Spain, Portugal, Morocco

Faculty: Carlisle Chambers and Jim Smart
Class meeting time: Tuesdays from 6:30 to 9 p.m.
Trip Dates: May 2nd through May 23rd, 2022

Students climbing on a mountain


Both Spain and Portugal boast amazing sunsets on the sea, the best weather in all of Europe, as well as amazing food, architecture and friendly people. Specific attention will be given to better appreciating the Spanish and Portuguese culture, foods, and traditions while exploring the majestic expanse and landscapes of Spain and Portugal.

Our visit to the exotic country of Morocco will indeed be a highlight of this trip. We will explore the famed Sahara Desert in all of its glory. People from all over the world travel to see this famous desert, and we will be able to spend three days experiencing the vastness, beauty and awe of this landscape.

Cities that will be explored are: Madrid, Lisbon, Lagos, Seville, Granada, Toledo, Cordoba, Sintra, Marrakech, Casablanca, and the famous “Blue City” of Morocco.

Watch video: Juniors Abroad: A Month in Spain and Portugal

Tentative Itinerary

Day 1 Arrive in Madrid, transfer to hotel, do orientation and walk through downtown Madrid, which will include visiting Plaza Mayor, Temple of Debod (an ancient Egyptian temple that sits in downtown Madrid), Plaza España, and Puerta de Sol
Day 2 Madrid - Visit the Royal Palace and the Parque Retiro (the Central Park of Madrid), which can include a boat ride, bike rentals, and a visit to the Crystal Palace (Palacio de Cristal). In the afternoon, we will visit the Prado museum.
Day 3 Madrid – Visit the Reina Sofía museum. In the afternoon we will travel to Toledo.
Day 4 Toledo – In the morning we will tour this medieval walled city (renowned for sword-making). In the afternoon, we will have free time.
Day 5 From Toledo we will go to Lisbon through the beautiful countryside.
Day 6 In Lisbon we will visit the Jerónimos Monastery, ride the funicular system (cable car), taste the celebrated (and delicious) Pasteis de Belem and explore St. George Castle.
Day 7 Day trip to Sintra and visit the spectacular Pena Palace
Day 8 From Lisbon we will go to Lagos stopping along the way to visit Cabo san Vincente – the corner of Europe with 75 meter cliffs (reminiscent of the Cliffs of Moher in Ireland). The afternoon will be spent at the beach in Lagos (volleyball, soccer, or just taking in the sun).
Day 9 A kayaking trip through rock formations/caves off the coast of Portugal. In the afternoon/evening, you will have free time, but we will meet for dinner for a “sardinada” (sardines and other typical cuisine).
Day 10 Travel from Lagos to Sevilla. On the way, we will stop in Niebla to tour an old walled town and visit a castle famous for its dungeons, complete with a “torture museum.” In the afternoon/evening, we will have an orientation of the city of Sevilla – a walking tour down La Avenida de la Constitución.
Day 11 We will visit the Cathedral and the Real Alcázar (beautiful royal palace where numerous Game of Thrones scenes were filmed). In the afternoon/evening, we will go to a flamenco show followed by tapas in downtown Sevilla.
Day 12 Cordoba day-trip to see the Great Mosque
Day 13 Granada day-trip to see the Alhambra, also known as the Red Fortress
Day 14 Travel from Sevilla to the beach town of Tarifa, Spain
Day 15 Leisure day on the beach in Tarifa, the self-proclaimed adventure capital of Europe.
Day 16 Tarifa to Chefchaouen, Morocco
Day 17-19 Sahara Desert Tour, a three-day trip into the High Atlas Mountains in the Sahara Desert. We will stay in tented encampments and have the opportunity to ride camels.
Day 20 We will travel to Marrakech, where we will visit the Koutoubia Mosque, Saadian Tombs, Old Medina Souks (market), and observe (from a distance) the snake charmers in Jemaa el-Fnaa.
Day 21 We will end in beautiful and romantic Casablanca.
Day 22 Return to Portland