Art & Culture
Spain and Portugal fascinate at first glance. Vivid, colorful, and teeming with sounds and scents, they first delight and then seduce you. You're curious. You want to see behind the curtain and understand what makes them tick, what are these cultures that appear at the same time familiar yet singular with strains you can't entirely trace. The Iberian mystique. To gain an understanding of these countries you can approach them through the cultural manifestations of food, wine, traditional crafts, fine art, and architecture. And ultimately these products are best understood via the people who make and partake in these art forms. Your guides and the people you meet and spend time with will interpret and enhance what you are seeing. They act as intermediaries between you and the culture, removing the feeling of foreignness for you.
Spain and Portugal share a fascinating built legacy of Greek, Roman, Moorish, Jewish and new world influences. Jam packed with traditional villages, historic neighborhoods, Roman ruins, looming cathedrals, silent synagogues, Modernist masterpieces–all set amidst people's daily comings and goings–these countries possess vestiges of centuries of conquests and creation. The Iberian countries are not just about the old: they excel internationally in contemporary art, architecture and urban design. The contrast and co-existence of the old and the new, side by side, make for some fascinating wanderings.