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Alcazar in Toledo

Unveiling Spain and Portugal

Beyond Tourist Trails

When visiting a faraway place, the desire is to forge a true connection with the destination, immerse in the culture, and experience the area just like a resident would. Maybe you want to visit all of the art museums in Madrid. Or perhaps you wish to see the festive lights and holiday celebrations in Lisbon. Whether its art, music, architecture, food, fashion, or history, with Brownell’s local partner, Madrid & Beyond, our independent advisors get the inside scoop on the most luxurious itineraries and unique cultural experiences in Spain and Portugal.

“What really counts are the people you encounter, and the genuine experiences you share.”

Gone are the days of crowded tour groups and shallow glimpses into Spain or Portugal. Now, you and your fellow travelers can indulge in a fully tailored itinerary, accompanied by the enthusiastic guidance of someone delighted to serve as your host and reveal the intricacies of their hometown. Moreover, our exclusive local guides possess the ability to introduce you to a range of regional personalities, from diverse artisans and soulful Fado performers to renowned chefs and accomplished wine connoisseurs, all contributing to elevate your journey.


The success of our advisors can primarily be attributed to the profound relationships of our local partner, Madrid & Beyond, with local collaborators. They unearth emerging winemakers, up-and-coming flamenco dancers and musicians, or experienced hiking guides to enrich your travel experience.

Basque Country

Peel back the curtain to reveal the road less traveled, whether it be rural Spain, the Basque Country, the Azores, or Alentejo. Discover Catalunya’s most beautiful vineyards on a leisurely horseback trail ride or seek out an adrenaline boost in the crashing waves of the Basque coastline, a world-renowned surf hub. Regardless of your choice, each activity is specially selected and curated to highlight Spain and Portugal’s authentic appeal. However, one of the most magical times to visit is during the holidays, and we’re highlighting two amazing itineraries…

Spain – Madrid, Asturias, and Barcelona

Madrid, Asturias, and Barcelona are an ideal itinerary for multi-generational families with older children looking to explore the beauty and sophistication of Spain.

In Madrid: Spend three days in Madrid discovering the variety of flavors locked in the Spanish culture through a foodie tour of Madrid led by a Madridleño host, visiting the Reina Sofia and Thyssen Bornemizsa museums, and witnessing an authentic Flamenco show.

In Asturias: From Madrid, you’ll head to Asturias on a quick one-hour flight. Once there, be transported to quaint villages against a striking mountainous coastline and get up close with medieval architecture on an insider’s tour of the Old Villages so many fall in love with. Asturias is home to beautiful Cantabrian Bears, which you may see in action at Cangas de Narcea.

In Barcelona: Next, you’ll fly back to the dazzling lights of a city, but this time Barcelona. This is where the holidays come to life. Spend an evening wandering the gorgeous Christmas markets and learning Spanish and Catalan traditions with your private host. After festive tales and tastes of warm spiced sangria, become entranced by the masterpieces of Gaudi and the ancient walled city of Girona on your final two days abroad.

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Portugal – Amazing Alentejo

For those looking to try something different in a new destination, the ideal itinerary is Amazing Alentejo, which seamlessly blends the allure of the great outdoors with vibrant culinary experiences.

In Alentejo: Spend three nights in a breathtaking rustic retreat on the plains of a family-run estate. It is here that you will slow down and meander through the wildflower meadows on the property, stargaze where light pollution does not reach, hike to the Village of Monsaraz, and bike the quiet country backroads of the region.

In Lisbon: On day five, you’ll head to Lisbon, where vibrant coastal city life awaits. Here, you’ll explore the city with your very own private guide, who will unlock access to knowledge and sites only locals can tell you about. Before heading home, you’ll spend an evening under Christmas lights on a walking food tour of Lisbon’s seasonal treats like “sonhos,” and “filhós” (sugared fritters) and mulled wine.

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