Dress for Spain and Portugal

Is it necessary for men to have a sports coat for this trip? Do most men wear one for the opening and farewell dinners? We are going in May.


  • We are in the process of packing for our May 18 departure of Portugal and Spain. Is the sport coat a necessity or nicety? Ladies can appear in near nothing, but the poor fellas have to show up in jackets, true?
  • Hi TL, Liza;

    On the tour page, down at the bottom, there is the "Need to Know" section — look there, under the "Preparing to Go," section, and you can find information on recommended clothing for the tour you're looking at, as well as many other topics.

    I've reproduced the section on clothing here, but please feel free to examine the Need to Know at your leisure! :)



    Spain and Portugal are generally warm and dry from April through September. Your journey is designed with leisure in mind. Dress for comfort and convenience with a wardrobe that is adaptable and allows for layering. Generally, during the day, casual, comfortable, cotton clothing is recommended. Cool weather at higher elevations or at night will require warmer, layered clothing.

    In Europe, especially in finer restaurants, it is generally customary to dress somewhat formally. Slacks or a dress for women and a jacket for men are acceptable dining attire. It is advisable to avoid wearing jeans, sneakers or shorts for dinner. You may also wish to dress up a bit for the welcome reception and the farewell dinner, but by all means be comfortable.

    You will find a hair dryer located in your hotel guest room with the exception of the Hotel Alhambra Palace. Irons and ironing boards are not usually available, so guests may have to give their garment to the hotel to be ironed for a fee. Valet laundry and dry cleaning services are also available for a fee.

    We recommend that you pack an adequate supply of your prescription medication in its original container to last through your entire journey, together with a copy of your doctor’s prescription or a letter from your health-care provider on office stationery explaining that the medication has been prescribed for you, a list of the generic names of your medication, your travel documents and a change of clothing in your carry-on bag to avoid any inconvenience in the event that your flight or luggage is delayed.

    Following is a list of recommended items to pack for your trip to Spain and Portugal:
    Casual daytime wear – shorts, slacks, long and short-sleeved shirts
    An optional jacket and tie for men
    Casually elegant evening wear for ladies
    Sunglasses, sunscreen, hat
    Gym wear
    A light sweater or jacket for higher elevations or a breezy night
    Binoculars (7x50 preferably)
    Insect repellent
    Camera, lenses, batteries, memory cards and/or plenty of film
    Lightweight, comfortable, sturdy walking shoes that have already been broken-in
    Battery-operated travel alarm clock
    Rain poncho and collapsible umbrella
    Zipper-lock bags
    Daypack for camera equipment
    Sundries and toiletries that may be difficult to find en route
    Copies of your travel documents that should be secured in the safe in your hotel room while traveling
  • TL19711 wrote:
    Is it necessary for men to have a sports coat for this trip? Do most men wear one for the opening and farewell dinners? We are going in May.
    We were on the trip last September.
    I would take the standard blue blazer but no tie. There are at least two evenings (one in Lisbon, a second in Madrid) when the jacket will be appreciated.
    (The tie stayed in the suitcase.)
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