign up for the waitlist

Your Itinerary

Day 1: Fly to Portugal

Meet your Tour Director at the airport. Board your overnight flight to Porto!

Day 2: Porto

Arrive in Porto

Welcome to Porto, the city that gave Portugal and Port wine their names. Porto is both the provincial capital and a major university city.

Walking tour of Porto

Become acquainted with this coastal city on a walking tour led by your Tour Director.

Day 3: Porto

Guided sightseeing of Porto

Discover both the cosmopolitan and old-world ambiance of Portugal's "second city" on this morning's guided sightseeing tour. The city's historic center, a UNESCO World Heritage Site, speaks to its extensive past with the remains of ancient city walls and the Oporto Cathedral, the city's oldest surviving structure. Your tour includes a visit to the Torre dos Clerigos, a six-floor tower that rises 250 feet above the city. Climb 225 steps to the belfry for a breathtaking view of Porto and the Douro River.

Douro River cruise

Board a river boat for a short cruise through the Douro River Valley, famous for its steep-terraced vineyards. You'll also visit a local wine cellar.

Day 4: Porto - Combarro - Santiago de Compostela

Travel via Combarro to Santiago de Compostela

Continue northwest through the Sierra de la Cabrera to the third-largest holy city of the Christian world. On the way, stop in Combarro, where you will participate in a walking tour with your Tour Director, who will teach you about this center of culinary history.

Arrive in Santiago de Compostela

Renowned as a pilgrimage site since medieval times, Santiago de Compostela is home to the tomb of the apostle St. James. In more recent times, Galician farmers have used the city as a market which has created greater wealth within the region.

Visit the Cathedral of Santiago de Compostela

The Cathedral is the last stop on the 30-day Way of St. James pilgrimage route still taken by adventurous hikers.

Day 5: Santiago de Compostela

Excursion to Finisterre

Take an excursion to Finisterre, or "the end of the world," at one of the most western points on the Iberian Peninsula.

Visit a mussel farm

Visit a local mussel farm to learn more about one of the region's most popular ingredients.

Day 6: Santiago de Compostela - Oviedo

Travel to Oviedo

Today, make your way to Oviedo. Though not located precisely on the ocean there is a distinct seaside feel in the city, both in climate and culture, being situated just 12 miles from the ocean.

Walking tour of Oviedo

During your Tour-Director-led walking tour, visit the Oviedo Cathedral, a great example of hybrid architectural styles dating back to 781 AD.

Day 7: Oviedo I Bilbao

Travel to Bilbao

Make your way to the largest city in the Basque Country, Bilbao, nestled at the foot of the Pyrenees.

Visit a local cheese farm

Visit a local cheese farm in Bilbao and learn what makes the northern region of Spain's cheese unique.

Day 8: Bilbao

Guided sightseeing of Bilbao

Your sightseeing begins with a walk through Bilbao, during which you'll see the famed Guggenheim Museum, whose fanciful walls of titanium, limestone, and glass provide grand structure around a vast collection of 20th-century modern art, including works by Andy Warhol and Jackson Pollock. Stroll through the rustic streets of the casco viejo (old town) to the Catedral Basflicade Santiago, Bilbao's Gothic Cathedral. You may even have time for some churros y chocolate at a local cafe.

Visit the Guggenheim Museum

Visit Bilbao's Guggenheim Museum of modern and contemporary art. Inaugurated in 1997 and designed by American Frank Gehry, the edifice alone has become an internationally renowned architectural masterpiece bringing much prestige to this fiercely Basque city. A titanium steel explosion of interconnecting curves and distorting angles, it houses an eclectic and exciting range of permanent exhibits.

Excursion to San Sebastian

This afternoon, take an excursion to San Sebastian, a lively city located along the coastline boasting renowned restaurants and Pintxos bars serving regional specialties.

Day 8: Bilbao

Transfer to the Bilbao airport for your return flight

Your Tour Director assists with your transfer to the airport, where you'll check-in for your return flight home.