Dark, sexy flamenco clubs, intimate little tapas bars, undiscovered beaches and stunning wine regions - whatever your passion, the Iberian Peninsula has the perfect destination to satisfy your romantic inclinations. But where to go, Spain or Portugal? You can't go wrong with either, but if you must choose, let us help make your decision a little easier. Keep reading as we match up our favorite spots in the ultimate romantic showdown: Spain versus Portugal.
ADVENTUROUS FOODIES: LISBON VS BARCELONA
ISLAND ENTHUSIASTS: MADEIRA VS. MALLORCA
WINE AFFICIONADOS: DOURO VALLEY VS. LA RIOJA
La Rioja: The Spanish region of La Rioja might not be as well known as Bordeaux and Tuscany, but it certainly deserves to be. About an hour south of Bilbao, this sleepy province of rolling hills, olive groves and vineyards is one of Spain's most important wine-producing regions. It's also particularly well suited for road trips. If driving through the picturesque Spanish countryside exploring quaint villages and visiting world-class wineries sounds romantic, this is your place. Many of the most popular wineries are in and around the charming town of Haro, but family-owned vineyards can be found scattered throughout the region that also boasts several UNESCO World Heritage Sites, including the twin monasteries of San Millan de Yuso and Suso.
CULTURE LOVERS: PORTO VS. MADRID
Madrid: Spend a few days in this lively metropolis, and you'll quickly get into the swing of Spanish life. Vibrant yet laid-back, Madrid's residents embody Spain's viva la vida attitude with an infectious warmth and a passion for good food, art and music. A cultural powerhouse, few other cities can compete with Madrid's world-class museums, contemporary art galleries and electrifying live music scene. From the masterpieces in the Prado to exhilarating flamenco bars and cool jazz clubs, Madrid is guaranteed to enthrall. A short walk to all the top sights, the InterContinental Madrid is the perfect place to base yourselves, and the hotel's restaurant, El Jardin, is generally considered one of the city's best.
Reprinted with permission by Travel Leaders SELECT