A journey through the sensuality and exuberance of Lusitanian cities and the pious and solemn urbanity of Castilian Spain.
Greek and Phoenician sailors early frequented both countries, colonized and converted into imperial provinces by Rome, simultaneously Christianized from the middle of the third century, invaded by barbarian waves a century later and ultimately engulfed by a Muslim power. The Reconquest was slowly forming Christian strongholds; the first of them was the Kingdom of Portugal in 1140. When the holy war ended three centuries later, the crowns of Spain and Portugal put an end to their dynastic disputes and divided the territories conquered from the Moor. Oceanic expansion had already begun, which brought both countries fame, fortune and a new twist to their hybrid culture, transforming it by the influence of the Americas.
The region reminds us again and again of the Middle Ages and the era of “discoveries” that followed. According to its nature, each country reacted differently: more sensual and exuberant in the Portuguese case, much more pious and solemn in Castilian Spain. On this trip, we will feel something of all this and there will even be room for a bit of glamour and frivolity on the days we rest in the Basque resort of San Sebastián.
The two countries also can boast of excellent gastronomy. Spain is possibly the country where you can eat the best, regardless of whether it is an inn or a gourmet hotel. Portugal knew how to combine its local flavors with those imported from its colonies, mainly in pastries and sweets.